Celebrations, Hiking and Issues


On my mom’s birthday, when she turned 90, she was there for her first grandchild by her only grand daughter. She has four grand children, seven great grand children and her first great-great grandchild is due in a few months.

So much to write about, so little time! Yes, not enough time to keep our blog updated. We just blinked and three months have flown by. Our last post ended with a teaser of the birthdays we celebrated in August while in Fredericksburg, Virginia. We also had two anniversaries to celebrate. And then our oldest grandson started kindergarten and that was a reason to celebrate. And then he learned how to ride his bike without training wheels! And then there were the issues….Where to start? With the best of the best!

We had three celebrations on one date!  Let’s start off with a bang! We had a joint birthday party for my mom and our oldest grandson. She turned 95 and he turned 5. What a gift for her, her only granddaughter to give her a great grandson on her birthday, her 90th as pictured!

And then, on the same date, 29 years ago, Bill and I remarried! No, not just a rededication ceremony – for those new to our blog, we started this blogto talk about how our first marriage failed, ended in divorce, reconciliation and subsequent remarriage! In total, we’ve been married 43+ years, well, on and off. We took one year off, but we still were connected throughout the divorce – because of our daughter. And now that we have grandchildren, we are REALLY grateful we reconciled! There is nothing like celebrating them as a couple!

But let me back up a bit. My oldest sister flew with mom to Sacramento for the wedding (in last post). Then mom flew back to Virginia with us. She stayed in Fredericksburg for a few days so she could have some time with our daughter and her family. We are celebrating having her closer to more of her grandchildren and great grandchildren. When she was in the Panhandle of Florida, it was just her and my sister. Although my sister’s boyfriend has a HUGE family and they welcomed her as their own grandma and mom! But for her actual Virginia grandchildren and great grands, they couldn’t see her without her returning to Virginia. (Her only other grandson is in Sacramento with his now four adult children as seen in our last post.) So this was a huge celebration for her Virginia family.

Mom with her only granddaughter with her great grandsons and our son-in-law. Mom cherishes them and they in turn cherish her!

Jessica and I then drove mom and our youngest grandson to her new hometown, Newport News, Virginia. Of course, we had to celebrate mom returning to her former hometown with family:

We celebrated with a family meal with my sister (to my left and around the table), one of her sons, his girlfriend, our daughter, her youngest son and my sister’s husband.

Once mom was settled in, it was time to start celebrating birthdays! First we will start with my mom, who turned 95 on the same date as my oldest grandson, her great-grandson, who turned 5.

My 95 year old mom and 5 year old grandson celebrating their birthdays together! Great pic of Colin….mom’s best one with their cake is below.

My mom really wanted a great picture of her and our oldest grandson. But as 5 year olds go, it’s nearly impossible. So here is a GREAT one of mom with their cake!

And here is Colin wondering how big of a bite he can fit into his mouth!

I am kicking myself as we didn’t think to get a picture of all of us at the party, surrounding mom. Bill has a new camera so he decided to try some indoor candid shots but they didn’t really seem to capture the story as I would like to tell it. Mom is now in a wonderful assisted living center. She is only a few miles from my middle sister so it is an ideal situation.

Her new “home” was perfect for her birthday party. We were able to use the common area to celebrate. We were blessed to have all nearby family and close friends attend. BTW, it was also Bill’s and my 29th second wedding anniversary on this date but we didn’t do anything special….well, I dressed up. And Bill practiced using his new camera:

Cheers to our 29th second anniversary! Toasting with water…

Our two grandson’s birthdays are two years and three days apart. They had two other joint birthday parties. The first one as mentioned was before school started and was for all their friends at a field house with lots of fun activities. It was a blast, but again, trying to get a decent picture that was blog worthy wasn’t easy. Then the other party was with our son-in-laws family. I make photo books for our grandsons and I discovered this year, we never had any really good birthday pictures of the two of them. We have to work on it next year!

This was at their joint birthday party and is the best one we had of the two of them. Will we ever get two boys to cooperate for their birthday pictures?

Singing Happy Birthday! Colin does like the center stage!

The month of July and August, we just did a lot of fun things with the boys (after our return from Sacramento). It’s always a treat for one of them to spend the night at the “camper” as they like to call our motorhome. We’re not sure when we’ll be able to have both of them sleep over. We have some great trips planned for that day. But how to you get a 5 and 3 year old to understand they have to get along for at least 24 hours? LOL Here is a short slide show showing a few pictures of some of our activities activities with our grandsons – and please note, they are moving targets (🏃):

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As part of Bill’s new (going on two years) heart healthy lifestyle, he walks (or when we can, hike) daily for 5 miles. It took us a while to find a decent place to exercise while in Virginia, but we finally found near us the Virginia Central Railway Trail. We hate driving to go on a walk, but it was only two miles away. Our daughter actually found it. We knew there weren’t many good places for long walks or hiking in the greater Fredericksburg area. She finally searched “rails to trails” and found it! She also enjoys hiking and runs on her lunch break. She tried it out with her oldest – with him on his bicycle while she ran along side him (while on training wheels). She loved it so once we got back to the area, we went as well – and then we were hooked!

Both boys love this trail! It is a lovely trail, in the shade most of the way. We were there in the hottest months, July – August so we really cherished the shade.

We also wanted to keep our hiking skills up so we had to figure out how to go on a long hike once every week or two. When we lived in Fredericksburg years ago, we hiked once a month in the Shenandoah Valley National Park (this link was the beginning of our love of hiking and has our first 12 hikes – one a month) before we moved to Florida. We thought it was about an hours drive away, at least it was from our house when we lived in this area. Since we pick the boys up early every day from day care, we decided to wait until a Saturday when they had a birthday party to attend. For our first long hike, we went on July 21, 2018. We had a great time on the Neighbor Mountain via Neighbor Mountain Trail and loved reflecting back on how we learned to love hiking in the National Park. While the drive there was only 57 miles, it took us an hour and 45 minutes to get to the trailhead. We got behind a vehicle on much of the drive there that went 10 miles below the speed limit much of the way! We finally got around the mustang when we were nearly at the entrance of the park, where they were also headed. Here is a slide show of the drive there and our hike:

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Since we determined that wasn’t going to be a  convenient place to hike, we did more research. We were happy to finally find great hiking closer to us in Prince William National Park. It was about a 25 minute drive if there is no traffic. But it could be up to an hour if we hit the traffic at the wrong time. We were so happy with our first hike there we got in seven miles – but traffic was a concern so we opted to not go the full 10 miles planned. Our daughter saw our pictures and stats so of course, she wanted to go. We took her back the next week, hoping  to do the 10 mile hike but traffic cost us too much valuable time.

One weekend, I went to help get my mom settled in and to spend some time with my sister (they are at least a two hour drive away). So Jessica and Bill managed to take the 10 mile hike, which covered most of the best of the park trails. Then Bill and I had to return as I wanted to push myself so I got in the 10 miles and for Bill, it was his second time! We can’t wait for our grandsons to get a little older to go on longer hikes as they both love to “hike” but can only manage short ones. They also love the outdoors! Here is a slide show of a few pictures in the National Park:

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We celebrated five years of RVing (9/4/2013). We never knew how our travels would work out, but we now have a travel pattern. We travel for three months, return to Fredericksburg, Virginia for a month or so to spend lots of time with our grandsons, then travel three months, etc. which explains why we are predominantly on the east coast. Except this summer. We knew we would be here for two months, July and August because of the wedding. Then it turned into three and then four months!

We see our doctors and dentist when we are in town. Usually just for annual check ups and minor maintenance issues. Somehow, we seem to need to return more than we would like. Bill has had skin cancer, so he does see his dermatologist twice a year. Unless she takes a biopsy and then he needs subsequent surgery (Moh’s) which happened this time. And then I realized I was behind on my mammogram by a few years – you know how time flies when you are having fun? And then things just went downhill. Long story short, I did have something suspicious which ended up requiring more tests and then surgery. The great news is that it was benign but what a month of anxiety to get the good news. We don’t want to share all of our HIPPA stuff (lol) so let’s just say we are both healing up and it looks like our initial Fall plans to go to the Smokey Mountains for a month (we made reservations months prior), back to the Tiffin Service Center (air conditioner issues and more) and finally out to Illinois to see Bill’s 97 year old mom, his brother and wife were cancelled by our health issues. Back up plan? Back to Myrtle Beach which could be our next post, “Myrtle Beach through the eyes of a three year old!”

“Buckle up MeeMaw! I’m driving now!”

And the other issues? Let me count the ways! Maybe we need to write a blog about how to change an air conditioner yourself? And then our entrance steps. They just keep going out and we even had them updated in the latest recall. And then our televisions. We can’t just replace them. Can you believe our relatively new washing machine quit working so we contacted Camping World since it was still under warranty – that was a nightmare. Thankfully, Bill ended up figuring out the problem. And then our tank gauges quit working. We found a solution for that as well….so grateful Bill is really a handyman!!!!  So until next time, will it be RV Repairs (does it really matter?) or Myrtle Beach through the eyes of a three-year old (which means a cuteness overload)?

One Thing is Necessary (from a sermon)

Luke 10:41–42
But the Lord answered her, “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things, but one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her.”

One day Martha had an unexpected houseguest—the Son of God. While she toils over a meal for Jesus and twelve other men, Mary sits at Jesus’ feet. Jesus responds to her complaint by saying, “You are anxious and troubled with much serving.” Martha was so focused on doing a good thing that she missed out on the best thing. (Copied from here)

6 thoughts on “Celebrations, Hiking and Issues

  1. You look lovely. It is so important to give all that big family loving support building security on a solid foundation as you point them to the Savior. Nothing like a good start. Of course our loving Jesus takes anyone just where they are but it is so much better to give them to him with family blessings.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Amen!!! Thank you for your kind words! I feel so blessed and so grateful Bill and I are on this journey together. It’s great being with our grandsons as a couple-we’re seeing more and more couples divorcing….I almost want to go back to blogging about our marriage! Hummm, I needed to slip that in here.

      Liked by 3 people

  2. Thank you Debbie for sharing again with more Pictures your Family and the Special times that you have all shared together and also about your Holiday, it’s Wonderful to see the closeness you have.

    It’s also Wonderful Debbie that you and Bill have Remarried and not just Legally but in Unity in both your Hearts.

    Jesus said to His Disciples that Divorce shows a hard Heart, meaning Unforgiveness. I Pray Debbie that like you and Bill both have, that Ron and myself will also be Remarried one day although we are still Legally Married and have been for over 36 years but Ron’s long Separation from me shows it’s not in his Heart.

    Ron helps me when needed but he doesn’t want to loose the closeness he has with his Daughter who has never accepted me, Hurt people Hurt people and she has been very hurt in her life but now she comes first in Ron’s Life although she mostly always has. Please pray for us that God will bind us together again in His Love.

    Christian Love Debbie, Now and Always – Anne.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh my, what a testimony God is giving you! How I pray for supernatural healing, forgiveness and love between you, Ron and his daughter. Unforgiveness harms the body, soul and mind. But for God, He can heal it all!!! 🙏🙏🙏🙏

      Liked by 1 person

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