Friday, October 15, 2010

We Have Five

Monday night I had the rare treat of shopping without children.  Livvy and Sammy were at Awanas, and Ben was at home with Tom.  While perusing Cost Plus I ran into an acquaintance...a friend of a friend type thing.  But anyway, we started chatting.

How's business?", "How's Tom?"  and so on.

And then he asked that question.  "So, how many kids do you have?"

"Uuuhhh...  Well....  Uuuhhhh....  Three."  I literally said that, the "uuuhhh's" and all.  I can't imagine what he must have thought.  Oh well.

If the kids had been with me they would have happily and loudly said, "We have five kids, Livvy, Sammy, Ben, Noah and the baby in mommy's belly."  They tell anybody and everybody, including the old couple behind us in line at the grocery store and the check-out clerk.  They talk about Noah freely and include him in every family count there is, and all family pictures.  I wouldn't have it any other way.

I've answered the "How many kids do you have?" question before including Noah.  But for some reason that night I didn't.  Not including Noah in my count of children last Monday night left me feeling I not only denied Noah, but I denied God in a way by not acknowledging what He had done by giving us Noah and taking him away.   It's a hard one.

Today, Octoberr 15th, is the National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day.

It was one year ago this week that we found out we were expecting baby #4.  I've shared this before but will again, I wasn't excited about it.  I didn't think I was ready.  I was enjoying and wanting more time with just the three that we had.

It was six months ago today that we met and said goodbye to Noah. 

It seems very surreal... did we really just go through that?  Did we really have a baby six months ago?  He died before we ever got to see him take a breath.  We held him for 8 hours, gave him to the gal from the funeral home, and went home.  How could we really have been through that?  How could six months have gone by already?  Did six months ago really happen?

Every now and then I look through Noah's pictures on the computer (none are up in the house yet, except his hand and foot print molds; we're still very much a construction zone, no room for pictures). I see Noah's box on my dresser every morning. I have the blue blankie replacement tucked under my pillow.

I don't think about Noah every minute or every hour.  But...sometime during the day his memory always comes up.  Sometimes it's when I'm looking at the kids' stair-stepped height.  Sometimes it's when I see a friend with their baby who was pregnant at the same time as I was.  It's always when I sing the kids' their night-time song and point to each one of them tucked into their beds, Livvy, Sammy, Ben, point up for Noah and point to my belly for the new baby (the kids' idea).  At some point during every day I remember again that he, my little Noah Tobias, is not here with us, he's missing.

I saw this song posted on Molly Piper's blog.  I know it's written for families who lost a loved one in the 9-11 attacks,'s true of us too:

You're Missing, by Bruce Springsteen

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Today's School

This post might be more for the grandparents.  I haven't done a great job at keeping them informed about what we're learning in school and sharing cute pictures - sorry.'s what we did this morning.

We've been learning about rivers this week.  Earlier this week we talked about and drew a map of OT Bible times rivers, lakes and seas - Nile, Tigris, Euphrates, Jordan, Red Sea, Dead Sea, Mediterranean Sea, Persian Gulf and the Sea of Galilee.  I don't know what they've learned, but I'm certainly more educated.

Yesterday at co-op's Discovery Days they had fun watching how waters flows from high spots to low and cuts a path as it goes.  They even created a flood where they had to create a dam to stop the water from flowing into the village.

Today, because I hadn't much planned but really thought I should be doing something fun and hands-on with them, went outside and turned on the hose.  First we filled up a bucket of water and took it over to a big mound of rocks/dirt we have in the side yard.  We climber to the top and dug a little hole for a mountain lake and then dumped some of the water in it.  Then we dumped the rest of the water into lake to see where the water would cut it's path down the mountain as the winter snow melted. 

Next we followed the instructions from our Compassion Explorer magazine to show what happens to water in a vegetated area versus a non-vegetated area.  We filled up two cookie sheets with dirt: one with just dirt and the other we added some rocks and clumps of grass.  We put a couple of bricks under one end of each pan and then dragged the hose over.  The kids had fun making it rain and watching what happened as the water made it's paths.

You can see that Sammy's vegetated mountain slope held where the rocks and grass was.  Livvy's non-vegetated slope all washed away - mudslide.  We had the perfect real-life example of this during the summer as the rains came and fell on our recently burnt mountain.  Slopes that used to hold the water gave way and several neighborhoods flooded including ours.  Thankfully this morning it was just a small localized flood that didn't result in any property damage - just some muddy pants.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

4 and 40

This is a little late in being posted, but...on Sept 24th Sammy turned 4 years old and on Sept 27th Tom turned 40!!  Happy Birthday to two of my favorite boys.  Crazy how it worked out this year that Tom is exactly 10 times Sammy's age.  Next year it won't be so; but this year 4 and 40!

On Saturday the 26th we had a party for Sammy and a surprise party for Tom.  The whole surprise aspect didn't turn out quite like I had envisioned - I had grander schemes that just didn't fit into the day. Again and again God is teaching me to let go of my hopes and dreams and accept His plans for me...without whining and complaining (isn't that what I tell the children all the time??  Guess it's a hard lesson to learn).

Despite my plans going slightly awry, the party was a success and everybody had a fun time. 

There were lots of kids - amazing because there was only three families excluding ours:
 - lots of food, and my best attempt at Spiderman cupcakes:

My sweet, tenacious, sensitive, stubborn, loving baby boy is growing up fast.

Before lunch: "Dear Jesus, Thank that we're here; thank you that everybody here. Thank you that Oma and Opa and Grammie and Pop-pop gonna come another day. Thank you that you gave us Jesus and angels to watch over us. Amen"

After falling down without crying: "Yeah, 'cause I'm tough like Daddy."

After doing 5 minutes of school, he gets out of his chair and heads outside. Right before he closes the door, he leans inside and says, "Hey mom, if you need me, I'll be outside."

My great, goofy, serious, adventurous, faith-filled husband is a gift from God.
For the last two years regarding the house: "It's all starting to come together now."
When something goes wrong with the house, "It's always something."
Talking to me about life, "God is good.  You've got to remember that."