Thursday, May 23, 2013


Gospel Choir outfit at ISSMA
Today is Squirrel's birthday.  It is hard to believe he is already 17 and will be "leaving the nest" in two very very short years. 


Wow - time has flown by.  You have experienced a lot in your short life - been protected by God in amazing ways, moved several times, grown and changed so much.  You were always the child that I figured would give me the most grey hair - you had no fear of results from your actions.  You were not supposed to be able to walk normally let alone run as a result of a knee infection when you were just an infant.  I remember putting you in your crib in that hospital room so I could say goodnight to your dad.  Just as a nurse walked into the room you pulled up for the first time since you'd gotten sick.  Her reaction was "he's not supposed to be able to do that".  Later you used to love to jump into the deep end of the pool at the apartment complex even though you couldn't swim yet - you trusted me to catch you then would scramble out the shallow end and toddle as fast as you could back to the deep end to do it again.  At about 2 years old after we'd moved into our house you fell off the edge of the car and bounced onto the concrete floor of the garage.  That required stitches in the center of your forehead to close the hole from the corner of the car door.  The "run to the er/doctor" falls stopped for awhile after that - until we moved from OK to IN.  Then you fell off the play-set at a local seasonal eatery - this time that was an ambulance ride to the ER.  You must have been 6 or 7. No stitches that time.   Probably your biggest, most traumatic fall happened when you were in 7th grade - resulting in a PICU stay of several days and of course an ambulance ride.  Amazingly you only ended up deaf in one ear as a result of that fall - it could have been so very much worse.  As a high school freshman you were out running one afternoon and managed to get your foot run over by a car.  Again that could have had such a different outcome - even though you still have occasional issues with that foot you can still run and play.  God has clearly been protecting you.  

You have experienced several moves - first at 3 weeks old moving from IL to OK.  Then a move from our original apartment there to the house closer to where dad worked.  Another major move to IN to get a fresh start and one more move to where we live now when I married again.  

You have always had a strong determined personality.  You wanted to go straight from being nursed to a sippy cup - at 6 months of age. Potty training was a trip - you refused until I bought you "big boy" unders - and wouldn't wear even training pants.  However as soon as I allowed you to wear your "Thomas the train" unders you trained.  You struggled with kindergarten but not academically - it was more dealing with your dad's illness and hospitalization.  You were definitely a "mama's boy".   You used to hate getting up in the morning - I remember walking to the bus early mornings carrying you because you didn't want to go - you meantime were hollering at the top of your lungs.  When I finally got you your own alarm clock and made you responsible for getting up on your own you did fine.  You wouldn't try new foods - at least not unless you had applesauce to dip it in.  Applesauce and pizza, applesauce and corn-dogs, applesauce and fish sticks.  You used it like other kids used ketchup.

Because of that strong personality discipline was a huge challenge for me - I believed in spanking and that was simply ineffective in your case.  I remember Awowe telling me not to bother - it just made you more stubborn.  I despaired of seeing you grow spiritually - you asked Jesus into your heart at a very young age while we were attending COTM.  But growth seemed like a long time coming.  I am so excited to see the spiritually strong young man you've become - you have a heart for God and a heart for others.  I am looking forward to seeing how God will lead you and use you - in whatever area of the world you end up.  

You have run for years - since you were in 3rd grade at least.  The past couple of years have been difficult for you in this area - the coach did not approve of you doing two sports and the team just didn't feel like a team.  However you stuck with it with a good attitude and learned from it and still managed to improve your times.  What is important is that you do your personal best in all you do.  
There is probably so much more to write about - but I probably need to stop for now.  Will end with a quote from a book we used to read together - "I'll love you forever, I'll like you for always.  As long as I'm living my baby you'll be".  (From Love You Forever by Robert Munsch).  

I love you!


PS You would far rather be behind the camera than in front of it...

Tuesday, May 14, 2013


The wind is blowing hard this morning - I can hear it howling.  It is supposed to get quite warm out so that will be ok.  I have plenty of flowers to get planted later though I still don't have mosquito spray made. 

Last night B worked until almost 11:00 pm.  He came in from doing physical work about 8 and had supper.  Then he and I worked on the computer looking for parts for a skidder that was down.  The owners are quite concerned about getting it repaired as quickly as possible.  Once I figured out that I had to look under forestry equipment it was much easier to get information and pictures of the part. However because the part with the hole in it is aluminum that is going to be difficult.  B cannot simply weld a patch onto it.  By the time he was off the phone with the owners and a friend for input it was almost 11.  Made for a short night as it still took awhile to settle down after.  

Bus route this morning went pretty well even though I was a bit tense.  I was due to have a couple students return who had been suspended from riding over defiance and I was a bit anxious about how they were going to behave.  That whole situation was a mess - it started simply because I had had to change my rules on hat wearing on the bus.  The one student refused to take his off which made the other (who I'd been having other issues with) put his back on and refuse to remove it again.  At that point I figured it was outright defiance and that I will absolutely not tolerate.  However the administrator at the one school refused to deal with it as he figured it was simply "hats" - turns out he didn't even talk to the students at all or contact the parents.  I knew he wasn't going to contact the parents but I did expect him to talk to the students.  If it was simply the student refusing to remove his in the first place there still would have been disciplinary action due to defiance but I doubt it would have gone to the extent it did.  (And I certainly would have been far less angry).  However as it turns out it appears that 2 of the 3 students involved (the 3rd was dealt with by a different administrator at a different school) will not be riding my bus in the mornings for the rest of this year.  I have yet to see if the one who rides both ways will be riding home with me - unfortunately that's where I had most of my issues with him.  But all of that to say while route went well overall I was sad to hear that the one parent was still extremely upset about the situation - I have had her kids for several years and really do care about them.  Currently only the one is still riding with me.    This all reads about clear as mud but I can't be more specific.

Yesterday afternoon when I got home I got a text from my sister to tell me to check my email - that my Uncle S was having open heart surgery right then.  She had forwarded the email from my Aunt BJ (Mom's sister) about it that gave sketchy details.  I found out this morning that he did come through surgery and had bypasses done.  Don't know how many or any more information.  However it all brought some grief to the surface again - if only for the fact that we are spread so far apart that I can't go visit.  Made me think how Mom and Dad coped when they were in Africa and received news like this.  There wasn't "instant" communication like we have today.  At best there were very occasional long-distance calls and telegrams. Most news came through "snail mail".  Also reminded me of how I felt when I received a letter from my Mom while I was at boarding school - was in 6th grade.  She told me in her letter that she'd had a stroke and had been paralyzed on the left side for 3 days.  God worked a miracle there - probably one of many in their lives - and healed her.  However to me a stroke meant you were going to die and I was very very upset.  I remember being told "why are you so upset?  Your Mom is fine" and that I needed to stop crying.  And true - she was ok.  But I wasn't home with her and had no real understanding.  It was scary.  I don't remember how long after that it was before I got to see Mom and Dad.  But I can still see myself hiding behind a chair crying. 

This is getting really long - I want to link to a blog I read the other day about telling our "stories" - how blogging doesn't have to be perfect, etc.  I also want to write about Mother's Day and the fact that I have a son who will be 17 in a week.  But guess that will have to wait until later - I really need to get out to the shop office and find some information to get some paperwork done.