• 29Dec

    DATE:

    No, Andrew wasn’t my date.  =)  My Mom was smarter than that.  =)  She decided to separate us which meant that my brother was my mother’s date, and I was my father’s date.  It really was lots of fun.  We went out to Chinese, goofed off, teased my Dad, had some good conversation, saw a movie (and ALL the credits),  =) and just had a nice relaxing evening.  The kids spent the night elsewhere so there was no pressure to get home.  And then when I did get home I could meander my way to bed as I pleased.  Lovely!!

    CHRISTMAS:

    Christmas went well.  I had my holiday slump over Thanksgiving and so was in a much better mood for Christmas.  We had family over the day before Christmas and just had hoagies (subs) for lunch and opened some presents after that. 

    Christmas day had its ups and downs.  My parents (and brother) came up again in the morning and watched the kids open the rest of their gifts.  We had a treasure hunt for baby Jesus (for our manger scene), played a while, made cookie cut-out PB & J for lunch, had a tea party with the girl’s new dishes, made some “Thank You” cards, took some naps, cleaned up a bit, and then headed down to Nana’s to watch “It’s a Wonderful Life.”

    Josiah (7) got a tool box and a birdhouse kit for Christmas.  He’s been the one asking for a new daddy that does construction ’cause he (J) wants to help him.  He was so excited and wanted to put it together right away.  I just couldn’t figure out how to squeeze in the time to help him do that.  I knew that a Daddy was needed.  So I asked for a volunteer, . . .  Now the birdhouse has it’s first coat of paint and waiting for the second and Josiah has declared that it’s his best Christmas present.  I think what made it so special was the “putting together” part with a “daddy.”  (Thank you, Daddy!)

    Benjamin (8) got a computer game (Worms2).  This was a game that he played with his Dad and he even remembers beating Dan once.  I remember it, too, ’cause Dan was almost offended at the idea of being beaten by a 6  yr old (I’m sure he played easy, tho).  Our previous game got broken and Benjamin has been trying to save up money (a quarter at a time usually) so that he could buy another one.  He was quite thrilled to get one as a present. (Thank you, Glenda!)

    Abigail(6) got a china tea set that she is struggling to remember to keep out of the reach of her younger brothers.  I’m actually hoping it will teach her some responsibility.  We had great fun using the tiny tea pot and cups with some little shortbread cookies at our tea party.

    Hadassah (5) also got some kitchen tools, cups, plates, cookie cutters, silverware, and such.  It was her cookie cutters that made our “special” sandwiches for lunch.

    Maranatha (4) got some more play dough which is a favorite of hers, as well as another stuffed beanie baby with a tag (the tag being the best part).

    Payden (3) got a barn and some animals to play with and the playroom hasn’t looked the same since.  Animals, animals everywhere . . .

    Caleb (2) got a Noah’s Ark with more animals and has really enjoyed playing with that with his brother, but his cars still win out.  And with his little quilt made especially for him he can still sit and play with his cars for hours.

    And once again many people have helped to make this Christmas something to remember with happy thoughts, rather than sad ones.  Before Dan died I had no idea how Christmas could be sad.  Friends and loved ones have joined together to remind us that we are not alone and not forgotten and we are thankful for each one of you.  Thank you for the gifts you sent our way, the pictures and cards, the notes and letters  . . . each one has served as a reminder of God’s love and faithfulness to us.

    CHRISTMAS LETTER:

    I feel quite guilty about this one.  I had great plans to get our family photo printed (we got a really good one this summer) and get letters sent out to all of you with an update . . . It just never happened and it never quite made it to the top of the priority list.  Then when I finally did get around to it . . . well, I seem to have lost my copy of our pictures . . .  I’m still hoping to get some of those sent out, but it might be Easter before you all see them.  Maybe I’ll start a new tradition of “Belated Christmas Cards.”  Who knows! It could be a seller!

  • 27Dec

    A friend with 6 children got hit with the flu.  This was the result.

    To the tune of “What Child is This?” by Sheri Reimer

    “What child is this now vomiting, on bedding and on everything?

    While two more bend over the commode and I run to and fro?

    This, this was quite a sight.  The clean up took me half the night.

    This, this was quite a sight, the stomach virus blight.”

    Following in the footsteps of my fellow musician, I have created a second verse.

    “What child is this that is so sick? Oh dear, which one do I pick?

    Help! There’s buckets all over the floor, uh oh! I need one more.

    This, this is such a sight.  I’ve done laundry half the night.

    This, this is such a sight, the stomach virus blight.”

    But we were both blessed in that it didn’t hit us over Christmas!  She got hit before and I got hit the day after.

     

     

     

  • 14Dec

    My children have been taken over by aliens!!

    My girls came up to me today and said, “Mommy, we want some new chores.”  And then when I did think of a “new chore” that they could do I got a very polite “Thank you, Mommy” in return.  When was the last time you heard a child thank their mother for giving them chores????

    That in and of itself is scary, but then they voluntarily cleaned up their bathroom, sorted socks in the hallway (and even cleaned up after themselves there), and currently they are coloring very nicely in the library with their younger brother!!!

    I think I like aliens.  =)  I wonder if I can have these particular aliens permanently.

  • 12Dec

    I’m skipping town this week. (Going to the next town over.)

    I’ve got a date, a babysitter, and “big” plans. =)  (anything minus the kids requires “big” planning).

    I’m getting excited!!!

    I just hope my brother behaves.  =)

  • 06Dec

    One of the stages of grief is acceptance.  I thought I was doing o.k. on that one, but these things have a way of coming and going and showing new facets every time they pop up.  I think I have accepted the fact that Dan is gone.  He is never coming back.  There isn’t (and wasn’t) anything I can do to change that.  I have accepted the past.  It’s the future I seem to be struggling with, again.

    I realized the other day (in a new way) that things will never go back to the way they were.  Even if the Lord does provide another mate it will never be the same.  I will never be the same.  I sometimes wonder if Dan would still love the “new me.”  I’m a different person . . . I know that has to be true, but I still feel like the same old me. 

    Any future relationships (friends, family, or spouse) will be colored by my relationship with Dan.  The innocent “first love” is gone.  I won’t ever have that again, and the one that I could share it with is gone, too.  Relationships are lumped into two categories, “Those who knew Dan” and “Those who didn’t.”  And gradually as the years progress it will become even more vague and it will be “Those who know about Dan” and “Those who don’t even realize I was married (you would think that would be a given with 7 children, but in today’s culture . . .).

    When you are young and in love and married for the first time there are a lot of things that need to be worked out for the first time and you are both new to game.  You build and shape your marriage together based on each other’s preferences, desires, and dreams.

    I’ve been alone awhile, but there are foundational things that were established at the beginning of our marriage that are still part of my everyday life and always will be.  Then there are things that I’ve decided that have molded and shaped our family further and will always have an impact on our family.  Those things, things that often can’t even be verbalized, will have an impact on future relationships, too.

    It is a comfort to realize that my God will never change.  He is fully “mature” and quite capable of patiently waiting for me to mature, all the while loving me better than anyone else could. 

    Thank you, Lord, for loving me as I grow and mature, as I stretch my wings, sometimes wandering away from You.  But in Your mercy You always lead me back.  Thank you for never changing, for remaining constant and true, for being my rock and my shelter in life’s raging storms.  It’s nice to know you are always there.

  • 06Dec
    Interesting statement I read tonight:
    Some of us are more public about our grief; others are not.  Don’t assume that just because someone shows no outward sign of grief doesn’t mean it is not there.