Unless the Lord builds the house, those who build it labor in vain. Psalm 127:1

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Family Time......

We stole a few days away with our kids last week and headed to the beach. We loaded up some school work, did very little of it and had a GREAT time together. Playing in the sand, boogie boarding in the warm water and Morgan falling asleep on Dan in front of the camp fire; priceless. :)
Seriously it was just what the Dr. ordered for everybody in our house. Dan was burnt out from work, I was feeling cruddy from the heat, and the girls? Well, they just wanna get away and play with daddy.
We have been taking the girls picture on this bench since before Ryanne could walk. Now she RUNS down the 100+ steps and always beats us to the top. It happens so fast.

On a side note I was sitting on the beach enjoying the warm sun and cool breeze watching Dan play with the girls and I started thinking about all the "stuff" we have been through over the past almost 13 years of marriage. I don't know why but I truly believe more than ever this is a VERY difficult time to be married. Actually scratch that, I DO know why. Satan wants the church to fall apart and the best way to do that is to get to the heart of the family and ruin it. So many couples that I know are struggling with big, ugly, hurtful things and when I am listening to them share and thinking back on our marriage I feel badly that I can't give them a time frame for it to get "all better." Dan and I struggled no lie for the first 8 years of our marriage. I would literally beat my head against the wall wondering where I went wrong. Marriage is life and life has storms. Some last a few hours, days or weeks and some storms are crazy long and leave a path of craziness BUT the good news is God is good and faithful and the only thing you really have to decide when in the midst of that storm is if you are gonna stay or flee. You choose to stay and God will honor that faithfulness and when the storm clears you will have joy. All that to say when I was watching Dan with our girls I got that lump in my throat that you cant swallow down and goose bumps. I LOVE that man. That imperfect, hard headed, driven, amazing man! :)
If you get a chance go over and click on my friend Crystal's blog and read the letter about marriage she posted. My favorite quote from it is "marriage is fabulously hard."
Have a blessed day and go hug your spouse! It's probably hard being married to us sometimes too! ;)

Friday, September 18, 2009

Fresh Produce friend sent me this link so I decided to try it out this past week. It's super easy to use and oh so convenient. You just go to the web site, make an account (for free) and place your order online. You pick the day AND time you want to pick up your goodies. We ordered ALL organic stuff and it is SOOOO good! I typically buy all organic at Clark's and Trader Joe's but I thought I would give this place a try and see if I saved any money. I chose the variety box of organic goods and got all this plus not pictured was a huge thing of cherry tomato's that I gave to my grandma and mother in law. The corn tortillas were 3 dozen for like $1.60. So fun! You walk in, pay and they carry it all out to your car. Oh and before I ramble any longer they are located in Redlands. Try em', pass it on. :)

Monday, September 14, 2009

Hi, Peter nice to meet you.

I was having one of those weeks last week where I totally took my eyes off the prize. Do you know what I am talking about? Where you focus on earthly things and not eternal things. Where you let people rule your heart as apposed to the Lord who molded your heart. Where you let others actions dictate your mood or events cause you to look around as apposed to looking up. *sigh* The worst part is when I go "there" it affects my patience with my kids, the way I talk to my friend in small talk over the fence, the way I respond to my husband who is not home often to begin with...........................ya' it was one of those weeks.

So with all that being laid out here is the funny part; I was in the shower Sunday morning moving slowly and trying to convince myself to skip church. I prayed,"God I don't want to go today. Dan is gone, I am tired physically and emotionally and now on top of that I have to get three people ready and out the door. Two of whom seem to undo everything I am trying to get done. Please God reveal yourself to me this morning through Pastor Chris. I ask that I would be still in the service, focused and attentive to what YOU need me to hear. Amen."

(fast forward an hour or so)

I am sitting in church still kinda wishing I was home in my robe and slippers when Pastor Chris started talking about Peter and how often he just got "side tracked" if you will. In Matt. 16 Jesus even rebukes him and says,"DUDE! You are not setting you mind on the things of God!!" OK minus the dude part but he calls him out on the fact that he is not focusing on eternal things. Pastor Chris wanted us to think of how much we have invested in things that have no real value. It could be anything. Conversations, how we spend our time and money. Relationships etc. The funny thing is God used Peter for greatness but man was Peter ever slow to learn. I swear to you a light bulb went on. I AM PETER! I am slow to hear, quick to speak. Slow to learn. I do the same stupid things over and over. I let the same things tear me down over and over. I spend endless amounts of time that is lost forever on worrying instead of praying. Oh the list goes on.
I am Peter.

I love when you sit in church and you are CERTAIN the pastor wrote the sermon just for you. LOVE IT! I decided to keep my eyes focused the rest of the day and start today in the word. Oddly enough I am studying Esther with our home school moms and it was all about the King and the party he threw and all the riches and fancy-smanchy stuff that went into throwing the party. The author asked us what we were setting our focus on. hhmmmm.....see a pattern here? No worries though you wont come to my house and find lavish furniture or gold goblets instead more like trying to keep the furniture together till' the kids leave and cups that the kids have destroyed. Instead it's where my heart is that I struggle. Allowing my thoughts that don't honor the Lord to creep in. Allowing other people's often stupid choices to dictate how I feel, as though I can control other people from now on you can just refer to me as Peter.

Then to top it off I get home and decide to read a few blogs. I am reading Erica's blog who I have been encouraging to go to church alone even though her husband wouldn't go with her. I told her God had a purpose for her there with or without her husband. I told her I go alone all the time and just cheered her on to take the first step. Well, she did and she was so excited and her husband was going too! All this from the girl, I mean "Peter" who didn't feel like going alone yesterday. Isn't God good! Thank you Erica for encouraging me back with my own words. :)

"The world is empty, pale and poor compared to knowing you my Lord, lead me on and I will run after you, lead me on and I will run after you."

Friday, September 11, 2009

9-11 Tribute

I know it's been 8 years and I don't know about you but I can remember where I was, what I was doing and the exact feeling of seeing those planes crash into the towers. I remember looking into the eyes of my 7 month old wondering what her world was going to look like after that day and feeling helpless for her. Even though people have moved on, the ground has been cleared and our days are back to normal; we still have people with holes in their hearts & soldiers away from their families fighting for our freedom. Please take a minute to remember that day and how it affected our country. This link below is a great tribute to the men and women who lost their lives that day.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Tough Love and Circus Clowns

We firmly believe the punishment should fit the crime around our house so with that said don't go turning us into CPS OK? Since Ryanne was about 1 year old she has thought it was funny to throw things from the moving car window. Oh yes, trash, expensive shoes I had just ordered her (let it go Christy, just let it go) hair bands, toys, food etc. So on the way to teeter board Friday night she rolled down her window and threw her band-aids that she had removed from her leg out the window. *sigh* Dan in all his parenting wisdom (cause frankly I just want to freak out, cause that's what I do. I'm a yeller, a "freaker-outer") he decides the next morning to make her walk around and pick up any little pieces of trash she can find on the street. I am a bit sad to report that our street is VERY clean but we did manage to find a few specks. :) After a few minutes Ryanne said,"dang, why is there trash on the ground mom?" I of course replied,"DUUUHHH, cause people like you throw it out car windows!!" I then asked her if she hated picking up trash and if it didn't totally stink? She said,"nah, I kinda like it." And you people wonder why I am a "freaker-outer" Is that a word? It should be, just slap my photo next to it in the dictionary. ;)Here is just a cute picture of the kids driving Morgan's race car on Saturday. This was just before Morgan slammed her big toe into something, it swelled up, turned black and blue and I spent the next morning in the urgent care getting it x-rayed? She's fine, just jammed it REALLY good. Seeeeeeeeeeee, "freaker-outer." :)
See below for some good clean clowning around.

Hey people the circus is not just for clowns anymore. You have to be buff, stronger than nails and afraid of nothing! :) Here is a shot of Ryanne and Dan doing the cool down work out. Notice Morgan in the background laying on her face resting? ;)We firmly believe that all good parenting skills are learned at the circus. Think about it; there is allot of trust that goes into these stunts here. Notice she didn't ask me to catch her.
Morgan is learning a new move here. After being launched off the teeter board she is to land on that platform. Do you love the lady in the pink t shirts face? Its like,"oh crud, I know this kid only weighs 60 lbs. but this is gonna hurt!"
Ryanne's face is priceless here. Her little lip sticking out so sad. She is not a huge fan of heights so this took allot out of her. She tried something new though and did great.
The girls got their daddy into the act this past Friday night and they loved it. Its a family affair. They work out I take pictures. :) Hey, I have arthritis. Morgans little friend stayed the night with us and that is her in the brown pants. I think she loved this class as well. I mean what kid doesn't want to walk all over the adults? ;)

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

This morning...........

I know my posts are kinda out of order here so for a better update see post below. This morning we were told that the fire was pretty much out and just had a few hot spots. We were under the impression we would be allowed back up the hill by late afternoon. My friend Stacy and I decided to just drive up a bit and make sure there was no activity. We didn't get very far when the winds started to pick up and we were told the road was closed. I was a bit freaked by the site I was driving up to and told them I had to get my animals. The Sheriff let me through and this was the view from our front yard.
I gotta' tell you I was pretty sure it was over for this house and the one above (not in the picture because it was fully engulfed with smoke) We just stood there waiting for it to go feeling very badly for the families. The firefighters got on the roof, drove tankers around it, the DC-10 came roaring back and the fight was once again on. They saved both homes. You should have seen it I was so proud of them. Again, you can't know how thankful Yucaipa is right now. I was thinking if my house smells as bad is it does I cant even begin to imagine the smoke damage to those two today. :( Please remember to pray for the families of the 2 fireman who lost their lives and for God to sustain the wife of the one who is due to deliver their first baby soon. God is good and I believe that even in the worst of times; he will reveal himself to these families. God bless and have a good (peaceful, quiet, non-fire night) ;)


OK, you will have to bare with me cause I am working on very little sleep in the last few days but I wanted to post some pictures and update you all. It really started on Sunday when the Oak Glen fire rolled around behind us. It was all good and blowing away until about 10pm and then the wind shifted towards us which caused us a little concern for a bit. They really got the air attack on it though and it was all but knocked down on Monday afternoon. I went to run errands and had only been home shortly when my friend called to say she saw smoke on the other side of us. I looked out the other side of the house to find that indeed we had another problem.

Lucky for us the air tankers were near by and jumped right on the flames. It was a great battle and effort on their part but once the sun went down they were gone and let me just say that was a very bad feeling.
My friend Stacy kept insisting we might have to leave and I kept saying,"naaahhhh." She decided to ignore me (thank you Stacy) and bring her truck up before the roads were closed. It's a good thing she did because about 15 minutes after the sun went down the winds picked up and we had a neighborhood full of firemen and police officers "suggesting" we leave. There is only one way in and one way off our hill, very scary when you are talking about evacuating.
This was the last shot we took before our girls started freaking out and the neighborhood became a circus with firefighters, tankers, bulldozers on the hill and the news channels. I of course had not packed a thing and had not even thought through what to take. Stacy thank you for walking through the house with me and being the voice of reason.
Josh, thank you for taking all the pictures of my kiddos off the walls and loading my car. Becca and Lauren thank you for walking the girls in and packing their bags and loading them in the car. Thank you honey for reminding me that freaking out does not help and staying calm is a good example to the girls. Thank you, thank you, thank you Firefighters for battling it out and saving our neighborhood. We love it here and love all 8 of our neighbors. We look out for each other. Take care of each other and each others kids and homes. This is a good old fashioned American neighborhood where we all have each others #'s and in some instances keys to each others homes. Thank you police officers who have our neighborhood blocked off tonight to keep looters away. We feel much safer tonight seeing your lights at the end of the street. In the 5 years we have lived here this is the closest a fire has come to us and it gave me a new found appreciation for what my husband does everyday.

Evacuation updates

thanks for all the emails, calls, text, etc. our house is fine and I was allowed up this morning to tend to animals. the fire flared up again this morning and the power lines were down so we are still not allowed home. dan is back at work and we are safe and fine, just REALLY tired and a little displaced for the moment. As soon as i get home i will post some pictures. thank you again for praying for our neigborhood.