Oh my gosh, look at his room

Jonathan sleeping

I stumbled across this picture last night and it made me both happy and sad.
This was our now forever 23 year old Jonathan on 12-2-15. He was working really long, hard days, had come home from a particularly challenging day and was sleeping like this for the few minutes before he had to start all over again.
I’m actually surprised that I kept it because the look of his room with clothes and shoes strewn about everywhere and stuff all over the place used to get his dad and I so upset. Also, his pants were hanging halfway down his hiney and the tuxedo he would wear in his cousin Sahag’s wedding 2 days later is in a pile on his chair.
Now, I am so glad I have this picture. This is a perfect representation of the hardworking (and slightly sloppy) man he had become.
Just 3 months later on 3-8-16 he would be taken home to his Maker after a motorcycle accident. This past Tuesday was the first time the 8th of the month fell on a Tuesday since the Tuesday of Jonathan’s accident. Such an awful day for me. I miss him so much.



Strong Waves

I can’t seem to catch my breath this week. The waves of grief keep crashing over me and knocking me off of my feet. I am having so much trouble focusing, it’s almost as bad as in the first few weeks after his accident. I miss Jonathan and see reminders of him every where I look. I miss his sparkling blue eyes, his smirky smile and his contagious giggle. I would give just about anything for one of his super tight hugs and to hear his laugh again. I suspect that with the holidays just 3 weeks away things will not improve significantly in the near future. Right now I am just doing the best that I can to lean into the strong and compassionate arms of my Creator. Nothing else even comes close to calming my racing heart.

Wanting desperately to dwell on Psalm 94:19 “When my anxious thoughts multiply within me, Your consolations delight my soul” and Psalm 16:8-9 I have set the Lord continually before me; Because He is at my right hand, I will not be shaken. Therefore my heart is glad and my glory rejoices; My flesh also will dwell securely.” 

Lord, help me to keep my eyes on You. 


Day 235

Jonathan Matthew Sepetjian

Jonathan Matthew Sepetjian

This guy made us parents for the first time 8,949 days ago and today it has been 235 days since his Creator took him home to heaven at the age of 23. All of those 235 days have been hard, but this evening is especially hard. My heart aches from missing him.

His empty room across the hallway from ours still has all of his clothes in the hamper and in the closet, except a few pieces that his brother has taken to wear.  The bedding that he slept in the last couple of nights before his accident is still on his bed and sometimes I go in there to bury my face in them with hope that I might still catch a hint of his smell. It is hard to explain the desire to hold on to every piece of him. I’ve even gone as far as picking up his used contact lenses which were thrown indiscriminately onto the carpet in his room. I have some of them in a zip lock baggie. At least one person who I confided in that I had wanted to do that, likened it to saving his used toilet paper or old poop. Hardly the same thing as far as I am concerned. These were practically a part of his body and helped him to see the world that he liked to experience at full tilt. They literally touched the most beautiful blue eyes ever, how could I not want to hold on to them?

I guess I’ll just cut my rambling short for tonight and end with this: “We miss you like crazy and love you so much, Jonathan.”


Pinterest Inspired

Pinterest has inspired me to do things that I otherwise would never have attempted.
Today I, or rather Noah and I, re-covered a couple of chairs that were looking pretty shabby. It took a little bit longer than we expected but they came out great!





James 1:27

"Pure and genuine religion in the sight of God the Father
means caring for orphans and widows in their distress
and refusing to let the world corrupt you."   James 1:27  NLT

I have a little bit of trouble identifying with this particular passage. I wholeheartedly claim 2 Timothy 3:16-17   (“All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right. God uses it to prepare and equip his people to do every good work.” NLT) , but it’s been hard for me to apply the James passage to my life. What does it mean for me and for my family? God has been stirring my heart…

One huge reason this is so fresh is because I am watching some people who I love and respect live this out in a big way. They are putting their money where their mouths are (literally) and growing their family through adoption. International Adoption. It’s blessing me to watch them walk by faith and trust God so completely. You’d be doing yourself a huge favor by checking their adoption story here: Waiting for Rain. In fact, you should bookmark it. Better yet, subscribe to their updates. You’ll be blessed, too.

Today I got to assist them in a small way by helping out at their massive fund-raising yard sale. It doesn’t sound like a lot, but if you check out the pictures on their blog you might get a small idea of the amount of stuff that was donated to them. Good stuff. Furniture, TVs, clothes, exercise equipment, Christmas trees, clothes, toys, dishes, clothes, strollers, high chairs, frames, knickknacks, clothes, etc. Did I mention there was clothes? An unending pile. I spent a few hours helping to fill the hanging racks and tables yet when I left the pile looked like it hadn’t been touched. Oh, and that was after the early birds had done their shopping. Matt and Marilee were expecting to open for business at 1:00pm today, giving them time to sort and price items this morning. I arrived around 8:30am to help with that and when they opened the gate to let me in, following behind were the first shoppers. A steady stream and they spent money. Lots of money. God is good.

They’ll be at it again tomorrow morning, bright and early at 6:00am. Come, bring some cash and check it out. Location listed on their blog Waiting for Rain

Thinking about resurrecting my blog

It has been over 2 years since my last blog post. I blame Facebook. I am considering becoming active with it again, but I’m not sure that I have all that much interesting stuff to share in this format. We’ll see…

It might be an easy way for me to share pictures and updates of Joshua’s upcoming 8th Grade East Coast Tour.  I am super excited that I will get to go with him and see him experience all of the sites. Six years ago I was blessed to take this trip with my oldest, Jonathan, and now God has graciously provided a way for me to go again this year with Joshua.  What an amazing way this will be to mark the end of his time at Calvary Christian School. 

Here are some photos from the CCS Class of 2006’s trip.


Steak and The Blind Side

Our family tradition for the last 12 New Year’s Eves has been to go to dinner and a movie. We started it when Jonathan was about 5 (and I was really pregnant with Josh) as a family friendly way for us to spend the evening together. Each of us takes a turn picking the restaurant and the movie.

This year it was my turn to pick. While a nice juicy rib eye and baked potato from Outback would’ve been my first choice for dinner, I decided to opt for an eatery that would please my finicky sons. So we ate at the Olive Garden – thus allowing me to enjoy the meal with a little less whining. A win for everyone.

My choice for the movie was The Blind Side (watch the trailer here) and to my pleasant suprise, there was almost no resistance. While I am pretty certain all 3 of them would liked to have seen Sherlock Holmes instead, they respected my choice. 

This movie is based on the book  The Blind Side: Evolution of a Game by Michael Lewis and it tells the true story of Michael Oher and the Tuohy family (below, in real life).

I was really not sure what to expect. Having heard that the Tuohy’s were a strong Christian family, I was nervous about how that would be portrayed through Hollywood’s eyes.  Were we going to see a cheesy, narrow-minded stereotype… again? Well, without giving too much away, there is a little of that from Leigh Anne Tuohy’s lunch companions but she puts them into their places.

That scene also offers one of my favorite lines that really sums things up well. One of Leigh Anne’s friends comments on how the Tuohy’s “…are changing that boy’s life.” She replies, “No, he’s changing mine.”


It was one of the best true-story movies I have seen in a long time and I HIGHLY recommend it.

Harold B. Estes

A letter from an American not afriad to speak his mind. I like it.

To: President Barack Obama, Rep. F. Allen Boyd, Sen. Bill Nelson, Sen. George LeMieux

November 20, 2009

Dear President Obama,
My name is Harold Estes, approaching 95 on December 13 of this year. People meeting me for the first time don’t believe my age because I remain wrinkle free and pretty much mentally alert.
I enlisted in the U.S. Navy in 1934 and served proudly before, during and after WW II retiring as a Master Chief Bos’n Mate. Now I live in a “rest home” located on the western end of Pearl Harbor allowing me to keep alive the memories of 23 years of service to my country.
One of the benefits of my age, perhaps the only one, is to speak my mind, blunt and direct even to the head man. So here goes.
I am amazed, angry and determined not to see my country die before I do but you seem hell bent not to grant me that wish. I can’t figure out what country you are the president of. You fly around the world telling our friends and enemies despicable lies like: “We’re no longer a Christian nation,” “America is arrogant” – (Your wife even announced to the world, “America is mean-spirited.” Please tell her to try preaching that nonsense to 23 generations of our war dead buried all over the globe who died for no other reason than to free a whole lot of strangers from tyranny and hopelessness.)
I’d say shame on the both of you but I don’t think you like America nor do I see an ounce of gratefulness in anything you do for the obvious gifts this country has given you. To be without shame or gratefulness is a dangerous thing for a man sitting in the White House.
After 9/11 you said,” America hasn’t lived up to her ideals.” Which ones did you mean? Was it the notion of personal liberty that 11,000 farmers and shopkeepers died for to win independence from the British? Or maybe the ideal that no man should be a slave to another man that 500,000 men died for in the Civil War? I hope you didn’t mean the ideal 470,000 fathers, brothers, husbands, and a lot of fellas I knew personally died for in WWII, because we felt real strongly about not letting any nation push us around because we stand for freedom.
I don’t think you mean the ideal that says equality is better than discrimination. You know the one that a whole lot of white people understood when they helped to get you elected.
Take a little advice from a very old geezer, young man. Shape up and start acting like an American. If you don’t, I’ll do what I can to see you get shipped out of that fancy rental on Pennsylvania Avenue .You were elected to lead not to bow, apologize and kiss the hands of murderers and corrupt leaders who still treat their people like slaves.
And just who do you think you are telling the American people not to jump to conclusions and condemn that Muslim major who killed 13 of his fellow soldiers and wounded dozens more. You mean you don’t want us to do what you did when that white cop used force to subdue that black college professor in Massachusetts who was putting up a fight? You don’t mind offending the police calling them stupid but you don’t want us to offend Muslim fanatics by calling them what they are, terrorists.
One more thing. I realize you never served in the military and never had to defend your country with your life but you’re the Commander-in-Chief now, son. Do your job. When your battle-hardened field General asks you for 40,000 more troops to complete the mission, give them to him. But if you’re not in this fight to win, then get out. The life of one American soldier is not worth the best political strategy you’re thinking of.
You could be our greatest president because you face the greatest challenge ever presented to any president. You’re not going to restore American greatness by bringing back our bloated economy. That’s not our greatest threat. Losing the heart and soul of who we are as Americans is our big fight now. And I sure as hell don’t want to think my president is the enemy in this final battle.

Harold B. Estes
McAlpin, FL

Sweet old story

There once was a man named George Thomas, a pastor in a small New England town. One Easter Sunday morning he came to the Church carrying a rusty, bent, old bird cage, and set it by the pulpit. Several eyebrows were raised and, as if in response, Pastor Thomas began to speak…

“I was walking through town yesterday when I saw a young boy coming toward me swinging this bird cage. On the bottom of the cage were three little wild birds, shivering with cold and fright. I stopped the lad and asked, ‘What you got there son?’ “Just some old birds,” came the reply. What are you gonna do with them?” I asked. “Take ’em home and have fun with ’em,” he answered. “I’m gonna tease’em and pull out their feathers to make ’em fight. I’m gonna have a real good time.”

“But you’ll get tired of those birds sooner or later. What will you do?” “Oh, I got some cats,” said the little boy. “They like birds. I’ll take’em to them.” The pastor was silent for a moment. “How much do you want for those birds, son?” “Huh?? !!! Why, you don’t want them birds, mister. They’re just plain old field birds. They don’t sing – they ain’t even pretty!” “How much?” the pastor asked again. The boy sized up the pastor as if he were crazy and said, “$10?” The pastor reached in his pocket and took out a ten dollar bill. He placed it in the boy’s hand. In a flash, the boy was gone. The pastor picked up the cage and gently carried it to the end of the alley where there was a tree and a grassy spot. Setting the cage down, he opened the door, and by softly tapping the bars persuaded the birds out, setting them free.

Well, that explained the empty bird cage on the pulpit, and then the pastor began to tell this story……

One day Satan and God were having a conversation. Satan had just come from the Garden of Eden, and he was gloating and boasting. “Yes, sir, I just caught the world full of people down there. Set me a trap, used bait I knew they couldn’t resist. Got ’em all!”

“What are you going to do with them?” God asked.

Satan replied, “Oh, I’m gonna have fun! I’m gonna teach them how to marry and divorce each other, how to hate and abuse each other, how to drink and smoke and curse. I’m gonna teach them how to invent guns and bombs and kill each other. I’m really gonna have fun!”

“And what will you do when you get done with them?” God asked.

“Oh, I’ll kill ’em,” Satan glared proudly.

“How much do you want for them?” God asked.

“Oh, you don’t want those people. They ain’t no good. Why, you’ll take

them and they’ll just hate you. They’ll spit on you, curse you and kill you!! You don’t want those people!!”

“How much?” He asked again. Satan looked at God and sneered, “All your tears, and all your blood.”

God said, “DONE!” Then He paid the price.

The pastor picked up the cage he opened the door and he walked from the pulpit.

Good for a small chuckle…

 1. I think part of a best friend’s job should be to immediately clear your computer email history when you die.

2. Nothing stinks more than that moment during an argument when you realize you’re wrong.

3. I totally take back all those times I didn’t want to take a nap when I was younger.

4. There is great need for a sarcasm font.

5. How the heck are you supposed to fold a fitted sheet?

6. Was learning cursive really necessary?

7. Map Quest really needs to start their directions on #5. I’m pretty sure I know how to get out of my neighborhood.

8. Obituaries would be a lot more interesting if they told you how the person died.

9. I can’t remember the last time I wasn’t at least kind of tired.

10. Bad decisions make good stories.

11. You never know when it will strike, but there comes a moment at work when you know that you just aren’t going to do anything productive for the rest of the day.

12. Can we all just agree to ignore whatever comes after Blue Ray? I don’t want to have to restart my collection…again.

13. I’m always slightly terrified when I exit out of Word and it asks me if I want to save any changes to my ten-page research paper that I swear I did not make any changes to.

14. “Do not machine wash or tumble dry” means I will never wash this — ever. Probably shouldn’t buy it.

15. I hate when I just miss a call by the last ring (Hello? Hello? Dangit!), but when I immediately call back, it rings nine times and goes to voicemail. What did you do after I didn’t answer? Drop the phone and run away?

16. I hate leaving my house confident and looking good and then not seeing anyone of importance the entire day. What a waste.

17. I keep some people’s phone numbers in my phone just so I know NOT to answer when they call.

18. My 4-year old son asked me in the car the other day “Dad what would happen if you ran over a ninja?” How the heck do I respond to that?

Feel free to add your own by leaving a comment…