Tag Archives: Tennessee

Never have I ever….

I start this off with the words, never have I ever because it is how I felt all weekend. I do know what the phrase makes one think, the silly party game that people play but for me it is a thought of awe. I have been in awe of my beautiful life I have.

I know how that sounds, purely insipid and fake but it is actually true. They say to take time to smell the flowers but when do you ever, here in this crazy, busy world do we have the time. I suppose it may be because our kids are adults now, I’m not sure, but I know that when they are around it is the best of times.

While raising kids is the most magical time, watching them go through all the hard as well as fun twist and turns of growing up is one of those Olympic like sports that we all pray to get them past, when they are adults it’s so much more fun. This weekend they made the trip to the Burg to visit the old Mom, she turns a year older( hate when that happens!) but they honor me so much. Now that we live in this great house, though in the smack dab of the city it has enough yard to feel like a holiday resort.

My eldest built us a fire pit, the closest I ever come to camping since I have no wish to ever camp. Side bar: I grew up on a farm for the first ten years of my life, I loved my farm and my life as a kid there, barefoot and stringy blonde hair flying in the wind, but until age eight-ish we had NO INDOOR BATHROOM! Yep! A glorious stinky out house, so camping is out of the question for me, I’ve camped! But, a campfire in the back yard is the best invention and now since I got old again, my family went to the Amish and brought me a swing in a stand to sit and swing right by that beautiful fire. The best of both worlds…. With indoor plumbing.

When all the boys got home, we had a fire, they threw the frisbee’s down the hill to the frisbee golf net, they grilled the best chicken, boiled the best shrimp, and enjoyed a homemade banana pudding ( my Moms, recipe made by my oldest son, so she was with us too) this Mom could have ever asked for. How lucky am I? All I did was enjoy it. Taking in the moments and realizing how blessed I am. When they are little you wonder if we will survive!

The next day was a lot of lounging and throwing the football and frisbees around the still smouldering log, it still smelled so good, I sat on the swing and watched with my preacherman, both of us full with love watching these boys laugh and play. There all are still like twelve ten and five right! After, full with anticipation of “the big game!” (Yes, I ordered the chicken wings ahead of time) all so we can be ready to watch the University of Tennessee play Alabama and did we ever. This has to be the best football game I have ever watched… of course not that I on purpose watch football, only when my family does, but this was different. There had been a fifteen year dry spell .. Alabama is and has been a great team and kills us every year. Not this year SATAN!

Whew.. UT sweatshirts, tee shirts, hoodies and orange UT socks as well as baseball caps all in place and it was up and down the whole game, by the end my men were standing nearly the whole last half.. pacing back and forth, the preacherman retreated to his “hole” ( office) to listen and try to bring us luck.. I kept believing, hoping and praying for these kids who are playing their hearts out on that field. We almost had a group heart attack several times, we got quiet…then boom back on top again! It was fun! And just at the time we are fearing the worse… it happened.. they did it!! We won! What a kick, and the crowd goes wild! Fireworks and all, my boys jumped and hugged, preacherman came out of his hole and hugged them they are all screaming!

So, never have I ever had such a great weekend! There are tons of people with the same stories I know, these days of my life I take the time to watch and make note of the goodness of God. He got us here and I know that. My children are alive and thriving, they all love each other and actually love to be with each other, that in itself is an accomplishment. They are each others bff’s and we missed our girls or I know I did. Our daughter has left the pack to create her own pack as she should. But if I could she would live just down the road also, but we had her with us, on the phone, and our hearts and she and Ellie always will be. That was the only glitch in the wonderful weekend wheel but thanks to technology we talked constantly! Not the same but good for now.

These times keep us going, I’m old enough now to feel the feels my Mom did, watching her kids go to and fro, hoping they visit soon. I’m old enough to enjoy the birthday cards I received, knowing that some one thinks I’m special enough to remember. I’m old enough to just sit watch the leaves fall and never want to leave; I can waste away the hours keeping watch of the bird feeders seeing if we get a woodpecker or hopefully a bluebird! I’m old enough to know that I have been blessed to live near my children this long, I see why family’s “clan up“ and live on top of each other, nothing like it.

Never have I ever had so much fun, living my life in appreciation of who I am and who we, me and the preacherman have created. The life in ministry can be a struggle and it is, our kids have endured more than expected, it’s not their fault to be our kids, but I feel like they are the better, they know the real needs and real Jesus. It’s not a show and it’s a life of service. They too are servants, they have kindness and treat people well and to honor. Never have I ever dreamed I would have this life, but I do and I am forever grateful.

One year later

One year ago today, October 5th, we purchased our home. One year later, I see the blessing in it all. Not that I didn’t already know, but as I sit here watching all the wildlife just in our back yard, our un-secret garden is a wonderland for so many birds, bees, butterflies; squirrels and groundhogs and to take the time to watch them work, is one of the most satisfying activities for the preacherman and myself.

When we knew we wanted to own our own home again after living seven years in the parsonage, the search began…. Something that I love to do… the hunt is all the fun! After a few maybes, I found it.. the one….the “only one!” But someone else found it also..grrrrr. They beat us out, better offer and such. I was sad but since I know that the lord is in control ( with me helping of course!) I just sucked it up, and let it go. Like a grown up, mature adult!

Does anyone know me? If you do you are laughing now because I had already decided that house was mine.. my sister and I had already thoroughly looked at it on line and in person, we arranged the furniture, planned the new flowers to plant, had visions of sugar plums dancing In our heads, already. This house was my house! I just needed the other people who rudely gave a better offer to back out.. it could happen! Maybe it will I prayed, maybe they will decide to not move her from the far off land they were moving from, silly out of staters! I let my realtor know I was here hoping and praying, I let her know ( several times, on the daily). Poor women who I only met house-hunting, who would eventually regret it I’m sure, has been pestered ( texted) to death by me.

Zip ahead a really long month, what’s taking them so long.. move in already or take down your sign y’all, nothing was happening there, not that I checked every day( that was not me driving around the block…noo! ) but, if this house is getting bought something needs to show it! No “pending “ sign or nothing! Ugh my impatience is in overdrive because no other house compares to this one, they all are just okay. Nothing special homes are a dime a dozen in the world and it was becoming obvious that I was going to be stuck with one.. once again I ask.. do you know me?

So one Tuesday I let my realtor know ,again, that if something should happen to cause the buyers to “change their minds” please tell them we want first dibs! Well, this was about the third time I had relayed this info as if she’s dumb or didn’t hear me or anything that could cause her to not know this obviously ridiculous request. It is a beautifully cool house how could they not want it? …. BUT.. the next day, on a Wednesday morning, the preacherman and I were at the church, praying never ceasing, interceding for the whole world, doing all the real Jesus stuff ya know… (ha!) and my phone rings!! She says… “ you are not going to believe it!!! They backed out!!” After much jumping up and down I reply.. calmly.. ( not) “ oh really, why?”…. Apparently they had to be in by a certain date and the repairs they needed done could not be done in time.. so they changed their minds!!!!!!!!

Then, we had to come back with our best offer, within a few hours.. they accepted and it was ours!! Holy smokes! Did y’all see that, the Lord moved a mountain! I immediately cried because all that hope became real..in real time, the real life God, gave us the dream. Not free of course but He supplied the capabilities to do this. I will forever know that this was a huge long shot, my realtor I think was also shocked, bless her heart, she worked for it, and continued to, during our laborious process, impatience on my part. I’m sure it wasn’t that bad? Hmmm, I kid, I kid! Now I know I was annoying to her, but she’s a friend now( I think) and we have had better days since then, I randomly text her over silly stuff and she actually answers back.

One year ago today, our family got our home, it is like a vacation home really, the most relaxing place on earth. It’s hard to leave it, the yard is a wonderful display of nature, we have added flowers and solar lights for the new paths, the screened porch is my favorite place besides the sunroom like windows in the family room where Leo the cat and Leesi the dog, watch all the activities outside with me. Today, the groundhog has the nerve to waddle right onto our side patio, sit up and snack on acorns from the huge trees we are blessed with and smirk at our inside animals… probably with pity! I honor the life in the yard, I honor the people who built this house in 1955… I honor the sweet lady who lived in and loved it for so long last.

Thank you to all who came before us, we will try our best to take care of it and enjoy the nature all around us. This is not a brag, in all humility I am thankful for the opportunity to be the caretaker for a little while. We are smack dab in the middle of this little city, in one of the original subdivisions but it feels like we are in the country. We are surrounded by joy and on this day I honor the day that we became caretakers of this special place. I know I can be a bit dramatic about it but seriously it is spectacular! Thank you Lord and a preacherman that follows my heart with me. We both are such bird nerds now. But so much fun!

…location, location,location!

English: This photograph is of the town square...
English: This photograph is of the town square in Lawrenceburg, TN with a statue of David Crockett in the center. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

At first glance one may presume this post is about real estate…and one would be correct, sorta! I have recently sold a house…a frustrating and futile episode of “…what ya give me for it?” and really, I know I made it harder on myself than it had to be. BUT….the heart wants what the heart wants….and with that being said, I have no excuses or apologies left in me…..It had to be over with, it was hard for me to breathe…enough said. (Feels like a mystery, huh? Not really just a epic “Lucy and Ethel” moment in time…. without the funny parts!) So to further explain my location jabber….we moved! Can I get an AMEN! AMEN,  AMEN!!

Not to look back on the last seven years with regret, I knew the Lord sent us back to Middle TN,  it was fun and we made many awesome friends who I hope will be friends forever. God always knows what is best for us and I am confident that HE knew what we needed and as usual he did and does. The time spent back from wince I came was very special to me, personally. I was able to go home again…it had changedbut so did I! I did many things that restored my fond memories; I went back to see our old home place in Readyville, my beloved farm, it had changed also, re-connected with my extended family, I have great Aunts and Uncles and my cousins whom I spent many a lazy days with growing up, barefoot and free, I love them all, went to a few of their funerals which was painful.. but glad I was there to honor them, visited with an old friend, one of the first girls I met when we moved to “town” from the farm, Judy Dawes (I thought her Mom was mean and she thought my two sisters were mean) was and will always be the girl who makes me laugh, she is a jewel of a friend and we ruled and reigned the Mitchell-Nielson neighborhood for many years (or so we thought), I felt the inspiration to start this blog, preacherswifeintheknow,  which ended up in my hometown newspaper, The Daily News Journal, Murfreesboro, Tn and I was honored……..one of my friends Parents had seen me and sent word they were proud of me…totally worth it!

The most precious times were spent with my Mom, I moved back here just at the beginning of her Alzheimers onset. The two years before I moved I had visited more than I ever had, I was needing to be close to her…to talk to my momma, get advice. Being a grown up is big and scary sometimes and going home to see your Momma is the only fix…and I did and I am forever thankful because I had that time, sweet time to say it all, ask it all, get healed from growing up. I don’t mean any disrespect…she did great, good Mom but circumstances were not always choice as in every family and it was good to talk it out…and looking back one of the greatest blessings the Lord has ever given me, time with her alone before she left us. She is still here, but she has left us…..in a Benjamin Button sort of backwardness, like she never was married or had five kids, just a young girl still at home with her parents…but now not even that…just words not making sense and still that big pretty smile. She is a beautiful woman.

I also reconnected with my two sisters, I needed that……we needed each other…funny how we fit back into our birth order even when you are older….makes life less complicated that way I think, I see that in my own brood and I am happy to watch it play out….It is orderly and yet frightening then  sometimes we see how one kid may jump in to take the lead even though they are the “down the line kid” which reminds me that we all have certain God given gifts and talents that are there waiting to be made use of….pretty cool.

LOCATION? Its all in your perspective…I do have a new physical location and I love it here, Lawrenceburg, TN, a “island” of sorts almost in Alabama…..yikes! pretty close for us UT VOLS! Small towns make me better…who would have thunk it! I still would love the opportunity to be in New York City, NY some day but for now I am very settled. I am not that far away from home, and my family, for a visit and the quaint kind of community here is what I missed. When I was a kid “going to town” meant something. I find it so much more fun to go to town and not live in town….where ya got to go to?…what is there to look forward to?…I had enough of Nashville traffic to do me for my lifetime. So here I am in my sweet (one story, thank the Lord!) house, in this cute small town (it at least has a Kroger! For which I didn’t have a job when I got here!…grrr…thats another story!) with our sweet church family who appears to adore their new Pastor and ME?(we could not be more blessed) and on the upside here…fresh home grown vegetables(yes, I am that carnal, I can be bought with fresh vegetables!) and there are many more benefits of location and the most important one is that we are where God put us. And to that I say thanks Lord and AMEN, AMEN, AMEN!!!!

Workin’ stiffs

Whew…..! I must begin this moment of reflection with a standing round of applause to all you “workin people” that have run this world all these years, I mean it is amazing to have the foresight and now hindsight into the life of worker bees like YOU! With that said…..I must say, again….WHEW!


English: Wendy's Logo Français : Le logo de We...
English: Wendy’s Logo Français : Le logo de Wendy’s (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I started working at seventeen, first job was WENDY’S, the eagerness in me balanced out the constant smell of pickles on my hands! I learned great life lessons during my tenure creating the perfect burger stack as in…mayo, ketchup, pickles, tomatoes, lettuce, and mustard under the meat on the bottom bun…in that order. Then there was the lovely motto: If there’s time to lean, there’s time to clean! Ugh, it’s like the “it’s a small small world song!” That will always be trapped in my head!


Kroger logo
Kroger logo (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Then my nearly two years at Kroger, a courtesy clerk professional thank you very much, at your service. That was back when we actually took the groceries to t h e cars for customers…..rain or shine. It was really fun !!..she says smiling. This would be a foreshadowing, details to follow. After that there were various and sundry waitress jobs, they  call them servers these days, less domestic sounding I guess.


I got married then My next big job was becoming a MOM. The days of slinging hash to paying customers was far behind me, I was looking at eighteen years to life of carrying groceries and slinging hash, ironically enough, but I didn’t have to work a “real job” on top of that. I was so blessed. Then after eighteen years, I  went back to a job, the day my first baby started University of Tennessee (GO VOLS!) And my last baby started kindergarten……I shed a few tears that day!


But, I was still young, sorta, so I survived it, tired but could juggle it all. So I worked for about seven-ish years then we moved back to middle Tennessee where I found a job which lasted ten months….So for three years I have pretty much got lazy….lazier! Whew! Finding a job had gotten much harder these days and Getting older is not easy! I believe there is a correlation between the two…hmmmm?


To my great joy I now am back to work…..but I gotta say, this old girl has had to get her stamina built up again. The saying “use it or lose it” is so true! This job has been a long time coming. I worked for this company way back in college, thirty ish years ago….hence the previous foreshadowing! Kroger #564, thanks! By the way …the lingo there is calling all the stores by number not street names, ugh, I hate being a newbie, so out of the loop! But thankfully I am  not hauling out groceries any more….I get a desk job! And I love it!  I am involved with the employees, taking care of the HR duties plus more. It is never boring and I am always busy which I like, bored at work it the worst. I now am a working stiff with the rest of y’all.


This brings me to my question…how have you done this all these years?? Whew…..this is hard!! I realize how fortunate I was to not work when my babies were small, besides the day care issues and cost, the sheer physical demands on the body are huge. I work a nine hour day and some days overtime, it is all I can do to drive home. My husband makes dinner( bless his heart, he has had to evolve so much, but I sure am proud of him)  and I know if left to me we would starve. I feel in time I will get my sea legs and be less tired, the learning curve is big but getting easier after two weeks.

I just have to say, it is not hard to go to work happy, be happy at work, I know what a blessing it is to have a good job, I am thankful and humbled for the opportunity, I will never be forgetful of the days of waiting and denial. It’s hard on the mean streets. I know this will help me when I hire the team for the store. Our customers deserve the best and I am the first person these eager  newbies meet. I just hope they can see my desire to get them started on the right track and enjoy working there. Highly satisfied customers is our goal and I believe if we have highly satisfied employees our goal will be accomplished. This working girl is ready for the new chapter……working 9 to 5, la la la…..I mean 7 to 4:30+!

I just want to applaud all the men and women who have made it possible to live in a world that keeps turning on the blood sweat and tears of all y’all worker bees. I am glad I can help now, and soon I hope I will be less tired…age is not my friend now. My heart goes out to all the moms who paid the price as well as the dad’s. You all ROCK!


All the cool kids!

Sometimes in this life we have to give reverence to those that go before us, today again I am confronted with mortality or even more the immortality of our lives. A great man, even more ….a great man of God has given his all…he has fought the good fight and is now realizing that what he knew and shared about ….his entire life… is really true. I see him busting on the scene saying…”I knew it would be like this!”

My sweet friend, actually my Uncle-in-law is receiving his reward for a life lived in Christ. He was a Pastor for several churches in Tennessee, but even more dramatic ……he was a missionary. In the early years in Guyana and later in Kenya, Africa. He had the heart of a missionary, along with his precious wife, Francis…..his help mate, who herself is the force behind his strength. He knew the love of his life was as called as he was, her undeniable faith and vision was the backbone for many years in the “wilds of Africa!”

Africa Screams was first released in 1949 and ...
Africa Screams was first released in 1949 and stars Bud Abbott and Lou Costello (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I have always loved this couple and respect their willingness to sacrifice life and convenience of the States; to leave their three beautiful daughters and grandchildren, parents, siblings and all the rest of us to follow their calling as missionaries….I still am in awe. His stories were as big and exciting as I had hoped….as well as hilarious. My children always loved to listen to him talk of his adventures, especially when their own dad (Charles) went to work with Fred and Francis for a short term. I really don’t know for sure if they actually ministered to anyone but each other…..when they tried to tell the stories it was always with a laugh…crossing rivers waist high, eating with “witch doctors” and driving in traffic fearing for their lives. Old black and white Abbott and Costello movie is what it sounds like to me(the resemblance is scary, lol), but I know they had many moments of pure love and joy while leading people in the knowledge of a Savior, many of who will welcome him “home.”

I don’t know if missionaries get a special sticker or gold star in heaven, if not they should….takes special people to follow that leading, I know that is not why they went, they had a heart to serve, to lead those who may not have heard….that Jesus loves them. That truth is real and true and our sweet Fred Brannen who fought the good fight, is now completely healed and free to dance and sing with those who have gone before him……all the cool kids….. who now know what all the fuss is about…..God is real and He is waiting for us….O HAPPY DAY!

Until then, we keep on working, making them proud, they taught us how to love and live and be missionaries in our own little worlds. We will miss the stories Uncle Fred, but thank you for giving your life to us all. You are a hero in the faith. Sweet peace to you……….you made it!

On a side note: Fred was one person who read my blog….kind sweet Man and always commented and encouraged me…..I know he would enjoy the picture and above reference! No disrespect was meant.

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Polar Vortex

As I sit here on this Sunday evening, all wrapped up in a quilt and my faithful dawg…watching the news and weather report, I hear the words…Polar Vortex out of  Al Rokers mouth (NBC). What in the world is THAT! and oh my goodness….WEATHER THESE DAYS…geeez!


Al Roker at the 81st Academy Awards
Al Roker at the 81st Academy Awards (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


Zip back about a zillion years ago and when I was a little girl there would be a foot of snow from time to  time and this is the south….I have never heard this phrase…..This cannot be good. What is the deal?


It seems like the weather has caused a standstill in the world as we know it. Here in the south, we usually have fairly good weather. It is not Florida but as a rule not so bad. TENNESSEE IS A GREAT STATE TO LIVE IN. We are monkey in the middle of the cold, snowy north and the warm tropical lower south.


C. S. Lewis' house (The Kilns)
C. S. Lewis’ house (The Kilns) (Photo credit: MikeBlyth)


This is a superb yet diverse state and I have lived it my entire life….she says somewhat grimly.….living abroad for a bit would be fun, Paris…..London or Cambridge ( living near the world of C. S. LEWIS. Yes please), heck even NY,NY is on my list…..(a brownstone on the upper east side, a tree lined street in walking distance to all the cool places!)


Back to my point……Since when did our lives become so surrounded by the threat of weather? In case anyone wonders…that’s why we live in Tennessee……usually not so weathery here. We had a bit of snow in the winter, rainy springs, hot, not horribly hot summer’s and beautiful falls but these days the world is topsy turvy! We had a flood that was called a 100 yr flood, tornados and an abundance of other activity and not just here in our little state in the middle but all over.


The whole country is weather crazy and our school system lives in fear, do we or don’t we call off school? So they do as to not compromise the kids(good decision). I love it because I remember how great it was as a kid, but I also do not work a “real job” and have to get day care. Is this a new fear that has gripped our nation, are we fraidy cats, have we gone soft as people…YES!


I being the softest can not really whine ( though I do!) May I repeat….sitting here wrapped up in a blanket and my dawg..I am FREEZING! The words Polar Vortex makes me colder just saying them. Maybe this is the way the world ends someday….we get freezed out, I assure that If it were up to me, I would turn states evidence……Immediately! What do I need to do, what secrets need to be told……. I give, I need warmer weather….


The logo of the United States National Weather...
The logo of the United States National Weather Service. The source page states that is not an “official” version but it looks very close to the version used on NWS’s website. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


Polar Vortex is a fancy word for big fat swoosh of a cold cold wind all circling around FREEZING the tar out of us… keep your unprecedented article blast Al Roker….. brrrrrrrr!


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My diet GURU

Continue reading My diet GURU

A double ouchie!


Unbelievably it has been 7years since I first wrote this post! Two of our sons have a birthday on September 21, 2020 and so much has changed, the boys have grown up, Sam is 33 & NJ is 24, which is unreal to my brain. How did this happen? There was No traditional UT vs Florida football as usual today….as there was on both the Saturdays they were born…..thanks COVID! and our world is now upside down. But, the sentiment is still the same, our last two babies are now grown men in whom we are so proud of, making their way in the world and still loving us all even more. I will always be thankful for these two last baby’s. —–Rose


This is one of the most special days of my life! Yes….the UT VOLS play Florida and always have for as long as I can remember….or at least on this Saturday in September, but that is not the real reason. And anyone who knows me knows that I could really do not care that much about football to remember the day they usually play Florida…even though we DO NOT LIKE FLORIDA MUCH UP HERE IN VOL COUNTRY...just making that clear!

The real reason is that on this day…while UT played FLorida for that all time rival…TWICE (not once but 2 times!) I was piled

English: Neyland Stadium, Knoxville, Tennessee. English: Neyland Stadium, Knoxville, Tennessee. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

up at UT Hospital in Knoxville, TN giving birth to my last two children. In case anyone wondered…..yes, my doctor was sure to have them here before the game started! Not only for my VOL FAN husband but for himself of course! It worked out well, they were born and (by C-Section-ugh—-hence the double ouchie!) and I was enjoying the yummy morphine pump…..AHHHHH! SO, the husband had the whole tv remote all to himself!

I will say…he wasn’t ignoring me…I was more ignoring him…I had done my job and now I was resting my laurels! Funny of course because I was now the mother of 4–FOUR KIDS! WOW! Still after all this time getting that strait in my head! Considering the love for UT we have it was only fitting that it happen this way I guess.

My first last child is Samuel and today he is a mere 26 years old. I say mere because from my vantage point he is still so young….to him he is nearly half dead! Samuel was on the heels of our Bethany, only 13 months after her birth and it was brought to my attention early on that...”how dare we have a baby…again…so soon!”People are so stupid…let’s just get that clear on the front end…bless their hearts (…..she says because it is the southern way!)  But God had a better idea….he gave me this beautiful boy to keep me kindhearted. I dont know that I am really that kindhearted, but if I am it is solely because of this little puppy of mine. He was the best baby I had….not one peep out of him, he slept from the git-go for 10 hours in  a stretch…( he gets that honest!- I can still sack out for days!…given the chance) He has these big blue/green eyes, looks more like me than any of the others and was always tender hearted. I rarely had to raise my voice to him, and if I did (not that I ever yelled at my kids…pishposh!) he would be the most compliant of all. He also had an older brother and sister who kept him up to date on the does and don’ts. Samuel was the best cuddler of all also….he was the sweet heart of my heart and he remains a special person, still caring and loving to me, but …..he has found his own voice (darn it!) and he has a sorta liberal yet compassionate view of life( I am kinda secretly proud of him!), quick to oppose my convictions with his own equally strong opinions, he can argue a point nearly as well as his Dad and is clearly strong in his own notions. He is no push over but his kindness keeps him sweet even when tested. He keeps me kind because his kindness is worthy of respecting, he isn’t a yeller….he is slow to anger but look out when he does. I honor this son of mine, he has always been a joy to have as a son and even more as a friend. I covet his hugs and hang out time he gives me….at this age those are  the best gifts! Happy Birthday Son, no mother had a better one.

The for real last, last child or “caboose” as we like to call him is our one and only NJ Nathanael Joseph actually and I tagged him with the short version when he was just a baby. Today is his 17th birthday and he is about the most precious of all. I had NJ when I was almost 37 years old…OLD by some standards at least back then. It wasn’t the style yet to wait so long….as usual, I was ahead of the curve….but he was nine years after the first bunch and when this occurs it is almost as if he is an only child. (see birth order books!) Starting all over again, so to speak but with much more experience and confidence. He was somewhat like a new pet for all of us. Okay ….don’t beat me me up for the analogy, but really he was a family project. Will was 12 and excited but attempted to hide it…he’s cool ya know! But Bethany (10) was over the moon!!! A real live doll baby all her own to Mother….and Sam (9) was not going to be the “baby” anymore so he was elated! NJ was the Blessing of my life that I will always know was a direct response from GOD. He was what I needed at that time and everyday for the past 17 years I had a reason to show up. Not that I didn’t have three other reasons and a husband and tons of other reasons but this kid was the driving force for me at that time. HE came on the scene when I needed him most, and he has always been a blessing. Funny does not even describe him…he is animated….and joyous and never meets a stranger, his personality is the perfect blend of me and his Dad…outgoing and personable, not awkward ever and in our family that is very odd. We invented awkward! He is strong minded and sure of himself and rarely ever finds himself worried or fearful. Where did this youngin’ come from…he is the weird one? He has been my sidekick in my old age and kept me off the ledges. The only time I ever see frailty is catch him when he is tired and DO NOT CROSS HIM! He can have a meltdown better than most people….its best to just let him alone because you will never win that fight. He will go to his death defending his cause. Most days he is the best friend you could ever want, most loyal and forgiving person, a friend that loves at all times. He is my JOY and my HOPE for a world of HAPPY. HE spreads Happy all around and our family is blessed to have him love us.

Happy Birthday my two sons…you are our legacy and our loves and our prayer is you find your own place in this world and live always faithful to the will of God for your lives. He gave us you for a short time and I know He is pleased.❤️❤️

Michael Dean Church

Michael Dean Church | NEW! Artist – Nashville. Great New Artist here in the city of everything country! Nashville New Artist….ya’ll give him a listen!!http://youtu.be/QOkYVEAEFds


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8,409,600 minutes

If one was a mathematician…one could figure out the number 8,409,600 minutes. Since I am NO mathematician (obviously) I had to GOOGLE the answer. In actuality I GOOGLED how many minutes are in sixteen years…because this is how many minutes of my life have been blessed because of the birth of my youngest child, a son and the only one I like on most days! Just kidding…well mostly…..maybe not kidding….hmmmmm!

The time has come to honor a great young man, one that has kept my life alive and sane (well, nearly!) during the past sixteen years. On September 21, 1996, right before UT played Florida in Knoxville for which they beat US…… 35-29 at University of Tennessee hospital (where all the kids were born…..the sign that we are all VOL) this precious LAST CHILD was born to the cheers of all his family.

NO child was more loved by so many. His older two brothers(one of which had to spend his birthday–yes….. two kids born on same day 9 yrs. apart!- at the hospital) and one sister were all there to love him and be the first to hold him. This was a day of great joy and love and this little caboose (I finally figured out the cause of all these babies!) was the highlight of all our lives.

Since then, his life has been one of high achievements as well as laughter and love. He has been the glue that has held us all together many times and he has brought me joy that could never be compared. He was the reason my feet hit the floor everyday and the reason I kept on keeping on. He has been the baby of promise and his love and affection I will always be thankful for. With GOD its all in the timing and I was blessed when this little kid hit the world.

Happy SWEET SIXTEEN NATHANAEL, I am honored to be your Mom and I pray your life be as exciting from this day more than you could ever dream. Dream big sweet one, you deserve the best! This has been an awesome 8,409,600 minutes for me and I hope the rest of the minutes/years of your life are just as awesome. God loves you even more than me!

By the way………….

Happy Birthday today to my Son Sam,

25 years old and

13,149,000 minutes…wow!

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