McKenzie and I were just sitting here talking about my mom and wondering what she was doing in heaven today. I wonder if they celebrate Easter there? We were talking about the "famous" Bible people she has met. We were laughing about the fact that as much as she loved her family, she wouldn't choose to come back and celebrate Easter with us. I have NEVER met a grandma that loved her family as much as my mom! It is so weird to think that she wouldn't want to come back! :o)
I have bittersweet memories from last Easter. My oldest sister and her family came down that weekend. Because our church service always lasted so long, we decided to go to my mom's on Saturday so we would have a more relaxing day to spend with family. On Easter day we spent the afternoon with our church. I will always regret that. I would give anything if we had gone back to their house on Sunday too. If I had only known that was her last holiday..............
We took very few pictures that day. I cherish the one of my oldest two with their grandma. She was so miserable that day, but for some reason she asked me to take her picture with my oldest two kids.
My dad when he was so much happier.
I have been thankful that this weekend has been packed. We have had so much going on that I haven't had a lot of time to sit and reflect on the sadness. I am very thankful for our new church. We are blessed with a wonderful pastor and a very loving church family.
Hope you all have a Blessed Easter!
It is a rare occasion that we have a day that all of the children are at home with nothing to do. We decided last Friday that we would go pick strawberries since the oldest two were going to be home. On our way to the patch it started sprinkling. It was already an unseasonably cool day, so we were in for a really fabulous time! I like traditions though, and I was determined we were ALL going to go together! :o)
I hung out in the van with the baby most of the time.
Myles "helped" by eating strawberries the whole time.
Singin' in the rain..........
The strawberry patch has a snack bar in an old silo. They all got strawberry ice cream cones.
I think he enjoyed his! :o)
Macheus' first strawberry adventure....
By the time we were finishing up the sun was starting to peek through. It wasn't a beautiful day but at least we were all together! :o)
½ cup unsalted butter, room temperature
2 tsp. lemon zest or more — zest from 1 large lemon ... 7/8 cup* + 1 tablespoon sugar** 1 egg, room temperature 1 tsp. vanilla 2 cups flour (set aside 1/4 cup of this to toss with the blueberries) 2 tsp. baking powder 1 tsp.salt 2 cups fresh blueberries ½ cup buttermilk***
* 7/8 cup = 3/4 cup + 2 tablespoons ** This 1 tablespoon is for sprinkling on top *** To make homemade buttermilk, place 1 tablespoon of vinegar or lemon juice in a liquid measuring cup. Fill cup with milk until it reaches the 1-cup line. Let stand for five minutes. Use only 1/2 cup of the prepared mixture for the recipe.
1. Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Cream butter with lemon zest and 7/8 cup of the sugar until light and fluffy.
2. Add the egg and vanilla and beat until combined. Meanwhile, toss the blueberries with ¼ cup of flour, then whisk together the remaining flour, baking powder and salt.
3. Add the flour mixture to the batter a little at a time, alternating with the buttermilk. Fold in the blueberries.
4. Grease a 9-inch square baking pan (or something similar) with butter or coat with non-stick spray. Spread batter into pan. Sprinkle batter with remaining tablespoon of sugar. Bake for 35 to 45 minutes. Check with a toothpick for doneness. If necessary, return pan to oven for a couple of more minutes. (Note: Baking for as long as 10 minutes more might be necessary.) Let cool at least 15 minutes before serving.
It was the ending of a typical busy homeschooling day. There was laundry that needed to be put away, school work to grade, baths to be given, family Bible time to do, and kids to put to bed. I knew something was "up" earlier that day when I saw Mariah busily cutting up paper into squares. I have seen my children make "tickets" to more shows than I can count! I looked at her and said, "Make sure you clean up your mess." I barely listened to her when she said something about charging $1 for the show.
I was sitting on the couch nursing Macheus with my mind on the things I needed to get done. Marc came in and said, "I know you have a million things to do right now, but I think it is important for us to go watch their show." I didn't realize that Mariah and Malachi had already set up for it outside and had managed to get $1 from everyone! Marc had even paid my way! :o)
So.... Macheus and I wrapped up and trooped outside to our seats!
The "big kids" were good sports and came too. (They didn't really have a choice. We have watched MANY of their shows over the years! :o)
We all laughed and laughed as the two of them sang hymns to the top of their lungs and played the "guitar" (baseball bat) and "drums" (bucket and sticks). They didn't seem to mind us laughing. :o)
Mariah's get-up was amazing! :o) The girl ADORES high heels!
Daddy enjoying the show.
Sweet little Macheus.
Yes, we were late getting everything done that evening but the memories that we have are priceless. What did they do with the money they made??? They spent it on a carton of Bryers ice cream. :o)
It comes in waves, some days better than others..........but today I am missing my mom. I don't know why, but songs about heaven always make me sad. I love thinking about her there and the fact that she is whole and happy, but it just makes me sad that I won't ever see her again this side of heaven. Today a man at church sang a song about heaven and it made me cry. It was kind of embarrassing because it wasn't the kind of song that someone typically cries listening to.
I think sometimes people think you should "snap out of it" by a certain point- like you can put a time table on grief. I remember two weeks after my mom died a pastor asked me if it was getting easier. Really? Um, no! My mom had just died a very sad death.... much too young.... AND it was right at Mother's Day. No, the grief was just getting started.
Miscarriage is another loss that people often don't "get". I guess if you have never experienced one you just can't understand. I have had several miscarriages, but the one I had the fall of 2011 was really hard. I think seeing the baby made it even more real. I am VERY thankful for our new little blessing, but it doesn't take away the sadness of the ones that we lost. I was looking at him the other day and overwhelmed at the love I have for him. I started thinking about the babies we have lost and thought, they would have been just as wonderful as he is. I know God is sovereign. I am thankful that He gave us Macheus, but it is still sad thinking of the ones that we don't have.
I recently came across a couple of good articles on loss and grief. I thought someone reading my blog might could benefit from them.
"Many parents get so worked up over making their children be obedient in all things they forget that training doesn't mean discipline; it means instructing the child in how to master the issues of life."
"Training is the art of imparting skill sets and worldviews. Training a child in the way he should go involves taking a child by the hand and allowing him to be a part of your productive life."
"If you cook a meal and don't have your little girl standing beside you as you talk her through every step of the process, then you are NOT training her to be a good cook. If you clean house, shop, sew, have a Bible study, or any number of productive activities and you don't involve your children, then you are not TRAINING UP your children in the way they should go."
"When you train up a child to work, he will always enjoy the accomplishment of a job well done." NGJ MAR-APR 2013
"Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it."
I HATE stomach bugs, and I have warped my children into hating sickness and being germ freaks too! McKenzie babysat Saturday and the baby was sick (nice, huh!) Sunday morning she woke up feeling not quite herself and sure enough that afternoon it hit! I looked outside and saw this.....
Madeline was telling the others that McKenzie was vomiting, and they were discussing how they were going to keep from getting it. I thought it was funny and snapped a picture. They did not! :o)
It is now Monday night. McKenzie survived, I have washed ten loads of laundry, scrubbed down bathrooms multiple times, sprayed enough Lysol to kill us all, and............. Mariah seems to be coming down with it. If she is........... I guess I will start the whole routine again tomorrow!
It is Saturday morning and I am at home with my youngest four children. The oldest two girls both had babysitting jobs today, and Marc took Matthew out of town to take the SAT. Maybe it is partly due to postpartum hormones, but it always makes me sad when there are little life changes with my children. I remember when McKenzie started her first "real" job teaching piano lessons at a studio in town. You would have thought she was moving to Africa! :o) I remember being excited for her but sad that she was actually old enough to be doing something like that!
Matthew has been preparing for the SAT for months now and talking about college and what he wants to study. It wasn't until last night that it hit me that 'little" Matthew is old enough to be thinking about those things! I remember his 1st grade year like it was yesterday. Laying in his bedroom floor teaching him to read. I was pregnant with Mariah and he quietly said, "You are really huge." :o) Where did that little boy go!?!
I wasn't alone in my sad feelings though. McKenzie was a little blue thinking about him being in college too. They have always been really close. Most people think of Matthew being protective of his sisters (and he is!), but I tell you......... McKenzie would be vicious if anyone messed with Matthew! :o)
My oldest two being goofy. I sure love them!
Well, I have dishes to do, laundry to put away and a newborn that needs to be fed................
"Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, The fruit of the womb is a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior, So are the children of one's youth. Happy is the man who has his quiver full of them;" Psalms 127:3-5
"And I looked, and arose and said to the nobles, to the leaders, and to the rest of the people, “Do not be afraid of them. Remember the Lord, great and awesome, and fight for your brethren, your sons, your daughters, your wives, and your houses.” Nehemiah 4:14
Marc and Marcy
McKenzie Elizabeth & Daniel
Matthew Edward Fletcher
"For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast." Ephesians 2:8-9