Sunday, September 30, 2007

Some Sillyness

Jake enjoys "helping" us do the dishes, but it's more just him splashing in the water and filling up cups and bowls with water. Here he is playing with the noodles that were moments away from being destroyed by the garbage disposal.

Will someone please tell me how these guys grow up so fast right underneath your nose?! I have found that "cherish every moment" is an appropriate mantra while parenting very young children (and older children, I'm sure!). "Every good thing given and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights..." -James 1:17

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

We're Home...

After 3 great days in Kansas, we made it back. The trip was everything we hoped it would be, and more. Thank you to everyone who prayed for us this weekend and for safety in travel; we saw the goodness of God through the whole weekend. There is far too much that happened to write about here, but I'll summarize:

We had a pleasant plane ride early Friday morning. The boys were very good and Jake was thrilled at his first time on a plane! Pastor Dave picked us up from the airport and took us back to his house where we relaxed and played all afternoon until 6:30 when we went to John & Maria Wernli's home for some delicious barbecue brisket and lots of other goodies. At the dinner we met the elders of the church and their wives. John's brother, Dave, who is on the board of elders, has an ATV and gave all the kids rides around the property. It was the highlight of the evening for Jake. Well, except maybe for running around after the chickens, he liked that too!

On Saturday Ryan and I spent time with each elder. In the morning we had breakfast at George and Rose's home for Ryan's favorite, biscuits and gravy. George then drove us around Emporia and gave us the grand tour. It is a very nice little town and Ryan and I could definitely see ourselves living there. We then went to lunch at Barry and Joy's house with the boys. They have a playroom and goats (who were outside and not in the playroom), so it was great bringing the boys. We had a very pleasant time with them talking about what Ryan's position would be at church and different ideas about the ministry. After lunch, we took the boys back to Pastor Dave's house where we were staying so they could take a nap because Dave Wernli was picking us up to drive us around the Flint Hills. It was a great time of sightseeing and talking about, well, everything with Dave. He showed us around his family property and farm house and taught us about silage, which is what they feed their cattle. While very different from the California landscape, Emporia and the Flint Hills possess their own beauty, and I very much enjoyed seeing them.

Sunday morning Ryan and I met with the Jr. and Sr. High group for a little get-to-know-us time. Ryan then preached during the service (very well I thought!) and we went out to lunch with John Wernli, his son, and his sister and family at a great Mexican place. Warren couldn't stand not being the center of attention, so as a grand finale he threw a big glass plate off the table. Good times.

Sunday afternoon, Ryan met with Pastor Dave and the elders for the grilling time. They asked him lots of questions and he asked them some questions. I hear it went pretty well. Sunday eve was a potluck at church for us to get to know some of the families who go to Flint Hills Christian Church. We very much enjoyed that time and met some great people.

One strange coincidence (or shall I say providence) was that Pastor Dave is a huge Chicago Bears and Cubs fan! If you didn't know, Ryan also inherited this strange trait to have in California from his dad. So Sunday night, the Hintz family and us all went back to the Wernli's home to watch the Bears (lose) play. That's Jake in the background wrestling with Jonathon, John's son. Warren is on the right, and the other two are Nathan and Amberly, the 2 younger Hintz kids. They also have an older girl, Julia.
Monday was pretty relaxed in the morning; the boys played with the Hintz kids and we packed up and left for the airport at 3:00 for our 6:40ish flight. That's something pretty different for us, the airport is 100 miles away so you have to leave way before the flight. Another mostly uneventful flight; Warren slept for a good 2 hours and Jake was very quiet. We were all so exhausted from a long weekend, and very sad to go. We couldn't have asked for a better weekend in terms of the wonderful people we met. They loved on us and showed us so much kindness. We felt like we fit right in!
So what's the next step? Well, on both sides, we will take the next week or two to go over the weekend, process all that happened, and after much prayer decide if the Lord is leading us to Kansas.
Jake exclaimed Friday morning when we woke him up at 4:50 a.m., "This is gonna be fun!" Right on kiddo.

Thursday, September 20, 2007


"Tomorrow, tomorrow, I love ya, tomorrow, you're only a day away!"

Tomorrow's the day folks! We leave early a.m. for our trip to Kansas. We have to be out of the house by 5 a.m. to be at Ryan's mom's by 5:30 so she can get us to the airport by 6. Yikes! We are all so eager to see what the Lord will do on this trip, and Jake is very excited about the plane ride and getting to play with the chickens at John & Maria Wernli's home! Our plans have been changed slightly, as we are now staying with the pastor and his family (the Hintz's) instead of the Wernli's because Maria ruptured her Achilles tendon and is, understandably, not able to have the 4 of us romping around her house. This works out great though, because Dave and Becky Hintz have 3 kids, 2 of which are our boys' exact ages. So they will have lots of fun playing together.

I can't wait to tell you all about it, we return Monday night, so I'll hopefully be able to write something here Tuesday. Have a great weekend, check out Mike Huckabee, talk to everyone soon!

Values Voters

In case you missed the debate on Monday night (I know, you're probably saying, "What debate?"), here is a great clip from Mike Huckabee. It was the Values Voters Debate where Huckabee won with 63% of the vote. Amazing. Huckabee has the momentum and all he needs is for all of us to keep spreading the word. He mentions in this clip that the presidency should not be about who has the most money, and he's right. It should be about who will make the best President. Watch this short clip and let me know what you think about him.

Also, check out One Mom's blog, she is a large part of the grassroots campaign to elect Gov. Huckabee for President.

Sunday, September 16, 2007


Warren sure is taking his sweet time walking! It's very fun watching him wobble around and learn how to walk. For your viewing enjoyment:

Huckabee '08

Hi folks,

If you haven't already done so, I encourage you all to take a look at Mike Huckabee's web site. I know many of you may have already made up your mind about your candidate for the presidential election in 2008, but it's worth giving other candidates a shot. Huckabee was formerly a Baptist Minister and his concern for the country and the issues we face is genuine. He is right on with the issues and knows that as President, he is a servant to the country, not the other way around. If you like what he has to say, please pass the word on to people you know about him. Let's get his name out there!

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Secret Confession

I can't wait to move! Doesn't matter if it's Kansas, Italy, Alaska, or Castro Valley, I'm just itching to get out of this house, neighborhood, city! I really have enjoyed living here, there are so many positive things about this place: we have a large fenced yard for the boys to play in; there is Anabelle, Jake's age, for a companion; we are close to Ryan's family (which is great for a variety of reasons--free babysitting, grandparents close by, a cool air-conditioned home when it is 100 degrees here, etc.); the rent is very reasonable; I have a very large kitchen and ample storage space for the size of the apartment; it's a very cute little place; and not the least of which is that we've seen our boys grow and learn here, which is what will make living anywhere special I suppose.

But, this place is noisy! The infernal birds come twice a day and either wake us up, or keep us up at night. The home is really old and most of the windows don't close properly so dust and noise can freely enter. From outward appearances this is a nice, quiet, peaceful street, but make two right turns and you're on the major street that runs through Arcadia and Temple City, so we've got lots of through traffic near us. AND, the tree cutters were here this morning chopping down a tree in our yard at 7 a.m. Of course we were awake (actually Ryan was at work already) but it's the principle of the thing! I long for a nice, quiet home away from the big city.

I know that all those things really don't matter much, I think what's really going on is that we are just ready for the next step. Our time here is coming to a close and we want to move on. We go to Kansas on Friday and it's been hard waiting to see what will happen!

So there you have it, I'm ready to go!

Soaking up all the beach we can get!

We went to the beach again last Sunday with Ryan's family for a little BBQ. We all had fun, especially Jake and his cousin Hannah, who always have a great time together playing, and this time they got to play in the ocean! It's so cute seeing all the cousins together and now Jaina is starting to get interested in the big kids too. She loved Warren and was giggling and talking to him as they sat in their car seats together. I didn't take many pictures, just some cute ones of Jaina and Warren. Jaina is becoming a beautiful little girl, I love this picture of her.

As usual, we had to strap Warren down while we ate, or else he would have been all over the place getting sand in everything. Thank goodness for car seats that double as a restraining seat. After we ate, he was entertained for a long time climbing (and falling) all over the seat.

Cuddling Brothers

The boys are in the habit of bringing their pillows out in the morning and playing with them on the couch. It's awfully cute because they usually exchange pillows and just play together for a little while.

Last week we put a clock in the boys' room and taught Jake how to tell when it was 7:00 a.m. in an effort to keep them in their room longer than 6:00 in the morning. They wake up at that time usually so we thought we would give it a try to see if they will just play in there for a while. So far it has worked! Jake comes out at 1 or 2 minutes after 7 and proudly announces, "It's 7!" We can hear them playing starting at about 6:30 when they are both awake enough to play together. Sometimes Jake reads books, plays with the play mat on the floor, or jumps on the bed, but mostly he gets all the stuffed animals off the shelf and puts them in Warren's crib, along with anything else he finds on the floor!

Saturday, September 8, 2007


Yesterday we went swimming at Aunt Pam's house. It was a beautiful day for being outside; not too hot, but plenty of sunshine. The boys had a blast and unlike the beach last week, we all got a little sunburnt...go figure. Here are some pictures and 2 short videos.

We brought lunch over to eat before we went in the pool but forgot Warren's chair to strap him in. If you know the kid at all you know that he can't sit still for more than a nanosecond, unless he's physically restrained. So Ryan went into the garage and found some rope and tied him to the chair! If you look close at the picture you can probably see it around his waist.

And a video of Jake jumping in the water.

Friday, September 7, 2007

Staying cool

Last Friday we took the boys to Seal Beach to escape the heat. It was such a nice day over there, sunny but cool. I really think those people who live at the coast are on the something. When it's blistering hot here, it's only about 85 over there! Anyway, we had lots of fun at the beach. Both boys loved being in the water and letting the waves splash over them. No one got sunburnt at all, so I consider that a very successful day! Here are some pics and a video of us on our way home when we were all a little tired and the boys were somewhat giddy (you'll see what I mean!).

End of Summer Fun

Greetings to all!

Well here are some catching up photos.

Mommy and Jake having fun while the other little guy naps.

We were at Target sipping Icees and goofing around.

Playing the piano at Grammy and Papa's house.

Monday, September 3, 2007

Still here

Hello everyone.

Yes, we're still around, haven't fallen off the planet or anything. It's been in the 100's here in southern CA and without air conditioning in our apartment, we were forced to find another residence for a while. Ryan's parents graciously took us in and we've been holing up in their home trying to stay cool. We're very thankful for them and this home.

Here's a quick recap of the last couple of weeks:

We made it safely home on Friday, August 24th. Ryan drove my dad's truck loaded with all kinds of goodies accumulated over the summer and my mom and I took turns driving our van. The boys and Steve our cat did excellently, and we only stopped once for lunch, at In N Out, of course! Incidentally, the In N Out at Kettleman City is the exact halfway point between our doorway and my parent's home, within a half-mile. We all thought that was pretty cool considering how much we all love the burger joint. (Unfortunately for us, there is no In N Out in Emporia, KS, whatever shall we do?!)

My mom and dad left the next day on Saturday with some sadness and tears all around, but (at the risk of sounding cheesy) our hearts were filled with many happy memories from a great summer. It was difficult to see them go, but as Bruce Blakey's (a pastor at Grace Church) son put it, "What is a little separation in light of eternity?" Comforting words considering our possible move to Kansas and leaving our entire family in California.

Then on Tuesday Ryan began his last semester at The Master's Seminary. He has some great classes and is looking forward very much to this semester. I know he's a little sad at the prospect of leaving the school and Grace Church, but we are eagerly anticipating moving full time into ministry, wherever that may be. Ryan is going to school 4 days a week, which is the most ever I think, but 2 of those days he only has 1 class, and the other 2 days, 2 classes. It's a great schedule and he is able to be home for dinner every night, which I love!

So that's really about it. We have been massively reorganizing and purging our apartment of unnecessary items in anticipation of moving in a few short months, and the boys and I are getting used to our routine at home. This hot week has thrown a kink into things, but that's the way it goes. The Lord continues to sustain and bless our family immensely and we are grateful everyday to Him for His provisions.

Within the next couple of days I will try to post some recent pictures (Warren still isn't walking, he's taking his sweet time!) and write some more updates.

Talk to you soon!
Jen for the 4 of us