Monday, December 06, 2010

A Time to Weep

Buster Elvis Hester
January 1, 1997 - December 6, 2010

Today is a sad day. Our dog, whom we had for 12 years, died today. Buster was part of our family for a long, long time and it feels strange without him today.

I always said that Buster was going to kill himself one day. You see, he was so bad about stealing food. When he was a bit younger, he stole entire loaves of Italian bread, sticks of butter, ate chunks out of a birthday cake, and stole hamburgers right off the table when no one was looking. Even today, that makes me smile. Buster was doing great (he even had a surgery three weeks ago) until Thursday when I was out with my Dad. While we were gone, Buster got into two pizza boxes that were left out and he probably ate an entire pizza. I think whatever he did to get the pizza boxes down (I always thought it would be interesting to have a camera so I could see what in the world he did to sneak food) hurt him somehow. The next day, he had trouble getting up and wanted to sleep outside. He was doing much better on Saturday and even ran away:-) You could never count that dog out. He was such a tricker. He was not feeling good, but managed to run away and take advantage of the fact that I had taken his leash off.

In the midst of my sadness today, God remains so faithful. He cares about my sadness over a dog. I am thankful for a God who cares about the details of my life and my family's life. God decided to have Buster die today and Alan is home today. He was so sweet and took care of so much this morning for me. Tomorrow Alan will be in Rochester. In a month, Alan, Davin and I will all be in Rochester and Bethany will be here alone. I would not want her to have to deal with this all by herself, so I am very thankful for God's perfect timing.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Not New For Him

I am not sure what I think about all of the new screenings at the airports. I do know that Davin has been having full body pat-downs for his whole life. I am just saying...

Friday, November 19, 2010

3 Years Ago

On Tuesday, Davin had an appointment at St. Christopher's. We have not been back to the hospital for quite some time now and I did not expect the flood of emotions that came. As we drove the familiar drive, passed the one restaurant that Alan and I quickly ate at one night during Davin's hospital stay, the gas station where I got gas the one night I left the hospital when Alan stayed with many memories were made in such a short time. Davin was in the hospital for 13 days and yet it seemed like a lifetime. I can remember so many things, so many moments from those 13 days.

During that hospital stay, my boy lost so much. He needed help breathing, he could not eat and ended up with a feeding tube and rarely smiled. I prayed. I prayed some more. I cried. I cried some more. I crawled in bed with my boy and held on. I asked my God to please restore him. I knew that Davin did not have all of the skills that other kids had, but I love what he had. I asked God to give back the things that Davin had lost. Please restore him was my cry over and over again.

God always answers my prayers, but He does not always say yes. This time He did! It took some time, but God restored Davin. It was an amazing thing to watch right before our eyes.

Driving down Erie St. on the way to St. Christopher's, the tears were welling up in my eyes as I thought of the road that we were on three years ago and the way God restored my son.

Friday, November 12, 2010

A Whole Different Stage

Today I have entered a different stage of life. I am, of course, going kicking and screaming, but still I am going. My baby boy turned 18 today. I am now a mom of grown children. Ugh! Lest I make this day all about me;-), let me go on to celebrate my baby boy!

Davin Bruce Hester entered my world 18 years ago today. I expected him to come yesterday. Generally, my labors and deliveries were so fast. Davin's seemed to take much longer. He was much harder to push out for some reason. He was my smallest baby at 7 pounds and 1 ounce. He was the shortest baby at 19 inches. We had two matching sets now. Two girls and two boys. The girls were 21 months apart and the boys were 21 months apart. Things were perfect....too perfect...something in me knew that things were just not right.

Today I won't go into more about Davin's diagnosis or the grieving that followed it when I realized MY perfect was not to be. God knew so much better. HIS perfect is divine. God has allowed ME the privilege and honor of raising this PERFECT (well, not always;-) boy for the last 18 years. God has taught me so much through Davin. Lessons I would have missed if not for THIS perfect.

All of my children inspire me. I love so many things about each one of them. I guess the thing that makes Davin a different kind of inspiration to all of us is that he does it without words, without the normal movement that others have. He has come up with creative ways to show us who he is and what he is all about and know this without a doubt....I love that boy. We all love that boy. My family loves him with a fierceness that sometimes just brings me to tears.

Happy 18th Birthday to my littlest boy!!!! I am so proud to call you my son!!

Tuesday, November 09, 2010


Here is a picture of us during our visit to Wheaton to see Cheney Alan for Family Weekend. It was so much fun and we so enjoyed seeing our boy.

Monday, November 08, 2010

A College Drop Out

Don't worry. It is not Cheney who dropped out. It is Davin. We went to visit Cheney's college this weekend for Family Weekend and I thought it would be wonderful if Davin went to one of Chey's classes while we were there since Davin will never get to experience that for himself. It made me kind of emotional, just thinking about it. Cheney said that was a great idea and set it up. Davin was not in the class very long when we got a text from Cheney saying that Davin hated the class and maybe we should come get him:-) Davin ended up making it through the whole class, but he decided college is not for him. Yes, to hanging out and being on campus. Yes to going to the talent show and yes to going to the improv show on campus. A big, fat NO to going to classes! Funny boy he is.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Some Good News Maybe??

I learned on Friday (when we filed the official paperwork for Davin's guardianship....hopefully;-) that in our county, we may not have to make a court appearance. The court may grant the order on paper and that may be it!! I think that would be a lot less traumatic if I didn't have to hear all of those words. I know I would rather Davin not to have to hear those words.

Also, because we were not able to file the complaint with the court until 2 weeks before Davin's birthday, there may be some things we need to do prior to his birthday to cover our decision making abilities until the order for guardianship can be granted.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Leaf Fun?

I had in my mind that I Davin really NEEDED to play in a leaf pile this year. I am not a big fan of raking (okay, I rarely ever rake up my leaves), so he had not played in the leaves for a long time. It was on my list of things to do for today:-) I began raking while Davin watched (after we paid our last respects to a bird that died flying into one of our windows:-( and the look on his face said, "Mom, this is lame". It really did! So, I am talking away and telling him that this is FUN, not LAME!

He was unsure when I went to plunk him into the leaf pile, but he enjoyed it. He enjoyed it until the part where Bethany covered him all up except for his face. He didn't love that. Good to know;-)

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

I Could Be In Trouble

Alan and Bethany are both away. I am quite used to Alan being away, but he usually left me with a house full of noise and kids and busyness. This time, it is me and Davin and our dogs. It is quiet as can be and we don't like that so much.

With everyone else being gone, it is kind of nice to have Davin with me at night. I know I am probably getting myself into trouble. Davin especially loves it because he sleeps right in his Dad's spot on his Dad's pillows:-) He also likes it when I tell his Dad that he is sleeping in his spot. Alan reminded me I am probably making things harder for myself in the long run. But, he just looks so cute and sweet sleeping there and he sleeps SO good (amazingly enough) when he is in our bed.

I think I am in trouble and I will have no one else to blame but myself.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

God's Grace Was There

First, I must clarify. There form yesterday said, "incapacitated individual", not "incompetent". Sorry about that.

Davin and I are back from our appointments. Davin saw two doctors today. One is our pediatrician and one is a senior doctor at the practice. I had myself prepared to say something to the doctors if they began saying things that were going to hurt Davin. I envisioned whether I would need to have Davin leave the room and wait for me in the waiting room.

Our doctor could not have been more compassionate. He did not say a lot about what a devastating thing this was for us, but you could see it in his face and in the things he did say and didn't say. He already knows Davin, so there was not much to talk about. We did talk about how the paragraph that I had written did not really define who Davin is. The doctor agreed with me that in this case, we needed to make him sound as bad as possible, but that Davin is the boy we know, not what is on that paper. He signed the forms for us and we were ready for the other doctor.

The next doctor we have maybe met one other time. He could not have been more caring and considerate in the way he dealt with us. I had been praying that God would let me "keep it together". Since I am not a regular crier;-), when I do cry, it tends to be something rather ugly where my words can not even be understood. I wanted to be in control and I did not want Davin to feel like this was a huge deal. The doctor never said a word that would make Davin feel badly. He asked what he could do to help us beside signing the form. He asked some questions about where Davin goes to school and how he communicates.

We left without one tear falling! God's grace is ALWAYS sufficient. The same will be true for our court date.

Davin and I talked this morning about the purpose for the appointments today and the upcoming court date. I told him that when people turn 18, they are supposed to make all of their decisions by themselves, but sometimes people need a little help. We are asking the court to let Davin have a little help in making decisions. No biggie. It is okay to need some help.

Monday, October 18, 2010


Today I had to type some words at work that I did not necessarily like or agree with. The worst part is that they were about my own son. My brother-in-law/boss/attorney is getting ready to file the necessary paperwork for Alan and I to become Davin's legal guardian once he turns 18. (Otherwise, the state could step in and make decisions in his interest.) Davin will be 18 next month, so it needs to be done. The first step is to have our pediatrician sign a physician's affidavit. That is what I typed up today. Tomorrow Davin will go to the doctor. He will see his primary doctor and also one of the other doctors in the practice. It will last about an hour.

Today, I typed the words..."Davin Hester, an alleged incompetent individual". I didn't like those words. I also didn't like the words that I had to type describing what Davin can't do. I have always hated describing him that way. Can't we just talk about what he can do and what he is like? No, not for this. We just stick to the big facts. He is non-ambulatory, non-verbal, can not feed himself, wheelchair-bound and requires 24 hour a day care and his parents to make decisions for him. Does this sound like Davin to you? It doesn't sound like him to me, either. You know that Davin has his own ideas and likes to make the decisions around here:-) However, I understand the point and I realize we need to stick to the facts. I kept wanting to add things like...but he shows us clearly what he wants to do by finger pointing and eye gazing, but to write those things was not appropriate in this situation.

So, tomorrow I will take my son to the pediatrician, but it will not be a normal appointment. I am trusting that there will not be a whole lot said that will make Davin feel badly about himself. I will talk to Davin about what is going to happen (as I have been) in the morning and prepare him for what is ahead. Who will prepare me? This is hard.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Sometimes I Am A Little Slow

Poor Davin. Maybe this is a reminder to slow down and take the time to figure out what Davin is saying to me. But, it is the morning and I am so busy. Our morning routine is planned out to the minute. No time at all for anything out of the ordinary. I get his first medicine, get his clothes, shoes and boots together, get breakfast ready, move the wheelchair where I need it at the end of the hallway, get Davin dressed, feed him and put his coat on. Done. Not a minute to spare.

Davin has been pointing at something in his closet from time to time for a VERY long time. A couple of times, I thought I knew what he wanted and got that out for later in the day. Several times, I was pretty sure he wanted to wear something specific (maybe after almost 18 years, he is tired of me picking out his clothes???), but after trying to find out what he wanted to wear, I quickly gave up because, did I mention that we have a very tight schedule in the mornings???

Today Alan and I went to a wedding and Bethany and Davin stayed home together. (We try to avoid the whole "babysitting" reference so we don't offend the boy with the razor stubble;-) When we came home, Davin had on a camouflage long sleeve Army fatigue shirt. The real kind like his Uncle Mike wears when he goes to the reserves. We had gotten it for Cheney when he was in a play in the fourth grade, I think. Apparently, when Bethany was getting Davin dressed, he was insistent that he needed something else. She tried and tried to figure out what it was and then she found it..... the shirt.... who knew?

She said that she picked the Army shirt up and Davin was beside himself. When we came home hours and hours later, he was proud as a peacock and just laughed and smiled as we talked about the shirt. Davin even laughed and laughed when I told him that I didn't know that was the shirt he had been wanting to wear for so long. Oye!

When Alan went to get Davin ready for his bath, he nearly had to cut the shirt off of him because it is very much on the small side:-) So, we will be on the hunt for some new fatigues for Davin since he obviously is very set on wearing them. Fortunately for Davin, he has an Uncle Mike who can probably hook him up with some.

Saturday, October 09, 2010

A Good Thing

I do not love the fact that Davin has a severe disability. I DO love the fact that at almost 18 years-old, he will still snuggle with his Mom:-) Priceless. Love that boy.

Saturday, October 02, 2010

The Correct Attire

About four months ago, my family got a gym membership. Two of my kids started going. They kept asking me and asking me when I was going to start going. I don't want you to think my kids were trying to be mean to me. They knew I had wanted to start going to the gym, but the summer was just not a good time for me to start that. When Davin started back to school a few weeks ago, I started at the gym. I have this adorable partner that goes with me. She is a blondie and rather tall;-) My goal is to go three times a week, but so far, I have only made it two times a week.

I do realize that I do not always look confident when I am doing something new. Sometimes I am laughing at the gym. No one else seems to be having fun. It is a pretty serious place. I always have to read the directions when I go to a new piece of equipment. I do try to read them quickly, though;-) I also realize I do not look like the rest of the people who are working out. Do any of the other people have the upper part of their body thrown over the top of the machine like they are hanging on for dear life? Not really. Do I notice anyone else's head bobbing wildly while they are working out? No. Do other people look like they are going to fall off of the stair climber thing? No. Thankfully the nice man who happened to be smiling when he walked by and looked at me, also got on one down the aisle and then I was able to see how I was supposed to be using it;-)

Hey, I am a beginner. The last time I worked out in a gym was in high school for softball. That has been a while. Give me time.

Today I was talking to Cheney about the gym. He is very proud of me that I have been going and we talked about how he will go with me when he comes home for Thanksgiving. I then told him how someone had asked me a question about his college when they saw me wearing my matching Wheaton College sweatpants and t-shirt. (and frankly I was feeling good!) Cheney asked me why in the world I would be wearing sweats to the gym??? I had no idea why I should not be wearing sweats. Sure, I have not seen a lot of people at the gym wearing sweats, but in 1984, we wore sweats when we worked out. I asked Chey what I was supposed to be wearing at the gym and he informed me (please everyone take note, lest you make a similar mistake) that most people wear some sort of "athletic shorts" to the gym. Well, who knew??

Tonight I emailed Cheney to let him know that my sweats are all washed and ready for me to wear them to the gym on Monday! I can't wait until he gets to go with me. I am really hoping he brings me home a Wheaton headband that I can wear to match:-)

Tuesday, September 28, 2010


Every afternoon around 2:00, there is one little dog in our house who watches out the window for Davin Boy. He waits and waits and waits until it is 2:30 and Davin's bus backs into the driveway. Usually Davin is greeted by Rocky who then has to sniff his wheelchair and figure out where Davin has been and what kind of smells he has on him today. Cute:-)

Friday, September 24, 2010

The Year was 1990

I have now been a parent for 25 years! It is hard for me to believe that. To make things worse, my BABY is turning 18 in just a couple of months!! Next time someone asks me my children's ages, I am going to include my dogs' ages because that will make me feel better. Having children who are 18 - 25 is not good! They are way too old:-) They are still fun, though and I do like to be around them. Still, I think using the dogs' ages is a good idea.

Of the 25 years of parenting, I have been changing diapers for 24 of them. It has been part of my life for over half of my life! Wow! HOWEVER....there was that one was blissful....there were no diapers...

When Bethany was 2 1/2, this cute little 4 year-old named Ashleigh potty trained her. I am not even kidding a little bit. I would always say that Bethany was fine, but Ashleigh would drag (sometimes literally) her into the bathroom and insist that she "wanted" to go to the bathroom. Since Bethany has always adored her older sister, I guess she decided if Ashleigh thought she wanted to go to the bathroom, then she must have. So, Bethany was potty trained. I was not yet pregnant with Cheney Boy. Alan was home from his med-cruise just recently. Life was pretty good:-) I knew it, too. Sometimes when people have small children, they think life is so crazy and hectic and can't wait for them to grow up. Not me. I knew having two little girls was the best and having no diapers made my life just seem like a breeze.

It was a whole year until our little Cheney Alan Scott came into our lives in January of 1991. Even though changing diapers is no big deal and it is just a part of my life, sometimes, I still think back to 1990.....ahhhhhhh.....:-)

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Happy 25th Birthday

25 years ago, my life changed forever. A little 8 pound, 5 ounce little girl came into my life and I was no longer strictly known as Heather. I was Ashleigh's Mom. It is a title that I have had for 25 years now and am so proud of. Happy Birthday to the baby girl who changed my life, stole my heart (and her Daddy's) and set my course on a different direction. I love you!!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

25 Years Ago Today....

25 years ago today I was waiting and waiting and waiting. I had been given a due date of September 6th and here it was the 14th. 25 years ago, I was about as big as a house;-) Seriously. 25 years ago, I had a husband, but we didn't yet feel like a real family. We had been married such a short amount of time (6 months) and over half of that we had spent apart while Alan attended Navy boot camp and his first ET school. 25 years ago, I was writing letters almost every day telling Alan what was going on in the day. We got to talk on the phone some, but it was not like today where we have email and communication is so much easier. Phone calls were expensive and money was not something we had a lot of:-)

25 years ago, my whole life was about to change. I had been through the most terrible time of my young life. I had felt the stares of people in my church, heard the whispers, missed the eye contact, saw the disappointment in faces.

But it was different. Now my baby was about to be born. The baby God had decided to bless me with in spite of who I was and what I had done. I was ready. I don't know how I was ready, but I was.

I made a decision to never make my baby pay for my mistakes. I took that to heart. I would welcome this baby and never look back.

When I think about that time in my life, the most amazing thing is the transition. When did my teenage heart become a mother's heart? I can not look back and see the day, but it is so obvious that it happened. I went from being a senior in high school concerned with soccer practice and homework and now 9 months later, I was ready for this new challenge. I didn't feel like I was missing out.

Thankfully, this day 25 years ago, I didn't realize I had another 9 days to wait!!!! She was worth it, though.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Be Specific

Davin came home from school today with a bit of an attitude problem. His note from school said he had a great day, but when he got home, his sister was on his sofa that he usually rests on. I was asking Davin questions, but instead of giving me a yes or a no, he decided to start hitting his sister. I firmly explained he would not be hitting his sister or he would have to go spend time in his room. I guess I needed to give the full list of things he was not to do since he then pulled Bethany's hair instead. Ugh! Really Davin? I told him he was going to have to adjust his attitude and give his sister a hug as an apology. It took a while, but he eventually submitted. Attitude, attitude, it's all about the attitude.

Friday, September 10, 2010

I Got It Right Today

The reason that Davin was in his bed crying (my previous post) was because he had a fever:-( I felt pretty badly that I let him cry and cry for so long. Needless to say, it was a long, rough night. Sleep did not come easily for him and his fever was not quick to break. After several hours, I took it to the Lord and prayed over Davin and his fever finally broke and he was able to rest.

On Thursday, Davin was feeling much better and we got up and got ready for school. His bag was packed, breakfast was eaten, straps were done on his chair. He was ready. The bus did not come. We watched out the window. Rocky watched out the window. The bus still didn't come. I called the bus garage. This year, Davin's school decided to observe the Jewish holiday. The bus would not be coming. Oh yikes. Just a couple of days into school and already I am confused! This is not a good sign;-)

Today, we got up and got ready. The bus came. Good day.

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Giving In

Alan left today for Rochester for the week. Bethany is spending the night with her sister. I have one little 17-year-old boy who is whining in his bed. I am ready to call it quits and go and get him, put him in my bed and he will be asleep in no time. Little twirp:-)

Today was Davin's first day of school (the second for everyone else;-) and the day went well. For dinner, I took Davin and Bethany to Friendly's to celebrate the first day of school. Davin had a HUGE strawberry milkshake (thanks to his bus driver Leslie who gave him the Friendly's gift card) for dinner. We stopped by Costco and Joann Fabric on the way home. I even made up a special first day of school song and sang it to Davin on the way home. You would think he would be tired and want to go to sleep.

Sometimes you just need your Mom... I can relate to that.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Food Fight

I am in a food fight with Davin. Unfortunately, at the present, he is winning. It is a battle that rears its ugly head from time to time. The first battle with food was before he was 2 years old.

These days Davin is "supposed" to have oatmeal for breakfast. There are very few choices for breakfast since the school gave me a fit and a feeding center changed his whole diet for me:-) Thank you very much to them. Davin ate oatmeal every morning until he was probably 12 or so and then I started giving him cereal! He loved it and I would be careful that it was mushy before he started eating it, but then the diet change....and here we are back at oatmeal for the last 4 years, I guess.

Davin's normal routine is to eat the entire bowl of oatmeal. It gives him a good start and I have found the oatmeal to be an excellent place to stash some things I want to get in him for the day. I can throw in his calcium and vitamin D chewable thing, his flax, butter for more calories and sometimes even a multi-vitamin. Well, he is not too thrilled lately with oatmeal and I can not shove it into his mouth!

Normally, if my kids won't eat what I have for them, I just say fine. No biggie. But, when your kid is 17 and weighs a whopping 65 pounds and some of that has to be attributed to the hardware in his hip;-), you are a little more persistent about eating the calories.

So, we are in a fight. This morning it was a draw. He ate almost half. When school starts, it will be a different story. Do I wait this out or give him the yogurt that he will gladly eat? Yogurt has between 100 and 200 calories and I can not get the extras into that as easily. Definitely not the calcium because that needs to melt for him to be able to eat it.

Did I mention that we went to the neuro yesterday and she thinks Davin is way too thin?? Oi

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

I Had a Feeling

A mother in front of us in line at the place to get your blood drawn was waiting for her teenage daughter. She had been waiting for a while. She was getting nervous. She finally tried to go in and see what was happening. She came out and said there were 2 people with her. She asked what was going on and was told her daughter would be fine. What did that mean? Find with what?

Davin and I went in to have Davin's blood drawn. We had the same lady. She went over and whispered something to another tech over by the teenage girl who was still not done. I knew I should ask for another tech. This one just didn't seem quite competent. How did I really know that, though? I just hate to hurt people's feelings.

I back Davin's wheelchair up and tell her he has good veins in either arm and ask her if she has a preference for his arms. She asks me if I am going to stretch his arm out and hold it. I tell her that is what I usually do. I stretch his arm out and she grunts. I ask her if that is good or bad. She finally sticks him and has to move the needle around. It is uncomfortable for Davin. I can tell. I just keep telling Davin what a good boy he is and that it is almost over. She doesn't say a word to him. We are on the second of three vials and the tech asks me if his vein usually blows up like that. I tell her no. I have never seen that happen.

Maybe some mothers would not know if the vein usually blows up, but I am always holding Davin's arm, so my head is inches from his little arm. I ask her what it means for it to be blown up. She said that his vein just blew. What??? She is telling me in this voice that is not caring, not concerned, not anything. I ask her what that means. She said it is no big deal. She told me that I am holding his arm tight, so that is going to happen. I ask how it will heal and she said it is not a big deal and it will just heal. She is making me feel like I am being ridiculous. I am not panicked or freaking out, but I would like to know if I should be watching for something or have my doctor look at his arm or anything. To top everything off, as she is continuing to draw his blood, she asks me if I want her to stop. How should I know if she should stop? I told her that she would know better than I would if she needed to stop. I do not know what having a blown vein means!!

The tech goes over and tells the other tech what happened and had her tell me again (but in a much nicer and more thorough way) that it would heal by itself. Our tech tells me that his veins are very small and she used the smallest butterfly needle they have and that , of course, this (his vein blowing out) is going to happen. Hmmm, that is interesting because his veins are much bigger than they used to be and he has his blood taken every six months at least and has for his whole life.

I realize it is not a big deal and that it really was nothing to worry about. I just think I had a right to ask questions about something that happened to my child and I just wanted her to explain to me and maybe to Davin what had happened and maybe in a respectful way that didn't make it seem like I was ridiculous.

Monday, August 23, 2010

A Reminder

"Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone." Colossians 4:6

I really need to be reminded of this verse over and over and over again.

Friday, August 20, 2010

A Sleepover!!!!

In just a few minutes Bethany is coming to pick Davin up for a sleepover!!! She is house sitting for my sister and asked if Davin would like to have a sleepover. Are you kidding?? Of course, he would! Davin doesn't get to go on sleepovers very often, so the thought of it is very exciting for him and for me. I am excited that his sister would think of doing that for him and that he can be excited to go. We have talked about it all afternoon and now we just have to finish up dinner and get a bag packed. Sissy is even going to take him swimming tomorrow:-)

Thursday, August 19, 2010

And Then There Was 1

I knew this day was coming. I certainly prayed my boy back to Wheaton. I rejoiced and cried tears of joy as we watched the Lord provide the seemingly impossible funding that enabled Cheney to go back for his second year. My logical mind knows that is where he is supposed to be and would never stand in the way. Mom's heart is never ready for him to leave.

I was so thrilled to see his excitement at returning to college this year. I see how much growth there has been in him in the past year. I know he is supposed to be far away from home during this time and yet....I was not ready to let him go.

I hugged him at the airport and smiled....but was not ready to send him off.

He knows. He knows he is loved here, wanted here, cherished here, appreciated here, but he also knows he belongs at Wheaton.

I know tomorrow will be better, but today the tears seem to come so quickly. Sometime they catch me by surprise and sometimes I expect them.

This morning as we got ready to leave for the airport, I told Cheney I was pretending he was going to camp. I thought it might help:-) Tomorrow, I am carving a space of his room as my new scrapbook space (until he comes home, of course). I am hopeful that will ease my pain. Probably not, but I will be happy to have a place to work on my scrapbooks. Maybe I will get around to finishing the book for him that was supposed to be done by high school graduation;-)

I am hoping that the pirate flag that now hangs in his room that reads, "The beatings will continue until morale improves", will encourage my creativity;-)

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Where Is My Heart?

I feel like I could be at a crossroads and yet part of my heart keeps tugging me back. After doing Awana and youth group for many years, I thought that maybe my time was up, at least for youth group. I had not made many connections with the girls this year as I am usually with Davin during youth group. I had expected that this would happen as I am more of Davin's aide while I am there. That is okay, but I wondered if I should still be there if I am not making progress with the girls. It seemed as if God was leading me away from there. Then, some connections are being made and I am left unsure of how God is leading.

Then, there is this very handsome man who will be living most of his days in Rochester. He doesn't like to live without me and I am thankful for that. If finances work out, we are reconsidering making the move to Rochester for a time. Part of me loves this and part of me doesn't. Both of my girls will be staying here, but I like to support my man and be there to make him dinner and take care of him during the week. He is so good about doing what he has to do to provide for our family and doesn't complain, but I know it would mean a lot to him if Davin and I (and at times Cheney:-) were there. It is not simple, though. We have a house here that, for many reasons that I won't explain, we need to keep. I have been apartment hunting again online and looking at some different areas to figure out if we can do it. So, limbo again. My favorite;-)

I have also been seeing a need and feeling a tug to minister to Moms with young children. I was involved with a MOPS program at my sister's church for a couple of years and I think this may be a ministry that God would have me take on in the near future. But, I must know first if I will be here or there. I know that God will show me what I am to do. I am very thankful and excited about the new connections I am making with the youth group and excited about the possibility of a ministry to young mothers that God seems to be laying on my heart. So many possibilities!

Monday, July 26, 2010

How Tricky It Can Be

I have grown very accustomed to having a child who is non-verbal. It does not often cause a problem really. I hardly think of him as being non-verbal. He is so much a part of everything and he is constantly communicating although not with words.

When Davin becomes sick or has something bothering him, things become a bit more difficult. I have been doing this for over 17 years, so I can read him pretty well and up until now have not had him into the doctor's office needlessly very often. So, when I notice something seems "different", I watch. I watch and watch and then at times, I begin to panic. Yup, I panic. I know it is hard to believe, but it does occasionally happen. I think God has given me that line where I cross over to being concerned and he uses that to keep Davin safe. I have to go with my gut since Davin doesn't have words.

Last night, I got concerned and it ended with a trip to the emergency room. In the end, the problem is not huge and Davin will be fine. The doctor and nurse were so compassionate. Poor Davin was nervous as could be. All that happened following his hip surgery in 2007 certainly has affected how he feels in a hospital setting.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Thursday Thirteen (My Sissy)

I decided to do a Thursday Thirteen today in honor of my sister. She just celebrated her 19th wedding anniversary and that is a pretty big deal:-) She is my only sibling and just happens to be the one I would choose if I got to pick. Here are 13 things about my sister, Jenny:

1. She was always called Jenny growing up, but now most of us call her Jen.

2. She is a nurse and has just accepted a job as a school nurse. I have mixed feelings about this;-)

3. She has three adorable children...Taylor, Trey and Jonah.

4. Jen is 18 months younger than me.

5. She grew taller than me.

6. Jen is the person I call to ask advice.

7. She is probably the most easy-going person I have ever known.

8. She deals very well with a sister who is a little more high-strung:-)

9. Jen's husband served in Iraq for a year. It was a very difficult year, but she handled it in an amazing way, just like she does every challenge.

10. She loves Jesus.

11. She makes me laugh all the time. We have lots of sister jokes that no one else finds that funny. That makes them even funnier to us!

12. I may have traumatized her during our childhood. For that, I am sorry. Really, I am:-)

13. She is perhaps the most reliable person I know. I can always count on her to listen to me, help me, or support me in any way that she can. She is the best and I am so blessed to call her my sister and my friend.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Missing Him

I am missing my Alan this week. Although we have spent lots and lots of days/weeks/months apart, sometimes I just miss him more. This is one of those times. He left early Monday morning and doesn't come home until late next Tuesday evening. All of our kids were here tonight for dinner and it made me sad he wasn't here. He loves when we are all together. Cheney's girlfriend Renee has been here this week visiting and he is missing that, too.

I am so thankful that he does what he needs to do to provide for us. Most of the time, I am okay with being here without him. Just not this week.

My Banner

I was listening to K-LOVE yesterday on the way to youth group (a half hour late!). It was the Proverbs 31 segment and it really touched me. She was talking about seeing someone who had won a beauty pageant and that this young woman was wearing her banner across her chest that stated her title. She went on to say that we wear banners, too. We may not wear them across our chest, but the world sees our banners. Do our banners read that we have joy, patience, long-suffering, hope, and peace?

I really like this analogy and feel challenged by it. Even if my banner does not read "Miss America":-), I am being watched. The things I say and my attitude affect the people around me and can either point them to what I have in Christ or turn them off from it.

Help me Lord to remember to wear your banners to the world I come in contact with.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Moving On...

Well, the day has finally come and gone. It was a strange date because for several months it was the day that Bethany was to be married and more recently, it became the date she was not getting married. We are now past that day and Alan commented last night that it is good to have that behind us. We are moving forward. Bethany is doing well and continues to rest in the fact that she made the right decision, in spite of the fact that it was a hard one. Instead of having a rehearsal dinner and wedding/reception, we went to see Despicable Me as a family and spent an afternoon and evening at Ocean City Boardwalk. We ate cheesesteaks together. Once during the weekend, Alan was concerned that we were spending too much money, but I reminded him that we were not spending nearly as much as we expected to;-)

Friday, July 09, 2010

A Special Prayer Request

Do you know how you pray for lots of different requests, but every once in a while, one just grabs you by the heart and won't let go? That is where I am today. A friend from church just delivered her baby girl. I believe little Addison is about 13 weeks early. About a month ago or so, the doctors had shared with the soon-to-be parents that they feared the baby had some kind of medical issues. This one has got my heart. I am praying and praying and often find myself on the verge of tears. Oh Lord, be merciful....

Thursday, July 08, 2010

Bye Bye Bunk Beds

We have had at least one set of bunk beds in our home for at least 22 years. A short while ago, I decided that one change that we could easily make in our house and would hopefully help my back a little was to get rid of the last set of bunk beds. Davin had been sleeping on the bottom bunk of the set that he shared with Cheney for many years.

Last weekend, we cleaned and sorted and moved things around. Davin is now the proud owner of a slightly used full bed. (Previously, it was Mom Mom and Pop Pop's, Ashleigh's, Bethany's, and then Cheney's) He was pretty excited to be up higher and be able to see out of his window now. I am also thinking that he may be expecting Cheney to sleep there from now on with him, too since it was most recently Cheney's bed:-)

Today I am waiting for a futon to be delivered for Cheney's room. His room is teeny tiny and I was trying to come up with a good solution that would be comfortable for him, but also allow me to use his room a little bit for other things (scrapbooking:-) when he is at college. We are hoping the futon will fit in the room and Cheney will come home to a place to sleep when he gets back from Ohio tomorrow!

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

The Looks I Get

Tomorrow is the first day of summer school. This year and for the past couple of years, we have signed Davin up for summer school. His siblings all have jobs and with our house being pretty quiet in the summertime, it seems like a better option for him. I know that summer school is much more laid back. They do fun things and go on lots of walks.

When all of the kids were home for the summers, we decided that Davin would stay home from summer school. He just missed too much being away from the house. We would either have to wait for him to get home from his half day or he would miss whatever activity we were doing and we didn't like that.

Since Davin stayed home for all of summer break for most of his life, he knows what summer feels like. He knows it is not one or two weeks. A couple of years ago, when we first decided to send him to summer school, he looked at me with a pretty annoyed look when he was riding up the lift on the bus. It was a look that said to me, "I know what summer vacation is and I KNOW this was not it!!". I had to chuckle and yet he was not amused.

The other night, Davin was in the tub and I was talking to him about school stopping for the summer and then how he would go to summer school just a few days later. Davin started shaking his head no back and forth and back and forth. He hardly ever shakes his head and certainly doesn't do it consistently. I kept talking to him and telling him how much fun summer school is and how they do fun things and Davin just kept shaking his head no over and over and over again. In between, he would look at me like I was crazy for thinking summer school was a good idea.

So, tomorrow when the lift takes his sparkly black wheelchair up, I wonder what look I will get from Davin. It seems he has made his feelings pretty clear:-) Maybe if I have some kind of great snack waiting for him when he gets home....that seems to work pretty well for boys.

Monday, June 28, 2010


I have been married to Alan for 25 years. We have been in a relationship for 28 years and I have known him since I was 8 or 9 years old. So, you would think in that amount of time, he would know certain things about me. Along the way, he must have missed a couple of things.

Alan and Bethany graciously went to the store for me last night. I needed to make a pie and wanted to get started on that right after evening church, so they were willing to make the trip to the store so I wouldn't have to. I gave them a list and on that list was a birthday card. Today is a friend's birthday and I wanted to get her a card. No big deal. I just needed a card for a friend. No worries. I had total faith in the team that I had sent to do the job.

After they got home and unloaded the groceries, Alan instructed Bethany to show me the card they had gotten for me. They were both smiling. Okay, no problem. They got a funny card. I am funny. I like funny cards.

Bethany showed me the front and it was talking about animals or something. Okay, it was cute. She opens it up and inside the card, they are talking about poop. What???? They got me a card that had the word "poop" in it and then to top it off, there was a picture of poop with flies flying around it. I looked at Alan and asked him what in my life made him think that I would be able to give a card about "poop" to anyone. He smiled again and said he thought I would think it was funny. Really?? Are you sure you were thinking of me, the one you have known for most of your life?? Hmmm....

I guess we still have some things to find out about each other. No worries, though. My sister came to the rescue and I traded her my "poop" card for a nice friend card. My nephew will LOVE giving that to one of his friends:-)

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Some Ugliness

Today I was ugly. I wasn't the only one, but nonetheless, I was ugly. I am responsible for my own actions. My son and I had a bit of a shouting match and it looked to be taking a very bad turn. Everything is fine now, but being a parent to college age and young adults is a very difficult task for me. The lines seem blurry, the goal unclear. It all seemed much easier when they were younger and I knew my role. It was so clearly defined. I could go into my parenting with assurance and gusto. Now, I am not always sure. Teach me, Lord.

As for Bethany, she is plugging away. God has been good and she worked through lots of things in the last couple of weeks. She is getting her wits about her and looking for what God has for her next. If you think to pray for Bethany, she could use prayer about the direction God would have her go.

Davin's golf tournament is a week from tomorrow. We are really short on everything and it is hard not to panic. God knows, though. I tell myself that over and over. He will not stop providing for Davin's needs. Praise God.

Friday, June 04, 2010

This Long Week

I saw this week coming, and yet could not really visualize how it would all play out. This week I watched someone I love very much have to make an excruciating decision. It was painful to watch and yet I am so proud of her.

Bethany's wedding date had been set for July 10th of this year. Just six weeks away... real doubts had set in a few weeks ago. Finally, on Monday night after talking things through with her Daddy, she was able to come to the decision she knew was right. She and Jeff were not right for each other. There were many, many tears. There was relief. There was assurance from God over and over again that this was the right decision. God is good all the time. In the midst of the hard, painful times, we see Him so clearly. I am so thankful that God loves my Bethany more than I can even imagine and that is A LOT.

My husband is not perfect. I do not share his imperfect times on my blog. I know that I only write about him when I am sharing good things. That is how I choose to write my blog. Although he is not perfect, I can say that I could not have asked for a better father for my children. I could not even have dreamed of all the things that he is to them. I have watched his relationships with them for their entire lives and it has always been one of my greatest joys. But, watching him lovingly care for his baby girl (okay, she's 22, but still..) and talk her through everything and then finally say the words that could free her from her commitment that she felt so strongly, the words that would let her crumble so that God could rebuild something beautiful, I was just in awe. With tears in my eyes, I watched one of the most painful and yet beautiful moments that I may ever witness. His love for her is immense and it showed. Her love for him is the same. It also showed.

I must say that this week has been one of the hardest. It has hurt to watch Bethany walk through such a difficult time. It has been a joy to watch her siblings and friends and family love her and cling to her and pray her through this time. God is good. He brings us to the place we need to be to be able to work in us his perfect will. God has His best in store for Bethany and I can't wait to see what it is.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Finding Yet Another Thing....

Today I found yet another water sport that I am a disaster at:-) Early this morning, our whole gang headed out of the hotel and rented a speed boat. We had it for two whole hours and it came complete with a wake board, jet skis and a tube. We held Davin tight while he screamed in delight as the wind blew in his face. We started taking turns on the tube. Bethany did it first and then Cheney took a turn and he was like a professional tube rider!! I was impressed. Next was Lexi's turn. She was a bit more "apprehensive" about the whole thing, but she did great. I was especially impressed with Cheney when I went to take my turn. I could hardly make myself jump out of the boat into the dark water. (Just thinking about that makes me feel a bit nauseous!) I finally managed to make myself jump in and then had to get on top of the tube. That was no easy feat for me and I hadn't even started riding yet! I finally managed to get up on the tube and rode for a little ways. It was fun! However, at the end of my ride, I fell into the water (again making me a bit nervous. Who knew what was in there? We had just visited Alligator Adventure earlier in the week!) Lastly, I had to get back INTO the boat. I thought I would never make it. I tried and tried and was so tired from my ride, I had no energy left to hoist myself back into the boat. Eventually, with my ever graceful moves and help from my strong Cheney Boy, I made it back into the boat safe and sound. Cheney and Bethany took more turns and did just great! Cheney even tried the wake board (which looks sooo very hard), but he was never able to get up on it this time.

For lunch, we ate at Hamburger Joe's. I enjoyed this so much, partly because it reminded me of Charlie's burgers from the Rochester area. I always loved that place and it was nice to have something similar. We had seen a commercial for this place and so Alan found it for me so we could all go. I decided I would like a t-shirt from the place since I had wanted to go there so badly, but unfortunately, the ones they had all had something written on it that I would not wear, shirt.

Having gotten up so early, we still had tons of daylight left. We headed to the pool for a little bit more sun. Alan and Davin took a swim and then we all headed back up to rest for a bit. Tonight we spend some time packing up as this is our last night in Myrtle Beach. Tomorrow morning, we head to New Bern, NC where we will spend a couple more days before finally heading home.

We have had such a wonderful time together as a family (minus our Ashleigh and Kevin).

Monday, May 24, 2010


Today was a much slower day than yesterday. We realized we had been running Davin ragged in the past couple of weeks, so today we took it easy for the day. We all slept in and had a nice breakfast in the late morning. I like having the time to do that. After we got all cleaned up, we decided to head down to the pool for a little while. Bethany and Lexi were already down when Davin and I arrived. Davin had a great time swimming with the girls.

Bethany and Lexi and Aunt Sharon and Chelsea had made an appointment to go horseback riding at 2 pm. While they were gone, we just lounged around and enjoyed playing Phase 10 with Grandmom and Leah (another one of my nieces who is here, but I forgot to mention.) We had a nice time munching and playing the card game.

Bethany and Lexi got back to report to us how horseback riding went. The look on Lexi's face really said it all. Lexi is not a fan of horses or horseback riding. This was her first experience doing that and I think it may be her last. It sounded like an hour and a half of torture. I could not help but remember a similar horseback riding experience that I had in Aruba. This was two and a half hours of terror. Just pure terror. Much to Lexi's credit, she did not cry while on her horseback ride. During my ride, I was sobbing within two minutes of leaving. I definitely knew I would not be going with them today:-)

Tonight we will let Davin get a little bit of extra sleep, so we can do something fun tomorrow. What will it be?

For Ashleigh

This week we are on vacation in Myrtle Beach! We planned this vacation about ten months ago and have looked forward to it. Ashleigh was unable to come with us at the last minute, so we will update the blog with pictures to show her what we are doing. We miss you, Loubie!

Sunday was our first full day in Myrtle Beach. We went to the beach in the morning, which was no easy task. It has been about four years since we have taken Davin to the beach. It gets a bit harder as he gets bigger. When he was little, we carried him all the way down. As he grew, we took turns carrying him. Several years ago, I got a sled and pulled him on it when we got to the sand. This year, we drug his wheelchair backwards across the sand and then had a bath chair for him down by the water. It worked out pretty good, but I am not sure we will be hitting the beach every day;-)

Later in the day, we rounded everyone up (Alan's brother and his family are here, too. Also, Alan's parents are here.) except for Grandmom and Grandpop and went to the aquarium. We loved it and some of us even got to touch stingrays!

After the aquarium, we walked around Broadway on the Boardwalk (not sure if that is the real name) looking in shops, picking up a couple of souveniers and eating dinner at a Japanese steakhouse. Great day, but a very full day. I don't think all of our days will be quite so jam-packed.

Also, you may notice that we have an extra person with us. Her name is Alexis (Lexi) and she came with us on vacation!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Two Sisters

I have two daughters. They have been very different their whole lives. When Ashleigh was 2 and Bethany was about 6 months old, Ashleigh gave me my first big parenting challenge. She had always been a great sleeper and really needed lots of sleep. However, her will was like iron and she made up her mind that she would not go to sleep at night. I tried everything. I certainly was not a pushover kind of mom even way back at the beginning, but I just could not conquer this problem. We went for months where it would take me up to 4 hours to get one 2-year-old to sleep. I was beside myself. Ashleigh was miserable every day because she wasn't getting enough sleep. Finally, I got a system that worked and I was declared the winner (at least in the eyes of the willful 2 year-old. Phew!).

As soon as I had a handle on the bedtime problem, I decided that in a way it was good. Since I finally had figured out how to deal with this problem with Ashleigh, when Bethany went through the sleeping problem, I would know exactly what to do and it would be fine.

Silly, silly me...

Bethany did not go through the sleeping problem. She and Ashleigh have rarely had similar issues-problems-crisis. They are totally different. They adore each other and have always been best friends, but they are different.

Now we are planning Bethany's wedding. You would think I would be an expert at this because I planned a wedding just two years ago.

True to how different my two girls are, there are not many things about this wedding that will be like Ashleigh's wedding. Ashleigh got married in a church and had a sit down reception in a banquet hall. Bethany is getting married outside and the reception will be outside. Totally different things to think about for Bethany's big day.

I am not surprised. I just smile because I think that their weddings will just be a reflection of the people that they are and I think that is a pretty good thing.

Friday, April 09, 2010

My Alan Scott

I have so many things to blog about. So many exciting things are going on in our house right now. However, today is not the day for those. Today is the day that my Alan Scott was born. He is 44 years old today, so I will write 44 things about Alan.

Happy Birthday to my man!

1. Alan is 6'3"

2. He loves his family.

3. The day our first daughter was born, he literally fell in love with her.

4. Our oldest daughter Ashleigh is named after Alan. His initials are ASH.

5. Our oldest son is named after Alan. His middle names are Alan Scott. However, when Cheney was little, he asked me to just call him "Alan". So cute.

6. He is a protector. I have always loved this about him. I may try to handle something by myself, and he sometimes asks me, if he can take care of it yet. Sometimes I say yes and sometimes I say no. I love knowing he has my back always, though.

7. Alan wants to be like Christ. I can see this in his life and have watched him grow and grow.

8. Alan doesn't mind when the house is messy. Thankfully!

9. Alan is not a picky eater and will eat just about anything.

10. Alan has traveled all over the world. Mostly without me.

11. Alan met a little girl with long stringy brown hair and teeth that were almost buck when he was about 9 years old. Someday he would marry that girl:-) (After braces, of course!)

12. I know that Alan would give his life for me or one of our children in a heartbeat.

13. Alan started a business 6 years ago because he wanted his brother and Dad to have a place to work.

14. Alan can do most anything on a computer.

15. He is very intelligent. When we were in school, he never took a book home and always did very well.

16. Alan gets a little frustrated with me that I am directionally impaired.

17. When Alan and I were on our first official date, we were in a serious car accident and he pulled me out of the car. (into sticker briars)

18. Alan likes to play video games, especially with Cheney Boy.

19. Alan loves to travel.

20. Alan takes excellent care of Davin.

21. He is not really an animal person and gets a little annoyed at how I talk to our dogs.

22. He doesn't seem to need many friends.

23. The minute before Ashleigh walked down the aisle at her wedding, Alan told her she did not have to go through with it.

24. Alan really likes snorkeling.

25. Alan had a very serious accident on a quad and God spared his life.

26. He is a hard worker.

27. He doesn't enjoy working around the house.

28. Alan loves spicy food. The hotter, the better.

29. Alan has blue eyes.

30. He has always enjoyed having the kids' friends at our house.

31. He likes to do things with our kids.

32. Alan has been a coach for our kids' teams many times.

33. Alan was in the US Navy for 6 years, but did not choose to stay in because he had to be away so much.

34. Alan has one brother and one sister.

35. He once dropped his neice and she talks about it frequently, even though I know she doens't remember.

36. Alan has always loved Wednesday night prayer meetings the best, even though we don't get to go now because Awana is during the same time.

37. Awana is in Alan's blood.

38. Alan is spending his 44th birthday with our son, Cheney, and will get to watch Cheney row in his regatta tomorrow.

39. Our kids know they can count on Alan.

40. All of our kids look like Alan. He has always liked this very much. He once told me that people probably wonder if I am the natural mother.

41. Alan and his brother sound just alike and so does Cheney now.

42. Alan would rather eat at home than to go out.

43. Alan had to get new shoes last week to make his traveling more "streamline". He is very serious about his routine at the airport. When he is traveling, I call him "traveling Alan".

44. Alan asked me to be his girlfriend on November 28th, 1982 at 10:06 pm. I think it was a good decision to say yes.

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

March 2, 1985

It certainly is not a story that fairy tales are made of. It did not start out with a fancy proposal or an excited bride. I remember my father asking me on the day that I was getting married if I was excited. I answered him that it was something that had to be done. I am hoping most brides do not walk into a marriage with that kind of attitude.

As sad as the beginning of my story is, I don't think of it in that way. To me, it is a story of God's amazing redemption. A story of His faithfulness to us when we choose to be faithful to Him. A story of God taking something broken and when placed in His hands, made beautiful. That is the story of my marriage.

Today marks 25 years since the day that I became Alan's wife. It was a decision made because we were having a baby and thought that we would like that baby to have both parents together to raise her. We walked into that decision with very little thought (although we had been dating for two and half years) and maybe no prayer. We discussed with our parents when we would get married and I can remember sitting there and saying we had something to do the following weekend, so we made it for two weeks away. (Even as I write this, I can not believe this!!!)

I do not encourage anyone to go into MARRIAGE with such little thought. However, although we went into a marriage as two 18 year-olds who were totally not ready to be married, we did have one thing going for us. We were dedicated. Once we took those vows, we were dedicated that we would stick with them until the end. I have to tell you when you are 18 at the beginning of the marriage, the end can seem very, very far away;) We had a long, long road to walk together. Alan and I decided to sink our teeth in, figure things out and be dedicated to making our marriage work.

I have to be fair and say that even though I was not excited about getting married or ready to get married, Alan knew he was supposed to be married to me. He did not have the same reservations that I did. He knew everything would work out. We had discussed the possibility of marriage in the near future many, many times. He had told me that he would either marry me, or he would never marry.

When I look back and think of all the mountains and valleys that Alan and I have journeyed together, I just stand in awe. I said at the beginning of this post, that this story was not what fairy tales are made of and yet I am so very proud of our story. I am so blessed with a husband who has loved me for most of my life. I married a boy and he turned into a man that I am so pleased to call my husband (or more commonly, "my man";)

God knew when that scared, scarred and unsure 18-year-old girl squeezed in through the back door with her Dad (we were not allowed to walk down the aisle) that she was making the right choice. He knew that there would be dark days, but He knew He would equip her to deal with the challenges He set before her.

You have to excuse me today. There is certainly an amount of pride that I feel today. When you become one of "the teenage parents" in a "teenage marriage", you know that odds are against you. Quite frankly, I am positive there were people who whispered how long they thought our marriage would last. I am so thankful to my God and my husband for being with me through these last 25 years. I am so blessed to be able to say that I have not just endured 25 years of marriage, but it has been the best! What an amazing God we have who takes the tattered and torn and makes them into something beautiful.

Happy Anniversary to the love of my life!

Thursday, February 11, 2010


For most of my married life, Alan has traveled to some extent. He left to go to Navy boot camp a couple of months after we were married. I finished out my pregnancy and delivered Ashleigh without him:( Because God has seen fit to have these periods of absences in my life, I have come to appreciate some things about being without Alan for periods of time. The very best part of it....the homecomings! I love the homecomings!

Now, I have had many different kinds of homecomings. While our four children were little, Alan worked away four days a week for two years. So, every week, it was so exciting to watch my little children stand at the window and look for Daddy's car to get home. The weekends were so exciting because Daddy was home with us!

The granddaddy of all homecomings for our lives was when Alan was in the Navy and went on his second Med-cruise. He would be gone for six months. Ashleigh was 3 1/2 and Bethany was just about to turn 2. When I would look at the calendar and turn the pages of six months, I saw no possible way I could make it through that. As the day approached for them to ship out, I was pretty sure God was not going to let this happen. Surely He knew I couldn't handle it and would not send Alan away for such a long time and leave me alone with two little girls. Well, God did have Alan set out with his ship for six months. Were those six months hard? (Certainly not as hard as the wives who send their husbands to Iraq or Afghanistan for a year or more!) They were hard. It is hard when your four year-old little girl walks around the house with a picture of her as a newborn baby and her Daddy holding her. While Ashleigh was doing this, she was crying with this cry that comes from your gut saying, "I want my Daddy! I want my Daddy!" I thought my heart would break in two pieces.

But, at the end of all of that.....the HOMECOMING!! The day we had been living for and talking about for six months. The trash days had been counted down and the USS Virginia was on her way home!! New outfits were bought, hair styles were considered and then the day came. I got up hours and hours early just to be able to enjoy every minute of that day! The girls and I had a bag packed with snacks and had fixed ourselves up all pretty:) Our Daddy was coming home. As the ship came in, the men dressed in their dress blues all looked the same standing on the deck. Then, slowly they got closer and we could recognize our Daddy!! There is nothing that I have ever been through that compares to that. I could touch him. He was right next to me finally!! The girls were so happy to be in their Daddy's arms:)

Since that day, we have spent many many more days apart. As soon as Alan got out of the Navy, his job took him away for 3 1/2 months!! I had thought it was only the military that did that.

In Alan's job in Rochester, he traveled lots and would be gone for a week at a time or sometimes a bit more.

Now we are back to Alan traveling. I miss him lots while he is gone, but I can not help but like some parts of it and look forward to his homecomings. Tonight Alan will come home after being gone for four days. I will watch out the window while I continue making preparations for dinner and when I see those headlights, I will be so excited to see him!

Alan may read this and read other things into this post. He is going to tell me that I don't miss him and am glad he is gone during the week. That is not it at all. God has given us this in our lives. I choose to find the positive parts of it and enjoy them.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Boys vs. Girls

I frequently hear people talk about boys being so much easier to raise than girls. My answer is generally that it depends on the child and as genders go, they each have their challenges. They may not be the same challenges or come at the same time, but they come. Growing up is hard.

I am wondering if people who insist that boys are soooo much easier than girls have ever watched a boy try to become a man. I have found (in my own son and in other boys' lives) that this is a huge, difficult time of life. Right now I am praying for a young man who is very special to our family. He is at a similar point in his life that my son Cheney was in at this time last year. He has made some bad choices and there have been consequences that we presently don't know the extent of.

In my experience, girls are freer to show their emotions. They can cry and let those emotions out. It can look ugly, but they come out. After a certain age, boys are not really permitted to cry. This certainly was not something I had told my son, but I think boys catch on pretty quickly that by a certain age, crying does not look good for them socially, so they bottle it up. Eventually those emotions come out and I have seen it come out as anger or rage in boys. I know it did in my son and it was terrifying and painful to watch. Dealing with disappointments in themselves can leave them so angry. They need to be a "man" and yet they have so many insecurities and so many questions about what that should look like in their lives. And, of course, when they know they have things in their lives that are not living up to their own expectations of themselves.

So, as I think back to a year ago when my body was literally between my son and the front door as he desperately tried to get out of our house while I wondered if I would end up being hurt or if the police would need to be called, I will pray for this boy that we love so much. I will pray that he will walk out of his anger and into all that God has for him.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010


"Let not your heart be troubled...."

My heart is troubled. We have a situation that we have been praying about for quite some time. It is becoming a desperate situation and we are at a lack of answers. On our knees...

Saturday, January 23, 2010

A New Doctor

Yesterday I took Davin to see a new doctor. The neurologist has insisted for two years that Davin must see this doctor. I was not sure why, but the neurologist was insistent every single time we saw her, so finally I got a hold of them and made an appointment. We took our x-rays and records with us. The doctor sat down and asked about Davin's history and then asked me how he could help me. You see, the problem was that I had no idea. I explained to him that I was hoping he could tell me how he might be able to help us. I wasn't sure what his expertise was. When I called to make the appointment, the receptionist asked why we were coming to see the doctor. I replied that I did not know. She asked if he was having trouble walking and I replied no. He is non-ambulatory. She asked if he wore MAFOs and I said yes. She asked if he was having problems with them. I said no. Hmmm... The neurologist insisted we see you, so that is why I am making the appointment.

So, the doctor explained that the neurologist was concerned that Davin was very tight. Well, she is always concerned that he is tight. Last appointment she was concerned he was tight and too thin. Really????? I had never noticed! You think he is tight??? And I thought he was chubby, not thin!! Okay, I am being smart. Every time we go to see the neurologist, she tries picking up his foot while he is in his wheelchair and stretching it out straight. You are never going to do that and have Davin NOT feel tight. She does not usually listen to me when I tell her how far his range of motion is, etc. I have come to accept this and just try to tell her and move on.

The new doctor seemed nice and gave me some things to think about. I am going to consider doing botox shots in Davin's arms right before his next round with intensive PT. That is the kind of thing this doctor does.

Although I thought the doctor seemed very knowledgable, I couldn't help but leave with somewhat of a bad taste in my mouth. When the doctor came in, he shook Davin's hand. That was good. However, that was the last time he spoke to Davin. Not to mention that he used phrases like "I have done this proceedure on someone of normal intelligence" and "kids who are older don't respond as well to PT". He made quite a few comments that I had to come home and talk to Davin about. If the doctor would have talked about these kinds of things, but had addressed Davin, I probably wouldn't have been as upset. I talk frankly in front of Davin. He didn't, though. I had to come home and tell Davin that even though the doctor has said that "Davin can't do anything for himself", that that wasn't a big deal and that is not what makes someone a great person. I had to talk to him about the fact that just because he may not know everything, he is still someone I am very proud of because he is trying to be the very best he can be.

My Dad was with us for the visit. My Dad thought the doctor was so good and I simply had to say that yes, he seemed to know what he was talking about, he only addressed Davin (his patient) one time and that didn't seem very good to me.

Maybe I should have said something. Maybe I should have asked him not to say those things in front of Davin or maybe the doctor just thought that our situation was so hopeless that Davin knew his life was horrible. Maybe that is just how doctors have to look at things because they just see the problems and not the people. I hope I never stop seeing people. I don't want to see their problems. I want to see their potential and their purpose. It is so easy for me to feel discouraged when a doctor asks me so many questions to find out if Davin can in any way help take care of himself and I have to answer no to every single one. In real life, though, when I am living with this boy and learning from him, I don't think about the fact that he can't brush his teeth by himself (okay, he could try, but they would not be clean;) or put his shirt on. I think about all the ways he is an amazing part of my family!

Thursday, January 21, 2010


I was listening to K-LOVE in the car today and they were talking about a website or something where people were being challenged to come up with one word that they wanted to desribe their lives for the next year. It could just be one word. I didn't have to think long about it. They mentioned many words that were so meaningful and good, but faithful came to my mind immediately. I want to be so many ways. I want to be faithful to my God. When He asks me to do something that I don't think I am equipped to do, I want to be faithful to trust Him. I want to be faithful to be a good wife and go the extra mile even if Alan isn't giving me back as much as I would like him to. I want to be faithful to my kids. I want to be a solid, consistent example to them. I want to listen to them and pray for them faithfully. I want to be faithful in my ministries, even when I get tired. I want to be faithful to take care of my boy in the best way possible. I want to be a faithful daughter. I want to spend time with my parents and parents-in-law. It goes on and on. To me that word sums up so many areas in my life that I am constantly in need of working on. Faithful doesn't give the idea of doing something half-heartedly like I sometimes want to do things. Faithful puts in the time and energy needed to do the job right. Whatever it is.

So, what is your word???

Monday, January 18, 2010

My Asheigh Diane

My girls read my blog more than anyone else. Of course, their favorite is when I do a post about them. Looking back through my old posts, I never did a post just about Ashleigh, so even though it is not Thursday, I will post 13 things about Ashleigh Diane:)

1. I had Ashleigh when I was 18 years old and she is the baby that I first fell in love with. I absolutely loved being her mother.

2. Ashleigh had a very strong will and often had what we loved to call "episodes".

3. Ashleigh has adored her little sister from the minute she first laid eyes on her. The first day Bethany was home from the hospital, Ashleigh tried to share her french fries with her.

4. Ashleigh is a director for T&T club in Awana and loves leading the girls. She has a heart for troubled kids, especially.

5. Ashleigh has gone to Botswana, Africa and it was life-changing.

6. For Ashleigh, family is very important. She hates to miss a family function.

7. Ashleigh has been married for two years!

8. I could always count on Ashleigh to watch her younger brothers and sister if I needed her to. She loved to have them home with her while Alan and I went out.

9. Ashleigh is one of the most loyal people I have ever known.

10. Ashleigh loves working out.

11. She also loves dying her hair. One of the first things she did when she went away to college was to dye her hair.

12. Ashleigh has worked as a nanny for the last few years, although she does not presently have a job:(

13. Ashleigh is fun to be around! She brings a party wherever she goes. If Ashleigh is missing, things are not as lively as they are with her there.

14. I am proud of the young woman that she is. She is faithful to God, loves her husband and her family and has worked so hard on evening her strong will and letting God use it for Him.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Another Wedding

In our house there is quite a bit of talk about weddings now. Especially when it is just Bethany, Davin and I. Alan is not quite as excited about the whole thing;) It is interesting to listen to Bethany describe what she would like to have for the ceremony and reception. It will be very different from Ashleigh's wedding just two years ago. Ashleigh's wedding was very traditional and formal. Bethany is going to have an outdoor wedding and reception and it will be much more casual. It will be great fun.

Bethany and Jeff are out tonight to meet with the couple that is going to do their pre-marital counseling. Tonight they are getting together to get to know each other before starting on their session. I pray it will be a blessed time and a time of thinking through and talking through lots of things.

Davin had a huge week last week. In the matter of two days, he had a sleep EEG (he had to stay up from 1am for this test), blood work, x-rays, went to the ortho doctor who had done his surgery, and got casted for new MAFOs. That was all just on Monday and Tuesday. I have to say, my Davin is just one of the easiest going people I have ever met in my life. On Monday morning, he got up at 1am and watched Little House on the Prairie through the night and was at the hospital in the morning for 5 hours and was such a trooper and was still smiling. I really learn from him all the time. It is amazing to me the attitude that he constantly has.

This week in Bethany's class, she got very upset. It has happened before. She is a social work major and so many times in classes, they end up discussing people who have disabilities. Unfortunately and sadly, the disabled people are not spoken of with respect or value. That was the discussion this week. They were talking about how even though people with disabilities don't have the same value..... These kinds of words cut like a knife when you have a name and face for the "people". I try to tell Bethany that it is just different when people don't know anyone personally. Somehow they are able to feel more valuable than someone they don't know. For Bethany and one other boy in her class who had an uncle with Down's Syndrom, "these people" are so much more. Sometimes Bethany says things and sometimes she just can't. One time, she had a college professor who was so ignorant on the subject, I wanted to go in and speak to her class to maybe shed some real light on the personal part of what they had been talking about. The teacher just did not get it and I wasn't ever able to do that. It was ashame. Bethany goes to a Biblical University, but that is no guarantee that people understand the value of everyone. It is still easier for us to think that being smart and capable are qualities that make us valuable. That is too bad. I wish those students coule meet my Davin.