When Wes and I were debating whether or not to sell our house, one day Ashlynn asked me when Granddaddy was going to buy me a house that had her pool. :) She has enjoyed "her" pool and even got to invite her friend, Colette over for a swim party. At the beginning of July, Ashlynn wouldn't get out of the shallow end. But by the end of August, Granddaddy had her jumping and swimming in the deep end by herself.
They are big buddies. I'm not sure who enjoys it more...Ashlynn or Granddaddy.
There's nothing better than swimming with your best buddy.
Well, the Texas Rangers have had a dismal year. It's been bad....really bad. But, that didn't keep us from having a great time at a Rangers' game. It was about 105 degrees that evening, but this cutie knew how to keep us cool.
Checking out the action on the field with her binoculars.
It was fedora night. Think we rocked these pretty good, if I do say so myself.
We were soaked by the end of the game because of her spray bottle fan....and it felt wonderful! LOVE, LOVE, LOVE that toothless smile!
June was a busy, busy month for us. We had sold our house and had put a contract on another house. So packing, cleaning, and trying to get everything together and ready for a move. Moving is so not fun. That is one of the hardest things we've had to do in awhile. God was so good, though. Our schedule was so packed, and yet, everything happened exactly when it was supposed to. Just another confirmation to us that we were doing the right thing. Here's just a sample of our last week:
Sunday, June 22, it is POURING down rain! POURING! Our movers come to load all our stuff. They were supposed to be out our house first thing, but because it was raining so hard they decided to wait to see if the rain would let up. It didn't. So, they came on rain and all. They had to wrap each piece thoroughly in plastic to keep it from getting drenched. Loaded what they could and said they'd be back the next day....which was good because the weather would be better.
Monday, June 23, it's POURING again! God has such a great sense of humor. You just couldn't get upset because we so needed the rain! It had been so dry....but geez, does it all have to come today? Evidently so! So our movers loaded up the rest of our belongings and we began the final cleaning of our house.
Wednesday, June 25, Wes' mother passes away in South Carolina. This was not a surprise, and we are so thankful she can walk and dance again. She had been bedridden for 1 1/2 years. We're so thankful God has given her a new body.
Friday, June 27, we close on our house in North Richland Hills. Goodbye house on Crane Road. Thanks God for a wonderful place to raise our boys. May it be as big a blessing to the next family as it had been to ours.
Saturday, June 28, we hop on a plane and head to South Carolina for Gogo's funeral. We arrive about 2 hours before the service and got to spend the rest of the day with family. All the brothers and sisters were there. It was good to see everyone again.
Sunday, June 29, we get right back on that plane to head home.
Monday, June 30, we do the final walk around on our new house. It's a beaut! God outdid Himself on this one!
Tuesday, July 1, we close on our new house and meet our movers in our new home. Yeah, we're home! But we can't find anything!!
So that's just an example of our month of June. It was a whirlwind, but wow! Just watching God guide our steps and lead us was just so much fun to be a part of.
Is it really her last day of first grade? Where has my little girl gone? She is growing up so very fast and is becoming even more precious every day. Here we are at her awards ceremony with her schoolmates and her teacher, Mrs. Boettcher.
Ashlynn knows her Granddaddy LOVES Peeps. So she had a surprise waiting for him when he came into her classroom.
On May 2014, Bennett Matthew became officially ours! A Neely forever. Bennett came into Austin and Shawna's home when he was just 2 days old. But when we laid eyes on him, our hearts melted. God is going to let this little guy stay. He was another gift straight from heaven! Ashlynn and Carson had a little brother. Why did God choose us for this little guy? I don't know, but I am so thankful. Bennett is such a sweetheart and brings so much more joy into our lives.
Are Austin and Shawna busy? You better believe it.....and I don't think they get a lot of sleep. But what a precious family. Just makes this JuJu shake her head and smile at the goodness of God.
The happy day in the courtroom when the judge officially said welcome to your family.
This little man could not ask for a better mama.
Bennett was all smiles that day. He is always smiling, but it seemed like he understood what this day really represented.
He's just dang cute. You can't deny it. His JuJu loves him dearly!
On May 9, this cute little man turned 1 year old! 1 year! Carson Luke is such a joy! In some ways he is so much like his sister, but he has his own distinct personality that just makes you want to squeeze him! He is all boy and loves to climb and is always on the go! AND I MEAN ALWAYS! What a precious little man.
Wes was adjusting to being a 757/767 international captain. This was quite an undertaking for him to learn 2 new planes at 60. But he came through with flying colors.
Also during this time, we had still been debating whether we were to sell our house or to stay in North Richland Hills. We had actually been asking that question since 2011 when the selling of our house (TWICE) fell through. We decided that there were some repairs that needed to be done whether or not we sold our house, so we began to do them and believed that God would show us whether we were to stay or go.
We finally heard God say sell, we put our house on the market, showed it 7 times the first day and had 5 offers by the end of that day. The lowest offer was our asking price. It was an amazing day. We saw that it really was God's timing for us to move. On May 25th, we had a contract on our house and was wondering what we were going to do next. But......some other exciting things had happened during this time.
Well, I've finally come back to my blog page. I knew it had been awhile, but I must admit that I was a little surprised when I saw that it had been almost 8 months. So much has happened during that time. Hopefully, I will be able to catch up over the next few days, because a LOT of Neely life has happened in 8 months!
This is a song that Steven Curtis Chapman put on his new Christmas album, "Joy". I like it because it makes you think about what Joseph, Mary, the shepherds, and the wise men were thinking when they saw that little baby. Did they really understand what was happening? Probably not. But can you imagine being Mary and seeing wise, rich kings, bowing and worshiping her little boy? What must have been going through her mind! Won't it be wonderful to hear her story and to know her thoughts? Just another glimpse of how cool heaven with be.
I AM JOSEPH (GOD IS WITH US)
I am Joseph, I am Mary, I’m traveling on a journey
And I’m carrying a promise I can’t see
I’m scared and I’m excited
I don’t really know what lies ahead of me
I’m a shepherd on a hillside
As common as the clothes I wear
But smell like I’ve been sleeping in a barn
The last people in the world to ever bow before a King
But here we are
And God is with us
God is for us
This is my story
This is my song
And I am Herod in the palace
That my pride can build around me
I start thinking I’m the one and only king
Trying desperately to stay upon a throne that never did
belong to me.
And I am riding with the wise men over hills and through the
In our family, we usually pick up the words that little ones say when they are learning to talk and use them instead of the correct pronunciation. Our boys always called a pillow a "pula". They learned that word from their cousins. Austin had a "fumb" and "thingers" and wore "middens" and had "buddons" on his shirt. So, a lot of the time, you'll hear my family still use these words. Ashlynn has added several new words to our lists. When she was not even two, she said yellow was "yedder". And a new one popped up this Christmas. Wes grew up in Africa and one of his favorite drinks was ginger beer. NO ONE in our family likes ginger beer at all.....it must be an acquired taste, and neither the boys nor I have it. But Wes loves it. So, Brendon bought him a case of ginger beer for Christmas. As you can imagine, Wes was elated. When Ashlynn inquired about ginger beer, she wrinkled up her nose and said that she didn't think she'd like that. We had a little discussion on how much Granddaddy loved it, but JuJu, Uncle Brendon, her mama, nor her daddy cared for it much. Later on in the day, we were all getting something to drink and Ashlynn wanted to know if we were drinking the gingerbread beer. Well, that name stuck. Wes no longer likes ginger beer, but he sure does love gingerbread beer!
So here's a picture.....just in case you'd like to try some gingerbread beer.