Saturday, September 4, 2010


The last week of July (I know this was a long time ago but somehow I just realized I never blogged about it!) we spent 5 days in central California (about 5 hours north) in the town of Manteca. One year after Dathan & I got married we felt God tugging on our hearts to go up there & help at a church with some pastors that we knew. We lived there for 11 months. In those 11 months we made wonderful friendships & priceless memories where Manteca will forever hold a very special place in our heart. The last time we went there was when Sean was about 15 months old, so it had been awhile!

We stayed with a family who we are very close with. The whole trip was very relaxing- swimming, going in the hot tub, playing at the park, going out to eat, and spending time with friends. Our friends live within walking distance of an amazing park, and one evening when the weather was perfect we spent a couple hours there as a family.
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It really was a beautiful, relaxing night for us!
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We also got to spend a lot of time with our friends Chris & Tiffany & their son Jordan (they are the ones who drove down here to see us earlier in the summer). One evening we had dinner at their house, played outside on the amazing swing set, and then played card games until the boys were so tired they could barely function. It was fabulous. This family was a BIG blessing & encouragement to us when we lived there.
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The daughter of the family we were staying with, Elise, just recently got engaged (and is getting married in September, where yours truly is photographing her wedding. EEK so exciting!!) We wanted to go on a "double date" (we had the kids with us) with Elise & Doug so we decided to go to John's Incredible Pizza. This. Place. Is. Amazing. It's like Chuck E Cheese meets Cici's Pizza (but actually tastes good) on steroids. HUGE pizza buffet with anything you want, several different themed dining rooms to eat in, arcade games, rides, black light mini golf, bumper cars, laser tag, and more! We had a BLAST!!!
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We of course had to take an ice cream break!!
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We had several different meals with several different friends. All of whom made an impact on our lives & we are so thankful for!
(top left)- Kristin & Douglas: my old bosses (I taught kindergarten at a Christian school), fellow church family, & are now missionaries in the Philippines. They happened to be home on furlough so we were able to see them!
(top middle)- Tyler, Douglas & Kristin's son, playing with Sean
(top right)- Kevin & Liz: friends who were like family to us!
(bottom left)- Carrie (with Nolan, missing her husband Ken who was at work): our friends we stayed with, who we love. They treated us like family when we didn't have any family around & welcomed us into their lives with open arms
(bottom middle)- Lynndie aka "Mama Bird": the receptionist at our church, & Dathan's fellow co-worker (he worked at the church). She was definitely a "mama bird" to us!
(bottom right)- Elise: the bride to be, who is like a little sis to me. Love her!
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We are so aware of how blessed we are to have the people in our lives that we do (whether they are here in the Antelope Valley, up in Manteca, or in Alabama) and we thank God for the incredible relationships He has given us with other people!

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