Saturday, April 28, 2012

On Thursday morning, this world lost a great man. At the same time, heaven gained a soldier of the cross. We are all in shock, numb and hurting. It is hard to put into words exactly what I am feeling. Brett was a friend to many, in particular, in our family, my dad. I hurt because I see and know the loss he is experiencing. I hurt for his family; his wife, his children, grandchildren, siblings, all of them...my heart breaks. Many thoughts are rolling through my head, but my friend, Misha (click on her name to go to her blog), wrote on her blog some of the things I was thinking but could not form the words. Take time today to show you care...for we may not have tomorrow.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Wednesday and Thursday of our trip to Arizona

Okay, now I am lumping days together! This is just taking me waaaaaaayyyyy too long! Unfortunately, Monday through Wednesday of my week is busy, busy, busy with kids and school. So here are a few pictures from Wednesday and Thursday of our trip:
Myles soaking in the sunshine

Poor Ashley trying her hardest to play in the sand with one foot

Aunt Paula teaching the kids how to whistle

Aunt Paula with three of my munchkins

The Men oh, and Elle

 Dad and Grandpa

My brother grilling us up a feast! 

And this was so cool! I was going to reserve this for a post all in its own but I am taking too much time in between posts. We got to meet one of my fellow bloggers, Mary Ginty. I have followed this sweet young lady's blog for quite a while now. If you haven't had the chance to visit her blog, click here. She is an amazing young woman with a heart after God. I had the opportunity to meet her sister also. Mary wrote a book about the adoption of her little niece, MJ, whom she writes about often on her blog. This story gripped my heart. It is a story of love and compassion. I knew this was a golden opportunity to be able to meet her, so while we were on our way to my Aunt Paula's house, my sweet mom took the time to take us by Mary's house. It was a brief meeting but so well worth the trip! Thank you, Mary for taking the time for us! I hope to see you again soon! God bless! (by the way, the yellow flower is in her hair, not mine. She's always beautifully decked out!)

While in Scottsdale, I had to find this sculpture. I have seen it in pictures and my friend, Tena has a picture of herself by it. I think it is awesome!! 
I am not exactly sure what is going on in this picture??
Elle felt like one of them, um, Ashley, well she was doing her own thing

Thursday night we celebrated my cousin's little boy's birthday. This is his little sister Avalon with Elle. 

This is the birthday boy, Dylan! Love these kiddos! 

Some of the cousins with Grandpa, we were missing the other four. 

This was a special moment for me, I got to have breakfast with my dad and my grandpa. Moments like this are rare and I cherish each second of them. 
Grandpa and I, after breakfast.
It was awesome to be in Arizona with family and friends. But it was especially awesome to spend that time with my grandpa. I love him so much. He chose to be my grandpa and for that, I am thankful. (that is another story, for another day). 


Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Brought you up to Tuesday....

And then I just left you hanging! So sorry! Our internet went down on Friday and didn't come back up until Saturday evening. Being that I do most of my schoolwork online, I had quite a bit of work to do the last couple days. But here I am :).
Alright! Tuesday, it was a great day. Elle was still feeling a bit under the weather but we managed to squeeze in a trip to Cabela's. My kids think it is like going to a zoo! And I am okay with that because the animals aren't alive! Well, the fish are but not that enormous polar bear starring into my eyes!
That evening we had dinner at the house with Grandpa. My cousin Nicole and her two ADORABLE children came by (I'll talk more about them in another post, they deserve a post of their own) and my Aunt Paula stopped in for a bit. And then, around eight o'clock our dear, dear friends, Len and Tena, came by to pick Ronnie and I up. Here is a picture of the four of us just as we are heading out the door:
This was taken from Levi's iPod, so it is a bit grainy

We went to BJ's and laughed and talked and ate and laughed and talked and ate and...you get it! It was wonderful! I will tell you that Tena, (click here to go to her blog) is simply amazing! Not only is she a genuine friend but she loves God, people and life immensely! She embraces life with passion and it spills on to everyone that comes in contact with her. She is an inspiration to me and many others. I could really go on and on here, but it would take all day. We so enjoyed spending that time with them and look forward to the next, and the next, and the next....so thankful for our friends!

If all goes well, I'll continue our trip either tomorrow or Friday. Boy, am I ever stretching this out!!

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Family Trip to Arizona and Back!

So, in case you're wondering, I didn't fall off the planet. Nope, we were on vacation. My family, including my parents, took a 3000 mile journey to visit my precious grandfather who lives in Arizona. It was incredible! I did not want to come home. Well, I did want to come home because I prefer my own bed to that of hotels, but the fun was never-ending! AND, I knew I had school awaiting me when I got home...*sigh*...was not looking forward to reality!

I will begin our journey on the day we left. On Friday, March 23, we drove to my parents house in Coos Bay, Or., stayed the night with them and left out early the next morning. Destination: Fallon, Nevada. Of course, things NEVER go as planned. We left an hour later than we intended, took way too many stops (8 people in one car not on same restroom schedule?? Imagine that!), and arrived in Fallon (after getting a little off track) late that night, um, I think around 8 or 9. We got a bite to eat at this great diner. If you are ever in Fallon, NV. eat at Jerry's, seriously, it's awesome.

Next morning, on the road again, heading for Phoenix. Now, this was a very long day! Nevada is a state with hot spots. What I mean by that is, you have Reno, Carson City, Las Vegas, Lake Tahoe and a few other major spots. Then you have Tonopah, Hawthorne, Area 51 (Amargosa Valley), and a menagerie of other "if you blink you'll miss them" towns. But what is crazy, is people live there! They are out in the middle of NOWHERE! I found myself feeling depressed for those people, but I supposed they wouldn't live there if they didn't like it. We made a stop in Tonopah for gas and while there, Myles ran into a girl in his class. Strange, I know, really, what are the odds??

We stopped to eat in Las Vegas, not downtown though, just on the outskirts. When we finally got back on the road, it was around 6 pm (maybe a little later). Finally, we got into Phoenix around 11 pm...Phew! What a day! Unfortunately, during this leg of the trip, my little Elle Belle got sick. Fever, cough, runny nose, it was so sad! It took her until Tuesday to feel better, so the next couple days I didn't do much except hang around the house (we rented a vacation home) and nurse her.

However, even though I was playing nurse, a real nurse came to visit me! My wonderful friend, Dawn Bolding and her family came for a visit. They live in Winslow which is about 3 hours north east of Phoenix. They were planning to come down and then the night before received a call that their former pastor was in the hospital in Scottsdale. So their trip became two-fold. And I was so excited to see them! We had an awesome time visiting and laughing and eating and laughing and well, you get the idea! 

So I've brought you up to Tuesday, I'll continue tomorrow...I'll leave you with a few pictures :)

Dawn and I

Grandpa and Ronnie :)

Our family with Grandpa, minus Elle, who was in bed sick :(

Aunt Paula and a barely dressed Ashley. Sorry, she was outside, hot and full of sand. I took her top and skirt off to try and clean her up a bit. We had quite a few issues with the whole cast thing in the sand!!

My bro and I. I am so glad he was able to come, however, we would have loved it more if he could have brought his better half and his children! Hopefully, next time! 

Dad and Grandpa :)

Stay tuned...more of our trip and some pictures to come...