Sunday, November 30, 2008

Going For A Walk

We went for a walk on the morning of day two. Here are few shots...

The gang headed up to the top of the big hill.
View from the top.

Oliver kept insisting that he was tired and needed to be carried.
Daddy's shoulders provided an even better view.

It's hard to see because it blends into the background but GrandPop is holding up a tumble weed. Guess where that tumble weed is now...yes, it's here in Vancouver with us. Just as we were leaving Grandma Heidi informed Noah that a lot of people in Kennewick spray paint their tumble weeds in bright pretty colors. Guess what Noah wants to do now...

Noah, off the trail and making his way back up.

Quick Trip to Kennewick

Day One: Our goal was to leave her around 9 a.m. on Friday morning and we did! We took our time heading over to Kennewick, stopping for coffee, driving through Irrigon & Umatilla, stopping for lunch and finally making it to GrandPop Bruce and Grandma Heidi's around 1:30 p.m. Of course the boys walked in the door and immediately found the stairs. We don't have stairs in our house so those were a big hit and got a lot of use. Jumping down, up, on them, rolling the monster trucks down the stairs, testing out the Slinky Noah had brought with him, flying airplanes down them into the basement, etc. If it could be done on the stairs then it was done. If it shouldn't have been done on the stairs then it too was done. Grandma Heidi had to work that day so we hung out with Grandpop Bruce until later. He gave the boys a lesson on the guitar then promptly had to re-tune it because someone couldn't leave the tuning knobs alone - any guesses who that might be? Oliver especially loved getting the lesson and listening to GrandPop play. Bruce even let each of the boys have a turn playing. Another thing that the boys found was the computer chair - it spins! That poor chair had more spin used up this weekend then it has it's entire life. Don't worry though, Noah made sure that it still worked in it's proper and intended way. At some point during that first evening there, Noah showed off some of his new karate moves for GrandPop. Dad got to be the "bad guy" so Noah could show us what to do in case of an attack. We had fun and a nice time visiting that first day. Don't worry I have lots of other pictures to share, I just decided to break the trip up a bit....

Sliding down the stairs.

Take that bad guy!

Guitar lessons followed by...

Oliver's turn then...

Noah's turn at the guitar.

This is a picture of Oliver spinning on the chair.
What you don't see is Noah doing the pushing.

See, the chair is just fine.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Thanksgiving Chuckle or Three

We went to The Pyryt's today for dinner and it was delicious! We had a wonderful meal and got to spend time with great friends. When we sat down for dinner the kids had made these place markers for us. Each of us had our own happy, smiling leaf waiting for us and showing us where to sit.

But let us take a closer look at this one...they almost got his name right, it's tough for kids, still learning to spell, to sound that one out. However, this is the best misspelling of Joel's name ever. Look at it again, now separate the J from the rest, maybe with a hyphen, do you see it? Yeah, so did we! Poor Joel, a.k.a. J-hole, spent the rest of dinner, dessert and Guitar Hero getting to hear horrible puns, wise cracks and jokes. I'm sure you can come up with your own so I will spare you the details. Joel wanted me to make sure, however, that you all knew that J is still 14 or 15 letters from the A...

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving!

It's been a pretty quiet week around here. I'm not cooking today, we are joining our good friends, The Pyryts, at their house. I made a pecan pie yesterday afternoon and will be finishing up the dinner rolls soon. We will be packing the van up tonight for a trip to Kennewick to visit GrandPop Bruce and Grandma Heidi. Thank you to all of our friends and family and here's to a great Thanksgiving Day!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Homemade Enchilada Sauce

A while ago I made these enchiladas and blogged about their deliciousness. I've made them again today using ground beef. I also made and used homemade enchilada sauce and thought I would share that recipe with you. It is so easy and quick to make and you won't believe the difference in taste and color from the store bought canned sauce. I will also double or triple the recipe, portion out the extra and put it in the freezer. Don't get me wrong, the canned stuff is still good and great to have around when in a pinch but I almost always use this recipe when something calls for enchilada sauce. If you've got a few simple ingredients and about 10-15 minutes you too can make your own. Enjoy!

  • 16 oz tomato sauce
  • 1/4 cup mild chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 1/2 cup water
In saucepan, combine above ingredients, heat to boiling, reduce heat to low and simmer 5 minutes.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Giving Thanks Early

Today was the day that we processed the 50 meat birds that we bought 10 weeks ago. If you go to Stephanie's blog you can see how fast and big they grow in those 10 weeks. It was a lot of work to get through all 50 birds but with the four of us working hard we got it done. However, it only got into the high 40's today with mostly cloudy skies - it was cold! I never thought that I would actually look forward to putting my freezing cold hands into a dead but warm chicken. My hands are finally warming up and feeling back to normal. I'm sure Steph will post something about today too so be sure to visit her blog also.

One last shot before we begin and a thank you to the chickens for becoming our future meals.

To deal with all of the "fun" stuff going on we tend to make a lot of jokes, wise cracks, etc. In this case John wanted me to make sure that I photographed his "thin side." You got it John, now get back to work!

Joel spent more time at the butchering table this time around and he got pretty darn good at it.

A friend of ours stopped by to watch. I think it was out of curiosity at first but we finally got her to try her hand at butchering one.
See that little bit of sunshine on them? It didn't last long.

Another couple, who had raised two turkeys named Bonnie and Clyde (because Bonnie and Clyde die in the end) stopped by and they too were given a quick lesson in butchering. They used their new found skills to process their turkeys. In this picture, Bonnie had just come out of the plucker.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Here You Go

A video to go with the previous post...

Story of My Life

Story of My Life by Social Distortion was Oliver's song choice today. The boy loves to play Guitar Hero, he can't really hit any notes, doesn't quite grasp the concept and thinks it rocks when he gets booed off stage! He dances around and wields the guitar like the little rock star that he dreams of being. If you're really lucky you'll get to hear him exclaim, "I ROCK!" when he really gets into the song.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

That One Item

UPDATE: I am really liking the idea of a pillow, now I just have to find someone to help me make it happen. Sewing is one of those things that I would love to do but just don't have the room to store items for another hobby. I will keep you updated and hopefully post pictures before Oliver is in college!

I know that those of you that read this blog are talented, smart, creative and full of ideas just waiting to shared, that is why I am turning to you. Have you ever had that one thing that you just couldn't part with. That adorable pair of shoes that you'd squeeze your toddlers feet into one last time, the outfit your baby came home in, that piece of jewelry handed down from grandma, etc. Well, we just don't have a lot of storage, I am very cut throat when it comes to keeping things that I don't need, will never wear, have been outgrown, the list goes on. However, there are a couple of things that seem very hard for me to pass onto the next person that can use it. This is my current piece that has gone into the donation pile and been pulled out at least three times now...It's not that special, it was bought last winter for Oliver only because I thought it was cute. There have been no special moments or occasions that he wore it for, it's just a sweater. A sweater that I loved him in. I love the colors, I love that it has a hood, I love that he liked wearing it (a huge bonus with my opinionated boy), I love the way it fit him and love the way he looked in it! He wore it one last time last week and the I could see that space between the bottom of the sleeve and his wrist and that other area between the bottom of the sweater and the top of his pants had just gotten too big to ignore.

This is where you guys come into play - what do I do with it? I have no reason to keep the sweater other than I loved to see Oliver in it. I have plenty of pictures of him wearing it (and now pictures of the sweater) but is there something else that I can do with it? A way to keep it around that wouldn't just be a sweater taking up space? I'd love to hear what you would do with it if you too were unable to give it to charity. The fate of the sweater is in your hands!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Celebrate Good Times!

Phew, party is over, the house is clean and Oliver is passed out in the playroom all snuggled into his sleeping bag. The party went well and Oliver had a great time. It got a bit crazy with all the kids running around being kids but the birthday boy loved the chaos especially when he was right in the middle of it all. Thanks to all of you that came and made the boy's day and we missed those of you that weren't able to be here.

Diego cake made by Gammy.
Once my mom told Oliver that she was making the cake I was given daily reminders that I was NOT to make the cake.

Gammy also made him his special white cake.
He did let Gammy, with his help, put "Happy Birthday Oliver" on the cake in yellow.

He picked out these funky candles first and when they didn't blow out with the first puff he didn't want to try again. He asked Noah for help and big brother was happy to oblige.

This picture is just interesting to me. The candles appear to be in the ice cream instead of on his cake, Oliver is in focus but crazy Jackson and Noah are goofing off and all blurry in the background.

Oliver helped me to cut his piece of cake.
After he decided he didn't like the curly candles I put the blue ones on, lit them and he gladly blew those out. Those are the ones that we had been practicing with all week.

Thumbs up and ready for presents.

Diego Sea Glider from Noah G. - score!

The bag says, "Picked out especially for you!"
Oliver thought the picture was hilarious!

Presents are done and they get a TWO thumbs up!

Noah helping Oliver with his new truck from Grandpa Jerry and Grandma Lavelle.

Happy Birthday Oliver!

The party is about to start and our little man is quite excited.
We love you Oliver.
Happy 3rd Birthday to you!

From this...

To this...

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Turning 3 Tomorrow

I asked Oliver (okay baby Oliver) what he thought about getting older and this is what he said...

Friday, November 14, 2008

Someone is Excited!

Just got back from the grocery store, we set out to pick a few things up for Oliver's party on Sunday. As he was driving his race car grocery cart through the store he would proclaim to anyone that would listen, "It for my berfday party! And cake and presents and people and party hats! I be 1 -2-3!" There were a few that were silly enough to acknowledge the boy and get sucked into his "berfday" fantasy. Feel free to stop by on Sunday to help the boy's birthday dreams come true, it should be a lot of fun!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

But It's My Computer

I got this laptop for my birthday but getting time on "my" computer is getting more difficult as time goes on. A fellow blogger mentioned some favorite sites that her son (another almost 3 year old) likes, so I let Oliver check them out too. Between the little bit of time that Joel spends on the laptop, Noah checking out all of his fun websites and now Oliver playing his games my available time slots are starting to disappear. Oliver is getting pretty good at navigating the sites and using the mouse but he can get upset if things don't go the way he expects them to. "FIX IT!! Fix it, fix it, fix it." He is not the most patient child out there. Here are some pictures of our newest computer user...
The boy has huge hands!
I was worried about him not being able to use the mouse, it was a silly concern.
Word World is a great show on PBS.
He is playing in Dog's ball room and making words.

That is some serious concentration but don't worry...

...he figured it out!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Mad Scientist At it Again

Noah loves to make up concoctions and experiment with goop all the time, goop is a scientific term in case you wondering. He gets that itch and starts digging through my cupboards, "Mom, what happens if you mix flour with baking soda then add vinegar? What about baking powder? What if you mix the baking powder and the baking soda then add pop?" I usually give the boy the freedom to mix what he wants with few boundaries. My only request, usually, is that he doesn't use all 12 pounds of baking soda or that he uses the huge bag of cheap flour that I bought just for him or I'll get really "strict" and ask him to move his experiments to the table instead of where I'm cooking dinner. I know, I know call me crazy! Yesterday he decided he wanted to make his very own bouncy ball. We went on line and found this site that had instructions on how to do just that! And because I've been experimenting with Noah for a few years now I even had everything that he needed to play chemist. After the first go round he did exactly what they suggested and played with the ratios, "maybe a little more bounce factor in this one and the next one we will add a little more of the slime factor!" Now I just need to figure out a way to get him just as excited about writing!

Chemist Noah getting started, labeling his containers.

Little bit of this...

Little bit of that...

Stir it up until you can't stir anymore.
Do you see Oliver's hand in the background? This is where he realized that Noah was doing something that he wasn't! It always gets more interesting when he shows up for science time.

Pull the goop out of the cup, get really sticky and knead until it's more of a solid mass then try to bounce.

There it is after being bounced about a few times.

Monday, November 10, 2008

From Grief to Giggles

After a long struggle with trying to get our largest and oldest fish healthy it was apparent that it was time to humanely euthanize him last night. No matter what I did he just didn't get better. It was a tough loss because I enjoyed having the fish tank and Wink was the one fish that stuck with me through all of my learning about how to take care of him and other fish. He was huge for a Shubunkin measuring over 6 inches long. I've heard they can grow larger but he was the biggest I've seen. After telling Noah about Wink he was having a very tough time. I, once again, held myself together pretty well until I heard him in his room. I went in to talk with and comfort him and just ended up holding him and crying right along. After a while we had both calmed down a bit and were talking some. Noah started to get upset again and then all of a sudden blew snot out of his nose laughing. It was gross and hysterical all at the same time. I finally regained myself enough to ask what the heck was so funny and he pointed to Oliver. Oliver was sound asleep but had slid off of his bed a little. Noah thought it was especially funny that both Oliver and his teddy bear fell off of the bed in the same way. Looking back it may not have been that funny but it was what we both needed at the time. A little bit of giggling amidst the grief.

After Church

After church yesterday, we went to lunch with our friends, The Barnards, then their kids came over to play with ours. Apparently, it was a day to just kick back and relax with your friends. They played quietly and we barely noticed that any of them were in the house. This is what they did for a couple of hours...

Jacob and Noah played Lego Batman on the Wii. They were both very excited because there are levels that are very hard to do by yourself. With a partner in crime you advance through the levels even quicker. I don't think they even noticed I was standing there taking pictures.

Mackenzie and Oliver snuggled in the playroom, watched Little Einsteins and ate as many marshmallows as they could out of the Lucky Charms. What a couple of cuties!