Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Humpback Whale

Allison is helping me work on my "picture skills." (You will understand when you see the pictures from Disneyworld...sorry, Allison!) is the first test -- this is a photograph of a humpback whale and her baby calf from Alaska -- more pictures to come -- big enough to see!
While Allison and Shane took a much deserved cruise to Mexico, David and I had the privilege of keeping Seth, Kallie and Luke. We had SO much fun! Allison was not kidding when she posted on her blog that Luke would have swam to Europe if he had been allowed to! But...David found a way to keep him safe and sound down at the beach while Allison and Shane were away:

He REALLY isn't covered up to his neck in sand -- it's sort of an illusion -- BUT it did contain him and as you can see from the mischieveous grin on his face, he loved every minute of it!

On Monday, Luke headed off to Grammy and Pops Johns' house, and we (Nana, Papa, Seth, Kallie, and Tropical Storm Fay) headed off to Disneyworld. Kallie loved seeing all of the princeses, but she liked seeing "Goofy" the best. For some reason (maybe because of all of the sugar that we let her have in her parents' absence - i.e., cotton candy, sucker - it's wonderful being grandparents) Goofy tickled her tickle bone and she just giggled and giggled out of control -- I still have to smile just thinking about her little giggle!

Kallie and I did "girl" stuff all day (the princeses, Dumbo, It's a Small World, etc.), Seth and David did "boy" stuff all day (Space Mountain, Tom Sawyer's Island, etc.) and then we met up about 6:00 and rode the rides like Buzz Lightyear, the Teacups (David was a sport on that one and Seth gave him no slack in spinning it out of control -- I stayed off of that one!) and the racecars.

I could not help but thank the Lord over and over for allowing us to have such a wonderful time with the children. We are very blessed. When David and I gave Allison back to the Lord some 32 years ago, it was the desire of our hearts that she would come to know Him in a personal relationship, that she would learn to serve and honor Him, and that He would be glorified in all that she said and did her entire life -- and the same for Brian and Travis. It is hard being so far away from them, but it is so good of God to allow us these special times with them. This week, I felt His presence in an awesome and unusual way. When I heard Luke and Hannah belly-laugh when they played with David, when I saw the delight on David's face when he told me about the golf game with the boys, when I saw the excitement in Seth's eyes when he told about catching the "big" fish, and when I see in my mind's eye Allison and I running in the rain - laughing as hard as we could - from Starbucks to the hot stone manicure and pedicure, when I saw the twinkle in Kallie's eye every night when she picked out the nightgown I should wear, I saw a God who loves me and delights in allowing me to see glimpses of His glory here on earth. It is hard to explain, but it was sort of like Him drawing me unto Himself, reassuring me that He understood our missing our family, that He understood the desires of our heart, that He was still in control, and that He is a mighty, awesome and sovereign God.


Thursday, July 31, 2008

We arrived in Seattle this morning about 1:30 after an uneventful flight -- it was even on time and we have all of our baggage! We slept in...and then headed out to explore Seattle today. We went to the waterfront, the fish market, and ate lunch at a restaurant (Iber's) that was recommended by our across-the-street neighbor. We are looking forward to a good night's sleep tonight and then boarding the cruise ship tomorrow! we come!


Wednesday, July 30, 2008

July 29, 2008: Happy Birthday Shane! We are so very thankful for you and what you mean to our family. God blessed us when you joined our family. We are thankful for the role model you are to our grandchildren and we love the way you take care of our daughter. We are especially thankful for your commitment to our Lord Jesus Christ -- your love for Him is evident in everything that you say and do. May God bless you extra special today. We love you and look forward to seeing you in a few weeks.

Sunday, June 01, 2008

I’m a little behind in posting – but as you can see, we’ve been really busy, plus I am still mediating! Here are some of the highlights since David retired December 31st:
January –
We kept Hannah for Mary and Brian to go on a much deserved cruise – Hannah was an angel and managed to wrap David around her little finger! She was definitely queen for a week!
We went skiing with Travis and Stephanie to Silver Creek – it brought back many memories of past ski trips with our family. Skiing always makes me feel so close to God – for some reason, the song “Ain’t Gonna Let the Mountains Praise the Lord” always comes to my mind as I ski down the mountain…God’s amazing Handiwork was everywhere and was absolutely beautiful! And, if I might add a little sidenote here…Stephanie has been such an added blessing to our family!

Hot chocolate break.
March was awesome! Allison, Kallie and Luke were able to visit with us for a week during spring break and it was SO wonderful! Allison and I were able to spend some quality time together (shopping, eating out, praising the Lord and sharing with each other all of the wonderful blessings He had bestowed upon us and all the many ways He was working in our lives – and praising Him that David is now retired and could watch the children so that we could have that quality time!) AND we were able to love on Kallie and Luke every single day – what a blessing! A few of the highlights of that week were that we went to Orlando (in spite of me running 102 degree temperature) and we even stopped at Barnacle Bill’s on our way home for some shrimps.

Allison was able to be here for my Dad’s birthday party – ANOTHER blessing – I think it made his birthday extra special – he does look happy, doesn’t he!

Richard and Kathy’s family at Daddy’s party – from left to right: Kathy, Alex, TJ (Katie’s boyfriend), Katie, John, and Richard – TJ’s been around for awhile now…he might be here to stay!
We also had another special event in March – Mema’s 80th birthday. From left to right are her children: Lonnie, Judy, David, Linda, and Pam.
In April, we used our Hilton Honors rewards and headed to Franklin, North Carolina. We took a trip on the Great Smokey Mountain Railroad, hiked and saw many waterfalls, slept late, toured Fontana Damm, Cade’s Cove and the national park. As an added bonus from God, He let it snow the last day we were there – it was SO beautiful! It was a wonderful trip. Thanks to our trusted friend Garmin, we took the r-e-a-l-l-y long scenic route around the western side of the national park and ended up on some unknown mountaintop just to make a u-turn – but it was beautiful!

Later in April, Allison and the “West Drew Wives” stayed at the “Taylor Bed But No Breakfast” for a few days – (to find out who the “West Drew Wives” are, visit Allison’s blogspot!) David and I kept Luke while Allison visited with her friends and had so much one-on-one fun with him. We also drove down to Orlando with Luke and met Brian, Mary and Hannah for a short visit while Brian was attending a convention there. Allison left mid-week and we kept Luke until the end of the week when we flew with him back to Texas. For the first time in a long time, I had no fear of flying – I was so preoccupied with just being with Luke that I didn’t even think about flying until long after it was over. He was such a blessing!

Once in Texas, Allison had a great birthday party for Luke (see her website for all of the cool pictures from his party) – it was such a treat to see him interact with his friends, open his presents, and hear him say, “I two.” We were able to visit Allison and Shane’s church; we heard Shane preach and were so proud we could have popped; and were able to hear Allison sing a beautiful arrangement of “Holy, Holy, Holy” that brought her Dad to tears. Allison and Shane went on a weeklong Pastor’s Retreat and we were able to spend all week with Seth, Kallie and Luke. We did all of the “parent” chores and loved every minute of it! Kallie and Luke had their year-end program at preschool and we attended as the proud grandparents! On Mother’s Day, Shane took us out on the boat and we had a fabulous day. Another highlight of the trip was having lunch with Sherry and Randy Wilson, old friends of our from Jacksonville who had relocated years ago to Texas – we were quite impressed with the way they were able to order Mexican food in Spanish! We thank the Lord for the wonderful visit we had with Allison and her family – it could not have been more perfect.

After being back home only a few days, Mary and Hannah flew in for a quick overnight visit and then we went to my Mom and Dad’s for lunch the next day. It was a sweet visit – then Mary’s Dad met us and Mary and Hannah spent the week in Tallahassee. We were able to spend one last day with them the following Saturday – Mary and I had a “Starbucks” break and a nice walk on the beach while Hannah and David napped.

We ended May with Travis and Stephanie coming out on Memorial Day. We took the boat over to Cumberland Island and had a picnic – it was a gorgeous day! The dolphins were out in record number. The newest member of our family, “Sailor,” joined us and did great up until the very end when he got a little seasick…I don’t know if you can tell it from the picture, but he has the most adorable little “heart” on his tail…

Now ... a sneak peek at what’s ahead in the next few months:
Marriage retreat in St. Augustine; Trip to Brian and Mary’s;
Trip to Alaska; Allison and her family visiting; Allison and Shane’s cruise; Disneyworld with Kallie and Seth; Trip to Mobile; Mary and Brian visiting…
And then just the wonder of every day living at the beach – God is Good!!!!!

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

God is SO good! David and I feel very blessed to have had so much time with family this summer. It all started when Travis came home from college; then Allison, Kallie, Seth & Luke came home June 25th when Shane went to Africa; then Brian, Mary & Hannah came home the following weekend for a long weekend; then Shane came when he returned from Africa. Allison, Shane and the children left today -- we miss everyone already -- but are very thankful for the time we had with everyone. I am especially thankful for the few days Allison and I had alone to shop and have lunch - not only am I blessed with a beautiful daughter, but a wonderful friend.
(Luke LOVED picking blueberries -- Hannah looks on...we had a picnic with our extended family at Grandma and Grandpa's -- homemade icecream and all - it was great!)

Kallie, Seth and Daniel (Pam and Shelvin's son) picking blueberries.

This wagon only stops at Dairy Queen and the beach!

Sunset on Amelia River!

Is it a tourist -- no -- it's Uncle Lonnie!

Taylor, Elizabeth and Kallie playing at the beach.

Does Kallie have Papa wrapped around her little finger!
Luke LOVED the Fourth of July fireworks!

Watermelon on the Fourth...

And the next big event will be Travis and Stephanie's wedding! Will keep you all posted!

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Easter sunrise service at the beach was breathtakingly beautiful. Brian, Travis, and Stephanie braved the cold, bundled up in blankets, and worshiped with David and I.

Hannah felt right at home and had fun exploring our house -- but her favorite spot was the swing on the back porch (with Nana swinging and singing to her, of course!) That was my favortie spot, too!


Saturday, March 17, 2007

Okay guys...just a reminder...whoever measures the largest will be Santa next year. I wonder who it will be...


The saga of the koi pond...
It all began when Walmart marked down their prefab ponds and I bought two for David. I wanted to surprise him, so I had them loaded in the convertible because I didn't want to ask him if I could use his Expedition because he would get suspicious. Yes, I drove them home just like that; and yes, I realize this was not one of the smartest things that I have ever done (Allison gets it honest; see "One Tough Mom" at ...especially when the ocean breeze hit around Sadler...

This is Kallie and Seth going with David to Pet Smart to pick out the fish for the pond...

This is the egret that terrorized and ate our koi from the koi pond. Brian, Mary and Hannah were here the weekend the egret discovered our fish and Brian had his Gator sweatshirt and a Gatoraid bottle in the front seat of his car parked in our driveway. This egret sat on the hood of Brian's car for an hour or so; all we can figure out is that the egret thought he had hit the jackpot and that Brian's sweatshirt and Gatoraid cap were h-u-g-e koi. Poor egret...actually, poor fish!

David has thoroughly enjoyed working on the pond (and has done a wonderful job!) I love hearing the water and love watching the fish (well, actually the egret ate all but one koi) from the upstairs balcony. We have been praying about our future, and it looks as though a "koi farm" is a possible retirement option ... more about this at a later date!