Fruit or Nut?

Olivia is our Georgia peach.

Joseph is our St. Louis Cardinal

Will the next one be a California fruit or nut? Guess we'll find out around February 15th.


Her name is really Florine (pronounced Floreen), but Olivia calls her Forline. We've posted about her before. She is the oldest daugther of Mike's pal from seminary. We've really enjoyed getting to know this family - though we have lived so far apart we haven't had a ton of time to spend with them. Florine is definitely one of Olivia's favorite people. Honestly, I don't have too much trouble imagining Olivia looking just like Florine when she's 13. And I would be thankful to God if she had a heart like her too.

St. Louis vs. San Diego

Even though San Diego has an incredible zoo, I'm just not sure how it is going to beat free. Thanks to some coupons Mike's mom gave us, we got a buy one get one on the Safari pass and got to do all the things I've always said, "no that costs money" to.
Starting with the sea lion show.

And the train ride - which was about 50% under ground in a tunnel - not sure if I thought that was a good idea or not - except that it was hot as blue blazes outside and a lot cooler in the hole.

We also rode the carousel. But the best part was being there with the Farleys. Would not have been nearly as much fun without them.

For Sale

Just thought we would put a few of the things we put on Craig's List on here. This dresser is taller than it looks in this picture. Just a bit shorter than me (Mandy). These have a bit of wear, but are still in really good condition.
Not really expecting any of you to buy this, just thought we would share with you some of the nastiness that came with the house. Can you believe we replaced this?!

To whom do they belong?

Not necessarily by looks, but by happiness. Our kids sure love our friends.

Please don't report us

I just saw that Mike put in a new header for our blog. We don't keep our children in kennels - please don't report us to the authorities. They just gather in there occassionally.

Another trim

O. sporting her new Audrey Hepburns. One day I will own a camera that will let me take a flashless picture without being blurry. She has sweet, sleepy face. She just woke up.
Everyone needs a crooked bang trim by their mother, right?

Last Cardinals game, probably

A night of fun filled family entertainment for 11 bucks! If you go to the box office on game day around 9 a.m. and give them $11 you earn the right to show up at game time and file through the "First Pitch Tickets" gate and have a magic little envelope put into your fingers. It is kind of exciting (if your life is as low key as ours). It is like Willy Wonka opening up the chocolate bar - only you are finding out where your 2 seats are. You could be in the nose bleeds or you could be right behind home plate. We had second deck in left field, but they were still fine seats and we had a great time. We found a FREE parking spot and I made a pasta salad that we ate at a picnic area before we headed in for the game. It was such a fun night - and the kids made it all the way to the middle of the 7th. Then the Cardinals got blown out of the water. Oh well, you can't have everything.

I am not proud of my hine-end. I am only posting this picture for my mother (and it is fun that you can see the arch in the background). This is where we were playing in a fountain and eating our supper. Check out the feet. Apparently I will never grow out of "the stance."

It's like magic

After 3 1/2 years we finally made it to The Magic House. We were not disappointed, though it is a little bit of over stimulation for a one day visit. There is a ton I could write about it - but I'll let you Google it if you are interested. Thankfully we were just realizing we had covered every part of the house when Olivia wet her pants. She just couldn't slow down - she didn't want to miss anything. I get that way sometimes - I just don't wet my pants anymore, usually.

Just when you think...

...your doing all right in the parenting department your kid goes forward for the children's story time in church and sits as if she has never been taught how to sit like a lady in in a dress...(wait a minute, maybe we never have had that formal conversation). Congregation, Hello Kitty. Hello Kitty, Congregation.

Then she picks her nose like she is digging for diamonds. But wait...cute, she's volunteering to be David and go get the sheep, no...wait...she's just standing to pick a wedgy. Hello Kitty again. Great, now her dress is caught in her underwear.

Note to self: Reinforce usage of the Kleenex. Teach the art of picking a wedgy in public, discreetly. Practice sitting like a lady in a dress.

"Go to your kennel!"

Goofy Grins

GT and funky bunch

By the way, that is a french fry wrapped up in Olivia's napkin. She was saving it - for what I do not know.

Back in routine

And this is life for us - weeding the garden and digging for worms after breakfast in our pajamas. Our children are so easily pleased (mostly).

Looking through the pictures today I realized I didn't take a single picture while we were in TN. I don't know that it was a concious decision, but something in me just wanted to be there and soak it all in, without a camera in my face. Which means, Mom, I need you to send me any cute shots you got.

I can't stop laughing

While Mike admits this is not her most intelligent look ever, by "SLOW" this sign is certainly not referring to Olivia's mental capacities. She is a bright cookie. It could be referring to her physical speed - Olivia is our dilly dally-er for sure. And that is kind of funny. But really it is the look on her face and that stance that crack me up. She had just spent about 10 minutes (exaggerated) getting that sign to stand up right, concentrating her brains out - and then it looks as if she got a crick or something from being hunched over too long. And then in that tattered up Cinderella dress that she had already been wearing for two days, shoes chewed up by the dog, and that bike helmet that was way too big. I could not love this kid any more than I do. She makes me laugh, hard.

Pretty in pink?

So this is what happens when you hang out at a girls dress up party. At least he is playing with worms...of course, so were they.

Dress up/parade/biking/worm catching party

Olivia's little friend, Kate turned three recently and we were able to celebrate with her while we were in Atlanta last week. Ever had a birthday party for a bunch of 3-year-olds? It's funny. After they chose their dress-up outfits (which was the real theme of the party), they headed outside for a parade. I think Kate (red dress) was peaved because she wanted to lead the parade. It is rather ironic that Olivia is in the lead. She is usually bringing up the tail end of things.
I can remember riding (or skating) in circles for hours in our garage growing up. In fact, there is a story about me and my best friend (who happened to be Jewish) skating around in cirlces arguing over whether or not God and Jesus were the same person. She claims I pushed her down the driveway because she didn't believe me. I don't remember that part.

Then they found a more prissy dress up.
The only noise to be heard when this pic was taken was "mmm" about every five seconds.
Sweet fun. Happy birthday Kate. Olivia misses you. And Joseph says send back his bat!


We've been soakin' in as much lovin' as we can before we head out to California. We just got back from a week in GA and TN visiting family and friends and had such a nice time. It was really our first opportunity to share our call to ministry in San Diego face to face with people - as opposed to email and phone, etc. Before we left, we got together with the Haacks one last time. You know, we certainly would have spent more time with them had our lives allowed for it - we just ran in different circles and on different schedules. But there is something about sharing milestone-type events with someone (no matter how briefly) to really give them a special place in your heart. We spent last summer with the Haacks in San Diego and that is when the Lord really began to work on hearts for this move. We shared a lot of those exciting thoughts and fears with Joe and Josie. Plus, the fact that Josie was with us when Joseph took his first steps. They have already made their move back to Ohio to begin church planting there. We will miss you guys and look forward to prayerfully being a part of the work God is doing in you and in Ohio through you.