Monday, June 30, 2008

Weekend

Weren't the pictures great?

We had such a good time. The rehersal dinner was fun and casual. Abby and Sarah(now a mom of 2 girls!) led everyone in singing "Zacheaus was a wee little man." Apparantly it would make Zach mad when Sarah would sing it to him as a little boy, and she thought it would be a hoot if she had everyone sing it at the rehersal dinner. And she was right, it was such fun. Aunt Janet and Uncle Mike picked the best food, the prettiest decorations and made such a relaxing atmosphere at the very height of a stress filled time. It was just a great time.

I have decided after being there that we will probably forego the rehersal dinner toasts at my boys weddings, there was just too much information given Friday night. I don't think I will be able to handle all the stories of my boys. So, to their future brides- Expect a meal made by me and served in my kitchen!! HA! HA!

I can't wait to read the book Aunt Janet is going to write for me on How to Be the Mother of the Groom. It should be a best seller!!!

The wedding was beautiful and the reception was an exciting time. I saw plenty of things I had seen before, and a few things I hadn't seen before, but we all had such a good time.

Congrats Zach and Staci!
Congrats Sarah and Brandon, Grace and Molly!!!
Congrats Aunt Janet and Uncle Mike!!!!

Congrats Staci & Zach




We went "home" to our cousin Zach's wedding, this past weekend. It was wonderful to get all us Davis/Tilton peeps together for a celebration. It was beautiful and so much fun!
Enjoy the slideshow.

P.S.
Molly Claire is here!!!!
(Pics to be posted in a day or so) Our cousin Sarah (..who is in lots of the above pictures. She was the groom's very pregnant sister) had her baby girl this morning. We are so excited!

Abby & Julie

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Another tooth lost!

After Bible School last night, Daniel pulled his tooth out. His first tooth! We were so excited.

It was the tiniest baby tooth I've ever seen. On his way to the truck, the tooth fell out of the kleenex it was in. And it is lost, LOST!

We looked for that tooth in the dark on the black asphalt parking lot and could NOT find it. But Samuel to the rescue- he assured Daniel that the tooth fairy would still come. And that made everything better.

Until this morning when Daniel came and woke me up and said "The tooth fairy didn't leave me anything, not even a penny." Oh, that tooth fairy! Well, it turns out that when I went in his room with my hand in a tightly held fist(full of something!), Daniel found the money the tooth fairy had left him. It had fallen out from underneath his pillow! Can you believe it? You better, because it happens just about ALL the time the tooth fairy comes (or just forgets and goes to bed without thinking another thing about it!)

Congrats Daniel! This has been quite a week for you!
Julie

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Happy Birthday, Licca Lou!

I hope this year proves to be just as fabulous as you are!
I can't wait to see you Friday!!!!!!
(promise not to beat for posting this picture, ok?!)
Abby

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Random Shots of the Move

The "Blue" Hydrangea
This beautiful pink (suppose to be blue, even with nails stuck in the ground all around it) flower was one of the first gifts Mrs. Rochelle gave me. I told her in a conversation that I loved blue hydrangeas because it reminded me of my Mawmaw's house when I was little. She remembered that and I came home one day to this sitting in my driveway.We planted it on her side of our house so she could see it bloom and grow. I am so glad it is blooming where she can see it and always remember our special friendship.

The Fridge

As we prepared to move into our house in 2004, Rand found this $1500 fridge for $500 at an appliance store in Memfricia. The box was damaged in shipping and they couldn't sell it in their showroom. It was our favorite prize in the house for a long time. We loved the deal we got and how it matched our appliances perfectly. It was even the same name brand! We left it with the new owners. This is my Rand with his fridge right before he left the house for the last time.

Closing the Door

I took this picture while closing the garage door for the last time. I thought it would be a great picture for my scrapbook. I can hear the door going down in my head as I type this. I loved that a few empty boxes are in the picture. Sort of symbolic, I think.


Welcome Home!

Rand about died when he saw that I took this picture on the bridge. (You know my driving record and this was on top of the mighty Mississippi - yikes!) I smiled as I crossed the bridge. I thought I would cry, but I didn't. I am thrilled about the opportunity to start fresh and set new goals, etc. There is something to be said for new beginnings.

Abby

Saturday, June 21, 2008

I got a phone!

Yes, it is true! I am the proud owner of a cell phone.

I know it is 2008 and everyone over the age of 12 has a cell phone, but for various reasons, I was not the proud owner of one.

Stephen and I bought our first cell phone in the spring of 1997 when I was pregnant with Samuel. Stephen decided we needed one, or I needed one, because I was pregnant and might have an emergency situation (I guess). So, we bought one and Stephen carried it. I know-it makes no sense. Fast forward to Sept 17, 1997-I have a wreck, total Stephens truck, on the way to work and DON'T HAVE THE PHONE! I couldn't get a hold of Stephen and ended up sending my friend Jill to drive around town to find him. He didn't have the phone either, it was at home!

We haven't really been cell phone people. We understand the need for one, Stephen has always had one for work, but doesn't always keep it charged. (And yes, that is VERY maddening when I am trying to get a hold of him!) I have just shared his.

Well back in February when the kids and I went to Ft Smith when Stephen was in New Orleans, his Dad bought me a tracphone-you know, pay as you go-so that I wouldn't be on the road without a phone. What a great guy. I have always referred to it as a fake phone. Because I don't want anyone calling me on it, since I have to pay for every minute, and there are no free times.

So, back to the story. Thursday at baseball practice, Stephen came late. When he got there I was on the bleachers, and he talked to me and then went onto the field with all the other dads. Then the phone behind me started ringing, and no one knew who it belonged to. So, I picked it up and noticed it was Stephen's phone number. I answered it thinking it was one of the coaches phones or something. When I answered it, Stephen says" Who is that wonderful guy that just bought you that phone?" It was very "My Best Friends Wedding"like.

So I have a Grizzly red razr phone! I love it, but I don't have texting on it. So I am taking up a collection to pay for the monthly $6.00 fee. Anyone game to help a girl out?

What a great hubby I have. I love you!!!!

Julie

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Learning to Cherish

Not everyone has experienced moving away from a place they love that is also surrounded by people they love. For those of us that have, it is a tough deal. I have done it twice now and each time has been different, yet the same.
I left Fort Smith in 2001 the day after my cousin Sarah got married (Aunt J, do you see the irony in this?) to do an internship at St. Jude during my summer break, and I never returned home to live after that. I had lived off at college for years but Fort Smith was my home. I was born there and all my roots were planted firmly right there in the Fort. I felt like a little butterfly leaving its cacoon.
Now, in 2008 I am leaving the Memfrica area for Jonesboro. I have started my career here, met and my husband, buried my Meemaw, built a home with my husband, learned to eat slaw on bbq pork sandwiches, made precious friends, and bonded closely with my Memphis People.

Learning to cherish and not cling has been a hard lesson, but one I have learned this time around. I want to share this awesome book for those of you who might also be in this season of your life. It is called After the Boxes are Unpacked by Susan Miller and it is incredible!
Julie gave it to me to read. It was given to her by her two dear girlfriends in Leachville, when she had to move away. Please read the article linked to the book title (above), it will bless your transition, I promise!

Abby

Moving Forward

Today I opened the door in my house for the last time.
The movers are packing up now and plan on loading it tonight.
It will be taken to storage until we find a new home.

I also greeted my Aunt Babs and Claire one last time. It was fun to see them. Babs brought me a silver platter of Meemaw's to use in my new home. I love old pieces with history.

As I took the trek back to Byhalia yesterday I listened to a song I rarely listen to. It is on a CD a dear friend made for me a few years back. It is by Innocence Mission and it is called "Tomorrow on the Runway" and it speaks exactly what is on my heart. (Thanks Ash)

Old days, don't come to find me,the sun is just about to climb up over there.
While my heart is sinking I do not want my voice to go out into the air.
Did you leave the darkness without me?You're always miles ahead.
And you're standing in tomorrow on the runway.
Oh be the music in my head,the air around my bed, oh be my rest.
Replace the small disgraces of the times and places that I never really left.
Did you leave the darkness without me?
You're always miles ahead.And you're standing in tomorrow on the runway.
Oh I want to fly, fly forward into the light,
be alive, to come alive,on the leaf-bright Friday drive,
sudden horses at the red light,turn around, see clearer ways to go now.

I am staying with my sweet neighbor while I am here. They are irreplaceable. She squeezed my lime for me as she poured my Diet Coke last night and said " I bet your new friend doesn't squeeze the lime wedge for you!". It was so funny. We laughed but she is so sad about me leaving. I can see the pain on her face. I love that lady so much. I know I will always have a place to call home in Byhalia, right here in her house.

I must go check on the movers and make sure
they aren't breaking my china!

Abby

A few things

First of all, and most importantly DANIEL WAS SAVED!!!
Monday night after I had tucked him in bed we heard him crying. Stephen went in to check on him and he was crying saying" I need to be saved". Stephen talked to him, showed him Bible verses and prayed with him. What a sweet moment.
We are all so excited, the smile didn't leave his face until this morning (this is Wednesday). How precious.
We don't know when he will be baptized, but we will let everyone know when the date is.

Second,
Today the boys had a cooking competition ala Iron Chef. The secret ingredient was bologna. They had 45 minutes and all cooked at the same time. It was such fun listening to them.
Samuel presented me with a "bologna skewer" and "bologna nachos". The skewer had onions, carrots, and of course fried bologna all on a knife/skewer. The nachos were made up of two different chips, lettuce and fried bologna seasoned with a bbq rub and Cavendars.
David made a "bologna salad".It had large lettuce leaves, chunks of carrots ("because mom I know you like chunky carrots in your salad",) pickles, and bologna, all with a dressing of red cooking wine, lemon juice and Cavendars.
Daniel made a "bologna burger". It had two pieces of fried bologna spiced with paprika, and taco seasoning all on a toasted bun.
I had to declare a winner so David won. His presentation was beautiful and colorful. His prize is two lunches today and possible breakfast for lunch tomorrow.
They were so cute and quite Iron Chef-like in their presentations to me-the judge. It was the cutest thing. Now, I wish I had videotaped it. TOO CUTE!!!!!!!!!!!!
Julie
ps. Did I tell you that this was all their idea. All of it, I had nothing to do with it at all.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Father's Day

Did anyone notice the picture in the previous post? Could she have picked a worse picture of me? What kind of sister is that?

Yesterday, the kids gave Stephen the same treatment for Father's Day as I got for Mother's Day. Except instead of pickles, he got sunflower seeds with his marshmellows, and poptart. They are truly the sweetest kids ever!!

Happy Father's Day to the Fathers in my life. My Daddy, Charlie(my father-in-law), Uncle David and Stephen. I know there are many people who have suffered because of the actions of their fathers, but I have never known anything but love from all of you. Thank you for being men of faith and love. I love you all! irbt

Julie

Happy Father's Day, Daddy


A day late, but not forgotten!
Happy Father's Day to our funny, sweet, thoughtful and old Daddy!
We love our Ole Miss Rebel loving Daddy the biggest much!
Love,
Your beautiful, charming and most delightful Daughters

Friday, June 13, 2008

We're home!! This post is loaded!

We made it home, all of us, safely. Thank you, God.

I never take traveling lightly. I guess since we haven't lived in a town with a Walmart for 13 1/2 of our almost 15 years of marriage and we have had to travel 30 miles one way to get our groceries I have asked God many times to post angels at all sides of our vehicles. I did that again yesterday as Stephen and I traveled by plane to Little Rock, and my children traveled by car there to meet us. We all arrived safely and on time.

Because of the 50 pound limit for each piece of luggage, Stephen had to do a little reshuffling of "stuff" to get both bags to weigh less than 50 lbs. Have I ever told you what a great packer he is? I mean truly one of the greatest packers I know. And I only know 2. My mother and Stephen.

I received SO many books from the wives luncheon on Tuesday, and we had accumulated magazines, brochures, and just stuff that we were a little nervous that we wouldn't be able to get so much stuff to just weigh a total of 100 lbs. But we did! Wow!

It was such fun to see the kids again. They, of course, looked like they had grown a few inches in the 5 days since we had seen them. What good kids they are. I know they are rambunctious, rowdy at times, but they have good hearts and loving spirits. You just can't beat that!

So, today I am doing laundry. Not the kids laundry, Charlie had everything cleaned, and some things ironed. Way to go F-I-L!!! I'm folding clothes, catching up on everything that I missed out on the last few days. And while doing so, I am sweating!!! Yes, our air conditioner has frozen. I don't know how that is possible when it is so hot in here, but that is what Stephen says the problem is. Apparently the air conditioner got so cold it froze and can not cool our house! I know that isn't what happened, but it sounds like it!

Last night I sent Samuel to check out the pool, because when we drove by something didn't look right. And sure enough, there was a sign that said it was closed until the 17th! UGH! We were so looking forward to spending a quiet day by the pool. Well, everyone but Samuel.

Samuel made the all-star team again this year. This is his 3rd all-star team to be on. We are so proud of his accomplishments. We have a tournament game tonight and tomorrow. Stephen doesn't allow Samuel to swim before tournament games. Its the pits for Samuel, but its just a couple of times a year!

Can you believe it? The life guard just called and said the pool is opening tomorrow! We won't be able to swim tomorrow, but we will on Sunday! Yay!!!!

We got the results from Samuel's Iowa test that he took back in March. We were both really nervous about the test since we weren't sure what material would be covered on the test. We prayed about it and Samuel did his best. And boy did he ever! He scored WAY above his grade level in reading and way above his grade level in math. Thank you God again! You are an amazing, amazing God. I pray that I will also praise you and know that you are amazing in times that aren't as good as these.

Well, thats all I can think of right now. I think I'm going to take a shower and cool off a bit.
Julie

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

The Lady of Lesiure Speak Out

Being a lady of leisure has its perks but for the most part, I don't like it. I honestly don't know how people stay at home all the time and don't go insane in the membrane. If I had kids, I would understand and might like the time, but I have no kids, no pets, no dependants. My house plants are the closest thing I have to being a dependant.
I guess if I was rooty tooty and played tennis at the club in my cute little skirt set and then went to lunch with my uppity friends in my Range Rover, it would be enjoyable...but no such luck with all that. I am a middle class ball cap wearing white girl, in Nike shorts, a t-shirt and worn out Reef flip-flops, while driving down the road in my Nissan most days of the week.

Rand and Jules tell me I am starting to look a tad white trash with my lack of upkeep, but really? Is there a need to waste make-up and energy on getting dressed for nothing? I love not knowing anyone and not having to worry that I look horrible when I go into stores. It is such a free feeling. I am appreciating the days of not having to care about how I look because I know we will soon meet people and run into them a lot. Image will be important then, of course because Jonesboro is a somewhat snotty community ( I do say that with much respect because I do appreciate playing the society game with the best of them, when and if I have to). So, why not live up the white trash life while I can, Ay?! (In my best Canadian accent, of course)

Seriously though, if you stay at home all day, do you get dressed for the day? I am curious to know if I really do have an appearance problem or if I am normal in my overly casual attire. I am starting to get a little worried because everytime Anna sees herself in a hat she says "I look like Aunt Abby" and laughs.

I do hope these days are numbered though. Elastic waistbands are deceiving until you put on regular pants....ouch!


Abby

Monday, June 9, 2008

We made it!!

We made it!
The kids are spending time with grandparents and enjoying themselves so much. I just hope the grandparents are enjoying it as much.

Stephen and I traveled through many airports yesterday and had a great time together. Last night we went to the pastors conference and it was really good. What good preachers we are privileged to hear.

I'm hoping to be able to share with you something that was said last night and how God spoke to me through it. I'm not so good with words, so we'll have to see.

We are just about to leave the hotel to go hear 12 sermons. 12 sermons. And the bookstore is open today! YAHOO!!!!!!! I just love it there!!! In fact last night when we talked to the kids after we got back to the hotel, they wanted to know if I had gone to the bookstore yet. Even Anna. They know me so well!!!!

Talk to ya'll later!

Julie

Friday, June 6, 2008

We're off!

We're off!
I've packed for 6 people going in two different directions.
I've wrapped 2 Father's Day gifts. ( I know, I still have to get Stephens!)
The house is clean, so that when we come home it will look as if the cleaning fairies have been here. I just love the cleaning fairies.
We have gotten all of our tickets, reservations, and various papers we will need.
The van is cleaned out! WOW!!!! Thank you D&D!
We're ready to go. Can't wait-a semi vacation. Although I don't know if you can call it a vacation if you have to set the alarm, and your schedule is not your own. But, we try to make the best of it!!!
Talk to ya'll soon!!!
Julie

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Kiss An Angel Good Morning

Last night I watched an old Grand Ole Opry special. Charlie Pride was featured singing his signature song and it made me laugh out loud, literally.
If you had the privilege of knowing my Meemaw, you knew she was the definition of a true southern belle and quite prissy. Oh, I miss making her laugh. My Aunt Babs says that I brought out a side of Meemaw like nobody else. I loved it and love the memory of making her laugh at my nonsense.

So, the point: I know!
On one of her bus trips to Branson with the senior adults from church, she saw Charlie Pride in concert. She always called when she got home and this time was most memorable. Oh, to hear her voice when she called and asked Daddy, "Bob, did you know that Charlie Pride is a black man?!" ( If you knew her, you can hear her in your mind...isn't it hilarious?! ) It is one of our funniest Meemaw memories of all time.

Don't you love how the simplest memories of those we love so dearly can evoke laughter. Anytime anyone in our family sees Charlie Pride or hears his infamous song, we are instantly reminded of Meemaw and usually laugh out loud because it is still so funny.

Abby

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Sign, Sealed and Delivered

Our Custom Built House in Byhalia, MS
(at Christmas time...my favorite!)

My Most Favorite Place in this House

Well, it is official...we have a contract on our house and are planning to be moved out by the end of June. God showed us his mercy last week and for that we are most thankful. The offer was unexpected, exactly what we wished for and proved to be one that was bathed in prayer for many weeks. Praise be!

We were told to be ready to sit on the house for at least 127 days due to the area and the slow market. We instead sat on it for about 62 LONG days. We had 5 showings and 1 finally brought forth fruit. Because Rand's company deals with the written contract and closing and then they will pack us, move us and unpack us... it is sort of a cake walk compared to what other people go through when in this same boat. Because we have not yet found a new house to call home at this time, we are looking for a storage unit for all of our belongings that won't fit in our apartment. We feel very blessed to not have all the stress that this transition usually brings a homeowner.

Our home:

It was a great gift from God. We bought it 4 years ago when the market was booming and prices were low. We literally customized everything from the floor to the ceiling. We didn't realize what we had until we started looking for a house here. Humbling, is the best word to describe it without getting too personal!

Through all of this I am learning that a house doesn't define you, yet your home does. Whether you live in a trailer, an apartment, a modest house or an elaborate house...it is your home and a home defines you as a family or an individual, regardless of what or where it is.

I didn't realize how attached I was to my house until I drove away from it 2 weeks ago with all we could fit in Rand's truck and on his trailer, in order to set up a temporary home while keeping the house staged to near perfection. As I looked in the rear view mirror my heart sank and I didn't like that feeling. My 1.6 acres of perfect Bermuda my husband had seeded and sodded himself, my lilies that my husband brought home to me when we first moved in had tripled in size, my hostas were in perfect health, my irises that my mother-in-law planted for me were budding and blooming all over the place, my Mexican petunia that my mother-in-law also planted for me was making its annual appearance, my rose bush was blooming like never before, my little treelings were all in bloom and my blue hydrangea bush that Mrs. Rochelle gave me when we first became friends was growing like wildfire. I was driving away for one of the last times and it made me a bit angry and sad.

The trouble with all this was that I was thinking "my" the whole time I looked back. When in reality, God gave us that house and we made it a home. My home is where I make it. It is true, as overused as it is, your home is where you heart it is. As much as I will always love and cherish the memories in our first house, I am ready to make a home here in this apartment where we live at this current time. If I have learned anything in my 29 full years of living, it is to bloom where you are planted and that is what I intended to do, once again!

Please continue to pray all goes as planned with the closing and that Rand and I can find our place so we can set down roots in our new community.

Abby

Tidbits

Here are a few tidbits from my life.

** I had the kids pictures taken today. They were so cute and acted better than they ever have. I can't wait to see how the pictures turned out, I'll be sure and share with ya'll!

** I bought a brand new pair of Arizona swim trunks for Samuel and a pair of leather Keds that looked VERY new for a total of $5.45 at my local resale store. YAY!!!!

** One of Samuel's teammates last night asked if D&D were twins. I told him yes, and then in all of his 10 year old wisdom he said "but they have different shirts on." I once again told him that they were indeed twins, even though they had different shirts on. And then another teammate in all of his 10 year old wisdom says "Duh, they're fraternal twins!" Apparently it doesn't matter about your DNA, you can tell if they are identical or fraternal twins by the clothes they have on.

** I am going to be packing for the 6 of us for next week. Stephen and I will be going to the Southern Baptist Convention in Indianapolis and the kiddos will be heading to Fort Smith. But don't think that we will stop going to the pool in the afternoon just so I can pack. Oh no, the main thing is still the main thing!

** Bath and Body works is having their big June sale. Make sure you make a run for the store. I forgot about it when I was in town Monday, so I am asking Stephen to go for me when he is in town today. I hope he will go, they have shower gel and creamy body wash for $3 today.

** This goes with the last tidbit. I live in a small town, we have restaurants, Freds, Dollar General and a grocery store, but when we go to a larger town(a city-I guess) we call it going to town. It's official I am a small town girl!

** Did anyone watch The Mole Monday night? We love that show. I think I know who it is, but I can't remember her name. I'll tell you next week.

** I am so excited about being alone with my husband for 5 days I can hardly stand it!!!!!

Well thats all I have. I don't want to bore you to bad!!

Julie

Monday, June 2, 2008

Tired!

I feel like I should let you know about the wonderful weekend we had with Abby and David's baptism and all, but I am so tired.

We have been at the pool every day since it opened but one. Today we were there at 2:00 and then had a pool party for church there until 8:00. 6 hours at the pool. I didn't know a person (especially this person) could get tired of sitting beside a pool, but I am tired. Worn out! But tan and looking good!!!

I will tell you all of my good stories later, right now I'm going to go sit by my tv and relax.

Does that sentence sound strange considering the whole theme of this post? Oh well!!!

Julie

Snapshots from Sunday

Aunt Abby & David after he was Baptised

She says I am her best friend. I love that.


What makes my heart melt and smile all at the same time...these 4 little faces!

Abby

David's Baptism Video & Pictures





This video and thse pictures are from Julie's camera up in the baptistery. The sound on mine (taken from the sanctuary) did not transfer to the CD I am working off of. For you grandparents, we will send you the copy of mine later, so you can see his sweet little face. I love the picture of his Daddy holding him while he prayed. So, sweet.

video

Abby