Tis the month of birthday celebrations and festivities for the holidays. We ended last month with the BIG BIRTHDAY for BILL. He turned 40 this year and we had to celebrate. We hosted Thanksgiving at our house with almost 20 family members, it was great fun, lots of work but in the end a great time with family. We celebrated Bill and Garrett's birthday with the family after dinner with presents and a football birthday cake. We went out the Saturday after Bill's birthday for a little adult fun. The guys from the neighborhood took Bill out that afternoon and the ladies ended up meeting up with them for dinner. We were supposed to host everyone, but last minute changes led to dinner at a local Family Style Italian restaurant, where we were allowed to be just as loud as a 40th celebration requires! What a great time with friends. We decided this year to play Garrett's birthday low key and just had his buddies from the neighborhood over on his actual birthday (Wednesday). Most of the Dad's work nights and so Bill was the lonely man at the kid party. It was so perfect though, pizza and some cake and lots of fun for the kids to play together. I believe this was the least stress event I have ever had and Garrett had a BLAST! We felt truly blessed to have great friends and family to celebrate with.
This week we also did something very special. We helped to welcome the Angel of Hope to Central Florida. On December 6th the work of several local parents and health care professionals came together. The Angel of Hope is a statue that is based upon the book The Christmas Box by Richard Paul Evans. In the book a woman mourns the loss of her daughter at the base of an angel statue. When the book arrived on the best sellers list year's ago, many parents sought out the statue to pay tribute to the fallen angels in their lives. The original statue is said to have been destroyed, but the author commissioned an artist to recreate the angel. Now there are statues across the United States and we were excited to help welcome the Angel of Hope Statue to Central Florida. If you live here she is located in Sunshine Park in Altamonte Springs across from Lake Orienta Elementary. Please take a moment and go by, it is a beautiful sight to see. Anyways, each year there will be a candle light vigil on December 6th at 7 pm, this year was the first. There were many teary eyes at the ceremony and when Jamie's name was called all of ours were included in the crowd. My Mom and Dad joined Bill, Garrett and I as we remembered our blessed angel. Please spread the word, go by and remember the other children in your lives that have joined God this holiday season.
I know that this holiday season we are so thankful for God, our family, friends and our many blessing. We cannot wait to just enjoy our time together. We wish you all the very best as the Holidays and New Year approach. May we each count our blessings and enjoy life together.