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26 December 2008

Happy Birthday Carus!

WOW, 7 years old!!!

Then:


Now:

25 December 2008

Merry Christmas!

MERRY CHRISTMAS!


My favorite gifts that I got:

My new sewing machine from Robert.


My new watch from Adam and Carus.


My favorite gifts that I gave:
MP3 players for Adam and Carus.
Digital photo frames to Grandparents.
(I took the pics from online sources)

24 December 2008

'Artic Blast 2008'

When I said I always wanted a white Christmas I wanted it to wait until Christmas day to start snowing!

Our weather lately has been dubed 'Artic Blast 2008' by the local media cuz they're special like that.

Our first snow was 12/14/2008 and it snowed, turned to ice, and then melted, which is normal for Oregon. But we didn't stay snow free for long! We got a little bit, then a little bit more, and then a bunch more. The kids last week of school was cancelled one day at a time and so their winter break was extended by a whole week. Lucky kids!

We got to play in the snow a tad, venture out to finish our Christmas shopping last Saturday, got a cold that knocked us on our butt, and got to just stay home doing whatever. Adam has been having a grand ole time with his video games and books. And Carus has been finishing up an art project. She is so creative!

We are getting another round of snow today into Christmas morning (hehehe) and we are supposed to drive out to St. Helen's this evening when I get off work (we are hoping that I'm able to get off early). Right now it is raining and melting everything, which will help driving maybe...until it refreezes - can you say ICE RINK on the road!

Gramma and Poppy are driving up today and are due around 5-6 pm. I'm so happy they are spending Christmas with us, but sad that they are only sticking around until Saturday. Quick visits feel so rushed and inconvenient.

Here's a slide show of some pics I have, there will be more to come I'm sure. Also, you can always check out my flickr!

14 December 2008

Faith Autumn



This is the first pic I have of baby Faith. She arrived 12/09/2008 around 9:30 a.m.

I haven't been able to get any stats on her, but I will update when I do.

Congratulations Uncle Cody and Aunt Karen!

EDIT: I got her stats. 19-1/2 inches and 6 pounds 15 ounces (which is exactly what Adam's stats were and I find that funny).

10 December 2008

Funny stories #2

When Carus was about 3, Robert was getting her dressed and she pointed at her nipples and said, "one day these are going to be boobies."

We were lucky enough to have family visitors for Thanksgiving this year. Terye (my mom), Peter (my brother), and Carie (Peter's g/f) came for a visit and on their first night here during dinner the conversation turned to Robert's recent birthday (30) and how he was now "old". (He isn't really old, the kids and I have just been teasing him because he said he felt he was getting old.) Adam then said he doesn't feel 30 is that old and that "you're not really old until you're like 50...I mean until you're like 70 or 80." I had to say, "Terye, he corrected himself because he thought you were over 50 and didn't want to call you old."

Adam made up a song: (sung to the tune from Sesame Street's Baby Bear 'He's a hero' song)

I have an eyebrow,

It is big.
It's a monobrow,

I used to dig.

He was unable to get any further in his composition because we were laughing too hard.


Yesterday I found I have gray hairs. I really don't mind them, they just snuck up on me and surprised me. I found it while I was waiting for Carus after school and when she got in the car we had the following conversation:

Me: I have gray hair
Carus: Na-uh.
Me: Yup, see.
Carus: Ha, now your old.

After picking up Adam after choir practice she told him that I was old 'cause I have gray hair, and that Gramma Barbara (Robert's mom) doesn't even have gray hair. I laughed and said, "Yea, well she cheats and dies the gray hair!"

09 December 2008

Baby Faith

My aunt and uncle have been hoping for a baby for several years with no luck. About a month ago, they recieved a call about adopting a baby girl that was due December 15, 2008. They said yes and have been working out the legal issues, and shopping, and planning, and getting ready to bring her home, and waiting and waiting for the call. They have named her Faith, because faith brought her to them.

This morning, I got the call that baby Faith is on her way. Aunt Karen flew out of Phoenix, AZ around 9:30 a.m. heading for Fort Worth, TX, and gramma left Roswell, NM early and was almost to Fort Worth around 8 a.m.

Now I'm just waiting for the call saying she is here and is ours...and eventually will get a picture of her.

Stay tuned!

07 December 2008

We are suckers!

We went shopping for the kids shoes and Adam 'talked' us into getting him a pair of Vans skate shoes. They were originally $50, but were on sale for $40. So, yea, we are suckers...you can tell a kid is growing up when they start showing their styles.

We didn't get them too big and they are made for getting roughed up so I'm sure he will outgrown them before they wear out...maybe if they are still in good shape we can pass them onto a friend.

Carus's shoes were a bit more of a challange. She just needed dress shoes since her sneakers are still in good shape, but I was unable to find anything in her size, that wasn't ugly, and didn't have a 1 to 2-inch heel on them. COME ON people! They are little girls, they don't need heels on their shoes! So I gave up and passed the task onto gramma and she found some really cute slipper like shoes at Fred Meyers. YAY!

Today, while going through pictures for a Christmas project, I found old pictures of the kids. Check them out on flickr

Our camera sucked buttcheeks then, but you can get the point. Some of the pics would have been amazing if they were of better quality.

Robert is bugging me to come watch Numbers with him, so toodles! :)

03 December 2008

Aaack!

The kids are growing too fast - I can't keep up!

Carus has taken to being hungry all day everyday. I seriously do not know how she is able to eat all that she eats! On Thanksgiving day she started munching at 9 am and was going until I cut her off at 7 pm because I was worried about tummyache nightmares and vomiting...she was golden though.

Since school has started she has outgrown/worn out: 3 pairs of shoes, 5 pants, several shirts, socks, stockings, and there does not appear to be an end in sight!

Adam isn't far behind - I don't think there is a single shirt in his closet that doesn't just barely come to the waistband of his pants, whereas they should come a few inches past. It won't be long until I can't pass them off at all and his tummy will be showing. His shoes have holes AGAIN and he is still insisting on wearing the expensive shoes that I got him last year (cuz he begged) at 2 sizes too big so he would have time to grow in to them and I would get my money out of them. It was a great idea except for the fact that they were worn out before he outgrew them. That was the end of the expensive shoes - back to Walmart/Target/Payless finds.

Adam is about 3 or 4 inches away from being the same height as me and will probably be taller than me (not hard to do) by next summer - or the end of next summer.

I have to get the new shoes now, but I wonder if I can push the new clothes out til Christmas and make that a few more gifts...knowing my luck they will sprout 5 inches overnight and come out with their clothes ripped and hanging off like the hulk.

It just seems to be one of those times when they are growing up way too fast...and I can't get them to slow down long enough for me to watch.

27 November 2008

Happy Thanksgiving



Happy Thanksgiving!

I made A LOT of food and we all got VERY full. Carus hasn't stopped eating all day. Everyone is a little sleepy (especially me) and relaxing playing games right now.

Terye, Carie, and I have made our plan of attack for the sales tomorrow getting up at 4 am...get in, get stuff, and get home to get to bed :)

20 November 2008

Thanksgiving week

Just got a text message from Carrie (Peter's girlfriend) and they should be here Saturday night. They are driving up from Fresno, CA and leave around 6 am Saturday morning. It is about a 12 hour drive according to Mapquest, and that is probably if you follow posted speed limits, which nobody driving I5 does.

They will be here for a week and I'm so excited. I wish I had taken the whole week off, but oh well. I don't have to work Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday - day after Thanksgiving sales WOOHOO!

Wednesday I have pies to bake, side dishes to put together, and I'm going to have Terye teach me to make homemade bread (again - been taught like 10 times...wondering when it will stick). Thursday is Turkey day. Friday I will be hitting at least one day after Thanksgiving sale. I LOVE the madness...crazy I know. And I'll take all that want to come. Friday evening is zoo lights!! And Saturday they have to go home :(

BUT IT WILL BE AN AWESOME WEEK! I've been a little lonely all by myself in Oregon...glad to have some visitors!

16 November 2008

Happy Birthday Robert

Well in 3 more days, but we had his surprise party today. It went well. Things did not go as planned, but you kinda have to wing it sometimes. He says he was actually surprised so WOOHOO! That was my main goal. He can be tough to surprise sometimes.

We had carne asada (and I have enough leftover for dinner tonight) and ice cream cake from Baskin Robbins. There were TONS of jokes and laughs and I think everyone had a great time - they better not have lied when they said they did!

I gave the camera to Carus to give her something to do and we got tons of pics of nothing, but on the plus side - it didn't take long for everyone to start making funny faces for her.

07 November 2008

The things kids find...

And then stick up their nose...

On Monday, while I'm working at the hospital, the school called....They wanted to let me know that my daughter tried to put a bead or little ball up her nose and another little girl in the class has convinced her that it was now stuck in her nose causing Carus to panic a tad (the secretary was pretty sure that it is not up there and has had her blow her nose a few times to see if anything came out).

After school, Gramma Barbara did an inspection and didn't feel like there was anything still in there. When Robert got home, and again when I got home, her nose received another inspection and all were satisfied that there was nothing up her nose.

Well, Wednesday night Carus blew her nose and a little blue bead popped out...*sigh*

She still isn't sharing what possessed her to stick a bead up her nose.

Daddy put peas up his nose as a child, and when questioned by his mom, "Cause there was a hole there."

Like father, like daughter.

04 November 2008

I do have the greatest husband...

Yesterday I worked in-house, which means I drove up to the hospital and worked there instead of at home, and then I had to go to the grocery store and deal with awful traffic and didn't get home forever!

But my husband made dinner, and fed the kids and got them ready for bed all before I got home. And it was REALLY good spagetti!

Then today he came home from work and asked me what's for dinner and I said I dunno, I'll figure it out when I'm off in 15 minutes.

And he pulled leftover spagetti out of the fridge and canned soup out of the cupboard and made dinner again, and had the kids eating by the time I got off.

Thank you Robert! I enjoyed being able to veg on the couch and attempt to catch up on my shows!

I love you!

03 November 2008

Halloween by Carus

I got lots of candy. I was Dorothy. I went trick or treating with Haley. Adam was a robot. Adam couldn't walk in his box shoes. We had a big group. It was fun. My pumpkin was a cat.

02 November 2008

Happy Halloween


Adam's costume was a HUGE hit. He had to get dressed downstairs and go out through the garage because he could climb the stairs. As we opened the garage a group of neighbor kids and their parents were coming up and they stopped and all of them (including the parents) went "Oohh, COOL!" and then Adam pushed the button and made the flashlight light up - "WOW! How'd you do that!"



As we went door to door we got more and more comments. Adam's robot feet came off quickly because they were hurting his ankle, but he still didn't loose any AWE factor. Carus was so recognizable in her Dorothy costume, and everyone loved the red ruby slippers (shoe covers). I am so glad that Robert found those LAST minute while we were shopping for our costumes Halloween afternoon.



The weather was GREAT. It had rained earlier and a lot of people were concerned that it was going to be raining, but it was dry. It had warmed up this week and while it wasn't warm, it wasn't freezing like it has been in years past.


We ended up joining with the group of neighbors that had the first look at Adam's costume and with all the tipsy parents we had a good time. It was nice to be in a bigger group which made us more visible. And Carus liked hanging out with her friend Haley. After a bit Adam's costume started poking his leg and rubbing and we ended up heading home before the rest of the group. When we got home Robert found that a metal wire from the air ducting was poking him in the leg.


We quickly got them dressed for bed and grabbed blankies and packed weekend bags and shipped them off with Gramma for the weekend.




Robert and I got changed into our costumes and David headed over to pick us up and we headed out to a friend of his Halloween party. We had fun and didn't get home until 5 am Saturday.





30 October 2008

Harry Potter & The Sorcerer's Stone by Adam

The Harry Potter series is split in seven books. Each book is one year Harry goes to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.

The first book Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone really caught my attention. It was hard to put down the book. Harry met his best friend, Ron, on the train to Hogwarts, The Hogwarts Express. He also met Neville and Hermoine on the train. When they got to Hogwarts they had to try on the sorting hat, which determines which house they join: Gryffindor, Ravenclaw, Hufflepuff, or Slytherin. My favorite house is Gryffindor because some of the greatest wizards of all time were in Gryffindor. Slytherin is my least favorite house because it produces most of the dangerous dark wizards.

Throughout the year Harry not only learns about how to be a wizard, but he learns about who his parents where. He also starts to learn about his past and how it is connected to his future.

I would strongly recommend the Harry Potter books to anyone who likes fiction/adventure books.

29 October 2008

GROSGRAIN MINI STORE OPENING NOVEMBER 6!!!! AND BIG PREVIEW GIVEAWAY!!!!

GROSGRAIN MINI STORE OPENING NOVEMBER 6!!!! AND BIG PREVIEW GIVEAWAY!!!!

Amazingly talented!!!!

I wish Carus was a tad bit smaller so she could still fit in these skirts, but I know of a few little girls that would be just as cute.

Holidays this year

I am SO excited for the holidays this year! I actually get visitors!

Peter, his girlfriend Carrie, and my mom are coming up for Thanksgiving dinner, which I'm hosting this year. And Gramma and Poppy are coming up for Christmas and they might drag Bud along too.

I can't wait!!!

Just 28 more days until Thanksgiving!!!!

Wait - second thoughts....I have to clean ;)

Adam's post has been delayed

I asked him to review the Harry Potter books this week. He had a good start to book #1 and then burnt out real fast - so I cut it back to just reviewing book 1 but then he decided he just didn't want to do the work anymore.

He has been given a new deadline of tomorrow afternoon for book 1 and we will continue with 1 book review a week until he gets through the series.

Stay tuned for more! :)

27 October 2008

My costume and Adam's costume

My costume is almost ready. It is Monday, October 27, 2008. 4 days until happy Hallowen. Adam is going to be a robot. I'm going to be Dorothy from The Wizard of Oz. My costume has an apron and the dress is white and blue. I am going to have red sparkly shoes.

Happy Halloween!

22 October 2008

Pumpkin Hunting by Adam

Last Saturday, I went to a pumpkin patch with my grandparents to get pumpkins. While we where there we had a free hay ride. Then we got to pet a rooster, 3 rabbits, 1 guinea pig, and got to ride a horse. The name of the horse I rode is Spider. He was completely white. I was nervous at first because I was high off the ground and I'm afraid of heights. Then, after a while, I wasn't nervous at all! The name of the horse my sister rode is Zippy. He's coat is the color of chestnut. There was one other horse, but he looked tired. My pumpkin is round and decent size. It is about 5 pounds. My pumpkin is bright orange, with a stubby stem. I usually look for a medium sized pumpkin with a stubby stem. There was a pumpkin that somebody kicked, and there was one that was the size of me crouched in a ball. I'm going to carve mine into something, but I'm not sure what. (I'm still thinking)

On Sunday, my dad and I started to make my robot costume for Halloween. We got a box and used dryer tubing for the arms and legs. I'm going to have a smaller box for my head with a rectanglar shaped hole so I can see. I'm going to have a small box over my shoes because robots don't wear sneakers. There is going to be a small light on my head with a wire down my back to a button in my hand, so I can switch it on and off. My costume is covered in tin foil. The lights are going to flash different colors. I can't wait for Halloween. I'm so excited.

20 October 2008

The silly penguins by Carus

10/04/2008

On Saturday I went to the zoo. At the zoo we went to see the penguins. The penguin was following my coat.

It was funny and fun. We loved it until the penguin left.

Kids updates

We had parent/teacher conferences last week (sorry I'm late about this - been busy and I'm easily distracted). Oooh look - squirrel

Wait, I was doing something....oh yeah!

Carus's new teacher is still getting to know Carus and he feels like she is adjusting to the move well. (more on the move and why there was one in a moment) He asked more insight into her learning style and where I would like her to improve - I would like her confidence in herself to improve. She needs to work on her reading and she needs to go with her gut on some of her answers. He showed the math addition drills that they were doing since it will be coming home as homework soon and when showed two sets of cards (9 and 10 and 2 and 10) Carus was able to add 2 and 10 without hesitation, but she hesitated on the 9 and 10. She paused and was counting to herself on her fingers and came up with 19, so he asked her how she found the answer and she said that she started at 12 and counted up and stopped at 19 (my theory is that she knows the answer with no hesitation, but isn't sure how she is getting the answer and lacks confidence in her answers so tries to prove she knows it....) She is doing great socially and is right on track with her learning. He hasn't had too many problems with her talking because he found out about it early and has kept on top of it.

Now the reason for the move - last week the principal called to let me know that there has been some staffing changes this year because of enrollment. Kindergarten enrollment was higher than expected and 1st grade enrollment was lower than expected. Carus's teacher was pulled and put as a helper to 2 other teachers in the mornings and teaching a 3rd Kindergarten class in the afternoon. 1st and 2nd grades went from 4 classes each to three 1st grade, three 2nd grade, and one 1st/2nd grade mix. Carus was placed in the 1st/2nd grade mix because of her learning style, how quickly she is learning, her personality, and her creativity - which the new teacher is supposedly really big on creativity and art projects.

Adam is doing really well. His teacher says he is very happy and is getting all the support he needs from home (and even thank me for it - made my day!). His reading is still above average, and he is still not allowed to bring Harry Potter books to school. His math is also still above average, but he is having trouble showing the problem solving the way they want him too (they need him to show how he finds the answer and how they want him to find the answer). Mr. K let me know that he needs to work on accepting that he can be wrong sometimes. He has had some trouble in group sharing/learning. His writing also needs LOTS of improvement - something we have been struggling with, but now I'm just cracking down on it more.

And that brings me to the point of this post - to announce that Adam will be making weekly contributions to the blog. He is to write a story every week. I might give him the subject or a book to review, or he might get to make something up. His posts will be every Wednesday.

Carus wanted to join in on this too (her writing is right on track for her age/grade) so her posts will be every Monday. She wanted to be first each week and Adam whined about being told to do it at all.

Her post will be posted shortly (you've probably already seen it).

13 October 2008

I'm a cousin again.....again

My cousin Emma and her husband Cody welcomed Reese Mae into the world early morning of October 12, 2008. She weighed in at a very tiny 5 lb 8 oz and 18 inches. And then they gave her a tinier bow.


Congratulations Emma and Cody!!!

11 October 2008

There was a penguin that had a crush...

We went to the zoo today - I try to go once every month or two. Nothing special going on. Quite a bit is blocked off and closed. They are remodeling to get ready for the new Africa exhibit next summer where they will have lions again - first time in like 10 years or so - can't wait for that. And they are putting up the lights for zoo lights which should open mid November. That is pretty awesome too. When it is cooler outside the animals are more active. We got to see the bald eagles really close up and we got to see the new baby elephant that is just a few weeks old.

Anyways, we went to check out the penguins today and there was a penguin that was swimming along following Carus back and forth. She would run one way and he was right next to her and then she would flip around real quick and he would too. He didn't want to follow Adam and he didn't want to follow other kids - he liked Carus.

Enjoy!


video

08 October 2008

The spiders around here are HUGE!


Carus has named him Bob
Originally uploaded by smiles2have
I have started putting out Halloween and fall decorations. Carus has named him Bob and he is a new addition - every year I get at least one new decoration per holiday. Poor Carus is terrified of all bugs - real or fake - and she has only pet Bob once and that was with one finger to his hairy leg for just a second.

I have some more ideas and we still have to get our pumpkins - and eventually carve them.

Our real spiders are still pretty big around here and have been making webs like crazy. I'm always walking into one and then I have to do a little dance to make sure there isn't a spider on me and then find someone else to look.

More pics can be seen here:
www.flickr.com/smiles2have

06 October 2008

Funny stories #1

While talking to my mom she suggested that I tell some funny stories from the kids - so this is collection #1.

When Carus was a baby Adam would watch me change her diaper and he would just watch quietly, or talk and coo at her to distract her so she wouldn't get upset. When she was maybe 1-2 months old, I was changing her when Adam announced, "her penis will grow in later." He announced this as if it was something he had been contemplating for awhile and he had finally figured it out for himself.

After relaying this story to my mom (which I'm sure wasn't the first time even though she claims it is) she was reminded of when I was little and my first brother (I have 3 younger brothers), Bud, was a newborn. She had explained to me about the umbilical cord and how that it will fall off, so once while she was changing him I noticed his penis and asked, "did mine fall off with my umbilical cord?" - She still nearly wets herself laughing.

Her favorite story from my kids is a recent one. Earlier this summer we were cleaning out their toy boxes and getting some old toys together to sale for the yard sale. I had them dump the entire tub and we had a keep pile, throw away pile (for all the broken ones), and a sale pile. When we had thinned out the mountain I decided the kids could finish up themselves while I moved onto something else. It didn't take long for the arguing to begin and neither one was helping as much as the other felt was necessary. Adam finally had enough and said, "Carus go sit in the sale pile so we can put you in the yard sale."

Another favorite of hers was from a few summers ago when I had my grandparents (gramma and poppy), her and her husband (Terye and Claude), my three brothers (Bud, Peter, and Charlie), and Peter's girlfriend (Kari) visiting for the 4th of July. Poppy had said that he was a little tired and wanted to lay down for a bit so Carus offered him her bed. He said he wasn't sure if he would fit and she said, "it's big enough for 2 fat people."

All young kids repeat swear words and mine have learned one or two - partly because I (and Robert) refuse to never swear since I'm an adult and have earned the right to say whatever I want, especially when I stub my toes; and partly because of our friend, David, who doesn't have kids and thought it would be a good idea to teach a 2-year-old Adam to say 'joto' (pronounced ho toe - gay in spanish). Another time, Adam was about 3 and got frustrated at Robert so he yelled the 'N' word and walked off. Thanks David. Also when Adam was 3 we were watching Mighty Joe Young on TV and Robert walked into the room. He watched for a moment and said, "that is a big fucking monkey." A few days later, Mighty Joe Young came on TV again and Adam, all excited, ran to Robert and said, "Daddy, daddy - Fuck a monkey."

Recently, I have been teaching the kids to cook so they can help with dinner and have more responsiblity. After Adam's first dinner Robert was teasing him by saying that the chef always eats last (I'm a great example of that), so the next night while Carus was finishing up her dinner her and Robert had the following conversation...

Carus: This is all for me.
Robert: But the chef eats last.
Carus: I'm not the chef, I'm the cook.

Our kids have little bits of smartass in them, we must be rubbing off. Last night Robert grabbed Adam and gave him a big hug that lifted him off the floor and his back popped.

Adam: Ow, my back.
Robert: Didn't it feel good to pop it?
Adam: No.
Robert: It feels good when I pop mine.
Adam: That's 'cause you're old.....der than me.

There was a pause and a look of 'oh crap' dawned on Adam's face...Nice save Adam.

Well that is all my empty, memory drained brain will allow me to remember this round.

I challenge my blog writing readers to post some funny kids stories. Kids do say the funniest things!

01 October 2008

Dinner


I've been the main dinner maker for years and I'm getting a little burned out, so I've enlisted the kids to start helping more. (Robert is supposed to help too, but he doesn't usually need supervision.) The plan is that eventually we will all take turns planning and making meals and give me a break.


Since Adam is the oldest he went first. He made orange chicken, rice, and mini eggrolls and he did awesome. All I had to do was be there 'just in case'. His dinner was so yummy.



Carus isn't quite old enough for me to just direct, so she got to help make chili.

She helped grate cheese, brown the hamburger, dump the cans of tomatoes and beans, and stir it up.

It was very good and she is a great helper.

More pics can be seen here: www.flickr.com/smiles2have

28 September 2008

I'm a cousin again...

I think that is how it works?


My cousin April, her husband Jason, and their son Clark welcomed their second little boy Harrison William into the world in Hawaii, 09/28/08 at 7:09 a.m. He weighed in at 8 lb 12 oz.


Harrison's big brother, Clark, has a new partner in crime!



Congratulations April, Jason, Clark, and Gary!

24 September 2008

Race for a Cure Portland 2008



I have been wanting to do this for many years and for one reason or another I would miss it. Well I found out when it was this year early enough for me to join in and the kids liked the idea of participating with me so they joined in. I am so proud of them for walking the full 5K (3.1 miles) and not complaining or whining at all! They are so proud of themselves and that makes me even more proud.


Portland's Race for a Cure this year was the largest event on the west coast and I believe it! It was SO packed! We had to wait 30 minutes before we could even leave the starting line. This picture was taken when we were about halfway done and there were 3 times that amount ahead of this and just as many behind us. This was just the 5K walk. There were 3 other 'races' before ours.



We had music along the way, and cheerleaders encouraging everyone to keep going. There were people in costumes and the kids got to get a picture with Chewbaca! They loved that. Many people had signs sharing those they have lost to breast cancer, which made me teary-eyed and there were many funny named teams (Hula Hooters and Save the Tatas). People in pink shirts were survivors (or current fighters) and there were SO many pink shirts in the sea of white...

When we were all done I took them out to lunch at Shari's - but the pic from that isn't great; perhaps the server thought I wasn't going to tip him.

The kids said they hope to participate again next year - and I hope we can too.

Recurring Characters


This is me. I don't have a lot of photos of me since I'm usually the one behind the camera, and because I don't particularly like how I look. What I see in a picture or in the mirror is not what I look like in my head, and that is a bit of a let down. Most pictures of me are from one of the many times that Robert has pretended to look at my camera only to take a picture of me, and I'm almost always saying 'don't' at the time of the click. This results in me looking less attractive than I normally do and somewhat pissed off (or constipated). About me? I'm the mom of two brilliant kids and I'm married to Robert. I love animals. My favorite flower is roses. I like to draw and paint, although I can never put the images in my head on paper, and I like to quilt, read, and learn new things. I want to travel the world, but haven't gotten too far yet. I am a people pleaser, but I'm working on that. I'm extremely loyal and love my family and friends. I work from home as a medical transcriptionist and love my job. There are pros and cons for working from home, but it works for me and I wouldn't trade it for anything - well almost.


This is Robert, my husband. We have been together since 1997 and married since 2001. We have had our ups and downs and have broken up and gotten back together more times then we 'should have'. I couldn't imagine us not being together and even at our worst - especially at our worst - I couldn't imagine not spending the rest of my life with him.

He is my best friend. He can always make me laugh or smile - even when I just want to be mad. He is goofy and nerdy and thinks he is the best thing since sliced bread - and sometimes he is. He is the biggest pain in my ass, and I know he would say the same about me. He is a great dad, friend, and husband.

And no Robert you cannot be mad at me for using the picture - stop being a dork when I have a camera in my hand. Wait, don't stop - I can't hog all of your dorkiness to myself.


This is Adam, my oldest. He was born in September 2, 1998. He is brilliant and funny and the best son I could ask for. He is responsible and helpful and honest. He started talking young and hasn't stopped since. The first thing we hear from his new teachers is always how much he talks.

He loves to read and can run through a large book in a few hours to days depending on whether or not I make him do something else. He is great at thinking ahead and expects everyone to be able to keep up. He loves to learn anything new and will spend hours and hours telling you any new facts he has acquired. Pick a subject and he will tell you all about it. He loves video and computer games and has tackled many games that are designed for those twice his age. Some of his favorite things right now are Pokemon, Yu-Gi-Oh, Halo, Diablo, EverQuest, his DS, Harry Potter, Captain Underpants, Roald Dahl, Spongebob, and StarWars.He is a great big brother - even when he is being too bossy - and a great friend. He has always been able to entertain himself with his wonderful imagination and loves to include others - but usually wants them to do things the way he envisions.


This is Carus, my youngest. She was born the day after Christmas 2001. She is my princess and such a girly girl. She is stubborn and probably a little spoiled and it's okay. She loves animals and has a billion kagillion stuffed animals that she could never possibly part with. She is funny and such a ham and has always come running whenever there is a camera around. She will try to weasle herself into any photo and usually succeeds. She loves being the center of attention and will do anything to get there.

She didn't start talking as early as Adam did, probably because he never let her, but once she started she hasn't stop - also to her teachers dismay. She is smarter than she knows and can pick things up in a second - and will be the first to repeat something you wish she wouldn't.

She likes to read, even when she is pretending she can't. She has a great imagination. And will draw and make projects all day. Her projects always consist of cutting pieces of paper into tinier pieces of paper and glueing them to make something new. She has an 'engineer' mind and loves to build with Legos and K'Nex and loves puzzles of all kinds. She loves having friends and will make a new one in just a few seconds. She loves to dance and sing and will jump at the chance to do either.

We also have several pets. In order of acquirement - there is Timmy and Wilbur who we adopted from Oregon Humane Society in 2004. We went for one cat - after much begging from me - and Robert found these guys.

Timmy has allergies (we think he is allergic to cat hair) and leaves kitty boogers all over the place. He loves Robert and will greet him at the door. He pushes me out of bed when cuddling up with Robert, but when Robert isn't around I will do when he wants petted or food; and he will sit on my desk batting at me until I give him what he wants.

Wilbur is a scaredy cat and spends a lot of time hiding in the closet or safely on his window shelf. He talks to you and is obsessive about being in the bathroom so he can get a drink from the facet. He will also hunt out any glasses full of water and then tip them over trying to get his head in them for a drink.

Simba is the alley cat and our only cat that is allowed outside. He was found in a dumpster as a kitten by Robert's aunt and when Robert told me about him I begged for him. He was my Christmas present 2004. He never lets you pick him up, but will curl up in anyone's lap that will let him.

Then there is Yoda, the pug. Robert got him for me - after much begging (see a theme) - He isn't the brightest dog and understands hand signals better then verbal commands. We joke that it is because he is Chinese and doesn't speak English. He snores and doesn't always smell too good, but he makes us laugh.

We also have a fish tank with several fish (depending on the day), snails, and a frog, but they aren't too exciting.

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