It seems I have a bit of catching up to do to keep everything current here. Believe it or not I am still using up pictures that I took three months ago. Of course three months ago the biggest things going on my life were that we were gifted a passed~along beautiful old dresser and had rearranged our bedroom, plus the boys ripped up the old ugly orange shag carpeting in the hallway and stairwell. How things can change. To keep myself sane I have wrote mostly about grief and God's goodness, but other things have been happening around here as well that I need to get recorded. So this will be a catch-all post with some of the highlights of our otherwise normal life in no particular order.
These pictures are at least a month old of 10 happy kiddos in a cold ditch full of water. There is a reason why we do not live on a busy highway. Since Trent has died we have treasured relationships all the more. We have taken every excuse, or no excuse at all, to get together with friends and family just to be together. There were so many sweet mornings, afternoons, evenings, and days of fellowship. I have especially enjoyed the time spent with my sisters Brenda and Traci and their families. God is good to me. We have spent many days swapping kids back and forth and hugging, crying, and just being together. For the first two months after the accident there were maybe 5 days that we didn't have company or weren't gone somewhere. We tried hard to welcome every opportunity to minister to everyone who walked through our door and have thanked God for all those who have surrounded us at this time.
Rob is a professional cheese maker and found out in March that again he placed for three of his cheeses. In April the awards ceremony was held in LaCrosse, WI, which meant our family got to go on a little vacation. When the kids were younger we used to take the time to have a few days away for just the two of us. Three years ago, shortly after Micah came home from India, we started regularly taking the kids with us and they have been taking turns being Rob's date. This year it was my turn to go. I am not super big on fancy dinner parties, and am much more comfortable in my goat barn, but went to make Rob happy. And talking about Rob~ it has been amazing to watch God work in him. I stand back and am in awe of how God has chose to answer so many of my prayers since Trent's death. Do you ever have a time where you feel like you are just standing back watching God work and He allows you to connect the dots in a sense? And it is beyond any way that you could have comprehended accomplishing things? Just a few of those things that I can share here is the simple answer of God saving Trent and allowing him to dwell in heaven for eternity and using him in a mighty way. God gets all the glory, He gives us joy, and Trent is still in heaven. As if that wasn't enough God has gone on to answer our prayer to be used by Him and for Him, and especially in Rob. Since Trent has died Rob has been able to speak at several different events and to local youth groups, as well as many individuals, and has presented the gospel to more than a thousand people in the past two months, challenging them to consider where they are with God. I sit here dumbfounded to even write that. My husband. Wow God. Now if he had been a public speaker, or a talker at all, I might not have been so astounded. Just wow. One of the things holding us so tight together after Trent's death is our belief that nothing here on earth matters as much as a persons eternity and God has only united us deeper with more passion now.
In other exciting news, Micah lost his first tooth at the hotel.
Spring has sprung and with that the pond has once again opened up. The frogs are singing us a serenade every night to usher in the new season.
And with Spring comes Easter. Our first official holiday without Trent. Why, oh why, didn't we take Christmas pictures last year? On Saturday we went to the Easter Passion Play and watched the amazing story of the life, death and resurrection of our Savior with John and Brenda's family, then enjoyed church on Sunday morning. I am horrible on dates, on remembering birthdays and anniversaries, and don't get too much into holidays. But it was still the first one. For years we have hosted Easter lunch for my extended side of the family so we continued the tradition this year, trying to keep everything the same. Now I don't believe in the easter bunny, but I do love chocolate easter bunnies (call me a walking contradiction but if my $5 donation, okay $10 donation, to a pagan holiday causes you all to wag your finger at me, I'm sorry, I'm still gonna eat my chocolate bunny, and Trent's chocolate bunny, and enjoy every bite of it), so as per tradition we started out the day with hiding the easter baskets. We even hid one for Trent. And I was having a good day so didn't cry in front of anybody until lunch time.
Rather than the traditional ham sit down meal we fire up the grill and cook up some farm fresh steaks and burgers and enjoy potluck style, get in line first so you get a seat at the big table, kind of meal. After lunch we send the Dad's outside to hide plastic eggs and force all the children to sit on the stairwell and get their picture taken. This year we had 20 kids. Nothing makes me happier:)) It was Traci's idea to start the easter egg hunt years ago and the kids all love her for it and have come to expect it every year. After the easter egg hunt Grandma Lee got out the old pictures she had dug out of her closet and we laughed so hard that we nearly peed our pants! That is at the ones that weren't hidden or destroyed first. If those show up at Christmas time girls I won't be happy! Oh the torture of being a teen in the 80's with all that high hair and pictures to prove it. The uncles had ample time to pick on everybody and none of the kids were ready to leave by the end of the day. Guess it turned out to be a good first holiday.
Missed you kiddo! Trent, Easter 2009.