Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Mr. and Mrs. Jay Yates

Saturday, December 27th my sister-in-law married Jay Yates. This is an incredible story of God's love for two people that have been through a lot! David and I have know Jay for about 18 years. We were in the singles together at Rehoboth Baptist Church. Over the years we lost touch and several years ago his children started going to Loganville Christian Academy (where Debbie teaches). Unfortunatley, after a battle with cancer, his wife passed away. My sister-in-law Debbie also went through a difficult divorce about that time. Last year Debbie was Jay's daughter, Jessica's teacher. The rest is history. We are so happy to have him, Johnny, and Jessica in our family and are looking forward to the years to come.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Christmas 2008

Nana and PaPa with the kids.

Jenna and Angel.

all the kids with Jessica and Johnny. The "new" cousins.

Christmas Eve at Oasis.

Christmas seems like a blur for me. With a new puppy and a wedding on the 27th it was a little crazy. Our internet went down on Christmas Day but I would not have had time to post anyway! We always enjoy Christmas Eve services and this year we went with Debbie to Oasis. For just a moment before the services I stepped away to just try and focus. After hardly any sleep the night before I just needed a few minutes. I ended up in the nursery and God really spoke to me there. Everything was clean, sanitized, beds waiting, boucy seats, etc.. Jesus did not have any of that. Just a manger that was far from sanitized. Why do we celebrate Christmas the way we do was my thought? I have thought about this year after year. Jesus had nothing but we feel it's not a good Christmas if we don't give the perfect gift! After the service began and about 600 people sang the most powerful song, "O Holy Night" (my favorite), the pastor spoke on Christmas from the eye of the inn keeper. Just what the Lord had spoken to me about in the nursery. He opened his barn to the saviour and didn't even know it. Are we opening our lives to the saviour and recognizing what He has done for us? It was very powerful and I came away from there with lots of ideas for next year. I hope I will follow through with them! Santa came Christmas Eve with our new puppie, Angel. Everyone was totally shocked! Christmas day was fun opening presents, playing with the puppies, and celebrating with our new members of the family-Jay, Jessica, and Johnny. The kids all got what they wanted: Jacob, a new air soft gun; Jared, a Razor Power Wing scooter; and Jenna, a Nintendo DS (from NaNa and PaPa). When I step back and think about this Christmas I realize how very blessed we are. God has been so good this year.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Our Little Angel

Tuesday night Jenna's school had their Christmas performance. The title of the performance was Let's Dress Up For Christmas. She had the part of an angel. It was such a good performance and her part was precious. Her lines were:
"Wake up, I've got good news." and
"Glory in the highest cause peace has come to all."

It's amazing how God can speak through little children. Our pastor shared a message on reconciliation that was very powerful. He shared how Christmas can be a tough time of year for so many people especially when families get together. Sad, but true. We must remember that a baby was born long ago to bring peace and reconciliation to the world. It's also the perfect time to remember:


Friday was Jenna's Christmas party and, as usual, there was a lot of food and fun. Her class is so precious.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Dear God....

On the way home tonight from Jenna's Christmas performance just out of the blue she asked if she could pray. I had to write this quickly so I would not forget. I said of course and this is what she said:

J-"you don't have to close your eyes Mom (I was driving) but Jared does."
M-Ok Jenna
J-"Dear God. Thanks a lot. Thanks for sending your son Jesus so that we can all be together."

Jared-"What do you think would have happened if Jesus had not come." A big discussion followed that one.

We have had 2 days of 3 kids bickering and fighting and I was at the end of my rope! We had a TERRIBLE evening leading up to the performance. Daddy at the fire station, trying to get everyone fed, kids fighting at the table. What had we done to raise such children? Shouldn't we be celebrating the true meaning of Christmas here people!? I don't want a 13 year old anymore-I want my sweet child back! You know how we do as parents. Guilt, guilt, guilt. What a gift God gave me on the way home. What a gift He gave me through a child's Christmas performance. A great message by Pastor Jimmy on reconciliation (more on that later). "A little child shall lead them..."

Pictures coming soon....

Monday, December 15, 2008

Meet Palin

Several weeks ago it was a sad day for my niece Mandy. Her dauchand Millie of only 5 years had to be put to sleep. Millie had a heart condition. Since we all live together in the same neighborhood we all spend a lot of time with Mille and loved her dearly. We have all grieved over losing her. So, we were in a delima. Do we get a dog now since Mandy just lost Millie? Would that be fair? This list went on and only. Finally, Mandy decided she wanted another dog so we all went together and picked one our the Monday before Thanksgivng. Mandy picked hers up Sunday and we will wait until the 23rd since ours is a Christmas surprise! I just can't wait! I think it is so sweet how Palin keeps kissing Mandy and telling her that everything is OK!

Oh, and I'll give you one guess as to who she's named after. Creative idea!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

The Joy of Wrapping Presents

For those of you who have known me for a while you know I love to give gifts. I love to shop for, wrap, and give gifts. A couple of weeks ago I checked with our ministry village about adopting a foster child. They had all been taken which was a good thing. She said they had some other families that had turned in a request and I looked at them. One family had a 13 year old boy named Jacob who liked the same things as our Jacob. I had to pick him! Right before I was about to leave she said: "oh, and I tell people who adopt these kids to NOT wrap the presents. Please provide paper and tape so the mother can have the joy of wrapping the present." Well, I just cried, she cried, we all cried thinking about how we take for granted the little things in life! Wrapping presents can be a joy or a burden! Especially when things are busy and you're trying to get done! Let's look at it as a JOY! I'm thankful for the money to buy the gift and most thankful for the person I'm giving it to.

Friday, December 12, 2008


Jenna's Kindergarten class went on a field trip today to the Gwinnett Ballet Theatre Nutcracker at the Gwinnett Center. It was an abbreviated version for the kids and it was great. It lasted one hour which was perfect. We will go to this again. Last year we went to see it at the Fox which was nice but this one is better for little ones! After the show we had lunch at Frontera restaurant. It's such a blessing to be a part of such a wonderful group of kids.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Christmas Fun

The "other" star of Bethlehem-the camel.

My three specail gifts at Bethlehem.

I look forward to decorating all year.

Me and Cheryl at the tour of homes.

We have had a lot going on already this year for Christmas. A couple of weeks ago my friend (of 18 years) Cheryl and I went to a tour of homes in Stone Mountain. Last week we went to the Ladies Christmas Tea at First Baptist Snellville. The music was by Beloved and they were really good and funny! Saturday night the family went to our annual production of the Journey to Bethlehem. Every year I pray that the Lord will give me something different to take with me and to change me. This year I was stuck by how hard Anna prayed for our Saviour to come. Do I pray that much? I don't think so. The real star of the show was the camel. It was very cute to watch. He liked to kiss you if you sat down by him! We had over 1,000 people go through it. It's truely a professional production. It's amazing for me to see how it all comes togehter. Since I am at the chruch almost every day I saw how for we had to go and only the Lord could have brought it all together.

I'm looking forward to the next 2 weeks and especially to Christmas morning!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

So Much To Be Thankful For

Me and Cammie.

All 9 cousins.

Wow, it seems like I have so much to blog about and not enough time! We had such a great week in Kentucky. Spent time with my sister and her kids, went to the Fantasy of Lights at the Kentucky Horse Park, spent Thanksgiving day at the farm with my brother, sister, Aunt Jonnie and Uncle Don (from South Carolina), Mom, and all 9 cousins. My sister-in-laws parents joined us this year too. It was such a beautiful day! Spent the day after Thanksgivng with my high school friend Cammie. We connected after 20 years on Facebook. It was so great to see her again and her family. It seemed like we picked up right where we left off! Friday evening we saw our friends John and Lisa who are in missions with Campus Crusade. Lisa was in our wedding. They were home for Thanksgiving also. It's a long trip but once we get there it's great to be home. Nothing like sitting on my Mom's couch and, having a cup of coffee, and talking. There really place like home.

I have really been overwhelmed with all there is to be thankful for:

Thank you David for being the best husband any woman could ask for. Thank you for supporting me in our trips to Kentucky, watching the kids, running around, etc.. I love you!

Thank you to my brother Dale for hosting Thanksgiving each year at the farm. Thanks to Karen and Aunt Jonnie for the great food!

I'm so thankful for my great kids. Going home can actually drag up some old feelings that I would rather forget but it helps me see where the Lord has brought me and it blows me away.

Thank you for my Mom who has been through so much through the years and has such a good outlook on life. She did a great job raising us and I don't tell her that enough-thanks Mom!

Thank you for my in-laws, that's right, my in-laws. I don't know where we would be without them. So many people can't believe I love living beside my mother-in-law. She is an awesome person and has taught me so much.

Thank you Jesus for saving me and giving me this wonderful life. I seem to always get too bogged down with all there is to do from day to day and I want to do better at being more thankful for the everyday things in life.