Friday, August 29, 2008

A Letter To My Daughter

Several years ago, I began writing letters to my children. I usually write them when they go through a major event in their lives, just trying to impart a few words of wisdom to them. I've tucked them into scrapbook pages and I gave Josh one when he left for school. I'm sharing a part of the one I've written to Amy just to give you a glimpse of where my head and my heart are at/have been today.

Dear Amy,
Today is your last day at home. I know you'll be back to visit and may even spend the summer here but it won't ever be the same - you won't be living here - just staying while you visit. Tomorrow begins a new chapter in your life and I'm glad you're excited to begin it. I'm excited for all the new experiences you're going to have. You are ready, Amy. I just don't know how this day came so soon. It seems just like yesterday I heard your dad yell in the delivery room, "It's a girl!" or your first Sunday to go to church and how excited I was to dress you up in a little pink dress and bonnet with lots of ribbon and lace. It seems like just yesterday that you were this tiny 5 year-old so anxious to go to kindergarten and coming home one day wondering what the spots were on your tummy (they were chicken-pox.)

Together we read nursery rhymes, learned to tie shoes, played games, and Barbies. Together we went to church and learned about God. Together we served Him with music. Together we laughed...alot and together we have also cried. Together we had thoughts and dreams of a wedding that will not be and together we will wait for God to bless you with a husband He has formed and fashioned just for you!

Amy, I want you to know that alone, I have been your biggest cheerleader. While you weren't looking, I have been on the sidelines of your life cheering you on. Alone I have waited up night after night for you to come home from work just to know you were safe and OK. I've been in the background, praying for you that you will know God, love Him and serve Him. I've been praying that when faced with choices and decisions, you'll do the right thing. Since the day you were born, Amy, I have always been there and I always will coninue to be!
You are such a joy to me, Amy. I love your outlook on life and your carefree attitudes. You possess a sweet and gentle spirit yet you are strong and independant...
(There's some more to this letter but the rest is just for Amy)
You all have a great weekend and Labor Day. I'll be back Tuesday.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

A Very Busy Week

Grant left Sunday afternoon. Cliff went back to work yesterday.
Amy leaves Saturday and is not even remotely close to being packed.
Add to that the regular demands of school and laundry, dishes, dinners and a part-time job, you can well imagine that I'm incredibly busy this week...hence the very irregular posting. I'll be back to normal next week (I think!)

Thursday, August 21, 2008

My Oldest's Travels

So while we were here at home, adjusting to the new school year, our oldest son, Josh took an awesome trip to California with some friends. He came by last Tuesday and spent most of the afternoon with us. We had just enough time for lunch and a quick game of Settlers of Catan before Cliff took them all to the airport.

They flew back in last night and came by for a quick dinner before heading back to school. After looking through his pictures, it looks like they had an awesome time and made alot of memories. Am I a little envious?? Yeah, just a little!!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Change of Plans

My original plan for this week was to spend alot of time up in Amy's room, helping her sort and pack. We also had a mountain of paperwork that she needed to get completed. We got the paperwork finished Monday morning as planned but since then, everything got changed.
I need to change directions a bit and tell you about one of our "adopted" kids. Now by "adopted", I mean that through the years, we've picked up a kid or two and just considered them part of the family. One of these kids is named, Grant. We first met Grant when he was 14. Grant is one of 11 children and at the age of 13, he and all his siblings were removed from their home because of neglect. They were all put into the foster care system. Grant ended up with a family who decided to adopt him and it turned out that a kid from our church lived in the same town as Grant and began to bring him to church (which is where we met him.) Grant had a crush on Amy they eventually dated for a couple years through high school. Because of Grant's family situation, he spent alot of time with us and thus became part of our family. Amy & Grant eventually broke up and he took the high road and just wanted her to be happy. They have remained friends. Grant was eventually adopted by his family at the age of 17 although things at home weren't the greatest. After going to college here for a year, he decided to go off to a Bible college 3 hours away which was a great move on his part.
So, back to this week. On Sunday night, Amy talked to Grant, who was feeling homesick. He wanted to come "home" but without a car, was finding it impossible to do so. Monday afternoon, Amy & her dad decided to drive the 3 hours and get him and bring him here for the week. Although my plans have significantly changed, I'm happy to have him here for a few days. Grant is a good kid. He's a survivor. You hear so many horror stories of kids who go through the "system" and end up in trouble, or angry and bitter at life and authority. Grant has had to make his own way pretty much his whole life. Cliff & I have tried to let him know that he is accepted in our family unconditionally. He's always got a safe place here. Because of having to survive, I think one of the hardest thing Grant has ever had to do was ask for help. He's not been used to it. He's tried to carry the entire weight of the world on his shoulders at times and a time or two, it almost crushed him. Grant has been through so much more in his 20 years on this earth than I have in my 42. He's turned into such a fine young man who loves the Lord and who wants to help other kids. What an amazing story he has!
So, the sorting and packing can wait just a few more days. I've got more important things to do :-)

Friday, August 15, 2008

Holding Patterns

Cliff has been driving trucks for the past 15 years. For a period of about a year, he drove a refrigerated delivery truck but for the other 14 years, it's been the 18-wheelers. Since moving here to KC, he's driven for 3 companies until finding his present employer 2 years ago. He works for a company that delivers parts to the Ford plant. He loves this job. As you know, gas prices have taken a toll on sales of automobiles that may not get the greatest gas mileage (like large trucks and SUV's). Because of this, he's been laid off the past month and was due to go back to work on Monday. We received word today that the lay-off has been extended another week. So my plans to have to house all to myself on Monday will have to wait another week!
I plan on spending the better part of next week helping my daughter get her things sorted and packed. I'm figuring it will be good therapy for me :-) We'll see. I've already shed several tears and right now I'm in a holding pattern. I can't begin to adjust to her being gone until she leaves!
Have a GREAT WEEKEND!!!!!!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

It's a Mom Thing

So if you have watched any of the Olympic Games this week, I'm sure you're heard the name, Michael Phelps." And if you've watched the extensive coverage of any swim meet that Phelps is in, you may have also seen coverage of Phelps' mom in the stands cheering her son on.

I got to thinking about that yesterday. I mean, isn't that what mom's do? Aren't we our kid's biggest cheerleaders? We're all Michael Phelps' mom just not in such a public arena. I've seen mom's cheer just as hard at little league games, be just as proud at a little Sunday School Church program, and stand just as proud at...well, you can fill in the blank here.

My parents were (and still are) some of my biggest cheerleaders. I hope my kids know that they don't have any bigger of a cheerleader in their life than their mom!!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Amy sang this song on Sunday. I'm almost moved to tears as I read the words again. After all she's been through this summer, she was able to sing this song with a new perspective of her relationship with Christ and she truly sang it from her heart. Everyone who heard her sing it felt the depth she sang it with. I was thinking today that this song also speaks to me. I'm still learning to trust God...especially with the things that mean the most to kids being #1 on that list!!

Lay It Down

I've been lookin' till my eyes are tired of lookin'

Listenin' till my ears are numb from listenin'

Prayin' till my knees are sore from kneelin'

on the bedroom floor.

I know that you know that my heart is achin'

I'm running out of tears and my will is breakin'

I don't think that I can carry the burden of it anymore

All of my hopes and my dreams and my best laid plans,

Are slowly slippin' through my folded hands

Chorus:So I'm gonna lay it down

I'm gonna learn to trust You now

What else can I do?Cause everything I am depends on You

And if the sun don't come back up

I know Your love will be enough

I'm gonna let it be, I'm gonna let it go,I'm gonna lay it down.

I've been walkin' through this world like I'm barely livin'

Buried in the doubt of this hole I've been diggin'

But You're pullin' me out I'm finally breathin' in the open air

This room may be dark but I'm finally seein'

There's a new ray of hope, and now I'm believin'

That the past is past, and the future's beginning to look brighter now

Oh, cause all of my hopes and my dreams and my best laid plans

Are safe and secure when I place them in Your hands

Chorus:So I'm gonna lay it down

I'm gonna learn to trust You now

Oh what else can I do, Cause everthing I am depends on You

And if the sun don't come back up

I know Your love will be enough

I'm gonna let it be, I'm gonna let it go,I'm gonna lay it down.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

A Change of Seasons

The last week of summer vacation!! With school starting up the end of this week, I'm already having thoughts of Fall...and our weather here in KC is keeping me in an Autumn frame of mind!
So, one by one, they'll all head out....Emily on Thursday to 7th grade, Jacob on Friday to 10th grade, Cliff the following Monday back to work and his new daytime shift. Two weeks later, it's Amy's turn to head to college. My house will be empty and quiet each day!
When we head into summer, I'm ready and glad for a break from the school grind but now I'm ready for some structure in our lives again. We all need it. I've got some plans in mind and some things I hope to accomplish...Christmas ideas are also brewing around in my head.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Show & Tell Friday

It's been a few weeks since I've participated in Show & Tell Friday. I usually have to think about what to post but today's Show & Tell presented itself.

A very dear friend of mine came to our Bible Study this morning bearing some very special gifts for me. I had mentioned to her last year that I hope to redecorate my kitchen and use vintage red pieces. She brought this for me today!!

I've always wanted a vintage cake carrier. This one is so adorable!! It belonged to her husband's grandmother and I feel so priviledged to own it now!

This friend also has a very large collection of milk-glass that I have long admired. She passed on a few pieces to me along with the cake carrier. I'm hoping to put a small hutch in my kitchen but for now I'm going to display it on a shelf in my dining room. My favorite piece is the little oil lamp. It is so delicate and so pretty!!

These gifts aside, the greatest gift Carla has given me is her friendship. We have known eachother since we moved her to Kansas 11 years ago. It's only been in the last year though that our friendship moved into a deeper level. I count her as one of my dearest friends and will always be reminded of her when I look at these treasures.

I feel that my life is so abundant these days. In the past couple years, God has placed into my life some very dear, unexpected friends. Several I attend church with, one lives right up the road from me and one I met through my kid's friends. I hope you all know who you are and I know several of you read this blog. I just want to thank all of you as well as those of you who have become friends through blogging for the gift of your friendship!!

For more Show & Tell, please go visit Kelli over at No Place Like Home.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

7 Things About Me

Saw this on another blog today and thought it looked fun.
7 strange things about me:
1 - I was born in the center of Kansas in a little town called, Great Bend. I grew up, however in Long Island, NY.
2 - I am DEATHLY afraid of heights!! Therefore, I will NOT fly, ride roller-coasters, go on a sky-lift, get very nervous in long high bridges, and try to avoid anything that involves any kind of height! I do though enjoy the view from the top of a mountain such as Lookout Mountain in Chatanooga.
3 - I met my husband 1 month before I graduated high school in 1983 and we've been together ever since.
4 - I think if I ever were to go back to college I would become a nurse.
5 - When I was a teen, I wanted to make a record with songs for kids.
6 - When I was younger I thought I only wanted one child...I had 4! I loved being pregnant and waiting for my babies!
7 - My ideal vacation would be in an RV traveling and seeing the United States. (Remember, I don't fly!! :-)

Monday, August 4, 2008

Here We Go Again...

Here we go again.....
Another one of my kids is getting ready to leave the nest!
I know, I know, she'll be back to visit but once they leave, things are never the same.
I'm preparing my mother's heart to say good-bye in a few weeks...Here I go again...setting another one free to fly.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

My Mom Moment!!

Our oldest son, Joshua, was in a community theatre production of "HONK!" this weekend. We were fortunate enough to be able to attend both Thursday and Friday night's performances. This was a musical I'd never heard of before but am so glad I've now seen it. It is a delightful musical based on the story of the Ugly Duckling. It was fun and extremely family-friendly! Josh played Ugly which was the lead role (OK, this is my mom moment now) It was all I could do not to stand up and let the entire audience know that the good-looking, very talented young man was MY son!! But I refrained!! (although mom almost pushed that envelope on Thursday night!:-)
If you ever get wind that this musical is being performed in your area, you'll want to be sure to go see it...and make sure you take the kids!!

I took so many pictures and was surprised at how well they came out considering I couldn't use a flash.
Ugly (Josh) & The Cat (he was AMAZING!)
Ugly & The Frog
Ugly transformed into a Swan & Penny (a female Swan)

The Finale Number