Sunday, December 28, 2008

Julian and Japatul

We went with our friends Kevin, Gail, and Hayden McMackin and Kevin M's sister, Kristi, to Julian yesterday. The drive there and back was beautiful as it went through mountains and forests and past a lake. There was also some patches of snow left over from the recent storms. For those of you who don't know about Julian, it is a little town about an hour northeast of us in the mountains that is similar to Big Bear or Tehachappi. (sp) There are lots of craft stores and restaurants and it is modeled like an old mining town. It was really cute and really, really cold! We stayed for about an hour or so and walked around the shops and bought a "famous" apple pie. (Julian has a lot of apple orchards so they sell homemade pies and cider everywhere.)

It was so cold that Gail and I had to buy hats to keep warm

Anslie on a pile of "snow"

Gail and Hayden

The abominable snow baby


Kristi, Gail, and Hayden

After we left Julian we headed to Gail's grandpa's house in Japatul where we met Jack, some kind of an African Bull (he is now actually a steer because Gail's Gpa- who is a REAL cowboy- "cut" him. You can ask me what that means if you need to later:). I have seen these things at the Wild Animal Park but have never been this up-close and personal to one. Jack is a big teddy bear and loves to be brushed, as Kevin discovered when Jack chased after him when Kevin tried to stop. He was like a giant dog - he comes when he is called and Gail's Gpa said that he even cries when he gets lonely or wants to be brushed. Too cute. He is a gentle giant, but those horns are still very intimidating!

There are a lot of pictures, but it was an impressive experience...
After playing with Jack the Giant Bull we went inside to enjoy our Julian Apple Pie. Gail's Gpa's house was really neat because he is a world traveler and has pictures, momentos, and stuffed animals decorating everything. It's a beautiful ranch-style home decorated like an old-west hunting lodge or something like that. He even has guns hanging from the pot holder on the kitchen ceiling. Anslie loved Boomer, Gpa's big doggy, who was also a teddy bear.

Anslie giving Hayden hugs

Anslie and Boomer

Cuddling with Boomer

One of the many "stuffed" animals at the house. This little fox was roadkill before it got stuffed.

We had a really fun day and finished it off with a meal at the McMackin family's favorite Mexican restaurant. Good food. Good fun. I couldn't ask for anything more.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Christmas at the Ruffners'

'Twas the night before Christmas
at the Ruffners' house
not a creature was stirring
not even a mouse...

That's because we were out shopping. Yup, we spent Christmas Eve out on the town, specifically the grocery store and the mall.
We found a nice winter coat for Anslie 75% off at Macy's

and then had our Christmas Eve dinner at Chili's.

Not very traditional, I know, but hey, maybe it will become one for us. Without family close by it gets pretty boring knocking around the house by ourselves. Besides, who wants to cook a huge dinner and make a huge mess just for 2 1/2 people?!
After dinner we came home and unloaded our stockings.

Then it was bath time, story time, and bed time...for Anslie and I (we pooped out at 8:00pm). Christmas morning started at 7:45am. Anslie was entertained for about 10 minutes by tearing the wrapping paper off the presents, so we had to open most of her gifts for her.

Anslie thought it was much more fun to play with the torn wrapping paper and trash all over the ground...or to sit and stand on the gifts.

We all got some great gifts - I got a new flat iron and a new pair of jeans (I must say that Weight Watchers works because they are the smallest jeans I have ever fit into!!!),

Kevin got a tinted visor for his motorcycle helmet and some new shoes,

and Anslie got lot of clothes - including the most adorable slippers and robe - toys, and puzzles.

We were very blessed this year and are so grateful for everything we received!

After lots of time to relax and play with our new things, we went over to our good friends' family's house for a very delicious Christmas dinner. They were so sweet and made sure that Anslie had gifts to open with all of the other kids. She got some more clothes and her first My Little Pony. Thanks, McMackins!!! (Unfortunately I forgot our memory card for the camera at home so I don't have any pictures to post) :(

We wish everyone a VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS and an even happier New Year!!! May everyday be filled with the joy and beauty the Christmas Season brings!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Some Bridal Shots

Here is another slideshow of some bridals I took for a friend:

Thursday, December 18, 2008


I know it's small. I couldn't choose so I used all of them for my portfolio. I just sectioned each subject off. If you can't see these and want to check out the full-sized slide show, go to:

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

A New Home

We have found a new home for Penelope! We will be placing her with a retired couple where she will have a large house and backyard to play in, and where she will also be the center of attention and get all of the love she needs. I think these people are such a blessing because it is hard to give up an animal that you raised from birth and that you also once treated like a child. I am grateful that she will be living in such a wonderful situation and it gives Kevin and I peace of mind knowing all of this. We will have her through Christmas and then we will be dropping her off on the 26th. Goodbye, sweet puppy. We'll miss you dearly.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

"It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas"

We got our tree on Friday and Anslie's favorite part of the experience was testing out her new "wings" at the Christmas Tree Lot (she is walking completely now).

Our tree hunting experience happens like this every year: We walk into the lot expecting to take some time finding the "perfect tree" and the first one we grab is the best one we look at. It's almost anti-climactic.

Kevin tied the tree to the top of the car..and I don't think he did a very good job because it almost slid off the roof on the way home. Very scary!

On Saturday we took Anslie to see Santa. The lady who was in charge of taking poloroids of the kids told me to walk in backwards and then place Anslie in Santa's lap and then walk away with my back to her so that Anslie wouldn't freak. I said, 'whatever - my kid is brave!' I marched in holding Anslie so that she could see Santa, put her in his lap, they had a little conversation, and I took my own pictures. Anslie wasn't scared one bit. Told you she was brave!

It was a fun couple of days and helped to bring the Christmas Spirit into our home. Now we just have to figure out how to keep Anslie away from the tree!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Poor Penelope

Unfortunately we have to get rid of Penelope. :( She bit Anslie on Sunday night (she didn't draw blood, but I just can't take the chance it could happen again) so we are working with the Springer Spaniel Rescue in our area to find her a new home. So...

We are looking for a family without small children to give Penelope a new home. She is a very sweet dog who is house-broken, crate trained, walks on a leash, knows all behavioral commands, and likes a lot of love and attention. She was raised with another dog but is shy around large dogs because she was attacked by a rottweiler. Penelope was also raised as an indoor pet and prefers spending time around people rather than being outside by herself. She will fit in well with a family that can give her a lot of attention through exercise and grooming. Penelope does have a sensitive stomach so she is not used to eating anything but dog food and tends to pee when she gets over-excited or nervous. We are sad to give her up, but unfortunately she has not adjusted well to the addition of a baby in the household. We hope you can provide her with the loving home she needs.