All of this got me thinking about my parents' funerals, how different they were because of who they were when they were alive. I started feeling sorry for myself because my kids don't know their only living great grandparents like this family knew theirs. They don't even have both sets of grandparents to love on them. And those kinds of things do hurt. A lot. Then my mind wandered to what kind of parents we are, and what stories will our children tell of us when we have gone Home to Heaven? Boy do we fall short a lot. But we have great moments, too. Our children have seen us struggle and make it through the tough stuff of life. We've held onto our God and Jesus oh so tightly. We share with them the love that Jared and I have for one another. We've made an effort to know and love our extended families, even when they live so far away. And it's all part of OUR story. We might not be as tight knit as our friends' families, but it's certainly not from a lack of trying. We have weathered storms together. And that's all I could want.
I was listening to a podcast today about the benefits of homeschooling, and one of the biggest parts I have discovered is that we are able to do things as a family and our kids have relationships with one another, which includes the fights and the hugs. And someday, they will only have each other, and that's more important than academics and scholarships and extra curricular activities. The top thing of importance obviously is a relationship with Jesus. Then with us and each other. Everything else will be what it is. Some families can create these bonds by being intentional on the weekends or after school or around the dinner table. And some, like us, have the opportunity to do it throughout the day.
I won't lie, I do miss that Benaiah can't join us on all of our adventures anymore. I've had to suck it up and deal with that fact. It still hurts sometimes. Sure, socially he may be getting more at the school, and yes, he is doing great academically. And thankfully, the school does focus on spirituality and morality above all else, including academics, praise the Lord. But, I miss him. I miss that he doesn't see Abishai in bits and pieces all day long. He's an excellent big brother to his siblings (when he unplugs his earbuds that is, silly teenager). I miss that we can't joke throughout the day. I miss that I can't impart little bits of wisdom as he studies. But, that's what this year has brought. Next year may or may not be different.
Speaking of different, on Saturday, Justin and I will going to yet another funeral service, this time of a 9 year old boy who died of some health complications. A boy with an infectious smile. A boy who has been thoroughly loved by his adoptive mother and aunt and her kids. He had a hard life with several different health issues, but boy he was so lovable. Leah told me a story that she heard of that the kids at school would purposefully say his name, Timio, just to get him to smile because they loved his smile. And not to tease him, it was a genuine thing! We will all gather in the kids' area of our church to celebrate him. Gary asked Justin for his New Testament Brick Bible so he can use it to share with the kids that attend Revelations 21-22, the chapters about a new heaven and a new earth and no more tears and pain. Justin and Jared also made a tomb out of Legos with a stone that rolls away, like Jesus' resurrection from the tomb. I'm guessing, based on what Gary shared at the 90 year old grandma's funeral, that he'll share the gospel message with the kids there at the funeral, too. It breaks my heart to see this family in so much pain because one of the children is Justin's best, best friend. And the boy is struggling to understand it. In fact, he is spending the night with us, and Justin kept him giggling most of the evening. I am so very grateful that we can love on him in this way. I sometimes offer help to others (sometimes, because I have to be honest and I can't do a whole lot with my weak body), and most of the time, the person/people don't take me up on it. So, when they do, I am pleased as punch. I've always been a helper at heart, never the spotlight. Anyway, I'm just glad to serve in this way.
So, it's been a rough week. At least my kids are doing well, and they throw their usual protests about schoolwork, but it gets done. Abishai is adorable. I'm in lots of physical pain because of the weather and busy schedule. Jared's slowly getting the office put together and doing his thing around the needs of everyone else. And tomorrow, glory, hallelujah, we get to go out to eat with two other couples who have kids Benaiah's age and older. And those older kids get to take part in a euchre night fundraiser and the daughter of one of the couples gets to babysit my younger three. Should be fun and interesting! What a week!
Therefore, pictures are few and that's ok. There are seasons for everything, including taking pictures, right? Speaking of, that 2 year old is going to need his pictures taken soon! Ah! He'll be 2 in less than 4 weeks!
So, here's what I got:
|Daddy was watching the show from BBC where these guys talk about cars. I can't remember the name though.|
|Abishai settled right in, just like Daddy. He did it when Daddy and he were in the living room on the floor, too. He's way too adorable!|
|Getting tired. Abishai had a few of his own little cars in front of the pillow and then asked for his water. Someone got him his blankie (he calls it "kie") and his paci for him, probably Keturah.|
|The boys doing their thing.|
|I went to close the mini blinds that we always open so the plant can get some sunshine (although it faces north so I was skeptical it would work), and look what I saw! More growth and starting to open up!|
|And THIS is why I am in so much pain! One day it's 32, the very next day it's 50 or 60. Plus, the humidity. Oh, and a few people told Gary that they also had vertigo on Saturday, so maybe there was a change in the air pressure that day. Interesting.|
|Abishai grabbed a rather large book on the Civil War from Grandma's front bench to "read." He was really trying to avoid diaper changing time. He's so funny!|