Thursday, May 22, 2008

Quality time

This Saturday, we'll be picking up our next-to-youngest grandson, Cannon, for a weeklong visit with Grandma and Aunt Darice and Uncle Ron. While his brothers, Dustin and Hunter, have visited us here many times, Cannon is just now getting to the age when he can be away from Mom for any length of time. We'll see how it goes. I'm looking forward to lots of giggles and hugs, sloppy kisses and sleepy cries. Whatever happens, though, we'll love being able to spend the uninterrupted time with him and relish the opportunity he'll have to feel at home at our house, to get to know us for more than a day or two at a time, and to show off all the things he's been learning at home. Mom tells me he's learned how to crawl out of his crib and other assorted escape measures that 15-month-old little boys (and girls) are thrilled to master. Even though he won't get more than a foot away before we scoop him up, he'll have the fun of knowing he did it--that he got one past us! There will be long walks and playground stops, splashing in the pool and going for rides, visiting the stores and getting a bite to eat somewhere.

Most of all, however, I'm looking forward to the quiet times when I can hold him and rock him and savor the oh-so-fleeting moments when he thinks being held by Grandma is the greatest thing in the world (short of being held by Mama, of course!). Those times, as do all precious times with our children and grandchildren, fly away at the "speed of growing up," that fastest of all phenonema experienced by little girls and boys the world over.

Then, a week from Saturday, we'll drive back up to our rendezvous point and swap little Cannon for his two brothers, who will begin their annual two-week summer visit at our house. They're old hands at visiting us here in Mississippi, so they no doubt have their itinerary all planned--if it's anything like it's been for the past few visits, it'll be an exhaustive one! But as with all wonderful things in this life, it's well worth the effort, time, money, short nights, long days, and skewed schedules just to have them with us.

Thank You, Lord, for giving us Dustin and Hunter and Cannon and Tyler to love and cherish, and for allowing us to help out their parents once in a while by having them spend quality time with us. We promise we'll do our part to see to it that these youngsters (and any others who may come along someday) are raised as children of You, our Heavenly Father.

Until the next time...

Sunday, May 18, 2008

The countdown begins...

Life has taken on a new urgency in the past few days. Orders to McChord Air Force Base have been changed, and although my son-in-law is still going to Korea for a year, my daughter and I will be living in Anchorage, Alaska, rather than Tacoma, Washington, while he's gone. When he returns, he'll be stationed at Elmendorf Air Force Base. We're all excited at the change in orders and looking forward to living once more in the land of awe-inspiring natural beauty. We'll be leaving on August 1st.

Before we moved to Mississippi, Darice and Ron completed a 4-year tour at Eielson AFB, near a small town called North Pole, Alaska, and just a few miles south of Fairbanks. I lived with them during their last year there. Eielson was a beautiful base, too, and the wildlife and scenery were breathtaking. But living in Anchorage will afford us a lot more of the comforts to which we've grown accustomed--malls, more restaurants from which to choose, warmer winters (although snowier than in the center of the state), a Barnes and Noble :-) and "up close and personal" views of the mountains. It will also be a bit easier to fly home from Anchorage than it was from Fairbanks, although it's still a hike back to Michigan, Kentucky and Florida! We'll make the necessary adjustments and arrangements, though, and hope to see our loved ones as often as possible.

The creative side of me is also thrilled to be moving to Alaska. Nothing invigorates me more than witnessing the awesome beauty of God's hand. In addition to being surrounded by mountains, water, and wildlife once we arrive in Anchorage, we have the trip out there to look forward to! Yes, it'll be a long one--about ten days, we calculate--but the experience will be well worth the sore bottoms and aching backs we might suffer from being in the car for hours on end each day. I've never driven across the United States or up through Canada on the ALCAN Highway. My excitement mounts daily as I think about the sights and sounds of a journey across the United States. God has truly been good to me!

Until the next time...

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Family Time

Through the wise and ingenious efforts of my daughter, Darice, she and I will be driving to Kentucky tomorrow to meet with not only Dennae and her family, but my son and his wife, their 8-month old son, and my children's father and his second wife. This will be the first time in at least twelve years that I have had all three of my children in the same room with me--let alone with their father, too! Add to that happy mix the presence of all four of my grandsons and you've got a recipe for lots of fun and food, hundreds of pictures, and a weekend full of laughter, talk, and reminiscing.

My son and his wife haven't yet met Hunter and Cannon, nor have Darice and Dennae met Derek and Renee's son, Tyler. These four little boys will be meeting for the first time and I expect a good time will be had by all. As you can well imagine, I'm brimming with excitement at the thought of cuddling four little boys and hugging my grown children--all in the same day!

I pray for safe travel for all of my loved ones, for loving family time, for renewed appreciation of one another's opinions, decisions, goals, and for a weekend of fun and frivolity! Thank You, Lord, for my children, their spouses, and their children. Thank You for bringing me to a point in my life where this is even possible, and I ask that this be just the first of many more face-to-face reunions that our family is able to have in the years to come.

Until the next time...