Wednesday, February 25, 2009

So Life Goes On . . .

We talked to the kids last night via Skype. They arrived in Arequipa yesterday and have settled into their "home". They are living with a Peruvian woman and her children for the next three months while they attend language school. It was nice to "see" them over the computer but I have to admit it was quite frustrating as well. Sweet Tyler kept reaching for the screen and I found myself reaching back. So much of a relationship with a baby involves physical touch and babies learn and grow tactically. I know that it's better than what missionary families had in past days, but I have to say I liked it better the way it was for us before, when we could hold him and play with him, tickle and kiss him. Ah well.

I was visiting with a student here at the university I work at. She is a missionary kid who grew up in Africa and just returned to the States to go to school 6 months ago. I was asking her about her relationship with her grandparents. Basically she told me that she never really knew them although the is getting to know her grandma now. Imagine!

She shared with me that she doesn't really feel "at home" here at all and longs to go back to Africa someday - even though her parents now live here. Imagine!

She told me that every single time her grandfather talked to her dad on the phone - every single time for twenty years - he ended his call by asking "Are you coming home yet?" It took twenty years, but they are home now. Imagine!

I am just going to take it one day at a time. And today there are only 1086 days until they are home to stay.

I've kept myself busy this week - I started working outside, cleaning up the yard and my flower beds for spring. We have had 50 degrees and sunshine and lots and lots of wind. Can I just say how hard it is to rake leaves in the wind?

I feel like I have been doing a lot of raking leaves into the wind lately, figuratively speaking. Hmmm....

I got the back yard done inside the fence but we also have property outside the fence that needs raked. And the front yard needs attention too. The flower seeds that I started indoors have all sprouted - except for the Petunias. I'm hoping they just need a little more time. I have 6 trays of 72! If they all do well - I'm going to be in business! Yesterday I planted 4 o'Clocks and Cantebury Bells.

I am also getting ready for our Ladies Retreat this weekend. Our speaker is going to be author, Robin Lee Hatcher, and I am really excited to meet her and hear what she has to share. Our numbers are down this year - the economy has hit our congregation pretty hard. But I feel confident that those whom God wants to be there - will be. It will be good to go away for a few days and focus on something different.

Sweet little Miss Ava Claire has a double ear infection. She was extremely fussy last weekend and running a low-grade fever. After a visit with the Dr. on Monday she is on antibiotics and last night we were at her house and she was very happy! Poor sweetheart. She is still so tiny - 5 months old and 13 pounds. She is very strong however, and jabbers and "talks" more and more. She is holding onto little toys now and grabs hair! I especially love when she grabs my hair and pulls my head down to hers and "kisses" me! I'm sure that's what she is doing! Andrea swears she has heard her say "mama" twice. I remain skeptical about that - but who knows? She loves eating her fruit and cereal - you can't spoon it in fast enough. Jayson and Andrea have two chichuahua's and last night we noticed one was missing. Andrea said "Oh she is upstairs sleeping in Ava's room". Apparently she loves Ava and whenever Ava goes to bed, little Junie goes up and sleeps by her crib. How precious is that?

Life does go on. It's different - and we are adjusting. I don't like it - but I can't change it. So I will just depend on God to get me through. I find myself drawn to the Psalms. David sure had a knack for putting his true feelings into words. I like that he felt close enough to God to tell him how he really felt. I like knowing that God is big enough to handle the way we feel. It's good to know I can be totally honest with Him and tell Him how I feel and He is not threatened by it. It comforts me to know that He knows my heart - He cares - and through it all He is accomplishing His will.

I'm glad He is so much bigger than I am.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Friday Fave 5

I have been tempted to skip the Friday Fave 5 meme again this week because of all the sadness, but something tells me I need to keep on keeping on. So that's what I'm going to do. Coming up with five favorite things about this week is a bit challenging - but here goes.

1. I went to the gardening shop and bought some little seedling trays to start my flower seeds in. This summer I want to really work on having beautiful flower gardens and I don't want to pay for the flowers. This seems like the most economical way to go. We'll see what happens. So far I have planted 36 Hollyhocks and 36 Wave Petunias.

2. The sun is shining again - literally that is. We have had horrible cold weather and been socked in with an inversion for weeks. Inversions create fog and dreary days like nothing you have ever seen. I have been so ready for warmer, sunny weather and this week has been wonderful. 50 degrees and sunshine. Tomorrow I am planning to start cleaning up my yard and my flower beds - lets get moving with Spring!

3. On Wednesday evening I just wasn't feeling up to going to church. Besides being sad I have been sick for weeks with a really bad cold. So my daughter Andrea and I curled up on my bed together and spent some girl time watching a cheesy Lifetime movie. Just what the doctor ordered.

4. My sweet little granddaughter Miss Ava Clair is just such a joy to me. This week I was holding her up to my shoulder and she put her little hands against my chest and pushed herself away from my shoulder and just stared into my face for the longest time. How I wish she could have spoken her thoughts- her expression was just sweet and serious.

5. Hope. Even in the most difficult of circumstances we always have hope. Thank you Jesus!

If you would like to read more Friday Fave's, just click on over to Susanna's at Living to Tell the Story.

Until next time.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009


Grief. A very real and tangible emotion that most of us try to avoid. Of course none of us ever get to. It's as much a part of our human lives as joy or hunger or air. Fortunately, for most of us, grief only shows up occasionally because our lives are mostly filled with good days. There are always the "bump in the road" kinds of things that happen, but real, deep, heart-wrenching grief, blessedly, is rare.

Yesterday we sent our kids off to Peru for three years. We will get to see them for short visits once each year. Saying goodbye to my daughter, son-in-law, and 9 month old grandson has nearly ripped my heart out. And although the pain is still raw and tender, I'm glad that much-dreaded ordeal is now history and I never have to live through yesterday again. I know there will be more good-bye's in my future, but at least this one is now behind me. I thought this whole thing was going to kill me. And then I was afraid it wouldn't. That's how grief works. It comes in waves. Just when I start feeling like maybe it's going to be okay, some little thing like finding a certain little boy's sock stuffed in the couch cushion, will cause the tears to begin flowing again.

Since October, when their decision to leave was made, I have been sadly counting the days down until they left. When it came time to turn the calendar page to February, I fought it with everything in me. But February came anyway. Now I can start counting down the days until they come home to stay. I'm on day 1093.

I want to thank all of you who have prayed for me. Many of you I know in real life. You have listened to me and comforted me and tried your best to convince me that I will survive this. Many of you I only know through blogging and you have been every bit as supportive and loving as if we lived down the street from each other. You people will never know how deeply I have appreciated your prayers and love to me. You have shown me the love of Jesus and I am humbled by your many kindnesses. Yesterday I found this post written by Bev at Life of GRITS. It was so helpful to me and it expresses my heart perfectly and exquisitely.

You may have noticed that I have placed some blog linkings on the sidebar labeled Peru Blogs. Michelle, my daughter, is the top one and she promised me she would do her best to keep it updated. She won't actually be set up in Peru to start blogging until next week - but I can't wait to read her words and see her pictures. They are spending this week with Tyler's grandparents on the other side of the family. I'm so glad they are having these days to spend together. Olivia is a friend who graduated with my daughter from college. And Wendy is a girl from our church who is leaving next week. Her mama and I have committed to meeting weekly to pray together for our kids. I would like to invite you all to read their blogs and support them in prayer as you have me during these days.

I know that somehow we are all going to adjust to this change in our lives. We are going to be okay.

I'll leave you today with this picture of my beautiful sweet boy in the airport yesterday. I can't possibly find any words that can come close to describing how much I want to kiss his sweet face.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Because Every Girl Needs a Valentine's Hat

I just couldn't resist knitting Miss Ava a hat for valentine's - it looks so cute on her - like she is ready to go snowboarding! She is 4 1/2 months now and really blossoming. Her little personality is showing more. I'm pretty sure she has figured out that she is a princess. She knows what she likes, who she likes, and how she likes it. And she isn't shy about sharing what she knows!
Aunt Jess gave Miss Ava and Tyler a bath the other night - what fun! Miss Ava loves her bath and she loves being na*ked, but when you go to put clothes on her, you better have some ear plugs! My stars, that girl reaches a pitch previously unheard of! Tyler just looks at her in wonder.

Just for fun - here is a picture of the babies with their great-grandma's. My mom is holding Tyler and my mother-in-law has Miss Ava. I love it!

Monday, February 9, 2009

Simple Woman's Daybook for February 9

For Today...

Outside my window... a very dreary, foggy, snowy/rainy day. I'm so ready for spring.

I am thinking... about planting my flower seeds indoors soon.

I am thankful for... my husband, who knows me better than any other person in the world - and he loves me anyway.

From the kitchen... trying to decide what kind of cake to bake Michelle for her 29th birthday tomorrow.

I am wearing... black jeans and a black t-shirt. And black shoes and socks. I guess it kind of fits the dreary day.

I am reading... a book called Parents of Missionaries. Lots of good advice.

I am hoping... that our family is finally over the cold/flu season.

I am creating... lots and lots of memories with my sweet little grandson who is living with us for this last week before they leave for Peru.

I am hearing... the hum of my computer, footsteps down the hall, my fingers tapping away on the keyboard.

Around the house... evidence of a busy weekend!

One of my favorite things... knitting hats for my babies!

A few plans for the rest of the week... no plans at all - just being together as a family for as much as we can.

Here is a picture thought I am sharing with you...

Oh how I am going to miss them.