Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Before and After

When we moved to San Diego we were thrilled with the weather and the backyard with a view. We were less than thrilled with the state of the backyard. It was rundown and yucky and our three boys did nothing to make it better. It was an eye sore that truthfully I was embarrassed of for almost two years. We did nothing to improve it since we are renting and are not permanent here, but finally we decided to sink a little money and time into it. And Josh has found that he has a hobby! He loves to garden.

Here is the backyard at the end of May this year. Ugh! You can't see all the weeds here, but trust me, it was even worse than this picture looks. When I told my cousin Laura that we had "gardners" she laughed. All they do is mow the lawn.

And here it is today:

I don't know if the pictures do it justice, but it is so improved and I love Josh for it.

This is the most beautiful addition:

And just for fun, here are some of our beauties. Meet Miss Amber. No really, this rose was called Miss Amber-that's why Josh bought it. And isn't she a beauty? :)
Signature Rose:
And our hibiscus tree who we affectionately refer to as Hibby or Sparky. (Actually the boys have named all the plants.)
We figure that putting down roots, literally, is a sure fire way to get uprooted. I am crossing my fingers that won't happen yet. (Oh and you can't see it, but we have an orange tree-a tiny baby one. I wish we would be long enough to see him (Heber) grow up.)

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Baseball, Bikes and Surprises

Yesterday Nathan got a new bike and Jack requested that we take his training wheels off his bike for the first time, so today we headed to a park to try riding.

I took Jack's bike out of the trunk and handed it to him and told him to walk it over to the park and I would help him learn how to ride without training wheels in just a minute. I turned back to the van and pulled Nathan's bike out of the trunk, turned around and Jack was gone. Doing this:

OK, that was easy! He literally just got on and rode away. Jack is a funny kid. He doesn't want anyone to teach him to do things, he just does them. Same thing happened with skipping. I had no idea the kid could skip until 2 weeks ago when he took off skipping down the sidewalk. He pulled the same thing with reading recently-opened a book and read it to me. But if I ask to help-"want to read this book with me Jack?" the answer is no. He does it on his own time and his own way, but he does it.

Then it was Nathan's turn. He learned to ride training wheel-less last summer, but then his old little bike had a flat tire all winter and he hasn't ridden a bike since. I think he was a little unsure about moving up to a bigger bike AND going without training wheels but he hopped right on and did it. I knew he could. Something about that old adage...once you learn how to ride a bike I guess you just don't forget.

I love that his tongue is sticking out. This is a trait that goes back many generations.

Jack got some new baseball gear with his birthday money, so we also played ball!

And then a surprise arrived at the park:
And brought me this:

Boy does he know how to make a girl's day!

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Fat Jack

I was recently telling some of my friends about how fat Jack was as a baby. They have known him only a short time and were surprised because he is so wiry now. So to prove my point and for a walk down memory lane for the rest of us, here is Jack at about 2 months.

Check out those cheeks!

And another, this one at just one month old. Don't forget, this kid was born at just 6 lbs 13 oz. A month later and check out those jowls!!!

We stopped calling him Fat Jack after Elder Holland gave his talk saying never to call your child fat even in whimsy. And then we felt guilty. But not too guilty because he was fat, but not too fat for a baby and he most certainly is not fat now.

Oh how I loved to kiss those chubby cheeks!

Sunday, July 11, 2010

A New Bed

One night I got home from YW or something and Josh said that Jack was hoping I would come upstairs and kiss him goodnight. I ran up the stairs and into his room where I expected to find him sleeping on the top bunk. But he wasn't there. Weird. Nathan was asleep on the bottom, but no Jack. Then I heard a little voice behind me..."hi mom!" I turned around and there he was-all curled up in a box with his pillows and blankets.

I questioned him on it. "Are you really going to fall asleep in there?" He assured me he was, so I kissed him and left him in his little nest.

When I came to check on him at my own bedtime this is what I found:

Kind of cozy huh? (We moved him to his real bed at this point.)

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Heaven Sent

It was a quiet day at the park on a Wednesday in late May. I sat forlornly on the grass watching my two littler boys play and feeling lonely and maybe just a little bit sorry for myself. A may have even uttered a silent prayer for a friend. And then, to my right I heard the words "ward" and "bishop" and my ears perked up. Under a pavilion not far off I discovered a few members of the next ward over (one of whom I already knew) and...a girl who announced herself as a new member of our ward! A new member of our ward? (I am in YW and didn't even know there was a new family that week.) A new member of our ward who showed up to playgroup her very first week? I knew immediately that this was my kind of girl.

And from that day on, my summer has been happy. Sounds sappy huh? But we just love this family:

(We like their dad too, we just don't have a picture of him.)

Libby is Nathan's age and they are buddies:

And Jenna is Jacks age and they are buddies! Actually, the foursome are all pals. Dal loves them too and calls them "LibbyJenna." And I have a great time sitting and talking to Sara while the kids play.
We love these people not only just because they are so much fun to talk to and play with and be around, but because they are the kind of people who like to get out and have fun! We have done splash parks, park parks, beach days, swimming parties, Mt. Soledad, and more parks. We have plans to do the zoo and more beaching (with boogie boarding included for the moms), more parks and who knows what else in the next few weeks.

Yesterday we even saw them twice! In the morning we went on a picnic at the park, in the evening we celebrated Libby's birthday with a BBQ at their pool. Twice in one day and they don't even seem sick of us yet. :)

Here's the kids at Mt. Soledad:
We adore this family! But guess what? They are only here for three more weeks. Then they leave to go back to school in another state. :( Sigh. Nathan is excited that at least he will have a new pen pal.