February 28, 2008

One of God's blessings to start off a day with joy that in my mind began way too early:

And of course, this:

Quality Assurance

We had a computer crisis this week and it just made me want to remind you all to back up your computers if it's been a while! We used to be good about doing it monthly, but this time it had been since before Christmas, so when our computer went kaput this week, I was really nervous. But after 48 minutes on the phone with a guy whose accent was very hard to understand, especially on top of my rowdy kids who just couldn't seem to behave and leave the room....let's just say we had some major conversations after that phone call and a few consequences... we got it working again!!!! I was not a happy mama during that phone call, except for the fact that the man was helping me bring my computer back to life! I kept having to remind myself that "this phone call might be monitored for quality assurance purposes..." Why was I more concerned about that than the fact that God is the one who is more concerned with the quality of my heart and the way I was treating my kids by yelling under my breath (if that's possible) and treating them not calmly to try to get them to leave the room. Sometimes looking back on a situation I can't believe I couldn't find a better solution to a problem than what I was trying. I know other things play into that like the fact that I was a little stressed with the computer, and that I had to strain to hear the wonderful computer man and understand him, and that "computer" is not my first language. In our house we are really working on having our kids obey us the first time we ask something of them, and then we can discuss it after they've followed through if they still feel the need. Let's just say it doesn't come naturally.
But I'm thrilled that our computer is back to life and we didn't lose anything, we just had to "reinstall our operating system". So go back up all your stuff, it would be sad to lose all those wonderful photos and music and everything else. :-)

February 20, 2008

Garrapato State Park

We had such fun exploring Point Lobos a couple weeks ago, so the next weekend we decided to try out another park just south of it, Garrapato State Park. This one consisted of little pull-offs along Hwy 1 that had a bunch of little trails that meandered along the steep cliffs by the beautiful raging water. This one had me gasping a bit more than the other park because of the steep drop-offs, and we had to be sure the kids stayed right by us, but it was SO incredibly beautiful. It literally took my breath away for a minute just looking at the beauty of it all. We walked along the trails and sat and had our little picnic lunch, and then we got back in our truck (yes!! we got a truck, I love calling it that!!!! I've always wanted a truck! - it's a Honda Pilot) and drove to the 2-mile beach (although it didn't quite stretch 2 miles while we were there cuz the tide was so high). I have never seen such huge waves, it was awesome. It didn't take Carson long to get wet, he just loves the beach. He found a huge piece of a kelp tube that he was wrangling in logs with, his imagination just goes wild when he's out there, it's precious. It was a perfect day to be out there, the sun was shining bright and warm with a coolness in the air that was just right. It's fun to explore the beauty around here this time of year when there isn't the crowd of summer travelers.

Our new wheels...Jason was trying to get a magazine-type photo shoot of it. :-)

This was just a crazy looking tree

The seas have lifted up, O Lord,
the seas have lifted up their voice;
the seas have lifted up their pounding waves.
Mightier than the thunder of the great waters,
mightier than the breakers of the sea -
the Lord on high is mighty.
Psalm 93: 3-4

For the Lord is the great God,
the great King above all gods.
In his hand are the depths of the earth,
and the mountain peaks belong to him.
The sea is his, for he made it,
and his hands formed the dry land.
Come, let us bow down in worship,
let us kneel before the Lord our Maker;
for he is our God
and we are the people of his pasture,
the flock under his care.
Today, if you hear his voice,
do not harden your hearts...
Psalm 95: 3-8

February 10, 2008

Dishwasher repairman, please come to our house!

Carson, 10 months, loved to spin the spraying arms like a propeller.

This is exactly what I feel like...."hmmmm, how does this work?" Or rather, "how can I get this to work again?" "What's wrong with this thing?!" We've been having dishwasher problems for a while now, but it's gotten to the point where I can't even use it anymore, which has really made me appreciate having a working one. I'm not sure what's wrong with it, but it has tons of build-up in the spraying arms. I've wasted many hours scraping bits of dried up white stuff out of the holes with a toothpick (which has been partially satisfying), only to have it all come back again after we run it the next time. We've tried many loads of just a bowl of vinegar (a tip I found online), changing soaps to one the Maytag guy recommended (and it just so happens to be one from Trader Joe's!!!), we've tried cleaning it out every time, even taking the arms out of the washer and scrubbing them in the sink. We've tried JetDry, which has actually made a positive difference in the appearance of our glasses, but has done nothing to help our other problem. I always make sure to have hot water running in the sink before we turn on the dishwasher to ensure that the hottest water is filling up the washer. But...a couple of times I've tried starting a load and opening it up to see what might be going on in there and I felt the water and it's not been very hot at all, barely warm actually. So now I'm wondering if maybe the heating element is broken and so it's not melting the soap and therefore not cleaning the dishes. I've got a call into the repairman, but it's taking a long time for him to respond....there was only one guy in the phone book....so I guess I'll have to wait for him. I know we have REALLY hard water, so maybe stuff has been building up for some time, but I'm so done with having all this white crusty stuff in my life. I think I'll put calling the repairman again on the top of my to-do list for tomorrow. :-) Along with getting some new shoes for Livi...I feel like her feet grow so fast. And they are SO wide, which makes it a little bit harder to find shoes that fit well and don't smoosh her little toes. I wonder if I can tackle 2 problems in one day (or maybe I should lower my expectations and make it one week!). Wouldn't that be nice....but the latter problem will be much more fun to deal with, shoe shopping, yeah, bring it on!!

February 7, 2008

Fun with Friends

Our friends, By & Ty, and their 2 precious little boys came to visit on Sunday and we had such a great time with them. We watched the Superbowl and ate dinner and hung out after the kids went down for bed. Then we spent the morning at the beach on Monday. The boys had a blast playing in the sand with their trucks, and Livi, of course, enjoyed just chilling on the beach towel!
Thanks for coming down you guys, we are looking even more forward to our time in Tahoe in a month! Yay!

This was before Elias got wet from head to toe by a small surprise wave. :-)

February 2, 2008

Point Lobos

We had such a great time exploring a new area today. There are so many beautiful places around us and this year we hope to get out more and get to know it all better. We went down to Point Lobos, just outside of Carmel, and we walked on a couple different trails, one in the Cypress forest and one along the rocks down to some tidal pools close to the water.

Carson has such an adventurous spirit, we had to be really careful to be close to him next to the steep dropoffs and slippery rocks. He was having a ball climbing and exploring. He brought his little binoculars and I think he looked out of them almost the whole way down in the car ride.

We went down to a little beach area that was all dark pebbles mixed in with all kinds of really cool shells and rocks, dead crabs, huge pieces of kelp and long pieces of kelp tubes that Carson was having a blast trying to pull out of the rocks. It was fun to discover a new part of God's beautiful creation. Oh yeah, and we saw a sea otter carrying her little pup on her chest, I just love them, they are so cute. And...did you know...we have about 100,000 hairs on our heads and sea otters, in just one square inch, have 1 million hairs!!!! That's how they keep warm since they don't have any fat. Very cool fact, I thought.

Not too convincing...

Carson very often tries to convince us that he's not tired. He must be afraid he's going to miss out on something if he dared to take a nap. He was crawling around on the floor saying he wasn't tired over and over when the next thing we knew, he was fast asleep on the floor under the sewing machine. Silly boy. He woke up with scratchy carpet cheek.