Friday, August 31, 2012

hello random

yes. yes it is.
all credit for this pic goes to some chick I found on FB.

nice work, Nat.
one of my fave Mel pix from 2011...

This poor plot of earth, Jack's beloved Garden of JOY, needed such care last week so I took the sweaty plunge and got it all weeded and loved. I'd much rather care for a little 14 month old boy but honestly, I'd probably fail at that too.

Thank You, Lord, for these beautiful, forgiving, resilient children (#3 and #4) and yes, Levi is entering the years where he will love to mess with his hair and boy, does he have some hair...(he needs it trimmed desperately....grumble)

I have a new fixation on clouds.
Even though I'm in the Meijer parking lot here, I felt that God put these amazing clouds here for me.
"All is well, child"
"Keep your eyes fixed on Me"

Ha ha...a little blast from my cheesy past.
I used to babysit for Joe and Laura. Laura had quite an extensive wardrobe (and a bottomless change jar, right Dad?)
We thought it'd be fun to model in her clothes after we (we being my cousin, Dawn, Beck and I) got her kids to sleep.
oh, the fun and innocence of 14-15. (and I can't help but think how desperately someone must've needed a date night, to leave their children with US!!)  LOL!
Yes, You can love my hair.
Which of my children do u think this pic resembles, minus the gold shirt? I see Ethan...

A quiet (or not so quiet) day at home, listening to Nat King Cole radio on Pandora, finishing the kiddies' school, maybe taking a little bit of time to make some cards, write some letters (you've got one coming, Tory!!), catch up on some of the things that I love, like my blog.

I'm ready for autumn....the smells, the days that force you to stay still and maybe some rain...sweaters, clunky shoes, and low key apple cider, colorful trees and fall crafts.

I'm just sayin'.

Tomorrow is Christine's service...we're going. Not sure I'll be able to keep it together.
It's just so raw that someone my age, someone I knew, communicated with, met for coffee (only once but still....) is gone. And in such a glorious place..

Go Christine!!

Well, thank ya for letting me be completely and utterly random.
Be back sooner rather than later. I hope.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

14 months and a first 30th Thursday

Sorry that this won't be a chipper blog post...

I'll admit, I'm a little weepy on the eve of my first Thursday that is a 30, since that sweet boy up there, left this life and went to a much more heavenly place...Jack Oliver Young...what would you be like as a 14 month old toddler boy? Would you have that customary toddler poochy belly? would you say NO a lot? Would you still suck on a pacifier? How about a blankie-doo? Will I get to enjoy all of these mother pleasures when I die and get to be with Jesus and Jack? I know it's stupid to wonder about this stuff but honestly, it's what keeps me sane. Sometimes, even still, I just really can't fathom that this is our story...that on Thursday, June 30, 2011, I thought I was getting ready to deliver my 4th living son, when in fact, he was not. I just can't even stand it sometimes.

Glad that God sees the bigger picture and knows the plans He has for me, for us. He is gracious and compassionate, even in these moments.

I know it's been way too long since I blogged. Tory, you are so faithful, in your blog checking and in sending me letters. You know it means the world to me, even if you think you're a hot mess. You are a faithful daughter, cousin and friend. You are giving and caring. and I have two words for you: Pop Rocks. Hope that school is going excellently for you, my dear!

Christine Kinman, my sweet friend, met the Lord last Wednesday evening, Aug 22, 2012. Though I hurt for her husband and sons, I rejoice in knowing that she met her Savior, face to face, and her precious son, Marcus, and her parents....I am just so thankful that Tashena and I went to see her just 2 weeks ago....just in time, as she climbed the steps to Heaven. Her service is this Saturday, Sept 1.

School is going very well, David is busy as a bee, life is flying by at warp speed...

I hope to be back with some pix very soon...hang in there, my people. Much love

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

First day Fabulousness

Here she is, folks! Our last Kindergartener.
I'm not sure how I feel about this.
bittersweet, to say the least.

She told me it was "too bright" here...hence, the smile with mouth, only. ha ha.

So we tilted and she could then give me more of a full face smile

This is my little mail go getter. I don't think I'd ever tire of watching my kids run up to the mail box.
Besides that, Tory, now my kids think there's fun mail all the time.
I tried to give them the bills.
They didn't get it.

The mailbox pose with house in background.

The up the nose pose.
ha ha.
I like that

The "it's only the first day of Kindy and I already wanna jump off the ravine" pose.

The "1980's kneeling" pose

The "head to toe" poser

Ethan snuck in and she was not impressed.

Then this handsome fella, who'd been out for his morning walk with Mel, got his shower so he could have his first day of school pics taken.  Note: He did his hair this way. Rockin' the faux hawk.

He also informed me that it was "too bright" to open his eyes all the way.
funny kids.

this expression kills me. I love this smooth skinned dreamboat.

Whatta good big bro he is.
At this moment in time, these two really love each other.
I'm touched.
glad I got a picture of it!

huggle bunnies.

Finish up with a pic of our little Kindy-gardner.

I do have to start this out by telling you a funny Molly story.
I sincerely believe she thought she was going somewhere else for her schooling. Mel, Moll, Levi and I jumped in the car because we were told Levi's glasses were in. David called back, once I was on the road, to tell me that, even though we'd gotten called by our eyeglass place to tell us L's glasses were in, they couldn't find them. Doh! I turned around to go home...Molly was pouting in the back seat....Seriously pouting, lip out, arms folded, bewildered, and crying...When I asked her what her biff was, she replied, "I don't wannnnnna do school at home. I wanna go somewhere and I wannanother teacher and I don't wanna be home...waaa waaa waaaaaaaaa." When she realized she had set me off and I might be unhappy, she backtracked a bit and said I'd be welcome to join her, be with her at school and that she loved me but......


After some loving redirection, she has changed her tune and is rather thrilled to be on the road to smarts. Honestly, I think she will pick up this thing called schooling like a champ. not that my other kids haven't, mind you...but she is just a sponge. I can't wait to have her encouragement...she has already encouraged Levi to kick it up a notch.

He's doing his new spelling book right now and I must say...WOW!! wowow. He's doing really well and I'm really feeling good about this year. It really does help that he's just a downright nice kid and lives to please me. I hope that trait stays.

for all of you prayer warriors:

Christine K. is still fighting. I know her husband, Matt, and her three sons are weary and torn. I know, also, that they'd appreciate continued prayers. He is obviously not working, as he is by her side morning, noon, night...When I think I can't make it another day, or I'm overcome with sadness, all valid, I think of them. Not knowing how it will end, or when...just waiting. Thank you for praying for them.

Aunt Sherry: She is such a trooper! We went to see her Sunday night. She is basically homebound but up and around as much as possible and though her complete recovery could take up to 3 months, she is doing really well. No push ups yet. Ha ha. Thank you, again, for praying for her!

Levi: Can't wait to get his new specs!! Pix will be up here as soon as we get them in our dirty li'l paws.

Roni S: This is a dear friend of Becky's and now mine. She worked with Beck at Gray Rd. Christian School and has been a major source of encouragement to me since I've gotten to know her. She is my JOY gifter. She is at the Cleveland Clinic today, hoping to find out what is up with her health...hormones, diabetes, PCOS and other things, hoping to find some answers and treatment that will help her to have more energy and to feel better. I know this dear wife and mother of two young kids would appreciate your prayers.

On this note, I need to get this posted and get Levi's history, math and other fun fun things accomplished for the day.

Note: as I sit here and type this, he has gotten his spelling words done and is now rubbing my back. What a guy.

More later, taters!

coming very soon....

I'm in the midst of getting all of the "first day of school" pix taken, for Molly and Levi. Levi is starting Third Grade and Molly is starting Kindergarten.

Be back very soon for first day delights.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

just a li'l bit all over the place, and then some

this sweet boy...oh I wanna sniff and snuggle his sweet nugget head here....had an eye appointment yesterday.
He will be wearing glasses very soon. His right eye is is his mother.
long sad story.
but victory comes thru Jesus.
Thank you for being so incredibly awesome, Levner, my boy.
I just love you more than you could ever know.

I'm pretty sure I'd die without this chick and I look forward to seeing her a lot more in the coming (home) school year. Yahhhh!

I've probably blogged this already but it's kinda goofy.
Melanie, I miss you. Hope you're having fun in Illinois with your girl cousins on the Young side!
Oh and this pic is for you, Dad.

K, these little oldies....ahhhh. While scrolling thru iPhoto, I felt the need to share some of this two year old goodness with you, since I've been so horrible about taking pics with my camera, but wow, don't ya just love Instagram?
Ha ha. I stink.

All of these pix above just make my heart swell and bring a joy like no other.
I'm feeling extremely reflective, poignant, thankful this evening.
Good Tuesday evening, almost Wednesday morning.

For real, I'm just sorta at a loss for what to spend my time writing on here.
So many good and so many challenging (some good challenges, some hard, bad, stupid) things on my/our plates right now.

A few prayer concerns I'd like to put on the table here:

1.)  Aunt Sherry M. - She had shoulder surgery today. Uncle John called to say it was a success and that she was in recovery. We will know more tomorrow and pray we get to see her. Even with serious shoulder pain, she is one of the most tender hearted, bear hug givers you'll ever want to meet. I love her greatly.

2.)  Christine K. - this dear, dear woman of God and sister in Christ is at home, waiting to meet her Savior, while her husband lovingly cares for her and her sons stay close. Tashena and I went to see them today. There is really nothing quite like being at the gates of Glory. She is only 42 so this hits close to home. She is also a fellow stillborn momma...sweet baby Marcus. It was one of the hardest yet sweetest moments of my life.

3.)  Levi T. Young - one of the most amazing little fellas you'll ever meet...I failed to get his eyes checked. We've had the insurance for a very long time, but I just assumed that, because Will, E and Mel's initial eye checks back about 5-6 years ago went well, that Levi would be ok to wait on a check up. Stupid. David took him with him for an check up yesterday...blown away when he was told that Levi's right eye is lazy, with about 20% vision....and here's the kicker: it could've been treated and probably resolved a lot of the issues if he'd gotten in as a toddler or younger child. Nine is when the window closes. Really? After kicking myself, crying a lot and asking for his forgiveness, we've committed ourselves to patching his eye for 2 hours a day, as he works on his eye-hand coordination and praying for a miracle. Even so, he looks darn tootin' cute in his new specs, which he shall be getting within 10 days.

4.)  Forgiveness all across the board: If you need to forgive someone or seek forgiveness, may I suggest you do so? I'm on the first leg of a long journey...and this is just one part (many areas I am working on. e.g. big mouth, pride, comparing etc)....forgiveness is anger's worst enemy. Sitting with Christine today just put so many things in perspective...grudges, offenses, jealousies, hatred, condescensions....lay them all aside. The Lord is dealing with me in such HUGE ways. Refining is painful but it is proof of his Mercy and Love for His children.

Thank You, Lord, for the journey...

in the words of Steven Curtis Chapman's new song "Long Way Home"...

I set out on a great adventure, the day my Father started leading me home
He said "There's gonna be some mountains to climb and some valleys we're gonna go thru"
But I had no way of knowing, just how hard this journey could be
Cuz the valleys are deeper and the mountains are steeper than I ever would've dreamed

But I know we're gonna make it
I know we're gonna get there soon (you go, Chris!!)
I know sometimes it feels like we're going the wrong way
It's just a long way home...

I've got some rocks in my shoes, fears I wish I could lose
That make the mountain so hard to climb
And my heart gets so heavy with the weight of the world sometimes
There's a bag of regrets, should've beens and not yets
I keep on dragging around...
And I can hardly wait for the day I get to lay it all down  (AMEN!!)

Well, I know that day is coming
I know it's gonna be here soon
And I won't turn back even if the whole world says I'm going the wrong way
Cuz it's just a long way home

When we can't take another step, Our Father will pick us up and
Carry us in His arms  (and He does.)
Even on the best days, He says to remember we're not home yet
So don't get too comfortable cuz really all we are is just pilgrims passing thru.  (Seeya!)

ˇˇˇ little whistle and adorable guitarˇˇˇˇ

Heyy yeahhh yeah
Well, I know we're gonna make it
And I know we're gonna get there soon
So I'll keep on singing and believing what all of my songs say
Cuz our God has made a promise
And I know everything He says is true and
I know wherever we go, He will never leave us
Cuz He's gonna lead us home.

Every single step of the long way home.
Keep on, we're gonna make it.
We're just taking the long way home....

<< a wonderful song >> and so full of joy. This man has suffered the tragic loss of a child. It makes you wanna just die. I wish I could put it on my blog (the song)...I hear it and I just sigh and thank the Lord for music that reminds me that this crazy, painful, occasionally beautiful world is NOT MY HOME.

Or yours, Christine. Godspeed, my precious, courageous friend.

And someday, your eyes will be perfect and see heaven, Levi. dollbaby.

And your shoulders will be bionic, Aunt Sherry. But even so, you give the best hugs and we love you so.

And friends won't stop talking to you or ditch you or not answer you when you ask what you did wrong or give up on will all seem ridiculous in the Light of His glory.

And and and....

Good night...putting my God goggles on as I head to bed. (very similar to tear goggles, Tory. Thank you, dear cousin, for the letter I got yesterday. You just floor me and I just love your updates and sharing!! Love you)

Sunday, August 5, 2012

from my iPod's perspective...

on our way back to the van...

Messy girl...

The SpongeCave that Levi built with his Dad. My guys all love their Legos.
Surely Jack is preparing our home in heaven out of Legos.

a close up view of Sponge Cave (Levi took these pix)

Levi took this pic too...a blurry view of Ethan and Levi's room.

Levi took this too...Will doing push ups and Molly, as a blur....

goonies...obviously taken by Moo

I'm wondering who took this one...

CD art. 

Levi took a self portrait! Your auntie and I are so proud!!

Blogger is being a BOOGER tonight.
I hate that it's been almost one week since I last blogged but that's the way the cookie crumbles.
Just when I think I will have a "low key" week, it becomes anything but low-key or ordinary.

Levi is getting two teeth pulled tomorrow! He is nervous but we told him we'd get him a shake afterwards so he feels much better about this!

This week begins planning for the 3rd grade group at White River Home Educators. I have a wonderful group of women who have responded to help me with this so I'm encouraged.

David says his week should be easier than the last...say....ummm, 156 or so...I dunno...I'm beginning to think our life won't be slow, low key, mundane, relaxed until we're dead.

That's fine....
Tomorrow morning, I meet Annie for coffee and hope for a chance to see my friend, Christine, whose health is failing. 
I want to get together with my amazingly creative friend, Kellie, and plan more on the creative get away we are planning to host. what stinkin' fun is that?
so many cool things to even list here...So thankful for the ways and people that the Lord puts into my life. So thankful for a wonderful church with  fearless preaching, caring people and God's Word unashamedly lived out.

So there you have it....there's plenty more where this came from but I'm tired and have 20 more push ups to do for my 100 today. (if you're interested, I'm taking part in the 3,000 push up challenge...100 push ups for 30 days!!)

On to Monday....Hi-dee-HO!!
See you soon!