Sunday, September 27, 2015

El Dorado Adventist School Alumni Weekend

Last weekend, Sept 18-20, we drove down to Placerville, California where we used to teach.  Jeff had been asked to speak for the church service for alumni weekend.  We got up early Friday morning, and drove down.  It took about 9 hours.  It was a long drive, but the boys did really well and weathered the trip.

When we first got down there, we stopped at my sister's house to pick her up, then we drove up to Apple Hill.  This was a favorite place of ours to visit when we used to live down there.  We visited a couple of farms, had some yummy snacks and bought apples of course!

Us at a farm in Apple Hill
Silly Pic!
We stayed with our friends Nathan and Lori.  We got up Saturday morning and headed up to the school.  It was so much fun to see former students, parents of students we had taught and faculty who we used to work with.  Jeff did a great job speaking about "lessons learned" when he had been a teacher at the school.  We spent a long time visiting with people after the service.  Then we drove back to my sisters's house to visit with my family a little more in the afternoon/evening.

Nathan introducing Jeff
Jeff speaking
Daniel with "Uncle" Jerhet 
Our boys playing with fellow P-Ville kids 
The boys with Cousin Elle
Sunday morning we got up and made the drive back home.  Again, the trip was long, but the boys did well.  It was a fun weekend!

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Pints to Pasta 2015

On September 13, I ran in the Pints to Pasta race here in Portland.  In the past it has been a 10K run, but this year they added the half marathon.  I still decided to only run the 10K.  In the past, the route was all downhill, crossing one of the bridges in Portland, running along the waterfront and finishing at the Spaghetti Factory.  It was a very beautiful running route.

This year the route was a little different.  The very end had an uphill finish, running through a bit of downtown Portland, and then going back downhill.  I'm not sure I liked this route as well, and I am hoping they change it back the way it was in years past.  Also this year, they started 15 minutes late because people hadn't arrived at the start line yet.  They have to shuttle the runners of the 10K to the start line, then people run back to the finish.  I felt like if people are late getting on the shuttle bus, that's their own fault, and the race should have started on time.  The last complaint I had was that the port-o-potties normally at the start line were about a 1/2 mile away.  The official said they were bringing more closer to the start line.  But it took them about 40 minutes to actually do this.  That was annoying as well.

I hope they work out the kinks from this years race and have a better race next year.  Because normally I really like this race.  The weather is great, the route is fun.  I'll have to see about next year.

Saturday, September 12, 2015

First Day of School

It's been a few weeks now, but the boys had their first day of school back on August 24.  They had all of their school supplies packed, and they were ready to go.  We've had some changes around here since going back to school.  One change is that we decided to put Simon in Kindergarten instead of Preschool.  He is really enjoying it.  The other big change is that I was hired on as an additional Kindergarten teacher at the boys' school.  This was a very last minute decision, so I have been busy doing things, prepping, etc.  I am really enjoying it though.

Monday, September 7, 2015

Simon Turns 5!

On August 20, Simon turned 5 years old.  Again, I say, where has the time gone?  I can't believe when I look at him he's 5 already.  He's getting so big.  But I also say, he will always be my baby!

Back When he was 2 1/2
He started out the morning by opening some gifts from his grandparents and aunt and uncle and cousins from Idaho.  Daniel and Sam were happy to help.  Then he had lots of fun playing with his new toys!

Ready to Open

Opening (I love the expression on his face)

Brothers Helping

Thank you!
Later in the day he had his 5 year well-check visit with the doctor.  And he checked out nice and healthy.  He had to have shots, but he was very brave and only cried a little.

In the afternoon, Jeff came home early from work and took the boys to Grandma Youker's house to swim and celebrate.

That night we went out to dinner with the grandparents and aunt and uncle from Portland, and celebrated a little more.  I think he had a great day.

Singing Happy Birthday

Making a Wish

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Sunriver 2015

One of our fun trips this summer was our trip to Sunriver, OR.  We've gone the past couple of summers.  It is beginning to be one of our fun traditions.  We go with Jeff's parents, and this year Aunt Cheryl (Jeff's sister) was able to come with us.  We rented a house and stayed altogether.

Us with Aunt Cheryl
We got there on Wednesday afternoon.  We got settled into our house, then the boys took a short bike ride while the rest of us relaxed.

On Thursday, the boys again went for a bike ride.  Cheryl and I went to the pool.  When their bike ride was over, they came to the pool with us.  Later that afternoon, Cheryl and I went in to the village.   The boys enjoyed the pool.  In the evening we rode into town and got ice cream.

Simon Dancing
On Friday we started with some riding of horses.  Simon still does the pony rides, but this year was the first year that Sam could ride the big horses and go for a trail ride.  So Daniel, Sam and I went on a trail ride while Jeff stayed back with Simon.  When we were done, we rode into town and played a round of miniature golf and rode the bumper cars.  After that, the boys took a short train ride in the village.  Then we rode to the park and played a little.  Then we went back to our house. Later that night we made s'mores.




Miniature Golf

Simon Checks out his Next Move

Bumper Cars

Train Ride

On Saturday we went for a longer bike ride, out to some falls.  It's very pretty.  Then we rode back and got ready to spend more time at the pool.

All of Us

At the Falls



On Sunday we got up, packed up and left.  It was a nice relaxing vacation.

Final Day

Saturday, September 5, 2015

Camping on Orcas Island

This summer we went camping on Orcas Island.  It was a great weekend!  We went with our friends Donald and Ruth and their kids.  We got up early and drove up to Anacortes to catch a ferry over to Orcas Island.  Orcas Island is off of Washington State in the San Juan Islands.  We rode the ferry over, then drove to our camping spot.

Heading Over on the Ferry

When we got there, we put our tent up and set up camp.  Soon we made dinner.  Then we headed over to the lake area.  They had a swim area and play area for kids.  It was great.  Then it was back to camp and get ready for bed.

Natalie and Sam Bike Riding

Jeff and Simon Enjoying the Campsite
The next morning we got up, had breakfast and decided to go for a hike.  The island has a high mountain, so we drove to the top, and hiked down.  It was a bit of a challenge for the younger kids, but they all did it.  We had lunch.  Then in the afternoon we went to the water.  Donald has a canoe, so he took the kids out on the canoe.  That was fun too.  Later it was dinner time, and soon bedtime.

All the Kids at the Top of the Mountain Before the Hike Down

Jeff, Donald & Ruth
The next morning, we got up, made breakfast and the kids wanted to go back to the water and play in the sand some more.  So that's what we did.  We spent most of the day playing by the water.  In the afternoon, it rained a little, but the kids didn't seem to mind.  Soon it was dinner time and bedtime once again.

The Kids Having Fun
The last morning, we got up, took camp down, and got ready to head home.  We had to catch the ferry, then drive back home.  It was a very fun camping trip!

Family Pic in Front of the Tent

Anderson Family Pic

Kids Final Pic

Kids on the Ferry Heading Home

Looking For Whales

Friday, September 4, 2015

Hood to Coast 2015

I'm skipping ahead in time to write about Hood to Coast.  So my next few posts after this will go back in time.  I hope this isn't too confusing.

Last weekend was Hood to Coast.  It's a 198 mile relay that starts on Friday on Mt. Hood in Oregon and runs to the "sea" which is actually Seaside, OR and finishes on Saturday.  So teams run all day, through the night and then the next morning/day.

Our team had a 1:00 pm start time.  Each team has 8-12 people on it.  Most teams have 12 which translate to each team member running 3 legs.  The 12 people are divided up into 2 Vans.  We were in Van 1.  We got started and began our journey of running.

I ran leg 2.  Jeff ran leg 1.  He passed off to me and I took off running.  I had so much nervous energy that I ran faster than I normally run.  And, it's all downhill.  I had a 6 mile leg.  All legs are different lengths of distance.  I ran about a 7:50 minute pace per mile that first leg.  Our van finished around 6:00 pm and passed off to van 2.  We then drove to Jeff's parent's house and took showers, had a meal and rested.

Our next legs started round 10:30 pm.  We drove to the exchange point.  We took over from van 2.  We started running.  I ran from around 11:00 pm till a little after midnight, another 6 mile run.  My pace was slower this time, only about a 8:30 minute pace per mile.   At this point, everyone is wearing reflective gear, a headlight and LED lights.  It's a little nerve racking, but it's not too bad.  Also, the weather decided it was going to send us a nasty storm, and it started raining soon after.  Our team finished around 3:00 am.  We passed off to van 2.  Then we drove to the designated parking/sleeping area.  We parked the car and slept in the car.

We started waking up soon after and get mentally ready for our last leg.  This is difficult because at this point we are all so exhausted, but we are also so excited to be done with the last leg.  We took over from van 2 around 8:30 am.  It was rainy and wet.  The storm had been really terrible with lots of wind and rain all night.  Van 2 really took the brunt of the storm.  Then we got started with our last legs.  This one was tough for me.  It was about 5.5 miles.  The last mile was all uphill.  I was much slower and was only about a 9:10 minute pace per mile.  But then I was done, and what a wonderful feeling that was.

Our runners continued and we finished and handed over to van 2 for them to finish their last legs.  Wet stopped in Astoria and had a nice meal.  Then we drove to Seaside and waited for van 2 to finish.  The tradition is that the whole team runs across the finish line together.  The wind was so bad that they had to move the finish line off the beach.  If you get a chance, you should look up pictures online.  The tents were torn, things had blown over, the beach was a mess!  We finished together as a team, and then we drove home.  It was an amazing experience.  I would do it again in a heartbeat!
Jeff and I on Mt. Hood waiting to start

Our start, 8 hours after the first runners

Jeff ran Leg 1

Renee, running Leg 4

Me, leaving for my final leg

Jeff and I at the finish