It has been awhile since our last post...sorry about that. Visiting with family and friends has been the main focus for the past couple of weeks, and what an amazing time it has been.
This journey has been filled with such wonderful blessings and this period of time ranks right up there near number one. This was my first visit to Wheaton, Illinois, where James went to college, and I loved it. It is a very pretty town with wonderful shops, restaurants and of course, the college, Wheaton. But, the best part was the people.
We met new people and reuniting with old friends, every visit was so special. Everyone opened up their homes to us and made us feel like family. Shayne, Jennifer and Dave, Jeff and Stacey, John and Krista, my Uncle David...everyone showed us such generosity!
After Wheaton, we headed to my Dad's place in Alexandria, Indiana. It always warms my heart to see my Dad. He generously invited us to park the RV in his driveway and hook up for a couple of days. Time was way too short, but very special none the less. We visited with my dear friends from High School, Jill and her family, Faye and her family and Laura with her family. What a great time. And, I got to eat my favorite pizza, Pizza King! Thank you, Jill, my wonderful friend, for putting it all together.
There is never enough time to spend with my sisters. We spent some time at Whitney's and then saw her again Sunday at Dad's house. I wish we lived closer. She is such an amazing woman and I love her humor, honesty and beautiful soul. Then, of course, there are all of our amazing nieces and nephews (including the "great" ones...dang, I feel old). They are all growing up to be beautiful and handsome individuals I'm proud to call family. Jordan is a Junior in High School, smart as a whip and drop-dead gorgeous. Brandon is working for the city, working out (he looks incredible) and taking care of his Mom and little Thor, his brand new English Bulldog puppy. Brooke and Mat continue to amaze me with their grace and gifts in raising four of the most fantastic children I have ever laid eyes on; Tristyn Grace, Kaedyn Nicole, Zoe Elayne and Ryder Alan. I could eat them up!!! Wow...how they have grown.
Dad took James and I to the James Dean Car Show in Marion, Indiana and we really had a great time. Cars from every decade were showcased. I had a hard time picking between them all, but I did find two cars I really liked, the '68 Camero with the 3.27 engine (3.27.68...my birth date) and the 1967 Charger. Yep, I liked those very much.
Family came over on Sunday for a cookout at Dad's and to watch football. It was a good day as the Cowboys and Colts both won! Yeah!! Dad and Linda also have a new puppy, Boomer, who is a Chihuahua mix...so ADORABLE!! I wanted to take him with us, and I believe Dad would have let us, but James said no...he said it would traumatize Peanut too much. I knew he loved that old curmudgeon of a dog. So, Boomer stayed behind. He really is so very cute!
Monday morning came too soon and we had to say good-bye. I hate that part. But, we take with us great memories and know we will all be together again soon.
On our way to Ohio, we made a stop in Greenfield, Indiana to visit my Uncle Kenny and Aunt Joyce. I hadn't seen their home (built in 1869) for nearly 20 years and was anxious to see the work they had done. It is a very beautiful home and we loved visiting with them.
Monday we spent the evening in Cincinnati and had dinner with James' college roommate, Brian, and his family, Audrie-Anna is wife and three sons, Jonah, Noah and Isaac. GREAT TIME! I have said after every visit with one of James' college/high school friends that I'm so incredibly blessed to now call them MY friends as well. These are such amazing people and I thank God for the opportunity to build friendships with them all. Thank you, Brian and Audrie-Anna, for opening up your home and for the amazing Mediterranean food!
Tuesday we drove the short distance to Columbus where we would be meeting Julie and David! YEAH! Again, spending time with my sister and nephew lifted my spirit high! It was so great seeing them. I'm so proud of both of them as they are both in school...Julie graduates this December, and I have to admit, I'm a bit jealous. I love being in school!! We ate at the Olive Garden and then visited back at our RV for a bit. Julie brought some old photos with her so we had a great time reminiscing and laughing till our bellies hurt. David is amazing. Period. I simply can't write enough about him. The only thing missing was our sweet niece, Samantha...she was at her father's house and couldn't make it THIS TIME, but we will see her soon. I love my sister so much. I am so proud of her and her determination to finish school and live her life for the Lord. Thank you, Julie.
So, now I'm filled with the love of family and friends and ready for this last stage of our trip. We are currently in Dunkirk, NY heading to Old Forge, NY to visit with our dear friend, Paul Case. For those of you not on Facebook, I ask that you pray for Paul and his family. His little girl, Katie, six years old, was in a horrible accident and suffered burns over 30% of her legs. She is in Shriner's Hospital in Boston for three months. We can't wait to spend some time with Paul and his son, Little Paulie, tonight.
After that, we will be on our way to Maine. We are blessed to have two good friends from the Florida, Tim and Diane, meeting us there for the first three days to see the sights, eat some lobster (pronounced lob-sta) and catch up. After that, we have still have a week there to reconnect and further enjoy the colorful foliage Maine has to offer.
To all of you we have visited in the past two weeks...THANK YOU. Each of you have made this trip very special for us. Your love and support means more than we could ever express. We know our paths will cross again and look forward to those times very much. May God continue to bless you all. We love you!