Tuesday, September 29, 2009


This past weekend we picked our pumpkins from Grampa's Pumpkin patch. As I was looking through the photos I remembered posting last years pumpkin photos on this blog. That made me realize I started this blog over one year ago! I can't believe that I missed that milestone! When I started it last September I had no idea how it would go, if I'd remember to post and if anyone would read it. Now, just over a year later, I don't always remember to post and I don't know if anyone reads it, but I love having this blog. It makes me happy to know that the kids have a recording of their childhood, complete with pictures and even some videos.

Here are the pictures from this weekend's adventure in Grampa Pumpkin Patch.

Here is a flashback to last year's pumpkins:

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Fw: Just looking good...

Another email from Grampa:

Hanging out…What did you have to eat today?

Fw: Gracie

An email I received from Grampa today:

She is moving the ball until attacked by another player…

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Long Week, Short Weekend

This week was just one of those weeks. For Mommy it started with a long drive to Oakville followed by several hours of meetings (budget are no fun), then a drive back to school and more meetings. More meetings on Tuesday and Wednesday were rounded out with a night of no sleep on Wednesday. By the time Friday afternoon rolled around I was DONE.
The weekend started with dinner at Grammie and Grampa's. While visiting with them is always nice, it was especially nice this week since Uncle Bud and Aunt Nancy are visiting from Indiana. We don't see them very often and it was so great to visit with them.
Today was dominated by soccer. Grace's game was at 9:30 and Emma Jo's was at noon. Both teams did great. It was fun to see Gracie sticking in there and fighting for the ball. In the past she has sort of hung out on the fringes and watched and waited. The Purple People Eaters played together as a team! It was nice to see them applying the soccer skills that Coach Rob has tried to hard to teach them.
When soccer was over, the girls decided the best way to recover from the 90+ degree temperature outside was to run through the sprinklers.
More soccer and expected hot weather tomorrow. I'm looking forward to it (after hopefully a good night's sleep tonight).

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Purple People Eaters 1st Game

This weekend marked the beginning of the Purple People Eater's season. They had a game on Saturday afternoon and a second on Sunday morning. Emma Jo got to play mid-fielder for the first half of Saturday's game and played Goalie for the rest of the weekend. Saturday's game was against a tough opponent. Most of the girls in Cloverdale have played together for many years since they have a very small league. In fact in the Under-12 division they only have one team which means they get to travel to Windsor to play against our teams. Sunday was another game against neighboring cities with the PPE traveling up to Healdsburg to play on their soggy field.
We were thrilled to have Grammie, Grampa, Mays and Dallas in the audience this weekend. John and Tracy were at a wedding, so Grammie and Grampa got to babysit twins. Gracie and Cooper loved having their cousins to play with, both at the game at at the playground afterwards.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Father-Daughter Campout

Last night, First Baptist Church and Windsor Christian Academy hosted their 11th annual Father-Daughter camp-out. This year, Jason was the first dad to sign up. Friday was a beautiful day in Sonoma County with temperatures reaching into the 90s. While I was home with Cooper, enjoying a quiet Mother-Son evening, close to 150 people turned to the event.

Around 4 o'clock this morning I was awoken by the sound of thunder. It was long and loud. Not long after there was a huge flash of lightning followed by more thunder. As I listened to the unexpected storm, I thought about Jason and the girls. I knew that the plan had been for the girls to sleep in the tent and Jason to sleep on his cot under the stars. I wondered if they were waking up to raindrops and I prayed that lightning wouldn't touch down on that field of tents.

This morning Grace was scheduled to have her 2nd soccer game at 8:30am. As Cooper and I started our day I wondered if the game would be cancelled. A quick glance outside showed that it wasn't raining and the ground barely looked wet. The thunder had mostly stopped by 6am so the rain must have stopped then as well. I called the field hot-line and found out the fields were tentatively open as long as the rain abated. I went about getting ready for the game.

Around 7:30am Jason called to confirm our plans for the morning. I naively asked him how he liked his 4am wake-up call. He quickly let me know that the thunder and rain had actually started at 1am. He also let me know that they had failed to put up the rain shield on the tent since the weather had been so beautiful all day. Emma Jo got very little sleep due to the storm. Jason got hardly any sleep at all due to Emma Jo's shoes under his sleeping bag. Gracie on the other hand was oblivious to the whole ordeal and slept through the night.

Throughout the day today I heard many reports about the night. Grace loved the campfire and s'mores. She said the fire was a little big and scary so she let other toast her marshmallows. She did like when Darrin poked the fire with a stick and it got "huge" with sparks flying everywhere. Emma Jo loved that she had a birthday party in the middle of the evening that had a firetruck in attendance. She was impressed with the firefighters and that they turned on the flashing lights for the girls. Jason enjoyed the fellowship with other members of the congregation and parents of the students. He also liked getting home and taking a shower and putting on dry boots.

Friday, September 11, 2009

I'll Never Forget

I'll never forget that feeling of dispair. Of utter disbelief. Of helplessness. Of shock and loss. Emma Jo and I were getting ready for work, watching the news on that morning 8 years ago. We were going about our everyday business when the unthinkable happened. An airplane hit the tower of the World Trade Center. I stood in silence staring at the TV. It had to have been an accident. Who would have done this? How could it have happened. Then the second plane hit. I reached for Emma Jo and held tight. I didn't know what was happening but I was sure glad that she was with me. The rest of the day passed in a blurr. We went to daycare and work. It seemed selfish to stay home and stare at the tv. I bought a clock radio so that I could listen to the news at my desk. I called my family and verified that everyone was okay. I wanted to help. I wanted to make it better. There wasn't anyway to make it better and I felt helpless. I prayed. I prayed for our country. I prayed for the families that lost their loved ones. I prayed that this would never happen again. I rejoiced to see a country united. I was proud to be an American.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

First Soccer Game of the Year

On Wednesday night, Grace played in her first soccer game ever! It was very cute. Imagine 10 little girls, wearing shorts that go past their knees chasing after an orange soccer ball. It was usually a mob of blue and white punctuated with pony tails bobbing in the wind. The girls were much more aggressive than I thought they would be. The parents were commenting on the number of elbows flying, it looked like the girls were playing football.

In the under-6 category there are no goalies just forwards. Grace was very willing to kick the ball when it came close to her and she would trail alongside the mob, but she was not very interested in being in the middle of things. She did enjoy the throw-ins and goal kicks, and especially liked the soccer ball hair-ribbons that coach passed out.

Emma Jo kept commenting when the girls didn't follow the official rules. We tried to explain to her that the little kids are more about having fun and building a love for soccer than about learning all of the technical aspects of the game.

Cooper was being quite the show-off while Grace played and was dancing and high-stepped while he watched to make sure Grammie and Grampa were paying attention to him.

Monday, September 7, 2009


Last night we went to Grammie's and Grampa's for our tradional Sunday Night Family Dinner. It was a nice, relaxing end to a great day. Gracie and Cooper decided to play a game of Bocce.
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Friday, September 4, 2009

Celebration Sunday

Our family has made a big decision in the last few months. Back in the spring we started going to church. The kids have gone to Christian school for years, but we had never gone to church services together as a family. Partly it was because Sundays were our family days. Jason works six days a week most of the year and Sundays were our morning to sleep in, snuggle, and spend together as a family. We would start the day with a big family breakfast, spend the day doing errands and chores around the house, and end Sundays with a big dinner with Grammie and Grampa.

One day in March that all changed. Jason knew I'd been missing church and he must have felt that something was missing in his life as well. One day Jason announced that we needed to go to bed at a reasonable time on Saturday because we were going to church on Sunday morning. The girls and I were shocked, but also very intrigued by this new pattern. We still have a big family breakfast it is just at 8am instead of 9:30. We still run errands together and do chores, it is just at noon instead of 10:30. And we still have Sunday dinner with Grammie and Grampa, one of the highlights of my week.

A couple of years ago, the church associated with the girls' school, First Baptist Church, got a new pastor. We met Pastor Lance several times through school functions. Each time we met him we were impressed by how real he is. Lance is definitely not perfect and he very open and honest. It was refreshing to meet a Pastor who was relatable. I think Lance played a big part in getting our family to church. We've been attending every Sunday and feel more and more drawn into the church and the fellowship of FBC. A few weeks we haven't been able to attend and it hurts deep inside when we miss a week.

Ever since Emma Jo was born I've wanted to have her Baptized. I was raised as a Christian and I accepted the Lord Jesus Christ as my Saviour many years ago. I knew that I wanted my children raised as Christians as well. We never had it done because I didn't belong to a church that she would be raised in. As soon as we started attending FBC I knew this was the place I wanted the children Baptized.

After talking to Lance and reading the Bible, I realized that a true Baptism is a full-immersion Baptism of Believers. This means that it really isn't appropriate to Baptize babies since they are not making the decision as believers. I then found out that FBC celebrates Baby and Child Dedications. This is a ceremony where we as parents and the congregation agree to lead the child in their spiritual growth in Jesus Christ.

This weekend FBC is celebrating Celebration Sunday. They will be dedicating many babies and children as well as welcoming new members and Baptizing believers. I knew right away that this would be the weekend we finally had Grace and Cooper Dedicated. After much prayer and contemplation I also decided that I would be Baptized. I was Baptized as an infant in the Presbyterian Church, but I feel it is appropriate that I have a true Baptism of a Believer as described in the Bible. I am excited that Emma Jo and Jason have also decided to be Baptized this weekend.

I feel like we have having a rebirth and starting our family again. This week Jason and I celebrated our 13th wedding anniversary, but it feels almost like we are starting a new marriage with Jesus as an integral part. I'm beyond happy for our family and I pray that we can continue to grow in our relationship with God both individually and as a family.

Thursday, September 3, 2009


I haven't posted very many pictures this month. Here are a few I found on my camera.
Emma Jo playing on the playground at school.

Cooper wearing Mommy's sunglasses while driving the van.

Gracie playing on the slide at the Town Green.
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Tuesday, September 1, 2009

13 Years

Today Jason and I celebrated our 13 year wedding anniversary. It is pretty hard for me to believe. By looking at the numbers I'm shocked to realize it has been 13 years, but in my heart it feels like we've been married forever. I can't imagine my life without Jason.
It all began just over 14 years ago. We met at a street fair in Spring Valley in July. I had gone there for country dancing and ended up meeting Jason. We had a rough couple of first weeks, he was working out of town and I was busy with friends. Finally 4 weeks after we first met we went on our first date, to a rodeo. We've been together ever since. By October we were looking at rings and I brought him home to meet the family. In November I brought Jason home for a Pina Family Thanksgiving. Jason was the only person I had ever brought home from college and the whole family knew this was something serious. On that trip home, sitting in a corner booth at the Cantina, I told Mom that Jason was the man I was going to marry. She was speechless.
The day after Christmas, Jason proposed. I was shocked because although I knew we were going to be married eventually, I didn't know he was ready to propose then. I'll never forget my mom's reaction. She very progressively let me know that it was okay if Jason and I lived together for several years before the wedding. I'm not sure if she was relieved or disappointed when I told her we didn't believe in living together before marriage.
In the spring of 1996, as I was finishing up my college degree, we planned the wedding. Jason and I made the major decision and Mom did the rest. We chose to get married at Silver Oak in the Alexander Valley. Justin Meyer was kind enough to let us use the property. His only requirement were the wedding had to be on a Sunday, it couldn't be in September, and he had to be invited. We pushed the limits and chose Sunday, September 1st of Labor Day weekend. Thankfully Justin agreed to the first since it was unlikely Harvest would begin that early. The wedding was absolutely perfect, thanks to all of mom's planning. The Honeymoon (in the Poconos) was less than perfect but definitely gave us something to laugh about.
The past 13 years have been great. We've been blessed with three beautiful children. We have a great marriage, good jobs, a nice house. We are surrounded by family and are very much in love.
I can't wait to discover what the next 13 years have in store for us.