Saturday, May 28, 2016

Biking with the family is the best

We have spent a lot of this beautiful spring out on our bicycles. In Wilsonville, we love biking over to the Korean War Memorial park, to Memorial Park, and to get treats.

This weekend, we went for a ride in the Tualatin City Park trail over to the Cook Park trail and down by the Tualatin River. Overall, we rode 8+ miles.

There were some steep hills around the turnaround spot past Cook Park! Everyone had to walk their bikes up the trail a bit - it was a struggle for Jared with his bike and trailers!

Picking strawberries - in May!

This spring has been super hot and sunny. We have enjoyed so much being outside. One of the side benefits of the warm weather has been early season berries. We were also thrilled to realize that Lee Farms had moved its strawberry fields to one mile from home - just off of Boekman!

Liam loved picking strawberries. He always needed to be carrying a bucket, and half of the time, he was taking berries out of the bucket to eat (or maybe to drool onto his shirt!).

We got a fantastic picture of tough-guy Torin with his bucket!

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Choir and Orchestra

This year, Jacob joined the Lowrie choir. They had a couple performances, and Jacob really enjoyed being part of that choir.

Claire joined the Strings program. Their final concert was in West Linn High School with the other elementary school strings programs. Somewhere in that sea, is a little red-headed 4th grader

She's made some good progress and really seems to enjoy it!

Saturday, May 14, 2016

Funny Pictures

Sometimes, there isn't really a big story to accompany a picture, but the picture is priceless and needs to be kept. So, here's the first-half of 2016 in funny pictures:

It appears Liam's pajamas (from a few weeks ago) shrunk!

We helped move a family in need of some service. Liam was excited to help out!

Jacob loves helping out with the post-dinner sweeping. 

Liam's hair is fantastic - especially on a slide full of static!

Kate is so enthusiastic wherever she goes - especially when we go to the water park!

Kate loves showing off her big eyes - especially on Facetime. 

Yes, you are a turkey!

Liam was thrilled to try out his wedding outfit. 

I'm not entirely sure what was going on here... there is a policy man with a hard hat and sunglasses holding a sword and Buzz Lightyear blaster against a light-saber-bearing knight helmet and sunglasses wearing ... jedi?

Monday, May 09, 2016


One of Torin's new favorite things to do is to buckle his high chair. The only problem is that he likes to do it before he is in his high chair as everyone is getting to the table - and he gets MAD when we try to put him in!

Torin loves to sing in the store - by himself. Dani likes to sing along with him, but Torin says, "No, Mom, Stop!"

There are certain traditions that Torin holds us to. He loves scripture time - there have been times that either Jared or Dani has come home during scripture time to Torin tearing down the stairs yelling, "SCRI-TURES!" He knows exactly where Family Home Evening is and pulls everyone into the family room for it. He loves his blanket and his stuffed hippo and doggie and needs to sleep in a certain way with them and needs to say goodnight to everyone in the family.

Torin still loves sleeping with his hippo and his doggie, and now they need to be under his covers in a certain way. It's very important!

Torin loves hot sauce. Kind of. He definitely loves having it on his plate and he always dips his fingers or other food into it and eats it. Then, he starts sticking out his tongue and scratching the top of it on the bottom of his upper teeth and starts drooling. Sometimes he complains a little when he gets a too much, but he always asks for more. His favorites are Sriracha and Cyrstal.

He likes to Facetime and give cheesy grins and say Hi over and over. He gets to get to know his cousin, Nolan!

Torin is never left out of the family activities. He notices what is going on and always wants to be part of it.

From the time Torin was born, he had an air of calmness to him. He is still definitely a little toddler with the normal ups and downs, but he is probably the most even keeled of the kids at this age. He has some serious moments and sometimes looks quite unimpressed, but he's still a content little guy.

He is a sweet little guy!

Saturday, May 07, 2016

To the top of Mt. Hood

Jared joined a group of hikers from Precoa in climbing to the summit of Mt. Hood. We got geared up and left from Wilsonville at 10:30 and caravaned up to Timberline Lodge. We arrived at the parking lot, signed in, and started trekking up the mountain by not long after midnight. Because it was the first night of a new moon, it was DARK! We had a beautiful view of stars, and other than the beams of our head lamps, we only saw others' head lamps below us dotting the trails up the mountain.

It was also very windy! Jared didn't pack his ski coat, fearing it would be too hot, and for some time, wondered if he would get too cold, but by the time he put on his outer down layer, it was perfect.

As we got higher up, we started to be able to see more city lights in the distance. Then, the sun started coming up, and we could see the enormous shadow cast by Mt. Hood spreading over the valley for miles below. 

As we continued up the mountain and as the sun continued to rise, some of the wispy clouds rushing over the peak were lighted by the light of the sun and looked beautiful. I'm not sure the picture quite does justice to how pretty it was. I was quite happy to see the sunshine and have it get just a bit warmer!

We got to the Hogsback and prepared for the final ascent. We were reminded, as we arrived and once we got there, that Mt. Hood is a volcano as we smelled the sulfur and could see steam coming from Hot Rocks and Devil's Kitchen. 

We started the final trek up the mountain with our crampons. We decided to forego the Hogsback ridge and the Pearly Gates because of the crowds, and instead headed left to the snowfields of the Old Chute.

We ended up taking a side chute off of the Old Chute, called the Mazama Chute, which ended up being a little steeper of an incline. It was quite a rush going up the narrow chute, using the ice axe the entire time up.

It was an incredible feeling climbing up to the top of the Mazama Chute, which was shaded, and into the sunny top of the mountain. The views were incredible! It was just awesome to be on the top of the mountain with Brady and his dad, Stephen, Nick, Drew, and Jim. We worried that Jim would not make it, but Stephen gave him some confidence (over the phone... we had strong signal up top of Hood!) and he made it too!

After slowly making our way back through the Mazama Chute and getting below the Hogsback, we followed some sliding chutes, sliding our way over a thousand vertical feet down the mountain. By the end, Nick, Stephen, and Jared started running down the mountain. It felt like it took forever, but it felt good to be at the bottom! All in all, it was one of the toughest things he says he's ever done!

Jared happily says, whenever he sees Mt. Hood. "I've been on top of that mountain!"

Monday, May 02, 2016

Torin loves birthdays

Turning 35 couldn't have been happier, celebrating with the whole family!!!

Torin was especially excited for cake!

Speaking of cake, Jared was pretty proud of this beautiful strawberry shortcake cake he made yesterday!