Sunday, September 26, 2010

A farewell to summer

As I'm writing this, the rain is pouring down, ushering in a cold front, which most think will bring fall-like temperatures for us. More than likely, we've seen our last summer temperatures for a while.

As I've stated before, I love summer. I dread the approaching lack of daylight and cold, cold temperatures. I've so enjoyed our summer. Most days we went to the pool at least once. Some days we went twice!

So, as a farewell to summer, I'm posting pictures of our last day at the pool.

Abbey perfected her dive

She learned how to do a cannon ball dive

Busted her back, one too many times, trying to do a back dive,

so she stuck with just jumping backwards

Elijah has his own way of enjoying the pool

He did jump in

and tolerated being "dunked" under

His version of swimming

Getting brave (we stopped him before he got on)

Abbey made lots of friends, here she is with Grier.

So long summer of 2010, it was a blast!!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

John, Jr. moves on

John, Jr., for all intents and purposes, hasn't lived with us since his sophomore year in college.

That is, until this summer.

As I've said before, he moved back home in order to work at our neighborhood pool. So, with the passing of summer, (said with a sad voice), his job is finished and he has moved back to Wilmington.

At the beginning, it was quite rocky. He had to get used to little ones with not so little voices (especially early in the morning). But, he did get used to them and them to him. They all became quite good buddies.

So, when it was time for him to say goodbye. We all were a little bit sad. Abbey told him, "I thought you said you were staying for a long, long time!"

So they watched him get into the car.

As we stood on the driveway waving goodbye, I had a goose egg lump in my throat. I knew his time with us was going to be short, but I agree with Abbey the summer was waay too short. 

For this mama hen, seeing her baby chicks leave the nest is never easy.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

A Marriage Aspiration

My Mom and Dad have reached a rare, much desired milestone. When they started they looked like this:


They have been married fifty years!

I can't think of anyone, who is married, who would not want to achieve this goal. We also would recognize how difficult it it. Marriage is wonderful, yet is takes commitment, patience and lots of sacrificial love to make it fifty years, (or one year for that matter).

I'm so proud of my folks. They deserved every accolade that they have been given.

This past weekend, we all gathered and celebrated Mom's and Dad's accomplishment.

You see, they didn't have a church wedding. After knowing each other a measly two months, they ran off to Dillon, SC and got married.  My Dad had to pawn his guitar and eat peanut butter sandwiches in order to buy her a ring. They both were in school. She was in nursing school in Wilson, and he was at UNC.  For a while, they kept it a secret.  My grandmother(Mom's mom) wasn't big fan of the idea.

My Dad had promised my Mom that one day he would marry her, again, in a church. This past weekend, he lived up to his bargain.

It was beautiful, absolutely precious! There weren't many dry eyes in the church.

My mom was beautiful

and they were so happy and so darn sweet.

The service started with John singing, Surely the Presence. He was honored that they asked him to sing.
Then my brother and I came in, followed by Abbey (right before the service, she got a nosebleed, which bled on her dress. Tide stick is the bomb!!)

and Elijah,

then the bride and groom. My brother and I talked a little bit about our parents. Then to top it off, my Dad played the guitar and sang, You Mean Everything to Me, to my Mom. About 100 close friends and family came to support the happy couple. All of our kids, Beth's finance, Greg, and Anna's boyfriend, Jamie were able to come.

I don't have many pictures, because I was too busy to take any. Anna took a few with my camera.

Daniel, Me and John

Beth and Greg, back a Mom and Dad's house
 Anna and Jamie

Abbey "helping" Mom open a couple of presents

I can't say how much of an inspiration my parents are to me in so many ways. I'm ever so grateful for them. They have always been there for me and my family. Their devotion to our family and each other is astounding!
I Love You Mom and Dad!!


Friday, September 17, 2010

When did this happen??

As we were riding home from the beach, Daniel was riding in the middle seat in the van.

He stuck his feet up front between John's and my seat. I looked down and saw this--

When did this happen?

When did these--

Become these--

I adore baby feet. I love the pudgy little wrinkles. I love the way their toes clasp around your finger when you place it beneath their foot.  It's so neat to watch a little one "find" their feet, and eventually, put their toes into their mouths. "This Little Piggy" is one of my favorite games. There is a joy when you can fit their feet into your hand. As I gazed at those honkers beside me, my mind went back to the time when I did all those things to Daniel's feet.

So, as Daniel plopped his gargantuan feet up beside me, my thoughts were about how quickly, without my consent, even, he has grown into an almost man. 

I have to admit it makes me more than a little sad that the days of baby feet are gone.

But, there is an excitement as I look at the teenage feet (which are bigger than his Dad's).

For I can now see these feet taking him across stages as he receives his diplomas.

I imagine him and these feet nervously going to see some cute girl's Dad and asking his permission to marry her.

I look forward to the day those feet pace as his children are brought into the world.

And then, I'll be ecstatic when he and his feet bring those brand new baby feet to see me, and I get to love on them!!!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

A year ago today, a life was changed.

A year ago, this little guy

met these people,

in a crowded, chaotic room in Guangzhou, China; and nothing has been the same since. He got a new name, new surroundings, a new language, a bunch of siblings, and parents that love him with all their hearts! No longer would he be just one of many. He would be a chosen one. One who is blessed to hear about the heavenly Father that loves him and designed a family for him!

Two unrelated children-

began the journey to becoming sister and brother- (the ones at home had to wait a little longer)

Join now with me down memory lane...

Elijah Grayson Jianyi D****, 

We are so grateful that your were born in our hearts! We love you more than you could ever imagine.