It has been 5 months since I have blogged! Call me a Slacker! Call me whatever you like!
My dad told me he actually looked at my blog the other day so now I have a reason to keep blogging! There have been so many things that have happened in these five months that I will just list them out to catch you up (but I will not promise they will be in any particular order!)
- We were shocked to learn that we will be moving to a new church, new town and new life this June. The bishop has asked us to move to Jacksonville First United Methodist Church, and we will do so obediently because we are incredibly committed to the itinerate system of the United Methodist Church. But we can't hide the fact that it came as a complete shock to us since we have only been here in Booneville for 22 months. Just seems like I have driven through town waving at people as we drove by now that I know we are leaving. There were lots of ministries and friendships that I never got to develop and that reminds me that you can never take your time with people for granted. You have to do the things you want to do when you want to do them or you risk the chance of not getting to do them at all. Did that make sense?
- All that being said, after we have had time to adjust to the idea, we are incredibly excited for the new season in our ministry that is fast-approaching. We like the idea of being in a larger city with more choices and in being in a larger church that offers us more support staff. We can't wait to see what God has in store for us in Jacksonville.
- I have received a calling to start a non-profit called ArtReach that will bring people together while learning the creative arts. It will provide a much needed place for people to gather, share resources and encourage each other. I am thinking I will return to school soon to get a graduate certificate in starting a Non-Profit so that I go about it all in the right way. I am very excited and am so glad to have a clearer vision for my Art Ministry. A large portion of it that I would like to get started soon is an online ministry that provides the patterns and designs for monthly meetings within churches. For example, The Card Connection will be a ministry that will provide the designs and instructions so that groups within any church can gather together for fellowship and cardmaking. It is my way of building on the roots of the ministry I have started here at Booneville while making it available to any church that is interested. I set up the blog this morning so hopefully I can have something up soon!
- The kids will be returning to public school this fall when we move. There are lots of ideas that have gone into this decision which I won't detail here. But some of the major factors for me were my being able to return to school for my master's and work more closely with Mark in the church and their being able to attend an integrated school. They say they are excited, and I am praying the transition will be fairly easy for all of us.
- Nick has now chosen to be to move with us in June and to call our family his own. He will be attending Arkansas Tech this fall. This is exciting for us, and we are so honored to have an almost 19 year old as our fifth child! If you don't know, Nick moved in with us last fall to finish his senior year at Booneville High after his mother moved to another town. He has fit in with our family incredibly well, and we are very glad to now be a family of 7!
- I started a Hat Project in our church to benefit Arkansas Children's Hospital and since January close to 30 church members have made about 150 hats! I have taught most of them how to use the Knifty Knitter looms and the hats just keep pouring in! I had to add an extra basket at the altar this last week because they were spilling out onto the floor! It has been an incredible ministry to lead because it has really taken so little time and effort. I have not had any scheduled meetings or lessons. I have just taught people here and there after church or when they asked to learn. And then they started teaching other family members or friends. It is a cross-generational, cross-gender ministry that has brought us together in a fun way! Arkansas Children's Hospital has this project every single year so I hope the Booneville church will continue on after I am gone and that I can start the same Project at the Jacksonville church. It has been fun to see how my idea to make 50 hats on my own this year has turned into so much more. I am uplifted to hear how the hatmaking has been a comforting process for so many as they have ventured into working with fibers for the very first time!
- Maddie is now learning how to play the bass guitar and is loving the fact that she is now part of our guitar-crazed family!
- Mark played in church with the praise band for the first time this last month. He did a great job!
- Malachi has played in a local restaurant called the Blackboard Cafe and has been playing during the Mosaic worship services with the youth band. He just keeps learning more and more!
- I was honored to shoot pictures for Hannah Yeager before she went on her first date which happened to be to a PROM! I think a lot of them turned out quite lovely and was blessed by the experience.
- After 3 years of gradual weight loss, I am proud to say that I am only 20 pounds away from my goal weight! I have now lost 40 pounds, and I have started to train for a half-marathon this November! I never would have thought.... I have just started the process and can't even run a half-mile yet! It should be fun to chart the progress! I'll keep you updated as I keep moving toward my goal of being healthier at 40 than I was at 25.....
I am sure there were lots of other things I could mention, but that will get this slacking blog more up to date! We are currently looking for housing in Jacksonville, and I am starting to sort and pack. The time will come so very soon. I know once I start tearing the house apart, there is very little time to rest and relax. So I took this last weekend to become totally obsessed with learning how to knit socks. I am still learning how to knit and for some reason am obsessed with the idea of knitting socks. Bright, fun and comfortable socks I can wear with clogs or MaryJanes. I finally decided the method I wanted to learn. Most of my spare time lately has been spent on http://www.ravelry.com/ It is an incredible social and technical resource for knitters and crocheters. Loaded with free patterns, forums, galleries, and neat ways to track your projects and stash!
I am learning how to do a technique called Magic Loop on one circular needle. I have chosen to knit two socks at one time so that I completely avoid finishing one sock and never knitting a matching one. (Yes, I am quite self-aware!) Although fashion articles lately have indicated a trend toward wearing mismatched socks so that might be in my artsy future! Watch out!
I'll try to post some newer pictures soon! Much love! Kelley