Sunday, August 12, 2012

Tori at almost 2

We were at the park to celebrate the passing of yet another baseball season.  The weather was hot but it didn't keep the kids from wanting to play.  I decided to follow Tori around for a while with the camera and I was quite happy with the resulting photos!

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Washington Park (Over the Rhine) Cincinnati

Today we joined friends and explored the newly renovated Washington Park in downtown Cincinnati (Over the Rhine).  You would never know from all the families at the park that it is located in what was named the most "dangerous" neighborhood in the entire United States in 2009!  We absolutely LOVED Washington Park and plan to return there soon!  Just a few of the many pictures I took while enjoying the company of family and friends and watching the kids have an awesome time!

Parking is available directly under the park and a very reasonable rate, just $1 an hour.  Not only is the lot very open (doesn't have that creepy dark parking garage feel) but you get to return to a nice cool car since it hasn't been sitting in the sun all afternoon!

Friday, August 3, 2012

One Minute

There was exactly 1 minute between the time this picture was taken (12:34:06):
And this picture was taken (12:35:07):

But I can not express to you the range of emotions that past through my body, ripping into my soul, in those 60 seconds.  You see, Tori was standing right next to me when I turned to try and snap a picture of my grandson Noel (who if you can't tell from the picture was far more interested in breaking his stick than looking at me) and when I turned around, she was no longer there....OK, you say, what's the big deal....well the big deal is this....
We were playing by the river and it was MUDDY and MURKY and the current was the span of less than 60 seconds (believe me it took me more than a second to compose myself once we finally spotted her up the bank on a trail) all I could imagine was my baby being swept away, her gasping for breath, her little body slamming into the pylons that support the nearby bridge, her body being carried downstream and ending up in the Ohio River to never be found. There was no way for me to see her in the water, it was far too muddy. How I would ever be able to live with myself?  I would never hold her in my arms again!  In those 60 seconds that I couldn't find her and I screamed at her siblings and anyone and everyone in the river or on the banks to look for her, my mind raced.  I can't even describe the images my mind saw.  My oldest son and his girlfriend scanned the shore, spotting her a ways up river, on the trail, just waving at us. I hear Sarah say "I see her, there she is."  I didn't realize until the moment how scary it is to have a child with hearing loss, who doesn't respond verbally to her name, who can't help you find her.  She knew where she was, from the smile on her face, she wasn't worried, but the panic that engulfed every ounce of my being can't be put into words.  My fear of the water morphed itself into a new fear, a realization that I am now parenting a child that can't help me find her, especially when she isn't aware that I am looking for her.
Girlfriend is bound and determined to make me gray....

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

"Pray about everything."

"Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done." Philippians 4:6 NLT

Just thinking that I really need to take this to heart! We have been so blessed that I often feel guilty for asking for/praying for things that we need. We are in desperate need of a van, it is impossible to get the kids to their activities (as a group) without one. Church, co-op, even gatherings at the park with friends are an impossibility. I chose to have them home with me so that we could be together, but the lack of a van makes together anyplace but HERE impossible. I keep looking at minivans, but can't find any used in our limited price range.  I feel judged by some around me that feel that since I chose to have so many children that it is my fault we are in the situation we are in right now, like it is some cosmic payback for "being selfish" and "overpopulating".  It is OK for a small family or a single mom to "be in need" and to complain about the things they need, but it isn't OK for me to do so.

I am so grateful and thankful for the roof over our head, the food on our table, the love and laughter that fill these walls. We are blessed by friendship and the kindness of strangers--a special thanks to that stranger that made sports camp possible for the little ones this week!  They are having a wonderful time and are being blessed by God's word every day!

I look forward to the day when I can pay all of this forward.  We try to do it in little ways each day.  Donating things that was don't need to those who can use it, using coupons to "purchase" items for free and donating them to the local struggling food pantry, donating our time and showing kindness to those around us.  It is hard to not judge those who so harshly judge us.  Those who make comments about the fat woman at the food pantry or the comments about how they wouldn't allow their child to date someone of a different race.....we are all God's children....fat, skinny, rich, poor, black, white, yellow, sterile, fertile....OK, not really sure where this rant it going, I just needed to get it off my chest.

I am reminded of a quote by Eleanor Roosevelt, it went something along the lines of "No one can make you feel inferior without your consent".  I am giving these neigh- sayers far too much space in my head.  I am raising the rent and kicking them out!  I am expressing my needs--not only to God but to those around me and I don't care if it offends you!