I am honestly not sure how long it’s been since I’ve written a blog post.  Very likely 2+ years!! For my faithful former readers, you know that our family went through a lot prior to moving to Georgia. We needed a fresh start in a new place and time away…including time away from Facebook and blogging. I rejoin Facebook and the blogging world very apprehensively with mixed feelings…almost a kicking and screaming feeling. I don’t want to be “connected” again, but at the same time I miss my far-away friends and family and know that this is a great way to keep in touch. 
   So, what have the McBratneys been up to the last few years? LIVING! We have not been without difficulties, believe me, but we are feeling very blessed. We LOVE coastal Georgia. We love going to the beach, hiking, bike-riding, fishing, etc.
   Tom is working for a wildlife and animal control company.  He does very well there; each day is different and he works very independently, which he likes.  He can set his own schedule, but he is so busy that he often works long hours, sometimes (most times) 6-7 days a week, and sometimes out of town (NC, SC, GA, and FL). He traps wild animals and always has interesting (and scary!) pictures and stories to share.
   I have been busier than I would like the past few years. I am still chipping away at general college courses. I have recently been re-considering my pre-vet major and am praying about transferring to another college and majoring in Messianic Jewish Studies…which I will save for another post. I am homeschooling Michael and Daniel, and will soon be adding my little Joy to the homeschooling gang since she just turned 5 in January.
   Michael is 14 and in 9th grade. His favorite activities are climbing trees, riding bike, trying to shoot squirrels with his slingshot, and other “boy” stuff. He has been applying for jobs and can’t wait to start working and saving for a car. He also loves attending synagogue services and being involved in the youth group at synagogue. In less than two weeks the boys will be going on a weekend youth retreat, which they are really looking forward to!
   Daniel is 13 and in 7th grade. He enjoys many of the same activities as Michael, minus the dangerous things like tree climbing. He is really into learning tricks on his skateboard and is learning to play the guitar. We had a little family-band debut at our congregation’s Chanukah party, and who knows? Maybe some gigs are in our future! LOL! He also enjoys involvement with the youth at synagogue and is looking forward to the retreat as well.
   Little Miss Joy is 5 and probably enjoys bossing her big brothers around more than anything! However, she makes it a point to tell EVERYBODY that they boss her and call her a baby. She loves to play outside, particularly in the mud. Making messes is her specialty, but she also enjoys being a princess and occasionally being girly. She is learning to ride a bike (with training wheels), but mostly likes to ride her scooter around the neighborhood with the boys and neighbor kids. She loves attending synagogue and going to her Shabbat School where she learns about the Bible, Bible verses, Jewish holidays, and Hebrew language.  
  That’s the very, very shortened version of what we are all up to these days.  More to come!