Sunday, November 13, 2011

Sonya's Essay: What I forgot to tell you I did on Summer Vacation

Did I mention that I oggled Blake Lewis. I fought by way to the stage of the concert and stayed there for half an hour. I have a huge weakness for boys with guitars!
I ate a ton of food. Sushi, mushrooms, shrimp, and Nutella are still my favorites...but a hotdog is always satisfying!
I froze on the Oregon Beach a couple of times.
I hiked lots of waterfalls. This is my new friend, Cecile.
I had some cousins move to town, and I LOVE THEM!!!
And, I'm sure it comes as no surprise, I danced!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

It's "A Whole New World" after 6 years of Marriage

A feast for the eyes....Aladdin and Jasmine have really let themselves go! But I think Abu still looks fantastic and mischievous as ever! Happy Halloween!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Happy 2nd Birthday, Miah!

Mommmy loves this picture of you when you were four days old. You are just sooo stinkin' cute! (notice how it shows your extra thumb!)

Yesterday, for your birthday, we made a giant cake just like the one we made after your funeral. We served it to a huge (like 200) group of people who had babies in Heaven with you. Mommy and Daddy stood and spoke to the families about your sweet little life, and the things you taught us.
We love and miss you!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Sonya's first day of preschool

The day Sonya has been waiting for finally arrived! She began preschool at Busy Bees. Here are the obligatory first day of school photos.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Fact Check: Lewis & Clark - The Dating Days

Many of you know that my lovely wife Karren is prone to exaggeration.   This week, we've been de-cluttering: first our garage and then our bookshelves.  I ran across a couple of binders from our dating days while working on the shelves which had some information about our volunteer work for: Lewis & Clark: The National Bicentennial Exhibition.

As many of you know, I love history.  When an opportunity arose to learn more about Lewis and Clark while doing some good for my community, I thought it would be fun.  Karren and my first date was on her birthday.  When I asked her two months later if she wanted to volunteer with me, she said yes.

This is where Karren claims I manipulated her.  She states that before she knew it, I had committed her to a long term activity and that I had her married before the service was over.  Furthermore, I knew what I was doing and that it was all a ruse to ensure success.

Anyway, back to the binders.  Buried in these binders, I found these sheets of paper:

We had 6 training session from September 7th through November 2nd and then volunteered 9 times between November 12th and March 11th.  Since our wedding was in mid-February, the dates did extend past our wedding.  So, it is true that our time at the Oregon Historical Society did extend past our wedding date and that it began early in my courting of her.  Karren also claims that she started really liking me in early October, so from her perspective, our time as docents began before this point in our relationship.

I do still dispute that this was all a ruse to get her to marry me, but it is indeed true that we were docents from the early days of our dating until just after we got married.  All of this was before allergy season, but that leads to another exaggeration we can explore later .... :)

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Great Place to Run 2011

I participated in this years Great Place to Run event for Intel.  I ran the 5k and leaned (or more likely relearned some important lessons):
1) You should really train for these things.  I haven't run for many years and it showed.  I had to walk some portions of it and I am SO sore.
2) Walking is good when you aren't prepared.  I could have got a better time, but at what cost?  I didn't want to injure myself.
3) I like running.  It feels good.
4) Sunscreen is important, even on a cloudy day.

My Time: 0:34:58 (11:15 pace)
Place: 506/1443 Overall, 362/784 among males, 64/99 among males 30-34


Friday, August 19, 2011

National Park Travelers Club

During sabbatical last year, I discovered the Passport To Your National Parks program which is administered by Eastern National.

Each Unit of the National Park Service has one or more cancellation stations that look something like this:
While researching online about these stamps, I discovered the National Park Travelers Club, a club that revels in the NPS units of our nation. There were recently featured in this USA Today article. I soon joined this club and have enjoyed the interaction with others who enjoy the parks as much as I do.

We have now visited 47 out of the 394 units (soon to be 395 with the addition of the Martin Luther King, Jr. National Memorial later this month). This club also offers awards based on your traveling and stamp collecting over the year. For 2010, we achieved the Silver Master Travelers Award level.

Last month, we visited Lewis and Clark National Historical Park on the Oregon and Washington coast and found a stamp that was "Most Wanted" by the club:
I really enjoy the hobby and we get to see a lot of the cool vistas and historical locations of our country. Karren doesn't care for my obsession collecting the stamps, but she does enjoy visiting the parks. I hope my children grow up loving the Natural Wonders and Historical Treasures of our country, and visits to these parks will help cultivate this pride in our nation.

Friday, August 5, 2011


Hello friends!

Can you guess what gender I am?






A French exchange student, Cecile, arrived at our house on Wednesday.  She will be staying with us until the end of August.  Here birthday was yesterday and we celebrated at Benihana.

Monday, August 1, 2011

While mom is away ....

Last weekend, Karren went to California to visit her friend and see her one year old twin boys get baptized. This left a weekend of me spending time with Sonya. So, what did I decide to do? Go to a National Park, of course. This time, we returned to the Lewis and Clark National Historical Park on the Oregon and Washington coasts.

We visited Fort Clatsop, Fort Columbia State Park, and Cape Disappointment State Park.  Here, Sonya is playing around at Fort Clatsop ....

...... and introducing herself to Sacagawea. 

Sonya also earned her Presidential Level of Junior Ranger.  This park gives out a patch with the award which is much cooler than just one of the plastic gold shields.

We had a lot of fun, but we still would have preferred mom to be home with us.

Quote of the Weekend, "Dad, I need to eat a lot of food so I can be fat like you."  Nice!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Happy 4th from the Wildes and Wildes

My brother Ned just moved to Portland and we celebrated the 4th of July together.

The Hillsboro Parade:

Fireworks at home:


On the way to Mount Rainier, we visited Whitman Mission National Historic Site. This was the location where the Whitman family settled, disease killed many Native Americans, and they took revenge on the Whitman family. It was one of the things that led the US to recognize the Oregon territory.

Sonya made a yarn doll with this nice ranger.

Tried out a covered wagon.

And received her Junior Ranger.  The bird you see in her hand was given to her by the ranger in charge of birds.  When we were heading back to the Visitor Center, we started two birds.  One flew right into a very clean window and perished.  The ranger wanted Sonya to know it was OK and thus gave her the bird.

Up until this point in our trip, we had had beautiful sunny weather.  Not here.  Mount Rainier generates its own weather system and it was overcast and rainy almost the entire time we were there.  This didn't stop us from taking hikes though in the cover of the trees.  The waterfalls were all raging!

This is a view from the same location as a photo we took last September:
We figured July would be fine, but alas:

So, we visited more raging waterfalls ....

And hiked under the cover of more trees:

Finally, on the way home, this was the view.  It is a gorgeous mountain when it wants to show itself.

Monday, July 18, 2011


After Utah, we took a trip up North to visit my brother K and his family. Sonya got to meet another cousin she has never met before and this is the most chill baby I have EVER met!

The next day, we stopped at Craters of the Moon National Monument.  It is a lot of desert until you arrive at the monument, then it looks much like the moon.

We happened to be there during the three weeks wild flowers bloom so there was some extra wonder to the place.

Sonya earned her Lunar Ranger award and was pretty proud.


At the end of June, we visited Utah to see family.  Sonya hadn't seen all her cousins yet and a brand new one had just been born to Desire's family.  So far, Sonya has 11 cousins on my side of the family and we hadn't met 3 of them!  This trip remedied this situation.

While we were there, we hike up Timpanogos Cave National Monument.  As Karren is pregnant, we took our time.  Sonya also wanted to be carried quite a bit, so this slowed me down as well.  Favorite quote from Sonya from this hike (to me): "This is crazy ..... pick me up!"

Here are some photos of that hike and the cave at the top:

I also went with Sonya, Ian, and Zach to the This is the Place Monument in Salt Lake City.  The kids really enjoyed it as they got to ride two trains, ride a pony, pan for gold, do a couple of crafts, and spend time with their favorite uncle/dad.

Finally, here is a photo of Sonya's newest cousin:

I think this was Sonya's favorite part of her trip, visiting her grandparents and cousins.  After this, she repeatedly asked to go back to Grandpa and Grandma's house.