Thursday, March 27, 2008

Grandma & Grandpa Decker's Visit

Grandma and Grandpa Decker came down from Illinois to spend a few days with us around Easter. The guys were planning on working on getting the trailer ready to rent again. This included tearing out carpet and lineoleum, washing and/or painting walls, and other miscelaneous fix-ups that needed attention. We girls had plans of doing a little shopping since Mom found this shoe store she really liked last time she was here.

But alas, many of our plans were foiled and spoiled. For 3 out of 5 of us were sick for at least some of the time (4 of 7, counting my brother and sister-in-law, who arrived on Saturday). Nevertheless, we enjoyed each other's company, and it was so nice to see them. I miss my parents very much, and often think of missionaries who are long distances from their families. The Lord must give them special grace. I am thankful for the time we had together and am looking forward to being together again.

Grandpa Decker & Avi eating pretzels and swinging. (She is wearing an outfit that I wore.)

This picture cracks me up every time I see it. Avi is trying out a couple of gifts from G&G. Grandpa picked out the hat for her, and she also got a new pacifier clip that has a lamb on it and reads, "Jesus loves me."

And this was Avi's announcement to Grandma & Grandpa. For those of you who can't see the caption at the bottom of the picture, it reads "Brand new big sister!" (11/01/08)

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Sweet Squeals

When we came home from church tonight, Avi Lou was in such a squeally mood. Our usual routine is to give her a bath and then wind down for bed. Some of my favorite times are when she is sitting on the bed while I'm getting things ready for her bath. She loves to giggle and play peek-a-boo. These are just some of the precious moments I cherish. We were fortunate enough to capture a little on video tonight. We hope you enjoy this glimpse of our little squealing sweetie!!

Monday, March 10, 2008

Couples' Retreat

It has been about 2 weeks since we attended the Faith for the Family Married Couples' Retreat in Gatlinburg, and we have been meaning to post. Our intentions included a picture slideshow, but we've obviously not mastered that element just yet. When we do figure out how to add the show, we'll be sure to add it to this post.

We had a wonderful time at the Retreat. It was held Thursday, February 28 - Saturday, March 1. Speakers included Pastor & Mrs. Sexton of Knoxville, TN, Chris & Kathi Lamb of Birmingham, AL, and David & Trish McCoy of McDonough, GA. There were sessions in the evenings (7:00 pm) and mornings (10:00 am). The morning sessions included split sessions. The afternoons were free to enjoy the activities of Gatlinburg.

It was refreshing to hear messages geared specifically to couples. I especially enjoyed the session on teaching and training children, since we are on the threshold of that chapter of our lives. I also was encouraged by Pastor's message about expectations. We can have high expectations in our marriage and home because of the God we serve. May the Lord help us take the things we heard and apply them to our home and family.

Our accommodations were a 5-bedroom
cabin at the edge of Pigeon Forge. It was absolutely wonderful. The setting was gorgeous and the rooms were fantastic. We invited 3 other couples and 2 college girls to join us. Nikki and Jessica watched the children while we attended the meetings. Keith and I made breakfast (OK, mostly Keith) for everyone on Friday and Saturday morning. The Giallourakis and Ylitalos had a snack for after the evening meetings. Friday evening everyone joined in a game of Apples to Apples and Grandpa Don came out the winner.

The dates for next year's retreat have been set for February 26-28, 2009 at the Gatlinburg Convention Center. We are looking forward to going again and hope some more of our friends can join us.