Gwen and Tim brought the Yahtzee game to the hotel. They had pulled it off of their "game shelf" and the dust on the box was evidence of the number of years that the box had sat, unopened. When Gwen opened the box, this was on the top....
This is Grandma Nona's score sheet from 2003, when she visited Gwen and Tim and stayed at their house. Gwen had purchased this game especially for Grandma's visit. Both Gwen and I recognized her handwriting immediately. It was a bittersweet moment for us, holding this score sheet in our hand. Isn't that silly? You know, this was almost more important to me than finding a letter she might have written. That score sheet represented so much more for me. It was a reminder of those wonderful times with my mom. It was a wonderful Valentine for me. Lia played her first game of Yahtzee and beat both Gwen and me! During the game we had a chance to tell Lia many wonderful stories from years ago. Grandma Nona would be so proud.
This morning the kids got their own Valentines from their mommy and daddy. And they loved the singing card and the great books that they got. Don't you just love this picture of all four kids cuddled together?
We had a great day today, spending hours and hours in the water. Anna took a long nap in the stroller and both Zeke and Lia conquered the "Big Slide", riding down on a tube! Yes, it was a day of making new memories. Ellie and I got to spend some time by ourselves in the Hot Tub (we bent the rules just a bit since you need to be 6 to use it. Ellie turns 6 in two weeks). It was fun to have some one on one conversation with her. By the time we headed home, everyone was tired, but very happy.
The last several months have really brought to the surface for me, how important family is. I can assure you that this weekend was the best valentine that I could ever receive. Surround by the ones you love and filled with joy, laughter and fun.
And here is the icing on the cake for me. While riding along on the Lazy River during one of the many trips we took around that track, Gwen and Anna came up behind me on their tube. Gwen pointed out that Anna was calling for "Grandma!" And she loudly called out "Grandma" and gave me that killer smile. Honestly, there is nothing better than that.
Jesus, thank you so much for your great love for us. Holy Spirit, thank you for family and fun. As we know your love, we share that love with those around us. What an amazing gift you give us. Jesus, help us all to stop and draw up closer to you, and feel that love. Thank you for signs of love from the past and new memories made and shared. Amen