Friday, October 31, 2014


Dani bought matching Raggedy Ann and Raggedy Andy costumes.  Liam decided that he didn't want to be Raggedy Andy - he wanted to be Spiderman!  Liam was super excited at every door and was as enthusiastic with his "THANK YOU'S" as he was with his trick or treating.  Kate was pretty serious about her trick or treating.

Torin came along and was as calm and relaxed as ever.  It was wet but not raining - a classic Oregon Halloween.

Claire and Jacob have been loving Harry Potter recently, so they decided to go as a witch and a wizard.  Jacob's glasses made him a perfect Harry Potter, and Claire's red hair made her a perfect Ginny Weasley, though she was sure to correct anyone who called her that because she was really Hermoine Granger.

The whole group after a successful night!  We had to snap pictures quickly because Jacob (the only one who can really hold Torin) has a limited time that he can hold Torin!

Our happy little pea pod!

A co-worker of Jared's wanted to have huge mushroom necklaces for his and a buddy's Mario and Luigi costume.  We googled a design and Claire and Jacob were more than happy to help (and stay up way past bedtime) make the mushrooms!

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

Torin at 4.5 months old

We love our sweet baby Torin!  Since the time he was born, he has been a peaceful little (chubby) guy.  Quick with a smile, he quickly rewards anyone who gives him attention.  He doesn't giggle very often more than a short chuckle, but he is almost always happy.  There seem to be entire days that go by when we don't even hear him cry.  Many of our friends have commented that they've never heard him upset!

We love to put him in his Bumbo on the countertop (since he's not interested in getting out of it!) while we cook, do dishes, or work in the kitchen.  We look over at him and smile or talk, and he smiles happily right back - he's great company!

Torin plays well on his own.  He especially loves his play mat - he loves to look at the baby in the mirror and loves to look at and try to grab the little toys that are hanging out above him.  He just recently started rolling over.  It's his new trick - whenever we put him on his back, he immediately rolls over onto his stomach.  He doesn't love his stomach, but he loves rolling over!

We have been grateful that Torin has been sleeping through the night since he was just a few months old.  Jared treats him as though he is his first, oohing and ahhing over everything he does.  We love our time with Torin after all the other kids go to bed.


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 25, 2014

"Setting" the bed

Jacob made his bed ("set his bed"), and this is how it looked.

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!