What's Your Name?

Friday, December 24, 2010

Today I asked Amanda what her full name was and she said, "Amanda Richards.com".

Kids these days are just so into computers!


What Did We Do This Summer?

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Our summer. No, not the two year old girl that eats more than the seven year old boy. What we did over the summer.

So what have we done?
We canned.

What does that mean?
Putting fresh food in jars and saving it until later. 

Are we old fashioned?
Yes, and probably crazy too.

How much?
Almost every jar we have.

Total count?
24 bottles of peaches (Thanks Erica!)
6 bottles of peach nectar
14 bottles of green salsa (just hot enough that our kids won’t eat it)
11 bottles of dill pickles
8 bottles of bread and butter pickles
8 quarts of strawberry freezer jam

Years ago, I remember my sister’s pantry full of all these beautiful bottles of stuff that looked so colorful and healthy. Now we can proudly say our pantry is full of all these wonderful things as well.

Nice job Lisa. You inspire me.

Our next adventure is a chicken coop. Beaverton City just approved up to four chickens 20 feet from your neighbor’s house.   Great! A pet more productive than a dog and one that will help us teach the kids responsibility.


Signal To Noise Movie Competition - First Place!

Friday, May 14, 2010

Natalie's 3rd grade class competed in a film competition against all the classes in our Beaverton School District.  They made the attached movie and won 1st place for the best Elementary Music Video.

We are all so excited that her class won!


More Lacrosse Pictures

Thursday, April 15, 2010

I think Lacrosse is my new favorite sport for girls.  Natalie is doing fabulous!


Lacrosse Season

Saturday, April 10, 2010

So lacrosse has hit our family.  Before April, we had never seen played, or even knew what equipment was needed, but for whatever reason, we decided to put Natalie and Brendan in.  I even signed up to be Natalie's assistant coach, but one weeks before the season started I was asked to be head coach.  Makes it a little tough to coach a sport if you don't even know the rules, but we've had fun.

Natalie has done fabulous and one of the parents took this great video of her playing today.  I can't say how grateful we are for it.  Lisa hasn't been able to watch a game due to the little kids short attention span, so now finally we can watch it over and over!

Natalie is #14.

Note that in the last play she actually scores!


Vegan - Am I off my Rocker?

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Because it is more than likely that no more than two people read this blog, I’m going to air my thoughts on my most recent conversion. If anyone does read it, feel free to let me know if I’m off my rocker.

So I think I understand why people decide to go vegan and I think I might try the same.

This is could be huge change for me, just ask Lisa. I’ve always been one of those people who complained about not having enough meat on the dinner table. Just for reference, when we first got married, we used a one .lb block of ground beef for dinner in spaghetti, tacos, or you name the casserole. Now that we house six people, we still use a one .lb block of ground beef. I used to complain habitually about how, “a man needs more meat” and would even make suggestions by occasionally coming home with a few steaks (somewhat like a man coming home from a deer hunt).

You are probably saying, “here goes Ezra again”, but honestly, I think I have good reason. As I’ve upped my exercise routine with longer miles, faster tempos, and increased frequency, I tend to listen to my body more often.

Figure it out, if I’m about to go ride a bike for two hours, I have to manage what I eat for several hours before so I don’t have a brick in my stomach. Then while I ride, the last thing I want is to see that big hill and realize the energy isn’t there to get up it. Even worse, sometimes I ride out in the sticks or through the middle of town. If things start to,… um, “flow” either way, then I’ve got to act fast or it won’t be pretty. Then what about that next scheduled workout? Something has to give me some juice and let me go again.

Call it the pains of doing triathlons, but I love the way a good workout makes me feel for days afterward, so of course, I want to push myself again, and again, and again…What? You can’t find AJ and when was the last time I saw her? er, uh, yesterday? j/k

Of all the foods I’ve stashed in my bag for lunch, nothing quite does it like nuts, fruits, vegetables. My kids regularly tease me that I eat “nuts and berries” for lunch and on more than one occasion a sly little fox (Natalie) has slipped a peanut butter sandwich into my lunch bag. But the more I eat grains or meat, the more I feel like just sitting down and watching TV. They both still taste great and fill me up, but sometimes I wonder if my recovery after a meal really should be as long as my recovery have a 6 mile run on a hot day.

One could ask, “Is it a weight thing?” No, not really. If you have seen me lately, it certainly isn’t about weight. You can still count my ribs and my body fat is lower than ever, so if anything I’m concerned about being that skinny guy at work who everyone thinks has a disease. I’ve tried to gain muscle (or fat), but apparently it just isn’t my thing.

Can you really eat fruits and vegetables all day and not be hungry? To be honest, I can’t sit down to a fully compostable meal of twigs, but I can pick at fruits and veggies all day and stay perfectly content. Twenty minutes after I throw down some wheat thins or a ham sandwich I get that bloated, stuffy feeling that says, “relax, you’ve worked hard and need a break, how about some chips?” Wheat intolerance? Not likely, I’ve even tried just a few slices of any given meat. It all does the same.

So if do become a full blown granola, I’ll still eat my dairy, take a multivitamin, and grab a bite of the occasional whatever, but don’t be surprised if you see me microwaving an occasional sweet potato at the office during lunch.

And by the way, don’t even get me started on sugar. When I stop by the candy bowl at someone’s desk around 3:00, the rest of my day is ruined because all I can think about is eating more sugar or chocolate. The addicting habit of an afternoon candy bar has almost ruined me more than once.

(And yes Lisa, this fad will more than likely pass sometime as well.)


Reverently, Quietly . . .

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Today in sacrament meeting a two-year-old girl struggled to get past her six-year-old brother.  He was guarding the aisle and keeping her in the row by bracing his feet against the bench in front of him.  It was one of those magic moments in a sacrament meeting when the speaker has the congregation's full attention and they were hanging on his every word.  The two-year-old flung out her arms, stomped her feet and shrieked in frustration. The child's mother whispered, "Don't hit your brother!"  She replied in a loud and angry voice, "I didn't hit him, I kicked him!"

Sheesh, those Richards kids.  I don't know why those parents can't teach their kids how to behave at church.


Natalie In Motion

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Someone just sent us this picture of Natalie from her last soccer season.


Christmas 2009

Friday, January 1, 2010

I think everyone in the family would claim that Christmas this year was a hit.

Summer knew exactly what to do with a doll and bottle.  She hasn't stopped since.  Amanda received the exact same doll and it has been hilarious to watch the two race their strollers around the house or argue whose doll is whose.

Amanda helped me unwrap my new tie.  Can you see the chocolate on her chin?  It was the first thing she opened and she wasn't interested in anything else until it was gone.

This kid couldn't help but smile.


Halloween 2009

I know it is late, but I had to show off the costumes that Lisa made. Note the quality pioneer dresses on Summer and Amanda. She also made the puppy costume for AJ.

As for Brendan, a $15 Darth Vader costume was more than worth it.



So my sister Heddie was married this summer to a guy that we all love (Ryan). Of course, someone had to decorate the car. All I can say is that the picture above shows evidence of who did the deed... ;)

I swear that Brendan and Natalie were there just to "watch".


The Pumpkin Patch

Monday, October 19, 2009

Last year we skipped the pumpkin patch and the Christmas tree farm and we heard about it all year long. We bought our tree at Fred Meyer for $20 and we felt jipped. The thing lost half the needles before Santa could show up and the kids wondered if he would even bother stopping by.

Needless to say, this year they made it very clear that we had to visit the pumpkin patch. But what about the $20 pumpkins you ask?

Lisa made a deal with them. We'll go to the patch and ride the boat, ride the train, and do the maze but if we buy a pumpkin there, we can only get one. Otherwise we can go to WinCo and everyone can get their own pumpkin for $.17 a lbs.

And the kids chose Winco.

Now about the train and boat ride. We're not talking Disneyland here. the rides are about as low budget as person can get. Note the scary, tailless shark attacking our boat?

The train ride back was pretty tame, but AJ still managed to get scared with the noise.


The Laundry Basket

Of course Summer and AJ are into sports as well. Previously you saw Summer doing the high jump into the washing machine. Below you see Summer complicating Mom's life.


Tae Kwon Do

Brendan is going on 1 year in Tae Kwon Do and we've been happy with it. I think his confidence has grown and his motor skills have improved greatly. The sales pitch they hit you with makes you think they will build your kid into a combined Abraham Lincoln and Chuck Norris. We haven't seen that yet, but he has really taken an interest in Star Wars light sabers.

Above is Master Kim putting Brendan's latest belt on. Master Kim won the Olympic gold medal in Tae Kwon do in Barcelona in 1992. We have been very impressed with his patience and demeanor. But I still don't see the Lincoln/Norris connection.


Blue Lake Runs

During the pre flu era (last week) I trained for a 15k run at Blue Lake in Gresham. The purpose was very selfish, I wanted to see how fast I could run.

Of course, I've dragged Lisa and the kids all over Portland to various races this summer. When I hit her up with this race, started off with, "Remember Blue Lake and the great play equipment they have there? They have a kids race! oh and did I mention a 15k!"

Natalie was at soccer so we took the other three and one of Brendan's friends.

At the start of the half mile run. I think the two boys were a little intimidated by #314.

This is Bren crossing the finish line. The funniest part was when anyone tried to pass him, he would speed up until they gave up. Then he would slow down to his little trot.

I didn't really like the pictures that came out for me, but I will say that I ran well. 7:13 average per mile and 11th place overall. That was good enough for 2nd in my age group. Not bad for my first attempt to be competitive.

And if anyone tries to tell you to carbo load by skipping all carbs for a few days and then piling on the pasta, don't do it. It is an evil trick to ruin your glory for a few days after the run.