Location: MICHIGAN, United States

Thank you for stopping by. It's my hope you find glimpses of my Savior interwoven thru my writings. I am the wife to one husband for over 25 years, a blessed mama to a dozen children, yes each born from me ~ two of which see Jesus face to face & ten at home, all of us yearning to see Jesus someday. We have been home educating for over 18 years with . . . well, another 15 years to go (the youngest is 3, the oldest 23!) I have walked through rejection, to continually learning I am CALLED, LOVED and forever KEPT by God - never, ever to be rejected by Jesus! (Jude 1:1) I've walked through deep sorrow to find that joy does come again, though the night may be long; I've witnessed God orchestrating miracles with my children still beyond my comprehension, & I am seeing new love forming as we begin a new road of older children finding life mates. My life has and is a journey, from the deepest, almost rock bottom pit, to stumbling through my faith and looking towards the ultimate climax of everlasting life in heaven. Will you be joining me here and there? ~ Loni

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Our scare & update (LONG!)

I was updating this blog early this afternoon, when the children came running in to say there is a man here from FIA - which is Family Independance Agency (social services). It took us by quite a surprise, got all the children in the house and Norm & I went outside and talked with him. To make a long story short, he had to investigate since there was a death in our home, and make sure the children were getting care - as far as counseling or having someone available because of Matthew's death. The man was very kind, and found out after talking with him a definite Christian, and reassured us that when he walked out the door it was a closed case. At first he wanted to see the whole house and interview the children individually, which we were very concerned about, but after talking to us for awhile he did not feel that was necessary, and mainly just greeted each child (with everyone around) & took a quick walk through out house. He kept assuring us that everything was ok, and and nothing was alarming to him, and we had nothing to worry about. He also assured us of what we have been doing, in being so available to our children in talking with them, and even with Norm being home, though he knows it would be hard finacially, what good that would be for the children. He said in our case he could see secular counseling would not be to our advantage, and seemed to appreciate the repor we have with our pastor and how available he is to us. During this conversation, I was able to get ahold of our pastor who did come quickly and that was helpful. By law, we knew we did not HAVE to let him in or see the children, unless he had a warrant, but being he was very kind, understanding we were "okay" with it. Both Norm and I sensed that had we blocked him from seeing the children and the house, it could cause undo suspicions and result in this to be on-going and much harder to deal with. Both Norm and I felt, since this had to take place, God sent the right man to our home. I think it was good that he saw the interactions of our Pastor and our children, who have a great love and respect for him. Jessica has a special running joke with the Pastor and have a "sign language" for it, and he picked up on their little signals and laughed at it.

But, it was very unnerving, and did shake us up. "In everything give thanks" - and we are thankful that Norm was home, and that a Christian man did the interview, the children were not uptight and were their normal selves, and that our Pastor could be here. And tonight, our Pastor came over again, just to talk with us, read Scripture, pray with us, and help ease things a bit. Yes, we have a lot to be thankful for.

We did have a "funny" scare shortly after the FIA visit. We had to get some groceries, and stopped for a coffee. One of my close friends was there visiting with one of the workers at the coffee shoppe. We told them what happened, and as we are talking a police officer walks it, is looking at some papers, walks over to our table and says ."Is there a . . . "(pauses) then names someone else . .. "here". Both Norm and I froze, thinking he was going to say our name, and my friend did too! Whewwww . . . I think we are ok for now! :)

As far as a prayer request regarding this, pray that this is overwith and settled, but also again, Matthew's story can be used to prevent other families going through the same thing. This FIA man was interested in Matthew's memorial web page and with the many people and families he meets up with, he can share this, if so led to. On this note, a mom recently wrote to me that she read our webpage and then talked to her children about this, and found out her daughter was experimenting with the "breath play" and hopefully Matthew's story will scare her to stop her from this.

But here below is what I started earlier in the day, and will update you on the rest of our lives!

It's been almost a week since we updated, and have had numerous people asking how things are going and how we did over the Easter weekend. The weekend was pretty low-key, though we did make it to church for an early service, breakfast and the later service. The kids all looked nice in their new clothes. I said something about getting a "family" picture and severl of the children said they did not want to do it this year. There would be that very noticeable gap. I should have gotten some individual pictures of the children when they were doing something, but I guess I didn't have the heart to either.

Friday night we went to a Good Friday Service at our church, and Jessica really had a hard time with it, that I left halfway through with her, and we just stayed in the library, and was trying to distract her. Just certain things will touch one of us off. We are doing "better" but will the pain and tears ever go away? I talked to an older mom at church Sunday who lost her son years ago, and she also just lost her husband, and she said the pain of losing a child never goes away, because of so many lost dreams. She said it was harder losing her son than her husband, and the grief is very new with losing her husband.

How is Norms job hunting going? We keep sending out resumes, and we just don't hear anything back. Norm recently learned that many times one tool & die place has an agreement with another tool & die place not to hire people that used to work for the other and there appears to be quite an "agreement" with that. We are selling many of our "Y2K items" - and just sold a wind generator and Norm plans on selling some solar panels, so that is helping out. We will be starting back with selling puppies soon. We are praying someone will call us soon with a litter they'd like us to help them with, but in two weeks our own litter will be ready too (some black lab/collie mixes). Norm is getting geared up too for the small engine repair and has already gotten a couple of calls from repeat customers who want him to tune-up their lawnmowers for the new season.

Have you found a new van? No we have not found a van. We keep watching the newspaper, and ebay that are close by, but the right one has not been there. BUT, Stephen did get a new truck! He was all smiles and is very excited. It's just like his other truck, but there are engine problems in the new one, which is why he got a great deal on it. So, he is now working on removing the engine from his old truck and putting it in his "new" truck. His new truck is driveable, so once he gets the engine out, he will drive it to school, and then his teacher and class will help put it in. I am so thankful for these things that help keep him busy and motivated. He also is attending a Bible Study with other homeschoolers and really likes it and will talk often about the things they discussed. This Bible Study has really encouraged him to have his own devotions on a regular basis. Not too long ago I asked him why I keep finding his Bible with the cereal boxes! He's the first to get up, so as he is eating breakfast, he does his Bible reading, and so it's a reminder with his Bible by the cereal boxes. I am so thankful for "his" yearning for this, rather that us pushing him.

How is Stephen doing in his school? He is doing very well in his class. The automotive course he is taking is actually through a public school and he has seen a lot of crazy things. A week ago the school had a "lockdown" to search for drugs, and now they are putting in very high tech cameras. He stays very firm with his convictions, and the kids seem to respect him and know not to be swearing around him. This is a two year course and he (& us) are not sure if he will actually graduate this year, or go another year, to take the 2nd year. He is checking into an automotive class through a local community college, and is hopeful to get a good job, somewhat as an apprentice. If he can get a good job, then he probably will go for the automotive classes at the community college which are at night. He has a lot going for him, and so many decisions to make! Norm & I do think it would be best for him to graduate this year (and probably not til fall, as he has some homeschool courses to finish up), but we will see how God works out the details!

How are Jayson and Benjamin doing concerning going downstairs and are they having any nightmares about the accident? They are doing pretty good. They will go downstairs when Norm is working down there and it does not seem to bother them. The change already is pretty dramatic, so I am sure that helps. But, they still have not wanted to have their game table back down there, or spend time "playing" down there. Thankfully, they don't hesitate going down when we are working down there. They are doing well sleeping, and don't have nightmares, but do want music or a story tape on, and generally fall asleep with a light on, and want the window shades open for light too. That is fine with us if that is more comforting to them. They really "love" their new room, and we are confident this really helped them to "start over".

How are the boys doing since the truck accident? Overall, doing well. Stephen still will say his knees give him some pain. His jaw seems to be healed. I think he still tires more easily, which we were told with concussions, can last a good 6 months. Jayson is the one having the most problems since the accident, with his jaw locking up, sometimes 4 hours at a time and is getting more headaches when it locks. The car insurance is paying for his treatments for the dentist and orthodontist. Jayson got a bite plate that he is suppose to wear just about 24 hours - except for eating and he can have it off for church. This bite plate and treatment were almost $2,000. So far though, it does not seem to be working, and he still has a very loud click in his jaw (which you can easily hear across a room). The ortho wants him to try it for a few more weeks, and then we may have to consider braces if this bite plate does not work.

How is the remodeling going? We continue to plug away at this. Norm's brother came over yesterday and spent the whole day working with Norm, which has been great encouragement. It's just a LOT that has to be done, and I know Norm especially is tiring from doing it, and just wants it done. This remodeling of course was nothing we planned, yet HAS to be done, and gets wearing - it's not the normal excitement of a remodeling project full of dreams, but is a healing process, along with tears and reminders that seep through the wound at times. Right now he is working on the drop ceiling in the bathroom. Being we are having to do so much, we cannot see the finished project yet. Norm really wants to push things more to get it done, with wanting to get all set up again with the small engine repair, but knows too how we have to get this remodeling settled so we can get in the right bedrooms and try to get things more normalized.

How are you and Norm doing? How are you making ends meet? We are doing ok. We have found it's easy to be snippy with each other, and working through things more. I at the beginning had a harder time sleeping, and now Norm is dealing with some insomnia. I think a lot is on his mind - even with the details of the next step with the remodeling. As I mentioned above, right now we are making ends meet with Ebay and God has certainly supplied our needs and "wants". I personally get nervous about things, but then when a day like today happens, I know God is in control, and know "for now" He wants Norm to be home. I am thankful for those that are close to us, and understand the many emotions we are working with and are available to us.

Also one last question, how is your homeschooling going? I finally feel like we are getting back to a schedule and more accountability with it. The children have been "doing school" for over 6 weeks, but it's not been me pressuring, or really buckling down to get it ALL done. We also consider the learning they are doing with remodeling our "home economics" course, and they are learning a lot with that! But I just reworked their schedules, went through books, and have it all written down again for our goals and they know exactly what they have to do. We generally continue some of our courses through the summer (mainly math and reading) so they don't forget so much, and we will have to continue with this. They also have their personal goals of wanting to be where some of their homeschooled friends are with books, and want to have them finished.

We do seem to all be over the colds, but a 12 hour flu bug has seem to hit a couple of the children, and we are hopeful it does not go all the way around the family. Jessica had it first, getting sick in the middle of the night, and Heather followed the next night. Jessica, because of her heart problems, already seems frail to us, and when she gets sick, it's much harder on her. If she is not feeling a little spunkier by the end of the week, we will have her seen. She seems to be dealing with heartburn a lot, and just seems to young to have to have this problem.

Whew! I am done, and if you made it through this whole update, thank you for caring and reading all this. We so appreciate your prayers, and notes and encouragement. I will end here with a couple of the verses we read with our Pastor tonight.

Psalm 40:5,11, 16, 17

Many, O LORD my God, are the wonders which You have done, And Your thoughts toward us; There is none to compare with You. If I would declare and speak of them, They would be too numerous to count.

As for you, O LORD, you will not restrain your mercy from me;
your steadfast love and your faithfulness will ever preserve me!
But may all who seek you rejoice and be glad in you; may those who love your salvation say continually, "Great is the LORD!"
As for me, I am poor and needy, but the Lord takes thought for me.
You are my help and my deliverer; do not delay, O my God!


Blogger Luke's Mom said...

Hi Loni,

Thank you for the long update it was good to get all the news. I'm so glad that all turned out okay with the man from FIA. God is so good to send you a Christian man to do the investigation.

Today the Lord has brought you to mind often as I have been grieving over my little Lukie. I know that he is still with me but I miss the little Lukie that used to have smiles all the time and used to toddle around the house. I can't even begin to imagine the pain that you must feel when you think about Matthew. I know that God will bring comfort, but I also know that some days are harder than others.

I continue to pray that God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory. He knows the right job for Norm as I know you already know. I'm also praying that God will surround your home with a hedge of protection against any more illness that might try to come into your home. Specifically praying for Jessica to be healed completely and that her heart will work as though it is brand new.

I realize that this is long, I guess I wanted to match your update. May God richly bless you today and help you to find some joy amoung the pain that you are feeling.

Love in Christ,
Sue Searles

3/30/2005 3:20 PM  
Blogger Jeff H said...

Prayers for you. I will lift you up daily.

God is good all the time, and all the time God is good.

We are rich beyond measure, with the grace of his Son.

3/30/2005 10:13 PM  

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