Tag Archives: death

An Art Studio

I’ve tried several times in the last few weeks to write an update post. Thrilling, I know… but it just seems weird¬†to me to start-up now and write a specific post like the last two months didn’t have anything happen in them. I just can’t make any of my attempts work. I have four posts drafted and saved… but I just can’t post them. Actually, this one may not make it either. ūüė¶

Mostly, I think I’ve lost a lot of the inspiration I once had, after my Dad passed away. I started the blog five years ago, for my family that lives three thousand miles away from me, as a way for them to keep up with what the boys are doing and see pictures of them growing up. But, now that my biggest blog fan (Dad) is not reading it, and my Mom is blind ¬†and hasn’t been able to use the computer for several years now, it just isn’t the same. But…¬†I know some of my dear friends around the world like to see what is happening at our house from time to time…so, for them… I’ll continue. Or at least try.

Much of the time I am poopy and sad. And I don’t like being poopy and sad around others. Although exhausting, I can “fake it” pretty good when I have to go out and be around people. Some days it’s just too hard to fake. I guess I am not done grieving yet.

But… I am keeping busy and trying to work things out in my mixed up head.

These keys will help.


Back in September, I figured out how to use the money my Dad left me, in a way that would have made him very happy, makes me happy, and will keep his memory alive forever. I built an art studio in my backyard.


My Dad and I had gone looking at little out buildings many times when he would come out and visit. We would talk about how cool it would be for me to have a little place that I could “escape” to and work on my creative therapy. We would gather information, take pictures of the ones we liked, walk in and out of them discussing all the while what we could do to make it work as my art studio. And in the end we would always say, “Yea…someday!”


Well, that someday happened.¬†I’d MUCH rather have my Dad back though. I’d much rather go around looking at the sheds forever with him, than be in one without him. But, since that is not an option, I’m glad that he was able to make the “someday” happen for me. Just wish he could be here to see it. He would be beaming with happiness.

He would look something like this!


And then he would ask a million and one questions. Questions I don’t even think of asking. Things that one would need to know if they were going to do the project right… but that few of us ask.

I hope I do him proud.

I found a local company that builds on site. Dustin Hirschfeld was professional and good to work with. My Dad would have really liked him. He and his crew got this up in two days…and in the rain. Check out their website at Backyard Custom Construction¬†or even better… on Face Book here Backyard Custom Construction.¬†I got more of what I wanted, and we didn’t have to deal with hauling a big building down our long, already broken, driveway.










It has been a very emotional journey for me. At first I didn’t want to tell anyone about the studio. I told a select few with fear and trepidation. I’m not sure why. But I am now getting used to the idea, and it doesn’t feel as much like I traded him in for an art studio anymore. It is a beautiful gift from him… and a wonderful way to keep him with me forever.


My precious neighbors brought me this lovely gift not long after the studio was up. Beautiful sounding wind chimes that say “in memory of Papa”. ¬†*sniff*

It’s still in the process of being finished. Electricity is in. The drywall almost all up, and then the ceiling will be next. I have most of the furniture picked out or purchased already, and am chomping at the bit to get it all done so I can “move in”.


My husband wouldn’t let me have a bathroom out there. He said he’d NEVER see me again if it had one. He’s probably right. I could live out there. Hey… I have no problem peeing in the woods! I could maybe last a few days before having to come home and clean up. ūüôā


Sooooooo, besides the art studio construction process,




keeping up with all the feathered, furry and funny rascals,






surviving a nasty cold bug making the rounds,


a visit from my cousin and her kids,


doing three different photo shoots,

Knauta Family 2013


038 (2)

going to a beautiful wedding,


making 300 ornaments and two life-size snowmen (pictures to come) for Truly Christmas,


the death of a dear-sweet friend (who has made a major impact in my life) from our church,


a 16th birthday party with 10 teenage boys – overnight,


keeping the family “full”, house “clean”, and laundry “done”… I am trying to take some time for myself to meditate and grieve the loss of my Dad. It has been six months already. I just can’t belive it. I miss him SO much.

I do know that I was blessed with a great Dad. I had a wonderful relationship with him and we spoke often. He was a good Papa to my boys and they are all old enough to remember him and all the good times they had with him. All that is a major blessing. So many don’t have good relationships with their parents, or don’t even know who they are. My Dad was a blessing to our family and to many, many others as well. He gave from the heart. He gave his time, his money, his knowledge and his love. He was kind and generous to everyone he met. You did not have to know him to gain a blessing from him! He impacted strangers everywhere he went. Genuinely interested in people, their lives, their family’s and their hearts. I was blessed. And continue to be blessed.

No promises… but I do hope that I will begin to get back to “myself” again soon, and maybe get better at keeping up with this blog. ūüėČ





Filed under Art Projects, Home Improvement Projects, In The News

The Roughest Fathers Day Ever

I had so much planned to say. So many great stories to share about my dad. But now, as I sit down to write this post, it seems all jumbled and pointless. I miss my Dad. That’s it. What more is there to say really. I don’t feel like being clever, intelligent, witty or even nice. I’m so sad.

However, I do want to honor him on Fathers Day. If you didn’t already know him, by viewing these photos you will get an idea of the kind of man he was. It’s evident that he loved kids, life and family.

He is missed so much.














baby pics 072


dad 004










Filed under Something Special

Angels Are All Around Us

It is so easy to believe that our world is full of evil. Mostly because, well…it is! If you spend any amount of time in front of the TV, you know it’s rampant out there. But good people ARE out there as well.
Satan is no dummy. He’s been around a long time and knows the weaknesses we will have in our personal makeup, long before WE do! After all, he has been witness to generation after generation of our ancestors, and has a full history of how “the sins of our fathers” will affect us. All he has to do now, is to rub on and poke at that irritating/weak/hurtful/ugly area in our lives and give us major head cases to distract us from what we should really be focusing on… Our Loving Father, Jesus Christ, and how He can work in our lives to touch others.
Well, throughout this whole sad journey, I have been extremely blessed by several people. Some of them total strangers. All of them allowing God to do great things through them. All of them making a conscious choice to do a good, kind, loving thing for someone else. And in some cases…a total stranger! All of them showing me how God can use hurt and damaged humans to nurture, comfort and care for other hurt and damaged humans… if they will but allow Him to.
I want to tell you about some humans who allowed God to use them, and how they became angels in my life.
(Since I was in such a fog…I may not have all the facts exactly right, but this is what I can remember…and the gist of story is exactly as was!)
I checked into my hotel on the evening of April 15. While most of America was battling to get their taxes in on time… I had just come from seeing my Dad battling for his life. I was numb, tired, jet lagged and everything was covered in a dense fog as I cried myself to sleep that night.
The next morning came quickly, since still operating on east coast time, and anxious to get back to the hospital, I pried my swollen eyes open, got ready and headed down to the lobby to get some coffee. I didn’t feel like eating, but knew I should, so ordered an egg sandwich on an English muffin – hold the bacon! (my stomach couldn’t handle it.)
I don’t remember if it was that day or the next, but the sweet girl behind the counter asked some questions and we somehow started talking about my Dad. I shared with her his struggle and my fears. She asked if she could hug me, and that started my encounter with one of Gods “care taking angels”… Her name was Yolanda.

I will return to continue the story…

1 Comment

Filed under Something Special, Thoughtful Reflection

Some Stories Beg to be Told

The evening before my Dad passed away, we had him¬†anointed. The pastor came to the hospital and all the relatives were gathered to go into his room together to pray, sing and anoint his head with oil. It is a beautiful thing to be a part of. My son Gerrit was anointed before both of his brain surgeries.¬†It is very clearly stated in the Bible to do this for the sick¬†and I am all for it. However, in this situation I just couldn’t be in the room.

I was torn. Can’t go into all the reasons for this, it just was what it was. I couldn’t handle it physically or mentally, and so, chose to take a walk instead.

The entire time I walked I prayed (begged really). I asked God to please heal him or take him. Over and over I asked Him that. Dad was suffering. I knew it, and I wanted it to stop.

Of course, if it were my choice, I would have rather He heal him. But I knew at this point that Gods will is what needed to happen, not mine.

After some time, I got a text from one of my brothers that said it was over and that I could come back to his room. So I headed back into the hospital.

As I was coming through the lobby, about to go around a corner into the long hallway, I just begged God to do one or the other. I pleaded over and over again (in my head) “Please, please, please, please…” and before I stopped saying the pleases… I heard a gentle, sweet, calm mans voice say… “It’s okay, Papa’s coming home tomorrow”.

¬†I¬†immediately¬†felt comforted, and burst into tears at the same time. I felt as if God was speaking to me. I began to repeat it in my head. “It’s okay, Papa’s coming home tomorrow… It’s okay, Papa’s coming home…”

As I rounded the corner, it was actually a father comforting his two little boys with the news that their Papa was going to come home from the hospital tomorrow.

For me, however, it will always be Gods comforting voice… answering my pleas for help.

And Papa did go home the next day.


1 Comment

Filed under In The News, Something Special

Stay Sweet

One of the biggest blessings during this whole ugly ordeal was that all of the siblings got along and agreed on everything, every step of the way.

We have heard many stories since then about siblings (even just two of them) that didn’t agree on anything, and made the whole experience that much worse.¬†We were blessed. From the moment of that first big decision of whether to take him off the¬†respirator¬†or not, to picking out the music for the service, we were in harmony. I have come to see what a huge blessing that is. I love every one of my brothers, step sister and mom, and it would have been¬†extremely¬†heart wrenching to have had to argued over any of it.

We leaned on each other, and supported whoever was having a hard time at that moment. It rotated around to all of us at different times. Maybe that is Gods way of spreading out the anguish and thereby diluting it a bit. I don’t know. At least that is what I’d like to think.

One of the neatest things we did at the service was to have all the guys wear one of Papa’s ties. (A sister-in-law and I wore one too.)¬†We also all wore bright colors to celebrate the fact that when he will no longer be colorblind!


(in order of age – from left to right – Harrison-12, JJ-15, Sawyer-16, Guy-16, Colby-18 and Darren-25)

So much of those two weeks are still a fog to me. I hope that I can sort some of it out soon. My brain is still not fully functional, but I am grateful for every new day that it has a chance to try. I have recently decided that any day which ends in me being dressed, and the kids being fed was a good day.

They say that time heals. They say that the pain will diminish. They say that life goes on.

I get it. I just don’t want it to.

I don’t want time to go by… I want it to stop. I don’t want the pain to diminish… I want him here to help me with it. I don’t want life to go on… because he’s no longer in it.

The only thing that keeps me going some days is the fact that my Daddy would want me to. He’d want me to keep my chin up. Teach the boys. Take care of my family. Keep in touch with my brothers and sister, and take care of Mom Carol. He’d want me to live my life.

So… to honor him, I will.

The last thing he was able to say to me that Saturday night, the 13th of April… the night before he went on the respirator, was… “Stay sweet”.

I’m trying Daddy… I’m trying.

I love you.


1 Comment

Filed under In The News, Something Special