Archive for April, 2009

Music Lessons

Apr 24th, 2009 Posted in Fun Things to Do, Music Review | no comment »

Music is the #1 hobby for my boys. Whether they are listening and shopping iTunes, creating songs on Garage Band, watching American Idol, coming up with new dance moves, playing Guitar Hero or actually playing an instrument, music is HUGE for the Windheims.   In shopping around for lessons, I ended up finding a couple of gems at the Newberg Music Company.  Myron LeRoy is fine tuning Ben’s pretty amazing skills at the electric guitar and Randy Sage has got Joe drumming and sounding pretty impressive after only 3 months.  Both instructors are relaxed, good humored and keep the kids on a great path to learning their instruments.  You can reach them through Newberg Music at 503-537-2196 

Myron just finished a fun little project for a song he wrote 30 years ago when mechanical bulls were all the rage. An amateur video animator put together a YouTube video for Ain’t No Way.  The white-haired singer in the video is a pretty great likeness for Myron himself 🙂  This project led to a professional animator creating a project around some of Myron’s songs and a screenplay he wrote.  That will take some time to finish up, but you can check out the early ideas at Fishin’ Blog  Pretty neat stuff!

Celebrating Earth Day

Apr 23rd, 2009 Posted in Health, Yard Happenings | no comment »

How did you celebrate Earth Day? This was a much  happier Earth Day for me. Last year, I awoke to the sound of my neighbor basically clear-cutting his big timber.  No kidding. Earth Day began with the sound of chain saws. My boys and I watched in  horror as tree after tree hit the ground.  This year, no chain saws! Instead, I planted some peas and lettuce with Sam. I also weeded my blueberry bushes and laid down a newspaper and grass clipping weed barrier.  And, I went to MetroPaint with Emily to pick up a compost bin.  

I’m actually very excited about the compost bin. I’ve wanted one for some time, but they are often ridiculously priced.  MetroPaint sells a great bin for $39 and then you can buy a grid mat for underneath to prevent pests for an extra $7 Composting is great to reduce your waste production. And, in the two gardening classes I’ve taken recently, composting appears to be the key to successful organic gardening. 

Incase you are wondering. Oregon MetroPaint is where you can buy latex paint for your home made from recycled paint. Dumping old paint is a no-no. Always recycle it.  You can take your old paint (and household cleaners, motor oil, compact flourescent lightbulbs, propane bottles, batteries, etc)  to Metro Central Station at 6161 NW 61st Ave., Portland (503-234-3000) or Metro South Station at 2001 Washington St., Oregon City (503-234-3000).  Or, Emily found out that Metro is holding a neighborhood paint recycling day in Sherwood on July 18th, and they’re schedule also says they’ll be at Tigard High School on June 26-27 from 9am-2pm.  The website covers how and what to bring.

Sam's Photo Book 2006 to 2009

Apr 20th, 2009 Posted in Fun Photos - General | no comment »

Shutterfly’s photo books are such fun projects. I’m doing one for each of my boys on their birthday. I just finished Sam’s and I think it turned out really neat. Helps to have such an adorable subject 🙂

Click here to view this photo book larger

The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane – Kate DiCamillo

Apr 17th, 2009 Posted in Book Review | one comment »

Oh my, I just finished reading the sweetest book to my boys, The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane, by Kate DiCamillo.  The story is told by Edward Tulane, a china rabbit. Though Edward is given love by a young girl named Abilene, he is very selfish and does not feel, share or truly know love. Edward’s journey begins when he is separated from Abilene. Through the years, Edward finds great kindness, even greater loss and his heart. The story is told beautifully and rarely leaves you satisfied at the end of a chapter.  The boys couldn’t wait for me to read each night and begged for a little more every time. It’s a great read-aloud book with fun characters to give a voice to, and kids in grades 3-6 would enjoy reading it on their own.

Raindrops 2 Refuge

Apr 14th, 2009 Posted in Fun Things to Do, Health | no comment »

Thought I’d spread the word that Raindrops to Refuge  is putting on a spaghetti dinner at the Rebekah Hall in downtown Sherwood on Friday, April 17 from 5:30pm to 7:30pm.  The cost is $5.00 per adult and $2.50 per child.  This includes spaghetti, a salad from Sweet Tomatoes, bread and a drink.

Raindrops to Refuge is a nonprofit organization in Sherwood that protects the local watershed. A friend of mine, Emily McBride, has been a board member for two years and recently became president. Some of the things they do are:  plant native trees in Sherwood, sponser Naturescaping workshops, provide educational activity books about the life cycle of salmon to every fourth grader in Sherwood and restore small wetlands. They have also successfully fought to close a local unlined landfill that is polluting the Tualatin River and have provided comments and a letter of support for the Master Plan for Stella Olsen park.  

This year alone Raindrops to Refuge will plant several thousand trees, pull ivy from Stella Olsen park, speak to civic groups, co-host a tour of Metro’s new land aquisition on Chicken Creek and much more.

The health of Sherwood’s watershed is a vital part of what makes this city so livable.  As the only organization dedicated to the protection of Sherwood’s watershed, their presence here is of great importance!

100 percent of the proceeds from this spaghetti dinner will go directly to Raindrops to Refuge.  They hold only one fundfraiser a year and this is it!  

For more information, go to their website at

What Can I Bring? Cookbook – Anne Byrn

Apr 14th, 2009 Posted in Book Review, Good Eats - Recipe | one comment »

The dilemma: Grandma is hosting Easter potluck and asks that I bring a “cooked vegetable.” Whoa. A cooked vegetable? Time to get creative. Well, I just opened trusty What Can I Bring? Cookbook, by Anne Byrn (aka The Cake Mix Doctor).  I picked the Spinach and Feta Pie recipe. Yu-um. It had all the magic of spanakopitas with a lot less work. I chose to make the feed-a crowd version that filled up a 9×13 pan. Everybody loved it.

Over the years my mom has gifted me with the Cake Mix Doctor Cookbook, the Cupcake Doctor Cookbook and most recently the What Can I Bring? Cookbook, all by Byrn.  I have made many of the recipes in all three books and have not been disappointed yet.  A super bonus of all of them is that you get tips on how to store, tote and reheat (if necessary).  I love that.  

Some favorites from the What Can I Bring? Cookbook are: 

  • Spinach and Feta Pie
  • Fleurie’s Caramalized Onion Spread
  • Hot Chile, Cheese, and Corn Dip
  • Asian Chicken Lettuce Wraps
  • Chicken Taco Salad with Cilantro-Lime Vinaigrette
  • One-Pan Cheese Danish

Baseball Begins

Apr 11th, 2009 Posted in Fun Things to Do | no comment »

Baseball is now in full swing for the Windheims. The weather cooperated for Field Prep Day, Joe and Ben each had scrimmages, and Sam had his first “Rookie” practice.

As exciting and fun as baseball is for my family, I always indulge in a little dread for the over-intense parents and coaches we encounter each year. This is, of course, multiplied for the team that Brian coaches. We can never leave a game when it’s over, because someone’s got an issue to share. And, when we get home, there’s a phone call as well. Brian handles it all exceptionally well and his integrity is what keeps the worst at bay.  

With that, I encourage everyone to get out their lawn chairs, enjoy the show and let the kids’ energy and good times spill over onto you. Brush off the bad calls and missed opportunities and cheer for BOTH teams. Remember that over-enthusiastically cheering for your pitcher could be breaking down another just as awesome kid in the batter’s box. Be a leader in sportsmanship…there’s no better trophy to win at any tournament. I found a little poem that captures a bit of what I’m trying to say…

Alone At The Plate

Inside the front cover of the book You Can Teach Hitting, by Dusty Baker, there appears this poem about a Little Leaguer… 

He pulls on a helmet, picks up the bat,

and walks to the plate, “gotta hit and that’s that.”


The crowd starts to yell, the game’s on the line,

last inning, two outs, the score’s nine to nine.


Dad yells, “Go get it,” Mom wrings her hands,

coach hollers, “hit it,” but alone there he stands.


Heros are made in seconds such as this,

but he’s just a little boy, what if he should miss?

Years after this game’s ended and he’s little no more,

will he remember the outcome or even the score?


No he’ll have forgotten if he was out, hit, or a run,

he’ll only look back on his friends and the fun.


So cheer this boy on, alone with his fate;

help him remember with fondness this stand at the plate.


Spend your time wisely and help in his quest

to be a hitter with confidence and always his best.


And when the game’s over, this boy can stand tall,

for you’ve helped him prepare to give it his all!

Shedding the lbs

Apr 10th, 2009 Posted in Health | no comment »

Doing a little happy dance this morning. I’m now officially down 21 lbs. Yay, me! The Lose It! app on my iPhone has been a great tool. I use it a lot to help me make better choices when eating out.  And I’ve gotten the hang of how to be a little more in control of my eating and my portions. There’s more work to do, but it feels great to be on my way and have some super loose clothes.

American Idol

Apr 9th, 2009 Posted in Fun Things to Do, Music Review | no comment »

I have resisted the temptation of American Idol for seven seasons.  Much to Brian’s dismay, I finally broke and am so hooked this season it’s silly! And, the best part is I dragged my boys along with me. Brian routinely comments that I’m ruining my kids…he’s half joking 🙂  Oh well. When I was a kid, I dreamed of being a singer.  I sang all of the time and would fantasize that maybe someday someone would hear me and whisk me off to stardom 🙂  So, now I’ve got three boys who are hooked on music, taking drum lessons, taking guitar lessons, etc.  It only made sense to fuel the fire with American Idol.  I didn’t have them watch the early rounds where people are awful and embarrass themselves and are ripped apart by the judges. That part is scary! We started with the 36 that became the Top 13.  Very fun.  The boys are 100% behind Adam.  They’ve even bought his iTunes songs from the show.  I’m definitely a fan, but I do like Kris, Danny and Allison, too.  And Matt’s not far behind.

Organic Gardening @ Farmington Gardens

Apr 6th, 2009 Posted in Yard Happenings | no comment »

One of my New Year’s Resolutions is/was to beef up my knowledge of gardening. I love to work in my yard and my garden, but doing it smarter and better is a life-long pursuit.  So, when I saw that Farmington Gardens was doing gardening classes I signed up for a couple. 

My first class was Sunday with Carl Grimm, Metro’s Natural Gardening Specialist, on “Landscaping with Organic Edibles.”   Carl combines edible, ornamental and native landscaping tips to help home gardeners kick the chemical habit in style.  Carl ran a great class with some great tips and I definitely want to ween myself away from the chemicals and attract the bugs and critters and nutrients to my soil that will help me do that.  I’ll be sure to pass things along as I implement them myself and see success!