Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving

It began earlier this week, with the rub and injected marinade

and continued with 4 gallons of peanut oil

a table full of adults and two tables intended for wiggly little ones

three turkeys, mash potatoes, sweet potatoes with pecan topping, marshmallow sweet potato casserole, broccoli cheese casserole, carrot souffle, dirty rice stuffing, brussel sprout and bacon salad, green bean casserole, bread, cranberry relish, gravy and butter,

breathe, loosen belt, and on to

pecan pie, apple pie, caramel pie, cheesecake all topped with ice cream

three bottles of California wine, a few bottles of beer, cider, too many Diet Cokes drunk by minors

it all adds up to a wonderful and memorable Thanksgiving here in Monterey

Happy Thanksgiving to all of our friends and family - we are so grateful for your friendship, support, prayers and encouragement.
Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, November 24, 2010


The temperature dropped drastically here last night. Readings in the 30s is not common here and the citrus growers scrambled into action to protect the trees and fruit from ruined. The boys pulled a large pile of old wood from the back yard and built a fire in our fire place - our first one since we moved in! Maybe it was the old wood, not having used the fire place for a long time, or this is just what fire smells like, but the house has a distinct fire smoke smell today.... it reminds me of camping and staying warm around the fire.
The fire was a fitting end to a fun day with friends, sushi and play and nobody had trouble falling asleep once finally in bed.
Posted by Picasa

This is how it all started...

Two years ago, almost to the day, we began this blog. The purpose was to keep our friends and family updated on our travels across the US and foremost to share the work we were going to do while serving with the Pettengill family in Honduras.
Two years later, the blog is still going.... and the Pettengills' came to visit us! We had a wonderful, intense and fun 24 hour visit, catching up on 'everything' while doing a few of the 'musts' in Monterey. Lovers' Point, Dennis the Menace Park, and the Aquarium. We feel truly blessed to have had the opportunity to serve with Mike, Erin and Madison and La Ceiba and the people of Armenia Bonito will always occupy a special place in our hearts.
The Pettengills are currently on Home Assignment for six months, heading back to Honduras in early April to continue the work they began only a few years ago.

There is no question God is in the work they are doing, no other explanation can be found for all that they have accomplished and done, and are still doing. Check out the website for more specific information on their work in La Ceiba, maybe it will tug on your heart to help in some way......

Posted by Picasa

What's for dinner?

What's for dinner ?
Only if you are a seagull!
Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

It starts with a gift

Today, Lukas, Noah and I volunteered at the local collection center for Samaritan's Purse Operation Christmas Child. This is the second year we have done this and it is a great experience.
As the cars pull in, we wait in eager expectation, wondering how many boxes are inside the car - is the car full?
We help unload the car, count the boxes, inspect each box to make sure it has a label on it and is secured with a rubber band. It is then time to load the shoe boxes in to larger boxes and on to the big trailer that will drive all these gifts to the next relay point.
This year, Operation Christmas Child allows the donor to track the box on line, so we are looking forward to following our boxes to their final destination.
All in all we touched, moved, stacked and packed almost 500 boxes today!

Posted by Picasa

Beach time

We did not have much of a summer to brag about,,, but then came November! The days start with gorgeous sunrises, followed by clear bright blue sky, sun and a comfortable 75 degrees, and ends with colorful sunsets. This Sunday afternoon we headed out for a walk on the beach and caught the last hour of sun, Daylight Savings Time change is still catching us by surprise a bit, and a lovely sunset over the Bay. There is no better way to spend a Sunday afternoon here in Monterey than on the beach, it is comfortable, temperate, breezy and breathtakingly beautiful and swimsuits are not required!

Posted by Picasa

First Lego League

This fall Lukas and Noah have participated in First Lego League here in Monterey. The boys worked on teams with other kids to solve biomedical challenges and missions using a Lego Mindstorm Robot that they programmed.
First Lego League is an international organization structured like sports with tournaments to culled out the champions. First Lego League Monterey opted not to compete this year but rather to hold an Exhibition to show off all that kids have learned.
Noah helped decorate the room with balloons, each team brought cakes, some almost too good looking to eat, and each team had a chance to share their successes with all the other teams in a show and tell before we opened the doors to the public and the media. Local NBC affiliate came and did a quick interview that was aired on both the 6pm and 11 pm news that night.
The boys had a lot of fun and are now looking forward to the spring and a Monterey specific challenge!

Posted by Picasa

Friday, November 12, 2010

Veterans' Day

Thursday was Veterans' Day, and fittingly Bob was off, although he does not have classes on Thursdays this semester so was he really off? He did not go to work.
The three boys spent a good part of the day outside, enjoying Monterey's incredibly sunny and comfortable November weather, building on THE tree house. Once walls were up, and flooring complete it was time to paint. Lukas and Noah found a suitable color in the garage after they realized how much money it would take to buy their own paint and set out to paint the interiors. The exteriors will be painted a different color to blend in so that "nobody can find our house"
Lukas and Noah are learning a lot about construction, planning, careful execution and that most construction projects take more time and money than initially planned or budgeted for. With their new allowance in effect, they are getting a first hand lesson in how fast the money flows out during construction. Feels like deja vu for the adults in the family.

Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Back in civilization?

All good things has to come to an end, and after pop corn popped on the fire, we packed up the car and headed back home.
Tired, and dirty - yet it was Halloween and there are pumpkins to be carved - so the boys took quick showers and then set out to create the 2010 pumpkins.
Lukas and Noah had worked on various alternative costumes for the past few weeks - and they finally settled on these.
Noah is the scuba diver complete with a regulator that Lukas fashioned for him using his new dremmel tool. Lukas is a person in a kayak, keeping his good candy inside the kayak so that nobody can snatch it from him.
We walked up and down our street, collected more candy than they could possible consume and then headed back home to fall asleep. Only because we were so tired from our outdoor adventure do we have some of our hand out Halloween candy left, we simply turned off the lights and went to bed way before the crowds had passed through. Left over candy was a price well worth paying for a good, long night's sleep in a comfortable bed after a night on the ground in the tent.

Posted by Picasa

Camping musts

No camping trip is complete without s'mores roasted over the fire. The children kept eating, smearing and roasting until all the chocolate was gone.
Breakfast outside, cooked on a camping stove, taste better than any five star restaurant.

Lukas was thrilled to discover that the pancakes came from Bisquick mix.

There were many opportunities to pull out all kinds of cool gadgets - like sharp knives that were used to fashion boats out of twigs and leaves.

Bugs are also a 'must' albeit usually an unwanted 'must' at camping. These lady bugs sat in flocks on all the benches at the little outdoor chapel where Bob, Noah and Lukas conducted our Sunday service before we had to pack up and head back home. I do not think I have ever seen that many ladybugs in one spot, and this is just one of the probably ten groups we saw. Another 'new' to add to our experiences in California.
Posted by Picasa