So today was an absolutely beautiful fall day here. It was around 73 degrees out, the sun was shining, and the kids were outside all morning getting as muddy and dirty as they possibly could. But it was loads of fun (and loads of laundry) and worth the joy that it brought to them to let them at it. And Dax slept for 4 hours straight while they played and I cleaned house! Here is Reilly and a couple of his buddies "building" in the creek. One of our leaf piles. It's probably 15 feet across, and two feet deep. I guess this is our first "real" fall.
This, my friends, is our backyard! It really is breathtaking.
The boy worked hard. That is sweat on his brow!
That is the back of our house. Macy thought I was taking the pic of her.
Here they are, all working together! It was worth the dirt and grime that I had to clean up just to see them all having so much fun together. One common goal (I think it was the dam that they built), and they were unified! Great word picture, huh? I'll probably see this in a sermon illustration soon...
The sweet sissies- Shea and Cam.
See the two holes in the ground in front of her? That's where her feet got stuck. She actually panicked a little when she couldn't move. Then she pulled her feet out, and last came the shoes. They were a mess. She was so cute!
Oh that smile! It brightens up anyone's day, doesn't it? Sweet Boo...
Wow. I can be so shallow. I can get antsy about finding a pair of jeans to fit Shea. About a milk spill on the dining room table. About a trail of mud into my bathroom. Wow. I can actually get mildly irritated by a slow driver on a one lane road. Or when my keys go missing. Or when my son spits up on an outfit that I just put on him. Wow. I can spend entire days just making mental lists and checking things off when they get done. Going from one task to the next, with hardly any thought for anything beyond the "to-dos". Today I am so thankful to be shocked again out of my monotony and apathy. I just watched Nichole Greene's memorial service live on-line, and was forced into wondering what would be said about me if I died today. I would be honored to have things said about me like what was said about Nichole. I was reminded today to live for the line, not the dot (eternity, rather than the "dot" of this life). James 4:14 says, "Why, you don't even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes." How about that? Psalm 90:12 says, "Lord, teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom." I want to resolve today to live each moment for the Lord Jesus Christ. What else matters?
Please pray for the Greene family! Nichole went home to be with the Lord Saturday morning. She battled cancer and was suffering greatly near the end. It is a joy for her to be free from the pain she was enduring, but very sad for her husband and four sweet kids. Ansel, Noah, Josie and Levi will miss their mommy and Norm is grieving the loss of his wife, though all know that she is praising God and free from all earthly troubles and pain. Please pray for them!
I wanted to post just an excerpt from Nichole's version of her story that she wrote in early May. I pray that you are encouraged and blessed by her courage and great faith! You can read the whole story on her blog (in my blog roll, posted on her blog May 11)
And thank You Lord. After my surgery I had a fever for about eight weeks, hospitalized, and on Christmas Eve diagnosed with a c-diff infection which I may have picked up in the hospital. The effects of the radiation have also damaged my uterus. I have had two kidney infections, three nephrostomy tubes placed to drain my kidneys, three stints in my uterus and massive pain in the pelvic-thigh region that is relentless and constant, and which I am trying numerous drugs to relieve. Now for the good news: I am "NSD", or "No Sign of Disease"... for now. Bottom line: it hasn't been an easy year. Nine surgeries, five hospital stays, twelve blood transfusions, and a whole lot of suffering. (Can you even imagine what she went through?)Yet, praise be to God, through all of this my heart has soared! (Her heart was soaring!!?? Wow! What an example of great faith!!) God has given me joy, peace and strength because of Jesus Christ my friend, my Helper, my Great Physician and Lord. I can't tell you my story without telling you about my relationship with Jesus Christ. It is my story because God is the author of it. It is His story. This battle with cancer for most of us is not only a battle against this nasty disease, but a battle for hope. My hope has waxed ane waned in this battle, yet my hope has been anchored on the bedrock of a cliff that is higher than me. Jesus Christ is my life, my love, my Savior.
Though this was written some time ago, Nichole remained this trusting and faithful to the Lord to the very end. She told me of SO many people she had shared the gospel with including all of her doctors, people she roomed with, and people she went through treatment with, etc. She wanted to be used of the Lord the whole way through and was so excited to see how He would open doors for her to proclaim His grace and goodness! Who wouldn't listen to a mother suffering from cancer? She lit up with each opportunity and most of her prayer requests (when asked) weren't for her next surgery or about the cancer, but for the Armenian girls she had witnessed to and invited to church who had been visiting their mom who happened to be in the bed next to Nichole, or for her Jewish doctor that Nichole desperately wanted to see come to the Lord. I am rejoicing that Nichole is in the presence of the Lord, but sad that so many will miss her so much.
If I could ask her what to pray for now, I know that she would ask us to pray for her family and friends that don't know the Lord. She would want all of us to be praying that her memorial service would bring glory to Him and that especially those that she loves would repent and come to know the Savior!
Kurt's new office. Another pic toward the bottom. It is beautiful!
Halloween night. Kinley is a butterfly, Shea a Jedi Princess, Reilly a hobo, Cam and angry Rhino, and Macy-boo a sweet mouse. The night was peppered with rainfall, but we had fun anyway.
Our little dalmation. He barked if you squeezed his paws.
Grandma with the happy baby.
Grandpa with the happy baby.
A shot of Kurt's new office. It is expansive and beautiful!
Our little contortionist twisting out of the bumbo seat...
Grandpa relaxing under the awning he designed in the big girls' room. It's not quite finished (the room) but the girls are happy! (check them out in the mirror!)
Celebrating Reformation Day (Oct 30) at school. Another reason I am so glad my kids are at a Christian school! They spent the day learning about the reformers and singing praise to God! Grandma made all of the costumes for the kids. Reilly is Moses, Kinley is Mary, Cam is Sarah. When I asked Shea who she wanted to be, she told me, "Mom, I'm going to be Bathsheba." I was a little stunned. She's only 8, so I knew she didn't really know what she was saying. "Um, no you're not." She could tell my mind was running and I think she didn't think I meant what I said. "Ya, I am! I am going to be Bathsheba!" Hmm. How should I go about this. "Uh, do you know who Bathsheba is??" "Yep I do. She was David's wife." How do I tell her... "Well, she was David's wife, but she really isn't someone you want to dress up as." Shea proceeded to argue with me a little bit more, but I just put my foot down and told her no. Some day we'll have a good laugh together about that one...
Another shot of the bedroom. Grandpa also lengthened She's bed so that we could arrange the beds like this. Grandma and Grandpa came and spent just over two weeks with us. It was great to have them here! We enjoyed our visit with them and were greatly benefitted and blessed by them. Grandpa was hard at work on little house projects and grandma was just grandma... helping out with the food and laundry and spending lots of time loving on the kiddos. Thanks grandma and grandpa for spending time with us and for all of the love you pour out on us! We love you!
A perfect fall visit to a local apple farm. What a treat!
I love Dax's expression. He's so into this book! What a sweet big sis.
Shea bringing Reilly his "birthday cake" (a huge chocolate chip cookie). Reilly doesn't do many sweets, and cake is on the black list.
The Party! Pizza, bowling, grandpapa and granny Dee, and a HUGE surprise visit from Daddy who flew home from Chicago because he couldn't miss the big event. Certainly a birthday to remember! It was the sweetest moment when Reilly realized that Kurt was home- there was a stunned silence, then huge hugs and many tears for both (okay, and me too).
A brilliant solo. The boys were captivated, and Shea may be a little to close to the vocalist. Looks like she's plugging her ears??
I have been a slacker! It is my goal to bring this blog up to date. That will mean lots of posting in a short amount of time. Here goes!!