Saturday, May 30, 2009

Field Trip

Ethan had a field trip on Friday to the Portland, Oregon zoo. I took the day off work to go with him and we had so much fun! It was hot - 94* - which is crazy hot for Portland but it was welcomed by me. We enjoyed soaking up the rays.
Ethan is sizing himself up against some bears.

They had a maze called the Chimpanzee Challenge where you got to chose your own adventure through the maze depending on how well you know the answers. I thought this was an interesting little fact:
All throughout the zoo they had little facts and political agendas - just though I would share:

Last year the Oregon zoo had a baby elephant and that is her in between the two bigger elephants. She was so dang cute.

You can go into the elephant feeding room and see them up close, through the Plexiglas. That thing is HUGE!

I just though I would post pictures of some of the cuter animals.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

S'mores anyone?

Well! We had quite an evening. Lets just start from the beginning...shall we?
My poor sweet husband has lovingly taken over the houseparent duties while I work full time. He doesn't love this arrangement. He really wants to be the one working, and I would gladly let him but we both understand that school is and needs to be #1 for him right now, so we are just waiting it out. Anyways, the one part of being a houseparent that he hates the most, is one of my favorite parts. Cooking. He doesn't enjoy cooking and to be honest, other than BBQing he doesn't really know how to cook. This afternoon he decided to really go out on a limb and make chicken burritos (a yummy super easy dinner) but the boys had a baseball game so it got tricky. In this recipe you slow-cook the chicken in a salsa sauce for several hours until it is shreddy. Dan thought he would just leave it to cook during the game (which I will admit, I have done before - just leave something simmering on the back burner) the part where this story goes awry is when I tell you that he left it on HIGH! We came home to this:

Ummmm, yeah. This was so embarrassing. Thankfully our neighbors heard our smoke alarms going off and they ran into our house and rescued the dog and turned off the stove and opened up all the windows and then a neighbor down the street called the fire department. Thankfully nothing burnt - except for dinner. There was never a fire only a LOT of smoke. As I type we are washing kids sheets and fabreezing the house. Hopefully we will not smell like a BBQ forever.

Here was what was left of dinner. So sad. We had Subway instead.
P.S. Have you ever noticed how many people need to walk their dogs when the fire department is at your house?

Sunday, May 10, 2009


I am not usually one for expressing my gushy love feelings, actually I am quite the opposite ~ I am not a "sharer". If I had gushy love feelings I would probably turn them into some sort of joke and laugh them off. Weird I know (maybe I need a therapist) but those around me know this about me and for whatever reason, are okay with it.

This year however I feel that I have so much to be thankful for and I would be horribly ungrateful to not express my gratitude.

I am the mother of four wonderful children ~ I had no idea I could love so much. Each one of my children are totally unique with amazing personalities and I love each one of them. This year I have really come to understand the importance of motherhood and what a wonderful gift it is and what miraculous little gifts they are to me. I am thankful for every moment I have with each of them and I hope that I take none of it for granted. I love being a mom, I love being their mom.

I, of course, learned from the best. My mom is amazing. She is my best friend. We have become so close in the past 2 years and I have really enjoyed it. Even though I don't love Oregon, I love being close to her again and some days that is what gets me through. She taught me so much when I was growing up and she has been such a blessing to me and my family. She is a wonderful grandmother to my children and they love her so much. I am so thankful for her and that she brought me into this world. I love her so much.
My mother-in-law. I married into the BEST family! I could not have hand picked a better family to be a part of. My mother-in-law is so gracious and kind and she is a wonderful example to me. She raised (and is still raising) 7 amazing kids - one in particular that I love so much! I can not wait to live close to her again. She is capable of showing so much love and I love that about her. She is an amazing woman.

In the end, I am grateful for motherhood and I am grateful for the opportunity to celebrate it. Not only do I have amazing moms but there are more mother's in my life that have helped shape our lives today that I am grateful for. Grandmothers, aunts, sister-in-laws, step-mom's, cousins, and friends that are all wonderful mothers that are a great example to me. Thank you.

Saturday, May 9, 2009


Today was the Pinewood Derby District Championships. WHOA. I had NO IDEA how big of a deal this is. It was outta control. As you can see, there were a few more cars than there was last time, and a few more patrons. There was concessions and everything. Going into this I thought we would be in and out in an hour......

Check in was at 11:00AM so Dan took Spencer and Ryleigh, Ethan, my mom, Chad, Olivia and I followed about 30 minutes later (how long can check in take - right?) This picture of Ryleigh chasing Olivia captures perfectly her stage ~ she is a whirlwind of energy!

So, I mentioned that check in was at 11:00am. Well, the boys had to go through 3 stations that weighed them, measured them and check for possible problems then they had to go through to Entry Station (to pay the fee) and the DMV station (to get their driver's licence) finally they could go sit down with their family. Finally they got everyone checked in......

Then they were having computer problems. I guess we no longer know how to do a Pinewood derby the old fashioned way. Computers do all the thinking for us, and so when the computer doesn't want to cooperate we have issues. So we sat around and waited. An older Boy Scout that was there helping out was entertaining us with his awesomely bad Scout jokes - it was like torture. Finally the races started.......

Spencer Raced in the 4th Heat. We were pretty much the proudest parents ever! He WON all 6 races!

His average time was 3.143 seconds and he was averaging about 56 MPH!


Check out that trophy! Now I need to buy a cool case for his car.
Our ward had 3 boys go to district and all 3 boys placed! Dakota (on the left) took 2nd, Grant (right) took 4th, and Spencer took 5th!

Way to represent boys!!

Of course you can not fully brag about the pinewood derby without including the dads ~ because who is this really about??

Friday, May 8, 2009

We watch Softball too...

It is so fun to have 3 kids in sports (well, some days not so fun.... but I am NOT going to complain!) Between the boys playing baseball and Ryleigh playing softball we stay busy busy busy in the Spring. This springtime is especially hectic with Dan in school full time, and going to Physical Therapy and his calling and me working full time, being on the Little League board and with my calling and THEN TRYING TO MOVE, and to throw in some extra curricular activities ~ lets just say it has been a little crazy! But it is so worth it. I can't even accurately describe the complete joy that I feel watching my children play sports. I am so grateful that we live in a community where it is possible for them.

Ryleigh is on the Thunder this year, and she is having a lot of fun - her two good friends from school are on her team - Keri and Rylie. Her coach this year is fantastic. I am so glad she decided (at the last minute) to play. Her games are a little less action packed than the boys ~ but lets give those girls some credit. Pitching like that can't be easy.

She is pretty excellent in the field. Here she is playing 1st base and loving it. There is not usually a whole lot of action in the field at this level, a lot of girls end up walking. However, when there is that occasional hit she is guaranteed to get some action at 1st!

Ryleigh is excellent at drawing a walk. She will get that count full and then pray for a ball - I think that is her tactic. She doesn't like to swing the bat much, but we are working on that.
Of course, here is sweet Olivia, just chilling. I guess she has just decided to deal with it because this is her life ~ ball every afternoon! (oh and that is Chad)