Wednesday, December 31, 2008


so i'm pretty much reprimanded from our children for posting the picture on the previous post, therefore - for our sanity in our home, i've removed said picture (but if you really want to see it, my arm could be twisted to send it to you via email - shhhh, we won't share that with the kids! :))

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


a picture is worth a thousand words....isn't that the saying? (*update - children wailed at seeing themselves like they were...begged me to remove it! :)) is how we are spending our Christmas vacation - with everyone carrying their own buckets around. YUP.....the flu has hit.

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


so the other day was our first official snow day. i was actually hoping for one....i'm ready for Christmas break, ready for a slower pace, no schedule, late nights, and sleeping in. i must have been feeling ill - ME wanting a snow day....WHAT WAS I THINKING???? i thought i'd give you a picture (or two) of what a snow day looks like at our house.

5:15am - awaken by an automated phone call from jps saying there is a snow day. turn off kid's
alarm clocks

6:00am - ben wakes up, needs changing and bottle

6:30am - ben STILL awake, put ben in bed with me so he doesn't wake everyone else up

7:30am - ben sawing logs, mom awake, andrew WIDE awake

8:00am - mom (tired and somewhat cranky...but determined to have a good day) up and
making monkey bread for the kids for breakfast (as ANY GOOD mom would do for
their children on a snow day.....ya right@!!!)

9:00am - everyone up, begging for a "no-chore-pajama-day"
9:30am - let the movie madness begin!!!

11:00am - pretty quiet.....too quiet.....where's lydia???? oh , lydie!!!!

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 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


today was a hard one for me for some reason (maybe becuz i'm over WHY am i awake yet at 11:35pm?????) i was driving around picking up kids and getting to school for caleb's bball game when i kept hearing over and over in my head "honey, he's gone....honey, he's gone....honey, he's gone" oh how i wish i could just lose that memory! i'm sure another one would take it's place. i could tell tears were just under the surface for me all day....and i let them flow from the ride from my sister's house to school.....pulled over and just let it all out. it felt good in a way - not to hold it in....but in another way it just opened my heart scar just a little.

sunday night was our kid's christmas program - absolutely adorable!! when the kids were all sitting in the benches waiting to do their program i looked over at them all and suddenly it struck me....there's one less child in that group. one less seth. i looked over at seth's friend, grayden - who he'd always be by and saw a short little guy with the same color hair and the same height as seth. my heart skipped several beats wondering whether or not God was going to supply another one of His gifts to me.... He did - it was luke. of course it was luke!! he's looking SO MUCH like his older brother! what a gift and what a bittersweet moment.

at the end of the program i noticed something in our mailbox at church. i went to go and get it and didn't have a chance to look at it until we got home. it was a children's book called 'If you find a rock'. it's a beautiful book about stones.....seth stones. (he ALWAYS was looking for stones) i don't know who it was from, but they put his name in the space for "this book belongs to" along with a verse about God being our Rock. what this person didn't know was it is an amazing gift they gave us becuz one of the pictures in this precious book had a boy hanging onto a stone.....they are the EXACT hands that seth had. when i say exact....i mean the same bit off nails, the same grime under them, the same short stubby cute little fingers.....they were seth's hands. i will treasure this book for as long as i live, and when i have another day like today i just may pull this out and look at our little guy's hands and have sweet, sweet memories of our seffers.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008


i don't understand....i don't get this grief stuff at times. at one minute i hate that i am constantly counting 8 kids and then remembering 'nope, only 7'...and then wishing for the time i would stop doing that. that is - until it happens. it happened i think for the first time last night. i was doing some Christmas shopping and getting the kids some stocking stuffers...counted out 7 and went on to the next thing at hand. it wasn't until coming home when i realized that i didn't even blink at getting 7 things and not happened - and i fell apart at the thought of it. did i truly just forget about seth? did i forget that i have one less child to buy for? did i forget the empty whole in my heart? it happened - and i hated myself for it. i don't get it...first i want one thing, thinking that then my heart won't hurt so badly and then when i get it - i don't want it any longer and my pain is still there. i'm so confused!! what AM i suppose to be feeling!?!?! what IS the right thought process?!?!?! am i suppose to live the rest of my life feeling down and counting 8 minus 1? or do i go on and just thinking of ourselves as having 7 children?

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 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.