Monday, May 13, 2013

Around Here

Clint and I have been dreading today. Today is the first time we are without the other since we lost Isaac. He had to go back to work, and I have to resume my duties as a wife, mother, and critter caretaker. 

So, today is the day we try to reach for some sort of normalcy and routine. In an effort to get there, I will give an update on the family. This was written before the stillbirth of Isaac, but afterwards, I set it back to draft so I could make some necessary changes.

Clint has been making car repairs and working to finish the upstairs bathroom. The bathroom was delayed when the hyperemesis gravidarum arrived with my pregnancy. He is still working on his college course work, but it is slow going with all of the responsibility he has on his shoulders. I try to encourage him to keep at it. He has been a constant presence and comfort to me since I lost the baby. 

Brandon (20) completed his coursework early because his last class was an online program that was self paced. He graduated with a 4.0 GPA!  He also has some of his certifications, but plans to get more. He tested for a well known corporation and tested very high in their math and reading abilities. 

Amanda (18) completed her hair and nail design school on Wednesday of last week at our encouragement. We can't limit all of the ways the stillbirth has affected our children, but have tried to minimize it. She knows cutting hair isn't what she wants to do full time, but is something she enjoys that will help her pay for college. She has also gained another life skill she can bless herself and others with for the rest of her life. It is hard to believe she is 18 and has a high school diploma and certificate. 

Brandon and Amanda started a part time business venture. In their first two weeks, they made $4,000. They tithed by giving $500 to a man who has terminal cancer and is trying to reach others for Christ through his ministry before he dies. Clint and I are very proud of their work ethic and their generosity.

Clint and I prescheduled a vacation for them as a graduation gift. With both of them continuing their education and working, life is going to drastically change for them. We wanted to give them some fun memories to carry in their hearts. They are having a BLAST! The trip is going so well, they decided to stay another day. Brandon took a quick computer repair job while there and earned $60 in about fifteen minutes. 

Joshua (13) has been immersed in learning about computers. Brandon has been a tremendous help in passing along what he knows. He has also been a tremendous help to me while I was on bed rest and now that I am recovering from the stillbirth. He has given me my meds and cooked meals. He's done laundry, fed all of the animals, watched little ones, cleaned house, etc. I am very impressed with his maturity and diligence. 

If all goes according to plan, Joshua starts high school next September. It is up to him, but he could graduate as early as 15 to 16 years old. Whenever Clint works on cars, equipment, plumbing, or electricity, he takes Joshua and Caleb along and teaches them while he works. 

In addition to homeschool coursework, Caleb (11) has been building, building, building, and more building. He has fixed cabinets, repaired broken drawers, put up shelves, fixed toys, hung pictures, and quite a bit more. Most of the household repairs, he will do without asking. He has made many changes in his and Joshua's room that has made the room more organized. I was buying him children's building kits, but he has surpassed all I can find. Now, I am trying to scrounge up wood for his use and hope to buy him a scroll saw to develop skills there. He has also been trying his hand at cooking and takes turns making meals. 

Bethany (9) has been helping Emily and Hannah with their school which has helped her mature in three ways. One, she has learned communication skills, specifically about how to give clear instructions of what needs to be accomplished. Two, she has learned about leadership and asserting authority. Three, she has gained confidence in herself. She is a cheerful helper in whatever I ask her to do and has been asking for more and more responsibility. Specifically, she wants more complex cooking lessons from me, and she wants Amanda to teach her about hair and nails. She has also been learning a few computer skills from Brandon. 

Emily (5) and Hannah (4) are more help in keeping their toys picked up. They are learning in homeschool and are at their grade levels. They are in love with their two new kittens and two new puppies. Then, there is Baby and Maggie, our two little dogs, who follow them faithfully and patiently put up with the doll clothes and hair brushing.

I will share about me tomorrow.