Thursday, December 31, 2009

Making precious memories to store in my heart

Thanksgiving and Christmas have now come and gone and so many precious memories were made. The pictures above are 1)Thanksgiving dinner in Braithwaite; 2) Kids' Christmas picture; 3) Grace roasting smores on our firepit; 4) Kids by their snowman; 5) Linzi and I at the airport before leaving for Africa. For Thanksgiving we traveled to Louisiana and spent Wednesday through Saturday in Braithwaite with Dave's family---for some of our extended family, it was their first time meeting Grace. For Christmas, we decided to spend it at our home in St. Louis so my mom and dad drove up the Tuesday before Christmas and were there for our first holiday in our new city and for Grace's first Christmas. We had the added blessing of having a white Christmas---very foreign for us Cajuns! Grace has absolutely loved this new concept of "Christmas" and especially loves to hear about the story of baby Jesus and Mary and Joseph. I think Emma, Gabe, and Hayden were more excited to see Grace's face on Christmas morning than they were to see their own presents. We had a pretty "small" Christmas as far as presents go--and our kids were so understanding and seem to grasp what this time of year is really all about. As all of my family is experiencing some financial hardships, we all decided that our gift would be being together for the holidays. My sister and her family (Wendy, Ken, Linzi, Scotti Beth, and Tanner) arrived late Christmas night and have spent the whole week here along with my mom and dad. We have had such a great time--we haven't really even "done" anything--we've just enjoyed being together. Today is New Year's Eve and early, early this morning we put Linzi (who is 22 at this writing and a recent graduate of Harding U.) on a plane bound for Africa. She will be spending the next 7 months teaching at a mission school in Kenya and then she will begin Graduate school for Speech Pathology at Tennessee Tech following her return in the fall. We are so proud of her decision to answer the call she received from the Lord and to be a light to the children in Africa.

We are having a quiet day so far---we have been just watching movies, napping, and relaxing. As I type this I am reflecting on how blessed I am---I have had the honor of being part of an incredible family who loves the Lord with all of their hearts and lives to serve Him and Him alone. Thank you, Father, for your blessings; I am constantly amazed by your unfailing love and faithfulness!