Lake Trip…

The lake is my favorite place to be in Arizona in August. The summer starts to get long by this point and yet there seems to be no reprieve from scorching temperatures. The pool is starting to feel more like a hot tub and not nearly as refreshing as one would hope. But the lake – it’s just the right temperature – in the water at least. Sitting on the boat gets a little toasty, but nothing a quick dip can’t remedy.

That smile! I remember Steve holding Hunter on a wakeboard years ago this very same way. Wakeboarding doesn’t seem to carry the same draw it used to and I’m glad wake surfing has taken its place – far less painful when you fall!

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All about me…Bennett…

He is my third, 3rd grader and this is the 3rd time we’ve made an “all about me” poster.

Bennett doesn’t require much supervision on his homework, he just goes to work. However, when projects are assigned he wants to talk through each step and make sure he’s got it all. The only problem I have with this is he wants to do a whole project like this 10 minutes after he gets home on the first day it was assigned to him – regardless of having a week and a half to work on it.

He’s learned to be patient with me as I’m trying to help everyone with their homework and after school needs. And I’ve learned he needs the time and attention. We’ve found our middle ground; we break the project into parts and we set aside blocks of time to complete them across multiple days – and you better believe he holds me to that schedule!

Although he came up with this idea on his own, he needed help locating pictures and picking up his poster board. The rest is all him.

Here’s a list of his favorites:
Color: Red
Animal: Gorilla
Restaurant: Taco Bell
Movie: Spiderman into the Spider Verse
Food: Burrito Bowls
Sport: Basketball
Book: Stink

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September 11th…

I saw this video today and it struck a chord with me as I’ve been reflecting on the history of this day. I love this song and although I hadn’t heard this cover before, I found it appropriate for the tone of the video.

It’s a little hard to watch (may not be for everyone). It stirred up emotions of hurt and pain as well as pride and gratitude for all those that showed up that day and went to work.

As we reflected on today’s events, each of my kids came home and shared what they learned in school. I’m grateful for all their teachers who made it a priority to teach them about it and for a preschool teacher who finds it important that even kids as young as three years old know what this special day represents and why we honor it each and every year.

Healing Fields Tempe
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Healing fields…

Healing Fields Tempe

We were introduced to the Healing Fields in Tempe a couple years ago by a friend. It’s an exhibit of flags representing each person who lost their life on September 11. It’s on display for several days leading up to September 11 and we’ve been able to attend the last couple years.

Healing Fields Tempe

The display is powerful on so many levels. Each flag has a name card describing the person it represents. We like to meander through the flags reading the name cards and learning about so many lives – both young and old.

It’s humbling.

And a good reminder of a tragic event that seems so distant to my kids but yet in my mind it seems so clear. We visited the flags with friends and each one of us could recall the exact events of that day 18 years ago with detail and clarity. I had just started college the week before and Steve was on his mission in a foreign country.

I remember every thing about that day. I remember.

Although my kids weren’t alive – I want them to remember. Visiting these grounds each year is one way we’re teaching them to remember.

Healing Fields Tempe
Healing Fields Tempe
Healing Fields Tempe
Healing Fields Tempe
Healing Fields Tempe
Healing Fields Tempe
Healing Fields Tempe
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Sacrifice and Generosity…

The day after Hunter saw his friend for the first time in the ICU – he decided he needed to go to work…for Scott. He had two weeks before school started, so he was going to hit it hard.

He approached neighbors offering his lawn services for a donation to his friend. Side note: The first neighbor he approached is a good family friend – we know them well and I’m sure glad we started with him because Hunter got approximately 5 seconds into his “sales pitch” before he broke down in tears and had to take some time to gather his thoughts again. It was hard talking about his friend and the long road ahead of him not to mention how it was going to impact their friendship and what they would be able to do together.

The first couple houses he visited he fought back tears and a shaky voice as he described the situation. And each house he got the same response – We would love to help you, help him. Hunter had a little calendar where he filled in the family’s name as he planned out his two weeks of service.

This was at the end of July/beginning of August – It was so hot! After his first two lawns at 9 in the morning, he realized he needed to get up even earlier to fight the heat. He started getting up almost every morning at 7am for two weeks – some days he had 2 or 3 lawns lined up and he came home a hot sweaty mess every single day.

But each time he came home beaming as he picked up the envelope on the kitchen counter labeled #SCOTTSQUAD and inserted more money into it. He worked so hard and was so excited to share the money with Scott.

Our neighbors and friends were so generous to a boy they didn’t even know. But they knew Hunter and they showed extreme generosity to his friend.

Bennett watched what Hunter was doing and wanted to help out and donated his yard work money as well. As the money piled up, Hunter’s excitement grew. He couldn’t wait to share the good news with Scott.

A couple days after they brought Scott out of the coma, we went to go visit him. I was in Scott’s room and Steve, Hunter and friends were in the waiting room (they weren’t letting any kids in at that time). We facetimed so they could see each other and Hunter shared with Scott what he had been doing. Scott was a little confused, and told Hunter he should keep the money. Hunter again assured him the money was his. Tears welled up in Scott’s eyes and those tears turned to a sob as he tried to understand why people were giving so much to him. Why him? I don’t think he understood the gravity of his situation having been out of his coma for just a few days.

It was a happy day when Scott was moved out of ICU and Hunter could go visit him and deliver that special envelope that sat on our counter for weeks – grease, food stains and all.

I can see Hunter’s heart has changed from dealing with this situation and it is evident in the way he worked hard for his buddy. My heart has changed as I’ve seen the generous outpouring of love and support from so many loving friends and neighbors – there are so many good people, willing to help.

Bless this sweet boy and his recovery.

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