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frozen beauty

Can't really capture this kind of beauty with a camera phone... but, my goodness!! Feeling pretty blessed to call this my home sweet home.
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a favorite

Despite the fact that my little sister is not featured, this is still one of my favorite family pictures! My parents were SO YOUNG...and so were me and my brother:)


*video* If I knew then...

...What I know now:

I would not have spaced our first two children so close in age.

I realize 22 months isn't that close, but it is for me. Don't get me wrong, I wouldn't trade it now...but I do feel like a little more time would have been good for everyone.

I worried a bit that the bigger space between Griffin & Hollyn (3 years, 3 months) and the fact that they were different genders would create too much distance. But so far, I was SO wrong. Now I'm wishing that they were all over 3 years apart!

Of course...I'm so glad that I didn't know then what I know now...because I wouldn't have this family! Does that make any sense?

The bond between the Griff and Hollyn is sweet and hilarious! No one can get Hollyn to laugh quite like Griffin! She lights up and squeals whenever she spots him. She also isn't afraid to put him in his place when he gets too rough...or annoying:) They sit and play together in the living room for such long periods of time that I sometimes feel a bit guilty about my lack of involvement!

The video is a couple minutes long and pretty uneventful, but you can get an insider's look at their sweet relationship...



She is 7 months today. Boo. I've never been one to dread my babies growing up. But this is different. Hollyn is the last hurrah for this clan and I feel like our days of sweet innocence are slipping away. Why is life flying by like this?! Maybe we're just having too much fun :)

She is the happiest baby I've ever met. Ever. I love her to pieces and she has captured a part of my heart that I didn't even know existed. Oh, Hollyn Joy, I love you...evenbif you are growing up at the speed of light!
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We start them early:)
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links--please help

For those of you not on FB (gasp:), here are links to signing up to help the Dordals:



And here is the link directly to the Facebook page for updates.

Another plug for Giving Anonymously:



Today, I am thankful for the things that aren't always obvious.

Thank you, God, for....
*children that have colds and fevers. But healthy and strong and have access to medicine.
*feeling such a burden on my heart to pray and hope for our friends.
*feeling physically worn out at the end of each day...because I've been so busy doing what I love.
*for the freezing wind because it reminds me that we've been given such an amazing place to call home.
*for the stuff of life that is too much to walk through....because the beauty of a community of imperfect people coming together and loving like we should is miraculous.
*for a baby that keeps me up during the night....because I get to hold her. I will never take this for granted.
*for the laundry I am never caught up on and the house that is downright disgusting. We have clothes to keep us warm and space to let things go!
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fresh look & an opportunity

I have a fresh new look...don't you love it?! Me too:) Serious kudos to my amazing friend, Jenn @ Munchkin Land Designs.

I love her designs...but I love HER even more. Check her out...:)

Also...if you are a fellow blogger and you are interested in helping out Ella's Family...please use this widget on your sidebar. The link will take others directly to a site that is set up to receive donations on behalf of the Erik and Christa Dordal.Thanks!

Give with Giving Anonymously

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or another option:

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feed me

This is how hollyn sits in her highchair. She is pretty short, I think. Which is so strange considering her last name;)

But, man, this little girl can EAT!
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Pray for Ella

Our dear friends have just met their baby...and Ella needs a miracle. Please Pray.


our family in pictures. courtesy of andi mae photography.


family pictures!

For the first time ever,we had family pictures taken! Here is one sample...such a tease, I know:) This is a favorite because it looks like our real life...except prettier! A good photographer can do that sort of thing. More to come...



I only have a minute to post this one picture from Halloween. More to come, I hope. My kids were super-darling. Of course:) But I was crazy busy and I didn't take pictures. This one comes courtesy of my sister. Here is our little cheerleader...

We had a skeleton, batman, and....Hollyn had TWO costumes....:) She was a cheerleader for Team R****** for the Halloween party inside and she was the cutest little bunny rabbit for trick or treating.

I so love Halloween. I think I just like the excuse to dress up my children in cute outfits and eat chili with friends and family:)


real food!

I'm having so much fun feeding hollyn solids! Apparently, things have really changed in the world of babyfood in the last three years.

Our pediatrician informed me that the new recommendation is that meat be baby's first food! And that just about all the rules are out regarding the order of introduction. I didn't start with meat first because it just sounded gross. Basically, Hollyn just eats what we eat as long as it can be mashed or pureed! Her favorites are tortellini stew, cauliflower soup, pears, and Nancy's yogurt. Not a huge fan of applesauce or other sweet/sour fruits.

Feeding babies solids used to be a stressful thing-- so many rules!! But now it is so much more enjoyable! Plus, this just makes more sense if we want our kids to like a variety of foods.

Gone are the days of jarred, bland food...or even making your own, bland food! Bring on the flavor!
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how I roll (on 4 wheels)

An account of my afternoon, starting @ 12:10:

load kids in car
drop park off at school
watch out for poles!
drive down to Griffin's school
take him into the class/ chit chat with teacher/ drop off juice for harvest party
haul hollyn back to car
drive to Parker's school/ sprint thru rain with infant carrier/check in at office
shoot, hollyn needs a nap!
read with each of the 20 kids in Parker's class (love seeing the progress!)
try to keep the girls in the class from kissing hollyn! try to get hollyn to sleep while I listen to the readers
sprint thru rain with hollyn
check out at office
pick up cookie dough at school for fundraiser
drive down hill to griffin's school for harvest party
sit in car for ten minutes so baby can catnap (blog!)
next, I will go party with the preschoolers--yay for harvest:)
I'll drive up hill to pick up park, leave Griffin to finish school
pick up Parker....hurry!!
drive down hill to pick up Griffin
drive back up hill to go home
check mail
unload kids/ projects/ etc.
3:25 p.m.

p.s. I'm not complaining! I actually love it!! I just thought that this afternoon would be fun to document my comings and goings...poor Hollyn! She's such a trooper:)

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griffin pledge

pledge griff

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welcome to the circus

I recently wrote on Facebook that I feel like I am part of a circus act. It is true. I really, really hope someone out their is enjoying the entertainment, because if I wasn't the one experiencing "the act", I would think it was hilarious.

However. Ahem. Sometimes chaos gets old. Don't you think?

This morning was going well. I got more sleep that usual and I was actually feeling as though the circus was taking an intermission. Things were rolling along unusually smooth. As in, I was showered before ten. And we had no major injuries. Yet.

I was feeling so good about things that I decided to pack everyone up and head to school before p.m. kindergarten in order to check out the book fair. So far, so good. I let kids pick out a book and even paid for them without losing a child or witnessing a tantrum. Nice work, Amy. You might just have this parenting thing down.

I send Parker on his way to his classroom across the school grounds. I put the younger two in the car. I'm about to shut Griffin's door and I notice that Parker is looking back to wave to me. It was like slow motion. He turns back around and hits his forehead smack-dab into the light pole. Not again! He did this exact same thing during his second week of school. He is so much like me, it is ridiculous!

So I quickly shut the car door and lock the younger two in so that I can go rescue Parker. It takes a few minutes but I finally encourage him to get off the ground, find his courage and walk into class. I kiss his scrapes and he walks to class. Nice parenting, Amy. Good work. You deserve a medal.


Why is Griffin crying? Why isn't he sitting in his seat like I ask him to? Shoot.

So I open the door to the car and see snot rolling off of Griff's chin and a red, swollen finger. I quickly realize that I had slammed Griffin's fingers in the car door as I ran off to help Parker and earn my parenting award! And not only did I slam them in, but I locked to door so he was stuck the entire time while I was gone. Awesome.

Now Griffin is napping with an icepack around his little hand. Hopefully he'll forgive me :( Poor guy. Not feeling as great about my parenting skills anymore. Welcome back to the circus, Amy. Intermission is over ;)


poor baby

I'm beginning to think we're really bad at determining when our kids are actually sick. In the spring, our kids had pinkeye and ended up exposing tons of kids because we had no idea! And just this week, Hollyn had roseola, and again, we had no idea! And that is just plain dumb, as Griffin has had it before and we know the symptoms! All that to say, BEWARE: we're likely spreading nasty germs right this very minute...
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i dare you...

So, yeah...I dare you to try to tell me that this isn't the cutest ASB card ever??? Yes, my 3 year old has an ASB card:) And my 5 year old would also have one if I hadn't forgotten about HIS VERY FIRST PICTURE DAY!! But this one is so cute I almost forgot about that;)


school rules

I love love love being a "school mom"! Love watching Parker interact with his friends, seeing him learn things every single day, forming a partnership with his teacher, interacting with other parents....so much to love!

I also love hearing how the day went when I pick Parker up after school. I ask four specific questions:

*Did you work hard?
*Were you respectful?
*Were you a good friend?
*Did you have FUN?

So fun to hear the responses:)
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tired and weary

I really have so much to be thankful for, but I have to admit that I'm feeling pretty tired and weary. I repeat: I have so many good things in my life. I am thankful.

But I'm heavy-hearted. Some dear friends recently experienced a loss and I ache for them. This has overshadowed everything.

And Joel dislocated his knee cap playing soccer. We have a mouse problem...and I happen to have a certain phobia. Hollyn has her 1st cold. Life always seems to fly by and leaves me spinning.

There is more. But I am just tired. I promise to not be such a downer tomorrow :)
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5 minute blogger

I have this idea. you see, I am always struggling to find the perfect balance when it comes to the way I spend my time. blogging is a tough one because it is something I enjoy but don't feel I should spend much time on right now. so I'm going to allow myself 5 minutes a day. it wont be pretty...there may or may not be pictures and it will all be some from my phone. we're talking quantity not quality: ) we'll try this for a month or so...times up. see ya tomorrow!
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five months, fantastic!

Soooo, this post may be my lame attempt to keep up on here...but at least I have a picture!

hollyn is 5 months old now and I'm remembering why I love this age SO MUCH! Here is why::

*belly laughs
*serious personality glimpses...oh my!
*mobility- rolling all over and even scooting! my guess, she'll crawl in the next six weeks. What?!??!
*she loves toys. especially loud ones or ones that can act as a salt lick:)
*oh brothers!!! her favorite people in the world! she seems to have full on conversations with Parker...must be a good listener. And she starts laughing as soon as she sees griff. fantastic!
*Snuggler!! She burrows. And I love it. SO MUCH.
*food. the real stuff! she just started but you would think she was a professional Foodie. doesn't like to mess around with the baby stuff...she prefers corn chowder. and cauliflower stew. seriously! And if you feed it to her too slow, watch out!
*13 lbs! At her 4month....errrrr...almost 5 month apt., hollyn was 12#15oz.
*cuter than ever. is it even possible? apparently: )
*social butterfly. she can be dog tired and still pull it together to charm a perfect stranger: )
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This is what our kitchen looks like most afternoons now that griff and I have some alone time! Griffin LOVES to bake...and I LOVE to be with him! I'm liking this new schedule of ours:)
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I wasn't too sad or emotional going into it...just excited for our boy to experience school! But now I have to say that this whole sending your first off the kindergarten was a bigger deal than I expected! It just feels monumental to already be hitting this major milestone with our first baby. It has made me pause and think about how fast life is flying by. Happy/sad/happy/sad...I mean, I remember so clearly the day we found out we were pregnant...what we ate for dinner, where we went...and even all the details of my labor...that seemed to last forever. And of course, holding our baby boy for the first time. Oh geesh, here I go:) But they have been the BEST years of my life. Life might look different now that we're a school family, but I'm thinking they are going to be just as great!



we have so many changes going on this week....we're trying to keep a few things normal. Like brotherhood....the good, bad, & ugly!
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my fishies

So proud of my boys! They just finished swimming lessons today and both improved so much. Since they are around water so much, water safety is super-important. I enjoyed watching their confidence grow and how they learned to respect their teacher -- so important!
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a rare morning

Such a strange morning. But good.

Boys are still sleeping.
Girl is napping.
Husband is in the shower.
No yelling, whining...just classical music in the background.

I'm the only one here! Yippee!!

And I'm trying to speed-read my way through my bookclub book. Bit it is getting good and I don't want to go fast anymore.

Oh, and the coffee. That's a given. My coffee is good company. Such a rare moment...love it!
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spur of the moment

We had some last minute changes at the end of our recent camping trip and decided to book a night at the Westin in downtown Seattle. I love being spontaneous once in a while--as long as it is MY idea:) The boys were pumped to stay in a hotel and walk around the city with Uncle Paul and Auntie Vicky!

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grandma marge

This is an all-time fave picture of my Grandma Marge with Parker. It reminds me of some really special times we spent with her and how much she adored Parker Baby. She passed away early this morning. We will always remember your spunk, Grandma, and how you loved your three boys more than anything else.


to compare

peek-a-boo :)

I'm up late tonight after a run to target and the grocery store...

And I ran across an old photo of Parker as an infant and then another. So then I had to find some of Griffin, the second two.I can't even believe how much Hollyn looks like them. Mostly Parker, I think. I see a bit of Griffin too, though. Now, here is the thing...people who knew Parker as an infant say that Hollyn looks just like him. But if they are newer friends, they say she looks more like Griffin! Weird.

oma & opa

We've been able to spend a couple special days with Oma and Opa (my grandparents) lately. The kids LOVE these people...but who can blame them. I love that my kids are close with their GREAT-grandparents:)


water baby

I took this picture a week or two agowith my phone. It was Hollyn's first swim at the pool--abd 1st time wearing her cute swimsuit:) She has loved the water from the very beginning...can't get enough of her bath time, the pool, and we'll try the lake soon! I love that all of our kids love water-- even if I don't;)

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I really do not have time for this. If you saw my laundry room (or any room in this house), you would agree and send me to time out. But we went camping with our small group...a.k.a. coolest people in the world:), and it must be documented, or else.

Like I said, I don't have time for this...but it was so.much.fun!
Apparently, I only took pictures of kiddos. Well, at least I captured the offspring of the coolest people ever;)

About Me

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*WIFE* to a great man *MAMA* to Parker, Griffin & Hollyn *BLESSED* to be living out this dream & always... longing to be *LOVELY*

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