Friends and Family,

 This blog post is a fun and very photo-filled update of the past year (click on any collage to enlarge). As I am sure you have noticed we haven't posted since April. As you will see below, there was a very good reason for a shift of resources. It doesn't mean Abbey has stopped writing, her pending posts file is full! But there just wasn't margin for editing and upload. Who knows what 2013 will bring, but we hope it allows for some fun posts! Thank you for following and most importantly, being a part of our lives. Whether near or far.


The boys grew so quickly! 

Declan proved to have the spirit and determination of a first born. Eager to try anything, a lover of protein and a hands down ham. This little life of the party makes us smile and belly laugh on a daily basis. One thing is for sure, he adores his brother. Their bond is something to watch and teaches us so much about friendship, family and sweet gentle love. 

Rowan continued to amaze us with his intelligence and gentle spirit. His authority and leadership are so much fun to witness as he guides others with gentleness. Seeming to have the photographic memory of his mother and the developing verbal skills beyond his age made for some wonderful moments. As Declan has grown to almost his same height and weight there is no evidence of sibling jealous. True adoration and pride in his brother is commented on by strangers. His sweet spirit has brought and kept many little playmates. This year was full of play dates and new experiences. All of which he rose to the occasion  He conquered the slide! Potty trained! Learned to ride a tricycle! And started Preschool!

And now for a few pictures:

In January we cheered the ducks on from home, with our sweet boys. 
This one proved to have quite the appetite!

We met two new cousins, sweet Lucy and Kale. There were cousin's birthdays and one first communion. We love having cousins for our boys to spend time with, growing together! 
(no pics for their privacy) 
This year we were able to spend a good deal more time with them as the kiddos are
 bigger and able to play together, not just next to each other. <smile>

We went to Olympia a few times, but sadly not nearly as often as in the past. 

Abbey got to celebrate her new and very dear friend's birthday.

Easter Egg hunts the day before Easter:
(Nana came down early too with gifts for the boys, then a hunt with their best friends and finally an Easter Egg Hunt where the eggs were dropped from a helicopter!)

We hosted a small Easter brunch at our house:

Abbey was able to escape for a full-weekend with two of her best friends:

And then for the big, amazing, highly anticipated event of the year....GRADUATION! Ladies and gentlemen there is now a Doctor in the house. And we are so incredibly proud!!!! Three years, two kids, countless rotations, hours of studying, passing ALL tests with a 90% or higher, he did it all and did it well! He graduated school with a contract from Fred Meyer and to top it all off he passed both boards the first time around in July. A huge accomplishment to say the least, but not surprising. So without further ado a few more pictures:

White Coat Ceremony 2009 on Left (10 days before Rowan was born)
Graduation Award Ceremony 2012

Graduation Party

Congratulations Doctor, so proud of you!

Our newest additions!

I have been on a peg people frenzy lately and thought I would share one of my newest Pinned and Crafted success stories. If you are wanting to join in on the fun I will be doing a four part tutorial for the different characters with pictures and your very own downloadable pdf template free from my hand to yours. But please, if you want to use this on your blog or elsewhere, give the author of the chicken scratches credit. <smile>

Stay tuned!
This year I am hosting a small brunch after church on Sunday and thought I would share my low-cost idea.

The menu
Turkey Sausages with Apples sliced diagonally
Turkey Bacon, Spinach and Fontina Frittata (adapted from that recipe)
Fruit Juice Bar

For the Table Settings I am painting some lovely little eggs I
found on-line and put everyone's initials on the egg. (see photo below)
Then using paper shreds (you can do this yourself if you have a shredder, which we don't. And I found them at the dollar store, so it was a win there.) I am making little nests like my sweet and amazing friend Jessica did last year as seen here.
 The table is going to be done all in white with white ceramic birds and other items down the center.
The feel is relaxed garden and I think it will be great! 

With everything I looked around my house and gathered items I already had together. The same approach was used for the recipes. I went to my pantry and freezer, made a list of what I had to work with then scoured pinterest and cooking light for recipes that required the least amount of purchases. 

We will be sure to post pictures but wanted to give you some ideas in case you were in a pinch with figuring something out for Sunday!
How are you celebrating Easter? We would love to hear!

Delight fills his eyes as he hears the word
"Sweet Treat"
Together we measure the ingredients and mix the batter.
The egg is added, the caution given.
"Not now my son, this isn't fit to eat."
Poured into the pan with anticipation building and the questions begin.
"How much longer?"
We talk of a journey taken long ago, from the cradle to the tomb.
His eyes brim with questions, these words don't hold meaning for him like they do for me.
Whispers of a son's longing to return home, a celebration awaiting him that is unlike any other.
His heart opens at the thought of coming home to his father after being away.
And still we wait.
And watch.
Speaking of friends dear to this son who also waited anxiously.
Of the concept of miracle, something that wasn't but now is.
A batter unfit to eat, but not for much longer.
Slowly the wheels turn.
This flour, sugar and spice now changed and transformed.
The buzzer rings as his little face glows.
Soon this miracle can be enjoyed by us all.
Basking in the wonder and amazement of this season our hearts united in anticipation.
For this year we celebrate, celebrate, celebrate the return of a Son to his Father.

I LOVE free printables and found some super cute Easter ones made for the website:

A great website I recently found via their Facebook page.

Without further ado here are the two (of many options) that I love for Easter.

Click on the links above the pictures to get your own set of amazing, and
 FREE Easter printables from each design set. 

Which one do you think I should use this year?