Monday, May 14, 2012

Happy Birthday Mom!

On Friday of last week, my parents left the MTC (Missionary Training Center) in Provo, UT bound for an 18 month mission for our church in Lisbon, Portugal.  On their first night in Lisbon, they were reassigned to Porto, Portugal working with the single members of the church.  I am so happy for them and so excited for the adventures they are sure to have in Portugal.   My Dad is a diligent writer and has been sending emails every week updating us on their mission.  He wrote to me every single week of my own mission in Brazil.  I can't tell you how wonderful it was to receive those letters from home every week.

 The kids and I have made a goal to go and visit Grandma and Grandpa in Portugal at the end of their mission.  We have been collecting cans and bottles to return for little bits of cash and the kids found a jar that they are using to store the funds for our trip.  I think we have about $30 saved - clearly we need to get creative and find more ways to raise some traveling money!

Happy birthday Mom!  I hope you have a wonderful day exploring your new home!  We love you and miss you!  My sister -in-law Amber is having her fourth baby this summer which they will miss and my younger brother Scott just announced his engagement to his long-time girlfriend Carmen this week.  We love Carmen and are so happy for them!  Going on a mission is a sacrifice, but I know our entire family will be blessed from their service and example.

This Child

It is Saturday night and I have each of the kids take a shower before bedtime.  This child of mine comes out of the shower all wet and wrapped in a towel and wants to snuggle on my bed.  As I hold him on my lap, I notice that his hair - though wet, does not smell clean.

Me: Calvin, did you wash your hair with shampoo?
Calvin: I got it wet and I think some soap got on it.
Me: Uh, Calvin, that is not good enough - you need to wash your hair with shampoo and get it really clean!
Calvin: (sitting up to look at me in the eyes) Mom, I have not used shampoo since we left Minnesota.

Just a reminder - we left Minnesota in June of 2011.


Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Portland Summer Bucket List

1. Newport Sea Lions Caves
2. Seattle Mariners Game
3. Crater Lake
4. California Redwoods
5. Rhododendron Festival Florence
6. Oregon Garden Silverton
7. 4T Hike through Portland
8. Go to a First Thursday
9. Shakespeare Festival in Ashland
10. Opera in the Park Summerfest
11. Trip to NY
12. Buy a grill - host dinner parties
13. Lighthouses tour of the coast
14. Find good fried scallops on the coast (and clam chowder)
15. Sea Kayaking
16. Camp in a yurt
17. Visit hot springs in Bagby
18. Weekend in Bend
19. Run a 5k (note to self - start running)
20. Oregon Coast Aquarium
21. Jet boats in Grants pass
22. Tide pools at Yakima Head
23. Stay overnight in a tree-house in Cave Junction
24. Walk to the Farmers Market in Beaverton
25. Take the kids to play in the fountains at Beaverton Library

What do you think?  That should keep us busy.  Anything I've missed?

Triple Falls Hike

Last Saturday we headed up into the gorge for a hike with friends.  We started at Horsetail Falls and hiked up to Triple Falls and back.  It was a beautiful day to be outside!

This is Horsetail Falls - the kids love waterfalls where they can hike behind the falls.  Can you find Calvin in the photo below?

It is always more fun for the kids when we can meet up with other friends with children for our hikes.

Sophie has taken a fancy to the Oregon slugs and tends to collect them as we hike.  She has learned the hard way to pick them up with a leaf to avoid having to scrub her hand with salt to get the slug slime off.

Max collects sticks and pretends he is Harry Potter.

Triple Falls.  We stopped here for lunch - not a bad view!

This is the new bridge above Triple Falls.

The kids loved to explore down by the waters edge.  We were quite close to the top of Triple Falls and the water was very fast.  People ask me all the time if it is really that green here -yes, yes it is.

 It is always a challenge to get a good photo of all three kids at the same time!

On our way back, Calvin decided to take a quick shower which meant Sophie had to join the fun!

 Beautiful Hike and another wonderful trip up to the gorge.

Saturday, May 5, 2012


These three are with their Dad today.  It has been almost a year since they have seen him and needless to say, they were VERY EXCITED when he actually came to town.  I hope it is a good visit.  I hope they have a wonderful weekend, make some good memories and try and catch up on the past year.  Divorce is so hard on kids.  Even when it feels like I have created a routine and things are stable and predictable for them, it is difficult to know what they are feeling inside.

The house is screaming with silence today.  I read a book.  I watched the new Sense and Sensibility for the tenth time while eating breakfast and editing photos and answering emails.  Now I am going to tackle the mess that s my bedroom.  I am grateful for the alone time, but hardly know what to do with myself when they are gone.  It is no longer our normal.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012


On Saturday, after a long hike in the gorge, we stopped by Fred Meyer for some dirt and sedums.  I love sedums - beautiful and effortless.  My kind of plant.

I have a black thumb.

Sophie helped me get them into our pots which now grace our front porch/handicap ramp (which about kills us every morning as we try and navigate our way down the usually damp ramp without falling again).

 Now I need to find a used lawnmower as the yard is getting embarrassing.  I may just end up knocking on doors and seeing if I can hire a neighbor kid to mow the lawn this summer.  That will alleviate the problem of not owning a lawn mower.