A photo of all the cousins that were present at the land for a few days together... The older kids watched all the little kids... they were brave and did a great job while the adults all went out to eat:)
Sibling dinner, all of us except for Greg who was home in bed with Pneumonia... poor guy, that was such a bummer... more on that in a bit... Oh my, it was a night to remember, lots of laughter cruising around all together in my big white van... GOOD TIMES...
I am so thankful for the healing that the Lord has done in my heart to allow me to feel like I can finally FULLY participate in fun times with my siblings again. There have been 3 other baby boys added to our family, 4 including Levi, in the last 3 years since Samuel died and at times that was more than difficult for me. God has been so faithful to restore joy to my heart even amidst the sadness of still missing Samuel. My family is such a gift from God... such neat people, grief has a way of making even the best relationships hard at times... Bummer, but it is the hard truth...
I gave them all, including my parents the book, Tear Soup... it is in my opinion one of the best books on healing after a loss. I am hoping that it will continue to help my family and others understand where I am at even now almost 3 years after Samuel died.
This trip was one of such sweet times with my family and I am so thankful...
The kids outside of Paul Bunyans... why are trips home to Wisconsin all about the food at times?? :)
Jojo blowing out the candles on Greg's cake. We didn't want Greg spreading any germs to the rest of us. By far the biggest bummer of the trip was that Greg was sick almost the whole time. He literally spent the first 5 days in bed... We went up from southern Milwaukee to northern Wisconsin and he went right back to bed for the next 2 days. After a trip to urgent care, a blood draw, a chest x-ray... it was determined that he had pneumonia. I have not seen him that sick since his cancer 19 years ago. At one point, I found him in bed on his hands and knees with his face in the pillow. He said it was the only way he could stop from coughing. POOR GUY!! How is that for vacation time huh?:(
The last 2 days of vacation he did make it up to the couch and even twice outside with the rest of us. Needless to say, the family time was almost non existent... big bummer... the kids and I had a great vacation, but it was not at all the same as it would have been had Greg been able to hang out with us. I went from taking care of and playing with the kids, to checking on him. We are hoping and praying that some how the Lord will bless us with some sweet times together in the next few weeks before school gets into full swing for us.
He is still really tired, but thank God for His healing touch on Greg that he seems to be on the mend now:)
On the way up to Wisconsin when we stopped in St. Louis for me to share our story at the seminary, I was blessed to have a couple of hours with my sweet "blog in real life friend Ebe" She and I met in Georgia about a year and a half ago with our other blog friend Tonya (we missed you so much Tonya:(
Since the last time I saw her we have both added healthy, living, precious children... It was such a sweet time to just visit and know that the other "gets it" She and her husband are now in St. Louis at a different seminary than we were during our time there:) It was a gift to get a chance to visit with her again... God has been so good to bring friends into my life because of Samuel that I never would have had the chance to meet otherwise...:)