Wednesday, January 25, 2023


Annie had an appointment today! She was VERY excited about having an appointment.  It's always fun to see what is important to a child. She and Trudy had well-child visits.  She jauntily left for her appointment while Bella, Gideon and Josiah and I played with tunnels and tubes. 

We also had lunch, put together a puzzle or two and talked. 

Annie came home - still excited. She showed me her two Scooby Band-Aids on her thighs from shots. Nothing could faze her - she had her very own appointment. LOL   They gave me some sugar free candy and a gift card to my favorite coffee stand for my birthday. CoRille gave me a gift card to Michaels. CyRi brought out flowers and leaded chocolate. 

I ended the day at a local diner with five other ladies and one little lady. It's always nice to have the time to connect a bit deeper. 

Tuesday, January 24, 2023

Tuesdays with the Boys

I thoroughly enjoy my mornings with the boys. As soon as I walked in today, Danny (ginger on the right) grabbed my hand and pulled me to their room. BUNK BEDS!  What a great marketplace find! I didn't know they made low ones like this.  The little boys can't reach the top and Benny loves having a place of his own. 

I told the boys I am about to take down the Christmas cards and I need new artwork to hang above my windows. They got right to it. Coloring with the boys was the highlight of my day. 

I left their house and drove to the other side of Wasilla to volunteer with our food co-op.  Which - resulted in a yummy stir fry for dinner. We love Bachan's Japanese Barbecue sauce. If they sell it in your store, give it a try. 

And that is all I have for the day! LOL 

Oh, yes, today is my birthday and I'm edging ever closer to middle age. ::snort:: 

Monday, January 23, 2023

Allie Knocks it Out of the Park!

 I love this series of photos! 

Allie's second semester of college has begun. New classes with a heavier workload (or maybe it's just new subject matter), new is never really confident (or sure) what a new prof WANTS with the assignments.  Allie turned in her first response paper in Apologetics and waited, and waited, to see what the professor would say. 

Her phone dinged in the middle of family dinner. 

ACK! Her paper's been graded! 
I seem to be far more confident than Allie in her ability. 

Ninety-six percent!!! Impressive! 

Wait! There's more! 100% on GRAMMAR and SPELLING! All those papers covered with red ink in her Junior and Senior years paid off! I couldn't be prouder of Allie and Michael (the bestower of red ink). 

Sunday, January 22, 2023

Introducing Noah - the newest Gherkin

So, there was a reason Jared and Larissa missed his birthday celebration though they are in town this year. It has got to be the best reason ever!

Oh, the adventures about to begin! 📷by Larissa

This child we prayed for for so long was about to make his entrance! It was quite an adventure filled with twists and turns which culminated in a trip to the hospital on the 20th and an emergency c-section early on the 21st. 

📷by Larissa

Not every gal gets a sister in the labor and delivery. These two ladies are such a blessing to our hearts and our family. Carrie, Josiah's wife, works as a nurse in the Mom and Baby ward of the hospital. 

📷by Larissa
Noah Michael Warren made his ARRIVAL! Here is his first OFFICIAL photo (though I will share a ton below).  Noah - such a beautiful answer to prayer...JaRissa prayed, family prayed, fasted...when the doctors said, "Not likely," God said, "I have a plan." An odd bit which has made it's way into family lore involves one of Larissa's trips to visit family down below a few years ago. In the AIRPORT a man came up to her and prophesied she would have a baby. Here, years later than Jared and Larissa planned and hoped for, is the answer to their prayers. 

📷by Larissa

About those unexpected turns...both Larissa and Noah are fine. They are resting at the hospital where Carrie can keep a good eye on them. ::wink:: 
First family photo 📷by Larissa

📷by Larissa's camera

I was working away on family day prep and didn't catch photos as they came in.  THIS is the first photo I saw of Noah. My response was "WHOSE baby is that with all that hair?" Followed quickly by, "That's OUR BABY, he has the Gherkin scowl!"  After hearing his birth story, I think he is allowed as much scowl as he wants. I certainly wouldn't have been happy with the experience either. 

📷by Larissa

We were all prepared to wait to visit until they were home, but Jared and Larissa invited family to come visit on Sunday....We were not the first to make it to Anchorage...but we did make it to Anchorage. I have decided to share photos in chronological visit order... A huge thanks to Larissa for documenting the day so well. LOL 
Olivia and Noah 📷by Larissa

Livie and Carrie 📷by Larissa

Josiah, Noah and Jared📷by Larissa

Jamin and Noah📷by Larissa

Remember those early moments when it seemed almost inconceivable you could be a parent?  BTW we found Jared watching his first Cowboy game with Noah. 
📷by Larissa

We finished at church and decided to go home rather than eating out.  We pulled out leftovers. GG was making noise that he was awfully tired. We enlisted Alex to keep an eye on him and the girls, Michael and I FINALLY left for Anchorage. Nothing was going to derail this trip. LOL 

We had our own little adventure finding their room. The hospital is a maze...Michael and I ended up in Labor and Delivery. The nurse was a bit confused. "Can I help you?"  No....never again. LOL 

Eventually, we found the girls and the Mom and Baby ward. They are allowed two visitors at a time.  The girls stayed in the hallway while Michael and I went in...until JaRissa told us to tell the girls to come in and we'd simply leave if asked to leave. That worked well. 
📷by Larissa

Sometimes you get to hold the answer to your prayers and fasting. 
Such a beautiful answer to prayer

Papa and Noah 📷by Larissa

3 Generations - Michael, Jared, Noah 

📷by Larissa

📷by Larissa

Happy Mama! 

It was about this time the girls came in.....
Noah and Aunt Stacia 

Jared, Stacia & Noah 📷by Larissa

📷by Larissa

📷by Larissa

Noah & Aunt Allie 

📷by Larissa

Noah, Allie & Jared 📷by Larissa

The girls, Rissa and Noah

Larissa is fantastic at taking selfies! The whole gang. 

We prayed thanking God for Noah's life, asking for Larissa's quick recovery and blessing this new little family. 

We so loved sharing the joy of this day with Jared and Larissa. We kept the visit fairly short, and I was sure to give Larissa plenty of encouragement to rest. Jared will be on paternity leave and able to be at home with them when they go home.   I'm pretty sure Carrie will be her only Monday visitor. 

Welcome to the family, Noah. We are all so excited to get to know you. 

Saturday, January 21, 2023

January's Family Celebration

This month's birthday celebrants are Jared, Annie and me. Jared couldn't make our celebration, so I asked Stacia to make a cake sure to thrill Annie. She didn't disappoint. 

Some voiced surprise that I'm turning 59 this week. I told them I understand, but I am married to a 62 yo man so I must have aged a bit along the way too. 

Carrie, Izaak, Jamin, Nolan, Luke and Krista (and kids), and Jared and Larissa were all unable to attend this month. We still required 3 tables to set the 19 of us. 

Aunt Stacia got to hold Trudy for the first time today. 

Little Buddy began to visit our place in late June/July. He joined CoRielle's family in August and attended his first family celebration. He's always been a doll. That first family dinner he kept his hands over his ears much of the night. It was fun tonight to note the hands only went over the ears when we began to sing...and he danced around while he covered his ears. "I'm not sure what's up with these people but they seem to like to sing to the food." 
Uncle Josiah with armfulls of 2 yo

Crazy people - sweet smile on this face

We've all had a blast getting to interact and know Josiah (Jojo) in the past few months. He's a cuddle bug.  While the other kids run from GG, he ran and jumped up into GG's lap. 

Yes, there could be a tad bit of rivalry between Little Buddy and Danny, but there is also a whole lot of playing and working together as well. Here they have cooperated together to steal GG's walker. 

Cy and Liv brought a meat and cheese tray....Danny perfected his skills and nonchalantly snatched food at will. Maybe he's observed GG's technique at buffets.  

Little Buddy was fascinated with the gingerbread houses the kids made on NYE. 

Papa and Little Buddy are building a fun relationship. Here Papa is teaching him to smell with his nose and not his hands. LOL 

It was a surprise to find Little Buddy leading the living room race! 

During a lull in the racing, I suggested Twister. We have gone through several Twister sets in our family life. Krista finally made us this cloth set. We had a spinner but couldn't find it today. That left the kids at the mercy of Aunt Arielle. 

Hello Trudy! 2 months old now

Aunt Allie wrapped Liv into a burrito, while Aunt Stacia corralled the rest at the table with playdough. 

Quite a group

Danny had to taste the playdough. 

"I made a bomb!"

We ended the night with a rousing game of Hungry, Hungry Dinos...

Jamin missed the evening to attend a Keller Williams Dinner.  At the dinner he was honored as one of their Top Producers for the year! His sales went up against whole groups of realtors! We're pretty proud of him. He sold just over 13 million this year. A side note - yes commission is at about 3% of sales, but out of that comes all business expenses, brokerage fees, paying his employees etc. It was not his take home pay. LOL  Way to go, Jamin! 
That's our boy!