Saturday, December 11, 2010

Another excuse to eat candy at Christmas

I have an unhealthy love of royal icing. Most of the year, it doesn’t bother me; I can go about my business and I don’t think about it. But around Christmas time I start seeing gingerbread houses and thinking of the thick frosting and its sweet, almost metallic simple flavor. And I get the urge to build one myself, if only to have an excuse to make my own batch of frosting. The only problem is that I don’t really like gingerbread (something I never seem to remember until I eat it again).

I do, however, like graham crackers. So this year I decided our gingerbread houses would be replaced by “Christmas Graham Cracker Houses.”

Dana and I went to Winco and got some candy to decorate our structures. IMG_4479I decided I would make a graham cracker long house and Dana wanted to make a fortress (or at least part of a fortress).

I was done with mine in about 10 minutes and content to begin eating off the excess frosting and left over gummi bears. IMG_4478 It looks like it was built by a 7-year-old and I’m OK with that.

Dana took the entire length of the movie “Elf” (“You sit on a throne of lies!”) to build his Christmas graham cracker house. But it looked way awesomer than mine.

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His fort was complete with a cannon, cannonballs, a turret, a flagpole (with a flag), a red carpet, and gold to guard. Pretty elaborate.

I decided I’d let mine sit over night before really tearing it apart and eating it. The next morning the graham crackers had already started to get soggy. No big deal; I was not surprised. I had thought it would probably happen. I figured I could put my house in the oven at a low temperature for a few minutes to get the soggy mostly out of the crackers and then eat them.

I was wrong. I left the house in the oven at 200 degrees for 20 minutes or so. It smelled yummy, like warm graham crackers. But when I opened the oven, this is what I found: IMG_4485 The Christmas graham cracker house of gummi bear horror. Dana especially liked how the gummi bears left little imprints of their presence in the frosting, as if to say, “We were here! Do not forget us!” IMG_4486 And to add insult to injury, the graham crackers were still a little soggy.

Dana’s fort met a more traditional fate, IMG_4491 but stood up surprisingly well to the onslaught. That’s quality frosting. We think whatever soggy graham crackers and melted gummi bears don’t survive today will be donated to our cockroaches as their early Christmas gift. Maybe they too will have an affinity for royal icing.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010


We forgot to announce in the last post that we found out we are expecting a boy!

We can’t wait.

stork brings viking

Surprise Attack from Florida!

This week we have had a special surprise visit from Katie and her kids, all the way from Florida (Welcome back to the Great NW). It has been great to see them, because it has been almost a year and a half since they moved to Florida. We had the chance to go and see them at the airport and then again when they came to my mom’s house on Saturday.

Here are Megan and Daniel at the Airport. They were excited to see us:


Katie Anne came to pick Katie up at the airport and Katie got to meet her niece, Rose.


Natalie is growing up fast. Also, Anton is having fun flying Megan around in the background.


The first thing I noticed was how big the kids have grown. We had a great time playing with them. One of the highlights for me was this video I got of Daniel. He likes to build things and then promptly destroy them. He had been doing this for a bit with these stacking boxes and then knocking them over with some soft swords. I wanted to take a video of this, but ended up getting something a little different: (pay special attention to Anton's expression at the end of the video)

Build and Destroy

Here are some other nice photos from Saturday:


Daniel loves Star Wars…so does Anton.


Megan attacks by the sword.


Natalie is telling us an amazing anecdote.


Natalie enjoys Anton’s girlfriend, Tessa’s, company.


Outnumbered, Ruth fights for her life.


We are glad they could come and hope we see them again before they leave.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Turkey-Lurkey Thanksgiving and ZOO LIGHTS!

Yes, we do remember that we have a blog… sometimes.

We celebrated Thanksgiving, like I hope all of you did, with family and tasty food. We even got to cook some of it (I made cranberry sauce and Dana made some olives come out of a can).

We ate dinner with Dana’s Dad and his wife and her kids. It was very fun and the preparation was riddled with banter and “helpfulness.” Dana stayed out of the kitchen as much as possible, but here’s what it looked like.

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It was all very delicious. And of course there was pie for dessert… that didn’t last long enough for a photo shoot. Yum.


Because Dana is a zoo employee, we got to go to the special premier of Zoo Lights for awesome people. It was pretty cool. If you’re in the Portland area, you should go see the lights; it’s worth the cold walk to see all the neat lights.

Like these…

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Stay tuned for more adventures…

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

A Washington Excursion

We want to say “Welcome Back” to Ruth’s sister, Emily, and her family! They have been in Japan for the last couple years, and now they are moving to Colorado, which is a bit closer.

Before they were off to their new home, they spent some time in Portland with Scott’s family. But that also meant we got to see them. While we were with them we took a little walk in the Ridgefield NWR after lunch at a Mexican Restaurant that we like.

Matthew and Anna liked running ahead of us:


Then Anna paused and posed for some great photos. Isn’t she cute.


There was a cold nip in the air, but we had a great time. Here the kids are having fun looking at the gravel.


We are glad we got to see them and we're happy they are back.


Thanks for coming and visiting us!


You can see their post about their visit here.

P.S. This post is our 100th post. Yay for blogs!

We like the Gorge (and salmon)


Another beautiful day in the Columbia River Gorge. We started on Crown Point, and they view was very nice with all the fall colors.

It was also very blustery:


We did some of our usual stops at our favorite waterfalls. IMG_8737

Multnomah Falls looked very nice. It also had lots of salmon getting ready to spawn. It is always fun to see these giant fish within arms reach.


Our last stop was by Eagle Creek (where we hiked last year). Here the fish were even more numerous. And many of them were fighting for room to spawn

I watched this one chase off the same fish several times.

We ended the day by watching the sunset over the River and then some ice cream from the place we like in Cascade Locks.


Wednesday, November 3, 2010

10000 Days Old! Sure, You Think That's Old

Today, Dana turned 10000 days old. Hurray for him. We ate cheesecake and played Goldeneye and Mariocart on the Wii.


Sunday, October 31, 2010

Happy Halloween

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Hello Everyone,

We have had a fun October and now it is Halloween. We would like to share some Halloween fun we have done:

Friday, the Zoo had it’s annual Squishing of the Squash. That is where they give the elephants a giant pumpkin to squish and then eat. It was a lot of fun to watch the elephants take on a large gourd:


Squishing of the Squash

In this video the baby (2 year old) elephant ended up with a fairly large chunk of the pumpkin. He was trying with all his might to break the chunk into smaller pieces without much avail. Here is when he was quite frustrated with it and ended up getting it all over his face.

Baby Pumpkin-Face Elephant

Ruth and I got pictures with some of the pumpkins that were not smashed.

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And here is some delicious chocolates that my dad’s wife, Terry, gave us for Halloween.


Ruth is mimicking  the best one, which was surprisingly filled with something similar to pop-rocks. They were all very good.


Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Another “Hike-and-wildlife” Post

So, our update this time is another hike with some wildlife pictures… I sure hope you guys aren’t sick of these yet…Because the Washington/Oregon area has a ridiculous amount of hikes (and wildlife). So too bad for you guys ;-).

Dana and I went to see Wahclella Falls. We had tried before to go on this hike and were thwarted by the small parking lot. So we tried again.

First along the trail was this smaller falls called Munra Falls. It was kind of wispy and pretty.

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The amphitheater around Wahclella is kind of giant and overwhelming. I took this picture at the bottom of the amphitheater. IMG_4095 (1024x768)Can you find Dana?

Dana took this picture from his high spot. IMG_8039 (1024x768) You can see a smaller rivulet coming into the stream above the falls down a rock face.

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Ok, more gratuitous waterfall pictures…

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On our hike back Dana found this pretty snake. She was big and she smelled pretty strongly.

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Dana found this little salamander in the stream near the end of our hike.

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It was a very pleasant hike with some very pretty views of the Gorge. Yay the Gorge!

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Ok, for all of you who suffered through our pictures, we have some news: We are expecting a baby! I’m due at the end of April. We will find out at the beginning of December whether we’ll have a boy or a girl. Until then, we eagerly await our little Quazar.