SAL-VA-TION: by grace

E-LEV-EN: children from 1984 to 2006

HOME-SCHOOL-ING: since 1990

DOWN-SYN-DROME: susie and gabe

GRAND-CHILD-REN: since 2010

FAITH-FUL-NESS: my steadfast rock, my biggest supporter, my leader, my friend, my love, my husband

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Double Digits

There she was

Here she is

Our tenth child is ten. 02-22-2002 was a full ten years ago. I just responded to someone today who said, "The time just flies by," that it hasn't for me. Time just meanders along at an appropriately manageable pace (unless, of course, I'm facing a deadline). I look at the picture of my baby Lisa, my "Squishy" as she was called, and it really does seem like a decade ago. Time hasn't seemed to drag painfully on, but has been slow enough to make me feel like I've been a part of the lives of my growing children. Lisa is going to be a fun girl to grow with over the next ten years. She is full of life and spirit. She has struggled mightily with a complaining spirit, a negative attitude, and a need for control. But, she's growing and learning and, best of all, changing.

The day before her birthday she lamented (not usually a time for lamentations) that the bad thing about birthdays is that they only last one day and then they're over. She told me that other fun things don't end like that. For instance, if you go to an amusement park you can have a lot of fun for the day, but then it's still open the next day and the next if you want to keep going (never mind that we've never gone to an amusement park for consecutive days). Birthdays, however, just end after only one day. Thankfully, she got past her moroseness and had what she described as the best day of her life.

Except for one small part. Owen offered to play anything that Lisa wanted during the hours before her party. She chose a game and they were half way into it when they met a snag. They couldn't agree on a particular rule and Owen chose to quit the game (for understandable reasons considering the tone of the 'conversation'). Lisa was devastated and, after hearing out the situation, I concluded that I couldn't do anything to solve it. Increased devastation and torrents of emotion. But then, the breakthrough. Fifteen minutes later Lisa came to Owen and sweetly and humbly asked if he would play again with her and she would be willing to play by his rules.

I would have been stunned if I hadn't been so immensely proud of her. You can not know what an enormous hurdle this was for my girl. I had privately told Owen that I thought, considering that it was her birthday, he should have agreed to play by her rules in the first place AND I really believe that she was right (although I didn't tell them that). Yet, she chose to enjoy playing a game rather than sulking even if it didn't go her way, a way which she was convinced was right.

So, as I imagine the road of the next decade I can imagine a great deal of joy with Lisa.

Here are some highlights from her tenth year.

Aunt Lisa

Sister Lisa

With Dad between a wedding and reception...why not fish?!

Putt-putt on Mom's birthday

Camping in Glacier National Park

A 'sign' of Roger King's humor in Idaho (The sign reads "WARNING no fishing or diving from the bridge)

Roger took each of the children up for their first airplane ride.

Playing with the Pacific Ocean in Washington

Lisa was fascinated with the statues in Vancouver. It was like a life-size imagination land for her.


One of many swimming days close to home

At camp with Hope. They "met" in August of 2001, 6 months before they were born and have been friends even since.

Adventurous, determined, and tenacious--Lisa was the only child to make it to the top of the climbing wall that day.

Devoted big sister--just don't ask her to share her toy horses!

Friends gravitate to bubbly, friendly, out-going Lisa, but she loves to play by herself and get lost in her imagination world

My faithful gardening partner helping to plant a Kaylee Hope spring bulb garden

She made the cookies, she decorated the cookies...

...AND she cleaned up the mess without being asked!

Lisa's only frustration with having girlfriends is being teased about having boyfriends. And Lisa has a lot of boy friends. She likes to run and play and compete (a lot like her Mom and sisters, OK...exactly like her Mom and sisters) and she often thinks that boys are just more fun. But for now, this is as close to "boyfriend" as this girl gets.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Ski Day/Scrap Day

Yesterday was Homeschool Day at Big Powderhorn Mountain Ski Area. Kids (and parents) got a lift ticket, ski or snowboard rental, a lesson, and lunch for $12. It's an amazing deal! Powderhorn doesn't make any money off of this deal and I'm not even sure they break even. It has to purely be a marketing scheme/goodwill gesture. The marketing part certainly works for people who live nearby, but even my kids are talking about how fun it would be to spend a few days there, stay in the lodge, and ski. As for winter vacations, it would be cheaper than taking a longer trip to drive south and they'd be experiencing their home environment and getting a lot of exercise while doing it. I'll have to talk to Keith about that one...



Quinn and Bryce

Bryce wanted me to get a picture of him going off the jump (he actually wanted me to walk out onto the hill and up to the jump to get a good shot--I chose to get a mediocre shot with zoom. I had trouble discerning which skier was him and even seeing what was in my view finder (looking into blinding white). I was thrilled to see that I got it!

Sadly, I was unable to take advantage of the great deal. I had just had an MRI on my knee the previous day (probable torn miniscus) and I didn't think skiing would improve my recovery. But, I didn't want to sit in the lodge all day and do nothing. So, I put together a stack of pictures, matched them with background paper, packed up some scissors and pens, and ended up completing 10 pages for a scrapbook. I haven't been that photo-productive in years! It also reminded how much I like having photo records of our family--yes, I cry when I look back at family photos. So, it encouraged me to get on track with my albums and I got a stack of photos sorted and in their albums today and even ordered another set of prints that were uploaded but never printed.

I love days off that result in fun for the children and enjoyable productivity for me!

Note: A HUGE thank you to Dana for keeping Gabe for me. He would have cried to go out on the slopes the entire time, I would have accomplished nothing, and we both would have been exhausted by the end of the day.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Cameron Asher or The Best-laid Schemes of Mice and Moms (although I don't know what mice have to do with it)

Here he is!
photo by Wendy Maybury

I actually did make it to see Cameron and help out with the twins this past week....sort of. We waited until Gabe had been fever-free for 48 hours and Lisa and I were without symptoms before setting out for J&J's. We were there for a whole 23 hours. Jamie tried rather unsuccessfully to console me by claiming that I was "a lot of help" for the day.

Lisa, Gabe, and I left our house very early Tuesday morning so we could be there when Joey left for work. We played with Carson and Keira and snuggled Cameron while Jamie slept between feedings. Our day ended at 9:00 pm when I laid down with Gabe to get a good night's sleep for the next day. The stomach bug woke me up at 11:30 (no need for details). Fever and headache took over at 5:00. I was packed up and headed for home with an ambivalent Gabe and a very sad Lisa before Jamie and the kids were up, hoping to decrease the risk of further contamination. I 'limped' home, slept for 2 days, and prayed that I didn't give Carson and Keira the bug for their birthday. So far, it sounds like that prayer was answered.

So, I'm sorry Jamie for leaving you with more cleaning work than the day of rest was probably worth (she put muscle to the prayers and lysoled the house).
I'm sorry Carson and Keira for not spending an extra three days playing with you and going places and picking out birthday presents (Happy 2nd Birthday to you both!)
I'm sorry Cameron for not taking a single picture of you during our one fabulous day together.
I'm sorry Joey for not getting to play that new game with you.
They were all MY losses!!
It'll have to be rain checks all around. I hope I can cash them in soon!

The picture at the top of the page and the three following were taken by Jamie's photographer friend Wendy Maybury. I am not trying to pirate her work, but just want to share her beautiful pictures of our adorable new grandson.

photo by Wendy Maybury

photo by Wendy Maybury

photo by Wendy Maybury

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Sad Face Day

Carson and Keira are sad because Nana is not there. (OK, so I took some liberties interpreting this picture--taken on Christmas Day.) I'm "supposed" to be with them right now, playing with them and holding their new brother. I'm not.

Cameron Asher will be two weeks old on Tuesday and I haven't met him yet. Two weeks may not seem very old, but I met all of our other grandchildren within the first ten hours of their lives. Cameron was born on January 24 (Uncle Troy's 19th birthday). He weighed 8 pounds 7 ounces and was 20.5 inches long. Granddad and Nana were in the middle of a 10-day getaway, trying to recuperate from life and responsibilities and a schedule that had left time for each other (much less blogging and many other things) almost non-existent.

I don't regret not being here that day. Cameron won't remember it, Joey and Jamie understand it, and Keith and I needed it (oh so much more than we even realized). I do, however, wish I was holding that little boy tonight. Even so, I do not regret staying home today. Last night Gabe surprised everyone with an erupting stomach. Keith spent 5 hours holding Gabe in one arm and a bucket close to the other. When the stomach settled down a fever spiked, and here we are. Carson, Keira, and Cameron (not to mention J&J) need to be healthy more than they need my help (which would come with Gabe's germs).

Hopefully, I'll get over there soon and get some happy pictures of everyone. Then I can put up a true "welcome Cameron" post.