Thursday, July 30, 2009

Nursery Update and Other News

I ordered a crib and crib set online last night. I finally found what I wanted. I know I will not get tired of the crib set because it is one of my favorite types of bedroom decor. More details to come...

All praise to the Lord! Keri and Brian are proud parents of a beautiful baby girl. Kenley June was born this morning. Mother and baby are doing well.

I am off to a local maternity store. They are apparently having a big sale. We will see if "big sale" in boutique language will meet Maryn's thrifty wallet. They also have all kinds of cloth diaper info. I am still doing research for the kind I want to get.

Have a Blessed Day!

Love Ya'll!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Gone on the weekends

The last couple of weekends Daniel and I have been on the go.

One weekend we flew to Michigan to meet up with several families Daniel knew and grew close to in Okinawa. Over the last few years of our marriage I have been able to meet all these dear people. I am thankful everyone wants to remain close and in touch. They are a great group.
We met up at a particular Marines house on a lake. It was a perfect set up. Plenty of beds and air mattresses for everyone.

One particular family had several children and I was reminded of how dear Daniel is with kids. We had not seen this family since 2006, but all of them took to Daniel like he was family. I know they were like this in Okinawa as well. There are pictures with the kids hanging all over him. He has fond memories of the family then, but kids change over the years. You never know how they will be next time you see them. Daniel was still memorable to them. They were a wonderful family to spend time with as well as all the others. (I am refraining from names because I didn't get to ask if they wanted to be on the blog.)

No more flying for me until after baby, unless absolutely necessary. Flying isn't fun when you are not pregnant, but even less when your feet look like they belong to an elephant and the seat belts have to be on the largest size. Ha!

This last weekend we drove about an hour north to Gilroy and its annual Garlic Festival. We took a new friend, Krista, whom I met at the Carmel 4th of July beach bash, and had a great day of it.

You never know what you are going to get with festivals. This one was really worthwhile. I mean from the yummy food, great musicians, guest chefs having cooking shows through-out the day, to the clean port-a-johns, this lady was happy to be there. Oh yeah, not to mention all the free samples. I love garlic! Gilroy is know for their garlic fields and you can pretty much smell the town itself. Mmmm, Yum.

This is us after eating lunch. We couldn't decide what type of food to get so we got three different kinds and shared. Garlic calamari, garlic stir-fry veggies and garlic pesto pasta. So yum. We smelled rank!
Glad Krista is of the sharing type. :)

Note the giant flaming garlic behind us.

Here they are sauteing tons of garlic. Literally tons. They advertised how much they go through in the weekend and it was something like 2 tons of garlic. You bet it smelled there.

My favorite:

They were dipping these rosemary "brooms" into a garlic and white wine mixture and patting the steak with the brooms. Makes me wish I went back for the steak sandwiches.

We did have to share a couple garlic fries that afternoon.

All-in-all I want to go back next year, despite smelling garlic on my breath for two days after we got home. So if anyone is here visiting the last full weekend in July, you know where we are headed.

California also likes...

We've noticed they have a strange fascination with giant wood figures in their fields.

When I say giant I mean this guy was probably 12 feet tall stooping.

I know North Carolina had several different crops, and mile after mile you can drive through cotton or tobacco fields, but unfortunately no larger than life workers showing you how its done.

We're not in North Carolina anymore, Meli.

California has already been a great state to live in. Granted, we have only seen a few of its beauties, they are still a worthwhile sight to see. California's beautiful beaches and scenery aren't the only thing that make it well-known. People also know it as a left-leaning state. Ha! Well, we have seen a couple things that lead to that idea.

On a bathroom door...


The 4th of July Parade in Monterey was a great parade. Unsurprisingly, there were equal amounts of peace-loving organizations to balance out the military in the area. Don't get me wrong, I do want peace and I do love peace, but not at any cost, and definitely not the same way they want to achieve it.

There were probably 3 or 4 peace organizations taking part in the parade. My favorite, yes I will call them "crazies" due to their actions and attire, was Code Pink. Yep, they made an appearance and for some reason this guy was with them wearing...

a tutu and boa.

I cannot even begin to imagine this in a parade in the south.

I love the south and am enjoying California. Yet, there is a very clear difference in what I like between the two.

I have appreciated observing families from different cultures sharing a dinner together at a restaurant. I do like hearing several different languages read over the intercom at the airports. There is a line though that California seems to dance around, whether it is gender issues, means to a peaceful world, or immigration laws.

Just as long as they are dancing in pink tutus and boas...

: )

Wednesday, July 22, 2009


Yes, I have a had a few this pregnancy. Currently, I want anything cold and sweet. This includes any and all kinds of popsicles, but give me the cheap ice-pops and I am happy. Last night Daniel and I were reading on the love seat in our family room and he leans over and sticks his hand in the cushion crevice. He pulled out an ice-pop sleeve. I felt like a 4 year old. I must have forgotten to throw it away and it made its way there. :)

This craving also makes itself evident when we are out and about. I love Slurpees!! Anytime I see them I crave them. I often give into the craving. I figure it has minimal fat, there could be worse cravings, ice cream, potato chips...I know it can be bad to eat all the sugar too, but I have always been a candy girl so that is nothing new to my diet. Target even puts them on sale sometimes...those are dangerous days for the kids in line after me. You know I have to get the large size.

It isn't even hot here, but they are oh so good.

(Yes, Mom, I look just like you. :))

Monday, July 13, 2009

Birthday Mail and Thoughts

Thanks for all the birthday mail and thoughts sent my way. I had a very special day yesterday. We enjoyed cinnamon rolls all weekend from the sweet Reynolds family. That made the entire weekend special. I have loved the kind cards and boxes from family as well as the songs over the phone. Thank you for making me feel so loved.

Daniel took me to this yummy Japanese restaraunt where we both dined on sushi and chicken teriyaki. Yum yum! (I just had California roll, no worries about raw fish with Baby Vi.)

We also had a date night to see the new Transformer movie. (Daniel knows I love movies.) He finished most of his homework Saturday so we were able to spend the day together. It was very special.

He got me this giant cement ball from Target for my birthday. Here he is rolling it to our car.

Just playing. He got me a new bluetooth for my cell phone. Now I can chat handsfree (when I have a signal). It is the law here to have a handsfree device when driving so I am safe now. :) Call me whenever.

Love Ya'll!

First Week of School

Daniel's first week of school went well. He bikes to school and home everyday so he leaves home around 6:30. We get to have breakfast together before he pedals away. The mornings here are cool and mostly foggy, but Daniel stays warm biking up and down the hills to NPS.

In memory of all the first day of school photos, I had him pose for me.

Here he is in action.

The trailer behind him has proven to be most useful. He has his change of clothes in there as well as lunch and his briefcase. This way he doesn't have to haul all these things on the bike and his back. It gives him more drag and more of a workout, but he prefers it this way. There are several guys at the school who bike to school with a trailer as well. It is a child trailer so it has a seat for a child to be buckled in. (I am just happy to think about future family bike rides with Violet. I am sure she would love to be strapped in there while her Momma and Daddy pedal away.)

Classes are going to require a lot of time out of Daniel. He's already dove right into studying for several hours a night. We are working out our schedule in the evenings where we have dinner and reading the Bible together and then getting him to the study to read and do homework. I think this is the best schedule right now. It requires me to be busy in the evening after supper with something other than spending time with Daniel. This is new to me. I need to learn I cannot be as selfish of his time. It is a good time to learn this before we have Vi. I know I will be busy with her, but I also want Daniel's attention. It is going to require a large amount of peace to allow Daniel to get everything he needs done. I want him to feel comfortable with his workload so I am already planning projects to keep me busy.

Computer Science is one of the heaviest work loads according to one of Daniel's professors. There will be very little time for outside social activities. This will be something new for us as well. It will be a good challenge. This is an important season for our family and we are both so grateful for this opportunity for Daniel. What a blessing to have him here with me with no looming deployment.

Thanks for all your love and prayers for Daniel and me. We love ya'll.

Thursday, July 09, 2009

Sunday Church and Walking Among the Fishies

We visited another church on Sunday morning. It was our third visit to area churches. We still have some looking to do though. It is hard when you leave an amazing church like Berean. It is so easy to compare everything. Please pray that God gives us the right heart and mind to find a place we can best serve and glorify Him.

After the church visit we grabbed some lunch at a cute cafe in Monterey and met the Mooneys at the aquarium.

WOW! I am glad we went. It is amazing and so beautiful. It was high on my list of things to do in the area and I was so happy to join with some friends to go explore it. We liked it so much we became members. I can just see myself pushing Violet around in a stroller and gazing at all the amazing sea creatures. (Yes, I think Violet is the final name. We love it.)

The jellyfish may have been my favorite but it is hard to say. I didn't get many good pictures. The place was crowded with so many people in town due to the holiday and the fact that it is a stellar aquarium. People flock to it like crazy. I aim to get some better pictures in the next few visits.

We took our time exploring the exhibits, but I can't wait to go back and just sit and gaze at these creatures. So delicate and foreign to everything else in creation. So amazing. I pretty much want to sit and gaze at everything in there.

Here we are amongst the fishes and some shark.

The kelp exhibits were pretty neat too. The camouflage on some fish makes it so difficult to find among the plants.

One last group photo for the weekend:

The Mooneys left that afternoon and headed to their new home in San Francisco. How special that we are living so close now! Looking forward to their next visit.

Big bonus with our new membership to the aquarium: We have two guest tickets to share with anyone we please. So not only is there a bed waiting here in our home for visitors, we also having something besides oohing and ahhing over Violet to do. I know that some people can only do that for about 10 seconds anyway. I don't want you to have a boring visit. You can leave the oohing and aahing to us and go to the aquarium. Sound good...okay. Book your tickets now. :)

The octopus is waving goodbye.

July 3rd and 4th

Our friends from Hawaii, the Mooneys, were able to come down for a nice visit this last weekend. We packed everyday with them. Friday evening after they arrived we went to dinner with the Clevengers. They know all the good restaurants having lived here for over a year now. (We also knew them in Hawaii. Jo, Amaya and I were together a lot during deployments.)

(Recreated pose from a night in Honolulu. We all look different, especially me.)

We went to a Thai place in Carmel, very yummy and very affordable. I never get tired of Thai. :) I am already planning on returning. Afterward, we went to another restaurant that has a lot of character. It is called Forge in the Forest and is also in Carmel. Basically, almost every table has some sort of fire to gather around and nosh. The general theme in the place was an old blacksmith shop, but classy. This place apparently had the "best dessert ever" so we had to go. Turns out the dessert was pretty heavenly. It was a chocolate chip cookie baked in a skillet with ice cream on top. Yum! We had to oblige. Daniel and I shared as well as each of the other couples.

We cuddled with our hubbies in the cool weather around the fire. It was pretty nice.

The next morning we all met to go to the Monterey 4th of July Parade together. The parade was good...not enough music. There were no local high school bands. Hmmm. There were plenty of interesting floats and participants. I will post about that later.
We enjoyed walking the streets afterward at a street party.

Clevs to the left, us, and the Mooneys.

We took the Mooneys home with us to show them our house and make a commissary stop before our beach party. Oh, that's right. Beach party.

Later that afternoon we all headed to the Carmel beach for a cookout and bonfire. It was a really warm day for the area. It was probably 75 or so. Ha! Perfect for the beach day. We came ready for the cool evening though.

Several families that mostly knew the Clevengers, but through military connections knew Daniel, all came to the cookout. Marine Corps connections happen all the time here. There are so many fewer Marines stationed here, besides the Corps being small. All in all about 7 families showed up and everyone brought yummy food. Good thing too, we were on the beach for about 7 1/2 hours. Too beautiful to leave.
Jo brought fixin's for s'mores. Smart lady. Another wife brought hot cocoa and a couple thermoses of hot water. Another smart lady.

Here is Daniel perfecting his marshmallow roasting:

And here he is enjoying it.

It was a beautiful day. Unfortunately, no fireworks. Most of the cities around here did not do any shows because of the economic depression the state is in. Kind of a downer, but it was still a gorgeous evening. We had natural fireworks on display at sunset.

As it got darker we played Catch Phrase, a favorite game of ours, and watched the sunset.

More time for photos.

It was a beautiful evening. God has made Himself so evident through His creation. I am thankful for His word as well. He has chosen some beautiful ways to make himself known in this world.
It was a splendid 4th. It is still one of my favorite holidays despite not having fireworks this year. I do love celebrating this country. We are so very blessed and so very undeserving. Maybe I will always be a patriot queen, as my junior year history teacher called me...

Friday, July 03, 2009


They have had a really hard time adjusting to the new home. You can really tell.

All they do is eat, sleep and stretch...oh wait.
That is what they always do. :)

Our home

Here are a few shots of the inside.

From the front entry into the living area:

From the sliding glass door:

From the breakfast area into living area:

From the breakfast room into the kitchen:

From the front entry to the right, down the hallway:

Guest room/Study just waiting for visitors. The bed is ready and made.

The nursery has a few boxes I have to go through still, therefore no pictures. I have been saving the boxes for when Daniel starts classes. I figure I will go through a little withdrawal when he first goes back so I need some things to keep me busy right away. I have been spoiled having him with me day in and day out for over a month now. I know I will find things to keep me busy...don't worry.

Belly Shot

Yes, I am in a candy shop! :)

I am 25 weeks along. Praise the Lord! Violet is healthy and regularly reminding me of her strength and growing size with her sharp kicks.

Daniel felt her kick the other day. How special for us to be together during this time. I am thankful God has allowed Daniel to be home during this pregnancy, especially being our first baby together. I love sharing every minute with him.

We met my new doctor this week and I was very impressed with his manner. He was kind and quiet, not too chatty, giving us enough time to ask questions and feel comfortable. I was happy with the feel in the entire office, nice nurses and front desk employees. I was especially thankful to see Violet again by ultrasound. She is growing beautifully. Her heart is pumping away with 4 full chambers and all her other vital organs appear to be doing the just as well. It is so exciting seeing her moving inside. The technology is quite amazing.

There will be more pregnancy shots to come, if you don't mind. Baby Vi has been consuming my thoughts more now that we are settled and starting a routine here in our new home.

Busy Couple of Weeks

We want Daniel to feel ready for classes to start on Monday. We recently got him a new bike and all the gear. He has been riding it often to get himself ready for biking to school everyday. The ride is a little over 6 miles one way. He timed it the other day and with morning traffic he gets there in about 40 minutes. He plans on lessening the time.

He looks good on his bike.

One of Daniel's projects on the house was to enclose our carport. We needed the extra storage and he figured out a great plan to allow him to ride in and out of the door with his bike so we can store it in there. He also put up several shelves for my gardening things and his tools and other outdoor gear. I was very proud of him. He planned it, built it, painted it. It looks good. One of the best in the neighborhood, I think.

Here is the beach on a sunny day. We were returning from Home Depot. (We have been in there a lot lately.) There is beach access right near the shopping center so I took a few pictures. We have had a stretch of sunny days here lately. It has been beautiful.

I just wanted to say how much we like our new grill. Daniel has learned how to use it this week since we are pretty much settled in our house now.

(This picture is taken outside in our little patio area off the front of the house. It is right off the kitchen so it makes for easy passing of food between outside and in.)

The grill has worked great so far and we have only used it a couple of times. No daring meats on it yet, just practicing with burgers, but oh they were yummy. We enjoyed some earlier in the week then had a cookout with the Reynolds last night. Good times with that family. We love them!

Exploring Downtown

We had a nice evening in downtown Monterey. It was a little bizarre leaving the house with jackets, but I am very thankful we did. It was a chilly night. Yes, it was June when we were out and about. It is still sinking in with me too that it can be this chilly in California.

The walk along Cannery Row is nice; full of people, mostly tourists, but nice. There are several beds of gorgeous flowers to admire.

Several of the restaurants have servers out front offering samples of clam chowder. That was one of my favorite aspects of the evening. (I love clam chowder, New England style.) One of them sold us so we had dinner at Louie Linguine. We had a nice view of the ocean and shared a delicious seafood pasta dish. I am a big fan of date night with Daniel.