Saturday, August 30, 2008

Part 3 of 6--Really Cool

It was so cool to walk around in downtown Portland in the rain. Even though I felt a little out of place in my Utah Summer Capri's and flip-flops, (I don't own any flannel shirts or ripped jeans). I borrowed a rain jacket and had a blast with Jeff and his brother. The little boys wanted to stay at Grama's and play with their cousins. So Jeff, Scott and I had a grown up day...and it was awesome! Our first stop was this trendy little consignment shop, Buffalo Exchange. They had a lot of really unique and interesting clothes. Jeff and Scott both found pants, and they were pretty excited about them.
Next stop was Powell's Book Store. Oh man, I was in Heaven. The store is 6 Floors of books. Each floor is a section. I could spend at least a week in there. I love to just get lost in the aisles of our own little Barnes and Nobel. But this was amazing.
I ended up spending too much time in the $1 Children's section. Then I just got really overwhelmed just by being there. Scott, Jeff and I all separated, and wandered for a while.
Jeff spent most of his time in the Science Fiction Section, while Scott looked at Architecture books. Then I met up with Scott somehow, and we wandered into the Rare Book Room.
It was almost like a sacred place. Here were these books that were important enough for people to take care of for years and years, and were worth hundreds, and some, thousandsof dollars. Works of Shakespeare, medical books, scriptures, a signed Stephen King book...I know, not everyone has the same love for books that I have. It comes from being the child of parents who loved books. We had stacks of them everywhere in the house growing up. Encyclopedia Sets, Animal Kingdom Collections, paperbacks, magazines, pictures books, there was always something to read. I get so overwhelmed with all of the information that you are surrounded by in a book store. It is almost like there is just something in the air. All of the information stored there is seeping out of the books, and your IQ goes up a couple of points from just walking around. It's like the knowledge is almost contagious. It is in the walls and the air, and I feel this desire to learn and to know...Am I the only one who feels this way?

Anyways, after about 2 hours, and just a handful of $1 books, I heard my name over the intercom...Jeff and Scott were waiting for me. It was time to go. I took one last look around and was grateful to find their website address on my way out.

We wandered around the rest of the city, stopping for lunch and of course I found a cute little cupcake place...they had filled yummy!
My hair was completely flat and wet by now...but I tried not to think too much about it. We visited a few of the local art galleries. So cultural! This place had a lot of little imported handicrafts from Asia.
We found another gallery that had a lot of abstract paintings, similar to Pollock...I appreciate Pollock for his uniqueness. But I do think that throwing paint around is something any of us can do, and I was not impressed by the paintings I saw. There were also these big pieces of marble with the insides hollowed out...Jeff liked them, but I was not impressed with them either.
What I did like was watching the owners of this paper store make their own paper. And they were also using an old printing press. It was really cool.
Jeff's sister Kimm told us about VooDoo Donuts. A trippy place where some people go to get married. I think the word that would best describe it its Kitch? But I loved it. And the punk rocker girl who waited on us was totally hip.

It definitely captured to essence of downtown Portland.
It's too bad that Jeff and I are already married!
That is Captain Crunch Cereal, Froot Loops, and Cocoa Puffs on those donuts. There is also Tang, and grape kool-aid there on the plate. I got the froot loop one just for Derek. He loved it!
We got back in time to share our donuts, and head over to Jeff's Aunt and Uncle's house...Neldon and Jo Ann. They have the funnest house EVER! Neldon is such a kid at heart!

They have such a cute house. This was Jeff's favorite place to go growing up.
This is the Giant Version of Jenga! Made from wooden blocks.

A Train Whistle outside...
And a Zip Line...
I was a little nervous about letting Derek ride...
But he did just fine!

A tree house made from one of those giant spools that wire comes on,

A caterpillar train made out of barrels and pulled by a tractor...That is Neldon driving.
A little Merry go round type thingy,
Tandem bikes, Clint and his cousin Cole from Boston finally got the hang of it.
And a golden retriever and a basset hound...Cole makes a new friend for life!
We had soooo much fun! I hate living so far away from family.

Trip to Washington in 6 Parts--Part 1--Happy Birthday to Clint!!!

We arrived at Jeff's parents house in Washington the night before Clint's 11 birthday. I think he had a pretty good present. Spending the week at his Grandparent's beautiful home in the forest. The first time we came to visit them last year, Derek kept insisting that it was a "Rain Forest". After some research, we determined that it was classified as a "Temperate Rain forest". You can learn a lot from 3 year olds. Last year, we saw this in the morning from the front porch....Now, Dave, don't pack your bags yet...
The deer don't come around anymore, because they eat the garden. Grampa has rigged the yard with sprinklers that can be tripped if anything comes to close to the garden. Jeff found out about them the hard way. So now the deer are scared and don't come around anymore.
But Grampa has a BEAUTIFUL garden!
I love the hyacinths
This is the back yard... and more of the back yard....
and more of the backyard...It's paradise...especially on those rare sunny days.

We had a little surprise Mexican Fiesta for Clint's birthday. We had Chicken Quesadillas, and Aunt Kimm made him a delicious chocolate cake completely from scratch. It was soooo yummy! And we had ice cream, of course! Clint got a wii game, and some legos, and some other great things...and he also got quite a bit of cash! (Thanks everybody! It was a party he will never forget!) I, unfortunately video taped the entire party and lost the tape. I hope it turns up soon. It makes me sick to think that I lost it. Sorry Clint.

Washington--part 2 of 6

We went to an old indoor carousel that Grama Rita used to ride when she was a little girl. The horses were really pretty. And the carousel was really fast. Derek was so excited to spend some time with his cousins. And Aunt Kimm is always so fun!
Derek picked out horses for both of us.
We also went shopping for groceries for the week, and to lunch at a cool Vietnamese restaurant in Down town Portland. Clint is really good at using chopsticks. He told me that Miranda taught him! He tried to teach me. I am embarrassed to say that I usually go for the fork.
After a long trip and a long day, it was great to jump in the giant tub with cousins and Aunt Kimm!
Derek really loves his cousins. I am so glad they were able to be there with us!

Friday, August 29, 2008

Tea Party

This was just too cute! Tiny Treats...Lucky Charms, grapes, bananas, skittles, and white chocolate
Tropical Punch Tea
Check out Allison's pinky!
Best Friends!

How sweet is this?

Thursday, August 28, 2008


We the undersigned, ( in the comment section) think it is time for Laryl to start a blog. We have all benefited from her kind and supportive remarks on all of our blogs on a regular basis. We think that she is clever enough and articulate enough to create a blog that all of us would like to read...(and it doesn't even have to be too personal). We think it is time for her to start receiving some of the validation that she so willingly offers to others.

Come on know you want to!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008


I am pretty sure I gained about 10 pounds last week at Jeff's family reunion, so yesterday and today I have tried really hard to get back on my eating program. "TRIED". I was doing okay until I started writing my speech for Back to School Night a few minuets ago. I was starving...from eating salad all day, and a little I went into the kitchen and ate 3/4's of a box of Cinnamon Toast Crunch. I would have eaten an entire box, but 1/4 had already been eaten.

Why is it that I can never get full eating cereal? It is the ultimate comfort food. And there is always a little more milk, so you have to add a little more cereal, and then you need a little more milk to finish that off...

Cinnamon Toast Crunch is, I think, my favorite. I also really like Lucky Charms. If I throw a handful of fiber 1 in with it, I usually don't feel to guilty eating it, as long as I stop at 1 bowl, I tell myself...

It never happens.

What is your favorite cereal?

Monday, August 25, 2008

Sorry...PTA Calling

It is 1:40 a.m. I got home two hours ago from a week long trip with Jeff's family. (It was wonderful.) I have 14 PTA emergency phone call messages that I have to deal with tomorrow, as well as a budget meeting, and Clint's first day of school. My blog is going to have to wait a few more days. I just checked in with everyone because I couldn't sleep...

And Jeff's Grandmother Esther died yesterday morning...just as all of the weeks activities were coming to an end. She had been going downhill for quite some time...the family was ready to let her go. We feel terrible that we will not be able to make it back for the funeral. Jeff's two sisters were able to stay. I have been thinking about her all the way home. She was amazing. Strong, sweet, tough. I think she was 94? She lived by herself in her own home in Oregon and was very independent up until the last few months...

An interesting way to end the week. I am still forming my thoughts about the whole thing. But I just wanted to acknowledge the fact that she impressed me...even though I didn't know her very well. I admired her, and am so grateful for the family that she raised and for the example she set. I will be posting more about her on the Bingham Family Blog, as I am sure many others will also.

It's funny that I just read a post by my friend Miranda all about why we blog. I have thought about this myself. Blogging for me, has become not an action, but a place. I feel secure with some of my deepest thoughts and feelings. I am not sure why...because I have deep relationships with sisters and friends and I feel safe knowing that I will be understood, and that others who don't understand, don't bother. So I feel like it's okay to ramble on about Esther, even though I don't make any sense. And it's the middle of the night. For some reason, even if no one out there is listening or makes me feel better to write it down. It makes my thoughts more concrete. It is something to do when sleep doesn't come...

I just wanted to post the most important aspect of my trip...the rest of it will have to wait.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

See you next week!

We will be in the Pacific Northwest all next week for Jeff's family reunion... Then we get home the day before the start of the school year :(. See you then!

(This is us last year, before I discovered the blogging world. That water was freezing...much diffrent than California!)
See you soon!

Friday, August 15, 2008

Girl Power!

...not that I don't love my boys...and I love being their mom. But every once in a while, I think girls are fun! And they are bouncy! I remember how much fun I used to have baby sitting my nieces when they were little...This brought back a lot of memories for me today! You can come over and dance any time girls!!!

This is just one of many songs they sang today! I will make a disk for you girls of your entire concert! What a blast!


Amber and Andi...Little
My favorite people to hang out with when I was in High School were my nieces! I love those girls! Check out the amazing hair! That is one thing all the girls in my family all have in common. We all have a ton of hair! I especially love the way Andi's flips around in her little Egyptian/Cleopatra costume in the video below. And Amber is the one in charge, wearing one of my 80's homecoming dresses. And Michelle was really ticked off about something...I don't remember what. Also in the movie are my other sweet nieces that I have lost touch with, Heather, Nicole and Shannon, and Briar. I need to find those girls. Jacquie and Chelsea were not around this time, and Hannah and Ali were not even born yet! We have a high percentage of girls in our family. I have 3 sisters and 1 brother. 13 nieces, and 5 nephews. And all but 1 of the boys belong to my brother. Then of course there are my 2 to the inability of Jeff's family to be able to have girls!

(Sorry about the quality of the movie...I just had it on a VHS, so I just filmed it with my digital
camera right off the TV.)

When Amber was at BYU, whenever she would bring over 1 of the new guys she was dating, I would make him watch this video...She was embarrassed, but it was always good for a laugh! She is a good sport.

(Wow, after watching that, I am sorry to say that the playback quality is absolutly horrible! I will have to try it on a high-def TV and see if that works better. Otherwise I will just have to invest and get it done professionally, or by one of those transfer machines...I wonder how much they cost. All of Clint's baby videos are on VHS. I need to transfer those over too...not to mention my wedding videos, etc.)

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Beauty and Brains!!!!

My sweet, beautiful and talented niece....Jacquie!!!! (I actually have quite a few of those types of nieces...) I'm a very proud Aunt. Wish I was there, girls! (my sisters have great kids!)

Next stop....the MTC...Taiwan! You go girl!!! Love you all!!! xoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxo
(And yes...for all of you who follow Chelsea's art...that is Chelsea on the right...Jacquies little sister. Also, Hannah on the left and Ali next to Jacquie.)

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Spiderwick House

One of Clint's favorite series of books is the Spiderwick series. He has read all of the first 6 twice. We also liked the movie. We decided to build our own "Brownie House" to put in the garden. For those of you who may not know, a brownie is a small, magical creature (pictured above).
I originally wanted to make a "fairy house". But of course, Clint didn't go for that.

It took a lot longer than we thought. Most projects do.
But the end result is pretty cool. Derek even showed up at the end to help with the roof.

We just used hot glue, lots of sticks, and a few pine cones...and Clint added the Thimbletack sign, which is the name of the little brownie character in the book.
My fairy house would have been a lot cuter, with ribbons, flowers, glitter...but the boys like their's the way it is. So I do too.