Thursday, January 27, 2011


Ethan started doing this funny thing in the car on Sunday on our way home from church.  This kid cracks us up... all. the. time.!!!

Watching the video they just made--and cracking up again!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Ethan's a Big Boy!

Our little escape artist gave us good motivation to transfer him to a bed!
Ethan got a 'big boy' bed from PaB for Christmas, and we finally got a mattress and it set up for him last weekend.  He was soooo excited to sleep in it, and it's been such a blessing to us in more ways than one!  Ethan likes his new bed so much that he has been sleeping until about 6:30am each morning since... some of you might think this torture... but try the 5am regular he was doing before.  I LOVE it... and so does he!!!  Thanks, PaB for his beautiful bed, and Auntie Rachel & Uncle Mark for the cozy new sheets!  Now we need to find a cool comforter to complete the bed... then to paint the room!

Ethan loves going 'nigh-nite' in his new bed!

Sunday, January 23, 2011


One Word can have a big impact... and my word for 2011 is OPEN.

I want to be open to all God has for me.  I want to be more open handed with my time, money, energy, friendship, and love.  I want to be open to Brian's crazy ideas.  I want to be open to learn what I need to know, to know what I need to learn.  I want my home to be open to others.  I want to walk through open doors of opportunity and feel God's peace about it.  I want to open my Bible more.  I want to feel open to others.  I want my calendar to have some open space on it.

Ali Edwards was a contributer to the scrapbooking magazine I subscribe to, so I've been familiar with her for a few years, and it was my friend Lisa Leonard's link to Ali's blog that inspired me to choose a Word of the Year.  Lisa even designed a new necklace for it (see it here)!

This 'one word' journey was so inspiring to me personally, as well as so many others on Ali's blog, that I decided my students should take this journey with me, too!  The first week of class, I had them come up with their 'one word' for the semester.  They all wrote their word out for me and why they chose it... so inspriational to me... I can't wait to see how it plays out for them this semester.  I made a bookmark that I'll be printing out of each of my students with all their words on it... (again, thanks to Ali for the compliation inspriation!)... check it out...

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Saturday Morning

Brian made donuts for his high schooler's yesterday, and made another batch for us this morning!  It was fun to make our own flavors, decorate and enjoy eating our treats!  I'm glad someone in this family likes being creative in the kitchen!

No Front Teeth!

Zeke has had loose teeth for the past couple of months, and finally the last one came out last night!!!  Our toothless grinning boy--just shy of singing about wanting his 2 front teeth for Christmas! =)

Monday, January 3, 2011

Year in Review

Each year since we’ve been married, Brian and I sit down together at New Year’s with yummy coffee drinks in hand to review our past year and set goals for the new one.  The past couple of years, this process has spanned a couple of days beyond New Year’s Day, mostly cause we have a lot of little people distracting us from our reflective bonding moment, but we persist in doing it because it is so rewarding to us.   We walk ourselves through vacations, events, ministries, projects, people, hard times, good times, and significant things that shaped us, grew us and filled our hearts and our calendar.  We literally filled an entire 2 pages worth, but some of the highlights from 2010 for us were…

* Every one of our parents here for Christmas * Sting at Hollywood Bowl * WICKED weekend in San Francisco for 10 year anniversary, including Calumet Photography class and time w/ the Pfeiffer’s * Camping in San Simeon & Mammoth Pools * Avila Beach w/ Brian’s folks * Zeke starting 1st grade, 6th birthday Mario party, becoming a huge Star Wars fan, losing teeth and broken nose * Emmy as a flower girl in her Aunt Michelle’s wedding, birthday celebration trip to Sea World, learning how to do monkey bars & flips on trampoline * Ethan’s fun personality, new words (hi-ya!), and snuggles * Grandpa Al’s 85th birthday * Grandma Ruth’s 100th birthday celebration and then her passing 3 weeks later * Kirsten joined gym & Brian started running again * Brian backpacking trips out of Tuolumne Meadows and Cleo’s Bath * both of our jobs being solid and rewarding * and so many more… including other loved one’s highs and lows, but they are their stories to tell =)

We also review the goals we set last year and determine if or how they have been accomplished, and then set new ones to bring in the new year with intention.  We were very pleased to discover that we had done a pretty good job on the family goals for 2010 and stepped it up a bit for this next round.  We also have individual ones, but those aren’t necessarily public information!

2010 Family Goals:
1. Review Awana material consistently with kids—Brian does this regularly at night and each weekend
2. Organize—got a desk area set up and working efficiently, got TV cabinets built (now they need to be finished in 2011!), system for laundry room/clean laundry, garage is clean & organized!
3. Get 8 seater car—purchased Sequoia in May… so happy with it and all the carpooling we can do now!
4. Develop cleaning/chore routine with kids—Jewels are working well!!!
5. Keep up nightly Bible reading & prayer time with kids—on a regular basis!
6. Recreation 1x per month—not perfect on this one, but much better this year
7. Investment in Bible Study group—relationships have grown, especially amongst the guys through trips together and figuring out good meeting plan.
8. Service as a family—help at ATCAA Food Bank with small group once a month.

2011 Family Goals:
1. Recreation as a family 1x per month
2. Continue ATCAA and add at least one challenging service project as a family
3. Add bedroom for Emmy w/o borrowing money to do it
4. One couple’s get-away (anniv?)
5. Plan marriage retreat/conference for small group at conclusion of Solomon study
6. Kitten foster care for Sonora Cat Rescue
7. Help kids build good friendships—playdates, etc.
8. Get all the painting done outside and in
9. Start kids college funds
10. Kids growth stuff: Ethan big boy bed, potty training; big kids learning to ride bikes w/ no training wheels; Emmy learning to read and soccer in fall; Zeke into activity (karate?)

I already am looking forward to see how God works in our lives with this new year.  It is our prayer that God’s hand will be on us, guiding us and blessing us as we seek His will for our family and our time and purpose on this Earth.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Special Visit

We were very blessed over the last couple of weeks to have our family come up to us to spend time and the holidays with us.  My brother, Mark, and my beautiful sister-in-law, Rachel, were able to spend 4 days with us and we throughly enjoyed our time with them.  One of the things we did was go on a geo-cache out at Columbia College (where I work).  It was a fun family walk--and I got to be the one to find the cache--with a dying battery on the GPS no less! =)  Most of these pictures of Mark and Rachel were from that adventure... and one thing that I feel these pictures show is that they loved being together as much as being with us!  They don't get much time just to be together with their crazy work schedules--and it seemed that they just enjoyed playing together a little bit!  Love you guys and hope that the rest of your vacation was relaxing!