Thursday, January 29, 2009

Before and After Shots

I don't think prunes are a huge hit at this point!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

On the Road Again

This past weekend Jesse, Maddie, and me flew up to Sacramento, then drove 2 1/2 hours to Redding. Jesse preached at a church on Sunday, and the rest of the weekend we took to play. We just have so much fun together! I'm very thankful for our little family.
Jesse was enthralled with the Sundial Bridge that goes over the Sacrament River. It was sculpted by a man from Spain, using tension to keep it standing upright. If it weren't for the cloud cover, we could have used it to tell time! It was fascinating.  
Burney Falls is a 129-ft. falls that has been called the eighth wonder of the world. We drove about an hour and a half in the pouring rain to get there- it was a breathtaking drive.
Here is Old Town Sacramento- a fun place to walk around, look at old trains and the river, and eat candy (yes, candy).
What a handsome catch!
I thought this was beautiful- they rent rooms out on this boat- a floating hotel! Can you see the little rock in the bottom of this picture? A man ran up to us to give us this "good luck charm for the baby"....OK. 
Wow! Who's that cute guy?
Here's the candy part. Old Town had a zillion of these old fashioned candy shops. Here's some funny faces Maddie made while we were looking around!
This one makes me laugh!
As you walk in, the guy says, eat as much as you want from the barrels with blue tags while you're shopping. So, Jesse made his trip well worth while!!! He kept having me try candies I'd never heard of! 
Madison and me having fun cuddling in the gigantic hotel bed.
We went to the Capitol the next day. There was a Vietnam Veterans Memorial there. 
Jesse and I both had family fighting there, but none that we knew died. Here was the list of men from CA that lost their lives. They were listed by city, then name, rank, and age. It was sobering to see how young they were. 
There's the Capitol in all its glory. 
Madison was very content to roll around on the airport floor. She's so easy to travel with. 

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

The Lord Gives, and the Lord Takes Away!

I believe with all my heart, that as the Bible says, God is in control of ALL things. He is sovereign. There is such comfort in that- in both the small things and big things of life. I was reminded of this today in a small way. I carried all my things and Madison out to our car, ready for a day out when I found my entire stereo, sunglasses, and gate clicker stolen. Yes, that big hole is where it used to be- Jesse had got me a really nice one so I could listen to my IPOD in the car. It was a bit annoying not being able to leave without the gate clicker. (My mom did help out so I could go to the Police Station). Oh well! I was really thankful that the car and stroller were still there. 
Then, the next day my friend calls me and asks me to come over because she has "some" clothes for me that her daughter has grown out of. Well, they FILLED my car! I can't believe how God always provides. He is a gracious Father. I was thankful for the reminder!

Family Hanging Out

Aunt Jen, Aunt Dottie, Mom, Melissa, and her girls and Maddie and me went to the park and Aroma Cafe (one of my favorite places to eat). We've been having so much fun together! Everyday has just been spent hanging out. 
Aunt Dottie pushed Madison all the way from the park to the restaurant (uphill about three blocks)!
I still get to hold her a little with all the visitors here.
Then Aunt Dottie treated us to gelato...yum.
Aunt Jennifer was the first to leave. We are very sad to see her go! She brings such joy into the lives of those she's with.
One last big group hug!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Happy Birthday Aunt Jennifer and Mimi!

It was pretty novel for Aunt Jennifer to celebrate her birthday on the beaches of California in January. What a gorgeous day it was in the 70's! She is usually freezing in Massachusetts at this time
Of course Charis sat in the ocean and then breaded herself in the sand. Perfect pre-meal activity!
We walked on the Santa Monica Pier and ate lunch at Bubba Gump. Aunt Jennifer was completely embarrassed because the waitresses had the whole restaurant sing Happy Birthday to her while she danced!
Here is the birthday girl wearing her hat.
There's the bathing beauty!
"Sisters, sisters, there were never such devoted sisters..." Actually Aunt Jennifer wanted to ring Mom's neck from the dancing and Happy Birthday singing!
We watched the fishermen.
That night after our family dinner, Aunt Jennifer read to Madison. She read A Fly Went By which happened to be a story she read to me at least 500 times! It was fun having you here Aunt Jennifer- we love you and miss you already!
My mom's birthday is also in January, so here's how we celebrated her!
We spent the day together. That is my mom's favorite gift- time together as a family. We love her for that. She is so devoted to our family. Then Melissa and I made a gourmet meal (kind of- it included popovers and this trifle). 
Lots of bedtime hugs and kisses after we opened presents. 
I had to include this one! This is a typical shot- Madison getting squeezed as Charis is trying to "help" lift her head for the picture, and 
Mom trying to mediate.

Six Months...Happy Half Birthday!

What a happy girl we have been blessed with! She is full of smiles and giggles. We thank the Lord for half a year with this precious gift. 
And thanks Auntie Melissa for this adorable outfit!
It's amazing how much babies grow in the first few months! She is 25 3/4 inches long (50th percentile). She's weighing in at 14 pounds and 8 ounces (25th percentile). She keeps herself busy with rolling all over the floor, and scooting backwards! She has started getting up on all fours and rocking, so crawling is around the corner. She is sitting up all by herself with an occasional topple. One white tooth has popped up on the bottom, and more are coming! Rice cereal is the new addition to mealtime, (along with 8 ounces of formula) and she seems to like it. She has mastered grabbing for things (even Mom's hot tea), so we are on high alert for spills!
I love this face! She makes new ones every day it seems.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Rice Cereal

We knew she was ready for rice cereal when she started going for these treats! Hee Hee!
It was pretty hilarious- she had an audience for her first bites! Great Great Aunt Dottie, Great Aunt Jennifer, Aunt Melissa, Mimi, and her two cousins were all there to watch! 
She did a great job- we think she likes it! She's been eating it three times a day since then.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Anna's Heavenly Homemaking with CSUN Gals

Seventeen of our CSUN gals showed up at Anna's house Saturday morning for instruction on meal planning and a cooking demo. Each girl left with a folder of recipes. We all learned so much and had a blast doing it!
Anna first sat us around talking through how she menu plans, looking at it from a nutritional standpoint. The main idea is to always pray and plan. We can honor God in the way we serve our families!
Then we were brought into her gorgeous kitchen where we had some hands-on lessons. 
How to make brownies a *10*! Doctor them up with almond and vanilla extract, some chocolate chips, and chocolate syrup. Yum. 
Don't you just love her apron?!
We all listened in attentively- Anna was hilarious and entertaining. 
Get those aprons on girls! How to properly chop up veggies for a stir fry.
This stir fry recipe is a keeper. 
Then it was naked chicken time! Anna wanted all of us to have the opportunity to get over any skirmish feelings we had a bout raw chicken. Sara hadn't touched one before, so she had the honors!
She said, "Oh, you can hold it like a baby!" We all had a fun time learning! Thank you Anna for your selflessness and generosity. We will benefit from your preparations and instructions.