Friday, September 19, 2014

I'm Back!

Hello!  My name is Pam and I'm a blogger slacker.......

I think 2+ months is the longest hiatus from my blog I've ever had.  It was not all due to being busy; though that is a constant issue.  We had a really, really tough summer.  Many things converged to make it difficult, but the biggest thing is that our sweet daughter H's biological dad died very unexpectedly, plunging her into deep grief and the loss of the hope she had had of one day reconciling with him and having some sort of relationship.   At times her despair was very great, and often her grief was (is) masked in anger.  It has been a pretty intense emotional roller coaster and there have been frequent times when I have felt my stress receptors were going to completely overload.

BUT......

Throughout these hard months God has never once left our side.  He is so incredibly faithful and present.  He is "the God who is there."  I am so thankful that He is not far off, or impersonal!

We had four birthdays since I last posted.   My father in law, who had been declining for four months since having a stroke, passed away.  It was a bittersweet week of missing and celebrating him.  That was immediately followed by a week of VBS that nearly all of us worked at, three mission trips for three different teens, a week of camp for another, and a cross country trip to visit relatives for another.

All summer, throughout the hard days and the busyness of six children's activities, we looked forward to our scheduled vacation coming up the end of August.  The week before we were to leave, our basement flooded in a torrential rain.  Yes, the schoolroom!  We threw out one big rug that we couldn't salvage, shoved all the school furniture we could move to the dry end, removed everything from the lowest shelves, and went on our camping vaca without looking back.

Our vacation did not disappoint!  Overall we had a marvelous time and made great memories together as a family.  Pics coming soon, if I can get them to load faster than one every five minutes!  When we returned, our basement was as we had left it.  No new water!  Yay!!  I had not intended to deep clean the schoolroom the week before we were to start our school year, but it was a serendipitous blessing in disguise.  I worked like a mad woman for the better part of three days, and then we started!

The end of our first week of school I fell down the stairs and broke one of my big toes and my left hand.  Daughter G took me to the ER for x-rays and on our way home, we were in a major car accident.  Both we and the other driver WALKED AWAY UNHARMED!!!!  It could have ended so differently.  My heart is so full of gratitude to God for His protection.  It would not have been a bad thing for us to suddenly be in God's presence, but I wouldn't wish that traumatic of a departure on my family, and I don't want to leave them yet! 

So that brings us to the present.  I have typed all of this with one finger, haha!  After this, the next several blog posts are bound to be shorter. :)

Here a couple pics of summer highlights.  They are much better than the lowlights. ;)

At the cottage.  One of our happy places.


Daughter H's 15th birthday.


First day of vacation ~ trip to an amusement park!  I rode some giant coasters, oh yes I did!


Twins


Son C's 12th birthday!!


Homeschool prom!


The Sound of Music done by our co-op drama class (sons G and L played Kurt and Friedrich).


Grandma (my mother in law) and her grandkids.


My wonderful hubby's birthday!


Riding a camel at the Creation Museum!


My lovely cast for the next four weeks.


Monday, June 30, 2014

Love that my boys love soccer!


Happy 14th Birthday!!!!!


Birthday season continued at our house, with the May birthday of son L (I know I'm a bit behind!).  He is an AWESOME son, and we are so proud of him and thankful for him!

We sang to him on his birthday minute, a tradition in our family. :)




He got to stay up really late and try out one of his games with dad.... the call of duty game for our Wii.  It is our family's very first experience with a first person "shooter" game, and L felt pretty cool that he got to be the first one in the family to own such a game.




The next morning he and Little Man were hard at work figuring out a mind game puzzle from his grandparents!  Score one for the simple things! :)

Happy, happy birthday L!  We love you so much and can't imagine our lives without you!

Friday, June 6, 2014

Mother's Day, 2014

I am so very grateful that God made me a mom!  It is the BEST (and hardest) job in the world, and I absolutely love being mom to these silly, wonderful, creative people. 











Since our not-adoption of daughter H, Mother's Day has become the mother of all stressful holidays.  It is an emotional mine field for all three of us, daughter H, her bio mom, and myself.  I had a really difficult time with it this year, and I think that I need to let go of any and all expectations except the expectation that it is going to be a hard day for daughter H.  She feels loyalty to TWO moms: one of them accepts this and the other one doesn't.  Bless her heart.....it is just plain hard. 

As nice as it would be sometimes to truly have a day "off", that is really not what Mother's Day is about, and if I had the expectation that it would be, I think I would be constantly disappointed!  Mother's Day is for celebrating being a mom.  It is about recognizing and honoring motherhood, and being thankful for the hundred and one things our moms do for us every day.  Of all days, why should "Mother's Day" be a day off from mothering?  It should be a day in which we moms mother well.

I am so grateful for each of our six beautiful children.  I mean seriously, how blessed am I???

Happy 15th Birthday!!!!!

Finally got all these pics to load!  Yay!  Along with the incredulity of having a 17 year old daughter, is the incredulity of having a 15 year old son!


For his birthday dinner son G chose lasagna.  He invited two friends to join our family for the evening.

Can you guess what these boys are gathered around?  (if you guessed a computer, you're right!)


We went to see "Captain America, Winter Soldier" which everyone thoroughly enjoyed, and then came home for presents and cake and ice cream.

Thank you for the books, Grandma and Grandpa!  (he is halfway through Bruchko)


Money for an ipod!  (He paid for the other half himself!)



A few days later his ipod came in the mail.  Hooray!  He is learning to be a responsible ipod owner and user. :)


Happy birthday to our wonderful, amazing, first born son!  We are beyond grateful that you have made Jesus the Lord of your life, and we pray that you will always put Him first as you journey through life and are made more into His likeness.  We love you as much as infinity!

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Slogging through Blogging

I have so much "life" to blog about, and so many big events have happened in the lives of various children this spring..... first time to act in a play (sons G and L), first prom (daughters G and H, and son G), three of the five spring/summer birthday children celebrated..... and the main thing preventing me from blogging is that it is taking FOR. EVER.  to upload photos!  At least 20 attempts with each pic.  Seriously.  I just don't have that kind of time, so I walk away.  It is super frustrating.

I have two posts that have been in the process of being written for many days.  I come back each day and see if any more pictures will load.  Today two pics did!  Yay.  But the post is not done, so in my drafts it sits.  I don't know why blogger and my photos don't like each other, but I wish they would make nice and just get along!

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Happy 17th Birthday!!!!!


Intellectually, I know how we got to have a 17 year old, but my mama's heart cannot quite wrap itself around the fact that our first born baby is now 17!  We had a lot of fun celebrating her, starting with a late night balloon cage that my hubby and I created on her door the night before, so that balloons would fall into her room when she opened it in the morning!  This was much harder than it looks.  Despite the giggles and the fumbling around, I think we managed to get it done without waking any of the children!


We decided to give her 17 presents, one for each year she has lived.  (Note to self for the future: it is much easier to do this for my girls than it would be for my boys.  Girls like little things like candy and earrings and t-shirts folded into small bundles!)


My parents gave her a cute sweater and a pale pink pearl necklace that had belonged to MY grandmother!


This is what 17 gifts look like, opened.

We had dessert first!  We went to a specific ice cream shop that has dee-lish ice cream!




While we were there, Aunt Debbie called to wish daughter G a happy birthday.  Aunt Debbie had only left a few days earlier, so we were still really missing her and it was great to hear her voice!


Then we went out to Famous Dave's BBQ for dinner!  Everyone gave it a thumbs up.




Happy, happy birthday to our beautiful, godly daughter.  It is so clear that God is at work in your life, and we are humbled and amazed to get to witness it up close.  We love you!