Monday, January 25, 2010


Have you ever heard the cry of a mother grieving the loss of her child? It's heartbreaking. Absolutely agonizing. Two weeks ago we attended the memorial service of my cousin, who died at 41. His brother is holding his picture here.....

There is an amazing article you can read here about Phonethip's life and the legacy he left. Hearing the cries of his mother (my aunt) for her son was so painful.

To weep with the weeping is all we can do at a time of loss. However inadequate it feels. Today we attended the grave side service of sweet baby Olive Hope. Her story is here.

She was born premature in Chiang Rai, Thailand. That little sweetie was such a fighter and surpassed all odds she had against her. She surprised her parents and Doctors with all her little spunk. There were so many neat stories of miracles shared at Olive's memorial service last night. But last Friday her infection grew so strong and Jesus called her home. She was 4 months old. This morning as we stood watching these young parents bury their baby girl I was in complete empathy. As we watched Olive lowered into the ground I ached for her parents, fighting the urge to walk over & hug them to ward off a chill that will probably go away. Aching for the grandparents, aunts, uncles, and little cousins who have been praying for this little life.

Hearing again the audible cry of a mama crying for her little baby. So very, very agonizing. I wish there were more to do for them. Wish there was something~anything we could do to ease the pain for our sweet friends Norm & Carol (the grandparents). We have grown close to them through our small group & hurt with them through this valley.

I love you sweet friends. I'm so sorry your hearts are so broken. Mine is broken with you.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

drywall anyone?

After my depressing post the other day, you'll be happy to know I picked my sorry self up off the floor and did some fun things with the kids. As in......baking cookies with them. And really when I say that I did baking with them I mean, they worked as hard as they could at getting the ingredients into the bowl~but missing and then me cleaning up a mess 3 times as bad as if I would have just done it myself. LOVE them. I.Love.THEM!

Exhibit #1......this counter looks clean at this stage in the game.....15 minutes later there is as much in the bowl as on the counter...and then a fair amount on the floor~to make things fun.

And thankful for my little William and Suzy....even when one of them is sick and I have to cancel my day. They make my life full of fun.... just wanted you to know that. I know you already do. And I'm thankful for all you mama's who gave me sweet comments of encouragement and "I've been there" understanding for the day back on this post.

Exhibit #2.....William sweetie, "Why don't you be done eating cookie dough for now and rinse the dishes I washed?"......However this turned into an adventure of slip and slides. And...if you've given your 5 year old a job involving water, You know exactly what I mean here.

Funny....I remember "helping" in the kitchen ALL the time back when I was little. "Helping" when you are 3 & pretty much an oxymoron
when it involves food or water. I know this "training" will pay off and want all of my kids to feel needed and a vital part of the family. SO...I keep counting to 100, take a deep breath and snap a picture. So when I am 100, I can sit back and wish for the days back.

So.....I'm in need of some help here~and not in the kitchen. Calling all creative minds & handy men.

Right now we are working on finishing the bonus room above our garage for a bedroom for our girls. This space you see pictured above (under the window) is going to be a window seat spanning the length of the room. It's about 11 feet. So I need to know~ do you know where can I get some cushions that I could cover? I'm thinking & hoping for inexpensive.

Also by the end of this week we (yes! as in we...I helped hang those long sheets on the ceiling...thank you very much) should be finished hanging the dry wall, and wondering if you know of anyone who does drywall finishing? Our favorite guy (Dave) is booked until the middle of February. So pass along the good word if you have some recommendations.

quote of the day:
....from last Sunday. I had a little girl in the van we were taking home from church with us. I was kinda in a daze listening to my 2 girls talk to Sophie (age: 6) . Not thinking much of it~scanning the dial looking for a song on the radio. I have buttons behind my steering wheel so you can't see I'm switching stations.

we pull in the drive and this comes from the backseat:
Sophie: "does your radio always do this?"
Isabella: "no, but my mom does."
now that I think about it....I was scanning almost all the way home.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

licking my wounds

Today is just a day I'd rather just fast forward. All plans had to be cancelled due to William being sick and now here I sit. It's hard to get beyond shear disappointment. Hard to choose a better attitude. And it's not like I had the Academy awards or something to attend today. It's just the fact of having fun plans.

Our church has a "Coffee at my house" that if you sign up, you can choose to be a host or guest. I signed up to be a guest and then it's a surprise who else will be there at the host home. I did find out that Aunt Dot was going to be at the same house, so we planned to ride together. I went last year and had so much fun getting to know ladies in our church better.

And poor William. I do feel sympathy for him. Little 5 year old has had an ear infection in both ears since the end of December. I took him in yesterday because he still has pain in his one ear. The one ear is healed, but the other ear is infected in the middle ear and outer. Along with a hole in the ear drum. He also has a bonus fever~just for fun I suppose. So this will be the 3rd round of antibiotics for him. This ear is costing us an arm and a leg. And I know I should be thankful for health insurance...I am. I should be thankful that he's not down with something more severe.....I am. But today is just a day stuck inside playing nurse when I wanted to play something else.

I know insert pretend crying baby noises here.

Friday, January 15, 2010


We've been enjoying some outdoor activities the last few weeks.

Isn't it absolutely amazing how long it takes to dress these little people to go outside? Lucky for's down to helping one one little person get ready. The rest manage quite well on their own.

It's not long before I wore out walking up and down on these hills...So happy that I can blame leaving on Suzy at this point in our lives. She's ready about the same time I am. But in another couple of years...I'm afraid she'll want to stay for hours like her sister and brothers.

Something Isabella learned this week....coloring snow. Just adding food coloring to water and putting in spray bottle. :)

quote of the day:

while watching the devastation on the news about Haiti:
William: "Is that Spanish land?"

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

You know what i LOVE??? Friends who visit and stay for the day. Just to "catch up"

Bobbie surprised me with a visit yesterday. We both have 4 kids, we both have 3 in school....

...and we both have 3 year olds.
I also love how these girls played~

and played.
Love how they love each other, played dress up and let us mama's catch up. They gave us hours of talking time~which was priceless.

Thanks for coming to play Courtney and Bobbie. Your friendship is like a breath of fresh air.

quote of the day:
Courtney: "Ava, do you want to go find some babies?"
Bobbie: "uh, Courtney that's Suzy"
Coutney: "o.k. Suzy, you want to go?"

Monday, January 4, 2010

the big boss

What fun it is to be in the middle of the season with several family get-together's planned.
'To be have an have family who anticipate your arrival with gifts under the tree.
Something that can be taken for granted in the midst of the busy hustle and bustle. This year I was reminded that taking time to be together should be treasured and cherished.
We love our families and loved having them here. Donovan's two brothers with their families were at our house along with Donovan's parents.
We had some great cousin time, and great sittin' around the table relaxin' time. As you can see from the above picture...Isabella was loving having some of her favorite people here.

Mom and Dad with all 8 of their grandkids, the boys proudly sporting their new winter Michigan hats from Grandma and Grandpa.
This year we didn't do gifts. Just mom and dad spoiled us with things they brought for each of us. It made for a real reflection on just being together, being happy all were there. Even though I love to gift, and love to give.

After eating, gifts, and some sitting around we snuggled up and watched a movie called, Forever Strong. One of the best movies ever. I was hesitant since this was a pick by my husband...but it was a wholesome movie with a strong message. Not that he doesn't usually pick wholesome movies....Let's just be honest...sometimes he just picks dumb movies.
But this was well worth your time and money if you need something to do while waiting for spring.

Quote of the day:
William: "Dad, you're the medium boss and God is the big boss, Right?