Wednesday, June 22, 2016

The Alexander Family 2015

 We have so much to be thankful for...
precious family, good health,
sweet memories, and God's unending faithfulness.


Quickly becoming a tradition...the annual Crisis Pregnancy Center Charity Ball. 
What fun!


Ministry volunteer opportunities provided  unexpected vacations throughout the year.
A wintertime trip to sunny Florida

Although it was still chilly, the Disney Resort pools were all heated 
so Sheridan had a lot of fun.

We celebrated Sheridan's eighth birthday several different times.
This day she's sharing a piece of cheesecake with Dad and Mom at the
Cheesecake Factory.

Muffins, the cat, and Sheridan celebrating.

Sheridan was so eager to go to Golden Corral for her birthday,
something we hadn't done in many years.
We all left so full that we vowed to never do it again!

What fun to go to the American Girl store at Tyson's Corner 
near DC with Meredith and Margaret.

Having Caroline's hair fixed

The girls had such a great time.

Farmerdaddy was so nice to be our chauffeur and Jobby-sitter.

                                               Fun in the snow with our winter farm interns.


Making crafts with the sweet grandbabies and Sheridan

Happy 24th Birthday, Elliott!

What a blessing to be able to slip away from the farm and enjoy a family vacation at Disney.
 I am so grateful to have a husband who values playing hard as much as he does working hard.

Meredith with John with a precious addition due in May

The girls going to see newly released "Cinderella" in the Downtown Disney theater.

Farmerdaddy and John

Feasting at our all-time favorite Florida pizza place:

What a really terrific vacation!

Newsboys concert
with old interns, new interns, friends, and family.

Some of our family's happiest memories took place at concerts. 
Music has been a wonderful thing for all of us to enjoy together.


Timmy and I enjoyed celebrating his 50th birthday on board the newly commissioned
 Norwegian Getaway.

This was our first time visiting St. Thomas and St. Maarten islands.
Magen's Bay at St. Thomas is considered to be among the top ten
 most beautiful beaches in the world. 
It was one of the most peaceful places we've ever been.

Magen's Bay at St. Thomas was in stark contrast to the tourist-attraction beach that we visited at 
St. Maarten where it's considered an adventure to hang out on the beach as the planes fly close overhead preparing to land just 15 yards away.

This ended up being a ridiculous and terrifying experience as the plane passed overhead and everyone's beach blankets and belongings were blown into the ocean. We were in the water and could hardly hold our breath long enough to avoid the fierce sandstorm. 
I will never do this again!!

The ship had a neat ropes course at the very top. 
We had so much fun together.

We feasted on all sorts of incredibly delicious foods.

The ship had a great water park and we slid on all the slides like a bunch of kids!

The crew members serve the passengers so well, 
handing out cool wash cloths as we were lounging in the sun.

Ahh...the best kind of day ever - sitting on the pool deck reading books.

                                     A birthday cupcake was sent to our room for Timmy.

What a blessing to be walking alongside one another - 
from our preteen to our middle-aged years.

Sheridan wanted to treat me to a mother-daughter date that included an
 all-expenses paid meal at Chick-fil-A. 
She requested that we where our fancy dresses.

She also asked that we have a chauffeur that dressed special so Oliver sweetly agreed. 

He even serenaded us by singing "My Girl" while he drove.

On May 9th, we welcomed a healthy, new grandbaby ~ 

Penelope Joy!

While Meredith, Stephen, and Penelope settled in, we enjoyed having Margaret and John spend some time with us at the farm.

John was keeping a close eye on everything while were processing chickens.

We began promoting school field trips at the farm.

 It has been rewarding introducing children to farm life by
 letting them interact with the animals and participate in farm chores.


A ministry volunteer opportunity took us to Canada where we visited Niagara Falls for the first time.

Timmy and Sheridan enjoyed time together and rode the tour boat
 that goes under the Falls while I was at the ladies conference.

After the conference was over, they took me to see all the sights.


Elliott bought a fantastic house nearby through an online auction. 
We were excited to spend a day helping him begin the renovations.

While I (Joy) was in Florida helping with a ladies ministry event, Tim took the kids camping and fishing nearby. They had a great time.
Afterward, Tim and I left for a cruise to the Bahamas.
It was such a treat to get away together.

A fun day ashore at Royal Caribbean's private island.


We had hoped to go on a family cruise but it was not possible for all of us to leave the farm.
 So we sent the four boys without us while Sheridan, Timmy, and I
 stayed behind milking the cows and delivering the milk. 
It was such a wild and exhausting week!
 I remember Sheridan telling me, "Mama, I'm not trying to hurt your feelings, 
but you're not doing as good a job at this as the boys do!" My oh my, it was one hard week!
I was so glad to have Sheridan by my side. She was such an incredible helper.

Happy 22nd birthday, Oliver!
We insisted he ride the saddle at Texas Roadhouse.

Meredith and the babies were in town for the celebration.


Meredith and the babies were able to spend several weeks with us. 
We enjoyed taking the babies to the children's museum to play.


Sheridan sang a song and played the guitar 
and Margaret and John recited the passage from Luke 2.

Timmy reading Luke 2 to all of us on Christmas morning.

Opening gifts

Reading my favorite Christmas story - 
"The Christmas Miracle of Jonathan Toomey"

I'm overwhelmed with thankfulness as I look back on this year. 
God has given us each other, 
all healthy, for another year. 
It won't always be like this. 
But for this year, it was. 
Thank you, Jesus.