We have extended our family a bit. A friend's husband walked out on her and her two children, one of whom is autistic. No contact, some financial support and a completely shattered family. We have a FULL house a couple days a week so our friend, Jen, can get some sleep. She is working night shift to make ends meet and struggling with grief, exhaustion, a broken heart and isolation. We are doing our best, with the help of Heather's family and Melissa's family to fill in the HUGE gap left by her ex. We spent tonight having dinner on the porch, enjoying the weather and the children- 9!!- running around the backyard. We just talked and enjoyed each other's company. It was lovely. I could feel God's love surrounding us and comforting her. Prayers for her sweet little family would be appreciated SO much. Her son, Ben, is autistic and has begun "interloping" lately. It is something that Alzheimer and Autistic patients sometimes do and is basically going for a walk. Ben is only 9, so you can imagine how terrifying it is for Jen. She also found him sitting on her 2nd story window ledge this week. He didn't do these things before his family was broken. He is a really amazing kid. His artwork will be featured in an art show here in Philly this summer. He also fixed a problem with my Adobe reader I had been struggling with for a couple of weeks. I didn't ask him to, he just did! He is a smart, fascinating, talented, but communication challenged kid. Her 3 year old impish delight, Zia, is smart, high spirited, and very energetic. We may be 'helping' them but they are enriching our lives and growing our hearts. They are a blessing.
You should see Talyn, Sylver, Trin and Ari with Zia and Ben! They are amazing and have welcomed them in to our routine and home with such love, enthusiasm and compassion that I am beyond proud of all four of them! Even Ari has accepted Z's spirit by matching it with her own, LOL. Talyn is disappointed on the days they don't come over and has been SO nurturing and protective of the smaller kids. He is so freaking amazing lately he deserves his own post. He has matured unbelievably in the last year and sometimes I can't believe he is even the same kid! He has begun to exhibit responsibility, sound logic, compassion, kindness, generosity, and un-yielding faith. He retains his goofy, energetic personality and has a charming ability to laugh at himself. I am so very blessed to watch him grow!
There is something I have really been mulling over lately. The society we live in has become increasinly isolating. It used to be that a community would help raise children, fill gaps, heal hurts and nurture relationships (and be in each other's business, annoyingly so at times I am quite certain!).... Now we barely know the people who live five feet from us, and for the most part none of us have any desire to change that. I wonder, though, if the cost for our privacy isn't too high. Surely this isn't what God means when He Says Love Thy Neighbor As Thyself. I am as guilty as the next person of nurturing isolation instead of relationships, of protecting my heart instead of exposing it. Yes, that does protect me from disappointment, conflict, and hurt feelings, but it also deprives me of true, honest, authentic relationships and the growth that comes along with those relationships. I am VERY sensitive and seem to lack the ability to build heart calluses, so protecting myself has become second nature. I don't know if that will ever change, if I am even capable of changing it, but I think bringing it to my Heavenly Father is a great place to start, don't you?
If you haven't checked out Cake Wrecks today-You Need Too!!
We had a wonderful, fun, blessed Mother's Day!
My wonderful hubby let me sleep in and cleaned the kitchen. I woke to the sound of tennis ball cannon and shrieks of delight from the backyard (and those where Jesse's, LOL). He made reservations for the Mother's Day Brunch Buffet at our favorite restaurant, McKenzies. We ate outside where the weather was perfect- too breezy for bugs, but not breezy enough to be annoying, 70 ish degrees, sunny! We had rain for NINE days straight so it was SO wonderful to be outside. The kids presented me with handmade cards that where priceless. The fabulous manager comped the kid's meals for a Mother's Day Gift! Then Jesse and Talyn went to the hardware store to buy stuff to make a bigger more powerful tennis ball cannon BOYS! The girls and I walked around the most charming little shopping center with all these cool crafty speciality little shops... A Tea Room, Bead Shop, Yarn Store, Natural Toy Store. I spent some time in the Quilt Store and picked some fabric for my Mother's Day Gift. Then the girls and I spent some time sitting in the sun on the lawn and enjoying the sun, breeze and each other's company while we waited for Jesse and Talyn to come back. Then we went home where Jesse put the final coat of stain on my table, put up some new shelves over the creation station, and played with the new improved tennis ball cannon :)
It was an awesome awesome day after a crappy week! Aren't those the best?!
Here are the wedding pictures of the kids I promised last week. Check out little man groovin'! Sylver looked so elegant and was shy, but did hit the dance floor once with Grandma Izzy, who also looked elegant and is NEVER shy! Trin is the one in the purple dress dancing in the middle of all her cousins (well, 2nd cousins)-click on the picture to see it bigger. The picture of Ari was outside the church with Talyn after the ceremony while I was doing the formal bridal party shots. She is getting really super close to walking- CRUD! She has stood up on her own several times in the last two days. Tonight she stood up and shook her little booty to the beat of music, so she definitely has the balance down. She danced all day today, actually. Every time there was music she was bouncing to the beat.
In other news...
I fell down Heather's stairs on Monday and sprained my ankle, again. It hasn't been right since I broke it a couple of years ago, and I sprain it a couple times a year it seems. Honestly, I am just SO sick of the stupid thing. It never gives me a warning, just completely gives out occasionally. When we have health insurance I will have it looked at. It may need a pin or something. It's healing now, still sore and swollen at the end of the day.
Jesse also had a really rough week. He came home at 7 on Thursday looking awful. He kind of stumbled past me. I was sitting at the dining room table teaching Melissa to sew a dress for her daughter. I said, What's wrong, baby? and He kind of mumbled something about being sick and disappeared down the stairs to our bedroom. Melissa and I where both alarmed, particularly when I realized his car wasn't in the driveway (his car is his BABY and no-one but my mom is allowed to drive it without arm twisting and bribery). After I sent Melissa home I went downstairs and he was passed out in bed. I felt his head, no fever, and I tried to wake him to see if he was ok, but he wouldn't wake up. His color was good and he was breathing evenly so I left him alone. He got up once and said his head hurt and gave me a disjointed story about work, fumes and beer. Eventually I got the whole story at 5 am after he slept it off.
So this is what happened....
He spent the morning working in the back of the shop, dismantling the paint booth to install a solvent recycler. My uncle invited him out to lunch and while at lunch they had a couple of beers, nothing major. When he got back he started working on the paint booth again and started to feel a little sick from the heat. He decided to go to the bathroom. What he didn't realize was that while he was at lunch his manager had decided to paint the bathroom next to the bathroom he was in with automotive paint. The two bathrooms are next to each other separated by drywall and each are literally the size of a 5x5 closet. They also share the same air duct sort of thing (it's really a hole along the back wall, that doesn't really push air as far as I can tell, so there is basically NO ventilation). When Jesse walked in he inhaled the fumes from the fresh automotive paint ... it's a body shop, so it's not unusual to smell the fumes. Had he known that the bathroom literally inches from him was covered in automotive paint he would have been able to get out. It overtook him pretty quickly, he threw up, hit the floor, passed out and when he came to he could hear my uncle pounding on the door and screaming that he was gonna knock the door down. He doesn't really remember anything after that. He is really blessed to have not been seriously injured or killed. Those fumes are really serious! The painter has to wear a full body suit and a respirator when he paints! I am just praising God SO much that my uncle was there and smart enough to realize that something was really wrong and that Jesse was able to sleep it off. Had I known the whole story earlier I would have made him go to the ER.
Thank You Heavenly Father for Your Love, Your Grace, Your Mercy, Your Protection and Your Healing. We just want to Praise and Worship You for being with us every step of every day. Thank You for your Perfect Plan.