Hi everyone..yep it is me again Ashby. I am sure you are getting tired of my blog going from first person to third, but Nina; my good friend and the person who has been writing my blog for some time now, had to go back to her country. She had some family issues she has to take care of. Victor offered to get me another author, but I decided that the rest of the challenge will be written by a Lemi. That being said you will see things written by me and I have given access to all of my kids and they have promised that if there is something to report about them they will log in post it.
So last time the blog left you with news that Orchid and Dutton moving out, Leven and Hooper becoming Teens and Fern, Tyme and Barklay were born, and since then a lot has happened and Leven is going to start off this post.
Hi everyone, it’s me Leven. I’m not a great writer, but I am going to give it a whirl.
Not long after Hooper and I started high school I began to have a shadow. A new family, The Falk’s, had moved into town and their boy, Brighton, began following me around. At first I found it kind of creepy to see him outside of my classes and at my locker at any given time during the day, but then he started to become sort of sweet when he would offer to carry my books and open doors for me. I never let him carry my books but it was sweet.
About three weeks after school started he and his sister, Yusun, announced they were having a party. They randomly handed out invites, but he asked me personally. He told me that he wanted to get to know me better and that is why they were having this party. I told him I would think about going and it seemed to make him happy.
I found myself intrigued because I heard that the Falk’s lived on a house boat. It was rumored that Mr. Falk traveled around the world for his job and living on a boat allowed them to be mobile. I wasn’t prepared to go on my own so I con’d Hooper into going with me.
We showed up at 2 and we were taken back. Brighton was standing on the deck waiting for us. I couldn’t believe that they really lived on a houseboat.
He quickly ran down to great us. He shook Hooper’s hand and threw his arm around my shoulders. I was surprised with myself when I didn’t push it away. It felt kind of nice. He slowly guided me to the boat as he talked about the fun day we were going to have. I found myself smiling up at this handsome face. It was a very strange sensation.
He gave Hooper and I a tour of the boathouse as some of our classmates began to show up. Yusun was a gracious host and greeted them. After everyone arrived we had lunch, and what a spread they had. It was buffet style and we had so much to choose from.
After lunch some jumped into the ocean to cool off while other of us lay out on the deck of the boat and took in the sun.
We had a great time dancing.
Then without warning Brighton swept me into his arms and held me close. He didn’t care who was watching or what people thought. He held me tightly in his arms for two songs, and when the second song was over he asked me to go on a walk with him and I agreed.
We found a beautiful spot with grass, not sand, and we both sat down. He pulled me against him and I found myself quite comfortable listening to his heart beat against his chest. He rubbed my back and I smiled widely.
“Leven, I really like you. Will you be my girlfriend?” Brighton sprung the question on me and I sat up and looked at him with a puzzled expression. I didn’t know what to say and I just stared at him.
He chuckled lifting his hand to my check. He rubbed his thumb over my cheek and I shivered with excitement. I couldn’t deny that Brighton made me blush. “I…I…can I let you know at school on Monday?” I stammered like a true awkward teenager.
Another laugh escaped his lips. “Sure.” was his sweet reply as he pulled me back down to him.
That evening as the sun sank into the ground Brighton walked me out and I received my very first kiss. The butterflies consumed me as his lips brushed up against mine and cold when his hands ran up my arms. My knees were weak as he pulled me closer to him and then it was over. It was over way to soon. I found myself wanting to answer his earlier question right then and there, but I felt I had to live up to my promise of Monday.
As I walked toward that car that would take Hooper and I hope I heard my brother snicker in his seat. “Shut up.” I hissed but I couldn’t wipe the smile off my face.
I didn’t hear from Brighton on Sunday, but I didn’t mind. I wasn’t the typical high school girl who got upset over things like that, but I was eager for Monday to come so that I could find him, throw myself into his arms and tell him I would be his girl. However, my Monday plans were ruin when I got to school and neither Brighton or Yusun could be found. I was told that their father lifted anchor and took his family to the next business destination.
I didn’t quite believe this horrid rumor I heard and after school I dragged Hooper to the location of the boat house. As we looked at the empty water where the boat was just two days before Hooper pulled me into a protective hug as I sobbed onto his shoulder.
It hurt my heart to watch my daughter mope around the house. I told her that things would be better and that everyone goes through a broken heart at some point in their life, but all I got was a blank stare as I talked. I knew that going though heart-break while being young it feels like the end of the world and I knew she would eventual get over it, but that didn’t stop me from trying to make my baby-girl feel better.
Then I got heartbreaking news myself. News that almost made me give up my challenge for the second time during the time I have been doing this challenge.
My son Jones had been in and out of the hospital since he was born. The doctors never really knew what kept him sick, but every few months he was either home sick or sick enough to be in the hospital.
When he and his twin Seely aged into children I offered, as I do to all my children, to send them to a specialty boarding school if they would like. Seely, as all my other children had before him, opted to stay home and be with me and our family, but Jones, to my surprise, took me up on my offer. He told me he had already done some research and wanted to be sent to a specialty school in Hidden Springs. I was shocked and my first instinct was to tell him he couldn’t go; that he couldn’t leave me, but Asher saved me, as he always does, from that embarrassment.
A few days later I made the arrangements.
The night before he left I stood at the bottom of the stairs and watched some of my children bond over one of their favorite movies, but I could see the sadness in the room. Seely was distracted as he looked down to the carpet and Leven had been just as worried and upset as I had been all week-long.
I was like a visible shadow in the house that night. I followed Jones everywhere. After the movie was over Hooper, who had been working out during the movie, read Jones their favorite story and with a tear in his eye kissed him on his head before leaving the room. As Hooper moved passed me I put a reassuring hand on his shoulder. He smiled up at me and left the room.
I took his place next to Jones and pulled the blanket up to his chin.
“Mom I will be okay.” He whispered in a tired voice.
“I know you will.” I flicked the tears away from my eyes.
I knew he wanted to say more, but he was just too tired and his eyes drooped heavily. I stroked his hair as he drifted off to sleep for the last time in his childhood home.
Jones flight wasn’t until the next evening so we all had some more quality time with him. We played games and watched old home movies and ate all of Jones’ favorite junk foods and as afternoon faded to evening we heard the cab horn honk in our driveway and the whole family froze in terror. All but Jones that was. He ran to the door and grabbed his suitcase. “Come on guys..I have to go.” He called.
We all said our good-byes before he headed out the door.
Then just he and I walked out onto the porch.
I scooped him into my arms.
He grabbed my face and said, “Mom I am too big to be picked up.” His voice was hallow and somber just like I felt.
“I know. It’s just that I’m going to miss you my beloved boy. We all are.”
“I’m going to miss you too.” He wiped the tear that slipped down my face. “But there is email, Skype and the phone. I will only be gone in distance.”
“When did you get so smart?” I asked.
“I am what I am because of you mom.” He snaked his arms around my neck and squeezed tightly. “I Love you mom.”
“I love you to Jones. Call me when you get there.”
I set him down and watched him run to the taxi.
You can read more about Jones here
I missed my child but he lived up to his word. As soon as he got to school I got a phone call from him and then every day after I either got a call, email or we arranged to skype so I could see how well he was doing, and doing well he was. After two weeks went by we all started to get back to normal and it was time for another Lemi birthday.
Fern, Tyme and Barklay were now children and oh my Barklay got the evil trait. This should be interesting.
But wait it looks like the girls may be able to hold their own. Don’t they look like they are plotting against Barklay?
The kids, especially Barklay, hated school and when summer rolled around they we so very excited to have three months off and to meet their big brother and his fiancée Newbie and Dawn. Since she could read Tyme had been reading Dawn’s blog and she thought it was so cool that her brother was in it. I asked her once if she thought it was cool that she was talked about in my blog and this is what she said. “Mom,” In a very sarcastic child like tone I should add, “Your blog doesn’t get as much traffic or has as many fans as Ms. Dawn’s does.” She rolled her eyes at me and sauntered off. Gosh I love my kids.
Then the big day arrived and when I heard the cab pull up into the driveway I ran to the door and was greeted by my angel baby and one of my best friends in the world.
“Newbie, my boy!” I flung myself into his arms and he squeezed me tightly.
“Hi mom.” He couldn’t hide his laugh as we released each other. I know we just skyped the night before to make sure everything was in order, but it isn’t the same as seeing your loved one in person and holding them and hugging them.
Next I grabbed Dawn and pulled her into a giant hug as well. “I have missed you both”
“We have missed you too.” Dawn answered for the both of them and my smile grew wider as I realized how much in love these two were.
Just then cab driver came up behind Newbie and Dawn and handed Newbie a cat carrier. “What is that?” I asked puzzled.
“Mom, Dawn and I have a gift for you.” Newbie grinned at me and handed me the cat carrier.
“Oh?” I put it down and opened the door and two beautiful cats cautiously made their way out.
“We know how much you admire the rainbow cats and there are none here on the island so we brought you a breeding pair.” Dawn was so proud of herself. “So meet Hazel and Fire.”
I loved them instantly and I scooped Fire into my arms and Dawn picked up Hazel.
“Come in, come in.” I ushered them inside and gave them the grand tour of the house.
“Wow mom, this house is beautiful.” Newbie, who had his arm draped over Dawn’s shoulders, said as we ended the tour.
“And this island, well what we saw of it on the drive up here, is beautiful as well.” Dawn added.
“Well I can’t wait to show you around, but first let’s get you settled into your room.”
Their visit was such a wonderful one. Newbie and his new siblings got a long famously, but Leven and Dawn really hit things off.
“Leven, my dear why are you so sad?” I watched Dawn and Leven from the top of the stairs. Gosh you must all think I’m a creeper, but you know what? My house my rules 😉
“Ms. Dawn, have you ever had a broken heart?” I guess my telling her everyone goes through it didn’t really sink in, but I was glad she felt comfortable talking to Dawn.
“Of course Leven, before I fell for your brother I was in love with a man named Lerk. I thought he was the one for me and when we parted it was devastating. Why do you ask?”
Leven let it all out then. She told Dawn all about Brighton and how his family just left and she hasn’t even gotten a call, text, letter or email from him letting her know he was okay or that he was sorry they had to leave so suddenly.
Dawn had all the right words for the young Leven and by the end of the conversation they were both laughing. Sometimes a mother’s word is not taken, but the same words from a friend go a long way. I am not sure that Leven is completely over her loss, but talking to Dawn sure did help.
Many mornings Dawn and I would go out in the back, by the little pond we have, and do some yoga. The children were sleeping late and the men were watching some brainless man show and we just enjoyed the quite. The chipping of the birds, the crock of the frogs and the splashing of the fish, it was quite relaxing.
“So are you nervous about the wedding?” I asked Dawn causally as we sat in the cool waters of the pond one morning after yoga.
Dawn giggled nervously. “Should I be talking to you about this? You are my finances’ mother.”
“Dawn, I’m your friend too, but if you would rather….”
“Yes!” She blurted out. “I have no idea why either. I love Newbie and we already live together why would the marriage make me nervous?”
I took her hand. “Because things will change. They may be small subtle things, but things are going to change.”
“I’m not sure I want things to change, but I want to marry Newbie with all my heart and soul.”
“Honey, it will be fine. You two are perfect together.”
“Babe!” I heard Asher call from the house. “When are you going to make breakfast? The kids will be up soon.”
I looked at Dawn and we both laughed. “I don’t get him. He is the one who owns his own restaurant and teaches cooking and I am the one who has to make breakfast.” I rolled my eyes and we got out of the pond and headed toward the house.
Hi folks…I guess it is my turn to write in Ashby’s blog. I hope I don’t bore you all too much.
So two days before Dawn and Newbie were to leave I decided to take Newbie out for a day. Just the two of us doing guy stuff.
We spent the morning working on out golfing skills. I’m still not that great but we had a good time.
Then I took him to the local bar and grill for some lunch. Our conversations were filled with guy stuff like sports, our women and food. It was a great bonding moment for us. Newbie may not be my child, but I love all Ashby’s children as if they were my own.
After we ate we headed upstairs to play a little shuffle board. I decided that this was the time to bring up his impending marriage. I cleared my throat and began. “So Newbie, are you nervous about the wedding night.” I knew he caught my drift by the look on his face.
Newbie let out a deep laugh and looked at me. “Asher, Dawn and I have two kids together, remember?”
“I know, but your children are grown. It has been a while.”
“Also it wasn’t that long ago I was dating Breeze. I am an adult you know?”
I gulped loudly. This was not going as planned not at all.
“No offence Asher, but you’re not my dad.”
I knew he meant it in the most respectful way and he was right I’m not his dad, but the words still hurt. Ashby has 48 (49 counting Derrick) children and only five of them were mine. It is hard to in a relationship like that. I just wanted all her kids to be mine and to love me as if I were their father, but it just isn’t possible. “I’m sorry if I over stepped. I just thought since your father is an angel and he wasn’t around when you were growing up I could try to help in some way.” I was trying to hide the hurt expression on my face, but I think I failed at it.
Newbie’s face sank and he moved toward placing his hand on my shoulder. “Asher, you are a great man. You take care of my mom, love her and understand her challenge when most men wouldn’t. You love all of us as if we were yours and we love and respect you back. I would be proud to be your son, but we all have fathers.”
His words were precious to me. His mother really did raise him right. I wipe a single tear from my eye and smile at the lad before me.
“Come on Asher. Let’s head back to the house.”
It was our last night with our house guests and Dawn and I decided to head out to the local casino for a night of fun and gambling (smart gambling though).
We sat down at a table, both of us not really knowing what we were doing, and we handed the dealer our money and he gave us some red chips in return.
The first couple of rounds both Dawn and I seemed to have good hands. Hands that warranted one of us to get some money for it.
Then our luck began to change. After we began to start losing our money the game wasn’t much fun anymore and we soon quit.
We had a great time at the casino and I was going to be sad when my friend and son left, but I also knew that I would be seeing them again soon to watch them down the aisle.
It seems like most flights off the island leave at night and Dawn and Newbie’s flight was no exception and since they had most of the day left we decided to go to the boardwalk for the day.
The kids were especially excited for this. We all watched as the younger ones played some skeet ball. Seely was the winner of this game. As I watched my kids I couldn’t help but worry about Seely and Jones being separated, but was glad that Fern, Tyme and Barklay included him in almost everything they did.
I stood next to my husband and couldn’t help but whisper in his ear how handsome he looked and how good he smelled.
These two are just the cutest ever. I couldn’t wait for them to walk down the aisle and become man and wife.
Asher and I waited in line for the Ferris Wheel. I just can’t stop myself from admiring his handsome face.
Newbie handed his camera to Asher. “Mom, come take a picture with Dawn and I.”
I walked over to the loving couple and Newbie threw his arm around me. “1…2…3…”Asher called and snapped this picture. FYI Dawn is not preggo….it is just the material on her shirt and the angle of the camera.
Then Newbie looked at his watch. “Mom we need to get our luggage out of your car. Our cab will be here in ten minutes.”
I sighed and looked into his face. I never had enough time with my kids ever. Not growing up and not when they visit. “Okay but first can we get a family picture?”
I gave my camera to the skeet ball vender and this is the picture he got of us:
Nice looking family if I do say so myself.
After the picture was taken we headed down to the car and got Newbie and Dawn’s luggage and soon their cab pulled up. We said our good-byes and as the sun began to sink they drove away and we got in to the car and headed home.
About a week after Newbie and Dawn left I decided to get moving with my challenge so I called up the next birthday stone guy.
Remember this guy? This is Linen Pearl. He was the next guy in line for my challenge and he ran right over when I called him. We headed to the hospital and soon I was pregnant with baby 49.
During my pregnancy Leven and Hooper aged up and moved out of the house. What lovely young adults they were. Leven with her grandma’s hair coloring and my skin tone and eye coloring and Hopper with his dads hair and skin coloring and my eye coloring, gosh they are going to do well in whatever they do.
When the kids went back to school I decided to do some “spring” cleaning if you will. I had boxes that I inherited after my parents died that I had never sorted through and though this pregnancy would be a good time do this. What I found was priceless and brought tears to my eyes.
It was old pictures of my parents when my mom was pregnant with me. I missed my parents so very much but finding these was more valuable than gold to me.
hahaha Mom you are too cute. What are you trying to seduce dad when you are about ready to give birth? I’m not sure I would appreciate that. HAHAHHA
Needless to say I got them framed and these pictures now hang up in my home.
I also got a package from my son Jones.
He had gone through the family albums and found a painter to paint this for me. It is a picture of me, my dad (if he were still living) and my boys that inherited my father’s genes.
From right to left (I know we usually say left to right, but it will make more sense doing it this way): Jones, Lawrence (my dad), Me (with my original hair color), Newbie, Dallas (Newbie’s son with Dawn) and Dallas’ son Ash (with Carlie Fey, Logan Fey’s daughter).
The children were settled back in school when the new baby, or should I say babies arrived.
Everyone meet Mason (baby 49), Monroe (baby 50) and Marko (baby 51).
Can you all believe it? I am now at the halfway mark. I am so excited. This is amazing. Thank you all for being a long on this ride. I love you all.
Again as always thank you all for reading and I would love to hear what you have to say about the challenge. Feedback, even bad (but not Hateful), is welcome. You can leave me a message here or on my Facebook page at Ashby Lemi.
Remember if you want any of my children I upload them as Young Adults and you can find their links on the table of content page.