#38: Will – Build a Car

(Not a real car. Well, at least not yet.)

This is part of our 100 Things in 2018 challenge. Make sure to click on the photos!

Will loves to build things. Ever since he’s been able, he’s been building with LEGO, and then he was on to snap-together kits. Now that he’s 12, he’s ready for the next level of complexity, so Becky took him to our local hobby shop, and the proprietor helped him choose an next-level car kit that requires cutting, trimming, painting, gluing, and careful planning, as well as a basic set of tools and paints. The goal was for it to be challenging and rewarding, and if you ask him, we succeeded.

He’s had to learn a lot of skills to finish his first kit, and he’s pretty proud of the result. He would rush through his chores and get up early to work on it. He’s got a bright future ahead of him, this one.

#53: Holiday Charity Giving

We’re pretty lucky. Through a combination of hard work, talent, luck, and privilege, we have more than we need. Every year we like to spread that good fortune around a bit, to help out others who maybe aren’t so lucky.

This is part of our 100 Things in 2018 challenge. Make sure to click on the photos!

We sat down with each of the kids and Charity Navigator to choose an organization. Will and Lucy chose Americares (poverty relief worldwide) and SBP (disaster recovery), and we sent a donation to each of those organizations. Becky and I pooled our allotment to something closer to home – Portland Homeless Family Solutions, which provides temporary housing to families in tough situations, so they can stay together until they get back on their feet.

#44: Will – Join a D&D Group

As someone who played Dungeons and Dragons in my middle-school years, it warmed my heart to see Will make it his own.

This is part of our 100 Things in 2018 challenge. Make sure to click on the photos!

Lucy has been attending the Tuesday game night at our local library branch with her friends for quite a while now, although they rarely D&D but instead play other board games. When Will moved back home, he was pretty eager to give it a go. He joined a running campaign, rolled himself a Ranger, and dug in.

Every time I bring him home he has fresh stories about defeating orcs and skeletons, falling out of trees, and sneaking through the woods, escaping death only by the skin of his teeth and the odd natural 20. I have some major nostalgia for this, and it’s fun to see him enjoying it as much as I did.

#39: Three New Vancouver Eateries

Adventures aren’t just far away! You can also have a great time exploring the city you live in, and since we explore mostly with our mouths, getting to know our local food scene is the way we do it.

This is part of our 100 Things in 2018 challenge. Make sure to click on the photos!

This year we made it to three local eateries of note. Sadly we completely forgot to take photos at our first two stops, so you’ll have to trust us that we visited them.

The first was Woody’s Tacos, a Vancouver institution which has been around forever. We enjoyed them, but they weren’t stand-outs in our personal taco catalogs.

The second was the Bleu Door Bakery, a lovely little place on Main Street. We grabbed some pastries to run with, and they were delicious.

Lastly, we discovered Little Conejo, which is now our taco place. Maybe it didn’t push Por Que No out of the running, but we don’t feel the need to drive that far anymore. We’ve been here three times in the last week. The pescado torta is especially delicious, but all of the tacos are worth visiting for, and they occasionally make specialty cocktails (hello tamarind margarita!). Sooooo good.


#41: Visit the Kiggins Theater

Ever since we started going there, we’ve had a thing for the Kiggins. It’s the classic old-timey institution of a theater you never knew you needed in your life until you had it. This year we vowed to see more shows there.

This is part of our 100 Things in 2018 challenge. Make sure to click on the photos!

We made it to two. The first was Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, which was really good – beautiful, poignant, and sticks in your mind for a few days.

The second was a showing of RBG, and we brought Lucy along as our young feminist mentee. We all loved it.

#9: Begin Kitchen Remodel

Anyone who has known us for any length of time knows we can’t not make our house a better place to live. So when we bought this house, it was with an eye towards how we could improve it.

This is part of our 100 Things in 2018 challenge. Make sure to click on the photos!

Last month we started talking to Mountainwood Homes, and as of two weeks ago our project is officially underway! More details as this unfolds.

#80: New School for Will

Will was discharged from Sandhill in July, and we wanted to make sure he had a nice, gentle landing when it came to school. Going from a classroom with four adults and 12 kids to the local public school with 800 kids and 30-student classrooms wasn’t going to be an easy transition, so we (Becky) scoured the surrounding area to find the right place for him.

This is part of our 100 Things in 2018 challenge. Make sure to click on the photos!

We finally found it: Family House Academy, a tiny little school in Kelso, Washington. There are a total of 27 students of all ages, the parent community is super nice and accepting of newcomers, and the staff are uniformly excellent and compassionate.

After checking the place out ourselves, we brought Will along for a tryout day. This was during the summer, but they arranged for a couple of his peer group to be there, so he could ask all of his questions and get a sense of how the place would be. He loved it, and started classes there in September.

The very next week, the entire school caravanned out to Sunriver for a week-long science field trip!

Here are Will’s class photos, done by Katalin Bridgewater. She did a fantastic job.

Some random miscellaneous shots from school. We need to give a special shout-out to Lisa Mustion, who started the school and runs it; she’s a fantastic teacher and human, and exactly what Will needs at this time in his life.

And here are the most recent holidays – halloween, a special movie/dinner outing with Mrs. Mustion, and the holiday musical performance.

Will is absolutely thriving at this place, and we have to thank everyone involved for making it possible. Lisa has created a truly unique place here, and Will is going to be a better person for it.

#69: Kid/Parent Retreats

We think it’s important to have a personal relationship with each of our children. So every year we try to set aside a weekend for one-on-one time with each of them. This year, Will and I stayed home and Becky and Lucy went somewhere fun.

This is part of our 100 Things in 2018 challenge. Make sure to click on the photos!

Will and I watched Guardians of the Galaxy (which he loved), visited Fort Vancouver and Pearson Air Museum (which he loved), went to the hobby shop to pick out a new model car for him to build (which he loves doing), packed up the outdoor furniture in bags for storage in the garage (which he did not love), went to OMSI for the Tutankhamun exhibit (which he loved, but then got bored of because I insisted on reading all the placards), and went to the Storm City Roller Girls’ last bout of the season (which he loved).

I took Lucy and her friend Gracie for a 3-day weekend out in Manzanita. Gracie was an excellent adventure companion, and Lucy and I really enjoyed having her along. We ate new things, explored the beach, bought new books at the local bookshop. The best part of the weekend was learning that our friend and her daughter were also in town! We all joined forces and explored even further afield. The five of us had such a great and gorgeous weekend. I was so happy for the chance to get to know both Gracie and my friend better.


#91: Becky – Finish Stockings

I did it! I made four intricate, hand-sewn stockings that are so completely out of my style bubble. We now have heirloom stockings for the holiday season and I have found another tool for managing my anxiety. I discovered that cutting, sewing, and puzzling out these patterns was very soothing. Luckily, I have a family friend in need of stockings, so I get to keep sewing!

This is part of our 100 Things in 2018 challenge. Make sure to click on the photos!

4th Annual BDB Weekend

This is one of my favorite traditions! (Becky-Debbie-Becky) A couple years into it we decided to make a set date every year, so that we didn’t have to go through all the hassle of trying to coordinate an actual weekend. This year we stayed in an adorable house right near downtown Olympia. We filled our days with Afternoon Tea, sunny walks, Christmas shopping in excellent small shops, buying too many books, talking, and eating great food. We even completed a scavenger hunt on the grounds of the state capital! As usual, these days were the perfect blend of adventure, friendship, and relaxing.