Thinking, Playing, Reading

About how sad it is when older kids leave for college.  I never really realized the deep sense of loss and even mourning that follows that departure, and maybe with the first two it was just busy for me to notice (or I probably ate chocolate to stuff it all?).  It really is a grief process.  When I talk to my friends who are experiencing the same, it is also a time of deep reflection and a little too much of that reflection probably.  Did we do enough?  Do they know how much we love them?  What should/could/would we have done differently?  Were we too tough or not tough enough during the high school years?  And mostly...
WHERE THE HECK DID ALL THOSE YEARS GO and WHY DOES TIME FLY?  I look at their baby pictures as I walk down my stairway every day and my heart aches for those days when we were all together in this house and worries were small.
I think maybe it is even weirder for me because I still have little ones here and the truth is-you just do it every day and you don't really think about the time.  And you never ever will get it all right and never ever do it perfectly and never ever appreciate every minute because that's all so impossible.  You just do what is best and what your life can allow to happen at the time.

We always have a puzzle going in winter, and the kids latch onto a game that the whole family gets into.  Here are some of our favorites.  This year it has been Monopoly-just the old-fashioned one.  It has really helped the younger kids understand money and finances too-yuck! :)
The rest of our favorite games are here.
I love Melissa and Doug floor puzzles (Maybe because the pieces are big and I can lay on the floor while we work on them?)  I ordered this one and have several already.

Just read this book.  I have so much to say about it but maybe not in this post.  I could never do what he did-well I wouldn't have wanted to-reject chemo and just do all natural (I am not judging anyone's decision to do this, I strongly believe when it comes to cancer, we get to choose).  The second half of the book is wonderful-tons of supplements and more of a world-view of how cancer is treated but done very very practically.  
I hate cancer, regardless.


  1. I've been thinking about the college/departure a lot too b/c my oldest (19) lives at home and goes to college so there hasn't been that detachment yet. But my high school senior will surely be going away for college and I'm starting to realize that it is going to be an adjustment and a difficult one. For all of us.

  2. I had (hopefully) and hate cancer too.
    Love and blessings,


  3. Hugs to you!! It breaks my heart to think about my kids leaving home! Even though I want them to progress and grow up, I know it will be hard for me. My oldest child (a girl) is almost 16. If you have any great advice for parenting teens I’m all ears! I have an almost 14-year-old boy too. They are great kids, but also so frustrating at times and I feel like my little ones are so much easier for me because I have a lot more experience in that area! Also, it is hard balancing all the ages and I know you have been in my shoes- juggling babies and teens! Any advice for that? We live in California and know very few large families so sometimes I feel like I am the only one dealing with this. Anyway, just thought I would throw it out there in case you were looking for blog topics, your insights have blessed me many times! Thank you! ❤️

  4. I love this post:) my heart literally hurts when sending them off to school, or a church mission trip or off to start their own adventure after getting married. And I still have kiddos at home, which helps, but my house is emptying too fast.

    I hate cancer too. I’m glad you’re back to sharing so we can all learn from your insight:)

  5. We are just starting the college process - my daughter is 17 and a junior in college. I can't imagine our home without her here. Ugh - I just want time to slow down!!

  6. My oldest just left this past August..and its just hard. I loved our family unit..and the change is well just hard. So much of my happiness and what defined me is wrapped in us four. I miss our banter, our routine, and our us. Looking forward to having him home for the holidays. It is hard to prepare your heart for this stage...so hard.

  7. Yes, the thought of children leaving is so hard. I really hate thinking too much about it. And I'm with you-cancer is awful.

  8. On a totally different subject, I have to tell you such a nice story about your brother. A few weeks ago Michigan was playing in a tournament in Connecticut. My brother-in-law's sister and her husband brought their son Derek to see them play since that is his favorite team. Derek is 17 and has Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy. While there they crossed paths with your brother who immediately remembered Derek from last year's game. He made a point to connect with them and posed for a great picture. He also asked if he could keep in touch with Derek. A few minutes out of John's day made a wonderful memory for that family as they try to make Derek's remaining years as full and happy as possible.

    1. Hi Karen-John Beilein is my uncle, and he is AWESOME. This story doesn't surprise me at all. :)