Lauren

Feed the World! (And Get Smarter!)

If you haven't been to freerice.com yet, you must. You simply must. My family put me onto this site, where you test your vocabulary skills, and for each right answer you get, sponsors will donate rice to the UN World Food Program. Here are a few awesome words I've encountered so far:

frangible
gauchery
wapiti
splenetic
glossitis

Make sure you enable the option to keep track of how much rice you've earned -- not only to give yourself props but to remind you of the embarrassingly long time you've spent in front of your computer. :)

Zap! Pow! Zowee!

Heard today while eating lunch:

Nicole: Mom, I don't like that my whacks are in my face!

Mom: Huh?

Nicole: I mean, my bangs....

"Holy hair stress, Batman!"

A Nickel for the Nicole

My girl is 5!!! Here are five things I love about my little Pickle being 5:

Building elaborate towers
Having a mommy's helper
Her hip shake
Kindergarten in the fall
Learning how to read all by herself

We had her birthday party with a bunch of school friends last Saturday at our house. Enjoy the pics below! I'll admit, they're not the most fabulous of photos, but we were too busy partying to spend much time behind the camera, so you'll just have to love what we've got.

The Halls of Justice

Since I apparently didn't vent publicly enough about this, here's an update of how my jury service went.

I got chosen to serve on a jury last week for an assault case. The whole thing was a neighbor dispute that ended up in a confrontation about a property line. They alleged that a 5-foot-tall, 63-year-old woman assaulted her 210-lb. neighbor with a hammer to stop him building on her property. It was entirely ludicrous (we couldn't believe the DA took the case), and mostly involved two solid days listening to the ENTIRE ten-year history of these people being horrible to each other.

We finished late in the day on Thursday, which makes me a free woman. It also made me grateful for a whole slew of new things, such as:

Down on the Farm

Check it out -- it's our farm! Okay, technically it's not our farm, but it's the CSA we're signed up with this year. They had an open house day last Monday, and we decided it'd make a perfect FHE activity with the kids. So we drove out to Forest Grove in spite of some of Oregon's patented "liquid sunshine" to check out the farm operations and see where all our lovely produce will be coming from this summer.

the most boringest thing EVER

Jury duty.

YAY.

Lawyers and witnesses and voir dire and testimony and stupid facts...

I have to keep reminding myself that all of this is important to the people involved and not to fall asleep. This is what I feel like doing:


Doing my civic duty is fine and all, but couldn't someone else do it for me? :)

(P.S. That's a 2-year-old Nicole with her bum in the air. Too cute!)

RRAAAAARRRRR!

Last Saturday, we trekked to the Oregon Zoo with the Harts to go check out the zoo's newest attraction: DINOSAURS!!! Robotic ones, of course, but still very cool. Both our kids and Devon were excited to see them up close, as evidenced by the loud and long grrrrrrowling the kids were doing while riding the MAX train to the zoo. :)

Here are Vernon and the kids with one of Dad's favorites: pachycephalosaurus. Better known at our house as the "bonk-a-saurus" because of the bony, helmet-like lump on top of his head. These dinos would bash heads over girls and turf, just like males in every generation.

She's All Grown Up and Graduating!


Well, from preschool, anyway. :) We've officially had Nicole's last day at Wee Wisdom preschool! The kids all got trophies and took turns leading the class in their favorite song or finger play. Nicole's was, "Tiny Tim" -- good to know, so we can start singing it at home. In case you don't know that one, enjoy:

I have a little turtle
His name is Tiny Tim
I put him in the bathtub
To see if he could swim.

He drank up all the water
He ate up all the soap
Now he's home, sick in bed,

Seen at the Beaverton Farmers Market


Giant, walking, hanging flower basket!

(It was more impressive from the front -- I don't know how that guy didn't run into anything!)

And It Came to Pass...

On the four and twentieth day of May, in the year two thousand and two, it came to pass that a handsome Prince and a beautiful Princess were to be married.

And behold it was decreed that a festival should be held in their honor, and all the noble families from neighboring kingdoms should gather to celebrate the blessed day.

Yea, and even the Prince's family traveled from the mythical kingdom of Idaho to make merry with the young couple.

Zero to Summer in No Time Flat

Nothing says summer better than bare feet in the grass -- pink nail polish included! After weeks of 60-degree, rainy weather, we've been hangin' out above 90 for the past three days. It's time for lemonade stands, wading pools, and running through sprinklers. At least for a few days. :) We're enjoying it now, because we expect cooler weather this week, but for now, bring on the sunshine!

Preschool is starting to wind down, and Friday was bike day for Nicole's class. Here are a few pics of her and her little friends decked out in their helmets, holding road signs for the speeding cyclists.

Happy Birthday, Mom!

Three of my favorite people -- Katie, Rachel, and my MOM! This is us during one of my favorite Mom-created new traditions: the Cedar City sisters weekend! It's great fun traveling with these three ladies, mostly because we are constantly in stitches. Rachel and Katie keep the comedy coming, and Mom's laugh is so easy that we all have to giggle along.

Mom is the most fun, well-traveled, hard-working, kind, awesome person I know. My kids love her completely, and the endorsement of two angel children is the most powerful one I know. We are so lucky to have her in our lives -- we love you, Mom! Happy birthday and have a wonderful trip!

"I'm Free Years Old..."

...says Nathan! My little boy is growing up! He is now officially three and wearing size 4 clothes. Sheesh. His favorite things still include all the little boy favorites: fire trucks, digger trucks, basketball, baseball, dinosaurs, and bugging his sister. :) Here's how we spent his birthday:

Tummy Tuck, Anyone?

I've been surprised how many children's books there are that deal with life events a child might encounter. There are books explaining different family structures (nuclear, single parent, two mommies/daddies, etc.), how families cope with an incarcerated parent, all kinds of natural disasters -- you name a situation, there's a book to help your kids deal with it.

But this one takes the cake: My Beautiful Mommy. The book to help your child through mommy's plastic surgery. Seriously. Check out the link and be very, very disturbed by the Barbie-esque mom on the front cover.

Blustery Day


The wind is crazy here in Portland today! The kids and I were walking out of the rec center after Nicole's tap class joking about how it felt like the wind was going to just pick us up and fly us away. Then Nicole said this:

"It could pick us up and fly us up to heaven! If it picked up Daddy, then he could take his computer with him so he could click in heaven!"

Apparently the celestial kingdom won't be complete for Vernon without his laptop....

It's Right under Your Nose

Today the Pulitzer Prize winners in journalism were announced, with the Washington Post and The New York Times coming in as the big winners. That's not the important part of this post, though. I followed a link in the story to the winner in the feature writing category, and it was mesmerizing! Gene Weingarten at the Post put together a great test in a D.C. Metro station to see if people paid attention to beautiful things happening around them. You'll have to read the article to see what I mean, but I thought it was a great reminder to be on the lookout for beauty all around us. Kids are great at this, so it pays to be willing to walk at their pace, stop when they do, and see the wonder in dewy green grass, rolly-polly bugs, and the petals of a daisy.

Scary Stuff

Okay, gang, it's official: we're getting OLD!!! It isn't just turning 28 last weekend that's getting to me, I swear. Here's a list of things that make me feel old lately:

Little Seeds Wake One by One


Almost three weeks after planting our seed flats, we have seedlings! Lots of them! The broccoli were the first ones to poke through the soil. Then came both varieties of tomatoes, and finally the peppers -- both yellow and red. Their happy green tendrils are stretching up much faster than I expected, and I find myself checking up on them throughout the day as if they were my children. Vernon and I even talk to them at night as we're getting ready for bed. Okay, maybe that was more than you needed to know... :)

Happy Easter!

Happy Easter, everyone! Have you all sunk into your chocolate-bunny-induced stupors yet? We're still recovering from the sugar rush, as well as the usual Sunday runaround, but I wanted to share pics from our Easter week.

We were lucky enough to share our Easter celebrating with Grandma Nancy, who came to visit from Wednesday to Saturday. Unfortunately, both she and I fought illness during the week, but we still managed to have a good time. Mostly, we hung around home to give Grandma some quality grandkid time, reading lots of books and playing trains (Nathan is obsessed with Thomas the Train). We spent Friday afternoon dying Easter eggs -- and Nathan's hands. :) Nicole was especially proud of her pink, sticker-covered egg. She is one girly girl, my daughter.

100 Things


My sister-in-law did a 100 Things About Me list on her blog, and it looked like a challenge, so I decided to try and write my own. Who knew it would take me over a week to come up with them? :) Who's going to take the challenge next?

1. I hate running.

2. Mostly I hate the feeling of cold air in my lungs. (The burning!)

3. I like making cards for people I love.

4. I have way too much paper for making said cards. :)

5. Music is my passion.

6. If I could choose my church calling, I would be the Primary chorister.