Monday, March 29, 2010

Tanaka Farm

I'm feeling a little envious right now of people who grew up on a farm. I know it would be a ton of work, but to be able to run outside and pull whatever you feel like eating out of the ground and have it for a snack or a meal would be heavenly.

We got to experience that last week when we drove to Irvine to go strawberry picking at a cute place called Tanaka Farm. Abby invited us to join her and the boys and we were excited to. We had no idea how fun it would be!

We got to ride in a wagon pulled by a tractor that took us all over the farm. The girls thought that part was cool, but the coolness was just beginning.

At each new crop we came to, the guy driving the tractor would stop, get out, and grab a bunch of veggies out of the ground that he would pass out to all of us to sample. My girls aren't too bad about eating veggies, but I was still surprised at how they gobbled these up.

We ate spinach leaves, snap peas, green onions, bok choy, romaine lettuce, celery, and the most delicious carrots I've ever tasted. When the kids were finished with something, they were told to toss it over the wagon onto the ground to go back into the earth. Sophie especially thought that was awesome. All organic, all amazing. And I even got some to bring home with me! We had a delicious greenish/red smoothie later that night.

The last crop we came to was the strawberry patch. They gave us each a container to fill with strawberries and then said we could spend the rest of the time filling our bellies. And oh did we ever.
The girls picked and swallowed to their heart's delight (and so did I)! I only wish they could've let us stay all day!

The girls' faces were covered in strawberry juice and their bellies were filled with healthy, nutritious things. We were very content.

A little cousin lovin' from Austin and Avery. Thanks for inviting us to come with you!

I'm grateful that I can get (relatively) fresh fruits and veggies all year round here, but I still have a little farm envy. I know I could just plant myself a garden, but we don't even have anywhere to do that! It's little pots for us, which will have to suffice. Anyway, we had a great time and will most likely be going back in the summer for the watermelon tours!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Cousins and Dinosaurs

Sophie and Avery are pretty spoiled to live just an hour away from their Lamb cousins and they get to see them a lot. But they don't spend nearly enough time with their Jensen cousins because we're spread all over, from Atlanta to Utah to Arizona to California. So we love it whenever we have a wedding or reunion to bring us all together and they get to play and get reacquainted (or in some cases acquainted) with them.

Here are all the cousins (except for one who had just woken up from her nap and was not in the mood for a picture).

There's Sweet Sadie (Sophie would've been named Sadie had this girl not already claimed the name, but she wears it well so we're okay with it).

And Handsome Aaron.

Lovable Laurie who we met for the first time.

Silly and Oh-So-Fun Susannah.

Cute-and-Clingy Clarissa (she did not want to let go of that dolly or her daddy).

And here's sweet Skye. I wish I'd gotten individual pictures of James, Jacob, Jensen, Siesa, and Elsie, too, but I'll have to get theirs in May when we see them in Nauvoo.

We were lucky enough to get to spend the day with them at the Dinosaur Museum at Thanksgiving Point. Here most of the girls are matching dinosaurs to their cutouts.

We'd never been to this museum before and the girls thought it was all pretty cool. Avery's favorite part was the black room with the stars that looked like space. I think she dragged Joseph back in there 3 times.

Our girls aren't as into dinosaurs as some of their cousins were, as their exposure to them is basically limited to the dinosaur chicken nuggets we buy from Costco. But Sophie knows those 5 dinosaurs really well and says as I'm dishing them out "Could I please have another pterodactyl, Mom? And how about another stegosaurus, too." Oh well, I can't help it if Princesses trump Dinosaurs in our house!

Sophie had fun coloring this to discover the fossil hidden beneath it.

I think the biggest hit of the day, however, was the water table. Joseph spent a long time in the center with the kids building dams that were soon destroyed by little hands that loved getting wet and dirty.

This was definitely Avery's favorite spot, maybe even more than the dark room.

I was glad when the kids wanted to step on this scale because I wasn't anxious to hop on for all the world to see. I wonder if their total weight amounted to the same as a T-rex's toenail?

Here's a good picture of Jensen and Siesa, with their cousins Sadie and Aaron. These 3 on here were the most knowledgeable about dinosaurs for sure.

As you can see, as soon as we saw this megalodon, Sophie had a hard time taking her eyes off his 4 rows of teeth. I tried not to notice them too much.

A budding paleontologist hard at work.

Sophie uncovered lots of dinosaur bones, but Avery just had fun dumping sand over her head. (sigh)
We had a great time with our Jensen cousins while we were in Utah and are so glad we could get to know them better. We love you all! See you in May!

Friday, March 19, 2010

You Know You're From Pendleton If... love rodeos, you randomly shout out "Let 'Er Buck!", you drive over the border to Washington to shop and when paying you show your Oregon driver's license so you can not pay any sales tax, and you can get together with this crowd and reminisce about the good ol' days growing up in Eastern Oregon.
While we were in Utah my parents held another reunion with people who now live or go to school in Utah but once lived in Pendleton, OR. The bad weather kept some from attending, but those of us who did make it had a great time.

What can I say, some people really know how to do silly, while others...not so much. :) We still had a lot of fun, though. Thanks for coming, everyone!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Rum and Bean

We just got back from a trip to Utah to see these two get married.

This is Joseph's brother Hyrum (or Rum) and his wife Julia (who is known to her nieces and nephews as Aunt Bean). They chose the Manti Temple to get married in and were pretty excited to come out as man and wife at last!

It was pretty cold so we all stayed bundled up for the pictures, except for Julia of course who had goose bumps the entire photo shoot. She was tough.

Whoever took this picture for me cut off Willis and most of his family on the right--oops! The rest of the Jensen family is there, though. 7 out of the 10 kids are now married--hooray!

The Jensen boys have a tradition at each wedding of taking a "tough guy" picture. Here's this year's installment of that. They crack me up every time.

Sophie was so excited to wear her "periwinkle" dress. She helped me pick it out and kept reminding me that we had to find something that was "blue and purple". Well, we found something more blue than periwinkle, but don't tell Sophie that.

The girls weren't feeling too hot this night but they did a really good job of being happy and pretty well-behaved.

They got to stay with Gramma Lamb all day until the reception and had a great time with her, as always. Who can complain about making cookies (and subsequently shoveling peanut butter into their mouths) and reading books until Gramma's voice was almost hoarse? Not them! Thanks, Mom!

Another wedding tradition has become singing a song for the wedding couple. Joseph actually has sung at every wedding of his siblings (for ours he serenaded me with a quartet) and this one was no exception. He and I rewrote the words to Michael Buble's "Everything" and he and Miya sang it while Jeniann accompanied them on the piano. They did a great job and I hope Hyrum and Julia loved it.

Joseph and I always have a bet riding on whether or not the couple is going to smash the cake in each other's faces or if they'll be nice. I got first pick for this one and chose that they would be nice. Thankfully I won that backrub!

Erik has begun a tradition of decorating the car and he goes all out (but the best part is he's nice and doesn't do anything to ruin the paint or anything too annoying to clean up). He made a giant hershey kiss for the top of Hyrum's truck because that was how Hyrum first "kissed" Julia. They had quite the exit from the reception but had to stop a few miles down the road to clean everything off. It was a very fun wedding and we're so happy for you guys! Thanks for letting us come be part of your big day. We love you!

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Friends and Baby Showers

We get together with various friends for play groups and play dates every week. I finally snapped a shot of the kids from one of the groups that we play with a lot. I love chatting with the moms, and the kids love playing with someone else's toys.

It's not easy getting 7 little'uns to all look at the camera at once, so this was the closest I got.

Avery loved this rocking horse and refused to get off, even for the picture. Ride him, Cowgirl!

These are two of my good friends that I've made since moving to California. Sadly, the one in the middle, Wendy, has moved to Ohio and we miss their family a lot. But we're going to have their son marry Avery someday, so we'll see them again. :) The other one is Shannon and I'm very glad they're still here, and will be for a long time (even if we won't). I'm so grateful for good friends!

Shannon and I threw a shower for our friend Kristin who's having her 3rd, a boy, in a few weeks. Kristin and I work together in the Young Women program, and she saves me as a wonderful secretary.

I made these baby rattle cupcakes for the dessert. Hopefully you didn't need me to tell you what they were, that it was obvious just from looking at them. Sophie helped me make and even decorate these a bit and they were fun to do.

Here's a bunch of them on the cupcake stand.

And while Shannon's table and fresh fruit and flowers were prettier before my cupcakes, she was still kind enough to put them on. I also did little baby bottles with M&M's inside for decorations. We had a fun time at the shower and I just love any chance I have to get together with friends!

What I Came Home To

Joseph gets to spend every Tuesday night alone with the girls while I am gone to Mutual. He comes up with some fun things to do with them and they love the one on one alone time spent with him.

Sophie loves to build forts so last week when she requested a fort, this is what Joseph came up with. I was pretty surprised when I found this waiting for me when I got home that night. We got this tent 5 years ago for our wedding and have never used it. I'm just not in love with camping, especially now that we have kids, but Joseph does like it. He wanted to see what this baby looked like all set up so with some "help" from the girls, they put it up in our living room.

The girls snuggled into the sleeping bags and he said they stayed there, quiet and content, for quite a while. Of course they are each with their favorite lovie: Sophie with Pillow and Avery with Blankie, so that helped a little. I think maybe we're going to have to give camping a try one of these days.

Friday, March 05, 2010

Valentine's Weekend

For Valentine's/President's Day weekend we were lucky enough to have my parents come down for a visit, and Uncle Geoff surprised us and came, too. To prepare for it we decided to make sugar cookies to decorate for Grampa Lamb since they're his very favorite.
Sophie and Avery thought they had died and gone to heaven when I put a bowl of sugary goodness, also known as pink frosting, down in front of them and let them have at it. I know most of Sophie's frosting made it to the cookies (in one big blob I might add), but I think most of Avery's just made it to her mouth. She did decorate one cookie...sort of.
See, here's proof. They were especially excited to give Grampa his giant sugar cookie heart that we decorated for him to eat all by himself. I don't know who enjoyed it more, him eating the cookie or Sophie watching him eat it.

We got to spend one day in Ladera with Peter and Abby's family. We swam in their pool, went to the beach to watch the sunset, ate fish and chips at the harbor (or those of us who can stomach them did--i.e. everyone but me and Joseph), and best of all, shot off rockets. Peter worked with Austin on assembling the rockets and all the kids got a chance to push the button to launch it into the air. Here we're helping Avery to know where to push. She wasn't that big a fan of how noisy it was, but she was pretty intrigued by what she'd done.

Sophie and Austin were very content to wait with Uncle Geoff for the rocket to land so they could all run after it and try to catch it.

Gramma Lamb loved reading to all the grandkids, and they sure loved it too.

Avery loves her buddy Gabe. She loves to call him "Gabe-Ri-El!" and says it to me just like that several times a day.

Sophie got to ride Austin's scooter while he rode his bike. She's definitely a total novice compared to him on it, but she still has fun. I love how colorful this picture of her is, even with her blue mouth from the sucker she'd just finished eating.

On President's Day Gramma and Grampa wanted to hike with us up Colby Trail. Of course Sophie promptly laid down in the grass to show Gramma how it's done.

And she didn't mind at all when Gramma spent some time telling her stories as they laid there.

What a good lookin' couple! Love you, Mom and Dad!

I recently discovered this onesie I bought, along with a t-shirt for a toddler (that of course Sophie refused to wear), that I purchased not long after my mission to Poland. I had forgotten all about them and was so glad when I did find them that they were the exact sizes that my 2 kids are right now. They say "Made in America with Polish parts" which isn't exactly accurate since I'm only an adopted Pole, but I'll take any part of them I can get.

We had such a fun weekend and loved having visitors here to share it with! Thanks for coming!