Monday, May 16, 2011

The Best 10 Years!

This year, Adrian and I are celebrating 10 years! May 14, 2001 was the day we met. We both had extended family in Skagway, Alaska, and had secured summer jobs there. I wanted to drive my brand new yellow XTerra to AK, rather than fly. So our family members, knowing we had an identical destination, suggested that we could make the drive up north together.

We emailed and IM'd a few times, and agreed to begin the journey in Oregon. We met at Adrian's sisters' place in Boring, OR on the day that we embarked on this 2,000 mile road trip ~ complete strangers, other than knowing some of one anothers' family. Here we are on the day we met

(Why was this picture taken? None of us are quite sure, but I am so very thankful to have it now!)

...and again 10 years later, striking a similar pose!

On that day in 2001, niether of us had any idea, hope or desire that our acquaintance would turn into a happy marraige. But now we can say with 100% honesty, these have been the very best 10 years of our lives!

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Mother's Day!

For Mother's Day 2011, my favorite gifts are these kids ~
they are so very precious, adorable, entertaining and lovable!
I actually got my present from them about 10 days ago; Adrian brought it home from a road trip, and knew I could begin using it right away!

Even though I researched it and picked it out, they wrapped it up just for fun:
And I just love my new little vacuum! I recommend it to absolutely anyone looking for a lightweight tool for bare floors. I used to complain about the need to sweep our kitchen floor about 5 x per day. Now we are all discussing WHO gets to use the new vacuum! I love that I can do it one-handed (while holding a child), and that the kids can do it too since they were never any help with sweeping! :) There's a product description & good video here !

Happy Mother's Day to all you moms! May your children rise to call you blessed (Proverbs 31)!

Monday, May 2, 2011

Risen Christ Celebration

Easter was a good excuse for baking sugar cookies with the new Wheat Montana recipe I found:

My "helpers" get quite creative at times ~

In the week leading up to Easter, we found many fun ways to celebrate our Risen King! I wanted our remembrance of the cross and resurrection to be "special" to me this year, so sought out ways to make it be. And let me tell you, God is good, and when you ask, you receive! I had a few ideas out of a Focus on the Family magazine, and all these little projects centered around talking about the cross, the tomb, our sins, betrayal, the atonement for our sins, the resurrection, and ascension of Jesus Christ our Lord, our Hope, our All ~

"I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me." --Galatians 2.20

They also did an egg decorating project with Daddy:

Adrian, Ella and I also attended a play about the last days of Jesus' life. It brought tears to my eyes many times, imagining this man loving me that much. His personal message to me this year? Even though everything seemed to be spinning out of control when Jesus was beaten and killed on the cross, God was still in control. His disciples and best friends had scattered; the Romans were getting their way; the sky went dark; there was an earthquake, Jesus was buried. But the resurrection proved that there were no surprises for God, and that he won in the end. Death has no sting; the grave has no victory. That's true in my life too. When I start to believe that God is distant or not intimately involved in my life, I'm wrong. He is in control, and ALL THINGS are working together for good!

Saturday afternoon I spotted these dresses and found I could buy one in each of the girls' sizes ~ so now they have cute matching dresses for any warm weather we come across this year!

With Friends on Resurrection Day! Imagine the excitement as the believers ran around shouting the news: He is Alive! He is Risen! He Lives!

With more good friends ~

Come now, let us reason together," says the LORD. "Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool." --Isaiah 1.18

More Travel

After our week in Portland, we were home for 2 weeks. Then we packed up again to tag along with Adrian during a 2 week business trip to Kalispell!

Jaci doing some yoga at the hotel in Kalispell
Aaron meeting Jeana's dog before we went out to dinner!

Almost every night of a stay in Kalispell, we take the children swimming. Unfortunately the pool water is really cold, so we have to jump back & forth from the pool to the hot tub. The kids have really improved with all the practice & instruction from Daddy! Ella and Tessa can swim independently; Jaci still jumps in at her leisure, and trusts someone to catch her; Aaron prefers the hot tub!

We got to have one night with our friends the Harris' -- we met sweet Melita for the first time, Alison served an amazing meal, and we all had fun. In fact, there was great disappointment and tears when it was time to go, so next time hopefully we can get together on a summer vacation day!

The weekend in between our 2 weeks in Kalispell, we drove to Plains to hang out with our good friends, the Grants. We really, really miss having them in Anaconda, but are happy for them in their new spot. We got to explore their property, home and community. Here, the girls are discovering the season's first wildflowers!

Any time with Taylor is a good time!

We love Taylor! And her dog, Buddy!

You wouldn't believe that morning we woke up to snow covering all the hills. By the afternoon, it was sunny again!

Oops, out of order. On our way to Kalispell, we stayed two nights with Logan & Elissa's! They have some miniature horse neighbors, which were a great delight to our girls. We continue to hear every day that they would like one of their own!

trying to get all the kids in one frame ~ Elissa has better photos here!

We also stayed one night at Gramma Mary's on our way up:

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Time to Catch Up!

On our way to Portland in early March, we all needed a break about 30 minutes from our destination. So we stopped at the gorgeous Multnomah Falls to take a short hike in the fresh air. Here's my cute little family in front of the waterfall:

Here's the look that says, "If you would stop taking pictures, we could get goin'!" I LOVE the way Jaci put her little foot forward to "pose" without me asking her to!

I also LOVE the way my girls line up when I say I'm going to take a picture.

I LOVE the way they LOVE each other.

And I LOVE them! GREEN! We miss seeing that in Montana. We would eventually hike up to the bridge you can see above
Every person we passed smiled because of our girls. They were either holding hands exploring, or running exuberantly up the trail. Maybe it's because they're little. Maybe it's because they're cute. Maybe they are simply precious, and everyone can see it! I was glad they gave strangers some of the joy we have every day.
...and NOW I see the reason we constantly hear, "Wow, you've got your hands full!"

I guess it looks like we do!
So we traveled on to Portland for a week's stay. We enjoyed spring flowers since there's no sign of spring at home, celebrated our 8th anniversary, and spent time with family!
I'm pretty sure I have the sweetest daughters in the world.

They bring me flowers whenever possible:

...and leave me love notes with flowers!

Ella is a terrifical helper with Aaron, and Aaron is just ... well, Aaron.

Fun times with Uncle Mike (the dress-a-princess app on his iPhone is a big hit!)
And Uncle Paul too!


One snowy day the girls made this "fort" on top of our dining room table:

Aaron's 1st haircut!! He just had a few stray long hairs at the very back of his head, so I decided to clip them after a bath one night (I think it was St Pat's Day). It was a bit of a fiasco: a naked, wet baby boy grabbing at everything in sight, feet slippin on the counter, me aiming at his head with scissors... thankfully it was short and successful.

Tessa's newest talent:

And Jaci's attempt at crossing her eyes like TJ: