Kristina had only been in her new apartment just long enough for the dust to settle, a whole 4 days, when we headed off to Iowa for the Thanksgiving weekend. Matt, Kristina, and I leave Abby with the lovely Sharon and Jerry across the street, pack up at ‘O’dark thirty’ and head east for lots of food and fellowship!
It was whirlwind time! God had laid a couple of people on our hearts to see and pray with. We worked those times in around two Thanksgiving dinners with family and a visit to our home church to see loved ones.
We arrived that evening to celebrate Matt’s birthday with Mom and Dad Grimes. Great Key Lime pie, Mom! This family doesn’t ‘do’ cake so Matt’s birthdays always have pie! We spent Thanksgiving Day with Mom and Dad Grimes watching old 8mm family movies of Matt as a young child and family life in England. Trips to castles and foreign countries, days spent with Gram and Grandad. Thanks to Mom for the idea and Dad for working so hard to fix the projector. Parts are not readily available or at reasonable prices for those 8mm antiques! I shed a few tears as we watched Gram and Grandad, wishing they were still with us and thinking of all they have sown into our lives.
In the evening, we were off to the Zaun Thanksgiving , Matt’s Mom’s family. Thankfully, the crowd was small (50ish?) this year and we could actually get real fellowship time with most everyone. It is great to see the new additions to the family – babies, fiancées. We just keep expanding! I believe there are 76 of us now! Grandma Mary, you are quite the matriarch! Ninety and still going great!
We spent a day packed full of time with friends, meeting in coffee houses all day – John, how fabulous to see you and get to catch up on life, you made us laugh which we needed badly! We missed you, Millie and Kristin! It’s been too long!
The Sams, what an honor it was that you to made time for us! We love you and are grateful that we could chat, meet your extended family and pray with you. You are so authentic and awesome; we love you, are grateful God put you in our lives and are walking with you as Abba walks you up this mountain. Gary, you choose the summit and in 2007, it is yours! We will make it happen!
Cierzan family, how time flies and the kids grow up! Wonderful to be able to share with each one of you. How you are growing in what God desires for you! We always learn from your experiences and what God is teaching you. Thank you, for being so transparent with us. Scott, it wasn’t the same without you, your wisdom and your laugh! Next time!
Another Thanksgiving was in order with my family, The Taylors. Saturday was spent laughing, telling stories and EATING, a very Taylor thing! It was a fabulous time with all of you. Celebrating birthdays, Happy Birthday Mom and Matt, as well as, getting to spend some more time with Alex’s girlfriend, Stacia. Alex tells me, “She’s ‘the one’ Aunt Ronda!” Alex, we all agree, she is a keeper!
Sunday was a great day as well! Being able to worship with Pastor Barry and sit under the teaching of Pastor Caloway, have our necks hugged by so many who we have loved and served with was magnificent! My only regret was that we couldn’t sit down with you and share life stories. There are so many. Kelly, I am still waiting for the second part of the engagement story! No fair just saying, ‘I am engaged’ and then letting service start! Come back here and finish this story!
We hopped in the car after the service and headed west, making one more Taco John’s stop before leaving IA. Our vice. The trip back was a quiet one, for the most part, as each person reflected on all the life that had been deposited in them over only a few days. I know I was lost in the glow of it all as I put down the miles. We had been walking through a challenging time of change with the happenings with our pastor and the changes with our kiddos, job instability and school stress. A time bathed in love and laughter with life giving friends and family was exactly what was needed! Thank you all, you blessed us immeasurably and sent us back out to conquer.
Oh, and for any of you who drive this way, we found a new way home. Simple, quick and less traffic! Just ask us about it. God showed it to us so we could avoid all the freezing fog in western NB. It was great!