May 17, 2010

Family Fun! Ready to go again!!!

I finally downloaded some of my pix from my family trip last month and just had to share, ya'll!  And, until I have grand babies to brag about, I'll just have to brag on my wonderful kids.....they rock!!!  I am truly one blessed mama with the best daughter - Katie and best son - Chris and the absolute best SIL - Bryan (whose just like a son to us!) and absolute best DIL - Laraine (whose just like a daughter to us!)!!  We are doubly blessed!!  Hallelujah!!  What more could I possibly ask for.....um, let's see----GRAND BABIES, ya'll, GRAND BABIES - hint, hint!! LOL!

I digress......back to my family photo's!!  Our family trip to FL was planned around Bryan's homecoming from deployment with festivities and then on to Disney for family fun.  We also celebrated my b'day, my Sweeties b'day and Chris and Laraine's anniversary.  How thoughtful of the US Navy to plan Bryan's return around our special day's too, lol!!  We had a whole lot of celebratin' to do, let me tell you!!!

As I shared in a previous post, I was soooo bummed to miss out on Bryan's homecoming and festivities but had to stay behind in AZ to help with my mama's care and joined my family a week later.  BUT, I so enjoy all the photos taken of that special day and share a few of them below.  We are so proud of Bryan and honor his and all other committed service members who so willingly sacrifice to protect our freedoms.  This also goes for their spouses who stand strong and "hold down the fort" at home.  Until MY daughter became a military spouse I absolutely had no understanding of the sacrifices that they make as well.  We, as Americans are indebted to our sailors and soldiers and their spouses and families!!!  (Didn't know I was gonna get on my flag waving patriotic soap box......but, GOD BLESS AMERICA, ya'll!!)!

Whoo hooo!....So here we go with the photos:

The evening before the boat returned
there was a candlelight vigil with flowers 
 tossed into the sea to symbolize a
 safe return and welcome home to their sailors!


Katie and Dad

She was really into this......it meant only a few more hours until
Bryan's boat would appear on the horizon!!

Early next morning family and friends gathered at the base........so excited to see Bryan's boat now....whoo hoo - he's almost home!!!  PTL!!!


My Sweetie "Dad" is ready to see Bryan - GO NAVY!!

I luv this photo of my Katie.....She's leaning against the huge welcome home banner 
waiting for her man!!

And I just had to add this one....my personal fav (it's a mom thing!!)!!
Does she look happy or what??!!

Soooo excited!!  Just a few more minutes!!!

There he is!!!!


Tears, hugs and kisses...........her hero is safely home!!  Thank you Lord!!!

Home Sweet Home - together again!!

Hammock time in the backyard with Mac and Shorty!  
So glad their "dad's" home!



The next day it's on to our fam fav!!
The Beach Hut Cafe!  
We loved it when we lived in Jacksonville for many years
and always eat there whenever we visit!
The owner's are such a blessing!
They had a huge "Welcome Home Bryan" banner,
a beautiful cake 
and publicly thanked and honored Bryan for his service.
It was awesome!! Such a blessing to my kids and family!!
(If you're ever in Jacksonville Beach be sure to check out Beach Hut Cafe for breakfast or a wonderful blue plate special lunch....it's where the locals eat - flipflops, surfboards, beach hat's and all
....you'll love it!!).


Katie surprised Bryan with a new Beach Cruiser bike.  
They love cruising the beach together (she has a pink one)!


And then on to Disney, Epcot, Animal Kingdom and Typhoon Lagoon!....Whooo! Hooo!
We stayed at the Royal Plaza near downtown Disney.  This is the second family trip
we've stayed there and really like it.  Note:  If you're ever thinking about heading to Disney, be
sure to join Mousesavers.com (it's free) before you make any reservations!  Through Mousesavers we've gotten FABULOUS rates (including breakfast) and  soooo happy with the Royal Plaza!  Oh and Mousesavers has great specials and tips for Disneyland too.....check it out!!

I just have to show you my fav Mickey Waffle breakfast (included with our special rate through Mousesavers.com).

Luv my Mickey Waffle!! 
(Who cares about carbs when you're on vaca anyway)!  
Uh, I'll take a side of grits with my waffle please.....Just kidding, ya'll (maybe!!)!



Now, back to Disney!  By the time we arrived in Orlando it was pitch black skies and raining cats and dogs!  I bought rain slickers for everyone in the park (not cheap! yikes!) and decided to brave it and enjoy the fun!  Not many photos, however, because getting our camera's out in the rain and taking a shot wasn't easy.....bummer!   We had a good time though sloshing around!!

Always love the ginormous merry-go-round!


Watching the fire works (in the dark) during a brief break in the down pour!

Everyone was worn out and water logged but had such a wonderful time!!
Who say's you can't make memories in the pouring rain!!

The next several days were filled with Epcot, Animal Kingdom and
Typhoon Lagoon
 and 
copious amounts of junk food!   
Sooo much fun!!!!

Here we are in the future on Spaceship Earth in Epcot!!
This was so much fun having my Sweetie and I superimposed into the future.
I think we're supposed
to be doing some kind of futuristic underwater farming??!!
 Oh and I especially love just how THIN I look - hmmmm all I need is a Lifestyle Lift for my face, LOL!!
  I see me in the future and
I look much better than I do right now!!!  Glory!!

Love Animal Kingdom!!

Everything in Animal Kingdom is so lush and green and jungly!!
 Ya see the snow capped peaks behind us?
That's Everest!!  The roller coaster from......well, you know what I mean!!
Chris takes after me!  We'd barf our heads off if we road that thing!
But, my Hubs, Katie, Bryan and Laraine LOVE it!!
Chris and I think there crazy, LOL!!

Last stop - Typhoon Lagoon!!  Whoo! Hooo!
I absolutely LOVE doing absolutely nothing here.....vegging in the shade with an occasional float down the lazy river is absolutely heaven.....I mean heaven, ya'll! 
 Let the rest of my fam do all the fun and crazy water rides, but let me do my thing - NOTHING!!!


Yes and there I am!  That's me in the far distance waving!
  There is no way in this universe
 I'd ever post a photo of me in a bathing suit but thanks to the free floating 
tube that just happened to block the shot, I'm posting it!!!
Glory Hallelujah, that's me just floating awaaaaaay and not wanting
to ever come back.......can you relate!!


So, thanks for letting me share my vaca photo's with you.  
I hope I didn't bore you, but this a peek into my family.

We're much like you and yours.
Ordinary and far from perfect.....
Simply trusting in the Grace and Mercies of The Perfect One,
resting in His Love and Faithfulness
and standing upon His Promises.

My wonderful kids are all grown up now! 
The Lord has them on their own walk with Him ......
Living out their own testimony!
My mama's heart trusts that His Hand is strong upon them!!
Leading, guiding and protecting them each day!

My Kids!!

Bryan and Katie


Chris and Laraine


I am sooo blessed!
Glory to God!


From the fullness of His Grace we have received 
one blessing after another.
John 1:16 NIV

Have an abundantly blessed week, ya'll!

He is Faithful!!

Luv, Hugs and Sweet Blessings!

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29 comments:

Jacquelyn Stager said...

happy days are here again! awesome pictures -- especially the one of Katy greeting her sailor! That photo should get an award!

Wylie @ Shout A Joyful Noise! said...

These are WONDERUL!!!!! Makes me long for the beach with the family!!! Nothing like it!!
Wylie

They call me "Deb" said...

Thank you for sharing your pics. What a wonderful time of celebration of family!
Now... you tell those kids of your's that we're all waiting to see Grand-babies!!!

Andrea said...

My favorite part is Bryan coming back....I am sitting hear with mommie tears...my son (a marine) leaves soon on a naval boat for a destination I am not allowed to share for about 6 months or so. They never stop being our babies...I know you guys are happy to have him back with you even if it is just for a while.
Blessings, hugs, and prayers,
andrea

Cathy said...

What a wonderful post. I love the Disney photos of course, since that is my most favorite vacation spot. Please thank your son-in-law and daughter for their service to our country. I so much loved reading about and seeing the pictures of his homecoming!!!

christy rose said...

Awww! Such great pictures of such a sweet homecoming. I had to choke back a few tears just reading and seeing those pics. And I loved seeing the rest of your time altogether in pics at Disney. There is no better place to celebrate with family. :)

DORCAS said...

Awesome! So glad your son is home. Looks like you all had a great time! I love spending time with family!

~blessings

Dorcas

Stephani said...

What fun! Looks like you had more fun than one person can handle! I love the picture of Katy from behind looking at the boat in the distance. ~ My nephew is a Lieutenant Commander in the Navy. He's a nuclear submarine officer, soI'm a bit partial to the Navy!

Sheryl said...

first of all, i love the new blog look. where have i been??

what a great story you tell through your words and pictures. i cannot imagine katy's excitement to see her man.

so glad that you all got to enjoy family time together!

Brenda said...

I am so happy for you. It looks like you all had a wonderful time together.

Karen said...

This was awesome! So glad for this special family time for you....

Nana Jul said...

What a glorious vacation, and you so needed it! Thanks for the glimpse into your family, and May God bless our children and children's children!! Great post! Makes me smile! The Lord lavishes his love on us!
Love,
Julie

Beth.. One Blessed Nana said...

oh, what great pictures! Looks like y'all had such fun!

Debra said...

I've so enjoyed visiting your blog this morning, by way of Rose's blog,and reading about your wonderful family and vacation!

We have many blessings in common!

Will be back to visit again soon.

Linda said...

What beautiful photos and it looks as if everyone had a wonderful time!
Spending time with family is always so precious.
Have a great day!
Blessings.

Saleslady371 said...

What a beautiful family. Your pictures tell of all the fun. I appreciate Bryan's service to our country and Katy's sacrifice as well!

Hugs,
Mary

elaine @ peace for the journey said...

Beautiful family; joy-filled homecoming! A small reminder of what it will be like for us when we cross that finish line and are reunited with those who've gone before us and who now wait for our arrival to shore!

Wow, I know how much time it took you to put this together. Thank you for sharing this with us.

peace~elaine

Deborah Ann said...

Whew, you sure crammed in a lot in a short amount of time! Loved the pics, especially of Bryan's homecoming.

Your new blog design is out of this world! Love it!

Teresa @ Grammy Girlfriend said...

Loved lookins at all your pictures....I have had so little time to catch up on my favorite blogs. Hope you will stop by...I have a great Disney giveaway...
http://teresa-grammygirlfriend.blogspot.com/

http://teresa-grammygirlfriend.blogspot.com/2010/05/disney-giveaway.html

Rebecca said...

Oh girl...I'm going to have fun checking our more of your blog!

Looks so warm and inviting!

Love to you~Rebecca

Sonja said...

when I open your blog it makes me smile!! It's just so perky and the colors are super!!

Loved all these pictures Jackie... what a great and special time and how proud of must be... I'M proud!!!

Hugs!

Sonja

Diana said...

Awesome pictures and memories!!! Come see me.

myletterstoemily said...

oh i love those reunions! so sweet!

i had to smile at your blog name,
because my husband is in the oil
business . . . not the oil spill business!

Lady Farmer said...

Hi Jackie!
I'm so glad you 'stumbled' upon my humble little blog! It is so fun *meeting* new friends, isn't it? Thanks for your sweet comment. I'll be back to visit soon!
Be Blessed!
p.s. I hope you have some *real* grand babies soon! They are soo much fun you'll wonder why you didn't have them first! ;~P

Kathy said...

Hello Jackie..
Nice to meet you and your family!
A great post !
Loved ready about this homecoming...
feel like I know your whole family now.
God Bless everyone,
xoxo~Kathy @
Sweet Up-North Mornings...

Barbara said...

Oh such a wonderful post, so many happy faces, you can see the joy in your faces, I really enjoyed it. lots of hugs, Barbara

Emily said...

I loved your pics! I have a sailor, too! Thanks for sharing and thanks for stopping by my blog!

J+M+S said...

Just beautiful!!!Family is the BEST and looks like you have a wonderful one!

Leah said...

Hi Jackie, You have a wonderful blog. I am out scouting for new blogs to follow and hopefully get a "follow back" from, so I'd love for you to stop over and check out my site when you can! Have a great weekend and may He pour the fresh oil over you!!

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