"Bottling up both the sweet and tart of life's most precious moments. "



Sunday, January 27, 2008

Love & Respect

This weekend Josh and I went (for the 2nd year in a row) to the Love & Respect conference. This year it was in Palm Springs and so it was a wonderful reason to get away for a night. In just about 36 hours we went to the outlets, out for a very nice dinner, went to the conference, and spent some time with friends........ oh..... and we even squeezed in a late showing of the National Treasure sequel. Whew...... We made the most of every child free moment. :)

If you don't know what the Love & Respect conference is I am attaching the link so that you can check it out. I would HIGHLY recommend it for any couple that seeks to grow closer together and most of all  honor Christ with their marriage.

(Here is the link)

The Love & Respect Conference

 

We came home on Saturday night completely tuckered but mostly we came home with a refreshed perspective on our marriage. I think both of us can say that "we'll keep each other!" ;)DSC_4114

Our friends the Rogers were able to join us and the four of us had a fabulous time. Both of us are approaching 7 years of marriage and have all been through a lot together. They are a blessing to us and  their friendship is one of the things we value most in our lives. 

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Disney Day #3...... or Chuck E. Cheese day #1

This past Thursday as looming dark clouds threatened our 3rd Disney day in two weeks a group decision was made to relocate our outing to the home of another famous mouse. None other than a mouse named Chuck :).

DSC_4059After visiting Chuck E. Cheese on some busier days I was  pleasantly surprised to find that there was no one there on Thursday morning/early afternoon  and we literally had the place to ourselves. The kids had the run of the place and well....... that is exactly what they did...... run all over the place.

 

Anna was ,as always, on high energy mode and ran from thing to thing without giving any thought to stopping. She did take a few moments to eat ONE AND 1/2 slices of PIZZA!!!!!!!! Sheesh...... where does she put it!?

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Bekah still has not quite caught on to the ticket winning concept and tends to just run around dropping tokens into machines as if that is the fun of it all. By the end of our time there she seemed to realize that you put a token in, play the game and then get tickets which in turn you can spend for prizes. :) Who knew that a day at Chuck E. Cheese  could be such a learning experience? DSC_4077

 

 

So rain ( or at least the possibility of it )  washed out our plans of more Disney but it made for a fun day indoors at the place "where a kid can be a kid!"

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Drum Roll Please.....

Today we had two monumental events take place! ( Well at least monumental for us.) Ok get ready here it goes.................. TODAY........................ Rebekah Kate................

 

MADE HER OWN BED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 

 

Words cannot fully describe the pride I felt when I saw what she had done. I felt successful as mother. I felt pride because..... well..... look how sweet and gifted my child is that she would do this without being asked. I felt heard as a person, a person who is always instructing my offspring and not quite sure if it is sinking in. Imagine my joy when I thought about all those times of telling Bekah how to make her bed.... and go figure......... she was actually................ listening!!!! 

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I can only imagine the excitement and pride I will feel at the other "big steps" in her life. I am telling you if the emotion I feel at  her college graduation is anything like the elation I felt this morning it will be an absolutely overwhelming and amazing day!

 

The other thing that is worthy of note is... tonight (in the pouring rain) we went and got Rebekah's hair cut. She has been saying for over a week that she doesn't want her long hair anymore and that she wants short hair.  :(

She told me today:

 

" Mommy....... It's ok to get my hair cut because I have seen princesses with short hair."

and

"Well Mommy if your hair gets too long it will drag in the parking lot! And you DON'T want that...... right mommy?"

 

How could I argue with reasoning like that. I tried several times to convince her to keep her long hair and then it dawned on me......... EVERY morning we engage in a battle of wills over her hair. EVERY day I am the one who has to brush through her mass of tangles as she screams and wiggles. And I realized it would be in my favor if we got her hair cut and sooooo........... WE DID! :)

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Here is the final product! Doesn't she look so grown up? I was a little concerned as she sat in the salon chair.  She sat there with a VERY serious expression and did exactly what the stylist said without ONE word. I was hoping she wasn't regretting her / our decision.

 

 

But her reaction after she was done made it very clear she was  completely happy with the results!

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She is such a ham. After I took the picture above she strikes a pose and says...... "how do I look?!"

( Can you tell mommy watches the STYLE network?) :)

Gotta love it!

So it was a big day for Rebekah Kate. I feel like she has grown a year just since this morning. I can't say it enough.

THEY GROW UP TOO QUICK!!!!!!

Monday, January 21, 2008

The Aquarium:

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So as promised here is my post about our trip to the aquarium:

We wanted to do some sort of outing this past weekend and after moments of indecision and choices such as Disneyland (again), going to the snow or maybe the zoo..... we decided on the Long Beach Aquarium. Both girls had a great time. Anna seems to  get an almost uncontainable giddiness at the sight of a fish bowl, let alone  tanks large enough to hold sharks and seals! She was running from tank to tank and kept pointing and saying ....."WOW!" 

Here the girls are getting blown away by an air blowing shark! So much for cute hair do's.

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There is nothing I love more than time with my family......

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Anna would have without a doubt taken a swim with the stingrays. Josh let her put her hand in and she would surely have taken a plunge if we had let her. Rebekah was cautiously excited about the sea creatures and although she would say she wanted to touch one the minute one would come her way her hand was out of the water.

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After a couple hours at the aquarium we took a little walk around the harbor there. There is a  beautiful park  right next to the aquarium that has a light house and incredible views  DSC_3974

of the Queen Mary and Shoreline Village.

There is a sizable hill in the park as well and my girls could have easily spent an entire day rolling down it. Unfortunately for them mommy wasn't so excited about the possibility of itchy rashes and sizable grass stains so after about 15- 20 minutes of rolling and rolling and rolling and.......well you get the picture ,we headed to Shoreline Village for some ice  cream.  DSC_4006

BEAUTIFUL does not begin to describe the weather on Saturday. It was crystal clear outside and just the right mixture of sunshine and breeze. I just could not stop taking pictures! Josh is trying to figure out a way to best keep up with my picture taking addiction (he....... I mean..... some might say it is a little out of hand). It is just that... beautiful days like this seem to almost sparkle on film and I truly love capturing as many moments (from the ordinary to extraordinary) as possible.

 

 

Sunday, January 20, 2008

in one word.......

As inspired by those cellphone commercials that combine multiple names of locations to give a long one word name for "your network", Josh and I were trying to come up with one word that would describe this past week.........

Before we give you the words we came up with I will give you just a little glimpse of this weeks happenings (besides the activities I have already blogged about).......

The girls and I hosted 2 "play-days" at our house this week....

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Bekah being the social creature she is thrives on any time she gets to spend with friends so this week was extra special as it was filled with fun "get- together's".

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We celebrated my grandma's 74th birthday!

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We went over to my parents for dessert on Wednesday night to have a mini-celebration for grandma's birthday! (actually on the 18th)

My girls are always excited to go to Grandpa and Grandma's house and when "Carmel Pizza" and "Chocolate Cookies" are on the menu they are even more happy to visit. DSC_3710

 

 

 

 

 

 

Disney Day #2:

When I said earlier this week that I had planned several Disney Days in the near future, I was not kidding. We had two days at the "magic kingdom" this week and the second was just as fun as the first. We went DSC_3722with our friends Shanna, Kate and Luke. Bekah and Kate got to play tambourines in a show and Anna rode the carousel for the first time!

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A Night Out:

There aren't any pictures for this one but it is still worth mentioning. Josh and I were able to get away for a bit and enjoy some social time without children. We went to  an informal get together with our friends the Reeves and Eastmans. It is always a delight to spend time with people who are not only fun, funny and easy to talk to but also people who are wonderful at encouraging us in our marriage, parenting and faith. True friends.

 

Construction Zone:

In addition to the running here and there and having friends over we have had a bit of construction going on around here. Our neighbors decided to put a block wall up and replace an old chain-link fence.  We are excited for this upgrade and looking forward to it's completion (hopefully tomorrow.) Can't wait to post finished pictures!

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Long Beach Aquarium:

To finish off our week we made a visit to Long Beach today including a few hours at the aquariumDSC_3866.

 

It was such a wonderful day it deserves another post of it's own

( which I will save for later.)

 

 

 

 

 

 

So all that being said...... you can see that it is a pretty large task to describe our week in one word. But here are the ones we came up with...... how about...

 

PLISNEYCONSTRIRTHQUARIUM

or

PLAYSNEYBIRTHCONSTRUCTIUM

or

AQUAPLIRTHISNEYWALLRIUM

and now that you can tell that we have entirely to much time on our hands I think that the best word to describe our week would  most likely be..........................

BUSY!!!

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

DISNEY-DAY #1

For the past two years we have had the privilege of enjoying Disneyland passes (thanks Mom and Dad). Our passes expire in February and we are not renewing them until April (at least that is the "plan").DSC_3647 Anyways we are trying to get as much Disney in as possible and so we have planned several "DISNEY DAYS" in the next couple of weeks. Today was the first of them and we met some of our friends from church there. ("We" being the girls and I).   DSC_3666We had a marvelous time and Bekah kept saying......"I HAVE NEVER GONE TO DISNEYLAND WITH THIS MANY FRIENDS, MOMMY!!!!!" She was excited, to say the least.

Anna is really starting to want to be one of the big kids and anytime they are out and walking she wants to be doing the same. We went on "It's a Small World"  (a favorite). Now in my experience.... most kids find this ride totally enthralling even somewhat soothing. When Bekah was a baby she would sit in awe of the classic ride and just stare at every detail and not move an inch. NOT ANNA!!!!!! She just sees the 15 minute "cruise around the world" as an attempt to hold her back. About...... hmmmmmm........ 1 minute into it she had had enough and was not at all happy that mommy would not let her get out of the boat. GOSH! You can't keep this child still, she would have GLADLY jumped overboard and taken a swim!  DSC_3688

In the past ....... Bekah has been somewhat curious but overall not willing to stand with characters (unless it is a princess or Mickey or Minnie) and get her picture taken. However, today she told me...... "Mommy..... I think I am ready to go say hi to Eyore....." (in a very serious tone) So we did. Such a brave girl. :)DSC_3691

 

 

 

On our way out of the park we stopped for a little refreshment. I just wanted to show you my child's skills. Look at her with that big girl cup and guess what...... no spills :).

 

 

So today was a fun day. And we are looking forward to several more "Disney-days" ahead. Should be fun!!! 

Monday, January 14, 2008

I Can ONLY Imagine.....

Tonight we had the Lee children while Will and Riva went out for a bit.... As our kids played with the utmost of contentment and I held a little one month old I thought to myself. Hmmmmm........ what if....... what if we had 5 kids!!!???? I am sure most moments while raising 5 children would not be as peaceful as tonight was. But IF tonight was any indication I think I could handle it. ;) I know, I know..... those of you with more than 2 children are laughing out loud. I am just saying that TONIGHT was about as peaceful a night as you can get. You would have never known that there were 5 children under the age of 5 in the house.

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Bekah was enthralled by her company and we almost didn't hear a peep come out of the play room. ALL of those Christmas presents are finally getting the proper play time attention.  And NO this post is in NO WAY an indication that we are planning to have 5 little ones. I am truly saying I can ONLY imagine.......

Saturday, January 12, 2008

It's been a while since.............

........ since ..... I last wrote! For the first time in what seems to be a LONG while, we have had a week with more than one day at home. (And the best part about it is NO ONE was sick!)  It has been nice to get our house back to "normal," after a very busy holiday season!  So in our time at home....Bekah enjoyed several hours of playtime on her new swing set and for now is more than willing to push Anna on her swing. (Much to my delight.) Bekah can never be accused of being short on imagination and the " toy of the week"  has been the ottoman in my bedroom. She has used it as a kitchen, a picnic table, a school desk, and on Thursday night she decided to use it as a bed. She was playing and actually fell asleep. :)DSC_3616 Here she is out like a light. So sweet.

Anna is practically running now and keeping up with her seems to be my main source of exercise. It seems like  she gets faster by the day. She is becoming more and more definite about her opinions and has taken to pointing and grunting in order to get whatever she so desires. She is a persistent little thinDSC_3624g. It always amazes me how babies can so CLEARLY communicate without saying a word.

 

Here she is feeding our already "puffy"  dachshund more snacks....

Another fun thing this week is I have had some time to revisit a fond memory from my past. One of my FAVORITE  series of all time would have to be the Anne of Green Gables series (both in book and in film).  With some Christmas money I was able to purchase the "trilogy" of "Anne"  films and as another Christmas gift my wonderful husband purchased the "Tales from Avonlea" series. (which was delivered this week) . I called Josh when the package arrived and told him that I felt like I was holding the missing treasure. ;)DSC_3636

You see.... when I was a little girl we did not have cable and this series was only on the Disney Channel.  My Grandpa Bill would record (on VHS) each episode and bring the videos up from San Diego for us to watch.... so we had to wait  between visits to see new episodes. So this series is not only something I remember watching but also a fun treat from my grandparents and  more than anything it reminds me of them.

I have thoroughly enjoyed re-viewing something I haven't  seen ,probably, in at least 15 years.  

So all that being said. We enjoyed a fun week. The best part has been the justDSC_3628 - being- home- part. It has been nice to regroup. The chaotic/ busy times in life make me adore the peaceful days of routine and love the special little things that give me cause to reminisce.

Here's to more days of  just being home. :)

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Baby Shower & Some Time with Friends...

One of my oldest and dearest friends, Rachel, is expecting her first baby(a girl) in February and yesterday I got to be a part of throwing a shower for her. It was a lot of fun and she got some darling gifts. There is something so sweet about baby girl things. Speaking of  "sweet"..... that was our theme, well "candy" was the theme, and I think we pulled it off pretty well. The colors were bright and just the overall atmosphere of the day was happy and upbeat.  I am so excited for baby Kensington Reeves and rejoice with Sean and Rachel as they enter into such a wonderful stage....... Can't wait!!!

here are some fun pictures of the day.... DSC_3555

One of the decorations.......

 

Sweet treats : help yourself! :)

 

 

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And here is the spread.... we went for a salad bar style...... Yummm......

 

It seemed to go over pretty well..... and I have learned my lesson...... one of those boxes of lettuce at Costco goes a long way. I have enough lettuce left over to feed A LOT of hungry turtles!

 

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L ittle Miss Bekah was so excited to go to the "Big girl party". Here she is with grandma... already plotting what cupcake will be hers. :)

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And here are the "guests" of honor...... Rachel and baby Kensington. :)

 

 

She got some really cute things......

 

 

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One of my dearest friends. She has been such a blessing to me and I cannot tell you what a WONDERFUL mom she will be!!! Congratulations Rachel and Sean...... she is almost here!!! :)

 

After the shower...

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For the past several weeks we have been going non-stop! Between parties, sickness, holidays, and several other happenings we have had little time to just hang out with friends (something that we LOVE to do.) So last night we finally had the chance to get together with the Lees. The girls acted like they hadn't seen each other in years and were elated to play together!

Anna was so excited to be able to sit at the 'big kid" table. As you can see we don't trust her with a plate of her own yet though..... :)

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Bekah was thrilled to have someone to play dress up with and Riva and I even played a little dress up ourselves by trying little clips and bows on baby Lynnea. Look at all that hair...... so fun! :)

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Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Happy New Year!

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Well it is 2008! It is a little hard to believe.... 2007 went by in "the blink of an eye" (as the saying goes).

Today we went over to my parents house..... it has become an annual tradition for Josh to show off his culinary skills on January 1st and fix German apple pancakes and Æbleskiver (aka ebleskiver). DSC_3326 It get's tastier every year and it is a tradition we all look forward to. Of course Bekah had to get in on the cooking action.

 

After breakfast we were joined by several members of my extended family. My cousin Justin is going into the Navy and is leaving tomorrow. Today we had the chance to visit with him for a bit, and we enjoyed a fun day of games, conversation and as always great food. We send Justin off with our prayers, love and appreciation for the noble decision he has made to serve in our nation's armed forces.

 

In addition to the fun today we have had several days of family filled activities.....

First of all on Sunday we took a drive down to Carlsbad to visit with Josh's Uncle Bill and Aunt Mary. They had quite a large family gathering at their house and it was fun to meet a new member of the faDSC_3140mily..... baby Cora (who was visiting from Washington D.C with her parents). We had a special photo opportunity because Josh's grandparents (Bill and June) : our girls' great grandparents  were there... and all of their 9 GREAT- GRANDKIDS were there as well. Getting this picture was an interesting experience and of course our child was the one who decided to be a clown instead of just smiling...... all the same we got the picture!

 

On New Years Eve day the girls and I made an impromptu visit to the Grove and Farmer's Market witDSC_3198h Aunt Becky and cousin Alee.  It seemed that everyone else in the area had the same idea. It was CROWDED! 

No worries..... we had a great time!

 

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That night we went over to Josh's sister and brother-in-law's house to ring in the new year toddler style. We had a count down at 9:00 and so we were right on time in New York! And it was perfect for the kids to enjoy the occasion but still get to bed a decent hour! 

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Here is Bekah and Sam toasting to the New Year! Bekah made sure to get every last drop of the sparkling cider!

 

 

And here is the last picture we took in the year of 2007!

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We a re looking forward to a wonderful year ahead. Happy 2008!