WHERE HAVE I BEEN? December 2013 Photos

For whatever reason, the site has gone without update for 6+ months, and I am almost a year behind on photo albums.

December 2013 seems like ages ago. Jonas was walking and exploring, but he was nowhere near as interactive as he is now.

We celebrated Eliana’s third birthday. Back then, an afternoon nap was the norm for her. Today, it’s the exception.

Thankfully, I’ve been quite regular in updating the kids’ mailing list pages (though sometimes a day or two late), so you can use those to watch the kids grow up until I get caught up on photos.
Eliana’s Mailing List (messages every month from 2010-2012 and every three months after that)
Jonas’ Mailing List (messages every month so far)

Back on the air!

Eliana Daddy Jonas Mommy
Hi, everyone!

Yes, Ben, Jenelle, Eliana, and Jonas are still around and doing great!

As with the last time I posted here, my hope is to have more frequent updates in the weeks ahead. For now, here’s links to TONS of photo albums. All of these are accessible via the “Photos” link above or by heading straight to ibenj.shutterfly.com.

March 2013

April 2013

May 2013

Wisconsin Marathon 2013 – Ben sets a personal best!

Our Trip to Kauai – a wonderful vacation.

June 2013

July 2013

August 2013

September 2013

Pumpkin Farm (early October 2013)

October 2013

November 2013

Jonas’ First Birthday — if you blinked, you may have missed it. Our little guy is a year old. In fact, he’s 13 months old as I type this. I may share more about this event in a separate post.

January and February 2013

We’re getting caught up!

By the way, the easiest way to see the latest photos is to go to http://ibenj.shutterfly.com.

The January album has 50 pictures. Be sure to check out Jonas in his Oregon Ducks shirt and Eliana digging in the back yard wearing her awesome purple coat, which was a gift from Cousin Addie.
Eliana Backyard 2 Jan12

The February album has 72 pictures. I love the shots of Eliana ‘helping’ Daddy and Bubba put a new microwave in the kitchen. There’s plenty from our trip to Oregon. I wish we could go there more often. There’s lots of family and friends there, and the time goes by so fast that we don’t usually get a chance to see everyone. There’s plenty of smiles from Jonas throughout the album, and I got a cute shot of Eliana wearing my visor from the Masters golf tournament.
Jonas Feb6 7

A Walter Family Christmas 2011

Here’s the Oregon Christmas 2011 photo album!

With Eliana’s birth in December 2010, there was no way we could travel to Oregon to celebrate Christmas with the Walters. So, we were definitely making the trip in 2011. As always, we had a wonderful time. We enjoyed breakfast with the family on Christmas morning and opened gifts soon afterward. We had plenty of days left over to cruise around town and get plenty of shopping and other fun activities done. We also spent some time with our friends the Boedings (Dave, Amanda, Adelaide, and introducing Thaddeus).

Independence Day in Oregon

We visited Jenelle’s family in Beaverton this year for the 4th of July. Eliana was a little bit fussy on the plane rides to and from Oregon, but it was well worth it.

Here’s the full photo album!

Highlights of this trip:
1) I ran my first ever July marathon — the Stars and Stripes Marathon — in a park just a few miles away from Dave & Pam’s house. I was hoping for a personal best, but it was a bit too hot. I still managed to finish under 3:49 and record my third fastest marathon ever.

2) The ladies (Jenelle, Erica, Josie, & Pam) went to see Mary Poppins while Dave and I watched Eliana. The show was great.

3) Eliana got to spend time with cousins Lucas and Addison during the day on the 4th. In the evening, Jenelle and I went with Jeff, Josie, and Lucas for a cruise and fireworks.

As always, I’m already looking forward to my next trip to the Pacific Northwest.

Summer in Oregon

We visited Jenelle’s family in Beaverton from June 10-15.  As always, we had a wonderful time.  Here’s all the photos!

Some highlights from this trip:

The Rose Parade – We had great spots on the curb in Portland to watch the annual Rose Parade, and we didn’t have to get up all that early!  With plenty of food, drink, and conversation to keep us occupied, the floats, bands, and all the other parade entries were zooming by us in no time.  There were also lots of animals, and not just horses.  Check the photos (link above) for details.  For those who enjoy the Racine 4th of July Parade, I estimate that the Rose Parade is 10-20 times better.  🙂

Fun at 7 Eleven – Since there are no 7 Eleven stores around here, it’s a treat to be able to walk to one from Jenelle’s parents’ house.  As we ventured off to get a slurpee, Dave (Jenelle’s Dad) suggested that I spend an extra dollar or two to get an aluminum straw, as it significantly enhances the slurpee experience.  He was right.  I will be able to use my shiny green straw again the next time I visit.

Farmer’s Markets – I’m not a big fan of farmer’s markets, but it is always worth it to visit one in Beaverton.  Jenelle likes all the fresh berries, and I am always on the lookout for a kettle corn vendor.  This trip, we didn’t go to the farmer’s market we usually visit, but we did stop by a big farm that sells a variety of items.  Sure enough, we found both berries and kettle corn.  Yum.

No Sales Tax – Nothing brings my joy quite like not having to pay sales tax.  I didn’t make any huge purchases this trip, but Jenelle and her mom went shopping for clothes.  They found some amazing bargains, all of them tax-free.  Yay.

VooDoo Doughnut – This unique donut shop has been featured on the Travel Channel.  Though it’s not in the best part of town, we joined plenty of folks in line, waiting for about an hour.  We felt a bit like tourists.  Anyway, Jenelle got a donut with oreo cookie bits on top, and I got one with butterfinger candy on it.

The Original Pancake House – As long as we’re talking about food, here’s another great place to eat.  The restaurant we visited was apparently the first in what is now a franchise that spans the country.  My brother’s family in Minnesota visits a location in Eden Prairie, and Jenelle and I went to one near Evanston, Illinois several times when we were dating.  No matter which location you pick, the pancakes are delicious.

Again, check out the photos from another great trip!

Christmas in Oregon

Here’s the photo album!

We left Wisconsin VERY EARLY on Christmas Day. Our original itinerary had us going from Milwaukee to Minneapolis to Seattle to Portland, but a very nice gate agent in Minneapolis got us on a flight straight to Portland. So, we arrived with plenty of time to relax and hang out with Jenelle’s parents before the rest of the family arrived. We had a great Christmas dinner and lots of fun opening presents.

Besides the usual shopping and cruising around town, we had time to catch a movie with our nephew, Lucas. It was the chipmunks “Squeakquel” movie. Even though I never saw the first one, I was able to catch on to the plot. 🙂 In any case, Lucas really enjoyed it.

We visited with our friends, David and Amanda, who were also in Oregon for the holidays. They are currently living in Dallas and training to be missionaries overseas, which is really exciting. I forgot to take pictures of them, but we did get a shot of Jenelle with their daughter, Adelaide.

The day before we left, about three inches of snow fell. That’s barely a dusting here, but it’s enough to cripple the city of Portland. Drivers aren’t sure how to handle slippery roads combined with Oregon hills. It was funny watching the “breaking news” stories about the snow.

I’m not sure when we’re heading back, but I’m hoping we get out there at least once during the spring or summer.