Sunday, April 29, 2012

A Day to Remember

Parent Dedication Day. Asking Him for His grace, strength, wisdom and guidance as we seek to raise our daughters. To help them understand their sinful, fallen hearts that are desperately wicked {Jeremiah 17:9} and that BECAUSE of CHRIST we have an amazing HOPE! Though we are separated from Him and bound for hell...the story doesn't end there! We have an AWESOME Savior who came to earth 100% human and 100% God to live a perfect life and offer Himself as our substitute. Instead of us experiencing God's wrath eternally separated from Him, we can be welcomed into the family of God by acknowledging our sinfulness and our absolute need of Christ's righteousness {Romans 10:9&10}.

This is what we proclaimed in front of our church body today. We humbly admitted we can't parent alone! We need prayer, support, faithful friends to point out our weaknesses, failings, the things we're doing right and to offer love, encouragement and help. There's a great need for other families in the faith to come along side us. We are thankful for godly men and women who love Him and serve each other. What a blessing! 

Matt and I praise God for the two little lives He has entrusted to us. "Children are a heritage of the Lord, the fruit of the womb is His reward" {Psalm 127:3} and we consider ourselves richly blessed to be given Reese Lanae and Allie Joelle. 

Pastor Steve introducing the 6 families represented who were dedicating their children.

After church was finished we went to Stonefire with Papa and Marmee to celebrate! Mollie and Spencer came too...I just didn't get a picture with them.

Eating some really yummy food! Reese loved that she got to sit next to Papa and Marmee on the other side of where mom and dad were. ;)

Papa's first granddaughter...a girl after his own heart! 

The youngest cutie loves to give 
cheesy smiles for the camera!

Thank you Papa and Marmee for coming to Placerita today to witness the girls' dedication. What a privilege to have you there to witness this event. We know you (and Nana and Poppy Ryan) have been loving and praying for our girls since the day you found out they were on the way. We love you!

Monday, April 16, 2012

Missing Him...

I miss him. It hits me when I smell bacon cooking on a Saturday morning. The times when I see the word Redskins across a headline on ESPN. When an older, white-haired man sits in front of me with his grandchildren on a Sunday morning at church. The times when I drive by a fairway or see a man dressed in slacks and a collared shirt with clubs slung over his shoulder. I miss him when I get a whiff of Old Spice or fold Matt's {one} handkerchief (yes I had to look that up to spell it!). The ache wells up when I hear his voice that still remains on my Grandmom's answering machine. Sometimes...when I know for certain she's not home...I call it 3 or 4 times over and over again just to listen to that strong, commanding, military voice on the other end. Tears spill. I push redial and do it all over again for those 10 seconds of remembrance. The lump in my throat is still's gotten smaller after 5 1/2 years but nevertheless I feel it.
It especially hit me hard when my oldest was born and my dad decided to carry on my Poppy's name by having him be Poppy now. It's bittersweet. My children will never know their Great Grandfather but his name, memory and likeness will be carried on by my dad. I do love that!

I guess I'm writing all of this to share a part of my memories that I never want to forget. I don't want to forget that Poppy loved adverbs...especially ones that end in -ly. That he loved Bryers ice cream and you could find 2 or 3 half gallon cartons in the freezer in the garage at any given time. That he was social, had wonderful, intelligent and kind friends who were always so happy to see me and my sisters when we were visiting them in Virginia Beach. That even though it probably took a LOT of extra patience, Poppy rarely refused when one of us granddaughters asked if we could come along while he played golf to drive the cart. Still one of my favorite memories with him! I don't want to forget how he made it a priority for him and Grandmom to be at every major event in our lives...even if it meant them flying all the way to Alaska to do so! Family was his priority and never for a second did I question his love for me. He was a great swimmer, incredible story-teller, brilliant author and made famous for marketing the game Scattergories.

And lastly, every time spring comes around I'm reminded of how much he loved Peeps! I'd have to ask, but I'm almost sure there never was an Easter where he didn't eat his beloved marshmallow treat. In honor of you, Poppy, Reese, Matt and I all enjoyed these purples bunnies.

Poppy, you continue to leave your imprint on my heart. I think about how wonderful a grandfather you were to me, all the words of wisdom you gave, the many, many hugs and kisses and the way us grandchildren felt lavished upon. My prayer is that the lessons you imparted will be handed down to my children as I raise them. I know for a fact that your example is being lived out beautifully by your dad! I'm forever thankful that you were my Poppy!

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Please Welcome your Guest Blogger...

Hey everyone out in the blog world,

Yes, this is Matt Mehringer (aka "Bubba" by Ash or "Daddy" from Reese-roo). Don't worry or fret because I am not hijacking my wife's blog. This is good news because: 1) she is a wonderful blogger and I love reading her posts, 2) my blog would not be as descriptive, fun or colorful as hers and 3) I won't have to sleep out in the doghouse even though we currently don't own a dog, cat, hamster or fish.

Why I am writing on her blog? Ah yes, an excellent question deserving of a honest answer. First, I have received her permission to do so. Second (here's your answer that you all are waiting for....drum roll please), Ash was away most of Saturday and that meant I was flying solo (but not like Hans, he had some help in that sci-fi tale). Ash has been reading a great book called God's Priorities for Today's Woman: Discovering His Plan for You by Lisa Hughes (ladies you should buy this book and then read it). About a month ago, we discovered she would be the speaker at our church's women's conference, and I told her she had to go. 
She liked this idea, though she doesn't like being away from her girls. I then informed her that I would take expert care of them. I'm not sure if she was fully confident in the expert part, but she felt relatively confident in my paternal abilities (Sports analogy side note: My youngest Allie knows I am only the Carolina Panther's backup quarterback, mommy is Cam Newton). That just means Allie would miss mom as she is the starter, but we would ultimately survive game day. 

Sticking with the sports theme, here are the top 10 highlights (and observations) from Saturday's day with my little treasures: 

10. I love reading books with Reese. We read her two favorites on Saturday which were The Little Engine That Could and Llama Llama Red Pajama. There are both excellent stories and Reese really loves the pictures. The latter of these toddler tales will leave you tongue tied!

9. We definitely spent some great time wrestling together (it was kind of a cloudy and cool day, so we were inside for most of it). I have to be kind of careful here, because Allie is only crawling and Reese thinks she can be King Kong as she climbs all over me. That means I have to keep an eye out on little Allie as she tries to involve herself in the action. She fends for herself well, but sometimes is a little timid due to Reese's crazy jumps on daddy. 

8. Dora the Explorer is a pretty cool show. We try to let Reese watch one episode a day (25 minutes or so). We might have watched two episodes...maybe three, but I really think it was only two. Good news: Dora and Boots find Pablo's long lost flute or flauta in Spanish. A great part of this show is there are a couple of seasons on Apple TV, so no need to pay cable!

7. Who doesn't love PB&J? Reese and I do. Ash always says I put on too much peanut butter and jelly, but that's what makes them the best! With a cold glass of whole milk...ahhh, what a lunch. On the younger side, Miss Allie did a great job eating her pureed vegetables and some type of delicious Gerber meat with gravy. 

6. We were able to play together with some of the blocks and toys, though we are working with Reese to share more with Allie. Allie is generally pretty patient with Reese, which is a blessing. "Behold, how good and pleasant it is when brothers dwell in unity" (Psalm 133:1, ESV). I bet King David means general humanity here, because sisters should be included too. 

5. I took a little break to see about the results from the Auburn spring football game. Reese saw the website and said "Auburn!" She is growing up to be such a wise lady. War Eagle! 

4. We took a great walk and I thought we were going to the park, but the rain from the following night prevented that from happening. Reese was a little sad, but that's how life goes. We still had a fun time in the stroller as we walked around the block. I made sure to dress them warmly as it was a bit chilly and windy (thank you Lord for not allowing them to be sick). 

3. I love my little Allie so much. She kind of slouches in the stroller and looks like an old man who needs a rest. I try to prop her up, but a minute or two later she is back in the same position. Allie is content to look at the world and is her daddy's sweetheart. 

2. Being a mommy is no easy job. Hilary Rosen (from recent political controversy) needs to spend some time around young children as her comments are utterly ridiculous.

1. Thank you faithful Lord for Ashley and all the time, energy and devotion she puts into raising our children. "The wisest of women builds her house, but folly with her own hands tears it down" (Proverbs 14:1, ESV). Thank you Lord for her wisdom (in my opinion folly is a foreign word to Ash) and for her amazing example to my little girls.  

Well, my spring break is just about over, but this Saturday is just one picture of all the joy and wonder I shared with them. Thanks for letting me guest blog on this LONG post. Hope you enjoyed it. We now return you to your regularly scheduled programming. 

Monday, April 9, 2012

Easter Weekend '12

Thanks to a dear friend up in Alaska who shared the recipe we made some fun Easter treats this year. This recipe made a lot of "nests" so we had plenty to share with neighbors and to put at each place setting for Easter lunch.

Easter Treats:
-One bag of large or small marshmallows
-stick of butter
-1box of All Bran or FiberOne cereal
Melt butter and marshmallows on the stove. Add cereal and mix to thoroughly combine. Form into balls and make a "well" to form a nest. Add eggs. 

I'm excited for next year when Reese can help.

We had a wonderful morning of worship at our church, Placerita Baptist. Wonderful, powerful music with lyrics that were Gospel focused as we sang to our triumphant King! An incredible message taken from Revelation 1 by Dr. Jack Hughes reflecting on the person of Jesus Christ having conquered the grave and reigning in heaven. 

Next, we headed to Papa and Marmee's house for our family Easter lunch, dessert and {after nap time} egg hunt.

Monika and cousin Hayden

A gorgeous day to be outside together!

Lord, our hearts are full of grateful thanks for your death and resurrection that we might have life eternally with You. Your wondrous love displayed by the cross reminds us of our sinfulness; needing You to give us your righteousness that we might stand before your throne spotless. Alleluia! What a Savior!