It is nearly 7:00 p.m. Monday evening, and we can finally see our living room floor! Plus, we discovered about an hour ago that we do, indeed, have a surface on our dining room table. Let me explain........
Saturday afternoon our family took a trip to Port Orchard where Ron and his sister Susan were waiting to gift our family with all sorts of treasures. Their father recently died, and they wanted to share some of his clothes and goods with us first before donating to neighborhood yard sales and such. We went, expecting to come home with an armful of shirts, some shoes that may or may not fit Dale, and a couple of music boxes for the girls. We came home with much, MUCH more!
Ron met us in the driveway with five peacock feathers for our kids. Genuine peacock feathers! He said they have a couple of peacocks that just showed up a few years back, and every Fourth of July his peacocks begin shedding. I wonder why?......... Anyway, our children were ecstatic over those feathers!!! Then, he invited us into the house where we met his sister, Susan---very nice lady. Ron and Susan told us to take anything we wanted, but you know how that sounds. I interpreted it to mean, "Just take a few things." No, they really meant, "Take anything you want!" They would have given us the dining table and chairs if we had needed them. Ron took my husband back into a bedroom; Chad emerged a short while later with, I think, three armfuls of shirts, two nice jackets, and some six pairs of shoes---all Dale's size. In fact, we had Dale sit down (dining room chair) and try on a pair of shoes to make sure, and they fit beautifully. Dale didn't take them off the rest of the day!
Meanwhile, Susan asked me, "Do you like books?" This was like asking a philatelist if he likes stamps. When I responded, "Yes!", Susan waved me toward the bookshelves where I found several books by favorite authors and some real treasures like Lloyd C. Douglas' The Robe and The Silver Chalice. I read these books during my senior year of high school; guess who snatched them up to read now? Amanda, who is entering her senior year of high school this fall. Great minds think alike, right? I brought home probably a dozen books, plus some great CDs. I told Susan, "Please let me know if we're taking too much," and she replied, "Oh, no, please take what you like." She and Ron were gracious, generous, and thoughtful the whole visit.
Then, Ron said, "Oh, there are some stuffed animals the kids might like to go through." So my five trailed after him with glee. Next thing I know, they are returning, huge smiles lighting up their faces, followed by a giant black garbage bag full of stuffed animals! I still can't believe Chad let them bring all those home. We told them, "You have to clean out your toy boxes in order to keep all those!" They got some really cute new cuddly friends, from six-year-old Emily all the way up to seventeen-year-old Amanda. Do you ever outgrow stuffed animals? Maybe guys do, but we girls are special. Or childish. I even got some new teddy bears to add to my collection---and I mean collection! I must have forty bears now, some just for fun and some more pricey. Chad didn't bring any special new animals home---no surprise!
Ron gave each of our kids a music box, plus a couple of extras. There's this really great commemorative statue of the firefighters at the base of the Twin Towers on 9/11; it plays our national anthem. Some of the boxes are wooden with the music box in the base, and some are more elaborate. Emily got a clown that plays "You are my Sunshine." Dale got a small pillow embroidered with fish on a line that plays "The Impossible Dream." (Catch the irony of that one?) Each one is special and appreciated............although there have been several threats of instant and painful repercussions if "you don't stop playing that right now!"
We picked up some helpful kitchen items and some nice decorative pieces, one of which is a beautiful lamp. As I told Susan, we had a lovely touch lamp which recently died. It simply refused to come on when you touched it. You could screw in and unscrew the bulb to get it to light, but that was difficult and sometimes painful. We tried different bulbs with no success. So the new lamp is as much a necessity as a decorative touch. (Pun!) By the time we all piled in our overloaded van, there were clothes hanging everywhere, boxes of stuff stacked in the back, and something on almost everyone's lap. We had brought our cooler because Ron said he was trying to get rid of some frozen items; we came home with several bags of veggies, TV dinners, and lots of hamburger patties. Dale was holding a box of books, Katie had some odd package on her lap, Amanda had clothes piled on her legs, and Ashley was wearing the lampshade! Should have taken a picture of that! What fun!
Then, after we waved goodbye to Ron and Susan, Chad drove into Port Orchard itself, all the way down to the waterfront. We parked and walked up and down that street, enjoying looking in the little shops and commenting on which ones looked like fun. Chad motioned to an empty storefront and mentioned that it would be kind of neat to run a small shop like that. Katie had just said the same thing to me, and we were in agreement on that. We stopped in a bakery and bought some day-old donuts that were still absolutely delicious. I wound up wrapping four half-eaten donuts and storing them in my purse for the trip home---yuck! The things a mother has to do! We walked down to the water and along the sidewalk there, just taking in the sights and sounds. This was good for the whole family---not just to be together, which it seems we rarely get to do, but also to be near a large body of water without feeling threatened. Amanda, Ashley, Emily, Chad, and I are not as affected by being near water as much as Katie and Dale are. Dale, though he doesn't really remember drowning, is unwilling to put himself in that position again, understandably. Katie doesn't want to relive that day any more than she has to, and being near water can bring on the memories. But Dale walked along with us just fine, not plagued by problems, and Katie said that this body of water didn't trigger any bad memories. In all, we had a pleasant family outing Saturday. I mean, going to see Ron and Susan was like walking into an upscale thrift store and being told we didn't have to pay for anything! And the stroll along the shopping district and the waterfront was relaxing. Praise the Lord for family fun times.
Dale and I were back to school again today. He has had three days in a row now where he has done the math assigned without allowing himself to get distracted, where he worked steadily to get the problems done, and where he did fairly well on each problem. This is such an improvement from just three weeks ago when he couldn't get through six problems in an hour. Please, Lord, let this trend continue so that Dale is better prepared for eighth grade---in four weeks!
His steadiness in walking comes and goes. Some days, he can't go three steps without falling; some days he walks ten or twelve steps just fine. But he keeps trying! He and I talked about what his goals are, and he said he wants to get back to doing what he used to be able to: walking easily, running, playing basketball. I remind him of this when he wants to use excuses for not trying to walk on his own. Of course, we hold his hand now whenever we are outside so that he will not scrape his face on the sidewalk again, but I tell him not to depend on me to walk for him or hold him up. He has to work at maintaining his own balance and catching himself if he starts to fall, and he will probably have to work at this for some time. But look how far he's come! Praise the Lord!
I have to go..........I think my husband wants the computer. Thank you for all your prayers and love sent our way this past year. Isn't it amazing what our God can do?
Titus 3: 5 - 6 "Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost; Which He shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour."