Tonight I thought I'd write just a bit of our year and wrap it up nice and neat with a pretty bow on it...
It's New Years Eve and it's Ray, Grant & I...oh, and the Dallas Stars, some random other football game and who knows what other sporting event they'll come across on the TV...borrrring!! I know my life very shortly will be me with these 2 guys and SPORTS...WHY ARE MY GIRLS LEAVING HOME!!!? ; ) just kidding!
Ray and I are celebrating year 31 next mth and just got home from Hawaii where we LOVED it and will go back - hopefully with our kids. We love being together and every time we go on a trip we miss our kids but we leave saying - man, when they're gone...we will be a-ok! Marriage is amazing and I recommend it highly; ) He's still the best and I couldn't be more grateful! Health is good, happy, work was amazing this year and GOD, is AWESOME!! Many opportunities to minister this year - young couples is what we love but anyone that needs loved on and an ear to listen, we are there. Looking forward to walking by my handsome hunk of a husband in 2014!! We are ready to welcome our 1st grandbaby into our family NEXT MONTH!! Lyla Ray is due in 53 days but who's counting...I AM!! We believe we're about to walk into the greatest season of our lives! It's gonna be the best!!
So, Rachel and Sarah are in Israel right now. I've lost count how many times Rachel has been there but I think 5 or 6. Sarah has been 1 other time but it was in 2006 and she was in a much different time in her life. I'm SO happy they're there and they're together. They're having a wonderful time and the icing on the cake is MEGAN came over from Jordan to spend the 10 days with the girls. Lots to say about these 3 amazing women. Man oh man!! They're so brave to travel so far away, to an area that the world says is not so safe, (even though they feel safer there then some place in America) and be fearless and responsible and adventurous and awesome!! I'd sooo love to say they got it allll from ME, but that isn't even the truth! The Lord so perfectly planned it all out and it was a sight to see - how perfect everything went. Did I mention they planned the trip within 2 weeks of leaving? Yeah, thats the favor of God! He so loves to bless my kids. I like to tell them that it's because they're such good kids to us (I think they bought it because they've always been THE BEST) - so, they're there seeing the land and enjoying each other. New Job for Rach this year & she moved out so she could be closer to that job. She has the most precious roommate and we couldn't be happier for her!! It'll be a full year at Gateway Church next week but a new position in a different dept and my oh my, she LOVES her job! Sarah is coming back from Israel and starting a whole new job. I'll let her announce that but we're super excited for her. She still leads worship some at her church and loves her community there. They're both just a joy to parent!! It's unbelievable to see your children walking out their destiny & purpose. I love my 2 eldest! They blow me away at their maturity in the Lord, their wisdom and their trust in the Lord's plan for their lives!! They both lead such full/fun lives and it makes this Momma HAPPY!
Hannah & Austin - OH MY GOSH!! We can now officially say that next month LYLA WILL BE HERE!!! Hannah is 32 1/2 weeks pregnant and she is probably the most beautiful pregnant lady there ever was, for real! She's had a pretty good pregnancy and I really couldn't be any prouder of her. We're having a blast decorating Ms. Lyla's room and in a couple of weeks she'll have her baby showers. That will be so fun to put the final touches on the room. It's seriously so unbelievably exciting, that our family really can hardly talk about it because it makes the wait harder. Hannah is so ready to be Lyla's Mommy! I can't wait to see her heart burst out of her chest when she lays her eyes on her daughter!! She's gonna be the best Mommy - oh my, Lyla is blessed to have her for her Mom. Austin is at a new Lifechurch campus in Keller, since around Aug/Sept. He's loving it there and it's a bit far for us to go every week but we go when we can. Love our son in love, SO much!! Such a perfect fit in our family. I equally can't wait for Lyla to be wrapped around his little finger! He's going to be the BEST!! The patience and love that he shows my baby, it's the most precious thing to watch. So the Benjamins are looking forward to this year wrapping up because next year (next MONTH) is sweet baby Lyla!! Did I mention we can't wait?? Proud of these 2. Their marriage is strong and their relationship with the Lord is even stronger! I love that!!
Olivia is great as always! She's had a fun year and a not so fun end to her year. BUT, if there's anybody out there that's more trusting and happy and positive, I want to meet them. She's the most happy-go-lucky person, easy going, positive and precious!! 21 she turned this year but my goodness she's so far wiser then that #! She's still a nanny to "her" precious twins and she loves them so much & I think the feeling is mutual. She's still the glue that keeps our family together tight, our rock and the 1 we laugh at the most. I'm expectant of a happy 2014 for my blonde beauty and all I know is she'll be happy and have fun doing whatever God has her doing. My prayer is all her life she does everything with such excitement, always up for anything and lives life to the very fullest! Love my Liv!
Mr. Grant. My baby. My son. My boy!! Ummm...he's officially now taller then his DAD!! 5'10 at 13 and he couldn't be prouder! 1/2way through his 8th grade year and highschool is sneaking up on us. HOW?? He played football for school and loved it. He's still a great student. He loves his video games but loves being with his family more. Such a precious little brother to his sisters and the finest son a Mom & Dad could EVER raise. He's my "i love you" kid. Never does he leave a room without shouting - i love you Mom. Probably over 10 times a day he yells it out. And not just to me, to everyone. He's still Grandma's buddy and he spends a lot of time with her. He mowed all Summer, YES and he's a really hard worker. He loves to go get wood and do whatever they do there. He's a fine MIT (man in training) and I thank God for him.
And last but not least - Grandma! SHE'S AMAZING as always!! Health is great, still sharp as a tack! Loves working on alllll her many projects and spend lots of her day PRAYING for our huge family! She's the best and we can't believe that this last Sept was the beginning of 18 years with her living in our home. We LOVE it!!
So that's a wrap of 2013. Quite the thumbnail of the year but I feel good writing a bit of it down. Odds are good the next time I blog it will be because LYLA is here. Maybe I'll blog about the baby showers but no promise. HAPPY NEW YEAR friends and family. I pray a blessing over you all!!
Here's a couple pics of the kids last week at our family Christmas party. Austin was still at work when we took the pic of the 5 so here's 1 of the 3 of them, when he got there.