Month: December 2013


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It feels like a lifetime. And I think that’s good. Because I can’t imagine my life without him.


{December 31st, 2002.}

It hasn’t always been easy. But each year has gotten sweeter.

I love you babe. More than words could ever say.


When even pears are tainted

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I went and saw Saving Mr. Banks the other day.

(Warning – a little bit of a spoiler ahead…)

At one point in the movie, the main character, Mrs Travers arrived at her hotel. There was a basket full of fruit to welcome her. She panicked when she noticed pears, grabbed them, and chucked them out the window into the pool below.

I laughed as I began to cry because I knew exactly why she couldn’t have pears in the room. I knew before the rest of the story was told.  Eventually we learned that her dad, on his death bed asked her for pears (in order to get her out of the house). But when she came back with the pears her daddy was already gone.

I wept through most of the movie as she recalled memories of her childhood. And how so much of her life was tainted by the horrible memories of losing her father.

I wept because I know the grief and despair she was experiencing.  I wept because I continue to experience things in my life that are tainted. And it frustrates me and overwhelms me. While it’s not pears, it’s other things that have become tainted since losing Mom and Dad.

Cherry Berry and Ruby Tuesday. Off limits. Cherry Berry was where our last family picture was taken.


It’s honestly a miracle that we even took that picture. We didn’t take many family pictures, mainly because with everyone’s work schedule we didn’t get many opportunities to all be together at the same time.

Ruby Tuesday was the last place I saw Mom. I wrote about that here. So for now, we don’t go to Cherry Berry and Ruby Tuesday. And most people think we are crazy, I’m sure.

Men with ponytails. My dad had a ponytail. Of course we teased him about it. And there weren’t many “older” guys who had ponytails. Until after they died. Then I saw men with ponytails everywhere. Older men that were graying and had mustaches. I hate men with ponytails. (No offense if you are one of them.)

“Papa.” The other day I was at a store and they had decorative pillows that said, “Papa.” And then it said stuff under that like, “story teller.” That’s as far as I got reading the pillow because the tears started to flow. You have no idea how close I was to destroying that pillow display. Like seriously throwing the pillows as hard as I could. Hahaha, that would have been a sight, huh?

Horses. Tonight I went into Angel’s room to tuck her in. She was sitting on her bed weeping. I asked her what was wrong and she said that she missed Grama Susie and Papa. A little bit later as she cried she also said how she missed Buck and Gracie so much. We might get horses out here on the farm some day. But for now it just hurts too much because we’re only reminded of the two horse lovers we lost.

Carbon monoxide detectors. That’s kind of a given, right? But I don’t think I could ever adequately describe how much I despise them. Granted, I’m glad we have one. But I try my hardest never to walk by it or look at it. For I fear I might grab a hammer and beat the crap out of it.

The list could go on and on. I’m sure that 98% of it is stuff that is silly and irrational. I”m sure that so many things I just need to let go of and release my grief and sorrow and anger to God.  And some days I do. But some days are harder than others.

A good friend of mine, one who experienced a horrible loss a few years ago, told me the other day that someone told her that they thought there were actually only two stages of grief. Shock and acceptance.

I think they are right. And I think we are still in shock.



Catch up and baby news

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I’ve been on an unintentional blog hiatus lately, as I mentioned recently. Time just seems to get away from me and then it’s 9:30 and the kids are asleep and I can’t help but crawl under the covers myself. It’s probably not the best time to post an update today, as hopefully most folks are taking a break from the computer to enjoy time with kiddos. I am taking a quick break from my kiddos to enjoy some time on the computer. : )

In my last post I talked about my brother Jim being in town for a visit. It was such a blessing to have him visit, although we were bummed that Leana couldn’t come too. She is going to visit her family in South Africa after the first of the year, and so it was hard for her to take off more time from work.

Thursday night, December 12th, we had a little family Christmas.

As great as it is to be together, it’s still weird and sad to be together. December 12th happened to be exactly a year and 1/2 since we found Mom and Dad. A year and 1/2 of great sorrow and grief. A year and 1/2 of great blessing.

One of those blessings is a new baby.

Caleb has been asking Pat lately for a baby brother or sister. He’s tired of being the littlest in the family.

Unfortunately we are not going to adding to our family.

But my brother Jim is. He shared with us on Thursday night that he and Leana are expecting! We are SO excited, and most excited of all (well besides Jim and Leana of course) are Caleb and Angel. They are beyond excited to be getting a baby cousin. Please keep them in your prayers during the next months. Leana has experienced severe morning sickness and so please pray for a relief from that.

Here’s a picture of us Thursday night. That thing Danelle is holding is a rooster… a present “from” Mom and Dad to put in the memorial garden.


I will hopefully eventually post a separate update about Caleb’s 5th birthday. It was a whirlwind weekend of celebrating as we had his party a little early since Jim and Danelle were in town.

We let Caleb pick and it was his first party where we let him invite friends. He of course picked the Pizza Ranch and after we stuffed ourselves we let the kids run crazy in the playland.


Last night the kids had their Christmas program for their school. We love our school so much! Lord willing, the kids will continue to go there as they are adding a grade level every year. In two years when Angel is in 2nd and Caleb is in 1st, they would be in the same class together. Just one of the many amazing things about Train Up a Child!

Aunt Nellie bought the kids Christmas outfits but Angel was adamant that her outfit was for Christmas. My word, that girl is such a girl. And I say that with all love. So after a great battle I decided to go shopping (ok it really wasn’t that much of a battle), but I was able to find a cute outfit for her on clearance. And then she’ll get to wear her “real” Christmas outfit on Christmas.

They are so precious.


Precious in an exhausting sort of way. : )

We had an amazing surprise last night at the program in that Holly and Timothy came! They are home for about a week and it’s always so great to see them. We are looking forward to a somewhat relaxing next few days. I’m off work from After School and I’ll be picking up a few hours at Vacation Care but Angel and Caleb get to come along. They’ve enjoyed making new friends there. I’ll put in some hours at my HR job but do some of that from home which is such a blessing. We’ll have some time with Pat’s family and just our immediate family and possibly a road trip to Aberdeen to see Nellie.

Lord willing, I might even get Christmas cards out. We aren’t receiving many this year, as not many have our new address. It’s not that we moved three times in the past year or anything. Ha! So I’m hoping to get cards out so that I can share our new address with everyone!

I pray you have a blessed Christmas. Cherish each moment you have. And remember the great love our Heavenly Father has for you.


Uncle Jim is undermining my authority

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My brother Jim arrived in beautiful sunny South Dakota yesterday (Tuesday) late morning.


This dude lives in Florida. As in this Florida:


I have no idea why we aren’t visiting him. Well actually I do, it’s because flying four people to FL is not cheap. So we made him come here.

He loves it though.

He got to ride for 3 hours through crazy blowing snow to the coldest place in the state. (Aberdeen) And then he got to watch The Little Mermaid with his niece and nephew.


Fun times.

So before we left for Aberdeen on Tuesday we met my other brother for lunch at Pizza Ranch. The kids asked for money to play the games or get candy or something. I said no.

Guess what Uncle Jim does? You guessed it. He gives them some money so they can buy the ridiculously large gum balls .

And then today we were in Aberdeen at the mall. We were at the play land and the kids were once again asking for money. Once again I said no.

I’m not always this mean. Just saying.

Meanwhile Jim was getting a pop and came over to us as he was putting his cash back in his wallet. The kids went running over to him and he said, “Get away from me you little piranhas!”


Finally. He’s gonna stand his ground with them.

By the way that was exactly what my dad would have said. It was cool. In a sad sort of way.

So yeah, Jim was finally not giving in to the kids.

Until 20 seconds later when he walked over to them and gave them some coins.


Yes. Yes those are more ridiculously large gum balls.


Uncle Jim has been constantly undermining my authority.

And I really wish he lived closer so he could do it more often!