Friday, September 24, 2010


I've got to put out a big old *woot woot* for my big brother. He is so incredible! He's participating in a sport called Cycle Cross. Its a cross between road bicycling, mountain biking, and running.

I wanted to put his photo right in my blog, but I couldn't get it to work. So follow this link and check him out!!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Saturday fun: work and play

Now that the weather is cooling down we can play outside! Saturday morning we got up and went for a hike. We went to see an old rusted out vehicle on the trail Aaron rides. We ended up going a lot further than we anticipated and had a great time!

Yesterday after church Lily headed up our effort to create the following list.

Things We Saw On Our Last Saturday Hike
1. a little town
2. rusty old car
3. jumping cholla garden
4. blocked-off trail
5. 5 hot air balloons
6. small fast running lizard
7. cottontail bunny
8. big black flying bug (a tarantula hawk??)
9. king Saguaro cactus
10. hummingbird
11. green, fully-leaved Ocotillo (these are usually bare and look like skeletons)
12. new Gore buildings where Aaron will work
13. blackish yellow butterfly
14. safety green moss on rocks
15. colored shadows (hot pink and turquoise) made by our water bottles
16. Arizona Coral Snake! (these things are bright! and poisonous!)

The rusted out vehicle. Carter thought it was very cool.

Although the vehicle was cool, he did not want to fall into the ditch with it. Since Saturday he's been telling me that the bad guys drove it into the ditch.

This "little town" is actually a community just north of us where some of our friends live. Lily captured this photo, actually.

And this one, budding little photographer that she is! (Yeah, Jas, this one might bring back some uncomfortable memories!)

Lil also took this one of the jumping cholla garden. Don't brush agains these guys, their pokies jump out at you!


The Arizona Coral Snake. Very cool. We researched it when we got home and learned some neat things about it.

I love being outside, especially with my family. Hooray for comfortable weather! Today Carter, Hazel and I hung our hummingbird feeder, played on our grass, and laid in the shade of a palm tree in the back yard. Aahhhhhh, it's so nice to be outdoors!

P.S. I had a moment of personal growth on Saturday. I learned to mow the lawn! In my family growing up, that was the boys' job. (Don't worry, I had specific jobs they didn't do, like cleaning out the fridge.) I wanted to learn to mow the lawn so I could help keep our backyard lovely. So Aaron taught me to use the weed eater and the lawn mower. It was fun to do something new! The rest of the family sat on the patio and fixed Sherman (as in, P. Sherman, 42 Wallaby Way, Sidney). He's the little vacuum-filter guy that crawls around the bottom of our pool and sucks up the debris. [Yes, Raschell, Sherman moved to our house. He says he misses you and wants you to come over for a swim. ;) ]

Thursday, September 16, 2010

How do you?

Hi gals. I love learning from other people who've been there and done that. So I'm putting out some questions and would love to learn from you. What organization tools, tips, processes do you use to keep your household running smoothly? I'm brainstorming how to organize my new house and would love to get ideas from friends. What works for you??

Right now I'm particularly wondering:

1. How/where do you store your family's shoes when they enter the house?

2. If you have a pool, how/where do you store pool toys, swim suits, and beach towels so they don't end up all over the house?

3. How do you organize all those papers that come into the household and clutter up the counters?

4. If you have tile floors, do you sweep or vacuum? What kind of vacuum do you use? How do you clean or mop your tile?

5. Where do you keep all your bags, backpacks, and purses that get used daily?

Please, please, please share!! Thank you!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Julie and Kurt's wedding day

Julie and Kurt are married!

Their wedding ceremony was lovely. They were married in the Portland, Oregon temple of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

These two lovebirds are extremely happy!

She was so beautiful!!

Julie and Kurt both love China. They each served missions for our church in Taiwan, then met afterward in a Chinese class at BYU. During their engagement they spent the summer apart...doing study-abroad in China. He went for the first half of summer and she went for the second half. Fortunately, they overlapped a week together in Beijing. The reception (which I'll post about later) had a Chinese theme. It was really gorgeous.

Julie's dress was custom made by a famous Chinese tailor. Chinese brides wear red. White is reserved for funerals. So the tailor was a little confused when she requested a white dress. The silk fabric is has dragons and flowers on it. Kurt's suit was also custom made.

I loved the time I spent with my family!! I loved laughing with my siblings and their kids. I really missed my siblings and nieces and nephews that weren't able to be there.

Are these not the cutest little Asian bridesmaids you've ever seen?! Lily loved being a bridesmaid! She adored her turquoise chi pao. She wanted to wear it constantly. Little Hazel was so cute (and so slippery!) in her pink silk dress.

Pretty blues.

I love when she loves on me! I can't get enough loves and snuggles from my kids!

Kurt's parents hosted a fabulous lunch on Lake Oswego. The food was delicious, the view was refreshing, and the company was completely enjoyable.

Grandma shared her chocolate cake with Carter. He didn't eat the cake, wouldn't touch the berries, but loved the whipped cream!

It was a wonderful day for the bride and groom and us.

I'm in love with their photographer!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

What the kids do while I'm unpacking

Goof balls!

Yes, she's a little angel.

Actually, I'm kind of surprised it took three and a half years before the big sister dressed the little brother up in her dress-ups.

First day of first grade!

My cute girl is a first grader. We were in a rush to get out the door this morning. I told Lily to go stand by the front door while I ran to get the camera. When I popped around the corner, this is what I saw! Last minute adjustments to her adorable new shoes! They sparkle and have Hello Kitty on them. I am in love with them! I wish they had a pair in my size. I'd wear them too!

My girl is growing up!

The summer came and went so quickly! Although we started school weeks after the other local schools, it still feels like it snuck up on me and arrived way too quickly.

I used to worry that I'd get sick of my kids in the summer and try to hurry them back to school in the fall. I don't feel that way. I love having them home and miss them when they're gone. I'm excited for Lily's adventures in learning and fun, but I'm so bummed I don't get her home with me. After I dropped her off and drove away, I felt a little teary.

I had wonderful plans to have a special breakfast prepared and get Lily to school early so she'd have time to greet and play with friends. However, I'm not as on the ball as I wish I were. Those things didn't happen. I will follow my husband's good advice and focus on what I did do, rather than what I didn't get done. So, in an effort to focus on the good: I wrote Lily a "first day of first grade" letter, washed her hair all fresh and dried it, made her lunch, and got her off to school, with a baby sis and jammied brother in tow.

Now I'm going to continue unpacking and organizing...wish me luck!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010


I don't have words to adequately express how I feel right now. "Thankful" is most succinct. This is our new home!!

We have been waiting years to buy a house. We moved here after college, right around the peak of home prices. They were incredibly high. There was no way we could purchase a home at that time. When we started to rent in 2006, I would have screamed if someone told me we wouldn't purchase a house for four more years. But it turned out, we were in the Lord's hands and were so blessed while we waited.

I love, love, love this home. I love the huge pantry that fits all our food storage!!! (Our food storage used to be in our master closet!) I love the comfortable kitchen. I love that it has a living room so I'll have one room in the house that is always clean. I love all the windows that let in light, but are covered with sunshades. I love the soft carpet. I love the open stairway that looks into the living room. I love the big family room. I love the loft upstairs that is full of toys! It'll be a constant mess, and that will be okay! I love the kids' bathroom. I love that I will have a craft room!! I love the three car tandem garage that will provide storage and a place to park both cars. And I love the pool!!

When we first moved here, Lily was 2 years old. Her request in a home was that it have stairs. She quickly added a request for a pool. Luckily for her, our new house has both!

I am so thankful to Heavenly Father for His loving kindness as He helped me wait for something I wanted so badly. And I'm extremely thankful to my wise husband whose knowledge, patience, hard work, and desire to follow God have brought us to where we now live.

The house is full of boxes. I'm slowly organizing. I'll slowly post interior pictures as we get the place in order. If you can't wait for those posts, come on over and visit!

Picture of success

That's right, folks. My little guy is potty trained! This was our exciting adventure when we got home from our trip to Utah in June.

We provided some pretty awesome incentives, I must say. Every time he tinkled in the toto, he got an M&M and put a sticker on his chart. If he went poopoo in the toto, he got a mini Snickers bar and put a sticker on his chart. When he filled a row of stickers on his chart, he got...a new die-cast Thomas and Friends engine or car. Yeah, he was in heaven. (Thrifty me, of course, got the engines off of craigslist.) Hooray, Carter!!