Our trip to California has come and gone. We had a great time and it went by way too fast. We were pretty busy and are so glad we were able to fit in a day trip to Pismo (including lunch at Splash Cafe - yay! The girls loved the clam chowder and building sand castles on the beach); a day trip to Pasadena to see Don's brother Dave, which included a trip to the Huntington Library and Botanical Gardens and dinner at Buca di Beppo; seeing a show at the Gaslight Melodrama where my brother Christopher works (he's directing their next show! If you're in Bakersfield, go see a show there!); we went to church both Sundays and Ash Wednesday; had dinner with a big group of church friends (thanks Bob and Charlotte!); ate at Moo Creamery to celebrate Christopher's birthday; lunch with one of Don's good friends, her husband, and their new baby girl; and lots of play time with Noni and the toys and dolls she bought for the girls.
Now we're back in StL, back to real life, back to school (for Don and Hannah). Don thinks this will be a really great quarter for him. He's liking his classes so far and it seems like there might not be quite as much work as the previous two quarters. He's also doing an institutional module (hospital visits) at a hospital in Bellville, IL (about 45 minutes away). It looks like that will take a total of 3.5-4 hours a week, so it's a good thing his schedule is a little lighter otherwise.
The rest of us are doing well too. I'm now 28 weeks along in my pregnancy - officially into the third trimester. Other than some back pain and a little swelling in my hands and feet, I feel pretty good. The baby is growing as he should and kicks me all the time.
Hannah is still our bubbly, strong-willed, people- and activity-loving almost-5-year-old (how time flies!). She told us the other day about a dream she had (now, I'm not sure if these are actual dreams, or just stories she makes up, not knowing the difference between a dream and a fantasy): she rode a pony, a unicorn and a pegasaurus (her word) into outer space. We assumed that she had ridden them all separately, until she clarified that all three were stacked on top of each other and she rode them all at the same time. We were cracking up. She's becoming ever more creative in her artwork. In fact, her preschool was doing a unit on the ocean. The kids were brainstorming about various art projects and murals they could do and Hannah (according to her) was the only one with an idea. She wanted to paint sticks bright colors to look like coral. The teacher used her idea and it looked great. How fun!
Bethie will be two in a few short weeks (there goes that time, flying again). She knows almost all her colors now and sings ABCs and "Jesus Loves Me" regularly. She hates sharing her toys and wants to do everything herself. She totally doesn't get why she isn't capable of doing all the same things her big sister does and can't play with every single toy, all the time, at the exact same time. We have regular shrieking melt-downs as her frustration levels rise. She loves playing with and feeding her baby dolls. Last night I picked her up out of her high chair and she began giving me tons of kisses, grabbing my face and pulling it closer. She's so affectionate and funny.
Click here to see our most recent photos on Picasa, including Valentine's Day and our trip to California. God's blessings to you from us!