Thursday, December 29, 2011

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Busch Gardens

We got a late start and pretty much everything that could go wrong did, but true to form, we "wrung every minute out of this day," too. We took a train ride through the African exhibit and got up close and personal with the animals. My favorite part was watching the hippos swim underwater at night. I can't believe how graceful they are and seemingly playful - not that I'd want to get in the water with them - but they were really interested in the people watching them through the glass. About one hour into our day at the park, I spilled Pepsi all over myself. It drenched my shorts, my brace, my flip-flop, my crutches, my foot...I was sticky the rest of the day. Since I can't bend my right knee very well, I couldn't reach down to wipe my foot so poor Mom had to get a bunch of napkins wet and wash between my toes. That's love. My big news of the day is that I bought a new wallet. I know, it's hard to believe. This one won't fit in my pocket, but it does have space for cash and coins, which my other one didn't. I kind of like it. We'll see how long it lasts before I go back to my small and simple one.

My new "purse"

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Christmas Day

My ankle is still bigger than I would like, but the swelling IS going down.

We drove to Coquina Beach Park which Mom thought was a beach near Sarasota. It ended up being a dog park in ghettoville. The Garmin took us through neighborhoods that were culturally diverse to put it mildly and some looked downright scary. As momMA says, "The G in Garmin doesn't stand for God." Amen to that. Anyway, we finally reached our destination - well, we really didn't have a destination in mind - this was more of an exploratory we finally reached A destination...which was some beach somewhere on the western coast of south Florida. I have no idea where we were. Mom and Dad parked me in a chair since crutches don't work on loose sandy beaches and they took off to look for shells. I read for most of the day, dipped my feet in the ocean and marveled at a little gift God sent my way...a crippled seagull. It landed less than a foot away from me and just looked at me. It only had one webbed foot, the other was missing. He hopped around, pecking in the sand, seemingly unphased by his handicap. We kept each other company...the two disabled beachgoers...until I must have bored him and he flew away. There was no trace of anything wrong when he soared through the sky. There's an analogy there I'll let you draw for yourself. I'm too tired to write anymore. It was a beautiful day. I tried to focus my mind on the reason for our celebration today but I have to admit it was kind of hard to think about a baby in a manger when I was on a beach in Florida surrounded by surfers wearing Santa hats. I received lots of texts and messages today from friends around the world. I am thankful for the life God has given me and the people He has placed in it. I am most thankful He chose me to be His.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Christmas Eve

Title: The Inn Of Life
Author: John Oxenham

As It was in the Beginning,--
Is Now,--

Anno Domini I.

* * * * *

"No room!
No room!
The Inn is full,
No room have we
for such as ye--
Poor folk of Galilee,
Pass on! Pass on!"

"Nay then!--
Your charity
Will ne'er deny
Some corner mean,
Where she may lie unseen.
For see!--
Her time is nigh."

"Alack! And she
So young and fair!
Place have we none;
And yet--how bid ye gone?
Stay then!--out there
Among the beasts
Ye may find room,
And eke a truss
To lie upon."

Anno Domini 1913, etc., etc.

* * * * *

"No room!
No room!
No room for Thee,
Thou Man of Galilee!
The house is full,
Yea, overfull.
There is no room for Thee,--
Pass on! Pass on!

The place is packed.
"We scarce have room
For our own selves,
So how shall we
Find room for Thee,
Thou Man of Galilee,--
Pass on! Pass on!

But--if Thou shouldst
This way again,
And we can find
So much as one small corner
Free from guest,
Not then in vain
Thy quest.
But now--
The house is full.
Pass on!"

Christ passes
On His ceaseless quest,
Nor will He rest
With any,
Save as Chiefest Guest.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Early Christmas

Took JP to the airport today so opened some presents a little early. We had music in the background and a pine scented candle lit trying to create a bit of Christmas atmosphere in the 80 degree Florida sunshine. Fun, fun.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Disney World

I walked on crutches all day yesterday at Universal so today was forced to use a wheelchair. My arms, knee and ankle had reached their limit. This made it a little less enjoyable for me because I wasn't able to move with as much freedom as I would have liked but I must say, Disney treated me like a princess. I didn't have to wait in any long lines, they transferred me to a push wheelchair when needed, they even brought a handicap boat around for me to get into at "It's A Small World." At one point, when we were having trouble with the electric wheelchair, they gave us an express pass for all four of us even though we didn't need it because we were already being "expressed" through the lines. The weather was gorgeous. We went on all the rides at least once - our favorites (Pirates of the Caribbean and The Haunted Mansion) were visited a couple of times. The fireworks were fantastic and the castle was beautiful. I think the Magic Kingdom is one of the most magical places on earth. I'll forever be a child, I know. Loved the day. Love my family.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Universal Studios - Islands of Adventure

Have I ever mentioned how much I love Harry Potter? Today we were finally able to visit The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal's Islands of Adventure. It was amazing. I loved it. I loved seeing Hogwarts. I loved wandering through the village of Hogsmeade. I loved flying around the castle and battling the Whomping Willow. I loved eating at The Three Broomsticks and drinking Butterbeer. I even loved sitting in the owlery, despite there being a chance I might get pooped on by a resting bird. The rest of the day was also fun. Mom went on all the rides with us except the roller coasters. The funniest parts of the day revolved around the water rides. There's a hysterical picture I'm too embarrassed to post on my blog but maybe one day I'll work up the nerve. It was nice to be with my family. We're still kind of reeling from our loss of Joey. For now, anyway, we appreciate each other a little more and extend grace a little quicker. The hugs are tighter and the words are gentler. We're still us though, so there is lots of bantering and laughter flows easily. God chose wisely when He orchestrated our little family unit. Most of the time I wouldn't trade them for anything.