Mom wrote in her journal on Jan. 5, 2009:
A new year like so many before it and so many to come. A year full of hope and promise. It is a year of growing in the Lord, letting go of more and more to His Sovereignty (not my controlling will). It will be a year of learning, grieving, rejoicing, and pondering. I know this to be true for it has been true for the last 45 1/2 years!!
True enough, it has be a year of many emotions, trials, and joys. Here is brief look into the past...
2009 began with Josh preparing to end his four month deployment in Qatar. He was returning to his lovely bride Jennifer in Aviano, Italy! They had only been married seven months when he returned. On June 7th they celebrated their first wedding anniversary!
Garrison was in the throws of Marine Boot Camp in San Diego, CA. We were tremendously blessed to receive his one phone call home on January 1st. What was also amazingly providential was Garr's old boss and his family were here for dinner and so could enjoy the 2 minute conversation as well!!
January also brought lots of snow. Mom slid the van off the driveway. Here are all the guys trying to get it back on with Dad at the wheel.
February 1st, Rebecca turned 12 years old. Our 'baby' is growing up. She is a most confident and assured young lady. Straight as an arrow in heart, she is as wiggly as jello in focus! She is a joy and delight, a true leader of her sisters in righteousness.
On February 24th, thanks to monetary help from Meme and Granddad, the whole family boarded a plane for CA! It was an exciting trip (even saw the Grand Canyon from the air). We were headed to see Garrison graduate from USMC Boot Camp! Gramma and Papa met us there. They drove from VA to CA! Pretty cool!
Before meeting Garr on the base we got to step into the Pacific Ocean and spent a day at the San Diego Zoo.
February 26th, the day we had been waiting for, we finally got to 'see' Garr in the morning...
It was not till after the 'Liberty Ceremony' ..........
....did we get to finally hug our boy turned man! A civilian turned Marine!!!
We enjoyed lunch, meeting his DI's, and some shopping before sending him back for one more night of sleeping at MCRD! The Hectors and two Davis' joined us for the festivities!
The next day, February 27th, Pvt. T. Garrison Sanford graduates a Marine on his 20th birthday!!
Happy Birthday Garrison!!
So Garrison comes home for two weeks before he heads back for more training. It is a bit-sweet time.
See you in July Garrison!
March brings one of our most favorite yearly events...Liberty Day! It is a wonderful time of learning about our nation's historical foundations as well as watching a reenactment of Patrick Henry's speech "Give me liberty or give me death!". Yes, the girls made their own costumes. Mom made hers and Dad's.
The boys reenacted the battle of Bunker Hill. The girls did some dancing.
March 22nd, we are interviewed by the Peoria Star Journal newspaper because of our relationship with Lifesong for Orphans ministry based in Gridley, IL. They are the organization that gave us two matching grants to help us bring home our children from Russia and the Philippines in 2003 and 2005 respectively.
March 30th, Elaina turned 12!! She is a young lady of many smiles and such a warm heart. She eagerly welcomes anyone into her fellowship but also enjoys her alone time; a lot like her mama! Elaina has a strong heart for the Lord and is always desiring to please Him. This is most seen in her desire to please her Dad, honoring him in her heart and actions.
Friday, April 3rd, Josh and Jen surprised us with a phone call..."You are going to be grandparents!", they said. We were thrilled for them and us! But they wanted to wait until Monday, April 6th, to have the official blood work had been done before announcing it to the world. The call came but not over Skype like how we expected. Josh phoned his Dad at work to say they cannot find the baby by ultrasound and are admitting her into the hospital for more tests. Josh also told us that he had jokingly nicknamed the baby 'Jonah' as he was hiding from all who wanted to see him! Two and a half weeks later they called to tell us the news. Jennifer was miscarrying Jonah. It was sad news, but the Lord had given them peace. The Lord is so merciful and gracious to give us this little one as a heritage and a reward even though we must wait to met him in heaven.
May brings sunshine for planting our garden, paintball at the Ryken's, Presbytery in TN, and the Homeschool Choir concert.
garden and cooking
Melinda 'road trips' with the Hectors and some McDonalds.
Jr. Choir Concert Choir
The girls start taking Tap dancing lessons with Mrs. Degenhart at church. Here they are practicing in our basement.
Memorial Day at the Price's home. Heated games of volley ball and a bonfire cookout...what fun!!
June includes William turning 18 while at Boot Camp and Derick 16 years old. The garden starts to show promise of a good harvest. Peter gets Garrison's old gas-powered remote- control car running.
July brings us to the Sanford Family annual Fourth of July cookout. Except this year we had to have a cook-in at the church due to a very rainy 4th. Garrison was able to fly in for the weekend as he had a 96 hour leave.
~To be continued..........