18 August 2010

Company Picnic

Insitu holds several company-wide social events each year, and this summer's picnic was held in the community park in Bingen. The event is catered by a local restaurant, and there is an entire section of the park filled with activities for kids: a baby-sitting area (complete with staff), several inflatable bounce-houses, and a face painting station. We opted to keep Anders with us during the party; he was perfectly happy just wandering around the park.

Once he saw the bounce-house, though, it was a different story. Anders had been in one of these just a few weeks earlier at the Trout Lake Fair, so he knew what it was. But this time the house was bigger; it included stairs and a slide inside. And there was a larger flow of older kids cycling through the house. Apparently neither of those were enough of a deterrent, so Anders got in line and made his way into the house. Since he has a generally cautious approach to new experiences, he didn't move very quickly through the house. He was moving, but it was an order of magnitude slower than most of the other kids around him. We were a little concerned that someone might just run over him (not intentionally, of course) when an older boy who was in the house came up to him and started helping him along the path. He held his hand, guided him around turns, and even helped him all the way up the stairs that led to the slide in the middle. It was at this point that Anders decided that he didn't want to go down that slide and began to scream. Corinne stuck her head in and pulled Anders out, and he calmed down when he saw us. We thanked the boy who had helped him along. We got his first name - Nathan - but neglected to find out his last name so that we could relay thanks and appreciation to his parents.

Anders didn't get his face painted, but another member of our party did.

"Cow jumping over the moon."

- Mike, Corinne, Donna Mae, and Anders Rocket
Date: August 18, 2010

15 August 2010

Ethan's 3rd Birthday

Anders recently attended the 3rd birthday party for Ethan. The party was actually held outside in a local park - Toll Bridge Park in Parkdale, OR. We're considering stealing that idea since it makes cleanup (both before and after) a whole lot easier!

Anders hasn't had soda before. In fact, he hasn't really even had juice that much since we've tried to steer him towards water and milk instead. But we figured that a birthday party seemed like the right place for him to "live it up". I figured that he probably wouldn't like the Izze Sodas that Corinne and I were drinking; as a kid I remember disliking anything that had any sort of carbonation in it. But apparently it isn't genetic.

There were also juice boxes there which were for the kids. But interestingly, the Izze's Sodas had less sugar than the juice boxes! Anders did eventually switch to juice and managed to guzzle down at least two over the course of the party.

Ethan's birthday cake was actually constructed of individual cupcakes. Amy found a silicone cupcake kit that came with instructions for arranging individual cupcake molds on a baking sheet in various patterns. After baking the cupcakes would blend together on the top so that they could be frosted as one, but they still separated into cupcakes in the end. Pretty clever! And tasty.

- Mike, Corinne and Anders Rocket

12 August 2010

Full Time Grandma

Well, we have finally gotten another family member to move to the Gorge! After following the Insitu job postings over the last several years, Donna is now the Executive Assistant for Insitu's VP of Sales and Marketing. It all happened pretty fast, too. She noticed the posting on a Tuesday and submitted her resume; HR responded on Wednesday and scheduled an on-site interview for Thursday. By the middle of the following week, she had her accepted offer in hand and would start just two weeks later.

With a total count now at three, we may have retaken the lead on "largest family representation" at Insitu. We held that same count from 2004 to early 2007 when Leif was still at Insitu as well, but we dropped to two when he left to pursue his artistic dreams. (Of course now we don't represent the almost 10% of the company that we did when we first started.)

Donna is staying in our guest room until she can find a place of her own, which is just fine with us and more than fine for Anders. He now has a full-time, live-in grandma! It actually works out great for us to have another person around the house to help out with Anders.

One of Anders's favorite things to do lately is "make blocks," which is to build something out of his Mega-Bloks. He isn't using modern building practices yet, but three out of four times the construction stays intact - that is, until the "elves" dismantle it overnight and put it back into the bin.

Another recent activity involved bringing out grandma's "jewels" from her jewelry box. Anders really enjoyed going through the box and pulling out each one.

- Mike, Corinne, Grandma Donna and Anders Rocket
12 August 2010