Sunday, March 31, 2013

March 2013

Our 12th Happy Saint Birth-a-versary begins!  I am so blessed to get to walk through life with Jon!  I love him so much!  Happy 12th Anniversary to us, Happy 35th Birthday to Jon, and Happy Saint Patrick's Day to everyone!!!!  Italian wine and a dish of homemade Italian Cannelloni's with Walnuts and Fried Sage started the fun off.  It was so amazing!  It had better be after more than four hours of active work.  Good thing I did the bulk of the work a day ahead of time.  I love trying new recipes and I especially love when they taste like a little old Italian grandmother made them.

We had a great celebratory weekend.  The kids got their first Texas sleepover and Jon and I got a whole night and day to just be together!  It was so perfect!  The highlight of day 1 of our 12th Happy St. Birth-a-versary was a wine tour and tasting of Messina Hof Winery.  It was very informative and we got to taste four of their wines.  Before tasting each wine, our host instructed us on how to properly taste, including trilling for white wine and clucking for red wine.  That was fun and surprisingly effective at enhancing the tastes.  I was impressed by the facility, the tour, and the wine itself.  I loved finishing up our last glass lounging by the lake with my husband of 12 years!

We topped our night off with dinner at a little local Italian eatery.  We even brought our own bottle of wine and paid the corking fee, which was a first for us.  That was fun and a dollar saver.

The next day we meandered around a cute garden store and enjoyed their tea room.  How lovely that the tea house serves complementary tea and pastries before you order your meal.  Plants and fancy food are some of my favorite things and I love that we got both in one place.  On our way home we happened upon a very Ranchero swap meet.  Watching a family chase down an escaped rooster sticks in my mind the most.  It was a very strange and entertaining swap meet.

For Jon’s birthday we had a calorie laden dinner with friends.  It was a good time.  The evening was topped off with some fantastic news!  The IRS accepted our offer-in-compromise!  We now owe only a small fraction of our outstanding tax debt that we’d gained from being self-employed in California.  We feel tremendously blessed and know it is the hand of the Lord!  Only with His grace and covering could this have worked out.  We’re another step closer to being debt free!

The good news kept coming.  I was asked to be a moderator at a new homeschool program being set up for the Fall.  I will give 4 hours of my time per week to this job and Caleb will get two free classes in exchange!  I was going to sign him up for the middle school science class anyway, so now that will be free.  I will also get to sign him up for an English class with a very dramatic and passionate teacher.  I’m very excited because Caleb loves science and I’m so thankful to find someone to pour this knowledge into him in a way I can’t.  I’m also thankful for finding someone who is truly in love with English to teach Caleb, as English is the subject that is most frustrating and difficult for Caleb.

Even more good news is that we got a truckload of parts, all FREE, to set up a watering system for my garden, from a craigslist post!  I’d wanted a watering system so badly this year, but we just couldn’t put our money towards that expense yet.  Thank you Lord for working it out for me!  God just keeps letting me know His care and love in tangible ways.  God is good!  Extra awesome is that we used our anniversary gift money to buy an automatic timer for the watering system!  Thanks Melanie!  We got it all set up and we got all the little plants hardened off and transplanted.  I was too sick to do the transplanting myself, so the boys did it for me.  I sat outside to oversee and am thankful I was able to do that much.  I’m very excited that I won’t have to hand water all the beds through the horribly hot summer!  This will be a huge time and effort saver for me!

We had a nice Easter, although we missed our usual California traditions.  I was very sick, so we just stayed at home.  Jon talked with the boys about the meaning of Easter and told the Easter story.  Then we had a fun Easter egg hunt in the yard.  Ben raced around with glee.  He is such a delight!  Both boys had fun and especially enjoyed eating their spoils.  We topped our day off with a family movie and popcorn.  Caleb is really into the Harry Potter movies right now.  We’ve watched one a weekend for the last four weekends.

Blessings on you and yours!

The Hartshorns