Wednesday, December 10, 2008

The Holiday Season has begun!

We had our first Thanksgiving without family this year. We were supposed to be with my family, but it was impossible to fly home during the holiday. So, we spent Thanksgiving with some of our friends. Here is how our thanksgiving day went: We woke up early and went and served with Christ Church of the Valley (CCV – the church we are attending). They worked really hard to make this a more enjoyable holiday for those who don’t have much. We delivered meals to some and then helped set up for lunch and helped make bags of non-perishable foods for them to take home. Then we headed home to get the turkey started. Patrick and Lindsey came over and we lounged around (mixed in with checking the turkey, making pumpkin roll and Lindsey making mac-n-cheese) and then we went over to Jim and Aaron’s for dinner. This was the first turkey I had ever made and I was really nervous. Thankfully it turned out really well…thanks to the step by step instructions from my Aunt Becky. Also, props to Becky for the pumpkin roll recipe. It has become a legend out here.

*Sidenote: I walked into a party last night with a pumpkin roll and one of the people said to me– “Is that the infamous pumpkin roll I have heard so much about?” Seriously…everyone loves my Aunt Becky’s recipe.

We had a wonderful thanksgiving dinner, with wonderful friends. We all chipped in and it turned out great.
The next day, Harrison and I slept in and then had biscuits and gravy for breakfast. We had no desire to get up early and go shopping. That afternoon, we got our Christmas decorations out and put up our tree. The Reichanadter’s let us have the tree that they used last year and it fit perfectly in our living room corner. They also told us about the lighting of the Christmas tree in Old Town Pasadena, so we decided to get out that night and go to all of the festive events. The City had brought in “snow” for everyone to play in. It was crazy. It was real, fake snow (if that makes since). They used a snow blower to create a patch of snow in the middle of the street. Everyone looked like they were having a lot of fun throwing snow balls at each other. They also had real reindeer, a trolley, free hot chocolate, and music. I am glad that they try hard to make it feel like Christmas, even though the weather doesn’t feel Christmassy. So, we finally made it to the lighting of the Christmas tree and it was packed. We found the Reichanadter’s and were able to squeeze our way up to where they were. Then we were handed magic fairy dust and were told to throw it at the tree so that it would light up. Santa showed up, the choir sang carols and we threw our dust (little star confetti) at the tree. It lit up and we got out of there…it was way too crowded. We had a lot of fun though. We ended our night having dinner with Jim and Aaron. They invited us over for some take-out Italian. It was really good. The next day we met Patrick and Lindsey and Jim and Aaron for a movie (a tradition for some on the holiday weekend) and then went with P & L to a College basketball game. Our holiday weekend was full of fun memories with friends. We are so grateful for the new friends we have made out here and the bond that we are forming. It definitely made a time that I was sure to get homesick, into a fun memory. So here are some pictures of our thanksgiving dinner, our Christmas tree and the lighting of the Christmas tree.

Our Christmas tree...tucked away in the corner

Christmas tree

Real-Fake snow in Pasadena

Harrison with a snowball!

The lighting of the Christmas tree in Pasadena

Emma on her dad's shoulders...after drinking hot chocolate

Adrienne and I waiting on the Christmas tree lighting

Thanksgiving appetizers

Thanksgiving dinner

The Turkey!!

The Thanksgiving Feast

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

September & October Adventures!

Ok, so I wanted to tell you about some of the things we have done since we came to California. We haven’t done as much as we’ve wanted to. There was this battle between, using our free time (when we didn’t have jobs) and saving our money (because we didn’t have jobs). A lot of times we decided it was wiser to save our money. We did make it to the beach a few times. One time we went with a family from our community at Fuller. They are the Reichenadter’s (Jeff, Adrienne, Clayton, and Emma). They let us ride to church with them and then we went to the beach. Jeff had a friend who was going to teach him how to surf, so Harrison got in on the lesson as well. The waves weren’t great, but they both got up. It was fun to watch and we had a great time!

We also had some visitors from GA come to see us in early October. Ashley, Kurt and Tara traveled here for a few days and we had so much fun. They went to LA without us because I had just started my new job and Harrison was in school. We did get to see all of the pictures though. Friday, I took off of work though and we traveled to Sequoia National Park. It was amazing!!! The sequoia trees are unbelievable. This is a must see place. I am posting pictures, but it doesn’t do the park justice. This was by far the greatest California experience so far. I thought Ashley was going to freak out…oh yeah, and she did! To make the day even better…we saw 4 bear in the park. They were so close to us to. I can’t believe that we were able to be that close and not bother them. They were amazing!

This brings us up to Halloween. We have some traditions in the family that we make caramel apples and carve pumpkins. This gets us in the fall mood. So, we asked our friends Patrick and Lindsey if they would like to do this with us. We went to their house and carved pumpkins and made caramel apples (and of course documented it all with pictures). It was a lot of fun and I am so thankful that we were able to share this memory with Patrick and Lindsey.
Harrison Surfing

He was up, but of course I snapped the picture too late

Poor Harrison. He didn't have a wetsuit on and the water was freezing!

Ashley, me, Harrison, Kurt, and Tara in Pasadena

A Sequoia fell...these are the roots

The largest Sequoia...General Sherman

This is one of probably 100 pictures we have of bear

Harrison and I in front of a Sequoia

Patrick, Lindsey, me and Harrison - pumpkin carving night

Cleaning out the insides. Bailey loved eating the pumpkin

Monday, December 8, 2008

Recap of our Summer Roadtrip

So this summer is when we actually moved from Covington, GA to Pasadena, CA. We didn’t go straight there though…we had a few stops on the way. First, we stopped in Kansas to see the Livgren’s. They have been friends with my family for a long time and it was so good to see them. The next stop was Steamboat Springs, CO. We met Cam and Sarah (Harrison’s parents) there and stayed for a week. It was a lot of fun (and nice to get out of the car for a few days). From there we traveled to Montana for a family reunion. This was a lot of fun. I met a lot of family for the first time and got a lot of Huxford family time as well. We stayed there for about a week and then headed to Jackson Hole, Wyoming to meet my family. My sister was working there at a Ranch right outside of Jackson Hole. We went hiking and horseback riding and to the Rodeo. We stayed pretty busy, but had so much fun. The next stop for us was Las Vegas. Neither of us had ever been there. It was definitely an experience. I think we have experienced all of Las Vegas that we care to. Here are some pictures of our trip. Again, this is still catching you up on our lives. Eventually I will get to the recent stuff!

Las Vegas

Las Vegas

Las Vegas

Show outside of Treasure Island in Las Vegas

Chariot Races in Wyoming...this was crazy!

After horseback riding at the ranch (The whole Raynor crew - minus Kale)

Huxford family in Montana

Harrison's birthday in Montana

Stonecroft has been in the Oursland (Sarah's family) family for a long time
We stopped through Idaho on our way to Montana

We also stopped in Jackson Hole, WY for the day to see Paige on our way to Montana

We went through Yellowstone 3 or 4 times this summer. One time we made it to Old Faithful

This was after fly fishing in Colorado. We didn't have a lot of luck that day!

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Our Quaint Apartment!

For all of you who are not on Facebook...I thought I would show you the pictures of our new apartment in California. We live in a very old building that has a lot of character. It is very small, but we have all the space we really need! We love our apartment and our neighbors. It is great to live in a community at Fuller!

We have covered the boarded window with a curtain!

Here is our living room (we have actually changed it around since this picture was taken)

Here is our Kitchen
We don't have much cabinet we improvised!

We thought our table was small, but not in our new kitchen.

We have palm trees right outside of our bedroom window!

Our headboard used to be turned the other way at our old house, but our walls slant, so it wouldn't fit the other way Again, we improvised

This is our apartment complex. We live on the top floor in the far right corner.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

My First Blog

So, I have been fighting this for a while now. Right now I have plenty of time at work to start and keep up with a blog, but don't know if that will always be the case. Also, FYI, I am not the best writer, so don't expect the best grammer, punctuation or spelling. I will try my best...but please understand I just want to share our lives with you. I want you to know what is going on with us and keep you posted on all the adventure that is taking place. Anyone reading this should know, but just in case...Harrison and I moved to California in August. We are here for Harrison to go to Fuller Theological Seminary. He is really enjoying school and I am working in the Student Financial Services at the school (we are in our slow season right now). The great thing is that Harrison and I live on campus, so he can walk to classes and I can walk to work. It has been difficult getting used to California life and being away from family and friends. We do have a wonderful Fuller Community that has helped us with the adjustment. Also, Patrick and Lindsey (friends from Savannah) are here and we are really enjoying our time with them. Since I started this late in the move...I may go back and update you on some of the things that we have done while we've been out here. I will show you the apartment we moved into (a lot smaller than our 3 bedroom house), some of our friends and some of the memories we have already made. My pictures are at home, so I will add them later (when I figure out how to add them) and do some more posting. For now...that's it.