Saturday, June 28, 2014

Brother Visit

Chuck came to visit us last weekend.  It is always a fun time when he comes.  Bill always wants to figure out new places to take him.  It has been a long time since they had been to Carson Hot Springs for a soak and massage.  And Carson Hot Springs has recently reopened after being closed for awhile so that was the first stop.  I am not that into getting a massage and I get bored sitting in a bathtub for a half hour to hour so I opted out.  I went for a little hike up the hill and found some of the pump houses for the spa.  And I took a book to read for the rest of the time while I waited.

A trip to Stevenson almost always includes eating lunch at the Big River Grill.  Bill loves their portobello mushroom salad and everything else there is good too.

From there we drove to Hood River and visited the Western Antique Aeroplane and Automobile Museum.  Bill and I had been there a few years ago but Chuck hadn't been there before.  And they had expanded the museum since we were there last.  It was fun to see all the old planes, cars, motorcycles, jeeps, etc.

Chuck enjoys visiting with Cindy on his visits so we invited Jim and Cindy over for some Thai food.  Unusual that we see her two weekends in a row.  But very enjoyable evening seeing them again.

On Sunday we went to church as a family and had some bagels.  Then we headed downtown to take Chuck to the new East Fork Winery location at the Slocum House.  Then to the new Gouger Winery location in Ridgefield.  It was Chuck's first visit to both of the new locations although he had been to both wineries at their old locations.  It was the first time that Bill and I took advantage of going up onto the roof patio at Gouger to enjoy the scenery from up there.  We got to watch the newly shorn alpacas and see Mt. St. Helens in the distance.  It wasn't too hot so it was a really pleasant afternoon enjoying a couple glasses of wine up there.  We weren't quite ready to head back home so we stopped at Bethany Winery and Northwest Best Fish Market as well.  We love the smoked halibut spread that they sell there so we always pick some up if we are in the area.  Bill picked up the crab and artichoke dip this time too.  Absolutely wonderful.

So as with any visit from Chuck--we ate a lot.  We drank our fair share of wine.  And we did a bit of touring.  But it was a really fun visit.

Father's Day Celebration

Christopher arrived home from Bellingham in time to celebrate Father's Day with Bill.  It is fun having him back home.  Definitely not as quiet as it has been.  But he is working full time at his church for the summer as a custodian so that is keeping him occupied.
We had a very special celebration on Father's Day though.  Bill's friend from his West Point and early Army days, Sean Ryan, called and wanted to visit with us.  He is currently at JBLM teaching a four week class.  His wife, Lei who also graduated from West Point in 1984, flew up to Washington for the weekend and came down with him.  Sean and Bill fenced together at West Point which is how they met.  Colonel Frederick was the officer that was in charge of the fencing team and his daughter, Cindy, wanted to learn how to fence so Bill and Sean adopted her as their little sister and taught her how to fence.  We invited Jonathan, Jim and Cindy to join us for dinner so that they could have a mini-West Point Fencing reunion.  The last time we saw Sean and Lei was seven years ago and only briefly--about a half hour.  I think it has been about 20 years since we saw him before that so it was wonderful to reconnect with an old friend.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

And she said... "Yes!"

Tom proposed to Maddy Thursday night.  They called us right away because they were so excited.  Tom really surprised me as well.  I had always thought he would go the traditional diamond route.  I never imagined anything different than that.  But he had the ring custom designed in Ellensburg and chose an Ellensburg Blue Agate to be the centerstone.  He had been thinking about it for sometime--ever since he lived in Ellensburg.  I had heard of it I guess.  We had gone to the Kittitas historical museum once and they had a rock collection there.  But I guess it didn't make much of an impression as to how they are so popular in that area and that there are several gem and jewelry dealers that sell them.

The Ellensburg Blue Agate is actually a really rare stone that is only found in Kittitas County, Washington.  People go searching in fields there to see if they can find the rocks as they are so valuable. As I was researching it, Indians also made arrowheads from them.  It is the perfect ring for them as a couple as they met and went to school there.  So proud of him for picking something so unique and romantic to give his fiance.  And I am gaining a daughter.  Very exciting times ahead!

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Glamorous Gams 2

After six months of fundraising, putting together videos, practicing singing and dance routines, the big day finally arrived. Bill had to stay behind the scenes since he was in "jail".  And they played this video as their entrance for their performance.  They did a great job singing and dancing to "Everybody Needs Somebody to Love" from the Blues Brothers movie.  Shannon Roberts was a life saver being the real talent since Bill and Jim don't really sing very well.  And the kids from Groove Nation did a great job with their dance routine to back them up.

There were 8 other teams competing and the mayor and a few others were added in for time fillers while waiting for the tallying and announcement of the winner of the Golden Gam.  All the teams did such a good job with their performances and their fundraising.  It was a really fun evening and over $197,000 was raised for the Children's Center.  Such a great response from the community to support the mental health care of the children of Clark County.

Happenings Outside of the Northwest

My family in Wisconsin went to see the Blue Angels perform in La Crosse at the Deke Slayton Airfest.  Fun to see these pictures of them having been to Pensacola not too long ago.  Unfortunately, we were only able to see them takeoff and not perform.  And see a couple of them eating lunch at the O Club while we were there.  So I am a little bit jealous.

Maddy celebrated her birthday in Wichita over the weekend.  Unfortunately, Tom has been on TDY and wasn't able to be there with her but she had a great weekend with friends going to a Wichita Wingnuts game, going to Lake Afton and having a barbeque at their home.  Happy 24th Birthday Maddy!