Wednesday, December 1, 2010

What I found in the kitchen

The kids were being awfully quiet as I tried to quickly straighten up the living room, so I had to hunt them down and see what was going on. This is what I found:



I know! Best. Kids. Ever.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Cookies

My mother had a brilliant idea this year and invited her children to participate in a cookie exchange. Three of us took her up on it, so for Thanksgiving we each made two types of cookie dough, formed them into four logs each and froze them. Then we traded. I now have eight different types of cookie dough in my freezer.
It rained today. (I know! Can you believe Western Oregon would be getting rain in November? Shocking.) Born and raised a true Oregonian, I did the sensible thing. I bundled the kids into rain boots and coats, and we did our best to get as muddy and cold as possible. This became the perfect opportunity to slice off a few cookies from a roll or two and bake them. Ten minutes later, the kids had on dry socks and we were dunking warm cookies into hot chocolate.
My mother is a genius.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

We went for a long walk.

When we moved to Eugene we learned about a place where they have a model of the solar system done to scale. (I think it's 1: 1Billion, but I don't know for sure.) My two younger sisters both went to school here, and they said they had seen it, but were never able to find Pluto, even though they had walked all over the city. They didn't seem to believe it could be done. I took this as a challenge and set out to prove them wrong. Of course I needed photographic evidence. One lovely afternoon, after Isaac got off work, we began our quest. The inner planets were easy. Standing at the sun, you can see these first four, so it was just a matter of getting our grumpy kids to stand still long enough to get a picture.

The Sun
Mercury
(I don't think you can even see it in this picture, it's so small compared to the sun.)
Venus
Earth and its moon
Mars
Once we finished the inner planets, it was time to call it a day. We had gotten a late start, the kids were not feeling cooperative, and everybody was hungry. Several weeks later, Isaac suggested we spend Saturday looking for the outer planets and completing our goal. We packed some snacks, grabbed the wagon, and headed out. We parked near Jupiter, which cut off about half a mile from our trek.
Jupiter
Saturn
Uranus
In this picture, Lizzy is wondering why the actual planet is missing from its pedestal and why the information plaque is missing. I don't know. It gave me a bad feeling about finding Pluto, though.
Neptune
Neptune was also missing its planet and information. Now I was really nervous. I really wanted to prove my sisters wrong, but if someone was going around ripping planets off their pedestals, could I really expect Pluto to be safe? It's not even considered a planet anymore!
Well, we walked quite a bit further (a total of about three miles) and we knew we would have to eventually turn around and walk those three miles back to the car, so our resolve was fading a bit. Actually, the children's resolve was fading. Sometimes a mother has to make sacrifices. So when the path suddenly forked and we weren't sure which way to go, we left it entirely and went to McDonald's. After our late lunch, Bear couldn't take it any more, and simply went to sleep.
In order to lay him down in the wagon, Lizzy had to get out, which did not make her happy in the slightest. Lucky for her, she has a nice strong daddy, and she was still riding in style.As we were passing through the park on the way back, we found something very neat. I'm not sure how well you can see it in this picture, but there is a perfect circle of mushrooms around this tree. We were pretty sure it was a fairy circle, so Lizzy and I jumped in it. She says she saw a fairy, too.
So, no. We have not yet found Pluto, but I have not given up. We're pretty sure now, which fork in the path will lead to the last of the planets, and we were ridiculously close when we turned around. We will find it.

Thanksgiving Weekend

We ate a lot of turkey. The grocery store had a deal that we couldn't pass up, so Isaac insisted on cooking a turkey for our family last Sunday. It was a small one, but we still ate it for a good three days. And then we went to my parents' house for Thanksgiving, where there was more very delicious turkey. The day after Thanksgiving, we skipped the shopping frenzy and went back up to Hillsboro to spend the day with Isaac's cousins. Of course we had Turkey for lunch. I must admit that I am not a big fan of turkey, but every time we ate it I really enjoyed it. Maybe it was the excellent company.
On Saturday we officially put turkey behind us and headed off to get a Christmas tree. It didn't take us very long to find the perfect tree, but it did take a bit of effort to keep it from falling on the kids whenever they walked too close. It turns out we needed a new tree stand AND the tree was crooked. This morning Lizzy came stumbling out of her room and walked around the living room looking a little confused. Then she crouched down and looked under the Christmas tree. She kept her head cocked for a few moments and then came to stand right in front of me. "Mom," she said, "it's morning time."
"Yeah. So?" (Her mom is a bit of a grump in the morning.)
"But - it's Christmas..."
So then I had to explain that it wouldn't be Christmas morning for a few more weeks. I think she was disappointed, but also relieved that we hadn't just forgotten.

Our tree

Thursday, November 11, 2010

This is what childhood is all about


But that's just my opinion.

The world according to Lizzy

Please enjoy a random assortments of Lizzy quotes.

-He's only a baby, Mom! Leave him alone!

-I like ladybugs and unicorns, but not so much dolphins, because some dolphins are mean. Did you know that, Mom?

-How could you do this to me?

-Hows about you don't ask me again?

(when asked why she had to grow up):
-Because I want to ride the grown-up rides at the fair.

-We wouldn't want to accidentally look ordinary.

-I pulled open my drawer, and I said to myself, 'I am a princess, and princesses need dresses.'

-Does a banana stay on a rooftop? No! (This was a joke she told me while riding in the car.)

(While acting out the story of Cinderella, the wicked step-mother told her to scrub the toilet.)
-But... I really don't want to.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Our Backyard

I think that one of the hardest things about living in an apartment is not having a backyard. Our apartment is pretty nice, though, and I am grateful for it for a number of reasons, not the least of which is its dishwasher and garbage disposal. In the summer months there is a pool, and there is also a small playground for the kids. As a family, however, we have adopted the basketball half court as our personal backyard. Over the summer, we would occasionally see a group of men playing a very serious looking game, but most of the time the space is empty. It is not far from our front door, so we can walk right over in less than five minutes. But sometimes we run. Or Lizzy rides her tricycle. Or we take the wagon. Always, always, Barak has to bring his ball. It's a great space for the kids to run around in, while Isaac and I kick the soccer ball back and forth. Lizzy is always inventing new games, like ice skating or tea party. No matter what else we are doing, she works hard to convince us that we should play along with her game. She's pretty convincing.


Sometimes, though, she just wants to practice her slam dunk.
Barak is getting so strong.
And finally, here is Barak lining up the winning shot. I can definitely see sports in his future.

** As I wrote this post, Barak sat on my lap and shouted, "Ball! Ball!" whenever he saw the pictures. His basketball is far and away his favorite toy, and all day long I hear, "Ball! Ball!"

Friday, October 22, 2010

I am in Love



But then, who wouldn't be?

Thursday, October 21, 2010

If you choose to visit the Oregon Coast

Bring a sweatshirt, even if it's August. Bring a swimsuit, even if it's November. Be prepared to dig in the sand, jump over waves, build castles, poke around in tide pools, discover interesting rocks and find fascinating shells. It could be fun. It could be miserable. But whatever else you do . . .






don't drink the water!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Bad Mommy

Barak knows where we keep the M&Ms, so throughout the day, he will toddle on over, point up to the bag, and say, "Emunem?" I can't refuse!! He's cute enough to cause a goofy smile to appear on my face every time. Lizzy quickly learned that if she wants an M&M, all she has to do is get her brother to say it, because I'm more likely to give in. It's rough on a mom when her sons only two words are "uh-oh" and "M&M."

Monday, September 27, 2010

Summer fun

Summer is over. I am rejoicing in the clear skies and cooler weather of Fall. I can't wait for hayrides, apple cider, and jumping into enormous piles of leaves. That being said, we did have some rollicking good times this summer. Not everything made it onto the blog, because I am easily distracted. But - I find myself with a free moment, so here goes.

We went to the fair. Twice. We loved it. Our kids loved it. Here are some pictures to prove it.

At the Lane County Fair, there was a play farm for young children. i loved it. I want to make an exact replica for our house. I'm not kidding.Lizzy and Bear loved it, too. They probably would have been happy playing there all day, but we dragged them out to the rides eventually.

Bear, driving tractor:

Lizzy, harvesting a crop of carrots. You can see that she already picked her apples. (They were attached to a big wooden tree with magnets.):Lizzy, picking out her car. She wanted the sparkly pink one, of course:Riding the swings with Daddy:Isaac, my hero. He did the strongman at both fairs, and I have to say, I was very impressed. I tried to take a picture of his high score, but it didn't turn out.
He won a couple of big, squeaky hammers, which have provided an endless source of amusement for us. At the State Fair, we were lucky enough to meet up with my sisters, which was a lot of fun, as you can see. Cheryl and Lizzy battled with the hammers:

Bear loves getting extra attention. His aunties always make him feel special.
Bear and Corie: We saw a lot of animals, too. Bear especially loved the horses. He would pat them and then pull away quickly, as though he thought they would turn and bite him. Which was a real possibility.
Fun, fun, fun. I love the fair. Even if it costs about the same as a month's rent.

video

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Friday, August 27, 2010

Baltimore

Isaac's work sent him to Baltimore for a conference where he got to learn all kinds of neat statistic-y things of which I have zero understanding. Awesome for me, though, because my brother and his family live just outside Baltimore, and I hadn't seen them in almost five years! So the kids and I tagged along, if course. Unfortunately, we didn't have a lot of time to plan the trip, and we ended up with only two days on the east coast, which was in every way not enough.
I had a few ideas of things that I wanted to do while I waited for my brother and sister-in-law to finish work for the day, but the first day we ended up just walking around the city. It was HOT and it was HUMID. Otherwise, I really enjoyed it.
I got to see the original Washington Monument:

some gorgeous buildings, a huge library, the harbor, and rows of these lovely houses and businesses:

Here's what the kids thought of our little walking tour of the city:

Yeah, they weren't so impressed. Eventually we were all able to meet up down at the harbor, the cousins got to meet, and we had a great time. That night I asked Lizzy if she had a good time that day and she said, "Well, part of the day was good. I liked the part with Maya." (Justin and Maya are her cousins.) The next day we got to spend more time with them. We went to a children's museum together and had a great time, despite losing track of the kids several times.

The boy cousins playing Lego's together:

Beautiful Maya:
Maya, Lizzy, Aliyah holding Bear, Justin, and Tanya (my gorgeous sister-in-law)

Cousins!
Justin driving.
We had such a good time. It was frustrating to have to leave so soon, but we hope to be able to go again soon. We certainly won't wait five years to see them all again!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Barak

On the 8th, Barak turned one. It is unbelievable how fast this year has gone. He has been the most wonderful baby, and I am not ready to let his baby days be over. On the other hand, I am so proud of my little boy. He is so handsome and so friendly. I love to watch him run around exploring things and making new friends. He makes friends with everybody. And that smile of his! I'm pretty sure he gets it from his Daddy; it makes me smile back every time.





We celebrated his birthday at my parents house where they thoroughly spoiled him. Unfortunately, I forgot to bring the camera, so I don't have any pictures. He had a great time, though, playing in the backyard and eating barbecued chicken, which just might be his favorite.



I've been planning for months to get this wagon for him for his birthday. He has really seemed to enjoy it, and we've taken it out on many occasions.



But of course, the box was almost as exciting.






He also enjoyed his birthday cake, inside and out. I love this little boy.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

July

We have been doing some fun things this summer, and I have neglected to post about it all. I've been kind of busy. In July we went out to Utah, for a family reunion on Isaac's side. His little sister was also getting married, and we were thrilled to be at her wedding, too.
Hanging out outside the Salt Lake Temple, waiting for Miriam and Dan

My children are blessed with wonderful cousins on both sides of the family, whom they love. Unfortunately, none of them live at all close by, so we have to take every opportunity to play with them that we can get. Lizzy and Lydia got along great. They were extremely cute together, as you can see.

One of the days for the reunion, we were at a park, and someone had set up this pool. Lizzy and Bear played in it all day long, as did most of the children. It was a genius idea.

Bear and Eve There were a lot of activities going on, but our family mostly hung around and relaxed. It was really wonderful. Isaac showed the boys how to play ladder golf. I think they beat him every time.

Bear liked playing ladder golf, too. Mostly he just ran off with the balls, though. We really had a great time. It made me wish that we lived closer to Isaac's family, so that we could spend more time together. Actually, I wish they lived closer to us. Anytime ya'll want to move out to Oregon, let us know. We'd be happy to help you unpack!