June started off with Ben’s 5th birthday. We had a fun little morning with Ben opening presents in his pj’s. He thought it was funny that Uncle David’s present was wrapped in a sock. Caleb spent the rest of the morning building all of Ben’s new Cars Lego sets for him so that Ben could play with them. Then we got a surprise call from Uncle Jeremy and Auntie Julie. They just arrived in California from Kauai to start off their summer music tour on the mainland. They were in the Bay Area and wanted to meet in the middle to celebrate Ben. We waited for Jon to get to Hanford from Southern CA and then we drove to meet up with the rest of the Hartshorns and Granny. We ended up at a little BBQ restaurant and had a fun night. We had cupcakes and the kids ran around and played out front for a long time. Then we went over to Target to spend the rest of our evening and to pick out some presents for Ben. It was great to see everyone. It had been about a year and a half since we last saw them. Those Bubbas (the twins Ethan & Shepard) have gotten so big. They were babies last time we saw them. Love you guys! Thanks for celebrating Ben with us!
May was filled with cleaning out and organizing my Mom’s house. So in June I decided to refresh my Mom’s house. I also got to help my brother check out homes to buy. He found a gorgeous 1902 Victorian house, put an offer in, and his offer got accepted. We had a little dance party and I got special bubbly in celebration. No one else wanted to share the bubbly though, so I was stuck with the whole bottle by myself :) Now I had a second project, to help my brother furnish his house and get the basic necessities. We scoured thrift stores and antique shops for furniture. We stumbled onto so many quaint little downtowns in the CA Central Valley and left with some of their treasures. I did a lot of sewing. I got David and my Dad to help me with sanding the furniture and Jon was our painter. Between all of us, Mom and Dad ended up with a cheerful and newly refreshed room with new couches, new lamps, and a refurbished coffee table, end table, bookshelf, and rocking chair; Plus new handmade pillows, a lap blanket, and valances. David ended up with a pretty good setup too. Sadly, I had to leave Hanford before I got to see everything put into his house. I’m sure it’s cute though. It was fun to have a blank slate to work with. It opens up such a broader range of possibilities.
We had a fun day outing in San Francisco with the Flores Family. I was glad we got to go there before we moved away from California. Juan was working at a convention, so we met up with Tracy and the kids in the morning. It was adorable when the kids all saw each other for the first time in months! Sam and Caleb were so happy to see each other. They were beside themselves with joy. Ben and Vida were stinkin’ cute. I got to sit on a bench with just the two of them for a little while and listen in on their conversations. They were just radiating joy being together again! We checked out Pier 39 and a magic show in the promenade. After Juan met up with us we explored the Aquarium. Ben and Vida loved when they got to touch the rays and starfish. Caleb and Sam were too cool to do that this time. We found a tasty place to get some famous clam chowder sourdough bread bowls and relax with a harbor view. It was perfect. We explored the Golden Gate Bridge and the kids got to let loose. They ran and chased and ran some more. Then we drove over to check out Ghirardelli Square at dusk. We wandered along the water front before we made it there and the kids had a blast running around at the shore. We were tired are ready to relax when we finally got our desserts. Tasty heaven! I’m so glad we got to have such a fun day with our closest friends before we moved! We love you guys so much!
Back in Hanford, Grandpa gave Caleb a science challenge to make a suspension bridge like the Golden Gate Bridge. He gave Caleb a bunch of parts and set him to work. Caleb did a great job and got a really good understanding of the science behind suspension bridges. Another time Grandpa taught Caleb about hovercrafts and they made their own version with CD’s. It was really neat.
Caleb spent a good week or two taking things apart to see how they work. Thank goodness he got everything put back together and working again, all by himself too. I'm very proud of my smart & inquisitive boy. He and Uncle David decided to tackle Uncle's CD player/radio. They didn’t get too far before they got tired of it though. I’m not sure if they even put it back together.
One night, on the goodnight phone call to Daddy, of which I can only hear Ben's side on the conversation: "Where's your bed Daddy?" "What? You have a car bed Daddy?" "Is that for real Daddy?" "I never knew you had a car bed Daddy." When we were finally back in Orange County and Ben saw that Daddy’s car bed was just Daddy’s suburban with blankets and a pillow in the back, I think he was a little bit disappointed. He had imagined something much more fun :)
Thanks for having us Mom and Dad! I truly know the Lord ordained this time for our family. The Lord wanted to refresh the people and the place. He drew us closer together. He re-established bonds and healed more than we probably know. I’m so thankful for you guys and love you fiercely!