Life is crazy...but life is good!! So many months have passed by with so many wonderful things to share. I just can't seem to find the time to get downstairs to add the great pictures to our blog. Everyone is doing great. School is finally out for the summer and we are trying to organize and plan a few things.
The picture was taken down by the bay. We gathered everyone, got fried chicken, ice cream and rootbeer and headed down to the water. What a welcome break it was to the busyness of the past few months. We took the time to just hang out and it felt great!!
It has been many many months since I have updated our blog. Life just seemed to get in the way and I haven't taken the time to update on whats been going on. I have missed updates on birthdays and Emma's baptism, holidays, trips and just the daily fun of our busy house. Maybe someday I'll be able to catch up and look back at the fun and share it. For now I'll include this one picture from the end of 2009.
When I started our blog about a year ago, my first post was about Emma and her new journey with diabetes. This picture is a year later. The milk carton is one we started at the beginning that holds her used needles...well except her 10 day honeymoon off insulin a few weeks into the journey. It became somewhat of a symbol of her courage with the needles as they filled the carton. She could look at it and appreciate that she was able to be strong and see how far she had come.
It changed to blue when she started using an insulin pump at the end of summer. What a blessing that has been. She was very excited to take the picture when there was no more room in the carton for even one more needle. For Emma...the glass is definitely half full and on it's way to overflowing! She is amazing!
Alyssa got to go to Girl's Camp and had such a great time...
good food...good friends...good times! She slept in the loft of the bunk house, and worked with the group to make a chair for the Bishop (a little bit scary for him!) The first year girls even won the Iron Chef cooking contest!
The wait is finally over...well part of it anyways. Emma waited, and it finally came...her new purple insulin pump...she is thrilled!! Now for the rest of the wait. She doesn't actually get to use it until August 18th, the week after she's home from Diabetic Day Camp. She did get to borrow one (not a cute purple one) and try it out for 3 days with saline in it to see how she liked it. A new learning curve, but a very exciting one.
Brendan's Happy Birthday Cake...a Dr. Suess cake (that's what our friend Kelli called it). It turned out cuter than I imagined...I love when that happens! And Brendan is so excited that he blew out all three candles.
My little guy on the day he joined our family 3 years ago. It was a surprise what the baby would be and the kids waited all day with great anticipation to find out...girls hoping for a girl and boys hoping for a boy...the tie breaker either way! Where's all the love? Oh, here it is! What a smile!! Is this for ME??? Can't you see my halo? I turned 2 and got a new bike!! Tub time. I can be sneaky, but I hide it behind this great smile! Brendan is the sweetest little guy. He loves his tools and swords and shoot guns. He is very well spoken and says the funniest things for someone his age. (We often say "see you later alligator" or "have fun hot dog bun" to the kids at the door in the morning on their way to school. Brendan's version of that is "see you hot buns!" If Rick is working in the garage or outside, he is right there helping out. He will be so glad when the kids are home for the summer. But he is a true Mama's boy at heart! He is my only brown eyed blondie, and a true sweetheart. Happy Birthday Brendan! We love you!
My Mom sent me this message in an email and I share it with you because I have felt invisible sometimes and it gives some great perspective on those feelings. What a wonderful blessing to be a mother of 5 great kids, and the daughter of a great example. Thanks for the message Mom!
It all began to make sense, the blank stares, the lack of response, the way one of the kids will walk into the room while I'm on the phone and ask to be taken to the store. Inside I'm thinking, "Can't you see I'm on the phone?"
Obviously not. No one can see if I'm on the phone, or cooking, or sweeping the floor, or even standing on my head in the corner, because no one can see me at all. I'm invisible.
Some days I am only a pair of hands, nothing more: Can you fix this? Can you tie this? Can you open this? Some days I'm not a pair of hands; I'm not even a human being. I'm a clock to ask, "What time is it?" I'm a satellite guide to answer, "What number is the Disney Channel?" I'm a car to order, "Right around 5:30, please."
I was certain that these were the hands that once held books and the eyes that studied history and the mind that graduated summa cum laude - but now they had disappeared into the peanut butter, never to be seen again.
She's going, she's going, she's gone!
One night, a group of us were having dinner, celebrating the return of a friend from England Janice had just gotten back from a fabulous trip, and she was going on and on about the hotel she stayed in. I was sitting there, looking around at the others all put together so well. It was hard not to compare and feel sorry for myself as I looked down at my out-of-style dress; it was the only thing I could find that was clean. My unwashed hair was pulled up in a banana clip and I was afraid I could actually smell peanut butter in it. I was feeling pretty pathetic, when Janice turned to me with a beautifully wrapped package, and said, "I brought you this."
It was a book on the great cathedrals of Europe . I wasn't exactly sure why she'd given it to me until I read her inscription: "To Charlotte , with admiration for the greatness of what you are building when no one sees."
In the days ahead I would read - no, devour - the book. And I would discover what would become for me, four life-changing truths, after which I could pattern my work: No one can say who built the great cathedrals - we have no record of their names. These builders gave their whole lives for a work they would never see finished. They made great sacrifices and expected no credit. The passion of their building was fueled by their faith that the eyes of God saw everything.
A legendary story in the book told of a rich man who came to visit the cathedral while it was being built, and he saw a workman carving a tiny bird on the inside of a beam. He was puzzled and asked the man, "Why are you spending so much time carving that bird into a beam that will be covered by the roof? No one will ever see it."
And the workman replied, "Because God sees."
I closed the book, feeling the missing piece fall into place. It was almost as if I heard God whispering to me, "I see you, Charlotte. I see the sacrifices you make every day, even when no one around you does. No act of kindness you've done, no sequin you've sewn on, no cupcake you've baked, is too small for me to notice and smile over. You are building a great cathedral, but you can't see right now what it will become."
At times, my invisibility feels like an affliction. But it is not a disease that is erasing my life. It is the cure for the disease of my own self-centeredness. It is the antidote to my strong, stubborn pride. I keep the right perspective when I see myself as a great builder. As one of the people who show up at a job that they will never see finished, to work on something that their name will never be on. The writer of the book went so far as to say that no cathedrals could ever be built in our lifetime because there are so few people willing to sacrifice to that degree.
When I really think about it, I don't want my son to tell the friend he's bringing home from college for Thanksgiving, "My mom gets up at 4 in the morning and bakes homemade pies, and then she hand bastes a turkey for three hours and presses all the linens for the table." That would mean I'd built a shrine or a monument to myself. I just want him to want to come home. And then, if there is anything more to say to his friend, to add, "You're gonna love it there."
As mothers, we are building great cathedrals. We cannot be seen if we're doing it right. And one day, it is very possible that the world will marvel, not only at what we have built, but at the beauty that has been added to the world by the sacrifices of invisible women.