Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Last Spokane Trip

We made our last trip to Spokane over the weekend. It was rather bittersweet-getting to once again see dear friends, but also knowing we don't know when we'll be with them again.

Liam waiting to get on the plane
He has been such a trooper. At 3 1/2 months old he has been on 10 airplane flights legs, traveled for over 1 month total, been to three different states, endured us packing up our apartment, and lived among stacks of boxes. In two weeks, he take his final flight (until May that is :) and have visited an additional three states. God knew that we needed a flexible baby and He gave us one!

Views from Chris and Lisa Chun's house of the load of snow dumped on Spokane over the weekend. It was beautiful but a bit hard to get around in!

Liam is such an observant little guy.

Andy was formally sent off by the Faith Bible Church elders to minister at Harvest Bible Chapel. We know that having the confirmation of a group of godly men will be a confidence giving reminder of Andy's call to ministry during any difficult seasons while being a pastor.

Andy's parents and brother and my aunt and uncle were able to come up from Portland for the send off. My parents also wanted to come for the weekend, but my Uncle Brian had emergency quadruple bypass and my parents stayed to help him. We all continue to pray for Uncle Brian's speedy recovery.
Uncle Sean was so entertaining for Liam.

Dan Jarms and John Smith were on Andy's confirmatory ordination counsel. The last counsel consisted of about an hour of Bible knowledge, theology, and practical theology questions.

LaNae threw Roland a great graduation party over at the Klock's. What a blessing it was for Andy and I to be able to go through seminary with such a godly couple. We learned a lot about marriage and parenting through their example. We'll miss them greatly along with so many of the other wonderful brothers and sisters in Christ that we grew close to in LA and Spokane.

Here's the schedule for the next week or so-we'd greatly appreciate your prayers for safety and a smooth transition to Illinois. Yesterday, on Monday, Liam and I flew back to LA as Andy drove to Oregon with our family. Andy, his dad, my dad, and my uncle all left Portland this morning to drive some stuff we had stored in Oregon down to LA. The hope is that they will get here early Wednesday. We then pack up an ABF trailer on Wednesday and Thursday. On Friday, Andy and the men drive out while I go to work. Jessica Hoch will be watching Liam for my last two days of work (Friday and Saturday). The guys hope to make it to Albuquerque, New Mexico on Friday night, somewhere in Oklahoma I think by Saturday night, and hopefully get to Rockford, Illinois on Sunday, weather permitting. I fly with Liam to Rockford on Tuesday the 5th of February. We don't have a guarenteed date of delivery for our belongings, but we are praying that it arrives that Thursday so we can get it unpacked that day because we leave for Wisconsin on Friday for junior high and high school camp. Andy will be preaching at the camp, which ends Sunday the 10th. We are really looking forward to meeting the students and staff. So there's the run down. As you can see, it is a bit chaotic and we'd appreciate any and all prayer!

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Download Pictures

For everyone who has been asking how to download pictures off of the blog...
Go to the link in the column to the right- Toblogin Picasa Album. Andy set it up so you can get all the pictures posted on the blog from there.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Coffee with Christina and Cami

Christina, who used to work with Andy, treated me to coffee today and Liam and Cami got to meet. Cami is such a pretty little girl! It was great to finally meet her in person!

Trading Babies :)

Funny Clip of the Week

I want to know if anyone out there is watching the "Funny Clip of the Week." They are each chosen for your viewing pleasure. What's funnier than a French beatboxer, a woman who calls 911 because she is locked in her car, or two confused Chinese food restuarant workers speaking with a British accent? I'm laughing... are you?

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Life These Past Few Days

Andy has been watching Liam on the days that I have been finishing up my commitment at work. He has been absolutely wonderful taking care of the little boy, a regular Mr. Mom. However, Andy isn't ready to commit to being a stay-at-home dad, which is good, since this mama isn't ready to commit to being a career woman!

The Hoch's, McKitterick's, and us all got together for some tasty dessert that Jessica made. It was great to catch up and see the McKitterick's one last time before taking off to Illinois. We'll miss them! We're glad we still get to see the Hoch's and Gilcher's often as we all live in the same complex.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Long Beach with the Dennys

This week we got together with the Dennys! We had a great time with them at Long Beach, walking, talking, and taking in the sights. We were so thankful to spend time with them before moving away!

Friday, January 11, 2008

Santa Barbara

Today, we took a day trip to Santa Barbara so Liam could see the Pacific Ocean before we move to the midwest. It was an absolutely beautiful day. It was in the 70's, but you know, it was a "cold 70." We ate some great fudge and delicious Indian food. Liam may just be a bit gassy tomorrow with all the spicy food that mama ate! The USS Ronald Reagan docked at port today so the town was covered with sailors. All and all, Andy and I had a wonderful time, and Liam didn't seem to even notice there was an ocean!

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Another Advertisement for Villa La Paz

Rumor has it, we live in the second safest city in the nation of like size. It doesn't seem quite that way to us, or maybe it has achieved this title because the crime simply goes unreported. Here are just a few of our experiences living in one of the safest cities in the nation while in our apartment complex, Villa La Paz.

1) There is a small alley (maybe just a few feet wide) between the back of our apartment and a fence. It is very common to see men walking back there, almost exclusively wearing black oddly enough. It isn't like the alley leads to anything. On one end is a street, then it goes along the back of our apartment complex, and leads to a wash built for flash flooding. However, if you notice Jessica Hoch's comment under the California Rains entry, some people like to hang out in the wash. It seems like it is a good place to get your morning hit.

2) Sadly, there was a young man at our apartment complex who passed away in his car a few summers ago. He was parked on the street and apparently been assaulted. Several people had noticed that he was in his car with the windows up during the summer heat and didn't look good, so they had called the cops. After several hours, the police made it out.

3) But when the police do show up, they show up in mass numbers. Several times we have witnessed on our street many police cars surrounding someone with all their guns drawn. You know, just reinforcing that whole image of the second safest city in the nation.

4) Andy has foiled mutliple car robberies at our apartment complex single-handedly. When going to school, it wasn't uncommon for him to get up around 4 am. He'd start the day usually by looking out the window as he was trying to wake up, and a few times he would see men trying to break into one of neighbor's cars, inside our gated complex. Needless to say, those gates weren't helping much. He yelled out the window at them, waking me up and scaring me to death, but they left!

5) Andy would go out and start my car for me so it would warm up before I had to go to work. One day, Andy went out to find an intoxicated Latino man laying in the carport by our car. Apparently he had just tried to steal one of our bikes that was hanging by a hook, locked up, above our cars. Andy could tell this because the man had used a large plastic container containing old oil from our car as a step stool. His "step stool" had busted open, spilling the black oil everywhere, and the man, in his oh-so-clear state of mind, had fallen in it, covering himself. The man proceeded to tell Andy that he came into our, once again, gated complex to get away from a fight he was in. Then, the guy pulled out his knife to show Andy that he had used in the fight. The man then asked for cigarettes and water. My mercy husband gave the guy water, but you know, we keep our cigarettes for ourselves. :)

6) There is a large amount of illegal immigrants that live on our street because it is the cheapest area around. It is very common to see large groups of latino men waiting on street corners for someone to give them some work. This obivously isn't a big, violent situation, but it just goes to show that the city isn't so good about inforcing all of its laws.

So these are a few situations that we, including the Hochs, Gilchers, and in the past the Jarms and Nareshs, have been able to experience. You can ask them for their individual stories. But... if you really want to hear some whoppers, talk to the Sanchez family. They lived in an area of town that was so bad that the city cut out a big chunk of its border to exclude that part of town so they could maintain their coveted "second safest city in the nation" status.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Bed Head

Well, I don't know... what exactly do you call this? It is obviously bed head, reminiscent of the '80s with the teased mop. It also made me think of mullets, party in the back while all business in the front.

Monday, January 7, 2008

Liam in the Zone

Liam likes watching his toes move

California Rains

Being native Oregonians, we get pretty excited when it rains down here in California. It washes away the dirt and grime, the smog clears, and it smells fresh out. It feels so refreshing after months of brown landscape and brown tinged sky. So we've been loving the rains the past few days! But word to the wise, stay off the roads if possible. As adept as Californians are at squeezing a SUV between two bumper to bumper cars at 75 mph, we can't praise their driving skills in the rain.

Outside Our Front Door in the Rain

You'll see what this has to do with California rains by the end of this commentary...
Let's just say a grand a month doesn't get you much of an apartment in LA. We quickly found upon moving into our lovely 700 square foot apartment that maintainence didn't seem to be a high priority with the management company. Let's just relate a few of the situations that we've encountered (that I'm sure will seem very funny as soon as we move out) since we have been living at Villa La Paz.

1) Upon moving in during the heat wave of July 2005, we found that our air conditioning was broken. We notified the company within hours of moving in. As we unpacked boxes in the scorching heat of our apartment (we really don't know how hot it got in there because the thermostat's little wand thingy couldn't move any farther to the right) for the next 5 days in our bathing suits, I, not Andy, began questioning the necessity of moving to LA. Our cat shed hair like crazy and we jumped in the swimming pool every few hours to try and cool off. And it gets better...

2) After spending so much time in the pool to cool off, I began to notice something unusual as I did laundry in the apartment complex's laundry room that just happened be right next to the pool. Whenever a washer would start draining the water, the pool would get a rush of milky white water flowing into it. I don't know how the plumbing was set up for this complex, but I do know that something is wrong with it.

3) Another laundry room problem is that sewage would rarely back up into one of the washers. But I think most would agree, sewage getting into where your clothes are supposed to get clean is never an appealing thought.

4) The water comes out of the tap yellow. The longer you haven't turned on the water, the more yellow it will be. Let's just say our whites are now rather dingy.

5) Early one morning, Andy and Michael Hoch were getting ready to go the Gilcher's when they heard a hissing noise. Shortly afterwards, water was pouring through our ceiling onto our table and floor. The water was an unusual color-sort of blackish brown. The water did clear up to the shade of a light brown, but it was left going for about 6 hours before the company turned it off. (When the water is turned off for one apartment, the water is turned off for the whole complex. The water is turned off sometimes weekly at Villa La Paz but we didn't really have a good idea why until this episode. We then started hearing stories from other residents about their burst pipes as well.) We had two large holes punched in the ceiling by the company to allow air to circulate to dry out the ceiling, allowing the oh-so-pleasant smell of mildew and mold to permeate the air.

6) Over the past month or so our electricity has been going out and we've been flipping the switches in our breaker box to get it back on. The other day a fuse blew permenantly and flipping the switch didn't turn it back on. We got ahold of the management company for it to be fixed, but were initially told that it is our responsibility. We didn't know how to fix it so we found out how through someone who did. Andy was given the advice to just work with one hand so his legs would act as a ground and if he messed up the electrical current would run from his hand down his leg to the ground, instead of if he used both hands the current would go from one hand to the other, straight through his heart. We then just double checked with the company to make sure that they really wanted a resident to be doing electrical work on their own apartment. They decided they'd send someone out.

7) Our phone doesn't work well. Our internet worked perfectly until we tried to get our phone fixed. Now they are both on the fritz. All companies involved has taken turns blaming each other. The phone company says it is the internal wiring of the apartment, so it isn't their responsibilty to fix. The apartment company says that it is the external wiring, so it is the phone/internet company's responsibility to fix. Then, the management said, even if it is the internal wiring, that would be the resident's responsibility to repair. The last time the phone company came out, they said it is our phone's problem and that the phone just isn't well made. All I know is that we can't get a signal half the time and when we do get a signal you hear a ton of static.

8) This isn't the apartment complex's issue, but I decided to include it anyway. Any time you spot one of those huge inflatable bouncy castles on our street, you know that you are in for an exciting night. The hours when you normally would like to sleep are instead filled with the sounds of laughing kids, mariachi bands, and intoxication. What a combo!

9) The complex has one central water heater for of the apartments. It breaks periodically. The complex fixes usually the next day or so, which really isn't a terribly slow turnaround. Try convincing yourself of that at five am when you are showering in the middle of the winter trying to get ready for work.

10) The latest adventure has been with the recent rains. It was raining so hard, and with the wind blowing, it was falling at an angle. This caused the rain to fall directly on one of our windows. Normally, a window would be sealed off to the outside, prohibiting anything outside from getting in. Not our windows! No, I think they are there for asthetic purposes only. We can feel wind from outside and rain comes in at its pleasure. Here's a little system my smart husband rigged to get the water to drip in a garbage can instead of run down the wall into the carpet. We collected four cups in about 5 minutes at the height of the rain. Below are pictures of Andy's rain catching creation.

Other "funny" stories from the complex...
A friend in a neighboring apartment needed her sink repaired. A few weeks later, the company sent out a repairman who removed the sink and said that he'd be back shortly. He did come back... a week later! And only after the resident called asking how much she could deduct off her rent for the inconvenience.

A woman was showering in her apartment when she heard the sound of footsteps on the roof. Suddenly, the roof broke over her head and a man's lower half was hanging through the ceiling in the shower with her. As he pulled himself up back on the roof, she ran out of the shower screaming into her family room. He was apparently getting the hint that the roof wasn't stable and he started running towards the ladder to get off the roof. He didn't make it all the way to the ladder before again falling halfway through the roof into this poor woman's family room where she was!

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Happy New Year!

We brought in the new year in our usual exciting fashion, sleeping through it. Today, we went on a walk, enjoying our last few weeks of warmer weather. Liam has been fussy, missing his grandparents and all the holding and cuddling he got while with them. Don't worry, we do hold him, but apparently not quite up to his standards. Not even the faithful swing could appease him today while we tried to get some stuff done.