Thursday, December 31, 2009

A few of our favorite things of 2009

Another year and a Decade down.....2009 we will miss you as so much of the past 10 years.....I will always refer to the first 10 years of the 2000's as the years of babies, finding our home in Oregon, the beginning of a family of friends and a transformation of faith.

Wow! Where did this year go? 2009 flew by. This year was filled with many exciting new things.

For starters Katherine turned 5 and started Kindergarten, Ruth turned 1 (I have no idea where that year went), Ethel turned 8 and started 3rd grade! I find it hard to believe we have 2 kiddo's in school all day. Ruthie in just one year has gone from crawling, to walking and talking up a storm. She possibly could be more of a talker than Katherine.

So here are a few hig
hlights and special moments of last year......
Pappy is now an Oregonian and a Duck fan (as well as Katherine a college football fan)!

Our 10 year anniversary!-How is that possible-Already?

Ethel's softball team-what an awesome experience-those girls rocked the Rose City.

Grant Swim te
am-We can't wait until next summer-those coaches are amazing and so inspiring.

SunRiver vacation-AAHH SunRiver, what a g
reat time, great friends and Ethel finally rides a horse on her own. The SunRiver talentshow-not sure how we top this one next year!

The McBee Family trip to San Diego- Sun, Surf, Sand and silly Vegas McBee's, need I say more!

The start of a new school year with 2 amazing teachers at one terrific school and community.

Hanging with just RooRoo all day and being silly (I'm gonna miss these days :( she is growing fast).

Getting the puppy :) Bella is almost 5 months old and growing into a doggie-Paxton calls these the teen years for her. Everyday is either really good or really bad with her but soon she will grow out of those teen years and be an Old Dog! She is a cutie and we are all so happy she is part of our family.

Our Christmas traditions: The tree farm in Sandy, Or.-on the windiest day, making new Christmas traditions with Pappy, Our annual Christmas Eve Party and of course Christmas Day with the Peters and Sleepers.

Playing in the snow when it finally falls her
e in Portland.

Our incredible friends who are there for us and truly get us-We appreciate and Love you guys tons-Thanks for all the memories in 2009. Looking forward to 2010 and the memories to come.

Wishing you all a Wonderful 2010! Life goes by so fast, take time to see, smell, taste love and laugh in it : )

Paxton, Julie, Ethel 8, Katherine 5, Ruthie 1, and Bella

Friday, October 23, 2009

Back to school and PuppyLove

Cozy slippers, fleece hoodies, dark rainy mornings,
the sound of crunching leaves under your feet and the smell of
nutmeg toasting in the oven....aah it is FALL.

Well it is officially Fall here in Portland. The rain has started as well as the wind and all the beautiful colored leaves are starting to fall to the ground. Katherine and Ethel have been in school for a month now. Ruthie is wondering were everyone went? She walks around-still, asking for Kay Kay and Iyah (Ethel)? She is really missing her sisters. I think she needs to get out more and have some play dates. We are finally on a schedule. I never thought I would be in bed by 10:30 every night or up by 6:30 every morning but I am. The school schedule has been good for us. Paxton and I feel as though we are getting more accomplished, although we are so exhausted by the evening. I am still not a morning person but with a few cups of coffee and I'm ready to go by 9am.

Ethel has a wonderful teacher again this year, we have been so fortunate at this school. It is such an amazing community of Parents/students, teachers, and other staff as well as the community it sits in. Ethel is in a 3rd/4th blend and her teacher runs her class as a town. There are all kinds of jobs the kids get to do to help run the town. Well they had an election at the beginning of the year and Ethel ran for Mayor-and she won! Her teacher said Ethel gave the best speech she has ever heard. I have no doubt there will be more elections in her future-VOTE ETHEL MCBEE!
Katherine started Kindergarten and it was a tad of a rocky start.
Those poor little kiddos..There first day was on a Friday and the kids did fine. Then on Monday the kiddos were all crying for their mom's. They didn't know what hit them. I think all those kids thought..well this isn't so bad for one day, wait you mean I have to come back on Monday! It was like that the whole first week, very hard to take as a Momma. Katherine did O.K. she was a bit clingy that week but quickly got over it. Katherine's teacher is the sweetest lady. She reminds me of our friend Angi's Mom. Her teacher has seen it all and you can bring any question to her and she has advice for you. Katherine just adores her. Katherine has made a bunch of friends in her class and gets all kinds of responsibilities. Kindergarten has been so good for her.
Ruthie, she is a Ham! She is by far our silliest little girl (I really didn't think anyone could top Katherine but age for age-Ruthie wins). She definitely has a determination that Ethel and KayKay posses. Ruthie is always smiling and saying something really loud. The funny part is she has a really deep voice, what a contrast to her sister her has a voice like snow white! Ruthie is starting to count and can get to 3. We are starting the potty training with her-she is getting the hang of it but there is definitely a time delay. She loves to put her shoes on and a coat (must have a hood) on first thing in the morning. Sometimes she'll eat breakfast in a diaper, coat, and shoes only!

We went to the pumpkin patch this past week. Rode the hayride, got our pumpkins, went in the corn maze (a total wet,
muddy mess), rode the cow train and saw all the animals and picked up a few goodies at the market. Whew, what a fantastic family fall day! For Halloween Ruthie is going to be a cheerleader, Katherine a Rock Star, and Ethel a Masquerade princess. We of course will be trick or treating over at the Peters once again-(Jackson, behave yourself, what would we do without seeing you guys on Halloween).

So our big news is......We added another member to our family, a little pupp
y! Her name is Bella. It took the girls less than a minute to name her-I was shocked I thought for sure she would go nameless for at least a day. She is now 11 weeks old. We have had her for 3 weeks now. Paxton finally caved in. What a softy he is. I think he is starting to enjoy her more and more. She is a Lab/springer mix. She is really smart, a bit of a mouthy girl but is getting much better. Is a total lover and wants to be right next to you all the time. She is so wonderful with the girls. Ruthie and her are total buddies. They are always together, mostly causing trouble!

Well, I hope you all enjoy your fall, soon it will be winter and we will be celebrating another year!
Love to you all,

Friday, September 4, 2009

Summers End

Warm sandy beaches, purple sunsets,beautiful smiles,
perfectly chilled beer, dancing with friends, tasty cheese and finding another pair of goggles....Oh where has the summer gone?

Summer is almost over. Ethel and Katherine go back to school on Tuesday. Where has the summer gone? Paxton and I vowed to have a slow relaxing summer and it has been so busy. I think this is just how things are going to be with kids in school and on that schedule.

Our Summer started off with trip to SanDiego to visit the McBee-Park/Dodgin Clan. There was 11 of us all together. The weather was good, and the company was better! The girls loved just playing in the sand-Ruthie loved eating it. Ethel did a ton of boogie boarding with Pax. The first day down to the beach Katherine got stung by a jellyfish but was such a good sport about it, after the sting went away she went right back in the water! It was a fun time seeing our cousins, aunt, and grandparents. Oh, Ethel also recruited everyone for a game of softball on the beach. We watched sea world fireworks every night, and taught the McBee/Park/Dodgin Clan about "favorite part of our day" and "Talent shows", aah, life with little girls! All in All it was a good start to Summer.

We came back and rolled right into one of our favorite Holidays.....4Th of July
For years our friends the Sleepers have been trying to get us to come to their 4Th of July party and we have declined-Ethel loves her Blue Lake Park on the 4Th. Well this year we decided to go to Blue Lake and give it one last try. Yup, next year we will be at the Sleepers. Blue Lake has gotten much to commercialized and busy for us. One of the reasons we loved it was it had this total small town feel to it. Also and this was the kicker for me, during their firework display which is always choreographed to Proud Patriotic Music-they played.......Sting instead-He isn't even from America! So next year-with Ethel's approval we will be at the Sleepers and Bill I expect you to sing God Bless America.
The upside was that my Dad was here and got to spend it with us. So that was fun, and as always we ran into a few people we knew.

July was spent waking up early and getting Ethel off to swim team (every morning by 8:00 am) and Katherine off to her swim lessons or her chosen camp of the week.
Katherine thinks camp is the best thing ever and would choose anything where she could bring a lunch and ma
ke a craft!
Ethel had several swim meets this summer. Her events she entered in where: 25 fly (butterfly), 25 backstroke, 25 free relay, medley relay. Her favorite and her best event is backstroke.
Ethel continues to take violin and enjoy it.
At the end of July we had a visit from our niece Sabrina from Las Vegas. It was a short time but fun. We all went swimming one day, went shopping at the mall and spent a fun HOT day up in Washington visiting Aunt Pam, Uncle Bob, Grandma Keen and the cousins. I can't believe she will be a senior this year and is planning for college. It was 10 years ago she came for her first visit to Oregon to spend a week with us! We enjoy her time so much.

August has been our busiest but most relaxing month of this summer. We went to Sunriver, Oregon with Sleepers, Peters, Dana and a friend of theirs from Texas came too. It was a lot of fun, swimming, biking, watching the deer invade our back patio and of course the Grand Finale....The Annual Kids Sunriver talent show! The kids all did an exceptional job this year and at the end there was a bonus (props to Dana for adding this in) The adults all threw their own dance party! I'm sure our kids all think we are absolutely nuts but oh well that was the best night!
Ethel got to ride a "real horse on a trail, not just a pony". I was the chosen one who got to go with-I have to admit, I am looking forward next year to riding again. That was definitely the highlight for Ethel, I think she smiled the rest of the week!
Katherine's favorites for the week where playing in the pool with Jackson and the talent show.
Ruthie decided she would show off her talent in the show by learning to walk that week. This has also developed a new talent in Ruthie, complete independence! She wants no help from anyone at any point, for anything. How does a 16 month old develop that so quickly?

We came home from Sunriver in a hurry to plan
Ethel's Birthday party. She requested a dinner of Potstickers, Chicken and rice on her actual Birthday. A Karaoke Party was in order for her "Family and Friends" party. Ethel also wrote a comedy which was performed by all of her friends and herself at her party.
We had a wonderful time and it was so much fun to catch up with everyone we hadn't seen this summer.

I can not believe Ethel is 8 and will be starting 3rd grade in just 4 days. Where or Where have the years gone? Katherine will be in Kindergarten all day, gets to take a lunch, go to PE and learn spanish among many other exciting things. This transition with Katherine has been much harder on me than with Ethel going to school. Ethel has always had an old soul and has went head on into anything. Katherine is ready for the challenge and very excited but it is me who will always see her as the little sister, and little girl-my babies are all growing up so, so, fast.
Ruthie and I have plans of our own this school year. She will be taking classes at our local parks and rec (music, playgym ect.) and spending many mornings at bookbabies at the library as well as working on this new found independence of hers!

I hope you all had a wonderful, relaxing and fun filled summer.
We enjoyed catching up with many of you.
Enjoy your last few days and for those of you who are fortunate enough to have an indian summer like we do-enjoy the end of summer sunsets!
The McBee Family

Friday, May 29, 2009

It's Official!

So this post is titled "It's Official" for several reasons....Please read on to find out more.

We "officially" are blogging once a month now.

Summer is almost here in Portland-It was 88 degrees today!
Well, we all know I'm not fond of warm weather and sunshine but I have to admit I'm kinda excited for the change in weather as well as the chance to sleep in a tad! There are 8 more days of school left... Our first year at school has been amazing and I'm actually quite sad to see it come to an end. Next year we will have 2 girls (Ethel and Katherine) in the same school at the same time. Next year will b
e interesting but exciting.

Softball is slowly coming to an end. Just a few games
left. Ethel has totally enjoyed herself and I guess we are a softball family now. So far our family sports are Swimming, soccer and softball-who knows what Ruthie will like? Maybe basketball? We are hoping we get one who is into it!

Our summer will "officially" begin in 3 weeks when Ethel's s
wim team starts (she has been asking to be on a team for 2 years now) so this year she officially gets to. Also in 3 weeks we will be going on an "Official" McBee Family vacation. We will fly off to San Diego to vacation for a week with Mimmie/Grandad (Pax's parents) and the Park/Dodgin crew (pax's sister and her family)! It has been about 7 years since we all met up in San Diego so we are looking forward to seeing them and relaxing on a warm sandy beach!

Katherine will be going to several local summer camps this summer as well as her usual swimming lessons-this is her summer to enjoy what she likes-Yeah Katherine!

Ruthie "Officially" started crawling 2 weeks ago-she has not stopped since an
d our lives are "Officially" over! The days of setting her down in the living room with some toys and going to check on the laundry are now obsolete. She is so curious and into everything-she LOVES cords or string of any kind.

My dad "Officially" is now an Oregonian. He arrived here 3 weeks ago at the beginning of May and his furnishings all arrived about a week ago.
He is settling in and enjoying his new place. He is busy with all kinds of classes his community has to offer as well as accompaning us on all of our activities. I have included some pictures of our (Katherine, Ruth, and myself) train trip back to Illinois to help my dad pack and move out to Portland. Katherine was so excited to be on the train as well as go to Chicago and see the Sears Tower. For weeks she talked about how she went 99 floors up in a elevator and could barely see people on the ground. She also thought Lake Michigan was the Pacific Ocean! I guess it makes sense since the Pacific is really the only large body of water she has ever seen. The Train trip was a great time, something to really cherish. I think Katherine will remember that time with her Pappy forever. Those to are hilarious together. They have one special bond-I guess it goes back to their love for vanilla ice cream!

We will spend our usual week in Sunriver (in August this year) with our friends...Peters, Sleepers and Dana (still just worthy of one name). I so look forward to this relaxing week. These guys are truly our family. We are hoping to get in a
t least one camping trip to the beach this summer, we'll see what happens.

Enjoy the warm weather-hopefully not to warm for those of you in the Southwest.
We love you all and maybe our
summer plans will collide with some of yours!

Love and Blessings,

Monday, April 20, 2009

Easter, Baseball and Moving to Portland

Hello Everyone.

You are probably thinking," What is going on? It has not been a month since the last blog update." And you are right, by some pretty fast moving events I find myself with some free time. You remember free time. That time after lunch when the teacher let the kids do whatever, while she popped an aspirin and wondered when the parents were coming. So how did this free time find its way to me? More about that in a minute....

Easter was a great day, even though was rainy and cold and not the spring renewal you would hope for. After the kids tore through their Easter baskets in record time, we went to church and then headed out in the afternoon to our friends the
Sleeper's house. I can not, in all seriousness, think of a better way to celebrate the resurrection of Jesus, then with wine, craft beers, great food and even better friends. The kids had an egg hunt and carte blanche on candy. I think we made it home around 10pm. A little late for a school night (sorry Ethel).

It is baseball season, I mean softball season. Ethel has to remind me everytime I ask her," how was baseball?"

"It's softball Dad."

Well softball is going well. We had decided that softball was going to be too much of a commitment this year and were planning on not playing. A parent from Ethel class asked if Ethel wanted to play on their team, they needed two more players. We said yes, with the understanding that we would probably miss some practices and some games. With all that said, Ethel is enjoying softball much better than baseball last year. I think the fact that it is a team of all girls and the dugout is a calm, civilized safe area is the differnce. Last Saturday at Ethel's game she had two hits. At a softball game consisting of 7 year old girls if you hit the ball in fair territory you are going to get to first base. She had two dribblers towards thrid. A pull hitter just like her old man. What is better than two hits? How about a 6-5 bang bang play to end the inning and kill a rally. Ethel smothered a shot to short and gunned the runner out a third. Her coach told me that was the best play she had seen all season. It was pretty cool.

Not to be out done by big sis Katherine has turned into quite the hitter. We were playing some wiffleball last week and on the first pitch she smacked the ball and it split in two. I was stunned. It was like in the Natural when Roy Hobbs knocks the cover off the ball. She wasn't sure it be proud of her hit or said because the ball was broken. Luckily we have got plenty of wiffleballs.

Ruthie continues to be a little ham. She has got the cutest little laugh and smile. She is starting to talk more. Actully she is talking the same amount, all the time, but we are starting to understand her more. She loves cats and dogs. She goes crazy when we see a dog and does everything she can to get closer to it.

So in other news, Julie's Dad (Pappy) is making the move to Portland. He found a place to live during his visit last week and should be arriving sometime in May. Julie, Katherine and Ruthie left yesterday to travel back with Jim to help him get started packing his house. I think Julie will be doing more of a junk intervention/ councelling type job. Ethel and I are holding down the fort in PDX. Thus the free time. Ethel is at school for like 6 and 1/2 hours. Having one kid is pretty easy when you are use to three. When you only have one you do not relize that it is easy untill you have another. It is one of life's little jokes.

I hope all of you are well.


Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Really, once a month?

I guess it is that time. We really are on a once a month blogging schedule. Is that really blogging then? Anyway here are the latest adventures...

Pax and I went away at the beginning of March for our 10th anniversary to the Oregon Coast for 2 nights. We actually left all 3 girls for the first time. Poor Ruthie got left at the age of 1
, while Ethel had to wait until she was 7! enough said about the third child and baby of the family.
I would love to say we had a great time but I think Pax and I are both loo
king forward to our 11th anniversary getaway. It wasn't that we had a bad time, it was just not the weekend we thought it would be. For starters it was freezing cold and snowing on the beach-it was so windy the snow was going sideways. Pax nor I really gave any thought to that since we were both sick the whole weekend. I laid in bed and crooked my neck to the side to look at what I could see of the Pacific Ocean through all the snow. We left our room only once to go to McMenimins Sand Trap and have a beer. I recieved the wrong lunch which I didn't even care because I couldn't taste it anyway. (For those of you who know me, know that I would never accept and eat a meal I never ordered, it shows you just how sick I really was). I had a Rasberry Ale there that was on special. I would like to tell you more about it but I really couldn't taste or enjoy that either-so that was a total bummer. Although I will tell you that the Sand Trap McMenamins in Gearhart, Oregon is one of the cutest, quaintest McMenamins locations I have ever gone to. The bartender also had great recommendations on doing a beer crawl in Portland and where the best places to go are. So that will be Pax's blog I guess-if you want to join him on a beer crawl of the best brewpubs in Portland send him an email or 2.
girls all did fine and survived 2 days without their parents.

Pax and I made it to a Blazers game. Well, at the cost of one of our friends being very s
ick (Thanks again Holcombs). It was a great time. We got to go with our friends Amy and Jono (Maggies Mom and Dad). The Blazers lost to the 76ers who in my opinion stole the game but it was still a fun evening. By the way, one Large Popcorn can feed 4 adults for several days!

We spent a week watching our fa
vorite dog Maggie (AGGA, as Ruthie calls her). At first Katherine wasn't so sure she was going to enjoy it but after day 1 the two of them where best buddies. Well, Maggie and Ruthie are really best buddies but Maggie and Katherine are now sisters. Maggie would spend a good hour each day playing fetch with Katherine. I don't know any child that could just through a ball over and over but it was a favorite for those two! Every night around 8:30 Katherine would show Maggie to her bed and tell her it was bed time, put her blankie on her and Maggie would fall asleep. By the end of the week Katherine was the only one who could put Maggie to bed. It truly was the cutest thing I have ever seen. It reminded me of the bond Ethel had with our dog PJ. Those two where insperable.

Pappy arrived alive and well at the end of March just in time for Ruthie's 1st birthday. We had a small family dinner on March 29th. Ruthie enjoyed a meal of Honey roasted chicken, rosemary ov
en baked potatoes, broccoli and milk. We quickly learned Ruthie now eats as much as Ethel and Katherine! A week later we had a friend Birthday Party. Ruthie had an amazing turn out and fully enjoyed her cake. She had a small cake all to herself and proceeded to eat all the frosting off and none of the cake. It was great seeing all the kids and parents and hanging out with them. I thank them all everyday for being such a huge part of our lives as well as our kids lives.

Pappy has been busy looking at several places to live out here in Portland. It looks like he will be making the move in early Summer. The big question now is 55 and over or just an apartment? I think he has narrowed it down to 2 places, one of each-both places are amazing and I see why he can't decided. Katherine has gone with to see all of the places and if she had her pick she
would have Pappy move into "the place with the ice cream soda shop" tomorrow!

Ethel has started playing softball this year. She is pretty excite
d and only knows 4 girls on her team of 13. She is always so happy to meet new people-I love that about her. I think she is most excited about the team name and colors. The colors are Hot Pink and Black, the team name is "The Pink Panthers"!

Katherine like I said is enjoying checking out retirement property with her Pappy. She has been learning more and more math and now is starting to subtract. She is taking an afterschool gym class at Ethel's school and of course loves it.

Both girls are looking forward to Summer Sun and taking swim lessons. Ethel will FINALLY join a swim team this summer (she has been asking to be on one since she was 5). She can hardly wait.

Ruthie is growing like crazy. When we went to her 1 year appointment she was 23lbs and 11oz. and 31 inches long! In 1 year she gained 14 lbs and 1 foot! She eats everything and is always looking for her sisters. She is starting to repeat anything you say. The other day Pax was
changing her diaper and he said "Poopie" and of course in this cute little voice Ruthie said "Poopie" and smiled the biggest smile! Don't tell Ethel but the first thing Ruthie says in the morning is "KK". Although when you get her up from her nap all you have to say is that you are going to pick up Ethel and she starts kicking, smiling and bobbing her head for "Yes"! Oh these girls are so darn cute, Pax and I are just so blessed to be able to have this chance in our lives to just slow down a bit and enjoy them.

We hope you all are enjoying some warm weather and sunshine. We miss you all and hope to see you soon.
The McBees