Sunday, August 30, 2009
Friday, August 28, 2009
A BUMPER CROP
We have a house for sale next door. It just so happens to have an apple tree on the property... and no one lives there. The kids couldn't help themselves, we know the builder doesn't pick them... so the kids picked every last one of them. They had such a ball. Greg wants an apple pie... and it looks like we will be canning applesauce with the extras. It is a lot of work, but I am one of those crazy people who actually enjoys canning:)
Basically, with all of that said, I can say that I do believe that IT IS GONNA BE ALRIGHT. I have had so many times over the last months that God has seemed so far from me. I know some say, "When God seems far away, it is you who moved" Sometimes that might be the case, but truthfully I think that at other times that can be a bunch of bunk!...Sorry, When there are times that you are begging God to show up, be near, allow you to feel His presence, give you peace, and it doesn't happen, it is hard. I don't think it is you who moved, rather that God is up to something, just something we can't see or feel or understand. It can be such a spiritual attack.
Thursday, August 27, 2009
THE NEXT FEW PICTURES ARE OF THE BOYS WITH SOME OF THE DIFFERENT KINDS OF GRAPES THEY HAVE ON THE VINEYARD. I THINK THEY HAD 16 DIFFERENT KINDS... ALL DELICIOUS... ALL SO SWEET.
Today we were invited by a sweet girl named Jamie from our church to go to her mom's vineyard. Her mom is the sweet lady who dropped the fruit and veggies by our house the other day. She used to be Jojo's Sunday school teacher and the kids all call her "the egg lady" because she often gives us farm fresh eggs. Now the kids know her real name, but I think they might like to call her "the grape lady" now.
Tuesday, August 25, 2009
Yeah, this is one of the small silly miracles God has blessed us with, but I have yet to post about a different small miracle that God has brought our way... Really are any of God's miracles small?
Monday, August 24, 2009
2:00 Lunch is finally served... veggies, hummus and crackers.
One satisfied customer:), chewing away on a carrot.
Enjoying fresh flowers from Samuel's garden. I love zinneas and cosmos! They are so bright, colorful, cheery and make great cut flowers:)
Wednesday, August 19, 2009
This morning I went for a run in the pouring rain. It was beautiful. When Louis and I did the first lap, it was just a sprinkle. When Anna and I started out on the third lap, (don't be too impressed they are short laps:) she cruising on her little blue bike, me running along side of her, it was just drizzling. When we got to the other side of the neighborhood it got heavier and heavier until it was just pouring on us. At first Anna was questioning me, "Mommy it's starting to rain should we head back?" I told her it kind of felt good lets keep going. Then she started giggling, and said, "This is kind of fun." Then a full out yell from her, " I like this!!!!" as she sped off from me. It was just precious.
Tuesday, August 18, 2009
THE FAMILY WITH OUR HOSTESS JEANNIE...
I SO BADLY WANTED A PICTURE OF HELMUTT... YES HELMUTT, THE OLD GERMAN MAN WHO COOKS THE FOOD, HE'S PROBABLY 80 WITH THESE VERY LARGE BLACK SQUARE GLASSES... SUCH A CUTE LITTLE OLD FELLA, SO FITTING FOR THE NIGHT CAP INN.
THE FISH AND POTATO PANCAKES ARE TO DIE FOR.
AN UNEXPECTED NIGHT AT THE HAMPTON INN:)
We had to get that fish fry in one way or another:) So we decided to hit the Nite Cap Inn in Palmyra, on our way out of town. That way we could drive through the night, easy for the kids, not so easy for the parents, but we could save the money of having to eat a couple of meals on the road. Even though we got to the fish fry place at 4:30 we still had to wait 45 minutes. Truthfully we have waited hours before... it is that good. It is always worth it and Dad even paid for the crew... Thanks Pops. (Heres a little funny about my dad, after dinner he asked both our waitresses if either of them had any friends that were pregnant and didn't want to keep their babies, that we would adopt it. One actually works for the county health dept. and said there are lots of her clients that frankly have children, but probably shouldn't have. She said she would keep her eyes out. My dad gave her his card. Then on the way out the door, he said to Greg and I, "I think I will start combing the college campuses to get us a baby." Knowing my dad, you never know he just might:) My dad will talk to anyone, anytime, about pretty much anything. He is a good communicator... but sometimes it is a little funny. I remember my friend Rebecca telling me that my dad told her, actually warned her more about dating than her parents ever did:) You have to love my dad.
So we hit the road around 7:00, that would put us home around 7:00am. Greg was driving, I was sleeping. I woke up around 12:45am, we were just outside of St. Louis. We talked for a bit and I specifically remember him saying that we were making such good time:) Famous last words. Around 1:00 am we blew a tire. He tried for an hour to get the spare off so we could at least get off the road... where semi's were blowing by at 70mph. (I don't get why they don't move over at last, it was pretty scary, I made the kids get out of the car and sit on the feeder road.) The spare just wouldn't come off. So we grabbed just a few things, and headed walking down the very dark feeder road at 2:00am. We only had to walk 1 1/2 miles... to find a hotel. Thank the Lord, it could have been so much worse. We could have been in the middle of no where. The kids were amazing troopers.
The next morning Greg and Louis got up early and walked back down there, 2 police officers stopped to help. Even them and the tow truck fella couldn't get it off. So $110 for the tow truck and $140 later for tires, $90 for a hotel... we were on the road. So much for saving money on the way home:) The guy at Walmart had to literally break some plastic thing to get the spare off. So the boys road the rest of the way home with the tire between them... just in case.
I know in the big scheme of things it is incredibly minor. We were just so thankful to be back in Ok. safe and sound. Sunday we had the ordination service for our friends the Tiews from the Seminary.... beautiful service and wonderful dinner afterwards. Congratulations Tiews crew... we are so happy you are serving so close to us. What an answer to prayer!
Sunday, August 16, 2009
JOJO ENJOYING THE BUBBLER...YEP, THAT IS WHAT WE CALL THESE
THINGS IN WISCONSIN.
AT THE PARK FOR A PICNIC WITH FRIENDS THEN HEADING TO THE POOL:)
Thursday, August 13, 2009
THE DADS PLAYING IN THE WATER WITH THE KIDS
BUILDING SAND CASTLES WITH THE NELSONS
We have been having such a nice week. A great dinner with my brother John and his family. It was so nice to have them to our selves and to have lots of time to visit.
Wednesday, August 12, 2009
Tuesday, August 11, 2009
Monday, August 10, 2009
We are having such a nice vacation. Praise God. We got up here really late Thursday night, like 4 in the morning late. Greg drove the whole way. What a great man. Friday we were so blessed to go to a going away party for the principal and his wife from St. Pauls, our old church before going to sem. It was so nice to be with our old church family. This was the first time any of them had seen us since losing Samuel. All I can say is that it just felt great to be with all of them. It is weird that there is just a sense of peace about being amongst people who knew me before Samuel. They weren't afraid to ask about him, and how we are doing regarding all of that. It was a great night. I left feeling so at peace in my heart, just being able to be me, and not having people be uncomfortable with it, the new me who I am now. I don't want to sound mean at all, and I don't always know how to describe that feeling, but you just know and can sense clearly when people are uncomfortable or comfortable with you and where you are at. They can't fake it. I have ALWAYS been a very approachable person, so to sometimes feel unapproachable just because of my loss feels so not normal to me. Anyways, it was really nice to be amongst old friends.
My high school reunion was Saturday night. My husband was such a trooper. He hung out with some friends spouses while I visited quite a bit. I know it wasn't the most fun for him, but honestly I never would have wanted to be there with out him. It was actually really fun. I had kind of mixed feelings about going before I went. You know these are people, many of which I hadn't spoken to in 10 years or more. Greg and I decided ahead of time that our answer to the "How many children to you have?" question would be... 4 living with us and explain to them that we lost our little baby boy last fall. I kind of wondered how people would respond, but amazingly, they were so gracious, sympathetic, and were truly sorry for our loss. It was a really nice surprise.
One thing I have decided was that if I have been given this situation in life, (trust me I never would have asked for it), I don't want it wasted... I want God to use it in some way... So I kind of felt like I was going to lay it out there and maybe let God use it. And I was able to express to people my trust that God does have a plan for our family. Then there were lots of close friends that I got to reconnect with, which was so nice. To get warm hugs from people who know what we have gone through and care was so nice. I really did have some great friends. All in all, it was a great night.
Yesterday we were able to go to our old church. We were able to see some people that we didn't see Friday night, so that was really nice. We are going to have to stop at the church office though, because we didn't really get a chance to talk with the pastor, he also lost a child this year. And Heather, where were you?... we WILL stop in this time:) Greg is marrying one of his former youth kids up here in September so he needs to meet with the pastor to iron out the details. They came over yesterday for some marriage counseling... They are such a precious couple. Jojo was running around and we were all laughing because they were our first baby sitters for the kids after we had Jojo. Lots has changed in the last 4 years.
Well, I am off to start my day. The big boys get back tonight. Praise God for his protection of them so far. I can't wait to see them. My mommy heart is never at ease unless are my kids are here an accounted for... I think that is why there is always a hole in my heart. How can you be completely at ease when someone is missing. My kids aren't all here. Sure Samuel, and baby Joel are in a safer, much better place than here, but it still doesn't feel quite right.
Saturday, August 8, 2009
Mary, thanks for the great laughs, wonderful talks, for listening and loving me through the journey we are on. It means SO much to me.
Thursday, August 6, 2009
IT DIDN'T TAKE LONG... AND THIS WAS JOJO AND GRANDPA:)
THIS IS TOTALLY MY DAD... HE IS SUCH A HOOT... THERE WAS NEVER A DULL MOMENT AS HIS CHILD GROWING UP.
SOME OF MY FUNNIEST MEMORIES OF HIM WERE ON OUR FAMILY TRIP TO ALASKA WHEN I WAS IN COLLEGE. YES, WE DROVE FROM WISCONSIN TO ALASKA. YES, WE PICKED UP A HITCHHIKER WHO STAYED WITH THE 6 OF US FOR A FEW DAYS... AND YES, AFTER CAMPING FOR ABOUT 17 DAYS IN THE RAIN, MY DAD DID DRIVE TO THE GMC DEALERSHIP TO SEE IF HE COULD GET ENOUGH MONEY FOR OUR VAN TO FLY US ALL HOME. YES, THANKFULLY THAT DIDN'T WORK OUT AND WE ENJOYED SOME OF THE BEST OF THAT TRIP AFTER THAT... GORGEOUS ALASKA. GOOD MEMORIES, GREAT DAD.
HE LOOKS PRETTY GOOD FOR A MAN GETTING OVER LYMES DISEASE HUH?
WE LEAVE TODAY FOR A LITTLE VACATION. SPENDING SOME FAMILY TIME, GOING TO MY 20TH HIGH SCHOOL REUNION (MAN AM I GETTING OLD:), SEEING OLD FRIENDS, ENJOYING COOLER WEATHER, AND REFRESHING LAKE WATER, EATING CUSTARD, AND MAYBE EVEN HITTING A GOOD OLD FISH FRY.
YEAH, I WILL PROBABLY COME BACK 5 LBS HEAVIER...
BUT REFRESHED AND READY TO START A NEW SCHOOL YEAR
WITH THE KIDDOS.
Tuesday, August 4, 2009
Greg and his sister Lisa and daughter Maddie.