Friday, December 11, 2009

Our New Family Christmas Tradition

Last year we decided to make a special stocking for Caleb. We invited some friends and family to do small acts of service, write them down, and send them to us as their present for Caleb. We loved gathering together as a family on Christmas and reading everyone's acts of service. It brought such a special spirit to our home for Christmas.

I thought we'd just continue the tradition as a family this year but I had several people ask me if we were doing it again. So, I am extending the invitation to all our friends and family to join with us in filling Caleb's stocking with service again this year. I know it's pretty late in the season and I don't want anyone to feel obligated in any way, but I also want everyone to feel included so if you know of someone that might be interested please feel free to pass the word along.

If you'd like to send your acts of service for Caleb's stocking, you can reach us at:

963 Throne Drive
Eugene OR 97402

or email:

Thursday, October 29, 2009

To the Farm!

Yesterday we ventured to Thistdown Farms. Jacob and I went earlier this month with his class but we didn't have time for the hay maze. At the time I told Jake we might come back with Julie and Daddy, and I'm happy to say we did.

Peek-a-boo, I found you!

Can you tell that we loved playing hide and seek in the hay maze?

Are we the only crazy parents left that let our kids "feed" farm animals? A family walked up right as I was taking this picture and started lecturing their kids on how dangerous it was to feed the animals . . .

Jeremy and the donkey shared a bonding moment, and so of course I had to document it with a photo.

The corn maze turned out to be pretty muddy, but this guy rallied the troops and led us to victory (or at least the exit).

I experienced deja vu when we exited the corn maze. I remembered taking a picture of Jake running down the exact same path. They must be siblings or something.

Tune in next week for the update on how our pumpkins carving with the grandparents turns out!

If I used THIS picture, I don't think I could sell my little pumpkin for 25 cents! Can you tell how she feels about being muddy and dirty?

It's always fun to visit the farm and hunt for pumpkins, but this year it was so muddy that we didn't venture all the way to the field. I know denying my kids the pleasure of actually pulling a pumpkin off the vine will undoubtedly result in a therapy session for them when they are going through their mid-life crisis, but at least it saved ME from having a therapy session now. :)

Monday, October 5, 2009

Conference Weekend

Around here we FLIP over conference weekend!!! :) My kids were SO excited about General Conference they couldn't contain themselves!

Ok, you caught me. Staying quiet and still for eight hours of conference is something my kids still need help with, and that's why my TV room ended up looking like the picture above - on purpose!

Sunday morning my kids and I had a quick chat about King Benjamin and how all of his people built tents and faced them toward the prophet so they could hear his voice. Then came the fun part: we built our own tent "facing the prophet" (also known as the TV on any other day).

I think we might be tent builders every time conference rolls around. The kids had a blast playing Conference Bingo inside it and Grandma Terri and I hung out in there almost as much as the kids!

Friday, August 7, 2009

Birthday Boy

Happy 1st Birthday, Mr.Caleb. We miss you and love you so very, very much. This time last year, nations from all around the world celebrated together during the opening ceremonies of the 2008 Olympics. I can't think of a better way to start someone's time on earth and a little part of me likes to think they were celebrating for you too. Just a few short weeks later on the day after you left us (Monday September 29th) the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 777.68 points, the largest single-day point loss in its history and our country is still trying to dig itself out of a recession. Just as the country is trying to recover from the events of last fall, I too am still trying to recover from losing you. I do believe the USA will bounce back eventually, but I don't think I'll ever be the same again. I'm working on a new "normal" for me, but I think it's taking longer than expected.

Caleb, you never got to hear the story "How the Grinch Stole Christmas" but there's a part at the end where it talks about the Grinch's heart growing many sizes in a single day. Well, as any and all new mothers can attest, my heart instantly grew with love for you and the problem now is that my heart didn't shrink when you left. There will always be a special, empty place in my heart for you even if it grows bigger to accommodate others that come into my life. My head knows that I will get to see you again but my heart still has that empty space longing for you every single day.

This is the picture I've stared at the most since we lost you. Even though your binky takes up half of your face, this is exactly how I remember you looking up at me, slightly cross-eyed and all. I miss that look so much. Your eyes seemed so knowing. I could just feel so many thoughts going on behind them that I never got to hear. A few years ago I would have thought it was pretty cliche to say this but honestly you felt like an old soul, too incredibly patient for a newborn who went through everything you endured.

Your memory motivates me to stay on the strait and narrow, and your bravery inspires me to push through when I think I've used all my strength. I strive daily to live worthy enough to see you again and my biggest fear is that I will somehow fall short. This is backwards from the way that it should go, but I hope and pray that you stay with me Caleb and help lead and guide your Mom and family along the path back to live with you again someday.

PS - I hope the blogging world will forgive my lack of posts lately and also feel where I'm coming from and allow a grieving mother a few indulgences on this post.

Friday, May 29, 2009


While I was blog lurking today, I realized my friend Stephanie Sasser tagged me on her blog. It's a simple tag: Go to your sixth folder, post the sixth photo and tag six people. If there was any doubt about this tag, it all disappeared when I saw this picture. It's one of my favorites.

I took this picture after waking up from a nap where Jeremy was "babysitting" little two week old baby Jake. I'd like to point out that Jeremy's been a considerate Dad right from the start - he wore headphones so that the Halo 2 noises wouldn't disturb the sleeping newborn. Or was it so the sleeping newborn wouldn't wake up and disrupt his game? Hmm . . . I'd also like to point out the fake, "leave me alone I'm gaming" smile on his face, complimented by the rebellious 2 week paternity leave stubble on his chin, classic.

Ok, I never know who to tag so if you want, consider yourself tagged! To keep it simple on myself, I'll tag the last 6 people that left me "uplifting comments": Chelsea, Rachel, Margaret, Lynn, Brian, and Peggy! Thanks for the fun tag Stephanie!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Late Night Idol Commentary

Just to clarify, I am NOT an Adam fan, Kris all the way for me!

So, our camera is taking a somewhat permanent leave of absence and hanging out full-time at Jeremy's new gym. Usually I take the pictures first and then decide to blog about it later, but without a camera it's hard for me to find something to blog about!

Well, tonight Jacob's nap didn't get over until 5pm and so he's having a late night American Idol watching session with Mommy. Now that we are DVR-less we have to watch things in real time, weird I know!

There's only one other time Jake has really watched American Idol this season with me, and it just so happened to be the night that Adam sang Johnny Cash's "Ring of Fire" pictured above. The whole song was filmed with crazy circling camera work and lots of shots of that fire you see in the background, not to mention he put an Egyptian spin on Cash ...

Cut to tonight's American Idol show and they start showing footage of Adam talking to all these kids in his hometown. My little Jake shouts out, "HEY! Hot for lava guy is nice now!!! Look Mom, hot for lava guy is nice!"

Sunday, April 19, 2009

The Day Before Easter

Last Saturday we drove up to Salem. The plan was to go to an Easter Egg hunt and dye some eggs. Despite it being pretty crowded, both kids had a fun and successful hunt. Jake even shared a few of his eggs with little ones that only found one or two themselves. The next part was really funny and I hope my Mom just focuses on how funny it was while she reads this post. Here's a brief rundown of what happened.

Ok guys, let's take a picture of you with all the eggs you found. Look at Mommy and SMILE!
Hmm, I guess Easter eggs are more fun to look at than the camera, who woulda guessed? Maybe if we get Grandma in there to show them where to look we can get a cute shot . . .
Oops, Julie still wasn't looking at the camera. I guess we'll have to take another one. Hey Grandma, look up here . . .
Are you ok? You are? Ok ... let me document this!
(After recovering from laughing) One last try guys . . . success, everyone's looking!

The church that held the Easter egg hunt also had a gym full of activities. Here's Julie sliding out of the bouncy gym thingie.
Jake loves the Easter Bunny (and she loves him apparently) but Julie was too scared.
Then our plans changes slighty - Grandpa John wanted to show us the pretty blossoms at the state capitol instead of dying Easter eggs.Grandparents with the grand kids, very cute!While we were there, we got lucky enough to see a Japanese drumming group perform. All in all it was a very fun day!

Monday, March 23, 2009

Family Update

Am I bad at keeping online promises or what? I apologize yet again for my late update post! But better late than never, right? *wink* Alrighty, you asked for it folks (or maybe just uncle Brian!). Here's a quick update on each one of us, from oldest to youngest:

This guy seriously has Crossfit on the brain. He's the busiest of us all trying to hold down a full time job while training 30 people out of our garage. We don't see him as much as we used to but we understand and hope that his hard work will pay off soon. (ps - don't know how this picture got so distorted but if I don't mention how stretched out it is, boy will I hear about it!)

I really should have some excuse for my blogging absence but nothing exciting comes to mind. Umm, the biggest thing eating up my time is helping Jeremy set up his new scheduling/payment program and giving his website a face lift. I'll be honest, I've been a bit sulky and "woe is me" the last few months but things are feeling a bit better. I can't wait for conference this weekend, it's just the pick-me-up I need right about now.

Here is the dynamic duo in action. I've put them in their own update because the duo is becoming an entity in and of itself! The sibling dynamic is fun to watch as a Mom. Currently we are deep into the "copy cat" stage. Take this picture for example. Jacob puts his rain boots on (on top of his jammies mind you), so of course Julie has to follow suit. Julie then finds a silly hat to dress up in and before you can blink your eyes, Jacob finds one too. I must admit, I've used this to my advantage many a-time. "Look Jakey, Julie ate some of her [fill-in the name of an un-popular food item here]!!" Next thing you know both of them are cleaning their plates (even if Julie wasn't planning on taking more than that first bite she still follows Jakey).

I like this picture because it shows off Jakey's dimples and because he specifically requested he have his picture taken with Kassi. Doesn't she look thrilled? Anyway, this little man of mine is growing more and more each day. I can go places now and not worry about him wandering off or throwing fits or screaming at the top of his lungs. What more could a Momma want?

To give you a little in-depth info about Jakey, his current favorite number is four (four years old now, ya know!) and he won't let you forget it. If we count, we cannot stop at three but must continue on to four or else we are in trouble! His favorite color is yellow, and as some of the Mom's at the indoor playground will tell you, he feels that any and all objects that are yellow should belong to him - or at least held, touched, and loved while we are there.

Someday lil miss bug is going to hate me for posting this picture on the internet. But since she can't protest, I might as well do what I can while I can still get away with it! This is what our Julie looks like right after waking up. She hates having her hair done, and her Momma isn't all that great at doing it anyway so we kind of brush it and call it good. Good thing she still LOVES hats (and looks good in them too, if I do say so myself)!

Her favorite color is definitely "piggy pink" but she will tell you it's yellow if big brother is asked first (remember that copy-cat thing I was telling you about earlier?). When asked, "How are you?" she promptly replies "I'm 2!" She still has to sleep with her piggy, but her new found love of princesses has only deepened since Christmas. This obsession is rubbing off on big brother, but shhh, don't tell Daddy! They are actually starting to play together very cutely and have been known to close the door and say, "Bye Mom, we're playing!"

Well, I hope that gives you a little insight into how we've been lately. I really will try and do more regular and consistent blog posts. Thanks for still checking in despite the lack of posting on my part. We love all you guys and would love to know you stopped by and read our post and what you're up to these days as well!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

I'm Baaa-aaack

Have you missed me? Ha.Ha. I'm not sure you should answer that! Well, I've been busy helping Jeremy with his gym's blog but I've missed doing my own. We gave his site a new face lift and redid a bunch of stuff. You should check it out: Eugene Crossfit

Our local newspaper is having a "Reader's Choice Awards" contest and one of the categories is "Hippest Gym." We think Jeremy's gym is pretty hip, trendy, and new so we'd love to get our name out there. We only recently found out about the contest and there's only 2 days left to vote! We'd love your help to get Jeremy's gym on there but we need your vote.

To vote:

1. Click here or copy and paste this into your browser:
(if that still doesn't work, there's a link directly from our homepage [] you can click on)

2. The first input box directly under the picture should be for "Hippest Gym." That's where we would like you to type "Eugene Crossfit" (but of course it's up to you what you put in there!)

3. The next input box allows you to add any additional comments about your vote. Feel free to fill this out if you so desire but it's not necessary.

4. Fill in any of the other boxes you would like (if any) and then scroll down to the bottom and hit submit. You do not have to enter your email address, only if you would like to be entered in their prize drawing.

Thanks so much for all of your support, we really appreciate it!

PS - I promise most of my future posts won't be like this and I'll post an update on the kids within the week!

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Christmas 2008

Planning for Christmas '08 started back in the summer of '07, which is pretty early for us. If there's one thing you can say about a plan though, it's that you can't plan on anything (which could also be a good description for '08 in general, but that's another post). Despite black outs, snow storms, plane cancellations, and a whole lot of sickness we were still able to all be together on Christmas, and that's all that really matters.