Home » Family » We’re Home! (And someone turned 5…)

We’re Home! (And someone turned 5…)

My heart is full.   I can’t even describe to you how much relief I felt as each percentage of fire containment rose over the weekend.  It went from 5%, to 25%, to 30%, to 55%, to now 75% containment.  Which means those super-star Fire Fighters (and so many others) have control of over 75% of the fire’s borders.  They have all been working so, SO hard.  And I have been very impressed with their long hours of service.  I also could never share every bit of pure kindness I have seen here in our community.  It’s been such a beautiful thing.  :)


Experiences in life are kinda funny like that.  We learn from them what we want to, and/or are willing.  And I believe, this community has learned to be a little kinder.  A little more selfless.  And LOT more loving.


But really, thanks for sending such warm emails and leaving comments.  I read every single one.  Thank you for loving on (and praying for) my family.  :)


P.S. We have had so much beautiful rain lately!  Yesterday, it rained on and off all day long.  I’m sure the fires are super cranky about that.  But our poor patchy lawn has been drinking it right up! :)

. . . . .



The fire turned really ugly Thursday afternoon and the mandatory evacuation zones expanded quickly.  They weren’t sure what the fire would do next.  So, we evacuated and headed to my parents house.  (So glad they’re only a couple hours away!)  And even though Connor’s birthday isn’t until today (YAY!!), we had a little last-minute birthday party for him at my parents house on Sunday.  Cheap streamers and quirky ‘Happy B-day’ posters included. :)


When we first moved here to colorado from Georgia, this kid was turning 3.  And we were struggling to get him potty trained.  (Remember all that Potty Training stuff?  So glad all those tricks worked!)

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I keep grasping at the days that keep slipping right through my fingers.  Dang kids, they grow way too fast, without even asking permission. ;) 




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 (Sweet little squishy 3-year-old face.  Where did this kid go?)





I kept asking Connor what he wanted for his birthday cake.  All I really got out of him was lemon cake and Super Hero frosting.  Hmmmm……yeah, there wasn’t time for fondant Super Heroes.  So, we put toy ones right on top.  Because that’s what cheaters do. ;)  And the kid can play with them after he licks all the frosting off their feet.  Ha.





He was really happy about those toys on top.  Who wouldn’t be?!?! ;)





Then it was present time.  Grandpa was in charge of reading all the birthday cards.





Connor was THRILLED to get all of these $1 dollar bills from Gma and Gpa Silk.  SO COOL!!





We have been asking Connor what he has wanted for his birthday, for months.  He has told us random things like, dinosaur punching bags (what? where do I find that?!?!) or a new pirate ship (yeah, he didn’t play with the last one he had).  We decided last minute to have his party at my parents house, while we had escaped the fires in our town.  So……I had to gather a few things at the store on Saturday.  Good thing he forgot about what he really asked for……


Because this Hulk Mask and Hulk Fists were a complete surprise for him.  And he didn’t know he wanted them until he unwrapped them.  I LOVE a good surprise that’s actually a hit!!





And this is from my phone after returning home…….but Connor walks around the house saying “HULK SMASH!” and then punches the floors.  Or the un-painted (as directed by his mother) walls.  Ha.






Another huge hit were these random little rockets I found.  You stomp on this air pedal and it shoots these foam tipped rockets way up in the air.  Like, WAY up in the air.  And all of us have given it a try several times.  So fun!






He also got some sling shot rockets.  Chloe kept those busy (with Uncle Mike’s help) while Connor stomped on the air pedal.






Then, Connor and his cousin Grant decided that Superman needed a ride on the rocket.  


After stomping on the air pedal, Connor excitedly scanned the skies for signs of his super hero up in the clouds.  Yeah, Superman barely made it off the ground.   Ha.  What a bummer!






Really kid, you have got to slow down.  I’m still trying to wrap my head around one kid being in school…..but now two?!?!



We all love you Connor Boy.  And your contagious laugh.  And the way you enjoy life……and popsicles! :)



And thanks for having a birthday to celebrate, which completely took our minds off the happenings at home.  Great timing! :)

. . . . .



Thanks again to all of you, for your concern with everyone affected by the fires here in our town.  There are over 500 homes that were destroyed.  But this community has pulled together and after some time, things will be repaired and re-built.  


Enjoy your day….and we’ll talk soon!




Ashley Johnston
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Ashley Johnston

Owner at Make It & Love It
Ashley Johnston is a professional DIY costume maker, sewist, crafter, and owner of Make It & Love It. She is a mom of 5 and a wife to a very patient (with the craft clutter) husband. In case you’re wondering, she always chooses crafting/sewing/designing over mopping/dusting/wiping base boards……but bathrooms/laundry/full bellies are always attended to. Whew!
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  1. Britni says:

    I live a few miles away from the fire too! I’m SOOO glad you, your family, and your home are all safe! We watched the evac line quickly creep closer and closer to us, and the smoke smell was so strong inside, that we finally packed up some stuff and stayed with my sister. It’s the most awful feeling to even THINK about the possibility of losing your home and everything in it, so my heart breaks for those who did lose it all. Did you want to run up and give your house a big hug when you got home? No? Just me I guess ;) I have a new appreciation for my home and every little thing in it! And now to the even more important stuff… happy birthday Connor!! It looks like you all had the perfect day! :)

  2. cucicucicoo says:

    I’m so glad to hear that the fires are getting more under control and that your neighborhood is safe! And it looks like Mr. 5-year-old had a wonderful birthday, even if not exactly as planned! :) Lisa
    (and p.s. I emailed you a week or so ago and mentioned that I wasn’t able to comment here anymore. It’s gotten taken care of! Akismet had me down as a spammer, which is why my comments weren’t going through on so many blogs. So if anyone ever tells you something similar, that they can’t leave you comments, tell them to contact Akismet through their support page to get unblocked!)

    1. Ashley says:

      Oh good, I’m glad to see you can post again! And that’s really good to know about the spam thing. Now I’ll know for others. Thanks! :)


  3. Pippa says:

    Glad you and your neighbours are home safely! And happy b’day to your BIG boy. My big boy James, also an ’08 model, liked the Hulk gear and stomp rocket photos, especially poor Superman’s battle with gravity (and maybe some kryptonite?). James thought Connor might like the “Traction Man” book series! Best wishes : )

  4. Maureen M. says:

    So thankful things are better…so scary. I thought of you and your kids the first time they said they were making progress on the fires and that there was some rain: what a sweet answer to prayer for your kids. I am always so incredibly thrilled to see God answer the prayers of my kids and for them to see it! :) I bet you all are so thankful for “normal” days again.

  5. SuzK says:

    glad to hear you are home safe and sound. looks like your son had a great birthday. I remember one Christmas when my nephew was about your son’s age – everything he opened was “just what I always wanted!” – one of the funnier Christmas mornings we ever had.

  6. Tiffany says:

    I am very glad that you are all safe and sound.

    My 5 year old has the same Hulk fists, and he wears them EVERYWHERE! Big bro has Wreck-It Ralph fists, so they have boxing matches that are the funniest thing you have ever seen. Kids are so much fun!

  7. natalie smith says:

    Glad you guys are safe! A party was a perfect distraction…so fun!

  8. Stephanie says:

    So glad you are ok! My cousin/best friend apparently lives very close to you because her house was directly on the pre-evac zone last week and they had to spend a few nights away from home. So scary.

    My two boys LOVE superheros and my baby (he will turn two on Monday) runs around yelling “Hulk Smash!” all the time too. So cute!

  9. Erin says:

    So glad you’re all home safely, and Happy Birthday to your little guy! Ah, your potty training post… :) It totally saved my life 2 years ago when I was at my wit’s end with our own potty training disasters! Since I couldn’t find any tiny pull-ups to trade out, I had to sew up the side of my daughter’s just enough so she couldn’t get them up past her knees. I remember my hubby thought I had gone completely nuts sewing up disposable diapers in the middle of the night like a crazed lunatic. I was so desperate! But IT WORKED! Poor little thing went through such a quick range of emotions when they didn’t fit in the morning (moment of sheer panic for me), but it all ended well. Thanks for sharing real bits of your life with us, too. You never know when it might be just the thing someone needs to hear?

  10. Lisa says:

    Glad you’re safe! We just moved from Highland’s Ranch in June, and Colorado has had a rough year for fires!

  11. Shannon says:

    Glad you’re home safe. Our community REALLY rallies together in times like these. So good to see the good in the world. I feel like the Waldo Canyon showed us all what we are really made of and this fire just piggy backed it and we knew how to come together and what things would be needed most! Man, this stinkin fires! Enough already!

  12. Kathy says:

    Glad you’re home. I was thinking about you guys every time they mentioned the fires on the news. Glad you are all safe.

  13. Andrea says:

    I’m so glad to get an update! I was thinking you probably had to evacuate. Happy birthday to your little guy. They grow up so fast!

  14. Meg says:

    I don’t think the super heroes on the cake is cheating at all considering you were refugees for the weekend!

  15. Ellie says:

    I was waiting to hear about you and your family. Good to hear all is safe! Happy Birthday to Connor! My little grandgirl will be 5 on July 1st! You’re right, where does the time go? Now you know how us older moms and dads feel about our ‘babies’, but it’s great to see you all grow up! :)

  16. Tausha Rondeau says:

    Hi! I was wondering if you would share where you bought the rockets?! My almost 5 year old would love them for his birthday, but it is Thursday, so I am in a hurry to find them!
    Thanks in advance!

    1. Ashley says:

      Sure! I found them at WalMart…..kinda near all the outside summer toys. Good luck!

    2. Becca says:

      I was going to ask about them too. Too bad just got home from WalMart – Literally 10 minutes ago.

    3. Ellie says:

      IF you aren’t in too much of a hurry you can also get stomp rockets from amazon. They are the same price as on the walmart website.

    4. Becca says:

      Thanks for the Amazon tip. They arrived right before we left for a camping trip this week. We surprised the boys with them while we were out and they were a huge hit!

  17. Heather says:

    So glad to hear y’all are ok! I can not believe your little boy is five. Looks like y’all had a great time. I just LOVE your blog!!! :)
    ♡ All the way from SC
    PS I want to see more house updates and decorating when you can!

    1. Ashley says:

      Thanks so much! :) And I have many home projects, coming up soon!

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Hi, I'm Ashley

Hi, I’m Ashley—the DIY-enthusiast behind this crazy blog!

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