Monday, September 28, 2009

Another Lego Enthusiast

Noah is a HUGE Lego fan and collector, I'm sure all of you already knew that. Turns out that Noah has been influencing his little brother too. Both of the boys can amaze me with some of the stuff that they come up with. Oliver was especially proud of this creation, please pardon the mess in the background. =)

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Fort Vancouver

Grandma Ricki is in town, when her sister, Tammy, heard about it and realized that she would be in the Portland area too, they decided to get together. Not sure how it all came about the plan was to meet at Fort Vancouver this morning and I'm glad that's where they decided to meet. Joel has lived in the Vancouver area a lot longer than I have and he had actually never been there. I have been down and around that area, always on the outside though, never on the inside. I'm glad we decided to go, it's actually a pretty fun and educational place to visit. You can visit the Fort Vancouver website and plan a trip of your own. Give us a call and we'll even meet you down there. I posted some pictures to my facebook account already so I tried not to duplicate here on the blog. I, shocking I know, took a ton of pictures but kicked myself later for not taking more of the family. Tammy, Thomas and Richard were all there and I got a few pictures of my boys (all three) and just a couple of Tammy and her family. Sheesh, hand me a camera and my brain goes all haywire.

So the fort is actually all replicated from pictures and archeology digs that have been done. They aren't even sure if this is the exact site of the fort. However, they did an incredible job building it back up to look like it would have back then.

Blacksmith swinging his hammer.
They have volunteers who work on the weekends. They dress in period clothing and do the jobs from that time. Got the feeling, though, that it was whatever volunteers showed up that day that would dictate what you got to see.

The Blacksmith Shop

Chief Factor's Residence


Carpenter at work.
This wood shop was incredible.

The volunteer carpenter let Oliver help run the treadle.

Joel was drooling!

I really liked these light fixtures in the Counting House.

I also fell in love with this pitcher and bowl, actually the entire set-up was beautiful.

Pitchers, decanters and glasses, again in the Counting House.

The Fur Warehouse

The Jail
The people put in jail were shackled to the wall and given a small wool blanket to sleep on the floor with. The room was dark with little to no light coming in.

Tammy and Ricki standing in front of an heirloom rose bush. Those roses smelled amazing.

Joel relaxing his weary head on the cannon.

Shutters on the gorgeous porch of the Chief Factor's Residence. Glass of lemonade, a rocking chair and some good company and you'd never get me off of this porch.
The inside of the house was incredible too but my batteries were dying and I didn't get many pictures.

Friday, September 25, 2009


That's right, you read correctly, my 3 year old master wiggler, mover and shaker stood still! Just how did this happen? You spend a mere $1 on a little cup of juice at the zoo, tell him to hold it like an ice cream cone and throw him to the birds. Best $1 ever spent!

He even stood still when the bird landed in Grandma Ricki's hair and started pulling on her hair and band/barrette. He thought that was hilarious!

Grandma Ricki and my boy on the train.
Side note: If you haven't been to the zoo lately, it's time to make a trip. The new "Predators of the Serengeti" is open now and it is awesome! The big cats are amazing to see.

Thursday, September 24, 2009


My science driven Noah discovered these fascinating little robots. Hexbugs have infiltrated the house. We now have four of them scurrying about the house. Some are light and sound activated, some are remotely controlled and some just shoot around the room at a frantic pace until they hit something, turn and race off in another direction. I have to say, of all the toys that my children "need" these are one of my favorites.



Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Visitor - the four legged kind

I had to clarify because we actually have two visitors but I'll blog about the other visitor later. Haven't captured her on film yet! Tori got to go to Disneyland for her birthday and she took her family along. They have a few dogs and we got to keep one for the week.

He likes to smell things...

He also likes to run around with my boys...

His name is Woodrow and I think he's kinda cute. He's a 9 month old yellow lab.

This is the standoff...Oliver is coming to get the ball.
(laughing) I love the look on Woodrow's face.
"Go ahead punk, make my day!"

They occasionally butt heads...

But it always works out in the end.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Goin' to the Chapel

and we're goin' to get married...

We went to Lebanon OR Friday to Joel's cousin Sasha get married. Anthony and Sasha found a great place called The Ranch on Beaver Creek, it was a beautiful setting. I shared the pictures on my facebook account but thought their might be a few of you, not on facebook yet, that would like to see them too.

I got it!!

This picture may not be off the charts in beauty or composition but I was at the right place at the right time and got a super fun amazing picture! The two hippos were awake (not normal), they were very active (not the norm), they were playing with their ball (never seen that before) and I just happened to walk up with my camera and capture this....

Ready to Go?

I asked Oliver if he wanted to go to the park the other day and he said, "sure, let me get my stuff!" He came back with binoculars, a Frisbee, an archeologist's hammer, a cap gun, a spy watch and a zoo key.Really? Do you really need all of this to go play at the park? "YES! It's all very important." So I packed it all in a bag and we headed to the park. He put on the zoo key and watch as soon as we got there and used the other items as the situations for each presented themselves.
It's good to know that I've trained my kids to be prepared for any situation. Who knows when you'll need to chip a plastic fossil out of a clay like play egg??? Or when you'll run across a little box, from the zoo, that will tell you about the wildlife when you put the key in???
And the frisbee, well, who could live without a frisbee? It's just not possible.

Monday, September 14, 2009

It's A Boy!

I went to my sister's house this weekend because Ron was getting a new baby. I got to tag along with them to the Eros Arabian and Hackney Horse open house in Olympia. It was a great, drinks, music and best of all, beautiful horses. At the end of the day they loaded Kip up and Ron hauled his new bundle of joy back to their place. Considering that this was his first trailering experience,Kip did great on the 2.5 hour ride. They got him home and he settled in quite nicely. I took hundreds of pictures but decided to just share the ones of Kip. Congratulations Ron on your new baby, he's adorable.

Friday, September 04, 2009

The Low Anthem

I was listening to the "All Songs Considered" podcast one night and heard a clip of a song from the group, The Low Anthem. I can't seem to get enough of them these days, just something about their music that draws me to them. They have a song called, "Ohio" and I think it's one of the best songs that I've come across in 2009. Here is the video and I put the lyrics below. On a personal note, I think of a pretty lady named Jillian every time I hear it, she was taken early and loved dearly.

Lost my love before her time, oo oo
Lost my love before her time, oo oo
On the way to Ohio On the way to Ohio

Now every new love is just a shadow, oo oo
Every new love is just a shadow, oo oo

'Cause once you've known love you don't know how to find love, oo oo
Yeah once you've found love you don't know how to find new love
All the way to Ohio All the way to Ohio

Heard her voice come through the pines in Ohio
I heard her voice singing in the pines in Ohio

She sang bless your soul you crossed that line to Ohio
Bless your soul you crossed that line oo oo
All the way to Ohio
All the way to Ohio

First Day Update

Oliver: I went to pick him at noon, they are to stay in their chairs until the teacher calls them to be excused. That was a hard task for Ollie, he was wiggling, doing this half stand/sit pose, waving and whispering loudly, "HI MOM!!" At the end of each day they are rewarded with a sticker if they behaved well, he, and all of the kids, received a sticker on the first day. He had so much fun and was a bit upset yesterday/Thursday because he wasn't going to school again. I asked him about the sticker and what he did to get it...
  • Did you listen well to your teachers?
  • Yes I listen!
  • I'm sure Mrs. Van loved that you listened.
  • Who?
  • Your teacher. Mrs. Van, you listened to Mrs. Van and got a sticker, good for you.
  • NO! I listened to my teacher, not Mrs. Van.
  • Oh, who is your teacher?
  • Mrs. Van.
  • So you listened to your teacher, Mrs. Van.
  • NO! Just my teacher.
  • (chuckling) Who is your teacher again?
  • Mrs. Van and Ms. Bobbins helps her.
  • Well, thanks for listening to your teacher today. I love you.
  • Love you too.
Noah: Grandma Ricki asked in the comment she left if if was hard for Noah to leave Oliver at preschool and the answer, wiping tears of laughter from my eyes, is/was a resounding NO. Quite the opposite actually, he was a little put out by having to go with us to drop him off, wanted to stay home and catch the bus. Rolled his eyes when I told him I had to get a picture of him at least walking into school on his day. Didn't understand, since this was his 6th first day of school, why I had to bother with such nonsense. That's my boy all right. Oliver and I waited out front, playing with sidewalk chalk and reading books, for Noah to come home. I caught a couple pictures of him getting off the bus and walking towards us.
  • Hi Noah!
  • Hey
  • How was school? What did you do today?
  • First day, just like all of my other first days, was a total waste of time.
  • (laughing) Yeah the first days are usually about getting settled and organized.
  • Can I go play?
  • No, I want to hear more about your day.
  • What do you want me to say?
  • I want to hear more about your day. Who else sits at your table?
  • Don't know.
  • What days do you go to library? music? P.E.?
  • It's all in the planner you have to sign, you can read it there.
  • That's it, that's all you're going to say?
  • Yup. Can I go play?
  • Give me a kiss and you can go play.
  • Can I just go play?
  • Nope. Give me a kiss.
  • (kisses me)
  • Love you Noah.
  • Love you too (rolls eyes and walks away).

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

First Day For Both of My Boys

Today was the start to the 2009-10 school year for BOTH of my boys. Noah started 3rd grade with Ms. Molina and Oliver started preschool with Mrs. Van. Because preschool starts at 9am and Noah's bus arrives right around 9am, we all took Oliver to school today and then drove Noah over to his school, he will ride the bus tomorrow. Oliver was EXCITED, so excited in fact that he did nothing but annoy Noah all morning. Noah is torn, happy to be headed back to school but bummed that summer is ending. I can't wait until they both get home to hear about their first days.

Excited, happy, jubilant...Oliver.
I don't ever remember being quite this happy about school.

Even though they don't need backpacks for preschool, actually they are asked to not bring them at all due to space or lack there of, Oliver HAD to wear one, "just like brudder." He even put a pretend lunch into it in case he got hungry.

Dad and Ollie walking into school.
I've walked through those doors many a time. Noah, Jackson, Jacob and Mackenzie all went to this preschool and I helped transport them all.

The boys heading down the hallway to Oliver's classroom. It's classroom C, Noah had the same room the first year that he went to preschool.

Oliver walking into class, Noah hanging back and trying to act like he doesn't care. Ollie was not one of those cling to your leg, cry or hesitate kind of kids. I barely had time to say goodbye let alone snap pictures.

Marched right in and said good morning to Mrs. Van.

Noah, well we just pulled up outside his school, he hopped out and walked in without looking back. Okay, he looked back once when I yelled his name and waved but that was it. To be honest, I think this was harder for me than dropping off Ollie for the first time ever. Noah is growing up fast.
And because I can't post about the first day without a little bit of humor, here is a series of photos that I took. I was trying to get a cute picture of the two of them, in the front yard, on the first day of school. As usual, with my two hooligans, it did not go as planned. Oliver was jumping all around, Noah was way too serious and trying to wrestle Oliver into submission, I was snapping pictures like a mad woman hoping one would turn out. I would like to point out, however, that Oliver was smiling the entire time and Noah, well, he was just being Noah. I'm thinking that I may have to hire Amy Vining, a gal I went to high school with, to try and get their holiday photo(s). She's gonna have her work cut out for her...