May 2015 - June 2016

Monday, August 22, 2016

Anyone tired of this blog being dead for so long? I know I am. This year is going by so fast! Wait... I think that's said every year. And true to what our life has been over the years, things haven't slowed down any. I was torn at where to pick up blogging. I keep thinking I don't want to leave out anything, but will get overwhelmed trying to catch up with it all. I mainly miss this blog as a reference to what we've done... a picture journal of sorts. So I decided to post a few pictures highlighting each month since I last posted and will try picking up with a "regular" blog post of last month. As different members of our family are all over, this blog won't be able to follow the happening of all the Thomases... however, being the gypsy traveler and making my rounds, I think it will give glimpses of most of us. 
Hope you all enjoy... if not feel free to leave.
~Melanie, the Gypsy Traveler

May 2015
Melissa and Jordan hosted a masquerade... everyone's creativity was amazing! 
Fun fact: The boys custom made and decorated their masks.

And weddings are always highlights! Matthew and Micaiah were groomsmen for our friend and the boys previous roomate Ben Serven.
June 2015
Try not to be jealous. 
This was even more amazing than it looks. Our dear and incredibly talented friends made the best burger bar to celebrate Micaiah and my birthdays.

 A common sight... the 4 boys gathered for a business meeting. I just joined for the after party where we talked, laughed, and compared abs.

July 2015
When you hear one of the movies in the park is set in the 80's so you play it up with awesome friends!  

First time to join the boys in a trip to Chicago to visit the Carlsens.

August 2015
This year Hannah had a boho themed painting, picnic party... and of course good food and dancing.

I know essential oils have become a "pop" thing of late, but this is no new fad for our family. We've been using these oils for 15 years now. Not only do we love them, we love the quality of this company! It was so much fun having Melissa and our friend Lisa join us at convention this year!

Went back to visit the Carlsens and tour the heart of Chicago for the first time. It was a grand day, walking the streets, seeing the Bean, dancing on the beach (yes, Chicago has a little beach!), and running through the streets like we were in an adventure movie to try and catch our train in time.

At the end of the month... in fact a year ago today, our friends Lauren and Noah Axberg and Gretta Hoglund came to surprise us for a visit. In the end everyone found out the surprise except for me and I thought they were kidding when they first told me! It was quite the whirlwind weekend, with 4-wheelers, exploring Elephant Rocks, little towns, and lots of fellowship.

September 2015
Over the summer a group of our friends took some private swing lessons. They quickly became a highlight to look forward to a couple times a month.

This year we took our family vacation in Niednagel land which included taking our annual family picture...s ;-)
October 2015
It's not everyday you run into someone that knows you from following your blog. It was so fun getting to meet you!

October is the perfect month to go camping. Cool, crisp mornings with nice warm days.And when you do it with some of your favorite people? It makes for a favorite memory.

I'm trying to only post one picture to sum up the months, but as this is one of my favorite pictures of the year, it made the cut. With my "little brother", Noah.

 The end of the month brought another grand baby! 
Martin Peirce Thomas 
It was such an honor to be there to welcome him! He is such a darling baby... so happy and content with lots of smiles. Congratulations Michael and Rebekah!

November 2015
I attended a C.A.R.E Intensive Worksop with Sarah that was taught by Dr. Stewart. Such a wealth of information! I'm so excited to continue working towards becoming a Certified Raindrop Technique Specialist through them.

When you find a family that is mutually weird as you, pictures like this result! You'd think we've known them for years! I think this was our 3rd visit.

The Carlsens joined us for Thanksgiving this year. I think it was the first time both of our families were together.

December 2015
Taralyn, Marscel, and Emma all share the same birthday and in celebration our families went to Silver dollar City.

Back in Oklahoma and Kathy came out for a week! Hard to believe it's December and we only had sweaters and light jackets!

January 2016
January brought an unexpected change of plans for me.
Sometimes (often times) the Lord works in ways we don't understand and His timing is way different than what I would normally think, but to see His faithfulness still amazes me every time!
At times I just want to know the answers to things; what I'm supposed to do, where I should be, what my place is here on earth. Actually, it's pretty much all the time. It's easy for me to lose sight of God's faithfulness, to know that He never leaves us or forsakes us and that He ALWAYS remains faithful. Then there are times that He makes it so clear that I stand amazed at how everything came about. Back in January I had been praying about what I should be doing with Pa and Mom before heading to St. Louis for the weekend to help the boys move and felt pretty lost as to the answer. That Sunday a lady at church asked to pray for me. It seemed she had read my heart. Not even a few hours later I had a call from a friend asking if I'd be willing to help their family with their grandmother who had dementia, at least for a few weeks and if so, how soon I could go. I had never done something like that before, but I knew it was an answer to prayer! By the end of the week, I was on a plane ready for this new chapter. “He who calls you is faithful, who also will do it.” 1 Thessalonians 5:24 

One of my favorite sites and memories of my time with the Bridges. Sitting in the living room together... for family worship, for fellowship, for school, or like here, reading. Just being together with others you enjoy is a special thing.

"Sunset Alert!"

February 2016
Who says you're too old for swinging at the playground? Not us! On our way home from shopping we had to take a slight detour to enjoy the warm weather and each other's company. I loved getting to know Larissa!

These two surprised me on Valentines day, braving the stormy roads to come visit and bring me roses.

I think this sums up a good part of my time at the Bridges... being with these three. Talking, cooking, cleaning, dancing, laughing, or studying, these three make life a joy!

Talking through things helps me process and understand things more. Lettie was such a sweet woman to help. Besides the fact that it was fun piecing together her family history from the stories she would share over and over, she would ask lots of questions about who I was, what I did… I wasn't used to be asked some of the questions, sometimes multiple times a day and the craziest part (where I could clearly see Gods hand at work) was how she would ask questions that were so pointed to what I was going through over and over and I was able to ask what she thought about it and what advise she might have or what her experience was.
She also loved to be read to, so many days I would sit and read books of the Bible to her. There were times I would think she fell asleep and would pause only to be asked why I stopped reading. I loved the opportunity to read complete books of the Bible. Reading verse by verse, or by chapters is great, but to see the overall picture isn't something we often make time for. It was such an encouragment and I loved the comments she would add. It was such a special time!

Four days after Lettie passed away, the morning of the funeral, I received messages in the early morning hours that Micaiah had been picked up by ambulance and was at the hospital after a day and a half of intense stomach pains. Turned out it was his appendix. I was able to stay with him at the hospital during the operation and couple days recovery so he didn't have to be by himself. Only a week or so before I had told him of being able to read books of the Bible to Lettie and he said how nice that would be… well, when you're recovering from an operation there aren't many options of things to do and I was able to read some books to him. It wasn't the way we would have chosen to take a “break” from work and be able to read more, yet it was a good bonus that came from a difficult time.

March 2016
Don't mess with these girls! 
For part of my friend Ashley's Bachelorette party, we went and played laser tag... and dressed accordingly. :-)

I just love these two so much! I've learned so much from them... and I also love how adorable they are in this picture!

Hanging out under the sidewalk.... literally. We saw a big drainage pipe at the park and since it was dry, went exploring down the corridor. It would have been fun if we time traveled, but when we reached the light, cars were still flying by the drainage entrance. Never a dull moment with this group.

Gardening and good friends

When anyone loses a loved one it is difficult, but when it is sudden and unexpected it can make it even harder. My dear friends the Wongs lost their Father/Grandfather to a heart attack. I know it's still hard and my heart still goes out to you every time I think of it.

Marscel's youth group met close by and it was always a joy for me when he'd stop by.

April 2016
Sometimes gathering families from 4 different areas can take awhile, but what a gathering it makes! I think the highlight of the day for a number of us was this walk out in the field all gathered around Paul hearing him give marriage advise to Micaiah and Taralyn (For anyone that missed it... be sure to check out their engagement post!)

My Ladybug is married! It was a joy to stand with these two as they tied the knot.
Congratulations Ashley and Nathan Mangoff!
PC: Wedding Photographer

After all the wedding excitement things can seem pretty slow... but not when you have a big vehicle, a large piece of land, and crazy fun friends.

Shoe shopping selfie! 

Some pictures may not be the greatest quality, but the quality of the time and with who it was taken makes it the greatest. This is one of those pictures. This night was a blast...

May 2016
Out for a long country ride. I loved getting to see the Martins more!

The Bridges.
I'm not one that has the easiest time adapting to other people's homes… for a short time, sure, but for a longer period of time I have a lot of apprehension and fear how things will be. The Bridges family was such a seamless transition… I felt at home. They welcomed me in. They included me as part of the family. They made me feel loved and valued.
They encouraged me and told me of my worth… not because of what I did, but for who I am. They showed Christ to me in their everyday lives and examples. It's amazing how much you pick up from people you live with without even realizing it. Almost three months ago ended the chapter of my time with them, but there are so many things that still make me think of them often... from lessons I learned from them, to fun family traditions I grew to love. My time with them was encouraging, convicting, and healing for me. I'm so thankful for the time I had with them and gaining an extended family. I love them so much!

We had an impromptu limbo time at my birthday... and who one? Marscel. The tallest person there! 6'3" able to clear 29"... if that doesn't sound too hard, give it a try. Anyone able to go lower?

June 2016
My gypsy travels began again with heading back to Oklahoma for a few weeks. Time spent with my parents is often less then what I'd like, making the time all the more dear.

In preparation for the 4th of July, sewing commenced. I think Emma and I set a record (for me at least) completing from start (measuring and practice fittings and bodices) to finish (the very last stitch) in 5 days!

And what better way to end the post with a group picture from the Joneses Medieval Summer Ball? It was a lovely evening... and how could it be otherwise when you're with people you love?


J. Andrew Wong said...

Hey, great to see a new post! (It's not possible that I happened to inspire you or something with my recent posts... is it? 😉)
It's so hard to cover so much time in a post, but even in this limited sampling there are some great shared memories.

Melanie said...

And the agent strikes again with undeniable accuracy of the truth ;-) I loved how you time-lined your last post!

Thomasmama said...

Your life is full and blessed! Love reviewing the highlights! 💖