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May 14, 2008: The Backyard...Coming along

Well, we finally finished our patio cover.  It is so lovely.  Brent was amazing the way he threw this together (I only helped).  He designed it and built the whole thing.  And he has never done anything like this before.   

 You can also see our lovely grass in this picture.  We will be putting pathways around the lawn next.

 Good job, Brent.  Good job!  Whadda guy, eh?


May 14, 2008: Paper Bag Joshua

Brent made this little oatmeal bag costume for Joshua.  Joshua loved it and wore it around the house all day.  Goofy guys!



May 13, 2008: Mud Monster Toby

The boys were riding their bikes on our circle for a few minutes and I came out to find this:

  I had to take pictures to keep myself from getting angry.  It's amazing how well that works!


 May 11, 2008: Happy Mother's Day

This was the sweetest Mother's Day yet!  For a whole week before, Joshua was so exciting.  He was always saying "it's almost Mother's Day!"  He told me he was going to make me my favorite breakfast in bed with pancakes up to the ceiling!  Sure enough, the boys and Brent made a wonderful breakfast in bed.  Joshua had a beautiful card from school with his picture and hand print.  Brent bought me a garage door opener so we can now (finally:-) stop getting in and out of the car to open and close the garage door.  And also-Brent picked up some stepping stone kits that we helped the little boys to make.  They were very fun to do together and they turned out so cute!

    I hope that everyone had a great day!


 May 9, 2008: Joshua Triumphs!

 For several months I had been asking Joshua if I could take the training wheels off of his nice bike that our friend Susan gave us (thanks!).  He has been too scared until just recently.  This particular day Joshua put on a brave face and asked me to take off the training wheels.   He proceeded to get on his training wheel-less bike and took off...hardly even a wobble since!  He is loving riding his bike!  I didn't get around to taking any pictures.  You will have to close your eyes and imagine him. :-)

Also...his teacher tested him for the end of the year Kindergarten evaluation, and he did great!  She called him the "Math King."  Joshua was beaming when he came out of there.  He is so proud of his work and all that he has learned.

Last thing...he lost his other bottom tooth. 


May 2, 2008: Lunch on the Front Porch


 May 8, 2008: Pregnancy and Birth 

(one of my favorite topics)

NO I am not pregnant.  Haha.

I just wanted to post a couple of things that I have recently found amusing on the topic. 

Mother Worried about Jackhammers 

Brent saved this to our desktop (Have I mentioned recently how much I LOVE my husband...he is cool).  If you don't get it, hint:Look closely at her right hand.

Natural Childbirth of Multiples

Check out this link if you want to be inspired, see some beautiful babies and some gloriously large pregnant bellies.


May 3, 2008: Skipping Days

Joshua has learned the days of the week, the months of the year and how to write the date in kindergarten this year.  He is becoming very aware of days and time.  He usually checks in with me every day to make sure he's got the day of the week right.  This is how our conversation went today:

Joshua: Mama, what day is it?

Me:  It's Saturday.

Joshua:  OH NO!!!  We skippeded a lot of days!

Me:  No we didn't.  We can't skip days.

Joshua:  But wasn't yesterday Wednesday?

Me:  No,  yesterday was Friday.

Joshua:  Oh.  Today is Saturday.


In a sense I do agree with Joshua though.  Time seems to go by so quickly sometimes that it really does seem like we are skipping days.



April 12, 2008: Clackamas River Trail

Yes, old news...out of order.  Sorry folks. are some pictures from a brilliantly sunny hike along the Clackamas River Trail.

Yes, the river really is that color.  :-)

 Along the trail we were playing "I Spy" with the boys.  Here are a couple of things that we spied:

 I spied this fungi in the woods.  It is the prettiest fungi I have ever seen!  Does anyone know what kind it is?

 These were growing everywhere.  I think they are Trillium.

 The boys digging in the sand along the river's edge

 Toby got his clothes wet and stripped them off.  We had extra clothes for the hike back.  And yes...his undies are on backward.  He insists that the picture go in the front.  I don't argue because he's two and dressing himself.


Ah...relaxing in the sunshine...except Joshua looks like he's in pain.  What's that about?  And we didn't keep Toby's fair skin uncovered for very long.


 Ah, it was so sunny we didn't quite know what to do with ourselves except laugh!

Joshua looks so cute in this picture that I had to put it up even though Tobe has his fingers in his mouth and Brent looks goofy.  Someday we will have pictures together where we all look good.

 Here's where I set the camera timer and jumped into the pictures.

 This is a picture of Brent on the trail.  I loved the sun and the new spring green leaves.

 I was inspired by this lovely scene.  Doesn't it make you want to hike?

Now here is a very UN-goofy Brent.

The boys taking a rest on a log.  And Joshua engrossed in a math problem.

Toby was focusing very hard on a stick for several minutes.

Joshua was wondering about eating bark.  I guess we didn't bring enough snacks.

Joshua, once again lost in a moment of pondering nature.  (I was sitting across the trail and zoomed in, so as to not get in the way of their thoughts.)


In this picture, Toby was talking to Brent.


This is Toby's sneer face

A mossy branch.



April 24, 2008: Hair news    

Oh yes!  This is such exciting news...uh huh.  For those of you who have been waiting for years...I have finally done it.  I had my hair cut to shoulder length.  It is nice to finally be able to wear my bag on my shoulder instead of on my hair!



April 19, 2008 at 12:24 am: Sheer Exhaustion...

...are the only words I can use right now to describe the way Brent and I feel.  We just finished 6 hours of grueling manual labor of preparing the ground for and installing sod in our backyard.   By the time we were done I was crawling out of the backyard.  My body aches all over.  I am more tired than I was after running a marathon or giving birth to Toby (Joshua's labor still triumphs in difficulty).  Wow!  I love good hard work.  It is so good for the soul and body.

Our backyard is really starting to come together now.  Brent and I got up the frame  for a patio cover last week and now the sod.  We will still need some bark chips and flag stones , a bit of concrete, more garden boxes and some decorative vegetation to finish up.  I will post some pictures when we are all done.  For now I can show the before and after pictures of the patio cover...



And After...


Oh, it's still not done yet.  We need to put the roof on.  It will be very lovely.


April 13, 2008: Someone Caught the Holy Ghost!

On Sunday Joshua and Toby love to look at the scripture story books that we have.  We were sitting around at the dinner table, after dinner and I was reading some New Testament stories to the boys.  They were captivated as I read the stories of Jesus.  Toby was especially paying attention when I read the story about Jesus getting baptized by John the Baptist.  I showed them in the picture where the Holy Ghost was descending upon Jesus in the form of a dove.  It was a beautiful moment.  Then we moved on the the next story and the next.  A few stories after Jesus' baptism, we read the story of Jesus and the Money Changers at the Temple in Jerusalem.  You know, the story where men are selling animals for sacrifice in the court of the temple and Jesus gets angry and throws them out?  Well, there was a picture of a man holding a dove upside down by the feet, getting ready to sell it.  Toby saw that picture and said "Someone Caught the Holy Ghost!"



April 6, 2008: Check out Utah Paragliding!

 We just wanted to let everyone know that Brent's brother has started his own paragliding business!  If you look back on our web page to last October, you will see that Brent's brother Jonny took Joshua paragliding.  It was a dream come true for Joshua.  Both Brent and I have also gone paragliding with Jonny.  He is a very good teacher and is extremely experienced.  If you are into this kind of a thrill, you should definitely try it.  It is one of those things that you have to put on you life to-do list!  The web page is 

I will also put it on the side bar for future reference. 


April 6, 2008: Love this Guy

Check out

We all really enjoyed conference weekend here, watching it live at home over the internet!

April 6, 2008: Just a bit about Joshua

This is very sensitive information to us because we love Joshua so much and we want to do what is best for him, but I feel that the time has come to share.

Joshua is doing very well in kindergarten.  He is reading and doing first grade math!  He loves science.  He loves going to church.  He loves his buddies.  He just started t-ball.  He is a great, normal kid.  He does however struggle with something that many of you have not heard of.  It is called Sensory Integration Dysfunction.  It means that sensory and motor  information coming to and from his brain get traffic jammed a little when there is too much noise, or other distraction.  If he gets overstimulated, his
body  can do things that he doesn't mean to do.  He has very clearly verbally expressed this frustration to us, so we have sought private therapy for him.  He is doing great.  And thankfully this is something that he should completely grow out of with help from therapy and as his nervous system matures. 

I am so grateful that we have the therapy available to us through an Occupational Therapist.  And I am so grateful that we figured this out for him.  I have much hope that it will make a great positive impact in his life.  

The main reason why I wanted to share is that up to 30% of kids have some kind of a problem with Sensory Integration Dysfunction.  That is a whopping 1 in 3 kids!!  Not all kids suffer from the same severity or the same types of problems as Joshua does.  Joshua has a high activity level and a low threshold to stimuli.  But with therapy we are trying to raise his threshold so that he can tolerate more sensory stimuli.  This problem is often mis-understood and mis-diagnosed in children.  Also, it is not considered a "dysfunction" unless it interferes with daily life.  Everybody has moments of sensory mis-integration, but not usually to a dysfunctional level.  I just though that maybe some of you out there may know someone who is struggling and looking for answers for their children, as we have done for the past 2 years, and that someone may find this information useful.  

Also-just so you are clear this is not considered a "disability" but more like a "developmental delay".  

For more information you can check out the link here and on the sidebar:

The Out of Sync Child   



March 31, 2008:  Money and Plants

Since Joshua received his first very own money from the tooth fairy and from Grandma Georgina for his birthday (he has 7 "paper dollars"), Brent prepared a wonderful Family Night about money and how to pay tithing to our church.




I have also been growing some seedlings in my kitchen, in anticipation of finally getting an early start on my garden.  I have already planted the sugar snap peas outside and they are doing well.  I am now working on tomatos, sunflowers and basil.  We have also planted 4 apple trees, and 3 blueberry bushes.  We have 1 peach tree, 2 raspberry bushes and a bunch of strawberry plants ready to go in the ground.  Here are some pictures of my seedlings:



 ah, the simple beauty of plants


R2 exploring the Planet of Seedling


March 30th, 2008: No Baby!

Joshua really is no baby anymore.  Not only did he just turn 6 years old, he also lost his first baby tooth!

 As we were leaving church today his tooth was sideways and he said that it felt sharp like a dinosaur tooth.

 The Tooth Fairy came and left him one whole dollar!



March 29th, 2008: STAR WARS Birthday Party!

 I am sure you have noticed there is a theme in Joshua's life right now.  Ya, he is loving Star Wars.  And I am glad.  I grew up with all sisters in my family (love them) but longed for our next door neighbor's (The Chatwins) boy toys.  Man I thought they were cool.  So much better than fluffy barbies.  So I was thrilled to have two boys in a row and I am having a blast with their Star Wars obsession.

So Joshua wanted a Star Wars party.  I am pretty good at this kind of party.  It comes from the three years of working at Brighton Girls Camp and planning  decorations, a party and skits around various weekly themes.

The decorated kitchen

We had been planning to have the party in our backyard, 

but the weather didn't quite cooperate with cold sleet

 As the padawans arrived to the Planet of Correscant they recieved Jedi capes and light sabers from the Jedi Council




 The padawans honed their Jedi skills by practicing with light sabers and with the force.  (They hit balloons with their light sabers).

The padawans were instructed not to seek out a fight, but to keep the peace



The padawans decorated their party favor bags with star stickers and markers ( I couldn't find Star Wars stickers anywhere!)

We had cake and ice cream

After the padawans were trained and had refreshment (and opened plenty of gifts, thanks all!), they were ready to destroy the DEATH STAR (pinata, that is)!!!

After the Jedis destroyed the Death Star we had an award ceremony to honor the brave Jedis.  They came to the front one at a time to receive their medals of honor.  Despite all the fun of the pinata, the kids were the most proud of receiving their medals.  


We missed all of our Utah family and friends!



March 27, 2008:  Happy 6th Birthday Joshua!  We LOVE you!

As per Joshua's request we had breakfast for dinner and chocolate cake.  Brent had to work on Joshua's actual birthday and had the day before off.  So the day before, we went to The Oregon Museum of Science and Industry (OMSI) as a family.  We also went out to eat noodles.  Asian noodles (Thai food).  Brent ordered an absolutely scrumptious squid salad which was drenched in lemon grass.  It took me by surprise how good it actually was.  Anyway, we had a really good time.  Joshua (and Toby) is really please with the Star Wars action figures that he got for his birthday.  


Joshua showing us how old he is.  In the background you see Brent blow drying an enormous paper mache ball (for a future birthday party).


Toby has just figured out that silly faces make us laugh at him.  He is relishing the attention. 



March 26, 2008: What was I doing 6 years ago at this moment?...

I was soaking away in a jetted tub in the labor and delivery suite at American Fork Hospital.  Joshua was born at 3:41 am on the 27th.  Lucky boy.  I am so glad that he has made it to his sixth birthday (there were times where I doubted we all would make it ;-).  He is really growing up and maturing and becoming a thoughtful person.  He is usually found sharing his toys and treats with me, Brent or Toby.  He is always talking about wanting to be like Jesus.  He is such a good boy and I know that he is going to really soar.   


March 23, 2008: Did Someone Say Hello?

The goupy-eyed sickness has been going around here, and Toby finally got it for a few days.  It has been sad and slightly humorous to see him in the morning with his eyes sealed shut.  I try to be up there with a warm wash cloth as he wakes so he won't be scared.  Well on Easter Morning I went up with a wash cloth in hand to wake him.  I sat on his bed and said "Toby it's time to wake up."  Immediately, he calmly sat up with his eyes sealed shut and he was feeling around for the voice that awoke him.  As he was feeling around he said "Did someone say hello?"  



March 21, 2008: Easter Egg Hike

Happy Easter everyone!  I love the spring.  Brent and I kind of started a new impromptu family tradition a couple of days before Easter.  We took the boys to a little trail in our town and Brent "ran down to check it out."  What he really did was hide some mini Cadburry eggs along the trail.  We thought that it would be a fun way to keep the boys hiking and exploring.  The result was a hit for the whole family!


Mmm, Cadburys have always been my favorite Easter candy!


On the trail





What a pretty Spring green hike! 



March 20, 2008: A Rainy Hike at Silver Falls

We were very lucky to have our friend Alison and her husband Fred stay with us for a couple of days as they were passing through town.  It was shaping up to be a very rainy spring break for Joshua, but having cool friends in town helped us to get out despite the weather.  As one of the teachers at Joshua's school says something like: In Oregon there is no bad weather, just bad clothes, or lack of proper clothes...something like that.  So we had a VERY soggy day at Silver Falls State Park.  Despite all of our rain jackets and coats, little Toby was just too cold to hike very far so we only went down to South Falls and back up.  This is what Oregon looks like in the height of her rainy glory:

   Alison and Fred in front of South Falls.  There was so much water!  Alison was so nice to offer to wear Toby in the kid backpack.  Toby's under the poncho back there.  Those guys were so nice to help me out since Brent had to work and couldn't come.


If you look really closely, behind Joshua you can see that the trail goes behind the waterfall.  Would we be crazy enough to attempt going back there with so much water coming down?

 Oh yes!  And here is the view:



 There is enough of an overhang that we were well out of the way of the waterfall.  But it was so misty wet that it made me very feel alive.  I took off my hood so that I could really feel the water on my head and face.  I was so dripping!

Here is Joshua on the other side

 There!  Now you can see Toby peeking out of the poncho for the picture.



March 19, 2008: Biking Portland

We took Alison and Fred for a 10 mile bike ride around Portland.  We started at the Sellwood Brigde and rode the Springwater Trail up through the Oak Bottoms Wildlife Refuge, past the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry, along the city's waterfront, over the Morrison Bridge (I think), then back over the Steel Bridge and back down to the Sellwood Bridge.  It is a beautiful ride and the best way that Brent and I have discovered to see downtown Portland.  About 4 miles into our ride, disaster struck!  My back tire blew out.  We were so determined to finish the ride that Brent jogged the bike back to the Sellwood Bridge with Toby on the back.  That's why he isn't in any of the pictures.  What a trooper, eh?


 Joshua with Fred and Alison along Portland's Waterfront, Eastside just south of the Steel Bridge

 Fred was very nice to ride with Joshua after Brent went back early. 

 Alison in front of the old "Made in Oregon" sign by the Burnside Bridge (though I don't think she was made in Oregon...)

 Alison and Kate...we go way back.  We ran track together in high school and we were roommates at Brighton Girls Camp when we were counselors in the cabin of Wildrose, summer 1998.

 A cool picture of some rowers in the Willamette River.

 By the way, Alison and Fred...Joshua says that he wants you to come to his Birthday bash this weekend.  We were glad to have you come!



March 19, 2008: Pictures with Bob

We had the pleasure of having some friends from Utah stay at our house for a couple of days.  We all went to lunch at one of the coolest store in Portland: Bob's Red Mill.

 My kids love this store.  As we were sitting and eating on the second level of the mill, we spotted Bob in the corner!  The boys were very excited.  

 Joshua says "Now I KNOW that Bob is real!"

 Here is our friend Fred with Bob.



March 17, 2008: Family Night Fun 

It was Joshua's turn to choose the Family Night activity.  We had lot of fun making a family mural!  Everybody added their own touches.

Joshua is displaying Toby's scribbles.  Unfortunately I didn't capture any of Josh's Star Wars drawings. 


March 17, 2008: Happy St. Patty's Day!

Here is a little St. Patrick's Day entertainment for you: The Irish group "Celtic Woman."  

Spanish Lady-I love this song!

Dulaman-This one is in Gaelic and it's about seaweed.