Torgesen Family Times

{We are trying to enjoy and record the moments that make life special}
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Gardener (Alex)

When ever we go outside and have the garage open, Alex goes straight to the gardening tools and gets out his knee pad and starts in on those pesky weeds! He knows what to do with the knee pads and gets right in there, placing it just right for him.

He loves it! He loves to help Mama, and often says "Help Mama". I love him helping me becuase it not only entertains him, but it allows me to do some things outside. And since he's "helping" me - it usually works out great.

He carries around two tools at once, just like sippys - a two fisted man. Today when we were gardening and helping Mama he asked what they were... and I said "two shovels". He promptly said back to me - "Two". I'm curious when kids start learning numbers. It seemed to me that he understood what two meant. But, at the same time I know he doesn't even know what one or three means, so I guess it will be a surprise!
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Conversation this morning

Alex's words on the way to daycare this morning (only a 10 second snapshot):

Big Truck
Yes - that's a Big Truck

More Truck, More Truck, Big Truck
Let's look for more trucks

More Bus (which sounds like Bice)
I don't see any buses right now, let's look for one

(sees a bus, but it passes by) More Bus, Yellow, Yellow
yes, a bus is yellow - let's see if another bus is coming

More Yellow
Let's try to find something yellow...

More Bus, please, please, please (which sounds like "peas")
Yes - you say you want a bus, please. You sure know how to talk!

Do you see something blue?

Do you see something green?

Do you see something white?

More White, More White, More White
Let's look for something white... do you see anything white?

More Yellow
Do you see something yellow?

Big Truck, More Big Truck, please, please, please
I know you like Big Trucks, let's look for one...

Cooking dinner with Mama

Alex wants to be involved in everything and see what we are doing. So the other night I pulled up a chair (thanks to Mom's advice about including him in the cooking! Thanks Mom!) and we cooked sloppy joes. We browned some turkey meat, then added the tomato paste and the seasoning packet - and then for added health and veggies we added peas, carrots, & beans. It turned out really wonderful and it was really fun. We will definately be doing this again.
Alex knows what HOT means and has a sign for it - he puts out his had (as if to say stop) and says "hot". We went around the entire kitchen saying what was hot - the oven was hot, the microwave is hot, the stove is hot. But, the dishwasher and the refrigerator weren't hot. We said they were cold. He makes a funny brrrrr shiver and says "cold".
I used my trusty gorilla pod tripod to snap the photos and used the timer - I think it came out quite nice, if I do say so myself.
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Playing in the yard last weekend

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Animal Park

We visited a animal farm park this last weekend, near our house, that we've visted before here. Alex just had so much fun - he has learned what a lot of animals say:
Alex, what does a cow say? Moooooo
Alex, what does a chicken say? Cock-a-doodle dooooooo
Alex, what does a pig say? Oink Oink
Alex, what does a kitty say? Meoooow
Alex, what does a duck say? Quack Quack
Alex, what does a sheep say? Baaaaaa
Alex, what does a bunny say? ________ (doesn't know)
Alex, what does a Alex say? ___________(doesn't know)
We'll have to figure out these ones!
Meanwhile, enjoy the photos I snapped with my new camera! I just love it! It's small (fits in my pocket or purse) and takes great pictures! There is a setting of "vivid" for color that I can select that just enhances the colors seen in the photos. Don't you agree?

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One of Alex's new words is PJ's, but instead of saying it like "Pee-Jays" he says "Paa-Gees" and it's so darn cute! Here is a picture of him last year at this time in the laundry basket.

Wiggle worms

We found a really wonderful program to get Alex's wiggles out on Saturday mornings through northwest aerials. It's for kids 12 months to about 2 1/2 and each child has a parent participating. It's very close to our house and is very reasonably priced ($60 for 10 sessions). They have access to a padded room with lots of little gymnastics things to try out (like the rings above), balance beams, and all sorts of fun things. That's only the first 10 minutes!

Then they go downstairs where there are trampolines (no adults on them!) and a big pit of foam squares!

Alex just giggles and laughs and gets all worn out for a nice Saturday nap.

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Lance was laid-off

Hi everyone-

Lance was laid off on Thursday after working at his company for almost 10 years. That night he was planning on working late (until about 8PM) to get caught up after a couple of people transferred to other groups.

Needless to say, he is crushed. We know that this will all be fine in the end, but it is pretty rough right now.

We had to pull Alex out of daycare, since it was down where Lance worked in Renton and way to far away to drive him there everyday. We will be looking for a new daycare up here and getting on the waiting lists so when Lance does find a job - we will have care for Alex. But, in the mean time, Lance will be taking care of Alex and we have another Mom will (hopefully) be taking Alex a couple days a week so that Lance can figure all this stuff out.

If you know of any Accounting/Finance managerial type positions around where we live - please let us know. Lance will be working on getting his resume together, networking with people he already knows and figuring out unemployment this next week.

We are fine for a while, so we don't need anything other than your support and prayers.

Thanks so much.


Yes we can - and we did!
What an inspiring campaign, election process with record voter turnout and victory. I really feel like we have a good one here - a president that will lead our country in the next coming years and make a real difference in people's lives. Also, I admire Michelle Obama and look forward to getting to see more of her. I especially relate to her with this quote "I come here as a wife who loves my husband and believes he will be an extraordinary president. I come here as a Mom whose girls are the heart of my heart and the center of my world – they’re the first thing I think about when I wake up in the morning, and the last thing I think about when I go to bed at night. Their future – and all our children’s future – is my stake in this election."

And the speech President-elect Obama gave last night will go down in history! Here is the full text with highlighted area that I especially loved!

"If there is anyone out there who still doubts that America is a place where all things are possible, who still wonders if the dream of our founders is alive in our time, who still questions the power of our democracy, tonight is your answer.

It’s the answer told by lines that stretched around schools and churches in numbers this nation has never seen, by people who waited three hours and four hours, many for the first time in their lives, because they believed that this time must be different, that their voices could be that difference.

It’s the answer spoken by young and old, rich and poor, Democrat and Republican, black, white, Hispanic, Asian, Native American, gay, straight, disabled and not disabled. Americans who sent a message to the world that we have never been just a collection of individuals or a collection of red states and blue states.

We are, and always will be, the United States of America.

It’s the answer that led those who’ve been told for so long by so many to be cynical and fearful and doubtful about what we can achieve to put their hands on the arc of history and bend it once more toward the hope of a better day.

It’s been a long time coming, but tonight, because of what we did on this date in this election at this defining moment change has come to America.

A little bit earlier this evening, I received an extraordinarily gracious call from Senator McCain.

Senator McCain fought long and hard in this campaign. And he’s fought even longer and harder for the country that he loves. He has endured sacrifices for America that most of us cannot begin to imagine. We are better off for the service rendered by this brave and selfless leader.
I congratulate him; I congratulate Governor Palin for all that they’ve achieved. And I look forward to working with them to renew this nation’s promise in the months ahead.

I want to thank my partner in this journey, a man who campaigned from his heart, and spoke for the men and women he grew up with on the streets of Scranton ... and rode with on the train home to Delaware, the vice president-elect of the United States, Joe Biden.

And I would not be standing here tonight without the unyielding support of my best friend for the last 16 years ... the rock of our family, the love of my life, the nation’s next first lady ... Michelle Obama.

Sasha and Malia ... I love you both more than you can imagine.

And you have earned the new puppy that’s coming with us the new White House.

And while she’s no longer with us, I know my grandmother’s watching, along with the family that made me who I am. I miss them tonight. I know that my debt to them is beyond measure.

To my sister Maya, my sister Alma, all my other brothers and sisters, thank you so much for all the support that you’ve given me. I am grateful to them.

And to my campaign manager, David Plouffe ... the unsung hero of this campaign, who built the best — the best political campaign, I think, in the history of the United States of America.

To my chief strategist David Axelrod ... who’s been a partner with me every step of the way.
To the best campaign team ever assembled in the history of politics ... you made this happen, and I am forever grateful for what you’ve sacrificed to get it done.

But above all, I will never forget who this victory truly belongs to. It belongs to you. It belongs to you.

I was never the likeliest candidate for this office. We didn’t start with much money or many endorsements. Our campaign was not hatched in the halls of Washington. It began in the backyards of Des Moines and the living rooms of Concord and the front porches of Charleston. It was built by working men and women who dug into what little savings they had to give $5 and $10 and $20 to the cause.

It grew strength from the young people who rejected the myth of their generation’s apathy ... who left their homes and their families for jobs that offered little pay and less sleep.
It drew strength from the not-so-young people who braved the bitter cold and scorching heat to knock on doors of perfect strangers, and from the millions of Americans who volunteered and organized and proved that more than two centuries later a government of the people, by the people, and for the people has not perished from the Earth.

This is your victory.

And I know you didn’t do this just to win an election. And I know you didn’t do it for me.
You did it because you understand the enormity of the task that lies ahead. For even as we celebrate tonight, we know the challenges that tomorrow will bring are the greatest of our lifetime — two wars, a planet in peril, the worst financial crisis in a century.

Even as we stand here tonight, we know there are brave Americans waking up in the deserts of Iraq and the mountains of Afghanistan to risk their lives for us.

There are mothers and fathers who will lie awake after the children fall asleep and wonder how they’ll make the mortgage or pay their doctors’ bills or save enough for their child’s college education.

There’s new energy to harness, new jobs to be created, new schools to build, and threats to meet, alliances to repair.

The road ahead will be long. Our climb will be steep. We may not get there in one year or even in one term. But, America, I have never been more hopeful than I am tonight that we will get there.

I promise you, we as a people will get there.

AUDIENCE: Yes we can! Yes we can! Yes we can!

OBAMA: There will be setbacks and false starts. There are many who won’t agree with every decision or policy I make as president. And we know the government can’t solve every problem.
But I will always be honest with you about the challenges we face. I will listen to you, especially when we disagree. And, above all, I will ask you to join in the work of remaking this nation, the only way it’s been done in America for 221 years — block by block, brick by brick, calloused hand by calloused hand.

What began 21 months ago in the depths of winter cannot end on this autumn night.
This victory alone is not the change we seek. It is only the chance for us to make that change. And that cannot happen if we go back to the way things were.

It can’t happen without you, without a new spirit of service, a new spirit of sacrifice.

So let us summon a new spirit of patriotism, of responsibility, where each of us resolves to pitch in and work harder and look after not only ourselves but each other.

Let us remember that, if this financial crisis taught us anything, it’s that we cannot have a thriving Wall Street while Main Street suffers.

In this country, we rise or fall as one nation, as one people. Let’s resist the temptation to fall back on the same partisanship and pettiness and immaturity that has poisoned our politics for so long.

Let’s remember that it was a man from this state who first carried the banner of the Republican Party to the White House, a party founded on the values of self-reliance and individual liberty and national unity.

Those are values that we all share. And while the Democratic Party has won a great victory tonight, we do so with a measure of humility and determination to heal the divides that have held back our progress.

As Lincoln said to a nation far more divided than ours, we are not enemies but friends. Though passion may have strained, it must not break our bonds of affection.

And to those Americans whose support I have yet to earn, I may not have won your vote tonight, but I hear your voices. I need your help. And I will be your president, too.

And to all those watching tonight from beyond our shores, from parliaments and palaces, to those who are huddled around radios in the forgotten corners of the world, our stories are singular, but our destiny is shared, and a new dawn of American leadership is at hand.

To those — to those who would tear the world down: We will defeat you. To those who seek peace and security: We support you.

And to all those who have wondered if America’s beacon still burns as bright: Tonight we proved once more that the true strength of our nation comes not from the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the enduring power of our ideals: democracy, liberty, opportunity and unyielding hope.

That’s the true genius of America: that America can change. Our union can be perfected. What we’ve already achieved gives us hope for what we can and must achieve tomorrow.

This election had many firsts and many stories that will be told for generations. But one that’s on my mind tonight’s about a woman who cast her ballot in Atlanta. She’s a lot like the millions of others who stood in line to make their voice heard in this election except for one thing: Ann Nixon Cooper is 106 years old.

She was born just a generation past slavery; a time when there were no cars on the road or planes in the sky; when someone like her couldn’t vote for two reasons — because she was a woman and because of the color of her skin.

And tonight, I think about all that she’s seen throughout her century in America — the heartache and the hope; the struggle and the progress; the times we were told that we can’t, and the people who pressed on with that American creed: Yes we can.

At a time when women’s voices were silenced and their hopes dismissed, she lived to see them stand up and speak out and reach for the ballot. Yes we can.

When there was despair in the dust bowl and depression across the land, she saw a nation conquer fear itself with a New Deal, new jobs, a new sense of common purpose. Yes we can.

AUDIENCE: Yes we can.

OBAMA: When the bombs fell on our harbor and tyranny threatened the world, she was there to witness a generation rise to greatness and a democracy was saved. Yes we can.

AUDIENCE: Yes we can.

OBAMA: She was there for the buses in Montgomery, the hoses in Birmingham, a bridge in Selma, and a preacher from Atlanta who told a people that We Shall Overcome.
Yes we can.

AUDIENCE: Yes we can.

OBAMA: A man touched down on the moon, a wall came down in Berlin, a world was connected by our own science and imagination. And this year, in this election, she touched her finger to a screen, and cast her vote, because after 106 years in America, through the best of times and the darkest of hours, she knows how America can change.

Yes we can.

AUDIENCE: Yes we can.

OBAMA: America, we have come so far. We have seen so much. But there is so much more to do. So tonight, let us ask ourselves — if our children should live to see the next century; if my daughters should be so lucky to live as long as Ann Nixon Cooper, what change will they see? What progress will we have made?

This is our chance to answer that call. This is our moment.

This is our time, to put our people back to work and open doors of opportunity for our kids; to restore prosperity and promote the cause of peace; to reclaim the American dream and reaffirm that fundamental truth, that, out of many, we are one; that while we breathe, we hope. And where we are met with cynicism and doubts and
those who tell us that we can’t, we will respond with that timeless creed that sums up the spirit of a people: Yes, we can.

Thank you. God bless you. And may God bless the United States of America.

Halloween 2008

Alex was supposed to be a chicken for Halloween, but as you can see - that wasn't working. He loved them so much in Hawaii that we made a costume and talked about it quite a bit, but when it was time to put it on it was very scary.

So, plan #2 was football player. Not scary at all. Just a little eyeliner.

We went to a friends house and Alex and Allie are holding hands before heading out to trick-or-treat in their wonderful neighborhood. It's the kind of neighborhood where they know everyone and there are tons of kids. What a great place to live.

Alex just ran from house to house! He even ran in the street - many many times! Scared his Mama to half to death, but she's used to it. Good thing there were no cars on the road!!!! Daddy was chasing him everywhere. We seriously need a leash!

No, seriously!

Ringin' door bells and knockin' on doors = people give you stuff! They kinda "got it" - the whole Halloween thing. Alex is ringing the door bell and Allie knocks on the door below.

Look at the cute dog above that dressed up too!

They learned to reach thier hands in the baskets and were sometimes able to say thank you!

And a kiss for Allie's prince at the end of the night