Sunday, March 31, 2013

Easter 2013

           Mike's parents came to visit during their spring break vacation.  They spent Easter with us and some of the days following.  

Here are some of the eggs the boys and I colored. 

Easter morning after the kids hunted for hidden eggs they found their Easter baskets filled with toys and treats.  Easter is like another Christmas around here. 
photo courtesy of Janet Bates

photo courtesy of Janet Bates

Gramma left out candy and it wasn't hard for this little monkey to find. 

That evening we went to Rivendale Camp to walk around the beautiful flowers, play with new Easter toys, and climb on the jungle gym. 

These next two photos crack me up.  Mom Bates was having a great time on the swing. 

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Daddy Horse

Here are all three kids saddled up for a ride on the daddy horse.  They all look happy about it, even the horse. 

Uh Oh, You Caught Me!

 I went upstairs for just a few minutes and came back down to find this little monkey on top of the table helping himself to Vessel's uneaten yogurt and making a huge mess.  But he's just too cute to be mad at.  

Friday, March 22, 2013

Knitting Skillz are Way Better Than Nunchuck Skillz

I spent the morning teaching Vessel some basic knitting.  With his new-found skill, he knitted this wrist cuff accessory (or whatever you want to call it) and was so proud of it, he wore it to school this afternoon.  

Here he is trying to look tough. 

 Oh and here are the other kids doing their best to look tough too. 

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Breakfast at Our House

    Argghhhhh!  Sammich time!

Toast and jam, come to my mouth hole.

Jammy face.

 "Ima gonna eatchoo!"

"Why so serious??"

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Happy 31st

     Are you as shocked as I am?  Thirty-one years old and I still look 15!  (I wish.)  Let's face it, I'm no spring chicken anymore.

     Since my birthday landed on a Sunday this year, we did most the celebrating on Saturday.  In the morning Mike watched the kids so I could go for a long run.  Afterward I suggested we all go to the Tualatin Hills Nature Park for a walk.  Mike wanted to take me on a hike in Forest Park, but because the weather was unpredictable, and rainy on and off all day, I opted for a hike close to home.  We had a great time!  We saw a lizard and the kids got to hold it.  We saw a nutria looking around for breakfast.  It wasn't afraid of us and let us get real close to it to take pictures.  We saw ducks, fish, and more lizards in the water.  We also found a snail and a slug on our path.  Overall, the kids were pretty excited about all our discoveries.  
     For my special day Mike took me out to dinner.  We went to the infamous Toro Bravo restaurant.  But because it's so popular, you can't make reservations, you just have to show up 15-20 minutes before they open just to get a table.  There is usually a line of people already waiting outside the door.  We tried to get there early but our GPS gave us wrong directions (curse you, technology!!!) so we got there about 10 minutes after they opened the doors.  We put our name on the waiting list and it was already and hour and a half wait for a table by then!  We were a bit discouraged but decided to wait anyway.  
     So we went upstairs to a small bar called the Secret Society for drinks and appetizers.  We had a yummy cheese board and we were also introduced to ginger beer which is the strongest gingery drink I have ever consumed!  Not too long after, we checked our status at Toro Bravo and they were ready to seat us!  So we didn't have to wait as long after all.  We ordered virgin margaritas and the eight course tasting menu.  Mike learned early on in our relationship that the way to my heart is through good food.  Here is what we had: 
Bread with butter & olive oil 
Bacon wrapped dates with warm honey  
Salt cod fritters with aioli
Spring green salad mix with asparagus, chopped eggs, and hazelnuts
Griddled chorizo & eggs with potatoes and buttermilk cheese
Duck liver mousse terrine with morels & house made sidra mustard
Baked polenta with roast beef, peppers, & onions 
Sautéed spinach with pine nuts & golden raisins 
Drunken pork with fresh shell bean stew

     Eight little plates of pure heaven.  Well, except for the liver mousse, which was a new thing for me.  I wasn't a big fan of it.  Not so much the taste as the texture, (and the name was scary, too) but I was adventurous and gave it a try.  Mike didn't have a problem polishing off the rest of it.  Brave boy.  My favorite thing was the polenta.  My belly was so full by the end of our meal...but not too full for Salt & Straw ice cream.  In my opinion, it's the best ice cream in the world!  There is always a line out the door when we go to this place, but it is so worth it.  I got a split scoop of their AMAZING sea salt ice cream with caramel ribbon and a new flavor called "Lumberjack Stack."  It tasted like maple syrup and had bits of baked, blueberry pancakes.  I could've died a happy girl right then and there.  I haven't felt so gluttonous in a very long time.  
     This morning Mike let me sleep in.  He got the boys bathed and dressed for church.  He also made breakfast.  He took Haven home early to put him down for a nap so I could go to Sunday school and Relief Society.  While he was at home with the baby he made taco soup for dinner and cake for dessert.  For my birthday I requested a devil's food cake and an angel food cake, and I got both.  Food, food, food.... greatest birthday gifts a girl like me could ask for.  :)  I also got some other fun things which included a neck pillow, a work-out DVD, and a Mani-pedi pass.  Vessel made me a paper airplane and wrapped it up in pretty paper and made me a cute card to go with it.  Gotta love that sweet boy.  I also got cards and money from family, and texts and emails from friends.  I feel so blessed.

I can't forget the Cadbury Mini Eggs and fake booze!  Two of my favorite things!   I'm sad though, because one of the stemmed glasses fell off the table and shattered into a hundred pieces before I even got to use it.  

Oh, and the other gift from Mike: Wet Ones!!  Just what I wanted!! ;)

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Happy birthday, Mama!

My mom would've been 50 years old today.  I still miss her everyday.  
From left to right:  1.  Laura with a grumpy face.  I think Jacob looks a lot like her here.  2.  Laura at around 18 years old.  Love the wink. ;)  3.  Laura's 1st birthday.  4.  My mama holding me.  5.  Laura at around 15 years old.  Her favorite color was always orange.

Saturday, March 9, 2013

I'm Totes Gonna Red Point This Wall

 Mike and I went on an afternoon date to Stoneworks climbing gym today.  We used to go climbing quite often back in the day, but considering how sore my fingers and arms are tonight, my body can attest to how long ago our last climbing experience was.  On the bright side,we got plenty of butt shots to enjoy for years to come.   

Cooper Mountain Nature Park

Tonight we took the kiddos for a hike at Cooper Mountain Nature Park.  It was a super beautiful and relaxing way to end a our fun day. 

 Shadow family

Little buds

 Finding cool treasures

On our way home we witnessed this car catch fire after rear ending someone at an intersection.  Luckily nobody was injured.  Mike was hoping for an explosion, but the fire truck came to take care of the situation before it got too exciting.