Joshua's Homecoming Video

Monday, September 26, 2011

The Pumpkin Festival

So the Pumpkin Festival was a fabulous hit!!  Seriously, this festival rivals Christmas in my children's eyes.  For those of you who have never heard of the Pumpkin Festival, my small town produces much of the canned pumpkin you find in your grocery stores.  If it is Nestle pumpkin pie filling, it came from my town.  That being said, we celebrate everything pumpkin........pumpkin pie, pumpkin pancakes, pumpkin donuts, pumpkin pumpkin pumpkin!!!  So here are some pictures of my crew enjoying the carnival rides and the parade.  Joshua is pretty sociable so I thought he would like the Pumpkin Festival.  Oh my!  He LOVED it!!  Lots of times his mouth just gaped open in AWE of everything he saw.  He's so precious! 

Balloon Release at the opening
Savannah with her toothless grin - so cute!!

Joshua after releasing his balloon!

Let the rides begin - my 3 oldest.....
we took turns big kid rides, then little kid rides....worked pretty good

this is how we survived the crowds with my 3 littles.....
here they are watching a the big kids ride.

The Train Ride.....
when you have enough kids you get a whole car to yourself.

Joshua's Favorite - The Cars

I think he waved the whole time.

If you look real close you will see the Alligator Tears.
This was due to the extreme sadness of getting off the car ride.

Todd's turn to participate......
in my old age, I can barely endure much more going round and round...

Sweet boy!

The Fishing Game -
every year this game usually causes a tantrum in one or more of my children
they love it so much.

The mouth agape in awe....


My new niece from China - precious!! 

Lining the streets to watch the is so much fun!! 

Love this picture of Tori and my nieces! 

Jesse just went around eating food off of
everyone else's boy. 

Probably my favorite thing was
Joshua getting into the candy at the parade. 

He would get a piece of candy and throw it back onto the street
He ended up with no candy and probably had the best time of anybody! 

Love the expressions!   

Grandpa and Joshua

My sweet nephew 

Brotherly Love 

Monday, September 12, 2011

Here We Go!

 Guess who started school today?

 Joshua was one happy boy!! 

 Here comes the bus!! 

At last!!

 Bye Bye Papa! 

Bye Bye Mama!!

It's Gonna Be a Good Day!! 

Friday, September 2, 2011

A Blue Rose

A good friend of mine sent me this story to me the other day.......Beautiful!  Thanks Jody!

A Blue Rose

Having four visiting family members, my wife was very busy, so I offered to go to the store for her to get some needed items, which included light bulbs, paper towels, trash bags, detergent and Clorox. So off I went.

I scurried around the store, gathered up my goodies and headed for the checkout counter, only to be blocked in the narrow aisle by a young man who appeared to be about sixteen-years-old. I wasn't in a hurry, so I patiently waited for the boy to realize that I was there. This was when he waved his hands excitedly in the air and declared in a loud voice, "Mommy, I'm over here."

It was obvious now, he was mentally challenged and also startled as he turned and saw me standing so close to him, waiting to squeeze by. His eyes widened and surprise exploded on his face as I said, "Hey Buddy, what's your name?"

"My name is Denny and I'm shopping with my mother," he responded proudly.

"Wow," I said, "that's a cool name; I wish my name was Denny, but my name is Steve."

"Steve, like Stevarino?" he asked.  "Yes," I answered. "How old are you Denny?"

"How old am I now, Mommy?" he asked his mother as she slowly came over from the next aisle.

"You're fifteen-years-old Denny; now be a good boy and let the man pass by."

I acknowledged her and continued to talk to Denny for several more minutes about summer, bicycles and school. I watched his brown eyes dance with excitement, because he was the center of someone's attention. He then abruptly turned and headed toward the toy section.

Denny's mom had a puzzled look on her face and thanked me for taking the time to talk with her son. She told me that most people wouldn't even look at him, much less talk to him.

I told her that it was my pleasure and then I said something I have no idea where it came from, other than by the prompting of the Holy Spirit. I told her that there are plenty of red, yellow, and pink roses in God's Garden; however, "Blue Roses" are very rare and should be appreciated for their beauty and distinctiveness. You see, Denny is a Blue Rose and if someone doesn't stop and smell that rose with their heart and touch that rose with their kindness, then they've missed a blessing from God.

She was silent for a second, then with a tear in her eye she asked, "Who are you?"

Without thinking I said, "Oh, I'm probably just a dandelion, but I sure love living in God's garden."

She reached out, squeezed my hand and said, "God bless you!" and then I had tears in my eyes.

May I suggest, the next time you see a BLUE ROSE, don't turn your head and walk off. Take the time to smile and say Hello. Why? Because, by the grace of GOD, this mother or father could be you. This could be your child, grandchild, niece or nephew. What a difference a moment can mean to that person or their family.

From an old dandelion!  Live simply. Love generously. Care deeply. Speak kindly. Leave the rest to God.

"People will forget what you said, People will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel!".

If this story blesses you today Please consider sharing it with others.

Life is too short and friends are too few.