Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Hinton Wedding

Greg and I finally made our debut trip to the Oregon Coast this last weekend.
We had a great time celebrating the wedding of our friends, Chad and Lauren.

We rented this tiny cottage two blocks from the ocean with the Owens' and the Given's. Here are Sarah, Myself, and Nikki on the front porch.
Did I mention the weather was gorgeous?

Chad and Lauren hosted a great bbq (roasted pig and bbq'd oysters) on Friday. I managed to snap a few photos before the Capt'n and Coke really kicked in.

Sarah, Me, Lauren (her last night as a "Snyder"), and Nikki

Wade, Chad and Greg

Here's a wedding chapel self-portrait.
Lauren and Chad were married in the same church (overlooking the ocean) that her parents were married in.

The beautiful Mrs. Hinton

Here are most of the "Aerotek" women (pre-drunken phase).
(back row) Stephanie, Amy C., Me, Sarah, Amy P.
(front row) Emily and Nikki

Ah... So sweet!

Here is "Norma Jean the Dancing Machine." She was the bride's grandmother's best friend. She is an 84 year old PARTY! When she wasn't tearing up the dance floor she was pounding beers and socializing. If I'm half as much fun as Norma Jean is in another 30-40 years I'll be so grateful! 

These two cuties made me miss my monkeys who spent the weekend at home with Auntie Jessica. It was great to get away for a couple nights without them, but we were ready to head home come Sunday morning and the next trip to the coast will be a "family adventure" for sure!
Congratulations to Chad and Lauren! 
Thank you for including us in your special day.

Thursday, April 23, 2009


Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Swim Lessons

Piper and Geneva started swim lessons yesterday.
They had so much fun!
Here they are all suited up and waiting for Coach Keith to start their lesson.

They learned to climb out of the water first:
"elbow, elbow, tummy, knee."
The water is nearly 4 feet deep here... it's was a little scary for me to watch them both be in the water without "floaties" on.

They took turns practicing skills. I was super impressed with Coach Keith managing both monkeys and yet also doing one-on-one with each. Geneva is standing on a platform and Piper is floating on a small raft.

Here they are on a raft ride: kicking feet, blowing bubbles, and submerging their faces in the water.

Piper practices her kicking on the sidelines while she waits her turn for dunking or back-floating. By the end of our 30 minutes they were jumping off the side into the water to be retrieved by Coach Keith.
The best part: Mommy didn't have to get wet!

Monday, April 20, 2009

Nature Hike

This weekend was so lovely. It was a plateful of Spring (so much more than the small "tastes" we've been getting). Of course, it's supposed to be very cold and wet by Thursday... but I digress... 
The weather was amazing this weekend.
Sunday brought 70 degree temperatures and sunny skies. We decided on a little walk in Mary S. Young Park here in West Linn.

Above is a picture of Daddy and his girls throwing dandelions into the tiny stream and watching them float through the rocks and down to the cove.

Avery Piper conquers a big rock at the beach. Behind her is the Willamette River.

The Jones girls are getting very big!

Uh-oh... shoe trouble. Daddy to the rescue!

At the beach.

Can you believe this is my "baby?"

We threw rocks and heard them "plop." We even found a few shells.

Uh-oh... More shoe trouble.

Momma and her girls.

Heading back home to gear up for our bbq!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Things I Love Thursday

  • Baby chub. Sadly, my "baby" is losing all of hers at a rapid pace! Thank you Mallory MacKinnon for sharing some of yours with me during your recent visit. This baby's thighs are divine! (She's also bigger than Piper and 10 months younger--that's a lot of lovin'!)
  • Oregon sunshine (perhaps you're noticing a trend here?).
  • Mornings (or afternoons, or evenings...) with Papa Mike. We miss you!
  • The West Linn Library (again). Our friends emailed us Tuesday and mentioned there would be a puppet show at the library that evening. We had an early dinner, waited for Daddy to change out of his suit, then headed down to our library where we joined about 25 other kids for a great puppet show about water conservation put on by The Ladybug Theater. So fun!
  • Visitors. Thank you MacKinnon Family for traveling a bit out of your way to include us in your holiday plans. My how things have changed since Matt and I were roomies! 
(Isaiah, Geneva, Jazelyn, Mallory, Kailey, Piper)
  • Goodreads. It's a website that helps you stay connected with friends and share what you've been reading. It's great for getting ideas about what to read next and seeing reviews of books you're considering. Join. Friend me. (
  • Etsy. Another website. I figure in this difficult economy, if you're going to purchase something for yourself or as a gift, you might as well buy from someone who is creating the item first-hand. Etsy is just the place to shop. It's like eBay without the auctions and everything is handmade. There is a lot of beautiful artistry there. Who knows, maybe you'll see some PiperSimone personalized stationary there soon? (
  • Spring. Of course, early spring in Oregon means warm coats and hats too!
(Abby, Evan, Geneva, Piper, Amanda)
  • Lily Allen's new song, The Fear. (explicit lyrics in the video link)
  • The prospect of starting Geneva in soccer this summer. I just signed her up for "Tiny-Hawks" yesterday. She'll start in mid-June and if she likes it, she can play all summer.
  • This picture of my funny baby. She has a tiny wand in her hand and is turning me into a "vitch" (witch) in this shot.
  • The fact that "witch" isn't the only word Piper pronounces with the "v" sound. She also drinks "vater," asks "vhy?," looks out the "vindow," and has an opinion about vhat I vant her to "vear" (you get the idea?). It really goes beyond the "v" substitution to the extent that we swear she's got a German accent. We've begun calling her our Little Kraut--though I worry it might be considered derogatory. I tried to find out the German word for "peach" because I think the term suits her... It's "pfirsich" according to the dictionary I checked online. Unfortunately, I have no clue where to start with that pronunciation... so for now, she is the "Little Kraut" (no offense). 

Monday, April 13, 2009

"Happy Birthday Easter Bunny"

We managed to convince the Easter Bunny to limit the basket candy to a Pez dispenser for each of the girls. After the huge egg hunt last weekend, the last thing we needed were more sweets in the house. Instead of sugar, their baskets bore bubble wands, new spring outfits (though the rain has returned), books, puzzles, panties, hats, and sunglasses.
I must admit: the Pez candies were the highlight...
.. for both girls.
Eventually, other Easter items made their way into the girls awareness, like sun bonnets...
... and a sporty new visor.
Auntie Jessica joined us for brunch at the club. I wore my grandmother's dress and felt happy thinking about her all morning. I really didn't mean for our entire family to match (that's actually kind of nauseating) but my friends were quick to point out this fact when I showed them this photo at our neighborhood coffee gathering this morning! 
Here are my girls and I getting ready for our treats: They got un-diluted juice and I got Mimosas.
Geneva was so pleased to enjoy her juice from a glass tea cup with saucer.
The dessert selection included 7 different cakes, custards, brownies, cannoli, fresh berries with real whipped cream, and handmade chocolates. I took them both to the display to show them their choices. They chose these giant egg-shaped, sugar-iced, dry, hard, "cookies." Avery picked yellow (though it hinted at green) and Geneva wanted the orange one. Gross. The dyes stained their lips and fingers, but oh well... they were thrilled.
We hope you had a "Happy Easter!" as well... Or as Avery wished everyone who crossed her path:
"Happy Birthday Easter Bunny!"

A Very Close Call

This is our staircase. 
It's a straight shot with a hardwood floor landing.
Saturday afternoon Geneva tumbled head over feet from the third step from the top to the floor below. I was standing in the kitchen when it happened. I heard her get up from her nap and call a greeting to me. Then I heard the "thump" when she initially lost her footing. 
It just...
 It was the most awful sound. By the time I ran the 30 feet from counter to landing she was laying on her back at the bottom. The last "thump" was her head making contact with the floor. She stared at me for a silent (heart-stopping) moment before she reacted with a giant wail. My foolish reaction was to scoop her up and pull her into my lap. Thankfully she didn't have any broken bones that my abrupt movement could have made worse! In fact, after we both calmed down we were able to ascertain that aside from rug-burns all over her back, shoulders, arms and ankles, she was FINE.
Two days later and all she has to show for her crazy tumble is a lingering rug-burn on her right shoulder blade.
We are so lucky.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Things I Love Thursday

  • The warmer weather we've been enjoying this last week.
  • $3 rubber sandals. Seriously... I think I used to live in these year-round. Then we moved to rainy Oregon and I gave them up for the winter... They landed back on my feel this last week and I was blissful over their comfort and simple "style" (not) with jeans and a t-shirt. Yeah, that's how I roll. (Really? I just typed that?)
  • The amazing picture Geneva just happened to draw in school last week--just in time to be framed for Daddy's birthday. It's called "Me and Daddy."
  • The new book I'm reading for our neighborhood book club: The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield. LOVE it (so far).
  • The way the girls have been playing together peacefully in proportion to the time spent fighting. I think we're nearing the cusp where the peacefulness might outweigh the torment? Maybe...
  • These simple correspondence cards I made for G for his birthday:
  • Digital Video Recording (?) machines. There's nothing like watching the American Idol 60 minute, weekly "Results" show in 7 minutes! Priceless. It's great to fast-forward through "the other three judges" and many of the performances as well, during the "Performance" shows too!
  • Our "extended" neighborhood of Fields Park I just across the street and the annual Easter Egg Hunt hosted by the Weller-Joneses. Such fun and kiddos coming out of your ears! Wow. Fields Park is prolific! 
  • The first sip off a fresh-cracked can of cold Diet Coke--or Coors Light! Mr. Jones is a real prince to give up his first sip of beer nearly every time I'm standing nearby. I don't even want my own... just the first sip of his.
  • Sharing:
  • Natasha Bedingfield. More specifically, the fact that she recorded a song with a "vocabulary word" in it: transitory (ha! I love it!). Check out Soulmate.
  • Papa Mike (Greg's dad) doing one of his childhood puzzles with Avery:

Friday, April 3, 2009

Our Very Silly Bug

As I've mentioned several times before, Avery Piper is one funny kid!
A couple things you should know before I launch into this story:
1. Any bowel movement in our household is referred to as a "turd."
2. Avery has boycotted going potty on the toilet of late and has also decided she is not a fan of getting her diaper changed (awesome combo--NOT).
3. She's been battling some "Bad Juju" (our term for diarrhea--thanks to the Moorman Family--I believe?) for a few days.
4. She inadvertently announces she has a diaper full of turds by claiming, "No turds in my diaper" as soon as she "goes."
Yesterday she woke up from her nap and was sitting with me at the kitchen table while I wrapped Daddy's birthday presents. She was sitting up on her knees and leaning forward over the table. She ripped a huge fart that sounded wet. I looked at her and she looked back at me (with a similar expression to the one above) and said, "I no farted Mommy. Dis was my phone."
(Um... did I hear that correctly?)
Me: Do you have turds?
Piper: No turds Mom.
(farts again--clearly filling the diaper with something)
Piper: Um, dat jus my phone. No turns in my diaper Mom.
Me: What was that sound?
Piper: That my phone.
 Now get this: 
She reached around her back with her right and and patted her tooshie one time, then put her hand over her ear and said,
"Hello. Yeah. Uh huh. Dis is Piper. I'm working. Yeah. Ok. Bye."
Then "hung up" her "phone" by tapping her juju-filled diaper with her hand again.

Obviously, the Jones Family now has a new term for our farts: "phone calls."

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

What We've Been Up To... Wednesday

Hey, have you been missing us? Wow, long time no post, eh?
I guess we've been busy. We've had a lot of fun. 
  • Grandma Lulu breezed in for a little visit and is off again on another adventure.
  • We've been spending great time with our neighborhood friends: drinks, dinners, driveway shenanigans...
  • Spring Break had Geneva home from school for the week and we spent some great days having "Mommy Adventures" at the library, park and indoor playground (at Burger King--I know! But it's REALLY big, clean and fun for the little ones too! Ya' gotta get creative with all this rain...)
  • Our friends Lisa and Will with baby Emery and our other friends Andy, Erin and baby Wesley "The Wez" joined us for a Sunday dinner party. We had a great time! Good food (yes, I do say so myself) and terrific company--not much better than that!
  • We enjoyed an Ice Cream Social at Geneva's preschool:
Piper and Geneva on the "deck"

Piper contemplating the slide

Geneva's got hops!

I seriously loved this Diego doll. 
Geneva's school has a "discovery room." The theme of the room changes every 3 weeks or so. Right now, it's a doctor/veterinarian's office full of bandages, tiny white coats, crutches, anatomy posters, "patients," cots, etcetera. Apparently, Diego must have had a pretty big spill...
  • I had a bit of a scare when my optometrist found a "freckle" on my retina. During my follow up appointment with the retinal specialist I found out everything is A-OK. Nothing abnormal going on. I'll need to keep an "eye" on it (pun TOTALLY intended) from now on during annual checkups. Phew!
  • Having loved the Twilight series, I decided to read a different vampire (vampyre) series. P.C. Cast's The House of Night books. They were not nearly as engrossing, but easy to get through and entertaining too (for the most part). I'm finishing book 5 and in some ways am really glad there are no more out yet.
  • Speaking of books, I started a neighborhood book club. Our first book was Water for Elephants. We had our meeting last week at a new neighborhood restaurant and it was great! During a delicious dinner and a few bottles of wine, we even managed to discuss the book a little bit. 
  • Avery is getting super big. I can do this with her hair now:
  • Geneva's into dressing herself and doing her own hair these days. I would love to have some pictures to show you of some of the "looks" she comes up with but I don't want to take a photo for fear she may think I'm a big fan. Of course, I'm only kind of kidding.
  • Greg hurt his shoulder. He finally managed to get to the doctor's office this week. It's an Acromioclavicular ("AC") joint separation. It's not serious. If he can grit through the pain, he'll even be able to golf tomorrow for his birthday. In less than 25% of cases, does surgery become necessary. He's seeing a physical therapist and working out a modified weight-lifting program so I can still enjoy his physique despite the "hiccup" in his physical heath (wink).
  • As many of you know, not only do I dislike (immensely) anything that resembles house cleaning--I'm also not very good at it either. As a result, I've adopted a new method for polishing the wood floors:
So, I guess that's enough of an update. I promise not to make you wait so long between posts again--if I can help it.