Tuesday, November 24, 2009

A Good Weekend

Our Thanksgiving dinner last night was wonderful and I'll be posting some pictures in the next day or two. But for now, I have a few Manteo Moments to share with "all of y'all!"

Early Saturday afternoon, our convoy of three vehicles took off with the greatest of alacrity only to turn back after just half a mile of intensive and efficient travel to retrieve Steve's forgotten beard trimmer. At least I had my beauty bag along! As we all know, that is the most important item in the Smith Line Up of Smith Travel Items.

And speaking of the Smith Line Up of Smith Travel Items, here is a partial packing list to help you appreciate the logistical maneuverings it takes to keep this family supplied for a weekend:

Oatmeal, peanut butter, cold cereal, crackers, popcorn, potatoes, soup, brown sugar, chips, sandwich bread, garlic salt, tea, peanuts, white sugar, mac-n-cheese packs, coffee, mayo, slice cheese, cheddar cheese, milk, sandwich meat, tortilla shells, fresh fruit, carrots, eggs, Parmesan cheese, butter, cooked veggie, casserole, yogurt, Saran wrap, aluminum foil, hand soap (liquid), Kleenex, paper towels, Ziploc bags, garbage bags, dish soap, paper plates, paper cups, dog food, dog treats, linens, leash, music stuff, school stuff.

Can you tell I'm sort of anxious to get moved?

Anyway . . .

Once we arrived in Manteo, we had a few minutes to show Steve's parents and Nathan and Meagan around town. We walked near the waterfront in the downtown area and just about froze. (For all you Northerners, it was about 55 degrees. And don't laugh.)

We also took everyone by to see the outside of our house. It felt strange to show Nathan a town, a house, and a church that Steve, Sarah and I had seen but he hadn't. For so many years, everything in our family was decided on as a foursome; however, years pass, and little birds fly away from the nest and foursomes somehow turn into threesomes. Insert "big mommy sigh" here. (Um. Meaning the sigh is big. Not the mommy.)

A few ladies in the church graciously offered to provide a meal for all of us on Saturday night and so after our brief tour of the town, we sat down at a beautifully decorated, candle-lit table in the fellowship hall and feasted on fabulous lasagna, homemade bread, a colorful salad and lovely desserts.

Here is a mere sampling of the aforementioned desserts and goodies. And yes, I was smiling very big at such an inspiring sight!

The next morning, a certain trio of fabulous people showed up at church. For some reason, they looked just vaguely familiar.

Nathan said that he and Meagan resembled a watermelon when they stood together because they had all the watermelon colors represented!

This shepherd's staff and sash were on the front pew of the church in readiness for the pastoral installation ceremony that was to be conducted in the morning service. The staff, of course, is symbolic of Steve's role as shepherd of the congregation. The shawl is embroidered with the date he was voted in, the name of the church, and the city.

As Meagan went to the stage before service to get a sound check for the song she was going to do interpretive sign language to, Nathan thought he would bring her encouragement and cheer by threatening to drag her off the stage with the shepherd's staff.

Pastor's kids. You can't let them out of your sight for even one minute.

Here I am with my one of my favorite pastor's kids.

During the service, Steve and I had the great joy of making music with our son; his drum playing has improved so much over the past year and he just fits in seamlessly with whatever is being played. We are proud of him and his hard work and dedication in that area.

To make the morning an "all in the family" kind of deal, Steve's parents sang "He Touched Me." It's always a treat to get to see them sing together.

And although I don't have any pictures of her, Sarah was not left out of the morning's line up. She was back in the sound booth, running the computer that showed the lyrics to the songs up on a big screen.

Finally it was time for the installation ceremony. The chairman of the board made a few remarks before and after he placed the sash on Steve's shoulders.

Then another board member presented Steve with the symbolic shepherd's staff and the rest of the board members, their wives and the congregation gathered around us to pray. There were tears on many faces and full hearts everywhere--in the pastor's family and in the congregational family. It was a poignant and moving ceremony.

Following the ceremony, Steve made a few additional comments . .

. . . and then Meagan did her incredibly beautiful sign language to "My Redeemer Lives." I could watch her do this a hundred times a day and never get tired of it. Most of the congregation was in tears when she was done.

And just so that we wouldn't leave town hungry, a church member showed up with a platter of sandwiches from Subway for our lunch.

Sarah, Subway and smiles.

After the Smiths had finished our sandwich scarfing, we all adjourned to Steve's office to start an intensive period of ponderment concerning all the possibilities pertaining to his office decor.

The wall is currently painted a bright blue so we all sat around for awhile with paint swatch thingies and tried to decide what paint color would work best with the rug. (And we DID finally decide on a rug--oh happy day.)

Here is a faintly fuzzy picture of the couch (from Craigslist), the current paint and our chairs. (Purchased at Big Lots.) Also, you will see my son holding up a bag with one remaining home made cinnamon roll in it, a leftover from the embarrassment of (dessert) riches that was bestowed upon us.

And please do not even ask me why my child is wearing shorts and flip flops in the middle of November. I think it has something to with him being a resident of Florida and somehow being compelled to believe that the Florida climate will follow him wherever he goes. (I'm just guessing here.)

After some conversation, friendly argument and the offering of various opinions, most of the decorating decisions were made and we headed home.


To the unpacking of suitcases and the packing of boxes. To a general aura of happy chaos. To stacks of stuff everywhere and piles of smiles to go with them.

Beginnings and endings. Blood family and church family. New friends and old friends. It was a good weekend.

13 Had Something To Say (Just click here!):

Anonymous said...

So glad to see I'm not the only one who's still wearing flipflops! Go Nathan! It's been balmy and in the 40s-50s here in Connecticut! SO NOT laughing at you, Becky! The ceremony looked awesome. So happy you will all be settled soon. Love - Guerrina

becky m said...

glad everything is coming together...i would go with a nice rich red for the wall....

Lisa said...

So glad you guys had a wonderful weekend!


Anonymous said...

Oh my goodness. I am crying just from reading about your day. I can't imagine what it would have been like to be there in person. I vote for the "nice rich red" becky m suggested.


Anonymous said...

What a beautiful installation ceremony you had! I'm sure you will feel at home there in no time.

I LOVE what you picked out for Steve's office!! Would purple be masuline enough for one wall then pick up one of the tan colors for the rest of the room? A agree that a rich red would look nice too but I am partial to the purple. I also like the green in that rug as well. So many fun colors to choose from!

Sarah, you looked VERY nice that day. I love the brown leggings with your top.

Connie F-G

Anonymous said...

The installation ceremony from your description and pictures must have been so inspiring for all of you.
I'll bet you chose the rust color from the lively rug or was it the subdued teal.
Holding Nathan close in prayer. Hope he finds an answer soon.

MaryH said...

What a beautiful weekend - I love the way Meagan is holding on so tightly to Nathan in the first picture. Congratulations to everyone. I am sure you are going to be so happy in Manteo. The departure from your house and town now will be difficult but the closer you get to Manteo, the easier the transition. It seems like such a warm, friendly kind of place.

Anonymous said...

What a wonderful installation ceremony; I love the symbolism as well as the support. You spent a long time in the hallway, but what a wonderful destination you found when the right door finally opened! hurray...
The watermelon couple cracked me up.. they are just so darn cute and "right" for each other..and the food. Oh, the food. Yes, you made the right choice in destinations, for sure.
Sage green... just seems so peaceful, and isn't that what a shepherding pastor is all about? Just thinking that staff would look lovely in a sage green room....

Anonymous said...

Ummm...could I ask why you need a sound check for sign language?

Anonymous said...

I like the purple in the rug. I'd put that purple on the bottom, put a cherry chair rail up and then put creme on the top. I think you need a lighter color on the top because the furniture is dark.

Christine in AZ

Rachel Richardson said...

My husband and I received your CD "Like A Blanket." We listened to it and it was a bittersweet experience. Sweet because the songs are encouraging but bitter because we can relate to the song about Heaven Calling. You see our daughter Sarah Elisabeth died almost 2 weeks ago. She was only three days old.
My husband and I live in Grove City, Pennsylvania. His parents are Ginny and Walt Richardson.
It is great that Sarah is doing well.

Ann Martin said...

The pictures brought back memories of the Smithfield service we were blessed to attend. Does your church have a website? I noticed on the internet that there are two AG churches listed in Manteo. Is that right or is it the same church just a new address? Guess you are now offical residents of Manteo. Just think--more calories to burn unpacking boxes. Sounds good just before Christmas goodies. Have a blessed week.

Ann Martin said...

The pictures brought back memories of the Smithfield service we were blessed to attend. Does your church have a website? I noticed on the internet that there are two AG churches listed in Manteo. Is that right or is it the same church just a new address? Guess you are now offical residents of Manteo. Just think--more calories to burn unpacking boxes. Sounds good just before Christmas goodies. Have a blessed week.