Monday, August 12, 2013

So I think it's official... I'm a bad blogger! I always come here to write a post with good intentions of posting more regularly, but then I still can't seem to do it. And here it is August, and my last post was the 1st day of January! And it's sad, too, because LOTS has happened since my last post! The biggest news is, my oldest daughter, Sarah, is getting married! Yeah, and the proposal and engagement happened at the end of January, and I'm just now posting this?! See.... told you I'm a bad blogger! LOL

Anyway, over the past 6+ months since Sarah and Jeremy got engaged, I've been going through SO many different emotions! Happiness for her, sadness for me, nostalgic moments thinking about her birth and childhood, and how FAST that has gone by, and MORE! So of course we've been in the throw's of wedding planning, and of course it's wedding planning on a BUDGET, because finances are still not great, but God has and is providing in so many ways for this wedding. It's very much a DIY wedding, but that has actually made it more fun, in many ways! I'm a huge bargain hunter anyway, and Sarah has followed in my footsteps in that, so we've had lots of fun finding those wedding bargains. And God has blessed us with finding them for SURE!  So, September 28 is the date. And yes, that's less than 2 months away! So I'm starting to get a little stressed, but it's all good. Here's a couple of pictures of the happy couple and Sarah's silly sisters (who are both her maids of honor in the wedding). :)

So, over the next several weeks, I'm really going to TRY and chronicle some of our wedding planning experiences, and my thoughts and emotions as we go through this time. I HAVE come to the conclusion that this transition takes time to adjust to just like it took time to adjust when I found out I was pregnant with her. It's hard to explain, so perhaps I will be able to share more on that as we count down the weeks to the wedding.

So until next time..... and here's one more picture... one of my favorites, actually, because it makes me laugh every time I look at it. :)

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! :)

Seems like I'm always stating my blog posts with something along the lines of, "I can't believe how fast time has gone by....." and then a promise to try and do better at keeping my blog updated! I guess if I made any New Year resolutions, one of them should be to be better about updating my blog, but I don't make resolutions, so...........

...Here it is, January 1st, 2013!!! WHAT???!!! Time sure does fly by, faster and faster each year! LOL! I do wish it would slow down... just a little. But I guess that just isn't going to happen. So, since I've been so bad about keeping this blog updated, here is our entire year in review! Get a cup of coffee or whatever your beverage of choice, and get ready to sit and read for a while! LOL

2012 was, well a year! :) And yes, it was an eventful year. But then, what year HASN'T been eventful for us?! Let me think...... yeah, NO year that I can remember has been uneventful. But that's not necessarily a bad thing! Ok, so I'll try to keep this as concise as possible. Here are [drum roll} the highlights of 2012 in the lives of the Cole family! :)

January - Our sweet Rachel turned 18 years old! Seriously?! I now have TWO adult children?! Yeah, that whole time flying by thing again! This was a momentous year to turn 18, too with it being a presidential election year and all! And yes, Rachel got registered as a voter and participated in the election! :)

February - This month found Bob traveling to Florida to see his dad who was in very poor health and getting ready to have major open heart surgery. Bob's brother, Mike, graciously paid for a plane ticket for Bob since our financial situation didn't warrant us being able to, and so Bob flew back for several days and was able to spend time, not only with his dad, but with other family members, as well. He hadn't seen his parents since 2001, so it was really nice for him to see them again.

Sarah competed in an Irish pageant during this month, also. She LOVES everything Irish, and even though she didn't win, she had a great time exploring her Irish heritage (from my side of the family) and she made some new friends, as well. :)

 March - Rachel was able to get some last minute tickets for Wicked, which was currently running in a theater near us. She took Bob and I with her, and WOW! It was an A.M.A.Z.I.N.G production! Rachel was THRILLED to see it, as she had been wanting to see it for a VERY long time! But Bob and I loved it, too! I will never look at The Wizard of Oz the same again! :)

The very next day after seeing Wicked, Bob received the very sad news that his dad had passed away. This was the first of our four parents to pass on, so it made it that much more difficult. :(

 March was the month when Hannah was in a pageant. She competed in the Miss Junior Teen AZ United States pageant. She had a GREAT time competing and made many new friends! And yes, the judges were BLIND! :)

April - Rachel played the part of "Lydia" in Pride & Prejudice at our local community theater. She did a great job, too! Especially with one of her lines which was, "YOO HOOOOOOOO!" You probably had to hear it, though to really understand the hilarity of it. LOL!

April was an exciting month for Sarah, as she bought her FIRST CAR! A cute little red 2001 Hyundai Accent. :) Oh the freedom she now has! LOL

April was also when our beloved cat, Simba, went to kitty heaven. He was 15 years old, and had been in poor health for a while, so it wasn't totally unexpected, but we really do miss him! But then the day after he died, God provided a brand new baby for us through our friends, the McAvoys, in the form of a cute little calico-gray kitten we have named Kiara! She is quite the character and adds a lot of laughter to our lives! :)

Simba's grave
At the very end of April, Bob headed back to Florida one more time to attend his dad's memorial service. A sad time, but also a time to celebrate the life of his dad. He also was able to celebrate his birthday with his family which was really nice for him. :)

May/June - May was pretty uneventful, well, except for the homeschool prom that Sarah and Rachel went to. Don't they look beautiful?! :) 

June had a little bit more going on! It started with Rachel graduating from our homeschool high school. She took part in the graduation ceremony our state homeschool organization puts on every year, and it was a wonderful ceremony! My parents and sister were also able to come, which was truly a blessing. Then it was time to party! Which we did the next night after her graduation. :)

Our beautiful graduate
Our family on graduation day

The whole family
Pretty cake

Party time!
Also in June, Bob and I celebrated 24 wonderful years of marriage AND we were able to go on a little romantic get-away to a nice resort in Scottsdale. :) Then two days after our anniversary, Sarah turned [gulp!] 21 YEARS OLD! I don't think I'm old enough to have a 21 year old kid, yet! LOL

And last, but not least for June, Rachel was in another production at our local community theater, this time it was Oliver. She played the part of "Charlotte" and was also in ensemble. And yes, she did great job! :)

Rachel with some of the Oliver cast

 July/August - Our HOT summer months! So we stay inside where it's air-conditioned and cool, as much as possible! Well, except when the A/C breaks down! Yep, it did, in August when it was literally 115 degrees outside! Yes, it was really 115 that day! That experience has made me SO very grateful for the invention of air-conditioning! I won't be taking THAT for granted again! :) LOL

But back to July... Hannah & Rachel were able to go to camp in the mountains of southern California with our church youth group. They were there over the 4th of July, so Bob and Sarah and I decided we'd drive up to Prescott for the 4th. It was SO nice to be where it was cool, and even rainy for part of the day! Sarah and a friend had a great time going to a rodeo that was taking place near Prescott, while Bob and I had fun wandering the streets and shops in downtown Prescott. Then there was a great fireworks show that night where we actually got COLD! Felt wonderful! The only bad thing was that we couldn't stay longer! 

Our hot summer months are somewhat tolerable because of our monsoon season that brings regular thunder storms to our area, and this summer, not only did we have some pretty good thunder storms, but also some wicked dust storms! And beautiful rainbows, too! :)

Big scary looking cloud!
Dust storm!!!
Beautiful rainbow :)
There was one more rather significant thing that happened in August. Sarah met Jeremy! Yes, she did! She and Jeremy seem to be getting along QUITE well, and since we like him a lot, that is A-OK with us! We will see what the future holds for them. And the DO make a really nice looking couple, don't they?! :)

September - Ahhhhh, September! Finally the beginning of the end of HOT! Oh...and Hannah's birthday! :) She turned sweet 16 this year! :)

Our new 16 year old

October - Hannah wanted to wait for it to cool down some more before having a sweet 16 birthday party, so we had it in October. It was a fun "formal" dance party!

The beautiful birthday girl!
Blowing out her candles

And then of course, even though they are 21, 18 and 16, my girls still love to dress up for Halloween! :) Sarah and Rachel had a party to go to, and Hannah decided she was still young enough to go trick or treating. :)

November - Rachel was in yet ANOTHER production at our community theater. The show was Little Mermaid, and Rachel got the part she really wanted..."Ursula"! And she played the part like a professional! She was SO good and I was SO PROUD of her!!! Many commented they thought she stole the show, and of course I totally agree! :)

"Ursula" with her "minions"

Thanksgiving was quiet this year, but nice. Just us, good food and a time to relax. :)

And that brings us to....

December! I had another 29th birthday (yes I "really" did in MY head! LOL), and well, December is always hectic, but mostly in a good way. My mom and dad and sister came and spent Christmas with us, and it was such a blessing to have them here. :)

Which brings us back around to where I, January 1, 2013!  So.... HAPPY NEW YEAR, my friends! And may this year be filled with many blessings and good things. But MOSTLY, may this new year be filled with Jesus and may He have a whole new impact on your life! Love you all!

P.S. And yes, I WILL try to be better about keeping my blog updated this year! LOL :)

 “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.”  
   ~2 Corinthians 5:17