Saturday, August 30, 2008

World Meteorite Day in West Linn Oregon

Here is a link to the info and photos of the first annual World Meteorite Day held in West Linn to commemorite what may be West Linn Oregon's largest [literally] claim to fame - Photos included...

and the link to the city's website regarding Fields Park . . .

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Olympics. . . Michael Phelps honoring Mom

I Love the Olympics. . . I am glued to the TV during these two weeks every two years, alternating summer and winter Olympics. My favorite are the Summer Olympics - this year's in Beijing has been amazing. I say that every time about the Olympics -

I love gymnastics especially and was really moved by Nastia's Olympic gold in the women's all around. I still remember the 1972 Olympics watching Olga Korbut -and in 1976, Nadia.

This Olympics as a Mom of four boys, I was particularly touched by Michael Phelps and his winning 8 gold medals in swimming and each time honoring his Mom. His single mom. What a tribute. As mom I love to see children honor their parents and, though many criticize the over - coverage of Phelps, he did win 8 golds, besting Mark Spitz's record of 7 golds in one Olympics. Then, to have Phelps continually thank his mom for all her sacrifice, I was really impressed.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

INTO THE WILD . . . letting our ducks go today...

We let our ducks go today…into the wild.
At first they would not leave us, and my husband actually had the kids begin the round them up to bring them back to our creek; perhaps they were too young after all, and not quite ready to leave the nest. But then I saw an older duck hanging around the cage where we had put them again, and I thought, perhaps this is the momma duck recognizing her baby. I suggested letting out ducks out again, just to see.
And sure enough, our two ducks swam toward the other duck and they were off. Pretty cute.
But what I was watching just as much was my three boys – Augustin, 5, and Wesley, 10, and Mickael Josef, 10 – as they interacted with the ducks.
Really, it has been all five kids I have been watching interact with the ducklings these past five weeks. It was Rachel, 18, who first discovered the two barely born ducklings, sans their mother, in our backyard near our creek. She was on our trampoline and heard some duck-like noise and when she went looking for them she saw a mother with eight ducklings waddling down the creek. All of a sudden, three got left behind in our yard.
They were about the size of a fist.
Rachel was able to rescue two of the three babies which the mama deserted – we never found the third one. After that point, all of the kids got involved with the taking care of the babies.
My husband made it a weekend project to build a large cage for them. They bought duck food and took them to the creek every day to watch them play. They cleaned out the cage; they dug out the creek to make a pond area. All of the boys out there with their shovels. They held the baby ducklings. Twice a day, they changed the ducks water and filled the food container. Their friends and cousins came over to see the ducks.
They nurtured the ducklings and christened them “Wildflower” and “Feisty”. The ducklings seemed comfortable with the kids. “They’re so cute,” I heard. They did not run away, and they were not afraid at all it seemed. Each night, Rachel brought the ducks inside the house to protect them from predators, and she put them outside again in the morning, at 6 am, before leaving for work.
The ducklings grew so quickly. Soon, little buds came in that would become their wings. Wildflower and Feisty began flapping. And they stopped being so cozy with the kids. They loved being in the creek, splashing around, chasing one another, and they really did not want to go back into the cage. They ran away and it was a bit of an effort to catch them.
It seemed like they wanted to be free.
As Wildflower and Feisty became more independent, the kids’ interest lessened a bit. My husband said it is time to consider letting them go.
Today was the day.
We picked Cedaroak Boat Landing nearby and we held the little carrying case cage as we walked through the long grass to the river. We picked a spot near the island, that was away from the loud boats and people.
As we let Wildflower and Feisty out of the cage and into the river, they looked happy at first. They swam around, ducking their heads in after bugs. But, there were no other ducks around, and soon our ducks came back out to where we were. They seemed lost in the wild. Perhaps they were not ready.
But, then, they saw the other duck. It was time. Feisty and Wildflower followed after the other duck as if it was their mother.
“We found the mother,” Augustin said. “Look, Wildflower and Feisty are following her.”
“I think that is the mother for sure,” Mickael Josef said.
“Look, there are other ducks over there. Maybe they are all related,” Wesley said.
We watched from the shore. We snapped photographs. We waited to be sure they would be okay.
Feisty and Wildflower got separated for a moment from the other duck. “Maybe we should take them back home,” Wesley suggested. “It is a bit too late for that,” Chris said.

We found a log to sit on where we could observe from a distance. We saw other young ducks about the same age.
“I think those are the brothers and sisters,” Mickael Josef said.
Finally, it was time to leave. To leave the ducks in the wild. To trust.
Chris and Augustin and Wesley went ahead while Mickael Josef took his time. Wanting to be sure Feisty and Wildflower were okay.
Sure enough – our last view of our ducklings they were diving under water with several other ducks, looking for dinner. It was time to go home and get ready for ours as well.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Outdoor Summer Concerts define summer....

We attended the Bridgeport Village outdoor Concert last night listening to Aaron Meyer - Oh my goodness. Amazing...I blog about it on my Oregonian Oregon Live WriterMom blog at the following link:

Thursday, August 14, 2008

REAL-LIFE MOM - Twins comparing each other down to the glasses they wear—or don’t….

Twins comparing each other down to the glasses they wear—or don’t….
REAL-LIFE MOM for August 14, 2008 SW WEEKLY OREGONIAN newspaper–
By Cornelia Seigneur

I finally took my 10-year-old Wesley to the eye doctor this week. His fourth grade teacher Cheri Weaver had said at the last parent teacher conference that Wesley, though a great student, seems to be struggling to see the board.
Wesley’s twin Michael Josef has had glasses since last fall, and Wesley has resisted getting glasses.
“I don’t need glasses,” he’s said to me for months now, and repeated to the eye doctor while sitting in the chair to be tested. The doctor asks him to read the top line of the chart.
After he confidently reads the first large letter row, the doctor instructs him to decipher the next row, which features smaller letters and numbers.
“Can you read those Wesley?” the doctor probes.
“No,” he grins.
None of the letters below the top row?” the doctor asks.
“No,” Wesley admits, like he’s been had.
The doctor says, a bit playfully, “No, Wesley you don’t need glasses at all. You’re only at 20/200.”
Ever since his twin got glasses, Wesley has not liked them on his brother. He’s felt they do not look good, and has said so in indirect ways. He’s been determined not to get them himself.
He’s at the age where he notices his looks. And cares about his looks and has opinions about looks and what is cool and what is not and he really wants to fit in, and to not be different.
And Wesley got this idea in his mind that glasses are not the “in” thing, and that somehow they would make him inferior. For some reason, the glasses situation up until now gave Wesley the one-up on his brother. Micki was fine with his glasses. And, now, glasses for Wesley puts the boys on the same playing field.
I have talked about getting Michael Josef contact lenses for a while, and so during the appointment getting Wesley’s glasses, I decided to order Michael Josef contacts. And Wesley as well.
So, really, Wesley will never know what it is like to have only glasses, though I thought it might not have been a bad idea. I want him to realize that having glasses does not make him a different person. Or an uncool person. It just helps you see the white board.
But I decided to get him contacts (and glasses) at the same time, hoping that would cure the comparisons between the twins.
Little could I believe then that a new kind of comparison started, comparing prescription strengths.
It sounded something like this: “Well, my eyes are better than yours,” and “Your eyes are worse than mine,” and, “Well, having worse eyes means you are smarter,” and I am thinking, Man, here are my identical twin boys with the same DNA comparing themselves and I have to remind them that being identical means they are from the same stock.
Same genetics, same bad eyes, same sweet boys. On the inside. Which is what I am trying desperately to teach all of my children.
But when you are 10, you have a different reality. It doesn’t mean that I won’t continue to remind them anyway.
West Linn writer and mom of five, Cornelia Seigneur’s, Real-Life Mom column appears the second Thursday of the month. Reach her at or visit her Mom blog at:

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Girl in China singing was not really singing

So, the girl wowing the crowd with her amazing singing at the Olympics opening ceremony was only lipping the words. The real singer was off camera, not pretty enough for the country of China, which is hosting the Olympics to show to the world. The actual singer's voice was beautiful but her face not.

This is a shame. Sad statement about life and what is deemed pretty enough. The government of China has this quote about the situation:

The national interest requires that the girl should have good looks and a good grasp of the song and look good on the screen. Lin Miaoke was the best in this. And Yang Peiyi's voice was the most outstanding," says a member of China's government about how the 9-year-old mouthed the words while the 7-year-old sang.

I can only imagine what this will do to the little girl singer years from now. Her self esteem damaged by this. Does she even want to tell people about it? I sang at the opening ceremony of the 2008 Beijing Olympics. But, my government did not think I was pretty enough to show the world. What does a parent do in this situation? Does the parent have a choice?

Something is wrong here. The Olympics for China is all about a show and the national interest. What does how beautiful a young girl singer is have to do with national interest? Who defines beauty? How is it determined. A little girl with crooked teeth singing like an angel, is that not beautiful? I say yes.


Hidden Lake


Cousins bicycling at Champeog Park

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