Thursday, January 10, 2013

Year in Review 2012


Since I did not actually post anything about 2012, it is a little daunting to try and recap and entire year.  So, I have made the goal to write a few quick posts summarizing each month of 2012.  Wish me luck!

I should say a few things about where we are right now in our lives.  I am still working at the Dental Office.  I love my job - I have the nicest boss ever!  The last two months of the year are very, very busy in the office as everyone tries to use up the last of their dental benefits and get that crown that was recommended 8 months earlier.  There was a lot of looooong nights and overtime.  I am so glad it is January.

Peter moved to Oregon in August after asking me to marry him in July.  The wedding is in 23 days.  I am excited and nervous and happy and scared and so grateful that he loves me and loves my children.  More on the wedding soon.  Peter gives me flowers.  I love that and I love him.

Sophie just turned 11 years old.  My kids are all growing like weeds - without my approval.  Max is creeping up on me and is wearing size 8 men's shoes.  He is huge.  Little Sophie is taller and her teeth are straighter - photos to come.  She is also the proud owner of a dozen African Giant Cockroaches and a baby Tarantula named Bella.  More on that later and feel free to question my sanity.  Calvin is still a scrawny little thing - just taller.  He and Sophie are finally taking piano lessons.

We are still renting our little 1940's home and we will be here for the foreseeable future.   We need to save money to fly Peter's kids out this summer for a long visit and for our wedding celebration (reception) which we have decided to hold in the summer so we can be outside!

I am the primary secretary in our ward, Peter is the second counselor in the Elder's Quorum Presidency and Max was just set apart as Deacon President.  I miss our ward in Minnesota horribly especially these last few months.  I have not made many friends here in our ward and that makes me sad.  I do love living close to my sisters and we get together quite a bit to explore the state and to celebrate birthdays.

My life is busier than it has ever been - how can that possibly be?  This is the first time I have worked outside the home since becoming a Mother and my hours at work and my one hour commute leave me very little time for bogging or reading or really anything other than making the kids dinner, running them to activities and supervising homework and practicing.  It has been a huge adjustment and one I feel I have not quite mastered.    How does one come home from a very long day at work and want to do anything other than climb into bed?  I think the short days are making this particularly hard right now.  
Peter has been an enormous help with the children and just by being incredibly helpful and thoughtful.  I am truly a lucky girl.

2012 was a year of change - like so many of the last few years.  I am grateful for this journey and for the new adventures waiting for us in 2013.
Monthly recaps to follow - hopefully next week.  Keep those fingers crossed.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

First Day of School

 I'm a little late to the game - oh well!  Sophie and Calvin are attending Raleigh Park for the second year.  There were a lot of changes with the Beaverton School District's Schools this year.  A huge budget crisis forced the school district to eliminate over 200 teacher positions.  Class sizes are enormous and many teachers have been forced to move schools, grades and subjects.  It is terrible and really drives home the need for consistent, reliable educational funding.

Sophie's teacher this year is Mrs. Laird.  She came to Raleigh Park from a local middle school where she taught history.  Sophie was thrilled to learn her two best friends, Grace and Kate are in her class again this year.  Her class started with 39 kids this year!  About a week into the school year, after her teacher fell on her face while trying to squeeze between desks, the school district brought in one more teacher to make a grade 4/grade 5 split class.  It has helped to being down the numbers in her class - hooray!

Calvin has Mrs. Baumgartner for second grade and several of his friends from last year are in his class again including one little girl from his primary class.

All three of the kids decided they hated school lunch after last year so our mornings are very busy as all three kids have to pack their lunches for school!  It is better though - Calvin is actually eating things other than a white bagel with nothing on it and a chocolate milk for lunch.   I bought a bunch of bento box type containers and new lunchboxes for the kids.  They now take a lot of leftovers and fresh fruits and vegetables and everyone is happier.

I know most Mothers are thrilled when their children go back to school, but I am not one of them!  I love the summers and I love coming home from work and being able to relax with the kids, walk to the library or go to a park or a concert.  Once school starts, every evening is a rush to get home for work, get dinner on the table, get all of the homework done and make sure piano and trombone are practiced.  It is exhausting.  I can't wait for summer!

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Sad Little Man


This is what my cute little boy does when his feelings are hurt.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Hood River Vacation

A few weeks before the start of school, my brother Scott and his fiance Carmen came into town for a week.  They rented a gorgeous home on a hill overlooking Hood River and invited the whole family up for the week.  I had to work, but the kids spend the week playing with the Aunts and Uncles and cousins and Peter and I traveled up on two evenings to spend time with the family.

The home is enormous, very modern and full of light.  My favorite part was the deck stretching the entire width of the house with two eating areas and a comfortable couch for reading or napping.

The view of the gorge is lovely.  The kids went swimming, hiking, paddle boarding and picked peaches at a local orchard.  They spent a lot of time enjoying the home's theater room with four couches and stadium seating on the second floor.

I snapped a bunch of photos of the home (owned by Carmen's boss) before leaving.  It is available for rent most of the year.

I made Calvin pose in the hallway downstairs just to illustrated the size of the hallway!  Four bedrooms and theater and a game room on this floor.  The shower in the master bedroom had more room than my entire bathroom at our little house.  

Kirstin brought her new boyfriend up to the house to let him experience the craziness of her 5 Portland nieces and nephews.

We stayed over Saturday night and after passing the children off for a fun day with their Dad, Peter and I tried paddle boarding as well.  We stayed in a little inlet off of the Columbia River and had a great time.  I tried to venture out into the river, but the waves knocked me off almost immediately.  I need to try again sometime soon.

Thank you Scott and Carmen!

Monday, September 3, 2012

State Fair

Last Monday I grabbed the kids and a couple of Sophie's friends and we headed to Salem for the State Fair.  The girls were anxious to see if their cakes had earned them any ribbons and fame and the boys just wanted to eat fried stuff.  We lucked out as there was some promotion going on and all of the kids (even Max!) got in to the fair for free and all of the ride tickets were half off.

We went to the cakes first and the girls were disappointed to find out that none of them had earned a ribbon.  In fact, there were no ribbons awarded in the kids categories - lame.  It was still exciting to see their cakes on display and we'll have to find out why there were no ribbons before we enter again next year.

Max was able to meet several Oregon authors - we bought a book from this guy (William L. Sullivan) who writes some of my favorite hiking guides of Oregon.


Despite being free kids day, the fair was not very crowded in the morning.  All of the kids were able to hold pigeons and pet the rabbits and baby chicks.

We had a long discussion in the barn after watching a cow poop and then a sheep poop about how sheep manage to poop in perfectly round little circles.  Anyone?!

 The dairy barn was the best bargain - these cones are only $2.50 but all but one of the kids won a coupon for a free cone!

Each kid got to choose three rides and one game.  Max and Kate went on the swings.


Calvin really wanted to win one of these tacky pepper things.  Sadly, he did not manage to get a ring on the bottle.

Sophie went on that spinning ride which makes me nauseous just to look at it.

Max and Grace went on this thing which makes me want to cry (I do not do fair rides).  They were pretty excited when it started, but a little green at the end.  Granted we had just consumed a lunch of corn dogs, curly fries, sweet potato fries, hot dogs, fried ravioli and soba noodles.

Calvin was super excited about the bumper cars.

This pirate ride below was incredibly lame - and 9 tickets!?  Calvin was tickled to find he was tall enough to ride alone!

Sophie played the wack-a-mole and won this psycho decapitated sheep's head.   It is the Goodwill bag.  She was the only one to win a prize - fair prizes are rather lame considering the price of the tickets.

I can only handle the fair about every other year, but I must say this fair was rather nice.  Clean and not to packed and the weather was great.