Tuesday, May 23, 2017

The Shadow where I Hide

Soccer watchers....this pic makes me laugh.
If you know our Danish friend, Michael Baun, at all...you will crack up at this.
Ethan has been working with him (and losing lotsa weight too, look at that skinny guy) and they dress exactly the same. Black overalls, hat, white scarfy things....I love seeing it. So thankful for our chimney sweeping expert of a friend
and the experience Ethan is gaining through him.

This guy is such a good sport. We stick roses in his glasses and say "SMILE" and he does.
But I figure it's only fair because we are subjected to his "dad" jokes on a regular basis.
Love him.

another funny moment.
He forgot his sunglasses so he grabbed whatever was in my van.
(Mel has been using my van)
hard to take him seriously when he does this.

Mel isn't sure what to think
Or maybe she's jealous because he looks SO good in her glasses.


Overhead, some Relient K is playing while David exercises ... "Look On Up"...not sure how he's running to this but he is....funny guy.

Such a good song...

I look on up
to the sky
I wonder why I put a filter between beauty
and my eyes
I look on up into your eyes
It's time I put down my devices and I start to
live my life
I look on up, I look on up to the sky...

Aren't the clouds awesome in the spring and summertime?
Have I just never really paid attention to them, until the foundation-rocking
death of my son? Is that what it takes to LOOK ON UP?

The process of pain and trust and hurt and growth that has taken place (and continues to) is so iffy and weird...

The only conclusion I have, to this day, is this...

Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever. Hebrews 13:8

He's not some pill I take or something that I only cling to when I'm struggling.

He's every day. I'm a diabetic and He's my insulin.

I grew up in the church and didn't even "know" this until Jack died. He's not some fun, occasional "opportunity".

HE IS THE NEED. He's not my ticket, He's the boat...I've got to get on the boat.

When I face people around me, those that I love to my guts, choosing the other path...

I have a tendency to be uppity, proud and sarcastic, gossipy, and I'm being re-worked. this does not mean I don't and won't still face these tendencies because I do.

It's honestly a harder process than when Jack died...that started it all...kind of a wake up call.

The days that have followed since that day almost 6 years ago have been, sincerely, some of the very hardest. The situations I'm facing right now are harder than when Jack died.

Never to down play the fierce pain associated with his death and the dark days after...because those were horrific and still rear up on occasion. But there was a peace beyond all understanding, knowing I'd see him again and all that. yeah, I still wanted him here but I've come to grips with the fact that that wasn't a part of my story...

But being filleted .... ahhhhhhh.

Create in me a clean heart, O God; a renew a right spirit within me.

Cast me not away from thy presence; and take not thy holy spirit from me.

Restore unto me, the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free spirit.

Psalm 51: 10-12

So forgive me for becoming so chatty...as we approach Jack's 6th birthday, and the very close birth of our precious Oliver in early June, I will be on here more, I'm sure.

I'm avoiding social media...it's honestly an almost 99% waste of time. I've enjoyed looking on up and not down at all the pain and rejection around me, the "in your face" of all that...(I do miss and so appreciate the encouragement I get from FB and Instagram but I'm thinking FB will not end up back on my phone...only Instagram because it's less invasive).

Feel free to leave me a comment, as my 2 faithful regulars (love you, Tory and Shellee) do and I so appreciate it, ladies!!

Standing on the Solid Ground!


Sunday, May 21, 2017

These are days to remember


Our friend, Brooks, brought an earth mover down to help us make more parking space and room for the tree house, which isn't really going to be in a tree, per se...but what a guy! Thanks for your amazing help, man!

Peonies always take me back to the carefree days
summers spent swimming at Grandma Taylor's
pool, and the beautiful peony bush that was right next to
said pool. Mel has inherited my love of the peony.
And to think, they only bloom in the month of her
birth. 

standing in the spot where we spent some of our first "date"  25 years ago.... aww.

These two....love 'em. We all descended on the canal
to celebrate Sarah on her 28th bday! We Love You!

what a crew! 

Sarah got me my first article of Grandma clothing to have at the house...can't wait to see Oliver in this.


This girl would stick her entire body out the window if she could. 

Julia made Molly's hair look so spiffy for the recital.


Levi on the big screen

Molly on the big screen

well, this is out of order...but Will and his two pals after recital fun.

Respectable at the recital...they really are such super cuties.  Don't Molly and Levi look so grown up?
Ahhhh. Slow down guys.
manliest of sons, awaiting the last tree house wall.  More pics to follow.

The following pics are from the Palanca Tour that Ethan hosted here last weekend. So much fun!



The Young Band rocked!

Rusty Vining on guitar and Jeffrey (not sure on his last name) on violin.
Very cool!


Brettan Cox and Jeffrey...loved her sound and mission!


Sarah came down for our weekly Call the Midwife viewing party. 



Happy May 21st to you!

We are in the midst of the most glorious of days at our house...May and June are some of the best months...peonies, zinnia, sunflowers, nasturtium and other fun things are all sprouting around the manor...these are the days that keep me going when the gray, dreary days of January and February strike! I pine for days of bare feet, spring rains and bright blue, chunky cloud filled skies. And they are here!

Thank You, Lord....This year, we anticipate with great joy, the arrival of our newest family member. We all giggle and wonder just what baby Ollie will be like. Will he be the spitting image of his father, Will, with his perfect bright face and perfect ducky hair or will he have his momma's dark eyes and skin tone and (from the many pictures I've seen of her) expressions of adorableness and pure wonder? We cannot WAIT! we can't wait.....we can't wait!! She is at 37 weeks now so she could technically go "any time" now. Home visit with the midwife has been completed, supplies in order and breaths are all bated. hahah. whatever that means...

I won't write much more now, as it is time for our weekly Sunday evening Starbucks visit but hope to be back later on this week with some tree house pix.


Monday, May 15, 2017

Easter at the Original Young Manor 'n stuff

Liam Charles
April 11, 2017
Newest member of the Young Fam
Absolutely adorable

Look at this little fella! Perfect in every way.

Claire is a non-stop cutie. This little lady is on the move!
She may have the brightest blue eyes I've ever seen!

Not even sure what to caption this....

Liam's older girl cousins admiring his tiny feet and amazing baby smells. Natalie is so very patient!

Sunset over the Big Thorn Brewery.

Mack! Such a character and thoughtful lil 15 month old guy.
so much cuteness.

It's all fun n games till ya get the van stuck in the muck.
David was letting Levi drive around the property (With a licensed passenger of course)
And when it was my turn to co-pilot, I didn't realize L was getting close to the mud...my bad.
Thankfully, Aaron was able to pull us out with their big truck.
sheesh.

More baby Liam cuteness. Such a good baby guy.

Molly even stopped what she was doing long enough to get her fill.
(She's gotta practice for upcoming Aunt Mo duty)

Liam's older brother, Ryan (and sister Sophie, not pictured) is so loving to his little bro. Their enthusiasm for the new sibling was precious to behold. 

Good Monday morning to you!
I thought I'd start out this week properly by blogging, since I said I would about three weeks ago??

Yikes.

Life is certainly a whirlwind these days...I feel like just when I get a day under my proverbial belt, another one is knocking at the door and I'm just struggling to be ok with that. Though these days are hard and challenging, they are extremely rewarding also...the ONLY way I'm able to make it through is because I'm starting the day in my Bible and in prayer. That sounds so cliche but it's so true. After fighting this for many years, knowing full well the benefits I would receive if I'd just stayed consistent, time God's Word and in prayer is my lifeline. Jesus Christ alone is the friend that sticks closer than a brother........

I said I'd post pics of Molly and her soccer adventure but honestly, I might take one or two pics when we are out there and they never turn out very well. I'll wait on Joylily because she may have gotten a few good shots on Saturday. Tell me, parents, if this "feeling" is legit...you spend a lot of your spring and autumn playing soccer, going to practices, getting snacks, washing stinky soccer clothing...take a few years off and assimilating back in to sportsing? well...it just hasn't happened for David or I...see the above paragraph where I talk about days being challenging and such...it could be all that...so many BIG things on our plates that these small things, that should bring us joy or something like it, do not.  Molly is having a blast though and it is cute to watch her and her friends out there. She has the cutest, friendliest, losingest team at Mt. Pleasant...

so that's spring soccer for ya...thankfully, she's super cute and runs really well!!

David and Levi are in the midst of building a tree house (so to speak)...I don't know if it will ever end up in a tree, per se...but it's on a platform and Levi is *so* excited to have his own space. Levi has financed most of it! Also, it's been great bonding time with his Pops and he is ever so helpful to his dad in this project. We are always searching for ways to encourage, help, pull him out of himself and this has been extremely cool to watch. Pics to follow.

It is now less than one month until Baby Oliver arrives, according to Joy's due date. I must say, she has been such a champ through this whole pregnancy...she's about 5' 2" tops, and it looks like Ollie is taking over her body...she is also so patient with us (me) when I want to accost her abdomen. I told her I would be sure to NOT touch her tummy after Ollie is born, but I will miss it. It is so much fun to watch/feel him moving and it's even more fun to watch Joy interact with her little in utero guy. So excited to watch Will n Joy become parents. They will be great ones!!!

Melanie, oh Melanie...where did you come from? Straight from the hands of Jesus...seriously...she is LOVING her work with Charlene's Angels. LOOOOOVING. It is a special needs day camp for adults and I tell you....these Angels are so precious. Charlene, their fearless leader,  has a gift I've not witnessed in many (if any) people. The way she loves her Angels is otherworldly....I'd go sit there all day just to watch the interactions that Char and her assistants have with these "kids". We've enjoyed observing Melanie grow in this environment, with these ladies (I don't believe there are any male workers currently) and with these students.
On top of that, just how her and I have grown since she graduated one year ago...the accountability she offers to me, the friendship, is a true gift from God. My courageous older three are SO encouraging to me. I may blog about it someday, I may not...but know that I am beyond grateful for the amazing kids that God has blessed David and I with. I could start peeling the layers back to our relationships but that would take years and it would be a messy, beautiful read.

Ethan hosted a home concert here on Saturday night. He'd met Brettan Cox at Calvary Chapel back in the winter and so when he heard that she was touring with a couple musician friends, E got us hooked up to host and it was SO MUCH FUN! The Young Band opened up the whole concert, pure awesomeness.....followed by Rusty Vining and Jeffrey (don't remember his last name) on the violin. Very talented and reminiscent of Rich Mullins or Simon and Garfunkel. Up next, Brettan Cox...she has such a pure voice and easy, laid back style...Jeffrey accompanied her on the violin/vocals also. She ended it with some worship time. I hope to have some of those pics on here soon too!

With not being on social media, I don't get my pics off of my phone as quickly, which makes sense. The first few days, I felt like I'd amputated something...but in actuality, it's been very freeing. Social media really just gets it's claws in you and it seems that is all I would spend my time doing..."oh, I need to face book this" or "instagram needs to know what I am doing right now...." blah blah blah. It's been nice being more intentional about what I'm putting "out there". Like, in the old days....when this blog was my only form of social media.

Please pray for David...it's allergy season and they knock the wind out of his sails every spring. On top of that, we are facing weird times with our company, as jobs we have done, completed, whatever, are not paying us....because they aren't being paid but ya know? our bills still need to be paid so to say that we are stressed would be an understatement...

yes, we are stressed but we trust the Lord. David has laid this at His feet every day...what would He have us to learn? I'm guessing trust but we shall see. Doing this while in the midst of some of the strangest days of my life has been a roller coaster ride.

That guy though....he's such a Godly leader to his family and I'm utterly blown away by how the Lord works through him. I tell people that the Lord was taking good care of me on that August 1992 day when I met Daveyboy....he has taught me how to stand firm on God's Word (still in the process of getting better at that), how to take my burdens to Him and trust.  We've made it through some of the very roughest of days together.

Well, I can't ignore this week any longer so I will close but I hope this finds you doing well, enjoying the pics above and savoring the springtime beauty. Much love!

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Update Y'all

The only Easter cuties I could gather for traditional pics. 

Look what the Easter Bunny brought...haha. 

A few days after Easter, we got a fun and unexpected visit from our long lost friend (who we used to refer to as our "oldest kid") Randy. SO good to visit with this cool fella! Come back any time, Randy.


This is sadly out of order but I'd posted it on Instagram before taking a much needed break from  social media.  Our beloved Aunt Sherry met her Savior on Tuesday morning, April 11th. Though we miss her very much, we are so happy that she is no longer in pain or missing Uncle John. Not a sweeter lady anywhere. 

I "lifted" this pic from Joy's FB (before much needed break) and I love it! We cannot wait to meet tiny Oliver! It's been so fun feeling him move and kick....She's such a good sport in letting us manhandle her to catch a feel of our elusive family member. After holding baby Liam (Natalie's new fella) last weekend, it got us all even more excited for Ollie.



So it's been nearly a month since I last blogged. You'd think with a social media break, I'd blog more, like in the "olden" days...

Who has time to blog though? haha. me. 

Isn't spring amazing? It was very welcome here..sunshine, warmer temps, and outdoors...love love it.
Unfortunately, in doing yard work that is out of my scope, I've managed to pick up a rather nasty case of poison oak. It gives one a new perspective ... suffering, of any kind, is challenging...just seems like there's so much of it. Struggling may be a more appropriate word...
Anyways, it made me think of people that actually really have it bad, or have conditions that cause them continual pain..at least my pain will go away (I hope?)...it's funny how when you suffer, you naturally dwell on it and "feel" like everyone wants to hear about it, or suffer along with you. When in actuality, that's not true.

Suffer in silence. 

ok, enough of that...Molly's soccer season is off to a grand start. Her team, Germany, has lost both of their first games. Hey, it's all good. 

May 13, we are hosting an at-home concert. You should come....Brettan Cox and friends, the Palanca Tour, will be at Young Manor and from what I hear, The Young Band will be opening up for them. We are kinda excited!

We've been attending Bethel Community Church of Southport. I can't say enough about it..it's like a breath of fresh air honestly. Good preaching, loving people, worship that is similar to what I'd imagine Heaven to be like...wow. Matt Williams, lead pastor, Jay Kirkpatrick, associate pastor and worship leader, and Abby S (not sure how to spell her last name) do such a wonderful job! Plus, the stained glass windows are so impressive...I'll post a picture!

This church building was built in 1896.

Umm, ouch. I ended up having it on all limbs and trunk. Never again.
There is so much more I could blog about but must close for now. Up next: Easter at the Original Young Manor, Soccer goodness (you know you'll be back for that!), and spring time at Young Manor. woooot.

Thanks for visiting. 

Friday, March 31, 2017

With Hope....always Hope.


Soo, this is the new family Bunny. We are not sure on the gender so if it's a boy, he will be named Peter and girl, Esther.  S/he is adored by every one of us. (Molly wants to name her Butt Nugget)


Various hang times at Sarah's place. love this gaggle of fine folks.

Molly and her adorable tiny friend, Elijah. He is the son of Taylor, who is a faithful member of our Vertical group.

This pic was taken in 2010, the day after Molly cut off all of her beautiful hair and curls....
She had Uncle John wrapped around her tiny fingers. No one loves Moo quite like her Aunt Sherry.

At one of Jack's Birthday celebrations. 

One of the last pics we have of Uncle John...10.24.16 on the day of Levi's surgery.  These two...they have been through so much and have encouraged our family as we've endured some "stuff". Thankful for their love for Christ and love for us.
I received a text from Aunt Sherry yesterday that she will be heading back to Seton Hospital soon and by April 10, 2017, she will be put on Comfort Care. St. Francis and her heart doctor, Dr. K, said they can no longer do anything to help her. It makes me so sad. She has been such a source of hope for me, such a prayer warrior, encourager in the Word, sending me chunks of Scripture to get me through good times and bad.

I'm just struggling with this tonight...struggling with so much and then this....gosh.

In lighter news, the Lord is good and His mercy endures forever. I'm extremely grateful for that tonight and in light of the week we've just had, I will probably blog about this later, when it's not such a fresh wound (my week and the purifying of my heart before the Lord)

Tonight, dinner with David's attorney to celebrate....