September 30th, 2009

It was our first official day in our new house, and Peter’s cousins invited us to a big summer get together in Orange County! We were so thrilled that they went to the expense and effort to hold such a large event, and that we got to see the family somewhere besides a wedding.

 Ian wading in the shallows of the lagoon. the island in the middle of the lagoon with Seth and Jerome on top of it with one of their second cousins! There was a lifegaurd on duty! and slides down the other side of the island! That’s Peter and Ian going down. A better view of the slides. There’s Peter going down with Ian again, and Scott with his boys. the boys had so much fun! and there’s Zachary about to slide down! Donna, Jane, and Eden Jerome surfaces! Brennan :-) Jane! Did Abby take this on my camera? cause I didn’t have it :-) beautiful mama! Abby :-) Seth and Ian enjoying the water! Someone took this lovely picture of Jane and one with Bekah! Darrell, Jeanie (she and her sister hosted this amazing event!), and I. I think this is our first picture together ever. Jeannie is a beautiful part of our family! after a delicious meal, more swimming, and a pinata, there was a bonfire! and s’mores! It was a wonderful party and such a good time with family! Thank you so much, Jeannie and Laurie for all your effort and consideration!

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September 27th, 2009

We borrowed Tim and Misty’s industrial wagon and moved into their old rental house…right through the orchard. It took me a week with the boy’s help during the day with the loading and unloading, and David’s truck for the heavy stuff. I didn’t know where to begin. I didn’t know we had so much stuff! Anna came over and moved all of our stuff in the shed to the garage. Misty came and moved my kitchen and china, Tim painted our bedroom, and Noel helped move the bedroom. Peter would come home at night and ask what he could do and there was always too much. But since we were just moving from house to house on the same property and since our landlords are kindhearted, there was no move-by date. We could sleep in the house after the water heater was replaced and the new flooring was down. Once all our stuff was in the house, I felt like we had plenty of breathing and growing room! The square footage of this house is only a couple hundred more, but oh, does it feel roomy! (And it’s a real house. :-))

It was strange to move into Misty’s house. I know in my head it is just a rental, but this has been her home since I’ve known her. They lived here 12 happy years! And now they have an amazingly beautiful new home just a mile down the road. But that mile feels oh, so long after just a skip through the orchard. The children grew up playing (or asking to play) almost every day and it’s been a difficult adjustment for them not being neighbors. I’ve had my share of tears over it as well. Misty and I would often quote to each other “Better a friend who is near than a brother far away” and we became like sisters. I cannot fully put down in words all she is to me. We would rejoice at How only God knew how beautifully we could live so closely, because if we had just run in regular circles our hearts would not have been brought so close. Misty, I miss you more than I can say. Thank you for a wonderful six years of being neighbors, for all the lessons you’ve taught me about marriage, and children, and God. I love you! And I love your old house!

 The boys stacked up on our empty bookshelves! Our fist meal in the new house. Thanks for all your help, and for dinner, Noel and David! it was an adventure, for sure! Cookies and milk on linoleum! Self portrait after a long day moving. I love how Jerome thought it was so funny to sneak in the shot. :-) Peter rigging the telephone line. yogurt and blueberries in the bath! This is the first time they’ve had a bathtub and they are loving it! So am I! For the first couple days we lived here the boys ran in circles constantly. I think they really enjoy have the space to play in. Peter bought me a china hutch (and David hauled it over). It reminds me of my Memama. I now have her picture in it with her cousin Veronique and a glass creamer they played with as little girls in Atlanta. Peter also got me a burlwood coffee table! I’ve wanted one since I was a little girl, but I never thought I would have one. :-) This is why I wanted one…they’re fun to play in and under! And they’re beautiful :-) Jerome took these photos of Seth and his treasures removed from a “cave” under the table! The bookshelves were still empty, but that’s our living room. our dining room. Thanks for the flowers, Noel! The table is being loaned us from our landlord for while we live here. It was his mother’s and he has childhood memories of playing under it. :-) Ian helping me cook. Misty left her kitchen decor for me. Growing up, I always wanted a fruit kitchen! I’ll skip ahead in time a bit and show you my wingback chairs. They make the room! I LOVE them! And here’s our little family in front of our new home. It’s not our house, but it is our home where Love will reign.

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September 27th, 2009

It’s hard for me to believe that second grade, new front teeth, swimming, and his seventh year have all come to our first son already! He is loving his Saxon math 2 and is reading books to me at night now. Jerome is very creative and loves to build things out of anything we let him have around the house and delights in crafty stuff. I often find him in the tree tops or hanging from branches. He’s a wonderful big brother and lets his little brothers tag along and play with him. This summer he lost his daily friend and playmate to a move, so on his birthday we had a little swim party just for them.

 Ian hangin’ on Daddy in the pool! Jerome’s first time down the slide! It’s all down slide from here splash! He did it! Wesley’s showin’ him how it’s done. splash and feet! Jerome’s turn again Raven’s never far from the boys She loves the pool but gets too close sometimes. Seth and Audrey are buddies I love this series! Ready to hit water… Just a tad under water and up again! Gabrielle TaDa! Jerome going down without the aid of a floatation device! and Daddy was right there to catch him. group slide Jerome broke away first, which was probably a good thing. Wesley and Jerome :-) coming up in opposite directions our birthday boy! another go at the group slide with Gabrielle in the lead I love splash pictures :-) Seth! pool party Ian’s favorite pool activity if only that hair wouldn’t drip into his eyes! Now that they’ve conquered the slide they tackle Tim He throws Jerome next goes Wesley! I love Ian’s laugh! Wesley’s up and away! Ian will ask you to throw him by pointing up with a smile :-) There goes Jerome again Here’s a series of Ian’s jump into Daddy’s arms. Get set… jump! Splash! He loves to go under the water! and he comes up smiling and twisting to flop around in the water. Best buds play time putting together new toys! Later we had a pizza party at Papa’s house with the family! Jerome got to sit next to Darrell and play :-) Seth in a party hat Jerome in his party hat. (Yes, those are bug bites from our camping trip) Vincenzo’s Pizza! on the phone with Aunt Vanessa! presents BEFORE cake! we got him a digital counting jar to help him keep track of his earnings. baby brother likes to take the wrappings to the trash. What is it?!? Star Wars Legos! (which, after they were first meticulously built according to the instructions, have now become many, many other creative things!) Thank you, Eric, and Aunt Brooke, and Darrell, and Uncle Garin! for our budding geologist Happy birthday, son! I love your cheesy grin! He decorated his cake himself! with his playmobile pirates :-) baby brother putting coins in the counting jar while Darrell starts building with him and Seth plays with his new Bumblebee Thanks for making it a party, Jane, Anna, and Mom! Happy birthday, big boy! We love you so much and pray God’s blessing on your life!

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September 25th, 2009

Matt was the happiest I had ever seen him. He never stopped smiling on his wedding day and he couldn’t get enough of his stunning bride. He is a man in love! Sarah completes Matt. She matches his smiles with bigger ones. Everything she does is about them, the two of them. Their wedding day was centered around their union in Christ, and their family and friends surrounded them in that commitment. It was a beautiful day and I was honored to be a part of it!

 Daniel and Matthew Sienna the flower girl! curls, ribbons, and bows Getting ready to see his bride! First look! I love how he’s so focused on her :-) I love First Looks because now we had plenty of time for portraits! adoration I asked them to kiss because in order for me to get the whole window in the frame I had to crouch below them and it would not be flattering for them to look down at me. I suppose I could have said something funny to make them laugh, that would have been a great shot…but I’m not funny. This has become my signature shot. Everybody looks good from above, and it really opens the eyes! love, love, love Matt and Sarah got married at one of the original homesteads in Simi Valley so I wanted to use the house itself as a backdrop and prop. And I love porches! and kissing photos :-) I also love sun flare! this corrugated metal barn was a perfectly gritty contrast to these beautiful people A green door! She rocks it! doesn’t this photo feel like it was your mother’s? time for just a couple more photos before hiding the bride. in the garden a garden bench under a tree, and two people about to marry each other! I love weddings! hahaha! He’s a goofy guy. A handsome one, though. with his guys Brothers! Her daddy coming to see her before she became a married woman. This moment was so precious! Sarah with her girls this photo cracks me up! Sarah was talking to someone and started walking and forgot her maid of honor was attached to her and holding her dress off the ground! This little guy was not one to be photographed, so I snuck one while he played on the porch waiting for the ceremony. watching his bride come to marry him wedding march I’m posting the giving away shot because it’s so rare for me to be at such an angle to actually capture the exchange of the bride from father to groom. I love the hands! since they were married in a gazebo I had the opportunity to walk behind it to capture the sand ceremony. they noticed me and posed for a picture during their ceremony! So happy to be married! Sarah with her flowers rings I love candids, too! This was during the family pictures after the ceremony. Sienna and sun flare! my dear, darling friends goofy groomsmen delicious light! yummy cake detail of rings in a calle lily first dance :-) cake cutting! I like to get a close shot of the hands together cutting the cake. Kinda classic. and of course a cake cutting’s not complete without a kiss. Bubbles! and good-byes It was a true privilege to photograph your wedding, Matt and Sarah. May the lord bless your marriage!

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September 24th, 2009

 We all went back to my favorite river spot before we left to drive back home. Peter, the boys and I left a few days early because I had a wedding that weekend! Seth, Jerome, and Anna on a rock in a faster part of the river. Seth enjoying an apple on a rock in the river. Peter took Ian way out, which made me nervous, but Ian had a blast hanging with Daddy! it became a popular rock the beach crew Bough enjoying the shallows! Rebekah napping! I had to document it. Peter and Jerome back on land and climbing a tree. The big boys got started on a game of King of the Mountain. Here’s a victorious David, and Byron losing graciously. The little boys were fascinated! David ruled by a long shot :-) a leisurely last lunch at the campsite and a last run around before piling in the car and falling asleep on a long drive home. We stopped by Hume Lake on the other side of the mountain. It was a wonderful first camping experience! We will definitely do it again!

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