Sunday, December 1, 2013

The Great Christmas Tree Hunt of 2013

Yesterday we headed out on our becoming annual Christmas tree hunt. It was a bit of an adventure. We didn't want to have to drive too far down the freeway, so we tried going up Owesly Canyon first, not realizing they close the road off to motor vehicles from October to March. 

So, feeling slightly defeated, we decided to try the National Forest area by Hilgard. After a few dead ends and a tour of the slightly creepy neighborhood, we found a legitimate forest service road. Taking our chances over mud, ice and some good sized holes in the dirt road, we pulled off and began the search. 

And then Eric found it! She's a prickly little Spruce, but she looks great! 

Ella was pretty interested in the whole sawing the tree down. First she watched to see what dad was doing and then she took the saw cover and went to town. 

Her she is mimicking her pops. 

See her blurry hand? Saw saw saw. 

Nature's tree farm. 

Then she started getting a little impatient. Particularly with me trying to take her picture.

Waiting for Dad and refusing to acknowledge Mom and the camera. 

The proud lumberjack. 

The best thing about our tree? 
It's so prickly I don't see Ella trying to take too many ornaments off! 

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Veteran's Day Parade

I'm behind in my writing! Here are some pictures from the Veteran's Day parade we attended. I was glad that our school district didn't have school that day and that our community took time out to recognize and honor our Veterans. 

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Hallow's Eve

This last week was Halloween! On Tuesday we went over to my mom's to carve pumpkins and make carmel apples with Zoey, Eli and Riley. 

It took a lot of coercion to get Ella to help with the pumpkin carving. I literally had to take her hand and stick it inside the pumpkin. I'm all about trying to get her to try things she's hesitant about, wouldn't want her to miss out on something she could potentially love! 

After this picture was taken, she promptly got down and went a played, she was done with the pumpkins! 

Ella had much more fun playing with the miniature pie pans in Grandma's cupboard. 

Finished products! 
After Zoey cleaned out her pumpkin she decided she was done carving, thus her's has no face. 

Eric based his off of 'Scream.'

I freestyled mine. 

Wednesday morning, Ella and I joined up with our playgroup out at the Hibberts' for a fun Halloween party. It ended up raining most of the day, but the kids still did pony rides outside. 

Ella waited to ride the pony and got a wagon ride, too. 

Wednesday night we got E dressed up in her kitty costume and headed downtown for the downtown trick or treating. 

Aunt Riley and Ella are practically best friends, this photo is a cute shot of them. 

Ella wanted to sample each treat she got. Progress was slow, but fun. She was mostly fascinated by all the weirdos on main street. 

That was all the trick or treating we managed. 
E was battling a cold and I didn't want to overdue it. 

Saturday I helped drive Eli and his friends up to Hilgard State Park so they could have air soft game wars. Eric and Ella came with me to pick the boys back up. It was pretty cold, but we threw some rocks in the river. Ella did a nose dive into the water, but my catlike reflexes caught the back of her coat and only her left arm got wet. 

My sweet girl running through the leaves! 

Eli (top left) and the rest of his crew. 

Not too much else going on this last week. We are going over to my mom's for Sunday dinner in a couple of hours, something we've been doing on Fast Sundays. Zoey, Max, Riley and Eli will all be there, so that'll be nice! 

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Life is like a pile of fallen leaves

The weather has been absolutely gorgeous. Seriously. About 60 degrees, perfect blue skies and barely a breeze. I think we're going to get another week of it and I'm thrilled. 

Eric mowed the lawn for the first time since before he left for Mexico. It's a good thing. Our lawn was looking pretty desperate. 

Wednesday morning Ella and I met up with our regular playgroup and braved the chilly morning at the park. It took awhile for Ella to get going, but she finally played and had fun. There is a ton of sand on her changing table in her room to prove it. Wednesday evening Eric had an Elders Quorum meeting and visits. Thursday night he went out with the missionaries and they went out to Starkey to visit a young family. It was interesting because Eric was with a new missionary to our area who is waiting on a visa to Brazil where he'll speak Portuguese. The father in the family they visited had served in Brazil and speaks Portuguese, so the new missionary was able to practice his language skills. Eric said he was able to understand just about everything they were saying and at one point even interpreted for the missionary. 

Friday morning Ella and I met up with friends at the skate park. The kids entertained themselves for two whole hours. It was great. 

Saturday, Eric was gone half the day cutting firewood with the Elder's Quorum and Young Men. Ella and I met up with friends whose husbands were also gone for the morning and enjoyed crepes and playtime. When Eric got home, he and Ella puttered around outside for awhile, sweeping and raking and playing. We tried to get Ella to jump in a pile of leaves. The best we could get was her running through them and picking them up, but we counted that as a win. It was her first leaf pile "experience" and was such an autumn thing to do, I loved it. 

While they tinkered, I put a reclaimed wood shelf up in the laundry/utility room. So glad to have all that stuff off the top of the dryer! 

Well, that was our week! Looking forward to the rest of our Sunday spent together as a family and enjoying this gorgeous fall weather. 

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Family Journal

I've decided I want to use this as a way to document my family's experiences and growth. I'm going to try and record something at least weekly that in ten or fifty years my family members will be glad I recorded. So here it goes. 

This week was a beautiful fall week. On Monday we went out to a little U-Pick pumpkin farm to pick up a few more pumpkins to decorate the front stoop with. It was windy and chilly and quick, but we had fun. Then we went over to the Smith Property to pick up Mabel (my trailer) and bring her back home. 

We were also able to spend time at Riverside Park on Wednesday afternoon. Eric came home from class and we all went. Ella wore us out, swinging, sliding, climbing. It was fun and a beautiful afternoon. 

Thursday night we welcome the missionaries into our home for white chicken and cheese enchiladas. They also began teaching us the first part of the first missionary discussions - God is Our Loving Heavenly Father. It was a nice discussion. I enjoyed it as I've not served a mission, nor have I had the pleasure of being taught or sitting in the missionary lessons. Then Elder Mang (sp?) offered to give Eric a priesthood blessing. It was out of the blue, but Eric accepted and the Spirit was very strong during it. I could tell that Heavenly Father was sharing things with Eric that he needed to hear. After the Elders left and Ella went to bed, I could still feel the spirit strongly in our home - just as much as if I'd just had a wonderful experience in the temple. I loved it. 

Friday afternoon, Eric's mom and his sister Anna came for a visit. That afternoon we went to Riverside park again. We played with Ella on the equipment, but then we also went and walked across the newly constructed bridge over the river. Then we spent a while throwing and skipping rocks in the river. It was another gorgeous fall afternoon. 

After putting Ella to bed that night, Eric and I were able to slip away for a little date, leaving Grandma and Anna in charge. We went and got some desert. The whole time we were yawning and tired, but we enjoyed each other's company. We were only out about an hour before we decided to come back home. It wasn't even 9pm yet. 

Saturday morning we went out to Cove. The Cove FFA put on a little fall festival. There was a petting zoo, a corn "maze," pumpkin patch and hay pyramid. The corn maze was nothing more than a few rows of corn and Ella was more interested in the school playground across the way than anything else, but she did seem into the petting zoo. She didn't do much petting (I'm sure those animals seem pretty intimidating when you're so little), but she did like watching the horse. And a llama petted Ella with it's head. She also got a bit nervous when the miniature goat ate grass out of her hand. Then we obliged her and played on the playground. My favorite part was the teeter totter. It was a fun morning and we were glad we got to share it with Grandma Lougee and Anna. 

She wanted to go climb the opposite direction, but I wanted a mother/daughter slide ride. She wasn't happy. 

The rest of the day was spent watching college football (both the Oregon Ducks and my BYU Cougs won). 

Now to enjoy the rest of our Sunday....