Thursday, October 18, 2012


Calvin and I had a little chat on his birthday because I decided he’s not allowed to have any more birthdays.  He must remain five forever.  Apparently he thinks my request is a bit ridiculous.

But seriously how on earth did this boy turn 5 already?!?!

Since I can’t stop him from growing I’m going to enjoy these days and savor them.

Looking back over the past year here are a few things about my little Calvinator that I love.

·         The second your eyes are open you are talking and can talk all day long.
·         I love the impromptu songs that come out of your mouth along with some amazing dance moves.  I love how you sing your heart out to our Seeds of Faith CDs in the van.
·         You’re willing to do hard things.  Just watching you adjust to preschool and really thrive there was such a gift.  I’m so thankful that you are willing to learn a new language little man.  I know it’s not easy but you are doing amazing at it.
·         You have a love for learning and I’m praying we can nurture that into a little boy who is always hungry for knowledge.  You love doing school, particularly math and science.  You make me proud.
·         You’re creative and love any chance you get to draw, color, paint, cut, or make something.
·         You spend hours each day building with legos.
·         You love to read.
·         Love to save the world daily.
·         Love tromping around the great outdoors and collecting rocks, sticks, acorns, buckeyes and flowers.
·         You are a great helper cleaning the house and you love to dust and clean the windows, which I’m so grateful for.
·         You’ve started to ask some really good questions about God and already know so many verses from God’s word.
·         You’ve been willing to talk about hard subjects such as death and have had such a sweet perspective of heaven that has blessed me.
·         And yesterday you marveled that your shoes still fit you now that you are five.  Amazing.

Stop growing so quickly please.  I want to enjoy your little squeaky voice a bit longer.

Calvin.  I’m praying the Lord will grow your understanding of him this next year and that you will trust him and serve him the rest of your life.  I thank the Lord for using you to sharpen me.  You are such a gift and it’s a joy is to be your mom.

I love you Calvin.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Just Be

While we’ve had a few comments that really got under our skin, from day one I’ve prayed that I would be a grace giver in those times of insensitivity.  Especially as we returned back home to Nineveh, which honestly is where we have received the most.

So how do you comfort the brokenhearted?  Before Seth died I wondered the same thing.  How do I love on those who have lost a child while I still have mine.  It's a hard place to be.  Thankfully the word gives us some instruction.

"Rejoice with those who rejoice and mourn with those who mourn."  –Romans 12:15

So pull up alongside them, grieve with them, pray for them, and cry with them.  Acknowledge the life the Lord created in their child.  Acknowledge the preciousness of their life. 

Say their child’s name.  It's sweet to hear Seth's name.  I'm thankful when others do, it lets me know that he hasn’t been forgotten by our friends.

And simply say I’m sorry.

Be okay with silence. 
Be okay with tears and settle into the uncomfortableness of the death of a child. 
Because that’s just what it is…uncomfortable.

Don’t try to explain it away, was God’s will wasn’t meant to be was for the better

Because it wasn’t.  We live in a fallen world; this wasn’t God’s original plan.

Just be there. 
Bring meals. 
Wash their dishes. 
Give thoughtful gifts.
Keep calling.  
Don't forget that they are still grieving several months...years down the road.  
Ask good questions that go beyond "How are you doing?"
Let them know you are praying for them.
Give them you.

Larry Boy and Trucks

This year we enjoyed another fun birthday party for the boys with some ex pat friends in our city.

I kept it simple this year.  I had lots of grand ideas but honestly this wasn’t the year for them.  (I'm learning to be a little more honest with my limits these days.)

Once his little friends arrived
We played veggie bowling
Then we had veggie races.

The little ones enjoyed the rice pit.

We went outside for to break the bad apple piƱata.

We prayed.

We ate.

Sang happy Birthday.


Had Cake.

A few had green tongues and teeth.

Opened presents.

Our friends know our boys here well.
Legos, puzzles and imaginary play tools for Calvin
And trucks for Micah.

The bigger kids watched a movie while us grownups chatted.

Then sent we them home with a few party favors.

It was a fun day filled with lots of memories.
Thanks to all who made their party special.
Our boys were well loved.
And Celebrated.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Birthday Week

At the end of birthday week this year I thought about getting a shirt made that said “I survived birthday week 2012”

We had a few other elements this week that lengthened the to do list, but I wanted to make sure these boys in my life knew how special they were.

Happy Birthday Marvin
Marvin was up first.  Calvin did a great job making a sign for daddy.  And per Marvin’s request we kept it simple but of course had fried tacos and peanut butter pie.  We even got to introduce our new teammates to his birthday meal this year.

Happy Birthday Calvin
Calvin loves all the birthday attention.  So I when I heard he was up I quickly went to his room and gave him a big happy birthday hug.  It started the day out pretty special.  He had balloons on his chair and pumpkin muffins waiting for him in the kitchen along with one present.  Marvin said he walked into preschool  with his arm out, proudly sporting his new watch.

We took some birthday treats to school.  This year we brought little monster guys made up of a little packaged bear cake, a juice box and a sucker.

For lunch I rocked his world with peanut butter and jelly sandwiches on presliced American bread.  Love how the simpliest things could mean so much to him.  Later in the afternoon we skyped with Grandpa and Grandpa S and opened a few presents from them.

The rest of the day he was busy building legos and coloring in his new coloring books.  Thank you so much he loved them.  (Micah also was busy playing with his new bus.  He's been filling it with anything and everything.)

Later we enjoyed Calvin’s requested dinner, quesadillas and cupcakes then opened the rest of his presents.  He’s been asking for roller skates for the past year, so he was thrilled.  A little while later we put a very happy five year old to bed.

Happy Birthday Micah
We enjoyed a low key day celebrating our little introvert.  After a good nap he enjoyed playing in the rice left over from his party.

Birthday meal: mac & cheese.

He got to skype with grandpa and grandma T.  Both boys opened their presents from them. Micah loved his new truck and has been very excited for the Thomas fruit snacks.

After a birthday bath we watched a new Boz DVD.  He was so excited.  Then it was off to bed. Where we heard them playing for a good hour before they fell asleep.  Light sabers in the dark are pretty cool apparently.

I’m so grateful to have them here to hug and squeeze, I have treasured that gift even more this year.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Capturing Grief {week 2}

Three rings worn daily as a physical reminder that I’m a mom to three boys.

My quiet time space

2 Corinthans 4:16-18

So thankful for our family and friends who surrounded after we lost Seth . 
Some even traveled a ways to be with us. 
Those who were unable to be with us in person have sent countless emails, gifts, and flowers. 
We are blessed.

I will forever be brought back to our time with Seth any time I hear the beeping hospital monitors.  Maybe someday they will not bring tears.

When Seth’s doctor told us they had done everything they could do.  We called Marvin’s parents who were keeping the boys.  We asked them to make the 3 hour drive to bring the boys back to Kansas City.  I needed to get my arms around my boys, I needed to have our family together.

I remember they were both very quiet and glued to each other.  They held each other’s hands as they walked, rarely left each other’s side, and were exceptionally sweet to each other.  At one point they even tackled each other with a huge bear hug.

I felt like it was a picture of a promise from the Lord.  That we were going to travel this road together as a family before the Lord.  It was scary entering a road full of unknowns, but I felt like a reminder that he’d hold our hand each step of the way. 

We are not alone on this road of losing a child.

Saturday, October 13, 2012


It’s sort of ironic that Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness month falls during October.
October is birthday madness in our household.
Within one week Marvin, Calvin, and Micah celebrate their birthdays.
So adding in a time of remembering Seth seems a little fitting for our family.

As part of Infant Loss awareness month I’m going to Capture my Grief for 31 days.

Here’s week one.