Monday, December 30, 2013

It's the Holiday Season...

Since it's still technically the holiday season, I'm going to try and finish up with my holiday pictures and posts. As you know, this month has been painful and sad for our family, but it's also been wonderful and full of fun. We've been blessed in so many ways, and one of them has been the wonderful amount of family time we've had this month. Another blessing has been the timing on my "retirement". I would have missed so many important moments with my family, and last moments with my grandfather, had I been working and on-call through this holiday season. God truly knows what is best for us, and we are so thankful for the ways in which He blesses us.

Happy holiday, Happy holiday
While the merry bells keep bringing
Happy holidays to you!

Every year, for the past few years, my in-laws and I have wanted to go on this holiday tour of homes. This year, we went. It started after dark. We paraded up and down a candlelit street, and sampled all kinds of fun food and drinks from local vendors set up under pop up tents. We toured super old, historic homes that have great stories from days gone by, and were beautifully decorated for Christmas. There was live music at different spots throughout and a toy soldier on stilts. It was a great time and we are planning to go back next year.

A few weeks ago, our church hosted a holiday picnic lunch. It was a wonderful time of fellowship with friends, and of course, some great food. We even had our own professional clown that came and performed for us.

 Our faithful judges, they had such a difficult job.

And the winners are...

We had a great time, and are so thankful for our church family. 
We are so blessed to be part of such a great group of people.

One of our family friends made five gingerbread houses for grandpa to enjoy. He gave one to each of the grandchildren, which they were thrilled about. 

Happy holiday, Happy holiday
May the calendar keep bringing
Happy holidays to you!

Thursday, December 26, 2013


So, I hate to start out this way, but here it is. This month, while it has been full of really fun holiday things, it has been tainted with the impending death of my grandfather. Grandpa was a regular reader of this little space, and so I have been hesitant to post much about his condition.

My grandfather was an amazing man. He was funny, he smiled, he joked and laughed. He loved me, he loved his family. He loved my husband and my babies, and he loved God. He was extremely generous and caring, and was truly a wonderful part of our family's history.

On Sunday afternoon, after a day of not speaking, he spoke. "Heaven is coming. Happy, happy, happy". I rushed to Melbourne to hold his hand. My mom read The Bible to him, and prayed with him. And I sat beside him and sang hymns. My sweet grandpa died at 1am early Monday morning. My mom and dad and I stood beside him as he took his last breath. We cleaned him. We waited with him. We cried as we watched his covered body roll out of the door, never to be seen again.

And now we try our best to rejoice in the fact that he no longer suffers, and that he is walking streets of gold with the Savior he loves. While we try our best to remember that this is truly for the best, it's also so sad. We miss him, and our hearts hurt for our own loss.

It's been a stressful month, and I kinda needed to take some time off from this little blog, just to focus more on family stuff. We are currently on our way to Pennsylvania for a memorial service. It's very bittersweet. While I want to have a fun time, and enjoy some unplanned  time with our family and friends, and maybe get to see some snow, it's also shrouded with grief. I usually enjoy packing for a trip, but this time I have dreaded it.

I've got a LOT to write about, and a lot of fun pictures to share from this past month. Thanks for your patience during this time, while I've been so absent.

Friday, December 20, 2013

Camping: Sebastian Inlet, Melbourne Beach, Florida

This month, we went camping at Sebastian Inlet with my sister Becky and her family.

  I hadn't been to Sebastian Inlet since I was in high school, so it was fun to go back and play "remember when". The weather had been cool, so I didn't pack any bathing suits, thinking that the water would be freezing, and that no one would even want to go in... Perhaps I forgot that I have children.

 We found all kinds of sea life. The kids LOVED it!
This is Grady's puffer fish.

(We were able to borrow a suit for Bella, but the other two were still rockin the clothing swim.) 
This has to be the BIGGEST hermit crab I have EVER seen in my whole life!

And another crab.

The weather was wonderful, the scenery was beautiful and we had such a great time.