I only have phone pictures, so please excuse the quality. My real camera was hiding in a bag. And if you only knew just how many bags we brought with us…


We went to your average Nashville morning worship. Which, apparently, includes a rockin’ light show and Matthew West leading worship.

The sermon was equally powerful, maybe even more so, as it addressed just how much (rather, little) control we actually have over how our children turn out. Reminded me to lean on my Rock.  I need to do that more.


Benjamin insisted on climbing the “Rocky Mountain” in Uncle Noah’s parking lot.


After which Olivia declared she wanted to do the same.


Some more experience climbing rocks in Nashville – these are the horizontal kind, though.


While in Missouri, we took the rock climbing another step up. A strap from our van topper and some rope from the garage and an engineer on vacation = this contraption.


At Aunt Shanny’s college, we got to do the real thing!

So, naturally, Levi was a teensy bit excited to see an honest-to-goodness mountain when we got to the western tip of Texas.

I have more pictures of our trip, and the beauty that is the Pacific Ocean, but my computer is being a stinker and refusing to hook up to the wifi. And Josh’s lappy doesn’t have a card reader. I could have posted this a few days ago from my phone, but I couldn’t get it to upload the video. So I had to get on Josh’s lappy, which meant life had to calm down first.

But the trip went really well! All the stops we had planned helped A LOT, I think. We also had an over-abundance of Trip Presents that we handed out whenever the going got boring. The kids tended to ask for them as soon as we buckled them in. In fact, Levi asked for one as we left Church this morning.

We had a blast visiting everyone, but we’re excited to have our traveling days behind us, at least for the next 10 weeks. San Diego isn’t as warm as I would have thought, but it also doesn’t fluctuate as much, I think. For example, back home, the weather is in the 80s and stormy, but here it’s low 70s and calm. By the end of the week, it’ll be upper 70s and sunny and back home it’ll be 60s. I think I’d rather have this weather. 🙂

Our apartment is nice and clean. It’s roomy enough for what little we brought. There is a grand total of THREE flat screen televisions in this 2 bedroom, 2 bathroom 1200 sq ft home. That’s THREE more than we’re used to. Olivia was especially pleased to see that they got their own in her and Benjamin’s bedroom. They’ve yet to use it. I’d like it to stay that way. I may actually unplug it. 🙂

We have had to make some adjustments, though, as the dining room is carpeted and the dining room chairs are upholstered with a suede-type fabric. So Levi eats on top of a hand towel and his chair is on top of a bath towel. So far, so good. I definitely miss my good cutlery and pots and pans from back home. Their chef’s knife is a joke. I got a blister hacking through carrots yesterday. Oh well, I think it’s turning into a callous.

Some things, though, we’ll have to see if they can change. For example: They only gave us four dining room chairs. Josh currently eats sitting on a cooler. They also only gave us four sets of plates, cups, silverware, etc. So we load and run the dishwasher after every meal. Which makes me cringe, even though I’m not paying for the water. (And there’s no draining rack, for those who would suggest washing by hand. :-P) We’re going to call tomorrow when they’re open and ask for more.

As far as our location, we are right in the middle of everywhere. We are surrounded by three interstates. The traffic never stops and yes, you can hear it inside. I sleep with the white noise app on my phone running. I miss the birds from back home. We’re only 12 miles from the beach and it’ll only take Josh about 20 minutes to get to work, though, so the location isn’t all bad. However, I’ve already started to research better areas for when we come next summer.

Josh looked up public transportation as a means of getting to work, but it would increase his commute to an hour each way! So it looks like he’ll be taking the van and if the kids and I want to go anywhere during the work week, we’ll have to do it by foot. But, like I said, middle of everywhere. I know for a fact there’s a Wendy’s we can walk to for a Frosty. And if that is all we’ll be able to do, that will be enough.

Well that’s enough for now. I had wanted to use this time on the treadmill at the gym this complex offers. But no, I spent it on you. Because you’re special and I love you. 😀 Enjoy the pics and know there are more waiting as soon as we make my lappy less fickle.