Sunday, December 26, 2010

Happy New Year - 2010 In Retrospect

As I consider our journey this year, I am reminded that it is good to see the world with eternity in mind. As I continue to wait for our CHRISTMAS cards to arrive (due to a delay in shipping from the printer to us,) I realize that we spend so much time worrying about unimportant and temporal things. Our Christmas wishes will have the same spirit, sentiment and impact after Christmas as they would have had before December 25th. I have also been reminded this year that it is refreshing to see the world through the eyes of a child, in this case, our energetic toddler Patrick! Here are a few of our 2010 family highlights:

February - Patrick "officially" became a Turner as we headed to the Superior court of Orange County to finish the legal portion of his adoption. We were thankful to have friends and family members present for the festivities (see the "It's Official" post from February 11, 2010 for details.) And although this was not a big change for us, as Patrick has been integrated into our family from his first day of life, it was a touching and meaningful ceremony as the State of California declared that Patrick now had all the rights and privileges of a biological heir in the eyes of the law. Praise God for His abundant provision!

May - We packed up our little boy, bags, car seat, snacks, toys, and beach clothes and headed to Edisto Beach, South Carolina for a week on the Atlantic Ocean with Jim's parents, younger siblings, spouses, and 4 "little cousins." The kids and adults alike had a spectacular time, and we enjoyed our time of R & R together on the sand.

August - Jim's sister Julie delivered Patrick's newest cousin Dean Robert Collins and we all rejoiced! We can't wait to meet Baby Dean in person on our next Turner family get together in 2011. Patrick, Jim and I also started Gymboree classes together (directed play on structures and gym mats designed to help kids improve motor, verbal, and social skills.) We did these classes 3 times a week for 4 months and were amazed at Patrick's development through the guided activities.

October - We celebrated Patrick's 2nd birthday with a Thomas the Tank Engine party at a local park. Many friends (and kids!) were on hand for this joyous event, and Patrick had a BALL with the balloons, gifts, and all things Thomas! We also enjoyed visiting Patrick's Grandma and Grandpa (my parents) in Arizona later in the month. Patrick was a literal "chatterbox" on the car trip and in AZ, and we loved sharing his joy and energy with our family out west.

December - A week after Thanksgiving we flew to Denver and spent 6 days in the snow with Jim's parents in Beaver Creek, a lovely ski resort near Vail, Colorado. Patrick had his first "ski" experience (although Daddy did all the work,) and we continued to build lasting family memories of the snow in Beaver Creek, whose slogan is "Not Exactly Roughing It." Not exactly, indeed! :) The highlight was a snow day near the end of our trip when we skied, strolled, and played in the snow with complete abandon! Patrick was in snow-induced heaven, and we had a fun time sharing quality time with Nana & Papa.

We celebrated Christmas quietly at home and church and were able to reflect upon the significant connection between the Baby in the Manger and the Savior on the Cross. We pray that 2011 finds you earnestly seeking Him as we continue to live our lives in service of the One who loved us enough to send His Son to earth to sacrifice Himself on our behalf.

Happy New Year to All, and To All a Good Night . . .

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Christmas 2010

A wonderful intersection of Biagi, Handel, and lots of pictures of Patrick and the presents. Thanks to all the friends and family that were a part of our Christmas.

Christmas 2010 from Jim Turner on Vimeo.

Friday, December 17, 2010

The homeless perspective

Today I had the privilege of donating clothes to a wonderful organization. The organization is Children Today in Long Beach. The mission of Children Today is to provide community based services to children and families experiencing homelessness, fostering long-term family stability and success. The service that I saw today was the Play House in West Long Beach. In the early 1990's I worked with inner city kids in Long Beach so I know most all of the areas and I can tell you that this is a perfect spot for the facility but not a place where the typical Orange County person would find themselves. The Play House is a place for kids of homeless parents to enjoy time eating, playing, doing art projects, playing in the park and on a play structure all in the comfort and safety of the facility while the parents work on finding permanent housing, jobs, etc.

As I toured the facility after dropping off the clothes that the Turner's, Donaldson's and Faulk's had donated I asked myself the question, "What is the difference between Patrick and these kids?" The answer was, absolutely nothing. The economic circumstances differ and the culture is different but the reality is that kids during the early years know nothing of these things. They just want comfort, love and stability. That is what Children Today helps provide. As I saw the kids at the facility I just wanted to stop and play with them and be a part of their life, but alas a work day awaited me.

So what can we do? How can we be a part of the solution? The answer is "it's all about the clothes." Homeless Moms and Dads do not always have clean clothes for their kids and as the kids play the clothes often become dirty. Sometimes accidents happen (as every parent is well aware) that cause the clothes to become soiled. At these times Children Today can offer the kids a new set of clothes from the ones that have been donated. These clothes are a gift to the kids and the parents and nothing is expected in return. So therefore there is a constant need for clothes for the kids (ages 6 months to 6 years)

What are you doing with the clothes that your kid has outgrown? Goodwill, closet storage, etc.? If you are reading this and are in Orange County, please help me help the kids who need it the most. I will pick up your old clothes and deliver them to the Play House and together we can be a part of the solution. Just leave a comment or a Facebook message at any time.

For the kids


Tuesday, December 7, 2010

The Epic Adventure

I find it useful to catalog the adventures of Patrick and this one was no exception. It was a wonderful experience showing Patrick the snow and giving him his first taste of skiing. Based on the feedback from Patrick I think we have a ski bum on our hands. The epic adventure is now complete

BeaverCreekDec2010 The Epic Adventure from Jim Turner on Vimeo.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Night Time at the Snow

It is fun showing Patrick new experiences. We finally got to introduce him to falling snow (white rain as we call it). We continue to wonder what goes through his mind with these new experiences but something are better not known
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Saturday, December 4, 2010

Word Cup Birds of Prey 2010

In addition to enjoying Beaver Creek we got to see the Birds of Prey World Cup skiing race. This was an added bonus to our trip. Who knows? Maybe Patrick will like skiing that much in a few years!!

Beaver Creek Birds of Prey World Cup 2010 from Jim Turner on Vimeo.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Skiing Time

It is well know that I love skiing and despite not having skied for 5 years I was still excited about going up to the mountain. Especially because this year we got to expose Patrick to the joys of coming down the mountain and enjoying the snow. Day 1 is complete so enjoy the video


Beaver Creek Dec 2010 from Jim Turner on Vimeo.

Friday, November 12, 2010


Being content in all situations is a good thing and something we try to teach Patrick. With the time change darkness arrives at 5:30pm so when we left for a walk at 5:45pm I was surprised for Patrick to ask to go to the Park. But I had my super bright night rider lights and we were ready to go. Enjoy the 1 minute video of the experience.

Enjoying the Park at Night from Jim Turner on Vimeo.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Piano Time

The first draft of the Piano Sonata was captured on video last December. Here is the recent draft of the Piano Sonata as it has developed. Enjoy.

Piano Time from Jim Turner on Vimeo.

Thursday, October 28, 2010


It is election season here in the USA and everyone is waiting for November 2nd to arrive. What are we most upset about seems to fuel the fire of our voting. But what are we grateful for? Now that is a question that seems worth asking and is missing from our news, movies, schools and every day environment.

I am thankful for my wife and son. Everyday I get to wake up to a happy boy and every night Vivian and I get to put him back to bed. I am always reminded of God's grace every day that Patrick is around. This doesn't mean that it is all roses if you know what I mean.

I am grateful for friends that I don't see or talk to often but are always in my thoughts. Every time I get the Burley out with Patrick, I am reminded of the Kings who gave us the Burley and who are living in Seattle. Patrick has enjoyed the Burley since he was 8 months old. Every time I think of Patrick's adoption I think of the Clement's who live in San Francisco and adopted their son 4 years before Patrick was born. Bruce is a great friend who I was roommates with in College.

I am grateful for my church family, my neighbors and most importantly the God who we worship and who created this universe (without any help from us :))

I am grateful for night riding with Patrick who is happy as long as one of his parents are around. Adventures abound and more are to come I am sure. Life will throw us curves but that will never mean the absence of things to be grateful for.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Bounce House for a 2 year old

The 2 year appointment confirmed what we already knew. We have a healthy tall and thin 2 year old. 37 inches and 26.5 lbs. We had promised him after that appt that we would go to bounce house that they have in Town Center during October and he had a blast. It was a great Friday night activity for the family. It is amazing what you can do with the iphone. It now does video! -- what could be easier than that!

Bounce House from Jim Turner on Vimeo.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

2nd B-day party pics

Thanks to all who came out to the party. The video as Patrick's 2 favorite theme songs. If you have kids under 5 I am sure you will recognize them :)


Patrick's 2nd B-Day from Videos on Vimeo.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

2nd B-day Party and the 3 A's

Thank you to the 25 kids and adults that came to Patrick's B-day on Saturday. It made the day really special. I will post pictures later in the week as we get them.

Amazing....the word that describes that which we can't describe. It goes along with awesome, a word that describes something deeper than you describe. Both words correctly describe Adoption, the process that placed Patrick into our lives 2 years ago.

On October 7th, 2008 I wrote "
Latest reports from the mountain are the the medical director and the doctor and the birth mom met today and decided that today would be the day to induce. Hopefully all will go well, nothing will change and everyone will be very healthy after this is all finished."

On October 3rd, 2010, we went to church, prayed together with the kid's ministry team and dropped off Patrick in his 2yr old class. The verse that I thought would be important before the adoption is even now more prevalent in my mind.

Ephesians 1:5-6
"In love 5he predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will— 6to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves."

Not only is adoption something that God has chosen to do, He gives us the amazing opportunity to be involved in the process and all for the purpose of giving praise to the creator of this world and His son Jesus Christ.

So the conclusion for us is this: When those "2 yr old moments" are more frequent than we would like we have to remember that the purpose of Patrick's life is not to acquire more stuff, or be the best kid he can be, or impress the world with how cute or smart he is. The purpose of Patrick's life should be to give God the praise that He is due, and I hope and pray that we are up to the task of teaching him that.

Thanks for reading

Saturday, September 4, 2010


It is a fun adventure watching Patrick grow up and learn the art of communicating. He obviously knows what he is saying but we sometimes are a bit perplexed by the sentences that arise out of his little brain. Each day, however, he comes up with new words that he hears from us, Brainy Baby ABC's, Little Bear or Thomas The Train. So far we have
"Happy Hearts"
"Cars", etc.

The vocabulary is increasing which reminds us consistently to watch what comes out of our mouths since we might just hear it come back to us from Patrick :)

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Downtown Disney

So what do you do when the family is sick or getting over colds etc? Go on an afternoon adventure at Downtown Disney of course! Patrick always has enough energy to go around and the Rainforest Cafe took care of the food. Millions and millions of stimulative sources for the boy made for a super fun evening out.
(pictures from the iphone 3G hmm do I need an iphone 4 for a better camera and video? NOT, but want is a different story)
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Sunday, August 1, 2010

Saturday out by the pool

A wonderful time we had at the Joujon Roche household on Saturday. Patrick absolutely loved the backyard primarily because it had a pool and other water features. We had a good time connecting with friends and all in all it was something we should do again soon. Patrick is working on relaxing as you can see in the pictures!!
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Thursday, July 15, 2010

It Starts Early

It starts early:
So here we are on a Thursday evening back from the pool, fixing dinner and allowing Patrick to sit down and watch a Little Bear DVD. Little Bear is his favorite out of the 2 he has seen (Thomas the Train being the other) -- These are the benefits of not subscribing to Cox or DirectTV, Dish, etc.

A little Background:
I have a small computer hooked up to the 30" Television screen which is connected to an AMP and then to the stereo speakers. Tonight there was no sound on the DVD. I checked the normal issues, sound on the computer, mute button, AMP in the on position, volume control up etc. But I wasn't finding the problem.

The solution:
So Patrick, who had earlier in the day pressed buttons on the AMP, walks over to the AMP and presses the tape direct button, the one button that brings the sound back on. Both of us laughed and told him how smart he was to figure it out. That's our 21 month old fixing the electronic issues already.

The conclusion:
He is not just pressing buttons. We may not understand it but he does!! Just because he doesn't have full sentences yet doesn't mean the brain is not in overdrive.

Water Toddler!!

Patrick's first time in the new swim floatables :). It really helped him float and learn more about the pool. These pictures are obviously not from the big pool, (I can't take pictures and swim with him :)) -- so I took them in the fun little pool. We played ball, went under water, jumped off the side (well slid is more like it) and had a great time. I think we have a water bug for sure!!
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Sunday, July 4, 2010

Aquarium of The Pacific -- look at all the fishes!!!

In keeping with the animal loving theme that seems to encapsulate Patrick's life so far, we ventured off to Long Beach on Saturday to the Aquarium of the Pacific. Let's just say that if it weren't for his little body's need for a nap, he would have stayed there all day.

AquariumofThePacific from Jim Turner on Vimeo.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

We Love the Zoo

I have learned that you can't evaluate the zoo based on size. From a 20 month old perspective a "small" zoo may be just the right size. So we ventured off to the Orange County Zoo in the city of Orange, road the horses, saw the goats, burros, peacocks and many other animals. All in all, it was a wonderful Saturday

Animals at the Orange County Zoo from Jim Turner on Vimeo.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Look Mom I'm Flying

If anyone is in need of a lesson in faith just look to a child flying in the sky!!!
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World Cup 2030

The question as a parent is often, what will my child do or become? So how about World Cup Soccer 2030. Just one of the many possibilities.
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Sunday, June 13, 2010

New Kids Music

Patrick enjoys a new generation of kids music. Watch the following and dance along with the tunes.

Dance Time with Patrick from Jim Turner on Vimeo.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Train ride to oceanside

While Vivian went to a conference at church Patrick and I headed down to Oceanside (30 min) on his first train ride! He loves the beach and loves Amtrak hence it was a great start to the weekend. Enjoy the video

Train Ride! from Jim Turner on Vimeo.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Beach Fun

Hey, Let's go to the beach. Edisto South Carolina and boy did we have fun. Patrick is a beach bum in the best sense.
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Wednesday, May 26, 2010

South Carolina Vacation

The cousins had a wonderful time in South Carolina on vacation. Abigail, Patrick, Grady, James and Luke from left to right. This is why we do vacations with the family!
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Sunday, May 2, 2010

OC 1/2 Marathon

It was an early morning for Patrick today. We got him out of bed at 5:15am. which is 1.5 hrs earlier than normal. But through the entire process he was his normal, happy self. I have done multiple 1/2 marathons before but none with a double jogging stroller and a 25 lb child. But thanks to training and a wonderful baby jogger stroller the event was a success. Vivian gets a major assist in the event being mom, taxi driver and photographer. It was a sea of people but many people were amazed to see a stroller in the event. I finished the event (with Patrick's help, of course) in 2:16 which is only 4 minutes slower than the last 1/2 marathon I did sans Patrick. It is a complete joy to have a 19-month old that loves being outdoors and doing runs with me. At the beginning of the morning he was excited to see thousands of people, then he loved going through the back bay and watching the planes come through their flight path. He even thought the mile 10 diaper change was funny since I did it in the jogger.

All in all a very successful event. Enjoy the video slide show from you tube.

You Tube Video Slide Show

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Happy Easter 2010

Happy Easter Sunday. A wonderful day to celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ and hang out with our little family. The pictures are from the Bren center at UCI where Compass Church held its Easter services.
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Saturday, March 13, 2010

Spring Snow

On a beautiful day in March we headed up the hill to let Patrick experience the white stuff for the first time. He wasn't so excited about the curvy drive up the mountain but he sure enjoyed the snow. It was a great day for snow in the spring. I wouldn't be so excited if I was on skis but this was a day for sliding around in our ski clothes so any snow will do. Maybe we will get to go again before the season is out if the weather permits.
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Saturday, March 6, 2010

Coming down

Slides at the park ar now a lot of fun for Patrick. Especially face first

- iPhone Blogging

Saturday, February 27, 2010

My ball

Patrick loves the neighbor's soccer ball so it was now time for his own. Don't bother me, the ball and I are sleeping!

- iPhone Blogging

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Los Angeles Zoo

There is nothing like the zoo on a Saturday. Since we were in Pasadena for the 1/2 marathon on Sunday, it seemed like an obivous choice to drive over to the zoo which was only 10 miles away. All the animals were out waiting to be seen or maybe wondering why they were being seen. Patrick seems to like all animals but he is epecially fond of those that move. Today he didn't much appreciate the Lions who were napping but found much joy in the Sea Lions who were swimming around their pool.
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Thursday, February 11, 2010

It's Official!!!

The process began, well, a long time ago, but on Feb 3, 2010 Patrick legally became a Turner. It was the last, the final, the ultimate piece in the puzzle but now our little dude is officially a Turner. It was great to have my parents, our friends, the Kaisers, Kim Evans and the boys and of course the Honorable Cheryl L Leininger as witnesses to the proceeding.
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Saturday, January 30, 2010

Hangin with the cousins

The memorial service celebrating the life of Patrick's 94 year old great grandmother also allowed us to spend time with the cousins and visit the local attractions. Patrick enjoyed the time with his cousins Grady and Abigail and his Nana and Papa as well. He was a super traveler on the plane both ways from BUR to DFW to ATL and back. The pic on the lower left of the collage is from the Atlanta Zoo where Patrick thoroughly enjoyed himself even if it was chilly outside.
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Monday, January 18, 2010

Little Drummer Boy

What should be the first thing you do when going to a friends house for dinner? Play the drums of course!!
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