Friday, May 30, 2008

Life Lessons Learned #2

5 Minutes. That's all it takes for something to change your life. 5 minutes can make someones day, comfort someone, hurt someone, forgive someone. The possibilites are endless.

5 minutes after I heard that Kim and Gary had died...I called Laura...and had help holding my grief.

5 minutes later I stood in a gas station I'm sure my face full of despiar. "Have a nice day" said the lady behind the counter. With a ring in her voice that said..."You look rude." In that specific 5 minutes I realized how much it matter to treat everyone with kindness and softness because we can't judge whats in their life.

5 minutes later I forgave somethings that had been done to me. There aren't enough 5minutes in this life to hold on to them.

5 minutes later in my heart I hit my knees and begged the Lord to forgive me...and walk with me the rest of MY five minutes in a way that I had never done so far.

5 minutes later I was having a hard time holding up my head...thinking of how fragile life is...softer words...softer judgements...softer attitude...softer heart. Softer living. So important. I didn't know. I didn't know.

I know now...about 5 minutes.

And Ellie and I spent 5 minutes giggling over the animal pictures in this video. 5 minutes well spent.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Life Lessons Learned #1

There is no part of me that will ever not cringe when I hear about the tornado refered to as an "accident." There is not even a SHADOW of a doubt in my mind that long before that little roadside stop was built that there was a plan and a PURPOSE. No one but the Author of life--the One who holds our days in His hand lined up that tornado and Gary and Kim's car.

And I'm OK with that. It was HIS timing, HIS purpose, and HIS reasons. And...knowing that He IS merciful, gracious, and loving--his plan could only be working for the good. Something I feel a little guilty about is how much I am learning. But on the otherhand...I can hear Kim whispering over my shoulder that she doesn't mind giving her life so that I can find my way into a fuller and more abundant life with Christ here. She would have. If given an all knowing choice.

So...for as long as I learn them...and as long as I need to...I am going to post lessons learned.

The first an immediate lesson learned to treasure you sister-in-laws. Sisters too...but I only have in laws thats how it sounds in my head. I have always deeply loved them...but now...they are even more precious to me. I could hardly stand to tell Crystal goodbye. Hardly stand it.

I have loved hearing Neal's parents telling everyone how proud they were of "us girls" how good friends we we kept in touch...and how we loved to be together. Neal's dad called Kim, Sally, and I the 3 musketeers. I find this ... touching...because there were really 4 and we can't leave out that Crystal.

I didn't have a sister growing up...and I wanted one sooooo bad. Bad enough that there wasn't ever a doubt that Addy wouldn't have had Ellie. :)

I will be making a greater effort to love on those special people in my life...because you never know. You NEVER know what will happen in the next five minutes.

And PS...I lost 20 pounds since those pictures were taken last year. I gained some back in the winter...but not all. Now that spring is here...I'll be attempting to ... unload some more. :)

Sunday, May 25, 2008

I praise you Lord, for being a God who binds up the Broken Hearted ***Updated...a little***

...because I am Brokenhearted. I lost my sister and brother-in-law. And frankly, I want them back.

Kim (Suezque) and Gary were traveling home to see us. They were coming to love on the Little Major and love on us...and they were so excited to come see us. We had a sister lunch all planned. But it was storming, and when they pulled over to wait out the wind and rain, a tornado picked up their car and threw it into a field. They were killed. And my life changed forever in that moment. And I hate it.

It makes no sense to me...and I am pitted in a battle in my mind between acceptance and denial. The new truths of the situation keep exploding in my mind...I will miss them. I will miss them.

You can read about the story here. And yes, two people I loved very much were in THAT car that really isn't a car. And my precious sister in law was bringing things for the Little Major. No wonder they were looking for a baby. We had to tell them that.

They were the best. And they loved each other...and loved being married. I feel blessed they went together...and I am believing they were HOME before that car ever looked like that. And I am believing that God walked with them through the shadow of the valley of death...and I believe he IS merciful. And I know he will bind up our broken hearts.

I wanted to add a link to this article because its the most accurate and I cried and cried when I read it because it says they had their seat belts on. They were so careful -- anyway. Kim's parents rescued some of Little Major's gifts from the wreckage today. I'm so glad. I want my family back.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

No One Told Me

No one ever told me that you get teary and all sad and crazy on the LAST day of school. Addy's last day of Kindergarten was last Friday. It's hard to swallow even typing that. How can it be??? She CANNOT be a first grader. Last week...walking up to her school I got all teary. I remember so clearly standing out there on the first day wondering how it all went. Nuts.

And Addy had such an amazing teacher. I will miss her being in our lives so much. She was fun, generous, smart, organized, compassionate, and kind. She was an amazing example for Addy. I hope that we are so blessed with a first grade teacher.

I have several wonderful women in my life who home school. Wonderful women with amazing children. And I would fight hand tooth and nail for their rights to continue homeschooling. However...that is not the road for us...and we are extremely blessed to be allowed to transfer Addy to a district where our family fits in so well and I am so impressed with the curriculum, staff, and policies. (With the exception of the Pete's Pak fiasco.)

There were so many amazing experiences Addy got to participate in that I could not have given her at home. (Because I'm not called for it...not because it couldn't be done.) And I feel like Addy especially got even more than she would have had she been anywhere else.

There were fun things like Apple Day, Tent Day (where they spent the whole day in a huge tent in their classroom), a trip to a Dairy Farm in the town Grammy and Grandpa live in, trips to the little old fashioned theater to see children's plays, Kansas Day (where the whole gym was decked out with old fashioned things for the kids to try out), fun nights, scavenger hunts,singing at nursing homes, parties, band performances, loose teeth charts, having chicks hatch in their classroom, an AMAZING phonics program called SUPERKIDS (in which the characters became almost real to the kids)...I could go on and on and on. And Addy can read most of anything you would put in front of her. She even got chosen to represent her class in a video production for next year.

*A side note about SuperKids. It is the most amazing reading program EVER. I am planning on contacting the administrative person in charge of curriculum and telling her all about how this program makes readers and WRITERS out of EVERY kid and how much I think of it. There are 11 Superkids and 1 Dog and they teach soooo much to kids about how words work. For example...the first SK is Cass. She teaches the kids about the letter C and Cooking. And she makes ice cream cones that are strawberry and vanilla and chocolate. And those flavors turn into the colors on lined papers...and helps you learn letter placement when you write. Isn't that so smart???? And then Oswald with his Odd Animals is next. (Natural letter making progression from C to O.) Each SK has a "thing" like fishing or collecting lions. So each kids is special and marvelous and super. Which teaches OUR kids how special and marvelous and super THEY are. And part of the fun is watching the SuperKids play together and work together and scheme together. So its even good for social skills. I'm telling you. Its amazing. And they all have a song. I hope that Ellie gets to use this program too.

We were so blessed.

About a week before school was out...the Kindergartners put on a little program for parents and family. It was so cute. They sang like 10 songs and then got Kindergarten certificates. It was so fun. Addy did so good. She knew all the words and motions, and didn't freak out at all. (She totally freaked out in preschool programs.) My parents, Neal's parents, and Sally and the Little Major came to see it and then we went out for ice cream. It was so exciting. I'm so proud of her.

Here are pictures of her after her program. (And by the one told me that after school is don't go straight to sleeping in and staying up late. Addy's eyes ping open at 7. We send her back to bed until 8.)

Monday, May 19, 2008

jet lag

Ellie: (Looking WAY up at the sky while riding our little red tricycle) MOMMMMY!!!!!!! THE SKY IS SCRATCHED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Me: What?
Me: (Looking curiously up at the sky to determine what on earth my Chicken Little was talking about) OH! Honey...that a jet trail. Big Jet planes leave big marks in the sky behind them because...uh...Neal?

:) Neal LOVES to rescue me in moments like these.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Gratituesday Meets the Thursday Thirteen

I am so thankful for my sister-in-laws. I grew up an only only only only child. And I always felt like I was missing out. I still do. But having 3 sister in laws is such a blessing that has made my life much fuller and much more fun. I am unbelievable grateful for each one...and each year they grow more and more precious to me.

So...13 reasons I love love love Sally.

1. She gave me the Little Major for a nephew.
2. She is so quick to forgive me I have a crazy moment.
3. She always injects fun and brightness into my life.
4. She has always supported me when something was hard to go through.
5. She fiercely loves my kids and well...that a choice. She doesn't have to...but she does and takes EVERY chance to show that to them. That is precious to me.
6. She is so talented at sending people cards and gifts. I'm jealous.
7. She usually can say just the right thing to affirm my parenting or lifestyle just when I need it most.
8. She makes amazing grilled chicken, toffee, and potatoes.
9. She made our relationship with The Kernel so much better.
10. She's a super amazing organizer.
11. She is so brave.
12. She is really just nice. Everyone knows it. And they all love to hang around.
13. She has always been very generous to me. With time, money, family...everything. (Once she filled up my gas tank to full just so I could visit home for a little bit. To full. At that time it was so rare to have a full tank I just sat there and watched the red hand thing move from E to F.)

13 reasons I love love love love Suezque:

1. She is so creative.
2. She is so so so so good for my brother in law. No one else could make him light up like her. That is precious to us.
3. She loves to play games and gave us the amazing gift of "Power Uno."
4. She also fiercely loves my kids...and doted on them even before it was all official.
5. She is so honest about her feelings and thoughts. I love that.
6. She is always willing to listen to me when I have a different point of view.
7. She is also forgiving when I do or say something stupid.
8. She looks out for me and watches my back. Its nice to have a ally.
9. She will go crazy black Friday shopping with me no matter how early I wanna go.
10. She is so loyal to her family.
11. She makes a really yummy green chili.
12. She loves cream cheese mints as much as me. We could both get sick on them.
13. She is also generous to me. Did you catch she's bringing me a digital camera??? Can you say BFF? :)

I don't talk about my sister in law Sapphire much. (I don't think I'm supposed to use her I'll call her Sapphire. Saphy for short.) But mostly that's cause she lives far away and I don't get to see her as much...and she doesn't blog...but I love her FIERCELY and I miss her so much it hurts sometimes. Even Addy came out of school the other day and said "I miss Lizzy." (That's Saphy's daughter...also a fake name.) Saphy was the first sister in law I got to have. And I look up to her so much and enjoy each second I get to have with her. Enjoy isn't even a strong enough word...more like inhale and savor each moment. I wish they'd move closer...but I'm sure that's not in the cards. So I have to love her from far away. Sniffle.

13 Reasons I love love love love love Sapphire:

1. She is an AMAZING mom. I try to be a good mom like she is. She's so laid back and fun that you just know her kids get the full benefit of her love.
2. I love her laugh. And if you can get her can't help but just giggle along too. (Think...marshmallow shooters).
3. She taught me its ok to eat cupcakes for breakfast on vacation. I love this.
4. She is extremely kind and gentle and you just LOVE her for it you know?
5. She's brave and strong and has gone through some really hard things that would make me whine and cry and she just...does it. (Like finding out she has food allergies and can't eat bread. OOOOOOH. That would kill me. Or having a miscarriage when she REALLY wanted that baby. Or having to be on bed rest when pregnant...or having a weird eye thing and can't lift her son. She's tough and amazing.)
6. She knows like a million and one silly and fun songs. (RWR helps with this too.)
7. She is so amazing to make a huge effort to come and visit us a couple times a year. That trip is just hard. I know its a pain...I've driven it.
8. She also FIERCELY loves my kids and does an amazing job of showing it. Addy even spent a week at her house last year. Alone.
9. She makes amazing homemade buns, flourless peanut butter cookies, and this amazing candy fudge thing we call Froggie Fudge.
10. She danced around the kitchen with me singing, "SILLY-DILLY-MIX!"
11. She let me bring alllll the girls in the youth group we were working with to her house once and even made breakfast. Amazing.
12. She made a gagillion pairs of flip flops with me once.
13. She just makes me want to be a better person and a better mom and try harder to be...nice. I just love her.

I love my family.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

my crazy neighbor

Ok. So. Sunday morning is my LEAST favorite time of the week. I like it even less than the crazy 10 minutes it takes me to drive Addy and Ellie home from school each day. (Hungry 5 year old free of school with 3 year old who is jealous of the after school attention---its just hell...everyday) Everyone is cranky from playing hard on Saturday...everyone is mad they are up early...half time time there is no coke from the fun Saturday...everyone has to be dressed and clean... --its better than when I had to dress up...but still.

Neal and were bickering this morning over whose fault it was we were running behind...whatever. He opens the front door to get the kids in the car and there is a stunned look on his face, but all he says is...

"Jayme. Go look outside."

And what do I see...all grumbly and cranky. A shopping cart. Yup. A full size -- gaudy all metal and yellow from Dillons -- CART. And on it ... is a note. And it totally erased my morning grumpies.

For Jayme

A gift for the future...just in case!


Jayme (from the future)

Well...if you have read The Road you know its like a basic survival item. Heads up people...I have spoken to myself...and the climate crisis is real!!!!!! Back up Al...I'm here to tell it all!!!!!!!!

Actually...the truth is I live by a dork who brings the carts home. Her name is Jill. And I live by a goober...whose mind is full of evil. Mostly funny evil...but still...the depths know no end. And I LOVE them. You can read about the cart evilness here.

And the note...which I am still giggling taped to fridge. I giggled all the way to dillons to return said cart...because I don't have a garage to keep it in...or I would. Just in case. :) And you can't just have a huge cart in your doorway. Its silly.

Saturday, May 3, 2008


So. I read 100 years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez. I'm 100 percent I just spelled that wrong. Anyway...I read it a long time ago...and I've already got a post about it. this book...he talks about how people basically go on the same path throughout their days. How we don't really stray very much from the same basic steps from morning to night. And we lose things when something causes us to deviate from that path.

Like in the story, it isn't normally the aunt's job to bathe the kids. But one night she does, and being out of her path, she sets her ring down -- out of her norm -- on the counter and then later can't find it. Because she was off her path when that happened.

At the time when I was reading it...that struck me as so interesting. I'm guessing I have a path. NO...I KNOW I do. And the problem is that Ellie...has the SAME path. I am FOREVER tripping, crashing, and colliding into Ellie. If I move right and then fake left and then move backward -- guess who else moved right, faked left, and then moved backward. If I spin to the right and take two steps forward...Ellie does too...and we trip. If I move through a doorway...guess whose feet I am tripping over. If I turn around guess who I crash into and knock down. ELLIE.

Everyday that kid and I are grooving to the same steps -- its just weird. That's all I'm saying.

Friday, May 2, 2008

Addy and Little Major -- After fighting me for a turn

Little but Major Kisses -- Ellie and Little Major

Little Major Moments

The girls and I went over to hang out with Sally and Little Major yesterday. Sally was having another shower...but mostly I wanted to smoochie on the baby. He is soooo cozy and yummy. He sleeps with his arms over his head and I think that is sooo cool. And hair gets shorter and shorter. I'm loving it.

Here is Major Cutie Head getting his picture taken on a yummy fleece blanket that I made for him. So this is my fave picture. I stole these off of Sally's blog...because I don't have a digital camera yet. But I think...I heard something about a camera coming to me from Colorado?????

Love that baby.