Has it only been 11 days?

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Nona bought Wiley a belated birthday gift.

Wiley started Kindergarten 15 days ago. My in-laws came into town 14 days ago. My husband took his dad on a much needed kayak/camping trip – just the two of them – 13 days ago. I had to finish writing music (the piano music we decided on was written for a piano/viola and I wrote the harmony part I sang) for a duet I sang in church – 12 days ago. The Total Solar Eclipse seen from our backyard – 11 days – also said goodbye to my in-laws. My Aunt came into town from Austin, TX to see the eclipse, and stayed in town to visit with me for a day.  My middle child turned 3 years old – 10 days ago. Danny started school. My mother performed in a ballet – took kids down to my parents – had to see the mother perform. Racing home from my visit, to see mom on stage, to teach my Sunday School class….and so on…

All this time I’ve had to let some things slide. A grocery bag of un-openned birthday decorations still sit on my closet shelf.

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They love reading.

Tyler, turned three, had the best day of his life. I gave him everything he asked for that day, I didn’t give him everything I planned, I gave him what he asked for and that made him happy. He wanted birthday donuts – no cake. He wanted to watch Youtube videos (supervised by me) during school hours. He wanted a tricycle – which he rides daily around my living room and kitchen – and Tow-Mater/Lightening McQueen cars. Done and done. Time in the sandbox. Play in the tub. Seems kinda like I was a lame mom for his birthday this year, but the birthday boy got everything he asked for, so I’ll call it a win.

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Park time.

Four days after my in-laws returned home to the Houston, Texas area Hurricane Harvey hit.

I have been glued to social media – watching through the eyes of friends – heart sick – as my old neighborhoods, libraries I visited, restaurants I frequented, trails I used to walk – all flooded.

I’ve been uniting in prayer with friends and strangers for the comfort, healing and rebuilding of Houston, Texas. Just as the country united only four or five days earlier to watch the amazing beauty of the solar eclipse, so many people united once again during the chaos and damage that hurt millions “back home.”

My husband asked me if he should take this semester off from school (where he studies civil/environmental engineering in Missouri) to help clean up and restore his home. My husband was born and raised in Houston, Texas. We met in Spring, Texas. Married in the Houston LDS Temple. Lived in our first home two blocks north of the Temple. In his mind, after spending this summer as a storm water management engineering-intern for the City of Columbia, he felt like he could do a lot of good in the after math of Harvey. My response was, “you’re eight months from graduating with a degree – you can do a lot more good when that is completed, when you’re done, you can improve infrastructure not just in Houston, but anywhere in the world.” Right now, it would only increase our financial burden with him not in school and not working.

Danny will continue to do much good for everyday life as he finishes his degree. He will continue to do much good when he graduates.

I’ll do good here in the home.

So, I am continuing to pray for the aid (physical, financial and emotional) of those hurt by Harvey. In all the chaos of my life, I have not forgotten you or the other people suffering in the world.

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After day four of Kindergarten, Wiley fell asleep like this.

No matter what is happening in our own lives, God wants us to think about and serve others.

Life can wear you down, just stop and rest a bit, but just don’t quit.

Spring Break 2015: South Texas, USA

Nona with her most recent grand babies - Baby G (L) and Baby T (R)
Nona with her most recent grand babies – Baby G (L) and Baby T (R)

My husband doesn’t get to see his family very often, so for spring break we decided to drive to Texas.

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Along the way I have family in Tulsa, Oklahoma City and the Ft Worth area…so a drive to Texas means a stop to visit with my family too – win.

Papa driving the Grands around to look/feed animals.
Papa driving the Great-grandbabies around to look at/feed animals.

Our families roll out the red carpet and there is always good food, clean beds and good company.

Wiley was not interested in taking a picture with his Grandparents or cousins.
Wiley was not interested in taking a picture with his Grandparents or cousins.

Since we have returned from our trip, my almost three year old is now calling every older person he sees either, “KoKo, Grampa,  and Gregre.” It cracks me up.

Daddy bribbed Wiley with candy and then we had another cryer on our hands...
Daddy bribbed Wiley with candy and then we had another cryer on our hands…

We drove up to my Aunt Kathy’s (KoKo’s) house around 9:30pm on a Friday night and she and Grandad were up and had a lovely dinner waiting – we partied till 1:30am. The next morning, I met my brother, Aunt Colleen and cousins Max and Miranda for smoothies at Jamba Juice (Auntie C’s treat).  When we got back to Koko’s house, she had a large brunch getting ready.

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Part of the expense of road trips is hotel and food – check, check. Blessings.

By the time Miss B stopped crying, Wiley was done. He had to go ruin his Sunday clothes, peace out.
By the time Miss B stopped crying, Wiley was done. He had to go ruin his Sunday clothes, peace out.

We got to Danny’s grandparent’s home Saturday evening.  Both boys were desperate to get out of their chairs.

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Sunday, we went to my in-law’s Ward in Cleveland, Texas (which is always a good visit). Unless you’ve been to Cleveland, Texas for your LDS worship needs, you don’t know what you’re missing.

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After church and dinner, we had a lovely afternoon with friends and family.

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I spent the majority of my day taking photos…too many to post.

My mother in law is so photogenic.
My mother in law is so photogenic.

Grandchildren, baby goats, Danny Quadcopters, family photos, it was kind of a perfect day.

Yep, perfect day.
Yep, perfect day.