Posted in Church, Family, Friends, Kids

Visits

Sunday after church (more on that below) we spur-of-the-moment had lunch with my sister and brother in law. Living in our old house, quite far from both church and even farther from my sister, would not have encouraged us to do that.

Yesterday the girls and I went over their “aunt’s” house. She’s such a great friend of our family that they call her Aunt Judy and her kids call me Aunt Tina.

Today my brother is coming (unless it rains) and taking the sighted kids (Ethan is at his summer program) to St. Peter’s Village where they will climb all over the rocks/boulders and have a great time (this is the girls and my brother from last month).

IMG_1948

Meanwhile, I’ll be having lunch with two moms of Catie’s friends that I’ve become friends with.

Friday we are heading to our old neighborhood and visiting with their close friends there.

Not having to care for a home and deal with selling sure makes visiting easy!

Regarding the abovementioned Sunday church thing, we visited a church for awhile where my sister attends. We liked it. Then the pastor went on a sabbatical. And then stepped down for stress reasons. Dealing with personal stuff in our lives, as well as the whole house stuff (kitchen last year, selling this year), we took a break. Now we are in a much different place and decided to try it out again. Last year, Ethan needed to wear over-the-hear-sound-blocking headphones to deal with the worship time. This year, he was completely fine. It was WONDERFUL. In some ways (TRAINS!), his autism is somewhat worse than it used to be, but I’m loving how he can handle doctor and dentist appointments, deal with life not going exactly how he expected (although we sometimes have to explain things more than once to get that through), and apparently, being able to ENJOY the worship time instead of withstand it!

Advertisements
Posted in Change, Church, Family, Holiday, Kitchen Reno

Christmas Time Is Here…

If you read that title in the Charlie Brown chorus singing it, you are not alone!

It’s a strange holiday season. We’re having ups and downs and weird weather and I’m left feeling a little muddled.

I have a beautiful, gorgeous perfect little brand new niece. She was born 2 weeks LATE on December 3rd. I got to hold her today. So little! So sweet! The newest-born baby I’ve held since my own. So very, very weird to look at my teenagers and shake my head at the fact that they, too, were once that small and sweet.

We visited for a third time a new church. While we were in a bit of a rush on the way out (to go and see aforementioned baby), it was still a lovely service. The pastor preached on Luke 2. Never, ever an easy passage simply because everyone (even those who only do church once or twice a year) has heard messages on it forEVER. How to put a new spin on it? He managed! I’m tentatively hopeful about this church–it feels like home already, and I like the people. They are SO friendly! We’re going to continue to visit for the time being, so that’s great.

On the not-so-great front, which I have been fairly silent about, my sister has breast cancer. Originally it was thought she could get a mastectomy and be done, but the pathology report was much more severe and now 12 weeks of chemo is in her future. As is her daughter’s wedding on April 8. My heart hurts for her, and I’m scared. I love my sister and don’t want this journey for her. She is facing it with grace and faith, but doesn’t really want to do it, either.

The kitchen planning continues. We received the first draft of the plan from the designers, but it had some errors in it (missing a soffit, forgot to figure in the new door), so I’m getting the 2nd draft tomorrow. What I saw that was correct I really liked. A LOT. We still have a lot of conversations and decisions about specifics ahead of us, but having the design in hand will be a good foundation.

In Southeastern PA, typically, it would be in the 30’s and 40’s now. Probably not snow, although on occasion it would be, but it’s heading towards winter and it will be feeling like it. Not this year, though. Today was 71 when we visited the baby in Philadelphia. Weird! It doesn’t FEEL like Christmas!

With the baby and my sister’s treatments going on, planning is up in the air. Now, any of you who have read me know, without a doubt, that I am not only Planner Extraordinaire, but also that I like things written down in pen on the calendar. Nothing is in pen. Not even in pencil. I have not one clue what is going on. And I’ve just got to suck it up and deal with it! ­čÖé

This week coming up is the beginning of the Great Fudge Making. This year (as was last) I’m making 12 pounds of fudge for gifts. Yes, 12 POUNDS. That’s 24 containers. Work, but so worth it!

Thanks for dropping by. I hope your holidays are peaceful, joyous and healthy.

Posted in Church, Kids, Parenting

Not Knowing the Right Answer

aka: Making it up every freaking day.

Ethan is autistic. Most of the time his blindness is the main disability I pay attention to, but there are times when the autism just wants to be the most important. Sunday was one of those days.

We left our old church the very tail end of 2012. Ethan mostly felt comfortable there and people were pretty good with him. Everyone was in elementary school, so it was no big deal if he was with the younger ones. Our “new church”, which doesn’t really fit into that category because we attend in fits and starts and when we feel like it or I feel guilty and then not at all for months, has been an interesting lesson in “I don’t know what I’m doing” with Ethan.

Bennett and Laura, who are, remember, the exact same age as Ethan, go to the middle school program. Catie has, until two days ago, attended the elementary school program. Ethan tagged along with her because I felt that it was a better fit. Even though he was in 7th grade and elementary ends at the end of the 5th. Whatever.

But now Catie is going into 6th and has “graduated” into the middle school program. All the kids in middle school start in the main area with the adults, do worship time with them and then make their way back to the youth group room. Ethan was somewhat overwhelmed by worship–his hands were over his ears and he just sat in his seat or reached out and held my hand. I walked him back to the youth room and left him sitting next to his sister. Mistake #1. Apparently the boys and girls voluntarily sit on opposite sides of the room. Mistake #2. Ethan doesn’t understand rhetorical questions and answers them. Mistake #3. Ethan doesn’t understand ┬áthat there are things we just DO NOT DO in public and put his hands down his shorts. Yay.

So, do we just keep him with us and have him listen to the sermon? Or go back to the elementary program where the kids are a LOT younger than him ┬ánow (he’s going into 8th)? Or try again the middle school program, where he embarrasses himself and the kids around him (and his siblings)? I have NO FREAKING IDEA. There is NO guidebook on this one. Suggestions from you, dear readers?

Posted in Bible Study, Christian, Church, Me

Relationship with a Spirit

You want real? Really Real? Here it is.

I grew up in the church. Went from the moment of conception onward. Sunday school, baptism, church choir, etc. Changed churches at 17 to worship with my friends (although stayed Baptist). Did the Sunday school thing some more, the youth group thing, and finally met God. Turned my life over to him. Don’t know if it was getting saved or┬árededication. I had always believed, but it had never made a difference. Grew. Grew like Crazy. Started dating Jim and changed churches to worship in his church. Non-denominational. Grew some more. Got married and started to try to get pregnant. After a lot of help, finally got pregnant. Had four children at 25 weeks, lost one, had one be blind and not eat, had two on oxygen, had one with a colostomy.

This was NOT THE PLAN. Life wasn’t perfect. God let us down. We didn’t get it–or Him–and turned away. Stopped going to church, stopped growing, stopped following, everything. Life was about survival.

2005, January. We knew, for whatever reason, that the kids should be in church. We went to a few different ones, but ended up at a lovely, nurturing sweet church. I sat in that pew, week after week, angry or just indifferent. God kept knocking. Finally made the decision of will, that regardless of how I felt, I believed God was a good God. I would set aside my feelings and follow Him again. I started praying, started not being so angry, started following.

2013. April. There is no closeness. There is no growth. There is a desire, oh, yes, a desire. But a complete lack of how to get that closeness. Bible study, when I try, is dryer than the Sahara. It’s just reading words on a page–filling in blanks in a book. The pastor on Sunday talked about how Jesus was the Way, the Truth and the Life. The life part was supposed to be abundant. Mine’s not. I haven’t admitted that openly, but there it is. I want it to be. Honestly I do. And I feel like, by this point in my life I should know how to do it, like if I follow the bullet points of pray, read my bible, listen to Christian music, then I’ll get there.

I miss God. I miss that joy, that growth, that abundance of a depth of relationship with God. Any suggestions, people?

Posted in Change, Church, Me

It’s Always Good to Make New Friends

(for those who don’t get it, that’s a reference to Disney’s Enchanted)

So….we’ve visited a new church for three weeks now. The original plan was to visit 3, maybe 4 churches and then settle down in one of them. But, as Jim put it:

1. This church is really (as in really, really, really close. Like 2 minutes maybe if I drive slowly)

2. The kids like the youth program/kids program.

3. The sermons are good.

4 The music is good (which, coming from where we came from, is actually pretty important)

5. We met two couples that we had previously attended church with two churches ago. Like, before kids. FRIENDS!

So, why, exactly, would we go visit any more churches?

So we’re not. We are going to stick with this one for the time being.

I was thinking about this fact this morning. Outside of three families (the two mentioned above and another one from our neighborhood), I really don’t know anyone there. They don’t know me. ┬áThey don’t know us. SO WEIRD!

We’d been at our previous church for 8 years. And the one before that, well, Jim was a teenager in, we dated there, got married there and were young married there. (part of the problem, as we weren’t allowed to grow up and be adults in the adults’ heads, but that’s water under the bridge by now!).

Now we are in our mid-40’s–FULLY GROWN UP, thankyouverymuch, with four kids. Jim’s been an elder, I’ve been a deacon, we’ve both been worship leaders. We’re coming into this church very, VERY differently from where we came into our previous church–mid-30’s, four very little ones, very disillusioned with God and only there because we knew the kids needed church. Our old church nurtured and loved us back to God. Now, obviously, things changed and we left and there’s definitely some hurt there. But it was also something I was ready to do. I wish they hadn’t made the decision they made, but it certainly made leaving a LOT easier.

So, all that said, it’s just interesting to me that I’m going to be meeting and making new friends with people who will know me as I am and where I am NOW. They won’t see that person I was 10 years ago. Well, sure, I’ll talk about it. But I’m in such a different place than I was, am a different person than I was. It’s just something that struck me.

Posted in Church, Health, Me

Sunny Sunday Morning

It’s 9:00 am on a sunny, Sunday morning. We’re staying home today. Having been so VERY involved at our old church, and quite honestly incredibly burned out, we’re just taking a break from organized religion. Jim is talking about the book of Proverbs with our family instead, which I LOVE.

I just started Victoza this morning, which is an injectible drug for my PCOS. I used to take Byetta a long time ago, but the side effects are just so bad. When I went off it I gained all the weight back that I had lost (and added more on as well!). Difficulty losing weight and always being hungry are side effects of the PCOS; I’m hoping for help with both.

One of my friends on Facebook is an avid cross-stitcher. Each day she takes a picture of what she has accomplished on her current project. It’s very inspiring (as I told her), because she works each day on it with measurable results. I have at least two or three cross stitch patterns here that I either have started and stopped or have never started at all. It’s humbling. This is the ONLY place where I am remotely crafty. The one I bought 2 or 3 years ago is this:

Isn’t it pretty? And it’s not even that difficult! So I’m saying here, for the record, that I’m going to work on it today. For, say, an hour. Just one hour. And we’ll see where I get.

I also want to take some time and work on my desk. It’s been a fairly busy week and the desk is definitely showing the lack of attention!

Enjoy your day of rest, however you chose to spend it.

Posted in Change, Church, House

It’s a New Year

Well duh. You knew that.

2013 is about 12 hours old as I type this. And already it is full of changes. Life-changing changes. Small changes. But CHANGES.

In the small changes category, I’m now typing from the new school room instead of the office. The next step in the room changeover. I’m more than slightly leery about being in the same room as four children’s desks and three other computers (and one Braille typewriter), but am willing to give it a go.

In the Life-changing category, Jim and I have chosen to look for a new church home. The reasons for this were varied, but suffice it to say it was just the right time to do so. It was somewhat heart-wrenching, as we have been at our old church for the past 8 years and have many dear friends. And no matter what anyone says, not seeing someone on a weekly basis eventually changes the friendship.

So we look forward to 2013 with open arms, ready to embrace where God leads us. Jim is no longer an elder, I am no longer a deacon or a church secretary. We aren’t the worship leaders. This leaves some very large voids. It also allows for ┬áhealing of some major burnout. Both of us agree that we will take some time to “sit in a pew” for a bit. It’s not in either of our makeups to do it for long, but I think it’s a good thing for a short time.

I hope and pray that 2013 has some good challenges and growth for us all.