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Friday, January 30, 2009

New Haven, CT

Tyler and I are heading to New Haven, CT this morning to visit my dear friend Chrisy. It's about a four hour drive and one I always enjoy. It's so nice seeing new things and being in a different environment. Chrisy and I met when we were in the same DTS school with YWAM. Off to get some coffee and drop Luke off at my sisters, then we're outta here! Hope you have a great weekend, (I'll be home in time for Sunday's big game, I just watch the commercials anyway)!!!

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Bowling with Grandpa

Several weeks ago my sister and I decided to join my Dad at his weekly bowling practice. He's been on a bowling league for 20 + years and I can see why he doesn't get tired of it! Here's a post about the day I went to see him play and the characters he competes against....a hilarious day!!! We had so much fun. The place where he practices each Monday is right here in town, just down the road, so it's nice to know he's so close each Monday. He's very predictable with his routine, he does the same thing each week and finds comfort and security in that I am sure. Sounds like someone else I know named Luke! He was so cute watching the ball go down the lane....GO CHASE!!
I love this picture! They look so pleased with their abilities!!!
The boys figuring out their game....
The boys had a blast running all over the place, there's an arcade room just off the lanes and there wasn't another person in the entire place! They played games while we watched him practice and then Dad took on his daughters for a game! We lost pathetically, but it was still fun! Tyler informs me, very regularly, that he wants to go back and play some more. I think I'll take him up on that before my belly resembles the very bowling ball I hold....oh wait, it already does!! And by the way, my bowling ball was hot pink....loves it!!

Thanks for the great day Grandpa, we'll be back soon!!

"Grandfathers are just antique little boys."
~Author Unknown~

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Much laughter with tears streaming

I'm behind on posting, but this one will be quick, so I can do it!!! I'm sitting here with a sore belly from laughing so hard and just had to pass the laugh along to you, my dear friends. Please click here to visit my friend, Bryan Allain's blog and prepare to laugh! Oh, good times.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

No way!!!

So just today as I was cleaning I was praying for some creative downloading of Valentine's Day ideas! Jake and I take turns being "in charge" of Valentine's Day and this year it's my turn. I wanted to do something unique, unexpected and inexpensive, not to mention creative. So I'm driving down the road chilling out to WITF, (our local classical music and NPR station) and I hear there's a giveaway for ....., well, I missed what it was for, just heard the phone number, grabbed the phone and dialed. One ring, "thank you for calling, you're caller #1, try again", click. Oh, so close! Well, he did say try again, so that I did. I called and called, all the while getting a busy signal. "Okay, one more time, then I'm done" I thought.

It's ringing this time, "congratulations, you're called number 4!" NO WAY!!!!! I couldn't believe it, I just smiled and thanked him, gave him my information, (all the while wondering what the heck I just won)! So, the guy tells me it will be this Sunday, the 25th at the Harrisburg Hilton, be there at 5. Okay, thank you! I get home and google, "January 25 Harrisburg Hilton" and this is what comes, I'm assuming this is what I won: Piano Sensation Gerald Clayton at the Hilton Harrisburg & Towers on January 25th

2 tickets to see Gerald Clayton in concert. From what I've read he's a 24 year old jazz piano prodigy who has performed and recorded with such artists as Diana Krall, (one of my FAV jazz singers introduced to me by my most classy friend Jeane, by the way Jeane, she's releasing a new album March 31st)!!!!! One review about Gerald says this: "Sensation" is an easy word to toss around in the entertainment industry. In the case of Gerald Clayton, there is substantial evidence to back up that description. At the tender age of 24, he has already performed all over the world, receiving numerous honors and rave reviews. He was born in the Netherlands, but by the age of six, he was studying classical piano in Southern California.

SO, fun times lie ahead and Valentine's Day comes early this year Baby, (if you're reading this honey of mine, SURPRISE)!

I'll plan a few other fun things and off we'll go to downtown Harrisburg thanks to WITF and caller #4....well, let's make that caller #1 AND caller #4!

"There may be trouble ahead
But while there's moonlight and music
And love and romance
Let's face the music and dance."

~Diana Krall~

Friday, January 16, 2009

i will endure the cold if there is snow

okay, enough of this 2* stuff and NO snow! I can endure the cold if there is snow to enjoy! this morning i woke up, (after being sick all night, the yucky kind that is accompanied by throwing up everything imaginable) and gave the boys a LONG, HOT deep bath to warm them up. Old farmhouses are COLD when it's cold outside, especially ones that have the old windows such as ours! So, while the boys were having a blast in the tub, I put their clothing in the dryer to warm them. My Mom use to do that for me and I can still remember the delicious, engulfing warmth that came from my toasty clothing.

my dear Mom came over this morning to keep the boys so I could rest and rest I did! It was a recovery day of sorts and for those I am so grateful! I was sitting on the couch today with a blanket thrown over my shoulders like a prayer shawl. I had a flashback to when I use to see my Mom do that and think she looked so ridiculous. NOW I understand that she too lived in an old farmhouse with windows that allowed a pleasant year-round breeze! Despite our breezy home, I am so grateful for the heat we have, warm clothing to wear, the milk we have in the fridge, (which was heated up last night with a teaspoon of honey) the best sleep inducer for me....again something that was given to me growing up. Tonight at dinner Jake said "we are so blessed!" and I couldn't agree more. We have all we need and then some!
I spent some time perusing gardening magazines today, warming my insides and preparing for the sun on my face and the smell of freshly mowed grass! I'll have another little baby this Spring, such a sweet time of new beginnings! I'm imagining walks to the ice cream shop with dear friends. Speaking of, I think I'll have to invest in a cute little sling for the baby. I'm thinking I will need both my hands to tend to my other "plants" so if I can just strap one on me, that would make it a bit easier! I'd like to plant some potatoes and tomatoes this year, nothing fancy or high maintenance, just something that can be quickly grabbed for a little meal, (any advice would be greatly appreciated).
Well, my day is done and I'm looking forward to snuggling with my hubby and watching a movie.

Stay warm friends,
here's a quote to end your day,
"Write injuries in dust, benefits in marble."
~Benjamin Franklin~

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Before I was a Mom

Before I was a Mom
I made and ate hot meals.
I had unstained clothing,
I had quiet conversations on the phone.

Before I was a Mom
I slept as late as I wanted
and never worried about how I late I got into bed.
I brushed my hair and teeth everyday. Before I was a Mom
I cleaned my house each day.
I never tripped over toys or forgot words to lullabies.

Before I was a Mom
I didn’t worry whether or not my plants were poisonous.
Before I was a Mom
I had never been puked on
Pooped on
Spit on
Peed on
Or pinched my tiny fingers. Before I was a Mom
I had complete control over my thoughts, my body and my mind.
I slept all night.

Before I was a Mom
I never looked into teary eyes and cried.
I never got gloriously happy over a simple grin.
I never sat up late hours at night watching a baby sleep.
Before I was a Mom
I never held a sleeping baby
just because I didn’t want to put it down.
I never felt my heart break into a million pieces
when I couldn’t stop the hurt.
I never knew that something so small could affect my life so much.
I never knew that I could love someone so much.
I never knew I would love being a Mom.
Before I was a Mom
I didn’t know the feeling of having my heart
outside my body.
I didn’t know how special it could feel
to feed a hungry baby.
I didn’t know that bond between a mother and her child.
I didn’t know that something so small
could make me feel so important.
Before I was a Mom
I had never gotten up in the middle of the night,
Every 10 minutes to make sure all was okay.
I had never known
The warmth
The joy
The love
The heartache
The wonderment
Or the satisfaction of being a Mom.
I didn’t know I was capable of feeling so much
Before I was a Mom.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Happy Birthday Lindy!!

Today is my dear friend Lindy's birthday! I wish so badly I could be with her in her darling mountaintop home in India, sipping chai tea and chatting the day away, but alas we are thousands of miles apart. And yet, I just got off the phone with her and feel like we are right down the road from one another. We share such a sweet friendship, full of memories, laughter and tears. She and I shared our first apartment together in Ronks. A little place on the 2nd floor, so quaint and cozy it was. Sometimes I miss that little place! I think the best memories are made in tiny places! Lindy sold all her things and moved to India several years ago, I think it was in 2006. She had done some missions work through YWAM in India and was changed for life. She now runs a home called Freedom House India, a place "to bring life and to encourage the oppressed, to defend the cause of the fatherless and plead the case of the widow." Isaiah 1:17
Here is Tyler with one of her girls, Manju, when they visited America last year.

This is Jeewan Loy, he and Luke are almost the same age. He too is in the process of being adopted by Lindy.

Lin, I love you and cherish you more then you know!
You are my forever friend and today I thank God that YOU were born!
You bring such love, light and peace to those you touch!

"We need old friends to help us grow old
and new friends to help us stay young."
~Lettie Cottin Pogrebin~

24 weeks of baby in me

she, (we don't know what we're having, but I keep saying "she"....sorry son if indeed you are a son!!) has hair and you could recognize it's color and texture at this time. She also has taste buds, can you believe it? Taste buds! How amazing and beautiful and full of detail their little bodies are! I just read the other day that loud noises a baby hears inside the womb, probably won't bother them much after they are born....that's a good thing around here with all the screaming and squealing and banging the boys do all day! Never a dull moment for sure! A few weeks ago Tyler found my bra in the bathroom, held it up and said, "Mom, this is for those things!" Yes, my "things", thank you very much!!!

In the next few weeks our baby will begin to sleep and wake at regular intervals. She may also suck her fingers and develop hiccups. I remember them well with Tyler! We use to lie in bed at night and just watch my belly bounce up and down every few seconds until they went away....and to this day, he still gets hiccups SO easily!
(5 months pregnant)
I'm feeling very good and am soooo grateful for that. I don't have the energy I'm use to having, but I'll do just fine with what I have. We moved Luke into his toddler bed last week and he just LOVES it, he thinks he's the coolest cat in town and thinks he's such hot stuff, (which he is), sleeping in the same room as his big brother. And I don't have to worry about him getting out of bed because we have a built in security system called "Tyler alert" so if he's doing nary a thing wrong, we are sure to hear about it via the monitor! "Mama, Luke's getting out of bed!" or "Mama, Lukie is sitting up." They both look so darn cute in their little beds. Eventually we will get them a double bed, but for now a twin bed and a toddler bed work just fine. The boys get excited when they see the crib and the baby stuff coming out. "Mama's baby is going to come out of her belly and sleep in that crib" says Tyler.
Well, it's past midnight and I just posted twice in ONE day, plus a myriad of other things got accomplished on this Monday so I'm a tired gal! Tomorrow we'll stay in for most of the day because it's suppose to be bitterly cold and windy. I will have to invent some form of energy releasing technique for the boys though, they almost exploded today!! Tomorrow night is our monthly book club meeting, we'll be discussing our most recent read, "The Secret Life of Bees", a great book in my opinion.
Good night friends.
"Before you were born I carried you under my heart.
From the moment you arrived in this world
until the moment I leave it,
I will always carry you in my heart."

~ Mandy Harrison~

Monday, January 12, 2009

It's a NEW YEAR!

On New Year's Eve we, along with some of our good friends, were able to find child care at the last minute!! Amazing indeed and we jumped at the chance to get all dolled up and go out for a night on the town. We ate at this great little place in the city called "The Horse Inn" and to our surprise, we ate in a horse stall! It was such a creative place, filled with character, creativity and charm. We enjoyed our company immensely, talking and laughing the night away. Josh and Jessica Stoppard, Jake and I. After dinner we visited the majestic home of a man in the city, (a friend of our friends). His house was out of this world and I found myself just walking around staring at all his beautiful, luxurious things! I restrained from taking pictures!! The most hilarious part of the night happened as we were getting into the truck to head home. The four of us had driven together so as we approached our truck Jake realized he couldn't find his keys. After much digging into his pockets and searching the ground, he and Josh went back upstairs to see if perhaps they had fallen out on the bed, (where all the coats were placed). As he was searching he realized that his coat was STILL lying on the bed and that he had grabbed the wrong one. BUT, not just any wrong jacket, this was a young woman's brand new Christmas jacket from Banana Republic!!! He almost died of embarrassment, humbly removed her jacket and got into his real jacket! The guys were just cracking up when they came back out and told us the story! I, being the detailed person I am, didn't even notice he had another persons jacket on, they looked that similar. He did say later on that it felt a bit snug!! Oh, how we roared with laughter!!!

We came home around 10 because our babysitter, (thanks so much Paige!) had plans. It was a comfy night, just lounging on the couch, counting down the seconds to a New Year. I did consider going up to the square of our town, seeing as they were going to be releasing 2009 ping pongs from the 4th story building, but I decided to just stay put, it was soooooo cold outside!

We crawled into bed at 12:02 am on January 1st, 2009 and thus began our New Year!!
Hope you each had a memorable evening with the ones you love!

"We will open the book. Its pages are blank.
We are going to put words on them ourselves.
The book is called Opportunity
and its first chapter is New Year's Day."
~Edith Lovejoy Pierce~

Friday, January 9, 2009

Forgotten he will not be

In November I wrote about the sudden death of my cousins only son, Brent. Just a few weeks ago I received this letter from his parents. It is the amazing story of a woman who was at Brent's side during his final moments on this earth:

**** To a wonderful group of friends! Mahlon wanted me to write a little of our story to you, and some of you already know it, so you don't have to read this if you don't want to. As you know, our only son left this earth on Tues (actually Monday) of last week. We were burdened for him, knowing that he was wayward lately, not a bad boy, just not where he should be, and our prayer when we got news of the accident was for his salvation. We soon figured out that Beth wasn't telling us the whole truth about how bad he really was, and we found out while waiting for our flight home at the airport that he was brain dead. Our prayer then changed to, Oh Lord, let him not have gone instantly. When we got to the hospital and heard from the doctor and the nurse, I can't remember which one it was, but one said he went instantly and didn't have any pain, while the no pain was a comfort, the instantly as no comfort!!

The other one told us that he was still breathing on his own when he arrived at the hospital, and I was hanging on to that one, that he had that minute, and I was sticking to it. I mentioned this to someone (I can't remember who) and she said to me, June, you can pray for a specific sign. Well, on Saturday morning I got my sign. This has been such a comfort to us, and such an answer to prayer for us! It's amazing.

Freiman was home and went to get a haircut. He was talking about his nephew to his hair dresser and the hair dresser questioned him, and said, my daughter was following the combine at the time of the accident and was with Brent. He didn't tell us, but told Grace, and she got the girl's phone # and called her and Saturday morning came over to tell us this story.

Megan, (the girl) was following the combine and heard something and saw the combine driver get out and he was very upset. He was on the phone. She got out of her car, and with no thought of herself, or danger, was at Brent's side within a minute!!! (picture this, under the combine, she had to have crawled in.) She prayed for him, herself, and his salvation, and she yelled in his ear, if you have something to say to God, say it now. She said he tried to respond, and she told him not to. She said she had such love for a boy she never knew, she didn't know you could have that kind of love. People were yelling at her to get out, the car could explode, and she said she's not leaving until someone comes to help him.

Yesterday I got a phone call from Megan herself. We talked for a long time,and then we invited her to come and eat with us last night. She met Beth and Eric then too, and she was telling us that she was very upset that no one came down there to help her, and there was lots of bystanders. She said I wasn't about to leave his side, she was touching him, stroking his hair and talking to him the whole time, He just wanted to sleep, and she kept saying to him just wait buddy (she didn't know his name) don't go yet.

We asked her what made her go under that combine. Honestly I don't know if I could do that myself. We told her she was an angel, and she insists that Brent was her angel.She handed me a poem last night that she wrote and I'll share it with you. I can't read it without tears! Hopefully it will bless you too. She is wanting to stay in touch with us, and wondered if she could have something of Brent's to remember him!

Here is the poem:

The sun glistens through the trees,
And for a moment more there will be peace.
It's an ordinary Monday day,
Only, tragedy is on the way.
All of a sudden I saw the crash,
In that same instant, I heard the blast.
A puff of smoke rose in the sky,
As tears began to sting my eyes.
I ran as fast as my feet would carry me,
Not knowing what it was that I would see.
And through the window, I saw him there,
A handsome young man, with soft brown hair.
And what I heard next,I could never forget.
The faint cries of a dying man,
As I pray with him, and hold his hand.
I touched his heart, to try and feel it beat,
As the life poured out of him into the street.
He knew I was there, and he tried to speak,
But it wasn't words, he was too weak.
I was down on my knees,
Begging God to have mercy on his sweet soul...please!
Twisted metal, broken glass,
How long would this nightmare last?
Time felt as if it was standing still,
Then I heard the sirens beyond the hill.
Help was finally on the way,Only, they had come too late.
There was nothing more that could be done,
God had decided he was taking this one.
I love this man I never knew before,
His beautiful face, I will always adore.
He taught me a lesson as he lay there lifeless,
A gift from him, that is truly priceless.
I am honored to have been there with him in the end,
That he wasn't alone, and he had a friend.
Forever and ever your memory will live on,
Forgotten he will not be, even though he's gone.
Megan L. McEvoy 11/14/08

God's ways are not our ways, his thoughts are not our thoughts. Mahlon and I will always thank him for this wonderful answer to our prayers. What a gift! I also want to mention Beth, she was amazing through all of this. We feel so bad that she had to carry this without us around. Her husband Eric, was a tower of strength through this. We knew he was wonderful before, but I don't think we knew how wonderful. She was very quiet last night when Megan was talking, kinda having to relive everything again, but I think it was also healing for her. when you pray for us, also pray for them. They are truly wonderful. Thank you for caring!

June and Mahlon

Thanks for taking the time to read this. Please continue to pray for them and their families as they learn to live life without their son, brother, cousin, nephew, grandson, friend....remembering him, longing for him and yet living everyday life without him.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Christmas Warmth

On Christmas morning the boys woke up to this little present waiting for them downstairs. Jake and I had so much fun on Christmas Eve, after the boys were asleep, putting it all together!
It's so fun to give gifts! The unveiling....
I just love this picture! Their squinty eyes still waking up, and the true joy on their faces,
the gentle hug that Tyler is giving to Luke and the Christmas warmth surrounding them.
This was their stance for most of the day!
The "favorite" gift of the day was, of course, the .99 bag of "snow" I got for Tyler!
A calender for Daddy from his sons.
"Bob the builder" for Luke! He talks!
This picture was taken the night before at our church Christmas Eve service. This is Kaelin, one of our Pastors daughters, she and her sister Paige are our, (and the boys) favorite babysitters! Tyler looks so grown up!
Luke was absolutely delighted with his special gift from his Daddy; his first guitar, all his own!
He just smiled and smiled and walked around with that thing all day long, (still is walking around with it even today).
Daddy tuning Luke's guitar!
After enjoying some home made waffles and fruit together, we lounged around and enjoyed
the company of the ones we love most.
In the afternoon we went to my Dad and Mom's house for Christmas lunch. It wasn't the "real" Christmas lunch, just for those that were able to make it on Christmas day. Our "real" Christmas is taking place this weekend at the cabin, (and they're calling for lots of snow)! We had a delicious meal together and sat around talking and laughing.
"Love came down at Christmas;
Love all lovely, love divine ;
Love was born at Christmas,
Stars and angels gave the sign."
~Christina Rossetti~

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

overworked & underappreciated

....have you ever felt that way? it's been that kind of day for me, and it's not because those around me are making me feel this husband couldn't show me he appreciated me anymore then he already does!! He is so kind about thanking me for all the things I do around the house, with the children, grocery shopping, making dinner, you know, all the things we do that take up the hours between 7:30 am - 9:30 pm!! And I don't expect much from Tyler and Luke in the way of thanks and that's okay, but they sure do surprise me with random hugs and "thanks for making me nice and snuggy Mom" which Tyler said as I tucked him into bed this evening.

...and yet today I've been having those FEELINGS, and that is all they are. I've come to the grand conclusion, (staring me right in the face) that's it's because of the expectations I place on MYSELF.

I was down and the vibe in my home was going down with I paused in my day and picked up a great book my dear Southern Belle Vickie sent me when Luke was born, "God's road map for Moms" by Bordon and Winters, (that would be after I ****fed the boys breakfast, broke up fights, dressed them and myself so as to look presentable to the world, loaded the boys, unloaded the boys at Ameila's grocery store, shopped, paid, loaded them again, unloaded them at Costco, shopped, paid, loaded them again, unloaded them at "french fries house" as Tyler calls it, (mcdonalds), fed them a nutritional lunch, loaded them, unloaded them at home, brought in the groceries, put the groceries away, put the boys down for naps, had a hot brownie with ice cream and strawberries and took a nap ~~ I'm pretty sure I was hearing the hallelujah chorus during this time of the day, did some laundry, cleaned up the toys, broke up fights, made dinner, wiped up the glass of orange juice spilled all over the place during dinner, cleaned up after dinner, loaded the dishwasher, wiped the kitchen floor, more laundry, more cleaning up of toys, put boys to bed and ONLY THEN sat down with the aforementioned book)!!!!!!

As I read the verses I could literally sense a change in me, a surrendering, a softening, TRUTH cutting through LIES.

"O Lord God, YOU are my confidence."
Psalm 71:5

"The Lord will be your confidence and will keep your foot from being snared." Proverbs 3:26

"The fruit of righteousness will be PEACE;
the effect of righteousness will be quietness & confidence forever.
My people will LIVE in peaceful dwelling places,
Isaiah 32:17-18

I can confidently say that I was not living in "undisturbed places of rest" this evening.....more like disturbed places of disturbance. I am seeing again that it is such a CHOICE that we have to make on our own, to ENTER those places of peace and rest and contentment within the four walls of life as we know it. Those places are there, waiting.

My eyes also fell upon a letter and a comic strip that my Mom sent me this past summer, post marked July 7, 2008. I have them taped to my cabinet door in my kitchen. Part of it reads:

"Dear Janelle, this comic is so fitting for you at this stage. I've been there, now its all past and gone and it doesn't seem like forever ago. So enjoy it while you are being "squeezed"!
I love you always,
*the bottom of the comic says, "Enjoy! I promise it is short lived!"
So, as today comes to an end, I realize again that the True, Lasting, Secure Confidence comes not in my own abilities, (or lack thereof), but my willingness to let go of my expectations on myself and rest in His acceptance of me right where I'm at.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Christmas Eve Delights

Our attempt at a family Christmas Eve picture!
More futile attempts, but cute ones nonetheless.
I don't even say "smile" anymore, because this is what I get.....
What a wonderful Christmas Eve we had together, (although the candlelight service didn't work too well with the boys and their continuous blowing out of our candles)! Our church had a service that was filled with creativity, beauty and deep meaning. This is a painting that was done during the service by one of our friends, Priscilla Williams. It was so awe-inspring watching it come to life, from a blank canvas to a masterpiece! It reminded me of my life, starting out blank and allowing God to bring His brush strokes, often not understanding them individually, but standing back, seeing the meaning in each thoughtful move. My favorite earthly gift ever.....the gift that keeps on giving!
Lukie in Daddy's shoes after getting home from church. Our tradition is to open our Christmas stockings on Christmas Eve and save our "big" gifts for Christmas morning. What fun watching the boys open their stockings, filled to the brim with Thomas and his friends all wrapped individually.
Tyler rejoicing over their new friends!

My "big" gift coming instead on Christmas Eve, which was appropriate....a memory foam pillow that I have since come to wonder how I ever lived without! Great neck support!!

Mommy and one tired little boy.I have to end with this funny quote I happened upon:

"Three wise women would have...asked directions, arrived on time,
helped deliver the baby, cleaned the stable, made a casserole, brought practical gifts,
and there would be peace on Earth."