The hardest part about our move from LA to FL is missing our dear friends! I'll admit, this move has been easier than prior moves due to technology. Facebook, blogs, the online version of the hometown newspaper and text messages have kept us connected with the people we spent the last 7 years with. But, none of those things can compare to face to face visits. Just last week, we got a whole week of face time with a few of those special friends.
Kassi Randall was Jonah's babysitter last summer and was most upset when Dan announced his resignation last August. She immediately devised a plan to bring her family to FL for her senior trip and to bring her BFF, Taylor Welch with her. Taylor was our next door neighbor for several years and we have spent lots of time with her family over the years. So, Kassi didn't have to twist her arm too much to get her to tag along. Jonah thinks Kassi's parents are his grandparents. He calls them Papaw and NeNe. He over heard them say (3 years ago) that was what their new grandbaby would call them and he decided right then that was their names. I made sure to ask if they minded sharing Baylee's name with Jonah.
The arrived in DeLand right as our 2nd service was ending. We came home then all loaded up in our van and headed to Daytona Beach. They wanted to spend some time at the Daytona Speedway then see the beach. Since Daytona Beach is a drive on beach, we did just that. We never got out of the car but we were able to take in all the sights of the beach.
When we got home, I headed to our bathroom to clean our shower with some new stuff I bought at Target. As I read the package, it said that you should avoid it if you are pregnant. So, I went to the kitchen to tell Dan that he got the privilege of trying out the shower cleaner. The package claimed it was fun so I somehow convinced Taylor and Kassi to help Dan. I guess when people miss you, they will do most anything for you!
Now, when I say "help," I use that term very loosely where Kassi was concerned. She looked like this most of the time.
We all headed to Disney the next day. The picture of Greg on the tram smiling with Jonah is the last picture we have of him smiling all day! Not really, but he is not afraid to tell you he hated it! He was glad to have the experience of saying he went but doesn't want to go back anytime soon. The crowds were more than he cared for. For some reason, this is the only picture I took the entire day!
We got up Tuesday and headed to Ponce Inlet for a day at the beach. The girls and Greg were pumped to go Parasailing. Jonah, Cindy and I watched from the beach. They had a blast!
The beach is just more fun with a group of people. Once I discovered Ponce Inlet, I choose to take people there most often. Most tourists don't know about it and there is so much room to just run and play without being overcrowded. You have space to spread out and not feel like you are hanging out with half of Florida. Jonah played to his hearts content then crashed within seconds of being in the car.
Besides visiting with good friends, the highlight of the week for our family was the Louisiana food! Greg and Cindy brought a cooler with fish, crawfish and tomatoes. We started with gumbo and had all sorts of yummy meals with them. Those people can cook!!!
It was such a wonderful time for us. We love where we are and feel so confident in God's leading us to DeLand. But, our hearts will forever be intertwined with those Vidalia people. No matter where we go, that will always be the place that gave Dan his start. They trusted him with his first full-time Worship Leader position and then first pastorate. They wept with us through years of infertility and the loss of my dad and both of Dan's grandfathers. They rejoiced with the news of our pregnancy then filled the halls of the hospital and cried tears of joy when Jonah Daniel Glenn made his entrance into our world. They loved us and we loved them. Distance will never change that but I'm so grateful for the ones who make this trip just to remind us of how blessed our lives are because of that place!