My Family

My Family
Here we all are!

Monday, April 26, 2010

From Weary to Hysteria - that's my life!

On Sunday morning I was feeling especially weary for some reason. It had been a long weekend already and a difficult morning with Christian. The sermon was one that should have boosted me up - all about our spiritual gifts and using them and what you are passionate about. Usually it's a topic where I feel just a little bit superior as I've been so blessed to have a partner who joined me in my passion to have a big family, adopt and work with people with special needs. But yesterday the reality of the job set before us which will never really end weighed heavy on me. It was a rainy day and all I could think about was curling up with a mindless book and napping on the couch, which looked like a ridiculous dream.

We left church following our normal routine - don't judge - to drive through McDonalds. Christian already had to go home separately as he was again out of line. As I'm asking the kids what they want Chad was sitting behind Callie and was telling me what he wanted. Now Chad's speech is very limited and tough to understand most of the time. Callie has come a long way, but she is still often difficult to understand even to those of us who know her well. She turned around and asked Chad several times what he wanted - what Chad, what do you want? Finally she turned around a little frustrated and said - whatever - tone and all. I giggled all the way home.

Amazingly after we got home Christian straightened up a bit and decided to get along. Mark went off to take care of my dad as he does on Sun. and I was running around as I do while he's gone. One of our PCA's arrived and took the kids outside for awhile which didn't last long and they came in with some drama or other. Finally everyone seemed to settle a bit playing quietly, well sort of quietly. I curled up on the couch with my book and dared to read. I even fell asleep for a few minutes. What an amazing gift that was.

God knew just what I needed - and in the midst of the chaos that is our life He gave me just a little respite as if to reassure me yet again that He will equip me and He is more then able to supply my every need.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Wednesday - Double Double coupon day!

On Wednesday - Rainbow is going to double up to 10 coupons valued up to $1 each! So, cut up your Sun. paper and get shopping.

While you're there - Rainbow's own ad has a coupon for Green Giant canned vegies - $.38 - up to 4 cans. Pick those up and bring them to your local food shelf.

As for me, it's a gorgeous day and so hard to stay inside. Had a little time out under our gazebo for lunch time, but would have loved to have read a book or taken a nap. Ah well, I'm grateful for what I had. Enjoy the day!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Callie loves worship music at church. We've been listening to the team practice before the service and she loves it. She has her perennial request - Lord I lift your name on high. I wasn't paying attention, but after requesting the song, our worship leader Rachel and the choir and the instrumentalists all began to play and sing it for her. Now that is a church family to be proud of. They definitely put even the least of these first and foremost.

As the pastor was talking this morning Callie stood beside him, folded her hands and apparently began to pray which Pastor Scott immediately seized upon and had us join her. He repeated what he could glean from her words, which can be difficult to understand, but she thanked God for all the people being there and for Jesus and God. Our little girl who had no language at 3. I've said it before and I'll say it again - she is truly a miracle.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Ah - Junior High

Fun start to this week. Dinner with 3 girlfriends that I've known for like 17 yrs. now - wow! This year was the first time we hadn't managed to get together around Christmas, so it had been a long time. As is often true with true friends we picked right up where we left off. So much to catch up on.

We met as jr. high youth leaders at church. My eldest was just entering jr. high and we were new to this church. As is often true in a large church you really have to find your niche to develop friendships - and in jr. high I found mine. Not sure what that says about me, but there you have it. It was a tough age for most of us and I now have 2 more kids of my own entering middle school next year.

I must say I don't look forward to parenting them through those ages. For my older son with Down's it was the most difficult time. He rode the "regular" bus and kids would spit at him and throw pencils. He was barely verbal, but could spew a few swear words, which he usually did when he got off the bus. Our neighbor girl who was the same age was so upset by the abuse he took - which we wouldn't have known about had she not told us. How much different it is for typical kids who have the privilege of developing relationships as children with kid's who have disabilities. Their comfort level towards adults with disabilities will be so different and rather then recoiling from their touch - yes that does happen- they will show warmth.

Christian and Shannon will, however, ride the "special ed." bus. Their ride to school will be safe and Shannon will never be alone in school due to her disability, but Christian eventually may navigate the hallways alone sometimes. So, we'll see. In his mind I know he can't imagine that anyone wouldn't want to be with him. I know he'd understand if people were outright mean to him or outright teased him, but he might miss the subtlety of some teasing.

Well, onward and upward they go nonetheless and they, like many typical kids, will survive the trials and tribulations of school life to enter adulthood where everyone is just nice to each other. Yeah, well, fine - my rose colored glasses work just fine for me. How much kinder and gentler our world could be if we all wore them. Come on - try them for a day and let me know how that works for you.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Sleepless nights

My head is fuzzy - a couple of sleepless nights and a relentless sinus headache are dogging me. I'm having trouble focusing, so this may make no sense at all when I'm done with it. It does, however, remind me of a time when I was often alone with a very difficult baby and no matter how exhausted I was it was all me until Mark came home from work and I would practically throw that little guy at him before I collapsed. How generous he was to never complain that he might actually be tired from work. In my mind he had a 9 hr. break from the constant demands of this mega-baby I was dealing with.

Conor was over 9 lbs. 4 oz. when he was born. He was 12 lbs. by the time he was 3 mos. old. Thankfully I was a young 25 yr. old mother. My mother died when I was 19 yrs. old. I remember when Conor was born and I was alone in the hospital room with him. I had a conversation with my mom and remember saying - Look what I did Mom isn't he beautiful? How I wish I could have shared that with her and how grateful I am that I've been here to share it with two of my own children.

On Sunday we watched Conor wrestling around in the grass with Dominic, 2. How many many hours Mark spent doing the exact thing with all of our children. Seeing those simple acts repeated with the next generation assures me that the sacrifices we all make as parents are truly worth it. Although it's odd sometimes to think I have children who are parents - it is such a delight to experience.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

As Mark was driving Callie and Christian to speech this morning Callie started freaking out and pointing out the window - Statue of Liberty - Statue of Liberty! She has a bit of an obsession with Lady Liberty and knows she is in the New York Harbor. Well, the costumed SOL's are on every corner here advertising for the tax preparing company Liberty Taxes, or whatever.

It could be a long time till tax day for her - trying to figure out why in the world Lady Liberty is on the corner and not in the harbor. If anyone ever sees a child's size SOL costume - please let me know - however feeding that obsession might not be the best idea. Perhaps a small play size replica? Do you think Lady Liberty would enjoy singing songs from High School Musical with Troy and Gabriella? I'm sure Callie would find a way to make that work.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Bargain shopping for the homeless shelter

My Ella loves serving at Simpson's shelter - SHS - this past weekend she got to work beside her friend Samantha. I think the men we serve must just love to see younger kids there. They bring such life and joy in their serving. Good job girls!

My suggestion for this week's bargains are very specific to my church body. This past visit we thought of a couple items that are frequently running out there. One is hot sauce, which the men devour on almost anything we serve. This week at Cub there is Crystal hot sauce for $.59. So, just toss a couple of those in your cart and bring them to church and we'll stock them up when we go to serve again in June.

On May 13 our youth group will be making sandwiches for SHS which the men take with them as they leave in the morning. In the Cub ad this week there is a coupon for Oscar Meyer 12 oz. baloney or salami - limit 2. You can pick an ad up at the service desk. If you'd buy two packages and either freeze them till May 13 and either send them with your youth or get them to me and I will freeze them and get them there.

Happy Shopping!

Monday, April 5, 2010

Easter fun at the Reeves!

What a great Easter weekend! Sat. night we were able to serve at Simpson's Men's Shelter - the numbers were down apparently, but it seemed pretty full to me. We were wondering if a holiday weekend would keep numbers down or raise them up. I can't imagine not celebrating Easter weekend - whether you are a Christian or not - without family. How incredibly blessed I am to have so much family to enjoy.

At church Sun. morning Callie was a little wound up and I followed her around - we ended up on the opposite side of the auditorium from the rest of the family for a bit. How fun to have the perspective of what we must look like to other people. I thought - now there's a bunch of people who don't look at all like they belong together for any reason whatsoever. But belong to each other we most certainly do. Who but God Himself could have foreseen that these people together will make a family. How every grateful for that I am.

When we returned home from church I expected to smell that great roast in the oven smell - uh oh - no smell. In the rush of Easter dresses and such I apparently did not turn the oven on. Thankfully we also had a presliced ham in the fridge. So, into the microwave it went and we were good.

Last year a new tradition was born - the jelly bean war. We get to have our jelly beans, but after just a few tastes they are pummeled into each other and gross on the ground - no temptation there, well except for the 2 yr. old grandson who didn't care if they had dirt or grass stuck to them. The weather was just so very awesome - sunny and warm, such a treat on Easter in Minnesota.