Wednesday, October 27, 2010

What's a Little Mess?

A few weeks ago I was on the phone with a friend who has 5 little ones.  She was trying to talk to me and her 2 year old at the same time.  She was telling him to not turn on the water and instructing him on how he could play.  Then she turned her attention to me and said, "Do you ever just fill up the sink and let Micah play in the water?"  She was enjoying her little one next to her, talking on the phone, while he played in the sink.  I initially thought, "of course not! You are just asking for a mess. I mean, why make more work for yourself?  Don't I have enough already?"  I didn't say this out loud to her but it was what I was thinking.

Today I let Micah play in the backyard by himself.  It didn't take long and he was into the murky bird bath water.  He came in all wet with soaked and dirty arms up to his elbows.  Of course I had to take off his shirt but before I put on another, I decided he might like to play in some clean soapy water while I washed dishes.

This was new to him and he didn't quite understand what I was setting up.  A stool so he could reach, a towel when he spilled it all down the front of the sink, and a pot full of soapy warm water, a ladle and cup. 

I washed dishes on one side of the sink while he played on the other.  He loved it!  Of course, he did.  I always say that children and water just go together!  Really all the mess I had to clean up was water on the floor.  

I really need to do this more often.  Why should I expect a 2 yr old to look at books all day quietly and play with toys made just for them?  He is wanting to explore the world around him, dirt, water and all!  I'll take a little mess any day knowing he's next to me, safely enjoying life.

Thanks friend, for the idea!


Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Building Memories

We just returned from a 2 week trip to California where both my husband and I grew up.  The central valley and the Bay area are both interesting and beautiful places to visit.  This was a support trip where we tried to make as many face to face contacts with friends and family who pray and give of their resources for us to be able to work at Gospel for Asia here in Texas.  It was busy and full of wonderful lunch dates, ice cream dates, coffee dates and dinner dates.  I know I gained a few pounds!  We are so grateful to be friends with so many wonderful people who truly love us and care for us.  We really do care for them as well and enjoy their company and the memories we've made together over the years.  I'm grateful that these trips force us to connect with the people we love and wouldn't have it any other way.  What could be years and years of separation due to busy schedules and life taking us in different directions is not happening in our world.  Thanks be to God!

Can you imagine traveling with a family of 7?  Well, maybe you can but this was new for us.  We haven't flown in along time with our whole entire family and with the new luggage rules of paying for every suitcase you check, we had to get advice.  Some friends of ours who also have a large family suggested everyone bring their own carry-on and a back pack.  We actually had to borrow luggage for this.  Anyway, we wound up only having to check one piece of luggage but this meant we had to keep track of and lug with us 7 carry-ons, 7 back packs, 1 car seat, a blanket and binkie, our purses and our ID ready and available. And lets not forget to wear slip on shoes for going through security and NO WATER  in those water bottles!  This made for a terribly stressed out Daddy.  Luckily when my husband gets stressed out he just gets giddy and makes us all laugh. He just starts laughing like a maniac! What else can you do? 

We did take some vacation days as well and wanted to do some site seeing as a family.  Rich and I grew up going to the mountains and the beach every so often and so we wanted to share this with our children.  They are growing up in Texas where there aren't mountains or beaches that are a short distance away.  We took so many pictures that I can't possibly share them all but I hope to pick out a few shots that communicate some of the beautiful sights we visited.

The first week we visited Yosemite National Park.  Rich and I both had been there several times as children and then we honeymooned there when we got married.

This is Half Dome and it is one of the first things you see when you enter the park!  Can you hear the "oohs" and "ahhs" coming from the back seat?
This is the kind of shear granite rock that you see all around Yosemite.  It is really incredibly breath-taking!

 A fun picture we took while hiking up Vernal Falls.  

AJ was in his element for sure! He is a hiker and was ready to do the 12 hour hike up Half Dome!   He is truly a "Spring Chicken" and can out hike all of us!  When we were panting and muscles were burning, he was running because he couldn't get there fast enough!

And this was what he was running to see!
Rich and AJ got up very early in the morning to do this hike.  It took them over 2 hours.
A place called Curry Village is where we stayed inside the park for one night.  These are called tent cabins and consisted of basic beds with metal frames, bedding (that you make yourself). wood floors and a locker outside to put your food in to keep it away from bears.  I have to say it was sufficient enough but I didn't get much sleep since one person in our family was concerned all night about the bears!
Olivia was our photographer the entire time.  She took most of these pictures for us.  With all of her health issues, she did wonderful hiking around the park for which I was grateful.

Julia was quite a trooper even though she was hot most of the time.  We weren't prepared for how warm it was up in the mountains.

We had dinner at this hotel on our honeymoon.  We wanted to show the children this place and peek in on the dining hall.  It's a spectacular place and the gardens surrounding it are gorgeous!
This is the walking path and some of the foliage around the hotel.
I like this picture of Reece because it really depicts his personality.  There seems to always be a hole in the knee of his pants.  He picked this T-shirt from the gift shop and has worn it almost every day since!
Micah loves to get his picture taken and always says "cheeeeese". This is a picture of him saying it.

On our way out of the park we stopped at Bridal Veil Falls.  There wasn't much water falling but it make it nice for rock climbing which our children can get lost for hours doing!

Looks like I'll have to talk about the beach in a later post.  So long for now.  To wrap it up, we'll conclude that Yosemite was a hit and we would definitely go back.  Just hope it's not another 19 years before we get a chance to return!