Wednesday, August 29, 2007

True Laughter


We were laughing outloud in this picture - how fun!

Last weekend I went to visit my dear friend, Lindsey and see her new home. We had the best time catching up. We had not seen each other in well over two years...sad times! Melissa came on Saturday with baby Grant to shop and eat lunch with us. I laughed all day long. I love that type of laughter and honestly, there are only a few people in my life who can produce that type of real laughter. Best buds, for sure. I also love that Melissa knows my many smiles and facial expressions and what each one REALLY means. I don't see her enough, so it was so nice to have a few hours this past weekend for her to laugh at me and with me. It is such a special gift from God, really. Poor girl! Anyway, fun times for sure and I am looking forward to Lindsey coming to my home in the fall. I sure wish Melissa would come sometime but her hubby says I live too far away (Her three year old son, Drew also tells me that during phone conversations). We need to work on those boys!
My point: Cherish and nurture the REAL friendships in your life. They are precious!

Monday, August 27, 2007

I Love the Light in Their Eyes

Well, let me just say that I can't compete with Abby Jo's bird blog. She is a gifted writer and evidently (whether she likes it or not) a bird lover!
School has started! It is going really good. I know we are missing out on a lot of "real" school memories, like cubbies, backpacks, standing in line, hall passes, cafeteria food, etc... but we are making good memories at home.
We start the day off slow. I love to sleep late, so because of that we aren't rushed in the mornings. We pray before school, and when we don't we can really see a difference in how the day goes. Right now I am teaching language, math,spelling,reading, and phonics. I will start Bible, science, and social studies after our vacation! We have a schedule that works really good for us. Samuel studies his spelling words, and does his journal entry while I teach Daniel and David phonics, and math. At times I feel like my wings are wet and I can't fly(back to Abby's blog) but then I see the light go on in their eyes and I get so excited!!
Friday Samuel was learning double digit multiplication and oh how we were struggling! We did problem after problem. Stephen came in at one point and offered to take over the teaching. But I was not going to let that happen! I wanted the light that was going to come on in Samuel's eyes to be one that I helped put there. Selfish isn't it!!!
If we are on your personal prayer list please keep us there. Some days are much tougher than others.I still feel that some people may have their feelings hurt that we are homeschooling the kids this year. And as a people pleaser that isn't easy for me to deal with.
When Samuel finishes his current journal entry I will post it, I think it will be a real hoot. We were studying homonyms his story is about Hairy Harry. I can't wait to share it with you!!

Friday, August 24, 2007

My Wings

I made a list this morning of all the things that make my wings soar. I think I am in a process of development right now; emotionally and mentally. I love always learning, growing and feeling excitement about life. I am so glad the Lord keeps watch on my wings.

Joy in the hearts of people - you can see it in their eyes and hear it in their voices. I can’t spend much time these days with those who don’t have THE joy. It makes my wings tired and I stop and perch. I don’t want to perch with those that bring me down.

Distance -I love closeness with my dearest and greatest peeps but being smothered makes my wings limp! I like having a little room to do my own things and fly in my own migration pattern.

Healthy food – I love putting things into my body that strengthen my bones, taste good and will give me a healthier physique. It gives my wings energy to take flight.

Music
– I love a wide variety of music. The variety helps stimulate different thoughts and creative juices. My wings need to have a mixed beat.

Simplicity – Complicated tasks, people and situations make my wings go off course and not soar as pretty. Flying is a beautiful and simple task; shouldn’t life be the same?

Green – I love the color green. It energizes me and makes me want to soar. Nothing like a nice flight over a beautiful rolling field, huh?

Stewardship – Being a good steward of my time, talents and treasures makes soaring so much more meaningful.

So, this is my list and my blog. Think I am strange? Honestly, I don’t care. I love being Abby Jo and being unique. Also, I am not a big fan of birds so I have no idea where the wing analogy came from. Random, but it works! Thank you Lord, for giving me freedom of expression.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Elvis is Dead



Well, I ran the Elvis Presley International 25th Anniversary 5K (the 30th anniversary of his death, but you knew that already didn't you?). Sounds like a big deal, doesn't it?! Well, it was a hot deal, I will tell you that much. My friend John and old Nike marathon coach asked me to run this race with him back in June while dining at my house. I took him up on the challenge and met him at Graceland this past Saturday. Daddy and Randall of course stood on the side waiting for us to finish. Rocky the Redbird (The Fab Four's favortie mascot) was on the scene and did a fine job at harassing Daddy. It was priceless, really. The Ewing brothers (Dad's old high school buds) ran it (as they do every year) and I beat them in!! I was so proud. John & I also beat in the Navy. They were marching/running in a group behind us. We felt like big stuff, for sure. It was a hilly course and a very humid morning in the Bluff City. The residents of Whitehaven were gracious enough to set their sprinklers out for us to run through. I was most impressed with the free rain. It was a fun morning and John and I plan to do a 4 mile race next month in Midtown. Maybe I will get the marathon fever again? Nah! And yes, my sweet neighbor, Mrs. Rochelle had flowers delivered to me on Friday afternoon for a "good luck" wish. You would have thought I was running a marathon or something. What a sweet, sweet woman I have for a neighbor.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Plenty of Reasons...

I know I promised 14 reasons why I'm glad I'm married, but I just can't come up with anything cutesy, like I wanted to. I can come up with plenty of reasons: Samuel, Daniel, David, Anna Kathryn, a life-long companion, in-laws, love, etc... Maybe when I get some time to just sit, and think about it I will come up with something cute, until then, if you are married, send me some of your reasons why you love being married!!
One of our youth from our first church got married a couple of weekends ago.
She isn't the first one to get married by any means, but it did make me think about the example I set for others. I hope when people look at my marriage they see love, commitment, fun, satisfaction, forgiveness, compromise, and a host of other good things. God ordained marriage. I know there are people that don't agree with me and how I "do" marriage, but I try to be submissive, loving, kind, I try to do what is best for my family, and sometimes the submissive part seems to rub some people the wrong way. I really feel that Stephen has my best interests at heart, just as I have his best interests at heart. It is a two way street for us. God has blessed our marriage, I just pray we are a blessing to Him.
Julie

Monday, August 13, 2007

Advancement Team


2 posts about my school in one day - enough already!

Here I am with my Advancement team. We are launching a new website this week and needed a team picture for our landing page. I am still so excited about my job. This is my fourth week and everyday I am learning something new or meeting new people. Today I was in a board meeting with 8 men for two hours. A little intimidating, I must say! Anyway, I wanted to share my new little family with you.
Mrs. Carolyn and I are in the other picture. She has worked at the school for 27 years and knows everyone past and present (along with their mama’s, dogs, cats, etc). She is my mentor, for sure. Mrs. Carolyn is the face of our school and the funniest woman I have ever met. She leaves me cracking up with tears everyday. Randall gets Mrs. Carolyn stories every afternoon on our commute back to Mississippi. Mrs. Carolyn tells me I am a little version of her and that makes me smile.

First Day of School

I have a bridseye view of the middle school campus from my office window. Today is the first day of school. I am smiling at the middle school kids as they change classes. One boy held the outside door open for everyone and no one said thanks to him or even gave him a smile. He held it anyway because he was raised right, I guess. Then the boy lets the door go and drops his books on the ground because he tripped on his shoe lace. God love that little guy! Then there is that poor little girl who must be new to the school because she has no friends walking with her or talking to her. She is a bit chubby and has brand new loafers on that look as though they are hurting her feet. You can tell she is nervous and self conscious. I feel for her because I have been there way too many times. Then there are those snotty girls who are carrying their huge big purses with the name brand plastered all over them to each class while flipping their hair and talking amongst each other while they walk – oblivious to the poor little girl who has no one to talk to. I want to go out there and slap them! It does make me so glad they wear uniforms though. At least they all look alike no matter what they think of themselves. Then there is the class clown who is walking around wondering how his Daddy is because he had a heart attack in the night last night. He must be a ball of nerves, but he isn’t showing it. It is also so cute to watch them all try to carry those big text books and three ring binders in their hands. It is a balancing act, for sure. Anyway, it is so fun to watch them. One could do a sociology study from my desk. I must be getting old because they all look so little!
Abby

Friday, August 10, 2007

Well it is true, I am 37!

Well it is true, I am 37! I can't believe it! I don't feel 37, I don't feel like a mom of 4 who is once again homeschooling. I don't know how 37 is supposed to feel, but I just feel younger than 37. I think that by typing 37 over and over again, I will get used to the idea. I had such a wonderful birthday. I woke up to birthday gifts, and cards. David and I went and got "the best doughnuts ever" (as David said) at the Village and pigged out. For lunch we went back to the village and ate at the sandwich shop with Polly and Jeremy. Polly is Stephens secretary and Jeremy is the youth minister. Jeremy was telling people I was 38 and I wasn't very happy with him, but he and Ms. Polly bought lunch, so I forgave him!! After lunch Stephen, the kids and I went to the pool. I love it so much!! We stayed there until time to clean up and go to church. When I got to church, I received even more gifts, and cards. Debbie and Laura Ann had a cake made for me, it was beautiful! And quite yummy, it had so much icing on it, that there wasn't a piece that wasn't wonderful!! They also gave me a ring, that I had been drooling after since early spring. They are just wonderful people. If you ever come to Star City, I will introduce you to these great girls. It is an honor and blessing to know them! Next week is my 14th anniversary. I tried to come up with 30 reasons I love my 30's and couldn't come up with any (although my BFF Cindy came with a few that were terrific!!!) but I think I can come up with 14 reasons I love being married. So I will post those next week. Thanks for all the birthday wishes!
Love you all so much!
Jules

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Happy Birthday

Today is my sister’s 37th birthday. Yep, she is getting old! I think this is the first birthday she has really dreaded. There is no need because she looks like she is twenty-five, acts like it and feels like it (Most days). Really, people never think she looks her age. We have good genes in that respect. People think I just graduated from college…HELLO! Age is just a number, anyway. After all, isn’t forty the new twenty? (I am still a teenager if that is the case!)
I remember Julia K’s 30th birthday so well. There is the cutest picture of us in linen sundresses standing arm-in-arm in front of my infamous green Caviler (I intended to scan & post the picture but time got away from me). That was when Samuel was still a “special only” to all of us (he still is to some of us – ha!). Wow, her life has been busy these past 7 years! She has lived in 3 different towns and had 3 more babies (2 at one time, of course. She is no Michelle Duggar). Through all the changes and years of gaining much wisdom she still has that same sweet, fun spirit she had when we sat at our kitchen table in Sutton Estates years ago and sang “Happy Birthday” over homemade birthday cakes. I hope she has a fabulous birthday with her rowdy clan and remembers how special this day is not only to her, but to all of us who love her to pieces!
Happy Birthday, Julia Kathryn!

Sunday, August 5, 2007

Tax Free Shopping Stinks!

No tax weekend is insane! As you may know it is for school supplies, clothes and computers under a certain amount. Well, I needed some work clothes and thought I would go pick some up yesterday. Sugar! It was pure insanity all over the city. I went into New York and Company and stood in line for a dressing room for over ten minutes. Kids were crawling between dressing rooms and screaming like mad. People were everywhere and wearing the rude badge! Nothing I tried on was worth buying after all that time and wasted energy. My Christian witness was fading real fast. I went into a few more stores and said "Trick it" and headed home. Last year Jules came into town and we braved the crowd. I think it was calmer last year. It was the first year and I think most of our "Memfrican" citizens didn't grasp the concept. I will pay tax for my khaki pants before I brave that chaos again!
Rand on the other hand scored real big in the clothes department yesterday. He went to Dillard's while I was in line kicking off screaming children. He got swim trunks, shorts, shirts and shoes. He was fully clothed when we got home. And he just went along for the ride...that Wanch! He is going to look cute in his new duds though...so that is all good in my book!

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

I Love The Pool


Can I just tell you how much I love the swimming pool?
We have had a pool in our backyard for the last 6 years. It was one of the blue pools, that has the blow-up ring at the top. We started out with a small one, then bought the next size up, and finally bought the size up from that. Our family just kept getting bigger(both in number and physical size!).
This picture is of the boys in the big blue pool - 2005.
This year we have a membership to a pool in town. The greatest thing about the pool, is that it is on our road. We can walk to it!((we drive to it, just because I'm so tired after sitting out in the sun, I just don't think I would make it home if I was walking!) The boys love it, and Anna too. I've yet to step foot in the water, but I sit beside it every chance I get.
Two weeks ago we were at childrens camp, so there was no lying by the pool for me. Last week we only got 2 pool days because we were in Fort Smith and this week we have had one day so far. Isn't this crazy? I'm writing about laying out by the pool and I'm 36! Oh, my goodness!!! I will be 37 in 7 more days!!! I'm all for celebrating birthdays but I think I am going to forget about turning a year older, I'll just celebrate the day. How about that?!
Love,
Jules