Monday, December 30, 2013

Resolutions 2014

I'm excited to start my resolutions for 2014.  When deciding what my resolutions should be this year, I thought back over the past couple of years.  Some of my decisions will be similar and some will be new.  Here they are:

1.  I want to run 1,000 miles this year.  I was about 50 short this year.  I think if I add a mile a week that should be close to hitting the 1,000 mile mark.  I want to keep doing races, but the races won't be part of my resolution.

2.  I want to read at least 10 books this year.  I get stuck reading magazines or the newspaper, and I don't read that many books.  I want to change that and do more book reading this year.

3.  Continue giving away at least one bag of things a month.  I fell behind last year, and since we will be moving in a year (or two), I'd like to get rid of more stuff!

4.  Continue spending time with Jeff on a regular basis.  Last year it was trying to get away at least every other month without the kids.  I'd like to continue that.

5.  More blogs!  I want to keep writing. 

6.  Go off Facebook.  I will be deleting my account on January 1.

I hope all of you have a wonderful 2014!  Happy New Year!

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Christmas Tree 2013

A couple of Sundays ago, we got our family ready to go to the tree farm that we like so much and go cut down a tree.  We've been going to the same farm for the last 4 years since living here on the west side.  They have live trees, and we enjoy picking a tree out and cutting it down.  Then they wrap it up for us, tie it to the car and away we go!  Last year they added a bonfire to the area with hot cocoa or cider.  We had fun again this year getting our tree.  Here's a picture recap....

choosing the right tree

we found our tree

enjoying some hot refreshments

"me tired"

the finishing touch

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Resolutions 2013 Update

I've decided to check in with my New Year's Resolutions for the year and see how things went.  Here's a recap of what my resolutions were last January:

1.  Run in at least 6 races this year.
2.  Donate at least 1 bag of items a month to charity (hopefully more than 1).
3.  Keep on blogging, ideally once a week.
4.  Spend more quality time with Jeff, perhaps a weekend away now and then.

#1.  This coming Sunday will make 6 races for me this year.  I'm happy to report that this was a resolution I was able to keep.

#2.  I was good about this one till around half way through the year.  Then things started to slow down.  But not for lack of stuff to give away.  It became more about the time it takes to go through closets and cupboards, bagging things and driving them somewhere to donate.  I am hoping to do another BIG purge after the first of the year.

#3.  Last year I blogged a total of 36 times, and as of right now, this is my 34th blog of this year.  I'd say I didn't do as well at blogging as I had hoped.  But at least I've kept it up.  I did hit my 100th blog this year!  I was happy about that.

#4.  Jeff and I were able to get away from the kids for a night or weekend at least every other month.  So I'd say we did well with this resolution.  It has really helped us stay connected to be able to spend time with just us, away from the kids.  

That's how things went this past year.  I'm going to start thinking up some new things, or maybe just tweak the old ones.  We'll see.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Halloweens: Past & Present

This post is a little past due, but I wanted to look back at some of our previous years of dressing up for Halloween.  This year was a last minute decision to go trick-or-treating, so our costumes consisted of whatever we could find in the closet.  We do a lot of recycling around here as well.  It worked out though, and the boys had so much fun walking through the neighborhood.  For them, I think they have more fun doing the trick-or-treating rather than eating all their candy.  In fact, I was able to convince them to donate most of their candy, keeping only a few of their favorites.  Here's a look back:
Daniel, age 1-A Tiger (2007)
Daniel, age 2- Bob the Builder & Sam, age 5 months-a Pumpkin (2008)
Sam, age 1-a Cowboy & Daniel, age 3-an Engineer (2009)
Daniel, age 4-Construction Worker & Simon, age 2 months-a pumpkin & Sam, age 2-Construction Worker (2010)
Sam, age 3-an Engineer & Simon, age 1-a Tiger & Daniel, age 5-a Cowboy (2011)

Daniel, age 7-Soccer Player & Sam, age 5-a Tiger & Simon, age 3-a Cowboy (2013)

Monday, November 11, 2013


I can't express enough how much my friends mean to me.  I don't always say it, but my friends are very dear to me.  I think about the friends that I have gained throughout the years.  I am thankful that as a little girl, I was able to develop close friendships that have lasted throughout the years.  I think about the friends who came into my life during high school years.  Each of them influenced me in ways for the better and have really helped me be a better person.  I especially appreciate the friends who took me aside to teach me how to be a better friend.  I have friends who I met during my years at college and at working at camp.  Again, these people mean so much to me.  Then, there are those friends who I came to know as an adult.  I am so thankful that these people took the time to get to me.  The older I get, the harder it is for me to reach out to others.  So I am thankful for those who have befriended me.  I had the wonderful opportunity to see one of my friends this past weekend.  I am thankful for the times when I can see my friends, talk with them, visit with them, or even talk on the phone.  Distance has put some of my friends far away, but they are never far from my heart.  I  know that sounds cheesy, but I really do mean that my friends mean so much to me, no matter how much time passes between visits.  They have taught me so much, helped me when I was down, laughed with me, listened to me complain, and so much more.  I hope and wish that I in return am a faithful friend to them.  I know that if any of my friends need anything, I will do everything in my power to be there and help them.  I love all dear, sweet friends!

spending time with Marla this past weekend

Monday, October 28, 2013

Various Things

 The past couple of weeks, we have kept busy doing various things.  One weekend when Jeff was gone, I took the boys on a hike through the Nature Park.  Daniel had fun being our guide and picking out which trails to walk on.

sam, daniel & simon at the nature park

The following weekend we took the boys on a hike through Washington Park.  At the end is a fun playground to expend more energy on, so the boys had fun hiking and playing.

sam at the playground
The Monday after that, the boys were off for Parent Teacher Conferences.  We spent the afternoon playing with our cousins who live close by.  Here they all are enjoying the "airplane".

cousins en route
The next day, Tuesday, I took the boys to OMSI with Grandma.  We spent the morning playing and then had a fun lunch out!

simon at OMSI
 Daniel's class was in charge of chapel at his school recently.  He's the 2nd from the right in the group of boys.  Here he is leading song service.

chapel with daniel
We hope all is well!

Monday, October 14, 2013

Zoo Day!

It was a rare, sunny, fall day in Portland.  Daniel and Sam had the day off from school.  I really wanted to spend the day outside, so we went to the zoo.  We were able to see a lot of it.  Daniel wanted to see the Caymans and Anacondas.  Simon wanted to see the Bears and Giraffes.  And Sam was happy to see most anything.  It was also fun to see that a lot of the zoo lights have been set up in anticipation for Zoo Lights this coming holiday season.  I hope you all had a good day today too!

setting out

goofing around


the boys and penguins

Monday, October 7, 2013

Fun Weekend

This past weekend, the sun was out, and so we decided to take advantage of the nice weather, knowing very soon we will be indoors most of the time.  On Saturday we took a bike ride to the park in Sellwood.  The boys played and got some of their wiggles out.  Then we rode back.  For dinner we made a stop at the Grilled Cheese Grill in SE Portland.  It's one of the many yummy food carts in Portland.  You can even eat in a double decker bus, although we chose to eat outdoors since it was so nice.  We made a quick stop at a cupcake shop before heading for home and crashing into bed.

On Sunday we thought we'd go to Kruger Farms.  This is one of our favorite places to visit for fresh produce, fruit, etc.  Of course this time of year we went for the pumpkins and all of the fall fun!  We took a walk through the corn maze, trying to find all 10 stations.  We went on a hayride out to the pumpkin field to pick out a pumpkin.  We enjoyed some pumpkin pie and caramel apples, and brought home some yummy fruit and fall squash.  It was a busy day, and we had a lot of fun!

in the corn maze

a big bite of apple

hay ride

"pick what you can carry home"

found some pumpkins

Monday, September 23, 2013

Sam, Soccer & 100!

At Daniel and Sam's school, they are both given the chance to play and learn about soccer.  For Daniel, he had a huge learning curve last year playing soccer for the first time.  This year, it has been fun to see him grow mentally and physically and watch him play.  For Sam, it has been very interesting watching him maneuver around soccer.  He had two practices before the actual game.  He did everything his coaches told him to do during the first practices.  He ran when they said run, he kicked when they said kick, and he dribbled around cones when it was time to dribble.  So I was a little surprised when the morning of his first game, I asked him if he was ready for his soccer game.  And he replied, "Mommy, how do you play soccer?"  None of his coaches had taught him how to play.  So I told him the basics and he seemed to feel alright about this.  That afternoon, watching him play for the first time, I made sure he knew which goal to kick towards.  And he caught on quickly.  In fact, he almost made a goal that first day.  It was great watching him learn something new.  And he had a lot of fun.


half time

the jersey was a bit of a distraction

On a lighter note, this is my 100th post!  Yeah! 

Monday, September 16, 2013

Pints to Pasta 2013

On Sunday, Sept. 8, I ran in my 5th race of the year.  It's called Pints to Pasta, and it's a 10K.  It has a route that I really like.  It's basically all downhill.  It starts in NE Portland, runs across the Broadway Bridge, through town, along the waterfront and ends up at the Spaghetti Factory along the river.  It was a great day for a race, sunny and warm.  I was trying to beat my time from 2 years ago (I wasn't able to run it last year), and I was pleased that I took about 4 minutes off my time from before.  Here are my commemorative pics.

at the start

with my boys

all done!

with Jeff

Friday, September 6, 2013

Simon and Me

Now that school has started, and both Daniel and Sam are in school, the days at home are filled with just Simon and I.  This is a bit of an adjustment for me.  I really enjoy my time alone with Simon at home or out and about (although I do miss the older boys, too.)  The house is much quieter now that it's just Simon.  He usually goes into his room and plays by himself.  In some ways, this is nice because it does allow me time to get things done that I need to get done.  But it's also fun to run errands in town or go places with just Simon.  After being with 3 kids all day, I find it's much easier to do things with just 1 child.  (Funny how perspective teaches me this because back in the day when I had just Daniel, I thought that was hard.)  I know soon enough Simon will be joining his brothers at school, and I will be all alone.  But for the time being, I will just enjoy and relish each moment as it comes.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

1st Days of School

On Monday, it was Daniel's first day back to school after summer vacation.  He's in 2nd grade this year.  He was very excited about going back and seeing all of his friends.  His first day back was only a 1/2 day, and when it was over, he told me, "I wish today had been a full day!"  He had a great first day back at school.  He has the same teacher as last year.  He's in a 1 & 2 grade combo, and I think he likes being one of the older kids this year who can help the younger students adjust.

On Wednesday, it was Sam's turn to start his first day of school.  He's at the same school as Daniel.  This is Sam's first time going to school, and I've been wondering for a long time how he would feel about it.  But he has been very excited.  He's in Kindergarten this year.  He told me this morning, "I'm so excited to go to school!"  He was tired when I picked him up from school today but also seemed glad to have gone to school, too.  I think he's going to be fine. 

As for Simon and I, we had a quiet day at home.  I think having Sam start school is going to be more of an adjustment for me than Sam.  Simon was happy to play here at home by himself, but I think he missed his brothers.  And he did tell me last night, "I go school, too."  So I'm sure he wishes he could go with his brothers.  But for this year at least, it will be just him and I.  I'm looking forward to some time alone with Simon.  I can't imagine what I'll do when all 3 are in school!

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Simon is 3!

Last Tuesday, August 20, Simon turned 3.  I have such mixed feelings about my kids getting older.  And with my baby, it's probably even a little more mixed up.  I love watching him grow, learn new things, understand new things, say new things.  But I quickly realized my baby is growing up so fast.  I love watching the boys play, engaging in new activities, learning to solve problems.  Sometimes I just sit and watch them, and they simply amaze me.  I love my boys!  Here's a look back at 3 short years ago when Simon entered our lives.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Sunriver 2013

This last week, our family took a vacation to Sunriver, OR.  It had been many years since I had been there, and it was a lot of fun to be able to take our kids there and share in the fun.  We went with Jeff's parents. 

We got there Wednesday afternoon.  The first thing we did was take a bike ride.  They have so many wonderful bike/walking paths throughout.  We rode around the village, out to the golf course, out near the stables and marina, and then back home.  Our first night we ate in the village at Sunriver Brewing Company.  They had a play area for the kids.  It was great!

Daniel, on our first bike ride
On Thursday, we decided to take a longer bike ride and see more things.  We rode out to the Marina.  It's a great place to rent kayaks or inner-tube to float down the Deschutes River.  We didn't rent any boats this time, but thought it would be a lot of fun in the future.  Then we stopped at the stables.  Daniel and I decided to do a ride (on Friday), so we signed up.  Then we kept riding, out by the river before heading back to the village and back home again.  In the afternoon, we went to the pool.  They have a couple of water slides, a lazy river and a great swimming area.  The boys had so much fun swimming.  That night we tried another new restaurant.  This time we rode our bikes out to the Marina where they had a Mexican restaurant right on the river.  The boys enjoyed eating and watching people float by.

Sam, enjoying the pool
 On Friday we got up and went to the pool.  I took a little time by myself and went shopping in the shops at the Village.  In the afternoon, Daniel and took our horse ride.  Daniel had never ridden a horse by himself, and I wasn't sure how he would like it, but he loved it!  He wished we could have gone longer.  I'm glad he had fun.  After that, Jeff took Daniel golfing while I took Sam and Simon to go play "hard" golf.  That's what Sam calls miniature golf.  We also took a ride on a little kid-friendly train that runs through the village.  We got back home and ate dinner in.  We enjoyed the hot-tub, and then got ready for bed. 

Daniel, on our horse-back ride
Simon & Sam, after "hard" golf
On Saturday we took a bike ride to a park.  The boys got to play.  Then we rode again, out to a bridge.  We rode back home and ate lunch.  Then we went to the pool in the afternoon.  That night we drove into Bend and had dinner at Jackson's Corner, a great local pizza and pasta restaurant.  Then it was back home.

Simon, at the park
All of Us, on the bridge
On Sunday we got up and had a nice breakfast, then packed up and got ready to go home.  It was a great vacation.  I love how kid friendly everything is.  And it's so much fun to do so much bike-riding.  Sam has really just gotten the hang of it in the last month, so it was fun to see him do so well at the riding. 

Saying good-bye