Sunday, December 14, 2008

Apology

Well friends, I just couldn't let my no-blog streak continue. We have been doing great, but I have just been too lazy or distracted or something to sit down and record what's been happening around here. So let me do a quick "sum up" of the last 6 weeks. House hunting, house "offering" (8 offers to be exact) and finally, house BUYING! We have finally, after seeing a trillion houses, bought a home and close escrow TOMORROW! We love the neighborhood, the yard, the proximity to school and shopping, the extra 20 minutes Mark will have each day of family time, and the closeness to the beach (two miles). Although we get the keys tomorrow, we won't move in until Christmas. I'll post some pictures soon, and you'll see why.

It feels so good be a blogger again!!!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

He's A-Walkin'

video

Here's a quick little video of Matthew walking around. Usually he is a little camera shy and falls to his hands and knees whenever a camera comes around. So this is a treat!!

Monday, November 3, 2008

Election Eve



Can you tell what that little bumper sticker on the middle of my window says? Well, I'm not going to tell you, but I will tell you how it got there.
This afternoon, I took my kids with me to do some friendly YES ON 8 sign waving. When we got to the street corner we found that no one was there. Confused, I drove on to a much larger intersection where I have held signs before to see if I just got the location wrong. When we got there, to my dismay, there were a lot of Noers but not a lot of YESSER's waving signs. I drove around not sure what to do. I REALLY wanted to stand with my sign and felt that more bodies in yellow were needed, but I felt uncomfortable taking my young kids with me into an environment where we were outnumbered (those of you who have been doing this can imagine why).
Then I remembered Abbie's yellow car paint. A few weeks ago Abbie asked if she could paint our car windows with YES on 8 slogans. Today I had bought the paint! So I pulled into a neighbornood and we went to work painting five of our van windows. When we finished, I turned up the music in the car (again, if you have been doing this you'll know why) and drove back to the busy intersection. I drove around and around, honking my support for Prop 8.

Finally after a few go 'rounds, I decided that we could get out and join the others. In the time it took us to paint our windows and return, Prop 8 supporter numbers had swollen into a very large group and there was a section of mostly families. We stood shoulder to shoulder waving our support amidst more craziness than I have ever seen on the eve of an election. I felt like I was part of something historic.

After a while it was time to take my kids home. As I approached my "freshly sloganed" minivan I noticed a new sticker on the back window. "Oh, puleeeze!", I thought, but I wasn't surprised. While we were away, someone had slapped this sticker onto my car. Maybe to get revenge for my stand for truth? Who knows. All I know is that the "Goof off" I'll have to use to remove it (the left over sticky stuff at least) has been very well named.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Weekend Update...

I just wanted to update a few pictures. Last weekend we discovered Imperial Beach in Oceanside. It's a great "all day" kind of beach. It is very accessible, has good bathrooms, a HUGE playgound on the sand, and the best part is the PIER--complete with a Ruby's Diner at the end. I'm not sure what I loved the most...watching the surfers, fishermen and sunset, or enjoying fries and shakes with the kids. It's a toss up.


These other pictures were taken at the Dana Point Harbor--the fresh sea air enhanced Matthew's walking ability!!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

...To Grandma's House We Go!

On Sunday we had such a fun visit with Grandma Bird. For those of you who don't know my grandma, let me tell you a little bit about her. First of all, she is 95 years old, though you would never know it by looking at her. In her 95 years she and my grandpa have travelled all over the world--inspiring the adventurous spirit in me, to be sure. She has had many friends and an interesting family , but has lived in only a couple of places. Grandma is known with love for her generosity towards all of her grandkids. We love grandma!!

With this little intro, let me tell you of our fun visit. Grandma greeted us at Freedom Villiage and invited us to her home with lots of kisses to go around. We visited for a while about our moving down here, the kids transition, and about my mom's recent travels. Then she got up and began making delicious ice cream sundaes for us. I got up to help her because I didn't like watching her go to all of that trouble by herself, but she insisted on working alone, so instead I just admired her work. She pulled out five pretty glass dessert bowls and carefully loaded them with strawberry ice cream, bananas, whipped cream , two cookies and a cherry. My girl's large eyes were priceless. Once she finished the sundaes, Grandma served us one by one and we continued talking in between bites.
Grandma probably doesn't have too many opportunities to make sundaes anymore. She probably doesn't have much chance to serve at all. At 95 years, people are usually looking after her. I thought about that as I watched her work and felt grateful for Margaret. I remembered the stories she's told about raking pine needles off of the roof in her high heeled shoes, while enduring her neighbor's complaint that Mr. Bird wouldn't like it. Grandma was a hard worker (some things don't skip a generation) and I'd imagine she still wants to feel useful today.
So...my point? Go visit (or write) your grandma. I 'll bet that she's a lot like mine. She'd love the company and might even have some morsels of wisdom (or an ice cream sundae) to pass along--who couldn't use some of that.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Two all beef patties, special sauce...

Great news for all of you McDonald's boycotters out there!!! Because of efforts from families like yours, McDonald's has announced that it will remain neutral in regards to same sex marriage in California. Prior to this, McDonald's had officially offered support to the National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce.
Events like this really get me excited. When people take the time to call companies or governments and express their opinion, things change. Not only as an indivual can you feel better knowing that you are taking a stand, but your voice, banded together with others can promote change.
The only problem is that I enjoyed having McDonald's off of our list of fast food choices. I didn't have to say "anything but McDonald's " anymore. My kids knew that we were boycotting the golden arches and never asked. But after the good news of today, I suppose I need to tell my kids the news. I mean, I'd really be missing out on a good teaching moment if I didn't tell them that their efforts (and sacrifice) paid off. Right????? I guess we'll be getting shakes after school today.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

A Step in the Right Direction


Oh, this feels good. For me, this is kind of like a confession, and it has been long in coming. FIVE years in coming. These shoes. I know. They are terrible. In fact, I'm not sure that terrible is an adequate word to describe my fall/winter boots of the last half decade. I want to say that I don't know why I still have them--and worse yet still wear them, but I do know why. I know exactly why. In fact, these shoes actually say a lot about me. I'm cheap.
Of course, I liked them when I bought them and they were probably in style at the time too. Or at least only out of style for a little while. The problem is that I held on to them for so so long. Maybe it was the cushy sole, or the slick side zipper. Maybe I just liked the worn out toe or the fact that my socks didn't have to match my outfit when I wore these. But mostly, I just never wanted to spend the money when I went out shopping for shoes.
Today I bought a replacement (on sale of course) and I think things are going to change for me. My new shoes are black leather ballet flats-- the cute kind. I got them at Anne Taylor Loft when I was in there looking for something else. I've got a new spring in my step. It's a great feeling to let these shoes go! Talk about starting out the season on the right foot.

Happy Birthday Buddy

Here is our birthday boy!!! I love this little face and what a sweet boy too!!
Higher dad!!! You should hear the giggles from Matthew when Mark throws him up in the air. He loves it. I, on the other hand, don't usually like to see him hurled up in the sky and have to leave the room. But today, in the pool, it was a lot of fun.

After swimming and pizza, it was cake time!! Mark was close by to give Matthew some encouragement.

He started with the Junior Mints.

A little encouragement went a long way!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Beach Day






One of the things that I love about the idea of living close to the beach again is being able to go at a moment's notice. Saturday afternoon, after we had finished working around the house, we headed over to enjoy eating sand, chasing birds and riding waves.

Moonlight Beach




After four hectic days of moving in to our home, starting a new school and living in relative chaos, we took the kids to the beach with some neighbors (who happen to have kids our kid's ages AND who go to school and church with them) for smores and night time fun at the beach!

Commentary on Moving Day


Emma's last day of school was also the day that our movers were loading up all of our belongings--including the last of our food. At the end of the day, the kids in her class were able to choose ANYTHING they wanted from the kindergarten treasure box. There was enough toys, play makeup and fake jewelry to fulfill any kid's dreams. So when Emma came home with this bag of microwave popcorn, I just had to know what she was thinking. Emma replied, WE DON"T HAVE ANY FOOD AND I WANTED A SNACK! Poor kid.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Home Sweet Home

Well, I have been meaning to update the blog for a couple of weeks now, but just haven't found the time--or my little cord that transfers my pictures from my camera to my computer. So you'll get a little update, but no pictures to go along with it.

We have made it to Carlsbad. On Monday of last week our movers unloaded our belongings (it took them 6 hours to unload versus the 11 hours it took them to load the truck on the other end! Can anyone say "paid by the hour") . The home that we are living in is working out pretty well so far. The neighborhood is full of kids and Abbie and Emma have made friends with a few girls that live just across the street and go to school and church with them.

Carlsbad is absolutely beautiful. It amazes me that I have passed through Carlsbad countless times but have never stopped until now. The whole area is very lush and hilly. There are beautiful views where ever you go and a beautiful, long stretch of beach with great walking paths, parks, firepits, etc.

Mark is enjoying his new company so far. He is still in the process of deciding how to tackle his job responsibilies. More on that later.

So all in all, we are doing well. I am sure that Carlsbad will soon feel like home. For now we are all learning the ropes, but grateful for the opportunity to be here.

I'll post more soon--if and when we find our little picture transfering cord. Until then just picture us having a fun time exploring our new home.

Thursday, August 28, 2008


Well, This post may come as a SHOCK to many of you, so brace yourselves, we are moving!! Last week Mark accepted a new job at a different company in Southern California, so we are heading south. As soon as he accepted his offer we put our house on the market, and TWO days later, it SOLD!! Needless to say there has been a lot of changes around here. We are thrilled, excited and heartbroken all at the same time. We have absolutely loved the last seven years here and our Rocklin friends will always hold a special place in our hearts - we'll miss them terribly, but hope they will come to visit us often!!!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

A CRAZY bunch of cousins

Another year of Cousin's Camp has passed and, oh, what a year!! The cousin's had such a wonderful time together--playing, learning, serving, swimming, etc etc etc. This year's theme came from Doctrine and Covenants 6:36--Look unto me in every thought, doubt not, fear not. To teach the meaning of the theme each aunt taught about a gospel principle that they have no doubt about in a daily devotional. In the much anticipated "Uncles Fireside" the uncles told about a time they felt fear and how turning to the Savior alleviated it.

Cousin's Camp was not all learning though. One of the greatest parts of camp is the bonding!!! And what better way to bond than through archery, swimming, crafts, spending the night together in the barn, camp fires, woodworking and putting on a play. Here are a few pictures of the highlights. THANKS MONICA!!!!











One year older and wiser


Happy Birthday to Abbie. We love Abbie and to give you a glimps into her sweet, active life, I will tell you my "Abbie Top 9"
1. Abbie is the first person to come to someone's rescue when they are hurt or sad.
2. She has passion. From her earliest days, Abbie was either hugging and kissing me... or ripping out my hair. Not much in between.
3. She is a hard worker.
4. Abbie has a great laugh and smile.
5. Abbie is everyone's friend.
6. She has a sensitive heart and want to choose the right.
7. She is a great help to me.
8. Abbie is serious about developing her talents and growing her testimony.
9. Abbie is ZESTY!!! She has a flair and excitement for life that I love.
We all adore Abbie around here. Happy Birthday kiddo!
3.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Championships

Abbie--on her way to victory!!
Here's Abbie diving off the block. She's in the pink camo swim cap.
Half of the fun of a swim meet is the down time (OK, maybe 1/10th of the fun).
Mark and the kids cooling off in the baby pool. It was about 100 degrees yeasterday.

We all had a great time at Champs yesterday. Abbie stole the show (for us at least) with a time of 15.88 seconds in the 25 yard freestyle finals where she came in third place overall (for her age group) in the entire conference!!!! We are so proud of her. She also swam backstroke in preliminaries and did well enough to get a place in the A medley relay where they took 5th place overall.

Birthday Girl

Around here we have a birthday tradition that NEVER changes. We all request the same mint and chip ice cream cake year in and year out for our birthdays. Emma, on the other hand, wanted to mix things up a little and ordered an icecream CUPCAKE made with white cake (instead of chocolate) and pineapple coconut ice cream.



This week Emma Virginia turned 5 years old! We can't believe how much she has grown. In honor of her five delightful years as a part of our family, here are five things we LOVE about Emma!
1. Emma quickly obeys-- and I mean ALWAYS. We depend on it. I don't know what would happen around here if she wasn't--the earth would probably stop rotating.
2. She is hilarious and speaks her mind. Today at church she said, "Mom, I think I already told you this but I don't like church. You just have to be quiet and in Primary they AlWAYS say they are going to bring candy and then they NEVER do."
3. She loves to be my buddy and if I ever am in need of someone to always agree with me, she's my gal.
4. She's very shy around strangers and yet she's a great performer. It's very hard to get Emma to talk to an adult she doesn't know, but she will sing and dance for them--no problem.
5. She helps make our home a fun and happy place to live. We are all thankful for our sweety!!

Friday, July 11, 2008

Independence Day




We had a great Forth of July!! I love this holiday and we celebrated from sun up to sun down. We started at our house in the morning with enough pancakes to feed TWO armies. We had three varieties of pancakes, bacon, sausage and lots of yummy juice and fruits. Later that morning we decorated bikes and scooters then headed over to the park for some all-american three legged races, water balloon fun and much more. Later in the afternoon we swam with some friends, and then ended the night at our neighbor's home for some more swimming, a BBQ, fireworks and a few rounds of Rock Band (I'm not very good)!!!

Let's be heard

As almost all of you know, all eyes are on California as California's Supreme Court over turned Prop. 22, making gay "marriage" legal despite the overwhelming vote of the people back in November of 2000. Since this time marriage licenses have been issued in counties throughout the State.
But, thankfully, this is not the end of the issue. This November, our ballets will include The Protection of Marriage amendment. This amendment will ensure that marriage be defined as only between a man and a women, and that it stays that way.
As I have read about this issue, I have been struck by the cunning speech and the sophisticated way that those trying to undermine the family (though, they don't see it that way) play on the stigma of being intolerant or discriminating. Labeling this issue as nothing more than allowing all people regardless of race, gender, OR sexual orientation the same rights that go along with marriage.
It is much more than that. Marriage between a man and woman is ordained of God. Children have the right to be born into, and raised by a mother and father. To forget this is to give in to smooth talking Korihors of our day.
In the coming months there will be plenty of commentary to read on this issue. Let's ensure that our voices are heard too. People are good. As they did in 2000, they will gather on the side of truth. Let's help people to see the importance of upholding the sanctity of marriage.
Let's all do that we can to help this cause. Our vote is important, but let's do more than vote in November. Let's raise awareness of the issue, let's donate time, let's donate money. This is an issue that touches not only those of us that live in California- this decision will affect each one of us.
If you want to find more ways to help, stay up to date on the issues or just learn more, visit the official Protect Marriage website.

http://www.protectmarriage.com/

Sunday, June 15, 2008

video

What a Father's Day treat!! Today we tried to show our love to Mark by showering him with gifts and filling his belly with all kinds of good things to eat. The girls helped make him breakfast in bed and gave Mark a back massage while he waited for his omlette (which he only gets about twice a year because I HATE eggs). Later in the day, after yet more great food, Abbie played the piano and Emma performed a dance that she is practicing for an upcoming show. Not to be out done by his big sisters, Matthew performed too, by crawling across the floor for the first time (give or take a few stumbles)!!!!!!

The video is from Saturday afternoon when he was practicing.

Awesome Swimmer

video

One of the things we enjoy about the summer is watching Abbie compete at weekly swim meets. This week Mark filmed as Abbie swam the 50 yard freestyle. As you'll see here she is quite a good little swimmer and very fast. She finished this race in 39.63 seconds ( .04 seconds faster than her personal best) and earned a second place ribbon. Go Abbie!!!!

Summer Has Begun





School is out and summer has officially begun for us around here! Emma "graduated" from preschool at the end of May and is really excited or nervous about going to kindergarten-depending on the day. Abbie finished third grade and is definitely to be a forth grader!


Pictured here is Emma at her graduation celebration and Abbie at home, with the girls from her class, for an end of school year bash!!!

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Boston

Mark and I ( and Matthew) just returned home from a fabulous trip to Boston. My sister Sarah and her family are living there while Sarah's husband Jake completes his Master's degree at Harvard Business School. With just a few more weeks until graduation (well, actually he graduates the first week of June) , we had to make the trip soon to enjoy having a 24 hour tour guide at our fingertips--thanks Sarah!!

On our first day in Boston we walked the Freedom Trail through the city. On the trail we visited many historically significant sights such as the Old State House, the sight of the Boston Massacre, The cemetery where Ben Franklin, Paul Revere and John Hancock were buried, Paul Revere's home and the Old North Church.







Monday night Mark and I, along with Sarah and cousins Carolyn and David Bokovoy, had dinner in the North End at an amazing italian restaurant called Giacomo's. But that was only the beginning of a night long feeding frenzy. We also indulged in chocolate canollies, over priced chocolates on Newbury Street, and the most amazing hot chocolate ever made at L.A. Burdocks in Harvard Square.





Newport, Rhode island was another highlight of the trip. We loved the seaside feel and and the salt water smell of the air. Best of all was the Cliff Walk which is a 5 mile stretch walk overlooking the ocean and which gives a great view of the many beautiful mansions of Rhode Island.

We spent two days in Cape Cod. We loved the relaxed pace of that area as well as the beautiful architecture. We spent our first day there visiting a working light house and going to the beach at Chatham and Brewster. The second day we drove along route 6A, visiting antique shops along the way. We also went to Hyannis (but didn't see Ted) .
Thursday we had Rebecca with us which was so fun. We stole her away from Steve (not really, he was working) and spent her one week wedding anniversary checking out the sites at Lexington and Concord. We visited the Minuteman Museum, the old North Bridge, Battle Road, the Concord Museum and Kimball Farm for their famous ice cream.On the last day of our trip, we went with Sarah and the boys down to the Public Garden to ride the famous Swan Boats and to shop on Newbury Street--two iconic Boston landmarks.


What a great trip. Thanks again Sarah!!!!