Thursday, March 27, 2008

what the hail? i thought it was spring break!

today, as the girls and i were eating lunch in our sunny dining nook, we looked outside to see this falling all around, killing the sunny afternoon!

hello?! aren't we on spring break right now?

apparently not, at least, according to lala.

this is what she had to say about the whole hail business, "is it spring?"

me: "well, we are on spring break, even though it doesn't look like it!"

lala: "i don't think that it's spring break. it's more like just a break!"

so, there you have it. we are not on spring break right now. we're just on break!

maybe, we'll get spring break sometime in june!

melissa-mc, thanks for the title help! hope you don't mind me stealing it! although, i think i may be entitled to it since it looks suspiciously like idaho hail! did you send it to us?? ;-)

why the safety pin?

hmmm, what's that safety pin for, little girl??

i think she is remembering....

this is what kawena does while i'm sleeping in late...
good morning, baby! she always wakes up so happy! love it!

uh-oh mommie my p.j.'s came off!

this particular morning was much better than the week before when i walked in and she was completely naked with a soggy diaper sitting in her crib! oh how i wish i had the camera that morning!

at least she had fun while it lasted!

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

easter ham

this is what our easter "ham" looked like this year:

it was the cutest dang easter ham we've ever had!

and the weather couldn't have been more beautiful

i am way behind in my blogging because we were having way too much fun this past weekend!

on saturday, not only was it nani's 7th birthday (can she really be that old?), but it was the annual hazeldale ward easter egg hunt. we have been doing this every year for the last 6 years and without fail it was always raining and freezing cold, with the exception of our first year.

i kept checking the weather forecast daily last week. it said rain and showers every day, except saturday it said 0% chance of rain! i still was not convinced! living in oregon, you tend to not put much weight on the weather forecast.

but, thankfully, this time the weather forecast was right! the day dawned sunny and clear. we had a great time finding eggs with the girls.

of course, i was armed with my camera and very excited to get some more practice using it, as i am still trying to figure it out.

and they're off...

what are those in there?

nani must have seen a very good egg! look at her go!

one of my favorites of the day! looks like kawena got the hang of this egg hunting thing!

"you can get two more!" i guess mitch wanted to make sure she knew her limit!

as soon as all of her eggs were found, lala made a beeline to the trampoline:

and spent almost the rest of the time on that thing! this girl loves a thrill!

kawena was in the mood for a little peek-a-boo:

as we were leaving nani decided to try out the trampoline, too! (i thought this was a pretty cool shot! i love the silhouette of the tree branches against the sky.) look at that, not a cloud in the sky!

and, because i L.O.V.E. close-ups... i saved my favorites for last...

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

moving light

we love our first born daughter so much! nani is such a sweet girl and very helpful around the house and with her sisters! she also says some pretty funny things!
last week, mitch picked nani up from a friend's house after a play date. it was about 5:00 in the afternoon. during the short drive home, the two of them had the following conversation:

nani: "is it night time?"

mitch: "yep!"

nani: "it seems early!"

mitch: "that's because of daylight savings. i like daylight savings because it stays light longer!"

nani: "i don't like it because it's dark in the morning! it's really not saving daylight! it's more like taking light from the morning and putting it in the night!"

and this is the look nani will give me when i tell her i wrote her thoughts about daylight savings on my blog:

Monday, March 17, 2008

i'm much too old for this

i must be crazy to volunteer for this. well, actually, i didn't just volunteer, i was the one that brought it up!

before the baby was born, almost 18 months ago, i ran a 4 mile loop in the morning before mitch left for work at 6:30. it was a great way to get the exercise out of the way and to start my day off right. not to mention the raised metabolism to burn all those extra calories i love to eat! i didn't go every morning, but once or twice a week.

when the baby was born that came to a screeching halt! never to be revisited again, until this morning!

my running has been going really well since i started my tickers on the side of the blog. i started out going about 3 miles, 3 times a week. then last week i got up to 4 miles and it felt good! so, when i saw rachael at the memorial service on saturday, i decided i was ready to recommit myself, and rachael, to the early morning run!

we were both very excited to start running together again, not only for the exercise, but, more importantly, for the great conversation we enjoy!

so, last night i called her and we synchronized our watches so that we could meet at the corner of my street exactly at 5:30 am. then, we were off to bed for a restful nights sleep so we could bound out of bed at 5:05 am.

only, that's not how it happened! i tossed and turned all night! i remember looking at the clock at 12:36, 2:45, 3:32, 4:01, 4:53, and then i laid in bed, awake, waiting for the alarm to finally go off! apparently, at 4:00am i sat bolt upright , waking mitch. he said i was startled as though i slept late! i must have been worried all night that i would sleep through my alarm!

because i was already wide awake, it wasn't hard to get out of bed. rachael met me on my corner a few minutes earlier than planned and we had a great run and ran a great pace! we even got home earlier than we needed to be. i showered and got nani off on the bus and then i hit the wall!

all that sleep lost in the night finally caught up with me. i crawled into bed by 7:35 and crashed! i remember turning my alarm off at 9:00am, i had set it so i could get up and go plant some flowers in front of the barfuss' house at 10am. next thing i know, i hear the baby chatting away in her crib. i glance at the clock only to see that it is 10:11am! ahhh!

the rest of the morning i was in somewhat of a daze, well for what was left of the morning when i finally peeled my body out of the bed! i missed out on planting the flowers, which i was really looking forward to doing, and i only got half of my errands run.

am i too old for this early morning stuff? that kicked my okole! the run was fine, in fact, it was excellent, it felt great! it was the lack of sleep that killed me! hopefully, next monday i will have had a MUCH better nights sleep to sustain me!

...or maybe i am just too dang old!

Sunday, March 16, 2008

all cried out

that's not really true! it sure feels like i should be all cried out, but still i am moved to tears.

we had ross' memorial service yesterday, and it was "freakin' awesome!", as ross would have said! it was an A.M.A.Z.I.N.G outpouring of love and the spirit!

i laughed, and i cried, and i was in awe of the family's strength in adversity and testimony of the gospel! i loved the stories that the family shared about ross:

my favorite being the one where ross took a whole pad of post it notes with him to a stake dance. he wrote his name and his phone number on each one and plastered them all around the cultural hall. but he didn't stop there. he then went to the girls bathroom and stuck them all over the door. then, and this is the best part, he went around the dance to all the girls and asked, "who's ross?"

i loved the eternal perspective they shared with us and their knowledge that they will be with ross again:

ross' dad said that that day on the beach all he lost was a pair of shoes. he will not get the shoes back, but he will get his boy back! he said that he just was not responsible for ross anymore.

though i did not know ross personally, i have been greatly moved by the influence he had on so many people and the way in which he touched so many lives both directly and indirectly, like myself, in his short sojourn on earth.

this video was created for ross by a young man who was in our ward, but recently moved away. he felt that he needed to help this past week, but couldn't because he was so far away. he made this tribute to ross. it is incredibly moving and the music is amazing (pause my music player at the top of my blog so you can really listen to the words of the music on the video)!

"through laying down your life for a boy you had never known before, you demonstrated a great act of charity, the pure love of Christ...we take peace in knowing, that because you had that love, you are in a better place...heading towards the outstretched arms of our Lord."

i love the following lines from the song on this video:

"and if you were with me tonight,
i'd sing to you just one more time.
a song for a heart so big,
God wouldn't let it live.
may angels lead you in."

at the end of the memorial service, the youth of the stake sang "just one more time. a song for a heart so big." a song for ross. they sang the efy medley as sisters in zion/we'll bring the world his truth, my all time favorite song of the youth! they did an incredible job singing through their tears! it was so powerful! here is a video i found on you tube with the song that the youth sang:

they put together a little card that had some of ross' journal entries on it and they had it at the service. the very first one was this:

"Being a son of God means a lot to me. It means that I have a responsibility to make my Father proud. It also means that I have a standard to live my life to. 9/10/200"

i believe that ross made his Father proud and he did live up to that standard!

"may we all strive to be found of having the love that you showed that stranger."

Monday, March 10, 2008

he "wasn't a hero in his death. He was a hero in his life."

that's what ross' mother said of him in an article found on it was a very touching article that gives us a glimpse into the sort of person that ross was. please, read the article here. also, here is a video clip of the family talking about what happened.

the past two days have been quite emotional for me. it is strange to me how deeply this tragedy has affected me. you know, i hear about stories like this all the time on the news, but it is always so far removed from me. whenever i hear one of those stories, it is easy to just think, "that is so sad! i feel sorry for them," and then go on with my day.

but this one hit way too close to home!

since they are a family of all boys (they have one daughter, who is away at school), and we are a family of all girls, i don't interact with them a whole lot. mitch, however, is in the young men's and knows the boys well. i remember the first sunday that i saw them at church, they sat right behind us and i thought, "wow! that is a lot of boys!"

since then, the plaid, thrift store suit ross wore every sunday had become a fixture in our ward. i think that if people didn't know him by name, they definitely knew him by his suit! yesterday when talking with mitch, what little i was able to talk to him because he was at the coast all afternoon and evening, i was asking him about ross. "was he a good kid? he always had a smile on his face. every time i saw him, he was smiling!" and he was! though i didn't know him personally, he seemed to have a way of brightening the room and the people around him.

as a mother, this has been a lot harder on me and more emotional than i thought it would be. it just rips my heart out to think about the difficult days and months and years ahead for his family. we know that they will see him again, we believe that families are eternal, thank goodness for this knowledge, but it still doesn't take away all of the hurt of the here and now without ross. i can't imagine if it were one of our girls!

because i have been thinking about this all day, tonight, we had a little family home evening lesson on eternal families. we talked about ross and his family, and the blessings of being sealed for time and all eternity in the temple. i asked the girls if there was a song that they thought would be good to sing, and lala said, "temple!" (that's what we call i love to see the temple from the children's hymnbook). so, we sang the song together.

then mitch asked the girls, "do you know what ross was doing when he went into that water?"

and nani said, "he was sacrificing his life to try to help someone else. he didn't think about himself, just about the other boy." wow! i was floored, i couldn't have said it any better!

we talked about charity and the example that ross set as he ran out to save that boy, without a thought for his own safety! apparently, that is just who ross was. those who knew him well are not surprised that he did what he did!

i love what his mother said at the end of the article (referencing that his body had not yet been found),

"Ross is not his body. He was that personality. That smile. That suit."

it is still so unreal to me! i just ache for their family. i can't imagine what his brother's are going through! and the parent's!

love up your children every moment that you can! hug them, kiss them, enjoy them, tell them how much you love them! and make sure that they really know it!

Sunday, March 09, 2008

a call for prayers

this morning mitch left suddenly without even waking me up to tell me where he was going. time was of the essence. a few minutes later, the girls came up to tell me that daddy left to go to the beach to look for a boy who drowned. hearing this from a 4 year old and a 6 year old, i didn't know what to think. i asked the girls if it was a boy we knew, and they weren't sure.

confused and worried, i called mitch and found out that ross, a 16 year old boy from our ward, had been at the beach with his family, yesterday. they noticed another boy, whom they didn't know, struggling in the high surf. ross ran into the water to help the other boy. the younger boy was rescued, but later died at the hospital, but ross is still missing.

it was a rough day today at church. many of the ward members have been out at the beach all morning and afternoon with the family trying to find their son and brother.

i just spoke with mitch and they still have not located ross, but they did find one of his shoes. so, they continue to search.

please include both the family and the rescuers in your prayers. the family needs all the comfort and love they can get at this tragic time, and the rescuers need guidance to find ross. my heart just aches for the family! i can't even imagine!

thank you for your thoughts and prayers! here is a link to the story, and a video link.