Friday, November 6, 2009

Poop…puppy…

So, the other night I practically fell out of my chair at the dinner table…no joke!  I had tears streaming down my face and couldn’t control my laughter…all thanks to my favorite 2 year old.

Earlier in the afternoon, Charlee and I had walked to the mail box together.  Just past the mailboxes, she noticed something on the ground and asked, “What’s that?”  I quickly realized she had discovered a pile of dog poop.  So, I told her it was “puppy poop.”  Now, here I must provide a few details as to what this puppy poop looked like.  Please forgive me, but it’s necessary so that the rest of the story makes sense.  This poop was clearly from a small dog who must be related to a rabbit!

This is where the story gets good…  Later that night, I cooked dinner (yes, yes…I cooked!).  Dinner looked something like this…

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We sat down to eat and I gave Charlee a little hoping she’d try it.  Food of all kinds are always under close scrutiny by this little toddler of ours so she was examining it just like she does EVERYTHING!  She suddenly declares, “Poop.”  Then, a few seconds later, “Puppy.”  I’m a little slow sometimes so it took me a few seconds to piece this together and figure out what she was talking about.  That’s when I realized she was declaring to me that I had served her “puppy poop” for dinner!  This little chicken dinner of ours contained black beans, something she’s obviously not real familiar with and having seen small pellet-like poops just an hour before, she decided the two looked awfully similar.  I about died!!!  Truly amazing the mind of a toddler.  Needless to say, I’m not so sure she’ll ever eat black beans!

Oh, the joys of living life with Miss Charlee! =)

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Our First Shiner…

Yesterday was a first for Charlee and for her Mama and Daddy, too!  Charlee and I went to Starbucks to surprise Daddy with a nice cold, refreshing Dr. Pepper.  As soon as we located him, Charlee pretty much bolted from my arms and ran (and I mean, RAN!) to where Daddy was sitting.  Unfortunately, the combination of running at full speed in pink crocs across a tile floor was a really BAD combination. =(  She totally ate it as she tripped over her own feet and slammed into the chair at the table.  Needless to say, her excitement quickly changed to tears and I heard many an “Awww, poor thing” from the surrounding customers.  So, we left Starbucks with our very first shiner.

Really though, this was probably one of the coolest things I’ve witnessed yet as a mother…I know this sounds mean, but I’m totally serious.  Okay, so I would have preferred not to have my daughter end up with a serious knot on her forehead, but the sheer joy as she spotted Daddy and wanted to just run straight into his arms was absolutely priceless.  I will never forget that moment and hope she always gets that excited to run to her Daddy’s arms because she knows she’s safe and so very loved there.  I also couldn’t help but think of how our heavenly Father longs to have His children seek Him and run into His arms just as Charlee did (or tried).  Why don’t we run more often and with greater speed into the arms of our Father, the God of the universe?

A Special Job

What a beautiful reminder from a wonderful author, Mary Kassian, of what it is to be a Mom.  Check out her blog post here:
http://www.marykassian.com/archives/915


A Special Job for Me

There is a special place in life,
That needs my humble skill,
A certain Job I’m meant to do,
Which no one else can fulfill.

The time will be demanding,
And the pay is not too good
And yet I wouldn’t change it
for a moment – even if I could.

There is a special place in life,
A Goal I must attain,
A dream that I must follow,
Because I won’t be back again.
There is a mark that I must leave,
However small it seems to be,
A legacy of love for those
Who follow after me.

There is a special place in life,
That only I may share,
A little path that bears my name,
Awaiting me somewhere.
There is a hand that I must hold,
A word that I must say,
A smile that I must give,
For there are tears to blow away.

There is a special place in life
That I was meant to fill,
A sunny spot where flowers grow,
Upon a windy hill.
There’s always a tomorrow and the best is yet to be,
And somewhere in this world,
I know there is a place for me!

-Unknown

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Foundations

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Something struck me this morning as Charlee and I were building one of her beautiful block towers.  This is the process of us constructing something as fabulous as the tower pictured below…as she continues to build upwards as high as she can, I am constantly adding to the base of her creation in an effort to keep it from falling over prematurely.  You see, she’s not interested in creating a foundation to provide adequate support for her high-rise buildings.  All she cares about is getting it to be as tall as she possibly can.

So what struck me was the fact that the only reason that her towers can get as tall as they do is because I am there to ensure she has a firm foundation.  My thought was how true this is of our lives in general, but specifically as it relates to being a parent.  If Adam and I don’t honor God in our role as parents by seeking to raise her by His Word and His Truth then she will not have a foundation to soar to new heights.  We have to constantly and actively seek ways to “build her up” in instruct her in Christ’s ways so that she will (by God’s grace) one day be able to stand firm in the strength that only her Savior can provide.

This is what happens if I don’t make sure we have a strong foundation:IMG_0991

Monday, July 13, 2009

And the Mother Of The Year award…

…will not be going to me! Not that I ever thought it would, but I definitely fell out of the running this morning! Charlee started crying way too early and I simply was not going to get her…it didn’t sound too terribly serious anyway. It wasn’t until Adam and I went into her room to finally get her at 7:15 that I realized what was wrong. She had leaked through her diaper, all over her pajamas and was laying in puddles of “pee pee” in her crib. Needless to say I was quite humbled. Thankfully, I think she’s already forgiven me! =)

Friday, July 10, 2009

Something to ponder...

Evil is only good perverted. -- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

“Reading” with Duck

Okay, so it was more like just flipping pages, but still this was one of the cutest things C has ever done.  Lately she wants to sit in the big girl chairs at the kitchen table.  She still can’t get into them herself, but once I help her up you can tell she’s so proud…even though she barely clears the table.  We keep one of her Bibles on the table so yesterday she gets up into the chair and wanted “more” Bible.  Of course, Duck had to join her as well.  She sat there for a good five minutes (a LONG time for her!) just turning the pages.  My prayer is that one day (when she actually knows how to read) she will have the same desire for and excitement about reading God’s Word.
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Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Amen

Tonight when we said our bedtime prayers with Charlee, she said “Amen” loud and clear at the end!  Adam and I looked at each other like, “Did you hear that too?”  Oh my gosh, what a way to melt this Mama’s heart!  I can’t think of a better end to my day!  =)

Monday, July 6, 2009

Meet Duck

Just over a week ago Charlee made a new friend. I think this is worth mentioning because this new friend is very important to her and you’ll notice that he finds his way into many of our pictures these days. Apparently, he loves Charlee very much because he allows her to carry him around by his neck nearly everywhere she goes. Thankfully, I have discovered that while his tag says he is only surface washable he has actually survived 2 baths already in the washing machine. A special thank you to Chris who introduced Charlee and Duck. Yes, Duck is his name…clever, I know. =) Occasionally, Charlee will leave Duck in a room to recover from the constant strangulation, but it’s never long before I hear, “Where Duck?” and “Duuuuuccccckkkk?” as she searches through the house to find him again.
I haven’t a clue what her fascination with this small creature is, but I am thankful for this…she does not carry him around in her mouth like a puppy dog as she does with Mr. Elephant (who, I might add, she has not seen for quite a while now!).
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I’m sure this will not be the last time you see Duck in our many pictures. We are happy to welcome him into our family and know he will probably get captured in many more pics to come! =)

Little Miss Independence

We had a rather leisurely 4th of July this year…just the kind I like! Hangin’ out at Grandma and Grandpa Brockhaus’ house, floatin’ in the pool, eatin’ watermelon, catchin’ up on the latest Forbes magazine… =)
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Wednesday, June 24, 2009

What a BLAST...

This week has been an X-Treme Blast! What does that mean, you ask? Well, I, Ashley Saunders, am helping out with EVBC's Vacation Bible School which happens to be called Blast X-Treme. Yes, I really am helping with this! Many of you who really know me know that I don't do the whole kid thing, the whole game thing, the whole song thing, the whole hand motion thing! That all changed this week! Oh my goodness, is this ever fun!

I am serving in the Imaginarium (aka The Craft Lab) which is quite an adventure. Monday we made glow-in-the-dark slime and yesterday we made aquariums with "grow fish." Today's adventure will be marshmallow launchers...how cool is that?

So, aside from all the fun crafts we're making, I also get to go to the Chapel each morning and watch the skits and music put on by the staff. Seriously, I NEVER would have imagined this would be my life. Life as a mom, helping at a church program...with kids! Truly, the Lord is blessing me so much these days. He has used this little girl Charlee to bring me to an entirely new place in my life...a place where I just love kids and I have even come to love hand motions with songs. Oh, and one of the best parts of the program is that two of the songs they're using are from WorshipForKids...some personal friends of mine from back home!

Christ has done an amazing work in my heart, and I don't say this to be prideful or to brag in any way, but really this change did not come from within me. I still don't believe I'm actually enjoying hanging out with kids as much as I am.

So, Lord, thank you for bringing along little C who You have used to open my eyes to an entirely new world. A world in which I am so free! Free to enjoy your children in such fun, creative ways. And to see these little ones learning about You is the greatest blessing of all. Thank you for bringing Adam and me into parenthood and using C to encourage us to step out of our comfort zones and be so incredibly blessed! You rock!!!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

What a sad world...

I stumbled on this article through another blog and it makes me want to cry. Seriously, what a fallen world in which we live...

Rare prenatal testing case raises ethical questions

Thank you, Lord, that even while we were yet sinners Christ died to save us from ourselves.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Here, ducky ducky...

This morning we took a quick trip to Discovery Park to feed the ducks. Charlee had no idea what was going on but was quite excited just to be at a park at all...

Come on Daddy, time's a wastin'...
Hmmm, so what exactly are we here to do?
I'll carry the bread if that's okay with you...
Oh, okay, so when you throw bread in the water the ducks come...interesting concept...
I think I'd rather just hold the bread bag and let you throw it if that's okay, Daddy...
Way to go, Daddy...I think they like you...
Think I'll just stick to holdin' the bag...
Dude, what is wrong with those ducks? Don't they know how to share?
Awww, a cute mama and her baby...
Okay guys, I think I'm done here...let's go...

Monday, June 15, 2009

Maddening...

I was reading a family member's blog the other day and she quoted a statistic that I find so incredibly disgusting and maddening. She stated that 90% of babies diagnosed with down syndrome are aborted. I did a little research and found that based on the data out there, this is a fact. You know, I've often wondered recently why it is that I feel like I never see anyone with Down syndrome anymore. We had several students in my high school with Down syndrome, but since then I don't feel like I ever encounter them. Anyway, I just can't imagine taking the life of my unborn child simply because he is not "perfect" according to the world's standards. Personally, I find children with Down syndrome some of the most fun to be around. I love the sense of joy they have that stretches so much further into their lives than so many of the rest of us. I guess I just needed to vent and commend all 10% of the parents who chose to give birth to and commit to raising their children with Down syndrome!

Yeah

Lately if you ask Charlee a question, her response is nearly always, "Yeah." I find this particularly hilarious given the fact that she definitely doesn't understand the questions to which she responds this way most of the time. Some of the questions that have elicited this response recently:

Mama (while "dancing" with absolutely no rhythm): "Do you think your Mama is strange?"
Charlee: "Yeah."

Daddy: "Can I spend the money in your savings account to buy a Wii?"
Charlee: "Yeah."

Mama: "Did you go potty in your pants?"
Charlee: "Yeah!" (This response will a little extra excitement in her voice.)

Mama: "Are you beautiful?"
Charlee (while checking herself out in the mirror): "Yeah!"

Mama: "Do you want Mama to go away?"
Charlee: Yeah

Essentially, anytime she hears a question and thinks it might be directed to her, she responds in this way. I think it's so funny because unfortunately, it's not necessarily a mark of obedience. So far, the word "no" has not entered her vocabulary...it's only a matter of time! For now, though, I will enjoy the "yeah" stage! =)

Friday, June 12, 2009

Dad & Me


Today is Chuck's 60th birthday and while he is no longer here with us on this earth, all that knew him are still celebrating this day! Today I am praising the Lord that 60 years ago He brought a little baby boy into this world who would, in turn, help to bring another baby boy into this world 30 years later...my dear husband. Gosh, it's still hard to believe that Chuck is truly not here with us...I'm not sure when that reality will set in. We all miss him so dearly, but I for one am so blessed by the life he led and the legacy he left behind.

I knew that this would be a particularly difficult day for Adam and wanted to make sure I did something for him so that he would know his dad will never be forgotten. While in Ogallala, I found this picture frame at Buenz and just knew this would be a perfect "birthday present" to Adam on this day. This picture was taken on October 22, 2005...the day I married my best friend. What a wonderful day...the day I joined the Saunders family! Praise the Lord for His good and perfect will! =)

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Another trip to the Gilbert Water Tower...

The Gilbert Water Tower is fast becoming one of my favorite places to take Charlee. Gramma Brockhaus, Adam, Charlee and I headed over there this afternoon to splash around a bit. Of course, we followed that by dinner at Joe's Real BBQ...oh so tasty!




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A Special Anniversary

Today is a very special day for me. Now, before you get really excited to find out what this anniversary is all about...don't! I don't think it means a whole lot to anyone but me...in fact, I can probably guarantee that! Anyway, today marks the day 6 years ago that I moved to Arizona. From where, you ask? San Diego. The next question is always, "Why would you voluntarily leave such a beautiful place to move to Phoenix?" Ah, and the answer, quite simply is this: It wasn't me, it was God! Seriously, there is absolutely no reason that I can find that should have drawn me to this place...this place in the desert where there is just a whole lot of dirt and brand new shopping centers all with the same stores and restaurants. Yep, I'm pretty sure it was God's doing that I am here today!

So, on June 7th, 2003 my parents and I left from Encinitas with two cars and a U-Haul packed full of my stuff and arrived in Mesa, Arizona some time later. Actually, it only took me about 5 hours to get here...apparently I was excited to get here because 5 hours means I was driving too fast! Lemon and Pear Tree Apartments on Alma School Road just south of the 60...that was my new home. I didn't know a soul here and didn't have a job lined up. All I knew was that I was done with life as I knew it in Encinitas. In fact, I was beyond DONE with that life!

That life really wasn't much of a life...all by my own choosing. I really didn't feel there was anything to live for. Self-centered and destructive are the two words I would use to describe my life, to describe me, at that time. Finally, I reached a point where I just had to get out...I had to start over. By the grace of God, He called me to a new life...in Arizona.

This new life meant freedom for me. I no longer had to be a slave to the bulimia and the depression that had consumed me in so many ways for far too long. Looking back, it's hard for me to believe that was me because I always knew it wasn't. My feeling for so long was of being held underwater and just not being able to surface...no freedom to get to the surface, being suffocated from the life I knew I was meant to live. So much has changed since those lonely days. I have discovered that life doesn't revolve around how much fat is consumed and calories burned. Sure, I still have my issues because I am female and I am human, but there is simply no comparison to the bondage I was once in. The Lord brought me here so that I could experience true freedom, true grace and true mercy. In addition, He allowed me to meet the love of my life, find an incredible church home and give birth to my little Charlee. He truly has restored the years that the locusts had eaten. This is the reason I celebrate today! Happy Anniversary to me! =)

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Quick trip to San Tan Village

This afternoon we ventured out to San Tan Village thinking Charlee would enjoy hanging out in the little kid play areas as well as a little ice cream treat from Dairy Queen. First, of course, we had to check out the puppies in the pet store. Not sure she knew what to think about all the puppies there...I don't think she understood why they were all behind glass and not very interested in her.

Then we stopped by the splash pad area where she spent the entire time just watching all the other kids play. It's not surprising that she was perfectly content to just stand and watch from the sidelines. I'm pretty sure I spent most of my life doing just that and was perfectly happy with that choice. In fact, that's still the way I choose to spend much of my life. Of course, Dad is not much different so if she were to be adventurous and not a reserved observer I don't think we would know what to do with ourselves!
After standing on the perimeter for a bit, she decided she was perfectly happy to be sitting in her Mama's lap...with a few Goldfish, of course. =)

Thursday, June 4, 2009

My new favorite pastime...

Today I had the most incredible experience! Silence! Yes, silence! I had a doctor's appointment this afternoon and sat in the waiting room for nearly 20 minutes all by myself without having to answer to or help anyone with anyting. It was a beautiful thing. I took a book to read to occupy my time, but once I was sitting in the comfy couch in the waiting area I just couldn't bring myself to open it. It was such a nice, though fleeting, time to sit and be still and know that I was the one waiting...as opposed to the one waiting on a little certain someone. I don't know why this was so enjoyable to me because it really shouldn't have been this exciting, but it really was great. Hmmmm...maybe I should schedule a few more doctor's appointments! =)

"Mama"

I am so thrilled to announce that Charlee finally said "Mama" for the very first time today! Of course, it would happen when Adam was home with her, but I did get to hear it very clearly through the phone and was then welcomed with her newest vocabulary word when she woke up from her nap. Oh boy am I excited!!! You know, it's just like her to wait a LONG time to say this word. She's probably just been holding back all this time just to get an extra special reaction from me...and it worked! She really is a little stink! And I love her all the more for it!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Balls of Fun

This is the best $7.00 purchase we've made in a long time! We got this little play pool last night at Wally World and this morning (after spending way too long blowing it up!) I put all of Charlee's balls in it. Boy was that a good idea! She's loving her new pool of balls! Eventually, we'll move it outside and fill it with water as we originally intended...maybe we'll bring the balls out there, too...

Sunday, May 31, 2009

The A-Team

The A-Team soakin' up a little AZ sunshine...fabulous fun!

Fun in the car...

A few goofy moments in the car on the way home from church. I think Charlee was just so excited to have someone in the backseat with her she didn't know what to do with herself!



Saturday, May 30, 2009

First pool day this year...

Today was the first official pool day at Resort Brockhaus. Here's Andrew sportin' a mighty fine hat...
What a beautiful couple...
Charlee ready to do some swimmin'...
Gosh, another beautiful couple...beautiful couples all around...
Loungin'...
Oh boy!
Post-nap pooltime...
Still just as much fun...


Aunt Amy helpin' Charlee throw diving sticks for Uncle Andrew to fetch...
Go Uncle Andrew...
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