Friday, March 18, 2016

Skiing with the kids

While the kids were out for pre-Spring Break (they get out early the Wednesday before the week of Spring Break and then have Thursday and Friday off!), we decided we should take the oldest 4 skiing. We decided to go to Summit Ski Area, a tiny, 1-lift ski area in Government Camp. It was the first time on skis for Kate and Liam, and they were pretty excited!

They started with a 1-hour lesson, getting them upright on the skis and comfortable while Dani and Jared skiied with Jacob and Claire. It was funny to arrive down at the lift and watch Kate and Liam skiing and talking with the ski instructor. They had lots to say, for sure!

Jacob and Claire then got a lesson after a couple runs with the parents. They had a good experience in their lesson and came out full of confidence. Their ski instructor basically told them that if they would look out for one another (and if it was okay with mom and dad), they were certainly capable! As a result, they skiied whereever they wanted the rest of the day. Sad to say, but we don't even have a picture of Jacob and Claire skiing!

During Jacob and Claire's lesson, Dani and I were with Kate and Liam. They had somewhat decided they were done (Kate especially, who was in dire need of a snack). We convinced them to ski downhill a few hundred feet as we walked/jogged down with them, then we put them on our backs and hauled them back up. It was probably a few hundred feet... but it felt like a few hundred yards! They started getting more and more confident, and by lunchtime, they were ready for the ski lifts!

For some of the trail, they rode between our legs. At certain spots, we would let them go and let them cruise a little ways. It was a lot of work for the parents, but we all had a lot of fun!

Earlier in the day, on Claire's first run, on some pretty crusty snow, she was a little overwhelmed and didn't think she would be able to do it. Jared coaxed her across the hill, then into another turn and an across-the-hill slowdown again to the bottom of the slope. Claire realized a little life lesson, and shared with Jared on the way up the ski lift for her next run - that if looking all the way to the bottom is intimidating and scary, focus just a little in front where she knew she could do it. It was a sweet pearl of wisdom.

Monday, March 14, 2016

Little shopping buddy

When Kate and Liam are at Preschool, Torin and Dani get to run errands. Sometimes, it is a sad experience for Torin because the thing that he's been so dutifully safeguarding needs to be put onto the checkout register.

Sometimes, Torin gets exactly what he wants and gets to sit on top of the new picnic table box and to ride around Costco. 

Monday, February 22, 2016


We found a new game that the kids have thought is pretty funny. The entire-family version is pretty hilarious, too!

Saturday, February 13, 2016

what are all these bumps???

For the past few weeks (and continuing, on occasion, into May!), Liam has been getting mysterious bumps and rashes all over his body - on his face, on his belly and back, on his arms and hands, legs - basically all over. According to Dr. Craft, it's simply a virus that's been going around. It's especially mysterious because they will appear (oftentimes shortly after eating) for about 30-45 minutes, then will be gone again!

Thursday, January 28, 2016

New Braces - Phase 1

Our big girl got braces!!! We were told it is phase 1 of 3, so this may be a bit of a process. Claire has been very good about taking care of them - she practically memorized the care sheet she was given of what to eat and what not to eat! Dani may encourage her to push the limits a bit (i.e. it's okay to eat a carrot if it's thin).

Shortly after she got her braces, she even lost a tooth! It's been a busy dental week for us!

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Playing in the backyard

The kids love nice days when they can play outside! Some days, their play is even more creative than others. The Star Wars day was amazing!!!

Torin had to stay inside for his own safety - he was NOT happy about that!!!

Sunday, January 17, 2016

How old are those Wheaties???

When we got back from Costa Rica, we discovered a box of Honey Frosted Wheaties opened, with some of its contents missing. Jacob had apparently spotted it in the garage, hidden behind the other boxes of cereal, and requested it. Why is Ken Griffey Jr. on the cover?

Because the box was given to Jared as a white elephant gift 6 years ago... and was "better if used by" June 17, 1997!!! GROSS!!!

Sunday, January 03, 2016

"Snow" Day

In Oregon, we have to stretch the definition of snow days! When Jared got to church for ward conference, the sidewalks were completely covered, so he started shoveling.

After church, the kids went and played in the snow. There really wasn't much, but it was enough to call a snow day! We definitely didn't have to get them geared up - a simple pair of gloves and their Sunday clothes was great!

When you put a snowman on top of a table, it looks like they are bigger snowmen in the distance. In reality, they're about 6 inches tall!

But that doesn't stop Claire from trying to collect more snow to build more.

Saturday, January 02, 2016

Cake Balls

Santa brought Claire a package of cake balls as an activity to do with Dani, so before the kids went back to school, the girls gave them a try - Claire and Kate were a good little team.

They frosted and decorated them with sprinkles.

The finished products looked pretty good - and were delicious! The girls were happy to bring them to friends and neighbors!

Thursday, December 31, 2015


"Liam, if you want to have boy babies, you have to marry a girl."
- 2/17, since Liam always says how he doesn't like girls.

"I'm sad because I'm going to miss it here when I'm in heaven."
- 2/26.  Dani went in to check on Jacob and Claire and found Claire reading "Do Princesses Really Kiss Frogs?" because she said she was sad.

"Please bless that Torin learns from the good things we do and not from the bad things"
- 9/1. Claire's prayer

"My room smells too strongly of perfume to sleep!"
- 12/27. Kate got some "Elsa" perfume, and it lingers like a thick cloud in the girls room after Kate sprays herself and many of her toys with it and Claire uses it as revenge for Liam throwing shoes at her.

"I traded a baseball card to Youssef for it!  I traded my worstest card for it."
- 2/19 after Dani found a packet of Kool Aid in a stack of cards in the bottom of his backpack.

"They fill my heart with joy!"
- 3/8 Jacob's reason for wanting Jolly Ranchers, his favorite candy.

"Ryker taught me a trick for hitting the ball - if you keep your eye on the ball, and you can hit it!"
- 5/28, following the 3rd to last game of the year.

"Wait, aunt Kaci is ADOPTED???"
- 12/23

"No more arguing!"
- 2/18, in the bathtub - looking at her reflection

"Mom, it's taking forEVER to grow up and to be an adult!!!"
- 4/17

"Mommy, did you find Daddy in BYU?"
- 5/17

"Mom, can we eat 3 cookies or 4 cookies?"
- 5/19, while making a double batch of chocolate chip cookies.  Umm, Kate, we can have 1.

"Thank you for this yummy dinner"
- Summer/fall.  Most dinners, Kate is sure to thank Dani for the meal, even if she doesn't eat any of it!

"Can I help with anything?"
- Fall. Most evenings, Kate wants to help with dinner, and Dani has gotten to the point where she makes sure to save a few tasks in case Kate comes down asking to help.

"Father, that's terrible news!"
- 11/1. Kate did a flannel board story about Noah's ark. After the Lord told Noah he was going to send a flood, Noah apparently responded with "Father, that's terrible news!"

"Please bless that our family love will never end"
- 11/6. Kate has been quite eloquent in her prayers recently, including this beautiful request.

"I sit down glumly."
- 12/23. Kate, narrating her part as the 2nd-in-line princess, as she realizes that she is not the crown princess. Glumly - it is hilarious to hear a 4-year-old use that word!

"I am good at dancing and coloring and designing fashion and singing - I'm good at everything. Except I'm not smart."
- 12/26 on the phone with Nana and Amber. Kate was telling them she wanted to be a fashion designer. Apparently, Claire (4th grade) has told Kate (preschool) she's not as good at numbers.

"I don't like girls!!!"
- all the time in the first few months of the year

"Daddy, I sniffed the water and it smelled so good I wanted to drink some!"
"Daddy, you really need to try some.  It's DELICIOUS!!!"
- 2/18, in the bathtub.

"Babies come from mommies' tummies.  They eat special food that puts the babies there, like salad, and Cheetos, and beans.  And chips.  And crackers."
- 4/17

"Sir, Yessir!"
- October, to most requests... at least when he is in a good mood!

"It's a fawt gun!!!"

Liam and Kate
"Mommy made a new rule that when we come to your door, we have to wear pants"
"Yeah, that way our legs don't get cold!"
- June, explaining to Andrea Bowles why they have to wear pants when they come to the Bowles house


"Look, that truck is full of potties!!!"
- We had pulled up next to a pickup truck with 4 toilets in the back. Dani's comment elicited hearty laughter from the back of the Yukon.

Things we say to our kids
to Claire:
"Put the book down and talk with us."
"Can you close the book?"
"Pay attention to your dinner."

to Jacob:
"No, please don't buy that."
"Just because you have money doesn't mean you have to spend it."

to Kate:
"Please take the toothbrush out of your armpit"

to Liam:
"Don't put your head in the toilet"
"Please stop putting peas in your sleeves"
"Did you pee in the bathtub again?" (he would stand outside of it and pee into it!)
"Put your pants on!  At least put your undies on!"

to Torin;
"Okay, you can have it" (he is a 5th child, after all)

Finishing the year with friends

We finished 2015 partying with Ryan, Jessica, and kids. We started off playing some Minute to Win It games. The first was the forehead Oreo game. Jared's demo was done successfully in record time. The moms and kids were entertaining to watch (and hear the commentary)!

Ryan decided to give it a try the easy way!

We played the M&M's straw game on teams. Claire and Evan were a good little team!

We had delicious cheese and broth fondue. It was noted that, despite eating fondue in small pieces, we probably each ate way more than we normally would have! That may have been particularly true of Jacob and shrimp - he had an amazing pile of discarded tails by the end of the night!

After sending the kids upstairs for a movie, the adults had peanut butter chocolate fondue for dessert until the east coast New Year's celebration.

2015 was a fun year - and we look forward to an amazing and exciting 2016!!!