So many of my Endless Gifts seem to revolve around the blessings of not being isolated and having loved people in my life right now… I have been so very blessed by a dear Aunt who has made herself available to watch children while I go to now weekly OB visits- and she loves our kids and just enjoys them. It is a joy just to see her and visit with her. Then there is my brother- who as one child commented- “this is just a whole new world- Uncle Ryan can come over for a few hours on a weeknight and visit!” Just this very week- I will have seen an Aunt on Monday, a dear friend on Tuesday- and hopefully get to meet my niece and nephew in person for the first time on Saturday- and

what can I say- to the seeming marvel of having my very own mom sleeping over here on my birthday and a dinner out with my love- to Olive Garden- no less- on my birthday!!

I wonder if I will get used to it? And I might- but I also know that our life in the mountains is knit in our very soul and it formed good things within- and those things will always be with us- and some of that does revolve around knowing what it is like to live an hour and a half away from a Sam’s Club and certain doctors.  And I learned so much and was molded by the culture of our life there…

We do not take the conveniences for granted- and in them- we do sigh relief. And yet, some things are all so strange. Yes, a relocation is an adjustment and a process and we step through it day by day.  It is an interesting mix of familiarity and newness.

I do not take ANY of this for granted. It is all a wonder and a blessing and I am thankful.

And the best gift of today- Valentine’s Day- my sweet, sweet 6 year old- who crafted a handmade card- just for me. Two large construction paper hearts- and on one- a picture of us- sitting together on the couch, working a reading lesson together. Sweet doesn’t begin to capture it. And my heart turns because this little one has been much on my heart- and I have been trying to stretch out in ministry to him. I need to do more. Lord, help me. My sweet girl made Valentines too- and I haven’t opened hers yet- so I could be stricken again… and she laid a beautiful hand crafted one on a tightly made bed for her Daddy.

So- onto the gathered list over these last few weeks….

Watching  twins play together in one playpen.

Nathanael- three robins in the yard on a sunny day

Mellie’s affectionate, generous hugs and kisses

Signing with the babies

One room at a time being put in order

Avoiding extreme weather: so far we have missed- an ice storm, a flood, two tornado warnings and almost five inches of snow.

Story time with my little boys

An early morning rest with one little boy snuggled next to me and one cozy right next to the couch on the floor. They bring extra blankets and “share.”

Visits from family. Seeing Tia, Aunt M’Kay, Aunt Joanie, Ryan, with plans for Amy, and Colin, and Mom and Dad too. On the calendar- bringing hope and happiness.  It is nice. So nice. (since I wrote this- Nikki, and Aunt Jeanie, and Colin and co., too. )

A little girlie with a hair- tie in her hair. Blond spike sticking straight up. 🙂

The Kindle Fire.  We have begun using this for some of our school readings. So nice!! 

High Speed internet.

Getting settled- slowly…

Cozy, comfy clothes

Thrilled, thrilled that our extended family is going to be 8 and 8 with grandsons and granddaughters.:)

A pair of bluebirds, perched on the deck

Golden goldfinches.

A grouse spotted by Tall Son.

Mellie, “goochie, goochie goo”ing to Aymee, sharing “blub blubs” (blankies) and giving kisses.. “mmmm-Mah!” Signing and saying “cry, cry” when sister is crying.

Babies signing and stating (maybe demanding…) to “Play!Play!
First Maryland Snow

Her first solo steps

Tall siblings and little twins, hands held, strolling the loop round the downstairs.

His eyes, blinking wide, behind those precious glasses

His sweet, gentle, obedient heart

The surprising array of wildlife in our backyard

The letter in the mail with reassuring news

Clean carpets and the dear one who made it happen

My birthday: news that the baby is head down- on track to avoid a c- section! Best gift. My own mom in my house on my birthday with my kiddos and me. Olive Garden (!) dinner out with my love. Roses from a sweet aunt and precious hand-made birthday cards. I blink the amazement.

A precious package in the mail.

Dear friends who stretch out to us across the miles with love and prayers…

Sunny day.

So very very thankful for how far Asher has come over the years, and how much he can be around without reacting at this time.

Great blood pressure heading into week 37 of this pregnancy.

Baby who turns and twists within and loves music and the voices of her family.

A dinner out with an old time friend to Chili’s no less- and I spark the wonder of it all to Todd. And he totally gets it.

Year of Grace CD by Robin Mark. Especially Track titled- One Day… Love it. Gift from a dear friend and the worship ministers so much. It is, it is, it is a year of grace.

Oldest two sons making dinner almost completely by themselves. Chicken Enchilada Bake. I helped a bit- but they manned it and I appreciate it! 

dear, dear North Carolina/Georgia friends who remember me in cards and emails and prayers. I have you in my heart- and I can say- forever- because we will, one day, have forever.