Wednesday, October 31, 2007

A Pumpkin Story


We got this email this morning from our cousin Sarah (or "Sa-Sa" as we affectionately call her). Her little Princess Gracie is full of personality and so cute. Enjoy and Happy Halloween!


Note to reader: Words in all caps indicate shouting and italics indicate quiet drama.

A Pumpkin Halloween Story

Once upon a time, long, long ago there was a little bitty pumpkin who was all alone in the forest and couldn't find any of his friends. Then, out of nowhere, POPPED out a WICKED, WICKED WITCH and she GRABBED that little bitty pumkin up and she took him home to her house in the forest. When she got home she TIED that little pumkin to a stick and she COOKED HIM and GOBBLED him up. Well, that little bitty pumkin was soooo sad to be in that witch's yucky tummy so he waited and waited till the wicked witch fell asleep. And when she was sound asleep that little bitty pumkin climbed OUT of that witches mouth and rolled out of her wicked house and lived happily ever after. THE END!

Recited by Princess Gracie Beth, The Prettiest
October 31st, 2007 (in the car on the way to school)

Note from Princess Gracie Beth's mama: Please forgive the grainy photo; it was taken with my phone on our way out the door this morning. :)

Friday, October 26, 2007

You're Welcome

We sisters go from not posting real often to posting all at one time. I love the lack of consistency, really. I think it is a reflection of life. It comes and goes in waves.

I am learning a lot about people through my line of work and especially at my new job. One thing I am learning real quick, is that everyone needs to see a smile. Smiling comes easy for me but some days I would rather not force it if I don't have to. But I am learning to force it anyway.
It is a reflection of our attitude.
Our attitude is all we have control over. Sometimes that is a tough thing to hear, but it is the truth. We can't control the wind, waves or the storms but we can control how we act when they come upon us. My boss used a great analogy with me when referring to one of our co-workers who has not yet learned this attitude lesson. Here is the analogy (From the Covey book, for those of you who are fans):
Relationships are like a bank. We make deposits so we can make a withdrawal when we need to. So, we smile when we have a horrid headache, we laugh at a joke that really isn't funny, we tell them their hair looks nice when we know they had it done(and it still looks the same as it did yesterday), we say "good morning" as we pass people in the parking lot knowing they won't speak back, we compliment their work when it is needed, etc. So, then when we need to really vent or let our hair down, they will listen and understand without finding fault with us. The goal is to make more deposits than withdrawals so we don't go in the red. Being in the red is not a good thing. Everyone suffers when we go into the red.
Difficult people will make more withdrawls than deposits and stay in the red but the goal, as with banking, is to not do that. We don't want to be "taxing" to be around because then no body will be around us when we really need them and want them around.
So, I am working on making more deposits and smiling more with those who are most difficult to get along with. I am also praying that God will give me a sarcastic spirit. I was praying for a sweet spirit but decided I didn't want to be sweet. ha!
I have been practicing this attitude thing more and more lately with people whom I never invested that energy. God is showing himself through those still, forced smiles. Today I was at Wal-mart picking up some organizational stuff to clean out cabinets/closets this weekend at the house. (Fun times....please come and help if you wish). I had emptied my cart into my trunk in the rain and hated walking all the way to the cart bin and almost shoved it in front of my car. I stopped and looked next to me hoping no one was around and I saw a mama getting her 2 kids out of her car. Both were under the age of 3. Her back was to me and I said "Do you need this cart for your babies?" I said it 2 times and still no answer. I was beginning to leave the deposit line. Her little girl finally tapped her on the leg and the lady turned around. She pointed to her ears and signed that she was deaf. I almost cried. I smiled instead and motioned for her to take the cart. She then looked me in the eye with a smile and signed 'Thank You" I got in my car and thought of my Granny (If you didn't know her...I am truly sorry for you. She was incredible and signed for the deaf community in Fort Smith). I loved that God was proving this atittude lesson with me in such a humble way. I hated I didn't know how to sign "You're Welcome." I wish Melissa had been with me to help me sign my reply. I love you Licca! :) I say all this to stress that our attitude is all people remember and take with them after spending time with us. What does your bank account look like and what message are you leaving behind with those you encounter?
Abby

Thursday, October 25, 2007

The Mama Battleground

I read blogs of moms with young kids and hear about their wonderful loving moments together. I even reread mine and remember all the memory-making times we've had together, all the laughs, trips and great stories. But can I just tell you that all of my memory making times aren't always memories I want to have. For instance, in January, I stopped buying diapers for Anna- now 9 1/2 months later she is STILL not potty trained. All of her friends are and most started after I started with Anna. It is the most frustrating experience of my lifetime. I've tried everything I have ever heard of except putting her in day care. I also have one child that is a thumb-sucker. That is such a fight! The poor thing gets in trouble everyday for it. It boggles my mind. I just wanted to let those of you that struggle with being a mom somedays to know that I struggle too. At times I feel beat up and beaten down. I have to remember that Jesus knows all that is going on in my life and has put his stamp of approval on it. (for some reason!)

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

My Miracle Baby




Because of my limited computer time and Abby's fall break at the beach (how do those two things go together?) I was unable to post on Samuel's birthday. He turned ten, yes 10!!! Thursday the 11th.
Ten years ago the dream of my lifetime was realized. I became a mom. I always dreamed of becoming a mother but that dream and the reality of the dream were two completely different things. I remember at a baby shower someone asking me what kind of bottles I was going to use. I looked at my mom and said "there are different kinds?" I was clueless. But boy did I ever jump right into it!
I had him 10 days early because of my blood pressure (and because of that Stephen still calls me hyper-tensive, when I get a little stressed!), so we were caught quite unprepared. No clothes had been washed, no bottles (I finally picked out a kind) had been washed. Nothing had been done, but putting the bed up. We drove from Leachville to Jonesboro and I remember all of that 30 minute drive. I tried to suck it all in, all the feelings of it being just Stephen and me. Just the two of us for the very last time-EVER!
We got to the hospital, Mom and Dad showed up, the Stephen's parents came, Mawmaw called from Texas(and then came to Jonesboro before I left the hospital to see her first great grandchild-what a pair of loving great grandparents my kids have (and Sarah's too!)), and after everyone left we named him-Samuel.
Saturday morning dawned early and rainy. The Oklahoma vs Texas game was on when Samuel was born- he was destined to be a sports nut I guess! As soon as he was delivered the Doc said "we call these miracle babies" and he showed me his cord, it had a big knot in it. Most babies don't survive that, so Samuel is my miracle baby.
I remember seeing his scrunched up face, and his beautiful red lips, and knowing that I had indeed fallen in love again, this time with someone that weighed less than a sack of potatoes. The next morning, Stephen was gone. It was just Samuel and I in the room, we were watching Bellevue Baptist Church on TV with my second favorite preacher-Adrian Rogers- preaching and I looked at Samuel's hands, feet, nose, and ears. I cried tears of joy and awe all over him. It was a beautiful moment. At times when Samuel is feeling a bit stressed about being the oldest brother, a 4th grader or whatever else stresses him out, I remind him of that day. It seems to mellow him out and me too.
Samuel is a loving, good-looking 10year old. He became a Christian at the age of 6 and has always been one to excel. He has played on 2 all-star baseball teams, and has won many trophies and awards for his ability to play baseball. He has also been rewarded at school, both public, and at home for his good grades. He has played Jesus, Joseph and this year is playing the lead in the Christmas play at church. He is a great kid, I pray that God uses him in a great and mighty way.
I love you kiddo!!!
Julie

Let Yourself...

This is from a Dress Barn ad I saw in a magazine and I love it. I don't just love Dress Barn so much, but I loved this ad and felt as though I needed to share:

Let yourself glitter from the inside out.
Let yourself celebrate the possibilities.
Let yourself glow in your radiance.
Let yourself feel the joy.
Let yourself jingle all the way.
Let yourself shine.

We changed the page layout because everyone and their mama had our page. Since I want to glitter and glow, I decided we best change it up a bit.
Abby

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Cancun Memories



What a wonderful beach vacation! Rand took me to Cancun for my fall break. We had the best time sunning on the beach with large topless British ladies all around us, bartering with the Mexicans at the market, walking 3 miles from town in our flip-flops so we wouldn’t have to get back on the dreaded city bus, eating the best French fries ever made while sitting on the beach in the afternoons, drinking 3 of the best fruity drinks ever concocted, Losing our beach pouch in the ocean with our safety box key in it and then finding it six hours later,our waiter at Senor Frogs making Rand wear a butterfly balloon get-up while he ate, Rand dressed for pictures on the beach while looking like a RIU maintenance man and someone waving him down for help, Having a Julia Roberts/Pretty Woman moment at the restaurant our first night while entering in my bathing suit cover-up, walking on the beach at night and listening to the waves, sitting on our balcony admiring the blue waters and the beautiful palm trees, and sitting in Houston for 10 hours trying to get home due to rain delays while Rand was getting food poisoning and not aware of it until we got home in the wee hours of the morning. What an unforgettable trip and yes, I am brown as a berry for those of you who keep asking. Don’t be jealous…it will fade away soon enough.
And, don’t you hate coming home from a vacation more exhausted then when you left?

Abby

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

"Good Morning To You, Good Morning To You....

Were all in our places with bright shining faces. Good Morning to you! Good Morning to You"
I rolled over this morning, looked at my alarm clock and thought I saw 5:46 glaring back at me. I normally rise, shine and give God the glory at 5:30 and Rand repeats the process at 6:00. I ran into the bathroom to partake in a speedy morning ritual of dental care, hair care, facial color, putting on my clothing and accessorizing myself. I then opened the bathroom door and thought, “Why is Rand still lying there with no sign of life?” I looked at the clock and it was 12:14! I woke him up and said “Did the power go off?” He was not yet giving God the glory and said “No! What is your deal?” I said, "Dude, I am SO dressed for work and it is only 12:14?!” He laughed at me as much as he could, being half asleep. I then went through my evening ritual to get ready for bed again, minus the shower. I am in awe at myself. It was so weird. I felt a bit insane for about a half hour until I fell off into a deep sleep. After all that, I did not wake up until 6:09. It is on mornings like these that I am so glad my Mama is not waking me up to "Good Morning to you..." while opening my blinds and then splashing water in my face. I miss a lot about childhood, but that ain't one of them...I can assure you. Wow, what an insane morning at my house.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Teenage Friendship

I was reminded at church Sunday morning of how difficult friendships are. Laura Ann is a beautiful high school senior, captain of her cheerleading squad, a Christian leader at school and at church and she is being treated badly by a handful of her "friends". These girls have been friends for years, but as what usually happens in high school, popularity becomes more important than moral and right behavior. My friend is being mistreated because she doesn't party or hang out with the people who do. She is being gossiped about and honors are being withheld that she deserves. My heart breaks for her. Instead of naming names, gripping, and whining, she asked me to pray for her. I usually pray for her each morning, but I will start praying for her more fervently. If you feel called to, pray for her also. I'm sure we "older girls" can remember high school and the ugly things we said about each other and did to each other. We know that it happens to everybody, but Laura Ann is experiencing it now.

Julie

Monday, October 1, 2007

Lone Star Recap

Rand and I had a wonderful visit to the Lone Star state over the weekend. Visiting my grandparents in their home makes my soul smile. We always love going and being with them for three or four days. My Mawmaw cooks our favorite foods and tells us how "perfect" we are the whole time we are there. She is a bit bias I know but who can't love that kind of royal treatment? Last night I laid in my bed and thanked God for my family. Our special bond is so unique and it defines who I am and I like it.
Here is my Mama's birthday cake. Mawmaw and I made it together in her kitchen. After many runny roses, I made a few that were presentable. It was a fun experience for sure. They all thought my "Specialty A Country Rose Garden" looked like the cake on Paula's magazine cover and of course my Mawmaw thought mine looked better than Paula's (I wish I could carry Mawmaw in my pocket!). So, we took a picture and sent it to Paula. We are hoping to receive tickets to Paula's Party so I can demonstrate my cake making abilities. Yes, you laugh...I do to. We still have hope though.
We had fun shopping for shoes, shopping for Cancun and shopping at the pottery store. Poor Rand went with us girls but he was a trooper. He picked up a pink purse and acted as though we was going to carry it when a lady in the store told him it matched his shirt! He is too cute, all man and he is mine. I like that.
Thanks to good family, good food, good times and unconditional love. Oh, and if I get a call from Paula, I will let you know.

Abby