Friday, November 30, 2012

clouds, trees and peace-flingin' duck girls.

my fascination with clouds continues. and probably always will.

As I remember my son today, who would be 17 months old today, had he stayed, I can't help but remember the line from one of my favorite songs KLOVE..."You've gotta face the clouds, to see the silver lining...."

While Jack isn't here, his siblings are. I am very grateful for that fact.
I'm not sure what is happening in this pic...I found it on my iPod is precious to me.

My li'l canvas JOY banner...and where I put it, down below....

This is our upper floor tree, minus ornaments, which are now star is a little crooked but it kinda adds to the allure, dontcha think?

Beck got me this cute li'l JOY ornament. love it!

Jack's tree, chock full of JOYful goodness. Thank you to everyone who has sent me stuff to put on it. I've put every gift up or on.

The shelf outside of my bedroom...I finally got the JOY letters up that Kara gave me back in mid August. I do love this and I do love you, Kara!

Nora Bean spent the night last night...I love that the girlies wore their matching jammies.  I also love that they are primed and ready for their obnoxious glorious teen years, with abdomens exposed, peace signs up n ready and duck bill present!

tell me that these little chickies are not simply precious!
I love that they have each other!
I am a woman of few words today. Kinda grumpy, kinda outta sorts.
I know I should be choosin' JOY today, in honor of Jack's 17 months with Jesus. I'm trying.
I'm failing.
I should also be really excited, and I am, for we are on the EVE of our trip ALONE to St. Louis. For three sleeps.
I'm letting some circumstances of this day get the best of me. I really need to just pull myself up by my boot straps and slap a smile on my aging face....womp womp.

I do miss little Jack the Bear. I hear these songs about expectant Mary and knowing (or not really knowing) the sacrifice that Christ would be for the world...and the anguish, fear and worry over why the God of the Universe chose HER to carry His son...yeah, I know Jack wasn't a Savior really, but to us, he kinda was. Because of his sweet little short life, our family is on a quest for JOY.

No, we haven't got it all figured out. In fact, just when I think we may have some things figured out, something happens that reminds me to keep my face pointed up to the Lord. He alone is in control.

I'm done...I won't blab on anymore...too many weird, fearful thoughts floating around in my head. Praying today for my friend Jen's dad, Herb and my cousin Tory and her parents, my faraway friend, Shellee, in Japan, as she and her family minister to the Japanese people. Brooke as she faces court and trials for some decisions she has made.

Choose JOY, k?
which really just means....

He is our only HOPE.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

weekend update

I think Beck may have already been completely frustrated!

Roni and Beck set up a booth at the Greenwood HS last weekend. Their products were really adorable and the presentation was amazing! Good job girls...though I know you are extremely frustrated with the response.

My friend, Kellie, had a booth also! Again, adorable stuff to be sold.

My girls are crazy yet beautiful.

I do appreciate and love it when Mel gets bitten by the photog bug. I get some really great pix of Mooski.

This is for you, dear cousin, Tory! I was digging thru pix for my mom's calendar and found these little morsels from our past. I loved your Grandma Betty. "Be Sweet, Fight Nice."

And here we have my Grandma with the stunning swim cap (she always wore a cap!) and my Grandpa, her husband, Lee, Levi's namesake of sorts...and when I told Levi that Lee had part of his leg removed from complications of illness as a young man, he was flabbergasted and almost didn't seem to believe me...I had to dig to find this and was so relieved when I DID find it! So here it is, my Grandpa Lee Taylor (who also happens to be half bro to my cousin Tory's Grandma Betty above. that, my friends, is how we are related!)
My Gramps died in the summer of 79...I think right after he turned 70. Bummer, huh? I was six.

As I sit here and blog, my kids are hosting their bi-monthly teen Bible Study. Right now, they are doing Improv/charades. it is QUITE entertaining, I must say!

it has been a really nice holiday weekend. My tree is up but that is it. Not lit. Not decked out or bedazzled....but up. I may or may not  get that done by Monday.

Is it wrong that I'm having a difficult time getting into the spirit/swing of things? Is it ok for me to be completely transparent/real/open?

I mean, really, what am I supposed to buy for my 3 teenagers? Levi and Molly are easy. And I know that in the whole scheme of things and at the end of the day, it DOES NOT MATTER what "new" toys are hot or what other electronic devices they can get that do not take away from real live face time....I want this Christmas season to be very meaningful...but ya know what?

I want each day to be just that. yes, this is the time of year when we reflect on the GIFT OF JESUS CHRIST...and the sacrifice made for us. The events leading up to His birth...

We will start our Advent celebration (Bartholomew's Passage) on Dec. 2 and our Jesse Tree adventure on 11/29. That is one of the things that make our Christmas season such a peaceful, beautiful, reflective time....

On another note?? David and I, if all goes according to the plans that we've made (we do know that those can change. we are well acquainted with this fact of life) will be making a 3 day/night trip to St. Louis next week. Our 19th anniversary is this coming Tuesday....and we are long overdue for some alone time! We will be staying at our favorite chain, the Drury Plaza by the Arch. I am incredibly looking forward to some down time with my hubs and the only way we can really only seem to do this is if we leave our house. He is a working machine! Maybe I'll accidentally leave his phone at home.

Allright...I'd best go spend some time with these teens...hope your weekend is going amazingly and hugs to you all.

Monday, November 19, 2012

ummm, you've got some lip gloss on your....entire face!

I had the immense pleasure of some much needed adult girl time tonight. Beck, Chrystal, Kellie and I went to El Meson for some gabby time....midway thru the meal, I received a text with this picture above in it...

I nearly choked on my chicken fajita...Melanie, who so kindly stayed with Levi and Molly, never lets me down when it comes to entertaining pictures and good care of the two youngest breathers.

I carry my camera around, thinking that I will actually TAKE some pictures...ha haaaa haha.

Wanna know what I'm actually doing? no. you don't. but here's a smattering of what's on my plate this week....

1.) Educating my children
2.) Continuous organization of school/storage room...a never ending and sometimes daunting task.
3.) exercising
4.) dreaming and imagining what our table will be like at the Centerpiece of Christmas event at our church, which will be on Thurs., Dec 6th. Becky, Aunt Sherry and I are hosting a table.
5.) breathing
6.) there's so much more, and I'm so blessed to be the rudder of this ship...but sometimes, all I wanna do is just sit and make stars or sniff scrapbook paper, make some cards or just play with the craft mediums that I love so dearly. Of course, I want my kids sitting around the table with me, working on Smash books or this craft or that craft...and that day may come...(when we have to sit around our table and eat my scrappin' supplies because we have no food...ha ha)

I'll just close this now by saying...I am seriously missing Jack tonight. I think it's the approach of the holidays and knowing that I need to have our picture taken, implementing JOY and wondering how I'm going to do this....I know it will be all the talk of JOY and knowing the JOY that awaits me and us but also the JOY that we can find in the everyday...Instead of focusing on negatives, I'm encouraging myself to focus on the positives. Not easy....but I'm up for the challenge. May I challenge you to do the same?

so thankful for wide open eyes...I'm gonna go hug my crazy kids.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

I've got nothing.... report.

circa 1970 something or of my absolute, all time favorite pix of my parents with my dad's parents. My Grandpa, so handsome, my Granda, head thrown back in laughter, my Mom....awwww, so cute. My dad...trying to act like it all is NOT happening. hahaha. love these guys. What I'd give to find out what they are laughing about....

These are the quiet, nose to the grindstone kinda days.
My sister is working like an insane woman to get crafts together for a local craft fair this weekend. I must say, I'm pretty impressed by the whole thing. I seriously am planning to TAKE PICTURES of her booth and BLOG THEM. (you heard it here, folks!! straight from the horse's mouth)....Fingers crossed that she sells lots of stuff...she's making epoxy rings and earrings (soooo darn cute!!), washer necklaces (ooooh!!), rosette banners, pennants, key holder hangy uppy thingys (I have one...maybe I'll blog it), bath salts (not the cannibalistic kind, mind you!), big ruler thingys that you hang on your wall (to measure your kids and keep track of it), keychains, and I know there are more things but I'm totally drawing a blank. All that to say, stay tuned. k?

On another note, I was working on crafts with my 2 youngest yesterday and thought I'd work on some patience....yeah.
I have a little glass jar full of tiny googly eyes. I let Molly finagle a couple out. No sooner did I warn her to hold it up over the table, carefully....CRASH!!

little eyes and lotsa glass all over the place. I will say this, I handled it better than I would've in times past (just ask my older three, who, unfortunately, were my patience guinea pigs. sorry, guys!)...She's so matter of fact and handles me so well...she jumped down, ran to get the broom and dust pan, all while explaining to me what we were going to do. She is precious and darn it if those freckles aren't her saving grace. All THAT to say, Tory, those googly eyes are for you guys and I'm sincerely hoping to get a little Thanksgiving package out to you guys. ahhhhh.

David got back home late last night from his Mahomet Illinois job...he's a busy, awesome guy. I thank the Lord for the patience he has shown me...I'm a bit of a shrew. Will and Ethan are currently working on re-organizing their bigger room. Naturally, Will has carved out his own space here at Young Manor...but he, being the facilities manager of YM, takes it upon himself to help and guide E and Levi in their room. He's cool like that...heck, they're all pretty nifty. Melanie is in lower level, responsibly working on her Biology, Literature and other time consuming subjects...she is getting her feet wet in caring for other folks' kids...she has had very good training here. I mean, heck, she has practically raised Molly with us. Rock on, Mel! Levi is drawing, while he waits for me to get his school day going and Molly is still sleeping....I let that little pixie sleep as long as she will...

And the Drumstick Dash? Our annual Thanksgiving Day adventure? Remember last year, how our van was broken into and our purses were stolen?? yeah, we are contemplating participating again this year, whilst leaving our personal belongings at HOME. E and Levi will sit this year out but Molly has informed me that YES, she would like to join us. And Nora will be doing it with her Mommy too. David, Will and Mel also!! I just hope that I can walk...for it seems that I've got an issue with my right foot. ack.

Ok, I've babbled on long enough...I can avoid this day no longer!

Hope that your Hump Day is off to a smashing back later, taters!

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Random (and not so random) Thursday thoughts

This is the floor that David has been working on in Mahomet, IL, near Champaign. Hopefully, when it's finished, I will remember to put a picture up. This is in a brewery over there, that his younger brother, Aaron, will be working at.

This is a funny li'l blast from the past. Piper, my 8 year old niece, has taken a liking to Elvis, and I keep telling her that when I was a youngster, as above, but not quite 8...more like 14, 15, I was infatuated with Elvis....I would weep over him. He'd been dead for nearly 10, count 'em TEN years by this time. Notice a few things here with me, would you?
my crazy hair/perm/bangs....ahhhhh. the pink basket of CASSETTE tapes. My jazz cap. Teddy B. my headboard. my inside out Michigan State sweatshirt and cut off sweats. My intensity at getting my homework done.
What's really funny? My cousin and his family live in this house now and their boys are in this room. Surely they've removed the floral wallpaper.
Today promises to be a busy day. Jack has been gone for 70 Thursdays (I think)...but honestly, I don't keep track of the Thursdays now...only occasionally. I am in a place where, yes, I think of him every day, every way, and I still cry but I've got work to do to get home. Ya know?

I will probably always cry for him and for what happened. I will always recall that day. I will never be able to clean out that tub without having a moment of tears and silence for my precious sleeping 7 pound, 7 ounce wonder boy. But I also know that time is short and time is scary (if you let it be)...I've got 5 living children that need me and need to see that, though life is challenging, sometimes hard, kinda sucky occasionally, their only TRUE PEACE and HOPE is in Jesus Christ. Not Elvis, not coffee, not friends, not us as their parents...

My kids are watching me (and their dad) go through some pretttttttty challenging things...I may blog about this someday and I probably won't. I have been formulating some ways to blog about these trials, these flesh dealings but I just think I will keep it in my journal or in my head. I dunno.

My kids are also watching me (and their dad and themselves as well) go through some pretty darn amazing things. My kids are watching me/us learn to worship the Lord. We were created to it's inevitable...WE WILL WORSHIP are a few examples:   Lady Gaga, JLo, Elvis, Mitt Romney, Barack Obama, Madonna, Wham, Joel Osteen, Joyce Meyer, Billy Graham, Guns N Roses, Liam Neeson, Beastie Boys, Indpls Colts, our phones and their apps, Miami Dolphins, this wine or that beer, This TV show or that....I could go on and I am not pointing anyyyyy fingers.

get my point?

When in reality, we should be worshipping our Creator, Savior, Comforter and Heavenly Father -Jesus Christ. (not to say that some of those things above aren't ok, in moderation etc)

For everything
In every way
In all we say

Our very breath is worship.

I asked Him to be real and He is showing Himself to me in ways that I never dreamt I'd get to see, witness or live.

Considering I'm an old Baptist gal, it's hard to show physical worship and I may NEVER partake in a group worship setting but when I'm on my treadmill or listening to music on my iPod or praying, I'm finding it more and more difficult to not point my face up toward the heavens (even though God is omnipresent -everywhere and in everything, not just "up in heaven") and maybe even possibly lift my hands up to Him.

I need Him.
Every hour.
This is what I'm focusing on this week. thankful for the lesson.

Hope your Thursday is fantastical...
I have homeschool group and then prep for David's Young Ideas annual Shareholders meeting tonight..never a dull moment. ever.
Every moment should/could be an adventure.


Saturday, November 3, 2012

Harvest update etc

how do ya like my butchered JOY pumpkin?

Ok, Tory, so there was no hidden story to what we were this year..David had been outta town all week, I kept asking him what he thought he'd be and he never gave me an answer. This was the best we could do on short notice. I mean, it really wasn't short notice but I'm somewhat notorious for waiting till the last minute. Not proud of that but I live with it. I was the "Immaterial Girl" (E's friend, Fred from Karate, gave me that name!). I loved Madonna when I was in middle school. I'd never condone how she was/is but she IS talented and oh so stylish...Levi and Ethan were Celtic Warriors...E is not pictured here...

Merida (who wouldn't keep her wig on to save her blessed life!), a good li'l witch and a Cowgirl

Jen, who won for her portrayal of Marilyn Monroe,  very good!!

Jordan, as herself, lovely.....and her BFF, Katy, also lovely and gave a very rousing portrayal of "Rosie the Riveter"!

Melissa and her momma, Pat, who was very convincing as a mobster!

Melanie, Cammi and Sophie, who was dressed as movie star, Audrey Hepburn.

My friend, Christy (also mom to Cammi, above, and Austin, below and Paul, who is not pictured here)  in the purple coat behind us...and us, being my wonderful friend, Sully's momma, Jamie and Marilyn.

Beck and Mel, donning their hubbies work attire. Very convincing, ladies!

Carrie and Mike Kirk and their beeeeyooootiful kids, Cam, Meg, Mallory and Cal, who is a blur. They were wonderful as greasers and fifties girls, poodle skirts and all!

My mom came in her robe with her cold cream and rollers. NIIIIIICE.

Olivia and Jonathan as a very prim and proper couple! She may have been completely frozen here, as well. Poor little Oliviasicle

Carrie and I, whilst the Count of Monte Cristo eats a brownie behind us....

This may be my most favorite picture....ever! Carrie wanted to see what the stars were like over my bed...doesn't she look like a mannequin? HILARIOUS!

Austin K, Cammi's bro, and Paul's twin, who is not pictured here...He is dressed as Sabertooth. Or is it Sabre Tooth. or Saber Tooth...Nice job, Austin!

The girl catching the bouquet (or corsage, since we forgot to order the single ladies bouquet, nice) is Monica. She is also pictured with me below. She was our guest book attendant at our 11/27/93 wedding. She was precious and dolly back then and remains so to this day. She will marry Todd in less than 12 hours...I could NOT be happier for this girl and her future husband. More on this later.

Ok, so I wanted to get some pics on the beloved blog...and I really need to just go "borrow" my brother's pix on Facebook...but I have really had no time the past few days...

I won't go into's all good, just so busy, my head is spinning.

I have a wedding card to make before I can hit the's only 3 a.m.....

Be back later...Levi's birthday party is tonight (Saturday) and he is completely thrilled.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Levi greets TEN!

Not many 10 year olds, that I know anyways, have said Hello Goodbye to their baby brothers. Levi was so sweet...he didn't want to get too far away from Jack but he didn't want to hold or kiss him either. I almost weep when I think of how it would've been if Jack had stayed...Levi would've been his A #1 entertainer.  Levi and Jack, my Thursday boys.
Buzz Leviyear

Muddy buddies

At the zoo in Colorado Springs, 2009

not sure what's going on here but the reflection is very cool.

soccer fanatic.
or not.
but so handsome.

funny guy

Arrrgh, someone "gots" a Buzz Lightyear toy!!

Sweet, fresh baby boy.


Here he is with not even one day old Molly.  Life is precious. li'l muppet boy.
My most laid back child is ten.   t - e - n! ahhhhh.

I'm just not sure how I "feel" about this. I just really find it hard to put into words what this does to my head, heart, soul....

My littlest baby, quickest delivery, scariest living  newborn, faced the most challenges from day ONE.

Levi Taylor Young, whatta guy you are.
Labor started at 4 am. and you emerged by 1 p.m. on Thursday, October 31, 2002.  Seven pounds, 3 ounces, your daddy almost delivered you. We'd sent the midwives to do some shopping while labor progressed. No sooner had they gotten onto SR 37 and I urged my momma to call them back from their trek into Martinsville...We were getting scared so David began birth stool, chux pad set up...Mom, Beck and kids had gone to Meijer to get food and we had to call them back too...everyone arrived JUST in time.

When Levi was born, he wasn't very vigorous. He kinda mewed like a little kitty. Even with talking to him, touching him and rubbing him, he just whimpered. He looked scared. always. Like he knew something we didn't. What followed in his first month was more than a little bit scary...possibly Spina Bifida Occulta (ruled out), heart issues (ruled out), feeding issues, latch on, weak muscle tone, delayed crawling, walking, speaking...he has been worth every little struggle.

We knew we were having a boy, our first ultrasound ever was on July 4, 2002, thanks to Aunt Beck, and so it was so cool to pick out a name and "get to know" Levi before he even arrived. (that's why it was so much harder to say goodbye to Jack, for we already knew him so well! does that make sense? you get to know their movements, sleeping schedules, what wakes them up, shivers, quivers and kicks etc.) Levi is in honor of my maternal grandpa, Leeds "Lee" Taylor and to family in general. My dad didn't like Levi's name at first but now I know it's one of his fave names and kids. right dad? yup, I thought so!

I remember, also, going to see the midwife for postpartum visits and she asked if we "talked to him"....while trying not to be offended, we answered OF COURSE...he has three big siblings, a crazy second mom for an aunt, my parents always around and such. I chalked it up to Levi just being laid back...ten years later, I can say with confidence that I was right about that one thing! He has always been a chilled out kinda's funny to me just how much his personality has remained the same thru the years. I love him so...he's perpetually asking questions, sometimes, most times, the same ones...he is pretty much one of the most giving people I know. He lets Molly beat him up, which bugs the crap out of me, pardon my French....he just WILL NOT defend himself. He is our gentle giant.

Happy TENTH birthday, sweet, funny guy! We are so glad to have you in our family.

I love you, LTY. you are precious to me and to so many.