Friday, September 4

Swim Lessons

Goldfish 2007

Goldfish 2008

Penguin 2009

It has been a glorious summer. Henry completed four weeks of swim lessons. This year he moved into the Penguin level (after 4 sessions of Goldfish). He is much more confident in the water and tolerates much more water in his face. He is not willing to deliberately submerge, but he has "enjoyed" many accidental dunks.

Tuesday, July 28

Not quite hot enough to fry an egg... But close!

PORTLAND, Ore. -- The high temperature reached 106 degrees Tuesday, making it the hottest day in decades in Portland.
Blazing summer heat is the rule up and down Western Oregon as record highs were set for the second consecutive day. More heat is on the way, too; meteorologists expect Wednesday to be just as hot as Tuesday and possibly break Portland's all-time high of 107 degrees.

Tuesday, July 7

Young Philanthropists in the News!

lemonade stand – Oregon – kids and nature – kids for nature

Kids Take a Stand for Nature

Two five year-olds hope to save nature, one glass of lemonade at a time.

Henry Welt and Nadia Schwartz at their lemonade stand © Kecia Welt

On a warm spring day in Oregon, young friends Henry Welt and Nadia Schwartz, both 5 years-old, set up a lemonade stand. Charging 25 cents for each big red cup, they decided to donate proceeds to The Nature Conservancy. Within a couple hours, they had $17.25 in a jar. Nadia was in charge of taking the money.

It was a warm day, remember. And when Henry filled the first cool cup for a customer he couldn’t help taking a nice big gulp from the glass before handing it over for a quarter. (He’s since learned to have his own glass.)

During lemonade lulls the two took to running up and down the street ringing a bell. And they even drew a sidewalk chalk lemonade trail to woo potential thirsty passers-by.

Henry always tells his mother that “we need more nature” sodonating proceeds to the Conservancy seemed like a natural fit for the young entrepreneurs, she said. Following the fundraising effort, his mother, Kecia Welt, took Henry to the Conservancy’s Cascade Head Preserve on the Oregon coast. He declared it the most beautiful place he’d ever seen.

“I explained that the land is owned and protected by The Nature Conservancy and the money he and Nadia raised with their lemonade stand will help protect that and other land all around the world. Even though, they are only five, I think they are capable of understanding the value and purpose of the Conservancy,” Kecia said.

To a round of applause in a crowded conference room, the two suddenly-shy kids presented their jar of earnings to the Oregon Conservancy at a recent staff meeting. They then filled out membership forms in careful, crooked handwriting before skipping outside.

More lemonade stands may be planned throughout the summer, too, they said.

Saturday, June 6

A Trip to the Farmer's Market

Holy Moly!!! I've recorded a new record... $7 for a dozen eggs!!! Where will it end?

Saturday, May 2

May Faire

Over the past few months I have developed a deep affection for Waldorf Education. As we searched for Kindergarten options for our son we made several visits to both The Portland Waldorf School and Cedarwood Waldorf School. I made a point to attend this year's MAY FAIRE CELEBRATION and I'm so glad I did... It was a charming and glorious afternoon filled with crafts, games, food and activities. Initially, the weather cooperated and we enjoyed warm sunshine for the first two hours. Henry loved playing with paper boats and nets in the Spring Creek. He attended a puppet-show and then we enjoyed a brief picnic before the rain returned. Of course, Portlanders - especially Waldorf(ers) - wouldn't let the rain dampen the fun. We briefly gathered in the auditorium to watch traditional folk dancing, and then we returned outside for a cake walk (We won an Amish Friendship Loaf with a starter kit), bubble wand making, garland making, and some more time at the creek. Everything was decorated so beautifully with flowers, festive flags, handmade signs and ribbons. I will mark my calendar for next year!

Our day was jam-packed... We left the house at 9 AM for a trip to the Original Pancake House for a Dutch Baby and then we headed off to the Capitol Hill Library for a special food art program. We continued on to the May Faire for several hours, and then ended our day with a brief trip to the Belmont Library to make a rain stick.

What a day!

Monday, April 6

Spring has finally arrived!

One of the things I love best about living in Oregon is the springtime. Growing up on the East coast, I had no idea what spring really was. Winter would linger deep into April and then suddenly warm summer weather would arrive as early as May.

Once I moved to Oregon, I was astounded by the glorious layers of spring that sometimes begin as early as January with the first sunny day, after weeks of rain. By February Camillas are in bloom, followed by crocuses, daffodils, pretty pink blossoms on the pear and cherry tress. By mid-March, spring is normally fully underway. Not so this year... we have had to wait until April. Normally our first trip to Jamison Fountain occurs in March, this year the fountain wasn't even turned on until April 4!

The weather finally warmed up this weekend and now spring has exploded all around us. It is delightful and everyone is so happy! Henry was thrilled to wear shorts and a t-shirt to school today. I can't believe how grown up he looks!

Tuesday, March 24

Manzanita 2009

Spring Break

Manzanita 2009, originally uploaded by thewelts.

Last year we spent three nights in Manzanita with our good friends... three families, six adults and five children. We had the best time. We decided to kick off spring break by getting together again. The weather could have been warmer (and sunnier), but the camaraderie was better than ever.

Wednesday, February 25

5 days down... 10 to go!

What would we do without friends? On Monday, Kelly and Trevor came over for dinner. Kelly picked up Thai food and I made the boys corn dogs and mac & cheese. On Tuesday, the Murray Family had us over for a yummy dinner -- Sheperd's Pie. This morning, Henry had a jam-packed playdate with Nadia that included a trip to Saint Cupcake and the climbing gym! This afternoon Henry received a fabulous care-package from his dad that included Magic Treehouse books, a Curious George DVD and a new pirate game! Tonight we stayed home for "hair washing night" and an early bedtime - 7 PM. We finished reading Maybelle in the Soup.

Sunday, February 22

What would we do without Meghan?!

Thank God for our babysitter Meghan! Meghan and Henry enjoyed a fun morning at OMSI where they finally got to tour the USS Blueback, the U.S. Navy's last non-nuclear, fast-attack submarine. They have been trying to go for weeks, but it is usually sold out. I had a lovely walk to Sellwood to meet my friend Rachel for breakfast at Grand Central Bakery. After breakfast, Rachel and I took another 3+ mile walk. I returned home around 1 PM and headed out to run grocery errands while Meghan and Henry hung out at home.

After briefly checking out "The Red Carpet", Henry and I headed out for a special dinner at Tastebud. We played a fun game while we drank our grape-juice based drinks and then shared a cheese pizza with arugula on the side.

Henry complained that the pizza was too "burned" for his taste. I mentioned this to our server and she explained that is how they make their pizza there. Hhmm...

13 more days...

Saturday, February 21

Fifteen Days!

I just sent my husband off for a two week trip to Boston. Tyler is participating in an executive education program at Harvard Business School. The Program for Leadership Development is a six month distance learning program that requires two 2-week trips to Cambridge. Tyler will even celebrate his 37th birthday on March 6th while he is away. Henry and I have been busy booking playdates and other activities to help pass the time -- and keep me sane. The countdown begins!

Friday, February 13

Ladybug Nature Walks

Portland Parks Environmental Education Ladybug Nature Walk program kicked-off their 2009 season this morning with a chilly hike through the Hoyt Arboretum. This is a lovely program where kids age 2-5 join a trained naturalist for a walk though various parks throughout the city. The kids strap on a ladybug backpack filled with nature tools, such as bug catchers and magnifying glasses, to explore the dirt, bugs and flowers in the park. Rain or shine -- 10:00 AM -- the cost is only $2! Henry warmed up with some hot chocolate after the walk.

Next week Henry will participate in the Nuts About Nature preschool program.

Important note: You can help to protect these programs!

The City of Portland is in the process of preparing the 2009 – 2010 budget. Portland Parks & Recreation has submitted a requested budget that includes $2 million in cuts due to the economic forecast for next fiscal year. One of the programs identified in the cuts is PP&R's Environmental Education program.

Last year, Parks Environmental Education provided activities for over 9,000 children, 1,000 teens, and 6,000 adults in classrooms and parklands throughout the city. We offered Ladybug Walks and Nuts about Nature experiences for preschool-aged children. Elementary school aged students attended field trips and nature monitoring activities at Hoyt Arboretum, Forest Park, Powell Butte, Mt. Tabor, Laurelhurst Park, Oaks Bottom, and many other parks. Approximately 700 students attended Nature Day Camp - a week long nature experience offered for 10 weeks during the summer. Although the 2009 revenue from camp was $98,000, over 250 youngsters (36% of campers) received full or partial scholarships to the program. Adults and families learned about wildlife, plants, geology, and stewardship in Portland's parks at the GreenWalks, Bird Festival, Arbor Day, Earth Day, and many other free events for the public. Our GRUNT (Greenspaces Restoration and Urban Naturalist Team) teen program attracted 18 culturally diverse teens who were trained to take leadership roles in environmental education. These youngsters through the multitude of their contacts are continuing to be spokespeople for urban nature in their communities.

For a City that proclaims itself as a "green city", the action to eliminate a program that promotes green practices through knowledge and stewardship to all its citizens is a backward movement. If you care to make comments, here are some suggestions.

· Send this letter on to friends, family and co-workers who care about environmental education in our beautiful city.
· Community Budget Forums will be held:
Feb. 19 at St. Johns Community Center, 8427 N. Central St., 6:00 - 8:30 PM
Feb. 21 at Floyd Light Middle School, 10800 SE Washington St., 9:30 - Noon
Feb. 24 at Multnomah Arts Center, 7688 SW Capital Hwy, 6:00 - 8:00 PM
· Letters, email, or phone calls to:
Mayor Sam Adams

Commissioner Nick Fish

Thank you for the support that you have given to our urban natural environment.

Saturday, February 7

Neighborhood Clean-up!

Further inspired by President Obama's Day of Service, we decided to organize a neighborhood clean-up. We used to create our event. We e-mailed neighbors within six square blocks of our house. The turn-out wasn't huge, but the results were great. We collected six bags of trash!
We rewarded ourselves with yummy donuts from Staccato Gelato!

Monday, January 19

National Day of Service Food Drive!

In honor of Martin Luther King Jr. and in response to President-Elect Obama's call for a day of National Service, we joined over 100 families for a morning of collecting food for the Oregon Food Bank.

It was a great way to kick of the Inaugural festivities!

Sunday, January 18

White, Wheat or Rye?

We are trying to instill independence and responsibility in Henry by assigning him simple jobs. He recently expressed in interest in making snacks, so we told him that he should be in charge of making toast in our family. We have always made our toast in the oven, using the broiler. We decided that wasn't very kid-friendly, so we took him to Fred Meyer this weekend to select a toaster. Henry decided on a red toaster with a bagel option. We stocked up on different breads (white, wheat, rye and bagels) and toppings (butter, cream cheese, peanut butter, jam). Henry has been making toast all weekend. Yesterday we had a visitor and Henry was quick to offer toast to our guest. Come over soon and have Henry prepare you some hot, buttery toast!

Sunday, January 4

Little Rippers!

We kicked off 2009 with a fun family adventure... We rented a house in Sunriver with two other families and enrolled the kiddos in Mount Bachelor's Little Ripper's Ski School. We enjoyed a glorious, sunny day on the mountain and the kids loved their ski lesson with their instructor Shaun. This was Henry's first ski experience. He really loved it. It was especially fun with friends!