Thursday, July 28, 2011

No Training Wheels!

Carter has been asking for weeks, no months, now to have his training wheels removed. His feet barely touch the ground on tippy toes, so there was no way I was gonna take them off and have him get all banged up. Last night, however, Carter asked Brandon to take them off, and so, while I made dinner, Brandon removed them and off Carter went. Seriously. That's no exageration. He needed a little help starting and stopping at first because his little legs are, like I said, still not quite long enough, but he was riding that thing with NO help on the first try. CRAZY!

He spent most of today out there on his bike practicing gettting started and stopping all by himself, and he has it down now, short legs and all.

I'm not ashamed to say that I was wrong.

Just cuz this kid is only 3 and barely reaching the ground while on his bike, doesn't mean he can't ride it without training wheels. Way to go CARTER! You are one stellar bike rider. :)

Here's a quick video of him riding today.

It's been a while...

I have totally lost my blogging mojo.

In fact, until yesterday, I hadn't taken a single picture in over two weeks...that's a long time for me.

But, here I am...making recompense for my lack of documentation on the blog.

Bear in mind, however, that the contents of this post are pretty uneventful.

Since my last post, Brandon and I celebrated our 7th anniversary. I feel especially bad for not documenting that. As has become tradition, we went and saw the most recent Harry Potter in theaters: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2. It was AWESOME! If you haven't seen it, GO!!!

We've also had a little more sun lately, so we've spent LOTS of time at the park. I say "the park", but we've been to like 4 different parks on 7 different occasions...lots of picnics and lots of tired, tan kids. :) No pics though, cuz, I didn't take the camera once.

Lack of blogging can also be attributed to a move that is only 18 days away...I've started packing. 11 boxes done and looking around my home, you can't even tell. Wonderful.

I was cleaning out my closet (with the help of the little ones) and they found my wedding dress. They were SO excited and they convinced me to try it on for them...

I am pleased to announce that, 7 years and 3 children still fits. I was actually quite surprised. The kids loved it so much, Jemma got the camera out (for the 1st time in 2 weeks)and the kids begged for me to wear it all day...I had to draw the line way! Can you imagine!?! Dishes, diaper changing, cooking, etc. in a 15 lb. wedding dress!?!

My dress has a massive train...the kids thought it would be cool to sit on it.

And I included this picture because I just LOVE those chubby fingers...this little guy is a bottomless pit, and if the fridge is open, he's diggin' through it.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Mi Familia: Part 2

Shortly (like a week) before my parents and brothers arrived, Brandon talked me into replacing our living room furniture...don't believe me!?!

Alright, so maybe it was me that had to convince him, but seriously, when I stumbled on this deal ($699 for a sofa and love seat) for furniture that looked just like what I have imagined, but have never seen for REAL until I happened upon it, I knew it was fate...

So, with the extra strength that all those boys brought with them, we enlisted the help of my dad and brothers to remove the faithful, and unfortunately, now nasty couch (thanks to our adorable children) we had been using for the last 7 years along with the now peeling pleather chair...I will NEVER purchase FAKE leather furniture again!!! It's a nightmare when it decides it's done looking like leather cuz your kids won't stop jumping on it. Eeesh.

Moving on, here are a couple shots of them removing the couch.

THANK YOU!!! I'm so grateful for the blessing of having had a couch for the last 7 years, (I'm not so shallow that I don't realize others go without) but I am oh so happy to have something fresh and new! You boys helped make that happen. Moowah! (That was me blowing you BIG kisses!)

Jemma and Carter knew exactly what to do with the now vacant in HUGE circles.

At least for the next 5 minutes until they brought in the new stuff! :)

Among the excitement of the new furniture and spending a day out at the coast, we did find time to do some of the traditional

playing games,

listening to the boys jam out and compose tunes on the piano,

play a little frisbee (I cannot, for the life of me spot the frisbee in this photo!),

and read stories. :)

We LOVED, LOVED, LOVED having them, and are thrilled to be spending the next year just a couple blocks from these guys! It's gonna be a BlAsT! :)

And, here's a shot of the bargain find of the century. I should have taken a picture of all of us piled on them just after setting them up, but the thought eluded me. They're a slate blue/gray and my very FAVORITE detail is those little spots where the fabric dips in on the back and seat cushions...I'm sure there is a technical term for that, but I just cannot come up with what it might be. Anyway, they are LOVELY.

And, by the way, I was so taken by the sofas themselves, that I didn't even notice the pillows that came with them! Ha! Brandon was thrilled cuz they tie in with the newly reupholstered ottoman that he has insisted we retain. I must admit, I like having something to prop my short little legs up on too.

And, for the record, we have some seriously STRICT guidelines goin' on with these guys. No food, no drinks, no jumping on, no climbing over, etc. etc. Carter was trying to convince me that he could eat a snack on them cuz it wasn't "crumby"...don't worry. I held firm. And earlier this evening, Gavin was in dire straights-twisted up under the little rocking chair, so I leaped over the back of the couch to his aid...and boy did I get REAMED by Carter for that one. So, we're all on board for following the rules and maintaining these guys for the long haul. ;)

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Mi Familia: Part 1

(Jacob, Reed and Nathan)

My parents and all 3 brothers came to visit us last week. This was the FIRST time my dad and two of my three bros had been able to make it here to Oregon to see our family and it was AWESOME to have them come. We LOVED it!!! It was a quick trip, but we are oh so grateful that they took a detour on their way back from a reunion in Washington and stayed with our family.

We ended up at the coast on Wednesday and, despite the windy conditions, we had a good time. We went to Oswald State park, hiked 3/4 of a mile down to the coast, enjoyed a delicious picnic lunch with some of the best apricots and cherries I have had in long time...and didn't let the bits of sand that got into our sandwiches ruin it. :)

The Oregon coast is unbelievably beautiful. I love how there are pines right up to the coast, but the sand is still super-duper fine. This was Gavin's first trip to the beach as a toddler (probably the second trip in his entire life) and he was in HEAVEN (even if he did eat a pound of sand)...hence, the many, many photos of him. I never got a very good shot of this, but he kept laying down on the sand (tummy down) and moving his arms and legs back and forth...almost like he was making a "sand angel". SO CUTE!

My parents with the kids.

It may have been windy, but the sun was out...can't ask for more here in Oregon.

Gavin ...

Mom trying to get some of the sand off his face. His bowl movements were like 50% sand for the next couple of days...poor kid...he didn't seem to mind though. :)

My handsome brother, Jacob, hangin' with Gavin.

My studly brother, Nathan, diggin' a massive pit for the kids to play in.

Mom and Dad checkin' out the tide pools (which were quickly disappearing as the tide rolled in) with Carter and Jemma. A couple years ago, I came here with the kids and there were TONS of starfish. I was so hopeful that they would be here again, but unfortunately, those little guys must migrate, cuz we didn't spot one. I was bummed. Lots of sea anemones and clams though. ;)

Mom and Carter.

So, the water here was fridged...not. kidding. Carter wanted me to fill up a bucket of water for him to play with back up in the sand; my toes went instantly numb the second the waves touched them. And that is not an exaggeration. So, when Jacob decided he was going to swim across a section where the tide had come in instead of walking around to a higher point, I had to catch in on film. You are one super stud Jacob!

Mom, Dad, Jemma, Gavin and Carter hangin' on the beach. They were actually all watching and laughing at my brothers strikin' male model poses (chillin' on the beach with their hoodies unzipped) while I snapped silly pictures of'll have to friend them on facebook though to see those. ;)

Jacob, me, Reed and Nathan.

Yes, one of my brothers has the name Reed...even the same spelling as my last name. In fact, until I married Brandon, I had always intended to name one of my sons Reed. It's such a sweet name! But, I guess I lucked out, cuz now all my sons (and daughters) get to have that as their name. Cha-ching!

Friday, July 8, 2011

Festivities on the 4th

Our 4th of July was chuck full of fantastic fun. (Like that alliteration?) Brandon wanted to take the kids to the parade in Hillsboro, and that was a super big hit. They LOVED it...with the exception of Gavin perhaps...he prefers a little more freedom than the parade would allow...

This guy had skill! I was super impressed.

Carter, excited about his first handful of candy in his bag. :) They're still wittling away at that stuff.

I love this! Jemma's got her arm around Carter's neck...I think there was a fire truck on its way down the road and Jemma was pointing it out to him.

This little amigo was too much! So little and so super cute!

The Dairy Queen. ;)

Some giant horses.

More candy.

After the parade, we ran home, packed up a picnic lunch and swim gear (while Gavin slept in the car) and then headed to Hagg Lake to hang with friends for the afternoon.

Jemma, warmin' up after at least an hour in the (muddy) water.

Now that swimming lessons are over, Carter assures me he is in no need of a life jacket or help when in the water...hmmm. He also didn't get in past his ankles, so I guess if that's his idea of swimming, then he's right. ;)

After the lake, we ran home, bathed the kids and put them ALL down for a nap. It was AWESOME!!! They slept from 4-6pm. Lovely. We don't usually give Jemma and Carter naps anymore, but we told them it was a MUST if they wanted to go to the fireworks that night in Banks.
Again, we went with lots of friends and the kids had a BLAST playing with friends until it got dark (and cold) and we snuggled up in blankets to watch the show.

The firework pictures are courtesy of Carter. I had already put the camera away when he insisted I get it back out so he could take pictures of the fireworks. Thanks Carter!

It was such a fun, busy day and we all slept SUPER good that night. :)

Monday, July 4, 2011

"Oh beautiful for spacious skies, for amber waves of grain...

(photo courtesy of Jemma...not bad! I didn't even have to crop it.)

"...for purple mountain majesty above the fruited plain!

America! America!

God shed his grace on thee. and crowned thy good with brother-hood from sea to shining sea."

Happy 4th of July!