Friday, September 25, 2009

What to do?

The other day Jason and I were talking about how we have SO many toys (well Levi does). Levi recently had his birthday so there has been an increase of toys around the house. We were saying we want to get rid of some, but which? He plays with pretty much ALL his toys. Seriously. It's ridiculous just how many toys he can pull out (and put away, we have him trained now) and play with in a day.
Mr. Potato Head. Classic. Levi drags him out at LEAST four times a day AND insists that he has to have 3 sets of eyes, a red hat and blue shoes. If you try and add or change it in any way, he freaks.

All spread out. Poor Mr. Potato Head.

We have been playing barrel of monkeys a lot lately, it's a barrel of monkeys.

His new train set. He LOVES it. Can you guess what he's going to be for Halloween?

That is only the beginning of his stash of toys. But he loves them all so much, and we love them because he loves them. What to do, what to do.....

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Jason's Big Aquarium

Kendra does pretty much all of the posting on our blog. I only did one post, just after Max was born. She really does a great job, much better then I would. So I just leave it to her. She is very creative as can be plainly seen. But I wanted to do a post on here to show my hobby.

First off, Kendra has only herself to blame for my hobby. I got our first aquarium to house a turtle I caught for Kendra. She though they were so cute that she wanted one. Soon some minnows from the canal next to the house were added, then a couple of gold fish. The turtle then died, the gold fish would not. (Many parents have experienced the undying goldfish brought home from the fair.) Then I started trying other fish from the store which got sick and died just days after I added them. With some research, I found out that tropical fish needed a heater. Imagine that.

Once I got the hang of some to the basics of fish keeping, I was off to the races. I got a bigger tank and more fish. Kendra fell in love with angelfish so I went ahead and added one of those as well and her new friend, a blue lobster. She never like the tank as much as I did, but she loved "her" fish in the tanks.

After we moved back to Oregon, I got a bigger tank and more fish. I also found out about growing real plants in the aquariums. They look much better than the fake plants and the little houses and shipwrecks you see at petsmart and other stores. (The multi-color gravel with the shipwreck and skulls are the jokes of the planted aquarium community.) Another year later and I was getting more and more into planted tanks. Trust me, planted tanks are a vortex that will pull a person into the hobby and never let them go.

For my birthday this year, my Mom came to visit us. As a birthday present, she offered to just take me to the fish store and let me go on a little shopping spree. I was excited. Just inside the door there was a large 75 gallon tank for sale and as I passed it, I mentioned how my dream was to have a big tank like that or bigger. So while I was looking around the store, she figured out how much it would cost and ended up offering to buy it for me or give me the money to buy the setup I wanted. I was stunned. I took the money and found a 125 gallon tank on Craigslist. I had additional money from selling my old tank, plus money from my fish tank fund Kendra started, to get things set up. You can see the results below.

Here is what I stared out with.
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Here it is set up in the house near the end of February.
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Here it is near the end of April.
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Beginning of July.
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Mid August.
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And here is basically what it looks like right now. I recently started adding more fertilizers and light to get the plants growing a lot better.
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Kendra still mutters about how crazy I am. (Others have now joined her). But just like before, she is attached to the fish in the tank. Just the other day she got upset because I was going send some of the angelfish to someone in South Carolina to trade for some plants and shrimp.

Here are a couple of quick pictures of some of my favorite fish and plants in the aquarium.
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For a more detailed account of this aquarium, you can read my tank journal at this link.

Monday, September 21, 2009


This Saturday was a crazy day, much more than usual. I had a quilting class, Jason and my brother went golfing, my dad took Levi out for the afternoon, we had a birthday party to go to, as well as a graduation party and had to fit naps in where we could. It was a busy, exhausting, but fun day.

Max ADORES his jumparoo. He's a crazy dancing fool.
At the birthday party they had some goats in the backyard which Levi loves to chase around when we go there (you can see them on the table). I'm sure one of them is going to have a heart attack.
He kept running around saying GO!!!! with his hand stuck out like that. It was HILARIOUS!
Scarlett, my sister, went with me to keep both boys under control. She's cool like that. I would have been super stressed if I had to do it alone. Some mom's can do it just fine, but I'll admit it, I love the help. Thank you Aunt Rose!

At my friends graduation party (way to go Dani!), I gave Levi's friend Jackson a toy alligator like Levi got for his birthday (I realized I never got him anything for his 2nd or 3rd b-day). I saw it at the store and knew he'd love it, and I just couldn't resist. So each boy had their gator and loved them. Every boy needs a gator.
All the little ones decided to congragate to the golf cart, their vehicle of choice.

Just makin' trouble.

Emma and Levi chased each other around a tree, around a building, in circles. I wish I had that much energy.

It was a lot of fun. I'm sure just one of the many, many, many crazy Saturdays in our future.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Just Plane Fun

When I became a mother I thought about so many different things, how this little person would grow up, if they would have daddy's or mommy's eyes, how we would raise them....but I also thought about all those special moments I remembered as a child; coming downstairs and seeing the tree all lit up with presents dropped off from Santa; Easter egg hunts in the backyard, getting all dressed up for Halloween and checking out the 'loot' afterwards, and fun birthday parties. I was so excited about making those events special and memorable for my kids.

Levi's 1st b-day was very low key, a huge cupcake, some presents, pizza and the fam. But this year....I couldn't resist. I threw a party. I just couldn't help myself. I was too excited about it I couldn't wait a couple more years until he would actually remember.

Planes were the theme because every time an airplane sounds or the word airplane is said, Levi takes flight and runs around the house, arms spread ready for liftoff.

I didn't want to spend too much so I made a bunch of paper airplanes out of paper I had and strung them up all around the house and backyard, they looked way better than they did in my head.
Cameron, Levi's buddy, decided to mow the lawn for us. What a pal.
Jackson, Cameron, and Levi at the sandbox. I think Levi is supervising.
Jason couldn't find the matches and improvised. I did not approve

The face plant
The frosting frenzy
My oldest brother and girlfriend, aren't they cute?
Max trying out the new race car.
Loot (part of it). He might be a little spoiled.
The grand (pa) finale! Ok a lot spoiled.
It's great to be a boy.

Thank you to everyone who helped (and attended), and all those who sent presents and cards, Levi loved it all. He is such a lucky boy to have so many people who love him.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

It's about time

When I turned 18 and graduated from Young Women's to Relief Society at church, I received a calling in the Enrichment Committee. Then off to BYU I went. I then got the calling of....that's right, Enrichment Committee member! Several moves, a mission, more college and guess what? I have pretty much been either in charge of enrichment night as a member, leader or in the RS presidency over enrichment or involved in ward activities either as a memeber or leader. Oh, I've had other callings; ward missionary, VT supervisor; gospel doctrine teacher....but all usually on top of my enrichment/activity calling.

Don't get me wrong, I love activities (heck, I even CHOOSE to plan activites and events at BYU) and I suppose I must be good at it or they wouldn't keep putting me in those callings. But seriously. Since I was 18. That's almost nine years (ok, minus a year and a half when I was on my mission).

So this last week I got a new calling, not related to enrichment or activities........ready for it?.......

Relief Society Music Specialist (at least I think that's what they call it).

I haven't quite figured out what I'm going to do with it, but I'm excited to try something new and hopefully do a good job at it. We'll see how it goes! I am open to any tips or suggestions.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Tummy Time

Just a few pics of my favorite little almost four-month-er

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Last Minute

We had the opportunity to go camping at the last minute this weekend. It was 1) Our first 'big trip' as a family and (2) Both Levi's and Max first camping trip, the last time I went I was 8 months prego with Levi
Levi IMMEDIATELY found the water spigot, which of course was up hill from our picnic table, leaving most of that area muddy the whole time. We sure love water.
Maximus. I adore these PJs, they seem very fitting for the occasion.
Roasting marshmallows, 10 feet from the campfire. I kept telling him the fire was hot and to stay away, so he would blow at it and say "too big". He probably ate an entire bag of marshmellows.
I can't believe how well Max did. We were there two nights and I said if the first night went bad we were not staying the second, but they both did great!! We are definitely going to be camping in the future.
Reading, a favorite past time.
Brotherly love...
Our 'neighbors' thought this was hilarious, Levi liked it too.

Overall it went really well even though we mostly hung out at our campsite and roasted lots of marshmellows. It was great not to have to worry about all the daily stuff and just relax. What a fun weekend.