Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Making a Difference

Saturday October 24th was Make a Difference Day. It happens annually on the 4th Saturday of October. The day was started to help promote volunteerism and the power of community. Our family chose to work on a project close to home, helping to clean up the leaves and weed the nature scape at Bush Elementary School. This is our second year working on this project. Last year the group planted trees, shrubs and plants that are native to Oregon. It was fun to get our hands dirty, and then for the months afterward, to see "our" plants maturing and changing with the seasons. Here are pictures of the volunteers from this year's garden cleanup.

Deven enjoyed raking long lines into the leaves.

Olivia did a great job raking, but really preferred using a broom later on as the leaves were wet and "sticky."
This is Ashleigh, the creator and visionary for the naturescape project at Bush. She's also an excellent source for plant information. Here she is showing some of the students from the Nature Club how to properly weed.

"ArtTeacherJill" (as Deven calls her), taking a break from her little patch of leaves to tell me about the art exhibits she saw during her recent trip to Switzerland.

Willamette students, making a difference with their sunny smiles.

Bush' 5th grade teacher Terry, trying to hide from the camera (but not doing a very good job, as I'm a stealthy photographer!)
Another helpful Willamette student.

Ashleigh's husband Tom, who is also the President of the Parent Club at Bush. He arrived to help after a morning of coaching his soccer team to victory.

And of course, Champ was there working along side me. Here he is showing his two-rake technique which really gets the leaves up.

I promise I sweated alongside all of these great was only a little break to take pictures.
This was a picture that Olivia and I took. She pointed out that once you raked away the wet leaves that had fallen on the ground, they left a "shadow" on the wet concrete. Really cool looking layers from the cracks in the cement, the shadows left by the leaves, and the remnant leaves. Very the question: how to replicate this on canvas? Nature is definitely the ultimate artist!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Zombies Attack!

Yes, it's true! As part of Culture Shock Community Project's 13 Days of Halloween, October 22 was the night of the Salem Zombie Walk. Who wouldn't want to participate in that? Knowing that my kids love Halloween, Zombies, and anything that allows them to put on a costume, this was the perfect event. Come along with us for our walk through Salem....

First of all, we needed makeup!

No, I'm usually not THIS beautiful.

The kids in their full zombie mode.

The Grand Marshall of the Zombie Parade.

A beautifully dead bride.

A young zombie family. 'Danger' is this baby's middle name...literally!

Deven in full character....her really got into the spirit.

This guy's costume was great...

After the walk, we had fun taking pictures and freaking people out on our walk back to the capital.

Gross! Where are this kid's parents?

Zombie girl and her Mama.

We had a great time stepping outside our usual routine. If you are in Salem, check out the rest of the events scheduled for the remaining 13 days of Halloween. And watch out for the undead, they do indeed exist!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Lemons Into Lemon Meringue

Question: What do you do when your bathroom is having some work done, and you are without a toilet or shower for the night? Answer: Hotel time! This was Champ's answer to this very same question last Wednesday night. And off to the Red Lion we went to surprise the kiddos with a mid-week night out.
Little happy campers in their bed.

"Mom, you never let us jump on the beds at home!"

And the best part?
(other than a great glass elevator)

An indoor swimming pool to hide out from the rain!

Champ and I sat poolside while the kids got their swim on....2 hours. Seriously!

And the next morning, up bright and early for "Crazy Hair Day" at school. This is Deven's gelled and spiked 'do.
Libby opted for starfish buns :0)

Sheesh, I need help fomatting! This was Deven going to sleep (obviously).

The pool was so much fun, I had to leave you with this parting shot! So the lesson from all of this: When life hands you lemons, make yourself some lemon meringue!

Rallying for a Cause

Last week I attended a rally at the Oregon State Capital to promote the Public Health Care Option. This event was organized by the Salem chapter of Moveon, a political action group. It was a beautiful afternoon; sunny, breezy and full of energetic supporters of the public option. Here are a couple of pictures I took of the surroundings.

I'm still figuring out the formatting thing, this guy was supposed to be at the end...he was there solo, promoting his own cause. Would have loved to talk to him about this sign.

One of the speakers...
Some signage.
This was the chairperson of the committee that put on the rally. She was a very passionate speaker, and it was obvious this is a cause she really believes in.

All in all it was a good lunch time gathering. I would have liked to see a more diverse gathering of people....different ages, economic status, and care affects us all.