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

Saturday, April 09, 2005

Stephen is 18 - Our Busy Birthday Weekend!

It's been a busy couple of days! Our oldest child/son turned 18 yesterday, April 8th. It's hard to believe that I am a mom of an "adult" 18 year old "child". (Make sense?!?!?) Thursday night we went to Norm's parents (Noni & Papa) and had a wonderful home cooked dinner. Norm's mom always goes the extra mile when she makes a dinner - with lots of side dishes and several desserts to pick from.

Stephen opening present at grandparents.

The little ones had fun outside in Noni & Papa's playhouse and running all around and finding Noni's candy treats! :) It was a special time with them, but then again, we got that lump in our throats - Matthew would have had so much fun and would have LOVED all the food. Norm's parents have a small pool table and other games in their basement and Matthew always loved being competitive with his brothers with that. The kids mentioned that on the way home, how they had fun, but it was "different". But, we keep moving forward, making new memories.

Friday was Stephen's birthday. He still had to work at the horse stable in the morning. The little ones were SO excited for Stephen to get home. Melody (5) was carrying her stack of cards she made for him, and in tears at one point cuz she set them down "somewhere" and couldn't find them. After being located, she walked around again, and when Stephen got home she followed him outside and in the house until he would finally would look at it. He was a good brother and made a very big deal out of it! It worked out neat that our church had a "movie night" and we went to that in the evening.

This evening, Saturday, several of the kids from our church gave Stephen and his best friend, Ryan, who is 2 days younger, a surprise birthday party. (They have been friends since little babies & have grown up together). It was actually kept quiet even by our kids and they were totally surprised. Many times we get together with Ryan's family for the boy's birthdays, so this was not out of the norm, and we met at a restaurant, where there was quite a group and afterwards went bowling. The neat thing with the kids that our kids are with at church, is that even though they may call it a "youth group" it's the families and parents very involved in it. We went bowling with them, and the kids did not act at all like we were in the way, and really enjoyed themselves, having a good time. There was cake and little presents and the bowling alley even gave Stephen & Ryan a bowling pin with their names and birthday on it, and a gift certificate for some free bowling.

Stephen (forefront) & Ryan as 9 month old babies & Stephen (left) & Ryan at 18!

So, it's been a busy few days, little reminders of things being different, yet, still moving forward. I got Stephen's scrapbook photo album all updated and there's so many pictures of him and Matthew together. That's when that pang comes back a little harder for awhile.

We are very thankful for the 18 years God has blessed Stephen with and even more thankful that he spared him death in the accident in January. Yesterday there was another accident at that same exact intersection and 2 out of 3 people involved were killed. Stephen seems to be making good choices, involvd several Bible studies, has been a good testimony to kids in his automotive class, and keeps himself busy with some project (mainly cars & trucks). He's got good Christian friends and desires to be a godly man. Oh, he still gets some rebuking at times, but we have a LOT to be thankful for. He adores his little sisters especially and gives them a lot of attention.

So on to another week - another week of several dentist and ortho appointments. Jayson is still having major problems with his jaw since the accident, locking up for hours at a time. Some decisions further decisions will probably have to be made regarding this. Above all we would like to avoid jaw surgery. However the next step may be braces, and it will be a matter of convincing the automotive insurance that this is for his jaw and not a cosmetic "want".

And I cannot forget another highlight of the day! Jessica, Benjamin & Heather went fishing down the street from us at a stream. They love to do this. Benjamin caught 15 fish and Jessica caught her first one! She was pretty delighted!


Blogger Jeff H said...

Loni, you and Norm have obviously done a fantastic job raising Jayson. You're to be commended. And a fine, strapping lad he is!

And remember, the new memories you're making now won't cover up any of Matthew; instead, they'll all add to the growing body of family history of God's grace and love made manifest in your lives, individually and collectively.

And glad to see you let the girls fish... :-)

4/10/2005 12:21 PM  
Blogger Luke's Mom said...

Hi Loni,

Wish Stephen a belated Happy Birthday from our family. I know what you mean about not feeling old enough to have a 18 year old. It's hard for me to believe that Daniel is going to be 20 this summer.

Thank for sharing the pictures with us it's so good to see them. I continue to lift up your family in prayer.

Love in Christ,

4/12/2005 1:18 AM  
Anonymous JodiR said...

Thinking of you and keeping you in my prayers, Loni - as well as your husband and children. May God hold you safe and content under His Wings.

4/12/2005 4:54 PM  
Blogger Teena said...

Happy Birthday Stephen. Thanks for sharing with us~ also, tell Jessica I love the picture!!!

still praying and lifting you up.

in Him,
mom to 1/2 dozen

4/14/2005 10:47 PM  
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