Monday, June 30, 2008

See ya later Uncle Bill

Michael's brother Bill (on the far left) has been staying in our guest house for 2 weeks, as he works on getting his teaching certificate. It has been great fun to have him around, and we were all a little sad to see him go. We only were able to see him during dinner, as he was either in class or busy writing papers, but it was fun to reminisce, and get reacquainted.

It was especially fun to see him interact with our children. The kids loved to hear stories about their Daddy when he was a little red headed boy, and the trouble he got in to! Kartwright loved that Uncle Bill let him drive his convertible around the neighborhood.

In the past we have only really gotten together with Bill at family dinners, or big events. That does not always translate into getting to know one another, especially for the children, as they are usually off playing. This visit was really fun, and I feel like Bill connected with us on a more intimate level.

I was reminded........
--that smaller gatherings can mean closer relationships

--that opening my home can actually be fun if I stop worrying what my visitors think

--that it's fun to see your children through an others eyes

--that uncle Bill is one of my favorite people

--that my kids are really fun to more then just Michael and I

we loved having you Bill, come back to see us real soon!

took a pic of this beauty Saturday
thought you might enjoy!

Friday, June 27, 2008

scrapbooking therapy

You can click on the picture for a closer look-sorry for the glare!

Dare I share another layout without this becoming a

scrap booking blog?

This is what I have been up to.

This is called scrap booking is a good thing.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

What do you want written on your tombstone?

Kartwright recently asked me what I want written on my tombstone when I die. I quickly answered, and I don't really know why I knew the answer as I don't remember really ever thinking about it much, that I wanted my tombstone to say

"Life isn't fair, get over it and get on with your life"

We both got a kick out of my quick response. That has been my mantra for several years whenever the kids think something, anything, isn't fair.

For the most part they don't say "that's not fair" much, as they know my response is swift and sure.

Back in May, when Dakota was home, we went to the beach. My boys were observing their Dad playing in the sand with their little sisters. He had been giving them both his undivided attention since we had arrived. Both of the boys lamented at what a great Dad he was, and how if they could be half the Dad when they had kids they would be happy. I of course, in my motherly fashion admonished them, and stated that I hoped that they would not settle for being half the Dad, but because of his example they would be the best Fathers that they could be.

I later shared the convo with Michael, in an attempt to encourage him. He didn't really respond, he doesn't really accept complements well. (He would claim the same of me)

Days later Kartwright asked his Father what he wanted written on his tombstone when he died. Without missing a beat he said

"He was half the man his sons are"

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Back in the saddle

I haven't been scrap booking for months....first it was just a lack of time, and not really being in the mood, then after Crockett's death it was really hard. Pages about our whole family seem very incomplete without him. They are incomplete without him.
It felt good today get back in the saddle....and let the creative juices flow. This is not a great picture, but it's hard to take one without a glare(anyone have any tips for that?). I just did a simple page about a recent day in the city with my niece Hannah and her family, when they were here for a visit last month.

Some days I can be very present, and just feel what is in my heart....hurt though it, and it feels right...some days.

Other days I feel outside myself, as if I am pretending that he is not it was just a bad dream, and everything is the same. Sometimes that feels right.

Today I pretended....

Monday, June 23, 2008

simple beauty

Lately I am noticing the simple beauty around me, and treasuring it in my heart!

-The ospreys nests high on the telephone poles that we see on our way to the beach on Isle of palms.

-The sweet humming of ElizaJane as she takes a bath in our big garden tub.

-The way the trees shine after an afternoon shower.

-The nutty smell of the toasted tuna melts Kartwright made for dinner last night.

-The excitement in Dakota's voice when he called from the Braves stadium to tell us what fun it was to be there.

-the wonder of the deer that decided to visit our yard in the middle of the afternoon last weekend.

-the sound of Crockett's slippers on Liza's feet coming quietly down the stairs each morning.

What simple beauty do you notice?

Saturday, June 21, 2008

God met my Dad in a special way on Wednesday, and I can very happily report that he is home, and doing fine. They were not able to do all three stents, as there was a complication during the procedure of the distal vessel. They will attempt to finish the remaining two in a few weeks.
Because of the complication, my Dad experienced an extreme amount of pain. it was very hard to see my Dad like that.
-I was reminded that God is always working on us, growing us, stretching us. We can not retire from his teaching when we are his children
-I was reminded, as my family worked together to get through the circumstances, that we have all been equipped differently, for different purposes.
-I was reminded that God has taught me to cry out to Him first in times of distress.
-I was reminded that God is truly in control.
-I was reminded just how much I love both of my Fathers, and how much they both love me.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Please pray for my dad today. He is having three stents put in early this morning. I am blessed to have a great Dad and an even better Grandpa to my children. He doesn't know how to be sick, he doesn't know how to be helped, most of all, he doesn't know how to take it easy. I would like to enjoy him here on earth for several more years, so if you are the praying type, well, even if you aren't, please pray.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

bear slippers

Every morning this week ElizaJane has come down from her room wearing slippers.

I suppose that is not so remarkable, except that they are Crockett's slippers.

I purchased them last Christmas thinking they would help protect Crockett's feet when he kicked his wheelchair.

That was one of his favorite past times, and one of the few ways that we knew if he was happy.

Kicking was good,

kicking meant he was doing well,

but the kicking was so hard that I couldn't help but wonder if it hurt.

I thought maybe these crazy slippers would help.

Liza was sick this week, and the slippers were soiled.

I told her that I had to wash the slippers.

She cried tears," no", she sobbed "that will ruin Crockett's slippers, I don't want them to be washed, I like them this way, they are good."she cried

"No" I insisted "I will make sure they are OK" I promised.

They were washed,

they were OK,

they went back on her feet.

This morning she went straight to the piano and began to make tinkling music.

I looked up from my desk to see this.

We miss our Crockett

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Letter from Heaven to my Daddy

Dear Daddy,
I want to thank you for loving me so well while I was on earth, and thank you for being such a terrific Daddy. I know that no one is really sure about what I saw or heard or understood while I was there, and we all know that I certainly couldn't reassure you with any words or signals, but I did know that you loved me very much!

Thank you for all those early mornings when we were alone together, and you so lovingly changed me, and dressed me, and combed my hair. I know that often you even ironed my shirts just because. Thank you for caring about my dignity. Thank you for feeding me so perfectly, and holding me so securely, like no one else could. Thank you for talking to me so lovingly when only I was in the room, and giving me your undivided attention. Thank you for all those mornings Daddy!

Daddy thank you for all those cuddles on the couch, and all the naps we took together. I loved to lay on your strong chest and hear your heart beat. It calmed me so. You were really the only one who I enjoyed cuddling with once I got older. I am so thankful for those times.

I want to thank you too Daddy for the way you loved my siblings. All the things you did for them when no one else seemed to notice, I was noticing. When you loved them, and did for them, it reminded me of how you also loved me. I heard your voice over all the other voices on the ball field, I heard you praying good night prayers, I heard you singing lullabies, and preparing food, I heard your voice out on the beach in the waves, and I heard all the cries you comforted. They all made me smile, and I am so thankful.

Thank you most of all Daddy for loving Mama through all the years of uncertainty and fear. Through all the seizures and medicines, the throw-up, and leaky diapers, for always being so helpful, and being such a rock for her to lean on, thank you. I saw all those kisses when you thought no one was looking, and it made me smile. When lesser men would have retreated, you stood up for the challenge, and saw the gift that I was.

Daddy, thank you for being proud of me for completing my mission on earth. Thank you for knowing that God made me just the way I was, and that I was not an accident. Thank you for seeing my life as one of worth, and value, and purpose. I did all that God required of me Daddy just like you always knew I would. I taught you all more then any other human ever could Daddy, and I never even spoke a word! When God decided I was done, I went home. Now I am enjoying my reward, and I will be so glad to see you when you get here.

Happy Father's Day Daddy,
Your boy, Crockett

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Punkin Head

The American girl Samantha found her home to be Charleston last week, as that was Haven's number one birthday request this year. We are calling her Punkin Head these days, Haven that is. Her brothers have aptly deemed her that because of the jack O lantern grin she is sportin. She seems to have a love/hate relationship with the new label.....and with her brothers.

We took a little hike up, over, down, I'm not sure (the GPS showed the way) Thursday, since we were near by Atlanta for Dakota's game. Thursday was Haven's ninth birthday, and she is the daredevil queen, so we took her to her palace of choice....SIX FLAGS. I would show you the picture, complete with a life size Bugs Bunny between us all, but then I would have to hunt you down and kill you...lets just say, not exactly flattering, although I must say in our defence, it was roughly 1000 degrees at least, and that kind of heat just sucks the energy right out of you. We were tired before the day even started. It was GREAT fun though, and a wonderful distraction from the recent pain we have all felt. Sooooo fun to see the lack of fear in the girls. ElizaJane was too short for all the rides she wanted to go on, but the ones she could do made her belly laugh straight out!!! She didn't at all "get" the screams of those around her!! We rode the "miracle round" (merry go round) more then once. Haven wanted to do EVERYTHING, and did, some several times, her brother Kartwright was very accommodating!! She liked everything that went upside down best, oh, and that free fall thing (fearless freeps Dare Devil Dive)...Loved it!!! silly punkin head!

Best quotes of the day:

"I can't walk any more inches" ElizaJane

"this was the best birthday of my WHOLE life" Haven

"I didn't have the heart to tell her NO on her birthday" Michael, after riding the 50 miles per hour Fearless Freeps Dare Devil 10 story freefall, with Haven.

"I'm not hungry,I'm only stersty" ElizaJane just before she fell asleep curled up in a ball on a hard dinning room chair at the restaurant.

"How come nobody took me to six flags for my birthday?" Kartwright, then he remembered we took he and his two buddies to Carowinds just last year!

"Does it really say a coke is $4.00?" just before I bought one lest Punkin Head die of stirst!!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008


Yesterday Kartwright, my very handsome 15 year old, played in a golf tournament. Mr. Anthony was expecting a report, so I thought I would accommodate on this blog. Kartwright says he played the worst he has ever played. I will spare him the embarrassment of sharing his less then perfect score, but I will say this. I was so proud of him. We were an hour late because I was lost, and not one cross word was spoken. Because we were late, he didn't get to warm up. The temperatures were soaring here in Charleston, and they make the kids walk the course. His feet and hands were blistered, he was very sun burned, and he played with two very talented kids, one of which was a potty mouth, and gave him grief about being home schooled. He lost his score card twice, and had to go back to find it, and he played horribly. And although he was tired, hot, hungry, thirsty, blistered and humiliated, the good news is, he still had a terrific attitude. He was a winner in my book, and was an asset to God's kingdom. Congratulations my son, good job!!

Monday, June 9, 2008


We drove down to Georgia last Wednesday to see Dakota's first game in his summer league. We just couldn't stand to miss it! He just loves being part of a team, and was surely in his element. The girls don't especially enjoy watching baseball, but they do miss their brother. There was no "acting to cool" on Dakota's part when ElizaJane went up to the fence to greet him. He shared his sunflower seeds with her, and talked for a long time through the chain link fence.
This picture made me think, how we so often talk through the fence with those we love. Not in reality of course, unless you really love your next door neighbor, but figuratively. Forced through the fence to see an obscured view, and met with an inability to really connect. The sounds and distractions of those around us block out the voices of the ones we wish to hear, and the fear that we might be rejected prevents us from walking into the dug out so to speak. I find myself in that boat with many that I care about.
The deaths that my family has recently faced first my husband's brother Timothy in February, and then just eight weeks ago the death of our sweet Crockett, have put me in the 'what if I never see him/her again' mode. Life is so fragile, and death comes so quickly, yet we often take it for granted. Not to belabor the fence analogy, but sometimes it's heights seem simply insurmountable when it is your own or someone Else's pride that gets between really sharing. I wonder sometimes, if IT doesn't need to be communicated with words, but if sometimes, when I really feel IT, when I long to say IT, when I desire IT is understood, whatever the IT might be, has IT maybe already been said?.....just thinkin.

Friday, June 6, 2008

How do you cope??

Sunday a week ago my family and I went to the neighborhood pool. It was a beautiful day, and we were having a great time, just relaxing and laughing, and playing. There were several other families there, but none we knew. We were friendly, said "Hi" introduced ourselves to a few, no big conversations, but shared pleasantries. we were there for several hours, when a young woman maybe in her early 30's approached me.

"One of the neighbors said you lost a son recently?" she stated with a questioning tone.
"Yes, I replied" tears welling up instantly with the reminder of my loss. expecting to be met with condolences or perhaps understanding of the pain, I was surprised when she said this.

"Oh, I could never live through that, I think I would just lay down and die, I don't know what I would do, I just couldn't do it, I couldn't go on. Oh how awful, are your other children healthy?"

I wasn't sure how to respond, but I did, as quickly and patiently as I could muster, I mumbled something about having to go on for the others, and quickly dismissed myself.

This is what I heard my neighbor say, although I want to believe it is not what she meant.

I could never live through that(you must not love your children as much as I love mine), I think I would just lay down and die(how can you just come to the pool and laugh and have fun, when one of your children is dead?)I don't know what I would do, I just couldn't do it, I couldn't go on(because you seem to be coping, there must be something wrong with you).

Grieving is a deeply personal thing, and everyone approaches it differently. Each one of my children is coping in their own way. We can help each other out sometimes, but mostly, it is something we must walk through on our own.

Some days, I can barely function under the cloud of pain, and the slightest thing will start the tears rolling.... a tiny sock goes through the laundry, a sound causes me to look to Crockett's chair and it's emptiness is overwhelming, ElizaJane speaking of Heaven (her favorite subject these days, mine too), a picture, a smell, the unopened boxes of Pediasure on the porch, the extra seat in the car, the empty crib in the room at the end of the hall.....lots of precious reminders.

Most days, I hold it together, because life goes on, and the world keeps spinning, and people need to eat and live and laugh and play, because this world is a terrible place full of pain and sorrow and anger and tears.

Yesterday I was driving down a busy road, and from the passenger side I heard my sweet Haven say "life is good". I followed her eyes to a vehicle in the next lane and that was the slogan plastered on the wheel cover attached to the back. We drove silently for a few moments, and then I replied, " I don't think life is good" I said, "I think life is hard.......but God is good" "Yea" she responded "I think so to".

I have been pretending for twelve and a half years that everything is OK, and I have gotten pretty good at it. But the real truth is that when all is said and done, everything really is OK, even though its not fair, or fun, or good or happy. He with the capital H is in control, and if you know Him, it's all going to be OK.

So, to the Lady at the pool, I wish I had told you how I am coping, and why I can play at the pool, and why the death of my child has not defeated me.....maybe I will get another chance.

My Father God ABBA(Daddy) is the only one who truly understands.

He is the one I hold on to,

He is the one I run to,

He is the one I cry out to.

He is my comfort,

and most of all He is my hope!

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Haven Dorothy

Happy birthday to my sweet Haven
9 years old today

she loves:
babies(real and pretend)
drawing (anything artsy)
cuddling on the sofa
American Girls
koala bears
riding her ripstick
scary rides
the beach
frosted cookies from Walmart
all accessories
she has been such a blessing to us all!
We Love you sweet girl!
You can stop growing now.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

I recently spied this pillow in the window of a really cute shop in downtown Charleston Christian Michi. Love it!!!! (sang in a really sing songy high voice). This picture doesn't do it justice as I have limited photographic skills, and I was a little self conscious taking a picture of the store window, (why is it that when we are on vacation we don't mind if people think we are tourists, but when we are close to home heaven forbid..), but you can get the general idea. I believe it was hand painted on silk, and it had gorgeous tassel trim around the edge. I'm thinking about trying to copy, I mean emulate it myself, just for kicks, to see if I can outdo, or redo, or come even remotely close to its most likely extremely pricey self. In my spare time I mean, like in between laundry and grading that Biology II test....or after I put off cleaning the fridge for the third week in a row. Does anyone else hate that job?

I'm not usually like that, I mean like, so enamoured with something I see, some inanimate object, some worthless house ware that is purely ornamental, fixated on something beautiful, that I would like to possess...... no wait, yes, I am, I am exactly like that!

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

strange botanicals

Can anyone identify this strange flower??? We recently spied it growing as a vine on an old gate by one of the historical buildings in Charleston. It was soooooo beautiful I just had to pick one, then the girls each needed for her hair, and I totally was a horrible example as I "stole" the two most unusual blossoms I've ever seen. Don't judge me, you weren't there, you don't know the power it had! ...It was blue, and lime green, very dimensional if you know what I mean. I tried to google it, but came up empty handed. Anyone out there have a clue?

Monday, June 2, 2008

kindred spirits

The sweet little girls were reading together during Ruby's recent visit. Haven loves to read, and is currently reading the Samantha books from the American girls series. She finished her school reading books early, so she started on the Little house book series to read out loud to me. That is our favorite part of school these days.

Recently I read The first of the Anne of green Gables books out loud during our lunch. We all LOVED that, even Kartwright, although he would never admit it.
I finished the book 90 minutes in Heaven by Don Piper last night. It was an easy read, but I'm not sure I buy all that he said. It's not that I don't believe he thinks he went to Heaven, I just don't think he really did. Someone at church thoughtfully brought it, thinking it might encourage me in my thoughts about Crockett. I don't think I could believe more strongly that Heaven really exists, and that Crockett is there, and that we his family will join him someday.

I also recently read Home to Holly Springs by Jan Karon. Loved it, loved the marriage relationship portrayed, loved the vocabulary, and her ability to make the characters into people I felt like i knew personally. I am ready for a new book, something more meaty. Any suggestions? Summer reading, so good!