Eustachian Tube Dysfunction…

There’s an episode of M*A*S*H in which a soldier has been given his discharge from the service, and is well-known for being a scavenger.  He is wanting to get out of flying home so he can make a great big haul from Korea on a ship:

Sgt. Kimble – “You know, I think flight-homewise I got a little problem, Doc, with my ear.  I’ve got chronic adhesive otitis with Eustachian tube dysfunction.”

B. J. Honeycutt –  [Chuckling] How do you know that?

Sgt. Kimble –  “A lucky guess and a little research.”
B.J. – How long have you had this?

Kimble – I caught it the second I read about it.
B.J. – Your ears will hurt if you fly. Right?

Kimble – Bad.

Well, I’m not planning on flying anywhere (thank goodness!) but I definitely have some kind of issue with my Eustachian tube!!  I’ve had this issue before, but never quite as bad as this.

For months, I’ve had a problem with the very back of my throat on the right side. I didn’t know what the problem was, but I would cough and cough, but never really get to the source of the itch or pain or whatever it was. Drainage? I don’t know! But what began as seemingly a throat problem is now from right ear to back of throat, with pain radiating EVERY DIRECTION!! I sleep with a cough drop (or 10) in my mouth. My teeth are going to rot out of my head!!

This morning I awoke with the hope of it being better. Maybe it is. The pain isn’t so bad this minute, but then, I did take 4 Ibuprofen awhile ago.  I might should go to the doctor, but there are lots of issues with that thought right now, so I’m counting on prayer, Hall’s Mentholyptus cough drops, Nyquil, and Ibuprofen!

In the meantime, I didn’t get to have my grandkids this week because of this sickness!  I miss them so much when I have to go this long without seeing them! Selah is in the throws of potty training, and while it isn’t the easiest thing to deal with, I was loving the successes she was having! She was so proud of herself, and wouldn’t let me empty her potty until she could show Nee-Nee!  Titus was proud of her, too. It was so much fun to see their excitement! Indeed, I miss them!

2014-07-12 Maelynn First Birthday 585 Nonnie and Selah

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These are some photos of Arulai’s “Frozen” camp. She had the BEST time, as they learned character lessons from the movie “Frozen,” and then acted and sang in an adapted version of the movie.  My heart just about burst with joy for this little girl – she LOVES drama and play-acting! Oh, and singing!!

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2014-08-01 Arulai's SHOW! 069

After the show was over, the children all got to meet Elsa and Anna, main characters from the movie. They were THRILLED!

Bill has finished the first 90 hours course work toward his Home Inspector license! It has been HARD work for my hands-on, fall-asleep-if-he-sits-still hubby!! There is still a lot more book work, but he gets to begin the labs now, which he will love. The work he is doing as an Inspector’s Helper has him excited about this career, and he thoroughly enjoys his boss.  I’m still so amazed at the Lord’s hand in providing this apprenticing job!  Amazed, and so, so grateful!

We’re gearing up for our busy month, October. We have 2 family events that are set in stone (or perhaps blood!!) – the Annual Allen Family Reunion on the first weekend, and our annual family vacation/homeschool camping trip in Glen Rose on the third weekend.  We’ve hit a bump in the road for these two events – we’ve always had access to Bill’s folks camper trailer for our trips. Recently, due to Mrs. Petty’s frailty, they sold their camper. We aren’t sure now how things will play out. We do know we will be at the family reunion, however we manage to sleep.

Glen Rose is not so sure. I’m really frustrated about that trip, because I’ve been working really hard this year to get our younger members of the Home School group excited about the camp out.  It has meant a great deal to our family in the scheme of homeschooling, as far as support and friendships, not to mention the education and spiritual blessings we’ve received from Dr. Carl Baugh and the Creation Evidences Museum!! So, anyway, we were all (the homeschool group that are coming) going to meet at one of the campsites for potluck and “met and greet” time, and after all my organizing, we may not even get to go! I know the Lord has it all in His hands, so I am truly letting Him work it all out. He knows whether or not the group even needs me there!

Glen Rose 1

This Saturday, and a Friday in October, we are shooting some Fall mini-sessions. I had the best time putting our set together!  I used to be really crafty, but haven’t done much in the way of crafts in quite a number of years. I knew what I wanted for our sessions, and I was so, so grateful when my son and his brother-in-law came over to make my plans a reality!  Nathanael had hurt his back, so Elijah did pretty much all the hands-on stuff while Nathanael and I gave input and supervised.  I had wanted a “stand” – e.g. lemonade stand, kissing booth, or in this case, a pumpkin stand.  The guys (and Grace, E.J.’s friend) captured my idea perfectly, and it is wonderful!! What used to be our school cabinet has now been transformed into a beautiful Pumpkin Stand! I just love it!

Fall Mini-Sessions (1500 x 762)

I was pretty timid about doing the chalkboard, but it turned out pretty nice. I recovered my grandfather’s old stool (I left his last upholstery job intact – it was a 1977 cloth calendar turned upholstery fabric!), and I also made a beautiful wreath for my project. Sad to say, I forgot to put the wreath on it, but I don’t think it needs it, do you?  Molly and Charlie seemed to think it was okay!

Fall dogs

Bill just got home, so I’d better get off here. He’s doing some outdoor projects real quick before he comes in for the evening, but that will be sooner than later. It’s beginning to get dark much earlier than even just last week, so he won’t stay out long.  We’re grateful for the tad-bit cooler weather this week – I’m not longing for the cold, but do love these days when the high is only in the 80s!!

God bless your day!

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Being 54

Me and Levi

Ever since I’ve known Bill Petty, one of his favorite lines has been, “I’m __ years old, and I still don’t know what I want to do when I grow up.” I think it could be difficult to follow someone like that, but for me it’s not been. At least not as a whole. There have been days when I wished he would just make up his mind and do something for a pair of minutes! Continue reading

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A Million Years…

Okay, so it’s only been 5 months. But, SERIOUSLY?? What is so challenging about what basically boils down to writing a letter a couple of times a month? Well, it must be – I’m sure not getting on here to write.

I’m still keeping my Texas grandkids a couple of days a week, although we’re down to two now. Arulai, our oldest, is going to school! I can scarcely grasp that she’s that old now, and if I weren’t so excited for the opportunity she’s been given, I would scarcely be able to tolerate how much I miss her! Bo and Emily have homeschooled her up until this year, but it was becoming so difficult, given the fact that Emily’s business simply EXPLODED this year! So they began looking into private schools – oh, so expensive!! Right before the school year began, we remembered a small Christian school that just happens to be within 1.5 miles of their home! It is run by friends of ours who were in our homeschool group back in OUR days of homeschooling. As a matter of fact, it is actually just an expansion of their own home school, very intimate, and much less expensive than other schools. I am beyond excited for Arulai, and probably more especially for Emily, because the burden of educating her girl was so very heavy on her shoulders! And Arulai just LOVES it! Every time we ask how school was today, she answers, “It was AWESOME!!!”

Arulai's first day of school

Arulai goes to school

My little man - he is still all Monster Trucks and Mud Buggies!

My little man – he is still all Monster Trucks and Mud Buggies!

Our littlest Texas Girl - she still has Nonnie's heart in a death grip!

Our littlest Texas Girl – she still has Nonnie’s heart in a death grip!

In other news, my sweet hubby is also going back to school! He began hearing good things about the career of Real Estate Inspector, and it is truly right up Bill’s alley as far as interests go! He registered for school on a Thursday in late August, and the very next day received a call from his brother about a Home Inspector friend of his looking for an apprentice! So, not only is Bill going to school, he is now working in the field for which he is schooling!! God is so good! Now Bill’s days are filled with work, study, photography, and grandkids. He’s worn to a frazzle, but he’s got a goal in mind, and is truly happier than he’s been in a long time!

Bill being funny (and hefting up those heavy books!) after registering for his schooling

Bill being funny (and hefting up those heavy books!) after registering for his schooling

We’ve also spent some of our summer working on Dannye’s house – our old mobile home. It needed complete new flooring, and that part is almost done. She will then be doing mostly cosmetic things like painting and carpeting. We are so looking forward to the day that she gets the go-ahead for her adoption of little Avalyn. We covet your prayers on that front!

The first workday at Dannye's house, with Bill, Nathanael, Michael (my nephew), and Elijah (Emily's brother).

The first workday at Dannye’s house, with Bill, Nathanael, Michael (my nephew), and Elijah (Emily’s brother).

Dan’s days have also been filled with our photography business, and I began a blog simply for that business. I enjoy doing it, especially because I love showing off their work. It’s called “The Not-So-Petty Blog,” and I’d love for you all to go over and take a look!

There is so much more to tell, but Dannye Reigh wants to go shopping this afternoon. She wants me ready when she gets off work, so I’d better get a move on! Please comment, even just a sentence or two, and let me know how you are all doing!!

God bless your day!

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Sisters, Grandkids, and a Full Life

The past week-plus has been so busy. Not that this is an unusual way of life for me, but it certainly felt busier than usual!  I definitely live a busy (sometimes too busy) life, but I’ve known for a long time that this is pretty much the norm for me. My sweet Mama always told me, “Nina, you’re going to make yourself sick!” And often, she was right.  I will occasionally find myself bedridden for a couple of days after a super busy period. This time, though, I seem to be hanging in there. Well, as much a 54 year old woman can, anyway!!

The beginning of my super-busyness was our annual Sisters Retreat. I am one of 4 blood-sisters (Bettye, Martha, myself, and Jeanne), and we have 2 sis-in-laws (Greta and Karla) that are just as much sisters to me, as well. Five of us were able to get together at Greta’s home, and oh, what a wonderful time it was!!!  You never heard so much talking, laughing, and perhaps even a tear or two as we shared our lives, our stories, our perspectives.  Because we have a 20 year range in our ages, we didn’t all grow up together.  We have, however, GROWN together as adults!  We’ve been through deaths, births, painful diagnoses…all those things life brings that either draws you close or tears you apart. We have chosen to draw closer! So I love spending time with my precious sisters, and I pray we will be able to do this for many, many years to come!!

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Our retreat ended on Saturday, and after a full day of church-related activities on Sunday (our pastor preached one of the best messages I’ve heard – or maybe it just truly ministered to me at the moment!), I had to run errands on a rainy Monday. My errands coincided with some errands Nathanael and Emily had to do, so I was able to watch the grandkids at Chick-fil-a for a long lunch. I loved being able to do that, because we rarely go anywhere during our usual 2 day-a-week visit. They love being at Nonnie’s house (can’t tell you how many times the little ones asked that day if we were going to Nonnie’s house!), and it’s just not easy for me, by myself, to get them all ready to go someplace where they all have to look neat and clean! They played on the playset until they got hungry, then they ate, and went back onto the playset.  They all had a blast, and I loved watching them climb and play and pretend! A special prize for this grandmother is that this particular play area didn’t really have space for adults to sit right with the kids; but I was able to sit right beside it on the other side of a glass window and watch them!! I could hear them somewhat, but they could yell and scream to their heart’s content and it didn’t overwhelm me!! So great!!

Bo and Emily met us after lunch, and after a bit of visiting, they took the kids, and I finished my errands. Part of my errand-running was gathering all the things I needed for Arulai’s Easter party, which she was having at my house on Wednesday.  She has been wanting to have a party, and it worked well for us to have an Easter party. It was busy, and I wanted to do too much, but I am SOOOOOO glad I did it!  Arulai painted and decorated all day!  When the kids woke up, we made cupcakes in flower pots; we made “stained-glass” crosses out of crushed, melted crayons and wax paper;  we made “resurrection rolls” with crescent rolls and marshmallows – my favorite, because we talked about Jesus dying, being buried, the oils and spices used in burial, and then He ROSE from the grave, leaving an empty tomb! It was wonderful to see Arulai’s eyes sparkle as we talked – the marshmallow (representing Jesus’ body) was covered in melted butter and rolled in cinnamon-sugar (oils and spices), then covered with the crescent roll, seams sealed completely.  After baking, the marshmallow was gone, leaving an empty roll (that was tasty with cinnamon-sweetness).  Arulai was amazed, and overjoyed at the symbolism!! Titus and Selah mostly enjoyed the process! 😉 Since I didn’t take pics, this is the link to the resurrection rolls directions:  http://thewillcuttgirls.blogspot.com/2010/04/resurrection-rolls.html

Emily was able to come a bit early to enjoy the “party” and our dear neighbor, Sheridan, came over to help Arulai with some of the projects. One of these projects, I had almost decided not to do, but Sheridan was up for helping with it, so they went ahead. I had placed a chocolate egg inside several water balloons and, blown up, they were in the shape of an egg.  Sheridan and Arulai wound them with colored yarn soaked in glue. They had to dry over night, so my plan is to take them over to the kids on Sunday so they can pop the balloons and see their yarn eggs with a candy inside.  Titus was completely enamored with the balloons, so I’m not sure that will carry over to the yarn eggs; however, I definitely know he will be intrigued with the candy inside, and will work diligently to get it out!!  My house is a wreck, but oh, the fun they had!!  I’ve given myself a morning in bed today, but will soon be cleaning up the clutter. As I do, though, I will be remembering the fun. I hope they will remember it, too!!

This afternoon is another of our many photo sessions of late.  Dannye has been WAY busy with her work at the daycare, and then photo work in the evenings.  Her eyes still bother her a lot, especially when she has this much editing to do. It’s been good, though, because she has about a week between sessions.  This weekend we get to do our oldest godson’s senior pics, and I can’t wait.  Allen is such a gentle, sweet guy, and I am searching for a really cool location to do his session.  We are all so proud of him, as he has really had to work hard to graduate due to his Asperger’s (a form of Autism).  He is STILL working hard!! (And so are his Dad and his grandmother!!) 😉

I’d better get off – this house won’t clean itself, and my hubby might just sneak in from work early today! What a blessing that would be, since he’s been out of town A LOT lately!!

God bless your day!!

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Oh, yeah, I have a blog!

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I occasionally come by, hoping inspiration will hit…but it never does!  Sometimes, however, pushing through is the key!!

Not much changes around here – for which I’m pretty glad!  Bill has been working for his former employer a few days a week, and heads out of town every once in awhile.  When he’s not out of town, he’s busy working in his barn, or “sup’n up” Titus’ battery powered jeep! That boy LOVES his Papa!!  He hits our property asking, ‘Where’s Papa??” And nothing suits his day better than working on stuff with Bill.  Nathanael was much that way about Bill at that age – just loved being with his Daddy! Nathanael’s bent soon turned from trucks to baseball, but we’ll see if Titus’ passion for Monster Trucks ever fades!

Papa, I'm STUCK!!

Papa, I’m STUCK!!

Titus is checking the engine, so A.J. takes this opportunity to fix her makeup!

Titus is checking the engine, so A.J. takes this opportunity to fix her makeup!

 

Pamela and Will made it possible for me to come up for a visit, and I LOVED being with my Baby Girl and her family!  During my visit, they had little Levi’s dedication service.

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He is the sweetest thing!! When he smiles, my heart just melts into a puddle!  He still enjoys eating, and especially enjoys his big sister!

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I get tickled at how they “play” together – he just chuckles as she climbs on him, balances things on his head, and points out his eyes, ears, nose, and mouth!  Chloe Grace just started walking this week, at 18 months!  In many ways, this will be a help to Pamela, but I can imagine in some ways, her life just got more complicated!  Pamela definitely has her hands full, but as tired as she is, she loves it!  Will and Pamela are wonderful parents, and I loved being there, watching their little family!

Back on the homefront, I am still keeping the grandkids 2 days a week, and loving every minute of it! Arulai is growing up so fast, and I’m trying my best to keep up with her. She is so very smart, and oh, so creative!! She wants to have an Easter party with me, and has already begun making decorations. She was showing me what she’s made so far, and I was truly amazed at her talent! She’s really gifted!  Of course, creativity nearly always brings a HUGE mess, but the end result is fabulous, and Arulai is learning to clean up after herself very well!

Contemplating the vastness of the universe!

Contemplating the vastness of the universe!

My little Selah…what can I say.  The Amplified Bible translates selah as “pause, and think of that.” To me, that fits my little Selah.  She is a restful pause, and gives one time to reflect.  She loves to snuggle, and if she does wander outside to play with brother or sister or Papa, it usually isn’t very long before she’s right back in with me. And I love it! I’ve just made up my mind that I have 4+ days of the week to get all my work done, and my 2 days/3 nights with the grands are for enjoying them!  I definitely get tired (I am old, after all! 😉 ) but I truly love having them!!

My little Sey-Sey!

My little Sey-Sey!

On the work front, Bill is still somewhat working from home, although most of the time he doesn’t feel like it!  His former hotshot boss calls him in as a sub at least 2, usually more, days a week, so Bill often doesn’t feel like he can ever get much accomplished at home.  It can be frustrating, but it also helps keep the bills paid…mostly, anyway!

The photography business is AMAZINGLY busy right now!! Dannye Reigh feels like she is drowning in Photoshop most of the time! We’ve had a great time with our clients, mostly High School Seniors at this time of the year.  Some of our seniors have been children I used to keep when I worked at After School care for the YMCA – just driving home how OLD I am!!  I love hearing these kids express their affection for me, though, and it has been really sweet to touch base with them again!  Dannye has also done several newborn sessions, her favorite type of session.  It’s been super busy, but summer is coming, and photography usually slows down about then!

Well, I’m off to watch Frozen for the 4th time – this time with Dannye Reigh!

 

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Murphy…

Murphy moved in today. You know – what can go wrong WILL go wrong. Actually, I think he arrived yesterday, but I’m Pollyanna enough the be slow to recognize him!

I’m working on my Christmas cards (I know, it’s awful late!) and the printer decided to go all funky with the colors. I have about 25 in a super vivid (almost too vivid) print, and the rest in a sort of desaturated color. They both look fine, just not the same! And I can’t figure out the issue. (No, I am not out of ink!)

My poor, sweet, don’t-know-what-I’d-do-without-him husband has been working on our septic tank all day. ALL.DAY! Country living is amazing in most every way, but there are LOTS of times that it is NOTHING like the magazine!!  Arulai and Titus were talking about their Daddy, and how strong, brave, and smart he is (this is true – he is!), and I was telling them that sometimes bravery and strength show up in different ways. Their Papa was very smart, strong, and brave in dealing with the sewage issues! Arulai declared that when she has a man, they’re going to HIRE someone to do that stuff!! I have the feeling that Bill wishes his smarts came in the form of cash building so HE could hire someone to do that stuff!!

Bo called to let his Dad know that he blew a tire on my van this evening. They’ve been using our van while their vehicle was getting some much needed attention. During this time, the van’s heater has stopped working, and the engine has begun it’s recurring “miss” issue. Poor Bo…don’t those kinds of things always happen when you’re driving someone else’s car??

Pamela and Will are coming in tomorrow night. We are borrowing my in-laws camper for them to sleep in, not only because our house is too small, but it will also give them some privacy and give the babies a quiet place to nap. Bill was going to bring it over Monday, but first one thing then another has prevented it. Hopefully, he can go early tomorrow and get it back here before we go to the airport. We’d love to get it prepared for them ahead of time, rather than them having to make beds at midnight!!

I should probably get off here. The printing is going slowly, but it is going. And I might actually get them in the mail tomorrow! Right after I kick Murphy out of our day!!

God bless your day!!

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Let’s try this again!

I’m pretty frustrated with myself, and with WordPress over this blogging thing. I’m pretty sure I need someone to hold my hand and walk me through making this blog more appealing to myself, as well as to others. I’m not looking for a huge following. I just loved my Xanga Theme choices, and the ease of changing it! Argh!!!!!

Life has been pretty crazy for the past several months. Bill changed jobs this past summer, and seemed to have gone from the frying pan into the fire – a miserable fire!! Without going into details of the issues, as we have no desire to “dis” the company, suffice it to say that for 3 months, my sweet hubby came home so depressed that he went to bed every night by or before 8:00. He could barely get up in the mornings. It took every ounce of my “cheerleading” abilities to get him to go back to work the next day. A horrible way to live.

So, then Dan and I went to Michigan for the birth of grandbaby #5 (more about that in a minute), which left Bill at home fending for himself for a month. Which meant no cheerleader to scoop him up everyday. And it just got SOOOOOO bad.

We had some long-distant heart-to-heart talks, and he finally decided he HAD to quit. We had more long-distant heart-to-hearts, and after much prayer, Bill felt (feels) strongly led to work from home. We are really kicking in the photo business, but he has many other talents and gifts he will be using, as well. We’ve been down this road before, so I’m not the least bit scared. The Lord has, and continues to provide our every need, and our cup overflows with His goodness and blessing!! Plus, I get to have my hubby around most all the time!!!

So, about that grandbaby…Levi William was born November 2, less than a week after Dannye and I made the long journey up to Michigan! He was a big ol’ boy, 8 lbs., 1 oz., and was still a week early. He came forth into the world HUNGRY, and firmly believing that if he wasn’t sleeping, he should be eating. Will said Levi’s motto is, “I could eat!”

Levi William, 8 lbs. 1 oz.
Levi William, 8 lbs. 1 oz.
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Mommy and Baby doing fine!
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First meeting – so sweet!
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Happy little family!!
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Isn’t he beautiful?
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Will’s little Caped Crusader!
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Just precious, y’all!
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Indeed, it’s a BOY!
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He looks very much like his Daddy – but I think he has Petty lips!

Chloe Grace is absolutely PRECIOUS. She is a sweet Big Sister, and came to love her Nonnie and Nee-Nee so much during our visit! And TALK – that little girl attempts to say EVERYTHING! Her favorite thing to say is, “MICKEY!” I wish I knew how to attach a video – “Mickey, Mickey, Bickey, Bickey, Bickey!” She is so cute, I can scarcely stand it!!

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Beautiful Chloe Grace!!
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This little girl LOVES books!!
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Dolly!!
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Cutie Patooties!!

While we were visiting Pamela, her hubby, Will, was ordained as a Minister of the Gospel. I was so grateful we were able to be there for this precious service. Will worked very hard to prepare for the Ordination Counsel, and they were very impressed with his grasp of doctrine. He is a Godly young man, and while most of the counsel know Will in a surface, go to the same church manner, they hadn’t had this kind of opportunity to discuss the doctrines of the faith in such a concentrated manner before this time. It was wonderful to see him working so hard, and even more wonderful to witness the laying on of hands. Again, so glad Dan and I could be there!

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Dr. Wendell Babcock gave the charge at Will’s ordination.
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The laying on of hands for ordination to the ministry
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Just wonderful.
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Pastor Young and PASTOR Will!!
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Sweet family!!
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Chloe Grace and Nee-Nee match!
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Levi William is the fourth generation William!

Dannye is super busy right now with Christmas photography and finishing some wedding portraits. It’s a good thing, as she still grieves deeply for little YanZi. I have always been told that God and Time are the greatest healers – and some days are way longer than others. Thankfully the Lord is always here, I sometimes feel so helpless.

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Our first Christmas session was in Michigan – oh, my goodness, it was cold!!

I think I am done for tonight. I know I have forgotten much, but I’m HOPING I will get on more often. Surely I can get the hang of this new format!

God bless your day!

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