Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Black Forest Fires

Many of you already know about the forest fire that so quickly started a few miles north of us just a week ago. A tragedy in so many regards as it comes just one year after the Waldo Canyon fire that blazed over the mountains toward the city summer of 2012, with a housing loss in the 500's as of today. Personally, though not immediately affected, it was sad to watch an area with so many personal memories,  burn so quickly. Even more difficult to watch family and friends be displaced and so uncertain of their future.

In the midst of it all, I do love the opportunity that it provided for us with the children. The girls went through the obvious thought processes of fear, wonder, uncertainty, and confusion. But we chose to speak with them openly and honestly about it, not painting fear, but rather matter-of-fact conversations that would mentally prepare them and put them at ease.

One such conversation stemmed from a hasty comment of fear that the fire would come and burn us up in our home. "What would we do if we lost all our stuff?" "Are we able to run faster than the fire?" and the list of questions went on. What a great opportunity to talk to the girls about being prepared, watching the news and knowing the timing of things so that we gave ourselves plenty of time. We also talked about stuff and how it's just that - STUFF. Stuff can be replaced, but what is most important? As the girl's rattled off answers to that question, we were able to boil it down to people and memories. As long as family and loved ones are safe, along with those special memories, everything is fine. I certainly do love the moments when we get to remind our children of what is truly important - not just the stuff.

We also were able to have the conversation about how the fire started. Mia, being the benefit of the doubt giver that she is, said that she thought maybe someone was roasting marshmallows and then the fire got too big. Or, she said, maybe someones electricity got too hot. Both plausible scenarios in my mind. Lilia thought maybe it started in an armpit - very seriously.(You should see her serious face) So, we flushed that out a little bit and she finally came to the conclusion that maybe an armpit start wasn't as possible as originally thought.

Finally, on Saturday, we got some rain. The first thing I heard as the girls came charging down the stairs is "MOMMY!! we prayed for rain and God listened!! He really listened!" What a beautiful reminder to the girls to always bring things to the Lord in prayer because he DOES listen.

Their sweet hearts continue to pray for the fire, those who have "broken homes" now, and thank Him for the firefighters who "save people." Such sweet moments and lessons that came out of such a tragedy.

Friday, June 7, 2013

Kids say the darndest...

Living in the house with two outgoing girls, ages 5 and 3, one is never short on conversation and hilarious moments. More often than not, both of those are combined into one. Here is a sampling of our week.

(1) *relaying the dinner they had at Famous Dave's with Grand mama and Papa

Me: that was so fun that you went to Famous Dave's

Mia: yup! Its all about the pig!

Me:'re silly

Mia: oh and the strangest thing. Famous Dave's only serves chocolate milk.

Me: oh really...

Mia: yup. Grandmama said they don't have white milk or water so we had to have chocolate milk. It was just interesting.

me: lol

(2) *during a nice dinner*

Lilia: mom, why are your bawndles (aka breasts) so big?

Me: well, that's how Jesus made me.

Mia: well ours are so small. When will they get big?

Me: maybe when you get 12 or 13 they will start growing

Lilia: *wrinkling her nose and scrunching her face* maybe when I turn 30 they'll be really big!

Me: lol...yes, dear...maybe

(3) *who knows when*

Mia: how old are you?

Me: I am 29 years old...super old!


me: lol

(4) *on our way to Ashley's*

Lilia: mom!? *hands on her hips*

Me: yes, sweetie

Lilia: I will not break things today. I promise. Ashley will just love me.

Me: oh thank you sweets! Lol

Saturday, June 1, 2013

SIX years ago today...

To my husband,

Six years ago today I forced myself to stay in bed until 6:00 AM, anxiously staring at the dark ceiling, excited for the day to come. Car wash, coffee with Nikki, nail salon, hair and makeup, and dress up in my princess gown all led to your face at the end of the aisle; best friends vowing to do life together.

The journey has certainly been an adventure, but I wouldn't trade a moment of it. Together we have challenged each other's way of thinking, priorities, and relationship with the Lord and others. We have trusted in ways we never thought possible; we have achieved and lost; we have grown and matured; we have held each other during heartache and celebrated in moments of joy; we have created a life, a family and a world full of blessings.  It's been a blast!

I am so thankful for what the Lord has done in our lives together and separately. Even more thankful that He thought me worthy of you and your love and devotion. Thank you, hubby, for loving me, cherishing me, encouraging and pushing me, and ultimately rallying behind me, our relationship and our family to be the best it can be. You are certainly my favorite!!

I love you....(more. ha!) Now on to conquering the "seven year itch!" :)

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

When I turn 4...

Look at this sweet angel...

heehee...and this precious picture...

She is full of personality; funny, spunky, energetic, sweet spirited and a heart of gold. She is also extremely ornery and some would label her as "a handful." She is beautifully strong willed in a way that the Lord will use for GREAT things one day; until then, we help her learn to harness it. :)

Anyway, Lilia's favorite thing to say is "well, when I'm four..." (fill in the blank.)  Example: she was dying to sit in the back of the van with Mia. Our deal was that she could sit in the back when she could entirely buckle herself. Instead of this pushing her to try, she cocked her head, shrugged her shoulders and sighed "well, when I'm four I can buckle myself." Please keep in mind that she doesn't turn four until December.

Her lack of determination in anything we want her to do just cracks me up - in a separate room, by myself, where she doesn't know it is funny of course. Lilia is constantly drawing on walls or floors, breaking things on purpose (I'm not speaking about the many different accidents that happen), or downright disobeying just to test the boundaries. If you tell her to "clean up your toys or I will get rid of them" she will throw them in the trash for you. If you tell her to eat her dinner or she gets it for breakfast, she will put it in the fridge for a leftover breakfast the next morning. It's a constant challenge staying on top of her quirky responses as we try to teach her value, appreciation and obedience. 

This morning, Lilia came up to me while working and says "Mom, when I'm four I will not break things. I'll just pour my cereal and eat my breakfast." Processing her very serious comment to me, I asked "Well, why don't we start practicing now?" Her response was simply, "Well, I'm just three."

Yes, sweet girl, you are too funny for your own good. But you always know where you stand with Lilia and she will love you to pieces....and some day she will truly value each of those special pieces. One day. When she's four.

Memorial Day Weekend

I love three day weekends! I love the extra time together and the possibility to say "hmmm...what should we do" that an extra long weekend promises. This weekend was just that for our family.

Saturday started bright and early as I motivated myself out of bed for an early grocery run. Payment for such motivation was a nice quiet morning with the children, doing chores, watering flowers, and a yogurt parfait breakfast. The girls and I wrapped up the morning at a little friend's Fairy Garden Birthday Party. The party was so sweet as the girls each dressed up like little fairies, painted their own flower pots, swung at a flower pinata and indulged in pink sprinkled cupcakes before lunch. Such a fun morning! The rest of the afternoon was reserved for family - naps, yard work and going out to dinner.

Sunday we packed up the van and headed to Grandma and Grandpa Samuel's house where the family was grilling out. The occasion? My Aunt and Uncle were visiting from Idaho. We grilled burgers and ate Popsicles. The children splashed in the pool until they turned into Popsicles themselves. We laughed, teased and conversed the afternoon away. The highlight for the girls was an impromptu tea party on the deck, organized by Great Aunt Donna as a surprise for Great Grandma! What fun memories we are making with these loved ones. Tucking the girls in to bed that night, it was fun to explain to the girls that this Monday was a special day; we get to spend extra time together as a family and be thankful for all those people who fight for our flag!

Monday we spent outside...yay for summer!! After watering the flowers and the grass, we headed out back where the girls played with their slide, bubbles, and water table. I brought Kasen's jumpy outside so he could have some fun too. I propped up my feet and enjoyed a good book - and a slight sunburn. We ate lunch on the deck and then after naps we took a family "hike" (really a slightly strenuous walk) with the kids - one of our favorite things to do! Fried chicken for dinner, quiet times and snuggles before bed rounded out the weekend.

So in love!

oh, and just for fun...this pretty much sums up the in between times! LOL