Monday, December 15, 2014

Erin and family

So happy to make a little trip to California and spend time with Erin's family.

Friday, December 5, 2014


It's beginning to look like Christmas over here!!

Sunday, November 30, 2014

me and roo

Rowdy is so sweet!! I always wondered what it would feel like to love a grandchild. It just didn't seem possible that I could love a child equally as I did my own kids I had birthed. But it's the same felt love. He is my little world of sunshine!! 

Saturday, November 29, 2014

My family+1

Family photo! Plus annas guy mark!!

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

by hosie

Hosanna is quite the baker!!! Yummy treats she made today!

Sunday, November 9, 2014


Andrew finally got a big one! This morning!!

Friday, October 31, 2014

Trick or Treat

Roos Halloween in Oklahoma!

Monday, October 20, 2014

roo is here.

So happy to have Rowdy and his parents here. They are working on their house!! It is so happy to have roo here playing everyday!! The kids LOVE it!! He especially loves mercy!! I guess because she is more his size!! Ha!!

Monday, October 6, 2014


Rowdy went to a pumpkin farm in Maryland!!

gone Hollywood!

Not quite, but we were in a movie filmed in guthrie!! The needed extras so we helped with that!! The movie is called Te Ata. 

Saturday, September 27, 2014


So happy for Daniel and Erin!!! 

Friday, September 26, 2014


Rowdy is growing big!!

Tuesday, September 23, 2014


In November we will be married 28 years!! Wow!! Flown by!!! God has carried us through many diff seasons of life. A house full of little kids. Feeling like I can't catch my breath with so many underskirt. Dark times with Daniels depression. Time of sorrow with Joel. (Still dealing with that) Times of plenty with jobs and work. Times of not so much plenty when food for sustannence was bought instead of mouthwatering food for the week. So God has been faithful! Right now, we are in the time of not so many resources! Like terry trying to scrape up enough to buy food. I'm not asking for God to allow money to float down from the sky. I'm asking God to bring jobs so the guys can work and people pay and we have resources. So if you think of it, pray that God will provide jobs. He can do that!! 

I don't like to get all personal on the blog and sound like a whiner, but so so many of you all have been with us for almost 8 years and I feel safe asking you! 

Thank you for being wiling to pray!! 

The weather is amazing!! So beautiful on the farm!! what a gift it is to live here!!

The Big big news is Daniel and Erin are engaged as of Saturday!! We love her to pieces!!! It's thrilling to see our kids marry  and start their own families!!!!

Much love!!

Friday, September 19, 2014


It's Friday!! eat a {homemade} donut!! 

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Joel and Josiah's birthday!

Today, another birthday for Joel and Josiah! The day our second set of twin boys were born. Joel is missed greatly!! Josiah is here and having a big day on his 11th birthday!! What a blessing he is to us! He had a chess and checker party!!

Monday, September 8, 2014

thank you!

Thank you for your thoughtful comments!! For some reason I have no idea my password and all, so I can't comment directly back to you!! I hope the previous article was a blessing if there can be a blessing in grieving. It spoke thoughts and words that I certainly feel. Especially as Fall approaches! It's that time of year when my mind and soul go into replay!! I wish I could skip to Spring and summer again!! Joel and Josiah's birthday is soon coming. Why does it all have to be like this?? I want them both here!! I want to keep buying two of everything!! But, I wil tread through as you all that commented will do! Our village of grieving friends. 

Thank you so much for keeping up. Seems like forever ago that we just started this blog to keep folks informed! Then again, it seems like yesterday that they were both here together in our family! Josiah is such a blessing! So so thankful he's here!! 

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

child loss; Joel

I read this article and was so moved by the truth of it. So true, so true. 

A question I’m frequently asked by bereaved parents is,Does it EVER get easier?

The fear in their eyes is palpable. I know. I get it. The answer to that question still scares me too because I’ve been waiting for easier for almost six years straight. And it wasn’t long ago that I was asking bereaved parents who were further down the road of grief than I was that very same question.

I’m not sure when I stopped asking it– probably when I realized it might not ever happen.

Straddling heaven and earth isn’t something that I would describe as easy.

Easier is a tricky word when it comes to something as permanently horrific as child loss. I like to reserve the wordeasier for things like, Once I learned how to cook, following the recipe was easier, or It’s getting easier to run longer distances now that I’ve been running for ayear. Easier is a nice little word for things that can actually be measured. It’s also a lovely little word for things that aren’t irretrievably lost and permanently missing. Forever and ever.

I’m certain the “progress” of moving through the uncharted waters of grief after the loss of a child is immeasurable. It’s one step forward, four steps back. It’s treading water, with your head slightly above, until you’re not. It’s swimming along, then drowning without notice. It’s not linear.

I will repeat: there is nothing linear about grief. Whether in a day, or in the course of a couple years– grief is notlinear.

Even still, six years later, I think I’m sailing along ok,then all of a sudden–SMACK– out of nowhere grief beats the crap out of me. Sometimes it will come in the form of a strategically placed gorgeous eight year old, blue-eyed little boy who should be my living breathing oldest son, but who obviously belongs to another mother who is calling after him; sometimes it comes from the missing puzzle piece of my heart the size and shape of my son that starts oozing uncontrollably without warning, and tears leak out of my eyes without asking me first. Sometimes it’s the simple, almost-perfect moments with my 2/3rds children, that smack me upside the head and rob my lungs of proper breath.

Breathe, I gasp. BREATHE.

The thing about life after loss is that no matter whatsomeone is always missing.No matter what, my family is always achingly incomplete. I could have four more children, and these facts would still remain, staring me down like a cruel bully who will torment me for the rest of my life, no matter how much I fight back.

The reality about life after losing a child is that the wrong can never be made right. It can never be fixed. Ever. Life is irreparably broken without our living, breathing child in it. Life will never feel a-okay again. Sure it will have moments of bittersweet joy, and bittersweet happiness, and you will eventually laugh again, and find stupid things funny, but it will never again be what it once was. There will never again be that twitterpated feeling of happiness– the kind that feels naive now, the kind you wonder if ever existed at all? You might never again have the feeling that all is right in the world. You can’t fix it, mend it, or even cry it away. No matter how many years go by, the ache remains.

So back to the question– does it ever get easier?

The hard truth is a resounding no. Not for me, anyway. It hasn’t gotteneasier to live without a huge piece of my heart. Grief is always there, lurking around every corner. It doesn’t get easier to walk this earth without my son. It doesn’t get easier to breathe while choking on air. It doesn’t get easier to try to make new friends when you don’t have normal answers to normal questions anymore. It doesn’t get easier to try to live in the present moment while half of you is living in the what should be’s and why the hell is it not, damnit! It doesn’t get easier to answer the question,How many kids do you have?It doesn’t get easier to wonder what your child would look like, be like, sound like, act like, live like?

It doesn’t get easier, but it becomes different– softer, at times– louder at other times. It’s like a storm. You can’t predict when it’s coming, and you can’t predict whether you’ll be able to find shelter or not. You can’t predict whether you’ll even survive. You just hold your breath, brace yourself for the impact, and hope you can find some solid ground. Eventually. Sometimes you’ll get swept under by the tsunami of grief; other days you’ll tread water, and still other days you’ll choke and gag on the on-going horror of it all. Some days you might float above it, and your whole body will feel the glorious feeling of air hitting your skin above water– sun on your face– wind in your hair. Those are the very good days of grief, of life after loss. Over time there might be more of them, so embrace them when they come. And let the sun dry out the soggier parts of you whenever you can.

The thing is– nothing about life after the death of a child is easy. I think it’s all pretty damn freakin’ hard. Whether you’re a day in, or 20 years out, I believe being a bereaved parent is the hardest job on earth. Period.

What people don’t seem to understand is– it’s a life sentence. One we didn’t ask for, or want– it’s one we were charged with against our will. The life sentence doesn’t change, or lessen, or ever go away. Not with time, not with a whole lot of anything. We’re forced members of the God-awful club that is every parent’s worst nightmare. A club we can never leave. So what are our options? We are forced to lean into it– to grin and bear it. We are forced to find grit we never knew we had. We are forced to dig deeper than is probably humanly possible. We are forced to live out this horrific life sentence, some how, some way, even though everything within us is screaming,NOOOOOOOOOOOOO. We are forced to learn how to consistently do hard. Over and over and over again.

Because, guess what? Hard is the only choice we have, the only choice we were given. It’s do you want hard, or hard? Either we find a way, or we give up, right? And giving up isn’t an option.

So we find a way. And we keep on doing hard. Together.We find people who can sayme too, me too with us– and over time we realize that finding a village who understands the depth of our pain without words necessary is really what makes all the difference in the world when doing hard.

And just because it’s hard, doesn’t mean it’s not also a beautiful life. It can be beautiful and we ache. We can rebuild a beautiful life from the ground up. We can honor our precious child with every breath we take. We can and will be happy again– and I’m guessing it will probably always feel difficult to go through life without our child.

It doesn’t get easier, it just become different. Some might call that pessimism, but for me, it’s truth. It’s simply the reality of bereaved parenthood.

. . .

Note: Grief is as unique as each person’s fingerprint. I’ve met plenty of bereaved parents who would say a resounding yes, grief does get easier over time. And that is absolutely true for them. Easier just isn’t the word I would use to describe it. Each person’s experience and circumstances are different. No two people grieve the same. And our job is to meet everyone’s experience/reality with unconditional support and love.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

hello school!!

We have begun our twentieth year of homeschooling. It's hard to believe!! I can't say I'm very motivated. I'm tired and weary of it all. Somedays I wish I could rewind and do things different. But I will keep putting one foot in front of another. They really do their work so effortlessly and get it done quite early. Mercy is a bit behind of where she should be but hopefuly this year she will take big strides.

I haven't written a lot here lately. I guess the blog world has taken second seat to other media avenues. I don't think I could ever delete the blog, it's my life with Joel. Who is still missed and thought of daily! Sometimes it seems harder than a few years ago. I still have no idea the whys of it all. It seemed so useless. I have to keep trusting that here are hidden purposes for now and one day I'll know! 

Life has changed drastically. It's all good though! There is rarely times when we are all together, say for a meal. Busy busy!! Me and the littles are usually the ones at home every night. Terry has meetings and the older ones go hither and thither!! We enjoy our coffee+movie evenings or for now a series on netflix! 

The pool is done with for this year! I can't wait for June July of next year!! Josh, 16, has the front yard looking like the greens at a golf club lawn! He's very dedicated and picky!! We can't walk on it!! Ha!! Glad he's proud and glad he's doing it!! 

Hosie has been making some great desserts!! The key lime pie last night was amazing!! I don't know when or how her dream will come true, but a bakery would do her good!!

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Pet Show

Mercy showed Charlie her corgi in a pet show today! She entered in 3 categories and won first place in each one! She also won grand champion of the pet show!!