I Heart Faces – We Are Family

my family - photo by Adrienne Zwart
I’m thinking for the next few weeks, it might be more appropriate if my blog were titled “Adrienne in Florida” as you all will be putting up with my photos from our recent get-away.  But the jackets, and even coats and hats, definitely add an Ohio flavor as our visit coincided with Florida’s record-breaking cold spell.
Jeff and the kids are pictured here at Ft. DeSoto near Tampa.  What a fantastic place for a photo shoot!  This wall in the bright sun was the only one with a bench, so we made it work since Jeff needed to sit and rest as much as possible.
I hope to share more photos from this memorable trip throughout the week.  We were so blessed that Jeff was strong enough to travel, and did not suffer at all from debilitating headaches or nausea the entire time.  He mentioned several times that perhaps we should move down to this sunny clime.  But I think that his well-being had much more to do with the number of people praying for us.
I started to explain here why he needs the patch if he is basically blind in that eye.  I keep typing and then re-typing. It’s just complicated. Basically, he wears it because there is just enough vision left in that one to cause significant double-vision if he doesn’t keep it covered.  Since he only has about 15% vision left in the other eye, going without the patch is a big problem.
That patch had some little kids talking.  While in Tampa, we stayed in a hotel that offered breakfast every morning.  (I love hotels that do that.)  There was another family with young children there who ate breakfast at the same time we did.  The first day, the youngest daughter whispered to her big brother that there was “a real live pirate sitting over there!”  (Why is it that when kids whisper, you can hear it clear across a room? LOL) Jeff has the best humor about this whole thing, and it was all he could do not to walk by her table as we left and growl “Ar-ghh! Ye shant point, Lassie, else ye be walkin’ the plank!”  He chuckled every time we saw them during the week.
I love him.
image
This is “We Are Family” week over at I ♥ Faces, a photo-sharing website co-founded by my friend, and very talented photographer, Angie. 

Comments

Jessica said…
LOL, we have a pirate in our family too, my dad. Love the picture!
Jan said…
LOVE your family shot, patch and all!!!
Oh. I just loved reading this post Adrienne. Loved it so much. I am so glad you had a wonderful (and only a tiny bit chilly) trip! I can not wait to hear more about your adventures.
I am chuckling because you three are up as late as I am. This is way past my bedtime!
Great shot! You can totally see the love!
=) A sense of humor is the best way to get through tough times....after some faith in God of course! Thanks for sharing this picture of your family on a fabulous vacation trip.
Carly said…
Sorry to hear that you had to visit during our cold spell down here in Florida. I'm sure that it was at-least a little warmer than what you were used to in Ohio. I live in Orlando, but visited my parents in Ohio for Christmas and it was definitely colder there than here. Sorry to hear about your husband's health issues, but it is fortunate that you were blessed with good health for your trip. Glad to hear that he has a great sense of humor despite his condition.
Anonymous said…
So glad that everyone had a good time. The smiles.....Love the smiles!
I laughed so hard when I heard Jeff's reaction to being called a pirate...and teared up as well. That was just so "him." :) I think it's so lovely that he has been able to keep his sense of humor through all of this.
Mommy Rachelle said…
What a special man. I love pirates and that he sees humor in the innocence of kids :) Blessings and prayers to you.
julie said…
Love the Pirate portion of your story. And wanted to stop by to wish you God's greatest provisions for this time in your life. My mom is living with cancer. First breast, then cervical, then bone. She still fights the bone cancer daily.
I praise God for the heaven he provides for believers and the reunion we will all have one day with our Beloved and our beloveds.
Julie
www.homeschoolblogger.com/juliestew
Dot O said…
Precious and priceless family photo. I am so glad you were able to enjoy your time down there despite the cold snap!

Praying very hard for all of you right now.
God bless you in your journey....I will keep you all in my prayers. My mom had terminal cancer, but we got to have 6 more months with her, and they are such joyous memories of mine. She really LIVED each day she had. God bless you!!!!!!!
Julia Spencer said…
I came over here from Angie's blog, and see that you entered a family photo too. :) It's so good to read that you are taking in all the little joys that come in, even as you walk through hardship. May God continue to grant you peace and joy through this season of life.
Snap said…
Loved this post and I laughed at the little girl and the pirate.

Hugs to you and Jeff.

Wishing all of you well.
What a wonderful photo Adrienne. I am so glad you enjoyed the family time in Florida despite the cold weather.
Pirate. LOL! Kids say just what comes to their minds. He probably made her day thinking she saw a real live pirate.
Prays,
Lona
Amy said…
My heart sincerely goes out to you. You and your family are in my prayers!!
SKELLER said…
Your husband's humor just melts me. May God richly bless you all and surround you with His presence as you choose to live and love richly in these challenging days...
Oh Adrienne, I am so glad you have so many recent memories. Those will be priceless for future generations.

Love the 'pirate' story... What a great sense of humor Jeff has. So special...

Praying hard for you and your family.
Lots of Hugs,
Betsy
SaraG said…
AWESOME photo!!
Glad you were able to get away.
My husbands Dad lives in Okeechobee FL.
They have been real cool and the frost killed most of his flowers and garden.
Take care
Vanessa said…
Beautiful picture!
Your family is in my thoughts & prayers. :)
Anonymous said…
He certainly is a good-humored man!

I will be praying for you, here in Virginia.
I love your beautiful family photo. I found your blog from Angie's, and just wanted to let you know I'm sending prayers your way.
Keepsake's Mom said…
I came here from Angie's blog as I wanted to let you know that I am thinking of you as you continue on this difficult journey. I have no idea what you are going through but my thoughts are with you and your family. I am sure there will be tears and laughter in the months ahead. Bless you and your family.
Christina said…
A stranger here, but I'm laughing and crying at the same time. Maybe you tire of hearing people say that they have heard about your family's situation through the bloglines...I came from Angie's blog, after seeing her beautiful picture of your whole family. I pray that the time ahead is full of togetherness. And that God's hope will carry you through. I hope it's all right that I say that.
The pirate story is such a good one!
I don't know why, but I thought I would share this with you...I wrote it when I heard about a story of a little girl (11 mos.) who had a brief battle with cancer and then passed away. (Cora McClenahan) Anyway, I tried to just cut and paste the words, but it was copying the entire blog page, and so here is just a link. You don't have to go read it. Never mind. I can't copy and paste here. Sorry for carrying on.
Sarah M said…
Coming from I Heart Faces... prayers for your family going up from Austin, TX!
I am thinking about you guys often. So good to hear of your recent travels as a family! What fun. Like Angie said, your husband's sense of humor says so much. Wonderful attitude. Hope you are doing well. Hugs.
Tami said…
Your family is so lovely!
Sandybee said…
Love your family photo! Everyone looks so happy.

Virtual hugs heading your way.
Becca said…
Hi! I'm stopping by from I Heart Faces . . . just wanted you to know that I will keep your family in my prayers! I love that your hubby has a sense of humor about it . . . what a blessing and that story made me smile!
heidiannie said…
Great picture, Adrienne!
Those smiles are heart deep. I've always loved a good pirate story- and yours is so sweet.
Sending up lots of prayers for a blessed time of together for all of you.
Heidi
Anonymous said…
Your family is so amazing. What an encouragement to others! I pray for the Lord's best for all of you. The love in your family is very clear to all of us. Take care.
Amy said…
I'm also stopping by from Angie's blog.

I lost my dad just over a year ago. Not to cancer, but to a long, hard illness. His trust in God and belief that our present circumstances do not diminish Him or change who He is, was evident right until his death. I am SO THANKFUL for the example he set and the love he had for his family. HE is SO MISSED. I have no idea how people can grieve without the hope that we have in Christ.

May God HEAP blessings on you all in the time you have left. May you be filled with every possible measure of love and peace.
Marice said…
what a wonderful photo! love all their smiles!

u may view mine here
Becky said…
I lost my mom to cancer 10 yrs ago and I would give anything in this world to have photos of her. I have my memories and no one can take those away but photos would mean so much. Because of her, I have started my 365 project this year for the sake of my kids.
I think it's amazing that you are capturing all of these memories with your family. Your children will cherish these photos!
Angie said…
I found you through I heart faces, and wanted to tell you our family is thinking of yours. Thanks for sharing your sweet story.
mamazee said…
prayed for you tonight. Going through i heart faces entries. God is powerful, and He listens. Praying that He heals your husband. much love
Kelly said…
....I just loved this post. Please keep the Florida photos coming. I love your husband's sense of humor. You definitely look like you're having a wonderful time here.
Kerri said…
What a wonderful picture! Their happiness with being together shines thru in this shot.
Blessings to you and your family :)
Sonja said…
I'm so glad to have "met" your family. You are an inspiration to me. God bless you!
What a lovely family photo! Do I spy a tie dye shirt;) ?
I'm sure the vacation and the pirate story will be wonderful memories for your family for years to come.
love, hugs, prayers
♥ Margaret
Margaret, you do spy the tie dye shirts. Which reminds me, I need to order one for my daughter. She loved her earrings, but I think she was a tad disappointed that she didn't get a shirt as well. I'll be stopping by your ETSY shop later. :)
Laura said…
LOVE the pics, Adrienne!! And we love your family and are praying daily for peace, comfort, and fun memeories to treasure for a lifetime!

Thank you for letting me meet you at the Aquarium in Tampa! Can't wait to see more pictures!!
Manic Mother said…
Stopping by from i heart faces, just wanted to let you know you will all be in my thoughts. My youngest son has leukemia too, I know how hard it is. Love and light.
Mindy said…
Sending love and prayers your way...
Pam D said…
Adrienne, I've visited here before through an animal picture meme that I did a time or two. And when Angie highlighted you on her blog for this week's IHF, I didn't realize that it was you until now. I'm praying for all of you; I don't have words, but I'm sending "silent hugs" your way....
Anonymous said…
We lost my father-in-law to cancer to years ago. he battled cancer and won 18 years earlier. What a difference he made in my life and my children's lives.

Your husband's message on his blog and reading about him above made me think about my father-in-law today. Cherish every minute. What a path he walks now. You can hear his strength in his words and see it in his face as he embraces the Florida son with his family. Please know that I will pray for you today.

Much love...
Anonymous said…
I don't even know what I could say to comfort you in such a hard time, but may you know that God is with you in everything. And the best part is that you will see your husband again very soon! You and your family are an AWESOME testimony to the love and grace of God! Please don't give up because He never gives up on us. Keeping you in our prayers during this time.
Anonymous said…
Your words and thoughts are precious. We will pray for you as you walk through this part of your journey. May God continually bless you and your family with peace and understanding.
Anonymous said…
I Just heard about your story on I heart faces, and I can't imagine what you and your family are going through. Just want to let you know that my thoughts and prayers are with your family during this hard time. ----April from southern california
Farmgirl said…
Sending thughts and prayers your way...
What a beautiful family you have.
Sharon said…
Thanks for sharing your picture at I Heart Faces this week. I'll be praying for your family and this heavy burden you've been asked to carry.
Magdalena (m2m) said…
Hi, I heart about your story by I heart faces. I'm with you, You are in my thoughts.
Amy said…
Hello. I am visiting from I Heart Faces. Your family is in my prayers. I am familiar with leukemia and have a parent battling stage 4 cancer right now. My prayers for your husband are for complete healing on earth and if by chance that is not God's plan, I pray that he is spared any pain and suffering. Many hugs to you.

Amy
Erica Kree said…
Hi :) I'm from the I heart faces website & wanted to let you know that you are in my prayers.
My husband is battling Severe Aplastic Anemia (bone marrow failure), and reading through your blog is so inspiring to me. It has been so hard for me...My husband is laying in a hospital bed as I write this getthing a blood transfusion.
Thank you for putting a smile on my face & God bless you and your family :)
Amy Pinney said…
Beautiful picture, beautiful family! You are all in my prayers..
Anonymous said…
Prayers, Prayers, Prayers for you, your husband and family. I found you through Iheartfaces. Wonderful family shot and love the "pirate story" He sounds like the best kind of guy!!
Michelle said…
Just stopped by to say thank you for letting I Heart Faces share a tiny piece of your story and for letting all of us play with your family photo. Prayers for your family!
Dot O said…
Great photo, and I am always praying for all of you, Adrienne.....
Catherine said…
Hi! I'm stopping by from I Heart Faces today. The story behind the photo really touched me. I'm sorry for the difficult circumstances that your family is going through right now.

I read Jeff's Caring Bridge entry from two days ago. I have to admit that I did a dance for joy when I read his beautifully written gospel message and the fact that his hope is in Christ. Praise God!

I will be praying for your family... for a peace that surpasses all understanding. Thank you for sharing your story.

~Catherine
McKay Family said…
Hopped over here from iheartfaces...was very touched this week by the story Angie shared on her blog. Your family will be in my thoughts and prayers.

BTW - What a perfect place to be a pirate. Tampa has a rich history steeped in pirate lore. They even have a huge month long festival every February called Gasparilla. The pirates invade the city after coming down the channel in a real pirate ship. They steal the keys to the city and let the "mayhem" begin. It's a wonderful event. The kids love it and pirates are a huge part of any childhood that is spent in Tampa.
Lindsay said…
Amazing pirate story to go with your amazing testimony to the power that God gives us. By grace you shine an amazing light as you walk through this trial. I am praying for you family and praying that you all feel the closeness of God right now.
melly~ said…
surfed in from i♥faces, just to say folks all over are holding your family in their thoughts. consider indiana covered here.
blessing to you,
melly~
Crystal said…
So happy you like the edits. You have one beautiful family, that is for sure!!! I just wanted to stop by and let you know that there is a family thinking and praying for your family in Texas!!!

Blessings!!!
Crystal
Peggy said…
Just stopping over from i heart faces. Thoughts and prayers for your beautiful family. Enjoy every single moment, capture everything you can!!!
Peggy
{In My Life}
Jane ... said…
Beautiful family, photos, stories, and memories! I found you through IHeartFaces and want you to know I'm praying for you all! So glad you enjoyed a family vacation in midwinter! God's blessings!

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