Times and Sorensens

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Monday, May 25, 2009

The Other Garden State

The boys have been excited all weekend about Monday "the vacation day" and the trip we were going to take. And if you thought we were evil for building up the trip in their minds and then taking them to a rhododendron garden, we couldn't blame you. What fun could kids possibly have at a rhododendron garden? Assuming they behave themselves, of course.

Well, the waterfall right after the entrance was a good start (click any picture if you want the full-size version):

And the stones in front of it arranged so kids could step across the stream were a fantastic idea. I helped Daniel across the first time just to make sure he didn't get wet 5 minutes after we arrived, but after this he and Joshua went across several more times by themselves:

Our kids really like waterfalls:

And park benches. I don't know why. Fortunately both waterfalls and benches are easy to find in gardens.

We got this picture of Lucas to prove he was enjoying himself:

And while we were taking that picture of Lucas, Daniel took off. Again.

A family that was leaving gave us half a bag of duck food, which we discovered was good squirrel food too. The boys noticed some ducklings ("Look! Fuzzy ducks!") in one of the ponds, and some goslings as well. I warned the boys that goslings were bad news, since geese are never good-tempered and a goose with young would be that much more aggressive; sure enough, there was one on the path with her young, blocking a bunch of people from following the path. We turned around and went a different way. On our alternate path, we got to see a raccoon close up:

I almost got away with writing a blog post about a visit to a rhododendron garden without including any pictures of rhododendrons, but this one was too cute to leave out:

Lucas liked grabbing and feeling the flowers. They were colorful and soft, and the flowers on this plant were large. As we were leaving, someone very generously offered to get a whole family picture:

So Daniel and Joshua had a great time, and even walked the entire time without asking to be held, carried, or pushed in the stroller. I'm glad Leslie came up with the idea to visit this place on such a bright, sunny, warm day.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

9 Years Ago Today...

Jake and I were married 9 years ago on this 12th day of May. That beautiful building you see in the background is a temple of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (LDS) in Oakland, California. On the front of this building, carved into the stone it reads, "The House of the Lord. Holiness to the Lord." For those who may not be familiar with LDS temples (which are found all around the country and all over the world) I just wanted to briefly explain why those of our faith are married in there.

When Jake and I were married in the temple we made covenants, or promises, to our Heavenly Father and He in turn promised to give us blessings if we keep those covenants. We believe that because we were married in this holy place our marriage can continue throughout the eternities.

Pretty much everything we of the LDS faith do in our lives is based on the hope and belief that we can return to live with our Heavenly Father and His Son Jesus Christ someday, if we keep Their commandments. We believe that being married in the temple is one of the things They have asked us to do and it will bring us closer to our goal of living with Them again.

So here we are 9 years later, crazy busy with raising our 3 wonderful children, with work and school (but at least now it's the kids that are in school and not us anymore :), church responsibilities (for those of you familiar with the jargon Jake is the ward financial clerk and on the scout committee; I'm in the primary presidency of a sizable primary), making friends, still trying to acclimate to Oregon...the list goes on and on it seems. But as crazy as it feels at times there is a peace that we feel deep inside because we know we are trying to live our lives the way our Heavenly Father has asked us to.

Happy Anniversary Jake! I'm really looking forward to the big 1-0 next year -- what do you think we should do? :)

Thursday, May 07, 2009

Our tulips...

Can only be described as "passionate", if you ask me:

I can't think of a better word for the beautiful color. Any suggestions?

What every father wants to hear

"Thanks for giving me a tattoo, daddy!"

Daniel said thanks without me prompting him! If it takes a tattoo for him to learn to be grateful, then it's worth it. No, not THAT kind of tattoo. The kind a father can apply with a wet washcloth.