Saturday, December 31, 2016

2016 RECAP

Recapping 2016 is fun as it was a good year for the family.
January brought back memories of long ago as we watched g-son play rec league basketball for the first year. I remember spending so many Saturday's in gyms when my boys and daughter were playing in this league. I began babysitting g-daughter full time as d-in-love's mother had her hands full with d-in-love's dad after he had one of his legs taken off at the knee due to a diabetes infection. All the girls and I went bridesmaid dress shopping this month so they could get their dresses ordered. We saw the first flakes of snow of the winter season on January 4th and had the first named Atlantic tropical system , Alex, who turned north away from any land on January 11th.A snowstorm at the end of the month on the 22nd prompted the govenor to declare a state of emergency including our county as we got almost 12 inches of snow that  brought out the sleds and snow fun for several days.

In February we celebrated BB's mid January birthday late because he was sick in January. Flooding occurred on the 3rd when a line of storms stalled over our area dropping over 3 inches of rain in a short time. We had a nice Valentines celebration and the next day a minor ice storm made things interesting for a couple days in this month and the ground hog did not see his shadow. More basketball Saturdays in this month as well as an AB honor roll award for g-son. I made a point of sewing at least 1 item a day to restock my dwindled craft supply at market. This month ended with an extra day as this was a Leap year.

March brought some near record high temperatures and thoughts of an early spring.  But we also had some late snow showers on the 3rd and spring was welcomed in with snow flakes on the 20th.We celebrate 4 birthdays in this month, #2 son turned 33, Re turned 30, daughter turned 31 and EL turned 3 for a busy month of the family getting older.  I upgraded my phone to an I-phone 6 this month at the encouraging of daughter. A spring flea market trip was made this month during the spring break from school. Daylight savings time began on the 13th to give us more daylight in the evenings. We voted in the primary elections this month. We also planted our early garden this month even with the summer feeling temps.We ended the month with a wonderful Easter celebration and a thankful heart for a Risen Savior.

April was a good month as spring finally broke through after a couple freeze warning nights . I spent many days with three littles as I babysat regularly while mom's worked. Soccer season began for g-son and wedding preparations took on an urgency as showers began and bridal portraits were made.D-in-love turned 34 this month for the only birthday. I went back to a two market day week at the beginning of this month.  A dry April ended with a much needed rain.

May had its ups and downs as it started out with a trip to Charlotte to find my dress for the wedding then a very fun bachelorette outing in Asheville as the wedding grew closer.  G-daughter became a market fixture and everyone loved having her come in.We got our garden planting finished as we started harvesting the early crops.  The main down for the month was the death of d-in-love's dad which was a blessing for him but a heart ache for his loved ones after a long and suffering time with diabetes.Happy birthday to Josh this month as he turned 36.
May ended with the Knights relay for life at the high school, the garden jubilee and a thankful Memorial day.

June 2016 was filled with excitement as the school year ended with G-son acing his EOGs  and daughter's wedding planning kicking into high gear. The Curb Market had Old Timey day on one of the record breaking heat days of the month.Daughter and Josh had two wedding showers and we picked out flowers for the wedding.Re and her kids joined us for a trip to Carl Sandburg's goat farm and we had a nice dinner out at Cracker Barrel for Father's day. We celebrated three birthdays this month as Tif , hubbie and Aa got a year older this month. I was bitten by a Brown Recluse spider on the 21st  and had to take maga doses of antibiotics.

This years July was a very special month this year and will always be in the history of the family. We started the month with a nice Independence day cook-out that almost didn't happen because that morning a little squirrel tripped the fuse on our power pole and with some storm caused power outages in the area it took them about 6 hours to ever get here to replug the fuse. But our celebration was nice with all the family there to enjoy the food and the fireworks #1 son and Aa had gotten.
We were in full wedding preparation mode for the first 8 days of this month with decorations to plan, signs to make, cakes to bake , flowers to arrange and all the other stuff that goes with a wedding.
Daughter and Josh got married on the 9th in a fairy tale wedding that was perfect. The rain had dampened every afternoon up until the wedding day and it held off until the next afternoon so even the weather seemed to help make it a perfect day. They left the next day for a honeymoon trip to Punta Gorda.
The other memorable thing for this month was the engagement of #2 son to his girl friend Tif. They make a very very nice couple and we are excited to have Tif  join our family.
Another squirrel lost his life the same way as the 4th of July squirrel did causing the second power outage of the month about 2 weeks apart. During a terrible storm lightening struck a tree above the house in the woods throwing shards of the tree trunk onto our roof but thankfully we had no damage.
I spent lots of time in the garden and kitchen canning an abundance of green beans this year.
Vacation Bible School was the last week in the month and I attended the first couple days with EL while her mom worked.
On the 30th  we all left for our annual family beach trip to Holden Beach and on the 31st of the month I turned 62 years old.

August started off from the beach as we enjoyed the nice weather and ocean for a relaxing time.
Unfortunately while we were there g-daughter came down with hand foot and mouth virus , then BB got it causing his family to leave a day early and head home. The last night I got really sick and stayed sick all the way home leaving hubbie to do all the driving while I slept. I thought maybe the tiredness from all the activity of last month had caught up with me until I got up the first morning home with my hands, feet and knees broke out in the blisters of the hand foot and mouth virus. I went to the doctor the blisters on my knees got so bad and the doc said I had one of the worst cases he had ever seen but there was nothing I could do but let the virus run its course.
We killed a second large egg eating black snake out of my hen house this month.Another bad lightening storm struck a near by barn full of hay setting a huge fire.  I spent  more time in the garden and kitchen canning tomatoes, making pasta sauce and salsa from our now ripened abundance of tomatoes and made more dilly beans.G-son started his 4th grade year of school and daughter began coaching volleyball. I attended all the home volleyball games this year.  Curb Market was busy so baking occupied alot of my time and I spent some time babysitting sometimes 3 little ones. We ended the month with hubbie and I making a trip to the Pickens flea market on a 90+ degree day !!

September was a fun filled month as the annual Apple Festival got it started off. We all went on Friday night before the almost 300,000 festival goers descended on our small downtown area.
On Labor day we went on a family bike ride on a new trail the county put in that connects three of the county parks.  G-daughter started going to a little 2 day playschool at First Baptist Church in town this month and loved the interaction with the other kids.  A gas shortage caused by a pipeline breach brought back memories of long gas lines and rationing from years ago.  We traded in our "Old Timey Days" at the Curb market for a "Heritage Day". The crowds were much smaller since there were no old wood stove cooked biscuits anymore. We were able to attend several of g-son's soccer games this month as well as all the home volleyball games. G-daughter started walking this month and she was into everything !!

October, October !!!!  Always an excitingly busy month around here and this year sure didn't disappoint !!
Hubbie and I took g-daughter to her first pumpkin farm visit with us. She loved to get in the middle of all the pumpkins.  I had to finally after 2 months of knee pain go to the doctor and have a cortisone shot in my left knee. It helped some but not as much as I was hoping. Hurricane Matthew ravaged the entire east coast the second week in the month leaving historic flooding in eastern North Carolina.
We celebrated double birthdays on the 16 as #1 son and g-son got a year older, #1 son turned 35 and g-son 10.  We dug our potatoes but didn't get very many this year in all the extreme weather, first extremely wet and then dry. Before the first frost on the 22nd we gleaned the garden of bell peppers and I went back to canning and made pepper / onion relish. On a nice Sunday we took another family bike ride on the same trail. Another trip to the Pickens flea market at the end of the month was disappointing as the number of vendors was really low. I volunteered at the elementary school that g-son goes to on Science night to remind me of all my past years of volunteering when my kids went to this same school. Hubbie and I again this year went into the neighbor's tomato fields to glean tomatoes but this year the drought really made the fruit rot fast and they didn't keep as long as last year. We ended this busy month with a couple Halloween celebrations as we set up the Noah's Arc at our church trunk or treat carnival and then took all the kids to Josh and daughter's church festival.

November rolled around and continued the drought that started after the hurricane from the first of last month. Fires started breaking out all around including one that was the closest and caused many smoke filled days at our house. Over 119,000 acres were burned before rains at the end of the month finally helped get the fires under control.
We attended the fundraiser Draw Down at the beginning of this month . No one won much but we had a great meal and a good time.  Daughter and Josh announced that they are expecting a baby in June. Daylight savings time ended on the  6th making the evening chores more of a challenge as darkness came faster with each day.  In a historic election Donald Trump was elected as our new president. I got a terrible head cold from breathing in all the smoke and fought it the entire month. We had our extended family Thanksgiving at the GE gym with  a lot of good food and fun.  I had a very busy baking month especially around Thanksgiving. Our family had a nice Thanksgiving supper with everyone here. Christmas open house at the Curb Market and the Hanging of the Greens service at church started off the Christmas season for us. A deadly fire swept through the eastern Tennessee tourist towns of Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge burning 2400 homes and businesses and killing 14 people before rain finally came at the end of the month . I finished the last week of the month putting up my Christmas decorations.

December is always a special month as we celebrate the birth of our Savior Jesus Christ.
This year this December had a lot of the festive feelings sapped out of it by the murder / suicide of Re's sister and her husband and the displacement of their 2 young daughters. This happened on the 4th and Re and her family left on the 5th to spend the remainder of the month with her family in Ohio. Hubbie and I took care of their cattle and animals in their absence. Aa came back the week before Christmas and worked and set more hay up for us before he went back up there.
I still have the head cold and coughing from last month and felt bad most days. I didn't put up any outside decorations this year but did get the inside all decorated. The Grand Highlands lodge where daughters wedding was held this past July burned to the ground this month.  Hubbie and I attended the Deacon's dinner and celebrated our 37th anniversary on the 21st of the month.Daughter and I made our shopping trip downtown the week before Christmas but didn't find many deals except the candy at Mast General Store for the Christmas stockings. We also made a shopping trip to Outlets in Asheville. I was very busy with market orders for Christmas baking and almost worked myself into the hospital as I thought I was getting phenmonia with all the coughing and chest tightness.
We had a wonderful Christmas eve service at church as usual and had our family Christmas after the program. Everyone had a great time and enjoyed all the gifts.
The month ended at daughter's house on New Year's Eve for a gender reveal party and we found out we are getting another granddaughter in June.

2016 was a good year and I am truly thankful for all the blessings our family had this year. As I think back over the year and the valleys and mountains I traveled through I am so thankful that I have a wonderful friend in Jesus who is always beside me as I climbed the mountains of joy and slid into the valleys of  sorrow  I know He was always holding my hand and urging me to believe in His glorious power and love.
As my family continues to grow and time marches on I love the life I have and the paths we have traveled that have shaped us into the people we are today and my hope is that the new year will bring more mountains than valleys as we all keep marching along this road called life.
A sweet good bye to 2016 and a hardy hello to 2017 !!!!
God Bless  and Happy New Year !!!!!

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