So far packing is going well. As I type, Brad is painting our green family room walls back to their bland white. I was packing my shoes. Clothes and shoes are hard because it's so difficult to decide what to keep and what to donate. I kept asking Brad about shoes I wasn't sure if I should keep but he was less decisive and more suspicious of how many shoes I have. I figured I'd better stop drawing attention to my shoe collection or he might not let me go to DSW ever again! So I thought I'd turn to you for direction. The picture is of the specific shoes in question. My dear Doc Martens! I got them my sophomore or junior year of high school and they were so cool (and expensive) at the time. I loved them and they have been well-worn, yet are still in surprisingly good condition (man, those soles are heavy). And though they have been worn so much, I don't think I've put them on in probably 5 years. You would think it was safe to toss 'em, but it's easier said than done. Brad said I should keep them in case I ever become a sister missionary? So I turn to my wise blogging friends for advise.
Last night was our wonderful ward Christmas party. Brad and I were in charge of it, so we've had a busy week of preparation but it all paid off. It went very well thanks to all the people that pitched in and helped with everything. Yummy dinner, a heart-warming program, and a jolly visitor (Paisley missed the Big Man due to her evening nap). It was great and really put me in the Christmas spirit. Now I need to catch the spirit of packing because it's time to hit the boxes since we move to CA in a week! We will be home for the holidays!
A while back I set Galla up with some watercolors while I took a jog on my treadmill. When I got done, I came out to see her and she was just finishing up this work of art. I was pretty impressed--she even painted each fairy their appropriate color. A couple days ago Galla was playing with blocks and came up with this masterpiece. I thought it looked kinda cool and I asked her what it was. She explained that it was her in her dress. I can see that! I wonder what goes on in that pretty little head. She's always observing and thinking and comes up with some interesting outcomes. I love getting to know Galla as she grows.
Finn turned 2 yesterday! He loves Woody and Buzz and is usually carrying one of them around, so I decided to do a rocket cake and put Buzz on it. He loved his cake, but freaked out when I put Buzz on it because he can't stand not having Buzz in his hand. Notice the candle placement--so fun! I made a platefull of these cookies for playgroup yesterday. They are so easy, so I thought I'd post a pic to give y'all and idea for a fun treat to make. Though I have to admit that I got the idea out of a magazine--I can't come up with these things myself, I just like to copy other clever people. Finn is such a good boy and we enjoy him so much. He is constantly giving me hugs and kisses, the tender guy. He is talking like crazy and always cracking me up. The other day we were all leaving the house and Brad was taking the kids out to the car while I snuck some snacks for them into my bag. I'm heading out the door when I hear Finn right outside the door say, "Psssstt! 'Ome on Mama!"
We asked Finn how old he is and he said, "Three!" When we told him he was two he said, "How about four?" Silly kid!
Finn loves his hat. And his spider. I guess they make good bath toys--at least they are as good as the empty cottage cheese tubs and the neti pot we actually gave him to play with.
While we're having bathroom talk, Finn went pee-pee on the potty for the first time yesterday. Let me clarify: he was sitting on the potty, but none of the pee-pee actually made it into the bowl. In fact, in an attempt to keep him entertained long enough to do #2, I was sitting on the floor in front of him singing silly songs. Dangerous! He barely missed me! Any tips on keeping that squirt gun pointing into the toilet target?
Ok, I'd better finish posting on our California trip and get those Halloween pictures up before Thanksgiving hits! Brad and his Dad took the kids camping at Sunset Beach. This is Finn's favorite way to "follow" you around. Finn thinks it's so fun, but it does make it a little difficult to get around!
Hi Opa! You look a little bored and too clean for camping. You should try this:Finn LOVES playing in the dirt--he was in heaven! He loves to lay in it, roll in it, dig in it, and eat it. He loves it so much I think he's going to marry dirt. Is there a propostition defining marriage between a man and something inanimate?I'm not sure what's going on here, but it looks fun!Here are Snow White and Dopey getting ready to make their candy collection rounds. Here we are: the wicked witch with her poison apple (notice the large Red Delicious sticker on Paisley's hat), Prince Charming, Dopey and Snow White herself. My mom got better pictures on her camera, so I may have to post a follow-up pic later, but you get the idea. We had a way fun Halloween! Galla was in princess paradise, but she's no wussy. She charged up to every door and knocked regardless of how scary the decorations were. At any house that did have scary decorations out she would just say, "Boys live here."
Mark and Molly Houx...we are so happy for them! October 25, 2008.
Galla's got a thing for running in the fountain at the Oakland Temple (fortunately she has only gotten in when it's drained). The top pics are from 2 years ago when Brad's other sister got married. We'll have to get some similar shots on her wedding day.So sweet. Hard to imagine that someday she'll be the bride.
And here's the whole gang! All of Brad's siblings are now married and we all got to be together in the temple. Talk about special...
We went to Sauvie Island a few weeks ago for some pumpkin patch action. The kids had fun playing on the hay pyramid, scoping out pumpkins, and riding the tractor. And of course we had to hit up the kettle corn booth. Notice how Paisley is actually the one holding the bag in the picture above. Can you puree kettle corn?
Paisley turned 4 months yesterday! She had her 4 month check-up complete with 4 shots (and an oral vaccine). She measures at 12 lbs 8 oz (16%) and 24.5" (45%). I wish she could stay 4 months old forever! Paisley is the perfect baby. She sleeps all night and smiles all day. She is young enough to be my "little baby," but old enough to interact. Young enough to put her on the floor and she stays put, but old enough to support her head well so I can carry her on my hip (I can do ANYTHING with one hand). Paisley is so patient and spends most of the day lounging on her blankie doing all kinds of cooing and talking. She is VERY talkative! She loves to smile and it's easy to get her giggling. She is easy-going to the extreme and rarely puts up a fuss over anything less than being stepped on by a sibling. Thanks for being an angel baby. You are LOVED!
Typically I'm the type that cannot relax until the house is clean. Once the kids are in bed, I go into "tidy mode" and whirlwind around getting everything in place before I can think about doing anything else. Very rarely do I go to bed with any dishes in the sink. Last night was one of those nights. With Brad out of town (he took Finn with him to Ohio), yesterday was crazy running around preparing for the ward party that I was in charge of (with my friend, Christy). Galla and Paisley both really wanted my attention but were troopers as we ran errands, cooked, set-up, orchestrated, and cleaned up for the party (which was a success, I might add). When we finally got home way past bedtime, I put my little lovies to bed and crashed myself. Yes, with sauce-stained dishes in the sink (and on the stove and on the counter). Also, when we got up this morning there was not time to take care of the dishes before church. And when we got home, wouldn't you know it, those dishes hadn't budged a bit. Funny how that works. As I stared at those dishes waiting patiently to be washed, I thought I could take a lesson from them. Daily I pray for patience with my children. As a SAHM, I struggle with keeping my cool when I repeat the same demands multiple times a day: "don't throw your milk," "keep the door open," "don't put your fingers in Paisley's mouth"--you get the idea. I know that being more patient would make me a better mom. If only I could be more like a dirty dish.
Galla began her first dance class a few weeks ago, a little ballet/tap combo. She very much loves to twirl. Finn also likes to get in on the action, as the video below shows. I think Finn is better at following along with Teacher Lisa, but Galla is quickly catching on. She highly prefers her black leotard and skirt even over her pink one or the princess one! I suggested she wear the pink leg-warmers to brighten up the ensemble. Plus, how freakin' funny are those little leg-warmers? I hope her black preference isn't an early indicator of a future Goth style. But I have to admit, the black makes her look rather sophisticated. Dance on, little love!
Brad is down in California right now trying to map out the rest of our life, so I thought I'd give him a shout-out. We reached a huge mile-stone last week when Brad finished finals for the last of classes--ever! He has one more quarter to complete of clinic time, but we are glad to be done with classes. I'm so proud of him and how well he has balanced school and home life. He's already a fantastic chiropractor and I can't wait watch him put it all into practice and do something he enjoys everyday.
This picture was taken at Red Robin last week when Brad's mission president and his wife were in town and took us to dinner. They are the nicest people and we had a great time visiting with them. The kids were even good--Galla sat between them and called them "grandma" and "grandpa." She loved that "grandpa" let her drink his raspberry lemonade.
Brad comes back late tonight (I'll go pick him up from the airport just as soon as I finish watching "The Office") and that's a good thing because I'm not made to be a single-mom! Thanks for all you do, babe. I look forward to leaving "student land" and entering "real people world" with you!
I think Paisley looks so cute in this headband--it cracks me up! She was wearing it the other day when she fell asleep in her carseat. When she woke up, it had fallen down over her eyes, making a great sleep eye mask.
As far as the sweatband for aerobics is concerned, I'm sure there are plenty of chubby-thighed babies out there that would love to get in on that class. "OK, ladies, on your backs. Knees to chest and pump, pump, pump, 5 more! Pump, pump, pump, looking good! Pump and pump! Now roll to your right, onto your stomach. Let's tone that baby-soft tush!..."
I love to find the kids sleeping in funny positions! Finn is a big fan of Lightning McQueen and cars--the Disney movie or otherwise (notice McQueen on his jammies, too). He's always walking around with a car in each hand. But he also like to branch out, so if he's not toting cars, he hangs on to his Woody doll (aka "Hat"). He's such a sweetie! Note: He has a bed, he just opted out of it that night.
Seems the Cinderella dress has been out-grown so Mimi granted Galla's wish for the Snow White dress. It's really quite cute--I like the bow headband. Galla says Snow White and the "Dorps" and likes to play pretend with Finn.
It has been 5 busy years of marriage for Brad and I! This is a picture of us in front of our tiny first apartment at BYU when we had no idea what was in store for us. From Utah we moved to Hawaii, then Ohio, then Connecticut, then Oregon. We had Galla in March '05, Finn in December '06, and Paisley in June '08. We've kept life full of action and fun!
This morning (after Brad let me sleep in) I surprised Brad with an anniversary activity. We both like to workout, but rarely get to do it outside together because of the kids. So I arranged to have our good friend Christy watch the kids while we went for a jog. The "little loop" that I wanted to do ended up being 7.65 miles long! We had a great time talking and enjoying some time together, though we will be sore tomorrow. I am a lucky lady and I love my life with Brad. Thanks, honey, and happy 5 years!
My awesome brother, Joseph (aka Tio Joe), came to visit last weekend! This boy is unbelievably intelligent, funny, and talented in singing, dancing, acting, and just about everything else. I love him and I love to brag about him because it's easy to do! He has been in theater since he was six and on Broadway at eleven. Recently he has been doing "Wicked" in Chicago. His request in coming to Portland was that we do outside activities and soak in some nature because the day after he left here, he started rehearsals in NYC for "Grease" on Broadway! He just got cast and we are so stoked for him! Who wants to take a trip to Manhattan to see him? I do!
On Saturday we went to the Saturday Market and Multnomah Falls. I like this picture of Brad and me because, excuse me, look at our kids in the background playing with a strange dog while we smile for the camera!
This is a better picture of the whole family.
Sunday we went to church and The Grotto--a 62 acre Catholic Shrine and botanical garden. Sunday night our lungs were full of fresh air and our cheeks were sore from laughing as we sent Tio Joe back to the Big Apple. Thanks for coming, Joseph, we love you. Go grease lightening!
Since we'd out-grown our beloved little Camry, we thought we'd take our car upgrade to the extreme and bought this beast from Brad's uncle. We flew down to California and drove this 2005 Chevy Suburban Z71 back. It is a sweet ride, fully stacked and he gave us a great deal. The kids love cruisin' in the "big car" and I have to admit that I expected to like it, but I like it more than I expected! It's nice to know that if we ever get a pet elephant we'll be able to transport him to his vet appointments. I think we'll name him "Peanut."
We did so many things in California but I don't have all the pictures--I need to get them from my mom and mom-in-law! Here's what I do have: Farmer Finn! He loved playing on this big 'ol tractor at the fair. He looks like he knows what he's doing!
Pink and pure sugar? Cotton candy is right up Galla's alley!
I'm not sure which Finn got more satisfaction out of: eating it or the mess it made.
All tuckered out in Mammaw's lap (Brad's grandma). Rarely will Galla fall asleep anywhere but in her bed, but I guess we wore her out. We actually kept it a secret from Mammaw that we were coming. When we got into town, we sent Galla in to Mam's house by herself. She ran into the kitchen (looking for a treat, no doubt--and it's where Mammaw is always hanging out) and said, "surprise!" Mam was very surprised and very happy!
Other fun things that I need to get the pictures from: swimming at Sesa and Pa's, dancing at Nanny's, and playing in Mammaw's backyard.