Thursday, January 22, 2009

Adieu times two!

On January 21st Johann's brothers Derek and Kaleb reported to the MTC! Derek is going to Rochester, NY and Kaleb to Seattle, WA. Both of them left the MTC this past week and seem to be doing fine and dandy at their respective ends of the country. It was really nice to visit together before they left and was of course great to see them off. Johann's mom pointed out that the next time a missionary leaves from either family it will be Henry since he's he oldest grandchild. That seems so far away! Incredible! We are excited for all the great experiences Kaleb and Derek will have as they are out doing their best to serve the people of Washington and New York.
As you can see, the 'name tag' cake I made for them went a little haywire with the 'ER' was that spray frosting.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Happy Birthday Mom!

Its nice that my moms birthday is right in the middle of Christmas and New Years because we always get to be home for it. This year the best husband and son-in-law decided to send me and my mom to the spa for her birthday.

I guess he looked at a couple different places and when he couldn't decide he finally gave in and told me what he was planning. He's terrible at being sneaky =) So together we decided on a newly build place called 'Day Spa Jolie' about fifteen minutes away from my moms house.

We drove past it once before the actual day we were going and it was just this gray building kind of in a weird spot so I was starting to think I shouldn't get too excited about what it would be like. Anyhow, we kept trying to keep my mom from making plans on her actual birthday morning since that was when we were scheduled to go, which proved very difficult but we managed. When we opened our gifts for Christmas we had her open a card with all the info so she would finally stop trying to make other plans. It worked.
So on the 30th we headed to the spa and wow was I impressed with how they had decorated. Everything in this funky gray building was sooo nice. We had 60mins of swedish massage and oh was it heavenly! They also put these really warm blankets on top of us and then warm towels and-ah, it was just amazing. I've had a knot in my left shoulder areas forever from carrying Henry around and this lady found that sucker and got it out right at the beginning!

Mom in the dressing room hanging out in the comfy robe.

After the massage they send you to the 'relaxation room' where you can just hang out and look at magazines and sip cool water to wake you up. Needless to say, it was the best start to a day I've had in a while! =)

Here we are before we go in for our massages. I hope I look that good when I'm 61!

That night we went out to Red Robin for mom's birthday dinner and it was nice to all be together. Of course we missed Hamp, but he's where he should be so everything was still great. My mom is one of the strongest women I have ever met. I get so frustrated sometimes just waiting for Johann to come home and help me with Henry so I can't imagine how she managed to raise four teenagers all on her own while working full time and serving in the church. I so grateful to have such an amazing mother who I know loves her children so much, she is my mother and best friend and I hope I can in some way give to her as much as she gives to me! Overall it was a great day and my mom and I both agree that going to the spa on her birthday needs to become a tradition. Thank you again to my other best friend and the best husband in the world!


Saturday, January 17, 2009

News Years Eve-Wild...Animal Park

New Years Eve we went to the San Diego Wild Animal park with Johann's parents, brothers, sister and her husband. I was a little nervous about how Henry would do with such a long outdoor day but he did fantastic. When I was a little kid growing up in California I use to wish we would have "a real winter" but after experiencing that and then going back to a beautiful, sunny, 70 degree day on New Years Eve, I think I would settle for a 'fake winter'. =)

I love this giant rhino statue they have at the entrance. One of my favorite pictures from childhood is of me and my three brothers and friends sitting atop this guy!

Everyone was so helpful with Henry the whole day. I think from now on it will be my policy to only go to parks with 8 other people besides Henry. Everyone took turns holding him when he got sick of being in the stroller, which was of course, almost immediately.

He was pretty interested in looking at the animals which surprised me because of how far away they were. He is looking at the gorillas

We watched one of the 'shows' they put on there and they brought a serval into the audience right past Henry!!!

This was one of my favorite parts on the tram-seeing a newly born baby rhino and mommy-so cute!

And of course we had to see the elephants! My favorite part =)

And here is Henry watching a giraffe eat. They stayed up close like that the whole time we were there!

Finally pooped. He was so good the whole day and what a day it was! It will be so great to show him all these pictures when he gets a little older. I just loved it.

Still catching up

So there are still a few things I wanted to post about from Christmas break and this is one of them. During Thanksgiving weekend my brother-in-laws, Derek and Kaleb got their mission calls and during Christmas break we got to go with them through the Redlands Temple. All the family was there, my father-in-law, Jim got to go through for his father and the rest of us got to go through for family members on Johann's mom's side. I even got to do some initiatories which I had never done before in Redlands. I love doing that. After we took some pictures and went out to eat at El Torito. It was such a special day and we're so excited for Derek and Kaleb!
(*pictures: Derek is in the dark suit and Kaleb in the light)

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Being 8 is great!..months that is

Today Henry is 8 months old. I cannot believe how quickly he is growing up. Things are starting to look up for Henry at this point: He is eating solids, plays independently very well, crawls like a maniac and is really getting into a good eating time and nap time routine. Needless to say I am quite happy about all of this. Still haven't managed to get him out of our bed though. Sigh. Some day.

If you're thinking, "well see, he's finally mellowing out, Deborah!" Oh boy is that false. =) This little guy has no concept of slowing down it seems. I was a little nervous about him crawling but for the most part it has been great because he can get to where he wants and is not as annoyed with being in one place etc. However, after taking him to my visiting teacher's house on Friday to be babysat and having him see her little 14 month old girl walking around, Henry has decided crawling isn't cutting it anymore. Though he has been pulling himself up on things and moving along the couch and whatnot for quite awhile, he didn't show any interest in 'free standing' until this past Friday. Now he wants us not to set him down on his bum or to crawl but standing up and then he either goes down quickly onto his bum or slowly squats down. He's gotten himself up without pulling on anything a couple of times but mostly its pulling himself up and then letting ago. I guess it's nice that he is so motivated to move around but I definitely won't mind if the next little one wants to take it at a more mellow/calm pace.

He loooves pushing his table around the house.

Happy 8 months Henry!

Thursday, January 8, 2009

!Ay Chihuahua!

While we were in California for Christmas break we had a chance to go see my Grandma Fern in Hemet. Since the last time we saw her, my Uncle Gary got her a little chihuahua named Princess. I was a little nervous about Henry being around a dog, but boy was I nervous for the wrong reason. That little dog had to run for her life because Henry was trying to love her to death. I have never seen him so giddy and excited by anything! ever! The whole time we were there he was not content to sit in anyones lap, he just kept straining to get out and get to that little doggie. Poor Princess handled it as best she could but by the end of our visit she started hiding on top of the couch where Henry couldn't get to her. It was pretty hilarious.
It'll be fun to tease Henry about his love of a chihuahua named Princess when he's older but it'll be even better to show him the pictures of the first time he met his Great-Grandma Fern. Grandma Fern is so hard working, funny, compassionate and incredibly sharp for a lady her age. I only hope I can be like that too!

Saturday, January 3, 2009


So I'm a little late with this post, but here is our Christmas Eve, Morning and Day:

We spent Christmas Eve at my mom's house with her and my two brothers, Aaron and Jacob. I think there were more presents this year under our Christmas tree than ever. Now, I think a lot of that had to do with one little man but to me it also represents some else: This year I believe was the first that everyone got presents for everyone else, individual efforts worked to form a collective whole 'greater' than had ever been achieved by a fewer number of people. It just showed and reminded me that the individual efforts within families are so important to the collective whole. So to me, all those gifts were not just nice things but a manifestation of a family working together in the interests of each other.

Henry wasn't exactly sure what was going on but enjoyed getting into his and everyone else's presents, especially Grammy's for some reason. He got a lot of nice things from everyone but I think his favorites are the Muno doll (the orange thing with one eye in the picture), the soccer ball from Uncle Jacob and the table Grammy got him- he loves pushing it around the room, silly kiddo. One thing Henry got that I really like is the toy chest from Uncle Aaron! The neat freak inside of me is very happy to have one now!

Oh I also forgot to mention our 'little' feast before we opened presents. We started the tradition last year of having mexican food for Christmas Eve dinner. My mom made chicken toquitos, enchiladas, spanish rice and beans. We also got tamales from one of the local places-Lolas. Aaron made a ton of salsas, some really good sauce stuff and guacamole. I guess the cooking gene went from my mom to Aaron instead of me. Poor Johann =)

Aaron working his magic

Christmas Morning we woke up and headed to Riverside to spend th
e day with Johann's family. Natalie and Bryan (Johann's sister and Brother-in-law) we there too which was nice. We opened gifts and had fun joking around. Everyone kept saying, "It's a sweater" which I guess if from the Three Amigos. I think I should probably see it before next Christmas! One of the gifts that was really special is a book of remembrance put together by Johann's mom with the help of his brothers Derek and Kaleb. Johann and Natalie each got one. It has all the genealogy from Johann's mom's side of the family as well as pictures and other significant records. It's incredible how she was able to put that all together and it is one special gift!
We spent the rest of the day playing games and talking. It was a really great Christmas!

Christmas Morning opening gifts

Playing with Abuela

Hanging out with Grampa

My two favorite boys

Merry Christmas!