Friday, August 13, 2010

Monsters, Monsters, Everywhere!!

I've been meaning to write this post for a while, but it's been a busy few weeks.  The third day we were at Jack's house, the girls started hitting me up again for a hamster.  We've had this conversation before.   At the time, the animal tally looked something like this:  2 large dogs, one finicky cat, (all outside only animals, btw), 1 super-smart cockatiel that whistles the Star Wars theme, Pirate's yo-ho song, wakes you up with an "Ahoy, Matey!", among many other things (can you guess who's bird this is?!), 2 beta fish, some tadpoles we caught at the river down the street, two recently acquired bullfrogs in a Star Wars habitat (one already a frog, the other still changing), and a partridge in a pear tree....just kidding (about the partridge part).  So you can see why this conversation kept coming up, because the answer kept being- no way, jose!  But they are persistent!  So I told them to wait until Isabel's birthday before we talked about it again- it would buy me a month's reprieve.  Just the fact that I didn't say "no" made them giddy. 

Flash forward to later that same afternoon, we needed to go Petco to get the bullfrog some worms.  We walk in, and I'm not even kidding, there is a table set up with a sign: FREE HAMSTERS.  I felt like I was set up!  The girls saw it and I swear I heard a chorus of angels sing "AAAAHHHH!" over their heads.  I asked the girl working there if they always give away free hamsters, and she said, "We NEVER do this!"  Figures.  The girls spent their hard earned, long-saved money on a cage, bedding, food, and a cute little hamster ball, and walked out with not one, but TWO dwarf hamsters.  I asked them to tell us if they were boys, girls, or one of each. The girl took them both in the back room, came back with gloves on and said, "Well, I know WHERE to look, but I don't really know what I'm looking for."  Wonderful.

Ava was thrilled.  "I wana hold the monstoows!"  Huh?  "The monstoows aw sooo tute!"  Monsters!  It was so "tute" that we couldn't correct her, and really, she's not that far off!  They are adorable little furballs, I have to admit.  The white one Sophia named Moonbeam, and Isabel named hers Creampuff.

So,  the last week or so, Isabel was kind of sad.  "Mama, Creampuff is turning into a meaner.  He keeps biting me when I try to take him out of the cage."  Hmmm.  Wednesday we found out why, when our little guy gave birth to SEVEN little monsters!  Oh, my!

They look like little piggies in there!  Kinda creepy, kinda cute.  They squeak for their mama, and she tends to them.  They all sleep a lot.  I think our tally just went up.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Full Circle is Cool

So a few weeks ago, Gabe had summer sailing program again for two weeks.  Jack (once again- thank you!) let us crash at his beach house for the duration, which was great on many levels.  If you don't know the amazing story of us staying at Jack's when we made the move back down from northern California (and why I started this little blog in the first place!), take a look at:  The Challenges of Living Large in a Small Space when you get a second.  This post will make a lot more sense if you do! :)

We had not been back to Jack's since we moved out, mostly because we've been getting settled where we are at, partly to give Jack a break from us in his space!  Jack's yacht club puts on the sailing program every summer for the kids, and he helps run it.  Gabe did his first two-week session last year while we were still living at Jack's, which is right around the corner from the club.  This year we are about a half an hour away, so Jack said we could stay, cut the commute, and have a mini-vacation.  Totally great!  The only drag is that the kids had just started house-sitting for neighbors, so we still had to come home every day to feed our animals and theirs!  So we would basically trade off sleeping here and there so that we were only driving once a day instead of back and forth.  Confusing?  Sometimes!  Where are my pj's?  Augh, at the other house!  Where are we sleeping tonight?  I don't know!  Next year we definitely will get someone to stay here!

 Totally have to love this fireplace!

It's GOOD to be back!

Gabe on land for a change!

Beach time made up for all the other stuff, and it was soooo good to be back and see old neighbors and catch up with everyone.  It was also an amazing reminder at all that God has done and is still doing.  The first day, after we dropped Gabe off (he would go from 9-4), we went to Jack's and started to unpack and settle in.  The girls put on a Veggie Tales (The Pirates Who Don't Do Anything) that we actually had gotten when we lived there.  It's funny that they picked that movie as the very first thing they watched.  That movie spoke to me so much when we moved.  I know.  It's Veggie Tales.  Bear with me!  The characters are involved in adventure that they don't feel they have the ability to stand up to.  Along the way, help comes in unexpected forms, and they end up being unlikely heroes.  There is a part at the end (spoiler alert!) where the king says to the heroes:  "The adventure I call you to may not be easy, but you'll never journey alone.  My help is always there."   I totally remember crying watching that...I may tear up now! :)  Moving back down here was the hardest thing we've ever done, and being back at Jack's,  on the other side of the journey, made me be in awe again of how God is so unbelievably amazing.   It has been and continues to be an adventure in trust.  When we moved down, we really didn't know why God was calling us to come back.  We still don't.  But we have had the opportunity to see him walk us through some very difficult times.  Staying at Jack's for this last two weeks, I had an overwhelming sense of God's grace all over us when we were living there.  I remember a friend telling me- "I don't know how you are doing it.  If it was me and my family, we'd kill each other in such a small space!"  Going back I know more than ever that His help was always there, and He gave us all we needed to survive the journey he called us to.

I haven't really written a lot about this side of it since we moved, mostly because it's still a work in progress.  It is coming up on a year since we moved to Santa Paula.  I know we needed time to be settled.   In the last three months Rob got a really good job, and just had his first review.  We LOVE this county, our city, our neighborhood, and the friends and neighbors we have been blessed to know.  We are so thankful to look back and see all that God has done, and even though we don't see what's next, we know that He's not finished with us yet. :)