Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Daddy's home

I mentioned that Scott was gone for 2 full weeks!!?? We were so thankful to get Daddy came home on Saturday. We missed him terribly. I don't normally do well by myself. I do weird things like sleep with the lights on, stay up late watching shows like "The History of Licorice," put Keaton to sleep in my bed to "protect" me, lock the door to our lanai (which is 3 stories up). I tried to stay as busy as possible while he was gone. We took advantage of having the car everyday and visited places we don't often get to go during the week like the zoo, discovery "buseum" (as Keaton calls it), parks on the other side of town, Wal-mart (okay, that was mainly for me). We ate a lot of popcorn and macaroni for dinner. But, we made it by without him somehow. 

Here's some of the cool stuff Scott got to see while he was "working"

He also made a trip to Charlotte to surprise his family and celebrate Caroline's 7th birthday. They had her party at Chuck e Cheese. Sniff sniff. Keaton would have loved that. Wish we could have been there. Happy Birthday, Caroline!

Look at that Liebler cousin! Any day now...

Sorry, but way too many blog posts have gone by without a picture of my baby. Bear with me here. I cannot help myself. 

"Help! I think my mom has a camera literally attached to her hand!"

Sobering Week

It's been an emotional week. Scott just got home from a 2 week research trip to the Archives in DC. While he was gone, we had a terrible tragedy occur in our church. A 5 year old boy, Evan English, fell to his death from a two story window in his home. Although this family was fairly new to our church and had only moved to Hawaii in November, it was amazing to see our church come together to love, support and mourn with them. 

We had the honor of worshipping with them on Sunday morning, only 4 days after they said goodbye to their son.  They had the courage not only to attend church, but to pray aloud, sing, ask openly for forgiveness, call unbelievers to faith! Wow. It was an experience I'll never forget. Jason and Ami English are spiritual giants in my book. They have a long road of grief ahead of them. Please lift them up if God brings them to your mind.

 Of course, Evan's death brought forth a whole host of emotions for both Scott and I: mainly fear, sadness, overwhelming thankfulness for our children's protection - to name just a few. Sadly, it takes tragedy to refocus life sometimes. To help us remember that this world is not our home. To make us realize how trivial our "problems" are and to open our eyes to our enormous blessings. In honor of Evan, I hope we can remember this week and savor every second we have with our children. 

My mother in law (providentially) sent me this amazing message written on facebook by her pastor Andy Lewis of Mitchell Road Presbyterian Church.  I felt it so applicable and encouraging after a week like this to be reminded that we can rejoice in our sufferings because we have a personal God who suffers with us. 

not a fair weather religion
by Andy Lewis on Wednesday, March 30, 2011
Many things can be said about Christianity.  One thing that cannot be said is that it is a fair weather religion. It is abundantly clear that Christianity isn’t just for sunny days and beautiful spring mornings.  Of course it is a religion for that as well.  But there are many religions that do well in those climates.  When life is perfect, your finances are in order, your friends and family are healthy and there are no anxieties it is hard to think of religion at all!  But we all know that life is never perfect, there are diseases, sickness, poverty and stress.  And even when it is “as good as it gets” there is still a burning unrest within us.  That we were meant for something greater. 

Christianity does fine in fair weather because it teaches us how to be thankful and enjoy the gifts given from God.  However, Christianity separates itself from other religions and thinking during the storms of life.  During the dark night of the soul.  During the dark days and dreary mornings one thing is clear – that the God of Christianity enters into our misery with us.  It is good to know that this is clear because during those seasons of life so few things are clear.  There are too many clouds to see the sun. 

We see this theme played out throughout the Scriptures.  Take for example the central passage of the cross of Christ.  It is precisely that cross that calls me understand God’s love for me.  That God not only knows my sin and misery but enters into that sin in order that I may be free from my misery.  That even during the dark days of life we have a God we can worship who is with us in the trials.  Unlike other religions or idols Christ has tasted rejection, temptation, despair, and trials. 

Reading this morning in Exodus 4 I came across this verse.  “And when they heard the Lord was concerned about them and had seen their misery, they bowed down and worshiped.”  In this passage God doesn’t immediately fix the problem.  But he will eventually.  He will bring them out of bondage to slavery in Egypt and give them a new land.  Worship therefore happens not when God frees us but rather when we know God knows and is concerned.  Worship happens at this moment because no other God is like our God.  No other god we give ourselves to (be it reputation, fame, money, comfort, family, etc.)  will care for us when the rain rolls in.  

Take heart friends. God sees and tastes our misery.  He does so ultimately at the cross.  You and I can worship a God with confidence who has promised to bring us out of bondage and into his wonderful light.  It starts now as we worship him and will be completed in the new heavens and new earth… where all our misery and trials will seem like a distant dream that we cannot quite remember.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

6 months old

6 months old already?

How is this possible? 

It took me about 100 shots to get one where he was not trying to eat his "6 months old" sign. (Notice the crumpled state of his sign). I may have to invest in a laminator before his 7 month birthday.

He has a new trick...

Sitting up

He also loves munching on soft, fuzzy toys. 

I just like munching on him. Seriously.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

The Big Wave

I had just finished putting the boys to bed on Thursday night. I was looking forward to a relaxing evening hanging out with Scott, watching all our favorite shows, and going to bed EARLY. I walked into the kitchen and Scott said, "Ashley, you gotta see this."

 The footage from Japan was like something out of the movies. We watched in horror as the water swept away cars, houses, farmland. It wasn't long before they mentioned the impact this earthquake could have on Hawaii. Before we knew it, tsunami watch turned into tsunami warning. Sirens began blaring. Huh? What? Is this a drill? What the heck are we supposed to do? Do I wake up the boys? I had not the first clue of how to prepare for this type of potential disaster. Tornadoes, piece of cake, but tsunami?? I was guessing that crouching in the bathtub with a mattress on our head would not help us here. Were we even in an evacuation zone? I have no idea. Graciously, one of Scott's coworkers called us and told us to run to the grocery store and buy water and fill up every empty container we had with water just in case our water supply was compromised. We figured out from the front of the phone book that we are not in an evacuation zone (our house sits up high on a hill, and we live in the 2nd story).

We are the red dot

The man on the TV said the first wave should not get here until around 3am, so at about 11:30, we went to bed and tried to get some sleep. I knew that we were 3000 miles from Japan, so obviously the tsunami couldn't be as big here, right? But, when I closed my eyes, all I could see was that news footage. I dreamed of huge walls of water coming right for our house. Us, scrambling for life jackets. Waking up to sirens every hour did not help. Finally at 2:30, I woke up and could not go back to sleep. I turned the TV on and waited. At around 3:30, the cameras at Waikiki beach showed the water recede until the entire reef was exposed. Yikes! Isn't this when the huge wave comes plowing through town like a jet liner? Instead, steady waves approached the shore until finally the beach looked normal again. That was it?! Coast is clear. Go back to bed. Yeah, okay. Needless to say, 6:00 came very quickly after my head hit the pillow again. The boys woke up bright and early as usual and were none the wiser. Thank you Lord that a crisis was averted and we are safe.

No longer will I take for granted that I live on a coast (especially one with frequent seismic activity). I'm making a list of things that I want to have ready the next time the big wave comes our way. Thanks for all your thoughts and prayers for us during this scary ordeal!

Saturday, March 12, 2011

The Lion Cut

Clemmie was overdue for a haircut.
posing with Flat Stanley

This fluff butt was way out of control.

Little tumbleweeds of orange hair dancing around our house constantly. Plus,  I was cleaning up regurgitated hairballs at least once a day (sorry, TMI)

So we took her in for a little grooming...

Check out this sleek kitty. I love her new spring look! 

We are all much happier now.

Side note: isn't he adorable?

Tuesday, March 1, 2011


February was an oddly fun month. Here are some pictures from February that have nothing else in common other than they make me smile. 

One day out of boredom, Keaton and I were rummaging through some boxes in the garage and found this funny wig from a halloween party Scott and I attended back in the PK (pre-kid) days. We got a good laugh modeling it for each other.
On Thursdays, we walk to the library for storytime. Our new children's librarian in Kaneohe won "Librarian of the Year" for Hawaii in 2010. Needless to say, he puts on quite a good show every week. 
Keaton decorated Valentines cookies for his friends. 
Best buds at playgroup
Lucas came over to hang out one Saturday night, so his parents could get out on a date. We took the boys to IHOP. How can this picture not make you smile? We did truly come hungry, leave happy.
On Valentines day, Scott and I treated ourselves to dinner ALONE after we put the kids to bed. This was dessert. Chocolate might be my love language.
We were so stir-crazy in the house one day that we had to take a walk even though it was raining. Keaton brought his bucket because you never know what treasures you may find on a walk around the neighborhood in the rain. And we got to wear JACKETS! A rare occasion.

Mark's first time riding in the cart at Costco.
The first of many...

They are constructing a Petco behind our apartment. (Literally, like 50 feet from our apartment, ugh) This huge crane was our lunchtime entertainment one day from our lanai.
Winding down our Presidents Day with a late afternoon trip to the beach. Keaton was playing chase with the waves.
Look at those eyes! I'm so in love with this boy!