I Tri and Craft

thoughts from a mother of boys, a marathoner, a triathlete, a crafter, a wife, and a scientist

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12 Days of Christmas Tradition ~ Day 2

One of the reasons I love the Christmas holiday is the traditions.

I love reviving old family traditions, and making new ones.  I love remembering fondly the things that I did as a child at Christmas time and the things I couldn’t wait to do again.

As an adult, I get to make sure our family participates in our traditions and make new ones.

A new tradition, well hopefully it will be one, is to ride The Holiday Express.


Every year The Oregon Rail Heritage Foundation operates a steam engine train pulling/pushing passenger cars along the Oaks Bottom Wildlife Refuge.  It is a short 30-40 minute train ride, that is relatively slow.  For preteens that are not train lovers, this might be a slightly boring event.


The steam engine that pushed/pulled our train is the SP&S 700.  Now I don’t really know anything about trains, but the 700 belonged to the Spokane, Portland and Seattle Railway and is the only surviving example of a E-1 class 4-8-4 Northern type steam locomotive.  Yeah, I don’t know what the means,  but it is a beautiful train.  There is something mystical and enchanting about steam locomotives.


The SP&S 700 was built in 1938 and was used to pull the Empire Builder until 1947.  The 700 continued as a passenger train engine traveling up the Columbia River Gorge from Portland to Spokane until 1956.  After being on display for over 30 years it was restored to operation in 1990.  The operation and maintenance is provide entirely by volunteers.


Santa comes through the train handing out candy canes, and parents can take some pictures.  My two-year old nephew loves trains, and thought this trip was absolutely wonderful.  Ian and Sid both had a great time too, although Sid wasn’t impressed with Santa.

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The cars are all decorated for Christmas and heated.


Unfortunately the weather had warmed up and there was no snow, but it was still overcast and a little foggy, adding a little something to the scenery.

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Happy Riding




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What are your Christmas Traditions?

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Seven Days of thanks ~ Week 3

I want to give daily thanks in honor of Thanksgiving this year.  Instead of a new post each day, I will recap what I am thankful for at the end of the week.  It is a great way to reflect on the little things in our daily life that we should be thankful for.

First I have to give thanks to you readers who are going to forgive me for not posting this days ago.  I forgot to schedule it, and didn’t realize it.  oops.


7 Days of Thanks Nov 15-21

Nov 15
The ability to easily make friends.  This boy can and will make friends with anybody where ever we go.  I’m not gonna lie, sometimes the other kids don’t realize they are friends or that Ian is playing with them, but he is.  It allows him to have fun and be carefree where ever we are.



Nov 16
Family get togethers.  I have a wonderfully amazing family.  And we try to find any excuses to have a party.  Even if it is only to try out some new coffee.  Which then became a birthday party, but alas I didn’t take pictures of the actual people there.



Nov 17
Fearlessness.  OK, so sometimes I am not really thankful for it, because he gives me a heart attack like every thirty seconds.  But I am thankful that he is adventuress and has the drive to figure things out.  He couldn’t reach the door handle, so he pushed his chair over.



Nov 18
Our fume hood.  Stinky thiols are horrible to work with, and I am so thankful that I have a working fume hood to keep them.



Nov 19
The things this kid says.  I try really hard to write down what he talks about, but sometimes it is so much and so funny, I can’t get it all down.  I really need a recorder in my car, or better yet, just attached to him.  He is constantly making me laugh.



Nov 20
The treadmill.  I know sick right?  But if it were not for the treadmill, I would be out walking/running in the very cold wet yucky weather.  Plus I can use it, at the gym, after the boys go to bed without fear of running in my neighborhood.  This way I am able to stick to the C25K program that I just started.



Nov 21
Another thing I am thankful for at work is these auto-tip fillers.  Could you imagine refilling this by hand?  That is like a million little tips to fill the box.  Maybe an exaggeration, but not if you are filling them by hand.




What are you thankful for?

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Wordless Wednesday Nov. 20

It has been said a picture is worth a thousand words.  Hopefully on Wednesday’s I won’t have to write a single one.  



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