December 2012

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Luca Rocks

Santa came and brought Luca a drum set!

He helped move and assemble it in the playroom upstairs

Time to rock… 1..2…3..4

This is a pants optional household

Luca’s  current favorite bands

Mumford and Sons, Daft Punk (Bobot Music), The Beatles, The Red Hot Chilli Peppers, Gorillaz, Dave Matthews Band, Led Zeppelin, and all jazz

Time to turn it up to 11!!!

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Luca got a message from Santa today.  Looks like he made the nice list!!!

Good job Luca!


Check out Santa’s Message to Luca


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It’s almost Christmas!! Our tree is in place and decorated with tons of lights and ornaments, our Christmas lights are lighting up the neighborhood, all the presents are bought and almost wrapped. What’s left to do except MAKE COOKIES!!!

Auntie Kimmy came by and helped Luca and his friends make Christmas Cookies

Luca carefully cuts out his cookies

Slightly reminiscent of my travels to Italy and the mosaics of Venice and St. Peters

Adds “a little” frosting

Autumn jumps in to carefully oversee the cookie transport process

Looking good

WOW!! Those are some nice looking cookies!

The little chefs seemed pleased

A congratulatory hug from the floor supervisor

Luca!!! Now what?  Time to go see Santa!!


Merry Christmas

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I know Thanksgiving was a month ago, but hey – life is pretty busy for us these days. We took these pictures on Thanksgiving morning and they were so cute I just had to share them. My precious little ones 🙂

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Giving Back

We make a living by what we get. We make a life by what we give.
― Winston S. Churchill


When I was a little older than Luca is now my family ran into tough times.  There were no presents under the tree that year.  We had very little and relied on the charity of others.  Some family members bought a few presents for us.  A family friend dressed up as Santa and we made the most of it.  That year I remember getting a flashlight, a board game, a globe, and some knock off go-bots.  One of the things I remember from that time was taking trips to the Salvation Army to pick up boxes of food.  It wasn’t much, but it was enough for us to eat.  I remember geting bags of cream of wheat and having that for dinner.

As I’ve grown up those experiences have shaped who I am and my perception of what it means to need a little help.  For as long as I can remember during Christmas time when my mom and I would pass by a Salvation Army volunteer ringing bells next to the red bucket outside a grocery store we would give what we could.  I’ve continued to do that to this day.

I took the last two weeks in December off to spend time with my family and relax. But before I settle in for the day I’ve taken the first few hours of the day to volunteer to ring bells for the Salvation Army and give back a little.  Today my buddy joined me.  I can say I probably rang the bell more than he did, but he definitely got more donations.


Some of our other year round donations and activities

Ronald McDonald House Portland – Ronald McDonald House Charities of Oregon and Southwest Washington provides a “home away from home” for families with seriously ill children, and supports initiatives to improve pediatric health.  Along with donating for families to have a room, we drop off unused hotel toiletries for use by the families while they stay.

SMART – The program concept is simple: pair an adult volunteer with children for two, one-on-one 30-minute reading sessions. The intention of SMART is to provide a literacy experience that entices children into books and reading, supports children’s efforts to learn to read and celebrates their successes.  Luca has always loved reading.  When I get stressed at work I walk over to Powells and find new books for Luca.  As a family we love story time and I thought what better gift than to share that love with other kids who may not be getting the same opportunities as Luca.

WWF – From elephants to polar bears, WWF fights to secure a future for animals on the planet we all share.  Of all the charities we give to I’ve given to this one the longest.  These are my peeps. Not much more to say.

Sierra Club – To explore, enjoy, and protect the wild places of the earth; To practice and promote the responsible use of the earth’s ecosystems and resources; To educate and enlist humanity to protect and restore the quality of the natural and human environment; and to use all lawful means to carry out these objectives.”In every walk with nature one receives far more than he seeks.” – John Muir founder of the Seirra Club. Jazz Radio – Two of Luca and Kitty’s favorite public radio stations. Autumn was actually born into this world with KMHD playing in the background.

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Our Little Ohana

Luca continues with his swim classes. He’s doing well learning his different floats and swim strokes.  Kitty and I were surprised this past week when Luca was swimming across the pool and came up just short of the wall.  He went underwater, popped back up, and treaded water for around 20 seconds.  It was pretty cool.

Sporting his swim cap and goggles…. sorry “BUZZ Goggles”


After swim class shower.  His hair is so curly!


A family of Ducks


We went to Kitty’s grandmas house for Thanksgiving.  It was one of the longer car trips for Autumn.  She’s not what I’d call a fan of car trips.  We stopped 3 times and the 1 .5 hour trip took 3.  We still love you baby girl.


The kids just hanging out


Luca is always gentle with his baby sister….


Although to be perfectly honest I believe right after this picture was snapped Autumn sort of peeled off to her left and ended up face down the corner of the couch.  Luca did voice his concern though.


Happy times


My two angels

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I understand the feeling

I can’t say I was always a good big brother.  I hope I was more times than not.  Growing up wasn’t always easy in my household but my sister was always there.  No one can relate to my childhood, the good and bad, like she can.  

You somehow made it through all my boobytraps, *fartlebabybombs, pickle-juice squirt guns, and persistent harassment and you didn’t even tell mom and dad when the rolling pin I threw hit you in the head.   We fought over watching Rescue Rangers or Peoples Court (you can guess which one I was arguing for).  We built forts, rollerbladed, played Intellivision, and together we brought down a reign of chaos on babysitters like only a brother and sister could.   Even though we sometimes fought at home, while at camp or visiting relatives we were always a team and stuck together.

Now I have my own son and he his own little sister.  All I can do is try to create a safe and loving environment for them to grow up together in and guide them the best I can.  I know Luca will be a better big brother than I was but it’s not always going to be easy.  I hope he has patience and shows his little sister love and compassion especially when he finds it most difficult.

Hold her tight Luca and always watch out for her.  Love her unconditionally and remember no matter what happens in life she will always be your little sister.

*fartlebabybomb – patented combination of flour, water, and something stinky, mixed and put into a plastic sandwich bag for throwing or use in boobytrap.

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