Saturday, July 19, 2014

New Adventures

March and April and May were busy months for us as we helped my mom pack up her apartment in Irvine and move to Westminster. It was hard to say good-bye to her very comfortable and spacious two-bedroom condo. We all have lots of wonderful memories from the last 10 years that she was there.

There was lots to pack up and we ended up having to do a lot of packing in a short amount of time. I felt very sorry for Mom who was having to make hard decisions in split seconds. She was moving from a spacious 2-bedroom/2-bath down to a small one-bedroom with no kitchen to speak of. It was tough. But we did it. Jonathan and I joined Mom on Friday mornings while the other kids were in chorus and drank hot chocolate, did a little packing and played a few games together.

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As her moving day neared, Earl and I and the kids and Gail helped to get everything all boxed up and ready. Some stuff went to the new place, some stuff went to our garage to be sorted through and stored in the attic, and some stuff went to Gail’s for a garage sale.

Mom had some great guys from her church come help on moving day. I didn’t get a lot of photos from the day of the move, because, well, we were all so incredibly busy. Incredibly. We got to Mom’s about 8:30 am, and Molly and I made our last trip from Irvine to Westminster about 10:30 pm. It was a LONG day. For everyone.

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We spent the rest of April and May getting Mom unpacked and settled. We finally had a garage sale at Gail’s in May. It was so much work, that when it was all over the kids took a dip in Gail’s pool and we went in the Jacuzzi. (It wasn’t quite as refreshing as I had hoped.)

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Mom still has boxes to go through and stuff to put away, but with the help of friends she has gotten some d├ęcor up and every time we go by, she is more settled. She and I found a cute secretary desk on Craig’s List for $35. With a little paint, it looked fabulous and we got it all moved in today.

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It was a really nice morning. After we moved some furniture around, we headed upstairs where they have a pool table and nice electric piano. Molly and David played some beautiful music for us. It was very relaxing for me, and I think Mom really enjoyed it too! I know the other folks who happened by also gave the kids thumbs up and big smiles.

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David tends to play jazzy tunes and the girls had a lot of fun dancing around to his music.

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Earl and the kids also enjoyed some games of pool.

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We then joined Mom in the dining room for a very nice lunch.

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So, Mom moved in April. Here it is July, but I think she is finally getting more and more settled. Her place looks really cute. I’m hoping she’ll let me come over some more before school starts up again and get some more of those boxes gone through and off her floor. She is going through them slowly but surely. We still need to get some more storage for her bathroom (an IKEA trip!). Hopefully that will happen this next week.

Here are more photos from her apartment I took today:

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It’s been busy for all of us and certainly an adjustment for Mom. But I have found the Lord to be so very faithful to walk us through this phase of our journeys.

So grateful!

Friday, July 18, 2014

More Birthdays

Both Jonathan and Emily also celebrated birthdays this past spring.
Since neither of them celebrated with parties (we give our kids parties every 3rd birthday starting when they are four), we celebrated quietly as a family. Well, as quietly as this family can celebrate.
Most of our birthdays start off with homemade cinnamon rolls for breakfast:
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We let him open some presents that morning, since Emily and I were going to be gone the rest of the day and then we had our extended family celebration the next evening.
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DSC_0097Jonathan, who turned 9 this year, chose homemade blackberry cobbler with ice cream for his birthday dessert, but Emily, when she turned 17 in May, wanted to try this new & delectable chocolate cake recipe we found.
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We made the cake from scratch, then smeared a layer of Nutella on and sliced bananas and then topped the whole thing with more Nutella, homemede whipped cream that didn’t turn out and fresh strawberries on top. It definitely tasted better than it looked.
Again, a small celebration with family.
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But this was a very exciting year for Emily. She passed her driver’s test in April AND got hired on at Bed, Bath & Beyond. In fact, we didn’t celebrate her birthday ON her birthday because she had to work. Trust me . . . she didn’t mind. She is enjoying this new season of having freedom to drive herself places and also the freedom that comes with actually having money to spend. (Right now, she is at the movies with Grandma for some “girl time”.)
Jonathan and Emily, as much as we have enjoyed every age and yet love thinking back to when you were younger, we are thrilled with being able to watch you both grow up and to have your own personalities and strengths and thoughts and opinions. It challenges us sometimes, yes, but we are glad to be growing with you and look forward to all that this new year will hold for you both. Jonathan, you are no longer in “primary grades” but moving up to older school and we think you are ready for the challenge. We have been proud of the progress you have made in piano and are constantly grateful for your sweet and kind spirit and ability to articulate your thoughts and feelings. Emily, this has been a whirlwind lately and we love to see how well you are juggling all of your responsibilities. You have a great attitude and we know that God is going to be walking with you and will continue to teach you all that we have neglected or didn’t know how to teach you.
We love you both! Enjoy this new year . . . .

Friday, July 04, 2014

Growing Up

 

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I love that picture of Molly! It just oozes her personality to me. Molly has been full of life from the very beginning and it has been a wonderful journey watching her grow up. Her and I enjoy spending time together, even if it’s just running errands around town. I have told Molly from the beginning that “everyone should have a Molly”.

Back in March (Wow, life is just so busy right now, I’m so far behind on my “blogging”!), our Miss Molly turned 13. It is very hard for me to believe that Earl and I now have 3 teenagers who we absolutely adore! I love the kids that our kids are drawn to for friendships and I am thrilled with the people our kids are becoming. That doesn’t mean however, that I am having an easy time at making this transition of “managing their life and making decisions for them” and now stepping away and letting them “take the wheel”. How grateful I am to know, really know, that their Creator loves them better than I ever could and He is perfectly capable of accomplishing His good plans for them. He and I have been talking a lot lately, believe me. (Well, I guess I should say, I’ve been trying to do a lot more listening.)

Molly’s birthday began with a family celebration for breakfast “on her day”, and then Grandma and Aunt Gail came over for dinner and dessert and gifts that evening. For dinner, Molly wanted homemade chili in bread bowls. We tried our hand at making our own bread bowls and they really turned out well and weren’t at all that difficult.

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Molly also went and got her ears pierced. It’s a “right of passage” for our girls, if they want, and a fun time out with Mom!

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This year was also a “party year” for Molly and she invited some girls to come and hang out. They played some games, ate spaghetti for dinner, and watched The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. Our family is a fan of The Chronicles of Narnia and the Tolkien Trilogy, but we have decided that our kids needed to be older to see the movies, and 13 seemed a good age. And to be honest, Annie and Jonathan are content to wait, and Molly has chosen to wait even longer to see the Tolkien movies. But it has been so fun introducing each of our kids to the Chronicles of Narnia as portrayed on the screen and comparing it to our view of the books.

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Lord, thank you for the gift that Molly has been to our family. Thank you for the young woman that she is growing up to be. Please continue to grow the faith you have put in her to believe that You alone are the source of all her happiness and continue to grant her grace to find You good and to walk in a way that proves her trust in You. May the fruit that comes from her life continue to be tasty and sweet. “Molly” means “sweet aroma” (Myrrh). May she continue to be a breath of refreshment as she shines for You, Jesus to all those around her. Protect her, Father, from all that would seek the destruction of her spirit and make her wise as she discerns between good and evil, and between average and excellent. May she continue to want to live life big and may You clearly show her what that might look like for her.

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