Just a small stack of blue tubs

What you see here is a picture of all of our possessions! I have spent the past 2 months purging, purging, purging! We have managed to wean down our belongings to just the items that would be more expensive to replace than to ship via cargo plane. I am taking my pots and pans, my sewing machine and large tub of fabric (which may not seem like a necessity... but it is for me!), and lots and lots of books! I have been collecting children's books for years in anticipation of having kids. I am thrilled with my vast collection... and can't wait to organize them all on bookshelves in Anna's new room. Eric has also has tons of books, study guides & resources and electronic toys of course (boys!).

It feels very free to have so little to my name... but also very weird to see my life packed into a small stack of blue tubs. Oh well............... VAMOS A PANAMA!!!!


Jesus is the Reason for the Season!

The the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy that will be to all people. For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord." Luke 2:10-11

God Bless your family during this joyous celebration of Christ's birth!

Love, The Tharaldsons


A Very Busy Weekend! Whew!

This past weekend was one of the busiest we have ever had! It all started on Friday morning, when I spent hours finishing the packing and organizing for our big move. In the afternoon, Grammy and Devon arrived! Grammy babysat Anna while Eric, Devon and I went to Downtown Disney and a very fun birthday dinner at the Rainforest Cafe! (Happy Birthday to Me!)

Then we walked around and enjoyed the fun holiday lights and the awesome Legos store! Eric got very excited when he saw Darth Vader made completely out of Legos... in fact, his exact statement was: "If I wasn't married, I'd buy this and put it at the foot of my bed." (I'm not really sure what to make of that comment...)

To my chagrin, we spent the rest of the evening at home watching "Shrek the Third"... I'm not a Shrek fan, sorry.
On Saturday, Eric took Devon to the Bible Bookstore to pick out his own Bible! When they got home, Devon walked through the front door and said "I have a Bible, now I need a highlighter".... sooooo cute!

Later that day, we headed out to our favorite destination... the Aquarium of the Pacific.
While taking this photo, Aunt Lindsey is thinking: "I'm never going in the ocean again."
Watching "Monsters of the Deep" 3D

Being such a good girl all day!

On Sunday, the excitement continued as Anna was dedicated at church! Yay!

The family and friends gathered for lunch following the dedication!

After lunch, we headed back to our apartment and loaded up all our tubs and boxes! We packed the cars and headed to Temecula... leaving Eric behind to get the apartment fixed up. We miss you!

And later that night at Grammy's house, Anna took her first Big Girl bath in the tub!

Whew! I need a nap!



...........THEN (7 weeks old) ................NOW (5 1/2 months) ....



Two Teeth and a Sippy Cup

The exciting news of the week... Anna has 2 teeth! They came this past week, although I had no idea... she grabbed my finger and put it into her mouth and I felt a sharp tooth! She hasn't been acting fussy or extra drooly or anything! Then, yesterday morning, I got a peek and saw that the other tooth had broken the surface! She is soooo cute now with two tiny white teeth!

We also gave her a sippy cup yesterday for the first time! As soon as she saw it, she grabbed each handle with her hands and pulled it straight to her mouth and began sucking! Oh I am such a proud mama! She doesn't understand to tilt it up, so we will continue to practice! Still no solid foods yet... we attempted the cereal thing, and after a week gave up. I will try again next week... and maybe some will actually make it into her tummy.

In other news, we have pretty much packed up our little place. We are packing 16 rubbermaid tubs filled with items that we plan to ship via cargo plane to Panama. Everything else has found a new home with friends or at the GoodWill. We have begun to sell our furniture as well... and I plan to thoroughly enjoy my couch today, as we have someone coming to pick it up tonight! Our car will be the last thing sold probably sometime next month. It has been very nostalgic packing up... we moved into this place the day we got back from our honeymoon, we brought Scarlet home here, and we brought our first baby home here. But we are both glad to move on... and I can't wait to have more space to spread out... in the new house, Anna will have her own room/playroom, and Eric will have his own office. I long for the day when the kitchen table is just for eating!



God is so good! Thank you for your prayers, the Lord truly was faithful to us on this trip! We managed to rent 2 homes, almost next door to each other, and have a lot of good fellowship!


Prayer Requests

We leave tomorrow night for Panama City. We are taking the red eye... which is great if you can sleep on airplanes- and terrible if you can't. We will be in Panama for 5 days, arriving home late Friday night. I am extremely anxious about being away from Anna. I am worried that I will miss her so much, that I won't be able to concentrate on the task at hand. But I know that I must go on this trip... that the Lord has many things to show me, and so, in pure obedience, I will go and pray that God will strengthen me emotionally while I am away from my baby.

The main purpose of this trip is to search for housing. The other couple, Bert and Vero, will also be looking for a place to live. We need to find two houses near each other, as Bert and Eric will be sharing a car... at least for awhile. We hope to move in January, and to have our housing all arranged prior to our arrival.

Here is a list of prayer requests for this trip. If the Lord leads you to pray for us, we would greatly appreciate it!

1. Safe travel
2. Emotional strength (for me!)
3. That the Lord would lead and guide our steps as we look for housing
4. Ministry opportunities as they arise
5. Confirmation and peace- that our plans and timing are within God's will

Thank you to all of you who tell me that you are checking our blog and praying for us as we begin this huge transition! We love and appreciate all of you so much!


Anna- the Headband MODEL!!!

When Anna was a newborn, I found a terrific website that sells beautiful headbands for babies! I was so thrilled by the headbands, that when I recently placed another order, I also submitted Anna's photo. The company just sent me an email that they decided to use the photo on their website!!! Click on the link to see Anna modeling one of her adorable headbands!



The Latest Statistics

Anna had her 4 month Doctor's visit this past week. She received another round of shots... which is just heart wrenching to watch! Our pediatrician says Anna is in great health which is wonderful news! Here are the latest statistics:

Weight: 15 lbs, 11 oz. (80th percentile)
Height: 27.5 inches (way off the charts!)

It looks like Anna is already taking after her daddy! When she's all grown up... I think I'll be looking up to her!


Various Happenings

It's been awhile since I have had the opportunity to post. These past two weeks have been so busy!

Two weekends ago, Eric and I joined our friends, Faith and Jeff, for a day out in San Diego to celebrate Eric's birthday. We walked around Balboa Park, toured the "Dead Sea Scrolls" exhibit at the Natural History Museum, and took the Orr family's dingy out in the San Diego Harbor for a little cruise! It was a long but very fun day!

Last weekend, Eric and I dropped off the baby at my parents house so that we could go to the Marriage Retreat with our church. It was so hard to leave her, but I knew that if we didn't go away, I would regret it! A wonderful couple at church sponsored our weekend, and we were so blessed to spend time together and have a chance to focus on our marriage and friendship.

In these past few days, we have torn our little place apart in an attempt to sort all of our belongings! I would have posted sooner, but I couldn't find the laptop under all the piles of stuff! But we managed to fill our back patio with boxes for the Goodwill. We will be moving out of our place next month, and we only want to keep the absolutely essential items... it is so refreshing to purge and pare down our "stuff". It's amazing how much we accumulate that we don't really need!

I am also trying to get ready, physically and emotionally, for our trip to Panama. We had always intended to take Anna along, her passport even arrived a few weeks ago... but upon further evaluation, we decided that it would be best for Anna if we left her with my parents. She did so great at their house last weekend, and she would be so much more comfortable there, as opposed to lugging her around in a stroller for 5 days. We have much to accomplish on this trip, and poor Anna would have no toys, no crib to nap in, no schedule, not to mention two long flights! So, despite my breaking heart, I will be leaving on this trip without my baby! I am eager, however, to see what the Lord will show us on this short trip. We will leave on Sunday, November 25 and return on Friday, November 30.

Today, after Anna woke up from her morning nap, I decided to have a little photo shoot fun! It didn't last long, but I managed to get a couple cute shots!

Whew! It's been a busy but fun couple of weeks... and it's just going to get busier!


I Remembered This Year!!!

Happy Birthday Eric!!!

Twenty-six years ago tomorrow (Nov.2), my wonderful husband was born! He grew up in Beaumont and moved to Temecula in the 5th grade. In 6th grade, he attended Temecula Middle School (as did I)! For the next 7 years, we attended the same schools but never met until April of our Senior year of High School. After high school, Eric enrolled as a student at Calvary Chapel Bible College. He completed several semesters at the Murrieta campus, and was one of the first American students to take a semester in Lima, Peru. He also spent a year in Red Wing, Minnesota learning how to repair band instruments. He is a wonderful, devoted, and loving husband and father and I am proud to be his wife!

I want to take this opportunity to publicly confess that last year I forgot about his birthday. He got up and went to work without so much as a "Happy Birthday" from me. Sometime, mid-afternoon, I did remember and gave him a quick call. In my defense, I was deep in the throngs of morning sickness, being about 7 weeks pregnant at the time. I did nothing to celebrate Eric's special day... no special meal or cake (just the thought of food sent me running), no gifts, not even a card! So, honey, I'm sorry about last year... but this year I am the first one to say "Happy Birthday Eric!" I love you.

A Tribute to Grandma

Grandma last night on Halloween...

This is a list of just a few of my favorite "grandma memories"...

1. Many, many, shopping trips to the mall!
2. Playing "office" on her old-fashioned rolltop desk.
3. Sitting in an empty beauty salon chair, watching as she got her permanent set and dyed orange.
4. Strawberry Shasta floats.
5. Eating a slice of American cheese before bed.
6. Trying on her plastic body cast.
7. Bowling!!!
8. She always had the little square pieces of gum with jelly in the center.
9. Walking around the mall before it was open.
10. She always had lots and lots of coloring books!

Love you Grandma!


A Surprising Success!

I love to sew... but I have never attempted to make clothes before! My usual projects include quilting, making bags, blankets, pillows, etc. But I decided that I wanted to make Anna's Christmas dress this year. I bought a pattern and some fabric, and spent an entire day trying to read and understand the pattern. After many hours, the dress actually turned out pretty good! It is a little big, but hopefully by Christmas it will fit just right. I am about to start my second dress, and I have a feeling it will go much faster now that I have the pattern figured out! I wonder what kind of fabric I will be able to find in Panama!???


A Whole New World!

Anna finally figured out how to roll! For several weeks now, when I have laid her on the floor on her back, she would roll onto her side (mainly so that she could see the TV). But just yesterday, she truly started rolling onto her tummy! Now whenevery I place her on her back, it's only a matter of seconds before she rolls over! She hasn't quite mastered rolling from her tummy to her back... although she has done it in her crib a few times! It's so fun to see her learn new things!


The Happiest Place on Earth!

I did a report on Walt Disney in the 4th grade. On the day that I was scheduled to make my presentation to the class, I actually dressed up like Walt Disney (I have elected NOT to share those pics with you). My childhood is filled with memories of Disneyland... insomnia the night before we were going, the joy and excitement of all the rides and attractions, and the sheer exhaustion after we returned home.

My nephews, Devon and Dylan, have the month of October off school... the blessing of a year-round schedule. My mom decided to take the boys for their first official Disneyland trip together. Devon is 8, and Dylan is 5... the perfect ages to be swept away by the magic of the happiest place on earth. Eric and I were thrilled to go along and be a part of this childhood milestone.

Mommy, Daddy, and Anna at "It's a Small World" ride

Anna is mesmerized by the sights and sounds of one of Disney's oldest and most humble attractions. (I'm going to be singing the "It's a Small World" song for days...

Grammy shows Devon and Dylan the Matterhorn.

Dylan makes himself sick with cotton candy... (okay, who are we kiddin? Grammy and I had a bunch, too!)

Dylan and I waited 30 minutes to meet Mickey!

Anna can't contain her excitement...

Sugar and air.... YUM!

Dylan didn't mind posing for a photo here... but only after I explained to him that this whale was not real...

Eric sacrifices himself to take the boys on the tea cups...

After being tricked into going on Space Mountain, Dylan harbors some bitterness until we let him pick the next ride... ta da... we waited over 20 minutes to ride around in a circus train.

Anna's not sure what's going on... what is "Disneyland" anyway???


My Latest Project

I like to have at least one project going at all times. Usually, I am working on a quilting or sewing project. At the moment, however, I do not have the $ to go buy fabric to start a new quilt, so... I walked around Michael's for awhile trying to think of a fun, yet inexpensive project that I could work on when I have some free time. I like doing crafts, but I don't want to make things just for the sake of making them. I want my projects to have some purpose and usefulness in the real world. So after a nice cruise around the store, I was inspired! I decided to make Anna (and the other future rug rats) a set of fun magnets. I found bins upon bins of small, wooden cutouts... everything from trees, cows, and crocodiles to planes, cars and sailboats. At the jolly good price of 5 for $1.00, I gathered a large collection of objects and creatures, as well as a can of glossy spray finish, and headed home. I already had many paints and brushes at home, so I was able to spend just a little mula and get started on my new project right away. I have finished a few of them, and am very excited about how they are turning out. When Anna is older, I hope she will enjoy using her magnets on the refrigerator, and anywhere else that a magnet will stick! (My mom and I already tried, and magnets will stick to some lamps, the stove, and even the cabinet hardware....... who knew???)

Groovin' in the Jumperoo!

Anna spends lots of time movin' and groovin' in her new Rainforest Jumperoo. She jumps and dances and spins until she gets too tired, and then she just puts her head down to signal that she is satisfied. (Sorry the image is so dark, still trying to figure out how to get better lighting!)


Cousin Bonding

This week, Anna got to spend some quality time with her cousins, Devon and Dylan. Devon, who is 8 years old, was so great with Anna. Everytime he walked into the room where Anna was, he would wave and say "Hi baby Anna!" He was constantly trying to play with her and take care of her... so cute!!!

I left Anna in Devon's care for a few minutes, while I was doing the laundry. When I came back into the room, I found that Devon had gotten down right next to Anna so that he could keep a close eye on her.


I Found My Thumb!!!

This week, Anna has taken to sucking her thumb. She also reached down to play with her feet for the first time yesterday. It is so neat to watch her discover and enjoy new things! This morning, we went out for a stroll and rested on a grassy hill... I took this pic of Anna relaxing in the shade... sucking her thumb.



On Saturday we headed to the LA County Fair. We didn't end up arriving there until 5 pm, just as the sun was getting low in the sky and it was cooling off. It was so fun to bundle up and enjoy the cooler weather after a hot summer! The highlight of the fair was the Maternity Barn. It was so sweet to see the newborn babies! In one pen, newborn sheep babies were just learning how to walk... taking a few steps and then falling. The mama sheep would walk behind their babies nudging them to get back up.... so cute! In the pig pen, little pink piglets were running after their mom trying to get milk. Their little curly tails are adorable.

Then on Sunday, we had a church Baptism and BBQ at the Aquatic Center. We took Anna swimming... she didn't smile or laugh, but she didn't cry either... :)