Monday, May 26, 2014

Memorial weekend 2014

Meet my Grandpa Joe:

A picture from Gram's funeral last weekend.

He taught me how to ski...when I was four...just a year ago he was still teaching people...
Grandpa and I went to Japan together, just the two of us.
We eat sushi together, love seaweed with our rice, and think soy sauce and mayonnaise make everything taste better.

I want my boys to experience Grandpa they way I did and I want him to know my boys.  Now that the boys are a little more self sufficient, the days are a bit warmer, and because I realize that time waits for no one, this summer the boys and I will spend a lot of our days in Bethel.

Can you guess which piece belongs to Laughter?

This memorial weekend we kicked the summer off with a whole lot of fishing.

Every place we went we got rained on, it was quite humorous by the end of the day.  We would get all set up cast once or twice and then it would pour.  After a few minutes we would pack up, Grandpa not wanting us to get soaked while the boys could have cared less.  A mile down the road the sun would be shining.  And so we would find another spot.

This is where we saw the loon swimming under the water right through a school of sucker fish.  Man of the woods is still taking about it.

The boys made Grandpa laugh a lot while he impressed them with his great fishing spots.

Our last stop, where Grandpa was hooked...literally.

They experienced there first ever fish fry at the fire station.  They weren't in love with the food, but ate it well.  They did however, love the idea of eating in the fire station, seeing all the hoses and the "ladder that was almost as long as the entire building and could have stretched out even longer then that!"  All the while I loved watching Grandpa turn the small things into a grand adventure for them just like he did for me when I was there age.

Laughter knew we were there for three days so he would sadly count down hoping each day that we would stay longer.  On our last day Man of the woods begged to stay just one more day as I was packing.  It's an understatement to say that both are looking forward to visiting again soon.

My heart is happy that they loved being there and being with him as much as I do.

Gifts #
117 ~ A quiet, car ride for sleepy boys and a thoughtful Momma.
118 ~ A community fish fry where:
119 ~ Boys try new things.
120 ~ There are hoses everywhere & long ladders on the wall.
121 ~ Grandpa gets to introduce his great grandchildren to long time friends.
122 ~ I get to sit back and enjoy my memories as the boys make there own.
123 ~ Banana bread that begs to be eaten.
124 ~ Ice cream a tradition of Gram's that I will carry on.
125 ~ To see my Grandpa laugh, hard.

126 ~ To see my boys be in awe of him.
127 ~ Fishing that builds relationships.
128 ~ Seeing a loon fish.
129 ~ Rain.

130 ~ Getting gas and Doughnuts with the boys.
131 ~ Wild imaginations of sailing, sharks, and killer whales at the park.
132 ~ Throwing sticks into the river with Grandpa B.
133 ~ Little hands helping Grandpa B "weed" the garden.
134 ~ Little boy loves.
135 ~ Boys playing together in the back seat.

136 ~ Laughter "singing" for 30 straight minutes.
137 ~ Bathroom breaks that take forever & trying to remember these will pass just like sleepless nights and crying babies passed.
138 ~ How loved Strong man is by the boys.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

A photo never taken.

It was Thursday.  Your first full day at the hospice house.  You had church friends visiting and singing hymns with you.  Your boys, Grandpa and I were in other parts of the building.  Just that morning we all were told that you would be with us a day, at most two.  So we were notifying people, trying to process and take care of business while your friends sat with you.  But then you asked for the three of them to say goodbye.  Every one cleared out of the room so you could have just those three.  I sat in the rocking chair not wanting to interrupt your time but not wanting to be away from any of you.  The moment was beautiful.

You lay in bed with "Billy" on your right gently stroking your hand, with Grandpa on your left holding your other hand as only a husband can while Jody sat at the foot of your bed caressing your leg as a mother does her sleeping baby or as a son does his dying mother.

I don't remember what was said.  I only remember the picture that I didn't want to interrupt with a flash.  I burned it into my mind for that day when it is my turn to say goodbye.

The day that I say good bye to my Strong man and my two boys,
I hope that they love me as much as yours do you.
I hope that I can say goodbye with as much dignity as you did.
I hope that as I lay in a bed like yours that I will have lived a life as full as yours.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

It lulls me back in time...

The house is quiet, except for a hum in the background.  I'm not sure what is causing it, but I don't mind though, its the sound of your house.  It lulls my mind back in time for a walk with you.

I'm a Mommy now, Silas sleeps up stairs while Grandpa bounces and sings Isaac to sleep in the dark of another room.  You are sitting in your chair and I am close by on the couch.  We talk about my boys.  You're amazed at how well two year old Silas did washing eggs with you that morning, not breaking a single one.  I shake my head again as I tell you how surprised I was to come into the kitchen as you were preparing dinner to find him helping you shape the beef into patties for hamburgers.  You defend yourself by telling me that he was only touching the wax paper not the raw meat.  I just smile still shaking my head.  You change the subject commenting on how much he looks just like me when I was little.  he has my freckles and curly hair.  I tell you he also has our strong will.  That sends us back in time.  You begin to tell me a story about how I once refused to eat a hot dog.  I don't remember this as I was too young, but I do remember sitting at the table for hours one night because I refused to finish my supper.  You won that battle of the wills.  But the time I arrived at your house with a bad gash on my finger from a tin can and you insisted that every night before bed I put it in some rubbing alcohol...that battle I won, even if I did have to call Mom to get out of that awful task.

You two did everything together that weekend, washed eggs, made dinner, painted his favorite sword, & baked a cake.

The walk continues late into the night.  Reminiscing about my childhood.

Climbing the walls just before the bathroom and then waiting for some somebody to either need something out of the pantry or to use the bathroom so I could jump down scaring them.  You told us that you had done that when you were a child and that your boys had done it and that now we could as well.

The time we were at the farm, the window above the kitchen sink was open and we were making apple pies.  I remember the window was open because Grandpa and Justin were out back doing something. I wanted to be with them but you insisted that I should be with you making pies.  As we searched the freshly picked apples looking for the right ones.  You picked out a snarly looking apple and asked if I thought we should use it in our pies.  I didn't.  You cut into it to show me a perfectly healthy apple, and then used it as a lesson as to how we should never judge by what's on the outside, but we should take the time to see what's inside...A life changing lesson.

All those times you made me go to church with you when there were other places I'd rather be, like on the ski slopes.  That got us into even more hours talking about your deepest love; Jesus.  You shared with me how much He means to you, how proud you were of me that I loved Him in the same way.  You shared your heart with me of how much you hoped those close to you would also love Him.  You have hope because, "The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count as slow, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance." (Written by a close friend of Jesus, Peter).

Then you would explain to me how sorry you were for how you raised your boys.  If you could go back and not push Jesus' gift on them quite so much.  You understand now that it's a gift that only the Holy Spirit can give not a gift that you can force somebody to take.  If only you hadn't been so hard on them.  But you know you can't go back so you take what you know now and trust God.  You do your best to support them and love them now hoping through your actions to show them how important Jesus is.  You go again back to Peter's words and encourage me not to give up hope and reassure me that you haven't.

We notice the clock realizing it's past midnight and we need to go to sleep.  Those two little boys will be awake and ready to go in just a few hours, and so we say good night.

Monday, May 12, 2014


Dearest Si,

You are the easiest boy to plan a party for.  All you wanted was your family, a store bought whoopie pie cake, and some fishing.  That's how you are though.  You always have a short list of wants and being with those you love is always on it.  I love that about you.

So you're six as of two days ago.  It kind of blows my mind.

This year you:
~ Started kindergarten.
~ learned to read & write.
~ Almost always get perfect scores on your spelling tests and memory verses.
~ Learned how to ride your bike this past year.
~ Learned how to buckle yourself up with an over the shoulder strap.
~ Learned how to catch and release mice.
~ Fell more in love with critters, fishing, & the outdoors.
~ Learned when to be tough and when tears are right.
~ Do things for and with your brother because you know it will make him feel loved even though I know you really don't want to. - I'm so proud of you for that.
~ Love God more then you did last year.
~ You have a hunger to learn, about God, about life, about academics.

It has been a treasure watching you grow one more year older, becoming your own person.  I'm am just as overjoyed that I get to be your Momma as the day I birthed you.

An interview with your six year old self:
What is your favorite color? Camo
What is something special to you?  My magical's, the pull apart super heros.
What is your food?  Chicken nuggets and whoopie pie.
What is your favorite memory from this past year? That walk in the city forest with just Dad.

110.  You're healthy.
111.  You make smart choices.
112.  You want the right kind of things such as people over possessions.
113.  Your love for the out doors.
114.  The simple things that bring you joy.
115.  Your freckles.
116.  How quickly you learn new things.

Saturday, May 3, 2014

In your kitchen without you.

I'm sitting on the couch enjoying the smell wafting through the house as the crock pot does its job.  There is chicken marinating in the fridge that I will cook up in a few minutes.  Your house is quiet as I am the only one here.  I told you I would be by in the morning, but will have to be late.  I'm sure you won't mind as I'm taking some time to care for Grandpa.   Gram know that he will be well taken care of, but I would feel better about cooking for him if I had your recipes to use.

Yesterday morning I started going through your cookbooks trying to find your favorites.  You didn't mark the recipes you liked very well.  If only I had given you that empty notebook sooner then i would have them all in your handwriting now and I wouldn't be cooking up my recipes, but yours.

I thought I had a few more years with you...