This is a picture of my Aunt Betty, who passed away on August 9. She lived in Washington, Iowa with my Uncle Owen. She was a lovely lady who always seemed like Grandma to me (my dad's folks died when I was young, I have very few memories of them). Owen and Betty lived on a farm and I loved to visit there when I was a kid. Betty was an amazing cook and was always making sure everybody was taken care of. She and Owen raised 3 beautiful women; Janice, Judy and Jolene and I had the privilege of seeing them all at Betty's funeral.
My brother Tom and I drove together to Iowa for her services. My brother Tony, who lives in Virginia, and his son Tim made the long drive as well (along with my cousin Rick). It was nice to get to see Tony, I hadn't seen him since my mom died 3 1/2 years ago- too long. I did not bring any kids with and it was really nice to get to spend time in conversations with adults, especially my cousins and relatives I had not seen in years. My Uncle Owen has always had a special place in my heart, he is a very friendly man who has a sparkle in his eye and smiles a lot. I was blessed to have some really good time with him remembering his lovely wife. I will treasure my 3 days in Iowa!!!
I returned from Iowa on a Thursday night, and left Friday night after bedtime for Willmar, for my once a year girls weekend. I was bummed out on the timing and was feeling guilty for leaving Michael after I had just returned, but I got over it quickly. Especially when I was water skiing all weekend, it felt great and everyone survived without me.
This past weekend was a busy one as well. The kids and I drove to Albert Lea on Friday to meet Hezekiah's foster grandma, we call her Grandma Von. She lives in northern Iowa and we try to meet her every other year or so. She is a precious woman, I believe she is in her 70's. We have not seen her for over 3 years, and when we got out of the car, she knew each one of my kids names, pronounced them all correctly (which is difficult for most people), and knew which kid was who. That is amazing. We had some great fellowship with her.
When we left Albert Lea, we drove straight to Akila's friends house in the cities. Emma's family offered to take all four of our kids for an overnight to give Michael and I a break. What a blessing!!!! Michael and I went out for dinner, saw Indiana Jones, and worked on tearing our bathroom apart (bathtub tiles have been falling down, turning into major project-ugh). It was a very peaceful and productive 24 hours!!!! Thanks Emma, Rachel, John and Lori!!! The kids had a blast!!!
We picked the kids up from their house to go straight to Dan and Tara's home (Michael's brother) for the summer birthday celebration. Got home after bedtime last night and spent the day today trying to recover from all of the excitement. We are all definitely ready for school to start. I am looking forward to being able to blog more regularly!!
Akila was pretty good today. Bedtime has not been very fun lately though. After I had put her down, she came out and in a very rude and accusatory voice, commanded me to move her fan closer to her cuz she couldn't feel it. It is so hard to remain calm and not go psycho when she speaks like this. Understand, this is after close to 30 minutes of abusive behavior from her, shortly after I leave her room and am so relieved the day is over. 9 days until school starts. Can't wait!