Sunday, May 29, 2011

Deck Family Reunion 2011

On Memorial Day weekend we traveled to Brookings to the home of Grandpa John and Grandma Dorothy for a family reunion. We had a wonderful time catching up with family members we haven't seen for a few years. Unfortunately there are few photos of the event itself so I'm hoping Grandma D will send some of her group shots our way so I can post those at some point. Above is one of the few. L-R Cliff Monroe, Grandpa John, Kathy Monroe, Liz, Nicolette, Johnny, Grandma D and Great Uncle Gene. Below, Gretel plays with her second cousins and Soleo.

This is the view from out rental house. The coastline in Brookings is fantastic!

A day on the beach!

The Decks!

Saturday, May 21, 2011

We've Got a Lawn!

We spent a weekend in May installing our new lawn in the backyard. Anyone following this blog knows that it has been a long time coming! But we've determined it has been well worth the wait - we are pleased as punch with our new backyard!

Below is the progression of events, from mudpit to grassy haven!

With help from Gretel and our friend Spencer the work was done in no time.

Then we got to plant the beds behind the wall.

The finished lawn.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

A Portrait of the Artist, by Herself

Some interesting things happen when Gretel gets hold of the camera. I really like these photos of her, and we wouldn't have thought to take similar ones ourselves.

Monday, May 9, 2011

A Hike and a Picnic - The Perfect Mother's Day!

This weekend we hiked the upper Tom McCall Wildflower Preserve trail, which was just popping with fresh new wildflowers. Balsam root, lupine, crabapple, larkspur, Indian paintbrush and a myriad of other flowers were flourishing. Although it was pouring in Portland when we left, the weather was sunny and dry in the Gorge. Gretel had a great time and sang in Papa Casey's ear all the way up and back down! (These days her favorite songs are "Howie the Firetruck" and "Happy Birthday" (better known to Gretel as "Happy You You to You")) Anyway we had a spectacular hike and picnic - just what the doctor ordered for Mother's Day!

I've never seen such vivid Indian Paintbrush.

Mother's Day Dinner at the Hess House with the Decks

We had a delicious dinner at the Hess' house to celebrate Mother's Day. Grandma Liz did a photo shoot with the three grandkids, then everyone got to play outside for awhile since the sun was out. It was a wonderful afternoon and evening!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

The Fish House

This dollhouse, known in our family as the "fish house" was built by Gretel's Grandpa Frank way back in the late 1970's (or thereabouts). He built it for my sisters and I, but I wonder if at that time he had any inkling that his grandkids would get such enjoyment from it too? Gretel is using it these days as a setting for her dolls' tea parties. It's just her size!