Friday, September 12, 2008

Morro Bay

My parents, Amanda, and Evelyn came down the end of July to visit us and to celebrate Evelyn's first birthday. While they were here, we headed to the coast to Morro Bay, for a few days. Most of these pictures are Amanda's she took 1.5 GB of pictures while she was here.

I was dancing around the house the morning before we left for Morro Bay so Manda snapped a picture

Amanda gave Evelyn some shaving cream to distract her while she got her hair done. Besides wiping it all over the mirror, she ate some too.

This was our first morning in Morro Bay.

We stayed in our friends, the Johnson's beach house. They had a bunch of pictures in frames on a shelf and for some reason, they had an empty frame. So Quin and I ran to the drug store and got a print of us and put it in the frame. They said they were so surprise when they saw it among their family photos. They have left it there and we are now their adopted children.

I don't know who had more fun, Quin or Evelyn. These two were having a blast with each other the whole time.

We belatedly (like 5 mins after) realized that Evelyn found this fork on the ground.

A beautiful shot of Amanda

This is our favorite place to eat in Morro Bay. They have great fish and chips and clam chowder in sour dough bread bowls. Yum that is one of the best things about going to the coast, the delicious fresh seafood!

Quin and Evelyn had matching shoes

The famous Morro Rock

Some sea lions

Quin. . .
We went out to Morro Rock and walked around. My mom stayed in the car with Evelyn

One day we went to Hurst Castle. It was pretty cool, but we all agreed it was over the top.

This is just one of the swimming pools.

I am glad that we went, the grounds were beautiful and it was kind of cool to see all these priceless artifacts.

We went to see some Elephant Seals

Here we took a walk through the Eucalyptus forest to the shore. The smell is amazing and when you get back in the car, you can still smell it because of the oils on your shoes.

We didn't get many pictures of my parents for some reason, but here is a fun one of us walking back through the forest.
We later went to a different part of the shore and played in some tide pools. Later that day we went to the beach. I wished we had gotten some pictures of that. It was cold and overcast. Manda and Quin were crazy enough to go play in the waves though. I just laid on the beach and slept while my parents went back to the car and took a nap with Evelyn.

We had so much fun, I am so glad they came to visit!

Evelyn's first Birthday

For Evelyn's first birthday we came back from Morro Bay and celebrated it here.

We played in our back yard, that was a lot of fun.

Here is one of my attempts at getting creative with the camera angles

Manda and I enjoying some of the frosting after we frosted Evelyn's cake.

Evelyn's Cake, Manda and I have a history of decorating cakes not very cute. This one is an Evelyn bug cake.

Evelyn had a little trouble at first figuring out what to do with the presents, then she got it down. When she would open one, she would want to play with it and would get mad at us when we took it away so she could open another gift.

We forgot to get candles so we called my friend Stacie to see if she had any. She was so good, she went to the store and bought a special "1" candle.

At first Evelyn didn't know what do do with the cake.

But she eventually figured it out.

(The band-aid on her leg wasn't because she got hurt. Manda had a band-aid on and Evelyn wouldn't stop picking at it until she got one herself)

Monday, September 8, 2008

Girl's Camp

So this summer has been totally crazy! and has left little time for blogging, but now that things are calming down a bit I want to try to catch up on our blogs.

The second week of July I headed up to girls camp with the Meadows Ward. We kept going to the Meadows ward for an extra two months just so that I could go to girls camp with my young women. It rained the first couple of days, but it worked out to keep the dust down. I was on a hike with the older girls and got stuck in the rain. At one point it was pouring and lighting and we were all huddled under trees. I kept thinking that was probably not the best place for us to be huddled together, but it turned out all right and it went along well with some of the lessons the leaders had. Quin came up on Friday and stayed the night. The day after we got back they released me and I cried and cried. I am not exactly a nature girl, but it was worth it to get to spend some extra time with my girls.

This was the Tree of Life, I just thought that it was really pretty.

They did this activity to teach us to appreciate the things that we had. We were divided up into groups and assigned to different tarps. Everyone had a different amount of food. Some people had a lot of food. Some people had only a tiny cup of rice and almost no water. This was to represent the different amounts of food that people around the world have. Only one group had enough food to satisfy them, the rest did not have enough to meet their needs.

Our group was the group that had plenty of food. We were the only group of all the groups that had plenty of food to meet our needs.

I think the girls were amazed at how little some people have to eat. It is something that we all take for granted.

There is a tradition when the fourth year girls come in from their hike, everyone makes posters and welcomes them home.

Byron McArthur told us a great story about a giant, talking gorilla. I am sure it was true.

The younger girls of the Meadows ward and the leaders. The older girls were off doing their activities. I missed them, but it was fun to get to know the younger girls.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Our New House

Well, we are officially "Home Owners". We purchased our first home ever and we love it. We decided in June that we should at least start looking to see what was out there since the prices here in Bakersfield had finally come down to a "reasonable" level and while the interest rates were still good. We looked at a few houses here and there, but tried to stay in our ward boundaries (we really love the people in the Meadows Ward and tried to stay over near them). When ever we found a house that we thought we liked we would talk to our realtor about making an offer. He would come back and tell us that the sellers had just accepted an offer yesterday or that morning. One house that we were in this guy came in as we were looking at it and told us that his offer had just been accepted that morning. So we went on looking and feeling sorry for ourselves that we were having difficulty finding a house in the ward. That Saturday we decided to look around the Stake boundaries "just to see" what we could find. We drove through this GREAT neighborhood with beautiful homes and saw one for sale. We wrote down the info thinking to ourselves that there was NO-WAY we would be able to afford the neighborhood. We had our realtor Tony set up an appointment for Monday evening. Well the house was awesome and in our price range. Our friend Stacie also found one in her neighborhood (Meadows Ward) that we rushed over to look at. Now we had a dilemma as to which one to make an offer on. The one in the old ward was actually at a higher price, while this one was further away from our friends. So we made and offer on this one on Tuesday. Tony called us Wednesday to say the offer was accepted and we entered a 30 day escrow. It was very fast and almost scary. So now we are living the American Dream of Home Ownership!!!

The house has 3 bedrooms plus an office, 2 baths, and a 2 car garage on a 1/4 acre lot.

This is the image from Google Maps Street View

That is my flag that my parents gave me when I earned my Eagle Scout. It was flown over the US Capitol Building in Washington DC. I made the flag pole that is now its home.

We kept joking with our realtor Tony that we would only be able to afford to entertain friends by way of spaghetti barbecues. This is the gift basket/house warming gift he gave us. Note the spaghetti and BBQ sauce.

Looking in the front door.

Formal dining area/entrance (we plan to put the full size grand piano there as soon as we have LOTS of money just sitting around)

Living room

Great backyard. There is already a lemon tree that has lemons on it (supposedly very sweet tasting ones) and I planted another two citrus trees: eureka lemon tree (common grocery store ones) and a navel orange tree (the really good flavored ones).

More of the backyard.

Our kitchen.

We have LOTS of snails. I counted 80+ in an area that was 10 ft x 10 ft. According to the internet these are the edible snails (garden full of food storage?). Apparently they were introduced to CA by an Italian immigrant for use as escargot. There are several recipes online too. Let us know when you plan to come visit and we can serve you up some lemony escargot.

Always the fashionable one.

Mowing my OWN grass finally!!! (I was raised on a sod and tree farm)

Several guys at work and myself decided to do some beard art. I was told I looked like the Pringles guy.

Our yellow rose bush for our Texan mothers.

These are our sad tomato plants. We only got 4 tomatoes off them. They were doing good until we took over. I still think it must be bugs eating the roots.