Sunday, February 8, 2009

Adam A. Palmer Photography

Hi All- Just wanted to post a quick note to local friends and family on Oahu. If you're in need of a super-talented photographer:

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Our newest adventure!

We have decided to become a part of a great thing going on here in Alabama. The local animal shelter, "The Haven", has a "no kill" policy.. they place every pet in loving adoptive homes. But lots of times it takes a while to find homes for these sweet animals. In order to be able to help as many pets as they can, they have asked for volunteer families to be "foster parents" for these animals until they can find the right home for them. They provide all of the vet needs, pet food, crate, leash, collar- everything! All we have to do is provide a loving environment and help to get the pet adopted into a permanent home!

Since we both would love to have a dog, but agree with the baby coming it's not the right time... this was the perfect alternative for us! It's also a great feeling to be able to help such a worthy cause.

SO... today we brought home our first foster doggy, "Charlie"! He is a 5 month old Schnauzer and German Shepard mix. He's a great puppy who's playful, but not hyper at all. He doesn't chew on anything he's not supposed to... doesn't bark... doesn't whine, and so far seems pretty well housebroken! We got pretty stinkin lucky if you ask us! We're taking him to his first adoption event this weekend... and we can't imagine he'll be coming home with us after that- He's such a good dog that we're sure he'll get snapped up!

But for now we'll enjoy the time we have with him... here's a few pics! And if you want to adopt him... you know how to reach us!

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year everyone! We just spent the past two weeks with our little boy Logan. We cannot even begin to express how grateful we are for the time we had to spend together over the holidays. We did a LOT in those two short weeks and took many pictures. We'll do our best to recap here!

We first met up with Logan in his Kindergarten class. We snuck in the back and waited for him to see us. And when he finally did, who did he run to?? "Daddy, Daddy, you're here!" Yes.... Keola got the first hug :) We spent a fun-filled day with him and his class making gingerbread houses, Christmas crafts, and singing Christmas songs. What a fun day! It was special for us to be able to see him interact with his friends and teacher and a memory we'll always cherish.

We spent the next week with Bev's family in California. Bev missed her family, especially Ian & Cameron so much and it was good to be able to spend some time with them. We made sure to fit in some of the Suafoa's favorite Christmas traditions together like decorating cookies, walking through Dovewood court to see the Christmas lights, and of course.... wrapping gifts until 3am on Christmas Eve! We had a great time with everyone and were especially happy to be able to spend Christmas morning with everyone before we got on the plane to Alabama that afternoon.

Getting to Alabama was a chore.... but after many delays the three of us finally made it here! We got to sleep at about 6:30am and Logan woke up at 11:30am just dying to see what Santa had left under the tree in Alabama! We had so much fun watching him open his gifts! He's such a gracious boy- he appreciates EVERYTHING he gets. This year Santa played a little trick on him and he was just too good of a sport! He had a big present under the tree that was in different paper than the rest.... Logan quickly figured out that it was from Santa! He unwrapped the gift so excitedly and found a box for a wreath and garland set! Most five year old boys would be disappointed.... after all.... a wreath and garland were not exactly on his list! But not Logan.... he said, "Look Mommy & Daddy! Santa gave me MY OWN Christmas decorations!" He's such a sweet boy.... He did eventually open the box to find that Santa "remembered exactly what I asked for!! He even got the right color!!" Needless to say, after all of the wonderful gifts he received in California from Beverly's family and from us here in Alabama.... we had one very entertained, excited little boy on our hands!

As usual we squeezed in as much quality time as we possibly could while we were here in Alabama. Logan got to see some of his "old pals" and made lots of new friends too. The Schloemer family came over and even brought Logan's favorite pet friend, "Taz" the snake to see him. He had a blast playing with Kenny & Jessica (and Taz of course) all night. He made some new friends too throughout the week, including our fabulous new neighbors, "Mr. Bill & Miss Mindy". He's such a fun kid- everyone just loves him! We also fit in some fun little day activities... Logan loved touring the USS Alabama Battleship Museum, and was way excited to go fishing on "our" pier, and of course requested a trip to every five year old's favorite place... Chuck E. Cheese! It was a great time!

If you ask any of us though.... the two things that Logan enjoyed the most, and were probably the most memorable for us as well were much more special. We spent our first New Year's Eve together with some of Keola's favorite traditions. Keola's family has chowder on New Year's Eve so of course, he needed that! Beverly gave it her best shot and though it was not as creamy as we'd have liked, the flavor was great! And since it was FREEZING that night- it sure hit the spot! Logan got to go to the GIGANTIC fireworks warehouse to help Daddy put together their first fireworks show together! He had so much fun picking out cool rockets and fun stuff for the night. The finished product was an amazing, beautiful fireworks extravaganza that must have left our neighbors groggy the next morning.... Bev's pretty sure the smile plastered on Logan's face that night was just about as big as Keola's! It was a sight to behold and a special memory our little family is surely never going to forget.

On Logan's last day here with us he got to do something that not a lot of little boys (nor big ones) can say they've had the privilege of doing! Logan got to wake up at 5:30 in the morning and head out to Daddy's boat! When asked if he had a good time he said "Daddy let me drive the ship and I didn't even crash into any other boats!" He's now decided that driving a ship is even better than driving a fire truck... but he's still not sure it's better than flying a jet! :) Mommy & Logan spent the rest of our last night together doing as Logan requested; eating fishsticks for dinner, chocolate milkshakes for dessert, and a Logan vs. Mommy challenge at Wii Bowling (guess who won?).

Letting go of Logan to return to California with his father was tough. It does not get easier each time.... only harder. We're trying to just be excited about his return to us in 6 weeks.

We have truly been blessed this holiday season. Family is what makes the holidays special and having our family together was the best gift we could have hoped for. We're grateful that 2008 brought so much happiness and love into our lives. We look forward to all of the exciting things ahead in 2009 and pray that you and your family will be blessed this coming year.

Much love from the Velascos

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Playing catch-up again!

Aloha everyone! We have been so busy that we have a lot to catch up on again!

The last week of October Beverly was delighted to be able to go back to California to spend Logan's birthday week with him (Unfortunately Keola had to work so he couldn't be there). It was such a special time for both her and Logan. They squished as much Mommy/son time in as possible! We of course held Logan's annual Halloween themed Birthday Bash and this year it was SO much fun! The kids all looked great in their costumes and had a great time. Overall the time spent was much needed, too short, but really wonderful. Beverly made it back home to Alabama just in time for our ward Halloween party. Our costumes were a hit- hardly anyone recognized Keola with all of that hair! :)

Our Thanksgiving was especially nice. We were invited to spend Thanksgiving with pretty much every family we've met here. We feel so blessed to be so well-loved here. We had a very nice lunch with the Singler family and then spent a fun evening with the Schloemer family and TWELVE of the missionaries in our area! The Schloemers deep fried 3 huge turkeys and we shared a wonderful night with them! We missed our families much but really felt like part of the Schloemer family as well. Following Thanksgiving, Beverly introduced Keola to his first "Black Friday" experience! He has proven to be almost better at it than Bev! We poured over the ads... found some fantastic deals... and hit the ground running! It was super fun but we were super tired when it was all over!

This month of December has started out sweet and will only get sweeter! We had our second ultrasound and learned that our little baby is a BOY!! We so enjoyed being able to see him on the screen and cherish our new pictures of him. We've named him Noa and Baby Noa is kicking and moving all the time now which is fun for both of us! We moved out of our apartment and into a house that has quickly and perfectly become our "home". We love it here! Just two days after moving in Keola worked SO hard to get all of the Christmas lights hung. He was so excited to be able to do it and he did a FABULOUS job! Last night we held our first annual cookie party as a couple! It's one of Bev's favorite traditions and we were excited to do it together. We had over 30 people in our home and some really yummy cookies! It was a great time- we even had a special visitor stop by our house!

We are MOST excited about the next two weeks ahead of us. We fly out tomorrow to pick up Logan and will spend the next two weeks with our little family all together! And really.... what more could we ask for than that?!

We hope you enjoy the pictures of the last couple months of happenings in our lives. We'll update again much sooner! We love you all!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

It's been forever....

It's hard to find a place to start when it has been so long and so much has happened since we last blogged... We'll do our best to catch up now and be better about updating more frequently so we don't have this problem again! But a warning..... this is gonna be long :)

Early August is when the crazy whirlwind of changes began. We had a beautiful reception in Bev's parent's back yard. The reception gave us the opportunity to be reunited with Keola's parents and so many of our friends we hadn't seen in a while, and many that Keola had not yet met. It was a beautiful celebration and HUGE Mahalos go out to all of you who helped to make the day so special for us, especially Beverly's family who worked long and hard well before the actual day in order to make everything just perfect.

After the reception was over and Keola's parents had left to go back to Hawaii, we packed up our car and headed to Philo for a little family trip. It was far too short but we enjoyed every moment we had together there. The cabin was perfect (Thanks Carol & Jerry) and Logan had so much fun exploring the area, swimming in the river, building campfires with Keola, and just playing around outdoors. We took a day trip to Mendocino and Logan loved driving through the giant redwood trees. We rented an outrigger canoe and paddled down the river... We had a picnic lunch on the cliffs in Mendocino... and then we hiked down to the beach where we took a few family photos and enjoyed playing with the driftwood. We of course topped off the day with some fudge from the fudge factory and headed back to Philo for our last night there. It was such a nice time- all three of us thoroughly enjoyed it. We made life-long memories... it was simply the perfect family trip.

When we returned to Sacramento we spent the last few days there just spending time with Logan and with Beverly's family and PACKING! Ugh! Keola proved he truly is the MASTER at packing.... He filled every last inch of that Honda Accord and managed to get all of the things in it that Beverly wanted. It was a masterpiece! :)

Every fairytale has a not-so-pleasant part to it... and ours is no different. Leaving California for us also meant leaving Logan behind. We prayed and prayed and tried and tried to find a way to work out a scenario with Logan's father that would allow us to bring him to Alabama. As it turned out, Logan had to stay in California. After much prayer and with more faith than we've ever had to exercise, we put our trust in the Lord when He promised us that if we would be obedient to His counsel, and live as husband and wife should... together... that we would all be blessed. It wasn't easy to follow the counsel but we both prayed and we both got our answer and we know that the Lord will reveal His plan in His own time.... we just need to continue to be faithful and obedient.

So on August 18th, we took Logan to his first day of Kindergarten. It was such a great time! He was SO ready and was so excited to finally be starting school. He looked so cute with his Incredible Hulk backpack on and wrote his own name on his pencil box which Keola thought was the coolest thing :) After his first day we picked him up and took him to Dairy Queen for a little first day of school ice cream treat and spent the rest of the afternoon with him. That evening we had dinner together with Logan, his dad, step-mom, and sisters and then we dropped him off at their home and said our good-byes. It was harder than we could have imagined and we had imagined it would be awful.

We then headed out on our journey across the United States! In order to save time, we won't go through the entire travel log.... But we will say a couple things.... #1 We honestly NEVER got bored! Beverly taught Keola pretty much every Carpenters song (I mean who can do a road trip without the Carpenters?) and Keola was incredibly patient with all of Beverly's frequent requests for rest stops :) Seriously though, we feel so blessed to live in such a beautiful country. From the deserts... to the mountains... to the gorgeous green swamp lands... this is a beautiful country we live in! We made it to Alabama in just 3 days :)

And now we're here and we're expecting our first little baby together! Our little miracle is due to join us next year in early May. We just had our first ultrasound and we both fell in love with our little peanut. And that.... is enough updates for now!

We are together... and though not every moment is perfect... we really are so happy to be here... now... on this journey... together. And we are doing our best to live in these moments and to enjoy this journey and all that it has to teach us. We love you all so much. We pray for you... we think of you... and we speak of you often. Please pray for us. Please pray for Logan. And please make the effort to enjoy your journey as well.

Below we've posted pics of all the updates.. keep scrolling- there's a few to look at! Enjoy!

Our California Reception

Our vacation