Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Quick glimpse

We've had lots going on.  I think the last of our boxes were finally unpacked on Saturday, which felt really good.  As we've now lived in the house nearly a month, we've grown aware of so many things we want to change.  It's a great house with a lot of potential, but so many things were poorly planned out and cheaply/sloppily done.  In time we'll get there.  In the meantime we are just getting used to this new California adventure and looking forward to gradually making this house feel like home.

Here's a quick glimpse into our lives over the last few weeks:

Neil's first house project
We have this funny cut out in the wall intended for an entertainment center and TV.  I wasn't a big fan of it because it was the type of opening that I felt needed a very specific sized entertainment center and TV to look at all decent.  Anything too small would just look dumb, but obviously anything too big just wouldn't work at all.  We do still plan to one day find the perfectly sized TV stand eventually, but for the time being, Neil threw together this built in a couple weekends ago. 

I'll be honest.  I was not optimistic when he described what he had in mind.  The idea of having our speakers and everything else just out in the open for everyone to see didn't sound very pretty.  But once we painted the wood white, found baskets to fit in the cubbies, and got everything placed just right, I'll have to say I really liked how it turned out.  Neil is so amazing with the ideas he comes up with.  It was even his idea to find baskets to hold our DVDs.  A very inexpensive solution to what seemed like an impossible dilemma.

Someone had a birthday!
That's right.  Our sweet little boy turned 2 on the 9th. 

He was VERY excited to see Thomas the Train on his birthday cake.

Playing with his second favorite toy, "Oody".

It is still so strange for me to say, "He's 2" when people ask how old he is.  I have another post on Ryan in the making along with plenty more birthday pictures.  Hopefully these two can tide you over until I get to it.

Jr. Kindergarten
So here in California, Chloe does NOT miss the cut off for kindergarten, which means we technically could have enrolled her when we first got here.  We decided to wait until next Fall though, just because we felt like all the recent stress of having her dad gone and then moving away from everything and everyone she knew was enough for her little 4 1/2 year old self to handle.

I've been looking into preschools for the last couple of weeks, and finally got her enrolled this week at a Christian school in Manteca.  They call the program she's in, "Jr. Kindergarten", as it's primarily for kids of her age group who have later birthdays.  She started today and goes Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays from 8:30-12:30.  She seemed to really enjoy herself today, and I'm looking forward to being back in a routine and preparing Chloe for the Fall when the real deal begins.

Here's our proud "Jr. Kindergartner", sporting her new backpack from Uncle Jim and Aunt Karen, which she's been anxiously waiting to use since last Christmas!  Can you believe she's turning 5 TOMORROW?

New Callings
The very first Sunday we went to church we were extended callings.  The Bisphopric didn't waste any time!  Neil is in Primary teaching the Valiant 10 class, and I am back in Young Womens again teaching the Beehive class (12-13 year old girls).  This is the third time I've had this calling in the eight years Neil and I have been married.  I keep thinking there must be something for me to learn if I haven't already learned the two other times I've worked as Beehive Advisor.  I really love my girls already (all 5 of them!), and have felt an immediate connection to each one.  I am so impressed with the youth of our ward in general.  They all seem so grown up and solid.  It makes me very happy and proud to be working with such strong young girls.  I taught for the first time on Sunday, and they were so responsive and eager to participate in the lesson.  Always a very good thing!  It's a great group as a whole (all the young women and leaders), and I look forward to getting to know everyone better.  I do miss Primary, where I was in our last ward, but I think this is where I'm supposed to be right now.

Gradually Ripon is feeling more like home.  I have good days and I have blue days.  This has been a much harder transition than I ever dreamed it would be.  Everyone keeps telling me to give it a year, so that's what I'm doing.

More pictures and updates to come.  Just wanted to share a quick glimpse into what's been happening 'round here.


Wendy said...

We've been thinking a lot about Ryan and Chloe lately. Just today Chase was telling me how much he misses Chloe and that he can't wait to see her again. I wish we could get together for an afternoon. I miss you.

dayna said...

so happy to see pictures and read your updates! I miss you! and your darling family. And, as someone who's had to transition a few times, I say give it a year or 2...sometimes it's hard, but I think ultimately it is so healthy to be forced to change and work hard at feeling at home. I still have blue days!--love ya! oh, and AWESOME project Neil!--dayna