Today the boys go back to college.  The time together was so precious.  Nothing beats the high I feel when all of my family is under one roof every night.  We played many games and I finally one a game of Settlers of Catan against Tim.  Tim also taught us how to play Fluxx.  My sons seem to have inherited my passion for games.  After all they play computer games all the time.  I pray they remember these times and play games with their families when the time comes.

I also saw both of my sons get their hearts broken this holiday season.  After much agony and confusion, my youngers son's girlfriends family took away her phone and computer and said she couldn't have them back unless she quit all communication with him.  I don't know how you can call a girl a "girlfriend" if you have never met face to face and she lives across the continent.  But he seemed genuinely in love (and I have paid the cell phone bill the last several months which proves how much time they were "communicating".   The girl was given a choice - drop him or forever lose your computer, cell phone and support.  My heart goes out to both of them.  Why can't her family wait and meet him.  I'll bet he would charm them to death.  He is so naive never having sisters of girl cousins(until he was much older).  I know how gentle and caring he can be.  All they would have to do is observe him with his cat.  That would prove how gentle and loving he is.  My Timothy, my heart breaks for you.  I can only pray that God has someone else in mind for you.

William - dating a girl 5 years younger than you has it's ups and downs.  This is your first real girlfriend and you are 22.  She is so much younger and not as mature as you are use to.  But she is beautiful (and tall) and has a great personality.  Such a sweetheart, and I know why you love her.  Again my heart breaks for you because her family forbids you to see each other.  IF ONLY they would get to know you.  They would see how naive yet loving and gentle you are.  They would see you want to pursue this relationship in a way to bring honor to God.  But for now, you have to sneak around behind their backs.   Don't they understand that they could oversee this relationship building if they would allow you in their home?  They could supervise your time together - protecting their daughter and getting to know you at the same time.  This is going to turn out to be their loss.   I am delighted beyond belief that she is a christian and serves in her church.  I so want to believe that God has chosen this one for you.  But you have many years ahead of you to wait if she is the one. Can your relationship overcome these odds?

I can see now how many times I must have broken my own mother's heart.  Yet I know she still loves me and wants to be close.  I have so enjoyed our morning "coffee chats" across the internet.  I especially love how she can still give me advice on how to deal with my own sons - because she has  of her own and has been thru these ordeals as well.

I have been able to enjoy  so much time off of work during these last 3 weeks.  Working on my scrapbooks also brings back precious memories - especially the loss of 2 dogs within months of each other.  I also saw my Grandpa cry - and I have only seen that one other time.  I took Grandpa to Grandma's grave Christmas eve to place flowers.  We talked and told each other how important she was in our lives.  We both cried.  He wants to be with her in heaven, I want both of them here with me.  I am grateful for the years I did have them with me. 

What will the new year bring?  I am looking forward to more precious moments that will become memories.  And many more "moments"  to photograph and capture in my scrapbooks.

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