Monday, December 5, 2011

My Mom

 Even though I don't show it very well,
Even though I constantly mess up,
Constantly fall,
Constantly stumble over my words and mistakenly hurt her,
I love my mom.

She is a beautiful woman, 
Full of strength,
Full of life,
Full of love and hope and joy.
I love my mom.

I have watched her as our family has gone through hard times -
I have watched as she doesn't give up,
How she always fights for her family.
I have watched as she works herself until she is exhausted so that she can put another meal on the table.
I have watched her do five loads of laundry a day,
I have seen how she teaches the small children,
How she talks with us older children,
I have watched as she pours out her heart for us.
I love my mom.

I have watched while she hurts -
Whether physically or emotionally.
I have watched as she has cared for a family of eleven and I have watched as she cares for two elderly parents.
I have watched as she is in pain from a broken vertebrae and yet she keeps going, keeps working, keeps providing, keeps loving.
I have watched, shamed, as I hurt her through something I did, something I said, 
And I have watched as she always forgives me, always loves me, always accepts me.
And through all of this,
As I have watched,
I have realized
I love my mom.

And just how much she loves me.

I realize just how much I value her friendship, just how much I need her in my life. 
I realize just how much I love her.
When I speak to her,
I can never seem to find the words to say it all.
I can never find the words that will express my thoughts, 
the words that will tell her just how much I love her and value her and admire her 
and just how much I hurt when she hurts, how much more it hurts when I realize that I've hurt her.

I love you, mom, and I couldn't imagine my life without you.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

For my penpal

Everyone else can just ignore this post. ;)

While writing an email to my pen-pal, I realized that all the pictures that I wanted to send would probably end up crashing my email if I attempted to send all of them.

So, here you go, my pen-pal: a blog post just for you.

Clementine as a baby (An older picture... she's turned completely black now.)

Puff as a baby

Julia with Puff

Clementine and Puff




Ben and Sam

Sam, Josiah and Ben

Me and Sam                    

Me and Julia


One of the only pictures I have of Nick - since he never lets me take pictures of him.
(That's my wallet in his pocket - hence the heart.)

And these are how all of my pictures of Jake turn out:

 Mom and Gabriel                             Mom, Ben and Gabriel

 Dad and Gabriel

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Grandpa's 87th Birthday

What do we do for Grandpa's 87th birthday?

Well, we head down to our grandparents property down in rural Southern Illinois,

which was lovingly dubbed 'Neverrest Farm' by my mom when she was a kid.

We pile ten of us into our white, fifteen-passenger van to make the hour plus drive,

having made sure that everyone has used the restroom and has shoes and socks on.

Once we get down there, everyone jumps out of the van and breathes in the cool, clean air -

It feels so good to be away from a town or a city.

What do we do then?
We fish.

There's a pond located on the property, with catfish swimming in the depths.

The little kids loved it...

  They caught quite a few fish over the course of the day...

...As well as a toad, which they named 'Howard'.

And then, we chopped down trees.


Chopped down trees?

Yes. We chopped down trees.

Every year, our relatives from Georgia drive up for Grandpa's birthday.

They don't get to come up a lot,

So they take advantage of the situation and use it to get work done.

Happy birthday, Grandpa. We love you. :)