Tuesday, April 03, 2018

March

How about a month update at one time?!  It's been a different, and also difficult month, with lots of change.

The first change was a big one, and actually started back in January--Bob started a new job, and it's not here.  We are finally going to be moving back to Ohio, where my parents live.  In some ways, this is so exciting, and in other ways, it is extremely sad and also overwhelming.  Since Bob has already started the job, he is actually already in Ohio during the week, coming home for weekends.  As he says, he took his week of long commutes here and now he does them all at one time on the weekends!  So that isn't much better, but fortunately it should be temporary.  I've been trying to go through things and declutter, but we have miles and miles to go before we are ready to move.  The house definitely looks like a family of 12 has lived here for almost 14 years.  I'm also trying to get a handle on what we will do for homeschooling next year, which is another overwhelming prospect.  Thankfully friends there have been giving me things to check into and people to contact, which has been very, very helpful.  We are trusting the Lord will lead us to the right things to get involved with!

Another very sad change was the passing of Bob's mom Ann. I am so glad we were all, including Nathan and Luke, able to see her and Bob's dad over Christmas.
 Here is a picture from October, when she celebrated her 91st birthday!
 Although she was 91 years old, she and Bob's dad have been in honestly amazing good health for people in their early 90's.  Until the end of February when she was taken to the hospital, they were living by themselves in the house Bob and his 5 siblings grew up in--the one with one bathroom which is on the second floor.  Obviously going up and down those stairs for so many years must have kept them young!  But then she got some kind of infection and had to be taken to the ER on Feb. 27.  The next night she actually had a heart attack, but they were able to get her breathing again and intubated her.  She was moved to a rehab center a few days later, and we thought she was improving.  For the past 3 weekends Bob and his siblings have been visiting her, which was really good, but added even extra driving for Bob, as he fit in those visits, plus trying to see us.

Then, sadly, last week she slept a lot more and just seemed weaker, and then she peacefully passed away on Tuesday, March 20, just a month before her and Frank's 70th wedding anniversary (April 17).  There was a lovely funeral service and mass for her yesterday that Bob, Luke, and I were able to attend.  The timing worked out with Luke flying home for spring break on Friday night, so he drove up with us early Saturday morning.  It was really nice to spend the time with him, and also for him to be able to see his cousins, many of which are his same age.  We ended up leaving the younger kids home with Caleb.  Since we left at 5:00 AM, we knew it would just be a really long day for them, and we wanted to be able to focus on everyone there, not worry about them throwing a temper tantrum or being uncooperative at a bad time.  I think it was the right decision.  We were able to visit with family without interruptions, and the kids here at home took it upon themselves to thoroughly clean the main floor of the house and their rooms.  It took them 5 hours, and the end result looked like the cleaning ladies had been here!  What a huge gift!  We thought we were walking back into the wrong house when we got home!

What else has been going on this month . . . Anna and Grace are running track this year, and so practices have started.  So far they prefer cross country, but they haven't actually had a meet yet, so that opinion might change.  I ran track in high school, and I always thought track meets were really fun!
 Also, Caleb got his driver's license on March 17!  He was eligible to get it after Feb. 8, but we were in Germany, and when we got back, it took me a few weeks to get him scheduled for the last thing, his 14 hours of behind-the-wheel training.  But finally I got my act together, and he was able to finish up everything.  We are SO excited to have another driver again!  So far Caleb has taken the girls to track practice, and gone to McDonalds with Jonathan.  He also plotted with Anna and Grace to buy donuts Friday morning, March 23, which were very well-received here!  I am definitely looking forward to him being able to drive himself and Jonathan to CAP meetings.
 It also snowed for really the first time this entire winter on Wednesday, March 21.  It's hard to believe this will be the last time we enjoy this beautiful view off our back deck!  The kids played outside all afternoon, making a snow fort at the end of the street and sledding down the hill a zillion times.  Then we broke out the hot chocolate machine.


 Micah, Drew, and Verity were so thrilled with the snow that they even went back outside after dinner onto the deck for a little more playtime, since we knew it wouldn't last long!  They built a few small snowmen and threw a bunch of snowballs (it's all fun and games until someone comes in crying, lol).  I'm so glad we had at least one snow this winter!

We celebrated Anna's 12th birthday on Wednesday, March 28, with not one, but two cakes!  She made the carrot cake herself.  We had the McC's over for her birthday dinner, which was pulled pork sliders, but we didn't open presents until Friday.  Nathan drove in for the weekend that day, so we were all together, which was so fun!
On Thursday, March 29, we had this big dead oak tree in our back yard cut down.  I was so worried about it a few weeks ago when we had a big windstorm one night.  I was outside Thursday afternoon checking the mail when a truck drove up and some guy asked if we wanted to have the dead tree cut down.  Fortunately Bob was home to talk to them, because he did computer training all week and was able to do it here and not in Ohio.  So they agreed on terms, and the tree came down.  Hallelujah!  I was so happy and relieved!  When I took the picture, the guy had already cut off higher parts.  We enjoyed watching the show from our family room windows!  The tree was pretty tall, and I was so worried it was going to crash into our house--or one of the neighbors.  We had a fire in our fire pit Friday night, but we could conceivably have a fire every night for years before burning it all up.  We used the 4 large pieces from the trunk to make benches around the fire pit.  And the kids are happy to have a stump to play on!

So that was March, in a nutshell. A sad month, but also good memories in there too.

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