Wednesday, December 31, 2014


They say as you get older, time flies by.  You wake up on the morning of January 1st, and before you know it, you’re waking up on the morning of December 31st.  This certainly seems to be the case for me with 2014.  It.  Flew.  By.  I have looked back over my gratitude journal (which has the added bonus of acting as a calendar of events) and it’s no wonder that the year seems to have gone by quickly as we were both really busy (business, church, travel) and there were many momentous events.  Here’s a look-back of our 2014.

Mom and Dad were in Florida for the winter, which meant we got to spend a lot of time with them.  I brought Mom into the 21st century; teaching her how to use a tablet and setting her up with her own email and Facebook accounts.  In early January, we started back up with the second half of Disciple II and I began my three month training to become a Stephen Minister.  I also started my three year service as a member of The Women’s Ministry Team.  My brother Nathaniel and his family came to Florida for a cruise so we were able to visit with them twice (coming and going).  And, of course; the beginning of Busy Season onset and Lucy turned nine.

 Lily enjoys some black-eyed peas (not really!)

Nathaniel, Pete and Analee

Busy Season, church and related activities plus visiting with Aunt Mary and Uncle Bob and Uncle David and Aunt Nancy and a two day visit from Mom B and Aunt Judy whereby we spent the majority of the time (along with Mom) looking at apartments for Mom B and lunching out!  We also had our new landscaping put it; what a difference!

Aunt Judy and Mom B at Cedar Reef Fish Camp

Busy Season ramping up but we were still able to have an enjoyable several day visit with Cailyn; we even managed to get to a baseball game in Port Charlotte and Cailyn and I spent a lovely afternoon at Ringling with dear friend Gracie.  Family friends The Greenings came into town; Mark even took a break from taxes so we could go out to dinner with them and Mom and Dad. Later in the month, Lucy and I snuck away for a few days up to Weeki Wachee to see Father.  Pete spent the night in the animal ER; several hundred dollars later, he was thankfully ok but all the cats are now on a special diet!  Lent began in early March; I gave up Facebook and complaining.  The Little Kids (Ares, Athena and Apollo) turned five.

Lucy and Cailyn

 Amy, Mom and Elaine Greening

 Dad, Jim Greening and Mark

Pete feels poorly

I was commissioned as a Stephen Minister in early April.  We made it through another Busy Season and the long-standing thorn in my side billing issue with Lakewood Ranch Medical Center was finally resolved.  We celebrated a lovely Easter but sadly, lost our dear neighbor Ralph to cancer.  Mom B sold her house in Ocala!

Newly commissioned Stephen Ministers! 

Something to be very proud of

Relaxing after April 15th

Mom B moved to Bradenton this month, spending a few weeks with us while waiting for her new apartment at Carlton Arms to be ready.  We traveled to North Carolina in mid-May for Cailyn’s college graduation as well as to visit with family and sign the necessary papers to sell our townhouse in Durham.  We stopped in Savannah on our way home for two wonderful days for a belated anniversary celebration.  Our townhouse closed on May 24th.  Woo hoo; one less thing to be responsible for!  Another major milestone for us; we finished up Disciple II.

Mom B at her new apartment

 Waiting to watch Cailyn walk

Dad and the college graduate!

 A first!  Cailyn with all three of her parents

 Bonaventure Cemetery in Savannah

Goofing off in Savannah

I began visiting with Donnabelle via our church’s visitation ministry program; something I’d continue to do on a regular basis through the end of October.  We had a great time in mid-June at the Walbring Family Reunion in TN and were also able to visit with our cruising pals Paul and Tina.  I began solo-facilitating my first SEED group at church; a class called “Listen:  Learning to Pray in a Noisy World”.  After many years of suffering through sleepless nights, I found a $20 solution to the problem; I LOVE my Snore Eraser!



Walbring Family Reunion

JJ and Sophie with Aunt Mamie

Mom B spent two weeks in NY while we stayed home for once!  We finally had granite countertops installed; something I’d been pining for; what a difference!  The month was filled with fellowship, SEED group, visiting Donnabelle and enjoying our lovely Florida home.  Pete and Lily turned six!

New granite!!!!!

Let.  Me.  In. 

Leave.  Me.  Alone.

We began the project to pave the lanai (which, due to in climate weather, ended up taking three months!)  Still, it afforded us an opportunity to work on something together (and we each probably lost several pounds).  Mark turned 58 and we bought a Subaru Forester.  Our church reached consensus to become a church in two locations with Bayshore.  My “Listen” SEED group wrapped up and Lucy and I had a great visit with Father.

 In  progress

A familiar sight for three months

Mark's new car!

Lanai, lanai, lanai!  We began a new SEED group together, Covenant, which Mark co-led with our new associate Pastor.  Mom B and I started Tuesday Live; a fantastic study on the book of James; I happily was a small group leader and really got a lot out of the study and the group.  After many months of frustration, The Women’s Ministry Team finally got direction.  I spent a lot of time in September preparing for our Halloween cruise/putting together our costumes (with a lot of support from my Facebook pals!)  I was asked to consider becoming a Stephen Leader for our congregation, which seems like a good match with my talents and spiritual gifts.


Goofing off with my wig and make-up for my costume

Our lanai is finally complete!  We had a fantastic cruise with Mom and Dad and all of our other cruising buddies on Freedom of the Seas!  We completed our first session of Covenant.

 Completed lanai

 So pretty!

 Florida living

 Come visit!

Our big helper

Beautiful Freedom of the Seas

Formal Night

Our group in the Main Dining Room



Busy with church activities, fellowship, spending time with friends and celebrating a lovely Thanksgiving at our home.  We helped out handing out race packets for the annual Harvest Hustle and yours truly actually painted a half-way decent picture.  We managed to get the house decorated for Christmas before the end of the month!  I successfully read my part at the Hanging of the Greens service. We began our next Covenant session.

Lily enjoys the new lanai furniture

Volunteer fun!

Mrs. B the artiste

Where is MY turkey?

 Happy Thanksgiving 2014!

The first time we sat in the dining room all year!


Many opportunities for family and fellowship, including a nice evening at the Advent Dinner and The Women’s Ministry Team lunch.  Tuesday Live wrapped up and we celebrated my 51st birthday on board Explorer of the Seas.  Christmas brought both happy and sad times with Mom B having to say good-bye to Snoopy on the 29th.  I end this year eagerly awaiting the arrival of Mom and Dad tomorrow, anticipating my Stephen Leader training in mid-January, hoping to schedule a time to get up to see Father, and really looking forward to my safe NYE here at home tonight with my Mr. B and my furries.  Oh.  And just a few verses short of memorizing the entire book of James ;-) 

December in Florida

Mr. B on Explorer of the Seas

 Sunset on our balcony


Dinner on December 16th  (birthday eve!)

 Fantastic bartenders in the Champagne Bar

Decked out for Christmas!

Back at home

 Christmas Eve

RIP,  Snoopy

Here's to a fantastic 2015 for all of us!
Mrs. B