Friday, August 31, 2012

On the Beach, On the Go

The main reason we headed to Gulf Shores this year was so that Clayton could use the beach power chairs we found there for rent.  He could use some more training on the driving (they drive a little differently than his regular chair), but all in all, it was definitely a great thing--our backs especially appreciated it.  He is simply to big to carry very far, and definitely if you are walking in sand!  I did a little videoing of him driving so that I could share for others who are interested in trying them out:

You'll have to excuse the video quality--my videography skills are lacking!

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Even The Hard Things

I still remember sitting in the pump room.  It was the early morning hours of the 28th and I had been by Shawn's bedside since around five that previous afternoon.  The doctors urged me to take a break, assuring me Shawn was stable enough for me to be gone for a short time.  I reluctantly went, knowing my body needed the release, also aware that Clayton needed me to keep making milk.  It was the first time I had been alone since being told my baby would die.  I sat there in the quiet of the room, listening to the ho-hum of the breast pump.

Making milk for babies who were too sick to even contemplate eating.

Making milk for a baby who wouldn't be alive in just a few short hours.  
And as much as I held onto the faith that God could heal him at any moment, I started visualizing my son's funeral.  How in the world do you go about planning a funeral for your child?

The one you just welcomed into the world?

The one you haven't even gotten to know yet?

And to this day, the devil plays tricks on me.  Tells me that since I dared to go there in my mind that night, my faith cracked, and in turn the Lord allowed Shawn to die.  Talk about mind games!  I guess as a parent, you just wonder over and over "WHAT COULD HAVE I DONE DIFFERENTLY?"  I look back at those moments and wonder if the Lord thought I was giving up?  I suppose it was the same battle I fight with Clayton's healing, just on a more acute level.  

I cycle through this emotional guilt and then my brain puts on the brakes--I KNOW the Lord works in higher ways than this!  As my friend Karen reminded me:  "Romans 8:28 is STILL IN THE BOOK."  All things, [even the hard things] are working together for the good of His people!  And what a celebration it will be when we see the good of sufferings like these revealed!    

I guess my time alone that night/morning was what you'd call a gut-check.  I could either simply collapse under the emotional weight of it all, or I could go make the most of what I had been given.  I had to trust the Lord would carry us through.  I left that pump room determined to love on my son as much as possible in the time I still had with him.  And that is what I did.  

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Back to [Home] School

Yesterday, we started back on our school routine with a new student in tow.  This will be our first year to officially include Jackson in our "classroom."  Last year I let him participate if he was interested, but didn't force the issue.  But with his interest in reading and letters/numbers growing, I thought it was the perfect time to add him into the mix. 
He was pretty excited to get his own notebook and have his own lesson.  I let Clayton "help" Jackson with his lesson, and then in turn Jackson got to "help" Clayton with his lesson.  Neither one is very motivated to do their work for their own sake, but both are very eager to help the other!  Our lessons went very well and we had a ton of fun with some new songs we learned.  We're looking forward to a great year of learning!

Friday, August 17, 2012

Gone Fishin'

Brian did a tiny bit of fishing with the boys while in Gulf Shores, which I suppose inspired him to take them to the lake this week to let them experience freshwater fishing.  He spent most of his time working on the equipment, baiting, cutting, untangling, etc., but it totally paid off because both boys were able to walk away saying they had caught fish.  
Their lines had several hooks on them, so both of them were lucky enough to even catch two fish at once. I'm glad we weren't depending on them for sustenance though, because these fish were a little on the small side!  
Seriously though, doesn't every little boy need pics like this?  I just love it.  :)

Thursday, August 16, 2012


Jackson and Whitney are like peas and carrots.  When all of the kids are together, they just seem to pair off together more often than not.  And when left to their own devices, they could play together for hours.
They just kind of did their own thing while on vacation--playing in the sand, playing in the water, playing with trucks, or making music with the guitar--they seemed to entertain each other to no end.  The only problems occurred when one of the other kids tried to interrupt their games and play.  Things didn't bode well for Drew and Heidi who always seemed to disrupt the harmony Jackson and Whitney had going on!

Monday, August 13, 2012

Vacation 2012

Last year, we had an awesome vacation, which I suppose is the reason everything seemed to go wrong on this year's trip!  We stayed in a not so well kept condo, (I'll spare you the details on the dirt we found), the beach was dirty and full of stinky seaweed, the water was full of stingers from what we guessed was broken up jellyfish?, Josh and Nicole's room had no hot water for the first few days, Mom and Dad's room had plumbing issues, the parking was atrocious, it rained and stormed constantly, and my mom ended up in the emergency room almost all of one of the nights we were there.  

So while some sing the praises of Gulf Shores, we were all ready to get the heck out of dodge when it was time to leave Saturday!  We made the most of it, and I wouldn't have wanted to laugh about all the craziness with any other group of people, but I really don't want to have another trip like that for a while!

Friday, August 10, 2012

Nine Years Old!

Happy Birthday to Clayton!  Our world is brighter because God has blessed us with this beautiful child.  I pray he has a long and full life ahead of him!