Having a new baby in the house encouarages me to reflect on the past... on fun times and hard times. Oren Paul also encourages me to focus on "the now."
It is really fun making memories with these four kids. Vance and I will celebrate our 15th wedding anniversary next month! It's been a good run.
When my mom passed away, Vance and I were anticipating a move to Boardman, Oregon. He had been hired for a start up operation there, working for L.T.I/Milky Way. We received word right before my mom died that we would be making that move. I had just graduated with my teaching degree and was loving subbing! We were sad to leave our friends and home, but knew this new work for Vance would be good. Before my mom died, this move seemed like a fun adventure. After my mom passed away, this move felt like something big, something lonely, a challenge that could be overwhelming.
We left a beautiful house that we had built. A house with a big kitchen, a big deck, on the lake... we moved to a much smaller, fixer upper in Boardman. I cooked more in that little, old kitchen than I ever had in our big kitchen in our brand new Moses Lake home. I learned that you certainly don't need fancy or new things to make great memories. We got some really precious time in that Boardman home with my brother Matt, my sister Lesha, my aunt Jill and our dear friends Lissa and Trav -- just to name a few. There was really nothing entertaining about Boardman. Boardman was about memories made out on our deck and yard, flood irrigating :), it was about good conversation, time invested in people. Life there was much more about people and very little about things. It was quite possibly the best thing we had ever done.
Lesha came to visit often. She made that boring 6 hour drive. I couldn't wait till her car pulled into our driveway. I remember her telling me that our mom's Woman's Day subscription was still being delivered to the house. She decided to bring the October issue with her and thought we might find a good recipe in it. Sure enough, there was a pork chop dish we decided to try. There was this magazine, addressed to Karen Zylstra. When mom purchased the subscription, she had no idea she wouldn't live that year to read it. Things like that seemed so strange to me.
I kept that magazine, I still have it. Our home has a lot of little special things like that. Vance is patient with me as I am such a saver. But, this magazine to me is kept for a few silly reasons. It reminds me of how healing the time with Lesha was when we were in Boardman. We talked a lot about our mom. We scrapbooked together, went for walks together, shopped in Hermiston together... we made funny videos, played cards on our deck, looked at mom's Woman's Day mags... This magazine is a reminder of that time period. The pork chop dish was a hit for years to come! In fact, I need to make that again, it has been two or three years since I have made it .
When Merit Henry was born, lots of family came to Boardman to meet him! It was such an exciting time! Lesha and Adie spent the week after his birth with us. Several others came to meet our new bundle. Back then, I had no idea how fast babies grow and how soaking up each moment is so important. Here I am soaking up a new baby boy ten years later, but now, I know.
I remember picking Natasha up from the airport in Tri-Cities (she lived in 29 Palms at the time) to have her come to our home for a few days to meet and spend time with Merit. She was pulling her rolling suitcase acrossed the airport and a baby toy, a gift for Merit, inside was playing music. I couldn't wait to have her conversation, laughter and fun in our quiet little house.
Oren Paul is a really sweet reminder of how precious life is. Oren makes it seem like all the pieces of the puzzle - those bitter and those sweet - are worth it. I am the mom I am because of all the pieces. We thought we were done after three children, but a dream, a very loving husband and God's plan (not to mention an expensive surgery! :) allowed us to end up with a much better, different, amazing outcome. A fourth child, a most adorable Oren Paul! I am a more relaxed, appreciative mom and a woman who has learned to trust God's plan and be very grateful for his blessing of family.
I feel very busy. And don't want to miss the little blessings of this "stage" of life! Willem and I quietly filled up Hazel's Hello Kitty PEZ dispenser when she was with Gramma Kris yesterday. The look of delight when she discovered candy in her dispenser was so cute! I love it when she sings "this little light of mine" with me. I love the way she talks to Oren. I love how Willem will play with Hazel, pretend with her, imagine with her. When we over hear his pretending, he claims he is JUST doing this for Hazel because SHE loves it. But I know better. ;) I love Merit's kind heart, I LOVE watching him as a baseball player. He is respectful, he has good work ethic, he has some God given natural ability. I love Oren's innocence, his cooing, his smiles (which I have to work hard to get!)
Thanks for letting me share my story. I can't wait to see how the rest unfolds.