Sunday, July 27, 2014

Torin is most definitely well fed!

Torin is easily our biggest (almost) 2-month-old!  We've come to a few conclusions about chubby babies:

Chubby babies are happy babies!

Chubby babies are also good sleepers!  He has been sleeping really well at night, at times sleeping 6 straight hours!

Chubby babies are difficult to not want to kiss on the cheeks!

Saturday, July 19, 2014

40+ pounds of berries

We have had a great season for berry picking this year!  Over the past few weeks, we've picked over 40 pounds of berries, including blackberries, raspberries, blueberries, and marionberries.  Earlier this summer, we picked 15 or so pounds of strawberries.  Honestly, we probably would've picked more if our little picker helpers were more agreeable (and helpful!). 


Tuesday, July 15, 2014

The bedtime "norm"

Occasionally when we have a babysitter, Jacob decides he is really sad and misses mom and dad.  One time, when Ashlyn was babysitting, she came up with a solution, effectively putting a 'shrine' of Jacob's favorite things next to him.  Here's an example of one shrine we saw.

For a long time, Liam has had trouble staying in his bed to go to sleep at night.  Most nights, he falls asleep in the crib.  This solution will eventually not work since the crib is now Torin's (or will be once all the summer vacations are over!)  Finally, we threatened and had to follow through with taking away his bed.  He ended up sleeping on the floor.  It worked for a day or two.

Claire sleeps in odd postions.  She almost always has her head covered up and/or wrapped tightly in blankets.  Often, she is right against the edge of the bed.  One Sunday morning, I woke her up for church, and she had a great big line across her forehead where she'd had her head resting against the edge of the bunk bed's guardrail!  Who knows how she sleeps this way, but it is definitely how she's slept ever since she was small and would stuff herself face first into the corner bumpers of the crib!

Bedtime is still a challenge, especially with Kate and Liam, and has been for months.  We are hoping they'll grow out of it soon since our main form of 'punishment' (having to go to sleep in Torin's crib) will not be an option soon!

Saturday, July 05, 2014

Fun 4th of July weekend

We decided to go on a family hike in Tryon Creek.  Kate and Liam really wanted to have backpacks just like Jacob and Claire - they looked kind of silly as hiking backpacks! 

We hiked down to a couple bridges over the creek.  It was fun to look at the trees and the way the trees bent and twisted toward to sunlit openings in the thick forest.  Kate and Liam loved the view from the bridge.

We made lots of stops so that everyone could get into their backpacks for their snacks.

We decided to try making ribs on the grill for the first time.  We used a yummy rub and Sweet Baby Ray's bbq sauce.  They were delicious, and it went well enough that we'll try again!

1 month old

This sweet little boy is 1 month old today!

He is so good-natured and easy going.  It is a joy to hold him and to watch him.  He definitely notices when Dani is present because he will start looking for her when he hears her voice, and once he finds her, his eyes will follow her around the room.

It is hard to believe he's already a month old!

Friday, July 04, 2014

4th of July

There were face painters and the kids all chose their own designs.  Whereas most people got flags, fireworks, or other 4th of July related face paintings, the kids all went outside of the standard and were thrilled with the result.  Claire got a dolphin; Kate became a kitty cat; Liam got a rocket ship; and Jacob got a pair of light sabers.

The snow cone machine was a pretty big hit.  Kate has a new habit of taking a few bites of her dessert and deciding she is done.  Liam and the other kids finished theirs!

Liam and Jacob were looking pretty fierce with their face paintings and snow-cone stained shirts!

After lunch, we spent some time in the bouncy houses and in the pool.  We didn't get many pictures, but it was especially nice to have a little kids pool that was shallow enough for Kate and Liam and all of the young children.  It was fun spending time with friends and their families.

That night, we decided we would try going to downtown Portland to see some fireworks.  The entire time, Claire was pretty nervous about the sound.  We ended up on the east side of the river, north of the fireworks.  We brought a blanket, glow sticks, and popcorn to eat while we waited for the fireworks to begin.

We had a great setup for the entire family.

The view of the city was spectacular.  One day, we decided it would be fun to have a boat on the river for the fireworks show.

In the end, the location we were at was less than optimal because there was a huge tree that obscured our view of about 1/2 of the fireworks, but we enjoyed it and will try again in the future!

Loving baby Torin

We love Torin!  Jacob and Claire frequently ask to hold him and snuggle with him.  It is gratifying as a parent to watch the oldest take an interest in caring for him.

Torin is a very healthy little 1-month old.  When he was first born, Jared commented on his sweet and peaceful demeanor, which, 1 month later, he definitely still has.  He doesn't seem to get rattled by (or even notice) the noise and occasional chaos that surrounds him!

Monday, June 30, 2014

Water park days

We spent a warm Friday evening at the water park in Wilsonville for dinner and some fun.  The kids spent nearly the entire time in a big water fight.  One of the ward members became a soaked target when his wife told the kids to shoot him.  The kids walk all around the water feature and often find little friends to involve in their games.

Afterwards, we wrapped everyone up for a photo shoot.

Claire was a little too worried about a little boy walking near their water gun stash to participate in the photo shoot!

Friday, June 27, 2014

Reading time

Kate loves bringing books for Dani to read after her naps.

How can you possibly resist this face and those eyes?

Friday, June 20, 2014

Little Bumbo Baby

Jared put Torin in the Bumbo for the first time while he and Jacob played a game.  Poor Torin is so floppy in the Bumbo!  Hopefully he will love being in there because it is such a nice place for him to be!

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Torin's blessing day

We blessed this sweet little boy today.

He looked darling in his little blessing outfit and was pretty sleepy through his blessing.

We were happy to have both sets of grandparents join us for the blessing day.  There were lots of people to share this little boy with!

Our bishop and Dani's doctor who delivered Torin, Dr. Farley, joined us in the blessing circle.  Dr. Farley commented on Torin's spirit that he had felt during the blessing.

We are so grateful to have him as part of our family!

Saturday, June 07, 2014

Claire's first piano recital

Claire started piano lessons last summer with Andrea, and she has made a lot of great progress in the months since.  She has been mostly diligent at practicing daily, and has even started giving Jacob beginning piano lessons (she's checking him off on songs in some of the books she's completed).

This week she had her first piano recital at the church.  She played a beginners version of The Imperial March.  In all honestly, it was probably a bit above her level, but she really loved playing it and it was coming together so quickly that she and Andrea decided it would be her piece.

Claire was close to the end of the program, and she confidently went up to the piano, and Andrea, recognizing that Claire would be a bit too shy to announce her own piece, announced Claire's piece for her, then Claire sat down and played the piece well!  She was beaming after she finished! 

Dani (and 2-day-old Torin) got to listen to her piece from the hallway.  We look forward to many more recitals!

Baseball season

Jacob played his second season of rookie-level baseball this year.  His team was the "Red Slammin' Sox" (much to Jared's chagrin... he may not have called the team by its name all year!).

Jacob started the year telling his coaches that he loved playing catcher the very most.  He got a cup and played catcher for at least an inning in all the games, but by the end of the year, he decided he liked playing 3rd or 2nd base better (probably because there are more opportunities to make outs in the field, which he did a few times).  He also got braver behind the plate by the end of the year.

He did pretty well swinging the bat, too.  He hit the ball in nearly every at bat during the season, many of them going right back up the middle.  He even got it through the outfielders on his 2nd to last at bat of the season for his first double.  He was pretty excited about that.  I like this picture because it shows Jacob's swing on a ball he hit in the air.

His coach was very enthusiastic and encouraged the boys  

The team was pretty energetic (aided by root beer floats!) for the last team picture.

The support crew kept in pretty good spirits throughout the season, even as Dani approached her due date (Torin was born the day before the season-end tournament).  On games at Boone's Ferry, Claire brought her scooter and Kate and Liam brought their balance bikes and cruised around the track.

Liam took some interest in playing baseball during the season.  He would often play catch with Jared or one of the other parents.  He would occasionally watch the games for a few minutes and cheer Jacob on (here he is cheering for a Jacob at-bat).