Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Pinewood Derby

Mack's first pinewood derby.  He loved designing his car.  Greg's goal was not to be dead last.   Mack's car raced 8 times and never came in last.  It wasn't one of the fastest cars, but it was pretty good. I think the smile on that face sums it up; he loved it.

Christmas A Little (Okay A Lot) Late

Well I know Christmas is a long time past, but I never managed to post pictures of our amazing new Nativity costumes.  My talented mother-in-law made these fun costumes for our Christmas presents.  I can't wait to get these out each year and make them a part of our Christmas Traditions.

Here are a few pictures of Natali and Andrew's Christmas Concert as well.
Andrew wiggled, messed with his clothes, looked around, and yawned through most of it.  He cracks me up.

Oregon Coast; Let's Try Again

A few years ago we spent spring break at the Oregon coast in an attempt to see whales.  Well the weather was horrible and we saw nothing but wet.  In spite of this, we decided to go look for Grey Whales at the coast again this spring break. 

Another incentive on this trip was a chance for Greg and I to attend the Portland temple.  The Boise Temple has been closed since last summer so we have made visiting temples a priority in our travels.  The Portland Temple was the 8th temple we have been in since July(Boise, St. George, Draper, Columbia River, Boston, Twin Falls,LA, Portland).  It has been so wonderful to enjoy the different beauties of each of these amazing buildings. 

We arrived in Portland late Wednesday night after a rather uneventful car drive.  Andrew saw an animal that he didn't think was a house cat so he convinced himself it was a bobcat.  The rest of us weren't quite so gullible.  The last thirty minutes of the drive were spent trying to keep Emily from screaming.  We tried singing to her and soon learned that "Itsy Bitsy Spider" and "There Was A Little House in the Middle of the Woods" created calm, while "Teach Me to Walk" and other song routinely sung at bedtime, caused screaming that could break ear drums.  We were glad to get to the hotel.

Greg and I took turns going to the temple the next morning, then headed to the OMSI.  The huge science museum kept everyone busy for hours.  Natali loved the exhibit with fetuses from every week of pregnancy (This was the only thing I remember from visiting this museum in my youth - even more fascinating as a mother).  Mack loved the Lego exhibit that had huge Lego sculptures.  Andrew loved the earthquake simulator.  Kate playing in the childrens' play area and Emily loved pushing the stroller and exerting her willpower.

Then we headed to the coast hoping for clear skies. Friday morning no boats were going out so we enjoyed the hotel pool.  Natali swore that she packed her swim suit, but it mysteriously wasn't in her suitcase.  So she rented Mack's suit and a soccer jersey for 50 cents.  He wore his pajama shorts.

The Newport Aquarium was so fun.  Emily walked around saying "Fishy, Fishy, Fishy".  We could hardly keep up with her.  They have one building with a number of different tunnels of glass ( I'm not sure how to describe them).  There is glass all around you with fish swimming above, below, and on each side.  It was amazing.  The shark tunnel was by far the favorite. 

You've probably noticed the lack of pictures.  Let's just say I have a hard enough time keeping track of 5 kids so if Greg doesn't bring the camera, we don't have pictures.

That night Greg and I checked the weather.  Our boat trip seemed unlikely and we started thinking of heading out first thing in the morning to go to the zoo in Portland before heading home.  Well we slept in, ate our breakfast and started preparing to head to Portland.  As an after thought, I checked the weather again.  It looked like the afternoon might clear up.  So we hung around the coast until we got a confirmation that a boat would be going out.  So within an hour, we were on a boat.

Honestly, I never really thought we would make it on the boat, so I failed to take Dramamine - big mistake.  I was sick before the shore was out of sight.  The two little girls were scared and snuggled in close to me.  I got real comfortable on my bench holding a sleeping Emily on my chest with one arm and my other arm holding my barf bucket.  Kate fell asleep laying on my legs.  The girls slept the majority of the two hour boat ride; I was sick the whole time.  But the worst part was that Andrew got sick.  You know that boy is really in pain when animals are being sighted and he doesn't even try to get up and see them.  The poor boy was so disappointed that he missed the whales.  Luckily, Mack seemed impervious to sea sickness, standing at the bow of the boat the entire time.  Natali felt a little sick and Greg said he had never seen waves that big.  They enjoyed the whale sitings but we won't be signing up for another ocean voyage any time soon.
Emily, on the boat, before we set sail.

The boys, land still in sight.

Sea Lions - the only wild life Andrew saw before he lost it on the deck and took to his sick bed.

A whale tail.  Proof that some people saw whales.

There is a whale in this picture - just under the water of that little white cap.
The amazing thing about motion sickness is the instant relief you feel when you stop moving.  However, as we learned, if you continue moving, even if much less violent, the motion sickness seems to return.  After the boat ride we loaded up and started driving home.  Well I was pretty miserable, keeping my eyes glued to the road, but I failed to think of Andrew.  He managed to get most of the barf on the plastic mats, my arm, and Mack's snuggle blanket.  We were laughing so hard to keep ourselves from crying or gaging as we cleaned up the barf.  We decided to get a hotel room and do a little laundry that night.

We had a great trip but we're thrilled to be home, out of the rain, and on solid ground.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012


Kate signed up for Ballet this year and has loved it.  She refuses to wear tights but otherwise is thrilled to dress in her leotard, ballet skirt, and slippers once a week to dance with a bunch of cute little 4 year olds.  Here is her dance recital from this Christmas.  They were toy jack-in-the-box for the Nutcracker.  She is in the front row, one from the right, behind the box with the blue star.  She wasn't thrilled with the "not pink or frilly" costume, or having to wear tights.  You wouldn't know it from her stoic face, but she loved performing and can't wait for the spring recital.

Lovin' Her Kitty

This is from October, but it is one of my favorite Emily videos so I wanted to share.  Our little girl has definatly inherited Greg's love for cats.