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Archive for May, 2012

The Heavens Declare!

Posted by Jessica

May

26

When I consider Thy heavens, the work of Thy fingers, the moon and the stars, which Thou hast ordained; What is man that Thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that Thou visitest him? O LORD our Lord, how excellent is Thy name in all the earth! – Psalm 8:3-4, 9

IMG_9516 - Copy



A Much-Anticipated Retreat

Posted by The Neely Team

May

19

(Written by Susanna and Lauren Smile)

For over a year, we wanted to go to the Vision Forum Father and Daughter Retreat with Daddy, Bethany, and Hannah. In order to do that, we did four fundraisers last fall: flower bulbs (from Dutch Mill Bulbs), home made candies, Confederate Candles, and our family’s CDs.

Thank you, to all who supported us (and those who happened to be here on baking day and volunteered to help with the project Smile). It was well worth all the work and time. We came away from the weekend very encouraged, and we highly recommend it to all of you fathers and daughters. (Go to www.visionforum.com to sign up for 2013!)

Here are some pictures of the whole process. Smile

Mmmm...

Pro ChefsIMG_8011

March 23-25, 2012 – at the Callaway Gardens in Pine Mountain, GA

In the Butterfly HouseIt landed on her foot :-)

Have a drink of orange juice, anyone??!100_7919100_7923

The garden gate100_7940

The High TeaLooking at ...

...the turtles!!100_7939

By the Lake.

Creative coloring with Daddy.;-)A finished picture

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100_7965Best friends!

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A restful SundayFatherly fellowship

Descendants of Nate SaintA sweet friend from Georgia

100_7990A peaceful lake

"Birds of Prey" show100_7998100_7999

To God be the Glory!

Again, we HIGHLY encourage all of you Fathers and Daughters to go to the retreat in 2013!! You will come away encouraged and refreshed.



Graduation…

Posted by Kathryn

May

17

“For the Lord God is a sun and shield: the Lord will give grace and glory: no good thing will He withhold from them that walk uprightly.” Psalm 84:11

Graduation… a time to reflect on the abundant goodness of the Lord in the past. A time to evaluate your direction in life in the light of Scripture. A time to set goals and make decisions. A time to commit everything anew to the Lord, knowing that in His perfect sovereignty, He will work it all together for His own glory, and your best good.

By God’s grace, I walked through this door this past Saturday as we celebrated my high school graduation. Many dear friends and family members came to join the festivities, and the Lord gave us a joyful, tremendously encouraging afternoon and evening together.

An oh-so-extra-special blessing was having both grandmothers there, as well as a dear cousin who came all the way from NY at the age of 94 to see her namesake graduate! 

Confetti... a Neely graduation tradition. :-D This time, though, the tradition was added to. Typically the graduate gets it thrown all over her bedroom floor, but I received both that, a shower of it when I was getting ready for the day, and a violin case full! :-DCherry limeade - deliciously refreshingIMG_9113

Mom and I had a delightful time working on this togetherIMG_9115Who would have thought that they would come out with pink and brown Oreos special for the occasion?? :-D

Family shots Smile

Cousin KatieNanaGrandmama and "Uncle Fudge"

My darling little and big-little sisters!The best brothers in the worldCousin and soon-to-be cousin-in-law! PTL!

Dear sweet Motherkin:-D

Alumni Association :-DMy precious parents

Music presentation

'Tis So SweetIMG_9226

"Orange Blossom Special" -- just for Dad!!String sextet

Fellowship…  glorious fellowship!

 Band of merry gentlemenMom time

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The famous grass sledFor of such is the Kingdom of Heaven

Willing helpers

My dear mother, sisters, aunts, and a few cousins did all of the serving to free me to socialize :-D - this one kept us well supplied with delicious cherry limeadeRefilling trays :-D

An emerging tradition – that of doing some shooting after the graduation — turned into a painful, educational, and actually quite hilarious experience. (That 50-caliber beast – an elephant gun for safari hunting that was loaned to us for the occasion – had the audacity to “scope” us!) Needless to say, for the rest of the evening, we sported beautiful cuts and goose eggs.

L to R: Knuckle Head, Smash Face, Knot Head;-D

Fellowshipping while cleaning upSweetThe Grant family drove nearly three hours each way to come for the day -- such a blessing!

IMG_9327IMG_9337A simply lovely name plaque from the Owen family (btw, note forehead)

To God be the glory!



T–I–M–E

Posted by Victoria

May

8

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This past weekend, we were again honored and blessed to be able to sing with our dear friends the Kendall family at a few Memorial Services. Along the way, we were encouraged by family devotions, humor and joy around the piano, dinner table, and corn-toss boards, as well as the wonderful and uplifting conversation in the van to and from Columbia. Of course, there was much more to our time there, but for some things, pictures communicate so much better than the alphabet.

 SmileSmileSmileSmileSmileSmileSmileSmileSmileSmileSmileSmileSmileSmileSmileSmile

Serving together in the kitchen. :-)Discipleship TechnologyBest FriendsOur Beautiful Mothers!

Preparing the one-bite brownie trifle...Let's try it...Almost...Q: "How many brownies did YOU eat??" A: "Only one bite. Honest!"

"Jesus Paid It All""Which bowtie do YOU like??"

"God of Our Fathers""Call to Church"IMG_8869

IMG_8846IMG_8849

picnic on the lawnIMG_8874

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The most photogenic one of all of us. :-)OOOOOOOOOOH......

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Running up the steps for the picture......clowning while we wait...

A game of OccupationsDelightful ConversationsDiscipleship Cupcakes

Old GloryPrelude MusicThree Happy Helpers passing out bulletins for the event.

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This weekend will definitely be among the many “highlighted” weekends in our imaginary “record books”…

Highlighted for the

Terrific,

Inspiring, and

Motivating

Encouragement

That was given and received.

Praise be to God!

 

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… and learned just how much we REALLY appreciate our siblings! Smile

 

You know, there are times in life when you imagine something beautiful… something perfect… something romantic…… to commemorate, bless, or honor someone or something or some occasion… you just want to make things extra special. You imagine a peaceful atmosphere, complete with candles, a well-thought-out note of love, maybe even roses or daisies…

And (sorry to tell you this), there are times in life when your dreams of fun, fluff, and fantasy just don’t happen!

That’s when you get a prime opportunity to trust in our Sovereign, loving God and blossom right where He places you!

We let you all know about Sibling Appreciation Day, all the while mentally preparing for our own celebration (a lovely picnic by the river). Then……………

There was mulch to spread!

(A HUGE, double-load.)

We faced a choice. Not exactly whether or not to spread the mulch, but whether or not to spread it with joyful hearts, accomplishing the duty set before us with smiles and laughter.

By God’s grace, the Team collectively chose to do right.

Though the evening’s events were completely different than we had anticipated, we were all reminded again just how much we really appreciate our siblings (just you imagine trying to spread that trailer heaped with mulch all by your lonesome! Smile) and we really did enjoy the project. It was work… hard work… hot work… exhausting work… but it was rewarding work and quite fun as we did it together.

The tire went flat on the trailer, so instead of being able to drive the truck around to all the different locations, we had to dump it and then cart it by the bucket-full. :-) BTW, notice the size of this trailer next to 6ft. 3in. Dad -- and it was heaping! :-DTracter driver -- we put some of the buckets in the wagon to deliver to faraway places :)

IMG_8598Go Team!

Happy HelperThe duo - Simultaneous Shoveling

Photo of the evening!

Just darling!Labor-dor superviser :-D

Atop Mulch Mtn.Way to go!Taking a much-deserved break (but even that was work... she was keeping the tractor from rolling away :-D)

Team workBuild those muscles!Preparing to fill...

... one shovel-full at a time...IMG_8623What we neglected to tell you was that each shovel-full was done one HANDFUL at a time! Diligence!

Hauling away to dumpSpreading the mulch around the trees by hand for a smoother finish

"I'm helping Daddy...""...change the flat tire!"IMG_8643

Returning for another loadIMG_8648Seest thou a man diligent in his business?

Smiling the job to completionOne of the rewards of diligent work :-D

So, be encouraged next time your plans for something wonderful are altered… or maybe even blown away completely. There are treasures in the darkness… hidden riches in secret places… a delicious-grilled-salmon-rice-sauteed-asparagas-sweet-peaches-dinner-made-by-Jessi-at-9:30 pm (with chocolate-mint brownies for dessert!) awaiting you when your work is finished –  if you will simply trust the hand of God as He takes you through the process of life.

SmileSmileSmileSmileSmileSmileSmileSmileSmileSmileSmileSmile (aka 12 happy Neelys)



Sibling Appreciation Day!

Posted by The Neely Team

May

1

Tomorrow, May 2nd, is Sibling Appreciation Day!

Let some of the most important people in your life know just how special they are.

The ones coming behind will build on the foundation you are laying now. 

Quit ye like men; be strongOh let the joy of Jesus put a smile upon your face!

PreciousHave a cupcake, anyone??

Find joy in the simple thingsYounger four

Older four

“By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.” John 13:35