california vs. iowa

Okay, it's not really "vs.", but there are quite a few differences... ;)
So what's different (for the whole week we've been here)?

  • Today it was 61 and sunny (after the ridiculous fog cleared up around 11am...but more on that later)
  • Our backyard is GREEN :)
  • I haven't touched my winter coats since I unpacked them to the closet .
  • Sales tax is 9% here....which makes a big difference when you're grocery shopping...and on a budget! That $8 can make a difference...
  • Vents are on the ceiling... I have to say, I really like this. It's nice to get a blast of heat when you're laying in bed at night and it's chilly (yes, it does get into 30s and 40s at night...key word: chilly, not cold).
  • Gas is currently $3.39 a gallon (versus, what? $2.78 in Des Moines? Again...every penny counts) it cost us $62 to fill up the van today (yikes!).
  • There aren't "super stores" here..ie: Super Target, Super Wal Mart..... (Jess informed me of this when she and Nate were here last weekend) they don't allow them because they take away from local business (as convenient as Super Target was :), this makes alot of sense).
  • I can see the mountains from my backyard.
  • They have some serious fog advisories here! Seriously, no joke....schools are delayed or have "start plans (ie: plan A, plan B)" in place in case of the fog. It is seriouly crazy stuff. I could barely see the backyard this morning. I guess it's because we are in the central valley and the fog gets "stuck" between the mountain ranges or something like that....anyway, I guess I'd take that over snow and ice :)
  • Schools looks like compounds because of the "outdoor hallways". The elementary school across the street from us looks like a compound....I am not a fan.
  • Houses don't have basements.
  • We have to get a smog test on our car
  • Groceries are so expensive! Example? Velveeta costs $9!
  • Okay....everything out here is expensive...
  • This is more of a neighborhood comparison, but the park near our house has some scandalous grafitti all over it...I'm thankful my daughter can't read at the moment (I'm sure grandparents are loving me for sharing that right now) :) Our neighborhood is actually pretty good, but there is a "sketchy pocket" a few streets down...
  • Even numbered houses can water lawns, wash cars, etc on Wed, Friday and Sunday only....Odd numbered houses on Monday, Tuesday and Thursdays....and NEVER between 8am and 10pm...they have weird water restrictions that will take some getting used to...
  • You can't spray down your patio/driveway/walkway....you can only sweep or rake (something about "impurities" getting into the soil and that's a big deal b/c we are in a big agricultural area).
  • In N Out Burger ;)
  • Did I mention it was 61 degrees and sunny today?? :)
Okay, there are alot more differences, but this is what I've got so far ;)
In family news: Adelyn is loving having an actual toy room (I totally am too!), Mason has pink eye in both eyes (great), I still have to unpack my shoes (I have alot of shoes), but I'm not sure where to put them....this closet is smaller than our old house.
We like our neighbors. One of them is an animal science professor at the local community college. He has a huge, fluffy, gorgeous dog named Shiyanne....she is so pretty...and loud ;)
We are LOVING having a kitchen table. The house is coming together... it's hard since we can't paint, but I'm trying to add color with accessories, but not breaking the bank :)  We have this weird "alcove" in our wall that I can't quite figure out what to do with. It's above the "tv alcove".... it's deep and big....I'll take a picture later and get ideas because I just don't know...
Anyway...that's all for now :)



mason's dedication

We had Mason dedicated to the Lord last Sunday (the 9th) before we left for CA. Zeb and Bekah had Nora dedicated too which was sentimental to us since we had Adelyn and Claire dedicated at the same time too.
I'm not in the typing mood, so basically we dedicate our children following the example of Hannah giving her son, Samuel, back to the Lord. We don't baptize our children because, well, kids aren't baptized in the bible. Baptism is done when a person makes the conscious decision to commit their life to the Lord.
Anyway...I didn't really get any pictures, but here's what I do have :)
And of course I didn't get a picture of Mason by himself....I'm so not on the ball with this stuff right now :)
p.s. we REALLY miss this family!!

Claire-bear and Adelyn 

Sweet little Nora with a drool bomb! :)
Is she not adorable?! :)



adelyn's party

So I nearly forgot about Adelyn's birthday party this year. I wanted to have one before we left for CA and remembered to do invitations (thank you, Steph!). But after that, her party slipped my mind until 3 days before the party! Woops... :) Thankfully, Costco rocks and had everything I needed....and a friend from church had agreed a few weeks before to make a super yummy cake (seriously delicious)...and we had the party at my mom's church's office which had all the set up for a party since their youth group meets there and they had a toy room already stocked :)
Can you believe I didn't think to get a posed picture of the birthday girl? Woops...
 The "Thank You" favors were brownie pops I bought at Costco. I wrapped them in the clearbag and tied the thank you note on. A styrofoam block and ribbon helped finish it off :)
 Adelyn loved all of her gifts, but her favorites have been her Woody doll and polka dot back pack (that fits! the one I got her this summer was not made for toddlers) :)

 Have I mentioned that Costco is the best? Their food saved the day :)  I made the banner fast with the help of some stencils I'd bought, a breakfast bowl, ribbon, glue and scrapbook paper :)

These are the best pictures I captured of the little hooligan. I can't believe I didn't even try for a family picture. I'm kicking myself for that now.
We had a blast and it was great to see everyone before we had to head out! ;)



what's going on

Our suitcases are packed and ready to load to head to the airport :( I'm sad right now.
I'll keep whoever is interested on  how unpacking with an infant and toddler goes :)
Thankfully, we have some friends who may be coming from San Fransisco to help out!! I'm really excited about that because: A. I really like them and haven't seen them in a really long time and B. any help we could get is hugely appreciated!! So thank you Nate and Jess! :) (Nate, did you help us move the first time too? What an all star!)
We had Adelyn's 2nd birthday party on Saturday, but I haven't been able to get pictures uploaded, so that will be coming later. She turned 2 yesterday! How time flies!!
Mason's dedication was on Sunday, so we have a couple of pictures from that too that I can share ;)
All for now....going to spend some more time with Mom before we leave....I don't know if I'm ready for this...



a glimpse.....

This is what went on in our home today (sorry for the picture quality, it's from a phone). Thank you, Uncle John, for making it so I haven't had to lift a finger :)
Moving for work is the way to go, people.



Adelyn's wish list

So I know Christmas was not even a month ago, but I'm getting alot of requests for Addy's birthday ideas. :)
I cannot believe our baby girl is turning two in 8 days!
Anyway, here (in no particular order) is Addy's birthday wish list (picture idea was taken from my creative sis in law, Steph) :)

1. pink crocs. I know so many people can't stand these. Honestly, I think they are the weirdest looking shoes ever created and I couldn't stand them. My mom got Addy a pair this summer and I LOVE how easy they are! Sandals don't fit her pleasantly plump feet very well :) and when she did wear sandals, we dealt with stubbed toes. Needless to say, her feet are growing and she could use a new pair for our daily outdoor time in California :) Size 6 or 7. 2. If you have been around Adelyn lately, you know that she is obsessed with "Donkey" and "Woody" aka Shrek and Toy Story. So the Donkey doll should be self explanatory :)
3. Adelyn also really likes Cinderella, Belle and Ariel. Wal Mart carries some super cute dress up clothes of the princess type :)  4. Spring and summer weather will be arriving sooner in CA and our growing girl could use some clothes in 3T (she wears 2T right now, but I think by summer we will be moving to some 3T).
5. Again, self explanatory :)  6. We like to read around here and we go through our book supply almost daily. So books books and more books are wonderful :)  7. We will be outside alot because we will FINALLY have a back yard! Our little hooligan could use some outdoor toys....balls, new sidewalk chalk (ours are little nubs now), riding toys....8. Playdough! We love playdough...



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