Archive for November, 2015


Each year I’ve photographed Brady playing in a pile of leaves usually around Thanksgiving. It was a little earlier this year since the seasons are a bit different up here in Portland vs. Dallas, TX.  Here’s the 3rd year I’ve captured our sweet boy experiencing the joy of throwing and jumping in leaves!

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The view of Mt. Hood from our front yard! 008-_2015_10_BradyLeaves_Storyboard

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We had a dinosaur themed birthday party for Brady on his actual birthday (Halloween)! The party turned out to be a great success and it was a blessing to celebrate with so many new friends! When we moved to Portland this summer I assumed we wouldn’t have a big birthday party for Brady this year (for lack of friends), but on the contrary! The turnout was a testament of God’s faithfulness & answer to our prayers for community and friends in our new home state. He’s blessed us quickly and abundantly with GOOD friends! Apparently people are on time to kids birthday parties here in Portland… and we spent a little more time enjoying Brady ride his tractor toy from RaRa that morning so, I was scrambling last minute and didn’t get to photograph the decorations or food as I had planned. Oops!

Since it was a 10 am party, we served donut hole fruit kabobs, apple cider donuts, veggie muffins, a farmer’s market egg casserole, sliced fruit, coffee, and hot honeycrisp apple cider.  For Brady’s cake I made a chocolate chip skillet cookie cake and cut it into random pieces and piled it onto a cake stand. Voila!

The kids played in the playroom, as well as, in the backyard. We originally planned an outdoor party, but moved it inside due to forecasted rain. Thankfully, it didn’t rain cats and dogs until later that evening (when it was time to Trick or Treat – hah!)  I made homemade playdough and created “dinosaur eggs” with tiny plastic dinos hidden inside, and there were some dinosaur coloring sheets. I cut out big dinosaur foot prints from poster board and taped them to the ground on the front porch and throughout the house.  The kids were given a dinosaur mask when the arrived and a goodie back with various small plastic dinosaurs and dinosaur temporary tattoos.  The inflatable dinosaurs we borrowed from a friend were a big hit, as well as, generic toys.  Toys at other people’s houses are always way better than your own, right? Brady also gave rides to his guests in his new tractor (from RaRa!)

Since it was Halloween, we encouraged the kids to come in costume. Brady wore his adorable cowboy costume during his party, and changed into a fireman costume (with random fireman attire that he has) in the evening when he and some friends went on his first trick or treating venture, because it was raining so hard.

Brady boy, we love you so much! You’re our miracle baby & what a gift you are. You continue to teach us. You’re full of personality, funny, witty (sometimes too much), a leader in the classroom, you love to do things all by yourself, you talk non-stop, you are good at sports, love being outdoors, you can spell your name & count to 15! You run everywhere and are ornrey sometimes.  You almost know our address by heart, you know the difference between right & left, and you’re still a magnificent eater! Your favorite foods are mostly snacks (grapes, apples, turkey “roll ups”, fruit bars, squeeze packs, nuts, cookies, “foothies” (smoothies) and of course my homemade ice cream after dinner!)  We are proud of you and excited for what God has in store for you.

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Earlier in October, we made a family trip out to The Pumpkin Patch on Sauvie Island (about 45 min North of us). Brady and I first went out to a farm on Sauvie Island earlier this summer for our first berry picking experience. It’s a cool Island just North Downtown Portland. The island is full of beautiful farms with various mountains and hills in the background. There’s not even a gas station on the island.

It was FULL sun that morning. I was hoping for a little morning fog or cloud cover, but we got blue bird skies and embraced it. We went to the smaller/closer pumpkin patch and Brady selected the perfect “Brady-sized” pumpkin. Then, we took a little hay ride around the farm for a quick tour. Brady couldn’t get on the tractor/hay ride fast enough! Then, he climbed up a huge hay stack and played chase with us in a hay maze. We closed out our time at The Pumpkin Patch by visiting the animals in the barn. Brady still was unsure about the animals…even though we love talking about animals – seeing them in person is still scary (mostly the animals that are bigger than him). He pet the rabbit!!! There was a funny looking rooster, and an awesome alpaca that stuck his tongue out JUST as I was snapping the picture! Before heading back home, we picked out a few larger pumpkins at the farm store and ate a picnic lunch.

I’m grateful for so many nearby options of farms and cool things like this that are in their natural environment. Don’t get me wrong, the huge pumpkin patch they ship in and design at the Dallas Arboretum is beautiful, but there’s something so special about teaching Brady how pumpkins grows and picking it off the real vine at a farm surrounded by beautiful scenery. What a blessing!




























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