Thursday, December 27, 2007

Happy Birthday Tiffany!

Another birthday celebrated brings another teen to the Radle family, which brings our grand total to FOUR teenagers. Todd and I talked about this day, and so far it is just as we had imagined it would be like....full of fun, laughter, and good times. I pray they continue, and I pray Todd could see his little girl becoming a teen today. God is good.

Kids had GREAT Christmas....and still are!

My heart is filled and overflowing with gratitude to our good and great God for His marvelous works. God used some special people and churches to allow the children a wonderful Christmas.

Toby was thrilled with her gift card for Toys R Us, even though she had/has no clue of the value of money. (all the children were given $100 gift cards from Fellowship Church!) Winter was even more thrilled with her gift card, as she was able to comprehend all the many things she would be able to purchase! Tiff, Trina, Nathan, and Abe were equally thrilled, as they were able to choose gifts that I could never afford to give them.

Yesterday we took a trip to Toys R Us. I wish you could have seen Toby and Winter (and even the older ones) picking out anything their hearts desired. I had to hold back the tears when they would ask me if it was ok to buy this or that. Toby, Winter, and Tiffany have only spent half of their gift card money, and this was after another shopping trip today!

Trina enjoyed picking out some furniture and other things for her dollhouse. She also got a few books she was wanting for several months now. Nathan has only spent half of his gift card money as well, but enjoyed buying more supplies for his pet turtles. Abe, well Abe had a great two days at Comp USA with their sales on computer things that I could never describe. He was almost as fun to watch as the Tobster at Toys R Us!

God has blessed our children beyond what words could express this Christmas. Pastor John reminded them of that, and I have reminded them of this truth countless times. God is good. Thank you to all who have given to help make the kids feel so blessed by our good God! We pray God's blessing on you and on your churches. Thank you.

Here's Abe, digging into the huge chocolate Santa given to us! (there's still a little left)

Sunday, December 23, 2007


I wanted to share just one of those moments where my whole insides feel like they are being ripped out. Today it was when Trina was getting Rocky all excited when Nathan came home from work. Nathan was driving Todd's van, and I have to admit, the sound of the engine coming up the hill still gives me chills. I loved when Todd came home. Anyway, Trina, trying to get the dog excited, succeeded in yelling, "Daddy's home!" Rocky ran to the front door, then to the back, then whined, then began Trina would repeat this over and over. (this had been a common scene in our home) We were all watching and laughing, until the Tobster came running down the hall and asked in an excited voice, "Our Daddy is home?" I keep hearing that sweet little voice over and over tonight. Oh, if only it had been Daddy coming home.

Everything hurts again. Christmas is only two days away. Todd's birthday is only two days away. I'm so tired of people wishing me a Merry Christmas. Merry? I try, for the kids, but I don't feel at all "merry" these days.

Thanks again to everyone for the prayers. God knows I need them so much. I feel like I'm losing my grip here, but God continues to be good. God continues to provide strength. Thank you, Father. Where would I be without Him? I don't like to think about it.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

So Much BETTER to GIVE than to Receive

I don't like receiving. It makes me feel uncomfortable. For some reason I feel stupid, knowing there are so many other more deserving people than myself to receive things. Perhaps it's pride. I don't know. I just know I don't like receiving gifts. It feels funny to be receiving, especially at this time of year.

I can remember how Todd would come to me often, telling me about someone at work, or on his route, or a family at church who were in need, and would ask me what we could do. Make a dinner? Give them a little cash? Watch their children for an afternoon? Make them a batch of cookies or a cake? Anything...something, because we had so much and were so blessed. We were rarely necessarily blessed financially (when we were, Todd would immediately be thinking of others who were in need), but we were blessed with so many things, one of which was a great, loving, giving husband and Daddy.

I miss Todd's spirit of giving, especially this weekend...

Thursday, December 20, 2007


I tried to call him Pastor John, but it was just John today. He reminded me of some good memories we shared, as our parents were close friends when we were growing up. I thought of more as the day grew on. Playing nerf basketball with John and Buddy, leaping off their beds for the perfect slam dunk, trying not to break anything. The cool bumper pool table they had in their basement. Riding bikes up to the arcade down at the shore. Playing Rook. Spying on my older brother and John's older sister.....didn't they date at one time?

Anyway, a lot of years have passed since those days. I can't sleep again, and I can't stop crying since seeing John today. I honestly think this has been the hardest Christmas yet without Todd. The loneliness can be overwhelming as I try to pick out gifts and get ready for Christmas the best I am able. I feel like I'm falling apart in every area. I've even questioned God's presence and His love for us, wondering if He had forgotten my children and I. I want to scream, "Remember us?? We're still here, alone, without Todd!" The days keep coming, and the tears keep flowing. Life feels so empty and I feel so lost here without Todd. It stinks.

Seeing John today not only brought back some fond memories of growing up, but also allowed me to realize that God has not forgotten us. John repeatedly said he wanted me and the children to feel God's love and know we were not forgotten. Unfortunately, most have forgotten. Afterall, this is the third Christmas now without Todd. However, I didn't feel forgotten today. I felt loved and very blessed in having such a friend like John and for having Fellowship Church, most of whom do not know us, show such care and love to us in their many gifts. My kids were thrilled to unpack the basket and arrange things for me....they sincerely seemed thankful for me, if that makes sense. I'm still overwhelmed; these were special gifts from a special friend...

Thank you, John, and thank you, Fellowship. I pray God's richest blessings upon each of you!

My many thanks also to our Chadds Ford family, who have given much to us this time of year. I am continually amazed at how great God is. It seems when I feel the most down, the most discouraged, the most forgotten, God's people come along to support, uphold, encourage, and remind me of God's love for me.

Thank you so very, very much, John, Fellowship, Chadds Ford, but mostly, GOD. He is so good.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

More Thanks

I'm having trouble writing lately. Just going over everything again that's happening right now in my mind to put into words, is not enjoyable nor is it helpful to dwell on how much Todd is missed around here.

I did want to thank everyone again for their prayers, however. God is good. I know many are praying, and for that I am so grateful and appreciative. It is through the prayers of God's people that God is able to answer and give strength to go through each day. The burden feels greater than ever, but our God is able. Thank you for your prayers. God is indeed very good.

I hope Todd is able to see the children singing in church Christmas programs, wrapping gifts for each other and for their friends and teachers, jumping up and down in excitement of the big day approaching quickly, and talking about him in nearly every conversation. I can't seem to stop the tears lately.

Thank you for your prayers.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

31 Months Today

I can't tell if time is going by quickly or if it is going in slow motion. I can't believe it's been 31 months since Todd went to heaven, yet it feels like yesterday when we went to get our Christmas tree together for the last time, now 3 years ago. wow.

The kids decorated the house when I was at work today. I came home to Christmas! The girls did a great job inside, and the boys decorated the outside of our home just as Todd always had...with candles in each window surrounded by garland and bows. It was beautiful. I cried. I cried because they did a great job, and I cried because I was so happy I didn't have to do it. But I cried mostly because I miss Todd. Christmas without him doesn't feel right. A big piece is missing. The space left seems to be getting bigger. No one's singing goofy Christmas songs in the shower. No one is hinting how good my chocolate chip cookies are and saying how they can almost taste them. No one is eating all the hidden candy for the stockings. No one is asking where I hid their Christmas gift and promising they will act surprised when they open it Christmas morning. No one is buying me something special and telling the kids to keep it a secret. No one is betting with me which one of the kids will be up first and how early on Christmas day. No one is playing the Elvis Christmas music (thank the Lord!).

I just don't get how I can live in a house with six children and feel so incredibly lonely. I miss my "no one."

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

My New Favorite Christmas Song

Breath of Heaven (Mary's Song)