Tuesday, October 30

Embracing my family

Yesterday my older daughter met me at the door after school to share some news with me, it was not happy news.
"Mom", she said, "Alex P. died this weekend. They sent a note around to all the students. There's a visitation on Thursday. I knew you'd want to know".

I was stunned. I have been talking to his mom weekly for over a year now, his little sister has had gymnastics the same day as Christi and we would sit and talk and laugh and she'd share details about Alex's progress. The last time we had talked he was coming home from the hospital because they had finally adjusted his meds to help him. You see, he had a type of cancer that affected his kidneys, requiring a kidney transplant in 4th grade and again last summer as he was finishing 7th grade. He remained in the hospital the required 10 weeks and then was able to come home. A month and a half ago he was returned to the hospital because he was having trouble keeping food down, but they felt like it was just a medicine issue. After all this, they found out that he needed a bone marrow transplant, but a match was never found. He died Saturday.

I sat around all day yesterday and last night with a broken heart for his family. Alex was adored. He had lead a tough life and in the process became a heroic and strong boy. I am still sad for his family, for hopes dashed, dreams unfulfilled and life left unlived....but the joy of Alex now as he enters the continual presence of the One who made him, who welcomed him with open arms and now cradles this perfectly healthy spirit. I know it will be a long road for this family for healing, but am committed to helping with as much as possible, even if it's only to sit by their side and be silent.

As I thought about their loss, I held my children a little tighter and thanked God for their health, for a blessed life and prayed for us to have many more years in this life that I so love.

Saturday, October 27

She's got spirit

I've got spirit yes I do.
Originally uploaded by Jean 1.

Niki has joined the Spirit Squad, a must if you want to have a chance to try out for cheerleader in the spring. Niki has decided that she wants to try out. Niki left a recent game with a proud smile on her face, she had won the spirit stick giving her the priviledge of taking the stick home to decorate and return to school.

Wednesday, October 10


Originally uploaded by Jean 1.

Well first games are out of the way...the kids had a good time and so did I! The Coyotes (1st/2nd grade team I'm coaching) played really well, especially for a team that is half experienced and the other half first timers. The Dragonflies (Christi's team, 4&5 year olds) played a spirited game of "run that way". Everyone once in a while, someone would get in a kick and head off after the ball. It was so cute. Christi got in a couple of good kicks, and ran quiet gracefully. Her main objective is to run without messing up her ponytail. On to game #2 on Saturday.

Tuesday, October 9

It all adds up

photos from iphone 041
Originally uploaded by Jean 1.

Christi has been loving doing her little learning books. She loves the math the most, but also loves the letters and patterns. She usually brings in one of her activities to do while I'm getting myself ready for the day (after the other kids have left for school) It is a fun time for her, and I get to put on my makeup without needing to share my lipstick...most of the time. :)

Thursday, October 4

Set this circus down

photos from iphone 004
Originally uploaded by Jean 1.

This past weekend, as Husband and I were driving to lunch, we noticed a huge tent set up in the parking lot of our closest mall. It intrigued me, so when I found out it was a small circus I decided to give it a try. My oldest two kids had been to the circus before, but the younger two had not....it was high time they saw elephants and trapeze artists and dog doing the cha-cha.
It was a very nice circus, perfect for first timers! My son started out being afraid of clowns (common fear I'm told) but I convinced him to ask for Holy Spirit to help him overcome his fear so he could have this fun experience. He took a few minutes, a deep breath and then started walking. He started out by looking directly at a clown. I told him to focus on the fact that he could tell it was just a man or woman wearing a lot of make-up. I told him to focus on the nose, eyes, ears....the same features that we all have. After he was able to do that, he smiled a little then waved tentatively. The clown guy waved back and smiled. We were then able to walk on into the tent and find our seats. We watched the stunts done with amazement, we clapped when the poodles all stood with their front paws on the backs of the poodle in front and danced the cha-cha and when the elephants did their balancing acts, it pleased all. After an elephant ride for one child and a pony ride for another, we walked out to the van. My son looked at me and said "Thank you Mom for forcing me to go in the tent. It was the best show ever!" I laughed. I reminded him that I did not force him but encouraged him, and then I said "you're welcome!". Christi proclaimed it the "best day ever" and the older two loved sharing this event with the younger two. What a great memory.

Wednesday, October 3

Ryan's dragon

Originally uploaded by Jean 1.

This pic goes with the post "Hold your Horses".

Hold your horses

photos from iphone 053
Originally uploaded by Jean 1.

Life has been going really well lately, just a bit busy. I love it, I truly do! This is my favorite time of year, school going on a regular schedule, fall craft festivals have started, pumpkin patches have opened and fall soccer games start this Saturday. But I have had to make adjustments in my time allotments to make room for the life going on around us.
One of these adjustments has been finding ways to spend time together as a family without making it a crazy day. Dinner is one of those times, but since I have no desire to cook I have found my list of places where kids eat free invaluable. Tuesdays are our favorite nights....McAlister's has kids eat free night (two per paying adult). This month they have this wonderful lady doing free face painting. We had such a good time watching FacePainter do her magic, all in a matter of minutes. It was amazing, we stayed for an hour watching, getting something cool and enjoying a great healthy dinner.