Another more innocent video

Again, this is from our cruise. The beginning isn't so interesting, but I thought the end was kinda cute. Or whatever:)


Okay, this totally cracks me up! I was on Mom's computer the other day (mine crashed) and I found a bunch of honeymoon videos from July 2005. Enjoy this one with me, please! It's sooo funny!


*snow snow snow*

Only a couple days after Thanks- giving, the Brecks, Banks, and Peils loaded up and went hunting for our Christmas trees! This year we made sure to get there before the ranger station closed so we could get our permits. It was a close call last year. And with two babies to watch out for, we headed out even earlier in consideration of their naps...

We drove up to Zig Zag and followed the road up the mountain. Everything was absolutely covered in snow! It was gorgeous! The tree cutting rules changed a bit this season...Instead of paying $5 and cutting down trees 8-feet and shorter, we paid $5 and were able to cut trees 12-feet and shorter. After trudging our way up a logging road, Nate and I clamber down the embankment to look at a couple well formed trees. One of them was sporting two trunks, so Nate vetoed that one. Others we saw were just not right enough. So we walked on. I was in front at one point, and stopped when I heard some yelling behind me. I turned just in time to see Nate, thigh-high in snow, loose his balance and fall head first into the snow. He did a weird sort of twisty-turn thing, but I'm not sure it spared him from any wetness. I nearly lost my balance laughing at him - he looked pretty funny, I promise you!

We made our way back up the hill to the road and then decided to cross over to the other side. We spotted another tree up that embankment, so we went for it. The size and shape were great, so Nate pulled out his man-saw and cut it down in .5 seconds. He's burly. Need proof? It's in the picture...

When everyone had cut down their trees, we congregated back at the car for some family pictures...but, alas, I couldn't find the picture of the entire family, so I've broken it up into four different pictures. The girls were actually very cooperative in their family pictures! They were all smiles! Naps were still a little ways off.

We bundled back into the truck and headed down the mountain. Check out Rae Ann's blog for the video of Stella driving. Tom, Nate, and I sat on the tailgate with the trees while Rae Ann, Ivy, Mom, and Dad were in the cab with Stella. Dad never heard us yelling for him to slow down from the tailgate...

We got half-way down and pulled over to where Tom and Rae Ann had parked their car. Stella's little snow boots had kept warm in their car while we were cutting down the trees, so when we got back to it, she put them on and played away in the snow. I kinda think she made some memories this year!

After goofing off for awhile, we headed back down to 26 and drove to Calamity Janes where we enjoyed piles of chili fries and huge hamburgers and endless glasses of pop. It was a ridiculous amount of food. But oh-so-good! [Thanks again, Dad!]

And to end, here are some other photos to look at...an overload to make up for my blogging break! ENJOY!


So, this year Nate and I found we had the space to accomodate family for Thanksgiving. I LOVE hosting, so I was super excited about this year's dinner! Mom, Karen, and I coordinated our dinner items and together we came up with I think a darn good meal. Mom and Dad brought along the turkey, one of their own from their "farm" (check out their blog for the best before and after photos). It weighed in at 31 pounds, way too much for seven of us! Rick, Karen, Ricky, Mom, Dad, and I did our best, though.

After dinner we enjoyed desert in the family room by the fire while watching "Christmas Story." The ambiance totally got me int the spirit of Christmas! Mom had threatened to not come over if my house was already decorated for Christmas, but I got away with having a few wreaths up and a couple random decorations:) All in all, we had a fantastic meal and enjoyed each other's company!

Our camera didn't have batteries that day so I didn't take as many pictures as I would have liked. Sorry that you're stuck with a couple of the dinner table!



Sorry guys, but my computer is not cooporating with me right now. My browser shuts down anytime I try to upload anything. SO! I'll get it figured out soon and post some pictures from Thanksgiving and cutting down our Christmas tree.




Stella's second birthday was Sunday, Nov. 19, so Nate and I drove out to Lincoln City to join Rae Ann & Tom, Ron & Linda (Tom's dad and stepmom), and Mom & Dad at the beach house where they were staying. It was wonderfully relaxing! The girls shopped the outlet mall while the guys stayed warm indoors and cooked Thanksgiving dinner. The girls took advantage of amazing sales at the Columbia outlet store, but we all wore out pretty quick and had to head home.

It was super rainy when we first arrived at the coast, but it eventully cleared up enough to provied an incredibly sunset. I don't have any pictures of the sunset on my camera since my silly card holds like 40 pictures and that's it. So, I used Tom's card, and once I get copies of the pictures from him, I'll post some here. It was fantastic! The beach house sat up on a cliff overlooking the water and the shore, so the perspective added to the photos, definately. Rae Ann, if you're reading this, could you please e-mail me some of those pictures????

Dinner was exceptional. Rae Ann and Tom made some great food! The turkey, man, I'll be hard pressed to do as good a job when it's my turn. Last year I accidentally bought a chicken instead of a turkey, but I cooked it the same way as I would have the turkey. It was okay, but Nate and I did alot of laughing. Actually, this year Mom is bringing the turkey to the table, you know, the friendly birds that she's been raising in her backyard. Well, they're dead now. Butchered. And weighing in between 30 and 33 pounds. That's alot of bird...

The babies were both oh-so-adorable. It's easy to make Ivy laugh these days, so I took full advantage of it while we were there! With all of the adults around, the girls had quite a fan club right at their fingertips. I admit, I'm easily manipulated by their pouts and smiles. I don't remember exactly what it was Rae Ann said no to, but Stella began to make her rounds asking for huggies and sticking out her lower lip whimpering. She found comfort in her auntie's arms! Even though she was so obviously faking it, I couldn't resist:)

This is Nate, distracted and mildly irritated that I kept sticking the camera in front of his face for a picture. Well, buddy, suck it up.

Mom, Dad, Nate, and I eventually made it down to the water before heading home. Nate and I started to walk out toward the water, but we found ourselves sinking in sad that was holding water even though the tide was out away from us. Ah, I miss living at the beach!

La Center is a boomin' town...

...It's always fun to visit Dave and Tiffani in La Center. Last Friday we went up and had dinner with them and then spent the night. Somehow I managed to take a bunch of pictures of Charlie and, like, none of his parents. Sorry, guys! But your kid is cute:]


Just so you know...

My blog is set so that anyone can leave comments on the different postings. Scroll to the end of the post and click on the "comment" link...And please feel free to do this! I know that there are people out there who visit this page and think I don't know it:] Let Nate and I know you stopped by--we'd love to hear from you!

Now, back to business! My internet has been less than reliable over the last few weeks. There were a couple pictures of the Banks' house that I wasn't able to post, so I'm gonna stick them on here now. Enjoy!

Stephen, this one's for you. We just had to get a picture to show you the "crawl" (hah) space under the house. It's enormous. Ricky and Nate spent some time down there, and I'm sure you'll gladly join them when you're up next! I'll tell you, though...I had nothing to do with taking this picture. I couldn't make myself get close enough to the little opening to do it. It was way too creepy. You're mom stepped up, though, and made magic!

Here is another crawl space that's accessible through a closet upstairs. Ricky took this picture for me. I'm a wimp!

And I just really like this picture of Karen, so I'm posting it:)

Here is my parents' house as seen from Rick & Karen's porch...

...and here is our neighborhood as seen from their back yard.

So again, please leave comments to let us know that you stopped by! We'd love to hear from you! Blessings!


New houses are lovely.

On Saturday, Nate and I joined his parents to view a house up on the hill off 152nd & Misty. It was so beautiful! And so BIG! And the view was incredible...On a sunny day it would be an uncompromised view of Mt. Hood. Because our camera has some odd quirks, I couldn't get the best photos of the place, but here are a few which are hopefully better than nothing.

The house has three floors and six bedrooms. The bottom level has one large room with a fireplace, and a back bedroom and full bath that adjoin both each other and the main room. Actually, there are three fireplaces throughout the house and the whole backside is covered in windows, all with an incredible view of Mt. hood. The house is on a peaceful street that reminds Karen and I of suburban San Francisco area. There will never be a house built behind this house; a patch of trees have been planted directly behind the house, and a pedestrian path passes by on one side. The street the house sits on pretty much ends at their house. You can tell that there are two sections where houses will eventually be built, but digging hasn't even begun. Oh, and a cool play structure is a short jaunt down the pedestrian path!

The main floor has a living room, dining room, kitchen, family room, full bath, and another bedroom. I forgot to mention that the bottom level has a deck which mirrors the deck attached to the main floor. The appliances are beautiful and oh-so-new and shiny. The island has the largest drawers I've ever seen...Very cool!

The upstairs has three bedrooms and a master, as well as two full baths. The master bathroom is enormous with a full window over the tub which, again, has a glorious view of Mt. Hood!

We're setting aside some time now in anticipation of helping them move!



If you visit my sister's blog (Bean and Sprout) you'll see a fun little video of Stella flying around, flapping her arms like little birdies do. This one is a little different. It's more focused on her show-off side. She's a definate crowd pleaser!

And she really was the cutest chicken out that night. As Rae Ann mentioned before, Ivy spent quite a bit of time with me, some really great snuggle time:) Stella was weather resistent and refused to let the blustering weather get her down. She freaked out at the site of a paramedic, but a firefighting dog couldn't get her down.

We spent a solid couple hours beating the pavement. Rae Ann was marvelous and bought me the best tasting eggnog latte ever, and from one of my favorite coffee houses to boot: Cafe Delerium on Main in Gresham. Good times!

Rae Ann and little Ivy Lou at the end of the evening. Well, our part anyway! If you take a look at Rae Ann's blog, you'll find that they did a lot more that night! She's (being Rae Ann) a trooper.


What's another word for "update"?

Every day we live in this house, we grow in our thankfulness. We feel so blessed to be living here...And it's only appropriate that we recognize the Who, how, and why we ever got here! This has been a gift from God!

We spent some time this last weekend making some changes to the house. We look forward to spring when we'll be able to do more to promote curb appeal, so for now, we're making changes a little bit at a time.

First off, almost everyone in this neighborhood has the same exterior lights. We found two houses who had changed their light fixtures out, and another who had painted their fixtures black (which we considered doing). Nate found a great deal on some lights at Home Depot, so we went ahead and switched our fixtures out!

Stephen, this shot's for you.

This is a terrible picture, but I'm including it here to prove to some of you that I don't make Nate do all the work around here:) Often he does do the work because he's handy and can do it without any problem. But I did screw in this light bulb! And he was kind enough to commemorate the event with a photo!

Here's a better picture of the new fixtures. We're actually really happy with them. They light up the driveway a lot better and they aren't as obnoxious as the old energy efficient bulbs we had before.

The next project we worked on was...dum dum duuuuuummmmmmm...the living room curtains. Turns out we both have strong opinions when it comes to curtain decor. We visited Home Depot, Lowes, Target, Bed, Bath & Beyond, Ross, and TJ Maxx searching for rods, mounts, and the right curtains. I think the work paid off, though. We made some good purchases and came away from the experience happy and still friends!

We also covered up the dinning room windows while we were at it. They're in the same room as the entry way living room, so we thought unity would be good. It's been really nice not worrying about neighbors seeing into our house.
And because of the layout of the front room, even though our front windows are covered, we still have tons of light from the window that's second level height on the front of the house, just above the now covered windows.

So that's where we're at right now! I've been THOROUGHLY enjoying the incredible fall weather these last few weeks. We've not had to turn on our heat just yet; we've been enjoying the ambiance of the fireplace. If only it burned real wood...I guess gas is better than nothing, though!

Blessings on the end of one month and the beginning of another!