Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Happy Birthday Chloe Abigail!

My niece Chloe's birthday was this past weekend. After racking my brain, trying to figure out what to get her I finally decided -- NOTHING! I decided to take her out for a "girl day" for her birthday. So we went out yesterday. I took her to this cute little cafe that also has pottery painting on the side. Chloe is quite the artist so this was right up her alley!

She of course chose a giraffe with tons of LITTLE spots on it -- probably THE hardest piece to paint. Unfortunately this giraffe ended up on the floor in 3 pieces :( We couldn't have a BROKEN giraffe for the b-day girl so we started a new one!

Chloe and me with our giraffe twins!

We ended our day with a snow-cone!

I had a great day with her. It is a privilege to live so close to both her and my nephew and to be able to do things like this with them. They were MY kids before we had Abraham.

It's been a while since we returned from PA and the funeral for my Great Aunt. We (my family) are slowing getting back to normal... whatever normal might be. Simply being home and around those we love without the stresses we had been feeling is so great.

The time we had in PA was good, for all intents and purposes. It's never easy to let go of someone you love so much. But the number of people that came out to honor Aunt Hazel and to remember what an amazing woman she was, was incredible. I mean WE knew she was a generous and kind woman... but it was neat to see that others knew too!

The service was performed by Aunt Hazel's minister and she did a great job. (yes, SHE!) The hope that we have in Jesus was evident in her words and the Scripture that she used was some that my mom had read to Aunt Hazel in her last days.

Many of our family (mostly cousins) from MD and VA were able to drive up and to be with us. It has been a long time since we have seen them, so that was good to visit with them as well.

We will always remember and miss Aunt Hazel but we praise the Father for the confirmation and peace in our hearts in knowing that she had accepted Jesus into her heart only a month earlier. For a woman who lived her 97 years thinking that she was good enough to make it into heaven.... to open her heart and accept and believe HIM a month before she got to meet HIM face to face -- this simply proves to me that GOD'S timing is perfect -- HE doesn't need me to draw someone to Himself -- and it's never too late. Praise Him for His great love and mercy!

Mom, Pat (my grandfather's fiancee), Kari and Me

Kari, Mom and Me

Kari, Pappy and Me

Abraham and Uncle Scott

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Life is not measured by...

the number of breaths we take but by the moments that take our breath away.Maya Angelo
(** This was something that I wrote a few days ago and put on my Facebook page but wanted to include it in this email.
Mom, Kari, Abraham and I will be driving to PA tomorrow for the viewing and funeral for Aunt Hazel. She stepped into the arms of Jesus yesterday. The viewing is tomorrow afternoon and funeral Tuesday morning. We would covet your prayers as we travel and are face to face with the many memories we have of her.
Thank you!

Ps. Aunt Hazel told the nurses on Friday that she was going to heaven tomorrow. Guess she was ready!)

Me with Great Aunt Helen (in chair) and Great Aunt Hazel

My Great Aunt Hazel is one of the kindest, most generous women I know. She would give you the shirt off her back - she is always thanking others when they do anything for her. She has a quick sense of humor and can enjoy a good laugh. She has a collection of watches. I don't know if she did it on purpose but she probably has 30! Aunt Hazel has great taste in jewelry. She has been very shrewd with her money and investments. She is a no nonsense kind of woman.

I remember spending time with her and my other Great Aunt Helen during the summers growing up. Kari always stayed with Aunt Helen, playing cards until the wee hours of the morning. Aunt Hazel and I would stay up watching TV then go to bed, only to be up early in the morning. We would go to one of their homes (right across the street from each other) for breakfast. It was the best.

Aunt Hazel taught me to crochet and to do some needlepoint, neither of which I still remember! What I do remember is the crocheted skirt and matching vest she made me when I was about 5 - dark green with a red ladybug on the front of the vest. I was quite the fashion statement!

And I love her with all my heart.

Which is why my heart is breaking to know that she is not well, in fact Jesus will be calling her name very soon. It makes me sad to know that she is alert enough to know and understand all that is happening in her body, how it is shutting down slowly.

Yet in the middle of all my sadness, there is great rejoicing -- yes rejoicing!For all my life, my family has talked about Jesus and lived Jesus to my mom's family - my great aunts, grandparents, uncle. And all my life both of my great aunts have had views on God that just didn't mesh with Scripture. Either they were good enough to get into heaven or everyone went to heaven.

About a month ago, Aunt Hazel was watching a pastor on TV talking about faith. She brought this up to my mom in talking and said that what the pastor was talking about really struck her and she believed. In other conversations that my Mom has had with Aunt Hazel this week she believes in her heart that my 97 year old Great Aunt accepted Jesus that day when listening to the pastor. I mean WOW! What a total God thing. Who'd have thought that for 35+ years we have been talking about Jesus and here, a month before God takes her home, she opens herself to Him!

So tonight I am sad knowing that my sweet Great Aunt is losing her battle -- yet I am rejoicing that her life will begin anew in Heaven with her Heavenly Father.God is good ALL the time and He is faithful to carry out HIS plan in our lives -- even if it seems like He waits until the last minute. His timing is perfect. Thanks Father for the peace of knowing where Aunt Hazel's eternity will lie.
Uncle Scott and Aunt Hazel at our wedding - 2001

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Vacation to Georgia

We enjoyed time with Michael's mom and some of his siblings. I don't think that a day went by when someone DIDN'T get in the pool with Abraham! He is such a water bug! Keeping him out of the pool was hard :)

Swimming with Grandma Kay

Just Chillin'!

Michael's brother Elliott became Abraham's new playmate! They were joined at the hip for most of our time there... and they BOTH loved it! Elliott and his girlfriend Stacy made the "mistake" (I think they meant to!) of mentioning Chuck E. Cheese to Abraham and ended up taking him for a little to play. It was so nice to watch Abraham spend time with his family, especially aunts and uncles that he rarely sees. Makes me wish we lived closer...

The poor cat got chased all around the house by Abraham. He even tried to read to the cat, and that seemed to work!

Elliott's girlfriend Stacy brought her dog Sabre with her. Sabre kept trying to eat Abraham's popsicle and Abraham wasn't having it!

Grandma Kay and Abraham - Grandma Kay took Abraham to his first 3D movie -Ice Age - and to Chuck E. Cheese also. They had a great day together while Michael and I got a day to ourselves. It was nice to get away just the 2 of us and know Abraham was loving on Grandma Kay! :)

Abraham with Grandma Kay and his Great Aunts Susan and Marianne

Aunt Emily and Bubba

Dinner with Emily, Stacy and Elliott

John, Susan Kay, Marianne and Michael

Vacation to Georgia and Florida

A week ago we got back from our time down south and it's taken me this long to get them up on the blog. Life has just caught up with us and well, we just were along for the ride.
But we did have a really nice time seeing family and enjoying a few days at the beach. Michael's Dad and his wife took us to St. George Island and Appalachiacola, FL. We have been before but it was before Abraham Gramie really wanted to have some time to play with Abraham on the beach. And play they did! Gramie is a GREAT beach partner!

Gramie and Abraham

Gramie, Grandpa and Abraham at St. George Island

Our little family on the beach

We did a little shopping too and found this place - Appalachiacola Sponge Company - and Abraham thought the old scuba gear was pretty interesting!

Grandpa and Abraham admire the pelican :)

Silly boy!

Someone tell that kid you are supposed to SMILE when you are having your picture taken! Sheesh! Such a goof ball! :)

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Update on Dad

So it's been a little while since I have posted anything about my dad -- for the 2 people that read my blog! But for the record and for my own journaling mind.. here goes nothing.

So Dad did have the triple bypass surgery on June 30 and came through it with flying colors. He was released on Sunday, July 5th after passing all the tests that he needed to do. On Monday evening he was drinking a cup of coffee and immediately began to have chest pains. Mom and Kari debated about what to do - weren't sure what was happening but Kari told Dad they were going to the hospital... he agreed but wanted her to take him back to St. Joseph's. She said No, she was taking him to the closer hospital. After getting him down the stairs and in the back of the car, he began to tell my mom that his fingers were numb and he was in a lot of pain.

They got him to the hospital and the doctors hooked him up only to find out he was having a 2nd heart attack (the 1st being the one that put him in the hospital originally) There just "happened" (nothing is a coincidence with God!) to be a St. Joseph's doctor at Upper Chesapeake who performed a catheterization on dad to find that the bypass that they put in for the artery which was 99% blocked had failed. This bypass was the one that they had to splice together. Apparently the body thought it was an injury and tried to heal it but that made the bypass clot and get blocked. The doctor put 2 stents end to end in his blocked artery and that seems to have done the trick.

Dad came home on July 9 from his 2nd hospital stay -- and last for a VERY long time we hope! He is feeling pretty good - doing everything that he is supposed to - walking, using the breathing machine, not using his arms a lot. He is healing well.

Thank you all for your prayers for my sweet Daddy. Things like this put life and what is important into perspective. Makes you reevaluate where your priorities are and where they should be. I encourage you all to make the most of every moment and to take the opportunities that the Father gives you. I... really we, believe that all of these things that have happened with Dad were for a reason and we know that our Father will use them and my Dad's testimony for HIS glory and to touch others. HE is faithful and good ALL the time!

"Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away."
Maya Angelo