Sunday, October 1, 2017

Welcome, Simon!

Dear Simon,
You're here! You came into the world on Tuesday, September 26, 2017 just after 6:30 a.m.
The previous couple of weeks were downright crazy!
Your mom and dad evacuated St. Petersburg just a week before your due date because Hurricane Irma was bearing down on the Gulf Coast. They went to stay with your other grandparents on the east coast of Florida and even made the news!
No power at your house when they returned: they had to stay in an apartment for a few nights. Whew, glad you waited: so considerate of you!
Once your mom started labor (3+ days before you arrived), we all waited anxiously.
Then again, babies can't be rushed so you stayed cozy until the situation
called for a C-section and out you came: big and beautiful and perfect!
Big babies are out of my experience: to me, you look much older than you are!
But all that's important is you and mommy are healthy.
 And daddy is intact! (-;
Speaking of daddy, I remember one Christmas when my kids were all home.
They were college and high school age.
We went around the table, answering a hope we each had in life.
David said, and I remember this clearly because it became a prayer for me,
"I hope to be a dad someday."
And so he is, because of your mommy and you.
Simon, you can count on your dad to be the best.
He's hard-working, caring, loving, generous, and very very funny.
He'll probably teach you to play baseball and drink coffee.
I pray he will point you to your heavenly father who's REALLY the best dad ...
but your earthly daddy will be amazing.
Your mommy will love, protect, cheer for, challenge, teach, clean up, and cry over you. Endlessly. She will love you with a big love and I want you to be kind and gentle with her.
Learn to obey your parents in the Lord. It will bring you peace.

I love you, Simon! I'll see you in a few weeks ... and cannot wait to be your loving

Wednesday, September 27, 2017


Hey everyone!
It was a full summer ... several trips north and south and here and there ...
but it wasn't so full that I should have neglected to write about the
granddaughter who arrived in June. Goodness what in the world?!
In no way does this mean I take these babes for granted ...
oh I'm so amazed by them all.
Madelyn Annette Haller came quickly just past midnight on Saturday, June 3.
 Jill and Mark are her amazing parents and she's also loved by three siblings:
big sister Lily, 5 and brothers Ethan, 4 and Peter, 2.
She's a happy, happy girl which is a great and helpful attribute for
a fourth child!
Maddie, by Jill ... August 2017
Katie and I scurried up to Virginia to lend our hands and shoot some photos.
Jill, always onto the next thing, came home 24 hours later and
we all went to church that morning! Oy!
They are doing great: schooling, working, nature group-ing and playing outside endless hours.
The boys get asked if they're twins. I think the day is coming when the
three oldest will be mistaken for triplets!
I was going to to dovetail right into our next baby, but I think
I'll wait a day and give him his own post.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017


Where there is a thankful spirit, there is joy.

Oh dear, what in the world?? My blog posts have played hide-and-go-seek these many months. Can't tell you how many times I've printed in all CAPS on my to do lists: BLOG, to no avail. Gah!!

I continue to write for Heart of Ohio Magazine. The kind folks there kept me on board. Check out our beautiful magazine! Better yet, treat yourself to a subscription!

This week I'll make a stab back here on the blog. It's spring break from my school job. I appreciate you readers who have asked or said you miss my posts.

The past year has been amazing, in good ways and hard. How can anyone know exactly how a big life move will play out? Living in the same city as half our family is wonderful, as imagined. And living more central to all the kids proves the move from Ohio to North Carolina was right. We've made trips to Florida and Virginia (kids and grandkids both directions) and of course spend time with the kids/grandkids here.

Thanksgiving weekend 2016

I LOVE the weather in North Carolina. Spring comes with the calendar, none of that snow in April nonsense! We have a lovely front porch, perfect for morning coffee and afternoon reading. Hot summers, yes, but in college I lived in tents at Girl Scout camps in Tennessee and Florida ... THAT was hot. We can take day trips to the Blue Ridge Parkway and breathe in the mountains. Spectacular.

What I didn't fully anticipate was the difficulty of adjusting to a large, new city (even though we'd visited Dan and Jenny here for eight years, I didn't really learn the city), where to shop, friends, church, routines, and well, just EVERYTHING changed. At our age it's just harder than when you're young or have kids around to light your fire.

I spent a few months seeking part-time jobs and finally landed one which began after Thanksgiving. That's what seems to have anchored me a bit. I'm a reading tutor in a public elementary school and while learning all the pieces of the job was a challenge, the stretching has been so, so good. I work with some amazing women who are passionate about helping kids read, write and understand better. I love being part of a little army of encouragers to some kids who need it.

We've had some houseguests throughout the year: friends and family stopping over on trips north or south. Fun!

If there's one thing I'd do differently as a wife/mother/woman, it would have been to keep up a career of some sort. Yes, God makes my way but I believe He has something more beyond mothering and grandmothering and at this age it was extremely hard to find a niche where I can use my gifts.

Our quiver continues to fill: grandchild #8 is due in June (Mark and Jill's fourth) and #9 in September (David and Chelsea's first)! I'm excited to have the summer off for a change of pace although I doubt the pace will slow down. And really? I don't want to slow down because at my age I may not get moving again!

So that's where I am. Bill is driving for Uber and he's amazing at it! He needs to keep a journal because he comes home with hilarious and interesting stories from the road.

Perhaps the best lessons the past year have come through the hardships. I've learned gratefulness in the very hardest things because that's when I stretch, grow, and lean more on God and His faithfulness.
Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is
God's will for you in Christ Jesus. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18