Monday, April 21, 2008

The princess and the potty

These are the pictures I told myself I would never put on the blog.....oh, well. Let's face it, motherhood turnes you into a complete dork!

And she is WAY more excited about potty training than I am! These were all taken yesterday!

Friday, April 18, 2008

"That's why God made the Church"

We finally arrived home yesterday morning around 5:30 am...driving those 950 miles reminded me again why we usually FLY to Georgia!

I want to backtrack just little bit and recap our week in Georgia. We finally arrived in Athens last Friday around 6pm. Since Papa had just died that morning, we were actually the first family members to the house (besides the ones who already lived in Athens.) I am so happy to have had those hours because I was able to sit and talk with my grandmother without a lot of interruption. Papa had actually written out memoirs in the last several months that no one had ever seen before. My grandmother and sat up on the bed where he died and read through the amazing stories of his life. A lot were memories of his childhood during the great depression, some were from World War 2, and others were from his adult life.

Aunts, Uncles, and cousins started arriving on Saturday, and let me tell you, it was a house FULL. There were 52 of us there on Saturday evening for dinner. A man from the church owns a bbq restaurant and donated food for all of us. There was much love, laughter & sharing of tears and memories throughout the day. It was a blessing.

You may remember from my last post Papa had requested he didn't want a memorial service. The elders and preachers called my grandmother on Friday night and asked if they could dedicate Sunday Worship service to him. The service was beautiful and so special. You can go to and download the speaking portion of the service from April 13th "Why we are Here." They had an incredible luncheon prepared for all us after church which was amazing.
I received a call on Monday from my sweet friends from Grapevine telling me they wanted to organize food for our family this week....again, overwhelmed by the love and generosity of Christian family.

Last night I was speaking to my sister Rachel on the phone about the love and generosity people have shown us during this difficult time. My sister is a believer, but hasn't always been the most committed to church or attendance. She stated that through all of this, she finally understood why God made the church...Because they are family who is there for you through happy and sad times. They watch your house and feed your cat when you have to suddenly leave town. They teach your Bible classes and tie up loose ends. They send you flowers to brighten your day. They bring you food because they know how emotionally drained you are. They give you hugs right when you need it. They call and offer plane fare in case you want to stay with your family longer. God knew we needed the church. He knew that life on this earth would not always be easy. In his infinite wisdom, he provided a place where people with no blood relation could come together and be family. Rachel said she was inspired to do the same for other people. To bring people who are lost in so they could experience the saving grace of Jesus and be a part of His family. Amen.
Papa playing the harmonica for Annaleigh last ChristmasIn love for 62 years. A true testament to Christian marriage
At Rachel's college graduation. He was there for every big (and small) event in our lives.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Going Home

So,this is going to be kinda raw and I have a feeling I may end up deleting everything in the end...but I am reeling right now. It's 6:45 AM on Friday and I am sitting in a dark hotel room in Vicksburg, MS. My mom called yesterday and told me my grandfather wasn't doing well and if I wanted to see him alive, I better get home soon. Russell and I tied up all our loose ends and were on the road by 5:oopm. I felt like we were racing with time. Even though I knew that Papa was most likely in his final days, I didn't have much of a doubt that I would not ever see him again. This morning at 5:45 I got the phone call that he was gone. We didn't make it to see him alive. Even though I am sad about this...somehow I have peace. He knew that we were on our way and doing our best to get there. I just talked to my sister and she is over at my grandparents house with my grandmother and my mom. They were sitting in the room with him and reading over the list he had prepared of his requests and wishes.
My grandfather lived one of the most fulfilling lives on this earth I have ever heard of. He had a beautiful marriage to my grandmother for 62 years, he was a faithful Christian and elder of the church, he worked for DuPont as an electrical engineer from the day he graduated college until the day that he retired. Papa was a woodworker, an artist, a gardener, a marathon runner. He lived life to the fullest every single day and there wasn't a lazy bone in his body. My grandfather was more like a father to me and gave me he foundation to be the person I am today. He inspired so many to do good by is life and deeds....and now he has his reward in heaven. The scripture that describes Jesus going to prepare a place for us in heaven is just coming alive in my mind. I know God has prepared a beautiful mansion up in heaven for my grandfather where he is now living, full of joy, free from pain, transformed in his new heavenly body and thankful he left his former flesh on earth.
I am so sad. I will miss my grandfather so much. It pains me to think about life without him....but on the same token, I am so joyous. He left this earth just the way he wanted: In his own bed at his own house with his wife by his side...with no fanfare and no fuss. Just peacefully. He wrote in his notes that he didn't want a funeral. He stated that people hated to go to funerals and he wasn't about to do that to anyone. That brings a smile to my face.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

"Little Miss"

While perusing in Barnes and Noble tonight A and I came across a display of "Little Miss" Books. I immediately became nostalgic thinking how THOSE books were some of my favorites as a little girl...I love children's books so much and am eternally grateful to my mom for preserving our collection for my children, but somehow these didn't make it. Tonight I started our collection of "Little Miss" books. We got Little Miss Bossy (appropriate for our own little miss annaleigh), Little Miss Fun, and Little Miss Chatterbox. What's your favorite children's book series?

Saturday, April 05, 2008

School Picture

This is Annaleigh's first school picture (insert appropriate "awww...look how big my baby is getting" comment here.)
I would just like to point out a few items:
1.) Check out the ZIT on her right cheek. She woke up the morning of the photos with that little beauty...I mean, how funny is that? 2 years old and already has blemishes for her photos. Hopefully it isn't a preview for future school pictures.
2.) I only put that sweater on her for school because it was cold. I had no intention of it being in the picture. It's a cute sweater, but that dress was smocked by my mother specifically for the picture. Oh well.
3.) Yay! I finally have a scanner, so no more 'high quality' pictures of pictures.

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Birthday weekend

Here are a few pics from A's party last Saturday. My pictures didn't turn out so great so I am waiting on ones from my friend and mother-in-law...I just thought if I didn't post now I would forget altogether!

We were so happy Aunt Leslie and Uncle Brad trekked back over to Grapevine on Sunday for church. We went to Babe's in Roanoke for lunch...yum, yum. Fried Chicken!!

A let me snap a few pictures of her when we got home...and yes, I did bribe her with CANDY!!