Tuesday, September 29, 2009

For Mom

You know, we really have it all wrong on these birthday things. The day should really be in honor of the moms - it was their birth-ing day. I don't remember a thing about that day (well, my mom would claim she doesn't either - it was 30+ years ago...), but she was the one who sacrificed personal comforts for 9 months and went through the pains of labor and delivery. We should be sending gifts and cards to our moms. It should be their special day and obviously the more kids you have, the more birthdays you have! :) That's just one benefit of a big family. So anyway, here's to mom in honor of one of HER special days. Thanks mom (and dad)! I wouldn't be here without you! Thanks for all that you have sacrificed and done for me.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

9 months and happy meals

Big O is 9 months today! He is crawling around everywhere, walking along things, and eating like crazy (even bugs -I pulled some kind of beetle out of his mouth the other day!). We gave him his 1st taste of McDonald's fries and he loved them. He loves shredded cheese, cheese crunchies, cheese crackers, mac & cheese (are we seeing a theme? wonder where he got the cheese thing from - Papa John?). He also eats toast, green beans, peas, spaghetti, and sometimes bananas. He gets pretty excited at mealtime - it's fun to watch his "happy meals". He really is quite a ham!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

This is it!

Here it is, the post you've all been waiting for - I'm sure you've all been checking in daily for this one... actually, I bet I lost you somewhere in June. At the end of May, I made this post. Remember that? Well, we finally made that decision. It has been a roller coaster of a summer, with many nights of tossing and turning. We turned down the offer at the beginning of the summer... and then they called us back, and wouldn't take "no" for an answer. They were so persistent and it paid off - we signed the offer. Signed, sealed, and delivered. It's official - we're moving to California. Never did I imagine that us country bumpkins would be living in California. In fact, I'm still trying to wrap my mind around that idea. I think when the moving truck gets here, it will start to sink in. Good thing we still have until June to let it soak. We should be "wrinkled" by then... :)

For many of you, this is not good news. I know. It's been really tough thinking about saying good-bye to all of our wonderful friends and colleagues. If we could just take everyone with us, our house, and yard, we would love that. After seeing what the housing market is like in CA, we really appreciate our home here.

I wanted to share more about making this decision, because it has been the decision of the century for us. Those of you who know us well know that it's very hard for us to make a decision, due to our cautious nature. We were really hoping that the offer would fall through and we wouldn't have to make this decision. But once all is said and done, we feel very grateful for this opportunity and humbled by the offer. I can't help but see some divine intervention in this whole process, because things should not have happened the way they did. So here's the story, if you're interested.

Way back in January, after one lousy day, with several let downs and one bad thing after another, Alex saw a position in California for his "dream job" and thought he would apply just for the heck of it. A couple of weeks later, he got a call, asking if it was okay to contact his references. Right away, we told them we weren't really interested in leaving Oklahoma. Alex took his name "out of the hat". After stewing over it, he contacted them again and said, "If you're still interested, we're still interested." Alex really was still thinking about that free trip to Santa Barbara and chance to get away from me and the boys (well, mostly to get a good night's rest since Owen was still sleeping like a newborn). Surprisingly, they wanted him to fly out for an interview. So he went, with no intention of getting an offer. He also realized he wasn't the most qualified candidate, so he was the most relaxed he'd ever been in an interview. Well, once again, he was surprised when they said, "We really like you and think you would fit well here." What?! That was when we first started thinking seriously about it. And about a week later, they made an offer. Now what were we supposed to do? We weren't supposed to get an offer. Life is good here in Oklahoma - we have good friends, a stable job, and easy-going life. Well, it didn't take us long to realize that, but now I wanted MY free trip to CA (we almost didn't even make the trip out there). So we went to check things out, and surprisingly I really liked it. But after studying it out and making a budget, we knew we just couldn't make it out there in CA with what they offered. So we turned them down (again). Whew! It was done... or so we thought. About a week later, they called back and asked what it would take to get us there. They weren't interested in any of their other candidates and asked us to reconsider, with a better offer. So then we put it back on the table. Every time we attempted to turn them down, they'd offer another incentive. Our excuse for not being able to make it financially was weakening - we realized that it now was a possibility, if we wanted it. When they said "name your price" (within a range), we were starting to wonder if this was the Lord's way of providing a way for us. Things like this just don't happen. We felt like we were supposed to say "no" when we did, but that was so we could get to the point we're at now.

We have really been seeking the Lord's will throughout this whole process and didn't seem to be getting a clear answer. All summer, I was still very resistant to the idea of moving to CA. The fear of change and the "unknown" kept clouding my mind. It wasn't until the end of the summer that I truly opened my mind to the possibility of going. After reading a talk on "Making Decisions the Lord's Way," by Steven Wheelright, I realized that my faith was weak and that I wasn't trusting in the Lord. There is a passage in the talk from C.S. Lewis, comparing us to renovating a house. It says that we may be content to build a "cozy little cottage" but the Lord is building a "palace." I think the Lord has a much greater plan for us than we have in mind. I also kept getting the thoughts, "Take advantage of the opportunity" and "You have some growing to do." We also read a talk by Elder Hales on "Personal Revelation: The Teachings and Examples of the Prophets" from October 2007 general conference. A couple of things jumped out at us. One was an experience from President Lorenzo Snow: "President Lorenzo Snow had studied the gospel for several years before joining the church. But he did not receive a witness until two or three weeks after his baptism when he retired in secret prayer." Another passage spoke to us - it says, "Revelation comes on the Lord's timetable, which often means we must move forward in faith, even though we haven't received all the answers we desire." And also, "By unwavering faith, we learn for ourselves that 'it is by faith that miracles are wrought.' Generally, those miracles will not be physical demonstrations of God's power... most miracles are spiritual demonstrations of God's power - tender mercies gently bestowed through impressions, ideas, feelings of assurance, solutions to problems, strength to meet challenges, and comfort to bear disappointments and sorrow. These miracles come to us as we endure what the scriptures call a 'trial of our faith'. Sometimes that trial is the time it takes before an answer is received."

We definitely have felt a trial of our faith, but we feel like it is time to press forward in faith. I think it will be hard, but we are trying to take advantage of this opportunity and trust in the Lord to see us through.

So... there you have it. We're headed off to new adventures in California! Anyone want to buy our house here?

Sunday, September 13, 2009

what's wrong with this picture?

I was just looking out the window this afternoon, and I had to laugh at our extra "seating".

Friday, September 11, 2009

shower buddies

I could have titled this post "secrets of a stay-at-home mom" because I'm going to let you in on a little secret. Really, it's not a big deal, and I know there's several moms out there who have done the same thing.

So... it's 4:00pm and I haven't showered yet for the day. (I did an extra workout video before picking up Nathan from school, instead of showering while the boys were napping.) Now, I don't know about you, but I like to be "put together" when the hubby gets home. How many of you do those dishes that you put off earlier (to read a book...)? Pick up clothes off the floor or make the bed? Straighten up the living room? I don't know, but I bet there's a lot of little things that get done right before the spouse gets home. Maybe it's just me, but there's a little bit of pride in looking like you've got it together, and I know they appreciate it as well. (I guess there are days when it's best to leave everything a mess so they know what kind of day you had...)
So anyway, I'm still a mess by late afternoon. I don't want to wait for Alex to get home before I get cleaned up, especially on a Friday night. But what about Big O? He already had his nap, and I can't take my eyes off him (even for 3 minutes). The solution: Take him in the bathroom with me. (Nathan and Jared were busy watching a video.) I took a few toys and set him just outside the shower. I'd take a quick shower while leaving the door open a crack so I could see what he's doing. So that was going great, until Big O peeked his head in, and about mid-shampoo, he crawled right in the shower with me! He didn't mind getting wet. He just sat in there, clothes and all, smiling up at me as he got wet. A shower is always more fun with a buddy right? (I think he did get some shampoo in his eye, and he had to sit there wet while I got the camera - poor guy).

Hi Mama!

We were all "put together" by the time Da-da got home...
Hi Da-da!

We're all ready for movie night... except that he wanted to mow the yard when he got home. Oh well... at least now I could post this blog!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

trampoline baseball

This is the boys latest thing - playing baseball on the trampoline. I don't know how safe it is, but it seems like a fun way to play. You don't have to chase after the ball - it just comes right back to you! And it's fun to bounce around the "bases".

Big O loves balls too - he made his way over to the trampoline, standing and watching by the fence. When he finally got his turn, he was pretty excited.

couldn't resist...

We watched a couple of girls last night and this morning (they just got a new baby brother!) - we had a lot of fun, but I just couldn't resist fixing her hair.... It didn't stay in very long, but we had to try out a couple of styles. Maybe someday I'll have a girl of my own...

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Happy Birthday Alex!

2 years old
about 9 months

Above B&W - Owen and Alex, about 2 months old
Below - about 2 days old

probably his 1st lecture

1st field trip? already pointing out the rocks

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

our shelled friend

He's back. He was sitting on the porch as we were headed out the door this morning. The boys like to feed him strawberries. This isn't a bad pet... he comes around every so often and you throw a couple of strawberries at it. Not bad.

the ball is in our court...

I'm not going into any details at the moment, but if you've been following closely, you probably have been in suspense for quite some time about a decision. Well, just sayin' that we actually have a deadline now - Sept. 22nd. So, stay tuned... especially if you have no idea what I'm talking about.

And who wants to watch our kids while we go to the temple??