I haven’t written in quite a while. Not because there have not been things to write about but, because I allowed myself to get distracted by a lot of nothing. Of course, I have been busy with everyday activities; husband, children, chores, errands, etc. However, I’m back and I pray I have not lost your dedicated reading.
I do have something I’d like to share with you. On December 24th, my husband and I, along with our three youngest children, took a trip to New York to spend Christmas with my Father, Stepmom, sisters and their families. Our oldest son, his wife and toddler also went however, they stayed elsewhere. Unfortunately, our eldest child (daughter) was unable to be with us because she is serving our country and currently in Afghanistan. This was a trip we always wanted to take but, as you can imagine, can be very costly. We gave the children a choice of receiving gifts under a christmas tree or the trip. They chose the trip.
Our seven day family trip was very good. We stayed at my Father (Papi) and Stepmom’s (Ivy) 2 bedroom, 1 bathroom apartment. It sounds crazy but you don’t know Ivy. She is one of those women that knows how to use her space wisely. She is organized and extremely hospitable. She turned two bedrooms into 4. No, she didn’t use magic. She used love. Her and Papi gave up their bedroom with a queen size bed for Hubby and I. She made a very comfy pallet on the floor with a twin size cot, sleeping bag, quilt, down comforter, and pillow for our son. They Have two queen size air-mattresses. One mattress was blown up and placed in the living room, that’s where they slept. I tried to convince them to give us the air mattress but, they insisted. “This is more comfortable than our bed.” They claimed. The second air mattress was placed in the dining area for our two younger daughters. Ivy covered them with a fitted sheet, a down comforter to add additional comfort and a down comforter to cover up with. My sister, who lives at home, had her room. Everyone was nice and cozy! Although there was only one bathroom and eight people, we some how managed to schedule our bathroom use perfectly. In the mornings, beds were made, mattresses deflated and put away, comforters, etc. put in their place and furniture placed back in its perfect spot. Ivy, being the ‘Hostess with the Mostest’, Always had breakfast, lunch and dinner waiting for us. She always had a spread at the back of the dining area with cookies, crackers, fruit cake, cheese, hard salami and anything else that served as a quick snack or dessert. Let me not forget her wonderful coffee. It almost felt like we were staying in a Bed and Breakfast but with so much more personal care and comfort. The Bathroom was stocked with several different types of soap; bar soaps, liquid moisturizing soaps, exfoliating soap, face soap and anti-bacterial hand soap. “My face feels dry”. “Here, I have a face cream for you”. She would respond. “My Lips are chapped”. “Here is a lip balm”, As she handed it to me. What more could I ask for?
I loved watching Papi and my husband Eric, spend time laughing and talking about anything and everything. Everything felt so stress free. We laughed a lot, we ate a lot and we walked a lot. If you know anything about New York City, you know that it involves a lot of walking. Of course, I am not complaining because I’m sure it helped to burn some of the extra calories off. My younger sisters spent as much time as they possibly could with us and our personal tour guide was my brother-in-law, Sandra’s husband Gregg. Wow! He had so much patience with us. He drove us around, he took us by train, by bus and on foot. Whatever we wanted to do, he never complained! Thank you from the bottom of our hearts, Gregg! My other sister, Karen and her husband George, had us over for a winter BBQ. Yes, you read correctly….a winter BBQ. Apparently, my brother-in-law George is a fan of frozen fingers, a runny nose and smoke in his face but his food was great! Thanks George for battling the wind and cold to feed our bellies! Karen, was so busy making sure everything was okay, that I had to remind her to take a break and relax with us. We took some pictures with Papi and Ivy. We took some sister pics and some silly ones, too. Every moment that we were there was filled with family, good conversation and lots of love.
My very favorite part of the trip was the opportunity that The Lord gave us to have a bible study. Ivy asked Eric (Hubby) if he could please hold a study on Friday with the entire family. Of course, he did not hesitate to say, YES. It was an answer to my prayer. I asked The Lord to open a door for us to share His Word with them. I wanted it to be the perfect situation so they wouldn’t feel pressured. I wanted them to WANT to hear. Apparently, they were all touched by what what Eric taught because, my sister Karen asked if he would be willing to do another study the next evening at her house. YES! Lord, you are so good! No, your better than good, You are GOODER!! not only did he open the door once but twice for a bible study. My sisters all agreed that it was time to have The Lord in their lives and my brother-in-laws also felt the same. Even my Nephews and niece seemed eager to hear.
Since returning to Sunny and warm, Miami, Florida, I have received text messages from my sisters. They are excited about the door that was opened to them. They are eager to find a good church and begin their lives with God in it. Knowing that, made my vacation even more worth while. It made it GOODER!