Celebrating With Hope

Yesterday was Greg’s 51st birthday….his second birthday in Heaven and our second without him here. Just like last year, it was a bittersweet day for us. Maybe even a little more bitter because Katie couldn’t be here with us. She is working at Winshape camps again this summer and had to be there on Monday.

Last year we remembered Greg on his birthday by doing two of his favorite things: eating and watching a Braves game! As we left the game last year Jake said, “I think we should make this a tradition and do this every year on Dad’s birthday.” And so we did! Yesterday evening me met most of Greg’s family at Johnny’s Pizza on Virginia Avenue, because in Greg’s mind, there is no Johnny’s Pizza except the one on Virginia Avenue! We had tried some of the other Johnny’s locations and Greg thought there was NO comparison….so to Virginia Avenue we went!! We enjoyed our pizza and then headed to Turner Field. We had lots of fun at the game even though the Braves lost. But that was okay…..the main attraction may have been my six month old great-nephew Zachary anyway! :)

It was a hard day, but we were blessed to be able to spend it with most of Greg’s family. As I mentioned, Katie couldn’t be there. We were also missing my nephew, Michael and his wife, Molly. Greg’s dad did join us for dinner, but didn’t feel up to going to the game.

It’s hard to celebrate when you’re grieving and feeling sad. Especially, when the one you’re celebrating is the same one that you’re grieving for. But birthdays are about celebrating someone’s life and Greg’s life is certainly worth celebrating. He may no longer be here with us, but we still remember and celebrate his life and thank God for the time that we did have with him. We celebrate because our hope is in the Lord and because of that, we know that we will see Greg and celebrate with him again some day. Greg’s legacy lives on. He was a difference-maker in this world. We look forward to that day when we will be reunited with him and be able to celebrate an eternity of birthdays together!!

Happy Birthday Greg! We love you and can’t wait to see you again!!

Here are a few pictures from our night.

The ONLY Johnny's Pizza!

The ONLY Johnny’s Pizza!

Waiting for the rest of the family to join us.

Waiting for the rest of the family to join us.

My niece, Amanda and her husband, Ryan with Zachary.

My niece, Amanda and her husband, Ryan with Zachary.

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Zack was decked out in Braves gear...even down to his shoes!

Zack was decked out in Braves gear…even down to his shoes!

All tuckered out and getting a little spoiling from Mama Carolyn and Jacob.

All tuckered out and getting a little spoiling from Mama Carloyn and Jacob.

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All the gang!

All the gang!

Two of my three greatest blessings.

Two of my three greatest blessings.

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Hug the ones you love!

Trusting His Plan,
Sandra

“What Are You Reading?” Wednesday

I just started reading Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking. I’ve heard really great things about this book and since I’m the quiet, introvert type, I’m really looking forward to seeing what it has to say! Have any of you read this book? If so, what did you think?

What are you reading this week??

Trusting His Plan,
Sandra

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A Weekend Of Celebrating!

We had a busy fun-filled weekend! Katie came home this weekend, and cooked me a delicious Mother’s Day meal on Friday night! Chicken, fettucine alfredo, salad, garlic bread, sweet tea and key lime pie for dessert!! It was delicious. Saturday was Jake’s 16th birthday! He started the day with his weekly Bible study with a group of guys. In the afternoon, we celebrated a sweet friend’s high school graduation. Then, Saturday night was his birthday dinner…he chose to eat at I-Hop. Then it was back to the house for presents and dessert!

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They sang to him and brought him a birthday dessert!

They sang to him and brought him a birthday dessert!

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Chipper even got a gift!  He fit perfectly in his food bowl!

Chipper even got a gift! He fit perfectly in his food bowl!

The Birthday Pup!

The Birthday Pup!

On Sunday morning, the kids and I had the honor and privilege of being asked to share our story with the Stone Church in Cartersville. It’s always so hard and emotional for me to share about our pain, but I really believe that the Lord has called us to tell others about His goodness and faithfulness even in the most difficult of circumstances.

We so enjoyed being a part of the Stone Church’s service and felt so loved and welcomed there. John Orr is an excellent teacher of the Word and we enjoyed his message. If you live around the Cartersville area and are looking for a church home, I highly recommend that you check out The Stone Church!

Later in the afternoon, we spent time visiting my Mom and then Greg’s Mom. I am so very thankful for both of these ladies. My life is better because they are in it! Hope you all enjoyed celebrating Mother’s Day and remembered to thank God for the Moms in your life!

Trusting His Plan,
Sandra

Meet The Newest Masters!!

We have a new addition to our family! He is cute and cuddly and oh, so tiny! Meet Little Chipper….aka Chip! Yes, Jake named him and yes, he is named after Chipper Jones! :) Jake will turn 16 on Saturday, and Chip is his birthday gift. And of course, there is a cool God story that goes along with Jake getting this puppy!

For as many years as I can remember, the kids have always wanted a dog. Greg and I always said no. We felt bad about saying no, but just couldn’t bring ourselves to make the committment. With Jake’s birthday approaching, I really felt the Lord leading me to let him have a dog, and again I pushed back. I kept arguing with God..I have enough to take care of already. I don’t want my carpets messed up or my furniture chewed up. I don’t want to spend money on a dog. And the Lord kept answering…Jake is responsible, he’ll take care of the dog. Carpet and furniture are just things. Just trust Me!

As I continued to think about it and pray about it, I really felt like the Lord was impressing on my heart that Jake needed a dog at this time in his life. Greg was his best friend, and he’s gone. Katie is away at school. Emilie is rarely home, due to her work and school schedule. That leaves just me here with Jake, and honestly, I’m just not that much fun or entertainment for a 16 year old boy!

So, I decided that I would bite the bullet and tell him that he could have a puppy for his birthday. But….there were a few restrictions. Since he wanted an inside dog, it had to be small and it had to be a low-shed/no-shed dog. I wanted him to have a puppy, not an older dog. He agreed and so we set out to find a puppy that would meet these requirements. Once I found a puppy and how much it cost, I again began talking to God! I struggle a lot with spending money on what we need versus spending money on what we want. I told God….we don’t NEED a dog! But the Lord just kept impressing on my heart that at this time in Jake’s life, he does need a dog.

After a few days, I hesitantly mailed off the deposit. A couple of days later, I received an unexpected refund check in the mail from our orthodontist! AND…the amount was within $25 of the full price of the puppy!! God did that for me!! It’s like He was saying, “See. I told you to trust Me!”

Now, if I can just make it through the puppy stage without having to replace my carpet and/or furniture, we’ll be great! ;)

Trusting His Plan,
Sandra

When Jake and Chip first met!

When Jake and Chip first met!

Emilie and Marleigh meet Chip....or Little Chippy Jones, as Marleigh calls him.  :)

Emilie and Marleigh meet Chip….or Little Chippy Jones, as Marleigh calls him. :)

We are already in love with this cute guy!

We are already in love with this cute guy!

Working out those puppy teeth.

Working out those puppy teeth.

Sooo cute!

Sooo cute!

Chip helped Jake with his Spanish project.  :)

Chip helped Jake with his Spanish project. :)

Monday’s Memory

With Mothers Day coming up, I thought this was an appropriate picture for today’s Memory. Greg loved his mom!

Mothers Day 2012

Mothers Day 2012

What We’ve Been Up To

It’s been busy the last several weeks! I haven’t been posting much lately, so I thought I’d share a little of what we’ve been up to.

Things are wrapping up for the year as we get ready to enter summer…..school, co-ops, bible studies, etc. At the same time, we are preparing for other things to get started…birthdays, summer camps and a new addition to the family (more on that in an upcoming post!).

Recently, Jacob went to his first prom. He and two of his friends went together and they had a great time! They didn’t look too bad either. :)

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We also were honored to be able to attend my great-nephew Zachary’s blessing ceremony. It was such a sweet service and Zack was so good! He’s such a happy baby!

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We also had the opportunity to celebrate Greg’s Dad’s birthday and his parent’s 60th anniversary!

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And finally, yesterday we were able to go to one of my nephews’ baseball games! They were so cute out there on the field! Brings back sweet memories of when Jake was playing at that age. :)

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Hope you all have been enjoying this beautiful Spring weather!

Trusting His Plan,
Sandra

“What Are You Reading?” Wednesday

I just recently finished reading Looking for Salvation at the Dairy Queen by Susan Gregg Gilmore. It was fairly enjoyable, but I can’t say it’s a book that I just loved or would encourage others to read. I would probably give it a three out of five.

Yesterday, I started reading another book; Moses-Steps to a Life of Faith by Bob Saffrin. This book is really good so far. I am currently involved in a Bible study on the Life of Moses, so maybe that's why I'm enjoying this book so much! Moses was an amazing man, and we can learn so much from his life!

What are you reading this week?? Feel free to share!

Trusting His Plan,
Sandra

(This post contains affiliate links)

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