Saturday, November 15, 2014

popping in…

Yes, I know.  It’s been FOREVER.  Lots has happened in the last 6 months.  In the last year!  And there are lots of changes ahead. One of the cool changes this year?  Emily graduated from Washington State University in May!  See?


The biggest change so far?  This:

Bridal Party & Family-0187

(l-r, back:  Tori, Jim, Jennifer, Hailey, Alec, Brent, Carol, Rod, Emily; front:  Ryan, Logan)

On what felt like the wettest June 28 ever, Hailey got married in a beautiful outdoor ceremony not far from here.  Alec, her husband, is an incredible young man, and we’re thrilled to have him as part of the family.    Some more pictures of the day

Hailey & Alec-0462Ceremony-0240


Bridal Party & Family-0055

The whole extended family:  Alec’s siblings +spouses, his dad, his granddad, and Hailey’s whole family.  What a crew!) 

It was an incredible, amazing day. It POURED…starting right after we decided to go ahead with the outdoor ceremony.  It rained all through the processional.  And the ceremony.  The sun came out when the pastor pronounced them husband and wife and gave Alec permission to kiss his bride.  A bonus?  There was a rainbow at that time.  SO cool—nothing quite like seeing God’s blessing right there. Also, it needs to be said that the day would simply not have come off without the outstanding help of my sister in law Cathy.  She was more than my right hand, and she was indispensable!  It is so cool to see your children take such a big step!  Hailey and Alec live about 5 or 6 miles from us.  Ironically, they live in an apartment right next door to the apartment Jim and I lived in when we were newlyweds. 

There are other big changes afoot in the Kassebaum house.  (No, not a grandbaby!)  We’re taking another journey, embarking on a new adventure.  This one doesn’t involve adoption, though.  Stay tuned for more details! 

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

It’s been forever

Yes, I know.  It’s been a long time since anything’s been posted.  And this will be short.  It’s just that this is far too good to pass up. 

2014-05-06 14.33.33

It’s an apt description of what’s going on in the lives of 2 little boys.  God is good.  He is repairing little hearts, slowly but surely.  This gives me hope to be patient while He works.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

so I’m a little slow

Last weekend, Jim and I were talking.  I shared that the messy situation in our world was causing me some stress, and that I was tired—mentally and emotionally tired.  He made an observation I’ve heard many times:  he asked me if I had truly given the issue to God.  He commented that if I had, it wouldn’t be bothering me.  In that moment, I was hit with a revelation…I have NEVER heard a woman make that statement!!

Now, before anyone says “duh!’, let me say that I’ve never had occasion to really ponder it.  I’m not typically a worrier, and I don’t generally get terribly stressed.  The goings-on of life the last 2 months have left me feeling overwhelmed.  Am I worried?  Not really.  Just overwhelmed.  Anyway, in that lightbulb moment, I remembered the words of a hysterically funny teacher on marriage.  Mark Gungor, who wrote a book called Laugh Your Way to a Better Marriage and teaches a seminar of the same name, describes this very thing.  We’ve read the book and done the seminar via DVD, and we love it! He talks about the differences between men’s and women’s brains.  It’s worth the time to watch.  (Go do it.  Now.  I’ll wait…)  Note that at the 8:00 minute mark, he describes IN DETAIL the exact male/female brain responses to stress we’re seeing. (It was worth the time, wasn’t it?  I bet you laughed! )

My brain is interconnected.  I can cook dinner, talk on the phone, and monitor the children all at the same time.  Most gals I know are able to do it.  Jim?  Nope.  He’s single-minded.  It’s not a problem…just a difference.  But once in a while, it can cause problems.  I finally found a picture that describes the differences accurately:

womens brain browser tabs

At our house, when one of the girls is on the web, there are multiple tabs open in a single browser.  When Jim uses the web, each site gets its’ own window.  Seriously.  (The little boys have trouble managing multiple tabs too.  I generally open a new window for them.)  Again, not a problem…just a difference.  But knowing the differences in brain make-up, I’m surprised that it took me SO. LONG. to figure out why the statement “If you’ve given it to God, you wouldn’t be thinking about it” has bothered me so much. 

So.  I try to not dump on Jim too much.  He can’t fix the problem (I know that) and he’s simply not wired to sit and listen without wanting/needing to fix.  Rather than having both of us frustrated, I keep much of it to myself.  When I NEED to talk, I ask him if he’s willing to listen.  He always will.  And you know what?  My revelation has enlightened both of us!  He’s MUCH more willing to listen since he knows it’s a processing function, and I much more readily understand that his brain simply isn’t wired to process stress verbally.

Compromise…it’s a good thing. 

Thursday, January 23, 2014

of birthdays, the stomach flu, and other ramblings

Yes, we ARE alive.  Truly.  The fall came upon us with a vengeance, and with it came the attempt to juggle more than I’d expected:  homeschooling two 3rd graders, working almost 20 hours/week, daily therapy + weekly speech therapy, ministry commitments at church, and for the first time, sports for the dynamic duo!  In the midst of all of it, something HAD to give, and I figured my family would prefer I maintain my sanity and let the blogging go.

The boys had a very 2013-09-28 11.30.31fun soccer season this past fall.  Not on the winningest team, they had fun and improved their skills greatly.  And, they made new friends.  We enjoyed the opportunity to see them involved, even if this season brought 2 of the  foulest soccer weather days we’ve ever encountered in our years as soccer parents.  The things we do for our kids!!

Logan turned 9 in October and is beginning to really blossom.  His math skills are taking off and his reading is coming along nicely.  It will take us much longer for him to be working at ‘grade level’ but what 2013-10-31 18.49.24we know (and have had confirmed by his team at Children’s) is that he is definitely in the right place doing the right things for now.  It is often a challenge to get through the complex learning issues, but we’re doing it.  Each victory is celebrated, that’s for sure!  Progress is slow, often painfully slow, but it is steady.  We are beginning to see cognitive leaps and are excited to see that continue.  As I tell him often, failure is NOT an option!

Ryan turned 9 on Monday.  It’s been a relatively easy go with him.  He’s flying through his schoolwork and knocking them dead on the things he enjoys.  Currently working in a late 4th grade math book, he’s excited to finish it and move to 5th grade math.  I am loving it because it’s honest, old-fashioned math, with an emphasis on mastery and application of computatio2013-12-12 10.28.17n skills rather than the currently vogue focus on deep thinking and self expression.  He gets it and can easily explain the why of it all, which comes from mastering each new lesson.  He frequently floors us with what he gets and what he’s able to apply from his lessons.  No worries here!  He’s still struggling at night and finding the dark to be scary.  Sunday night was the hardest I’ve ever seen with him:  he was sleepwalking in the living room, blanket and stuffed animal in hand, calling out, “Mommy!  Don’t leave me!  Don’t walk away from me!!  Don’t leave me here by myself!”  Heartbreakingly, he was not looking for this mommy.   Healing is slow, but God is faithful.  He will always have those scars, but hopefully someday they won’t haunt him like they do now.  I suspect part of his current struggle is related to some of the stuff going on around him, in the lives of some near and dear to us.  Sadly, we can’t protect him from everything, and this situation has been very trying for everyone.

The big guys are thriving!  It was wonderful to have everyone here for Thanksgiving AND Christmas.  Brent surprised us all by coming home for Thanksgiving with his darling puppy.  We enjoyed a great time around the table with Jim’s brothers, my parents, and a young couple from church daring enough to join 20+ near strangers for a holiday.  Christmas was quiet and low-key and totally enjoyable.  The only thing missing?  Snow!  Smile

So, we’re back at it.  Ryan had his first ever bout of the stoma2013-12-15 14.01.16ch flu last night so we’re playing it low-key today.  I’m trying desperately to catch up on a variety of things—Thursday is my only ‘free’ day all week.  Our new adventure for the winter is basketball.  Ryan and Logan are playing on a parks and rec team and enjoying Jim and Hailey as their coaches!  We also LOVE our gifts this year from my parents:  season tickets to UW Husky Women’s basketball.  Our sweet friend Katie plays on the team.  Logan was hysterical when he got his gift.  The tickets hadn’t come, so it was just a picture and a note.  He looked at it for a long time.  Then, barely able to contain his excitement he said, “Mom!  Look!! Grandma and Grandpa gave me Katie for my birthday!” 

And with that update, I’m headed back to see if I can salvage some school time today.  Tomorrow is speech therapy, our long drive adventure.  Takes a huge bite out of our school day.  And since Thursday’s the day we have to focus on getting things done, I’d better get to it.