Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Aba Visit Days 5 + 6

Hi again!!!

So Sunday was a pretty significant day for Aba because she actually joined us for church!
That's right, a non-Catholic Presbyterian service!!
I had gently (but persistently) prodded her about joining us because there are just so many wonderful folks at First Presbyterian that I wanted her to meet.
She actually caved!!
Evidence that she is, in fact, mellowing out in her later years (for the better??) since I recall her being unreasonably fixated on Catholic-mass-or-bust in our youth~~~

It was a lovely service, Fellowship Hour was full of meet-n-greets, and the walk home was as lovely as the walk there. ;)

After church, we then hit up the Letter Writing Social!!
I love how my mom can easily blend into a given social situation and entertain folks with her doctor and/or Spanish anecdotes and such.
I got to write a letter to Father Paul Drobin, who is the priest who married Dash and me; baptized my two kiddos; and was generally a staple for most of my life. Mom told me he's not doing so well health-wise so I took a moment to write him a note thanking him for the profound effect he's had on my life and wishing him well~

Sunday evening was a very fancy dinner (for the Dashiell household) as my mom bought all the ingredients to and whipped up pan-con-tomate as well as salmon!!
The salmon was prepared with pears and almonds on top. And we enjoyed it with more of that leftover arroz con pollo. YUM!

She even topped the evening off with sundaes and we together all enjoyed the final episode of GBBO Season 3. Woot woot!!

Her last day, Monday, consisted of dropping Ella off at the first day of her summer camps "Circus Camp" through the Corvallis Arts Center.

We did a lot of walking during this entire visit :)

Almost every single week this summer, Ella will be in some art-based day camp from 9am - 5pm!!
I think she will like it and blossom mucho socially and artistically as well~

Ella in her natural habitat~

I had a quick job at LBCC in the early afternoon, during which Aba hung out with William solo style. Love it!!

William looks a lot like me here @_@

We then picked up Ella, drove straight to the airport, enjoyed a lovely Hawaiian themed meal at "Beaches" at the airport, and drove back home with both kiddos asleep (and me too pretty much).

William was in a "mood". I think it was from all the blueberries he's been gorging on~

Today, Tuesday, I am actually leaving for an entire month to be with my twin sister, Kathy-neechan, in Richmond, VA.

I'm super stoked, partly afraid that I'll miss my family terribly, and definitely looking forward to the insane lack of responsibility that I am not quite used to. :D

Bye, kiddos!!!! ;D

 I don't know how much I'll be updating my blog during this time away, since it isn't really about my "life here in Oregon". But we'll see~

In the meanwhile, take care, thanks for stopping by, and Happy Aba Visit Days 5 + 6!!

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Aba Visit Day 4

Hi again!

Man, another weird night of sleep last night. Got up at 5am (could be worse!) and read a bunch of Bakuman. only to follow asleep again while everyone was breakfasting. Huh. @_@

Let's see...yesterday (Saturday) was our fourth day with Aba. How did it go...?

I don't know if I've mentioned this before, but my mom is a really hard worker so even though she's come to visit us "on vacation" she naturally has brought a ton of work with her. So truth-be-told, the first half of Saturday was her taking care of some work, which I was actually able to help with too!

Besides her full-time job as an endocrinologist running her own practice, she always has some project or other on the side. When my bro was in Tanzania for the Peace Corps. she rallied a huge local effort to gather and send books to start a library at his village's school...a year or so ago she was creating a tile mosaic for her church (@_@)...this year she's working on patenting a new drug!! I cannot share much about it right now, but the process for getting FDA approval is really something, and so I am helping her as much as I can. Hopefully I'll get to share news about it in the near future if/when it is approved :D

So yeah, the afternoon then consisted of going to a classmate of Ella's birthday party! Jacob turned 8 years old (wow!) and the celebration was set in the lovely Chepenafa Springs Park, the weather was perfect, and I was very happy to get to introduce some of Ella's rising 2nd grade class to her :)

Back at home, Aba held onto the kids while Dash and I took a leisurely stroll down to the library. It's starting to sink in that I will not be seeing him for a whole month so I want to clock in as many hours of quality time with him as possible!!

Dinner was leftovers reinvented, yum!

And it was cool how dinner dissolved into a bit of a math lesson for Ella Rose. Taking advantage of the chalkboard door, we taught "more advanced" addition to Ella which she just gobbled right up~!

Also covered problems such as 18+27, where you have to carry the one and all that ;)

And then GBBO.

So...yeah. Not the most cram-packed day but a good one nonetheless.

I'll cover what we've been up to so far for this sunny Sunday day later this evening~

Til then, thanks for dropping by, hope you're having a great weekend and Happy Aba Visit Day 4!!

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Aba Visit Day 3


I woke up this morning at 4am over guilt of having not finish my book due yesterday (gulp!) but at least those few uninterrupted hours before everyone else woke up did provide me the time to complete that and the script Dash usually needs for Sunday. So Phew!!

Now to share how yesterday, Thursday, with Aba went :)

After a pancake & bacon breakfast (yum) we all pedaled out CWS and Blueberry Meadows!

By "we all" I mean Aba, the kids, and I -- Dash got to have a relaxing/productive time at home to do what he wanted/needed ;)

Awesome bicycle train at work~

It was great bicycling/picking weather because it was overcast with a slight breeze and no direct sunlight~

At CWS, I got to pick up Dash's snazzy CWS sweatshirt!

The only logo-toting clothing allowed at the school, heh ;)

We also picked up Ella's report card for the year!! :D
Really, it was almost more of an evaluation of her as a whole person, not just marks for each realm of her curriculum, and it was very reassuring to say the least~ ♡ So proud of her!!!!

We took that opportunity to show Aba around the school a bit even though the classrooms were pretty much gutted at this point.

The pictorial representation of what the First Graders' school year was like :)

At Blueberry Meadows, quantity was not the emphasis of the day, so we only picked about 6 lbs. William is on a really strong affection kick, and told me no less than 20 times (sporadically and without prompting) things like "mama, I love you" and "you're the best mama ever, thanks for letting us come here" *_* So...endearing...!!!!

Snazzy harness for holding the bucket helped too!

Back at home, Aba and I got to take another long walk to the bank and back, and then it was Dash Night!!

Again, the weather was still so mellow that we strolled on downtown, hit up this funky little Mediterranean Cafe, and then went to watch The Lobster at Darkside Theater.

I was initially really jazzed about the off-kilter feel of the film...but by the end it definitely left Dash and I more depressed than rejuvenated. BLEGH.

In the meanwhile, Aba had a great time with the kids!
She whipped up an amazing arroz con pollo dish, which the kids gobbled right up...

...with a side of salad too (!!)...

 and some lovely sibling affection was caught on camera too.

I love when Ella read to William!!

At home again, we had some leftover pie and coffee, and then off to bed~

And that was Friday.

Today we've got a birthday party to catch for Ella's good friend/classmate Jacob and no other real big plans besides that~

Hope you're all enjoying your weekend so far.
Until next time, take care and Happy Aba Visit Day 3!!

Friday, June 24, 2016

Aba Visit Day 2

Yo yo~

Sorry for not posting this last night -- my phone can be buggy sometimes and refuse to send photos. And what's a blog post without at least one photo??

Anyway, yesterday Aba was a star.
It was a rainy day, so she took the kids to the indoor pool for the afternoon while Dash and I got some work done!
They packed a lunch and even shampoo and such so that they'd have all their needs covered while there. In the time they were away, I indeed completed my script from start to finish. PHEW! Granted, I have to polish it before sending it off today, but all that time a huge help :)

I'd forgotten to list it in yesterday's post but swimming was definitely something Aba came here looking very much forward to doing.

And to thank her for her kind gesture, as well as get some good ol' solo time with mi mama, I treated her to a pedicure just down the road!

I hadn't realized the wonders of pedicures until speaking with my friend A.W.
I marveled at how she could have such lovely, baby-smooth heels and she said that it was all thanks to a pedicure with Modern Nails.

Not only do they paint your nails (all that I'd assumed a pedicure entailed) but they also massage your calves, moisturize your entire foot, buff off all the hardened callouses, and trim/beautify your nail beds and such. An almost hour-long experience for only $25 -- such a good deal and so good for self-care/love/hygiene. :)

Now I have these lovely smooth heels and funky purple toe nails and I'm feeling good!
I'm considering making it a seasonal thing from now on~

Mom was then sweet enough then offer to buy dessert and wine (Dash was home making TRB at this point) so we got to have even more alone time walking to the store and such.

During dinner, Aba told us some stories from her trip to Tanzania back when Uncle George was a Peace Corps. volunteer there. Having her here after so long has made me realize how much I love hearing her tell stories -- be it about her youth, or her experiences as a doctor, or tales that other people have told her. She's just a really good storyteller! And I believe Kathy-neechan has inherited that gift~ Or maybe I just really love being read to overall. It'd explain my penchant for audiobooks, eh? ;)

Anyway, after dinner, we wrapped up the evening with two rounds of of "May I?"

Played with three different card sets: Zelda, 3D cats, and standard poker. HA!

Ella won both rounds!! With honestly only minimal help from Aba. I love the idea of having the kids grow up with cards as an after-dinner entertainment the way we did. It fosters a wee bit of competitiveness but also smart strategizing and makes for a bunch of memories!!

Here's a quick shot of what their card playing looked like yesterday:

'Twas a simple game of "War"

Today the weather should be nicer than yesterday, so we plan to go blueberry picking, run a quick errand or two at CWS, and definitely end the day with Date Night for mom and dad :D Aba is thrilled at the chance to watch the kids for us for as long as we like so we can enjoy a little get-away~

I'll tell you how it goes~!
Til then, take care and Happy Aba Visit Day 2!!

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Aba Visit Day 1

Hello hello!

Sorry for the couple-day absence there.
We were busy busy in the Dashiell household getting ready to receive a very special visitor: Aba!!

You'd never guessed she'd been running on 4 hours' sleep!

My mom hasn't seen the kids since last summer's primada and hasn't been to our house since...I wanna say Christmas of 2014. @_@ Wow, that's a long time!

My mom is such a trooper. Woke up at 2am to catch her flight, then put up with the long drive to our place, played with the kids nonstop (including some frisbee/boomerang action on the CHS grounds and cards!), and even stayed up for the semi-finals episode of GBBO. :D Needless to say, it's been a long day for her~!

She's only here for five short days (;_;) so here is a hit-list of all that we'd like to do while she's with us:

- blueberry picking!
- Letter Writing Social!
- joining us for a friend's birthday party!
- pedicures!
- the beach!

And of course the myriad of other activities and events that are bound to spring up along the way ;)

I love my mama with all my heart. She is my role model and inspiration and a doting abuela too.
We are all so happy to have her and to record our precious time together.

Until tomorrow, take care, give your mom and extra big squeeze and Happy Aba Visit Day 1!!

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Crafty Father's Day

Hey there~

Firstly, Happy Father's to all the dads out there!
Here in the Dashiell household, Sundays are always a busy deadline day for Dash, so we will be celebrating this wonderful man in the evening with a dinner at El Sol de Mexico. YUM!

While he's been working, me and the kids have been up to some crafting projects that are long overdue.

First on the list was Juggling Balls!!

You may recall that back in Spain we made some but somewhere along the line (I think we were still in Spain actually!) they all went missing ;_;

So this morning (even before church!) Ella and I set about crafting not one but two new sets!

Supposed to be Pokeball themed, but some look more like...

They were made using some globos that Andrea bought for us just before we left at the end of the summer. Crazy to think that these little bags of globos had just been waiting around untouched for that long! And it only took us about 15 minutes to make all six of them.

I filled them with some rice I came upon during the Student Exodus which I knew not many folks would be hip on wanting since it was in an open container. Glad I was able to put it to use here though :)

I look forward to much more juggling now that I have a couple of nice sets to work with~

The other thing I crafted up today were some Fenders for Ella's tagalong.

In rainy weather, when we have the trailer hitched up and William riding in it, he will get mud splatters all over his face because the tagalong wheel kicks up all this water and mud and poor William's face is right in line of it. ;_;

So! I asked the Corvallis Bicycle Collective if they had any splash guard fenders that would fit a 12" wheel, but apparently they are hard to come by.
Instead, the man there (Ron) recommended looking up some DIY tutorials online about making them out of coroplast.

That's right! The material they make political campaign lawn signs out of it :D

I was so happy to know that I had an extra one from my Clothing Swap advertisement stash, so I found a tutorial online and came up with this:

Just wait until we paint it! It'll be both functional and fashionable~!

I'm happy that this little project cost me exactly $0 because the sign was free courtesy of the Corvallis Public Library and all the twisty ties came from those that naturally enter my house through bread bags and such.

I almost wish we had rainy weather just so I could test this baby out, but I have a feeling it'll do its job and if not, then at least I have a solid sense for what kinds of adjustments would have to be made.

The last craft project of the day (so far!!) was a Bicycle Pannier for my friend Karen!

I got the empty cat litter container off the CFGE, had the leftover metal plank from the first set I'd made a couple years back, and the rest of the hardware I'd literally just picked up off the street on my many bike rides over the past year :D

Small package, big potential!

Ought to get the job done!

I hope she likes it!

I think I'll spend the rest of the afternoon sewing and knitting some things that are in my to-be-mended pile.

And then...El Sol de Mexico!! ♥︎

Til then, thanks for stopping by, take care and Happy Craft Father's Day!!

Saturday, June 18, 2016

8th Grade Graduation Ceremony

Yo yo~

So I never got to share a ceremony I went to even before our S.F. trip.
In fact it was one week ago today!

And that was the CWS 8th Grade Graduation Ceremony.
(I was still in the midst of the Student Exodus move-out effort, hence the delay in posting about it)

The program involved touching speeches, impressive displays of musical prowess, and lovely artwork by the very talented Kayley :)

I don't recall my own "graduation" from middle school into high school being all that memorable or celebrated, but I suppose that since CWS only goes as high as 8th grade and entering 9th grade also means leaving the Waldorf education system, it really is a bigger deal.

Look at this cake! It was mammoth and the slices they divvied out to folks were super generous~!

I attended the CWS 8th Grade Graduation Ceremony for three very special 8th graders in my life:

1) Jack-san!

His 8th Grade Mentor Program display and other works throughout the year.
So beautiful!

I've been tutoring Jack-san in Japanese for two years now (wow!!) and was his 8th Grade Mentor too! The Waldorf mentorship program entails a student choosing some professional to shadow and learn from over the course of the year in whatever field interests them. I was so honored that Jack-san wished to learn about the inner workings of Japanese translation through my own career. :) He really is a bright kid and I hope we can continue his studies for as long as possible!

2) Maggie-san!

Her table and wall art to showcase a taste of all that she's accomplished this year :)

I've also been tutoring Maggie-san this year, and she is such a treat! She's enthusiastic about languages and the interesting nuances of both English and Japanese. And she also enjoys anime!! Her mentorship focus was on illustration and I was happy to hook her up with the very talented Zach Starker to be her mentor in that field.

3) Kayley!

Her mentor taught her all about falconry and I believe she's well on her way to being a real professional in the field!

Kayley, as you may recall, was Ella's 8th Grade buddy this year, and just an all around cool gal. She strikes me as being extremely mature for her age, and having experienced a lot in her young age. I know that this was her first year in a Waldorf school, that she's passionate about birds, that she's a talented artist, and that she's even a budding musician...but I look forward to hopefully learning more about her. I've just always felt this instant connection with her -- like her honesty and style always clicked with me.

Aaanyway, I'm happy that all three of them will be going to CHS for their high school career so that I can see them even more regularly (hopefully! :D )

Oh, and I just talk a little about the Ceremony itself, don't you think?

First off, the faculty sang a rendition of "Stand By Me" that had me nearly bawling because it was so touching.

Really, the whole atmosphere was that of bittersweet good-byes, pride in these young adults, and you could tell that the bond that the students and teachers form is strong.

The graduating students got to perform musically (with instruments and voices) and both solo and as a group. And they also shared memorable moments of their time with their classmates.

 It was was again very reaffirming as to what kinds of people the Waldorf education system helps to mold: confident, talented, respectable and capable young adults.

I really hope I get to mentor someone again in next year's 8th grade class because it's a great feeling to know that you are maybe shaping this kid's perspective on some given field of expertise. And it's nice to form that friendship you get from spending so much time with them, working on learning a skill like that. :)

Congratulations, Graduates!
And good luck in high school!!

Teeny tiny class of six kiddos ;)

Well, until next time: thanks for stopping by, take care, and Happy 8th Grade Graduation Ceremony!!