Sunday, January 27, 2008

"Sir, we would like to see Jesus."

This was a very special weekend at our church...we celebrated Max's 20th anniversary at Oak Hills Church. He was totally surprised last night at the 5pm service when he and Denalyn were called to the front and presented with a plaque thanking him for "showing us Jesus" (Jn. 12:21) as it says on the pulpit in our sanctuary. Then this afternoon, an open house was held as a time of personal thanks to both Max and Denalyn. Hundreds of people were there, but Larry and I got to the church early before most of the crowd arrived. This is a picture of one of my kindergarten students visiting with Max. It was amazing how much time Max spent with each family and it was also obvious how much he enjoys the children...he is a very special man and his committment to our Lord is evident in his life!

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Family Reading Night

Sorry I haven't posted in a long time, but there really hasn't been anything to post...just the same old stuff. Tonight, after going out for a fish dinner with Larry, I stopped by my school for "Family Reading Night". I didn't really know too much about it because I haven't been involved with it, but I was curious because I used to help with the planning at RGS. Anyway, I'm really glad I stopped in because it was fun to see the kids involved with all the activities the teachers had planned. Everybody seemed really glad to see me and I got lots of hugs from the kids as well as had an opportunity to meet some parents of my students. As much as I miss RGS, I am starting to fall in love with Encino Park Elementary...I guess this was all part of God's plan!

Monday, January 7, 2008

Welcome 2008! about a great start to the new year! We had really missed all of our friends from our Life Group while we were up north, and so tonight we all got together for an outstanding Italian dinner prepared by our good friend "Chef Dan". Dan and Joan still had their house decorated for the holidays and because they have travelled throughout Europe with the military, Joan's decorations were exquisite...every room looked like a layout for a Christmas magazine! We had a short study after dinner, but mostly it was just a great time with friends.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

New Year's Eve Day

Since this was our last day, we decided to take Lydia and just have fun with her! Stacey got the day off and even Josh joined us for breadfast at the Machine Shed! Then we went to Toys R Us, where Lydia had a great time "preparing" us food in the ultimate play kitchen. Next we stopped at the pet store to play with the puppies. I think that was actually more tempting to Stacey and Grandma than it was to Lydia...she liked the fish best!

The last place we went was the Build A Bear store, where I got to help Lydia make her very own stuffed monkey, which she picked out. She got to kiss the heart before they sewed it inside, and then watch as they stuffed it (she was scared of the machine or she could have done that herself). She got to brush the fuzz off it and then registered his name on the computer..."Minkey"!

December 30

We could feel the end of the trip looming over the horizen, since our flight home was on New Years Day, but we did enjoy our last day at Hope. Lydia was adorable when she saw her two little friends, Morgan and Laney. We just had to get a picture...I can only imagine them when they get a little older!

December 29

On Saturday, we met more good friends for lunch at Jessica's. We had so much fun talking and laughing that we spent almost three hours at the restaurant. The view out the window was so beautiful that I had to take a picture so I won't forget this special day!

Later that afternoon, we went over to Shannon and Josh's house for dinner. Since we won't be there for Lydia's second birthday, we took her gifts for her to open. Shannon opened the clothes I had bought since that's not really Lydia's "thing", but Lydia did like the toys and books.

I did love this picture of Lydia after she tried on her new jacket...since Mommy doesn't feel very good these days, Lydia gave her a sweet!

December 28

Well, the snow did come and it was beautiful...we felt it was a real blessing from God since we miss that so much down in San Antonio. It started late Thursday night and never really did stop the rest of our visit.

We did brave the weather and go out to dinner at Chuck and Vicki's house in the evening. We used to do this when we lived here so it was just like old times spending time playing games and laughing with good friends.

December 27

On Thursday, we were expecting a snow storm, so we took Lydia out to breakfast and to the mall again. She really enjoyed the kids play area and we enjoyed watching her!

Then in the afternoon, I met my friend Terri at Rockton Grade School where I used to teach. It was so much fun seeing her new classroom and getting caught up on everything. I do miss RGS a lot and I only wish I could have planned the trip while school was still in session so I could have visited everyone, including the kids!

Christmas Sales!

The day after Christmas was a day I had been looking forward to for some with my good friends, Vicki Jones and Laurie Yost! We went and tried on clothes and laughed, went out to lunch and laughed, and then shopped and laughed some more...what a fun day!

Christmas Day!

Christmas Day started out at Grandma's house where we opened our presents and our stockings. Bella loved what she got in hers!

Then we went over to Shannon and Josh's house for our Christmas Brunch and gifts. Josh not only prepared a wonderful breakfast, but went on to make a fabulous feast for dinner! I know he's going to be very glad when Shannon is back to her self...this usually lasts only through the first trimester, so hopefully she'll feel better soon.

Lydia was of course the "star of the show" when she opened the musical intruments we got her...I do believe this child's gifts are in the area of least she seems to love it!

Christmas Eve

On Christmas Eve day, we picked up Lydia and went to the mall. Since Shannon is pregnant and in her first trimester, she isn't feeling well, so unfortunately she didn't feel up to doing much while we were there. We did end up going to have our picture taken with Santa, who did a great job of not looking too shocked when five girls, ages 2 to 86, wanted to sit on his lap!

That evening, we went to church for the Christmas Eve service, and then home to Grandma's house for our traditional Christmas Eve soup and bread with Christmas Cookies for dessert. Then I finished wrapping the presents, since I hadn't had time to do that with all the excitement of the trip.

December 23

It was so good to be back at Hope to worship and see all of our friends again! Larry just couldn't keep his hands off Lydia and went to her room to get her. She spent part of her morning with us in our class where we enjoyed the fellowship of old friends.

After church we went out to the Butterfly Club with our dear friends, Bernie and Lee Reese. What a wonderful time we had catching up and getting ready to celebrate our Lord's birth!

Finally, that night we went back to Shannon and Josh's house for Homemade soup and bread. They were celebrating with Josh's dad that day, but were gracious to include us for dinner. It was fun spending time with all of them again, and of course, seeing Lydia!

December 22

Our arrival day was complicated with weather delays at the airport, so we didn't get to Illinois until much later than we had anticipated. We had to take a taxi to Woodfield Mall to meet Stacey because we missed the bus at the airport in Chicago. We used our time there to take over for the Salvation Army bell ringer while she took her was a blast...I may do that in my next stage of life!
We finally got to see Lydia that night, and she warmed up to us right away. She had changed alot, but getting to see her on Shannon's blog helped, so we were ready for those changes. We had a wonderful evening catching up with everybody!

Later that evening, we stopped at Stacey and Shelley's apartment to meet the newest member of the family...Shelley's new cat! Their apartment was decorated for Christmas and Stacey had it looking like a winter wonderland!