Saturday, January 3, 2009

This is to my sister, Becki...


When we were super little I had the hardest time keeping up with you! Mercy, from day one you had a social calendar! You kept us all on our toes. You were the guardian of all that was fair and equal. It worked out the best when you saw that something was going to be in your favor. Even then you were working your odds...planning your defense...making an attack, especially when we were unaware!

Then, we got a little older. and I clashed as teenagers. Not because there was a lack of love. We were just normal teenaged girls living in the same house...same's a stinking miracle that no one was killed! ;o)

You and I had the most embarrassing habit of getting tickled at the WORST times!! I don't know what it is - there are not many people that can merely look at me and have me on the floor in tears and fits of laughter!! And, then there is the protective side to you. Anyone who knows you has experienced this one! You will go down fast and fight hard for the ones you love. At the same time, you are one of the most kind and generous people I know. I have heard many people say about you that you would give a stranger the shirt off your back.

You were one of the people in my life that I loved first. I learned a lot about love from you. As we got older I learned a lot about life from you. As an adult, you are one of my closest and best of friends. I love you because you are my sister, but I also love who you are. I love so much about you! When you were in that car accident, Beck, I learned quick how precious you are to me. I watched that car roll and could not function with fear that you would not walk away alive. When I saw you walk away from the wreckage it was a turning point for me...I hope that you don't go many days in your life without knowing and being reminded of how much I love you!

You are precious to me, sweet sister!

All my love,
The Oldest 

Saturday, November 15, 2008

A new normal with Ann Marie...

Today I picked up Ann Marie from her retreat at church. This was the Merge Weekend Retreat for 5th and 6th graders. For the next 2 years they will go through mentoring as they "merge" into the youth group! So, the weekend went like this:

We are so excited for Ann Marie as she grows up and starts exerting her independence. She loves her family intensely...we have to keep that in front of us as she starts this new journey. 

While on the retreat she hung out with the older kids, and regularly reminded me NOT to share any embarrassing stories and pics with her newfound friends! What? ME?? NEVER!! 

Then, I left my little girl this morning. Something happened today. She came home asking to be treated like a girl her age. What does that mean, I asked her? She said, enough with those baby names! (Oh, my heart...) And, what is up with this bedtime on the weekends? (Oh, dear Lord...) So, helping her embrace this new "mature" Ann Marie, we talked about names that were bothering her. Then, we discussed the bedtime issue. Looks like we have some more talks coming on this one.

Then, we came home to share with daddy all of the stories from the retreat! After dinner, Ann Marie and I went to PetCo while Sean stayed with Lauren. I came home and found Lauren sitting in the living room by herself. I asked were Sean was. She said that he went to take a shower. I went in to the bathroom and found a very sad daddy. I had to control my giggles as I listened to him saying that he had been standing in the shower singing Butterfly Kisses to himself!!! He said that he's having a hard time with this!! 

So, pray for us as we learn to not only teach Ann Marie how to be responsible with this independence, but that Ann Marie can make good choices and be honest about her bad ones. Also, pray for her daddy...he loves his girls! I think that I watched mom go through this in such a way that I am not fearful or sad. However, Sean did point out that we live a whole mile away from mom and dad! ;o) 

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Catching up...

I have been so bad at blogging! When I think of it I'm at work, and can't do it then! Then, in the evenings we are so busy during the school week. Anyone want to hear more excuses? Eh, I'll get better!

I decided to just blog and worry about posting pics later. I know, it's the best part. I'll get to it. I have read tons of others blogs and find that everyone is posting straight from their heart, so I will do the same.

Today we were at Max's birthday party. Can you all imagine the beautiful sound of nine kids having an amazing time? I can't really blame Grey this time - sweet boy was sound asleep! Sadie really is in the same boat - she was held the whole time! It was wonderful! I adore my sisters' children! They each have so much personality, and that came through today in so many ways!  

The wonderful things that I saw were:

1) Owen colored a picture for his mom. However, when he went to give it to her, he found more people he loved! Then, he decided that it was for Teddy (me), Noonie and his mommy! YAY! We get to share! Thankfully, his mommy graciously said that Noonie and I could share. As Noonie and I were discussing "custody" of the new drawing, I offered my refrigerator as a new home for this amazing work of art! Well, Owen, it has a new home! Thank you!!

2) I loved Sean being there. With different jobs he hasn't been able to come to more family events. I think there was more to it than that, but for now...he's there and he enjoyed being with the family! I asked for an hour and a half, and we stayed for almost 3 hours! Sorry, Grunewalds - we were having fun!!!

3) Greyson slept the whole time he was there, but just his presence was a blessing! He's here and he's ours!!! I got to hold Sadie a lot, too. You know, when new ones come in your life it is nothing short of a miracle the way they fold into our family to make a new normal. They become part of our lives to the point that you don't remember the family before they were a part of it!

4)...and, the best part. It still amazes me how 9 children (but, 2 are too young), really seven children of different ages, from 10 to 2 can play so well together. As a matter of fact, they prefer it that way...they love each other so much! What a blessing...

Well, how was that? Be patient with me as I catch up with pictures that are crowded in my camera...

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

I am speechless...

Today I received a loving e-mail from one of my sisters reminding me to really check what I write on here. At first I was so embarrassed because I really thought I did my homework. However, I can't ask someone else to recheck their stuff and stand corrected if I won't. So, I went back and did some more research...and, now I'm really frustrated! 

Here is what I found: Barack Obama did NOT sponsor OR co-sponsor the bill on sex education for grades k-12. Obama voted for the legislation in committee on a party-line vote. The bill never even made it to Senate. Okay...I stand corrected. 

Here is what I learned: 1) I read my information off of a website I thought was fair and accurate. However, I'm not sure there is such a thing right now. 2) Honest, I was angry about what I understood to be true and didn't continue my search for truth. 3) I am going to try not to be so HOT!!

So, thank you, Becki for helping me calm down enough to check out the truth again. I think the biggest thing I have learned from Becki is NOT to believe what you read/hear. She said that the best way to check the truth is to check the government webpages themselves. 

Thank you for hearing me continue my search for truth. I do want to make myself clear that my disappointment lies with those that believe that McCain cannot win on truth, or people that have to smear either candidate with lies. I know the value of the truth and I intend to keep searching for it...

For now, I am not going to delete my previous post. I think it is an important reminder to me just how important it is to SEARCH and DIG for the truth. It's so unfortunate that it's not there for the taking.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

I caught you!

This last week we added another amazing blessing to our family! Miss Sadie Shockley came blitzing into our family last week and we had the best time at the Shockley home celebrating her arrival!! What I was most blessed with was the pictures I caught of our family loving on Sadie!

This one is my favorite! I caught a picture with Max, Lauren & Ann Marie all holding Sadie...

Sadie, you are one loved little girl! Lately I have seen teenagers and wondered about my girls, nieces and nephews and the men and women they will become. Although I cannot begin to imagine what exciting futures hold for each one, I can reassure them that they are growing up in a family that will give each of them unconditional love!