F A M I L Y
F- Feeling right at home!
A- All about loving each other!
M- Making of Memories!
I- I am accepted!
Y- Yesterday's sibbling...today's best friend!
By far, the best thing about our trip to the States was getting to be with family. There is nothing in this world like being with family. You can just let your hair down and act crazy, if you like, or sit in the corner and be quiet and watch everyone else act crazy (I'm usually in the OTHER group!!!) and you're still loved and accepted! We were able to be with Tom and Mona; and David and Jolene; and Sarah and Jason; and Mom...the most wonderful lady in all the world! It was great being around my nephews and nieces and being able to love on them. There is no way I could describe what fun it was being together....
Tommy and Mona have 5 children, ages fourteen to two; Jason and Sarah have 6 children, ages seven to eleven months; and David and Jolene have 3 children, ages eight to four. I love watching Tom and Mona with their children, and admiring the way theirs have grown into lovely young people. Every time I am with them, I try to learn all I can as I watch them...14 seems very far away from now, but I know before I know it, that my 7-year-old will be 14! (That's hard to imagine!) And when I am around Jason and Sarah, I can't help but ADMIRE how they handle their little ones, because they are all so little! It is a testimony to me to see how calmly and sweetly Sarah deals with her children...so close in age, many times all of them demanding her immediate attention at the same time...but she sweetly and tenderly cares for each need, as if there is only one child in the room! I want to be a mommy just like her! And David and Jolene are an example to me in the way they do things by routine...order and never chaos. How do they do it? They inspire me to want this in our home, too!
And among all this family fun, I got up each morning to the smell of coffee in the church kitchen, and to the sight of my mother reading her Bible. Everyone had to go through her bedroom to get to the washing machine or to the shower or to the nursery (Tom and Mona's bedroom!); but she stayed focused. What a blessing and testimony to me!
I was thinking just today: If you have nothing in the world besides family, you are BLESSED! What a blessing family is! To each of my sibblings...today my true friends who love me JUST as I am...I say: I love you; I cherish the relationship we have; and I am so thankful God put us in the same family!
(I apologize for the dates on some of the pictures...the camera somehow got that all messed up!)
Who does he belong to?
"This is my first candy ever, Aunt Anna!"
Good ol' Gospel singin'! I love it!
The girls thought I needed a new hair style....
Belated birthday gifts for Little Andrew
Little Miss Esther Joy
Can we open the gifts now?
Helpful big sister...Gabriela and Elisa Faith
Singing Christmas carols...there is nothing like family harmony, is there?
"Look what I got!"
Mimi's gonna read us a story! Gather 'round!
The "grandchildren" book that Jolene had made for Mimi!
I love all the little heads gathered around Mimi's chair!
Figuring out the Construction Game
Andrew carving the turkey...yummy!
Childrens' Mad Santa
Brianna got balls....
...and Stewart got a bead necklace set!
Mama trying to win something good for her Little Esther
Adult Mad Santa
Remember: The biggest gifts aren't always the best!
O Holy Night...sung by the Sloan Ladies...
...and David and Mom playing a piano duet.