Thursday, August 29, 2013


August has also been a busy month. As of Tuesday, we are officially one month away from the wedding, and the reality is beginning to hit us.

Ben and Mandy have found their first home. It's about twenty minutes away from us but in the area of other church families, so they won't be alone. It's a cute little duplex that reminds us of the place that we were living in when Mandy was born. Last weekend, Dad helped Ben put in some new fans in the place, and Mom and I helped Mandy wash and unpack her dishes and other stuff that she got from her wedding shower (we finally have a hallway again). This weekend, we're planning on moving Ben into the place, and then over the rest of the month, we'll slowly be moving Mandy's stuff into the rental. Ben and Mandy have also bought their first car: a pretty blue minivan. Mandy has always had a fondness for minivans (a combination of it being the car she first learned to drive and her own desire to have children), and she's excited about it.

Earlier this month, we had a musical night at the church, and all of us participated to some extent. All three of us sang two songs in choir (Mandy's an alto, I'm a soprano, and Seth's a tenor), but alas, no one seemingly recorded the choir singing, so there's no video or sound of it. I did, however, record the two pieces that Mandy performed with some friends: the James Bond theme and Boccherini's "Night on the Streets of Madrid." Both videos are up on facebook, so check my wall for them. It was an enjoyable evening.

The day after the musical night, we had our first wedding work day at the reception area. The guys painted, put wood posts in concrete, made wood cake stands, etc... while the girls focused on the mason jars and lanterns, which are looking very pretty. We got quite a bit done. Things took an interesting turn when towards the end of the work day a storm decided to blow in. Everyone began running around in a panic, trying to get the electric tools indoors and cover up the freshly-painted pallets. We were successful, but afterwards we all looked like drowned rats. That same day, we joined Ben's mom for dinner at a Mexican restaurant, as we're experimenting with places for the rehearsal dinner. The place had excellent food, but the acoustics were poor, so we're still looking around.

College has also officially started back for me. It's a bit strange only going in to school for an hour every other day for one class, but I'm happy to be back in the classroom and have some semblance of a schedule. I'm taking World History Part 1, and so far I can't complain (except for the class sessions about human evolution).

School has also started back up for Mom and Dad. Mom is teaching science and music appreciation, and Dad ended up with the history class (there was only enough interest for one, so I'm not teaching this year). However, I have got myself sort of a part-time job for the "school." Because there's a lot of younger students under the age of ten this year, I've been called upon to be a babysitter and lunch supervisor, and it's a paying job. Today is my first day, so I'll have to let you know how it goes.

On a side note, Jayne the kitten is doing well. He has overcome his shyness and has turned into the sweetest, cutest thing ever. He is very playful, and it's entertaining to watch him chase dead leaves or even poor Pooky in play. He's also getting fatter and not looking like the scrawny little thing that he used to. Watching him play or have "evening crazies" is definitely a sign that he's doing well.

That's all I can think of for the moment, though I'm sure I'm forgetting something. I'll post again if I forgot anything.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

The Coming of Jayne

The Cunningham house is a big magnet. One, in particular, that seems to attract animals. Hence why we've had so many over the years and why sometimes our neighbors' animals like to hang around. All of us were reminded of it this last Sunday.

Sunday morning started off like any other. Dad woke us up, and we had our usual breakfast of eggs, sausage, and smoothie. Then we all began getting ready for church. I was doing my hair when someone (I believe it was Seth) suddenly announced that a little kitten was on our porch. Curious, I went outside. Indeed, it was a kitten. A rather tiny one. At minimum I guessed it was about six weeks old. It was skittish and rather vocal, going round and round the porch crying. However, we had to go, and we figured that it would probably wander off by the time we got home.

We were wrong.

We came home, and the kitten was sleeping on the porch. It saw that we had arrived and resumed its crying. We figured that the kitten smelled Pooky's food (we keep his food on the table to keep other critters from getting into it) and that was why it hadn't left. Taking pity on it, we put it on the table. The kitten immediately began to chow down like it hadn't eaten in several days. Afterwards, it checked us out, sniffing us and becoming less skittish. I noticed that the kitten felt awfully thin, a sign of recent malnourishment, and there was a debate over the kitten's gender.

On Monday, we bought some kitten food for the kitten, and it seems to be doing rather well. It doesn't feel as thin anymore, and he's becoming more active, moving around and being less vocal (unless he's hungry). Dad has forbidden us from making it into an inside cat, so the kitten stays on the porch, where we feed it and give it water. And we gave it a bath and some treatment for both fleas and worms; it seems otherwise healthy. The kitten is also quite the purring machine. He loves to be picked up and held, and he is definitely a people cat. Whenever we go outside, he likes to come up to us and get some attention.

Mandy has fallen quite in love with the kitten. Despite her own dislikes of some of our own beasts, she is completely enamored. At first, she and Ben were going to adopt it, but circumstances have changed and so that won't happen. Still, Mandy loves him, and it's cute to see her holding him.

Throughout the week, we debated the kitten's name. Most of the problem stemmed from the fact that we weren't sure about a gender. To solve that problem, we picked a gender-neutral name: Jayne (named after Jayne from the TV show "Firefly"). We now think Jayne is a boy, but we're not absolutely positive. We probably won't be for a few more weeks.

So now we're back up to six cats.

Thursday, August 1, 2013


Sorry for the lack of posts. We've been busy, and our internet has been rather spotty. Hopefully, we're switching our service providers tomorrow, so maybe it will be more consistent in that area :P


Things have really been picking up for everyone, especially the past month. The wedding preparation is also speeding up. Earlier this month, most of the ladies of the church got together to look at the plans that the coordinators so far have done. The ladies are beginning to buy and gather up mason jars, Christmas lights, burlap ribbon, flowers, etc... for the decorations. We've also taken Mandy's wedding dress in for alterations and visited a flower wholesale shop to figure out flowers for the wedding party (the flower lady has also made a "rough draft" of Mandy's wedding bouquet). We finally also ordered invitations and finished the website. We sent out the invitations this week, and the first RSVPs are coming back, which is exciting. We're now just under sixty days to the wedding, and reality is starting to hit in. Mandy and Ben are starting to look for a place to live.

And, almost a week ago, Mandy had her wedding shower. The other maid-of-honor Bethany, a bridesmaid Caroline, the wedding coordinator, and myself put on the shower at the coordinator's home. We had a tea bar, all kinds of food, flowers, and presents stacked all over the stairs. Over sixty people (a mixture of family and friends) attended. Mandy was real excited to open all her gifts, and most of them are now either lining our hallway or filling up Ben's living room until they find a place. Pictures from the shower have been uploaded by Bethany on facebook, and both Mom and I shared the link to it on facebook. We've got a few more showers for Mandy happening in August and September, though I won't have as much involvement in those.

In late July, the guys (Dad, Seth, and Ben) took a trip with Jake B. and Uncle Josh and his older two boys to northern Minnesota, close to the border of Canada. They left on a late Thursday afternoon and drove for twenty-four hours, stopping for gas and food and to switch drivers. Then on Saturday, they paddled out into the Boundary Waters, which involved them walking a mile with the canoes and packs on their backs, and then rowed across various lakes to their campsite. And so for the next six days, the guys did serious primitive camping (no running water, no toilets, no showers, etc...). They went fishing and cooked their own fish on three different nights. They took exploring trips (and on one excursion Ben and Jake nearly got lost) and had all sorts of adventures. However, Friday proved to be their most challenging day. It started raining the night before and was still storming when they woke up the next morning. That meant they had to pack up everything in the pouring rain and hop into the canoes for a several-hour trip across the lake. At one point, it got extremely difficult with the strong winds and large waves, leaving the guys absolutely soaked in 48 degree weather. But, God be praised, the guys safely got out and back to the car. They then met up a group of boys from church who visited the area this week, went to a local restaurant for the best beer, burgers, and fries that they'd ever had, and then began the 24-hour trip back to Atlanta. They also safely made it home, despite the car threatening problems, the threat of running out of gas in the middle of nowhere, and accidentally ending up on the wrong side of town because of bad highway traffic. We ladies met our men at the church and then they came home for a shower, clean clothes, and a delicious meal. They all had a great time, and we've enjoyed hearing about their many adventures.

Other preparations that have been going on is for school. I start up GGC again in a few weeks, and I'm ready to get back into a regular schedule. Mom also starts teaching science and music around the end of the month. Dad and I are also on a list of potential history teachers for the Geneva at Home program; nothing's been decided yet, as it depends on how many history classes are needed, but hopefully we'll know for.

So, yeah, we've been busy. I'll try to do better at posting updates.