Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Thanksgiving in Newport Beach, CA

Flying With An 8 Month Old
We figured out long before we left to California that traveling with an infant was going to be quite different from what we were used to (not that we travel much :). First, our baggage more than doubled, and second my carry-on quickly turned into Marissa's diaper bag.

We headed out Monday morning thinking we had it all planned out. We were going to have Marissa nap on the ride to the airport and then again on the plane. Little did we know, she did not want to sleep, but instead wanted to experience her very first plane ride. Even though she did not sleep, Marissa was not too bad. There were times (when we tried to put her to sleep) that she cried a little, but she was mostly into pulling herself up on her fold down tray. We bought some new toys for her hoping they would be exciting and fresh so she would be entertained on the plane. Well we should have just bought boxes of ear plugs because those were the most exciting items on the plane.

Dan finally got to drive his "charger". He drove like a state trooper the entire trip.

After arriving at the home we stayed at (very generous YL committee members in the Newport Beach area), we decided to go out to dinner with Matt and Amie. After dinner, we all had to have some frozen yogurt and drove around the area trying to find Pinkberry.

Marissa relaxing at the Sweeney's.

On Tuesday, we decided to do one touristy thing while down in Southern California. Dan wanted to go to Disneyland, but we realized that with a baby it wasn't really worth the money because we wouldn't be able to go on the rides together. SeaWorld seemed to be the second best thing. Marissa loves animals and there weren't any rides that would require us to split up.

We finally arrived at the amusement park and got Marissa fed before wandering around looking at the penguins, polar bears, walruses, and dolphins. We didn't make it to every show, but did get to see the dolphin show. Matt insisted we sit in the "soak zone" but we didn't end up getting wet at all. By the end of the afternoon we were all ready to find a frozen yogurt shop and head back to the Newport Beach area. After driving around listening to Matt's directions, we found the best yogurt shop around. By the time we got home it was bed time for all of us.

Who should be in this picture? Amie, Marissa and Dan? Matt, Marissa and Dan? How about all four of them?

Marissa had some serious buisness to take care of while we were watching the whales.

Dan and Matt found a section reserved just for them at the Dolphin Show.

Just chillin in a polar bear cave.

Marissa taking care of the "authorized boxes".

Shopping (Just Grocery Shopping)
So the day didn't turn out exactly as we had planned. We thought that maybe we would have some time to go shopping. It didn't really turn out that way. Dan and I decided to get coffee and then go grocery shopping so that we would have the rest of the day free. Well by the time we found a starbucks, Marissa was asleep. We thought that maybe it would be best to drive around and let her have a good nap. Dan and I ended up driving around for almost 2 hours. It was kind of fun just to see different houses in the area and the beach. It was timed almost perfect because once Marissa woke up Amie got off work. We were then able to see Amie's apartment and get groceries as a group :)

Marissa learned how to open cabinets...time to fully baby-proofing our house (when we get home).

Matthew then proceded to inform us that he needed to clean out his appartment this week. Dan and Matt decided to go into LA and load up the rest of his stuff. This took them FOREVER because it was the Wednesday night before Thanksgiving and traffic was terrible. When they finally got back, we all made pizza's. Dan and I were able to hot tub for a little while before getting pretty tired. So, overall I guess you could say the day was successful...we got the groceries we needed to prepare our Thanksgiving meal.

We "Really Are Going To Cook A Meal"
From the moment Dan and I mentioned that we were coming down to LA to visit Matt and Amie over Thanksgiving my mother suggested we should go out to dinner for Thanksgiving. But if anybody knows Dan that is not even an option. He has a blast doing anything...and loves turkey. He started marinating the turkey the night before and then woke up in the morning to make sure that he had enough time to put it in the oven. Amie and I spent our time in the morning preparing appetizers and cleaning up. The Thanksgiving table looked amazing and as Amie said "presentation is everything".

Dan carving the turkey and Matt helping.

According to's all about presentation. What a great looking Thanksgiving table.

What a great Thanksgiving dinner and some great company.

Marissa called the pumpkin pie.

After cleaning up from a delicious dinner, all of us decided to go swimming. Marissa was able to swim for the first time. She enjoyed the 85 degree pool, but eventually got cold. After drying her off, bundling her up, and putting her in the play pen on the porch (that is the nice thing about California weather...she can be outside and not freeze) the four of us were able to have fun in the pool. We played goofy games, the boys hurt each other, and hot tubed. Once we all dried off and got comfortable, we had pumpkin cheesecake (from Cheesecake Factory).

Marissa getting into the pool.

Marissa loved the pool and she loves splashing around.

Amie is known as the "game girl". Therefore it would not be possible to go a week without fitting in some sort of a game. After putting Marissa to bed Matt, Amie, Dan, and played a mean game of "Apples to Apples". I am surprised we are all still together with all the arguing and deceiving that went on during the game. We had such a fun Thanksgiving day with Matthew and Amie.

Our Final Moments Together
Well, after sleeping in (it's not really sleeping in with an 8 month old that wakes up around 8:30am), Dan and I decided we would be as lazy as possible. So, we fed Marissa, cleaned the house we were staying at a little, then went back to sleep when Marissa took her morning nap. Once we all woke up and got showered and dressed, Amie called and said she was off work. We all decided to take Matthew dinner (he was working at his Christmas tree lot) and then go shopping. We ended up shopping at Fashion Island and eating "fro-yo" at Pinkberry. We decided to pass on buying anything at Juicy Couture because it seemed a little less than "high fashion" from Amie's perspective (inside joke).

Visiting Matt at the tree lot he is working at for the month of Dec.

After we made it home and got Marissa fed and in bed, Matt decided to join us for a little while. We all decided to go hot tubbing and had a fabulous time playing "Catalog, Couture, or Runway" (the four of us come up with the craziest things). The night was ended with some pumpkin cheesecake around the table...laughing at Dan writing a note for the Sweeney's and putting in some VERY classified information that Amie would have to explain to her good family friends later.

All in all, this was one of the most relaxing times Dan, Marissa, and I have had in quite some time. Matt and Amie are fun to be around and we had a blast making an amazing meal and spending quality time together.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Crazy Week

Relax and Enjoy
After BSF on Tuesday, Grace (she watches Marissa and is just an all around amazing gal) informed me that I could take some time for myself. This was a pleasant surprise and I knew exactly what I was going to Now I am not one who loves fact I don't really like it at all (maybe online shopping), but I needed to find an outfit for Marissa for our Christmas photo shoot on Saturday. After looking everywhere (and getting frustrated), I finally found the cutest dress that was not Christmas cheezy. I got to text a picture to Dan and he gave it the "OK".

Had a bad day
On Thursday, I was anticipating a day home doing laundry and packing for our upcoming vacation to California. It was quickly filled with eye appointments, doctors appointments, and blood draws. Early this week I realized that I didn't have any contact lenses left and would have to go in for a check up. After dropping Marissa off at my moms house, I made it to my appointment to find out that the surface of my eyes are damaged from the contact lenses that I have been wearing and that I have to wear my glasses (yuk) for 2 weeks. On top of that I have to put drops in my eyes 4 times a day and do a special "cleansing routine" to get my tear ducts from not clogging. Wow, guess I should have made this appointment a long time ago. Then I made an appointment for Marissa's ear infection just to double check that everything was clear before we flew down south. Come to find out Marissa still has an infected left ear. Poor girl. Will this ever go away? She has been such a trooper through it all and not too fussy, I am very impressed. After a short conversation with my doctor about some other issues that I have noticed with Marissa, she suggested we go draw blood to test a few different things (unrelated to her ear problems). So on top of an ear infection, this poor child had to have a lady poke her in the arm and draw blood. Needless to say she had a LONG nap in the afternoon. After all that craziness...we did get some laundry done and a little bit of packing. What a day!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

So Much Fun

...and There Was Another
On Sunday morning we welcomed a new cousin into the Ivan Schmidgall family. Toran, Lucas, and Aiden now have a little baby girl to love. Her name is Gracie Joy-Favber Schmidgall. Marissa and Gracie have more than just gender in common...their middle names are the same. Dan, Annie, and Marissa were able to visit them on Sunday after church before Dan drove back to Spokane. She is a beautiful little girl with a head full of hair (Marissa was very jealous). Toran and Annie are already talking about how much fun they are going to have since they are only 8 months apart. Christmas this year with the immediate family grew by two in just a year.

Oh, I Like Her
Monday is cleaning day around the Schacher household. Marissa and Annie spent most of the day cleaning the house. Late afternoon, Annie went to a ladies house that does Creative Memories and heard all about digital scrapbooking. She was so excited and started right away when she got home (and of course after she played with, fed, and put Marissa to bed). The consultant is such a great gal and both Annie and Marissa left enjoying their time.

As soon as they got home (after taking dinner to the YL leaders, looking for a new saftey gate, and not finding one) they were greeted by Aunt Michelle. The girls had their weekly dinner...humus and pretzels and watched The Hills. In between Annie convinced Aunt Michelle to help her put Marissa's new walker together. Needless to say with three girls (Annie, Marissa, and Michelle) it took quite a bit of time. Marissa mentioned after Aunt Michelle left just how much she appreciated her efforts and how much she likes her Aunt Michelle.

Aunt Michelle putting together Marissa's walker.

Aunt Michelle finally figured it out...I don't think Annie would have been able to do it alone.

Run, Run, Run.
Tuesday morning Marissa was able to spend some time with her good friend Grace while Annie went to BSF (Bible Study Fellowship). Annie is learning so much about God's leading and as a couple Dan and Annie have been able to apply all the insights to their lives at this point. They feel so blessed and are content knowing that God has them where they are right now to continue to teach and prepare them for their next mission in life. They daily talk about all the Lord is teaching them and where He might be leading.

After BSF, Annie and Marissa were able to run a TON of errands. They returned many borrowed items to people, got some of the house screens re-screened, got a new saftey gate for the top of the stairs (Dan broke the old one this weekend :), and were even able to make it to the hospital to see Gracie and Toran. Marissa enjoyed dinner at the hospital (ok, maybe she didn't do so well with Annie feeding her there). It was a fun, productive, busy day. Needless to say Marissa was very tired at the end of the day.

Yea For Fun Cameras and Cute Hats!
Marrissa and Annie had a great time on Wednesday morning just trying on new hats (from Forever Little and Bella Jade) and taking fun pictures. What a wonderful morning with mother and daughter.
Wednesday evening Annie made chicken stir-fry and had the Senior girls to her house. It was a smaller group since there were a few that were sick and some just started basketball practice. Annie and Marissa can't wait to go to girls basketball games to watch Sasha and Tessa this year.

Up For An Adventure
Marissa and Annie needed to get out of the house after spending most of the day in on Wednesday, watching the rain and wind (poor Dan who has to work in that rain and wind). So, after contemplating various ideas they realize they couldn't do anything too big...because Marissa had a follow up doctors appointment. Annie was going to cancel it but had a hunch that it might be good idea to go. Well, come to find out Marissa had another ear infection in her left ear. After sitting at the doctors office for an hour and a half, then waiting for her new prescription for a half hour...Marissa was VERY tired. Once Marissa woke up from her nap the two of them needed to get out of the house. So they called their friends, Logan, Mason, Mya, and Tara. Marissa, Mason, and Maya (Triple M Threat) had a great time together. Marissa loved trying all the pacifiers that were around and playing with all the "new" toys. Tara and Annie got to catch up and chase the kids.

Story-time And Lunch
Last Friday, Annie and Marissa went to story time at the Silverton Library and had a great time. So they decided to take a trip there again this week. Marissa had a few friends there this week that were closer to her age and not running around. Afterward, Annie and Marissa went to lunch with an old friend, Summer. They had a great time talking and took their converstation to Annie's home so that Marissa could take a little nap (alright...she slept almost 4 hours...starting to feel better from the antibiotics). Summer and Annie caugth up and enjoyed each others company.

Dan was able to come home before midnight, but not in time for the 3 of them to make it to a wedding (thanks to accidents on the freeway). The family was able to go and visit their best friends Ryan and Tara and spent the evening chatting and eating Pad Thai...just like old times.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Weekly Update

Weekly Update
This week has been a fun but somewhat of a lazy week. Dan left Sunday night at 12am for Spokane and made it just in time to start working Monday morning. Needless to say Dan was very tired Monday night and crashed early. He started on the last leg of the job at the Air Force Base. That possibly means his crew might be working around the area soon. The girls find it is much easier to get through the week knowing they only have a little more time to go until their man is home every evening. This week Dan worked through rain and snow...that cannot be very warm.

Annie and Marissa had a great day Monday just relaxing and cleaning the house (if you can call that part of relaxing). They got done just in time to make it to the annual Young Life Fugitive Club. Marissa got to spend some time with Papa on the bus before all the kids got there and ambushed the bus to get the best seat. Marissa learned that Young Life is a fun place for older kids. It was pretty loud...good thing Sasha was there to hang out with Marissa and keep her calm.

On Tuesday, Annie had her regular Bible Study Fellowship classes and Marissa got to hang out with Grace for the morning. I think Grace and "little Coop" get along very well. Marissa will be very happy to see her each Tuesday morning.

Wednesday was a great day for Marissa. She finally was back to her normal nap schedule (OK, maybe that is better for Annie). They also got to go to Olive Garden with a friend, Rachel. Marissa and Rachel's daughter, showed up wearing the same shirt...I guess you could say they have good taste. After lunch Annie and Marissa ran a few errands before they headed home to make dinner for the senior girls that come over on Wednesday nights. Marissa was in a great mood and kept the girls entertained the entire evening (except when they are watching America's Next Top Model). It is cute to listen to the girls fight over who gets to hold her next. Marissa definitely goes to sleep Wednesday night knowing that she is loved by many senior girls.

Everyone watching ANTM on the couch in their normal spots.

Jordan holding Marissa while everyone watches ANTM.

It was a great day on Friday with Dan coming home. Marissa and Annie also got the chance to go to the library for story time. Marissa loved watching all the kids walk around. She also enjoyed listening to fun songs and popping some bubbles. After Dan got home, Annie called her mother to see if they could get a baby-sitter for the evening. Rosemary and Ivan were excited to watch Marissa so that they could go out on the town (OK, just Silverton). Dan and Annie were able to meet up with their "best friends ever", Ryan and Tara to walk around Silverton First Friday's and go to dinner. While Dan and Annie were walking back from their car they were nearly run down by a crazy, wierdo in a VW Bug. It just ended up being Ryan Murphy and his girlfriend Jackie.

Marissa and Dan just hanging out on Saturday morning.

Marissa fully supporting her dad's company.

rissa Update
Marissa fits the term "ankle-bitter" to a tee. Lately she has been crawling to the couch while Annie is sitting and tries to bite her feet. She then proceeds to laugh and laugh. Dan informed Annie that she should not let Marissa do this anymore so she won't end up biting other peoples feet.

"But I think this is sooo funny mom!"

"Yep, that is where I am going to bite!"

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Curious, Crawling (Sick) Caterpillar

What a week! The week started with Dan working on a job in Hillsboro. Annie and Marissa were so excited to have him home each evening and to make him dinner...most of the nights. He works so hard to provide for the family and to make sure his company is a success. The girls are are so proud of him...and they were excited to cuddle with him in the evenings.
Marissa decide she wanted to hit many developmental milestones this week. She started cruising around the house, getting into everything she has been able to look at and not she can touch it and does. Her favorite place to crawl is behind the couch to play with the cords. Good-bye days of setting our little girl in one place and stepping into the other room for a minute. She quickly went from the army crawl to moving from one room to another. Dan and Annie cannot believe how fast that went.
Once she started moving, Marissa got the courage to pull herself into a standing position on some of her shorter toys. Dan and Annie decided this week might be a good time to lower her crib mattress to the lowest setting. As soon as that was done she began pulling herself up and standing in her crib. We definitely did that in time! Now she pulls herself up on the couch, chairs, and anything else she can find. What a little courageous girl.

Conclusions at the Doctors Office
Going to the doctor on Thursday concluded what Annie had been suspecting since Monday...Marissa had an ear infection. They were able to get in within a hour of calling, which is pretty abnormal. Marissa's stuffy nose has slowly been getting better and as of tonight she has not been pulling on her ear as much. Annie is glad she did not put it off any longer, even though her and Marissa had to miss soup and salad at a friends house in Salem (maybe next week :).

Marissa has not been sleeping well the last week and that is partly due to the conclusions reached at the doctors office on Thursday. She has been waking up after 30 minutes from going down for her nap. When Dan or Annie look into her room to check up, she is caught with her bumper down and peaking through the crib to see if they are coming. What a goof-ball (like her dad).


On Friday, Marissa and Annie were able to go shopping at Washington Town Square with Grandma and Aunt Michelle. They all had a lot of fun except for the fact that Marissa kicked her new hat out of her will probably be seeing it again (not because it was found...but because Annie will buy another). Marissa got a few new outfits and is going to look super cute around Christmas time. Once they got home, Annie got out all of Marissa's winter hats and had a "hat try-on session". Marissa sure enjoyed that.

On Halloween night, it was Dan's dream to sit at home and answer the door to all the trick-or-treaters around town. After getting home from work (and stopping for candy) at around 7:45pm, there were'nt too many trick-or-treaters left. Needless to say the Schacher household has bags of candy leftover from Friday night...I am sure the Senior girls will eat it on Wednesday night when Annie hosts another "Senior Night at the Schacher's". Marissa got to crawl around in her costume for about 20 minutes before she got grumpy and too warm. Her costume would have been great for trick or treating outside :).

Comforted in Christ's Care
Dan and Annie cannot even begin to explain the amount of comfort they feel by Christ keeping them safe this weel. On Thursday Dan was supposed to leave at 2am to go back to Spokane. Well, the Lord was watching over Dan and for some reason he did not end up waking up until 6am. Dan and Annie talked at that time and decided it was best that he and his employees fly over in order to get to the job in time. As Dan was pulling into a parking space at the airport the drive-line on his pick up went out (which means he had NO ability to steer his pick up at ALL). Had Dan been driving to Spokane on the freeway at 2am, going the speed limit (or faster)...we don't even want to imagine what could have happened. We are both comforted in the fact that God was watching over Dan. It was an eye opener to both of them how quickly something can happen...but how much Christ is looking out for them. Dan was able to stay home for the rest of the week and finish up work around the area...they relished every minute together as a family.