About Mrs. W

A woman living in a land of burkas and dupatas, getting to know the women underneath them.

Italy Part 2: Food, Beach, and more food

When we went looking for groceries to cook we discovered this cute little delicatesson. It had a coffee shop, bar, and bakery (patisserie) in it.

About every other morning one of us would walk their with the kids and let the other sleep in. I’m not sure which option was best cause well they both were awesome. Getting up early with kids, you say? Of course if you get  fresh-baked chocolate croissant with your authentic cappuccino and eat it outside on the terrace while the kids happily much away at there fresh-baked treats. Lovely. Then when we would head back we would make “2nd breakfast”.

J and I had the SAME. EXACT.THING. every morning. It was that good! We would put grilled prosciutto with fresh farmers market tomatoes, sliced pecorino cheese, and a fried egg (oe) all inside a freshly baked croissant. MMMMM! still miss those…. OH! with fresh basil, did I forget basil!?! The kids would get plain yogurt with farmers market nectarines in it, along with cereal. No, were not mean, that’s what they wanted and hey, it was vacation.

You heard right. The day we arrived there was a the weekly farmers market. As soon as we settled in I took a little jaunt over there and bought us some yummy fruits and veggies. One lesson learned, that I do recall learning last time too, was not to bother with the peaches, get loads of nectarines. Our first batch disappeared in 2 days and then we had to wait a whole week to get them again. And we did. ustrio Our last sunset by the beach, so sad. WE could have stayed here another week or two…sunset Desktop2

Italy Part 1: Sardinia here we come

2013-08-31 13.07.57

This little guy liked looking out the window at all the “panes”.

The view from our balcony, heaven:
view

The girls hit the beach right away. Vange did it Italian little girl style , with no top.

itaky vange One of our Italy must have’s is gelato. Our rule again was gelato every day. So much time to try all these flavors. Josiah once again had coffee every day, I had Dark chocolate and a 2nd different flavor every day. The kids all change it up.

gelato'

Unlike last time, 2 years ago, where we hit a new beach every day, we stayed right on the beach so we walked everywhere and frequented the beach in our front yard and the same restaurant with this amazing pizza: balsamic, and prosciutto and a few cheezes….mmm.

water One afternoon I stayed back with T as he had a nasty cold and we rested. I sat out on the balcony and ate baguette and EVOO and salt and pepper with my daily glass of wine. And J took the other three exploring up the coast line to the old city. Lots of fun doors…

2013-08-22 13.52.53

wall doors door coast

This is from the dining area of our fav restaraunt, Vange liked to beach gaze while we waited for our “pizza by the meter”.

dreamer gelato The kids made a toilet out of sand, Vange was taking a potty break.
2013-08-30 12.02.01 2013-08-30 11.14.23 2013-08-28 18.59.57 2013-08-26 11.48.05One evening after I put the kids to bed I went to use the lady’s room and noticed something peculiar…you guessed it my goofy son.2013-08-23 23.21.23
2013-08-22 18.59.42

One thing that traveling sales people sold up and down the beach was all different sorts of swimsuit cover ups, I got a few and also got a brilliant idea. To save on luggage space in the future I could just pack a different cover up for every day of the week, and my swimsuit.

2013-08-22 17.30.38  To be continued…

Germany: lots of friends

Germany was filled with lots of friends from all over the world, some old lots new. But Malachi was by far the socially -ist butterfly of us all. He quickly found some friends and they HAD to be together every waking moment. They even would plan 7:30 AM breaky together unbeknownst to there parents. Needless to say all the moms eventually met too. It was cute to see them so intent on there plans and so committed to them, and it really reminded us of how much they were like their dads planning times to be together all week. Which was a strong reminder for me how much boys want to grow up and be just like there dad’s and how hard they try. Malachi’s spanned the globe from Indonesia to some “Stans”. It was so fun to see him thriving socially.
2013-08-16 18.06.14 If you noticed an extra little blonde curly head in there more than once its because most meals we had Chris along at out table to eat with Malachi. Lots of people thougth I had 5 kids cause they look so much alike and he was with us so much. Pretty fun!2013-08-17 17.12.59Malachi also got reunited with an old friend named Malachi, which was also fun.
2013-08-20 13.37.58
Arwyn got lucky and made best friends with a girl that was right  next to us in our hotel. One of there favorites was hopping over our balcony fence to the grassy area below and running around playing together. Ultimately it was knights and princeses every time.2013-08-17 17.47.04The second week we were there Arwyn’s fav friend was Olivia. YOu coudl see them hugging at any given moment they were so excited to be together.

2013-08-20 13.29.15 Vange had a hard time being away from us so much and making friends but what she did love was singing and dancing in worship together. This girls got swag.2013-08-17 20.11.26And she did manage to make a good friend the second week, who happened to be Olivia’s younger sister.

2013-08-20 13.29.53One of my favorite times was going out with two friends that live here in India with me. Steph below had her parents and the hotel also and they had come form England. So he tossed her the keys to his British car on our way out to get a bite to eat together. As we walked out I commented on how brave she was, and she promptly handed me the keys and said I was gonna be the brave one. How did she know she could eventually talk me into this? Not only was teh steering wheel on the opposite side of the car but in Germany you drive on the other side of the road, double weird! we had a blast tho, giggling like school girls as I drove away and made them promise to split any ticket with me.
2013-08-17 15.48.15

Switzerland Part 3: berries and beauties

The last day we were with our friends in Switzerland I spent some time capturing the beauty in the house and out of it. I just love these old stoves and very “Swiss” curtains
2013-08-09 19.56.56

In the reading room I found this treasure. Malachi is totally into Tintin, Asterix, and Calivin and Hobbes now. He saves his allowance to but Tintin books for himself and his friends. When I saw this vintage Tintin book in french I hollard at Malachi to come take a look. I think He would have begged for it from Uncly Antione if it hadn’t been in french.

2013-08-10 08.22.33

When I looked at things around the house it totally reminded me of IKEA, which it should 🙂2013-08-10 08.24.30

 

I had to take a pick of this beautiful picture of Marie. The last evening we were able  to sit down with Evelyn and she shared more of the story about how Marie died. One sad part was that it had just been her birthday and she was working on it so they were going to celebrate the next evening, but she dies the night before. It was an intimate tear filled conversation a that J translated to me since she was speaking in french, the language of her heart. ” I have always felt that my precious children were only loaned to me for a short time, and to make my time with them worthwhile.” This struck me so much that as I continued my journey to stop yelling I thought a great injection of perspective in my home would be to make each kid a t-shirt that said “I’m on loan”. A constant reminder walking around the house. Feel free to check if I have done it 🙂

2013-08-10 08.26.54One of the kids favorite things to do was pick the berries in the front yard. Our first night we had them on a little swiss pastry with some cream. MMMMMM. The rest of the time they just gobbled them right from the bush.

2013-08-10 08.29.04This is the beautiful view from their front yard. The last day all the rain and fog cleared up and you could see the snowy peaks ahead. Breathtaking!
2013-08-10 08.29.17And here is one more of the little chalet…

2013-08-10 08.30.47And one more of journey up the mountain in the Gondola.

2013-08-09 12.11.47Switzerland was so special. Being with brand new friends that felt like long time family, seeing green lush beauty all around and eating delicious food.

Some of our favorite food here was this great honey in the raw. It was thick and creamy and we brought some home with us and sent a jar to Grandma for her birthday. We just finished it last month. But every morning we had thick great slices of fresh bread toasted w honey. The night of Vange’s birthday dinner we had fondue. Traditionally you take a little shot of liquor made from cherries halfway thru the meal to cleanse your palette. Everyone was secretly watching for my reaction when we downed our shots. But you’d be glad to know I didn’t flinch one bit. Even though my throat was on fire…

Wine and cheese, bread and cheese, wine and bread… pretty much every meal. How can you go wrong?

The next day was a teary goodbye to our special friends.

And on to Germany.

Switzerland Part 2: Vange’s 4th Birthday

2013-08-09 12.12.00

On Vange’s birthday we took a train to the gondola. We rode the gondola up to the top of the mountain. It was foggy and rainy and we couldn’t see much but we could hear the cow bells below when we would pass over a heard. Taron was sleeping in a stroller so we squeezed him in and crammed around him

2013-08-09 12.25.45

This is at the top, it was quite chilly.

2013-08-09 12.26.59

On on our way back down we walked back to the train station and sun peeked out so I forced Vange to take a pic with her cute dress in front of this Lavender, for a birthday shot.

2013-08-09 12.45.26

When we got back to the house we got cozy again and Evelyne and I set about getting the house party ready. They ordered a nice cake for the big 4 year old.

2013-08-09 18.47.57

As her usual self Vange bonded well with grandpa Antione, At any given moment you could hear them bantering back and forth and him calling her ” My princesessa?”

2013-08-09 19.09.10

Antione and Evelyne live a charming old parish that overlooks a great beautiful lawn.

2013-08-09 19.53.04 2013-08-09 19.53.20 2013-08-09 19.53.39 2013-08-09 19.53.53

Summary of Summer & Switzerland: Part 1

Well Haven’t I been MIA!? Every day this summer I had working out  and 3 hours of language in my regular routine. It was such a tight schedule and I had to work to be disciplined, which was my goal to grow in this year. And then in August we had this awesome pay off! Vacation in Switzerland, Germany and Italy 🙂 Instead of doing the longest post ever, like I did 2 years ago for Italy I will break it up in chunks. But first here are a few things crammed into that madness: Taron liked to work out with me in the morning: and wrestle in the afternoon: 2013-05-07 09.11.02 After I came home from language Josiah would head out to a 45minute jaunt across the city to his language lesson in 118 + weather with no AC. He is trooper! Here is the last leg of his journey by scooter :

And He would sit into  his Language helpers brother lil shop, here are the three below: 2013-05-14 15.44.41 Unexpectedly in May Josiah’s God daughter was kidnapped in Switzerland and killed by a convicted murder out on house arrest. He was able to go last minute and comfort this second Family that he joined back in College when he lived in France with them for a year. Here is a article in french about her, Marie. She was Vanges age when he became her God Father, 4. He would walk her and her older sister to school every day when he lived with them. She would nap on his stomach in the afternoon each day. The month before she died she was in CA visiting her sister and said that she was going to try to find Josiah again, cuz they had lost contact. This was hard news to hear.2013-05-28 11.55.27 Here He is with her parents and sister in Switzerland. 2013-05-28 14.24.04 When he returned, the precious moments in life were especially piognant and he was delighted to be hosted by Vange to a tea party in her own room. She “fancied” herself right up and I helped her make a nice spread to serve her Handsome guest. 2013-05-31 18.29.34 2013-05-31 18.31.19 Malachi and Arwyn took turns getting dread braids together. 2013-06-11 18.20.14 Then A headed off to her first camp away from home, up in the hills of “doon” with a best friend , Lily. 2013-06-02 15.20.21 2013-06-02 15.23.36 When she returned she turned 8! Arwyn’s 8th birthday with our friend Emily and the traditional firework candle:


2013-06-27 18.12.44 On a trip to Delhi we found and Amazing Thai Restaraunt in an unlikely neighborhood! YUM! 2013-06-20 18.15.30 Josiah’s first Rickshaw : a business venture. 2013-07-04 16.40.47 The kid’s first day at a new school, Vange’s first school experience ever! 2013-07-23 07.51.53 A previous friend that lives close by becomes a new best friend now that they are in the same class, cute little Zoya. 2013-07-25 19.07.38 And now with the sibs off to school, this guys first time being an only child for the morning. look at those chubby legs 🙂 2013-07-31 11.10.48 Right before we left for Europe we welcomed Monsoon: 

Then we were off to Switzerland! 2013-08-08 12.12.00 2013-08-08 12.12.46 2013-08-08 12.06.37 2013-08-08 14.00.41 2013-08-08 13.02.10 2013-08-08 14.00.16 2013-08-08 13.59.54 2013-08-08 13.57.38 2013-08-08 13.57.48 This man has a new leaning toward Jazz, so he was delighted to pose by the lakeside statue of Miles Davis, If only we could have stayed for the 3 day Jazz Festival… 2013-08-08 13.55.46 2013-08-08 12.42.33 And a sneak peak into the beginning of a 4 year old’s birthday on August 9. Nothing like starting your morning off right with decadent swiss hot coco in a quaint little cafe. If only I could start every day off here… 2013-08-09 10.44.46 The birthday gets its its own post… stay tuned. (This will probably be part 1 of a 10 part series… no joke!)

Bringing back Christmas

For years, even before we moved to India, I would find myself in the middle of the holiday season surrounded by insanity and feeling like “ something is all wrong here”. If Christmas is all about Jesus then why would I find myself giving in to the pressure and stress of getting the best gifts for people? Why would this attitude and underlying value to be praised or thanked be underneath most of what I spent my time on and thought about? Searching for the perfect gift, fighting for the best price so I didn’t break the bank. Where was Jesus in my thoughts and reflections other than on the actual 25th when we read the Christmas story?

When J and I got married we started doing Advent, something his family did together. Each Sunday between Thanksgiving and Christmas they lit a new candle that symbolized Jesus, reciting a verse about Jesus being God (John 1:1), Jesus being human (John 1:14), Jesus is King (Matthew 2:2), Jesus is servant (Mark 10:45), and Christmas day the last candle was Jesus is without sin (Luke 1:35).

When we started having kids we saw how overwhelmed with presents they got and this teamed up with all the Santa propaganda they saw around town in America. Billboards, songs, radio, toy ads on TV, Santa movies etc.,   making all the presents on Christmas day the focus. We started asking family to limit the gifts, we stuck to just one from us. But we still saw a trend growing that the greatest thing to look forward to was after breakfast opening all our gifts. Not Jesus.

Last year as we were back in the US for the Holidays we saw this trend again. Even though we repeated over and over the real meaning of Christmas was Jesus, our values and time and money really reflected another. If we really wanted to succeed in this we might have to make a bigger sacrifice than would be comfortable.

Last year we talked about how in Mexico, where J grew up they celebrate Kings day. People dress up as the 3 kings and give gifts. There are many customs that have been added along the way. But Kings day is on the 12th day of Christmas, January 6. We toyed with idea of separating presents from Christmas. We still liked the idea that just like the Magi we give gifts to people to celebrate the GIFT that God gave us in Jesus.

We came across the Jesse tree last year also and really like the anticipation that is built as you read each story beginning with creation that points to the birth and gift of Jesus.

Isaiah 1:1-2 promises:
A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse; 
from his roots a Branch will bear fruit. 
The Spirit of the LORD will rest on him— 
the Spirit of wisdom and of understanding, 
the Spirit of counsel and of might, 
the Spirit of the knowledge and fear of the LORD—

So on the day after Thanksgiving when traditionally we set up our tree and bring out our Christmas decorations, we ate breakfast and talked about the changes that were coming to Christmas this year. We talked about how in America Christmas has become about getting stuff and breeds greed and distraction from what the gift and “magic” of Christmas is really about. We talked about how along with our advent calendar we would read a Jesse tree story and hang an ornament on the tree that symbolizes that story. And we talked about how on Christmas morning we would give them stockings of a few fun little things to open and then the real joy of Christmas we would go out together and give to the community. Because we have this gift God gave us, and we want to share a glimpse of that joy with those that are still in the darkness. We talked about Kings day in January and how on that day we would celebrate Jesus still by giving gifts to eachother, no more than three. And between Josiah and I we would make sure that what we spent on our family did not exceed what we spent on others for our Christmas day service. We feel that what we spend our money on is reflective of our values and our children learn from this even when we don’t say anything.

But what does this mean for Christmas parties and friends that want to give toys and books galore? This is where it might get uncomfortable, cause it impacts more than our family. And as we all know many people have strong sentimental value attached to the giving of “stuff”. But what we have noticed over the years is something more meaningful, giving the gift of time, a special outing together, some intention brought to a “date” or an outing, where you listen and share, laugh and grow together. This is long remembered and cherished above the toy that will be broken or forgotten up in the closet in a few months.

In leu of any gifts people want to give our kids they can give money towards our Christmas day service project. This year we will most likely buy a bunch of blankets and take them to the railroad tracks where all the homeless sleep. Many die in the winter months without adequate warmth. We will be saving up money all month to go purchace as many blankets as we can for Christmas nights handout. Or people can give the gift of time. Take A out on a coffee date and be a good listener, invest in her. Or take M to the park and kick around a football with him. Bake cookies with V, spend some time getting into their world and heart. That would be a gift to remember!

We are really excited about pruning back “X-mas” and bringing back CHRISTmas. We want our kids to know what it is they are really celebrating and be able to explain that to people who don’t know. We want there joy to come from the celebration of the gift Jesus. And we really believe the greatest thing they will get this Christmas is the joy that comes when we serve people, love people. People that desperately need it and that can’t give in return.

Easy Biscuits

What do you do when you are almost 6 months behind blogging your summer?

That’s right the new and improved Heidi is blogging about biscuits instead 🙂

Improved because my normal perfectionist self would HAVE to blog them all in order, so you would get this blog probably in December if hurried up with all my others. But I am gonna do it all out of order, as a deliberate step towards change.

So I have been making my own Bisquick mix for a couple years now. Its so easy, and cheaper and I know what’s in it. I make our Sunday pancakes from it and tonight I made some whole wheat biscuits to go along with some yummy split pea soup.

I was in a cooking mood today. Maybe it’s the cold weather has arrived and I recently have been reminded that If I start at lunch time there are quite a few things I can “throw in a pot” and have lots of dishes at the end. And a lot of dishes too 🙂

First I made refried beans that I FB’d about awhile ago. SO EASY!:

Healthy refried beans:

put uncooked pinto beans and water in a pressure cooker bring to boil with NO LID, then turn burner off and let sit for an hour (this is a quick soak), pour water out and fill above beans with new water, then cut the top off a bulb of garlic and onion and throw whole thing in, no chopping. put the lid on and pressure cook for about 8-10 whistles. maybe 30 minutes?

Then blend beans with the liquid in a blender , make sure to get that bulb of garlic and onion in there! towards end of blending add garlic salt to taste. YUMMO! BAM refried beans, no oil, no frying, SO easy!

 

I puree half of that batch and save the rest of the beans for eggs and burritos, and soup. Then with the liquid left over from the beans I literally threw together “Magic Mineral Broth”. With some more water and a bunch of veggies out comes the most nourishing and hydrating drink or soup base you have ever had!

With the veggies in that broth I scoop them into the blender and make a puree that I think I may try to use in the filling for chicken pot pie, well see.

Speaking of chicken pot pie, I tossed a package of frozen chicken in some water with an onion and garlic. Wala! chicken broth and cooked chicken.

Then i used some of that broth for the split pea soup. FIRST Time ever making it!

I saw split peas in the general store calling out my name in competition with the little son that was on my back. I dreamed of soup that night. I found this recipe and added chicken broth and some already cooked brown rice I had in the fridge. YUMMO! Kids even went back for more.

Then when our friends dropped by to drop something off I called them in to share with us. And she was able to tutor me in the art of biscuit making since I am a complete novice and she is a PRO. Biscuits were a great addition 🙂

Bisquick Recipe:

6 cups whole wheat flour (I used multigrain)

1 1/2 tsp baking soda

3 tsp baking powder

1 Tbsp salt

2 Tbsp sugar

Mix and seal in a container.

Heat oven to 400F . For biscuits squeeze 2/3 C butter into 2 1/4 C bisquick until all flour is stuck to butter. should be crumbly, slowly add milk , about 1/4 to 1/2 C. till all dough is stuck in one ball. Then pinch off balls, roll and flatten with palm and place on a sheet. You can place them all close to eachother. Cook for 14- 20 minutes depending on your oven. If you touch one the middle shouldn’t cave in, should feel solid.

Optional, take a piece of butter and rub on hot tops of biscuits before serving.

Because Life is short.


So with the departure of my husband to a faraway land (Switzerland) I am here marveling at how God is bringing all whispers together in my heart to move me to action.

I have been failing for a few years at fighting this “no yelling” battle. Many nights of tears, repentence, guilt, and fears beating down my door. “These beautiful children that God has given me, I am gonna screw them up.” the loudest voice in my heart when these things happen.

I have cried out to God so many times. How do I stop? Whether it’s the times I was yelled at as a child or my own triggers from my past that send me into a rage, I don’t know. Or maybe its simply my own sin, my selfishness, as I started contemplating after reading this blog post. It doesn’t really matter. I don’t need to get at the root of why as much as I need to get to the root of how it happens and how its going to stop. Cause its got to stop.

Cause Tonight even as my heart was reflecting on all these things. I yelled. At my 1 year old. Completely insane, I know. I was trying to get his pants on and had 3 other things going on an he decided after getting one leg through to go limp. After telling him several times to stand up, which he understands, I yelled at him to do it. And he started crying. Which broke my heart 1 cause he did nothing wrong, he was just tired and letting me know and 2 completely confused about why I treated him that way and confused about if I am a safe person for him (not safe, his own mom.) 3 cause it’s not like I haven’t been mulling over this issue all day and I here I am doing it to the youngest and least deviant in the household (all in the same day). I prayed that he understood me when I apologized before putting him to bed.

Why is J in Switzerland? Cause he is about to attend a memorial service for his God-daughter that was kidnapped and murdered last week. She was 4 when He met her and became her Godfather. She had just turned 19 and is now gone.

And besides a million other things swirling through my mind and heart concerning this injustice, God is surfacing this desire of mine to stop yelling and start loving more.  Because life is short, and childhood shorter. And I want to be a safe haven not something they fear or tune out and close off to. Because each day that I have with them is a gift and it’s time to start living like that, believing it, and making them believe it by how I love them.

I came across this challenge last week. And although it resonated with me, I didn’t jump on board. Why?

Because I am afraid of failing. I am afraid of publicaly saying ” I need help. I need accountability, I need you.” And then having to come and tell you that after 1 week or 1 month, I failed and had to start at ground zero again.

And because  I am afraid that deep down I cant do it. This will be yet another thing that I didn’t succeed at, or follow through on.

But in light of my emotions and revelations tonight, fear is nothing compared to the thought of not having the chance to start again each day with one of my little ones.

So raise your glass friends (cause I can’t, but could sure use one) Here is to change, growth, and starting new. And here is another to transparancy, and helping eachother as we walk run and crawl through this journey together.

Only by God’s grace I am becoming a Orange Rhino tonight.

header_v5_a1200_tm-lovemore

 

America in pictures

Camera

When our friend Matt D picked us up from the airport he apologized for the bumper to bumper traffic. I said ” oh this is relaxing! its so quiet and everyone is staying in there lanes and all the red  lights are relaxing!”

Taron on the other hand didn’t like being in a car seat for the first time. Check out this short video of him.





One of the first stops is OC California. And of course we gotta take advantage of the best parks ever! Taron was perfecting his walking, but he did not hold back in adventure!

20121109_10212620121109_10130620121109_100802

20121109_10480020121109_10264620121109_102236Next we hit up our friends, the Doane’s. One of Arwyn’s best friends from our church in LA Lily are pen pals and through meeting the family we realized that 3 of our kids are same gender close in age and love eachother, including parents! That is always extra fun! So we walked from thier house a neighborhood park, which turned out to be one of our favs to visit when we would go see Josiah’s grandpa in an assisted living home. Then we walked to there addiction “the Habit”, which I have heard that they put some sort of addictive component in there food just like Tim Horton’s. It was quite good!

Vange below with Taron’s buddy, Seth. Fun Fact: Marie is a nurse and she performed my first 3 ultrasounds when I was pregnant with T back in March of 2011, and she was also pregnant with Seth.

20121112_16545420121112_164928

20121209_141640

Next we were off to Josiah’s parent’s for 2 weeks over Thanksgiving in Arizona. I put a great pic up here about the highlight of our road trip.

I posted about Thanksgiving Here.

No visit to Nana and Papa’s would be complete without piano time with Papa. This time was Taron’s first:)

20121124_081442

Meeting uncle Joel for the first time.

20121124_125852

Naps out in the dessert are so peaceful. But she wasn’t tired so she just read a book instead. 20121126_142940Another thing we love about Nana’s house is  hikes in the area which I blogged about here. Nana’s great food, kids playing in the cactus filled backyard, Even when getting poked, pictured here.

Then to Mexico for Josiah’s sister, Jessica’s wedding. Josiah performed the wedding I was a bridsmaid and the kids were all flower girls and ring bearers, needless to say very busy week. Beautiful location. Welcome Marcos to the Watters family!20121127_131408521384_10151474564090867_1285020111_n483459_10101240590952615_1172459893_n385840_10151481174590867_1437430163_n

After we crossed the border again, we passed off our 4 kiddos to Nana and Papa and we had an empty car, for a week! Josiah and I celebrated 10 year anniversary back in September last year and we had a week in OC to visit beaches, eat at yummy restaraunts, go see movies, we even worked out all week. It was great! Could have been 2 weeks…

One favorite pastime of ours is tidepooling so we went straight to a great spot and PLAYED!

20121204_07402720121205_14461220121205_14534720121205_144124 20121205_14342420121205_142859

20121205_142612You can never get enough beach so when Nana and Papa and kids came back we fit one more trip in with them Here.20121109_163449

20121127_112054After Nana and Papa brought us back our kids and we headed to Sac-Town! 

First things first on Grandma and Papa’s big wide clean street we worked on Arwyn and Malachi learning to ride there bikes without training wheels.

Sometimes we needed a little break!

20121212_112626 No Christmas season is complete without heading up to Apple Hill and cutting down our christmas tree. So I bundled up T in my Snuggli vest that slips over the baby carrier and off we tromped through the trees. 

The kids picked out there fave and then they all  took turns cutting it down.

Then we needed some apple cider and apple fritters to restore us 🙂

20121213_132456 20121213_13333220121213_132356 20121213_133609 20121213_13401220121213_143748 20121213_151619 Time at Grandma and Papa’s was complete with walks to the dog park, gingerbread house competition, and children hanging over the fence.20121224_15410420121224_153336 20121224_15444620121224_15362720121224_15484620121212_122806 20121224_17152820121224_17354220121224_173602Here is Taron meeting a little Christmas puppy while we were hanging at our friends Matt and Alanda. (I don’t know how I didn’t end up with any pics of the kids with friends).

20121222_183510No trip to Sac would be complete without our favorite Ice cream place, Leatherby’s.

Below Vange is with our good friends daughter Ava. We marveled at how they looked like twins when they were younger. They loved playing dress up together. We think of her everytime Vange puts her Cinderella p.j.s on.:) They have the same crazy energy running non-stop through the house.

Also below is me sitting at the tip of a kids boat at a park that is special to us. Josiah first told me he loves me there, and held my hand. Sweet , I know. And we also have a lil grave spot there for Jasmine there in the back of the trees.

Taron got to enjoy big bath tubs at Grandma and Papa’s, too and he LOVED them!

20121227_184544 20121231_131606 20130104_17440520121225_192157
20121225_192549

My cousin Shawn sent us overnight to Tahoe to play in the snow and refresh in the woods. Taron loved it! He would lay face down and lick it. We got to go sledding and even took the older 3 ice skating for the first time. We told them how horrible it would be, they would fall and it would be cold and hard. We figured that they wouldn’t be dissapointed about how hard ice skating is. It worked like a charm.

20130117_14130320130117_142454 20130117_14452020130117_14354220130117_141622 20130118_160356

California wouldn’t be complete without some time in the woods. Josiah and Malachi headed  to SF for a visa run and had some Man time. Out in Nature, no place better.

20130128_113200 20130128_114432

Then they headed to the aquarium. I love this shot below.

20130128_151141 20130128_15222520130128_15112820130128_15104320130128_140540

When Josiah asked me if I knew who that statue was I answered: Yoda? Whoops.

20130128_17021920130128_14005220130128_135611

Nothing like some good ol fashioned Man time to put your soul at peace, look at that face.

Then we headed to LA again for one more week before we headed home. and what was in store? More  Man time. The Great Park was huge and awesome and complete with a hot air balloon ride.

Funny Story: When The people were asking Malachi for his hand so he could get it stamped for the ride, the next thing they knew he was gone.

Josiah looked down and he was doing a head stand. Apparently he thought that “hand stamp” was “head stand”, so he went all out to get his admission.

20121116_09412520121116_09462920121116_101309Camera1

Some nice friends that attend our church in LA gave us 3 free tickets to DisneyLand, so me and Arwyn and Malachi got to spend the day before we left PLAYING! 

Our first ride was TheTower of Terror in CA adventure. And from the look on there faces we didn’t go again. Arwyn thought she was going to die, poor girl. Malachi loved the adrenaline rush.
20130206_103211

20130206_105118 20130206_121657 The Man that gave us these tickets has a liftetime membership because he built the rock wall in the Scout’s obstacle course place. It was fun watching them rock it!

20130206_134254 20130206_134306



20130206_154831

This was the kids FAV thing: Talking to Crush. We did it 3 times so that Crush actually picked Malachi, who has squirt at home in his bed. It was a BIG deal! The video is 13 minutes but its FUNNY! We had just gone the time before and Crush talked to Arwyn , and this time around he also talked to her and remembered her…

20130206_202858It wouldn’t be complete without a late night treat before we head home! It was a great time!

Time to pack, this is all our luggage in the garage: 21 pieces in all 😉 and say goodbyes 😦 Uncle Issac below.

20130207_173340
20130131_111215

One more goodbye: the backyard swing.

20130202_112559

All our bags in the airport. Malachi always finds a little hole to fit in.

20130208_142040  

Back home to India… via Sri Lanka 🙂