The Shine Family

The Shine Family

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Oh shoot!

Well, there goes the last of my New Year's resolutions. I will not tell you why I did not post in April. I am trying to stop complaining so much. So, I am just going to say the words "7 illnesses" "ear infections" and "sleep deprivation" and leave it at that.

But, here are some happy pics from Easter.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Happy 6 Month Birthday Coco

Please Dont Ask Me If My Baby Is Sleeping Through the Night Unless, Of Course, You Want to See Me Freak Out

I wish I had a great many lovely memories and anecdotes to relate to you all this month but alas, we have had nothing but illness and teething. I think we are on our 3rd bout with germs, including a few ear infections. Praise the Lord for chiropractors, though, for both Jael and Collette overcame without any need for a doctor or antibiotics (yuck! And more quickly too.)

Coco has discovered her "barbarian yawp" this month. It sounds so poetic in reference to Whitman, but really, it is ear piercing and oh so very loud. There is no question now whether or not she is a part of the Loud Family. I am still unsure of what it means though. It seems to mean everything from "my diaper is dirty" to "Where is my big sister?" to "Hey, look what sound I can make!" Ugh. I hope she discovers a new sound soon because my ears are bleeding.

We did have a nice reprieve from the ordinary when Jon's dad Lolo and his fiancée came to visit for a few days. The girls really enjoyed having another playmate and I got to learn a few Filipino recipes from a master.

Praise the Lord (for a lot of things) for mostly for Coco's first tooth that cut the day after her 6m bday. She has been working on this tooth for about 3 agonizing months and I have to say that I cheered aloud when I saw and felt the tiny thing poking through her red, swollen gums. And then, the very next morning, Tooth #2! Now maybe she will sleep for a little longer than an hour and a half at a time. A girl can hope!

And just for fun, here is a pic of JBean at 6 months:

And Coco at 6 months:

Sunday, February 27, 2011

A Very Full February

February was a big month for us. We started it out cheering the Green Bay Packers in for their 4th Super Bowl win on Feb 6th. For those of you knew me pre-Shine days, let me explain. Every Shine I know is a Packers fan. No, no, not just a Packers fan, a SHARE HOLDING PACKERS FAN. Yep, even my sweet little girls became share holders in the GBP on the day of their births. In fact, I am pretty sure I am the only person bearing the name of Shine without stock in the team. I better remedy that before I am kicked out of the family.

Then we had Uncle Jimbo from Anchorage come to visit. He was here only 5 days, but they were days full of snowball fights, puddle jumping, Sushi and wine tasting. Jimbo made quite the impression on Jael, for she now refers to him as her “Big Huge Best Friend”.

Every puddle jump needs a running start. (notice: no matter the outfit, the crown never leaves her head)
Because every party needs a little lego rock band.

February 14th- Jael and Coco’s 1st Princess Tea Party. The girls had so much fun (okay, so did the moms) that we decided that this will be an annual Valentines event.
Princess Coco Princess Jael All the princesses using their royal manners Scarf dancing
On February 17th, Jon was named 2010’s Impact Player of the Year at Intermountain Community BanCorp (parent organization for all of PSBs 19 branches and executive offices). This is a pretty big deal and we are extremely proud of him (although not surprised at all!) Here is what was published about him by the CFO when he was presented the award:
Jonathon’s last name truly exemplifies his performance for Intermountain. For several years now, Jonathon has been the key manager, organizer and integrator of the Jack Henry core system. Under his control, we’ve continued to see strong improvements in up-time, consistency, and service and product enhancements. It is a very rare occurrence that we experience connection problems or down-time with Jack Henry, and Jonathon has built and led a strong project team to manage this system and its upgrades.
Over the past year, Jonathon has led an exciting new program which is just beginning to yield tremendous results for the organization. Jonathon is leading the charge in pulling all the information we gather from various systems into one central area and creating a new report system to sort and present this information in much more useful, efficient, and meaningful ways.
Our credit teams were the first beneficiaries of this new program, and it’s made a tremendous difference in the quality, efficiency and delivery of information needed to effectively manage our loan portfolio. We’ve received numerous accolades from regulators, independent loan reviewers and others about the quality of the loan information we can pull and how rapidly we can create it.
President’s Day Weekend- We have a bunch of friends out in Seattle who get together every year for a weekend of skiing, shooting , boozing (not really. Okay, kind of), food and fun and we convinced them to come out here this year. It was a wild 3 days with 10 adults, 3 kids, and 2 dogs all under 1 roof, but so much fun. It was sad to see them go, but we are excited for when we can all get together again (hopefully in June when Jon runs the Seattle Rock n Roll marathon).
See note above
Jael has been busy this month polishing her artistic skills. It is so fun to watch her paintings take recognizable shape.
my favorite of her work so far. "Chinese Dragon" "Jellyfish" and "Simon's Cat"

And Coco has accomplished the roll over and survived her first cold (although a very mild one, praise the Lord!)
That is that for the month of February. And so, I will leave you with this last little story:
Jon was making coffee one morning, Jael was painting at her table and a friend of ours was holding Coco. Then Coco, with a loud grunt, proceeded to audibly fill her diaper with her morning BM. Jael, without looking up from her work, simply stated “present for Daddy.” I love my girls.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

My Funny Valentine

I have been listening to a lot of Jazz lately, and this song always makes me think of Jon. Particularly because we both love Chet Baker, but mostly because of the line “you make me smile with my heart”. I couldn’t describe how Jon affects me better than that. He is everything I have ever hoped for in a mate and then some. Just thinking about him makes me happy. I know that sounds terribly clichĂ©, but I simply cannot put it in any other way. Let me tell you some of the reasons why I like him so much.

He loves the outdoors. I always feel closer to the Lord when I am in His beauty. It is so lovely to have someone beside me who feels just the same as I do.

He is active. He loves to ski, hike (combat hiking is what I call it), fish, hunt, run, bike (mountain and rode, and regretfully in the full attire!), rock and ice climb, swim, and golf. The only thing he doesn’t do is ride a horse. But, if we had horses, I am sure he would ride them.

He fits in well with my family. Even with the crazy ones. (although I have noticed he and Heath sneaking outside when it gets too crazy.)

He gives the best hugs in the world.
Everything is much more fun when he is with me. Even a trip to the grocery store is more fun with him there. I do tend to spend more money, though.

He is adventurous. Whether it is in conquering mountains or exploring new territory in his job, he is always up for a challenge.

He is honorable.

He is a romantic. I LOVE this about him. I don’t mean he buys me stuffed animals or writes poetry. Not that kind of romantic. I mean he has a romantic soul. He is moved by the beautiful, by the poetry of a moment, a sunset, a lovely turn of phrase. He allows himself to be swept away. Since, I am usually being swept away myself, it is so nice to have someone else with whom to enjoy the ride.

He has a wonderful sense of humor. We laugh all the time, at everything and everyone, but mainly at each other.

He loves Jane Austin, probably just as much as I do. When a man sitting next to him on a plane once asked him why he was reading Sense and Sensibility, his answer was “because I finished Pride and Prejudice.”
He is a good sport.
He is very affectionate.
He is very musical. He sings. And plays the guitar. And the cello.

He is loyal. Even to people who don’t deserve it.
He is passionate...about everything.

He is a wonderful father. I think he would do pretty much anything for his girls.
He is a musical schizophrenic. I thought I had an abnormally varied taste in music, but Jon takes the cake. In one afternoon, I can hear anything from GnR to Lady Gaga to Dvorak coming from his den. I think he loves every kind of music. Except maybe Country. But, I did get him to like some Dwight Yoakam songs.

He speaks French. *Le sigh*

He is crazy wicked smart. Not only is he a learned man, but his memory is nearly photographic. It makes arguing with him very frustrating.

He is what I call “portable”. I can take him anywhere and he fits right in. Whether it is in a room full of strangers or best friends, at a football game or a Broadway play, he has a good time.

He is a people person. He loves everyone he meets and I have never known anyone who does not instantly warm to him. He has a genuine love of all people and kindness of spirit that makes him so likeable. I call him my Mr. Bingly.

He is generous. He is always giving his stuff away.

He stands up to me. He is never mean or unkind (I don’t believe he is even capable of that), but very gently and lovingly he puts me in my place. And I kinda like that. ;)

His DNA, when mixed with mine, makes amazingly beautiful children. But above all of these things, he is a true lover, worshipper and follower of Jesus. This is what truly won me over above all the other things. It is obvious in everything he says and does. I remember one of the first times I fell in love with him (for I do it over and over) was watching him lead worship at Bible Study. He is passionately in love with the Lord and seeks to live his life for His glory.

(And the fact that he will pretend to be horribly embarrassed by this entry, yet secretly love me for it is pretty cute too.)

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

2010: A Year in Review

I am sitting here with a glass of wine in my new massage chair (thanks Santa!), pondering the old year and anticipating the new. I have to admit, my initial response when I think about last year is to complain. 2010, you were tough on me. But, then I am ashamed. How can I complain? Anyone who knows the Lord and His goodness (and to know the Lord is to know His goodness) should never live a single moment without acknowledging His hand of blessing. Although last year was a struggle for me, great blessings (namely my sweet Coco) came out of it all. So, I will only look at the good in 2010 and share those things with you:
Jon—Not only did his family life change dramatically this year, his business life changed as well. Jon is still working on computers with Panhandle State Bank, but he has moved from being the AS/400 Administrator (responsible for the gigantic computer server that holds all the banks information) to the Business Intelligence department as a Report Developer and Analyst. With that move comes a lot more exciting challenges and the development of new skills. The biggest change with this new position, though, is the location of his office. It has now in his den in our home. (I have to say that this move is pretty great for me. Although we try not to bother him at all during working hours, it is comforting to me to know that there is another adult in the house). I was a little nervous about this considering how social Jon is, but he does go into the main branch at least once a week, as well as frequent trips to Spokane. And when he really needs a social fix and starts twitching or stops showering for days on end, I send him to dollar beers at Eichart’s or trivia night at McDuff’s and all is well.
The blessing of working from home
Other fun things for Jon this year included several trips to Seattle, one to be an attendant in our friends’ Dan and Brittany’s wedding and to buy a new-to-us car, and helping one of his best friends and his family move from Ft Benning , Georgia to Seattle , Wa. Jon was in charge of driving 5,000 miles in a 38ft RV, towing a truck with 3 kids under the age of 6, Josh’s pregnant wife Gayle, and a 1 yr old German Shepherd puppy named Danya. There are some pretty funny stories from this trip.
Leah--made a baby. I was also able to go back to Bakersfield to meet my new 2nd nephew Jack in February, and spent the month of May “helping” my sister after the birth of her 3rd baby Reagan. I also read a few good books, including Gilead and Wish you Well. Just before Coco was born, a photographer friend of mine gave me a tutorial class in how to take better pictures. I will be working on that, for sure, next year. I also finished a very extensive and comprehensive study on the book of Revelation given by Chuck Missler. If you know anything about Missler you will understand what a feat this is. Me and my greatest accomplishments
Jael has accomplished much this last year. The greatest was the adjustment from being an only child to being a big sister. To be honest, I was a little worried. But Jael has been wonderfully patient with it all and really loves Coco. She will walk past Coco and plant a kiss on her head, and then continue playing. My big girl knows and recognizes all alphabet letters and knows nearly all the sounds they make. She understands simple addition and subtraction. She has mastered the tricycle and rides laps around the kitchen island at break neck speed. She keeps reminding Jon to teach her to ski this winter and is excited to learn to ride a “big girl bike” this summer.
showing off her skills with her new tamborine
Collette—She has gone on the greatest journey of the family for the year. She began the year as just “a glimmer in her mother’s eye” and has grown to a 14lb, 23 in ball of fun. She says “Agoooo” a lot and is aggressively working on her first few teeth. She is such a smiley baby, and laughs at just about everything. The other day, I said to her “Coco, I want you to be sleeping right now.” She just giggled.
All that being said, though, I am really happy to put 2010 behind me and am pretty excited about 2011. Lord willing, these are a few things we are looking forward to:
Jon is planning on competing in several races, including the Windermere half marathon (foot) and the Capitol Forest 100 (mountain bike). He will also be spending a week in the Philippines with his family to be an attendant in his father’s wedding this summer. We have a few family trips planned as well, including Juneau this summer and Anchorage/ Wasilla for Thanksgiving and, hopefully, a make-up trip to California for Christmas. (Can you say "Disneyland"!!!!!!!!!?) My plans for this year are simple: spend quality time with my girls and wonderful husband, enjoy this beautiful place where we have been blessed to live, and learn to laugh through the chaos of this life we live. Oh, and TRY to post a blog at least once a month.
Happy New Year everyone!!! Lets make it a good one!

Friday, December 31, 2010

Christmas in McCall/Happy New year.

The plan was to go to California. We had great expectations. We were going to drive down to see my family in Bakersfield, then visit Jon’s family in San Diego. We were going to be there for 3 whole glorious weeks. That was a little ambitious. I must have forgotten what it was like to have a newborn. I also must have figured that this new baby was going to be completely different than her sister and LOVE the car seat. Silly, silly me. Coco is the happiest baby in the whole world, unless she is in her car seat. She becomes a screaming mi-mi and squalls like a banshee. Then, the second she is removed from the said torture chair, she is her smiling, giggling self again. Not exactly the right ingredient for a 23 hour car trip. So, we had to nix that plan.

Instead, we decided to meet my sister and her family half way (just a 6 hour car drive. I could endure crying for 6 hours, I guess) at a vacation rental in McCall, Idaho. (They have a 9 month old who isn’t exactly happy in the car either) We have driven through McCall countless times when en route to Boise or Twin Falls, and every time we say "Wow. This looks like a cool little mountain town. We should come here and explore sometime." But we never seemed to have a good excuse. So when my sister and Heath suggested we meet there for Christmas Jon and I were excited. And, oh, I am in love. I never thought I would find another place would rival Sandpoint in my heart, but McCall may just do that. It reminds me so much of Lake Tahoe, with all the Ponderosas and the beautiful lake, but without all the casinos and traffic. There is groomed (!!) Nordic trails everywhere, a gorgeous alpine lake, 3 ski hills, and an ice rink in downtown. The town is adorable too, full of shops and restaurants and very friendly locals.

We spent most of the week outside. Lots of skiing, sledding, walks to town, and spa-ing. (That was the one thing Reese and I insisted that the home we rent have--a spa! When we were inside, there was Rock Band, card games, Yatzee!

Our Two peas.

If any of you don't have a Chariot they are one of the greatest things for parents with kids. We received the ski attachment form Grandma and Grandpa Livingston for birth/Christmas for us. We put it to good full use. *Jon Typing here* As the Bartender at Salmon River brewing said "It's not just a stroller, it's Freedom!" Yes, he was a bartender not a salesman.

We missed all of our California family and were sad that we couldn't visit this year (there is always next!) but this was a great backup plan.

New Years Eve Note

After we returned home from McCall, we realized that we didn't have a family picture on here. So on new years eve, we made a concerted effort to take a family picture, and yes, with two little girls this was the best we could do with the auto-timer.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Merry Christmas!!

We are doing things a little different this year when it comes to Christmas cards. Since I have been on a "consume less/ spend less" kick, most of you will not be getting the traditional Christmas card. I think it was realizing that most of the cards will just be thrown away after the holidays, and I simply HATE TRASH!! (Unless you are all like me and keep all the cards for years and years, but don’t have any idea what to do with them after the names have since changed, the families have grown larger, or you simply just don’t know the people anymore.) Granted, cards are not smelly, nor do they attract the small rodential beasts that we have been massacring under our kitchen sink, but still.
Believe me, this hurts me more than it hurts you. My traditional self is yelling "what about 20 cards? What if I just limit it to 20 this year?" I love the thought of me sipping hot cocoa, listening to White Christmas as I address each letter to each of you. But then the rational Leah whacks the sentimental Leah upside the head and yells back "At the rate of cards and stamps these days, 20 is a good 20 Bucks! That's a week’s worth of diapers right there!" Argument settled albeit a little pouting from sentimental Leah.
Therefore, although I am still thinking of you and loving you and wishing you all a very Merry Christmas, it will have to be via internet rather than the USPS this year. It is faster, anyway.

Here are the pictures that I would have been including in your Christmas card.

Anway, please message me and let me know that you love me and forgive me for not sending a real Christmas card this year. (Sentimental Leah is also Neurotic Leah and gets very flustered about the possiblility of hurting someone's feelings.)

With that, have a Blessed Christmas and have a Christ-filled New Year!!