Friday, December 30, 2011

long overdue...

almost forgot sweet Melanie.
Christmas at the Zoo on Dec. 21

The California kids. Duncan, 10, Charlie, 8 and Phebe, almost 6.

The Midwestern girls....Piper, 7 and Nora, 4.

More Midwesterners...Ethan, 15, Molly, 4, Levi, 9, Will, 17 and Melanie, 13. 

I love a group shot...gotta love that we are all looking at the camera!

Canal Fun on Christmas evening...

So the quality isn't fantastic but the fact that most of my parents grandkids are in this shot is pretty cool. Beck and I definitely felt the void of not having Jack in these pix. I love that she knows and voices exactly what I'm thinking. A nice addition he'd have we walk on, with JOY in our midst.

Let me explain...the flash on Beck's camera is blinding...she hadn't warned me to blink long before she hit the I think I'm partially blind here...

Andrew & Pheebs

Will with sibs and cousins

We were so glad to have Uncle John and Aunt Sherry with us to celebrate this year! Imagine the stories going around our table....with my dad and our uncle...never dull!

magical Jack tree...

We got Just Dance for the Wii. 

Mel and I with a giant (Jack) butterfly at the canal. yes, these pix are sadly out of order. 
Andy's kids at the Circle of Lights. We gave up by this time...

yeah, like I said, way out of order....canal fun.

Molly Moo



Nora Bean




Ethan, looking so grown up this year. man.


Andy loves a good dance session...

Phebe and Molly really got into this game...

Mom is ready to leave, too much Christmas "sauce" for this ol' Baptist girl. I joke.

I know you are jealousss of our animal lids...that's ok. Target and Kohl's...that's where you can get 'em.

the canal. one of my favorite spots in Indiana. this area to the right? three bushes? David and I sat here often during our fun to take our kids and family down there. such history.

speaking of my hubby, look at this agility...not bad for a guy that is close to turning 41.

Monkey boy Will. hanging from a bridge. 

My charming brother in law, Scottyboy

This pic was taken on 12/29 by my sister. Piper spent the night with us and Molly spent the night with Beck and fam. Beck said that the girls played together like champions. I love that they have each other. love it, love it!

Yes, it took me forever to get back on here...that whirlwind weekend is over, thankfully and now we are on to a new week and a new year!

Welcome 2012!

but in actuality, right now? I need to leave again because we are in Lafayette, IN and going to see where David and Tom will be working tomorrow and Wednesday. Until I can get back here later? see ya....

Friday, December 23, 2011

yesterday started off so nicely...

Regina, a friend from our homeschool group, American Heritage Girls and now piano.  Her sweet daughters used to have their lessons right before Mel. We'd talk, catch up, remind each other that yes, we would make it through these whirlwind years of raising kids and all that requires. I stood with her, outside Mrs. S' house on a hot July day, telling her about Jack...probably one of thee hottest days of this past summers...and cried with her. I love it when people cry with me. Is there any emotion more pure? So vulnerable? It was hard to tell where our sweat ended and our tears started but we knew. Well, our lessons don't coincide any longer but I see her here and there. She made a special trip to piano lady's house just to give me this envelope packed with pictures of JOY she'd been taking. She told me that she and her daughters are on a quest for JOY and she has even documented it. How awesome is this?
The picture on the left, the red JOY with blue trim was a piece of trash she saw on the ground at the library. She said she started to grumble about someone littering and looked down....The silver cross that is pictured on a yellow leaf and the actual cross, taped to the inside of her card, was a piece of litter at a campsite. It caught her eye...she saw JOY.  Ornaments on trees, name tags of employees at Archiver's, old cards she found in her stash...
Thank you, Regina. My heart swells with pure joy when I see this picture and the care and thought you put into this offering. Much love
(I'm not sure if she reads my blog but I will have to post this link on FB today)

Sweet little monkey boy...he had a rough day yesterday. Neighbors dog, though small, but very aggressive, bit Levi's  left hand. We called Animal Control. I'm so aggravated with people that just let their dogs roam free. it's just not right. As if that wasn't enough...getting out of the car, he slammed his other hand in the door, pulling all of the skin practically off his fingertip. blood, tears and pain. Lord, please be with this little guy, coming out of his shell and dealing with much.

this little, we went to Piper's Christmas program last Thursday and she did a most excellent job!!! P, you are a beautiful girl and I am blessed to be your auntie.

Ok, well, I'd loooooooove to sit around and blooooooooog all day but I have. so. much. to. do.
We are having a party at my house "I survived the stroke '11" party for my "I survived a horrifying loss" party for all the rest of us (I guess Dad could celebrate that too but stroke is trumping it for him lately)...kind of a celebration of all that is good and holy kinda thing.

SO, Merry Christmas, Merry Immanuel to you... God IS with us. that is ONE thing we CAN be sure of.

Much love,

blog posts for later:
~the year in review: sure to be full of laughter and tears.
~the party my parents are throwing here at our house tonight
~a low key Christmas Eve

Edit: I got done with this post. I went downstairs, realizing I needed to get our card and small gift out to our USPS carrier. Darn it. She already came...she brought a slew of cards (thank you!!) and a letter from the White River Township Fire Department. This is the ambulance company that transported Jack to Comm. South. They had sent us a few bills, addressed to Jack Young. While I like seeing his name, I was always sad and felt a little sucker punched to receive that piece of mail. (dealing with our union insurance has been challenging but we were appealing the process to get Jack onto our insurance...blah blah blah). Very nicely last month, when I sent in our required agreed to amount till we could re-submit, I asked them to PLEASE stop sending the bill in Jack's name, it is very painful thankyouverymuch. I was very nice but straight to the point...

today...oh today...I received a letter from the FIRE CHIEF. I imagine him, sitting at his desk, signing the letter he had dictated to his secretary and maybe shedding a little tear for a family, missing their last little lamb. I can't even type this without crying...telling us how sorry they were and that the account has been put at ZERO! I will blog more about this later...but I need to go thank the Lord for showing us, daily, how POWERFUL He is. how amazing, all knowing, ever present and worthy of our praise.

To God be the glory...great things He hath done...

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

a chock full posting...

there it is...the tree of wonder. ha ha!

kids kids everywhere...

As Becky pointed out, Molly's legs look so stocky in these tights.  love it...

Molly kept flipping her hair...Levi didn't. but he did suchhhh a good job!! He kept his head up, he sang (we heard him, by golly!!) and all of the kids did a really good job!

I love love love that I caught this pic of Molly. My brother's pictures are more clear and such but I have to download them from Facebook (so if you wanna see more, go to my Facebook wall and I will hopefully have posted them by the time you get there. unless you are friends with my brother, then you can go to his wall...) From where he was sitting, Molly kept ending up behind the mic pole...From where I was sitting, I got to see this! Isn't she a hoot? She's a natural performer. Who knew??? Levi looks a little more uncertain here but he did so well!

I loved all the hand gestures and motions that their director, Hannah, incorporated. She also did an amazing job. It is not easy to work with this many kids. and have them sound good even. but they did.

Sweet Pipes and Darling Norabean came with their momma...My parents and bro were in attendance too and my dad thinks he may have been having his stroke on the way home from here...more on that later. gosh. I tell ya.
an interesting angle on the JOY tree. Can I just say how amazed I've been at the outpouring of love and JOY from you, my friends, near and far? I really hope I'm not forgetting to blog or Facebook the kindness, and as I type, I know I've already forgotten to blog about Tashena, my lovely, glowingly pregs neighbor who is beautiful anyways but pregancy becomes her (HIIIIIIIIIII neighbor), and her gift of homemade hot cocoa, lip goodies, nail polish, body spray and a very cool JOY ornament that i need to remember to post also. whew...I'm outta breath...

a fun little craft that Mel and I made. she made one for her room and I haven't figured out where to put mine yet. it's right here by my computer. For the record, I don't tell people Season's greetings and Happy Holidays..I tell them Merry CHRISTmas. also, St. Nick is just a fun myth we tell our kids about but none of them have ever "believed" in him...they did that all on their own. (remind me to tell you about Ethan when he was in preschool, telling all of his 3 year old friends that Santa "wasn't real"!)

Jamie. sweet Jamie. One of the most thoughtful grievers I've ever met. She lost her sweet son Sully over 11 months ago and she has really come up alongside me, telling me what to expect and what not to expect on this ocean of grief...she never fails to warm my heart and send a card at just the very rightest of moments. I got this one last ya, girl. I am learning a lot from you. Amazed at God's provision when you don't expect it...yeah, if our boys had lived, even one of them, we wouldn't be friends. 

Here it is...our first ever (after 18 years of marriage) family newsletter.  David wrote it, I edited it and added some bits and used the printer paper that I bought on mega clearance 2 years ago. I've run out, so many cards I'm sending this year, and so I will have to get more today. I have about 50 more cards to send so hang tight.

So Hi.
I have so. much. catching. up.

I'm almost overwhelmed by it so here goes.

Do you ever envision something, a month, a celebration, an event, and when it arrives, it looks NOTHING like you imagined? yeah, I've had a lot of that this year....the biggest let down was on June 30th but you all know that.

I envisioned a very Martha Stewart December...nice, even speech...crafts abounding, treats baking daily, a clean house...always...and even tempers.

Then I woke up...not that things are bad or even non-fun around here...but trying to keep things clean, straight, non-gooey with Levi and Molly under foot is next to IMPOSSIBLE. We stayed home alllll day yesterday, got both levels of the homestead cleaned...and if I wasn't wiping something up or yelling upstairs for one of them to come get some item of junk they'd left on my level, I wasn't breathing. 

Lots of "choose joys" under my breath yesterday. and I feel like we succeeded. it was a most pleasant day around here...I'm fun when my hormone levels are even. ha ha.


My Dad, Jim, had a mild stroke on Sunday night. David's mom fell and broke her wrist on Saturday night. We learned of her fall on Sunday night and I told him, "Here we go, our parents are beginning to fall apart..." kinda jokingly, saturated with love and some trepidation....then we awoke to the phone call from my brother on Monday morning about my dad's slurred speech and such. 


it's such a weird place to be. I know I say that a lot. To face the vulnerability and pain of life. I know I should add a deep quote here, and I've heard many good ones, but none come to mind currently. (coffee hasn't kicked in yet) but to think of pain, fear,'s scary on a good day, having hope in Christ...I cannot fathom NOT having that hope. Knowing that I will see Jack again, knowing that I will see my parents, David's parents, our other loved ones who have gone on before and those that haven't yet...brings such comfort and makes these aches and pains seem a little less painful. 

But my Dad is doing ok. he is tired today. but they are getting his meds regulated, running a few more tests and his regiment will be more, medicine, rest, exercise...if you see him, he makes fun of himself for slurring or drooling. that is how he copes. I now know where Beck and I get our coping skills. I'm glad you're ok, blessed by the way my Mom has sat there with him and just the example she has set of servanthood. I'm taking stock...I love you guys. 

Praying also today for some friends from my OCA days...Mrs. Eastman, who is preparing to meet her Savior. Praying for Terri, Suzanne, David and Ed as they say good bye to their momma and wife...I know her jolly and cheerful disposition will be painfully missed but as Suzanne posted on FB, "sorrow but not despair". God bless you and give you peace and comfort today, Eastman family.

Can I say it?

Cherish your loved ones. Watch your tone...I have to apologize to my kids and spouse on a regular basis...
Hug hug hug hug can never hug, touch, kiss, smile at, laugh with your kids and loved ones enough. have fun. be JOYful, get over yourself. encourage, pray, sit still.... (I say all of this to myself today! everyday)

happy Wednesday...hugs!

Friday, December 9, 2011

someone got a hair cut...

someone also looks a lot like her daddy.

It was somewhat difficult for the girl to get it right, because Miss Molly Moo kept moving...but it's a good thing that she has wavy, textured hair, so it's not too noticeable.

She's pretty cute. She's pretty serious.
I love this little mugsy.

just wanted to share this, since it's 3:23 a.m. and I'm still up, crafting, organizing, pulling my hair out because, well, just because.

I will have to craft my subway framed art tomorrow (which is today) because it's pretty darn cute.
Then I found one that had the names of Christ...oh my.
I love all of the names of Christ.
The Lord Provides


good night.
err, good morning?
I dunno.