summer 2011

summer 2011

Paul and I, all 16 kids and Ashley, Benjamin's wife...Christmas 2012

Paul and I, all 16 kids and Ashley, Benjamin's wife...Christmas 2012

Sunday, August 30, 2015

and off we go to lake george....

Our summer adventures aren't over yet. We are going on a little trip tomorrow an Adirondack resort...with Evelyn and Sonja, Jonathan, Charlotte Claire, and Camille. We are hoping to check in, then hit the pool for the afternoon...then head to the theme park Tuesday morning. (We got free tickets through a homeschooling program:)) After spending the day at the park, we will head home...ugh, a long drive.

Paul is out of town again, I woke at 5:45 this morning to drive him to the airport. wah. We were planning for him to accompany us on our little trip up north, but it just didn't happen.

The weather forecast for this week: glorious. Hot and sunny and extra summery.

Saturday, August 29, 2015

sunshine and roses....

Spending time with this 8th 20 year old Sammers. He is stationed down in Washington D.C./Arlington/Virginia, but had training up at Fort Drum for the week. We were able to drive up and get him last weekend, then return him on Sunday. He found out on Thursday that he would be leaving Drum on Saturday morning, but got permission to leave from Thursday to Friday...a short visit, but he wanted to see...Mali's baby!

It was totally worth driving up there on Thursday...I left at 3:30 and got back here with him at 8:30.

Mali was tired, but she was a good sport and came back here for a second visit of the day, so she could spend time with Sam. It was absolutely amazing to see Sam with the baby.

Then yesterday morning...after my was time to make some cookies! Emily's company is catering a wedding today, and the bride wants 200 chocolate chip cookies, which is just my thing. I baked over a hundred, right up to the time we absolutely had to leave to get Sam back to base on time.

We had time to stop for lunch at Taco Bell. This is Jonny and Samuel...and let me just say this: the more things change. Sam didn't want me to take his picture, but I did anyway.

Evelyn and Jonathan and Char and Cam went along for the ride, and got to see the Army base.

Sometimes goodbyes are too sad, so I snapped this of these guys while Sam said goodbye to Evelyn.

Saying bye to Camille...I missed the one where he scooped Char right up into the air.

Sam loves the kids. I know it's hard for him to be away from home, as grown up as he is. Having some time with him was great, he has such a big heart.

Anyhow...after the long drive home, I had more cookies to make. Two hundred four cookies, all packed up safely, in gallon sized baggies, by the dozen...17 bags. There were extra ones, the ones that didn't come out round enough or that got dinged when I pulled the parchment paper off the pans...the kids happily helped with those ones. And I decided to eat a few, you know, carbing up and all...Joseph says that when you eat low carb for an extended period of time, your body adjusts and your metabolism slows down so you HAVE to carb up every week or so...and yeah, cookies aren't the healthiest choice, but I never at them anymore...and they were SO good. After all that work, it was nice to eat some and know that the bride is getting some really good cookies.

Evelyn and Jonathan were grilling some steaks at the same time as I was baking...let's just say they were a bit overdone...but oh so yummy...baking and eating little bites of steak, pieces of raw green pepper, and sliced cucumbers...oh, what a life.

This fine morning, I took my walk, took care of the pool, and here I sit. I registered for jury duty, arranged for Kathryn to work at the baseball game, and not much else. Paul and I have to leave in a few hours to help do food prep, then go to the wedding site to help out there.

Tomorrow, Paul leaves for Florida for the week, for work. It's the last week of summer vacation for my school kids, Evelyn needs a new backpack, and Suzanne needs a few things...and Sonja probably does too. We haven't used our Adirondack amusement park coupons yet, but I don't know if I am up for camping this week without Paul...

Only 24 days until our trip out west! Never a dull moment, I tell you.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

just joy...

Every time I hold Lydia, I love her more. How can you love a baby so completely, then love her even more?

She's just beautiful....

I have pictures of the princesses holding her, and of Jon with her, and of Mali...but the internet out here on this rural road is not good today, and it takes forever and a day to load a picture, the screen keeps freezing up...

Today I shall go to the store because we are almost out of milk and bread and avocados and bananas and butter. I need to get flour and sugar and chocolate chips because I am baking 200 cookies for a wedding that Emily's company is catering this weekend. Samuel James is able to leave Fort Drum again for the weekend, so I am picking him up on Friday sometime. I will also help with the catering event at some point, then there are two baseball games that our church is providing concession workers for...then Sunday I have to drive Paul to the airport, then Sam back to Fort Drum.

Never a dull moment, that's for sure.

Evelyn Joy got her driving permit yesterday!

She is happy about it, I promise. She just didn't love her crazy mama snapping her picture on the sidewalk downtown.

She wants to go driving, and to the library...we found the missing dvd, and only have one book overdue! The little girls are begging for books to read...

It's also cousin Danielle's birthday, and we might do something with her today. No, never a dull moment.

Jonathan is skyping with is sister Abigail, who is adjusting nicely to her yearlong Norway visit.'s too busy in here to write right now.

Monday, August 24, 2015

introducing......a new part of my heart:

Miss Lydia Eleanor arrived this morning at 9:47.

Words cannot describe....

Mali Rose did a fantastic job.

I have more pictures, but I am tired. She labored all night, then gave birth this morning...the nurse had us guess the weight as she held up that precious baby...and guess what? I was right on the dot, seven pounds ten ounces. She is healthy and robust, and we all cried when she was born.

I came home this afternoon, prepared for a nap, but decided at the last minute to go back to the hospital with Mirielle and some of the kids.

So I am happy and thrilled and proud of Mali...she didn't complain, she was happy to get that baby out, and she nursed her like a pro. It was an amazing day, the birth was awesome. I think I am joining Mali on her baby high:)

it was a dark and scary night...

and I was sound asleep...when my phone gave a little beep. Just a tiny little beep, but it shattered the hum of the fan, and alerted this soon-to-be-gramma that...her water broke. Her contractions are four minutes apart, and don't worry, that's all the detail I'll be sharing, because her labor is her story to tell, not mine. I am sitting here waiting to hear what they say when she gets to the hospital, because she wants me there for the birth, Miss Mali.

It give me a chance to write while it is quiet here, and to keep my mind off the feeling that I should hurry out the door and get there real quick-like.

Life has been busy. Samuel has been visiting Fort Drum, the Army base up in northern New York, for Air Assault School. When out and about on Thursday, Sam let us know that he would have a 3 day weekend, and we could come pick him up. So, we told the family that I was taking Evelyn out for dinner, and would be back later. It was a dark and rainy night...

And we got lost. That is a big Army base, and our gps wasn't sure which gate to send us too. We tried two before getting to the right one, and of course those nice M.P.'s wouldn't let us step one foot past the gate with no military I.D., so Samuel had to walk from his barracks in the pouring rain. A passing car picked him up, thankfully. We caught up on things, and I reveled in just being with Sam as I drove through the rain. We stopped for coffee, then for gas...and of course he had to have chicken nuggets. :) The more things change...

We surprised most of the kids, and Paul, when he walked in the house with Evelyn and I. It was super fun.

Friday morning, we surprised Grandma with a little visit.

I made cookies over the weekend, and a fabulous dinner on Saturday night of burgers on the grill, corn on the cob (do you know how hard it is to eat just a half of ear of corn?)...and lots of tomatoes from the garden, chopped up with fresh sweet onion and fresh garlic...

Then a camp marshmallows for me.

and off I go to the hospital...bye!!! super excited...

Saturday, August 22, 2015

look who's home!!!!

Soldier Sam is here for the weekend!!!

And this girl turned sweet sixteen yesterday! Miss Evelyn Joy...

We've been busy...I had to drive up to the military base in Northern New York to pick up Sam on Thursday night...oh, we got lost, Evelyn and I. We finally found the right gate, and of course weren't allowed to enter without military we had to park outside and he had to walk out in the rain. Efficiency at it's best.

Ah well, time's done, have to pick up Jonathan from his camp out...

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

out and about.....

Chicken and bacon and pickles and eggs and hot sauce and onions and frozen pizza pockets (yuck, but they LOVE them)...and some 90% dark chocolate for Joseph and I, and coconut oil...coconut milk,and chocolate milk...I had a coupon:)

First we went to Ollie's. It's rather far, over in the suburbs where I grew up, but I wanted to check out the book section for some homeschooling workbooks. I found a few good ones. I got construction paper and poster board and some interesting snacks...things you don't find in a regular store. I bought myself some cherry Larabars, I like to keep a bar in my purse, for those times I get hungry, and would rather eat it than binge or splurge on something I don't need.

Sonja K., Charlotte Claire, and Camille joined me today.

Emily came over and picked up Kathryn, Evelyn, Suzanne, cousin Olivia, and Jonathan, and brought them to Ithaca to go to a waterfalls they like, and out for smoothies.

We got home, and Aaron was here for a visit. I made a pot of coffee, and we was so nice.

He had to leave to go to work...and we had to get in that pool and cool off. We don't have air conditioning, but I don't mind for the most part. As long as the pool is running and we can get in and get refreshed, it holds me for a while.

The little girls just came in from the garden. Paul has been making these really interesting smoothies for us for breakfast, with avocado, greens from the yard, flax seed, blueberries, and unsweetened almond milk. I am not saying it's delicious, but it's not bad, and it's healthy.

Exciting things:

Grandma invited us down for a visit in Florida this winter. We may just take her up on it. I really want to work out the details and make it happen. Life is short, and visiting Grandma is really really fun.

And now...the little girls are chatty so off I go to listen instead of sitting here saying Uh-Huh.

summer morning...

If I were to tell you that my life was all sunshine and roses, you would probably believe me.

But everyone gets trials, no one is exempt. Whether it's your finances, or your spouse, or kids, or your rains on the just and the unjust, it says in the bible. It is how we choose to take it when things don't go how we think they should. "Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will direct your path." (proverbs3 5+6)

Anyway. Today we are going to the library. We are running out of eggs, and need to go to the store. Charlotte Claire is making scrambled eggs, Jon just made some too. I made waffles...flaxseed waffles. They weren't bad! And so easy, very healthy...
2 cups flaxseed
1 tablespoon baking powder
dash of salt
two teaspoons of cinnamon
Stir together

In blender cup:
5 eggs
1/2 cup water (I used coffee)
1/3 cup coconut oil
teaspoon honey
Blend it up!

Add to dry mixture. I made five waffles with it. I ate only one, with a bit of butter and a smidgen of fresh local honey, which Emily got me for Mother's Day, and I am savoring....

I walked this morning, it was hot! The road had lots of manure in it down a ways because there are farms around here, and I decided to turn around and go back down the Evil hill and back up it. ouch.

Anyway. The kids want to go to the library, and it's Evelyn's birthday on Friday so I asked her if she wanted anything...we'll see where we end up today. I need to move it though:).....

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

if only life was a beach....

Molly had a day off from work, and wanted to go to the, being a nice mom, I went with her. We only took these three....

The babies...Camille, Jonathan, and Char...

It was a beautiful day for the beach. It was almost too hot, with a slight breeze...the water was clear and warm, the waves were fun but not dangerous. Lake Ontario, ahhh.

We got home and grilled burgers...Kathryn and Evelyn are home from Norway now, and the table felt more normal, less empty and quiet. Although, I did sincerely appreciate spending more time with Suzanne and Sonja for those days the other girls were gone.

And summer is flying by. I want it to slow.down. The heat wave is settled upon us, with humidity and 90 degree (32.2C) days...the pool water is so warm it barely refreshes, but believe me, I am not complaining. It is clear and clean, and we swam after dinner last night as the sun set. No, I can't complain.

This fine morning, I didn't listen to any of the fine excuses I wanted to make, and put my sneakers on and went for my walk. I am always glad when I do, yet I always tend to have to fight myself to get out the door.

Jonathan was up and showered, all ready to go shopping with his Grandma.

And now the day stretches before us...nothing scheduled until evening, when the older kids have a meeting and sports. I need more coconut oil, but won't go shopping unless it gets rainy.

There ARE things I should do, of course, besides just enjoying the summer day. I need to get working on this year's school curriculum, and there are always closets to clean and things to sort. My laundry room looks like a tornado hit it. The refrigerator needs to be cleaned out, and my room...well, let's just keep that door closed.

Evelyn is having eggs with Charlotte Claire, and Cam is playing with my phone. She is sending texts from her room to Evelyn, who is at the kitchen table.

Yesterday, I told Jonathan to remember this day, when the winter winds are so bitter we freeze going from the deck to the van, and our feet get numb when we shovel the driveway. Remember how hot the sand is on your feet, but how it is cool when you bury them in the deeper sand. Remember how yummy that ice cold Wild Cherry drink was, and how it feels to just lie on the blanket and roast, after getting out of the water. Store it all up, because in January or February, it won't seem like it can possibly be real.

Charlotte Claire is asking me if there are going to be t.v. screens on the backs of the seats on the plane we are taking across the country next month. 35 days, not that we're counting:) In fact, we ARE counting, I firmly believe that half the fun is the looking forward, and we are doing that! Just going on a plane is exciting enough for these guys, but seeing Anya and Ben and Ashley! Seeing Seattle! Going to the mountain! way way way too much fun to even contemplate.

And now, we are going to enjoy this summer day....

Sunday, August 16, 2015

all quiet and all alone...

I haven't had much alone time in a while, big surprise. Paul has been on vacation, and we have been taking it rather easy. Walking barefoot through the yard and eating tomatoes out of the garden IS relaxing. But dishes still need washing...

We went over to some friends' house this afternoon for a cookout dinner, lots of our friends were there. (It was Davian's house, our little friend who likes to visit here, my niece's sister's grandson) Davian was glad to have us over, he showed us the whole yard...from the froggies in the pond, to where the old well is, which we reminded him to stay away from. :)

Anyhoo, I am a social creature, especially compared to my husband:)

But. I like my quiet time, too.

Now, for example, it is quiet. The house fan is going, and the kids have all gone to bed. Mirielle is texting me about returning the rental car, she is on her way home from Norway via New York City, with Kathryn and Evelyn.

I am going to the beach tomorrow with Mali and the three youngest kids. Mali is due next week, and we are having a heatwave here in New York state...

But right now, it is quiet. I am sorting out my thoughts.

Life is more than doing one thing after another. Once in a while one has to stop and take a look-see at what is going on. Here's what I think:

1. I need to be more patient.

2. The kids need for me to say what I mean and mean what I say, nicely.

3. Listening is a necessary skill for parenting, and for marriage. Uh-huh, uh-huh doesn't count.

4. Simply because of the sheer number of "kids" we have (lots of them aren't really kids anymore...), there is a lot of listening to be done.

5. Taking care of everyone's issues can be draining, if I never get any quiet time to recharge.

6. Marriage is work. It's easy to see how he needs to be nice to me, but can I see how I need to be nice to him?

7. Counting your blessings really does work! Recently, I was feeling really bad about things, thinking I knew what he was thinking, thinking he thought I can't do anything right...then I thought of how he built the pool for us...he works so hard at work...he planted the garden, and brings in the fresh stuff...and usually cooks it, too. He let us keep Duke, he makes me coffee unexpectedly sometimes, he shares his smoothies with me, brought me this laptop as a surprise a while ago, brings me flowers, he helps me figure out what to eat healthily, orders vitamins for me, asks me if I need anything every time he goes to town for something...and I felt ashamed for thinking that he didn't love me as much as I thought he should. Because he does. Maybe we're on different wavelengths sometimes, but those are just times of faith-testing:)

8. My kids can function pretty well without me. Tonight, they made their own dinner while Paul and I went out to our friends' place. Granted, it was only pizza pockets and cauliflower, but they prepared it, ate it, AND cleaned up. Jonathan did all of the dishes...when I opened the cupboard, I actually screamed...the coffee mugs and glasses were STACKED UP, very precariously. ha. yeah.

9. Grandma isn't feeling well, and that makes me nervous. She is so robust and energetic, but every once in a while, this and that flare up, and she has to rest. She turns 86 this week, and we are having a birthday party at her house. I am praying she is better by then! (I am making cuppy-cakes!) It's funny, because if you picture a traditional grandmother, all hunched over with a silver bun and small old fashioned spectacles, ha! Paul's mom stands up straight and tall, and is thin and lovely still. Her hair is blonde, her glasses stylish, and her clothes neat and nice and sporty. She doesn't sit still, and has a "potty mouth", in her own words. She's sharp and witty, yet has a heart of gold.

10. I have no idea what the theme is here...I just know I am tired now. Mirielle and the girls are outside of New York City now, heading home...they'll be here in a few hours, and Mirielle has to have help returning the rental I had better smarten up and get to bed....goodnight!

Saturday, August 15, 2015

summer adventures....with pictures...

Me...on my morning walk. Now, I have let these walks fall by the wayside, thinking everyday that perhaps tomorrow I will take one. But yesterday, we went on a big adventure to Watkins Glen, home of over 800 stairs!

We only went up about 400 of them. Yes, I sort of counted. I am not as big as I used to be, but it is deeply ingrained in me to hate stairs, to fear them. My knees are also full of arthritis, so they still are rather painful. And with each step I heaved myself up, that little niggling thought was there: we have to go back down each and every one on the way back. It makes it a struggle to just enjoy the scenery, I tell you.

Charlotte Claire, Sonja K., Paul, Camille, Jonathan, and Suzanne...our little family :)

With Suzanne and Jon

With Jonathan...

Char, Suze, Sonja, Cam...our four youngest daughters.

Sweet little Char...

Paul and I with our baby:)

Camille and I...

This place is beautiful. It is worth every cookie I don't eat to be able to do things like this. It gave me incentive to not only stick to my healthy eating, but to fit in the daily exercise.

We stopped at a roadside stand for summer squash (something ate ours in the garden), cucumbers, and fresh garlic. Paul made up a yummy dish of the squash, garlic, and tomatoes from our garden, with onions. I grilled some chicken and basted it with a Buffalo sauce, except for a few barbecue pieces for the little kids. I cut up some potatoes, Jonathan microwaved them for a bit then fried them up, the kids enjoyed them.

And today...I am taking the girls to pick wildflowers, then in the pool, then to my brother's house for a graduation party...

Friday, August 14, 2015

unscheduled life....

Spontaneity is my favorite. Tomorrow for example, is a blank day. No appointments, no plans. Paul is on vacation, so perhaps we will go to the beach, this tiny family we have with five girls in Norway. Paul and I, Joseph, Suzanne, Sonja, Jon, Char, Cam....and Joseph won't go along if we go to the beach.

I am relishing that tomorrow is a blank slate. I realized somewhere along the line that at 50 years old, the number of empty days left in my life is certainly numbered. Not that I am Miss Popular or anything, but there are parties and graduations and meetings and baseball games and shopping trips and appointments and gatherings and and and. Not that those things are bad, but they are things that eat up time...and time is our most precious commodity.

Today, I wasted some time looking online for homeschooling books/curriculum. Then I smartened up and went outside with the kids. We swam and sunned and they did gymnastics while I encouraged them to stretch each day, and do planks. I went in the garden barefoot with Char, and we ate lots of sun-warmed grape tomatoes. Then the time came to get dressed and ready to go to the baseball game....

Now, I don't mind fundraising. But Dollar Thursdays at the stadium are pandemonium. We serve one dollar hot dogs and sodas, and two dollar beers, in addition to the stand's regular menu of all things chicken, all fried. The beer is what makes it so crazy. I don't mind pouring a beer, but I am not your sweetheart, sir. Anyhoo. We left here at 4:30, and got home after 11:00 pm. It WAS a beautiful night for baseball, but there were so many people in line, I couldn't even see the field.:)

It is Friday now, I wrote most of this last night...I woke up this morning to Duke's intermittent yapping...he is doing better, Mr. Dukers. He thumps that tail when we say his name, and he simply loves being pet and talked to. It was a good investment to get him all fixed up:)

My little princesses have been playing dollhouse. Now they are taking a break to try to pull out Camille's tooth. It is hanging by a thread but just won't come out. She is standing here with a paper towel trying and trying to twist it out. I don't mean to be old and sentimental, but the Tooth Fairy's days here are numbered....wah. She was awfully forgetful anyway.

Char is trying to talk her into letting her have a try getting it out. Too funny.

It is brilliantly beautiful out right now. The breeze is blowing, the sky is blue, it is warm and summery.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

thieves, amusement parks, and blistered feet....

I thought it would be only fair to share the "big" picture...Camille took this of me today at the canal park.

We walked and walked, Paul and Sonja and I with Suri, while the three youngest rode bikes.

My feet have blisters on the bottom. We went to the amusement park yesterday, and had a BLAST. I won't bore you, but oh my it was fun. I went on over a dozen rides, and screamed with the kids! We spent some time in the waterpark, lazed on the lazy river, played in the wave pool, and went down a huge waterslide in a raft. I get very queasy and dizzy on some of the rides, and have to take a break...

And...someone broke into our car and stole stuff while we screeched and screamed in the park. Harumph. My beautiful new to me, anyway. It was so nice...coral colored, lots of handy pockets...I got so many compliments on that purse, and it was only $4.99 at the thrift store. I can't just go replace it, it would be expensive to buy new...and of course the stuff IN the purse, like my 99 cent Dunkin coupon, that was reusable and good for the month of August, for any size iced coffee. wah. And some cash. And my checkbook. Yeah, we had to go to the bank today and fix stuff up, close out the account so the thief can't cash checks. I had to cancel my Target card, and the thief got my gift card from Aaron, that I was saving for a rainy day. Also, I had an envelope of receipts for the candy I bought for summer conference at church, plus...two signed church checks. So...the church account had to be frozen and fixed. ouch. Lots of work. When I remembered that was in there, in that stolen purse, I was like, dang, I have to make a phone call. oops. I shouldn't have brought the purse with me to the theme park at all, but we left from the camper and Paul was packing things up and bringing them home, and I didn't want it to be left behind.

And...Jon's tablet got stolen. He had that thing for two years, it pretty much went where he went. And, my niece had money stolen from her shorts pocket in a bag in the back. So there was some real rumpling going on in our banged up minivan. It makes me feel somewhat violated, and somewhat angry, to tell the truth. That was NOT YOUR STUFF, thief! GIVE it back!

I have so much stuff in my wallet with my name on it, I hope the thief finds me on facebook and feels guilty and mails it all back. ha.

We are home from the camper now...laundry and unpacking, but not too bad. I made burgers on the grill this evening, and served them with sweet onions and tomatoes from the garden. I love summertime.

I am still reeling from the death of our dear friend Missy. We went to calling hours on Friday, then to the funeral and burial on Saturday. I cried buckets and still there are more tears. Paul stopped up at the cemetery today and it is still unbelievable and so very sad. My dear dear friend, Missy's mama, was so overcome with grief at the graveside, her husband had to help her up...she sobbed her goodbye, and said that Missy was her friend, her baby, and never any trouble.

She was a precious soul, and life won't be the same without her.

Paul is on vacation...the five girls are still in Norway, Mirielle and Kathryn and Evelyn will be home on Sunday.

Oh, listen to this!: Jon and Char and Cam and I are taking our big trip to Washington state next month (in 41 days, not that we're counting...), and...Ben and Ashley rented a cabin in a small town at the base of Mount Rainier! Hot tub, and wilderness, a beautiful view, and the town has a coffee shop that roasts it's own beans!!!! We are so excited. We are planning the first night or two in a hotel,visiting Seattle, then on to this little town, then a night at their house, then home...we can't wait to see little Anya...and did you know that at the base of Mount Rainier there is rainforest? It's true! And it's winter on the top!'s late and I am tired out...

Thursday, August 6, 2015

on being fifty, and other sad things that are really sad...

Fifty freakin' years old. How can that POSSIBLY be possible? And how is it that I now say, "freakin'"? I really don't. It just sounded good with "fifty".

And my birthday was last month. Abigail just mailed me the pictures she took that day. It was a perfect day on the beach with lots of the kids and my bestie, Kim, with three of her kids and her sweet little granddaughter.

Anyhoo. This morning, I drove to the city to the airport...and said goodbye to Mirielle 25, who is taking two sisters to a church conference in Norway, Miss Kathryn 17 and Miss Evelyn, almost 16. They are renting a car, then driving down to New York City, and flying from there to Oslo. They will be gone for ten days, wah. Abigail and Margaret are there, safe and sound...gone for a whole year.

I'm never sure about talking about things that aren't really my stories to tell, but it does affect me, because my heart aches about this...

There is much sadness here in our church, as some very close friends of ours lost their daughter yesterday morning. She passed away in her sleep. She had cerebral palsy. She couldn't talk in the normal sense, but she certainly could communicate! When she was small, she was the smiliest baby I ever laid eyes on! She had a wicked sense of humor, and she lit up the room with her laughter. She was the youngest of their six children, and the whole family loved her to pieces. Theirs is the house with the pool we have visited three times this summer...

This is Missy, taken a few weeks ago. She loved having people over. I know she's in a better place, free from pain, free from her chair, and her body...but I still can't stop crying. My heart is broken for her family. Missy was 26 years old, and her passing was totally out of the blue, God knew it was coming, but no one else did.

We are packing up today and moving into the camper until next week. I won't be blogging there, probably, busy with candy store and and all seems so strange that life just goes on when our friends are going through something like this...

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

out and about with teenagers, and wisdom from the littles....

Out and about today with some daughters, four of them. Suzanne 14, Evelyn 15, Kathryn 17, me, and Sonja K. 13.

Evelyn and Sonja.

Miss Camille shares her wisdom...

Miss Charlotte Claire...

And...there are kids in here, and it's busy, so bye for now....

saying goodbye is never fun....

Abigail, me, Margaret....we spent the day together yesterday, tying up loose ends for them, banking, ect. Jonathan came along too, since these two sisters of his are seriously his best friends...

Yeah, I cried this morning after filling that little car with suitcases with them. Seeing Jonathan all teary-eyed was what did me in.

They are leaving for a year. A year is a long time not to see your daughters - your friends. They ARE my friends. And off they went.

They are driving to D.C. today, then spending some time with Samuel before flying out tomorrow to Norway.

Last evening was spent trying to get their suitcases to weigh under fifty pounds. :)

Please pray that Samuel is in fact able to see them, he is taking Abigail's car for the year that she's gone. But sometimes plans go awry, monkey wrenches get thrown in. Apparently there was drama at the Army base for Sam and his fellow soldiers...there was equipment missing, and they were ALL in trouble for it. He texted Margaret and said they had no dinner, and it was late at night, they were being escorted even to the bathroom, and were having to just sit outside until the stuff was found. He was upset because if it isn't resolved, he won't be able to leave and go get the car, and they will just have to park it somewhere? It's so complicated, and they were already having anxiety about please pray for Samuel, that things get figured out and he's allowed to leave. He wants so badly to spend a little bit of time this evening with his two sisters before they leave. He gets so lonely down there.

I reminded the girls that God knows and plans all things, and to encourage Sam to trust Him and not get angry and anxious.

Part of me is glad that these things happen, because hey, Sam is seeing how the Army runs, and won't want to re-sign:) That's just the Mom in me. I'm proud of him, of course, and he has really grown up, but having a son in the military is not easy. He's in a good place, but still. Remember those race riots in Baltimore? Guess who was almost sent there? Yeah, they would have been like sitting ducks, with all the angry protesters.

Anyhow. My girls drove away and I'm happy for them but sad at the same time. Having grown up kids is complicated. They can take care of their own selves, yet as the Mom, I feel like they always still need my advice:) I question how they are going to manage so far away, without me...:)

And...I am going to just plain miss them. When Abigail would come over, her siblings would all come out of the woodwork to greet her, to talk to her, to be here with her. She would take them here and there, and let the younger ones spend the night at their place. She didn't have much money, but she spent so much on them anyway. She always had time to sit and talk to me, and she always had a verse or scripture to help if I was troubled about something.

She could laugh at anything, and troubles melt like lemon drops when you are laughing with Abigail.

And Margaret...Miss Marge. She grew up too fast. She graduated early from high school, in January, and started working to save up for her plane ticket. She also blessed her brothers and sisters with her meager part-time pay checks, took them out and about and bought things for them. She was Jon's special late-night-old-television-series-watching-partner.

She knew she was leaving, so she tried to pack as much fun into the summer as possible, and it went by too fast.

The little girls are kids are distracting me, "in a good way," as Sam would say. They want to turn his old room into a gym, and are full of good ideas about it. They are really into gymnastics, and we are going to put some mats on the floor, and a two-by-four for a balance beam, hang some rings....winter-time in New York state is long and cold, so this will definitely be used!

Margaret's room is empty now, and Kathryn is moving in to it. Only eight kids left at home now, we are down to half...wah.

I need to buy candy for the summer conference candy store, the conference starts in a few days. We need to pack, we are moving into the camper on Thursday night and staying there for six nights. I have a meal plan, but have to buy the food, prepare and freeze it, ect. We will have very few kids there with us because on Thursday, Mirielle is leaving with Kathryn and Evelyn, for a ten day trip to Norway, for the summer conference over there at church.

And...bye for now.

Sunday, August 2, 2015

sunday night musings...

Oh happy day, it was nice out today.

The little girls had breakfast on the deck....

If we go out on to the deck, the doggies go out there too. They follow us in and out, all day long.

Out in the front yard...

Abigail...she is leaving Tuesday morning with Margaret...they are driving to Washington D.C. to see Samuel, and say goodbye to him, as they are both going to Norway for a year. Not Sam, Abigail and Marge.

These nice four sisters visited Samuel this weekend, for his birthday. Happy 20th to my dear son Samuel...this is him with Mirielle 24, Evelyn 15, Suzanne 14, and Kathryn 16. They just got home from visiting him in Washington D.C./Virginia.

Mali came over today to visit. She is due in three weeks, and boy is she feeling it! She still works, as a registered nurse, and she works 12 hour shifts. She works hard, too.

Tomorrow morning, I am getting up early, taking the van to the shop, again, because it is leaking something, hopefully it's just power steering fluid and it's just an inexpensive leaky hose or a gasket that needs replacing. Then I am picking Abigail up and taking her, along with Jonathan and Margaret, out and about to run errands before she leaves. It's not like I HAVE to go, I just want to spend time with these daughters of mine before they up and leave for a year.

Jon is going because he just happens to be best friends with both of these sisters, who are 28 and 18.

Ah well. We had a nice dinner tonight, Paul grilled the chicken. I made the veggies and sweet potatoes and a pan of brownies for dessert, then we ate on the deck.

The princesses and Sonja got haircuts. Mali helped me...:)

Time to talk to girls about stuff...