Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Opening Day!

If you know us at all, you know that we are a baseball family. If you know us more than a little bit, you've probably heard us complain that a soccer team took over the stadium in Portland and kicked out the Triple-A baseball team we used to have (We miss you, Beavers!). 

This year, baseball--albeit Single-A, not Triple-A--returned to the area! The Hillsboro Hops are the Single-A team for the Arizona Diamondbacks, and they had their Opening Day in their brand new stadium last night. Of course we were there!

It was a fun game. They killed their opponents, the Eugene Emeralds, 12-0. There was even a fireworks show afterword. Thanks to the Belnaps for inviting us and using your city connections to get tickets early!

So yeah...they may have a silly name (Hops, as in what goes into beer), and the concession lines may have taken longer than your average line at Disneyland (I'm not exaggerating)...but we are going to be loyal fans! Gotta keep baseball here! Go Hops!

Monday, June 17, 2013

Father's Day

Our Father's Day didn't go exactly as planned because both James and Sam were sick. We made the most of it, though! We all stayed home together and spent the day relaxing as a family and eating good food (if I do say so myself ;) ).

The kids gave Paul their funny little (dollar store) gifts that they picked out and paid for themselves. Everyone took naps except mom. We read books together. Paul and I talked to our own fathers.

I made a southwestern skillet for breakfast, which ended up being more like brunch. I made cranberry cola glazed ribs with brown rice, corn on the cob, and strawberries for dinner. And finally, I made french vanilla bean ice cream and brownies for dessert. The skillet was delicious. The ribs were tasty but dry (I'm pretty sure I overcooked them). And the ice cream was my best vanilla yet! I used a real vanilla bean for the first time. Thank you, Amazon, for the decently priced vanilla beans!

Ha ha, I'm link happy today. Too funny.

We asked James if he knew the song the primary kids were going to sing in sacrament meeting for Father's Day, and he said, "Yes! And I can sing it!" Here's a video of our little at-home performance since he was sick and missed the real thing (sorry to our family that has already heard him sing this):

Anyway, it was a wonderful day celebrating a wonderful daddy!

Baby Sam had a banana for dinner and he got it all over his clothes. But just look at that cute belly! :)

Thank you for all you do for our family, Paul! We love you!

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Sam Crawls!

It's been rough catching a video of Sam crawling. So far, he doesn't really love performing for the camera. However, I just seized the moment when I realized that both Sarah and James were sleeping and Sam was in a good mood. The conditions were perfect!

And guess what? Sam performed for the camera!

He was so proud of his accomplishment that he ended the video with a triumphant burp. Silly boy.

But like I said in my last post, Sam is definitely growing up way too fast!

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Growing Up All at Once

Skills Sam has decided to perfect (or in some cases attempt to perfect) in the last 48 hours or so:

1. Sitting
2. Scooting
3. Crawling (belly off the ground)
4. Pushing up to sitting from all fours
5. Growing his first two teeth

He's still working on the teeth growing one. I swear they are going to poke through any minute now. (PLEASE poke through any minute now!!)

It has been a crazy few days with this little guy. How many times do I have to yell at the clock to slow down before it will actually happen?

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

The Cutest Ponytail

Over Memorial Day weekend I got to go to a good friend's wedding in Phoenix. On Sunday morning, Paul sent me these pictures. Apparently Sarah asked Paul to put her hair in a ponytail for church. 

In case you don't know Paul very well, he definitely isn't accustomed to doing hair. I'm pretty sure this was his first pigtail ever. He did a pretty dang good job, no? :) Way to go, Dad!

Monday, June 3, 2013

Sarah Turns Three!

My little girl is already three years old. I'm not sure how it happened. I need to figure out how to slow down the clock. Seriously.

Sarah had a great birthday! It was especially fun because grandma was here to celebrate. We started the day out with the traditional treasure hunt. She got "pink clothes". (We asked Sarah what she wanted for her birthday, and she said, "Pink clothes!")

She was a very excited little birthday girl!

Her breakfast cereal of choice for her special day was Marshmallow Mateys. And for lunch we made a trip to McDonald's. (Thanks for the lunch, Bum!) While we were there, we reenacted a photo from more than two years ago:

First french fry...101st french fry? (Who am I kidding? The girl's clearly had more than 100 french fries.) The cheeks aren't so perfectly round anymore, but she's still got the bright, beautiful blue eyes!

For dinner, Sarah requested something with rice, so we had sweet and sour stir fry (Sarah especially loves the pineapple). Then, we had some friends over for dessert and present opening.

Sarah chose white cupcakes with pink frosting and sprinkles, as well as homemade chocolate ice cream.

Like most three year olds, Sarah was thrilled about opening presents. She especially liked the clothes.

One of Sarah's favorite things is singing Happy Birthday to people. You should have seen her grin when we sang it to her!

Happy birthday, my beautiful little girl!

Monday, May 20, 2013

Our Week of Fun with Natalie

Natalie has been living up here in Oregon for the last three years going to optometry school at Pacific University. Unfortunately for us, her schooling here came to an end at the beginning of May and she moved on to her rotating internships (starting with Salt Lake City). We loved having her close by. She came over for Sunday dinner almost every week. She watched my kids countless times (one year almost every Tuesday night while I went to choir practice and Paul went to scouts!). She practiced her new skills on us. She came to hang out even when she was busy with school. We will miss her SO much.

Natalie finished her classes at the beginning of May, but she didn't need to leave right away, so she made us very happy by spending her last week in Oregon staying at our house and hanging out with us! We didn't go very many places or do anything crazy, but we had a lot of fun. I'm so glad we got to have one last week together before she started her next adventure.

Now, if I were cooler, this post would be full of awesome pictures depicting all the things we did during the week. Unfortunately, as I have mentioned multiple times before, I'm terrible at taking pictures when I should, so instead I just have a few really random ones.

We started our week with Cinco de Mayo and then a morning at the dentist. At least I took pictures of those days!

Over the rest of the week, we ate some tasty food including Regina Bunker's pancakes (of course!), half-priced "happy hour" donuts from Krispy Kreme, teriyaki meatballs (one of Natalie's favorites), mini M&M chocolate chip cookies, and homemade patty melts that I enjoyed more than anyone else.

We saved the princess over and over (that dang princess just keeps getting kidnapped! ;) ), and Natalie accomplished her goal of beating me at Dr. Mario. We watched a few hilarious episodes of Boy Meets World and a so-bad-it-became-hilarious movie.

We ran some mundane errands that were turned into fun ones simply because Natalie was there. Natalie even came to my choir practice since she won't be able to come to our concert in a couple weeks.

Natalie found out on Wednesday that week that she passed the first part of boards with flying colors. She is well on her way to officially being Dr. Natalie! It was fun to be together to celebrate. We went to Cold Stone for milkshakes. :)

At Natalie's White Coat Ceremony last year. She looks dang good in her white coat! :)

Jamie joined us on Thursday night and the three of us stayed up laughing and talking until about 3:00 in the morning. Can't remember the last time I did that! (Yes, Natalie, you have power over me. But real.)

Over the weekend, in between playing games and eating junk food, we went through Natalie's belongings and packed up her car to the brim for the long trek to Utah. Jamie, Natalie, James, and Sarah washed our cars on Saturday afternoon.

We had one last "Sunday" family dinner on Saturday night, and then they were off bright and early Sunday morning.

Sarah and James' last piggyback up the stairs for bedtime. What a fun aunt!

We'll miss you, Natalie! Good luck with your first day today!

Friday, May 17, 2013

Mother's Day

It was a pretty busy but happy Mother's Day for me.

I made 72 cupcakes for Relief Society.

Paul and the kids made fried rice for me for breakfast, and then they presented me with letters:

Translation: "Dear Mommy, Thank you for the present you gave me for my birthday. I love that you sing and that you teach me stuff. Happy Mother's Day. Love, James"
This is Sarah's first attempt at drawing people. I can't get over how cute they are. (It's me and her, of course.)
Hard to see, but those are the cutest little hands in the whole world. I may be a little biased, though. :)

James sang with the primary during sacrament meeting and then we had a wonderful (and emotional) Relief Society meeting where each of us in the presidency talked about what we have learned from our mothers.

When we came home, Paul cleaned up the whole kitchen (which was quite a mess after the cupcake project) while I got to do something really fun:

A Google Hangout with my WHOLE family! It was really fun to talk to Michael (who is currently serving his mission in Tooele, Utah). We had representation from all over the country: my mom in Colorado, my dad on a business trip in Florida, Jamie and Natalie in Tremonton, UT (they weren't all the way done with their trip yet, so they stopped at a McDonald's to use their free wifi. :) ), me in Oregon, Paula in South Jordan, UT, and Elder Michael in Tooele, UT! We had a great time talking.

After that, the Harrises came over and Jeff and Paul made tonkatsu for us for dinner and then strawberry shortcake for dessert. It was so nice! A Happy Mother's Day, indeed!

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Father and Sons Campout

Last weekend Paul and James were so excited to go on the ward father and sons campout. It was James' second time, and he just couldn't wait. Every day of the week leading up to it he'd ask me how many days were left.

The two of them had a blast at the campout and even stopped at the Tillamook Cheese Factory before heading home. Here are a few pictures from the adventure:

James is all, "ICE CREEEEEEEAM!"

Sarah can't wait for her turn!

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Root, root, root for the....Yankees?!

Last night was Paul's Opening Night! Even though it was clear across Portland and would mean quite a late bedtime for the kids, we couldn't miss it! Paul was so excited, and so were we.

It was a tad chilly after the sun went down, and James required us to make not one but THREE trips to one of the nastiest port-a-potties I have ever encountered, but all in all we had a great time cheering on Paul and the rest of the Portland *gulp* Yankees.

I'm not sure it will get easier to cheer for the Yankees! We'll keep on trying, though. Around when it would have been the 7th inning stretch (which actually ended up being the end of the game), James and Sarah and I sang "Take Me Out to the Ballgame", and it was so unnatural to sing, "Root, root, root for the Yankees". It was definitely a first for me.

Paul went 1 for 2, with a single that ended up scoring the only run for their team. They ended up losing 3-1, but it was a good game!

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Sarah's First Dentist Appointment

Yesterday we packed up all the kids into the back of Natalie's little Honda Civic and made a big trip to the dentist. Sarah, James, and I all had cleanings, but for Sarah it was special because it was her first time! She was so excited to have her turn in the big chair like she has seen her brother do.

And she did such a good job! On James' first visit (which you can see pictures of here), he was very timid and wouldn't let them come anywhere near him with the suction tube. Sarah let them do everything! They cleaned her teeth and put fluoride foam on them. She was a very brave little girl!

Ready to get started!

So happy to be in the big chair.

A little bit concerned...

All clean!

James did very well, too! He let them take four great x-rays (the hygienist didn't even use the pediatric sized tools), and he did his fluoride foam in a tray! What a trooper!

We won't talk about how my cleaning went. Let's just say pregnancy does a number on your teeth, and I've had three of them. Also, I hadn't had x-rays done for a year and a half (due to some unavoidable delays and being pregnant with Sam). It wasn't a pretty picture. Yikes.

A big thank you to Natalie, who sat in the waiting area the whole time and took care of Sam and the other two kids when it wasn't their turn! I am so glad you were with us!

Monday, May 6, 2013

How this (very white) family celebrates Cinco de Mayo

So, we may have absolutely no Mexican blood in our bones. And we may not even really know why the holiday exists in the first place. But we sure love Mexican food!

This is how we celebrated the day.

Cafe Rio style pulled pork taco salads:

And homemade churros!

Happy Cinco de Mayo!

Friday, May 3, 2013

It's Friday!

Today is Friday, and it's currently 75 degrees outside and sunny. In my world, that is perfect weather. We walked to the park today and met up with some good friends. We ended up spending close to three hours there, and I may have stayed longer except I didn't bring lunch! I just wanted to stay outside. I could practically feel my body soaking up the Vitamin D (we're pretty deprived of it up here in the Pacific NW).

Thank goodness for days like these!

Oh, and of course I didn't take any pictures. Silly me! So, since a blog post without pictures is kinda depressing, here's a cute one of James and Sarah from a couple weeks ago:

Now I'm off to figure out how to spend the rest of this glorious day outside. :)

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Sam is Six Months Old!

How this is possible, I will never know. But the calendar doesn't lie, and somehow our little Samuel Kenji has already lived for half of a year in our family! He is a sweet and easy going baby, and I can't imagine our family without him.

A few things about Sam at six months:
  • He is finally sleeping in his own room, and he seems to enjoy it. Last night he slept for almost 12 hours!
  • He loves to be included in the action, especially when his older siblings are involved.
  • He gets super frustrated that he isn't mobile yet. A few months ago, he'd get mad whenever we put him on his tummy because he hadn't mastered rolling over. Now that he rolls all over the place, he just gets frustrated that he can't figure out how to get himself to where he wants to go!
  • He is a drool machine. Hopefully the teeth he's working on growing will poke through soon so that he can get some relief in that department.
  • He's quite ticklish, and we can almost always get some good laughs out of him by tickling his tummy, neck, or legs.
We love our Baby Sam!