Monday, March 14, 2016

Fall Birthdays! (yes, I know it's the spring!)

Nathan turned 7. . . SEVEN. . . in September.
birthday tradition of balloons in your room.

morning smile.

birthday cinnamon rolls from a can
(note to self-- don't put candles in hot rolls because they very quickly melt!)

Just a few quick shots outside with the big camera.

Nathan wanted a "Chili-Mac" party.  He chose four families to invite and we had a casual night of playing in the backyard.

And just like that, he was officially seven.  Love you forever.

Joseph turned nine in October.  Soon all my boys will be in double digits, but I don't want to talk about it right now :(
Birthday donuts... notice Nathan's morning hair.

Joseph requested a caramel cake, which was very homemade looking, but very delicious.

A couple days later, we had a birthday breakfast.  He hadn't had a big party for awhile.  He got to invite lots of families.  We had breakfast sandwiches and hot coffee and hot chocolate.

All gathered round singing to Jopie, plus there was donuts, and people always gather around donuts.

He's still seriously the sweetest boy.

The girls!

Love you, sweet boy.

Friday, March 11, 2016


My grandma went to be with her Savior the day after Valentine's Day.  I know it's weird to say that the passing of a 96 year old woman seemed sudden and unexpected, but it was.  She was doing great this summer.  She did more dishes than anyone during our reunion in South Carolina this summer.  She made her famous homemade chicken and noodles for over 30 of us without complaint.  She was always the last one to go to bed and was up in the morning, chipper as could be.
She was blessed with pretty great health up until the week before she died.  Even when she was sick, we fully expected her to recover because that is what she always did.  Until she didn't.  So that is what seemed sudden about it.  Even though she was 96, her spirit was so much younger.

There are lots of things I learned from my grandmother, but here are just a few.  
*She didn't seem to worry.  Well, maybe she did, but I didn't see her worrying.  She drove across the country with her 90 year old girlfriend not too long ago.  Lonely, deserted highways, truck stops, and yucky bathrooms.  You would think that a woman in her nineties would have some anxiety with these things.  Not Anita... she was an adventurer.  
*She was generous.  She was generous to her own family, but also generous to her church and other missionaries.  We found out after my grandfather's death that he tithed 25% of everything he made.  He was very frugal and planned with his money, but to him it was a means to give well and provide for the family that God had given him.  She continued his legacy of giving.  Their financial contributions have led to many people coming to know Christ.  They exemplefiy the verse that says, "Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also."  Their treasure, and their hearts, belonged to Christ.
*She was not hard to entertain.  If there was a deck of cards nearby, or a game of Tripoly or Rummy and a bowl of Chex Mix or popcorn, she was happy.

*She was ultimate housewife.  She sewed matching dresses for her little girls.  She put their hair in rags at night so they would look like little Shirley Temples the next day.  She ironed sheets and starched collars.  She knew how to make everything from scratch and never minded doing it.  It seemed worth the trouble for her and she did it without complaining.
See the sweet curls on those girls! :)

Quite a legacy.

I will miss my grandma.  The kids will miss their GiGi.  I'm thankful for her example of a life lived fully to the very end.