Archive for the ‘Family’ Category

Don’t Stop

Tuesday, May 15th, 2018

I wrote a post September 3rd, 2005 that I’d like this to be a Part 2 for. My heart is broken, but not as broken as it could be, looking at that post because while it’s all true, I feel uncomfortable to one of the people who agreed with me is dead–his life was cut tragically short four years ago. Today I want to talk about how the same subject and how what I said then is timelessly the fact of today.
Calendar pages have flown by, I’ve had fears and buried them so many times, and guess what…I’m still going strong. My relationship with my husband is still alive, and I’m so ready to watch more calendar pages turn and more years to fold together continuing on our story.

When I got married, well, long before I got married or was ever loved by Darren, I wanted to be the Proverbs 31 woman. Over the years I’ve realized that I’m not to be excellent in the order of these verses, I’m to be what he wants me to be. I need to never change in a way that’s unpleasing to him, and if I can do that I can remain where I need to be. What I do want is for him to smile and laugh more, as he used to. I’ve become many things, as I always hoped to be, but second to a child of God I’m the wife of Darren and that’s what I always want to be. Wherever he is, I want to be, and while cliche, I’ll say it–He feels like home.

One of the reasons why I wanted to do a Part 2 of Take It Slow is that Darren turns 50 in two days. While some days have been hard, there have been more cheerful busy days that tears. He’s become such a wonderful father, which actually he was from Day One of our first child coming home from the hospital. He knows how blessed we are to have four gorgeous kids, the youngest of whom wasn’t even talking a couple years ago and is now learning to read.

Darren and I came together on social media before social media was a thing. It was a conversation after 1am in a yahoo chatroom that we first came into conversation, reading it we sound the same in humor as we would today. Of course I have to put a link in for that as well…First Chat.
And from the time that we decided to be a couple, every conversation involved at least a small segment of mutually expressed concern about our age difference. We both agreed that as we got older the age gap, interestingly though what happened is that life became so busy that age never had a chance to matter.

We also came together over religion. Without being part of the religious group we were in, we never would have met. When that small church unit crumbled I worried that my marriage would also fall away, thankfully though God had (and still does) His hand working in our relationship and we became even stronger than what had brought us together which is awesome. Our Christian belief system is still central to everything we do, while we’ll tell you we don’t operate perfectly, as nothing is possibly perfect on earth, there are quite particular things that we cling to: keeping the Lords Day holy, not celebrating Christmas, and singing only Psalms in church. I feel myself fading on the last of those three, but because it means so much to Darren, my mouth never opens in song to anything that isn’t a Psalm.

My husband is a nurse, and here and there I get to hear stories of how much he meant to people in his care. That makes me so proud and thankful that I was where I was at just the right time for us to become an us at all. The kids and I irritate him sometimes, ok, it feels like a lot lately, but at the heart of it, we just want to see him smile. As I’m thinking about Darren and all he means to me, I’ve again brought up Thirteen Things about Darren written in 2008.

For his 50th birthday he’d just like to spend the day with me. No one wants to watch the kids for long though, so it may be like many other years. Actually, before I complain about no one wanting to watch the kids, I had better confess that we’re both working on his actual birthday–I’m working from 7:30 til 2:30 at the high school, and he does night shift that day which means we’ll only see each other between 3 and 9pm, which is better than nothing but far from how things used to be.

Nov 1, 2017: Because

Wednesday, November 1st, 2017

So it’s November. I said I’d blog every day in November, so here I am!!

Today I…

Put in an order for some of my favorite teas, because it’s certainly the season to have a warm mug of tea in my hands all day every day. :) Rumor has it that we’ll have a dusting of snow this weekend.

Today I put away a mountain of laundry, vacuumed, loaded and unloaded the dishwasher, after the kids got home from school we did homework and had pizza for dinner.

Oh, also, I started the registration process of switching sweet Deeder out of traditional public school into homeschool. I’m not going to tell him until I’ve gotten through turning in all the forms I need to have together. If I do prematurely let the news leak he’d totally blow off school which obviously isn’t the attitude I want. Hopefully my intuitions about this being a profitable switch for him will come to fruition.

Time for bed, time to let tomorrow pick up where today left off.

PS: That picture’s old. My youngest is currently the age as my oldest in the photo. Mind.Blown.

Breath, Speak, Love

Friday, November 20th, 2015

390572166d02379f0068722cd31abd76Morning’s do stress me out. There. I admit it.
If you live with me, most mornings you know this more certainly that others…be you one of the three or four that I’m getting ready to leave the door on time, or the one who needs to sleep through it in preparation for his day.

Yesterday Willie asked me why I always say, “I love you” to each of them before they get on the bus. I told him, nearly with humor, “Son, because Mommy doesn’t know if you’ll get hit by a truck and this may be the last time I get to speak to you. I’d want those last words to be you hearing that Mama loves you.”

I’d never say I love you without meaning it. Forever I want my dear family and friends to know it, because every moment could be the last. There’s frustration, exhaustion, distraction, sometimes life’s just moving at a rate where it’s hard to see or feel straight. Sometimes impatience can overwhelm positive sentiments.

Sometimes my need to not take a cutting remark personally can be muddy unconditional attachment. Forever, I desire for my children to know that moments of anxiety that they’ll experience should not loosen love or overwhelm any bond that makes a unit one.

Yesterday Willie asked me why I say, “I love you” to each after they have their backpacks sorted, their lunches organized and their jackets on.

This morning he said, “Mommy, I’d like you to not yell at me today.”

He said these words as I was just setting down next to him his clothes and shoes that he needed to wear for the day. To that request I said, “OK, buddy, but Mama needs you to get ready on time. Can you do that?”
He shrugged and rolled up in his blanket. I unwrapped him and held him to sitting and said, “Mommy means it. Get dressed.” with that I held the clothes up and said, “You’re wearing these. Go potty please.”
Too direct? Remember, I do have other kids to feed and supervise on getting dressed.

It’s tough to appreciate the moment when I have the timer set to get the moments filled as fast as possible against the clock. Doesn’t “savor the moment” mean taking the time when you’re settled into the couch, snuggled up in an afghan or working together on a puzzle or play dough activity…maybe engulfed in a good book? It’s not hurrying through a time limited morning routine.

Deeder and Willie, 2009

Deeder and Willie, 2009

The news is too full of children getting hit by cars and trucks who fail to stop for the red stop sign that buses extend when children board busses. Parents and the public are horrified…the guilt and shock are just overwhelming, they call that A Parent’s Worst Nightmare. If that were me, I’d relive forever the last moments that I had with my child.
That’s just one reason among a million why the hurried times are worth living with a heart of love and appreciation. Be confident, structured, but kind as well.

While looking for the verse that says that if a man hath all knowledge but not love is nothing, I came across 2nd Timothy 1:7 which isn’t what I was looking for, but fits terrifically with what I want to say in a way not quite expected…which is exactly how God works for me in all ways, more and more as I age. Here it is:


For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.


What it means in context is that we should stand up for our love of Jesus, son of God, equal is spirit and mission, against all overwhelming negativity. But how real as well in this context.

Here I want to say love in all moments, not just the easy ones but in the pressure of scheduling, because every moment could be the last; any moment could be the one that a child or adult holds up as the defining seconds spent with whoever you are.

I am mother, wife, friend, and above all, lover of Jesus Christ. I want that to offend and impassions, define and strengthen the life I live–the love I give and the flavor I leave behind for all those who come and go, for the last word and the first beginning.

Above I added a photo of my two sons napping together when Willie was a few days old. That’s a moment anyone would think worth treasuring. Easy to treasure, bond to pray lasts through and beyond life.

Farm Time

Wednesday, October 7th, 2015

We visited a family farm this past week to pick out a pumpkin, and ended up with a bag of potatoes and a squash as well. There were organized games, none of which my children ended up staying with as they’d just lived through a whole Thursday of school and were pretty spent up on social compliance. It was an awesome little outing, in which I wanted to express both thanks for hospitality and vast apology for being who we are: the ruckus crew that I really do not hold 100% control over!
goat
As imperfect as this crew is, they did manage to pick up a good arm load of happy memories and are chattering on yet about the excitement they had. I got a picture of them meeting Cookie the goat, and obviously showing off the coloring they did on the pumpkin and squash once home.

pumpkin

This Wednesday after school venture was a drive out to another fam, this one a home to over 100 rabbits living “colony style” meaning running around under the shade of a tremendous evergreen tree, hopping in the mud, with hacked open squash to eat, corn husks and a few tall piles of lettuce. The fencing wasn’t high, the rabbits didn’t have names and they looked as happy as could be just living quite care free. We were there looking for a housing companion to take the physical space of our darling rabbit Billy Jo who just passed away. We chose a faw colored doe who the lady estimates to be under one year old. This rabbit is a cross between New Zealand and Flemish Giant. She’s a pretty girl, and will now be known as Sugar Buns. Currently Sugar Buns is living in my office in a dog kennel which we’ve filled with Timothy hay, some feed and veggies and a fresh bowl of water. She’s named for my first rabbit, Sug Sug, who was a Holland lop and just an absolute dear friend in early childhood.

Anyway. Farm Time. In an alter ego, I could so be that farmer lady walking around in a big yellow rain coat with a tremendous herd of rabbits, goats, chickens and whatever else was out there.

Bye, Bunny

Monday, October 5th, 2015

billy-the-bunny-019-448x336The first pet that I brought home to this address died today, seven years after we brought her home. While I didn’t spend hours in the rabbit pen stroking her fur and talking to her daily over the years, I did feed her and our other rabbit, make sure they got plenty of exercise and kept them living in a comfortable temperature during the hot and cold seasons. Billy Jo lived a comfortable seven years with us, totaling 9 to 10 years of age. She was the good bunny between the two rabbits: the one who would stay near the cage when the door between their run and the rest of the yard was left open instead of going to the other neighbors yard and risking losing her life to a dog or some other unknown danger.

190d7d5fff73cc5fc2c001579c0b7a0bHow interesting that the rabbit that lived carefully, ever a silky coat and a healthy appetite, ever ready to be held when given the opportunity would be the first to die. When she was a house bunny she didn’t get in trouble. She knew who her people were and just enjoying being who she was. I’ll miss my sweet Billy Jo, and hope to find another sweet bunny to fill that place in our family.

This neat graphic found on pinterest comes with the caption:

Hare is a lunar animal, attribute of all moon deities; as closely connected with the moon, it represents rebirth, rejuvenation, resurrection, intuition, and ‘light in darkness’.

That’s dang awesome! She’s begun the tradition of having a Flemish giant here, and it’d be great if we could get another…perhaps in her honor. Billy Jo is gone, but not forgotten.

As I’m writing good things that I did to help the rabbits be comfortable, actually it’s half truths. My hubby reinforced the pen to make it more more escape proof with each time the bunnies would jump over or dig under the fencing. It was he that bought the feed, paid for the spaying a neutering and the vet bill too for when they got some sort of skin situation that they both lost fur in bald patches three or four years back. The bunnies are family pets, the first two living things that we cast our concern on when planning our family vacation. Who will watch the bunnies?! As time has gone by we’ve acquired more pets, and come to have a number of house plants as well…because a house isn’t a home until it has animal hair and plants in it, in addition to the human inhabitants, or that’s how I see it anyway.

Good bye, Billy Jo. We’ll miss you so much.