August 25th has always been a day of celebration for me because it was
my mom AND my dad's birthdays. There were both born on August 25, just
two years apart. Last year mom's birthday fell on a Sunday and she came
up for worship, lunch at Grace Japanese Steakhouse and then back to our
house for presents and ice cream cake.
This year we spent Monday the 25th remembering and honoring my mom and my dad. We met up with Grandmommy and Granddaddy as well as my Aunt Nancy and Uncle Sparky at the cemetery and Daryl led us in the service of interment for my mom's ashes. Then we went out to lunch with my aunt and uncle at one of Mom and Dad's favorite restaurants - the Columbia in Ybor City. It's actually where Daryl and I had our rehearsal dinner for our wedding 15 years ago. We had a great time talking together over lunch.
And when we got home, these beautiful flowers were waiting for us from my Aunt Susie in Indiana.
Monday morning was Back to School for Marion County and all three of our boys. They all picked out their own back to school outfits. Parker and Wesley left at 7:15am and rode their bikes to South Ocala because Parker is on Safety Patrol. School for Davis starts at 8:30am and we drove him to VPK this morning. Davis was so excited he wouldn't stop grinning in the pictures and he wouldn't turn around to show off his backpack.
Wesley - First Grade - Mrs. Slagle
(with superheroes on his t-shirt and a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle backpack)
Parker - Fifth Grade - Mr. Cooke
(with a Minecraft t-shirt and a camouflage backpack)
Davis - VPK - Miss Tracy
(Mickey Mouse t-shirt and matching shorts with a Bob the Builder backpack)
Everyone had very good first days of school. Davis was WAY more excited than his big brothers about coming home with a special folder and doing homework.
This past Sunday, Daryl preached on the friendship of David and Jonathan and his own good friend Jonathan came down from Jacksonville with his son Nicholas for the day. When I got home from church, the two of them had their cars out in the driveway comparing the different versions of the Ford Flex.
I spent most of last week at a national training for pastors who worked with the candidacy and Residents in Ministry processes. There was a team of 10 of us from the Florida Conference and I was blessed that one of the other pastors on our team was my good friend Tracy. We've known each other for 12 years and she's been one of my clergy covenant sisters for most of that time.
In 2002, my grandparents bought this minivan brand new. After my grandmother died in 2007, the van went to my dad. In 2011 after my dad died, the van came to us. It has served our family well for a very long time and been very reliable. It has 101,000 miles on it now and needed some expensive repairs to the engine mounts and air conditioner. So Saturday we said goodbye to the minivan and traded it in for a newer vehicle.
We've been researching vehicles for the last couple of months and decided that we wanted a Ford Flex. Daryl's been combing the internet for used ones in the state of Florida. He found one at a dealership in south Florida that was a 2013 with 23,000 miles in our price range with all the features we were looking for. He went back and forth with them on price this week, gave them the specs on the van so they could figure our trade in, and got our bank financing all lined up this week. So Friday night we drove down to Clewiston and spent the night. Saturday we drove over to Belle Glade, went for a test drive, and came home with a new-to-us Flex. It's black with a silver top - the kids are calling it Darth Vader.
The Allen Family was established in 1999 and currently resides in Ocala, Florida. Debbie and Daryl are both ordained pastors in the United Methodist Church. They have three sons: Parker, Wesley and Davis. Rounding out this family are two cats and a fish. Join us for our Allen Family Adventures!