Man-Venture™ 2010


Last year I met up with my college friends, John and Howell, in Washington D.C. (pictures here). This spring we were looking for an excuse to get together again. Out of the deep and murky waters of our brains was birthed the Man-Venture™.  The idea was to squeeze as many manly activities into a visit as possible, each adding more hair to our chests than the last. Ryan was able to join us as well making a quartet of quirky Quatermains. In under a week we raced karts, did car work, played frisbee golf, hiked and camped, scaled precipitous heights, and went off-roading. We were dripping with manliness (or something) by the end. Unfortunately, we ran out of time for rhinoceros hunting, spear fishing, and volcano jumping.  Maybe next year.

We had perfect weather and fully enjoyed the beauty of God’s creation.  Click on the “more” button for some highlights.


Name that Superhero


There will be a prize (I don’t know what yet, but it will be good!) for anyone besides Mark who can name the superhero Lincoln is imitating here.

My new favorite picture

From Blog

Washington D.C., 2009


I’m a little behind on my blogging.  A year ago, my college friend, Howell, got married. This was the perfect excuse for Nicole and I to go visit Howell and other buddy John and his family.  Nicole was pregnant with Cora and we left Lincoln for the first time.  We spent a couple days traipsing around D.C. and then went to the wedding in Pennsylvania.  Click on the “more” button for some highlights.


July the 3rd, 2010


Each year on the July the 3rd, we go out on our little deck and watch fireworks set-off from the neighborhood across the way.  I have no idea why they are on the third or how that neighborhood can afford such nice fireworks, but they are enjoyable enough that the next day I feel no need to drive anywhere to see more.  Here are some shots from this year.

Click on the “more” button to see, well, more.  –Mark.


Lincoln jumps out of an airplane!


Hah! Got your attention, didn’t I?! So, to quote Paul Harvey, here is “The Rest of the Story.” Lincoln was flying his airplane (read: frisbee that lights up that he turns back and forth for a steering wheel when he is “flying”). He was on the couch, and then he “landed.” He said to me, “Oh no! There’s no jetway or stairs! I have to jump out of the plane!” and proceeded to jump off the couch. So not nearly as exciting as just the tagline, but still cute. We are playing airplane nearly every day as he flies us to Montana, Denver, and Canada. He often “forgets” his suitcase and has to go back for it, and he usually flies to the airport instead of taking a car. 🙂

Here is a recent picture I love of Cora and Lincoln:

And the other happenings around here include Woof-Woof turning three (complete with candles, presents, and Thomas as a guest–on-the-napkin). . .

Coming soon. . . hopefully a post from Mark about his recent adventures, and maybe some house project pictures.

Big Sky Country (i.e. Montana)


Last week, Lincoln, Cora, and I (Nicole) flew to Montana where my parents live to visit them and to meet up with my sister, Kari, and her son Peyton who drove down from Canada. The week in one paragraph went like this: big breath. . . This was Cora’s first airplane trip, in which she didn’t eat from the time we got to the airport at 9:30 until we got to my parent’s house at 3:30, and not for lack of trying, but even given that, she was hardly fussy and took a nap on the plane. Lincoln was so thrilled to be on the airplane, I don’t think he stopped talking or moving for the entire flight there or back. Making lotion for my first time ever with Kari and Mom, laughing at Peyton being Kari’s best helper during our waterfight and Lincoln not being so much of a helper (as he wanted me to hold still so he could pour water on me, thereby allowing Peyton to come up and douse me), being thrilled to run into Rich and Andrea O’connell and their children at church,  Shakespeare in the Parks with Dad and Kari, watching Link hit golf balls and play baseball (with much help) were some other hightlights. Eating out on the deck in the amazing weather, eating amazing sea salt caramels, and basically eating all week without having to cook were also great. It was a trip I hope we get to repeat in future summers.

(Lincoln took this picture. Since he has a little trouble pointing the camera up to take pictures, we all got down where he could see us, and were all laughing as a result.)

The Phillips side


We spent a few days in Steamboat Springs with the Phillips side of our family last week, and had a great time.
A Lincoln highlight. . .

Butch, Beth, Devon, and Aydon

Ryan, Amanda, Asher, Shepherd (not Ryan’s best picture, but it was the best of the kids:))

Mark, Nicole, Lincoln, Cora

Grandma Linda and Lincoln

Love you guys!

Lincoln = 3 years old


Lincoln is 3. Wow. We had a Duplo Block (large lego blocks) themed party at a nearby park, complete with a green, blue, and yellow lego cake that, well, took the cake. With family and friends we supported Grandma Linda’s job (i.e. ate Quiznos for dinner–she works for their corporate headquarters), tried out Lincoln’s new bat and balls, laughed at the adults “demonstrating” a lego-in-the-spoon race for the kids, and enjoyed the playground at Waneka lake. Lincoln and his cousins took a boat ride on the paddle boats at the end of the evening, and that was a highlight for our little man. The party was Saturday late afternoon, and after we got home from church on Sunday Lincoln took a 4 HOUR nap. Guess he was tired (turning 3 is hard work!) 🙂

Photography ala Lincoln


Maybe not the next Ansel Adams, but our budding photographer (pictured above using his most recent camera) has captured a few fun moments.

For more pictures from Lincoln, click on the more button. (more…)

Ahhhh. . . Summer.


As most of you already know, I love winter. However, I must say, I am actually glad that it is getting warm out, seeing that it is mid-May. I’ve already put Lincoln’s winter coat and boots away twice–each time I did, it snowed within a day. As it is warming up though, here are a few pictures of what we’ve been doing outside. . .

So, to clarify, the top picture of Lincoln is actually of him throwing the ball, not catching it. The picture of Cora is from her first ride in the stroller without being in her car seat.

Cora-6 months old


In some ways, it is amazing that Cora is 6 months old. In other ways, it seems forever ago that I was pregnant, or that she was just born, or that there was life without her. Time is flying, and I’m enjoying it so much. I am consciously trying to enjoy each day, and all the time I have with my kids, and most days, I feel like I’m succeeding. Getting dinner on the table on time, on the other hand, maybe not so much success. Anyway, more about Cora.

Cora weighs 17 lbs (72%), and her length is 28.25 inches (99%). Yep, that’s right. 99th percentile for height. Lincoln at the same age was 28 inches. Cora has such a long torso–she is wearing 12 month onesies and 6 month pants. My mom checked my records, and at 6 months I was 26 inches long. Not sure where these tall genes are coming from. Cora is rolling over, usually to avoid tummy time, but I think she is starting to figure out that she can get to something out of reach if she rolls. She is interacting more nearly every day, with Lincoln, with us, with her environment. The other day I put her down for a nap with a green pacifier in her mouth, and when she got up, she had a pink one in (apparently there was an extra one in the crib). She laughs and smiles easily, and if she laughs more than two or three giggles, she will almost certainly get the hiccups. She is cheerful most of the time, except when she misses a nap :(. She still has bright blue eyes, and a lot of hair, which I think make her look older than she really is. Overall, Cora is doing great, and is a delightful little girl.

Erie Balloons 2010


I took a time lapse out of my bedroom window of the Erie Town Fair Balloon launch.  The music is from a challenge on my Doctor Obvious Studio Facebook page.  The challenge was to make a techno version of Flight of the Bumblebee.  Go there to hear the results of other challenges, including a polka version of Lady Gaga, a song about cake, and more.  And you can suggest a new musical challenge!

Fun Times


Wow this brings back memories.

A sweet Mommy moment.

I know there is a perfect caption for this, but I can’t think of it. Any suggestions?

Me, and Mommy, and Daddy, and Cora, and Jesus, and our whole family! (Lincoln’s description of who is in our family.)


Lincoln News

In the kitchen the other day, I commented on the crumbs on the floor, and Lincoln asked, “Where’s that nopper so we can nop the floor?”

When he finishes reading a book, he says, “Weed-en.”

Before church on Wednesday night I told him his teacher for class might be changing. He said, “The teacher changin’? With her clothes off?”

He still uses a /w/ for /y/ most of the time, so his current pronunciation of “Yes, Sir.” for the “Marching Song (The Lord’s Army)” is “Wes–Rrrr!”

After he flushed the other day, he asked where the stuff goes after it goes in the pipes under our house. I told him it goes to a water treatment plant, and he said, “Like our blueberry plant?”

Things we say I’m glad he repeats: “Daddy, I so glad you’re home. I happy to see you!”and “Ohhhhhhhhh.”

Things I’m not so glad he repeats: “Oh My Goodness!”

Lincoln Logic: “Daddy, you need to do that because that’s what you need to do.”

Lincoln loves to ring the doorbell, real and imaginary: “Wing Dong!”



It is so nice to get help around the house.

Lincoln helping Daddy.

Cora helping with the laundry.

Lincoln helping plant and water our blueberry plant.

Toothy News


So, last Sunday I let Cora chew on my finger, and was ruefully not surprised to feel her first tooth coming in. She is 5 months old, and her bottom left front tooth is poking through. Lincoln got the same first tooth at 5 1/2 months (only two weeks later, but as Mark pointed out, that is about 10% of Cora’s life at this point). Then, on Monday I finally got my dental x-rays taken, since I am only nursing now, not pregnant, trying to get pregnant, or possibly pregnant like I have been for the last 3 years of dental visits. Simultaneously, Lincoln had his teeth cleaned for the second time (with Mark standing nearby for moral and emotional support). He did great, which is such a relief, and Lincoln did well too (Just kidding!). Seriously, though, I always practice my labor breathing to keep myself calm at the dentist, and I’m glad Lincoln is starting now, as I hope we can build up many positive experiences when he is young. Our hygienist is terrific, and she let Lincoln hold the mouth-slurpee-outee-thing for part of the time to slurp his own mouth out when he needed it. Lincoln was pretty stoked that he got his own dental floss to take home, as well as an hourglass timer with green sand to help him know how long to brush.

Family Resemblance?


So, who do they look like?

Wordless Wednesday


Four Months Ago (i.e. Cora’s Birth Story)


The following post is a long and detailed account of my labor and Cora’s birth. Read at your own risk.

My due date was Thursday, November 12, 2009. On Wednesday, the 11th, I had a few menstrual like cramps. I went to Northwest to see a kiddo that I was doing speech therapy with in the morning. Multiple people there were surprised to see me, asking, “When are you due?” and looking even more surprised to see me when I said “Tomorrow.” After therapy, Lincoln and I came home for lunch, and since Mark was working from home, we all got to eat together. I told Mark I might be having contractions, but I wasn’t sure yet. Then, as I put Lincoln down for his nap at 1:00, I had was was clearly a contraction–it felt like a tight band around my waist, front and back. I told Mark, then went to try to take my usual nap (not much luck with that). For the next 3.5 hours, my contractions averaged 12 minutes apart, even as I tried to sleep, took at oatmeal bath due to the itchy rash on the back of my knees, and puttered around the house. Around 4:30 in the afternoon they moved to consistently less than 10 minutes apart, and at my request, Mark cancelled his plans to go work out with a friend, and I called Linda (Mark’s mom, who lives about 10 minutes away from us) and invited her over for dinner and possibly to spend the night. (more…)