Quality Time

While Aaron was busy with his "Week of Death" the boys and I took a trip up to Edmonton for 10 straight days of Tolman fun. It's so hard when we live so far away to get quality time in with all our different families, especially the Tolman's. They live and extra 5 hours away and although they come to Southern Alberta to see us we never have the opportunity to stay over and hang out for more than a few hours at a time.

It was a last minute trip which Dad and I decided it would be best kept a surprise. So on March 12th we packed our bags, kissed our Dad/Husband goodbye, a jumped on a plane to Edmonton. It was actually two plane rides to get there but the boys did great and by 1:00PM we were standing on the front step waiting to surprise Grandma. Grandpa dropped us off out front and then parked and went in the back, like it was any other day, and then came a knock on the door.....SURPRISE! Grandma was so happy to see us and find out that we would be staying for 10 whole days.

After a quick nap for Miles we got in the car and went to pick up Alaina from school. AJ could barely contain his excitement as we waited outside the classroom door.
"When are they done Mom? Can I go now? Is it time yet!?!"
When class finally got out he went running in the room calling, "Alaina!!!" she was SO excited and kept saying "are you guys my surprise?" ha ha ha.

It was great. We spent the next ten days relaxing, eating, playing, shopping, and baking. It was a lot of fun to go spend so much quality time up in Edmonton. Living in Portland has made it hard for everyone to get to know Miles as well as they know AJ but now they know him better that anyone and little Miles sure loves them!

Oh how I long for a play room like Alainas!!!! It is a room that is set up for toys and hours of play, seriously a dream come true. One day I will have one, I believe that it will be a key factor in my level sanity as the number of children in our family increases, lol!

Miles had a bad cold the whole time we were in Canada and looked a little snotty during the trip....BUT still cute, right?!
Movie Time! We watched some good movies up in Edmonton and AJ rediscovered his love of, "Dinosaurs" which I thought was to scary for him but he LOVES it!

With AJ's birthday just two weeks away Grampa, Grandma, and Alaina decided to throw Age a little "pre" birthday party. Instead of pin the tail on the donk Alaina made a pin the freight train on thomas for AJ, and he loved it.
Then we all tried to keep up the ballons, which ended up to be quiet funny!
We had tacos for dinner since it is one of AJ's all time favorites and then OPENED PRESENTS!

As you can see we had a blast up in Edmonton and we will cheris these memories FOREVER! Love you guys and thanks a million for everything!


Canadian Pride

This year Vancouver BC hosted the winter Olympics and it was fantastic! We spent many late nights catching up on the days events and watching our athletes bring home the medals. However there was one event that we just had to watch live, THE HOCKEY FINAL!

It came down to Canada vs. USA and while we love living in the US for school we haven't forgotten where our loyalties lie. Canadian through and through (accept Miles that is!) We knew it was bound to be a close game and with my nervous husband we decided to keep it to a small group. We invited the Tolmans and the Lujans over to watch with us but in the end it was just the Tolmans since Holly and Dan picked up a tummy bug.

It was a close game, and by the end Aaron was sitting just inches from the TV but with 10 seconds left and the US goalie pulled we new we had it in the bag........GOAL! That's right everyone the USA scored with just 4.2 seconds left, without a word Aaron stood up and left the room. I guess he needed some alone time? (I think AJ was a little confused)
It felt like intermission took FOREVER but we found ways to pass the time.....
Overtime was great four on four hockey with the best players in the world and 8 minutes in Sid the Kid scored it big and brought home the goal! I swear we we're all on our feet in 2 seconds jumping and hollering at the top of our lungs. It looked like a four man mosh pit right here in our tiny living room. In fact we were so excited we freaked AJ right out and he started to cry, opps!

Just minutes later Holly and Dan showed up at our door sick as can be to share in our joy and excitement and give Aaron this......You guys are the greatest friends! It was another great year for the Olympics and Although I know my Grandpa wasn't here to enjoy them I feel like this Hockey Goal medal had his name on it. Love you Gramps!

Hard working man.

I just need to start this post by saying how much I love my husband and that I don't think there is any way I could be prouder of him. Over the past five years he has done more for me and our family that you could imagine and even when it requires great effort and personal sacrifice I have never heard him complain. He is everything I thought he would be as a husband and so much more.

The particular occasion that brought on this fresh wave of gratitude and awe was Aaron's recent "Week of death." (At least that's what I like to refer to it as!) With the end of quarter 6 fast approaching Aaron started not only preparing for his 12finals but also for 6 national board exams. In case your not so quick with the mental math that is a total of 18 tests in 6 days!!!! (Friday they had as a study day.) In the words of our little AJ, "Are you kidding me?" I seriously can't even fathom writing all those tests in such a short time, especially considering their content. BLAH!
All studied out!
Board exams are the test that all chiropractors must pass to be licenced in the united states. There are three different parts to the test which are written throughout out your schooling, these 6 tests being part one. Everyone seemed to find them pretty overwhelming but it's over now and all they can do is wait. I know that waiting is never fun but as the marks will not be sent out until April 30th there is not much else to do. Aaron did great on his finals and I am sure he did just as good on the board exams, way to go Poy!

With quarter six behind us we are now officially half way done, WHOT WHOT! It is amazing to think of all that Aaron has accomplished. The time has flown by faster that I anticipated and I have truly fallen in love with Portland and the people here. We have made friends and memories here that will last a life time and I already know that we will be back again and again.

Thanks for all your hard work sweetie. I know it isn't easy but you are doing great! The boys and I love you very much and are so grateful and SO PROUD! LOVE.


The Perfect Sunday

Last night the boy's both got a great night sleep, which means I woke up with a permasmile glues to my face. We listened to church music as we ate breakfast and got ourselves ready for church. It isn't easy to get me and the boys ready to go by 9:00AM without Aaron's help, especially when it's a morning I need to shower, but thankfully I had Grandma and Aunt Alaina to help with Miles and we made it out the door just in time.

We headed to the stake center where a special stake meeting had been called. The stake president's brother-in-law just so happens to be Elder Russell M. Nelson, of the quorum of the 12 apostles, and while in town he would be addressing the stake. Could we have picked a better time to come for a visit!?! I have been to ONE session of General Conference when I was 19 years old, which was amazing, but aside form that I have never had the opportunity to see, meet, or hear a General Authority speak in person. I was really excited and tried to help AJ understand the importance of what was happening but I am not sure he really got it.

We had a great seat right in the chapel, thanks to Dad heading over 2 hours before the meeting to save our bench. We were there about and hour early and ten minutes before the meeting everyone stood as Elder & Sister Nelson walked in and headed to the front. I was sitting right on the isle and as they passed, Elder Nelson looked at me and said, "good morning." and away they went. It filled me with joy and I was glad that we had the opportunity to sing right away because I was so full of the spirit I thought I might burst.

It is an amazing thing to be in the presence of an apostle of the Lord. To feel the spirit they bring into a meeting, and see the way they interact with the saints. It made me think of the way Jesus must have been. Dedicated to his people, always in their service, and making time for everyone who has need of him.

The meeting was beautiful and my boys both did amazingly well, especially Miles considering he had been up since 6:15. There were two beautiful music numbers and 5 talks, including Elder and Sister Nelson. They spoke of the work, their travels, missionary opportunities, and the importance of recognizing and acting on our spiritual promptings. After Elder Nelson spoke AJ kept trying to get his attention by sitting in my lap and waving. It was only a minute or two before Elder and Sister Nelson were waving and smiling back just as vigorously as him. It was so cute and I was truly moved that they made the effort to acknowledge his gesture and even return it.

After the closing prayer AJ, Alaina, and I made our way up to the front to shake Elder Nelsons hand. There wasn't to many people still on the stage so the stake president showed us right over. After Alaina had shaken his hand AJ ran right up to him, hugs his leg, and said, "pick me up, pick me up!" Well elder nelson picked him right up and snuggled him close while AJ rested his head on Elder Nelsons shoulder. They stayed just like that while I shook his hand, thanked him for his remarks, and introduced myself and AJ. AJ just stayed snuggled on his shoulder and sister Nelson said,
"looks like this little guys coming with us."

Then Elder Nelson thanked his for waving and smiling at him and told him that he was going to make a great missionary one day.

"Yeah and I love you Elder Nelson. You could come to my house for my birthday party okay?"

"That sounds great AJ and I love you too." then his kissed his little check and set him down.

I fought back tears as I once more shook his hand and thanked him for everything. I can't describe the feelings I had as I watched my son share such a tender moment with one of the Lords apostles. My testimony has once again been strengthened as I sit here and count my many blessings. What a perfect sabbath day.


Birthday Girl


For anyone who isn't "in the know" my Mom is basically the most amazing person around. She is smart, funny, hardworking, humorous, compassionate, hilarious, generous, oh yeah and did I mention she's a crack up? I feel like every time we talk we are busting up over one thing or another. (must be where I get my great sense of humor eh!? lol)

Growing up as an only daughter I feel like I have always held a specials place in my Mom's heart and she defiantly has a BIG place in mine. We talk every day (multiple times actually) about what we are up to and the events in our lives. She helps me get through the highs and lows even with 3000 miles in between us and helps me remember its only a good day if you make it a good day. Other times she reminds me that it's okay to have a down day Evey now and then too, which I always appreciate.

My Mom is full of compassion and constantly going out of her way to improve and uplift the lives of those around her. Weather its lending and ear, dropping off flowers, or extending and invite to dinner she is always on top of it. It's like she has a sixth sense about others need. It is a quality that I have always admired and tried to emulated but she seems to come by it so naturally.

There are a million other reason's that I love her so much and that make her not only the best Mom but also the best friend a girl could ever have but those I have saved in a letter just for her. So Happy Birthday Mom! I love you lots and lots, peach out crocodile while.


Farewell Dear Brother.

Last week I told Aaron that I had a big surprise planned for the weekend and he needed to study extra hard on the week nights so he could take the weekend off. With finals and boards just around the corner he was a little resistant but in the end he decided that he could get away with minimal study time over the weekend. He was anxious to know what we would be doing but I was able to keep him guessing right until, "knock, knock".....He was more than a little surprised and excited to see his Dad and Brother standing on our stoop with a weekend of fun planned for the family.

Over the Christmas break Jorpo (Aaron's youngest brother Jordan) got his mission call to Las Vegas Nevada and will be reporting to the MTC April 21st. Since we don't have a lot of money as students we realized we wouldn't be able to come home again before he left and ended up saying what we thought would be our good-byes until they decided to make this special trip to spend a little more time with us. I really must say that I didn't play much of a part in this weekend other than secret keeper the rest was Al, thanks for planning everything it was a perfect weekend!

Thursday night we went out for dinner to Red Robins. It is one of our very favorite restaurants around here, I swear I could eat there 6 days a week! Jorpo had never even heard of it let alone eaten there so it was an easy choice for dinner. We all left very full and VERY satisfied!

Friday morning Jorpo and Grandpa took AJ for a swim at the hotel while Aaron went to class and I got everything packed up for our weekend get away to....LINCOLN CITY! Can you believe it! we have never been able to get out to the coast as a family especially to spend the night so we were all pretty excited. We ended up leaving home around noon and getting there at about 2:00. It wasn't quite long enough for Miles' nap but it was just enough time to make AJ car sick! I jumped in the back seat and emptied out the wipes container just in time to save our seats from what could have been a real mess! Guess we know to put him in the middle from now on.

We ate lunch, checked in, hit the outlet mall (one of the best,)and then spent an hour or so on the beach trying out AJ and Miles's new kite. I have never flown a kite before and it ended up being a lot of fun. It was chilly on the beach with just enough wind but it wasn't so cold that we couldn't play a while.
We hit up a great Thai food place for dinner and then it was straight to bed for poor little Miles, he was so tired. But not everyone was ready for bed, how can you call it a night without first checking out the hot tub? Al and Aaron both weren't sold on the idea but AJ simply wouldn't let them out of it so...off they went, the Poytress men.
Saturday was the perfect day to spend at the beach, honestly we couldn't have asked for more perfect conditions. The sun was shining, the sky was blue, and the boys were both in great moods (at the same time, whot whot!) We walked the beach and explored the tide pools, taking our time and enjoying the sun. AJ has never been to the beach before and is now a big fan. I think he would have stayed there all day, unfortunately for him our belly's were grumblin' and it was time to eat. We went to this place called PIER 101 for fish and chips (I had a burger, of course, lol) and I would definitely recommend it to anyone who goes out to Lincoln city. The food was really good and the service wasn't bad at all, two thumbs way up!

We had a smooth drive home in the beautiful weather and spent the night eating pizza, chocolates, and watching iron man. In the morning we had a Delicious breakfast together and enjoyed one last hour in each others company before they had to be on their way. It was a weekend full of chatting, resting, swimming, traveling, waiting, playing, exploring, and just being together as a family. It was the prefect last weekend to spend with our awesome uncle Jorpo, we will miss you a lot but can't wait to send and receive your letters. LOVE YOU UNCLE JORPO!!

Just want to say we love you guys so much and are so grateful that you came down and made this weekend happen. Thank-you.


Walking with the dinosaurs

About a month ago we were watching TV and saw an add for, "Walking with the dinosaurs" which would be coming to Portland in late February. It looked AMAZING and with AJ being so into dinosaurs we really wanted to find a way to go. Unfortunately the tickets were just more than we could afford and the idea of just one of us going with him and someone being left at home wasn't great cuz' we both wanted to go. After giving up on the whole thing AJ got a call from his Grandpa Zoe and Gramma Moje to tell him that as an early birthday gift they got the three of us tickets for the show. He was SO excited!!! (as were we!!) We marked it on the calender and started counting down the days. On the day of the show Age and I went out to find him a dino shirt (so that he wouldn't want to buy one at the show) and to help him remember the show.

Since we still had a gift certificate from our anniversary we decided to make it a special date night and go to the olive garden before going to the show, here we are...
I was a little nervous about him getting scared but he did great! I would defiantly recommend this to ANYONE who has kids, especially if the are into dinosaurs.These Raptors were one of his favorite parts. They didn't hold back with the fighting and the eating stuff but it didn't bother AJ at all.I couldn't believe how big these things were. they came and leaned right out over top of us, he was way up in the lights! Seriously the video doesn't do it justice.This will defiantly be a night AJ will remember for a long time. Thanks a lot Grandma and Grandpa we had a blast!!!!