Monday, November 14, 2011

Family Photos 2011

Hello!  I'm alive!  Things have been pretty crazy around here lately, and it won't be letting up any time soon.  I just thought I would share these family pictures we had taken last week.  Enjoy!

They're just from JCPenney, so they aren't all that great.  But we paid the exorbitant price they asked for the CD with copyright rights, so if any of you family members would like copies, let us know!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

First Pigtails

Sarah's hair has been at a very awkward length for a while now.  We try to keep clips in it to keep the hair out of her face, but she pulls them right out.

It's just barely starting to be long enough to put into pigtails. :)  Whenever I can get her to sit still long enough, that is.

Here are a couple pictures from the first time we did it:

I'm still pretty bad at it, but I guess I'll get lots of practice in the years to come!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Funny Girl

Sarah was throwing a tantrum in my lap while I was sitting at the computer yesterday, so I looked around to see what I could do to calm her down and saw the camera.  I grabbed it, and Sarah immediately stopped crying and gave me a cheesy smile and said "cheeeeeese!"

I quickly changed the mode on the camera to video to see what she would do.

Here's my squirmy little girl:

My favorite part is when she said "Ba-Pa" for Grandpa.  She said this one for the first time when we were Skyping with my family on Sunday.  It's so cute. :)

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Baseball in the Backyard!

Ask James and Paul what their favorite part of the new house is, and they will both probably tell you the same thing: the backyard!  We've got a lot of work to do on it before it looks good.  The "lawn" isn't much to speak of, and there are weeds everywhere.  But that doesn't keep us from having fun!

Yesterday we had a laid back Labor Day.  We started the day out right with fried rice for breakfast and then baseball in the backyard!  What could be better? :)

 Happy spectators, ready for a good show:

A few helpful tips from coach:



Our proud little baseball player to be:

And Sarah, our cute little bat girl, shagging balls with the best of them:

Hope you all had a wonderful Labor Day!

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

And So It Begins

Today James and I embarked on the adventure I have been dreading the most about motherhood...*dramatic pause*...potty training. Yep. I have avoided it long enough under the guise of waiting for James to be "ready".  Fact is, James would be happy to stay in diapers for years to come.  He couldn't care less that he's a late bloomer in this area.  He is, however, ready...and probably has been for some time now.

What with vacations and moving into our house, this summer has been too crazy to take on potty training on top of it all.  But we're here now, and we're settled, and frankly, I've run out of excuses.

Our first day in this new world had ups and downs, but fortunately mostly ups.  This morning we pulled out the Thomas the Tank Engine underwear and went for it.  We set a timer for regular intervals, starting at 10 minutes and gradually adding time.  We settled in at every 20 minutes, stretching up to 30 at the very end of the day.  It seemed to work pretty well.  We only had one accident, and there were even several times where James told me of his own accord that he had to go before the timer went off.

He filled up his sticker chart (which he has been working on since our very first feeble attempts at potty training many months ago) and earned himself a new book which he can read all by himself!

Sarah was pretty proud of her big brother, too:

All in all, it was a good first day.

Let's hope day two (and day three and day four...) goes just as well!

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Hooray for summer...

...and corn on the cob! :)

Today was Sarah's first experience with corn on the cob, and we're pretty sure she liked it.

James, did too. :)

Friday, August 26, 2011

We're alive!

Can you believe it?  I'm actually posting on our blog!  I'm pretty certain I have never gone quite that long without updating before.  We have had a BUSY summer.  It's been full of trips and family and moving into our first home!  I haven't been able to get good pictures of the house yet, but I will definitely get to that soon.

One of my biggest excuses for not posting on the blog is the ridiculously bad luck we've had with computers and technology lately.  Our computers all decided to die at the same time.  Even Paul's old laptop that we always used as a back up decided to give up the ghost.

Even now, the only reason I have a computer to blog from is that a coworker of Paul's was kind enough (brave enough?) to let us borrow a desktop of his that he wasn't using.  We still have to figure out our situation, but until then, here's a cute video of my daughter who is growing up way too fast: (Please excuse her nasty face and shirt.  She had just eaten lunch and managed to get it everywhere.)

Isn't she cute? :)  Hopefully you can see past that disgusting shirt to that adorable face.  You'll be happy to know that the stain from that lunch came out completely in the laundry.  Thank you, Shout! :)

Thursday, May 5, 2011


In the last few days, James has become very interested in writing and spelling his name.  If you ask him how to spell his name, he'll proudly say "J-A-M-E-S".

Yesterday, he was playing with letter magnets on the fridge and he said, "Look I spelled James!" I looked over and he had put A-M-E-S together.  He was just missing the J!  After I helped him find the J he spelled his name on the fridge all day long.

Today, he decided he wanted to draw.  He drew for a while and then brought the picture over to show me.  He drew Lightning McQueen (so cute!  I'm so glad his faces are starting to smile instead of frown!) and sure enough, he wrote JAMES:

Sorry for the poor quality picture.  The crayon color was too light to be picked up by our scanner.  The 'J' is backwards, but it's totally legible!  He wrote it with no coaching or prompts from me.  I'm so proud of my boy!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

What's this? A Sunny Day?

Here in Oregon we are finally starting to see some sunny days mixed in with the dreary rain.  Today's high is forecast to be 71 degrees!  As soon as I saw that, I knew we needed to get outside for some much needed vitamin D. :)  We packed up a picnic lunch, bought some sidewalk chalk and bubbles, and headed to the park  with our good friends Claudia and Claire.

I was sure to slather on the sunscreen and cover my kids' heads.  They are true Pacific Northwesterners, and they don't know what to do with themselves when the sun comes out.  

 James and Claire had a wonderful time running around and playing on the playground.

What a goofy grin!  I think he was having fun, don't you? ;)

Sarah was content to stay on the blanket with me and Claudia and play with the sidewalk chalk.

Ah, what a glorious day!  Beautiful sunshine, kids having fun, food to eat, and good friends!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011


James is learning new things every day.  He has recently made leaps and bounds of progress on his letters and numbers.  He now recognizes all his letters and has started associating sounds with about 1/3 of them.  He also can count things pretty reliably up to 20 (although he still skips 15 off and on).  

Within the last month or so he basically taught himself to recognize the digits 1 through 9 using the laptop toy he got for Christmas a couple years ago (thanks again Grandma and Grandpa Peterson!).  He was trying to answer questions about how many of various shapes were on the screen.  He would count them (correctly) but then he didn't know how to find the number to press on the keyboard.  I showed him that the numbers were in green along the top row of the keyboard, and demonstrated that if he started counting from the left from 1, he could find the number he was looking for.  I really only showed him this a couple times before he got the hang of it.  After that, it was only a matter of days before he connected the number with it's corresponding digit.  I had no idea he knew his numbers until one day he pointed a number out correctly on one of his toys.  I started quizzing him on them, and he got them all right!  He is one incredible boy, and he amazes us every day.

Here's a video of James doing some counting:

The SD card on the camera filled up right in the middle, so I had to take a break and clear it off before I could finish.  Here's the second part where he identifies his numbers even when they are out of order:

Next, I'll try and get a video of him showing his letters and their sounds. :)  I realized it has been a while since I updated the blog about this type of thing, and I want to fix that!

Monday, April 25, 2011

Easter Morning

The Easter Bunny visited our house yesterday, and he left tracks! :)  Here's a video of what Sarah and James woke up to yesterday (it's a bit long):

And here are our beautiful children dressed up for church:

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Fun Times

If you give a boy a cardboard box (or two)...

...he'll be happy forever!

While playing with these boxes in the living room, James said to me and Paul, "This is my room!"  We logged that information away for when we're househunting. ;)  The kid sure doesn't need much space!

Also, for your enjoyment, here is a short video of Sarah giggling.  It's been a lot harder to catch her laughing on camera than it was James.  As usual, her best laughs happened before the camera came out.  It's still pretty cute though, if I do say so myself. :)

I can't believe this little girl is 10 months old today!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Monday, March 7, 2011

A Train!

Speaking of growing up too fast, here's a drawing James did of a train this morning.  I scanned it into the computer, so hopefully you can see it ok.  I thought it was adorable.

James finished it and said, "Look Mommy!  It's a steam engine!  I did a boiler and I did steam!"  He is too smart.  And I LOVE his drawings. :)

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Growing Up Too Fast

My kids are officially growing up too fast.  Nothing I do can seem to slow it down!

James is three now.  Three!  I have a three year old.  He is really an amazing kid.  He loves to do puzzles and will sit down and put together 48 piece puzzles all by himself.  He plays games like memory and Hi Ho Cherrio.  He sits with his little laptop toy and his Alphie robot (thanks Grandma and Grandpa Peterson!) and teaches himself games.  He gets most of the answers right!  He knows almost all his letters by sight and is starting to learn their sounds.  He is starting to recognize his numbers and can count to 20.  He draws adorable pictures of trains and people and monsters.  

He recently went to the dentist for the first time.  He was so brave and even let them clean his teeth!

He keeps us smiling and laughing every day and constantly amazes us with his level of comprehension.  If only he would show an interest in becoming potty trained. ;)

Sarah decided last Saturday that it was time to grow up.  She crawls with her belly off the ground 90% of the time, and she pulls herself up to standing at things.  (Both of those things she suddenly did basically all at once last Saturday afternoon.)  She is so beautiful, and I look at her in awe every day.  I can't believe she is 9 months old already!

Here is a video of another new skill Sarah picked up in the last couple days. :)

Does anyone know how to keep kids from growing up?  I think I need to know.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Ballgame Redux

This is the other video Michael took for us over the weekend.  I know James has done a better job with this song in the past, but I couldn't pass up the opportunity to share his cute, raspy sick voice.  

More Scooting/Crawling

Sarah is on the verge of figuring out how to crawl with her belly off the ground.  Lately, she starts on all fours, moves for a little bit, and then gives up and goes back to her trusty army crawl.

Last weekend, Michael Ciaglo was here, and he took a couple of really great videos with his awesome camera (he is very talented).  This is one of them that shows Sarah trying to crawl.  Thanks, Michael!

Sarah also figured out how to pull herself to standing in her crib this week.  The only problem is, once she's there, she doesn't know how to get back down.  Poor thing!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

James Still Loves to Sing!

James just loves to sing.  He starts singing as soon as he wakes up in the morning (much to my chagrin sometimes, since he shares a room with Sarah), and he keeps on singing off and on all day long.  He sings theme songs from TV shows ("Welcome to our world, Word World!"), jingles from commercials ("Pop, pop! Fizz, fizz! Oh, what a relief it is!"), little snippets of songs from musicals that he has heard me sing ("Can do! Can do! This guy says the horse can do!"), and, of course, he sings primary songs which he learns from us and from nursery.  Today, we made a video of him singing "I am a Child of God", since it has been so long since I've posted a video of him singing.  Just before we recorded it, he was giving some of his toys a nap, and he kept switching between singing it in Japanese and singing it in English. :)

James has a bit of a cold right now, so his nose and upper lip are a little bit raw. :(  He's in good spirits, though, so hopefully he's on the mend!

Monday, January 24, 2011


Sarah doesn't like to perform on command, unlike her older brother, who loves the attention.  It's been pretty hard for me to get a good video of Sarah scooting.  She's gotten pretty good at getting anywhere she wants to go.  She's even starting to try and get her belly off the ground a bit.

On Saturday morning I enlisted Paul's help in making a video.  It worked a lot better than when it's just me. :)

I can't believe my little Sarah is eight months old this week!

Monday, January 10, 2011

Freight Train!

James' favorite book changes with his mood. However, one of his very favorites almost any day is Freight Train. Thank you, Grandma Hansen, for such a fun book!

Today, James and I decided to build a freight train out of playdough. (Ok, ok, I'll confess. James just said, "Let's make a train!" And I thought, "Oh my goodness! We have all the colors to make the train from that book!" So I took the idea and ran with it. Silly mommy!)

James absolutely loved it. Here's a video of him "reading" the book and showing off his cool train. (Sorry for the shaky video. I had to hold Sarah while I filmed so that she wouldn't scream. She's going through a Cling to Mommy phase.)

Unfortunately, after we made the video, James had to learn the sad lesson that playdough creations have a very short life span and we had to squish it and put it away so the playdough wouldn't dry out. What a hard lesson for a toddler to learn! He got over it pretty quickly (now he's making towers out of the playdough containers and knocking them down), but he cried big tears first!