Tuesday, September 11, 2012


On this day 11 years ago, I was in a building full of students. I had just finished checking the classrooms that morning and was in my office working on paperwork listening to the radio. Then the news broke. My husband, brother and parents were all at different airports that day. I have never been so scared for my family in my life. It took me three hours to get a hold of Steve. I sat in my office and sobbed. He had managed to get out of the airport and contact his driver before the mayhem started at Chicago International.

It was so difficult to be at school that day and explain to the older students what was happening while trying to shield the younger students from the news. It was hard to breath. Just to put one foot in front of the other. I don't have any connection to anyone that died or was injured in 9-11. But I am an American; we are all connected. I will never forget. We are still feeling the effects of this horrible day. But as Americans, we will do what we do best. We will rally together (even if only for only one day during this political season) and we will pray, send out good vibes, direct  healing thoughts, guide the good mojo....whatever we do, towards helping and healing those that had family and friends that perished on that tragic day.

As for me, today I pray that our Nation can heal from this horrible violence and hatred. We all know that we have not healed. We feel the effects of this event everyday. We see the prices at the gas pump, we hear of others losing their jobs, we see others stare and glare towards those that look different than typical Americans.

Today, instead of cutting that person off in the school drive line, instead of being impatient with your kids, rather than mutter under your breath at the cashier, look someone in the eye and say "Hello". Ask someone how they are doing today and really really mean it. Spend some extra time laughing with you kids. Call a family member that you have not spoken to in weeks or months. Life is precious my friends. It can all end in a blink of an eye. Cherish those moments and remember the sense of urgency you felt 11 years ago. Reach out to others as if today is your last day here on earth. At least you were given that chance. The 3,000 people that died on September 11, 2001 were not given that chance. Live for them today.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

So Far...

In typical Silva style, we have done a lot over the last few weeks. Since we don't have a house to clean or repair, we've spent a lot of time together as a family. Here are a few of the things we have done in our six weeks in KS....so far.... I wish I had more pictures of other things we have done but my camera battery ran out after about week three here and I couldn't use my camera again until two weeks ago when I was able to get my charger.

We had fun over Labor Day weekend at Aunt Roxanne's. We got to see everyone! It's nice to be close to family again.

The boys caught fish after fish after fish at Dillion Nature Center. We just love that place. Uncle Ron got in on the fun too. Thanks for being a good sport!

Cam caught a pretty good sized fish (compared to what we usually catch there). He had fun reeling it in. His casting has gotten better too. Not a bad little fisherman.

Steve showed off his mad drumming skills at the new outdoor drums at Dillion Nature Center. You might think that he was showing off for his kids, but no, they were busy playing in the sand. He was just playing for his own entertainment...and mine too.

The only picture the entire weekend of other family members. Thanks for spending time with us Larissa and Jenni!

Of course we had fun at the water spout parks in Hutchinson. Again, we had other "boys" with us but somehow I didn't get any pictures of them.

Colin had a perfect strategy. Filling a cup and splashing it on the unsuspecting people. Sneaky little guy.

This past weekend we made it back down to Crown Center. It was a beautiful day so we took a picnic lunch to the fountains. Please ignore the dude sleeping in the background. We did.

 The Lego Discovery Center provided 5 hours of entertainment this trip. Whew. Exhausting.

Colin built a throne fit for a king. It was actually pretty cool.

Little did we know that this weekend was home of the "Chalk Walk Art Festival" at Crown Center. Lots of different people drawing amazing scenes with chalk on the side walk.

One of my favorite drawings. It's amazing to me how they can make chalk drawings look so life like.

Typical "Cam" picture. He can't seem to keep his baby blues open in the sun.

Our first week here we went to Crown Center. They have a Crayola center. That's a huge wheel of crayons behind the boys with every color of Crayola ever made. Pretty neat.

Cam had fun at Crayola drawing on the extra large paper stations that we set up. One guess as to what he drew....

Colin and Cam both enjoyed a trip to Fritz's. If you have never been there, it's a lot of fun. There is a train overhead that delivers your food to you. It drops the food on a platform above your table and then lowers it down slowly. The boys loved it!

We have been able to see a lot of family since we have been here. We have seen Aunt Patty several times already! I don't have any pictures of visiting Grandma Silva or Aunt Cyndi as my camera was not working but trust me, we have seen them more in the past six weeks than we have in the last six years. So much fun!

Of course, while at Crown Center we had to buy a membership to the Lego Discovery Center. It's a fun place for the boys. I suspect that most kids would tire after an hour but both times we have been have been there five hours or more.

By happenstance, while in Derby, KS, my bestie from high school was in town. We stopped to have lunch at one of my all time favorite eateries (Casa Martinez). Her kiddos are adorable!

Also by happenstance, we went to Exploration Place in Wichita, They had a full display of Star Wars movie props. That section of Exploration Place alone took us three hours to go through. What a great find!

No trip would be complete without a stop at the zoo. One of the best zoos ever...Tanganyika in Goddard, KS. Cam feeding a black rhino. Kinda yucky and slobbery. Perfect entertainment for a boy.

Colin enjoyed feeding the lorikeets....about 50 times! They really liked his red shirt and were very attracted to him, as you can see.

Auntie Em even got in on the fun. Again, another reason to be in KS. We are much closer to a lot of the people we love dearly.

Cam was in his element with those lorikeets. He's is about 3 weeks away from getting his own bird. Please pray for me.

The boys got to pet the kangaroos. This one was very docile (asleep really). They feel like bunnies with very soft short fur.

 There are so many animals at this zoo to feed. They also fed goats, chickens, tortoise, rabbits...

Cam enjoyed feeding to guinea pigs too.

The grand finale...the lemurs. This time they were eating fruit snacks. They were quick as a flash when they grabbed those from their hands. Again, their fur is so soft. Just like a fuzzy baby bunny.

Somehow I have no pictures of my sis (Roxanna) and her family even though we have seen them at least twice since we have moved here. Watch out Hess/Hawkinson/Zimmerman families. Next time we see you, that camera is going to be flashing!