Wednesday, December 31, 2008
so the flu bug continues in our home. sunday i came down with it. last night greg got caught with it for real this time and today gracie has fallen. she was TOTALLY bummed due to the fact that we were going to go to the mall with her friend and then onto her friend's house for new year's eve. pretty much a disasterous holiday season. i do have to look on the bright side of things.....
- we didn't lose electricty
- greg had scheduled vacation this week - COULDN'T have done the last two days without him!
-we didn't get any sewer back-up from last weeks melt down like other people in georgetown township (just a little more water in luke's bedroom....and a few days later some more water in the utility room from someone forgetting to shut off the laundry room faucet....we won't name names....he truly was trying to help!)
-we still are getting things crossed off greg's MEGA sized to-do list
-HOPEFULLY we're on the down swing with this bug
-andrew has proven once again (as of this writing) that he has a steel gut!!
-this w/e away with greg still looks promising (pray HHHAAARRRDDD! :) we NEED this w/e away together!!!
so tomorrow night - new year's eve - won't be sooo bad. we'll be together as a family - playing games/watching movies/eating snacks/watching the ball drop.....hopefully NO BUCKETS ALLOWED!!!!!!!
HAPPY NEW YEAR EVERYONE!!!! may 2009 be better than the ending of 2008!!! :):)
Saturday, December 27, 2008
first there was abby.....early, early Christmas morning. then there was luke - later on Christmas day. then we had a lull...thought we were in the clear.....washed enough hands, we thought.....were getting a little too confident that we had dodged a major bullet. BOY WERE WE WRONG!!!!! saturday came....everyone feeling fine - that is until around 4pm. this time? caleb... full force - poor kid! then at 7pm - ben succummed. by 8pm - greg is now in bed~!!!!!!
UGH!!!!!!! opened up all the windows. did MAJOR cleaning today. hands are raw....pure raw from washing. kids sick of hearing "when you pass a bathroom, wash your hands 5 times - soap and water!!!" grace is having empathy sickness. "i'm scared i'm gonna get it next mom!" didn't have the heart to say, 'yup, you're probably right!" andrew has always had this uncanny ability to bypass any illnesses and lydia is incredibly cranky. we're just chasing her around with a bucket since she won't be able to give us ANY forewarning. what is "i think i'm gonna get sick, mom?" in spanish?
so christmas here????? BA HUMBUG!!!!!!!!!
Sunday, December 21, 2008
11:02am - gracie cleaning up lydia's mess..
11:03am - lydia experiencing a time out!!
1:00pm - movie madness done...onto baking and playing wii
1:30pm - kids are getting antsy and cranky...TAKE IT OUTSIDE!
3:00pm - grace on the phone with her best friend planning their trip to the mall....CRAZY!!
4:00pm - witching hour has begun....but still doing ok....mom still has her hair
5:00pm - snow just doesn't stop.....
1st snow day done...all in all.....a pretty good day. we'll see what the next few days hold!
Tuesday, December 16, 2008
Tuesday, December 9, 2008
i know of a mom who when asked after losing her child 3 years prior 'have you ever experienced joy since your child's death?' and the mom replied with 'no, i haven't'. honestly....that scared me to death! if you know me at all i think i would describe myself as a joyful person - to not be able and experience joy again after losing seth...well, that would be like a totally different person for me. i was scared at that possibility. people would say 'oh, jolynn, you'll experience joy again - it'll just be a bittersweet joy'. well, no offense to that ( i know that they were just trying to be helpful)...but i don't want bittersweet joy....i want the WHOLE package!!! (how selfish is THAT thought!). i think God has taught me something in the past year regarding joy. in my mind - joy is way up here....bittersweet joy is a couple of notches below that. i think God is teaching me that the joy that He has blessed me with is not a bittersweet joy....just a different joy - same level as the previous joy, but just different (does that make ANY sense???) it's like your love of your children - the love is not greater for one than the other, just a different kind becuz they are different kids. i think that God wants me to learn that i do have joy in my life....it just looks different than before seth died.
my devotion this morning was on this very subject - it said "joy sometimes needs pain to give it birth. fanny crosby was a wonderful american hymn writer who lived from 1820-1915 and who wrote more than 2,000 hyms. yet she could never have written the beautiful words 'i shall see Him face to face' if not for the fact that she had never gazed upon green fields, evening sunsets, nor even the twinkle in her mother's eye. it was the loss of her own vision that helped her to gain her remarkable spiritual discernment and insight. It's comforting to know that sorrow stays only for the night and then takes its leave in the morning. and a thunderstorm is very brief when compared to a long summer day. remember, 'weeping may remain for a night, but rejoicing comes in the morning' "
joy sometimes needs pain to give it birth....hmmmm. i guess the joy that God has given me now wouldn't have been possible if not for the fact that seth is with Him now and not with us. i didn't think anything good could have come out of losing seth...i MAY just be getting some glimpses of it now. doesn't make the pain go away - i guess i'm just trying to live with this new kind of joy. thank you, Lord...for yet another gift this Christmas.
Friday, November 28, 2008
LUKE: that's not the part that goes first
.....ABOUT 20 MINUTES LATER......
GRACE: we're done mom.......whadya think?
Monday, November 24, 2008
Monday, November 17, 2008
Monday, November 10, 2008
competition between those two is always high, but when playing connect 4.....we need to be around in the nearby vacinity otherwise bad, bad things happen. this time was no exception. andrew has a tendency to either cheat horribly, or take FOREVER taking his turn when he knows he's going down....which irritates luke to NO END!! this time.....andrew took forever. he couldn't move anywhere without having luke win - and that didn't set well with andrew AT ALL. (there have been times where andrew will push the lever over just to make the checkers fall before he has to cave in and lose!!!) well....andrew finally made his move - he chucked 2 checkers at luke's head and started yelling at him and if you know luke - he didn't take that sitting down. in fact after the first few checkers thrown at him, luke dove over the game and started tackling him rubbing his head into the carpet. legs were flying....arms were pinched....faces were slapped.....and i was just in the kitchen!! after getting them off each other i sent them both to their rooms to cool off.
it was about 20 minutes later that i let them outta their 'respective corners'. luke came out first and i told him that the only way that they both were going to be let out was to apologize to each other. to which i received a very angry "BUT I DIDN'T START IT!!!!!".........back to his room. meanwhile i could hear andrew coming out of his room and start sitting on the steps. he was quite amazed when he heard his mom call up to him "andrew back in your room until i call you!" andrew called back "how'd you know i was on the steps!?!?!?" i replied............"mom's know EVERYTHING!!!"
before i finally let them out i told both of them that they'd have to apologize. here's andrew sitting on the steps "come here, luke....i'll apologize first!!! come here, i want outta here!!! get over here!!!!" meanwhile luke is just going as slow as humanly possible up the stairs - just to get andrew's goat. brotherly love.....alive and well!
Tuesday, November 4, 2008
Sunday, November 2, 2008
Thursday, October 30, 2008
as we were leaving our house (caleb, seth, and andrew stayed back with our babysitter - keri....she is a JEWEL!) we were saying goodbye to the boys. we had gotten them some movies to watch and andrew and caleb were setting them up to start watching their "marathon".....but it was seth that hung back to say goodbye. i think back to that moment now and wonder - did God allow him the insight to say goodbye? i think actually it was a gift more for us than for him. i hugged him and tried to grab a kiss from him and got his usual 'fight' to not give a kiss. "stop, mum!! ugghhhh!" and then his infectious sweet little raspy laugh. i actually had forgotten that moment all together up until a few hours ago. i've tried all year to remember the last time i said goodbye to him and couldn't remember.....yet another gift. greg did his usual 'tickle-him-down-until-he-caved' hug. "i don't give, dad, i don't give" laughing so hard he was probably peeing his pants just a little! :) greg knew his tickle spot and used it mercilessly.....another gift.
and then we said goodbye. oh how i ache to run back a give one last hug....one last kiss. oh how i ache to hold him one last time. to hear his voice again. i'm not sure if i've ever written about the last time i DID hear his voice. it was actually last summer....some may not believe this story, but my mother's heart chooses to believe that God can provide anything that we need. i was out on the deck early in the morning trying to do my devotions. the one for the day was about listening to God and if you're not hearing Him you're not listening enough...not quiet enough. so here i am sitting in this chair, eyes closed repeating to myself "think on Him, think on Him, think on Him" then they came..... "hi, mum" "i wonder what i'm going to fix for supper tonight?" "hi, mum" "boy did greg look GOOD this morning going to work!:)" "hi, mum" "i wish that i wouldn't be eating so horribly right now" "hi, mum"....... all of these phrases coming to me and each time i would just say over "think on Him, think on Him, think on Him" (those of you who know me know that my mind can go in about a million different directions at the same time!). but the phrase that kept coming back at least 5 different times was "hi, mum" i was hearing seth. i thought to myself that i was just saying that to myself, but after the 5th time i thought that maybe, just maybe God was allowing this to happen so i let my mind go....
"hi, mum" oh, buddy i miss you so much! "i say hi to ya every day mum!" oh, seffers, and every day i end each and every one of my prayers with ....and give seth a hug from us and tell him we love him" to which i heard as CLEAR as if he were alive and saying out loud to me "i KNOW mum" like....would you PLEASE stop asking that becuz it's bugging me!!! :) but the sweetest part of this time that God gave me was as i was sitting there.....eyes closed and soaking in my conversation with our little guy....i literally FELT him crawl on my lap and sit there giving me a hug.....one last time. it could have been abby right there on my lap - that's how real it felt! do i believe that God could enable seth to give me one last hug.....you bet i do. (and i KNOW that seth is in Heaven becuz he would have NEVER willingly give me a hug!! :)) do i believe it truly happened? my mom's heart needs to believe that it happened......another gift.
today is a sweeter day.....a bittersweet day, not such a heavy one. i'm thankful for that. i'm thankful that i can hold on to the promise that i WILL see our seffers again and i WILL be able to hug him again. i dream about that time alot. until then.....Lord, give our seth a hug for us and tell him we love him. (no, buddy....i'll never stop praying that prayer)
Monday, October 27, 2008
Sunday, October 26, 2008
i just wish nov 4 would come and go. be done with it. get it behind us. i'm hoping that this is the hard part and that the actual day isn't as bad as what i'm imagining....at least that's what people have said....that's what i'm hoping and praying for.
God has blessed me so much with greg. he's such an amazing husband...puts up with me when i can't put up with myself. he just sits and holds me and lets me cry....i am so very blessed. i just hope that i am there for him.
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
Sunday, October 19, 2008
it's still the little things that catch you off guard that hurt the most. little things like shoes. a few weeks ago we were sitting in church. we've now put lydia and ben in the nursery. i love that and i hate that. i love it because i can get something out of the services again and i hate it because we're back to just 5 kids in the bench with us. it was this one Sunday when i looked down at the boys on the other side of greg and saw only 3 sitting there again, but this time luke had his feet up on the pew in front of us and he was wearing seth's old shoes. i physically gasped and then sat forward to peer on the other side. i don't know what i was looking for....did i count wrong, was seth really there and this was all just a horrible, horrible nightmare? little things like shoes brings it all back to the surface for me.
and yet it's in church where i feel such peace. this morning was a perfect example of how our family at church has come around us and grieved with us....they making sure that we know we're not doing this alone. greg was at home this morning since he was up all night catching babies. so the kids and i went....me and the 5 kids sitting in the pew. i was doing just fine until we sang amazing grace. the last verse has always choked me up...."when we've been there ten thousand years. bright shining as the sun." this time, though, i fell apart.... just a little bit. so here i am trying not to make a scene and yet feeling so alone without greg and all of the sudden i feel a hand on my shoulder from a dear 'sister' of mine. a few minutes later another hand, this time with a much needed hanky. it reminded me of my grandma's hanky's - it was almost as if grandma was there encouraging me and telling me that she was not only with me right there, but telling me that seth was ok too. i can so picture grandma with seth. i picture that the day seth entered Heaven - grandma would have been one of the first to meet him i'm sure. she'd cup his face with her hands and tell him "welcome Home, sweetie, i'm your momma's grandma and i'm so glad to finally hold ya myself!" (i wish you all could have known my grandma.....an absolute beautiful soul). all from a silly little hanky. our family...our Ridgewood family surrounding us with their love yet again. we are so very blessed.
the other day i had a devotion that was just the picture of our grief. "james vernon mcgee says that when a shepherd seeks to lead his sheep to better grass up the winding, thorny mountain paths, he often finds that the sheep will not follow him. they fear the unknown ridges and the sharp rocks. the shepherd will then reach into the flock and take a little lamb on one arm and another on his other arm. then he starts up the precipitous pathway. soon the two mother sheep begin to follow, and afterward the entire flock. thus they ascend the tortuous path to greener pastures. so it is with the Good Shepherd. sometimes he reaches into the flock and takes a lamb to himself. he uses the experience to lead his people, to lift them to new heights of commitment as they follow the little lamb all the way home." i pray that that is happening. we've told the kids several times in this last year that for some reason God had this happen in their lives. we don't understand it yet, but maybe someday they will. seth's death will have shaped their lives in such a way as to hopefully bring glory and honor to God. that's my biggest prayer....that through all of this pain that we've endured - that God is glorified. i remember saying that in the hospital a year ago. i needed to know that we could glorify God even when He chooses to take a child back. i needed to know that I could glorify God so that way i know that my faith was secure.....was true. what selfish thinking that is! i was worried about my faith. when will i ever get this right?
it's coming......the 4th is. people have asked what we're going to do. i'm not sure. i don't know what's the RIGHT thing. i don't think there IS a right thing. all i know is that i pray in whatever we do we will be able to honor seth and glorify God in such a way as to make them both proud.
Tuesday, October 14, 2008
BR #1: flag room - due to red, white, and blue colors.....upstairs
BR #2: frog room - due to the rain forest frogs making their way onto the
BR #3: flower room - used to be the play room and now since has become the flower
room for obvious reasons.......upstairs
BR #4: the big room - no real cutesy name...........upstairs
BR #5: sports room - becuz of the inability to even SEE the colors of the walls due to
the vast number of sports posters plastered all over!.......downstairs
BR#6: the water room - becuz it's been flooded at least 4 times in the last year
(ENTIRELY different story!)......downstairs
as mentioned before #5 and #6 just entered the equation 2 1/2 years ago....so begins our story...
BR #1: Caleb - promised for him before we even started building
BR #2: Seth & Luke - lasted for an EXTREMELY short period of time. something about not
wanting to hear about "seth is wearing my underwear AGAIN" or
"luke is stealing ALL of my stuff!"
BR#3: play room for the same EXTREMELY short period of time. became seth's room and the
toys were banished to the basement
BR#4: grace and abby - living together in utter harmony (although i'm sure there were fights -
they were just over powered by the boys!)
BR #1: caleb and andrew - since caleb went to russia with us and we thought andrew would
know him the best. right AND wrong! putting a 4 year old in with a 3rd grader turned
out to be one of our not so good decisions......
BR#2: luke and andrew - even WORSE decision than putting andrew with caleb!!! talk about
2 personalities that DO NOT mesh!
DECISION TO ADD MORE ROOMS......for familial survival
BR#1: luke - since he wanted the window seat which we later found out the little bugger would
sometimes crawl out of the window onto the roof to retrieve balls/frisbees/what not
that the boys had thrown up there! therefore, luke didn't last too long in that room
BR#2: andrew - when the frogs came into being.
BR#3: grace - "FINALLY i get my OWN room" was the chant for months. also when the
flowers were painted on the walls
BR#4: abby - big room - all alone and miserable!!! WE CAN'T WIN HERE
PEOPLE!!!!......she was so lonely. about that time we knew that lydia was going to be
coming so we told her that she would go in with abby - bought us time
BR#5: caleb - and the sports posters went up and up and up and up and up
BR #6: seth - no water at that point. he ALWAYS was looking at liscense plates on cars trying
to find all the states. he would drive us CRAZY on road trips!! so we were in the
process of collecting liscences to put on his wall when he finally confessed to being
scared of his room (took him an entire year to be able to tell us this!) since it
reminded him of the orphanage. gives us GREAT reassurance - that we're
building rooms that remind him of his orphanage!!! reminder to self - hire the
next part of the basement to be finished!
LET THE MOVE BEGIN.............AGAIN!
BR#1: seth - in his glory...no more nightmares
BR#2: andrew... quiet with his frogs
BR#3: grace.....still in "heaven" with her own room
BR#4: abby.....lonely yet hopeful
BR#5: caleb.....sports and smells (not the nicest smelling room! - teenagers!)
BR#6: luke.....calls himself "bigger" than seth since he was in the basement (what next!)
to which we told them....be happy that you all have your own rooms now....it will NOT last becuz we don't know what God has in store for the future. God must have been laughing becuz it was about then that we found out about Ben!!!!!!
well.....this has gone on WAY too long and you've probably gotten so sick of hearing about our bedroom woes. suffice it to say abby and grace are back together again (thoroughly enjoying the new loft that was built in their room - if anyone ever needs an AMAZING builder call Bruce Tebben at.....:)). and the rest are enjoying peace and harmony in their own rooms.......for now!
Wednesday, October 8, 2008
i left the appointment and fell apart in the van. these last 11 months greg and i HAVE been focusing on making sure the kids are ok, taking care of ben, bringing lydia home. we have said many times that the time we were dreading the most was after lydia was home and things settled down a little bit.....it felt as if it would be THEN that we'd have to really deal with seth's death. we have 2 different pictures of our family on the fridge. one taken this time last year and one taken after lydia was home. i look at those 2 pictures and am amazed at how TERRIBLY different they are. last years picture.....6 kids - older, active kids. this year's picture....7 kids - young, old....and one gapping whole missing one of our children. so much change. so many blessings. so much pain. so much joy. how can a family experience such polar opposites at the same time? how can i look at the kids and be filled with such joy and yet have a such an empty pit in my heart at the same time?
what does my grief look like? it's like that commercial for depression...."where does depression hurt?......all over" what does my grief look like? right now it's working in circles and not getting a spitting thing accomplished. it's not being able to finish the laundry in the usual 2 days....it stretches to 4 and 5 days. it's not feeling like cleaning my house and being bugged that it's so dirty (dirty is relative here, people - i don't want you to have an image of a cyclone hitting our house....i'm a slightly obsessive/compulsive cleaner...so dirty is quite relative :)) it's starting one thing and being completely distracted and starting to do 5 other things. it's having a heavy heart. it's not having any ambition. it's laughing at something one minute and then crying the next. it's looking at our kids and being so very thankful for those we have here. it's not wanting to change the kid's school pictures on the wall - knowing that one of them will stay the same. it's changing the kid's clothes over and seeing all the clothes that seth used to wear. it's having a hope and a promise that we'll all see our seffers again. it's being carried by my Heavenly Father so tenderly that at times i can almost feel His breath on my cheek. it's hearing Him say that we're not alone. it's being loved even though we don't feel like loving. what does my grief look like? a happy/sad. happy that seth is more loved than he has EVER been in his entire life and yet sad that i can't see him experience it.
i can tell that we're coming close to the year anniversary when seth went Home. i can tell that we've tried our best in taking care of the kids and their grief. i can tell that it just may be.....time for mom.
Friday, October 3, 2008
Sunday, September 28, 2008
3:30pm - preparing supper to put into the oven before the kids get home by 3:50pm. lydia wakes up .... i go get her only to find her with a stinky pants. do i quick change her (oh, by the way, there's no QUICK anything when it comes to changing lydie's diapers) or do i wait and finish putting together supper before the kids get home? i chose the latter. so here i am - finishing up the casserole with lydie at my feet .....smelling to high heaven. the kids get home....one after another after another "lydie stinks mom!" "mom, i think lydia needs her diaper changed!" "MOM!!! she REALLY smells!!" you get the picture. (i did wonder to myself several times why no one OFFERED to change her pants since 3 of the 5 of them know how to....but that's going to be another lesson for another day).
i'm trying to hurry and finish with the meal so i won't have to hear about lydia's dirty pants anymore when all of the sudden i hear lydia at my feet....but more than that - i'm SMELLING lydia at my feet. this time - no stinky pants....oh, no......i smell this horrible smell of what may be an entire bottle of.................. FEBREEZE!!! what came out of my mouth next i NEVER thought i'd be saying "WHO FEBREEZED THEIR YOUNGER SISTER!!!!!" innocently one older brother stepped up to proudly say that he "took care of the dirty pants" - by emptying a 1/2 bottle of febreeze on her head!!!!! "WHAT possessed you???" "well, mom - she stunk...i made her smell better didn't i?" who could argue with that? (although, i don't know which is worse - a poopy pants or a child with a poopy pants and a febreeze bath!)
so....lesson number #485......don't ever, under no circumstances drench your younger sibling with febreeze - even if she has a poopy pants!!
lesson number #486....how to give your sister a bath!
Tuesday, September 23, 2008
Sunday, September 21, 2008
we've kept this journal in his trunk and have told the kids that whenever they have a memory of seth that they have to write them down. i've explained to them that i don't have alot of memories when i was 9,10,11,12,13 years old - i've forgotten much of that time in my life. i don't want them to be 30 something and look back on their brother and not have many memories of him. oh, i know that they'll never forget seth...but i don't want them to forget how he used to take his leftover food from his lunch box and put it in his locker box so he wouldn't get into trouble for not eating his entire lunch (to which we'd never know, that is, until we started smelling some awful rank stuff in the locker room coming from his locker box!) those are the things that make a brother a friend....i don't want them to lose their friend. so we tell them often write your memories of him down.
i was thinking about that today.....the things that i don't want to forget about our seth - those little things that i will always cherish.
-i want to remember when we were on vacation once and we were on a stony beach and of course he was looking for his precious agates. he ran up to me and had something in his hand. he shyly and quietly said to me "here mum...i love you". he ran away quickly before i was able to see what he gave me. i opened my hand and found this.....
it stays with me in my purse every day. it's one of the things that he gave to me that i will forever cherish
-i want to remember how he still would rock himself to sleep....reminding me of the start of his short life when he had to comfort himself in the orphanage - rocking himself to sleep.
-i want to remember his little smirk of a smile when we first brought him home
-i want to remember the first few nights when we brought him home. he, luke, and caleb were all in one room together. seth and caleb were on bunk beds (seth on bottom) and luke was in a toddler bed. we would find him asleep in bed with luke in his little bed - just trying to find something that was familiar to him.
-i want to remember how he would try and sneak up around me in the mornings - just to see if he could get me to jump.
-i want to remember how caleb taught him how to roller blade.
-i want to remember how he had such a little barrel chest. he had such a football body.
-i want to remember how his 3rd toe would always rest on top of all his other toes - not for the lack of us trying to straighten them back out! we think he must have been squished into too small shoes for the first 4 years of his life.
-i want to remember how he LOVED playing with his cousins. especially light sabers with kyle!
-i want to remember the time when he and i were in his room reading a book and he asked me "mum...God is in Heaven isn't He?" He sure is i replied to which he commented "how do I get there to be with Him?" i told him that all he has to do is ask. "i just gotta ask????" you just have to ask, honey. "i wanna, mum, i wanna" so in that brown cozy chair with him on the arm rest and me in the seat he folded his hands really tight and squinted his eyes super shut. he peeked out of his one eye and quietly asked "i just ask?" you just ask, seffers. after he said his beautiful little prayer i will NEVER forget his reaction. he opens his eyes and looks over at me with a look that a child has after he has just opened a Christmas gift and he so excitedly squeals to me "mum, i feel warm all over!!! i just know He just came in!!" (THAT is my one single most favorite memory of him)-i want to remember how he loved playing basketball with his brothers and greg
-i want to remember how i would ALWAYS tell him to push up his glasses
-i want to remember in myrtle beach the last time we were there and i was trying to get a nice picture of him and he was just being goofy and i clicked one of my favorite pictures of him...
-i want to remember how he would spend hours searching for agates in the stony area in the back of our house (providentially we had never landscaped that area - we're turning that into our seth garden)
-i want to remember how it took him 1 year to tell us that he didn't like having his bedroom downstairs becuz it reminded him of the bathroom the caregivers put him into at the orphanage when he was naughty (they told him that there were monsters behind the square box on the wall and that if they made a noise or tried to get out the monsters would come and get him - terrible memories for him). we moved him to an upstairs bedroom that week.
-i want to remember how he desperately wanted a friend and was so excited when troy powney invited him over. "i finally have a friend mum!" ( i will forever be grateful to you for that pam!)
-i want to remember his last Sunday school Christmas program when he, grayden hoekwater, and tanner baker were the 3 wisemen and they had these beautifully made kings robes. when they were getting ready for the program one of the boys had the brilliant idea of taking his pants off (i wouldn't be surprised if it were seth's idea). so here were those 3 stinker boys running around with their robes on and no pants - beaming from ear to ear.
-i want to remember how we FORCED him to take one year of piano - THAT was a long year! he didn't like it at all....again, he'd MUCH rather have been outside playing basketball.
-i want to remember how he smelled.
-i want to remember how his fingernails were ALWAYS dirty - as any 10 year old little boy
-i want to remember how he and caleb would play football together in the front yard.
-i want to remember how it felt checking on him at night before going to bed myself and kissing him on the head.
i just want to remember our little boy - every little aspect of him. i don't want to forget what an amazing gift from God he was to us. i want to honor those 5 years we had him. i want God to be glorified in his life even after his death. i don't want to let go. i want him back. i want one last hug, one last kiss, one last laugh. but i have a hope....the reality that i WILL get more hugs, i WILL get more kisses, i WILL get more laughs. oh how i yearn for that day.
Thursday, September 18, 2008
having her first ice cream cone.....
she has been doing so well. she just walks the circle around the main floor - oh about 3 dozen times a day! her eating is doing somewhat better depending on the day and her mood - she really is a little picky eater!! (no wonder she just got smaller and smaller in the orphanage!) she has no words yet but sure does make her wishes known!! we have early on from ottawa county coming out to evaluate her next week. hopefully we can get speech therapy, OT, and PT involved to help her catch up. we moved her into her own room (don't ask grace if she appreciated giving up her bedroom - NOT a happy day for her!) becuz of school schedules and such. she just seems like she's always been here! we are so blessed, so happy, and so in love with our new little girl!
Monday, September 15, 2008
one woke up in an extremely bad mood - she will remain nameless (grace) - and NOTHING was working for her....especially her hair "it's all FUZZY!!!" well ...water it flat "i CAN'T use water - then it'll look WET!!" (of course it would - why didn't I think of that!) "this outfit doesn't look right!!! these jeans just don't look right with the shirt!" well....no one will SEE the jeans in the picture. but they will see me NOW!! i then just let her figure her outfit/hairstyle out herself. she left at least with clothes on.
one woke up FINALLY! raced to get dressed and put on play clothes instead of his school clothes we laid out the night before. send him back upstairs....comes down with Sunday clothes on.....no.....go back up and get the clothes we set out last night....comes down for the third time time with totally wrong clothes - AGAIN!!! WALK the child upstairs and find 3 outfits thrown all over the floor and missing the outfit we laid out....after 10min of searching we find it and that one is done.
one leaves for school perfectly fine. right clothes.....hair combed.....good mood.....nothing in his teeth. pick him up at 11am (after his picture mind you) for a dr's appointment. he comes out running and the first thing i notice is this HUGE chain around his neck. you know the kind......the chains that gang members attach to their wallets, but our son uses it as a necklace instead!!!! it's big enough that he was already getting bruises around his neck from running and the chain bouncing up and down on his neck! "please, please, please tell me that you didn't wear that for your pictures!" "well.....yea, mom - don't you think it looks great??!?!?! i got it from the wow box at school since i've done so good lately!" (who could argue with THAT one?!?!)
and one tries so very hard to smile.....and it just turns into this grimace of a face. anyone remember the episode of Friends where chandler can't smile - no matter how hard he tries? yea, well......that would be our son, once again - nameless (andrew). no matter how many times he tries it just comes out like he's constipated or something. it's a face only a mom could love! combine that with his very needed orthodontia work - truly a face only a mom could love!
so picture day came and went.....bad hair, ugly clothes (or so the kids think), "fuzzy hair", gang chains, and bad smiles.....can we say .................... RETAKES!!!!
Monday, September 8, 2008
Tuesday, September 2, 2008
i always get the kids on the bus and then hop into the van and meet them at school to take pictures of them with their friends. i can't seem to get myself to go today. i can't see seth's friends all together without him there shooting hoops until the first bell. i can't seem to make myself put on a happy face in front of the other moms/dads. i know that God has planned lydia coming home right now so that in part it wouldn't be so hard today. i just can't seem to be excited about lydia with everyone when on the inside i'm just wanting to cry out "don't you know that my heart is breaking here? don't you see that seth isn't here?" i'm sure (without a doubt) that people would remember, but i just can't put myself in a place where there's a chance that they won't. i just need to hide today - in a way honor seth. i just need him to know how much i miss him today. oh how i would have loved to take his picture this morning, instead i'll stay home and look at his last year's picture of his 1st day of school.
i miss his cute little smile. i miss his way of acting like he doesn't want a kiss from his mom but enjoying it immensly when i do get in there and give him a big slobbery one. i miss his hugs. i would give anything to break up a fight between him and luke or andrew at the bus stop. i miss him showing me his new tricks that involve basketball. i remember him showing me just weeks before he died how he was finally able to dribble through his legs - he was SO proud of that accomplishment (as was i). i miss his mischieveousness. you always knew when he was up to something no good! i know that he wasn't an angel - not by far, but he still was our special little guy. (he'd HATE being called little!) i just miss our seffers today.
but, God has given us so many gifts since He decided to take seth Home. so many gifts that it's just mind boggling. bringing us lydia at this time....in this way.....it's not lost on us - God is still so much alive in our lives. having ben and watching him grow the way he is - and the absolute joy he has brought to all of us. giving us the other kids to watch and grow and raise. God is still good - all the time. and to know that He still loves me even when i focus on what i don't have anymore is so comforting. i can just picture Him here with me ...... crying right along with me....letting me be sad......waiting for me to crawl on His lap and wrap His arms around me. we have such a loving Father. He knows exactly this pain of losing a child.