Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving--Christmas is HERE!

Merry Christmas from our home to yours!
We've finished our Christmas decorations and are getting ready for a delicious Thanksgiving meal later today!
Spreading the branches
Our naked Christmas tree
Our almost completed tree--Kai is trying to get the angel to stay put

Christmas can make you really angry--haha, just kidding--no, I wasn't this serious--just caught off guard. Hope you like the antlers!
The completed tree family shot
Baby Steele's first Christmas picture--next year will be so much fun!

Kai, Me, Brian, and Lauren taking Thanksgiving to a family

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Weekend In Malibu

This past weekend we took a camping trip to Malibu. We had a blast! There was so much to do from hiking to mountain biking, enjoying the beach, and all the regular stuff that goes along with camping--like spending quality time together enjoying God's beautiful nature! We really had a great time. On Friday night we heard coyotes. Sabbath we went mountain biking on the trails and then went to the beach where we saw dolphins and sea lions playing (you can see the dolphins in one of the pictures below). Then on Sunday we went for a hike and ran into a few deer along the path. Only in California can you see such a variety of animals in the same weekend!

Little Baby Steele seemed to love camping as he was awake almost all of Friday night and into the wee hours of Saturday. I've never felt him kicking so strong, but my whole stomach was bouncing back and forth all night long. It so amazing to feel him move all the time--he's going to be good at soccer from what I can tell!

The only sad part of the weekend was when we realized our air mattress had a hole in it and we had to keep refilling it throughout the night. We normally sleep on camping pads but since I'm 6 1/2 months along, I asked for the blowup air mattress for a little more comfort. Needless to say, we deposited it in the garbage before leaving--should've just stuck with the trusty old camp pads. We'll have to invest in a little more sturdy air mattress next time.

Enjoy the pictures!

You can see the dolphin in the picture above. Look right by the guy paddling on the surfboard.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Japanese BBQ

Sunday night, after a day of errands, we happened on a great Japanese restaurant in Victoria Gardens. I was craving good Japanese or Korean food, so we ventured in and were glad we did. It was a BBQ, so everything was brought to your table and you cooked it. So delicious!!! I was missing good kimchi and miso soup and I definitely had my fill. Can't wait to to see the Dr. this week and find out the damage on the scale--ha ha!

It's been a while since we've been chopstick regulars--I kind of miss it!

Kai cooking--this is when he likes to cook:-)

S'mores for dessert

Sunday, November 16, 2008

New Classroom Pet

BEV--STOP READING HERE! (Contains spider pics)

We have a new classroom pet. My students found a tarantula outside our classroom the other day. We captured it in a jar with the intention of moving it to another area--away from the school. FYI--I'm NOT a spider or creature kind of person, but I let them look at it for a few minutes to take advantage of the "teaching moment" and after a few minutes they were begging me to keep it as a classroom pet. We don't have any other class pets, so I felt a little bad for depriving them of the opportunity, but wished they were asking for goldfish or hamster and not a huge, hairy spider! I thought about it for a little while and decided that if they committed to taking care of it--everything from food to shelter--then they could keep it. They brought in all the food, aquarium things, and promised to take it home over holidays. They also make sure he's happy and healthy every day. They absolutely love it--even the girls. They named it Fang. I never thought I'd see this day, but my students were very persuasive--maybe this lapse of judgment could be blamed on pregnancy!

P.S. Bev is Kai's step mom and has a HUGE fear of spiders, so the warning at the beginning was absolutely necessary to keep her from stumbling across terrifying pictures;-)

Friday, November 14, 2008

Ideal Marriage Age

I just happened on a report about the ideal age to get married. Of course it caught my attention because Kai and I were married at 18 and 21 and have heard the statistics for years. I really enjoy reading these articles because they're talking about people like us and what they think will happen.

The article talked about the "ideal" age to marry and how it has been pushed back later and later over the years. Right now the ideal age is 25.6 for women and 27.5 for men. So if we were average, we would have gotten married a little less than 1 year ago. I can see for a lot of people, that would be a great time to marry. School is usually finished, careers are established, and if I were average, I would probably have already been living with Kai in order to make sure things were going to work out for the long haul. As it stands, we've been married for over 8 years, are finished with bachelor's and a master's degree, are established in a career, and we've also been "living together" for the last 8 years and have realized that we think we will make it for the long haul:-) The only difference between these two comparisons is that we did it together. We’re at the ideal point for other couples to marry, yet we’ve experienced all that came before together. We worked hard through college both to pay for and finish it. We stayed up late cramming for tests and enjoyed college life together. We’ve traveled 4 continents together and lived in another country. We’ve owned a home, planned for our future, and been involved in our communities for years. These are experiences that cement you together for the long haul.

Many people over the years have asked us why we got married so young. The answer is as simple as it is honest: We found each other at a young age. I can't imagine being married to anyone but Kai. Not only is he still my ideal of a man, but he's my best friend, spiritual partner, recreational companion, my constant supporter, and everything else you could ask for. If I had found that, even at an early age, why would I say, "You're great, but I'm not the ideal age yet. Let's wait for 10 years and meet up again." And hope that in 10 years we would meet up again. I would have married him at 25.6 if I had met him at 23.8, but the reality is that God brought our lives together much sooner than the average and I'm so happy He did. If we hadn't found each other at such a young age, we probably would have married closer to the "average" age of marriage. I think it's great to wait as well--especially until you find the right person. I can see the reasons for waiting until you're older and established, but it wasn't what worked for us.

The bottom line is this: Marriage is amazing at any age. It also takes work at any age. If you love the person you’re with and are committed to sticking together for the rest of your lives, you can marry at all different ages and still have a great marriage. All great relationships take time and effort, but the rewards are so worth it—no matter what the statistics say!

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Mystery Flower

After we got back last weekend, we found this beautiful flower on the table on our back porch and have no idea where it came from. There was no note or anything. We've asked around, but have not yet found the kind benefactor of this beautiful and mysterious flower. So if you or anyone you know has information leading to the arr....haha...just kidding. But really, if it was you, thank you! We really love it! Just wish we knew who you were so we could thank you personally.

Monday, November 3, 2008

This weekend we went to Palm Springs for the AMEN conference. AMEN stands for Adventist Medical Evangelism Network. It's meant to be a time when medical and dental professionals/students can learn about mission service opportunities and network together. It was beautiful--this is the time of year when Palm Springs is actually tempting--the summer months are unbearably hot, but this weekend was in the 70's and 80's. Below is a view from our hotel window.
On our way home we stopped in Oak Glen and found a little fall. Thankfully we had brought our sweatshirts! It was SO beautiful!!! We hiked the trails and smelled the scent of fall leaves and apples. Crunching through the forest colors was so refreshing! Later we tasted apple samples and cider. It brought back strong, happy memories of Michigan--after all, fall is the time of year we started dating and got engaged. Enjoy the pictures below!

My hot husband!

Fall is great!