Life, Kids, Sun

In California


Hi Friends!

Sorry it’s been so long since we’ve updated the blog. As we’ve settled into life & ministry in Florida, we haven’t carved out time to keep the blog updated like we have in the past.

Part of Micah’s new ministry responsibilities demand that he travel a little bit more. In the last month he has traveled to Virginia, Pennsylvania & California and he is headed to Russia at the end of the month! Would you be in prayer for his travels? As well as Katrina & the kids while he is away?

We are thankful for you! Thanks for checking our our blog, here are some pictures of Micah’s recent travels.

Manning the GSI table @ Liberty U.

Manning the GSI table @ Liberty U.

Enjoying free iced coffee from Chick Fil A.

Enjoying free iced coffee from Chick Fil A.

The girls waiting for our bags in Pennsylvania

The girls waiting for our bags in Pennsylvania

Getting some sledding in with Violet.

Getting some sledding in with Violet.

Attending the Shepherd's conference in California

Attending the Shepherd’s conference in California

Have to see the beach while in CA!

Have to see the beach while in CA!


We have had a very busy couple of weeks. The beginning of September we flew out to California to stay with Micah’s mom and visit friends in that area.  We only had two short weeks to see everyone, and we didn’t even get everyone in. We did love our time with all the great people we hung out with. And the kids loved playing with “new” friends they hadn’t seen in a long time.


Micah’s mom’s house


Micah changing his mom’s faucet


Violet doing some Kindergarten work


At the Santa Barbara Zoo





A train that goes around the zoo


Violet and Ella


Keith with Grammy’s dog


Violet and Keira with Levi


Tinkerbell and Jasmine


A gorgeous west coast sunset


Violet and Layla


Movie time with our friends Dave and Katie’s kids, obviously Caleb is very excited about it


The girls had a great time playing with Grammy

Taylor Factory

Hi Friends!

While we were in Russia my Taylor started malfunctioning so I thought it would be a good idea to take a trip down to Taylor headquarters in San Diego while we were in California. My good friend Josh wanted to get his guitar checked out too, so on Thursday we took the three hour drive down  to San Diego to get them checked out.  It was a long day but both of our guitars were fixed!  They look and sound better than they did before! We were also able to go on the factory tour which was really interesting, here are some pictures of our time there.



The “X” bracing

At the beach

Last week, friends of ours, invited us to spend some time at the beach house, friends of theirs were letting them stay in for a week. So we went for about 3 days and had a blast! Besides Violet getting sick, she did have fun and it was a nice relaxing time for us all. We really enjoyed spending time with our friends, Dave and Katie and their kids, who are also home for a short time to visit friends and family.

Unfortunately, while we were there some sand found it’s way into our camera. Now it does not work. Very sad, but I was hoping to get a new camera while we were home. So the pictures might be a bit scarce for a while until we get something.

House on the beach = awesomeness!

A little Mexican place just down the road


Violet not feeling well

Me and Katie



Mission of the Valley

Before Rachel left Friday night, we visited one more mission that day. We went to one nearby in the San Fernando Valley called Mission San Fernando Rey de Espana.  It was really pretty and the lawns were very well manicured.  This time we had plenty of time to tour the place.  It was really interesting to see.

Here’s an interesting quote from Wikipedia, “The goal of the missions was, above all, to become self-sufficient in relatively short order. Farming, therefore, was the most important industry of any mission. Prior to the establishment of the missions, the native peoples knew only how to utilize bone, seashells, bush, and wood for building, tool making, weapons, and so forth. The missionaries discovered that the Indians, who regarded labor as degrading to the masculine sex, had to be taught industry in order to learn how to be self-supportive. The result was the establishment of a great manual training school that comprised agriculture, the mechanical arts, and the raising and care of livestock.”

Denmark or California?

The other day we took Rachel over to Solvang. It was founded by Danes in 1911 and now has a population of approximately 5,283. It’s this cute little town with lots of Danish influence. Lots of cute shops, restaurants, bakeries and other cute places. I just thought it was cute!

The fire dept. with a (fireman) hanging from the tree

We also headed over to the Santa Ines Mission.  There are 21 missions total in California.   If you haven’t heard of the missions in California, Wikipedia explains what they are really well.  Check it out here.  They are really old and interesting buildings.  Usually you can take a tour of the grounds, but this one was closing, so we took some outside pictures. 

Happy girl in the car

Since it was jut about sunset and we weren’t too far from the beach, we thought we might be able to get some good pictures at the closest beach we could find.

5 minutes down the road, one tired baby

Santa Monica

We arrived in Santa Monica and headed for the Pier. As we were walking down to the beach, a fog was rolling in. So these first couple pictures we took weren’t very clear.  It was cool, but felt good on a hot day.

Keira loved the water!

Route 66 souvenirs, Santa Monica is where it ends

Next we walked over to the Santa Monica Pier Aquarium.  It’s pretty small, but it’s cheap and there are hands on tanks where you can feel the sea creatures.  Really cool for the kids.  Ok and the adults. 🙂

In the small aquarium, this small shark in the corner was poking his head out of the water

Violet touching some sea creatures

This thing felt like velvet, it was so soft around the edge

Next, we headed back up on the pier to take a walk around, and we saw these really pretty birds just sitting there hanging out.


The bird guy just comes over and hands Violet this bird to hold like a baby

Keira didn’t like it very much, not too sure the bird did either

Turns out the birds name was also Violet, the guy was happy to finally meet a little girl with the same name

Her happiness in this pic lasted about 5 seconds, then she started crying. She does not like her hair being messed with.

The bird was hanging on the guys tooth. This is the bird guy, can you tell?

Petting another pretty bird

Down the pier a bit is the Pacific Park.  It’s a tiny amusement park on the Pier.  Micah, Rachel and Violet took a ride on the ferris wheel.

View from the ferris wheel

View of the end of the pier from the park

After we walked around on the pier the fog had cleared off, so we headed back down to the water.  Violet loved it!  She was having fun running back and forth in and out of the water.

After playing for a bit in the sand and water, we ate at the Bubba Gump Shrimp Company restaurant.  Yummy food right on the pier, perfect.

From the movie, Forrest Gump.  Great movie, fun restaurant.

Next we drove over to Third Street Promenade.  They have the street closed off to cars, and its a fun cute place to walk down.  There are a bunch of shops and restaurants and there are usually lots of performers, trying to make some money.

Keira loves coffee too!

Then we ended the night with some coffee!  A good day!


In case you didn’t hear in the news lately, the Space Shuttle Endeavour made its way 12 miles, along the streets of LA, from the LA airport to the California Space Center. Here’s the link. People weren’t allowed on the sidewalks, but there were certain spots the shuttle made a few stops for a short period of time. Rachel and I decided to head down to LA to one of the spots it was going to sit at for about half an hour, so they said.

Well, we arrived in the area, no problem. There was no traffic and we found a great free close parking spot. We headed on foot with a lot of other people wanting to see the shuttle too.

This was around 2pm

Keira was with us and found a friend

Not sure, but a line of cops making their way through the crowd

They even had a stage set up in the area with a big screen.  After the show that they put on, which was some dance group, they took a short break.  There was no space shuttle in sight.  It was about an hour after they had said the shuttle was going to get there.  Finally we heard people talking and we asked some around us where it was.  Turns out, it was waaay down the road yet.  And this thing was only moving 2 mph.  Very slowly.

People started sitting down on the street

Kids were getting tired

And it was pretty hot out there, just standing in the sun.  Right beside us was a mall, so we decided we would head inside for a short time, cool off then come back out.  Inside the mall, anytime we heard an update it was supposedly just going to be another hour.  We kept hearing that.  We were able to watch some news on the tv that was playing in the walmart.  It was about 6 or so and we went back outside.

Ahead of us

Behind us

Around 7 we finally noticed some lights down the street.  It looked like something was finally headed our way.  Now with the sun down, it was getting chilly out and I didn’t bring Keira’s bottle or formula with us either.  So we thought we would go into Walmart quick, grab some stuff for Keira, get us some hoodies and run back out in time to see the shuttle coming down the road.  We get our stuff and as we are checking out the checkout girl mentions something about how they let her out to see the shuttle.  I said, oh they will?  No, they did already.  She was already out and saw it!  What???  We didn’t know what was going on.  There is no way!  We were just out there!!  So we ran out of the store, around the corner, down the street a bit and there it was…

It made its way to that corner finally around 8 pm.  It was supposed to be there at 2 pm!  I guess there were some spots in the road where it didn’t quite fit.  So they needed to cut some trees down or move things.  We were happy we just witnessed this thing in person.  It was huge!  And really cool.  After October 30 it will be on display for everyone to see at the California Science Center in LA.

Here are some really cool pictures I found on the internet, to show you the size of this thing.

Reagan Library

One of the things to do here in Simi Valley is to go and visit the Ronald Reagan Library. They recently renovated it in 2010 and also added Air Force One a few years back. It was definitely a site to see, we had a great time even with the kids. And the best part was, a friend gave us free passes!

Outside the Library

Rachel as the first woman president?

Or me?

Maybe Micah will be the next president

What the oval office looked like when Reagan was president

Some of Nancy Reagan’s clothing

great picture of her

Air Force One

Under its belly

Jelly Bean Mosaic

Presidential Chopper

Part of the Berlin Wall

Remnant of the World Trade Center

Love this pic of them

Getting around

Caleb and Violet racing around the house

Gas prices so high out here!

Cool store on the way to visit relatives

Violet wanted to hug the vampire. Sure, why not. They need hugs too, right?

Gotta get their shakes! So good! Even when its chilly out.

At my relatives house, Keira found the cat

Kaitlyn and Violet singing and Brent watching very closely while Micah plays the piano

With my cousin and her family


Curb Appeal

As soon as we got here to Micah’s mom’s house, Micah felt the need to clean up the outside of the house, trim the bushes, rake out the leaves, etc.  The exact same thing happened last time we were in CA documented here.  So Micah and his brother Caleb got right to work.  Rachel and the girls and I mostly watched and enjoyed the nice warm weather.

Caleb edging the grass

Rachel and the girls

Where’s your tongue?

Micah working hard

I even helped a little

Violet helping too


This morning Keira and Laddie were getting very well acquainted.



Yesterday we left Pennsylvania and two plane rides later we arrived in California.  We flew in safely last night at LAX around 8:30 pm, California time, so it was about 11:30 our time.  We had great flights coming out.  On our second flight, Violet found a six year old friend, Grace.  Pretty much after take off they were inseparable   They sat together and played or colored, or they ran back the aisle to Rachel to play on her ipad.  BTW, Rachel, my sister came out here with us for 2 weeks.  So it was nice having her on the same flights with us.  And Keira, she did ok.  She only slept an hour on the second flight which was about 5 hours long.  Oh well.  Grace’s brother was enjoying playing with her.   Just glad we are here.

We will be staying out here with Micah’s mom and brother for a month.  We can’t wait to see lots of friends while we are here.  We haven’t been out here in about three years!  Violet was almost a year old then, almost Keira’s age now.

Only one picture so far.  This was taken last night on the way home from the airport.  We were so hungry so we made a stop at In-n-out.  And thanks to Josh for picking us up at the airport!!