What a day!

It was the end of an era today and, therefore, the start of another.

After more than 15 years of spending all day every day at home caring for, educating, and leading my kiddos, today marked a considerable change. Today, all 3 of my kids went to school.

Jordan & Bekah ready to go climb on the bus together

Just one week ago Willie and I made the decision that it was time for Bekah to start at public school, and following a 5 day weekend, she started. She joins Jordan at Hazelwood where she’s in Mrs. Johnson’s 3rd grade class of 23 students. She was welcomed by teachers and classmates, and then the entire school. Jordan was previously scheduled to do morning announcements on the intercom and was also permitted to welcome new student Rebekah Bodger to Hazelwood. So cute.

The new student had just 2 questions: “What do I do if I have to go to the bathroom?” and “When’s lunch?”

After a little video taping (couldn’t resist!) in Bekah’s classroom and overseeing the transition, Bekah asked me ‘When are you going to go?’ I think “now” is the correct answer. I took the hint, and headed out the door.

And I didn’t even cry!

3 kids in school.

I waited all day for the phone’s caller i.d. to register “Edmonds School District”. It never happened!

Five and a half hours kid-free. Felt like Bekah was at a playdate or something. It doesn’t seem possible that it will occur day after day. No more arguments. No more battles of the will. No more trying to motivate Bekah to do her work with a good attitude. Strange.

And then the kicker.

Ashley came home at 2:12. She complained her belly hurt, took some medicine, did a couple other things, and as I re-opened the front door to take out some recycling she says “Oh, I was going to grab that!” What? The garbage? A bag of dirty cat litter? What?

She bolted past me and grabbed a pink vase from the porch table complete with red rose, greens, and a ribbon, and announced in a shocked sort of way, “I got asked out today!”

WHAT?!

I couldn’t do anything but laugh; and laugh; and laugh. Willie was upstairs and came down to see what the raucous was. And there was Ashley standing there holding her flower. She then pulled out the previously attached card which said, “Will you go out with me?” and was signed by a BOY! He’d drawn a little flower on it and everything. Apparently, he came over to her while she was eating lunch with her friends and placed the flower in front of her on the lunch table.

Unfortunately, it didn’t take long to burst my romantic bubble and discover that she wasn’t exactly excited about this boy. Bummer.

But still, sooooo romantic!

Ahhhh....

Not that she’d be allowed to date yet, anyway, but still…

Now she just has to deal with telling him ‘No thanks’. (I told her a note was fine and she could just blame it on us.)

Meanwhile, I am left to reel from these firsts: my youngest went to school and my oldest got asked out. All in the same day.

What a day.

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On my heart…

“I want to go to heaven for 3 reasons: 1) To be with Jesus, 2) To meet your mom…” When Bekah spoke those words earlier today, she had no idea that March 24th is a significant day relating to my mom.

My mom, Dianna, out sailing - June 1988

My mom, Dianna, out sailing - June 1988

Nineteen years ago today, my mom went on a SCUBA diving certification dive for the sheer pleasure of it and something went terribly wrong. “An accident”, that’s all anyone here on earth can explain. What followed was two months of a coma before she succumbed to pneumonia on May 23rd, 1990. My mom was a light and her last months here on earth were probably some of her happiest and yet hardest. She returned to the faith of her youth just 4 months prior to her accident and Jesus changed her life. He didn’t take away the hard things but He was by her side and was her Comforter and Friend to the end.

In years past, I have been very focused on my own grief on this day, but my eyes are a little more opened this year due in part to the networking site Facebook. As I wrote down a simple thought this afternoon, the rest of the evening people have been sharing the impact this day has made on their lives as well. It is quite the reminder that not only is the grief not only mine, but that she touched many peoples’ lives.

Because these Facebook comments have touched my life today, I am adding them below. Thank you everyone…

Stephanie Schertz Bodger thinkingHow life changed so drastically 19 years ago…

 Rene Casale Jessee at 5:22pm March 24
Is this about your mom? Has it been another year already? I hope that you can have peace and rejoice in memories! 
 Stephanie Schertz Bodger at 5:40pm March 24
You’re right on. I was doing fine until Rebekah started talking about heaven on the way home from gymnastics and said she was looking forward to it because she would get to be with Jesus and also meet my mom…
 Rene Casale Jessee at 5:53pm March 24
How beautiful that is though, huh?
 Willie Bodger at 5:54pm March 24
So, for a month I have been waiting to not miss this AGAIN! Then about a week ago life got crazy again and I forgot until about 5 minutes before seeing this status update. Dang it! What happened to my calendar reminders?!?!? I’m sorry, honey.
 Aubrey Cranson at 6:22pm March 24
I’m so sorry for your loss, I hope today is filled with many wonderful memories.
 Jill Armstrong Schiff at 6:33pm March 24
19 years seems like a long time but the memories are not old memories! I’d hug you if I could!
 Katie Hall Jones at 7:02pm March 24
Thinking of you Steph! I’ll be saying a special prayer for you today.
 Laura Bayless Harder at 7:51pm March 24
Stephanie — I remember this whole ordeal like it was yesterday. 19 years is a long time and a short time all in one package. I truly marvel at your ability to find the lap of God in all you endure and that each day you exemplify what I hope to be as a woman of faith. I know you have days where you just can’t understand, but I find incredible strength in knowing you. You have truly blessed my life in ways you may never ever fully know.
 Michael Allerton at 8:13pm March 24
I remember the passing of cousin Diane. I was just out of the service. I can imagine this never goes away, and her memory is probably as fresh as yesterday. Thank God she is with the Lord and all the family that have proceeded us.
 Judy Anderson at 8:26pm March 24
Hey, Steph – I’m sitting here with tears in my eyes remembering the experience and flashing through your life from that day to this – thinking about how proud your mom must be of you and Gary and Wes. Bekah’s remark really touched me, as a grandmother, and leaves me even more thankful that she has her wonderful family here to suppott and love her. I love you. ♥
 Lori Hagen at 10:27pm March 24
(((((((((((((( Stephanie )))))))))))))))))
 Kathy Allerton at 9:03am March 25
Stephanie, I loved your mom so much. I was her aunt but only 2 years older than her so she was like a sister to me. We had so much fun together when they got to come and visit. I miss her and the talks we could have together as we got older.Like you say she was so happy the last few months of her life thanks to our loving heavenly Father. Just remember I think of her often.

Inauguration Day

The case could be made that as a home schooling mom, my kids should be some of the first to have front row seats at some of today’s historic events. They didn’t. I couldn’t. When Bekah plopped herself on the couch this morning and clicked the TV on with the remote, my stomach just lurched. I screamed – and not in joy. I changed channels. All I got was different angles of the same thing. Obama’s serene face. It almost looked smug though.

I know there are plenty of people who are excited about this day FINALLY arriving. I’m just not one of them. Many are talking about the hope, joy, relief. I am trying to focus on not being fearful. I am afraid that many in our country have been duped. And the Bible is all about people being fooled in the Last Days. Obama’s stance on abortion and homosexuality, as well as his background in numerous areas frighten me. They stand in direct opposition to the Lord’s decrees. 

Yes, I am one who will vote on moral issues over economics. 

I hope the Lord will continue to bless the United States of America. I hope we are not heading into a time of lukewarmness. 

Revelation 3:16 says “Because you are lukewarm – neither hot nor cold – I am about to spit you out of my mouth.”

We finally found a station that wasn’t covering the Inauguration this morning. Instead, they were showing “Tribulation Force”, a movie about end times. Hmm. Makes ya think.

I did it!!!

50,000 words in November!

50,000 words in November!

She’s a kid

Bekah: “Can I go outside and play with my friends now?”

Dad: “You’re not going anywhere until you get your room cleaned up.”

Bekah now: Contentedly eating Halloween candy.

Who needs to go play when the sacrifice is so huge and candy is available?!

Being sick really stinks!

I suppose that may be all I have to say when writing a post at 2:53 AM…

I’m so congested I can hardly breathe and my throat and lungs are on fire with any sort of cough. I dosed up on Sudafed, Ibuprofen, and stood over the hot sink with a towel on my head to try to open things up with steam.  My ‘best laid plans’ for Halloween tomorrow are looking iffy… But at least Bekah’s dress is done, now I have to see if I can actually get the bonnet finished tomorrow.

Ten years ago today…

Jordan David - September 25, 1998

Jordan David - September 25, 1998

This is a picture I took of Jordan at Children’s Hospital as we waited for his turn in the CT scanner.

In our hearts, Willie and I already knew that God had a special plan for Jordan and we were just moments away from the ‘phone call that changed our lives’.

I have recently started Bible Study Fellowship and this year we are studying the Life of Moses. One of our questions this week was concerning Moses’ mother, Jocheved. It asked what Jocheved must have seen in Moses, since he is described as a “fine child” and “no ordinary child”. To many, this seems weird. Did he have a ‘glow’ or something? In our discussion group, I was able to share my personal experience with this kind of thing.

I described it to a friend of mine in an email earlier this evening:

The day I found out I was pregnant with a boy (he was the only one we found out on), I KNEW there was something special about him. It was a very memorable day, I even remember the date, Sept. 17, 1998. After Jordan was born and we were bringing him home from the hospital, Willie and I both expressed surprise that he was even coming home with us. Medically, he was fine, healthy. Birth didn’t go fantastic (APGARs of 1 and 9 – heart was beating at 60 BPM and that was all he got points for on a scale of 0-10), but he rebounded and did very well from 5 minutes on. But it wasn’t just my feeling, Willie expressed one, too. Just after 4 months, we found a lump on his leg. We thought, “This is it.” It was actually a reaction from an immunization. So, if that wasn’t it, then what would it be? Then, this day 10 years ago came along, and before his scans were even read, I knew what it was. (Granted, I thought it’d be 5-7 days in the hospital then out and singing the Lord’s praises, not over 57 days with surgeries, chemo, radiation, and numerous complications… I avoided oncology like the plague in nursing school so I had no idea what was to come in that department!)

God had given me a special impression that this child was set apart. I laid him on the alter several times, turning him over to God, months before he was diagnosed. I videotaped him nearly every day (it’s kind of eerie to look back on). He had a personality that was described by our pastor’s wife as a “velcro baby” – you could stick him on the wall and he’d stay there completely content.

What is still to come? Only God knows. He’s the only one that has known all along. But, I am honored and priviledged to be a part of this child’s life.

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