Mayo Family Reunion 2016

My grandpa Ab turned Ninety-two this year! Nearly every year we have a Mayo family reunion on or around his birthday. This year we partied at my parents' home. There was dinner, "minute-to-win-it" type games, face painting, birthday singing and a cake shaped like an airplane. 

Selfie with my grandpa. When I flipped the camera from back to the front camera on my iphone he said,
 "Well for heck sakes!" 

He wanted a Cat face so he could be like our Cat, Dot. I forgot to take an after photo until after it was all smeared. 

My kids and some of the other "cousins' kids" are getting older so there was noticeably less chaos this time around. For the most part, I was able to stand around and talk with my extended family without having to intervene too much in what my kids were playing. They even participated in most of the games! 

I love my family and it was great to see them and spend some time talking. My grandparents are creating a legacy of love and enjoyment of family and I love them for always showing up and making everyone feel loved. 

I forgot to take a "4 generations" photo this time around so three generations will have to do (sorry mom)
My grandpa was a mechanic on airplanes like this, at HillAFB, so my cousin made this amazing cake!
The sons, and son-in-law, with their dad
Crazy Cousins! We are missing Todd, Melissa, Scott, and Craig

Mayo Family Reunion - June 26, 2016


Ten years is a long time. Many phases of our childhood and young adult life are less than a decade: elementary, Jr. high, high school and usually college are all shorter than a decade. Even in those seasons of life it "feels" like such a long time. Then those phases are complete and we have Adulthood: decades, Lord willing, of our lives. We can spend decades at a job, in a home, in a marriage, raising children, building friendships, serving through church. So many aspects of our lives simply flow into decades; sometimes it happens without us even noticing.

A few weeks ago, I listened to a podcast and they mentioned they had been blogging for a decade. I thought, "Wow, that's a long time!" Then I thought about it, and I have been blogging - granted off and on- for A DECADE! How did that happen? Well, the beginnings of my adult life happened during that time so I can see why the whole "blogging for a decade" wasn't as momentous as say: graduating college, my first teaching job, Pete finding a good job, buying and selling of homes, first child, second child, and said children entering school. Many, many "life events" have happened in the past ten years (with marriage being two years before I started my blog.) Through it all, I'm glad I was blogging (or attempting) because I have many of those moments recorded in written words.

My first blog post was an introduction and declaration that "I will now blog things!" So it began and has continued for ten years!  I have only changed the name of the url once and the name of the blog once. Considering how often I thought about changing it up, I will call that well balanced. There were years where I posted every other day or so and there are years with four or five posts TOTAL! But I never gave up and deleted everything. I have had probably a few loyal readers - mostly my family and a few friends - but also a few random strangers have read my blog. I love looking through the archive. I now view it as a sort of "monument of stones" to tell of all the ways God had been present in my life. I can look back and share with my kids of the prayers answered, the fun times, and the trying times too.

Though instagram now has provided an outlet for me to share moments more quickly; the blog will always be the place I write. I have tried journals over the years and other writing forms but I return to the blog every time. There have been many times I've wondered why I return to the blog. I mean, I don't have a huge readership. I don't even have a good purpose for this blog - ten years later. But I am learning and changing with every post I write and to me that is encouraging and freeing. The podcast I mentioned earlier is titled "Should you blog?" I have had that thought many times and have always, so far, come to the conclusion Yes! For me, blogging is not dead and still provides value. It may not provide an income for me as I hear happens for many women. But it provides a place for me to write and encourage others and also document the moments in the decades where God has provided and is always faithful.

Thank you for reading! If you have a blog, leave a comment with how long you have been blogging. Do you still blog or did you stop? What draws you to a blog over and over again or what do you hope brings others to your blog?

Parenting at the splash pad

The kids and I visited a splash pad the other day. The high was around 97 degrees and I needed to make another trip to the truck dealership in Morgan, a town twenty minutes from ours, so we also made time to play at the Morgan splash pad. Our town doesn't have a splash pad and this park is about the same distance from our house as the other two splash pads in the area.

I like splash pads better than pools at this stage in my kids' lives. 1- They are free! 2- My kids don't fully swim yet and at a splash pad, there is water to run through but zero chance of drowning. (Don't get me wrong, I - as the crazy mom I am - have already thought of the other safety hazards at splash pads: slipping and hitting your head on concrete, running into another child then falling and hitting your head, also running into a metal pole with your head. So basically head injuries.) But it's mostly like sending your kid to run through really fun sprinklers and you don't have to do any of the work of setting it up.

This trip I was hoping to let them play while I started a book I am reading for the monthly book club I attend. We weren't meeting any friends this time around and it was in a town we don't frequent often so I probably would be surrounded by strangers. It was a weekday and I was hoping for a smaller crowd so I could snag one of the four umbrella tables they have between the park and the splash pad.

The plan was set and off we went. The kids were already in their swim suits, I had snacks and sunscreen packed, and so we started our adventure. The trip to the dealership to pick up the parts took about three minutes. We also stopped at the Tractor Supply Store to buy chicken feed. Then it was time for the splash pad. We arrived and I parked in the shade. I slathered them in sunscreen, we made a trip to the bathrooms (before their suits were soaking wet) and I found an empty table with an umbrella so I could sit and watch from the shade.

They ran off, with squeals of glee, into the fenced area full of water features and children. My girl just ran from one place to the next, while holding her nose closed, trying to get as wet as possible. The boy, on the other hand, still has this thing with not wanting to get his face wet so he found his favorite, non-threatening sprinkler and hunkered down for the long haul. It was a tower of purple sphere things and little water spouts shot out from every direction. His favorite thing was to climb onto it and try to plug as many holes as possible with his chest, hands, and legs. It was hilarious to watch! Of course he chose to play on the other side of the pad, furthest from me. I noticed some girls younger than him were trying to fill some buckets they had with the water he was blocking. I was probably on page two of the book I brought and we had been there for a half hour already. Watching him and the girls, he reminded me of Gus Gus from the Disney Cinderella cartoon when he was clutching his hat after a run-in with Lucifer the cat and all he did was close his eyes and say, "nope, nope, nope, nope!" when the other mice tried to tell him to move. I sent big sister in to be a distraction and take him to play somewhere else. It worked for a while but soon he was back at the same spot and I read on for a while.

Somehow I have this "mom-sense" that helps me notice only my kids' movements in a crowd and I can usually spot them pretty quickly when needed. So I glanced to see if they were still having fun and "being good." Well, B was talking with a kid while on top of this purple sprinkler thing trying to plug all the holes. Seriously, the next second, the kid lunged at him and pulled him down off the tower. He proceeded to claw my boy on his face and neck! Oh man, was Mama Bear upset! This kid kept at it and I was so proud that B only pushed him in attempts to escape and not out of anger. He actually was so surprised that this was even happening and was able to get away as I walked over to the two. Well the boy was crying now and I sternly told him, "You need to be kind!" as he ran to his mom.

I found out what happened, from B's perspective. The boy had freaked out because B was blocking the water so the boy wouldn't drink it. I had told them not to drink the water - it's treated with chlorine - so B decided he should let other kids know they shouldn't drink it either. We talked about being the boss of only ourselves and not worrying about what the other kids drink or don't, that's their job. I also praised him for not getting angry at the boy and for staying calm, because that's not usually how it goes at home in conflicts with the sister.

Out he went again, after I suggested he should probably play by a different water toy. He found J and they ran around all crazy for another half hour before it was time to dry off. As B was sitting on his towel, the same kid came up to him, with his little punk friend for backup. The boy, who was probably four years old just pushed him and when I told him not to do that and it's not okay to push other kids, they simply stood there and stuck out their tongues at B until I told them to leave and to start being kind.

In the hour we were there, I was only able to read one chapter in my book. Though I had tried to be, this time I was not the inattentive mom who wasn't paying attention to what her kids were doing to other kids. That award went to the other gal. She did not say a thing to her son about what went down and I'm not sure she even knew. Well, my little guy - who can be a bully himself. Though I've never seen him as brash as these kids. He was so hurt inside that he talked to me about it for at least ten minutes in the car on the way home. He asked me why they were so mean to him when he hadn't done anything to them. He kept saying, "Mom, they were not nice kids." We were able to talk about how Jesus loves us all the time, even when we are mean to other people. Jesus loves that boy and we should too, even though it's tough. We also talked about our family and how we don't act that way, ever, because we know Jesus. It was a good discussion for me to have with them because I wanted to tell that mom what I thought about her "parenting skills." But then I remembered that it could have been B who pummeled her kid; he often loses his temper when he doesn't get his way. So I remained calm and strangely thanked God that my kid was picked on and not the bully.

I want to be a good example to my children of how we should behave in the world because we have the love of Christ. I know there will be much more parenting at splash pads in the future and hopefully we can show the love of Christ to others around us.

"In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven." Matthew 5:6