May 11, 2013

Happy Mother's Day

We want to do some more exterior projects this spring / summer, and today was the start -- a gravel patio on the shaded side of our house.

I was just going to plan out the first one and get supplies, but Steph and Em were at a birthday party, so I decided to git-r-done! Except that I got about half as much 1/4 minus gravel that I needed... guess I'll finish it next week.

So here you go Steph, Happy Mother's Day! :-)

May 7, 2013

Sunriver Weekend

Western Oregon gets high praise for its lush green valley landscapes and its rugged coast line, but along with that comes a lot of rain. Sometimes it's nice to get away and head over the mountains to the sunshine of Central Oregon...

The Deschutes River -- looking to the south.

Every year in the spring, a group of life-long friends gets together in Sunriver for a kid-less weekend. There is always golf, dinner out, relaxation, and lots of laughter. Oh yeah, and lots of hanging out in the sun.

The dry climate of the high desert has its own natural beauty, even if it isn't as green as the Willamette Valley. I had always thought that the Oregon Coast would be the place for me if I could live anywhere in the world, but Central Oregon has really grown on me... the abundant sunshine has a lot to do with that.

November 6, 2012

Fresh Apple Cider

There's nothing quite like it.. freshly pressed apple cider. This past weekend we got to press a batch of cider with some of my cousins. It was little bit of work, but it was fun, too.

November 8, 2010

My Grandpa's Old Tractor


My grandpa Noah's old Minneapolis Moline. My parents originally inherited it, but it sat idle after my dad died and had to be rescued from the blackberry vines. Then it was passed on to my dad's first cousin Ken, then my cousin Mart, and now to my cousin Ben. It really is a piece of family history... it doesn't run yet, but Ben thinks he can get it going.

September 4, 2010

2010 Truck Show - Brooks, Oregon

Fourth Saturday in August -- Truck Show at Brooks, Oregon. There's a lot more to do than just look at trucks -- there's plenty of fun for kids of all ages! Maybe Grandpa Dougie and Uncle Marc will be able to make it down for it someday...

A nice looking flatbed from Molalla.

Pat Russell from All American Toy Co. always sets up this wonderful spot for the kids to play -- Noah took it upon himself to keep the shavings properly graded.

No reason a girl can't play with trucks... :-)

Roger Emmert's beautifully restored Autocar log truck.

Close up of the mural on the side of Roger's water tank.

40 year old guy standing next to a 40 year old Kenworth.

No visit to Brooks would be complete without a ride on the antique trolley and a tour of the Oregon Electric Rail Museum.

And of course we had to make several trips on the miniature railroad.

August 22, 2010

Random Summer Photos

Click on photos to enlarge...

Emily approving of the big water slide she went down with Super Aunt Patti.

Noah wasn't brave enough for the slide, but he had fun in other parts of the water park.

Noah's Bicycle themed birthday party... he led the 'herd' down to the park.

Emily and her bike, all decked out for the occasion.

The birthday gang eating cake and ice cream after the bike ride.

Our loaner car while the van was in the shop getting a power sliding door worked on... if only they would have actually fixed it! But at least we had a fun car to drive for a few days...

Em with Miss Teen Rodeo at the county fair -- Em loves horses!

April 17, 2010

Fun Friday Night

Last night we went out to dinner to our new favorite restaurant, Mi Famiglia, but this time we went with our friends Craig & Jana and Dave & Julie. We parked up above downtown Oregon City and took the elevator down to Mi Famiglia, as the kids love this route.

We had a great dinner and great conversation, and then headed off to Craig & Jana's to see their baby donkey. We discovered that the elevator closed at 7:00, and had to take the stairs (center picture) instead. The kids declared that taking the stairs was even better than taking the elevator -- you are closer to the railroad tracks, you get to see a broader view of the downtown area, and there's a cool waterfall that runs under the stairs at one point. We'll have to take this route more often I guess...

After checking out the baby donkey, Jana took the kids into the barn (actually a big recreation building), and they had a blast... no computer, no TV, no DVD player, and no video games!

The collection of guitars, banjos, ukuleles, and mandolins was a big hit.

Noah gets to borrow this one for a while -- it's actually a baritone ukelele.

Future rock star?

Or future country star?

Future comedian?

Or future comedian? :-)

Wouldn't you know it... he's already sold out and doing Coca-Cola commercials!

April 15, 2010

There's An App For That!

My older brother JD's book, Your Money: The Missing Manual, has been on store shelves for about a month now, but I still don't have a hard copy of it. I read on the Get Rich Slowly Forums that the ebook was available for iPhones, so I hopped on my iPod Touch (iCousin to the iPhone) and searched the app store. Sure enough, there's an app for that!


I have only read the introduction so far, but I'm sure the rest of the book is very well written -- I wouldn't expect anything less from JD -- he's always been a good writer, both technically and creatively. For anyone interested in downloading the iPhone/iPod Touch App, here is the iTunes link to it: YM:TMM App.

JD has been hanging around the box factory the last few days, doing interviews with various radio stations around the country about his book and the personal finance weblog he started, Get Rich Slowly. I have to admit, it's been kind of nice having him around the office again -- it's a lot better now that we aren't trying to run a business together! ;-) I know I probably don't say it often enough, but I'm truly impressed with what the boy has accomplished in the last few years.

August 22, 2009

2009 Truck Show - Brooks, Oregon

Today was another family day out. Noah and I went to the truck show in Brooks, and Steph and Em joined us later. The show was held at Antique Powerland, which also houses a truck museum, caterpillar museum, the Oregon Electric Railway Museum, and the Willow Creek Railroad.

Keith Cowan's impeccably restored 1952 Kenworth -- complete with single log load.

Steph & Noah, posing behind the big log (which weighs 47,000 lbs. on its own!

Noah and I met up with Steph's cousin Rob and his two kids, Easton and Ruby. The kids played at a great toy truck setup put on by Pat Russell of the All American Toy Co. for a while, and then it was time to ride the Willow Creek miniature railroad.

Noah and Easton with the heavy equipment.

Next up was a ride on an antique trolley, which also included a stop at the electric railway's museum. And after that, it was time to take photos of trucks. Lots and lots of beautifully painted trucks. If you want to see more photos of the trucks, and are friends with me on Facebook, just look up my photo album section.


The 100-year-old, Australian built trolley we rode on.

Touring an old San Francisco light rail train -- you can tell what Noah is dreaming about. :-)

I don't know who's truck this is, but I liked the paint job...

If you are interested in old trucks, be sure to visit

July 21, 2009

Mom's House, Painted

It was long overdue, but now it is done. My mom's house has been scraped and sanded, and now has a fresh coat of paint on it -- thanks to the efforts of Richard and his crew at Sunrise Painting in Marquam. After receiving bids from several different painting contractors in the area, we felt that Richard had the best grasp of the task at hand, and we had confidence that the job would get done right -- and we were NOT disappointed.

The back of my Mom's house - note the nonskid gray deck paint (click to enlarge).

Not only did Richard and crew repaint the house, but they also pressure washed the metal siding on the garage, and made repairs to porch decking and a gable-end cornice. Here is a glimpse of the condition the house was in before Richard got to it...

The paint was dirty, worn, cracking and peeling.

And here is what the front of the house looks like after the project was completed. Sure is a cute little country cottage.

The new white paint just pops out at you, and the deck paint offers a nice contrast (click to enlarge).

If you live in the central Willamette Valley, and are looking for a painter who will provide a quality finished product, I highly recommend that you check out Sunrise Painting.

May 26, 2009

How We Spent Our Memorial Day

With friends. :-)

This little montage was put together by PJ, my 'mentee' from church (comments by PJ, too).

April 20, 2009

Sunny April Weekend

This past weekend's weather was absolutely positively drop-dead gorgeous.

Saturday brought a few thin, high clouds and a temp right around 70, which made it perfect for getting the yard whipped into shape. We awoke Sunday to perfectly clear blues skies that beckoned one and all to the out-of-doors... and it just so happened that our friends Paul & Pam had invited us to do a little 'family fishing' down at a pond on one of Paul's nurseries. Here is the mayhem that ensued (in glorious 78 degree sunshine)...

Dustin and Noah.

Pam and Emily.

PJ and Courtney.

Paul and one of the little fish that got released. Em helped reel this one in.

It's hard to think of a better way to spend a Sunday afternoon... thanks Paul, Pam, Dustin, PJ and Courtney! :-)

February 7, 2009

Click Clack Moo Family Day

Today was a fun Saturday -- the kind that I wish every Saturday could be.


The morning started lazily, but early (our kids don't sleep in for anything), with cartoons and coffee, and lots of lounging on the couch. We couldn't be lazy all day though, as we had tickets for Oregon Childrens Theatre's live presentation of Click Clack Moo: Cows That Type -- based on the book of the same name by Doreen Cronin. It was very entertaining, and the kids had a grand time. Dinner at Red Robin followed (the new Blackened Bayou Burger was delicious), then a little shopping at Fry's and Fred Meyer.

The kids were exhausted by the end of the day, but they had a lot of fun and a little bit of culture in the big city. There are still balcony level tickets available for the remaining shows, so if anyone has a few hours to spare, I highly recommend it -- especially if you have kids.

This entry was [mostly] composed on my new 'iToy'. :-)

July 21, 2008

Prayer for Little Cole


Noah & Emily's cousin Cole is in the hospital right now, and he (and his mom, dad, and big sister) could use some prayer right now. It all started with a couple of bee stings and an allergic reaction, and was complicated by a possible missed diagnosis on a second trip to the emergency room. They originally thought it was pneumonia, but are now thinking it related to asthma brought on by the bee stings.

Keep Marc & Kim in your prayers as they try to find answers as to what caused such a sudden and severe reaction, and as they look for ways to prevent it from happening again.

Get well soon little [big] Coley!

Edit 7/22/08: I just heard from Grandma Sandy that Cole is out of the hospital, and is back to having some energy. The doctors aren't convinced that the bee stings and the pneumonia were related, but they will be testing for allergies regardless.

March 15, 2008

New Pictures for Grandma Sandy

OK, enough about my brother the writer... I'm expecting an anonymous comment anytime now requesting new pictures of grandkids. So, here are a few random ones from the last week or so...

Noah getting creative with his Legos.

Em helping with Mama's birthday cupcakes.

That's it for now... maybe we'll get some Spring weather here soon and I'll feel compelled to post more... about my BBQ. :-)

March 13, 2008

Mi Hermano Es L33t H4X0r!!!!!!!!11111111111

My brother is king of teh intrawebz. :-)

If you haven't already done so, you really should check out Get Rich Slowly. It's his full-time job now, and I wish him continued success... so go grab a cup of coffee and read a few of his posts.

September 16, 2007

First Day of School

Noah started preschool last week, and so did his Canadian cousin, Sydney.

Sydney, ready for her first day of preschool!

Noah, starting his second year of preschool.

August 20, 2007

Pig Roast

On Saturday we went down to my cousin Scott's place (near Shedd) to have a pig roast and a family reunion... and we had a wonderful time.

Scott, roasting the piggy and the corn.

For a good write-up and some more pictures, see my cousin Tammy's blog: Dishpan Dribble

March 8, 2007

Whose Birthday Is It?

Can you guess who just turned another year older? Isn't she cute? ;-)


January 16, 2007

Canadian Cousins

Here are a few more pics from our Canada trip...

Baby Cole, such a handsome little [big] guy.

Noah & Sydney... Double Trouble -- they were inseparable.

Little Em, snooping through Grandma Sandy's cupboards.

Double Trouble again... serenading us with song. ;-)

January 2, 2007

I'm Back from Canada...

...but I'm sad. My family is still up there and I miss them. But at least they are getting to spend some valuable time with Steph's family.

Here's a few quick photos from the North...

Noah checks out the snow.

Miss Em in her Christmas dress.


November 1, 2006

A Few Vacation Photos

Here are a few vacation photos from our week in Central Oregon. We forgot to clear out our memory cards on the digital, so a lot of the photos are on the SLR... and who knows when we will get those developed...

Little Em, splashing away in the big tub.

Noah, lounging in one of the big, comfy leather chairs.

Cousin Alex, the next Anakin Skywalker (or maybe the next Darth Vader).

Cousin Michael, the next Tony Hawks (or maybe just the next Tony Roth :-)

Emily, swinging at a park near Tony & Kamie's house (in Bend).

Noah, eating a big ol' maple bar from the Sisters Bakery.

August 18, 2006

Canadian Cousins Update

It's time to post some updated photos of Sydney and Cole...

Sydney looks pretty sophisticated for a 2-and-a-half year old. :-)

Cole at almost 2 months... what a handsome little man. :-D

We can't wait to see the whole family in person... hopefully it will happen pretty soon. ;-)

July 26, 2006

Road Trip Review

As Ruth so kindly reminded me in a comment below, it's [past] time to report on our little road trip to Canada. As I was finding photos to post, Noah came in and sadly announced, "Oh, I wish we were still at Canada"... so do I Noah, so do I.

For photos and a brief rundown of the weekend of July 14th thru 17th, please click the following link...

Continue reading "Road Trip Review" »

July 13, 2006

On the Road Again...

Tomorrow we leave for Canada... woo-hoo! I am so excited for Doug & Sandy to be able to see their grandkids again. Little Em has changed so much in 4 months... I hope they are prepared for her sweet smiles and cheezy grins. :-D Grandpa Dougie had better be on his toes with Noey around... he can be an ornery little guy. :-)

We won't be making the 20 hour trek to Wembley, AB this time, but will be meeting them in Langley, BC (a suburb of Vancouver). Doug & Sandy will be in Langley for a wedding, so we decided to make an extended weekend vacation out of it. We figure it should take us about 6 hours driving time to get there, depending on traffic and pit-stops (this will be our first time travelling this far with two children). If we skip out of Portland just after the morning rush, we should be able to get through Seattle before any afternoon rush... I hope!

Hopefully we will see more than just this on our road trip... ;-)

Have a good weekend everyone!

Well, after a fairly busy drive, we made it to our destination, the Holiday Inn Express at Langley -- in the very spacious 'Family Suite'. We are all very glad to finally be out of the pickup and able to stretch our legs. Unfortunately, Doug & Sandy had some mechanical problems [cough]Dodge[/cough] that set them back a few hours; but they should make it in time for us to have supper with them.

The kids did pretty good on the trip up here -- we only had to stop at two rest areas and an Arby's. Noah has always been a good traveller (he made his first 20 hour drive at 3 weeks of age), but he is still a little boy -- we kept track of the 'are we there yet' questions... here's the scorecard:

"Are we there yet?": 2
"Are we in Canada yet?": 9
"Are we at the hotel yet?": 3 (all asked once we had crossed the border :-)

July 2, 2006

Early Summer Photo Journal - Part I

We've had a busy first week-and-a-half of Summer... click on the following link for camping photos...

Continue reading "Early Summer Photo Journal - Part I" »

June 20, 2006

World's Youngest Oilers Fan

The Edmonton Oilers may have suffered a tough loss in last night's Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Finals, but they gained a new fan for life (and a possible future hall-of-famer :-).

Steph's brother Marc, and his wife Kim, are proud to announce the arrival of a baby boy; Cole Kenneth James Nofziger. Sydney seems to be pretty proud of her little brother, too...

Ready for the big game.

Cole was born at 12:34 pm on June 13th. He was 20 inches long and weighed in at 9 lbs, 10 oz. I see defenseman in this boys future... or maybe a farmer? :-) Well, he's got plenty of time to figure all that out... for now, he can just be a cute little guy. Welcome to the world, little man!

December 15, 2005

Isabel Pilar Arredondo

We just got home from visiting the Arredondo family in the hospital. Little Isabel was the perfect angel while we were there, sleeping peacefully the entire time. What a wonderful Christmas present for Sabino & Kim and the boys. Congratulations guys!

Kim, Sabino, and baby Isabel.

You can see more photos and leave a comment for the Arredondo family on JD's weblog: Isabel Pilar.