28 July 2012

It Happens Sometimes

Dear Christian,

I'm sorry that I accidently made you eat moldy food.


27 July 2012

More Berries

Last week a couple of friends and I plus all of our children went to my favorite blueberry patch.  We were basically a berry farmer's worst nightmare, what with all the children and all, and I wouldn't say it was an extremely successful trip since Christian was like "mom! hold me!" the entire time.

Practically the second we got there my camera battery died, which was disappointing because I really wanted a photo of all those children

Wednesday was round two at the blueberry patch, this time with Meeka and her boys.  I left Christian at home with David so that I could really be productive, but I completely forgot my camera which was again terrible.  The blueberry patch is important!  It must be documented with photos!

So here's where I get to cheat and give you a blog post without actually having to write a blog post, as I'll just link you over to Meeka's blog so you can see the darling photos that she took.  She is a great writer and kindly leaves out the tidbits like when Daphne bashed Derek in the side with her berry basket. 

Easiest blog post I ever wrote.

26 July 2012

Farm Girl for a Day

Finally, at 3 and a 1/2 years old, Daphne got to experience one of my favorite things:

Somehow we've missed out every year, but this past weekend timing worked out so that we could make it happen.

(If someone could bottle up the combine smell and make it into a candle, I would totally buy it.) 

She was terrified at first, which surprises me because she loves riding on the tractor.  The combine is rather large, I suppose.

But it did not take her long to love it and try to drive it. It's hard to remain afraid when you're going 3mph, no matter how large the vehicle. 
Papa-Great on the chopper, us on the combine.

Christian didn't get to ride.  I put him in this position for a photo, and while it may look like he's enjoying watching the combine go by, he was actually fussing because instead of holding him I was making him crawl in the grass.  Terrible mother.

After combining it was time to play in the mud,
the mess!!  aahhhh!

and have a little wake for Brynner.

He is buried in a happy place, where he used to chase chickens and check out the llamas.

When we told Daphne that Brynner died, she said, "He's with God.  He's in Heaven with Jesus.  We're all done with Brynner so he went to Jesus' house.  Jesus built a house for him with wood."

Brynner is probably pretty happy up there.  I think he has a field full of mailmen to chase.

24 July 2012

Mr. President

I gotta tell you, we are on a ROLL when it comes to our kids meeting famous people.  First, Daphne got to see the Pioneer Woman, then we met Bob from Bob's Red Mill, and today...the President:

And it took this major event to finally figure out how to take the pictures from our phones and put them on the computer.  David and I live in Little House on the Prairie times when it comes to technology.  In fact, I am currently typing this blog post on my typewriter. 

This morning we walked to Starbucks and Fred Meyers.  This event is so very typical in our lives, and our camera was full of nearly 350 photos from the action packed weekend we had, that I decided not to take the camera with us.  As we were sitting at Starbucks we got to watch a Coast Guard helicopter fly low and slow circles over our heads.  Both kids found this to be wonderful.  David remembered that the President was coming into town today and realized the helicopter was part of security duty.

No picture of the real helicopter, but it looked pretty much just like this one.

We went into Fred's to pick up the things we needed and headed back home.  We didn't get very far when we saw all the traffic was stopped, and there were quite a few police motorcycles blocking streets.  Fortunately for us, families with small children apparently do not look threatening, so we were able to continue on our route even though cars weren't allowed through.

Then came the President's motorcade, right out of our neighborhood.  Do you think he drove by our house?   Wondered at all the weeds in the front yard?  I'm sure.

While I don't have any actual photos of the kids and him, and we didn't 'technically' meet him, we saw his profile in his car as he was just feet from us.  Close enough to qualify as yet another famous person meeting.

**Update:  I just saw on the news that the president ate lunch at a restaurant mere minutes from our house.  Our neighborhood is apparently the happening place to be for the presidential types.

20 July 2012

Our Dog

We've had a 'Marley and Me' relationship with our dog Brynner from the very beginning.  David got him as a puppy when we were dating in 2003, and Brynner was about 1 year old by the time we got married in '04.

He's always been a terrible barker; anyone walking near our house was surely about to attack us and steal all of our belongings, or so you would think. Especially those frightening mail and UPS people. 

And the chewing...oh my.  We've lost many important items over the years thanks to dear Brynner.  A wind chime, a phone line, gloves, shoes, various yard equipment, Daphne's toys, furniture, etc.  Sometimes we would buy him special dog chewing toys to try to distract him from chewing the things that we wanted kept in one piece, but he would always destroy the toys in no time and go back to chewing whatever he wanted.

My personal favorite, of course, has been his fear of loud noises.  Even non-threatening loud noises, like the ice cream truck music, or those stuffed animals that sing, not to mention the obvious thunderstorms and fireworks.  It seems like the worst storms or fireworks have been on nights that David's been at work, leaving me the joy of trying to keep Brynner from going completely insane.  We've had many late night drives around the neighborhood to look for him after he's escaped, or just waiting for a few days until someone called to tell us they've found him.  David has gotten called on his personal cell phone while at work from someone telling him they've found Brynner, and David has had to drive up in his police car to bring Brynner home.  He's chewed holes in our garage door to escape, broken our fence, torn apart our screen door, torn apart our neighbor's screen door, and become a familiar dog to many people within several blocks of our house.   

But he's always been super snuggly, too.  And loyal.  Your best friend if you wanted him to be.  He'd protect you no matter what.  A crazy dog, but at the end of the day, you knew he would do anything you needed.

Last night David was at work, we had a thunderstorm, and despite my attempts to keep him locked in his Brynner Box in the garage, he injured himself enough that he didn't survive his injuries.

Today the mailman came and no one barked, some fireworks went off and no one jumped over the fence.  I fed one dog instead of two, and Lola looks as though she's lost her best friend.

Because she has, and we're all going to miss him.



18 July 2012


You'll never guess what one of Christian's favorite things to play with is:

Also, he is gearing up to take over the family farm someday.  He would make a good farmer and it is an occupation I approve of.  David wants him to be fighter pilot, but that sounds too scary for my baby boy.  (David really just wants rides in the jets.)

This girl is cute:

She loves to play a game called "Squish the Unsuspecting Baby Brother."

This game is played approximately every five minutes all day long, and sort of drives the mama and the baby brother crazy.

It will be good when the baby brother can start squishing her.

15 July 2012

A Spontaneous Day

This morning after church we stopped for lunch, and on the way home both kids fell asleep.  Miracle of miracles. 

We decided to just drive awhile to let them sleep.  We crossed over into WA and followed the highway east.  We're so used to driving the Gorge from the Oregon side; it's nice to get the Washington view every now and again. 

I learned where Washougal is.  All this time I thought it was north, like near Battle Ground.  It's not.  It's east, by Camas.  It's actually really pretty there.

The kids woke up about 45 minutes later right as we were near Cascade Locks.  So of course we stopped for ice cream at the East Wind Drive-In.  Of course it was beautiful and Daphne had one of those gigantic ice cream cones and both kids were having the best time ever, but I had no camera due to the spontaneous nature of the trip.  I also had no spare diaper, so poor Christian was in a wet diaper for about 6 hours. 

But I did take pictures before we left for church.  Christian gets to borrow Addie Mae's cute little shoes, and then Daphne wanted to wear a shirt that matched Christian's, and then we just had to take a picture of it all.  

I hope the shoes still fit for football season.  There's some room left in the toes, so hopefully.

I don't know if you've ever heard me say it, but those are some CUTE kids right there.

13 July 2012

My View

(Alternately titled, "Lense Caps Make Good Toys.")

(Alternately titled, "A Mama's Lap is Never Empty.")

(Alternately titled, "Some of My Most Favorite Photos Ever.")

12 July 2012

Our Great Canadian Adventure: Victoria

Despite the fact that it's not really that far away, I'd never been to Victoria, BC before this trip.  David and I wanted to go 4 years ago when we were in Vancouver, but there were so many things we wanted to do on the mainland that we didn't want to rush our trip by going out to the island.  I didn't even realize we would be driving through Victoria on this trip until, like, days before we left.  When everyone else was chatting about the ferry and the drive I would just nod my head like I knew what they were talking about, when in reality I hadn't yet consulted a map and didn't actually know where we were headed.  There were so many people going on this trip surely we could just find someone we knew on the freeway and follow them. 

Sometimes that works. 

So, when I realized our ferry dumped us into Victoria I was excited but skeptical...you know how the airports in major cities are usually on the outskirts of the town and so when you land you don't really get to see the city you're in?  I thought the ferry landing would be like that.

So wrong!

On our way there we were just ready to get to the house (about a 3 hour drive beyond Victoria), so we only saw enough to whet my appetite for what a delightful place Victoria must be.

On our way home we reached Victoria a couple of hours before our ferry left, so I figured we would have time to walk around a little bit.  Sadly the US customs people are so mean and do not let you wander once check in time comes.  Canadian customs lets you wander while you're waiting in Port Angeles.  Canadians are nice. 

We ended up with half an hour to either eat or see some Victorian beauty.  We all know that I can't eat so I wanted to be touristy.  Poor David.

This building is so cool.  I don't know what it is, but it's so pretty.

There were a lot of things set up for the Queen's Jubilee.  It was fun to be happy for the Queen for a little bit.

Then David found this interesting statue that he thought Christian needed to pose near:

And I found this Prince Edward Island thing that I wanted to pose by, so that I could pretend I was on P.E.I. with Anne of Green Gables (one of my best friends):

And then there was this hilarious horse that as soon as David went to introduce Christian to him, he struck this funny pose and wouldn't move.  Note his bent legs.  As we moved on to other things I kept checking back on our horse friend and I never saw him move from his pose.  I don't know much about horses (or anything about horses)  but I thought this was very, very interesting.

Our half hour went very quickly, but I feel we saw quite a lot.  A big building, a statue, a sign, and a funny horse.

And, best of all, David got my passport stamped for me.  (He didn't actually stamp it, he got the official guy to stamp it.)  My old passport had tons of cool stamps in it, but this newest one is kind of lame and I think only has 3 or 4.  I'm so happy to have gotten another stamp. 

Thanks, Victoria, for being so fabulous.

this is a Victorian garbage can.

11 July 2012

New Look

Last year I had this sweet girl sitting at the kitchen table.

I remember wondering how our family dynamic would change once the new baby came, and how we would like our family as 4.  Now I look back and wonder how we could have enjoyed just us 3. We must have been so bored without Christian around.

(Kind of like I can't remember how we survived before kids.  What on earth did we do with all our time?)

This year I have a bigger table (yay Craigslist and my own stenciling skills) and kid-friendly benches (yay David and his building skills).

And two sweet kids instead of one.


10 July 2012


We are so happy that summer has finally arrived.  I don't think we've stopped smiling since we saw the weather report a few days ago that showed sun for the entire week's forecast.  It feels so good to be warm.

David has been wanting a 'big' pool for the backyard, so for Father's Day that's what we got him.  He's not the only one who enjoys it.

As far as we're concerned, summer can stick around for as long as it wants. 

09 July 2012

Christian: 10 Months

Christian has gained so many new skills in the last month I hardly recognize him.  A few of my favorite things that I don't want to forget:

*He can wave now, which is super cute in and of itself, but the best is that whenever he sees himself in the mirror he immediately starts waving like a mad man.  His entire body gets into it and he grins the biggest grin. 

*When he wants to find me he usually goes to the kitchen.  I will hear his little hands slapping on the floor as they leave the carpet and hit the hard kitchen floor and I know he's searching for me.  It's nice that when Christian thinks 'mama' he also thinks 'kitchen.'  (Or not.)

*We have a new-to-us rocket ship swing in the backyard and C will almost fall apart laughing when Daphne pushes him in it.  The hardest he has ever laughed was when he watched her go down the slide.  I love seeing them interact and have fun together.

*When Daphne tries to take toys from him he gets mad.  It's good that he's not going to be a push-over.

*He's so happy.   Sometimes he just crawls around and chuckles to himself.   Not to be disrespectful to his big sister, but it is wonderful to have a happy baby.  It's so much more fun than a sad baby.   The plus side to having a sad baby is that you do a lot of bouncing the sad baby around the house and going for long walks and running up and down the stairs.  With sad babies you lose your baby weight very quickly.  With happy babies you can sit more and so you don't lose weight as quickly.  But then if the happy baby makes you stop eating all food then you lose lots of weight.  I guess the moral of the story is: have a sad baby for weight loss, and have a happy baby with food issues also for weight loss.  Don't just have a straight up happy baby. 

*He pulls himself to standing and even likes to let go of what he's holding.  I don't imagine that he'll be walking too soon because his legs seem way too spindly for that.  He weighs 16 1/2 lbs now...that's a lot of chunk for those skinny legs to try to hold.

*He still spits up ALL the time!  I was hoping he would be done with that nonsense by now.  Spitting up since 2 weeks old is a long time for the baby puke smell to be permeating our household.  Now that he's crawling I'm always finding piles of his gross spit in various locations.  It's nice that I have a Dyson, a carpet cleaner and a steam mop...they all get used quite regularly.

*And this is going to sound completely nutso...but I think he's saying words!  It seems so early for that, but he did start signing earlier than Daphne, so maybe it's possible?   He crawls toward me and says "mama,"  says "dada" when he sees David, has said "yaya" a few times when we're out with Lola.  And a couple of times he's said "all done" when eating, and "eat" when I asked him if he wanted to eat.   He's done all of these things multiple times (and the "mama" and "yaya" happen all the time), he does it in the right context, and he's done it in front of other people.  Maybe I should get those people to write a blog post on what they heard so that it sounds more believable than coming from me.  David says Christian is talking, for those of you who believe David over me (which I assume is most of you).

By the way, next month Christian turns 1.  NEXT MONTH.   Sheesh.

Now, would you please admire the smile!!  First one in 10 months of photos:

And he finally started getting mischievous and not cooperating. 

(Sorry for no comparison photos this month.  They are all on the other computer and I'm way too comfortable right now to go mess with that.  These are the best monthly photos anyways, thanks to the smiling.)

05 July 2012


According to Daphne, yesterday was Captain America's birthday, so of course we had to have a party to celebrate. 

A few months ago I bought these fabulous lids to fit mason jars with straws.  Cute, right?  I need to buy a few more because our collection of 18 just isn't quite enough.

I got this brownie recipe from Pinterest.  Vegan and gluten free and you can't even tell.  Once you get into the groove of cooking without wheat flour, eggs and dairy it's really not so bad! 

We had these chicken strips minus the Parmesan, baked beans from the Fairview Favorites cookbook (church cookbooks have some of the best recipes) and fruit kabobs of banana and watermelon.  Red and white stripes!  So clever.

Wouldn't you know it, you can have a limited diet and still eat well enough that when you serve it to people who eat regular food they won't even complain.  At least not to your face.

Last year Daphne was a little afraid of the fireworks, but this year...

...not so much fear as pure happiness.  She kept telling the big girls (who would scream at each loud noise) "it's not scary, just watch!" and then she would try to run into the street to help the men with the lighting.  Christian missed the fireworks, but I do not believe he would have enjoyed them nearly as much as his sister did.

It would have been fun to drive around to watch some big fireworks.  Fortunately (I guess) our neighborhood is full of people who like to do the big illegal ones and we ended up with a pretty good show from our front yard.  And it's possible some bottle rockets were sent up from our very own driveway, although I can't say for sure. 

David built Brynner a very sturdy 'Brynner Box' in the garage where he was locked into for the night.  He's been locked into it every evening for the past several weeks.  For once we haven't been chasing him around the neighborhood or having him trying to claw his way onto our heads. 

It's been a good time celebrating Captain America's birthday.