Our July was supposed to be our quiet month. And overall, I would say we did a decent job being home, taking in the local summer fun and getting in lots of time in the yard. The chickens are laying anywhere between 2-4 eggs a day, the garden is bursting with harvest and despite our dry summer, we've managed to keep the part of the yard the kids play in most slightly green for their little bare feet. And wow, its August already!
August is typically fire season around here. I'm personally grateful that Steven is a few task book signatures short of being deployed on a conflagration as we've already had a busy fire season statewide. Oregon currently has #1 priority for conflagration resources in the West. Rare for us to beat out California! Regardless, since he is unable to be deployed at this time, it means the shifts left vacant by those deployed, the few injured officers, and the countless vacation shifts since those with school age kids are all taking off before school starts are Steven's for the taking. He was frugal and took few shifts over the winter and spring months so is high on the list for overtime options. What a blessing from God! Between Abi's dental bill and her upcoming hospital bill (she's scheduled for her tonsillectomy on Monday 8/12) and our new roof going on in a few weeks, God provides a way for large bills to be paid. Each time I ask God, "How's this going to work out?" I get a response of, "I've got this. Watch."
The kids and I started August with Daddy working a 72 hour shift. We then had him home for 48 hours before he left this morning to start another 72 hour shift. There were a few fires today alone in the district so I know he has a huge smile on his face.
For us at home, we've been having fun too. We took off and did the SHOC Empowerment walk with our very dear friend Kayla and her foster daughter K (photo not allowed for that reason). Zach and K are one month apart in age and we play often with them. Kayla is celebrating just over two years as an ovarian cancer survivor so I was thrilled to participate in the walk again with her. Our goal was to kick last year's time as she really hadn't fully bounced back from chemo then and we've been walking often this summer. We polished off our 5k walk in just under an hour. I was the very first finisher with a double stroller; an extra 68 pounds in my case! With my hip issue over the last year (one year this week actually), I was thrilled with our time and that I was able push both kids.
Our friends Nick and Alicia who have often watched Abi and Zach had their baby this June. We finally had a chance to watch Lucy for them. Abi was quite the helper: grabbing diapers and wipes, reading her books, giving her a pacifier and then wanting to feed her. Zach loves Lucy and is "very" helpful as well: he'll "hold" her (try to pick her up on his own!) and give her a pacifier (shove it in her mouth whether she's interested or not) and gives her countless kisses.
The kids have a firefighter movie that they watch over, and over, and over, and over. In fact, they know many of the lines by heart. Abi will tell you exactly what type of apparatus she sees anywhere we go and in any media (pumper, aerial ladder, rescue, brush truck, etc.) and they both talk about being firefighters. Abi often says she's going to be a wildland helicopter pilot. As a former safety/risk professional, I pray about this often. Needless to say, Daddy is definitely their hero. They were very excited last night when he was moving his gear and let them put on his mask.