Monday, July 28, 2008

Tahoe Trip

This weekend, we helped my dear friend Lisa celebrate her relationship and future with her main squeeze Josh. The wedding was on the deck of the Tahoe Gal paddle boat. Mr. G did a great job officiating the ceremony, and Owen did a great job (for a 3 year old) sitting through 'til the kiss.

For those of you who gasp at the thought of Owen on a boat until 10:30 pm, let me tell you, we felt the same way. Thank you to Braeden, Katie's son, for stooping down from your 6 year old world to entertain/endure a 3 year old. He was a lifesaver. Yes, young professionals on the boat, we saw your quizzical glances in our direction, as if to say "You do realize this is an adult function?" And since I've been on the giving end of those looks before, all I have to say is, "never say never"!

My excuse...the weekend babysitters (the grandmothers) are far away and favorite Auntie Rae was also out of town, and I could not pass up the chance to see the G. family all together. Katie, Lisa, and I met in kindergarten at Matske Elementary and for as long as I lived in Houston, we were three peas in a pod...I was just the weird looking pea. They set the standard for faithful friendships, and it is to them that, for a long time, each new friend I made was compared. Thank you girls for setting the bar so high.

Needless to say, as Michael has been in grad. school in CA and they've wrapped up their medical doctorates in Texas, I've missed those girls a lot. I'm glad I get 3 weeks for Christmas vacation (thank you Fresno Unified), for now that both the girls are settled in Dallas, they should plan to see the old NatRat over the holidays.

Other photos are of the family in/around Lake Tahoe. About 20 seconds after I told Owen there were no crabs in the lake (yes, he asked), a dead crawdad came floating by his feet. Let the screaming commence. He jumped up in my arms, pleaded for me to take him back to the shore, and there he remained on that rock until it was time to get back in the car. Poor little city boy.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Details: Los Angeles Trip

First of all, may I say "THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!" I don't know which one of you it is (the more the merrier), but thank you so much for your continued prayers! We've found a childcare provider, my teaching credential is cleared in Texas, and I signed my contract for work. YAHOO! Now, to enjoy the last two weeks of summer!

Our trip to Los Angeles to drop Michael off at Fuller was a success. While we were there, Owen and I were able to do so much, both in LA and back in Fresno!

*We caught up with the Cains. Owen hadn't seen Abby and Sophie since they rode to Texas with us last summer! The girls were so surprised that Owen could talk...a little more than they bargained for I think.

*We did a ton with the Emmetts. Again, it had been too long since their last Owen-encounter. We went to the park, the zoo, the Natural History Museum, made cookies, and played with all of Bert's cool action figures. Owen couldn't have had a better tour guide to see the dinosaurs at the museum than Bert. He even wore his Indiana Jones hat to help dig for dino bones. If only Ashley had been time.

Owen is also in love with RaeEtta...maybe it was the chocolate chip cookies they made together. Yes, I'm jealous, but it was nice seeing him be so loving and affectionate with such a dear friend. Now that we're back, the pile of drawings for Auntie Rae is threatening to take over Owen's room :)

*We caught up with so many Fuller friends. Over time and distance, there is such a bond within that community. So thank you especially to our friends from Selah for hanging out: the Shenks, Finlays, Groenwals, and Leaks. While we were in the courtyard, Owen hopped on a tricycle, and for the first time, he set off to pedaling. Yeah!

*Thank you Uncle Joe for opening up the Lee Family Extended Stay Hotel. Amenities offered: easy access to Fuller, cable television, PlayStation3, and translation at Korean BBQ restaurants. The Arnold Resort of Fresno will be opened up for business soon, so come one, come all!

Audio bites to go with your photos above:

"Mom, can I tease you?" "Yes." "Okay! You're a funny BOY! HA HA HA!"

"Owen, come on outside and get the mail with me." "No way! It's too hot for little boys out there, Mom!"

"Daddy, it's nice to have you back. So, so nice!"

Now we're back and preparing for Lisa's wedding in Lake Tahoe. Yep, it seems that Lake Tahoe is the destination for bloggers everywhere...Julie, Wade, Quad Momma Susan, and now us.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Where in the World is Little Owen Arnold?

If you haven't seen any new posts, I haven't already given up on blogging already. Michael is in Pasadena for the next 2 weeks taking his LAST class at Fuller. He says last, but I'll believe it when he walks across the stage and receives that doctorate next June. Why does that influence my blog? He took the computer. Today, I'm mooching my friend Rae's (teacher friend from Glendale). Tomorrow, we return to Fresno. And since I'm not comfortable mooching the computers of any of my new neighbors, you'll just have to wait until the Mike-Man returns to hear about the following:

Owen and I visiting Los Angeles
The Natural History Museum
Music at the Zoo
Seeing our old apartment and Fuller friends
My first official day on the job with FUSD
2 weeks flying solo with Owen in Fresno

As you wait for the next pictures and news, could you be praying about our childcare situation for Owen? Thank you, friends!

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Fireworks, Baseball, and Other Owen Events

Latest words/antics/adventures from Owen:

1. Carrying him down the stairs, I said, "One day soon, you'll be too big for me to carry you." And he replied, "But not today! Maybe tomorrow."

2. Recently, he asked where his imagination is, and I pointed between my temples. "My imagination is in my forehead?" So, yesterday when I came into his room after nap, he said, "Mom, today, my forehead opened up and my room turned into a jungle. Then a bear came out and roared at me."

3. Last night, I am re-reading my July 4th post, trying to decide if I wanted to post it or not, Owea adds his commentary by coming out of his room (after 40 minutes "asleep") with poo all over his hands and, upon further inspection, all over the wall and his spooky bear. Michael took the wall, I took the boy, and the washing machine downstairs took the bear and laundry. Owen's reaction was like "oops. I got in over my head. YUCKY YUCKY YUCKY! Mom, come in here!" He did apologize after he saw how much it took to clean everything up and when he realized he wouldn't be getting his bear back tonight. Thank you, Mom, for cleaning me up when I did this, and Micah, if you're reading this, I thought of you and Emma and said a prayer for your strength.

4. FIRST HALF OF SLIDESHOW: Owen did buy and pop fireworks, with Michael's help. The fireworks stand by our house has this big inflatable tube guy ("The Noodle Man"), and Owen wants to see him all the time. Whenever we drive by, I sing the Noodle Man song (to the tune of "I Know a Weiner Man" for all you Camp Deer Run folks), so Owen thinks it's hilarious. Michael just thinks we're weird. Owen was sad to drive by the Noodle Man's house today and realize that he's gone. Until next year, when we can sing it again.

5. SECOND HALF OF SLIDESHOW: Owen attended his second baseball game today (first one at Dodger stadium when he was an infant). Yep, I know I deprived Owen of a Ranger game in late June, but it was the last week of school and Mommy was exhausted. Fast forward to this month, and I'm still exhausted. So, we took the Roses up on their invitation to the Fresno Grizzlies AAA game. Ignore the fact that they're part of the Giants organization. Owen did well, and the highlight of the game was the big fireworks show AND Owen got to meet Parker, the mascot. Owen loved that he was an orange bear (just like the beloved Spooky Bear), so Owen took Spooky to see him after the game. For all the fake smiles and goofy picture faces Owen has been making lately, I think this might be his true estatic smile! And, the Grizzlies won despite the fact that their manager got thrown out in the second inning.

It felt like we were watching Bull Durham because this RiverCats runner got tagged out at second on an attempted stolen base...or so the coach thought. The ump called the runner safe, the manager came out, argued, and kicked dirt around. He got thrown out, and before he left, he stomped over to second base, pulled the base out of the ground, and walked back to his dug out as if to say, "You wanna see what a stolen base looks like? Take a look at this!" It was hilarious. And about a minute later, you see this base fly out of our dugout back onto the field. Not a model of sportsmanship, but entertaining nonetheless.

Friday, July 4, 2008

Penny for Your Thoughts

As our family celebrates the independence of our country, I struggle to find the balance between blind allegiance to the red, white, and blue and broad criticism of our entire democracy.

My thoughts today:

I praise you God for the rights that are afforded and protected in our constitution.
I pray to you God that those rights be respected for all people, everyday.

I praise you God for the right to vote for a candidate of my choice in a free and fair election.
I pray to you God that I use that vote in an honest, thoughtful, and deliberate manner.

I praise you God for people who volunteer their lives to serve in our armed forces.
I pray to you God that their lives be used to strengthen the people of all nations, not just the power of some nations.

I praise you God for the freedom to worship in any manner that pleases me.
I pray to you God that you lead me in worship that pleases you.

Can you see how I'm struggling to find the balance? Reading in Isaiah this week, I see what I'm waiting on, but how does Christ as ruler and God's kingdom manifest itself with our rulers and our kingdoms now?

Please feel free to add your comments and start a dialogue. Share where you find it tough to see the balance or, if you've found the balance, share your message of reconciliation.

Whew, good thing I'm posting pictures of Owen with the Noodle Man this weekend, or this blog would be gettin' a little heavy. :)

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Summer Time Fun

Here's a few photos of our past couple of days. We had a playdate with 2 Fuller families that live in the area. Rebecca N. came over with Isaac, Peter, and Katie, and Sarah R. brought her 3 kiddos, David, Emma, and Katie Beth.

Boy, Owen was not used to not being the oldest, but he hung in there. Thanks Isaac and Katie Beth for your patience. :)

The Arnolds (who now feel WAY behind in their childbearing) have been spending a lot of time at the pool and the park. Owen decided today that he needs to wear a towel around his waist too, so that's the bathroom hand towel. One day when he's a huge teenager, I'll laugh thinking that the hand towel used to fit around his waist. We're striking Owen's favorite pose, of course.

Cherry face pictures are from swimming with Sarah and Rob and the kiddos this afternoon. Owen is turning into quite the fish. Today, he gladly accepted instruction from Katie Beth on how to do laps around the pool holding onto the edge. A little scary for Mommy, but he did it! Same for climbing up the big twister at the park. Scary, but he did it!