Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Happy Birthday, Jesus!

The advent/Christmas season is such a rich time for our family.  We have deep-seated traditions that add meaning and act as an "anchor" of sorts for our family.  My boys know that we will drive around in our pajamas looking out the foggy windows of our minivan to see every light display in nearby neighborhoods.  They count on making and icing Christmas sugar cookies...being sure to add as many sprinkles as possible.  My boys know that we will gather with our extended family for food and fun.  They know that we will watch Linus remind us of the "real meaning of Christmas" at least once each year...and they also know that I will wipe my moist eyes when sweet Linus has finished.  {grin}  Sam, Luke, Caleb, and Matthew will probably always expect to receive new pajamas each Christmas Eve (matching, of course).  My boys know that we will bake/decorate a birthday cake for Jesus and sing to him on Christmas day (although, I hope they don't remember that the only candle I had in the house this year was in the shape of a "9").  I hope that someday (if the Lord should tarry and they are blessed with family's of their own) my boys snuggle under warm blankets and read special books about the amazing gift God gave the world in His sweet baby boy, Jesus.

As much as I love these traditions, they make my parent's absence even more noticeable.  It's sort of a bittersweet time.  This time last year, my dad had just recently gone home to heaven and it was our second Christmas without my mom.  It's hard.  My own childhood was rich with family mom was crazy about Christmas!  My heart is filled with the joy of Christmas and my heart aches to celebrate with my parents.  Things are good...but, very different.  Sometimes, my heart longs for what used to be. 

More than any temporal feeling of happiness or sadness, my heart is filled with joy.  The kind of joy that comes from a friendship with Jesus.  What an amazing thing to know that God wanted so desperately to know us...really know us and for us to truly know the depth of His love for us - that He sent a baby.  As a mother, this part of God's plan is not lost on me.  A helpless, adorable, needy, sweet baby was sent to save the world.  Amazing. 

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Trick or Treat 2012

Living in a small town has its perks.  One of them is Trick or Treating on Main Street.  The local fire department uses their trucks to block off Main Street for a couple of hours and businesses, churches, and even individuals pass out candy to little treat-seekers.  It's really quite a social event in our little town.  {grin}  For the most part, there are no creepy costumes...and you're always sure to see a grown-up man in his Winnie the Pooh costume.  My kiddos look forward to seeing him each year. 

I know that many folks have differing opinions about Halloween and participating in it's festivities.  Honestly, I am not sure what we would do (or not do) if we didn't live in Wilmore.  Our "trick-or-treating" is a fun and friendly experience for families.  My boys love to dress up - the excitement is over the top!  They love to see their friends and neighbors all dressed up, too.  We go downtown and gather candy, play a few carnival games, and then go home.  I am so thankful that our sweet little town avoids the gorry, creepy, evil side of this holiday.  We're able to claim it for fun family memories instead.  And there were certainly lot's of memorable moments to enjoy!

My four little "treats" posing in front of the Wilmore Fire Truck.

Mario (Caleb) & Luigi (Matthew)
I still giggle each time I look at this pic.  {little sweeties - big 'staches}

Sam was one cool "ninja"
Can't believe how big he is.
Luigi & Mario found a Transformer!
Luke loves robotic things that move and twist...s
o, he was super excited about this costume.

Caleb's "big eyes" face.  Cracks us up everytime!

The Johnson boy's with their jack-o-lanterns.

While we were gathering treats on Main Street we found another Mario and Luigi!
This is one of Brad's students and his son. 

All aglow!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Fall Break - Day 3

 Our last day in Indiana found us at The Indianapolis Children's Museum.  Our dear friends,  Tom and Jan, were brave enough to join us for the fun.  And, did we ever have fun!  From the time we arrived until we reluctantly left (nearly 6 hours later), we had a great time.  Every one of our six senses was heightened at one point or another - the boys were in heaven!

I managed to capture this sweet image (save Sam and Luke's crazy faces) just before we left.  The boys were incredibly sad to leave Mr. Tom and Ms. Jan...and so was I!

 The museum had an amazing exhibit on Egypt.  We entered the experience via an airplane ride (the seats actually shook as you heard the rumble of the plane on the runway) and experienced life in Egypt.  The boys loved it: the marketplace, the clothing stores, the restaurant, etc...  This photo is of Matthew "cooking up a little yummy goodness" in the restaurant.  We happily ate his pretend food and drank his "delicious" coffee.
We were greeted by an actual model of a Transformer that was used in the making of one of the movies. My sources (my children) tell me that this guys name is "Bumblebee."  The boys thought it was amazing.  They each took a turn being photographed behind the cardboard image... Caleb's hat and facial expression are priceless.  {giggle}
My little men got very excited when we learned the museum was hosting a "Hot Wheels" exhibit while we were visiting.  Heaven for four little boys!  There were so many things to do: create your own car, look at life-size models of Hot Wheels, tons of cars to race down tracks at every turn, and even a care to sit in. 

Luke was hard at work designing a car.

 Twin racers.  They would have stayed there all day long. 

Sam enjoyed pretending to deliver the evening news.

Matthew and Mr. Tom stopping for a tickle.  {love this}

Caleb in the exhibit about healthy living...exercise and nutrition.


Tom and Jan, thanks so much for making time for us and making some magical memories with my boys.  We love you so much!

Monday, November 5, 2012

Fall Break - Day 2

The second day of our little getaway began leisurely as we didn't have any plans until lunch time and one of my dear sons wakes up at 6 o'clock every single morning. So, we had breakfast and watched some television (a real treat because Nee Nee has cable!) without a care in the world.
My dear mother-in-law offered to watch the boys while I went to have coffee with two very dear friends.  I have known these young ladies since they were in sixth grade...and now they are both married and each recently had sweet baby girls.  Brittany and Lora were each part of our youth ministry program for years and I also had the honor of being their small group leader all throughout high school...and now, I am so thankful to be their friend.  What a blessing to be "doing life" with them for such a long time.  I love that God sets us into "faith families" to make this journey with.  So, we sipped coffee and chatted about motherhood, family, and faith.  They even let me hold their sweet little ones.  Swoon....I was in love!  They are young women of great faith and they are also incredible mothers. 

Lora and baby Audrey

Brittany and sweet Cora
So, I left the ladies and hurried back for our lunch date with "Pa Pa."  My husband's grandfather is 93 years old and such a blessing to our family.  He loves a good joke (he's such a good sport, he even laughs at my kiddo's jokes), loves his family, and we love him right back.  He really is a joy and my boys love him dearly.  Brad's mom, his two aunts, and Pa Pa were brave enough to have lunch with us.  We had a great time catching up with one another and managed to have only one spill during our meal.  {not mentioning any one's name....but, it rhymes with LUKE}.  :) 
After lunch, we headed to the local orchard for a visit to the pumpkin patch.  I love this little orchard in owned, not too big, not too commercial, and incredibly sweet.  We shopped in the little store, choosing some popcorn to bring home for Brad and some delicious apple cider slushies.  It seemed to take forever for each boy to find a pumpkin...but, we managed.  {snicker}  After all of that, we headed back to Nee Nee's house for dinner, baths, and bedtime.  Having so much fun is exhausting.
Nee Nee and Caleb riding to the patch

Caleb found a winner!

It's impossible to get a good pic of this crew! Little clowns!

Sam searching for the "perfect" one...

Luke was determined to find the smallest, "cutest" pumpkin.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Fall Break Fun - 1st Day

The boys and I decided to make the most of Fall Break and travel to Indiana for a few days.  Brad was elbow-deep in books - teaching himself Aramaic in just 6 weeks for a major test as part of his PhD process.  So, it was a perfect time for us to skip town and have some fun...and leave Brad to study without interruption or the guilt of not being home with us. 

So, we I packed our bags and we took off in our mighty mini-van.  We had borrowed several books on CD from our local library and loaded up on snacks and drinks...we were set!  The boys were well behaved and the travel was easy.  We did spend about 45 minutes at a stand-still due to a semi-trailer accident.  The boys and I talked about the book we were listening to and prayed for the people involved in the accident...and the wait didn't seem so long.

We arrived in time for some visiting, some dinner, and some sleeping.  The next day, we headed to the Indianapolis Zoo.  Our dear friend, Miss Lori, volunteered to come along with us.  We nearly had the place to ourselves and enjoyed a great day!  I was pregnant with the twins the last time we visited a zoo, so we were long overdue for some face time with the animals.  The dolphin show was a highlight and the penguins were a huge hit, too.  We can't wait to go back again. 

The boys loved this penguin's "bad hair day."

My favorite animals at the zoo.

Luke and Matthew up close and personal with the tiger.

Miss Lori, Luke, Caleb & Matthew waiting for the dolphin show to begin.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Sam @ 9

The boy who made me a momma for the first time and enlarged the size of my heart celebrated his ninth birthday on September 18th.  Seems so strange to think that I am a mom to a nine year old boy.
 It seems to have gone quickly...but, in reality we have shared nine years packed full of amazing memories.  I am grateful for each one.  What a gift to be momma to this sweet boy.
Sam is growing and changing at an alarming rate and I don't want to forget who he was at nine.

  • You are becoming an even more avid reader...much to your nerdy parent's delight.(snicker)
  • Your heart for hurting people continues to challenge Daddy and me.
  • The summer of 2012 was one of tremendous growth for you...not only physically, but more importantly - spiritually.  You are learning that God is trustworthy and He will not leave you.  You have learned to rely on Him and His strength when you are uncertain or anxious.
  • You learned to let go of the fear of looking "foolish" and learned to love swimming.
  • You eat your body weight in yogurt each week...well, not exactly - but, close.  Your favorite is vanilla.
  • You fell in love with your littlest brothers all over again...realizing that they really look up to you.
  • You mourned the loss of your second grade class (you found a wonderful friend in your teacher, Mrs. S) and after several weeks, began to believe that third grade would be okay.
  • Your passion for all things Lego continues.  Your dad nearly loses his religion each time he steps on them with bare feet.  You always blame it on your little brothers.  (grin)
  • Each year, you have met the beginning of the school year with great anxiety about all of the unknowns.  This year was different.  Your maturing faith in Jesus reassured you that you were safe and you were not alone.  You met your third grade year with amazing confidence - not even a tear (okay, your eyes got a little misty.  i am still claiming it as a victory!).  Daddy and I loved seeing your faith in action in this powerful way.
  • You love chocolate.
  • Your sense of humor is maturing (although you still get a kick out of "bathroom humor") and it's fun to have these "lively" conversations with you.
  • You make my heart melt when you invite me to lay next to you on your bed as you drift off to sleep.  I know these sweet invitations into your heart and thoughts at the end of the day won't come forever. 
  • You hate wearing pants that button.
  • Daddy and I are enjoying watching you "stretch your leadership wings" - it seems like you just might be a natural leader.  We're praying that God is glorified in all that you do.
  • You requested your first "grown-up looking" Bible.  It was important to you that it not look childish or have cartoon drawings.
  • You think Papa John's pizza is the most amazing food on the planet.
  • You attended basketball camp at the local university.  This was a big deal, your first attempt at organized sports.  You played alongside boys and girls who had lots of experience.  It wasn't always easy...but, you stuck it out!  Daddy and I were so proud of you.
  • We listened to a dramatic reading of the entire Chronicles of Narnia series on CD as we traveled this summer.  You and I watched the movie, The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe just before school began.  We both wept at the great love Aslan displayed.  It led to great conversations about Jesus sacrifice for us. A powerful memory, for sure.
  • You have expressed an interest in drama lessons or participating in a play.  We're exploring this creative outlet for you.  It's fun to see you discover who you are and the talents God has given you.
  • You are handsome, sweet, caring, kind, funny, sassy, silly, and you are my boy. (grin)

I love you, Samuel Thomas Johnson. Happy Birthday, my sweet nine-year-old boy.

Friday, June 8, 2012


I found myself wide awake while the rest of my family slept and the house was eerily silent.  My mind and heart were simply too full, too busy, too restless.  Sleep simply would not come.  So, I got out of bed and made my way to the living room.  I wrapped up in a soft blanket and began to think and pray.  I was once again struggling to find my way through the fog of grief. 

A friend from my elementary school days recently lost her father unexpectedly in a car accident in our hometown.  Immediately, my heart was heavy and I began to pray for her and her "carry that burden" as found in Galatians.  The loss of a loved one is too heavy a burden to carry alone.  So, I find myself in that familiar place again...heartbroken for a friend and grieving my parents deaths once again.  I miss them.

So, as I sat on the couch praying and thinking...I heard the sound of pudgy little feet coming down the hall.  My little boy, Matthew, was awake.  He needed to go potty and was afraid to go into the dark bathroom without a "growned up" person.  So, we made the trip together and then shuffled back to his bed.  He asked me to snuggle with him until he fell asleep.  I simply couldn't resist that sweet invitation.  As we lay together in the dark, God used my little boy to minister to me.  Matthew said, "Mom, did you know that God was with me when I was borned a long time ago?  He was there in the beginning and He was like the wind.  Did you know that, Mom?"  I reassured Matthew that God had always been with him and that He always would be.  Matthew grinned.  Then he said, "Mom, Poppy whispered in my ear that He loved me and I was special."  I told him that his Poppy (my dad) loved him so very much and Matthew was very special to Poppy and to Jesus, too.  Matthew smiled a crooked little knowing grin and said, "Mom, I already knowed that." 

I replied, "I am so glad that you did already know that, Matthew.  Thanks for reminding me."
I needed to remember that God loves me, He is with me, this grief and sadness are not more than I can bear with his help, and how blessed I was to have such amazing parents.  I don't travel this road alone...God is near.

    If your heart is broken, you'll find God right there;
if you're kicked in the gut, he'll help you catch your breath.  
Psalm 34:18

Friday, May 18, 2012

Favorite Foto Friday

This picture sort of embodies who Caleb and Matthew have become lately...helpers.  Brad was tightening up some nuts/bolts on our little table in the kitchen and the dynamic duo had to help!  Matthew ran to get his hat - not sure why - but, it seemed to help him in his work.  {grin}  I love these little fellas and I'm so grateful for their helpful hearts.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012


Everyone always says that life is crazy, busy, hectic, and moving too quickly.  I guess it makes us feel important or valuable to fill out time with activity and then accomplish it all by the day's end.  We like to be intentional about our family calendar.  Things work best for us when we are together - a lot.  Brad and I work best when we are sharing the same "space" on a regular basis...we get "frazzled" when we are apart from one another for too long.  This is not to say that our "togetherness" is always sweet or pleasant.  {snicker}  Our family just works best when we are not running around from event to event...we are homebodies.  Maybe your mind is full of images of agoraphobics or a family of recluses.  Honestly, we're not that far gone.  We go to church, we have friends, the boys have occassional playdates with friends, we have lots and lots of people over to our house for dinner or to hang out, we go to the library story hour, and we go to the park.  However, our calendar is pretty simple.  It reflects what we value most: relationships with people.

Just the other day, it occurred to me that leaving our home used to be incredibly difficult.  When the twins were very young it was much easier to just stay home - too much effort required to load everyone into the van.  I can vividly remember the stress of gathering coats, hats, shoes, etc... for all four boys and then wrestling helping them into said items.  Then, I would strap the twins into their infant carriers and take the big boys (ages 4 and 2) downstairs (to our basement garage) to the van and strapping them into their carseats.  I would come back upstairs to grab the babies and deliver them to the van one at a time.  Somewhere in the midst of all of this activity, someone would fuss or cry or scream or wail get the idea.  It was hard.  I can vividly remember the effort involved in grocery shopping with all of the boys in tow.  It was quite a spectacle: Sam walking beside the shopping cart, Luke in the front (seat) of the cart, one infant carrier in the basket of the cart, one infant strapped to my chest in a sling, and pulling another cart behind me to carry my groceries.  People looked at me as if I had three heads instead of four young children.  {grin}  It was time-consuming and labor-intensive...but, so worth the effort.  My boys learned to work together, be tolerant, and to entertain themselves.  I learned that I am more capable than I had imagined.  God had given me every gift I would need to mother these little men...and His Holy Spirit to empower me to do it!

So, I am recognizing that the Johnson Tribe is in a time of transition.  We're much more mobile and it requires considerably less effort to move the Tribe from place to place.  For the most part, the boys are capable of behaving themselves and are very confident that I am not afraid to discipline them when we are in public.  It's mostly a pleasant experience to go places with them....I look forward to it.  {sigh}  There was a day I couldn't have ever imagined thinking that.

So, this summer Sam will attend a basketball camp at the local University.  He is super excited about it and we're eager to cheer him on as he learns about the game.  Luke, Caleb, and Matthew will be enjoying some swimming lessons and to say they are excited doesn't begin to describe how they feel about it!  Matthew squeals everytime we mention it!  They are growing up and ready to spread their wings a bit more...I hope their parents can keep up.  I am praying fervently for God's wisdom in keeping a proper balance with this new "busyness" in our keep loving Him and loving His people at the center of our family life. 

So tough to take a picture of four squirrely little boys!  Sam (5), Luke (3), and Caleb & Matthew (11months)

The Johnson Brothers - Christmas 2011  (incorrect date stamp)
Caleb (3), Sam (8), Luke (5), and Matthew (3)

Monday, February 20, 2012


George taking a snooze.
 Not long after Rocky joined the Johnson Tribe, we gained another furry family member.  When my dad's health began to decline rapidly, he wasn't able to care for his dog any longer.  My parent's dog, George, is quite possibly the world's perfect dog...well, minus his dog breath and frequent flatulence{snicker}.  He is small, the perfect size for curling up in your lap.  He has an incredibly sweet personality, never aggressive in any way.  His fur is soft and curly, perfect for petting.  George has the most adorable little pudgy tail and it seems to always be wagging...he is a happy guy!  All of my dad's grandchildren love, love, love George.  He was a constant companion to my dad in his retirement.  After my mom's death, George's company was even more appreciated.  George gave my dad someone to care for, talk to, complain about, and "hang out" with.  When my dad would arrive at my house for a visit, my kids would run to his truck to shouting, "George! Poppy!"  My dad joked that they loved George more than they loved him. 

As my dad's health began to decline more rapidly, we had many conversations about the past...remembering the wonderful times our family had shared.  I also heard many stories for the first time - sort of shocking, my dad was a storyteller and I thought I had heard them all.  We laughed and cried...and remembered.  We also had a few conversations about the future.  He told me what we should do with some of his belongings after his death...material posessions didn't have much value to my dad.  We talked about how he was ready to go to Heaven and how he longed to be with my mom again.  We also talked about George.  He was concerned about what would happen to him and how he didn't want to burden anyone with George's care.  I quickly told him that George was a joy and not a burden...and that most likely we would end up in a custody battle over him!  My dad thought that having George at my house might be a comfort to my boys after he was gone.  He was so right.

Keeping Caleb company during his breathing treatment.

So, we've gone from zero dogs to two dogs in just a few months.  Brad is taking it all in stride...because he loves his family, he will tolerate the dogs {smile}.  George and Rocky have become pals.  They get along incredibly well and have similar termperments.  Rocky and George are rarely apart...snuggling on the dog bed, resting in the chair, playing outside, sharing a dog crate...they are canine companions. 

George has become one of the family.  We love him.   I can't imagine not having him here.  Welcome to the Johnson Tribe, George! 

Tuesday, February 14, 2012


In the extended silent period of the ol' Johnson blog...much has happened.  I'll begin with last summer.  Wowza!  The blog really was dormant for a long time.  Anyhoo...back to the task at hand.  Catch-up.

For years, Brad and I have had conversations about getting a dog.  I am a huge dog lover.  My family always had a dog and I longed for my boys to have that same experience.  There is something special about a dog...unconditional love, entertainment, snuggling buddy, and the list goes on and on.  Brad, however, isn't as fond of dogs as I am.  Don't get me wrong, he likes dogs...just not in the house.  Really?  Why have a dog if they aren't around to love and snuggle with?  I can't imagine having an outside dog.  You can see the source of conflict for us.  {snicker}  I got really creative with my persuasive remarks..."The boys will learn responsibility" or "We will be safer when you are gone if there is a dog to bark at an unwelcome guest"  or "Your wife will be so happy to have a dog.  Happy wife - Happy life!"  or even  "You are getting a PhD, surely we can have a dog."  Finally, he gave in.  He loves me so.  {grin}

In the spring of last year, I began to research dogs.  We needed a low-allergen, non-shedding dog (one of our boys has a very mild dog allergy...our allergist gave us her blessing for such a dog).  We also needed a dog who was large enough to not be trampled by our herd of children, and small enough to not knock the children over.  To further add to the complexities of finding a dog...we knew that we didn't have time for training a puppy.  My dad was very ill and I was traveling to care for him each weekend.  It was getting tricky...what sort of dog would be right for our family?  I began to pray that God would provide just what we needed and I was confident that He would.  I was even bold enough to pray about where our dog would come from and what sort of training it would have.

Several years ago, I had seen a documentary about a "mutual rehabilitation" program in a prison.  The inmates were assigned a dog that had been rescued from a shelter.  The dog would remain with the inmate 24/7.  The dogs received amazing training (some were even trained to be assistance dogs for folks with disabilities) and the inmates learned a skill (dog training - some even became certified) and more importantly, they learned to be loved and to love.  I thought it was an amazing program - a creative way to "reshape" someones heart to love again.  Maybe those inmates would be open to God's love once their hearts had been softened? 

I searched the website often and continued to pray daily.  I made a few calls about some dogs...nothing seemed to "fit" or "feel right."  Until, I found a dog named "Rocky."  He was a schnoodle (schnauzer/poodle mix) with a unique looking gray/black/silver curly coat,  he was medium sized, and he was about two years old.  Things got even more exciting when I learned that he had been posted to the website by "Second Chances Canine Program" - you guessed it, a mutual rehabilitation program at a prison about an hour from our home. 

I called to ask about Rocky and the lady I spoke to seemed to think he would be a perfect fit for our family.  We made an appointment for Brad and I to go meet him.  Later that week, we drove up the tree-lined drive of the prison campus (formerly a small private Christian college), we stopped at a small building where an employee searched our car.  It's worth noting that Brad and I warned her that we weren't responsible for any goldfish crackers, fruit snacks, or sippy cups she encountered.  You never know what is lurking in the back of a mini-van.  {snort}   She found nothing of interest and then pointed us in the direction of a large brick building with a cross on the side.  It sounds silly, but the image of that cross was somehow comforting to affirmation that God was doing something. 

We entered the building and made our way through the metal detectors and showed someone our ID.  Once we were cleared, we went straight ahead into a small gymnasium...and the inmate, the program director, and our dog were waiting for us.  They greeted us warmly and told us a little about Rocky.  We asked questions about Rocky's training.  The inmate answered with great was like an encounter with the "dog whisperer" - he was loaded with knowledge about dog obedience.  Brad and I told him how impressed we were...and he beamed.  The program director grinned with pride and told us that the inmate had just received some special dog training certification and would be awarded a framed copy the next day.  The change in this man's life was obvious by looking at the "intake"photo on his prison ID.  His shoulders slouched, his posture was "down", he looked hard, angry, and unhappy.  The man standing in front of us was grinning, standing tall,  making eye contact, answering questions, telling us about his future.  He was full of hope.  We shared a little bit about our family and our faith and then wished him well and encouraged him to make his freedom "lasting" when he was released the following spring. 

Brad and I chatted about our experience the entire ride home.  We both agreed that it was the most "Christ-like" experience we've ever had in a secular environment.  Amazing. 

Oh yeah, we also adopted an amazing dog.  He is perfect for our family in every way.  The boys and I adore him...and because Brad loves us, he is tolerating Rocky.  {grin}

Matthew and Luke loving on Rocky

Rocky and Matthew...not long after Rocky got a haircut.

Rocky snoozing on his bed.  We love his soft, curly coat.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012


I have been thinking about the ol' family blog lately...and realizing that it's been largely silent for months now.  I guess that grief has been a quiet and personal journey for me.  Maybe I am also aware of that fact that no one reads my blog now that my mom is in Heaven!  {grin - although, I think my friends Sarah and Jodi read from time to time}  Then I remembered that this blog is for me, to record the seasons of my family life, to have a permanent memory available when my own fails me.  So, I am back at it.  I am going to do my best to blog weekly, even if it's about the ridiculous or mundane, I will blog.  I just need to get back in the, I will begin slowly and stretch those "bloggy" muscles at least once a week.

While the blog has been silent, our house has certainly not!  Most days, it's a loud and lovely flurry of activity around here.  Our boys are stature and in faith.  They consume more food than I ever thought humanly possible for someone their size.  Brad is plugging along in his PhD program - set to finish his classroom portion this May.  Oh happy day!  {grin}  Then, he will move on to the comprehensive exams...sounds like torture to me.  He spends his days with Dr. Witherington and I spend my days with Dr. Suess...and then we spend out evenings together.'s a good life.  I am super proud of Brad's hard work as a student and equally proud of his work as an instructor.  He works diligently to teach and serve his students.  It's a ministry for sure, and Brad has been faithful in it.

I will be making a mad dash to Indiana tomorrow to spend the day going through some of my parent's things.  I am praying that it will be comforting to be surrounded by memories of them.  However, I am also fully expecting it to be an incredibly emotional day, as well.  I miss them both.  It's overwhelming at times.  It's really strange, in fact.  I am an adult (a middle-aged adult even!  ACK!) and haven't depended on my parents to provide for me physically or financially in many years...but, their deaths have left me feeling "orphaned" in some way.  It sounds odd, I know.  Their deaths have changed the landcape of my extended family and the way we do life together.  We are figuring it out as we go along...and God continues to prove Himself faithful.  What a gift. 

So, I will do my best to remember that this blog is for me and my record our memories and God's goodness as we journey along.  However, if you happen to read - leave a comment so that I know I am not alone.