Thursday, February 28, 2008

Signs of Spring

I was so thrilled to see that my bulbs are beginning to bloom! I haven't really enjoyed the winter this year. It hasn't been too bad weather-wise, but for some reason I have felt extra annoyed that it gets dark so early and it's not easy or comfortable to play outside--and my boys need outside time! I am SO ready for a little more sun and daylight's coming soon!

We have been blessed this week with some beautiful weather! We took advantage of it by playing outside everyday. Ronan loved getting to ride his bike and play basketball...

Griffin held on to this football and walked all around the front patio. You can see in this picture that he is getting ready to say "ball". He now says "buh ball" for football (:

Back Home

Ronan was being so sweet our first night home after the retreat. We could tell that he missed us because he was being extra cuddly and affectionate. At bedtime we got to hear all of his stories from the weekend. He is so expressive and was fun to be able to take the time to have a "big kid" conversation with him.

We had the camera in Ronan's room because he wanted to see pictures from the trip, so I just had to take some pictures of Josh and Ronan...wrestling and just being cute (:

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Winter Retreat

This past weekend Josh and I went to Sunriver with the high school group from our church. It was our third year going on this trip, and it is always a lot of fun. Our kids stayed with my parents for the weekend. It was our first time being away from Griffin overnight, but he did great and we didn't worry (: Both boys had a really fun time at Memaw and Papa's house. They got to eat at McDonalds, help with yardwork, and go in the hot tub! Ronan was especially excited because he got to sleep in Uncle Erik's old room and use the lava lamp that was left there as a night light (:

OK, back to the retreat...
We arrived at the house on Friday evening and got settled in. It is an amazing house with 5 bedrooms, 4 bathrooms, 2 family rooms, and a loft. There were 25 students and 8 leaders. Eric shared some excellent teaching throughout the weekend that challenged us all to think about making wise decisions.
Josh and I really enjoyed getting to hang out with the students and develop stronger connections with them. We also had fun being free from our responsibilities at home for a few days (:

On Saturday, the snowboarders & skiers woke up early to get to Mt. Bachelor by 8:00 am. The rest of us got to sleep in and take our time getting ready. Jill and I took a group of seven to the tubing park at Bachelor. There are 6 runs and a pulley/lift system that pulls you up the hill on your tube. It was great...we all had a blast!
When we got back to the house, our good friends, Mark and Robin, came to visit. They live in Sisters so it was a short drive for them. It was great to see them...I so miss having Robin in Eugene!! I joked that she came by just to see me, but really they are close with all of the leaders and many of the students (: Everyone was excited to see them.

Saturday night was awesome. There was a poker tournament going on in the dining room, Guitar Hero up in the loft, movies, boardgames, and the hot tub to go in. Josh and I ended up staying in the hot tub with 9 other students for over an hour...we kind of felt like we needed to be there to make sure everyone was making wise decisions (: But, we also were just having a great time hanging out with them. Someone had put dish soap in the hot tub earlier in the day, so every time the jets went on the bubbles would suds up. It also started snowing on was so cool (:

On Sunday morning we ate breakfast and had one last teaching session, then we all packed up and left Sunriver at noon.
Above: Catherine, me, and Lindsey
Below: The whole group!
We had such a sweet reunion with Ronan and Griffin when we got home! They both were so cuddly and happy (: Griffin even gave us real kisses--pucker and all! He was only giving "open mouth" kisses before that. It was great to come home to our precious sons.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

My Mr. Incredible

Josh is amazing! He knows how to do so much, and if he doesn't know how to do something he does a little research and figures it out. It is so cool watching him work because he is so fast...he zips around the job site to whatever needs to be done. Window trim here...siding there...insulation...and oh yeah, a way to install the last window. He quickly built this little platform to stand on so that he could hammer in the nails while the window was being held up from the inside.
I used to get really nervous watching Josh do crazy things, but he truly is comfortable with heights and he almost makes it look easy (:
From the inside looking out...
(We can see Autzen Stadium from this window)
Josh ended up tying a rope to himself and the he was "safe" (:
Our dads were holding up the window from inside the attic. It was so great that they were both available to help out right then. I'm pretty sure it was a God thing (:
My dad said I was being Elastagirl as I was trying to keep Ronan and Griffin away from the stairs...and the window...and all the places they could fall from! We all wanted to see what was happening, but the guys needed to focus!

All of the windows are installed now with the help of so many people! Thank you Papa, Eric, Kenton, and Dad!

Sunday, February 17, 2008

starting the siding

The Henry family came over yesterday so that Kenton could help Josh with a few things. It was nice to have Katrina and Finley over too because the kids have fun together and I enjoy having a friend (sister) to talk to while Josh works (:

Finn and Griffin played store with Ronan's cash register. It was cute watching them figure out how to push the buttons and make the drawer open. In this picture Finley is sneaking the money...but Griffin doesn't seem to mind (:
We played outside for a long time because it was sunny and dry. It actually felt pretty warm in the sun! I got out Ronan's Kawasaki power wheel for him to ride around on. Griffin loves to sit on it and he can even push the pedal to drive it a little (on the slowest speed & when I'm right there!). Katrina helped Finn sit behind Griffin and they rode together (:
Josh and Kenton installed two more windows and did some prep for the siding.
My parents came over later in the day, and my dad & Josh were able to start putting up the siding! They put up 4 rows on the east wall, then I got to take over for my dad and I helped put up 5 more rows. It's just the beginning of a very long process, but it was still exciting! I enjoyed getting to be involved & work with Josh (:

Chase Cousins

We babysat the Chase kids on Friday night for Aaron & Becca's Valentine date (they watched our kids the night before). All of the kids were looking forward to it, and it turned out to be a lot of fun! Tyler spent some time playing on the webkinz website and the rest of the kids would gather around to see what he was doing.
For dinner I made Dino Nuggets, Tater Tots, and peas. It was a big hit with all the kids. They all managed to stay at the counter and eat most of their food. Griffin was very entertained by all the big looks like he's yelling in the background, but I think he was excited (:
After dinner Tyler, Sadie, and Ronan played store while Cohen and Griffin emptied the toy box (: Tyler has been working on math & money at school, so he was calculating the cost of each item and would tell them how much money they needed. It was neat that they were all interested in the same game and they were able to figure things out together.
We all decided that we need to do the babysitting swap thing more often! The kids all loved having cousin time at each others houses and we enjoyed getting to have a date night! It was definitely a good thing for ALL!

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Valentine's Day

We had a wonderful Valentine's Day!

I made Pink Cinnamon Rolls for breakfast (:
Ronan, Griffin, and I went for a walk at the mall with Becca, Sadie, & Cohen and our friends Lindsey & Tayden, then we drove around making special Valentine deliveries. I had to get a picture of Griffin wearing his matching hat and shirt (:
When Josh got home we gave gifts to each other and the kids. Griffin got some animal puppets and Ronan got a new playdough set. Then we took the kids over to the Chase's house so Josh and I could go on a date...and we watched the Chase kids the next night so Aaron & Becca could go on a date. It worked out really well!
Josh got these flowers for me (:
Ronan took these next two pictures of us. I did a little bit of cropping, but I think they turned out pretty well (:
Celebrating our 10th Valentine's Day together!
Oh yeah, for our date we went to see a movie. I couldn't remember the last time we had gone to a movie, so we went to the new theater and saw Juno (loved it!). Afterwards we ate dinner at the mall and ended up going to Costco to look at furniture (: We laughed because it wasn't a very romantic date, but it was so much fun. We just enjoyed hanging out & talking and getting to do what we wanted for a few hours. The kids had a great time playing with their cousins. Aaron and Becca got heart-shaped pizzas and Becca made a heart-shaped ice cream cake. So fun!

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Valentine Party

Today was Ronan's Valentine's Day party at school! He remembered that it was happening as soon as he woke up this morning...and he was sooo excited. He got dressed and ate breakfast more quickly than usual. Last night he picked out this sweater to wear for his party, rather than the typical sports outfits he likes to wear (:
Ronan rode to school with Aunt Becca and Sadie, and Griffin & I came to his class a little later for the party. Here is Ronan sitting at the table waiting for his treats (:
He got to decorate a cookie with frosting and sprinkles. He was very focused...
The whole class was very into decorating their cookies. It was so cute watching them concentrate and enjoy their yummy creations.
Griffin had his pick of all the toys while the big kids were eating their treats. He chose to play with the tools (:

Work Day

Saturday was a beautiful day! It was sunny and even a little warm outside! It turned out to be a very productive day which made it even better (:

The Fuller family came over so that Eric could help Josh install some windows. Ronan loved having Micah and Kyle there to play with. They rode scooters together and played in the mud while Jill & I sat in the sun and watched them. It was great!
Josh's dad also came over to help with the windows.
Micah helped put up some of the insulation (:
Amy, Jon, Ethan, and Macey came by to see the progress on the house. Their kiddos weren't feeling well, so they look a little sleepy here.
After everyone left, we cleaned up all the building scraps & trash from the work site and took a trailer load to the dump.

Then, later that evening, Ashley and Camilla came over for dinner. We had a really nice & relaxing time with them. Our kids went to bed early, so we got to have a few hours of uninterrupted adult conversation! Yay! Josh and I were exhausted by the end of the night, but it felt good to spend time with friends and also get a lot work done in one day.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Lovey Dovey

On Friday, Josh's mom and grandparents came by for a quick visit. Ronan had been pretending all morning that he was an animal in a cage at a pet store. He ate his breakfast in this box and wanted me to buy was pretty cute. When G&G Lovey Dovey (as Ronan calls them) came over he was still in his cage, so Gr. Grandpa played along with him (:
Griffin was content just sitting in Grammie's lap. He was acting shy toward Great Grandpa and Great Grammie, so Grammie's lap was his "safe" place.
Then, we all walked through the new house together. Griffin was still unsure about being held by Gr. Grandpa...
But, soon enough Griffin went to him and did fine.

Friday, February 8, 2008

Installing Windows

Josh and my dad spent last weekend working hard on the house. Josh made some more progress on the insulation while my dad dried off each window sill and applied the flashing (the blue tape-like stuff) so they could install the windows. They got seven windows in on Saturday and a five more in on Sunday...they make a good team!
Of course Ronan was right there willing to help when he could (: He spent several hours working with them...tool belt and all!

On Tuesday, my dad and Josh both got off work a little early so they could get some windows installed while it was still light outside. They needed a third guy to help with the upper windows in the family room...someone who was strong & comfortable being up high on the ladder. Kenton (our brother-in-law) was the man for the job (: He is always up for physical challenges like this.
So, the three of them worked together to get the windows in. They made it look easy, but I'm sure it was difficult and a little scary. I'm just thankful that there weren't any accidents!
Here's Katrina, Finley, Mom, and Griffin watching the guys work.
Griffin and Finn having fun exploring the house together.
Above: Ronan looking tired after a long day of work
Below: Griffin drilling the floor (:
And, finally, here is Ronan & Josh in Ronan's favorite hiding place, the crawl space under the house.