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Friday, March 31, 2006

A Day in the Life

I know our loving fans care so much, so I decided to let you peak in on what my day has looked like. First, I woke up when Abbey was leaving to go to Beth Moore. She needed me to tie her ribbon watch for her. Then, I went back to sleep. I woke up and read some from my new book, The Simple Faith of Mr. Rogers. So far, it has been quite interesting. I then got ready and went to work.

When I go to work and it's my day off, I usually dress pretty down. Since today is my day off, I wore shorts and a t-shirt. I went into a preschool classroom to ask one of the teahers a question when I got there. A little girl, Jill came up to me and looked curiously. After a moment she said, "Mr. Jeff, you're furry." I just don't think my legs are that hairy!

At noon, I left work to go have lunch with Danny and the girls at McDonald's. McD's was thrilling at usual. I then came home and read some from the newspaper and took a little rest.

I got a call from the jewelry store to let me know that my wedding band had been resized. Now, it is not threatening to cut the circulation off to my left ring finger. They even shined it. Check out that beautiful glow. I'm glad to have it back!

Danny told me the other day that my grass looked like my lawn mower blade needed sharpening. I was going to take it off this afternoon and realized that it had seen too much heartache to be of any use to me. Check out that gash in the blade. I went to Lowe's and bought a new one. I bet my grass looks BEAUTIFUL the next time I mow.

On the way home, I stopped by a new store in S'field called Cardsmart. I bought Abbey a little gift there. $10.00 if you can guess what it is!

Once, I got home, I also decided to change the oil in my mower after replacing the new blade. Note to any people out there who may not think changing the oil is important. This was the first time I have ever changed the oil in my mower. It was more like dark chocolate mousse than oil coming out! I don't think I should do that again. Check out the picture.

Finally, I have been doing laundry today. See the clean pile so far. I'm going to have fun folding tonight! First though, I am going to a senior recital. The intern Lindsey is going to be singing in it. It should be really good. While this has been really fun, I think it should prove something to you, I MISS ABBEY! I don't like to be away from her. I better go shower up before going to the recital. Sorry, there won't be any pictures of that!

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Culture 101

Do you remember high school? The days when life was simple. You didn't worry about much, well, you did worry about the pimples? (at least, I hope someone besides me did that) Tonight I had the pleasure of accompanying my lovely wife to the East Robertson High School performance of "Cheaper By the Dozen."

It was actually not that bad,however, the sound effects were taped onto a pretty low-quality tape and there were no microphones. There was an older (and I mean old) lady sitting in front of us and I sure that if I had trouble hearing, she didn't hear a thing. I was once again reminded of the rural area in which we live when none of the characters could pronounce "children." Instead, they said "chuddren."

My personal opinion is that the Springfield High School's performance of "You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown" was much better. At any rate, it was a chance for some culture. I don't think that it will be going to TPAC any time soon.

I'll leave you with a funny story:
Today a little girl that goes to our preschool was at Mother's Day Out. When she saw me she said, "Mr. Jeff, you come to Mother's Day Out, TOO?!?!" I thought it was funny!

Abbey's leaving

Abbey's leaving in the morning to go to Chattanooga to see Beth Moore! I think she'll have a good time. I think this will be her outfit for the conference. She's hot, I know it. Don't be jealous of me. There plenty of fish out in the sea that are close to as beautiful as my wife. I'm sure going to miss her. I don't remember to eat or anything when she's not here.

A Blast from the Past

We had Awana Retro night this past Sunday night and it was really groovy. The guy on the left is Alex. He and I tie-dyed our clothes for the evening. He's next to his best friend Brian who was looking very grease-like. Travis made it in the picture as well.

Clint and Lea are pictured to the left. Although you might think they look completely natural in those duds, I hear they bought them from Goodwill. Can you believe that Goodwill still has clothes like that?

To the right, you will see some of my favorite people. James, who will be Jesus in the upcoming play, and his wife Sindy, who's a barrel of laughs. James is from New Zealand and when his hair is not as bushy as it is right now and he has shaved, people tell us we look a lot a like. In fact, we are constantly confused for each other. Now, I bet they got their outfits right out of their closets.

You might be wondering what I looked like the other night for Retro night. I have been instructed by my sister-in-law not to put any of the photos of me up. Let's just say it was bad, REAL BAD!

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

VBS 2006 (and a foiled attempt)

I have been working on VBS today and I remembered this picture of Cate from last year. She has grown up so much since this picture. I saw her a few minutes ago and she showed me the "ribbits" on her pants. Of course, you know I loved that.

Jennifer, the VBS director, is on her way up here for our meeting of where we are and where we need to be. I think things are moving along pretty well, so far! The milk jugs are starting to stink up the storage closet (for those of you who aren't in the loop, we're building an igloo).

I forgot to mention yesterday about our attempt to bury Will. I started digging and about 1 foot into his grave, I hit rock. We moved and I hit rock again. I then got Trae to try, he hit rock too. So Will's grave ended up becoming a hollowed out tree stump with leaves to cover him. May he rest in peace.

Jack still missed him, but he has been catching birds over the past couple of days.

There He Goes Again

I am up early this morning after taking Trae to the airport. For some reason, he booked a 6:00 AM flight. It is very Landish to want to be back home, but you would think that someone who is hardly ever home wouldn't be in such a big hurry.

I hope that Trae had a good time. I know that I was glad to see him. You know, brothers really shouldn't go so long without seeing each other. Maybe, if I didn't live so far away and he didn't work in the middle of the ocean, we would see each other more. Anyway, that's neither here nor there, the important thing to remember is that we carried the camera everywhere we went and we got, count'em, "0" pictures together. In fact, we didn't take a single shot! Sorry mom!

Last night we capped off Trae's trip to Nashvegas with a trip to our favorite Tuesday night destination, Chik Fil A. Since we've been going there for months on Tuesday nights for Church Bulletin night, we didn't want to break tradition. Trae loves CFA, too.

We caused a little problem at CFA though. The clerks always let us choose whether we want a sandwich, nuggets, or strips for free. The sign says, Sandwich, but THEY (the clerks) ARE THE ONES WHO ORIGINALLY OFFERED IT. Anyway, the "owner" was there last night and he got all in a tissy because he did not know this was going on. He realized it was true when the next 3 customers came up with the same requests. I hope that they won't call it off altogether. If they do, I'm sorry. I never meant to take advantage of the system.

Of course, we had Target for a quick dessert of buying baby shower gifts. We then went to OfficeMax in G-ville which is going out of business. They didn't have any office chairs left. Then we went to Best Buy, where it really isn't the Best Buy on office chairs. Finally we went to Office Depot, where there were too many chairs to make a decision. Why, might you ask am I looking for an office chair? The answer is simple really. I am now on my 5th chair that I have rummaged from empty desks or taken from vacant positions in the church and they are ALL JUNK! I'm tired of being TIPPED OUT of my chair, constantly having to lift the chair up because the hydraulic thing slowly moves down, or being jabbed in the back by random pieces of metal and so I have decided that I will just buy my own chair!

After the frustrating chair hunt, we warmed up with Starbucks.

Alas, I dropped Trae off early this morning. I'm glad he came. I love him and I miss not seeing him much. He's a great big brother.

(Editor's note: The picture is of some girls from church. I thought it was fun!)

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Trae's Here

Trae, my big brother, is here visiting this week. He flew in yesterday afternoon and will leave in the morning. I've not seen him in quite some time, we're thinking about 2.5 years. It's not that I don't love him or like him, it just seems that our paths don't often cross due to the nature of our jobs. Trae is an offshore diver who is now very busy repairing Katrina's destruction so that maybe one day we will pay less than $2.00 a gallon for gas again.

Yesterday, I took Trae to OpryLand and Opry Mills Mall. He didn't know that there weren't rides there any more. It's kind of a bummer, isn't it? They should put a roller coaster on top of OpryLand, that'd be cool. Abbey, Trae and I went down to Demo's for supper last night. It's our favorite place to eat down here.

Today, we are going to lay Will to rest and then go downtown and see some amazing Nashville tourist attraction. If anyone can think of one, please let me know soon!Trae said that where we live kind of reminds him of "Children of the Corn." It is pretty rural.

I'll put a picture of Trae and I up at some point today. We don't look like we are related. By the way, the picture is of me, mom, dad, and Bobby at Christmas this year.

Monday, March 27, 2006

On the Move

Some of you probably know my parents, Roy and Linda Drake. Please keep them in your prayers for the next few months. My Dad resigned from his job this morning and has accepted another job offer. The good news is it brings them closer to us; the hard part is moving. My Dad has to find temporary housing, the house has to sell, and they have to find a new house. However, we all know that God is in control, and He can do anything. I can't wait to see what God has in store for them, but until it is revealed, life will probably be a bit difficult.

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Losing Custody

Please pray for our friends Danny and Michelle. You may recall that they have been in an outrageous custody battle with their Toyota Sienna van. Well, they have once again lost the battle in court, due to Michelle's abuse. They are saying something about van endangerment or something. It seems the van was allowed to be hit on the side. It's back in the Toyota dealership to get fixed. Maybe I will post a picture of it at some point, if they ever have it long enough. Here is a picture of their temporary car.

Of course I wouldn't complain about having a fully loaded Highlander as a temp car. I think they must know someone at the dealership. If they keep this up, I am going to have to start another Arbonne rumor.

Last night, Danny, Michelle and the girls came over for supper. I grilled steaks and corn. Abbey cooked two new Paula Deen recipes. Everything was delicious. The girls wanted to stay outside and help me grill and they wanted to be pushed in the hammock. Aren't they cute. Cate is learning all kinds of new words and how to use the big girl potty. See their blog. Carah is supersmart and is always very helpful.

Addendum to "In Memory"

A part of Will's life was inadvertantly left out:

There was a period in Will's life between his time in Texas and Tennessee where he lived with his grandparent's, Rose and Bud. He lived with them due to his parent's inability to close on a home. As soon as suitable housing was found he moved from the Drake residence in Rosebud (a suburb of Walnut Grove, a suburb of Carthage, Mississippi).

Saturday, March 25, 2006

In Memory - William "Will" Stradler Land

Springfield, Tennessee - William "Will" Stradler Land, loving cat and brother, passed away sometime during the week of March 25. He was found by his father in the woods behind his home. The cause of death is uncertain, but there seems to be no signs of foul play.

Will lived an extraordinary life. He was adopted in August of 2002 by loving parents, Jeff and Abbey Land in Jackson, Mississippi. He was adopted from the Mississippi Animal Rescue League. Jeff has often commented that he couldn't resist the loving smiles of Will and his brother Jack.

Will first became a Land as an anniversary present to Mrs. Land. His first home with the Land's was in Brandon, Mississippi. He was orinally named Mosey. His new parents debated for a while and ultimately named him Will.

Will became a traveling feline in 2003 when he traveled with his family to a new home in Fort Worth, Texas. While in Texas, Will enjoyed the close quarters of the mobile home which his family moved to. He and his brother Jack enjoyed countless hours of fun running back and forth in the home. Once, while in Texas, Will suffered a brief scare when his brother Jack broke out of the house one crisp evening that their parents left the windows open. He pushed the screen out and left. He returned home the following evening. While living at Seminary, the cats never had the opprotunity to have fresh air as they were considered contraban.

Like their parents, the cats found only little to love about Texas, so they were not in objection to moving to Tennessee. The cats quickly adjusted to their new home in Springfield. Several months ago, upon constant hinting that they wanted to live permanently outside, Will and Jack's parents let them move into the garage. Will loved being outdoors, sunning on the back deck and eating lots of cat food.

Will's life came to an end this week, but his legacy will live on. He was thankful to be a Mississippian by birth and he was a Southern Baptist. He is survived by his parents and loving brother.

Friday, March 24, 2006

Finally Friday

Have you ever noticed that sometimes, a week may seem to fly by and others go painfully slow. This week has been one of those SLOW ones.

I seemed to get a lot done at work and we really didn't have a lot to do at home. Abbey has had a great week at school. She said that her students have been really good. Tuesday night, we did the usual Chik-fil-a and then we went over to the Spicklers. We were just going over to drop off a camera that I borrowed and to take Frank a treat, but we ended up staying for a while.

Wednesday was church and meetings. Last night, Abbey cooked a delicious meal. We had pork chops with a homemade stuffing (from Rachel Ray), fresh mashed potatoes, and of course corn for me. It was really good. We just watched a little TV and then went to bed.

I am very sleepy now, because Abbey did not sleep very good last night. She was tossing and turning the whole night. I haven't made the bed yet, because today in clean sheet day. I've got to go up and do that in a while. Right now, I think that I might take a nap for a while because between Abbey moving around, talking, and stealing all the cover, I didn't get much of a nap.

I went in to work for a while this morning and got a few things accomplished. I guess that's all for now, oh yeah, those are Abbey's thank you flowers. We always get our flowers from Sherry's Florist in Springfield. She's does a great job. Never puts baby's breath or carnations in anything!

Thursday, March 23, 2006

So Proud!

Abbey and I are so proud to announce that we have encouraged two more people to start blogging. Apparently, it is harder to get someone to blog than it is to get someone to do myspace. Myspace scares me to death and I wouldn't do it, nor would I encourage anyone I know to. Trust me, you REALLY don't want to see what the people you know will write about or comment on. There doesn't really seem to be any kind of moral code between what you post on there and what you do at church, etc. So, anyway, that's why I blog. I think it is more fun anyway.

So, back to the point of this message. Be sure to check out Jane's blog and Lindsey's blog. There are links to the right. Jane is our good friend from Texas (yes, there are apparently a few good things there). We actually met her in God's country, Mississippi, at the greatest university, Mississippi College. Lindsey is my intern. See the information below.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Abbey's Event

Abbey had a great idea for the Women's Ministry at our church a few months back. Since that time, she has been working with the Women's Ministry Team to create a new and exciting opportunity for the women of our church.

On April 7, they are going to be having the kick-off event which will hopefully be one of the largest gatherings of women our church has seen in quite some time. There will be an excellent guest speaker and I am not just saying that because she is my Aunt. Betty Jones is highly sought after, so Abbey and I are thrilled that she will be here. I just wanted to post this in case someone reading might be around here during that time. I am really proud of Abbey for working so diligently to put this all together.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

This Weekend III (or My FABULOUS Intern Lindsey)

My wonderful intern Lindsey is in the picture on the left. When the church finally agreed to hire me an intern, I was already hoping that Lindsey would take the position. She is excellent and she loves children! She is thinking about going into the ministry. I would fully support her in that endeavor. She comes from a great family and has made my job so much easier! It is excellent. She was a great help this weekend. The kids all love her too!

She is very responsible and helps administer some of the ministries of the preschool and children's ministry, as well as, serve as teacher. She is also very patient and compassionate, which are not too of my strong points. That's great when I have someone who needs a little extra attention!

Well, I am tired of starting new blogs, in order to post pictures, so you will just have to know that we had an EXCELLENT weekend and I think that our kids are closer to God because of it! That's wonderful!

This Weekend II

Abbey was our head cook for the Live Out Loud Weekend and she did a phenomenal job. Don't worry, I remembered to thank her. In fact, I sent her flowers today in the vase that Mrs. Linda gave her for Christmas. Abbey said that the flowers are pretty. Maybe I will take a picture tonight and put them on the blog tomorrow.

Her food helpers were Tammy and Lisa. They are two of the best helpers you could ever want! They are very willing and able servants. I wish that there were more like them in the world.

For some reason, blogger is not letting me put more than one picture per blog right now, so look for an exciting sequel "This Weekend III."

Ava's new Friend (an interruption of This Weekend II)

I have just heard from Ava and she has finally given me the go ahead to announce her new courtship. His name is Brooks or as his family calls him "Brookie." He does something at a bank and lives not far from Ava. I think that she really likes him. Ava told us a lot about him when she was here last weekend. We hope that things will continue to go well for the happy couple. Ava deserves the best! Ava told me that she will be getting some more pictures with him this weekend. They have some type of little bowling party they are going to. I wonder if Ava bowls as good as Abbey?

This Weekend

Over the weekend, we had 50-something children spend the night at the church. I called it the LIVE OUT LOUD weekend. It was fun. We had t-shirts designed, an excellent speaker, a band, and lots of service projects. It was designed to help children learn how to live out their faith. We did lots of things. The kids were REALLY well-behaved.

This picture of me was taken shortly before the event started.

I am having some extreme problems now uploading new pictures. So, I am going to publish this post and start another. Maybe then, it will work right. Stay tuned for This Weekend II.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Summer, Winter, Spring...AHH!

As is normal fashion for the way I plan events, the weather seems to not agree. This weekend we have our "Live Out Loud" event and I had planned to culminate the event with the fun service project of having a free car wash. The weather man says that the weather will be 46 degrees though. I don't think I am going to have 55 3rd-6th graders washing cars in that weather.

The picture to the left is of another time that the weather didn't cooperate. Last year at the Easter Eggstravaganza. My super-volunteer Kelly got her husband to cut a hole in a shape of a boy's head. Then she painted it. The staff got to stick their head through the hole and let children through colored-water soaked sponges at us. It was freezing and drizzling that day! Pardon the sour look on my face, I wasn't really into this thing, although the people on the other side were having a blast.

Once again, here in Tennessee the weather is changing. I wore a t-shirt and flip flops on Monday and need a coat today. It is beautiful out though. Start praying that April 8 will be sunny and warm, so that we will have great attendance at our eggstravaganza.

Abbey's granny fell, so she might have to go spend the night with her, so please pray for them both. Sorry we didn't post any pictures of Ava and Abbey together, we forgot! Their nails are pretty though!

Sunday, March 12, 2006

I've not Forgotten to blog

We've been so busy this weekend, because Ava is here. We are excited. They've been having a great time together. I got appointments for Abbey and Ava at a salon and they had pedicures and manicures. We'll post pictures tomorrow. They said that they weren't cute enough tonight to take a picture. Ava will go home tomorrow, but we are going to spend some more time with her in the morning.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Life's Little Questions

Before I blog, I wanted you all to see the beautiful sign that our church's graphic designer Kim did for us. Check her other work at McBride Design. Anyone around on April 8 is welcome to come.

Now for the fun stuff. Below you will find a few questions I have been contemplating this morning.

  1. Who designed Nasvhille's interstate system? My guess is that it is someone who does not have a job right now, because they are horrible. Even at 6:30 this morning when I was on them.
  2. Who do people talk to on the cell phone at 6:30 in morning? NOT ME! Who wants to talk that early in the morning. However, I saw many people doing it this morning. I kept wondering, did you wake someone up? Are you preventing someone from spending a few minutes with their child before they go to school? Are you that lonely or inconsiderate? If you haven't gotten it yet, don't call me "just to talk" before 9:00 AM, please.
  3. Who would schedule a dentist appointment at 7:00 in the morning? A few days ago, I received a postcard reminding me that my 6 month check up was today. Two days ago, I received a reminder phone call that told me it was at 7:00 AM today. And so I woke up and showered and went to my appointment. I was the only one there when I arrived, so I got to go right back to the dental chair. Apparently, I liked it, because I will be going back in September at 7:00 AM (Guess what? No extra work this time, no root canals or cavities! I know you're thinking "WOW!")
  4. Why would anyone drive 45 minutes to get to the dentist? That's one I am still working on. I think it is because I like driving past 100 more convenient locations, plus my dentist is really nice!
  5. Who would have thought I would get most improved anything? Well, not me, but I did get "Most Improved Average" in our bowling banquet last night! Go me, right! Abbey was a little miffed because she did not win.

In other news, Danny and Michelle are the only friends we have ever met who splits custody with their vehicle and the car dealership. They bought a new van and it kept have a mysterious leak, so the dealership kept having to take it back. When they didn't have the van they had a 2006 Avalon and people at the church were beginning to question why Danny's salary was so high, so I started rumor that Michelle sold Arbonne. Anyway, the courts have decided that if Danny and Michelle are the only ones paying child-support for the van in the form of loan payments, they deserve full custody of the van. They have it back now, for good, we hope. If you here of any Amber alerts for a van, you know that the dealership got angry and van-napped it.

Monday, March 06, 2006

Another Weekend Past

Just an update. My interview on Friday went wonderfully. I should probably hear from them by April 1. That is exciting. Abbey and I had a fun weekend. We are trying to eat out less, thanks to us now using Quicken and realizing that we spend WAY too much eating out. So Friday night, Abbey was at a meeting and I was driving home. She didn't get home until LATE, but she told me that she was going to be early. Does anyone out there agree with me that she should have called? I shaved my goatee off on Friday night. There aren't any pictures because Abbey had the camera with her.

Saturday we worked on our budget and getting everything caught up in Quicken. I cleaned the kitchen while Abbey cooked breakfast. We had a light lunch and then we went outside to clean the garage. It was treacherous. I took a bunch of stuff to Goodwill, while Abbey finished sweeping up. I had to return something that we bought when we moved in to Lowe's and so while I was there I checked out a new shelving system for our garage to help keep it more organized. Maybe I will tackle that in a couple of weeks.

Saturday evening, we went to Brentwood and ate at Pei Wei ( It's the best! We ate with Danny, Michelle and the girls and our friends Jim and Tish their sons. Then we went to Maggie Moo's (, YUM! Finally, we ended the evening with a store that we are sure Ava will love this weekend when she comes (YEAH!), a combination Home Goods and TJ Maxx.

When we were leaving, Cate got upset because she wanted to come home with Abbey and me. Don't you know that made me happy!

Friday, March 03, 2006

A Night Alone

Last night Abbey and I did not sleep in the same bed. This was, of course, not by choice. I am in Louisville awaiting my interview with the doctoral committee at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary ( Abbey was home alone. When I talked to her this morning, I found out that neither of us slept well. I was not nervous about my interview until yesterday when I found out that 29 people were applying and there are only 12 slots. I guess we'll see how well the goatee worked! Abbey is at school today and I can't wait to get home to see her.