Friday, February 29, 2008

Happy for Abby!!

I haven't yet commented on my sisters impending move so I thought I would take this opportunity to do so.
I am so happy that her man has found a job that he can (hopefully) love and enjoy so much more than his present one. I think a lot of us have prayed for a long time that he would find a good job where his talents could be used and appreciated.
I am really excited that they are moving to Jonesboro. Stephen and I spent the first 5 years of our married life in that area (the first 2 months in Jonesboro) and I grew to love it much more than I thought possible. I hope and pray that they find good friends, an exciting church and a beautiful home where they can entertain many friends and family members.
I know Abby is getting a little antsy about not having a job there, but we all know that God's will is prefect and we also know that if anyone can bloom where she is planted, it is Abby Jo.
I am also envious for a number of reasons, 1-she is closer to some of my dearest friends than I am. 2- she is going to be in the same town as an Ima's(there is no better store and no better sale!) 3- It is what I consider my 2nd hometown, and who wouldn't want to live in their hometown (well their 2nd one anyway!) 4- she'll get to go to ASU games, I used to love going to ASU basketball games. 5- she is going to get the chance to move in to a clean house. I've only lived here for a little over a year and my place is already dirty!!
Well that is all I have to offer at this time. I am excited for her!!!
Congrats Mandy!!! I'm happy for you, and sad for the others!!!

And the Winner is...

Mandy! You have won the leap year 29 scrapbook items giveaway! We will email you soon to get your mailing address. Congratulations!

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

We are Bound for God's Country!

This pic was taken the day we moved into our home in 2004

We are moving to Jonesboro!
Rand accepted a new job today in God's Country!

We are bittersweet about the transition, yet so excited about what God has planned for us as we prepare to start over in a new place. There are many things that will be hard to leave, but leaving my job is going to be the hardest part of the move. I love it but I am not the bread winner. I know God will give me a job that will allow me to use my talents and abilities. I just hope it is sooner than later. I will work here until they replace me or I find a new job, whichever comes first.

We are waiting on the relocation package to come in the mail and then we will move forward. We are so very excited about not having to pack a thing or lift a finger in the move. We are also thrilled that they buy our house if we can't sell it in 90 days and they pay the closing costs on our new one. Rand even heard they will put us in an apt if we have to turn the house over before we find a new one.

God has truly taken care of my sweet Rand and provided not only what he needed but the job he has wanted for two years. He will be going from cotton to soybeans. I think he is excited to have a fresh start after being in such an insane working environment the past few years. I think back on how God provided this very job for Randall and it makes me grin real big. I would tell you the full story but you don't really care, you may already know it or you wouldn't understand it all and I really don't want to type it all out!

Anyway, more to come as this bittersweet journey is just beginning!

Go A-State Indians....oops, I mean Red Wolves!

Abby

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Ho-Hum Friday-NOT

Most of our days around here are pretty ho-hum. But the other day I had a hum-dinger kind of day. I got the chance to drive to Little Rock and meet my BFF Cindy for lunch. I got to go all by myself, so the drive there was exactly like I wanted it to be. I listened to any music I wanted to,(I love to scan!) and sang really loud, it was great! I then went to Olive Garden to meet Cindy and had a few minutes to kill so I went in to the neighborring Big Kmart to look for throw pillows for our couch. And did I find a few deals! I found 3 pillows that look really good on my couch($6 a piece), I found a comforter for Anna's bed for her birthday($1.50), a comforter for my bed(which is beautiful, and heavy, and soft!)($6.00), and another comforter just because it was cheap($2.00). Can you believe it? I got 3 pillows and 3 comforters for $29.50 tax and all! I couldn't believe it. I was so excited!!!!
And then I got to spend time with Cindy. We ate and drank-did you know that a coke at Olive Garden costs $2.15? That is more than Anna's comforter!!! I got 5 refills, my moneys worth. We sat there for 2 1/2 hours. It was so much fun, she looked so pretty and she even hugged me when we left, which is a biggy for Cindy! I love you girl!
Then I went to Starbucks and got a coffee, as much as I like to go there, I haven't found one yet where the people are freindly and smiling, and I haven't found a drink that I just can't live without. I think I will just keep stopping at Sonic at happy hour and get a coke, its cheaper, and I know I like it!
I got home to a clean house (the kids and Stephen had also gone out to lunch) and just vegged the rest of the night! It was a great day!

Don't forget to sign up for our giveaway!!!! You only have 3 1/2 days left!!!

Smile

I was looking up quotes today for a project at work and I found this one and it made me laugh. It is so me!
"Every so often, I like to go to the window, look up and smile for a satellite picture!"

Abby

Monday, February 25, 2008

Leap Year Giveaway

We have decided to start monthly giveaways on our blog!!!
This month we are taking advantage of the 29 days in February and are giving away 29 scrapbook items. We love to scrapbook and have many items we don't use and we would love to share them with you. So, if you scrapbook and would love to have 29 odd and ends from our collection, please comment by Friday the 29th and we will put all the names in a bowl on that day. If we draw your name on Friday....you win!
Let the commenting begin!

Thursday, February 21, 2008

A few questions

As I have been sitting in our schoolroom/office today I have asked myself these questions.

*** Why are my kids singing Christmas carols today?

*** Why is it so bitterly cold outside today after being so warm yesterday?

*** Why did I spend so much time racking my brain and searching trying to figure out where I had put my 3 wreath hangers. When in reality I only have 1, I have nails on my front doors for my wreaths.

*** Why is Easter coming so soon this year? I don't think I will get Anna's Easter dress in from Kelly's Kids in time, which means I have to buy a back-up dress-UGH!! And with it coming so soon I can't leave my Easter egg wreaths(that Abby made for me) up for as long, which means I will have to come up with something else to finish out spring. UGH-UGH!!!

*** Why is it that I finally "get" fractions? At my age? Why didn't I "get" them while in school when I was being graded on them?

I'm sure you have questions of your own you could add to the list, feel free to leave them in comments and we'll put them on here!

Julie

Bad Puppy

Our fatihful readers will remember the puppy post last month. A puppy was donated for our school auction. A parent secured the donation and ensured me all was good with the pup. Well, wrong!
The couple that bought the puppy called me yesterday to let me know the puppy was in bad shape. The puppy store who donated the puppy gave us papers that don't match the dog, the dog has two diseases along with other issues. I know very little about dogs so I am not even going to begin to list the conditions because I would get it all screwed up and confuse you.
The past few weeks have been a soap opera for this family as they have tried to get all this straightened out. After spending more on the dog to keep it alive than they did to pay for the dog at the auction, the new owners are ready to sell it!
I called the Humane Society to turn in the puppy people and I was told the puppy place has lots of complaints on file. They are running a puppy mill. So sad and so my luck. Anyway, here is the skinny: don't put a live pet in an auction and don't buy a pet at an auction.

Abby

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Walmart and Twila- What a day!

Let me make this disclaimer before telling my story: We are by no means in dire straits and (being one to never turn down money) don't need any money (at this time)(however if you feel the need to send some, feel free!!HA!HA!)
The kids and I went on our weekly Walmart trip today. We usually make this trip on Monday but I was evidently playing tag with the 24 hour stomach bug and got tagged so yesterday was a wash! We bought groceries for the week plus detergent, vitamins, and some of those little purple pills. We got to the check-out and with about 4 items left to be rung up Samuel said "hey mom, how much do you think it is now?" (This is a game we play) the clerk hit the total key and it was $13 over what I had in my pocket.( We have been on the cash only system for over 2 years now thanks to Dave Ramsey) So I only have what is in my pocket, no check, no card, no nothin! I told the lady "stop" she said "stop?" I said "STOP!!!! We have to put stuff back!" I was a little bit embarrased (read a lot embarrased!). So we put back the cokes, the sugar, the detergent, applesauce and bubbles. Nothing that was a nessacity for lunch or supper. I normally tell Stephen when I am buying detergent and anything extra so I get a little extra money, but I neglected to do that this time. So while making a hospital visit this afternoon he stopped by Walmart-a dfferent one- and got what I couldn't. What a nice guy!
And before you jump on the "he doesn't let you have any money" bandwagon let me say that that is a choice that was made by me, not him, right after Anna was born. I am a much happier, more easy-going person because of it.
One more thing before I go. One of the kids and my favorite songs is The Days of Elijah (which can be heard at www.twilaparis.com click on jukebox). I turn it way up and the kids come running to the office and dance around. There is nothing like seeing Anna standing up in her chair singing "there is no God like Jehovah" and seeing the boys dancing around repeating that phrase. I know that all kinds of kids are singing all kinds of songs but wow! when I see my kids singing Christian songs with a great message it just warms my heart. The song that plays after the Days of Elijah is "He is Exalted". This is Anna's favorite and she even knows what exalted means. I took a picture of Anna singing while I've been typing this but for some reason it won't post-sorry!
Well I know I have used many ( ) and " " in this and probably a few too many of these !!!!!!!
But I can't help it!
Hope your trips to Walmart are better than mine!!!
Julie

Saturday, February 16, 2008

An Apron by Me

Here is my weekend sewing project! I looked too skanky from crafting all day too model it for you and Anna lives too far away to model it for me, so here it is. I am SO on the beginner level when it comes to sewing, so this was sort of a feat for me. I did not use a pattern nor did I have any help. I also must add that I had not gotten my sewing machine out of the bag since I last used it in December of 2006. It has been a good confidence builder to get in there and make something in a couple of hours. I am now off to clean up my sewing mess!


Abby

a dress by me!



For some reason Abby and I have caught the sewing bug. I made 2 dresses, here is Anna's favorite one.


Yes, I realize this was the easiest of dresses to make, but indulge me please!


PS. She doesn't seem like a victim of strep and the flu does she?

Julie

Friday, February 15, 2008

3 posts in 1 day?

Hey again! This is our third post in one day. It is a record for us. Sometimes we don't get 3 posts in one week!
Just wanted to let you all know that I took Anna to the doctor today. She was running a fever of about 101.5, runny nose, and over-all not feeling good. She only complained that her throat hurt. I took her, they looked at her and did the strep test. When the doctor came in to tell me that she did in fact have strep she also said that she was going to do a flu test on her, because some children were coming in with strep and flu. I told the doctor that they probably needed to give the mothers something for having to take those children home and keep them happy! HA! She came back and told me that I was one of those mothers! YES! Anna has strep and the flu! So all the kids are on tamiflu and Anna is in the house for 5 days.
I think I'm not feeling very good myself! HA!

Julie

The Valentine Pressure

I am so glad Valentine's Day is over. I am not a huge fan of it. I love that it teaches kids to express love and show kindness to friends and family. I also enjoy all the red, pink and fun decorations. Other than that, I am not a huge fan.
I think my hubby shows me love everyday and there is really no need to place great expectations on him on February 14th. He is not the frilly, romantic type guy that is going to shower me with rose petals, candles, Godiva (though we do have some in our house leftover from Christmas - thanks to my sweet neighbor), romantic music and poetry. I think I would gag and then laugh at him if he did do all that!
He had roses delivered to me on our first Valentine's Day in 2002. I was in Conway at the time and the florist wouldn't deliver them to my work so he had them sent to to my Aunt Babs' house and I didn't get them until the 15th, when I arrived back in Memphis to celebrate with him. They got mixed in with all the other flowers from my grandmother's funeral on my aunt's sunporch and my sister had to point them out to me after sitting among the flowers for a while. So not the plan! I must tell you that I did have the rose petals put into an eternity candle and that candle is on our dresser.
Anway, the whole rose delivery fantasy was lost. Poor Rand! He also gave me Safari perfume that year. It lasted for three years. He then took me to Bahama Breeze because he heard it was a great date place. We left without eating because it looked so nasty and we ended up at Sonic sharing a brownie sundae. Since then the pressure to perform on Valentine's Day has sent him into "shut-down" mode and that is totally understandable. So, as you can tell Valentine's Day is not our best holiday!
I think Rand does a good job of showing me his love all 365 days each year. I do appreciate the thoughtful card he always gives me on Valentine's and the extra kisses. No need for more.
Whew, aren't you glad we can move on to Easter and focus on much bigger and fun things?!

Abby

valentines-not so good!

It has been made official, Stephen has relieved me of my duties as social chairman of our family. It is a job that is not coveted. I used to be pretty good at it, but the last few years I have struggled mightly in this position. Stephen should have taken over long ago!
I had made plans for a babysitter, and our plans were to go look at throw pillows and eat. Well we got a late start because of the Gatorade Duals at the Daytona 500. They were not over at 4, so we didn't leave until about 4:20 and that put us in Pine Bluff later than I wanted. We still looked at pillows and then when we were through looking at them it was too late to eat anywhere good, because all the restaurants were full! We ended up at a mexican restaurant because we had promised Jeremy(the coolest babysitter) that we would be back by 7 so he could study for his algebra test. We had steak fajitias because we wanted a steak and that was all they offered that was close! And we didn't even find any pillows!!!!UGH!!!
I think we might have to revisit Valentines Day again soon, maybe March 14th, yes I think that is what I will do. I will make reservations for dinner, get a babysitter, and still mess up just a bit so that I don't get re-instated as social chairman! Sounds like a plan! Don't tell Stephen!

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Valentines

Happy Valentines Day to you all!
This morning while I was still lying in bed not wanting to wake up. David came into our bedroom all decked out in his pj shirt(which is to small-what happened to the days of my kids having great pj's?) a red and black striped tie around his neck and a towel over his arm, and a menu in his hand. I circled what I wanted (waffles-the frozen kind) and he then went to Stephen's side of the bed to get his order (poptarts). Daniel and Samuel came back with our food on a pretty silver platter and our breakfast plates adorned with a beautiful 4-olive garnish. Nothing speaks love to a person like green olives with blueberry waffles!
It was the sweetest expression of love from 4 children to their parents that I can think of. We have done nothing to celebrate this holiday, we haven't made cards, or paper hearts, (I have lost my romanticism), but they came through like gangbusters! What great kids.
I did take them to the store yesterday and let them pick out what they wanted for a V-Day gift, so I at least got them something but it wasn't anything like it should have been. I'm pretty sure they know of my great love for them though!
Back to the lack of ramanticism (is that a word?)- I have scheduled a babysitter(the kids favorite one!) for tonight and Stephen and I are going out to eat and maybe pick out throw pillows for the couch. How romantic!!!
Happy V-Day!!!!!
Love, Julie

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Valentine E-Card Tip

Looking for a creative & easy way to send a Valentine card? Smilebox is the answer. It is simple, fast and well received. I have posted an example of one of the many cards I have made:

Click to play
Create your own free ecard - Powered by Smilebox
Make a free ecard - it's easy!



Abby

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Monday musings on a Tuesday!

**I'm not doing very well on my goal of reading non-fiction books. It turns out I just don't like them much.

**Last Sunday night Stephens phone rang while he was preaching! Too funny!

**As I was growing up and would visit my Grandad's church it always seemed that my grandmother knew all the word to the hymns. I desired then as a 10-12 year old to know all the words to all the hymns sung in church. I would like to tell you that after being a ministers wife for almost 15 years and a Christian for almost 30 years(is that possible?) I hardly need a hymnal anymore(or for those of you who look at a screen-at a screen). One goal pretty much accomplished.

**The kids and I went to the Goodwill store in Conway and loved it! What a great store if you like used clothes. I bought curtains with a valance, books, 2 hats(for crazy hat night at Awana-1 of them is Mickey Mouse ears), a pair of shorts for me for $12! Wow what a bargain!

**My kids are actually learning how to add, subtract and spell because of my teaching! WoW!

**Even short(less than 24 hour) trips to see my mom are worth the effort and time driving.

Julie

Saturday, February 9, 2008

The Wood Anniversary

The 5th anniv. is the year for wood. I always crack up at the traditional anniversary gift list. Rand knew I was making fun of the ideas on the internet for wood related gifts. My favorite idea was a bonsai tree. How sweet, romantic and practical is that?! Oh my. Well, my Rand came home yesterday afternoon full of excitement with this piece of wood he had painted blue. He read that blue was the color for the 5th anniversary. What a dear heart! We did end up purchasing a wood plaque with an Abe Lincoln quote on it last night for our gift to each other. Rand was going to try and claim the wood/marble table he bought me at Christmas as the wood related gift. Not a chance buckaroo! The painted blue wood idea was awfully cute though.
Yes, Anniversary week has now come to an end...we can all move ahead to Valentine's Day!

Abby

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Anniversary Slide

Click to play Anniversary Slide



I promise...this is the last cheesy anniversary post. I can't help it...I love my Rand!



Abby

Monday, February 4, 2008

Five Years Ago...

My favorite wedding picture - Rand has it on his nightstand

Five years ago this week, I married my Randall. I am always so excited when this special date rolls around. We have the best love story and everyday the story gets better. Sometimes it feels like we have been married forever and other days it seems like it was just yesterday that he showed up at my cousin Hollye's back door with his beautiful blue eyes for the blind date my dear sister arranged for us. If I only knew then what that blind date had in store...wow! I am so glad it has lead me on this incredible life journey with my Rand.
We got married on a beautiful winter day that ended under a wonderful blanket of snow. It was perfect. I loved being a bride. I often tell people I would have been a bride forever if they would have let me! I think those closest to me were glad to see my bridal days come to an end. I milked it really good.
The past five years have been full of precious memories. The little things are what make the best memories for us. Rand buying me a 4-wheeler for our first married Valentine's day so I could drive instead of ride, Rand taking me to see the Rockette's on his birthday which was also the opening day of duck season (then for pay back, Rand making me go to a tractor pull AND a monster truck rally), sitting on the back porch on long country summer nights, discovering the Charlie Daniel's Museum by accident, Zoo Lights at Christmas, walking on the beach together at sunset, "cook up a date night" on Friday nights, frying chicken for the first and last time, people watching on Beale Street and sharing cake at the Peabody, summer weekends at the lake, watching Rand's face as I crossed the finish line at the Nike 26.2, having "dance party" at random times in the house while laughing until it hurts, and Rand kissing my forehead each morning before I depart for work are a few of the things that make my heart smile.
Life is never dull in our home and I love it. I am his little drama queen and he is my big drama king. I thank God everyday for the laughter and the tears because it makes us a solid, fun, lively and steady pair.

I can't wait to celebrate anniversary week!!!!

Abby

Sunday, February 3, 2008

A Frosty Night - Completed!

Silent Auction Tables (the main purpose of the event)
I love Ms. Carolyn! She is me in 40 years.
(can you tell how hot I was in all that fur? The red cheeks are a dead giveway.)

The Legacy Center (our new gym)
Registration Table
Paper Mache Snowmen (created by middle school art students)
Live Auction Stage

Frosty Tablescape ( before candlight)

These are the few snapshots I took of the big event. I was too busy to take any pictures of the food stations, the snowflake ice sculpture, the awesome outdoor decorative display or the guests. Abby's Army was marching in high gear last night! (my boss and the board members call my volunteers "Abby's Army"). Hopefully the student newspaper can send me more snapshots this week. It was a success, well received and fun. After eighteen hours yesterday and twelve hours on Friday, I barely got out of the car last night when I arrived home. I literally had to hold on to the wall in the garage to make it inside. I am exhausted and glad I can now focus on other little things, like my 5 year wedding anniversary this Friday!

Thanks to all of you who sent text messages yesterday, left blog comments and sent emails wishing me well, while lifting me up in prayer. I promise that I felt each little prayer...thanks so much!

Abby

P.S. The puppy sold for $500 to a man who had not informed his wife he was bidding on it!

Saturday, February 2, 2008

For Dad!

As you know Stephen is out of town and I wanted to share this video with him (and of course the rest of you!). In it Samuel shoots & scores!
Today was the basketball jamboree. We played 2 games and won 2 games!!!
video

Friday, February 1, 2008

A clean garage!?!


Stephen has gone to New Orleans on a mission trip and will be gone all weekend, so I decided to take advantage of this opportunity and clean out the garage. You know, since he is out of town I won't feel the need to call and ask his permission to throw something away.

I know some of you looked at the picture and thought it was a "before" picture but it is most definitely an "after" picture ( I wouldn't have dared to even take a before picture!) Those of you that know me or have been to the house can attest to the fact that it is looking much better! Stephen joked at church about letting a lady park her car in our garage so that it would be in the shade, and some people-yes youDebbie!- knew that that was not going to be possible. It hasn't been a clean garage since Oct 18,2006-the day before we moved in! Now I have attempted to clean it but I have never thrown so much stuff away. I probably should have taken a picture of all the trash!

We are getting new furniture very soon-could even be today YEA!!!-I will take a picture of that and show it to you too!

HEY! Don't forget to keep praying for Abby. Her event is tomorrow and she has a lot going on. Pray that her volunteers will show up with good attitudes, that all the rental equipment comes in without a hitch, and that she can stay focused on the task at hand (and stop worrying about Becca's mom, etc...HA!) and also that this event raises more money than last year, so that even more children can attend ECS that can't afford it.

Love ya'll