April 24, 2016

the goslings!

Guys, I totally forgot to post pictures from last week of the goslings!

We were out on our back deck one morning admiring the pond and we looked down and spotted seven fuzzy yellow little blobs waddling around next to Mr and Mrs Goose.

On our way to the park I brought my "real camera" and snapped a bunch of pictures.

The kids know pretty well not to run right up to the geese, but Judah stepped dangerously close and daddy Goose started hissing at him. Hilariously, Judah hissed right back.

It was obvious as they got into the water that there is a little runt of the flock:

Come on little buddy! You can do it!

Whew! Then he made it!

PS the goslings one year ago , two years ago and three years ago!!!

April 23, 2016

cupcakes and coloring books: a rainy day activity

A few weeks ago James and I made a pact that on the next rainy day we would load up with coloring books, crayons, markers, and head to the cupcake shop. 

Well, yesterday was the day! 
Although it didn't really rain while we were there, it was nice to have an excuse to visit Bella Cupcakes and hang out there for a bit. It is such a cute little shop, and it feels very local and small-town-ish since it is minutes away from our house and my good friend works there and I get to see her smiling face every time we enter.

It was so nice to sip coffee while the kids colored (I made it extra special by bringing brand new crayons and smelly markers) and enjoyed their cake pops. For a few seconds. Then all the crayons dropped to the floor and the kids started running around.


A fun time was had by all. Definitely a great option for rainy day entertainment.
I would love to hear other people's rainy day go-to activities!

April 21, 2016

simple make ahead egg sandwiches

We recently bought three dozen gorgeous local eggs laid by happy chickens, so we have been all egg crazy over here, making all sorts of yummy egg dishes with these colorful eggs and their bright, huge yolks that sit so high...

Anyway, I was telling my egg dealer (hi, Amy!) about this super simple casserole that I pre-made and we heat up one little square at a time to make an egg sandwich out of and she wanted the recipe. Unfortunately, I don't really do recipes, I just kind of wing it. So, for her and for myself I decided to make it again and write it down this time.

16 eggs
splash milk (2 tbsp?)
1/2 cup bacon bits (maybe 4 slices? I used turkey bacon)
2 chopped green onions (chives would also be delicious)
plenty of freshly ground black peppper
tiny pinch of salt (the bacon and cheese will already make it salty enough!)

Whisk all the ingredients together and pour into a 9x13 glass dish sprayed well with cooking spray.
I baked it in a 375 degree oven (convection setting) for about 20 minutes. Then I cut it into squares (I think I got about 15), set a slice of cheese on top of each square, and wrapped them individually in saran wrap.

I keep them in a bowl in the fridge next to the english muffins. Any time anyone wants one, they simply toast the muffin and microwave the egg for about 30 seconds, then make their little sandwich. They are perfect for an easy breakfast, but my kids also love them for snack.

And the best part? My five-year-old can make his own!

April 19, 2016

tp roll people

As you may know, I love simple, easy, creative kid crafts that can be made with supplies we already have.

And, well, we had an excess of toilet paper rolls that I had been saving up, and I was pondering what to do with them.

At Christmas time, we had made these cute little TP roll guys:

So I figured, why reinvent the wheel? Just make more cute little TP roll guys (and gals, and aliens)

We used googly eyes, pipe cleaners, raffia, ribbons, feathers, crayons, markers, and construction paper. I am sure there are many more combinations to come!

PS one year ago - this was a crazy time!

April 13, 2016

poodle bangs: the story of an ordinary wild morning

I love to share my ordinary days for many reasons, but mostly because I want other mothers to know they are not alone in this messy, joyful chaos (now that would have been a good blog name) and because I want to remember these days in all their non-glamorous glory. 

I woke up this morning and, as soon as I glanced at myself in the mirror, I noticed my poodle bangs. My hair is not curly, but has become more wavy with each pregnancy (dang hormones), and I look a lot like a poodle when I wake up in the morning after showering the night before and sleeping on wet hair. So, I had to straighten my bangs at some point before seeing anyone. Truthfully, straightening all my hair would have been the best option, but I knew that just wasn't gonna happen.

Anyway, I went about my morning as usual: read my Bible, cuddled the kids as they woke up, made shakes, made coffee. Some plans were rearranged at the last minute, and it turned out I would be having a friend and her baby come over to visit mid-morning. So, the kids and I needed to change out of our pj's.

Elle dressed herself in gray sweats and a t-shirt. Whatever.

I asked James to get dressed so he also grabbed gray sweat pants and a shirt and headed to go change in my bathroom.

Meanwhile, I was attempting to change Judah, but he managed to escape my grasp as I tried to get the layers of cloth diaper on him.
Then he promptly peed on the carpet. I sighed and went to grab the carpet cleaner.

As I was wondering why James was taking so long in the bathroom, I heard some thuds and cries from the kitchen.

I ran in and saw Judah, pathetically and unsuccessfully trying to regain his footing in a ginormous puddle of urine that he had created. Geeze Louis.


I scooped him up and carried him into the bathroom, catching another glimpse of the poodle bangs, and started a bath for him. I quickly scrubbed the pee off the carpet and mopped up the kitchen, which unfortunately forced me to turn on the florescent overhead light that really accentuates the need of our once-white cabinets to be repainted.

I made the kids a snack, threw on a bit of make-up (still in pjs), then got Judah out of the tub and dressed. It seemed I had just enough time to throw on some real clothes and deal with the bang issue. I went into my closet and closed the door as best I could (Lane has some sort of pull-up bar hanging in the doorway).

No luck. Elle came in with a glob of sparkly pink something on her finger. "James has this and it smells good!" Good grief. What now?

I left the closet and demanded that James tell me what he had taken. He pointed to his room, where a tube of lip gloss I never use was on the ground. Oh well, at least it wasn't all over everything. I grabbed it and went to put it back in my bathroom. As I stepped onto the linoleum I was surprised that my sock stuck. I looked down. Sure enough, the floor was smeared over with something pink and sparkly. Ah, so this was what he had been doing the whole time in the bathroom: finger painting with make-up.

After that was wiped up I had just enough time to pull on some real pants and a shirt before my friend drove up.

We had a great time and, at one point, she mentioned how much she appreciated the reality that is me and my house. Poodle bangs and all.

The funniest part about this morning is that it was in no way out of the ordinary. Every day brings laughable, ridiculous adventures and tasks and balancing acts. Maybe this is why so many woman say that raising small children seems to go by so quickly- because you are doing the same things over and over, and it seems like you are not getting anywhere. Another messy diaper, picking up more dirty socks and lidless markers, making another pb and j... the repetitive messy work that suddenly seems to result in people. Truly, this is the best and most rewarding way I can spend my time, creating these little people in the mundane yet wild days.

PS random assortment of photos taken throughout my ordinary day. Photo cred of Judah and I goes to James

April 11, 2016

eleven on eleven: a ten on ten fail

I thought about ten on ten all day yesterday. I even had a reminder in my phone. I was confident I would do it...

But then, I didn't.

I kind of attempted- there was a blurry picture on my phone from grocery shopping, a few random pictures of my kids wrestling that were captured on the "nice camera" before the battery went dead, and then a few more too-dark pictures of the baby taken on my phone. But, overall, I failed.

So, Rebekah, please forgive my pathetic attempt to make up for it today...

April 10, 2016

miss jenny

I was out of the habit of blogging for so long that I forgot to tell you about the newest addition to our family!

... Nope, not pregnant... But we have a wonderful roomie!

She has been living with us since the beginning of November and we absolutely adore her.

Jenny loves our kids and we always say that they like her better than they like us. She watches them for us and also takes them on special dates, which they can't get enough of.

This evening she took James to dinner, frozen yogurt, and a play.

She reads with them, does art with them, runs around chasing them and dancing with them. She also seems to miraculously know when I need help right before dinner time, and always appears to entertain the kids while I throw the meal together.

Additionally, we have had so much fun getting to know each other better and we have become really close. Jenny is the type of person who genuinely puts other people before herself. She will do anything for a friend and puts her whole self into the people and things to which she is committed. Jenny lives each moment fully- with enthusiasm and a smile on her face. I am so impressed by her on a daily basis; she inspires me to be better.

Also, she is the Tina Fey to my Amy Poehler.

April 04, 2016

powell butte nature park

Yesterday, we went for a family hike at Powell Butte Nature Park, which, we discovered, is about ten minutes from our house. How we have lived here for almost four years and not explored this little gem, I have no idea.


It hardly felt like we were within the city limits as we walked up the hill and enjoyed the views.

 (Above: that's my life right there. Thank you Jesus.)

Before we arrived, we were afraid our kids might not make it to the summit, but the elevation gain from the parking lot is not significant, and the trails slop up very gradually. It was the perfect little loop for the older two, although by the end Eleanor was (apparently): hungry, had to go potty, and wanted to go bed.

She made it back to the car just fine and even became distracted from her supposed discomfort climbing around near the visitor center.

If you are on the East side, I highly recommend taking a walk up the butte. And, for entertainment purposes, definitely bring small children with you.