Nov 29, 2016

Road trip and baptism

We decided to hit the road for Thanksgiving this year and go to Utah. Caleb's parents live there now, his sister, grandpa, lots of aunts and uncles. I also have quite a few family members there, my cousins and some aunts and uncles. I drove myself with the three kids on Monday and Caleb came with my parents on Wednesday. Driving there with the kids was actually pretty easy. It was around 14 hours to get from Salem to Highland Utah where Jocelyn lives. We got there around 8:30 at night since we lost an hour due to time changes. The kids were in heaven as soon as we arrived. Jocelyn's house is amazing and Shelby had plenty of girl things to play with. Tuesday we met up with Jessica and all of us went to a kid museum. It was so much fun. The kids explored and we spent hours there. Calvin stayed the night with Jessica because he is in love with his cousin James. Wednesday we hit the road back to Logan and got to stay at Jenny and Kurt's. Jenny is Caleb's sister and their house is like a playground. There is a sand pile, an outdoor play house, a pony the kids can ride, huge horses that pull wagons, and even a couple of sheep. Wednesday night Caleb got to Logan so we were finally all together. Thursday was Thanksgiving and Jenny hosted a great dinner. We all ate too much and had a good time talking. Friday my cousins came to Jenny's. Jessica and Steve with their four boys, Jocelyn and her three girls, and Jonah and his wife Maddy. We spread out all over the house and the kids played outside for hours. Saturday was Shelby's baptism and the whole family was there. She had everyone who stayed with us at Jenny's house, plus grandparents Eric and Wendy and my mom and dad. Aunt Penny came with her son Cole and his daughter.

Shelby and I went dress shopping with Jocelyn and just as I expected, finding a dress for her was not too easy. She wouldn't even touch half of them. The one she loved at first sight, she hated the way it felt. So we got a slip and she still couldn't handle it more than a couple of seconds. Another one had sequence type sleeves and she said she could wear it as long as she could hold her arms out the whole time and not move them. Since that wasn't an option we found another one that she didn't want to try on. She kept telling me it was too fashionable. She's not that into fashion. Jocelyn and I were cracking up. Anyway, I convinced her to try it on and as soon as it was on her she loved it. It was comfortable and didn't bother her skin.

The baptism itself could not have been more adorable and amazing. Keith her cousin gave the opening prayer. All he said was "Help the water to be not too hot and not to cold for Shelby so she will get in". Adorable. The closing prayer was Kasen her cousin, he said "Help the food to be good and don't let us crash on the way home". I love kids prayers. They are so practical and sincere.

My dad was the conductor, Jocelyn was our chorister, Wendy on the piano, my mom did the baptism talk, Eric did the Holy Ghost talk, and of course her dad did the baptism. It was pretty amazing. Shelby still remembers the talks a couple of days later, so they said something that stuck for her. Even Calvin can still remember the talks. Shelby said when she got the Holy Ghost, it tickled her.

After the baptism we went back to Jenny's and it was another outdoor party. It was sunny, warm, and they have so many amazing animals that there is something for everyone. That night we got to have an amazing visit with Caleb's grandpa Bob. He was in a rehabilitation center, which is the same place he was the last time I saw him. He's in there for the same reasons, just a couple years apart. He is still very smart, kind, and funny. I'll never forget he said "Our dumb ass president Obama". Haha, never a question of his Republican heart. I know where Caleb's family gets it. We told him about our trip to Washington DC, our new business adventure, talked about our kids, reminded him that he baptized Caleb when he was 8. We were there for two hours and time flew by. We sure love that guy.

On Sunday we hit the road to come home. We woke up super early so we could get back and left Logan by 5:30 am. Since that's an hour early from our time, it felt super early! But I am so glad we left then because Calvin was sick. He's had a cough the whole time in Utah and the way home was the same. Really bad cough and he even threw up in the car. Luckily I had my emesis bag. Caleb was reaching for a plastic sack and he ripped it. But while I was driving I grabbed my trusty blue, got it in front of him in time. Then I died laughing as both Caleb and Shelby start to gag, freak out, and they start almost puking. Oh the drama never stops with this family of mine. We still had a good 10 hours to go and the car didn't smell great. Calvin did great, but there are drips for sure, and splatter, and he wiped it on his shirt. We made it home by 6:30 pm. The first thing we did is empty the car and throw everyone in the bath or shower. Oh how I missed Oregon water! Utah, you have nothing on this place! Until next time Utah.

Oct 17, 2016

Shelby Lu is 8

Shelby turned 8 this year. We had laser tag birthday party with around 20 kids. She had a blast and the rest of the kids did too. They were so sweaty by the time they were done playing for an hour. We had pizza, cake, and went home and took a nap! She's going to get baptized over Thanksgiving when we go to Utah. Caleb's parents just moved there this summer and it's the perfect reason to make a trip to go see their new house.

Shelby didn't want a lot of presents for her birthday. She said she doesn't want to be too spoiled. She's getting pretty particular about certain things. She got a gift card for Fred Meyer awhile ago and she didn't want a single toy. I couldn't believe it. It was a sign that she's growing up for sure. She wanted to look at jewelry and makeup! Oh no! I'm afraid she gets that from me.

The weather was crazy this weekend for her birthday party. The neighbors fence blew down in multiple spots. It rained a bunch and the wind was horrible. So Shelby stayed inside and built all the lego sets she could. I worked on a puzzle while she and her dad built her new toys. We then took the party to Rhoda's and had second desert at her house.

This last year we have learned a lot about Shelby. She's had many different diagnosis and seen a few specialists. She has some behavior and emotional differences from most of us, and we want to know how to be better parents to her. What we learned from taking all the tests, is that she's just like Caleb in many ways. Caleb was also diagnosed and medicated as a kid and he doesn't have the best of feelings about how he was treated and labeled. So we are laying low for now and not making a big fuss over it. We've worked with the school and made sure she has the best care possible. She is extremely smart, creative, sarcastic, great at drawing, loves animals, and can pretend to be anywhere in the universe without any trouble. We are so happy to have her in our lives. She makes us laugh with her ability to quote movies, deliver a good dry humored joke, make her brothers laugh, and her wild energy. If I could bottle up her energy, put it into pill form, I would be a rich woman. Forget about meth, it ruins your teeth and skin, and brain. What you need is a little dose of Shelby. We love you kid and hope you keep us on our toes with your evolving personality and dreams.

Oct 8, 2016

October is here!

Took the kids to Bauman's Farms again to get their crazy donut, pumpkin, tractor, animal loving ways some fun. The kids did everything there. We took Rhoda's girls with us and I think they had something for all the ages. It's such a huge mess of people that I was afraid to go and just wait in lines all day. But we got right into everything and had a blast. The weather was warm, sunny, and we all were exhausted when we left. Four hours is a long time to be at a pumpkin patch! Well played Bauman's, we will see you again!

Sep 6, 2016

Last party before school starts

We decided to head out the door to Sunriver the last weekend before school starts. It was full of all the regular adventures we have come to love. We went with Jen and Tyson Scott and their three kids. We were there Friday through Monday and it was a great time away from work and home responsibilities. Here we are the first night on our first ride to the duck pond.

Something new that we haven't done before is take the lift at Bachelor up to the top. It was FREEZING cold on the lift. We brought all the clothes we could and blankets and we still froze to death. Luckily you can buy boiling hot hot chocolate at the top and sit by the fire.

The kids got to do the bumper cars, so did the dads. Play miniature golf. Jump on huge trampolines. Climb rock walls.  Jump in bounce houses.

The men went fishing and caught some fish. They mostly stared at the fish and begged them to bite their flies, but they did catch a few.

The women did some pretty amazing puzzles and talked about everything you can imagine. And all the adults stayed up watching murder investigation shows.

Bike rides with lots of bike crashing! Everyone hit the dust this time around except the adults. Every kid crashed, at least once or twice. Calvin took the worst fall of all and we thought he broke his nose for sure. We were doing the small river loop and went down he hill and he got passed around a corner by another biker. I think it scared him because he went off the road a little at a high speed and just hit the deck, hard. He caught the ground with his nose, chin and lip. I walked with him back to the road and we left our bikes and hitch hiked back to the house. A Sunriver worker came to the road right as we got there and he was happy to help poor Calvin. His nose bled forever, and that night, and the next day. But is better now.

 Shelby was trying to help Calvin get his goggles that dropped and she did a face plant out of the hot tub. She got a huge fat lip and bruise on her face. She would barely eat food the next day because her teeth were sore and her lip was hamburger on the inside.

The last day we hit up the Sharc with our kids. The weather wasn't supposed to be great but everyone was leaving on Monday. The Scott's left early and we decided to stay and I'm super glad we did. The Sharc was totally slow and we had the place to ourselves. No line for the big tubes, lots of space in the sand box for Ronin, and Calvin got to swim on those log things and play on the floating structures. Usually there are lines and waiting times, but not this time.

Aug 28, 2016

New Family Pictures 2016

For Ronin's first birthday in January we got family pictures. Time flew by and I never picked up my disc of all the photos. Now I finally have them. Here's to my baby turning one, and my amazing family putting up with fancy clothes and posing for pictures.

Aug 4, 2016


My cousins Jessica and Jocelyn brought their families and came to Oregon for my nephew Logan's farewell. What made it a bonus is that it was also Jessica, Rhoda and my birthday. Hence the R2J2. We named this special week and decided we would celebrate each year a new place. From now on, we will try to make it a week together more often than not.

This year we went to the Oregon coast, we hiked Opal Creek, we ate way too much food, we stayed up late laughing, and we spent all our time together. Here are a few highlights from our trip.

We toured Tillamook cheese factory. The kids found it amazing. It was pretty cute and I haven't taken the kids before. They were impressed and now they want to buy Tillamook cheese or ice cream whenever we shop. So I guess the marketing design around the tours is paying off.

Tony and Jocelyn wanted to go to a lighthouse they went to when they were married, so we toured that. And we got to see the octopus tree, which is actually pretty cool.

The men went crabbing and came back with 60 crab. We ate so much crab that night. We had it on fettuccine noodles, on top of salads, plain old dip it in butter, and any way we could get it.

We took our kids to a pottery place and let them paint. They mailed us the items after they were ready to go and they look pretty cool. The kids love drinking out of their new mugs and putting them on the coasters they painted.

We went to the ocean every day. It was warm, sometimes windy, but always amazing. We were so close that we just walked down the road about four houses and we were on the beach.

Jun 19, 2016

Calvin is 6

Mr. Calvin turned 6 years old this year and had a Paw Patrol birthday party with a ton of kids. We decided to use the church building and play dodgeball, have pizza delivered, and let the kids run around like crazy. It turned out perfect.

Calvin is a huge fan of playing tag at school. Every chance he gets he wants to be running and playing with friends. He will only wear clothes that don't make him sweat very much and shoes that make him run fast and won't come untied. When we pick him up from school, he's usually completely sweating and exhausted and really thirsty.

Having a birthday as school is ending and summer is beginning is so fun. The weather wasn't great this year so we opted for indoors, but it turned out to be tons of fun. Calvin wanted both boys and girls at his party and was very worried about Shelby and Ronin having enough friends there for them to also be happy. He has a big heart and always wants to make sure everyone has a good time.

For being so shy around adults, he certainly is not shy when it comes to kids. I hope he stays this social and eager to make a friend. Life is sure a lot easier if people want to be around you!