A Few Of My Favorite People:                               A Photo Essay

Okay, I’m back.

Notice I never said I was gone because it seems we have a theft ring in our little community and it didn’t seem wise to advertise an empty house.  And sadly, I no longer have an attack cat.  The day after I introduced you to Boo he went missing.  I feel responsible since I bragged on his indestructibility.  My suspicion is that the neighborhood dogs ate him immediately after they read my blog and took my taunts personally. I will never give my heart to another animal.  It’s just too painful.  For us both. Or maybe for him slightly more than me but you get what I’m saying.

Speaking of a heart-breaker, would you please look at this darling child aka my second-born, Elijah? He turned 14 over the weekend.  Someone please make it stop.

 

 

He’s the funniest kid I know and though I’m certain he loves all his siblings, I think he’s a little partial to his big bro.  The bro with the ‘fro. (This post has just morphed into a Pigeon Forge pictorial.  Stay with me.)

 

 

I am tempted to suggest this image is symbolic of teenage angst.  Of being at a crossroad.  Of looking for direction. Of feeling alone even though surrounded by people.  Truth is I snapped his picture just as he was standing in front of this sign and immediately afterward he said, in his best Napoleon Dynamite voice, “Moooommm, PLEASE stop taking pictures of me!”  And then he made it his Facebook profile.

 

This is the first family picture we’ve had since 2009.  Sad.  Very Sad.  The time in between, not the photo.  I’m actually quite pleased with it.  I’d better be since it will most likely be the last one until some time in 2018.

We went to the mountains with Luke’s Mom, Dad, Sis, BIL and their 2 boys.  This is my super adorable nephew, Micah.  He eats only from the four major food groups:  macaroni, oatmeal, chicken and rice soup, and vanilla ice cream.  Yes, that’s about the extent of it.  Guess which one he likes best?

And of course, this is Syd.  She’s laughing at her Papa and I can not resist that sweet dimple in her cheeks.

Another fabulous nephew, Matthew.  He and Sam are 6 months apart in age and have an equal love for all things Georgia Bulldog.  They are beast.  I’m not sure what that means but they seem very self-confident when they say it.

I found this beautiful phone booth in the village and Sam agreed to pose.  Talking on the phone was all his idea.  Have I mentioned he is beast?  Also, this photo is straight from the camera.  I love my camera.

 

We took all the kids to ride go carts.  This is the first time I have ridden since an unfortunate incident a few years back.  I was speeding along when I realized that some poor woman’s purse was apparently dumping as she circled.  And then I recognized some sunglasses.  And lip gloss.  And *feminine products*.  It was my purse and somehow it had gotten turned sideways beside me in the car. In a state of mortification I stealthily retrieved the glasses and lip gloss whilst leaving the unmentionables unclaimed. I’m blushing all over again.

This time was decidedly more fun.  I would post a picture of my driving Sydney but it seems when I am laughing deliriously my double chin turns into 2 double chins. (Which equals 4 double chins?)  Remind me never to laugh again.

Sawyer wasn’t worrying about any of that stuff.  He has a clear mind and pure heart.  I would love to live in his world for just one day.

And there are more but I will stop now before I become obsessed with learning how to PhotoChop my chins.  And yes, I am open for tips on exactly how to do that. So far, I have only mastered clicking the “4% thinner” action about 7 times.

It doesn’t work.

Say Hello to My Little Friend

Thank you for the kind words about the Contagious Joy news as well as the tips on what to do with the elf.  Tuesday night Bart made snow angels in corn meal.  Sydney got up this morning and when she found him on the kitchen counter (next to the Santa cookie jar) she asked me 249 questions about how I thought he got the container off the shelf and if he missed Santa since he was next to the Santa jar and if he missed snow since he was trying to make snow angels.  If she is really buying this thing like she seems then I don’t know how the child sleeps at night knowing a 5 inch creepy looking doll is lurking about the house just waiting to get into her toothpaste or climb into bed beside her. *shudder* Now don’t get me wrong, the elf is fun and Syd absolutely loves it but the more I think about it, it’s just a little too Chucky for me. I’m considering letting Boo Kitty in the house to keep an eye on things just in case.  Because there is one thing you can count on Boo to do and that is damage.

Wait.  I don’t think I’ve told  y’all about Boo?  He is a tom cat that showed up at the house this summer.  He was scrawny and had obviously been bitten by something large.  I typically hate cats but I was disarmed by his liking me.  Liking, not licking.  I would have still hated him if he licked.  Syd’s bff’s dad is a vet and when he was over one day he took a look and hooked me up with some antibiotics.  We nursed him back to health, fattened him up, and here he has remained (the cat, not bff dad).  He fights cats.  He fights dogs.  He fights deer.  He fights diesel trucks. When he comes limping home I pour peroxide in the wounds, give him antibiotics and he lives to tear it up another day.

I told you he just showed up a stray.  This past Sunday night we invited the whole church over to the house for a Christmas party.  One of our friends, Jason, took a closer look at the cat and wouldn’t you know it, after asking Luke if he liked to fight (the cat, not Luke…but now that I think of it that would be so hilarious to watch.  Luke fighting, not the cat) he figured out it was his!  Apparently he had come over one day with the cat in the truck, it jumped out, ran off and he never could catch it.  Who knows how long he had wandered before he settled here.  We tried to give him back but Jason refused. We did learn his name is really Ruby (the cat, not Jason)which is strangely reminiscent of our boy cat named Nancy.  It’s how we name our animals here in Alabama.  Or maybe it’s just that we have no desire to do the necessary exams to determine gender.  Gross.

With that said, Boo and I have an understanding.  I feed him.  I pet him under his sweet little cheeks while he lies on his back and waves his paws in the air.  I use baby talk when I call him Boo Kitty.  In exchange, he takes care of things that need taken care of.  Like cats.  Like dogs.  Like deer.  Like diesel trucks.

And like freakish little elves that don’t stay on their shelves.

Maybe the Elf Will Make My                        Video Announcement

Technically, I’m a moron.  And by that I mean that beyond occasionally writing on this website I have no computer-audio-visual skills whatsoever as evidenced by the fact I have spent the last two entire days trying to film a short 10 minute video with some BIG NEWS and post it to to the blog.  What video you ask?  Precisely. (Please read through to the end.  I’ll get back to the point in a bit.)

I finally gave up and went to town to find Sydney an Elf on the Shelf.  I’ve heard about them over the past few years but none of the kids expressed much interest until lately.  Some of Sydney’s friends have them and have had the best time telling about the havoc their elves wreaked during the night.  I didn’t realize how much she wanted in on the fun until she showed me that she had drawn one on notebook paper in hopes that if she wished hard enough it would come to life.

She might as well drawn my heart on that paper and ripped it to shreds.

I temporarily appeased her by fixing her school snack and putting the paper elf inside the bag.  And then I lied – because aren’t all non-Jesus Christmas traditions based on big fat whopping webs of deceit? – and told her I didn’t make it and that maybe..just maybe..her elf was coming to life!!  (Lord forgive me)  She was absolutely delighted to the uttermost and so after I dropped her at school the search was on to get a real one.  My Facebook friends came to the rescue and gave me the names of local shops that carried them.  I found one on the first try and therefore, may I introduce you to Bartholomew.

 

I left him on the kitchen counter and when Sydney came in from school she said, “Oh man, this is just getting creepier all the time.”  We read the book and Bart is now hanging out until dark when he will have to get creative and attempt to outdo all the other elf mischief going on amongst her friends’ houses.  Or that sentence can also be read: I would love to hear some good ideas on what to do with this thing so Syd doesn’t have the lamest elf on the block.  I’m personally hoping he will edit my video and get it posted but just in case, I’d better give you the condensed, written version of the content.

 

I am very excited to announce a new affiliation that will be of great benefit to ministry wives.  For quite some time I’ve been troubled in heart because as one girl in a remote corner of Alabama, I feel very inadequate to provide the resources that I know you girls need based on the emails I receive from you.  You deserve so much more than what I alone can give.  I’ve been praying about that issue for several months with the hopes of there being an opportunity for me to join forces with some of the larger ministries that are doing a great work.  I didn’t want to be presumptive that anyone needed or wanted me so I just watched and waited and wondered if desiring such a thing was of God or simply a product of my own warped discernment.  And then God – being faithful as always – crossed my path with Diane Nix through a mutual friend.  Diane just happens to be the creator of a wonderful site for ministry wives called Contagious Joy.

 

Diane and I had an email exchange some months back about ministry related things and during the course of it, I felt compelled to pitch out my desire to join forces with a site larger than my own.  Not coincidentally, the Lord had also been nudging her in my direction.  After some phone conversation and a lot of prayer, she has graciously permitted me to hitch on to her well-built wagon.  I do not presume to call this a partnership because Diane has done all the work on CJ and already has a fabulous team in place.  It is more of an affiliation whereby the ministry wife related material that I produce will be hosted there and CJ will link back here to the M2M Blogroll, etc.  Honestly, we aren’t altogether certain how this will unfold but we are both excited at the possibilities.

Here are some things I love about Contagious Joy that lead me to believe this is a great move for me and for you:

1. The Security:  Registration is required in order to have full access to the site forums and the member requests are screened to ensure the applicants are indeed servants in ministry.  No clandestine attempts to see what’s going on with you behind the scenes shall prosper! This is a huge comfort to ministry wives who need a safe place to vent, to seek encouragement, and/or wise counsel.

2.  The Forums:  I have loved the interaction between you girls on The Preacher’s Wife Facebook group page.  I’ve not converted it to a “Like/Fan” page because I’ve been afraid we’ll lose many of the members in transition and there is no longer and option to message all the members to alert to the move.  That page will remain intact but I want to encourage you to also register with CJ and use the forums in the same way you are using the Facebook page.  There are discussion starter topics and you are free to begin your own topic as well.  CJ also has a Facebook page here and again, I encourage you to “Like” that page to keep up to date on current happenings.

3.  The Credentials:  Among the team Diane has formed is a licensed counselor who is available in the forums for those facing heavy issues.  You can read the bio’s of the entire leadership team here.

4.  The Fun Stuff:  CJ has recently given away anything from iPads to Girls’ Getaway Cruises.  As much I would love to, I can’t give y’all electronics and vacations. See what I mean about how great it is to work with someone who has actual resources?

And lastly:

THE EVENTS!

This is where it gets even better.  On January 14th, 2012, CJ will be hosting a virtual conference for ministry wives called More inJoy.  Registration is now open and is a mere $10.  Couple the low price with the fact you can watch from the comforts of your own home and there is absolutely no reason not to join in!  I’m thrilled to be one of the speakers.  Rachel Lovingood (co-author of the Bible Study for ministry wives, “In Our Shoes”…what’s the deal with ministry wives and shoes? *grin*) will also speak.  The details are still coming together so please register now and visit CJ between now and then to get more information on the conference.

 

And one more lastly:

I want to be certain that I properly express how grateful I remain for the friendships and encouragement you girls have blessed me with over the past years.  I do not want this change to be perceived that I am shoving you out of here to another site.  Very little will change here other than there being times when I will point you to CJ forums for counsel, etc. that will be readily available there versus your waiting on me to answer your precious emails.  I also look forward to writing articles there that I hope will offer wholesale encouragement to issues you may be facing.  Again, it is my desire that you are served well and I know I have failed miserably especially as of late.  You deserve better!

Okay, so I would love to hear your thoughts.  About the elf and the ministry.

Now there’s a sentence I never thought I’d find myself writing.

 

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