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The next sweet moment we enjoyed was when Josh graduated high school on 22 May. Take a look at his graduation photo to see what a handsome young man he has become. You can also see him on the stage to receive his diploma and view a wide shot of his graduating class, 372 classmates strong. Finally, there's a good shot of him with his big sister, Amy, holding Makenzie. That's all the pictures I have for now (is that a sigh of relief I hear?), but maybe I'll have some more to share later.
After graduation, Josh spent the rest of the spring and summer with both sets of his grandparents (bouncing back and forth between them, since they live only about three miles apart). I think that was a very good medicine for him. Because of his learning disabilities, he decided to put off starting any post-secondary education until he can either pass the math portion of the Georgia High School Graduation Exam, of which he has come SO CLOSE to passing (failing it by only TWO POINTS at the closest!), or until we can figure out another option for him. Failing that test yet again was definitely one of the bitter moments. Please pray for God's wisdom and guidance for us in this matter.
Another bitter moment this year came when I was passed over for promotion to the rank of Major. I must admit, it dealt quite a painful blow to me. I get a second, and final, chance at it again in 2005, and if I'm passed over that time, I will have to leave the Army. I may have a chance to return to the Army Reserve or Army National Guard and get promoted there, but that remains to be seen. Just pray for God's will to be done, no matter what.
After two disappointments like those, I was due for a sweet moment, and it came when I published my first book, entitled Digital Evangelism: You Can Do It, Too! Now, since I self-published it, all the publicity and marketing falls entirely to me. I'm slowly getting it done though. I'm really excited about the book-signing event I'll participate in on Saturday, 15 January 2005, at the local Barnes and Noble Bookstore here in Columbus, GA. Maybe that will help to sell a few more copies. In the meantime, if you haven't heard about it or seen it yet, please check it out at https://books.parsonplace.com. You can buy a copy using PayPal's secure online payment system and have it shipped to you by U. S. Priority Mail within 2-4 days. At only $9.95 +S/H, it's a very good deal! Okay enough sales pitch for now.
I must say that Thanksgiving this year was again one of the best. It's always wonderful to be with extended family I rarely see any other time of the year.
Christmas was wonderful, too. I took leave again, and we went home to visit with our families in Dothan, AL, though we missed seeing many of the folks we usually get to see. Since we got to see most of them at Thanksgiving, however, it wasn't such a bad thing. We all enjoyed exchanging gifts nevertheless. I have it pretty easy in this area: I shop for Ellen, and she does all the shopping for everyone else. That's a pretty nice arrangement for me, I think.
Ellen continues to keep the home fires burning, still living the good life as a full-time homemaker. At least, now, she has Josh to keep her company, too. Aside from having high blood pressure, complicated by some other health problems, she is doing okay.
Well, that wraps up another year in the life of the White Family. I hope your year has been as happy as ours, and I wish you all a very Blessed New Year in 2005. Until next year, as Dickins' Tiny Tim would say, "God bless us everyone!!"