Ben is 11

Ben is 11 today!
May he continue to grow in God's wisdom and grace, becoming a man after God's own heart, seeking first HIM and HIS kingdom all the days of his life.

You are a blessing, Ben!!!!!!

First Day of School for 2012-13 School Year

First day of school nerves were firing this morning....
Mikayla starts her senior year of high school!

Kirsten starts her freshman year of high school!

Ben starts 5th grade!

James is staying home and doing some preschool with me!

Pray for our kids to run their races well, to fight the fight of faith, to seek first HIM and HIS kingdom all the days of their lives, to apply their heart to instruction and their ear to words of knowledge.

Summer's Adjustments

School starts August 1 for our kids.
Our summer has been a time of readjusting as a family to a 'new normal' after 4 years of caring for our special needs son, Jerard.

Ben and James now share a room.

We tore down the extra bedroom we'd had built for Jerard and James to sleep in.

with the extra bedroom gone, we now have a larger common
area for desks and computers.

We've taken trips to the beach to relax, play games and enjoy times in God's nature. The ocean is very healing.

Our kids have said "see you later" to friends leaving for furlough and college...

James has been extra attached to Tigger and in need of more cuddles as he processes his grief over his brother....

Here are some photos from the past few days of relaxing before school starts!

Thanks for continuing to pray for us!


Five days before Jerard died was Mother's Day.
Ben's then fourth grade class prepared a gift for each of the moms of a large container of homemade pancake mix, measuring cups and spoons, and syrup for the pancakes.

Ben, along with the help of his Dad, made wonderful pancakes for our breakfast that morning.
who knows what Kurt is sticking in his ears!!!?!?!?

I thought I'd share the recipe with you in two versions...the original, and the one we've modified it to be.

Original Pancake Mix

Mix well together the following:
3 cups flour
1 1/2 tsp salt
3 Tablespoons baking powder
3 Tablespoons sugar
1 cup powdered milk
Mix well and store in airtight container (and in ref to keep ants out!)

To Use:
1 egg
1 cup water
1 Tablespoon oil
1 1/2 cups mix
Mix well. Fry on lightly oiled pan.

We like this recipe so well we usually triple the mix and store in a large lock n' lock box in the ref since we have pancakes just about every morning. Its much more cost-effective then buying cereal here. I've also modified the recipe somewhat:

7 cups white flour
2 cups oatmeal
1 cup wheat germ
1 Tablespoon salt
9 Tablespoons baking powder (1/2 cup + 1 T)
1/2 cup sugar (brown or white)
3 cups powdered milk
Sift together well. Store in ref.

To use take
1 1/2 cups mix
1 egg
1 cup water
mix well.
I sometimes add 1 tsp vanilla and/or 1/2 tsp cinnamon.

Jerard used to love to eat pancakes. It was one of his
favourite foods along with graham crackers.
This picture was taken the day before he died. He was really
sleepy and seemed to be uncomfortable most of the day;
but laying on the floor kept him cooler and seemed to
be soothing to him.....miss you, buddy.

To James In The Waiting

A good friend of mine wrote a letter to James the day his brother Jerard died. I wanted to share it with you all.

For James in the Waiting

Your brother, the one who shared your blood
and your facial features,
left his body behind today.
(Did you see his vacant eyes?)

James, did you know that he left our world,
where you used to touch him, make him laugh,
and is now in with God,
where God can touch him, make him laugh.

James, he can walk.
He has a new body.
Jerard can run.
He is ready to play with you.

But for now, in the waiting,
I'm asking our Good Lord Jesus
to give you peace and patience.
To hold your hand, your heart, your strong young body,
in His hands while you cry, or question, or are distracted.

Because when the waiting is done,
you'll see your twin brother.
And, James,
he'll finally see you.

Love you James,
Aunt Rachel

Since James was little he's always been protective and
caring of Jerard.