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

Thursday, May 12, 2005

Just some ramblings . . .

It's been a busy few days, and hard to believe it will be Friday tomorrow! All of a sudden I feel like our lives are on fast forward. Our oldest son, Stephen, is graduating this year from homeschool. He has also been taking a course through a high school at their tech school - in automotive repair. He really likes it. Our local community college has just started an automotive course, and since we homeschool, we have not been looking into all the details of signing up for courses, and student grants & scholarships. Stephen also wants to take some welding classes. So, I spent a lot of time on the phone this afternoon between an admissions counselor and financial aid counselor. We had to fill out for grants for "two years" as he wants to start some classes this summer, so this is still part of the 2004-2005 year. Yikes! It's LOTS of paperwork (on-line). Then I had to go through all his homeschool books & grades and put everything together for transcripts. What a job! But, I think we got the balling rolling. Be praying for Stephen as he still has some decisions to make regarding actual classes and he would really like to work in an automotive repair shop, and one that is Christian owned, the man said he'd like to hire him, but at this time, does not have room for another guy, but still wanted him to fill out an application. We just pray he can be in a "cleaner" atmospher morally, than many shops are. Also, Stephen is taking two more state certification tests on Friday (please pray), which can help him towards his classes and getting advance credits.

While I was on the phone so long this afternoon, Bethany got "lost" and it was panic for about 15 minutes. She is a little stinker, and will get out of bed, and just LOVES the outdoors now. One of the girls put her down to bed, went outside, and she got out. I saw her, while I was on the phone, not realizing she was put down for her nap so when I got off the phone, I asked where she was. I was told she was sleeping - NOT! Several of the kids had gone for a hike through the woods by us, and she must have seen them far off, and followed, not being able to keep up. We started yelling and yelling for her. Norm went down to the road to make sure she wasn't toddling down the road, and thankfully she wasn't. Finally we could hear her little cries from far off, and she was rescued and brought home. It nerved me up. I think after all we have gone through, I can get into panic pretty easily. We also have an above ground pool, and I dread opening it. She is such a climber. The youngest two before her, they learned quick two springs in a row, after a "dunking" by mom, that this water is over their head, and stay out. But I can see Bethany as "forgetting" quickly. I have a friend who's boy drowned and was revived, and they have had a lot to go through in the past year. So, I've got to get my mind back on giving my children back to God and breathing easier with life.

Today Jayson was wearing one of Matthew's sweatshirts, and from a distance, it took me off guard - just that quick inhale of a split second - "there's Matthew". Stephen today also gave me a "Matthew's hug" where he just patted me - not really hugging. I right away said - "that was no hug - that was a Matthew hug"! It was funny how it reminded me of Matthew - and even saying it, did not bring the silence. There weren't tears with it, but that good reminder of him. Later I heard some of the kids talking about the nicknames Matthew gave them. It hasn't been low, low days, which I am thankful for, though I know there's still going to be the many ups and downs.

Matthew's gravestone should be finished sometime next week. Matthew's birthday is May 28th and we want to put it down on his birthday. A couple people since the funeral have asked about what they could do in memory of him, and another friend gave me a good idea with Memorial Bibles through the Gideons. He wanted a new Bible for Christmas, which we got and had his name engraved on it. It was buried with him. With the Gideons, they have a secure website for memorial Bible donations. The suggested donation is $5 per Bible. So, if that is something you want to do - it will be of eternal value and something I know Matthew would be honored with. If you want us to get a card to know that you have done this in memory of him, you can send it in care of our church to:

Mr. Norm Vander Stel
c/o Alton Bible Church
2780 Lincoln Lake Ave.
Lowell, MI 49331

Norm has been getting several small engine repair jobs almost daily, which has been a blessing. He's not even advertised yet - as we found last year, the advertising ate up so much of the $$. We've been without puppies though for almost two weeks. If you are just starting to read this, we have had a licensed pet shop for over 10 years, and take in pups and find homes for them. We don't have a hard time adopting out the pups - but the slow times are when no one calls us WITH puppies. So pray for puppies for us. I've had a lot of bracelet orders before Mother's Day and a few this week, which helps make ends meet too - and something I enjoy doing. Jayson (15) made me a beautiful bracelet for Mother's Day. I will have to put a picture up of it later. Norm also sent in another couple of resumes to tool & die shops, and it's again a "wait and see" thing.

We've been asked how the remodeling is going so many times. SLOW! With things picking up for Norm with repair jobs, and just "normal" family stuff, it's not been as much a priority, though our twin girls are VERY anxious for us to pick up some speed with it again, as 5 girls are in one room, and it's very tight and unmanageable clutter! It's so nice to be outside more, and have the children out there, but we need to get the remodeling done too.

I got an e-mail to a Wendy's Restaurant website - that said this weekend is FREE FROSTY WEEKEND! We might check it out! :)

Well, it's late, and I am looking forward to reading and getting some good sleep.


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