Saturday, August 31, 2013


Loving the arts and loving each other. #labordayweekend
Up and at 'em for the craft show and Art Walk in downtown Ocean Springs.

Crazy 'bout TatoNuts.
Kinda crazy 'bout Tatonut Donuts.

My mom wanted me to take this for my guitar playing David.
Loved this artwork by Coast artist Spencer Gray, Jr.

Agreeing as they are singing John Denver's "Ain't it good to be back home  again".
Loving and agreeing with John Denver's "Ain't it good to be back home again".

An amazing way to spend a Saturday evening.
Loved an evening of worship and Word at Mosaic Church.

Supper with these two characters.
Supper with these two.

Walked a million miles today so I could eat this pile of yummyness.  No guilt.
The loaded nachos at the Mosaic Cafe on Government Street were amazing.

Merry said she would take the first bite in case it was poisoned.  She said it was important for me to live.
Dessert at a lovely bakery and sweet shop.

Favoring her maple pastry.
Laura was loving her pastry.

Walking home from supper and dessert.
Loved walking back to Grandmommy's after supper and dessert.

Crashing with the Disney Channel after a long, fun day. #labordayweekend #visitinggrandmommys
Relaxing in front of the tv after our evening out.

Merry says this is her "world breaking smile" and she wants it sent to Bets-Bets.  Goodnight, world! #labordayweekend
Since Daddy is still gone to New Orleans with Anna, Merry got extra Mommy snuggles.

No fierce faces when she's sound asleep.
After a full day, sleep was very sweet.

Friday, August 30, 2013


Labor Day weekend is one of those stress-free holidays that are so enjoyable, at least for our family. Don't get me wrong, I love Christmas and Thanksgiving and Easter, but as a mom to seven kids, there is usually a lot of work involved with those days. Labor Day? Na-a-aaah. Just relaxing and enjoying not laboring.

This Labor Day weekend is especially relaxing as we are spending it on the Gulf Coast with family. That means no laundry to wash, very little cooking to do, no home improvement projects, no none of the regular stuff we usually have to do.

The family was split up over the weekend. Jim and Anna are spending a few days together in New Orleans. He took the train down on Thursday and they will join us on Sunday. Betsie rode down with her college friends and I picked her up on Friday afternoon since we drove down on Thursday night. Some of the kids will be staying with their Harvey cousins and over at my dad and step-mother's place. I'll be based at my mom's.

Here are some pictures from our first day:

Good morning Labor Day weekend.  I am looking forward to doing as least amount of labor as possible.
A lazy, slow, wake up.

Laura offering moral support...and lots of Merry spends her bday money.
Laura helps Merry spend her birthday money.

Walking to the beach.
Taking a round about way to the beach.

Finally at the beach.

Super nice.
Nothing like bare feet in the Gulf waters.

Thursday, August 29, 2013


This picture was taken a couple of years ago at a birthday party for my son Patrick. Ain't he cute? Flanking him are his two Gammill cousins, one of which is having a birthday today. (Hint, the one looking spiffy in a faux bow tie

So in honor of Christian's, and because I love Patrick and Hunter as well, I'm posting this picture. All three are getting closer and closer to adulthood and before we know it, just like their big sisters, they'll be leaving home and starting lives apart from their parents. I'm thankful that God gave cousins to my kids. They just make all the holidays and family get-togethers a little bit more fun and a lot bit more loud. We never lived in the same town as our extended family members, but despite that, their closeness in ages and their level of awesomeness meant that when we did see each other, it was a good thing.

We are going to miss all the cousins when we move to Africa. Guess they're just gonna have to roadtrip to see us. And airtrip.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013


In keeping with tradition, I am interviewing the most recent birthday kid, the Marvelous Miss Merry who just turned eight on Sunday.

Inside?  A doll carrier for her new OUR GENERATION doll, Ayla.

Okay, Miss Merry. Tell me about your birthday weekend.

Well Friday, I had a sleep-over. Saturday, I watched Wreck-It Ralph with my sister Betsie and Miss Maegan [a We Will Go missionary]. Sunday, I opened lots of gifts and I had got money pinned on to me and I had Wendy's for lunch.

Because I was sick and couldn't make you the deer meat Sloppy Joes.

Sounds like a full weekend of celebrating. I think something happened today that was also part of your birthday.

I got an American Girl doll!

Merry is so excited by this American Girl doll that one of my Troubadour sisters sent for her birthday.  Totally blown away! #merrysbday #soblessed #troubadoursocialclub #muw

Pretty WOW! How'd you get that?

One of my mom's Troubadour friends got it for me.

That's pretty amazing.

And it is the best thing ever!!!!

What other gifts did you get?

I got an Our Generation doll. I got a carrier for my doll. I got a Lego set. I got a humongous M. I got a horse that when you poured water over it it would turn pink. And I got a Hello Kitty backpack. I got a Hello Kitty mirror. I got a Hello Kitty ornament. And I got a Hello Kitty bag. I got a teddy bear. I got miniature Oreos. I got $8. I got lots of cards. And then I have now $70 left from all my birthday money.

Man! Those are a lot of gifts! Who all gave you that?

Ummm...friends, grandparents, my mom's friends, siblings, and parents.

Guess there is a benefit to having a big family, huh? And living at We Will Go?

Yep! OOOOOH! I forgot a gift! I also got a cat mirror from Miss Maegan and I got a stuffed horse. And a Hello Kitty toothbrush.

Wow. I don't think you'll need any more presents for the next five years.

[Merry laughs] Wait...for real?

[Mom laughs mysteriously].

So that's all about your birthday weekend. Let's talk a little bit about you and what your life is like.

Well, I'm seven years old, actually eight. I have two dolls. I have lots of doll clothes. I am a Lego Friends fan. And I get to go to the Coast this weekend.

Let's talk about some favorites now that you are eight.

What are your favorite things to eat?

I love pizza. I love chocolate cake. I like cupcakes. Chocolate cupcakes. What about favorite tv show?

Wild Kratts, Littlest Pet Shop, and then Fetch.


Wreck-It Ralph, Tangled, Despicable Me, Mega Mind, and then last but not least, [she makes a drum roll sound] the Incredibles!


CHOCOLATE! Kisses, Smarties, Nerds, M&Ms, and that's it!


Chocolate chip cookies, M&M cookies, white chocolate chip cookies, and then last of all, Oreos.


I like Tangled music. Lorax music. Wreck-It Ralph music. Waka-Waka [It's Time for Africa].

Subject in school?

Reading and Explode-the-Code

Favorite books?

Nancy Clancy, Super Sleuth; the series of Fancy Nancy; Piggie and Gerald books also the Knuffle Bunny and the little pigeon [by Mo Willems]. Toys? Things to play with?

Horse toys, dolls, art stuff.

How happy is this girl?  Now her Ayla doll has a new friend. #merrysbday #soblessed

What games do you like to play with your friends?

Stuffed animal dogs, all sorts of stuffed animals.

What do you like best about living at We Will Go?

I get my jobs done before suppertime and I get to go to GAs [Girls in Action mission group at First Baptist Jackson].

What are you looking forward to the most about living in Swaziland?

Getting to see all the cool animals and making cool friends.

What thing are you hoping to do the most or are the most excited to do as an eight year old?

To go on a safari.

Sounds like a good plan. Is there anything people can pray for you about?

That we won't have a hard time moving and that we will have a good time at the Coast [this weekend].

Okay, that's it! I LOVE YOU, BIRTHDAY GIRL!!!!!! I am so blessed to be your silly mama.

Amazed at how blessed we are. #lifeatwewillgo

Silly mama. [laughs] I, too, am so glad to be your silly daughter.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013


Prayer walking is something we frequently do here at We Will Go. I had never even heard of prayer walking growing up. At some point over the last decade or so ago, I heard about a team going to a country without a strong Christian presence. Prayer walking was the main activity of the group. Since then, I've heard about it happening much more often and have gotten the chance to do a lot of it, especially since moving to We Will Go. It is basically what it sounds like, walking with the intent of praying. You might be praying around specific buildings, such as around a college or school campus before the first day of a new semester, or you might be walking along a neighborhood and looking for people who need prayer. Here at We Will Go, we often take visiting volunteers prayer walking but we also, as a missionary family, go often on Tuesday nights. We will walk along praying for churches as we pass them or for God to restore businesses and sections of our neighborhood. We will stop and pray for neighbors as we come across them or might specifically set out to check on a particular neighbor the Lord is putting on our hearts.
Merry took this photo and says, "The coolest heart ever is like that heart in that picture".

Sometimes prayer walking is intense and you really sense the spiritual warfare that is going on.
Sunset over Farish.

Other times, it is a time to pour love and encouragement out on a neighbor, especially the older folks in our area.
Levi and Merry visit with a neighbor.

A lot of times, it is fun and a great time for us to not just enjoy our neighbors but also the missionary family.
Just a swingin' in the hood.

Maybe prayer walking is brand new for you. You don't have to start elaborate. It can be as simple as praying for your neighborhood while out on your morning run or putting the children in their wagon and praying as you pull them around the community park. You might be surprised at how those simple prayers will open your heart up even more to those around you and you might find yourself being shocked at who God brings across your path. You never know when someone out there is waiting for someone just like you to say "hey, can I pray for you about that situtation?"
Walking home from praying in the 'hood.

For further information on prayer walking, you might like this online resource:

Monday, August 26, 2013


Some crazy, joyful, exuberant worship was going on in children's church yesterday at Restoration. I am so super blessed to watch my boys lead the Lord's little ones during these times of celebration and thanksgiving.

Crazy, joyful, dancing worship!

Enter his gates with thanksgiving, and his courts with praise!
 Give thanks to him; bless his name!
Psalm 100:4

David and his backup girls.

Praise the Lord!
Praise God in his sanctuary;
praise him in his mighty heavens!
Praise him for his mighty deeds;
praise him according to his excellent greatness!
Praise him with trumpet sound;
praise him with lute and harp!
Praise him with tambourine and dance;
praise him with strings and pipe!
Praise him with sounding cymbals;
praise him with loud clashing cymbals!
Let everything that has breath praise the Lord!
Praise the Lord!
Psalm 150:1-6

As much as this makes me smile, I can only imagine how much it pleases our Father.

Sunday, August 25, 2013


Though the celebrating started on Friday, Merry's actual birthday is today. Here are some scenes from her big eight.

Singing Happy Birthday. #merrysbday
During children's church, the kids sang Happy Birthday to Merry.  Travis seemed  to enjoy the experience more than Merry.

Wendy's to-go for her bday lunch 'cause Mama's feeling bad.
Mama was feeling bad so Merry's birthday lunch morphed into burgers from Wendy's.

Merry's very first Lego set --- a gift from her big brother.
Merry's very first Lego set, a gift from big brother David.

Daddy with his baby girl.
Laura, Travis, and Patrick gave Merry a carrier for her new doll.  Jim and I gave her a custom-made pony and a Hello Kitty toothbrush.

One of the kids'favorite things about living in the 'hood?  The tradition of money being pinned on the bday person. #merrysbday #lifeatwewillgo
One of the fun things about living in the hood is the tradition of pinning money on people for their birthdays.  Merry received $21 this way, enough to buy an outfit for her new Ayla "Our Generation" doll.

Saturday, August 24, 2013


Why just celebrate on one evening when you can spread it out over a whole weekend? This morning, the birthday partying continued. At Merry's request, donuts were the centerpiece of this morning's breakfast.

Bday donuts for my darling. #merrysbday

Blowing out the donut candles.

Though it is Merry's birthday weekend, it is also a regular work day Saturday here at We Will Go.  We were blessed with help from some folks from Florence along with a few others.  My group worked in the clothes shop until we finished there.  Then we headed to Base 2 for some more work and prayer.  Betsie pitched right in, not as a missionary intern, but as a Hearin Leader earning credit for her required 30 hours of community service.

Betsie serves no longer as a We Will Go intern but as a Hearin Leader.

During our walk on Farish Street, the birthday girl picked me some beautiful crepe myrtle blossoms.

Picking some beauty on Farish Street.

Once work day was over and we ate lunch, Betsie spent some special time with Merry.  Originally, the two of them were going to go see the new ONE DIRECTION movie but Betsie had the release date wrong.  Instead, they, along with fellow missionary Maegan Mitchell and some of the other siblings, watched WRECK-IT RALPH.  It was a fun and relaxing way to spend a rainy afternoon in downtown Jackson.

Watching WRECK-IT RALPH.  This activity is Betsie's bday gift to Merry.  She is such an amazing big sister.  Merry has missed her a lot since Betsie moved to college last week.

After the movie, it was time for Betsie to gather up her stuff and head back to MUW.  Her best friend since she was a little girl, Candace Jeffcoat, is driving with her up to The W for a day.  Candace will soon be leaving for a nine month mission trip with Adventures in Missions so this is their last weekend together for a long, long time.  It is also a chance for Candace to meet Betsie's new college friends and see the place that is now Betsie's new home.  I was crying as those two were leaving.  Candace has been a part of our family's life for a long time now and I'm going to miss her greatly.  I'm praying that we'll see her in Africa as her team will be spending three months there in a yet to be determined nation.

Last weekend these two best friends will be together for over nine months.  Very close since they were little, Betsie is now at college and Candace leaves soon for an extended mission trip with Adventures in Missions.  I started crying when it was time fo

After the girls left, I played a new card game, BORDERLINE, with the remaining kids.

Playing the new card game, BORDERLINE.

Tonight was another pizza and movie night, but also a rite of passage.  Merry is watching the original STAR WARS movie for the very first time.  Definitely a perk of getting older in the MacFamily.

Watching the original Star Wars for the very first time.  A perk of getting older.

And tomorrow? What will it hold? More celebrating for sure. This is definitely a very, Merry weekend!

Friday, August 23, 2013


The marvelous Miss M turns 8 this Sunday, but because that day of the week is always so full for us, we had her party with a handful of friends on Friday night. This was her first sleepover and as the last birthday party before moving to Africa, we went a little bit more elaborate than we'd normally do. Usually, our kids only can have one friend over and the celebration is fairly simple except on landmark years --- 5, 10, 13, 16, and 18. But they are all getting blow-out parties this last year in America.

Merry's party theme was Hello Kitty. Two friends from Restoration Church and two friends from We Will Go spent the night with her after an evening of watching a movie (DESPICABLE ME), pizza eating, cake and icecream, playing inside and out, putting makeup on each other, and opening gifts. A highlight of the night was Betsie's arrival from college.

Here are some photo highlights from her special event:

Pizza, Despicable Me, and a bevy of birthday celebrants.

Betsie's home!!!!

Happy birthday to you!

Birthday love!

Kraft Kookie Dough and Kake ;)

Oh my word!

Girls just wanna have fun! #merrysbday

Hello Kitty Happy

Let the celebrating continue on Saturday and Sunday!