I had no idea I had only posted once this entire month until this morning.
Please forgive my negligence!
However, I haven't been just sitting. There was a week where Kristin and Cody went on vacation to celebrate the 60th birthday of Cody's sweet mom. They even secured a house sitter so Frank and I weren't responsible for their dog. Still, there were quite a few things to cover at church. Kristin and Cody contribute a LOT to each of our services.
Then it was almost our turn to leave for a week. But before we could leave, there was a three day conference to attend. The ministers from across our state come together annually to do business and celebrate all God has accomplished the preceding twelve months.
Business happens during the day and then there are celebratory services each evening. Add to that the luncheons and moments of grabbing coffee with friends we seldom get to see. Lots of our friends go out after the services, too. I've NEVER been that person. Anyone who knows me even a little bit knows that my eyes start closing at 9:30 PM no matter how hard I try to stay awake. Sigh!
If you read often, you will know the next report borders on being monumental. It involves packing.
On Saturday afternoon before we were to leave on Monday, I said to Frank, "Let's pack!" And without any assistance from Kristin (mostly because she was in another state) I selected my wardrobe and packed for two completely different trips - the conference and our vacation. It took the better part of the afternoon and I was exhausted when I finally plopped onto the couch but . . . I did it!
(Cue the theme song from all the Rocky movies!! The one they play when he runs up the steps and jumps around triumphantly! That's exactly how I felt.)
Fold into all that preparing one other little factoid. My own precious mother-in-law of 40 years was getting ready to mark her 85th trip around the sun. Eighty-five years definitely merited more than just a little celebrating, so we jumped into action.
First, we contacted Frank's two brothers to set up a family dinner party for either the night we drove into town or the next. Then we contacted the director of the community where Mom lives to see if we could hold a surprise party for her and her friends. They were happy to accommodate us.
Finally, we contacted the birthday girl and asked if she would come with us to Ocean Isle Beach for Memorial Day weekend. We've asked many times through the years and she always turned us down. But this time was her 85th birthday and she agreed to join us!
We left FL at 5:30 AM on Thursday. (After attending the conference Monday-Wednesday.) We made it to Dunn in time to change clothes and head to the restaurant. Both brothers, their wives and all their children were able to come. We laughed and sang and snapped pictures and laughed some more. Mom Loved It!
On Friday, we told her Frank wanted to take her to lunch - just the two of them. That was the cover so I could stay at her apartment and start setting up the party. (We had already stashed the cake, snacks and decorations in the complex office.) When mother and son returned from their lunch date, Frank escorted her into the main lobby where her friends yelled surprise and sang Happy Birthday just as if they were all high schoolers. Mom burst into tears.
They had brought remembrances and cards which Mom carefully opened; holding up each one for all to see; then thanking them profusely. Frank and I scurried around snapping more pictures; serving cake and chips and soda and whatever else they needed.
Finally, we were on our way to the beach.
Frank and I come back to Ocean Isle, NC almost every year. We pioneered a church here between 1993-1999. The church has grown and the twelve people we started with has become a congregation of over 300 now. We developed friendships we've maintained for over 20 years and the current pastor graciously invites us to preach for the church when we can. We also preach two additional services, one on the beach and one for the OIB Chapel. The Chapel then allows us to stay in their "parsonage" for the week. It makes for a great get-away!
It was such fun having Mom with us those few days. We introduced her to friends and took her on a tour showing how much the area has changed since we lived here. Her two big requests were to eat fresh seafood and visit the local Wal-mart. She needed to see if they sell anything different from the one where she shops.
Mom wanted to head back home on Monday so Frank's brother met them halfway. While Frank took her home, I lounged in the most lazy, languid way I think I've ever lounged. I did absolutely nothing productive except read and eat for over five hours. It was resplendent!
Well, reading back over this I guess it makes sense that I've only posted twice this month. I do have a great devotional thought from this week that I'll try to get on-line tomorrow. Thanks for checking in.
What about you? Will you be celebrating any graduations or birthdays? How does your family mark big occasions? We'd love to hear about it in the comment section below: