Sunday, February 27, 2011

So Thankful

Tonight, I reflecting on how sweet our church has been to our family. Words will not be able to express how loved and cared for we have felt. My children are so important to me, and it's important to me that they love church, whatever that may look like.

For about 3 weeks in a row, Josiah was very upset about going to his class. This year is the first year he has gone to his own class on a consistent basis without mom as one of his teachers. Everyone involved went out of their way to make Josiah feel loved and special. He is now in the other Kindergarten class and is thriving. I asked him about it, and he said the other class just had too many girls. And the other class has more boys. I thanked his previous teacher for caring for Josiah and shared what he had said. She was able to confirm that there were more girls. I guess when you are one of 4 boys at home, having more boys around makes you feel at home. It was great to see him smiling as he literally ran to his class this morning.

I'm also thankful that Caleb gets to serve. He is serving with Levi at this time, and it was so nice this morning when Levi was a little tired to know that big brother was right there with him to give him that assurance he needed. I also love the fact that Levi loves going to "big church" every week. He loves his "music time." This morning as we were in the balcony, he stood the entire time clapping to every song.

For me, I love the fact that I get to serve with my children. We have been at churches where parents can't serve with their children, but this is super important to me. I love watching Silas in his Bible Study class. It's funny to see that he will hardly say 3 words in class the entire time but talks our ears off at home. He is so serious which is the opposite of his personality at home. But he loves going to church which is more important.

So, I'm thankful to God for putting us at our church at this time in our lives.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Everyday Life

Silas, Levi, and Caleb on one of our nature hikes

Wow! I'm finally finished catching up on our Christmas travels. It only took a couple of months. I think that record is better than last year, but I don't have an excuse of moving across the United States like I did last year. Anyway, things are going pretty good with us. We are finally back into our normal daily routine. Kerry has been taking each boy individually each weekend on a "hunting trip." Since I am not a fan of hunting, you probably won't see the hunting pictures on here much. Josiah, Levi, and Caleb have each had their turns. Each boy has had his turn with Dad except Silas. He is looking forward to his turn very soon. All of them have been so excited for some alone time with Daddy. I think that is what is most important to them - having Daddy all to themselves for a little over 24 hours.

We all have had our fair share of illnesses since we've been back. Kerry got the worst of it, fever and all. He was in bed for several days which meant I couldn't be sick. That wasn't fun. It took him a good couple of weeks or three to finally start feeling completely well. Our being sick reminded me to be thankful for the health God has given our family. I shouldn't complain when others are fighting for their lives. Thank you, Lord, for our great health!

There really isn't anything exciting going on here. Just normal, everyday stuff. School, church, play outside, going on nature hikes - that's about it. The boys are not playing sports this season. Since we know we are moving in June closer to the church, we have decided to wait and get plugged in there. Caleb was ready to step out of baseball, but Josiah is ready to play. Levi can hardly wait until it's his turn, Silas too.

That's about it for around here. The next big event in our little family will be Levi's 4th birthday in just a couple of weeks. I can't believe he's almost four!

Josiah wearing his new shirt from Nana and Granddad

Friday, February 04, 2011

Last Leg of Our Trip - Very Long

Sunday, January 2, 2011 - I couldn't decide if we should go to church this morning. I knew the boys were exhausted from our trip to Arkansas and then finding out that Papa had passed away. I felt my mom deserved some peace and quiet in her own home and I thought the boys might enjoy getting out. We went to Nate and RyAnn's church. After church, we went back to my parents' house for lunch. Then, I loaded up my boys to go wash clothes at RyAnn's house. Originally, we were going to pick Kerry up in East Texas, but I could tell that our boys needed their Daddy. I ended up calling him telling him he was needed. He arrived that evening. We arrived back at my parents, got the kids to bed, and I packed for yet another trip within a trip.

Monday, January 3, 2011 - We all headed back to Arkansas. We arrived in time to stop by and see Loriece. We sat and visited with her and family for a little while before going to our hotel. We arrived just in time to get settled and have Kerry run get all 6 boys McDonalds. The viewing was scheduled for that evening and Kerry was on child duty since Nate had to work until the following day. He fed the boys and took them to the swimming pool. What a trooper he was! Six boys will keep anyone busy!

RyAnn and I rode to the viewing together. It was nice to see so many people come; although, I personally do not do well with viewings. So, I sat to the side, visited some, and waited patiently. Afterwards, my sister and I grabbed some dinner and relieved Kerry of 6 boys. We were all ready to see our beds.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011 - The day of the funeral. I had no idea how our boys would do, so I was so thankful that Kerry was able to be there as well. Our boys did so well. They were troopers! Silas even fell asleep during the service, so we didn't have to get up until the very end. My Dad spoke some and the pastor said some kind words that gave me a glimpse of who Papa was in his last years.

After the service, we had to drive a ways to a small town (can't remember the name) for the graveside. It was nostalgic, so much history in this small cemetery. I got to see where Brenda Kay was buried. She is my mother's sister who died before my mom was born. My middle name comes from Brenda Kay. I thought that was rather special.

Then, the church provided the family a meal afterwards. It was rather a late lunch, but one filled with family, visiting, and memories. Caleb enjoyed meeting one of his "cousins", more like a distant cousin. All too soon, it was time to say goodbye to family in Arkansas, family from Colorado, and some family in Texas. Kerry, the boys, and I were headed back to Granny's house to spend one last night with her.

My Mom, Uncle Ricky, Aunt Jackie (Papa's three living children)

Granny and her four boys

Wednesday, January 5, 2011 - We decided to go see Granny at her office before we left for Arlington. The boys enjoyed seeing where Granny worked and are now convinced that she must have as much money as she wants since she worked at a bank. I don't think they understood that money isn't free there, especially since she handed them all money as we were leaving. It was great seeing Granny one last time before we left.

When we arrived in Arlington, my mom had prepared my favorite meal one last time even though I know she was tired. RyAnn stopped by with Brock and Braxton so we could all say goodbye. Most of the time, Josiah is not a fan of goodbyes as you can see in the picture with his cousins.

Granny, Silas, Levi, Caleb, and Silas

Josiah, Caleb, Levi, and Silas

Josiah, Brock, Caleb, Levi, Silas, and Braxton

Thursday, January 6, 2011 - We started our long drive back to California. We stopped in Albuquerque for the night. I thought I was booking a suite that slept 6, but was surprised that our room slept 4. Needless to say, not the greatest night I've ever had.

Friday, January 7, 2011 - Last day on the road! We stopped in Gallup, NM so the boys could play in the snow. This is the first time that Josiah, Levi, and Silas have seen and touched snow. Levi outlasted all of them. We made it home, unloaded the van, and went to bed. It took us quite awhile to get back into the swing of things, but I think we're there now.

Kerry and the boys


Bailey and Caleb



Last Memories with Papa

Friday, December 31, 2010 - Saturday, January 1, 2011
I recorded most of our visit to see Papa in a post back on January 1st. Even though Papa was sick, the boys seemed to enjoy their visit. They like staying in hotels, especially ones with indoor pools. Part of me didn't want to make another side trip on our trip to Texas, but I knew I needed to make this one. I'm glad I did.

Me and Papa

Caleb and Papa

Josiah and Papa

Playing cards with Papa

The boys with Willene