Friday, July 31, 2009

It's my party, again!!

This year has flown by! I just wrote this post last week so why is it my birthday again??? The years come and go faster and faster each passing year, and unless I'm going to live to be 114, I think I'm past middle age, in the autumn of my life, OLD.

Except for the aches and pains, I don't feel old. I feel just like I did when I was in my 20's! But when I look in the mirror, there is this strange woman looking back! She has wrinkles! She could stand to lose a few lbs. too!

She is likes comfort over beauty in shoes and clothes. I mean who is she??? I know that can't possibly be me!

The man in the picture with me is the best birthday gift any one could ever receive! He's truly the gift that keeps on giving and I'm so thankful to have him!!!

It's been a great year! Maybe I will live to 114 after all!

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Happy Birthday, brother!

Every July 30th, my brother has a birthday. If you'll recall, he was my birthday present one year.
My 8th birthday to be exact, which means that this will be his 49th birthday!!! :) Oh, brother, you're getting old!

Here he is with his birthday cake and the caboose in the background! It looks like there are 9 candles on his cake, so that was 40 years ago! Time surely passes much more quickly than we want it to.Forty years and a few good meals later, here he is, the Birthday Boy!!!

Happy Birthday brother, have a great day!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

The terrible truth about organizing...

I'll just admit it right up front, I'm not an organized person. I am constantly losing things. When I'm in the grocery store, I can't remember what's in the pantry so often I end up buying what I already have for a meal. I know just what you're thinking......wastrel! Guilty! Ashamed! But I feel much better having gotten it out in the open like that! Whew!

Well, my friend Donetta inspired me to organize my pantry. As you can see, I have been blessed to have a lot of pantry space. So it's a double shame that it is all bulging with stuff,I don't even know what's behind those doors.

I did not take a before picture, because I was too ashamed! I had so much that was out of date that it was horrible. Hopefully, now I've turned over a new leaf and I'll look in the organized pantry before I venture off to the grocery store!

Here's the top shelves.........

And here's the bottom shelves! You can't imagine how much better it looks! I actually can know at a glance what I have and what I need.

I do hope this I can get to work on the other two parts of the pantry. I can't promise this will last....I wish I could, but i know myself too well.

Thanks, Donetta!!!!!

Monday, July 27, 2009

Please pray for Stellan.

Please take a moment and pray for Stellan, his family and the doctors who are working to save his life.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Thanks for the Memories!

Today was the last day we had Campus Outreach students at church. John and Mary , our adopted children, came over for lunch, washed their clothes and we watched a movie. I made cookies for them and to send with Matt, then sadly, we said goodbye! They will be traveling back home to get ready for the next school year. They will only know in heaven how many lives they affected for Christ, but I'll tell they made a huge impact on our lives.

We have enjoyed having them with us so much and it was very sad to say goodbye. We hugged a lot, exchanged addresses and email addresses, hugged some more before they drove away. We may never see them again in this life, but we have certainly been blessed by having them in our home!

Then, Matt left! He was home for the weekend between pharmacy rotations. He's on his way now to Pensacola to do another rotation for 4 weeks and will live with my sister and her husband while he's there. Thank goodness for family! I have a huge thank you for Cathy and Dick for letting him stay with them. He feels right at home there.

With Russell in Texas, it is suddenly so quiet here. I believe I'll have to take a nap. :)

Have a great Sunday afternoon.

Random Miracles

It's been a week of miracles around here. Russell's great Uncle Hugh has had an abdominal aneurysm for several years. Recently, it has grown larger and was becoming dangerous. Doctors had explained to him that when it blew, he would die. Just like that. There is a procedure that can be done through the groin to repair the aneurysm, but his was considered too large to use that procedure. However, because of some recent discoveries (o.k. I'm not sure what they are), he had surgery Wednesday and went home Friday! We are giving the glory to God!

Uncle Hugh spent one night in ICU, just because that's what you do with that surgery, moved to step down Thursday and home Friday. Did I mention he's 91? Amazing grace!

Tonight I went by to see him and he answered the door and was up and walking around.

Tonight was also the first time in a long time that I wished for a better camera than my little point and shoot. Leaving Uncle Hugh's house, you drive right by the bay. There was a fingernail, also called crescent, moon tonight and it was huge, yellow and hanging low over the horizon. I'm talking about a gorgeous sight. I knew I might as well not try to get a picture because it wouldn't do that moon justice!

It was something like this image, except facing the other direction and the lights across the bay dancing down below. Breathtaking.

In other news of great interest, Russell left today driving the motorhome to Texas to have it repaired. They're repairing the same thing they repaired last year. Iwould have gone, but there's just too much going on this week and sitting in a waiting room ALLLLL day with two dogs just isn't that appealing. Once you've done it, you really are able to skip that experience the second time! He should get to Texas tomorrow, have the motorhome worked on Monday and hopefully start home Tuesday.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Show Us Where You Live......My Wedding Dress.

Over at Kelly's Corner, she's doing Show Me Where You Live Friday featuring wedding dresses. Russell and I got married November 4, 1995, it was one of the happiest days of my life. We both grew up in the church we were married in, but didn't know each other well. In another post wayyyyy back, I told the story of how we met.....but since I am basically lazy and didn't want to look for that post, I'll briefly tell you again, since I know you're waiting breathlessly to hear.

We believe with all our hearts that God providentially brought us together. We ran into each other at a local walking track at a time of day and year that Russell wouldn't normally be walking. We had both been divorced about the same time, but didn't know it then. I casually introduced myself and we (including the friend I was walking with) walked the rest of the track together. We were parked at different sides of the track, so when he started to go to his car, I shamelessly made sure he knew my last name and not just my maiden name. Two weeks later, he called and asked me to a movie and two and a half years later, we were married.

I wanted a really simple dress and a small wedding, but with my family, small isn't an option. Our wedding was a simple and beautiful service.

I found my dress in Pensacola, where one of my sisters lives. It wasn't expensive at all but it was exactly what I had in mind. It was a simple sheath dress with a tuxedo like jacket in an off white color. Scanning the pictures in, I noticed we were both much thinner that day....hmmmmmmm wonder what happened? Oh,'s my dress.

This first picture is obviously us at the alter. It was right after the wedding and we were both so relieved and happy. Relieved because neither of us like to stand in front of a crowd, especially Russell.
This picture is us practically running back down the aisle after we were married. Click on it if you can and see the happy smiles on our faces.

During the almost 14 years since that day, we have grown closer as a couple. The two flesh become one principle! :)

Russell has been such a blessing in my life. He has brought calmness to me and I think I have brought more humor to him......probably because he laughs at me a lot!

Six months after we were married, almost to the day, my daddy died. Daddy loved Russell and was so relieved happy to see me happy and cared for.

Thanks, Kelly, for providing this opportunity to not only show my wedding dress, but to remember that very special day in my life!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

On to the baby shower for two!

So, Saturday there were two weddings and Sunday there was a baby shower for two! Babies that is. Our dear friends, I consider them family, are expecting twins! This has been a season of babies for this sweet family. Little Grady is 6 months, Anna Cross is 2 weeks and a few days and babies A & B are due in November!

Brian and Robin weren't revealing the sexes until the shower. Don't worry y'all, that isn't mine to tell so I won't be revealing it here today! Brian had decided on a unique way to reveal by having a cake baked that would that would have the color of each sex (pink or blue) on the INSIDE of the cake. We were all waiting patiently for the cutting of the cake.....but when he cut into it, it was just a white cake inside! BOO....the cake maker made a mistake.

At that point, Brian revealed it in another unique way! I'm sure Robin will tell you all soon! We were all so excited!

Here are mama and daddy getting ready to cut the cake!

Opening presents!

Cousin Grady and his mama, Brian's sister, Mary Grace.

Me holding Grady. Is he handsome or what???

My DH holding Grady. By the way, Russell is a baby magnet, they all love him!

Mary Grace and Mikey, otherwise known as Grady's parents.

Grandparents, Charlotte and Tony.

Me with another sister, Emily, who will be married to Jeff (red shirt) in December and Mary Grace. Notice Grady in Auntie Emily's lap drinking her water! It was a warm day and he was thirsty.

Brian and Robin, mama and daddy, mingling with their guests.

Another friend, Carol with Emily and Jeff, who had come in from Austin to be here for the shower.

A great baby shower and we are so honored to have been included! All these babies will be loved by so many!

After the shower, we got home in time to make it to evening church, and so ended the day worshiping. A good day and a very busy weekend. Lots of love going on.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Two Weddings and a Baby Shower for Two.

Due to operator error technical difficulties, the baby shower will have to wait to be posted! But the two weddings we'll talk about, in reverse order.....due to the same problem. :)

Saturday was a very busy day around our house...well, actually out of our house! We had two weddings to attend...both very important to us. Thankfully, one was at 2 and one at 5 so we were able to make both!

Below is actually the second wedding. My nephew Andy married Wyndi. What a sweet service they had. The wedding was beautiful and the reception was fun....but as I've been doing lately, I'll tell the story with pictures. They are NOT in the right order, but here we go.

Towards the end of the evening, Russell and I walked down to watch the little kids on the beach and grabbed the moment to get one of us.

The groom's sister and her husband. They have four beautiful daughters, but I never saw them all in one place!
My sister, Cathy with our cousin, Claire.

I did mention these pictures were out of order, so here comes the bride and groom to the reception. One of our sons and his wife had their reception here so it was a little jog down memory lane.

Cousins, Matt, our youngest and Ty.

Baby brother Steve and sister in law Monica with their girls, Bella and Tori. Maybe I should mention at this point that I have a huge family! Between the six children, their spouses, the grandchildren, their spouses and all the great grandchildren, you are always assured of a good crowd for any occasion! If you need a big crowd, just call!

Russell's mom and Matt.

Dancing brothers! A fun moment on the dance floor between older brother, Don and the groom, Andy.

My nephew, Mike dancing with his daughter......that was a really sweet moment!

My brother, Michael, his future daughter in law Kayla, his son Chris and my sister in law Pam.

My nephew Don, his wife Kathleen and their sons Josh and Ty.

The father of the groom, also my brother, Tommy with his new grandson, Jake.

This is a great shot of my sisters hair! She walked in front of my camera just as I snapped the picture....who knows what was behind that head!?

My sister, Debbie, her son Joshua and my brother in law Mike.
Sisters! Niece Jenny with her sister Kerri and great niece, Abby.

The dance.

Mother/son dance. This brought tears to several eyes!

The mother and father of the groom, my sister in law, Lois and brother Tommy. It was hot at the reception and coats came off, shirttails came out, it was HOT.
The mafia My brother and nephew Mike with another of the groomsmen and a good friend, Ron.
Sisters! Debbie, Nancy and Cathy.

And as my grandmother often used to say, the great battle ended and the sun went down! We had to leave the festivities and go home to bed!

God bless this new family!

This is the first wedding of our day, our pastor's daughter and her new husband. The ceremony was just beautiful in every way. After the last wedding performed for a child, our pastor said he just couldn't do it again! Way too emotional! Two pastors did the main part of the wedding and then the bride's daddy, our pastor, pronounced them man and wife.

We missed the reception because we had to make a mad dash to the next wedding, so I stole borrowed this picture from the sister of the bride's face book!

What a great day for weddings! We so enjoyed watching these families unite!

May God richly bless them all!!

Stay tuned for the baby shower!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Expensive mistakes!

Everything was going according to plan....that is unless you count the part where I wanted a sunset picture with the grandchildren that never happened......the kids were all packed, which was no small thing. With itineraries in hand, we were off to the airport an hour early just so if anything went wrong, we'd have time to make it right. Right???

We go into our very small airport and were in line lamenting their leaving, when we realized that the departure time was 12:16P not 1:21PM. We had all looked at it several times and nobody noticed. So instead of being an hour early we missed the flight by a few minutes! On their itineraries it was 1216P.

Being the world traveler I'm not, after I'd totally panicked and started crying and the guy behind the desk was saying the next flight was full but there was one at 5:30 a.m. the next day, I thought o.k. maybe this isn't so bad after all. Until I heard him speaking through the fog that is my brain, saying but it will be $732. per ticket above what we had already paid for the tickets. After begging, crying and throwing myself on the mercy of the representative, I decided to call Delta. They assured me that, yes, it really would be an additional $732. per ticket.....putting their trip back home at over $1400.00 additional dollars over and above what we had already paid for the tickets.

Being the laid back children that they are, they were smiling with Uncle David while I was having my 19th nervous breakdown.

Then their great grandmother asked about flying them out of Atlanta......that turned out to be only $240. making the trip back over $400. plus driving 5 hours to Atlanta.....paying for their suitcases, etc. But that seemed the only option that made sense.

I will tell you that I will NOT be flying the kids on D*lta again. We had already paid for the original tickets, which weren't cheap, paid $300 to change them so they could stay longer and now this. I realize it was my mistake that made them miss their flight, but if they could have flown on the next flight, it wouldn't have cost anything extra. And even if they could have gotten on that flight they really couldn't have because as they were flying as unaccompanied minors, they can't fly the last flight out of the day.

Yes, I was a teeny, weeny little bit upset, but decided flying them out of Atlanta was our best bet. We went home, slept, got up and started off to Atlanta. Thanks to the prayers of many, we had a smooth drive. The airport was so intimidating for this small town girl. We made it through getting them all checked in.

We went straight through security, picked up lunch and went straight to their gate.......3 hours early......and didn't move from there because we were NOT missing this flight. Here's Ashley devouring her lunch.

I was still nervous, but trying to smile while Adam was finishing his french fries.

We took pictures while we waited.

At long last, their flight was called and we bid them a tearful goodbye! We saw them fly off into the sky and off to their home.
We started back home in the late afternoon traffic. The kids actually made it home before we did. About Dothan, my phone rang and it was the flight representative in their home airport who said, we have two unaccompanied minors and no one is here to pick them up. I just held the phone while several thoughts went through my mind. One was, now I'm en route to Florida and they are in California. How will I possibly fix this??? I asked for my granddaughter to be put on the line. She was, as always, calm as she assured me her mama would be there and to "chill out". Sure enough, their mama was there but had gone to the wrong gate. I soon got another call and all was well. They were safely home!

Below is what I put on Facebook before I left for Atlanta. God was faithful, we had a safe trip and all ended well. I must admit though, I had some moments.

Copied from my facebook. What do one missed flight, several conversations on the phone with D*lta representatives, paying still more money, driving to Atlanta, finally getting the grands on the right plane =??? A very tired Nana! Thanks for all your prayers, we had a very easy drive up and back. Got the kids on the plane and watched until they were up, up and awayyy! God is good!

Friday, July 10, 2009

Visit with a sweet girl and random stuff

It takes forever to finish a post these days! AND I actually should be cleaning house right now, but, oh well! Somebody has to write this!

This is one of my favorite pictures of Katie and Anna Cross! How precious to see a new mother kissing her baby's head and looking lovingly down.

Thankfully, Beau got to be with Katie for Anna Cross's birthday! Aren't they a sweet couple?

Grady was so happy to have his little cousin stay with him a few days! He has the happiest smile!

You didn't think I was leaving my granddaughter out of this post did you??? Ashley traveled with us to visit with Grady and Anna Cross. She just has a way with children and Grady loved playing with her.

Oh, here they are again!

Anna Cross is so peaceful and laid back! We were all being real noisy, but she just slept away.

Grady's mom and dad, Mikey and Mary Grace graciously opened their home for Katie to stay while Beau was deployed. It will be so quiet around there now! Thanks for having us visit too!

Does anybody know how difficult it is to get a picture everybody is happy with??? Mary Grace, I apologize that your face is half covered up, but this is the only one that Anna Cross wasn't cut out of, so who was taking the picture???

Finally, Ashley got to hold Anna Cross. Katie just let all of us hold her and didn't seem nervous about it at all. Her hands are clenched together, I just noticed that!

Obviously, we took lots of pictures. From left friend Carol, me, my sister Cathy and sitting is Ashley holding Anna Cross.

We left grandson Adam with his grandpa for the day, as he probably wouldn't have been as thrilled with a newborn and an almost 7 month old!

The days have flown by and tonight we'll be trying to pack the kids up to go home tomorrow. I can hardly believe a month has flown gone by! I always get a bit nervous on the day they arrive and the day they fly away home! I'm not a seasoned flyer so I'm always afraid something will go wrong. They don't worry about it at all! They just laugh and remind me of how they know what to do.

After tomorrow, I plan to visit everyone and see what's been going on in your neck of the blog!