Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Christmas on the 19th

Because we were leaving for Utah on the 20th, we decided to open some of our presents on the 19th. I didn't want to have to pack them all there and back. I had decided to give Becca a dollhouse. She was THRILLED with it and could hardly be bothered to open anything else once she found it. She just sat and played with all its little pieces.

The other kids enjoyed all the gifts they got. They wished they could bring them all with us to Utah.

Gingerbread House

Anna, William and I built a Gingerbread house on November 27th. It had a few run-ins with gravity. One of the side walls broke into 3 pieces and one of the roof slopes shattered into 10+. It was lucky that the frosting managed to hold it together. I put the frosting on and the kids pushed candy into it. It turned out pretty good. Becca quickly discovered that she could reach it, especially if she pushed the stool into the right spot. She managed to eat a fair amount of the candy off it over the course of the month. Anna enjoyed helping her. William was more interested in wrapped candy from the candy bowl.

Christmas Lights

The day after Thanksgiving Butch came over to help us put the Christmas Lights on the house. We had bought all new LED lights to keep from overtaxing our power supply. Becca was very helpful with the set-up. Then, she worked on the swingset while Dad and Butch put the lights on the house.

Becca's Happy Song

This is a video of Becca being happy from the 24th of November.

Wednesday, November 04, 2009


We had a great Halloween. We took our time getting going that morning. At 3:00 we suited up in our Halloween best and headed to the local trick-or-treating strip of shops. It's the one in Tanasbourne with Safeway, Trader Joes, Kinkos, etc. It's a pretty popular event. You go in costume with your bags and stop in at each store for a candy. Becca had the cute factor going and got extra here and there. And my definite favorite was the cinnamon bread given by Great Harvest. SOOO good. The kids were forced to share that with me and Kip. We stopped inside Safeway and asked if they had a large sheet of cardboard we could have. I had finally gotten around to reading my Halloween issue of Family Fun that morning. They had a picture of a "house-o-lantern" with a big window in the front filled with a cardboard jack-o-lantern face cut out of cardboard and lit from inside. I just HAD to do it in our window. Luckily, Safeway hooked us up. We took our candy and cardboard home (after a stop at cold stone for some ice cream treats because we hadn't yet had enough sugar) and spent the rest of the evening cutting the cardboard to fit the window and carving a face out of it. It turned out great. And next year we'll even get it up before Halloween day.


In case any of you were wondering about the fact that Grandma was mentioned in the last post but not included in the pictures, I thought I would post a photo as proof that she was there.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Pumpkin Patch Trip

Grandma K came out to visit us for my birthday. She arrived October 9th and stayed the weekend. On Saturday morning we all went to a pumpkin farm in North Plains. We had a great time playing in the straw and doing the hay maze. We chose some really nice pumpkins to take home.

The kids loved having their Grandma here. Becca wanted to be with her all the time and William and Anna hardly gave her a chance to breathe. We were sad to see her go on Monday morning.


It's been a really long time since I posted an update. I just thought I'd show you all why. This is box one of about 5 more. I've been canning pears every time I have a free moment. Unfortunately, I've fallen behind on a lot of other things and decided that pears are almost more work than they're worth. Hopefully, William and Becca will enjoy eating them enough to make me feel better about the slave labor I've done...

Saturday, September 26, 2009

School Started

I just realized that I never posted about school starting. Oops. William's first day of school was September 8th. William was very excited about going to 'all day' school as a first grader. We packed him a lunch the night before and headed out the door at 8:15 with his sisters in the stroller. At the school, all the kids were being herded into their classrooms by organized moms with cameras. I didn't have mine. Oh well. I checked him in with his teacher and pushed the girls home. At the end of the day (3:00) I was back outside the school to pick him up. All the organized moms were there again with their cameras. Alas, I hadn't thought to bring it then either. So, my picture of William is on his exit from school the second day. But he seemed happy enough then and he didn't look that much different from the day before.

Anna started preschool on the 9th. She was excited to go because she got to have one of the teachers from last year in her new class this year. Of course, I didn't remember the camera at drop-off, but I did manage to get it for pickup.

OMSI September 15th

I took Anna and Becca to OMSI with Jo Istook, Jared and Rachel on Tuesday the 15th. The girls really enjoyed it. William was sad about missing it, but he has enough fun at school that he got over it fairly quickly.

Becca enjoyed getting wet in the water area.

Anna enjoyed playing with "Flubber."

They posed for a nice picture in the little kid soft play zone.

Then Anna decided having pictures of her taken while flying through the air was the best thing ever.

We all had a lot of fun and we intend to go back as often as possible during the rainy winter.

Princess Becca

Becca found one of Anna's old Halloween costumes and decided to try it on. I thought she looked adorable. It's also a nice picture because you can see both her chipped front top teeth. She's into living dangerously.

Bribed with a piece of candy, she let me put the Barbie wig on her head. I couldn't get the camera up fast enough for a great picture but it's nice to get an idea of what she would look like with hair.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Oaks Park Day

Wednesday was the official Oaks Park Amusement Park day for Washington County Library summer reading program finishers. I called Butch and Jo that morning from swimming lessons and asked if they were going. We decided to do it. So, after a quick grocery store trip and grabbing food from McD's, we drove to the other side of Portland for some fun.

Anna really liked the spinny balloon ride.

Becca liked this car ride, until it started moving. Then she cried the whole time.

This is William with Alyssa and Spencer on William's favorite ride. (It made Spencer almost puke.)

Becca loved riding on this carousel horse - the kind that didn't go up and down. She kept leaning over to pet its face and laugh while we went around and around.

And this is the downpour that caught us as we tried to head back to our car.

Princess Party

To celebrate her birthday, we threw Anna a Princess party. We had all the girls come in costume. After making necklaces with yarn and foamy beads, we read the princess and the pea and played a princess and the pea game. We took turns hiding a small bouncy ball under a pillow and having girls sit on it and guess which one had it. Then, we read the frog prince and played pin the kiss on the froggy.

Finally we ate the castle cake, which unfortunately didn't turn out as well as I had hoped. I shouldn't have put it off to the last minute, I guess...

We were very excited that one of the gifts for Anna included a barbie style wig. Now Becca can finally have some hair! If only she wouldn't pull it off so quickly!

Anna's Birthday

Anna turned 4 on August 7th. We wanted to go to Olive Garden but found it too crowded, so we decided to hit our favorite little downtown Italian place instead. It was not at all crowded and the food was great, as always.

Anna had a good time opening her gifts and couldn't wait to play with them.

Becca really liked the Chocolate Torte but Anna thought it was too dense.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Bahamas Cruise

We decided right at the end of our stay that we wanted to take a cruise to the Bahamas. There is a cruise ship that leaves from Ft Lauderdale every day and does a five hour trip out to Grand Bahama Island. There, you can do a quick tour and return on the ship for another 5 hours, or you can stay at a hotel for any number of nights and go back another day. We opted to spend one night and left on Thursday July 9th returning the 10th.

The boat ride out to the Bahamas was pleasant. We left the house at 5:30 am to make it to the boat around 6. We enjoyed a buffet breakfast (included in the ticket price) after the ship left dock and then William, Anna and I napped in the cabin we had reserved. It was a tight fit, but we snuggled up just fine. Kip and Becca ended up napping on a deck under the lifeboats. We got to the Bahamas in the early afternoon and headed to the hotel. It was a beautiful hotel and we had two rooms connected, unfortunately not facing the ocean. The hotel pool was gorgeous with an aquaduct-like construction going over that spouted waterfalls in several place. The ocean water at the beach outside the hotel was amazingly blue and clear. I wished we could have had more time so we could have gone out to the coral reefs in a glass-bottom boat.

We took the boat back the next day - Friday. After going through the security and getting in line to have our tickets and passports checked, we realized that Becca's "loving blanket" was not in any of our luggage. This was a disaster. She adores that blanket and can't sleep without it. I asked one of the security workers if we had time to go back to the hotel for it. He said no and suggested we use the phone in the main office to call the hotel for it. Kip went up to the main office and started the calling. In the end, it was decided that we would have the hotel staff give it to a taxi driver and have him drive it to the dock where we would be waiting to pay him for his delivery. It cost us $25 to have this done and he arrived just as the lady in charge of loading was about to tell us we were out of time and had to get on the ship. (All five of us in a taxi from the dock to the hotel had cost $25, so that blanket was an expensive passenger.) It was worth it. Becca took a nap as soon as we got onboard and found our cabin.

On this trip, Becca napped first with Kip while the kids and I lounged and toured the ship. Then we all had our buffet dinner (really good pasta and bread) and I took William and Anna to the cabin for bed. Eventually Kip and Becca joined us back in there and we learned that 4 out of 5 of us could fit in the little beds.


We spent a lot of time at the beach in Ft Lauderdale. The water was around 80 degrees and the air usually a little warmer. It was wonderful! We loved to float on our backs on the rolling waves. It was never very choppy where we were, so it was very pleasant just to lie back and let the water lift you up and drop you down. The kids learned to like their floaty rings - although Becca took until the last day to like Mr Turtle - and would float out with us. We loved to see the fishes and collect pretty little seashells and bits of broken coral. And lots of lots of sand ended up in our swimsuits.

This is where we washed off back at the house. It was a great thing to have!

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Cousin Time

We're really enjoying the opportunity to spend time with Uncle Chad, Aunt Angie and Cousin Abby. The kids enjoy playing with Abby and want her to come along on all the activities we do. Here, we're enjoying dinner at the Floridian after a boat tour of the New River through downtown Ft Lauderdale.

They're really working on getting Abby to make funny faces. Anna really has hers down.

Uncle Chad, Becca and Kip like to hang out in Chad's kitchen.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Princesses and Legos

We went to Downtown Disney on the 16th to get our souvenir fix. William loved the big Lego store there with play areas out front. Anna was thrilled to meet some princesses she didn't need to be shy of.


Grandma came to Florida to join us and we all went to DisneyWorld Saturday the 13th and again on Tuesday the 16th. Lines were a little worse than at Universal and SeaWorld, but not as bad as I expected. Of course, we only rode kid-friendly rides, so things may have been worse on rides popular with older people. The weather was hot, but we generally stayed in the shade. I was surprised that Disney didn't have many fans. Universal and SeaWorld had fans with water-misters that were incredibly refreshing. There weren't anything like that at Disney. If you were lucky, you waited in line for 30-60 minutes in the shade. If not, you were in the sun. No fans. I thought that was a little lame. If the other parks provided fans and sometimes even TV's, why did Disney just make you stand in the hot sun?

But enough complaining. It really was fun. We forced the kids to do the Peter Pan ride. They ended up kind of liking it. Then we rewarded them with the Small World ride. They loved that. Anna liked the Dumbo ride, but the line was the worst of our whole trip. At least an hour long with no fans and no shade for the last 15 minutes. I almost got Anna through the line to meet the princesses, but when I refused to hold her for the 15 minute wait, she decided she didn't want to see the princesses after all.

We went to Epcot on Tuesday. It was fun. We went to the funny show and Kip got to be part of it - putting hook&loop diapers on dollies. He did great. The kids liked the Nemo ride. They had to be forced to leave the aquarium at the end.