My words may not be eloquent today.  (You know how hard sleep has been to come by…)

I just wanted to say that it has been a pleasure to have shared this last 8-year rollercoaster ride of a journey with you.  I can’t say that I would have pictured us where we now are as we were standing before that throng of witnesses, but I also wouldn’t trade it as I think it has matured us as individuals and as a couple. 

The three Scripture verses from that day still echo through my mind…

Psalm 37:5 — Commit your way to the LORD; trust in him and he will do this.

Matthew 7:25 — The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock.

Ecclesiastes 4:12b — A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.

Wow!  How often we have needed to lean on these verses.  God is good.  I pray that he continues to guide and bless our journey together.

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There was a BIG festival in town over the weekend.  Saturday morning at the festival they hold all sorts of races.  5-mile run.  3-mile walk.  2-mile run.  And kids races.  (I had been actually hoping to run the 5-mile race.  However, my absence from training made me think that I need to get back to training before I attempt that!)

Brian ran the 2-mile race kind of on a whim.  He did well.  Faster than he’s ever run it before.

We entered the kids in the Rookie Run — a 1/3-mile race for kids 6 & under running with their parents.  Since Christian LOVES to run, I thought this would be perfect.  (And Liv loves to try and keep up with him. 🙂 )

However, I didn’t take into account the throngs of people that would be there milling around with all of the noise that that number of people make.  Any time I tried to get Christian out of the wagon (his safe-zone), he would “wet noodle” and scream higher and louder than we’ve ever heard him scream before.  Sigh.  So, I picked him up and carried him over to the starting area.  Everyone was turning around looking at me wrestling my screaming, kicking, flailing child as we tried to wait patiently for them to blow the starting horn.

After what seemed like an eternity (but was probably only a couple of minutes), the horn blew.  I picked Christian up off of the cement, grabbed his hand, and said, “Let’s run!”  And run he did.

We had a hard time getting around people at first.  (I had parked us near the back, behind a bunch of little kids, just in case we never got out of the starting gate.)  Finally, the pack broke up and we were able to start pushing ourselves and getting around the other runners.

Christian got distracted a few of times by the rocks and the large lake on the side of the road, but I encouraged him to “keep running!” and he did.  Even though he was running with his croc-like shoes on (‘cuz they’re the ONLY ones that he’ll wear at the moment), he kept going.  (I’ll fight that battle another day!)

And we ran. At his pace.  I started to worry when we neared the finishing chutes and the course started to narrow and there were hundreds of people lining the road just cheering.  I was concerned that Christian would be overwhelmed and drop or run off of the course.  But he didn’t.  We continued to hold hands and just run.  And shoot around people.  My heart soared with pride for my little guy.  He was doing something he loved and he was being cheered by multitudes of people along the way.  I had to fight back a couple of tears.

He crossed the finish line with a grin on his toothless face.  He seemed proud as he shouted, “I did it!”.  And I was SO proud.  I don’t think everyone realized how much he had to overcome to complete this “short” race, but he did it!  And it was beautiful.

And Liv, she did great, too!  I was so proud of her for finishing because just before the race started she was complaining about how tired her legs were (as we had been walking quite a bit that morning).  She finished just 45-seconds behind Christian (and then had Daddy pick her up 😉 ).  Yay, Liv!

Olivia absolutely loves it when someone, anyone, will take time out of their day to sit down and read her a story (which usually turn into multiple stories.)

Christian is the opposite.  While he might be OK with someone reading a story in the same room that he’s in, he doesn’t prefer it.  He doesn’t request it.  EVER.

Until two nights ago.  Brian was sitting on the couch and Christian ran over to him and put a book in his hand.  Brian asked C, “What should I do with the book?”  Christian ran back, pointed to it, and said, “Read!”

Brian told Christian to “Climb up.”  And Christian did, snuggling up right next to him. 

Brian read Kipper’s Monster by Mick Inkpen.  Christian just sat and listened (and helped read on occasion) and giggled away when they got to the part where the owl screeches.

Brian and I both rejoiced over this strange, yet SO wonderful occurence.

And last night, Christian asked for a repeat performance.  Awesome!  🙂

I wonder if he’ll ask again tonight…

Brian’s Granny K passed away. 

She had fallen down and broken her leg a month ago.  The doctors did surgery and she came through well.  From there, though, her kidneys started shutting down.  Eventually, she was released from the hospital to go back to the assisted living center that she had been living in for the last four years.  She was there for about a week before she passed away.

But I think she was ready to go.  She knew where she was going.  She knew that she would be in a place with no more pain.  Where she would walk with Jesus.  She would be HOME.

The funeral service and burial was today.  We decided to send Christian to school as usual.  Liv came with us for the visitation.  She had visited with Great-Grandma a number of times, and we thought that we could use this as a positive experience about death for her.  Liv asked lots of questions and while we were there she made a picture for Granny K and it was tucked in with Granny.  It was so sweet.

Liv and I had to leave before the actual funeral service started (as I had to pick up Christian from school).  It was comforting to hear stories of Granny.  She was a loving, thoughtful person.  Her faith was firm.  What a comfort to know that this was not a final goodbye.  We know that she is in heaven and that we will meet again when it is our turn to finally be called HOME.

We love you, Granny K.

On Saturday, Brian moved a bookcase to paint it.  I wasn’t 100% sold on the idea, but it could look nice, so I figured that if he wanted it done that badly I would just let him do it.

Boy, am I ever glad that he did!

Behind that bookcase that was securely bolted to a corner in our kitchen/dining room area was black stuff.  Mold.  It looked disgusting.  It made me want to gag.  Growing from the floor to about three feet up the wall.  Eww…

Brian called his dad who came over right away.  They went down to the basement and started pulling down the insulation from around the floor joists.  Mold there, too.

Brian called our builder who also agreed to come over right away.  The kids and I went over to the farm to stay out of everyone’s way. 

We heard good news.  The mold is not toxic and now should be under control.  Brian scrubbed down all of the moldy areas with bleach and everything is still looking good.  If we don’t see any mold by Friday, we should know (for sure) that the problem is totally taken care of.  [insert sigh of relief here]

I’m just SO thankful that Brian moved that bookcase!  It was one that we didn’t intend on moving any time soon!  That mold could have lived and grew back there for YEARS before we would have found it and who knows what kind of respiratory problems we all would have had by then!  So, while it was a bummer that we had mold, I’m just so relieved that we found it when we did!!!

Brian’s birthday was last week.  Christian made Brian this card with the help of one of the therapists, LW…

Happy Birthday Dad

I Love You Christian I Love You Christian

Christian

The VERY BEST part of this card is that Christian READ it to Brian ALL BY HIMSELF.  Brian and I were near tears by the end.  🙂

The “new” sleeping arrangements were put into place last night with these results…

…Olivia climbed in bed with Brian around 8:30 and fell asleep pretty quickly.  Christian was still running full steam.

…Christian eventually snuggled in with me on the couch and we watched “The Ultimate Cake-Off” until he drifted off to sleep.  I moved him to his bed around 10:30 (and then proceeded to watch “King Tut Unwrapped” ‘cuz I was curious).

…at 11pm, I snuck into our room and transferred Olivia over to her bed.  She snuggled right in to her blankets.  I left her pink (of course) nightlight on for her.  I crawled into my rightful spot in bed next to my hubby.  🙂

…4am — Christian jumps up on our bed and wiggles in-between us.  Laying there, we hear him say, “Dad – Christian – Mom”  🙂  Then he decided that our bed was his stage and started singing and telling stories at the top of his lungs while jumping around.  Christian and I found our way to the basement and started watching ABC’s “World News Now.”  (I love that show. 🙂 )

…5:30am – Christian and I doze back off to sleep on the loveseat in the basement.

…6am — Olivia wakes up.  She slept the entire rest of the night in her room by herself!  🙂  I’m SO excited!  Yay, Olivia!!!  🙂  Brian quickly turned on an episode of  “Blue’s Clues” before he headed out the door hoping that would grant me a few more minutes of precious sleep.  (Thanks, honey!)

…6:20am — Liv came to the basement to find me.  (Yay that “Blue’s Clues” worked longer than normal!)  Christian was still sleeping when I came up to the kitchen.

…6:30am — Christian emerged from the basement.

Overall, I’d say of first night of new sleeping arrangements was very successful!  I’m thrilled!!! 🙂  We were blessed.  I pray that God continues to give me the strength to enact these new sleeping arrangements until they become the new norm.  I can’t wait!  I’m looking forward to being stoked!!! 🙂