Thursday, December 31, 2009

December 2009

We had a BIG December. Jon’s brother and his family came for a visit, Jeremy & Julie. They have a 4 year old daughter, Emily, and twin baby boys, Ethan & Shepard, who we finally got to meet!!! We had a very Merry “early” Christmas with them and Granny. We spent a lot of really wonderful time together, including a trip to the zoo and to the snow. It was Emily's first time with snow and she loved it. Ben loved the snow too, but he did not love sledding. Caleb and I used up the little bit of sunlight we had flying and screaming down the hill on our two-person sled over and over. The best part of the day at the zoo was watching the kids run back and forth at the hippo tank being chased by the hippos! We were so glad that our family was in town to see Caleb’s school play. He was the narrator and he and his friends had a great time. After our guests moved on to Northern California to see Julie’s family, we loaded up in Granny’s car and drove straight through to Texas. Our Hawaiian family, Uncle Pete, Tia Val, Anna & Andrew, were out there visiting on their Christmas break. We surprised everyone out there, except Grandma Jean, our co-conspirator. We got to stay in a little trailer that is next to Grandma Jean's house. The tenant was house sitting elsewhere, and was just fine with us staying there. I had a great time with all our family, but I have a special place in my heart for Anna. It was really nice to spend time with her. Caleb couldn’t get enough of Andrew. He just really looks up to Andrew. I am so thankful for that relationship. We all just love Aaron. I really appreciate that guy whenever I’m around him, not to mention all the hilarity that ensues. Xena adjusted very quickly to being a free roaming dog in a forest. Caleb received his first pocket knife and learned how to whittle, shot his first gun, and lit his first match to help the men disintegrate the burn pile that had gotten very large. I am very proud of Caleb and am glad to see him enjoying his boyhood. Anna, myself, and Ben also all got to shoot a hand gun for the first time. Jon found his childhood weapons collection stored in a shed on the land. He left them lying around for Caleb to find and when Caleb did, he asked Jon if those were Raphael’s weapons (the ninja turtle). Jon showed off his skills with the nunchucks and sais for Caleb. Impressed is putting it mildly…Caleb was filled with awe and wonderment with his Dad’s super cool skills. I just laughed.

Monday, November 30, 2009

November 2009

In November we celebrated my Grandma Ower’s 90th birthday. The family threw her a surprise birthday party and Owers from all over showed up to share the day with her. It was so nice to catch up with cousins and family I haven’t seen in years. It was especially nice for my kids to get to meet and play with my cousins’ kids, Kaitlyn and Koltyn. Thanksgiving was celebrated at our house this year. Aaron, Jon’s cousin, flew out from Texas and my parent’s and my brother drove down from Hanford. Granny spent time with us too. We had a great week with good food, good company, and fun games. I am thankful.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

October 2009

We had a very busy and full month, so there are tons of pictures. Enjoy!

We got treated to a day at Disneyland by our friends who have the magic press pass. Yea! For extra fun, we kept it a surprise from the kids until the morning of. They were so surprised and running up and down the hall shouting with joy when we told them that morning. It was a fantastic day, and Caleb and Ben had a blast! Caleb and his friend Sammy were super brave and went on all the big rides for the first time ever and loved them! Caleb was very partial to Haunted Mansion, which was extra spooky for Halloween. My favorite quote of the day from Ben was when we were halfway through It's a Small World. He looked up at me in wonderment and asked, "Mommy...what is this place?" I said, "It’s a small world honey." Awww…. Oh, and Caleb lost his 2nd tooth in the parking lot when we arrived, so all of our pictures from the day have his sweet little toothy grin. It was such a great day!

We went camping at Palomar Mountain with friends and also checked out the Palomar Observatory. It was a great time. We took our puppy with us for the first time and she did great. Caleb got to have his own tent and snuggle his puppy all night. Great childhood memories being made here.

We got invited to an Alice in Wonderland adults Halloween party the night before Halloween. I worked very hard to make our costumes. If you look carefully in the picture, you can see Jon’s itty bitty top hat too. It was hilarious and my cheeks still hurt the next day from smiling all night long. There were so many amazing and elaborate costumes, but I only posted pictures of a few. I was a Cheshire Cat and Jon was the walrus. As in…the walrus and the carpenter were walking close at hand, the beach was wide from side to side, but much too full of sand…

Grandma Jean arrived for a couple more days before heading back to Texas. She spent a month in Kauai visiting all our family there. She was back just in time for a trip to the pumpkin patch and a nice afternoon. We went to a friend’s house for pumpkin carving and trick-or-treating. Caleb carved his own pumpkin by himself for the first time. Ben requested that his Daddy help him carve a robot pumpkin. He was grinning ear to ear at first, especially at cleaning out the pumpkin guts part, but lost interest very quickly. Caleb was a Clone Trooper and Ben was a Bobble Head Darth Vader. He didn’t want to keep his helmet on from house to house, so we had to keep taking it on and off between homes. Silly Ben. We ending our Halloween night watching Charlie Brown and the Great Pumpkin.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

September 2009

We added some very momentous pictures for our family into August's photo album. Jon and Jeremy flew to Florida at the end of August to say farewell to their grandfather, who passed away. He will be missed. It was a sad occasion but with a silver lining, as we connected with a whole side of our family, the Hartshorns, for the first time. Thank you all for welcoming us into your lives and we are glad to welcome all of you to our lives. We are excited to get to know you all better.

I started a blog,, to highlight my more recent creations and a few old favorites. If I find the time to make extra anything, I'll start selling them in my etsy shop, an online boutique. I'm teaching myself how to sew and I love the process of stretching my brain to figure out new things. I have plans to dip my feet in photography a little as well. I'm waiting to find out if some equipment is coming my way, and then I plan to take a photography and photo imaging class. My brain is swimming with ideas...

Fall has finally hit us and it is a welcome relief from the heat wave we had. I have been relishing in being cozy and sipping on hot tea throughout the day. The boys have had a round of colds and hopefully won't have any more. Thankfully, Jon and I have avoided most of that so far.

We've settled back into the school routine and Caleb is doing really well. His reading and writing are improving by leaps and bounds. It is so wonderful and he is a delight to teach.Caleb had his outer space/solar system eighth birthday. We turned the backyard dome climber into a planetarium that projected the constellations all around for the kids. They loved it. Jon made "moon shoes" for the kids to bounce and race all over the yard. Caleb's gift from us was a telescope. We set it up and were able to view Jupiter and four of its moons. So cool! After the party he had a sleepover in the backyard with his 2 closest friends. It was a very successful birthday and now my little boy is that much older.

Grandma Jean was with us for a month and we love having her so much. She and Ben spent a lot of special time together. I love the relationship they're building. Grandma Jean also partook at my little birthday celebration, for my 30th, with a few of my girlfriends. We enjoyed the fine delicacy of small chocolate glasses filled with port and almond champagne. Ummm...

Monday, August 31, 2009

July & August 2009

We've had a nice cool summer until the last couple weeks. It's boiling hot and we don't have air conditioning. Bummer. Thank goodness for fans.

The boys had a couple rounds of swim lessons, Ben’s for the first time. He was very opposed to the idea for the first week or so. Then he started enjoying himself. I had to bribe him with Jamba Juice and Pirate’s Booty. My niece, Kristen, stayed with us for 2 weeks. The kids had a blast together. We played at the beach, saw butterflies at the nature center, and celebrated her 6th birthday at the fair. She and Ben got to ride their first elephant ever. They were mesmerized and crazy excited!

We went on a week and a half road trip to Colorado Springs for my 30th birthday to be with my dear friends. Anna Peterson lives there and Laurie flew in from D.C. I felt so loved and blessed. I had an amazing adventure driving around America with my family and seeing how beautiful it really is. The boys traveled so well, it blew my mind. I finally got to meet Anna’s little girl, Lila. I cherish every moment I spent with my girlfriends...we laughed, we cried...bliss :) My parents were amazing, yet again, and drove down to get our dog to doggy-sit, and then returned her once we arrived home. Thanks mom and dad.

Now we’ve got Grandma Jean here visiting for 3 weeks and we enjoy her so much. Caleb will be celebrating his 8th birthday in a couple weeks (9/15) and starts 3rd grade on Monday (8/31). I’m very excited because the home school program got new English/Language Arts curriculum that is everything I could have ever imagined.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

May & June 2009

Jon entered into partnership with another local carpenter. We went from fairly slow as the economic slow-down hit us to very, very busy. Praise God! God is good all the time! Jon and Jason complement each other very well in their strengths and weaknesses. It is a perfect fit and we're looking forward to what they will accomplish together.

Benjamin celebrated his 3rd birthday and enjoyed a fun little party at our house with his friends. He loved his cupcakes! Then we went to Hanford to see all our family. We had one adventurous afternoon at Kings River with Uncle Dave and the cousins. Also, Anthony taught Caleb the beginnings of riding a skate board. Caleb can't wait to get his own and practice some more. He did really well.

My mom and I took a short trip to Missouri to visit with the Parrs and the Denneys and meet Kara and Jason's new baby, Jude Anthony. That was a great trip and we had a fantastic time. We ate lots of cookies and played lots and lots of cards. Oh, and we oooooed and awwwwwed over Jude lots:)

Thursday, April 30, 2009

January - April 2009

We went to Hanford and visited with the family. It was soooo fun!

Jon downsized his shop. We did share a double unit shop with a friend, but he passed away. Jon has moved into a single unit shop and is in the process of setting it up and getting it functional. Our business is holding in this market, and God has been getting our essential bills paid every month. Praise God!

We got a new puppy! She is a Lhasa Apso and is hypoallergenic. Although Caleb is still allergic to hypoallergenic dogs saliva and dander, we are able to manage his eczema as long as he washes his hands after playing with her and confining her to the large kitchen and backyard. I'm sooooo thrilled that my sons finally have their childhood dog!!!!! I didn't think it would ever happen because of Caleb's allergies. On top of it all, this sweet puppy is so calm and non-barky. She is the perfect temperament for Caleb. He gets overwhelmed by loud, jumpy, bitey dogs. Oh, and she was free. A gift from God! The boys love running around the yard with her. She just chases them and runs and plays. It melts my heart.

We've had lots of visitors and celebrations these last few months. Jon and I celebrated our 8th wedding anniversary and Jon turned another year older. Grandma Jean visited with us for two weeks. She is a special person and she has a knack for making everyone around her feel loved! In March, all of my closest college friends gathered, from here to Washington D.C., to celebrate "The Year of the 30," as we've decided to call it. We had a super weekend extravaganza including a very necessary kitchen birthday dance party and Laguna Beach overnight girls getaway! Laurie was the first, she was my maid of honor, and one by one, every one of us will turn 30 this year. My parents also came down a couple times to visit. They babysat one weekend so I could go to my womens retreat and so Jon could move to his new shop. That blessed me. Thanks mom and dad!