Monday, December 31, 2007

Happy New Year

Click to play New+Year+letter

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Our Christmas

This year we celebrated Christmas Eve with the Ringleins. I've been asked how Hope enjoyed Christmas...I don't know how much she got the "present" thing, but she definitely enjoyed seeing people (even if she did have a little cold - she was a trooper). Here's a pic with the Ringleins.
On Christmas morning, we opened stocking and some presents.On Christmas Day we stopped by and visited Grandma Linda.

We visited Uncle Dean and cousin, Victor (Gloria too, but she's not in this picture).
Cousin Julia helped Hope open some presents.Even with her runny nose, Hope still enjoyed seeing her aunts, uncles, cousins, and grandma.
We had a good Christmas, and are happy to count ourselves blessed.

Hope loves apples

A couple months ago when I came in from the grocery store, I plopped Hope in her seat that is attached to the table, thinking she could amuse herself for a few minutes while I unloaded groceries. When I turned back around she had grabbed an apple from the middle of the table and just started biting into it. I knew she liked apples, but we usually cut them up for her and remove the peel. Here's a pic from the other day, you can see just how much she was going to town on this apple. We were in Katie's car and looking for something to amuse her, she thought she might enjoy holding an apple. As I guessed, she took it as an invitation to eat it. I will say that she had a method of "peeling" the apple herself - where she would take a bite and spit the peel out. Katie said that possums employ this same method. I will say that it leaves a lot of debris in the car seat.

Happy Christmas

Our family has really enjoyed going to the Dickens Fair the past few years. You step into a Victorian London Christmas setting with all the scents and scenes of that time. I love the costumes and the singing and have fun every time. Here's a picture (right to left) of Katie, Julia, Myself, and Hope trying on hats at the Holzer & Combe Haberdashery. I had no idea what a Haberdashery was before, but it was fun to check out.Here are London's Chimney Sweeps - I think I actually saw them do part of the number from Mary Poppins - How fun!Here are some of the sailoring crew at the London docks. I enjoyed the variety of things they came up with for "What Do You Do With a Drunken Sailor?"

Monday, December 10, 2007

O Little Town Of Bethlehem

I collect nativities, and I love each and every one of them. I love the Christmas Season because I get to bring them out. Just wanted to share my collection so far. Hope also has a Little People Nativity (not pictured).

A gift from Becky Hollingsworth
Willow Tree

Thomas Kincade
Department 56

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Happy Birthday, Hope

Hope turned one on Friday. We had a party combined with a couple of playgroup friends with a fun, ladybug theme. Hope enjoyed herself and loved playing with all the kids.We did a Korean tradition where you put a tray of symbolic items in front of the child to see which item they will pick to predict their future (i.e. a jar of rice meant she'll never go hungry, a ribbon represented a long life, a pen means she'll be a scholar). We added a couple of items more geared to our family - a piano for musical , a chess piece for a grand master, and a poker chip representing a poker player. Andrew was pleased that she picked the chess piece (though she almost reached for the basketball - what would we do with a basketball player in our family?).I think Hope enjoyed her first cake and joy of getting her face messy. Although, in retrospect, red icing makes a messy face look a little gory.This shot just looked like pure mischief and I had to throw it in. Hope has mastered climbing up the stairs - though not climbing down. We think she's real close to taking her first steps - she's doing real well at pulling herself up on things and using furniture to walk along and even turning around and grabbing another support method...just not venturing those solo steps.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Baby Not Included

We're trying out starting a gift basket business, hopefully it'll be a fun home business. Here's the content of a Baby Einstein - Water, Water Everywhere Basket. Andrew loved this picture with the caption - Baby not included. He's such a proud papa.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

New Play Fort

Our most entertaining five bucks spent so far. Our neighbors had a garage sale and we couldn't resist this little fort. We thought she might not be old enough to truly be entertained by it, but Hope was immediately enthralled by the fort. First she was happy just standing next to it, then she spent a good amount of time just standing up on the top part looking out, and then today, she was able to try going down the slide by herself. Most attempts went pretty well, but there were a couple of wobbly ones. It didn't slow her down though, she kept wanting to go down again and again and again.Hope keeps getting more and more expressive and silly. Here's one of her silly faces.
I'm queen of the world...or at least my parents' world.

Happy Halloween

It all started with a light saber, and now I have the distinct feeling that Star Wars will be a Halloween theme for several years to come. Here's Princess Leia, her Jedi, and Yoda. I don't think Hope was too taken with the headpiece, but she adjusted quickly.
Here's Hope at our Dancekids class, eating a beanbag. Yummy!

The Ringleins carved pumpkins together on Maria's condo rooftop. What a great view of the bay! From left to right the pumpkins belong to Maria, Andrew, Hope, Adam, Jessica, Joe, Angela, and Jim (he was going to carve his later).

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Hope has Chicken Pox...

My little girl has chicken pox. Yes, they do vaccinate for it nowadays, but not until 12 months. She's doing well and is in surprisingly good spirits for having itchy bumps all over. Here's a pic just after an oatmeal bath and before the calomine lotion. She's gotten some more spots and they've gotten a little worse-looking as they run their course, but overall, I think it's a pretty mild case.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Sacramento Trip

Last weekend we went to Sacramento. We saw our friends, Jan and Dan, who are expecting in November (yea!). They took us to a Pumpkin Patch where Hope went our her first hayride and climbed a haystack with her daddy. This pumpkin patch also fired pumpkins out of a cannon, which was a highlight. We also went through the corn maze, where Andrew and Dan tried to ditch the pregnant wife and the wife carrying the baby. Fortunately, Dan is more sympathetic to his wife and they turned back and helped us not get too lost. After the pumpkin patch, we went to a pizza place and sang karaoke, at least the girls did.

On Sunday, we went to church with Angela's friend, Shala, and her family to see Shala's baby, Jazzlyn blessed. It was a special occassion and we were glad we could be there.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

International Night - Primary Activity

Last Friday, we went to a Primary Activity Day with an international theme. Everyone was encouraged to dress up and the children got to learn a little more about some different cultures. Here's a few pics with us dressed up.
This last picture is Hope eating a Ukranian cookie (while sitting in the sling); lately, she's been liking holding things in her mouth without hands.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007


I know, I skipped a whole month and didn't put any posts up. I'm sure everyone's been wondering, what have we been up to? Well, you can put your minds at ease, because it's not a whole lot. Hope and Angela have been taking some community classes - Kids in Tune and DanceKids, basically some play around classes where she gets to interact with other little ones and sing songs. We've also been hanging out with our playgroup, we play at each other's houses or go out to lunch. Hope loves other kids, so she really enjoys having interaction with people younger than her mommy, daddy, and grandma that she sees every day. We met up with Hope's cousin Victor for lunch last week and here she is showing some love.
A few weeks ago, Hope and Angela went and had portraits taken. Here's one of our favorite shots.
Earlier this week, Angela and Hope took the first of probably a handful of trips to the Pumpkin Patch near their house. It'll be fun to take Daddy back.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Twain Harte

A Ringlein summer tradition from Dori's childhood, now up to Hope's childhood, is visiting the town of Twain Harte, named after authors Mark Twain and Bret Harte. It's in the Sierra Nevada mountains a couple hours west of Yosemite near Sonora. We participated in favorite activities like miniature golfing, visiting the Twain Harte Lake, eating ice cream, playing games and enjoying each others company. It was a fun family trip and we were able to spend time with Dori, Jessica, Jim, Sara, Joe, Maria, Adam, and even Katie came and stayed a night. We also paid a visit to Mercer Caverns - a neat limestone cave that charged a pinch of golddust for its first tours.

Maria makes sure to count Andrew's swings - he was on a lucky streak this night.
Hope is happy hanging out on the beach.
Our little family - we had fun celebrating Jim and Angela's birthdays while we were in Twain Harte.

Here we are on our train ride out of Jamestown. This train has been used in many older movies and old western television shows.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

East Coast Visit

Our East Coast Trip started in Washington D.C. We got the opportunity to have a short visit with Mark and Sandy on our first night in. They have a nice condo in Maryland that backs up to a wooded area - you could see plenty of fireflies buzzing around - a sight we don't get in Northern California. The next night we paid an evening visit to the National Mall where we saw the Capitol at night, and Washington Monument from a distance. Andrew ended up getting sick, so I saw some sights with Maria and Adam on Saturday, including the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, Lincoln Memorial, and Library of Congress . At the beautiful wedding of Valerie and Martin, it was fun to catch up with the Ringlein aunts and uncles that we don't see very often. Next we went to South Central Pennsylvania and stayed a couple of nights while Andrew recouped more from being sick. We visited with Jim and Sue and their kids Alex, Grace, and Veronica. Jim predicted that Hope would officially crawl on their enchanted carpet (three children had already learned to crawl in that very spot)...and some might venture to say she did just that. It was fun to learn a little more about the Amish on a buggy ride through the farmland. The last couple days of our trip we spent in North Carolina with the Bosleys. We mostly just relaxed, visited, and played games. It was a low-key way to end the trip. Hope really enjoyed the kids she saw on the trip, especially the entertaining antics of Will Bosley - she would giggle and giggle as he jumped up and down for her.Here are Maria and Adam in front of a reflecting pool with the Washington Monument in the background.

Andrew, Bob and Marcia Mayer, Joe and Janice Clements, Mark Ringlein, Angela and Hope, and Maria, the day after the wedding (during a brief window of Andrew feeling okay)

Hope and I tried out the swings for the first time (her first time, not mine)

Hope, Angela, Andrew, Grace, and Veronica in front of our Amish Buggy.

We made a brief stop to see the Washington D.C. temple on our way to North Carolina.

Hope enjoyed "crawling" around and playing with Ivy Bosley.

You can see more pictures from our trip at