Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Loving Fall

We having been loving Fall.  Perhaps because it has been in the 70's lately.  Not bad, huh?

 Try to tell me he is not having a good time.
Below are a couple pictures of what the kids do every chance they get.

 Christian and I went on a hayride to the pumpkin patch with his class.  He's thrilled.

 "Wait, I only get a small pumpkin?"
This is a pic of our street.  About the day after I took this picture the leaves became so bright and vivid down our street, but they are still pretty here.  i think the trees down our street are dreamy!


So Christian has had is way with the ladies for quite some time.  He has always had is eye on this particular lady.
The one on the right, that is.  Kidding, but not really.
(thanks for the pic that I stole, H :))
At our house, every time we are deciding who everyone will marry (which is often), Christian always ends up saying Avy.  Occasionally there are other girls mentioned up, such as Hayley (yes, that would be the mom pictured above) which is followed by explanations about how she is indeed already taken, then he settles on Avy.  Frankly, why wouldn't he, she's adorable.

(no, his hair was not round-brushed...I've got to do something about the poof!)

Well, the other day he came home from school and said,

"Mom, there is a girl in my class and she is beautiful!"

First of all, seriously???  Then I asked him why he thought she was beautiful.

"She has brown hair."

Now, again, seriously???  We have come to find a little more about this brown haired beauty.  Her name is Ashley.  Sometimes she wears a pink bow in her hair.  He smiles every time he talks about her. 

So, watch out Avy.  I don't think you've been pushed aside (I'm not about to let that happen) but someone is in your territory!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Animal Friends

There are 2 types of people in this world, animal lovers and NON animal lovers. I have never known where I fit into those classes...until tonight. I once saw a remodel show on HGTV. A couple was finishing their attic. During this process they found out they had bats somewhere up there. This particular woman went to all extremes and all expenses to make sure the bats were not harmed in anyway. They ended up having some sort of bat house made for them.

I distinctly remember thinking, I like animals like the rest of them, but would I really build them a house. And further more, would I care if they die...they're bats???

Well, my eyes are clearer now. You see, we live in the forest. No, literally in the woods. We are in the more suburb part of town, but still there are all sorts of forest creatures around. I thought we had squirrels in California, but it is nothing compared to this place. I can look out any window of my house at any time of DAY and see a good 10 squirrels or chipmunks. In fact, I am quite confident that they throw acorns at me at times. But that is definitely not all. We've seen deer prints in our yard. The other day I opened my garbage lid to toss another bag in there when I noticed that the bag currently IN the garbage had holes in it from some animal that had weaseled his way into our garbage can. And gratefully we have only heard, not seen the bears that apparently frequent the celery farm that is less than a mile up the street. (this is where I say, holy crap what would I do if I saw a bear!!! Hey Bennett, play dead, buddy!)

So now to tonight when I find out what side of the fence I am on, animals or no animals. As you can see our house has trees coming up all around it, pretty close to it...within a chipmunk's small jump.

Our office is on the second floor, window facing the back, but it has a similar roof landing below it. The other day I told Ty that as I was on the computer at night I could hear the chipmunks' pitter-patter on our roof. I didn't mind, they are outside. It's not surprising with the trees so close.
So tonight, Ty is at work. I am in the same place, in the office. Lights are off, except the computer screen shining in my face and I am checking out your blogs when I hear the same pitter-patter. Now, directly in front of me is a closet that oddly enough didn't have doors when we purchased the home. However, this closet does have a "black hole" or "black abyss" that was left (along with all it's charm). This is a hole in the ceiling of the closet where heating pipes are going up to our room. It is hidden, but I'll admit it is creepy. It has an opening about a foot wide. So I stop and listen for a second.
That is weird, that time it sounded like it was above me? But, the only thing above me is MY bedroom. There's the noise again. It sounds like it is on pipes. I look up into the closet...HOLY CRAP!! I am squinting to see into the darkness and a flippin chipmunk is in my closet scurrying around my cleaning rags! It was a little one. He thought he was all alone in the house. And so did I! HELLO, anyone ever seen Over the Hedge. Well, that is my current life!
We had a short stare-down then I had to make a little noise to get him out of here. Not 20 seconds later he came back. That meant it was my turn to leave. I made a run for it, closed the door and called Tyler, scared to death. Of course, being at work his hands were tied. (If I had a nickle for every time he were at work in the night when emergencies happen, yes emergencies like a chipmunk in the house, but unfortunately accounting firms pay in pennies, not nickles.) So it is just me and the chipmunk. Luckily, Christian had been playing with a handheld mesh strainer that I saw just before I opened the door and grabbed it, just in case. I slowly opened the door, making as much noise as possible hoping I wouldn't really have to face it. It worked. Alvin was no where to be seen, or heard. Phew.
So I braved the walk to the computer. Turned on i-tunes as loudly as possible without waking up the kids and only yelled at the closet twice, "You stay in there, you dirty rat!"
So. Now I am just wondering if this is going on in my basement...

Where do you think I am? On the animal side or non-animal side? Where would you be?

Thursday, October 7, 2010

New Groove

Summer of 2010 was full of change. Mostly good, but mostly hard too.
But here we are trying to get into a new groove of life. New Jersey style.

The kids have felt the change for sure. I think everyday of summer Ava brought up something related to California or her friends. Usually something to the effect of, "When I am 7 (or 8) and we are back in California can/will we...(enter expectation here)?" Ava has been a total champ though. You'd think that starting Kindergarten is perfect, because everyone is new. Not so in Allendale. It's not a big town. People know you. You know, like CHEERS, where everybody knows YOUR name! (not quite, but still). She is making friends very easily, surprise, surprise! She even told me the other day, "Mom, I'm glad we moved to New Jersey, because I have lots of new friends and I like them." Phew! Thank goodness. I have been waiting 4 months to hear her say that!

Change has probably had the biggest toll on Christian. Things were all mixed up in his life and he just didn't know what to do about it. Thanks to the neighbors behind us, Christian now thinks we live in paradise. There is a little boy Ava's age and a girl Christian's age. The boys play together and the girls play together and Bennett follows along with whichever group he can. The girls are usually chanting, "we are girls!" to the boys while they play. If there is no rain, you can count on our kids being out together. It is fantastic. Thus I am happy to report that when this little man's life is in order he returns to his charming, lovable self! Bigtime phew on that one.

This kid is just pleased as punch to be anywhere his brother and sister are. Okay and probably mom and dad, too.

Ava and Christian, although they fight at times and one tries to manipulate the other every chance she gets, they really love each other and it makes me so happy.
With all the crazy change we've had, it is real nice to have these people around.

Pictures taken last April in California by Ivan and he did an awesome job! I highly suggest you give him a jingle if you're looking for fab pics that are easy on the pocketbook! You can see all that he did for us here.

Saturday, October 2, 2010


We headed to Upstate New York last weekend to visit some friends of ours that are in school at Cornell. We had SOOO much fun, mostly just being with them. We did go apple picking and to Palmyra. With Fall scenery like this, we couldn't help but take pictures...LOTS of pics. (consider that your warning)
I know this picture is blurry, but I love his expression.
Here is a better pic, with an equally cute expression.
Christian, climbing the fence at Joseph Smith's Farm. It was clear Christian would have loved life there.

One word to describe Palmyra: AMAZING.
We loved it. We just couldn't believe that we were where the church was restored. It was a perfect trip to take after our Jerusalem trip and every bit as neat.
The Sacred Grove.
The kids waiting outside the farmhouse.
This was Joseph Smith's second house that was essentially sold out from under them. There were places shown in the house where Joseph hid the plates.
Hill Cumorah and the Temple. You drive back behind the Temple to get to the Hill Cumorah memorial site. It is a beautiful view, but all I could think about was who risks their life each week to mow the lawn on the hill in front of it. Seriously the steepest hill of groomed grass I have EVER seen.
This is Joseph's first house. It was so small. In Joseph's room there were two double beds, three boys in each bed. Joseph was seventeen at the time. That would have been one squished bed! There was also a bible on their kitchen table that they studied and it struck me how naturally spiritual they were. They really were seeking rightousness and truth.
This would be my little angel in between activities. :)
Corn feild off of the church and Peter Whitmer's house.
Apple and pumpkin picking
That would be the same big bertha previously posted about.

Bennett literally ate about 7 apples that day. They were so good though.

Not much cuter than these last two...

Thanks so much Chad and Melissa! We had so much fun and can't wait until we get to visit with you guys again!