Graham is 2 years old

Two years ago today, little Graham joined our family.

This was his look as a baby, whether he was mad, sad, happy, tired.... whatever.

Now he looks like this most of the time.

He will often just sit quietly and watch whatever is going on around him.

He really enjoys wearing hats.

And he loves his little sister.

And he definitely loves his big brother.

Those big brown eyes of his can look right into your soul sometimes...

I love this kid!

As far as festivities today...

He (and/or his helper Drake) opened presents first thing this morning.

The soccer ball was his favorite gift, but he liked everything (thank you families!).

After dinner tonight, Graham blew out the candles (a random number of candles, placed randomly in the cupcakes by him and Drake---cupcakes which I meagerly tried to make look like a soccer ball) and we enjoyed cupcakes and ice cream.

Graham also tried a bite of candle.

I can't imagine life without our strong, silent Graham. He loves to cuddle. He loves to play. He loves to hold Avery's hand and rub it softly on his face. He loves to do whatever Drake is doing. He loves; as innocently as only a sweet two-year old could.

Happy birthday Graham.
We love you!


murder mystery

The Saturday before Halloween, we were invited to be part of a murder mystery, and it was a lot of fun. Our friends did a sweet job on decorating and mood-lighting and food and everything. It was great fun! Thanks again T and N!

Some of the decor (true to color).

Fancy table settings.

Fun favors (my character--Ms. Shugga Ann Flower)

Shad's character (Mayor Paul A. Tisshon)

And of course, us
(it was a costume party, in honor of Halloween).

It was a lot of fun, and a great way to kick off the Halloween week to follow!



Once in a while we let Gilbert, Drake's rabbit, out of his cage to stretch his legs. During this particular time, the boys were determined to feed him a carrot, without making him run off.

Drake tried to be stealthy by staying low to the ground.

Wonder where he got that idea from?

After several failed attempts, Drake decided to just give up and eat the carrot himself.


For all you Costco-lovers out there, be it known that a new one opened up here in Southeast Idaho last Thursday. Happy day.

Yup, it's real.

This was a drive-by picture just 15 minutes after it opened... on the second day... and yes, the parking lot was completely full.

New Costco = New Chaos


outdoor projects

As we picked the last of our apricots, cleaned out the last of the garden, and fall/winter was fast upon us, Shad was hard at work outside, finishing up a bunch of outdoor projects, before it started getting too cold.

Thank goodness for apricots (and friends who help use them up)!

Shad had been wanting to put in a little flowerbed in the corner of our front yard for a while. Here's the best before shot (before he got too far into it).

And the completed work of art (with our two little hams).

Shad trimming some lower/annoying branches from the pine tree out front.

We (I mean Shad) planted a cottonwood out back, for shade in the far future (who knows if we'll still be here to benefit from it). Graham was usually right there helping Shad.

Our pheasant friend from last year came back for a quick visit.

We (or rather, just Shad again) planted a maple tree out front in the other corner of the yard.

Graham was determined to help, even in the rain and mud.

Shad and his dad spent most of a cold, wet day fixing our back patio roof, and I can't tell you how wonderful it has been ever since to not have water dripping everywhere from underneath. Thank you again Brett!!

This is proof positive that the new roof prevents leaks. Snow was melting like crazy, and the patio stayed dry---every last bit of it. Have I already said thank you? THANK YOU!!

We also tried planting some grass a while ago underneath the pine tree...

... and much to our delight, it's actually coming up!! (We tried once before in the backyard and had zero success, so we were thrilled to see this much grass).

This is just a picture of Drake who got dressed and ran outside, right after he woke up, the morning we had our first snowfall. Graham joined him soon thereafter.

There are still other projects on the list, but they're smaller, and I've probably bored you enough. Happy Autumn!!


the "party"

A local party supply place held a "family night" at their store. As soon as Drake heard about it, he couldn't stop asking when it was and when we were going. He woke up from a nap, and the first thing he asked was, "Did my friends already go to the party?" So of course, we couldn't miss it.

They had several different stations with different activities.

Here: coloring paddle balls.

Next station: masks.

Station #3: balloon pumpkins.

Graham didn't want to take off his mask for the balloon pumpkin...

...or the spider cookie (last station).

"Okay mom, here's the cookie. Can I eat it now?"

There was a cupcake walk too, but we decided it wasn't worth waiting in line and keeping our kids up later just to acquire a bunch of sugar right before bedtime.

There's already a holiday for that.

horseback riding

Last weekend, Drake and his preschool group took turns riding on Sue, our neighbor's horse. Drake had a great time. Graham didn't even want to get close.

Sue, the horse. Shad's behind her helping to saddle her.

The group, mostly.

Lovin' it.


blue eyes or brown?

depending on the day, her eyes look either blue or brown.

what do you think they'll be?
(click on the picture to see it closer)