Monday, November 11, 2013

Veteran's Day

Today we honor and remember those who have served in the military to protect our freedoms.  When I consider all that they/you have sacrificed, no words seem good enough, but I will offer the best I know:
Thank You!


Today, I want to especially honor my favorite veteran: Sgt. 1st Class, Bruce E. Carter.

Sometimes we can get to thinking that soldiers who are "just fine", who "didn't get hurt", who are "safe" are lesser soldiers than those who venture into harm's way, who lose limbs, who are killed in action.  The fact is, even if a soldier's life does not seem to us to be dramatically affected, they still signed away their lives.  Though they may walk away with their lives, and even their health and well-being, their lives are forever changed.  I don't know who first said it, but I think this statement sums it up pretty well:
"All gave some; some gave all."

Bruce Carter, my grandfather, served in the Marine Corps and the Army, during WWII and the Korean and Vietnam Wars.  God protected Granddad, spared his life, kept him safe, and allowed him to raise a family and even meet his great grandchildren.  Many of our veterans weren't so blessed, but that doesn't make Granddad any less of a soldier - He's just a protected and blessed soldier!  Thank you, Granddad, for being willing to give up everything to keep our nation free...and thank You, Heavenly Father, for protecting him, blessing him with a family, and allowing his grandchildren to get to know and love him!

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Cousins! - Cody & Karis

Just for a little bit of comparison - you know, then vs. now - let me share this post that I once started.  I had originally intended to add more photos to this post...but this seems sufficient for the purpose I have in mind for it today.  :-)

(From March 2013)

I love my nieces and nephews!  Hopefully you can forgive my bragging, but I think they're adorable, and I just love sharing their pictures with you!

Here are two pictures of the youngest family members.  These were taken when everybody was together for Grandma's funeral. Cody was all smiles, but Karis didn't seem too sure about her cousin.
Mom, are you sure about this?

Monday, September 30, 2013

Cousins Picture

I couldn't wait 'til I got "caught up" with my blog posts to share this one!

For just about an hour this past Saturday, all the cousins (our nieces & nephews/grandchildren) were able to be all together in one place!  It was the first time any of them had met the latest addition, Abigail, but Karis and Derrick hadn't yet met either.

While we had the opportunity, we decided to take a picture of them all together!

Please excuse this biased aunt's opinion, but here are seven of the cutest little ones around!

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Memories & Thoughts about September 11th, 2001

I don't think I'll ever forget this day 12 years ago.  However, there are others who have even greater reasons to remember it, because their lives have been forever changed by damage it caused them or a loved one, or by the loss of a loved one.

I do stop and think of these folks, and pray for God's comfort and healing for them today.

I think also of the many heroes of that day whether or not they were wearing any kind of uniform.  Despite the fact that I was blessed to not have been personally impacted, I am still so grateful for their sacrifices and their devotion to their country to which they have committed their very lives.

I don't want to just acknowledge this event and move on, though.  I want to learn/be reminded of something by it.   We didn't see it coming.  We didn't know that, in just a short time, some 3,000 souls would pass into eternity.  Were they ready for what they faced next?  Had we prepared them?

" is appointed unto man once to die, but after this the judgment"
(Hebrews 9:27)

After death, every soul must meet their Maker, the Judge of all the earth.

"But God, I was the victim of a terrorist attack!" 

That's irrelevant information in this trial.
This isn't about what others did to you - This is about the choices you have made.

Have you broken God's law?
Everybody has.

Somebody has to pay the price of your sin. 
Have you accepted the payment Christ made on your behalf?
Or must you now pay the price yourself?

The price is separation from God forever in a place burning with fire and brimstone, a place called "Hell".  Will it be you?

Christ has already made the payment, you only have to accept it! 

Will you accept it today?  Please, don't wait another day!  These folks we're remembering who died 12 years ago had no idea that September 11, 2001 would be their day of reckoning!  We never know when our turn will come - young or old!

Are you ready?

"Go to now {or Listen up}, ye that say,
To day or to morrow we will go into such a city,
and continue there a year, and buy and sell, and get gain:
Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow.
For what is your life?
It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away.
For that ye ought to say,
If the Lord will, we shall live, and do this, or that."
(James 4:13-15)

I'd like to close with a video.  It's nearly 16 minutes long, but it's worth every minute, and I hope you will take the time!  The man it's about (true story) would have been flying one of those planes on that fateful day 12 years ago...but the Lord intervened and spared his life!  Listen to him tell his story.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Welcome Baby Waller!!!

I shall now interrupt the drawn-out Knox Wedding Anniversary series to bring you a very important announcement.

I am delighted to announce the arrival of my 3rd niece,

Abigail Renee Waller!

(Profile shot)

Born at 5:58 P.M. on Friday, September 6, Abigail weighed in at 7 lbs. 12 oz. and was 21" long.
Valerie and Abigail are both doing well (Adam is too! :-) ). 

When Valerie and Adam informed us on Friday morning that Val was in active labor and they were heading to the hospital, we all guessed what time we thought the baby would arrive.  (We did not tell Valerie & Adam as that could have been very discouraging to them.)  I'll not be giving names or times for the other guesses, so don't even ask, but the closest guesses were, somewhat ironically, our youngest members.  Lisa was the very closest guessing 17 minutes later and Zach was closest without going over guessing 28 minutes earlier.

We got to go see them Friday night and meet and hold our new little niece/granddaughter!

In Nana's experienced arms

Undergoing Papa's inspection

I was (and still am) considerably happier than this picture would lead you to believe. :-D
She was pretty relaxed as I gently rubbed her back.

In contrast to my staring adoration of the little one, Aunt Kimberly made a much more thorough examination of the child, checking her out as she held her.....

...and revealing her nice head of hair!!!

Cute little girly things!  :-)

 Uncle Dave's turn

HollyBeth with Abigail

While HB was holding her, I decided to get a few more pictures as she was starting to make some different faces at us.


When Uncle Zach got her, Abigail decided she was ready to give us a short demonstration of her vocal range and abilities.  I thought to catch just a few seconds of that on video.  :-)

 Vocal demonstrations for Uncle Zach

Aunt Lisa and her newest niece, Abigail

 First Family Photo (taken just about 5 hours after Abigail was born)

So now the members of this household have been crowned aunts/uncles/grandparents 7 times and are all absolutely loving our status as such!  For those trying to keep the tallies straight, the arrival of Abigail brings the numbers up to 3 girls and 4 boys.  :-)

The Wallers have now returned home and Nana is taking good care of them!  :-)

Check out Adam's post about Baby Abigail!

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Knox Wedding Anniversary - Part III

I forgot about the time-lapse between Brian & Julie's actual engagement and their official photo shoot, so let me insert just a little bit here between where the last post ended and where this one was intended to begin.

So, Brian & Julie were engaged on February 25th.  They got a couple pictures together on Valerie's wedding day a week later, then a couple more at wedding two weeks after that, but their official engagement photo shoot wasn't until mid-April.

Here are a few pictures taken on Brian & Julie's one-week anniversary of their engagement.  :-)  (It was Valerie's wedding day, so that explains a few things like why the outfits look so familiar and why Valerie is in a wedding dress.)

Let's admire our engagement rings together.  :-)

Happily Engaged Peoples - Nice Photo

'Twas a chilly day. - Cute Photo

The following pictures were taken on Brian & Julie's three-week anniversary of their engagement.  :-)  (The fact that it was Joe's wedding day explains why you'd recognize their attire.)

You've said you'll be mine and that make me so happy!

After Joe & Mary Jane left, some of the others couples got a few pictures.  Brian & Julie had committed to saving their first kiss for their wedding which wasn't for several months yet, so they were the odd ones out in this picture of kissing couples.

We'll continue on now, as I mentioned in Part II, with pictures from Brian & Julie's official engagement photo shoot.  (A photographer friend kindly took the pictures for them.)

We'll start with a few or the more formal shots, I guess.



Now for some goofy shots - They can only handle being so serious for so long, you know!  :-)  No, seriously - Sometimes smiles get tired and worn out during photo shoots and people need a chance to talk or laugh and give their faces a chance to relax so their smile can look like it normally does.


What's that you've got in your Bible, Julie?

It won't come off!!!
(They wanted a picture of Brian putting her engagement ring on her finger - See above.) 

Hi!  :-)

 Let's just chill for a minute!

Beside the weddings of two of Julie's siblings, Brian & Julie's engagement period was filled with the normal things like work (for Brian, finishing up teaching for Julie), picking out wedding rings, planning and preparing for the wedding (which included making eight bridesmaid dresses, a dress for the flower girl and significant and intricate work on Julie's dress), visit both directions, meetings with their wedding coordinator and others with Pastor, bridal showers, other summer activities including our church's vacation Bible school, Sforzando String Camp, and I think Julie taught at a week of harp camp that summer too.

Brian & Julie's wedding was on August 11th, 2012....

...and I'll tell all about that in the next post!  :-)