Friday, December 14, 2007

An Announcement...

We are very happily expecting a baby around June 25, 2008. I am 12.5 weeks along and feeling mostly normal again. For awhile, I was fairly miserable with morning sickness and terrible headaches, but thankfully, they've subsided. At about 6 weeks, when I'd already been experiencing some sickness, I suddenly got MUCH worse. I was sleeping almost all the time, it seemed, and I felt hot and cold, and I could barely stomach the thought of food. After about three horrible days of feeling this way, I was pretty sure the next 6 weeks were going to be pure misery... Then Taylor got the stomach flu. I have never been more thankful for a flu bug in my life! I was so relieved to know this was going to be over in a few days instead of lasting for over a month! :-) :-) I had to laugh at myself for never even thinking it might be possible that I'd come down with anything besides morning sickness.

The boys are mostly excited about having a new baby. Taylor is elated and can't wait for a sister, whereas Aric was excited about a brother. I say "was" because as the idea has taken hold in his mind, he has gotten more and more unhappy about losing his position as the youngest. We have had fun telling the boys the size of the baby each week as it relates to food. When we first found out, the baby was the size of a sesame seed. A few weeks later, it was the size of a blueberry, then a kidney bean, then a grape, then a kumquat, and now a lime. Here is a picture of the baby at "kidney bean stage." Jeremy asked when I brought the pictures home if they were actual size. They weren't intended to be, but at 8 weeks, they did happen to show the baby as being exactly the size of a kidney bean. :-) The baby looked like a kidney bean, then, too. Now the length of a lime, I'm sure the baby looks a lot more like a baby. :-)

Monday, December 10, 2007

Thanksgiving in Montana

We had so much fun sledding at Great-Gramma and Great-Papa's house.

The boys also had fun on the teeter-totter that Mom played on when she was a little girl!

At Grammy and Grumpy's house we had fun building a snowman...

...and having a snowball fight.

Jumping off Grumpy's new deck!

Nothing like the blind trust of a child!

Rough-housing with Grumpy

An early birthday party for Taylor with our great friends in Idaho

Silly kids!
An early "Merry Christmas" to everyone!

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Our Housing Adventure

We haven't mentioned anything recently about our house building adventure because we haven't been sure what was going to happen or where we would eventually end up. We were all set to purchase 5 acres in Woodland, WA and build a house, but the closer we got to the project, the less we felt it was what we were meant to do. We had some serious doubts, which the builder graciously walked us through, so we kept moving forward on the project. However, when it came time to really commit, we both felt very strongly that this wasn't where the Lord was leading us. Our "gut-feeling" continued to be one of resistance, so finally, after a lot of prayer, we decided we'd better listen and stop moving down this path.

The very day we broke off the Woodland project, a house came on the market in a nice rural pocket northeast of Vancouver. The home is a 1960s era fixer-upper on one acre. It would be a close commute for Jeremy but we would still get to feel kind of like we were living in "the country." The home would be large enough for our growing family and Jeremy would have room to pursue his projects in the extra-large garage. This house seemed like a really great fit for our family and we were very excited to "stumble upon it" when we did. (Of course, we think the timing had more to do with being directed than stumbling!) However, it was a foreclosure and the price was unbeatable, so we were immediately part of a bidding war with three other interested parties. Thankfully, we were eventually the winning bidders. However, because of some major repairs, we could not get financing secured for a while. Eventually, and thanks to our great realtor, we were able to come up with a workable solution. Now, we are finally officially in contract on the house. We plan to close and take possession on December 21. We probably won't be moving in until the end of February when our apartment lease expires, and, in the meantime, we'll be working hard to get the roof replaced, the electrical systems replaced, the downstairs plumbing removed (from concrete) and replumbed to a different area of the basement, the entire downstairs demolished (including walls, floors, ceilings - everything but the one structural wall), the kitchen demolished, the laminate flooring that covers the entire main living area removed, and... well, you get the idea. We want to do as much as we can before we move in February, then we'll just live in whatever part of the house is most liveable at the time while we work on other parts of it.

Have I ever mentioned how thankful I am to have such a handy husband? It's a good thing he likes projects, because this is a pretty major one! This is definitely a different direction than we thought we would be headed, but we are so thankful for the strong sense of leading that has brought us to this house. We are very excited to "plug in" to our new community and get started on this adventure. If any one of you happens to be in the area and wants a workout, let us know. We can probably manage to find an extra pair of leather gloves for you. :-)

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Fall Fun
The boys carved some fun fall pumpkins (it's obvious they had a LOT of help from Daddy!) and enjoyed dressing up for a harvest party that we never ended up making it to. It was still fun. We went around our apartment complex and got a few pieces of candy and they thought life was pretty great. Here are the pics!

Also, I keep wanting to mention a few of the funny things these boys have been saying lately:

Aric, pointing to the thin blue lines in his wrist: "Mom, are these my brains?" (I emphasized the difference between VEINS and BRAINS after this question!)

Taylor, after getting a flu bug: "Mom, I don't like throwing up. It makes my stomach feel all googley." (Who knew "googley" was such a bad thing?)

Aric, as he was being dragged through a store: "Dad, I'm so BORING!" (Jeremy said the checkout lady couldn't stop laughing at this one. He really was tired of being out and about. As he came in the front door, I overheard him say, "Dad, you wore me out!" Sometimes it's pretty funny to hear him repeating phrases he's heard.)

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Swimming Lessons

Taylor and Aric are taking swimming lessons at the pool nearest our apartment. We figured that during our rainy fall, it would be a perfect way for them to burn some energy and learn something new at the same time. They are both doing really good and enjoying the experience.

Friday, October 12, 2007


(Plus the balance of September pics)

On September 17, Aric turned 3. Because of our move, the regular party with friends didn't happen. However, when Grammy and Grumpy were here, we made him a birthday blackberry pie and had his first mini-party. He got to open gifts from his Grammy and Grumpy, Great-Papa and Great-Gramma, and Great-Aunt Lynn.

Thanks, Grammy and Grumpy, for KARAOKE!

Great-Gramma send a goodie box to all of us, so Tay got in on the fun.

On his actual birthday, our immediate family had his second mini-party. We drove down to Wilsonville and visited Bullwinkle's Family Fun Center. Aric has been wanting to ride the go-karts for a very long time, but the minimum age requirement is 3, so this was his first opportunity. He was quite firm about riding with Mommy instead of Daddy (who, by the way, was far-and-away the winner of the race). Conservative, safe-driver Mommy was near the end of the pack (ok, ok, I was dead last, but at least Aric didn't have anything to be scared about! :-). Later that day, we had chocolate angel food cake that the boys had helped me make and Aric got to open his presents from Tay, Mom and Dad, and Grandpa Lyn and Grandma Janet.

Since he got a bicycle for his birthday, we've been trying to get out and ride whenever it's not rainy. A few weeks ago, we went to Round Lake (near Camas) and gave the boys their first taste of "trail riding." They lasted about a quarter mile before retreating to the play structure, but it was a beautiful day to be outside enjoying the beautiful fall colors.

Two weekends ago, we went to the coast with our friends, the Hendersons. We visited the Tillamook Air Museum and my boys (yes, all THREE of them) got to drool over F14s and play in cockpit simulators. We stayed in a beachfront rental, which we have never done before. I must say, we were totally spoiled by huge picture-window views of the ocean, not to mention the fact that bathroom breaks didn't require packing the whole family to a public restroom blocks from where we had started. We had a very nice time.

Now Jeremy's upriver and we're settling into the reality of apartment life and waiting for the next step in this interesting process. We're very thankful for sunbreaks, bicycles, soccer balls, and the library. I'm also thankful for the humorous moments that occur every day with my boys. They keep me chuckling a lot of the time. One example from a few months ago: We were eating out at The Old Spaghetti Factory with grandparents. Taylor's menu had a word scramble with noodle terms. He asked me what to do and I told him what each of the terms was. He studiously turned to his placemat and began writing each of them phonetically. He started with "P-O-S-D-U" aka pasta. :-)

Friday, September 07, 2007


August was mostly a blur. We packed and moved and had lots of company. Jeremy's parents came and helped us move into our apartment. Then, we had a few days of "down time." We worked on getting settled and took a nice day trip up and around the little corner of Washington we plan to call home. We found a beautiful Mt. St. Helens lookout along the way, then played at Yale Reservoir (one of three reservoirs we hope to eventually go boating on near Woodland). At the beginning of September, we met my parents in Hermiston and sent Jeremy off on his first bowhunting experience with my dad. Mom came with me and we had a great day trekking around the gorge while we made our way back to Vancouver. The guys had an exciting hunting trip. They were in a really neat ecosystem and surrounded by big bull elk. Although Jeremy didn't bag one, they had an amazing adventure which ensured that Jeremy will be addicted to bowhunting for years to come.

Here are some pics:

It was hard to say goodbye to our garden. The boys' sunflowers had become monstrous. The morning we left, my great gardener Taylor went out and picked a heaping collander-full of tomatoes and a number of zuchhini, so we got to take some of our bounty with us.

The boys with their sunflowers.

Blowing bubbles with Grandma Janet.

Here we go a-moving!

Thanks, Grandpa and Grandma, for helping us move and playing with us so mom and dad could get things figured out! You were lots of help!

Now Mt. St. Helens will be the volcano in our backyard. We've never been up there, but are excited to go see the visitors' center and other viewpoints.

Lake Merwin, Yale Reservoir, and Swift Reservoir should be lots of fun for us. However, the boys were used to the temperature of the apartment swimming pool, so they didn't really enjoy swimming in the icy Yale waters. Throwing rocks was kinda fun, though.

Grammy and boys at the base of Multnomah Falls.

Taylor and Aric on the trail up to the top of the falls. Aric lost interest fairly quickly, but Taylor insisted we keep going all the way to the top. Aric ended up riding on Mom's back for a lot of the uphill walk. However, he did walk down, and announced proudly, "I'm a pretty good hiker."

Mom and boys at the very top of Multnomah Falls. We made it!

Grammy and boys at the Vista House. They were pretty disappointed that the building had already closed for the day. Aric still wants to go back to the "Bista House" when it's open, and so does Taylor.

Monday, August 27, 2007


I know I always say we're really busy, but this time I am not exaggerating. Big news first: We've moved to Washington. Our house sold about a month ago and this past weekend, we moved to an apartment in Vancouver, WA, where we'll live for 6 months or so. We are planning to purchase 5 acres in Woodland, WA and have a home built.

Grandma Janet was visiting for a number of weeks during the busy time when our house initially sold, and she returned this past week with Grandpa Lyn to help out with the actual move. We are very grateful for all the help! There is truly nothing like having live-in childcare and we will miss having grandparents close by when they leave!

However, we won't have to miss it for long because Grammy and Grumpy will be coming to visit in September. [Watch out, Grammy and Grumpy - we're shameless in recruiting Grandparents to babysit for us! It's the price you pay for driving all this way to see us!] We had planned on this summer being the summer of camping, but instead, it's turned out to be the summer of Grandparents! We've truly enjoyed it.

Next HUGE news item: Jeremy has secured his operator seniority position. This means that he has been trained to operate tugboats in the harbor and has been "checked off," so he's officially on his way to becoming an operator (only 600 hours of practice to go! :-) We are very proud of him - we expected this milestone to take about five years, but he achieved it in three and a half years!

Now, for the pictures:

The boys play in a fountain in Tualatin while Dad watches the model boats on the lake.


Look how handsome that long hair is!

Bye-bye, long hair. It's time for mid-summer buzz cuts.

The boys having a picnic with Grandma and Mom at the Tillamook Forest Center.

Grandma Janet and the boys climbing the steps of the fire tower (this one is fully operational, unlike the one we visited unsuccessfully last spring).

Fireman Taylor.

Fireman Aric.

Swimming with the salmon at the forestry center.

Hanging out on the Wilson River near the forestry center - the volcanic rock on the river bank has a number of hollowed out "pools" that have been carved out by swirling water and sediment - perfect for these little boys to wade in.

We went to Nehalem Bay and camped for the night with Grandma Janet. It was a windy adventure, but thankfully, we survived with only 1 bent tentpole. :-( I wouldn't recommend setting up a big tent without lots of extra hands. Our neighbors (smart people who RV at the windy Oregon Coast instead of tenting it) helped us a number of times. We felt a bit sheepish, but it was better than being blown away!

After breaking camp, we drove up to Seaside and visited the little aquarium. It's a bit crowded, but the boys thought it was great to be able to touch the sea life (including chopped up fish that they tossed to the seals - ACK!).

Ari with the Starry.

Taylor tickling anemones.

Well, that's all for now. That catches us up on pictures through July. Next time, I'll try to post all the August pictures.