Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Before and almost after

Some may see this little burm as work, but we see it as potential.
Before... After...well almost. The rock wall is done! Can't you just see us sitting out there enjoying a summer day?
Now all we have to do is add a cement patio up, a pergola, some flowers, some mulch, a bush or two, maybe a tree and a bench, clean up the brush...

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Lambing Season

Every year we go to Huntsville to see the baby lambs. This year we took Sara and Trevor with us. We had lunch at a Brew Pub first. Here Aidan and Papa are awaiting bratworst and a chili dog. This little sweetie is named Mac after our cousin MacKenzie! He was very patient with us as we carried him around the pasture and took turns loving on him.
Sara had never held a baby lamb before. She took to it naturally, so much so I think I will send her up when it is time to band them.

Doesn't this one have a sweet little face.

I took Sara on in a game of chicken. Notice how her tractor is turning away...
Thank goodness my mom had hot cocoa ready to warm us up, it was freezing!
It was a great trip and I am so glad I got to share this time with my family and my friends!

Monday, February 16, 2009

the ups and downs

There is nothing noteworthy to is just being life.
On the up list:
-Aidan and Nadia got a fish tank for Valentine's Day. Aidan chose a shark and named it Swimmy because he darts around and looked curious in the tank at the store, Nadia got a Plecostomus and named her Angel because she is helpful. I don't know what kind of fish we got but Tony's is gray and red so his name is Butch after the Cougar mascot and mine is name Gugenheim for no reason at all.
-Aidan and Nadia made my mom a birthday present. I am so impressed at the thought that went into their decisions, unfortunately I can't share that right now for fear I will spoil the surprise.
-Aidan was super helpful this morning. He talked Nadia through the torture I was administering. In this case, torture was asking her to take her vitamin. He told her to think about strawberry lemonaid. He said it over and over until she said mmmmmmm like she really was visualizing it. He then cleared his breakfast dishes and asked Nadia if she had anything for him to take to the garbage.
-After dropping the kids off at daycamp (so I can work on my stupid, life-draining boards) Aidan ran to the window and waved at me with the biggest smile on his face. That kid can melt my heart!
-We have a new cousin! Lynn and Jake, Tony's cousins had a baby boy named Brody!!!
-I have discovered facebook and reconnected with many friends. It has been wonderful to hear how their lives have progressed!
-I get to see my sister in 3 days!

And now for the down list:
-My dear sister in law is coping with family illness. My thoughts are with her and my brother.
-Nadia has decided to give up being cute. I know this is an intentional decision because she told me so. She said she feels embarrassed when people smile at her in public and it makes her feel awkward. She would like to go to a doctor and have them change her face. She hides her face when people smile at her. 1st-what? Are you not 5? 2nd-where did you get this vocabulary? 3rd-how do you know dr's change faces? So what is a mom to do? I manipulated her by listing the similarities between my features, Tony's and her own and convinced her she wouldn't want to change any of that. I am worried where we will go from here.
-National boards keeping me away from my day with my kids. I refuse to let the weekend be consumed by this process in an effort to keep my time with my family sacred. I am literally counting the days until I am done.

I am glad the up list is bigger than the down. There are so many things I could have listed for both. Life is so full and that in itself is a positive.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Why you should love Portland too:

1. a two-story IKEA! Tony, the kids and I found so many things we could use (read we LOVE Ikea because there are so many things we want, not need, but would find an excuse to have). Thankfully we have a small car which significantly helps our willpower. Although, Tony was able to squeeze in 3 cabinets, all of the hanging hardware, some knick-knack-patty-wacks and a couple of stuffies. (stuffies are stuffed animals. Tony does not see the value in something you can not build and then take apart, therefore stuffies really are a treat.)

2. Sunshine and the Oregon Zoo! It was a beautiful day to walk around a zoo. Unfortunately, we were not the only ones who thought so. None the less, it was a relaxing afternoon.

3. Great friends! We visited the Kurtz family. Monique and I have been friends since an intramural football league in college. She looked past my inability to play sports, we became roommates and lifelong friends. Our lives have followed similar paths. We both married our high school sweethearts, have two beautiful children and decided after becoming moms that we wanted to be teachers. She thinks I am crazy for teaching high school and I know she is certifiable for teaching first grade. Our friendship picks up where ever we leave off now matter how many months have past between conversations and no matter if it has been years since we have seen each other. It was wonderful to see you all and we can not wait until July!

Sunday, February 1, 2009

An overdue thank you to my Mom and Dad

My mom and dad have always appreciated art and have passed that on to us in a myriad of ways. I remember the two of them hand-painting ceramic bakeware as gifts for relatives. I remember my dad and I putting up poles in the front yard that became sculptures. I remember countless crafts that my mom would complete, from bows to wreaths to stained glass. I remember my dad taking me to the Walla Walla Foundry and being in awe of the different forms and styles of sculptures and just a year or two ago we went back to the foundry with my parents and my children to see a three story Pinochio. Amazing! Just a few years ago my parents suprised me for my birthday with an iron chicken that they made together (my mom even used a plasma cutter, cool huh?) Well this year, they surprised me with these vases.
Thank you mom and dad!
Not just for the beautiful vases but for giving me the love of art in its many forms.
Love you guys!!!

Now it's time for picture time

This is what sick looks like . . .

I can't believe I am going to post this sickly picture. I look like I am 45!

not 32! Man, can I pull off a sombrero or what?

and when parents are sick, kids end up looking like this . . .

yes these children are ready for any ninja attacks that may come their way. Who knew there was a pink ninja gang? You can see that Aidan is uber-prepared with his light saber, headgear and trusty computer mouse. I am sure it will be effective at clicking them away.

Thank goodness for Uncle Jamie and Aunt Debi who brought the temporarily neglected children some giant doughnuts so at least they won't starve. I am just sorry I didn't get to smooch on M&M and the Coopster.

and these guys won't starve either. I am not even sure you can make them out. There are about 14 little brown clumps out there that are the quail in our backyard that we love to feed. They have some sort of sixth sense for impending camera's though. It seems like whenever I want to capture their beauty they all start to scatter. Maybe they believe my photos will steal their soul or maybe they think the camera will somehow turn them into dinner or maybe the Sudefed has finally melted all rational thought from my congested cabeza.