13th Anniversary/Lake Trip

Our sweet friends not only agreed to watch our kids for us so we could get away for the night, but they also offered their family’s lake cottage (right near the coast) for us to stay in for the night!!

We headed over to the Coast right after Sunday School on our anniversary & got there in time for a wonderful lunch at Tidal Raves!!!

IMG_1510 The food was delicious & the view was spectacular!


The waves were quite rough, which made it really fun to watch!

We had all that night to just read (or in Micah’s case watch the Cowboys) & relax.
The next morning we had brunch at Otis Cafe (which was amazing as usual) & got some shopping done at the outlets without having to remind certain people not to wrestle each other to the ground in the middle of the store!!

That afternoon our friends & kids joined us at the lake house for another two nights! It was such a wonderful way to start our Christmas break! So quiet & relaxing!!

IMG_1511 Audrey doing a puzzle


Ezra & Daddy doing a puzzle

IMG_1525 The weather on the day we left was gorgeous, so we headed down to the beach for a walk!!


My kids LOVE the beach!!


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Christmastime Fun!

IMG_1451 Ezra looking at the train at the Christmas Tree Lighting in the Capitol


Audrey looking at the train & the tree

IMG_1454 In the governor’s office


Looking cute on the capitol steps!

IMG_3184 Helping shop for ingredients for making Christmas cookies, Audrey learned a valuable lesson: Don’t squeeze the bags of powdered sugar!!!


Our first real Christmas Tree in 5 years!!

IMG_5242 Audrey singing in her Christmas concert


Trying to get a cute picture of my kids all dressed up between their concerts. All I got was an “Ah, mom…”

24879809_10212908448577771_6699912438740432473_o Ezra at his concert. He actually had a solo this year! We were quite surprised when the music teacher told us that she had asked if he would consider singing and even more shocked when he agreed as he usually doesn’t even sing for us! He did a great job! Turns out he has an AMAZING voice!


Okay, this has nothing to do with Christmastime, but Audrey started practice for Upwards basketball!!! She’s a super cute little basketball player!

IMG_1483 Ezra at Storybookland


Audrey at Storybookland (sadly, I didn’t get any pictures of them with their cousins)

IMG_5257 Looking cute in front of the Christmas Tree


The elementary school sang some of their songs in the capitol. Ezra got to sing his solo once again & it sounded even more amazing in that big room with the big ceiling!

Version 2 Giving us a good smile! (He had to stand to the side of the choir with the other kids who had solos/duets, etc.)


Doesn’t everyone sleep in a Santa hat???

IMG_1505 Helping mom make Christmas cookies!


Also not Christmas related, but Happy Birthday to Micah!!!

 IMG_1576 Christmas in the Garden at the Oregon Garden


Christmastime in Oregon – no white Christmas for us this year!

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Europe Trip

Sorry for the long lag between posts! I had been waiting for Micah to upload his pictures & pick his favorites from his trip to Europe, but life got busy!!! Here they are without too much narration since I wasn’t on the trip!

 IMG_2826 Inside the Globe Theater in London



Prisoner carvings in the wall at the Tower of London


IMG_2864 Tower Bridge from inside the Tower of London



Underground War Room from WWII


IMG_2907 The Horse Guards near Buckingham Palace with the London Eye in the background



A view of London from on top of the London Eye


IMG_2970 The Eiffel Tower from a boat tour on the Seine



Notre Dame



IMG_3037 Pointe du Hoc (along the coast of Normandy)



U.S. Cemetery at Omaha Beach



IMG_3077 Sacre Coeur



The Louvre


IMG_3102 Dachau Concentration Camp (Looking out the gate from inside -the words say “Arbeit Macht Frei” which translates to “Work makes free”




IMG_3146 Hohenschwangau




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Thanksgiving Break

Our Thanksgiving Break was a little different this year… The change started back in August when Micah was asked to help chaperone the history trip to Europe for 10 days starting the Saturday before Thanksgiving. So, when we woke up at the start of our break, Micah was gone to Europe!

 IMG_1393 Audrey climbed into bed Saturday morning to have a little cry-fest! Afterwards, I got a sweet smile!

That afternoon, we got invited to open swim in Stayton with friends. The kids had a great time!


Afterwards, we stopped by the cemetery to see my grandparents’ headstones. When I was a kid, we always went with my grandma to look at my grandpa’s headstone.


Sunday, was a low-key, stay-at-home day! We enjoyed just being still!

IMG_1399 Monday, we went to Super Bounce!!!


The kids enjoyed getting all their wiggles out!


IMG_1409 After lunch at McDonald’s the kids got to watch cartoons! Audrey had tried on snow clothes for our trip to Mt. Hood & just decided to leave them on!!!


Sweet sleeping face! I let the kids camp out in my room to help make the nights easier!


And that is where the fun ended! Tuesday morning, Audrey had a stomach ache which got worse as the day went on & pretty soon had a fever. We had plans to go away on Wednesday & I was beginning to plan out what Thanksgiving at home might look like: 7-up, saltines, & sweet potatoes!

Wednesday morning, I took the kids to the pediatrician & Audrey was confirmed to have strep throat! I went ahead & had them swab Ezra, but his test came back negative. We headed to the pharmacy & got antibiotics for her and finished packing as my mom graciously allowed us to still come on the family vacation!

IMG_1426 Ezra playing a game with Uncle Caleb!


Crafting! (Obviously, after she’d been on antibiotics for a full 24 hours!)


IMG_1429 Swimming in the hot tub


The neighbor kitty that came to visit us!


IMG_1432 Happy Thanksgiving!!!


Valiantly, cheering on Daddy’s Cowboys!


IMG_1436 A pretty rainbow outside our vacation rental


On Friday, we had a little ‘adventure’ & went to find Lost Lake (which we’d tried to visit two years prior when we stayed at the same house, but we’d been unsuccessful due to a tree across the road). We encountered a gate across the road right as we got to the entrance to Lost Lake. We decided to walk in & see the lake!


IMG_1439 We found it!! Lost Lake isn’t lost anymore!!! And yes, it was cold! Silly boy didn’t pack a coat!


Throwing snow into the lake!

On the way home from the lake, I got a call from the pediatrician that Ezra’s test had been sent away & that after further testing, he did in fact have strep! So, my wonderful brother drove me into Hood River where I had a swab taken of my throat (thankfully, it came back negative) & then went to the pharmacy to pick up yet another bottle of antibiotics!

The break certainly didn’t go quite as we expected, but we are thankful for warm houses, doctors, pharmacies, antibiotics, family, & yummy food!

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Fall photos

Some random photos from the past couple months…

 IMG_1152 Our kindergartener on her first day of school!



Mommy & Audrey on her first day!


IMG_1155 Daddy & Audrey matched on the first day of school! (Look how tired she looks – adjusting back to school is rough on everyone!)



Santa Ezra!


IMG_1163 Audrey wanted me to come have lunch with her,so I came & ate with Audrey & her friend


At the “Back to School” Night, this paper was on Ezra’s desk. He tends not to have favorite things!


IMG_1219 Our little girl looking ‘not-so-little’ in her hand-me-down denim jacket! Looks super cute on her!


At our church’s One-day Women’s Event, they wanted a lady to read a children’s story that went along with the theme and wanted a child to come listen, so Audrey got to come for that part of the day! She was excited to get to come to a Women’s event, even if it was only for 20 minutes!


IMG_1328 Can you read it??? “GOSALUMUCATME” = “GO SALEM ACADEMY”


Audrey made a craft using the leftover popcorn kernels from the microwave bag! Mom wasn’t super enthused about her using buttery kernels on her craft. Needless to say, this craft didn’t stay around very long!


IMG_1335 The kids’ school doesn’t have Halloween Parties, so this was at Ezra’s Fall Party on the 30th! They were making pumpkin bars.


This was Audrey’s costume. She’s something girly…a fairy or a princess…or a fairy princess! Her brother had gotten himself grounded so he didn’t get to come to the Trunk or Treat, but Audrey & I had a good time!



Our sleeping princess!

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Happy 6th Birthday, Audrey!

Audrey originally wanted an “owl” birthday party, but I encouraged her to expand it to a “Woodland” party as it gave us more to work with! I think it  turned out cute! We had her birthday party the Saturday before her birthday, which happened to be the last day of Daylight Savings Time, which was perfect for a party with kids! We got to enjoy being together for a good length of time & then we turned the clocks back & got plenty of sleep!


Her cake, the ‘acorns’ we made, & the ‘mushroom’ cupcakes



Her ‘owl’ vegetable tray


IMG_5223 A ‘hedgehog’ cheeseball



We did a “Make your own Pizza” bar, which seemed like a great idea until the afternoon of the party when the reality of baking 19 individual pizzas hit me! It ended up working out well – we just had to bake them in shifts!


IMG_5229 The kids ate picnic-style!


Except for this cutie!!



So many people to sing for Audrey’s birthday! Such a loved little girl!!



In her new birthday dress from Grandpa & Baba with her Barbie from her Aunt & Uncle!!


IMG_1356 On her actual birthday in her classroom wearing her new outfit from her Aunt & Uncle!


Opening her birthday gift from Nene & Da that arrived a couple days after her birthday (which was perfect, because it gave her time to do some of the other craft projects she’d been given before starting in on the ones they gave her). She was thrilled with the pretty necklace & the doll they sent her! She’s also wearing another birthday outfit from Grandpa & Baba.

I can’t believe we have a 6-year old!!! She’s definitely growing up & along with that is coming lots of personality, some good, some that could be worked on, &, of course, some sassiness!

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Beautiful fall weather!

We had the most beautiful October!! There was very little rain & lots of sunshine! The colors were wonderful! One afternoon the kids & I headed to Bush Park to take a few pictures (& play on the park, of course!)


Bush House



Pretty pathway!


IMG_5182 The kids really wanted me to take pictures of the roses. This one is my favorite with Audrey in the background!


A couple weekends ago, we took the kids to Silver Falls State Park & walked out to the North Falls! The trees were beautiful!


Daddy & Audrey behind the waterfall



A puffin – I don’t really understand, but Ezra insisted that puffins live behind waterfalls.



A fun view from behind North Falls



My little cave-dweller!


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