Monday, December 11, 2017

Time to trim the tree

 Pulling out the Christmas boxes is so fun!  But, time seems to be speeding up.  Didn't I just put those away a couple of weeks ago? 

It's exciting to see my kiddos faces light up at certain ornaments or decorations that they love.

 Everyone likes to participate as we decorate our tree.  This year, Patrick wanted to do more of a football themed tree.  My girls insisted we still add all our family ornaments to our tree as well.  It turned out beautiful!

 Since I was a little girl, I put the star on the tree.  Now, I do it in my home.  My kids know....don't mess with the star!  That's Momma's job! :o)
 And, it turned out beautiful again! 

Saturday, December 9, 2017

Picking our Tree

 Oh how we love Christmas!  The smells, the yummies, the memories....and the tree!  We had fun picking out our tree this year!

 We were a little bummed our regular tree tent closed down.  It's hard to find another place open on Thanksgiving evening.  Josh and Tab found a place and called to tell us about it.  Off we went!
On a side note, don't you love my Silas's new glasses!  We knew it was coming soon.  That's kid number four for our family to be in glasses.  What an expensive trend!  But, he does look adorable!

 Of course, I thought all of the trees were beautiful.  But, a few of my family members, or shall I say all of them!, have more of opinion.  So, after much deliberation, we chose the perfect 2017 Gimenez family tree!

 Then, it was off to go home and decorate!

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Our December Prayer Letter and direction for our future

December 5, 2017
Dear Pastor & Church,

              I could have never imagined to be where we are today when we started our journey as missionaries back in 2006.  There have been mountains and valleys with each day that has passed.  However, we have seen and experienced that God is on the mountaintops and He is also the beautiful Lily of the valleys. 

            As we were preparing the church plant here in High Springs to be self-sufficient and ready to take on a pastor, a seasoned church planter challenged our family to pray about our next step.  As we prayed, we came together as a family with the same answer.  God wants our family to remain here at VSIBC and take the Pastorate.  The church here is in full agreement and we are excited about what the future holds.  Not only has this become home and the precious families here have become our family, but it also allows Kami the opportunity to remain with her current doctors at the University of Florida, Shands.  We continue to hope that one day soon will have an answer for Kami’s health difficulties. 

            In March of 2018, we will be stepping down as missionary church planters and assuming the role of Pastor here at VSIBC.   Thusly, we are asking our supporting churches to remain with us until March of 2018.  This will give the VSIBC church plant a full three years of growth.  We do not know if VSIBC will be able to fully support our family come March, but then again, a life lived for Christ is all about a life of FAITH!  A few pastors have already said that they would be willing to support our family beyond March if the church here is not quite able to fully support us at that time.  We have always been humbled by the love and faithfulness of our supporting churches throughout these past 11 years.
            The home office of MWBM is graciously allowing our family to remain a part of Macedonia beyond March of 2018.  This will allow for any of our supporting churches to simply continue supporting our family for as long as they desire, until the church here can fully support our family. 

It has also been recommended that I mention the idea of helping VSIBC in a unique way.  VSIBC continues to have a great need for a permanent location to meet in.  We desperately need a building or land on which to build.  But as we all know, finances are always needed in these endeavors.  We have already raised $25,000 in the building fund here and our people have proven a desire to give.  However, it does take a bit more money than this to begin a building project.  If a church so desires to help in this endeavor, you can support VSIBC’s building fund from March through December of 2018 This may be done by simply designating that our monthly personal support be switched to “VSIBC’s Building Fund” starting in March.  100% of the monies received will be directed to VSIBC’s building fund.  Then we would ask that all support cease at he end of 2018. 
 If there are any questions, please don’t hesitate to call me at my cell below.  We praise the Lord for each and every one of you…
Patrick Gimenez and Family

Sunday, December 3, 2017

Happy Thanksgiving

 What a wonderful day we had!!  Callie was in on the excitement this year and learned how to peel potatoes.  She peeled and peeled and was very diligent!  Don't worry, she didn't do this whole pile!

 Beth and Brenna are awesome in the kitchen.  We divided up the menu and each of us worked on several dishes.  I love my girls!

 Our Thanksgiving Tree quickly filled up.  We have many blessings!

 Silas asked if I could buy another write-on tablecloth this year.  I was excited to see it at Walmart again and it was loads of fun!

 So much food, and it was soooo very yummy!

 Happy Thanksgiving!!

Friday, December 1, 2017

Embracing the Journey

I have to tell you.  I am enjoying this new season of life.  Last Thanksgiving was special.  It was very sweet.  But, it was also quite emotional.  We knew this would be Joshua's last Thanksgiving while still living in our home.  Wedding plans were in full swing and lots of things were being prepared.  But, our minds reflected to the days ahead.  And I have to be honest with you...I was scared.  I was afraid I would dwell on missing having all 6 of my children under my roof.  I put up a quote on my bulletin board where I have my quiet time.  It says, "Embrace the journey and the exciting future ahead."  I wanted that to be true, but I was already missing my son, and he hadn't even left yet!

Last year, as we sat around the table and we shared what we are thankful for, my Joshua said, 
 "I'm thankful for my family that I have, and for my family to come."

I remember well, that we all stopped a moment and had a good cry.  In my heart I knew that things would never be the same.  And, I have some news.  They aren't the same.  My boy is not living under our roof.  He is his own man.  Making his own decisions.  And has a new girl taking care of him.  It's not me anymore.  But, do you know what?  I'm enjoying it.  This season of life has so much excitment and joy!  I truly am embracing the journey and the exciting days ahead!

We knew that Joshua and Tabitha had decided to have a sweet, romantic Thanksgiving meal.  Just the two of them.  In my heart there was joy.  I love seeing my boy enjoy his marriage and treasure his wife.  And make new family memories and traditions.  That's what I want for him. 
So, the night before Thanksgiving we invited them over for Sloppy Joes and tater tots.  As we sat around the table, Silas said, "Why don't we share what we are thankful for tonight since we're all together!"  And we did.  Do you know what my Josh said?  With a love in his eyes, he looked at Tabitha and said, "I'm thankful for my family." Just like last year, I cried again.  But, this time my tears weren't for fear of what was ahead.  But, they were joy for what is now.  I am so blessed!

Thanksgiving morning we had 2 guests drop in to borrow an extra casserole dish.  Aren't they adorable?

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Twas the days before Thanksgiving

 I love the excitement the days before a holiday!  This year was no different.  The day before Thanksgiving, we decided to make our school day and art day.  It was so fun painting and drawing and being creative!

 Then, that night, we made hot cocoa and sat by the fire with all our comfy blankets and read stories of Thanksgiving together.  The kids love hearing about the Pilgrims and the Indians and how they shared their harvest together.  When they see the struggles they went through, it remind them to be thankful for the many, many blessings we have!

We also made some fun crafts from Hobby Lobby (I love that store!) that decorated our table on the big day.  What fun we had preparing!

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Thankgiving celebrationa and a fun cake to go with it!

 For our midweek services at VSIBC this week, we decided to move it to Tuesday night instead of Wednesday.  Patrick planned a special service with praises to share and the Lord's Supper.
Brenna decided to make a special cake to share.
 Her and her Daddy are quite artistic and enjoyed making it together.

 The pictures make it look a little purple.  But, her turkey cake was a warm brown color.  It was adorable and loved by all!  :)

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Special Memories with our Special Michigan Family

 ***Just a warning, I'm going to try to fit a million memories into this one there will be plenty of pictures!

A few weeks ago I was having a rough day.  My doctors appointments weren't going too well and I was in tears.  My Aunt Robin knew it was difficult for me and called and asked if she could arrange a week for me to come to Michigan and visit family.  After talking it over with Patrick, we knew this would be a wonderful idea.  And the bonus...Callie was able to come along with me!!
So, a few days after getting back from Fort Myers, Callie and I hopped on a plane and flew to Detroit!!
To say that she was excited is an understatement.  My girl and I had so much fun and she was a wonderful travelling buddy!!
We enjoyed several family meals around my Mam-maw's table.  So many wonderful memories in this place while I was growing up!

 Callie was able to meet her 3 great-great uncles.  She loved them all!  And they loved her!

 Her Uncle Link asked if she would like a can of "Pop."  My poor Florida girl...she said "What's pop?"  My family thought that was funny.  Her Uncle Bill rescued her and got her a can of "Coke"  :o)

 We enjoyed services at Mam-maw and Robin's church and was even able to attend their revival one night.  Exciting things are happening there and people are getting saved!

 Fall is in full bloom in Michigan.  Callie enjoyed being outside some.  She was so cold!

 Making turtles with Robin.  They were so yummy!

 Reading to Mam-maw.

 I love Michigan grass!   As a little girl, I couldn't wait to run barefoot all over my Mam-maw's yard.
 We enjoyed dinner and show at Turkeyville.

 We went with Robin one day to her church office.  She is the secretary.  Callie thought it was great fun to be in a basement.  That's something we don't have in Florida!

 Callie with two of her 5th cousins.  Wow!  Not many people can say that they breakfasted with their 5th cousins!  Callie had a great time!!

 One night it actually snowed just a little.  Callie thought it was a blizzard.  Oh how excited she was!! I don't think our Michigan family was quite as excited as her about the snow!

Callie made Robin a to-do list.  I like #5!

 The colors were absolutely breathtaking!  Wow, our God sure is the greatest artist!

And in a snap our trip was over.  Too quick.  Although it's always good to get home, we sure do miss our Michigan family.  They spoiled Callie and I and we made memories to last a life time.