Sunday, June 19, 2016

Happy Father's Day 2016

Dear Glenn,

Thank you for being the fun-loving, goofy, smiling dad that you are with our children.  Watching you with our kids warms my heart more than you could ever know.  You are so kind-hearted and your endless patience inspires me.

You're always so selfless with your time.  You make us all so happy.  Thank you for giving me this beautiful life and wonderful family.

I love you so much!

God bless you always,

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

My Daughters

Back in March, the girls and I attended the Mother-Daughter Tea that a group at school hosts every year.  It's not really a tea, more of a hearty meal.  But I'm more of a hearty meal kinda girl, so I'm good with that.

It was fun to dress up with both girls and have our own date night.  Where has the time gone?

They used to snuggle in my lap,
And beg me to read them a book,
And follow me around the house,
And never give me any privacy.  
(Can I please just have five minutes to go to the bathroom?!!)

Now they do their own things and sit in their own chairs and read their own books (or not).

They are lovely and mature and kind and delightful and I couldn't be prouder of the beautiful young women they are becoming.

And I'm not gonna lie... I do enjoy my private bathroom time.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Holy Interruptions

In January, we found out that we were expecting.  Yes, we were shocked.  No, it wasn't planned (thus, the shock).  It took some time to process the crazy news that we were going to be adding to our family of five.  Our oldest is almost 17 and our youngest will be 12 this summer.  Not exactly the idyllic spacing I had imagined, but what in life follows our ideal plans?  I had a dear friend remind me of a bible study we completed together about poor Jonah in the whale which explained that life is full of holy interruptions.  Things we didn't have planned that God places in our lives and they turn out to be beautiful, sacred blessings despite our initial reluctance to embrace them.  I needed to hear that.

I began to embrace the idea of a new little one in the family.  Of seeing my older kids nurture and love another little Poxleitner.  I began to dream and imagine what life would be like as a family of six.  I'll admit I was dreading the sleepless nights and the dirty diapers just a little, but mostly I just smiled at this new, crazy wrinkle in our life.  I knew that nothing gives me more joy than my children, so how could I not be thrilled to have another?  

We began to talk about names.  The kids were very supportive and excited, but I made sure they knew that women at my age are more prone to miscarriages.  I had this niggling fear because I wasn't having any morning sickness, but everyone's different, they say.

And then the bleeding began.  Not too much.  I did what I always do when I want more information... I Googled it.  The results were a mixed bag, but there were lots of examples of women who bled, but the baby was fine.  The bleeding continued and was joined by cramping after a couple days.  Cramping - intense cramping - that's not good according to Google.  The doctor suggested an ultrasound and it was clear our little wonder had stopped developing a couple weeks prior.  We were just beginning to embrace this miracle and it was time to say goodbye.

The grief.  The guilt.  Did I want him or her badly enough?  Did I deserve him when I so often get impatient or cranky with the kids I have?  Not logical, or accurate, I'm aware, but is emotion logical?

I told the kids that this little brother or sister of theirs would be waiting for us in heaven.  My mom added to that that he or she was with my dad who is already up there.  I loved that image.  My dad never got to meet any of his grandchildren.  I can imagine he's one proud papa and that baby is well-loved by him and many other loved ones.  

Mostly, I was fine.  Am fine.  But occasionally I feel raw, fragile.  How do women go through this over and over again?  You don't understand the weight of a miscarriage until you experience it.  I knew it must be difficult.  My heart went out to those women who struggled with repeated miscarriages.  But I didn't get it.

So, I'm healing.  But it's slow.  I've now been not pregnant for more weeks than I was pregnant.  Seems like that should be enough grieving, but I guess I'm not done with being sad.  I want to be.  I mostly am.  The tears aren't so close to the surface, but the ache is still there.  I know I need to be patient with myself, but patience has never been my strongest virtue.

We're still discussing names.  We will pick one.  I believe that little soul lives on and is waiting for us and he or she needs a name.  Being the practical sort, I suggested a gender neutral name, but I'm leaning towards a boy name now.  Morgan needs a brother.  And if it's a little girl?  Well, then I'm sure she'll like whatever name we pick.  Grandpa will help her see the humor in it.

Friday, April 22, 2016


We are so proud of our girls for choosing to be Confirmed into the Catholic Church.  It's been a long process of monthly classes and volunteer hours and preparing to receive the Holy Spirit.  

It was a beautiful night and a lovely service.  I have to admit.... I got a little teary.  It's so moving to see your children make their own choice to embrace the faith they were baptized into.  We've spent the last 17 years trying to be good examples for these people.  Trying to instill strong values and a love of God into their hearts.  But there's only so much you can do.  If they decide not to take all that and make it their own, that's a valid option.  And that would be okay, too, but it sure makes my heart happy that they are choosing the path they're on.

There was no shortage of Priests at the service.  Five to be exact.  Plus a Deacon.  And, don't forget  Bishop Peter from Boise.  He's the one who does the Confirming, so he was also invited.

Ellea was less than thrilled to be on crutches, but what are you gonna do?  One fractured femur and a Confirmation, please.  Thank you.  

There was some nerves about remembering what to say to the Bishop.  He's a big deal.  Thankfully, they remembered their lines.

Fifty-four youth from around the area were confirmed.  Thirty-four of them were from our parish.  We may live in a small town, but it's a very Catholic area (thanks to all those good German immigrants!) which is a nice place to raise kids.  (Ellea is fifth from right in front.  Nicole is fourth head from the right on top.)

 Aunt Donna made the trip up from Lewiston to support the girls which was lovely.

And they picked wonderful sponsors to support them now and into the future in their faith journey.

I see strong bonds developing between these ladies.  I love these sweet Kaufman wives.

This choice was another beautiful step towards adulthood and independence and my heart is full of pride.  But gosh darnnit, I'm not even remotely ready for any of that.   So I think I'll only let them out of the house for church and school.  And maybe youth group.  But that's it.  I've got to draw the line somewhere.

I love you girls!  May you enjoy unwrapping the gifts of the Holy Spirit and continue to grow and explore your faith.  I look forward to watching you make that journey.  You are both already so mature and wise and faith filled.  It makes me so proud.  God bless you always and keep you safe in the palm of his hand.

Friday, February 19, 2016

Hallissey Tournament, Year Five

We had another epic weekend in Boise for the annual Hallissey basketball tournament sponsored by a Catholic church down there.  This was Glenn's fifth year of coaching a team for this tournament.  You can review many of our memories of this event here and here.

New this year, Glenn switched from coaching the girls' team to coaching the boys' team.  This was Ellea's first year of not being on the team after four years of participating on the court.  She started in 5th grade and it's technically an 8th grade tournament.  Glenn usually takes 7th and 8th graders along so she had a more years than most kids get.

Morgan will get to have the same experience, as he was on the team this year as a fifth grader.  He mostly took stats and got to experience the game from the bench, but he also got a couple minutes of playing time when the team had a nice lead.

They worked hard and made it to the championship game which is always exciting.  Glenn gets to announce each of his players.  He started with the youngest players, so Morgan went first.  Here, he's fist bumping the officials.  (I just realized that, looking back, Nicole also wore #12 when she played three years ago.  Funny!)

They played their hearts out, but they were playing a team that was strictly 8th graders.  They had played this team once before in the tournament and lost by 20 points.  The score was much closer for this game (it was often tied or one or the other team had a lead of a point or two), but the other team pulled ahead in the end.  Glenn's team played some great ball and gave it their all.

Second place is nothing to be ashamed of, but those were some sad boys.

So proud of these two.  Glenn had so many random people approach him after the game and tell him what a great team he had and how fun it was to watch them.  Can't wait to watch number 12 improve his game and continue to grow.  He's already got a great understanding of the game and really seems to enjoy it.  Until next year.....

Friday, February 12, 2016

Stacking Things

I have been going into the elementary school to present character education lessons once a month this year.  It's a paid position, but just barely.  The kids are great, but it's a challenge to think of fun, relevant activities and information to present to explain whatever the concept of that month is to kids from Kindergarten to 6th grade.  The value for month of February was cooperation.

I had the older kids do the same cup stacking activity that we did at the Christmas party this year.  The kids really seemed to enjoy it.  We even got tricky and had the kids flipping the cups over in different directions for the stack.

This game is a great example of cooperation.  Morgan should be quite the expert as we've done it a few different times now.

Glenn and I tried our hand at stacking something, also.  His company hosts a "winter party" every year and this year one of the activities had was the game Jenga.  Very large Jenga!

A Jenga selfie.

We're not big Jenga players, but it was fun to try our hand at this unusually large version.  It got very wobbly by the end, of course, and sadly, I was the one who knocked it over.  It was much louder and more dramatic than the usual tip-over in Jenga!