Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Bon Voyage Kack!


Last Thursday we buried Kack. Despite being one of the most difficult things I've done as an adult, it was a really good couple of days.
Kack was a pretty amazing person. He and my grandmother married 64 years ago and had a wonderful daughter (my mom). We had the privilege of spending most of our growing years living across the street from Gram & Kack. On Wednesdays after piano lessons, we'd go to their house for dinner, and on Sundays after church, we would go there for waffles. My kids still love to visit their house for waffles whenever we go up for a weekend. On Fridays, we would usually go out to dinner as an extended family, frequently to Ponderosa. Then we would go to our house to watch Webster or The Dukes of Hazard. One of my greatest wishes was to be able to buy Kack a big old Caddy like the one Boss Hogg drove on the show!
Our family did lots of things with Gram & Kack. We went on vacation to Disney World and Niagra Falls. Really, most of my memories from my younger years include Kack in them. He and Gram had wanted a big family (he had 4 brothers and 5 sisters), but with his only daughter, he doted on the three of us. When the great-grandchildren came along, they were also well loved. Our oldest son James is named in part for Kack. I'm quite certain that when we had the ultrasound that determined that we were having a son (the first one in a few generations on my mom's side), Kack was the first person we called with the news.
One of the things we laughed about over the week (and we laughed a lot!) was all of the names that he gave everyone. When people came through the receiving line at the funeral home, most would identify themselves by their real name, and then by the name that Kack had given them. Not all were very complimentary, but nonetheless, Kack never shied away from meeting someone new and getting to know them well enough to at least give a nickname!
The other thing that we laughed about were his hats! Because he was a coal miner and then a contractor, he had hats galore. The kids all took one as a reminder of Kack, and later, when Jason took the kids home, those of us that stayed went to Grams and got out ALL of his hats. When we counted them all, it came out right around 150 hats! We were all absolutely exhausted from laughing! Gram said that he never let her throw away any of them, and it was really obvious when we went through them all!
It seems like Kack's death was a good one. He was on the phone laughing with a good friend, in his home with Gram & Molly (his beautiful Cocker Spaniel), and it seems as if he just...died. My parents said that he didn't seem to be in any pain. Certainly, I wish he could have been around for years and years more, but with all that he was going through with pain from dialysis and an upcoming surgery, I am thankful that he was taken peacefully.
Best of all, Kack left a grand legacy behind him. He loved Jesus. Gram told me stories of how he stood up for right in his church, even when it would have been easier to go along with the prevailing opinion. His desire to serve Christ by serving man was evident through all of his years -- I don't think any of us that knew him went untouched by that desire. I'm sure that it has heavily influenced our family. My mom has gone on to be a missionary, even when it's been difficult for her. My sisters and I all believe in helping those less fortunate, both in foreign countries and right here in our own neighborhoods. We had a strong example of living unselfishly and I hope that we're able to pass that on to our own families.
I will deeply miss visiting with Kack. Sitting around shooting the breeze about politics (Jason and I were probably the only two in the family who agreed with him!). Hearing silly jokes. Sharing stories about his trips around the globe. Watching him give the kids a little extra syrup on their waffles. But I know that he is in a much, much better place, and I know that the time until we get to sit down at a way bigger table than Gram's is coming sooner than I know.
May God be glorified!

Monday, May 19, 2008

Not sure what to say

I know today should be Musical Monday, but I'm not feeling much like that. I found out last night that my grandfather (Kack, Keek, Trigger, Walt, etc.) passed away. He went very quickly, which is a good thing, but it's still hard. I was expecting (in so much as you can expect these things) a phone call letting me know that he was in bad shape and might die, but I wasn't quite ready for the call telling me that he had already gone on.

I don't feel up to a full eulogy today. I hope to post something up when we get back in town from the funeral.

Thank you for your prayers. I love you Kack!

Monday, May 05, 2008

Musical Monday

I know it's been a while since my last Musical Monday, but I'm here today!

Despite a couple of cold days, spring has been here pretty much in full force. And spring means heading outside to play with the dogs and play with the children and to enjoy the beauty of God's magnificent creation. Growing up, my family generally went on "boring" vacations to places. We'd spend a lot of time camping. One of my favorite memories (and I've probably written about it here before) was one evening in Vermont. We had enjoyed a nice family evening, no doubt having cooked mountain pies and s'mores by the campfire, and we were just sitting quietly in an open field at the campground where we were staying. It was one of the few times I've had the luxury of a dark sky, free from light pollution. It was a spectacular clear night, and the sky seemed to stretch forever. In that moment, we were all able to catch a glimpse of the unquestionable majesty and infinity of God. A normally loud and verbose family, we were all struck with the power and awe of that moment. Today, years later, we all still remember that with amazing clarity. In all of our vacations, I'm sure all five of us would rate that as one of the top three memories and probably the number one.

Today's song reminds me of that moment and others like it where I was able to catch a brief inkling of the magnificence of the God I serve. And it reminds me that a God who could create the vast expanse of space and the spectacular mountains and the deep and powerful ocean still loved me enough to give up His one and only Son to pay for my sins and bridge the gap between us. What a vision You are, my Lord and Savior!!

In Wonder by the Newsboys

So much wonder
Carved in your coral seas
So much wonder
Shaded by ancient trees
I consider all that your hands have made
Every newborn’s eyes, every new sunrise

No power can tame your presence
No light can match your radiance

LET ALL CREATION SING IN WONDER
EVERY SEA, EVERY CREATURE, EVERY STAR
YOU OPENED UP MY EYES TO WONDER
WHAT A VISION, WHAT A WONDER YOU ARE

Such a wonder
Ordering time and tide
Such a wonder
Bridging the great divide
I consider all that you had, all you gave
And all that you endured
From this rebel world

What a wondrous cross you chose to bear
What a wonder you would even care

LET ALL CREATION SING IN WONDER
EVERY TREE, EVERY CREATURE, EVERY STAR
YOU OPENED UP MY EYES TO WONDER
WHAT A VISION, WHAT A WONDER YOU ARE

LET EVERY ROCK CRY OUT
LET EVERY KNEE BOW DOWN
YOU OPENED UP MY HEART TO WONDER
WHAT LOVE, WHAT A WONDER YOU ARE

No power can tame your presence
No light can match your radiance
Such a wonder...Such a wonder...

LET ALL CREATION SING IN WONDER
EVERY TREE, EVERY CREATURE, EVERY STAR
YOU OPENED UP MY EYES TO WONDER
WHAT A VISION, WHAT A WONDER YOU ARE

LET EVERY ROCK CRY OUT
LET EVERY KNEE BOW DOWN
YOU OPENED UP MY HEART TO WONDER
WHAT LOVE, WHAT A WONDER YOU ARE


Sunday, May 04, 2008

Bats!

So last night I'm sitting here on the computer, probably playing Scramble on Facebook or earning Kinzcash for the kids' Webkinz, and all of a sudden, there's a cry from upstairs. Now, that's not a huge surprise. Not many nights go by that don't require my presence upstairs about half an hour after they kids have gone to bed. But this was a pretty major yell. The child I could understand most was Faith, yelling down that there was a bird flying in the house.


I ran upstairs to see what was going on. I walked into the room and saw the "bird" swooping around the room, going between the boys' room and the bathroom. It took one glance to realize that it was no bird, but rather a bat. After years of dealing with bats at the barn at Campraise, it is incredibly easy to spot these little buggers. I was able to trap the bat into the bathroom, and then ran downstairs to grab Jason, who had gone to bed early, to come help me capture or kill this animal.

Jason knocked the animal about and we all screamed a lot, and then at some point, there was nothing. We figured he must have been hit and killed, but we couldn't find the corpse anywhere. I just assumed that he would either turn up with a cat or dog and that would be that.


About an hour later, Jason and I were sitting on the couch watching Red Green, when down the stairs flew our bat friend. Jason grabbed a broom and I grabbed a mop and we then proceeded to go crazy trying to knock the bat down without killing it to get it outside. Jason knocked him a little silly, and then I was able to finally knock him down permanently. I like to think that we were able to get him outside without killing him (He was still moving when Jason shoved him out the door and I didn't find any carcasses in the yard this morning when I took Fang out), but I just don't know. Jason commented that the two of us flinging those brooms around looked like really out of shape Gladiators!

This has definitely been the talk around the house today. Christopher was pretty freaked out by it -- more than any of the other kids. He keeps checking all of the windows to make sure there aren't any cracks that bats can fly in through. When he saw me looking at pictures online for this blog, I asked him if the pictures scared him. His response, "No, pictures are fine. But real bats -- they creep me out!"

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Democratic Race in Seven Minutes

Elwood found this today. Very succinct, funny & informative. Enjoy!

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I'm a wife to an amazing man, and mom to four incredible kids. I'm a Christian woman who sometimes struggles with doubt. I'm a musician and a writer who is sometimes afraid to play and write. I'm trying to be more authentic every day.
 
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