Friday, June 29, 2007

Cake Crazy

Cake Class Snapshot

Yes, David & Daniel, Aunt Abby can now make your birthday cakes! I have completed Wilton Cake Decorating Course 1. A Weight Watchers nightmare, but I did it anyway. It was something I thought would be relaxing and fun. Boy was I ever surprised at the anxiety I faced preparing my cake for class each week. Icing the cake each week about put me in a head spin. Then, making a level round cake was something I thought I would never master. My instructor was quick to let me know that she was not there to teach me to bake yet was always quick to criticize the cake shape (As you can imagine, I do not like her too much!). I bought all the gadgets I could find to make my cakes turn out just right but like with anything, it takes much practice (And calling the mother in tears to tell her she should have spent more time teaching me about round cakes. Poor Mama!). After borrowing eggs from the neighbor and using every cake mix I had in my cabinets, I think I can make a round cake and level it, even! I plan to take Course 2 but with another instructor. I still have so much room for improvement and hope to build on the skills I have learned so far. Please enjoy looking at the three cakes I made. I never said I was going to become a baker for a living so judge gently!


Cake 3 - Roses & the Leaf

Cake 2 - Drop Flowers

Cake 1- Star Flowers



Thursday, June 28, 2007

Star City Update

VBS is going great! Children are well!!!!!!
God is good!!!!
Love,
Julie

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

What A Peach

I love this picture of my Rand looking all Sassy


My husband has been so sweet this past week. He is of course always a peach yet this past week he has been extra peachy! I had a root canal with a crown and three fillings on the right side of my mouth yesterday. I was at the dentist for almost four hours. I looked like Mike Tyson leaving the boxing ring. I was beat up real bad. In times like this, I am always reminded that Randall really is the best nurse. He even put dishes in the dishwasher after making me a fat free milkshake and then bringing me a spoonful of ice cream to bed so I would have a smile on my face in my sleep (Too cute, I know). He then informed me he is putting in an attic fan this weekend because he is afraid my Granny-size stock of Christmas d├ęcor may be getting too hot up in the attic. He then informs me of his vacation plans for us this year and I must say I am rather excited and surprised at him. All this after he let me buy new bedding and curtains for our bedroom this past weekend. (If you know Rand, you know he is a penny pincher!) Anyway, maybe he is buttering me up for his fancy workshop or a new tractor, who knows but I really like it! We must remember these fresh peachy times on the days they tend to get too ripe to fool with!

Abby

Treasures

We are all well!!! VBS started last night and was a great success and all of my children were there!!! Thank you for your prayers. I so appriciate them! Children are on my mind today. They are truly a gift from God and should be treasured and considered precious. I hope mine know that I treasure them and think they are precious. Hug your children!
Love,
Julie

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Land of the Sick

I am writing you from the land of the sick. As I told you last time, Anna was sick on Sunday. Well, it just got worse from there! She broke out in a rash on Tuesday and Daniel started running a fever Tuesday night. I took them to the doctor and Anna has strep and Daniel's lymph nodes are swollen and his throat is red and looks"streppy" the doctor said. So, we started Anna and Daniel on medicine Wednesday. About 3 hours later David started running a fever and so he also started medicine Wednesday. David & Daniel both got the rash yesterday and Samuel started running a temp and feeling bad Friday night. He played two ballgames and did great, but he really crashed after they were over. All of that and VBS starts tomorrow!!! So yesterday I was at the church for six hours working and Stephen was with the kids. We had a big tailgate party to kick-off VBS last night and none of my children were able to come. I hate it for them. I don't even think any of them are going to church today. Does anyone want to come to Star City and help me? I was really thinking we would be through all of this sickness, but I think going to the ballgame sent D&D into a relapse and just did Samuel in! Anna is doing good though-I think it is her orneriness kicking in!!! One of these days I will post and not be complaining
about something I promise. One day soon!!!

Love ya'll,
Julie

Friday, June 22, 2007

Tough Times

Update: Aunt Babs is doing much better and healing at home. Things are much brighter for all of them after such a rough few weeks. Thank you for lifting them up in your prayers
Please lift up our Aunt Babs, cousin Hollye, Uncle Joe, Matthew and little Claire in your prayers this week. Babs had a knee replacement two weeks ago. She is back in the hospital with some complications from her pain medicine. Hollye is nursing her back to health at the hospital and exhausted from also taking care of Claire’s broken arm. Last night they all got word their best family friends died in a car accident, while traveling in Kentucky. We of course are all saddened and shocked by this terrible news, yet they are experiencing even more pain from this loss because they were such dear friends. Pray that they can hold it together right now and Babs can get home soon and physically recover so she can deal with this huge loss. Six year old Claire put it in perspective last night when she said “ It was their time to go.” Thank you for thinking of our family and remembering them in your prayers.
We really do have to stop and realize life can be taken from us at any moment. We had anotherperson very dear to our family die instantly in a car wreck last month. Wow! What an eye opener for sure. God is in control but we can still ask “why?”

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Return From The Lonestar State

Hey everyone! Wasn't Abby's last entry the sweetest thing? Sisterly love is something pretty powerful!!!! We didn't get along very good while we lived in the same house, but the minute I moved out, we were closer than ever. I love that girl!
We are back from San Antonio-finally!!! We were so tired when we finally drove into the driveway. And then everything seemed to fall apart. Anna threw up in the van and Samuel threw up in the house. So while we were unloading the van, I was also cleaning up throw up. Can anyone identify with me?? Anna woke up Sunday with a fever, I think she was just sick and tired. But she is fine now!!! We went to Sea World while we were there, and can you believe it-I didn't take my camera. We went to the Alamo and I didn't take my camera there either. It was in the hotel every time. I think I will just scrapbook the memories, I guess, without any pictures!!! It was a fun trip!!! I missed you guys!
Love ya
Julie

Monday, June 18, 2007

Focused On My Sister

Skutt Sisters Christmas 2005
Can you say "Big Pink"?!

I was going through my senior portfolio from college the other night. Being a communications major, I did lots of writing and speaking. I was also a family science minor so I did many family studies. Reading the interview I had with my parents about raising me was priceless. Yet, the papers I did on my sister really opened my eyes to how much I look up to her. She was honestly the focus of most of my family projects and any other creative communications projects I was assigned. She and I went through our parents divorce right around that time and we really had to help each other come up and breathe some days. Our reality of life was changing after we were grown and that was hard on both of us even though we were so far apart in life. She was married with a baby and I was deciding where to go to school. We were already very close but that stepping stone in our life caused us to bond together like crazy glue.

I loved looking at my final paper in Mrs. Benning’s parenting class. She wrote, “Tell your sister how much you look up to her!” Julie really is a hero in my eyes. I have very few earthly heroes and she is one of them. She can read my voice like a book over the phone. She knows if I am happy, sad, lying, hiding, mad, hurt or overwhelmed. I love that about her. I can just say “Hey” when she picks up the phone and she knows. I think being eight years apart and being as close as we are is a blessing. Most people I talk to missed the formative lives of their siblings if they had that large of an age gap. I wrote in one of my papers, “I was always riding in the backseat of a car listening to hair bands and Cindy & Julie talk about boys while most of my friends were at home riding their bikes.” Then there was a quote from Julie in that paper. I had asked her why she let me go everywhere with her friends and boyfriends and she said, “I didn’t want you to stay at home by yourself and be sad.” How sweet is that! I hope my kids and her kids learn how to love a sibling like that. She is my rock, my cushion, my angel, my complete opposite, my “Conan” and she is my sister. If you don’t know her, you really should. And by the way, I got A’s on all my papers!

Monday, June 11, 2007

Mountain Climbers

Rand smiling at the view
All proud of my hike-up-a-mountain self!

Rand and I walked up Sugar Loaf Mountain at Greers Ferry Lake yesterday. We have jet skied, tubed, cruised and attempted water skiing all along the base of this mountain. I thought it was time we hike it to the top. His Mom and the others with us thought we were nuts and asked us if we had left something at the top we just had to go and retrieve! It was a trek, but we reached the summit after much debate over getting to the top. Once we got to the top it was worth all the effort. God’s wonders are so amazing! A deer ran past us, an eagle flew by us and many squirrels frolicked around us. We got a birdseye view of the lake and it was beautiful. I thought of the lyrics to this SCC song all the way through our hike yesterday while reflecting on life these past few years. It was what my friend Joyce calls an, “AHH-HA” moment.

I want to build a house up on this mountain
Way up high where the peaceful waters flow
To quench my thirsty soul
Up on the mountain
My faith is strengthened by all that I see
You make it easy for me to believe up on the mountain
Oh, up on the mountain
I would love to live up on this mountain
And keep the pain of living life so far away
But I know I can't stay
Up on the mountain
I said I'd go, Lord, wherever You lead
For where You are is where I most want to be
And I can tell we're headed for the valley
My faith is strengthened by all that I've seen
So Lord help me remember what You've shown me
Up on the mountain You bring me up here on this mountain
For me to rest and learn and grow
I see the truth up on the mountain
And I carry it to the world far below
So as I go down to the valley
Knowing that You will go with me
This is my prayer, Lord Help me to remember what You've shown me
Up on the mountain
I cherish these times up on the mountain
But I can leave this place because I know
Someday You'll take me home to live forever
Up on the mountain

P.S. I spoke with Jules at lunch today. She was “convening” at the convention. She and the fam went to a Ranger’s game on Saturday night on their way to San Antonio. They plan to go to the Alamo on Friday. She really loves going to the convention every year and gets such awesome freebies at the pastor’s wives luncheon. I really wish my hubby was a pastor on that day and that day only. Ha!

Thursday, June 7, 2007

Smile, You Are On Camera

Yes, I am on camera. The office security camera, that is. My boss has decided to put camera’s on each employee in order to keep a pulse on his staff at all times. Yep, micro-manager. So, I noticed a camera this morning when I glanced up. I am still not sure what made me glance up. Maybe I felt it in my subconscious. It is positioned right on the back of my head pointed at my desk. I have asked him to let me know how the back of my hair looks day to day and I also asked him to please ignore me if I pick my nose. I think he was floored by my confrontation about it but I wasn’t letting it go unnoticed. I found out it is borderline against the law. If there was audio it would be illegal. All employees have rights to privacy at their workstations. I think the privacy line is what is debatable though. The kicker to all this, the monitor sits on his desk right beside his computer screen. Micro-management is no fun. Smile, because you may be on camera too!

Abby

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Fun Days

Well, this is a fun week for all of us! David and Daniel are going to a 3 day-day camp at Cane Creek State Park (which is right here in good 'ol Star City!) it is from 9-4. They are having a blast, and it gives Samuel and I some time alone together. Well Anna is with us, but 2 is better than 4 sometimes!!!! Samuel is going swimming just about everyday. We have a private pool in the neighborhood that we have a membership to (thank you FBC!) and so he swims! He loves it, and the rest of us love it too!! David said a funny the other day: he said his thumb toes were hurting!! Isn't that a hoot????? Well, I will be out of town next week. We are going to the Southern Baptist Convention in San Antonio and we leave Saturday and come back the next Saturday. I am excited!!! I'll let you know how much fun it is(was!)!!!!!

Love ya'll!!!
Jules

Monday, June 4, 2007

It Is Well With My Soul

For some reason I just started singing this song this afternoon. It makes me thankful for Young Musicians at GABC. It also makes me thankful for my Granny & Mawmaw, who always played hymns for me. Wow, and the words to this song. Breath taking. I hope that this new generation of children learn these hymns and not just all these 7-11 songs they sing in so many churches these days. I want my kids to be at work when they are 28 and start humming these old hymns we have all grown to cherish.

When peace, like a river, attendeth my way,
when sorrows like sea billows roll;
whatever my lot, thou hast taught me to say,
It is well, it is well with my soul.
It is well with my soul, it is well, it is well with my soul.
Though Satan should buffet, though trials should come,
let this blest assurance control, that Christ has regarded my helpless estate, and hath shed his own blood for my soul.
It is well, it is well with my soul.
It is well with my soul,
it is well, it is well with my soul.
My sin, oh, the bliss of this glorious thought!
My sin, not in part but the whole, is nailed to the cross,
and I bear it no more, praise the Lord, praise the Lord, O my soul!
It is well, it is well with my soul.
It is well with my soul, it is well, it is well with my soul.
And, Lord, haste the day when my faith shall be sight,
the clouds be rolled back as a scroll;
the trump shall resound, and the Lord shall descend,
even so, it is well with my soul.
It is well, it is well with my soul.
It is well with my soul, it is well,
it is well with my soul.

Abby

Friday, June 1, 2007

Pure Joy

This Etch a Sketch sat outide D & D's room last Saturday when Mama arrived. It said " Pleas dunt kum in her becus I am rurking"
( please don't come in here because I am working)
She put her shades on before the camera flashed. What a sassy sissy!

Not much to report this week other than the Fab 4 giving us pure joy!