Thursday, September 29, 2011

Bikeride and Exploding Cattails

The kids are off track and we've been doing something fun almost everyday. I haven't taken my camera on every adventure but, I went and got my camera for the end of this fun excursion. We took a bike ride over to Jensen Park and the ponds next to it. We each picked out a cattail and brought it home to carve. 
We let the kids use their pocket knives to carve designs in their cattails(my siblings will remember doing this when we were little....and I haven't probably done it since I was's been a long time). 
Kaden when he was half way done carving his cattail. 
Abbie (being her usually artsy self) took a lot of time carving EXACTLY what she wanted hers to look like....she actually took so long that it got dark and she had to finish the next day. 
This was mine (I know the pics aren't great...I didn't realize I had it on the wrong setting until I downloaded the pictures). 
Isaac and Reed noticed that they are made of lots of "fuzz" and they put that to good use by... 
Taking parts of their "mature" cattails and throwing them as high as they would go....then they would come down and explode into a ball of "fuzz"...this of course is very entertaining and they did it quite a few times. 
I didn't know cattails could explode but, I've seen it with my own eyes...they explode alright...and leave it to the boys to figure that out! 
Reed and Isaac having a great time "exploding" their cattails!!

This is Brooklyn doing what she does best....eating her toes and being cute! Love you cutie patootie (that is Kaden's favorite thing to call her...a cutie patootie)!
It was a fun family adventure. We love going bike riding as a family!Cassy Final

Sunday, September 25, 2011

2nd Annual Angel Watch Candle-Light Memorial & Personal Thoughts

Our family went to the Angel Watch Memorial held at this is the place heritage park. It is held at the pioneer children's cemetery. It is beautiful up there and the view of the valley is spectacular. We hit rain coming and were a little worried that it would be cancelled but, the rain was tempered and the skies cleared just in time for the memorial. 
Here is the kids waiting on a bench for the memorial to start. 
Here are the unmarked pioneer children's graves that were undug somewhere else in the valley but, were re-located here. It's a beautiful cemetery that has walkways and trees.
It even has a beautiful statue of christ in a gazebo with children sitting on his lap. So perfect for this location. 
A group of angel watch fathers sang an original song written by one of the fathers. Then the microphone was passed around as we each lit our light in remembrance of our child that has passed away. 
The lady seen in the picture with the red bag was one of the original angel watch families and she is the lady that makes the winnie bears in remembrance of her daughter winnie. We are so thankful to this lady that has given us a remembrance of Jacob by taking one of his blankets and lovingly sewing it into a teddy bear. We will always cherish our Jacob bear. 
Then everyone went to the outside of the fence to plant daffodil bulbs in remembrance of their child. 
Here we are planting our bulb in remembrance of Jacob. 

We each planted a bulb in remembrance of our child. Here's Jacob's daffodil bulb! 
It will be beautiful next spring to come and see them bloom! 
Isaac by Jacob's daffodil bulb
My friend Brandi, planting her bulb for Aaron next to ours. 
Ours is planted on the east side of the fence. 
Here is Brandi and I with Abbie and Brooklyn. Brandi was so cute and wanted to hold Brooklyn. She said, "get a picture so I can show people that I DO hold babies and I will have proof." Oh so true. Life changes after you lose a child and little things mean a lot. 
The elements clearing and the sun starting to peak through. 
This is four of us after we planted our bulbs in honor of our children. These are some strong, amazing women that I've come to know!! 
Such a peaceful serene statue. I love it because it reminds me of the simon dewey picture we used for Jacob's Funeral Program of a small boy with Jesus. That's how I picture the arms of Christ. 
Here's Kay and I. I truly respect and love this woman. She is amazing and just a wonderful person! She helped us get through some really hard times but has become a dear friend as well.
This is Carolyn and I (and Abbie, of course). She is the lady that founded Angel Watch and I will be forever indebted to her for putting her passion into a program that is so selfless and giving! She has also become a dear friend.

Now for a more Personal Thought:
We get regular mailings from Angel Watch and we received one recently that I wanted to share part of it that really touched me.
Dear Reed and Cassy,
"During this past year and a half, you have been through a lot. Your little Jacob was your special angel child. As you know very well, you are a different person than you were before your child died. You have been wounded but not destroyed, devestated but not demolished by your loss. You have found the courage and the wherewithal to go on. Perhaps you have even found that life has new meaning for have found new understanding and wisdom that you could not have learned any other way. Though you feel that you would have gladly given all of this away for just one  more minute with your child, hopefully you are on your way to a kind of reconciliation with this experience."

This letter really resonated with me.  I feel like both Reed and I are different today than we were before Jacob coming to our family. I feel like I have learned so much. I am still learning. But now so much is different. I have learned things that never could have been learned another way. Reed and I have changed. We are still changing. We are better in some ways and still working through others. We have come closer together. I am grateful for all we have learned yet still know there is a peice of my heart that still greives for the child we will never see grow old. We have come so far and yet have so far to go.
I want to end this post with another small part of that letter. It is written more eloquently than I could ever write so I will end this post with this.
Building a "New Normal"
It is sort of like experiencing a forest fire.....
There has been a devestation that has been unthinkable- a loss so sublime that it has caused exquisite sorrow, reaching into the most tender parts of your heart.
Yet just like a forest fire, there is a scouring of the earth....a scourging of the soul that hoperfully has given you a knowledge and understanding that could have been gained in no other way. Just like in a fire, under the scorched, blackened earth there are buds of new growth. There is an opportunity for the stirring of the soul in increased faith and hope- with a renewed sense of appreciation and gratitude for life- as well as an acceptance of its fragility. 

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Uncle Garrett entertaining Brooklyn

This last weekend, my brother came and stayed overnight at our house. He had come out to go to Lagoon. After all the other kids had gone to bed we were chilling in the living room and Garrett was holding Brooklyn. She thought he was pretty entertaining!! 
She kept grabbing his beard/facial hair and kept giving us funny faces. Must have felt pretty funny! 
It was so cute to see these two interacting. Brooklyn loved talking and laughing at her Uncle Garrett. 
It was so fun to watch these two interact. It was quite entertaining!
They kept making faces at each other! 
Garrett was making faces at Brooklyn and she was making them back to him. So fun to watch!
Uncle Garrett can be pretty entertaining!! Brooklyn just loved Uncle Garrett and it was really entertaining to watch these two interacting!

Cassy Final

To Ms. Imler

Abbie has such a sweet heart and I just had to post about her latest cute thing she drew. She made this pencil drawing then spent HOURS  coloring it for her first grade teacher. 
It states:
To Ms Imler:
I luv yuo
to me.
Luv: Abbie

Translation: I love you because you are sweet to me. Love Abbie

Abbie gave it to her teacher the next day and she said her teacher loved it!
Abbie, you are such a sweet, amazing girl. We are so glad you are apart of our family. You bring such joy and love to our family. Love you baby girl! (although she keeps telling me she's not a baby....that's Brooklyn! I just keep tellg her she will always be my baby girl!)
Love you Abbie
Cassy Final

Friday, September 16, 2011

Car Racin' Fun

The kids have been playing a lot with their car tracks. They have been building CRAZY tracks that go down the hall, down the stairs with loops and everything. 
The kids goofing off (of course) once I asked them to pose for a picture before they made their next track. You kiddo's are SO funny!! 
Serious builders! 
Isaac was the ring leader of this track building. 
Abbie and Kaden trying out the track as the car raced down the hallway. 
Abbie and her car 
Kaden racing his car.
The kids have had a great time building track and racing their cars. You just have to watch out for the track at runs clear down the hallway.Cassy Final They spent so much time making these crazy race tracks that I didn't have the heart to have them take them down after they begged to keep them up for a day or two. So, if you come to the house you might have to step over a few car tracks but, it's worth all the joy the kids are having playing with their matchbox cars. They'd probably even let you join.
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