Monday, April 25, 2011

Woodburn Tulip Festival

We finally made it to the Woodburn Tulip Festival this year, and let me tell you, it was worth every minute of anticipation. If you haven't been, GO!!! I could have walked around for hours and taken 500 more pictures if I hadn't been wearing heals and if I didn't have 3 hungry kids and an even hungrier husband in tow. ;)

We went with our good friends, and next door neighbors, the Skinner family. We have been planning for the last year to go together; 1st to enjoy each others company (of course!) and 2nd so we could both get a family picture.

So, pardon the gazillion photos that follow...if you're not that interested, check out now, cuz if you make it to the end, you're gonna see me and Brandon kissing. AHHH!

That apricot colored tulip was my favorite!

It was such a beautiful day. Not a cloud in the sky. (Good for an outdoor excursion in Oregon, not so hot for photography purposes, but I think we still got some good stuff.)

Is that not incredible!?! And this was just one side. I was standing in the middle (approximately) so the other side of me stretched out just as far. AMAZING!

We never did get a very good shot of Gavin. He was so intrigued by the tulips that he rarely looked at anything else...I hope tulips aren't toxic, cuz he got more than a nibbles worth...guess we would know by now, eh.

Cute kids!

I love that one of Carter! (I told him before we came that smiling big would get us a dinner at McDonald's...and grumpy faces would send us home for sandwiches...bribery is a good thing. :)

We had a fabulous much fun, in fact, we're going back tomorrow night for Family Night! Just kidding, but I do hope we can squeeze it in again next year before we say goodbye to Oregon.

Sunday, April 24, 2011


I want somehow, to express my gratitude for this holiday and what it represents to all of Christianity. I have, however, never been gifted in matters of writing. So, please excuse my simple testimony of this event.

I do not fully understand how the Atonement of Jesus Christ took place, nor can I comprehend it's ability to cleanse me from wrong and imperfection. I do, however, have an unfailing knowledge that it does work and that a sinless and perfect Christ gave his life for all mankind.

I serve with the primary children (ages 4-11) in our church and today's lesson was on the events surrounding Christ's death and resurrection. We listed on the board things that the Savior endured during the final days of his life; he was betrayed, spit upon, reviled, denied, whipped, mocked, and crucified. And yet He responded by healing, forgiving, submitting to the will of the Father, giving His life and ultimately conquering death. Elder Holland, a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles said the following:

“Brothers and sisters, one of the great consolations of this Easter season is that because Jesus walked such a long, lonely path utterly alone, we do not have to do so. His solitary journey brought great company for our little version of that path—the merciful care of our Father in Heaven, the unfailing companionship of this Beloved Son, the consummate gift of the Holy Ghost, angels in heaven, family members on both sides of the veil, prophets and apostles, teachers, leaders, friends. All of these and more have been given as companions for our mortal journey because of the Atonement of Jesus Christ and the Restoration of His gospel. Trumpeted from the summit of Calvary is the truth that we will never be left alone nor unaided, even if sometimes we may feel that we are. Truly the Redeemer of us all said: “I will not leave you comfortless: [My Father and] I will come to you [and abide with you].

My other plea at Easter time is that these scenes of Christ’s lonely sacrifice, laced with moments of denial and abandonment and, at least once, outright betrayal, must never be reenacted by us. He has walked alone once. Now, may I ask that never again will He have to confront sin without our aid and assistance, that never again will He find only unresponsive onlookers when He sees you and me along His Via Dolorosa in our present day. [...]—may we declare ourselves to be more fully disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ, not in word only and not only in the flush of comfortable times but in deed and in courage and in faith, including when the path is lonely and when our cross is difficult to bear. This Easter week and always, may we stand by Jesus Christ “at all times and in all things, and in all places that [we] may be in, even until death,” for surely that is how He stood by us when it was unto death and when He had to stand entirely and utterly alone.”

I am incalculably grateful for my Savior, for the Atonement He willingly performed on my behalf and for the knowledge I have been given; that He conquered death and that the tomb stands empty.

"He is not here; for he is risen" Matthew 28:6

And on a side note, here are our 3 bedlamites (as termed by Elder Holland), dressed in their Easter best. :)

The Hunt

We had a visit from the Easter Bunny on Saturday. He must have dropped by awfully early too, because the kids woke up to house that had been littered with dozens of Easter eggs.

Jemma and Carter scavenged and collected all the eggs in a matter of minutes...

Jemma was even kind enough to show Gavin how to collect the eggs.

He got really good at putting them in his little basket. :)

All three kiddos with their baskets chuck-full of eggs.

And what was inside?


Tons of chocolate.

Breakfast (and a belly ache) supplied by the Easter Bunny. :)

See the chocolate drool? Delicious.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Easter Festivities

It seems like life is just zipping past these days...I'm in the kitchen cooking or cleaning and the kids are out riding bikes, and we're just wrapped up in stuff.

But that doesn't mean we haven't made a little time for traditional Easter activities.

Sugar cookie making for starters...the kids were SO excited about these.

They even sat in front of the oven and watched them (ok, just the first batch) bake.
Decorating them, for Carter, was more about eating the mini m&m's.

Jemma, on the other hand, was quite meticulous...I'm lame though, and totally didn't get any pictures of them before we gobbled them up.

We also spent part of an afternoon at the Dean's home dying eggs and having an egg hunt in their yard. (Honestly, if they hadn't had us over, we probably would not have dyed eggs this year...just never got around to it. Plus, none of us are big fans of boiled eggs, and I have guilt over coloring a couple dozen eggs and then just tossing them in the garbage after they've sat in the fridge for a week...)

Jemma was sweet...Carter had much fewer eggs than she did after the hunt was over, so she shared a few of hers with him. :)

Gavin with his treasure.

Carter asking me to open one of his goodies.

Jem showin' off her loot.

It's a good thing this was last weekend, (ya, I know I'm slow these days when it comes to blog updates...) cuz the Easter Bunny visited our home this morning, and we're on treat overload over here!

More on that later. :)

And can I just say that the reason this post looks TERRIBLE is because blogger is being lame and I'm tired of trying to figure it whatever.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Of Late...

Aside from chauffeuring Jem to and from preschool, running back and forth from soccer practice, doing a little sewing (mostly refashioning some of my stuff and scrap skirts for Jem), we've had a relatively chill week. SO chill in fact, that I actually had the energy to take all three kids to the zoo for

a.) the first time without Brandon and

b.) the first time since Gavin was born (if you don't count Zoo Lights, which I don't cuz you couldn't see the animals...)

So, pictures of that excursion are down at the end of this post.

I also have decided that I am truly undecided on how I feel about this little chair.

I found it at goodwill for $9 last September. Love the chair itself...just can't seem to give it the right look.

Obviously "Sofia" had to go...and I was on a gray and turquoise kick, so that's the look it got last fall.

However, after months of gray skies, the color gray on this sweet little rocking chair just didn't work for me...and in addition, the little seat mat I'd sewn up for it looked more and more like a hot good. Plus, I'm trying to go more neural in my home decor. Too many colors these days. Makes me wanna gag when I look around and see mismatched nic-nacs everywhere.

Time for a re-do.

So, I painted it off white and made a new seat cushion.

Gavin felt he needed to climb on this baby as soon as it was upright. (And, notice the upside-down stool in the background?)

And then he felt the need to climb all over me while trying to get a decent shot of the finished product.
But, get a decent shot, I did.

So, now that it's all done...I fear it's too neutral...the cushion doesn't have enough color or maybe I just don't like the yellow ties. (In truth, I didn't feel like sewing up ties, so I dug through my ribbon stash and yellow was the best I could find...) Anyway, we'll see how long this look lasts.

Back to our trip to the zoo. We got there in time for lunch and ate our picnic out on the big lawn and soaked up as much vitamin D as possible. It was WONDERFUL to get out and do something out of the norm away from the confinements of our little apartment.

Here are the pics from the zoo. (I didn't get the camera out much...we were just enjoying ourselves too much I guess. :)

This was the first time we've EVER seen the lions outside their den.
Those bats are really cool to watch...we usually just skip these guys cuz they're back in a little dark corner and we tend to hit this area at the end of our zoo excursions. This time, we checked them out for a good 10 minutes or so.

Anyway, I asked Jem and Carter what they're favorite animal was. Carter's was the Tiger and Jem said she loved them all!
They haven't stopped asking since when we're going back...when the sun comes back out!