Friday, June 27, 2008

Like sisters

In my life I am blessed with many friends, for which I am grateful. In the many places we have lived, I have always been able to find ladies I enjoy spending time with.

But then there are those few times in your life when you are blessed with a little bit more, and I personally believe those times are a rare gift. When our family lived in Sacramento and Ez was finishing college and then at the Highway Patrol Academy, we got to be friends with Scott and Annette. They quickly became great friends. We have seen each other through many experiences and watched our families grow. It was one of those friendships when you are more like family than anything else. When we moved to Elk Grove it was hard for me because I had to move about 30 minutes from my dearest friend--luckily it wasn't too far to travel. Then we moved to Porterville, nearly 5 hours away! There have been times since that move that I have simply ached to live closer to Annette and her family and have the chance to visit and just be near a dear friend. You never can replace a friendship like that, for they are so very rare. I really haven't expected to find that again.

Well, I have been given that rare gift once again! Jen and Laura and I perhaps came to be friends initially because of our babies--they are all born rather close in age, and so we quite often would find ourselves in the mother's lounge at church at the same time (we all know the fun times to be had in the mother's lounge!). Then we started to have occasional play dates and that quickly grew to a weekly visit, typically lasting 4-5 hours! It didn't take long for us to see that there was that connection, that immediate bond and true friendship.

We started getting together regularly in January and had no intentions on it ever having to stop. Laura is here living in Vacaville while her husband is in the CHP academy for that 6 month duration, but we always figured they would transfer to an office not far from here and be in a town not terribly far away. Jen lives in Vacaville with her two sweet children and had no intentions of ever leaving. Guess what...Jen is getting married and moving her little family down to Bakersfield. Laura and her family are going to Santa Cruz! Our time to play together suddenly had a time frame.

Well, the end of the fun has come upon us quite suddenly. Jen gets married July 5th. Gavin graduates on July 11th and then he and Laura are moving. Wow! Once again I have had this rare kind of friendship and it has to leave! At first I was terribly sad, but now I can only see how much better I am for having had good friends. We have been able to experience so many things together and be there to support each other in ways we didn't know was needed. We have laughed and cried, eaten lots of yummy food, and watched our babies grow a bit together. It has been a precious 6 months.

Things are so busy for the next 2 weeks that last night was our last chance to really get together. We got babysitters for the kids and went out to eat and chat and have fun. We had a great time!

I will miss them dearly! I joke around and say that now I am friend shopping--of course it isn't true. True friendships stand the test of time and distance. I am truly so happy to watch them move on to better things for their families, and I am so grateful to know we will always stay connected!

A photo of us from last night, taken by a nice fellow dinner-goer!

An early celebration

Evie and her two little friends are all very close in age. Sydney is only 4 days younger and Kaylee is a month younger. It is always fun to watch them play and interact, as much as babies do when they are 10 and 11 months old!

We have been excited for the girls to have a fun little birthday celebration when they all turn one--the only problem is that now Evie will be the only one in town! We decided to have a little celebration last night.

It was fun to watch each little lady decide how to best tackle their cupcake. Kaylee is a rather tidy little lady, so she picked little bites off and carefully placed them in her mouth. Sydney picked the whole thing up and just went to town! Evie broke hers up a bit first, but devoured every bite!

We do these things as moms so we can enjoy it, but I think the girls thought it was tasty!

Kaylee, Sydney, and Evie--before

Evie checking to see if the candle is edible first

Kaylee being a lady--small bites!

Sydney--eating and lounging at the same time

Evie enjoying every bite

Still nibbling

Looking for more

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Our little copy cat

I suppose it is because Evie has plenty of people to watch during the day. I suppose it is because she shares a room with Lily, who typically changes her clothes 2 to 3 times daily. Evie has caught on to the concept (just slightly) of what to do with clothing. Evie will get into a dresser, pull out a drawer's "innards", and proceed to drape things around her neck and proudly walk around the house with them on. Evie will also get into the headbands in the bathroom and try to put those on--sometimes succeeding--and parade those around the house as well.

This afternoon I was busy in the kitchen and Evie was off doing her own thing. I am not sure how long she had not been around me, but when I stopped for a moment to notice Evie was by my feet, I found that she had been playing in her dresser. Evie had grabbed her little skorts and had tried to wrap them around her neck so she could get "dressed". This is what I found instead--I thought it was too cute not to capture it.

Family night treats

We have had a bit of a hectic week, leaving us to have our Family Home Evening on Wednesday night instead of Monday. After the lesson we went to get Frosty's and french fries from Wendy's. Of course we ate in the car instead of going in. I am not sure the full reasoning behind that one, but it was fun and the kids (minus David since he was at Twilight Camp) had a yummy and fun time!

Alexis and Evie

Ez decided it was not sunny enough for the glasses

Evie munching

Joe enjoying

Evie and Lily on the ride home

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Silly dogs

Yesterday Alexis and Lily decided to go outside and see if neighbors were home to play with. As Alexis opened the door, she shut it quickly and let us know there was a random dog outside the door. It immediately started scratching at the door wanting in. Of course we open the door (we can't stay inside all day long!), and in runs this cute little Pekinese dog. He starts running all around the house. It took us a bit to get him and pick him up and bring him outside. None of the neighbors recognized the dog, and it was awfully cute. The problem is, he had no collar, no tags.

My heart softened a bit and I thought to myself, well, perhaps we will take him and put him in the back yard for a bit and see if we find any signs up in a few hours and then call the pound if nothing shows up. A few minutes later we let Duke into the back yard to see if Duke liked this new little friend...and he thought it was great! So now in my mind I am thinking, of course we should get another dog, but a smaller one this time! Duke deserves a friend--he would be so much happier!

So I let this little dog occupy our afternoon for about 3 1/2 hours. The problem was that every time one of the kids wanted in or out the back door, this little guy would try to worm his way into the house, and if he got in, it took about 10 minutes to catch him! He is a fast little guy who is obviously used to being indoors completely. It also came to my attention rather quickly that he was most likely from a house where people didn't care what he did--no manners whatsoever!

I was getting ready to call the pound to come get him when he got into the house one more time, and I was just tired of him. So I sadly just let him out the front door and left him to go wander into another person's house. Last night I was pretty sure we should start looking into getting a small playmate for Duke. He loved it, and the kids loved having a littler dog around too.


I took the kids swimming this afternoon. Being half Lab, Duke is somewhat psychotic about the water. He loves it with a passion. In Porterville we would let him go swimming in the pool and he loved it, but now it has become a crazy obsession. He recognizes what swimsuits look like. If the kids are wearing them or even just holding them in their hands, he starts going crazy and whining. If we are swimming and he is not in the gated area, and whines and cries, so we usually let him in and then he just paces the pool and drinks the water and whines.

Well, Duke was tired of not swimming, so today while the kids were swimming, he decided to just jump in! He started swimming and swimming and was simply in heaven. He swam for about 15 minutes and then I finally caught hold of him and with great prodding got him out of the pool. The problem? Apparently the pool chemicals sit in Vacaville water versus Porterville water differently. Duke got sick and then we had messes to clean up. UGH.

I have decided most definitely that Duke does NOT need a playmate. I can't handle even the thought of dealing with more messes! We have 5 kids--close enough!

Duke, the crazy dog and a cute photo of Lily jumping in

A special gift

Back in February Alexis went with Grandma Jane to San Francisco for a few errand type things Grandma needed to do. Alexis really loved it there and requested a return visit at some point.

Grandma decided it would be a fun birthday gift to surprise Alexis with a special trip! Alexis didn't find out where she would be going until she stayed the night at Grandma's last Thursday. On Friday they took a fun train ride into San Francisco, hung out, and took a special tour of the city. Part of the tour included a ferry ride, riding on one of those fun tour busses, and lots of walking. Alexis also got to stop and get a necklace made by a nice woman selling jewelry. She had lots of fun!

Getting the necklace made

A view of the Golden Gate Bridge

Grandma and Alexis

Grandma and Alexis in front of the "Full House" houses

Saturday, June 21, 2008

They're back! a special treat

We love Costco--we buy everything there! Ez is especially funny about Costco. He loves going, and is disappointed to miss a shopping trip to his favorite store. Last summer Ez bought a bag of barbecue-flavored Kettle potato chips. I wasn't too excited since I am not a fan of barbecue chips...normally. Well, these chips are divine! We love them and probably eat more of them than we should.

Toward the end of the summer last year, I bought a bag of these yummy chips. It happened to be during a time when Ez was gone a lot with overtime and what not for work, so to tell you the truth, I nearly polished off the entire bag on my own. He discovered the nearly empty bag and was so bummed he didn't get to partake.

Well, the next time at Costco--guess what!? No more barbecue chips. Man, did I get a look. I ate the last bag of chips in all of Costco (but at least I enjoyed them!). Since that trip and the grim discovery, we have continued to frequent Costco, perhaps 100 times since then, and every time we look for the chips. If they aren't there, which they never are, I get another look and a comment about me eating that last bag all by myself. So, we went to Costco yesterday--the chips are back! HOORAY! I think I am finally forgiven!

Last night Ez and I sat and watched a movie and munched on super yummy chips, and the world was happy again. We also bought another treat at Costco--Thomas Kemper sodas. We don't buy soda typically, but we figure these can be kept up high out of the reach of little hands and saved for special occasions. Ez drank the Root Beer, and I drank the Orange Cream--which was like drinking a divine dessert, by the way. A fun, fun night!


The last time we were at Disneyland, David was 5, I think. Roller coasters made him really nervous and he wouldn't ride any. This summer we bought season passes to Six Flags and David decided it was time to give roller coasters a try.

Well, he loves them! Actually, a better term is obsessed. He can't wait to ride every roller coaster at the park. He has the park map on his wall next to his bed so he can plan out the best route on his next trip to Six Flags. He looks roller coasters up on the Internet and has been trying to find out all sorts of random information about the best ones around. Don't let him ask you if you like roller coasters. He will talk your ears off for the next 30 minutes, at least!

Yesterday David decided he wanted to build a roller coaster out of K'nex. He enlisted Dad, and then they put their heads together about what to include on the coaster. In the end, David decided to fashion it slightly after two roller coasters at the park--Boomerang and Vertical Velocity--hence the name "Boomer-ocity".

I think it ended up being pretty good considering our limited number of K'nex supplies, and this being his first attempt. He is quite proud!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Oh, what do you do in the summertime?

Not much to say, here's just a few photos from the past couple of weeks!

Getting ready to attack with water balls!

David and Ez got to see the A's and the Yankees play!

The kids at the Jelly Belly Factory

Joe in his cool Batman costume he got for his 3rd Birthday

Impressed with the Killer Whales

Why Evie was clapping

Bike washing

More intense bike washing

Very intense water gun filling

And there you have it!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

My little water Lily

Lily loves the water. I think she could be in the pool all day, no matter the temperature of the water. When she gets to be in water, she gets the cutest little look of joy on her face.

We went to Oregon a couple of years ago for Ez's family reuinion and we have the greatest photos of Lily running on the edge of the water on the beach and simply loving it.

On Monday at Six Flags, she was playing in these little water sprinklers in one of the kids area. Can you tell how much she loves it?

Monday, June 16, 2008

Happy Birthday, Alexis!

Today Alexis turned 10! Wow, it seems like a big year, doesn't it? She had a rather fun celebration. A couple of weeks ago she had a pool party with her friends before school let out.

We spent the first part of today at Six Flags, then went to lunch at Mimi's Cafe, came home and opened gifts and played. We finished off the evening with yummy brownie sundaes (you only need birthday cake once, right?!).

Ten reasons I love Alexis on this 10th birthday:

1. She is a helper to the core. I can always count on Alexis to get me through any thing I need an extra hand in.
2. Alexis loves to be a big sister--it is fun to watch her take Lily or Joe under her wing and try to teach them something, or to hold Evelyn and play with her.
3. Alexis loves to read. When she gets in a good book, she will disappear until she nears the end!
4. Alexis loves cake and sugar cookies and cupcakes, but only if the frosting is cut off or wiped off first! That just makes me laugh.
5. She is always willing to try new things, never really worrying that she might fail.
6. She is learning to be quite the helpful cook in the kitchen.
7. Alexis loves to get the chance to perform!
8. She would rather take cucumbers and bell peppers in her lunch than a sandwich.
9. Alexis LOVES shrimp! When she was about 4, we went to a brunch buffet to celebrate Grandma Jane's birthday. We spent probably half the time shelling shrimp for her to eat!
10. Though not in every way, Alexis takes after her mom! I see many characteristic of myself in Alexis. She has the same tendency to love her little crafting and organizing projects, she has the same lack of athletic ability (which we hope to curb!), she simply makes me smile.

A few photos of Alexis as we have celebrated her life in our family:

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Beauchamp Look-alike Meter

Ever since I played with this website, David has been terribly sad that he looks like me! David got a summer haircut the other day and was convinced that with that and a slightly different smile, he would be looking more like his dad! Well, he was right. He went from looking more like me by 23% to 7%. He is still a bit disappointed, but I assured him that with age he would begin to look more "manly". The website is fun, but obviously its accuracy is not a guarantee!

MyHeritage: Family tree - Genealogy - Celebrity - Collage - Morph

Happy Birthday, Joe!

Three years ago, our family grew--Joseph Robert Beauchamp was born! We had a fun day for him today--we went to church and then came home, where Joe was quite ready to open gifts! Then we ate a yummy spaghetti and meatballs dinner and cupcakes for dessert. An easy day, but perfect for our Joe!

For mom it seemed almost a bit surreal that we were celebrating Joe turning 3. He is so tall and has seemed 3 for so long, that to me it nearly felt like a celebration for a birthday that had already come and gone!

Three things I love about Joe on his 3rd Birthday!
1. He has more energy than I know how to deal with in one little boy, but it is a good, fun energy that makes all laugh and smile (most of the time)!

2. Joe has cool hair. When he was a newborn, he had a perfect little swirl right on his forehead and I knew he was destined for curls. He has the hair I was hoping one of my girls would get, but at least I have one little one with great curls!

3. Joe loves his mommy--he is still a BIG mama's boy. And what mom wouldn't love that?!

Here is Joe as he has celebrated each year of his life. We love you, Joe!

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

New uses

Do you ever see people using things in a way you have never considered? Sometimes I think it is rather clever. Other times, it is just odd!

I grew up in Albany, New York. Weather conditions such as rain and snow were part of my life, plain and simple. In the rain we donned jackets with hoods and umbrellas when needed. When it snowed we bundled up in boots and snow pants and warm coats, hats, scarves, mittens, the works! To me, those are the weather appropriate things to do.

I went to college at BYU, which is in Provo, Utah. There again you are faced with the same type of weather elements. I remember the first time I was walking to class in the snow. There were students all over campus dressed for the occasion--but there were also tons of students walking around with umbrellas! Seriously, does snow fall so hard that you have to shield yourself from it with an umbrella? I just always thought it was silly.

On Wednesday we were driving to Sacramento to visit Grandma Jane and saw ladies walking with umbrellas to shade themselves from the breeze and the sun. I guess that one is kind of understandable. But still, aren't umbrellas for the RAIN?

Then today--the kids and I got home from running a few errands and one of our neighbors was outside washing his truck. As I was walking back and forth from the van to the house unloading the trunk, I happened to look over and noticed that our neighbor was in the process of drying off his truck--with a leaf blower! I never would have considered that one either...