Thursday, November 13, 2014

The Potty Train

Liam is potty training right now and it isn't an easy task.  At the beginning, Liam was pretty excited to get stickers and potty treats.  After a few days, it it wasn't nearly as exciting for Liam.

There have been some frustrating moments - like the time that during family home evening, Liam discovered the 'escape hatch' in his undies and peed right on the floor and the many times that he has had an 'accident' right after being asked to go... then scooting a few inches over and continuing to play.  

But, it does give us some fun pictures since he is rarely wearing pants these days.  He has been outside in the front yard a few times in the past weeks to help rake leaves.

Liam has shown up at the Bowles' back doorstep a few times without pants on.  Once, he and Kate even brought back a half dozen doughnuts!

He can even pull off some great costumes (like a witch!) without pants!

We hope this potty train reaches its station soon!

Tuesday, November 04, 2014

a few of Torin's favorite things

Torin LOVES his exersaucer.  He will stand in there for an hour or more.  He reaches for toys, bats at the different moveable toys, and just loves playing.  He watches anyone and everyone who is in the room.

When he gets tired of the exersaucer, Torin also loves to sit in the Bumbo, in large part because he likes being up and part of the action that happens in the kitchen.  He sometimes plays with toys, he sometimes just likes to sit and watch.  Andrea thinks he is like an owl, head always turning to watch!  He also often spreads his arms out like he wants to give a giant hug!

He also loves playing on his play mat.  He likes to look at the baby in the mirror and play with the toys that hang down.

Torin started rolling over a few weeks ago from back to front.  He hasn't really gotten to the front to back roll yet, but he is starting to enjoy his tummy time.  Sometimes, he loves to lift his head up, and other times, he likes to just lay down and relax.

Torin spends lots of time in his car seat and is super patient just hanging out there.  In church, for example, he will just hang out through the entire sacrament meeting until he falls asleep for a nap through most of the 2nd hour.  He hangs out in his carseat through soccer practices, library, zumba, and running errands.  What a patient little guy!

We love this little boy.  He is a relaxed, peaceful little guy that loves socializing.  He is quick with a grin.  He loves to coo and talk softly.

Eventful trips to the dentist

Our kids had a couple dentist appointments this week.  First of all, all four were amazing for the appointment! I think that the sunglasses accessories helped Kate.  This week's appointments revealed two more (Claire's and Kate's) unique dental situations that our kids have.

Claire ended up having a second appointment this week to get some work done.  One of her permanent teeth isn't coming in straight, so she needed to get a baby molar pulled so that the permanent tooth wouldn't be damaged.  Claire was a trooper for it - she still has no idea that she got a numbing shot before her tooth was pulled (she thinks the topical numbing was all she got!).  She got a temporary spacer put around her tooth and will get a more long-term one once it is custom made.  Her mouth is pretty small, and she will certainly have braces and possibly more dental work in her future.

 Jacob has some discoloration in his top front teeth.  It may have happened from a high fever when he was a baby (he and Claire were over 104 a few times), or they just didn't form right from the start.  The discoloration has faded a little and may continue to as he gets older, but he may eventually need some work.

Kate, we learned this week, has a small mouth and will eventually need a palate spacer because she has a cross bite.

Liam has two baby teeth that have fused together and come in at the same time (which happened a long time ago).  Fortunately, Liam is probably the one child that won't need further work on his teeth (or so it appears at this point) as his permanent teeth appear to be normal.

Torin doesn't yet have any teeth, and we're hoping to not continue this track record!  Hopefully they're there!

Thursday, October 30, 2014

So many pumpkins!

11 pumpkins!!!  We somehow ended up with 11 pumpkins this year!!!  Here's how:

We started with getting 1 from Claire's activity days activity.  

We then added the 6 pumpkins to carve from Al's Garden Center, after we went to Bauman Farms.  We got some great pumpkins!

We added another 2 little pumpkins from nursery from Kate and Liam.  Finally, we added a green and a red pumpkin from Jacob and Claire's school activity.

Add that to the giant mums that we got at Bauman Farms, and we had quite the pumpkin display!  Liam made a "mad monster," with the help of Trevor.  Kate made a princess.  Jared made a spooky castle.  Claire made a Harry Potter logo, and Jacob made a potion (a flask) and the word BOO!  Trevor also made a pumpkin and brought it to work to submit in his pumpkin carving contest.

Sunday, October 26, 2014


Liam may be the child that plays by himself the best of all of the kids.  He loves to play with cars, trains, Legos, or just about anything else.  He loves to play with his cars and loves to line them up in perfectly straight rows - and hates when people (especially Kate) try to clean them up or move them!

Everyone just loves Liam!  Liam is a big lovable guy and is very easy to get great (and sometimes hilarious) pictures of.  He has a funny sense of humor and a quick smile and has a way of making people smile.  His manner of talking is staccato and hilarious!

Liam is a very curious child and seems to like to learn by experience.  With it has come the sense that almost nothing in the house is off limits to him!  He is a doer - for example, if he wants breakfast and no one is around to get it for him, he'll just go over the refrigerator, get out a yogurt, goes over to the counter, climbs up to get a bowl, empties the yogurt into the bowl, and gets a spoon and eats it.  If he wants to punch out holes out of a paper, he gets the hole punch and paper and does it.

Liam likes to play make believe, with his games often centering around being a "shootin'-guy" or a "fightin'-guy."  He will line up the animals so they will be fighting.

Liam is starting to play better with Jacob and Kate.  He still has a way of antagonizing, but Liam and Jacob are starting to build often with wooden blocks, trains, and Legos, and Kate and Liam love to play make believe at night and various times throughout the day.  It is fun to watch him form stronger relationships with his siblings.

FAVORITES (according to Liam - at this moment):
Food: Snacks 
Treat: All of candy
Movie: Kung Fu Panda
Toys: Cars
Book: Panda Bear (???)
Animals: All of animals


Jacob is really getting into following sports.  While he has favorite teams, what usually happens is that he winds up rooting for the team that is ahead throughout the game, switching who he is rooting for once a different team takes the lead.  This frustrates his father to no end, but Jacob always ends up happy with the result!  That said, he is definitely a BYU and Reds fan!

Jacob loves to build things.  Most of his building comes with Legos, but he also builds with blocks, big and little.  He loves to have a story with the things he is building, whether it is a race track, a double decker couch, a town, or a Star Wars cantina.  He loves to involve his siblings in building, but he typically comes up with the ideas.

Jacob is really into sports and athletics.  He likes to play just about anything and does it with gusto!  He has played soccer for the past few seasons and has improved quite a bit, in particular with his understanding of the game.  He is also getting to be a lot better on his Rip Stick!


Jacob loves to help entertain Kate and Liam.  When Liam isn't eating his dinner, Jacob makes a game of it, often re-naming foods (asparagus is 'light-sabers,' peas are 'green bullets,' and broccoli is 'trees,' for example).  When Liam is not happy about something, Jacob pretends Liam has the force.  Jacob also helps to entertain them while we are out.  Normally, they really appreciate it.  Sometimes, his enthusiasm may be a bit overwhelming, but Jacob really loves his siblings and loves to be with them.

We get some awesome pictures of Jacob.  We also get some that he is making funny poses.  Here's a fantastic one of both he and Liam at the 4th of July party!

Jacob loves story telling and writing.  One example of this is in our parent teacher conference last month, his teacher brought out his composition book and started flipping through pages and pages of writing.  Jacob loves flow of thought writing.  He is currently writing a series about a character he dubs 'Bad Man,' who runs out of money because he buys too much candy and subsequently robs a bank on the same day every year and gets caught.  We've heard a few of the misadventures of Bad Man at home, too.

Jacob has a strong testimony of the gospel.  He enjoys to have gospel conversations and will occasionally bear his testimony at church without prompting.  His primary teachers tell us that he is engaged in class and knows all of the scripture stories and understands many concepts.  He has a tender heart and has told us about experiences he has had feeling the Spirit.

Sport: soccer and baseball
Food: King crab legs
School subject: writing
Movie: Star Wars (esp Attack of the Clones)
Best Friend: Logan
Games: Mario Kart and Acquire
Collection: Coins (pennies and nickels)


Since the time she was born, Kate has been a very expressive child.  On the day she was born, we were telling Uncle Andrew (who was about to go on his mission) this via Skype.  Kate loves to show her big eyes.  When she really wants something, we tell her to ask with big eyes.  Sometimes, we get a variety of funny faces, but she can often get what she wants anyways!

Kate is really into Frozen and into Elsa.  She has a dress that she will have someone get her dressed multiple times per day.  Her costume isn't complete without a cape, so she has chosen one of her blankets as her accessory.  When Chris and David came over, she convinced David (using her big eyes) to sing a rousing rendition of "Let it Go!"

Kate likes playing dress up whenever she can.  She especially likes to involve her big sister!

Kate is a very social child.  Quite often, she ends up sitting with the adults and trying to be part of the conversation rather than being part of a rambunctious group of kids.  She prefers to have one or two 'best friends' or 'first friends' or 'last friends,' as she quite often labels people she has just recently met.

Kate is a very enthusiastic child.  She lives life with gusto, for sure!  She sometimes doesn't have a very long attention span once she gets going on something.  One thing she does have a long attention span for is reading!

Food: Chicken
Book: Princess books
Movie: Frozen and Ariel (Little Mermaid)
Costume: Elsa
Best Friend: "Best Friend Tate"
Song: Let it Go


While Claire has always been interested in reading, she has been really into reading since the school year began.  In the 8 weeks since school started, she has started and finished books 1-4 of the Harry Potter series and has read the first two books of the Chronicles of Narnia series and is working on the third.  She will often disappear or curl up in a chair for long periods of time with a book.  She also still finds time to read to her siblings and browse through other books on a daily basis.

Claire loves her little brother, Torin.  She loves to talk softly to him and be around him, and he loves the attention.  Torin is chubby enough that Claire isn't able to hold him for very long!

Claire and Dani are becoming cute little buddies.  Claire enjoys working in the kitchen and doing projects with her parents and siblings.  One day, she left a little surprise for Dani on the patio!

At the beginning of the year, we were asked to share Claire's strengths with her teacher.  One of the strengths that we shared is that Claire is a very confident girl.  Though she is often quiet in big groups, she is comfortable with who she is and makes good choices.  She knows right from wrong and typically doesn't get swayed by the choices of others.  

Claire is a good and thorough student.  She does her homework completely.  She is very organized about the way she thinks about writing and uses good logic in her math and has good intuition.

Claire still reminds us a little of Olive Oyl with her long skinny arms and legs!

Claire is enjoying taking piano lessons and continues to get better.  She is playing with both hands and enjoys learning seasonal songs (right now she's learning some Halloween-themed songs).

Claire is very proud of her auburn hair.  She loves getting compliments on her hair, and makes sure to flip it out a little extra when she does.

Food: Butter and seafood (including king crab legs, salmon, and shrimp)
Book: Harry Potter and the Fairy Magic series
Activity: Reading
Best friend: Liza

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Bauman Farms

One of our favorite things about Portland in the falls is going to the pumpkin patch at Bauman Farms.  We absolutely love the  

There were a couple new rides and activities that were added this year.  One was a barrel bug ride.  We all sat inside these little barrels painted like bugs and were pulled by a ranger around a little course.  Jared sat right in front of the kids and tried to have them all raise their hands and yell like a rollercoaster!

Another addition was the bouncy horses.  They were kind of hilarious!  Claire chose the biggest one she could find and could hardly move it!

Another new attraction was the pedal cars.  Jacob found the biggest one that he could!  Both Claire and Jacob needed a push a few times by one of the workers!

Some of the things that we always love at Bauman is the giant slides.  The kids always love the slides!

The kids also loved the obstacle course and the maze.  We did the dark maze from start to finish (previous years, we've had to bail through a side exit).  They made lots of laps!

The decorations at Bauman are awesome!  The kids all chose their favorite Angry Bird to take a picture with.

As usual, we had lots of apple cider doughnuts and got some apple cider.  

Torin, as usual, was an amazing little trooper!  He loves the sunshine and loves to be social!