Monday, March 30, 2009

Proud parents

We took the girls to the public health nurse to check them out. Other than some bruises (they are very active and take some tumbles now and again), they are in great health.

The girls were there for almost an hour and the assistant nurses stay with them the whole time, so our social worker told us to take a break. We went to Target to pick up some more stuff and breathe a little bit.

We drove back and sat in the waiting room, and in after a few minutes, the girls ran through the door and with big smiles ran into our arms and up onto our laps. L yelled "Daddy!" as she ran to me.

That really made my day.

Then we spent about an hour on the bikes. Sorry, the pictures were crummy. Some other time on that one. Now we are sitting down to dinner. Some really loving people in our church are bringing us meals. :)

Gotta go!

First full day

Thanks so much to all of you who are supporting us through your prayers and good wishes!!!

Things are going well, although Jenetta and I are completely exhausted. I gave her a little bit of a break today and took the girls to the park. We had a lot of fun together.

Last night was tough. They were really wound up and it took us until 10:20 to get them to finally fall asleep. We can tell they are very tired today because of it. Hopefully, we will be able to get a nap in this afternoon.

We are quickly learning what works and what does not work.

O told us this morning that she was sad because she misses her mommy and daddy. L just seems to go with the flow better, but we can tell she is confused by all this. Please pray for them during this adjustment.

Here is us playing and picking wildflowers at the park.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Things are going to change!!!

Here is O & L's bedroom. We are about as finished as we are going to be for a while.

We are both very tired. Today was an amazingly awesome day!

Our friends and family poured out so much love and blessings on us - I am still overwhelmed by it. They were so generous with their gifts and their support!

David took a bunch of photos that I will post later this week when I get some time...

In the meantime, here are the results of the bedroom decor project. Thanks so much to everyone who helped out! We could not have done it without you!

We pick them up at the airport tomorrow at 1:55 pm!!!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Helping Hands

Ok. I need to brag a little bit about our home group. What an awesome group of people!

For homegroup tonight, they came over and helped us clean and paint and finish some construction chores.

Thank you very much!

I think that on Saturday, the only thing we will need to do is unpack all the gifts and then rest for a while. So nevermind about helping on Saturday afternoon...

The Garage

I am starting to understand why so many people have a two car garage and yet park both of their cars in the driveway. That always bugged me. How could people have so much stuff?

I am starting to get it.

We have been so blessed by the outpouring of support (and stuff) from so many people! (And we haven't even gotten the stuff for the girls from the shower on Saturday!)

We've gotten some really cool furniture items that we hadn't even considered before. All this means more painting, more organizing, and more storage in the garage!

I'm determined to park at least one car in the garage, but that may be a losing battle too. Part of the stuff is a number of large items we are helping someone else sell on Craigslist. That all takes time, but eventually, most of it will be sold and moved out (hopefully).

We've had contact with O and L's extended family, and they plan to drive down in a month or so and deliver a bunch more items that can't go with them on the plane on Sunday because they are too large.

I may never see my garage floor again :)

Oh, and so many people have been asking if they can help. If you are in the area, we'd love some help for a few hours on Saturday afternoon after the shower. There are some last minute construction things I'd like to finish and some touch-up painting that needs to be done. Jenetta and I are working late into the evening, and I was up before 5 am this morning working on things, and there is no way we will get it all done without some extra hands on Saturday...


Thursday, March 19, 2009

Big changes coming ...

We found out yesterday that we will be parents in just over a week!

Two little girls, aged 4 and 3, are moving to our home on Sunday, 3/29. They will be foster children until the adoption is finalized.

As you can imagine, our heads are swimming with all kinds of thoughts.

Jenetta is springing into action and the back room is being decorated with all kinds of pink stuff.

Just fyi, due to the fact that they are not "ours" yet, we won't be putting any photos of them online, and we will never use their full names in any posting.

We will refer to them as "O" and "L". O is four and a half, and L just turned three a few months ago.

I think one of the coolest things about all this is that we are discovering how huge our support network is. We are so blessed by your prayers and calls!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Another busy/great weekend!

I think my job is turning us into weekend warriors! With the marathon training and other stuff to do during the week, we are finding the only time to pack in everything we want with our friends is the weekend. This makes for very tiring, but really awesome weekends.

We had the pleasure of having our friends from Arizona stay at our home from Wednesday through Saturday. They went to the beach one day and the Wild Animal Park another day, so mostly we got to hang out with them in the evenings.

They added an amazing amount of life to our home. It was an adventure having 8 people here!

Our friends have four kids aged 16, 7, and two 5 year old twins. Out of respect for their feelings on internet privacy, I will not use their names. But it was fun taking family photos of them in Coronado on Friday. I'll let Jenetta show the pretty finished images. Here is what most of it looked like from my perspective :)

Seriously, it was so much fun to have them with us! I think it confirmed to us even more that we are very ready to interact with children of our own. The energy/joy/craziness/drama started from the moment they got up until the time the kids went to bed and their parents could take a deep breath and just chat with us. It was good. It made me wish they lived in SD.

Then on Saturday morning, we went to Temecula to watch Jake Pavlovics ride in a bike race up there. Jake is a strong competitor and he really enjoys racing!

It has been a while since we have supported the Pav kids in something extra-curricular. I remember going to the boy's basketball games at the Westwood club years ago. We miss spending time with them the way we used to so frequently, but it makes the times together now more special. Here a few pictures of the morning with them:

Then we got a call from our AZ friends who were heading back home. We met up with them in the old part of Temecula and we attended the "Rod Race" which was basically like Escondido's Crusin' Grand, but much larger. It was packed with people there to see the restored cars. My shoulders ached from all the piggy back rides with the kids :)

As we ate lunch at one of the restaurants there, a really terrible band took to a nearby stage and started their set. They played "Suzy Q," "Knockin' on Heaven's Door" (the GnR version), "Tell Me All Your Thoughts on God" by Dishwalla, and "Shine" by Collective Soul while we were sitting there. It was like they couldn't figure out what kind of cover band they were as every song (regardless of decade) was laced with mind-bending 1980's hair metal guitar solos. But it made for a funny lunch. Here is a video of the girls rocking out:

Then we checked out some more cars and said goodbye to our friends. We hope to be able to visit with them again very soon.

Then we drove back home, I ran 14 miles in 2 hrs. 21 min, and got cleaned up before heading over to Blake Gallion's 30th birthday party. Here is Blake serving his massive Claim Jumper birthday cake:

It was great to be able to hang with most of our friends over a great dinner and to meet Blake and Rachael's family.

We are so blessed to have so many great friends!

Sunday has been busy - but not quite so fully packed. I played guitar for three services at church. My friend Geoff was the guest speaker, and I really enjoyed what he had to say. Geoff is a real student of history and his contextual understanding of the scriptures is so helpful as he teaches. Later, we went to Chipotle with friends after church for lunch.

Then I came home and took a nap! It was very necessary!

Now we are headed out for some shopping and we will probably recover with a quiet evening at home before next week starts another crazy, busy week at work.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Awesome Friday!!!

We had a very unusual day on Friday. My cousin Luke Penner was working on some aerobatics training at an airport in Orange County. He took a day to hang with us. We got the opportunity to fly with him in a Diamond Star to Catalina Island. The flight was amazing - it was such a beautiful day, and it is really awesome to be able to travel to a place so close yet so uninhabited. We had been to Catalina before, but only to the town of Avalon. The airport is about 10 miles from town and is completely secluded. We had a good lunch at the cafe at the airport and then spent some time hiking around the island before we flew back. On the flight back, we were able to circle around the island and fly along the cliffs along the coastline. It was really special.

Then we went to San Onofre state beach for some surfing. The waves weren't very big, but the wind had died down enough that it wasn't too choppy. Luke discovered that it isn't as easy as it looks, but he made a really good effort and managed to get to his feet for a brief second. He was a good student and would probably grow into a very good surfer if there were waves in Steinbach, Manitoba.

One of the coolest things about all this was the opportunity to get to know Luke as an adult. He was always the "little kid" when I hung out with my cousins. He is a good guy and we look forward to hanging out with him more in the future!

It would be sweet to see him compete in the Red Bull air races someday! Representing the Harv's Air team... Luke Penner!

Sunday, March 1, 2009

More random cell phone photos

Here are some images that have caught my attention lately:

On Friday, I was on my way to work when I passed an F-18 on the freeway. Whipping out my cell phone camera was probably not the safest thing to do, but it struck me as interesting.

Yesterday, I went with Jenetta to Fullerton. I was tired from my run, but she wanted me to go with her to scout a wedding location with one of her clients. They are getting married at the Arboretum at Cal State Fullerton. What an amazing oasis in the middle of the city! They have all kinds of produce that made California famous as well as demonstrations about California native plants and water-friendly landscape. Jenetta was busy for quite a while, so I had a great time walking around and looking at and touching the plants and fruits and smelling all the spring blossoms.

We had a really full day yesterday, and I am still recovering from it! Today we enjoyed being with our friends Robbie and Nikki Morales as they dedicated their daughter Abby. I'm sure they will put photos and video on their blog later, but it was nice to be able to share with them in their special family time. After church, we went to Pat & Oscars for a nice lunch outside on the patio. It is kind of a treat for us to be counted in the inner circle with Robbie and Nikki. Their parents Ken and Donna Kalla and Steve and Debbie Morales treat us like part of the family and make us feel so welcome when we are with them.

Some other quick things:

Work is going better. I have a full week under my belt now and I am starting to get the hang of things. I will do my best to help Kiwaii become a successful company, but in the meantime, I am so grateful to have a job! Paying the first of the month bills felt good today.

Jenetta is continuing to see higher than normal traffic on her website. We are grateful for the Redbook article and the buzz that it is creating.

God is good. Our spirits are good. This has been a very good week for us and we are giving credit to whom it belongs!

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