Happy Birthday!

Yesterday was my Grandma’s birthday! It’s been nice having her live so close so we can celebrate these events with her, even if we just have a wee, little celebration. I asked her what she would like for her birthday meal and dessert, and she requested tomato soup, biscuits and lemon cake! I also cut up a pineapple, which I know is one of her favorite things to eat. We had a good time! We opted to do supper because Sunday mornings are so crazy, and once church is over the kids are just done and ready for naps! I wanted to be sure to celebrate her and not have it be a crazy time full of cranky kids (and adults!). We had a really great time, the kids LOVED helping pick out cards, a small gift and getting things ready for our little party. They had so much fun singing “Happy Birthday” to Grandma, and well, it was just a good celebration. One never knows how long we have on this earth, and so we want to be sure to celebrate when we can!

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With this Ring



This is my grandmother’s wedding band. Simple, round, white gold with a slight amount of etching along the edge. I never saw it on my grandmother’s finger. By the time I had memory of her, her hands were already gnarled with the affects of rheumatoid arthritis. She had long since taken off her rings and had placed them in her jewelry box. When she passed away I was given her wedding band. Unfortunately, I was too overweight to wear the ring and so put it on a chain and wore it around my neck a lot. After I had Rebekah, and am a lot thinner, I thought I would try the ring on again. It fits! I’ve been wearing it on my right hand ring finger for weeks now. Every time I see the ring I think of her.

This October it will be 8 years that my grandma passed away. I was close to her. I helped care for her in her last months on earth. I lived with her and my grandpa as she fought for life. It was such a hard time, but I would NEVER change that time for anything. I’ve been thinking about her a lot lately. With the addition of Rebekah I remember my grandma has never met any of my children. It’s soon to be October, and I remember what I was doing 8 years ago at this time. And, I see her ring. As I look at her ring on a daily basis I think about what this ring signifies.

It signifies simplicity. My grandparents were not flashy people. My grandma was more the quiet observer, but when she spoke, she spoke quietly, gently and with power. You stopped and listened to my grandma. She was not going to be the person to volunteer to be the leader, or take the position in the spotlight. But, she wasn’t afraid to help in quiet ways.

It signifies love. A fierce love. A love that survived over 1/2 a century. A love that was kind, gentle, full of passion. A love that endured through illness, a disease that disfigured, and a love that was ever-lasting. I’m not disillusioned to think my grandparents had a perfect marriage. Who does? However, I know without a doubt, my grandparents loved each other more than anyone else. For as long as I can remember every. single. time my grandpa left the house he would kiss my grandma on the lips. Not a little, obligatory peck on the cheek. A kiss of love.

It signifies unity. My grandparents were united in Christ, they were a unit themselves, and they did their best to keep unity within our family. My grandparents loved the Lord first, each other next and the rest of us third. We were family. We were told to stick up for each other, love each other and not ever forget that we are family.

Both of my grandparents have passed from this earth and are celebrating their eternal life with their Savior. I know they are no longer in pain, they don’t have to deal with the sorrows of this world. They are fully whole in body and spirit. I miss them, absolutely, but I am so glad I have this ring to remember the things they taught me and to remember what this ring signifies.

Head Spinning

I have felt for a few weeks now like my head is spinning. We tend to be a family who tries not to have every single day and every hour of that day planned. We’re OK with days of nothing to do. I think we do this partly because we’re a pastor’s family. You never know when something might unexpectedly come up. However, since the start of preschool life seems to have taken a crazy spin. I feel I’m having a hard time adjusting to the fact that 3 days of the week our mornings can’t be “lazy.” I have to get Cora ready for school and in the process I just get the other 2 ready and myself. I’m not sure why, but I feel kinda lost with only having 2 kids M-W of each week. Funny how quickly you adjust to having more!

Then with our family currently seeing the chiropractor 2x a week that just adds a whole other level of insanity! And, yes, we’re going 2x a week for right now. Why? Because we need to get our bones and muscles to a point of working together in the correct way. This should take 4-6 wks and then we can back off to going about 2x a month. (and, we’re seeing great results in the kids and ourselves!!!)

My sister and her family have been “homeless” for several weeks now, living with my parents. They returned from vacation at the beginning of the month to find black mold had virtually exploded in their home. They have since discovered it’s covering the basement (floor to ceiling), the furnace, all the duct work, etc. Thankfully, it did not spread to their 3rd level where a lot of the kids’ stuff was. However, there are a lot of items they do have to replace, well, most of their stuff, especially furniture. This has created a lot of stress for their family and concern for the rest of us! Thankfully, the Lord has provided them with a new home, and they’ll begin moving this weekend.

Sunday evening my grandma was out walking in the evening, fell and broke her femur right under the ball socket of her hip and cracked her 10th rib. She had surgery on Tuesday of this week and will be looking at some rehab. I feel so bad for her that this happened! However, I AM thankful my grandma is a healthy woman, who has always taken care of herself. Because of this, we’re hoping her rehab goes well and maybe faster than it might otherwise do.

I find myself asking the question, “when will life get normal again?” and then, I’m reminded life is never normal. Or maybe the craziness and surprises are just what normal is these days. Whatever the case, I know the Lord is in control. I’ve found myself praying a lot for strength and grace and being thankful for the wonderful ways the Lord does bless us, despite the craziness!

Saturday Fun

We’ve all been sick with various viruses–mainly some stomach bug, the flu and terrible colds–the last few weeks. Saturday, even though David was still feeling pretty yucky, he suggested we get out of the house and go to a local farmer’s market in our area. I called Grandma to join us, and we all drove the 15 minutes or so to the market. The kids were EXCELLENT, and that, of course, makes everything so much better! ¬†We got all sorts of produce that we’re not growing in our garden (or the deer haven’t eaten out of our garden, like the tomato plants…) and just had a fun, relaxing time meandering around looking at everything. We decided to stop at Qdoba to get lunch. As we were leaving the restaurant we looked out in the parking lot and saw a shiny, red firetruck! We made a big deal about it to the kids, and they got all excited. I then realized that coming out of the restaurant with us were 2 firemen! They started talking to the kids about the firetruck, and then asked if they’d like to sit in it! They were SO EXCITED, as were David and I, and they didn’t hesitate to sit in the truck! Ben actually asserted himself and pushed in front of his sister, which I found very funny! He usually just lets her push him around…Anyway, they both got a turn and were very good and all smiles! I love to see my kids happy and getting to participate in something unplanned and fun! Thankfully, I had my phone with me and got a photo of each of them in the truck. They were certainly all smiles! Yeah for fun firemen!!!!

Every boy's dream, I think!

Every boy’s dream, I think!

She was pretty shy about the whole thing, but she did smile big and  actually said "thank you" without much prompting!

She was pretty shy about the whole thing, but she did smile big and actually said “thank you” without much prompting!

Ice Cream with Grandma

With my grandma living so close to us now it’s fun to give her a call and say, “do you want to go get ice cream with us this afternoon?” We did just that the other day! We took her to our favorite spot and introduced her to the wonders of this ice cream! It’s good, and thankfully, I can eat their chocolate, in fact it’s the only safe flavor I can eat! Anyway…we had fun, sat outside in the nice weather and just enjoyed each other’s company, and of course, the ice cream!

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On Sunday we celebrated my mom’s birthday (which was a couple weeks ago) and David’s birthday (which was Tuesday of this week). We had my grandma, her sister who’s been visiting, my parents, sister and her family and us. We had a great time grilling hamburgers, eating outside and finishing with cheesecake and chocolate covered strawberries! I love being with my family, I love birthday parties, and I love to celebrate the people I love the most! It was a great time of fellowship, laughter and just being family. Oh, and my newest nephew, Micah, is now 4 weeks old so we were able to get in some good cuddles with him–always fun!

The kids were relegated to eating on the deck, without a table!

The kids were relegated to eating on the deck, without a table!

My kids LOVED loving on their newest cousin! They both, Ben included, couldn't seem to hold him enough!

My kids LOVED loving on their newest cousin! They both, Ben included, couldn’t seem to hold him enough!

The birthday boy and girl!

The birthday boy and girl!

Micah getting some Uncle David cuddles...

Micah getting some Uncle David cuddles…

...AND some Aunt Jeni cuddles!

…AND some Aunt Jeni cuddles!

Dominoes with Great Grandma

As I’ve mentioned before, my grandma has moved in down the street from us. This is the first time we’ve ever lived in the same state as her, let alone on the same street! The kids LOVE their great grandma! It’s so fun to watch them run, while yelling, “GREAT GRANDMA!!!!!” whenever they see her. I’m thankful she gets to be a part of their lives. Whenever we go over to her house she always has a little table set up with books, stuffed animals, toy cars and…DOMINOES! The kids LOVE the dominoes, and I hope that one day they’ll get to learn how to really play dominoes from her! Until then, Grandma and the kids will set them up in different shapes, knock them over and start again. They have so much fun with that. We had supper with my grandma and her sister, who’s visiting right now, and I managed to take some photos of the domino-playing. I apologize for the bad quality. I totally meant to take my real camera down and forgot. Anyway! Here’s a look at the cuteness just the same.

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