Sunday, August 31, 2008

First Week of School

Well, just sitting here writing this shows you that we survived our first week of school. Praise the Lord! It didn't come without many obstacles and problems, but we finished an entire week! phew.

Abe had stories to tell every day when he returned from classes. He certainly is going to have an interesting 2nd year at college.

Nathan worked one last final week, but he'll be starting his senior year next week.

Trina worked hard on taking pretests and getting started on her courses, while Tiff struggled to fill the hours as her classes begin officially next week.

Winter and Toby: well, they certainly enjoyed all the extra attention they received from me. I feel totally overwhelmed. I'm not quite sure what to say about the week with them, except that they both were very excited and did well with their school work. I never realized how much fun Todd brought to homeschooling; this week seemed so much more of a "task" than previous years. I really missed Todd this week. "I can do all things through Christ, which strengtheneth me." Yes, very clearly the only way through this school year is going to be Christ strengthening me!

I'm just glad we have an extra day off with Labor Day this weekend....that probably sounds crazy after only a week of school, but then again, I may be going crazy!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Gross bathroom lesson

Don't worry, I won't give details, but today I was in the "main" bathroom, the one all 6 kids use, and I was shocked! It was a mess! I had just finished cleaning it, too! yuk. I wanted to walk away and "teach them a lesson" by not cleaning it again, but then I realized if I left the mess, it would be there, only worse, the next time I made a visit. As I was cleaning, AGAIN, I was thinking how much that bathroom is like sin in my life. If you ignore it, it gets worse. You have to be cleaning daily (sometimes hourly!), or it will just continue to get worse.

I was reminded again how important it is (thanks, friend, if you're reading this!) to keep my thoughts "in check" all the time, or the same thing will happen. When I begin to dwell on such things like, "I can't do this without Todd," or how difficult the days are raising these children to love God without Todd's help, it can get "messy." I have to be constantly "cleaning" my thoughts with how much God loves me, how much He is in control, and how He will provide the strength necessary to keep going!

Monday, August 18, 2008


What happened to the summer? I can't believe we are preparing for another year of school already. The boys worked through the summer, and have both given their notices that they will begin school soon. Abe will begin his second year of college (wow!) next week, and I (drum roll, please....and prayers!!) will be attempting to homeschool the two youngest. We used to homeschool, but since Todd's death, it's been so difficult to even think about doing that again. Todd was a great support and encourager for us when we homeschooled. And here I am, preparing to try again, without him. Most days I think I'm crazy. Either that, or I just cry when I try to plan to homeschool again without my best buddy and friend.
It's going to be strange homeschooling without Todd. Winter will be in 5th grade and Toby will be in the K5 program. The others will be home, but they are enrolled in a cyber school.

This is a big year for us with birthdays, too. Trina will be turning 16 in a few weeks. Toby will be turning 5 in October. Nathan will be 18 in March, and Abe 20 in May. Our kids are growing, with what I feel like, behind my back! I feel "stuck" in time when they were just 18 months, 6, 10, 12, 14, and old they all were when Todd died. It just doesn't seem possible. I never dreamed we would be celebrating all these birthdays without Dad. It's just weird.

Anyway, we're off to start a new school year. It will be a challenge, I am sure, but it is good to know that God will be here with us, and will continue to give us strength and grace to get through another year.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Lots of Smiles!

Lots of smiles here today and yesterday, thanks to EBAN!! I'm a great Aunt! Eban is not just my nephew's son, but I'm also just a great aunt. Between Eban and Toby, we had plenty of much-needed smiles around here. Hopefully the following pictures will make you smile, too!

Did it work? Did you smile too? I hope so!

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Letters and Landscapers

Another "6th," making today 39 months living without Todd. I received a letter from Todd's Mom today. In a short letter, the words "lonely" and "alone" appeared five times. Todd's father died in Feb, 1999, when our Winter Hope was a month old. Todd was torn between his infant daughter's health concerns and being with his Mom. He did well. His Mom knew he loved her. He was there for her when she needed him. The letter spoke of Todd's siblings and how they are there for her now. I'm praising the Lord for them, yet I feel I should be there for her as well. I know all about those words "lonely" and "alone," and I'm living with a house full of kids!

A landscaper stopped by today, offering a great deal to remove some trees and do some pruning, and asked if my husband was home. Yes, Todd is home in heaven, but not here. I had to say the words again, "My husband passed away..." and the tears came. As he drove down the drive, he said, "Keep your chin up, it could be worse." I tried to smile. Worse? maybe to some, but for me, no, it can't get any worse than losing the one person on earth who meant the most to me.

Yet God continues to care for us. Trina (15) reminded me today that God is always here, and that He will never leave us. I knew that, but at a time when I was missing Todd, aching to talk with him again, it was good to be reminded. God hears. God sees. God knows. ...and God cares. Thank you, again, to those praying for us! He hears your prayers and is answering. He is good.