March 6, 2015

Noah's Paper Craft Designs

The following photos are various "paper craft" trains & ferries designed and created by my son, Noah. He did all of the design and artwork "in the flat" (in one piece, for most of them), and then folded up and assembled with scotch tape (shop building included). Some are based off of actual BC Ferries or Portland MAX light rail designs, and others are his own ideas.

Click on images to enlarge...

August 13, 2013

Plane Spotting at PDX

Noah and I have a new father / son activity that we both enjoy immensely -- plane spotting at PDX. We have gone three times this summer already, and seen a variety of different aircraft.

There used to be spots along Marine Drive where you could pull off and watch planes take off and land, but now most of those are closed. The Port of Portland suggests heading to the short-term parking garage and heading to the seventh floor. At $3/hour, it really is pretty inexpensive entertainment.

With the help of websites like Flight Aware, we have been able to plan our last two visits during some of the busier times. But even with advanced planning, you never know what you will see at PDX -- could be private planes, could be smaller Cessna Caravans, or it could be a "heavy" with a fresh coat of paint from Boeing's painting facility at PDX. On our second visit, we saw all of these plus traffic being diverted from San Francisco due to the crash of Asiana Flight 214 -- PDX even got a visit from a Cathay Pacific 747-8 (Boeing's largest commercial aircraft) because of this.

Emirates 777-300ER, freshly painted.

The most exciting event we've witnessed at PDX so far has got to be an empty Emirates 777-300ER that took off with a fresh coat of paint. The space needed for take-off was shorter than what is typically needed for the Alaska Q400 turboprops. The size of the aircraft combined with the dynamic sound of those massive jet engines was exhilarating.

Here is a video of the take-off. This vantage point was a couple hundred feet to the left of where we were standing:

June 4, 2013

Purple Belt

We are so proud of Noah for earning his Purple Belt! He has shown great dedication over the last 15 months as he has advanced from a novice white belt.

May 21, 2013

Gone Fishing

Noah went fishing at Detroit Lake on Sunday with some good friends of ours, and he had a great time. He doesn't quite have the hang of casting yet, but he'll get there. He got off to a bit of a slow start, but eventually caught his limit of five Rainbow Trout, and we grilled them up for dinner last night -- a little olive oil, lemon juice, and garlic & herb Mrs. Dash -- it was delicious!

Noah reeling in his fourth fish of the day.

January 24, 2013

Ticket to Ride

Noah was introduced to the game Ticket to Ride over the weekend, and has since used some of his Christmas money to buy the 'Europe' version of the game.

The last two nights have been spent playing, and I have to admit that it is actually quite fun and challenging at the same time. Noah won the first two times we played, but I beat him tonight -- yes! Steph likes it, too. If you are looking for a game that requires strategy, yet moves along fairly quickly, I highly recommend this one.

For a pretty good explanation on game-play, I recommend watching this YouTube video: TTR - Europe (If you can get past the poor sound and the fish-eye camera lens, it's really an informative video)

Continue reading "Ticket to Ride" »

January 10, 2013

Orange Belt

Noah earned is Orange Belt in December. We are so proud of the effort and dedication he has put into this so far -- it really is a great fit for him.

December 29, 2012

Today's Art Project

This was our project for today, and part of Noah's Christmas present: Sonoma Raceway (aka Sears Point or Infineon). Montreal's "Circuit Gilles Villeneuve" is on the back side.

[Click on image to enlarge]

Noah had asked for a big piece of cardboard and a pack of Chisel Point Sharpies for Christmas, and Santa delivered. This morning we borrowed a projector and transferred track maps onto the cardboard with pencil. Noah did all of the Sharpie work from there.

October 18, 2012

Noah and the Karate Tournament

Noah has been taking Karate for about 6 months now, and is really beginning to come into his own. Last Saturday he placed second out of ~20 kids in one of the two events that he entered at the regional karate tournament (consisting of 13 different west coast Shao-Lin Kempo schools).

Noah on stage receiving his silver medal.

This tournament was nothing like "The Karate Kid" -- sure there was sparring going on, with full body protection, but Noah did not participate in this. "Kata" (aka "Pinion"), the event Noah placed 2nd in, is a pre-arranged set of movements -- almost like a choreographed dance of karate moves -- which utilizes different techniques. Competitors are judged on balance, power, precision, and concentration & mental presence. All katas are judged according to rank on an individual basis in comparison to these standards -- not in comparison to the other competitors. In this manner, all competitors have an equal chance of winning (Noah's division included White, Yellow, and Orange belts).

July 15, 2011

No Ort Left Behind

This year at Drift Creek Camp, the directors decided to try a new theme to decrease the amount of wasted food -- they called it "No Ort Left Behind". Noah and I were at Drift Creek in June for "Parent & Me" camp, which kicked off the summer camp season. To help motivate the kids, the camp made it a boys vs. girls competition, which produced the following reaction from some of the kids...

Noah makes sure there really is no ort left behind.

The competition part of the theme was continued by lunch on Saturday, as the boys were really taking it to the girls, which produced a few tears. Rather than risk promoting the early onset of eating disorders, they decided to discontinue the competition part of the theme for the rest of the weekend.

July 15, 2010

That's My Boy!

Tonight Noah was doing a freehand design for a Rokenbok track layout -- a monorail train setup that he doesn't even have any of yet! Well, the freehand drawing must not have been cutting the mustard for his perfectionist nature, so he came and asked me if he could use my drawing board... and of course I was delighted to let him use it! :-)

The perfectionist at work.

He's using the wrong edge here (you're supposed to use the top side of the scale), but I've got lots of time to work on the details with him. :-)

May 21, 2010

Fine Art Starts

We just returned from Noah's school where they had an Art Show set up to show off all of the kids' artwork. I was very impressed with the natural talent that their art teacher, Mrs. Manning, was able to draw from so many of the students.

Noah's latest creation.

Mrs. Manning isn't just an elementary school art teacher, she is also founder of Fine Art Starts -- a place for students of all ages to learn about, experience, and create art of their own. According to the website, FAS is a place where Mrs. Manning's love for art and people were joined through the vision and success of providing high-quality fine art education to children and adults.

Art class has been Noah's favorite all year long, and it isn't hard to figure out why. Thank you Mrs. Manning for helping to nurture Noah's (and all of his classmate's) natural artistic talents, and for helping to expand their young minds!

April 16, 2010

Noah's Art, Part II

One of the reasons we love the school that Noah attends is the excellent art and science classes that are available. Noah has loved doing various types of art for some time now, and his art class seems to be helping him find his natural talent. Noah's art teacher had the class do an oil pastel where they modeled their piece after the work of Fred Babb (Google it), but with their own interpretation. You can view and purchase this piece at this website: Artsonia. Here is Noah's oil pastel:

We will start the bidding at three million dollars... ;-)

February 9, 2010

Noah Multiplies

A child's mind is an amazing thing, and it's fun to watch our children learn and understand new concepts. Yesterday after work, out of the blue, Noah announced to me that he understood how 'times' worked, and asked me to get a calculator out for him. He offered the following as he punched the numbers in on the calculator:

"If you have an order for 50 boxes, and they cost 5 dollars each, then the total for the order is... [hits the equals sign] 250 dollars."

My first thought was, "Wow, they're already teaching that in first grade?!", and my second thought was, "Hmm, maybe this kid will make a box maker after all." But when I asked him if he had learned multiplication at school, he said that he had just figured it out himself. As a quick test to see what he could do, I asked him what five times five was. He thought for a moment, and gave me the correct answer. He didn't do so well with numbers that weren't easy to count in multiples, but I was impressed with his understanding of the concept, none the less.

I wish I had been as studious as Noah is at this age, but then I guess some of that comes with being a first-born parent pleaser. But whatever the reason, I'm just glad he is able to take on new challenges, and enjoys learning. I'm sure his little sister will do well, too; but I think she's going to be more into hamming it up and cracking us up than wowing us with her grasp of new concepts -- but you never know!

October 6, 2009

Golden Dragons

Noah is playing soccer this year, and the team went with his suggestion for a team name, the Golden Dragons. I'm an assistant coach, which can be both rewarding and frustrating (mostly when dealing with my own kid!). The team plays in Molalla's U8 league, so we aren't putting a huge focus on winning, but rather having all the kids learn the skills and positions necessary to be competitive at the next level.

Noah played a little offense and defense in the first half of this past Saturday's game, and then got to play goal keeper in the second half -- something he was very excited about. Steph took my DSLR to the game, and snapped a slew of photos. I have posted a few of them below (click to enlarge).

I'm not sure Noah has the aggressiveness to continue at the next level, but for now he is having fun (most of the time). He really likes the idea of playing goalie, but I actually think that defense is a better spot for him. He actually has the speed to play offense, but at this point he has more fun just being out there running, and occasionally kicking the ball... usually in the right direction. :-)

Too bad they don't have U8 cross-country running teams... I think he'd be really good at that!

September 16, 2009

Noah Wants a Hamster

Noah wants a hamster, but we're not sure we really want a dog and a hamster at the same time -- especially when the dog in question has been known to catch and kill rodents.

It all started last week when his teacher brought in a new classroom pet -- a hamster named M.C. Hamster. He has a little plastic ball that he climbs into so he can stroll around the classroom, and now Noah thinks we need a similar pet. So much so in fact, that he has been dreaming about a cage layout, and today he put it down on paper:

[Click on image to enlarge]

In the lower left corner is the hamster, complete with dimensions -- and next to him is the little ball that the hamster would ride around in (that is supposed to be "9" inches, not "pi"). And the cage is the rest of the design that you see sprawled across the page -- definitely don't know where we would fit such an elaborate design.

As a trained draftsman, I must say that I am very impressed with the young fellas abilities -- well beyond what I could conceive of at the age of 7. I'm really thinking maybe he should switch his grown up plans to being a 'mechanical' engineer, rather than a 'train' engineer... but I can give him a chance to finish being a kid before making such a suggestion. ;-)

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

June 14, 2009

Noah Rides Without Training Wheels

Noah can ride without training wheels! It was a lot of work, and Noah wasn't always the most cooperative, but by 3:00 in the afternoon on Saturday, Noah was riding on his own! YAY! :-)

June 8, 2009

Weekend Project -- Electric Train Table

Back before Christmas, Kris' sister Tiffany (aka 'Aunt Tiffany') gave us a Seattle Mariners Express Train set for Noah. We felt that we had enough Christmas gifts for him, so we decided to save it for another time. Well, Noah has recently been watching electric train videos on youtube, and one day lamented the fact that he didn't have an electric train -- so I took him out to the garage and we opened the styrofoam packages for the first time. Needless to say, he was most excited. :-)

I didn't want to run something as delicate as an electric train on the ground, so I told him we would need to build a train table for it before we could set it up. I told him him maybe Saturday we could build one, not real sure how I would build it, and of course Noah set the event in stone. Nothing could be scheduled on Saturday because we were building a train table!

Saturday morning came, and we ventured out to the garage to look for supplies. I had one L-shaped piece of plywood, 21 feet of painted 3/4" MDF trim board, and about 15 feet of 2x2. I really didn't want to have to run to a lumber yard, so I did some thinking, and figured out that if I cut off half of the long leg of the "L", and flipped around to fill the gap, I would have the 48x60 table top I need for the train set (a little trimming was required, of course). I had just enough MDF for the main frame, and the 2x2's would work for the table legs, and for the cross-pieces to go underneath the plywood seams.

Aerial view -- you can see where I had to join the two scraps of plywood together to make the table top.

By mid-afternoon, the table was finished and Noah was driving his train like an experienced engineer. :-)

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! :-)

April 14, 2009

Brutal Honesty From A 6-Year-Old

Noah & Emily's daycare provider, Ericka, is currently expecting a baby boy (due early August?). This morning Noah, a thinker and a talker, let forth another one of his classic comments...

"Ericka, I've been realizing every day that you are just getting fatter and fatter."

I'm sorry Ericka... he must get his brutal honesty from his mother. And thank you for being able to smile about it. :-)

February 28, 2009

There Wasn't A Number 6

I've thought for a while that Noah had a photographic memory, and now I am even more sure of it.

His teacher sent home some number flash cards, numbered 1 through 30. Steph just showed them to him in random order, one right after the other, and he announced the number she was holding up. Immediately upon finishing, he said, "There wasn't a number 6". Sure enough, Steph had held the 6 card upside down, so it looked like a 9. The other option is he recognized that he had said the number 9 twice, and that one of them had to be the number 6 flipped upside down. But that still is pretty amazing to me for a 6-year-old.

I'm sure he is just a totally normal, average kid; and I'm just being a typical parent who thinks their kid is a genius -- but this incident seems particularly Rain Man-esque. I guess one option is that he is an autistic savant, but no doctors have ever expressed concern for this, and he seems to handle social situations pretty well, so I don't really think that's it.

I'm still a little dumbfounded by this...

[EDIT] I asked Noah how he knew there wasn't a 6, and he said that he knew he said 9 twice, and that one of them had to be the 6. So there you go... not a savant or a genius (yet), just using good logic. :-)

January 14, 2009


Streamline Diesel by Noah [Click to enlarge]

On days when Steph works, Noah and Emily go to our friend Ericka's house for daycare. Ericka always has a craft project for the kids to work on, which Noah in particular loves. Today I picked him up for the school run, and I asked him what they did for crafts today. He replied, "My most favorite craft of all -- watercolors!"

Thank you Ericka, for helping bring out Noah's natural artistic talents. :-)

December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas!

From our little family to yours... Merry Christmas everyone!

Today we celebrate the birth of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

Noah with the latest addition to his train collection.

Emily with the latest additions to her kitchen collection.

But the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord.”

Luke 2:10-11

December 22, 2008

It doesn't show signs of stopping...

Putting the antique sled to use.

Fun in the back yard. [Click this one to enlarge]

Little Miss Snow Bunny.

Not everyone enjoyed the snow.

Taking a break from playing in the snow.

Canada came to visit, and now it won't leave! Portland got hit by a pretty big snow storm this weekend. Saturday brought 6 to 12 inches to most of the Portland area, and 2" to the banana belt of Molalla. Saturday night brought 1/2" of freezing rain before it turned back to snow again. We got 2" of snow in Molalla last night, and another 5" today -- it's been snowing all day today!

We have over 12" total at the box factory, which we tried to keep cleared off the concrete today, but it just kept falling. I went down to my mom's to do a few things for her, and I got stuck while backing out. Luckily I had a snow shovel with me, and was able to dig myself out. I sent the guys home at 1:00 PM because one of them had to leave anyways, and because running the forklift was becoming an exercise in futility.

We did manage to get a set of chains for the truck, but did not run it on a delivery today -- just got them fitted and ready to go. We will wait until tomorrow when the visibility is better. If this is any indication of what the rest of the winter is going to be like, I may need to get my own set of chains for my pickup -- as much as I hate to resort to such measures. My pickup did good most of the day, but it wasn't much fun having my back end slide around with traffic coming the other way -- 4-wheel-drive traffic that seemed to think they could still do the speed limit in 6" of fresh snow.

The snow is beautiful, but I just wish we could shut the box factory down for the week so we could actually enjoy it. Oh well, such is life...

December 15, 2008

Canada Came To Visit...

...unfortunately it was in weather form only. Still, the snow falling early Sunday morning was absolutely beautiful, and watching the kids' excitement was even better. :-)

[Click on images to enlarge]

I got up at 7:00 Sunday morning and looked out the window to find big flakes falling on the already dusted grass. I climbed back in bed and debated whether or not to wake the kids, but decided to wait and see how long it would take them to notice. At about 7:30 we heard quite the commotion from Noah's room, and he came and jumped on our bed exclaiming, "It's snowing! It's snowing!" He immediately ran to wake up his sister and they danced around excitedly together as the snow continued to fall.

We had just finished our toast & jam & coffee when we received the call that church had been canceled -- it seems as though the steep entry into the parking lot was pretty slick, and the elders didn't want to take any chances. Woo-hoo! We worshiped the Lord in our own way out in the front yard instead, and we even had a visit from the Associate Pastor -- she was delivering an apple pie as a thank you for my part in helping make improvements to the church's A/V system. It didn't feel right to hog the whole pie ourselves, so we invited some neighborhood friends over for coffee... in true Canadian fashion -- the pie was delicious. :-)

Unfortunately the temperature warmed to 37 degrees, and the snow all melted before the arctic front finally moved to the south of us and the NE wind kicked up. This sent us into the deep freeze, where we will stay until Wednesday or so. Steph absolutely loves this weather because it reminds her of home, but I could use a little bit less wind with my clear, cold days. :-)

The forecasters are calling for more wintry weather later this week... we'll see if it comes true or not.

December 6, 2008

Student of the Month

I'm so proud of my little boy...


Noah was selected as Student of the Month at his school, and received his certificate at a special assembly (which he referred to as a 'funeral' :-). We plan to take him out to the restaurant of his choosing to celebrate. Way to go Noey! :-)

November 1, 2008

All Dressed Up

The kids got all dressed up last night and went around begging for candy. I boycott the holiday (which I will not mention), but I did end up putting a good 6 hours into Noah's costume. I was going to make Steph do it, but once I started on it, I just had to see the project through to the end...

R2D2 from Star Wars -- Noah helped make the 'dome'.

Raggedy Em :-) This was Steph's handiwork.

We hit up a few friends in our neighborhood, David & Ericka's house, my mom's house, and then went to a party at Joel & Julie's house, where the kids did a little more door-to-door candy begging. Julie had dinner to eat at her house, but all our kids ate last night was candy... and it showed by the time bedtime came around.

This kids looked cute in their costumes, but I'm all for abolishment of this 'holiday'.

October 28, 2008

Fall Photos

Now that Steph is cleared to return to normal life until next summer (when they will do another scan), it's time to turn back to the other important people in my life. The weather lately has been absolutely gorgeous, and the Fall colors especially vibrant this year -- all this combined means it's time to take some pictures (click on photos to enlarge):

Noah with his new favorite toy. (Photo by Ruth Swartzendruber)

Emily enjoying the weather. (Photo by Ericka Gingerich)

Noah, Lili and Emily. :-) (Photo by Ericka Gingerich)

The photo of Noah was taken at my cousin Ben's place on Saturday. The other two were taken by Ericka, our two-day-a-week daycare provider. Her daughter Liliana is the one in the middle on the last photo -- the kids had a blast diving in the leaves. :-)

September 17, 2008

"I Can Take It From Here"

Denise's comment on the Sept. 3rd entry reminded me of this...

I take Noah to school on Tuesdays & Wednesdays because Steph works those days. Last Tuesday, the first day of driving Noah to school, I walked him to the front doors of the school. I had intended to walk him to to his classroom, but before I could follow him through the blue double doors, he said, "I can take it from here, Papa".

It's great that he's so independent, but it's also kind of sad to think that he could be at this point in life already. :-(

September 5, 2008


Today was 'testing day' for Noah at school. When they asked him to recite the alphabet, he went through the usual A-B-C's but finished up with 'X-Y-Zed'. The teacher remarked, "Zed? I've never heard of Zed before." Noah's reply was, "It's how they say 'Zee' in Canada!"

His first day and he's already schooling the teacher... I hope she's ready for this. :-)

September 3, 2008

Back to School... and Back to Work

Today was Noah's first official day of kindergarten, and yesterday was Steph's first day back to work since the surgery...

Noah, standing by the front doors of the school.

It was really just an orientation day for the kids, and information day for the parents -- lasting a whole hour. Noah seems to still be very excited about school, so hopefully his first full week will go well. I also hope that he is able make good use of his energy, imagination, and zeal for life; and that nobody will try to squelch his enthusiasm.

And yes, that's correct, Steph is back to work already. She took the doctor's "about one week" literally, and went back to work on Tuesday, just one week after surgery. I thought she should have gone with one week after getting out of the hospital, but as I stated before, she's a very strong and determined woman, and I couldn't convince her. She said that it was rough to make it through those two days, and that if she had to do it over, she would probably take the extra week off. Oh well...

Tomorrow is her one-week follow-up with the ENT surgeon, so hopefully we will soon have information about her pathology report, and regarding her upcoming radiation treatment.

July 26, 2008

New Toy, and Fun in the Garage

Here's what Noah and I are doing this afternoon...


I got this new laptop, kind of for work, kind of for play; and JD just stopped by today with a wireless router for us to use. So Noah and I (and Murphy) came out in the garage to do a little cleaning, and a little playing.

Noah loves being a helper, so I let him help with sweeping and organizing things -- the control freak in me sometimes has trouble letting the latter happen, though -- but I'm trying. Murphy loves being out here with us, so I put a long lead on him and he spends most of the time sitting in 'the grandma chair', enjoying the different perspective of the front of the house (new things to sniff, ya'know).

It's great being out here -- I can clean, organize, use my workbench, all while listening to my iTunes collection, surfing the web, and most importantly, hang out with my little buddy. :-)

Those are the fun times happening at our place on this Saturday afternoon, anyways...

July 19, 2008

Kid Photos, July Edition

Click for larger images...

My silly blue-eyed girl. :-)

Noah and Em sharing the blue chair... a very rare occurrence.

Emily relaxing in the back yard.

June 4, 2008

Pre-School Graduation

Tonight was Noah's graduation from Little Blessings Pre-School -- it was an exciting night, but it was sad too. Noah is sad because he won't get to see most of his friends at school next year, and we are sad to think that our little guy is actually going to start kindergarten next year...

Noah, leading the gang down the aisle (in train formation, of course).

Noah, with his lovely assistant, showing off the diploma.

June 2, 2008

One of my favorite things about Noah...

When he comes to visit me at the box factory, he usually gets a package of Grandma's Cookies from the cafeteria. He always brings them back to my office, takes both cookies out of the package, and gives one of them to me. :-)

December 10, 2007

BJ's Coffee - A Photo Tour (by Noah)


It's no secret that BJ's Coffee in Molalla is our favorite local hangout, as can be seen from this old entry: Support Your Local Coffee Shop. Steph and the kids stopped by BJ's today for some coffee and Noah insisted on taking some pictures. He actually took close to 40 shots, but I don't think JD would appreciate me posting all of them here.

So here are some of the better ones... see the old entry for reference...

Sandy made their coffees today (Mary had worked the early shift).

The coffee shop becomes Vino Maria's on weekend evenings.

The view from the side counter.

Noah's favorite place to sit...

The place where Noah would live if he could... upstairs in the hotel, right next to the coffee shop. :-)

Look for more entries in the future from this budding artist/photographer...

September 22, 2007

Soccer Player

We have a soccer player in the house now...

Noah, ready for his very first soccer game.

Today was Noah's first official soccer game, and it was also my first official game as a soccer coach. I am only the assistant coach, but in this league, that means that I still coach during the game... because we split the team into two smaller teams, according to their skill levels. I coached the younger guys during the first half, and then coached the more advanced players during the second half.

Both the advanced and the novice team lost (although we didn't officially keep score), but I think the kids had fun... which is what really matters. Of course, seeing as how the other team had five second graders to our one, I'd see we held our own pretty good. :-)

Edit: Sabino has corrected me -- I guess I had the whole thing backwards. The advanced team actually won 3-2 (or tied 2-2, according to the official time-keeper) -- not that we keep score or anything. That is even more impressive -- nice job Coach Sabino! :-)

August 22, 2007

Noah's Art

Click on image for a larger view.

August 9, 2007

Friends Come to Visit

Our friends Sabino & Kim celebrated their 15th wedding anniversary yesterday. Noah had wanted Antonio & Diego to come over anyway, so they just threw Isabel in with the deal and went out for lunch.

I wasn't here, but Steph said all the kids had a great time...

Emily actually sharing a chair with Isa? I don't believe it... Em never shares!

Diego, Noah, and Antonio... trains and race cars... trains and race cars... :-)

July 31, 2007

5 Years Old

It just doesn't seem possible that my little boy could be 5 years old already... :-(

Here are some pics of today's festivities...

The birthday boy and his cake.

Noah acting surprised for the camera.

Emily's favorite part of big brother's birthday... she's such a pig-pen! :-)

July 13, 2007


Steph covered an early shift for a coworker the other morning, so I had to get the kids up and to the baby-sitter. When I went to wake up Noah (at 6:20 am)...

Papa: Noah, it's time to get up and go to Pam's house.

Noah: Just a minute, I need to finish my dream.


June 7, 2007

Quotable Noah...

OK, here's a two for the price of one entry... :-)

A conversation between myself and Noah tonight at bedtime...

Noah: Mama hurt my feelings.

Papa: But you hurt Mama's feelings by squirting soap on her and disobeying her.

Noah: Well, she made me go to bed without a bedtime story.

Papa: But you were naughty before that, so that's why she sent you to bed.

Noah: Well, I've been thinking, and when I am bigger and have children, I will be different.

Papa: You'll let them be naughty?

Noah: Well, I will just teach them a lesson so they won't be naughty.

Papa: But that's what we are trying to do.

Noah: When I have children, I will let them have a messy room, and stay in their pajamas all day, and bring them breakfast, and let them do whatever they want.

Papa: Oh really? :-)

May 17, 2007

Vapor Trail

Last night, as the setting sun’s rays filtered through a thin layer of cirrus clouds, Noah and I cleaned up the days collection of toys in the back yard. We picked up soccer balls and hockey nets and baseball gloves, and then we swept the patio and the shed floor as clean as a whistle – Noah even had his own little broom.

Once all that was done, the green plastic adirondack chairs and the grill were all that remained; and the grill was too hot to put away, so we made use of an adironcack chair and ottoman. As I sunk low in the chair and kicked my feet up on the ottoman, Noah came running over and hopped on my lap, leaning back against my chest and using me for his very own adirondack chair.

We gazed up at the purple sky and scanned for airplanes. We could see the vapor trails of jets gone by, but we couldn’t see anything moving… for a few seconds anyway. It didn’t take long for little Mr. Eagle Eyes to spot a high-flying jet leaving a new trail of ‘smoke’ (as Noah calls it). Then we heard the definite roar of a jet engine; not from the high-flyer, but from one on approach to PDX… and it flew right over the top of us.


Noah wondered if any of the jets were going to Canada. He loved flying in the airplanes when we went to Canada, especially the one with the propellers. That was my favorite one, too.

Two more high-flyers with vapor trails flew over, one right after the other. Noah said they were racing. Then another one on approach to PDX flew overhead. Noah wondered why that one didn’t have any smoke behind it. I explained it the best I could. We both agreed that the ones making the ‘smoke’ must have been on their way to Canada.

As we watched the thin cirrus clouds and the vapor trails move on to the east, we waited for more planes to fly over. Noah said, “There’s one!” -- obviously making a joke as he pointed to a bird flying overhead. Murphy chased after the bird as best a short-legged dog can chase an airborne bird. Noah told a ‘knock-knock’ joke. It didn’t make much sense, but it didn’t matter… it started a whole string of silly ‘knock-knock’ jokes by both of us. Finally, to our west, another jet-on-approach flew past… and then it was time for bed.

When it came time to say goodnight prayers, Noah’s went like this, “Dear God, thank you for all the airplanes me and Papa saw in the backyard. Amen.” Indeed. Thank you, God -- for airplanes, vapor trails, and a little boy to watch them with. :-)

April 18, 2007

Ham & Cheese & Cucumber Sandwich

Noah's newest favorite lunch food is a Ham & Cheese & Cucumber Sandwich. He even asks for it for breakfast sometimes! I've never tried it, but I may have to... just to see what it's like. ;-)

March 27, 2007

Noah's Quote of the Day

Steph took Noah shopping for some new Easter clothes yesterday (because he has outgrown everything!), and I guess he quite enjoyed it. He was checking himself out in the mirror, and was quite hacked off when he couldn't bring home all the clothes that he had tried on.

When I got home from work, Steph asked him if he wanted to go shopping with his Papa to find a Mother's Day present for her. He replied, "Yeah, and I will get you something very special....... SHOES!" :-D

March 2, 2007

Noah's Quote of the Day

'Excuse me' means 'Get out of my way!' in Spanish.


February 5, 2007

How Things Are Made

Noah wants to know how things are made, and he wants to know every detail.

Every night before he goes to bed, he tells me, "I want to know how they make [fill in the blank]" -- and I am supposed know the entire manufacturing process for whatever item he comes up with -- whether it be curtain rods, door knobs, pillows, clocks, toy cars, or trains. Usually I can come up with a reasonable explanation, but sometimes I just have to an answer that sounds plausible -- hoping that it is somewhat accurate.

I once asked him why he didn't want to know how boxes were made, and he replied, "I already know how boxes are made" -- you see, he loves going out in the shop here at work and intently watching the workers making boxes.

This past fall when we toured Tony's Horse Cookie factory, Noah was very interested in how they were made... and Uncle Tony made his day by giving us a quick demonstration. Noah's favorite machine was the one where the finished wafers traversed a series of hoppers, elevators, and belts; and finally ended up getting dumped into plastic bags.


Since sometime last summer, Noah's favorite book has been "What Do People Do All Day?" by Richard Scarry. For several months, it seemed like we had it on permanent loan from the library -- until Grandma Sandy gave him his very own copy for Christmas. The book does an excellent job of illustrating how a variety of items are made... with Noah's favorites being roads, houses, wood and bread. The book provides a lot of good information for young expanding minds, and it is done in a way that only Richard Scarry could do.

Noah also loves to watch things being made on shows like Mr. Rogers, This Old House (and Ask This Old House) and Unwrapped (Food Network - which we don't get). He also loves to watch cooking shows, with Caprial & John's Kitchen being his favorite.

While the TV shows may require less imagination to visualize how things are made, I think Noah and I both prefer the old fashioned way -- learning from a book. I love our bedtime tradition of discussing how things are made... and I hope he never runs out of questions. Of course, if he starts demanding better answers, I may have to get a laptop and wireless internet so I can just google for the answer from his bed... :-)

November 19, 2006

Noah's Newest Quote of the Day

OK, this is kind of a scary quote... and I really hope he isn't a prophet.

Walking into church this morning...

Noah: I think the whole world is going to explode -- way up high in the sky.

Papa: Oh really? Well why is that?

Noah: Because it weighs too much.

I have no idea where that came from...

October 15, 2006

He's on a roll...

"Mama, can you have Papa put a headrest on the toilet for me?"

October 10, 2006

Noah's Quote of the Day

Tonight, after Noah had cleaned up all of his toys...

Papa: Great job cleaning up buddy; I'm so proud of you.

Noah: Yeah, I think you guys should keep me! :-)

August 25, 2006

Noah's Quote of the Day

"My room is called Messy World" :-)

July 31, 2006

It was 4 years ago today...

Something wonderful happened four years ago today... something that has impacted my life in so many ways. That little blessing would be the arrival of my little buddy, Noah...


Also... today would have been my father's 61st birthday...

July 5, 2006

What little boys need... according to Noah.

The other day, Noah and I were talking about how I need my Leatherman with me in case I need to fix something. The following conversation ensued...

Noah: But, why don't mamas have a Leatherman?

Papa: I don't know. They'd probably be a lot handier if they did.

Noah: But, what do mamas need?

Papa: A whole lot of stuff.

Noah: Oh.

Papa: But, what do little boys need?

Noah: Little boys need someone to play with... and a lot of attention.

June 19, 2006

Front Page News

Noah made the front page of the local paper! Last Friday, Steph took Noah to the Canby Library for story-time, and to check out some books. As Noah was setting his books on the check-out counter, a photographer from the Canby Herald asked if she could take his picture, and use it in an article about the Summer Reading Program... why of course you can!

Canby Library Supervisor Marty Moretty helps Noah Roth, 3, of Molalla, check out some books last week. (Photo By Jayna Noley)

June 17, 2006

Noah's Quote of the Day

I think maybe I need to start doing 'Noah Quote' entries... here is the profound Noah quote for today:

"I don't have to go to school; I'm already smart."


June 9, 2006

Baby Sister

Hmmm... I wonder what I should post about on my weblog's 2nd birthday. OK, you talked me into it... here's more photos of my kids. :-)

Noah has been wanting to hold his baby sister lately. :-)

My Little Em, just being cute.

June 1, 2006

S.C. Ruffey

Noah, who dreams about trains, wanted to have his picture taken with one of his newest train aquisitions, S.C. Ruffey (pronounced Scruffy)... I thought it turned out pretty cute. :-)

Sweet dreams, little man.

May 22, 2006

Godspeed (Sweet Dreams)

It's not very often that a song will make me weepy, but today it happened. Godspeed (Sweet Dreams) by the Dixie Chicks played on my iTunes mix, and I listened to the words for the first time... and I couldn't help but think of my little Noey and the joy he has brought to my life.

Godspeed (Sweet Dreams)
by Dixie Chicks
(written by Radney Foster)

Dragon tales and the "water is wide"
Pirate's sail and lost boys fly
Fish bite moonbeams every night
And I love you

Godspeed, little man
Sweet dreams, little man
Oh my love will fly to you each night on angels wings
Sweet dreams

The rocket racer's all tuckered out
Superman's in pajamas on the couch
Goodnight moon, we'll find the mouse
And I love you

Godspeed, little man
Sweet dreams, little man
Oh my love will fly to you each night on angels wings
Sweet dreams

God bless mommy and match box cars
God bless dad and thanks for the stars
God heard "Amen," wherever you are
And I love you

Godspeed, little man
Sweet dreams, little man
Oh my love will fly to you each night on angels wings
Sweet dreams

Last night, while Noah and I were playing trains, a thunderstorm rumbled through. We turned off all the lights and just sat and watched (and listened) to the stormy weather. Every once in a while a flash would light up the sky, and we would listen for the thunder. The windows were open, so we listened to the sound of the rain falling on the trees. When the storm had passed, we listened to the sound of rain-water trickling through the gutters... as a lone frog croaked in the distance. And of course, being a 3-year-old, he asked lots and lots of questions. :-) I never wanted it to end...

May 10, 2006

Noah's Garden

Every once in a while, Steph will bring home dinner and milkshakes from Burgerville. She and Noah always get the kid's meals, so we usually have a plethora of toys kicking around. Well, this time of year, Burgerville actually puts some useful items in their kid's meals -- like vegetable and flower seeds, along with little pots and little trowels.

Noah was very excited about having his own little mini-garden, so he helped his mama plant the seeds right away (I think it was about a week ago). He has checked on his plants every day, and he even talks and sings to them -- I think maybe it is helping...

Sugar Snap Peas on the left, Marigolds on the right... I think.

It's too bad they couldn't have stuff like this year round, it is so much more educational than silly little toys... Noah just loves watching his little plants grow, and he is learning a valuable lesson... :-)

April 25, 2006

Olive Fingers

As I mentioned a while back, all Roth boys develop Olive Fingers at some point in their life. Well, it happened to Noah recently...

Help find a cure for Olive Fingers

It's strange, the condition seems to come on right around dinner time, and seems to cure itself before the meal is through. :-)

March 28, 2006

Noah on American Idol

[Tonight, while watching American Idol...]

Noah: I should be on there.

Papa: You should be on American Idol? What song would you sing?

Noah: A train song.

Papa: A train song?

Noah: Yes, 'cause I like trains.

Papa: What train song would you sing?

Noah: The Ice Cream Train song.

Papa: How does that song go?

Noah: Like this... [singing, ad-libbing as he goes]

Sir Handel goes along the railroad,

Sir Handel
Sir Handel

He pulls the Ice Cream Train
To the Ice Cream Factory

Sir Handel
Sir Handel

[Long pause...]

Papa: Is that the end?

Noah: Yeah, 'cause it's a short song, not a long song.

[Who knew it would be the best performance of the evening? :-]

March 7, 2006

Big Hugs

Tonight, Noah and I were reading stories, as we often do before bedtime. We were reading a story about a little chick that can't find its mother. It was kind of a cliff-hanger there for a few pages, but the little chick does finally find its mama hen (phew). The story ends with the mama hen giving the baby chick a big hug... which led to the following exchange:

Noah: "Why he got a big hug?"

Me: "Because sometimes it feels nice to get a hug."

Noah: "But I don't like big hugs."

Me: "Why not?"

Noah: "Because they squish me!"

Well, I'm sorry son, but with big blue eyes like that, you'd better get used to being squished. :-)

January 6, 2006

Questions you don't expect from a 3-year-old.

Just the other day, driving along in the car...

Noah: Where does the rain come from?

Mama: From the clouds.

Noah: How does the rain get in the clouds?

Mama: That's a question for your papa to answer.

Papa (thinking of a simple answer): The clouds soak up water as they move over the ocean, and then drop it as rain when it gets over land.

Noah seemed to accept my answer just fine, but I just wonder what kind of images (of water ascending to the clouds) are going through his little mind...

December 17, 2005

Frosty and Coldy

Noah got up this morning, looked out the front windows, and proclaimed that it was frosty and coldy. :-)

The 'frosty and coldy' garden shed.

It has been downright cold the last few mornings. At one point yesterday morning, we were at -7C and Grande Prairie, Alberta was at -8C (see the new 'Weather' tickers on my sidebar). The Peace Country of Alberta is usually much, much colder than we are this time of year. Of course, by midday, we were up to +3C and GP was still at -7C... and right now things are back to normal... Canby is at -1C and GP is at -17C.

Stay warm out there!

December 10, 2005

Quilted Advent Calendar

Noah received a quilted Advent calendar that his Grandma Sandy made for him. We didn't actually pick it up from the post office until December 8th, so he got a whole pile of gifts on the first day.

Noah standing in front of the quilted Advent calendar.

So far, Noah's favorite gift is Jack, a tractor with a loader bucket (a Thomas the Tank Engine character, of course :-). He has had fun picking a new gift each day, and he is really having fun with Christmas-time this year.

I just wonder if Grandma Sandy is going to fill up the calendar every year... ;-)

[Edit: Steph tells me that the Advent calendar is actually not quilted, but 'machine embroidered'... whatever. I say if it looks like a quilt and feels like a quilt, it's a quilt. Besides, this is my weblog, not hers... so I'll call it whatever I want! :-]

December 9, 2005

Noah's Playhouse Archives

For old entries of Noah's Playhouse, go to: