Thursday, December 31, 2009

A New years coming....

We bid farewell to 2009 and look to 2010 to be a year filled with joy.

Maybe I'll even work on firming up those arms!

Looking back, I realized I made resolutions last year that were broken before the ink was dry on the paper of my mind!  So maybe I'll just skip that part this year.

In 2009, there were birthdays and baptisms and weddings to be,
Good times and sad times, just look back and see.

We got a new president
The economy took a dive
Found out we are having a new grandbaby
Had our two grandchildren here for both their birthdays
A friend lost her son
My son found his life again.....Praise God he's sober for several months now
Two sons lost their got another one....
Mama was only in the hospital once
One of our bonus daughter's baby turned a year old
Another had a baby
Another (bonus son) had twins
Another got married
A local bank went under

My nephew from the family business, Freeman Electric Co., taking down the bank sign.....sad times.

Several church babies were born
There were baby showers and wedding showers
Bible studies
Church services
A new mission ministry,  Mercy Uganda was started
Celebrated another wedding anniversary with the world's best husband!
Got to know so many wonderful blog friends!

Oh, there were sad times, sometimes some bad times
But the JOY overcame it all!

May 2010 be a year of wonder and may God hold you firmly in His everlasting arms!

Goodbye 2009......2010 here we come!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

A Special Gift....

A day or two before Christmas, I was visiting mama at the retirement center, and this was sitting on her table.  A gift from one of the other residents.  I thought it was so cute.  It's a roll of toilet paper!  

In these hard times, we'll all be needing a lot of this stuff!  Click to read the message! 

So thanks to mama's secret santa! 

Monday, December 28, 2009

Our Christmas Day 2009

Update on mama.....

Mama stayed in the hospital from Sunday morning until Tuesday.  Monday I came down with the same virus she had so we were both down!  Mama got well quickly, I think because she had all the I.V. fluids.  I was sick a day or two longer, but we are both well now!  


Christmas morning started quietly with the sound of my cell phone alerting me to a text message.  It was 5:21 am.

I staggered out of bed and read the wonderful news that my son David's friend's wife had just had a baby girl.  I turned my phone to silent, climbed back in bed and pulled up the covers.  

We have a family tradition around here.  Russell cooks a big breakfast of pancakes, bacon, sausage and anything else any one wants.  This year it was going to be just the two of us, so we were going to skip the big breakfast and save our appetites for Christmas dinner.  

Russell got up and opened the garage door to go out and retrieve our paper and  David was waiting in the driveway.  

NOTE:  Our garage key pad isn't working or David would have just come in and gotten in bed in the guest room.  

Anyway, we decided to have our big breakfast after all.  So we enjoyed Russell's cooking, then had our second Christmas with David opening his presents. Here are a few pictures.  He's our family clown so it took a few to get him to just pose normally!



Finally, I got him to pose in somewhat of a normal position!

He was exhausted by this time and went home to sleep for a while (the whole day).

Nephew Patrick and wife Kristen dropped in to visit.  It was nice to catch up with them and you can see Jack was thrilled!

Then it was casseroles in the oven and getting ready to have our annual Christmas dinner at my brother's home.

When we arrived, mama was all settled in the recliner, the queen in the midst of her court!  

My sister, Debbie with her son Joshua.

Nephew Chris and Kayla

Christina, home from college on her Christmas break was trying to catch a nap!

My big brother, Tommy.

My nephew carving the turkey.

My great niece Amanda....she loves her family!  And we love her!  She is currently being courted by several universities.

My nephew Don and his wife Kathleen

We had two heaters going for those who like to stay my bil Dick.

Our host and hostess Tommy and his wife Lois.

Some of the children gathered around Poppy (Dick) and Mike.

My nephew and his wife, Dickie and Joneida

BIL Mike and sister Debbie....

My niece and her husband, Debbie and Mike....We have a lot of Debbie and Mikes and just Mikes around our family!

My nephew Mike, his wife Jenny and daughter Abby

Jenny and her sister Carrie

SIL with three of her granddaughters, Christina, Lauren and Amanda

Russell and me

After dinner, the jump rope contest began....first with the children, but soon the adults joined in too!

My nephew Andy and his daughter Lauren

Sister Debbie, me and Sister Cathy

Wow, what a day!  Russell and I said our goodbyes and headed home.  I put my pajamas on and got into my bed!  There I stayed for the rest of the night, relaxing and watching t.v. 

Monday, Matt flew back in from his trip to Minnesota.  Being the good boy he is, he went to work this morning!  When he's home, our local pharmacy always asks him to work.  That boy will work!  Of course, he likes to have spending money. 

So we bid goodbye to another Christmas and look forward to a new year. 

Seriously, it's coming....

A new post is coming soon as I can get blogger to download my pictures a bit faster.

It's quiet today which is a good thing.  I MUST take down the Christmas stuff.  After Christmas day, I'm over the tree and othere decorations and want to get my house clean....and organized.  Oh, but the organization thing, that's just my own personal fantasy!

See you real soon!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Christmas Eve past and present....

We seldom have snow here in sunny Florida.....but on the Christmas Eve, 1989, we had a bit of snow fall.  We also had a family tragedy, and learned that blessings come in many forms.

The following is taken from the magazine Signs of the Times...March 1990 edition.....

And early morning fire swept through the Freeman Electric Company, Panama City, FL, on Christmas Eve causing an estimated $350,000 damage.  It took 26 firefighters nearly three hours to quell the blaze, hampered by 2 -3 inches of snow and record cold temperatures.

Our family is often stubborn, always there for each other and the community and with God's help, resilient.  Here is more of the story as told in the magazine....

Despite the bleak prospects for Christmas, J.T. Duncan, owner of the electric sign company, (and my daddy)says that the assistance of the local business community - including help from rival sign companies - turned this mishap from personal tragedy to community triumph.

Freeman Electric Co. founded in 1936, was started as a neon sign shop by the late H.O. Freeman with the help of J.T. Duncan.  Since Freeman's death in 1980, Duncan, with his wife Margaret, (and my mama) has owned and operated the company.  

At the time this happened, my three brothers and one grandson worked in the business.

The immediate concern of my parents was the safety and welfare of family members and employees.  My mama was quoted, we're just so thankful that on one was hurt or killed.  

Mama also noted that daddy had spent the better part of his life building that company.

What strikes me the most, then and now, was how much my daddy was loved and respected in this community.  People came together and helped in whatever ways they could.  One local businessman donated the use of his building, rival companies offered the use of their equipment and right after Christmas, business was up and going again.

There were $60,000 worth of signs ready to roll out the door when the fire happened.  All of these signs - and the signs contracted before the fire - have been completed.  They were back in full swing!

There was an open attic in the shop that as children we sometimes (not often) were allowed to climb up to, to look around.......things were there that could never be replaced.  Copies of the magazine I've quoted from, from as far back as 1937 were all destroyed.

Some of my nephews Christmas "Santa" presents were there too. on Christmas eve, leaving the ashes of their business, some were out trying to replace gifts. There were heavy hearts all around.

I do not tell this story to be one of sad or woefulness, but of that what we thought might well kill our daddy, just showed his strength, and WHO his strength was, in a time of trouble.  His faith that all would be o.k. with God's help.

Some months later, they reopened in their brand new building, same location!  One thing that did not burn was the big safe in daddy's office.  I don't know what was in that safe, but probably some important documents!

Frankly, now that I think about it, I don't remember our actual Christmas day that year.

This is a portion of the actual article. 

That was Christmas past 20 years ago.  The business is still going, Daddy's gone on to heaven and we will get together as a family tomorrow and celebrate Christ's birth!

Last weekend, three of our kids were home, so we celebrated with them as they are gone in different directions.  One will come tomorrow and one is in California along with the grands!  So there will be more pictures!


Merry Christmas Eve to all and know that whatever befalls you, God is right there! 

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

It'll be a blue sick Christmas around here.....

On the days leading up to Christmas 2009

Oh, how do I begin to tell a story probably best left untold???  Probably at the beginning.  If nothing makes sense in this post, remember I am out of my sick bed writing as I wait for my sheets to finish drying!  Again..

After a nice weekend with three of our children, Sunday morning, the 20th of December, I got a call from the retirement home where my mother lives saying she had been sick all night (I'll spare you the goriest of details) and that she needed to go to the hospital.

I got there to see how sick indeed she was, and asked the nurse call the paramedics.  She had been sick so long (just about 12 hours) that she wouldn't even respond to questions.  Of course, when I got her virus a few days later I understood why she didn't respond, she couldn't!

We got her to one of our local hospitals and right into the isolation room in the ER.  At this point, I want to stop and applaud a young male nurse named Josh for his kind, caring manner as he quickly began treating my mama with the utmost dignity in a very undignified situation!  Quite often, people treat the elderly like they are non persons and speak right over them, but not Josh!  He talked to my mother and even when I had to give the answers, he still kept looking right at her as if she were giving the answers!  My brother and I were with mama and upset and he soothed us in the process!

The ER doctor was great too!  He had on the neatest belt with any and everything you could think of in pockets hanging from the belt.  He told my brother that he had been in Iraq and when you're a doctor in the field, you have to have what you need because you can't just buzz the nurse and tell him/her what to bring!  They very quickly and efficiently took all the samples they needed and decided to admit mama because she was so very dehydrated.  It was the quickest admit I've ever seen from an ER.

Soon she was in her room with fluids being given and medicines started.  We were with her most of the day, but finally realized that we couldn't stay all night and be any use to anyone.  One of the caregivers she has at the retirement home came to stay the night, allowing us to go home! 

On December 21st, I packed my ice chest, book bag and snacks and headed up to the hospital to find that mama had a roommate!   Admitting told us this would stay a private room, but I guess circumstances overruled that decision.  Mama was much better, so I helped her eat breakfast and settled down to spend the day, when all of a sudden what should I hear?????  Sounds of my own stomach rumbling in my ear!!!

Again, I will spare you the gory details and just say, I grabbed my stuff....dialing mama's main caregiver to see if she could get someone up to the hospital........literally, almost, ran into the doctor and her nurse.....begged them to take care of her until someone could get there and drove home at speeds far exceeding the limits! 

The rest of that day is a blur!  Matt was leaving to fly to Minnesota and I didn't want him to get near me.  He kept coming to my door asking if there was anything he could do....sweet, thoughtful child!!  He would put a glass of gingerale outside the door.....and plastic bags...(oh, sorry, that's part of the goriness).

Mama's home from the hospital.....I'm still sick.....all her caregivers except one are sick....most of the residents are sick.....and so ladies and gentlemen, let's hope tomorrow is a better day!   

Friday, December 18, 2009

Happy Birthday sweet Grady!

Today Grady turns one!  This year has flown by and he's grown into such a sweet and handsome toddler!  Everyone loves him, but no one as much as his mama and daddy! 

Grady, you have a very Happy Birthday and have many more adventures in the year to come!

We love you!!!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Wedding Day!

At last the wedding day arrived!  We all woke up to cold but sunny skies!  Well, sunny compared to really not sunny!  

My sister and I rushed to the cafe where the wedding breakfast was to be held....decorated.....and waited to greet the bride and her family and friends.

I was so happy to find those little ornament place cards!  That bride on a wine bottle.... and no, we didn't drink the wine for breakfast.....has seen a few wedding days and was just as pretty that day!
The little Christmas tree we found and thought would be a great table decoration that the bride could take lit up and played two seconds of Christmas music every four minutes....that's right kind of like name that tune.  It would startle us when it started playing!

The bride had a special ornament.  Click on the picture to get a better look!

Emily with her sister, Katie and niece, Anna Cross.  Emily was calm and assured the whole day and had that bride's glow about her!


On this side of the table is Emily's sister Mary Grace, my sister Cathy, me and Charlotte.


Emily's friends and Jeff's mother in pink. 

Opening a present from her dad and Charlotte.


The breakfast ended and everyone went off to get ready for the wedding that evening.  The girls went to get their hair done.  Then later in the day to the venue to start getting ready for the wedding ceremony.
I love this picture of Emily.  She was sitting in front of this huge mirror putting on her make up.  Isn't she beautiful??


Charlotte was helping dress everyone, even the babies!

The father of the bride, Tony, was just waiting to be told what to do next.

As his mother likes to say, Grady got a little off the chain, so Uncle Brian was giving him a lecture on how to behave at a wedding!  He must have been paying attention because he was very sweet during the ceremony.

The groom!  Now everyone is here and ready to begin.


Emily's sisters and bride's matrons of honor, with the little flower girl and ring bearer, who incidentally stole the show!

Waiting.....Lots of pictures were taking during the waiting.

The bride and her family.


The bride with her father and brother.  We really missed Brian's wife, Robin and their newborn twin girls!

Katie with the flower girl, Anna Cross!

While these two wouldn't look my way, they were so precious!  They looked like royalty being pulled down the aisle!  They got more oohs and aahhs!

I didn't want to take too many photos during the wedding.....actually, I didn't want the photographer to come over and knock me out!  Obviously, this is the kiss at the end of the vows.  Most of us were crying tears of joy by this time.

When Emily started to say her vows, she couldn't because she was starting to cry.  She just kept looking at her pastor who finally said.....just nod!  She did!  The knot was tied!

Outside where the ceremony was originally going to be, but the cold and mist drove it inside!  Emily is freezing here!  But it is so beautiful and just look at her face!  Obvious joy!

My attempt at getting the family pictures....

Jeff and Emily with his mom.

Some of both families.

The cakes!  Emily had ornaments at each place in the reception with a thank you note attached......I forgot mine!

I love this picture!  I know Emily was cold and ready to go in, but this is one of my favorites.

The food was absolutely wonderful!  Here the bride and groom are eating before starting to circulate around the room to greet all their guests!

I couldn't get a good picture of the bride's first dance with her husband......but here she is dancing with her dad!  Believe it or not, Tony recently had hip replacement surgery!

Me with the bride.

It was a wonderful day!

This family is so special to me.  God has blessed me with bonus children's I didn't give birth to or actually raise (well, maybe just a little).....but got to love and be in their lives.  These children.....adults now....are so special.  Their mother was my dear friend.  She left ten years ago to go to live with Jesus, but she prayed these children to this point in their lives.

She taught them diligently and led them to the feet of Jesus.......she did a fabulous job!
She and Tony taught them to be independent, yet dependent on God.  To work hard and be productive and they all are shining examples of that teaching!  They are all married now....all have their educations......have given all of us four beautiful babies to love.....good job guys!

Emily, I love you and may you and Jeff be richly every way!