Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Tampa--Stop Two on our Way to Czech

Right after Christmas, we flew to Tampa where Brian's parents live. Brian has three brothers and three sisters; Cece is the nineteenth grandchild. All 30+ of the Stephens' family came to Tampa from many states (Texas, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Missouri) to say good-bye to us! We cannot put into words what it meant to have Brian's whole family together one more time before we leave for the Czech Republic. Here are some highlights:

The bi-annual Stephens' football game:




Cece's godmother, Jamie, giving her her first Christmas presents (in Brian's family, Godparents buy Christmas presents and have a special place in each child's life). Jamie is Brian's oldest niece:


Karen and Andy had a dedication ceremony for all their children, very similar to Cece's dedication. Brian is Kendall's godfather, and I am Courtney's godmother:
Christmas 09-2 001

Christmas 09-2 015

Christmas 09-2 025

Here are some precious pictures of Cece with her cousins (Kendall has been mentioned before on this blog--she is about eight months older than Cece):



As far as visiting us in the Czech Republic, Brian's brother Mark, his wife, and their five boys, Brian's mom and dad, and Brian's niece Katherine are all coming to serve and see us the end of July. And, Jamie, Brian's niece/Cece's godmother is going to culinary school (Cor Don Bleu) is Paris this fall!

We just love that we were able to spend GREAT time with both our families! The last night in Tampa after balling my eyes out after saying good-bye, I whispered to Brian, "we have great families!!" We would not be making this journey to become missionaries serving in Eastern Europe without the love, support and examples of both our families! To whom much is given, much is required!


  1. Fun! I like the idea of the whole godmother/father thing. That's really special :)

  2. Great Post! I am missing you already....can't wait to see you in Feb.
    p.s. I finally watched Jerry McGuire last week. I thought of you the whole time (mostly because Mark would say "Aleisha always says that line" or "now you know why Aleisha says that.") :)

  3. Just a beautiful recap of such a special time.

  4. I didn't know Brian came from such a large family. That's AWESOME. The godparent tradition is very rich in Anglican/Catholic communities. I love how godparents play a special role in the baptisms and are tasked with reminding the child of their baptism and identity in Christ for the rest of the child's life. Very special.