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Son, have I got a little story for you...

Alright, so somebody's been pretty sorry about this bloggy-blog thing lately. Kirk's posted three times since my last update. KIRK! THREE TIMES! Really, I just checked. So here's the straight-to-it update just to let everybody know I'm still alive...

He and mommy are doing great. It's all true, what they say about not getting much sleep with a newborn, it's true. Granted Shannon gets up with him more than I do, many (maybe most, but definitely many) times I'm up with him. We've agreed that if it's time to feed him, Shannon handles it (because I don't have all the necessary equipment to do that right now), but if he's fussy during the night between feedings, then I get him. That way, Shannon knows she's going to have to get up, but she knows when. I may or may not have to get up, but if I do, it's get-up-and-go time. He's holding his head up in little bits at a time and he's starting to smile at us (which is really cool in an "awww" sort of way).

The Gathering Place:
Sunday nights have been trips to St.Simons Island for the Gathering Place (the WHAT?!?). The Main Event at Gathering Place -for those who don't know- is a large youth worship service that meets every SunPM during June and July at Epworth by the Sea on SSI. Highlights for me this year have been: fun drive time conversations with the kids, speakers Jerod Herd, David Nasser, and Stuart Hall, Mac Powell leading worship one night, and the chocolate Oreo Sundae milk shakes at BK for no other reason that the huge blue straws they give you (if you haven't had one before, get one soon, just for the straw. the Oreo's good, but the straw makes it great!).

Youth Mission Trip:
We participated in the River of Life Mission project hosted by PittmanParkUMC in S'boro. We stayed in on of the dorms at GSU (for those of you keeping score at home, it was Brannen - old one in the corner behind the baseball field). The group I helped lead built two wheelchair ramps, and they weren't too shabby, if I do say so myself. It was a great experience for our teens to be able to help people with legitimate needs as near to home as S'boro; I think it helps to open their eyes to the immediate world around them. And we were in areas of Bulloch County the kids aren't usually in, so they felt like they were far away from home. Since it was this youth ministry's first real mission trip, I thought it was helpful to stay nearer to home. It was also nice not to have to drive all the way from Kentucky or somewhere far off.

Youth Camping/Ski trip:
We took a trip up to Clark Hill -big honkin' lake up near Augusta- and stayed at Petersburg campground, camped one night, water skied, went tubing, and rode the jet ski. It was a fun trip, for sure, but I really felt the devotional times we had were something special. That night we talked about Peter stepping out of the boat to Jesus when He was walking on the water, and they really seemed to understand their challenge of stepping out in faith to follow Jesus as it related to them prepping to go back to school. The next morning, we all met and sat down on the beach and talked about how, after Peter had denied Jesus, Jesus met the disciples on the beach and asked Peter "do you love me?" three times as if to forgive him for the three denials. It was experiential for them, being on the beach, looking out over the water, being able to clearly imagine the boat, there was a little fire ring of rocks right next to us (Jesus had been cooking fish for breakfast)... it was just a couple of really good devotional times. The only real downside of the whole trip was getting sunburned. REAL sunburned. Since my hair has gotten so thin on top, it burned and peeled and looked like the worse case of dandruff ever. So, yeah, that's the downside.

Youth Week:
We're just wrapping up our youth week. Sun we went to the GP. Mon thru Wed we had four members of the Epworth leadership team -summer camp counselors from Epworth by the Sea- come to be with us. We did big games and worship time Mon and Tues pm. Some of the LT guys shared their faith stories, and we watched a couple of the Nooma videos. Wed we had Messy Games day: bobbing for gummy worms in chocolate pudding, shaving cream statues (and ensuing shvgcrm war), egg toss, and super-duper slip-n-slide (which finished up with chocolate syrup on the slip-n-slide). Tonight we had a family cookout and softball game. Officially, it ends with the last GP trip Sun, but I feel like we're on the downhill side of things. There's some enthusiasm heading back into the school year.

No, no pictures of CZJ (I'll leave that to Luke), but I've held a firm grasp on fourth in our fantasy baseball league this summer. I haven't stayed on top of things like I have in past seasons, but babies and families change certain priorities. Besides, I think I'd kind of like to head into the post season in fourth just so I can put Dan out of the playoffs in the first round. Oh yeah, and it's time to start lining up the fantasy football leagues for this fall (note to self: don't take Vick). Looks like I may be going three: old college buddies, young adult Sunday school class, and one with some of the youth guys (but that one's iffy). FFB isn't as demanding b/c it's a shorter season and you just have to check the line up like once (maybe twice) a week.

I love her more and more all the time.

On the Horizon:
Tomorrow Shannon goes to the spa to redeem the gift certificate she got for mother's day. I think she's planning on a footmassage, pedicure, and full-body Swedish massage. Yeah, I think she's excited about it. Sat we're going Augusta for a family lunch with lots of extended family. Mon I'm helping my brother move out of ATL. He's going to Scotland!

I'll say something about all this and more later on, but for now, this was just an update on me and my world. Basically, as the title indicated to all the Eddie Vedder fans, this was just to let you'll know i'm still alive. Oh, yes, I... I'm still alive... yeah... I.. .. ...

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