December 2009

Caleb is home from Afghanistan! and we praise the Lord for keeping him safe and also the men under his command. His lovely wife, Rebekah, is such a "trooper" and she brought a lot of joy to all of us as we watched her brave the alone times with a small daughter, finish KSU and work to prepare their home and hearts for his return. Cherith is a lovely little girl (2 1/2) and she and Daddy are becoming great pals again.

Zach and Shay have welcomed their little girl, Catherine Mae "Katie Mae". We are so happy to receive this new blessing, our second great grand daughter.

Hannah is still in South Asia...teaching conversational English. It is truly SPECIAL duty! She will return home the first of February and that will not be too soon for us!

Christopher is in courtship with Emily Hollis and they seem quite smitten with one another. Emily has shared some of the Christmas celebration with all 35 of us and we view it as a good sign that she came back the second time.

Jon will finish West Georgia College in May. He is planning to earn his MBA the next year and then enter law school.

Morgan (Auburn), Natalie (North GA), Tabitha (long distance learning), Meredith (Anderson College). They'll be back "hitting the books" the first part of January.

We had five days of celebrating the week of Christmas. What a joy! What work! and what blessings! Who can possibly name one thing more melodious to this Gran's heart than to hear her children and grandchildren recount the happenings of the year and laugh and cry all the way through all thirty two?!

Wes and I took Meredith and Tabitha to NYC for four days of continuous activity. We saw two shows, the Rockettes, attended Brooklyn Tabernacle on Sunday, ate at Carnegie Deli, Tavern on the Green and wonderful small NY restaurants and delis that are such a delight. We did all the great touristy stuff (how many times for Wes and me?...don't know, but it is such a pleasure to watch others enjoy such for the first time!)- Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island, Battery Park, Bryan Park, Rockefellar Center, ice skating rinks, Empire State Bldg., ground zero area...

CHRISTMAS AT OUR HOUSE WOULD SOUND SOMETHING LIKE THIS:The headlights appeared on Tuesday night around 9:00 o'clock. The Betheas arrived from Montgomery and the last tail lights disappeared around 5:00 Sunday afternoon.

The families came (some of them everyday for the five day period!) - praise the Lord for a good freezer and caserole dishes (I ran out of dishes to cook AND freeze in although I have a Major Supply) the days were full of laughter, WORK, fun, WORK, food, WORK, praises ringing loudly for the wonderful blessings and learning experiences of 2009, WORK, and JOY abundantly! We are so full of thanksgiving for returning Caleb safe and sound physically and mentally and emotionally.

We are so grateful that all are IN THE FOLD! and that the Lord gave the stamina and desire for the WORK to meet the requirements of such a group being together for so long with no arguments, and lots of hugs and kisses!

JamesIsaac, Matthew and SaraBeth are here (spent the night) celebrating their December birthdays. Tori joins the group so that Matthew has a "partner in crime" and even tho' hers is a March birthday, she wants to celebrate early! (feels a little left out because they get to shop for their Last night, we had "breakfast at night" and Tori was so excited at our "connection" because she had just mentioned it to the kids upstairs before I asked if they'd like that. Then, there was the French toast this morning that they enjoy very much! Oh, the joys of being a grandmother. Altho' sometimes overwhelmed, I still love it!!!

On Sunday morning - after several nights of not enough sleep, "brain fog" set in. While 1/2 of the group was still here, I retired to the bedroom for an hour nap yesterday afternoon...must have been a POWER nap, because the fog went away and desire to serve returned.

We did away with all the left-overs along with two freshly baked chicken caseroles, two huge pots of broc. and a couple of pans of buttered rolls for lunch after church. NO dessert and no one mentioned it...I believe the sugar level max had been reached !

Tomorrow Christmas decor will be removed and a clean and orderly house achieved so we will be in waiting expectantly for that ONE prospective buyer for this home that we have enjoyed and loved for 30 years!!! Hopefully Tabitha and Natalie will be here to help me. Wes and I brought all the STUFF up, but I feel I must have help to store it all away and remove the dust, dirt, and disorder that seems to always be in the wake.

October, 2009

OUR MARINE ON DUTY: Caleb is in Afghanistan...Mission when out - shooting artillary - returns home in mid-December - the LORD willing!

GREAT EXPECTATIONS: Another grandbaby is due in mid-December to Shay and Zachary Kimrough.

CELEBRATION: Christopher Wood graduated in Chemistry from Kennesaw. Praise the LORD, he began work last week and also entered courtship with Emily.

OFF TO MISSION FIELDS AGAIN: Hannah is in South Asia - teaching conversational English at an institution. She is having a wonderful adventure and has a constant alertness to share Christ.
Tabitha left on Oct. 1st for Uganda. She will be gone for about a month ministering with a missionary family there. She traveled with Tiffany Anderson.

MUSIC, MUSIC, MUSIC: Jacob is training and learning with Aaron Keyes in Snellville for another two months. He is writing music, singing, and leading praise for many different groups during this time.

COLLEGE STUDENTS: Jon (West GA), Natalie (North GA), Tabitha (long distance learning), Meredith (Anderson College), Morgan (Auburn) all on college level and diligently studying in the areas they are involved.

CANTRELLS: Josh is playing football - graduates this year from high school. Katelyn is cheerleading for JV. Wesley is still ministering at First Baptist Church, Woodstock and Jane home educates when Josh and Kate aren't at TKA.

KIMBROUGHS: Kandy's "at home" children are back into their home education and many musical interests, Boy Scouts, etc.

WOODS: Jamey is still at The King's Academy and three of her children study there and at home. SaraBeth growing up with her diabetes ever present and she handles it well. Nicholas with many interests. Tori musical and Irish dance.

BETHEAS (in Montgomery): Juli is busy teaching kindergarten, Tim coaching and teaching at Trinity Christian (a new job he loves), Emily in her Jr. year - doing well in volleyball. Steadman attending Trinity and loves practice altho' he cannot play football under his Dad this year.

Wes and I are busy and loving it! Headed to Dallas on Sunday the 5th. Planning a trip to celebrate graduations of Meredith and Tabitha - we leave Dec. 12th for fun in NYC.
House going back on the market...we have another nest in view...LORD, please make the way plain and clear!

A long time has transpired....JOURNAL NOTES

2008 was a great year for the Cantrells...busy, busy, busy and we would have it no other way!

In January, we did the cruise for Ladies at Sea and enjoyed the company of our four daughters (Jane, my daughter-in-law counts as one, your know). The eleven oldest grand-daughters went as well. It was wonderful!

Kandy and I spoke at a Mother-Daughter event near Athens. Always a special SPECIAL time to be with her and also share with other women.

February: Zachary graduated from "boot camp" at Paris Island and his many admirers (including Wes and Bernadine) enjoyed being there immensely. It is a touching time with family and friends and watching our BOYS taking those important steps to being a full-fledged Marine.

Wes spoke at the CEO luncheon that Johnson Ferry Baptist sponsors while I was teaching at EXCEL in Dallas, TX. We both worked the Men's Conference at FBCW and Wes taught two breakout sessions. The following week he spoke at Anderson College in S.C. and we stayed with his sister and brother-in-law, Joanna and Sam.

is always a fabulous experience...Wes and I call it the "Preach Off" because you hear one great message after another and think to yourself..."Surely it can't get better than this."

March: A weekend spent with Focus on the Family in Naples, Fla. Great speakers and much stimulus for vision of what God is up to!

We both did live television interviews at different times in April
on the Family Net.

Bernadine taught at a Ladies' Retreat at Big Canoe for Goshen Bapt. Church. What a lovely setting and with a lovely group of ladies!

Horatio Alger is a time of celebration in Washington, D.C. - renewing friendships and making new friends. We have enjoyed our membership with this group for eight years now.

We drove to Louisiana for our (it seems like annual now) trip to the Corkern union and visited with friends and family, going and staying.

T.E.A.R. yet!

May: This month brought graduation rejoicing with Morgan Bethea and Natalie Kimbrough. So proud of those girls.

June: It seemed we had our house sold - but only for a short time. We are now appreciating this home anew!

Jamey turned 50 years old on June 14th. We could hardly believe! She, also, achieved a dream - her Master's from Bob Jones University.

July: A week of Cantrell Clan vacation at the beach. Always the same, but always different. Jane suffered with a gallbladder attack and ended up in the local hospital, surgery, and a longer stay over than planned. Praise the Lord for healing!

August: My cousin, Minnie Newell Henson died and I drove down to Louisiana for the funeral. Grand-daughters, Natalie K. and Meredith Wood went with me. What delightful young women; they made me smile through my tears.

September: Values, Voter Summit at the Hilton, Washington, D.C. Wes spoke in Columbia, S.C. to a group of S.C. Public Relations Association. We appreciated the pleasant driving, visiting with Joanna and Sam, and making new friends.

October: Bernadine attended the Focus on the Family luncheon at Piedmont Driving Club.

LOVELOUD PROJECT with the church...we were project managers. Our S.S. class and other loving volunteers served three different adult retirement centers with their individual needs.

Another week for Bernadine in Dallas, Tx. teaching EXCEL. Always a blessing!
Drove to for a visit and attending a cousin's wedding.

We both attended the Deeper Conference at our church.

November: 3:16 Conference, two plays, football games, Faith Family banquet and our BIG week of Thanksgiving and Christmas celebration with all the Cantrell clan.

December: Bridesmaids' Brunch to honor Callie on the 20th. And a quiet time to celebrate the birth of our Savior!

OTHER HIGHLIGHTS: Throughout the year...Celebrating each grandchild's birthday, each child's birthday, sports events with one of the grands participating, recitals with the Grands performing, events with our church and on and on!