Posted in Family

From Diapers to First Day of College

It seems funny and would never have imagined, to have one child in diapers, 7 children in between at different stages, and then our oldest off to college! Stephen (18) started his first class at our local community college yesterday, taking an automotive suspension class. He was very talkitive about it when he got home last tonight. Norm has met the teacher, who owns a local car repair place. Stephen found out today that the teacher is the top person in Michigan with ASE certification in automechanics. He seems to really like teaching and has a lot to pass on to the students. It’s only 10 students in the class, several quite older because of the big layoff/closing of Electrolux here, and wanting to start a new career. I am sure Stephen will learn a lot and it’s kind of exciting seeing this new phase in his and our lives.

Again, we are still trying to find that “new normal” and now getting back into another school year. We started after Labor Day. It seems good to be getting this schedule going again. It was so hard the months after Matthew died, and we did not have our whole hearts into it. Even the children seem to like the schedule more and am thankful to see them being more helpful and encouraging with each other. I am often asked, “how do you do it all?” I don’t! The older ones help out with the younger ones; the children exchange certain subjects to have each other correct. The younger ones need a lot more one-on-one from me. We have also started AWANA which the kids like and give them time out and really are motived to memorize the Scripture verses.
I’ve had so many e-mails asking how we are doing, and it’s still taking a day at a time. Some days seem so much better. Norm just said the other day how we definitely laugh more. There was not much of that the first few months. But the tears still come and the firsts are still arriving. Norm just in the last week also rearranged his whole workshop/garage area that he does his small engine repair work in. He moved everything around and is even in the process of painting the floor. There were so many reminders of Matthew working with him, and still coming across his things, and it finally came down for him to make these changes.
We are still so slowly working on “our bedroom”. The girls are still all tightly squeezed in one room, but with the busyness of our two home businesses, and wanting to be outdoors more and doing gardening and canning, not much has gotten done for the remodeling. It still needs to be done, but I think too, Norm needed a break from it, as it was very overwhelming at times. I know we both wish it could just get immediately done, and have this overwith, but this too takes time. We still come across things of Matthew’s and wonder what to hold on to, and what to part with. Some of it just hurts too much to keep and other things we can tuck away for awhile. The kids seem to be doing well for the most part, but then, all of a sudden, something will hit one of them. Today, Melody (5) came in with one of Matthew’s red sweatshirts wrapped around her, asking why it was outside. She recognized it as his, which surprised me. Jayson actually has been wearing some of his sweatshirts to his job at a horse stable. Melody had it around her for quite a few hours today. At times we think things don’t hit the younger ones as much, but then something like this surprises us.
I am still having problems with my bloodpressure, and even spent 5 hours in ER Monday night because of the pressure I was feeling on my chest. I had checked my blood pressure several times throughout the day, and at one point it was 198/88 which is way too high. So we went into our local ER and they did put us in a room right away because of how high it was. Thankfully, all the tests they did (EKG, x-rays, bloodwork) showed my heart strong and no signs of a heart attack or pending one. I did have to give in to starting on blood pressure medication. Today I saw our family doctor for follow-up and because I am having dizziness from BP medication, he’s cut the dose in half, and take it at night. It definitely has lowered my BP, but hopefully the 1/2 dose will do as well.
So, we continue on this road of healing. It’s not been easy and many ups and downs. But, some days we find ourselves breathing easier, and able to get on and some things seem more “normal”. There’s been long nights . . .and we know there still will be, but we are seeing glimpses of joy in the morning. The sunrise is coming but know there’s still the varied storms to deal with and many firsts to get through yet.
This was a devotional sent to me that was an encouragement to me, from Back to the Bible: Joy in the Morning.
This song was also sent to me. I believe Selah has sung it in the past:
Trading My Sorrows
2 Corinthians 4:6-9

I’m trading my sorrows
I’m trading my shame
I’m laying them down for the joy of the LordI’m trading my sickness
I’m trading my pain
I’m laying it down for the joy of the LordCHORUS

We say yes Lord yes Lord yes yes Lord
Yes Lord yes Lord yes yes Lord
Yes Lord yes Lord yes yes Lord Amen

I’m pressed but not crushed- persecuted not abandoned
Struck down but not destroyed
I am blessed beyond the curse for His promise will endure
That His joy’s gonna be my strength
Though the sorrow may last for the night
His joy comes with the morning.
“Weeping may endure for a night
But joy comes in the morning.”
Psalm 30:5b


Beloved KEPT Child of Jesus stumbling by faith ~ Married 33 years ~ Blessed Mama of 10 beside me & 2 at Jesus' feet ~ Homeschool mama of 26 years ~ Writer * Blogger * Reviewer ~

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