Saturday, March 21, 2015

Family Hike at Rockville

I really love this picture. Here we are just being us. I see each of their personalities shine through their genuine smiles. And let me tell you, it's not easy to capture those smiles on your kids in a photo. We were on a family hike in Rockville and happened upon the lake at the top of the hill. The boys were behaving so well (I only mention because it can be so rare) and really enjoying our nature walk around the lake.  We were having insightful conversations about life. The boys were being inquisitive about the things around them. Junior was acting like Gandalf the Grey with his big walking stick. A wonderful day well spent enjoying God's creation. And best of allergies!

My Birthday Luncheon

 Having lunch with my dear friends. I couldn't believe they all made it. So happy.
 Natalie and I. We've been friends since our youth group days.
 Jenny says this is my "whimsical chic" cake. She made that up. 
Outside the restaurant with my gals: Michelle, Natalie, Elaine, Pinky and Monica. Some ladies are missing in the picture, but I will surely remember them in my heart. Awww!

Buon Compleanno Jean!

Ever thumb through fashion and lifestyle magazines that feature a prominent figure celebrating some milestone in their life? A birthday? Wedding? The article usually features beautiful pictures of guests dining, details of the event and just this cool ambient idea of the perfect evening with friends and family? Well, I experienced that at my dear friend's surprise birthday dinner in February. It was well appointed with beautiful details and divine Italian fare. We were waited on by a professional waitstaff and offered delicious libations. Friends and family shared stories and pictures about the celebrant that brought tears of laughter. The evening ended with a to-die-for smore's birthday cake and warm Italian coffee creations. It was most fitting for a kind and lovely friend whose big heart and generous spirit we do not deserve. The privledge is all ours. Happy birthday Jean!

 Without knowing it she was dressed in the evening's color of the night: silver grey!
 The personalized menu for the evening.
 It's all in the details.
 The namesake of the restaurant Ca' Momi. 
 The guests congregating at the well-appointed dinner table.
With the celebrant (on left). The most unlikely group of friends that only God could put together. We love you Jean!

We Found Snow!

It's pretty common knowledge that California is in a major drought. Our last few winters have been dry and warm, with very little in the way of much needed snow in Tahoe. But we luckily had a big storm come in the beginning of February and it dumped a good amount of snow that we were able to take a family trip to North Lake Tahoe and enjoy it (while it lasted). 

 Cousin Jayden James (J.J.) before he body surfed down the hill. 
 Convincing this little guy not to throw that snowball at me.
 Ronin was convinced he could bring this snowball home in one piece.
 Aleia our snow angel. What a sweetie!
 The number of times he snowboarded down the hill before he was exhausted. What an old man!
This was our Valentine's weekend. Spending it at the snow with family ain't bad. Plus, buffet dinner at Reno that night. He knows how to make a girl swoon!

Cousin Mikey's Visit

If there is one person that my kids worship, it would have to be their cousin Mikey. They think he's the coolest guy ever. They often talk about what they would share with Mikey if they saw him and whether Mikey would agree with such and such. He's like their go-to for all important kid issues. So, when Mikey had a chance to come mainland and hang out with my boys they just about died! Here they are with Mikey on a snack break after school.  Honestly, it was like I didn't exist. They had eyes only for Mikey. 

Valentine's Bee Workers

Looks like homework, right? Maybe even working hard at memorizing their verse of the week. But no, it's actually my little guys working hard on their Valentine's cards. Never have they been so quietly focused at completing a task. It was such a sight to behold that I had to document it. Truly, I wish homework time was this productive!

Ronin's Double-Digit Birthday.

Our eldest son Ronin turned 10 years old in January. He was stoked to wake up that morning and find that his favorite breakfast was waiting for him: spam and rice. He also was greeted with birthday balloons and a birthday sign in the kitchen. Our Ronin is sweet and will surprise you with his tender heart. He's also a crazy kid whose enthusiasm can be contagious.  He may be all over the place sometimes, but his desires in life are simple: acceptance, patience and unconditional love.

 Balloons, spam and rice and Legos - what more do you need on your birthday?
 Holding his birthday cupcake and being serenaded by his 4th grade class. Loved it (but also a little embarassed). 
 Ronin: "Who wants to take a birthday photo with me?" Everyone: "We do!!"
His favorite stop of the day: Toys R Us for more Legos!

A Happy 16th Anniversary on the 16th!

Here's a Ferrer factoid for you: Lucas' birthday on January 16th also happens to be our wedding anniversary. And this year we celebrated our 16th anniversary. We hadn't planned on celebrating it formally with anything. However,when we happened to be at a family party that afternoon, it was decided spontaneously that we, along with Junior's sister and her husband and Junior's cousin and his girlfriend would go for drinks and tapas at one of our favorite restaurants, Bottega in Yountville. 

 Settling into our seating for the night in front of a warm alfresco fireplace. Quite cozy. 
 Josey and Ed deciding on drinks. We discovered that this was the first time they had been on a date for a long time. Without the kids around, they are a different couple! ;)
 John and Laura by the fireplace. We had a great time getting to know them as a couple more personally. They truly are a match!
 Our libations that evening. Being the girl, you know that pink bubbly one is mine!
We also had a chance to pop open the Prisoner wine we had held on to for a while. It was fun to share with such fun couples!

Late Post: Lukie-Doo's Birthday

Doing some catch up on the blog. Here is Lucas' birthday back in January when our youngest turned 8 years old. He is our prankster and jokester in the house. Don't be the one caught off guard when he scares you coming around the corner. He loves to laugh - and laugh at you! He is also our daring eater and will try anything once. He loves him some steak but will pass on anything with cream cheese. Hope it was a happy one son! 
 Just what he requested: A donut cake for breakfast.
 A birthday bracelet from his teacher.
 Sharing the same birthday with Layla and Zachary.
 Celebrating with his friends: Zachary, David, London, Sam and Quran.
His birthday dinner request - Lucille's BBQ. We all liked his pick!

Remembering What Matters

I've been reading through a wonderful book called, "Fierce Woman" by Kimberly Wagner and I just wanted to share a quote from this eye-opening and humbling book about being a woman after God's own heart.

"Make sure Jesus is your all in all. He alone deserves to fill that place of longing, to be the eternal lover of your soul, to be the seat of your affections. He is the Living God. Let your heart find its joy in the One who is "over all and through all an in all."

Wow, remembering the core of who I am in Him. What an amazing truth! If my heart is truly His and my affections completely captured my Him, all the lesser things of life become "less" in my heart and I can let go of the bitterness, anger, shame and unforgiving heart. May your heart be encouraged the way mine was.