asher sparks heller: 3rd birthday questions

June 12th, 2010

this is the first year that we’ve asked asher the birthday questions. while asher’s been a little slower in learning to talk than our other kids, he’s decidedly more bashful than normal in this video. we assure you, he’s generally more chatty than this.

buyer beware: several of the questions in this video go completely unanswered (i’m not counting his sound effects). while I thought about changing the questions to suit his age, i decided against it. the purpose of these interviews is about showing the development and growth of our kids more than pure entertainment. so, bearing that in mind, here’s asher sparks heller.


weekend hike #3: rattlesnake lake

May 30th, 2010

you read that right. an entire lake… FULL OF RATTLESNAKES.


lily turns 6

May 26th, 2010
so my little baby turned six. i am late in writing this but at least it's here. lily loves dressing up, singing and dancing so i thought i would have a party and do just that. one of my friends came over and did the girls makeup and hair and then they got dressed up in some of the tutu's or skirts i made for the party. my friend also taught them how to walk a runway so we turned up the music loud and they showed what they were made of. it basically consisted of a lot of giggling and dancing and some fun poses. they were so cute, i could hardly stand it!

since lily is so small, all the girls thought it would be fun hold her in all of the pictures. they were pretty strong!

lily belle
you are beautiful
your smile can light up a room
you love crafts, drawing and anything artsy
singing and reading are your passions
i love watching you in church reading the hymns and trying to sing along
you have the best little trill when you sing (it makes your dad and i laugh at how cute you are)
you love your brothers and they adore you
that doesn't mean that you don't fight with them (or maybe just jack) like crazy
you can argue anything to death, it drives me insane but i think you got it from me
you love your grandmas and grandpas
you don't hold grudges (i am amazed at how quickly you forgive)
you love heavenly father and have faith he can help you
one time you were nervous about going to the dentist (nervous is an understatement, every time you had been before you would cry and scream the whole time.) well you decided the night before your appointment that you would pray for help. the next day you woke up and told me that you were ready for the dentist. you said you prayed and that things were going to be fine. you walked into the dentist and got into the chair and let them use the tools and take x-rays without so much as a peep. afterward, when i asked about your change you said well, i prayed and Heavenly Father helped me
i admire your faith and so does your dad
you bring so much love to this home and i am eternally grateful for you
love mommy

jana's journal

lily’s 6th year birthday questions

May 14th, 2010

for those that are unaware, every year on each of our children’s birthdays, we set them down and ask them a series of questions and film it for posterity. we hope that someday we can look back over these little videos and see how much our children have grown. now, i’m not going to lie, for this particular video we actually filmed it 2 days after lily’s birthday (schedules were hectic) but i think that the content wouldn’t have changed. so, here you go…


weekend hike #2: franklin falls

May 10th, 2010

we went on our 2nd weekend hike this saturday to a place called franklin falls. it’s somewhat near our last hike at snoqualmie falls. this is probably one of the coolest hikes that we’ve been on as a family. it was about 2 miles, round trip and filled with some of the most lush foliage i’ve seen in a long time. the entire trail ran along the river, generally from about 100-200 feet above it. it made for some very beautiful views. i tried to take some pictures (as seen below) but i don’t think they captured the majesty of it all. i know it sounds like i’m being a little exaggerative, but i promise you i’m not. i’m really stoked that we’ve started doing these weekly family hikes as i think it’s been great for the kids to see what the northwest has to offer.

photos, words

Annie Rowan

May 8th, 2010

a family that we go to church with has a six year old daughter that got very sick recently. they didn’t know what the problem was and very quickly were told that she needed a liver transplant. fortunately, everything went well and she’s still with us. the downside of this whole story is that this whole process was very expensive for them and they now have a financial burden that they (and Annie) will carry for the rest of their lives. they enlisted my help in creating a video to tell their story and try to raise money to help cover Annie’s ongoing expenses. you can visit to learn how you can help. they have a goal to raise $10,000 by June 30th. watch the video below. warning: it’s a bit of a tear jerker.

videos, words

our new family goal

May 2nd, 2010

so, recently my parents were in town and we went to the REI corporate headquarters in seattle (that place is AMAZING). we found a book on hikes in the northwest that are good for kids. this is what i love about living in seattle. there’s SO much to do and it seems like we’re always discovering new things. well, yesterday we decided to go on our first family hike of the year. since i’m really big into documentation, i’ll be using the runkeeper app on my iphone, along with the runkeeper website to document our hikes. i’m not being paid for my endorsement of runkeeper, but (and i think i’ve mentioned it before) it’s one of the most amazing apps. anytime you’re going on a hike, walk, run or whatever you start the app on your phone and take off. when you’re done, you stop the app. it tracks your entire activity mapping it out using GPS and even tracks your varying speed and elevation changes. it will then sync that data back to it’s website where you can login and view your activities (along with being able to see it in the app on your phone). if you decided to snap some pictures from your phone on your hike, it will sync those to the website as well posting them to the exact location where the pictures were taken. how rad is that? you can also share that data with the world as we did below by embedding it into a website. if you click on the “view details at” link, it will take you to the activity page where you can see all the details and view it in satellite view (something they’ll hopefully allow us to embed soon).

so, this summer we’ll be posting our hiking exploits along with photos. for this last hike at snoqualmie falls, i accidentally left my phone in the car so i created the hike manually on the runkeeper website.


new iPad (i guess they’re all new though, huh?)

April 3rd, 2010

hello. my name is steven, and i’m an early adopter.

if you haven’t seen the most recent episode of modern family, do yourself a favor and check it out. check out this scene, it’s one of my favorites (it will probably be up for a limited time so check it out while you can).


one wretched 9 volt battery…

March 15th, 2010

this is a sad post for me. let me first start off by way of explanation. we have 2 dogs that have been part of our family since shortly after jana and i were married. the first dog we got was a white chihuahua/jack russell terrier mix. that’s roxy quiksilver. a couple months later, we were worried that roxy was lonely so we bought a black chihuahua. morgan le fay. fast forward about 8 or 9 years later. roxy is a pretty normal dog, while morgan has a lot of quirks. she has snaggly teeth, she’s gone blind, she has a propensity for escaping the back yard and she’s extremely frightened of high pitched noises. she’s escaped several times but she usually just goes around to the front yard and hangs out by the front door. a few times we’ve found her wandering up the street, but we live in a pretty quiet neighborhood and she always comes back.

Read more…



March 11th, 2010
i haven't felt the desire to blog lately but since i saw this today, i thought i would share it. I can't wait! enjoy!

jana's journal