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It’s Saturday, What Do I Do?

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As many of you may or may not know, and just as many of you may or may not care….I no longer have any children playing in minor sports. Since my youngest daughter’s last minor sport event a few months ago, I have struggled with what to do to fill that gap.

For many, many years my husband and I have spent endless Saturdays at arenas for our children’s hockey practices and games, at soccer fields and gymnasiums for soccer practices and games, at baseball fields for t-ball and baseball practices and games and at parks and schools for track and field events and cross-country  practices and races, and now those days are over.

For years I knew what I would be doing on Saturdays and now I am faced with the problem of what to do with myself. I do have a few hobbies  which I enjoy  so I have filled my time with those, hiking, photography, knitting. I haven’t done any scrap-booking for a while but I have thought about getting back to that. And of course I can pretty much fill up a good chunk of time with my Candy Crush addiction, but what did I do on Saturdays before I had children in sports? What does everyone else do on Saturdays?

I have often heard co-workers talk about this thing called housework that they do on Saturdays, but I never paid too much attention to that in the past because I just didn’t feel I had time for that kind of thing and it honestly didn’t sound all that appealing to me…..then this morning, it hit me, that’s what I need to do on Saturdays!!

I decided to ease into this new  project of mine slowly, you know, not take on too much at once, so I started with vacuuming (something that I actually do regularly out of necessity with 2 dogs in the house), but I just nicely got started when I felt compelled to take a break from it to video Emma demonstrating her love for wet towels.

 

That’s right, the housework got put on hold while Emma mauled what she see’s as her property and I watched. I’m not sure yet how I feel about housework on Saturday’s but I guess I will eventually get used to it, and may even do more than vacuum, which by the way I did finish this morning.

P.S. If you watched the video, that noise you can hear in the background is my husband cleaning up in the kitchen….I’m told that’s a form of housework as well. 🙂 (Don’t worry about the big crash, no one was hurt).

 

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Graduation Day!!

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Today was a day of mixed emotions…..the youngest of my four kids graduated from High School today.

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Invitation

Before the ceremony

Before the ceremony

It’s been a long road since my oldest started grade one 22 years ago so while it was a big day for Erika it was an even bigger one for me. Today marked the end of an era. The days of making lunches every morning….because I didn’t feel like making them at night, are long gone…..HAPPY :). Each of my kids liked something different in their sandwich, and of course they were in love with peanut butter but because of nut allergies in the schools I had to get creative and come up with something else they might eat. Creativity first thing in the morning did not always turn out so well, but they all lived. 🙂

Buying school supplies every fall, always was and still is one of my favorite things to do. It gets expensive for four kids but I have always loved looking through all the new accessories, especially when I went to school (a million years ago). Picking out that perfect pencil-case and buying all the pens, pencils and erasers that right after the first day of school were never again seen inside that pencil-case or were anywhere else to be found when needed for homework. Buying the math set every year that also never had all the pieces in it by the time they came to that section in their math classes (which is why I needed to buy a new one for them each year….I have never figured out where all those pieces go). And of course the greatest purchase ever…..the mandatory agenda that the schools insisted every child needed in order to stay organized all year and to be used for communication between teacher and parent…..which never had a single piece of information written in it and by the end of the year if they even still knew where it was still looked brand new. No more shopping for the indoor and outdoor shoes that was necessary for elementary school. Ahhhhh, what will I do with all that money that I will no longer be spending on school supplies?

I know every parent loves getting that phone call from the school in the middle of the day saying that your child doesn’t feel good and maybe you should come and pick him/her up. Ok so what I want to know is if they are projectile vomiting? or do they have a headache? or do they have a test in the afternoon that they just don’t want to write so they want to go home? I think I know my kids pretty well so if I could see them I would know if they were really sick or not but once I got permission to take the afternoon off from work to go pick up said sick child and I got to the school, even if they weren’t really sick I take them home anyway because it’s just not worth the effort of explaining to the teacher that my kid is not that sick and should just stick it out and maybe write the test they didn’t study for. Once I was away from work why not just enjoy the rest of the day.

Filling out the endless forms on the first day of school was also one of my favorite things to do…..not. Every year the school sent the same “personal information” form to be filled out for each kid in the family, claiming that the information in it would be kept on file. If that was the case then why did I have to rewrite the exact same information each year?  Their names and birth dates and heath card numbers didn’t change from year to year, granted other information might have changed, address, phone number….parents’ names etc. Oh those pages of forms, such a delight.

There are some things I will miss about my kids going to school…..I can’t actually think of a single solitary one right at the moment but come September I’m sure I will think of something.

This day also marks the end of minor sports and school sports. Again there is a huge financial saving to be had, but what will my husband and I do with all that spare time? The days when all four kids were playing sports and had to be at four different fields at the same time and trying to juggle drop offs and pick-ups with only one car to do it in took some ingenious planning and every once in a while it meant a child was forgotten at a soccer field….on purpose? No of course not. And do you really feel all that bad about it when you finally remember that you still have a child sitting in the dark waiting for you when you get there only to find she is sitting with a teammate whose parent’s also forgot to pick her up? No of course not, that’s when you tell your child that at least we didn’t forget you for as long as “her” parent’s did. 🙂

Today’s Graduation Ceremony was a happy but sad occasion. This is the first of my parent’s grandchildren, and the only one of my children to graduate that my Dad was not here for. My mom is here to see her granddaughter graduate and we are delighted that she could be here but I for one am noticing the empty place in the photos. When we moved from New Brunswick to Ontario, Erika had just turned 5 and whenever she talked to her Papa on the phone he would tell her how nice the bow/ribbon was that she had in her hair. It would always make her laugh because she didn’t actually have anything in her hair (it probably wasn’t even brushed) but it was one of those silly things that remain a memory years later. I like to think that if he was here today to see her graduate he would comment on the non-existent bow in her hair.

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Erika with her Nan

As I said today was a day of mixed emotions…..pride, joy, and happiness, watching my baby girl graduate but sadness that my dad was not here to take part in the day with us and to give Erika the words of wisdom that he gave to the rest of his grand-kids on their Graduation Day.

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So proud of our girl

Congratulations to my baby girl on her big day, so proud of you!!! Well done E! Well done!

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The High School Grad!!

Time to say Good-Bye

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I woke up early this morning, even before my husband who was planning to get up for the very early World Juniors Canada vs US game, (unfortunately the outcome of the game wasn’t so great). So I laid there trying not to go back to sleep waiting for Chris to get up….just in case he didn’t get up in time, and managed to miss the big game. He finally got up and was joined by the boys who came bearing coffee. I then woke Erika to see if she was getting up to join her brothers to watch the game and she did but that didn’t last too long before she went back to bed to watch it on her laptop.  By this time I was pretty wide awake so I turned the game on and started watching it from bed. I only managed to get the first period in and the next thing I knew Chris and the dogs came busting into the bedroom to get me up. It seems I did manage to fall back to sleep for a bit. Apparently after the game Mom got up to say good-bye to the boys since she was going home today.

I took Chris to work so I could have the car today to drive Erika to Kitchener for her soccer teams secret Santa party which is a sleepover. Erika gave Nan her big hugs good-bye when we dropped her off since she would be gone when she gets home tomorrow.

I took some more pictures today while we were all sitting around….waiting for time to go.

Emma and Mom both watching something on TV

Emma and Mom both watching something on TV

We decided pizza would be a good idea for dinner since I didn’t really feel like cooking anything and we would need to leave for the airport shortly after 6:30 pm. I ordered the pizza and then went to pick up Chris from work. Shana was here when we got back so she could say her good-bye to her Nan once again, but she left before the pizza arrived. Once we finished eating Ryan and Whitney came by for another quick visit to say good-bye one more time before Nan left. Shortly before 7:00 pm we were headed to the airport once again. On December 22nd there were a few tears shed but they were happy tears to see my mom again, this time they were sad tears, from both of us (because we are criers) and I hate saying good-bye.

We saw Mom safely through security, gave a last wave good-bye, watched her walk over to her boarding gate, grabbed a Tim Horton’s for the drive and headed home.

We have had a great 13 days, most of which I managed to have off from work so I could spend as much time as possible with my Mom who, by the way, I don’t get to see nearly often enough.

It’s been kind of a long day with the early morning start and it will be an even longer one for Mom by the time she gets to the Moncton airport around midnight, and then has an hours drive home after that.  Hopefully her flight goes well and she gets home safe and sound, and has a chance to sleep in tomorrow. I on the other hand will be going back to work tomorrow. 🙂

 

 

 

My Almost Last Day With My Mom Before She Goes Home

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It was back to work for my husband this morning but I’m still on vacation until Friday (should have taken Friday too).

I drove Chris to work so I could keep the car just in case my mom and I wanted to go anywhere…..like an indoor walk since it is so cold out today. Around 10:00 we decided a trip to the mall would be a good idea…..a walk and a shop combined. 🙂

Erika had to be at work by noon so I woke her to see if she wanted to go with us and her first answer was “No”, but then she realized that she still needed to get a secret Santa gift for her soccer party on Thursday so she quickly got ready to go too. Since it was already past 10:00am by the time we got to the Mall and Erika had to be to work by noon it didn’t give us that much time to shop….but how much time does one really need to find a good sale or two?

My new sale sweater. :)

My new sale sweater. 🙂

We all made or purchases…..(my new sweater that I didn’t really need….but it was on sale, so how could I pass it up?) and then went to McDonald’s to grab some lunch. We went through the drive thru, because I’m basically lazy and didn’t feel like getting back out of the car, and of course they had to park us to wait for our meals. While we were sitting there we noticed my son Nick across the street at the bus stop so we had a little text conversation with him while we waited. We finally got our food and had to rush now to get Erika to work on time. Once we dropped her off Mom and I took lunch to my husband Chris at his work, then home for a nap.

I decided to try a new chicken recipe that I found on Pinterest for dinner tonight. I wasn’t sure everyone would like it because of the spices so I made some plain and some spicy. While it was cooking I left Mom home to keep an eye on it while I went to pick up Chris and Erika from work. I was right about not everyone liking it. Erika and Chris were not fans of the spicy but Mom and I liked it just fine.

Sweet and Spicy Bacon Chicken

Sweet and Spicy Bacon Chicken

After dinner Chris and I walked to Starbucks for his “after-dinner coffee” and when we got back home our daughter Shana was there to say her good-byes to her Nan. I think she actually just used that as an excuse to come by for some food because when we walked in she had just finished warming up left over scalloped potatoes and ham, interestingly enough even though Erika had already eaten dinner with us, she also had a plate of left-overs. I really do believe our kids just come by to eat because our son Nick came over after he got off work at 8:00 pm and he finished off the scalloped potatoes and ham, the left over chicken, followed by the last piece of cheesecake. His reason for coming over was to say good-bye to his Nan as well.

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Everyone besides me is making it an early night tonight because there is a big game to watch early in the morning. Team Canada plays at 4:00 am our time. Both boys will be coming by to watch the game with Chris…..dedicated hockey fans?…..maybe……but I doubt that Mom or I will be awake to see them at that hour in the morning. Good Luck Team Canada, I will wait to hear the results at a much more reasonable hour.

Happy New Year 2013

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A nice quiet peaceful morning to start the New Year.

New year pic for blog

I took the dogs out at 6:30am and then we all crawled back into bed for an extra little sleep. The dogs went back to sleep but as much as I usually have no trouble falling back to sleep, I was  still awake when my husband got out of bed around 8:00am….so much for the extra little sleep.  We got up and fed the dogs and then got busy. The carpets needed vacuumed….which they always do…… I had a raspberry cheesecake to make as well as the much requested gingerbread cookies that my husband wanted me to make for him.

Chubby little Gingerbread men.....created in their makers image. :)

Chubby little Gingerbread men…..created in their makers image. 🙂

Baking is not my favorite thing to do but I sometimes don’t mind it.

My husband and I decided to bake a ham and have potato scallop (scalloped potatoes for those of you who are reading this and going….what the heck is potato scallop?) for New Year’s dinner and invited his brother and sister-in-law to join us for dinner, along with my son Ryan and his girlfriend Whitney. This meal is one of our favorites and my husband is hard pressed to decide which he likes best, turkey dinner or this one…..I think I am more partial to the turkey but this is a great runner-up.

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Our dinner ham.

Once the baking was done and the ham was in the oven my mom decided it was only -5 degrees Celsius out so she wanted to go for a walk. I think she feels a bit like a shut-in since she has been here. We have had a little bit of snow lately which has made some of the sidewalks just a bit tricky to walk on in places, especially the spots where people haven’t bothered to shovel so I asked her to wait 5 minutes until I finished the dishes and I would go with her. I really didn’t want her to take a spill out there all by herself, and I could definitely use the exercise, plus I could take my camera with me and take a few pictures…..my first pictures of 2013.

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My mom walking along ahead of me while I’m snapping pictures

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Tonight’s dinner was great, and we had a really nice visit with family. A super way to start off the New Year.

My Loss is Heaven’s Gain

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On September 11, 2012 I lost my dad…..but my loss is heavens gain.

My Dad

Edwin H. Hughes Memorial

Edwin Harrison Hughes, Sr.

Edwin Hughes of Hughes Road, Cody’s passed away at the Saint John Regional Hospital on September 11, 2012 at the age of 76.

Edwin was born in Cody’s on January 3, 1936; he was the son of the late Gordon Harold Hughes and Anna (Noddin) Hughes. He enjoyed playing the fiddle, doing cross word puzzles and reading. He was a Sunday School Teacher, Superintendent, Deacon and Prayer Group Leader. He joined the Gideons in February, 1978. He held positions of President, Secretary-Treasurer for the Queens Co. Camp before joining with the Fredericton Gideons. He was a farmer, a forest ranger and then began a wood contracting business with his brother Robin. He delighted in his grandchildren and made sure they knew he was praying for them daily.

He will live on in the hearts of Catherine Grace (Patterson) his beloved wife of 54 years; his son Edwin, Jr. and his wife Elizabeth of Cody’s; his daughter Susan Slipp and her husband Bradley of Darlings Island; his daughter Anna Grant and her husband Christopher of Guelph; and his son Andrew and his wife Patricia of Fredericton; his sister Doris Edling and her husband Don of Hampton; his brother Robin and his wife Cheryl of Sussex; and his beloved grandchildren Ryan, Shana, Nicholas and Erika McFarlane of Guelph; Jamie and his wife Cheryl and Miranda Slipp of Darlings Island; Jillian and Abigail Hughes of Fredericton; and Christina Shand and Maggie May Hughes of Cody’s as well as several nieces and nephews. Edwin was predeceased by his brothers John and Charles.

The family will receive relatives and friends that wish to say goodbye to Edwin at Wallace Funeral Home, 34 Sunnyside Drive, Sussex, (506-433-1176) on Thursday September 13th from 1-3 and 6-8 pm.

A service celebrating Edwin’s life will be held from Apohaqui Community Church on Friday, September 14, 2012 at 11:00 am followed by a time of fellowship with the family in the Church Hall. A private family interment will take place at Cody’s Baptist Cemetery.

Donations may be made to the Gideon Bibles, the Apohaqui Community Church or to a charity of the donor’s choice would be appreciated by the family.

Dear Dad,

You are the perfect example of how a man should live, love his family and care about the world and the people in it.  You have always strived to live your life according to God’s will and to reach out to others with His message.

Your work here on earth is done and although we may not fully understand or appreciate God’s timing, it’s always according to His great plan for our lives.

God has called you home to rest, and there will be no more heartache, pain or suffering for you and we will take heart in knowing that your journey on earth is complete and you are safe in the arms of Jesus, where you belong.

I will miss my Dad, my children will miss their Papa, but you will remain in our hearts as we share our stories and memories of you over the days and years to come.

I always have been and still am, very proud to be your daughter and to call you my Dad.

Anna

My dad was taken to the hospital after taking a fall at home. After several CT scans and surgery’s it was determined that he suffered a stoke which caused the fall. My mom and my siblings spent most of the following week at the hospital waiting for things to improve, but sadly they didn’t.

We got the news of my dad’s passing shortly before 4:00am on Tuesday morning. When you have elderly parents every late night (or early morning) phone call is always feared to be bad news…..this one wasn’t unexpected but still a difficult call to receive…..especially since it was from my baby brother  Andrew (2 whole years younger than me) who couldn’t actually say anything once I answered so his wife Patricia gave me the news.

Well there was no more sleeping after that call so I decided I needed to get up and start getting things ready for our trip to New Brunswick. We had most of the plans in place, financing, dog sitting, work places notified, etc., we just needed the arrangement details in order to know how much time we had to make our journey East.

My son Ryan and his girlfriend Whitney decided it was best for them to fly out due mainly to Whitney’s recent back surgery. My son Nick was unable to get the time off from his work, much to his and our disappointment, so he wasn’t able to make the trip. My daughters Shana and Erika, and my husband and I were travelling by car (return plane tickets for all four of us just wasn’t an option).

We left here at 10:30am (Ontario time), as we needed to make a stop at the Mall to pick up our clothes that were being altered. Fifteen hours, four gas and “grab a quick snack” and de-water stops later, we arrived at my brother’s house in Fredericton…..2:30am their time. My husband did all of the driving because I didn’t sleep anywhere along the way despite his urging me to do so just in case he needed me to take over at some point, by the time he was suffering from exhaustion I was certainly not awake enough to drive safely. After disrupting my brothers household we went to bed for what I thought would be 5 or 6 hours, just enough sleep to revive us so we could get back on the road first thing in the morning and drive the next hour to my mom’s house. We slept a little longer than that so it was afternoon before we arrived at my old home.

It was great to see my mom and brothers and families and we all sat around telling stories and discussing more detailed arrangements, like getting the flowers ordered and who wanted to do what at the service and so on.

We all needed to go to the church that evening to meet with the minister and work out the final details of the service. There were 19 of us plus the minister that evening sitting in a rather large circle sharing stories of my dad and putting the service into order. There were quite a few funny stories and anecdotes as well as some serious and thoughtful memories spoken.

Thursday was the visitation…..4 hours of hugging and greeting both familiar and unfamiliar faces. Despite the reason we were there it was great to see so many people, family, friends and acquaintances, that I haven’t seen for years. Some I didn’t recognize right away and others hadn’t changed a bit since I last saw them. I did wish I had longer to visit with some of my old friends but this wasn’t the time. The evening visitation was from 6:00pm until 8:00pm but people were still lined up to pay their respects after 8:00pm. Thursday was a long day but a very rewarding one seeing how many people wanted to come out and show their support for family and pay their respects to this man, my dad.

Friday morning was the funeral, and if funerals can be beautiful then to me this one was. It wasn’t so much a time of sadness, although you wouldn’t think that if you saw the tears and heard the snuffles, but to me it was a heart warming testimony to a man who lived his life well.

Our dear friend Scott Hoyt delivered the eulogy and there could not have been a better choice to deliver the words to speak about the life of his friend and my dad…..

These are some of the words he spoke.

How does one begin to write about their best friend after they have died?  Today, my friends is so bittersweet to my soul that I fear I will not be able to do justice to a friend who means more to me than any of you can know.  Today is not a day of sadness even though our hearts are heavy with loss.  Today is a celebration of one of God’s greatest friends who is now at home.  At peace.

Edwin Hughes was a wise man.  He was simple.  Honest. Hardworking. Dependable. Spiritual. Strong. It didn’t take me too long to also figure out something else about this wonderful man.  If, at 20 years old, I wanted to make something of this life of mine I had just found a mentor that would help me to do so.  I had found a friend that would stick by me like a father.  He would guide me, train me, defend me like no other and would cherish me.  The day I met Edwin Hughes changed my life forever.  I had met a man of God.

Edwin would encourage me and validate my decisions as being God’s work and plan for my life.  Every step of the way, right beside me, was my friend Edwin Hughes and his family.

I can remember many a visit to Edwin’s house.  Driving in that long driveway and up the hill to see and talk to my friend.  We talked about life, its difficulties and trying to find solutions.  We’d talk for hours. After church and after suppers, in a corner somewhere, you could find Edwin and I talking about just about anything.  Edwin always steered the conversation towards what the LORD wanted to do in our life.  About the things of Heaven.  He would talk about friends he was praying for and pursuing to share the message of God with.  He taught me to love my enemies.  Many times Catherine would go out to her car and have to come back in to a building to retrieve him.  Sometimes she just gave up and asked if I could bring him home.  A couple hours later I would.

Edwin was a survivor.  He had faced open heart surgery before.  He had brain surgery to remove a tumour.  He had weathered life’s ups and downs.  He would laugh.  Sometimes he cried.  Career changes.  Business and economies.  Personal losses of family.  All these Edwin faced through eyes of faith.  He was human.  At times raw.  But no one can contest how honest of a man he was and how he prevailed.

Edwin liked to reminisce about the members of his family.  The Doney line. The Noddins.   His mom and his dad.  His brothers and sister.  His grandfather who came to know Jesus. Stories about his cousins and his love for his wife, children and grandchildren.  Edwin was clear that his greatest memory was in “Catherine agreeing to be [his] wife”.  Undoubtedly, with 54 years of marriage celebrated, Edwin pinpointed that decision to be the pivotal moment in his life which gave him everything he enjoyed.  He often gratefully would tell me how much she was the “strength in his life”. And this was a lesson I took for my own as I found my bride to share my life with.  Always teaching me Edwin. 

In wanting to be remembered Edwin feared often that he should always have done more for his family.  I remember the story of how he changed his life when his children were young after a pastor came to visit him in his home.  He was challenged to become a leader in his home.  I know with all my heart that that was a challenge he embraced fully.  I watched this man with his children.  I listened to him as they faced changes in their lives.  I witnessed his love for each of them and their children.  There was a reason they called him “PAPA”.  Jesus too used this in the Aramaic term “ABBA” to refer to his Father when he called him “DADDY”.  Edwin was the living witness of this very person.  A man who did not judge his family, who loved them and who cherished each one of them as individuals.  A man who prayed continually for them and his community.  The most important request Edwin left behind was that he wanted his “family to remember the love he had for each one in a special way”.  I need not think he should have worried for this is his legacy.  You are his legacy.

Edwin loved to bring life to the world around him.  His ears heard the voice of God and he listened and followed. Many a person was unknowingly healed or strengthened by this man who prayed often from his car seat or from his hallway in the wee hours of the night while the world slept.  He was private yet strangely outgoing.  He was easily stung by harshness but bold in his faith.  From sitting on fresh laid logs in the woods to the welcoming kitchen chair, when you sat and talked to Edwin, your life was changed.  

I, like so many he blessed with his talents, will always hear him in my mind.  Laughter.  Words of encouragement.  Prayers of endorsement. And hymns echoing from his fingertips as he prayerfully played his fiddle to comfort a friend or lead in worship.  I hear him celebrating with friends he led to Jesus.  I see him as a child, running with laughter.  He was a man who righted wrongs, forgave past debts, humbled himself and championed for the weak.  He was a man of silent strength. Weeping authority. Public faith. A Gideon dedicated to God’s service. 

This was where some of the tears were seen and the snuffles were heard, and as much as Scott admired my dad, my dad admired Scott.

I was very proud of my children during this very difficult time for them as they stood in the receiving line at the funeral home and were introduced to hundreds of friends and family members that they had never met or had no recollection of having met since we have been gone from there for the last 12 years, and as they sat through the funeral service crying together at the words that were being spoken of their grandfather. They loved their Papa and despite the miles that separated them they were very close.

As the firstborn grandchild, my son Ryan was always very special to my dad and at the service he read Psalm 121: 1 I lift up my eyes to the hills– where does my help come from? 2 My help comes from the LORD, the Maker of heaven and earth.3 He will not let your foot slip– he who watches over you will not slumber; 4 indeed, he who watches over Israel will neither slumber nor sleep. 5 The LORD watches over you– the LORD is your shade at your right hand; 6 the sun will not harm you by day, nor the moon by night. 7 The LORD will keep you from all harm– he will watch over your life; 8 the LORD will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore.

My dad had always asked my son Nick to speak at his funeral when the time came but since he wasn’t able to be there Ryan read his words for him: “On September 11, 2012 I lost my biggest fan, my mentor, my friend and my grandfather. He was one of the only people who ever saw me for who I could be not who I was that day and words can’t express how much of an impact he had on me and how much I will miss him everyday for the rest of my life. Rest In Peace Papa, I will always love you, your grandson Nick.” Again with the tears, both for my son Ryan being able to speak for his brother and for my son Nick’s heartfelt words. Only those that really knew the relationship that Nick had with his Papa would really be touched by those words and I certainly was.

At the end of the service my son Ryan left his seat and walked to the front of the church to have the Urn placed in his hands to carry his grandfathers remains to the hearse for the journey to his final resting place at the Cody’s Cemetery, I was never more proud of my son than I was at that moment, and of course since I wasn’t aware that he had been asked to do this, as Scott put it, “my eyelids were sweating” again.

The internment was very private with immediate family only. Once the urn was laid in the ground and family was starting to leave my husband and I wandered through the cemetery and my husband remarked that it was the perfect resting place for my dad as it sits along the shore of the Washademoak Lake and it is surrounded by lush trees and you can see the cattle grazing in the distance. All things that meant so much to my dad who was just a simple country man of God and lived a simple life to the end. As we wandered back towards our car to return home I stopped for a moment to thank the wonderful lady from the funeral home, who was patiently waiting for us to leave, for everything they had done over the past few days and she asked me if I would like to scatter some “yellow rose petals” over my dad’s remains. You may scoff at this but I saw it as an assurance from my dad that all would be well. Yellow roses are very special to me, yellow is my favorite color, yellow roses were my flowers at my wedding and yellow rose petals are what my husband and I had scattered all around at our wedding 12 years ago.

The yellow rose petals scattered around my wedding cake.

I feel that those last few moments were just between me and my dad and I will cherish that memory forever.

Chris, Shana and Erika and I had to leave on Sunday morning to face our 15 hour drive back home to return to work on Monday and now life has returned to normal for us. As much as we rejoice that my dad has gone on to a better place there is still a sadness within each of us that we will no longer have the privilege of hearing him preach to us or tell us stories from his past or just to remind us continually that he is praying for us. He was a great man who will be missed.

Edwin Harrison Hughes ♥ January 3, 1936 – September 11, 2012 ♥

Vacation …..Day 3

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Well vacation day 3 got off to a great start. At 4:00am the dog barked, the kind of bark you think you might hear if someone is trying to break into your house in the middle of the night…..then the bathroom light snapped on, and then……the puking began.

It would seem that whatever Erika put into her system at the wedding last night was not agreeing with her. So being the good mom I am, I lay in bed listening for the throwing up to end, thinking to myself how glad I am that she made it to the bathroom in time. After a while I heard her go downstairs and start rummaging around so I figured she was getting herself a puke bucket to take back to bed with her. Ahhhh, I have trained my kids well, they are rarely sick to their stomach’s but when they are they know enough to get themselves a bucket in case they can’t make it to the bathroom in time for the next onslaught of vomiting. It was a proud moment for me….but short lived.

So now the light is on in the spare room….I was still lying in bed and I asked Erika what she was looking for in the spare room. She told me she wasn’t looking for anything; she was going to sleep in there. Now I was thinking why would she need to sleep in there? It is closer to the bathroom but only by a couple of steps. This room wouldn’t be cooler than hers since both rooms face the back of the house, so I doubt the spare room window would be getting more breeze than hers would. So I asked her why she was now sleeping in there. Her answer?…….So matter of factly? I can’t sleep in my room; there is puke all over in there. ARE YOU KIDDING ME?? I’m out of bed now!! In my head I’m thinking, “You are 17 years old, you don’t just throw up and then just leave it there and go sleep somewhere else and expect the puke fairy to arrive overnight and clean up the mess for you.” I guess I shouldn’t feel so smug after all about having trained my kids so well to know what to do when they are sick.

Just to make it clear, I am not a cleaner upper of puke and never have been. I’m grateful that I had 4 kids that rarely got sick and needed my help with the clean-up. However when they were I was next to useless.

When I was pregnant with my daughter Shana, my son Ryan was 3 years old. He was sleeping in my bed one night and in the morning he sat up in bed and threw up the baked beans he had eaten at my parents house the night before. Ok, so not to be gross (not true, I am totally being gross here) but baked beans look the same coming up as going down. I was never a fan of baked beans but became even less of a fan after this episode. I remember trying to get my poor little boy out of his little jammies and cleaned up but honestly, every time I touched him to try to get his shirt unbuttoned I had to run to the bathroom myself. I finally had to call my mom (shameful, I know) to come and help me get him cleaned up so I could get myself ready for work.  The other sick time that stands out in my mind (another shameful experience for me) was when our 16-year-old niece Amanda was babysitting for us, Ryan would have been about 8 years old at the time. When we got home Amanda told me that Ryan had been sick but he seemed fine and was back in bed. I apologized to her that she had to deal with that but she said it was fine, no big deal. I of course couldn’t imagine anyone thinking that dealing with a sick kid was no big deal. Well sure enough as we were sitting there talking Ryan came running out of his room to the bathroom to be sick again. Amanda asked me if I wanted her to go in there with him to make sure he was ok and of course I told her no, not to be silly, I’m his mother of course I can take care of him while he is sick. I walked into that bathroom, took one look at him throwing up and practically body checked him out of the way so I could have the toilet to throw up in. What a great mom… embarrassing. Now I had to tell Amanda I changed my mind, I couldn’t deal with it and I needed the 16-year-old kid to take care of it. I think I won Mom of The Year Award that night too (I have won Mom of The Year Award a few times over the years.) So that is a small glimpse into the history of me dealing with pukers…..not so good.

So there I was last night, attempting to clean up the puke from Erika’s floor. It really didn’t go so well and when my husband heard me gagging he asked if I was going to be ok and I assured him that I was not. Have I mentioned how much I love my husband? When he got up to take over the clean- up he was definitely my knight in shining armour. 🙂 Once everything was cleaned up and we were talking about it he told me he was going to let me do it but once he heard me gagging he decided that if he had to clean up after both of us that would have been even worse.

We finally got to bed around 5:00am only to have to let the dogs out about an hour later. I wasn’t ready to stay up at that hour so I sent them back to bed and didn’t get up again until after 9:00am.

Day 3 has certainly started out as a good one.  I’m hoping to spend the better part of this day sitting out on my back deck reading my book….maybe even sneaking a nap in there somewhere too.