Saturday, July 31, 2010

June & July 2010

We’ve had a full and wonderful summer, and it’s not even over yet. Here’s the overview: Swimming, gardening, watching fireworks, moving Granny from one beach house to another, Vacation Bible School, visiting with lots and lots of wonderful people, considering moving to Texas, considering moving to Santa Ana, considering staying you are all caught up on the last 2 months of our lives. We did get a job offer in Texas that we seriously considered, but the timing wasn’t quite right and the Lord didn’t release us to do that. We are keeping our eyes open for a cheaper home in Santa Ana in a beautiful neighborhood where quite a few of our friends all live. But for now, we’re just staying here until the Lord opens the next door for us.

Jon’s work is going well. He and his partner have finally merged their shops and are under the same roof. He’s busy, busy, busy.

We started off June celebrating Ben’s 4th birthday. It was fun. He requested fruit smoothies and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for his party, his favorites. It was a fun afternoon of kid mayhem. He loved it. I thought it was adorable when he thanked all his guests for coming and for his presents. It was so cute seeing him address a group of people.

Grandma Jean got to visit for a week or so with us. She intended to be here longer, but was ill/hospitalized in Kauai and had to delay her trip. Thank the Lord that she made a full recovery and didn’t need surgery!

Then we had a visit from Kelly (Ower) & Steve Eastmond. I hadn’t even met 3 of her kids or her husband, and had only seen her oldest when he was a baby. I’ve been wishing for so long that all of our kids could meet and play together. I have such happy childhood memories of being with her family and playing with her and her siblings, my cousins. I just wanted the same experience for our kids.

I had a friend cut about 8 inches off and a ton of bulk out of my hair. I’ve never had a friend cut my hair before. She did a fantastic job and I love it.

Our next visitors were Trish & Kai Blake. Caleb and Kai were best friends when they were babies/toddlers. We saw him last summer on our way through Colorado, but that’s the only other time we’ve seen Kai since the kids were 2. He and his mom Trish came for a weekend visit and the boys had a blast. They made orange juice and played at the beach and just had fun hanging out. It was a busy weekend, but well worth it.

Next to stay with us were my dear friends Laurie & Anna. Laurie came from Washington D.C. to meet up with her missionary team to head off to Kenya. She came a little early so we could have yet another girl’s week extravaganza. Anna came out from Colorado for it. I’m so thankful we all have been able to get together about once a year. My college girlfriends are just so special to me.

Not 24 hours after dropping my girlfriends off at their respective airports, we picked up cousin Anna from Kauai. She stayed with us for about 3 weeks. I’ve never had the chance to spend so much time with her and I cherish it. I really hope she gets another chance to linger here before her life gets too full for long carefree visits. Ben had a moment today when it sunk in that she wasn't here anymore and he buried his head into me overcome with sadness. It was so sad, but utterly adorable. I’m glad that he loves Anna so much! I'm relieved she’s going to come back for a few days at the end of September. We got tickets to go to a big concert together when she’s back. I'm not quite ready for a long goodbye.

Jeremy, Jon’s brother, was in town for a week to record another album. Jon spent all his evenings and weekends working on the album with Jeremy. They got a lot done and I’m glad they got to play music together. Uncle Brother, as the kids call him, took the boys on an uncle/nephews morning, so Anna and I got to have a girl date. Yay! We had a great day. We ended up chatting at Gypsy Den, one of my favorite cafes, for awhile and then browsing at a consignment shop. Then we picked up the kids and went to the park for over 4 hours. I love easy going days like this.

I finally, finally, finally opened my etsy shop. Last year I set myself the goal to open up for business sometime this year. I hoped to do it earlier in the year, but due to a very full school year with homeschooling Caleb, I knew it would have to wait until summer. But I did it! Yay! I'm very excited and proud of myself. I made 5 coffee cozies to start with. I will likely make some magnets or baby items in the future. People are always telling me "Oh, you should sell those," when I make them gifts. I've never been inclined to because of the cost & time of sewing homemade. It's a labor of love. But...I guess I wondered if anyone out there in the big, big world would like what I make. So here it goes. Wish me well.

Setting up my etsy shop took way more work than I thought...shipping costs & policies, linking paypal accounts so I can accept payments, reading rules & laws & regulations, CA sales tax...not to mention all the work taking photos, selecting photos, cropping photos, reducing photo size, uploading, product descriptions, and on and on. I was so excited though when I saw the finished shop. Take a look and spread the word.

I’ve also been a busy sewing lots of little baby goodies because 2 of my good friends each had their babies…and on the same day nonetheless! Tracy is all settled at home now with her sweet new baby boy Noah and Meg, a homeschooling friend, also had a baby boy, Jonathan. That means I get to have plenty of baby snuggling time and that makes me smile.

I also spent a good amount of time this summer gardening. We’ve gotten the most delicious yellow squash, salad, cucumbers, green beans, and herbs to grace our dinner plates. I’m really looking forward to the corn. It’s ready. We just have to pick it and eat it. I recently pulled out the lettuce and most of the squash plants. The lettuce was very overgrown and messy. The squash was covered in powdery mildew and wasn’t doing well. But I got so much squash from that plant that I am completely satisfied. In the next month or two our tomatoes and jalapenos will be ready. Yum!

One afternoon I noticed a ton of empty flower pots that our neighbor was getting rid of. He was glad to let me have them. Anna & I went nuts at the local nursery choosing herbs and flowers to plant. It was fun getting started plants. All the other plants that I’ve grown were from seeds, which are wonderful, but I liked the instant gratification. I’m most excited about the chocolate mint plant!!! It’s really smells & tastes like chocolate mint. It’s divine. And we got a lemon thyme hybrid herb. It’s wonderful too! Oh, we got so much…oregano, rosemary, sage, lavender, serrano chile, and a few different flowers. Jon built me a shelf to put it all on. I love the final result.

Last Saturday I was spoiled with the most perfect day! Anna, my friend Kat, and I spent the day in Temecula. We did an olive oil tasting at an olive oil bar, antique shopped, and had the most delicious and gourmet lunch at Ponte Winery. Then Jon surprised me with a date he had secretly arranged. We dined at a superb French restaurant in LA. I even ordered in French..Assiette de Fromage et Crevettes a la Ratatouille. To translate, we started with an assortment of cheese and had grilled shrimp served over ratatouille for our main entrĂ©e. I thought ratatouille was soup, but it turns out, it’s vegetables in a thick red sauce. It was all extremely delicious. Then he took me to see South Pacific at the Ahmanson Theater. “Oh my goodness” is all I can really say. And I’ve had a little French song stuck in my head ever since I saw the play…

La vie est belle,
La vie est gai,
Chere Mad'moiselle,
Est-ce que...Parce que
Vous m'aimez?

Chere Mad'moiselle,
Est-ce que...Parce que
Vous m'aimez?

Then we had an unexpected visit one evening from Jon, Susan, and their sweet little baby girl Ella. I wish I would have taken a picture. Oh well. I’ve known Susan since Jr. High and I’m so thankful for the moments we get together. She is a dear friend and I truly enjoy her family. Her husband works for government and they usually are living abroad. It was so nice to catch up with them and see how much little Ella has grown in a year. Susan even brought me gorgeous silk from Thailand! The gift made me feel loved and known. That’s a good feeling. Thanks Susan. What to make with it?

So, one more month of summer and then back to regular life and school work. But for now I think we’ll just try to get as much time in the pool as we can.