Friday, February 16, 2018

All Things New

Spring time is always wonderful here.  The daffodils are usually the first bit of color we see and they signal the end of winter, ushering in new growth and life and warmer days.  After all the rain we've had this year we were especially excited to welcomed these longer, warmer days, and the chance to be outside to play and work. 

At the beginning of April we brought home another group of bummer lambs.   The kids are always so excited and Hazel is absolutely loving getting to be a part of it this year.  I think we may have another animal lover on our hands :)  
We had great success with our first 2 years of lambs.  Unfortunately this year we lost a few before we got our final group.  This little guy was in our first batch and sadly we lost all but him.  So Daddy being a bit of a softy ended up letting him out to play A LOT and he became like a little puppy dog following him everywhere.  Cooper had chosen him of the group and named him Joe but then we introduced the boys to Mario Brothers and his name was changed to Yoshi and then again to Bowser.  Therefore he is now affectionately called Joe-Yoshi-Bowser.
Hazel helping to feed her babies.

We found time to decorate eggs this year, which is always fun for the kids, and Mommy is learning to just roll with it.  They don't care what they look like and neither should I.

These are our Easter pictures.  Mommy thought it would be nice to have a picture with everyone dressed up.  Daddy humored her, Wyatt did not.  See him hiding behind the tree...little stinker!
He did not find this to be in any way an enjoyable experience until...
Mommy brought out Joe-Yoshi-Bowser.
 He's still not sure he wants to cooperate but its hard for Wyatt to stay grumpy with a baby animal around.  
 So it was Joe-Yoshi-Bowser for the win!!!!
 And the cat and dog because why not??

After nap time it was off to Grammy's house for dinner and an egg hunt.

We also made it out to the Woodburn Tulip Festival on one of the kids' days off.  I think Mommy may love this outing more than the kids and a few of them may get left behind next year.  They just don't appreciate the flowers the way I do.  Go figure :)  They do humor me a little though as the pictures prove.

 Nothing like fake smiles and a screaming baby to make me feel crazy.

 Whelp this is the best we're going to get with this bunch.
Cow rides on the other hand were a big hit!  Something to climb on and a place to run around... Now we were speaking their language and having fun.

Finally we ended April with one last new thing ...  KITTENS!!!  Daisy had her first litter of kittens in late April.  We'd made a little spot for her in a cupboard in the garage hoping she'd have them there and to our great excitement I opened the garage one afternoon to the sound of little meows and looked to find Mama with 5 little ones.  The kids cannot wait to play with them!!

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Our Road Trip to California

In March we took a quick trip with the kids down to Northern California to visit some old friends.  If you don't know the story of how Brandon and I met let me give you the brief version.  Brandon was engaged to my roommate Courtney and we met through her my freshman year at A.P.U.   The following year I was the sole survivor of a car accident that took the life of 2 of my 3 roommates at the time, Melanie and Andy.  Then 3 months later Courtney, who had moved back to Northern California after freshman year, was diagnosed with a cancer that took her life a short 7 months later.  So in a tragic year I'd lost 3 close friends and Brandon had lost his fiance.  Also, during this year Melanie's family, who I'd grown very close to, had moved up to Northern California to get a fresh start.  So I made trips up to visit them about as often as I made trips home and I would meet up with Brandon while I was there or he would come up to their place after work for dinner.  As young 20 year olds there were few people around us who we felt could understand the grief we'd been through and it gave us a special bond which grew over the upcoming years until 5 years later we found ourselves getting married with both Courtney's parents and Melanie's parents in attendance, which meant the world to us.

So when we received an invitation to attend Chuck and Cherie's retirement celebration we were excited to take the trip down.  It was a wonderful time to reconnect, as it's been such a long time since we've seen them, and to show them our support as they've always shown us theirs.  We also enjoyed reconnect with many others from our past and having the chance to introduce them to our kiddos.
Chuck and Cherie

During our time in the Modesto area we also were able to grab breakfast and spend a little time at the park with the Crocker family.  Thomas was in our wedding and we made it up to his but our kids had never meet.  So, it was a fun time of again reconnecting with old friends.
 I don't remember all the names but boy did we have a crew between us.  

Following our time in Modesto we headed back north to El Dorado Hills where Melanie's family lives.  Dale and Tina are some of our favorite people to spend time with and over the years they have become more and more special to us as they share a piece of our history that very few others do.  Besides our families, very few people we are in contact with knew us before we were married or during these most difficult and life changing years.  So for that reason alone, our time with them is always so very precious and this trip was no different.

The kids had so much fun playing with their daughter Jenna and keep asking when we can see her again.  She was so sweet entertaining them and teaching them new things.  They absolutely love her, as do we, not to mention how nice it was that she was so willing to play giving us a little more time to catch up.

 We were sad to say goodbye to these dear friends who are really more like family to us.  They bring back so many sweet memories of our early years together and we just can't say enough how thankful we are to have them in our lives.