Friday, October 29, 2010



Spencer (while doing homework): "I hate lowercase letters. They're boring! I only like uppercase letters."

Waimea: "I eat boogers."

Me: Waimea, that's gross. Please don't eat your boogers!"

W: "No, boogers are YUMMY!"

Lovely. Just lovely.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Spencer's Solution

He wanted to pull a wagon AND be pulled on one. It just couldn't be one or the other.

(So guess who did all the work?)

Monday, October 25, 2010

A Productive Day

Saturday was a day of accomplishments. Some small, some not so small.

Here's the big:

(Sorry about the sideways viewing--if you know how to fix this, let me know)

The best part about it was that it required almost nothing from us. We filled his tires with air, he hopped on, and after a few wobbly starts, he was off.

And the not-quite-as-big:

We made a dent in the wood pile in our living room by:

-finishing the trim work around our windows (only a good year after they were installed).
-installing the baseboards in two of our bathrooms. (One bath had been over a year without them, and the other about 6 months).

If only all Saturdays could be so productive.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Happy Birthday, Waimea!

If you ask her, she'll tell you she's six now. Only once has she admitted that she's three.

Yesterday we threw her a princess party. She invited her good friends: C, A, and J, who all dressed up with her. We had lunch, decorated foam crowns and wands, and danced to princess music. And, of course, there were cupcakes. Who'd have ever thought I'd have such a girly daughter?Three Cinderella's and one Aurora:

Today we had a more low-key family party. Opening presents (lots and lots of princess things):

And more cupcakes:

They sure grow up fast:

We love you, Mea! Happy Birthday!

Camping at Voorhees State Park

This last weekend (the 8-10th) we decided we needed to get one last camping trip in before all the state parks closed for the winter, and before it got too cold. We decided on Voorhees State Park because it was just about an hour away from us, and because they had these "shelters":
We weren't sure how cold it was going to be, and we didn't want to risk it, so we rented one of them. They have four bunks, a picnic table, and a wood-burning stove inside, and another picnic table and a fire ring outside. They charge by the bunk, so for a family of four, it was almost as expensive as a cheap hotel room, but much more fun.

Here are some pictures:

Enjoying the scenery from the front porch:

Going on some "hikes":

Attacking daddy in his bunk first thing in the morning:

Evan using his birthday present for the first time:

I love this picture:

Not pictured, but probably the highlight of our trip: visiting the Astronomical Association's observatory which was located in the park. We went at night and were able to look through some telescopes, including their 26-inch Newtonian reflector scope. We saw Jupiter and three of its moons, the Andromeda Galaxy (supposedly the furthest thing that can be seen with the naked eye), and a nebula (an exploded star). Pretty neat stuff.

What we didn't like were the stink bugs. They were all over the shelter when we arrived. We had to go on a bug-killing spree the first night before we could sleep soundly. (It reminded me a little too much of the mosquito-killing hunts we had to do in Finland, June 2009). And somehow they kept finding their way inside the next day, though there were a lot less to kill that night. Harmless creatures, but VERY annoying.

All in all, though, we had a great weekend, much of it spent outdoors, which I love. With Winter fast approaching we've got to get as much outside-time in as possible.

October Happenings

Evan and I have never been able to get much out of General Conference with the kids around. Thinking about it now, it's probably because we've never prepped the kids for it. Of course they're not going to be happy about us hogging the tv for hours on a Saturday, telling them to be quiet, not going anywhere, and not paying much attention to them.

But this year, thanks to the suggestions in the Friend magazine, we had a Family Home Evening dedicated to talking about conference and why we listen to it, using the example of King Benjamin in the Book of Mormon. And to make things fun for the kids, we decided to pitch our tent with the opening facing the tv:
We had a picnic lunch in the living room. We played Conference Bingo with the kids as we listened to the speakers, and we had special treats for them to eat. And between sessions we made sure we got out of the house and let them run free.

And when the kids got tired of staying in the living room, we just explained to them that we needed to listen the prophet and apostles, and if they wanted to make noise, they needed to go upstairs and play by themselves. And they did. All in all, it was a great Conference experience.

What do you do to make Conference time special?

Also this month we went apple picking with the play group. I don't know if Waimea actually picked any apples, but she sure had a blast climbing up and down the ladder:

My Little Helper

Dressed up. Of course.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Happy Birthday, Evan

Yeah, that was a month ago. September 12.
We can't remember what I made him for dinner, but according to him, "whatever it was, it was really good."

Instead of a cake, he wanted a giant cookie-cake. Not a cookie-sheet-like cookie, but a cake-type cookie--thick, crusty outside with a warm, gooey inside. I found a recipe here, but instead of spreading it out in a cookie sheet, I put it in a 9 x 13 pan and cooked it for an hour. SO good right out of the oven, with ice cream melting on it.

What did we give him? You're going to laugh. But he claims it's the best birthday gift ever. That evening he sat on the internet looking up reviews and videos on YouTube. He was so excited to receive it, but he had no way to actually use it...yet. Here is what he got:
It's the Fiskars 28-Inch Pro-Splitting Axe.

While camping in Maine this summer, using our crappy Walmart hatchet to chop wood, I decided that for his birthday I'd give him a good axe. When I started doing research online for axes, I found that Fiskars makes them. Fiskars is a Finnish brand. (And for those of you who know me well, you know that I like to claim that "everything Finnish is better"). Fiskars has been making "the world's finest cutting instruments" since 1649. If you've ever owned a really really good pair of scissors, chances are they are Fiskars brand. Evan can tell you all about why the design of this particular axe is so good. All I know is that it's Fiskars, so of course it's good.

Anyway, enough plugs about Fiskars and Finland. Happy Birthday, again, Evan!

(Check out the Fiskars website:

Wednesday, October 6, 2010


Yesterday may as well have been Christmas with how excited Evan was with what came in the mail. Here they are: (Operations Management: Processes and Value Chains)

And his favorite:

He ordered these with his birthday money.

Did I really marry such a brainiac?