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This kid of mine seriously cracks me up.  I cannot believe some of the things that he comes up with. 

For example:

Our good friends, Ross, Tessa, and their almost-two year old daughter, Chloe, have been down to stay with us a few times since we moved to Idaho… and we usually see them once a month or so on our visits home.  Anyway, Henry just {double-heart} lovesChloe.  Their birthdays are almost exactly a year apart and we threw them a joint birthday party last August — I think that marked the beginning of Henry’s infatuation.

Just so you have a visual for the rest of the story, here is Chloe: chloe19

Every time they come to stay, Henry is love-struck yet again.  He sings her name for days after they leave in little made-up ditties:  “Chloe-Belle, CHLOE-Belle, Chloe-BELLE.”  It’s hilarious. 

(To make this story even funnier, I have to explain that Chloe is a very healthy little girl – adorably plump – with squishy, kissable cheeks just like Jojo had at that age…)

Anyway, a little while after their last visit, Peter and I were standing in the kitchen smoochin’ a bit and Henry walked in.  He stood there observing us for a moment and then pushed in between us saying, “Daddy, Daddy” — obviously wanting to ask Peter something important.  We stopped and looked down, and Peter answered him.  (*And this is where it gets sooo funny, mostly because of Henry’s tone.  I wish I could have recorded it because it’s not nearly as funny to type this story… just imagine a sing-songy, sort of curious, sort of mischievous, adorable voice:)

“Daddy, what does Chloe taste like????”  (with his face all scrunched up so cute and curious…)

Oh my —  what does a person say in response to that?  We both sorta stared at him for a blank second and then just busted up…  And then, as we were still getting control of ourselves, Henry changed his expression from quizzical to all-knowing.  And he announced with all the confidence in the world…

“I know!  Chloe tastes like a marshmallow!!!!!”

Ha, ha, HA!  Poor Chloe is going to take that one to her grave!  And now of course, since I have told the story to several people,  H actually refers to her as his “marshmallow friend.”  🙂   Chloe’s grandma told me that she thinks a nice, warm dinner roll might have been more accurate — but… Henry knows best.


I’m really, really cool.

My two-year-old son came up to me today and said out of the blue, “Mama, you’re the rockin’ dude.” 

Hee hee — no, SERIOUSLY, this is exactly what he said! 

Take note, people, I am THE rockin’ dude!

These photos were too funny not to share.  Peter taught Henry how to make fish-lips the other night — and after a few tries, he got it!  I love the look of concentration on Henry’s face at first. 



I wanted to post some pictures from Henry’s birthday party Friday evening.  He had a double birthday party with our friends (Ross and Tessa’s) daughter, Chloe, who turned a year old on August first.  It was a very laid-back affair.  My family didn’t celebrate holidays or birthdays when I was a kid, and I think that’s the reason why I am TERRIBLE at planning birthday parties.  Friday night was so nice.  We just invited close friends and family to come hang out at the beach with us and eat cake and play in the water and celebrate two sweet little lives.  There was hardly any prep work and zero stress — and I hit the photo-opportunistic jackpot with amazing lighting and adorable kiddos everywhere!  What a great party.  :0)  Maybe I’ll go big for his third birthday.  And then again, maybe not… 

I’m sure these photos are destined to be developed and subsequently stashed in the “if I ever decide to start scrapbooking, these would make a great page!” pile on my desk…  Terrible, I know.  Hey, at least I’m blogging the pictures, right?  It’s a stab at preserving them for posterity!

Our kids love the river.  Being the laid-back (read: forgetful) parent that I am, I completely spaced the swimsuits.  Oh, well.  Thankfully I DID pack a spare change of clothes because Jo waded in up to her waist trying to catch minnows with the cousins.  (I was secretly delighted by her new-found bravery!) 

Chasing after minuscule fish is apparently BIG TIME fun!

Henry’s trying to figure out where all the minnows in his bucket went!! 🙂

Here’s the birthday girl, Chloe, with her dad.  She was very gracious to share her first birthday party with a boy.  However, she didn’t give me one. single. smile all night!  Too overwhelmed by kids, sun and sand, I think.

Okay, this next shot has to be one of my all-time favorite pictures of my nephew, Hunter.  You’d have to know Hunter to appreciate it.  He is SUCH a lovable, mischievous character!  He was goofing around sticking his face down near the water and a big ol’ wave surprised him and splashed water up his nose. 

Hunter, we love you.

I snapped a shot of Ryan and Peter taking a break from all the birthday-ness to solve a few of the world’s problems…

…and here’s my beautiful (preggers) best friend enjoying the sun.

Tessa made a cake for each of the kids and they approached the task at hand from two different angles…

Henry obliged Peter with one bite of his cake sans silverware, and then waited patiently for a utensil.  “C’mon, Dad, I’m not a baby anymore!!!”

“THAT’s more like it!!”

Chloe, on the other hand, was all about the fingers.

Such cuteness…  

Okay, okay… I know this is getting long.  Only a couple more, I promise!  🙂  I love this shot of Joanna because she deliberately took her cake over to this spot to eat overlooking the water.  It made me feel very, very old to have a kid mature enough to enjoy sitting and watching the waves contemplatively while eating dessert. 

And finally, the gorgeous sunset that set the lake on fire.  The picture doesn’t do it justice — it was amazing. 


Yeah, I know you’re laughing!  🙂 

Sometimes it pays to take a zillion pictures of the kids — every now and then I end up with a funny one like this that couldn’t have been planned if I’d tried! 

Now I just need to come up with a good caption.  Ideas, anyone?? 

 We took the kids to Woodland Park Zoo in Seattle last week while we were there for Henry’s appointment.  They had a BLAST!  (And so did we, for that matter!) 

 So many fun animals to see.



Here’s some video of Henry walking.  It was taken right before bedtime last week, so he is a little more wobbly than usual.  There’s a little bit of him talking on his “phone” before the walking part… such a funny kid.  🙂



Well, actually there’s only ONE billy goat in our story.  And he’s not gruff — just stinky!  🙂

We’ve been buying raw goat’s milk locally from a man who lives up the road since Jo was about six months old.  Peter and I have a strong aversion to the taste of goat’s milk (due to baaaaad experiences with really goaty-tasting milk in the past) so we just give it to the kids.  The man we buy it from is super-picky about what he feeds his goats, so as far as goat milk goes, it’s the best — we just can’t get over our past experiences… ugh!

I was thrilled when I found Eric’s goat milk three years ago — it enables me to feed my kids wholesome raw milk without having to keep and milk a goat myself! 🙂  Both my kids love it.  Henry kind of turned his little nose up at it when he first got home, but now he drinks it enthusiastically.

Eric has been affectionately dubbed the “goat man” in our household.  Not really very flattering, I suppose, but he gets a kick out of it.  We always love going to visit the baby goats that are born each spring.  Eric also takes in bummer lambs (baby sheep that are rejected by their mothers for whatever reason…)  and this year he has NINE little lambs running around in addition to all the mama goats and baby goats.  It’s shades of my childhood whenever we visit — we had quite the menagerie when I was a kid.  My parents were the greatest.  They let us get almost any animal we ever asked for as long as we took good care of it (well, within reason… I never did get that monkey that I begged for…)  I am so thankful for the memories I have and feel like I am kind of cheating by VISITING the goats and lambs instead of raising them with my kids.  It sure is a lot less work this way, though!!  🙂

About a month ago I took the kids up and we got to help feed the lambs their bottles.  Henry was so funny when Eric handed us the first one… he knew exactly what was in that bottle and wasn’t too pleased that the lamb was getting the milk instead of him!  Ha! 

I didn’t get any pictures that time, but I snapped a few of the kids playing out in the pasture last week while we there picking up milk.  They had so much fun — it was hard getting them back into the truck when it was time to leave!



I love this look on Henry’s face… “um, Mom — is it SAFE???” 

This little lamb was particulary friendly and SO cute — he looked just like a stuffed animal.

And here’s another shot of that sweet, patient mama goat letting her twins climb all over her!

You already saw the picture of “Mr. Stinky” at the top of the page.  Mr. Stinky, the billy goat, comes calling on the ladies twice a year, and boy, does he smell!  As we were walking over to his pen, Joanna and I were talking about how he is the daddy goat and how he smells kind of funny… and as we got closer she plugged her nose and said, “Ohhhh, he does STINK!  Just like Henry!!!”  Oh my… she is settling in to her role as the sister quite well!  (for the record, Henry doesn’t actually stink! 🙂 )

Well, I guess I didn’t do a very good job communicating earlier about Henry’s appointment.  I had several people ask for clarification.  I’ve talked to so many friends and family in person about it that I forgot to be really specific for those that just pop in here every now and then…

So here goes:

The bottom line is that it looks to the specialist that Henry’s non-functioning arm is the result of nerve damage in the shoulder.  He is not a candidate for nerve surgery; so unless a miracle occurs, he will never regain the use of his arm.  The damage is permanent.  We are getting the MRIs this week to find out “officially” whether there is any brain damage causing additional issues in his body (resulting in Cerebral Palsy.) 

Hopefully that is more clear.  When I said I was processing, I meant I was having to deal with the reality that it’s a permanent condition.  We’ve been trying to hold on to hope and stay optimistic that therapy and/or surgery would help him regain even just a little use of it.  Like I said, I have thoughts that I will share later…

Right now though, I’m going to follow up on a fun tag!  Brandi tagged me to share ten random things — and I probably would have passed if it had been about me (since I am sure you have had all you can take of random Amberness between my 100 things and the weird tag!)  but I couldn’t pass on this one since she said to include Peter.   I don’t write enough about my husband on here… so in no particular order, here are ten random things about him:

1.) Peter twirls his hair when it’s long enough.  Drives me nuts, so I always bug him to get it cut and keep it short.  I have come to realize after five years of marriage that it is a completely unconscious habit — he really can’t help himself! 🙂

2.)  He was born and raised in Phoenix, Arizona.  I think this contributed to his ability to thrive in really hot weather and his love of Mexican food. 

3.) I always tease him that he must have been born with a phone on his ear!  Seriously, the guy is a communicator and is on the phone a LOT (most of it is work-related, although sometimes he talks to MY friends for a while before handing the phone to me!)  It actually works out pretty well for us, because I am not much of a phone talker — so it balances out in the end.  At least I always know I can get in contact with him if I need to! 

4.)  He is a chronic sleep-walker and sleep-talker.  At least once or twice a month I wake to him saying something totally off the wall in his sleep — or else getting dressed because he thinks someone is in our house at three in the morning!  I have had some FUNNY conversations with him that he totally does not remember! 

5.) Peter loves people and is one of those kind of guys that makes friends instantly.  He just knows what to say to put people at ease and he genuinely enjoys meeting new people and developing new relationships.  He is really great with kids too — they instantly warm up to him.  I think part of it is because he is definitely still a kid at heart. 

6.) He has a great sense of humor and has such a contagious laugh when something strikes him funny.  I crack up just listening to him. 

7.)  Peter plays the keyboard off and on with one of our worship teams at church.  He also heads up the sound team.  I think it’s great that he knows what all those knobs and switches control on the board and that he can mix sound… it seems really complicated to me.

8.) He’s pretty opinionated and if you get him started you’d better be ready for a lively discussion! (very different from my peace-maker personality…)  He loves listening to talk radio and calls in!  Yes — he is that crazy Peter from WA state that you may have heard on the air… Ha! :0)

9.) He has blown out both knees on separate occasions (one while playing soccer, one while snowboarding.)  After a couple surgeries, he’s back to both sports — albeit carefully!   He also has two herniated discs in his lower back from an injury in high school.  I am amazed by how much he does with chronic low back pain.  You really wouldn’t know it by how active he is. 

10.) He’s very optimistic and willing to takes risks.  I love that he thinks outside the box and is adventurous enough to approach things from an unconventional standpoint.

So there ya go… a little randomness about my hubby. 

I plugged in my camera today to download some pictures from last week and I found these photos among them — documented proof of what they do with their father while I am away!!  I gave Peter a hard time about it… I mean, if he’s gonna let the kid play outside in the snow only half-way dressed while I am gone, at LEAST don’t take pictures of it!!

(Although, I guess in his defense I must point out that it was a warm day… for Northeastern Washington in winter!!)


This next one is too funny… she ended up with only one glove because Sophie took the other one (at least she still had her hat! 😉 )



A little about me…

Wife. Mother. Friend. Daughter. Sister. Aunt. Student. Adventure-lover. Photo-taker. Book-reader. Organic gardener. Granola-maker. Green smoothie drinker. Snowboarder. Soccer-player. Aspiring rock-climber. Sometime health nut. Passionate about justice and mercy. Adoption advocate. Business owner and jewelry designer. Wild at heart. Crazy-blessed to live out in the country with my awesome family.

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"I am only one, but still I am one. I cannot do everything, but still I can do something; and because I cannot do everything, I will not refuse to do the something I can do." {Helen Keller}

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