Wow. The last post of the year. Of the decade, even! What fun I've had blogging this year! It's a wonderful outlet for that tiny part of me that dreams of being a "real writer" someday. A way to post thoughts, stories, and pictures for my family members and friends to (hopefully) enjoy. And while it may sound narcicistic, I enjoy going back and reading the old posts my ownself, and remembering what was going on when I wrote them, and looking at the old pictures.
2009 was a very good year at The 409, and we have been tremendously blessed. Now, your version of "blessed" may be different from mine. We still pretty much live from paycheck to paycheck, like most Americans. We don't drive new or fancy cars, we shop mostly at Wal Mart, and buy our clothes and shoes when the department stores have sales. Our home has that definite "lived in" look (sometimes it looks like a very large family of packrats lives here). Our lawns aren't manicured and there's no designer back yard.
But our fridge and our freezer are full, our home is warm in the winter and cool in the summer. And what we lack in designer fashion clothing and fancy cars, we more than make up for in love and devotion, laughter and fun. I can't tell you what a joy it is to have my grandchildren in my home. Every day when those little arms reach for me I know I'd rather have that any day than live in a mansion and have everything money could buy. Yes, there have been some nice big blessings in 2009, but the best blessing of all are those tiny hands, those toddler giggles, and those sweet little kisses. "I love you Greemaw" and "Can you play with me?" "Watch me, Greemaw!" "One, two, three.... SURPRISE!" "I can go to the potty all by myself!" "Greemaw, I rode a pony!" Those are the times that my heart feels perfectly content.
In January of this year, you may remember that I enclosed my carport and moved my bedroom and office out here. It is a wonderfully huge 20 x 20 room, and I pretty much live out here. We fixed up my old office/bedroom into a Princess bedroom for Leyland, complete with a painted castle on the wall. A few months ago, when Corey was ready to move into his own room, we emptied all the stuff from my craft room to make a mini-man-cave for Corey. It's a tiny little room, but turned into a really cute toddler room for him. I was a bit worried about moving all my craft stuff out here, afraid it would clutter up my beautiful haven. It took some planning and coordinating, shelf hanging, moving, moving again, rearranging, but I must say I am delighted with the results. It's not at all crowded, I still have tons of floor space. I really enjoy having my things here in my room. I like seeing the stuff. I like being able to work on a project for a few minutes, then go back to it later, without going into another part of the house, dragging out what I need, then (maybe) putting it away when I'm finished. Yep, I'm very happy with my little world out here. Besides the blessings of my family, building my room is probably my most favorite thing in quite a few years.
My mom, dad and I enjoyed a little trip to the beach back in October, cut short by Corey's being hospitalized for swine flu. Thankfully, he didn't have a bad case of it. We'll try again next year for a longer trip to the beach. Whitney, Dustin and all three kids went to Myrtle Beach in the summer, and had a great time. I told her if she didn't take lots of pictures for the scrapbook, not to bother coming home, so she obliged me with lots of great pictures... some of which you've probably already seen... but will see again once I get them in the scrapbooks. :-)
It has been a fun year for me, learning a little here and there about politics. Whetting my appetite to learn more about how things are supposed to be done vs how they really are done. I became a fan of FOX news this year, which is "controversial" in itself. I'm a firm believer that we shouldn't believe much of what the media tells us, regardless of whether it is far left or far right. I believe the truth has to be somewhere in between. I like that FOX news causes me to question what I used to take as gospel from the other newscasters. I feel less manipulated. I am intrigued to research issues on my own. Which is what we all need to do, and stop allowing (especially) the left-leaning media to determine the climate of our nation. I've enjoyed the journey, but have been distressed at much of what I have learned. America, we need to take back our nation!! And I'm not talking about democrats or republicans. I'm talking about big government.
Obamacare has been fodder for many of my posts this year, and has sparked several discussions with those who have opposing views. It has been interesting! I still oppose it. Can't imagine that will ever change.
I've had wonderful times with my friends, though not nearly enough. We're still saying our prayers for Delores, thankful that we have had another year with her... praying for many, many more.
Lots of fun with the grandbabies this year. It's amazing how every day is something new, and though I know I experienced these things with Whitney, it's as though I'm seeing it for the first time. Grandparenthood really is better than parenthood!!
We welcomed baby Gemma into the family in September, on Leyland's birthday! We learned that Brandi will be having a baby girl, due in January, and Alissa is also expecting a baby girl, due in March. Brooke Madison and Lucy Jane, respectively. What fun!!! Looks like Corey will be the only boy baby in that generation for yet a while.
We've witnessed a dream come true for Michael and Linda this year. They have purchased some acreage in the mountains and are planning to build a log home and a self sufficient farm, complete with solar powered things and environmentally friendly, organic gardens, etc. I'm so excited for them and can't wait to watch their dreams further unfold.
One of the most fun things of all has been my discovery of Facebook! All the kids grumble about we old folks being on there. It used to be just for college students, but now anyone can make an account. I have reconnected with so many former friends and classmates, and even enjoy getting to know one of my cousin's children. Blake lives in Tifton (or somewhere like that, I'm not really sure). I never see him except at family things once a year or so. We've probably communicated more on FB than we ever have in person. It's really fun!!!
Yes, it has been a busy year at The 409, and we are thankful. Thankful that we have managed to keep our jobs, Whitney is continuing to work on her degree, no major health issues, and we've been able to keep the lights burning, the water running, gas in the cars, and food on the table. We are part of the most wonderful and giving family, and have the most incredible friends. And a most Gracious Heavenly Father who loves us no matter what.
Now if I hurry, I can catch the ball drop on TV in Time Square in NYC. To all my friends and family who may read this... thank you for stopping by my blog, and for all you mean to me. Happy New Year! Happy New Decade! God Bless Us All (and may we bless each other!)