Friday, January 23, 2009

Loom Knitting

A couple of years ago now, a friend of mine had one of these really cool knitting looms. So, I searched one out and found a set of different sizes. So, while my husband and I were on vacation (we stayed in a motel in Omaha last week for 3 nights & 4 days, with no children, to celebrate our 20th anniversary!), and while we were there, I decided I'd try out making a couple of hats. These aren't the nicest, but for my first tries, the kids sure are getting a kick out of them! :+)

A One Year Good-Bye

Yesterday, Jan. 22nd, was the 1 year anniversary of our son Samuel's birth, and death. It was the first time that I have been able to watch the DVD from the memorial service, and to go through all the things that they gave us when he died. His little blanket is starting to lose the baby smell he had. That makes me so sad. Maybe I thought that I could keep that smell forever if I sealed it tightly in a zip-lock baggie, but I know that realistically I can't. I so miss him, and still think about him every single day. This past holidays were hard for me as it would/should have been his first Thanksgiving, his first Christmas, his first New Year... There is no easy way to get over the loss of a child. I am blessed to have held him for as many hours as I did that day. I am blessed that I have pictures of him to remember his little face, tiny hands and feet. I am blessed that I had him, for even the short time that I did. I will always love him, forever and ever. I apologize to all who I did not get a Thank You card from us after his death. I really had good intentions, but each time I would plan to begin, the tears would come and the cards never did get done. We do appreciate every single one of them though! This year, I want to plant a tree in our year in memory of Samuel. That may sound corny to some, but to me, it sounds like a good idea. I think I will plant a Rocky Mountain Sugar Maple, as that was one of my father's favorite trees as well. I love the colors as they change from one season to the next. And right outside in our front year will be the perfect place - beside the water pond Ashley built this past summer. So to my little boy, this is not good-bye, but instead "I'll hold you in Heaven one day again."

Friday, January 16, 2009

Let's Ring in the New Year Right!

January has ushered in a fresh New Year with new hopes, dreams and goals for things we hope and wish to see different. Free to be lived without the mistakes that we made last year. Hopefully we have learned from them.

We know that the New Year is just another day on the calendar - but in our hearts we pray that the days ahead will be better than the days behind. We somehow magically hope that this "New Year" will be radically different than the year we have left behind.

Unfortunately, though the calendar is new and the picture has changed, it doesn't necessarily mean that you and I have changed just because there's a new calendar on our wall. We haven't changed, well not really that drastically anyway. For all intense and purposes, we are still the same people that we were the day before, and still have the same flaws we did yesterday and the day before. Instead we must realize that life is a process of successes and failures, all of which, by God's grace, we can get through.

What is especially hard is suddenly realizing that our kids are the same "works in progress" that they were the day before, or in this case the year before. They will not magically stop fighting with each other, or suddenly do their chores with a good attitude, or mysteriously have learned all their times tables or how to read.

The good news is that God can still point us in the right direction as we step into this New Year, IF we're willing to keep following His plan. He can still put us on the right path. Our New Year is not hopeless. In fact, it is just the opposite! It is full of possibilities. We will never be perfect, nor will our husband or children. However, with God's help, we can keep up with the process. We can keep on working to make a difference this New Year...keep on working to make things run smoother...more more better stewards of our money. We can keep working with our children teaching them to read, write and spell. Spending time with them...loving them...laughing with them.

We are all a work in progress. Homeschooling is a work in progress. Motherhood is a continual work in progress. Fatherhood is a work in progress. What worked for one child may not even come close to working for another child. Just realizing that is a good start to our New Year already!

So, let's keep our focus on God this New Year. Let's continue to be a work in progress. Let's try to learn from our shortcomings and failures from last year, and keep looking up, and ahead. Let's keep our eyes on the only one who can truly change us, who can change our situations and families, all for His glory. It will take time, but this year can be the New Year you've been waiting for. Let's just follow His lead.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Craft Time With Big Brother

During this holiday break, our oldest son, Zach - age 17, taught 5 of his siblings to make friendship bracelets. They all turned out nicely, except for the fact that Colten - age 7, doesn't has as long of an attention span as his other siblings, so Zach had to finish his for him. :+)