Monday, August 20, 2012

I Have a Confession...

Our family has gotten into a really bad habit. I'm almost ashamed to admit it. Mainly because when I was growing up, my dad would have never allowed this to happen. Are you ready to hear my confession? We have been eating dinner on the couch. Every. Night. It started out just a few times a week. Sienna would be watching a movie while we made dinner and we (including Eastan) would just join her when it was time to eat. But like all bad habits, it was a slippery slope. Before I knew it, each night we were on the couch instead of eating together as a family. I guess, technically, we were eating as a family. But I don't think that really counts because not much conversation was happening unless it was Sienna asking about "Sweeping Bootee" (Sleeping Beauty for those who don't speak Sienna).
I said earlier, that my dad would  never allow this to happen when I was growing up. Mornings were rushed with my brother and I getting ready for school. My dad worked long hours, especially during the summer. So, dinner time was about the only time we all sat down together. Occasionally, we would "accidentally" leave the kitchen television on, but my dad was quick to turn it off.
During the Olympics, I told Nick that we really needed to start eating dinner at the table. As a family.  He agreed and said that as soon as the Olympics were over, we would quit eating in the living room. Well, a week passed by and nothing changed. Until yesterday!
We made the announcement to the kids that we would no longer be eating on the couch. Sienna asked to sit next to Eastan instead of sitting in her high chair. She loved it. I loved the conversation that we all had. Nick and Sienna did a cheers for new beginnings. I know, we are cheesy like that!

p.s. Please don't judge that Sienna is eating a pancake and Eastan is eating pizza. Today, is the day we are incorporating a well-balanced meal to our list of new beginnings.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Boy In the Box

It all began when Eduardo, one of our staff in Nicaragua, asked for a new puppet for his Children's Ministry. Eduardo is working on his ventriloquist skills and found a ventriloquist puppet online that he wanted to purchase. I ordered the puppet for him in late May and the gestation process of this particular puppet was five weeks.

The puppet arrived in his birthday suit and Sienna quickly named him Boy in the Box. We limited her play time with Boy in the Box because we didn't want her to get him dirty. So, Boy in the Box sat in his box in the supply room.

Today, Sienna and I went shopping for Boy in the Box. We needed to get him clothes because heaven for bid, he travel all the way to Nicaragua in his birthday suit. While we were shopping at K-Mart for his clothes, Sienna kept saying, "Get clothes for Boy in the Box." Each time she said it, I looked around waiting to be questioned why I had a boy in a box. I'm still waiting for the police to show up.

When we got to the office, Sienna and I dressed Boy in the Box. They were reunited again. They spent their last hours together watching a Barbie movie (Sienna's choice, not his). Then it was time for Boy in the Box to go back to his box so that he can travel to Nicaragua on Sunday. There were a few tears shed but after Sienna gave him kisses, she knew it was time to say goodbye. 

"So happy together!"

Holding Hands

Watching Barbie

"Daddy, is it okay if Boy in the Box takes me to the movies?"

Friday, March 9, 2012

Canapé Ile

In case you don't speak French, like me, Canape Ile means Couch Island. (Google Translate comes in handy!) Canape Ile is where Sienna and I have spent the week. As luxurious as this sounds (because everything sounds better in French) I can tell you that it is not a place to vacation. I will be posting my critique on Travel Advisor later today. But because I care so much about you all, I want you to hear it first hand. Do not travel to Canape Ile. Here is a short review:

Environment: Used tissues surround me. To the left, I see a used tissue. To the right, you guess it! A used tissue. Dirty dishes and random items like bottles of nail polish linger around. They really need to hire more maids for this resort.

Entertainment: Entertainment consists of Tangled, Curious George, Blues Clues, Cat in the Hat, and the occasional adult show while my travel companion is napping. Luckily the accommodations include WiFi, but one can only look at FaceBook, Pinterest, other random sites for so long before going crazy.

Language: The primary language spoken at Canape Ile is English. However, at times another language is spoken that I am not familiar with and Google Translator can help this time! The best way I can describe the language is tribal-like, with some whining and pointing.

Travel Companions: If I were stuck on an island or Ile, if you will, I wouldn't want to be with anyone else besides Sienna (other than Nick and Eastan, of course). Despite our living conditions and current health, she has been a trooper. Probably a better patient than me.

Conclusion - Two thumbs down for Canape Ile.


Friday, March 2, 2012

What do I know...of Holy?

Nick likes to tease me about how I can meet a stranger and quickly befriend them. My involvement with Project H.O.P.E. has blessed me with friendships that under different circumstances, I would never have met these people. One person that I am so blessed to call my friend is Shyanne Thompson. Although she is only 20 (yes she was born when I was in 7th grade), she inspires me more than many of my elders. I met Shyanne last summer while she interned for Project H.O.P.E. in Nicaragua. We only spent one week together, but kept in contact throughout the summer. I was able to spend an entire week with her in September.

I will be the first to admit that Shyanne and I don't have a lot in common. She is a single girl, has grown up as a daughter of missionaries, she is loves to shop at the Goodwill, is a very talented photographer, her lip is pierced...I could go on and on. Despite the differences, I admire Shyanne for so many reasons but I admire her most for her love for God.

Shyanne was recently accepted to The World Race and will be traveling to 11 countries during an 11 month period. Why would she want to do this? I'll let her tell you:
"I want to be a radical who sways to the movement of God’s hand. I don’t want to be a part of the traditional American dream. I want more. I want to go to the places that most wouldn't. I want to be the warrior that challenges the enemy and know that I am covered in the armor of God. I want to be in the places doing the things that most don’t even want to acknowledge the existence of. I want to be challenged and stretched. I want to experience God’s love and magnificence in a way that I have never experienced it before. I want God to be in complete control of my life."  

That is one of the many reasons Shyanne inspires me. Her latest blog post also inspired me. I created this blog to share and capture the random things that happen in our family, but I never thought about sharing my faith with others, even my close friends. But when I read Shyanne's post, I thought, "Wow. She is so bold in sharing her faith. Why don't I ever write about my faith in God or what God is doing in my life or in my family's life?"

It's really a simple question for me to answer. I don't do it because I'm scared. I'm scared that I will sound "too religious" or "too preachy" or "too corny." I'm not going to do that anymore. God is my life. My relationship with Him is everything to me.  I do not deserve to have the life that I have now but because of God's grace, I am blessed with an amazing husband and two amazing kids.

I'm at a point in my life where I feel God is calling me to do so much more for Him. As a wife and mom of two children, I know that I can't join The World Race but I know there is always more for me to do. I'm praying  daily that God shows Nick and me what we can do more as a family to serve Him and share His love with others. I'll keep you updated!

In the meantime, read this post from Shyanne. It's based off of one of my favorite songs by Addison Road.
What do I know of Holy?

Six Months

Although I have the best of intentions to post blogs on a weekly basis, it has been SIX months since my last post. I feel like I should be making a confession to my small group of followers: Dear followers, it has been six months since my last post. Please forgive me.

I'm sure you have had many sleepless nights wondering what has been going on in the Hill family. Here is a quick rundown, so you can now sleep at night:

  • Eastan turned 13! Yes, he is a teenager!
  • Nick and I went with our good friends Jim and Heather to Las Vegas
  • Nick turned 31 and we celebrated in Vegas. 
  • We got to spend much needed quality time with our dear friends Nick and Aubrey
  • The entire family traveled with my parents and my grandma to Florida. Sienna had her first beach experience and loved it.
I promise to have more creative posts later. I write them in my head all the time (I'm crazy like that), they just don't come to fruition on paper,
Nick, Aubrey, Ashley & Nick

My dad, Sienna, Nick and Eastan

My grandma and mom

Even teenagers love to play in the sand.

Doughnuts are always better in Florida!

Sienna & Papa

Sunset in Florida

Vegas love

Jim and Heather

Friday, September 2, 2011

PB&J Face

Sienna loves her PB&J. She has a very specific way to eat the sandwich, too. She pulls it apart and licks all the peanut butter and jelly off the bread. This usually ends up with her smearing the peanut butter and jelly ALL OVER her face. Once she gets all of the inside goodness, she will proceed to eat the bread. It's the cutest thing but not fun to clean up. I love that girl!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

A Time to Rest

Eastan is now in 7th grade. Where does the time go? He started Cross Country and has practice every day after school. On the first full week of school, Eastan came to me with a very serious request. It was around 8:30 p.m. and I was sitting in the kitchen catching up on my work email. The conversation went like this:

Eastan: Mom, can we sit down and plan a time for me to have just, like 30 minutes of down time. You know, where I can just relax and not do anything.

Me: (Remember, I am at my computer...answering emails...just finished making dinner, cleaning up dinner, etc) What do you mean?

Eastan: Well, I just had to run around all day after school and then when I got home, I didn't have any time to relax. Each time I started to relax, I had to get up and jump over another fence.

Me: Sure, we can do that. Didn't you watch a movie in your room for like 45 minutes?

Eastan: Well, I did but I had to stop because Dad told me I had to sweep off the back porch.

Me: (Trying to be as sweet as possible without laughing in his face) Ok, we will sit down and plan a time for you to relax.

Eastan then went off to bed and I finished answering emails. Oh, to be a seventh grader!