When I was a little girl, like most girls, I dreamed of growing up, getting married and having a family. This dream came true. After Bob and I were married on March l8, 1977, God not only gave us our hearts desire in having one another, but blessed us, entrusted us and gave us our hearts desire, with the most precious gifts that we value, cherish and hold dearly to this day ……..our children. I am a proud and blessed momma and grandmother of a wonderful family! Proverbs 22:1 says “A good name is to be more desired than great wealth, favor is better than silver and gold.” So I speak blessings today and each day over my family. Since Bob and I moved to Destin in the 80’s we have poured ourselves into our family, schools, community events, friends and church. We are thankful for our three sons, Paul, David & Kevin, and their beautiful wives, Sarah, Shannon and Natalie, and our beautiful daughter, Abbey and her husband Seattle, and of course our sweet 10 grandchildren. We knew the challenges before us in raising a Godly family in today’s world, but with the promise that God gave us— “Greater is He that is in you than he that is in the world”, we knew it was possible. Bob and I committed our lives to the Lord as children and it was important for us to commit our children to the Lord even before they were born. We raised our kids to be polite, say yes mam and no sir, do chores, take their baseball hats off when you entered the church, put your hand over your heart while singing the Star Bangled Banner, ask to be excused from the table after you ate, tell the host you enjoyed the dinner, respect authority, the importance of good morals and values, to be kind to animals, do unto others as you would have them do unto you, and other Godly principles such as forgiveness and unconditional love. We encouraged our children as they were growing up, and still do, to thank God for their gifts and talents that God gave them, to use them and bless others. Being the matriarch of the Schmidt family, one of my favorite Bible verses is from 3 John 4: “I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in truth”. That’s not only our heavenly father’s desire for us, as HIS children, but my desire as a mother, for my children. I am blessed that each of my family members have entrusted their hearts to the Lord. It is such a peace to know we will all live together forever. While Bob and I have raised our family, we have shared joy, laughter, tears, and like most families, have also had our heartaches, hiccups and bumps in the road. It’s through those heartaches, hiccups and bumps in the road, that our family has gained strength and grown closer. Bob and I don’t seek perfection in our marriage or children, but seek and pray for perseverance in having a passion for and heart after God, as King David did. We pray this perseverance in having a heart after God will not be just for this generation but be passed down the generations to come. I thank the Lord, and pray that He continue to make my family a circle of strength and love; founded on faith; joined in love; kept by God; forever together.