Thursday, January 29, 2009

When I Grow Up

I was trying to wake up this morning, snuggling on the couch with Oliver and drinking a cup of coffee. We were watching Dora The Explorer together and just enjoying the moment. At one point, Dora turned to her viewing audience and asked, "What do you want to be when you grow up?" Oliver got all excited and said, "Like my brother, Noah Johnson!" I gave the boy a super squeeze and then silently wished that Noah would realize just HOW MUCH his little brother loves and admires him.

Monday, January 26, 2009

We Love This Park!

I've blogged about this little park off of the Old Evergreen Highway before but it's one of our favorites so here we go again. I'm fighting another head cold so Oliver was cooped up most of the weekend while I tried to get better. We both had cabin fever today so we headed down to the park. The boys call it the train park because trains run parallel to the highway along the park and they love it when big freight trains rumble past. It's officially the Columbia Springs Environmental Education Center. Yeah, let's stick with train park. Anyway, it's a beautiful park, lots of learning opportunities, a great little nature walk (that a 3 year old can easily handle), a fish hatchery and just plain fun. Here are lots of pictures from today's outing...

When we first got there, one of the very nice people that work at the hatchery told us to hurry down to the raceway because they were transferring fish.
Here is the guy dumping the fish into the truck that was headed to a local stream.

These two had the job of scooping them out of the raceway.

You can feed the fish if you want.

Play peek-a-boo with a pile of pipes.

Find the snow white heron perched in a tree.
View out onto the lake, look close and you can see the white heron in the previous photo, down in the water are also ducks and loons. The fish were also active and jumping a lot today.

If you don't like the white heron then how about the blue heron circling above our heads?

A view of the lake from the nature trail.

This here is an example of why you shouldn't walk and try to take a picture of the loons landing in the water. Lots of rocks, tree roots, etc. to trip over. That splash in the middle of the picture, however, is indeed the loon landing!

Looking way too grown up to be my baby.

At the top of the trail you come out into a big field surrounded by more wetlands and water. This is a picture of the upper lake area.

And at the end of a chilly walk, sitting on a bench, while waiting for the train to go by, you just might get lucky enough to warm the, red with cold, hand of a cute boy.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

The Elusive Hawk

Our backyard, now that we have no dog, has been overrun by small critters. We have birds of all kinds, squirrels that think they own the place and rabbits that appear to have taken up residence under our shed. At first I thought all of this was cute, fun and a great experience for the boys but that's all wearing off now. The squirrels have taken up residence IN our shed and destroyed a few things chewing them up and nesting. The rabbits are a okay but the leave little rabbit pellets all over the yard and are a direct threat to gardens. I don't have large gardens so I'm hesitant to share what I have. The birds aren't really a problem that I know of yet but they have attracted a few or our neighbor's cats. Over the past few days we've had a new visitor to our backyard, a beautiful large hawk. I welcome the hawk in hopes that he can keep our squirrel and rabbit population under control. Some may be appalled by this idea but it works in the wild so why not in my small backyard. Each time I've seen the hawk I run for my camera but he has flown off each time. I really hope to capture a picture or two of him and will post them as soon as I do. For now, however, we decided to name our new friend, Frank and hope he visits us often.

Saturday, January 24, 2009


The boys went through the house the other night and, uncharacteristically, turned off all of the lights. They then put Noah's sleeping bag, along with their pillows and a few other blankets and animals into the hallway and camped out for a while. I had a difficult time getting pictures because it was pitch black and had no clue where to aim. I did see that Noah was making faces though and asked him to give me at least one sweet smile...

Nope, that's not a sweet smile...
Not that one either...
He was also pretend snoring in this one...
Where did the Fig Newman come from?
Better luck next time - oh who am I kidding??

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Kids in Hats

Kids in hats are just cute. They may or may not match their outfits, they may be on crooked, they can be too big, too small, just right, brightly colored, muted, serve a purpose or not...lets face it, kids + hats = cute. Daddy was cleaning out the closet last night and showed Oliver that he had a hat much like the one of Oliver's that he had found. The hat immediately went on and stayed there for quite a while. After the novelty of the Spiderman costume wore off this morning, the hat was found again and worn throughout the day. Plus, as an added bonus, it covers up his hair, I've decided that since I was going to have one kid growing out his hair and looking all shaggy that I might as well try letting Oliver's grow out too.

This kid can push me to every mothering limit out there then he flashes this smile and I tend to forget...for the moment anyway.

Daddy had a Coke and offered Oliver a drink and he happily accepted.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

LLoyds of Fun

My sister and her family came down South this weekend. They had some maintenance to perform on the horses at TK's house, an awards banquet to attend and then they stopped by here today. They brought their new puppy, Lloyd. He is even cuter in person, has a great personality and was a lot of fun to have around for a few hours. He is welcome to come stay with us anytime.

How can you not love that little face?

"Come on, I dare to grab my toy, come on, let's go!"

It was incredibly windy today and while we were outside he would sit down an listen. Those big ears of his were moving every which way.

When he puts his ears back he is much more aerodynamic.

Love it when he lays like this.

Getting some lovin' from his momma.

We wore the poor guy out and wanted to know what the heck I was doing interrupting his nap.

Slept like this for quite a while.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Frosty Was Feeling Artsy

Who knew that a BBQ lid could be so interesting? It's what made me grab the camera in my pre-coffee stupor and head outside for a couple of minutes.

I love how Frosty outlined this leaf.

This bush reminded me of when you bake and then dust the end product with powdered sugar.

Interesting pattern on our table.

Thursday, January 15, 2009


Adjective: random randum
  1. Lacking any definite purpose; governed by or depending on chance
In case any of you still don't know, I hate doing laundry. If I were a super hero you could thwart my do-gooder escapades by blocking my path to comic book like triumph with laundry. Sad but true. So in keeping with my laundry loathing lifestyle here is a blog post that I just randomly pieced together INSTEAD of cleaning clothes.

I love my sister and am very proud of her...she knows why.

If you think it's funny to torture dogs by making them wear clothes you should check out this cute post at Janet's blog.

I have this song stuck in my head or you can listen here too. It's called "Human" by The Killers and I bet you find yourself humming it later if you go check it out.

This is Oliver, he's copying Pluto. He is my perpetual entertainer.
Thanks Grandma Lavelle for the new shirt!

This is our cat, Smudge. He likes to get on the table, which he is not supposed to do, and pull a bunch of napkins out of the little basket. He then shreds and fluffs until they are just right for napping.

This big, bright, orb of a thing has been hanging around our skies for the past couple of days. I'm enjoying it's company but not getting too attached.

Okay, off to do some laundry...or not.

Monday, January 12, 2009


I get a picture that I love and for some reason this is one of them. I messed around with a might have to click on the picture to read the quote.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

What Goes Around Comes Around

I must confess. I have this little thing that I do to Joel that I do just to irritate him a bit. It's really not that big of a deal but it's gotten a reaction (albeit a small one) from him a couple of times so I keep doing it. I will say something witty or throw out a stellar pun and then immediately follow it with, "get it? do ya get it?" then explain why the pun/joke is supposed to be funny. He got it, he didn't need me to explain it and may have even laughed a bit but I always push it to the, "get it? do ya get it?" stage. Trust me, I find it much funnier to get "the look" from him and even an occasional eye roll! Or at least I think so.

Then karma stepped in...

Tonight before bed, Noah was reading a SpongeBob Joke book. Before too long he was reading/telling the jokes to us. Can you guess what he did after every joke?

Sandy: Why did Patrick punch the library?
SpongeBob: His teacher told him to hit the books!

"Do you get it mom? Do you know why SpongeBob said that? Because hit the books means to study and that's what the teacher meant for Patrick to do but instead Patrick really hit the books!" Noah says laughing and giggling.

Sandy: Where's the best place on a baseball field to take a test?
SpongeBob: Right field!

"RIGHT field, as in the right answers, for the test, get it? Mom, do you get it? Right field is a position in baseball but you want to get all the right answers for the test. Get it?"

Yeah, I'd say I'm getting what I deserve but to be totally honest, I was quite proud. What better compliment can a parent get than when their kid wants to be like them? And if you need any other SpongeBob jokes, I'd be glad to help you out, I heard quite a few tonight and we have a date tomorrow night to hear the rest. Got it?

Resolution Victor

Sorry about the stellar video you're about to watch but you can't yell, "Take 2!", when picking the winner. Congratulations and I will email you soon to get your choice of soap scent(s).

Saturday, January 10, 2009


This is a quick reminder to go to this post and leave a comment with your new years resolution. A batch of all natural homemade soap could be in your future.
Winner will be drawn tomorrow night.

Friday, January 09, 2009

They Say It's Your Birthday!!

I asked Noah and Oliver, using the below method to describe Grandma Heidi. Thought it was a fun and cute way to say

G - Gracious
R - Really good at Uno
A - Always helpful
N - Nice
D - Dog dogs!
M - Married to GrandPop Bruce
A - A, Aaah, Apple

H - Happy
E - Eats pizza with us
I - Is not here
D - Doesn't yell at us
I - Is fun to visit

Can you guess which three Oliver did?

Still Learning

I try to learn something about my camera or how to take better pictures as often as possible. The moon last night wasn't exactly spectacular but it was interesting with the clouds moving quickly past. I had read a little something about taking pictures of the moon. One part of the article talked about treating the moon as a sunlit object instead of a night time long exposure. Makes sense if you really think about it so I gave it a try. I opened the aperture as wide as I could and set my shutter speed at 1/4. These were my favorite shots of the night...not too bad for my little, no frills, camera. Now I just have to get my hands on my sisters camera and her new lens!

Thursday, January 08, 2009


Oliver and I stopped by Steph's today and got to see and play with the puppies. They are growing so fast and are so dang cute! Of course I probably think they are super cute because I'm not having to tend to, feed, clean-up, etc. after six little lab sausages. If you don't like to look at cute puppy pictures then turn away now, otherwise, enjoy the show.

Oliver looking in on the clan - the boy and the puppies look innocent but don't let them fool you, they can turn on you in a heartbeat!

Just try not to rub that belly.

The one on top is Woodrow, they are keeping him. I played with him a lot today and I think they made the right choice. He is a sweetheart.

All six recharging for their great escape. We ran to the grocery store and when we got back they had knocked out a wall of their confines and were running free.

I love their cute little, wrinkly, puppy faces.

Here is Woodrow again getting himself into a little bit of trouble.
Don't worry though...

he tired out quickly and fell asleep before damage could be done.

Apparently this little trouble maker wanted to make sure I knew he was there. A quick tug or two on my laces and then he was off again.

Wednesday, January 07, 2009


It's difficult for Oliver to play a lot of the Wii games that we have. He really tries but he doesn't quite get all the moves. Hold down this button to aim, this other button to lock on, swing, release the button at right moment, etc. pretty soon he just gets frustrated. We do have some games that he can play well like Playground or a few of the games on Carnival Games but one of his favorites lately is Wii Golf. It's just the simple golf game that came with Wii Sports but it's perfect for him. Here are a few shots of him hitting the links early in the day for quick 9 holes of fun.

He's not Tiger Woods but his form is better than mine!

Here he is setting up for his next shot.

Teeing off at another.

I know a lot of guys that would be upset at a bogey but not this guy. He is very proud that he just tapped in his putt for 1 over par!