Sunday, December 23, 2012

Janey Kate Turns Two

   We are so incredibly thankful for our Mallory Jane Katharine!  She brings much joy and fun to our house.  I am sure she is a bit spoiled as everyone vies for her attention.  She is zany and full of energy.  She is stringing some words together in sentences and loves to be read to and sing songs. Outside is her favorite place to be and loves to go for wagon rides.  Here are some pictures from her special day!

 Eating a chik-fil-a lunch with her big brother.

Showing off the spin of her birthday dress!

opening presents

 Apparently it takes great strength and concentration.

 She got the same thing as last year...a doll stroller. She wore the other one out with the bazillion trips it took around the house!

 With her cake...homemade strawberry with homemade strawberry icing (the o-fficial anderson icing #2)
Then we started to sing and she wasn't so sure...

 and I guess we sound kind of scary when singing" Happy Bithday" or maybe just really loud!

She got over it and everyone blew out candles together.
Yum! Cake!

Monday, December 3, 2012

Tracing Rainbows

    Today in church we sang O Love That Will Not Let Me Go.  It is one of those songs that often chokes me up. It seems I am often weary and often tracing rainbows.  The lyrics are as follows:

O Love that will not let me go,
I rest my weary soul in thee;
I give thee back the life I owe,
That in thine ocean depths its flow
May richer, fuller be.

O light that followest all my way,
I yield my flickering torch to thee;
My heart restores its borrowed ray,
That in thy sunshine’s blaze its day
May brighter, fairer be.

O Joy that seekest me through pain,
I cannot close my heart to thee;
I trace the rainbow through the rain,
And feel the promise is not vain,
That morn shall tearless be.

O Cross that liftest up my head,
I dare not ask to fly from thee;
I lay in dust life’s glory dead,
And from the ground there blossoms red
Life that shall endless be.

      I was thinking about this song as I was driving home and visualizing tracing rainbows and it reminded me of a conversation with a friend.  Her son, who has dyslexia, traces his numbers to make sure he knows what they are.  He traces them and it plants it firm in his mind what the number really is.
      Tracing rainbows is like this.  I get weary, my light starts flickering, my heart wants to close, my head falters.  Then I trace that rainbow through the rain, and remind myself of all God's promises, cast out the lies, and remind myself of the basics.  I trace that rainbow and see what is real even if some of it is yet to come...

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Hello and Goodbye

  Word in the cookie aisle at Wal-mart yesterday was that the bakery workers at Hostess had gone on strike and the company was going out of business. I got kid of tickled that there was a buzz about it between the guys from different companies stocking shelves.  I, of course, heard this several times throughout the day from various sources.
  I can't remember when we have ever bought any Hostess products.  Every once in a blue moon we have bought a Little Debbie's product, but we tend to be bakers and not buyers. It did; however, seem unamerican or something for my kids to not ever to have had a Hostess item so Anne Michal and I were in Kroger today and picked up a few random items for sampling. My pick was the chocolate zingers to take me back to the glory days of Glasgow High School and what I occasionally bought for lunch. Anne Michal incredulously asked me, "You ate that for lunch????"
 The Greek Yogurt is in the picture because my crazy kids love those things and consider them a great treat.  At over a dollar a piece they are a bit pricey to buy for 6 kids so I always snatch them up when they are marked down for quick sale (19 cents a piece today!!!!).  Creed was way more excited about getting one of those than anything on the plate!!!
 We cut them all up so everyone could try a piece of everything. (Janey Kate was napping)

 I am sure Elizabeth would like you to know that she is sick and has been on the couch all day. ;-)  She asked me what that stuff on top was right after this picture.  Really stiff icing???
 Emma eating a piece of apple pie and wondering why the crust was all weird. I actually thought the pie was pretty good.
Janey Kate eating part of a vanilla zinger after her nap.  She ate half of it and ditched the rest for a yogurt.

   The consensus overall was that Jack liked them all which was no big surprise! Elizabeth said she liked them all but the honey bun was her favorite.  Creed liked the vanilla zinger the best.  Anne Michal saved hers for later and Janey only had the one kind.  For those who feel the need to know, Elizabeth and I decided we like the chocolate zingers better than swiss rolls as they have more of a chocolate flavor.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Knox turns 7

  I was just thinking that I know a day will come when I don't blog about Knox's birthday.  I don't know when that will happen, but it will, and it will be another first. This year already was different. It was the first year we haven't all been together on his birthday.  Jon was gone most of the day after being out of town for several days, and Elizabeth is with another family on a trip to help with their children.  It is one of those things you know is going to happen; it is unreasonable to expect that for the rest of my life, everyone is going to be together on that day. We had a busy day and that coupled with not everyone being here, for the first time we didnt' all go to the park to release balloons and eat cake made with Knox sprinkles (I'll explain in another post), Knox style.  Thanks to friend, the kids did release balloons. :-)  Also, I tried not to go to sonic but Janey Kate and I did anyway. 
    As I talked about in April, this year being the 5th year after his accident made it so all the dates were the same.  That first birthday without him (his 2nd), was on a Saturday as well and just like today, we had soccer games or a soccer game anyway.  I looked back on my knoxmemories blog to see what I had written about his birthday then to see how it compares to now.  This is what I wrote:

Matthew Knox Anderson
October 27, 2005- April 23, 2007
    Wonder how you get through a day like that?  It is actually quite simple though not easy.  You breathe in.  You breathe out.  The sun rises.  The sunsets. And you know that God's mercies are new every morning.
     I know it probably seems weird to be writing this now over a week later, but I had to put some distance from the day as it truly was one of the most difficult of my life.  I was feeling pretty sorry for us which I think is rather reasonable.  It is getting to the point where soon it is going to be difficult to imagine what he would be like if he had lived.  I know what he was like at 18 months; I don't know what he would have been like at 2.  I don't know what the terrible(or terrific ) two's would have been like as we hadn't gotten there yet.  But still, it was hard not to think about how he should be here on that day just like any other day.  He should have gone to the soccer field with us to watch Anne Michal play.  I should have been running after him and pulling him off the field as usual.  We should have had a little party with friends to watch him open presents and share cake and ice cream. He should have been clapping his hands, giggling, and trying to sing Happy Birthday.  Kind of hard not to think about what should have been while agonizing over what it.
   Jon and I didn't know what to do that day so we let the kids decide.  They wanted to go to the park and make a cake.  I didn't really want to, but like my friend told do it like you do everything else...purposefully.  Like I said above...breathe in....breathe get the picture.  I really didn't see that we had anything to celebrate.  At some point in the morning, I checked the people's blogs I read to find several birthday messages.  On Matt's blog,(you'll have to scroll down since it has been a while)  he said something about today we celebrate the second anniversary of Knox's birth. That gave me a new way to look at it.  I still didn't want to celebrate, but it helped because his birth is worth a celebration as we still thank God every day for giving him to us.  So thanks Matt for that bit of perspective.
That is really the main thing I wanted to say...that took me 3 paragraphs...heehee.  In order to finish out the day, we did go to the park where of course someone was having a birthday party.  At least he was 7 and not 2!!  The kids played on the playground and I played soccer with them some.  Hannah and Marian came over with the quilt and books and a cake(which got me off the hook for making one...thank you!!!)as I have already written about.  That was one of those good/hard things.  We loved it all, but we wished we weren't in the situation to have that done.  Then we went to sonic and got some lunch to take to the soccer field like we had eaten on the day he was born...regretted it as usual and like that day.   We watched Anne Michal play soccer.  I am sure people wondered what in the world was wrong with me....Anyway, after that it was home for the rest of the day.  I had a terrible headache and spent the rest of the day laying down, breathing in and breathing out and waiting for the sun to set.  And guess what? It did.  Just like it does everyday.

    It was definitely an easier day.  It was still hard to go to bed last night knowing what I was going to wake up to and still hard to go to bed tonight knowing what is going to end.  I woke up with a headache and immediately remembered the headache I had that day.  I still cried a little at soccer wondering if he'd be a soccer player too. Hard to imagine he wouldn't have.  A little irony there that the little boy at the park was turning 7 since that is what Knox would be turning now. I can, now, better celebrate his birth and his life; no matter how short, we were are so blessed by it and have been shaped and molded by it. I still sometimes just have to breathe in and breathe out and wait for the sun to set and the sun to rise.  His mercies are still new every morning.

   Some time recently it hit me that I no longer see him as an 18 month old.  I talked about in that blog entry about not knowing what he looked like any more and how hard that was.  I find it interesting that while I have always wondered what he'd be like and have grieved not knowing him as a older toddler, a preschooler, and now a lower grammar student, I'd still picture him primarily as a toddler.  I no longer do.  I wish I was an artist so I could draw him as I see him.  Tall, like Jack, maybe even almost as tall.  All arms and legs, also like Jack but not quite so skinny, but not as solid as Creed.  I see him as somewhere in the middle of the two.  The same bright blue eyes he always had and a shock of blonde hair cut close like Jack's but blonder like Creed's.  I see him as studious, but fun-loving and even though he'd be the middle brother, he'd be the ring leader of the three and lead them on grand adventures as Creed would say.  Of course, this is all hypothetical, and that is very painful but it also makes me smile to think of him this way.

    I am going to bed tonight looking forward to the sun rising, His mercies being new every morning and feasting at the Kings Table with my church family, praising our Good God with all the saints that have gone before us including Knox!    

Thursday, September 13, 2012

At the End of the Day...

  From time to time I read articles or blog posts about how blogs and facebook aren't reality.  All you see is the good parts of people and those reading it are misled to think that you lead an idyllic life where nothing goes wrong and everything is peachy keen.
   I can't really be accused of this completely because I write about Knox and our grief and losing a child can hardly be included in the recipe for the perfect life, but I also realize that is probably the only area of my life that I write about that doesn't seem rosy. 
   There is a reason for that; a reason that goes beyond not airing my families sins in public or not wanting to weigh everyone down with negative posts and status updates. I don't do it because I want everyone to think we have it all together.  That would be crazy!!! Trust me!!!  I do it because my goal is to choose joy in my days and at the end of the day, it is the good moments I want to remember; I want to record the rights and not the wrongs.
   I want to remember Janey Kate's first cute little pigtails with the hairbows she picked out rather than the number of times she wet her pants, Creed drawing ice cream on a piece of paper and taping it up in a box to give to his Mimi for her birthday instead of throwing a fit over a green bean, Lizzy offering to walk Jack through making a cake rather than them arguing over the clean up, Emma working on her schoolwork diligently and getting done in a timely fashion than having to remind her to do her chores several times, and  Anne Michal doing a great job cleaning up the dining area aka school area aka craft area instead of complaining that no one helped her pick up.  (these may or may not be true events ;-) ) 
   It doesn't matter if I have a horrible, no good, I think I'll move to Australia kind of day, I can guarantee you that  at some point I have laughed even if it was because so many thing were going wrong it was ridiculous, smiled because I have seen something beautiful,  marveled at some provision from God, been amazed at something one of the kids have done, or have just had some peaceful moments amongst chaos.
 All those little things throughout the day that attempt to steal my joy are just that: little things.  Those don't compare to what I have been given which is much, much more than I deserve. So when it comes to the end of the day, I can't feel anything but blessed...blessed beyond measure.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Grief is Sneaky

   In many ways, I carry grief with me every day kind of like a ring on my finger.  It is there but not glaringly obvious.  I feel it, I wear it, but it doesn't overpower me.
   There are times I have come to expect the weight of grief to threaten to crush me....birthdays, his heavenly anniversary, Christmas, Easter, first day of school, milestones the other kids reach, but some times grief is sneaky and tiptoes in on the heels of other events.
   Today, just Janey Kate and I were home.  She seemed to be a bit under the weather, and I was fighting a migraine so the rest of the family had gone to a farewell party without us.  Janey Kate had been hanging close and sitting with me and cuddling on my lap which is rare for her, but would have been normal for Knox.  She got up and tripped over my feet and went flying into the side table.  She usually shakes it right off, but it must have been quite a fall. I picked her up and held her close.  She wrapped her legs around my waist, her arms around my neck and put her head in my chest sobbing her little heart out.  I comforted her and found my tears running down my face and threatening to soak her hair.  I cried for her pain and  my own pain as I found myself thinking I'd love to have been  able to comfort Knox; wishing I had rescued him and had been able to have his arms around me and his head on my chest as I calmed him; wishing I could have said, "He is fine.  It just scared him."
    While it is hard to explain and difficult for me to grasp, I again experience  joy  in sorrow.  I am so  thankful for Janey Kate's little life (and does she ever embrace life!) and the joy she brings even when she sparks flashbacks and how the feel of her body leaning up against mine reminds me both of what I don't have and  the good memories of him climbing on my lap breaking from his play for a kiss and a hug.

Monday, August 27, 2012

First Day of School Pictures

   A few pictures from our first day of school.  This is our 11th year homeschooling!
She is such a good sport!!!!

 Proving it!

 A little confused about how to read a book!  She picked our the bonnet to wear today.  She loves wearing anything dress-up.
 Monkeys are good at spelling.
 Dad helps out when he can on Mondays.
 He was so excited to get back at it!
But that doesn't mean there wasn't a minor meltdown or two.
P.S.  One of these days I'll finish blogging my summer pictures.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Proof is in the Pictures

or Grandma might not believe it....I declared the second half of 2012 as food training intensive.  I am not one to force a clean plate or insist that you eat everything, but I was pretty sure that Creed could manage to choke down a veggie or two a few times a week!!!  Jack has made some big strides from his "throw up everything I dont' like" days, but I want him to eat even better!  While he has eaten a few leaves as a side salad before he has never eaten a salad for a meal.  He gobbled this one down and declared it really good.

 Creed didn't eat all his, but even after picking out the bacon and the hard-boiled eggs did eat some lettuce, carrots and broccoli.  He even insisted on no dressing.  In true Creed form, he kept insisting this was not supper but was only lunch.  The rationale being that if it was only lunch then that meant he could hold out for something better to eat later.  I told him he could call it anything he wanted, but it was his last meal of the day.  He cracks me up!

Janey Kate is the rockstar baby who eats everything and thought salad for supper was grand.

Maybe all that olympic training worked up such an appetite that anything was delicious.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

A Day at Barren River Lake

    Dad and Jack went camping at the Barren River Rod and Gun Club and we joined them the next day for lunch, fishing and canoeing.  We had a lot of fun, and I enjoyed being at the lake again.

 Dad and Creed cooking a hot dog over the fire.

 Elizabeth cooking hers.  Jack was so proud that he helped PopPop put up his tent and to be able to show us the way down the hill and through the woods to the lake.
 Creed was so excited for his first canoe ride but he was a bit nervous too.  He got so tired later in the day that he almost fell asleep riding with Jack and me.
 Anne Michal and Elizabeth in their canoe.  I told them to stay close to shore and the next thing  I know they are halfway across the lake.  The paddled all the way across the lake and back.  When I asked Anne Michal why they didn't stay close to shore she said, "We did!  We could see the shore the whole time."  Obviously, I needed to define what close to shore was.
 Our young friend Trent fishing.  He wanted PopPop to show him how to clean fish so he could do his own.  Both Elizabeth and he cleaned several fish themselves.  I was rather impressed!!
 Paddling Emma and her friend, Taylor around the lake.
 Creed finding ways to entertain himself.
 Jack looking out over the lake.
 One of the fish.
 Anne Michal fishing.
 Creed playing on the rocks.

 Grandma helping Emma.

 Elizabeth being casual.

Creed was so incredibly excited for his first time fishing! :-)
 Beverly kept us connected to the outside world! ;-)
 PopPop teaching Elizabeth to clean the fish.

I am pretty certain this qualifes as rockstar status!