Friday, December 7, 2007

Baby number Four

This is the child we affectionately call Petite. I have sworn it is not true, but number four does get forgotten all too often. Even by his parents. And as much as I deny it, my thoughts are busy with the three running around on this side of my womb. Jeff has told me this is true, but as a fair mom, I don't want to be unfair to this unborn child of mine. Well we have now done two things this pregnancy that we never did with the other three. The 3D Ultrasound. And a professional pregnancy photo. This just happened to coincide with a family Christmas photo. But nevertheless, I am happy for baby number to four to have something special.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Birthday Girl

Well our little Harley turned two. This is amazing to me because I always mark her age as how long we have been gone from Ojai, and I can't believe it has been two years. Well here are a few photos from her party.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Our "Petite"

I don't know how much I have blogged about my experience with my health care this pregnancy. Basically I am thankful for free insurance, so I will not bash the system. However, I have been disappointed on more than one occasion with various proceedings and lack of attention. The most difficult for me was having my ultrasound on Tuesday this week. Clearly the technician was not experienced with the equipment and did a terrible job. I did not get any clear view of the baby and nothing was explained to us other than the baby looked fine. I know that should be enough. But I felt like my only opportunity to 'see' the baby before he/she was born was wasted. So I was bummed.

Tuesday is our busy day and after kids club and dinner, before we went on to youth group, I got a call from MaryLou. She had set up an appointment for us Wednesday night at a 3D ultrasound place. I was so overwhelmed by her sensitivity to my desire that I could barely speak.

Last night we went to the place. All seven of us. Jeff's parents and our kids. We saw the baby move and hide his/her face and stick his foot in his mouth and we even saw a smile. Gas or not I was thrilled. :) It was delightful to see this little baby... so here are a couple photos.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Our Travels

We are back in San Jose after our travels to New York, Pennsylvania and Michigan. It was a great whirlwind trip to see family and friends. Our kids did really well on the airplane and in all the different sleeping situations. Once we got back here though they were very jet lagged and waking up at 5am. After four early mornings they are finally starting to sleep in.

Harley had an asthma attack while we were in Michigan and we ended up in the ER at 3am. She did recovered very well after receiving some breathing treatments but we are now aware that this is something we need to be prepared for at all times. It is quite scary to see your little girl unable to breath properly. Here she is giving Uncle Nathan a treatment.

All three of our kids really enjoyed their cousin Abby and all their Aunts, Uncles and Grandparents. It was so good to spend time with family.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Injury and Sickness

So Joe and Harley and Drew have all had colds and coughs this week. Joe's got real bad with fever and he just sounds miserable. So in the few moments he was feeling OK on Monday, he twirled around and hit his eye on a bookcase and cut it just under the eye. Poor little guy. He had his first sick day from school today. He has bounced back and besides a horse throat, he is doing much better.

On a much sadder note. Granny, who has had her hip go out three times this year, just had it got out a fourth today. This was suppose to be the magic hip, the great solution, and the final surgery. However, the plan is for her to have another hip replacement next Monday. Please pray for her. This has been an emotionally difficult time and I just can't imagine the discouragement from having to go through this again.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Too Long...

Well I have officially waited too long to blog. Now I can't get started. So this will be a catch up blog. I had a Dr. Check up today. I am 19 weeks Pregnant and the baby sounded great! So all is well in that department.

It is missions month at our home Church. Blossom Valley Bible Church. It has been great hearing the missionaries talk and seeing all 50 flags up in our sanctuary that represent all the Churches' missionaries. Included the flag of Mali. Our Church has been very supportive in helping send us to Mali.

We are preparing to leave in two weeks for a trip back east to visit family. It will be a great but way too fast of a trip.

Here are two random photos just cause I can't blog without one. Joe and Harley are burying Drew in the truck. And Joe and Harley tried to bury themselves in stuffed animals in this one.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

And Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep...

Harley has been praying at bedtime lately. This night we were letting her finish her Popsicle while I read to her. I started reading her book with little prayers in it and when I looked up she was trying to pray and eat the Popsicle at the same time. So cute!!!

Ant, ant and more ants...

Drew got an ant farm this year from Garcias. It is a new kind in some sort of gel that the ants actually eat so you don't have to feed them. Well the ants came and he found out you could connect your ant farm to another one. So he took his target gift card from Nathan and Stacie and we hooked up another ant farm. This has been no end of entertainment from the youngest to the oldest in our household. It is amazing what you can be mesmerized by.


We had a staff meeting at the beach on Saturday and I sat with my back to the sun for a few hours. I burned my back worse than I have in many many years. Finally today I can lean against a chair without wincing in pain!

Friday, September 7, 2007

Kids Say the Darndest Things... well mostly Joe this time!

Our kids really crack us up. It is a shame we don't write down the things they say, because then we tend to forget. So I am going to attempt to record a few of them here.

One morning Joe walks into the kitchen and says to Jeff's dad, "How 'bout you make me some pancakes 'Big guy'!"

We had some friends over on my birthday. Peter and Autumn. Joe thought her name was 'bottom' instead of Autumn. The kids were playing on the trampoline. Jeff did an 'atom bomb'. Joe said he could do an 'autumn bottom' too!

(Jeff did something hilarious on the trampoline that I only wish I could have gotten on video for you... The trampoline is set up on our lawn between a wall that leads up to our old house, and on the other side a drop off at the edge of the lawn. OK, so he runs and jumps from up where the house is to the trampoline. He makes his landing, but can't stick it. He is pitched right over the other edge off into the hillside and weeds. :)

Jeff's dad asked Joe if he was going to help when the new baby came. Joe said 'No' very emphatically. We ask why not and he says, "I'm not a Doctor!"

Joe thinks he is VERY smart, and he is. But we have to remind him that mommy and daddy are still smarter than he is, AND we are still in charge. Wow that boy likes to be in charge.

Monday, September 3, 2007

Je suis enceinte

Well I guess since others have announced for me, and Jeff has already blogged about it, it is time I officially announce we are joining the world of large families. We are excited to have number four on the way. We are currently 12 weeks along. I will post photos as that becomes appropriate.I will only accept positive comments on this particular blog! All other comments will be incinerated.

PS The boys have transitioned to bunk beds. The necessity of large families!!!

I Dream of Jeannie

When we switched houses with Harley and MaryLou, we inherited their bedroom decorations. (Bedspread, pillows and curtains.) It is so rich in color and comfort. When I look at this photo it makes me think of the I Dream of Jeannie bottle. It always looked so comfortable and fun in there! Well I am not trapped in a bottle, but throw me your wishes, and I'll see what I can do. :)

Sunday, September 2, 2007

Safari Time

Drew turned Six on Thursday and today was his party. It was just right. We read the Beranstein Book called Too Much Birthday this week. It is the one where sister gets overwhelmed at her HUGE party and starts to cry. That happened to Drew when he turned four. And since then I have tired to give him a really fun, but small party. He LOVES to party, but he is an introvert and it really wears him out. He accidentally hurt one of his friends at the party today, getting carried away with a rope swing. And tonight when I was praying with him and tucking him in, he said, 'Mom, I have been hurting people a lot lately and I don't want to do that anymore.' He felt so bad that his friend had left his party sad, nine hours earlier. He has such a soft spirit. This was an accident, but we talked about when he gets angry and hurts people too. So we prayed that God would help him learn how to be more careful, and to know what to do when he is angry.

At the party Jeff took the kids on a Safari to look for plastic animals he had hidden. IT was really cute and fun. And I managed to make the Martha Stewart Lion cake. Joe gave the party a big compliment tonight when he said, for his party he wanted, 'the same pinata, and cake and everything just like Drew's party.' I need to do a whole blog on things Joe says. There have been some really good ones lately.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

All Grown up

We attended the wedding of our Youth Pastor last night. She is not 'into' weddings and formal parties, but she looked glorious as she wed her best friend. We took all three of our children to the wedding. It is their second wedding this year. They did very well during the ceremony, only a little fidgety. But they blossomed at the reception. They took over the dance floor long before it was opened up for general dancing. Joe and Harley also flashed the bridal party during their toasts. Whats a party without a little comic relief? Harley was just walking up with her dress held high. Joe, who had a broken zipper on his pants with no button, decided to walk up front to where Drew was and lift up his shirt to show Drew that his pants were no longer fastened in any way. It looked from a distance that he just wanted to show something off. That one was embarrassing.

However, when Joe asked his little sixth grade Sunday school teacher to dance, I was so proud of him. Drew got out there and bounced around with the little kids, always looking out for his sister. And she was adorable. Watching so intently and then copying the new moves she discovered. Like bowing to her partner. Or a new dance she made up by crossing her arms, which was soon copied by others. She was so into the dancing and having fun. We had to drag all the kids out of there at 9:30 at night. I could just picture her in 13 years... Wow! I love that girl and I so want to protect her so much from the drama of high school. Knowing how impossible that is and even how valuable some of the drama can be in the long run, makes me slow down and remember that I have entrusted her to God. This is a whole other topic, so I'll leave today with how proud I am of my fun, cute and social kids.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007


I got back from Colorado on Monday night at midnight. When I was driving to the airport in Denver, I saw lightning like this all the way. It was beautiful and awe inspiring. I love storms, and we just don't get storms like that in California. However, there was that part of me that was slightly apprehensive to take off in weather like that. It was a bumpy ride. Luckily I had a nice gentleman next to me that talked most of the way and took my mind off of it. But as I watched that lightning, all I could think of was how awesome is our God.

PS Colorado was great by the way. I have a presentation ready to show people about our ministry. And I also learned that people only read the PS, so go back and read the whole article!!!

A Slave to Righteousness

Well this is a light topic! :) I am convicted as I read in Romans 6:15-23. Why is it so easy to fall into temptation and sin? Well he tells us that we are weak in our natural selves. We are free from the grip of of sin, but we have to offer our bodies to be slaves to righteousness. As opposed to being slaves to sin. But why does the sinful choice feel so appealing? As the passages promised, sin can only lead to shame and death. So... holiness and eternal life sound like much better options. I pray that God continues to give me wisdom and self control as I seek to become a slave to righteousness. The word slave is defined, a person who is the property of and wholly subject to another; a bond servant. Honestly being a slave does not appeal to me, but I think it is the only option against falling into sin. Any advice from fellow travelers that have had success in resisting temptation and sin?

Thursday, August 9, 2007


I don't know how else to describe my life right now. We got back from a ten day trip to Southern California where we visited with new people every day. It was a wonderful trip. We also spoke with our home Church in Ojai. Ojai Valley Community Church. It was good to be with people. We emptied our storage unit and had a garage sale. We brought half of our belongings back up here to San Jose. While we were gone Jeff's parents started switching houses with us. It will be so good to have more room, but in the mean while, it is just a big mess! That mess plus all the things we brought back with us to sort. Then I realized I only had two days to finish the homework for my next training in Colorado. Now I leave again tomorrow morning. Life has just been crazy. But in the midst of it, God has been so faithful. I feel secure in what He has called us to do in Mali. I was excited about sharing our vision with so many people on our trip. And I am blessed with a beautiful home to live in while we prepare to go. Life really couldn't be better. So... I'll let you know how Colorado is. Bon Voyage...

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Down the Hill

When you are at camp, everyone refers to life when you go back 'down the hill'. The energy and excitement at Hume Lake Camp is something to behold. It was awesome and powerful and God honoring. But life truly is not lived up there for most people. I pray that kids whose lives where changed, will have the strength to continue here when their old life beckons. Jeff and I had a blast. We missed our kids like crazy, but it was so fun. We kayaked, creek walked, hiked and lake swam. Plus hanging out with our 40 high school kids we brought with us. It was a great time to get to know them better, and they are precious to me.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Hume Lake

I leave tomorrow morning for my first experience at Hume Lake. I am excited... but not looking forward to being totally worn out. And I will miss the kids... But I know God will change me, and change these high schoolers. What an awesome opportunity to focus on Him and serve these kids. So... pray for me this week, if you make it to my blog. Pray that I will be ready to serve the girls in my cabin and that I would point them to Him whenever possible. Hopefully I will give you an update in one week!

Thursday, July 12, 2007


I love my kids. Sure they have their moments when I think I will go crazy. But most of the time, they are so great! Drew is such a thinker. He has so many ideas for planing different things, like our date night I keep promising him. Joe is a lover. He gets hurt easily by Drew or others, but he always has so much love to share. Harley is so much fun to watch. She is a dancer and has an inner rhythm that she did NOT get from me. But I love moments like these, when they are all tuned in and enjoying a good book with me. I love those kids!!!

Pony's at Church

Harley did not want to hold on, but she had fun.

Drew was scared at first but then was real proud.

Joe loved his ride.

Joe's spots

Friday, July 6, 2007

Weird Viruses

OK, so apparently there is a virus going around this summer where your child gets a fever and then a couple days later gets covered in spots. IT is not chicken pox, rubella or scarlet fever. Just a virus with spots. So... now Joe has it. Drew never got the spots with his fever, so maybe he had something else. Who knows. We will be glad when this strain has left our home. And please don't let it be something grown ups can get. Oh I don't want those SPOTS. Photo of Joe to follow...

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

More on the Spots...

A Bad Case of the Spots

Two of my kids have been sick this week. I don't really know what it is, but Harley and Drew have been miserable for a couple days. Harley had a doctors check up last week and the doctor said if she got a fever, to call her because she had the start of an ear infection. So... when she got a fever that is what we thought it was. The next day when the spots started, we thought maybe she had a reaction to the shots she had received. Her doctor has not called us back about the spots, but she is feeling MUCH better today. I wanted to share a photo with you of my little spotted child. At least she is happy in these photos.

Monday, July 2, 2007


My little cowgirl. This was taken awhile ago, and I just saw it again. She is adorable.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Kids Club Bible Day Camp

This week has been busy with VBS. We called it Kids Club Bible Day Camp this year so that the kids who came to our Kids Club program throughout the year, would not hesitate to come to another kids club activity. And it worked. I think over the week we got 80 kids, and that is good for our little church. So here are some photos from my group. The theme was Galilee by the Sea and we were the Tribe of Simeon.
For More photos, copy and paste this link.

Monday, June 25, 2007


I can't even believe all God has been teaching me since I got back from Colorado. He is so good. I read today in My Utmost for His Highest. It was about reconciling ourselves to the fact of sin. If you have one of these books, go read on June 24th. It is such a great concept. If we are not reconciled to the fact of sin, the danger is we will be blindsided by it and fall into it. God does not want us to be innocent, but pure and virtuous. The difference is having knowledge of what you are capable of, but not doing it or dwelling on it. Being innocent is never thinking of it at all, and that is far more dangerous. I was closer to the innocent side of things, when I was blindsided by my own human nature. But now I am so glad it happened, because as I ask God to refine me like in this song, now I will really know what I am asking of Him.

Purify my heart Lord,
Let me be as gold and precious silver.
Purify my heart Lord,
Let me be as gold, pure gold.

Refiner's fire
My heart's one desire is to be holy
Set apart for You, Lord.
I choose to be holy,
Set apart for You my master,
Ready to do Your will.

Purify my heart Lord,
Cleanse me from my sin and make me holy.
Purify my heart Lord,
Cleanse me from my sin, deep within."

I am so thankful for times like this when I can't get enough of God's word or praising Him. I wake up early and want to get out and see Him in nature and spend time with Him. (It has been awhile since I have felt like this... like since before kids...:) So I am thoroughly enjoying it before exhaustion hits and I return to my previous state of a sleep-deprived mom of three.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Falling Down

Taking my sin my cross my shame, rising again I bless your name, You are my All in All. When I fall down you pick me up: When I am dry you fill my cup, you are my All in All. Jesus, Lamb of God, Worthy is your Name.

Jeff is playing that song on his guitar right now and the words feel so real to me. Going through the week and a half in Littleton Colorado gave me insights into myself and the way I live my life. Some of them were great, others were lacking. I learned that I could make mistakes that I did not like very much. I am so thankful for God's forgiveness and His desire to pick me up. He is so Good! I want Him to be all in my life! How do you stay in that place always and not fall? I am guessing it is a continual battle every day for the rest of the days He gives me on earth.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Roller Coaster Ride

No, I didn't go to Great America or Six Flags. But it has been a week of ups and downs just the same. Being someone who gets mad amounts of butterflies at the top of a roller coaster, this photo reminded me of how I felt going into our interview. We are still in Littleton Colorado with World Venture. We arrived last Saturday. One long week ago. We had our extensive interview and psychological evaluation, and after some deliberating, World Venture accepted us as long term missionaries to Mali. We are excited for sure! The reality is still revealing itself. Since then we have been in training sessions every day. Training in public speaking, training on who the mission is and how we fit into the picture. The best part of being here is getting to know the other six couples and families that are in this process with us. Today is our first day off. We are going to the Denver Zoo and we will meet Wes and Chino and their new little baby. I am hoping for an emotionally refreshing day.

Saturday, June 9, 2007

First Grade, Here I Come!!!

Today was Drew's last day of Kindergarten. The rest of his class has three more days, but because we are flying to Colorado tomorrow morning, he is missing the last week. So we wanted to make this day special for him. He will miss the party and hoopla of the real last week of school. So in the midst of packing and chaos, I picked Drew up from school, took him to taco bell and then to Raging Waters with his friend Nikos. Then after our traditional Friday night pizza I gave him this giant cookie to celebrate. He was pleased with the attention and glad to be done with school. It honestly just seems like yesterday that we took a very excited Drew down to Valle Vista for his first day of Kindergarten. He is so precious and growing up so fast. Even though I am with him every day, I still feel like I am going to miss something. It's like I miss him already.

Well on a happier note. Joe was excited about the cookie too. He wanted his name on it so we signed it... love Joe.

Friday, June 8, 2007

Protective Big Brother

Originally uploaded by heidibelle
While at the zoo, we rode the little steam train around to see more of the zoo. Drew was so cute with Harley. He didn't want her sitting on the outside or standing up. She sat between him and Joe and and he kept a protective arm around her the whole time. I hope to train all the kids to be on the lookout for each other. What a great blessing of siblings. I know I enjoyed having two brothers and I hope Harley does too!

Thursday, June 7, 2007

Sense of Humor

Doesn't God have a sense of humor? Our family went to the San Francisco Zoo last week and these creatures fascinate me, as do many of God's creations. My kids are also a frequent reminder of God's sense of humor. I love to see Him through them. How awesome that we are created in His image, so we can learn about Him through people. So this is my blog. Come with me as I go on life's adventures with my family. I hope it helps keep you in touch with us.