summer 2011

summer 2011

Paul and I, all 16 kids and Ashley, Benjamin's wife...Christmas 2012

Paul and I, all 16 kids and Ashley, Benjamin's wife...Christmas 2012

Sunday, March 31, 2024

happy Easter Sunday!!


Ruth and Tennyson, cousins...Paul pulled out this old double Emmaljunga we still have from our kids, and took these two for a walk in the sunshine.
Sunny, just because she's cute.
Me, with the Easter Bunny, who looks like Jonathan!
It IS Jonny!

Carrot cake...from our friend Joannie
Half moon cookies, by Camille
Rainbow cheesecake bites by Ashley and an orange cake by Emily

Creme eggs by Margaret (Mariel made chocolate covered peanut butter eggs but forgot to bring them)
Susan made a blueberry cake
Carrot cake cake pops by Grace
Carrot and bunny shaped brownies by Parker, and carrot cookies by Margaret
Chocolate chippers by Linda
Rice Krispie treats by ?, and cut out cookies, Kathryn

I didn't make anything, because I was traveling today.  

  We left Tampa yesterday.  We checked out of our hotel, and brought Emily to the airport in the morning, she flew home yesterday.  We couldn't check into the Orlando hotel until three, so we stopped at a few coffee places and a little beach on an island, near a marina and a little airport.
One coffee shop had outside seating, and there were dogs galore!  This old pup was Wilbur, 7 years old, we got to meet him with lots of pets, the pup we met too...4 months old, and TROUBLE.  You know the type, jumping and nipping with sharp little puppy teeth:). Absolutely adorable.  The pup and Wilbur weren't together, but pup had to meet every person and every dog.

You'd think I would know by now how fast I burn on the beach...oops.
Just a lovely house...
A strange coffee shop...but good coffee.

We finally made our way to the hotel close to the airport, the traffic was took a while.  We went to Publix, because what is a trip to Florida without a stop at Publix?  (We got some chicken for our dinner, with fresh strawberries and raw carrots) 
The hotel was not the greatest, but the pool was refreshing!  

That's Paul, being smart and staying in the shade.  

We had to wake up at 3:30 this morning to get to the airport, return the rental car, check the bag, then go through security.  We travel a lot, so we have TSA preCheck, which you pay $85 for five years, they do a background check, then you go through the quicker lines.  Well, Paul's ticket didn't have the preCheck mark on it, so he had to go through the regular security, and those lines were longer than I've ever seen them in Orlando!  They were crazy long!  I breezed right through, he was in line for an hour and forty minutes.  I was waiting and waiting for him, then I saw him come out, and go toward the train to the gates...then he was gone.  Did he really get on the train without me?  Was it HIM?  I texted...his notifications were turned off....called him, it went to voicemail.  Our flight had already started boarding, oh dear.  I got on the next train, walked as fast as I could go, then there it was, all the way at the end of the hallway, the farthest gate in the section, of course.  I hurried and hurried and hurried, and when it came into focus, there were no passengers, just the two airline workers.  The door was still open, and I asked if my husband had boarded...yes, he had.  What the heckers?  He was astonished that I WASN'T on the plane, why would I wait for him if he was taking so long?  um, why WOULDN'T I?  I really thought I was going to miss that flight.  I was one of the last people to board the plane.  

I think he should have told me he was planning to do that, and if he expected me to go without him to board, he should have told me...but he assumed that was what I was doing.  No harm no foul, all worked out in the end, but I was a bit nervous I was going to be left in Florida by myself, for a little bit there.  

We've been going strong all day, Mariel picked us up from the airport, I finished filling eggs for the kids' egg hunt at church, then came home after and some of the kids and grandkids visited.  We had a nice Easter meal at church, smoked ribs, ham, roasted potatoes, a fresh spring salad with strawberries and feta, rolls and I just made some mozzarella sticks and honey battered chicken tenders, and sliced up some carrots, celery, red pepper, and put out some chips and crackers...a snack-y kind of dinner...
The kids' basket, with Lego flower sets for Camille and Charlotte Claire...

The kids and grandkids have all gone home, it's just Paul and I and the four kids who still live home...and it's so nice to be home.  I hope you all have had a nice Easter....

Friday, March 29, 2024

heartbreak, part of life, but.... mother in law here in Florida has passed away.  She was 94 and a half, and has been wanting this for a while now.  I kid you not, when I say she used to get up in the morning,  and say, Damn it, I'm still alive.  She would be half kidding, but she was slowing down, and wanted to remain independent.  She was able to do that until 93, when she fell and broke her hip.  She moved into the retirement home last June, and we visited her in June, July, and October...and in January when she was still at home.

Her niece Jenna was there with her in the hospice place, and we were able to call her before she passed, along with our just tell her we loved her.  We didn't realize, before she was placed in hospice, that she was still cognizant, thought it was too late...the message we got through family from the retirement home was that she was unresponsive, but when we found out she was still able to understand things and communicate through blinking, we decided to hightail it down here.  

It's super sad that we didn't make it to the hospice place before she died, but Jenna was with her, and was very thankful that we were on our way.  We were able to see Grandma after she passed, and say our goodbyes, then we brought Jenna out for some lunch/dinner, so she could talk and decompress a bit.  What a girl, she stayed with her Grandma the whole time, talking to her and comforting her.  We are all very thankful for that.

We bought one-way tickets down here, not knowing how things would go...then bought return tickets:  Emily is going home tomorrow morning, we're leaving Sunday morning...we bought them before she passed, because they sell fast, and the ones available to get down here were selling out, even as we tried to put our information we took a gamble and bought return we're here, and she's not.  

We knew it was coming, she was old, and every single one of us will be meeting our maker someday, but it's still incredibly sad.  Eleanor was so good to us.  

We found a hotel with a heated pool....
We found a beach, Honeymoon Island...

We found a Walmart...palm trees, but still the same Walmart...(Paul so kindly bought me a chair for the beach, he accidentally chose a kid's chair, when it rang up Emily noticed it...he ran back to get a bigger chair, and the lady who worked their patted my arm, and said, "Wishful thinking, eh?"  It was too funny.)
Some is a conundrum, sadness but so beautiful.  
Emily in the airport...she ordered me an iced Americano with cream, so they gave her whipped cream.  I don't drink sugary drinks, I was almost embarrassed to have this big fancy cup, ha.  (it wasn't sugary)

Healthy snacks in Walmart, apples and popcorn, but shh, some mint cookies too.
Grandma....she was a gem.

....with Suzanne a few years ago...

This was last January, Paul walking with his mama...

She got forgetful near the end, but I talked to her on the phone just last Friday, and she was FINE.  She told me the same story three times, but it was a solid, reasonable, and intelligent story.  Here it is, not word for word, but basically:
There's a blind lady who sits there at meal time, and doesn't eat unless someone helps her.  The staff is so busy, but they sit her with this other lady, who doesn't know her ass from her elbow.  It's not her fault she's retarded, but she can't help this blind lady, she can't even take care of herself, through no fault of her own, of course.  So I've made it my mission in life to help this blind lady.  I put the food on the spoon and put the spoon in her hand, and she is so thankful.  So it's my new mission in life, to make sure I sit with her.

She was fine on Friday, and gone the following Thursday.  She must have had another UTI, because she was septic...I have some questions and complaints about the care she didn't get, but that's not helpful right now.  She's at peace now, and I know God will bless her for her good heart...

So we're enjoying our time here, I think it's been so nice for Paul to be able to relax and process things a bit, he's so busy at home.  So it's an unexpected little vacation, with some tears and some happiness.  
Have a really good day, and hug your mamas or your grandmas or your spouses or your kids, or all of the above...and be thankful for your days here, God is good.

Tuesday, March 26, 2024

quiet here again...


From the deck when I let the dogs out this fine morning...

Grace packed up the kids and went back home after dinner last evening.  The basement problem is fixed, again, and hopefully for good!  I made two chicken pot pies for dinner, and mmm they were good.  Grant and Ruth really liked it, Rhys ate some, Achilles settled on an apple:). (Kathryn was here for a visit)

The kids had fun because the weather was so mild, yet there was a boatload of snow on the deck still.  They get to go out there and ride around on the ride ons and play on the little slide.  

We went bowling on Saturday for Kathryn and Wulf's birthdays.  Grant did really well!
Paul had fun too...
The birthday kids, Wulf and his Aunt Kathryn, with Jamie

Tennyson and Wulf
Rhys couldn't believe how spiffy her bowling shoes were.
Margaret with the cake...
Rhys with the MP3 player
Ruth helped feed the pups, the look on here face as she sat there watching them eat...I had to tell her not to pet them while they ate, just because you never know.
Ruth and Grant, story time...
Kathryn with Rhys, Achilles, Grant, Ruth
Grandpa and some cartoons!
Me with Rhys at bowling...I didn't bowl, I held small children and babies, and got a kick out of watching them.  

There's a lot swirling around in my head this morning, things I can write about later, things I am sad is interesting...I cannot control very many things, but I can work on how I take things, right?  Bitterness doesn't happen overnight, it's a process that begins with a thought, a thought which is nurtured and coddled, watered and paid attention to, until it forms deep roots, and defiles many.  ("Looking carefully, lest anyone fall short of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up causes trouble, and by this many become defiled..."(Heb. 12:15)). 

So we fight to keep our thoughts pure, and it's a good fight.  God is good.  You all have a really good day too.  :)