Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Time keeps on slippin' into the future...

Its been so long since I've posted that it's possible all my readers have given up on me! But we're here. Life is flying by. Molly's working 2 jobs, Hannah moves into a charming old house with a friend on Nov. 1, Paul has 2 more football games, graduates in December and leaves for Vermont in January. Sydney wraps up cheer next week and has been sitting for standardized tests about once a month getting ready to reel in scholarship money for college. Sami had a successful school v-ball season, has started basketball at school and will try out for Jr. Olympic Regional (not national) team today and tomorrow. Chris still drives to Ft. Smith everyday, and I'm in Fayetteville. And Uncle Jon, who moved in during June, is on a one week trip to Southern CA.

Heard on the radio this morning that confident faith can be compared to driving to an unknown destination with OnStar in the car. A voice, that knows your name, will guide you with directions - you just have to follow the next step. I like this. With so many changes in the family, it is a blessing to have confidence that the Lord knows our names and in trusting and obeying the next step, we can peacefully navigate the coming days.

Love to you all...

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

How Shall we then live?

Another sudden and shocking death has rocked our hearts in the abbey home. The day before mother's day the girls and I were reading around the pool when aunt cherie (Chris's sister) called on Sami's phone. "I need you guys, it looks bad. The doctors say only a miracle will keep Doug alive through the night..." Within two hours we loaded up the van and headed for Vegas where Cherie and her husband had been vacationing. But we only made it as far as flagstaff when the call came that Doug had 'gone home'. So we went home to Temecula where all the children were born, where we all first met doug, and where he and Cherie had created a life of love and laughter together.

We stayed for a week. It wasn't long enough. Speaking to Cherie tonight makes me long to go and stay with her to help her through these exhausting days and long sleepless nights. There is so much to be done, I've observed, in the weeks following a death. No time, really to let it all sink in. And it is easy for those left behind to feel so overwhelmed.

Yesterday as I was worrying about future issues I was impressed in my spirit that I did not need to spend the energy in negative thoughts about what the summer may hold. Rather, I am only asked to "do the next thing" - that which is right in front of me, and the rest will be revealed in God's time. And so that is what I am trying to do. Rest in the moment of nowhere... because that is where He is - Now and Here.

And I can't help but ponder at this time how I would want to be remembered after I "go home" How Shall WeThen Live, knowing that the end could come any moment? In fact, I'd like to challenge fellow bloggers out there to post about that very thing. At the very least it reminds me for this moment to savor those I love and as Doug's brother-in-law so eloquently put it at his Memorial service - "always tell them you love them, and live in a way that would make your parents proud".

Sunday, April 26, 2009

May I just say, I do not get the whole attach a picture, write a bit, and attach another picture?? I wanted clever little captions under each one. Don't think I'll get that! and, I can't figure out how to move and/or size them. one day...

One of the wonderful things about living in a small town for nearly a decade is the predictability of traditions. Like - prom weekend is usually sunny, and pretty much count on rain for Dogwood festival weekend. the weather man got those mixed up this year. Here are Paul and Sydney in the gazebo at the park - cuz even in the rain, the kids gather to snap photos!

At any rate, after pictures in the park the six headed back here to a tent in the "park" yard of the new house. appitizers - bread with olive oil/basalmic vingegar and herbs, shrimp cocktail, and fresh bruscheta along with the yummy fizzy drinks w/fresh berries. Unfortunately, by the time they'd been chatting, playing whonu and eating the starter dishes the rain was pouring down. The girls were good sports in the guys jackets, but they were all happy when I suggested the girls run upstairs to "powder their noses' (do people really say that still. Okay. didn't say that, said freshen up, but that would have put "up" two times in the same sentence...) and the boys went off to paul's room to play nintendo.

Chris, Molly, and I moved the dinner party to the living room. Much better - and more dry!
Chris was INCREDIBLE! this day. He did all of the cooking. Famous steaks (RuthsChris has nothing on us) - cuscus w/cranberry and almond, and these little green bean bundles - so yummy. I'm going to try and post a picture of his greatness :) I am lucky. I keep telling these girls of mine not to go getting involved with anyone unless he's as great as their dad... (at this rate they'll never move out!) But I digress

Overall, I think the kids and their dates -Paul and Sydney went with Allie and Zach and their friends Corey and Bethany joined them - had a pretty swell time. Fifth year in a row for prom - five more to go. whew. The last picture is of the fab 5 - both serious, and silly. they are just so fun.

Facebook | Sydney JoAnn's Photos - Prom '09

Facebook Sydney JoAnn's Photos - Prom '09

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Long TIme NO Post

Our lives have changed drastically in the past month. And so in the midst of adjustment and stress, I just haven't had the energy to post. And this one may be as short as the last. But a quick update:

Chris was asked by his employer to jump start a mental health clinic in Hamburg, AR. For those of you who've never heard of this village, it is in the opposite corner of the state from Siloam Springs - less than 60 miles from Monroe, Louisiana. So, on Sunday afternoon, he gets in his car and makes the five hour drive. And on Thursday afternoon, he comes home again. In the meantime, I have taken his spot at the clinic in Ft. Smith (about 90 miles from home). So, every morning I get in my car at 6:30 and drive there, and then make it home usually by 6:00pm. Yes, this is stressful.

But our kids have been fantastic in the midst of this transition. Molly makes menus, does the shopping, puts away the groceries ("because, Mom, I want to be able to find everything"... i'm not the most organized individual, but she is...) AND she cooks a great dinner every night I work. She and Hannah split the driving that has to be done during the day for their sisters. Hanny helps with chores (she's even washed and dried the dog a few times these past few weeks!) and they both are managing to hold down their own jobs and go to college full time as well.

Paul is enjoying the freedom in the morning to sleep and not have to get up for family breakfast. He also appreciates me not "reminding" (aka, I hate to admit, Nagging) him to take out the trash and feed the pets. With spring football gearing up and working at the ranch rope's course along with the all important social scene, he's content. Sydney rides to school with him everyday. Between cheering for our basketball team at State these past few weeks and tryouts for next year's squad, she too keeps busy. Also, she cleans the bathroom most morning.

Sami is probably having the biggest adjustment. But she too, pitches in everyday. Her chore is unloading and setting the table. With club volleyball in Springdale 3x a week and tournaments about every other weekend, her schedule is full. Plus, she's still an active leader in FCA...

This is hard - I'm not gonna lie. But its okay. By God's grace we are learning and growing and staying strong as a family. Of course there are arguments about chores, and once in a while someone gets left somewhere without a ride. But frankly, that happened when I was in town all week long... I worry about the kids. I worry about Chris. And I worry about me. But then I think of all we have to be grateful about, and I begin to give thanks, instead. That is much easier on my heart.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

The Little River Band

Becky and I got to go see The Little River Band in concert in the desert. They are one of those bands that those of us who were kids in the late '70s early '80s can sing along with very easily. The guys obviously love their jobs, have a great time on stage and do a fabulous show. I'm going to try to insert a music link like I've seen on some of your blog sites... And, if LRB ever comes to a venue near you - you should go - its a good time!

Monday, January 26, 2009


The other day my older teens/20 and their friends were watching a movie my 13 year old wasn't allowed to see. I made the comment to the girls, "This is such a dark story". One of them replied; "It's reality, mom!" And I said, "perhaps it is for some, but most of us do not experience a reality that is so without hope."

And it makes me wonder. What is my reality? When it begins to feel that nothing is working out the way I planned. When my faith takes a back seat to my fear. When I forget how very much I am loved. At those times, in the wee hours of the morning when I am tempted to give in to the lie that my sins are still being held against me... I forget that "There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus".

So what is my reality??