Dinner Time or Circus Time?

It’s ‘dinner time’ around here. One of my kids appears to be naked except for a beautiful Anna hair pretty. And some marker tattoos she created while I was making said dinner.

The other is America Ninja Warrioring around the living room. He has set up an obstacle course using a fabric tunnel, blanket box, dollhouse, couch , end table and ottoman.

Generally we eat dinner in the dining room, but sometimes we have ‘blanket picnics’ in the living room. The warrior suggested we do that tonight. Walking into the living room and tripping on his ‘perimeter trap’ I can see why.

By the time my dinner is done, my naked princess and wild warrior have eaten all their berries, a couple bites of rice (with  their hands, not forks) and proceed to yell ‘ready, set, go’ and ‘catch me if you can’ before taking off and diving head first into the tunnel. While I could get all ‘mom’ on them and whip this party into shape, it really just makes me smile that they are playing so nicely together. Is that wrong? I swear they have manners most of the time… but tonight on this rainy, dad’s gone,we’ve been cooped up all day while mom does work day… wildness seems to be winning. And that’s okay with me.

These are the days of our lives…

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There’s This Man

There’s this man who has been a rock in my life… for my whole life. He has been a constant, a fixer, a listening ear, a voice of reason and an oasis in the storm. He has been a role model, a shopping buddy, a sounding board and the most amazing Grandpa that a person could ask for.

He’s been the one who has officiated just about every wedding in my family. He has baptized me, my siblings, my cousins and my children. He is the patriarch of our family- even before he was the oldest male in the family. You know how there is a person who just brings people together? This is him.

My gramps is incredible. He honestly is one of the most amazing men I’ve ever had a chance to be around. The love and ability to care and give uselfishly, has set the bar very high for my mom, her sisters, and my generation too.

When the strongest link in your family becomes sick, what do you do? How do you care for the person who has always cared for you? The one who makes it better for everyone… he has spent his life taking care of others and doesn’t ask for help ever. He still isn’t. But now, he needs to be showered in love.

It’s scary to think of what will happen in the future. My grandparents are almost 80, they have had an incredible life. They have been married for almost 60 years. Had three beautiful girls, five grandbabies and (so far) two great-grandbabies and one more on the way. Being a minister- they have touched thousands more lives than just us.

My grandfather was blessed with a gift. He knows when people need him. Just knows it. Wakes up in the middle of the night feeling an urge to contact someone or pop by and see them. Arriving or calling them, he would find they were in deep need of counseling, a hand to hold, or someone to sit quietly with them. He is always in the right place at the right time.

How do I do that for him? How does my family fill that void when he is gone? How could knowing that he will be gone from a sickness make it feel so much more real than knowing he would die ‘someday’, ‘somehow’?

The last couple years have been full of laughter, love, new life and loss, growth, and a realization that our days are so limited. Life is about right now, this second, this minute, this day. Yesterday is over. Tomorrow is never guaranteed. Love the ones you’re with… bank those memories to save for when you can’t make more. I guess that’s what I’ll do for now… make as many memories as I can and see what tomorrow brings…20130722_191755

Change in My Life: Emergency Prep

It all started when I was looking for a book to read. I casually decided Facebook is a great avenue to gather a variety of opinions. Big. Mistake. Or lucky… depending on the future.

A friend recommended a book about survival. I popped over Amazon and checked out the reviews and knew I ‘had’ to read this book. Even though it wasn’t on Amazon Unlimited, I spared no expense (well… it was only $5.99 or so) and started immediately.

Within five minutes I had to stop to find a piece of paper to write down the tips and items he had in the book. This should have been a red flag to stop reading, but I can’t. I’m a mom and a slightly obsessed with being self-reliant mom… and slightly obsessed with being prepared for an emergency. BUT I have seriously considered what this book covers.

The main character in the book is out of town for work. An event occurs and his car, along with all other modern transportation and communication devices, stop working. The man isn’t worried- he travels with enough supplies to make it home, walking, from wherever he travels. He is 250 miles from home, knowing it will be long time (if ever) until they figure out what happened. He loads up his pack (basically a 72 hour kit in the car) with the needed items from his suitcase to make it home.

Think about it. If your car broke down and there was no transportation how would you get home? Would you walk? How far? Do you have food/water for your kids if they are with you? Shoes you can walk in?

Now my life is changed forever. Before we go anywhere I think about how far we are going and what we need in the car to make it home if we have to walk. I think it’s more smart, when you have small people depending on you, rather than paranoid or crazy. Although obviously that debate has been going on in my mind.

We went to town yesterday. About a 35 mile trip (one way). I loaded up the stroller, my pack, tennis shoes/socks/coats for my kids and snacks. My pack always has a water filter, platypus bottle, first aid kit, wipes, bug spray, sunscreen, extra set of clothes for each kid, snacks, lighter, knife, headlamp, etc. Five minutes into this book, I realized that was not enough. Especially when I can keep it in my car and load up what I need into my bag, depending on the situation.

Also, I now have a kid-sized bag for each of my kids in the car. They can carry some light stuff if needed. Also, I stopped at Walmart on the way home and purchased a super small emergency stove that uses tablets to heat. Super awesome.

My life is changed. Growing up in Alaska you know you have to be self-sufficient. People aren’t always going to now you need help, let alone rush to your rescue. You have to be prepared to walk out, feed yourself, keep warm, take care of your kids, etc. We keep extra snow gear in our cars. I learned to change tires before I could drive a car. But this book emphasized how important those skills and ability to be prepared are.

Want to know what it is? Are you ready? It could change your reality…

‘Going Home: A Novel’ by A. American