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Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Pizza Bowl and Some Local Flavor

It has been a while since I have had a chance to post, but we’ve been having some serious fun around here!

We just got back from a trip to Alabama where we saw N.C. State play in the Papa John’s Bowl. (no, we didn’t win, but it’s ok… we had fun anyway!) A few things made it really fun:

1) We went by ourselves! WOO HOO! It had been a while since my hubby and I had done something like this all by ourselves so we really enjoyed talking… or not!  Reading in the car, listening to music or just riding was really nice.  

2) We got to stay with family while we were there! Here we are at Steve’s aunt’s house getting ready for the game. She would not let us leave without fixing us a bacon and egg breakfast! She is so sweet and really made us feel at home.

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3) We got to go to some of the local hot spots! YUMMM!  We went to a place called Dreamland BBQ and just look at those ribs and that SWEET tea!

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Here’s my sweet hubby trying to text on his new phone, but check out the “wall paper” behind him… license plates were EVERYWHERE! The food was really good and there was a lot of excitement in the air with the game just hours away. We had this waitress that called everyone “honey” or “sweetie”. She made us a little nervous with all of those men in there!

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4) We had pretty good seats… right behind the BAND! This is a picture from my seat. The tuba players were RIGHT there… like I could have thrown something and hit them with it… and it was SO loud! But, it made it fun… so fun that my husband doesn’t have much of a voice from yelling so much! 

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Because we were near the band one of the mascots hung out near the stands there.. Here’s Ms. Wolf… 007

5)After the game we got to see more family! Check out these cuties! That’s Miah, McKenzie, and Ryan pretending to like each other for a second! They are siblings and the children of my husband’s cousin. Miah (who is 3) said that she likes school and she’s “learning paint.” Oh, she was a hoot! 010

6) On our way home we got to go to the Varsity in Atlanta! Would you look at this parking lot?? The line is actually blocking people who are trying to pull out from that shelter on the left. It was so busy we could hardly walk! But that chili/slaw dog and frosted orange were worth the wait!!  Delish!

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We had a great time together and a super time seeing family!

I can’t wait to catch up on everyone’s blog and see how all of you spent Christmas! Happy New Year!! 2009 is on the way!!

Oh, sorry about my font there… it went from bold to NOT bold somehow…

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

“… and she wrapped Him in swaddling cloths…”

I have been so busy this Christmas that I feel like I have hardly stopped to enjoy what it’s really about. I would not say that I have been caught up in the material part of it, but rather the events of it all. My mother-in-law’s surgery, a wedding, a Christmas program at church,my husband’s work party,  my daughter’s school, working a lot more hours than usual, a Special Needs class party, our Sunday school Christmas party and several birthdays all thrown in to make an exceptionally busy time. 

Most Christmas’ aren’t like this for me. I actually try really hard to slow down and appreciate the people I am with and the holiday as a whole. But this year… I have just felt like I have moved from one fire to another and, honestly, it has been overwhelming.

This morning it got to me. I sat down to have my time with the Lord and I just broke down crying. “LORD! This isn’t how you intended it to be!”

I opened His Word and read in John 13:1-6. This is what verses 2-5 say:

“The evening meal was being served, and the devil had already prompted Judas Iscariot, son of Simon, to betray Jesus. Jesus knew that the Father had put all things under his power, and that He had come from God and was returning to God; so He got up from the meal, took off His outer clothing and wrapped a towel around His waist. After that, He poured water into a basin and began to wash His disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel that was wrapped around Him.”

I don’t know why, but seeing Him wrap that outer garment around Himself and begin to serve His disciples by washing their feet reminded me of His mother, Mary, wrapping Him in swaddling cloths and laying Him in the manger… where He began to serve this world with His life. He had a job to do and a purpose behind it. He always kept the main thing the main thing.

In the midst of the devil trying to get Him off track and Judas betraying Him… Jesus continued to serve, care and press on toward His ultimate goal of being the sacrifice for our sins.

Somehow I have gotten off track this holiday season. I don’t know if you are like me and have felt overwhelmed, but just know that our Lord is still here with us keeping the main thing the main thing. We have to be willing to sit before Him and hear what He has as the priority and allow Him to help us refocus. Sometimes it takes me getting to the point of being overwhelmed before I realize exactly what has happened, and then I need a little discipline from my Daddy!

Oh Lord, forgive me for being so caught up in the busy time of Christmas that I have forgotten to worship you daily. Yes, church has been amazing and I have loved that time, but I have not taken it into my everyday. I have lost my joy on several occasions simply because I “have to get it DONE!” Help me to refocus on You, why You came and those that I love so dearly. Thank you for loving me… in spite of myself!!

Happy Birthday Jesus!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Christmas Cards and Pictures too!

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My friend Faith is doing a Christmas card exchange and I REALLY want to participate! Thing is… I did my card in Shutterfly and it’s not letting me “share”!! Hello! It’s Christmas! We are suppose to share!! If anyone can tutor me on getting my card on here I will gladly share!

 EDITED TO SAY: Yay for Faith! She scanned it for me! SOOO here we are!! LOVE HER! Thanks girl! :)g-christmas card

SOOO I guess I will share our most recent photos that we had done this past weekend! I LOVE them! Faith, and other friends, had their photos done by Heather and so we decided that it looked like fun and we wanted to give her a try! Man, are we glad we did??!! 

 

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I love the ones with the initials! It’s like we have our monogram on the pics! WHO doesn’t love a monogram??

I am looking forward to sharing more with you soon. We need to make a decision about which ones we want to order and I love so many of them! We had such a great time that I really didn’t want it to end. The best pictures came at the end of our time together when Caroline was not trying to put on a show for her. Once we got comfortable it was time to leave!! I am still excited about how they turned out, and we had a great time just being together as a family.

What do you think??

Friday, December 12, 2008

Deck the Halls!

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Merry Christmas!!

I hope everyone is just as crazy as I am, but enjoying it all the same! We have Bible verses about Christmas to learn, gifts to wrap (notice the large empty area under that tree? Well, there are gifts bought to go there, but are they wrapped? Uh. no.) and more gifts to buy. We have a Christmas program to be a part of at church and a Christmas party for our Sunday school class to attend. IT IS NUTSO!! But it’s Christmas and it’s still fun!

Speaking of those Bible verses, tonight while Caroline was in the tub she said: (in a VERY loud voice!)

“And there were in the same country shepherds keeping watch over their fwocks by night. And lo! The angel of the Lord said unto them Fear not! for behold I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. For God so loved the world that He gave his only forgotten Son that whoever beweve in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. John 3:16” 015

I am sure the Bible says SOMETHING like that… in several places.

Anyway, we had my husband’s work party at my mother-in-law’s house and it went very well. She is doing GREAT and just amazes us everyday, BUT there were 25 people in her house 2 weeks after fairly major surgery!! The party was scheduled before the surgery and it was being catered so she thought we could swing it. It was a lot of work, but I think everyone enjoyed themselves… as much as engineers enjoy themselves when they are together that is! Hee hee.

This time of year can be very overwhelming, and yet the reason that we do so many of the things that we do is because we love our family and friends, we enjoy celebrating our Savior’s birth and we enjoy the traditions that we share with mankind. It makes us a part of something bigger than ourselves. It makes us want to give and brings us closer to those that we love. And every year I learn something new. I learn more about why we celebrate and it makes this time of year so special!

I hope you have a very Merry Christmas! Our Savior, family and friends are worth every effort that we put into this season. There may be fifty-leven things to do, but it’s ok! They will get done. Just remember…People are more important that things, and Jesus is most important! Celebrate Him and the ones you love!!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Happy Anniversary!!

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Today our sweet friends Chad and Faith are celebrating their 8th wedding anniversary! I remember just joining our young couple’s Sunday school class and we did no know a soul!  Everyone kept asking if we were going to this wedding, but we had no idea who was getting married! Later we learned that Chad and Faith were the sweet couple that tied the knot and that the December wedding was just gorgeous!!

We did not know Chad and Faith then, but as time progressed we got to know them, became good friends with them and eventually joined up with them to teach that same class! Many couples have come and gone but over the past several years it has been so much fun to serve along side them. Our friendship has grown and we are so blessed to have them in our lives.

We have been on beach trips, mountain trips, local missions trips and just out for countless after church lunches! We have celebrated 4th of July, birthdays and Christmas’ together. They have kept Caroline for us and loved her like she is their own. Friends like that don’t come along every day we we know a blessing when we see it!

Chad and Faith, we love you guys so much! CONGRATULATIONS! We are thankful for you and for your testimony of faithfulness through good, and some trying, times! Your love for Jesus shines through. We are praying for you as you long to grow your family and we can not wait to see what God has in store as He answers our prayers! Thanks for loving us and our Caroline. You are very special to us and we thank the Lord for you! We wish you many more years of celebrations!!

Monday, December 8, 2008

First Time Flower Girl

It has been a while since I have had time to get my thoughts together well enough to write a post! We have been super busy with my mother-in-law’s hospital stay on top of the Christmas rush! On top of all of it my friend Amy got married, and our Caroline was in the wedding!!

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I thought she looked very sweet with her little brown dress and beige/gold sweater. She had never been in a wedding so this was all exciting and new. She asked TONS of questions all the way there (it was about 45 minutes from our house so we had plenty of talking time!) but she was ready to go!

On the way home from the rehearsal her daddy started explaining that he had not felt well the entire night and he was afraid he was getting sick! Sure enough, during the night he woke up with a fever. Needless to say, he didn’t get to experience her first big day as a flower girl.

So the next day  off we went, leaving daddy at home in bed, with curls in our hair and a pretty dress to wear.

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And here’s her pretty dress… she felt like a real princess!

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With the bride before the wedding… they had the same color dresses and the same slippers.

Amy has always been very special to Caroline! She is the Children’s Minister at our church and has always taken such good care of our girl! She was actually babysitting Caroline on her first date with her new husband, Joel. They decided to meet at the mall and Amy had taken Caroline there to Build-A-Bear that same day. My husband was on his way to get her when Joel arrived so she was one of the first kids from Amy’s ministry that Joel met.

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A practice run…006

And then lining up for the big “show”! Everyone wore black but the bride and Caroline.  She was so sweet at the end of that line of ladies… waiting her turn to walk down the aisle.

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And here she is! Taking it all in as Miss Amy became Mrs. Amy Alley!

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At the end of the ceremony, after the kiss, Caroline said, “Miss Amy! Did you kiss?” REALLY loud. I wanted to crawl under the pew!! Lots of people laughed and later told me that it just made it sweeter so I guess I will take their word for it!

I was very proud of our girl that day, and I am so happy for Amy and Joel! We wish them all the best and are praying the Lord’s richest blessings on them as they begin their life together!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Saying Thanks

I got an e-mail from a friend today with a neat concept from Xerox. You can click on this link and you pick a card, choose a message or write one of your own, and then Xerox will print it and send it to soldiers serving overseas! HOW COOL IS THAT? I think that while we are here enjoying our freedoms we can most certainly say thanks to the ones that are defending us! There's a widget at the bottom of my blog but the picture is HUGE and I don't know how to edit it. Anyway, just click the website. You will see what I mean! It only takes a second!

I am also saying thanks that my mother-in-law is going home tomorrow from the hospital! She is doing so well, but the doctors have kept her for precautions and I am glad. She HAS to take it slow and not put pressure on her legs so they are keeping a good eye on her. She looks great though and she is OVER the hospital food! It's time to go home!

I am just really thankful for my church, family and friends. They have been such great support through this time with my MIL and each one of them have just prayed and loved us so much. It's amazing at the blessings that those relationships bring, and I am so grateful!

We are pretty tired, but at peace because the Lord has just been amazing too. Above all He has given us each of these blessings! Our freedom, good health, a church, family and friends, doctors and medicines that heal... all of it is straight from Him! Praise the Lord!

I would do a little dance.. oh, creative movement in the Baptist circles... but I'm too tired. :)
Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Prayer Works, Ya'll!

Thank you so much for all of your prayers and support that so many of you have offered during this time for my Mother-in-law! Many people have told me that though they don't leave comments (and shame on you by the way!) you have been keeping up with what's going on through this blawg! AND you have been praying! THANK YOU! We definitely feel the prayers and we can tell you that it works!

The surgery went very well. We are so thrilled that they found no more cancer and they were able to get all that they did see. Therefore, she will not need chemo or radiation!! She will have a long recovery and it will be pretty painful for a while, but she is lovin' her some morphine today so we will just celebrate! Seriously, she is doing very well with the pain meds and she is so happy that they are past the surgery part and onto healing!

While we are thrilled with the results and we know that the Lord had His Jehovah-Raffa hand on her we really had such a sense of peace that no matter what HE is and was in control! I could tell that my husband and his brother and dad were just breathing enough to live before the surgery was over. They could not eat and they were so quiet, but they were not afraid. It was like they were just in a quiet place with their Abba Father until they came to say that things were fine. After that, there was this corporate breath that they all took at one time! And they prayed and thanked the Lord for His presence.

Before they took her back we were in the prep area and my sweet husband asked that our family hold hands around her bed and pray. It was the first time that she cried. Just the sweetness of that moment standing before the Father as a family was really quite precious.

He is faithful. He is our Daddy, and we can't take ONE single step without Him!