Cousin Pics

Marley, Collin, Owen, Taylor, and Katelyn ~ calling it a day after an antique car show and BBQ picnic in Boulevard Park, a mile walk up and down Taylor Dock between Fairhaven and the Park, touring Fairhaven Festival (street fair), enjoying ice cream cones (thanks, Uncle Jared and Aunt Janae!), dancing to the live bands, splashing in the pool, oysters and lobster dinner, and an evening scooter extravaganza in the cul-de-sac! What a day! Owen didn't even make his head to pillow ~ he literally passed out in the middle of his bed as he was crawling up to his pillow. Now THAT'S something I'd never seen before!! ; )

I just realized they sat in order of age! How cool!

The Girls 5.24.09


Garbage Day

(Driving across town early this morning)

Owen: Look! A garbage truck! It comes to our house every week! (slight pause, then with a sense of satisfaction) That means he likes us!

Hands In!

The Samuelsen and Tepker Boys

Twins in a Twin Bed

They are also both wearing green plaid boxers. The outfits are totally coincidental. ; )

Owen - 3 1/4 Years Old

Owen has really grown up the past few months. He's completely transitioned from toddler-hood to being a full-fledged preschool boy. He has his own ideas, his own plans, his own dreams. It's a really hard transition for me. Collin always seemed so independent, right from the get-go. But Owen has been much more "go with the flow," "whatever Collin/you want is fine," "I'm just along for the ride." Suddenly, he's still along, but he has his own agenda. Thankfully, to help ME through the super natural, healthy transition (note to self!), he's still a cuddler and is also going through a huge "got to say goodbye three times, hug five times, wave at the window, maybe even call after you've driven down the street because I love you and will miss you so much" phase.Running from first to second base! So determined to make his hit a double! *We were playing street teeball in our cul-de-sac ~ every hit had sweet potential to be a home run because there were only two outfielders, and one wasn't paying any attention because she (I) was too busy taking pictures! So if you hit anywhere Kevin wasn't, the ball rolled down our street, and you got a home-run!

(I love this picture. He'd just woken from his nap in the sun, pictured three posts back ~ the one where Kate is perched on top of him victoriously!)

I love you so much, Owie-O!!

Katelyn - 13 Months Old

Every moment is new and precious and brings so much joy to our lives! I love you, Miss Katie-Kate!


Collin woke up this morning with the sunlight, ran to me, and nearly shouted: "Mom!!! Wake up! Hurry! It's Friday! You know what that means?! That means Marley is coming today!!!!" It was 4:24 a.m. Back to bed. : )

Fast forward one hour: As I was about to head out on my morning run, I heard the sweetest giggles coming from Collin! I peeked in on him, thinking he had been up waiting for Marley to arrive afterall. Suddenly, he started cracking up with laughter! His eyes were closed, but he was so happy! Then, just as suddenly, his face calmed and his body (which had been shaking with his laughter!) stilled. And he was back in blissful sleep. Must have been a great dream!!

Collin ~ 4 3/4 Years Old

You are growing into such a big boy. You are smart and thoughtful. You are curious and driven. You are an amazing big brother and an inspiring son. You open my world to new possibilities every day. I love you, Collie-Oll!


First Sunburn

After bath Sunday evening ...

Me: Ok, Collin, we need to apply aloe to your sunburn ~ really gently ~ now.
Collin: No!!
Me: I'll be super careful. If we don't take care of your skin with aloe and lotion, your sunburned skin might peel.
Collin: (stops moving, quiet, concerned, eyes nearly welling) Mom? I don't want my skin to break.
Me: Oh, Collin! Sunburned skin is just the top layer of skin, and it sometimes peels off. But it won't break or hurt ~ it just might itch a bit until it heals. We used sunscreen, and now we'll use aloe. I promise it will be ok.
Collin: Ok, do it.

Fast forward half hour as he's laying down for bed ...

Collin: Mom? I know what I know. And I know what you said. But ... will my skin really break? I don't want my skin to break. I need it to hold my body together until I get old.

Kate and Collin are soooo similar in nature! I have a picture on the wall in our playroom of Collin standing on a chair precariously in the backyard at this same age! Both at this age loved to climb everything ~ stairs, onto chairs/tables/couches/rocks/fire hydrants ~ you name it, they'd climb it! I love their adventurous "I'll try anything" spirit!

*Both Collin and Kate also love(d) to open all cupboards and drawers and to take everything out of them! They both enjoy taking things out and putting things in AND they both enjoy putting things in their "proper" places. **Owen was more of a stacker and not as concerned with "proper places" ~ more concerned with "doing what works."

Bathing Beauty (those are her sunglasses she's gnawing on with her toothless gums!)
Owen fell asleep, worn out from all the fun in the sun. I don't think he accounted for his little sis when he picked his nap location! Kate saw him as a "lying duck" and climbed right up on top of him ~ he IS the one who taught her to wrestle!
Kate and Katie R


Chocolate Chips

Owen, pointing to his chest: "Hey, Mom. Look! I have chocolate on me! See?! Two! Little chocolates!" ; )


Family Vacation Part 2a: Hanging with the Carmody's

For the past few years our vacations have been pretty consistent - a week on Shaw Island, a week on Banks Lake, and a week in Chelan. *Last year we used up a week vacation during my three-week maternity leave (!) so we missed out on Chelan.

This year we decided to change it up a bit, which opens us up to lots of possibilities, including a trip down the coastline. But Collin wasn't quite so sure: he couldn't fathom that we would cancel Banks Lake. After some discussion, it turned out what he was afraid he'd miss out on: 1. the cool play area at Steamboat Rock State Park (it is amazing, and I can understand why he'll miss it!), and 2. push-up pop ice cream from the little store at the campground!

S0, we accommodated his vacation "must haves" and spent an afternoon at a park in Vancouver and had push-up pops that night for dessert!! Great news: he's announced that this vacation was "so much even better than that other place we go!!"So after leaving the property in Cougar, we headed to Vancouver, Washington, for Part 2 of our vacation and stayed with our cousins Bobby and Rischa and their kids Paige 4 1/2 and Liam 2 1/2. (It was their family property we all stayed on in Cougar, so this was a continuation of our visit with them.)

Bobby played a game of Hide-And-Seek with the kids on the soccer field. ; )
Owen and Liam hiding behind the posts
Collin hiding across the field behind a tree
The dads took the big kids to the store for Make-Your-Own-Pizza fixings, and Rischa and I took the sleepy heads home for some quiet time (for us!).

Little Bits

After months/years of eating dry cereal, Collin put milk in his cereal this morning. He realized it was good and asked for seconds! There's a reason the rest of us do it!

Owen is learning to write the letters of the alphabet and has his name down. It's so cute to here him, "O-W-E-N ... that's my name!"

Owen loves eggs - will eat them any way but runny. He's the only one of our kids that will eat them. (Well, on occasion Collin will eat the white of the egg only.)

Kate has words! Yesterday Kevin walked in from work and she said, "Hi, Dada!" She also now says: Mama, Nana (Banana). Lori tells me she also says "help" ~ I'll have to take her word for it.

Kate's current favorite activities: stack blocks (or anything) then knock them down, put things in/out of containers, play pretend mealtime with her kitchen stuff, climb up on the couch then back down then up then down (etc). She's still totally into her brothers and loves to climb on them. She's recently learned to give them hugs!

Yesterday morning I was doing my hair when I heard Kate wake up. Collin went in, and I listened as he said "good morning," asked her about her night, then sat down on the floor next to her crib with a pile of books - "I'll read to you while we wait for Mommy to finish getting ready, ok, Kate?" I walked in a short while later, and she was sitting in her crib, watching him, and listening intently to his made-up versions of the stories. Such a good big brother!!!

I need to post a picture of Owen's stick person. It has two eyes, a big smile, sometimes a nose, and legs sprouting from the smile! Too cute!

Owen doesn't carry anything in the palm of his hand anymore ... it's actually really sad. He's been growing up a LOT over the last six months, and he recently dropped that "habit." (He's also lost his toddler-look, his face and thinned out, he's gotten much taller, and he's super independent. He has his own ideas, his own plans, and is absolutely ok - sometimes even chooses - to be off doing his own thing. He even suddenly sounds older. It's happening so quickly...)

Collin has never been a huge talker. I used to have to drag conversations out of him about his day, his dreams, etc. But nowadays if you get him started, you better settle in and focus ~ he's been storing up ideas and thoughts and dreams and plans for the last few years, and he's ready to share!! I have to promise him at bedtime that we WILL talk again tomorrow, so we need to stop and get sleep. So funny! Love it! (By the way, we've been up later than usual lately because there is nothing harder than telling your big boy that he needs to stop talking to you!! Just absolutely wrong! But so is bedtime after 10 p.m. - especially when you hopped under your covers around 8:30!)


Family Vacation Part 1: Cougar

The first leg of our family vacation was a weekend in Cougar, Washington, camping with Bobby, Rischa, Brian, Christi, Joe, Amy, Kathy and the kiddos! We had a fantastic time ~ even in a bit of rain!
Owen LOVES football and spends time perfecting his spiral. This was his first real experience playing with other boys, and he loved the camaraderie, the competition, and the occasional push/shove/tackle!
The kids really enjoyed the swings ~ especially the tire swing, which they quickly learned could be wound tightly then released for a crazy ride!!

Boys!! If you want syrup for those pancakes, you're gonna have to show me some S-I-L-L-Y!!!
The weekend was full of tag, teeball, football, softball, frisbee, and good ol' catch! Here Collin is running from Jackson, who is "It."

Just how many people can you fit into the back of a Honda Odyssey?
High School Girlfriends Reunite - Amy R (now S), Kathy S (now S-K) and Jen C (now T)
We took a walk to the fish hatchery, and the kids practiced their fish faces!! Pictured: Jackson (Joe and Amy's 4 yr old), Liam (Bobby and Rischa's 2 yr old), and Collin.
Brian and Bobby share a laugh around the campfire, while Kevin and I shared a snuggle.Almighty! Hear me now! Stop the Rain!!!

(Baby) Senior Photo ShootMy troop around the campfire

Brian pitched many games of softball over the weekend. The boys ~ for the first time ~ truly grasped the concept of running bases, singles, doubles, home runs, a catcher ... it was super neat! Collin is now saying he'd like all his friends to play baseball game (on Shaw Island) for his birthday party! (*He's been planning his birthday party - and is even working on party favors for his guests - and brainstorming his Christmas list EVERY night since Kate's birthday.)
After this photo, she immediately put the rock in her mouth ~ then spit it right back out! Silly girl!!The boys stood on their bases, ready for an RBI.
Liam and Owie