"I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth." 3 John 1:4

Saturday, December 29, 2007

White Family Christmas 2007

Thank goodness for my little old Olympus 35 mm camera! Since I have misplaced our digital, I was thankful to have the old one to take pictures at Christmas. Here is a collage I put together of some of my favorites. Hope you enjoy!

Steve & Jeanne

Smalling Family

David & Maggie

Philip & Sarah

Little Jack E.

Sweet Little Noah

Jack with Uncle David

Madeline & Dani with Barbie Sewing Machine

Noah & Jared playing with his Superhero Walkie-Talkies

Madeline with her 1st American Girl doll, "Samantha"

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

I'm Going to be a Dani Again!!!

Melanie is pregnant! Our new little Smalling grandchild is due June 1 and we are thrilled! Melanie is 18 weeks pregnant. Since I'm a little senile and can't remember things like I used to (yes, my children, I know that I've actually never been able to remember things well...) it's great being able to go to Melanie's blog an see the little "waiting for Blueberry" ticker at the top which tells me exactly how many weeks and days pregnant she is! That way, I don't have to call or email every other day to ask!

We hopefully find out on January 10 if it's a "nieta o nieto". (That's granddaughter or grandson in Spanish) My prediction is GIRL, and I have about a 50% chance of being right! But, hey...a healthy boy will be just fine! I'm praying that this one is going to be the laid-back, easy-going, pleasant 4th child that Melanie and Jared need at this point. I also pray that Jack will be easier by then, too. He's the cutest child and very sweet, but very...shall we say..."active"? :) (Understatement, right Melanie?)

Anyway...we can hardly wait! I ask your prayers for a healthy baby and safe full-term delivery!

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Back in the good ol' USA!

We arrived an hour late...1:00 a.m. and didn't get to our house in Bowling Green until after 3:00! Our sweet David came to the airport to pick us up, so we had a nice little visit with him. When we arrived home, we were very tired (obviously). As we stepped into the kitchen, I realized we'd received the best Christmas present ever!!!

Our house had been cleaned from top to bottom and decorated for Christmas! Our 4 girls (granddaughter Maddy included) spent a Saturday together working and decorating. I was so excited I could hardly stand it. I knew Melanie had a part in it because there was a Christmas card with the kids' pictures propped up next to the computer. But it wasn't until a decent hour the next morning when I called her that I found out that my precious daughters-in-law, Maggie & Sarah, plus Maddy had all come to help. How special is that??? God has blessed us with wonderful daughters and we are very thankful. Oh, I almost forgot...Philip also helped get Christmas decorations down from the attic and he cleaned our ceiling fan in the living room. Thanks Pip!

Steve kept going around the house saying, "It's a Christmas miracle!" :) Well, it wasn't a miracle, but it is certainly a Christmas I won't ever forget...

We have now spent some time with all the children and grandchildren and are looking forward to Melanie and her family arriving today for the "Christmas weekend". Everyone will be at our house on Christmas Eve night to celebrate together. I think this has been our tradition since 2000. So far, with all the kids marrying and sharing time with both families, we have been able to keep this tradition. I realize that one year we'll probably need to change to another time, but I think we all enjoy our evening of fun foods, presents and being together. But, the date doesn't really matter as long as we are able to find a time to all be together.

I've also got to spend time with 3 dear friends so far since I've been home.

Merry Christmas!

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Heading Home...

Tomorrow...Sunday, December 16...we are headed to Tennessee and then on to Bowling Green! We will get to the airport around midnight (ugh) and will drive our van on to B.G. after that. One of our children, probably David or Maggie, since they have our van, will pick us up at the airport. We won't get to see those precious grandbabies of ours until probably Tuesday...Steve has an appointment on Monday with a doctor to schedule his cataract surgery.

We're tired...Baxter graduation went well but was very emotionally and physically draining...especially this year because our dear brother, Gerardo Flores, passed away in the middle of our graduation week. He has been sick for a long time and this year, particularly, was a bad one during which he suffered a lot of pain. I believe he was ready for some relief and I know that he is in a better place now...but it's still hard for those of us he left behind. We will miss his huge smile and crazy laugh so much. I don't think it's hit me completely yet and probably won't until January when we return to campus and he's not there. Please pray for Gerardo's wife, Sandra, and his other family and friends who miss him so much.

Steve and I, along with Mike and Martha Ellen, spent 3 nights in Roatan, Honduras right after graduation week. It was awesome! We stayed in a very low key type place...cabins without many ammenities (Mike kept saying things like, "You mean you all don't have a flat screen t.v. in your room? Ours is right above our microwave..." He's crazy! :) We did, however, have an incredible view of the clear, blue ocean from our front porch and a very comfy hammock (Martha Ellen really liked that!) Our cabin was a "duplex" so we shared a porch. Our end of the island was almost uninhabited...very quiet and peaceful and the restaurant connected to our "resort" had incredible food. Three different cruise ships docked while we were there, so our restaurant always had great, fresh seafood available and even when it was just us 4 dining, they treated us like special guests!

Unfortunately, I have misplaced our camera so we didn't get to take any photos while there, but hopefully M & M.E. can send us theirs.

I can hardly wait to kiss and hug some little kiddos who live in N'ville!!! I've missed my grandbabies so much during this 2 1/2 months away from them. I know I am very fortunate to get to see them as often as I do because I have friends who live in the U.S. who don't get to see theirs as much as we do. God has blessed us so very much! Maddy turned 8 on Wednesday and I still have a hard time believe that...it seems like yesterday that we were holding her for the first time with that tiny pink bow stuck to her head by the nurses with K-Y Jelly! lol


HAPPY 2008!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

To Ruby -- Our Glory Grandbaby

It has been over a year (September 5, 2006) since our precious little Ruby Anne left this world for heaven. She was our 4th grandchild, the 4th child of our daughter, Melanie, and our son-in-law, Jared. Sister to Madeline, Noah and Jack. I guess I've been thinking about her a lot lately because we recently learned that Melanie is expecting another baby in June. What indescrible joy babies bring to our lives...especially grandbabies! We are so very excited about this new little one and I can hardly wait for opportunity to hold, rock, kiss and love this new little gift from God. (Actually...I already love him/her...)

But with the excitement of this new life...it is impossible not to remember holding little Ruby in Melanie's hospital room...all 1 pound, 12 inches of her. She was already gone but I rocked her anyway. That's what Dani's do...

Anyway, I was looking for something else in a file on my computer when I found this poem I wrote for her last November. This is such a happy time, looking forward to the birth of a new baby, and I don't want to be sad...but Ruby is never far from my mind. I want to share this very difficult time in my life and at the same time rejoice with all of you about having a new grandbaby!!! So, here's the poem and below it is a link to one post from our daughter's (Melanie) blog about little Ruby, with more details about her.

for Ruby

A baby so tiny we could hardly believe
Came into our lives and taught us to grieve.
For too short a time you lived deep within
The place God decided that you would begin.

Twenty-four weeks was the span of your life
And when you were gone, it cut like a knife.
Our hearts were so heavy; our eyes never dry.
We longed for the sound of one tiny cry.

And then you were here, though we all really knew
You’d already left for heaven, like all angels do.
We held you and rocked you and sang you a tune.
We told you we loved you; that we’d see you soon.

But then the time came; we had to let go.
We said our goodbyes; our souls aching so.
Our hearts knew we’d hold you again one day
But for now, our arms were empty where you once lay.

Now we must wait and try not to feel
The deep, gouging pain that time is said to heal.
So we wait and we pray and oh, so slowly,
Comes the great gift of peace from the One who is holy.

For this same Father’s arms that held us so close
When grief crippled us from our head to our toes,
Now holds our daughter, granddaughter, sister, niece
In His loving arms as He rocks her to sleep.

Now each morning new we pray for a while,
Ask God to renew us and then begin to smile.
For whether that day is sunny or blue,
One thing is certain, we think of you,

love forever, Dani
November 4, 2006

Our daughter's blog "Glory Baby"

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Maddy, Noah & Jack with Dani

This picture was taken at Olive Garden the night before we left to come back to Honduras (September 29, I think).

Aren't they cute?

Monday, October 22, 2007

What kind of name is "Dani" for a grandmother?

Before my first grandchild was born...Madeline Jean, December 12, 1999, I thought and thought about what I wanted to be called. Years earlier I had said that when I became a grandmother, I just wanted to be called "Granny". But when the time actually got closer, I realized that I was way to young for that! So, I decided on "Grandmommy". I thought that just sounded sooo sweet!

So, the morning little Maddy was born (I was there to witness her birth, as I have been for all the others...), the first time I held her, I said, "Hello Madeline...Grandmommy loves you!" At that moment, I realized that the name was just too long. Shortly before Maddy was born, my dear friend, Ruth, had her first granddaughter (also Madeline), and she called herself "Granna". I thought that was really cute so I kind of "borrowed" it.

By the time Maddy was old enough to finally talk, what came out was "Dani" (That's Melanie's spelling...) I corrected Maddy for a little while but then decided I liked "Dani". I don't know of any other grandmother with that name, so it makes it even more special. Maddy likes to tell people that she gave me that name! :-) And...well....she did! Thanks, Maddy, I love it!!! David (our oldest son), asked me one time if that meant his children would have to call me that too. Well, of course!!! That's my name...

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Never thought I'd have a blog

Having grandkids and doing mission work in a foreign country can do strange things to a person...like causing me to start a blog at the age of 56! Blogs...I know that probably stands for something, but I have no idea what. I just know that when Steve (my husband of almost 33 years) says the word, it almost sounds like he's about to hurl. I would sometimes ask him, "Have you read "so-in-so's" blog?" and his answer was always, "I don't do blllooogs." That is, until our daughter, Melanie, began hers with lots of interesting stories and photos of our grandkids. Now he does "a" blog.

I, on the other hand, have bookmarked about 8 or so blogs of people that I like to keep up with. But, still, I didn't really consider "having" a blog until just recently. Now I wish I had started one when we first came to Honduras in 2004, but then I didn't know much about them. And were they even in existence in 1999 when Maddy (the first grandchild) was born? I don't know...

So, today I have moved into a new phase of my life. I am now a blogger. Whoda thunk?