October 24, 2015

What we did last weekend...

Once upon a time, the Chinchilla Porras family bought a house. They dreamed of a home with a fireplace, green grass in the summer, snow in the winter, near mountains, near forest, and where they could raise their family. They bought their house in the dead of winter, and it had everything they wanted. Well, almost. There was some grass. But lots more weeds than grass. 

In the Spring, grass sprouted, and for a little while it was soft and green. 

But every year as Spring progressed, the weeds would grow.... 

...and well, they sort of took over. 

The Chinchilla Porras family cleared their yard and planted seeds several times. But to no avail. 

The weeds won every summer. 

Until one day, in the Fall of 2015, when the Chinchilla Porras family said, "enough is enough." They weeded. They raked. They cleared. They played in the dirt.  

He tilled. 

They watched movies. 

She watched him flex his muscles. 

Until finally, they were ready to lay down sod. 

And now.... 


...the Chinchilla Porras family has thick, green, carpet-like grass that you can roll in, walk barefoot in, lay in and run in. All summer long. (Well, next summer they'll be able to.) 

And they lived normally ever after. 

The End. 

October 10, 2015

A Reward Hard Earned

He worked...

...and saved...

...and saved...

...and saved and saved and saved...

...and then it went on sale... 

...so we helped him purchase. 

And now...

...he is enjoying a well deserved reward! I'm so proud of him! 

(And us, I might add, for not caving and buying it for him.) 


Look who can do this puzzle all by himself?! 

Life with Boys

Ahahahaha!!! I just reread this one and cracked up all over again. http://www.scarymommy.com/10-things-moms-of-boys-must-do/#sthash.whMWYaze.gdHVauAI.gbpl

Today alone, I told one to get his hands out of the toilet. During a bathroom visit later today, I heard myself say, "take your head out of the toilet." And then thought, "did I just say that??" (Yes, I really did.) I told him not to touch his...because he had just gone potty. And then thought, "oh well, it's only urine," when I realized it was too late and he had already been wrapping it around his fingers, playing while he waited for me to realize he was done. The other one farted 9 inches from my face during reading (don't ask me why his rear was 9 inches from my face during reading) and I also had to ask him to please erase the detailed drawing of his friend urinating from his school writing assignment. We eat through a loaf of bread for breakfast and 3 gallons of milk per week. And there are only 2 of them and the older one's only in kindergarten. It's a different life with boys. For reals. 

October 2, 2015

Toys That Last

When my sister and I were small, my Mom made these quilted activity books for us. We played with them forever! Danny played with it when he was small. Now Gianni is playing with it. And miraculously somehow over the course of 30 years, none of the small pieces with Velcro backing have been lost! Even the plastic 3 ring binder hasn't cracked or faded or broken. Thanks, Mom!! ...especially for the extra moments in bed we are quietly enjoying right now!!

October 1, 2015

Fifteen Minutes on the Kitchen Floor

So I'm sitting on the kitchen floor reading this - http://momastery.com/blog/2015/09/30/the-erasing/ - and tears are rolling down my cheeks. The three of us - Danny, Gianni, and I slept late today. We had a big day yesterday. A good day. Filled with hard work and victories and lessons learned. It was a GOOD day. So today we slept late and we were tender to ourselves this morning (I love how she says that) and instead of school or chores or errands, we stopped for 15 minutes and they played with kinetic sand on the kitchen floor while I read this article. And I cried. And I remembered. I remembered when I used to write like this. I remembered how I have been in the expanse of nothingness and felt nothing but gray as she says. I realized how I am very much in the newness and beginning to live again and learning things all over again. Tears fall for the months which turn into several years lost to the gray. And in joy they fall for the newness that I feel again. Be tender with yourself today. Know that He loves you and designed you to thrive. Do the hard work to press through to victory today! I promise it's worth it. 

April 26, 2015

Beach Preview

Two Years Old

Dear Gianni,

You are turning two tomorrow. It's amazing and hard to believe. I know every mama says this to each one of their babes. But it seems like 3 weeks ago you curled up and fit entirely in my arms with soft wrinkles and puckery lips and pudgy hands. Your hands are still pudgy and your lips are still puckery, but you are my big littlest boy and you definitely don't fit all in my arms anymore. You still like me to rock you to sleep, and you're pretty good at getting me to rock you for a while a couple times a week. Your legs hang over the arm chair and you try to fold them up so they fit, but they just don't.

You have so many words that you say all the time:
Doggie (it started as "goggy" and now you say the D most of the time)
Nenny (Danny) 
You nod yes emphatically. 
Joo (juice) 
Eat! (And you point at your mouth) 
Baby (your bear blanky)
Pee-pee (you say this a lot)
Woah (phone) 
A-woah (hello?)
Ugg! (Hug - and you hold your hands open for one) 
You make kissing noises when you want kisses 
Mee-mee! (excuse me) 
Nigh-nigh! (Goodnight)
Bop! (Pop - for balloons)
Mow (more) 
buu! (book)
...and so many more! Sometimes I think you say entire paragraphs to us.  We just don't understand all the words.  Today you said a two-word sentence to me.  You said, "Juu-pee!" (Juice, please!) A week or so ago, you said: "Where'd it go?" (except it sounded nothing like that, and I couldn't possibly imitate it if I tried.  But it was abundantly clear what you were saying with your shrugged shoulders and hands up in the air. You can point to your eyes, ears, hair, cheeks, and teeth... And you LOVE to brush your teeth!! 

We just took the baby gate off of the stairs going up to our rooms and you are content to stay where we are most of the time. You listen pretty well, except when you don't. And then it's either a tantrum on the floor or a squeal while you high-tail it to hide in a corner. You are an organizer and you like to put things in their place - or the place you like them to be, at least. 

For your birthday, you got a play kitchen with dishes, pots and pans and a grocery shopping cart full of play food. I always wanted one of these when I was a little girl so it was so fun to give you! Every single day when we pick up Danny at preschool, you go straight to the play kitchen and pretend to microwave something. It's been so fun to watch you cook things, put them away, and tell us things are hot for the last two days. 

Last week, you folded your hands to pray with us before meals and one day you even told us to pray when we had forgotten. This week you refuse and you push back from the table when we are praying.  Sigh.... Who knows what it will be next week.  You are two. You can climb up to the table by yourself, buckle yourself in, and pull yourself close to the table... Not that you do any of these things when I ask you to.  But you have done this many times when you are hungry and impatient for a meal. You will eat just about anything in front of you. You love cereal and you rarely let me feed you anymore, although you do let me get the food on the spoon for you.

You LOVE animals. You know many animal sounds: cat, dog, horses, pigs, cows, and anything that growls, including  dinosaurs. You adore books and when you see something soft in a book like a bunny, you hug the book and say "awww!" in a high pitched voice. You frequently bring me a book and say, "buu!" and sit in my lap for me to read it to you. You love baths and markers and especially your new bath crayons. You are friends with Brianna from Jazzercise and you give her hugs goodbye. Today while we looked at pictures from your birthday party, you pointed and said, "Nanna!" every time you saw a picture of her. ...even the back of her head in the corner of the picture! 

You have the most dramatic facial expressions ever, and you are very emphatic in all that you do.  You give us dirty looks that leave us in stitches.  You command with the authority of the president and give us the most indignant looks when we don't do what you want.  You are in a screaming phase right now. I'll be super glad when that's over and all of our eardrums will thank you. You are quiet in groups, but talkative when we are alone at home or in the car.  You sing in the car and preach from your crib when it's bedtime.

You are strong willed, strong muscled (gosh, you can pick up and move the most amazing things - like a banquet sized folding table on its side) and determined. You are fearless and loud. Your name means, "Yahweh is gracious."  You have a fire in you.  You are so big and yet so small at the same time. I'm blessed to be called your mama.  You're going to do great things one day.

But for now, I will hold your pudgy hand, kiss your puckery lips, and give thanks to our God.  For truly, in giving you to me, He has been so very gracious.

All my love,


Gianni's 2nd Birthday Party