Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Portland, Oregon

My brother Jon, has been in dental school for about three years now, in Portland, Oregon. Dan and I have talked about visiting him, but with law school, the bar exam, and moving, we haven't been able to visit. This year for my birthday my mom gave me a great gift, a trip to Oregon with my two girls. Unfortunately, Dan had to stay and work, so my mom and the girls and I headed to Oregon. The girls were great on the plane. Hollyn has always been a good traveler, Paige has her moments, but she was great. These girls are becoming such good friends.
Our first stop in Portland was lunch with my brother and his family to the food carts. Can I just start out by saying I am a hug fan of food carts. Anything you can imagine you will find at the food carts. WE got the most incredible wood fired pizza and some french fries with feta cheese and gravy. I know it sounds nasty, but don't knock it until you try it. I was sceptical at first, but I am now a fan. After lunch we headed over to the children's museum. The theme couldn't be more perfect, legos. Hollyn loves legos and building, so she was in love with the building center and looking at the amazing cities that some professional lego builders had built. I wish I had some pictures because they really were amazing. I love taking the kids to museums and watching them explore and learn from hands on activities. I wish we had better museums close to us. I need to make the drive to Phoenix more often so my kids can have the enriching experiences of museums more often.

I'm pretty sure the theme of our trip was where are we going to eat next. Portland has so many great places to eat. Their farmer's markets and pretty spectacular too. The colors were so vivid and I have never seen so many different kids of fruits and vegetables in my life. There was one stand that had over 20 different kids of mushrooms. My girls loved sampling all the fruits especially the apples. I love that my kids get excited about fruit and vegetables.

My favorite place to eat was a place called The Pine State, at least that's what I think it's called. These two dishes were oh so fattening, but oh so delicious. Their biscuits and gravy were divine, and usually I don't like biscuits and gravy. The hash brown dish we got was just as amazing.
Beside the food we loved spending time with my brother, his wife and their little boy Theo. Portland is so green and usually overcast, so the lighting was perfect for taking pictures. And I definitely took my share of pictures. The girls didn't at all mind.

Could my nephew be any cuter?
Thanks Grandma for an incredible trip. It was a great birthday surprise. Thanks Grandpa and Dan for letting us go have some fun girl time. Thanks Jon and Mal for showing us around Portland and introducing me to incredible food. Thanks Theo for being so cute and for letting my girls love on you.

I couldn't resist posting these, they are the perfect example of Paige, always on the go and always with a smile on her face.

Soccer Time!!

One of my favorite things about having my kids get older is watching them do activities, especially sports. I was definitely a tom boy when I was a kid, I LOVED sports. I loved pushing myself, I loved competing, I loved winning, I loved the friends I made. Although I had great experiences playing sports, I wanted my girls to be more well rounded, more girly. Hollyn is definitely that, she is a complete girly girl, but she is also a pretty good soccer player. At first she was really timid and not very aggressive, but she has really improved and is learning to be competitive and assertive, which I think are two important things for her to learn. I love cheering for her on the sidelines and watching her face light up. I love watching her dribble the ball down the field to score a goal and as she hears us cheering for her watching a huge smile appear on her face, then when she scores seeing her trying to repress her smile, until it becomes too difficult. That smile is my favorite part of watching Hollyn play sports.

I love that Hollyn lives so close to family and gets to play on the same soccer team as her cousin Kate.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

First Day of First Grade

Hollyn was so excited to start school. She is officially a big first grader! We were so lucky to get the best first grade teacher Ms. Liddy. She makes learning so much fun for the kids, and I feel that is so important in elementary school. I mean really once you leave elementary school, school is no longer fun, why not let them enjoy learning for as long as possible. I am of the philosophy that kids learn best through experience. So far they have learned about geography and maps through making a treasure map of their own island and going on a treasure hunt around the neighborhood with compasses. Every week they are doing something with food for math and graphing. I am amazed at how Hollyn's teacher has the time to plan everything she does. Hollyn loves going to school every day and has already learned so much. Her reading has taken off and I love that she can read books to herself and Paige.

Hollyn keeps busy with soccer and tumbling and she will be starting dance in a few weeks. I'm not sure what Hollyn will end up loving, but right now I want her to try everything. Hollyn also lost her first tooth a month ago and another one two weeks ago, so she no longer has her two lower teeth. I am not looking forward to her loosing her two front teeth.

Broadbent Family Trip to CA

Before school started we took a week vacation with Dan's family to Mission Beach California. Dan's mom found the most amazing beach house right on the beach. The view from our place was fantastic! Every morning we ate breakfast looking out on the ocean and every evening we ate dinner watching the sun go down into the ocean. It was breath taking. We didn't ever leave the beach, who would when you have such a prime location. We did take time off of the beach to have a killer baseball game and home run derby.