Looking Back Through 2008

This idea came from Jenny's blog. The trouble I had was choosing which pictures to use. There were so many of our daughters and grandbabies that just.grab.my.heart! Here's a look at 2008 ~

The most significant change in 2008, to me,
was Noah's growth and maturity~
He's taller, there are more curls,
he got his first haircut,
and his confidence has grown~
We got snow in January!
and we were living at 204 Spruce,
our favorite house thus far!
We celebrated Christmas with our daughters
and their families in January,
the weekend it snowed! A white Christmas!
February brought my 53rd birthday!
March was quiet. Windy. Fun.
And I got one of my very favorite
snapshots of Jenny & her sons~
(I love the protective way Ian is
holding onto Noah's hand.) Leslie & Austin drove over to visit
and we had such fun. But then,
we always do. Austin spent the night
with Ian, and we pampered Leslie.
It was her birthday month!
The last weekend in April,
found us on a quick trip to Gatlinburg,
where we made the decision
to see what 204 Spruce was worth,
and if anyone was interested.
They were. Ten days later it sold.
And we moved into a new apartment complex,
as there wasn't anything on the market
that we liked as much as what we sold.
We moved in the first of July.
May was a time of welcoming spring,
with many sweet moments along the way.
And we packed.
And packed.
And traveled to Mississippi.
And packed.
And watched the grandbabies grow.
and packed and moved!
The first of July, John & I celebrated
25 years together.
It's still nice to be married
to my best friend. Jenny planned a gathering of our friends
to help us celebrate at Marchelle's
and it was such a nice evening.
Perfect. In August, Austin turned 5 years old
and we wondered how it was
that just the week before
we were driving over to welcome
his birth~
September brought Brandon's birthday
and hotter weather.
This was to have been the school year
I returned to my classroom.
I didn't. And it was a drastic,
and traumatic, difference.
Brett had a birthday in October,
and the weather finally,
finally, began to cool off!
I had one last surgery to correct problems
from the accident of 2006 and began to enjoy
early retirement from the work force.
Thanksgiving was celebrated at Jenny's home,
and it was also her birthday month!
After having so many holidays at our home
over the years, it was great to be treated
to a meal and not have to clean up afterwards!
Ian made the placecards
and stole another piece of my heart~

Alaina turned three, and more beautiful~Stacey celebrated a birthday!
My mom had her 79th birthday,on the same day Ian turned five~John and I are healthy & happy,and I can't wait to see what 2009 will bring!

It's raining outside again. I can hear it as it hits the asphalt. John is snoring quietly, thank you God for small favors, and the pre-lit tree we have on the counter behind me has a small hum to it. Someone just got out of their car and the horn honked as they clicked on the key after closing the door. Night sounds.

The rain is picking up and it sounds like a helicopter over the interstate, which is a couple of miles east of us. Where we are situated rests between two large hills, so being as protected as we are from high winds and noises, night sounds are normally those you can identify. That's a comforting thought and realization.

I can remember being in a downtown hotel in a large city and while in Baptist South, night sounds carried pain, anger, hurt, and fear. Sirens and wails were common.

When we lived on the dirt road, night sounds were those I grew up with during my high school years. Crickets, owls, coyotes, tree frogs. Nice, but I don't miss them.

No, I much prefer what I'm hearing right now. I feel safe, comforted, and home. Night sounds. Nice sounds.

Let It Snow~

Oh how I would love to live here,
or here!
Yeah, I'd love this view~
and this house!
or this backyard.
I'm a bit picky as to what kind of snowy scene
I would love to live in.
I would get a choice.

In the City of David

Today in the town of David,
a Savior has been born to you;
he is Christ the Lord.
This will be a sign to you, you will find a baby
wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.
Glory to God in the highest,
and on earth peace to men
on whom his favor rests.
Luke 2:11-14

A Baby Changes Everything

"Never has anyone
offered so much
to so many
in so few words
as when Jesus said,
'Here am I, send me.' "
~Neal Maxwell

From His birth in a lowly manger
to the most brutal of deaths on a cross,
thanksgiving and praise to God
for the most holiest of gifts,
His only Son~

PS~ Read on for other posts from today.

“…It’s about how Jesus came to be born once, so that we could be born again”

If you would do one thing before you leave your computer, I would urge you to click here and visit our daughter's site tonight. It is a moving message.

John and I are spending less this year and giving more of our time. We spent this afternoon with Jenny and her family eating lightly and playing games. No TV, no radio ~ just us, the little ones, and some games. Lots of laughter and love. And it only cost us the price of some sandwiches and a cheesecake. Heart memories were made. We will do the same in January when our whole family gathers to celebrate with each other.

A friend of mine, Jon Atchison, asked if I'd heard of The Advent Conspiracy. I had not, but what I've read so far speaks to my heart. I asked, in an earlier blog, if any of you had heard of it. No one responded so I am assuming no one has. This movement simply asks that you consider spending less on items that aren't needed and donate that money where it can be utilized in a way that would glorify our Lord and King. Here is the short video from their Home page~

I know our daughters well enough to know that they expect nothing at Christmas. Really, they just love to get together, eat, laugh, and share. It is we who like to give {especially me!!} This year, we made the decision to spend more quality time and less money. I bet you feel as we do and that you are taking steps along these same lines. The economy has a bit to do with it, but nonetheless, we intend to make this a lifelong commitment. Again, visit Jenny's site. You'll be blessed to have watched and listened.

Merry Christmas and I pray that all that have visited here will have a safe and happy time with loved ones~

Mississippi Babes~

I am in love.
With two babies in Mississippi.
I wonder how much longer
I can get away with calling them babies?
Not much longer.
Austin is already five,
and a kindergartner.
Alaina recently turned three.
Ah, Stacey, have another baby.
I cut out the other girls.
I don't know them.
Austin approaches everything
and everyone with gusto.
Just like taking this picture,
with his favorite man in red.

And this sweet angel?
She's looking for her Pa & Nan, I'm sure!
Or maybe the Man in Red?
Nah, she's looking for us.

Christmas & Home~

A few more snapshots after bringing in more decor~
this view is coming in from the foyer.
Below is the view from the recliner we fight over~

And views from the kitchen no one fights over~

~ from The Letter Writer ~

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