Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Too Much!!

The days have been full and much has been happening. Before too much time passes, I wanted to share how much fun Toby had at her birthday party. She had the biggest smile, and all of her "bestest friends" were there.

We had her party at an indoor soft playground called KidsQuest....the same place we had Trina and Tiff and Winter's 5th bday parties. Everyone had a good time, but I have to say, it was not as fun as the other parties. Todd made those things fun, and without him, there was definitely a big part of Toby's special party missing.

My favorite great nephew had a big birthday party as well. Eban turned one!!! Happy Birthday, Eban! That was a fun party, too, but once again, at least for me, the fun Todd provided was missing. It wasn't easy to see family and friends, hear their conversations, and answer that question, "How are you doing, Wendy?" But it was another great birthday for a great nephew!

This last week I've had some visits from some friends I haven't seen in awhile. Friends are great. Each one brings their own unique personality. Both visitors knew Todd. Both visitors lost their husbands and have children. Both visitors know what loss is and how it feels. Yet every one of us is different. Everyone experiences loss differently. But here's the thing. They appear to be doing so much better than I am. I've come to understand and realize that this ache, deep in my being, may never go away until heaven. Yet these dear friends are living through that ache. They are embracing life and even enjoying it. I'm not there yet. I'm not sure what I'm doing wrong in this process, but nothing seems to be working. Life is not fun anymore. I feel like I hurt more with each new day, each step I take, everything we do.

I am thankful for friends. I am especially thankful for these friends and for their faith in our good God. I am learning that each circumstance and each personality and each life is different, but God is the same. He is our comfort. He is our strength. He is good. By His grace and His strength, I hope one day soon to be able to experience life again as Todd and I did together. Some day...

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

October 19th Toby turned 5!

Five years old. She had a good day. My thoughts on all the events this past weekend are jumbled, so I'll try to write more later. I still can't believe our baby is 5. Happy Birthday Toby Faith!

Monday, October 13, 2008

Adventurous Weekend!

"Adventure" is really the only word I could think of for the past 3 days here at the "Radle Ranch," as Todd used to call our family. Saturday we enjoyed a Military Helicopter Airshow. For me, it was loud, crowded, and confusing. The older kids really liked it. Toby and Winter were tired, hot, thirsty, and hungry. When first arriving, we were met by two military guards who kindly instructed us to turn around because we had gone to the wrong entrance. I always feel conspicuous in our large, red van. I feel like we are bigger than we really are, and that everyone is staring at the largeness and redness of our vehicle. Todd liked that. I hate it. So when we pulled into the proper parking area for the show, the parking attendants seemed puzzled at where to "send" us. The lot and the fields were full. One of them said, "Sorry, you're on your own," and the other, farther into one of the fields, began waving his hands and jumping, pointing to a place he had found for us. We inched slowly towards him, and he ran excitedly ahead of us, leading us to some empty spots. But he had other plans. He directed me like an airplane pilot further into the field. He kept backing up, further and further. He pointed in the direction he wanted me to turn the wheels, and proceeded until we were parked in the middle of the field! Seriously. Were we really that big? The kids were laughing. As I stopped and turned off the engine, the attendant explained, "You're fine here, no one will bother you." Don't you think? The rest of the time there was a blur for me. I began following Nathan, who finally said he was following me. That was the reason for the initial confusion. We were relieved to find familiar faces in the crowd, and stood with them for what seemed like hours, until Toby finally got my attention with "I want to go home." That sounded good to me. We walked up to see some more helicopters on display, then headed to the parking area. Nathan commented how he could see our van from on the hill, nearly 1/2 a mile away! ugh. At least we could find it easily.

Today we visited the Philadelphia Zoo, a place we have been many times before and one of everyone's favorite. Todd and I discovered after only having 3 children, that it was well worth it to become a member as far as cost and admission. We did not think there would be very many heading for the zoo today, but we were wrong. We had to park at the opposite end of the zoo, and walk to the entrance. Toby enjoyed this rather long walk as a time to wave to every passing car. I noticed that Philadelphians are not very happy people. Who wouldn't take time to smile and wave back to an adorable almost 5 year old little girl on her way to the zoo? Apparently no one. That didn't stop her from continuing to wave, however. She was happy to wave to the monkeys as well, even though they never returned the favor either. She waved to the alligator, which I'm thankful for not waving back. The giraffes had to be our favorite exhibit this time, as the tigers were sleeping, the gorillas were hiding, and the polar bears finished swimming. The zoo has a new giraffe from Texas, named Gus. We could tell which one was Gus without even asking....he looked like a Texan giraffe. Don't ask me how I know this, I just do. A zoo keeper was shoveling hay into a bin way up in a branch of a tree. When he came out with some fresh branches to stick in the fencing around the tree, the giraffes followed him. That was pretty interesting. Actually, that was our highlight of the day. I know it doesn't sound like much, but it was pretty cool.

So there you have it: two adventures in 3 days for us! Not bad. I wish I could say the more we do, the easier it gets. Unfortunately, that's not happening. Maybe some day it will. Right now it still makes me miss Todd. I am thanking God for the safety He provided on our adventures, and also for the courage to get through the days. God is good!

Here's Winter "enjoying" the Helicopter Show!

Ahhhh, familiar faces and friends (at the Air Show)

Our last stop before home...Toby's happy!

Polar bear....not swimming!

Mama bear and some of her cubs

And finally, Gus, the Texan Giraffe!

Friday, October 3, 2008

School Daze

Things are going well with the Radle kids' and their schooling!

Toby has to be our "student of the month" for September, only because she sounded out her first word! ("cat") One day she wrote the entire alphabet on the white board because she was "bored."

I feel like I've been in a daze this first month. I'm thankful I was aware enough to see Toby's eyes light up when she sounded out "c-a-t," and now have that memory with me forever. I'm thankful I took a picture of her alphabet artwork on the board. I'm thankful for the phone calls from the other children's schools to know they are up-to-date and doing well. I'm thankful for Winter's tears, that alert me to her struggles (but sorry I don't see the problem until she reaches that point!). God has been good, despite my school daze.

My sister-in-law handed me this picture of Todd at church this week. Just had to share.

I am amazed at how much he and Nathan look so similar at that age!