Christmas 2011

Posted by Amy Evelyn Oden , Wednesday, December 28, 2011 5:26 PM

Since we were home in California for all of December, we actually had a pretty stress-free and even enjoyable holiday month.  I made gingerbread men & tried my mom's Rocky Road recipe for the first time, which was a big hit.  As always, we did our shopping on and avoided stores at all costs.  Thanks to our friends the Snyders, who left us their tree when they moved away from Fuller, we had our first (though fake) Christmas tree and enjoyed decorating it together.  I even had time for some sewing, made us a pillow - and bought some new Christmas candle holders for us!

Gingerbread men in progress

We also enjoyed Christmas parties with our home group in La Verne, our Wednesday night group (Oasis) at our church, and Hope House.

 Oasis party

On Christmas Eve, we Skyped with the Gustafson clan who was gathered for the day at my mom's house. Technology: the second best thing to being there :-). It was fun to see everyone & watch each other open gifts, even if by screen and some audio difficulties. That night we were invited to our friends the Burns' home for a lovely turkey dinner & getting to know them better, and then we all went to the Christmas Eve service at our church.

On Christmas morning, Patrick & I opened gifts in Pasadena and made a big hugely caloric breakfast...

 Makin' bacon
 ...before heading up to the mountains to celebrate with Mom & Pop Oden and Jon.  We had an amazing afternoon meal at a restaurant in Lake Arrowhead.  This is Patrick donning the ascot I gave him, and enjoying his Jenga Ribs...
 ...and this was my beautiful meal, a scrumptious chicken dish with crab, asparagus, and hollandaise sauce!  Yummy!!

Then, back at the house, we opened gifts and played games and relaxed...and forgot to take pictures!  So only a few to share...

 A merry season indeed!

Patrick Oden and the Yodeling Pickle

Posted by Amy Evelyn Oden , Saturday, December 24, 2011 2:11 PM

Oden Adventures Presents...

21 Week Update: It's A Girl!!

Posted by Amy Evelyn Oden , Monday, December 12, 2011 4:44 PM

We found out today that we're having a girl!!  According to our doctor, she looks "perfect" at 21 weeks!  Here's a shot of her sweet little face.

And me, a few days before our appointment.

I have to say, I'm loving - LOVING! - this stage of pregnancy.  The last few weeks, I've been feeling great, my skin is consistently clearer than it's been in like 20 years, my belly is only slightly inconvenient, I get to wear all the fun new-to-me (thanks, Emily & Vera!) clothes, and I've been feeling Baby O's twists & turns since just before Week 20.  I love feeling her move; at this stage, it's so reassuring and not at all painful, though I'm sure that's on the way.  It's unexplainably amazing to have this live being inside my body and feeling her (as well as knowing she's a she) has made it so much more realistic.  I know there's all sorts of weirdness and painfulness and inconvenience ahead, but this part (unlike the first few months) have been really fun and exciting, and I really feel the honor and blessing of carrying a child inside me, something I have wanted for so long now!

20 weeks - halfway there!

Posted by Amy Evelyn Oden , Monday, December 5, 2011 4:46 PM

Finally started showing enough around Thanksgiving to start documenting in photos.  Of course, it could've just been all the extra food consumed that week, but a little belly was definitely starting to appear!

Today (at just over 20 weeks) we were supposed to have our "big" ultrasound where we could have possibly found out whether Baby O. was a boy or girl, but when we got to the Dr.'s office, we found them without power!  And, sadly, no power means no ultrasound.  We've rescheduled for December 12th and hope Baby O. will not be elusive next Monday...and that there won't be any more electrical surprises!  

The power outage was the result of a crazy wind storm that occurred in our area on the night of Wednesday, November 30th (the night after we flew in from Oregon!), the likes of which hadn't been seen in these parts in 50 years, so the locals said.  Some pictures of the craziness around Fuller campus and housing follow.

Our balcony...someone else's roof tiles...

Our street...

Poor little trees!

Awning at the Fuller bookstore

Historic building on campus that houses President's & Provost's offices

Thanksgiving 2011: A Week Off In Oregon!

Posted by Amy Evelyn Oden , Tuesday, November 29, 2011 9:33 AM

This year, because Thanksgiving coincided with my Grandma Gustafson's 90th birthday and because it's our year for a California Christmas, we decided to go up to Oregon and celebrate Thanksgiving & Grandma with the Gustafson Clan.  We had such a great trip - it was one of our most relaxing trips to Oregon because I (for once) was not trying to get in any hours for work while there, and Patrick came up after just finishing four comprehensive exams to take him to the next level of his PhD program, which was a huge burden lifted!  We had tons of family time, and time for a few friends - not as many as we would have liked! - but it was really grand.  I also got to lead worship at Two Rivers the Sunday before and loved being with them again, and the Sunday after we got to hear Thom preach at Hope Fellowship, and Thom & I sang a duet together for the offertory.  It's been a long time since we've gotten to do something musical together!

Some highlights in photos:

Bonding with the nieces & nephews!  Me & Miriam

This is where Grant is interacting with Baby O.  First, he kissed my belly (so sweet!), then he introduced himself, and then he proceeded, throughout dinner, to give Baby a running commentary on the goings-on around the table.
Watching baby elephants with Bea

Bonding with Margot Mae, who most often wants her Mama, but obliged me here.

Meeting the newest nephew!  My brother Geoff & his son David Richard at about 4 days old.

Aunt In Love...such a sweet face!!
Always need a stop at McMenamin's!

Uncle Patrick time!  (Or, as Bea called him when she wasn't being shy, Uncle Packet)

A lovely jaunt through Washington Park!
Gustafson Family Thanksgiving
& Grandma's 90th Birthday Celebration

Never lacking in food when the Gustafsons gather!

With Cousin Eric

Grandma meets her newest great-grandson

David & two of his uncles

David with Uncle Chris & Aunt Jenny

L to R: Dana (Jenny's friend), brother Geoff, Uncle Steve & Aunt Gayle, sister-in-law Vera

I love this picture!!  Miriam & Grandma G.

L to R: Thom's back, holding Bea, Paul & Cousin Dawn, Vera & baby David

 David's first Thanksgiving!

The Curtis Gustafsons: (back row) Cousin Eric, Troy (Beth's husband), Aunt Colleen, Uncle Curt, Tom (Annie's husband); (front row) Leigh Anne (Eric's wife), Cousin Beht, Grandma G., Cousin Annie

The Burks: Troy, Anya, Elise, Cousin Beth
Logan, Grandma G., Galen

The Pattons: Cousin Molly, Kerry (Stan's wife), Grandma G., Cousin Stan, Aunt Carol

Aunt Dianne, Grandma G., Uncle John

My dad's family (he is missed dearly!): Curt, Steve, Carol, Grandma G., John

My beautiful immediate family (so blessed!!)
L to R (approximately): Chris & Jenny Storey, Rachael Storey holding Bea Blair, me & Patrick, Matt Storey in front of us, Vera & Geoff Gustafson, Grandma G. holding David Gustafson, Grant & Miriam Storey in front of my mom, Laura, then Margot being held by her mom, Emily, and Thom Blair