Sunday, September 29, 2013

A walk in the rain

It has been a very rainy end of the month - it started rainy and ended rainy.  So, we decided to put on our boots and go for a rainy walk.  It ended up not being all that rainy, but we still got to stomp in a few puddles and enjoy the wet weather. 

Monday, September 23, 2013

Notes from Claire

Dani often writes little notes in Kiddos' lunch boxes.  Claire has recently followed her example, and a few notes have been found around the house.
"I love you Claire"

"From: Claire
To: Jacob
Why I made this: I love you"

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Grandma and Grandpa stop by

John and Vicki took a long road trip to visit John's brother, Rob, then traveled up the coast to visit us here.  Portland isn't a very frequent "travel through" destination, but we were certainly glad they did.

We didn't take many pictures of the visit, but we did capture 2 activities that happen frequently (Liam eating and Jacob playing games!)

Little game players

Jacob and Claire have recently become obsessed with playing games.  It has become a Sunday tradition to play a game after church with daddy while the babies sleep.  Over the past few weeks, they've tried quite a few new games.

They also have involved Kaylee in their games.  They've played games like Uno and Bonanza in the back yard with her.

When John and Vicki came to visit, they played The Reef.

Jared has tried teaching them increasingly complex games, and they seem to catch onto the rules.  Some of their favorites are Ticket to Ride, Scotland Yard, Dominion, and Settlers of Catan.  Jacob won on his first try with Dominion and Settlers, so he's pretty excited about learning new games.

It is interesting to watch how Jacob and Claire do games involving trading.  Jacob is definitely in charge, but they both are very generous in trying to help the other person through their trades.

We're raising some pretty competitive board gamers!

Friday, September 20, 2013


Thanks to our camera phones, we have more pictures than ever of our kids to share with the world.  Here's a little sample of some of the picture that have been Instagramed (okay, there's one that wasn't).

Kate always looks like she's up to something

Even the wild looks are pretty cute!

And last, Liam is a cheeseball.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Working up north

We had a management retreat at a house north of Seattle, right at the end of a peninsula that went a few miles into a bay.  The retreat started with dinner at the top of the Columbia Tower in Seattle.  The view was amazing!

The house was at the end of a peninsula that jutted out a few miles into a bay.  A short walk led down to a small grassy area at the top of some rocks about 15 feet above the bay.  In the distance, we could see the San Juan Islands.  Below is a picture I took at sunset on the first night.  The next night, we had a little activity at that place, and we were treated to an equally spectacular sunset.

While we did spend the majority of the time there working and meeting, we had quite a bit of fun.  The evening activity was pool volleyball.  The pool, which claimed to be 3 feet deep at the ends and 4 feet in the middle, was actually closer to 5 at one end and 3 at the other end.  It made for a challenge for the deep-end team.  Though we played at least 4-5 games per night, often more, the deep end team wasn't ever victorious.  But there were some close ones, and it made for fun, competitive evenings.

One day, we did some sea kayaking.  We went a few miles along the sea shore and saw starfish, sea anemones, and some pretty shoreline.  The starfish were a beautiful purple color or a bright orange, and they were often stacked on top of one another.

We had lunch on a little island, 

where Trevor caught a dungeness crab.  Though it looked pretty big to us, we were told that it wasn't quite large enough to keep (not that we would have).

It is a great group that I work with!

Thursday, September 12, 2013

New Wheels

We've been looking for a little while at getting a little more space for our family, and we found a 2011 Yukon that was a great deal, so we went for it!  Dani was so happy!!!

It doesn't quite fit in the garage (which we knew before we bought it), so we'll be parking it on the driveway.  Funny timing, to move our family vehicle to the driveway right before rainy season!

We're pretty excited!

Monday, September 09, 2013

Waking up with Kate

When Kate wakes up, especially from her naps, she always looks at you with the biggest eyes.

Many of the times we go to get her, she's sucking her thumb, looking up at you with her big eyes.

Saturday, September 07, 2013

Father Daughter campout

For the first time in a few years, I was able to go to the father daughter campout.  The original plan was to just take Claire, but as we packed the car, Kate made it very aware that she wanted to go camping, too, so I decided to take her, too.

When we got there and started dinner, I realized that I had forgotten something important - a can opener (you'd think I would've learned from previous incidents!).  The inner cave man in me came out as I bashed the can open.  The girls weren't nearly as impressed as they should've been.

Claire ran around with the girls, and Kate talked to (and bossed) all the dads as we sat around the camp fire.  We needed to make an early exit to make it to a soccer game, so we slept in the van.  It didn't seem to dampen the mood at all!  What a fun group to camp with!

Tuesday, September 03, 2013

1st day of 2nd grade

The 2nd graders were VERY excited to get back to school.  They will be in the same class this year, which will definitely be easier on the parents, and we think they'll do well together.

On the 2nd day, Jacob came home looking like he'd been in a fight!  He got a bloody nose on the bus.  Fortunately, someone went up to get some paper towels to help him out.

The kiddos and their teacher the week before school.  If that face of Jacob's didn't give her an idea of what she was getting into, I don't know what would!

Monday, September 02, 2013

Getting the most out of the end of summer

We realized that summer was coming to an end this week, so we decided to make the most of it.  First, Dani took the kids to the zoo.  They got to see the giraffes fighting with each other - they would swing their necks at one another's backsides - it was hilarious!  The penguins loved coming right up to Jacob and Liam.

We took our bikes to Wilsonville on Friday to get some ice cream.  We're happy that Claire is riding her big bike - it was too big for her for a while, then we discovered the chain was broken.  We continue to love taking family bike rides.

Which is what we decided to do on Monday.  We went up to a bike trail between the airport and the Columbia River.  For quite a while, the trail is on top of the levee, so we watched airplanes take off and land along side of us.

We found a place right at the end of the runway where the airplanes went directly over our heads and watched a number of planes take off.  The kids (and Jared) all loved it!

It was also fun to watch all the boats in the water and look across the river at the homes along the Washington side of the river.

Now that we got a good weekend of Portland activities out, we're ready for the fall to begin.