Archive for the Joyful Moments Category

Joe Turns 11

Jun 30th, 2010 Posted in Fun Photos - General, Joyful Moments | no comment »

Joe always enjoys life to the fullest and his birthday is no exception. He gathered 4 of his best friends (plus Sam) for a birthday sleepover and the boys were having non-stop-fun together the entire time.  While I can’t believe that he’s 11 and going into 6th grade, I’m so impressed with the great kid he’s become and look forward to seeing him continue to blossom in middle school.

After Joe’s buddies left, we journeyed downtown to Powell’s and searched for good book deals. Joe found 3 that he liked. Then, we continued on to the Deschutes Brewery for Joe’s favorite wings. Now we’re home and chilling before we head out to Joe’s baseball game. We’re hoping for a win in honor of his birthday 🙂  Chances are good. Joe’s team is #1 in the District and hopefully on its way to a place in the State Tournament!!!

Love you, Joe.

Grandma’s 80th Birthday

Jun 1st, 2010 Posted in Fun Photos - General, Good Eats - Recipe, Joyful Moments | no comment »

My grandma, Mavis Hamel, will turn 80 years-old on June 4th. What a great reason to celebrate!  My mom hosted a family brunch on Saturday and all of the local Hamel clan was able to attend.  I think everyone had a good time. My boys are always excited to see Noah, my cousin Danielle’s 3 year old.  All of their cousins are older and spread out across Oregon, so Noah is a real treat.

I tried out another excellent recipe from the What Can I Bring? cookbook by Anne Bryn. Tomato Pie was delicious and will be a great addition to my cooking arsenal when the tomatoes in my garden overwhelm me.  I’m thinking it could easily be a zucchini pie as well.

And, of course, I took photos. I’m really happy with the photos of Grandma and various members of the family. I even snuck into one for the group shot. Thank goodness for timers. We had a little technical difficulty with my new remote control so we had to use the 10 second timer. Next time we’ll have the remote ready to roll so I don’t have to run back and forth.  However, I do recommend going back to check the photo in the viewer at least once to make sure you can see everyone and that you like where you are in the photo. I’d love to be tucked away in the back next time 🙂

Banks Tournament Champions

May 19th, 2010 Posted in Fun Photos - Sports, Joyful Moments, Sports | no comment »

Joe’s Sherwood Scorpions baseball team won first place this weekend at the Banks Junior National Tournament.  The boys played very well and deserved the top prize.

Joe made the difficult decision to only play a portion of the championship game so that he could make it back to Newberg for an important soccer tryout. He played an amazing 4 innings that helped lead the team to victory. Hits, slides home, awesome bunts, RBI’s, double-plays…Joe did it all this weekend.  Then, he proceeded to get to Newberg and hustle his way onto the U12 Classic Team. It was a competitive tryout this year, and Joe showed he has what it takes.

Great weekend, Joe! I’m very proud of you.

Gasp – I Have a Teenager

Mar 14th, 2010 Posted in Fun Photos - General, Joyful Moments | no comment »

Click here to view these pictures larger

Ben turned 13 on March 13th. Wow!

He scored a goal in his soccer game, ate Tracktown Pizza with his Grandma and Grandpa in Eugene, had 3 of his very best friends over for the night and got some very fun presents. We “finally” gave Ben a cell phone for his birthday. He is literally one of the last kids in Sherwood’s 7th grade class to get one 🙂  But, I’m glad we held out. He is more responsible now and we got to hang on to our “kid” for much longer.

Luckily for me, Ben has not turned into “one of those teenagers” overnight. He’s a great kid and I don’t expect that to change dramatically as the teen years engulf our family.

Happy Birthday, Ben!

Maggie the Lioness 1996-2010

Mar 11th, 2010 Posted in Fun Photos - General, Joyful Moments | no comment »

Our lovely “lioness” Merry Margaret (Maggie) is now resting in peace after a long, well-lived 14 years. Our hearts are very sad this week, but the weight is lifted slightly knowing that she lived with spirt and greatness even in her last days.

Maggie, a Chesapeake Bay Retriever, was more than a handful from the get go. She chewed siding, ripped up flowers, dismantled a Japanese Maple and eventually learned to leap a 6 ft fence (still don’t know how she did that). Maggie also stole tomatoes off the vine, dug holes so deep you couldn’t see her shoulders and would swim in circles until she yelped from exhaustion if we let her near water. She was crazy and so full of life that we loved, loved, LOVED her. I’m not sure if I ever truly asserted myself as the “alpha female” in our relationship, but it was worth sharing the title for her.

Maggie was a lover of tennis balls, snow balls, rawhide chew sticks, compost piles (no joke) and the beach. She rarely got cross with another animal (even goats, cats and the annoying little dogs we tortured her with).

We loved you, Maggie, and will remember you always.

Ben and the Bass

Feb 21st, 2010 Posted in Fun Photos - General, Fun Things to Do, Joyful Moments, Music Review | no comment »

Ben had his first live performance with the Laurel Ridge Middle School Jazz Band last night. The event was a high school fundraiser called “Swinging with Spaghetti.” We’re not usually big fans of the spaghetti dinner night, but I’ll have to say that this one was really well done and very well attended.  All of the music was excellent and it was a super festive evening. The kids got lots of grins and applause for playing “The Office” theme song.

Ben is already a stellar guitar player and decided to take on the challenge of learning the electric bass guitar for Jazz Band. I’m very proud at how he powered through the struggles of a new instrument and reading music for the first time. He played great last night and fit right in with the rest of the musicians after just 2 months!

Love the clothes, too. Haven’t seen my boy in a tie since he was 5 at Uncle Chad’s wedding 🙂  Looking and sounding good, kiddo.

Joe’s 5th Grade Concert

Feb 18th, 2010 Posted in Fun Photos - General, Joyful Moments, Music Review | no comment »

Ahhh, remember fifth grade? Girls are kind of cool and kind of scary.  And then, the music teacher makes you perform cheesy songs, play the recorder and hold hands and dance with a GIRL!!!

Joe’s concert tonight was so cute and so funny.  Joe, of course, added the humor. First, he didn’t even want to go. No surprise. Then, when he got there, he hammed it up. Funny expressions, funny gestures and he even went down on his knees and threw his hands up in the air in relief when the dance was done.  Unforgettable as usual. Love that kid.

National Junior Honor Society

Jan 22nd, 2010 Posted in Joyful Moments, Sherwood Schools | no comment »

Ben was inducted into the Laurel Ridge National Junior Honor Society (NJHS) last night. It was a very impressive group of 7th and 8th graders and a very well-done ceremony. To be eligible, Ben had to have a 3.65 GPA or higher (he has a 4.0 right now!), get 4 recommendations from teachers at Laurel Ridge and commit to performing 5 hours of community service/leadership every trimester (he already serves on the Sherwood K-12 District Math Committee).  Needless to say, I am so proud of Ben. And, I love that he is being acknowledged for his academics and service.  It’s also such a great thing to have the kids truly own their success now. They are striving to achieve the good grades for themselves, because it means something to them, not just to their parents.

The ceremony was done really well. I liked that both current NJHS members and our Sherwood NHS vice president all had chances to speak and congratulate the new members. And, of course, our principal Steve Emmert gave the ceremony that emotional touch that he’s so good at.

I’m hoping to see great things from these kids. Congrats to them all!

Christmas 2009

Dec 26th, 2009 Posted in Fun Photos - General, Joyful Moments | no comment »

Wow. We had such a great Christmas this year. The kids were amazing.  They each, on their own, made gifts for the whole family and asked for special shopping trips to purchase small gifts for each other with their own money. They were so proud of their gifts and really got into the spirt of giving rather than just receiving 🙂 That made Christmas morning extra sweet.

And, then, there was the comedy. After each gift was opened, no matter who it was for or who it was from, Joe gave the receiver a hug and warmly said, “That was my idea.” It got to be really, really funny!

And, the pets had their memorable moments. Otto never let his new toy leave his side, and Smokey never left the tree. He will be so sad when we take it down.

My favorite gift to give this year was snow shoes and poles for the entire family. We’ve been talking about trying it for years, and now we’ll really do it! I think it really surprised Brian…which I absolutely loved 🙂

I’ve posted all of my fun photos from the family Christmas Eve brunch and from Christmas Day on my photo site. Hopefully, I captured a small fraction of the joy we felt this Christmas.

Bird Seed Ornaments Actually Work

Dec 13th, 2009 Posted in Fun Photos - Nature, Joyful Moments | one comment »

I’ve been having a good time gathering the birds to my yard this winter. This week I added some homemade bird seed ornaments to my trees and the Oregon Juncos found them today! I was so happy that I could’ve watched them all day. But, that would be silly, so I took pictures instead.