Saturday, November 1, 2008

California here we come!

In October Ben got two weeks off school, in which time he had to travel to LA to take a national medical exam. My brother and his wife moved out there about three months ago, and so we decided that we would make a family trip out of it. We got to spend five days with my brother, Ben got to take his test, we went to Disneyland, the beach—twice, and spent the rest of the time at parks, swimming, and playing with Ellie (their dog).

It was so fun, and Thomas and Adrienne were the perfect hosts. We just hope we didn’t overwhelm them too much with our busy kids. I think by the end of the trip we were all ready to get the kids back home. They were a little crazy and wound up the whole time, which made for fun activities, but really complicated our down times. Anyway it was wonderful, California was beautiful, the beach was awesome, family is great!

On the way down and back we stayed the night in Klamath Falls with Ben's Grandparents. They were wonderful, Reina and Grandma really hit it off. And then for breakfast grandma made Ebelskivers, which made Vaunghn's day. He ate about a million.

Thomas and Adrienne took us to the temple on evening, but we got there just as it was getting too dark for pictures. This one turned out though.

Here the the beautful beach 10 mintues from Thomas and Adrienne's house. Is it any surprise we went twice?

The first time we went I didn't dress the kids right. I didn't really expect Reina to get wet, but the water was so gorgeous and warm, she followed after Ben and they went way out until he had to hold her to keep the waves from taking her away. She was soaked, but happy. They made a few castles.

Ben, of course spent most of the time swimming, Reina built castles, Vaughn chased birds and rolled in the sand.

This pictures shows all three in their favorite activities, Ben in the water, Reina at the castle, and Vaunghn after the birds.

Where Dreams Come True

Disneyland was truly magical! Reina and Vaughn were both so excited, they were good, they were happy, they were really fun. Vaughn took a nap at just the right time (before he got too tired and right when everyone wanted to go on the bigger rides), and all we could have asked for was another day! Reina and Vaughn really liked the rides. Vaughn went on the Matterhorn with me, and didn't want to get off at the end. Reina rode Splash Mountain and Thunder Mountain and loved it. She said about Splash Mountain, "the waterfall was a little scarry, but I want to do it again!" She's has a perfect mixture of Ben's fun, happy, adventerous side in her.

I have a lot of pictures to show. Adrienne went with us all day, but Thomas didn't get to come until after work. It was good having Adrienne with us, she could show us where to go, and the funest things to see. Still, even with our own tour guide, we probably only saw 30-40% of the park. Next time we'll have to make it a longer trip!

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Picture This

As I reflect upon the last week and a little more, the daily moments come in a serries of picture images. Picture this...

Ben and I sit next to two very good friends, listening to "The Music of the Night" in a truly stellar performance. I can't describe the amazing voice, talent, costuming, and stage sets. Two and a half hours without children, cares of the world, and in great company. Need I say more? Oh, and have I mentioned my favorite moment in the Phantom? The last song, after everyone has left but Christine and the Phantom, with incredible tenderness the Phantom reaches out to Christine and in the purest voice sings, "Christine, I love you." Ah, my heart melts. Ben said he was rooting for the Phantom the whole time...I think that's going a little too far.

Ben and the kids are playing in our room on the bed giggling and laughing while I dry fruit in the kitchen. After nearly 30 minutes of this gaiety I step in the doorway to see what is going on. Vaughn glances over and sees me, "Nooooo!" he yells, runs over to me, pushes me out of the room and slams the door. I guess they wanted daddy to themselves. I couldn't help laughing.

Vaughn and Reina are peacefully drinking, yes drinking (the new stuff I can't stand) yogurt in the kitchen. I am in the bathroom doing my hair. Ben is at the computer. Suddenly a scream and crying fill the peaceful air. Ben yells and carts crying Reina into the bathroom, depositing her in the tub dripping yogurt all over the place. Apparently Reina walked over to Vaughn, did something to bother him, and he poured the contents of his yogurt drink on top of her head. I can still picture it dripping off her hair, down her face, and onto the bathtub. I just wish I had taken a picture.

Reina getting ready for her first day of school. It was Tuesday. She was so excited about school starting that she asked me five times a day if it was time to go to school yet. So we made a chain. Every time she asked me if it was time, I would point to the chain and make her tell me how many days she had left. She loved counting the chains and taking them off every day. When the day finally arrived we rushed about the house in a bustle Reina saying, "I can't WAIT to meet all my new friends." She was adorable walking shyly into class and sitting so quietly at her place coloring as she waited for her classmates to arrive.

Vaughn and I got some one-on-one time as well. We went on morning walks together at Vaughns pace for a change. After 30 mintues we had only gone 1.5 blocks. Vaughn stops to look at everything: spiderwebs, butterflies, bees, flowers, airplaines, get the idea. It was fun. "Mom, look, Mom, butterfly!"

One morning I had about an hour and a half of work to do. I let the kids "watch cartoons." I knew they were mostly playing, but afterward found out how little watching was going on. Here is a picture of every room in the previously clean apartment. And yes, the clothes on the floor were all neatly folded on my bed a mere hour earlier.

I took this picture of their room prematurely. About 30 seconds later the entire contents of their toy basket was upended on the floor. Just imagine the mess multiplied by ten.

These were (for the most part) the good moments. It's good to remember them.

Now for some real pictures!

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Binkie Madness

It's 10 pm, you've just arrived home from some family outing, trip, whatever, and as you carry the drowsing children to bed, one of them murmurs, "Binkie." Binkie?!? Where is it? Did he have it in the car when he fell asleep? Was it forgoten at Grandma's house? You distinctly remember the one he lost earlier that day at the grocery store when he threw it, who knows where, and no amount of searching could reveal it. After another furious search throughout the house for one of the three spare binkies that you know are SOMEWHERE, you start to panic. Are you going to have to run to the store now? Reload the family and try to find the specific type that he takes at this time of night?

Suddenly, as you shake out the blankets on his bed hoping for something to tumble out you hear the wonderful sound: boink, boink. You know that sound anywhere. The binkie has left the blanket and is now somewhere in the room. And, yes, after five more minutes it is there under the changing table as innocent as a newborn lamb. Disaster #464 diverted.

Friday, August 22, 2008


What do you think of when you think of July celebrations? Blueberry picking, of course! We had a great time picking cherries and blueberries, the kids did great, Vaughn did especially well, and was very particular about picking only the BLUE ones. He likes to do things right. Reina, of course, ate more than she picked and just had a great time being with everyone and keeping us entertained while we all picked.

And of course, the 4th of July, at the Oregon Gardens was true cause for celebration. The kids got their "faces" painted for the first time. Vaughn got his arm painted with a bug--and Reina got a flower and a butterfly. The fireworks were amazing, and the finale one of the best I've ever seen.

July wouldn't have been half the celebration it was without all the family we got to see! Leti started the month off with a bang, followed closely by all my siblings, and my parents. For three days my parents took Reina to the coast with them, it was so nice having some one on one time with Vaughn. Vaughn asked for Reina twice and then didn't mention it for the rest of her trip. When anyone asked him where she was he would say "Ellie" (my parents dog). Yes, Reina had a blast with Ellie, too.

We also went out for an adult dinner, all my siblings, spouses, and my grandma together for the first time since Thomas' wedding! It was so great.

Lastly, Vaughn had his second haircut, and surprise! His hair is still very curly.