Lots to be Thankful For…

So many blessings to think about and be thankful for. Today I’m joining Susanne at Living to Tell the Story with Friday’s Fave Five . My Favorites for this week will revolve around Katie’s trip to Southern California. For those of you who don’t visit very often our daughter Katie has been living with us since September while our Son-in-Law, Andrew is serving with the Marine Corp in Afghanistan. She will be with us until his return sometime in the Spring. When we get a more definitive return date she and I will drive their car and some belongings across country from Washington to North Carolina and try to set up some type of living arrangement before his arrival. Now I’m ready with the Five…

1. That Katie could spend some time with my dear old pop while she was in Southern California. The photo above is of the two of them from last year at the senior apartment building where he lives.

Disney winter

2. That Katie was able to spend 2 fun packed days at Disneyland with some of her cousins. The goal was to see Disneyland while it was still all decorated for Christmas. Katie’s cousins have Disney year long passes and Katie was able to get a great 3 day pass for a good military discount.

3. I was talking to my pop this morning and he was telling me that he thanks God every day for his children, his grandchildren and his great grandchildren. It is so pleasing to see how well this group of cousins gets along and how much they love each other. The above photo was taken in Southern California in March of 2013.

T-Day and after 001

4. From December 3rd thru January 19th we celebrate the birthdays of four of our children. I’m so thankful for each one of them and how unique they are. I’m also very thankful that they love each other and can talk to each other and laugh at each other! Tonight we will be celebrating Josh about 9 days early but he’ll be gone next weekend serving at Junior High Winter camp so like always we go with the flow and celebrate whenever we can.

P1040734This photo is from Laura’s birthday celebration early in December…

Andrew training

5. We are thankful for our son-in-law, Andrew. He is serving all of us in harms way. I like to post this photograph every so often to remind anyone who visits here that many of our young men and women are away from the comforts of home serving our country and to remind us to pray for them that they will return home safe and sound. Semper Fi!

What are you thankful for today?

Happy Birthday Andrew!

If you and Katie were here I’d bake you a cake!

We’d have Josh and Laura over, too, and sing Happy Birthday to You!

We’d take you someplace fun to have a meal.

It would be another good reason to get the whole family here to celebrate you!

Hope the birthday card we sent arrives today. If not we only have the U*S*P*S to blame. Glad the “kids” are coming over tonight to celebrate with you and that Alex is making his famous burgers for y’all!

We love you and thank God for you and pray that God continues to bless you richly.  We ask that He will continue to protect you and keep you safe at home and when you are away serving in even more dangerous environments! Semper fi! May you always be faithful in your service to your country and God and in your marriage to Katie! Looking forward to being with you at one of your birthdays in the future!

A thank you to Jeremy Leffel for this last photo.

A Day to Remember ~ Arlington National Cemetery

Remembering those who sacrificed for our country and praying for those who are serving our country now in harms way.

“Arlington, this place of so many memories, is a fitting place for some remembering. So many wonderful men and women rest here, men and women who led colorful, vivid, and passionate lives.” ~ Ronald Reagan

“All of these men were different, but they shared this in common: They loved America very much. There was nothing they wouldn’t do for her. And they loved with the sureness of the young. It’s hard not to think of the young in a place like this, for it’s the young who do the fighting and dying when a peace fails and a war begins.” ~ President Ronald Reagan

“Today is the day we put aside to remember fallen heroes and to pray that no heroes will ever have to die for us again. It’s a day of thanks for the valor of others, a day to remember the splendor of America and those of her children who rest in this cemetery and others. It’s a day to be with the family and remember.” President Ronald Reagan

This next photo is not from the Arlington National Cemetery but one I took at a traveling replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in D.C.

“The monument was created as a service to those who might never travel to the nation’s capital to experience the Vietnam Veterans Memorial firsthand,” said Donna Wagner, director of Dignity Memorial providers in Seattle. “Our replica offers visitors a chance for healing and reflections, and we are very pleased to be able to share it with the community.”  ~ Donna Wagner

Another quote from President Ronald Reagan ~ May 25, 2009

“I know that many veterans of Vietnam will gather today, some of them perhaps by the wall. And they’re still helping each other on. They were quite a group, the boys of Vietnam — boys who fought a terrible and vicious war without enough support from home, boys who were dodging bullets while we debated the efficacy of the battle. It was often our poor who fought in that war; it was the unpampered boys of the working class who picked up the rifles and went on the march. They learned not to rely on us; they learned to rely on each other. And they were special in another way: They chose to be faithful. They chose to reject the fashionable skepticism of their time. They chose to believe and answer the call of duty. They had the wild, wild courage of youth. They seized certainty from the heart of an ambivalent age; they stood for something.

And we owe them something, those boys. We owe them first a promise: That just as they did not forget their missing comrades, neither, ever, will we. And there are other promises. We must always remember that peace is a fragile thing that needs constant vigilance. We owe them a promise to look at the world with a steady gaze and, perhaps, a resigned toughness, knowing that we have adversaries in the world and challenges and the only way to meet them and maintain the peace is by staying strong.” ~ Ronald Reagan

Tomb of the Unknown Soldier

Prayers are always in our hearts and minds for our Son-in-law Andrew serving with the Marines!

We’re flying the flags for you Andrew!

Semper Fi!