recent happenings

Whew! Moving takes quite a toll, I tell you. If I have any readers left here, I'll be amazed. I think it's been over a month since I've posted. We moved into a place of our own a couple of weeks ago. It's not as close to my sister's house as we were hoping for, and we were not able to buy a home just yet, but it's a great place, and it's home. Photo tour coming soon. Or a partial tour to begin with. We still have most of our belongings in Minnesota, so I along with one or two of our young ones will be making a trip back there in the next month or two. So to start with, I'll show you our yard. It's my most favorite part of this house. So beautiful, peaceful and relaxing.

The weather has been absolutely fabulous here lately. We've enjoyed lots of time outside, and this new area of ours is great for the family, with parks, trails, tennis and basketball courts all around.

Our little Judah took his first steps a few days ago. He's so stinking cute I can hardly stand it. This boy is a thinker, so it was fun to watch him standing there contemplating the whole thing before he actually did it. We had some friends over that night, and he stood there watching everyone, saying "hi!" to all the kids, and then he kept looking at me, reaching for me, laughing while he stood. You just knew he was thinking about walking. This went on for quite a while and then he did it. First a shuffle, and then steps. Two I think. He loved the applause from everyone and so he was happy to do it again and again. I need to take a video of this while he's still doing just a few wobbly steps at a time.

I was glad he took his first steps when he did, because the next morning, I was off with Brooklyn and Zeke for a living history field trip to Fort Ross, on the Sonoma coast. It was beautiful, and a fun experience. We were all required to take on the character of a person who actually was at the settlement 200 years ago, with appropriate dress and names used the whole time. We had a group of 16 kids and 11 parents. There were four groupings... the hunters, the cooks, the militia and the artisans. We were the artisan group. While there, we made tin candle lanterns. We had been doing classes with our group for a few months before the field trip, to learn the history and do some crafts before going. Our group also did a little skit from the Russian folktale, The Turnip. (Fort Ross was a Russian American settlement.) As practiced in the original days of the settlement, we had to have a group keep watch all night long. So we had a night watch shift from 11:00pm-1:00am. The stars were amazing. So many of them, and it was a clear, slightly cool night. So nice. It was really fun to have the time with just Brooklyn and Zeke, apart from the little ones. During the nightwatch they kept taking turns sitting on my lap. Makes me realize they still want/need that and I should initiate it more at home. All in all, we had a fabulous time and will most likely do it again next year.

Joe is loving his work and has an art show coming up the second weekend in May. He has finished the painting he's submitting and he wants me to do a piece for the show also. It's a wee bit intimidating, but I'm excited to just go for it. I guess because I'm not much of a draw-er (I don't even know the correct word... sketch artist, maybe?... anyway, I don't draw well!) I'm learning that I can be an artist anyway, and am having fun experimenting. I'm doing some pieces for a womens event coming up at church and have a few others in mind that will hopefully make it onto a canvas soon.

This leads me to my most recent exciting news. Just yesterday I met with an artist I admire in San Fransisco. I've been following Mati's blog, not even realizing that she was so close until she posted a couple of weeks ago that she was looking for an intern. I was quick to respond to her post, and then a little unsure if I'd be at all what she was looking for. But we decided to meet and talk over coffee and I decided to just be myself, and if it was meant to be, it would be. She is so so nice, and it was great meeting with her. After having coffee, we walked over to her studio, and it was exciting for me to see her space in work mode and her original work in person. I'm very excited to be an intern for her (yay, she picked me!), helping with office type work in exchange for some teaching. Joe is almost as excited about all of this as I am, which is so nice. I love that he's supporting and encouraging my emerging artistic side and giving me the freedom to get out of the house once a week for some creative adventures. I'll start this venture with Mati in May, as a trial for us to see if we're a good match. You should take a look at her etsy shop... she's got such great style.

I hope you all have a fabulous weekend!