|Sunday at Sonny's!|
The year literally started in prayer. Bren and I had been seeking house plans, praying over house plans, visiting home models and we had contacted the owner of a little red cottage that we fell in love with as well. Superbowl Sunday found us enjoying some football with Taylor's in -laws, at their home. They had purchased a Cottage on the Lake and when we set our eyes on it back in September of 2016, I questioned Brendan as to why he had not considered one of the other cottages near by. Last October began a letter campaign to contact the owner of the "red one" right next to Kerry and Will and see if she would be interested in selling it to us! Fast forward to February and Superbowl Sunday, as we left, we walked about that little red cottage I had nicknamed the "the barn red house" and asked God to either open the door or specifically close it, as we were headed to the bank with a 2nd set of house plans and we wanted to get the ball rolling with building a home. And some of you reading this will say ..."she has been saying that for years!" ....I know ... I have.......
|Just one of my many beautiful nieces!|
It had been seven years since we sold our home out on the golf course and we were tired of being homeless. Both kids were/are somewhat financially stable and we were able to finally build up some savings!! Yeah! Within the week after that prayer, our NOW neighbors called us and said, "she is here this weekend and she is interested in selling." !!! I could give you ALL of the God orchestrated details and boast on how our Lord provides, but the short version is that we met with Martha the owner of the red one on Valentines Day and we signed an offer 24 hours later! We closed on March 28 and moved in officially in on April Fools Day! Success - we have a home! yeah!
In the seven years we were homeless and rented -- we have downsized and downsized. I really do recommend that system. Not that you must sell your home - but look around -- what is really needed and used and what is stuff that can be lived without!!??? We felt like kids again, furniture shopping and planning. In the past seven years, we have watched every Fixer Upper and DIY show about homes that we knew what we wanted to do and with the help of my brother, we personalized our little red cottage to our liking and totally enjoy living on the water --- or the canal! No longer do we hear semi-trucks or motorcycles speeding by, but boats! We do miss just walking outside and being on Main Street or close by to Joey's or the Taco Place within 5 minutes, but now cooking at home is a real pleasure. LOL. Anyway, we have a guest room -- and if you want to get away - don't hesitate to call and see if the room is open! The kids get first dibs --
|Ava - just beating the heat!|
Speaking of Brendan....I know I have been TEASING everyone with the notion of his retiring for the past 4-7 years.....but this is it ---it is official. Come June - he will dismantle his classroom and take a more permanent spot at the Insurance Office. I mean - he has been there daily for some 20 years....but now, he may just get his name on a door! LOL....maybe!! He knows he will miss the kids and the connections with them, but he is a natural sales person and manager and it is time. 30 years is a remarkable career!
|Bren and his Great Aunt Colleen!|
---I am already a Mimi to Ava and I know Sawyer will indeed hold a special spot in my heart as she is my first born's first born....but, I know that I know -- both girls have my heart and I would die for either one of them! ---
It is something unbelievable -- almost how Christ's birth allows us all to be adopted into heaven -- all equal ....all joint heirs as children of God. There is not an 'automatic' pass or by some special race or color or ethnic origin.... Christ Came for us all.... and some how, living 2017 out and walking in prayer with Jake and Taylor as they pushed to have more time with Ava and watching them bond as a family -- well, it all just changes things. Circumstances bring forth consequences and changes and yet, God does bring beauty out of what the enemy hopes will destroy a person or family.
|It was COLD in Clemson!|
Hunter graduated with his BS in Accounting just a year ago and is one semester away from finishing his Masters Degree in Accounting and beginning his life as an accountant later in the fall of 2018. He has been studying and taking the CPA Exams and has 2 of them completed. He has passed the first one and took his second one earlier this month -- we now await the results! Prayerfully, he will be 1/2 way done with two more to go! We have had to get used to NOT seeing him as much - he lives in Delray and works in Boca and has classes at FAU, but weekend visits are treasured and I don't mind doing his laundry when he comes! He has many ideas and plans for his future - even speaks about traveling -- time will tell. There is a girl who has a piece of his heart and ours. She is brilliant and beautiful and we enjoy her company when we get to see her!
|A visit from my mom and baby sister and her girls!|
Me...... well -- I still teach. It is my 30th year as well and prayerfully I will keep at it a few more years. I am too young to retire! I enjoy my work family at the Indian Reservation School and am challenged each day by young people that seem to know it all. In my spare time, I am enjoying entertaining here and there for family and friends now that I have a kitchen again and I write....not a book-- but a blog. Hence -- this letter. I try my best to continue to do what God asks of me -- and I just want to hear, "well done my beloved daughter" when it is my turn to walk those steps to heaven. But in the meantime ....I manage to find FUN stuff to intrigue Ava, have fun playing with her , and I most certainly will enjoy having a NEWBORN around very shortly!
|My Red Barn Cottage!|
It has been where we have had dinner on Friday at our house....and Saturday spent at the neighbor's which is Jake's parents and Ava just goes from house to house...yes, she is a bit spoiled by her Mimi and her Miss Kerry!
We traveled to Wisconsin to watch a football game - in the middle of IRMA and ended up staying a week! We had planned that weekend and Irma decided to move west and threaten our plans. But when we realized she was coming towards us no matter what, we stuck with the tickets and left town. The FAU Football team was playing UW Madison! It was my first BADGER game! It was an emotional weekend - trying to enjoy family and the cooler Wisconsin weather and watch the Weather Channel speak about where the "CONE" was headed. Thank Goodness we did not have any major damage! Then later in November, a wonderful weekend was spent in South Carolina with friends and the Clemson Football team was a treat as well. We even managed to get to Colorado and see my Aunts earlier last July and we hope that we can take all the family there again, soon -- but we may need to rent a van or a motor home if we take Ava and Sawyer with!!
|Happy Anniversary from Camp Randall!|
Ok, I had better wrap this up -- I am long winded! My family -- ?? I am still the oldest of 9. Each of them are married and there are MANY nieces and nephews. Another one will get married, my niece - - soon -- prayerfully. A summer wedding was planned but he was deployed so much is on hold at the moment! However, God knows -- . Another nephew saw a tour oversees and is safely back on US soil, he and his wife live in California! My parents are good - so I am told. LOL. Brendan's parents are good - so I am told. No, seriously, we are thankful for their good health. All of them.
|We got to enjoy my Nephew's WHS game!|
Seriously - Merry Christmas to each and every one of you taking the time to read this, but also to my Aunts and Uncles that I don't get to see as often anymore as well as the familiar faces we see each day -- may the Spirit of Christmas and the love of a baby born in a manager -- truly bring the hope of peace and joy to you and your family
|My 'box' tree!|
|Some strong women praying over Taylor and Sawyer!|
|Look who all showed up? I said 'free' tickets and they came!|