Friday, December 29, 2006

San Francisco, baby!

The Thursday before Christmas, Jeff and I celebrated our 2nd wedding anniversary! :-)

It was a wonderful day. We had a late lunch at the Olive Garden and spent a few hours at the Portland Temple. (Yep, Dad. We finally made it to the temple.)

On our way home from the temple, we got to talking and decided to take a spur-of-the-moment trip to San Francisco! We got a really good deal on a hotel room, so we loaded up the car and made the 10-hour drive down I-5.

It turned out to be a wonderful way to spend Christmas. We walked around the hills of San Francisco. For those of you who have never been to San Fran, believe me when I say they are not joking when they refer to the "hills of San Francisco." It was really beautiful.

Hope you enjoy some pics from our trip.

View from the balcony outside our hotel room.

Golden Gate bridge from a park on a very steep street.

Coit Tower

Alcatraz Island

San Francisco Cable Car

Crookedest Street (Lombard between Hyde and Leavenworth)

Driveway on the Crookedest St

Poofy tree-lined street (Lombard past the Crookedest part)

Wouldn't you like to live here!? We know we would!!

The streets are so steep here that you actually need to be sure to park at 90-degrees, so as not to roll down the hill. I'm sure that people living here never forget the "up, up, and away" reminder to turn your wheels toward the curb when parking on a hill (when it's not designated to park at 90-degrees).

One way to help pedestrians with the steep streets...
The put these mini-steps on some of the streets. These steps are more like little ridges--only about 1-inch high.

TransAmerica Pyramid
2nd tallest building in San Fran

Downtown Skyline from our favorite viewing point
(Top of Vallejo St at Taylor St)

A chinese mural in Chinatown

Another view of the TransAmerica Pyramid

View of the TransAmerica Pyramid

The TransAmerica Pyramid had a very neat park for its "Employees, Tenants, and Friends." This is a pic of a pond in the park. These frogs are really frolicking; some are even playing Leap Frog.

A really neat business plaza--all decked out for Christmas

Interesting heads near the Port of San Fransicso

San Francisco at night

Christmas 2006 with Nathan

Nathan came to visit us for a few days the week before Christmas. We had Christmas one week early on Monday, December 18th. We read the Christmas story in Luke for Family Home Evening and then Nathan opened his gifts.

Here are some pics from our Christmas:

As usual it was a joy to have Nathan come for a visit. We look forward to spending New Years with him. He'll be with us to ring in the New Year. :-)

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Thanksgiving Day (actual)

Jeff and I had a lovely Thanksgiving Day. We went over to the Blackburn's home for dinner around 2 p.m. and stayed until 7:30 p.m. It was fun to hang out with them and get to know them a little better.

We know the Blackburns (Monte and Solana) from church. They have three children (Kallin, Aidan, and Isley). In addition to the 5 of us, Monte's parents and younger brother were also at dinner. The food was delicious and the kids were entertaining.
Isley is only 14 months, and she really took a liking to me. We usually sit behind them in church, and Isley has a habit of handing me things over the pew. This continued in her own home as well. She'd bring me things and climb into my arms. It was fun to have a little girl to play with. My youngest neice will be 5 in June (and they all live in MN), so it's been awhile since I've had attention from a little one this age.

Monte's brother, Ben, also showed us his costume from this past Halloween.

Yes, there is a real man behind this stick figure. This was by far one of the coolest costumes we've seen in awhile. We turned off all the lights so that it would really illuminate. It kind of freaked out Aidan and Isley--they both started crying a bit. We had to turn the lights back on to reassure Aidan that it really was Uncle Ben. It was actually quite funny how Isley was a little frightened, but once the lights were back on, she'd peak her head around the corner--hoping to catch a glimpse of the scary stick man.

When we first tried to take a pic, the flash went off, and this is how it turned out. I thought it was a nice pic to have to show the contrast between the lights being on and off.
I bet Ben had a lot of fun on Halloween walking around the campus of Western Oregon University.

Thursday, November 23, 2006


Nathan came to visit last weekend. It was a pretty lazy weekend, but still fun to have him around. We had Thanksgiving dinner Saturday evening. Check out the posting on my blog for pics of the dinner (

Here are a couple of pics of Nathan:

After a shower. Oh to be little enough to wrap the towel completely around yourself TWICE

Balancing on the exercise ball--with a little help from the couch. :-)

Monday, October 16, 2006

Activities Committee

Yesterday, Jeff and I accepted new callings in our ward at church. We are now members of the Activities Committee. Our first upcoming activity is the ward Halloween party. Sounds like fun!

We will continue to serve in our previous callings as well. Jeff is a Sunday school teacher; I am the Relief Society Enrichment Leader.

The Dayton ward is so grateful to have us, and we are so grateful to serve!! Losing ourselves in the service of others, helps us to keep our sanity. Well, I feel that way at least. It helps me to feel grounded--if not busy. But hey, a busy bee is a happy bee. :-)

Monday, October 09, 2006

Nathan's first visit

Nathan came to visit us this weekend. For those of you who may not know Nathan, he is Jeff's son, my stepson. He is 7 years old and full of energy!

I thought it was a lot of fun to have a child around the house. For as much energy as he has, he is still very well behaved. He was such a big helper, too. He helped set the table every night! Plus he helped with just about anything I asked him to do.

We had a very busy day on Saturday!

He had a soccer game in Salem, OR. It's fun to watch these little guys play. Nathan is actually quite good. Unfortunately, the team they were playing yesterday were even better! Oh well, you can't win 'em all...of course, they don't even keep score yet.

Dad and Nathan before the game.

Nathan wearing a silly hat (?)
It's the cover for a camping chair; he was pretending to be Cat in the Hat.

A couple ACTION shots...

After the soccer game, we headed to the International Rose Test Garden in Portland. Jeff needed to visit the garden for one of his classes (Art 101), so we thought it would be fun to kill 2 birds with one stone. I've wanted to visit the garden for some time, so it was a bonus for me as well.

Jeff taking notes at the Garden.

Nathan is such a little ham; he loves to get his picture taken.

The little guy tried his best on this one, but our heads got a little trim. Oops! What do you expect from a 7-year old, I suppose. :-)

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Day at the Beach

Before life got too crazy for Jeff with classes, we decided to take a drive to the Oregon coast. It's only about a 1 hour drive. I had never been to the coast before, so it was exciting for me.

It was peaceful to watch the waves come crashing in.
It seemed weird to me that something so fierce and strong could actually exude a feeling a peace and calm. I was definitely enjoying it.

We walked along the beach together--hand in hand.
Jeff pointed out all the dead crabs on the shore.

I hope we get to go back again sometime soon.

Check out the mountains in the background!
And the crashing waves were so beautiful!

Shadows in the Night...wait it's midday!
Jeff named his Henry (for the day).

We have a short video clip of our beach experience as well. It's about 1 1/2 minutes. If you'd like to see it, let me know and I'll attach it to an e-mail.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Mama & Baby Girl Shull

Not sure what Amy is talking about...but who can resist the adorable, Baby Meredith!?!

The von Hartens

Andy, Isaiah and Staci (friends in Brooklyn)

I love this pic of Daddy and baby boy. :-)


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