Sunday, August 31, 2008

You Canned Peaches? Seriously?

Two weekends ago, we canned peaches. Yes, indeed. People nowadays DO still know how to can. Adam was pretty excited about it, and I was resigned, but two evenings later, we had over 50 bottles of peaches. That means we have one per week for a year. We're very proud of ourselves, and even though it was hard work, they taste great, and it's totally worth doing again.

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Last weekend, we went to the zoo. We figured it might be the last warm weekend of the summer (whoopee for living in Washington--sigh), and we had a wonderful time. Mariah is just old enough to start noticing the animals, and Anna loves watching them. You can just see the bald eagle on the upper right-hand side of this picture. It's a cool exhibit because you're actually in his enclosure and he can fly over your heads if he wants to. But, thankfully, he didn't.

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Mariah thought the flamingos were pretty cool. The big moment of the trip, though, was that it's the first time Mariah has EVER fallen asleep in the stroller. I never thought I'd see the day.

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Our Family Home Evening last Monday night was pretty awesome, so here's a movie of our activity.

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In other news, Mariah started walking this week. It was just one or two steps a few nights ago, and now she's up to three or four at a time before she crashes face-first to the ground. And no, we don't have a movie of it yet. She does it at very unpredictable times. Like during the prayer at the end of Sacrament meeting today. You'd have all been so proud as we're both watching her delightedly with one eye half-open during the prayer, not even paying attention. Since of course, none of you have EVER had your eyes open during a prayer.

Adam and I gave talks in Sacrament Meeting today. We spoke on being "Born Again," based on Elder Christofferson's talk from last Conference. And things went pretty well. We were both nervous, Adam a little more so than I was, but the Spirit was there, and I think people were paying attention. We got a lot of compliments, and both the Sunday School teacher and the Bishop (during the combined RS/Priesthood meeting) commented about what we'd said, so that should be a sign of success, right? Right. And now, it's over, and we shouldn't have to speak until our next new ward. Following current pattern, that should be about two years from now. And that works for me. :)

And on one final note, let me just tell everyone how SUPER FUN it is to play Pretend for 24 hours a day, for 5 days in a row. In the last few days, I've spent way more time being Anna, Daddy, Barney the Dinosaur, a sheep, a teacher, a chef, and several other things than I have spent being Mommy. I never knew how grateful I should be to just be myself. I'll try to show gratitude for that more often.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Cute Moments Collection

Here's some of our memorable moments of the last few days. I've interspersed some cute pictures from the last few weeks, many of which were taken by my very talented friend, Stacey.

We got home from Utah on Saturday night around 7:00, so the girls had about an hour to calm down from the trip and get used to being here before it was time to go to bed. We were trying to unpack the cooler and food bags when Anna ran into the kitchen with Maggie (her kitty doll) in the doll stroller. She said, "I'm goin' on a trip!" Daddy asked, "Where are you going?" "To visit grandmas and grandpas!" Then she ran back out with the stroller. You'd have thought 14 hours in the car would have killed the spark, but not for this girl -- she loves those grandparents! She told us that next we should drive to visit Grandma Tammy (the only grandparent we didn't get to see), and she was unperturbed when we told her we would have to drive a very, very, very, very long way (she lives in Maine).



Yesterday, before bed, Anna decided to read her own bedtime book instead of waiting for Daddy. She pulled out the book, opened the first page, looked, then shut the book and said, "I need my glasses!" She jumped up, grabbed her sunglasses off the dresser, then came back, opened the book, put them on, and muttered, "I just can't read without my glasses." So there you go, Grandma Sherri -- imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.

We've embarked on the potty training adventure this week, and although I wouldn't say things are going along swimmingly, I thought it was a good sign this afternoon when Anna was putting her dollhouse dolls on their potty and making them "make pee." Even the Mariah doll got to use the potty. If only that were the case in real life. One of the biggest challenges of the last couple of days has been figuring out how to get Anna on the potty while keeping Mariah away from it. We've had more things end up in the potty in the last two months of Mariah's life than we did in Anna's whole life. Love it. Heh.



The weekend before our Utah trip, we went blueberry-picking at a blueberry farm in Bellevue. The price combines with the freshness, the organic-ness, and the experience to make it well worth our time. Mariah didn't have the best time, but the rest of us enjoyed it immensely.


We also attended the Pioneer Day Picnic with our new ward. We made some friends, ate some great Dutch Oven chicken, and had an all-around good time. We even dragged Uncle Jakob along with us, and he was a very good sport. Anna, Adam, and Jakob did the tug-of-war, and Anna and Adam DOMINATED at the three-legged race. Okay, so they actually came in almost last, but it was still adorable. You'd think that carrying your partner would make you faster, wouldn't you?...



Sunday, August 10, 2008

A Whole New World

Well, for those of you who've been waiting with baited breath to find out where we've moved, here's the big moment.  Duh duh duh DUH...  Bothell.  Wait, you say, that's where you lived before, isn't it?  Yes, indeed.  But instead of being Bothell-Almost-Mill-Creek, now we're in Bothell-Almost-Kirkland, which is a 30-minute difference to Adam's commute, and that, after all, was the point.  He can now bike home in 35 minutes.  It's a beautiful thing.  Here's a picture of our new house. 

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Yep, it's pretty darn ugly.  We call it The Blue House.  It's blue on the outside, and the first time we came to see it, it was also blue on the inside: wall-to-wall blue carpet.  Luckily, no one was willing to rent it like that, so they installed some neutral grayish-beige stuff that's much more livable.  It's not too pretty, but it's got a big kitchen with new appliances, a big living room, a big dining room (the playroom), a big bonus room downstairs (the home for Anna's train set), a big office/hobby room, and 3 other good-sized bedrooms.  The backyard is overrun with towering pine trees, but our landlord gave us permission to rearrange the landscaping and do some pruning, so we have a little garden with some herbs, and we'll soon start some autumn vegetables.    Our new ward seems nice, and there's a good amount of kids Anna's age, which surprised me in an area this old (the local community is called Juanita).  There are some fun parks around, we're back in the King County Library System (we LOVE the library), and we can walk to the grocery store, so all considering, it's a good place.  We haven't decided whether we'll be here for a year or for two, but it's a comfy place to be for however long we're here.

Now let me take a moment here to pay homage to my parents.  We are ever grateful to them.  They came up the week before we moved and stayed until two days after we moved in.  They helped us pack, helped keep the girls happy, helped us move, helped us clean, and helped us start unpacking.  They could have come a few weeks earlier and just enjoyed a vacation, but instead they came to help.  I suppose we could have done it alone, but not without much more trauma and frustration, so thank you, Mom and Dad, for everything. 

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The reason it's taken so long for me to post a new entry is because after we moved in during the second week of July, we didn't have Internet for 2 1/2 weeks.  We also didn't have TV (still don't, by the way), and we didn't know anyone in the ward or neighborhood.  It was a very long, very disconnected few weeks, and my friends at our old ward's playgroup saved my sanity.  But it did give us time to do some nesting and some encouragement to get out and discover what's in our area.  We finally got our Internet, and one week later, we left for a 10-day trip to Utah.  Now, ten days may sound like a long time, but cut two days off for driving, one Sunday, and that leaves seven days to do all of the following: take the girls swimming, ride the Frontrunner train to Temple Square, attend a full day of wedding festivities, go out to eat five times, drive to Lindon, attend a Wildtree tasting (www.wildtree.com -- Adam's stepsister is a rep.), drive to Payson for dinner, drive to Lehi for dinner, go to the Kangaroo Zoo (a bouncy house), go to the park, go to the mall, go to the Hostess/Wonder Outlet (yeah, don't ask), and take 1 or 2 naps every day.  This is the busiest Utah trip we've ever had, and it was great to do so much, but it felt like some of the "vacation" got left out of this vacation.  We've all come home exhausted and beat up.  Here's a few pictures from the trip, mostly taken at the last minute when we realized we once again hadn't taken any pictures.

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