Monday, December 24, 2012

We made it to December!  I just want to say how blessed we are to have the family and friends we do! You all mean so much to us!!  We pray that you have a blessed 2013!

Day 12/Month 12....December

December has been another quiet month.  We enjoyed going to see The Hobbit and we enjoyed the children's program we had at church.

We celebrated our family Christmas just this Saturday.  It's fun getting together and just enjoying each other's company, playing the Wii and playing with new toys.

Ooohh, lookie what's in the box!!

Our new Vera's

This one describes itself!!!

Playing with new toys!

So, as I close out this recap of 2012, I am so thankful for all the blessings we have received!  Not the material things we have, but the wonderful children, grand-children, family, and friends!  You are all never far from our thoughts and prayers.

May we remember at this time of year, that's it's really not about Santa Claus and seeing what we get under our Christmas tree, but it's about the birth of a Savior, who humbled Himself to be born of a virgin, born in lowly circumstances, that He would grow to be fully man/fully God, and that He would pay the penalty for our sins.  We, as humans, miss God's mark, but He has provided our Savior, Yeshua (Jesus) the Messiah!  Praise and worship Him this holiday season!!

Day 11/Month 11...November  (Sorry I'm late again, we had a very busy day yesterday!)

The month began with the most anticipated wedding I'd experienced since my kids got married.  M & B's wedding day was here!  The weather was beautiful and the wedding was amazing!!

I wish I could describe the blessing that this family is to me, but there are no words to express it!  I have seen God move in a powerful way and it has been amazing!  I have no pictures from inside the wedding, I was crying from joy and just taking it in.  He serenaded her with a song and then they all did a unity sand art thingy.  Each of them had their own colored sand, the boys included, and it was just beyond words what it did to my heart as I watched them unite all four of their lives together.  It still overwhelms me!

A few days later, my mom celebrated her 65th birthday!  We enjoyed a night out at for steak.

This is actually from our family Christmas the other day, she's the most beautiful woman in the world!  I love you, Mom!

We spent Thanksgiving Day at L & S's.  Here's Mommy & Baby, sitting on "Small Baby".  

Her first Thanksgiving meal with a big hit!

The following Saturday we had Thanksgiving at J & D's.  E loved her big cousin!

Enjoying some downtime with Great-Great Grandma!!  

Such a beauty!!

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Day 10/Month 10--October....

October was a very busy month!!  We finished up combining the 1st week of October, but things didn't slow down after that.  We had something every weekend and a few things during the week, besides our usual busyness.

S & I enjoyed going to one of my niece's volleyball games!  A can play hard!  We're hoping to get to one of her basketball games soon!

We participated in a memorial walk for our little Adley at the hospital.  It was difficult, but well worth it!  I just never realized how many people are affected by the loss of a little one, either before birth or shortly after.  There were a couple of hundred people there.  I am definitely more aware now and keep them in my prayers.

We also had a surprise "Blessing" shower for my friend M, since her wedding was fast approaching.  A blessing shower is simply one that focuses on blessings and encouragement rather than physical gifts.  It was a wonderful afternoon of healing and closure and moving on to the next phase.

At the end of the month, we had a homeschooling event at our place put on by the NRA.  It was amazing.  They have this educational program that allows the kids to learn about safe hunting, shooting, animal identification and such.  The cost is completely covered by the NRA.

Identifying pelts & skulls



More shotgun
Enjoying her first Oreo!

Friday, December 21, 2012

One year ago today, we were snuggling our new grand-daughter!  What joy she has brought to our family!

Day 9/ Month 9-September

After the intense months of July & August, September brought some welcome peace.  We did start combining at the end of the month, but other than that, peaceful!

I did get to go to see our new grandbaby's ultrasound!  They have the same nose!!

Day 8 (Sorry, we didn't have electricity most of the day due to the blizzard and after it came back on, there was a lot to get done around here, so we're pretending it's still Day 8)/Month 8-August

August started out very sadly for us.  I'll just send you to August of my blog.  It was heartbreaking, but God knows what he's doing and we received the happy news just this week that they are expecting again and things look wonderful!

We hired a new pastor at the beginning of August.  He is truly passionate about the Lord, the Word of God, and no compromise!  He and his family are joys to be around!  I'm looking forward to seeing what God does with him and our church in the next few years.

We walked in another parade in August for my friend, L.  It was a long one!  E enjoyed riding in the stroller and eating graham crackers.

The next weekend, we went to Eddyville, IA for the drag races.  We've been wanting to do it for many years and now that we have, I guarantee we'll be going back!  We had so much fun!!

She kept the ear protection on the whole time and seemed to enjoy herself.  Her grandpa sure had fun!

The next weekend brought something I'd been waiting for for a few years, J & L moved my desk up to my new office/craft room, opening our livingroom back up!

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Day 7/Month 7 July

Oh my goodness, July was one crazy month!

We started the month with our family reunion.  Always a lot of fun to get to see people from Hubby's side of the family.  It was a pretty hot day, but the food and conversation were wonderful!

On the 4th of July, I walked in the parade for my friend, L, who was running for County Auditor.  It was another hot one, but the parade went quickly and we had a good time!  The rest of the day we spent quietly, had supper with the K's and then headed home, didn't even partake of the fireworks this year.

The weekend of the 14th, we had wonderful news!  My friend, M, whose husband had died so tragically about 1 1/2 years earlier, was engaged!  She and her fiance came out to share the wonderful news!!  What a blessing!

Our joy over their impending marriage was a bit overshadowed later in the week by the sad news that my sister's baby was much sicker than we thought.  We had another visit to the pediatric cardiologist and after nearly an hour long ultrasound, he gave us the scary news that her heart was very, very sick.  It shook us to the core.  We had had such high hopes, but now they seemed dashed.  He promised to not only consult with the others in his practice, but to send the pictures to several other specialists around the country to see what they thought could be done.  A few days later, while we were shopping with M for wedding dresses, L called to say that they were going to put her on heart medication and that maybe that would be enough to make her little one stay in the womb as long as possible.  Life is often so unpredictable and while we have joy, we often have sorrow.  At least now, we had a little more hope again.  We were determined to continue to fight for her little one!

We walked in the Jasper Co. Fair Parade a few days later, again for my friend, L.  Oh boy, it was a hot one!!  It was so hot that not very many people came out to watch, which is really unusual for the fair parade.

Another dr's appointment later in the week for the baby was not very encouraging, but we clung to hope.....

We got L & S moved into their new home that same day after having laid a new wood floor the previous weekend.

Hubby and I celebrated our 25th anniversary the last weekend of July.  The day was rainy and dreary.  I finished up a shawl I was knitting to take to the State Fair.  It had to be at the fairgrounds that evening by 5, so we headed up early and then enjoyed a meal at Lonestar.  Hubby was not feeling all that well, had asked for tums on the way up, but seemed fine the rest of the evening.  However, about 11:00 that night, he was pacing.  He'd done this before and I was pretty sure it was his gallbladder as he seemed to be having much the same pain and symptoms as I had had 22 years ago.  By 1:00, he was in excruciating pain and we made the decision to go to the hospital!  He was finally diagnosed around 7:00 am and admitted into the hospital because they thought he had a blocked duct and since he wasn't a great emergency, they wouldn't do anything til Monday, but he was so exhausted and miserable by that time, it just made sense to stay.  He ended up having his gallbladder out late Tuesday afternoon.  We were able to come home later that evening.

Working on learning to crawl

Visiting Gpa at the hospital

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Day 6/Month 6 June......

June was a fairly quiet month.  L & S closed on their new home at the end of the month.  J & M and I took part in the Republican State Convention, which turned out to be a waste of our time.

At the beginning of the month, my sister, L, found out that the little one she was carrying had a heart problem.  It really put some things into perspective about what's important and what's not.  After meeting with the pediatric cardiologist we felt hopeful, but the baby was still to small to determine what was really wrong or how serious it would be.  That was going to have to wait for another month.

I ended up with tonsillitis in June, too!  I hadn't had that since I was about 8!  Not fun!!

6 months old!

Monday, December 17, 2012

Sorry that I am late today, I've had a bit of a stomach bug today and am just now feeling more normal.

Day 5/Month 5 May.....

May was a wonderful month!!  We moved J & M into their new home at the beginning of the month.  Since it was just up the street, it didn't take to long!  It was a bit emotional for me, but I made it through!

Just 3 days later, we got the exciting news that L & S are expecting again (even now, we are just 4 weeks from her due date!).  The little ones will just be 13 months apart, but hubby and I did it with two little ones just 11 months apart.  We decided at the time to keep it quiet since it was early on in the pregnancy, but celebrating Mother's Day brought with it a little extra joy!  We were able to celebrate it at J & M's new house and I got a ride on the bike!

We also celebrated my niece's graduation that weekend and the following Friday, I got to see her run at the State Track Meet.  We are so proud of the beautiful young woman she has become!

The following weekend we watched her graduate with honors on the same day that our newest grand-niece was born.

So excited to watch where she goes in life!

Our little grand-niece had to be in NICU for awhile due to iron levels issues.

She's doing wonderfully now! (Although, she's much bigger now).

L & S also moved into J & M's in the middle of the month.  Boy, did we have withdrawals!!  Thankfully, L knew just what to do to get my mind off of it and started repainting what used to be the girls room and was now going to by my office/craft room.  It turned out wonderful!  (There are already pics here on the blog, so I won't bore you with more).  

We attended several graduation parties throughout the month and I continue to be amazed that we are all old enough to have adult children!  It was a busy month, full of change, but a good month!

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Day 4/Month 4--April.......

April brought E's first Resurrection Sunday.  Of course, she had a pretty dress for the occasion!

We had a nice lunch with Grandpa's side of the family and enjoyed working on mints for our niece's upcoming graduation.  

House-hunting for both J & M and L & S had been going on since the first of the year.  J & M were very close to signing on their home, despite some loony sellers on the other end!  L & S were still in shopping mode.  By the end of April, we were helping J & M to get things packed up and ready to move up the street.  It was bittersweet, as they left behind our dear friend E's home, but it was time for them to get something of their own and build some equity.  They now have a nice 4-bedroom home for when the time comes that the Lord blesses them with little ones.  It also meant that in a few weeks, L & S and baby would move in with them until they found their own place since Baby E was outgrowing all of her clothes and everything else had been packed on our livestock trailer in the shop for about 3 months.  They would all have more space this way.  I admit, we went through a wide range of emotions that month!

E got her first "professional" pictures taken in April, too!  They were a lot of fun!  She's is so photogenic!!

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Before I share what our March 2012 was like, I have to say how sad I am for those who lost their children and loved ones in Connecticut yesterday.  I cannot imagine the pain that they are all going through.  I have thoughts about the why's and how's, but those are best left for another time when the grief is not so fresh.  I pray that they would all find hope and comfort during this sorrowful time.

Also, a quick review of The Hobbit......Wonderful!  Probably not as epic as The Lord of the Rings trilogy, but fun, thought-provoking, and challenging just the same.  Peter Jackson's ability to make Middle Earth come to life is simply astounding!  It's probably a bit too much for younger kids, especially on the big screen where everything is so "right in your face", so to speak!  Now I need to finish my re-read of The Hobbit!

So, March 2012.........

L & S chose the first weekend of March to dedicate our little E to the Lord.  I can't begin to describe, as a mom, how wonderful it is to see your children choose to follow hard after God and to make the decision to raise their children to do the same.

Our family-saying "Yes" to being alongside of them as they raise their children, dedicated to Elohim!

Five generations on Grandpa's side!

Four generations on Grandma's side!

The very next day we spent at the Iowa State Capitol.  There were honoring the sailors from Iowa who had been aboard the U.S.S. Indianapolis.  Most people don't know that my paternal grandfather went down with the ship, July 29, 1945.  They had just delivered the atomic bomb to Tinian and were on their way home when they were torpedoed by a Japanese submarine.  The story was made into a movie, Mission of the Sharks, and many books have been written about it.  Iowa had never honored those aboard and we were honored to be able to take part.

Sitting in the Speaker of the Iowa House chair with our local Representative, Dan Kelly

My grandfather
March also brought the joy of my sister telling us she and her husband were expecting their 3rd child. March also brought late spring temperatures!  It was crazy just how warm it was. We were able to celebrate Pops birthday outside!

In mid-March, we got the news that our pastor of 19 years (20 for the church) had decided to step down.  It came as quite a shock, but a part of me knew that the time was right. It was hard to say "good-bye" to him in that capacity, but he's never more than an e-mail away when I have those off-the-wall questions!

The end of the month brought a fun trip to the Science Center in Des Moines.  They were featuring an Egyptian exhibit.  S finally got to see a "real live dead mummy".  It was quite moving, actually, to stand so near that mummified girl and wonder what her life was like so very long ago...........

Baby E is tucked in there for her first camel "ride"!  


Friday, December 14, 2012

Day/Month 2 of my 12 days letter!  Welcome back!  I wasn't sure if I was going to like doing it this way, but I am actually enjoying thinking back on the year and figuring out how to share it with my family and friends.

So, February 2012.  What can you say about February in Iowa??  Cold and dreary.  Yup.  But, thankfully, compared to many years before, February wasn't so bad in the weather area.

Because E was born right before Christmas, we didn't really celebrate as a family, so we did that the first weekend of February.  Instead of Christmas candy in their stockings, everyone got Valentine's day candy!  The kids seem to think we should now celebrate Christmas at different times of the year so that they can get different candy each time!  I'm not so sure about that, but it's a fun idea!

Our Valentine candy for Christmas (with a few Christmas candies I picked up before I went to Springfield).

She wasn't too sure about Uncle J putting her in the pile!

I began a tradition a couple of years ago of getting the girls all matching bags from Vera Bradley.  The style is the same, but we each get a different color pattern.  E got her first one last year!

So, other than having Christmas in February, the month was pretty normal.  E continued to delight us.  She is a very expressive little person and having her around just takes away any bad mood that might be niggling at you!  

At the end of the month, one fun thing happened.  Hubby and I took a road trip to Mason City and just as we hit Iowa Falls, we literally ran into a mini-blizzard.  Not thinking much of it, we pulled out into the main street (doing a left turn) and the street had gotten so slick, we did a 360 in front of a semi and a few other vehicles.  After the initial shock and gratitude for not getting hit, we had a really good laugh!!

Hope to see you here for March tomorrow! 

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Instead of sending out a Christmas letter or cards this year, I'm going to try using my blog to share this past year.  I really do miss receiving Christmas cards and letters, we've only had a few this year, but I guess we're in a new era and some of the old ways are truly passing out of vogue.  I remember my Grandma Marie's book of antique greeting cards she had collected down through the years, from about 1930 to the '50's.  I loved to look through that book, read the notes people wrote, admire the quality and the simplicity, but we've moved into a technology age and so, for this year at least, I'm using it to my advantage.

If you've never been to my blog before....WELCOME!

Since there are 12 months in the year and 12 days to go to Christmas Eve, it seems fitting to start today!

January 2012!

Our darling granddaughter was born at the end of December.  What joy she has brought to our lives!  I spend 2 weeks with the kids in Springfield awaiting her birth and one week following it.  What fun we had and what a blessing it was to share in E's arrival into the world!  I missed hubby something awful, we'd never been apart for that amount of time, but it was so worth it!  

I came home just before New Year's.  It was so hard to say good-bye and I sobbed for about an hour on the trip home! However, on the trip home I received a phone call asking me to help with our caucuses that were coming up in just a few days, that helped to take my mind off of leaving.  I ended up running our precinct's caucus and we have the one of the biggest in our county.  It was quite an experience and one I'm not sure I want to repeat! 

In early January, they made a trip home to search for a job for L and a place to live, they had made the decision to return home for awhile!  
We were able to introduce E to all the family, including her 98-year-old Great-Great-Grandma!  She actually has two great-great grandmas and got to meet them both!

At the end of January, we trooped down to Springfield, MO and moved them back to Iowa.  They moved in with us!  How wonderful to get to spend so much time with our new grandbaby!

Almost time to head out.  What a fun, funky house they had down there!  

Saying "Good-bye" to E's first home.

We made it back to Iowa!