Family Blessings

dsc00101

I am so very blessed to have 2 wonderful sisters! We may not live in the same towns, but we are within a two-hour drive, making visits possible. In today’s busy world not a lot of people our age have managed to stay living near one another. It seems like career opportunities, college relocations, marriages, housing affordability, etc. split siblings from one coast to the other. We love our time together now that our busy schedules with kids sports, recitals, etc. are behind us.

img_5040This summer we gathered together to celebrate one of our children’s weddings. It would have been so great if Mom and Dad were still alive to see not only their grandson’s wedding, but to see their great grand children and all the family. Our parents raised us to keep family close, to love one another, and to give thanks for all that we have. We thank the Lord for all he has given us and for opportunities like weddings to gather together and share memories past, present, and to dream of the future. Love you all!

dsc00115dsc00104dsc00154dsc00117dsc00112dsc00123dsc00159dsc00110

Sorry I didn’t get all of the family in the pictures, but here are a few candid shots.

Thanksgiving Thankfulness

Being retired has many perks if you take advantage of them. I’ve had a few years experience with this now, so I think I may have gained some wisdom. One key is to let go of some old traditions and embrace new ones with gusto.

img_1278

Thanksgiving is about family. Whether they are about memories of past family times together or about spending time with friends, it’s all about being thankful and humble for all that we have been given. We were all raised with family traditions at Thanksgiving that seem ‘sacred’ to the way the holiday should be spent. But this year amongst the joys of new babies and the sadness of loved ones passing, the busyness of trying to sell the business and retire, and gather 20 family members in one locale, the task was just too big and unrealistic. You see, the reality is, grown children have other families and the need to make their own traditions. The younger crowd has begun racing in a Turkey Trot before the massive amounts of food to be consumed. Little ‘C’ ran/walked (maybe some stroller time?) and got her own medal. You go girl!

img_6621

Even as grandparents we have to learn to share…and for me that is as hard to accept as it is for a three-year old with a favorite toy! But this year we managed to gather all but 4 of the clan! Pretty good considering one couple lives in Illinois! And, it was all rather unexpected. Dan and I had planned to celebrate with my sister Beth, as everyone else had other plans. Talk about Thanksgiving Thankfulness!

First off, I let go of the traditional sit down dinner with the family china and preparing enough food to feed two other families. I was to plan a ‘low key’ holiday meal. I have to say, some family members were skeptical I could do this. Next, I ditched the extensive bowls and plates of appetizers. Guests were to come at 1 pm and we would eat a supper at 2 pm. Finally, since there was no sit down dinner where we could share what we were thankful for the past year, I came up with a new idea. Instead, everyone filled out a tiny card with what they were thankful for and we placed them in little acorn place setting cardholders and put them around the serving counter. Festive looking!dsc00790

This Alternative Thanksgiving may just become a new tradition. Babies crawled and played, football was watched while eating, and turkey sandwiches with all the fixings became the main meal. Everyone was spread out eating wherever they felt most comfortable. dsc00778Beer flowed, wine tasted, water guzzled, and sparkling cider bottles were emptied. The only tradition we could not do without was Aunt Beth’s Pumpkin Pie (s). Four pies were just right!

We thank God for all our family and friends. We give thanks for all that He has provided for us and ask for opportunities to serve those less fortunate. Dan and  I are especially grateful for our newest granddaughter. What a joy she is and we look forward to seeing who she becomes. The two little girls are the bright spot in our lives! Blessing to you all.

 

Three Year Old Birthday Fun

Is there any birthday more fun to celebrate than that of a little kid?  We had so mucimg_6588h fun watching our granddaughter turn a big three years old. Family and two other youngsters rounded out the party. Little fuss and frills, but super fun. Sheer joy on her face as she bounced on the little borrowed bouncy house. “Look, Grandma! Watch me jump high!”

Listening to her little “ooh” as she peaked into each wrapped gift was so adorable. She loved each item and was not overwhelmed by stacks of gifts. Animg_6605d who doesn’t want their own special Bundt cake for dessert?  Grandpa Dan even managed to sit in a tiny chair to eat with her. It was a perfect time for everyone to catch up. img_6593We even managed to have four generations present. Now how cool is that!  In attendance was Little sister D at 2 months old and our great-grandma V at 87!  The rest of img_6591us ranged from the 30’s to 60’s. How blessed we are to be able to still see one another and for great – grandma to see so many generations of her family. Family is so special and we look forward to more family gatherings.

When you turn three you get a big girl haircut complete with bangs! Our little baby girl is so grown up now. Where does the time go?  Looking forward to many more parties and adventures with these little angels girls.