Thursday, July 08, 2010

The Locks at Bonneville Dam

We've always wanted to catch Jeremy going through the locks, but between catching the viewing window (only 1 pm to 4 pm) and finding good weather and avoiding scheduled school and sporting activities, we had never managed to make it. On May 30, though, we finally managed that trifecta and saw Daddy and his tugboat go through the locks on their way home.

We're up in a viewing tower here watching the tug come around a bend into view.

It's hard to grasp the enormous scale involved. These are the fronts of two barges. They usually push four barges, as you'll see.

Here's another scale picture: Those front two barges that dwarfed the deckhand standing in front of them in the last picture now look tiny out at the very front of the load. I wasn't able to get a picture of all four barges and the tugboat while they were in the locks because it was just too massive.

Here are the boys seeing their dad and waving hello. They were very excited and thought it was very fun.

Here's Jeremy. He came down from the tower onto the main deck to be at eye level as the barges were being tied off. Thankfully he was on his off-watch, so he was free to come hang out by us.

The upper gates are closing behind the tugboat

Now the boat and tow are going down. Notice how much the water level has changed since the last picture. These locks drop about 60-80 feet. It's amazing how quickly it happens.

Now Jeremy's climbed back up to the tower to see us. In a few more moments, we'll only see the very top of the tower.

These are the lower gates opening up to let out the tow.

There they go! See you in a few hours, Daddy!

The boys loved watching this bridge (the road that parallels the tug and stops abruptly in the previous pic) swing back across this channel. Then we got in the van and drove across the bridge to get to the Bonneville visitors center, where we learned about electricity and saw some fish. What a great day!

The scale of this retired turbine is so impressive.

The kids participated in a hands-on demonstration of how electricity is made at Bonneville. Taylor was "The Mighty Columbia River."

Aric was an excited electron bouncing around.

No trip to Bonneville would be complete without a visit to Herman the Sturgeon.
Silver Star

The kids found a litter of kittens in a bramble by our house. We think someone dumped them and their mama in our neighborhood. We weren't able to rescue any of the others, but we did manage to snag this little girl before the mama cat moved her babies on.

The boys are SO happy to finally have a pet of their own. They named her Silver Star and take very good care of her.

Ascha loves Silver Star a dangerous amount. She's still on the young side for responsible ownership, so we really have to watch her. We're learning all sorts of good lessons, though, like "Feet are not for kicking" and "Never pick up a cat by the tail." We're pretty sure they'll both survive their stormy relationship and turn out to be great friends someday.

Her favorite warm napping spot
Mother's Day 2010

For Mother's Day, we spent a beautiful day on the Washington side of the Columbia River Gorge. We took a long drive and a short hike.

I am so blessed!

What better sight?

Gorgeous day, gorgeous baby

I love this shot!

Cowboy Day

In May, Taylor's class culminated their study of pioneers with cowboy day.

Ascha's Antics

There's something hanging out the bottom of a kitchen cupboard...

Hey! You can't see me!

Oh, alright, I'll let you. I am.

I'm just too cute to hide for very long.

When Mommy is working in the kitchen and can't hold me, I usually hang on her legs and cry. On occasion, however, I decide it's more fun to play in this cupboard instead. Sometimes I bring a book; other times, I just sit and peek in and out.

Taylor's Red Sox

This spring, Taylor played coach-pitch baseball for the "Boston Red Sox." He had great coaches and really enjoyed his season.

(He's directly in front of the coach in the red shirt in this pic)

He got plenty of experience at many positions, including catcher.

He preferred playing pitcher, but catching afforded more photo ops. :-)

Here he is fielding...

...and running the bases. He made some outs and had many hits and RBIs. It was a good season.

Of course, Aric needed to find something to do to pass the time (other than watching the game, because what respectable younger sibling wants to do that?), so he honed his photography skills.




April Fun

When the rain let up a bit, we made it out to the park.

Ascha loves hanging out with Daddy...

She also loves to swing.

Aric loves to ride his bike and has had lots of time to practice during the last school year. He's really getting good.

Taylor enjoys the sunshine and the free time.

We all take a little hike and love soaking up some early spring sunshine.

Ascha is getting so big, and she seems to want to measure her progress by lying on the bottom step. In April, she could touch both ends.

She's such a girly-girl. Here, she's preparing to take her bear for a ride. First, though, she must get the straps just right. A perfectionistic princess...a girl after her mommy's heart. :-)

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Easter with Grammy and Grumpy

My parents came into town for Easter. We met them at Multnomah Falls on the drive over, and Ascha still asks where "Bumpy" is whenever we drive over the I-205 bridge.

(who's the one ruining this otherwise lovely shot? :-)

There. The zoomed out version is much more presentable for things like blogs. :-)


We took the kids to an Easter egg hunt the day before Easter. The boys loved it, but Ascha was not convinced. This is her "I don't think so" face.

She refused to touch any eggs because they were lying in wet grass, so I snatched up this egg and wiped it off sneakily (if you've ever picked up an egg in the "3 and younger section, you know it feels a bit criminal) before shoving it into her hand and insisting she put it in her bag so it didn't get wet again.

The boys were pleased with their haul.

Of course, time around Grumpy wouldn't be complete without lots of horseplay.

Since we were all dressed up for Easter, I insisted that we try for a decent family photo. It didn't turn out too bad.

Grammy/Mimi and Grumpy/Bumpy with their grands