Monday, December 17, 2012

End of Year Update

Here it is, the end of 2012.  I thought I'd take a look once again at my New Year's Resolutions and see how I did.  Here's a review of the resolutions:

1.  Run in at least 5 races this year
2.  Make a new recipe each week
3.  Update this blog more than once a month

1.  I'm happy to report that with the Jingle Bell run I did earlier this month, I was able to complete 5 races this year.  I ran in the Shamrock Run, the Bridges to Brews, Bloomsday, Hippie Chick and the Jingle Bell Run. 
2.  I did not make this happen this past year.  I'm not sure I even made it 1/4 way through 2012.  I found that I just didn't have the time to put into trying new recipes, and I would forget to look and get the proper ingredients needed each week.
3.  I think I was able to update this blog more than once a month.  So I guess #3 was a success.  Some months were better than others.

It's now time to start thinking about some resolutions for 2013.  I've got some ideas.  I'll be posting them in 2013.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Zoo Lights

One of our favorite holiday traditions is going to the Oregon Zoo and seeing the "zoo lights" that are displayed at Christmas time.  We went a couple of weeks ago.  We walked around and looked at all of the lights.  They are such a pretty display.  One option is also to ride the zoo train and look at all the lights.  But this time we just walked.  Maybe next time we'll take the train. 

All of the Boys in Front of the Penguin Lights

Sam on a Statue

Simon on a Statue

Daniel with a Monkey

Keeping Warm with Hot Chocolate

Some of the Lights

In Front of a Totem Pole

More Boys and Lights

Friday, November 23, 2012

Daniel's Recital

Last Sunday, Daniel had his first piano recital.  I've been so proud of him since he has started taking piano lessons.  He has really enjoyed learning how to play the piano, and he learns his songs so quickly.  Many of his songs he puts to memory rather quickly, too.  Sometimes he even makes "variations" of his songs.  I'm eager to watch him grow musically and see what becomes of him.  As for his recital, he wasn't nervous at all.  He did a great job!

Waiting to perform, a bit sheepish, I suppose


Friday, November 16, 2012

Kids Sleeping

I've always loved pictures of my kids (or any kids) sleeping.  They look so peaceful. Here are a couple of recent pictures of Sam and Simon.  I also tried to show a comparison of Sam with now and when he was about 2 weeks old.  His profile looks the same to me now as when he was a baby.


Sam, Now

Sam, Then

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Treadmill Debate

I've been thinking a lot lately about the debate as to whether running on a treadmill is better or running outdoors.  For the most part, I always figured they were about equal in terms of value and health benefit.  But recently a friend said that running on a treadmill is not running.  He said that your body merely goes through the motion of running, but it doesn't actually do that much work.  So then I started reading some articles to try and see what the experts are saying about the two forms of running.  Mostly, it said that running outside is better, but there are pros to running on a treadmill too.  For example, treadmill running is safer, it can be done almost any time of day, and it's easier on the joints.  But outdoor running is probably a better workout because of the outside elements: wind, hills, fresh air.  I then asked on Facebook what people thought.  Most people feel that running outdoors is better and that running on a treadmill is easier.  So I've concluded that while running outside is probably a better workout, I think that nothing should undermine that treadmill running is still running and is a close second.  And I think that running on a treadmill is better than no exercise at all.  So I will probably continue to run on a treadmill, since it works out better in my daily exercise routine, but I will try to run outdoors as much as possible.

By the way, I recently signed up for my 5th race of the year.  It's the Jingle Bell run in December.  I'm very excited about this!

Monday, October 15, 2012

Kruger Farms 2012

Last Sunday we took a trip out to Kruger Farms to pick out our pumpkins.  It's a fun place to visit all year round, and we always like to go and get pumpkins and enjoy all that Fall has to offer.  They have a corn maze, and the boys really love running around in it, trying to find all the "stations".  They take people out on a tractor-pulled hayride to pick out your desired pumpkin.  And they have ponys to ride, too.  Then, we top it off with some pumpkin pie and caramel apples.  We also managed to do all of this successfully before getting rained upon, so it was a great trip!

Daniel on the Hayride

Sam, ready to pick out a pumpkin

Simon, in the Corn Maze

The boys waiting for their pony rides

Trying to get a family pic

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Daniel's Artwork

Last week I decided I should take down some of Daniel's artwork from Kindergarten that still hangs on his wall.  I figure we need to eventually make room for all of the new things he will be bringing home this year that he will be making in first grade.  But as I took each piece down, it pained me a little to throw these pieces away.  I realize we can't keep every item that our kids make throughout their childhood or you might see me on an episode of Hoarders in the near future.  So, I have kept a few special pieces, but this time I took pictures to remind me of his precious work.  Here are some of the pictures.

"Pasta Man"



"The Pumpkin"

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Time With Grandparents

 I can't believe how long it's been since I last blogged.  I guess time got away from me, or there was just too much going on.  I don't know.  But I plan to get back into it again.  Recently my parents visited us from Idaho.  We took them on the Fruit Loop in the Hood River area, and then I also took them on the Old Columbia Highway and visited some sites along the Gorge.  It was great having them here.  Our visits are just too short.  But here are a few pics from that visit.

The boys helping me pick lavender.
At one of the view points along the Gorge
A short hike to Bridal Veil Falls

Monday, September 10, 2012

Canada Trip

Last month (August) we took a trip up to Canada, to Whistler and then to Victoria.  Jeff and I had been to Whistler once before about 7 years ago, before we had kids.  It was a fun place to visit then, and it was really fun to visit it again, now with kids.  Jeff's parents went with us too, and it was neat to share this experience with them as well.  One of the things I think is cool about Whistler, is all of the Olympic items that are left over from the 2010 Vancouver games.  And maybe it was even more interesting because the summer olympics were drawing to a close as were there.  But there is so much to do in Whistler.  We rode bikes, went on hikes, rode the gondola, went swimming, did some shopping and sightseeing.  Being there for only a few days, we felt like we could have spent more time there and still had a lot of fun.  Then it was on to Victoria for a few days.  That's always fun because we get to ride the ferry.  The boys loved the ferry and thought that was so neat.  In Victoria we are right there on the water.  There are boats to watch, seaplanes taking off, cruise ships docking.  There are playgrounds, biking paths, and the list goes on and on.  Overall, we had a great trip and I would love to go back someday.

Checking out the Peak to Peak Gondola

The Olympic Rings

On a Hike

The Ferry Crossing

Group In Front of the Empress

A Golf Lesson

Monday, August 27, 2012

Camping 2012

A few weekends ago we went camping with our friends Donald and Ruth and their 3 kids.  We went to a place called Florence, OR, along the coast.  It is a really pretty spot, with the campsite not being too dirty.  I guess the one thing we had to contend with this year was the mosquitoes, but other than that, things were really great.  The weather was warm, which is nice.  I can handle a lot of things while camping, but I really have a hard time if it's cold, especially at night.  The camping location also was next to a small lake.  Donald has a canoe that we were able to take out and enjoy.  We also were about a mile and a half walk from the beach.  On Saturday afternoon, we decided to walk there, thinking it would be fun to play on the beach.  However, it was very windy and rather chilly, so we didn't stay long and quickly returned back to our campsite. 

The food is always one of my favorite parts of camping.  Donald and Ruth bought a camping stove this year, which was fun to use.  We made cinnamon rolls one morning.  And of course there are smores and lots of yummy snacks to eat while camping too. 

This year was the first year for Simon to use a sleeping bag.  He did pretty well and stayed warm, which is good.  The second night he woke up crying, I think scared because he was unsure of his surroundings.  But once he figured out he was safe, he was okay. 

The kids had such a fun time playing.  They get along well, which is wonderful.  They love to run around the bushes, playing make believe games.  They also entertained themselves with bikes and bubbles. 

We've only managed to go camping once a summer the past few summers.  Perhaps we'll be able to do more as Jeff's schedule gets easier and the boys get older.  But for now, we can say we went, and we had a great time!

Eating Lunch
Baby Tyler

Canoe Rides

Daniel & Natalie


Digging for lost treasure

Sam got buried

Monday, August 20, 2012

Simon is 2!

I can't believe my baby turns 2 today.  It has been difficult at times watching him grow, knowing he's my last baby to go through the various stages.  I vividly remember a time when he was about 7 months old.  I was giving him his bottle, right before bedtime.  He often would grasp onto my finger with his little fist when I was feeding him.  That night he seemed to hold on tight, like he would never let go.  His eyelids closed and he began to drift to sleep, but I just wanted to hold him forever.  Now, even a few months later, I know these precious moments won't last forever.  He is growing more independent every day.  And while I'm thankful he is a healthy boy, growing up as he should, there are times when I wish I could freeze time and hold on to him just as he is.  I love you Simon!  Happy Birthday!

Minutes Old

1 Day Old

1 Month Old

1 Year Old

2 Years Old

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Swim Lessons

The last couple of weeks, the boys took swim lessons.  I was really proud of how they did and the progress they made.  Here's a few pics of our eventful week!

Simon, ready to jump in

Simon & I

Sam, getting his floating in

Sam enjoyed his goggles

Daniel got his float down

Daniel had fun!

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Daniel-A Look Back

I almost forgot I wanted to do this.  I think I did this for Sam...but I wanted to take a look back at Daniel through the years.  I know he's only 6 (what will this page look like 10 years from now?), but I wanted to post some pics of him growing older.  My biggest is growing up!

1 Day Old

1 Year

2 Years

3 Years

4 Years

5 Years

6 Years