Saturday, December 31, 2016

Goodbye 2016!

The 2016 train is leaving the station...chugging its way on out of here.  I'm waving goodbye, thankful for all the memories of 2016, but even more eager for the 2017 train approaching the station!  What's ahead?  What will the new year bring?  For opportunities. new blessings, new mercies, new experiences...and above all, The Sovereign God to reign supreme, and cover us in His grace as we journey on through the new year!  Are you ready for what's ahead?  We can't know what that is, but since God does, I'm just going to take His hand and anticipate what He has in store for me!  

I haven't blogged much this year.  Back in the spring, while we were living in Crossville, TN, I was so lonely that I ended up signing up for FaceBook.  I had avoided it for so long, but finally caved in just to see what my friends were up to.  Then I discovered messenger.  Between the two, my days are filled with "friends".  So if you have been following my blog and aren't seeing much posted, please feel free to request me as a friend on FaceBook.  I don't post a lot there, but I do try to keep up with my friends, and make comments.  And on occasion, I post.  You will need to request Carol Martz Casarez as a friend, but if I don't know you, I won't accept you.  Sorry.  Just trying to keep my list limited.

We came back to Michigan the first of May and focused on our house.  We had friends from Florida and granddaughters that helped us revamp the layout of the kitchen, giving us more room in the living room.  They also helped paint our cabinets white, and our walls teal.  What a difference that made!!  Dave and Wanda Randolph and Fred and Bonnie Evans...friends who have made such a difference in our lives!  We are so grateful to them for their assistance on this project!

We also decided it was time to increase our family again, and we added two party mix shih tzus, born April 10, both females.  Named Carli and Balie, here are pictures when we first brought them home, and then a little older:

They are so playful, and we totally enjoy them.  Turned out that little Balie only grew to 5#, but sister Carli is now at 10#....looking twice the size of her sister!  Both are healthy, and the big girl knows how to rip and tear with her little sister, who usually instigates the activity.  They are still quite small in the picture above.  I haven't downloaded my camera pictures lately.  

The other summer highlight was that our two granddaughters were once again able to visit us for a couple of weeks.  This time Leia brought her pet rats:

Both girls helped with the kitchen project.  Dave and Wanda Randolph were on the front end of our projects, and Wanda helped both girls with painting the cabinets white.

While Leia was helping Grandpa with various projects, Aria became my sidekick in the kitchen.  Here's a cajun recipe with shrimp, sausage, potatoes, and corn.  Pretty as the girl holding the bowl!

We had a beautiful fall in Michigan...very mild temperatures.  Campfires until late in the season.  A good time to hang out with friends!  We got together with Paul's family for various events:

Paul has had work projects that has taken him out of the state and out of the country.  When he went to Dubai in October, I decided to take a vacation also.  I went to Bronson Hospital for five days.  God's timing was impeccable, as the night before Paul left, he had to call the ambulance to come get me...I was losing it fast.  Turns out I had sepsis...had no idea.  If he had left before this was caught, I probably would be a greeter at the Golden Gates.  Turns out Paul was able to get me registered at the hospital and make his flight....going on 36 hours with no sleep.  Sons Kevin (and Aria) and Corbin came to my rescue.  They came to take care of the dogs and be with me.  I was touched to know they would both step to the plate for me in my time of need!  

We just returned from a Christmas trip to St. Louis where we spent almost a week with family.  Corbin flew in from California (Susan had to stay behind to work).  We had a great time with Kevin and his family and Corbin.  We went to the Missouri Botanical Gardens and the St. Louis Art Museum...trying to be cultural!  Ate at various new restaurants.  Met Leia's boyfriend...and really like him!  He fits well in the family!  

And so here we are...a couple of hours from 2017.  I'm ready!  What I don't know, God does.  And I can trust God, for sure!  He has never failed me, never let me down, never let me drown, never left me alone.  FaceBook assigned this verse to me:  I cling to you and you hold me with your strong hand.  (Psalm 63:8)  That pretty much tells my story from 2016, and going into 2017.  May your new year be full of God's Love and Blessings!