Friday, February 20, 2009

Pajama Day at School

How cool to be able to wake up and go to school in your pj's! That's what CJ and Amelia did the other day. I snapped a few pictures for fun since I was at school that day.

Pinewood Derby

This was CJ's 5th year in the Pinewood Derby. It's always a fun day. This year, CJ's car (Viper) tied for first place with his good friend's car! Can you believe they tied, down to the thousandth of a second, over the course of 6 races? Wow! What are the odds of that? Anyway, it was a fun day and even Charlie got into racing the cars! While Amelia actually made a car, she was unable to attend due to a conflicting event. So, Charlie was more than happy to race "Bling," Amelia's purple, sequined, sparkly car. Her car actually came in third in the sibling race. One more year of Pinewood after this (and then a couple years respite before Charlie is in boy scouts)!

Valentine's Cookies

We made some fun cookies this year for Valentine's Day! Lips! The kids had fun decorating them (and eating them).

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

One month ago

It was one month ago yesterday that my mom passed away. One month ago that I sat at her side and whispered to her to let go and leave our world to go on to the next...that I was ok and dad was ok and to watch out for us from the best seat in the house! Each and every day I play over and over my last few weeks with her and especially the last few days. While I wouldn't trade those days for anything, I do think about how really difficult it was to watch her deteriorate and pass away. I think about all the things I should have talked to her about if I'd known that she would go downhill so quickly and that I wouldn't be able to talk to her again. I'd want to tell her what an amazing mom she was and how much she sacrificed for all of us. I know this is all a part of the grieving process and that slowly these intense feelings will fade and I'll be able to focus more on the good times and not the last days and the "I wish I would haves," but for now that is what I am doing. In many ways I don't want time to go on because my memory of her is still so clear and I don't want to lose it. A church friend asked me how I was doing, and as I do with everyone that asks, I say I'm doing "ok." I am just "ok"...some days (hours) are great and some are filled with unexplained tears. Then he said...what I really want to know is, is this week better than last? And, yes, looking at it that way, I have to say it is. Marginally better, but better nonetheless. I am busy with kids, school, home, etc, but my thoughts are always with me...I think that forever they will be. I know God had a reason for taking her on January 10th, I don't know why because I'd rather her be here with me to watch her grandkids grow up, but I know He had a reason.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Random Pics Since I Haven't Posted for a While

Since we have been dealing with the loss of my mother, I have not posted pictures in a long time. So I picked some events that happened over the last few months to show you....a visit with a family who adopted a girl from Charlie's orphanage a few months before us, Charlie's baptism, Christmas, and a ski trip to Colorado. Enjoy!

This picture is self-explanatory...guess which players the kids sought out?
The Vikings, of course!

Together again...Charlie and his friend from the orphanage!

The smile says it all...shear delight!!

The following are pics from Charlie's baptism.

See...he can still use chopsticks!!
These are pictures from Christmas. We were so happy to have Pete's family visit from MN. Charlie got to meet his cousins, including Taya who was adopted from China 3 years ago!
Who is this bearded man?
The kids in Christmas PJs.

Our first Christmas family photo with Charlie!

G and G Schmidt and their 7 (!) grandkids!

Charlie and Taya!
These are from our ski trip to CO with our good friends the Zilkenats. They used to live here in our neighborhood, but moved last year. We are so happy to stay in close touch with them!

Our little ski bums!

When I say he can throw a good tantrum, I mean it!! See the tonsils?!

Sunday, February 1, 2009

A Tribute to My Mom

As many of you know, my mom passed away on January 10th. It has affected me more deeply and profoundly than I could ever have imagined. I think of her every day, all day, and how I long to just talk to her or touch her one more time. However, I am blessed to have been able to spend the last 3 weeks of her life with her. She became ill in November and after several weeks of treating her for back pain (due to a fall she had here at our house), the doctors discovered it was something more serious. We got the final diagnosis of pancreatic cancer on December 24th and I flew out to be with my parents on Christmas Day. While there were many ups and downs while I was there, we did have many good moments together...some laughs, some tears. I will treasure my time with her forever. And, I am so thankful that she was able to spend 2 weeks here at the end of was before her illness set in and she spent many fun days with her 4 grandkids! She was able to meet Charlie for the first time and absolutely loved him (how couldn't you...he's such a sweetie).
Actually, I am so thankful that she was such a big part of our lives...always! Even though we lived an airplane ride apart, she always made the effort to be here for the kids special events (bdays, halloween, etc). My parents usually came to visit us every 3 months for 2 weeks each time. And, we visited them about once a year. So, while we didn't see each other every day, they made sure they were a part of our lives. I am forever thankful for all the wonderful memories that we made.
Here is a poem I read at her Memorial Service on January 17th and a picture of her, my dad, and Charlie. I love you mom and miss you mom...more than you could ever know.

A Mother's Helen Steiner Rice

A Mother's love is something
that no one can explain.
It is made of deep devotion
and of sacrifice and pain.
It is endless and unselfish
and enduring come what may
For nothing can destroy it
or take that love away...
It is patient and forgiving
when all others are forsaking,
And it never fails or falters
even though the heart is breaking...
It believes beyond believing
when the world around condemns,
And it glows with all the beautiy
of the rarest, brightest gems...
It is far beyond defining,
it defies all explanation,
And it still remains a secret
like the mysteries of creation...
A many splendoured miracle
man cannot understand
And another wonderous evidence
of God's tender guiding hand.