"Memory is the treasury and guardian of all things."
~~Marcus Tullius Cicero

Hi all,

Another year has gone by and, thus, here's my (and Andrew's) annual reflection on how things are going with our respective groups.  Enjoy!

Next time, we'll be commemorating John Dye on his birthday so if you have anything you'd like to share for that, please get in touch with me.  And, after that, comes the annual Valentine's story issue.  Then who knows!  (The human trafficking story is still planned but will be an Author's Cut story, not a newsletter.)  So until then...

God bless,

The State of the JABBers Address
by Jenni

This year hasn't seen a whole lot of changes for JABB and I, for one, am grateful for that!  It's been nice being able to focus on writing stories and these newsletters without major web site overhauls or behind-the-scenes technical issues.  Nonetheless, there are a few minor changes I'd like to highlight.  As the Encyclopedia grows more immense, I had to figure out a way to make it more navigable both for readers and for myself while updating.  Thus, frequently used entries will now have a key at the end to be used with the Find function on your browser.  For example, if I wanted to read Joshua's entry, I could Find *Joshua and automatically be brought to the end of Joshua's entry.  I chose the end since that's where I need to be for editing but, in most cases, scrolling to the top won't be too time-consuming for readers.  In cases when a character goes but multiple names, I ended their entries with, for example, *John *Yohannan so you should be able to find them regardless.  I just started this and am adding the asterisks as I go so it could be a while before I'm totally caught up. 

As far as the TBAA Photo Gallery and Episode Guide, I'm still picking away at those... getting ever closer to finishing Season 9.  I hit a road block when it turned out my new computer is a massive pain when it comes to screen caps.  I now have my old one set up again and, so, am getting to those as I can.  They remain very time consuming so it's slow going.  On a related note, I thought we'd seen the last of DVD release announcements but that's not so!  Not only is a complete series set of TBAA on its way in February but there's early word that Promised Land will soon be joining it.  So I might never finish that Photo Gallery!  ;-)

Meanwhile, the world of Dyeland/Asteriana and the Sibling Cities continues to grow!  At my count, sixteen stories have been written since the last time I did this with at least another four in progress.  Pretty amazing!  As with last year, I can't take credit for all of that as Kim authored five of those stories and Pia wrote four.  It's been a great deal of fun and insightful to be able to read Dyeland stories and not just write them!  This year saw the introduction of several characters and the return of others.  I have a feeling that by the time the Friends gather around for their next Christmas dinner, they'll need to pull even more chairs around their tables.  Good thing they have a few carpenters in their group!

Because there are simply too many characters and not enough time to capture everything noteworthy in their stories, Kim and I have been working on the Friends of Joshua Forum.  Unsurprisingly, it lags when we're actively writing stories but it's given us the opportunity to explore issues, events, and memories with our characters that don't fit neatly into existing stories.  Pretty soon I'll be archiving the 2015 page and starting fresh for 2016.  (The 2015 page will still be viewable.  I just won't be adding to it.)  To help keep all these people straight, I've begun a page of Family Trees.  I'll be adding to it as time allows but if you're a Dyeland reader and feel a particular tree or chart would be helpful, please speak up and I'll give that priority.

Beyond the long-planned human trafficking story, I'm not sure what I'll find myself writing this year.  When 2016 began, I hoped that it would be a year in which the news wouldn't be so sad-making that I'd feel compelled to write stories just to make myself feel better.  Already that's proved impossible and you'll see that in the Valentine's vignettes I'm working on. 

As far as my hopes for JABB 2016, I really would like to get the rest of those dratted Hallmark Channel logos off the Photo Gallery!  But, more seriously, I hope that JABB can continue to be a place where people can turn for inspiration, consolation, and a creative outlet.  I hope that we can continue to bring TBAA's message of "God loves you" to situations and subject material that the show never got around to or else only hinted at.  I also hope that our stories can help whomever comes our way to know that they're not alone.  Saint, sinner, angel, human... we're all part of God's beloved creation. 

God bless and love,

The State of the Dyelanders Address
by Andrew

Another year has passed and, once again, I find myself with the honor of remembering all of it with my friends!  The last time I did this, Sean and Kemara were still engaged and Ian and Joy were just twinkles in their eyes.  So big congratulations to the McCallums!  Happily, Ian and Joy weren't our only additions.  In May, Eilish returned to her place of birth and, soon after, Samuel came to stay in Dyeland/Asteriana.  While June brought a lot of sorrow and worry, it's also when we forged our ongoing friendship with Reuel, Eleora, Cody, and the people of El-Chanan.  I know I speak for my whole family when I say we remain incredibly grateful to you all for your support and love while JenniAnn and I were recovering.  There were things we all experienced in June that I wouldn't wish upon anyone but I know they made us stronger and closer both to each other and to the God we love... the God who loves us unconditionally.

While summer began with trouble, it ended up being filled with incredible blessings.  For starters, Clay and Kylie officially became Mr. and Mrs. Stanford!  Then we were off for our fun-filled vacation down South!  From the low-key movie nights at our cabin to the heights of Chimney Rock, it was a time that I know we'll always cherish.  By the end of that month, JenniAnn and I were happily on our way to legally adopting Max.  I remain incredibly proud of my son and can't wait to marry him off later this year.  0;-)  He and Rose and Emma and Peter both made their wedding dates official and I know we're all counting down the days until those momentous celebrations in June.

In August, we joyfully welcomed Behnam, Isra, Aiyla, and Omar into our fold.  It's so hard for me to believe that it's only been a few months.  I feel like you've been with us for so much longer, Al-Mitras.  In a way, I guess you have been with us for years... in Max's and my recovery, in Adam's gratitude for your help, Behnam.  I'm overjoyed that we get to celebrate your new life with you... and the new life to come!  By the time I do this again, we'll all know Baby Al-Mitra!  Thanks to you (and, of course, Joshua), Stanley's also joined us and quickly made himself an important member of the Friends of Joshua.  Last month also brought the lovely Zadie into our fold and I know we've loved having you around, Zadie.  Especially one of us.  Starts with E, ends with D...

Through this all, we've performed in and worked on successful shows at St. Genesius', made important career and educational advancements, and done our best to help those around us.  I'm incredibly proud of each and every one of you and, more importantly, so is Joshua.  I know because he just said it about... oh... 8 minutes ago when I ran into him in the hall and he reminded me that I needed to write this.  He and the Father are so pleased with the dedication each and every one of you are showing as we join Nick and the team here to combat the scourge that is human trafficking.  I know that, together, we'll shower love, hope, and compassion on every man, woman, and child who comes through these doors.  This is going to be a very, very tough assignment but there's no other group of people who I would ever choose to embark on it with.  Only you, all of you.

I love you all. 

Thank you for being my friend, for being friends to each other, and I thank God for bringing us together and keeping us together.


This newsletter is dedicated to John Dye and all the artists who inspire and teach us with their work.  If you're like me, you've spent some time this week reflecting on the legacies of David Bowie, Alan Rickman, and other artists in your life and the lives of those close to you.  May we always be gifted with the grace to recognize the creativity of others and let it inspire our own creative powers.

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(Photo Credits: The photographs used on this page are from Touched by an Angel and owned by CBS Productions, Caroline Productions, and Moon Water Productions. They are not being used to seek profit.)