Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Alice Louise Hartman

One week ago today, my grandmother, Alice Louise Hartman, went to be with Jesus, her Savior. We miss her and have many wonderful memories, but we know she is now perfected, no longer suffering, and full of eternal praise for her Lord.

Alice Louise Hartman

March 1, 1931 - September 17, 2008

I spoke at her funeral on Sunday:

My sisters and I got to know our grandparents really well. Every summer we would spend a week by ourselves with each set of our grandparents, and sometimes it was probably harder to tell who had more fun, us or the grandparents! But during those weeks, we each got to do some really special things with our grandparents and make lots of memories.

During each of our weeks, Grandma made an appointment to take us to the beauty shop with her. We would get the special treatment from her hairstylist. Grandma and Pap had a swing set in their back yard, and Grandma was always willing to push us on the swings, taking pictures all the way, especially as we would pose with our new hairdo.

Grandma made it a priority to go and visit relatives, and when we were up for our week, we came along too. We didn’t always know the person we went to see, but they knew we were the granddaughters from the many pictures Grandma had taken of us.

Grandma always wrote special notes in our birthday cards or special notes just because. She loved to write letters of encouragement to people and not just to those of us in her family. She stayed in touch with missionaries from Grace Brethren and let them know that she was praying for them.

Another highlight of our week was a special trip that our grandparents would plan. A lot of times we would go to Lancaster for a few days, usually to watch a show at Sight and Sound. Then we would go to either Dutch Wonderland or Hershey Park for a day. Grandma didn’t like to ride a lot of the rides, but she would carry the map of the park and watch us riding the rollercoasters, marking down how many times we went on each of the rides. And of course, there were more pictures in front of signs and on the various rides.

A relaxing day at the house with Grandma always involved a game (or two or twelve) of Parcheesi. These were friendly games, but still very competitive. We would keep a running tally from year to year of number of wins we each had accumulated. These scores were a lot closer than when we played Chinese checkers. Grandma was the queen of Chinese checkers. I am not sure if I ever beat her. My sisters and I would even make her go first and copy her moves and she would still win every time! Looking back, it was during these games that the three of us first saw Grandma’s ornery personality come out. She would laugh and joke with us, making faces when she lost and making sure to count out her moves as she won.

As the Parkinson’s became more pronounced throughout the years and Grandma began to loose some of her mobility, her personality was still there. And when it was harder for her to go out and do things, we had a precedent of playing all these games already set, which made our time together still special.

Early every morning, Grandma and Pap read the Bible and prayed together. When we were at their house, they would wait for us to get up so they could pray with us. Every day they would pray for each of us by name. They prayed for their church and our church, the many missionaries that they knew, as well as other friends and family. This is one thing that left the strongest impression on me about my grandmother. Many people tell you that they’re praying for you, but when Grandma told me that she was (which she did whenever we talked) I knew exactly what she meant.

Grandmothers are proud of their grandchildren. That’s pretty much a given. This was no exception for our Grandma. But what distinguishes her in my mind is that the things that made her the most proud and excited was hearing about what we learned in Sunday school and at church, hearing what Bible verse we had just memorized, or what we were praying for right then. More than any award or accolade we could receive, she valued the spiritual accomplishments over the material. This was not just something she said, this was the way she lived. She trusted in Christ alone for her salvation, and out of love for Him sought to give herself to things that would matter for all eternity. She poured her life into people, especially her family, building relationships that will continue even as we pass from this life into the next.

Monday, September 8, 2008

22 weeks

As promised for Becca, a new shot of my growing belly...along with a baby outfit we were just given!

House progress

Our house is well on its way! Here are some pictures that we've taken over then last few weeks of the ongoing construction:

They did that much the first day...very nice start!

From the front...we are lot #184

This is going to be our powder room!

The second floor is looking good and the A-frames for the roof are going up.

From the front again...we are the third house from the right, this side of where the blue juts out.

Our loft window stands out, the only loft in our building.

More to come!

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

21 weeks

I looked down today and couldn't see my feet over my belly....and its only going to get bigger!