Friday, November 30, 2007

Happiest Time of the Year?

This week did not start out too good. We were trying to decorate, go to appointments, and get ready for a party tonight (oh, and work too). By Wednesday I was so tired I could not hold my head up. As I read my post over and over from yesterday, I decided I was going to change some things in my house. I woke up Thursday, went to work and decided I was not going to worry about anything. Just have fun! We have had a great two days and it's amazing how things have come together. I can't even find my cable to puts some pictures of my house on my blog but it's OK. I will find it one day.

Christmas IS the happiest time of the year for me. I love it! I love my tree. It's not a fancy theme tree. Just ornaments from over the years and I love to remember when I got each one. We also added a tree downstairs this year with all of David's fireman and sports ornaments. I also love to put pictures up. I have one of each child on their first Christmas. Boy, that makes me cry!

I promise to do all I can to enjoy the season and not let the stress of everything looking perfect, having the perfect food, gifts, etc.. take away from the birth of our Savior! Happy Birthday Jesus!

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Holiday Reminder


If I decorate my house perfectly with plaid bows,
Strands of twinkling lights and shiny balls,
But do not show love to my family, I'm just another decorator.

If I slave away in the kitchen, baking dozens of Christmas cookies,
Preparing gourmet meals
And arranging a beautifully adorned table at mealtime,
But do not show love to my family, I'm just another cook.

If I work at the soup kitchen, carol in the nursing home
And give all that I have to charity,
But do not show love to my family, It profits me nothing.

If I trim the spruce with shimmering angels and crocheted snowflakes,
Attend a myriad of holiday parties and sing in the choir's cantata,
But do not focus on Christ, I have missed the point.

Love stops the cooking to hug the child.

Love sets aside the decorating to kiss the husband.

Love is kind, though harried and tired.

Love doesn't envy another's home that has coordinated
Christmas china and table linens.

Love doesn't yell at the kids to get out of the way,
But is thankful they are there to be in the way.

Love doesn't give only to those who are able to give in return,
But rejoices in giving to those who can't.

Love bears all things, believes all things,
Hopes all things, endures all things.

Love never fails.

Video games will break, pearl necklaces will be lost,
Golf clubs will rust ... But giving the gift of love will endure.
You can give without loving, but you cannot love without giving.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Over The River and Through the Woods...

To grandmothers house we go! We are heading out tomorrow to Kentucky for Thanksgiving. All my family is there and I am really looking forward to it. This is the third year we have done this and it is so much fun! Several years ago my brother bought a farm (this is a picture of the kids on the farm from last year) on the street where my mother grew up. We can ride 4 wheelers, fish, and the kids can play all they want. There are 9 cousins so we need a big place. The day after Thanksgiving my sister and I usually spend shopping. It's OK if we don't buy much it's just a day for us to be together and eat at Steak N Shake! It's our little tradition and we love it.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone! Thank you Lord for:

1. my salvation
2. my family!
3. my wonderful husband who leaves his family to be with mine
4. my 3 beautiful children
5. time with my sister
6. my aunt and uncle from South Carolina will be there this year
7. my brother for "hosting" us for the third year

Georgia 24, Kentucky 13

We had a great time at the Georgia game on Saturday. I am originally from Kentucky but I am a Geogia football fan! We started out early that morning going to the Dawg walk. This is where the Georgia players come through a line of people on their way to the field and I do mean A LINE! You could not even move! The boys got to go with us this time, we had great tickets, and great weather. We are leaving for Kentucky tomorrow for Thanksgiving so I get to rub it in!

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

My Heavenly Father

OK, so it has been an emotional 2 weeks for me (must be PMS-ha). This is going to be very difficult to write but I know that writing this will be part of the process. I'm not sure why the Lord is having me re-visit this part of my life but He is! My parents divorced when I was 10. After that I did not have much of a relationship with my Father. I have some good memories and I lived with him for a few years in junior high school. When I hit high school, college, and beyond that is when I really started thinking about it and how it affected my life. A couple of weeks ago I read a post by Heather that started all the emotions again. I was so struck by that post. After that I heard a beautiful song by Alison Krauss on the GMA awards about her father (Simple Love). Then, my friend's Dad had a heart attack while going home from work and is in ICU. He is such a good man. She told me a story about how he would get up at 4:00 in the morning to make her pancakes on days that she had a tennis match. How cool is that? All these things together got me asking the questions again:

How could a man leave a beautiful wife and 3 children?
How could he barely give my Mom enough to live on?
How can you go through life not being a part of your children's lives?
Even worse, how could you not take time for your grandchildren?

I am thankful for what I have been through. I know it made me the person I am today. I know my children will never go through what I did. All I can do now is be a part of his life the best way I know how. I think the Lord is taking me through this to make it FRESH to me that HE IS MY HEAVENLY FATHER and will always be here for me no matter what. One day, He will say to me: "Come here my daughter. Here is a hug from your Heavenly Father."

Mom, if you are reading this-thank you for raising three children alone and what a great job you did!

Also, thank you Jess for the reminder in your post: Letter From Your Heavenly Father!

Click here to read more Thankful Thursdays.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Happy Birthday Mandy!

Sunday, my niece Mandy turned 14. She is such a great kid who loves the Lord, her dog Millie, and history! I have never seen a 14 year old who loves to tour old homes and read more than she does. She is also very patient with Jenna and takes time to play dress up with her! It's exciting to see all these kids grow up into such fine young adults. We love you Mandy!

Staying Fresh

A few months ago David and I were talking about what was missing in our lives as a couple. After 10 years on staff at my church, raising three kids, and David's job schedule, the lack of fellowship with other couples has really become evident. I have been able to work out time for my "girlfriend time" but we really don't have any couples that we get together with more than once a year at Christmas! I know life gets in the way and we are all busy which is more reason to work at kepping things "fresh". We had only been members of our church for 9 months when I took this position and Jacob was only 1. It's very hard for me to go to Sunday School and service and David does not want to go to Sunday School by himself (I don't blame him). I LOVE what I do and I know God has called me to it but my spiritual life and friendships are just going to take some extra work. I have usually found a weeky bible study to be involved in but that just has not work out the last 2 years. We both had forgotten how important it is to fellowship TOGETHER. So, we decided to try Adult Sunday School again and I am so glad we did. We have a wonderful teacher and yesterday his lesson was on brotherly love. One of his points was that the hardest struggle of a Christian is staying fresh. One way we can stay fresh is by serving. That really hit me because that is just what we had fallen into. With relationships and with the Lord. I recently read a statement that said the longer you are a Christian the easier is it to get "bitten by the bug of familiarity". That is so true! Church becomes familiar, reading the bible becomes familiar, Christian music, seminars, serving, the list goes on and on. I am so excited to start on a new/fresh journey with the Lord and see where this takes me (and David). I want to serve not just in my position but by showing brotherly love in other ways. I want to stay fresh with Him every day of my life and the rest will fall into place! How can I teach my children what a blessing it is to love the Lord if we have gotten stale in our Christian walk?

Romans 12: 9 - 16
Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves. Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Share with God's people who are in need. Practice hospitality.
Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited.

Out With the Old, In With the New

Saturday we had a fall festival at Jared's school to say "farewell" to 100 years of history. We are moving into our new location after Christmas break. It was really
neat to read about the history. We have only been at the school for a few years and lived in Monroe for 9 years. We are very excited about the new school. It's less than a mile form our house!

Happy Belated Birthday Amber and Allan

Boy, how time flies. On October 23rd, my niece Amber (holding Jenna) turned 14. On October 28th my nephew Allan (tall dude in back row) turned 15. My niece Melanie (oldest girl on right) was 5 when she was in our wedding. She will be graduating from college this spring. What great kids they have all turned out to be. This picture was taken last Thanksgiving and I can't wait until next week to see everyone for some great family time at the farm in Kentucky!

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Operation Christmas Child

One of our favorite traditions at Christmas is Operation Christmas Child. You fill a shoe box with goodies and the box is sent to children who otherwise would not have a Christmas. Our church is not doing it this year so I was glad when I saw that Jacob's school is participating. We start collecting in August at back to school time with crayons, paper, glue sticks, etc.. Then we head to the dollar store to get the rest. I wrap the boxes, we fill it with goodies then we pray over it. Somehow, I hope this helps the kids know that there are so many children less fortunate than them.

What? For Me?

A couple of weeks ago I was at Publix with Jacob and Jenna. I was trying to get Jacob distracted in the books while I purchased Jingle Jam tickets as a surprise for Christmas. I did succeed and when we got back in the van Jacob handed me a Belk gift card for $25 dollars. That little booger had purchased it as a surprise for me! I didn't know you could buy gift cards at Publix! I can't wait to see his face on December 10th when he opens the box with a ticket in it and I tell him I was buying him a surprise too! I was shocked that he he would spend his money (that he has been saving for a bat) to buy ME a gift card. My heart just melted. Now when do I get to go to Belk?

Monday, November 5, 2007

Menu Plan Monday

Well, after my wonderful weekend it's time to get back to the real world. I'm actually looking forward to eating at home and getting back to weight watchers. I've been doing really bad lately!

Monday-Parmesean Chicken, salad, steamed broccoli

Tuesday-Fried chicken, cornbread casserole, green beans

Wednesday-leftovers or sandwich

Thursday-grilled salmon, sweet potato, salad, asparagus

Friday-eat out probably

Saturday-not sure yet, Daddy's working

Saturday, November 3, 2007

What A Weekend!

Boy, did we have a good weekend! We started out on Thursday night eating at he Dillard House then headed on to Cherokee. Spent the night there then met my friend Janene for breakfast. Janene was my roommate when I moved to Atlanta. We have know each other for at least 17 - 18 years. She had a baby (Andrew Todd) on Ocotber 26th. This was (at age 40) a surprise to their family. Of course, he is beautiful and such a blessing to their family. We went to see her new store she just opened in Dillsboro called, Madison's on Main (that's her daughter's name). The store is just adorable. For as long as I can remember she has wanted her own store.

After that we headed to a Clayton, Ga where we ate lunch at the Clayton Pharmacy. They have an old time soda fountain with counter. That was fun! After that we went to Tallulah Falls where we climed 600 steps down to a lookout to see Hurricane Falls. I can't tell you how beautiful that was. The day was amazing and the hike was fantastic! It was quite a hike back up but I made it.

Saturday we got up early and went to the Georgia game and tailgated with friends from our Sunday school class. That was my first game and it was so much fun! Another beautiful day and great time with my hubbie. It ended up being one of the best anniversary weekends ever!

Thursday, November 1, 2007

We're Off!!!!!!!

I was hoping to post some pictures of Halloween but we have just worked out going out of town a day early! We are leaving this afternoon for one night in Cherokee, coming home tomorrow, then going to the Georgia game on Saturday! Can't wait to spend this weekend with my hubbie. Thank you NaNa and PaPa!!!!

Thankful Thursday


It is so hard to believe that tomorrow David and I have been married for 16 years. I moved here from Kentucky and started visiting Rehoboth Baptist Chuch. We met and married within 13 months. We have been married longer than MY parents! I can remember when I fist met David and we started dating I would tell him that I felt like Cinderella. I still do. He is the love of my life, my best friend, and the best father I could have ever hoped for for my children! The longer we are married the more I realize what a miracle it is to stay in a happy marriage for so long.

Thank you honey for putting up with me for 16 years! All I can say is....