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Friday, April 26, 2013

Disneyland, Round TWO

Since moving out of state is on the Browns' horizon, James and I decided that we should visit Disneyland once more before we leave.  It was so much fun to bring Miles there - he's seen so many of the classic Disney movies and cartoons now, and he recognized so many of the characters.

Guapo Boy

Playing on the fire truck

"When does the ice cream shop open?"

"Mmmm, popcorn!"

"Ooh, Beeky!"

"Pidoko, I don't know if you should trust a cricket..."

Here we go!

"Okay, what are we waiting for?"

This was James' attempt to take a picture
of Miles on the first ride of the day... Any guesses?

"I can get this sword out."

"Aw, forget the sword, I'mma ride the horsey."

Mr. Miles and his comrades, Toady and Mr. Rat

I had to chase Miles down after Mr. Toad's ride...
... it was pretty wild.

"Let me tell you what Toady just put me through!"

"Okay, what's next on our agenda?"

Daddy & Miles on the Dumbo ride
(Miles has the magic feather)

Scored some Mouseke-ears

"Spin, spin, spin!"
 "Don't look now, but that dude is photobombing us."

Tasty Mickey-shaped beignets

James was prompting Miles to 'look scared,'
but Miles liked the Haunted Mansion.
Ultimately, he just looked conflicted.

Okay, get ready for the picture in front
of It's a Small World...

"Oh, okay..."

"How's this?"


Last shot of the night

Miles did so well all day!  He powered through his nap - I figured he would - and didn't get cranky at all.  We went on13 rides, and visited 3 attractions (Sleeping Beauty's Castle, Peter Pan's Flight, Mr. Toad's Wild Ride, King Arthur's Carrousel, Dumbo the Flying Elephant, Casey Jr. Circus Train, Mad Tea Party, Snow White's Scary Adventures, Pinocchio's Daring Journey, the Enchanted Tiki Room, Jungle Cruise, Tarzan's Treehouse, Pirates of the Caribbean, the Haunted Mansion, The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh - twice! - and lastly, It's a Small World).  We ate lunch at the Village Haus, which was awful because they messed up our order, and for some reason, I didn't want to switch my veggie burger for the cheeseburger I had wanted - big mistake!  At least they gave us an extra pizza... so I ate that instead.  But the Mickey Mouse beignets definitely helped - we only ordered three, but they gave us six!!  I really enjoyed eating those with my iced coffee and trying a sip of James' mint julep, while we listened to the Dixieland jazz band play.  Miles even got a blue beaded necklace from them!  He wore it diagonally over one arm.

As we were leaving the park, we decided to pick out a souvenir for Miles - he wanted everything, but finally settled on a three-car train with Mickey, Donald, and Goofy in their own cars.  Mickey was the engineer, of course!  He fell fast asleep as we were leaving the park, and stayed asleep as James and I dined at El Torito.  It was so much fun, and I know Miles had a great experience.  He sings, "Yo ho, apahdahbahdah meeee!" all the time - and he loves looking at the pictures and videos we took.  I don't know if I'd do an all day visit to a theme park while pregnant ever again, but I didn't mind it this time.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

A Visit from Auntie Beth & Uncle Clayton!

We had the pleasure of visiting with Beth & Clayton on their turnaround trip to CA!!  I was thrilled to meet Beth's hubby, and to have them both meet Miles!  They braved the So Cal traffic after having traveled from Missouri all day - such troopers!!  We hung out at the house for a while, as Miles warmed up to his Auntie and Uncle, which didn't take very long.

Coloring with Auntie Beth

Showing Auntie some of my toys

After hanging out at home, we drove downtown for some dinner.  We tried the Salted Pig first, but their wait time was CRAZY!  We made our way to the Mission Inn to look around, and eat at Las Campanas.

Walking down 12th St.

Uncle Clayton & Bubs

"I can't reach both arms at once..."

"Check out this pose!"

Hanging with Uncle Clayton
"Hee hee!"


Scrunchy face

All of us!

It was so great to see them, even if it was just for a few hours.  Miles loved meeting them, and talked about Auntie and Uncle long after they were gone.  So sweet!

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

What's on my Mind?


Yes, the rumors are true.

And for those of you who haven't heard anything, James, Miles, new Baby, and I are moving... to Georgia.

I'm actually really excited!  This journey has been an adventure from the start, and I am so blessed to have all of you along for the ride.  This current chapter began at the end of February, when we put our house up for sale.  James had stepped out of working at his warehouse job before the end of last year, and we have been completely dependent upon God's provision for our family.

God is so incredibly good.  For the first two months, James' unemployment insurance wasn't processing correctly, so that was quite a test.  Still, there was not one day we went hungry, or wondered if we would be taken care of.  In fact, there was one point we had at least 6 different varieties of crackers alone.  I said they were like our manna in the wilderness!  Ha!  The entire time (and still), we would keep track of our blessings in our Blessings Bucket - the Zumba gift that Elise had given me months before!  At one point, I really think Jesus sent us a greeting card.  It was from a zip code I didn't recognize, with an unsigned card that encouraged us greatly - along with two gift cards:  One for gas, and the other for Target!  Since James' unemployment insurance kicked in at the start of the new year, we have been more than covered for everything, except our mortgage.  We continued to pray about James getting work here that would support our family, in our home.

Eventually, we knew that we had to put the house on the market.  But we didn't do it rashly or without discernment.  In fact, when we were praying about it, I think it was James who worded it this way:
"God, we're giving this house up to you as an offering..."
In my Bible Study Fellowship, we were studying Abraham at that time.  He was sending his servant back to Padan-aram to find Isaac a wife, and this servant prayed a very reasonable prayer - asking for a sign from God to know which woman would be a suitable wife, and lead him to the right family, per Abraham's instructions.

When we prayed about our house, we prayed a very specific, reasonable prayer.  We basically agreed that if we received an offer at or above the listing price, that it would be a sign to move forward, and that we would need to get ready to move out.  But if something happened during escrow, like a low appraisal, or if we didn't receive any offers at the listing price, then we would know that God wanted us to stay, and that He would provide James work here.

Well, two weeks after showing the house, we got an offer for above the listing price, and everything was going really well!  The house appraised for the amount offered, and the inspection came back clear.  We started to make our arrangements for the date we were told escrow would be closed by:  April 5.  We talked about all of our options:  renting a place here, staying with friends or family locally, or picking up and moving out... and we felt that leaving California is the next step in this adventure!

At that time, we had a little over two weeks to get movers, plane tickets, and pack up the house.  Since then, God has continued to allow our faith to be stretched and challenged.  It looks like we will be waiting until the end of this month.  Yes, we did have airline tickets to leave for Atlanta on the 8th, however, we've since cancelled them, and are waiting for more information on the closing date of the sale.

All that being said, I would just like to ask for your continued prayers and support during this time.  Everyone has been amazing during this entire process, and I know for a fact that our family is continually sustained by Jesus Christ.  There is absolutely no way we would have come this far, and still be joyful if it wasn't for Him.  There is no one in the world I would rather be with on this journey, and God has blessed me... not only with His presence, but also with an amazing husband and son, both of whom are the most imaginative, remarkable people I know!!

When we know the date of departure, we will definitely let everyone know, but as for now, please pray for us as we wait.  Waiting time does not have to be wasted time.  (If knowing all of this makes you anxious or concerned, imagine how James and I must feel!)  But like I wrote before, God is good.

He's good all the time.

Hap' Birt'day, Na Na!

Miles is TWO years old!!

Gosh, time sure flies.  And we are definitely having fun!  We celebrated three days in a row.

Friday, March 29

This was Miles' actual birthday.  It started with a delicious birthday donut, and one present from us.

He got a Nerf basketball hoop - the kind that goes over the door!  After we all got ready, we caught Wreck-It Ralph at the $2 theater in Moreno Valley.  Miles had an awesome time!  He ate his lunch there (hot dog & lemonade), and enjoyed watching his very first movie in the theater!!

Getting ready to go in

Tickets, please!

"I made it through the whole movie!"

It was good Friday, so we went to service at Renewal, and later, joined Scott, Summer, and Shane for dinner at Islands.  It was delicious, but we were all tired, and went right to bed when we got home at almost 10pm!

Saturday, March 30
Clarissa & I threw our boys a "Cookies & Milk" birthday party at her house, and everything turned out great!  Miles had so much fun playing with all of his buddies and eating tasty food - especially the desserts.

Clarissa's super cute banner idea

The cookies, cupcakes, and milk
Yum yum! 

Backyard playtime!

The jumper was the most popular toy

"I just want the blue stuff..."

Miles has been coloring every day since Saturday!

Sunday, March 31
Easter Sunday was lovely!  We went to service at Renewal, and I got to serve in nursery, which meant that I hung out with Miles and the baby buddies!  It was so much fun, and with three other helpers, we had a blast!

It was overcast, and cool, which was great for the egg hunt at Michelle's that afternoon.  Miles loves being with his cousins anyway, but finding eggs was a definite bonus!  Plus, he got more birthday fun and presents after that.

"I'm ready!  Let me at 'em!"

"Oh, what's that?!"

"Sophia, I see another one!"

"I can open these?"

"Hey cousins, did you know some of these have CANDY?!"

"What?  I didn't find any chocolate!"

It was such a fun weekend, and Sunday night, we all went to bed early - Miles conked out in the car, and didn't wake up until the next morning.  All week, he's been pulling different toys, puzzles, and books out of his present bags, and keeping himself really busy!  We got to use his sand toys at the park, and all the kids loved them!  Oh, and the basketball hoop is set up, which James loves just as much as Miles does.  Haha!

Thank you everyone for celebrating with us, near and far!  I can't believe the boy is TWO!