Thursday, March 27, 2008


Let us all now pay our respects to Dave's beloved truck...which at this very moment is on its way up to Canada with its very, VERY happy new owner. Enjoy your new ride, Doug!

The Good and The Bad (but mostly the bad)

I know, it's a negative title. Sorry, but really it has been a mostly rotten week. I'll start with the smallest of the bad-

Here it is Spring Break, and do you know what we woke up to this morning? SNOW! Totally disgusting. It's all gone now, but still...

This is the biggest of the bad. On Tuesday there was a HORRIBLE accident near McMinnville involving one car, 7 passengers, and a tree. 5 people died, including 2 little girls from Newby, the school that I work at. One was a kindergartener (not in my class) and one was in 2nd grade. Newby is truly a small neighborhood school, so this hits us hard. Besides the fact that it's heartbreaking to lose 2 precious girls (and 3 others), it's MADDENING because the accident was so reckless! 7 people in one Toyota Camry, almost no one wearing seat belts (there was a baby in a car seat, but not even he was restrained properly), and going close to 100 mph!!! 3 innocent kids died, the baby survived, but his mom, the driver, did not. The mom of the 2 little girls died, too. Ggrr. For all of those of you who pray, please pray for these 3 shattered families...

After that, one almost feels guilt for feeling bad about the other, far less tragic aspects of this week. But here's what we'll call the 'medium bad'. First of all, for those of you who don't know, earlier in the month Dave's company (Premier Home Builders) was forced to cut back its operating hours; thus, everyone's work hours were reduced. Which, in turn, amounts to about a 1/4 redution in salary. Eek. So we've just been having to go on day by day with an uncomfortable uneasiness in our stomachs, not knowing if or when Premier will need to close up shop altogether. We thought that perhaps yesterday was the day. But, turns out that almost everyone else was laid off, not Dave. Ironically, it's like everything with his job has come full circle. 8 or 9 nine years ago when Dave started, it was just him and another guy (plus the owners). Now, in a sad twist of fate, it's back to just him and the other guy. While we're thankful that Dave still has his job (for now, anyway) it's still a tough position to be in. These other people that lost their jobs are some of our best friends, and we feel terribly sad for them. And it's sad just because all of them really, truly liked their jobs and loved working together. It's hard to believe that what they had over the past several years is gone. done. over. And then there's the fact that we feel bad because Dave is still employed while others are not. Whoa, slow down...I know, I know, you're all ready to give me your advice about how we shouldn't feel guilty, and it's not our fault, and our friends wouldn't want us to feel bad...yada, yada, yada. But I also know and would bet that all of you can think of a time and/or a situation that put you in the exact same kind of uncomfortable spot! I've come to the conclusion that for anyone who has a heart, the feelings of guilt are normal.

Okay, so what's the 'good', you ask? One could still view it as a little bit bad (especially Dave), but after this kind of week, we'll chalk it up to 'good'-

So we've had Dave's beloved Nissan Titan listed on 'craigslist' for a little over a week. Poor Dave, he really does love that truck, but the gas bill KILLS us! It killed us even before our income was reduced. So we decided that the best plan would be to sell it (sniff, sniff) and buy something a little cheaper, a little smaller, and with better gas mileage. Well we've only gotten one call on the darn thing, but fortunately (this is the 'good') the guy, who is from Canada, is so certain that he wants it that he's flying down from Canada today and paying cash for it, sight unseen! So hopefully that will all pan out in the next hour or 2, and Dave's spirits will be lifted this weekend when he gets to enjoy the ecstasy (I say agony) of truck shopping once again!

Okay, there you have it. I know that ultimately there will be some kind of good plan that will emerge because of all of this, but right now it's just darn exhausting! For next year's Spring Break, God, I'd like the kind that involves a white sandy beach, lots of sun, and zero heartache! (just thought I'd place my order now)

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Easter Collage(s)

Happy Easter! Thanks to our friend Rich, I have a new picture program that I've been playing around with. I haven't quite figured out the collages (as seen below), but they're pretty fun, don't you think? These ones are called "picture piles":

Despite a lot of rain, the McMinnville-based Ryans had a nice holiday. Grayson survived (barely) wearing his "fancy" clothes to church while Molly looked beautiful in her Easter dress and new sparkly, pink shoes. Getting a good picture of the 2 of them was quite an ordeal, but it's amazing how much pull a chocolate egg has when dealing with a 2-year-old!

In the afternoon, after everyone had a rest, we took Molly to her first movie at the theater--Horton Hears a Who. She was quite thrilled and really paid great attention......until the popcorn ran out about 20 minutes too soon. Oops. I think we'll stick with 30 minute cartoons awhile longer!

Saturday, March 15, 2008


It was time to break out the ol' black t-shirt one more time. Here's a look at Grayson dying eggs over the past 3 years. Apparently we didn't dye eggs with him until he was just shy of 3 years old. After letting Molly get in on the action tonight, we know why!!!





Favorite Pastimes

Mine is curling up on the couch with a blanket and watching tv. Dave's is tinkering out in the garage. Grayson, at least these days, loves Molly? Molly does a little thing we call "checking for yuckies"...

"Yucky? Nooo." (next toe) "Yucky? Nooo." (next toe) "Yucky!!! Mama, yuckies!"

Nothing like an up close shot of potential toe jam.

I love that years from now this blog is going to remind me why our sweet girl constantly had us laughing (and pulling our hair out)! It's really too bad that I'm not more blog saavy and able to post videos because really, you've got to see her "yucky hunt" in action to fully appreciate it.


This morning we woke up to partly sunny skies and a temporary break from all of the wet weather that we've been having this week. The clearing came just in time for Linfield's 2nd annual Easter egg hunt, and a good time was had by all. It was also our last chance to see our friends the Gibsons before they set off on their 5 week European adventure!

Upon arrival...empty baskets...but not for long!
Molly is always thrilled to see her buddy...
Carter even more so!!! :)

Guaranteed, there will be more than a few sad moments during the 5 weeks that these 2 are apart!
Waiting to get the show on the road! Boy does she ever look up to her big brother!
Show time!
What's cuter than this? Not a care in the world...
A triumphant grin...
But of course, what's an egg hunt without a little friendly competition.
"I think I got more than you..."
"Wait a minute! No one told me that there would be CANDY inside!"
Tonight, the holiday traditions will continue when we dye eggs. More pics soon!

Monday, March 10, 2008

Popcorn and a Movie ( x2 )

A couple of weekends ago Grayson got invited to sleep over at his best buddy Garrett's house. Now it wasn't technically his first sleepover, but the other one (at Garrett's house) only occurred because Dave and I spent a night in downtown Portland to celebrate our anniversary last June. Molly got to stay with the Gibsons that time, too. This time it was just Grayson. His big event. And we, well we all got left behind while our big boy went to "Movie Night" at the community center, played superheros (complete with face painted to be that of Batman), and ate donuts for breakfast. (Don't worry, we managed, but things certainly seem out of balance when our guy is gone!)
He sure doesn't look too broken up about leaving, does he? :)
He was one excited boy! Molly thought for sure that she was going to get to go, too. Sorry, Miss!
Last night she did get in on the action though. Morgan and Nathan joined us for Mister Magorium's Wonder Emporium and some yummy caramel corn. (Theoretically, I should say. The scene in the picture below lasted for about 30 seconds!) Oh well, cute picture nonetheless!

Molly's New Skill

So you're wondering, "Is she already potty-trained?" Nope. "Can she pedal her little trike all by herself?" Nope.

But she did just in the last week (overnight, really) perfect the art of "tuning out" while watching tv. No longer is our girl more interested in everything BUT the small screen. She's now a full-fledged cartoon watching kid! Now I'm sure that some of you might be appalled, and I, too, agree that, for the most part, 2 year olds should be playing, not watching Mickey Mouse Clubhouse over and over and over again. But don't kid yourselves either. You moms know and have to admit that it IS just a little bit fabulous! Oh to be able to make dinner (or work on this blog) in peace! Thank you, Mickey Mouse!

"Huh? What Mom? Did you say something?"

When Miss Mols isn't tuned in and tuning out, then she's still our wild and crazy ball of energy. Trust me, we need those 30 minutes of respite each day!

More blueberries, please?! (Um, no.)

Why wouldn't she be wearing her fuzzy pink backpack, Grayson's coat, and Elmo slippers up the stairs?!?

All just a day in the life of our sweet girl...

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

This and That...

Oh goodness, where does time go? In the beginning it was so easy for me to keep this blog current and up to date. Now...not so much. The kids are still busy and cute as ever and dropping memorable "one liners" right and left--you know, those things they say that crack you up or melt your heart and you think to yourself "I really should write that down..."? Doh! The act of doing and not just thinking is my quandary. But let's see what I can recall from recent weeks...

Talking to Molly these days is like a game. Here, you play. Try this one:

Molly: "Tarter (Carter)!.. Wap (lap)... No! No! (with a giggle)"

Make meaning from those 3 words. Did you come up with, "Carter sat on my lap in the shopping cart at Safeway, and Sarri told him, "No! No!"?

Well don't worry because if you don't/didn't get it on the first guess, she'll repeat the clues for you at least 50 more times in the course of a day. She's so sweet that way! :)

Oh, now this is more to test your deciphering skills:

2 words--"ickeey" and "inkeey"

For 10 points you should have read "Mickey" and "binky". The teacher in me has vowed NOT to freak out (yet) over the fact that the girl speaks without initial consonants! Instead I choose to believe that, like I said, it's just a little game we play...

Grayson, on the other hand, is more articulate with his words. For example, the other day Dave and I were in the middle of a conversation. Apparently Grayson was trying to get our attention, but the pleas of "Mom?" "Dad?" "Excuse me..." fell on deaf ears.

"I COMMAND YOU to listen!", however, coming out of our 4 year old's mouth, seemed to do the trick (and had us rolling in laughter on the floor). What 4 year old says, "I command you..."?