Sunday, August 31, 2008

Package from Mamaw

This is a pictorial thank-you to Mamaw and Papaw for the packages! Wesley, Andrew, and Brooke each received their own package. They had so much fun opening it. Gary knew his mom was sending them a "noisy" monkey, but the package contained much more than just a monkey.
We had just gotten back from Toys 'R Us where we had to buy gifts for a birthday party and a baby shower. I had to convince Brooke to save her $1.75, rather than spend it on some candy. So, coming home to open this fun package was especially enjoyed by her. Thanks again, Mamaw!

Sunday, August 24, 2008

I am stuck somewhere between CA and the mid-west

This past week was the beginning of a new year of classes at the college. No matter what, my first week seems to bring out the fact that I am not a "California-born" citizen. My students often remark that I have an interesting "accent", and I readily share that I actually grew up in the mid-west and have since set my roots here in southern CA. So, as the question was raised again this past week, it got me thinking about how things are different here in southern CA. I made a short list, that I thought my truly mid-west family might appreciate.

Things that I do (or did) in CA just because I grew up in the mid-west:

1. I say y'all. (I don't know if this is just a personal thing, but I say it often and normally am asked where I am from)
2. I wear a sweater in January, simply because it is January.
3. I believed that church attire includes nylons and dress shoes. (I have since eradicated that idea.)
4. I am surprised to see coupons or advertisements written in both English and Spanish.
5. I believe one should only get on the freeway when taking a "trip."

6. The price of a very small house makes me gasp.
7. The idea of swimming outdoors on Christmas day is humorous.
8. I actually want to "feel" an earthquake.
9. I still stare at the ocean and beach each time I drive by it because I am overwhelmed by how beautiful it really is.

10. I don't feel a need to have a tan in the fall and winter----isn't it just a summer thing????

Well, that is my list. I had fun writing it, and I hope you enjoy reading it. I have lived here in southern CA for 4 years, and I hope to never leave it. I love where I live, but I also love the fact that I do have roots in the mid-west, and there are parts of me that will never forget about it.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Wesley's 9-yr. pictures

When Wesley was walking out of class today, I saw him and thought: "Wow, that is one big kid. Is that one mine??" I don't know what has happened in the past year or two, but this guy has been growing and maturing. We are very proud of him, too. You just have to love those sparkling brown eyes :)

Monday, August 11, 2008

Look who is going back to school........

Today was the first day of classes at Ventura Missionary School! Wesley is now in 4th grade, and he is happy about two things: he has a good teacher (a male), and his best friend is in his class. There are two classes of each grade level, and the classes are divided differently each year. Wesley and Cody have been together every year, so far.

I have to post another picture of Drew below because he looks like a midget, next to Wesley :) He is excited about being in second grade. After school today he told me, "Luke, Aidan and me played basketball with three third graders, and we won. I made lots of baskets." It was rather exciting for him. I guess recess does bring home some of the best stories.

We thank God for the school that they are able to attend, and for the way we see God working in their lives. Andrew was not put in the same grade as his best friends from last year. I told him that I had prayed that God would put him in the right class with the right people that would most help him to grow. He understood and was able to accept the fact that God's will does not always mean we get exactly what we want!

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Roughing it at Lake Casitas

Our family spent two days and two nights doing some real camping---in a tent. Lake Casitas is just 20 miles from our home, set in the mountains of Ojai. Our campsite had a beautiful view. Below is a picture of Gary getting the tent set-up. It was very windy during this process. Thankfully, the wind subsided for the rest of our stay.

The kids all had a good time. The boys did quite a bit of fishing with dad, and we did several small hikes. Brooke was an interesting camper. She hated the bathrooms (but that is quite understandable), so she pretty much refused to go to the bathroom. We visited the camp store several times because their bathroom was "better." She also hated the yellow jackets. We get limited bugs at our home in Ventura, so I was not expecting too many bugs while camping. However, we did get visited by quite a few yellow jackets. We bought a trap, and that seemed to console Brooke somewhat.

We saw many squirrels. They were much smaller than the squirrels I was used to in the mid-west. Gary said he heard a coyote the first night that we were there. I loved the fact that Gary did most of the cooking, and it all turned out exceptionally well! We spent our last evening at the water park and got everyone rinsed out from all the camp dirt.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Gramma and Poppa come to visit

Mom and Dad got in on Monday. We were busy the whole week! Tuesday was a trip to Fo-Fo Figgilys, where mom and dad got in the tunnels and crawled around like kids. I did too, but it was especially fun to see them up there. Tuesday night was Wesley's birthday party at Round Table Pizza, with some of his friends.

Wednesday we took a trip to the Ventura County Fair. I think we all rode on something, and we all found something good to eat, too.

Thursday was spent up in Ojai. Dad and Gary went golfing, and the rest of us walked through the shops and park in downtown Ojai. The kids were all three ecstatic when Poppa bought them a new Webkinz. They were carried around the rest of the day!

Friday was a cold day to go to the beach, but we had to get them to the ocean sometime, so we made the trip to the beach. Brooke and gramma enjoyed playing in the sand.

Thank you, mom and dad, for flying out to see us. We had tons of fun, as always. We did also buy a new tent. The boys spent the last night sleeping in the backyard with dad and Poppa. We plan to go camping later this week, so wait to see some pictures from there :)