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Apr 30, 2008

Today's Lessons

*It's tough to leave town over a weekend when you've got two music callings at church

*Garry does a great job at talking me off a cliff

*When I'm stressed out I crave ice cream

*Gavin's smile and wiggly self go a long way to ease my tension (happy five-month birthday, buddy!)


*Best Buy is not open for business at 9:22 a.m.

*When it is open, Best Buy does not sell hard drive screws, but its geek squad counter guy is happy to fish around in the back and give away four extras

*Using an AT&T cellular account online requires setting foot in a retail store to obtain a pass code

*Tualatin Valley Fire & Rescue Station 64 puts on a great station tour for kids


*In addition to fires, TVFR also responds to potty emergencies

*The television is an excellent babysitter when it has been revoked for several days

*Two hungry boys can devour a quart of applesauce and a sleeve of graham crackers in one sitting

*Grocery shopping is not nearly so awful when done alone

*Basking in the euphoria of a solo shopping trip can cause me to forget the milk

Apr 29, 2008

Two little [Colorado] things

Earlier today I was feeling very overwhelmed. My email program has a task list that runs down the right side of the screen. Normally I have two or three things on the list when I'm certain I won't remember to do them. Today my brain spilled over and I started typing up every conceivable thing that needs to happen in, oh, the next four days. There were suddenly so many that I started categorizing them into church, household, piano lesson, and moving subsections. Guess which section is the biggest?

There are currently twenty-six items on my task bar, and some of them are huge, like "clean the house" and "do the laundry" and "choose a moving company." Some are little, like "mail Mother's Day cards." Today I have been tackling item after item. It's kind of sad that now, at the end of the day, the number is twenty-six. It was probably closer to thirty-five this morning, and I'm sure I'll add more things tomorrow.

But I just checked off a good one: "research summer sports options for the boys."

I have been dreaming about missing deadlines for swimming lessons and fall soccer and other such ridiculous things, so it was time to put my mind at ease! I was delighted to discover a community center convenient to our home searching area, and registration for summer swimming starts on Monday. Monday! After a quick call to the facility, I found out that I can register the boys without having an address yet, and there are some great options for swimming lessons starting in mid-June. Isn't that fantastic? I am awfully giddy about this. We'll all have something to look forward to.

Another cool thing is that yesterday Garry signed us up for a Colorado phone number. We use Vonage phone service, and it offers the ability to have local numbers in as many states as you'd like. So, for the next month we have both a Colorado number and an Oregon number. For all my local friends: don't be surprised if your Caller ID shows area code (719) on occasion. It's just me, preparing you for the inevitable.

Apr 28, 2008

Running for my life

It's been a week since I joined the 12-week health challenge sponsored by angieinshape.blogspot.com. Being accountable to a community of women who are trying as hard as I am to make lifestyle changes has been very motivating, even though I only know two or three people that are participating! Anyway, I had a great week and decided to report my success.

Last week my goals were:
1. Exercise for at least 30 minutes, four times a week.
2. Eat more fruits and vegetables.
3. Cut out desserts.

I felt successful on all counts, even though I wasn't 100% strict. I allowed myself some sugar-free pie one night when I was celebrating my birthday with a friend, and I indulged in a few bites of ice cream pie when, again, I was celebrating with friends Saturday night. But overall, my body is thanking me for a more nutrient-rich diet and active lifestyle. I lost three pounds last week!

During my near-daily dates with the treadmill, I decided it's pretty funny that I still consider myself a runner. I always have and always will, but the reality is that I'm just a slow-jogging mama who's hard-pressed to break an 11-minute mile. If someone had told my high school self that I'd be ecstatic about a 10-minute mile at age 29, I probably would have gasped in horror. (After all, at 15 I could run nearly two miles in that time.) I'm certainly not the lean, mean running machine I used to be, but I'm still holding onto the dream of lifelong fitness -- whatever the pace.

Back when I was still pregnant with Gavin and overly optimistic about the adjustments ahead (little did I know that an interstate move would be factored into my three-kid transition), I registered to run the Hippie Chick Half-Marathon on May 10. In January I attempted running again, but when we decided to move, I completely abandoned my training efforts. Then, last month, when I realized I would still live here when the race occurred, I decided to do it anyway. The angieinshape challenge has only made me more excited, even though I haven't run more than four miles in a row since Easter 2007 - the day I found out Gavin was on his way. At that time I was running 20-25 miles a week, so maybe my body will remember it can do hard things! There might even be chocolate at the finish line...

Apr 26, 2008

Take me out to the ball game...

Today was one of the days that I am super excited about being a mom to three boys. The whole family had a great time at Zachary's first baseball game, and I had visions of a few years from now when Zach, Tyler, and Gavin are all playing.

Let's be realistic, though. Baseball, particularly at the Pee Wee level, involves a lot of sitting on the bench.


Luckily Zach was smiling about it.


Zach mostly had outfield action, but during the second game he also got to play at third base. He hustled when the ball came his way and made two great throws to first.


Batting order is determined according to shirt number, which was chosen by player size. Not surprisingly, Zach's number is 13. He's the team's "clean-up hitter," which means he always bats last and always gets a home run. During his last at-bat, he connected on the first pitch and really earned the home run!

Zach also got to play catcher today and enjoyed that position.

Tyler sure had a lot of patience on his brother's big day. He amused himself by playing in the dirt.

He even wrote a message to Garry: "DAD WIL UOO BI ME U TRET TUDA" (read: Dad, will you buy me a treat today?). The entire message was a mirror image of regular writing - right to left and all letters backwards. Pretty interesting! "Tuda" is shown above.


This is our team, the Blue Sharks, cheering for the other team.

At the end of the second game, all of the players got medals. I was happy Zach got to join in the celebration because we'll miss the end-of-season festivities in June. He felt pretty special. Now on with the season!

The sweetest thing

Gavin is such a great baby! I am constantly amazed at how content and happy he is. I love hearing his high-pitched shrieks and giggles. When he gurgles and blows raspberries and gives me his famous two-dimpled grins, I can't help but laugh myself. He loves it when I nuzzle his neck, tickle his feet, or squeeze his chubby legs. Gavin just has a delightful personality.


He is growing up quickly, too. Almost on a daily basis I notice how his hand-to-mouth coordination is progressing. He is so interested in the world and reaches out to grab things. Some of his favorite things lately are my hair, Garry's glasses, and the computer keyboard. We have also introduced Gavin to the Johnny Jump-Up. (This is partially pictured above; he hangs from a doorway and can jump up and down or twirl on the floor.) He really hated it at first, but now he giggles when we put him in the seat. He has learned to bounce a little and can twist around and around. Mostly I think he enjoys being upright! Gavin also loves the baby swing right now. I may have to rescue our outdoor porch swing from the storage unit so he can enjoy it during our last month here.

This Little Piggy

On Thursday evening, the Tobias Elementary School kindergarten classes presented the "Three Piggy Opera." We attended as a family and were delighted to watch Zachary perform with his peers. He was part of the chorus. You can see him on the far left in the back row. If you enlarge the picture you might notice he doesn't look thrilled; his expression is probably a mix of stage fright and grumpiness. It took an ice cream bribe to get him on stage!


The opera follows the story of the three little pigs, their house-building adventures, and their interactions
with the big bad wolf.

Each time a new character was introduced, he or she sang a little solo, followed by a rousing repetition by the chorus of kindergarteners. There were always actions, of course.


Tyler was enthralled and literally sat as close
as he could to the stage.


Garry finally coaxed a smile out of this little piggy just as the performance was about to end. Zach was probably grinning at the thought of the ice cream cone waiting for him at home.

Apr 24, 2008

Plans!!

{Note: please picture me doing an unabashed, euphoric jig as you read this post.}

Great news: we successfully completed post-inspection negotiations with our buyers! They wanted us to paint the house exterior and do some minor maintenance, but after several back-and-forth agent conversations, we finally agreed to contribute a little cash towards house painting and have our furnace and a/c serviced. We are happy with the settlement.

The best news related to this development is that we booked ourselves two seats on a flight to Colorado! Garry and I will leave on Saturday, May 3 for six days. We have a rented car, friends to host us, an agent to tour with, dozens of homes to see, and enough stomach butterflies to suspend an elephant in mid-air.

I have a laundry list of to-do's clouding my brain (where do I start, people?), not to mention about six loads of laundry piled up in the hall. The appraisal on our home will happen sometime soon, and I'm alarmed at how quickly the house's condition has plummeted since it went off the market. I guess I'd better get sprucin'.

And every so often I get twingey reminders about the actual leaving I'll have to do in five or six weeks. Yikes. A dear friend suggested a clever acronym to cover that base: NTAI (Not Talking About It). I suppose she'd better stop reading this blog, because I don't know if I can help myself. :)

Apr 22, 2008

Tell me a story

Tyler: Will you tell me a made-up story?
Heidi: Sure. Just let me finish this email.

{Ten minutes later...}

Tyler: Moooooommmmm...tell me a made-up story!
Heidi: Hang on. Last email.

{Ten minutes later...}

Heidi: 'kay, climb up here. Let's see...what do you want the story to be about?
Tyler: An archaeologist finding hidden fossils.
Heidi: Oh. [Insert rambling, random story about Mark the archaeological adventurer.]
Tyler: Well, that wasn't very long.
Heidi: Hey, I thought it was pretty good!
Tyler: I think I'm going to go play now.

Tyler returns to the office a minute later with his backpack, which he starts unzipping as he searches for his pretend magnifying glass. I ask him what he's doing. "Being an archaeologist. That's why I have to find my magnifying glass." Duh.

Now he is lining up all his plastic dinosaurs; they will function as fossils this afternoon. He says the ones that are standing are the ones he plans to study. The prostrate creatures must be beneath his interest. I ask him what he's finding as he examines the triceratops. "White blood cells coming out of his body. They are just pretend white blood cells, but they are coming out of his frill and on his feet and on the sides of his body."

I think Tyler is the one who ought to be telling made-up stories -- he obviously has a few running through his head.

Apr 21, 2008

Inspector Gadget

Doot-duh-doot-duh-doot, Inspector Gadget...
Doot-duh-doot-duh-doot, doot-doo, woo-hoo!


This cartoon theme song from my childhood has been in my head (you can thank me later for putting it into yours) since an inspector came to check out our house on Friday. Since that time we have been waiting anxiously for the report. I should say that I have been waiting anxiously. It's pretty funny that for all the patience I've had to muster these last three months, waiting the weekend for the inspection report just about sent me to the funny farm. That is probably because we are waiting to plan our house-hunting trip until haggling over house repairs is finished, and the trip scheduling is causing me a great deal of anxiety.

At least part of the wait is over now. We got the inspection report this morning.

We were mostly relieved; there weren't any big surprises. No water in the crawl space. No roof damage. No major repairs that need immediate attention. We didn't expect the inspector to find anything dramatic, and he didn't. I'm grateful. Some cosmetic things the buyers are asking us to do seem a little ridiculous (it's like they want to move into a brand-new house that just isn't brand-new), but we are willing to work with them.

I hope we can all reach an agreement today so Garry and I can get our booties over to Colorado and find out what, exactly, has drawn us to the area so strongly. I suppose it's a little naive of me to assume that we'll get that answer in a quick little jaunt, but I am rather anxious to set foot in the city, to scope out the new surroundings, and to walk through a few (dozen) houses, one of which we will soon call home.

On another note, since we cleaned out the coat closet to allow the inspector access to the crawl space, Zachary and Tyler have been using the closet as their "secret lab." Tyler first coined the phrase, ducking in there with night-vision goggles and a super hero figure. The boys have since had many meetings in the lab, always shrouded with secrecy and sinister plans (or so they say).


Their imaginations went into overdrive when Garry let them check out the crawl space themselves. Armed with flashlights, they were awed by the expanse of blackness and dirt. Tyler wants to use the crawl space as his personal playground, so we'll have to monitor the "lab" carefully - authorized personnel only!

Apr 20, 2008

The kids still live here

I have been pretty indulgent this week with the old blog, posting stuff purely about me and my psyche, rather than about the kids, which was the blog's original purpose. I don't want to stray too far from the family history vein, so here's my feeling-guilty-about-neglecting-the-children update.

Zachary

Zach has been learning about plants at school. This week he was excited to spot some growth in the sunflower seeds he planted in his classroom and on the playground. He has been busy rehearsing for a class play (which he valiantly asserts he will not participate in on performance night due to stage fright). Homework efforts are generally positive these days, a fact for which I am most grateful. Zach particularly enjoyed making some number flashcards and a bookmark this week. I also heard him reading bedtime stories to Tyler one night.


Our Smart Cookies group toured the Hillsboro Police Department on Wednesday. The highlight of our visit was exploring a police car (an SUV, actually). Zach also thought the holding cell and sally port (the garage where criminals are transferred from squad car to holding cell) were pretty cool.


The weather permitted one tee-ball practice this week and Zach had a great time. After watching a practice, I have to wonder how a game is going to go...the kids just don't know what's going on and very few of them can catch or throw very well! Games should be very entertaining! Team pictures happened Saturday. The day happened to be very cold and blustery, so I expect Zach's expression to be pained and frozen-looking in the photo. All of the kids were miserable.

Tyler

Our trip to the police station spawned many cop-and-robber role playing games at our house. Tyler will "pull over" a playmate, ask for his license, and send him to a judge to pay a fine. Or he'll put the criminal in a holding cell or send him to jail. When we were at the police station, Tyler was eager to answer every question that the tour guide posed, but his answers inevitably involved robbers (which apparently are the only kind of bad guys).


One morning I woke up to find two tattooed boys leaning over the edge of my bed. It took me a minute to process what was going on, since Gavin had had a rough night and I was rather sleep-deprived. Apparently the boys have been hoarding temporary tattoos collected from various venues -- birthday parties, kids' meals, cereal boxes, and, most recently, the police station -- and decided to plaster their bodies with them. Zach's arms and hands were covered, but Tyler opted to cover his belly. (Tattoos definitely aren't my favorite thing, and I particularly have issues with the ones that Subway currently includes in its kids' meals. They say "Naked Brothers Band." Apparently this is a Nick Jr. TV show, but do my kids really need encouragement with anything to do with being naked???) I swallowed my pride and allowed the crazy pictures to adorn the boys' skin for one day, but Ty and Zach were scrubbed clean in the shower that night.


Tyler spent a lot of time creating sculptures with play-dough and "inventions" with K'nex this week. He attended a kick-boxing class with me on Tuesday and played superheroes with the other boys. On several days he also played in the back yard with Zach and our neighbor, Kyndayl. They came up with lots of fun things to do. I love watching Tyler's imagination at work.

Gavin

Gavin is trying to roll from back to belly. When he gets really excited, he'll rock his hips to one side and crane his neck around, but he hasn't figured out how to complete the revolution. I looked up past issues of The Bartle Bulletin and discovered that Zach and Tyler both figured out rolling at the same time: the week they turned five months old. If Gavin holds the pattern, he's got another ten days or so. This video doesn't have rolling footage -- it's just a clip of Gavin being cute (with plenty of big brother background noise). I love this kid! (Please ignore my cutesy Mommy voice.)


We have noticed lately that Gavin really likes to observe and interact with the world from an upright position. We have adjusted his stroller and swing seats so he can sit straight up. That has made him especially happy in the swing. The Bumbo seat we borrowed can be fun at times, since it helps him sit up, but he arches his back in an effort to get out of it, too. He continues to bat at toys and put his fists in his mouth a lot. This week he was sitting in my lap while I typed an email and he banged on the keyboard for the first time.

Gavin is also a screamer. Particularly when egged on by his big brothers, Gavin will shriek and giggle with happiness. He also blows raspberries and makes other loud sounds to express himself. I just love it when he "talks" like this! Occasionally it can be distracting, though. Gavin is often very happy first thing in the morning and will talk to the family when we are trying to read the scriptures together over breakfast. This week he was also very loud during piano lessons. One of my students played a song called "Chromatic Polka," which involves lots of fast and bouncy scales, and Gavin was just thrilled with it. His reaction made me laugh, but it was pretty distracting for the student!

So that's what's going on with the kids. They are doing great, driving me crazy, making me laugh, and just being little boys. And now, back to your regularly scheduled programming (aka me and my house drama...)!

Apr 17, 2008

Excuses, please meet Inspiration

A little family of Excuses lives in my brain. These rebel forces sabotage me whenever I think about getting on the treadmill or passing on the ice cream. Their names are Lazy, Tired, and Depressed, but they have cousins like Overwhelmed, Hungry, Apathetic, Busy, Rebellious, Addicted, Habitual, and Ornery.

On the day before the first day of each month this year, I have pledged to banish the Excuses and get on with a new way of life. My most successful banishment lasted a whopping five days. Go me!

But apparently I'm not alone. Yesterday my fun-and-fabulous sister, Angie, introduced me to a little Inspiration. I'm going to pull a LaVar Burton on you and make you read her blog yourself. (It really is a motivational masterpiece; why reinvent the wheel?) I will say that I'm all about making a group effort toward a common goal, and that I'm looking forward to joining a cause that will be good for my life!

So, Excuses, your days are numbered. Game on!

Apr 16, 2008

Let's make a deal

Take a deep breath with me, folks. Life just got very real.

We have signed a contract to sell our home. It really happened, and we're SO excited!

The offer came around 1:30 p.m. yesterday, followed by an “emergency” house showing and a second offer from another couple. (Both buyers are from Saturday's open house...what a turnaround!) After carefully reviewing both offers, we opted to go with the first, since they are much better qualified financially. At 7:30 last night, we countered the offer with slight modifications and waited anxiously until 10:00 this morning when their agent confirmed their acceptance. The proverbial ball we have been waiting for is now rolling.

If all goes according to plan (knock on wood), we will close May 30. This is a “long close,” as our agent calls it, but I’m glad for it. We’ll have plenty of time to find a new place for ourselves, Zach will get to (nearly) finish school and his tee-ball season, and I’ll have a bit more time to emotionally process our departure. [Insert another deep breath.]

Pretty soon the to-do list and the good-bye list will get very overwhelming, but today, for now, I am reveling in the warmth and comfort of answered prayers. Thanks to all for your love and support...we have felt it every step of the way.

Apr 15, 2008

Katie-tagged

My cousin Katie tagged me today, and since our mode of contact is online-only, I figured a response was in order. So here you have the contents of my purse:


1 wallet full of loose change and receipts I am too lazy to deal with
1 set of keys - house, van, mailbox, garage, plus the van remote
1 cell phone
1 tube Burt's Bees lip balm (a personal favorite)
1 shiny Idaho quarter
1 spacer for the glass overlay to our kitchen table
2 hair clippy thingies
1 $5-off coupon to Kohl's
1 recipe/grocery list (I still forgot to buy chocolate syrup)
2 payment checks for piano lessons
1 check book
1 camera lens cap
4 loose receipts, one with a wad of gum inside
2 pens
1 stamp card for Costa Vida
crumbs

Pretty exciting, eh? To quote Katie, "You're just lucky this was my wee little red purse" and not the enormous diaper bag that normally functions as my purse.

I tag anyone would find this little exercise entertaining. Or anyone whose purse really needs to be cleaned out. I qualified on both fronts, and I suspect some of you might, too!

Apr 14, 2008

This is a test

I think our family is going through one of those faith-promoting experiences that you read about in the Ensign, but we just haven't made it to our happy ending.

Saturday's open house yielded not one, but two potential buyers. One couple stayed at the house for over an hour. They sat out on the sidewalk, just looking at our house when they finished touring. They pledged to write up an offer Saturday night. Another couple was equally enthusiastic but they had to sell one of their cars to make the down payment. When they heard we were getting an offer, they said they hoped to bid higher because they really wanted the house.

We went to bed feeling very excited on Saturday night.

When we returned from Stake Conference yesterday morning, we had a message from our real estate agent, so we called her back, anxious for the details of our offer. Our happy bubble quickly burst when we found out that the first couple is backing off. The wife's parents talked them out of buying. They won't be making an offer. While we still have some hope for the other couple, they are just beginning the financing process, which could be a complicated one if they don't have money for a down payment.

I marvel at the emotional rollercoaster that is the house-selling business! On Thursday night I was on a high, having enjoyed an extremely calm and peaceful ward temple session. Yesterday I was full of anxious anticipation. And today, the wet and dreary Beaverton weather perfectly mirrors my mood.

However, as I got breakfast together for the boys, a scripture passage popped into my head. I looked up the verses, which are from Mosiah 24 (starting in verse 10). The people of Alma are being persecuted by the wicked king Amulon.

And it came to pass that so great were their afflictions that they began to cry mightily to God. ...

And Alma and his people did not raise their voices to the Lord their God, but did pour out their hearts to him; and he did know the thoughts of their hearts.

And it came to pass that the voice of the Lord came to them in their afflictions, saying: Lift up your heads and be of good comfort, for I know of the covenant which ye have made unto me; and I will covenant with my people and deliver them out of bondage.

And I will also ease the burdens which are put upon your shoulders, that even you cannot feel them upon your backs, even while you are in bondage; and this will I do that ye may stand as witnesses for me hereafter, and that ye may know of a surety that I, the Lord God, do visit my people in their afflictions.

And now it came to pass that the burdens which were laid upon Alma and his brethren were made light; yea, the Lord did strengthen them that they could bear up their burdens with ease, and they did submit cheerfully and with patience to all the will of the Lord.

I know that my life certainly isn't as hard as anything the people of Alma -- or the vast majority of the current human population -- had or have to endure. But I still struggle with things in my own little world. I'm just grateful for the gentle reminders that I have a loving Heavenly Father who is mindful of my struggles and that, if I will let him, he will make my burdens light.

Apr 13, 2008

Reading & Writing

During our open house yesterday, we spent a little time at Let's Play, a fun specialty toy shop in downtown Hillsboro. While the boys perused their favorite shelves, I browsed the book section. Happily, the books I bought for Zach and Ty have been big hits! They certainly made two hours of stake conference a bit smoother this morning.

Tyler likes to draw, and we were right in assuming he'd love "How to Draw People." He has quiet determination to copy things and follow directions, so the step-by-step process of drawing human figures was perfect for him. His first project was an artist and easel. It's so cute! (As always, you can click on the picture to enlarge it for more detail...)

Zachary has loved his new book of word searches. I figured it would be one he'd have to grow into, since some of the puzzles require unscrambling words, but he jumped right in and figured out what to do! We're impressed with his critical thinking skills. This afternoon Zach and Garry put together the "bonus pull-out" game that came inside the book. Even Tyler was able to participate in the reading, unscrambling, and word finding activities.

Because of their skills in these areas, one of the time-out alternatives I have been using lately involves writing. Inspired by 1-2-3 Magic, which recommends having older children write essays as consequences for poor behavior, I decided to have Tyler trace sentences and Zachary copy them. The length and subject of the writing depends on the nature of the offense, but I have been very pleased at the effectiveness of this consequence. It's so much more meaningful than time-out!

Zachary has copied several scriptures about charity, contention, service, and honoring parents. Tyler has traced many sentences about responsibility and respectfulness. When the boys finish writing their lines, we read them together and talk about how those scriptures or sentences relate to their poor choices, and we end the consequence period on a happy note. As a bonus, the boys are both getting good handwriting practice!

Apr 11, 2008

The Tulip Festival

The boys and I just had a marvelous trip to the 23rd Annual Wooden Shoe Tulip Festival in Woodburn, Oregon. This was one of the "must-do" items on my personal Oregon checklist (for springtime, anyway). We were happy to have Natalie Lyman and her boys join us for the festivities. It was a glorious, sunny day -- perfect for flowers, friends, and lots of fun.

I knew I wouldn't get a leisurely walk amongst the stunning array of tulips today, so I admired from afar with a few photos.

I'm always blown away by the beauty of these flowers!

Our cold, wet spring has delayed the full bloom in the colored section of the field. I've been watching the field report online for a few weeks and knew we'd miss full color if we went today, but the perfect weather conditions got us out the door this morning.

The boys couldn't have cared less about pretty flowers. They were enamored with this awesome water pump/slide contraption. They raced rubber duckies in the troughs and had a great time.

This huge slide was another hit.

Our sweet third children were so patient while we chased their big brothers around.

The big boys got to ride around the tulip field in a cow train.


They got their fill of tulip viewing on the ride.

Our final stop (before McDonald's): a genuine John Deere tractor. Fun times had by all! For the full photo album of today's adventures, visit our Kodak Gallery online.

Apr 10, 2008

Quality time on aisle two

It was a routine trip to Lowe's. I needed one thing: a silly little plastic bracket to hold a closet door in place. In and out, right? The trip went according to plan until we walked by the tractors. At first I was annoyed that Tyler wanted to check them out, but my grown-up mentality quickly gave way to the wonder of watching a little boy explore a big machine.

Tyler didn't just sit in a couple seats and pretend to move the steering wheels. He sat in every seat. He checked every gear, pushed every button, and made rumbling lawnmower noises as he cranked the wheel from side to side. He laughed when he heard the big tires squeak on the warehouse floor. He moved levers from "turtle" to "rabbit" and from short grass to long. He offered running commentary on the color and size of each machine, how comfortable each seat was, and whether the canopy would provide good protection from the sun on a hot day. His imagination was in overdrive, and he could have puttered there for an hour.









Eventually we wandered away from the tractors to find the bracket. We finally found it on aisle two for a whopping $2.77. I would have considered our trip a success because I got exactly what I needed for a good price, but today the success came in an unexpected way: Tyler helped me see the world through the eyes of a child.

Apr 8, 2008

"I just wiggled it all day long!"

Zachary lost a tooth today. What a magical right of passage this is for a six-year-old!

This afternoon he burst out of the school doors, greeting me with a running hug and a wide-mouthed grin. Before I could figure out why I got such a warm welcome, Zachary jumped up and down, pointing to the new gap in his smile. How could I miss the message?


I tucked a plastic baggie in Zach's pocket this morning so he would be prepared when his dangling, skewampus tooth fell out at school. Zach said he wiggled the tooth with his tongue all day long and it finally came out after lunch while his class was rehearing its "Three Piggy Opera" in the cafeteria. The baggie came in handy; he zipped up his tooth and kept on rehearsing!

Now Zach is anxious to sleep on his pillow and discover a surprise from the Tooth Fairy in the morning. Hopefully she remembers to visit our house!

Apr 6, 2008

Birthday wishes for Garry

The Daddy at our house is a year older today.
To make his birthday special, here are some of our activities:

Lots of enthusiasm and homemade cards from Zachary and Tyler.

Presents, of course! (Thanks to faraway family who contributed to the fun! It was well-received and much appreciated!)

Cinnamon rolls for breakfast. Yum.

Playing with birthday gadgets.

Not pictured:
Watching four hours of conference with three young boys,
a nap for Garry,
phone calls from fun family members,
and a pot roast dinner.

We love you Garry! And here's just a few of the ways:

Audio book junkie

Blue-eyed baby

Couch potato nights

Determined

Electronics aficionado

Fabulous father

Generous

Hilarious

IM lingo

Jack of all trades

Knows “Grandpa’s Farm” lyrics

Lunch dates

“Me”-signed emails

Needs music

Online alter-egos

Persnickety

Quirks galore

Researcher

Selfless

Traditions

Unsung hero

Valiant patriarch

Water guzzler

eXtra awesome employee

Youngest son’s initial buddy

Zany made-up songs


With love,
Heidi, Zachary, Tyler, and Gavin


pass it on!

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