Saturday, November 29, 2008

new favorite

box o chalk


since moving to albuquerque we seem to have a new favorite past time. in the backyard we have a huge concrete slab porch that has become a blank canvas for our girls. while i was going through grandma's sewing room (which i converted into kawena's room) i found a dollar store box of sidewalk chalk. i thought, "the girls might have fun with this."


when nani got home from school that day, i presented the box to the girls. they were so excited! they ran out back and i didn't see them again for 2 hours. needless to say, the chalk was a big hit and pretty much all used up within a couple days.


realizing what a great activity this was for the girls i went for the good stuff and bought them the "crayola" tub-o-chalk the next time i was at the store.


chalk dumped


they have had hours and hours of fun drawing self portraits and treasure maps on the porch. when it gets too filled up they just hose it down with some water and they are presented with a blank canvas full of possibilities!


you may think, "sidewalk chalk! so what?!! big deal!" but if you ever went to our house in oregon you know that we had nowhere but our small "two car" garage to draw with chalk. our driveway was that gravely, textured concrete that is not condusive to sidewalk drawings. and our driveway was so long that we were nowhere near the actual sidewalk. out our back door was a nice stained deck that was not going to be used for chalk drawings!


if you were to visit us now, you would see big bright, yellow stars decorating our walkway (lala just mastered the art of drawing stars!), and you would see colorful drawings covering our back porch! 


the girls love it!


i love it!


they play for hours outside in the crisp, bright sunshine and fresh air. better yet, they enjoy being out there T.O.G.E.T.H.E.R.! it is wonderful, cheap entertainment!


last week, while nani and kale'a were both at school, kawena and i played in the backyard. i thought it would be a perfect opportunity for a mini photo shoot. it was great one-on-one mommie/daughter time!


kawena draw

she is so funny about this little backpack. it is just perfectly her size and she loves to wear it . it must make her feel connected to her sisters who both have backpacks that they wear to school. i love how she is wearing her backpack full of little toys while she busily draws a picture for me.



kawena on car

notice the little rubber ducky in the back. when i was editing this photo it just made me laugh because he is wearing sunglasses! haha! i don't know why i found that so hilarious, but i did!


now these last two photos i absolutely L.O.V.E.! i may have to blow them up and frame them i love them so much!

kawena sepia



now, i may just be a biased mom, but is she gorgeous, or what?! i've always been a sucker for blue eyes, but, i don't know, these beautiful brown eyes certainly are captivating!


Thursday, November 27, 2008

how would you feel if you were a turkey?

have you ever asked yourself that question?


well, nani did and this was her answer:

if i were a turkey


here's a closer look:

if i were a turkey close

if you still can't read it, she wrote:

"How would I feel if I were a turkey?

If I were a turkey I would be scared and i would not like Thankggiving."


i'm guessing that is just about how i would feel, too!


here's hoping that your turkey is not scared and that you like thanksgiving!


i know we will!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

too much estrogen

drama queen


when you live in a household of 4 girls (well, 3 little girls and a woman) you may, from time to time, witness a tad bit of drama! from the littlest 2 year old all the way up to the almost 8 year old (and maybe an occasional moment from the woman, but ONLY because she is very pregnant) you will hear way too much emotion in the words they say and the sounds that come from their mouths! and you may hear some choice words and phrases from the male of the household when he is around to witness it. things such as, "hollywood", ""drama queen", "there is way too much estrogen!", you know, those sorts of things!


well, today, the girls and i were leaving costco when the baby didn't want to get into her carseat. so, nani and i decided to "help" her in to her seat. as soon as she was seated she started in with the "oh-so-obviously-fake" cry. no tears, of course, because it is her fake cry. as soon as lala heard the "cry" she piped up and said, with a roll of her eyes, "DRAMA MAMA"! now coming from her, it is very funny because kawena picks up most of her antics from lala!



this is a picture of kawena from this summer at hug point, oregon. she didn't want to put her feet in the sand so she got all bent out of shape over it! this is her "drama mama" face!

Monday, November 24, 2008


sorry, the blog is probably hard to follow with me jumping back and forth from past to present, but i really want to get all the "moving" stuff down on "paper", so to speak, so i can just stay in the present! i am getting closer to being done with catching up, so just indulge me for a moment longer in time.


the long road trip, day 4:

not much exciting happened until our fourth day on the trip to albuquerque. it was pretty much just a bunch of driving! the girls did fantastic, though. we wanted to do something fun that the girls would enjoy to break up all the driving.


so, on our fourth day, we were driving through utah and decided to take the girls to arches. they were super excited!


unfortunately, i was not able to get a closer look because i had been bleeding a little bit since we had left oregon and needed to stay off my feet as much as possible. so i stayed in the car while mitch took all three girls for a closer look at the arches. i got a little nap and they got some great pictures.

nanilala in arch

i was surprised they got a picture with no one else in it. it was super crowded that day because the weather was gorgeous!


holding up arch

lala holding up the arch, love the look on her face!


mitch n girls

i took this picture after they got back to the car. it's not a very good picture because the lighting is horrible, but i love it because of kawena. she stood next to that railing and looked at mitch and saw his hand on his hip. so, she looked back at me and put her little hand up on her hip just like her daddy! too cute!


in the car

back in the car before we head back to the interstate.


arches sillouette

this is my favorite shot that mitch took of nani's silhouette through the arch! i love the blue sky in the background.


we are sure glad we stopped and we plan to go back again when we have a little more time to take a tent for camping! the girls really loved it!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

happy day!

the girls and i spent all afternoon doing this:

hard at work


making this:

welcome home


then writing this:






and this:



and mixing this:

nani kawena bake


and this:

lala bake


to bake cookies to welcome home him:


oh wait, we were to busy welcoming him home to take a picture!

we are so happy, excited, relieved, and beyond ourselves with joy to have daddy home!!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

our last week in oregon, a week spent with friends


our last week in oregon started with my birthday on monday. a day on which i enjoyed a prenatal massage and got to hold a brand new baby. the grover's had their baby the night before, which was perfect timing for mitch. you see, he planned a surprise party for the night of my birthday and this gave him a perfect excuse to get me away from the house.


when we got home our home was filled with so many of our dear friends who had come to wish me a happy birthday and spend the night celebrating with me. i couldn't think of a better way to spend my birthday than with friends! thanks to everyone who came and made my night special! our house was crawling with kids, kids, and more kids. sprinkled among all the kids were their parents. unfortunately, i was having too much fun with friends that i didn't think to get out my camera.


two nights later, elizabeth organized a girls night out as a farewell for me at claim jumper. i was deeply touched by how many of my firends showed up.

claim jumper


we were all surprised by the massive portions! i could not believe how huge the entrees were and the desserts, oh my word, can you say ginormous!

me renae amanda

here i am with renae (who still doesn't have a blog. shame on you!) and amanda. they shared an eclair. the eclair that they shared was the size of a football, no joke! the white plate in front of amanda and the black bowl in front of renae both have half of the eclair in them. that was just ONE dessert!


i had such a great time visiting with my friends that night! thanks girls for making me feel so loved! i miss you all so much! i need another gno!

claim jumper2


then, on sunday night we had a farewell/open house for the ward members to come say goodbye. it was an emotional night, but wonderful to see so many of our friends show up! i was able to take a few pictures of some of our firends and wish that i had taken more!

amanda me e

amanda, my friend who has been pregnant with me twice now and who we almost did a team triathlon together earlier this year if it wasn't for the pregnancy thing! and, of course , my dear, dear friend elizabeth, the best neighbor in the world!


dustin me camila

dustin and camila, who went through so much to be together! we enjoyed many meals with them and a great wakeboarding adventure. oh yeah, and my brother kawika actually saved dustin's life! i'm not kidding! saved him from choking to death on a gummy bear in priesthood one sunday! i'm glad you're still around dustin!                                       



the barfuss family, who we didn't know for very long, but will always hold a special place in our hearts. earlier this year, they lost their teenage son, ross. during that difficult time we were able to get to know them on many different levels, photographer, hearse, and home teacher. we enjoyed rock climbing with them and many sunday dinners. our girls especially loved harassing their teenage kids!



the oberg family, who was one of the first families who welcomed us into the ward. i love this picture because scott's head is partially cut-off (just kidding, scott). the reason i love this picture is that when we moved here, between our two families there was 1 child, zach. now look at us! i think we both have done a great job at multiplying and replenishing, don't ya think? from one kid to 7 1/2! not bad!



rachael, my triathlon buddy (who refused to say goodbye to me! sorry i didn't call as i was leaving like i promised!) who was always giving such great advice and so much fun to workout with because we just talked for hours as we did! and we love her kids, too! carissa was one of my activity day girls, samantha was our babysitter, and cason was the movie day guy! our girls had so much fun with all of you!


kawena glasses

and of course, kawena found her own ways of entertaining herself that night! actually, funny story i have to share... kawena found the peanut m&m's shortly after we arrived. she took handful after handful and was loving them! or so i thought! finally i put them up out of reach of her cute little hands because she had eaten like half the bowl. about 30 minutes later she came downstairs from the playroom. i noticed she wasn't her chatty little self and she wasn't opening her mouth for anything.i walked over to inspect. i tried to get her to say something and when she finally did i noticed her mouth was FULL of chewed up peanuts! she had been holding the peanuts in her mouth for a whole half of an hour!! just call her chipmunk! (she does the same thing with carrots. she loves to eat them and then spit them out! weird child!).


we had a wonderful last week in oregon, thanks to all of our wonderful friends. it only made it that much harder to leave, but leave we had to! and leave we did!


the following tuesday we drove off to our next adventure as the sunset on the oregon chapter of our life.

*the last picture was taken at cannon beach on our last trip to the coast

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

during my second break...a photo shoot

after kale'a's birthday party i listened to what was left of the afternoon session of conference as i scanned through some photographer websites to get ideas for the photo shoot that i had with the wilde family that afternoon. they were my guinea pigs for one of my first photo shoots last year (almost to the day, funny!)  we actually weren't sure if the weather would cooperate, but alas, the sun did shine.


so, i went back to the same park that we had spent the morning at for the teddy bear picnic and i had a great time doing another photo shoot with this cute family.


here are a few shots from last years shoot:

bwCopy of family3.jpeg  family1.jpeg

familytree.jpeg  bwCopy of monkeys in a tree.jpeg


rachel was pregnant during last years photo session, so this year we had an extra little, and very cute, person to add to the family mix and photos.


i'd like to think that i have improved over the last year. what do you think?

boys at table2 bw


emilee troy


family on woodpile troy


Ethan Emilee bw 


 boys behind tree  family on table


rachel n gordon2 troy lux


i am still fine tuning my photography skills and i know i have a long way to go, but i really enjoy being behind the camera capturing the lives of others! thanks wilde's for letting me shoot your family again! i'll miss our annual photo shoot next year when october conference rolls around!


after the photo shoot, i was finally able to relax at elizabeth's house as she prepared a delicious breakfast for dinner while our hubby's were at the priesthood conference session and our kids played outside! it was exactly what i needed after such a hectic day! thanks, e!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008



**filled up with gas  for $1.92 per gallon


**sunny and 70 degrees--perfectly beautiful


**spent 5 hours without any kids


**gorgeous pink and orange sunset (i was driving otherwise i would have a picture to post)


**my sister-in-law fixed a delicious dinner for us 



except that we are missing mitch terribly! hurry home!

Monday, November 17, 2008

picking up where i left off...

about a month ago, i left the blogging world with "birthday week", so it would only seem appropriate to pick up there.


that saturday, the 4th of october, was a pretty crazy day for me. not only was it general conference with a 2 hour meeting scheduled every 4 hours starting at 9:00 in the morning and ending sometime around 7:00 pm, but i ALSO planned something during both 2 hour breaks in between conferences. i don't know why i seem to do that! i overbook myself so that a day that should be spent relaxing and reflecting on the words of the prophet and apostles, turns into a crazy day of rushing from here to there. i guess i just haven't learned yet to just enjoy that day!


as scatterbrained as the day was, i had a great time. between the morning and afternoon session of conference we celebrated kale'a's birthday (a week early because we were packing all day on her actual birthday). the thing that made it craziest was the weather. kale'a wanted a teddy picnic party, and all of you familiar with october weather in oregon know that it is very unpredictable! and, sure enough, it was raining all day and all night friday. i was praying for sunshine, but saturday morning dawned cold and drizzly!




so, we changed the location of the party from the park to our house. however, at the last minute, like 30 minutes before the party was supposed to start, it wasn't raining and the sun began to peek out from behind the clouds, just a little bit. so, i called everyone and told them that we changed our minds again, and were going to do it at the park.


so, i rushed over there and set up the lunches on a picnic blanket on the somewhat soggy grass. i had brought some "teddy bear picnic" books to read to the kids while they ate their teddy bear shaped sandwiches and teddy graham snacks and gummy bears.



however, it was laid out there for all of 5 minutes when the clouds decided to shower forth a bit of moisture!


dang it!


so, i gathered everything up and went for plan b:

plan b


the great thing about kids they don't seem to get bothered by minor things like a really cold, windy, wet day. they just enjoy the moment! kale'a doesn't even seem phased by it! however, nani does look a bit cold, but hey, it's the birthday girl that needs to enjoy it, right?!


after lunch/story time, we took the kids on a teddy bear hunt. here is kale'a holding the bear (i love how maia has her bear stuffed up in her jacket! the bear must have been cold!):

the bear


mitch was the hunting guide in the dark, scary forest:

the hunt


after the bear was found by each child, we got out the pinata, because what 5 year old party is complete without one?! everyone got a swing or two or three at the bear, but for some reason it didn't break open! until we gave the "big" kid a chance (maia's older brother, sam stayed to help out and it is a good thing he did because he had to whack it a couple of times before the candy spilled out).


i have to put this picture up because it just cracks me up! look at kale'a's face. doesn't it look like she is mad or crying or both!? it just makes me laugh because she wasn't mad or crying! sometimes it is funny what the camera captures!

lala pinata


we ended with presents and the cake! which was amazing! thanks again to stephanie! isn't this cake so cute! the bears were little cocoa crispies! she did a great job, yet again!

the cake


happy birthday kale'a! we love you! you bring such a ray of sunshine into our home and family. and just as the meaning of your name suggests, you truly are a "delightful one" (even with chocolate cake on your lips!)!



this post is already long enough, so i will have to save the sharing of what i did during the second 2 hour break between the afternoon and the preisthood sessions of conference for my next post!


oh the suspense!!