Song of the Grieving

My mom gave me a cd before Noah was born. I like this song...you can hear part of it here.

Song of the Grieving

Lord, you can see our hearts filled with sorrow,
The tears that are falling down,
Someone we love has gone on before us,
And we're left with the questions now,

And we know in the bigger scheme it would seem
We'll see you again 'fore we know it,
But the truth is it feels like this wound might not heal,
We need Your mercy, Lord show it,
Please, hear our Prayer...

Give us grace to weather this storm,
And strength to grieve our loss,
And trust that you have not abandoned us in our pain,
Give us faith to believe that there's more than this,
And hope for out final home,
We stand here before You broken but still believing,
The song of the grieving.

We smile at the fact that your journey is done,
And your spirit is where it has longed to be,
We picture you now as you laugh with the angels,
Thanking the Lord that you're finally free,

And we know in the bigger scheme it would seem
We'll see you again 'fore we know it,
But the truth is it feels like this wound might not heal,
We need Your mercy, Lord show it,
Please hear our cry...

The song of the grieving
We're broken and beaten
We need your healing

-Matt Rexford


Nestled in Peace...

When I returned home from Iowa, Mike said the cemetery had called to let us know that Joanna's headstone had been placed. So, on Tuesday - the first day of fall - the boys and I took some flowers to the cemetery.
"May the Lord of peace Himself give you peace at all times and in every way."

II Thess 3:16



My mom and brother, Perry, picked me up last Friday and we headed to Iowa. The 8-9 hour car ride really wasn't too bad with 3 drivers. My cousin, who is stationed in Guam, flew "home" to get married. The weather was beautiful for the outdoor wedding. The scenery was lush and green. We stayed with a family from my uncle and aunt's church. My boys would have LOVED to explore around their farm!! I was able to snap a few shots at sunrise on Sunday morning while our host took our flat tire to the milk house to plug the hole! We were blessed to have hosts that could do just about anything! If we'd have been anywhere else, it would have been a much bigger and longer task! I don't think the donut tire would have lasted very long on all the gravel roads either.



Today I went to the doctor to have my "6 week check up." Hard to believe it's been that long since I felt the warmth of her body as they tenderly placed her on my stomach. I will never forget that, nor the cold of her checks, just hours later, as I gently stroked them. No, I'll never forget.

Time doesn't heal, but it cauterizes.

Each day is another step on this journey of grief, toward healing, and learning what my normal is now.

Okay, back to my appointment, everything went fairly well. The midwife that delivered Joanna took time to talk with me and make sure I was doing okay emotionally, not just physically. She and my doctor said how surprised, no pretty much shocked, he was when the results of Joanna's testing came back perfectly normal; her chromosomes exactly the way they should be. The doctor said again how glad he was we have our two boys...that what happened with Noah and Joanna were isolated occurrences...that I don't have to worry that I'm "damaged goods" (not the words I'd choose to describe my circumstances, but oh well)...I guess he meant that I shouldn't blame myself, that my body is not letting me down, or that I'm not doomed in the pregnancy department.

As he was leaving, I thanked him again for his care. I shared that I was apprehensive about coming back to see him this time. He rambled off about understanding that it would bring back unpleasant memories. But, I wanted to be sure to say that I appreciated his attitude and respect of our choice to carry Joanna. I emphasized how his support really made a difference. He shared how he's learning from his patients, he's changing how he does some things, and that his nurse is "softening" him.

I left a CD of Joanna's Memorial Service and a DVD of pictures...like I posted a while back...I hope his curiosity will be peaked and that he'll take a chance on listening to them. I've been thinking about what I can give to my doctor and his staff, to keep at the office, that would serve as a visual reminder of Noah and Joanna and the extraordinary and unexpected time I was given to carry my children. I'm thinking about giving them the "Cherish" Willow Tree figurine...it looks like this...

Thanks for "listening", friends. I'm reflecting on these verses tonight...I weep, but not without hope...

"What joy for those whose strength comes from the Lord,
who have set their minds on a pilgrimage...
when they walk through the Valley of Weeping,
it will become a place of refreshing springs.
The autumn rains will clothe it with blessings."
Psalms 84:5-6


What's for Dinner???

Since I've been working at the Y in the afternoons I've been trying to increase my repertoire of crock-pot recipes. It's not so fun to get off at 5 or 6:00 and rush home to get dinner started while trying to ignore calm two tired and hungry children...oh, whose kidding, myself included! I've made this before, and my little boys and I like it with rice, so it's a good excuse for me to crack out my no-stick rice cooker!! (Thanks mom!)

So...We're having...

Salsa Chicken

4 chicken breasts
1 package of Taco seasoning
1/2 c. salsa
2 T. corn starch
1/4 c. sour cream

Spray crock-pot with Pan. Place chicken, seasoning and salsa in crock-pot. (I stirred my salsa and seasoning together first, but you don't have to.) Cook 6-8 hours on high (though I've found it's done in 3 or 4). Before serving remove chicken and add the corn starch to sauce to thicken. After it's thickened add the sour cream. Pour back over chicken. Serve over rice, potatoes, or noodles. YUMMY and EASY!!

So in the name of broadening my horizons, would you please share your favorite crock-pot recipe with me??? Mike and the boys will thank you, no doubt!!

What time is it?

Hammer Time...no, no, no!
J/K I know that's so lame.


Trent had his first soccer game of the season this last Saturday. He was excited they won! He stayed with most of his team and coaches from last year, so that has been great! I couldn't believe how much each boy has grown, they all look so big out there on the field. Trent played great! Here are a few of my favorites.


Labor Day Weekend...

...we headed up to Michigan to visit friends and family. We got to hang out with a friend of mine from high school in the Philippines. It was great fun, and I laughed...A LOT! Drew hit it off with M, my friends daughter. We laughed some more about how alike they are, those two! (We are really in for it when they get older, E! Glad we can share our mortifying stories together!)

(I snapped a few pics with my totally disfunctional camera!! It only works when it wants to...sigh...I know, it's blurry...but, you get the picture...)

Then we had another family BIRTHDAY PARTY. We celebrated Drew's b-day and he was so excited to rip open his gift and find Spiderman golf clubs!! Now he can get in on the golf action that Mike and Trent have enjoyed together. He also got a fishing pole and walkie-talkies :)


...get set...

On Monday, while the boys went golfing, I headed out to the beach with some of my nieces. It was fun to walk across the warm sand, indulge in reading a book while soaking in some rays, play a "lively" game of cards, and walk out on the pier. Thanks for including your "old" aunt girls! It was a blast!


Bored?...No way!!

Thought you'd like to see what Drew and I have been up to while Trent is playing with rubber bands and glue sticks, talking with his deskmate while he's supposed to be listening, scribbling outside the lines, keeping a very clean desk (no doubt), and thinking about playing football at recess hard at work in school..."For 8 hours!"...Drew likes to make sure everyone knows just how long his buddy, playmate, Lego-building, car racing brother is away at school. Really, though, it has been a lot of fun for me to hang out and have some 1-on-1 time with my Drewboy. Can't believe he'll be 5 in just two weeks. YIKES!! He just loves life and lives it to the fullest. He makes me laugh and is a ray of sunshine on my cloudy days.

Building with Legos...note the driving clone trooper :)Hanging out at the zoo...I guess he heard enough of the drums. Daydreaming in the tree house...well, at least for about 15 seconds... Sittin' on the komodo dragon.Treats from Tokens-n-Tickets...Driving his "motorcycle"... And just before you get to thinkin' that our time is all fun and games...here is what happened today...during a few minutes of unsupervision quiet...I went to check on him outside and found the van doors locked and Drew holding my keys!! YEP, UH OH!! He was unlocking and locking the secret compartment under the passengers seat :)

He had already unlocked the doors when he jumped over to the driver's seat so I jumped in and took my keys away. This is the same boy I found on top of the fridge one morning a couple of years ago...

He was trying to get the refillable popcorn bucket for the zoo...he was evidently hungry...
...and the boy who fell in the pond while feeding the ducks..."I just don't know how I fell in, but the the alligators just didn't get me, mom!" ...and the boy who got into my black and gold stamp pads and "colored" a wall in his bedroom... ...and wanted ice cream for breakfast...he got the cones out of the pantry and the ice cream out of the freezer all before I was even out of bed!...
...so glad the "mischievous three's" are behind us!! Although (*shaking head*), I'm not convinced he'll really ever grow out of it :) But I wouldn't miss it for the world!