Monday, August 4, 2008

Hi Pizza!...Family

Preview: Ben, "Unca", and "Map", how cute are these guys?
We got to Oregon the day before Aaron's 13th birthday so first thing the next morning, his birthday, we all went out to brunch to have the family celebration. That afternoon was a family and friends party at Valori and Court's house...'s "Unca" (what Ben calls Aaron) taking baby boy for a ride in the wonderful back yard.
The official cutting of the cake, a big deal for Aaron as he doesn't get to have sweets too often,
and he's loving it. The cake was fab.
Ben goes for the whole-slice-in-one-bite award and won it.
Courtney holds Court on the deck during dinner...
...while Mom and I get to know some new friends.
A couple of days later, here are Aaron and Matt at the Pumice Dessert near Crater Lake. They were being respectful of the structure built by earlier visitors and only added their own small rocks to the top.
At the railway crossing on the way to Crater Lake.
A great photo of Eder and sweet fortune snapped from its place in their home.
Here's the reason for the title, Ben, the first of our next generation of our family. Recently he got into saying "hi" and "bye" to inanimate objects. The one that struck the whole family as hilarious and we have not worn ourselves out saying constantly (but surely others) was, "Hi pizza.". So we say that to each other every chance we get. He inspires us all; two years old and everything he does is either genius, hilarious, or both. Above he's wearing my dad's cowboy hat; he's a Gramps kinda guy.
You can surely imagine my delight when I spied this perfect "Ben" sign on our way out of Crater Lake National Park a few days ago. I had to get it for him. Mimi and Ben, few boys have loved their grandmothers like Ben loves his and visa versa.
The producers, Eder and Maya. Can't image how they got such a cute kid...
Had to get the, "I've got your boy and I'm feeding him lots of sugar", photo for my sis just like I used to do with Maya and the pics of her with a Coke in one hand and a Snickers in the other. My sis is a...umm...little...umm...she's a great mom in every way including making sure her children eat healthy food. Kristen, Lucas' girlfriend, buddy Joe, and Lucas at an alfresco dinner...
...Matt and Benny getting ready for another of our many alfresco dining experiences.

Way Too Long No See

Well I guess these things are bound to happen if you let them. When my first husband and I divorced over 16 years ago he, of course, got custody of his best friend, Mark. So I hadn't seen Mark and his wife, Cindy, in all this time. When Matt and I were out here in Oregon two years ago, Lucas was also here and informed me that Mark and Cindy live in Eugene, just about 40 minutes from Corvallis. We talked about calling and getting together then just plain ran out of time. I was determined this time to see them and here we are. Matt and I drove to their home outside of Eugene then went into town for lunch.
We ended up at a great multi-level, open-air "mall" which immediately reminded me of Carmel Plaza in, durrrr, Carmel. Neat shops and eateries on several levels with pretty flowers and landscaping.
Then back to Mark and Cindy's, below to sit amongst their wonderfully landscaped, beautiful home on a large lot backing to an open field of farm expanse.
One of my very favorites, Hydrangeas; they had bushes and bushes of them. And lots of bamboo. Mark shared much knowledge with us about all the advantages of planting bamboo. Can you guess what's on my list of to-dos when I get home?
This was supposed to be a serious representation of our Bamboo Lecture Series with all of the different types of bamboo in this one area; the roll up blind, the kind against the window, the bamboo wind chimes, and the pot of yet another variety in the background. As you can see Teacher and Student were taking the photo quite seriously. We had a wonderful time with Mark and Cindy. You know how there are times when you know you miss someone but don't realize just how much until you're with them again? This was a very good example; I could have stayed for days instead of hours but I'm so happy that we got to have this time together. Thanks y'all, I love you two.