Friday, December 28, 2007

"Grunt Up A Big'n"

...This saying has been a great inside joke between Rand's Uncle Tim and me since our first meeting five years ago and today he grunt up a sad little doe. This is the first time I have ever seen a dead deer up close and personal. Gross!
This is Tim with his sad little Doe

Abby

Christmas Memories



What a wonderful Christmas! It started in Byhalia last Wednesday when Rand and I exchanged our presents to each other. We then headed out to Cabot to do Christmas last Friday with his Mama. Then on Saturday we headed into the Fort to do Christmas with my family. We had so much fun taking the Fab Four to ride the train, making a gingerbread house with them and making sure they didn't kill each other or us before my sister got into town on Christmas Eve. We loved visiting Melissa's precious boys. Drew always loves showing Randall his boots. Being with my aunts, uncles, grandparents, Melissa, my sister's family and my super sweet Mama always makes Christmas special. I am so thankful for a loving family who accepts, loves and welcomes me home no matter what.
Now we are in Morton spending time with Rand's aunt and uncle. Rand is killing ducks and shooting at deer. We sometimes get really worn out traveling all over the world to do Christmas, but we are so grateful to have family who want us to come stay with them at his special time of year. Enjoy the slide show and Happy 61st Daddy-o!

Abby

Monday, December 24, 2007

MERRY CHRISTMAS FROM A & J

We are together! Abby and I are actually writing this as a joint effort.
We are spending time with our family, but before we did that, we went to run an errand. (We took Randall with us) We decided to go to Sonic, because Abby HAD to have a route 44 drink. We got there at 12:50, as you know happy hour starts at 2:00, I commented that happy hour started in just a little over an hour. So Randall decided that we should go kill some time at Walmart. So we did, we went to Walmart, spent some money, went to TJ Maxx, didn't spend any money and then sat at Sonic for 15 minutes! I couldn't believe we were this cheap!!
Next subject!
Abby and I have on matching jeans(same size even just different lengths!) and sort-of the same shirt, really the only way they are the same is that they both are Christmasy and our cousin Hollye (who is now 40!) gave them to us.
If you were here we would sing We wish you a Merry Christmas to you and probably throw in a little Jingle Bells and Away in the Manger for good measure. So consider yourself caroled to by us-the Santa Sistas!!!!!

Am I Old?

Well, it is official-I'm old!I've been thinking it for the last 7 years, but this year it has really hit home! If you'll remember I went skiing in March and was TERRIFIED! I was scared of heights and scared of breaking a body part. That was the first time I noticed I was not as young as I used to be. I couldn't even act young. Friday I went shopping with the youth group at church and had to make them stop 2 times just so I could go to the bathroom-OLD!!! Saturday we took the college and career class ice skating. I didn't fall, but man did my shins hurt, I couldn't even get going very fast, it was like I was TO OLD to ice skate-OLD!!!!. How can that be? The only stories I have to tell are about being married or having children-OLD!!!! One of the girls that went ice skating with us wasn't even born when I graduated, and she is in college!!!OLD!!!!

Julie

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Christmas Vacation...

starts in 1 hour!!! I love working for a school and getting all these nice perks. I really don't know what I shall do with my sassy self. Not waking up at 5:15 for 2 work weeks is going to be a vacation all in itself. Fun times are soon to be had. Merry Christmas to me!
Abby

Happy Birthday To My Friend Cindy

We have been friends since 1985. She knows my ins and outs, my shortcomings and even my longcomings(if that is a word). She can make me laugh, cry, feel sad and feel blue. I love her much more than my failure to send a card or gift would allow you to believe. I wish you all a Cindy in your life. We aren't the kind that is always talking, texting, or emailing. But we have a friendship that knows no bounds.
I love you girl!!! Happy Birthday!!!

Jules

Monday, December 17, 2007

That's My King...Do You Know Him?

Watch this amazing video describing our Lord and Savior.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=upGCMl_b0n4

The S Family Christmas



What a fun family Christmas we had over the weekend! We all gathered in north Mississippi on Friday night and exchanged gifts white eating a bit also. The kids were so excited to play with their fun cousin, Claire. The adults enjoyed being together after not being together in some time. Aunt Abby loved having her "babies" in her home for an overnight stay. I think they loved it too! Enjoy the slide show of Christmas with our Daddy and the rest of our S family.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Christmas Crazy

I love this time of year. Everyone is frantically searching for all those last minute gifts and taking care of end of the year business. It is like a bunch of ants marching all around guarding the queen. Love it! Ahhhh, it actually drives me batty. My mind is in a thousand places like everyone else. Fun times but crazy times.
Jules and my fab four are coming to my house this morning for S family Christmas.....YEA! We shall have 16 in our home tonight for a fun Christmas gathering. Can you believe I have not seen the sister or my babies since July? Wow, this is the longest we have gone without seeing each other. I have missed her sweet face. I hear her voice most everyday but seeing her is so much sweeter.
Well, I am off to decorate for the board Christmas party. It is tonight at some place in the ghetto of Memfrica. I am decorating and then heading home to see my sister. I love my job. My boss & Rand don't love the idea of me driving down to the ghetto alone. I am cool with it though. I told my boss that I will just turn up my bass and blend because...Santa don't come to the Ghetto!
I need more sleep...really, you think?!

Thursday, December 13, 2007

That Latest Anna Story Is This...

Update: Anna has decided not to parent Becca after all. She has given her up to another mom but will still be her daycare provider. Oh, Anna...what a little imagination.

Anna has a baby doll named Becca. She carries Becca around and loves on her and likes to change her clothes, and all that fun girly stuff. I've known for some time that Anna was just the babysitter and that Becca had a mother that worked, and sometimes shopped. Today, I asked where Becca's mom was and Anna said that Becca's mom had died today and that now she was Becca's mom. So sadness reigned in the house for a while. But Anna is taking good care of Becca, much like a mother would. Becca's mom would be proud.

Julie

Monday, December 10, 2007

First Corinthians 13 - Christmas Style

If I decorate my house perfectly with plaid bows, strands of twinkling lights and shiny balls, but do not show love to my family... I'm just another decorator.


If I slave away in the kitchen, baking dozens of Christmas cookies, preparing gourmet meals and arranging a beautifully adorned table at mealtime: but do not show love to my family... I'm just another cook.


If I work at a soup kitchen, carol in the nursing home and give all that I have to charity: but do not show love to my family...It profits me nothing.


If I trim the spruce with shimmering angels and crocheted snowflakes, attend a myriad of holiday parties and sing in the choir's cantata but do not focus on Christ...I have missed the point.

Love stops the cooking to hug the child.

Love sets aside decorating to kiss the spouse.


Love is kind, though harried and tired.


Love doesn't envy another's home that has coordinated Christmas china and table linens.


Love doesn't yell at the kids to get out of the way, but is thankful that they are there to be in the way.


Love doesn't give only to those who are able to give in return; but rejoices in giving to those who can't.


Video games will break, pearl necklaces will be lost, golf clubs will rust; but giving the gift of love will endure.


Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails.

Friday, December 7, 2007

Razorback Sleigh


We are so very proud of our Razorback Sleigh. One of the maintenance men at my school loves Arkansas as much as we do. He made this for us one weekend and surprised me with it at work the next week. He is a wonderful man with a huge heart. He wouldn't let us pay him so we bought him some Arkansas team wear as payment. Please pray for this nice man who has become a dear friend to me. His name is Wayne. Wayne made this for us while his wife is dying at home of many health complications. Hospice is now in the home with them and it is just a matter of time. Wayne keeps doing for others while he is having his world turned upside down. He also has a matching Razorback sleigh in his yard and is super excited about Christmas. That melts my heart, really. I love when God puts people like Wayne in my life. It causes me to count my blessings and focus on what really matters in life. Go Hogs and find us a coach!
Abby


Thursday, December 6, 2007

I Choose the Calendar Tradition

I so agree with Abby, I think that if I had to choose between the chocolate advent calendar and the Christmas tree as my favorite Christmas tradition at our house, I would choose the calendars. I love them, and knowing my kids do too makes it even more special. This year, Aunt Abby sent the kids pictures of Santa with numbers on it and cotton balls for the kids to glue on each day, so that by Dec 24, Santa will have a full cotton ball beard. They are loving this too! Samuel said Aunt Abby could find anything on the computer for the kids to play with!
I must brag- Samuel had a math test yesterday and made a 100 on it, a history quiz and made a 100 on it, a science quiz and made a 100 on it! I was so proud and he was too. After making a few B's in a row, he had decided that B's were just fine. But after making 3 100's in a row, he remembered how good it felt to make an A! Yea! for Samuel. (And we use Abeka curriculum so it wasn't as if I made up the tests, they were real school tests and hard ones at that!)Merry Christmas you guys, there are less than 20 days until Christmas and I have so many more presents to buy! AAAAHHHHHH!!!!!


Julie

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

The Advent Calendar



The chocolate advent calendar was one of our favorite Christmas traditions growing up. When we were little girls mama always had an advent calendar for us. They were hard to find for a number of years so there were many years we shared a calendar. Jules would open one day, I would open the next. I hated sharing because I wanted the candy! I remember one year Mama only found 1 calendar and it was trinket toys and not candy, it did not go over so well with us girls.
Mama, Jules, the Fab Four and I all have an advent calendar we open each year. Most of the time we find them on the clearance rack after Christmas and place them in the freezer until the next year. Sounds real yuumy, I know. It doesn’t taste too bad, actually. It is always fun to remember whose freezer is housing all seven calendars. A fun game of hide and seek, for sure! I love that the fab four looks forward to each morning in December so they can open another door and get their chocolate candy for that day. It is so neat to see simple little traditions passed down with the same level of excitement.
Anna seems to be a lot like her Aunt Abby when it comes to the calendar (as she is with most all areas of her little life, poor sissy!) – she wants to get all the candy out on the first day! She of course shuts the doors back and I guess hopes the candy man will refill the missing pieces. Well, he doesn’t. When she wakes up and says, “Find 5 mama, open 5!” to find no candy it becomes a tearful morning for my little mini-me. Julie yells (the same message she yelled at me for 15 years)”Well, you shouldn’t have eaten all the candy on the first day! I have no sympathy for you!” Anna’s brothers took after their mama and they eat their candy one day at a time. Good boys.
I love the advent calendar tradition because it brings back so many memories of jumping out of bed to open the door of the day, seeing what shape the candy would be that day, fighting over whose day it was to open the door with Jules and listening to mama say, “Girls, it is December 1st. Time to start the advent calendar!” You know, she called me on December 1st this year and recited that same message! What a fun family tradition that I hope lives on forever.
Abby

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Cake Crazy

This is the 8 inch round cake I made for my boss last month. It was a four layer carrot cake with cream cheese filling (his favorite). It was the best tasting cake I have made thus far. I can't wait to bake another!

This is the guitar cake I made for my cousin Claire's Hannah Montana party last weekend. It was a chocolate cake with hints of cinnamon. She got to see Hannah live in concert the night before her party!

This is the tractor cake I made for my Rand for his birthday, which was on Thanksgiving this year. It was his favorite, yellow cake with chocolate icing. It was also my first time to make a tractor cake so it was a little rusty.
The next cake will be made next week for my cousin Hollye. She will be 40 and has requested a strawberry cake with cream cheese filling. I have black icing, mean greetings and candles ready to go!
Abby

We Got Our Tree!

We picked it out at Lowes, it was so much fun! We looked at all of them, picked several of them out and then voted on the winner from those. Good thing we were the only ones looking at trees! We got it home and put it in the stand in the garage and left it to get settled so we could decorate it Saturday afternoon. Fast forward to today-Tuesday and the tree is still in the garage. I woke up Saturday morning sick. I slept all day, missed a Christmas party and then slept all night. Sunday I laid around all day and felt bad. We always decorate the tree as a family but Samuel had a Cub Scout Pack meeting last night night so I think this year I may be decorating the tree by myself or maybe just with Stephen's help. And I have already shared with you my skill in decorating. I wish I had the money to have it professionally decorated. I have great visions of a beautiful room with greenery, lights, poinsettias, and a beautiful tree with big ornaments and ribbon. But I will settle with what I have, which is just fine. It is nice, but not opulent, but neither am I -so as Anna would say, "we match!"

Julie