Wednesday, July 1, 2015

OBX Slideshow

Not surprisingly, I came back with lots of vacation photos. Now I just have to decide how to post 1200 photos. :) In the meantime, you might like to see the "shortcut" slideshow I put together for my family.

We are a whole group of imperfect people, living in God's grace.


Monday, June 29, 2015

Doing Battle, Week 40

After many, many months and lots of work, we have arrived at surgery week. All of my bravado has been stripped away and I am having to make a choice, hourly it seems, to have faith instead of fear. To trust and not doubt.

I don't want this to be my story. But they tell me that this is the route I must go so that I can be around next Mother's Day with my children, so I can celebrate more decades of anniversaries with my guy.

My brain is not functioning well enough to put a proper post together, but I know many of you want to know. Surgery is this Thursday....it will be an all-day affair, and we covet your prayers.




We wait in hope for the Lord;

    he is our help and our shield.
21 
In him our hearts rejoice,
    for we trust in his holy name.
22 
May your unfailing love be with us, Lord,
    even as we put our hope in you.
Psalm 33:20-22

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Project 365, Week 26

This was a much-anticipated week, three years in the making. My mom, her brother and sister and all their families came in from all over....Connecticut, Rhode Island, New York, California, Texas and Tennessee....to meet up in Outerbanks, NC in one house for one week. It was wonderful!

For the purposes of 365, I'm keeping it to one photo per day, and I hope to have more about our trip posted soon.

June 20
We left about 11 PM to make the 11-hour trip. Shaun woke up the kids just before sunrise so they could see the sights as we passed through DC. They are champion road-trippers!
June 21
Happy Father's Day!
June 22
Beautiful evening for family photos.
June 23
These three have my heart.
June 24
Happy 10th Birthday, Sweet Avery-girl! I was freaked out about being a mom right up until the moment I first held her and looked into her face. Then it all made sense and felt right.
June 25
Aunt Bonnie and Uncle Lee schemed to send the middle generation out on the town for the evening. We had a lovely dinner together while the grandparent generation stayed and watched 21 kids. When we returned, all was quiet and everyone was accounted for.
June 26
Last day in OBX. All 42 of us...21 adults and 21 kids.
June 27
After traveling through the night, we got home about 9 AM. After church, we used a gift card to go out as a family one last time before life changes for a while (R was working). Also of note, it was Aiden's first night in Promise Land, which is where all the big kids go. How did we get here?!?


Monday, June 22, 2015

Doing Battle, Week 39

This week there is not much in the way of news. We are in a holding pattern, waiting for our surgery date. Ideally, my surgeon would have liked to have operated maybe last week, but she wanted to honor my desire to attend a family vacation that's been planned for quite some time. When it was booked, we knew I had cancer, but thought it would surely all be a distant memory by the last week of June.

It didn't work out that way, but I'm grateful to be here. And I'm also ready for surgery. Surgery may quite possibly be our last step of dealing with this craziness and I am all for being on the other side of it! Next week we'll be ready to roll, but for now I soak in this bit of summer and amazing family time in this beautiful place. I have the best people, both here and at home.... there's no team members anywhere I'd rather have.

Thank you for standing with us, for caring, for praying. For coming back here each week to read about what's happening in our lives. My heart is full.



Sunday, June 21, 2015

Project 365, Week 25

Our first week with no school and we're getting in the groove. I love not having to send my girls off each morning! And the weather!

June 14
"Wild Kratts Live" with cousins. The kids thought it was awesome!

 We had R's graduation party and Uncle Nathan hung a new swing for us, since we wore out the other one.
 June 15
Enjoying the beautiful flowers that I "borrowed" from one of our buildings.
 June 16
Shaun and I had an early morning date. We were up at 3:45 AM so I could take him to the airport.He  spent three days at a conference in Dallas for financial services.
 I wanted to use this week to spend with the kids and get all our summer fun done. It didn't quite go like I'd pictured in my head, but we managed to find some fun.
June 17
The river is still cold, but we made it there!

June 18
Now that Aiden's joined the bike-riding crowd, we've been doing a lot of it.
 Last game of the season.
June 19
Shaun's return flight kept getting delayed, until it was 2 AM when I picked him up. Totally worth it...it was SO good to see him again.
The soccer team had an end-of-the-season party. Such a beautiful evening. 

I'll include Saturday in next week's post, because it all ties together. Have a fabulous week!

Friday, June 19, 2015

High School...Check!

I don't talk about R much here on the blog. There are several reasons for that. I have found that the older kids gets, the less appropriate it is for me to share their stories with others. The cute and crazy things a three year-old does seem shareable to me, the cute and crazy things a 19 year-old does are private. Unless they choose to post a youtube video for the world to see, but that's not my call.

The other thing is they become more independent as they get older. Through much effort, R is now involved in activities, work, a girlfriend and sports. Many of those things are done on his own, so he's not around as much as he once was....as it should be.

But I do want to take a moment to brag on him here. When he came to us two years ago, he transferred to his third high school. The public schools in our area are um...lacking, but the state requires that he attend public.

Getting through these last two years was a hard-fought battle. It felt like there were more rough patches than smooth and nothing was just a given. We worked through the challenges and overcame the temptation to give up. And now, for the rest of his life, he carries a high school diploma. He's capable of so much and hopefully this step will be a marker in time to him as he goes forward.








 Right after the ceremony he attended project graduation, complete with laser tag, wall climbing, basketball, etc, so we delayed his party until Sunday.

Our families are rock stars....they all came out to celebrate the occasion. They've always embraced whatever kid we have and include them as one of their own. Its a beautiful thing to watch community come together to support and encourage the kids.

Sienna and Avery spent hours working on a beautiful custom banner and others helped out by bringing food and cleaning up. We had perfect weather to be outside.

R's working hard this summer and in the fall he'll commute to a technical college about an hour away. We're excited about how far he's come and hopeful about his future.










For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Jeremiah 29:11

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Project 365, Week 24

We wound down school this week.

June 7
The girls had spent the night at a girls retreat in the sticks of MA but they had a mini soccer tournament here beginning at 9 AM, so Shaun, Aiden and I woke up at 4:30 AM and drove the four hours total to get them back. We stopped briefly to get them breakfast.
Later, we started some projects, getting the house ready for R's graduation party.
June 8
3rd and 4th grade had their final projects on display for parents to see. Can school be over now?!?

June 9
I got to accompany the girls on a field trip. We rode on a steam train and then took a boat ride on the Connecticut River.




 Aiden hung with Shaun at work for a couple hours....dressed for success!


We went to the high school like we used to before we lived on a quiet, flat street and had a yard. Plenty of open, paved space there for bike riding. I love this picture of these three crazy kids.
June 10
Fresh goodness on the streets of New York City.
June 11
More house projects, and lots of willing helpers.
June 12
More projects...love hanging out with my boys.

LAST DAY OF SCHOOL!!!

We weren't home five minutes and the girls were digging into their summer packets. (Aiden was copying down a bible verse to help him remember to be kind.) That beats two years ago when the new school year had already started and we couldn't even find the blank, neglected packet.
Yay, yay, yay!!
June 13
The girls and I hit the road by 7:30 AM to be at an away soccer game and Shaun took Aiden to his last day of t-ball. Then while the girls and I went to cousins dance recital (wish I had pictures from that...Madison, Trevor, Renna and C3 were awesome!), Aiden and Shaun worked on cleaning up the yard for the graduation party the next day. When I got home that evening, Aiden was fairly glowing. Shaun said he'd worked hard and diligently all day. What a kid!