Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Living in God's Grace in 2013

As 2013 comes to an end and 2014 begins, it's a reminiscing yet contemplating time ... taking a look back yet looking forward to what the new year may hold.  Over the past few days I've changed this post a few times -- but no matter what I had written, the theme is always the same ...

God is good
God is gracious
God is generous

God is simply enough.

So, here's a look back at how God's grace brought our family through 2013 ...
Tag had a sick-stay in the hospital the last few days of 2012 and  made it home on 
New Year's Eve just in time to ring in 2013 (well, he was actually asleep -- but at least he was home & not in the hospital). 

He was anxious to see his big sister at home!  Oh, and I almost forgot ---
Tag started walking soon after he came home from the hospital -- our house will never be the same :)

And on February 9th we celebrated
Thomas Alexander's FIRST birthday!!!

... and we celebrated Mrs. 'Joe & Mr. 'Joe's birthdays too in February --- 
{and 'Joes birthday is also his Alive Day -- the day God protected his life from the enemy rockets that were meant to kill him ... 
puts a whole new perspective on birthdays in our family}

We said our final earthly good-bye to my dear Uncle Larry in early March. He had a stroke in late February & found peace in the nailed-scarred hands of Jesus 11 days later.  We miss him dearly but he has joined many other of our family -- what a reunion! 
I can still hear him singing Wayfaring Stranger acapella ... 
Godspeed Uncle Larry -- we will see you again.

This is also the birthday month of my favorite person ...

From 1984 to 2013 ...
22 years old to 51 years old ...
My guy.

{I will add this about my husband ... in the midst of his very busy tax season at work, he took the time off to drive me to my Uncle's funeral in my hometown 7 hours away from us.  We had a major snow storm in our area with about 7-9 inches of snow on Wednesday, but Dan & I left on Thursday March 7 at 5pm and went to the funeral on Friday at 11am ... left to come back home at 3pm and got home around 10:30pm ... then he was up by 6am and getting to work on Saturday the 9th which was also his 51st birthday.  And he worked every day straight until April 15th ...  I dearly love this man.}

Easter Sunday was March 31st.  At preschool Lucy & her class made the story of Easter by using plastic Easter eggs.  If you haven't read my post about this, 
please CLICK HERE to read how one little girl retold the Easter promise to me.


My parents have always had a special relationship with our daughter ... and now with our grandchildren. They drove over an hour to see Lucy's dancing debut at her recital.

Her group danced to The Muppet Show theme ...

Lucy also completed her first year of preschool!!! Grandad & I are so proud of how she adjusted to school times and met new friends.  Her teachers loved her & she grew -- not only academically but emotionally, socially and most importantly ... spiritually.  This little girl has seen so much "life" in her short time on earth, and she is truly my role model.
(Pic on left is 1st day of preschool in Sept '12 and on right is last day of preschool in
 June '13)

Lucy also went back to Walter Reed to help The General's Kids give some Little Warriors' care packages. Our own Little Warrior has a heart of gold ...

... and then Lucy had a dance photo-shoot. Her dance studio specifically requested if she could be a model!

I turned 49 in 2013 ... it marked my exit from my
Silent Milestone (CLICK HERE to read more)
Have I ever mentioned how blessed I am??? I sure don't do it enough ...

Lucy turned a whole hand-full in September -- FIVE years old!!! Oh my ... what can Granny really say about this little girl?  Again, God is sooooooo gracious & so good to us.  Lucy has a heart of gold for others & she brightens up everybody she is around.

My girl ... Lucy ... my girl ... talkin' about my girl ... Lucy ... 
my girl!!!

Lucy found herself in the middle of a surprise birthday party at Stuffy Bear --
it was so very sweet to surprise this little girl with her friends coming to a special party just for her!

... and Tag had a blast with GG, Grandpa, Aunt Sarah and of course his Grandad!

Then ... Tag got sick (again).  Exactly 20 months from his birth, I took Lucy back to the hospital to see her baby brother. When Tag gets sick, he has a tendency to run extremely high fevers.  So, he spent a little time in the hospital for the nice doctors & nurses to help him feel better.  And big sister's visit was just what he needed to feel better!

A couple of weeks later, Lucy got to meet some of her out-of-state family ...

... and her 92 year old Great-Great Mommaw!!!

God is so good
God is so gracious
God is so generous

We celebrated Thanksgiving at my parents' house --

... and planned on having the family at our house for Christmas.  But on December 12th, my Daddy had a heart attack.  God was looking after him every moment leading up to the heart attack and afterwards.  Daddy was literally in the "right place at the right time" -- although he wasn't "supposed" to be there at all.  So, Christmas was celebrated at GG & Grandpa's -- well, minus Tag & his Daddy since Tag was sick.

And we all are going to GG & Grandpa's tomorrow (New Year's Day) to see them & 
let Tag have his Christmas with them.  Everyone is so very thankful for our Christmas miracle ... it truly brings the real meaning of Christmas into perspective.  

Our 2013 has been a time of stretching, molding, refining, redefining.  
Although we have no clue as to what 2014 will bring, one thing we do know for certain ...

God is already at 2014 for us.  
He will lead the way ... 
He will direct our paths ... 
He will be in every moment for us.  

{{{ PS ... 2014 will bring about the 30-50-K -- be sure to check back in for more posts }}}

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Christmas was GRAND on so many levels

If anyone has little ones in their house at Christmas, then you know for sure that there is never a dull moment ... 
the anticipation builds from Thanksgiving ---
and it builds ---
and it builds ---
and it builds ---

Yeah ... you know what I mean.  Our family had originally planned on celebrating Christmas Day at our house since we have 2 little ones.  But we all knew that my Daddy wouldn't be up to traveling as he is recovering from his heart attack from a couple of weeks ago.  Well, as it is with younger ones too, someone got sick just before Christmas --- sweet little Tag.  

So Christmas plans were different,  but we all definitely still celebrated ... and this year we thanked God for not only His first Christmas in sending us His only Son as our little Baby of Hope ... but also for allowing us to celebrate Jesus' birth with both my parents.  And once Tag gets better, then he & Lucy will be celebrating Christmas again at 
GG & Grandpa's!

Here's a few pictures to see what a wonderful Christmas we celebrated:

Okay ... so these 2 pictures need some "esplainin" ...
Lucy's letter to Santa from preschool had the following request.  She wanted to:

see a monkey in her yard
see a lion eating her fence
have a cheetah take Tag on a ride

(Yes ... while the other kids asked for toys, these were Lucy's requests ... 
and Santa delivered!)

But Tag wasn't too interested in the cheetah ride ...
maybe when he feels better!

 Lucy wanted to make her parents a special stuffed animal this year --- she chose a pink striped tiger whom she named "Daisy" and she picked Daisy a special pink winter outfit that included ear-muffs.  Needless to say, her Mommy & Daddy LOVED it!

Lucy had been so concerned about her Grandpa since his heart attack (he had to go to the hospital so that the nice doctors could help him feel better).  It was good to see her laughing with him & her GG.  I am so very blessed that my parents have always taken an active role in the lives of their children, grandchildren & now great-grandchildren.

I keep saying this, but this Christmas drives it home more than ever ...

Our relationships here on earth are worth more than any gift or any amount of money. 
Relationships take time, effort and heart ...
and they are so worth everything we pour into them.

Monday, December 23, 2013

Come to Adore & Sing to Him

This morning finds me reflecting and anticipating ... 
this past year has brought countless tears to our eyes -- 
tears of mourning and grief as well as tears of joy and relief...
tears of laughter and hysterics as well as tears of regret and disbelief.

But throughout all the emotional gambit of this past year, we are ready to celebrate 
the birth of our King -- 
the Baby of Hope -- 
the Baby of Promise -- 
the Baby of Eternal Life ... 
we are ready to celebrate  

This Christmas finds me reflecting on God's grace and His mercies ... 
God's love and His peace ... 
God's desires and His commands.  
Since my Daddy's heart attack on December 12th, this one song has been with me and has reminded me with Whom I can lay my worries, my fears and my emotions. 
This song reminds me of Whom my dear Uncle Larry is spending his first Christmas worshiping in sight with our other dear family who have already gone Home. 
It's the song that I will carry with me after Christmas and throughout the days to come.

Wherever you may be in your life's journey, dear reader, stop for just a brief moment in time and come to the place in your heart to adore Him and sing a song of praise to Him. 
For He is worthy of all our praise.

Merry Christmas from Granny & Grandad 
and our family ... 
May your New Year be filled with Hope, Promise and Life 
through our King of Kings ...

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Prayers for Grandpa -- My Daddy

Asking my wonderful blogging friends for some special prayers tonight.  My Daddy had a heart attack today with 100% blockage to his main artery.  He is 75 years old and still is in charge of setting aisles in a major grocery store chain.  Here's how the heart attack process happened over the past few weeks ...

Daddy works several days a week lifting 50 lb. bags of dog food, slinging cases of water bottles --- basically resetting and stocking any aisle that is in need at the store.  For the past several weeks and even few months, he's been extremely tired & his arthritis has been really bothering him -- to the point to where he couldn't hardly move. So today it all caught up to him ...

He wasn't suppose to work this week, but was filling in for another colleague at another store.  He got sick and began dripping in sweat.  The store office called the rescue squad who came very quickly, and then the store called my Mother to tell her that Daddy was going to the hospital via rescue squad. Oh, and Daddy had told the store clerk to tell my Mother not to bother to come to the hospital because there was no point to do that. So, my Mother called me (2 hours away from them) but for the first time my phone was on silent as I had lunch with a dear friend of mine.  Finally, Mother & my sister made it to the hospital where they asked where Daddy was being treated or even his room number.  He could not be found -- anywhere in that hospital.  Evidently the rescue squad had bypassed the emergency room and went straight to the lab for the stint insertion. So, after about 30 minutes, Daddy sent a text to my sister's cell phone that he had had a heart attack and gave her directions how to get to his room --- only my Daddy.  Oh --- and in the middle of the paramedics getting him on the stretcher at the store, Daddy starts shouting out orders on where to stock the frozen peas.  Oh Daddy ... oh Daddy.

I'll be going over tomorrow to see him and take him the card that Lucy made for him ...

And please remember my Mother too ... this is a very stressful time for her as well.  They've been together for over 50 years.  And their children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren love them very much.