Thursday, April 28, 2011

My Heart Is in Alabama

Yesterday a devastating tornado ripped through Alabama, a place that I consider my hometown. My parents are there, some of our best friends are there, two of our children were born in downtown Birmingham. Luckily our family and friends are safe. Most of them trying to provide aid to those who have lost everything. They estimate the death toll at 300, but that is early.

The town of Tuscaloosa looks very different on a map. This is the home of the Tide, as well as two of my cousins who attend college there. I hope they have someplace to sleep because entire school buildings were demolished. My prayers are with them and my heart is in Alabama today.

That was our home for 8 years. We made some of the best friends we will ever have there. It is an amazing place and in my heart I am a Southern lady, well, maybe 1/2 a Southern lady (a Southern lady does not use foul language). Right, ladies? My heart is heavy with concern today for the people who have lost loved ones, their homes, their businesses, and life as they know it for now.

I am proud of the people who live in AL who have come to the rescue to provide provisions, shelter, help, medical care. This is when you see God. He is there standing right beside the mother of 3 who has lost her home and the precious pictures of her children's life. He is with the man who is looking at his small business that is just a slab of concrete. God is with the children who have lost their parents or grand parents in this horrid natural disaster. My prayer is that those people who are hurting and lost look for God and not blame Him, but let Him hold them in their time of need.

Alabama will always be special to us (I mean that's our football team. Sorry Susan Ward!). My parents live there. They are just fine and I am thankful for that. Although I'm sure it was a rough night. My dad is not fond of storms! And for that matter neither is mom. Truth be told, I am thankful for facebook. Don't laugh. I am getting updates via fb from people all over the state. It was comforting last night to know Homewood AL was safe. Pelham, AL was safe. And today I am watching people gather supplies and get them to those who need it most. That's a God thing!

Alabama will come through this with all her Southern charm. And I was blessed to have lived in that great state for 8 years. Prayers are with you, my Southern friends.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Piano, Baseball, & Easter

The kids and our furry family

Our first Easter in Mesa, AZ

When did she pass me up in height?

What do these things have in common?
Answer: The way we spent our spring.

First game, first hit

Charlie is LOVING baseball. It's a good thing because his mama is a big baseball fan.

Our Annie has a gift.

Belle just started playing and this was her first Old McDonald Had a Song ever!

I love that all my kids are playing and performing now. Music is SO important to development and will be required to take lessons until they are 18 (yes, I'm that kind of mom).

This is our first spring in AZ and we are loving it so far. Beautiful weather and I absolutely love the smell of the orange blossoms that blows through every evening. We go to an awesome church and Holy week was very special for us this year because Annie sat at the Lord's table with her brothers and sisters in Christ on Maundy Thursday. Yes, I cried. Would you expect anything less? Christ's Greenfield Lutheran Church is special and we are blessed to be part of this church family. This is my favorite time of year and I'm trying to enjoy it to the fullest so I can survive the summer!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

What a pain in the...wait wrong title!

I was in my doctor's office the other day and I looked over and this was on one of the side tables in the waiting room.

Fifth one down is my hubby and I have to say I am proud of all his accomplishments in medicine and in life. But, don't tell him that...I need to keep his ego in check j/k.

He's been on tv too, but I might be going too far with posting that! Anyway, I love the man he has become over the last 17 yrs and never cease to be amazed (good and bad) by him.

So, if you need a good pain doctor, you know where to look :)

Friday, April 15, 2011

Mom, Can We Sleep With You Tonight?

How do they sleep like this? Almost every night Charlie and Belle ask if they can fall asleep in my bed. And of course, I say yes and Dad says no, but most nights we find them like this in our bed. So, Cam picks each one up and carries them back to their own beds.

This is how we found them the other night. They are like puppies...all snuggled up together and laying every which way. After I took the picture, I stood there for the longest time trying to figure out why I was so sad. It dawned on me that we have so few nights left that they will want to sleep in our bed with each other. I was trying to capture this moment in time, so when Charlie goes away to college (I'm trying to talk him into ASU) I can remember him as a little boy who wanted to be in his mama's bed every night. I'm pretty sure the dog will always be there and as for Belle, I hope she wants to sleep with us even when she's 30.

Annie used to say that she was going to live with us when she got married and she would have her room, and her husband would have his. We call that the couch in our house...haha. I've told Cam many times how I want to live in a great big house with all our kids, their spouses, and their children. Well, maybe just in the same neighborhood. Daily I look at these kiddos and get glimpses of what they will be like when they grow up and I'm already proud, but can't we slow down time and have a few more years that the kids will want to fall asleep in our bed?

BTW, why don't we sleep like this as adults? I've never woken up to Cam at the foot of the bed and don't think I wouldn't take a picture if I did. And yes, the dog sleeps right there all night long with our cat up on my pillow. I think I need to establish some night time limitations or Cam may sleep on the couch permanently.

Have a great weekend and if you are so inclined leave a message about what you will miss the most when your children are grown or what you currently miss if you do have grown children. I would love to hear from all of you about the memorable things your kids do and say. Thanks for reading about our little crazy slice of life we like to call Picomania

Thursday, April 14, 2011

These are Chicks

This one is about my son. And it's a good thing everyone loves him because if they didn't, he would be in trouble all the time (he even has his teacher totally charmed). Anyway, the other day he comes home from school, throws his backpack on the table (not the appropriate hook), sits down and says, "Mom, chicks dig bad boys". At this point two things run through my mind: when did he start calling girls chicks and how did I go wrong? I ask him, "do you want to be a bad boy?" and he replies, "Mom, the chicks already dig me" and then he smiles.

I text his dad and tell him he needs to have a talk with our son about respecting girls "chicks". This is clearly a dad thing, but I'm not sure dad really got it because he laughed when I told him the story and he said "that's my son!" Ha, who is he kidding? My handsome, dreamy husband really didn't have "swagga". Now his brothers are a different story! So, maybe Charlie takes after his uncles :) BTW, the chicks comment wasn't that bad and he didn't get in trouble, etc for saying it.

Kidding aside it is my responsibility as a mom and woman to teach my son to respect girls. And dads lead by example and should respect their wives and honor them to teach their sons what that looks like. Cam is very good at this, so I'm perplexed by some of the things Charlie says. Maybe I'll blame the neighbor boys (no, just kidding)! It's tough to teach boys in our society to respect women because of all the ways women portray themselves. Has anyone walked by Victoria's Secret lately? Try getting your son to walk by without's almost impossible. And don't get me started on commercials. I tvo everything in hopes of fast forwarding by all the sexually charged commercials.

Oh, and let's not forget what message this sends to our daughters that they have to be super skinny with big boobs and half naked to attract the attention of men/boys. I'm lucky because my oldest (13 yr old girl) is very modest by nature. She won't even wear a tankini, which makes her daddy very proud, but not all girls can or will take a stand on that issue. I think if as a society we devalued such behavior and conduct, we could raise respectful boys and girls that respected themselves.

I didn't intend to take this post in this direction, but hey it worked for me and hopefully it gives everyone something to think about. Even if you disagree with me, it's still food for thought.

Until tomorrow...or the next day...or the never know with me :)

Friday, April 8, 2011

Here In the Love of Christ

***You've got to turn off my blog music to hear this song...sorry***

Yesterday, we listened to this song in the car on the way to church. And I hear Charlie's tiny singing voice from the backseat and it made my heart swell with love. In Christ Alone has been done a lot by various artists and sung in churches around the country. I love the lyrics!

In Christ alone my hope is found
He is my light, my strength, my song
This Cornerstone, this solid ground
Firm through the fiercest drought and storm
What heights of love, what depths of peace
When fears are stilled, when strivings cease
My Comforter, my All in All
Here in the love of Christ I stand

In Christ alone, who took on flesh
Fullness of God in helpless babe
This gift of love and righteousness
Scorned by the ones He came to save
'Til on that cross as Jesus died
The wrath of God was satisfied
For every sin on Him was laid
Here in the death of Christ I live

There in the ground His body lay
Light of the world by darkness slain
Then bursting forth in glorious Day
Up from the grave He rose again
And as He stands in victory
Sin's curse has lost its grip on me
For I am His and He is mine
Bought with the precious blood of Christ

No guilt of life, no fear in death
This is the power of Christ in me
From life's first cry to final breath
Jesus commands my destiny
No power of hell, no scheme of man
Can ever pluck me from His hand
'til He returns or calls me home
Here in the power of Christ I'll stand

Then as a mere coincidence our pastor preached on overcoming adversities through our Christian faith and that in the depth of our sower we are not alone. Sometimes, especially lately I have lost sight of that. I've been trying to do it on my own and obviously not working for me. The message of Christ is not that we won't ever have pain or won't experience bad things in our life, but that He is with us, forgives us, and renews us. That thought and this song keeps playing over and over in my head and heart, so I am still and listening.

PS Annie's lock out at church was SO much fun. She fasted along with many other youth for 30 hours (I am proud of that because I couldn't do it more than 12 hrs or so. They saw the movie Soul Surfer, which was awesome. They broke the fast with In N Out where Annie devoured a double-double, fries, and a drink (I don't know where she puts it either). They played games like dodge ball at church, then headed out to play Laser Tag at 5:00 am. Needless to say our party people were very tired the next day and slept most of the day and into the night. We are so blessed to have such an amazing church family and a youth group that offers things like this for our teens when they need it the most. A big thanks to our DCE's who are a huge, positive influence on our teens when they need it the most.

If this post seems disjointed it is...give me a break, it's Monday morning!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Brianhead, UT 2011

Pico Family getting ready to ski

Annie and I all bundled up

I love that little toothless grin

Charlie and his cousin, Wills looking for trouble

Belle's shadow (cousin Savy)

Belle & Aunt Jasmine

They couldn't wait to ski everyday

The brothers & their boys

Cam & Lance

Charlie & Uncle Lance

Ski bunnies

What an awesome family vacation. A special thanks to my SIL's mom who shared her family vacations with us. Can't wait to do it again next year!

Saturday, April 2, 2011

A Birthday Letter

Dear Annie, you are 13 years old today and I can't believe how fast time goes by. It was just yesterday you were taking your first steps on Mother's Day between Papa and I. I never thought it was possible to love anything as much as I love you.

Daddy and I are SO proud of you. We are proud that you are kind and loving, respectful, smart (way smarter than both of us), driven, funny (it's either the right or the left), and most importantly a woman of God. I'm not sure I've ever had the faith and understanding that you do, but it's something that I truly admire in you.

As you get older, I feel so much closer to you. Thank you for trusting me and telling me about the most important things in your life (no, not boys!) I look forward to Monday and Wednesday nights when we get in our jammies and watch DWTS and American Idol. We love Scottie :)

My best piece of advice to you is stay true to yourself and be a shining example to the world (so, basically do exactly what you are doing now). I look forward to watching you grow over the next 13 years and truly believe God has big plans for Annie Pico!

Have fun and don't forget to laugh at yourself. Smile and laugh a lot because when you do your heart shines to the world and we all are blessed by that. Thank you, Annie for being my daughter.

Love always,