Today is a good place to be.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Southbound September 2012 - First Leg of Trip

Conser Family Vacation 2012 - First Leg of Trip

On Saturday, Sept. 8th, The Conser Family headed south!  We had a blast!  This was our first big trip as a family of five.  Living in the wonderful place we live, we always have the opportunity for a mountain getaway, or a beach weekend, or a visit to the River Grandparents.  We haven't take a week long vacation in a very  long time!  And with the kids, we have never left Oregon!  WOW!  So, we had some special events happening and took advantage of the timing and headed south to vacation, celebrate, and enjoy our time together as a family.
The week before we left was very crazy-- the kiddos started school, we had a birthday, I was working extra hours, we had some car troubles, and other things I am sure I have forgotten!  We ended up borrowing my Mom's Honda Pilot and got that cleaned up and ready to go on Friday Night-- Saturday morning we packed up and were ready to go bright and early.  The drive was nice, the kids did pretty good, and we ended up in San Francisco that evening!
Packed up- ready to go!
Uncle Chris was an amazing host- we had so much fun at his house.  The kids LOVED SAN FRAN!  We arrived on Saturday and walked around Chris' area-- he lives up by the big radio towers.  We had some pizza and then tried to somewhat settle down for our next day.

Sunday, September 9 we headed in to see the sights!  And boy did we!  First stop COFFEE!  Or Cocoa in most of our cases...  And I thought Portland had a lot of coffee places....

We visited the Cartoon Art Museum,

We visted the Cartoon Art Museum- they had a lot of interesting comics and graphic novels.  They had some specific San Francisco Cartoon Collections that were pretty neat.  They had an exhibit of ParaNorman, which was created by a Portland Studio-- how fun for us!

These cool hearts are all over San Fran-- I loved them.  The kids only humored me a few times with photos.

We had lunch at Lori's Diner (French Fries, Hot Dogs-- we KNEW the kids would eat here!)
And then, it was time for the ride of our lives....  The CABLE CAR!  

 Which took us  down to the pier

We stopped at the Musee Mechanique-- a fun penny arcade type place that was fun to explore and visit.
We had dinner at Scoma's-- some of the best seafood EVER! 

On Monday, September 10th, we went to explore Golden Gate Park.  We heard how amazing the California Academy of Sciences is-- and WOW!  It was amazing.  We spent close to 5 hours exploring.  If you are ever in the area, its an investment well worth your time and money.  
We learned about Pierre, the penguin and his cute little wet suit.  We learned all about earthquake safety as well as lived through one.  We literally watched, on an imax screen, the coast of California.  change before our very eyes.  We got to see the cutest little ostrich babies every!  We saw Nemo, Dori, and all the others.  We met the Albino Croc.  And don't forget about the butterflies and fishes in the 4 story rain forest!  Oh-- and they had a cool living roof-- very eco friendly.

It was a beautiful sunny day in San Fransisco.  We were excited to cross the Golden Gate Bridge and spend some time over in Sausalito.  Everyone tells me how foggy San Fran can be, but when I visited last April with my friend, we had perfect weather.  The day we rode our bikes across the bridge was beautifully clear.  So far our visit this time had given us beautiful weather as well, so I was starting to think San Franciscan's were lieing ot me because they don't want me moving down there. 

However.....  as we started driving towards the bridge... something started happening.  We drove right into a cloud.  It was a little spookitydoo!  And super windy and cold too!

We drove down into Sausalito and by that time we had a sleeping 3 year old, so we stopped at McDonalds for some ice cream for those of us awake and kept driving around, exploring California.  Jeremy and kids pulled over and got out and did some exploring up in the Golden Gate National Recreation Area-- at that point Kathryn woke up and we headed back towards Uncle Chris' towers.
I will continue on another post our pictures and experiences at Disney-- but I have to say, our time in San Fransisco was amazing.  Not only spending time in such a beautiful, diverse city, but spending time with our Brother was a lot of fun.  The kids love their Uncle Chris- and now when they think about him, they will be able to picture him his home.

Thanks Chris, and your housemates Johnny and Laura for your hospitality!  We love you!

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Kathryn Meets Merida

Kathryn meets Merida: The wait to get a picture with the BRAVE star was 30 mins long, so we didn't go near it. 
However, we happened to be walking by when Merida was going on break, so Jeremy asked her if she would stop and talk to Kathryn(I didn't want to bother her). 
Kathryn was STAR STRUCK! 
Our Miss Chatty Kathy was speechless!  It was so cute! 
Merida got down to eye level with Kahtryn and behaved the way a princess would.  She talked to Kathryn quite a bit and said she looked just like her when she was a little girl. What a sweet moment!

I'm still recovering from our trip to California--I have started a blog post from our first leg-- San Fran!  I just thought these pictures were so cute they deserved a post of their own!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Happy Birthday AND First Day of SCHOOL!

Leila's 9th Birthday landed on the FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL THIS YEAR!  WAHOO! 

I'm sure the mathematical genius inside of me could figure out how many times this will happen in her lifetime... but the mathematical genius inside of me seems to be on vacation.... so we know it won't happen but only a very few times.  And how fun for LEILA!

Look how tall she is compared to the door!  My Big Girl!  Staring 3rd Grade at 9 Years OLD!

Simply Beautiful!
Our annual tradition was followed:  Nathan and I went to get donuts for the family bright and early in the morning.  He was of course up at 6 AM!  We put a candle in Leila's pastry and served her in bed along with a song.  She was pretty anxious last night and had a hard time sleeping, but she didn't wake up grumpy.  Who could when greeted with sugar and song?

The kids are holding up their grade:  2nd and 3rd!  They are old Pro's at this school thing!

Another Tradition is walking to school.  We left a bit early this year.  We LOVE that Daddy can go into work a bit later and can join us every year.

Kathryn and I will miss the big kids.  We spent the morning playing with Haley, going and checking out Kathryn's new pre-school!(YES!  SHE GOT IN TO THE FREE SCHOOL WITH OUR NEIGHBOR!) And doing a bit more birthday shopping.  Its been a great day so far!  Can't wait to hear how the kids did at school!

More Birthday posting later.....  I'm sure....

Friday, August 17, 2012

I'm The Anti-Mommy

We are having a great summer-- a bit on the boring side if you ask my kids.  You see, I'm not doing the mom thing so well this summer.  Or am I?

The end of the school year I started reading friends status updates on how they had goals and activities and trips planned out for their entire summer break... I started feeling nervous and overwhelmed.  I started thinking:  Everyone else is doing it, shouldn't I be too?  I looked into swim lessons.  I read through camps that sounded like sooooo much fun for my kiddos.  I even went into a learning store to look at books to keep their skills sharp(I ended up not buying anything because I got completely overwhelmed and ended up just leaving- A very typical event for me.  I shop much better when I have someone telling me what to get or encouraging me what is a wise buy).  I did not sign up my kids for camps or lessons or anything.  We have no trips planned(Except for the big one in September).  We are just hanging out-- everyday. 

So, that leads us to today.  This is a typical morning when I am not at work: 

The big girl is playing DS.  The two littles are playing skylander. 

The kids play a lot of video games.  I don't get minecraft at all, but love that my kiddos, all three, can play together nicely.  They also watch a lot of sponge bob, which I swore I would never like, but I have actually started appreciating his humor and completely get it now.  My mommy guilt is at an all time high for the amount of "screen time" they are getting.  Had I been a responsible  Mommy and planned out their days and hours of summer, we surely would not have planned this much wasted electronics time. 

We do managed to get to the library several times a month and stock up on books.  The big kids DEVOUR their books- reading them all in the first day or two.  This makes my mommy heart proud.  I love the quiet it brings to the home, and I love that they share my love of books.  There is nothing better than getting lost in a book in my opinion. 
My poor husband feels very neglected, so it takes a concentrated effort to make sure I am paying enough attention to him and his needs.  We've had a few date nights, with amazing babysitters from the girls I work with at chruch.  But, nothing beats the power of trading services right?  So, one night I decided to have a party-- a babysitting party.  We watched my friends children and my sister-in-laws children, so now we have TWO people indebted to us(babysitting wise) from one evening of chaos!  And honestly, it would have been chaos anyway, right?  And who could resist this adorable beautiful boy:

As you may be tell from my non-blog-writing I have been feeling very lacking in creativity. I've not been writing in my spare time, I've not been feeling like my normal "creative" self. This overall lack of creativity got me down. It didn't help I was in a car accident and had some back pain(still do). It didn't help I've been working, and while working less hours this summer, I've been happily picking
up extra shifts, which causes more running around, more calling around to get help with babysitting. It takes a lot of effort to keep my day running it seems. So, when my day is done, I am done. I have nothing left for myself.  This has bothered me.  I didn't realize how much, until....
On a whim(After being a bit inspired by a friends beautiful art work), I bought a little starters kit and came up with this:

My kids think I am an amazing artist.  While I know its nothing special, I enjoyed doing it and I am actually a teeny tiny bit proud.  I won't keep it on my wall.  But it is on display right now and I am happy with it.  One of my children will likely get it for their bedroom.  And I plan on doing more.  This has helped my creativity-- and in fact it jump started my writing even.  I have a concept I have been happily working on for a number of hours that I am very optimisitic will get completed!  That feels good.
In June went to girls camp with my church girls-- I had an amazing time with "my girls" and I had even more fun with my adult friends.  We went to Camp Howard that was up by Mt. Hood, and it was simply an amazing week full of spiritual highs and lots of fun.  I felt blessed to be surrounded by so much beauty-- both in nature and in the people around me.

We finally found a dress Kathryn will wear!  Thank you Aunt Tamara!

Brave is a very sweet movie.  I personally loved the story , and loved the fact I had my little Brave on my lap through most of it.  Kathryn simply refers to Brave as "My Movie".

In August, Leila joined Jeremy on a Take Your Kid to Work Day!  SHE HAD A BLAST!  She came home with all sorts of Climax Machine and Tooling knowlege, and of course, Jeremy's co-workers LOVED HER!  She has had a few Girl Scout Activities, and we are going forward with another year, with me as her leader(YIKES!)!
This summer the Portland LDS Temple opened up a Visitors Center in a small building on the temple grounds.  Its a pretty neat place- they have state of the art technology and very intereactive tools to look and learn about Jesus.  We love when you drive up you can see through the glass and see the big statue of the Christus.  Our kids loved it.  The Visitors Center is open to the public 9am-9pm, 365 days a year.  They don't even expect you to be baptized, or drink the kool-aid, if you go in.
Nathan had to have another surgery.  His skin condition was still causing some scaring and we needed to correct some things from the last surgery.  He handled it like a pro!  I am so proud of this boy!  Now if we could just get him to loose more teeth!
The rest of the summer is pretty much the same.  My working and taking the kids to either our dear friend Vanessa and Kaitlyns, or Grandma's.  More playing video games, more watching TV, more reading, more loving, more laughing.  I guess its not so bad to be an Anti-mommy.  I'm sure my kids are not suffering...