So, Sarah and Lauren, you're showing us all up in your story telling abilities and I thought maybe I oughta get back in the game. I do have a fairly decent excuse for being silent for so long. First of all, I would sign in and it wouldn't recognize me so I was unable to do anything. Vernon said it had something to do with cookies (I guess I ate too many!) Joseph understood Vernon and got that taken care of. Then when Vern changed servers(?) I still had problems. With all that cleared up I actually do have something interesting to tell about. This past week our family was able to go to Yellowstone Park for 2 days and visit not only the beauty and wonder of the park (I appreciate it more everytime I go, perhaps because I'm older) but we also got to catch up with the Burlison/Finn/Clancy family reunion. We got to see John, Ron, Katherine, Pattie, Mike, Grace and her son Joe, his wife Karen and their two kids CJ and Gracie. It was nice to catch up and get reacquainted. The park was fantastic, everything was green and the animals were all out. We saw 4 bears, a moose, a coyote with her baby, elk and tons of buffalo with their babies.

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:

Let's Get CAMPY!!

CAUTION: CAMPING WITH CHILDREN MAY BE HAZARDOUS TO YOUR HEALTH! (and possibly more work than it's worth, but I'll never tell...)

We obviously disregarded this warning as well as the weather reports and headed for the hills with all our gear and all our crazy kids! The only thing that turned out to be truly hazardous were the "HOT" hot dogs....yeow! Nothing a little extra ketchup and relish couldn't fix.

About the caution tape: my in-laws were kind enough to go up early to Leslie's Gulch and reserve our spot. They did so with that yellow tape. It kept the boy scouts out and the kids in (well, sort of). As far as it looking like a crime scene, the only crime committed was the diabetic (not mentioning any names!) downing too many roasted marshmallows.

Happy Birthday to me!!!

Ooh la la, was this so yummy! What a way to bring in my 29th birthday! (much better than the last 3 times!) I had a wonderful day full of wonderful people. I was looking forward to a romantic outing with Dan, but he switched it up on me and took me to a different restaurant (which I have to admit I wasn't too thrilled about at first...) where all my friends were there waiting! Ami made me a chocolate trifle (see photo and drool) that we all shared for dessert. All in all, it was pretty much perfect. Your sweat was all worth it, Dan! I have to say--Dan knows what I want. Just earlier that day when the thought went through my head "what I really would like is a surprise party, but I can't tell Dan that because then it wouldn't be a surprise! Maybe I'll just leave hints for next year." He read my mind!

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.


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!)


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!)

Let some air in!

I love a fresh cool breeze wafting through the house. Dan doesn't like the fact that I leave the garage door open to achieve this. (Hey, you get used to the dirty diaper smell coming in from the garbage can!) Solution: Handyman Dan installed this beautimus door for me! I was telling Dan that the only people I knew in Meridian with screen doors were over 70, but he didn't seem too bothered by that fact. Hey, we're not old-fashioned, we're "retro!" And I love that fresh air!

My lucky little "terrible two"

Ok, Lukas and Sam both have 9 lives. Either that, or a serious death wish. During the last 2 weeks they have been spared multiple times of serious injury. Sam almost drowned not once, but TWICE (ok, once was my fault, but the other time was all his!), Lukas and Sam both "ran away" to the park (I found their dump trucks half way there, but no sign of the boys--talk about getting a pit in your stomach!), and then to top if all off, yesterday we were at the craft warehouse and Lukas pulled the shopping cart down on top of himself with Sam in it! If this happens again, so help me, I'm going to be the one dying--of a heart attack! Heaven help my two boys!! (well, obviously, heaven is....)

And they said it wouldn't last....

Here's to a Happy 9 Years, Baby!We've been on a journey of a lifetime together and it's not about to end! On May 27, 1999 we sealed our fate to eachother and the eternities and so far, so good! :) We were fortunate enough to get away for a day and a night and a day together. Ahh, alone time! We tried to go golfing, but the stars were not aligned in our favor and we ended up seeing the latest and not-so-greatest Indiana Jones movie. The best part of it was Dan stroking my leg in the theater. Other than that, can we say lame-o! Man-eating ants? An alien crystal skull? And how many times do we have to relive the road to Eldorado?!! "Themeless, dreamless, helpless, hopeless!"

But where was I?

Ode to our Sewer

*as sung to "Oh What do you do in the Summertime?" This post was inspired by true events that happened over the blessed Memorial Day weekend and almost succeeded in thwarting our plans of enjoying our anniversary together. Alone. Thanks be to Mike and Katy who stepped in and saved the day by taking us under their wings during our time of desperate need. It is lovingly dedicated to them, our heroes who "weren't afraid of no stinkin' sewer crisis". Sing it with gusto while imagining Dan decked out in a gas mask with a garbage bag strategically attached with rubberbands up to his shoulder.

Oh what do you do with sewage sublime, when muck is suddenly leaking?
Do you yell “what were you thinking?
The whole house is stinking!
Now clean up this mess or die”?
Is that what you do? So did I.

Oh what do you with the sewer slime, when the mystery wouldn’t flush down?
Do you plunge with a frown,
Or curse at the “brown,”
Or wait til the sludge is dry?
Is that what you do? So did I.

So Says Emily...

Em: I think the reason why you guys married each other is because you look like eachother. You kinda go together...'cause daddy is really handsome and mommy is really cute.

Dan: Yeah, they say that you start looking more like each other the longer you've been married. It's kind of like how people start to look like their dogs.

Em: It's a good thing we don't have a dog.

Couch to 5k

Running has got to be my favorite form of exercise. But I was not born to run. All through high school, I had nasty posterior shin splints all through cross country season and right on into track season. I think I understand now more the causes of shin splints and how to deal with them. They are a repetitive stress injury, where stopping the painful activity will make them go away. Also, there some things that can be done to help treat and prevent them. With all that in mind, I have decided to start running again. Slowly this time. Well, not actually _running_ slowly, but rather starting with a slower regimen. I read that one common cause of shin splints is to start up too fast in the spring. My schedule is one I heard of from a friend, called Couch to 5k. It is a nine week program that starts you running in intervals, interleaved with a brisk walk. The first week, you only have to be able to run for 60 second intervals. The second week it is 90 seconds, and so on. Each week you run more and more until you are running for a full half hour. I think this is certainly a reasonable pace.

Practically perfect chocolate chip cookies, my foot!

Our oven is slowly dying. When we bought the house, the inside glass panel on the oven door had one crack that extended from the top to the bottom of the pane. After I started baking bread, I wanted to get some steam action from the oven. One day, I accidentally dripped a single drop of water onto the open door. Sizzle, sizzle, POP! another crack was added to the pane which now has a triangular shard ready to pop right out if you pressed on it.

This is all in addition to the bad prognosis that the doctor oven gave us last time he visited. The igniter died and we had it replaced. We asked him how much a new window for the door would cost and he said it would not be worth it—just replace the oven. Oh, I almost forgot, when the house was still under the 'homeowner warranty', the oven went on the fritz and we had to have the front control panel replaced. The oven light still bugs out on us now and then, but hey, it's getting old.

Dessert Dilemma

Holly being caught Cookie-handed! Okay, so here is my dilemma:
We have treats every Monday night as a part of our Family Home Evening (Click here if you don't know what this is). We have a rotating chart that hangs on the wall, and each week one of the kids gets to choose what goodie we have for the evening. They love anticipating their turn and thinking about it for a couple of weeks while we rotate through the family.
However, it is tradition in my family that Sunday night is dessert night. Mom almost always made goodies Sunday evening. So, we are all home and together Sunday evenings and it feels like treat time.

Bunch of Blue Monkeys?

This pic had to make the blog-not so much because they look like a bunch of monkeys eating chocolate covered bananas, but because you had to see Holly's face. She got ahold of the blue eyeshadow(see two posts ago) and applied it LIBERALLY to her face. She asked me if I thought she was beautiful. What do you say? "Um, that is ALOT of beautiful, why don't we tone it down?" Well, actually, I just laughed and got a wash cloth.

Wo Wo-Wo Wo

This is Jaren's equivelant of a good joke. He puts two of his "wo-wo's" in his mouth and giggles. Here he is just hamming it up, trying to get someone to laugh. Your beautiful, baby!!

Dance Recital

Here is our pretty Ana in her dance outfit. She has been taking dance this year and loving it. Here she is back stage getting ready.