Monday, December 22, 2008

Kids Say the Funniest Things

Henry has a fear of Jesus. Yes...Jesus.

Long story short, at the church we used to go to by our old house the priest was a big man, with a long beard, and a BOOMING voice. He scared the daylights out of Henry. When it was time to say "peace be with you", he went around to everyone (it was small church) to shake his/her hand and inevitably when he got to Henry, Henry would cry. Henry thought he was Jesus. So, whenever we would go to that church he would yell "I don't like that Jesus". Not a good thing to have your child screaming at church.

We have changed churches, but the fear still sits in Henry. He also doesn't like it when the church is full of people (can you say mini-Mark?).

Anyways....lately we have been talking about how Christmas is Jesus's birthday and that is why it is really important to go to church on Christmas. (aka - it is not just about the presents)

This morning Henry says to me "Hey mom....what about this, what if we didn't go to church but we called Jesus and sang him Happy Birthday".

I nearly lost it. I love being a parent to young kids...

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Snow Day

Today was really fun. We had a "snow day" at the house. As you can see by the video above, Francie LOVED watching the snow and Mark shovelling it off the deck. Party!

Mark also had fun. He snow boarded down our hill....twice. He appreciates chair lifts a LOT more now.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Car Pileup

Check out the link for pictures of a car pile up in our neighborhood! This is on our local news website. We finally had a neigbhor pay a guy with a bobcat to come plow our street. We have been getting in out with 4 wheel drive and snow chains.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Winter Wonderland

We have had the unusual joy of snow here in Portland. When we bought our house, we knew we were increasing our chances of having snow as we are at the top of a hill and above 1000 feet. However, this storm has hit all of Portland! Today was the first day that was warm enough to go out play and we made the most of it. Our hill is REALLY steep, so it will be fun when the kids are older and I will need to sled with them (for safety reasons of course). On Tuesday, I passed a snowboarder as I drove up the hill to work. Hysterical.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Francie's 6 Month Milestone

Francie turned 6 months on Sunday. Above is her 6 month picture.
Check out the rockin mini-skirt - own it girlfriend.

Below is Henry's 6 month picture. He definitely had chubbier cheeks!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Bring it on!

Francie turned 6 months this weekend and had her first meal. Um.....I think she takes after her mother. She LOVES her food. She leaned forward the ENTIRE time and ate the whole bowl. Mark already calls her "mini Big Gulp" (his loving nickname for me due to my ability to drink A LOT) and I guess now she will be my fellow piglet. Auntie KK was here for the big event (Francie is going to be baptized this weekend).

WARNING: The video below will only be interesting for Grammy Kris and Grandpa Gordon. I thought they would be tickeled to see Francie with her spoon at the end of a feeding.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

5 Months



Budva and Frankfurt

So I finally made it back home from overseas 5 days after I was supposed to be home. On the Tuesday I was in Montenegro (after I had got all my passport renewal forms filled out on Monday) I took the bus over the mountains from Podgorica to the coast. The main tourist attraction in Montenegro is Budva. I was there a little late in the season but it was a beutiful day and there were even some people swimming in the ocean. The city has an old walled town that sits right on the ocean. It also has many beaches some hidden in little bays.
The next day my passport arrived from Serbia and I was free to go. I flew out Wednsday afternoon and had an overnight layover in Frankfurt. My hotel was near the airport but I took a taxi into the city and the train back. Everyone was busy setting up Christmas decorations. I managed to find a Bavarian restaurant and had a giant stein of beer and sausage.

This guy was selling sausage on the street with his mobile grill which I thought was pretty cool.

Reuland/Griswald Saturday

Today was classic Reuland/Griswald. We had a family photo shoot today for Christmas cards. Given that Henry is not a fan of posing for the camera (seriously...if you ask him to smile for a picture, forget about it) I decided to make the morning fun-filled so that he might go with the plan. After playing an hour of basketball with him I decided to bring up the photo shoot and that he would need to wear one of the shirts I bought him. That is when it got a little hairy...right now he will only wear shirts with numbers...two numbers. After that struggle was over I went to get Francie dressed only to realize that the awesome Christmas dress I bought Francie yesterday (yes...last night..nothing like planning) was NOT in the bag. Lovely. 1 hour until the photo shoot and I have no clothes for her in red to match the rest of us. So...we stopped at the mall....on the way to the photo shoot. Yes..I was that frantic shopper running into the mall, picking a dress in a minute, sweating as I paid the person, who then sprinted out. I had to dress and nurse Francie in the parking lot in ten minutes flat so that we were not late. I seriously looked like I was in menopause with hot flashes when it was our time to have our photo taken...can't wait to see how they turned out. Henry posed for NONE of the pictures and insisted on telling the photographer that no smiling was going to happen today. Charming. As you can see below, Francie continues to be the drool master - I love the stream of drool going into her lap. When we got home Henry immediately put his Blazer jersey on and went to the backyard for a serious game of soccer and golf. The video above is the interview afterwards. (One bit of background: One big theme in our house right now is the importance of protein to grow. Henry is not a big fan of meat (any kind- even chicken), beans or anything with protein. Every time he picks up fruit or vegetables, he asks with a hopeful tone ... "Does this have protein?")

Monday, December 1, 2008

Beach Babe

It is official. Francie LOVED the beach. She smiled the whole time. It looks like we will be spending a lot of our weekends down in Manzanita. Check out her two teeth! Henry didn't get his until he was 7 months, but Francie got hers a few weeks ago when Mark was in Montenegro. She seems to be working on her third...the drooling and lack of sleep is slightly insane.

Baseball at the Beach

After Francie went to bed, we had a raging game of baseball at the beach house. Here is a highlight. The kid is out of control.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Happy Turkey Day!

We had a busy Thanksgiving.

We survived the Turkey Trot in the morning, which involved pushing 60 pounds of stroller and children up the hill -- yikes! Mark and I were sweating more than anyone else who ran the race.

Next we went to Gerties for some Thanksgiving dinner at Courtyard Village. Classic.

We ended the night by driving to Joanie & Jimbo's beach house to spend a few days down here relaxing. On Sunday we are having Thanksgiving dinner with Joanie and Jimbo who will be in town for the weekend before they head up to Alaska.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Preschool Rules

Today at Henry's school they had a Thanksgiving Day celebration where we made apple pies and each child was asked to share what they were thankful for -- SO CUTE! Francie came with me and I put her on the carpet with the other babies who have older siblings in the class (she has the white hat on). Hysterical.

I also had to post this picture of Henry (in the black hat) "passing the pumpkin" to his friend Nani so that she could share what she was thankful for...he is so excited for it to be her turn.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

World is right again

As Henry said the first night Mark was back "the world is right again". Francie was so excited she drooled through her shirt (see above).

I must say I am thrilled he is home - absence does make the heart grow fonder! I was especially happy when Mark was there yesterday morning to take care of the kids while I had Michelle's baby shower at the house. He even went to a play date and hung out at the house with the other mom the whole time!

This Sunday morning was a good indication of everything going back to normal with Henry doing every puzzle in the house and performing a jam session for the family. Nothing like rocking out before 9:00 am.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008


On Thursday (before I lost my passport) we went to a restaurant called Pod Volat. It is located in the old part of town. The desk lady at our hotel warned us that the restorant was "not so elite" and that there may be some "drunkards" there. We thought we would fit right in so we did not let her discouraging words stop us. When we entered the establishment we were hit by a wall of smoke and everyone decided without discussion that we would eat outside although it was about 50 deg. The food was great and two guys at our table split a 5 dollar bottle of wine. I stuck with the beer until desert. The owner of the restaurant came out and wanted to know where we were from and when he found out USA he was really excited about Obama. He then insisted that we try the special brandy made by the family. Which apparently is something like white lightening. If the picture of the tower is a little bit skewed it may be a result of the brandy.

My replacement passport is apparently on a flight from Belgrade to Podgorica tonight and I am tentativly flying to Frankfurt tommorow with a one day layover then direct to PDX.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Rare Occasion

My parents were back in town....for a half joke!

So we decided to spend as much time with them as possible.
We went for a hike with Papa in the morning and to Great Grandma's for dinner.

Stranded in the Balkans

For those of you who have not heard I am currently stuck in Montenegro..... On the last night of our trip my passport disappeared somewhere between the US Embassy and our hotel. After a frantic search for my passport that lasted most of the night I missed my plane ride home. So now I need to get a temporary passport from the Embassy. Unfortunately the country is so small the do not yet have a Consulate so the paperwork needs to be sent to Serbia and returned to Montenegro. I am told this could take 4 days. I have a meeting at the Embassy on Monday morning and will know more then.

So I am really missing Colleen, Henry and Francie. Luckily, I have a laptop and a high-speed internet connection so I will be able to keep in touch and do some work while I am here. I think Colleen is jealous that I am going to get unintrupted sleep. Thanks to Itunes I have also been able to rent movies saving me from CNN and BBC World.

This is the view from the top of my hotel. Very large concrete apartment buildings.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Dancing at Farmers Market - Round 2

Poor Mark is stuck in Montenegro, so we are posting lots of pictures and videos of the kiddos to help him not feel so far away. Here is Henry rockin Farmer's market again and Francie thinking it is pretty funny.

Car Pictures

Henry spent a long time drawing pictures "to put in your office mama".

They were, of course, focused on his favorite and trucks. Francie watched with a LOT of interest...I wonder when she will get sick of all the cars?

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Watch out Bob Costas

Last time Grammy Kris was here she pretended to be a sportscaster and interviewed Henry. Well.....he LOVED it. Last night we had an intense, indoor match of croquet and Henry asked me to interview him. Here is a short clip of my favorite part. Couple of notes: 1) The spoon is the microphone 2) Earlier in the interview he kept saying "compegize" so I had to figure out what that meant and 3) He kept looking at the glass doors and his reflection...the kid loves to look at himself).

Monday, November 10, 2008

Millenium Bridge

I am in Podgorica, Montenegro for work this week. After dinner tonight we went for a walk around town. This is a picture of the new bridge across the river that runs through town. The country is very beautiful. The city is surrounded by rugged mountains. Although the rainy season should start soon, it is supposed to be clear and in the 60's for most of the week.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Dinner with Great Grandma

We decided to have "date night" with Great Grandma at her house. As you can tell, the kids loved it. Minus the fact that I set off her fire alarm with my cooking, it was really fun. Henry even got her to play a board game -- yee haw!

Future Athlete?

Mark is in Montenegro ( Europe!) for work so I had to go to the photo shop to buy the connector for the camera so I could send him pictures. HILARIOUS to see the videos he shot of Henry. The first one cracked me up because Henry spent all this time talking up his game and then he missed his shots. The second one I had to post to redeem H-man and his ability to shoot. Check out Francie just chillin in front of the mirror during "the game". Classic.

Monday, October 20, 2008

A whole new world!

Those of you who have been around Francie know that she is happiest when she is standing. While cooking dinner I decided to break out a new toy (see picture). HOLY COW! She was elated. It was hysterical. She couldn't stop giggling and she thoroughly entertained Henry and me (While our dinner burned...oh well).

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Rockin Farmers Market

Today we went to the farmers markets downtown and Henry decided to rock out. Attached are some pictures of him singing to the trees and doing Elvis-like moves on the sidewalk (his hand is the microphone). OUT OF CONTROL. My mom suggested that I put a hat on the ground for people to drop money in for his college fund.

Francie Goes to Boston

Last weekend I (Colleen) flew to Boston for work. Given that so many of my friends from college live there, I decided to go early and stay with Donna and Chris and see all the girls and meet all their kiddos. SO MUCH FUN!!!! The girls, as usual, made me laugh until my cheeks hurt and everyone's kids are so amazing. Rich (Donna's son) was the perfect entertainer for Francie - she LOVED him as did I. Of course, as is par for the course with me, I have some pictures from Boston but now can't find my camera charger (seriously....I am out of control).

On Tuesday, I made a pilgrimage up to Boston College to visit Andrew's bench. Although I was a total basket case and could not stop crying (the BC students thought I was mom joked that they probably all thought that I got pregnant and now was having to go to college with a young baby and losing it), Francie enjoyed herself sitting on the bench and looking all around. Foreshadowing?

Sunday, October 5, 2008

There once was a girl with a curl on her head......

We had to post this picture as Francie's curly-Q on the top of her head is hysterical.
It is even cuter when her hair is really blonde (not like it is today...greasy because I seriously can't think of the last time she had a bath....yes she is the second child).

After downloading Francie's picture I also found this picture of Henry on the top of Mt Hood at the end of August. I had to post it as the view and his smile made my night.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Developmental Milestones

The past few weeks have been really fun with Francie
as she has achievede many fun developmental
laughing...rolling over...rockin her first pair of jeans.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Jam Sessions

No weekend would be complete without a jam session. Henry got to jam with Auntie KK and Mark. The "playlist" was quite long with renditions of ABC, London Bridges, and Twinkle Twinkle LIttle Star. My favorite part was when Henry asked me to remind him of the words to the"Our Mother" song. I couldn't figure out what he was talking about until he reminded me that I sang it to him the night before. Yeah....I had a run out of songs that I could remember so I sang "Our Father" from church. Cracks me up. Sunday morning he did a solo gig spotlighting "Working on the Railroad". He has already learned the art of humming when you don't know the words.

Must Wear Gloves

Last time Auntie KK visited us, she and Grandpa Gordon took Henry to the driving range. He was so excited and so determined to show her his golf moves that he hit an entire bucket of balls and proceeded to get a blister on his finger. So.....before we went to the driving range with Grammy Kris he insisted on getting gloves to protect his finger. Yes! they make golfing gloves for a 3 1/2 year old. It was hysterical. The kid who refuses to wear mittens/gloves in the winter slid those babies on like he was Michael Jackson. Classic. He had a great time with the Reuland clan hitting balls and watching daddy hit the ball.

Becoming Buddies

Well...we have moved and are slowly unpacking the boxes. The process has been a little slow as we have had a lot of guests in town..but we would MUCH rather play with Grandpa Gordon, Grammy Kris, and Auntie KK than unpack boxes. Francie is a MAJOR talker (poor Mark - stuck with a verbose wife and now a chatty daughter). Her favorite thing is still Henry.

First Day of School!

A couple of weeks ago (was it really that long?) Henry had his first day of school. Mark and I both went to drop him off. The day before he got to go on an "adventure" to pick out his shirt for the first day. Believe it or not - thanks to my sisterclothes - he has never been clothes shopping. He picked out a green shirt (his favorite color) with stripes (like a race car). The first day went great...minus Mark having a VERY difficult time leaving (his cheeks turned bright red and he got a visible lump in his throat). I skipped off ready to get everything done in the 3 hours I had because we were moving the next day. Yeah....not so much....after 45 minutes I was called and asked to come back because Henry had fallen and was having a hard time pulling it together. Shucks. I am happy to report though that after a few rough starts (including a couple of days of me getting in the car and crying) all is well. Henry loves school. I love his school and the time alone with Francie and we couldn't be happier. Yahoo!

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Francie Talks!

Well Sorta... This one is a few weeks old but as Colleen mentioned the cord was temporarily misplaced.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Never a Dull Moment

It has been a while since we have added to our blog, but not for lack of content! As is par for the course, I have lost the connector for the camera. So...... I have all these fun photos to post but no way to get them on the computer and haven't found the time nor mental energy to look. Seriously...I feel a bit out of control.

In the last three weeks we have been to the beach twice, the emergency room twice (once for Henry...cut to the head...once for Mark's dad who is now in the hospital with some heart problems - send your wishes for a speedy recovery), Henry went to the driving range for the first time and experienced heaven, we had our first pre-school picnic and met Henry's teachers (ACK!! it made it so real he is leaving the house and going to school), made an offer on a house, had it accepted, and we close on Friday. Yes..a bit busy...but great.

We are SO excited about the house.

From the moment we walked into this house, we loved it. It had all the right bones (four bedrooms upstairs and a guest room downstairs so we can officially have three kids and LOTS and LOTS of people can visit us!),amazing views of the coastal range, backs to a greenspace and has a big yard for the kiddos to play, is close to our favorite place to run and hike in Portland (Forest Park), only 4 miles from my parents (and here they thought they were getting rid of us!), 6 miles to downtown and 8 miles to my work. We feel so grown up (when did that happen?).

We can't wait to make it our home! Remember, all are welcome! We now have room! Attached are some pictures from their realtor's website. I will post ours as soon as I can find our camera connector in the pile of boxes.