Archive for December, 2015

In A Couple Days

Wednesday, December 30th, 2015

f3447e3f8a42ba4ea147093fe04d5f2eToday Willie got a haircut, tomorrow Deeder’ll get a bit spiffier as well–later in the afternoon it’ll be my turn to freshen up. The girls are sure they’re wanting to grow their hair and presently are staying firm to not wanting an appointment to go and polish up their look. On the appointment cards for tomorrow it reads, “Dec 30” that’s new years eve, the day before the end of a year that I hadn’t even quite gotten used to writing yet! 2016 is coming up in just a couple days. While I know I’ll be at the same tasks for a long time I want to be a better and a stronger person taking ownership and being relevant in each day in my goals long and short term, present for the people in my life…kind, gentle and fair.
In a couple days it’ll be 2016.

An always relevant goal. Stay emotionally and physically organized, I’ll keep on those, better and stronger…
2016. Wow! My Deeder’ll be 10 years old.
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Another Day

Saturday, December 19th, 2015

d6cf074f9bb31ed5a71b9b584d5b3b04Thursday actual snow flakes were coming down when we got to preschool to pick AJ up early from preschool to head out to a church member’s funeral. As ought to be expected in the pacific north west those flakes melted into a mushy sleet on the ground by the time we were finished with our half hour journey by which time AJ was sound asleep in the back seat of the car. On the drive Darren and I reminisced on the many destinations we’d had in that Buick Lesabre. He got it in ND with his great uncle and we used it all over Vermont and New York, and shipped it ahead of us to Washington where it’s been Darren’s work commute vehicle for when weather’s not suited for his motorcycle. We brought baby Diederick home in this car, baby Carly too. We’ve driven it to friends houses and fellowship meal gathers among groups who no longer see each other. It’s the car that I sunk down into with the devastating news that I’d lost a baby, the car that Darren drove me out to have icecream as a consolation treat. We’ve taken so many trips to our favorite breakfast place in VT and now sneak off to go on little adventures with all the kids in school this year now. HAH. I started this post off wanting to talk about new beginnings with my sweet little sister being engaged as of yesterday and I’m finding my fingers remembering yesterdays when I was her age.

What a whirlwind this year has been. Every day. My gorgeous baby sister is getting married. I remember her early days so clearly. We called her Rosey Toes. She was a bundle of smiles and sweet giggles. She’s remained that precious ray of sunshine through all stages of the families ups and downs. She is a steadfast piece of kindness to the point that I’d break in tears feeling incredibly vulnerable with her way of always having the right words to lift the world when it’s heavy. She’s not the unwanted advice giver, she’s the sweet word that comes along and reminds of Jesus’s love and brings well…comfort, to young and old alike. She’s a barista and probably as good as they get, delivering a happy smile and a kind word with all the coffees that she makes and serves up. Her boy friend comes along side her beautifully. I hope to get opportunity to get to know him better as the years go on, but know that he’s pretty lucky to have met such an amazing young woman. She’ll be the best of anything that she chooses to be.

Today was the Saturday that brings on the tone of the children’s winter break. They’ve gotten and set up Lego Dimensions. They of course had thought of sleeping in late on each and every morning now that they wont need to race the clock to get on the bus, of course that didn’t happen–they were up at 6. And for the youngest two, asleep at 7pm–I suppose it may take the whole break to get out of schedule?
Today I hated my need for nap (of course) as I’ve mentioned, I feel like such a baby needing to lay down, but my baby snuggles in with me and that makes crashing OK.

After the funeral we drove back home and to the kid’s school to watch the holiday program. Kindergarten through 2nd went at 1:15 and the 3rd through 5th grader’s program took stage later at 2:20. Since we have one in K, one in 2nd and one in 3rd we had to stay for both. Cath and Willie got to watch a movie and enjoy snacks with their age mates while we sat through the older group’s program. Darren went home to switch out the car for the van during the second performance, arriving back just in time to see the closing song. All our kids smiled, moved their mouths along with the lyrics and did all wiggling and jiggling that the other children did which is a win in our books.

Carly was a lovely mamas helper and even did a 30 minute exercise video with me after dinner tonight. Deeder and Carly did a pile of addition and subtraction cards, which fun to see their competitive spirit work for a good cause at least for a few minutes. We’re about ready to do showers now and get to sleep with church tomorrow morning.

The forecast says snow on Tuesday and Wednesday. For the kids sake, I hope the ground will freeze and that the snow will actually stick enough for them to step out there and gather a bit up in their hands to throw at each other for a little while.
Thinking snow always, and probably forever will, make me look up and remember my early parenting days in Vermont. For which I just search back years around 2007-ish, coming up with stuff like this. Good times. :)

Winter Break!

Friday, December 18th, 2015

1456135_10153539196980425_1830004408_nI have these four home for two whole weeks, baby! When they’re back to school the year will be 2016. I cannot believe it!!

This picture was taken 2012 in the winter when AJ was probably a matter of weeks old. Maybe even under a month judging by her size. Well, and everyone’s size. They’ve grown up so much over the last while and have become busy with a whole new world. From being pulled two ways between potty training, pregnancy pain, and breast feeding it’s a bit of another game: whose lunch am I going to pack first, who is going to get me volunteering in their classroom first and whole gets in the shower and to bed first…oh, and all the homework. 4 little lives to manage, four people who I hope I don’t drop short on their expectations. I want to be everywhere at the same place for each child–knowing that the older they get, likely the further apart they will be.

Two whole weeks together: lets make it matter.

Remember Me

Wednesday, December 16th, 2015

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I’m so in love with everyone in my life, but already as I get older I’m seeing people in my life die and wishing I’d had one last chance to exchange greeting and laugh together. The truth is, no one really expects a real ending. There’s no perfect time for a forever good bye.

Just this week the devastating news came that someone from the beginning died. One of those people that everyone has in their lives–you have that person in your life as well, the one person who was a friend who you laughed with but didn’t need to visit regularly or stay intentionally in touch with to know they were there. Then that familiar face is posted by a family member of their saying that the this someone will no longer be breathing in and out anymore. That he’ll no longer be sharing his smile or his laugh with anyone again.

The years have slipped easily into a decade since I hugged this person and said “Thanks” I don’t believe in Good bye. He sent me the first chat between Darren and I which I promptly posted to my blog. Just now I searched this person’s name and came up with the entry. The church we were all apart of has drifted apart as have the regular conversations between everyone. Chris got married recently and moved closer to us, settling into his new life he and his wife had a little girl who is now 8 months old and without a father. He was 4 years older than I, which would make him 35. I can’t believe he is gone. Not just because he’s that friend who is always supposed to be there, but because there looked to be so much more for him to yet enjoy here on Earth such as the wonderful adventure of parenting and marriage. He’d finally found a job that he appeared to be loving. Chris drowned while vacationing in Australia.

A life lost like this just knocks the wind away. I feel for his wife, and grieve for his daughter whole will only know of his love for her through photos of the two of them together and by stories delivered by friends and family members.
When life is taken like this, the brevity of our time on Earth also comes to mind. While days may seem long, how do years slip by? If I’d known he was to die, would I have reached out to spend time together? It’s terrific that he got to fall in love and get married, to experience parenting (even if only for a matter of months) those are beautiful things. He has parents who are proud of him and friends who did stay close, those are wonderful things.

I’m left to think of the closeness I need to hold on to my own family with. Shortly after hearing about Chris and reading the memories people have of him I talked to my kids about life testimonies. My kindergartener said that if he (Willie) died he’d like us to remember that he is good at school and that grown ups think he’s cute.

As for me. I want to do a good job to launch my kids off into a life of contentment and healthy ambition.

I used to have a lot of concern on how I wanted to be remembered. Over the past few months that’s gone away. I’m left wanting nothing more than to not leave a mess and quit before I’m behind. My favorite poem regarding leaving has always been Remember Me as I really do believe I’ve been born to die. I want to love and be loved, to serve and to see the reward of my service. I want to smile and make others smile. But it’s completely OK with me if after I’m buried my site no longer be seen. I want to respect and be respected, but when wrong has been done, death dealt and pain put to rest I want that to be that. Remember me?

11889589_10155968856585425_4893044821653184632_nIt’s my desire to see as many as I can call on the name of Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior so that beyond the last day they may be together in eternity where there is everything good with no pain or remorse as there is here.

Closing this blog post I don’t have a feeling of satisfaction. This friend dying is just a sense of loss. We knew each other through a church that excommunicated 90% of it’s members then the leadership turned on each other. There’s no win. I hope Chris was fine spiritually in his heart with God, but never asked. It was a huge jolt for all of us, and I had my own little family to worry about.

Keep taking pictures.

Pictures are what place you at the scene for whoever would want to remember you, and that matters. Love those God gives you, and give them a chance to remember…photos are the best way to hold close anything and all things. Without pictures memories fade really really quickly.

Dial Up

Tuesday, December 15th, 2015

bd346bc6f639bce6eb6d7d54e10cc63cMy access to the World Wide Web was closed down for like 8 hours straight, at least 6. Here and there I’d sit down and disconnect reconnect and click click click despite knowing that my efforts were somehow futile. There’s a twisted karma surrounding the high speed internet connection that we enjoy through Comcast. When it works it’s super fast, when it doesn’t it’s dead. The karma bit? As soon as I get my house clean it works! WHAT?!! Really. I kid you not. As soon as I’d gotten three loads of laundry through and folded, put away and cleaned up the kitchen and carpeted living spaces it was back. Of course there’s always more and more that can be done, which I love, but if I’d had that connection uninterrupted I’d probable gotten a post in here and done some binge watching on Netflix.

When the Internet access crashes at my house the memory comes back of years back being knocked off dial up while having an involved conversation over Yahoo! or MSN chat, freaking out while I waited the long minutes for that annoying screeching sound to complete it’s cycle not knowing if the connection would actually hold. How frantic it can be to regain access to conversation, and why? Wouldn’t that other person assume that the abrupt end was due to the uncontrollable hang up? As such a piece of the pass it’s just a laugh now to remember how common place that dial up flaw played a part in long distance communication in the early 2000’s.

Just within the last two weeks or so I bought my very first smart phone. Oh boy! The kids love it. I have yet to sign up with a phone service. At this point I’ve just tapped into the wifi connection making it just another tablet around the house presently used for games and watching videos on YouTube and Netflix.

When I was in Early Childhood Education classes at community college I wrote a paper about Media use in the modern young child’s life. I couldn’t believe that parents commonly–according to the articles I was utilizing as credible resources on the subject–allow their children to regularly spend in front of the computer or television set.
It figured 30 minutes twice a day, which is one TV show in the morning and one at night, each day out of the week. We do that if not more, and it doesn’t seem excessive. Mine would certainly on the average school day watch a show after arriving home from school and another before bed, perhaps more on Saturday. They also get computer time at school with educational programs–it’s part of the modern day society: elementary school students have computer lab time. They also have video games. Do that make them incapable of living life? Reading articles that counted up the time that kids spend in this day and age in front of the screen I judged “those people” as lazy parents wouldn’t invest their time in being present for their children. That’s not the full picture. My kids don’t want to be entertained by me or have family circle time when they’re home. They want a break from adult guided life. They spend their whole day being guided and coached along. It isn’t neglect to let them enjoy the computer, the tablet and the TV.

Dial up? It’s past. And we’re not the worst for it necessarily. It’s terrible that sometimes having it down is what I need in order to get my house in order, but that’s me. I need to organize myself. At the end of the day, I’m the only one who can manage my time. If being on the computer is a waste of my time, take that away and I’ll find another way to waste my precious hours. If I want to seize the day and get my jobs done, I ought to be disciplined enough to rise above temptation and tackle every piece of the environment that is 100% my creating. I’m the one home, and the one who sets or crumbles the stage for flight or failure. A few hours without World Wide Web access just is a tender reminder of my responsibility around here. Duties don’t pause when I sit down and lose my mind into the internet, the clock keeps ticking and meals and clean up keep needing my attention.