When I'm With You
J.J. Heller


A New Year In This Short Life
February 3, 2014

Well, it's a new year and therefore there's a new picture of us on the right! I've been doing this tradition since 2005 (back as a bachelor with me swinging a tennis racket). Man, can't believe I've been writing this blog for over 8 years now. Talk about a glutton for punishment! ;-)

Anyway, hope you all had a happy New Year and that your 2014 is off to a good start. Another year to trust the Lord and to bring Him glory during our short stay on this planet. Amazing to think how God originally intended us to live about 1,000 years. When you really stop to think about it, 80-100 years is just pathetic. A blip in time. Praise Him that heaven will be forever, where we'll have "no less days to sing God's praise than when we'd first begun."

All right, as always, thanks for stopping by! You're too kind! Be sure to drop a note at the end to extend that amazing kindness of yours! Yeah!

Video Blog - January, 2014


And here we go ...

Yep, we're back! It's two years later to the day and we're together again with the Thomases and the Z Family for New Years Eve in St. Louis for a little bowling! As you can see we've got our dumb party hats on again too. And for those wondering, yes, Michael did join the mafia.

Fun time! They turned off the lights and it was time for some glow bowling (or whatever you call it)!

Jack attempts the "Rock On" symbol.

Philly loves his Auntie Hannah. Who doesn't?

Melanie takes aim. Visualize gutter ball.

I so love my uncompetetive wife. My chief concern is winning, while hers is simply looking good.

No I don't normally bowl like that. If you look closely there's a kid between my legs.

The cute ENTP twins.

So the camera focused on the foreground instead of the back. Oh well. Wonderful memory!

Now back home for some celebration! Great pasted smile, sis!

Matthew's here! The poor guy was pretty sick, but got off his death bed to come ring in the new year! I mean you only live once!

Sarah, I just had to post this fashionable photo of you. Could totally go on the cover of a cooking, home living, or hair magazine! :-)

So we played this fun game where you are pinned with a movie character, and you have to go around asking questions about yourself to determine who you are. Whoever guesses their character in the fewest amount of questions wins! Matthew and I got ours in 4 questions (funny, cause when I was younger I had several people tell me I looked like Westley).

Happy New Year (at least according to pagan timing)! ;-)

lol, Marscel and Matthew look the funniest here.

I guess they're trying to touch. As you can tell, by this point in the evening things were getting pretty wild.

Now we're really getting wild! They had some old fireworks in the shed which were fast becoming a safety hazard, so we decided to light em up!

The adoring crowd.

The years pass far too quickly. Treasure every moment.

The next afternoon we sat around the living room and read journal entries of when our families first met. Quite hilarious. My dear wife wrote like every detail, while Melanie's entries were more of the big picture.

Melissa: "So we gathered together that sunny midafternoon for lunch, wherein there was sweet fellowship and joyful conversation, whereafter Pa stood and shared a passage of Holy Scripture, and we each discusssed how we might better ourselves for future engagements based upon its instruction."
"Lunch was good."

Hannah put together a great slideshow of pictures from 10 years spent together. I was only involved for like half of those years so it was really boring for me.

I went to bed, and the girls went for a snowy walk. Why am I such a party-pooper? Actually, I didn't get sick later while most everyone else did! Hah! (sorry I shouldn't laugh.)

I love Rebekah's hair in this picture.

They waited for awhile but Mr. Tumnis never came.

All right, we're back home and unpacking and the house is a total mess (and Keoni's over). This is one of those pictures that makes me depressed just by looking at it (although right brain dominant I still suffer from a severe case of clutterphobia). At least the kids are happy!

It's a few days later and we're at Michael Doolin and Sarah Discher's reception party! They had already gotten married in Florida a week before, but wanted to celebrate again with friends at home.

Saying the Discher's are musically gifted is like saying I like barbeque chicken pizza. I'll leave that up to you to understand.

Grandma and her two grandboys. That guy behind them ... is ... staring ... at ... me.

Life's so easy when you can just stick your youngest under the table!

Ah hah! And you thought you would go a month without a table shot! No sir! January had two birthdays to celebrate, those being that of Dad and Danielle. Happy birthday, you two!

My wife made a pretty incredible Greek meal. The pink and yellow thing approved.

Did you know Melissa and Danielle are actually related like 14 generations back? Guess which one is which!

What on earth? Why are you in a hospital bed? Remember that hernia I mentioned in a post a few months back? It really wasn't bothering me at all, but then over the last month or so I was starting to feel a little pain at the end of each day. Sooo ... I decided to deal with it. Praise God, the surgery went well and I am on the mend. Sorry for the pathetic pictures. Melissa took these with our tablet.

Acting completely and totally normal after coming off the anesthesia. "A cracker? Sure! Jordy want a cracker!"

And that's it! In closing I'll give my regular "thank you for stopping by" as well as my regular "you better comment or else". Oh, and I hope you all had a wonderful Ground Hog Day (the 2nd)! My favorite holiday of the year! Take care!