Sunday, October 12, 2008


Ian was excited to show Dave his dinosaurs. We spent most of the day with Marie and the kids. I'm having trouble uploading photos so I'll add more later.

We went to Wright park in Tacoma to the arboretum there. It was pretty but a lot smaller than we expected. More pictures soon.

There were some squirrels that got very brave and came around looking for food. Marie decided to give one a rice cracker. He proceeded to eat it really close by and when he was done with it he came around again so we recorded it. This time Dave gave it to him.


We stayed at the Swantown Inn B&B overnight. It is a lovely old house. The owners are friendly and interesting people. Our room was cozy and welcoming.

The B&B is within walking distance of the Fish Tale Brew Pub where we had a delicious dinner. I had the Cod tacos and Dave had the Salmon Fish and Chips. We also shared a smoked salmon platter that came with dill cream cheese. It is surprisingly great food for a pub! Great beer too and we tried the pear cider. We walked to the pub from the B&B so we got a bit of a sense of what the city was like.

In the morning we went to the farmer's market where we found a bakery that makes spelt bread and cookies. We also tried the coffee of a local roasting company. We spent some time walking around the park by the capitol building before getting back in the car to head north.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Two Nathans are Engaged!

We have Nathans on both sides of the family. My brother and David's cousin. Both are engaged.

Nathan B will be marrying (another) Sarah in December, (and she will have my maiden-name initials! LOL) They will have a legal ceremony in Lake Havasu and a formal wedding at a later date.

Nathan S will be marrying Colleen in October. We will be attending their wedding in Grant's Pass.

So much joy! So many blessings!

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Informal Family Reunion

Raynors, Sleadds, Steves and Jones'

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Our Anniversary

2 wonderful years! We bought a house, moved twice, David has changed jobs once and started school. We are enjoying our time at home more than ever, especially with compatible work schedules. Life is good!

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Wildlife Safari with Nana

David's grandmother is visiting from Anchorage and she loves elephants, something her and I have in common. We took her to Wildlife Safari today. They had an elephant demonstration around noon and we made sure she got to see it. It was a beautiful day to be outside in the sunshine.

Here are George, Tikki and Alice demonstrating some balance behaviors, and playing harmonica and drums... George (the big one on the right) was the one that brought me my ring when Dave proposed to me at Wildlife Safari.

Here is Alice the elephant painting a picture...She painted one for us on the day we got engaged at Wildlife Safari.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Elena's Birthday

For my mom's birthday we took her to a local Italian restaurant that has live music on Thursday nights. The band played a variety of blues. The food was great, we ordered pizza and gelato. I didn't have the pizza, but my eggplant rolottini were delicious. Nathan and Sarah came with us. It was a lovely evening.

Sara and David


Nathan & Sarah

Sunday, July 13, 2008

David's Birthday Rock Fest 2008

OK, so it's no big secret that we are quite geeky and that we have wonderfully geeky friends. For David's birthday I threw a Rock Band Party complete with Dueling Guitar Contest, trophy, prizes, and of course, costumes. Everyone got into character and we had a blast. Dave and Holly O. brought a projector and we had an 8 foot screen on our wall and Dave R. hooked up huge speakers.

For those that don't know about Rock Band, it is a video game for four players, two guitars, a drum set and a microphone. Points are accumulated for accuracy. The four-player mode is a cooperative effort. There is a tug-of war mode that allows two guitarists to compete. We usually play on the 4-player mode, switching off instruments and microphone. It is a great social game. 

Happy Birthday David!

Boy Band

Girl Band

Mosh Pit

First Place: Holly "Hotfingers" O.
Second Place: Nathan "Tap Out" B.
Third Place: David "Ramb 'a Lam" R.

Best Costumes: David O. and Holly O.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

David's Birthday

Because of Father's Day we postponed David's party for a couple weeks. My mom and brother took us out to brunch to celebrate and we went to see "The Incredible Hulk" while we were in Eugene for Laura's graduation party. The stadium seating and recliner seats in the theaters in Eugene are much more comfortable than the ones in town.

For his birthday this year we are having friends over for a Rock Band party and Guitar Competition. We have trophies and prizes for the winners. I'll write more about that complete with pictures when the time comes.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Hawaiian Themed Dinner

We were invited to a Luau Murder Mystery Party at Dave and Holly O's house. We didn't get to play the murder mystery game because one of the guests couldn't make it, but we had a great time anyway with Holly's sister and her husband. We had all prepared part of the Hawaiian themed dinner and it was delicious. We dressed up as our characters, I was supposed to be a hula girl and David was going as a tribal chief. They picked the "gringo"-est two to play the natives.

We will get together another time to play the game, but dressing in a theme was fun too. 

When we decided not to proceed without the last guest, we headed to our house and played Rock Band for the rest of the evening. 

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Working on the House

At the beginning of June David and I decided to take a week off, since he was off school, to do some work around the house. These are the before pictures of the front "lawn" and flower bed.

Here is David working the roto-tiller. I shoveled in all the edges. David said he was surprised at how much work I did. I think he thought he was going to have to do this all by himself. Our neighbor told him he was lucky because he has a wife that will do the work with him. We got a lot of compliments from the neighbors and lots of drive-by lookers. 
Here are the after pictures. The lawn is seeded but hasn't started sprouting yet. We are looking forward to it turning green. The path expanded as we removed the dirt and weeds that had grown into it. We put borders around the tree and the flower bed on the sunny side of the lawn. We leveled the part under the tree which had a lot of big holes. It took a lot of dirt to get it flattened out. A wheel barrow would have come in handy but we didn't think of it until we were almost done. We learned a lot during this big project. 

I am filling in these front two planters with ground covers and stepping stones.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Sara's Birthday

Ken, Stephanie, Holly, Dave O
Nathan, Mom, Me, David
May 9, 2008

Friday, May 16, 2008

More Gardening

It is an exciting time in our garden. Since it is the first spring we have spent in this house we are still discovering new plants that have been established here. Before making too many changes we are going to see what is already here.
This was our side-garden back in the Fall before we could really see anything growing. 
Here is the same garden at the beginning of the year when it snowed.
After some pruning it sure filled out with roses, lilacs and irises.
Aren't they beautiful! What a wonderful surprise!
Under my kitchen window we built a box for herbs.
This is the beginning of a flavorful garden. Sage, rosemary, lavender, parsley and basil are just the beginning.

Monday, May 5, 2008


With spring approaching there are a lot of opportunities to work and play outdoors. For the last two weekends we have been clearing out more weeds (and the dreaded bamboo) from our yard. With the help of my mother, David and I cleared out a large area in our front yard in preparation for some landscaping. We tried to salvage the roses and various other non-weeds, but mostly it was an effort to get the bamboo out that someone thought was a good idea to plant near the house. David did most of the pulling and digging out of the bigger roots while my mother and I did the smaller ones, loosening the soil in preparation for planting. It is a work in progress and I will post pictures of that and of our kitchen.

It is such a pleasure to buy perennials for a house that belongs to us. It feels like we're building towards something. As Dave's dad said to us yesterday, we're "really making it into a comfortable little house" for ourselves. I am starting to see what the potential is for the front yard and David has some great ideas for the back yard. It is so much fun to see it grow and evolve into something more than what it was before. I am happy to be building up an herb garden and a large pot with lettuce for the year. We don't have a large amount of room, but I hope to make the most of what we have with a balance of edible vegetation and pretty plants.

This is what we started with...

We cleared out all the weeds in front of this part of the house and put up the metal sheeting to protect the wood and foundation. Soon this will be all covered in plants. My hand was in the picture to block the sun. I already bought some plants to fill in this space.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Going to the Park

We had the pleasure of taking our niece and nephew to the park this weekend. I guess I didn't realize how much there is to do at the park. They played on the slides, on the large train, in the water throwing rocks (that was very fun, apparently), and then on the swings. There were plenty of interesting questions. Ian insisted we go up on the slide, but David and I told him we were too big, Dave convinced him but Ian told me I wasn't too big. Cara loved posing for pictures, shouting "cheese" every time she could see the camera pointed at her.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Catching up...

Oh my! I am so behind. We painted the kitchen 3 weekends ago. The following weekend my mom, Holly and I went shopping at second hand/antique stores with Marie (she needed some furniture to fill up her house) and I found a wall hanging that is perfect in the kitchen, you would think we picked our wall colors from this tapestry.
Then my mom and I cleaned up most of the front yard and pruned the rose bushes. There is so much to do but we are enjoying the process. This term isn't as time-intensive for David so he is able to help out around the house a little more. With the help of Dave O, he pruned one of the trees in the front and took out another one that was hanging over the roof and dropping a lot of debris. It was too close to the house and it looks so much better now.

Last weekend we went to Portland. I went shopping with Kelly and Marie on Saturday and Sunday while David and Brandon hung out. On Saturday Brandon's friend, Justin, brought over Rock Band and the guys played ALL DAY. Big surprise! While us girls spent most of our shopping budget on clothes and shoes. LOL. We had a blast. Saturday night we met up with the guys at McMinamins' St. John's theater for dinner and a movie. We saw Charlie Wilson's War. Good movie, but kind of depressing how badly we messed up on that one. We stayed up late playing more Rock Band. I got to try the drums for the first time and it was fun. HARD, but fun! More shopping Sunday and then the drive home. Overall we had a great time, not very restful but a great time.

I'll post house pictures soon. I just wanted to catch up a bit.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Setting up the Craft Room

While David is busy with his new full-time job and full-time school (he is working so hard), I have been fixing up the house some more. My mom came over yesterday and helped me organize the craft/spare room. Up until now it has been a catch-all for random boxes that we didn't have space for yet. I am so glad we got it cleared out so now we can actually use the room. In our apartment the second bedroom was just basically storage. We didn't have enough actual room left over to do anything with it. This one is very different.

I am so excited that I can finally have a place to leave my crafts so that I can get back to them later. I never seem to find time to do any scrapbooking (I still have my wedding to do) because taking all the stuff out and putting it all back was most of the work. Now I can just leave it there and get back to it when I can. I am really looking forward to it. I also have all my sewing stuff in there and everything is all organized into drawers. 

On the book shelves we have various music books, craft books and board games. I couldn't believe how many games we had because at the apartment they were spread out through different rooms. I think we still have one more box of games somewhere. I set up my music stand so I can start practicing my flute again. I miss music too. Once we remodel the dining room I am hoping to move my piano from my mom's house to this house. It would actually fit right now except that I don't know where we would put it while we are tearing up the brick and once it is in place I don't want to move it.

These are the before pictures: