Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Happy Christmas

Christmas Day at the hospital with Grandpa
Grandma and Annie's kids, Emily, Jonathan, Garrett
The Alaska girls, Sophia and Jolie
Little Garrett turns "1"
The Martin Women get a spa day
Four beautiful Grand-daughters!
The Wallace Kids and Mom and Dad

Christmas came and went and what a whirlwind of activity it was...we started out in Monterey/Marina in a time share apartment for the weekend before Christmas with Isaac's family...we had flown up to San Jose and rented a car in order to pick them up and head back down to SoCal after the weekend. We had such a sweet time, even visiting the Aquarium there and walks on the beach. We were so happy to be with our Alaskan family. Especially sweet was having one-on-one time with the little girls. After this visit we know that the girls will remember us always, which is nice since they live so far away. When they left, Sophia knew she was leaving her Grandpa and Grandma and her heart was breaking--which of course broke my heart and we miss all of them so much already.

Then Fred got sick with pneumonia and kidney failure. He had high fevers and wound up spending Christmas week in the hospital. Once he was out of the woods, he came home in time to spend New Year's with all of us. The pictures here are a few shots from a fun and busy week. Having all of our family together seems impossible given the distance, but 2008 gave us THREE such opportunities--we feel blessed beyond our imaginations. March--July--December. Now in April we will go up to Alaska for the birth of baby #3, but after that, it will no doubt be a long time before all three of our kids and their families will be together--so we will savor each and every memory. (Fred is still not entirely back on his feet--what an ordeal this pneumonia turned out to be--I had no idea it can take this long to get well from it!)

I've been back to scrappin' my little ones the last couple of weeks--I scrap at night or when I can squeeze in some time on the weekend. I feel I've accomplished something--I am in my seventh 30-45 page album having begun the project now 3 years ago! Drum role please: I am just about to start the year 1982. Yeeeaaayyyyy! The plan is to complete the Sunkist years (1985) and then take a breather--re-group--organize the Oregon years--condense--and whip through Oregon. That will take me through the kids' teens. After that who knows? Retirement--that's not likely to happen anytime soon--we all know why!

Freddy's family and Annie's family are close by--what a blessing to watch their kids growing up. Annie's family is in the process of moving back down to SoCal--they need lots of prayer--for a job for Dave and for things to sell and close up north--they've had some real challenges but stay sweet and faithful through it all. Freddy is in India right now with Children's Hunger Fund...we are praying for a safe journey all the way and that the trip will be productive and blessed by God. His family is so close to one another and it's hard to have their daddy gone--but Charif and the kids have lots of activities planned to fill up the time while he's away.

I'm amazed that three weeks have passed in January and that yesterday was the inauguration. In many ways it was amazing to watch and see throngs gathered in DC--I love it that so many people were so interested and not just young people. I heard lots of people at work say they had never watched an inauguration before. It's almost like they are paying attention to the "process" for the first time because of the historical significance of Obama's election. Having been to the last inauguration, it was a thrill to watch it this year. I hope he will be a good president and that he and his family stay safe and together through what has to be the hardest job on earth! I heard a singer this morning, Wintley Phipps, at the National Cathedral sing "Amazing Grace" during the National Prayer Service for Obama. It was the most amazing performance and it caused me to know that God is in control and America is what it is because of His amazing grace. (Look Wintley up on YouTube and listen when you can.)

So we dive into 2009 with much on our minds and hearts and a strong desire to live out our faith and be faithful to God's call on our lives... Happy New Year!