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azette G

December 2010

Contents Why?............................................... 3 Family: Laryngology...................................... 4 Medical: Avoir Soif......................................... 6 Art: girls: Jet...................................................12 Susan’s musings................................14 James & Susan Thomas Trinity..............................................18 Sydney & Morgan Short Stories...................................20 1316 SW Mitchell Lane Morgan's Memories........................22 Thomas Family Portrait...................25 Portland, OR 97239 - 2826 16 Years.........................................26 issue 30 Family game night............................28 James’ Family.................................. 31 (503) 341-2555 Portland..........................................32 (503) 341-0767 Seattle............................................34 (503) 867-0796 Cafes............................................36 (503) 867-0798 house: (503) 892-2920 Renovation...................................... 37 Gardening......................................38 Cover photo: James & Morgan biking the St. Johns Vineyard.........................................39 Bridge. Opposite: James at The Reader’s Cafe, Hanover, PA New York...................................... 40 Centerfold: The family in Glacier National Park’s back Glacier National Park......................41 country. Back Cover: A bee in Glacier National Park Jump..............................................46 Below: Mt. Hood sunrise from our living room window. To be alive.......................................48


eldom do I tire of this view from the window in our home.


Gazette 2010


Why? by James

hances are that if you received this Gazette in the mail, you are on our friends and family plan and this likely means that if you communicated with us sometime during the past year, we are now communicating back. Welcome to my 30th year of producing the Gazette, an annual personal magazine I started in college, BC - before computers. I typed it on a Selectric typewriter, ordered multiple copies of a few photos and placed them with double stick tape. The Gazette is a chance for me to print a few photos I like, remind myself how good life is, and try to capture a few moments of the past year in prose. It is a little bit of a sideline from my voice practice, though I spend a great deal of time photographing vocal cords and a great deal of time writing about them as well. The Gazette is theoretically a Christmas card, but in recent years, the added feature writers (Sydney, Morgan & Susan), the increasing amount of travel, the gigantic increase in the number of photos incentivized by digital photography have upped the production time considerably. Perhaps there is an upside as I suspect that you don’t get as much mail after Christmas as you do before, and you might have a few extra moments to glance at it. Best wishes in 2011 to you, your family and your friends! James P. Thomas, MD


Carpe diem

Gazette 2010


by James


ell me about your voice, Mrs. Smith?”, I typically greet one to four new patients each clinic day. Before I wander into her room, I sometimes wonder, will I be able to figure out what her vocal problem is? After more than 10 years of seeing only laryngology patients, I slowly realize that I should feel pretty comfortable in knowing that I will be able to identify and probably solve almost any voice problem. Traveling in recent years teaching about voice disorders, I set out to do some writing this year and clarify my thoughts on why diagnosing a voice problem seems so easy to me, yet so complicated for others. I came to realize that identifying a voice problem, is simple because there are only two types of hoarseness. More on the types in a moment. The bulk of my days are spent at work and I have managed to create a job that really requires no work. I am allowed (and paid) to think about how the voice functions throughout most of each day. They I am allowed to travel and discuss how the voice works. For someone with a passion for study, this is hardly a job, rather a prolonged vacation. Back to the problem of what is


hoarseness. Hoarseness is, of course, when you complain that something is wrong with your voice. First the problem could be when the vocal cords do not close together all the way; air leaks out. The other hoarseness is where there is an asymmetry between the vocal cords, such as when one cord has a polyp and so weighs more than the other cord. With unequal mass they vibrate at different pitches. When someone tells me they are hoarse, they are either “husky” hoarse and leaking air between vocal cords that don’t close all the way or they are “gravelly” hoarse, so called because the vocal cords are asymmetric and we are hearing two pitches at once. The part of laryngology which is so elusive is that hoarseness is this leak of

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air through a valve (the cords) and air is generally invisible. Consequently, if a physician is looking for some structural problem, they look all around for a lump or bump, or pus and they settle on finding “redness”. Of course, if there is a lump or a bump they assume the lump or bump must be the problem and they remove it with surgery. All the while, what they really should be looking for is a hole and a hole can be hard to see, even when you are staring right at it. We get distracted by the surroundings. Stand at the back of your car sometime and look at the hole which is your exhaust pipe. What do you see? Probably you see the pipe itself around the opening. You see the bumper, perhaps the tail lights if it is night. Yet the key to many of the car’s problems probably lie not in what surrounds the opening, nor the color of the pipe. Rather the key to knowing what is going on in the engine lies in the invisible gas coming out of the opening. In laryngology, we have the tools - endoscopes and strobe lights - that allow me to see how the air is coming out through the opening between the vocal cords. Still, surgeons seem easily sidetracked by everything around the vocal cords. Give it a try sometime. When you are hoarse, go see an ENT doctor. I can almost guarantee you that you will be told your throat is red and you have silent reflux. You won’t hear any explanation about how air is leaking


or your vocal cords are fluttering when you are hoarse. On the education side, I continue to preceptor medical students. I produced several new lectures on voice via youtube. The channel is “docvox”. I am writing several professional papers. One of the most exciting papers I have been finishing for submission to a journal is my work on the procedure - Feminization Laryngoplasty. For the past 11 years I have been working to develop a surgery to change a “man’s voice” into a “woman’s voice” - a rather useful procedure if you have changed your sex and wish to stop being called “sir” on the phone. With the assistance of a medical student, I was able to obtain postsurgery recordings of most of my patient’s voices and statistically analyze the results. We will see in 2011 if the work is accepted for publication. I have had a problematic time getting my work accepted in US journals, so I am submitting the work to a European journal. The essence of the work will be how much the pitch is raised by the surgery and how well patients are received with their changed voice. The most difficult part of offering excellent service in my practice is seeing people in a timely fashion as I have more patients. One of the most exciting parts of practice are the patients who find me on the internet and travel long distances to find an answer to their hoarseness.

Gazette 2010

Avoir Soif




My Dutch neighbors offered me a Desperados beer, a brownie and lively conversation about the tour but retired to their Volkswagen camper when a few drops of rain started falling. The foursome outside the camper on the other side of my car, the one with the massive Norwegian f lag draped over the entire front, were still laughing loudly. I walked over, joined them for a few drinks, shared our common ancestry in Scandinavia, while the lightning and the thunder became more synchronous. In the five days I had already spent riding the climbs of the Tour, almost everyone camping along the route of


the tour was ready for conversation and if I responded to the call “Avez-vous soif ”, they handed me a drink as well. The Norwegians and I sat, fairly dry beneath a pine tree (perhaps at some risk from the lightning) when another minivan paused in the road, two boys sleeping in the back seats. I couldn’t understand their language as they were Danish but they had stopped because of the flag. My current Norwegian friends too had spoken with many people along the route, swapping interesting stories, as they followed Le Tour in

Gazette 2010

Above: On top of the Col de la Madeleine in the late afternoon. Below: View out my hotel window in Lajoux, in the French Jura

n my 5th day following Le Tour de France as an amateur, that is, as a lover of the sport of cycling, I sit beneath pine trees at the base of the Col de la Madeleine. The long summer’s light allowing me this late foray into the French Alps. I made a 3 hour climb of the Col to the top from the Northern route, then turned back quickly as the sun dipped behind the peaks and I shivered through an hour descent. My forearms cramped from an hour of squeezing the brakes.

Upper: View out my hotel window in Lajoux, in the French Jura

their camper with the massive flag. They told tales of crazy amateur cyclists attempting the tour routes. Specifically, they heard from a young Nor wegian that there was a crazy American tr ying to kill himself riding the climbs of each stage in the mountains. ascending a gravel path up a ski slope. I had to suspend some of my trust A week ago, I showed up in Ge- in the device and stick to wandering neva, knowing the Tour de France down what seemed the main road into was passing through the region in a the Jura Mountains. In French mounfew days. I was exceptionally busy at tains, a main road is about 1 and 1/2 work up until the last moment before car widths, winds with the contours leaving that all I knew before arrival of the mountain never straightening was the general location of the Tour. for more than a few car lengths, and Out of long-standing habit, when in the summer is filled with campers, I travel alone, I still operate on a cycles, trucks and self-styled Formula student’s budget. This included rent- 1 drivers. The first mountain top town I ing a car for a week from the French stumbled upon, which I thought was side of the Geneva airport. The less near the upcoming Tour route was Laexpensive French side is entered via a joux and I booked a room for 3 nights, two mile long tunnel of barbed wire noticing only one other person in the from France to the interior of the Gerestaurant the first night. Very little neva airport. No matter that you can English was spoken, so I was happily walk between Switzerland and France on my own to wade into the French almost anywhere without so much as language. a nod from the immigration authoriThe first day of acclimatization, I ties. There apparently was a time when pedaled aimlessly on Parc Nationale it was dangerous to pass between the roads, discovering Jura ski towns, satwo countries. voring the semi-alpine air and searchI photographed the Jura mouning for the Tour de France route. At a tains while landing from the northfenced in parking lot, I discovered the west. With the GPS plugged in to the end of the 7th stage and on the followlighter on the car, I started following directions up into the Jura, along the ing day I planned to bike at least one northern edge of the valley of Lac of the Cat 2 climbs. I could determine some of the Leman. I ignored the “software out of route by the number of people campdate” warning, until I found myself


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up the climb, perhaps the caffeine was taking effect, perhaps the searing sun was having an effect; I sensed the moisture accumulating on my cycling kit and the dry stickiness of my tongue on my palate. In my experience, there is a town in France every few kilometers. I didn’t carry any water because you can buy water at a store in every town. But the dryness was coming a bit quicker than I thought, and I had to choose between descending back to the last bar in Rochefort or continuing up the climb. It was warming up, but I reasoned the next small village would be halfway up the climb and forged ahead. Indeed, it was really warming up. At each intersection, I learned to identify the “fleckage” pointing back the way I came. These are the arrows directing the tour riders where to go. However, at each intersection, the towns where I assumed stores with water would be, were located somewhere off the route, in a valley or up the hill to my right. Steady, I stayed my course pedaling on toward the top. I had not seen any campers on the downhill side of the route which I was ascending, but after 15 kilometers of climbing, there were three campers at the col with country flags flying high. I was definitely en-route. As I began descending the east side, I developed an odd sensation in my left ear. Every time I breathed I could feel my ear drum move. It actually put a bit of uncomfortable pressure on the ear when I breathed out. Odd,

Gazette 2010

Left: The peloton in Lèlex, France, a very, very tiny town in the Jura Mountains

ing along the side of the road, and to some degree from the rugged athleticism of the older, leather tanned men, without helmets, descending the route I had chosen. Having survived many years without them, Old French cyclists disdain helmets. I began exploring Stage 7 in reverse, descending to the bottom of the ultimate Stage 7 climb. I lost the route in Saint-Claude and wandered for an hour. It is a town at the intersection of two rivers, laid out along the steep inclines of the narrow, winding valleys. I crossed the rivers 5 times on various bridges before realizing I had left the Tour route on the way into town. The Tour would not even enter Saint-Claude . I sipped an espresso along the street in the shade of an umbrella, the shade welcome in the rising heat of the day. Heading out of town this time, back up the river, I turned right onto the stage 7 route at Rochefort on the backside of the Category 2 climb, Col de la Croix. The Tour would be descending here tomorrow. Of course, every col has a cross on top in France, so there must not be much else on this climb if it actually is just named for a cross. Two kilometers

was all I thought, I haven’t experienced that before, but I have seen patients with that complaint. I could hear my breathing loudly now, directly though my eustachian tube. Although I felt thirsty now, I was descending and a sign appeared, Viry - 5 km. So much for a town every 10 kilometers, This was more like 20 kilometers since Saint-Claude. Viry was a sun-baked village. A few trees, white stucco houses and the black tar of the road, now a bit sticky. Two kids were playing in the street, but the town was otherwise lifeless. It was just past noon. The only store, which I knew to be across from the Maire (from a sign I noted entering the town), was closed. The butcher was closed. Ah yes, now I remember, all the towns close down from 12 - 2 in France for déjeuner. People in small towns go home for lunch. I wasn’t going to go back up the climb now, so I continued descending through the next 8 steep kilometers arriving in Molinges. Such luck. There was a pocket sized store and although no one was visible, the light was on. I entered the air conditioned coolness and found the bottles of water. A woman in her cooking apron entered from her home kitchen which I could glimpse through the door behind the counter. She not only sold me a liter of water, she had one in a cooler. What a pleasant sensation downing chilled sparkling water in the shade on the curb outside her store. I rolled out of town with water in my back pocket now, realizing I was actually close to the large green lake I had seen from


the air. However, I had now climbed one Cat 2 climb, but I had descended 2 and that meant I would need to ascend two Cat 2 climbs if I was make it back to my hotel. I turned back. Two cyclists passed me as I turned my bike around and the rabbit effect took over. I caught up to them, matching their cadence uphill for a few kilometers, but fell back just as we neared Viry. The store was still closed. I finished the extra liter of water in my back pocket and found a hairstylist open on a back alley. She refilled my bottle from the tap. I sat under a tree and tried to drink more but couldn’t. I felt too full. I must have caught up with fluids. The fellows I had climbed with got off their bikes as well and a Cycling Tours sag wagon, threw their bikes up on the top of the van as they called it a day. I tried to get back on my bike, but lasted only a hundred meters. Maybe I should have asked for a lift. I began walking uphill. At intervals I would try to ride, but I could feel leg cramps coming on. I jogged off the road into the trees with a little bowel cramping. I walked the bike past the Belgians flying the American flag. “Avez-vous soif?”, I heard called out from a camper with a French license. “No, merci.”, I replied, still feeling full of water. I tried pedaling slowly again. Another hundred meters to reach a pull

Gazette 2010



comers seeking out parking spots in the ditches along the road. I lay down against an embankment and closed my eyes across from two German fellows on HarleyDavidsons, grilling dinner over a camp stove. They had a small green pup-tent up already. Fifteen... maybe thirty minutes later, who knows, I woke up as one of the Germans handed me a Mars bar, and a stainless steel cup filled with water. “Drink!”, he commanded and he stood there, refilling the cup as I emptied it. I could only sip slowly, but felt a little more rested. After awhile, I walked the cup back over, thanking him and he gave me another bottle of water to take with me. I made it to the top, enjoying the pleasure of a prolonged descent. I turned the corner in Rochefort, this time heading the correct way, back up the final Category 2 climb. A month

Gazette 2010

Below: Almost at the finish, stage winner, Sylvain Chavanel makes the turn in Lamoura, France. The guys on the motorcycle with the camera filmed me taking photos of the bicycle and I have that video as well.

off. A Norwegian flag flew from the camper several meters away, at the other end of the turnout. I sat down and both legs cramped up - just from walking, so I stood up. The cramps came again. I sat down. I stood up. The cramps kept coming, no matter what position I tried. Then I threw up. A tall Norwegian fellow walked over and gave me my first can of Red Bull. “Drink this!”, he commanded. He returned to his camper and came back with another bottle, this time water along with salt tablets. I wasn’t really in any position to doubt him, so I swallowed the white tablets, whatever they were. My skin was very dry. I wasn’t even sweating that I could tell. I was thinking, if I can just reach the top of the hill, I have 15 km of downhill coasting. After 25 minutes, I resumed walking, alternating with riding when I could. Nearing the summit, the sides of the road were more and more crowded with new-

Right: Aeolus team riders James Thomas & Adnan Kadir. We ride in sun, rain, heat, snow and on slippery autumn leaves.

later, I would be watching the recording of this race on TV and watched Jérôme Pineau bonked around this very corner. Of course he had been racing for 7 days already; he had been the first up most of the climbs and he had ridden over a hundred kilometers that morning. Still, I think I know how he felt as his body wouldn’t put out any more. Nearing the end of the Stage 7 course, the roadside was now packed with campers, end to end. Flags fluttered everywhere. The gendarmes were out at each intersection. The finishing kilometers were now closed to cars, but bicycles could continue. About 8:30 PM I limped back to my hotel, now packed to the gills with people. I noticed a handwritten sign at the desk, showing the nightly rate had doubled for this evening. I was happy to be out of the saddle. Tomorrow I could watch the race on a big screen in a mountain top cafe, with other amateur cycling fans from around the world, enjoying the race with a beer comfortably in one hand, and a bottle of water in the other! After my recovery day, I would head up the Cat 1 climb through Morzine-Avoriaz. This was a rest day for the racers. As I was riding along a narrow French road, the Radio Shack Team Car passed me and a few moments later I found myself surrounded by 6 riders from the Radio Shack team. That lasted only a few moments as they dropped me out the back. After the second team


car passed me I found myself amongst Radio Shack bicycle groupies, enthusiasts out following the team on their rest day ride. On my final evening, after the shivering descent down the Col de la Madeleine, I could listen, beer in hand, during a thunderstorm in a camper, to four Norwegians telling a story they heard from a fellow Norwegian they met yesterday, about a wacko American, dehydrated in the heat, stumbling up the route, bike in hand, throwing up along the side of the road who needed some Red Bull, water and salt pills before continuing his crazy crawl up the hill.

Gazette 2010 11


Jet by


I not only toured a bit of Mexico my main concern, writing. I did take City, but I spent 2 days tucked away a break to cook a turkey with Paty for in his apartment overlooking Polanco, a traditional “American Thanksgiving

Coyoaca D.F., Mexico

12 12

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Left: Thanksgiving in Mexico City. Veronica Perdigon, Humberto Chavira Estefan, Fermin Zubiaur, Paty EnrĂ­quez, Jose Luis Sanjurjo, Lau Solano

oward the end of the year, I went on a jet setting, writing binge. It seems very difficult to write with the daily needs of patients to be seen, computers to be kept running, meals to be cooked and homework to help with, so I found some reasonable air fares and jetted off to Mexico to visit my friend and former fellow, Fermin Zubiaur.

dinner” including a whole turkey with dressing and mashed potatoes served up south of the

border. Great sharing of cultures as I tried to step up my Spanish a bit. I flew again to Geneva during the off season of early December and ended up spending a week in Chamonix. Pouring rain not only failed to put a damper on the week, but kept me in the hotel lobby most of the week with my writing. The days sped by. Breakfast, le petit dejeuner, consisted of soft boiled eggs with Reblochon cheese. For lunch, I found a 6 foot wide by 20 foot long cafe with shared tables. The seats were 6 inches deep which allowed room for a slim waiter to pass behind the patrons. The close quarters improved my French, especially when Vanessa and Françoise, French and English teachers at the nearby high school spent two hours coaching me. For nutrition I ordered crepes with Reblochon cheese. And for dinner, I supped on La Croûte Foriestère - mushrooms swimming in, you can guess, Reblochon cheese. The book I am writing; it is called “Hoarseness”. I hope you will find it online in 2011.


French Alps Chamonix

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Susan’s musings


by Susan

s it really going to be 2011? As usual I’m not quite sure where the year went. I know, by the events marked on my calendar, that I experienced 2010, but I think it passed with a blur.


work requirements during the upcoming winter term. Once all classes are (No, I am not done yet!) completed, I plan to immerse myself I started my third and final year of in studying for my comprehensives, classes toward my PhD and with any which I plan to take in the fall (barhope I will complete all of the course- ring any unforeseen hiccups). I have enjoyed all of the classes I have taken over the past year and each has provided me with greater insight and knowledge to use in preparation for my dissertation and in my job.

I still work in clinical research at the Shriners Hospital. We continue to study boys with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy to understand the progression of the disease and the differences between boys taking steroids and those who are steroid naĂŻve. We have worked on a few multicenter proposals this year and hope that next year will bring more research projects to keep Cathleen and I working: the


Gazette 2010

Left: Susan


ful for our recent family membership to the Multnomah Athletic Club. It has become very convenient for me to workout when I drop the girls off Despite taking three classes a term at gymnastics and the weather is not I have continued to complete two Half conducive to an enjoyable run outside. Marathons again this year, thanks to my ever faithful running friends of Valarie, Kirsten and Rachel. In May the four of us completed our annual Hippie Chick Half Marathon. The Travel for the girl’s gymnastics weather was great, the run both fun meets allowed us to combine meet and challenging, but the evening dinner party with all the families was the highlight, with musical interludes provided by our children. On 10/10/10, Kirsten, Valarie and I ran the inaugural Portland Half Marathon. While the weather was extremely wet and not exceptionally enjoyable, the reward was the wonderful breakfast Cathleen prepared for us all after we were done. travel with both family and friend visWe are already planning next years its. The meet in San Jose was combined Half Marathons to keep both the with a visit by Jim’s cousin Phil and motivation and the fitness ongoing. his family, while the meet in Seattle, allowed us to spend time with friends With all of the rain we have had Kristie and Noah. this fall I have become extremely grate-

joys of soft funding.


Top Right: Susan Sienko and sister Stephanie Bird drinking the local brew in Niagara Falls Bottom: Kirsten Zilke, Susan Sienko and Valarie Edwards celebrating the finish line.

Family & friends

My parents visited Portland twice this year, once in May and then again at Thanksgiving. During the visit in May, Jim and my dad decided to remove the wall between our office and bedroom, once again starting another remodeling project. My dad says


Gazette 2010

Girls Driving

a significant amount of destruction Over the past year I have become rather than construction. Summer brought a visit to To- more of a passenger in my car than ronto for the girls and I. Since my the driver. As part of the fulfill-


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Top: Stephen Sienko, Sydney Thomas Middle Left: Rachel Dresbeck, Kirsten Zilke, Valarie Edwards & Susan Sienko at the party at the end of the Hippie Chick Half Marathon Bottom: Visiting the Paulino home: Susan Sienko, Sydney Thomas, Kirstyn Allen, Morgan Thomas & Julia Paulino

parents were away traveling, we spent the first few days in Toronto with Stephanie and family experiencing shopping on Queen Street, Canada’s Wonderland, and dinner with friends the Paulino’s. Thanks to the courtesy of Stephen, we all went that he was just following Jim’s re- to Great Wolf Lodge in Niagara quests, but it often seems that when Falls. The girls absolutely loved many the two of them are together there is of the slides which I was too scared to go on. Good thing they had Stephanie, David and Stephen to share those experiences with. A trip to the falls and Niagara on the Lake, on the way to my parents continued the Canadian experiences for the girls. A family dinner with cousins, aunts and uncles completed the whirlwind family vacation.

Top Left: Susan Middle right: Rachel Dresbeck, Jeanette Weston, Susan Sienko, Valarie Edwards and Kirsten Zilke at the end of the Hippie Chick Half Marathon Bottom: Morgan Thomas, Kendall Bird & Sydney Thomas on the carousel at Canada’s Wonderland, Canada

get to gymnastics practice if I was working and I responded, “I’ll take the old van and you can take my car and drive yourself.” Although they were nervous, I think they enjoyed the freedom to go to the gym when they were ready as well as the ability to drive to Jim’s office for lunch with him everyday when they were finished ment of the requirements to get your practice. This is only the beginning of license the girls had to each drive a a new found freedom for everyone. minimum of 50 hours, which of course then meant that I was the passenger for at least 100 hours of teenage driving. While I am still a nervous passenger, with each increasing hour of driving, their skills have improved significantly. Although their driving is limited to the places they know how to get to, it is decreasing my need to shuttle them around to extra practices, friends houses and where ever else they need to be. At Christmas break they asked how they were going to


Gazette 2010



by James

Any bed looks comfortable after a day as a tourist.

e started an alternative liturgical service early this year with a U2 Eucharist. It was somewhat popular and grew to include concerts covering Woody Guthrie, Neil Young and Bruce Springsteen. I played guitar, piano or electric piano depending on the music. I also continued playing piano accompaniment for the Choristers.


Gazette 2010

Above: The Trinity Choristers. Right: Me, rocking out with U2 Below right: Amy Polo (Choristers director and sometime Bono) Below left: The Trinity Alternative Bahnd Above Left: Heidi & Joe Rose, Susan, Sydney and Morgan feeding the hungry at Trinity Episcopal Cathedral


Gazette 2010

Short Stories by Morgan & Sydney

Going for a ride?


ne night after ending gymnastics practice early at the Mac Club, we decide to go to Family Friday with our teammate Hollynd. We play on the bounce houses and eat popcorn. When we were finished we all head to our car. We are now 15 feet from our car and Morgan and Hollynd go to the left side of the car, while Sydney goes to the right. But Sydney goes so far right that she ends up going to the car next to us. She proceeds to get in because somehow that Acura is unlocked and she does not realize that it is not our



car. On the other side, Morgan and Hollynd are laughing really hard, wondering what on earth Sydney is doing. We start to yell as Sydney sits in the passenger seat of the other car. As she picks up the contact solution and bible she realizes that she is in the wrong car. We all start laughing.


Gazette 2010

Black Friday

Black Friday is one of the best shopping days of the year including the best sales. This year was going to be great, and we set out incredibly early to get all the best deals. The Woodburn Outlet Mall decided to start Black Friday on Thursday evening at 9:00 PM. So on November 25th. at 7:30 PM, Morgan, Sydney, Nana, Poppa, and our mom finished thanksgiving dinner and rather than relax after the meal, we wanted to get there right when it opened. Normally it takes 45 minutes maximum to drive there. Things were going fine, until about one mile before the exit. We could see the lights to the stores, but traffic slowed. Traffic got worse, crawled and then stopped. Finally, we had waited long enough; we just wanted to go shopping. We leapt out of the car with Poppa and walked along the highway. We crossed a fence and finally reached the stores. Our hopes for shopping wilted when we saw some of the lines to get into the store were an hour long; we didn’t go in those stores. The sales were not worth it. We got in to Pac

Sun, Nike, and Zumiez and got a few things, but we were not in the mood to wait two hours in line just to purchase one thing on sale. After about an hour of shopping we walked back to the car and picked up Nana. The car hadn’t budged. We went back to the stores and she did some shopping, but didn’t find anything. By this time it was 1:00 AM. After everyone had finished shopping we headed back to the car, where our mom was still waiting, on the highway, not having moved an inch since we last saw her. We all got in the car and drove past the exit to the next exit and turned around and went home. We got home at 2:00 AM, went to bed and slept in. Waking up the next day we felt our shopping experience last night lacked any accomplishment! We agreed that we were not done shopping! We wanted to hit some more malls. After breakfast we headed out to Nordstroms, then Pioneer Place. At the mall, we found deals every bit as good as at Woodburn without standing in a long line. That is the last time we will be going shopping on Black Friday!!!!!!!

Young ladies at New Year’s Eve Party


Gazette 2010

Morgan's Memories by Morgan

High school

Beginning in September 2010, I am a sophomore at Wilson High School. I am taking Algebra 3-4, Chemistry, French 5-6, A.P. U.S. History (APUSH), Jr. Troyan (pre yearbook), Honors English, and Study Hall. My favorite Class is Jr. Troyan. My least favorite classes are Algebra, French and APUSH. APUSH is so much homework and really hard, my mom helps me study for every test.

For gymnastics we went to San Jose and Seattle. I was level 8 again and made it to regional’s. At regional’s I placed fifth on floor. This last October we moved from Westside Gymnastics to the Multnomah Athletic Club for gymnastics. It was a big change for me, but it is much more convenient for our family. It is also very nice because we are now doing gymnastics with Hollynd Boyden, who we did gymnastics with at the M.J.C.C.. We have known each other for 10 years. I


also have made many new friends. But over all, I love it.


We went to Pennsylvania, Maryland, New York, Canada, Montana, Washington, and California.


We spent a week in Canada visiting my mom’s family. It was one of the most enjoyable weeks of my life. We went shopping on Queen’s Street, to Great Wolf Lodge, Canada’s Wonderland, Niagara Falls and got to hang with some great people. My favorite part of the trip was going to Great Wolf Lodge with Stephen, Stephanie, David, Kendall and me, my sister and

Gazette 2010

Left: Morgan Thomas, Kendall Bird & Sydney Thomas at Niagara Falls Above: Morgan Thomas on Floor Exercise at Regional Competition


my mom. We went on all the water slides and had a great time.

Pennsylvania & New York

In May, my dad, my sister, and I Glacier National Park went to Pennsylvania and New York. At the end of the summer we went There, we visited family and friends. to Glacier National Park with the It was a lot of driving, and we went Polo’s; Amy, Oscar, Sofia, and Gabriel. through seven states in one day. In

Although we did a lot of hiking, we still had fun. We saw lots of different kinds of animals. We went camping every other night so it was not too bad.

Pennsylvania we visited my dad’s family and say my grandparent’s little kittens. In New York we went shopping and saw some friends.


On November 1st, I turned 16! I am now a licensed driver. Over the summer I took Drivers Ed. and completed the 50 hours of driving with supervision. I failed on my first attempt of the written test, but went back the Top: Sydney Thomas, Kendall Bird & Morgan next day and passed. For Thomas at New Years Eve 2011 the driving part, I passed the first time. Below: Sydney Thomas & Morgan Thomas On November 24th, I could officially tubing on Lake Pend Oreille in Idaho courtesy of drive by myself. Russ Oakley’s boat..


Gazette 2010

Happy Holidays from

Susan, Sydney, Morgan & James


Gazette 2010

Thomas Family Portrait

Happy Holidays from

James, Morgan, Susan & Sydney 25

Gazette 2010

16 Years


by Sydney

his year has been filled with many great things. Many things seem the same; school, homework, gymnastics, traveling, and friends.

I am now a sophomore, still at Wilson High School. This year I am taking many new classes, some I like and others I don’t like. One of my favorite classes is Junior Troyan, which is the first step to being on the yearbook staff, which I hope to do next year. One of my least favorite classes is A.P. U.S. History, it’s hard to remember all the information. But other than that, my school year has been pretty good so far.

Gymnastics: This year has been a different year for gymnastics. In October, we


changed gyms from Westside to the MAC Club. The move was hard, but now that we have adjusted, I really enjoy it. I am still a level 8. Last year for gymnastics we went to San Jose, California, and Seattle, Washington. San Jose was a really fun meet, at least partly because of sightseeing in San Francisco. We are going to the same meet this year. We went to Seattle twice, once for a meet and another time for regionals. This year at regionals I got my highest score of the season. It was a great way to end the season.

Traveling: Pennsylvania, New York, Maryland, Washington, California, Montana, and Canada. Maryland and Pennsylvania was visiting my dad’s family. It was great to see them and see what’s new with them. New York was in the same trip but it was great going shopping and visiting friends. California and Washington were

Gazette 2010

Left: Fly Away on the Bars

School & Homework:

Top: Sydney in a New York Restaurant Right: Giant on the Bars Below: Lucie Miller, Emily Reeves, Erica Madden, Morgan & Sydney on New Year’s Eve

much by my self, but a couple days to and from gym. I can’t believe that another year has gone by. It seems like not much happens in the year, but when I look back on it a lot has happened. I liked the way this year went and hope that 2011 brings new and different things.

for gymnastics competition. Montana was going to see Glacier National Park with the Polo family. It was a great way to end the summer. Canada was to visit my mom’s family. It was a really fun trip. We went to Canada’s Wonderland and Great Wold Lodge. Both of the places were really fun to go with my cousin, aunt, and uncle.

Friends: I love spending time with my friends. We always have fun together. We enjoy going shopping, watching movies, and just talking. Another thing that was big this year was I got my license. It was a scary moment, but my sister and I both passed. I have not driven that


Gazette 2010

Above: fireworks on 4th July game night. Below: Susan in the afternoon sun.

Family game night by James


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hree families get together each month for an evening of games, predominantly Pictionary. The Lambert-Polo, Shute-Allison & Sienko-Thomas clans engage. Mostly it is maturity vs youth and the youth are winning more and more.


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Above: Charles Thomas Above right: Sydney takes a turn at the wheel where Nothing else runs like a Deere! Right: Pam Thomas Below right: Lillian Thomas in her garden. Below: Cheryl Indart, Lane Thomas, Lillian Thomas, Kevin Thomas, James Thomas in Hanover, PA.

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James’ Family Pennsylvania


had several opportunities to travel to my Pennsylvania home and visit family this year. My father, Charles and wife Pam are ensconced on their farm with horses, cats and dogs to keep them company - and keep them busy. I took Morgan & Sydney on a discovery trip to Pennsylvania this spring and wandered around the farm, through the fields and forests of Penn’s woods, discovering the taste of Sassafras or stumbling upon a box tortoise.

I returned in the autumn, where one crystal clear, frosty morning, without a hint of air movement, all of the yellow leaves were jumping off the trees. You could hear them let go and leap! Hundreds fluttering to the ground - just magical. I had always thought the wind had to blow them off. No, they go on their own volition.


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Portland by James


ortland’s magical morning light. To the right, an autumn morning. Below, the Fremont bridge glows beneath Mt. St. Helens and Mt. Rainier on autumn mornings

on my way to work.

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Seattle by James


ome days are just filled to the brim with color, like this spring day in Seattle, wandering Pike Place Market and the streets of Capital Hill.



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Cafes by James

I travel to cities or places which sound appealing. I learn a few or as many words from the local language as possible and test my vocabular at cafes and restaurants where I will end up sitting close to others. I take a gamble on being snubbed and I start talking to people - breaking the ice. Each year I have a favorite local cafe and this year I migrated to Barista, a cafe walkably near my office where they offer at least 6 varieties of coffee on any day, three of them espresso. They manage to pull such


L augh, Lo ve


ow do I know what I will find when I travel? I know I will find other people.

nuanced flavors out of different beans and roasts. The 7 minute walk to the cafe is just as invigorating and renewing as the coffee at the end of the walk. My love for coffee has migrated be-

e, Liv

tween straight espresso and one with a little extra water, called an “italiano” here. The flavor is so fresh and smooth, I have stopped adding sugar just to enjoy the pure smoothness of the coffee. Rest assured there are still other important food groups such as cheese, beer & wine. My local butchers; Paula, Eric, Tom and Nick supply the protein in life. Prost! Santé! Cheers!

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f you find an hour to watch TV in a year, you’ll have to tell me how you do it. If I have an hour free, I find a wall that needs to be torn down, wires to be replaced, wood to be purchased, new walls to be put up, a facade to be covered or flooring to be laid.

Gazette 2010 was produced by the Thomases as a joint family adventure, again.



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Gardening by James


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ordered grafted Gr端ner Veltliner vines two years ago, planting them in the ground last fall. Eight deer became frequent visitors to my new and apparently very tasty vineyard, such that I had to fence in every vine.

d r a y e n i V


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New York


n annual pilgrimage - New York City. Friend & colleague Frizzi Linck hosted us again at her lovely Staten Island home. The girls did what they do best - shop till you drop! Later, Frizzi & Kryzstof Izdebski joined me in Portland to host a voice conference in August.


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G l a cier Nat i o n a l Pa r k two families camped and hiked to relax after letting our learner’s permit daughters drive the Chevy van on Montana’s no-speed-limit back roads with semis roaring past, inches away. Our breath was taken away both on the road and on the trails! The massive mountains and the summer wildflowers filled our visual senses.


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Above: Amy & Gabriel Polo, Morgan & Sydney Thomas, Sofia Polo, Susan Sienko Left: Red wildflower Below: Campanula


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in Montana

Summer vacation

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Jump 46

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To Bee alive in 2011!

To be alive


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A review of the year 2010 for the Thomas family. James, Susan, Morgan and Sydney contributed articles and photos on gymnastics, remodeling,...