Wednesday, November 22, 2006

We arrived in Orlando last Friday, November 17th, in order to spend a week here at a Marriott timeshare condo. We have had several relaxing days with our middle daughter, Kimberly, and her little daughter, Julia Jo. Kim's husband, Paul, flew in today.

Tomorrow, Thanksgiving Day, we will enjoy visiting and eating at the home of my younger sister, Teresa (Teecie to all of us).

Above is a photo of one of the colorful buildings here at Horizons by Marriott.

We're in a condo that is lakefront. The first afternoon we were here, I walked the very short distance to the water's edge and took the above photo. You can see a crane in the lower left corner of the picture.

A bush along the lakeshore. I love the red berries (Christmasy!) and Spanish moss.

The view from our condo at dusk.
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Tuesday, November 14, 2006

It was interesting to see the lawn within the walls of Windsor Castle being mowed during our time sightseeing there. (Can you see the workman and his lawnmower?) The grass grows everywhere........and even the queen's yard needs manicuring!

Saw these castle walls from the train as we were traveling across England on our way to Ireland.

A view of the sun setting from our hotel room, Belfast, Northern Ireland.

Stone walls in the fields of Scotland. I took the photo from a train as we were traveling across the country to Edinburgh after having spent time in Ireland.
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I love snow, and I'm captivated by any snowy scenery!

Above is the scene from our hotel room window in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Flying out of Salt Lake City, I was seated in a window seat on the right side of the plane, and was able to capture our plane's shadow on the snow-covered field below.

This picture is of interesting patterns in the frozen tundra over which we flew sometime during winter months on our way to Europe (obviously, Myrna!).

I took this while flying over a mountainous region of Italy.
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Monday, November 13, 2006

This past weekend, Phil and I flew from San Francisco where he's working to Phoenix for a weekend with our "Arizona girls" and their families.

On Friday, we met them all at The Farm, which is a restaurant and "farm." It's an area developed within an old pecan grove. (Reminded me of our home in North Carolina when I was a child, which was built in a pecan grove.)

We had a wonderful time. The temperature was perfect, and the setting so relaxing and, it was great to be with Kim, Karma, and their children.

Lalo, Karma's baby, turned one year October 10th.

Antonio is now 9; Raquel will soon be 7 years old.

Nothing more fun than digging in the dirt!
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After we all had finished our lunch at The Farm and were just enjoying each other's company, the children had fun running and playing under the pecan trees. Lalo found himself a long skinny tree branch, and spent a long time quietly amusing himself with it.

He used it for balance as he tentatively walked...

....tried wrapping it around his neck......

.....and did all the things all little one-year old boy would do with a long, skinny tree branch! ha
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Since we won't be with Karma and her children for Thanksgiving (we'll be in Florida during that time with my sisters --- Kim, Paul and Julia Jo will also join us in Florida), I offered to cook a Thanksgiving meal, which we all enjoy this past Saturday evening, November 11th. We were delighted that Paul's father, Bob Corens, happened to be in Phoenix at the time and was able to join us also. One of Karma's work colleagues also joined us...we were delighted to have both Bob and Aldolpho with us for dinner.

The four little cousins.......

Raquel with little brother, Lalo........

...and Julia Jo being held by Auntie Karma with Mom nearby.
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Both Antonio and Raquel love to use my digital camera. I've mentioned before that I enjoy letting them "practice" with it, and they have both come up with some very nice photos at one time or another.

While riding in the car with Phil and me this past weekend, Raquel asked if she could take a picture and, of course, I said yes. The first one of me, I knew about because I obviously turned and smiled at her, seated in the back seat.

However, I did NOT know about her capturing my aging and "veiny" hands until I downloaded the pictures! :-)

It was our joy to attend Kim and Paul's church, Church at South Mountain, Sunday morning. The church will break ground soon for their own church building; meanwhile, they meet at a prep school downtown Phoenix, and have the use of a very lovely auditorium. I snatched a photo before the service yesterday morning.

Kimberly with her beloved pastor, Marvin Knight. Pastor Knight and the other believers of Church at South Mountain have had a tremendous impact on Kim and Paul's lives, for which we are so very thankful. K & P love the people, and find great joy being involved in their church.
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Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Phil, Aunt Vicky Sweetman, Myrna, Marilyn Sweetman Brennan

Phil's first cousin, Marilyn Brennan, and her family have always been very special to Phil and me. Marilyn's father, Richard Sweetman, Sr., and Phil's mother, Lena Sweetman White, were siblings. Both Uncle Rich and Mom White have passed away.

The Sweetmans, going back to Grandpa and Grandma Sweetman, are/were vibrant, joyful, open, warmhearted people, and that certainly applies also to Aunt Vicky Sweetman, wife of Richard, Sr. Marilyn, her sister, Vicki Lynn, and her brother, Richard, Jr., are winsome and delightful human beings, and their kindness and transparency draws others to them.

The kindness of Marilyn was demonstrated in a powerful way when she and her husband, Dr. Bob Brennan, invited Phil and me to live with them when we traveled to Brazil back in 1967 as part of a Christian folk group. We lived with them in Sao Paulo for 6 months during our months of ministry with Word of Life Brazil - Palavra da Vida!

Bob and Marilyn have always had a very special place in our hearts and lives, and we have cherished any opportunities we've had to be with them.

Sadly, we learned about two years ago that Bob was failing in health. This past weekend, Phil and I flew to Atlanta in order to attend his funeral. While it was a very sad time for everyone, it was again very special for Phil and me to be with these loving people.

Bob was a powerful figure, always desirous of sharing with others the transformation that came to his life when he met Jesus Christ. It was always his goal to share the gospel with everyone he met, so that they, too, could know forgiveness and redemption through the Lord Jesus.

Bob is now in the presence of His Lord, whom he loved and served faithfully for so many years. I just want to pay tribute to Bob, to a life well-lived, and a man much-loved by all who knew him, and to the Sweetman family, an unusual and loving family.

Phil with his first cousins Richard Sweetman, Jr., and Marilyn Sweetman Brennan

Dr. and Mrs. Bob Brennan

Marilyn Sweetman and family after the lunch that was graciously served the family following Bob's funeral November 4, 2006.
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