August 29, 2005

Thoughts about Michael

8th birthday crew.jpg
Michael and Michelle at Evan's 8th birthday party May 2004

Evan remembering Michael:
Evan remembering Michael.jpg
Evan's drawing in memory of Michael (Click)

HC 05 Mike n Matt.jpg

I built a fort with Michael and Evan and Michael's dad. It had a meeting room and a work table. We made ink on the work table out of ash and water. Michael was the one who put water on the ash. We had tried to build a fort for a long time down by the creek behind the church, but we never got it done while he was alive. We got one built at Horn Creek that Michael could go in.

It was fun to play with Michael. I miss him. I'm glad that he was my friend.
August 28, 2005


Yesterday, in our church service, we sang Psalm 16. The psalm was chosen before Michael died.

"I have set the LORD always before
Because he is at my right hand,
I will not be shaken.

Therefore my heart is glad and my
tongue rejoices;
my body also will rest secure,
because you will not abandon me to
the grave,
nor will you let your Holy One
see decay.
You have made known to me the
path of life;
you will fill me with joy in your
with eternal pleasures at your
right hand."
Psalm 16: 8-11

This Psalm was ultimately fulfilled in the Resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ, and because of His Resurrection, we have the hope of the resurrection and of dwelling joyfully in the Presence of God forever.

The boys of the congregation went down to their fort in progress after the church service and posted a picture of Michael as a beginning of a memorial to him. I was pleased to hear about how the kids of the congregation are talking about Michael and comforting one another.

Last night, Michael's family requested that we be present at their house when they returned home for the first time. Shannon was expecting it to be very difficult, but she actually received comfort by being in their home filled with many good memories. We stood around in Michael's room and cried and laughed together as they shared memories, pictures, drawings, and stories that he had written.

Michael's Grandpa shared with me that Michael usually did not sing in church due to his shyness, but during his last few weeks, he began singing quietly.

Eric, Michael's dad, shared that Michael always slept with a light on...until he came home from Horn Creek last week. On his first night home, he told his dad to turn the light all the way off, because he was no longer afraid.

Shannon held a hairy stuffed monkey on her lap as she sat in Michael's wheelchair. She told us that when Michael was three, he was afraid of the toilet. He thought that there was a potty monster. His Grandma bought the ugliest stuffed animal she could find and snuck it into the bathroom with her. She staged a mock battle with the "potty monster" complete with sound effects. She stuck the woeful monkey in a sun tea jar and brought it out to Michael, telling him that she killed the potty monster. He was not impressed, saying, "That not potty monster. Tufted animal." The monkey became a member of the stuffed animal collection.

Michael and his family were able to visit Disney World with the Make a Wish Foundation. While we were at his house last night, the family found Michael's collection of his own designs for handicapped accessible amusement park rides. He dreamed of designing an amusement park that would outdo Walt Disney! Evan looked through the drawing and giggled and explained how the rides would work.

Posted by melissa at 09:24 AM

August 27, 2005

Missing Michael

Michael and Evan.jpg

Last night, Evan's close friend Michael went home to be with the Lord Jesus Christ.

"Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of his saints...O LORD, I am your servant...You have loosed my bonds." Psalm 116: 15,16

Michael is rejoicing in the Presence of the Lord Jesus!

"For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known." I Cor. 13: 12

"Your eyes will behold the king in his beauty..." Isaiah 33:17

"Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise." Luke 23: 43

When my nephew Conner heard that Michael died, he thanked God that Michael is dancing in heaven instead of riding in an ambulance. This morning I had the words of Psalm 30 in my mind: "You have turned for me my mourning into dancing; you have loosed my sackcloth and clothed me with gladness, that my glory may sing your praise and not be silent. O LORD my God, I will give thanks to you *forever*!"

When Jesus comes again, Michael will have a new body, whole and perfect. He will never be bound to a wheelchair again!

"Beloved, we are God's children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when he appears we will be like him, because we shall see him as he is." I John 3:2

"Behold! I tell you a mystery. We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall all be changed. For this perishable body must put on the imperishable, and this mortal body must put on immortality. When the perishable puts on the imperishable, and the mortal puts on immortality, then shall come to pass the saying that is written:

'Death is swallowed up in
'O death, where is our victory?
O death, where is your sting?'

The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ." I Cor. 15: 50-57

"But we do not want you to be uninformed, brothers, about those who are asleep, that you may not grieve as others do who have no hope. For since we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so, through Jesus, God will bring with him those who have fallen asleep. For this we declare to you by a word from the Lord, that we who are alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will not precede those who have fallen asleep. For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the voice of an archangel, and with the sound of the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we will always be with the Lord. Therefore encourage one another with these words."

Please pray for Michael's family especially and his friends who are grieved by his sudden and unexpected death and who are missing him. Pray for those who love Michael but do not yet have the hope of eternal life.

"Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. For as we share abundantly in Christ's sufferings, so through Christ we share abundantly in comfort too." 2 Corinthians 1: 3-5

We are comforted by God to some extent already, by the remembrances of some gifts that He gave us to help us while losing Michael:

* We had the blessing of spending the week at Horn Creek last week along with
Michael and his family. Our boys went bowling with the family and had a lot
of fun with Michael and Eric building a fort and playing in it. James also took
Michael along with the boys through the woods to play in Horn Creek.

Michael at Horn Creek
Michael and Matthew
Evan and Michael
Fort Boys
Happy Michael

* The sermons at Horn Creek and at home last Sunday were Providentially
about trials and suffering.

* Last Sunday morning, Michael sat beside Evan in church. Evan and Michael
don't usually sit together in the morning service, but they did last week, which
was a blessing.

* The kids and I were able to visit Michael after his surgery this week at
Children's Hospital. Evan insisted on buying a balloon for Michael himself so
that it would be specially from him. Michael was very tired when we saw him,
but able to smile and interact a little.

* I am so grateful that Shannon and I and the kids were able to get together
usually once-a-week for schooling activities and play time.

Posted by melissa at 11:19 AM

August 26, 2005


Overheard by Aunt Beth at church last Sunday...

Someone asked Sophie: "When do you start school?"
Sophie: "Is tomorrow fall?"

Posted by melissa at 02:38 PM

August 24, 2005


Click here to see pictures of the Sari Party which I just added to another entry.

My niece, Josi:

Got milk.jpg

Josi milkshake face.jpg

My niece, Lily (My sister, Jackie's daughter):

Lilly bouncing.jpg

My nephew, Sebastien (My sister, Jen's son):


My cousin, Susan, her husband, Andy and their kids with Sophie standing in for Lindsey, who was getting ready for a skit:

Andy n Susan and family.jpg

Click HERE if you'd like to read a letter that I typed to my grandparents upon arriving home from the Horn Creek Conference.

Posted by melissa at 03:49 PM

August 11, 2005

Our Big Helper

Evan has been doing some yard work for the past two days. I read a little online recently about organic weed control which gave me some ideas of things Evan could do. With gardening gloves on, he cut the Canadian thistles clear down to the ground. I read that eventually the roots will die if the plant is cut down often enough. He also painted clover with household vinegar (painting the leaves to avoid killing the surrounding grass). He was delighted to see it turn brown so fast. That will have to be done more than once as well. And to top it all off, he mowed the lawn with the reel mower! Satisfied with his work, he told me, "That is the most fun I've ever had!" Okay, maybe that's an overstatement, but I'm happy to see him enjoy working! He is now plotting future inventions that may employ electricity to kill weeds. Bwa, ha, ha, ha!

Posted by melissa at 05:39 PM

Summer Salad Recipe

A woman at my church threw together some ingredients that she had for a salad for potluck on Sunday and the result turned out delicious! If you try it, your guess as to amounts is as good as mine.

sliced cucumber
tomato wedges
diced scallion
garbanzo beans
Italian salad dressing

Posted by melissa at 05:26 PM

August 10, 2005

Excerpts from My Letter

Here are some excerpts from a letter which I just typed to my grandparents:

Last week, I attended two out-of-the-ordinary events. In the middle of the week, Angi told me about a free horse show which our whole family attended. We had to pay a small fee to get in the fairgrounds, but the show was free! We saw many different types of horses performing "dances" to music. Friesan horses pulling a chariot dashed nimbly around cones. Two massive Shire horses pranced to music, even rearing and bowing. A man on a quarter horse stallion twirled a pole while guiding his horse through spins and fancy-steps done to Spanish guitar music. One horse was even in costume as an elephant! (I felt a little sorry for the horse. James whispered to me: "I wonder what's wrong with the horse that they feel they must hide it.")

On Friday morning, Aunt Beth and Ranjana hosted a sari party. Ranjana brought saris (traditional Indian dress with 6 yds. of cloth) and other Indian garb for us to wear as we sipped the tea and sampled the dainty foods which Aunt Beth and some other women prepared. The party was held at Aunt Beth's house and twenty women attended. A lovely time was had by all. The two hosts said that they would like to host another party in December. I'm sure Sophie would like to attend!

Sari Party Beth n Ranjana.jpg
Aunt Beth and Ranjana

Sari Party 1 Table.jpg
One of the tables...20 women attended!

Sari Party Ranjana and Sarah.jpg
Ranjana fixing Sarah's Sari

Sari Party young ladies.jpg
The young women of the party

Sari Party Meaghen n Zeta.jpg
Meaghen and Zetta

Sari Party Shelly.jpg

Sari Party Colleen n Katie.jpg
Colleen and Katie

Sari Party Cheryl n Kathy.jpg
Cheryl and Kathy

Sari Party Anna Lee.jpg
Anna Lee a.k.a. Snow White

Sari Party Aunt Beth and Melissa.jpg Yesterday morning, I read out of the first chapter of James to the kids. I read out of the English Standard Version which I appreciate. In verse 3, where the NIV says that the testing of your faith produces "perseverance", the ESV instead uses the word "steadfastness" which is a more obvious contrast with the "double-minded man, unstable in all his ways" of verse 8. I didn't catch the contrast between "perservance" and "unstable" in the NIV as I did between "steadfastness" and "unstable" in the ESV. I also then noticed the parallel between the "steadfastness" produced by faith and the character of God Himself described in verse 17: "the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change." Perfect steadfastness!!!

Posted by melissa at 10:05 AM

August 09, 2005

Exercise Family Style

This weekend, James woke up early one morning and couldn't go back to sleep in spite of wanting to sleep in. He surrendered to wakefulness and got ready to go jogging. Matthew woke up too and went with him. He kept up fairly well and enjoyed the run.

This morning, Matthew and Sophie decided that they'd like to go for a jog. They put on their jogging shoes and ran around the cul-de-sac in a C-shape together. Evan woke up later and wanted to jog as they were finishing. They all decided to go back out together. When they came in, Matthew exclaimed, "I want to do that tomorrow!"

Lest you accuse me of laziness for not joining them, I will inform you that I had already done my 55 minute T-Tapp workout!

Tonight James took the kids to a bi-weekly soccer league from 5:30 -7:00 pm at a Baptist church. The kids loved it! James said that Evan got very excited cheering his team on. On the way home, Sophie remarked, "Daddy, I like soccer better than playing dolls."

Posted by melissa at 04:43 PM | Comments (0)

August 03, 2005


The next SUV to be manufactured just might be named the *Titanic*.

"No one would want the history that goes with that name to be associated with their vehicle!" you might argue.

Why not, though? Nissan named one of their recent SUV's the *ARMADA*! Now what pops into your head when you hear the name "Armada"? The Spanish Armada , anyone? Catastrophic defeat? Sunken ships? Hmmmmm?

Posted by melissa at 09:56 AM | Comments (0)

August 01, 2005

Daily Bread

At the risk of boring my WIDE READERSHIP...

Saturday and part of today, I spent time on meal prep so that I can focus on other projects the rest of the week. I chopped, snapped and shucked vegetables; marinated tomatoes and meat; simmered beef stew in the crock pot; deboned a chicken and prepared two meals worth of chicken curry, freezing one for later; cooked dilled lemon chicken; and made my own stir-fry sauce and bbq sauce.

It is nice to spend one segment of time on cooking many meals, but only having to clean up once!

As the kids set the table for supper tonight, I did a Google search on "napkin folding". I chose the pyramid fold to learn this time. I taught the children how to execute the folds on our cloth napkins. It reminded me of preparing for the banquet on Friday nights when I worked at Horn Creek Conference Grounds. The kids and I got a kick out of our fancy table setting! We'll have to try a different fold as we have time.

All that being said, I am thankful for God's blessing us with plenty. And life is more than food.

Posted by melissa at 08:10 PM | Comments (0)