Thursday, June 18, 2009

Aaron Update

As I have mentioned, we moved to Vegas for a wonderful job opportunity for Aaron. He is still working with General Atomics, but is now with a different division known as General Atomics ASI (Aeronautical Systems Inc). He went from helping to develop a new source of energy in San Diego to working on Predator UAV's. He is able to utilize his military experience, which also happens to be his passion. Even though he has been working here for three months, he has just started his official training. This is a six week course which he has done very well. On his past two exams he got 100%. This is impressive no matter what your studying. We are very proud of him.

When Aaron took this job, we all knew that he would have to work overseas. A comforting fact is that he won't be on the front line anymore and he will only be gone four months at a time. We found out this week that he will be leaving this winter. We are very sad that he is going to miss Christmas, but I guess we will just have to celebrate it a little early this year. We will planning trips to see both our families before he leaves, so don't worry you will see us soon. We love you all and are grateful for the continued love and support.

Food Calendar for June

Following the theme of food for today, I thought I would share my monthly food calendar. I can not take credit for this idea, I actually got it from my sister Trina. I had called her last November for some ideas on how to save money. We were just spending to much money and I wasn't really sure where it was going. She shared her families monthly budgets and food planning calender. The very next month I followed her ideas and instantly cut our costs in half. I have gone from planning a week at a time, to planning for the entire month. I was lucky enough to get a three hour nap out both the kids at the same time so I sat down and planned our dinners for the entire month of June. Not only was I able to plan our dinners, but also write my shopping list for each week as well. You have to remember to still be flexible because you can never anticipate everything that is going to happen in a month. I have changed mine a few times, but it makes planning dinner effortless. If you would like any of the recipes, just let me know, I will happily share.

Favorite Recipe of the Week

I was one of those lucky children whose parents taught them to cook at a very young age. I have been cooking for as long as I can remember. But, as I grew older I realized that I was cooking the same 15 dinners over and over again. Even though they are fantastic and taste better every time, variety can be a good thing (especially when your semi-vegetarian). This last year I bought several cookbooks trying to expand my culinary expertise. Now that I am able to stay home, I have even more time to prepare and try new recipes. This weeks favorite was a recipe from the Rachel Ray Magazine. I have never cooked fish before and was a little worried I would over cook it. I followed this simple recipe and it was perfect. The entire dish was fantastic. The buttery sauce has a strong flavor of garlic, which my family loves but others may not. Enjoy!!

Monday, June 15, 2009

In our own Backyard

After living in our house for three weeks, we have been at a loss of what to do on the weekends. Downtown is mostly for adults and we prefer to stay in our northwest corner of the city. I have heard that there are beautiful hikes in this area, but assumed they would all be desert walks which would not be fun in the heat. It was a cooler weekend and I decided we should explore the areas around us. Little did we know there are beautiful green mountains around us. We hiked a trail named Mary Jane Falls. It only took us thirty minutes to drive there and felt like we were in another state. It was cool and beautiful and you would never think the desert was only twenty minutes away. Ashton walked almost the entire hike which had switchbacks all the way up the mountain. We climbed to 11,000 feet and saw a small, but beautiful waterfall at the end of the hike. We had so much fun that we decided we would go hiking every weekend as a family.

Ashton's Hair Cut

Ashton is one of those lucky boys who can have long or short hair. His last haircut was six months ago in January. With the weather getting hotter and his hair growing long enough to put curlers in, I decided to finally get it cut. The first picture is actually a month before we got it cut. He is cute in both, but now he looks even more like a little boy.

Grandma Dover's Painting

As most of you know, Grandma Dover is a gifted artist. All my life I dreamed of getting one of her paintings. Last year, Aaron and I were walking around the property and I took him back to see grandma's old workshop. I hadn't been inside since I was little and the locked just happened to be open. We went inside and saw all her beautiful paintings. Aaron ran to grandma to tell her how beautiful her art work was. She told Aaron to pick out what ever painting he wanted and we could have it. I was so excited, I was finally going to get my ocean painting! Aaron spent a long time in the workshop looking through all the paintings. He managed to find the only Forrest painting in the group! He loved it because it reminded him of his home in Washington. It took us a year to finally be able to frame it and display the painting in our home. It is a beautiful painting and I just love looking at it. I am now even more appreciative to have this painting and to know it was one of the only ones like it. I thought I would share the final product, hope you enjoy. I am hanging this piece in my room so that I can see it and enjoy it every day.

My New Uniform

When I first met Aaron, I was working three jobs and graduating from SDSU. Most of my friends thought I was crazy for working so hard, I thought it was normal to want to work hard. After finding out I was pregnant, I worked as hard as I could to save up as much money as I could so that I wouldn't have to go back to work. I prayed that Aaron would get a gigantic raise and that I would have saved enough money to make this a reality. After six months of being home with Ashton, I realized I needed to go back to work. I promised myself that one day I would finally be able to stay home. This was one of the main reasons we moved out of California so that I could be home with Ashton.

Not only do I get to stay home with Ashton, I also have the wonderful opportunity to watch Melissa's little girl Kendra. Ashton adores her and it was a good opportunity to get used to having two kids instead of one. I thought running errands with one child was difficult, it's even more tricky with two. After almost a month of watching her, I think the three of us have finally got the swing of things. I happily spend my days, playing, going to the park, going on walks, cooking, cleaning (a lot of cleaning), and enjoying nap time. Most days I'm in an aprin and work out clothes with one child strapped to my chest and the other in a stroller or shopping cart. Ashton and I really enjoy having Kendra around and when ever she goes home Ashton asks, where the baby go? It's very cute!

House Part 2

Here are the rest of the pictures of our new home. The first picture is of our fantastic view of downtown. No picture could really do it justice, especially the sparkling lights at night. I guess you will all just have to come visit and see it for yourself.

The other pictures are of the master bath and Ashton's room. Yes there are more rooms to the house, but those were yet to be finished. Needless to say, we plan on staying for along time and taking our time in finding the perfect pieces to finish the house. We hope you will all come and see for yourself, we would love to see you all again. I will continue to post pictures as we finish the other rooms.

Our New House

Moving to Vegas was an exciting opportunity because it meant that we could buy a house. After living in small apartments and townhouses, we have dreamed of owning our own home with a real backyard for Ashton to play in. We looked at over 30 houses and put in 10 offers before choosing the best house, in the best location, and best school districts. We love our new home and have many plans for the future. Here are the first few pictures of the house, this will be a two part post in order to upload all the images. At this point I have not hung any pictures, so if my walls look bare, that is why. Hanging pictures is tomorrows project.
Our house is 2 story, about 2400 square feet. It has four bedrooms, three bathrooms, and more rooms than we have furniture to fill.
In these pictures you will see our kitchen, family room, master bedroom, & office (which is the loft on the 2nd story).