Sunshine State

As I see the rain steadily drip outside of the window, and crane my neck to watch the ominous grey clouds gather and lay low on the horizon, I settle back in my seat and remember what I affectionately call “Sunshine State.”

We don’t get down to Florida all that often, but that makes it an even bigger treat when,  after the long hours in the car, we finally cross the Sunshine Skyway bridge and breathe in the salty sea air.  A couple of weeks ago, Mom, Elise and I were blessed to be able to by-pass the car ride and fly down to Florida instead.  Elise and I had never flown before, so it was serious case of broadening our horizons (no pun intended😉 )  When we boarded in Virginia, the thermometer had slowly crept up to 40 degrees {NOT promising}.  But when our plane finally touched down in Tampa and we disembarked, we were greeted by a wave of 80-ish heat.  Oh, that’s when I knew that summer was right around the corner:)

Though we mostly spent our time relaxing – depending on who is defining the term😉  – we were also able to do several fun things together, including frequent ice cream stops, fishing, fancy dinners on the waterfront, touring Naples {including a lovely historic pier with Dolphins❤ } and last but not least, parasailing.  That was a blast!
I think I was probably the most adventurous party member, trying everything from alligator tacos, to grouper reubens.   Mmm …. makes me hungry just thinking about it!


There now … I wanted to add some more photos to this post of our grand adventures, but WordPress is telling me that I have maxed our our blog space.  *cue the tears*    I’m going to try to resolve that as soon as possible, because I would be so sad if I couldn’t post anymore on our blog!

Until then …. Just know that we had lots of fun😉

Cozy Campfires

Each year, when the leaves start their slow descent from the lofty branches, and the air begins to smell like fog, smoke and apples all rolled into one, and it’s just chilly enough for a light-weight jacket, my thoughts turn towards campfires.

It’s that time of the year again.  We all grab a jacket, and then pass an hour or two, singing our favorite hymns and looking up at the stars.  And sometimes, we bring out the ice cream.  What’s not to love?  : )

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He Can’t Stop Grinning ….

… and here’s why!

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Elijah James Meggs & Faith Elizabeth Grubb are officially engaged!!❤

 

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Please keep the new couple and us in your prayers as we enter this exciting stage of life!

 

 

 

The Yellow Rose of Texas

WOW. WOW. WOW.
The happenings around our place recently has everybody in a sort of dither and a few brains have broken loose from their heads.  We are super happy one moment and giving enthusiastic shouts of “HURRAH!”, but then the next moment finds a few tears and sad hearts.   What in the world is all the commotion about? 

It is with a great deal of mounting anticipation and joy that am sitting down to write this post on a humid afternoon here in Virginia.  Of course, now you’re curious and wondering why, but I can’t just tell you right off the bat.  There’s a story behind every story and I’ll start at the beginning so as not to spoil it😉

 Sunday afternoon was supposed to be clear and hot, and after several days of rain clouds, we were ready to enjoy the outdoors again.  Immediately after church, we made some quick sandwiches and piled into the van to go hiking.  An hour or so found us parking the van at the base of Tinkers Cliff, checking water bottles and starting out on an 8-mile hike.
For the records, it was the longest one we’ve done yet!  I have dreams of someday hiking the entire ridge, about 30 miles, in one day.  I am trying to talk my siblings into doing with me😉
Some of the family members had a little trouble pushing themselves that far, but most of us were eager to hike quickly and reach the top, testing our bodies limit.   If you don’t test yourself, you’ll never know your capabilities.  And if you don’t push yourself, you’ll never increase your capabilities.  That’s my motto, at least.

This was a vigorous hike, with many steep hills to conquer.

We usually *try* to stay together as a family while hiking, but although we start that way, it rarely finishes the same.  Some get worn out while others only feel more energetic as time goes by.  Those who accept the challenge usually push harder as the end comes in view, leaving behind those who wish to relax for a spell.   Because of the quick, small lunch and limited water supply, several of the family decided to stop and rest, so Charis and I pushed ahead of the others and reached the top long before everyone else.  It was BREATHTAKING!! I was not prepared for the sight of the Roanoke Valley stretching before me and the other nearby mountains which created a little green and peaceful hollow.  If I close my eyes right now, I am almost imagine that I am back, dangling my feet over the edge of the cliff and letting the breeze blow through my sweaty hair.  Ahhhh:)

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We sat at the top for a while before deciding to head back down.   Gathering people and counting heads …. Suddenly, Mom says, “Hey, my phone keeps buzzing!”  She opened the text messages and begins reading ….

“…. But, I am NOT looking forward to leaving Texas.  Please pray for us.  – Elijah.”

This brings us to a very important fact of which you should be notified before we continue this narrative.  Elijah did not hike with us that day.  He was in Texas visiting a family he met earlier this year and has communicated with frequently throughout the past few months.  What was the big deal?? Well …. We are happy to announce that Elijah has his own Yellow Rose of Texas.  Plain language, you say?!  Alrighty.  Here it is:

ELIJAH IS ENGAGED TO FAITH GRUBB FROM TEXAS!!!

I know you just did a double take. I didn’t even know he was considering or seeing somebody!  you exclaim.  And you’re right!  Elijah and Faith wanted to keep their relationship quiet for a while until they felt it was the right time to share it with everyone.  And that happens to be NOW!  If you are on Facebook or Instagram, you probably already heard the news because those places BLEW UP WITH PHOTOS AND EMOTICONS.  Quite literally. But if you’re not, now you know!
We are suuuuuuuuper excited for them as they plan their wedding and pray and prepare for mission work in Africa afterwards.  They have similar personalities with lots of go-to and dreams, so I call them the power couple.  A duo of GET. IT. DONE. Which is part of the reason their relationship moved so fast and took shape.   They knew God’s hand was in it and that He was blessing them tremendously, sooooo …. why wait??😉

Of course, that news gave us all fresh energy to make it back down the mountain and head home.  When Dad stopped at a little local pizza shop and bought dinner for everyone, we hooked up all our phones and iPods with the wi-fi there to receive the MANY photos and videos that the Grubb family sent us.  To say we were not able to fully appreciate that scrumptious pizza is an understatement.
It is a rather complicated story to tell, so you should read Faith’s version of it.  ;)  I know you’ll enjoy it.  {And note all the exclamation marks …. *somebody* is VERY happy!!!}

We thank the Lord for their desire to serve God and pray that He will use them TOGETHER to further His kingdom!

This post may not make a lot of sense, because when I said we were “in a dither”, I was not joking!  It’s a lot to take in when the oldest child in a family gets married and leaves the ranks.  It’s a bittersweet thing to experience.  But I am so happy for them and wish them the very best!
And I’ll keep you updated on the “lovebirds”❤

To God be the Glory Great Things He hath done!