Friday, July 10, 2009

It's Hard To Be A Parent (Revisited)

As you can tell, I seem to have issues right now with posting. It's not that I don't want too, it's that I just can't think up anything great to say. Reese and I have had a couple of different blogs over the years and one of them has been saved so I decided to look over there and you know what, on that blog, it was mostly Reese as well. I must frequently have writer's block. As you can tell from my different posts, writing and grammar are definitely not my strong points.

I did find this post though. Reading this helps me remember why we blog. If I had not written it down, I would have forgotten this precious moment with my son. It was written the end of March, 2007.

Last night I sat on the bathroom floor with my soon to be 9 year old son, Mark, and watched as the tears poured down his face. He was crying because he can't remember his cousin anymore. James passed away when he was 19 months old due to a genetic disease called Menkes. Mark was 7 at the time. He says he just wishes he could remember something, but he can't. That's so hard. Mark adored James and spent so much time with him..but, he just can't remember.

He's finally asking questions...tough ones. Ones that I ask and have no answers for. We talked about all the wonderful lessons we learned and how we would not have ever learned those lessons if it weren't for James. We learned that every person, no matter what the disability, deserved love and acceptance. They have amazing personalities that shine through their eyes and their limited movements. We learned unconditional love. But, then you have to ask..why James..why did we have to learn those lessons at the sacrifice of James? Tough questions for an 9 year old, tough questions for a mom still muddling through some of those same issues.

It's hard being a parent. It's hard to watch your child suffer and question life issues. At the same time, it's wonderful to watch them learn about life and to find stability in a God that loves and saves them. One of the best lessons we learned is that God will not take away all of our tough times, but he will definitely walk through them with us. He sees the big picture. James is already with Him, and we will be eventually. Maybe in the end, that is all that matters.

There are also amazing fun times, times that I am thankful for and still wouldn't change but, again, not an easy thing to understand.Mark is a wonderful child. He's extremely sensitive and loving. I just have to keep praying that he will keep talking and expressing himself, that he won't bottle any of his feelings up. What a blessing it is to be his mom!

Recently I read somewhere that every trial we go through prepares us for what is going to happen next in life. I really don't think we would have felt ready for McKenzie if it hadn't been for James. There would have been a "trial" period of figuring out how to deal with a child with disabilities, one who looks different and may not be "normal". McKenzie was loved and accepted instantly. We already know the benefit of loving completely a child that may not be "normal". We didn't have to think about it or weigh the risks. We learned alot through James and are learning through McKenzie now. He paved the way for her into our family. He did so much in his little life and I'm thankful for every moment spent with him, every lesson learned, every angry grunt he gave me and most of all, I'm glad God chose us. Despite the pain, I'm glad I was his aunt and I'm equally glad to be McKenzie's.

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Thursday, July 9, 2009

The Michelin Baby

Heather's husband Dan is always uploading funny pictures to his Facebook page. This one I had to repost because it made me laugh out loud!

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Sunday, July 5, 2009

Quotes That Have Spoken To Me Lately

This is the true joy in life, the being used for a purpose recognized by yourself as a mighty one; the being a force of nature instead of a feverish selfish little clod of ailments and grievances complaining that the world will not devote itself to making you happy.

~George Bernard Shaw

It is not scientific doubt, not atheism, not pantheism, not agnosticism, that in our day and in this land is likely to quench the light of the gospel. It is a proud, sensuous, selfish, luxurious, church-going, hollow-hearted prosperity.

~Frederic D. Huntington, in Forum magazine, 1890

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Saturday, July 4, 2009

Pictures From My London Trip Yesterday

People all over the world will do anything for some cash, as this blue man deftly demonstrates. This is only one of many examples of people playing instruments for money. There was a hand-less man in the Tube station, strumming his guitar with a pick strapped to the end of his stub. Isn't there any other way for a one-handed man to make some dough?

This bloke became a dog for money. It must have been insanely hot under that blanket.

Kristine poses by the artful graffiti. This was under a footbridge, where a small skate park was. It actually looked pretty cool!

My friend Javare, posing with me in front of the London Eye. This is right by The Houses of Parliament and Big Ben. A short walk away is Westminster Abbey and Trafalgar Square.

Happy Independence Day! Hope you all have a safe and fun weekend.

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Friday, July 3, 2009

A Ramble

I've been falling down on my job. I was supposed to post on Wednesday but after work I headed to Portland to take a photography class with a friend. I didn't get home til 11:30 at night. I had every intention of doing a post, but when I got home I found out the kids had let the laptop die and I just didn't feel like messing with it. Terrible excuse, I know. Other than that, things have just been typical summer crazy.

I've decided to just ramble tonight. I'm super excited for the 4th. Normally I really don't care, I'm not a big fireworks person but this year I've talked my whole family into going to a town nearby that has a good fireworks show. I can't wait to watch my nieces (ages 3 and 4) get their first real taste of fireworks. I'm sure they will be in awe. What about you guys? Do you have any plans? Do you have any 4th of July traditions?

McKenzie is all healed from her surgeries, and looks great. I can't get enough of this smile, and she freely gives them out!
We are starting to gear up for our camping trips. I can't wait! I am taking the kids camping on July 10th and Dan will join us on the 11th and we will stay until the 13th. We love to camp and it's such a great way for our family to reconnect. Dan works completely opposite schedules from the kids and I and even though we do get to see each other we don't spend good quality time together. Then we will be home for a couple of weeks and leave August 2nd for the beach. This will be the first time that we try camping at the beach but we've heard of a great place to go and I can't wait to give it a try.
I hope you all have an amazing fourth!! Have fun with your families!!

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