Thursday, August 28, 2008

Twinkle Twinkle little star...

Don't Quit, Keep Playing

Wishing to encourage her young son's progress on the piano, a mother took her boy to the concert of a great master pianist. After they were seated, the mother spotted an old friend in the audience and walked down the aisle to greet her. Seizing the opportunity to explore the wonders of the concert hall, the little boy rose and eventually explored his way through a door marked "NO ADMITTANCE."

"When the house lights dimmed and the concert was about to begin, the mother returned to her seat and discovered, to her horror, that her child was missing. Suddenly, the curtains parted and spotlights focused on the impressive Steinway on stage. In disbelief, the mother saw her little boy sitting at the keyboard, innocently picking out "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star."

At that moment, the great piano master made his entrance, quickly moved to the piano, and whispered in the boy's ear, "Don't quit. Keep playing."

Then leaning over, he reached down with his left hand and began filling in a bass part. Soon his right arm reached around to the other side of the child, and he added a running obligatio. Together, the old master and the young novice transformed what could have been a frightening situation into a wonderfully creative experience.

The audience was so mesmerized that they couldn't recall what else the great master played. Only the classic "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star."

Perhaps that's the way it is with God. What we can accomplish on our own is hardly noteworthy.We try our best, but the results aren't always graceful flowing Music.However, with the hand of the Master, our life's work can truly be beautiful.

Next time you set out to accomplish great feats, listen carefully. You may hear the voice of the Master, whispering in your ear, "Don't quit. Keep playing."

May you feel His arms around you and know that His hands are there helping you turn your feeble attempts into true masterpieces. Remember, God may seem to call the equipped, but in truth, He equips the 'called'.

Jared was given this article by someone at work, and somehow it made it's way home and into my hands. I was not prepared for the effect it would have on me. This article is a great reminder of who we are and who God is. Something I think we all need every now and then. Often many of us (myself especially) limit our love. We set conditions in which we choose to love or continue to love. We draw boundaries beyond which we would cease to love. This is in contrast to the limitless and unconditional love of God; and we were challenged to re-examine the way we love in the light of such limitless love. While there is clearly a limit to what I can do, because I am only human, this does not mean I need to set a limit to my love for others. I can love regardless. I can love even if I don't get what I hope for in return. I can love even if I am aware I am being used in the process. I can continue to play my "twinkle little star" in obedience to my master, and let him do the rest. I don't need to do the 100%. I can do my little 5-10%, and trust God to do the rest. He is God. And I am his daughter. His creation. And this is His plan. And together we are called to a special partnership to love.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

On a scale of 1 to 10 how important is work today?

It's Monday morning and I call Juli to see what she's up to for the day. She invites us to join her and her family to Lake Castaic for the day. Hmmm...very tempting. I call Jared and mention it to him. He's in. Literally- 5 minutes later- we are in the car heading to the lake to meet them.
How lucky are we to have friends like this? They let us crash their party AND let us take endless turns on the wake board and the tube without complaint. Thank you Hull family for inviting us. Your boat is awesome (I expected nothing less)and can't wait to do it again!

I was a little worried about how Lennix would do on the boat. Boy was that a waste of time- she LOVED it!! She stood at the back of the boat and waved to whoever was riding in the water for hours. She would stick her head out the side (kind of like a dog riding in the car) and waited to have the water splash on her face. She was in HEAVEN!

Hunter and Kody on the Rock and Roll. Kody said several times that "this was the best day of his life!" Even told me that Shane was "his favorite person in the world!" The smile you see in this picture didn't come off his face until we left the parking lot and headed home. We nicknamed him PermaGrin for the day!

A true friend will go on the tube even when she doesn't want to. Thanks Juli for taking one for the team! We went with Shaylee (mostly because I knew that if we had her with us- Shane would go slower...)and had a blast. The rule was- if you had a wiener- you weren't allowed on. Gotta love the dialogue that comes out when our families are together!

Here's another one with Juli and Lennix. Even though Lennix has the weirdest face in the picture- I thought it was a great picture and shows off how cute Juli's bathing suit is. Her fashion sense is second to none. Even in "Lake wear!" I am grateful to have such a beautiful friend inside and out. We have one of those priceless friendships that most aren't lucky to ever have in their life. I remember when I first saw her in our ward 5 years ago- I was so excited that someone moved into our ward who dressed cute. As shallow and simple as it sounds- I was just excited to have someone to finally shop with! Little did I know how close our families were going to come. I have nothing but love for her and her family (yes, even Shane!) Thanks for the best Monday of the summer Hull family! Looking forward to many more "days off" with you guys.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

My name is Shannon. S-H-A-N-N-O-N.

Dear Diet Coke,
You won. Yes, I am addicted. All those "scientific studies" were right. I was just a number. But I am taking a stand and as of todayI am 5 days clean of the "poison. "
My addiction to Diet Coke has affected me negatively in the following ways:
It has taken what was once a beautiful young woman and turned me into a monster that I barely recognize. I live for this stuff. I am willing to stop at whatever store or drive through that is around to order one. If I do not choose to accept this gift that is being offered to me today, I will no longer answer the phone when you call. I will no longer give you money. I will no longer drive by your house and make sure you are okay. And I will call Animal Rescue and take your cats away. **If you don't recognize this- than it will make no sense to you so please disregard the entire paragraph** If you do know what this is- I've decided I need an intervention. Maybe even an intervention for Intervention. Huh?? Ironic right? Like a tow truck, that has to be towed. Isn't it ironic. Don't you think?
It wasn't this article that made me stop- although after reading it- I knew I was the " victim" they were talking about. I was at dinner on Saturday night with some friends and I ordered my usual Diet Coke like I always do. I noticed there was only one other person at the table that ordered it too. A 230 pound man who looked like he knew his way around the can. Bring it on I thought. The food came and I was matching this guy drink for drink. 1....2....3....4....they kept em coming! Just as dinner was coming to an end- the waitress brought one more. MINE!!! I thought!!! He looked at me, I looked at the Diet Coke and I wanted it. We decided to split it and right then and there as I watched him pour my half into the glass- I realized I was done for. I needed to get control of this addiction ASAP. I went cold turkey the next day and besides the headaches on days 2 and 3, I haven't been that bad off. I miss the fizz that would make my eyes burn and the barrell ice that you get only from McD's. (The BEST Diet Coke on the planet!) My goal is to make it to the Mud Run in October soda free (yes, I gave up ALL soda!) and I feel good about that. I patiently wait for October to roll around because you know I will be headed straight for the drive through right after! So long Diet Coke. So long.
Que music:
2 months later
Black screen:
"Shannon was kicked out of rehab a week later after she was caught smuggling Diet Coke into the facility"

Monday, August 18, 2008

You've had a birthday, shout HOORAY!

She's 33! That's right- it's Sharalyn's birthday and I wish more than anything I could be with her to celebrate! In honor of the birthday girl, I decided to write a few things I love about my sister!
I love her because well, she's my sister! Which means that she will love me no matter what! She has been there for me when I have felt really alone and understands me like no one else. She is always there for me when I have a question about something and is always quick to offer her opinion. (something that coming from anyone else- drives me nuts. But coming from her- is a huge blessing!) She is smart and organized and can throw together a mean party! She has been a huge inspiration to our family's decision to get healthy. She has been supportive and encouraging every step of the way (literally) and always leads by example. She is just as -if not more - loyal as I am. She is protective of her family and is an awesome mom! Those kids are growing into beautiful, talented, smart humans because of the example they see in their mother. She spends her days taking the kids to various activities and I never hear her complain. (well, sometimes. but who's counting) She really does LOVE watching her children grow and is willing to sacrifice personal time to be at everything! She is one of the funniest people I know. Seriously- the girl is hilarious! She has a way of making you feel like she really does like you, even when she's making fun of you. A talent I'm pretty sure only us Hamblys possess. Some of the most fun times I have spent with Sharalyn are when we drive in the car. I don't know what it is about driving on the open roads with that girl, but her comedy really comes out then. We have driven past old boyfriends houses "just because", (a little wierd I know, but it made sense at the time!) and written lyrics to some of our most classic songs! Most of what makes me love her so much is hard to put into words. She is great at everything she does. From making cupcakes, to putting the book fair together while 8 months pregnant AND having a kidney stone- this girl can do it all! As cheesy as it sounds- I am blessed to have her in my life. She knows how to keep it real (love that!) and is great at helping me keep it real too! She is always the first one I call when I having a problem, because it is her opinion I value the most. I can always trust her to tell me the truth even if it's sometimes hard to hear! We started playing a game a while ago called "This is what it could be like..." We go through all different scenarios that we can think of and how they would be different if we lived by each other! Free babysitting, lunches by the pool, going on our runs together, etc...One day Sharalyn. One day. So, here's to you! If I had those clapping hands we had at last years 5K- I would clap them together really hard and sing you a song! Tippy tippy top! I'm glad you are my sister. Happy 33rd! Hooray!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

I'm cheating...

It's true. As many faithful blog readers know- I have been a huge fan of the PBerry for a while now but, something has come into my life as of late and it's better. Not to mention 12 minutes closer to my house, has more cereal toppings to choose from (hello Cinnamon Toast Crunch!) and the PERFECT mix of cold/creamy/ice cream.
Out with the old:

Let me introduce you to the "other" yogurt. Red Mango. After doing some research, I have found that PB is actually a knock off of Red Mango. Go figure! I always pride myself of being loyal to those closest to me, but well, I am human and yogurt is yogurt. I like that it's not as well known as PB and I can actually sit down and eat it. It doesn't have the cool "walk of fame" like PB does in the Westlake shopping center, which means my days of sitting outside and finding something wrong with every person that walks out are over. But that's ok. Northdridge has it's own good things to offer. Jared and I went lastnight (they stay open until 11!!!) and I felt like I was watching the Olympics. Sorry PB...Red Mango is just plain better.
In with the new:

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Click it or ticket

You know you are behind on your blogging when you have to actually list it on your "to do" list in numerical order to keep everything straight. I am going to do my best to fill in all the holes but if I miss something- please be a forgiving reader! So where have we been? Why haven't we been blogging? To be honest, I feel like I have had the busiest summer of my life and yet I feel like I haven't really been doing much of anything. It's a good thing I've been faithful at taking pictures or I would have no proof of the things I have done. Here we go: Our summer.

At the end of June I got to see Shalayna and her family for a quick visit since they were out for her cousins wedding. Yea for family or we would barely see each other at all! For those of you who don't know Shalayna let me give you a quick recap: First of all, I think she is fantastic. She has 5 (yes 5) babies and is married to a cop out in AZ we call Jason. I have known her since 7th grade and can honestly say I love this girl and her family (both directly and extended) so so much! She is my best smelling friend hands down and always keeps it real. Two very important things you need in a friend right? We have had 2 babies within weeks of eacht other and there is no one I would rather be pregnant with. She is funny and smart and loyal and so thoughtful. She is always there for me despite the busy schedule she keeps and really listens to me. She is a great friend and I'm grateful to have her in my life! So there you have a little sneak peek of Shalayna. Here we are at my house (notice I didn't even shower for her! gross I know!) with Lennix and Kylah. Best Friends Forever!

Next we have the newest purchase we have made for Lennix. Her very first bicycle seat! We went back and forth between seat vs. trailer (please do not share your opinion because the purchase has already been made) and finally made our decision when we saw her wearing her little helmet. How stinking cute is this? It has made our "family bike rides" a lot easier and a lot more frequent. Now if only I could find her a little cup holder attachment for her slurpee!

July seems to have been on big blur filled with some of the best and worst moments of my life. I got to spend the first half in Texas with my sister and her family. Despite what some people may think- we even got a long the whole time! So much so, that I extented my trip and helped her recover from her "voluntary procedure". No one makes me laugh harder or louder than my sister. She is truly my best friend and I am so grateful for the rock she has been to me these past few weeks.

I have debated about writing publicly about what happened next. It is not because I don't want to share my feelings about it, but I am still trying to sort it all out in my head as it is. July 20th one of my best and closest friends Ginger passed away while sleeping in her home. Her and I have had a great friendship and I know it will continue even without her here on this earth. A lot of people have asked me what I feel about what happened, and here are some of the things I want to mention: Yes, my head knows that I will see her again. Yes, I know that this is all part of my Heavenly Fathers plan. Yes, I know that I will get through this. But despite all of this "knowing", it doesn't make it hurt any less. There has not been a day that has gone by that I do not think about Ging. Her laugh, her smile, her looooong toes, her kids, her goals that she set for running etc...I've got all those memories in my heart and that's where I'll keep them. I have been blessed to still maintain a friendship with Jason and although it seemed strange at first to be "his friend" now, he has brought me a peace and comfort I have not been able to find otherwise. This picture was taken at the Cuillards last Halloween Party and yes, Ging is dressed as Britney Spears. I love it! I miss her more everyday but am grateful for the chance I get to be around her family and her kids and for the lessons she taught me while here. I will take her example with me for the rest of my life! I love you Ging.

At the end of July we celebrated Kody's 8th birthday at Scotts Fire Station out in Santa Monica! What we thought was going to be a "small family get together" turned out to be one of the most fun days of my life! We got there just in time for the small earthquake to hit and send the whole station into "earthquake mode". Who knew there was even such a thing. One hour later of watching Finding Nemo in some of the largest Lazy Boys you've ever seen- and it was time to party!

Everyone got to get up on the truck, in the truck, and by the truck. The guys Scott works with were fantastic! So friendly and helpful and very polite. Even with Sharalyn barking out orders for them to bring her a Diet Coke and do some push ups! Then the balloons came out. And it was a whole different kind of party. These guys work hard when they have to but trust me when I say- they know how to have a good time when time permits! We had over 200 balloons to throw and we used EVERYONE of them! I don't think anyone made it out dry that day! One of the most special things that happened that day was Kody being allowed to go up the ladder with Scott. 95 feet of pure panic for me below! Thank you Station 37 for making this day so special for our family. And trust me when I say- we will be back for MY birthday!

Begining of August we had our Annual Hambly Family 5K. Commissioner Janelle did not disappoint this year! We usually have a guest speaker but this year Janelle had us go around and share our feelings about the 5K. Over and over again we heard how important "family" was. Even the little kids talked about how special it was to them. It was an amazing feeling to be standing there next to people I love so much. In past years, it has been about who was going to come in third. (behind Scott and Casey) but this year, it was all about being together. Jared and I ran with Kody and Macey (while Jared pushed Lenni in the jogger stroller) and had a record time. 3.21 miles in 27 minutes! Afterwards we all gathered together for some great food and swimming. Not to mention the Luv Bug Cookie Cake that was specially made for us! The shirts were a combination of drawings done by the kids and we all wore black polka dot ribbons to honor Ging. It was a perfect night!

The next day we loaded up in the cars and headed out to Temecula for Kodys baptism. It meant so much to us that our family would make this long trip just to show their support. Although it was louder than most baptisms I have been to, the spirit was just as strong and you could feel the love surrounding Kody. I am always amazed at how special this kid is. He is loved by so many! I think it was in my dads talk he referred to Kody as the "link" between so many people. This kid has such a loving heart it is not hard to see his purpose to "link" families together! Thank you to everyone who came out. After the baptism we went to dinner at Pat and Oscars and ate some of the best bread sticks I have ever eaten in my life! I am still dreaming of them.

And that brings us to this week. Everyone take a deep breath, I'm almost done. Patriots football. Why didn't anyone warn me?? 5 days a week. 2 and a half hours. Games on Saturday. YIKES! But the kid loves it and really- what else am I going to do with my time? There are so many things I need to be doing, but when I sit there in the great weather, watching Kody do something he loves- there is no where I'd rather be! Whew- done. No you know why I haven't been blogging. I've been with my family. It's my favorite place to be!