Wednesday, March 31, 2010


Tonight I had my first Peeps.  You know those brightly colored sugar coated marshmallow chicks and bunnies?  I am kind of wishing I hadn't.  I took one bite, looked at my husband, and made a face.  He said he wished he had the camera because of the look on my face.  All I could say was, "Why?" in a disgusted voice.  They have less taste than an actual marshmallow.  I may as well have just eaten a spoonful of granulated sugar!  Needless to say, I did not finish the green bunny Peep.  I had to stop.  Thank goodness I was not subjected to eating these tasteless sugar bombs as a child!

(For anyone who loves Peeps, let's just agree to disagree.)

By the way, my kids seem to love them!  Me, I think I'll stick to this kind of Peep.


For the 4th of July a few years ago, we went to the coast.  We took some of the best pictures that day, one of which is below.

This is the original.

This is with a color boost and edges blurred.

This is color boost, antique, and edges blurred.

This one was done in Photoshop CS2 and it kept the yellow in the second picture while changing the rest of the picture.

What do you think?

Tuesday, March 30, 2010


So I started out with a picture of Drew's hands.

Then I added a vignette.

I then decided to try it in black and white with the vignette.

Which one do you like best?

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

The cutest thing...

Drew was actually in a good mood tonight (he hasn't been very happy in the evenings lately).  He was making noises and smiling.  One of the things he was doing was almost like he was trying to blow raspberries, but his lips weren't moving.  So I did it so he could see what it was like.  He stared at me for a moment, looking as though he was concentrating.  All of a sudden, he was trying it again.  His little tongue stuck out just a bit and he did it!  It was so cute to see him concentrate and actually try to copy me.  I've never seen any of my children so obviously copy us before.  It was the cutest thing!!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Family Pictures

Before leaving Oregon, my friend came over and we took some family pictures.  Here is a little sample:
The Whole Family

The Grandkids

Just us

The Kids

The Guys

Little Toes

The 'Rents

Thanks for taking them, Marianne!

The Drive

We wanted to document our trip in photographs for our friends.  We wanted to stop when we got to Nevada and get a picture with the Entering Nevada sign, but it was raining and there wasn't really a sign.  Oh well.

So here we are in the car.  Jeff was driving.  The kids were watching movies.

These mountains were beautiful!  We had just crossed the California state line from Oregon.

As we drove through California, there were these awesome rolling hills.

The kids still hanging in there on day two.

Just before we got into Nevada there were some gorgeous white clouds.

What Drew has been doing...

Drew is growing up way to quickly!  Being my last baby and my first boy, I am trying to savor every moment.  Of course, it is difficult to do that when things are so crazy around here- but we are settling in so it should be better soon!  Drew is now three and a half months old.  Oh how the time flies.  I guess I'd better get a pediatrician lined up before he is due for his 4 month check up!

This week Drew has grown by leaps and bounds.  He found his hands!  He now tries to grab things and brings them to his mouth.  He is still learning, so he misses more often than not.  He also started laughing this week.  It is the cutest thing ever!  He is such a happy little boy.  We feel so lucky to have him in our lives.  He didn't stop with that this week- he started trying to sit up.  So we put him in his bumbo seat.  He loves it for about 2 minutes.  It is good exercise.  If he is in his swing or bouncy seat he will start to lift his head and shoulders up in an attempt to sit up.  He is also sticking to the new 11pm bedtime.  I am so grateful it isn't 1-3 am anymore!  I need to find our little red camera so I can take some video of him.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Vegas, Baby!

Warning: Long Post.  Read only if you have some time to kill.  It might also make you cry in parts if you are one of my dear Oregon friends.

So here we are in Las Vegas.  It has been some ride!  We started out in July when it was announce that the company Jeff works for would be moving.  Some to Portland and some to Las Vegas.  Jeff and I were not excited about Portland- which was his team.  Many people wanted to go where they weren't slotted to go.  Luckily, they were asking how everyone was feeling about it and gave them options.  Jeff was approved to move to the Las Vegas team.  Now, any move is disheartening.  I mean, who wants to leave the house they were almost finished remodeling into what they LOVE and all of their friends who love and support them?  Not me.  Especially when the options are more of the dreary Oregon weather where you still get to see friends once in a while but have to leave the home you made or far, far away in a new land with sunshine and hot weather where you can swim all summer long.  Both had their pros and cons.  For me, the weather was the biggest factor.  I needed to get out of the depressing rain (thank goodness for friends who made it bearable).  Of course, it was really up to Jeff.  He was the one who really wasn't looking forward to Portland.  He really wanted to be on the Las Vegas team, doing the kind of projects he has dreamed of since college (which really was only a few years ago). 

So the decision was made.  We started finishing up our remodeling as soon as we heard about the move.  We started cleaning out our belongings, paring down and packing what we didn't need for time being.  We put our house up for sale.  Then we waited.  We waited and waited.  We waited some more.  (All the while enjoying the time with our wonderful, supportive friends!)  The waiting, anticipation, the unknown- they are so stressful.  I am the type of person who just needs to get on with it once I know about it.  So this was definitely a test of my patience, which I failed miserably.    After much deliberation, pondering, and prayer, we felt that March 1st was the time to go ahead with our move.  We were the last family to leave.  Everyone else headed to Las Vegas moved at the end of November.  Once we had a moving date set, it was a huge relief.  I am NOT good with the unknown.  Although it was a relief, it was also very hard for me.  I have some really awesome friends. 

We started packing, and I thought I was doing so well.  It seems that no matter how early I started or how prepared I thought I was, there were always more boxes needed and more stuff to pack.  It is especially hard when you are trying to pack with a 2 month old baby.  It seems that I could get in about 15 minutes of packing at a time.  Then there would be a baby in need of milk or a diaper change, or a 3 year old in need of something.   Luckily, some of those awesome friends were there to help.  I am so grateful to all of them for helping me pack.  We also got in a girls night the weekend before the move and another smaller one in the night before we left.

Moving day rolled around (and all too soon, I might add).  We picked up the truck (I cried while I followed Jeff home in the van because getting the truck meant it was really happening).  Men from church came over to help us load the truck.  Then more people came.  Friends stopped by to say goodbye.  More friends came to help pack up and say goodbye.  I was overwhelmed with all that still needed to be done (and I thought I had been staying on top of it all).  My back (which is not recovered from the strain of pregnancy) couldn't handle all the bending and lifting I did that day.  It got to the point where I could barely even walk because the pain would suddenly shoot down my back and leg and I would just about fall over.  Jeff's dad called to say they could take the kids and put them to bed at their house- for which I am so grateful.  We had so many friends helping us pack up all of the leftover things that somehow didn't have a box to go in.  Jeff and our friend Ian kept loading the truck.  It seemed that Ian could find a way to fit anything in there! 

It got later and later and friends had to start leaving.  It was so hard to say goodbye.  Kelsey and Alysha stayed till the end.  It was SO hard to say goodbye. (I know I am repeating myself.)  Alysha was the last to drive away.  Jeff got in the truck and started off.  I got in the car and bawled.  Yep.  I'll admit to that.  This was the second hardest thing I have ever done.  Saying goodbye to my mom was the hardest.  We started to drive away.  We turned onto 5th Street past the Fred Meyer (my beloved Fred Meyer how I miss you).  I noticed a car in the exit.  It was Alysha.  She waived as we drove away.  I cried again.  How could I be leaving such wonderful friends?  I kept telling myself I would make more friends in Las Vegas, but it seems horrible to think that anyone could ever be as awesome as my friends in Oregon. 

We headed to Jeff's parent's house to sleep for the night.  They were coming with us to drive the truck and we were leaving in the morning.  I didn't really sleep well between the sadness, anticipation, horrible back pain, and the 3 month old that woke up every two hours to eat.  We got up and left around 9 in the morning.  The kids were unusually cranky.  The stress of the move was getting to them.  I cried off and on all day- I know, I am a big baby.  You try leaving your house and friends to go to a totally foreign place!  It was a long day in the car.  We tried to enjoy the beautiful landscapes as we traveled.  There were beautiful snow capped mountains, rolling green hills, and high desert.  Okay, so the high desert isn't so beautiful, but it was a landscape we went through, so I thought I'd include it.  We stayed just outside of Stockton in an EconoLodge.  Not the best accommodations, but it was a place to sleep.  Again, I didn't sleep well.  Same reasons.  We got up and finished our trip on Sunday.  We decided to stay in a bit nicer place this time.  We spent the night at the Red Rock.  It was the nicest hotel I've ever frequented.  The kids enjoyed it.  It was nice to be done traveling.

Monday morning Jeff's parents watched the kids while we went to look at the house we had picked on the internet.  We also headed over to get the keys and sign the lease.  I cried.  I just wanted my house.  And my friends.  What is up with all the crying?  We got the kids and Jeff's parents and came to the house.  I was planning to unload some of the things from the truck and then wait to do the boxes and piano until the men from church could come in the evening to help (especially since I couldn't really help much with unloading due to the back pain and the baby I needed to care for).  I wanted to vacuum the carpets and make sure everything was clean.  I also wanted to get some colored paper to put up in each room to show where to put boxes (we used colored tape on the boxes to make unloading easier). Instead, we unloaded everything (thank goodness we had one man from church who was able to come over and help during the day) and they returned the truck before 2pm.  I spent some of that time calling to set up water, electric, gas and trash service.  Jeff's parents took off to visit his mom's sister who lives a couple hours from here.  I called the school to see about getting the kids enrolled.

Once all that was done I was feeling pretty alone.  Here I was in a strange city, in a strange house, with no friends.  I was quite sad.  I called a friend and she helped me feel a little better.  I started getting really cold. The house was 59 degrees.  That may not sound all that cold, but my nose, fingers and toes were so cold and I was shivering.  Because we didn't find out where we were going to be living until Friday (due to unforeseen circumstances) the gas won't be connected until Thursday.  This means we are without heat, a stove and oven, hot water, and a dryer.   The Elder's Quorum President stopped by with his son to see how we were doing and find out what help we needed.  We asked if he knew of anyone with extra heaters we could borrow and some men to move the piano from the garage into the house.  The Relief Society President was already planning to bring dinner that night (yes, I thought ahead and contacted the ward leaders to let them know we were coming because I just can't come to a new place totally without some support).  She brought 4 heaters with her when she came.  A little while later we had one more heater, a hot plate so we could boil water, and a microwave.  There were also people from the ward to help move the piano, make the beds and unpack some of the kitchen.  I am so grateful to all of them for welcoming us!  I no longer felt so alone.  Don't get me wrong- I still miss my friends like nobody's business, but I have to jump in if I'm going to keep from getting overrun with depression.

Some of the women told me they get together to work out and also to play volleyball.  So this morning, we headed to the school and filled out all the paperwork for the kids.  They start tomorrow.  Then I dropped Jeff off at the house and headed to the church for volleyball.  I didn't actually play, as my shoes and clothes are not unpacked yet.  It was nice for the kids to be able to play with other children.  I got to meet lots of new people.  We went out to lunch at a fabulous taco shop.  Well, at least the carne esada burrito was fabulous.  I brought one home from Jeff.  One of the ladies had the girls come over to her house to play for the afternoon so we could get some work done at the house.  Somewhere in the morning Jeff's parents flew home, but we weren't able to see them before they left.  Jeff and I spent the afternoon work on stuff around the house and securing the modem so we could have internet access.  The RS President had us over for dinner.  She had also offered to let us bathe our kids there.  We totally took her up on that offer!  The kids felt so much better after their baths. 

We came home and put them to bed.  Natalie tried to sneak out of bed to get a coloring book and colored pencil.  I took it away and told her it was bedtime.  She started crying and yelled that she wasn't tired.  Five minutes later I checked on her and she was out!  Oh, the joys of moving.  There you have it.  Our adventure in a nutshell.  I will get pictures up soon.  We are still busy unpacking, but I plan to take pictures of the house and there are a few pictures of the landscapes on our drive here and the kids in the car.

For my friends in Oregon, don't forget to really make the new people feel welcome.  Remember to invite the people who aren't on facebook to girls nights.  Don't forget to have girls nights!  And keep in touch with me.  I miss you all!

Sunday, March 7, 2010


We arrived in Las Vegas today.  It is going to be a busy week.  We are in a hotel/resort tonight.  We will be in the house tomorrow.  Internet should be up and running sometime Tuesday.  I will post more when we are settled!  We miss all of our Oregon friends.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Umm, I'll be back when I'm not buried anymore.

I am kind of buried under a sea of boxes at the moment.  So much to blog about, so little time. Busy, Busy, Busy.  And all that stuff.

We are moving on Saturday.  Like- packing up the truck Friday and driving away first thing Saturday morning!  I know!  That is ridiculously soon.  So I might be away for a bit, but I will be back to catch you up on how it all went when it is over.  Maybe then it won't be all doom and gloom!

See ya soon from our new sunny home!

The Hojnackes

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