Saturday, April 25, 2009

Becoming HOME

Those of you who play the piano know that without one, your place of residence, be it a house, condo, apartment, whatever, just doesn't feel like a home. Well, our 700 sq. ft. apartment is officially a HOME now!
We got a nice little tax return :) and set aside a good chunk to start saving for a piano...after doing some research, we decided that moving a 500lb. instrument around (especially Brandon's 4th year of Optometry school during rotations) just insn't practical, so we decided to go digital and spent just half of what we had saved! Pretty sweet!
It arrived on Tuesday (my first day back in the dental office since recieving my Dental Hygiene license here in Oregon...p.s. work is SO overrated!) And when I got home, Brandon had it all set up. WE LOVE IT!!! I cannot even tell you how thrilled I am...and Brandon too for that matter, to have a full-on PIANO in our home. It is FABULOUS!!

Thursday, April 16, 2009


So, Easter, aside from Christmas, is probably my favorite holiday. I love spring time with all the new, blossoms, trees and bushes getting their leaves back...the sunshine (even more appreciated here in Oregon) and the warmer temperatures! It really is a wonderful time of year. We did most of our typical traditions the week of Easter; Easter egg dyeing, Easter egg hunting, and we even did a special Family Home Evening activity/lesson on Monday had Easter eggs in it too!!! :) I got the idea from a friend of have 12 plastic Easter eggs and inside each one you have something that is symbolic of an event during the last week of Christ's life and a scripture reference to read that goes with the money - Judas sold the Savior's identity for silver, nails - what he was held to the cross with, nothing/empty - the Savior was resurrected on the third day (Easter Sunday) and the tomb was left empty...etc. I don't know that Jemma really understood it all, but it was something that kept her attention and we were able to help our family focus a little more on the true meaning of Easter.

Anyway, here a some pics from the week...we just didn't get a shot of the kids on Easter in their cute Sunday outfits...oh well.

Jemma dyeing Easter eggs...

Carter wasn't all that interested...he just played under the kitchen table the whole time. That is until...

the container with the blue dye got knocked over and started dripping through the crack...not good.

But seriously, what fun would egg dyeing be if you didn't have at least a few casualties...when Jemma dropped a couple of eggs on the floor, she told me, "It's okay, they're just a little broken". Good thing we hard boil those bad boys before we dye 'em!

Jemma with all her eggs...she was super proud of them...if anyone came over, she was quick to get into the fridge and pull them out to show off her handy work! In fact, when I finally through them away and she went to the fridge to show them off again, she was not real happy with me...oh well...and no, I didn't make deviled eggs out of them...I've decided I'm not a huge fan...especially when they smell a little like vinegar and the white part or blue or yellow. I just find it a little unappetizing.

The Easter Bunny was totally on top of things this year and came Friday morning! He must have known I was going to be gone for the weekend and came early so I could be there for it! What a nice guy! :)

Carter got a hold of a few pieces of chocolate and followed me all the way to the garbage HOLLERING when I took them away...sorry buddy!

The kids with their Easter baskets...Carter really like dumping his out and then putting them back in the basket.

The Easter bunny brought the kids some new bath toys this year (Foam ABC's and Numbers for Jemma and squirting sea creatures for Carter) along with some spring pj's. He must have heard about the black gunk that would come out of the bath toys every time we would attempt to get all the water out when bath time was over. (Sick and wrong!)

The kids in their new jammies (right before we got in the car and headed for the airport so I could see Reed off!!!)

Jemma at Bard Park hunting for eggs on Saturday...there were like 300 eggs hidden out there for family members of PAVA (I'll be honest...I don't know what those letters stand for, but all the wives of the optometry students are members, so, I am too...) Thanks Brandon for taking the kids out there and taking pics so I could see!

Jemma with Carter...climbing up her...after the hunt.

So, I really do love Easter, but not because of all the goodies and stuff. I love Easter because of what it means...Easter is a Christian festival marking the resurrection of the Savior, Jesus Christ. I am so grateful for his sacrifice on my behalf. I know that He lives.

My sister has this link on her blog, and I really think it's appropriate when commemorating this holiday. If you haven't already heard/seen it, it's an Easter video presentation narrated by Elder Jeffery R. Holland, a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (the church we belong to). It's only like 4 minutes long, so hopefully you get a chance to view it. Enjoy!

Monday, April 13, 2009

My Brother

This is Reed. He's the sixth of nine children, but the first boy in the line-up. He's nineteen years old and just this last weekend I flew out to California to say goodbye...

Reed is leaving on a full-time mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints and will be serving in the Lubbock, Texas Mission for the next two years.

Reed, I want you to know that I am so grateful to have been able to come see you one last time and give you my love and support in person before you report to the MTC on Wednesday.
You are such a wonderful brother! We are so proud of your decision to serve and know that you will be an exceptional missionary. You will be greatly missed, but we are excited for the adventures that await you on the had better keep us posted!!! ;o)
We love you and you are in our prayers!
Good Luck Elder Stone!!!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Fun in the Sun

We have been PATIENTLY waiting for some warm spring weather, and we FiNaLlY got some for a nice 4 day stretch! I'm talkin' 70 degree weather with blue skies...GORGEOUS! So, needless to say, we were outside, soakin' up the sunshine!
Monday, Megan called and invited us to go with them to the beach!!! The boys were, of course in school, but four of us moms loaded up the kids and the beach gear and headed for the coast. I cannot even put into words how perfect it was out there! We went to Ecola State Park so the crowds were minimal and there are two little streams running right into the ocean that the kids played in. Here are just a few pics I took during our 3 hour+ visit. :)

Jemma by the stream...she's a tough one to get to look at the camera, especially when she's many adventurous things to discover!!!

Jemma and Adi, loadin' the buckets up with sand and water...

My little man, Carter! He LOVED the sand...and let me tell you, he was covered!

A little snack.?.?.

You weren't supposed to see that Mom. ;) (All that sand took like two days to go through his system...weird bowel movements which, for the record, were really hard to clean off his little bum...)

Adi brought this little umbrella with her that Jemma was hooked on! The two of them were pretty funny, hiking up through the rocks and drift wood to sit under an inside-out made me think of Mary Poppins.

Jemma and Con throwing rocks into the stream...Kathy, Megan and Alison in the background.

Carter, like 3 minutes after getting in the car to go home. He is a TERRIBLE traveler and rarely sleeps long in the car...he slept ALL THE WAY HOME! (Not Jemma though, she was busy watching Tinkerbell!)

Tuesday, we were at the park by 9:45am...oh, and Carter, who rarely sleeps past 7am didn't wake up until 9:00am because he was so EXHAUSTED from our beach trip. :) Anyway, we spent a good hour there...came home, Carter had a nap, we ate lunch and then got a call from Cori to go to another park in the afternoon, so back out into the fresh air we all went! (I didn't have the camera the second time, so here are just a few of the kids from our morning out!)
These two are getting so unbelieveably big SO FAST! It makes me crazy! But the older Carter gets, the more they play fact, the other day, Carter was into something he shouldn't be (probably something in the bathroom...) and I was telling him "that's a no-no, Carter." Well, Jemma didn't like that much and said, "Mom, be nice to baby-Carter! He's my friend!" Silly!

He looked like a little gangsta' in his shorts! Ha! Crack me up!

Dare-devil! He is crazy when it comes to climbing and what-not! I can't keep him down from the most bizzare places! Funny though, cuz he wants nothing to do with walking! If we stand him up in the middle of the floor or try having him hold our fingers and walk, he just sits down.

Not, the clearest shot of Jemma, but like I said, she's hard to get a smile from on camera, so I had to post it!

Saturday, April 4, 2009

That was "WICKED" AwEsOmE!!!

So, Thursday (April 2nd) was my 26th birthday. (I know, I'm getting old...but in a lot of ways, that's good, cuz the older I get, the more I learn, and hopefully that means that I'm wiser and am thus making fewer poor I said, "hopefully".) Anyway, I woke up to Jemma and Brandon singing the Aspen Grove rendition of "Happy Birthday". LOVE IT! Then Jemma promptly pulled me out of bed saying, "Mommy, come here! I have to show you!"...out into the front of the apartment we went and low and behold...Brandon had strung streamers all across the ceiling of the whole front section and decorated the kitchen! Jemma kept exclaiming, "It's your birthday party!!!"
Brandon also picked up a delicious birthday cake...chocolate with whipcream instead of frosting (my favorite) with chocolate shavings...Jemma and I have had pieces of it every day fact, almost every time I ask her what she wants for breakfast, lunch or dinner, she promptly replies, "birthday cake!"
(No, there are not 26 candles on the cake...we didn't want to burn the place down.)
What about presents? Well, Brandon was super AwEsOmE and got me tickets to see WiCkEd!!!
That's right...those of you who have seen it know that's just about as good as it gets, and those of you who havn't, need to put it on your list of things to do in this life, because it is STELLAR! We saw it TODAY, and LOVED IT! We had a fabulous cast, but both agreed that Elphaba was our favorite! This girl played the original Young Cosette in Les Miserables at age 8...(the one on the CD recording) and her performance today was FLAWLESS! Seriously, she gave me chills a couple times, and that's not that easy to do!

Thanks again Brandon for making me feel so special! I love you! And thanks to all the friends and family who remembered me on my birthday!