Sunday, September 13, 2009

A New School Year

So September has come again. We all had a great first week of back to school. Atticus is so exceptionally well adjusted. All my fears of enrolling him in the 3rd school in 2 years did not matter to him. He was so excited that his new school is a dual immersion school and he will get to learn spanish. I am very excited for him. Having the awesome experience of being at the same school as he is made me see the amazing growth my first born has made. I can't beleive he is almost 8 and in the second grade. Where does time go? He has been quick to make new friends (not that I am surprised).

Some very excited and ready for school faces!

I was very grateful that Matt could walk them to school on his first day. Tennyson isn't going to go to school this year, but he is very proud of his "pick up his brother" responsibility and takes it very serious. When we ask him at dinner what his favorite part of the day is, he most often replies "picking up Atticus".
As you know I started a new year in a new school and a new grade. I enjoyed getting to know all of my 4 students. I have the largest of 4 2nd grade classes. I am excited to be working with my cooperating teacher, of 2 years ago when I was student teaching, again. My commute is much shorter and the school day hours are better and allow me to be home earlier. I do really miss all the friends I made in Canby. It is nice to know they are just a jump over the Willamette River.
I hope your September is off to a great start. I am thinking of all of you as Summer winds down and Fall begins. I will keep you posted.
All our love,
M, M, A, and T

Monday, August 17, 2009

Family Reunion

It is nearing the end of August and time for one more hoopla at Wallowa Lake. We went to the lake for a long weekend where we would meet up with many (not all:( ) of the Biamont/Cooper clan. I believe there were over 50 of us all. It was wonderful to see my Grandma smile at the love of family all around her. She is what connects us all. It was amazing to look at pictures of the family over many years. Thank you Grandma for putting those photo albums together. They are now an archive for our family. I of course forgot my camera to the picnic, but I did manage to snap some photos of my cousins and their families at our spaghetti feast!

We all wore ranch hats around the fire and Matt told stories about the history of the ranch and his grandparents!

I am not sure if Papa ever wore this one, but Matt pulled off! :) It was a bit chilly, but I almost preferred it that way. It felt like fall already! It was a nice change from the heat.

Amanda, Micah, and Andy pulled off the crazy look. Amanda chose the Minnie Pearl hat. We just needed a price tag hanging from it! I love the flower Andy, it is your color :)

I am not sure if Matt's stories are 100% accurate, but as someone said, he sure can make up a good one!

We had some good sister time too! Thanks for hanging out, Sis! I have had such a great time this summer living so close to Amanda and Micah. I feel very blessed.

Atticus and Tennyson would make their Great Grandfather proud in these hats. Each one of them looks like him in their own way! Andy is pulling off the german look! As you can see Atticus is ecstatic about me taking more pics!

Cool as a cucumber! It's a Stetson commercial. If you could only smell him!

I think he is a regular little John Wayne!

My Grandpa would have been very proud of his family. His legacy will live on for many years! I appreciate so much my extended family for making this weekend important and traveling from many different places to meet. I hope that we continue to make a weekend like this a priority! As each generation passes on, it is so important for us to stay connected so that story of us doesn't get lost. Thank you everyone for sharing stories, pictures, and memories! It was such a great weekend.
Now it is time to get back into the school groove! Yikes, how time flies! I am very grateful for a job, but it does require a lot of the new teacher tasks and trainings! Calgon...take me away!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

July was jumpin'

Wow, July came and went it seems. Where does the time go? It started by trying to survive the heat wave with lots and lots of water. We had sprinkler fun with Grandma, Uncle Micah, and Noah...
Noah is the bravest!

Who goes in the sprinkler fully clothed? Oh yeah, my mom!

Sprinkler hair! Nice tan lines (hee hee)

Then we decided to go out to Aunt Jessie's and play in the pool with Noah and Penelope (she is the extra large horse....I mean dog in the pool)! It was so hilarious to watch her chase splashing water. She would make splash with her foot and then try and bite it. It was so funny. The boys got in with her and she would chase them in circles nipping at their rears.

"Yum taste good!"

"Just checkin if you are alright"
Just horsin around!

The mercury rose above 98 degrees it was time to find water for me. I am such a wimp for heat. I am definitely an 80's girl. We found a perfect spot on the Columbia river where we swam and played in the sand. Sauvie Island is a great place to beat the heat.

Grandpa and Andy make great camels!

The score was T-3 Atticus-2.
T loved laying in the warm sand!
On the hottest day of the year this far, July 29th, little Hannah Grace Barnum was born at 8lbs 11oz. We got to keep Noah for the day!

Proud Daddy and Grandma Marlene

Can't you tell Noah is extatic about being at the hospital welcoming his new sister?

The 30th ended the month with a very bright spot. Mr. Aidan turned 8 and we decided to drive to the Tri-Cities on the 31st to help him celebrate. Atticus and Aidan are like old souls. It took very little time for them to get reaccquainted and be the best of buds. T discovered that Nadia was pretty stinkin cool too! I couldn't seperate them the entire time. I hope they can be life long friends too. It is so amazing to see a new friendships budding. Aidan and Atticus talked about being college roommates at WSU like their beautiful Mothers (if I don't say so myself, tee hee). Let's keep our fingers crossed Mel!

Best Buddies!...Future cougs!
See they were really attached at the hips. Poor Nadia. She was such a great hostess with the mostest! Thanks Nadia.

These are the looks I got when it was time to go. Talk about break your heart. Atticus would like to go live there now.

Now August is here and we are beginning to think about school and how neither one of us (Atticus or I) have read very much...oops! We have a family reunion to look forward to as well as this August marks 16 years of life together for my sweetie and I! That is half of my life for those of who don't remember how long ago that was :)
So until next time, we wish you all a wonderful rest of the summer! Keep in touch.


M, M, A, and T

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Summer fun!

So summer comes, and I completely fall apart! Sorry for not updating this a long time ago. We have all had so much fun already this summer. It started out with 18 hours of driving all the way to Vista, California to visit some of our favorite peole and see some of our favorite places. Thank you Dan and Lynn for welcoming us into your beautiful home. As Atticus said, "you have the perfect life...a cat, a dog, and a pool!

We also enjoyed seeing Shamu at Sea word...

and building some cool lego cars at legoland (thank you Aunt Lynn for the suggestion!)

Waiting for the Shamu show!

James... you are the most talked about cousin we have! Thank you for everything this summer. We look forward to the next time we are all together. The boys adore you ;)

Next it was off to the lake (Wallowa Lake) for some fun in the sun, fireworks, and a ranch wedding! We spent 8 days in Allison's lake home! It was absolute bliss. The firework show was one of the best I have ever seen. The full moon was unbelievable as it rose over Mt. Howard...

this picture doesn't do it justice!

Dan was so cool to take us all out on the boat to waterski several times over the week...

I liked this pic...I am getting better (at photography that is)

what a stud-he later got up on only one ski!

Cheese ball!

We hiked to 'Slick Rock'...

We ended the week with beautiful ranch wedding. Ally (cousin) married Daniel in a meadow under Mt. Joseph overlooking the valley. What a perfect place. It was a bit to walk in heels, but wow what a party. It all was amazing and fun!

That pretty much catches us up. Now we are home doing swim lessons, soccer camp, and many other park tours! I hope all of you are enjoying your summer!

Sunday, May 17, 2009

They call it sunshine!

It's back!  The sunshine made it back from the dark and wet place.  What a weekend here in Portland.  Today is the second 80+ day in a row, with a chance of 5 more 70+ days! Woo Hoo!
The skinny, pale brothers are enjoying a little vitamin D!

Both boys thought it was cold..."BRR"  

Tennyson enjoyed it a little longer!  

Today is one of those days I sit and think about all the things I am so grateful for.  My family first and foremost.  My children surprise me every day with their intelligence, humor and love.  I admire both boys so much for all the things they have taught me.  

My Atticus who is a wise old soul teaches me about patience and knowlege.  He takes time to stop and smell the roses.  I appreciate that about him so much.  He makes me a better mom because of his inquiry.  The other day riding in the car, he got so excited in the back seat and said "Mom, look I have nature on my arm", pointing to a tiny little moth perched on his wrist.  He is truly the only 7 year old I know who prefers to get up before the sun each day and watch the discovery channel.  He is my little scientist.

Atticus and I at his first grade "Mother's Day Tea"

Then there is my little Tennyson.  He is so full of energy and tenacity.  He wakes up in the morning bright blue-eyed and very bushy tailed.  He greets me with a "good moning momma" missing the "rr" sound.  I can't wait to look into his bright blue eyes and ask him how he slept.  He wakes up every day ready to take on what ever comes his way.  No matter how many times he falls down, he always gets back up and puts a smile on his face.  His knees may be completely black and blue, but it does not slow him down the slightest.  He makes me stronger!  I am so blessed to have two beautiful and completely different boys!  

Then there is my sister, Amanda.  I love her so much!  She is so amazingly smart, beautiful and strong.  I never imagined having such a wonderful relationship with her.   She teaches me to stay positive and roll with the punches.  I am so lucky to live only 1.6 miles from her.  It is literally running distance away!  

Today is a day when I think about all the gifts in my life.  My family (both here and in memory), friends, and the sunshine.  Thank you to all of you who have helped shape my life!  I am truly grateful!  Have a great week everyone!


Saturday, May 9, 2009

Lego fun

Building lego structures is now in our top 5 favorite things to do. Last Sunday the boys decided to sort and seperate all the thousands of legos we own. We have 3 huge boxes, so you can imagine the task was quite large.

There were boxes for the red ones, orange ones, blue, etc. There was even a specialty piece box for all the wheels, and fancy connector pieces.

Then they decided on what they would build. You probably guessed it knowing Atticus, but they built a crabbing boat equipped with a mobile crane, multiple crab pots and even holding tanks in the ship's hull. He really thought of everything. Good thing Matt enjoys legos. I would have lasted a total of 20 minutes.
Pretty Proud
T was in charge of the crane!
They call her the "Northwestern II"
Very proud Captain and Deck Boss (can you guess who is who?)

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Education Disaster is My Misfortune

As you know, school districts all over the nation, particularly in Oregon, are facing a significant loss of state funding.  With the ongoing decline of state revenues, K-12 school districts are facing even greater reductions than predicted.  I knew that the situation was doom and gloom, but the eternal positivity I had, led me to think I would be spared.  I was very wrong.  Yesterday I received notice that I would be laid off after this school year.  This of course is devastating to me as I feel I have found my purpose and passion.  We also made the very personal decision to enroll Atticus in school in Canby as we could have only assumed I would spend many years teaching at Knight Elementary in Canby.  

Although these are going to be difficult days, and this layoff is extremely frightening and worrisome, I know that there is hope.  There is a slight chance I will be recalled.  If not I know that when the economy is back on it's feet, there will be a position for me somewhere.  So for now we will take each day as it comes.  I appreciate all the support and well wishes!  Knowing that I have friends and family like you, makes this horrible situation bearable!

I am looking forward to a summer with the family.  It will be great to be home with the boys.  If I don't have a teaching job by August, then I will substitute next year hoping that I will be able to supplement the income I will be missing.  I hope that perhaps we will get to see each and everyone of you this summer with all the festivities we have planned (wedding, reunion, vacation)!  See you then!

Love, Monique

These are some pretty fantastic first graders!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Spring is here!

Found One!

Had to add these. I told them to look up so I could see their faces and the little ones both looked up:) How funny!

Some were harder than others...

Can't fool me...

"Can I pick it up"

Spring is officially here now that Easter has come and gone. Thank you so much to my wonderful sister Amanda for once again providing a perfect holiday feast. The bunny cake was as yummy as it was pretty to look at. The boys had so much fun hunting for eggs and all the regular festivities that have become tradition. It was so great seeing Noah get into the hunt this year. Those giant blue eyes are to die for! It is so fun to watch the boys get to play and do things together as cousins. That is completely wierd to say. We (the three of us) have always been the cousins. Next year we will have another cousin, Hannah or Wyatt? Happy Easter...Happy Spring!