Monday, December 5, 2016


^^ We took of early Friday morning for Crescent City to spend the next couple of days with Stephen's brother and his family, who drove the few extra hours from their Thanksgiving trip to Roseburg, Oregon! Our first stop was on the other side of the Golden Gate Bridge! Mostly for the view and pictures, but partially because I forgot to pee before we left the house ;) ^^
^^ We all arrived at the rental house on Friday evening, just in time for pizza and cousin play! Saturday, was James' fourth birthday! And what a treat it was to get to spend that day with him! We braved the wind and rain for a stop at the ocean and a morning at the park - all a walk away from our place. ^^
^^ After we warmed ourselves back up and filled our tummies with second breakfast, we took a drive out into the Redwood National Forest where the boys threw rocks in the river and got to hike around some of the Redwoods. By the end of our outing, it was evidently nap time ;) so after a picnic lunch in the car, we headed back for some much needed Zz's. ^^
^^ For James' birthday dinner we ate a delicious local seafood joint and got to sing him Happy Birthday over a piece of carrot cake! ^^
^^ We spent some rain free (and mostly wind free!) time at the beach on Sunday morning - climbing rocks we (they!) shouldn't be climbing, collecting shells and flying airplanes. I think I prefer the rocky beaches of Northern California and Oregon :) ^^
^^ These two were left to become best friends when their older brothers deserted them for their "cave" in the upstairs bedroom! I think Ezra was a little more into it than Hans... But she's pretty cute so I think he'll come around ;) ^^
^^ One last outing at the park before our family took off in hopes of getting a good car nap out of James on the road. Look at that baby daddy of mine...! More, please! ^^
^^ After Aaron and Rosie and the kids took off, we rested up, waiting for the tide to go out. When the tide was low, we ventured out to Battery Point Lighthouse. We had an incredible view of the lighthouse from the upstairs bedroom in our rental house and you could see from there that it was only reachable at low tide. We made it just in time to take the last tour of the place for the day. It is the only documented, working lighthouse on the entire California coast! It plays host to a rotating group of volunteers that live out on the island for a month at a time, giving tours and working on the upkeep of the lighthouse. The walls are two feet thick to protect it from the elements - the current resident said the previous nights winds had the ocean water spraying up onto their second story bathroom window! The peak of the tour lead us into the tower itself! The grounds were beautiful and the kids thought it was super fun to get to go inside. Only with the other Walls could have joined us! We made a stop at the store on our way home for a quick dinner and a quart of ice cream. Early to bed for the kids and a movie for us! ^^
^^ Picnic lunch after a mini hike through the Redwoods! We stopped in this exact spot on our roadmap to Oregon in 2015 and we now have it stared on our maps for any future excursions up north! It was fun to take pictures in the same place and compare how much the kids have changed in just one year! ^^
^^ Wink has joined us on every road trip and plane travel we've taken since Uriah got him just after turning one. Which for us, is a lot! I will never tire of seeing these two snuggled up together! ^^
^^ Pretty sunset through a dirty car window. It was a long drive. A long drive. For some reason it didn't seem so bad when we were planning it and when we first set off, but it took its toll on our little travelers (and us big ones!) and we were all feeling grateful to be home! ^^
^^ And, HOME. Our leafs this year included everything from "I'm thankful for God, animals and eggs!" (Ezra), to "I'm thankful that my wife wants to make more babies" (Stephen), and "I'm thankful that my daddy works so hard at his job so we can have food and toys" (Uriah) We are abundantly blessed and at the end of the day, all our thanks is to the Lord. ^^


The month of November started off with Stephen switching off of night shifts (thank goodness!) and onto his research block (hooray!) Stanford was playing Oregon State and we figured we couldn't not go...! We were a little disappointed with the lost, Uriah most of all, but it was a fun afternoon spent in the sunshine! The last Oregon State football game we went to was when we were living in Seattle in 2012 and they came up to play the huskies. Uriah was just a bean in my belly and this time around he was a grown kid sitting on my lap...! It was a bit of a full circle moment for me :)

I was serious in my last post when I mentioned that walking to the library turns these kiddos of my into the very best of friends...

Around the house shenanigans...

And Stephen bumping into Tom Delong (from Blink 182. Don't worry, I had no idea who he was either) Stephen passed him on his way home from work one day and couldn't shake the familiarity of him. When 'Tom Delong' finally came to his mind, he looked up his Instagram account and saw that he was in fact at Stanford for the day! Stephen turned around and found him waiting for an Uber by our favorite coffee cart, walked right up and said, "Hey Tom!" So very unlike Stephen, but the reward for his courage payed off - he got to talk to him for several uninterrupted, casual minutes and he came home floating on cloud nine! Dancing, actually! Oh, and of course, "Can we take a selfie?"

That weekend, because Stephen had them off for the whole month, I took off (solo!) to Portland to meet Miss Norah Ann and spend the weekend spoiling her and her parents best I could.

Stephen had never had a weekend alone with the kids (I don't know that he'd ever been alone with either or both of them for more than... 5 hours...? His schedule just never allows it!) and he was really excited about it! And it's no wonder they love dad more than they love mom...! He took them to the beach, out to eat, made a seriously impressive fort... Dad is the best! And I missed them all like crazy, but it was so nice to sneak away for a bit!

More shenanigans...

Another weekend off lead us to Deer Hallow Farm where, because of the rain, we had the place to ourselves! It's about a mile walk from the parking lot to the farm, where a lot of our fun for the morning came from, climbing into trees, spotting deer and wile turkey. The farm itself was small and quaint and the kids got to watch the livestock, play under the barn and learn about local wild life.

And then we were struck down with the plague... Or, the common cold. It started with Ezra on a Saturday night, claimed Uriah by Sunday morning and took me down by Sunday afternoon. Stephen managed to avoid it for a couple days, but it came and went between all of us for the next t w o  w e e k s... It was the cold that never ends!

I put Ezra to bed early one night while Stephen was at a bible study so I could spend an hour with just this handsome kid. He requested that we play "the train game", aka, laying all the trains out on our Ticket to Ride game board. He's as stubborn as I am with the attitude of a 16 year old and boy does he push my buttons. But he is tank is filled with quality time and he turns into the sweetest, most patient and kind boy when he's given the right fuel.

I told you, the library...! Our colds had been keeping us inside for too long, so before we left town for Thanksgiving (in a post to come!) we made a quick stop at the library and then walked the neighborhood for some fresh air (and about as much exercise as my tired body could handle!) We had just finished up reading all about nature in our science book, so we spent our time collecting our own little nature findings.