Monday, January 26, 2015

Florida in January

Last weekend the girls and I flew down to Orlando for a long weekend for Zarah-my college BFF Kathy Goldbergs daughter's- bat mitzvah. It was such a memorable weekend and one that we will always treasure in our hearts and minds. My other BFF and Phi Mu sister Robin Summers flew in from KY and met us there for the weekend. I have never attended a bat mitzvah or any Jewish service. I can honestly say that my girls and I felt at home in their temple and very welcomed by everyone there. It was a blessing to see Zarah read the Torah in Hebrew and tell of her journey as a bat mitzvah. We were touched when she shared how much her temple family, her own family and her friends meant to her. When Kathy and Stuart talked about the blessing that their youngest daughter had been to them, we were once again moved to tears. Kathy made sure that everything was just perfect for the whole weekend with a beautiful winter wonderland theme complete with snow, s'mores, and even a hot chocolate bar at the big party Saturday night.  I got to meet Kathy's family and the Goldbergs. It was that feeling that you had known them all along. I love the closeness that they all share and their strong faith that binds them together.  I am sure some people would prefer to spend time debating our differences as Jews and Christians but I instead choose to see how we are all the same. Just as my faith, family and friends are the most important things in my life-so it is the same for Kathy and her family. Kathy is a wonderful mother and she and Stuart have and are raising 3 very well rounded, responsible and faith filled children. Their children are people that I enjoy being around and talking to and they are kids that you would want your kids to be friends with because they are just a lot of fun to be around and talk to. Our friendship was orchestrated by God no doubt. Our bond was in Phi Mu at Lambuth College. We were sisters and friends because we were in the same sorority. Basically that was all we had in common. She was the blonde from Florida-me the small town west Tennessee girl who only traveled 35 miles away from home to college; she was the Kappa Sig lil sis-I was the Sig Ep lil sis wanna be; she carried herself with confidence-I was insecure; she had a boyfriend-I didn't; the friends that we chose to do things with were not the same. So God chose to put these two totally different (or so we thought) girls together many years later in their lives.
Facebook reunited us many years ago and since then we have developed an unbreakable bond that has helped us through the ups and downs of life as we get older and deal with raising children,
marriage, celebrations, milestones, disappointments, etc. I love Kathy and I have a respect and love for the Jewish people that I never understood until last weekend. I stand firm in my faith as Kathy does her and I do believe we will share eternity together in heaven when our life on this Earth is over.

We had Kirk a little going away party before we head out next Saturday to move him into Disney. He was very moved (and so was I)by those who stopped by to wish him well and we are so thankful for friends and family who have played a special role in shaping him into the young man he is and continues to become. Even though, Kirk has been in college for two years and has held part time jobs since he was 12:),this is his first move miles away from home and he will essentially be almost on his own to a certain extent. My prayer is that he will absolutely love the Disney College Program and make the most of his time there. It is also my prayer that he will make wise choices and I pray that he will get involved in a church there. We will head out early Saturday morning and make the drive that day. We will drive down in Kirk's car together. Sunday will be our rest day from traveling and enjoying the Super Bowl at our hotel. I told Kirk we could hang out and watch the super bowl together and he said he had already made plans with some of the other students in the program to meet up that Sunday night to go to Downtown Disney and watch the game. Oh well, glad he's already made some connections with the other students through social media. We will get him registered and moved in Monday and then Marty and I will fly home LATE that Monday night.

Kara continues to stay busy with school, babysitting and FBLA. Her AB activities as president are winding down now that basketball homecoming is over. Of course, the spring will bring basketball banquet, FBLA state conference, prom, graduation and other final events in her high school years. She has also been busy with scholarship applications for college. She and one of her high school classmates are both attending Austin Peay in Clarksville, TN in the fall and have decided to room together.

Kali continues to keep us as young as possible. And as my dear friend Kathy best said in her reflections speech at Zarah's bat mitzvah, Kali like Zarah  is the daughter to two middle aged parents who can neither see or hear very well. :)

Last but not least I must let you know that my Kindergarten sweeties are doing well. We have completed 103 days of Kindergarten. Exciting yet a little bitter sweet when I think that we only have 77 days left together.  They are a sweet group of students and quite entertaining. I love them and I am going to cherish the remainder of the time we have together this year.

I would appreciate your prayers for our family as Kirk begins this new chapter in his life.
Blessings to All!
  Leigh Ann