Monday, November 26, 2012


Thanksgiving this year was spent with Nana, Papa, Taylor and Hayley.  Nana brought her matching aprons to do activities with Claire.

The kids put together little candy turkeys consisting of chocolate wafers, Nutter Butters, mini M&M's, jelly beans, a Reese's Peanut Butter Cup, candy corn, and frosting.  I haven't eaten any (and don't plan to), but the kids seemed to like making and eating them.

While we had 4 adult house guests, Jacob and Claire gave up their room... and slept in our closet!  A few observations: the closet is very dark, and they sleep very well in there; it turns into a fort, which they go and play in for hours; they weren't even sore from sleeping on the ground all week!

We had to get a picture of the table, full of food.  They're nothing like the pictures Amber takes while she's here (this is the first Portland Thanksgiving she's missed... because she's celebrating Turkey day in Turkey!).

Dani bought a special plate for the turkey.

After dinner was over, Jacob waited as patiently as he could to eat his second helping of turkey (the centerpiece ones).  He was nearly hyperventilating because he was so excited.  When we finally gave him the okay (and took a picture of him with it - and yes, he's wearing his gorilla with headphones shirt for Thanksgiving... must've snuck that one by Nana!), he ate it so fast!

Jacob was into 'deal making.'  One deal he made with T was 5 minutes of wrestling for 5 minutes of back scratching.  I don't think T realized that Wayland had already taught him the mantra of 'Control the head, control the body,' which Jacob took very seriously.  Most of my pictures are of Jacob attacking T's head.  Claire also joined in the wrestling (she's the blob under the green sleeping bag).

Taylor and Hayley (who Jacob is sitting on) enjoyed playing with all 4 of the kids, and the kids all enjoyed spending time with them.

Thanksgiving night, the girls went to the outlet mall and T and I went to Target and waited in a very long line, wrapping around the parking lot.  Taylor ended up in the electronics line, waiting for an iPad (which he got!), and I wandered aimlessly around the store, more or less people watching.  I ended up with a couple very non-Black Friday things, but it was entertaining to be there.

We took 1 night and went out to eat at Andina.  We ate tapas style, and the food was delicious (though the lighting was a little dim, so Nana and Papa used their flashlight apps on their phones to help read the menus).  Afterward, we topped it off with dessert at Papa Hyden.  Pictured are the Baked Alaska, the Hazelnut Merengue Chocolate cake, and the Passion.  Not pictured are Dani's Banana Cream Pie and Papa's Chocolate Cube.

We got tickets to see the Forgotten Carols.  The music was great - that is still probably my favorite Christmas CD.  They did the story, which was fine, but hearing the music live and really listening to the message was especially meaningful.  We could've done without the last 30 minutes or so, though, where they advertised for a new musical and the audience participated in a couple sing-alongs, but it was a fun night.

The last night, Nana and Papa shared pictures of their trip to Jerusalem and shared a few items they brought back with them.  We reenacted the Wise Men scene a few times with the shepherd scarf and the wise man's box and gifts.  We appreciated hearing about the experiences my parents had walking in places where the Savior walked and taught.

We are so very grateful for our family.  We got to Skype with the Streeters and are grateful for the technology that exists that allows us to stay connected to friends and family while we are far apart.  We are grateful for the joy our children bring to our lives - we can't imagine a world without their smiling faces. Most of all, we are grateful for the Savior and his love for each of us.

Friday, November 23, 2012


Last week, Claire lost a tooth!

This week, she lost another!  She lost both in the week that Taylor and Hayley were here.

Now, we have 2 toothless 6-year-olds!

Thursday, November 22, 2012


The Monday before Thanksgiving, we had an FHE activity where everyone wrote things they were grateful on the leaves and put it on our Thanksgiving Tree.  Thought Jared had to work late that night, Taylor and Hayley were able to help out.

Jacob put his name on all of his leaves.  A few of the highlights: Temple; Family (including each individual member, with their various spellings); Sonic; Fast Cars and Freedom;

Ice Cream; Dani's food; Liam riding his segway; Kate's funny faces; 

Soft Beds; Wii; Clean Bathrooms; 

There are many other things that we are grateful for!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012


We went with the family to OMSI the Wednesday before Thanksgiving.  It was the first time I've ever been there, and it was a lot of fun!  One of the first places we went was a place that allowed you to fill a 2-liter bottle with water (about half way), put compressed air into it, and shoot it into the air (don't worry, there were guides for it that kept it contained).  It was like what we did last Thanksgiving at the Streeter house, where we were shooting them over their house's roof from the shop.

We made out way into the world of little Nerf balls.  It was awesome!  They had these little contraptions that had tubes coming out of them and would blow air out, and you could set up tunnels and shoot balls at each other.  Kate and Liam LOVED it, and felt very at home there.

Claire worked with Taylor building different networks of tubes.

Taylor brought the air from the little contraption (by where Liam is standing) over to a rain-gutter-like thing, then would put balls in and they'd be blown up and into another room.  He thought he was quite clever.

There was an earthquake house, which simulated 2 earthquakes that have happened in the Pacific Northwest in the past 30 years.  I'd prefer that to be my only earthquake experience!

There was an area for kids that had a little water exhibit.  Kate and Liam loved walking around and playing in the water.

One of the moving exhibits that happened to be in OMSI was Grossology.  In this exhibit, we learned about burping, poop, boogers, urine (there was a game, called Urine, the game, where you played the roll of the kidneys, re-directing red blood cells, sugar, water, and other waste to either the bladder or to the blood vessels).

flatulence (sound is about 1 thing - vibration);

zits, scabs, and moles (on the climbing wall below), and other fun things.  I'm sure Nana was thrilled to be there.  Since T was with us, we couldn't miss it, though, and we ended up having a good laugh at it all.

Monday, November 19, 2012

The Scowl

This is one of Kate's new faces.

We're not quite sure what causes it and why she breaks out this look, but we think it's pretty funny.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Visit to the Gorge with Taylor and Hayley

Taylor and Hayley started the 2nd wave of visitors this month, coming late Friday night.  We decided to take them into the Columbia River Gorge to see some waterfalls.  Liam was sick, and it was pretty cold, so Dani couldn't come with us.  

Claire and Jacob brought their cameras, too, and were taking pictures of everything.  Claire, here, is taking a picture of a train going over a bridge.  Under this bridge was a huge fish (we're assuming it was a salmon, given the signs around the bridge).

Multnomah Falls was our first stop.  It had been raining quite hard the previous days, so the water was flowing pretty high.  It is such a photogenic waterfall - I love how the mist mutes the colors in the tall part of the falls.  You can see Claire snapping a picture with her camera!

We were lucky we caught a break in the rain.  Though it was cold, we were able to stay mostly dry.

We next visited Latourell Falls, just down the road.  We took a short little walk up to the viewpoint.  Claire dodged dogs (including 1 that wasn't on a leash... which was scary!) 

Taylor and I took a rocket ride.  There was also a little cave close by that we took Jacob and Claire near the entrance (it was little... probably not even a real cave).

We next visited Bridal Vail Falls, where a minor miracle occurred - BOTH kids were looking at the camera and smiling, and Hayley's eyes were open - all in the same picture!

Later that night, we went downtown and visited Powell's Books and went to an ice cream shoppe (yes, I had to spell it that way) called Salt And Straw.  They have some creative flavors.  We ate Honey Balsamic Strawberry with Cracked Pepper (my favorite), Cinnamon Snickerdoodle (Dani's favorite), Sea Salt and Caramel Ribbon, and Pumpkin Spice.  We also sampled Pear and Bleu Cheese and Orange Stuffing (which was actually quite yummy!)

It was a fun Portland experience for Taylor and Hayley!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Such fun kids.

One night after Claire got her pajamas on, Dani tried putting Claire's skirt onto Kate.  It stayed up (despite Kate's belly's best efforts).  So, we decided to measure bellies.

The winner (or so he thought) was Jacob.

Liam's belly was the 2nd biggest of the kids - even bigger than Claire's (which was 1/2 inch bigger than Kate's). Also, during that night, Liam decided it was really fun to back up against the wall to take pictures.  We got a couple cute ones of him.

One day after naps, Kate's shirt was up, so Dani asked Kate why her belly was out.  Kate's response was below.

Claire made a tortilla face after dinner.  She thought it was quite funny.

This is one of those rare days when Kate's hair stays as it was originally intended!  Poor girl just can't seem to get much hair!

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Babies LOVE helping out!

We have 2 very busy babies.  One thing they love to do is to help out.  Here are some examples of what they like to do:

Helping us try to get toys out from under the couch.  Having a couch that the bottom is about 2-3 inches off the ground means that babies toys often end up under there.  

Getting pot lids out.  Recently, he has been getting out a little spatula, opening up the cupboard with the frying pans, and pretending to cook on the pans in the cupboard.  At least he's not trying to take them out!

Getting bibs out and getting ready for a snack

Setting the table.  Liam loves to empty out the placemat drawer and put half of them on the table.

Thursday, November 08, 2012

Eating with a fork

Liam and Kate have taken an interest in eating with their forks.  Kate holds out her fork and yells, "BITE," and we are supposed to put food on her fork and give it to her.  About half the time, she removes the food from the fork with her fingers and eats it, and the other half of the time, she will use the fork to eat.

Liam likes to try to stab at the food with his fork.  He is successful sometimes.

We joke that maybe Liam will be eating with his fork instead of fingers before Jacob!