Monday, October 16, 2017

San Francisco

We have break and I always am torn with wanting to get away and staying home and doing stuff here.  I feel like I am cheating the kids if we don't go away on some fun adventure.

We were going to go to San Diego but the fires came to northern and southern california and I decided to stay put.  I wasn't sure what the air quality would be and if the Anaheim fires would get worse.

We had a lot of playdates and played outside a lot which was a lot of fun.  The kids had fun.  Scott said it was a good balance of relaxation and activities so I guess that is nice.  It was so nice that we had days off of sports.  Even though it meant staying inside and getting cabin fever from the smoke outside, it was nice to be home.

We went to San Francisco on Saturday because a meet got cancelled from the fires.  Loaded the bikes, road around Golden Gate Park and followed signs to a lake.  I am realizing there is so much that is close by.  People come from all over the world for a day in San Francisco and it is in our backyard.  We are so lucky! It was this little lake with a boathouse that we couldn't see but apparently rented paddle boats.  Scott wanted to do that.  After the kids got their fix of throwing bread, dirt and pebbles to the ducks, we headed on bike to rent our boat.  We were on the boat for probably an hour.  It was a lot of fun.  Parker and Hanna did great until about the last 15 minutes and then we just wanted to get back.  The kids liked trying to catch the turtles that sunbathed on the logs.  They all enjoyed pedaling. Parker and Tyler took off their shoes and hung their feet off the back of the boat.  It was a really beautiful day.  Nice to be out of the smoke.  Nice to be outdoors. 

We headed back and hung out on the grass.  The kids all got sticks to play with and fight with.  We people watched all the people in their late 20's hanging out, having bbq's, playing volleyball.  Everyone seemed to be out.  We laughed about what it was like pre kids in the City.  Wondered who of these people would remain with this life, who wanted a family.  I loved seeing a group of people playing a very casual badmitton tournament.  About 30 people paired up dressed in teams of 2.  So eclectic and inclusive.  That is one thing that I really like about San Francisco's quick glimpse.

A fun day in the City!  So grateful we are so close to so many wonderful places.

California Wildfires

A couple of weeks ago were massive hurricane Harvey that hit Houston killing almost 40 people and leaving 100000 homes flooded.  Then another hurricane destroying Caribbean islands and Florida killing 130+ people. That was after vast evacuations.  Cops and media for days telling people they needed to get out. A high school classmate showed the devastation of living on Anguilla.  Still no running water and pretty much a desolate island.  Then the mass shooting by a shooter from a hotel into a crowd at a Country concert in Las Vegas which killed almost 60 people and injured nearly 600.  Followed by California Wildfires in Napa, Yuba City and Santa Rosa.  Fires that spread soo quickly people didn't have time to evacuate. So far killing over 40 people that I am sure is going to climb.

One disaster after another.  The scriptures tell us that devastation will sweep the earth in the latter-days.  Is this just a coincidence or will this continue to be the norm?  Is my mind baffled because they hit so close to home?  It is devastation. Entire communities destroyed, lived put on hold, lives lost, countless people whose lives will never be the same.

It is heartbreaking.  It makes me humbled, sad, praying often for all those that are hurting.  Grateful for the plan of salvation and a knowledge of a world far better after this one.  I feel so grateful for this life and reminded to give, be more forgiving, more patient and grateful.  People 40 minutes away had their lives turned upside down. It is amazing to see so many helping and wanting to help in small and simple ways.  Coming together to help people we don't even know but who we love and pray for.

I pray that this stops.  That there is some respite from the storms of life.  I recognize a need to be better.  To help more. To love more. 

Life pretty much shut down the past couple of days because of smoke and we weren't even that close.  You woke up to thick smoke you could smell and taste.  The smell of campfire everywhere.  You realized if it was like that here, what it must be like for firefighters, victims, closer communities.  The sky was red.  You could look directly at the sun because it was covered in smoke.  Going 10 minutes could be drastically worse or better.  We went into San Francisco on Saturday and there was a line of grey with smoke underneath.  You realize that not far away huge fires are still raging.  The City would have people who were directly affected by the fire.  So sad!

All our sports, schools and pretty much everything was cancelled.  Nobody was outside, masks were put on and it was time to reflect, slow down and serve.

I vividly remember the San Francisco earthquake.  Where I was, how I felt, events of the day, watching the news.  I was at home watching TV, eating a snack and getting ready for swim.  I remember my mom running down the stairs and telling us to get under the doorway and the earth shook again.

I remember 9/11.  We were at morning practice and Stan got us all out and we watched a little TV in his office of the aftermath.  It was surreal.  Almost as if you are in a dream.

These events I will remember.  They can't be forgotten.  They remind us to be more grateful, more giving and aware the earth is filled with good people who just want to help.

Friday, October 6, 2017

Swim Meet Fail & Sewing

I entered Kira and Scott in the swim meet next weekend but forgot to pay and the meet closed.  Totally something I would do and total bummer because I go to work anyway and they both wanted to go.  Oh well.  But making lemonade out of lemons.  Scott was bummed because he wanted to do 200 breast and 200 free.  What a difference compared to a month ago when he was too scared to do those events and complained that he needed to do meets.  He said he was excited to do new events.  Progress as a swimmer.  He thinks he is going to do one more year of Dana Hills then switch to year round.  I am excited for him. I think he will have a great time and develop as a swimmer.  He is pretty small and skinny and did great with 50's but it will be fun to see him gain confidence in other events and grow as a swimmer.  Only problem is going so far for swim but  I am putting it in the Lords hands.  It is so nice having danny so close to us, bike the kids to school, come home for lunch, and be 5  minutes from home by bike.  One of our greatest blessings in life for our entire family.  However, now I am finding myself commuting the kids to their activities that are all about 30 minutes away.  Kids activities seem to be a lot more established in Walnut Creek area.  It is so nice having him close to home but becoming a pain to drive the kids to activities.  I don't mind the driving.  It is actually nice to think, listen to the radio, talk to the kids but I know it would be nicer for them to be home for dinner and give them more down time at home.  Especially as homework starts.  Right now they all pretty much do their home work at school. 

I am totally content and feel very blessed right now in life. A lot of that comes from the addition of Hanna.  The other part comes from loving what I do.  I am blessed for my jobs, Danny's work is going great, our kids are doing relatively well.  Life is pretty simple and great!  We love our callings!  Both in callings that we are good at and allows us to be with our family.  So I realize it can't get much better except for commuting to Walnut Creek and Concord but that is pretty minimal in the scheme of things.  Part of me realizes that it can't get much better than that so I am hesitant to change anything about it.  Dana hills is really close to us so it is basically just from Sept-Dec driving to aquabears but come next year it would be all year.  We shall see what ends up happening.  It always all works out and I know it will work out how it should. 

One activity Tyler started was sewing.  After getting over the  fact that he was the only boy in the class, he is really enjoying it.  So far he has made a baby blanket, pillow case and apron.  He said that the hardest part is thinking about how he is going to design his project.  He said he spends all his time thinking about what to do and then only has about 30 minutes to sew.  That is the same way I am.  So not creative.  I worry too much about it turning out just right so grateful he gets to be in something that allows him to think and create since it is hard for him.  He is enjoying learning how to sew. Our sewing machine needs a new pedal that Danny is ordering so it will be fun to see him comfortable on the sewing machine. Always great learning new skills!

Best part of his sewing is that he walks from his class to my work and comes into the pool with a big smile on his face excited to show me his creation.  Glad he is enjoying it so much!

Tylers 10

Tyler turned 10 a month ago and we went to Sacramento for Labor Day. We had his party over break.  He likes his yearly sleepover birthday party.  I don't love sleepovers but the kids always seem to have a great time.  They came over, played in the front yard throwing around a football. We then went to pick up pizza at Mountain bikes and the kids mounted bikes, scooters, spinny cars and whatever they could to walk to the pizza place.  We went to the park and Scott's friends came to play basketball and Tyler's friends threw nerf footballs I got them at the park. Made up game of tag with footballs while they ate pizza.  Scott is leaving the kid/play stage and entering the hang out, meet up with friends, get to places on his own, plan his hang outs via text stage.  Don't know how that happens or how I have a kid that old. Tyler is not far behind.  Came home when it was dark to do a fire and smores, followed by Captain Underpants and a no sleep over as Danny refers to it. It was a great time had by all. Tyler invited about 12 kids but 8 of them were out of town for the first week of break.  It ended up being 4 really great kids that all had a great time celebrating Tyler.  Tyler felt so special and had a great time which equals birthday success!   It was so great to see him so happy and feel so special.  I am so grateful we had such a great time.  I used to plan everything and have these activities and now realize to go with the flow. I had this cute table set for his birthday, but the kids wanted to eat at the park so we opened up the pizza boxes an they ate as they play which was great.  I am grateful I have learned to go with the flow and let the magic happen.  Those really are the best days and memories.  Letting kids be kids.  Happy Birthday Tyler!  We love you!