...and other misconceptions I made 09-01-26
2009 Jan 26

Archive for April, 2011

April 24th 2011
Child labor and other sources of fun

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S2 making pasta doughLike most parents I’m a huge fan of child labor.

Let me rephrase that.

I love it when the girls can be part of the things that we do. Over the last few months they have basically completely taken over latte-making in the morning (the only thing I do is steam the milk – they pour it, make the espresso (it’s an automatic machine), pour that, add the condiments, everything). And as of today the girls are becoming part of the pasta-making team. Here you see S2 kneading the dough. Using the pasta roller is a bit to scary for them, still, but we’re getting there.

We had a great Easter weekend. After the marvelous weather yesterday we got the Portland-typical rain today. We started the day early. The girls were up before 6am, ready to hunt for eggs in the house. The dogs were crated (as they might end up being too good at finding eggs before the girls do) and off they went. It was fun to watch. The girls can be so goofy. They liked what they found (toys, art supplies and yes, of course, chocolate).

After lunch I used a period without rain to take the girls and the dogs on a walk. For the first time they each just walked her own dog (S2 and Reggie, H2 and Valerie) without any help from me. They loved it.

And then this evening, after dinner, they suddenly walked in like this. It’s sad to see how easily they both fit into my pants and shirt. They actually had to hold the pants up or they would fall down. Oops.

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April 24th 2011
Happy Easter

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This is what K2 made for breakfast.

Easter bread

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April 23rd 2011
Easter Egg Hunt

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a small part of the crowdRegardless whether you intend to celebrate a Christian holiday or an old pagan fertility rite… hunting for easter eggs is fun. Especially when the weather is gorgeous (when’s the last time that happened in Portland) and lots and lots of other people show up with the same goal in mind.

Alpenrose, a dairy pretty close to where we live, has done an annual easter egg hunt for 46 years now. We have wanted to go with the girls for the last three or four years but somehow never managed – either because the weather was bad or we had other plans or… but this years we made it, and so did a couple of the girls’ friends as well.

There was indeed a crowd. And there were literally thousands of little chocolate eggs littered around the grass (as a side note – I want that job of the “egg distributor”: they took buckets of chocolate eggs and threw them up in the air. Awesome).

The girls had been talking about it for days and couldn’t wait to go there today. And the results clearly matched the expectations. They were so excited. We had a great day.

showing off their bountygratuitous cute picture

Oh yeah, that last picture is just a gratuitous “cute” picture thrown in. Can you tell that H2 is almost 2in (5cm) taller than her sister?

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April 17th 2011
Cultural exchange – or something

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Early this week we got an email through the German American school that a group of “20 boys, 15-17 years old” from Germany was visiting and looking for host families for Sunday (today). It seemed not a lot of lead time but hey, we’re flexible, so we offered to host one – and then on Thursday, when they still were missing hosts for 5 of the kids we offered to take a second one.

This morning we showed up at the time we were instructed at the hostel. Much to our surprise it turned out to be 20 eleventh-graders from northern Germany, 10 boys and 10 girls, and we ended up with two girls. Fun.

We took them on a tour of Portland, showed them some of the highlights and tried to make the day fun and interesting while still delivering on the intended goal, “showing them a day in a US family”. I think they had a good time, they certainly ate a lot of the dinner that K2 cooked for them.

During the day through our conversations with them we were horrified to learn how amazingly ill-prepared their whole 12-day trip to Portland had been. The highlights so far (they’ve been here for five days) have been a visit to the police station, an NBA basketball game and a day spent shopping at the mall.

Really? That’s the best you can do to show off Portland? I think we did better than that.

Our girls were wonderful and adorable. We were really proud of them. Much of the day was really boring for them but they were never obnoxious and very nice when they were bored or wanted to do something else. In exchange the two teenagers and I spent more than two hours on a playground with them while K2 cooked our dinner.

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