Thursday, September 27, 2012

Countdown to Haiti

In 9 days, Jeff, Jillian and Molly will be on their way to Haiti with the rest of the team from our church.  They are getting excited and a bit nervous--wondering what God has in store for them there.  I'm getting a bit nervous about having them gone and not being able to communicate with them.

The girls still have blanket sets to sell, if anyone is still interested.  They didn't quite reach their fundraising goal.  We still have the brown and pink floral, the Hello Kitty, and the pink ladybug sets available.

They have their shots, their malaria meds, their just need to pack their suitcases.  If you want to pray for them, Jillian and Molly have the following requests:

That I stay healthy the whole trip.
That I will help people in some way
That I will be pushed out of my comfort zone
That I will see why God wants me to go

For a safe trip there and back
For health for the team and their families back home

In other update on my Dad.

He had surgery yesterday to relieve some of his bladder issues.  He was back in ER this morning because he cannot stop vomiting.  I suspect a reaction to the anesthetic, but haven't heard back yet.  Not sure if they will keep him or send him home.

His bone scan was clear--thank you, Jesus.

His cancer, although it has spread, it hasn't spread far.  Instead of chemo, they are going to try Provenge, a new treatment that removes cells from his body and makes a vaccine with them...then inserts them back in.  Since it's a relatively new treatment, the results are all over the place.  Some respond well, some do not.  We are praying that he responds well.  Neither chemo nor Provenge is a is meant to slow the process but chemo has much more dreadful side-effects.

My parents are resting in God's peace and faithfulness...trying to stay busy and just enjoy each day.  I am wishing I didn't live so far away but have to trust that this is where God wants me right now.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Honoring a Fallen Hero

I'm sure everyone is familiar with the name, Glen Doherty, one of the ex-Navy SEAL's killed in the attack on our embassy in L*bya last week.  He was from a small town in MA that was only about 1.5 hours from our house.

When my cousin was killed in Ir*q, one of the things that surprised us was the way his town lined the streets as the motorcade carrying his body made its way to his grave site.  It was so incredibly touching to see them standing there with their flags, honoring my cousin and letting us know that they appreciated the sacrifice and heartache.  All of us who were able to attend will tell you that sharing those moments with the town were some of the most meaningful parts of that difficult day.

I wanted to return the favor.

The news reported that Glen Doherty's funeral service was scheduled for this morning.   I took three of the kids--Molly, Chloe and Jordan.  The other kids either had important school classes or were too young to attend.  We ended up getting there very early, so we had plenty of time to find a spot to stand.

Here is a series of pictures of the morning.

This very small, humble place was where a hero lay.

Policemen from many of the surrounding towns were waiting to escort a fallen soldier.

Citizens were still decorating with flags.

Jordan holds tightly to his flag.

Old Glory stands guard.
The fire station had a truck and flag in place for the funeral procession to drive beneath.

Waiting for a hero.

The first group of policemen drives past to secure the other end of the route.  
People start to gather.

The crowd gets a bit larger.

A lone, older gentlemen stands beside the firetruck, flag in hand.

Police and fire fighters passed out flags to the waiting crowd.

The crowd gets larger, waiting for Glen...

The presence of all of these people means more than they will ever know to the family who drives past them.

It was cloudy and overcast as the day started, but by the time the funeral procession drove under the flag, the sun was peeking out.

While we waited, I noticed these children running and playing in the grass.  Thanks to soldiers like, Glen Doherty, they are FREE to run and play.

Almost time...

Craning to see...and Molly getting ready to video tape.

And here he comes...
The crowd went totally silent as he passed by.

Notice the uniformed men saluting.
And the older man in the red hat...he is starting his salute as well.

It's difficult to see...but gun, helmet and boots are on the back of this truck.
The kids watching were from a local school.

Policemen bring up the rear of the procession.

Glen Doherty...thank you for your service.  We are grateful.

Here is video Molly took of a short portion of the procession.  If you get the blog via email, you can view the video on YouTube.  Click here...Glen Doherty Funeral Procession

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Miss Molly

I need to take a break from my distress at what is happening to our embassies overseas to update the blog.  Let's just say that I was unprepared for the huge punch in the gut I felt when I saw our embassies being breached, our flag torn down and then to hear that four Americans had been killed.
Praying for the whole ugly situation.

Miss Molly informed me the other day that there are very few pictures of her on the blog lately.  Bless her heart...I felt awful.
Jillian has often informed me that she does not want to be on the blog, so I had no idea Molly wanted to be mentioned.
So the other evening we did a little photo shoot.

This image was her favorite.  It's artsy...something Molly appreciates.  I thought it was so cute that she picked this one.

Unfortunately, she wore a white shirt which can--and did--cause all kinds of bothersome issues with lighting. Oh well.

These two images are the same--just processed differently.  We can't decide if we like them better was a clean edit or a vintage wash.  What do you think?

This image is one of my favorites of the night.  She wasn't really expecting me to be shooting and it just says, "Molly" to me.  Again...clean edit or vintage??  Hmmm.....

Kinda preferring the clean edit in this one.

Sweet Molly!  You are such a blessing to our family.  I'm so glad I get to be your mom.  And will you please stop growing up so fast?

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Kindergarten Woes

It's Jake's second week of Kindergarten.

A note was sent home from the teacher stating that the entire class 'had trouble following the rules' today.

Surely Jake could not have been part of the disturbance.

I asked him if he had been naughty.
"Yes," he nodded.
"What did you do?"
"A kid jumped on top of me."
"Really?  He jumped on you for no reason?"
"Yes," he said, looking pitiful."Then I couldn't get to my seat."
"OK...what happened?"
"I was trying to get to my seat."
"Well, did the kid jump on your back?"

Sigh.  I can see I am going to have to dig for information in a most exhausting way.

"Were you walking to your seat when he jumped on you?"
Getting exasperated.  "Well, what were you doing?"
Says tearfully, "I was laying on the floor like I was swimming, 'cause I was swimming to my seat."

It took great restraint not to bust out laughing.

We had a little talk about how we are not supposed to swim to our seats in the classroom but are to walk properly.

It was really, really hard not to laugh while we were having that conversation.

Friday, September 07, 2012

A Few More Vacation Pics

Happy Birthday to you, Dad!

He's always been able to blow out those candles in one shot.

This picture is blurry but I love it anyway.  SaraGrace ran up and kissed my dad for no reason other than that she loves him.

Dad had to use this scooter to be able to join us for a day at the zoo.  We teased him all day about terrorizing everyone with his driving.
The Navy was there that day handing out free sunglasses--hence most of the kids sporting some pretty cool shades.
"Lookey, lookey....I got a wide mouth bass."

I caught a catfish that was huge--even bigger than this one.  I couldn't reel it in and Jeff came to help but just as we got it up to the edge of the pond---SNAP--it broke free.  
Not that I really wanted to get it off the hook anyway...
But the thing could have at LEAST posed for a picture.
How rude.

My brother, Mark, also had a birthday while we were there and got a rousing, "Happy Birthday, to you," serenade from his kids and lots of little nieces and nephews.

We had such a nice time with everyone.  It was such a blessing to be able to be with both our families.

A few days after returning home, my dad got the news that his prostate cancer has spread and is now in some tissues near his bladder and in one lymph node.  We are grappling with this and waiting for my dad to see the oncologist next week so that we know more details about what treatment he will be getting.  We are very thankful for God's comfort.  And if you want to pray...we would be grateful.

My Mom and Dad.  I heart them.

Wednesday, September 05, 2012

Vacations are Exhausting!

Sometimes I wonder if all the preparation and aftermath is even worth taking a vacation.  ha.
I now need a vacation from laundry.
The laundry mountain is now down to a manageable hill, so I thought I should post some vacation pictures before I forget.

After we spent some time at my parents house, we drove another 8 hours to Jeff's parents.  We spent  a few days with them and had a wonderful time!  One of the hard things about living in New England is being so far away from family.

Having fun with Grandma and Grandpa's cool  garden wagon.

Mom made us pose...that's why we look annoyed.

Hugs with Grandma and Grandpa

Having a blast playing with Roly-poly bugs and building them a little house out of sticks and grass.  Only SaraGrace would come up with something like that!

Riding the tractor around the HUGE yard!

COUSINS!!!!  So fun to spend time with them...especially ones that can carry kids on their backs!

Jeff, with his parents and sisters.  His brothers weren't able to be in this picture--maybe next time!

We took a drive to Amana for some yummy food and shopping.  They have a lot of cute little shops that we girls enjoyed very much.