27 April 2014

Science in Sunglasses

Science happened at our house today in the form of egg spinning...

21 April 2014

I Spy...Strawberries!

Grandma went to the plant store for me today. She bought me  one zucchini and two spaghetti squash. When I looked at my cucumber plants they were looking better maybe they will make it after all. I'm excited to see your garden grow. Send me a picture when your peas and beans get bigger. I'm sending you a picture of mine.

These are grandmas tulips. What else do you see?

Andre says my garden looks like whack a mole.

20 April 2014


We had a low key Easter this year. The bunny visited, leaving a few small toys and NO candy. That was nice of him. He came again while we were at church and hid our eggs around the house. He was so sneaky that he hid an egg in Alice's carseat while Alice was still in it! Oliver thought that was pretty crazy.

Then I tried to convince my children to sit still while I took photographs of them in their new spring clothes. That particular job was hard enough with one, and now there are two wiggly things to capture... I'll keep them though. 

Now that I'm writing this, I'm wishing we had taken a picture of all of us. We looked pretty festive! Jesse even wore Easter colors! He had a lavender tie and teal socks.

Then I sent my mom a billion pictures of Alice in her Easter dress because I do that sort of thing now.

And that was that.

19 April 2014

Oliver's Garden

Dear grandpa Than,

Did you know that I'm growing a garden too? We planted tomatoes. We planted peas. And beans! I planted them in my backyard. We have to water them a million times! Dad helps me remember. Except I don't have to water them in the rain. The peas and broccoli are growing. Just teasing! We don't have broccoli! They are actually beans. I know they are growing because little green things have popped out of the dirt. One pea and three beans have popped out of the dirt. I'm sorry about your jalapeño and cucumbers. July is my birthday! That's cool that there will be flowers in July.


18 April 2014

Of Ants and Strawberries

Today is a sad day. Before I came to work today I stopped to look closely at my garden and give my little plants a drink of water. Most of my little buddies are doing fine. One of my Jalapeño plants didn’t make it. He was all dried up and brittle. My pick it and eat it tomato plant looks like it is going to make it, even though it caught a really bad chill the first night it was at my house. My cucumber plants were looking petty good the other day, but today they weren’t looking too healthy. I may have to buy new ones tomorrow.
The flowers I bought for Grandma are doing really good. Growing like little weeds! I was worried for a little while but all of a sudden they have lots of little buds that will turn into purple, orange, red, and white flowers. Some will just have pretty leaves for a little while then in July will make blue flowers. I can hardly wait.

The strawberries have flowers on them now so it won’t be too long until the ants start digging around them. That seems to be a good thing for my strawberries. The ants don’t seem to be interested in the fruit, just the sugar that is in the roots. I think they tickle the feet of the strawberry plants and make them giggle. That makes them get bigger and leafier, then they make more fruit. I’m getting excited!!!
 Love you all,
                Grandpa Than

17 April 2014

The Latest About Grandpa's Garden

Grandpa Than's garden has become a regular topic of conversation around here, and has even inspired a little gardening endeavor of our own. Because of this, I feel it is only appropriate to continue posting our correspondence with Grandpa Than our adventures in gardening this spring...

                I was looking at my garden the other day. I didn’t see any bugs, and I only had to pull a couple of weeds out of the dirt. My broccoli, and Brussels Sprouts are looking very healthy and strong. Most of my tomatoes are looking good too. My Cucumbers, and Pick’em and Eat’em tomato looks like it caught a cold. They have wrinkly leaves on top I’m starting to worry about them. The peppers all look good. The Strawberry plants in the front garden have started to grow really fast Hopefully they will stay strong and make some berries for me to eat. All of the flowers that I bought for grandma’s garden are doing good. They are not in a hurry to grow because it has been cold here. They are making flowers though.
                That’s the news from Grandpa Than’s garden.
                Have a wonderful day.

14 April 2014

Grandpa's Garden, an update

Well yesterday I did it. 

I mowed the lawn and weeded the flower garden. I picked up the junk that had found its way into my garden areas. I called uncle Paul to borrow the tiller, (that's a machine that makes the dirt soft), and I used it where I want to plant my garden. Then I went to the nursery and picked out:

 4 baby salad tomato plant, 
1 baby pick it and eat it tomato plant, 
2 baby Anaheim pepper plants, 
3 baby bell pepper plants, 
2 baby jalapeno plants, 
3 baby broccoli plants, 
3 baby brussell sprout plants, 
and 2 cucumber plants 

I also got purple grass and some flowers for grandmas garden.

When I was planting my vegetables I saw 1 duck three Robbins a bunch of rolly poly potato bugs, 1 centipede, a hornet and two bees.

I'm very excited about my garden.

Have a good day, I love you,

12 April 2014

The Story of Jesse's life: Old Love Notes

A text, found on Jesse's old flip phone. Sent August 6, 2010:

Dear Jesse,

I love you. A lot. Even when I go a little crazy... And stomp on your crackers... And nag at you to do things around the shoebox*... And especially when you hold our baby and tell him that we love him. He looks like you, ya know. I hope this love note gave you warm fuzzies. It was meant to be a warm, fuzzy love note.

photo by Best Friend Annie January 2014

*Our apartment was small (maybe 450 sq. ft.), and it was shaped like a square. I sometimes called it the shoebox. Especially when waxing poetic for the sake of short love letter.

09 April 2014

The Blessing Of Alice Miriam

We blessed Miss Alice Miriam in our home on Sunday, April 6th, 2014. 

My parents had surprised us with a visit, so we called our bishop and made arrangements to bless her while they were here. He graciously agreed to allow us to bless her outside of church, and on a conference Sunday, no less.  

We invited our closest Severn friends, and dressed in our Sunday best. Jesse gave a lovely blessing. It was a beautiful morning.

08 April 2014

I Was An April Fool

Let me tell you a story of April Fools 2014 Wonder, and how I was the biggest (and luckiest) April Fool of them all...

On April first, I was waiting impatiently for a late birthday present to be delivered to me by UPS.

I watched disappointedly as a UPS truck pulled into my parking lot, stopped in front of my parking spot, and delivered a large box...

...to my neighbor.

When I told my mom about the shipping injustice I had just been victim of, she replied in three words...

"Those Rat Bags!"

I couldn't have agreed more.

Shortly after, there was a loud knock at my door.

I ran to open it, hoping that it would be my package. On the door step was a large suitcase and a small green travel bag that had I left at my parent's home last summer. On the door, there was a sticky note. It read:

"April Fools!"

Now, you should know that having babies makes your neurons fire improperly, and I thought nothing of the fact that UPS does not ship things in suitcases, nor do they leave cheeky notes written in my mother's handwriting on the door.

It wasn't until I had hauled the baggage into the house that I realized that something was up.

I poked my head out the door to make sure I hadn't missed something.


I looked out the window at the parking lot to see if I had missed someone...

No one.

I opened the door one more time, the dots FINALLY connecting in my tired little brain, and my hopes soaring sky high.

"Oliver, I think something amazing is happening!"

I said, as I swung the door open wide.

And there they were, Andre and my dad! I shrieked and hugged them! I was pretty sure that I was dreaming.

My mom, who had been parked across the street, so as not to ruin her big plans at the last minute by parking the rental car in front of my house, drove over and got out of the car.

To say I was surprised would be an understatement.

I was utterly flabbergasted.

I dragged them into the house and sat them down on my couch. I dropped Alice into my mother's arms, and insisted that they tell me all the details about the planning of this spectacular April Fools Escapade.

Then they opened their suitcase and presented me with a 100 year old blue canning jar that belonged to my great, great grandmother Miriam, a Babylit library, a stack of clothes for Alice, and some new toys for Oliver J.

They stayed for six glorious days. SIX!

We went shopping. They played with Oliver. We went to Centennial Park. We went to the Tidal Basin. They took Oliver on a special trip to ice cream and the Lego store. They snuggled Sweet Baby Alice often. We watched movies. We devoured the best pot of chili that I have ever prepared. We blessed Miss Alice. We played cards.

We really just went about life as usual, and it was truly, truly grand.

07 April 2014


My family left yesterday, and I cried.

This morning Oliver woke me up asking when Grandma and Grandpa were coming to play, and I cried a little more.

It was chilly, so I pulled on my fuzzy robe: grey (...gray?) with white polka dots.

(Incidentally, both "grey" and "gray" are correct ways to spell Orange's favorite neutral color. I checked. Thank you dictionary.com)

I dressed Alice in something soft and warm as well.

(Incidentally, her clothes were also grey with white polka dots.)

We ate frosted flakes for breakfast which, incidentally, are a cure for almost any ailment.

We then spent the entire day in the house, listening to the rain, eating cinnamon rolls, watching entirely too much reality tv, and feeling rather mopey.

Ok, so my children were fine. I was the mopey one.

(Incidentally, I just had a very vivid memory of the the time I learned the word "mope." Second grade. Mrs. Strader's class. Reading circle.)

Tomorrow, it won't be raining. I will get up, replace the robe with something presentable, open the blinds so the sun can get in, and get back to business as usual. There will be no moping.

But, today? Today was grey. Even the sky thought so!

Incidentally, I played along.