Saturday, May 23, 2015

Congratulations Graham On A Job Well Done

It is that time of year that is so busy for high school seniors (and their parents).  Award ceremonies, graduation, end of year celebrations of all types.  Graduation will be next weekend so anxious to see the graduation pictures.  I wish we lived closer.  I haven't seen Graham or Rhys in many years.  Having grown up geographically close to all my cousins, it is so strange to think that I don't really "know" any of my nieces and nephews.  Not like I wish I did anyway.  But it doesn't make me any less proud of them and their accomplishments.

Graham has had such a successful high school career and I wish him all the best for his new life at the Air Force Academy.  It is going to tough--he has a father and two uncles who can attest to what life at a military academy is like.  No picnic.  But it is such an accomplishment and honor to be part of those select few that get chosen to attend the academy and such a great network to be a part of after graduation.  He got several awards at yesterday's Senior Awards Ceremony for being a three sport athlete (cross country, track and swimming) as well as several academic awards.  He is the salutatorian of his graduating class at Northwestern High School in Springfield, OH.

In addition to his high school and academic accomplishments, he is an Eagle Scout and won both the District and Council Scout of the Year awards this year.

And he turned 18 this week.  So Happy Birthday Graham!  Congratulations on all your accomplishments and Best Wishes in your future endeavors.

Nuts About Squirrels

Chris loves squirrels.  He is always on the look out for them.  He talks to them.  And there are black squirrels in Bellingham that he really loves.  It is such an obsession for him, one of his friends bought him a squirrel stuffed animal for Christmas last year.  I saw this T-shirt on Facebook one day and immediately thought of him because it is just like that for him.  

So when he saw this cutout of a summer school squirrel, he couldn't resist the photo op.  And Mom certainly loves fun scrapworthy moments like this to catch him at happy moments.  Loved it and laughed.  What makes it more fun is he is actually taking a full course load of summer school so he is going to be that summer squirrel.

Friday, May 22, 2015

Happy To Be Home

Tom has been deployed for the last two and a half months.  He just got back home earlier this week.  Maddy took off work so that she could pick him up at the base when he landed.  I guess they don't allow family homecoming reunions on the flight line anymore so we were really lucky to get such cool photos of his homecoming back in October.  Only one month left until the wedding.  Lots to do and it will go fast.  But so looking forward to seeing both of them next month.

Pompeii in Seattle

Bill had to go to Seattle to work on a video project so we both decided to go and make a weekend of it.  He wanted to see the Pompeii exhibit at the Pacific Science Center.  And we needed to see Maddy's parents to work on wedding planning.  We drove up to Seattle last Saturday morning and got our videotaping done in about an hour and then headed to the Seattle Center.  Unfortunately the weather wasn't great so the pictures aren't as wonderful as I hoped but we had a good time.

I love my history with the Seattle Center.  My mom was pregnant with me when she went to visit my dad at Ft. Lewis and they went to the World's Fair (actually just before the fair opened I have since found out) and had pictures from the Space Needle and Monorail.  My dad always jokes with me that I was up on the Space Needle before I was born.  Bill and I had enough time to kill that we had hoped to go up the Space Needle but when we tried to get tickets, they conflicted with the time of our Pompeii tickets.

We spent a little bit of time in the courtyard at the Pacific Science Center which has these cool structures. They look better against blue sky.  Oh well.

We got to see the exhibit just as it is closing out its U.S. tour.  This is the last weekend that it can be seen.

It was a pretty cool exhibit but as usual, they sell so many tickets that it is a little hard to see everything as well as one would like to.  I just took a few pictures of the exhibit.  I was actually surprised they allowed it.  I am so used to museums prohibiting photography.

This was a cool table with a beautiful tiled top.

There were lots of sculptures like this as part of the exhibit.  Makes me wonder if anybody ever wore clothes in ancient Rome.

Given my surgical background, I was interested in seeing these surgical instruments.

After seeing the exhibit, we headed to the Speers for wedding planning and a dinner party that they were holding to meet a few of their friends.  It was a lovely evening.  Had breakfast at a Greek restaurant in the morning and then headed home.

All and all a good weekend.  Exhausting but good.

Monday, May 18, 2015

Getting to see one of my BFFs

I have a few friends that I consider my BFFs.  They are those women that I can be away from for years and be able to pick up with immediately upon seeing them again.  My friend, Krystal, is one of them.  We worked together, crafted together and shared our family lives with each other.  When you spend time with her and her sister and mother at various times, you begin to feel like family.  She moved to Florida a few years ago to be with her husband.  I have missed her so much.  Her grandmother died recently and she came to Vancouver for the funeral.  She has so many friends here that she has to schedule appointments with us to spend time.  There are so many friends and family that she needs to make time for.  I felt lucky enough to be able to have dinner with her Friday night.  Such a treat to see her, help her celebrate her graduation from her master's program and catch up on life's goings on.  Now that her grandmother has died and her in-laws have moved to Wisconsin, there aren't a lot of reasons for her to come back.  So I am thinking--this might be the last time she comes here.  She keeps inviting me to Florida and even invited me to Colorado for her graduation but there is always a reason not to go.  Some day I hope I can get to Florida to see her, meet her in Salt Lake City when she is there or go to a convention together some time.  I don't want to think that I might never see her again.  Hoping that we will continue to keep in touch and be able to see each other again--sometime, somewhere.

Mother's Day--I Live for Moments Like This

It was a different kind of Mother's Day this year but oh so wonderful.  This is my first Mother's Day without a mother or mother-in-law to honor.  My mom died 28 year years ago so that has been a long time.  But I always had Beverly and June around up until this year.  What made it so wonderful was being able to spend the weekend with Christopher though.  Fortunately the weather cooperated so that we could fly up to Bellingham and spend some time with him.

The weather wasn't so wonderful that it was a great to take pictures but I did take a few.  Flying over Puget Sound and the San Juan Islands is my favorite flying route.  There is nothing like flying over the water and all the great islands, seeing the Olympic Mountains and four of the Cascade volcanoes all at the same time.  It is absolutely beautiful!

 Mount Baker
San Juan Islands

Once we got to Bellingham, we took Chris to enjoy lunch at Boundary Bay and of course, the guys enjoyed a bit of beer there.  Chris had recently signed a new lease for the apartment he will be living in next year.  So we had him take us to see where it is.  Happy to see that it will be an improved situation from where he is living this year.  

I went Whatcom Falls Park last year on my own while waiting for Chris to finish his finals and pack up his dorm room but Bill had never been there and despite having been to the park, Chris had never seen the waterfalls.  So we spent some time wandering around the park a bit and took some photos by the falls.  Beautiful spot to take mother-son pictures.

We had never been in Bellingham long enough to explore a whole lot but we found ourselves with more time so we went to see the Spark Museum--a museum all about electricity, radios, televisions, etc.  It had quite a collection of electricity machines and old radios and other electronics.  While we were at the Spark Museum, we came across Bayou by the Bay restaurant.  Chris was excited about having some Creole food so we decided we would go back for dinner.  Chris had an alligator po-boy, I had a pork po-boy and Bill had some blackened catfish.  Enjoyed our New Orleans fix in Bellingham.

Chris had plans with friends that night so we parted ways until the morning to go to the Larkspur Cafe as we usually do for breakfast.  They have a Nova Scotia Eggs Benedict that Bill loves, loves, loves.  So we always go there for breakfast.  So got to have a lovely Mother's Day breakfast before heading back to the airport to fly home.

Just as we landed at Pearson--I got a call on my cell phone from a strange number in Florida.  I almost didn't answer it thinking it was a wrong number or solicitation.  I am so glad I answered.  It was Tom calling from Qatar to wish me a Happy Mother's Day.  So good to hear his voice.  And perfect timing.

And so that was my Mother's Day weekend.  I got to fly over my favorite flying route with my sweetheart, spend the weekend with one of my sons, and talk on the phone to the other.  The only thing that would have made it more perfect was if Tom could have been here too.  But all and all--it was the best weekend I could have asked for.

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Blues Brothers in the Couve Go to Prom

Bill, Jim West and Shannon Roberts teamed up again to do some performing at the Vancouver Metro Sunset Rotary Prom at Clark College.  This year's prom had a Mardi Gras theme.   Bill and Jim serenaded the queen candidates with "Pretty Woman".  Shannon sang the prom court dance and they all got everyone on the dance floor singing "Love Shack".
 Instead of having a king and queen--the two (actually--at least the top three were women) top fundraisers were Tracey Malone and Alishia Topper.  So instead of having one of the men be king, they named Tracey the queen and Alishia the king.