It has come to my attention that some of you are not "up to date" on whats going on over here in our crazy house. We really do like to have fun and only sometimes does the madness of this whole thing take over and make me want to cry. So here is a recap of the last year....hoping that if I say it out loud, the next twelve months will calm down. :)
As I am writing, I feel as though I should start before that, with a quick catch up on our immediate family. Clint, Lyndsey, Justin and I moved back to Kansas from beautiful Colorado in July of 2001. I was on the fence about the move, we built our first home in Greeley, Colorao and felt like it was heaven. Just an hour to the mountains, fishing, hiking, camping, skiing, all sorts of nature. We learned what it meant to chop down a "real" christmas tree (and life will never be the same). Alan asked if we would move back to Topeka and Clint could help him run some of the business's he owned. He anticipated his retirement was pending and wanted to be able to hand over the reins. So we said goodbye and journeyed home. The family bonding we accomplished with our little family, although away from the big family, was amazing. I would suggest it for all young couples.....MOVE AWAY FROM YOUR PARENTS....establish your own life. It is the best therapy in the world.
Nonetheless, we found a home here and settled in. Justin started Kindergarten, Lyndsey was baptized, Brad and Rebecca were married - had thier first child - Ashton Cooper Coates, Brad served his first tour in Iraq. We had a good time getting to know Becca and watching Ashton grow, he was such a funny little guy. Brad returned and accepted a job in DC. Before we knew it, Lyndsey was in middle school, Justin gained a new best friend (Lady, his cocker spaniel), life was just cruising along. Alan did indeed retire and it was sad to see them move back to Arizona. Truth be told, it was alot of work for those left here. We had a good family summer that year fixing, redecorating and selling thier home.
Both of our kids were active in school clubs, music, sports and life rolled right along. We've done glasses, contacts, braces, appliances, more braces, broken a few more bones, but still hanging in there. We feel very blessed to have two smart, happy teens. We love to spend time together, play board games, ride bikes, garden, laugh and eat. We also love to travel. Last May, both children were advanced in school - Justin to middle school and Lyndsey to High School. Exciting times lay ahead.
We took a family trip to Flippin, AR (if you have never been it is totally worth the drive, if only so that you can see a police cruiser that says "Flippin Police".:). This trip was special because we spread my Granpa's ashes in the Arkansas River. Many of my cousins, aunts, uncles, neices and nephews were in attendance. After that trip, we attened church camps for a week (separatly - Lyndsey and I, Justin and Clint) then headed off to Arizona to visit the relatives. We decided to drive so Lyndsey could get in her driving hours. Fun, Fun, Fun is all I can say!!!
**ok, my battery is low, I will finish this in the am. I promise the end is worth the length...
Monday, here I am again. Need to finish this for all the fans :)
I received a call while on vacation that my youngest brother Brad had to serve another tour of duty in Iraq, and that he would leave in less than a week. At this point Ashton is 6 and Talan is 11 months old. They had discussed many options, and ultimately decided that Rebecca and the boys would move back to be close to family while he was away. I just had an impression that I should fly out and drive back with Becca. Even though we get along, we are both very strong women and it was easy for me to offer this, but probably hard for her to accept. She left it up to me and I gladly came out. I have to say that while sending off my brother has never been one of my favorites, and that while our family is open, Becca had been hard to read - I always wished I could do more for her. So I was nervous, but I knew that if I could at least keep her mind off the boys, keep them happy, then all would be ok. I guess as the oldest child I feel like mother goose to all the neices and nephews.
We had the most wonderful 19 hour, 3 day drive back to Kansas ever! Fun, laughs, diapers, no sleep for Talan, first ice cream cone, becoming one with google....very many others. Just a great drive. I think that our sisterhood grew so much stronger during that drive. That we found out our similar interests, similiar dislikes, thinks we had not previously known. Loads of fun for me, loved being with the boys and reuniting my bond with Ashton. I guess kids just feel comfortable with me - because I am a sucker and give them what they want:)
Somewhere during the drive Clint and I decided to ask Becca if she would consider living with us instead of an apartment. We knew it would be a huge decision for her. But were happy when she said yes. Uncle Clint had such a good time being a male figure for Ashton the first time and the same is true of Talan...he loves them up. It has been many years since anyone acknowledged that he arrived home from work, let alone screamed in delight, ran to the door and gave out hugs.
After the movein in August, we started in on the basement. We had to decide on a plan, shop for a contractor, pick out paint, carpet, wood, fixtures. It was a family event and we did much of the work ourselves. So our downstairs tenents settled in, food storage is repacked (and multiplied)...
School is well underway, Lyndsey enjoying seminary, Justin starting middle school, Ashton in a new school - Rebecca and Talan were excited to be spending quaility time together again. We became an organized functioning family. Chores were getting accomplished, dinners being made and yet fun was had. We survived some birthdays, halloween, thanksgiving and christmas, HORRAY!
It was soon 2009 and our Lyndsey had a simple request that was creeping up on us. About a year ago she asked if she could have a quincenera for her 15th birthday. She feels very close to her hispanic heritage, I reasearched it and said ok, as long as you are not also expecting a sweet 16 - no double dipping! The time was quickly approaching for her birthday, so we worked each eveing on some facet of this event. I will have a separate blog entry of all the quince details.
(For those of you keeping track of life, our current chruch callings are Clint - Scoutmaster 5 years, Second Counsler in YM - 3 years, Tanya - First Counsler in RS, over Enrichment - 2 years) We are also working together at Midwest Checkrite, our family comany. Just trying to make the business viable, give a service to other business's and make a little money. Basically we spend alot of time together.
So, during the climax of quince plans (two days before the event) we received a call from the police. Our neice and nephew, Zoe and Zachary Coates needed to be picked up. They live about 80 miles away in Missouri. This was on April 8th. So, we made it through the quince and went right into, well the only word that comes to mind is craziness mode. A world that we are not familiar with. I has been a ride the last couple of months, emotionally, physically, financially. It is a ride that all nine people in our home are riding. We each have different aspects of how it is affecting us and trying to mesh that all together is interesting at best.
We have faith that we will make it through what ever comes our way. We appreciate all your thoughts and prayers. Will keep you posted on our crazy times!