• Time Flies

    Wow how time flies. I can say I am behind in most things these days. I have had a few things on my to do list for years (talk about procrastination) and today I FINALLY checked one off…I ordered my Shutterfly 2010 family photo album. I screeched with excitement and made Gress give me high fives. He looked at me funny wondering what in the world I was squealing about. Yes, I am giving myself a little pat on the back all while breathing a little sigh looking at the 2007 and 2011 albums still on the to do list awaiting my creativity! I had to ask a photographer for some photos to complete the book…thought I would share..

  • The grass is growing….

    We have a new look over at The Gress is Always Greener. Check it out. It was about time we grew a little don’t you think?


  • California Dreaming

    Yesterday the boys and I were neatly dressed and heading out the door to go to the library for story time and to check out some books….that was before Rad walked outside and said, wow, it is warm outside. I got a BIG smile on my face and then decided to let Gress decide what he wanted to do today…the library or the beach? As much as I wanted to go to the beach, I knew there was a lot involved to getting us there. If we went that direction that meant changing clothes, packing lunches, packing the car for the beach stuff and it was already late in the morning. If Gress said library, I would gladly be ok with that. If he said beach, (which I was secretly hoping he would), then we had to kick it up a notch. He chose the beach! THAT’S MY BOY!! It took a minute for us to gather everything especially after having to console Mcree who fell on his lip and was bleeding, which followed with him getting a popsicle, which followed with Gress crying because he couldn’t have one (mainly because he was the accidental cause of Mcree now looking like he had botox).

    I think I smiled the WHOLE way to the beach. And as I walked down the boardwalk, I realized that I needed to be with my boys, in this beautiful landscape. It renewed me, it energized me, and it reminded me just how thankful I am to have this time with the boys..in my favorite (and I think their favorite) place of all. THANKS Rad for the prompting and THANKS God for reminding this California girl to get back to her roots!

    As I was downloading the photos, Gress said, “Mom, when can we go to the beach again?” I wonder the same thing!

  • Boys….

    Boys just do things differently don’t they? Somehow, now having 2 boys, their boyhood seems to be magnified.

    They run, not walk.

    They prefer messy hands rather than clean ones.

    They are loud, not quiet.

    They climb, wrestle, hit and throw farther.

    They see a puddle, they jump.

    They see sand or mud and are magnetized to it.

    Anything orderly soon becomes overturned.

    They see a made bed, it becomes a trampoline.

    The rougher the better.

    I am still working on remembering that a slobbered handprinted oven door or an overly full laundry room means I have active kids who know how to enjoy life. Today I am choosing to embrace all their “boy-ness,” even in the midst of trying to clean the WHOLE house.

    Photos just from today: the lion costume may be soon outgrown, Mcree’s tongue gesture means that something is “hot” (he taught himself that one!), boys play differently with tea sets, anything small including marbles make it more fun to learn how to count, play-doh in our house involves bringing out all toys that make footprints, this was Mcree’s first time playing with play-doh (and he much preferred slinging the toys across the room) and music and dancing and dress up always make us feel better.


    I just finished reading the book 1000 Gifts. While wading through the author’s stream of conscious thought, I could only digest a few pages at a time. I would crave waking up early just to get a few pages in. Thanks God for waking me up well before the kids these last few weeks. That book combined with an incredible sermon on prayer today at our church has refreshed my perspective on so many things. How often do I pray for what I need or want without fully thanking God for where he has me, thanking him for my daily bread (provision), and thanking him for delivering me from my sin. I am not always eager to celebrate His gifts WHEREVER I find them. And so often I am in such a hurry that I miss the sweet moments he has placed for me to enjoy. I have the word JOY on my mantle to remind me to relish in that enjoyment. In reading 1000 Gifts, I was reminded that “God extravagantly pays back everything we give away and exactly in the currency that is not of this world but the one we yearn for….Joy in HIM!” So today God, I fully relished in your gifts you placed in front of me…THANK YOU!

    Today I am thankful for:

    Celebrating my Dad turning 70! (I can remember years ago he never thought he would make it to this age!)

    The chance to attend a church who believes in creating passionate followers of Christ.

    Fresh farm multi-colored eggs with a feather still on one.

    Hand picked flowers from the “farmer’s wife,” and sharing brunch with the farmers.

    Our new family bookshelf that has all the kids books at kid level.

    Gress’ love for sea shells, and realizing the “for eyes only jar” has reinvented itself as the “touch all you want” bowl.

    Engaging friends in a conversation about their marriage, and realizing they are learning more about each other in the process.

    A 4 year old who loves hearing the stories in the Bible (and even pretends to read his own).

    A husband that pours out on everyone around him to make them better!

    Boys that climb, explore, run, use their outside voices inside and splash in the tub.

    Getting to love on baby Elijah and having the best 4 year old helper ever.

    Clean babies with fuzzy funny pjs, and listening to Mcree giggle when he sees his “monster feet” on his pjs.

    Following behind the farmer in line at the frozen yogurt store and giggling at this combination of flavors.

    Rad’s drive and passion in his work, so that I can stay at home more with the kids.

    A new memory jar that we fill with memorable moments.

    Watching my plants grow and being reminded that we are all growing in so many awesome ways!

  • Oh, the farm

    Oh the experiences we are getting from the farm. Every time we go something new is happening and there is always so much to learn. Today we drove out there with my friend Abbie who also knows the Farmers. To her, everything was new…and to us, many things were also new. The farmers now have 2 pregnant goats (who will be having babies sometime mid February). Gress was especially excited to meet them…although someone told him that goats like to eat clothes (thanks Dad) so he was a little scared he would leave half eaten after seeing them. The goats were actually very friendly and happy to have company. What a fun addition to the farm. The chickens were out roaming and it was a good day since the rooster Mr. Orpington didn’t attack anyone. While we were there the farmer was excited to announce one of the bunnies had 3 new babies as of that hour, however we opted to stay far away because if we were to scare the bunny, she would eat her babies. I figured a 4 year old’s excitement might have made for not so great of a learning opportunity.

    Speaking of a learning opportunity…Gress got to see where our lunch came from. Today, the farmer picked fresh arugula, and radishes from the ground, and mixed them with fresh grown spouts for our salad. And I always love to try their homemade soups knowing that the ingredients were all grown by hand. Today the soup was delicious homemade chicken noodle soup with fresh farm grown veggies. The chicken in it was amazing and the soup was so tasty. I kept complimenting them on it and they kept smirking. Somehow, I was too busy devouring my meal to realize they were keeping a secret from me. When I finished the soup, they told me that they were glad I enjoyed eating Mr. Orpington. I think they thought I would not eat it if I knew Mr. Orpington was in it. It was the first time I met my meat as an animal and then ate it and it was the first time I had eaten Rooster Noodle Soup. Both of those previous comments surprised me and made me thankful for my changed perspective. Luckily, Gress can now walk around the chickens without getting chased and the new rooster is much calmer, and MUCH more happy to be around the lady chickens. But that is another learning experience for another day (when Gress is much older). We followed up our lunch with homemade brownies I made from scratch that morning following a recipe in a book published from 1970 something that Melissa found on the farm. Rad is now enthralled with this cookbook however I won’t be convinced to make fried squirrel! 🙂

    I always leave the farm thankful for the friendship I have with the “farmer” and the “farmer’s wife.” What a sweet family they are and we love being around them. THANKS Andy and Melissa for teaching us and for feeding us (not just food).

    On our drive home, Gress said, “Mom, is Mr. Orpington in heaven?” and I said, “sure Gress.” He then said, “he is probably chasing God around, but wait mom, Mr. Orpington can’t be in heaven because we ate him.”

    And then we were talking about Donkeys and he said, “Mom, donkeys don’t live on the farm because they live in Bethlehem.”

  • The Bible

    While Mcree is busy perfecting splashing as hard as he can while in the bathtub, or blowing bubbles face down on his high chair tray, or slinging food backwards from his highchair to Mera while screaming with joy, Gress is busy asking questions about the Bible. Yes, you read that right. Today Gress asked how old Joseph and Mary were when they they had baby Jesus. I said, I don’t know, probably the same age as your dad and I, and he said, “oh, they are young.” (I’m glad he thinks I am young). Tonight Rad and I were watching Jeopardy and Gress was sweetly sitting on the couch looking through his picture bible. And Rad was later reading it to him and Rad said, “Gress, what does G-O-D spell?” and Gress said, “Gress.” These boys make me smile, each in their own way!

  • Mcree….

    Mcree’s personality is sure shining through more and more. He is quite different than Gress and it is fun to watch. What is he up to lately?

    He runs, not walks.

    He has learned to stand on the lower handled drawer on the oven, grabs a hold of the upper oven handle and yanks it open.

    He now drinks with a straw and will yell at you if you take his favorite drink away. (Coconut milk/Strawberry/Banana/Egg/Honey/Sunflower Seed Butter Smoothie)

    He dislikes hardboiled eggs and will swat it around his tray until it is demolished.

    He giggles loudly when you give him eskimo kisses.

    Says mama when he really wants something.

    Will walk over to his highchair when he is hungry.

    Stands between your legs and yells to be picked up when he is hungry.

    Loves to stand in chairs, not sit.

    Proud of himself when he rocks himself in the rocking chair.

    Starting to imitate all things Gress does, including yelling loudly while running…oh boy.

    Gets in and out of wagons, cars and anything his size. Loves to be pushed anywhere.

    Shakes his head no when you tell him no, and then says no-no.

    Is a GREAT napper. 2+ hours in the morning and 2+ hour naps in the afternoon! 🙂 (We are going on 3 1/2 right now!)

    Knows that his nose is on his face but thinks it is located in his mouth.

    LOVES anything in the kitchen cabinets and drawers and you will occasionally find him sucking on something of the lower shelf of the refrigerator if you leave the door open too long.

    Dances to music and loves to hear music.

    Knows where to find his Dad in the morning and if he sees the door open, he runs with joy while yelling dada dada.

    Still loves open mouth kisses and loves to give hugs.

    Rips his socks off with such force there is no way to keep them on. I found one in the kitchen drawer the other day. And in the photo he is wearing elf socks…..from his Aunt Karin. We both were giggling when we put them on. One is now missing a head and a arm from the yanking off process.

    When I tell Mcree to smile, he does a sort of squint smile with his eyes and holds that pose.

    I so love this little guy. He brings such joy to my days!

  • New Year’s Eve

    I think having 2 kids gives you the right to go to bed early on New Year’s Eve…although we were laying awake in bed listening to the fireworks at midnight, so I guess you can say we made it to the new year. Over dinner that night I asked Gress if he wanted to learn anything new this next year and he said:

    “I want to learn how to count, I want to learn my letters, I want to learn what day it is.”

    I then asked him if he wanted to do anything fun this next year and he said,

    “I want to have a sleep over with my buddy and I want to visit Sam Lu and the pandas.”

    And then I asked him what he wanted to teach his brother this next year and he said,

    “I want to teach him to talk like me…like this. I want to teach him to say who who like an owl, and I want to teach him to run, jump, climb trees, do handstands, 4 wheels, I mean kartwheels, and to hang on a tree like a monkey.”

    Lastly, I asked Gress what he wanted Got to teach him this year and he said,

    ” I want God to teach me how to climb bigger trees.”

    I am guessing we will be outside a lot this next year trying to accomplish some of these tasks! 🙂