Monday, July 28, 2008

July is really National Birthday month!!

Today is Mark's birthday. Happy Birthday baby!

We have a blast together: this is a picture from when we went to Oregon State's football spring training. We both had a blast. Football: that's the key to our relationship. That and a beer every now and then. And some pizza. And cake. Maybe some ice cream. Then some more football.

Oh, and the fact that next year Mark will be old enough to get me the senior discount at the Franz bread store. That's right: a discount on bread. Just what a girl needs. Oh yes, this relationship just gets better and better! Bread. You go boy! Momma needs a loaf of sourdough!

As a matter of fact, his sister Mary Jo has a birthday this month too. How cool is that? Here they are on the ferry, enjoying the sites: how cute can they be?

Oh, and Doug has a birthday this month. Doug loves his Bampa. He sure does.

And a big old 'Hi Erik'!

Now remember, it's Mark's birthday today. Mark. Here is a picture of him and his little friends having a cold one. At a football party. What did I tell you? Football. It's all football folks.

Yes, there's my boy. That other July birthday boy. My youngest child is now 18. WHEN did THAT happen?

And here is my niece Megan, Doug's birthday buddy. They share their birthday. I can't think of anyone I'd rather have share Doug's day. She's a doll, and I adore her. And I'm rather fond of that cute boy there with her. I wish my nieces were closer: I'd have them over all the time.

And don't forget Mary Jo. One of my favorite people in the ENTIRE world. I love her very much.
I'd have her over all the time too if she were closer.

I love and adore my husband. He is funny, clever, kind, smart, very cute, adores his children and shows them (very important to me), and I don't know what I'd do without him.

Happy Birthday Mark. You deserve all the best the world has to offer. Think sourdough.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Jet boats ahoy!

The Beaverton Foods Relay team decided to have a celebration. We took ourselves on down to Portland, and took a ride on the Jet Boats on the Willamette. Fun! Here is George, Karissa, Janet, good ole me, and Mark. Sunny day (started out cloudy and cool, thank goodness the sun came out to play).

Other side of the equation, with Carl on the end this time. We're ready: let's get this show on the road!

Hey, I said I'm ready!

Janet's ready too. What's the holdup?

Wow, Karissa is REALLY ready!!

Ah, a day on the Willamette. Beautiful day to be on the river. A good time was had by all.

Then on to our house for a bar-b-que. Ilyn and her lil guy caught up with us. Man, does he know how cute he is or what?

And I have a picture of Roger to put in here, but I can't figure out how to put it in after the fact. Sorry Roger! Once I figure it out, you'll be here too, in your bright orange shirt.

We were all so ready to eat by the time we got back from the river. Janet, Karissa, and I were dreaming of the potato chips all the way home. Hate to admit it: potato chips were on our minds. And it looks like Mark was VERY, VERY hungry.

And maybe a bit 'grumpy'?

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Oh my gosh, NOT AGAIN!

I've always said that Cari and Doug were twins, separated by years, but this is taking it a bit too far. Doug was riding a bike last night and crashed. He hurt his shoulder, elbow, and wrist. Cari's left hand is in a sling and now Doug's right arm is in a sling. Cari though is the smart twin: SHE was wearing a helmet. Doug was not. NO more of that. He's so darn lucky that I can't stand it.

He really did a good one.

So to get away from it all, Mark and I took Deacon on over to the school. Nice out there, with a lovely breeze. Nice way to end the day.

That is one happy dog you're looking at. And I'm one happy camper cause he can't no how figure out how to ride a bike.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Graduates and Cakes

I began trying out recipes in my "Birthday Cakes" book. How fun! Above is my first attempt, with my cute little kitty gal helping to show it off.

I have to admit it was a bit heavy for my taste. The book called for it to be cooked as a sheet cake and so I gave it another try, pouring the icing on while the cake was hot (as noted in the book) and it was amazing! SO VERY GOOD. I took it to Cari's graduation party, served it with some ice cream, and it was a hit. Oh so good. All right, all right, I know: follow directions Mary. I got it.

So Mom and Dad Vander Yacht, Aunt Mary Jo, Uncle Randy, cousins Rachel and Megan, and Rachel's step son Gavin (we're so glad he's in our family now!) came on down to go over to Cari's and celebrate her graduation from Portland State. We are all so proud of her.

And we also ended up going there to provide some support: she fell off her bike and broke her wrist. Rachel made sure she was styling, and provided a 'My Little Pony' badge of honor for her to proudly wear. Cari LOVED My Little Pony when she was small: good job Rachel! I wish I would have thought of it. And Aunt Mary Jo gave her a book on fixing bikes: so with the new development, she added some information printed off the Internet on how to deal with a broken wrist. Cracked me up!! LOVE my family. Just love them.

See. Styling. Don't you wish YOU had one? Don't you wish you had a cousin like Rachel?

Bampa, Randy, and Mark man the bar-b-cue. The food was wonderful, and there was lots of it. Erik did a lot of work and we ate up the salads he created. The cucumber salad was my favorite. Gotta get that recipe.

Megan loves her Grammy Jo. They're both so pretty: our girls all have the best grandmas in the world. I wish my mom and dad could have been here. Love you.

The entertainment for the night was Pants. He's a scrub blue jay who visits on a daily basis, waiting for peanuts to appear. We provided him with lots of food to store, and he provided us with lots of fun.

Doug didn't want his picture taken. Got the message.

Megan and Steven made sure their teeth were in order for their picture. Crazy cousins.

No matter how old your children are, you want to wrap them up and protect them. And when they grow up, they DO NOT WANT YOU TO HOVER. So, I'm not hovering. I'm there when needed, and that's what it's all about. Being there for each other. Congratulations Cari on your degree, and thank goodness you're safe and well. We will always be there for you. Always.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Well, hello July! And a Very Happy Birthday!

Yesterday was Cari's birthday. How very lucky I am to have her as my daughter. I always wanted to be a mom, and she has proved that I was right: being a mom is amazing. I adore her.

Above is a picture from her birthday last year.

AS you can tell from the picture, she's a happy person.

Always willing to explore new worlds. She has taught me much about following your passions (and I hope I passed some of this on to her as well). She inspires me to stay true to my creative side. She makes me want to be who I should be.

She's talented. Old Cari. You gotta love her!

She's loved by family and friends. And what a good looking family (nice look Doug).

Zany. Oh yes, she can be zany.

Add animal lover to the list.

More than anything, she is very much loved by her parents. I can't even tell you how special she is to us.

Today I bought this book: I wish I would have had it earlier so I could have created a cake for Cari.

Well, I would have baked it yesterday, cause the cake Erik baked for her party on Saturday was so DARNED GOOD that I wouldn't have wanted to pass that up. It tasted so darned good. Carmel cake. Darned good. You know Erik, my birthday is in September. I'll have the plate, you bring the cake.

Happy Day After Birthday Cari. I have the feeling this year is holding lots of joy and fun and laughter and creativity and excitement and love for you. And you can't ask for anything else.