Friendship Friday – My good friend Monica

My good friend Monica, posing with Sophie at the Animal Kingdom Villa

My good friend Monica, posing with Sophie at the Animal Kingdom Villas

Hello everyone, and welcome to another edition of Friendship Friday!  Today I am turning my attention to one of my best friends — our dear friend Monica!  Monica, her husband Doug, and her daughter ML go to the same church we do, and the highest compliment that I can give Monica is that she walks with the Lord, and is a strong Witness to His word!

We first met Monica several years ago at our church, Edenton Street UMC, but we only knew her as “the lady that does the children’s sermon.”  Later on, though, we re-met her when her daughter Madelyne-Lois started taking dance in the same class that Sophie did, and it was then that we remembered where we knew her from.  From that moment on, ML and Sophie became almost sisters, and Cindy and I were blessed to have Monica and her husband Doug in our lives.

Over the years, we’ve laughed together, cried together, prayed together, and counseled together.  Doug and I attend the same Bible Study — it’s called The Mens Study, and it is comprised of about 250 men, learning more about God, Jesus, what it means to be a Christian, what it takes to be a Christian, and reaping the wonderful benefits of being in fellowship with your fellow believers.  I will tell you right now, I don’t think there is anything more powerful that I’ve experienced with regards to my faith then hearing 250 men singing hymns at the top of their lungs in church.  It brings chills down my spine just to think of it!

As I’ve said before, one of the main reasons we bought our DVC membership was so that we could invite our dear family and friends to enjoy all that Walt Disney World has to offer with us, and not have to worry about the hotel costs associated with such a trip.  This past June, Cindy, Sophie and I were able to take our dear friends Kerry and Neal and their kids, my niece Stephanie, her (at the time) boyfriend Shane, his brother Kyle, and Monica and ML with us — and it was a wonderful time.

When I think of the blessings that I’ve received in this life of mine, first and foremost, of course (other then Jesus, of course), is Cindy and Sophie, and all that they mean to me.  Our family is certainly second, and of our friends, Monica is at the top of the list.

As I wrap up this week’s Friendship Friday post, I think the three things that best sum up Monica is this:

  1. She walks with the Lord, she talks with the Lord, and the Holy Spirit is plainly evident at one glance.
  2. Not a day goes by when she isn’t doing something for someone other then herself, whether it be family, friends, co-workers, or a stranger she meets on the street.
  3. Just knowing Monica is a blessing, because she has the kind of spirit that stays around long after she leaves the room.

My whole family is blessed to know Monica, her husband Doug, and their wonderful daughter Madelyne-Lois.  God knew what He was doing when he put that family back into our lives, and we are the better for it.

Thank you so much for joining me this week on my Friendship Friday post!  As you all know, this great idea was the brainchild of my dear friend Heidi from Heidi’s Head!  Click on the button below to see who she is featuring this week, and thanks for stopping by!

Friendship Friday – My Niece, Stephanie

My niece Stephanie and I, making goofy faces

My niece Stephanie and I, making goofy faces

Welcome to this week’s Friendship Friday post!  This week, I’m sharing my thoughts about my sister’s baby, Stephanie!  Stephanie has been with us on some incredible Disney trips, and I’ll touch on those, but that isn’t really what this post is all about.

Today I’m talking about Stephanie the person, the wonderful girl that always had time to sit in my lap when she was a toddler, who loved to rock in Robin’s chair with me, and who taught me the right and wrong way to deal with kids, thus making my journey into fatherhood better then it would have been had I not been blessed to have her (and Brett and Leslie, her brother and sister) in my life.

As I said, Stephanie is Robin’s youngest, and will be 23 next month.  Despite that, though, she is also the first of Robin’s kids to get married, having married her love Shane on November 3rd, 2012.

When the girls were young, Robin would make them identical dresses and other clothes to wear.  I’ve got many a snapshot of them in various clothes, sitting on the couch or other chairs, identically dressed.

My sister Robin with her baby Stephanie

My sister Robin with her baby Stephanie

As Stephanie grew up, it always seemed like she had a lot of patience for someone so young.  Robin may certainly dispute that, but from where I watched, it certainly seemed that way.  Stephanie always wanted to do her best in school, and that trait carries on to this day, where she is getting her Masters at Liberty University.  Stephanie graduated near the top of her class in high school, she graduated early for her undergraduate degree, and now she’s getting her Masters, and I’d be surprised if she isn’t excelling at that also!

Of course, Stephanie has also been with us on our Disney World trips — the first trip she took with us was in June, 2010, when we celebrated Sophie’s birthday by surprising her with Stephanie tagging along!  That was the trip when “We took Stephanie to Disney World.

Since that first trip, she has come with us on our trips in June 2011 with Otis, Nancy, Anna Jane, and Sherry, and again when we went to Disney World for the 40th Anniversary of the Magic Kingdom, and then, this past June, when Shane proposed to Stephanie in front of Cinderella Castle (Shane’s version here)!

Now that Stephanie and Shane are married, Steph’s trips with us to Disney are probably going to be a little fewer in number, but don’t worry — I expect that we’ll be seeing Shane and Stephanie, and all of the family, with us at Disney in the future!

Like Robin, Stephanie is a girl that knows her Lord, Jesus, and more importantly — Jesus knows her, too!  When Stephanie and Shane do decide that it is time to start a family, they will be wonderful parents, parents that will raise their children with the Lord in their hearts, just like their parents raised them — and the world is a better place because of them.

Thank you all for stopping by to visit today!  We’ve got a busy posting schedule today, make sure you stop by at 11AM for a post by Theresa with some great travel tips for travelling to Walt Disney World!  In the meantime, though, make sure you stop by my friend Heidi’s site and see who she is featuring on her Friendship Friday post!  Just click on the button below!

Are you anxious about your Walt Disney World Moms Panel application?

As most of you know, last Friday at 11:59PM the deadline was met for applicants for this years round of people trying to claim one of the coveted seats on the Walt Disney World Moms Panel!  I was fortunate enough to be able to apply again this year.  If you remember, in the first year I didn’t make it out of round one and the second year I made it to round two and the video, but not round three and the phone interviews.  What do you think will happen this year?

If you were one of the ones that applied, I imagine that you are going through much the same anxiety that I am.  The anticipation of being able to apply is replaced with nervousness when you do apply.  Then, after the deadline, it’s “sit around and wait” time while you second guess yourself time and time again on your answers.  Did I provide enough information about me in my 100 word essay?  Did I get the answers right?

Now, all of us prospective moms can do is monitor Facebook, monitor Twitter, especially the hashtag #wdwmoms.  How far do I think I’ll make it this year?  Well, all my life I’ve been an optimistic chap.  I believe the best in people, I believe in my abilities, and I believe that Jesus, my Lord and Savior, is there for me, and I wouldn’t have applied for the Walt Disney World Moms Panel if I didn’t think I would make it.  Does this mean that I will be selected for the Panel?  Of course it doesn’t.  But it does mean that I am confident that I have what it takes to make it.

The biggest thing to me, though, is that I stay true to who I am.  It is an honor to be selected for the Walt Disney World Moms Panel — in fact, it is an honor just to apply — and if I am selected, that will be the culmination of a dream.

So, to all of my fellow Moms Panel Applicants, let me ask you this question: what do you do to keep from thinking about the Moms Panel 24 hours a day?  Let me know in the comments or on Facebook, and thanks!  I’ll see you on Twitter! :)