The Dirt Pile

Thomas has always been attracted to dirt.

If there’s a pile of dirt somewhere he will find it.

And THAT is why I have so much laundry to do every week. I’m sure little girls are not like this.

By the way, he is not in a jungle, it’s our backyard. Sad, but true.

I’m Going to Talk About the Weather

I know it’s a cliche to talk about the weather, and probably not a topic that will win me more readers, but this is seriously ridiculous. They are projecting that it will reach 105 degrees in Portland today. That’s above 40 in metric (i.e. makes more sense) temperature. Tomorrow may reach 104.

The problem? Air-conditioned daycare is closed and I am home with the kids on “vacation”. I had wonderful plans for the zoo and the park and other outings that would allow us to enjoy some summer weather. Instead we are going to head to the mall. If only Samuel was old enough to see a movie. I wonder if other parents would mind if I brought my squirmy 14 month old son to see Ice Age… it’s a thought.

Anyway – enough with the whining. A few things I am thinking about today:

  • Happy to support my friend Lauren who is having a printing GC giveaway on her blog. Check it out¬†here.
  • Grateful that Samuel is now walking more than he is crawling. Time to buy some shoes (I know, bad mother).
  • Enjoying Thomas’ sense of humor and the way he laughs uncontrollably when we watch America’s Funniest Home Videos together. Although, I find myself constantly saying “Don’t try that Thomas. That’s not safe Thomas.”
  • Looking forward to editing some photos from a fun shoot on the weekend. No kids involved so this was a challenge, but I think the clients will really like the results.
  • Relieved that I finally have a backup system for my photos with our new Mac. I know it’s been way too long.
  • A little tired of Yo Gabba Gabba – the latest obsession.

And…Excited to begin going through photos from our weekend trip to Lost Lake. Here’s a preview.

Before and After

It was ugly

Very ugly

But just in time… only weeks before our 12 month deadline to protect the siding from our new renovation…

We finally got around to the painful process of getting the house painted.

We settled on a neutral colour. Safe.

Of course now you can REALLY see the horrible shrubs in the front yard. They used to blend into the green house, but there’s no more hiding the truth…

We REALLY need to do something with that garden. Next year.

Fireworks in the Backyard, Portland Style

The concept of lighting your own fireworks is something I have had to get used to over the past few years. Before that, my experience of firework was massive displays in crowded public locations. Personal fireworks were…well…sparklers.

But not in the U.S of A.

Here you can buy fireworks, which scares me a little. Sure, in Portland they have some limitations, like you can’t set of fireworks that shoot more than 6 feet..or something. I think it’s supposed to limit the damage. Of course we live about 10 miles from the Washington State border. Vancouver, WA sells a LOT of fireworks around July 4th.

I wonder if Oregonians are exempt from sales tax for partially illegal purchases…

Our fireworks were from Fred Meyer which means they were smaller than the light displays we had been seeing over the neighborhood in the week leading up to the holiday. Still, they were big enough to impress a four year old (and admittedly his mother).

Kei took some video on real film for his latest class. Apparently was able to get some cool footage until the film ran out.

Thomas was instructed to stand next to the fence and NOT MOVE an inch while the fireworks were lit.

Good Boy.

He may not look like it, but he was one happy, fireworks-loving boy.

(Samuel was in bed asleep…in case you were wondering).

Mississippi Street Fair

I just love this time of the year, when the everyone in Portland comes out of their rain-induced habitation and really enjoys the city.

Last weekend we headed to Mississippi for the annual street fair. Super Why came along and garnered quite a bit of attention.

He’s a super hero with the power to read.

The best thing about the street fair – the colour.

And the adorable hand-made little girl clothes that make me want to dress my boys up for the heck of it. Of course I already have trouble getting Thomas to wear anything other than sweat pants.

And the eclectic little shops with an assortment of antique and quirky goods that I love to look at, but am not funky enough to buy. I swear I had a pram just like this one when I was a little girl. I wonder what happened to it…

And the snow cones are a hit…until they make your hands too cold.

But the family time is clearly the very best part.

Farewell Benema

Well they left a while ago, but I am so far behind in my posts that I feel like I have say goodbye to them all over again.

Our final day with Benema was spent looking around Portland. It seems the only time we actually see our city is when people come to visit.

First stop – The Portland Saturday market (on Sunday).

Where Ben tried on hats.

Then, after a Dim Sum lunch in Chinatown (no photos of that – too difficult while trying to feed too boys), we walked back to the waterfront, waving to Firetrucks along the way.

We visited the Japanese Memorial. (Note to self: MUST take the kids there for cherry blossom photos next year).

Thomas chose to climb on the memorial (but I think that’s the point).

And Samuel was happy just riding along in the backpack.

Then we headed up to Council Crest which has one of the best views in Portland. This is Mt. Hood.

Mt St. Helens behind us.

I even made it into a picture with a little remote control magic. Pity Samuel was cut in half and the lighting was so spotty.

The rest of our time at Counsel Crest was spent enjoying the water fountains. It really doesn’t take much to keep this group entertained.

And then we headed home to hang out for the last few hours.

I delivered Benema to the train station the next morning. Some guests out-stay their welcome and have you waiting for them to leave. I could have had Ben and Emma stay longer – much longer. We miss you Benema.

Having Your Cake…

What’s this we have here? Hmmm…. birthday cake for the birthday boy.

Let’s not mess around. Let’s dig right in.

What? It’s MY BIRTHDAY!

Hmmmmm…chocolatey goodness.

But wait! There seems to be a problem.

A few crumbs left. Let’s fix that.

I get the love of chocolate from my mother. The appetite is all mine.

More Halter Family Pics: Portland, OR Family Photographer

One big reason that I have begun my little side photography business (apart from the fact that it’s a lot of fun) is so that I can buy more equipment and help feed my habit.

Of course if I won this Tamron lens gievaway, I would be just one step closer.

Here are some more photos from my shoot last weekend. It was difficult to narrow it down, to just a few given that I was again blessed to have such photogenic subjects – there were SO many more great moments. Such a fun family and so happy to be able to call them my friends.

I love the vintage feel to this one with the red polka dot shirt.