Happy Halloween

We had a very full day of Halloween fun! We made Creepy Cupcakes and Bug Juice for part of our themed dinner. This was our fourth year of trick-or-treating at the Friendsview Manor, a retirement community here in Newberg. It was fun to have some of the employees and residents remember the kids and notice how much they had changed over the last year. After going to Friendsview, we went to a local neighborhood with some friends and went around one of the blocks. By 7:40 we were all exhausted and ready for our nice cozy beds! Ryan said, "Man, trick-or-treating makes me really sleepy..." :)

This year Ryan was an explorer, Tyler was a construction worker like Bob the Builder, and Anna was a ballerina. They were the cutest little trick-or-treaters. :) We are off to our cozy beds to rest now. Happy Halloween!

Pumpkin Carving

We carved our Halloween pumpkins with the kids last night, they LOVED getting all messy in the slimy seeds. Tyler wanted a happy, smiley pumpkin. Ryan wanted a scary, spooky pumpkin and Anna wanted to put all the seeds back in the pumpkin. Ryan was emptying and Anna was filling. They were a pretty cute duo!

More to come after trick-or-treating! Happy Halloween!

A quiet day at home

Today Tyler woke up with the stomach flu, my sweet Tyler just wanted to stay in bed. Around lunch time I got him in a warm bath, fresh clean clothes, and back in bed to drink a little chicken broth. Too early. He fell asleep for three hours and awoke as my normal happy Tyler. Crazy how that happens.
We read some stories in his room: In This Snowy Place, Jamberry, and a chapter of Farmer Boy. Anna wanted to help read stories, cover him with blankets, and rub his head. She is such a little mommy at times and it is so sweet to watch her nurture her brothers.
After the stories, my own little farmer boy fell asleep. Since Ryan was still at school, Anna and I got to spend some time together snuggling, singing and painting.

After lunch and naps, Ryan came downstairs in a new outfit and said "Well mommy, I'm going to go hunting now." "Wow, you are all ready! What are you going to hunt for?" "Probably just a bear this time, we can make it into sausage and steaks." "Yum, that sounds great!' :) He is very interested in the woods and catching his own food right now. I am thinking he would love a trip to Mt. Hood, or even better, to the Rogue in Grants Pass. Nana and Papa would love to take him in their cool drift boat for fishing. :)

A quiet day at home is such a gift after a year of busyness. Lot's of good lessons learned. I am now craving simplicity.

Happy Birthday

Happy Birthday To My Handsome Husband!
We celebrated Aaron's birtday last week on the 22nd, with a party thrown by three sweet kids and lovely wife. ;) The kids and I had been planning for weeks: the presents, the party, the games, the food, the cards, and the oh-so-important balloons.

We decorated the house with streamers, balloons, Happy Birthday signs and pictures. The kids all helped me make two pumpkin pies, beef stroganoff, vegetables, and bread for the birthday meal. Anna learned very quickly to say 'pup pup pie sheeez' (pumpkin pie please) and the boys declared pie as their new favorite breakfast. (you've gotta have the leftovers for breakfast:)

Aaron came home from work to find us hiding with noisemakers to jump out and surprise him, shortly after, he opened his present, 5 weeks of guitar lessons, and a card that loudly played "I Feel Good" which Tyler wanted playing as background music for the evening. So cute!

We ate dinner and then turned out all the lights to sing happy birthday and watch daddy blow out the candles, everyone helped! It was fun to see the kids so excited to celebrate. :)
Happy Birthday to my best friend, soul mate, loving father, and amazing husband. I love you! xo


Ryan's first day of school this year was September 9th which is also his birthday. He was SO excited to go to school and turn five all in the same day. Since it was his "special day" he was in charge of the three S's: Snack, Show and Tell, and Story. The night before we made chocolate cupcakes with blue frosting and tropical fish, dolphin, and shark sprinkles with apple juice. For show and tell we brought in the kids' pet hermit crabs with fresh food for Ryan to feed them. he night before he wanted to practice talking about all of the interesting facts he wanted to share about his crabs. I asked Ryan what his favorite book was to share with his friends and he said (in a very big 5 year old voice) "Mommy, my favorite book is the Bible, that's what I am going to bring." I said "Ryan that is great, but maybe we should just choose one story out of the Bible to share." "Hey, I know...we can read about Simon and the fish while we eat our cupcakes with the fish on them!" Without planning too much we had the whole sea theme going with the fish cupcakes, Simon and the fish, and our hermit crabs! It was quite comical watching mommy carry in a plate of cupcakes, Anna (trying to eat a cupcake,) the hermit crabs hanging on by my pinky and a book under my arm. :) Teacher Loekie was so welcoming to all the children, and Ryan felt so special.

Here is Ryan at age 1, he still has that sweet smile. :)

After I picked Ryan and his best friend Corban up from school, we went to Corban's house to take him home. I let the kids get out and run around for a few minutes while Beth and I stood in the driveway talking. Ryan really likes to follow the rules, including always wearing a helmet, but for smoe reason he just hopped on to Corban's scooter (without a helmet) flew down the driveway, and crashed on some gravel. He slid under our car and hit his head badly enough to go to the Dr. for stitches. (Yes, this is still on his birthday, on his first day of school) Beth watched Anna and Tyler, while I took Ryan and Corban to the Dr., Corban was very sweet and wanted to hold his hand at the Dr. :) Aaron met us there, and the Dr. said that it was not wide but very deep, so they put a special purple glue (medical super glue) in the cut, put a band aide on it, and he was good to go. He was so brave the whole time!

After the Dr. visit, when went home to rest for a while. Ryan got to choose one friend to come with him for a birthday dinner, he asked Corban to come to Red Robin with us. They sang happy birthday to him and he got to have a birthday sundae.

Anna says "Where's my ice cream?" :)
We had a very full day, but Ryan still had a great birthday and thought his scar looked pretty cool. :)


I finally found my camera! I feel inspired to post again! :) I looked at all of the pictures that I haven't posted and it's been a while!

We went to the zoo (I think last month) with Ashlee and her son Gabe to see the new baby elephant. We left in the morning and beat most of the crowd, had a picnic on the lawn by the elephants, and took some fun pictures. The baby elephant was still very young and needed to be indoors with it's mother. I wasn't able to get a very clear shot of them.

Ryan, Tyler, and Gabe playing on the statues of animals.

Anna on a frog? I'm not really sure. :)

Anna pretending to be a goat. :)


In exactly one month from today I will be flying to Managua, Nicaragua for a one week trip with Agros. Agros has already established a small village of fourteen families in Norwich, about an hour north west of Managua. We will be re-visiting the village and the people, planting trees, playing with the children, learning and living with the villagers and witnessing the miracle of life in another part of the world. I will be traveling with my friend Nicole from Portland to Texas where we will meet up with the other seven people on our team. From Texas we will travel together to Managua, Nicaragua. A group of locals employed by Agros will pick us up at the airport and will be our guides for the trip. Nicole and I will be gathering school supplies to bring with us, and will be working with the children of the village. We have been coming up with fun games and crafts to show them while we are there, although I am sure that we will be doing most of the learning during our trip. I will be leading our times of team worship...(I will be needing prayer for that alone. :)

I am so excited for this trip and the opportunity to visit another country, to see how other's live, to be a part of a community thousands of miles away, and to pass down this experience to my children.

I will post more details as they come!
"One Seed. One Life. One Village at a time. "

To find out more about Agros visit:

To be a brownie

Sweet Ryan woke up with a stomach bug this morning so we spent the day at home resting and snuggling in jammies and blankets on the couch. I made homemade chicken noodle soup for dinner and it filled our house with the smell of fall.

After naps today, Tyler came down the stairs covered in (permanent) black marker. (Unfortunately I didn't get a picture before bath time. )

Mama: Tyler, why did you color on your body?

Tyler: I wanted to be a chocolate brownie.

Ryan: Yeah, and I was going to eat him.

(pregnant) Mama: Mmmm, brownies sound good. :)