Sunday, March 29, 2015


Ah, spring.  We have been loving spring here in Oregon.  It has really felt like spring since February, so I have loved being able to send the kids outside on good days with no rain for so much of the winter.  Now, flowers are out and trees are blooming, so it really is Spring!  We have been singing "Popcorn" on our car rides around town for a couple weeks now.  I really like spring here.  Blossoms seem to linger longer, and really, the rain isn't bad at all.  As part of spring, we decided to experience the Tulip Festival that is held each year here in Woodburn, Oregon.  Brad is in the midst of a long stretch of work with no days off, so he decided to at least take a half day off so we could go and enjoy the sights.  We were not disappointed.  We have never been to a tulip festival, so this was pretty amazing
Mr. Ivan basking in the sun and loving all the colors and sights
In typical Christian fashion, Christian was all about the tractors sprinkled throughout the tulip fields.  And, in typical Christian fashion, he was too enthralled with the nobs and wheels to take the time to look at the camera for a pic.  This was the best pic, and is was on the PINK tractor.  Christian's favorite color of tulip was yellow and orange. 

Ellie looking cute next to the tulips.  Her favorite color of tulip was pink, red and purple.  
OK, here's a smiling Christian on a tractor

The sweet kiddos in the fields

Our "two lips" kissing in the tulip fields
The company that runs the festival is The Wooden Shoe Tulip Company, so there was a shoe carving shop with a bunch of wooden shoes of different sizes.  We had fun trying on the wooden shoes

A view of the colorful fields

We  brought home a bouquet of tulips to enjoy at home. It is called the Judith Leyster tulip and very beautiful.

On the first day of Spring, March 20, we found out that we will be coming back to Utah this summer.  Brad was matched as one of the first residents for Intermountain Healthcare's Ambulatory Care Program.  We are pretty happy about being able to be close to family again, but we will be leaving some great friends that we have made here.  The idea of moving back is definitely bittersweet due to the great people we have been blessed to meet while living here.   We have about 3 months left in Oregon, so we are going to try and soak in all that we can of this beautiful place while we're here.  We have already counted all of Brad's weekends and made a list of all the things we still want to experience here.  We're going to be busy to say the least.  

Sunday, March 1, 2015


We had the chance to go to Utah as a family last week.  Brad was able to schedule two interviews during the week, so it was completely worth it for all of us to head down there.  We spent a week enjoying time with grandparents, aunts and uncles, cousins, and friends.  The week went by so fast, and we enjoyed every minute of it. Ivan was quite the trooper during the drive and we only had about 3 major scream sessions on the 12 hour drive to and from our destinations

The weather in Utah was unusually warm.  Ellie and Chris spent an afternoon working in the yard with Grandpa.  Grandpa was working on his beehives, and they were quite interested.  He taught them a little about his bees.  They even got to taste honey straight from the honey comb.

We spent an afternoon with the Winter cousins at the Treehouse Museum.  Ellie and Ainsley were so fun to watch.  They just picked up on their friendship as if it hadn't been months since they last saw each other.  
Hyrum and Christian enjoying the dinosaur exhibit.

  Going to Utah, Christian was  most excited to shoot Grandpa with a Nerf gun.  He was also very excited to meet the Stout's new puppy Sniffy.  He was pretty excited about the idea, but just didn't really take to Sniffy's energetic personality upon actually meeting him.  Despite only really seeing Sniffy through the window, Christian now talks about some day getting a dog "with no whiskers like Sniffy."  
Lee helped Christian and Ellie build a big big big lego tower the morning we left.  They are still talking about how cool it was.  
On our drive home, we spent the night in Pendleton.  the last 45 minutes before arriving there, you have to go over a pass and Ivan just hated the whole idea.  He screamed for over a half hour while Brad drove on wet, foggy roads with bad headlights.  I tried desperately to keep Ivan quite with multiple attempts to stick his binky in his mouth, without success.   This is him as soon as we got to the hotel though.....happy as a clam.  Silly Boy.  Sadly, he has given up on the binky all together since we got home.  It's as if he knew he would want it for the trip, and that's it.  

When we got home, I couldn't believe how much this little man had changed.  He just looked so different in the familiar environment of our home after having been without it for a week.  We are struggling with naps and sleeping through the night now days, which I am not loving.    He's got a voracious appetite and is eating about every  2 1/2 hours pretty regularly.  He wakes up once or twice during the night and even woke up 3 times once this week (yuck).  This week he also rolled over from belly to back, has been grabbing at things, and has just been super smiley.