Unless the Lord builds the house, those who build it labor in vain. Psalm 127:1

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

I've been tagged......................

I'VE BEEN TAGGED!! My friend Jess said I had nothing better to do tonight than take pictures of my fridge and tag someone else; I guess she was right cause here I am. How pathetic. ;) Anyways, as you will see here below there is a VERY detailed and highly diffecult filing system that takes place at my house as far as the fridge goes. On the front we have all the current picutres (ok a couple baby ones of the girls to remind me how cute and sweet they are) that are my favorite or of fun things we have recently done. The one of Dan and I at his first Triathalon is to remind him how much we spent on the race bike so he keeps on going!! ;) I also have Morgan's weekely reading log that we have to turn in every Monday morning and her free pizzas she has one for reading so many minutes.
Now, if you will go with me to the left of the fridge we have a really cute calendar my cousin made for me (thanks Shawna) and so I get to look at her beautiful family everyday, my kids current art work either done at school or home and Ryanne's leap frog ABC game.
On the right side more organization as you can clearly see; we have the hot lunch menu, the swim team's monthyl news letter, the discovery toys center craft schedule for Ryanne, a magnet note pad for grocery lists, a spelling list for Morgan and last but not least up in the top left corner our first photo ever taken with Morgan and our photo adopting Ryanne in court as a family. Also, more family pictures of my brother, nephew etc.
For just one brief little second I thought about cleaning it all up before posting but then thats not real life and I wouldn't want you to think for one singel minute i had it all together cause then you would say nasty things about me.............don't roll your eyes I know how woman are!! :) He,heheee!
Oh and I am tagging Christy P. and Rhonda K. :)

Monday, February 25, 2008

Yahooo for sunshine.............

Ok, can I just say how I have never been happier to see the sun? And I dont just mean the sun but warm throw on the capris, t-shirts and flip flops kind of sun! Dan got called for OT early this morning so I called my bestest friend (and next door neighbor) and we headed for Palm Springs for the day. The older kids were in school so it was a great way to spend a little time with the smaller kiddos and just relax and thaw out. We all desperatly needed to get out into the warm air and just play. We took them out to the living desert. We walked all around looking at the different animals and enjoying the new butterfly exhibit.
Ryanne: "come here little goat, come here."
Goat: "what? do I look stupid or something, I saw you trying to ride that sheep over there a few minutes ago."
Ryanne and I enjoying a little shade while the butterflys tried to decide if it was safe to land on us.
Ryanne and Luke climbing through the exhibits.
I think word spread quickly through the butterfly world that Ryanne had killed one of their own at the exhibit in LA just this past summer cause they acted very afraid to see us come through the door today. ;)

Saturday, February 23, 2008

A little pampering

All week Morgan has not felt great. She has been fighting off a cold and just feeling blue. Friday on the way to school she finally lost it; she was crying for her daddy (gone for a 48) and didn't want to get out of the car to join her carpool. Being the good mom that I am I threw her out and told her she had to suck it up through one more day and then she was off for the weekend to relax and daddy would behome in the morning. Hey, I prayed with her first and gave her pep talk but lets face it we all have bad days and still have to function so I wasn't about to let her stay home for a grumpy mood. When I got home I got to thinking of ways I could cheer her up when she got home. So I went into our office/guset room and built a fort. I hung sheets everywhere! (sorry about the nail holes honey!) ;) Pulled the bed out, made the bed all girly with lots of pillows, her favorite animals & dolls and even made her some cookies with shark sprinkles. (she wants to work with sharks when she grows up)Then I decided to turn it into a nail salon as well. I laid out her PJ's and ta-da!!
She was so excited and yup' that is a smile you are witnessing.
I put fake candles along the bed rail and hung lights from the ceiling as well. It was really fun. After we put Ryanne to bed we sat in the fort and I painted her nails, we ate the cookies, we read books and then we got cozy for a sleep over together.
Just say you can see the nail polish becuase she thinks its REALLY bright and since she isnt allowed to wear nail polish we have to act like that light glitter purple is really BOLD!! ;) I know this is one of those things that I will remember for a long time and smile. Although waking up this morning I decided I am high maintenance cause I REALLY missed my temper-pedic memory foam!! :)

This is how you know..................

This is how you know it has been too cold, too rainy, too snowy & too foggy for TOO LONG at our house! I pulled out the camera to do something and Ryanne just started all this up on her own. I thought she looked so cute (because for once she let me do her hair) and so I asked her to stand still and smile; ya' see for yourself what I got! If the way my children have posed for pictures their entire life is any indication of the kind of bigger kids/teenagers they will be then here is my prediction: Morgan will be more serious about school. She will want to have her hand in everything as far as sports and things go. She likes to laugh but not be "laughed at". She will be everybodys friend. Ryanne will be the class clown in terms of making people laugh at every chance she gets. She will be in the drama club and will be her teachers worst nightmare and favorite student all wrapped into one. It will be a double edged sword for them. She will have tons of friends but scare alot of people! ;) he,heeeee!!!!

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Welcome to the family twins

Most of you know our family was eagerly waiting the arrival of Suzanne (Dans younger sister) and Doug's twins. Well, on Friday Feb. 15ht they were born. A little early but doing great. The little girl, Alexandra was just over 5 lbs. and is going home today with mom and dad. Nathanial was a little under 4 lbs. and will stay in the NICU till' he gets his body temperature regulated and the sucking down really well. He is strong, and healthy though and will be going home shortly. We are SOOOO excited for them. We had plans to all run down to San Diego on Monday and be with the family but Morgan came down with a cold so I called my Aunt and recruited her for the adventure and left the rest of teh crew at home for a day of rest.Here is a picture of Nathanial through the NICU window as they let Suzanne hold him up for us all to see. He is beautiful and has this mop of black hair on his head.
Alexandra has been in the room with mom and dad the whole time so we got to love on her which was sooooo great. I cant believe Ryanne was smaller than this. It doesnt seem possible.
Donna & I met up with Kim and David (Dans older brother) and baby Tyler and went to lunch on the way to the hospital. When we got there we decided to put them together to show the size difference. It doesnt help that Tyler is a moose like all the Harker men in the family! ;)
Yup, you know I'm cute!! ;)
Happy, tired momma with her knew baby girl and her nephew. The room was full of very happy people who cant wait to love on the newest addiotions to our growing family. Congrats to you both Suzanne & Doug, we love you and are so proud of you! We know it was a long hard road but you made it and have to amazing babies to show for all your perseverence.

Valentines Dinner

We had been planning a dinner and game night (kid free) for some time with two other coulpes we are friends with and sincce our scheduled night landed the weekend of Valentines I decided to treat our friends to a surprise sit down candle light dinner. Below are the menus I made. I know you cant read them so I will wet your pallet. I made sausage pumpkin pasta, ceasar salad, bread and a flourless chocolate lava cake. I also had appetizers waiting with sparkeling wine when they arrived. They were surprised and loved it! At each place setting they had fresh flowers, a gourmet chocolate bar wrapped all pretty (thanks for the idea Christy P.) and a Cd I bought with all romantic love songs on it. I also just happen to have the most amazing pink China dishes so it was really perfect the way it all came together.
Here are the desserts I made that I topped off with cookies that I put thier Initials on with white chocolate. YUMMY!!!
We played games and even after all the hard work I went to Corey felt no shame in stealing money from me..........the nreve I swear! ;)

Friday, February 15, 2008

Snow Day

We had the craziest weather on Thursday. We woke up to buckets of rain and then the temperature dropped and it started snowing about 7am. This is the view from our front yard as Ryanne & I watched the storm roll up the mountain. It was like this wave of fog and snow you could see coming.
It snowed from about 7am to around 1:30. Then the skys cleared to a brilliant blue and the sun came out. Welcome to California I guess. :)
Ryanne and I threw on our jackets, hats and scarves and headed out to the backyard to take in the view. The wind was blowing in circles so it was hard to take pictures let alone keep your eyes open. Now today it is amazing outside but still VERY cold.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Happy Valentines Day

Happy Valentines Day! We are not usually ones to celebrate Valentines day to much because our Anniv. is right before so we usually just roll it all into one thing. Plus we have Morgan's birthday and all the school stuff that comes along with the day so it gets crazy. This year however I woke up (Dan left for a 72 this morning) to find 2 envelopes on the counter for me. One was a very sweet card thanking me for being Dan's best friend and the other? A gift cert. to get a massage at a spa in Redlands that I had been wanting to try. Major points honey! Major points!! ;) Its the unexpected little things in marriage that bless me. Especially since I am near impossible to surprise; something to do with me being nosey or something like that. ;) Dan also had taken the time to pick out a new book, card and little stuffed animal and put it at the girls seat at breakfast. Then to top off the morning it is snowing at our house. The big fluffy white flakes that make everything seem really quiet outside. LOVE IT!! Last but not least, this day seven years ago I met Morgan. One of the great loves of my life. If you are reading this Kari, we love you and thank you for your sacrifice and for making us parents. Thank you also for encouraging us as we try our best to raise Morgan up into a woman after Gods own heart. I know you are proud of her. Happy Valentines Day everyone!! This is how our girls watch cartoons together.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Happiest place on earth

Here we are at Disneyland! We made it! The best part? Morgan was FINALLY tall enough to ride some of the bigger rides. She was having me measure her at home just to make sure they didn't try to short change her. Dan's Uncle Andy is pictured here with us. Thank you Aunt Jerri and Uncle Andy for letting us stay at your house. The kids LOVED it. We started off the morning going out to breakfast with Dan's uncle. Too fun! And then it was off for some adventure.
Oh and FYI this is Caleb (Morgan's best buddy since they were 5 months old) and now our next door neighbors as well! I took this shot of them on the Nemo ride. I must say I was VERY freaked out being in the submerine. I LOVE rollercoasters and drops, spins and falls but being under water even a little in a capsule? Not so much. :)
They wouldn't let the kids ride on Dumbo alone so guess who used the excuse that he was too tall? I won't mention any names....hhm-hum "Dan!" Anyhow, Caleb was a crazy driver I can tell you that much. Morgan just giggled the whole time.
Morgan and Caleb taking a break!
Either we gave Caleb to much cotton candy or he needs some more caffiene. Actually I think he is sleeping with his eyes open. This is the train ride back around just before we left. They were exhausted!! A good time was had by all. Same time, same place next year! :)

Morgans birthday Party

Whoo-hoo! I survived another birthday party. What a crazy, busy, fun day though. I woke Morgan up early for church by snuggling in close and singin Happy Birthday to her. When I was all done she rolled over and said,"thanks mommy for making my day so special." Ok, the tears sprang up and they stayed there for the entire day. I barely made it through church and warned Dan not to mess with me cause I was on the edge. ;) Since her birthday is so close to Valentines Day and we brought her home on Valentines day we thought a pink and red heart party was in order. Here are the cupcakes Ryanne & I made for princess Morgan. She had a bunch of her friends there. Oh and look Zack made sure to get in on the girls shot. Oh some day they willl look back on this photo and be like"whatever!" Aren't they all so cute though? You just want to eat themup. And the sweetest kids too I swear.
I loved this shot of Morgan and her friend Payton. They have been friends since they were like one. Her daddy works for the same fire dept. as Dan. These girls will be friends for life.
Ryanne was so excited to FINALLY get her turn to sit next to her sister while she opened her gift. And go figure the thing Ryanne picked out was Morgan's favorite toy. She came home from school today and thanked and kissed her AGAIN!
I lined all the kids up on the hill and took this photo. I think you can almost see everyone!
Fun, fun day! Tons of family and friends came to make Morgan feel loved. Thank-you! Thank-you! Thank-you!

Saturday, February 9, 2008

A little flash back

Tomorrow Feb. 10th is Morgan's 7th birthday. The day will be filled with church, a party for her friends and family that love her. Topped off with a trip with Dan, myself and her best friend Caleb to stay the night down at her great Uncle Andy and Aunt Jerri's house to go to Disneyland in the morning. So with all that said you can imagine why I will not be able to post tomorrow to wish her the best day ever. The party started out small like maybe 10 people; but (and Dan says its because shes my daughter) it has ballooned into a party with like 34 people. Thank you God for the sunshine I was praying for! We can now throw everyone outside. Whew!! I always reflect a little different on the girls birthdays than maybe most people because the way each baby came into our lives was so different and SO dramatic and fast. I dont have memories of being in labor for 12 hours or learning to breast feed. I dont have memories of people coming to visit us in the hospital or waiting for my water to break. Nope instead I have memories of a phone call the night before that a daughter had been born to us and we needed to come meet the birthparents in the morning and pick up our new addition to the family. So what do you wear to meet the paretns of your baby? What do you say? How do you act? How do you walk out of the room with a little girl so sweet while the birthmom's heart is breaking? I didn't have all the answers and frankly much of the day is a blur because of nerves and emotions. I have this photo that someone took as Kari handed me Morgan. I am thankful becuase I barely remember being able to breath at that moment I met her. We picked Morgan up on Valentines Day 2001. This was the second we met. I can hardly look at this picture without gettting choked up. She was SOOO beautiful!! I didn't know what to do with myself. Then we were shoved in our car for the three hour drive home and there it was I was a mommy. It was the longest ride of my life knowing our family and friends had gotten word and were waiting for us at the house.
Here is Morgan in her "sporty" gear going out with daddy. Do you just love that bald head!!
Morgan was so tiny that even the smallest pacifier took up her entire face. This is Morgan bundled up for our first outing.
Morgan at her first day of Pre-K!
Here is Morgan getting ready to leave for school the other morning. What is that pose? Oh my gosh! She has turned into the most beautiful little girl inside and out. She makes me laugh every day and can be such a clown. A little boy in her class came up to me yesterday and told me what a good friend she was and how kind she was to him and his cousin. Morgan you are a gem, priceless. You make me want to be a better person and you keep me accountable to what is right and true and of God. Thanks for always praying for me and for showing me what a gift from God looks like. I love you sweet girl! Happy birthday!!
I will post pictures of her party and Disneyland next week!!

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Happy 11 years Dan

Friday Feb.8th is our 11 year wedding anniversary. Together 13 years total. I was telling Dan it seems wierd because I met him when I was 20 which means I have been with him my entire adult life. Not that I have always acted like an adult in our marriage but thats beside the point. ;) I got to thinking about how in some ways it just seems like a blip of time and other times it seems like an eternity. Dan says,"AMEN SISTER!" I think after living with me for this long he is feeling the 11 years more than myself. he,hee! Seriously though we have been through the muck and I am sure in the years to come there will be more. The one constant though is that we both love the Lord and desire what is right. We decided from the get go that "quiting" was not an option and so we better work to be the best that we can be for one another cause we are stuck together till' God takes one of us. We have had to remind each other of that promise many a times over when major things have hit the fan and a few times wondering if the storm itself would kill us. The thing that God has impressed upon me that I cannot express enough is that the prize is not always immediate. Sometimes we wait A LONG time to see Gods growth. Sometimes we wait A LONG time to see hearts change. And sometimes it takes A LONG time for God to change and grow us into the spouse that honors him. I do know for sure though that he is faithful and fulfills all my needs and Dan's needs when one of us is lacking. I don't rely on Dan for my joy nor does he look to me to complete him; only our God can do that. The end result is that it overflows into love and service to our spouse. Happy 11 years honey and hopefully you can survive many more with me without to many gray hairs or scars to show for it. :)

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Welcome to my life........

See this face? Please whatever you do dont let it fool you. No seriously God made her SO cute that its hard to beleive that she brings me to the edge of tears on almost a daily basis. SO today I decided to be the broken, humbled, frustrated mom that I feel like. I could paint a rosey picture of a perfect house with perfect children but thats so boring and if you are my friend you know my house is a crazy place so it would be a lie. Instead I have decided that when I talk to my children I must be speaking a language that they dont understnad becuase the looks on their faces would lead you to believe that either I am speaking in French or that never once in their short little lives have I set a rule or a boundary. Now, I am not just saying this to sound good or to win points but I am REALLY pretty strict and consistant so its not like I am coming out of the blue with guidlines for our home. I know, I know three steps forward and fifteen back. At least that is what parenting feels like with a 6 and three year old.

So yesterday my aunt graciously agreed to watch Ryanne for a few hours as Dan wanted me to accompany him to a much overdue Dr. appointment. (another post & topic later) so I left Ryanne at her house pleading for her to be good and to stay out of trouble. I even called Donna to make sure she was doing ok. I dont normally do that but since Ryanne has been in such rare form lately I wanted to make sure my Aunt still liked me and wanted to be my friend; otherwise I had every intention of just driving the other direction for a few hours. :) So I get back to the house and everything "seems" so good. Ryanne is all angelic like and a peace washes over me for about 15 minutes. After about Ryannes third trip to the bathroom in like 4 minutes my aunt innocently states that she has been doing that alot today. I leave her alone to her privacy until I realize she has been gone A LONG time. I peek in the bathroom to find her sitting on the toilet with her hand in the drawer next to her playing in the lipstick. Obviously the bathroom trips were a ploy to apply make-up. I scold her and start to wipe her hands when I realize it is all over her face, the toilet and everywhere. I throw the lipstick back in the drawer and take her in the living room to put her pants back on where it is I realize she has not only applied lipstick to her entire face but to her I dare say it? Her entire private area!! You can understand why now there are no photos. You know the worst part is I almost forgot to go back and dispose of the lipstick. YUCK!! Sorry Donna. So the end of the story is Ryanne had to come home and clean her room and dust the TV and entertainment center to pay Auntie back for the lipstick. See told you I was mean.

Monday, February 4, 2008

I couldn't resist

Good morning! I was just sitting here going through an old box of pictures and found these two cuties! This is Morgan at about 5 months old and do you know who the other baby is? For those of you that know them look really close and you will be able to see..........................give up?
It's Merritt Kane. Bruce and Rhonda's little boy. I am pretty sure this is at his first birthday party. I love the look on Morgan's face and how she appears to be sneaking her hand onto his knee. You gotta' watch out for those Harker girls huh? How time flys huh Rhonda? Kind of made me sad but then I remembered what cool big kids they have turned out to be and I couldn't help but smile. :) Have a great day