And A Little of June

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June, in all its glory, is a blissful month for many reasons. Warmth, sunshine, greenery, no school, water time, family time, birthdays, longest days of the year, no snow, fresh veggies, strawberries, raspberries, ball games, and a million blades of grass to mow. I won’t list all mine, make your own list of loveliness.

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Amazingly, they have become friends. He is more gentle with her than any of us. Not amazing at all is the fact that my relationship with him is still a little rocky. Days when he plays with the kids and they love it, I’m all cool with having him outside my door. Other days when I find half of the front porch chewed up in the driveway, I am not cool at all.

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As far as weddings go, this one was fun. I’ll now suggest a fun golf course with carts to any bride, so long as the men leave the clubs at home.

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We have formed our own little biker gang and we all ride together. Grandma’s lawn usually receives top-notch care until we get started, after that it just kind of looks like a race track. There are a few rules to the riding and so far everyone has stayed safe. The biggest casualty is running out of gas and having to walk back to the house.

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This is the spot where memories are made. There were sleepovers, fires, marshmallows, hotdogs, bike rides, stories, more stories, and lots of laughter and fun. Years from now I hope this little gang will look back and say, “Remember one time at the cabin when…”
My siblings and I grew up with a cabin and pond farther back in the field and we have lots of good memories playing there.  Although Tristan never lived to see this cabin, he is very much a part of us when we are there. Invariably when the kids all pile in for a sleepover and I am trying to get them to settle down, one will say, “Tell us stories, stories about Tris.” and so I do. We take walks down memory’s lane and recall all the things we did when I was a kid. My memories come alive for them and he lives on in them through me. Tell your children your stories, keep the memories alive.

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I do believe she wouldn’t mind having more than one birthday a year so she could dream up and create another cake. She spent the entire day doing what she loves, stirring around in the kitchen.

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Only go camping on the hottest weekend of the year if you have a huge fan!

There are times in a person’s life when events unfold that directly affect them, yet it is not their story to tell. Such is the case in my life right now. I have not told you, simply because it was not my story to tell.

Since Tristan’s death, you have followed along with my life and the journey of grief I have been on. What you are not partial to is the rest of my family and their journey, their story is not my story to share.

In 2015 our family lost a member, this year we gained a new one. It was a bittersweet day in June when Lisa married Laverne. The mixture of emotions is something that you cannot explain. There were tears for the past and what all we have been through, yet there were also smiles and joy for the present and the future. We are happy for them and we welcome Laverne into our family.

Our grieving is not over just because of these changes. Grieving changes along with you and hangs around for the rest of your life. In some ways the weekend was hard, we missed Tris so very much, yet we can also say the weekend was good.

Through all this, all my mind continually went back to a song I heard about God writing my story. “Is there room in my heart for God to write His story?” Am I willing to allow Him to orchestrate my life in a way so my story will bring Him glory?

Life may not turn out exactly as I had planned, but if I allow God to be the author of my story, life will turn out exactly as He has planned.

Lisa’s Wedding

If you know Kennedy well at all, you know without a doubt that she is not a friendly child. She has never been outgoing, talking to someone or even smiling at them is a struggle for her. There are a lot of people who talk to her and try to get a word or even a smile out of her, but she gives up nothing.

Some people say, “Just make her do it.” Well be my guest to come and try, trust me when I say I have talked, begged, pleaded, bribed, tried. Other people say, “Just let her be herself.” and so I have. I finally gave up trying, in hopes that she’ll grow out it one of these day and be friendly. I have seen some improvement in the last few months so (whispers) … maybe we’re getting somewhere.

There are a select few special people that she dearly loves. I have come to realize that she is an “all or nothing” kind of girl. When she likes you she will let you know, until then, keep trying in hopes of some day.

There is one person in particular that falls in place in her love-line, directly after her family. I’m not sure when this friendship began, possibly a few weeks after Kennedy was born,  maybe it was a few months later on a bus trip to AR, but whenever it happened, I do believe it’s lifelong. This special Lisa got married on Sat and Kennedy was her flower girl!

Was she ever thrilled!!

She got up early that morning, came over and stood beside my bed and I heard her whisper, “We’re getting married today!”

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Lisa had talked her up, telling her about her flowers and all kinds of good stuff. She couldn’t wait to get there Sat morning and see her bouquet. Of all mornings, it was in the 40’s and windy! I was completely ready for her to be uncooperative like she was at Melissa’s wedding, but she smiled like a champ, even with goosebumps.

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She claimed the day as “her wedding” too, never mind the fact there was a groom involved. He is a good guy, but he’s not on her list yet, try as he might. When she talked about the wedding, it was all about her and Lisa, as if Derek was not involved. We tried to change her mind and bring Derek into the picture when we discussed the wedding at home, but to no avail.

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She couldn’t wait to see Lisa “because we have matching dresses!”

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Pretty as a princess in her dress and sparkly shoes!

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In her mind, there is just nothing as good as an afternoon spent with Lisa. Those dates are long talked about before and after the fact.

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This is the look most people get from her.

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After her photos, she said she was hungry so we ran through the drive through and carefully ate without dripping ketchup on anything. I would have wanted to take the dress off while she ate, but when I tried it on the very first time, the zipper busted at the waist so it got super glued and sewn shut, making the dress a chore to get on and off.

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The wedding decor was fabulous!

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Too many people were trying to talk to her before the wedding and I could tell things were getting worse instead of better in her mind. I knew there was a nursery upstairs so I took her up and put her in there for some peace and quiet. She loved it away from the people and only had one suitor come visit while she played.

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At the last second she just couldn’t take that step forward and go down the aisle by herself, so Marita took her hand and they went together. When she came to sit with me after prayer, I asked her what happened. “I just couldn’t walk by myself!” she said.

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It’s a blurry cell phone photo, but she has Lisa by the chin telling her something!

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We all enjoyed this spot at the reception thanks to Lisa’s love of coffee.

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She brought her little bouquet home and put it in a vase with water. She tells me every day, “Lisa said be careful because it will break, so Dakota can’t touch it!”

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Sunday Morning when we got to church she ran over to Lisa’s Mom, whom she calls Grandma Sara, and said, “I want to go to the wedding again!” I don’t think Grandma Sara shared her sentiments.

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This was her reward for walking up the aisle.

Yesterday I looked at her and said, “Do you think Lisa is having fun on her honeymoon?
She thought for a bit and said, “Yeah… but what about me going too?

Ethan & Melissa

The long awaited wedding weekend finally came.
For the Bride and Groom and our kids
it was like, “How much longer do we have to wait?
It’s sooo long until the wedding.”
For the rest of us it was like,
“Oh my word, the wedding is next week?
I still have so much stuff to do!”
Ready or not, all at once it was here.

This post is going to be picture overload so get ready.
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All the decor going up.

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He thinks he’s really getting away with things.

After so long, the work starts getting to you …
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Thing 1, Thing 2 and Thing 3.

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Aunt Ruth made the cute little cake.

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Stringing the lights.

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The groom’s family having a pow wow.

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These ladies critiquing things and give their opinion.
They had some good ideas.

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They also make beautiful bouquets.

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We liked it but thought that ugly brown behind the table needed a face lift.

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So later that night we covered it and were much happier with the results.

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These two were more then ready for this day to come!

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“How do we do this now?”

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“Start about right here, but don’t go galloping down the aisle!”

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And the Father of the bride steps on the groom’s toes and whispers,
“You better take good care of her! I know where you live!”
(or not!) 🙂


And then suddenly day they have been waiting for is here.

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My sweet loving little Miss Thundercloud
was in the worst mood that morning.
At home, all was fine.
She was so excited about wearing her “wedding dress!”
We get there and she decides not to smile.
Nothing, nata, not a thing would make her smile.

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Josie and Jasmine were happy.

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We forced her to stand there,
but nothing would force a smile.

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“What do you think you’re doing reaching for my hand?
I’m here to be mad, not play!”
Ugh! This mom just wanted to bury her head in the sand.
No sand? The Olaf blanket will do!

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“Let’s be friends even if she won’t play with us!”

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Carrie was feeling a bit chilly
so Olaf to the rescue!

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Brooklyn, Reagan and Aunt Bethany

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Josie and her Mama

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Our wonderful Mama Carol.
She holds the family together and we all love her!

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A picture with dad? Sure.
A smile for the picture? No, thank you!

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“Hi, I’m Olaf and I like warm hugs!”
He was kept busy keeping everyone warm that morning.

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These 2 pretty ladies needed an escort and Mr D was happy to oblige.

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All of us!
And I really like us!

Little Miss Thundercloud was back there happily frowning away.
After this she was sent off with Lisa for a bit of a distraction.
It worked. No attention, something else to think about it
and sure enough, she cheered up.
The more you ask something of her,
the less likely she is to comply.

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Siblings of the bride.
The groom declares himself a bit special to be included in this photo.
We know. We agree.

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Nieces and nephews of the bride.

The Queen decided smiling and being happy was fun!
(Or her big sister may have bribed her with gum)

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Pretty ladies all in white.

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And smile she did, but only when she felt like it.
She’s sitting on my lap right now and she says,
“I not wook so gwouchy!”

  • Now taking applications to deal with a strong willed child.

… off to the wedding …

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We had no idea love was in the air!

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Cupcake goodness!

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Mr. Liam and his pretty Mama

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Although we are not related by blood, it has been said we look alike.

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pretty cousins

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They were ready to be off …
but I think their truck was too full for them.

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And they lived happily every after!

“Some people are worth melting for!”
-Olaf the snowman