Sunday, January 31, 2010

This Little Light of Mine

I didn't sleep well at all last night... so many thoughts running through my head. And while spending time in a quiet house, awake while everyone else was sleeping, it gave me lots of time to pray. A couple of days ago someone shared on facebook "God is good ALL the time" -  reading those words felt strange. Within me I believe that, but I don't necessarily "feel" that these days. I know God is sovereign. He is unlimited in His extent and He has supreme power. He is in control and someday, all of the heartaches and unimaginable sadness will be explained. There are different seasons in our life. This is my season of being a mom, wife and sister. I think it is ok to seperate myself just a bit from the outside world. I want to have the energy to be a patient, loving wife, a devoted, fun, guiding mom and a supportive sister. At times when there is more of "me" I hope to build friendships and reach out more... but for now I think I know where my responsibilities lie. This morning I sang with my kids "This Little Light of Mine" -- I need to let that light for Jesus shine every day while raising our kids, it should shine in the parent pick up line at Merit's school, it needs to shine when I pick Will up from pre-school, at the grocery store, when I see other moms overwhelmed by the joys and challenges of raising little kids, at the occasional PTA meeting - you get the idea :) ...
My mind is constantly on Natasha, Reese and Lane and God is teaching me how to pray. Right after Case died, I had no words for prayer. The feeling was helpless and at times there was such despair... but again I can pray and I want so badly to be strong enough to support Natasha Reese and Lane when I can.
I'm sharing some of my favorite pictures taken in the last year of God's beauty.  And the one of the sweet couple was actually taken in 2006 of Natasha and Reese on Heckman Lake in Alaska. Pray that they can support eachother and be strong together.
I am overwhelmed by the support our family is feeling during this sad time. My dear friend Lissa is a huge blessing to our family, some friends traveled from Moses Lake to Lynden for Case's service, which meant so much and so many are praying!! Thank you...  

Thursday, January 28, 2010


This song was played at Case's funeral... it is really beautiful.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Praying Faith will get us Through

Case is in the arms of Jesus.... here is a poem to remind us of that... I am not sure of the author.

"Daddy please don't look so sad, momma please don't cry.

Cause I'm in the arms of Jesus, and he sings me lullabies.

Please try not to question God, don't think he is unkind.

Don't think he sent me to you and then changed his mind.

You see I'm a special child, I am needed up above.

I'm the special gift you gave Him, a product of your love.

I'll always be there with you, so watch the sky at night.

Look for the brightest star and know that's my halo's brilliant light.

You'll see me in the morning frost that mists your window pane.

That's me in the summer showers, I'll be dancing in the rain.

When you feel a gentle breeze from a gentle wind that blows.

Know that it's me planting a kiss upon your nose.

When you see a child playing and your heart feels a tug,

Don't be sad mommy, that's just me giving your heart a hug.

So daddy don't looks so sad and momma please don't cry.

I'm in the arms of Jesus and he sings me lullabies!

The Lord says "I will fulfill My purpose for you; because My love endures forever..." Psalm 138:8

We miss you and love you Case...

My sister Lesha wrote on her blog about Natasha and Case... it is so worth reading. will get you there...
I also wanted to share the picture of the chair that Natasha fed Case in every night -- Lesha took a picture of it when she was there in Coronado... I remember Natasha preparing that sweet baby boy's room... and anticipating the new baby with such love and excitement! Natasha, Reese and Lane were all so excited to add a 4th member to their family. And they have so many sweet memories with Case William! Even in just 5 1/2 months... he was so loved! I am still shocked that he was taken so soon...
Praying faith will get us through...

Saturday, January 23, 2010

These are days that we will never forget... days of hardship and sadness... days of  feeling supported and being supportive. The Lord is close to the broken hearted... and thankfully I believe Natasha and Reese feel that... many of us feel it.

Natasha and Reese were able to get through their baby boy's service with grace.
Many people prayed that Natasha and Reese would feel God's peace, the peace that surpasses our simple understanding. And we must continue to pray for that.

I found this past week in Lynden to be important. Supporting Natasha and Reese and spending time with my brothers and sisters and dad was crucial. Being with extended family and friends was a blessing. Our boys loved their time with Lane and with many other cousins! It makes me sad that my dad isn't faithful. Also, I look at people my age whose parents have or do encourage their children in their faith, I think that is a gift some are fortunate to have. Our mom offered us that enouragement when she was living.

Empathetic people blessed us... empathy is a quality only some have.... I am fortunate that many of Vance's family members are empathetic. We could feel their support and love as we did our best to comfort and support Natasha, Reese and Lane.

When Natasha is grocery shopping and sees a baby in a shopping cart, her heart will hurt. When she sees moms pushing strollers, her heart will hurt. When their family watches other families with two little boys it will remind them of what was and what could have been... their life will be filled with reminders of Case and with a longing for him. Tasha was getting ready to purchase fabric to make bibs and burp cloths right before he passed away and their family was looking forward to Case sitting up, they were loving his giggles and they were soaking up their life as a family of four.

There is a lot of emptiness.
There is a lot of hurt.
Thankfully there are also a lot of prayers being said.

Cousins together, enjoying eachotherMerit, Will, Kai and Lane Natasha and her supportive, fun friends! Come to Moses Lake girls!

Some pictures of the flowers for Case...

Monday, January 18, 2010

I am humbled by the strength I see in Natasha and Reese.
They are so strong for Lane, they are so beautiful as a family. A family that so misses that sweet baby boy.
A couple of evenings ago, I watched my dear sister hold our baby girl Hazel. Her smile was warm and gentle as her tears were flowing. What a natural, loving mom she is.
My nephew Lane also held Hazel and showed us all the "tricks" he knows....he is a pro with babies because he so loved holding and entertaining Case.
The slideshow that will be played at the funeral has so many beautiful pictures of Lane holding his sweet baby brother, of Reese being a gentle dad, of Natasha with a happiness on her face that I love.
I am humbled by the faith I see in Natasha.
As everyone else will get back to life in the coming weeks, Natasha and Reese will be in the fog and haze of all of this. Keep them on your hearts. God hears our prayers.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

At Thanksgiving, my brothers, sisters and our families and my dad and my Grandma Alma spent that day together in my dad's new shop. Our children (all eight cousins 7 and under) had a wonderful time playing, being together and loving life. We parents and the kids' uncles relished in the JOY of having everyone together. You can only imagine the joy this brought Grandpa Jim and the kids Great Grandma Alma. Later that night my Grandma Dorothy, aunts and cousin Jill and family came to see all and to meet sweet baby Case and baby Hazel. I told so many people after that day, "Life is good now. We are finally all happy and finding JOY again."
It took a long time to find a new "normal" after our mom died. A faithful, God seeking amazing woman left this world so suddenly after just 45 years here. I cried out to God wondering how he could possibly take this daughter, wife and mother from a family who needed her more than anyone but her family could ever imagine.
In the years to come there was some healing. Our broken hearts slowly began to repair. But what a slow process this is. Our dad's heart hardened toward God, we sisters tried to talk to a God who had allowed this to happen. I believe the most faithful one of us was Natasha. No, I believe the most faithful one of us IS Natasha. I remember Natasha reading her Bible in her bathroom each morning when I wasn't sure that that book was a part of my daily life.
Lesha and I have talked so much about how Natasha's faith is so strong. We admire that so much.
Did she stay strong in her faith so that someday she would be able to get through the death of her sweet baby?? I thought God would reward her for being His servant. I never fathomed HE would send her a trial so big, the worst pain any of us could ever know.
Isn't it sad too, that so often I told my friends and siblings what an amazing mother Natasha is, but why didn't I tell her more??
We spent both Thanksgiving and Christmas with Natasha, Reese, Lane and Case. I was so touched to see Reese being such a devoted, involved dad to baby Case. I think sometimes dads enjoy the older kids more and leave the responsibilities of a baby to the mom. But not Reese. He would swoop baby Case up every chance he got and love him and hold him.
Lane was a proud, fun big brother. Baby Case LOVED watching Lane.
Natasha's purpose and love is being a wonderful, God seeking mother. We talk every day, sometimes a couple of times, about being moms and wives and about the challenges and joys in life.
I need to be a friend and sister to Natasha in a whole new world. Her world has changed beyond my understanding.
The funeral will be Wednesday. We are all going to Lynden today and we will all be together tonight. I can't even imagine what that will feel like. PRAY. I can only beg you to PRAY. Pray that Reese and Natasha will grieve together. Pray that they will feel God's presence. Pray that huge decisions that will face them will not seem impossible. Pray that each day God will ease their terrible sadness.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Thursday, January 14, 2010

No greater loss

If ever a woman I knew whose heart was brave and true
It's my mother
If ever a woman I knew whose heart is brave, COURAGEOUS and true
It's my sister
God blesses us with children to raise, nurture and love
Natasha and Reese's baby was taken to go too soon to heaven above
If I can't see past the sadness
How can Reese and Natasha see past the sadness and pain
We can't even hope for understanding
with this tragedy there is nothing to gain
Natasha's purpose, love and passion is raising kid's God's way
I never ever thought He'd take a sweet five month old baby away
How can His plan be perfect
It certainly doesn't seem so today
As I sit in quiet sadness
I beg "Lord, teach me to pray."

My sister Natasha, her husband Reese and their
5 year old son Lane said goodbye to their beautiful baby boy
on January 12
I beg you to pray

My internet and email has been down for two days I hope it is up and running soon -- I won't be
able to respond to emails and comments --

Monday, January 11, 2010

C-R-A-Z-Y about these kids!

Friday, January 8, 2010

Boy on the run, new grin for Merit, cuddle baby

Willem asks me at least seven times a day if I want to race. We race to the car, we race from the car to the store, we race downstairs to do laundry... If we aren't racing, we are playing a game or pretending.
Yesterday he was a cat for at least half of the day.
Fruit snacks are energy treats for the cat. He has a kennel for when his behavior is out of control and he has amazing cat "super powers" This cat can vacuum, wash windows, bring me diapers and wipes for Hazel and deliver me snacks! I am good at this "cat game" I had tons of practice with my nieces Molly and Hannah when they were younger!
Merit's new grin! He looks so different without that front top tooth! I love, love, love listening to this super student read! His reading has really taken off.

Oh and a little wink for you from our Hazel!! Along with some cuddle pictures and smiles too! She is two and a half months and a doll!!
I must say this has been a tiring week. Willem was sick and had several coughing fits in the night a few nights ago. We took him to the Dr., got him what he needed and he is feeling a lot better now. Last night I was so wanting to lounge due to a lack of sleep I think, but there was a parent night at Merit's school and I felt I should attend. I am so glad I did. Vance stayed home with the kids and I, a bit reluctantly, headed to Merit's school.  It was a math night and the information and games that were shared with the parents who attended were so worthwhile and fun! The turnout was really poor which was a bummer  - but I was glad to be there and am thankful the district puts on these parent workshops. While Willem was sick, Hazel was as content as can be... but this morning she had a fussy morning. She is a content baby and when she has fussy days I am much "busier", but it makes me realize how fortunate we are that she is so happy the majority of the time!  Seeing her huge smiles and happy face this afternoon has felt so good. Also, I love it that my sis Natasha has a little baby too - we have many phone conversations bouncing parenting advice and thoughts off of one another. She doesn't seem to hold it against me that I can be a real ditz when I am lacking sleep either! Well, how is that for a bunch of random information on several subjects!?
It's FRIDAY! We get Vance and Merit home for the weekend -- yipeeeee!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Playing around with Smilebox...

Click to play this Smilebox slideshow: Thankful
Create your own slideshow - Powered by Smilebox
Make a Smilebox slideshow
I thought a smilebox slideshow would be fun... some of the same pics I have posted... but let me know if you can view it. I have gone into my blog a few times and twice it brought me into my slide show when I hit play but once it just brought me to the "make a smilebox" web page. Have a GREAT day!

Monday, January 4, 2010


We LOVE having a baby in the house. I want to soak up EVERY moment. I can't get wrapped up in feeling that time passes by too quickly. That is life and I have to ENJOY the NOW! I get frustrated occasionally that I am not more organized too. I think if I had a place for everything and less clutter we'd be better off. Today I cleaned our family room carpet... oh the dirt seemed even worse after I went over it once - then I cleaned it again and it looked quite a bit better. This was my big chore for the day... then the rest of the day was basic: making meals, cleaning up, nursing, changing diapers and playing with the kids. Hazel  is content to just lay down and watch the boys - but I love her in my arms~!
The Chief at the Dunes
We love cruising in this rig!


Merit lost one of his top front teeth and it has changed his look so much.

Merit -- our sweet, compassionate, smart first grader! What a good kid he is! Today Will and I didn't like saying goodbye to Christmas break and having to send Merit off to school. Willem is always up for a game; Guess Who, Memory, Candy Land, Apples to Apples and the list goes on! But I think his favorite "activity" is helping out with his baby sister and making sweet Hazel Jane smile. (He doesn't even mind wiping up spit up!:)
We enjoyed some sand dunes fun on Saturday. What a blast. And it was BEAUTIFUL out there.

Saturday, January 2, 2010


looking back at 2009
January - Natasha, Reese and Lane ring in the New Year with us before driving back to CA. snowy, fun, cozy days indoors --Willem turns 3. Vance vacations in Mexico with cousin Jason, my bro Matt, his dad, Blake, Uncle Jim and the list goes on.
February - We discover I am pregnant!!
March -Merit is loving kindergarten.
Will is a total handful. A three year old is tougher than a 2 year old in my opinion and March may have been our most challenging month with Willem. During this time I enjoyed a Beth Moore Bible study with a small group of incredible women!
April - spring break! YAY! I celebrate my birthday. We enjoy the boat races in Moses Lake and spend more time outside. Our niece Kendal is born!
May - school, spring, longer days, mom's growing belly... life is good! I am knee deep in college classes - wanting to keep my teaching cert. current.
June-  Merit graduates from kindergarten.Lissa, Trav and the girls visit (we meet Greta T for the first time!) We enjoy a weekend at Oma's lodge in Leavenworth with my family! My boys are patient as I spend MANY hours on the computer working on homework and typing essays.
July - Aquatic Center fun, hot days in Gramma Kris' pool -- lovin' summer weather and lazy days!
Cary, Nate and their beautiful four girls visit
Our nephew Case is born!
August - Jansen "reunion" at Mindy's -- Company Picnic~ What a blast~ and time with Papa and Gramma, Grandpa Jim and extended family
Our family of four enjoys the Ketchikan cabin with Vic, Carly and Kelcy.
Vance goes fishing in Alaska with Dan and Kraig.
September - Merit starts 1st grade! Will begins preschool! We fly to Lynden with Grandpa Vic. Vic,Vance and the boys go crabbing at Birch Bay with Brad. I enjoy some much needed time with my dear friend Lissa and my sis Lesha and kids~ I LOVE being pregnant and LOVE feeling the baby-to-be move, squirm and kick! God is so good!
October - our family loves watching Merit play soccer! We enjoy cheering him on at his games! We eagerly await the birth of our baby girl! I am induced on October 7th, but this little girl decides she is not ready to come. Merit celebrates his 7th birthday on the 14th! On October 21st Hazel Jane joins our family. What a JOY, what a blessing! Thank you Lord for sweet Hazel. 
November - Thanksgiving in Lynden! What an awesome time we had!! We are all soaking up Hazel Jane!
December - Vance celebrates his birthday. The kids look so forward to Christmas. Willem sings songs about Mary and baby Jesus from his carseat as we run errands, both boys do a wonderful job in their Christmas programs. Hazel is content and sweet.
Christmas is spent in Lynden. We see tons of family and our boys love catching up with their cousins.
We feel so blessed.

Happy New Year!

I'll list my resolutions -- you all can help hold me accountable! :)
1. ENJOY the NOW
2. rest, read and relax more
more reading my Bible, more relaxing on the couch with my children, more baby holding
3.bring EXERCISE back into my daily routine

I have lots of pics to post... maybe in a day or two. Hazel has been such a happy baby - for this I am soo thankful! The boys are CRAZY about her and help me with her so much. Christmas break has been so peaceful, I wish the boys had another week off! More soon, Michele