27 July 2009

Anders at the Beach

This summer had some really hot points; July in particular was a scorcher, and one of the hottest months we can remember since moving west. We usually have a few days of heat here and there, but this July the heat just didn't let up. With the prospect of yet another HOT weekend looming, we decided to head North and visit my Dad at his place in Ocean Shores on the Washington coast.

It took us a while to get there, but once we did it was worth it. The temperature was about 25 degrees cooler on the coast than inland. We had a nice Saturday of doing nothing and enjoying not roasting in the heat. There happened to be a biker convention in Ocean Shores that weekend, so the roads and parking lots were full of bikers and their rides, which was kinda fun to watch. But the highlight of the trip was introducing Anders to the beach.

Anders had never been to a beach before. In Ocean Shores you can drive your car right up onto the beach, so we drove right up to the surf. The excessive heat brought out tons of people, so we had to drive quite a distance down the beach in order to escape most of the crowds.

We put Anders down in the sand and let him explore it on his own. He started off by feeling the wet sand on his feet.

Once he was sitting, he explored the sand on his hands and between his fingers. He took his time with the exploration.

But it was inevitable where this exploration would end.

- Corinne, Mike, and Anders Rocket
Written: July 27, 2009

23 July 2009

Anders Rocket, Drummer Extraordinaire

Apparently Taryn's recent drumming lessons to Anders were effective. Take a look at his skills only a week after her first lesson:

Isn't Rocket a great name for a drummer? Well, if the drumming doesn't work out, he can always fallback to the most obvious profession: astronaut.

- Mike, Corinne, and Anders "Ringo Starr" Rocket

22 July 2009

Thank You God!

Anders has been eating solid food at home for some time now but has still been having just breast milk at daycare. Recently he had been eyeing the boys' breakfast at daycare so we decided it was time to take some solid food to daycare as well. Yesterday, we brought a banana for him to eat.

Debbie tells us that as they were setting down to dinner that night (after Anders had gone home), Zak excitedly volunteered to pray for the meal. His prayer: "THANK YOU GOD! Anders finally got some real food!" They explained to Zak that Anders had been drinking milk and eating food at home. Zak said, "I was worried about him!"

- Corinne, Mike, and Anders Rocket

19 July 2009

Visit from the Lunds

In July we received the first visit from "The Lunds", aka Taryn & David. We didn't have anything in particular planned, and we didn't do anything in particular, either. Taryn spent time teaching Anders to make noise by beating on his bowls with his hands or one of his many cooking utensils (wooden spoons, spatulas, etc.)

The rest of the time we just enjoyed the summer weather.

Notice the styling T-shirt that I'm wearing. That was a Father's Day gift from Anders (logo design by Loren).

- Mike, Corinne, and Anders Rocket

10 July 2009

Mango and Other New Foods

We've been gradually introducing new solid foods to Anders. So far he has eaten everything that we've put in front of him, and generally doesn't exhibit much of a reaction to the new flavors.

Plums gave us the obligatory "messy food face" photos, which were surprisingly hard to get; in general he's a pretty controlled eater.

With some of the more tart foods that we've given him, such as yogurt or mango, his reaction is unmistakable.

The best part is that after all of those faces, he still wanted more! He must love the tart foods, just like his dad.

- Mike, Corinne, and Anders Rocket

07 July 2009

Cherry Harvest

This is our fourth summer at River Ford Farm. Even though we have three cherry trees in our orchard we have never had a harvest. In previous years, each tree had no more than 20 or so cherries, and the birds always beat us to that measly crop. For some reason, this year one of the trees has finally produced a crop.

We had a wicked hot 4th of July weekend, but by Sunday evening the temperature had dropped somewhat. Relishing the nice weather, we decided to head out and harvest with help from some of our visitors, Uncle Jim & Julia. It turned out that Uncle Jim was expert help; back in his hippie days, he had picked cherries professionaly in the Flathead Valley of Montana.

We picked about 6 lbs of cherries. We're not sure what variety they are, since the orchard map that the previous owner left just says "Cherry". They have a sweet white flesh like Rainiers but turn completely red unlike Rainiers. They are quite tasty, although we do prefer darker cherries such as Vans.

As luck would have it Phyllis, the previous owner, stopped by a few days later so we were able to ask her about the variety. She couldn't quite remember but mentioned Queen Anne as a possibility. Comparing our cherries with photos on the internet confirms that they are Queen Annes, the variety used to make maraschino cherries. By this point we had already turned the cherries into jam, which is too bad. The next time we get a harvest, it would be fun to try making our own maraschinos. (Did you know that maraschino cherries are actually pickled!)

- Corinne, Mike, and Anders Rocket

06 July 2009

4th of July

For the Fourth of July this year we had a pretty full house, with Mom, Uncle Jim & Julia, Mark & Carol, Leif, Linda, and Fanda & Jarka ("The Czechs") all visiting.

The Czechs spend every summer in the Gorge on the river kiteboarding. When I saw them last year, I was very pregnant and not feeling very well (probably in the early stages of labor). Three days later, Anders was born! Amazing how time flies.

My maternal grandfather served in WWII and as such had a military burial. I have since received the American flag from his funeral. So on the 4th this year, we raised Grandpa's flag for the first time.

On the fourth, Mike, Anders and I attended a "Red, White and Blue" party hosted by friends Mark & Tifani. (Mike: I somehow managed to forget the theme and was thus the only person wearing a bright green shirt.) Our friends had just bought a bluff house in White Salmon that overlooks the Columbia River, and the location provided a nice view of the Hood River fireworks that are shot from a barge in the river. 4th of July on the Columbia River is reminiscent of our many 4ths along the Charles River. While Hood River's fireworks don't begin to match Boston's, they are impressive given the size of the community.

Mark and three others had just started a band and the party was their debut concert. They played their entire repertoire - 4 songs - and actually sounded great! Anders, who doesn't usually respond well to loud noices, was a trooper. He enjoyed the band as much as we did, and he didn't even cry over any of the home fireworks being set off just 15 feet away. In fact, he slept straight through most of the explosions.

As we were leaving the party, we had a good view of the hillside that the neighbors lit on fire with their fireworks. (Doh!)

Back at home, we spent a good portion of time hiding from the heat. We had some great meals together featuring the abundance of local berries in season, played several rounds of Bananagrams. And of course entertained and were entertained by Anders.

- Corinne, Mike, and Anders Rocket