Monday, October 11, 2010

Already a year?

Riley is 11 months old; she's walking and starting to talk. Her first words were tickle, dog, book, then Mom. She signs "please." She is a happy baby, gets along well with Daniel and is a joy to have in our family.

She'll be ONE on 10-28-10.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Yeah for Tiana

We loved having Tiana out here in A-town for a visit. We got to visit Grandpa Simmons, hit the outlet malls, see the sights around Austin, visit Clinton at "Daddy's apple work" (as Daniel likes to call it) for lunch--really good food, hang out at home..., and Tiana went Skydiving! Daniel, Riley and I were there to cheer her on and document the process through pictures.

If you want to enjoy Tiana's adventure or Chaliese's photographic ventures and some really cute pictures of our kiddos, click on the following gallery link:

Thanks Tiana for coming. We are so grateful to have Candace who lives so close, and for all of the family and friends who come to visit us. Meaningful relationships add so much to our lives.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Candymaking, or rather learning

While visiting the Jones extended family in Moses Lake, WA, we had the privilege of going to Legacy Chocolates and learning all about candy making. Brenda, one of the founders, was phenomenal and taught us how to roll truffles and introduced us to licorice (anise) caramels--really yummy!

When Tiana came to visit us in TX, we put our new found knowledge to work and tried some candy making on our own. While we're not ready to start our own business yet, we did feel good about our candy and had a great time trying new combinations. We made vanilla, mint, key lime and peanut butter fondant-filled truffles (not the same fondant as used on wedding cakes.)

We also made home made caramels, licorice caramels and chocolate-dipped caramel cookies. I especially like making the swirl on the top for a professional effect.

Click on this link to enjoy our pictures:

All in all, we had fun, learned a lot, and got some good looking chocolates--at least relative to our previous ones.

Helpful tips:
Get a great candy thermometer--it made a big difference (see picture)
Use a large pan
One recipe makes a lot of candy, and it is more fun to have someone to help you make everything--thanks Tiana and Candace for playing :)

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

As of today, it's been three years.

...and many more to go. I love you, honey.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

iPhone Groupies!

Our new iPhones (iPhone 4) just arrived today (a day before their release!) We're working to activate them now. I don't think I've ever been a groupie before, it's rather fun.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Fruits of our labors

It's a good feeling to be fruitful, especially if that is yummy fruit you can eat! Sun-ripened fruit is so much better than even the best grocery store. Wow, did you realize peaches are juicy; I mean drip down your chin and stain your shirt juicy!
Here's some bragging pictures from our back yard:

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Pictures of the kiddos

Well, I'm way behind on posting...however, we did enjoy a wonderful trip to CA--loved seeing family and friends, the weather, the beach, Disneyland, Napa, seeing Iulia and Mikayla and Keryn's harp concert among other exciting excursions. We're now back in TX and are recovering from fevers, coughs and runny noses. :)
As a highlight, we had pictures of the kids taken before we left. Here's the link:
Bryce Olsen, one of our photographer friends, did such a wonderful job. Let us know which ones you enjoy. The password is Forever.

Friday, May 7, 2010


Clint and I stayed up talking last night. While we're both sleepy today, we both admit that every once in a while, it's good to have a sleepover with your spouse. Thanks hon!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Look who's sitting up...

and blowing raspberries (drool will end up all over her face. :) I'll go in to see her and she'll look up at me with a HUGE smile on her face as if to say, "I figured it out Mom."
We cheer and smile back. She really does live up to the name her cousins coined, "Smiley Riley."

And, she is starting to eat a serving of rice cereal each day for lunch. Tongue thrust be gone; she was out all night!

Daniel is learning to jump. Today, he got the multi-colored jump rope that the Easter Bunny gave him and laid it on the floor. He handed me one end and said, "Here Mom, I jump." Then he galloped over it a few times. I showed him how to jump with both feet leaving the floor (something I thought I'd never do again :) and he tried it as well. He actually did it a couple of times.
Way to go Daniel!
He also went outside and played with the dogs in the back yard. Riley and I watched from inside on the couch. Daniel would giggle when he was licked by them and led the charge to run across the yard. It was great to see him lead the pack. He has an adorable run!

We're all doing well. The weather has been beautiful and we're spoiled.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Brenham, Blue Bonnets and Blue Bell

We had blue skies, behind gray clouds, but it was perfect picture taking weather for our trip to Brenham, TX with our playgroup. The TX countryside is beautiful, especially this time of year with all of the wildflowers. Plus, top that off with some Blue Bell ice cream after a factory tour--a superb day.
Thank you to all who came with us, we had a blast.

I didn't get as many pictures as I wanted because I only had one hand most of the time, but luckily, we had our friend Bryce Olsen there to capture some good ones for us. More to come on those. Until then, here's some that I captured.

Monday, April 5, 2010


We had a great Easter Conference weekend and enjoyed having Grandma and Grandpa Wouden in town to share the festivities. Highlights:
Daniel is great at finding and opening the eggs. He hasn't quite figured out how to open them without dropping all of the candy.
We have two doves that live in our tree in the front yard. It's mating time for them.
Riley is sitting up on her own and loved chewing on starburst wrappers.
Our blue bells are out in our yard--it's a lovely TX symbol and sign of spring.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Our day of Spring Break--St. Patrick's Day

Our day of Spring Break came and went for 2010. Since Clinton works for Apple 2 days a week and ARL 2 days a week, he had one day of spring break benefit (the day he is usually on-campus for Research Group, etc.) I guess I shouldn't complain since BYU never had a spring break and I was always working after than, but regardless, we enjoyed our day and took advantage of the beautiful weather to go on a family green.
We LOVED the Sherpani backpack, and it helped hold Riley beautifully, plus had so much extra room for packing diapers, a blanket and picnic lunch.
Daniel fell asleep in the car ride to the trail, so he was not quite his enthusiastic self when we started, but that soon changed.

Riley, on the other hand, was in GREAT spirits. When we stopped to take a picture of her irresistible smile, a couple walked by us with their dog. They thought we were taking a picture of the sky and scenery, but then they saw Riley. After their double take, they also stopped to admire her happiness and comment on her blue eyes. She definitely has a way of stopping people in their tracks and helping them smile--watch out world!

We passed the muddy section, and this is one of the first creeks we came to. Daniel was really hesitant to approach it. This is him "touching the water," as the obedient son that he is.

Because he survived that, he was free to "touch the water with two hands," as seen here.

By then, our Daniel was intrigued, and we couldn't keep him out. We moved ahead to the larger creek, and had a blast playing in the water. It was cold water, but moved enough to keep it clear. (Thanks to Clinton for actually getting me in a picture. :)

One of the highlights had to be the ROCK (he's still talking about it.) Because the water was so clear, he found a rock and bent over and picked it up. He loved the splash, which grew over time. What a fun place this world is; it is so satisfying to watch my kids discover the joys.

Riley had her own perspective of the day, and was a trooper hiking around with us--a good start for later adventures.

Back on the trail again, we loved experiencing nature--this butterfly met us coming and going on our hike.

Oh, and she's discovered her tongue.

And this is where we ended up. It is a beautiful spot where kids can swim and families can play. (If you look closely, you can even see a rope swing that was beckoning to Clinton.) We all enjoyed lunch and headed back the way we came.

Admittedly, we were all tired at the end, but had a great time being there and being together. Next time, we know we can bring the dogs; they will add a new level of adventure, don't you think!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Our little girl is growing up.

Riley at three months old. She's so alert and aware of what is going on around her. We love her.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Taking on the TX COLD!?!

I know we have nothing to Washington, DC right now, or the entire northeast, or WY, or MI, or..., but hey, we're TX and used to living through 100+ degree summers and 50 degree winters. With that said, I braved the snow--yes, a snowy sleet was actually falling from the sky in Austin, TX--to go to playgroup at the Austin Arboreteum today, just next to Barnes & Nobles--they have a great cow statue garden. Daniel had a great time playing with Tori and Lizzy Cluff and Riley, although the youngest (but not by much thanks to Ishaan Agarwaal :) stayed bundled up in her stroller (Thanks Danielle for the warm suit--just in time!). She peeked out whenever she could.
Just thought I'd share the experience with you so you knew I was raising my kiddos right--able to enjoy colder weather. Here's to growing up/living in Missouri, Michigan, South Dakota, Indiana, Utah, Romania/Moldova and New York. Just look at Daniel's smile--we had a great time.

After nap time, I think we'll enjoy some hot chocolate.

Who do I look like now???

I can't remember if I posted these before or not, so I'll post it again. Who does Daniel look more like, Mommy or Daddy?