Tuesday, June 29, 2010

picture problem

there are many great photos that go with all of the next few posts.
however, blogger is having some problem with loading these pictures.
it's also having a problem saving posts.
i am publishing a few posts now
but won't have the pictures until blogger will cooperate.
check back again for the best part of the posts.

our favorite pastime

there's no doubt that just being on the beach is our favorite thing.
our shell collection grows everyday.
our sandcastle skills are improving.
we've been getting the kite up, too.
our ankles have been known to get wet on occasion as well.
the ocean surely has had a calming influence on all of us.
we all find our own little world there.

eating well

we are all getting more than enough delicious food...
tillamook ice cream & squeeky cheese, whiskey creek bbq, roadside cherry stands, local beef, haystack pizza, local chips & salsa, voodoo donuts, portland market philly steak & cheese sandwiches, cannon beach candy store lollipops, and on and on.
i can feel myself slowly filling out more each day.
can i still hide it all under the 3 month postpartum excuse?
what can maggie hide it under?
even her cheeks are filling out so much they look as if they could pop.

cannon beach take 2

as i mentioned in the last post,
we love cannon beach.
we did do more this trip there than just watch sam swim in the ocean.
we had the rare opportunity of have the tide out long enough to walk out to haystack rock and explore the tide pools.
for you "goonie" movie experts, you should know haystack rock.
it is the big rock in the ocean in the final scene when the ship appears on the beach.
yes, we are fans of "the goonies".
and, yes, we are sad that we missed the 25th anniversary celebration here of "the goonies" by 1 week.
i digress.
back to haystack rock.
we saw many amazing creatures on this tidal pool excursion.
star fish, anemone, mussels, crabs, fish, etc.
sam even got to hold a live crab in his hand.
will wasn't going for that.
oh, and don't forget the dead seal that washed up onto the beach.
we were all fascinated by all that we saw.
cannon beach is one of our favorite places.

Monday, June 28, 2010

cannon beach- take 1

june 21

we love cannon beach.
i'm not sure if we love it so much because of it's beautiful beaches, quaint shops, tasty pizza restaurants, or the breathtaking state parks surrounding it.
i'm thinking we love it so much because of the memories we made here 3 years ago with our two tiny little boys (tiny at the time).
sam was such a joy to watch then at the "bunny house" and with his love for the sand;
the 1st time he saw sand he laid down on it and scrunched it between his fingers & toes.
he has a new fascination with the beach,
and part of that fascination played out today at cannon beach.

he wants to swim in the ocean so bad.
he has worn his swimsuit almost everyday that we have been here.
he was determined at cannon beach.
you must know the air temperature is about 65 degrees and the water about 58 degrees.
it's cold.
he got in to swim.
he splashed around like he was really enjoying it.
he had to have been frozen.
but good for him for trying.

thanks, sam, for adding another precious memory of our times at cannon beach.
we will always appreciate your determination to fully enjoy everything around you.
even if you seem a little out of your mind. :)


i came on this vacation with a few things i would like to work on.
i've once heard that it only takes 21 days to form a habit.
with that in mind, i have convinced myself to really focus on a few things the whole time we are here,
and i hope by the time we return home these improvements will stick.
at the top of my list is listening.
i want to be a better listener.
i don't just mean listening in a conversation.
i want to really "hear" what people are telling me when they talk.
i want to really "hear" what my children are telling me when they talk.
i want to really "hear" what they are telling me when they don't talk.
i want to really "hear" what my body tells me the things i need.
and i want to really listen to my heart.
this is much harder than it sounds.

i have been walking in the mornings.
it's nice to focus on listening before my family even wakes up.
as i walk i try to not let my mind wander.
i only listen.
i listen to the sound of my feet on the asphalt.
i listen to the birds.
i listen to the flowing stream that i walk along.
it's hard to listen.
as soon as i hear something my mind starts to wander.
i love the drill of bringing it back to listening.

it's hard to just listen.
i have been made aware of that.
i'm learning that listening also happens by looking.
i am cherishing the time spent watching my children.
i am learning so much about them.
i am "hearing" sam say he needs more encouragement, more assurance that the things he does has value.
i am "hearing" will say that he loves his space but he wants to be held some times, too.
i am "hearing" maggie when she just wants to be put down.
i'm listening to their stories, too.
sometimes they just want me to listen to their knock knock jokes and really "hear" them,
not just pretend i do by giving them a courtesy laugh.
i haven't quite tapped into hearing exactly what i'm saying
or even what pete is saying;
he speaks so quietly that he's easy to not hear.

i'm glad we have 3 more weeks to focus on this.
i'm getting better every day.

father's day & a trip to church

june 20

we did find our church here;
i love to visit a new ward on a vacation.
i love the break and fresh perspective.
today was no different.
sam was so brave to go to primary by himself.
his teacher came out several times to tell me how well-behaved he was.
will didn't love nursery.
i enjoyed my time;
i made 2 new friends who were pleasant to talk to.
they gave me the inside scoop on the area.
pete enjoyed the homemade baked goods they gave for a father's day treat.
the part we will chuckle about is the showdown we witnessed between the bishop and the scout lady.
we laughed when she pulled out "the bottom line" phrase.
definitely worth it today.

i'm sure this post was not that interesting;
many of these posts will just be to serve as a record of this trip for us to recall many years from now.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

our first day here

June 19

none of us can believe that we are finally here.
none of us could wait a second to get our feet onto the beach.
our cottage is located just across netarts bay;
it's beautiful,
but we weren't big on the rocky shore.
it's a popular crabbing spot.
we drove about 2 miles to oceanside.
what a treat!!
it was exactly like the place we had been dreaming of!!
soft sand, rolling waves, haystack rocks, partly cloudy skies.
sam and will could not believe their eyes!
They couldn’t chase waves fast enough!
I think, or I know, they were the loudest ones on the beach that night,
So much squealing and laughter.
I even had a few bouts of excited laughter.
Hopefully this level of excitement doesn’t violate beach etiquette.
This is going to be quite a summer.

we are here

we have arrived to our oregon coast cottage.
the trip was better than expected.
our home is perfect.
and the beach is just how we remembered.
our boys are in heaven.
we are in heaven.
the only drawback to our place is that we have no internet.
blogging will be very difficult,
and blogging with pictures will be almost impossible.
that makes me very sad.
so much to see and say.
anyone know of some savvy, modern way to get internet by the month?
we don't have phones that will support it (i know, we are SO old-fashioned),
but it just seems there has to be another way to get it to our computer.
tips, help, advice?
we have so much to share.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

see you soon

i can't believe the time is finally here for our trip;
still hard to believe that this is where our summer will be spent.

Monday, June 14, 2010

i don't want to miss a thing

sam: he is dying to lose a tooth. he told grandma jane tonight that he has a loose tooth. she asked if he knew what was going to come if he lost a tooth. (she was referring to the tooth fairy). he just as matter-of-factly replied "another tooth." this kid is so practical like his mother that it frightens me.

you told us you want to be an artist when you grow up. you want to be the kind of artist that makes movies. you have been working on illustrating the movie Toy Story 10 (your idea). i love when i find you in bed drawing and writing. you are writing lots of "words", too, some of which you can spell out. i am so proud of you for your love of learning and creativity.

you love your brother! and we are so glad! when we were picking out beach toys you tried so kindly and desperately to get will to choose a floatie instead of a football. you were very concerned that he would be sad without a floatie. after much resistance from will you finally said "that's ok, will, you can have one of my floaties."

sam at his preschool graduation.
the two of you think it's so funny to put on maggie's pants. it is a little funny; it looks just like biker shorts! :)

will: i love how whenever we tell you that you are not supposed to be doing things you will continue doing it most of the time but will say "I KNOW!!". your tone is what's killer.

you have broken completely through potty training. you have peed on the potty for a little while, but you just pooped for the 1st time this week. you normally ask for a diaper, and i know you just need to poop. i encouraged you to try it on the potty. with much anxiety you did it. and you were SO proud! you said "i have to show my dad and my sam!". after excitedly looking sam sighed a big "YES!". he was so proud of you. i think he finally sees you as his very best peer and not just your older brother. you finally get it and cry if you have to wear a diaper.

you are such a clown, and you love being subtle about it. every time i help you put your shorts or underwear on you put one foot in the right hole and then you always try to sneak the other foot in the same hole. you act like you don't know you're doing anything wrong until i look at you. then you bust up laughing. you definitely have a sense of humor.

you have a basketball blanket from grandma vanderlinden that you love; you always have to sleep with it. you always call it your soccer ball blanket; we don't even try to correct you anymore. it's kind of cute.
this is a pic of you posing; you will pose over and over until the pic suits you. you approved this one, and i can see why-pretty cute. :)

maggie: you love sleeping in your bed. you prefer to just be laid down to sleep. if you don't get naps in your bed you are grouchy i.e. crying a lot. if you don't get to sleep in your bed your preferred way to go to sleep you like for me to hold you and bounce you to sleep.

you are smiling so much lately. we love saying that whoever she smiles at then she is their baby. the boys love this and can always be found excitedly exclaiming that she is their baby.

you have never sucked on a pacifier, but you have recently started sucking on your hand. you suck on your pointer finger knuckle on your right hand, and it is so cute.

your eyes are getting so big and blue, and your cheeks are getting so chubby. you seem to be the missing link with your looks. sometimes you look just like sam and sometimes just like will

Thursday, June 10, 2010

packing up

our oregon trip is only 1 week away.
i've dreamed of so many things that i wanted to make before we went.
i put it off until now because i wanted it to feel closer;
i thought it would feel more exciting.
well, exactly what i didn't want to happen has happened.
i'm almost out of time.
i'm cracking down now,
and i recently finished one of the projects,
the boys' travel/beach backpacks.
they love them,
and i love them.
i loved it so much i made an extra.
i have listed it in my etsy shop,
so if you love it, too, then head on over to the shop and make it yours.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

i've been thinking lots about this quote i've read on my sister's blog...

"In our day, many children grow up with distorted values because we as parents overindulge them. Whether you are well-to-do or, like most of us, of more modest means, we as parents often attempt to provide children with almost everything they want, thus taking away from them the blessing of anticipating, of longing for something they do not have. One of the most important things we can teach our children is to deny themselves. Instant gratification generally makes for weak people. How many truly great individuals do you know who never had to struggle?"
--Joe J Christensen

i have tried very hard to not overindulge my children.
i am not a perfect parent,
and i'm sure i don't do near the job that they did in the "old days",
at least in terms of overindulging.
i try to make fun for my kids,
but i'm not buying them stuff all the time.
so, i'm a little confused about how my kids have been acting lately.
they ask for everything ALL the time.
they always want me to buy them things.
it seems strange.
don't they know by now what my answer is going to be?
i do feel guilty at times,
but i'm certain i don't want to take away their anticipation for things.
i am also wondering when they will get it that i DON'T like mcdonalds,
and that is one of the last things i will overindulge them with?
any helpful suggestions on finding the right balance of giving your child the world without overindulging them?
kind of a contradiction it seems at times?
please help!

Monday, June 7, 2010

they don't miss a thing

my boys think of everything.
it doesn't take much to entertain them.
especially if they find a bike tube.
if you can't tell, they have stretched a bike tube and attached it to their beds.
they call it their "shake your booty" rope.
they bounce on it,
jump over it,
and catapult each other off of it.
so far, it has only ended in laughter,
and it has been a few days.
i still hear the song "shake your booty" many times a day.
this is why i don't love toys.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

turning over a new leaf

maggie's favorite person up to this point has NOT been pete.
i'm thinking that after today that could all be changing.
today was her baby blessing,
and pete was the administrator of that blessing.
this was not just any old baby blessing.
it was the most personal, tender blessing i have ever heard.
he blessed her with courage, wisdom, kindness, and love.
the most touching part was his reminder to her that he almost didn't get to meet her.
as an emotional dad delivered such a tender message,
it truly felt like no one was there except for pete & maggie.
you could almost feel maggie "getting it".
i think she might just feel differently about her dad now.

we are so grateful to have her,
and that will never change.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

dear jenni

growing up i went by the name jenni.
over the last years i've been known by jen or jennifer.
rarely by jenni.
that person almost seems like a stranger to me.
recently i've been thinking a lot about jenni.
i ran across my senior pictures.
seeing that girl brought so many emotions & memories back.
i longed to be jenni again.
i wanted her natural youthful beauty, her humility, her kindness, her softness.
i decided to bring jenni back.
so i colored my hair back to it's natural color.
i have felt like jenni.
at times even haunted by jenni.
i was flooded by jenni's insecurities... all of the insecurities i had not recognized i had left behind with jenni.
it's surprising how a hair color can bring something like that back.
i don't think i want to be jenni anymore.
i don't even know how long i will leave this color.
apparently not many people like the switch.
i can't even get one person to even acknowledge it besides my family.
that must be bad.
maybe it doesn't work anymore.
i need to remember that that was 13 years ago after all.
a lot changes in 13 years.
thank goodness in so many ways.
the one thing that hasn't changed is my ability to get distracted doing something unimportant when important things need to be getting done.
like in this case,
why am i spending time changing my hair when i should be preparing for maggie's baby blessing tomorrow!?
that horrible quality was alive in jenni & still in jen & jennifer.

Jenni 1997 Jennifer 2010
(dont' judge this pic of me too closely; my sis took it
at 11:00 pm after i had been working in the yard all day.
i don't think i really look that old & tired!?)

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