Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Fourteen years ago....

Each week at church we sit roughly in the same spot.  Most everyone does.  We always sit behind a young lady.  She looks like she is in her early 20's.  I don't know her very well and can't remember her name right now.  We know she is an aide at an elementary school.  We exchange pleasantries and greetings and "have a good week" with her every week.  

When I look at her, I see myself 14 years ago.  I have been going to that church for 14 years now.  I was in my young twenties and didn't know anyone.  Eventually I became a little bit more involved in the church but I always sat by myself week after week.  After a few years I started to sit with Charlie.  First as friends.  Then as a dating couple.  Then as a married couple.  Soon we were bringing our baby to church every week.  Then we were a couple again as we enjoyed an hour of quiet with Laci and eventually Calvin in the nursery and Sunday school.
As much as I enjoy looking at myself 14 years ago, I am more looking forward to watching this young lady's life unfold, hopefully still at our church.  I look forward to seeing who she starts to eventually bring to church with her and I look forward to watching her family grow someday.  

Speaking of future spouses, I was watching a Bible DVD with the kids yesterday.  There was the story of Isaac and Rebekah.  I told Laci that I pray for her future spouse.  She then said "I also look forward to finding out who your son-in-law will be."  I love that instead of her looking forward to meeting her husband, she said my future son-in-law!

Tuesday, November 19, 2013


This morning I was upset.  I was upset with something I did last night.  I couldn't sleep last night and I kept praying "Why do I keep doing this?  How can God forgive me?  How does God always forgive?  How will my kids forgive me?  How do I forgive myself."  I got to a stop light and stopped for a minute and heard this on the radio "Unconditionally".  It was Katy Perry's new song called "Unconditionally".  It was exactly what I needed to hear.  God does love us Unconditionally.  Always has.  Always will.  Our family loves us Unconditionally.  Always has.  Always will. 

Monday, November 11, 2013

A perfect Fall Sunday Dinner...

I had one of those perfect Sunday dinners yesterday.  It gets dark early now and was a beautiful fall day.  It was already almost dark when the kids and I were making dinner.  We made a simple Sunday night dinner.  Pancakes and scrambled eggs.  For extra fun, we made an apple crisp for dessert.  I even got out the apple corer / peeler machine.  Laci loves using that.  The kids had a lazy Sunday afternoon playing and watching TV.  By 5, they were ready for a break and we were all in the kitchen.  They normally don't help me but Charlie was taking a walk so I told them this was a special dinner for Daddy.  That made it extra special too.  We made hot chocolate to go with dinner - that was something my family did growing up often on Sunday nights.  

As I was taking a moment to enjoy the moment, Calvin spilled his hot chocolate all over the counter, cupboard and floor.  Moment over.  :)  

Somehow Laci had it in her head that this was a special surprise dinner for Daddy even though he knew what I was making before he left.  So when he got home, she kept him away and then led him into the kitchen with his eyes closed.  So sweet and just perfect! 

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Saying goodbye.

November 1 was the 20 year anniversary of my grandpa's death.  I remember so many details of that day.  Answering the phone when my aunt called (she never called).  Giving the phone to my grandma and realizing why my aunt was calling.  Driving to Iowa for the funeral (the one and only day I ever missed school for a personal reason).  I was 16 and my grandpa was the first person I was close to that died.  I remember looking at him so peaceful in the casket thinking that he would be cramped.  He would need to stretch, right? No.  He was dead.  He looked so different.  Fortunately, at that time, I journaled and wrote down every detail and feeling from that time.  I don't remember much about my grandma at that time and how she was.  It was my grief and I was missing my grandpa. 

Charlie's grandma died a few months ago.  She was 94 and had Alzheimer's.  She had been "gone" for a few years.  It was sad but it was time.  I met Charlie's grandparents a few months before our wedding in 2004.  A year after that, they moved back to Indiana.  They had lived in Arkansas the past 40 years.  Charlie's grandparents became my surrogate grandparents because I had lost mine.  They were important to me and I made sure we visited them a few times a year.  By the time they moved back here, his grandma's alheizmers had already started.  Several years ago, Charlie's grandpa pulled me aside and said "I wish you had known her when she was herself."  I wish I had too.  

At his grandma's funeral my focus wasn't on her.  It was a celebration of her life and I learned so much about her, her life, her past and who she was.  I learned so much about all my grandparents at their funerals.  These are the things I want to teach my kids about their grandparents while they are still alive.  At her funeral, my focus was on his grandpa.  They were married for 72 years.  They knew each other their entire lives.  They were never apart and were very dependent on each other.  These last few months, she needed a lot more care and they were separated for the first time ever.  He would wake up and spend his days sitting by her side.  I wasn't sure how he would do without her.  
Grandpa Fred gave Grandma Dorothy this in the 8th grade. 
And she kept it... for 80 years. 
We took the kids to visit Grandpa a few weeks ago.  It was a good visit.  He is doing well.  As well as he can be.  He did say that he still misses her and he often turns while watching TV to talk to her, forgetting that she not there.  The kids know Grandpa Fred and know what to expect when we visit.  I'm so glad that they have that relationship with him.  

  I love the map in the background.  There are pins for where all of his kids, grandkids and great grandkids live.

I have read a few articles lately talking about the importance of kids knowing where they came from and passing down those important family stories.  I don't know why but apparently kids that know their family history have more confidence.  I can believe that.  I love family stories.  I spend a lot of time talking to Laci about her grandmas, grandpas, their families and telling them those little stories - like when Grandpa got lost on his way to kindergarten or how Grandma used to have sleepovers with her friends and her favorite afterschool snack was vanilla and chocolate ice cream swirled together.  I show them pictures.  I tell them about their great aunts and great uncles.  I want them to know where they came from so that they know who they are and where they are going.  

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

A few extra minutes...

In an ideal day, the kids would sleep until I go to work.  Charlie gets up at 5:30 and runs while I get ready for work.  When he gets home at 6:25, I leave.  He wakes the kids up at 7:00 a.m., gets them dressed and throws them in the car.  It's a pretty easy and simple process.  The kids both eat breakfast at school.  But inevitably one kid is up before I leave.  

Some days it makes it hard to leave.  Calvin is really clingy lately and cries when I go to leave.  I have told Calvin that taking a shower is not a mother/son activity!  I don't need him to shut the shower door, hand me a towel or flash the lights on and off while I am in the shower or putting on makeup.  Try that someday!  Sometimes I lie and say that I am going downstairs to get something and will be right back.  Then I run downstairs and leave.  It doesn't take him long to figure out I have left.  He will then throw a fit.  Fortunately I am gone and it is Charlie's problem.  Sometimes he will run down to the garage door crying when he sees my car is gone.  Once he ran down naked and went all over the laundry room floor!

But lately, I have been enjoying those few extra minutes I get with each kid.  Yesterday, Calvin and I snuggled on my bed before I turned the TV on and just laid there and giggled with each other.  It was so sweet.  Today Laci was awake.  We laid there in my bed together for a few minutes before I turned the TV on and left.  It was only a few minutes but it is a great way to start the day.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Moms don't get sick... Do they?

Oh yes they do!  Last Sunday morning, I woke up feeling cruddy and sick as can be.  I got myself onto the couch when Calvin came in at 6 am.  By 9 am I was feeling a bit better and figured I could make it to church.  I was wrong.  Halfway through the service I was regretting having come.  But the sermon and the service was wonderful and really hit me so I knew I was supposed to have come.  By the time we got into the car, I was in pretty bad shape.  Very nauseous.  Charlie picked up lunch for him and the kids and we went home.  I immediately went to bed - or the floor.  When I don't feel well, I prefer laying on the floor then on a bed.  I am not sure why.  And that is where I spent the rest of the day - floors, beds, couches.  If I was laying down, I would feel a little bit better but 5 minutes after I would try to sit up or stand and I was ready to pass out again.  It's funny because the kids were running in and out of my room and I found myself watching Disney - whether they were with me or not!  :) But there is nothing else on Sunday afternoons.  

But Charlie was wonderful on Sunday.  I don't know how I would have gotten through the day without his help.  He fed the kids.  Laci fell off her chair at lunch and took a faceplant on the floor, chocolate milk going everywhere.  He cleaned it all up.  He even took the kids Trunk or Treating at church in the afternoon.  I was so sad that I couldn't take them but I was so glad he did.  He helped them with dinner and gave Calvin his bath.  That was quite a challenge because Calvin was having a giant tantrum at that point.  I am so thankful for his help Sunday.  By 8 pm, I was starting to feel a little bit better and was optimistic I could go to work on Monday.

Laci was so sweet too.  She spent a lot of the day laying in bed with me too.  Her face and neck still hurt from her fall.  She still has a bruise on her face.  She would come over and give me a kiss on the cheek and ask me how I felt.  I told her that I didn't feel good but I would be okay.  She said "That is how I felt when I had the lice."  Not exactly the same thing but she tried.  I told her that we made it through that and we will make it though this.  Monday afternoon when I picked her up from school, the first thing she asked was "How are you feeling Mom.  Was work okay today?"  She is growing up into the sweetest, loveliest little lady.  I'm so proud of her and my family for helping me and taking care of it when I needed it!