Saturday, October 16, 2010

New Blog

Some how, I've ruined this blog.
I'm not sure which button I pushed, but I've lost my
background, music, and all sorts of other fun things.
While trying to fix this blog, I pressed a button and made a new
blog.  So, here's the new blog's address:
Enjoy the new blog. It has music, and a background,
and a cool shelf that shows the books I've been reading.
Oh yeah, and pictures of the four best kids in the whole wide world.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Another First

We go to the State Fair every summer.
We went before we had kids, and when
the kids came along they joined us at the fair.
My parents went together, with my brother and me if
we were home from college, then with Jon and me.
Mom and Dad really enjoyed bringing their grand kids
to the fair.
They loved all of the excitement the
kids had over EVERYTHING.
They loved sharing the fair with the kids.
Every summer we look forward to the trip to the fair.
Not this summer.
It's not that we didn't look forward to it, it's
just that it was the first time we've gone without
my Mom.
Last year, Mom was getting chemo. She worked her chemo
schedule around the fair.
She really wanted to go.
She warned us that she might get tired, so not to plan
on staying as long as we usually did.
She staid all day.
We didn't' leave until that evening.
We enjoyed all of our favorite things together.
We ate lots of fair food, enjoyed all of the exhibits,
and had fun watching the kids as they rode on
the rides and saw the dog show.
We packed in as much fun as we could. We
all knew that it might be our last trip to the fair,
together. The last time that we would share
the fair food and our "stomach room".
Despite my Mom's health, she never complained. She laughed, smiled,
and enjoyed every minute of that day.
This year, we went back to the State Fair for
the first time without Mom.
This year, we had the boys. I wished so much that Mom was
with us enjoying the time with the two younger boys.
I wished that Mom was there to watch the two older kids
take their first big kid roller coaster ride with Dad.
I wished for just one more chance to share fair food,
see the butter sculpture together, look for
"Sham Wow". I wished she were there to laugh
as The Big K. talked about his candy, Doodles rolled her eyes
at everything, and Baby J. declared is ice cream "Nummy".
I wished she could have seen Dad fall asleep on the
bench. She always said that he could sleep anywhere.
I missed her the whole day. I wished for her the whole day.
Everything reminded me of the times that we went to the fair with her.
The first year is supposed to be the hardest. Next year, it might be easier,
but this year I missed her.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Celebration Combination

Our older two children are one year
one week apart.
This year, because they share so many of the
same friends,
we decided to have a big combination birthday
We rented a pavilion at a local park,
made lots of cupcakes,
barbecued LOTS
of food,
invited lots of friends,
and enjoyed lots of fun.
Our menu was full of kid favorite foods.
I tried my hand at pina colada cupcakes.
We also had pink lemonade, s'mores,
and chocolate with white chocolate
and cream cheese frosting cupcakes.
The weather was beautiful,
the company was enjoyable.
Everyone seemed to enjoy themselves
as we celebrated another year in
our children's lives.
At the end of the evening, we had full bellies,
full hearts, and a car load of craft
things to donate to Hospice.
Thank you everyone who came to help us celebrate
our children and their lives.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

My Oldest Son Turns Nine!

We first met when he was four. By then,
he'd been through more than most adults.
His sister had so many behavior problems, that
the Big K. was often over looked.
On our second visit to see the kids, we got to spend the
day at K.'s school. He was in Preschool. He was
so excited about our visit that he was
taken out of the classroom, because he became so disruptive.
His teacher was a wonderfully kind woman who told
us that all he really needed was a mother. Once he had a mother,
she was sure his behaviors and problems would even out.
That afternoon, he looked up at me and said,
"Please don't leave me Jennie. I don't want you to go."
We stayed all afternoon.
It took K. the longest time to call me Mom, but once he did
that's all he's ever called me.
It took him the longest time to
really trust us. He's trying.
He still struggles with believing
that we'll take care of him.
My oldest son is loving, kind, and brave.
He is genuinely happy for others.
He loves animals with a passion.
He loves his younger brothers with his whole heart.
He loves to read, and is always excited to tell me the latest
adventures of the Hardy Boys.
He loves his Dad and all things boy.
He is always up for an adventure, and it is many
a day that I hear him directing the play of our other children.
K. is strong willed and intelligent. He wakes up with a smile
and goes to bed with a smile. He cares about
others. He tries to do right and loves to tell me when his
siblings are doing wrong.
He is often my greatest struggle as a parent.
He remains my greatest joy.
I love him with my whole heart. I wonder what type
of man he will grow in to. I wonder what God has planned for him.
I am thankful each and every day that God saw fit to make me his
Happy Birthday my Big K. I'm so happy
that you are my son.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

My Birthday Girl

I met her for the first time when she was five.
I remember what she was wearing, how she was
acting, and what we did.
I remember the night that the case worker called to tell
us about her. She was considered "difficult",
a "challenge", "behavioral".
Words used to describe a child that had been hurt,
betrayed, lied to by adults.
Words to describe someone afraid to love.
I don't know how it feels to hold a baby you've just given
birth to. I do know how it feels to look into the eyes of a child
who has lost hope but dares to hope you'll become a family.
The moment I met her, I loved her. I wanted to get
to know her, care for her, protect her.
I wanted to be her mother.
For four years, I have had the privilege of watching
my daughter grow. I have seen her grow from a
hurt, angry, aggressive child into a kind,
compassionate, loving young lady.
I've held her as she's cried for a family that couldn't
care for her. I've shared the story of how
we came to care for her.
I love her more each and every day. I love her more than
I love my own life.
I would do anything for her.
I look forward to watching her grow into the beautiful
woman of God that she is becoming.
I am thankful that out of all the women in this world,
God chose me to be her Mom. What a gift.
What a responsibility. What a blessing.
Being her Mom is a job that I love,
cherish, and enjoy.
Happy Birthday sweet Doodle Bug. You
have brought me so much joy.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Hats For Sale

So, I've been on a bit of a knitting jag lately.
I love to knit, and I've started knitting hats for the kids
this winter.
I found a great pattern that called for hand died wool.
I had to dye the wool with Kool-Aide.
The colors didn't turn out quite as bright as I wanted, so
I started experimenting.
I ended up with lots of hats in lots
of colors.
I've finally found some yarn
and colors that I like.
Unfortunately, I now have LOTS of knit hats.
They're very cute, but I feel a bit
like the hate peddler in the children's book.
You know, the one with all the hats on his head.
He falls asleep, and the monkeys start to take his hats.
I may start walking through the house chanting,
"Hats for Sale".
I think my own sweet little monkeys will enjoy these hats
as much as the monkeys in the book did.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Eleven Years Ago

We first met at the county fair.
We were introduced by mutual friends.
Not on purpose, we all sort of ran into each other.
God knew what He was doing.
Eleven years ago,the night we met, I never would have imagined
my life like this.
I had recently divorced a man that I met at
Bible college. It was a hard and horrible time in my life.
I never thought I would divorce, I never
thought I would date or even marry again.
Then I met Jon. He's everything that I'm not.
He's shy, he's careful, he thinks things through.
I'm chatty, impulsive, spontaneous.
We hit it off right away.
We became fast friends. Before we knew it, we were dating.
Two years later, we were married.
Jon is my best friend. I love him more today than I did yesterday.
I respect him as a husband, father, man.
I am amazed that we met at a fair. I am amazed that
the man the Lord picked out for me was not
from Bible college, he was not
from my church. He was at the fair.
Eleven years ago we met. We talked about
running, we shared fry dough.
I thought he was awfully cute.
He just rolls his eyes when I share that information.
Every year we visit the fair where we met.
We force our children to hear about that night.
We make googly eyes at one another (well, I make the
eyes. Jon endures them).
I can't imagine what my life would have been like without Jon.
I know that God brought us together for a purpose.
As I look into the eyes of our four children, I am thankful that
I went to the fair that night and happened to run into some friends.