Monday, April 16, 2012

Grandma Gert

After singing and dancing her way through life, my 92-year old grandmother suddenly passed away yesterday afternoon. She spent the morning in church learning about Heaven, had lunch with friends, picked up some groceries, and then collapsed in the store parking lot- and was instantly in that glorious place she had spent the morning hearing about, reunited with her husband, and many friends and family members, praising her Savior Jesus and dancing on streets of gold! It was just as she wanted- no drawn-out drama, still living independently, quickly whisked away to a much better place. She survived many things during her lifetime, saw many changes in the world around her, touched many lives with her kindness, and will leave a lasting legacy to all who had the privilege of knowing and loving her.
You know I like to remember in 'photo format'- these are just a few I could gather around the house, and just a very brief glimpse at this beautiful woman, my Grandma!!
 At my wedding... she almost caught the bouquet! Oh, to be a few inches taller! ;)

 A few older photos I recently got copies of... love the beautiful wedding picture of Grandma and Grandpa! And then with her first two boys- Uncle Jerry, and the little blondie is my dad!

Exploring the Crystal River nature preserve during one of her visits a year and a half ago...

At Wes and Jen's wedding last year... Grandma always lit up on the dance floor! Uncle Bill- I think she's "boogied down" lower than you in that pic below! ;)

It was great to have Grandma in Tampa for a long visit over this last Christmas. I love this picture of her holding her youngest great-grandchild, our Rosemary, who is trying to get that Buddy dog!

We love you, Grandma, and thank the Lord for being so generous to share you with us for so long! We will miss you, of course, but will strive to honor your legacy by loving our family and friends greatly, dancing and singing at every opportunity, serving the Lord with our attitude and actions, and playing a mean hand of cards while serving up the best oatmeal cookies a glass of milk could wish for!

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Easter Morning

"Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead." 1 Peter 1:3

It was another beautiful day on Easter, perfect for rejoicing in our risen Lord! The kids dug into their Easter baskets- enjoying new books, coloring and some chocolate, of course! We had a great church service, then lunch at a church member's home, enjoying good food, friends to play wiffleball with and views of the Bay. Dinner tonight will be at Grammie's house! We are so blessed to have all these loved ones around for this fun weekend!
(Of course my camera battery died right when we turned it on for pictures- so I told daddy to quickly pull out his phone before the big kids drop Rosemary!)

Easter Egg Hunting

Our church had their annual Easter Egg Hunt the Saturday before Easter this year, and it was a beautiful day for it! Nana was in town for the weekend, and Grammie joined us, and our neighbors Matt, Jessica, Chase & Abby joined us. Our church always does a great job combining fun egg hunting, a delicious lunch, and a great message of saving grace!

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Celebrating Ga's 5th at Disney

The day after Georgia's birthday, 4/1, we left Rosemary with Grammie and took the big kids to Disney for the day. We didn't tell them till Georgia was opening presents the night before, so they were excited. We've been to Disney so often in the last year and a half, they started naming their favorite rides to do right away- mainly Tea Cups, and Splash Mtn for Georgia! It was a great way to cap off the weekend celebration of our special 5-year old!
*If you're thinking- "oh boy, pictures of the Hipps- at Disney- again!", I understand! But I couldn't not post them- it's for her birthday! :)

Lincoln on his first dollar coaster- The newly opened "Barnstormer"! How did he like it? not so much... ;)
Nice *fake* smile, Lincoln!
Our little photographer captured the day too :)
Our only family picture from the day, in front of Georgia's favorite ride Splash Mountain!
It started raining just as we were leaving, and we got to see a beautiful rainbow!
A great day! Happy Birthday, Georgia!

Friday, April 6, 2012

Celebrating Georgia's 5th Birthday

We had a great time celebrating Georgia's birthday. I thought it was just perfect! When I had asked her what she wanted to do for her birthday, she kept saying "a surprise party! With girls only!" I tried to tell her you can't really request a surprise party, or it ruins the element of surprise... but she insisted! So while Daddy was in class and Uncle Wes and Lincoln hung out, the girls got together at The Royal Tea Room- and surprised Georgia with a tea party!
Grammie, Aunt Jennifer, Aunt Laura & Emma joined me and my girls for scruptious sandwiches, soft scones, tasty tarts and delectable desserts. And also- presents! Georgia loved the sparkler that came out for her on our tower of goodies, and that she got to have her own, real tea cup that I let her add the sugar and milk herself. Since she is 5 now! It was just the right mix of girly fun and birthday specialness!
Birthday Princess with a tiny treat!
Emma gets into her bucket of goodies
The girls enjoyed coloring, stickers and playing tic-tac-toe!
Little Sister did SO good taking her nap under the table while we dined!
And then little bright eyes was awake and ready to join the parties!

We had a fun family celebration that evening with Georgia's favorite dinner of crunchy tacos and corn, and then cake and -even more!- presents! I made a chocolate cake with pink buttercream frosting that turned out quite soft and yummy, though I'm no expert cake decorator! Writing in frosting is hard! Thank goodness for sprinkles!
A special bracelet from Nana!
A special engraved shell from Grandad!
Fun chalk and dress from Aunt Heather and Uncle Jon!
(And thank you to The Phelps for the paper doll Princess set! (not pictured :) )
Little sis found something to play with too- bubble wrap!
Thank you so much to all who helped us celebrate this special girl's fifth year. She is so blessed to have each of you! It was an awesome day and I loved all of our celebrating- and I think our Birthday Girl did too! :)