Sunday, November 30, 2008

McKenzie's Baptism

Sunday was a very special day for McKenzie and all of us. McKenzie was baptized by her grandfather. I'm so glad that Grand was able to baptize her - it made an already special day even more special. McKenzie likes to be prepared, so we have "practiced" baptizing several times over the last couple of weeks. Betty and I have showed her what was going to happen and we even dunked her in the tub a couple of times! Grand read from Acts 8, and then said a few nice words about McKenzie. Then McKenzie went down into the water and stood there nervously while Grand finished speaking and then he baptized her. You could barely see her in the baptistry - just like I was when Grand baptized me. Then we went to lunch with Nana and Grand and Andy's family. It was a wonderful, worshipful day and we thank all the friends and family who helped make it special.

Jesus said, "Let the little children come to Me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these." --Matthew 19:14

McKenzie checking out the baptistry before Sunday School.

Grand, McKenzie, and Nana

Friday, November 28, 2008

Henry's Back!

Our Elf on the Shelf, Henry, returned last night to keep a watch on the kids and report back to Santa Claus. Henry comes back every Thanksgiving night and stays through Christmas Eve to make sure McKenzie and Matt are being good and he lets Santa know about their behavior and lets him know what they want for Christmas. Henry hides in a different spot every morning and we'll post some of the unusual places he chooses.

Matt immediately told Henry what he wants for Christmas. "I want drums and toys!"

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Thanksgiving Day

Thursday we celebrated Thanksgiving with Betty's family at the Brister's house. We had chicken and dressing and all the trimmings. My favorite dish was the strawberry salad -- or as Matt calls it strawbuzzit salad. Jordan ate about a pound of chicken smothered in a quart of ketchup. It turned out to be a beautiful day and after lunch we enjoyed watching Matt and BettyWard play football in the front yard. Then we went home and I passed out on the couch.

Matt's favorite was the cookies!

Granny's great-grands

BettyWard, Jacob, and Ward

BettyWard's perfect punting form!

Matt and BettyWard playing football

The obligatory team picture.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

The Magical World of Mr. Glen

Wednesday we went to Eupora to celebrate Thanksgiving with my family (this is David, by the way). Nana cooked a wonderful lunch topped off with apple pie and ice cream. I had at least two of everything - including the pie! No trip to Eupora is complete for Matt without a trip to Mr. Glen's house. Mr. Glen and his wife Gayle are friends of Nana and Grand's and live just around the corner. Mr. Glen has little trains running all around their upstairs loft and even over the living room. He has made all kinds of marble games and his "playroom" is a little kid's dream come true. He and Matt made an instant connection over their shared love of trains. I think Matt could spend a month in Eupora with Nana, Grand, and Mr. Glen and barely miss us! Here are a few pictures of Matt and his playmate, Mr. Glen.

Mr. Glen lets Matt work one of the remote controls for one of the trains.

Matt REALLY gets into it!

Matt tries to figure out how all of Mr. Glen's toys work.

Marble Bowling

Mr. Glen and Matt work on a truck.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Lanes and Bridges

I took pictures this weekend of the Lane children and the Bridges family. Olivia Lane (on the left) is in McKenzie's class at Kirk, so of course, McKenzie had to go with me on that shoot. She was a big help -- making Olivia and Emily smile and keeping them interested in taking pictures in the cold! We had an audience of four cows that watched us take pictures. They just sat or stood there and stared at us. So, after we were through, we went down to the fence and mooed at them. They didn't answer.

Click here to see more of the Lanes.

I was supposed to take the Bridges pictures last weekend, but we decided to postpone it because it was so cold and windy and they have a little baby boy who didn't need to be out in that. This weekend was much better and little Hayden did great. He sat there and stared at me the whole time like he was thinking, "Who is this weird guy pointing that thing at me?". Unfortunately, I didn't get any action shots of him spitting up his afternoon snack. But, if you want to see some more of the Bridges anyway, click here.

Where's David?

No one who has told me their guess has been correct about where I am in the church photo below. The most common guess was the boy in the top right hand side sticking his tongue out. What does that say about me??? Anyway, I'm in the front in the shirt with horizontal stripes holding my Bible.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

A Long Time Ago.....

This is a picture taken in 1980 or 1981 of the congregation at First Baptist Church in Itta Bena. I was 10 or 11. That's my Dad, the pastor, second from the left. Andy (with glasses) is standing in front of the second column from the right. My Mom is a few heads down from the first column on the right. Now, click on the picture and see if you can find me.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Justin And The Fire Ant

Sunday afternoon I took pictures of our nephew and niece, Justin and Jordan "Fire Ant" Lea. As usual, we laughed a lot and had a lot of fun. Justin cracks me up because he's so easy to get tickled and then he just can't stop. The picture on the left was Justin's creation. He wanted to do a "comedy picture" and, I think, act out something he'd really love to do to Jordan in real life! :) Jordan was really enjoying herself, posing everywhere and wanting me to take tons of pictures of her. So, let me present Miss Jordan "Fire Ant" Lea -- model, soccer star, and championship talker.

Click here to see more of the Lea's pictures.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Special Day for McKenzie

Today was a special day for McKenzie. Last Thursday night she accepted Jesus into her heart. McKenzie may only be seven yrs. old but she is very sure and confident in her decision. I have prayed for several years that my kids would accept and come to know Him at an early age and God has answered my prayers. David and I walked with her down the isle to make her profession of faith. It seems like yesterday that we were down front on baby dedication Sunday dedicating her to God. My, how time passes fast! I think it is very special in that her Grand ( David's Dad) will baptize her soon.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

How 'Bout That Cowgirl!!!

Mary Carter braved the cold and wind Saturday afternoon to show off her cowgirl outfit. She was ready to model, too! I told her to stand in front of a wall and she hopped up there and put her hands on her hips and cocked one of her boots up on its heel and was ready to shine! She was at her favorite place -- the depot -- and was loving her outfit. She's a big train fan, like Matt, and kept saying that the train was coming "in five minutes". She's always a lot of fun and a lot of energy and I think she made a beautiful cowgirl.

Click here to see more of Mary Carter.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Short People Got No Reason...

I'm not picking on anybody -- their name is "Short" and they have plenty of reasons to live. One reason is they made some wonderful pictures this past weekend! Little Seth was a reluctant model. He would cut his eyes to the side and wouldn't look at me. I'd count to three and he'd only look at me on "three" and then look away again. By the end of the session, though, I think he was enjoying it. He even ran over to the slide and posed for me a few times.

Click here to see more of the Shorts.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Homecoming in Mayberry

Today we went to a Homecoming service at my hometown church in Itta Bena. My Dad became the pastor at First Baptist Itta Bena in September of 1979, and I lived there until I moved to Grenada in September of 1992. It was a wonderful place to grow up -- Betty says it reminds her of Mayberry. I could ride my bike all over town and go play with friends...walk to several friends' houses or walk to the baseball park or the neighborhood football field at the Bariola's. We'd play ball outside all day long during the summer and play football every Sunday afternoon in the fall. Usually after the neighborhood ballgame we'd ride our bikes or three-wheelers down to the Southern Cafe for a floating hamburger and a chocolate milkshake. We'd also play chase at night on our block that included our house, the Minister of Music's house and the church property. With all the stuff and opportunities our kids have today they'll never get to do a lot of the things that I was able to do growing up in Itta Bena. I guess sometimes "progress" isn't progress. Here are some pictures from our fun day.

This is Curtis and Maime Aust. Curtis was the coach of our church softball team that won the Greenwood Church League championship all 13 years I was there. We won the State Tournament in 1990. Maime is a great lady and makes an amazing strawberry pizza.

Karen Higginbotham, Susan Fulgham, Kristy Aust, and Sharon Aust -- all maiden names. All good friends from our old youth group.

Sandy Land, our Minister of Music for most of my time in Itta Bena. He was once a very ugly woman in a wedding dress for a womanless beauty pageant.

Sybil and Gary Fulgham. Gary is a nut and Sybil is a sweet lady who cooks the best dressing ever. Sorry, Mom.

Betty and Frances Aldridge. This is my sister-in-law Jan's mother and the mother of my best friend, Wayne. She is so sweet and also a great cook - a running theme with me and the women of Itta Bena.

Here's my best friend, Wayne Aldridge. I know he looks to old to be a friend of mine, but trust me, he's really just a couple of years older than me! :) Wayne and I would go to Pizza Inn every Sunday night after church and eat a pepperoni pizza each. Hmm, all of my stories revolve around food. Anyway, we had a lot of great times together in Itta Bena.

Steve Hayes. The greatest church softball shortstop ever.

Sandra Joiner. Faithful follower of The Cummings Chronicles and extremely proud grandmother. Took me to the ER when I severly sprained my ankle in 10th grade while Mom and Dad were out of town.

Part of the FBC youth group of the 80's.

Matt walking up the steps of the beautiful church.

The Southern Cafe (now Tyrone's Sports Bar and Grill). Home of the floating hamburger and chocolate shakes!

The old home. My room was behind the window to the right of the door. The sidewalk was the 50 yard line for mine and Andy's football games. This was also the view that our 90-year-old neighbor, Miss Birdie, had when she'd sit out on her bench swing and watch us play ball. Lots of great memories in Itta Bena. Thanks, Mom and Dad, for moving us there.