It’s been over a month now since we went to Oktoberfest. Our school has a funnel cake booth & we needed to go support them!!! We enjoyed the “Kindergarten” that was set up for the kids in spite of quite a bit of rain!



Pony Rides


So happy to be riding a “horse”!


Running through the hay maze


Looking for that exit!


Petting the bunny at the petting zoo




Such a brave girl!


Enjoying bratwursts (& Sauerkraut for the adults!)


Such a wet day, but still a fun time together!

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5 years ago…



5 years ago I celebrated my birthday in the hospital. I had awoken that morning 30-weeks pregnant with contractions. This meant back into a hospital gown & being hooked up to an IV while they pumped me full of fluids to stop my contractions. Obviously, it worked since Audrey & I do not share a birthday! In fact, we managed to keep her inside for another 3 weeks!

Today, 5 years later, I have the opportunity to share the story of God’s protection over Audrey & my life at our church’s monthly women’s event. I don’t particularly like public speaking, but when they mentioned that they needed another speaker and I saw that the topic on my birthday was “God’s protection” I felt like God whispered to me, “That one is yours.” What could I do? You can’t argue with Him! I can’t say I’m not nervous as there are typically around 80 people there (although with the crummy weather, the numbers might be down).

I won’t share the whole talk since it is LONG, but I can’t help but take this chance to put the end of my notes here on the blog and just point out, once again, God’s amazing care for our family!

“When I stop and look at all the ways God’s protected our family all in a row it just overwhelms me with how much God took care of everything from really big things down to tiny little details.

First, I didn’t get pregnant right when I wanted, because God knew that I needed to be stateside for those particular months of pregnancy so that we could have the support to watch Ezra & the medical help in English. God’s timing in when my pregnancy started was part of His protection!

Secondly, our housing that we thought was a sure thing fell through, which meant that ultimately we didn’t have to pay rent on a place that we couldn’t use while I was on bedrest which saved us a ton of money.

Third, we moved to Maryland. We could have come to Oregon just as easily since family is here, but we thought Micah would get a job in the education sector & even when no schools were hiring, we continued applying for jobs in Maryland. This was God putting us in a place where family could take on the job of raising Ezra without a complete disruption their work schedules.

Fourth, Micah’s bank job while not paying super well, did have insurance and so when he started his job, we switched to their insurance plan. This, of course, meant the hassle of switching all the paperwork around. This was another of God’s protection over us, because our insurance with our mission’s agency only covers 90% of your medical bills in the states, which isn’t a huge deal if you go to the doctor & your bill is $200, but the bill for Audrey & I was $180,000. There is NO WAY we could have paid an $18,000 hospital bill. I KNOW this was God’s Hand at work, because the lady in charge of hiring at the bank told Micah at the end of the year as he was getting ready to leave that when she was looking at his application, it didn’t make sense to hire him, but she just felt like she was supposed to call him!

Fifth, that my amniotic fluid was normal for so long so that Audrey could continue to grow & develop as normally as possible.

Six, God’s finger on the ultrasound so that I ended up having a c-section. I shudder to think what the outcome might have been if I hadn’t had a c-section. The story might have ended differently.

Seven, Audrey arriving safely. She even scored 8 & 9 out of 10 on her APGAR! That’s incredible!

Eight, I came through the ordeal healthy. Yes, there was a period of grieving the loss of no further biological children after my hysterectomy, but I was healthy and I had two healthy children.

Nine, Audrey moving so quickly through the NICU & getting to come home quicker than predicted.

Ten, Micah’s grandfather living long enough to hear that all the prayers he had prayed were answered and that his great-granddaughter had arrived safely. He never got to meet her as he died two days before she came home, but he did get to see pictures.”

Tonight, I’ll spend my birthday not in a hospital protecting my unborn child, but at church praising God while my VERY healthy child sleeps at home!


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First Day of School


First day of Second Grade!


First day of Preschool 4 (Actually her second “first” day! It was decided that because of her age she should repeat preschool 4. She has a different teacher & will go all 5 mornings.)


All ready to start school!


And this is more what life looks like in our house: Mr. t-rex & Miss Sassy Smile!

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Last Days of Summer

As we started our last week (& a half) of our summer break, I decided we should go out ‘with a bang’! We crammed our last days full & had a lot of fun!





We went to the state capitol & walked around looking at the building. (Also, I think this could work as a band photo for their album!)


We climbed all 127 steps to the top to see the Gold Man (I ‘may’ have had to carry Audrey for the last half of the stairs, because she thought it was going to be scary at the top)


A fun kids sculpture outside the capitol building!



We went to visit Grandpa at work! The kids had fun climbing on the various pieces of machinery that weren’t being used!


They had a great time playing in the piles of dirt! They came home filthy, so I think it was a successful day!


Future workers at my dad’s business??? Perhaps not – Ezra said, “No, because there aren’t any animals” and Audrey said, “No, because I’m gong to be a princess & wear a pretty dress & I would get dirty” It was still a fun morning, though!



Out for ice cream at Baskin Robins! Nothing says “Summer” like ice cream!



We  got to go have dinner with Daddy & some of the new students. Pizza is always a favorite!



I forgot to take a picture, but we had pizza & a movie! The kids finally got to watch Zootopia, which they’d been wanting to watch all summer!


It isn’t summer without a trip to the fair! (At least that’s what my kids think!)


Picking up ‘eggs’!


Petting a wombat in the petting zoo


Hello, Fawn!


Watching the pig races


At the monster truck show!


I forgot to take a picture, but we got invited to our friend’s BBQ! The kids had a blast playing with their friend!



We went for a picnic lunch at Willamette Mission State Park & then went for a couple of short walks!


The “ghost structures” of the old mission buildings


Playing in the river


Looking at the Nation’s largest Black Cottonwood! (Who knew?!?!)

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It’s been a fun summer…

I was just going through all our pictures from the summer & found a random assortment that show all the fun times we’ve had. Most of them didn’t fit into any of the previous posts, so I thought I’d just stick them all in one post as a fun review of our adventures these past couple months!



Story time with Nene & Da when they were out visiting!


Getting in some snuggles before we left on our trip to CA!


Ezra’s first time holding a baby (at least that is what he told me – obviously he ‘held’ Audrey when she was a baby!) He looks like a natural!


What can I say? We love our ice cream!


California Sun (at SeaWorld)


Aren’t Audrey & I the cutest bats you’ve ever seen?!?


This little lemur escaped from her cage!


Yum!!! Gotta love In-N-Out!



I guess he was having story time with his friends!


My dad’s business sponsors a gate at a local rodeo & he gets a few tickets as a ‘thank you’, so this year he & my mom took Micah & I! It was a fun evening! It doesn’t get more American than that!


Happy 4th of July!


A little red, white, & blue cutie!


Yes, that is my daughter asleep with a Santa hat on her head in the middle of the summer!


Nothing says ‘summer fun’ more than a dirty face!


We got to see the Reptile Man at a park & the kids got to pet an Albino Boa Constrictor!!


Apparently, Audrey got eaten by a shark! (We were visiting the Whale Museum at the Coast)


“Look, Mommy, I have a baby in my tummy!”


Looking out at the wildlife refuge through the holes in the blind!


The kids were just tickled to harvest real live carrots from Grandpa & Baba’s garden!




We had semi-private swim lessons this summer & they were the best! My kids learned SO much!


They even spent time learning about life jackets & how to help rescue someone!


Face Painting at the Library Carnival for summer readers!


They also got to climb up in a fire truck! Audrey, of course, wanted to drive!

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Family Program

Micah & Ezra did two separate programs at the Marine Science Center. They had a great time learning about sea life! The first class was all about whales:


They got to put together a Baird’s Beaked whale skeleton


They got to make whale tags similar to the ones scientists use to tag whales in the wild

The second class involved going out into the tidal flats and looking for life out there:


Digging for ghost shrimp


Found one! Actually they found lots of them!

They also turned over rocks to see the little crabs all scuttle around! Ezra was a bit skittish about touching the live animals, but was into looking for them!


And one more sunset pictures, but it’s beautiful & I can’t resist!

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Day trip to the Beach!

We were told about the Hatfield Marine Science Center’s Family Program and made plans for Micah & Ezra to attend two different sessions. While the guys were learning about sea life, Audrey & I got some girl time. We stopped & picked out a kite for flying on the beach and then I asked her what she wanted for a treat. “Chocolate Cake” was her answer! A girl after my own heart!


Lots of chocolate, ice cream, & whipped cream! Yummy!

After the guys finished with their session, we had a look around the rest of the science center before heading out to explore the area!


The Yaquina Bay Lighthouse – we made it just in time to tour the house before they closed up. From the front porch we could see whales spouting off in the distance!


At the Yaquina Head Lighthouse


Way off in the distance we could see bumps on the rocks, so Micah zoomed in with our camera & they were Seals!


Watching for whale spouts! We saw a couple pretty close to the shore!


I LOVE the Oregon Coast! I know I say that probably every time I post about it, but it hasn’t changed, it’s just SO gorgeous!


Our little explorers at the lighthouse!

As we were driving back up the coast, Micah happened to look out at the ocean & thought he saw spouts really close to shore, so he pulled into the pull-out aptly named Whale Cove and in the space of about 30 minutes or so, we saw so many spouts we lost count! And not just spouts, but backs, pectoral fins, & possible even the sides of tales!


The back of two whales!

Hunger finally drove us from our prime whale-watching spot and we enjoyed burgers at our favorite spot!


The kids LOVE playing on the beach! Mom is a little less enthused as it usually results in sandy, wet clothes, so I try to put it off until the end of the day!


Stunning! Nearly all of my favorite things in one picture!


H&M selfie


A beautiful sunset to end a beautiful day!

(Well, that & a little DQ before we left town!)

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