A Reason to Celebrate!

A Reason to Celebrate!

Mark turns 31 on Sunday.  There is no one else here on earth that I desire to celebrate more than my very own husband.  If you gave me a book, I’d fill it’s pages with all the characteristics that I admire so much about him.  But I will only tell you a few of my favorite “Mark Moments” from this last year.
Some moments are actually captured http://www.flynnscapturephotography.blogspot.com/ in the photos.

Mark does not miss an opportunity to “live it up”, rain, snow, grilling, or fireworks.

He earnestly seeks out ways to be apart of each and everyone of our lives.  Even applying make-up on the girls faces on recital day.  The girls will NEVER forget that! 🙂

He is confident about the way God made him (and so am I) 🙂

His silliness knows no bounds.
Everyday he confirms through actions, words, looks, touches; that I am his one and only.

This year has brought with it plenty of difficult terrain for Mark to navigate.  He has so boldly addressed it and walked through it. 

Please join us in the birthday celebration this weekend, whether you are near or far!

Happy Birthday Mark Adam.  I love you.

Smooch,
~s

the journey in the storm: part I

the journey in the storm: part I

if i claim that this blog is about sharing my life and my family’s life, than i would be remiss to not share with you the unknown journey that we are on. 3 1/2 years ago my mom was diagnosed with early onset alzheimer’s. i desire in NO way to dishonor her or my dad by sharing this with you.  my goal in talking about the disease, it’s effect on our family, it’s effect on me, is to journal it for myself and maybe just maybe be a place where others can find a familiar story, a sliver of joy, comfort, laughter, and hope. remember this is MY journey. what i share here is life through MY eyes. not my mom’s, not my dad’s, not my sibling’s, not her family, or her friend’s. i can not speak for them… BUT i know that we share many similar thoughts and feelings.

here is my very first mass email that i wrote to friends and family earlier this year:

7/26/10

there was a storm headed our way yesterday.  myself and the kids were standing inside watching the trees bow at the mercy of the wind.  they were commenting on how cool it was. i told them it was MUCH cooler if you stood outside and felt the wind whirl around your body.  so, with that we all marched outside to stand in the storm. you can’t comprehend the power of a storm unless you actually get to stand in the middle of one. they all recognized while standing inside that something powerful was going on outside, but it wasn’t until we were outside that they could feel with their own bodies the power of the storm. all of their hair, or lack of hair in lucy’s case, was being turned and tossed.  anderson lost his balance several times as he tried to chase the wind.  julia and lucy kept coming in and out of the house shouting their warnings, “i hear thunder! are you sure it’s safe? i hear thunder!” katie, who has matured into being able to trust us at our word, knew that it was safe b/c i was standing out in the middle of the storm WITH her.  she was able to use all of her senses in experiencing the storm b/c she trusted my discernment. if it would have become dangerous i would have ushered us inside. but there was no need for that.  so we enjoyed it…. the rain began to pour out like buckets, the wind would gush and still as the front moved through, and the kids played in the company of the storm.

my mom always says that you are about to enter one of life’s storms, you are in the middle of a storm, or you are coming out of a storm!  we ALL have storms, don’t we?

one storm that we as a family are currently facing is my mom’s diagnoses of alzheimer’s. it’s a bad storm. a storm that at times, has felt like is has swallowed us whole and spit us out for fish food. but we as a large family unit have a resolve to LIVE in the storm.  we are aware of the storms danger, of its natural consequences, of the possible damage it will ensue…. but we chose to live! day by day.. moment by moment… we are going to try and chose laughter, dancing, celebrating, remembering, high-fiving, because we all understand the Company and His discernment. His company is good, always good.  And if it gets dangerous He will usher us inside.  but in the meantime, we are going to try and use ALL of our senses to experience the power of the storm and grow wildly stronger b/c of it.

if you think of it, pray for my sweet Mama. pray that love and encouragement will sustain her.  pray for my Dad, for a reservoir of strength and patience!  pray for us kids to be able to meet needs, while some of us are near and some of us are far.  pray that we will ALL grow wildly stronger in this storm!!

enjoy the pics of the kiddos playing in the storm!
~s

Ain’t Nobody Gonna Slow Me Down! !

Ain’t Nobody Gonna Slow Me Down! !

not even hurricane earl. ok, well it did have the potential to slow us down but earl heard my temper tantrum and kept on moving, leaving behind not even a drop of rain on king george. while passing by, earl, did leave behind some beautiful weather allowing us to enjoy a picture perfect labor day weekend.

when people say “beach or the mountains?” there is NO debate in my mind…the beach!!  growing up in kansas does not allow for a lot of beach.. much more mountain.. consequently, i am trying to get in as many beach trips as possible. we had a blast in VA beach with our friends the chamnesses or “chapnesses” as lucy says. the beach, campfires, s’mores, double dates in the jeep, ferry rides, the USS Wisconsin, and lots of laughter.

traveling with kids takes endless amounts of energy, planning, and determination.  mark and i have traveled hundreds of thousands of miles with our children and we do not for one second regret it.  we need people, we need community, we need our friends and our families. so regardless of the crying, whining, dug-in-gold fish to car seats, traffic, numerous camp songs sung out-loud, distraction techniques, DVD bribery, gas station pull overs, “are we there yets?” (plural), AND yes quiet, mouth open, sleeping… “Ain’t nobody gonna slow us down…. OH, NO… we’ve got to keep on movin’ “

happy monday, (disguised as tuesday)
~s

The Great Collision

The Great Collision

“our griefs cannot mar the melody of our praise; they are simply the bass notes of our life song: “To God be the Glory!” C.H. Spurgeon

september 3rd, and the next four weeks are a season full of mixed emotions for the littlejohn house.  on the one hand we are celebrating my brother andrew’s birthday, my and mark’s upcoming birthdays, our anniversary, and a slew of close family and friend’s birthdays and anniversaries.  and on the other hand we are remembering the day we lost mark’s brother, joshua; and the seasons of grief we have walked through as an extended family and as a couple.  for the past nine years these two seasons in our lives have had to share the dance floor in our hearts.  joshua’s death and our wedding day were only separated by 33 days.  for anyone who has ever grieved anything knows that 33 days might as well be zero days.  BUT, God in His sweet favor allowed us to walk through deep, unspeakable, almost unbearable pain; and then HE lifted us up and ushered in this down pour of celebration and JOY on our wedding day.  did we all in our own way return to grieving? ABSOLUTELY! did we feel grief on our wedding day? YES! but it was the beginning of a companionship that has followed us the rest of our days; the relationship of sorrow and joy. it is inevitable, the two will find one another in your life.  do not choose just the pain and ignore the joy.  and do not just choose the joy and ignore the pain. allow them to coexist on the dance floor of your heart, and then get up and DANCE!!!

~s
p.s. here is the first plug for the “literature” part of our blog.  ‘The Healing Path’ by Dan Allender.   

a bushel and a peck!

a bushel and a peck!

with the changing of seasons we are trying to get as many visits in to the westmoreland berry farm as possible.  today they were selling apples by the bushel and by the peck.  makes me think of the song my mom always sings to the kids, ” i love you a bushel and a peck, a bushel and a peck and a hug around the neck…” i love it when she sings that song. 

notice in the pictures that lucy rarely looks straight at the camera despite all the bribery i can muster up.  she is SO silly. 

happy monday! ~s

The toilet is clogged and overflowing!

I have been sending out mass emails to friends and family for years now.  It has been an attempt to stay connected regardless of the many miles that separate us.  However, the more I write about my family the more I find I have lots to say.  So instead of clogging up everyone’s email I have started this blog.  If you are new to the family, welcome!  I hope you are only offended every once in awhile and inspired often! 
Enjoy.
~s
p.s. i typically do not capitalize.  and i often make spelling and grammatically errors….. GET OVER IT 🙂