Thursday, December 17, 2009

Mele Kalikimaka to all

Sorry I didn't get to update you before we left. That just means you'll REALLY get a blog-full when we return. Until then, Mele Kalikimaka, friends. Warmest Christmas wishes......get it? In all seriousness, the Stump family wishes everyone a truly special time with family and friends this season as you celebrate the birth of our Savior. Happy birthday Jesus!

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

The month that was November

Just a warning: this will not be the best blog post you've ever read. I don't think you'll laugh til you cry, or be moved to tears in any way, but at least you'll get a little update, right? Maybe I'll even edit this post later so it's more interesting...oh forget it, read on.

A few quotes I don't want to forget:

Quick background on this one. After Jake's soccer practice a long time ago the boys were complaining about being hungry. They hadn't eaten a big dinner, so I stopped at Burger King and became Mom of the Year when I bought them 2 "burger shots" to share. You've seen those annoying commercials, haven't you? "Oooh, look at those cute little burgers!" I said quick background, didn't I. Ha! Anyway, at the grocery store before Thanksgiving they have those really tiny pumpkins you can use for decoration in the produce section. Jake pointed at them and practically yelled, "Mom, look at those cute little pumpkins...they're like pumpkin shots!"

And since we're talking about grocery store quotes, and produce departments...when Ty looked at a huge pile of yams he stated, "Ew, Mama, those look like slugs." Indeed.

Thanksgiving was awesome. I don't even want to think about how many carbohydrates I shoved into my stomach. It wouldn't have been so bad if I'd stopped at one turkey dinner. I had 3. Not 3 helpings, 3 different dinners. Alcorn's at noon, Stumps at 4:30, and another full meal at around 2 in the morning. That was at work, I'm not that much of a food addict that I'd get out of bed in the middle of the night to feast again. 3 delicious dinners. Lucky? Sure. Now tipping the scales? Definitely. Perfect, right before Hawaii.

Oooh, does anybody not know that my parents are taking our whole family to Hawaii for Christmas? Aloooooha. That's why one of the Christmas songs on my playlist is Mele Kalikimaka. Just so you know that song will be the only one playing on my blog from December 17-28. So if you need your Bing Crosby Christmas fix, I'm your girl. And no, my parents are not looking to adopt any more children before December 17th, sorry.

Anyway, back to the quotes. Both the boys have had the most ginormous appetites lately. Just a small picture of what's to come, I'm sure. Jake was eating pancakes the other morning, and halfway through his third (large) one, he groaned and said, "Whoa Mom, it's like Man vs. Food."

Two nights ago we celebrated my mom's birthday. We had a great time over at my sister's house, eating dinner and the famous chocolate log cake that's her fave, and hanging out as a family. Later on my mom was opening presents and Jake, Ty, and cousin Matt were surrounding her, telling her what each present was. A few presents were wrapped by Matt (5 years old) and filled with little treasures he wanted to pass on. The first one she opened contained a small cut out of the state of Tennessee. Jake quickly announced, "well, that's not much of a present." My sons, always oozing with sensitivity.

Okay, moving away from quotable quotes now. Of course the month of November wouldn't have been complete without throwing another baby shower. This time I had help from my friend Emily, God bless her. We had a great time showering one of my BFF's Natalie and chatting and laughing. There is always tons of laughter when you're near Natalie, she and her hubby are a tag team duo of comedic genius. Love them. Here's yet another diaper cake for Natalie and baby boy (who is going to show his sweet little face any day now!) I'm thinking about setting up a website to sell my diaper cakes. I could feed my family for months with the amount of money those things go for online. They are not that difficult my friends. If I, craft-dud extraordinaire, can do it...
By the way, I am not even remotely serious about the website, so don't go Googling "diaper cakes by Ang" anytime soon. Or ever.

I promise I'll blog about Hawaii before June. Maybe I'll even sneak in one more before we leave. That's a big fat maybe.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Whaaaaat?

Yes, please don't faint. I'm posting two times in the same week. You can thank my BFF Megan who has started a recipe exchange. Mmmm, I love me some good new recipes. This time it's a main dish...and let me just tell you that this main dish is now MY main dish. Mexican Chicken Lasagna. It's like sour cream chicken enchiladas except for more amazing because it has Doritos on top. Holy delicious. It does take a bit of time to do, preparing the chicken and all the layering, but it's soooooo worth it.

I found it in one of those little recipe books you find at the checkstand at the grocery store. I wish I had a scanner to show you how marvelous this looks. Maybe I'll make it soon and post a picture. And you know what, I'm also going to post another main dish recipe because I've shared this other one with a lot of people already. Yep, two for the price of one, all here at the Stump blog.

Mexican Chicken Lasagna

12 lasagna noodles
2 cans (10 3/4 oz each) cream of chicken soup
8 oz sour cream
1/4 cup milk
3 cups cooked cubed chicken
1 can (4 oz) green chilies
1 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1 can (2 1/4 oz) sliced black olives
1 cup (8-10) green onions, chopped
3 cups Mexican cheese blend (cheddar and jack)
1 cup crushed nacho cheese tortilla chips

Heat oven to 350. Cook lasagna noodles and drain. While noodles are cooking, mix next 7 ingredients (soup to garlic powder) in large bowl. In a greased 9x13 pan, layer chicken mixture, olives, green onions and cheese like you would a lasagna, starting with a small amount of the chicken mixture at the bottom before adding noodles. Save largest layer of cheese for the top. Bake uncovered for 35-45 minutes or until bubbly and hot in center. Add crushed chips and cook another 5 minutes until chips get slightly brown. Let stand for 10 minutes before cutting.

Here's the freebie (you can tell we like Mexican food and Nacho Cheese Doritos around here): Nacho pie

I promise I do cook healthier options sometimes. But if you're looking for mm'mm good, these are winners. Now it's YOUR turn! Even if you're not in Megan's recipe exchange, I'd love to see your favorites! Leave me a comment with your recipe or a link to it.

Mmm, and now that I'm salivating all over my compter, I believe it's time for a snack.

Monday, November 09, 2009

It's about time

Sorry folks. My sad little twice-a-month blogging has turned into skipping a full month. It's a little overwhelming to start trying to record "October" in one sitting, and also trying to make it somewhat interesting for you to read. Here's hopin' you'll understand why the computer hasn't been my priority:

On Friday October 2 our nephews Matt and Jack came to stay with us for the weekend. I posted on my facebook account, "looking forward to the chaos of a weekend with 4 boys...age 5 and under. Jake and Ty are pumped for slumber parties with their cousins!" and then after the boys went home on Sunday evening I posted, "I love my nephews, but I'm pretty sure that this weekend God audibly confirmed our decision to stop at 2 boys." The kids had a blast together, the older 3 sleeping sideways on a blow-up bed in J&T's room. Buuuuuut I'm definitely not cut out for the part of Michelle Duggar on "18 Kids and Counting."

The next night we hosted over 20 people for Monday night football. I cleaned the house. I cooked dinner. But other people brought side dishes and we really had a great time. We have some amazing friends. We're really blessed!

So speaking of blessed, I got a fever that Wednesday afternoon, the 7th. But then felt much better and fever-free on Thursday so I made the worst decision of 2009 and went to work from 3pm-3:30am. Everyone and their second cousin were leaving their beds, sitting in a jam packed ER waiting room for 4 hours just to hear an official diagnosis of H1N1 influenza. Piggy flu. This is what a lot of staff looked like on that night:And we tell people not to worry, it's not that big of a deal. Let me just go put on a ridiculous piece of headgear connected to a battery powered belt to be 100% certain you can't breathe on my face, and I'm sure that will make you feel more calm.

I didn't actually leave work until almost 4am, and by the time I was walking out to my car, I knew my fever was returning. I should have brought a space suit home to protect my family. Friday night my status was, "I don't think I have swine flu, because according to the media I should be nearer to death. On second thought, death doesn't sound too bad right now."

I'm very confident that we did in fact get the H1N1 flu. I say "we" because Jake got a fever 2 days later, and Ty got a fever 2 days after that. Dan slept downstairs on the futon for 8 nights. Seriously. Eight. Good thing it's comfy. He's still healthy. Knock on wood. The kids recovered, but I got a sinus infection on top of it all, so it took me a course of antibiotics longer. Could I dare to hope that we'll stay healthy the rest of the season?

One heart-warming story from that miserable 2 weeks happened on a night that Ty was sleeping in my bed. He kept waking up thrashing around, crying and burning with a fever, and dripping snot all over my bed. Heart warming already, I know. This kid is a terribly wild sleeper to begin with; he was doing 360's all night. And I still had a fever and hadn't breathed through my nose in what felt like years. I was, needless to say, having a hard time sleeping. I had finally just started to drift off to sleep when Ty kicked me in the face. Twice. Rapid-fire style. I wasn't at the peak of patience when I pushed his feet toward the end of the bed and shoved his head back onto his pillow. I had a nightlight on (Dan gets nervous sometimes) and so I could see Ty crack open one eye. "Love you, Mama." And then the snores returned. He may have been in a feverish stupor, but I couldn't help but smile.

October post-sickness was good. It was really good in fact. Still busy of course. We hosted more football, we started a small group Bible study with our church that meets at our house. I just can't say enough how much I l-o-v-e that group. It's been awesome to get to know some new people. Our church rules. What else? I threw another baby shower to show off the mastery of my creative diaper-caking once again. For your viewing pleasure:
Gracious, could I be close to finishing? October 31st. It started with Jake's last soccer game, where he closed out the season by scoring his most athletic and picture-perfect goal ever. He took the ball all the way down the field to the goal. It's ridiculous how proud it made me feel. Then we had a pizza party with his team where he got a soccer medal (one of his most prized possessions to date).

Then we changed into Halloween mode. What excitement! The build up to any holiday is a lot more fun with kids. We carved pumpkins and Jake actually threw up with his hand full of pumpkin guts. He took a big whiff and couldn't stop gagging, which ended poorly for my kitchen floor. Ty was up to his elbows in goo and couldn't get enough of it. Which also ended poorly for the floor, but I guess I did need to mop anyway. My Nascar driver and Spiderman on Halloween night, showing us the fastest route to the most candy (sorry, I didn't get a lot of great pix): Dan wanted to paste a sign on Jake's back that his costume was not dad-approved. Dan hates Nascar. "It's not a sport...you just drive around in circles. How athletic is turning left?" Anyway, Jake is and always has been obsessed with cars, and because my parents know some people involved with Nascar, they've encouraged the passion inside my son. I think, regardless of the "is Nascar a sport" debate, that they both looked awesome. They had a blast trick-or-treating in downtown Gresham and a little bit around our neighborhood. We had dinner at my sister's house, and just generally had a great day.

Oh my goodness sakes. I might be done. I've almost worked up a sweat here. I know it's the 7th of November, but I only promised October, people. Here's my pledge to you, and to myself, not to go months between posts. And here's a picture of Ty's actual face not covered by a mask. And because post-bathtime is when I love this child the most. And now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to go take a nap.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Little of this, little of that

Sorry for those of you who've seen 28 different new blog templates. I think I've officially decided on this one. For now. I think. Like it?

Alright, where were we? September 15, okay. What has happened since September 15? It's funny, I'm completely thankful I haven't been in a baby/potty training toddler fog for a long time, but I feel like I'm starting a new fog. A Fall Fog if you will. A Furiously Fast Fall Fog. Does anyone else love alliteration as much as I? Maybe not. ANYway. Busy bees we are. Oh the urge to start alliterating again...

On the 19th the boys and I went to the Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey Circus. Dan was at the Huskies game in Seattle watching them beat USC which was certainly more entertaining for him than watching elephants stand on each other. But for the kids...oh, HEAVEN on earth. They just had the greatest time. And I had the greatest time too, because we went with friends who got hooked up with a suite at the Rose Garden. Our very own personal bathroom, which in itself is probably worth the cost of renting the suite for an entire year. Free popcorn and pop and a waitress who brought us our hearts desire for a small fee. Or a ridiculous fee, whatever. The fact that an Oscar Mayer wiener costs about as much as my grocery budget for the week didn't even phase me we were having so much fun. And since we didn't have to pay for anything else...bring it on Oscar.I "borrowed" some of these pictures from our friend Hannah who is an amazing photographer. Hopefully if I tell you how awesome she is she won't care that I stole her pictures off Facebook and didn't tell her. Now of course she didn't have her great camera and wasn't actually doing a photo shoot, so don't judge her on the fact that you can't clearly see the drops of drool coming out of Ty's mouth as he fell asleep on me 10 minutes before the show ended. If you live in the Portland area, and ever need some seriously incredible pictures, check out Hannah's website.

What else?

Ty started to stick his head under the trunk of the car as Dan was closing it the other day. Good thing he hadn't gotten his entire neck in there, because Dan doesn't do anything daintily. He's got a humongous goose egg on his scalp, but no broken skin, so we saved another trip to the ER. He's had goose eggs a-plenty, but I'm actually thankful for the terror in his eyes as the trunk bounced off his head and he burst into tears. Nothing like the good healthy fear of decapitation to make a mother proud. Or at least a little less worried that he'll be wearing a full body cast before age 4.

I know I've only covered 2 of the last 15 days, but this FFFF is really getting to me. I'll let you know if I remember anything else noteworthy. I'll just leave you this quote from yesterday.

While driving home from running errands, Ty states: "Hey Mama, that was pre-tty doggone awesome at the craft store."

I guess I really am depriving you of some amazing stories. Picking out ribbon for another diaper cake at the craft store. Epic. Oh, if Ty could only capture his adventures on his own blog. Now that would be a good read.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

A creative title isn't happening for me

Two weeks between posts really isn't too bad, is it? Okay, sorry. It's September people...the storm right after the 3 month calm here at the Stump household. Dan's back at school teaching and coaching football and coming home thoroughly exhausted. Jake's back to preschool (for those of you who didn't see my Facebook status, he reminded me on his "first" day of preschool that it was not really his first day because he went to preschool last year. He's a professional preschooler. My bad.) But he's got a new teacher this year, and is in a class with his cuz Matt and friend Julia. He's loving every second of it. Except for the academic part, but we'll get there. Let's see, what else has been happening? Oh, I forgot to mention a few weeks ago that I've been quite the little baby shower hostess lately. Actually, this last one I threw had nothing to do with the word little. (Not you, Kels, you know I'm not referring to you.) A few other ladies and I threw a shower at my house last Sunday after church for our pastor's wife Kelsey. And I never got the official count but I believe there were about 934 women in my living room at one point. This picture does not even show the standing room only in the kitchen. Y.I.K.E.S. But it was really a lot of fun, and since I had nothing to do with the food, it didn't stress me to the point of needing medication.
And I got to practice on my one and only creative baby shower decoration/gift, the diaper cake. Each one I've made makes me feel a little bit more like a crafty genius. I should have my own show on HGTV. Alright, diaper-caking is the limit of my creativity, and once again has been ripped off from someone else. Just let me have my moment, okay?
I love our church. Love our pastor, and LOVE his wife. And love the awesome friends that we've made at Gresham Bible. Goooooo, GBC! I also love this picture. Friend and fellow youth group leader Rachel on the left, and Kelsey on the right.

What else? Oh, Jake has started playing soccer this year. And soccer is pretty much the greatest thing a 5 year old boy with endless energy could possibly imagine. His coach goes to our church as well, and deserves lots and lots of crowns in heaven for his patience with my son and his 1 second attention span. Jake had a game last night and scored his first goal. It was kind of an accident, and he didn't even realize the ball had hit his foot and went through the goal until his entire cheering section started hooting and hollering. I've never been so proud...and neither had he once he realized what had happened. I don't really have a clever segue into the next topic, except for using the word segue which makes me feel pretty brilliant. Anyway, here's a few quotes I don't want to forget so I'm inserting them here:

I told Ty to find his shoes before we were about to go somewhere. I was around the corner and I heard him saying, "Where's my shoes? Where's my shoes? Where's my...OOOOH, here they are. I got them Mama. I got 'em. Don't worry, here they are." I come around the corner and he's staring at me, completely serious look on his face with Dan's size 12 shoes flopping around on his feet. It wasn't until I burst out laughing that a huge grin broke out on his face. 3 1/2 year old deadpan comic. Cracks me up.

Next quote happened when we were walking across the grocery store parking lot yesterday, and Jake pulls on my arm and starts dancing around grabbing his foot. We're in the middle of traffic that's waiting for us to cross, and I'm starting to get irritated and dragging him faster.
Me: "Jake, come on. We need to hurry up."
Jake: "Mom, wait, I'm having issues."

I also don't think I have a clever ending in me, so I'll just wrap things up by saying...life is good here at the Stump household. Busy, but good.

Except for a few moments here and there, we're pretty issue-free.

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

"Hey Mr. DJ...

...put a record on." Evidently I've decided to begin all my blog posts with song lyrics. And songs I don't even like. Oh well. The Mr. DJ I'm referring to is actually my very own personal DJ. Daniel John that is. He never did go by DJ, but I'm thinking it's about time. After all, he is 29. Today. Happy birthday Deej! Today is not only his birthday, it is also unfortunately his first day back to work after having the summer off. The unfortunately is for the back to work part, not the having the summer off part. Just clarifying.

I am so incredibly blessed to be married to this man. Let me brag about him for a few minutes. I love him. I love hanging out with him. I love discussing the past, present and future with him. I love parenting by his side. I love his high pitched laugh and the tears that roll down his face when he really gets going. I love watching him wrestle with our boys. I love how much Jake and Ty clearly adore him. I love that he is way more sensitive than people think. I love how watching a football game can ease all his sorrows. I love that he can do 12 sports-related things at one time, but that I know he'd drop all of them in a second if his family needed him to. I love that he is never afraid to speak up for what is right. I love that he is a faithful and encouraging friend.

I love that for all his manly man-ness his favorite thing in the world to do is cuddle with his boys. (Side note--Ty is a complete Mama's boy and usually only wants to be on my lap. Dan asked him to come cuddle with him earlier this summer and Ty replied, "No Dad, it's not Father's Day." So today, Dan's birthday, is one of 2 days we've convinced him are Daddy Cuddle Days. I'm quite sure it's not the birthday rib-eye Dan will be rushing home for at the end of the day today.)
But the thing I love the most about him is his love for God. As in most homes, the husband and father really does set the tone. Because Dan is focused not on himself, but on what God is calling him to do and to be, life is really good around here. I'm so proud of who God has made him. And so excited to see what the future holds for our family as we follow his lead.

Happy birthday, dude! I love you.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

This, that and the other

Oops, I did it again. Please suppress the urge to sing the Brittany Spears song, that was not my intention. What did I do again? Neglect the blog. Sorry, blog. Instead of making excuses, I'll just post a few random pictures and call it good. Is that okay? Anyone care? Anyone still actually check this blog for updates? Well, this is for both of you, then.

Here's what happens when Ty sits in the front of the shopping cart next to my purse. Well, first of all he found the camera which I'm pretty sure was still in there from my reunion a few weeks ago. No photos of that, sorry to say. Or happy to say...whatever. Anyway, I turned around after picking out some broccoli and this is what I see:

And this is what happens after I snap a picture of Ty. No child left behind (left out?), that's my motto.

And no mother left out, that's Ty's motto. Yes, Ty did take this photo and I didn't crop it. Not bad for a 3 year old, huh? Then again he clearly has an experienced model in front of the lens.

And this is what happens when fall approaches: I hand our house over to 10 well-prepared men and their laptops and football season can officially begin. Fantasy Football Draft Day. Yes, it is capitalized in this house. If it were up to Dan, this would be a national holiday. You have to know that Dan was downright giddy from sunrise to sunset (and well into the night.) I've never seen him more excited about any given day, and that includes his own birthday, Christmas, and possibly even snow days when school is cancelled. If you're a teacher (or a student for that matter) you can appreciate the magnitude of this statement. Yes, that piece of paper is the entire length of my dining room. And yes, it is still there and will remain so until I can convince Dan that the pictures of our children should go back in its place.

I sincerely hope this update leaves you satisfied. And I sincerely wouldn't blame you if you've given up on me completely. Until next month, er, next time.

Friday, August 07, 2009

Jake-amus Prime

WHEW. Deep breath. Party's over. Even though Jake turned 5 on Monday (August 3rd), his official Transformers birthday party was last night, and I woke up this morning with the reality that my first born is 5. FIVE. Five years ago I was home with a tiny 6 lb 7 ounce baby feeling overly emotional but knowing that this little boy was going to change my life forever. And indeed he has. Jacob Gary has been my delight. He slept through the night at 2 months old and never looked back. He is just an easy-going kid. He has always been a people person, and yet loves to play independently (and now with his brother of course.) He is the funniest little dude. The other day he was telling my mom a story and was using his fingers to show where everyone was at the time. "So here's Ty, (pointer finger) and here's Mom..." but then he looked up after a minute and said, "but Gram, these are actually just my fingers." OH. Good clarification, thanks.

He has always had a love for cars, and still does, but recently he's gotten into "good guys vs. bad guys" or more specifically Autobots vs. Decepticons. He will stand in front of the TV with anything he can make into a weapon (like the remote control) and fight the bad guys, jumping and turning and shooting. The animated Transformers TV shows are his favorite, but he also loves to watch Prince Caspian and will fast forward through the whole thing until the end battle scene. Is he all boy or what?

I'm so looking forward to watching him play soccer this year, and having him in preschool for one more year before he rides away on the school bus. I'm also looking forward to finding out if he'll broaden his horizons at lunch time past a PB&J or mac'n'cheese. I love how expressive he is, and how the sheer joy on his face can brighten any mood I'm in. I also don't think anyone loves his brother more than Jake, and that he will share even the most treasured toys with Ty more often than not.

I love that he will still come and sit on my lap and tell me he loves me at random times. I love that he says please and thank you and gives out compliments freely. I got my hair cut the other day and I walked in to the house and he came running down the stairs yelling, "MAMA!" and when he saw my new cut he said, "Oooo, Mama, you're hair looks studly!" I've never had a better compliment than studly hair, thanks baby.
video

Happy 5th birthday. I will love you forever, Jake-amus Prime. Thanks for changing my life in the best of ways.

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Cali part 2

Okay, after we kissed and hugged and refrained from beating the living daylights out of Ty, (you must read the last blog if you haven't yet) we went to Curtis and Jane's church, then off to San Francisco to see the sights. What a fabulous city! We had such a great time (after I got carsick on the way and threw up in Jane's Taco Bell cup and chewed on some of Ty's Dramamine). We saw the sea lions at Pier 39 and took pictures of Alcatraz and I got some new sunglasses that didn't have a scratch down the middle of the left eye. You can tell that didn't bother me for 11+ hours the day before. Then we had some ridiculous chocolate sundae's in Ghirardelli Square, holy delicious.After San Francisco we went back to Jane and Curtis' place where they had a surprise waiting. They found a Power Wheels truck at a garage sale for $5 (for real) and after getting a new battery for it, it became Jake's favorite part of the trip. He drove that thing around the parking lot, up on the sidewalks surrounding their condo, he drove it to the pool when they got to go swimming, and wanted to drive it home to Oregon. Jane's "big pool" aka not our kiddie pool that fills to about the boys shins, was pretty awesome with the new water wings I bought them. Talk about the highlight of Ty's existence. Jake loves the water too, but Ty is part marine wildlife, I'm quite sure of it. The next day started out with me being sure Ty was officially in our room, in the flesh, and then packing up to leave for the beach. Just outside Monterey is an adorable little community called Pajero Dunes, and it was simply the greatest. This house was RIGHT on the ocean, and had the most luxuriously comfy bed I've ever slept in. I'm thinking the sheets may have cost more than our mortgage payment. We got to put the kids to bed and stay up late playing games with Jane and Curtis, and it was really the best. Have I mentioned the fact that I love my in-laws? Sisters, brother, mother, father. Every last one of them is just wonderful. It was only about every other sentence that we tried to get Jane and Curtis to move to Gresham. One more picture of my cuter than cute niece. She'd just gotten her two little ponytails taken out before she fell asleep. Don't you just want to squeeze her? This vacation within our vacation was really wonderful. We even saw a sea lion on the beach, just feet away from us. And roasted marshmallows in the fire pit right outside their beach house. And the kids and Dan and "Uncle Curti" jumped the frigid waves and came back with teeth chattering. It is still the West Coast, people, let's be honest.
Another little Ty special happened when I found him out on the front porch of the house, peeing through the very narrow slats on the deck, the spray dangerously close to the walking path between houses. Shorts pulled down to his ankles, the contrast between his tan lower back and stark white nakedness was pretty doggone amusing. Just how many times have I scolded that child while trying to hold back a smile?
When we came home from the beach, Dan's other sisters Becca and Jenny and Becca's boyfriend Jared were waiting for us, and soon Gram and Pops Stump arrived. The whole Stump family together. I could just feel the love bursting out of my mother-in-law Ann. We had an early birthday celebration for Jake and baby Bec (don't you worry, I'm not forgetting about Jake's bday blog, his party is on the 6th so I'm waiting for pictures). And then we went to check into another hotel to get some good sleep before going to Great America the next day.

Too bad good sleep was not going to happen at this hotel. First of all, we were checking in at around 9pm, an hour past the kids bedtime. They were running on fumes, as were we. Of course they didn't actually have the room with 2 queen beds that we had reserved (have you ever seen that Seinfeld..."I know why we have reservations." "I don't think you do. See, you know how to take the reservation, you just don't know how to HOLD the reservation and that's really the most important part of the reservation, the holding. Anybody can just take them.") Anyway, very long story we ended up with a king bed and a couch that had a pull-out bed which was about the size of one of my legs, but both kids ended up sleeping on it after waiting for them to bring us some sheets and blankets. Again, very long story of us hearing our next door neighbors yelling at their crying child and having the crying child bang against the walls and their door. It was not terribly soothing, but ended eventually.


What you're really waiting for is this: GREAT AMERICA. Ann and John watched the kids while us adult kids got to go to the park. Do you know when the last time was that I went on a roller coaster? Long long ago. I realized that as we were hanging upside down on the Invertigo. Listen to the blurb they write about it:

Invertigo: Face fear - and your friends, as you race through loops and boomerangs, and then back again! First you're pulled up 138 feet above the ground. Then, speed down the lift, and shoot up into a "boomerang," a 180-degree turn with double inverted side-winders. Exploding out of the boomerang, head into a 72-foot-high vertical loop before rocketing to the top of the second 138-foot lift. You'll have just enough time to catch your breath before you do the whole thing again in the opposite direction.

They also didn't mention that if you face your brother in-law-Curtis, you just may get spit on as he's dangling above you. Did I mention he's a youth pastor? The always-gonna-think-spitting-in-people's-faces-is-funny type of guy. You just have to love him.

Great America was awesome. The longest wait we had was about 10 minutes and it was to ride Psycho Mouse which was...well look at the title folks. Because we went on so many coasters in so little time, we decided to cut out early and head back to San Fran for dinner at the Cheesecake Factory on the top of Macy's in Union Square. Good decision. Mmmmmm. And they were even celebrating national cheesecake eating day or something like that, so the slices of cheesecake were half off. Mmmmmm. Snickers Cheesecake. I'm actually starting to salivate thinking about how delicious it was.

The next morning it was time for us to head home. So I'll wrap it up. We made it home. Utterly exhausted. But completely happy. There, was that to the point or what?
Thank you Curtis and Jane! Crazy stories included, we really could not have had a better vacation. In fact, if it didn't have crazy stories, it wouldn't truly have been a Stump Family Adventure. We'll do it again soon, I promise!

Saturday, August 01, 2009

Californ-I-A

I'm just sitting her pondering how to even begin capturing all the fun we had this last week on our road trip. So I'm just going to break it down by the minute. Ready?

Saturday July 25th
6am: my alarm clock goes off and I wonder why it was that we said we'd be leaving this early?

6:00 and 5 seconds: OH because Google Maps said it would take us 10 hours and 28 minutes to get to Curtis and Jane's house, and because we have 2 children (specifically one named Ty) we were anticipating more like 28 hours and 10 minutes.

6:00 and 10 seconds: let's get this show on the road

7:04 am: we pull out of our driveway, Jake eating a granola bar and Ty eating Dramamine

7:05 am: Jake asks us how much farther we have to go

7:06 am: Ty repeats the same question

7:06 and 1 second: I turn on the Cars DVD for them to watch in the back seat

Are you getting the idea? Actually the kids were really really great for being 4 1/2 and 3. They did watch more than one (but less than 28) DVD's on the way to and from, but we actually made better time than I'd prepared myself for.

After a little over 11 hours we pulled into our hotel and called Jane and Curtis, asking them if they wouldn't mind bringing us some In&Out for dinner. Mmmmmmmmmmm. And how much fun it was to squeeze our niece Bekah in all her cuteness. I'm not kidding, I couldn't think she was cuter if she were my own. Am I wrong?
And now....drum roll please...what you've all been waiting for: THE story. Here it is, in it's rightful chronological order. After Jane and Curtis and Bek left our hotel room that first night, we got ready for bed and hit the hay. It had been quite a long day so I was praying for the kids to sleep well...and sleep IN. Well, Jake wakes up at 7:30, not too bad, but Ty and Dan were still asleep. Jake's whisper is more like an ear piercing battle cry, so I decided to put some clothes on and take him down to the lobby for a while so Dan and Ty could get more sleep. We were down there for a half hour or so, and then came back up but Dan and Ty were still asleep. I set Jake in front of the TV, and turned on some PBS and got ready to take a shower, thinking Ty would wake up and Dan would soon follow.

As I'm getting into the shower, Dan opens the door and says..."Where's Ty?" Uhhhhhhh, excuse me? "He's in his bed sleeping." "NO he's not, Ang. There's just a pile of blankets where he was." "WHAT??" "What is going on, where is he, what should we do?" And so the freak out began. I can probably thank my job for this, because although inside my heart was pounding and my body was shaking, I told myself not to worry until we had done everything possible. It had been probably 40 minutes since Jake and I left, and I know for a fact that he'd been there at that time. We had been back in the room for 10 minutes or so and I knew he hadn't walked out during that time. So Ty had been gone between 10 and 40 minutes. I knew exactly what had happened. Ty woke up, saw that Jake and I weren't there, and went to go look for us. Who cares that I know why he left, though, where the heck is he now?! I tried calling the front desk and somehow it wasn't working, so I grabbed Jake's hand and left the room a few moments after Dan. Jake, always one for honesty however brutal, looks up at me and says, "Mom, I think he probably went out into the street and got hit by a car." Thanks, Jake, that helps a lot. My exact words were "Jacob, DO NOT TALK. Hold my hand, and do not talk."

I asked some housekeepers coming out of the elevator if they had seen a three year old wandering around by himself. They didn't speak English, so then I played a rousing game of charades with them before realizing it was hopeless. We took the stairs to the lobby and I looked around that floor, including the restaurant that smelled of bacon (that's where he would have been if he could have found the lobby) waited as the man at the desk got off the phone. I told him our three year old wandered off, and he told me that he'd told Dan already that Ty was on the 4th floor. "The 4th floor?" "Yes, ma'am, he's in room 414." Ooooookay. Dan called me seconds later and said he had him. I went back to our room to hear this story: Dan told me he ran up to the 4th floor and sure enough the door to room 414 was open, and a guy asked Dan if he was looking for Ty. Dan rushes in and Ty is watching a cartoon show with another kid, looks up at him and says, "Hey Dad." Dan didn't get any story from that family because he was too busy wanting to simultaneously hug and punch Ty in the face, but the front desk had just told Dan they'd called down and said there was a kid named Ty walking around with no shirt, shoes, or PARENTS.

Good golly that kid is going to give me a stroke someday. We've tried to get more of the story from him, but he's not terribly reliable. Is THAT the understatement of the year. He told us he was looking for Jake and Mom and he pushed the button to the elevator but it wasn't working (probably didn't open after 0.05 seconds of waiting) so he took the stairs. We had taken the stairs up from the lobby, but never down to the lobby so he just started going up. Then he told us he knocked on the door to room 414 and told him he was looking for his mom and brother. Perfectly rational. Never scared. Dan told him, "Honey, you can never walk around by yourself like that, somebody could take you." And his reply was, "Oh no, Dad. Nobody taked me." And I'll thank Jesus a few more thousand times for that. Whoa nelly, thank you Jesus.
I'll wrap things up quickly. HA! That was only day 1 and morning of day 2. I'm realizing I'm gonna need to blog a part 2, or possibly 3 or 4 to this vacation. Otherwise I'm going to lose my reader with all this verbose-ness (verbosity?). Maybe not, but my hands are cramping up, so that's all for now. I promise I'll finish the Stump Family Road Trip Adventures very soon!

Friday, July 24, 2009

Loving, honoring, and cherishing

Whew, these last few days have gone by in a hurry. Working, celebrating our anniversary, spending a day in the sun with some friends, working some more, having to call in sick for work after catching a nasty bug, and getting ready to leave for our road trip TOMORROW. We'll start with July 20, which was my favorite day of the year because it is the day I said "I do" to the most wonderful man on the earth. 8 years ago. Seems hard to believe. 8 years. We've been a couple for almost 11 years. In all the best ways to say this, I just really couldn't imagine life without my man.

Our anniversary started off with a great morning and afternoon with some out of town family, and then we dropped the kids off at my parents and went to dinner at Claim Jumper and saw Star Trek at the Mt. Hood theater. It was really a lot of fun. There's not a better date in the world than my husband. I'm telling you, after 8 years, and in what should be one of the most difficult times in a marriage (little kids running around and some extra pounds hanging around) I am truly more in love with this man than I have ever been. God has blessed us incredibly. I can honestly say that for richer or poorer, in sickness and health we have been able to love, honor and cherish each other. That's not the easiest thing to do sometimes. In fact, most times it really goes against our nature; to be unselfish, servanthearted, and to forgive. But that is the picture that God gives us of marriage. The Bible tells us that God created marriage to be a representation of Jesus and the church. He loved the church, served the church, and laid his life down for the church. I pray Dan never has to lay his life down for me, but I know without a doubt that he would in a second. As I would for him. It really doesn't get better than that, does it folks?

So today will be another crazy busy day of preparations for our trip down south. The kids will probably make 203 unnecessary messes and unpack their bag a few times searching for a lost toy. Ty might find the grocery bag of snacks I have for the car ride, get them off the counter and feed them to the dog. Jake may whine all day long that he can't have a Capri Sun until we're in the car tomorrow. And I may forget to pack the cold medicine that's been saving my life the past few days. But all is well here at the Stump house. Tomorrow we shall make it to California to be with family we've been missing. It's good to have some perspective sometimes when you're down here in the trenches.

Two things I won't forget are my camera, and a new package of Dramamine. So one picture you won't be seeing is of Ty's vomit filled car seat. Knock on wood.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

A letter to my blog

Dear Blogspot, I know I've been neglecting you lately. I'm sorry. It's not that I don't love you anymore, it's just that we've been having so much fun lately that I don't really want to sit at the computer and miss all the action. Well, maybe I would have liked to have missed Ty's Vomit Fest on the way home from the beach this last weekend (we did make it to the side of the road, and I pulled him out before the projectile began.) It was my fault really, Blogger, I'll admit it...I forgot to give him the ever-faithful Dramamine he needs after about 20 minutes in the car. Needless to say I gave it to him post-puke, and he made it through the Tillamook Cheese Factory before he crashed into a drugged coma the rest of the way home.

Oh, Blogspot, the beach was ever so much fun. It was too short, but fun. The weather was alright for the Oregon Coast. It was sunny, but let's be honest here, Blogger...this isn't Maui. The boys made it up to their chests in the ocean before I realized what was happening. I thought they'd get their toes into the Arctic waters and nearly pass out (like I almost did) but they barely blinked at the ice cubes floating by. I thought I'd have to carry them both back to the house due to frostbite, but they showed no signs of hypothermia. I know, I'm going too far with it. Sorry, Blogger. I know how you hate it when I exaggerate so.

In other news, I've been working more lately, which gives us some fun money and the boys some much enjoyed Daddy time. Working more has certainly not been boring. I left the ER to go on a field trip in an ambulance the other day. One of my patients had a massive brain bleed and needed surgery up at OHSU. His blood pressure was through the roof, so I had 2 different medications I was giving him to try to regulate it. Anyway, you don't care about the details, but I did get a mighty fast ride up the freeway while the paramedic and I tried to keep him alive. Yessir, my job is NOT boring.

What else do you want to know, blog? We've hosted a few friends for dinner here the past few weeks. Dan made some righteous burgers for our church small group, and then smoked some pork for sandwiches on Monday night. We had a great group of old friends over, and almost ruined some marriages by playing guys vs. girls Scattergories. The guys usually win, but they always cheat, so we know who the winners really are. Kale is a vegetable, not a color. I'm just saying.

Blogger, I can't wait until I can write to you about our next summer adventure. We're revving up for our road trip to northern California. We leave a week from Saturday. Viva la road trips! And I won't forget this time...viva, VIVA Dramamine.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Summer summer summer

The boys have been l-o-v-i-n-g the last few weeks. Dan is off work, the sun has been shining, new baseball gloves were purchased, the nearby grade school still has their soccer goals up (they did take down their basketball hoops, at least the rims/nets much to the dismay of my 3 year old who is currently not able to sleep without a basketball snuggled against his chest, and seemingly not able to walk without dribbling.) Life is good.

Jake and Ty have been going to a backyard Bible club this week and loving every second of it. And I'm loving every second of running errands without 4 hands putting random things in my cart and playing tag down each aisle. They've been able to earn prizes at the end of the day, and Ty (shocker) chose a ball, but Jake decided that since he didn't own any, he'd invest in some jewelry. Yep, two purple bracelets and a hot pink flower ring. He does have a point; our toy box is a little lacking in pink and purple bling. Dan is so proud.

A few recent quotes worthy of repeating:

Ty: "No I empt." I believe he was going for "no, I am not" and tried to make it into a contraction. Darn English language, so tricky sometimes.

Jake, while eating orange chicken from Panda Express: "Mom, you have to try this delicious and easy recipe."

We have a few fun things planned later on, including a trip to the Oregon coast with Dan's extended family next weekend, and then a long road trip to CA to visit Jane and Curtis and baby Bek (and San Fran, Monterey, and Great America, woo hoo!) We're thinking the drive will take about 12 hours with all the potty breaks for tiny bladders. Can you say, "portable DVD player"? I think the boys are still too little for most of the road trip games I can recall. The ABC game, and I Spy, and Slug Bug, and Twenty Questions, and trying to make semi trucks toot their horns and singing ridiculous songs over and over and over. Too little, right? Please? Not sure I can handle "99 Bottles of Beer on the Wall," and "On Top of Spaghetti" and and oooh wait a minute, I used to love "Eener meener." I'm humming it right now...what a classic! "I woke up Sunday morning and looked up on the wall, the skeeters and the bedbugs were playin' a game of ball. The score was 6 to nothing, the skeeters were ahead, the bedbugs made a home run and knocked me out of bed, I'm singin'... " Okay, now that one is just fun. Sorry, Dan, they may be too little for the other games, but our kids WILL be singing that song. Although I'm sure, with Ty in the car, there will be many rounds of slug bug, even if we never see a VW Beetle.

I can't wait to update the blog with pictures and stories from these next few weeks. But even before these semi-major summer events, summer has still been grand. Now if you'll excuse me, I'm off to play with my children. "Eener meener and a miner moe, catch a whipper whopper by it's toe and if he hollers hollers hollers don't let him go, I'm singin'..."

Saturday, June 20, 2009

A picture says a thousand words

...and I sort of wish this one didn't say "Hi, my name is Ty and I pick my nose." This is one of a few pictures taken by other people because I've been a terrible mother and not capturing some priceless Kodak moments. Though I guess I'm a little glad I don't have the negative for the previous picture.

Anyway, here's some of the stuff we've been up to lately. Our church (Gresham Bible) put on a yard sale last weekend as an outreach event. We meet at Dexter McCarty Middle School, so all the money from the sale went straight to the school. We raised almost $1300! Here's me and my sis-in-law Becca practicing our Price-Is-Right-girl skills:
Ty at the yard sale showing the weapon he (I) bought. I commented on this photo on facebook already...he insists on dressing himself. Sometimes I'd like to tatoo that on his forhead.
Here's Jake making a "funny" (little bit disturbing) "face" in the bathtub. I don't really think this one needed a caption, but...there it is.

Here's my sporty hubby throwing a football at our church picnic last Sunday. Yep, I married a jock. Nope, I wasn't a cheerleader.
Saving the best for last. This is my A-D-O-R-A-B-L-E neice Bekah. Oh my stinking goodness, could she even get cuter?

Am I really done? It hasn't been 2 hours of editing. Huh, blooging really can be fun.

Monday, June 15, 2009

A swift kick in the...

I've been rebuked. Well, rebuked sounds pretty gosh darn negative. I've been chastised. Does that sound better? How about I've been reminded that keeping up with this blog should not be a chore, but a delight! I will be so grateful I've kept up blogging when I look back on these posts someday. Thanks for the kick, Faith! Seriously, the reason why I started blogging was because I wanted to keep a record of the big things AND the little things in our lives, especially when my kids are young. There's times I think I'll remember every little crazy word that comes out of the mouths of my babes, but I know that's not the truth. And sometimes I desperately HOPE that's not the truth. So I'll keep the sibling bickering out of the blog so that I can look back and remember how perfect my children were. Oh wait, I'd hardly EVER update the blog if I did that.

Alright, I'm thinking I'm going to try to not write 29045 paragraphs each time I blog. In fact, it's probably just about as tedious for you to read as it is for me to edit. I'll keep it as brief as my Alcorn blood will let me, so that I don't get overwhelmed when I sit down at the computer. I shall chant to myself...blogging is good. Hold up: I just wrote "blooging is god," and it made me giggle a little bit. Alright, I'm refusing to write it in text-speak, but I'm laughing out loud. Rolling on the floor laughing. Tears are forming in my eyes as I read that sentence again. Blooging is god. Geez, I kill myself. See, blogging is cathartic. I was in a bit of a blah mood, and now I want to shout from the rooftops, "blooging is god!"

Didn't I just say that I need to keep things brief? Shoot. Moving on.

I've still been on the computer lately, just more on Facebook than Blogger. Sorry Blogger. Facebook makes me condense my thoughts more than you do. I just see this empty space that I could fill with a million and one things, and I freeze up. Maybe I should use this blog like I use Facebook. I'll just update my Blogger status. Will that bore you all? Alright, sorry if you are on Facebook and you've followed my every status for the last few weeks, but I'm going to write them here again so that my other non-Facebook readers (and those that don't stalk me) will be informed. Here you go, my Facebook statuses (is it seriously stati?) since I last posted on Blogger:

May 29, 1:41pm: Angela Stump still shakes my head at the differences between my 2 boys. Ty made up a song at lunch, "broccoli is my favorite, favorite, favorite." Sing it louder, your brother is on his 15th PB&J of the week.

June 8, 7:05pm: Angela Stump is trying to write a birthday wishlist at the request of my husband and it's looking a little sad. My lists used to be 800 miles long and include such necessities as a pony and Barbie mansion, but now I find myself wanting to write things like "Swiffer refills" and "pot holders."

June 12, 12:17am: Angela Stump just got home from work to find 1 mg of Dilaudid in my scrubs. Who doesn't love a job where you can accidentally go home with a controlled substance in your pocket? Now if the boys get up too early tomorrow...JUST KIDDING.

June 12, 10:52am: Angela Stump says thanks everybody for the birthday wishes! Excited for my hubby to bbq some birthday burgers tonight. Mmm. Jake woke me up with a "Happy Birthday Mama, I need to go to the store to buy you some lipstick." But since I'd have to drive him AND he has no money AND I never wear lipstick...thanks for the thought though, baby.

June 15, 7:49pm: Angela Stump just MADE Jake a pair of shorts. Who says I'm not crafty? Martha who? Alright...so they are cut-off jeans, and it took me about 30 minutes to try to get each leg the same length. Oh well.

This helps, right? You feel updated, and I feel like I've at least mildly entertained you dear reader (blooging is god...c'mon that is just too good). And now I have a record of the days of our lives. Like sands through the hourglass...wow, sad that I know that. (I actually have never watched a moment of that soap, but I believe it followed Price is Right or some other phenomenal game show.)

I'm out for now. I swear I'll update again soon, and it may cause chaos in the world, but I might only have a few sentences and a photo or two. We'll see. We'll just see. So I'll sign off now, with a firm reminder to myself and to you...blooging is god. Amen and amen.

Monday, May 25, 2009

May slide show

(Just FYI, I had most of this post done last night and would have posted it then, except for the ginormous amount of projectile vomit that was sprayed right outside the computer room. After I hosed off the walls and the carpet, I was simply not motivated to do anything but fall into my bed after placing Jake on our bedroom floor with a large bowl next to him. He seems to be fine today, as is my carpet.)

Yeah, yeah, yeah. It's been FOR-E-VER since I've blogged. I sincerely apologize...wait, not really. If anyone has been checking this multiple times every day (besides you, Ann) you really need to get out more. No apology here, I've been enjoying the month of May more than my computer. Sometimes I wish I could be that person who blogs every day and genuinely has something interesting to say (MARLA) but I'm just not. So let's ditch the coulda shoulda woulda's and get to the update.

May has been a good month for us Stumps. Nothing too incredibly exciting, but plenty of days filled with lots of good things. Like for instance...SUN. I've never really been a huge fan of musicals (my sisters-in-law are wondering if they ever should have let me share their last name) but these sunny Oregon days just make me want to burst out in song. Or...take a trip to the zoo with my good friends Natalie and Heather!

I'll let Natalie share as much of the story as she wishes to disclose, but after a bit of a hitch in our morning, we made it into the zoo and the kids pretty much wanted to stay there the rest of their lives. Unfortunately they're making tons of "improvements" to the zoo, which until they are finished in 2030, are not so tremendous. A few of the coolest exhibits were closed down for a few days (of course we were there on one of those days), so we didn't see the lions or tigers. We did see bears, so the overused Wizard of Oz quotation is just not going to happen, I'm sorry. Let's see some pictures shall we?

Caleb and Josh, perfectly safe in Natalie's car


Jake, Josh and Ty (whose favorite zoo animal was a large fish)


random child, Jake, polar bear, Josh and Ty



Heather's little Ella and the remnants of some delish PB&J on those adorable cheeks


The best photo I got of all the bigger kids together. We were minus Caleb who was trying desperately not to zonk out in his stroller...and minus the little no-name boy in Heather's tummy (anybody have any good suggestions for her, he'll be here soon!)


speaking of babies...cute wittle baby elephant

The leader of the pack making sure his crew followed his every move

Exactly how I felt on the way home


The next momentous day for the Stump family came when Jake graduated from preschool last week. What's great about this is that Jake is "graduating" back into the same class. And he's super pumped about it. We've decided, since his birthday is in August, to have him be the oldest in his class instead of the youngest. He'll be in the same classroom with his cuz Matty next year, and he thinks that's just about the coolest thing he could imagine. Anyway, graduation...



Jake walking down the aisle, taking the whole thing about as seriously as he took his homework this year. We had just a few battles over homework. Alright, I couldn't have gotten the message more clearly if God had spoken to me from a burning bush..."Angela Stump, you shall not be a homeschool mom. You do not have a hundredth of the patience that it requires."

Ty sitting next to me, obviously grasping the seriousness of the occasion about as much as his brother


Jake's teacher, Mrs. Weber. God bless that woman.

Well, there you have it. May. Come on back next month and we'll see what I can do for you.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Good to know

Quote of the day:

We were getting ready to leave the house today, and Ty (as is typical) was not wearing any pants. I reminded him (between 5 and 175 times) to get some jeans on. I was in our bedroom putting away some laundry (happens a few times a year when the pile on my dresser looks like the leaning tower of Pisa). I was getting mildly irritated (ok, maybe a wee bit hostile) and said once again that he'd need to get pants on if he wanted to come with us (to IKEA...who wouldn't get pants on for that?). He said the following: (and I quote)

"So if I don't get pants on, then you're going to throw a clothe at me?" A what? He pointed at a shirt I was holding. "A clothe." As in a singular item of clothing. Right. Actually until he said that (and I burst out laughing) I was considering strangling him with a clothe.

Next post I'm going to do entirely in parentheses, wouldn't that be awesome? (Or maybe I'll just do one parenthe.)

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Mother's Day and Memories

August 3, 2004

March 10, 2006


May 10, 2009

"Making the decision to have a child is momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body." -Elizabeth Stone