24 August 2018

Swim Team & Swim Lessons

June marked the return to swim team!

 Chillin'. 😎

 My favorite summer baby.

 These three littles played while their big siblings swam #allthelaps.

 Every now and then, daddy made it to the pool, too!

Then there was that one day when it was just me and six kids! 😜

Ivan and Zach making a splash!

He's having no fun whatsoever. 😄

Hanging out with mama.

 Daddy time.

 The girls are working hard.

 Grace and Viv in their adorable swim caps.

 Ben and Morgan.

 Waiting out the 30 minute delay because of thunder.

Dads on duty.

Another wonderful year of summer P.E. (Yes, it counts for homeschool)!

Swim lessons paid off for Zach because he's swimming like a fish now and loves it!
Perfect timing because we wanted him to be able to swim and snorkel for our August vacation.

Here he is, practicing in our pool. The funny thing is, he only uses one arm to swim. Crazy kid. 😂
Call him Nemo! 💪🐟

This is the second summer the girls have done Swim Team. It's not really a "team," per se.
They don't compete or anything. It's basically just conditioning while learning all the strokes and doing a gazillion laps within the hour. It's a fantastic workout and it always leaves the kids tired.
The girls become stronger, more confident swimmers and it keeps us in the pool 2x's a week during the hot months of June and July. Also, during this time, Zach had his private swim lessons.
After he's done, he and I usually hang out and swim some more or he plays on the waterslide while the girls are finishing up. It's been a great summer activity and even more fun to have all our friends join us this year!

23 August 2018

Dad's Celebration of Life

This is the memorial card that Jennifer designed.
Such a handsome picture of dad.

 I've always loved this picture of  2 year old Dad. What a cutie!!

Fireman Jerry.

 Radiant wedding photo.

Father of 4.

 On the left is a picture of dad when he was serving in the Coast Guard. Mom's ashes are on the right. We were saving them for this very day.

 Oh, yes, we did have a bagpiper! It was Morgan's idea and it was absolutely superb and beautiful.

 The brothers meeting with the Coast Guardsman.

 Zach doing his impression of the soldier and wearing his Hawaiian shirt as a homage to Grandpa.

See the shirt? I think Lucy saved it and made it into a pillow case.

 The representatives at Riverside National Cemetery were nothing short of outstanding.
Such respect, honor, professionalism, and grace.  

 The folding and delivering of the flag.

 Just incredible to witness.

 The brothers decided to have Jennifer receive it.

 Thanking dad for his service to our country and calling him an American Hero. 😭

Getting ready to lay them to rest.

 50th Wedding Anniversary Cruise.

 He was kind and funny. 😝😜😛

For 17 years, I had the joy and honor of calling this man Dad and eventually, Grandpa. I remember meeting him (and mom) for the first time and I was struck by how gentle, humble, and down to earth they both were. I always felt like I had a special bond with him. Like we just "got" each other, you know? We were so blessed to live close to them for 10 years and do life with them.
They were an integral part of Faith and Grace's childhood and we couldn't be more thankful for all those precious memories we have together.

I'll be honest, there are days when I drive by their old house and I think, how in the world did we lose both of them already? It just seems like yesterday that we were headed to their house for dinner.
Gosh, we miss them both so much.

Dad lasted 2 years + 100 days without mom and now, they are reunited, dancing in heaven with our Lord and Savior. Hallelujah!

Last month, family and friends gathered to remember Dad. Faith played a song on the keyboard and led us in worship and then many of us shared special memories and sentiments. The whole memorial service was very special. Not only because mom and dad were laid to rest together but because we all witnessed the most incredible tribute to dad with full military honors. If you knew him, you'd know that he was a very low key person who tends to shy away from any kind of fuss made over him.

Maybe that's why the service was particularly meaningful and poignant? He lived so humbly and yet it was one of the greatest ceremonies we've ever had the honor of witnessing. It reminded me of what heaven might be like for God's servants. Many of us feeling like we've just squeaked in but how God has a great and beautiful ceremony waiting for us.

How do you accurately capture and reflect upon 85 years of life, love, and service?
Nearly impossible but Ben and Christina put together a stunning video that gave us all a little glimpse.

On Instagram

© Brave Soul. Made with love by The Dutch Lady Designs.