Adventures in Portland

I did something out of character two weeks ago.

I made arrangements for my kids/family, packed a suitcase, got on an airplane, and met a blog friend turned real life friend in Portland, Oregon.

I could write a long post or series of posts on our time in Portland but instead you get something better. Denise, vlogged (video blogged) our time together so I am going to leave you with a few pictures to look at while your popcorn is popping (the videos are a little long) and get ready to be part of our trip to Portland via vlogs here, here, and here.

denise and i

we need some directions please...
sites from the walkway along the willamette river

denise and the couch surfers we met on the bus

our new friends met on the bus and train: corvin and his sweet wife from az, couch surfers, nice woman from switzerland, batologists, and glenn

fun items at the saturday market

our final night - dinner at the melting pot... yummy!

chillin' on the floor at borders

What blog friend do you want to meet? Do ever do anything "out of character"?


Double Digits

Dearest Morgan,

You hit double digits today! This is the last time you will show your age on two hands. This means you are growing up far too fast. It seems like only yesterday you were placed in my arms for the first time. The day that I became a mother. The day our journey began as mother/daughter. The day the parenting adventure began.

You make my job as a mom, easy. You are kind, loving, respectful, and compassionate. You may leave your clothes and things around the house and have a messy room :o) but you have a heart for people and you love Jesus.

I am proud to be your mama! I love you!



The Mermaid Birthday Party

After months of planning, dreaming, and talking.... Mauryn FINALLY got her mermaid birthday party. She was so excited to have her friends come over and celebrate with her. It was such a fun day!

The invitations:

The shirt I embellished for her:
The cupcakes:

Brownie stars:
Table decorations:

The birthday girl:
Waiting to blow out the candles:
The blue lips - perfect ending to the party :o)

(invitation template, cupcake toppers, table decorations from here)


She's Sweet, She's Sassy, She's 3!

Dearest Mauryn ~

Happy 3rd birthday sweet baby girl! What you lack in stature you make up in personality. You light up a room with your big personality and LOUD voice. You are independent and know exactly what you want, when you want it, and how you want it! You amaze us daily with new words and skills. You love to sing and soak up all we are doing in school. You bring us all so much joy and laughter.

Today is your day.... you are finally going to have your mermaid party. You've been talking about this and dreaming about this since spring. We can't wait!

We love you!



Sometimes it is good to get away.

It is good to not have a schedule or a plan.

It is refreshing to focus on things other than cooking, cleaning, running errands, playing chauffeur, and teaching school.

It is good to laugh and delight in a friendship.

There will be stories and pictures to share(after I tackle two sweet little girls' birthdays and parties). There will even be some vlogs (video blogs) from my friend since she has been documenting most of our trip.

We are off to the Saturday market and enjoying our last day exploring a new city.

Do you take time to get away? What do you do to renew and refocus?


"Family" Birthday Dinner

I know I have mentioned it before, but our neighbors are our family away from home.

When it comes to celebrating big events, like birthdays, we try to get together for a "family" dinner.

Lance and Pat both have birthdays in October. Instead of a favorite dinner at home, they decided we should have a night out at Joe's Crab Shack.

Lance is all bibbed up for his crab

Pat is ready to get after it
This is how my hubby likes to eat his butter with a little crab meat
Since we were there celebrating birthdays they had the guys do something just a little embarrassing. Here is Pat the Indian
and Lance the cowboy.
Here are the boys playing cowboy and indian around the restaurant.
A meal would not be complete without dessert - at least for the kids
My boy, he knows how to eat dessert!

Thanks Bergs for being our family in Idaho and for a fun birthday dinner out!


Thankful Month


It's November which means it is time for the Thankful Challenge.

For the past two years I have kept a list of things I am thankful for each day during the month of November. It is a great way to slow down, step back, and focus on giving thanks.

Two years ago, I had my kids write down (or tell me and I would write) on slips of paper each day what they were thankful for and then on Thanksgiving Day we read our slips of paper.

This year I wanted to do the slips of paper again with my kids. It makes the activity more tangible and we can go back and see what we were thankful for during the month. Today when I was reading over at incourage I saw this idea. I LOVED it!

There was a link to a darling chart made out of felt and fabric. I had visions of creating a similar thankful chart BUT since it is already November 2nd, I have daughters with birthdays next week and parties, and I am headed out of town this weekend I decided to not add the undo stress and let the kids (landon and mauryn did it since morgan wasn't at home) help create a poster.

(i am hoping to make a permanent chart for next year)
Each night at dinner, we record what we are thankful for and store the card on the chart. I love that we can go back to any day and remember what we were thankful for on that day.

Are you ready to join in on the thankful challenge??


Halloween 2009

What started out as a cold, rainy afternoon turned out to be a beautiful evening for trick or treating.

We started our night be having a pre trick or treating dinner with some friends/neighbors. The kids then hit the neighborhood up for some candy.

Morgan the 50's girl

Hello Officer!

A mermaid - of course!

After trick or treating we headed next door for the annual Halloween Party. This year since the party was on Halloween night they decided to include the kids at the party. A fun way to end the day!
You will notice my mermaid is now a chicken. The mermaid costume lasted a total of about 5 minutes. Mauryn didn't like the wig or the scratchy dress. It is tough being a princess! Thankfully her chicken costume from last year still fit her pretty well. She LOVED being the chicken and it kept her warm. Since Mauryn changed her costume Landon thought he should change his costume too. He changed from police officer to firefighter!