Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Just this morning, mom and I were walking through the living room discussing grocery lists for our Christmas celebration. As I pointed out that William was quietly gazing at the Nativity scene, mom commented that she used to spend hours doing the same thing when she was little. When I bent down to kiss the little man , I noticed something different, and told mom I didn't think she used to gaze at it the same way William does now. After a closer examination, she agreed. What do you think?

Do you see what I see?

Here, take a closer look. :)

If you have a funny Christmas story, please share!
I'm hoping to get another post up before Christmas day, but if not, have a very Merry Christmas and remember the Greatest Gift ever given...the reason we celebrate, and the only reason we have the Gift of Life!

Sunday, December 13, 2009


The big day finally came. We had kept this secret for sooooo long, and we were afraid that news of what we had planned would leak out. Last minute slide-shows, music selections, letters coming in that needed to be printed, and then leaving early enough to get there on time to decorate, but late enough that we wouldn't look suspicious were just a few of the details. I still can't believe we pulled this one over! A surprise party for dad in honor of his 50th Birthday!

We love you so much, dad and hope that you had a wonderful party...we enjoyed every minute of the planning process and being there with you! May you celebrate many, many more birthdays and continue to see the blessings of our Lord and Father as you seek His face!

Now, if you get through the many pictures below, there is a special video at the end....no, don't skip down, look at the photos! :)

Decorations being put up...can you imagine why?

A special tree, full of pictures of what I think is a special family.
Yes, Caleb is missing from the tree...somehow his picture didn't get printed.
Oh, and Joshua is on the back waiting for more grandchildren to join him.

Lovely cake, eh? And it tasted better!
Thanks Grace B. for making it!

Natalie was getting excited and so she took it out on Meli.

James and the girls waiting.

Joshua watching the door waiting for...

Nope, not Peter, nor Jeremy....oh, there he is!!!

The birthday boy himself!

Mom bought dad a special hat and HUGE button to wear for the party.

Awwwwww...aren't they so cute?!

The guests listening to the program.

D2, D3, and D4 read the many letters that were sent it to dad. Beautiful, encouraging letters from family, friends, loved ones and fellow pastors. It was a special time.

A few people who came had letters prepared, or just wanted to say a little something.
L-R: Mr. Butler, Ashton the Crackshot *cough* I mean, Bandy, Meli, and James.

And then "the girls." Yes, I read something, but there isn't a picture of me, so these will have to suffice.
L-R: Christa, Jess, Mel and Mom

Something must be awfully funny!

Ahhh! The Deacons are sang a little song Jess and I prepared for them.
Video is below!

More laughter.

Some of the letters were very touching.

So many good friends to surround dad on his big day.

Momma and de' baby.

Yes, I'm talkin' to you!

Meli wants to be 50 too!

Sorry, she changed her mind and now Jess does.

Getting ready to blow out the candles.

He huffed, and he puffed and he blew the flames out!

Dad trying to help get the slide show set up. No, he doesn't have a pink computer.

Uncle Bubba?

My darling dad.

A few small words from a wonderful father.

Can you guess what he is saying in this picture?

Sweet moments.

Here we are again!

Now really, does this picture need a caption?

The BIG card.

Dad and me.

Dad and Jess.

"Dad is great...he gives us chocolate cake!"

You wouldn't believe how hard it is to get a family photo. Just think we'll have to do this all over again in a week and a half!

I shall leave you with this little video. A small gift for our wonderful, amazing and darling dad:

Friday, December 04, 2009

Looking back on all the events of the year, it's hard to believe how many things I squeezed into this year...

The kids and I waiting in the airport.

Everything from visits from dear friends, a few trips myself, family vacation, exploring a few museums, riding in a RV and sleeping in a Wal-Mart parking lot for the first time, another wonderful Reformation Day faire, watching as the Lord has deepened a special friendship, sharing precious memories with my amazing family through everyday life and special events, like Thanksgiving...etc...

Hugs all around!

It has been an incredible year and as I continue walking walking the path set before me, I've come to this point with a few thoughts.

William sharing his old toys.

My mom was reminding me that each and every season in life has it's own beauty...like the four seasons we have here. The miracles that we see in the Spring are very different from the ones we experience in the Fall. While each one has it's own unique specialty, they are all different, and they all beautiful in their own ways. As fallen people, we oftentimes dwell on the grass that is supposedly greener on the other side. By doing this we miss out on all the joy, beauty, and the importance of the season we're in today, right now. We can't dwell on yesteryear, or wish the future was here today. Each day is a gift that the Lord of all creation has bestowed on us.

My darling little nephew.

So treasure the memories from yesterday. Give thanks for the events that brought you to where you are today. Look forward to what is to come with joy, anticipation and yes, a little patience! Don't idolize it, but pray that the Lord will give you the strength to shine forth His glory in that day. It will be here before you know it! Don't let today escape from your grasp as you wish for something that cannot be.

More hugs for the baby.

But most of all....live today. Don't just exist, really and truly live. Make each moment count, view every breath that you take as the incredible gift that it is. The precious time that you have today will only come back as a memory. Laugh with those who laugh. Cry with those who need a shoulder. Love those whom you really love. Bring a smile to every person you meet. Share the light of Christ in this dark world. Be a stepping stone for those who will come after you. How do you want people to remember you?

Live the moment to it's fullest, and seize the day!

The best kind of cuddles come from Grandma and Grandpa.

Friday, November 27, 2009

No, the sun was not shining, but then again, we weren't overly concerned. Our "family" was coming over to share a Thanksgiving feast with us and there was still some work to do. As we scurried around getting things finished, I think we were all contemplating the Lord's goodness. I wonder how much society would change if people would recognize that each and every day is a gift and find something to be thankful for. At one point, I took time every day to write down one thing I was thankful for in a little journal I have. It was then that I began to realize how rich this life is, and how God has showered blessings on me, my family and those around me. Every day there is something new...not really brand new, but something I've never seen before. And for this gift, I am very thankful.

The Bible tells us that in everything we are to give thanks. Even on stressful days, there is something we can walk away with, some lesson to learn, and if that's all we can find, then let us be thankful for that! But most days aren't like that, so instead of taking everything for granted, recognize what you've been given. Give thanks to God, and share your thankfulness with those around you.

This year I'm thankful for my wonderful family...I don't know what I'd do without them! I'm thankful for the growth of our family, for my sister, BIL and my nephew. I'm thankful for my church family and how the Lord has knit our lives together in such a unique way. And I'm thankful that the Lord has shown me the path He has for me, and that a new page in my book will begin soon. So with that, I present to you some photos of our very memorable Thanksgiving! If you leave a comment, please mention at least one thing you are thankful for!

Because it was Thanksgiving Day, we brought out some pecans for Miss Suzy. She usually gets the walnuts from the yard, but it was Thanksgiving! She scratches at the door waiting for us to feed her now. Cute, huh?

Mmmmm, Pumpkin Pie with a twist. I think I'm going to modify the recipe again and try it out this Sunday...interested in coming for the taste test?

Dad's carving knife vs. Peter's carving knife. Do I hear bids on the winner?

They might get more meat than I will...but I still prefer my methods. :)

Gathering round to remember the trials of the Pilgrims, to sing and give thanks.

Five Kernels of Corn!
Five Kernels of Corn!
Ye have for Thanksgiving Five Kernels of Corn!

William entertained us as the resident artist.

Many of the same faces were in the photo of the Turkey Carving Class of '08.
Though he was greatly missed this year, we are proud to have one of our "graduates" overseas serving our country as a USMC.
So, above is the Turkey Carving Class of '09!

The little man needed some daddy time.

Yup...he who carves the turkey gets the first bite in our house! Never mind that we have the same turkey carver every year...and I don't think he's planning on retiring anytime soon!

Behold the dining room!

There's just somethin' special about the red-head in the pink shirt!

Poor Jess...she had no idea what we were doing to her photo.

What a happy bunch we are...and you haven't seen the worst yet!

Yeah...I love you too, Meli! :)

Before you continue please read:
Now, after our late lunch, we had some pie, and then we all had some coffee. Five good friends on sugar and caffeine can sometimes be a very scary thing...when we're talking about these five people, we know that each time is a scary time. So, we blame our actions on the sugar and caffeine...or at least, I think we do...

How high can you jump?

Do you see the pattern?

Do you have a funny face? Do let us know!

Awwww...aren't we a nice bunch? You know, that 35 pound weight is really, really heavy!

It would've made a very nice album cover if only we had our hats...

Oh, imagine the excitement when we discovered the ladder!

Here we are on a magic carpet ride. You wouldn't believe the things we saw!

All prepared for Black Friday...anybody see what's so funny about this picture?

Don't ask. I have no idea what they were doing...I wasn't there.

Guess what? We're beginning to crash...

See what I told you? Out like a light...

P.S. ~ If you leave a comment, don't forget your assignment! :)