Sunday, December 14, 2008

Trip home to NJ, then Michigan, and finally Indiana...

My Aunt Judy & Uncle Lenny holding hands :-)

So after our day in NY which I recently wrote about, we headed to my sister, Denise's, house in New Jersey. All of my family was gathered there to spend some time together. I have 4 sisters (Denise, April, Cindy, & Tracey), 2 brothers (Bobby & Jimmy - my older brother, Bobby, went to be with the Lord on July 2, 1995), and a cousin named Artie, who is just like a brother to me. My Aunt Judy and Uncle Lenny were there, too. Aunt Judy is my mom's sister and has always been there for us. She always did all kinds of special things with us. And on Christmas Eve every year, we would go to Aunt Judy's to celebrate Christmas. Loads of memories were made when we all got together. This year is no different. All of our family will gather around at their home, including all of Artie's siblings. I hear there will be a grab bag where everyone picks a number and chooses a gift. They will not necessarily go home with the first gift they choose. You know the game... it'll be fun!

Since we have moved to England, and previous to that Michigan, we haven't had the opportunity to spend as much time with my family as we would like to. With that said, God has a purpose and a plan for our lives which gives us peace about the places He has taken us.

Denise had asked me what I wanted to eat that night and the request had to be "Italian" sandwiches. One thing Shawn and I both miss is the great food you get back east. Ham, salami, and fresh mozzarella on Italian bread is often asked for when we go home. Jimmy, my younger brother, who is a chef, prepared the different side dishes and served up a good spread. We talked, laughed, told stories, took lots of pictures and just had a wonderful time. John aka "Boo" was there and also Denise and Jimmy's neighbor to join us for the evening.

Moving away has really taught us that relationships with family and great friends is vital. God made us for relationship & has given each of us a desire for them. When you can't always have that time together, you have to cherish the little time you do have. And that's exactly what we did.

Here are some great pictures that we took.

Josie, Artie's daughter, on the left with Braaten

Grant, Marqus (Cindy's son), & Cooper

Allie (April's daughter) & Monique (Cindy's daughter)

Tracey with her two children, Sarah and Christopher

All of my siblings (front row from left to right): Me, Artie, Denise, April, Jimmy, and Tracey. Cindy is in the front row.

All of our children in one place! :-)

Denise and I before everyone got there.

Our next stop after Denise & Jimmy's home was over to Annette's. She and I have been friends since we were in the 4th grade. She invited us to stay over because the next morning 3 other dear friends (Mayra, Natasha, & Celia) would join us to spend half the day with us. Then it was off to the airport that afternoon.

My next post will be about our visit at Annette's, so stay tuned... and thanks for sharing the joy in all of our recent journeys.

1 comment:

Pam said...

it's great seeing pictures of your family! i am so glad that you had that chance to visit, and that you have peace about where you are, although I know this time of year that can get a little shaky... prayers sister...