Thursday, March 27, 2008

Simple Pleasures

No matter what kind of mood I'm in, these actual signs on my way to work make me smile EVERY morning!

Look closely at the paving signs. The funny thing is, these are legitimate businesses. They have shiny new trucks, really clean, new buildings and everything!! There's another funny one, but I didn't see it this morning, and I can't remember what it was... if I see it I'll post it another day.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

The World Was Not Worthy

It's been ages since I've wanted to blog. I keep thinking about it then pushing the thoughts aside. I know that a blog should be a place to come and vent, but I don't want that to be all this is. We've gone through such loss lately, that I feel like it's all I'm writing about. I wrestle within myself over the sorrow over losing them, and the rejoicing that they're in Heaven. I'll be honest. The rejoicing is taking it's time this time. Please don't read this with a critical eye for my writing. I'm just letting it all out. Maybe it will help me cope. My sentences are going to be misplaced with no clear flow. This is how grieving is, I think. It doesn't make sense, so why should my writing about it make sense?

Charity and I have been friends since before I can remember. We were in the same kindergarten class... and remained in the same class all the way through elementary school, middle school and high school. It's not how you're thinking. Our graduating class had 13 people. It's not like we all took different Science or English classes. Our class was together all day, every day for 13 years. We would have graduated together if she hadn't left the school, gotten married and started a family. We've been through so much together. I was there for each of her children's births (she has 4), except the last one. This is by far the hardest thing I've had to endure with a friend. I was in Budapest when I found out that her father died. It came as a complete shock. I felt like someone had punched me in the stomach, and that feeling really hasn't gone away since.

Mr. Jipson was "healthy as an ox." He looked like a movie star. Thick, wavy hair, strong features, big chest. Just healthy. They still don't know what happened. One of the pastors at his funeral quoted 2 Corinthians 5:8, "Absent from the body, present with the Lord." One minute, he was doing his thing - he was at a customer's house installing satellite - and the next minute he was gone. They don't know why. We don't know why. I can still hear his voice calling Charity "Punkin". He's always called her that. He had nick names for everyone. He called us, Charity's friends, "Kiddo". "You want anything, Kiddo? Can I get you somethin' Kiddo?" Such a sweetheart.

Charity's been through alot. She had a not-so-nice husband, to put it mildly. Her dad was her rock. Always there for her. She lived with him for a while when things got bad. Thank God, she got out of that relationship and has since married a real sweetheart who loves her. I've never seen her so happy. And then this. She wrote something about him, and they put it in the schedule at his funeral. I just keep seeing the words "Who am I going to call when I just need to talk to you, Dad?"

When my husband and I got married, our first house practically shared a backyard with Mr. Jipson. So many memories in that neighborhood! It was so strange to live there after the many years of traipsing through those woods with Charity, getting into trouble. I'd meet him in his yard while walking my dog and we'd chat for a while. He always had stories about his grand kids. When Jake was a baby, Charity and I would go hang out at his house and swim with the kids. We'd all eat ice cream together. He loved his grand kids so much! You know, last year he wanted to take them all to Disney World. He knew they couldn't afford it, so he bought a big van so he could drive them all down. I'm so glad they had a memory like that now.

I wrote in the card to her that I feel so selfish for thinking that I'm going to miss him. I just wish there was something I could do to take away her pain. It doesn't even make sense. None of it makes sense. I know that God's plan is perfect, it's just so hard to see it like this, when we can't SEE what's coming out of it. The whole time during the service I kept thinking it could have been my dad, or Amy's dad - we sat together at the service. Her dad is on his "final" tour in Iraq. He's a helicopter pilot. I keep thinking about him. I can't handle losing someone else. We never know when it could happen. It's so strange because the night I finally got through to Charity from over seas after finding out, I talked to her for a while. All I could think about when I hung up is that I've never looked forward to Heaven as I do now. No more of this pain, or fear. We're looking toward that time. He's already there. Maybe he's praying for comfort for his family. Love is stronger than death. Our pastor said today, we might feel the dying, but death? No. Death knocks on our door but we're already gone. Death can't find us.

They talk about the mansions that will be prepared for us in Heaven. Is that what we're looking forward to? As each day goes on, I think less and less about the mansions, and more and more about the people. And Jesus. The Lion and the Lamb. The glimpses I get here of Him. The love through His people - only a taste of what we'll see there. If we are like Him, some more so than others, then how wonderful He must be in all His glory! I think of Mr. Jipson. I think of my own dad, so Christ-like in my eyes, and I yearn to see Him. Without this pain and heartache. And to tell others about Him so they can see Him too - both here in this world, and the next.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Wordless Wednesday

I'm so glad it's Wednesday! I am finding it hard to find words to describe our trip to Budapest...
For those of you who are interested, click here for the rest of the pictures.

Monday, March 3, 2008

Lettuce in a sandwich?? EW!!

Overheard last night while Grandma was reading to my boys:

Grandma: "Yeah, it's a picnic! Mickey Mouse had a picnic!"

Owen: "What's dat?"

Grandma: "That's a sandwich, mmmmm, yummy - because they're having a picnic. See the picnic basket?"

Owen: "No, what's DAT?"

Grandma: "That's lettuce."

Jake: "That's not a sandwich - there's lettuce in it!"

Grandma: "Yeah, there's lettuce in the sandwich."

All three boys in unison: "Ewwwwwww" (I wish you could hear the intonation of this.)

Grandma: "No, YUMMY, lettuce in sandwiches is yummy!"

All boys in unison: "Ewwwwww"

Grandma (becoming insistent): "Don't be silly! Lettuce is good for you, we put lettuce in sandwiches. What do YOU put in your sandwich?"

Owen: Butter

Jake & Collin in unison: Peanut Butter & Jelly

Nice. I'm raising some health nuts over here. Like mother, like sons! :)

Note: I do like lettuce in my sandwiches. I guess I should offer my boys more of a variety of sandwiches, since they think there is no such sandwich other than pb&j.

Just Another Manic Monday

My day in a nutshell:

Leaving for Europe in TWO days.
Haven't packed.
Laundry up the wazoo.
Kids running wild and free, in different stages of undress.
Coming down with a cold.
Hubby sick and miserable.
Just spent $114 on various cold medicines from CVS for the trip - just in case.
Worried about leaving my kids with a babysitter for so long (Even I am ready to pull my hair out after a few days alone with them!!!)
Did I mention Hubby is miserable??

So. I shouldn't be on the computer. I should be packing!! And doing laundry!! And nursing husband back to health. And clothing my children... HEEEELLLLLP!!! (Does anyone else see the word "HELL" in there??)