We Girl Talkers don’t know what to say.
It’s been some time since we’ve received an award—and never one as prestigious as the “Warnie Award.” Sure, there was Mom’s triumph in the fifth grade spelling bee. Janelle did us all proud when she was named Grand Champion of the junior photography competition at the Montgomery County Agricultural Fair. Kristin received the highest grade in Bible class out of twenty fellow sophomores, but she didn’t even show up for the award ceremony. And I blush to mention my only distinction—the first winner of the “Golden Mop Award.” I got twenty dollars in the sixth grade for cleaning more surfaces in my elementary school than any other student, but only when I was sure the teachers were watching. Remember when Anne Shirley won the “Rollings Reliable Baking Powder Company” contest? Then you know how I feel about my “Golden Mop Award.”
So as you can see, Dad and Mom have never had a cluttered mantle. You could put all our combined awards in a box and they would not equal half the value of a “Warnie Award.” So this is a big day for us. Really big.
What? You don’t know what a “Warnie Award” is? Let me explain.
Across the great Atlantic Ocean in the United Kingdom, but only next door on the blogosphere is a respected evangelical blogger named Adrian Warnock (Check him out at www.adrian.warnock.info). Sometime ago, he inaugurated the “Warnie Awards” (Get it—Warnock/Warnie?) to recognize fellow bloggers whose sites he deemed worthy enough to share with his readers. And yesterday, for reasons we still don’t understand, and in spite of our graphically challenged site (new design coming soon, by the way) we were presented with a “Warnie Award.” We might even print and frame it so we can fill out the family mantle. You can view it by clicking here.
We’re not very good at giving acceptance speeches here at the Girl Talk blog. As you are now aware, we don’t have much experience with this. But in all seriousness, Mr. Warnock, we want to sincerely thank you for the “Warnie Award.” We have such respect for you and your ministry, and many of the distinguished company of “Warnie Award” recipients. We only hope to emulate you in serving and edifying the body of Christ. And we are truly indebted to you for this award. Thank you so very much.
Carolyn, Nicole, Kristin, and Janelle (aka The Girl Talkers)
As many of you already know, the annual Mahaney women’s shopping trip is a fixture on the calendar. For the past seventeen years we’ve stolen a weekend in October to do our Christmas shopping together. We travel to a nearby city with a large shopping district, stay in a hotel, and shop, then drop, then shop some more.
It’s great to enter the Christmas season unhurried and free from the pressure to purchase all the gifts and decorate the house and make all the food. Not to mention the extra time it leaves to find just the right gift at just the right price. And while it might take family members and friends a little while to get used to thinking up a Christmas list in October, they’ll catch on.
Consider making this your mother-daughter tradition, or grab a couple of friends and split the cost of a room. For a sneak peek into our annual trip from the introduction to Girl Talk, click here.
For every birthday when we were little, Dad and Mom would put up a banner over the garage. It would read “Happy Birthday Janelle” or “Hurrah It’s Kristin’s Birthday.” So every car that drove by and every neighbor that came outside knew there was a birthday celebration at the Mahaney home. It was one of the many ways our parents sought to honor and bless us on our special day.
Today we want to post our own banner.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO THE BEST HUSBAND AND FATHER IN THE WORLD!
We love you, C.J./Dad.
Carolyn, Nicole, Kristin, Janelle, and Chad
This week we thought we’d poke a little fun at ourselves.
Each year on vacation we try to take a picture to chronicle the growth of our family. With three boys two and under, this is no small feat. It took three separate photo shoots (with multiple pictures per shoot) before we finally came up with a picture worth a spot on Grandma’s mantle.
Given the challenge of getting five boys, our husbands, and ourselves cleaned up and looking presentable three different times, and the additional difficulty of getting all the boys happy at the same time, we weren’t exactly laughing during this process. Although we did manage to smile for the camera.
Here’s a picture from each shoot to give you an idea of the journey to Grandma’s mantle. The final picture is the winner!
May God give you much grace, peace, and laughter this weekend!
Carolyn, Nicole, Kristin, and Janelle
Thanks so much to everyone who has emailed us with an encouraging word, a funny story, a suggestion, or a question. We are sorry we aren’t able to answer every email, and that the ones we do answer aren’t very prompt. However, we continue to read and consider and enjoy each one.
Although we can’t answer every question, we would like to take a crack at one question per week. If you have a question you would like us to consider, please email us by clicking on the link in the left hand side-bar. So, to inaugurate our weekly Q&A we thought we’d start off with an easy one which comes to us from Leah Hudgins in Birmingham, AL.
Q - “I was just wondering, who is the oldest, middle, and youngest daughter?”
A - “Nicole is the oldest at 29 (just barely hanging on in her 20’s), Kristin just turned 28, and Janelle is a youthful 24.”
Thanks for your question, Leah.
Check back next week when we may even try to answer a more challenging question!
Have a fun day,
Nicole (for Carolyn, Kristin, and Janelle)
Hey, hey everyone. Mom and Nicole have been showering you with profound truths and encouragement and now it’s supposed to be my turn. Mom has been telling me for a while to think of things that I can post. So I sit and try to brainstorm, but all of my ideas seem to come back to food. I think of recipes that I would love to put up, restaurants that I want to tell you about, my extra cheese personal pan pizza that I had for lunch yesterday, how chocolate chip pancakes are best when a tad undercooked, the candy drawer that lives in my bedroom, and the best way to eat chocolate cake. I know, I know, talking about food doesn’t come close to “Summer Solstice.” (Can I just ask—who had even heard of the word “Solstice” before Nicole’s last post?) Anyways, I’m gonna keep working at this. I’m gonna look for new words in the dictionary to enlighten you, and check my journal for any recent quotes to inspire you. But until then, let me leave you with this word of advice: chocolate milk is much better when you use the powder instead of the syrup.
P.S. Nicole, please try to use words that all of us can understand. “Autumn Equinox” (after we had recently added “Summer Soltice” to our vocab) may have been a little much.
P.P.S. Has anyone seen Kristin?
Had there been such a thing as weblogs in 1973, the year Mom graduated from Southeast High School, she would not have been voted “most likely to become a blogger.” Maybe it’s her Mennonite ancestry. Wonderful people, to be sure. But historically not the first group that comes to mind when you think of cutting edge technology.
Don’t get me wrong. I think my Mom is hip. You’d never guess she’s a recently-turned-fifty grandmother. But she’s not your stereotypical blogger either. I mean, if you had to pick the guilty blogger out of a police lineup, Mom is the first one you’d rule out.
This is Mom. When she got her first computer, she kept all her information in one document. Seriously. ONE file. I’m not kidding. This massive document included health records, message outlines, weekly menus, Christmas lists, journal entries—you name it. It was the prize pumpkin of all WORD documents.
To come from these humble Mennonite beginnings in rural Virginia farmland, to the virtual cusp of the information age is a momentous journey. One to be celebrated. Marveled at, really.
All this to say: if our blog doesn’t have the snappiest layout, or the wittiest posts, or the coolest pictures you’ll be patient, won’t you? This is a big step for Mom.
Plus, if you know Mom, you know she’s happiest outside of the spotlight. The idea of posting her thoughts on the WORLD WIDE web didn’t originate with her. Rather, she was prevailed upon. And she only agreed because she has a heart to serve and encourage women—even when it means leaping out of her comfort zone. Her one request was that we take the leap with her.
So think of this blog as a seat at Mom’s kitchen table.
This is where the Bible is read, issues of life discussed, questions asked, opinions shared, hearts opened up, sins confessed, and grace recognized. Here encouragement is always on tap and laughter overflows. It’s where the gospel is prized. It’s every day Titus 2.
So on behalf of Mom, Kristin, and Janelle, I want to invite you to pull up a chair and join our little chat. We’d love to have you, no matter your age or season of life. It’s our hope that you’ll have tons of fun on this new adventure with us!