Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Grandmother's 80th Birthday!

Grandmother Esther and Grandaddy JP with the centerpiece that Aunt Shawnesse arranged.

Grandmother And Grandaddy with their Children

(L to R) Cathy, Karen, Jan, Julie, Jay, and Kevin

How blessed am I to have this many Aunt's and Uncle's? When we get together I feel loved and try to soak it all in. Since we live so far away I have to make these feelings last til the next time. As individual as my relatives are I love them each in their own way.

Aunt Cathy and Uncle Billy always make me feel like their daughter. I feel so at home at their house, that if they rearrange, it FREAKS me out! Jsut ask them about redoing tehir den. My Aunt Karen and Uncle Steve are so kind. And Uncle Steve will always hold a special place in my heart for two reasons 1. He went with me to take the boys on their pirate adventure and 2. He alwasy remembers my brother's birthday. When you are good to my brother, you are good to me. Aunt Julie and Uncle Mark. They love my family so much. Uncle Mark and Chris were ordained as deacons together. So I share a unique bond with them becasue we worship together. Uncle Jay and Aunt Shawnesse. I worked for Aunt Shawnesse at the flower shop for years. So I had the priveledge of watching them date and then later when they got engaged. Uncle Kevin and Aunt Cheryl. They were the placed I hung out in college. They have always been willing to listen, and Aunt Cheryl gave some good dating advice!

Grandmother and Ms. Virginia Kennedy.

Ms. Virginia is the person I think of when someone says "missions". She served as our WMU leader for years. She makes sure everyone gets a birthday card on their birthday. I know there will come a day when I no longer get one from her. I will be sad, but will rejoice knowing she is at our Father's feet.

Me and Brian acting silly.

I like all those staged photos, but sometimes it is fun to be free and silly. And since Brian and I have always had that part of us that is "drama", it only seemed fitting to have a picture to prove it. He is like a brother to me. I enjoyed staying at his house. Chris, Brian and Myself had a lot of spiritual conversations and some fun ones too. I miss Brian a lot and Chris thinks of him as his "other brother". I share a bond with Brian that is hard to put into words. He is my cousin, and I think God knew we would need each other. I am blessed!

Me and Grandmother

I wanted a good picture of me and Granmother. She has been a rock in my life for so many years. For the first 8 years I was married Grandmother was a phone call away and less than 5 miles from my home. When I had all of my children she was there. Not always at the hospital, but the days later when I had questions about breastfeeding, baby food, and two babies! She was with me at ultrasounds. And Julia even waved to her from the womb. Her faith has been one that I try to model my life after. She is always a lady and handles each event in her life with Grace and Dignity. She will never know what a powerful influnce she has had on my life and the life of children. I tried really hard on this trip to memorize her face. I don't know why but I think I took her birthday hard. I don't like to think of her as aging, she seems timeless. And a part of me is selfish. The older she gets, the closer she gets to eternity. I am aware of the time I have with her. I hope when she leaves me, I will be able to handle that with the same Grace and Dignity she has shown me.

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