Tuesday, September 30, 2008

And The Blogs Are...

1. Jodi
2. Susan
3. Terri
4. Emily
5. Michael
6. Trish

If you are on this list...consider yourself tagged.

I need your prayer

Tonight I am to speak at a fashion show and dinner that a Sunday School class at church is putting on. They have sold 100 tickets. So there will be 100 women there, plus 20 models and 10 members of the class.
I'm getting a little nervous. I've known about it for quite some time and have everything ready, but as the time approaches (6:00) my stomach is feeling a little funny and I am not so sure of myself.
So, say a prayer for me if you think about it.

Thanks
Julie

Monday, September 29, 2008

We've Been Tagged

Green Acres has tagged the Sisters.
Here it is. We are to refer to 6 of the blogs we read, while telling a random thing about ourselves in each one. Make sense?

You are to guess the 6 blogs. We will post the answers later in the week.

1. There is nothing like a cow patty. When we were young, our grandfather's church in west Tennessee had a scavenger hunt for the young people. One of the things we had to collect was a cow patty! Our group only took a picture of it though. It was our first real exposure to country life and we wanted no part of it again...now look at us!

2. Being the mom of a teenager is not easy. Samuel is beginning to show signs of adolescence. I am scared! I had to convince him that humans are mammals today...can I just tell you how uncool that was for him and for me!

3. A short German visit is always fun. We had a German exchange student live with us for 3 weeks one time. We learned so much and taught her a lot too. Mama taught her how to wear deodorant!

4. Adoption of a child is so precious. What a blessing that God adopted us into his family, no strings attached. Red, yellow, black and white, we are all precious in His sight!

5. Bobby Petrino. Whew, it is a long season! Not much else to say about that. We are going to the Ole Miss/Arkansas game and sitting on the Ole Miss side with the Nutt clan. Don't throw rocks at us, please! We still bleed Razorback red...no fear!

6. The Welcome Wagon is the coolest. Abby had the welcome wagon in Jonesboro visit her work and give her a sack of stuff. It reminded us of Where the Heart is and that big old truck she drove....I believe her name was Sister Husband. Funny.

So, can you guess any of the blogs mentioned here? All of them came from the blogroll on the sidebar. If you think one of them is you...well ,"Tag-You're it!!"

We will reveal the answers later in the week. Let us know what you think.

Yes, she has morals!



Anna just informed me that when we go to the Children's Theater on Thursday she will not dance on the chair. She gave this reason: "Because I don't dance on chairs."

Well, I feel better that she has some morals. But I have seen her dance on tables and church pews. So, please don't stop praying!

Julie

Sunday, September 28, 2008

There's A Bigger Picture You Can't See

What a comfort:

"There's a bigger picture you can't see. You don't have to change the world, just trust in me. I am your creator I am working out my plan and through you I will show them I Am."

If you have read our blog from the first post until now, you know I love Ginny Owens. Her songs speak my heart. I love it. I started singing (belting it out, actually. Poor Rand.) this song in the shower tonight. I have no idea where it came from...it was totally out of the blue. I love that about my God and this quirky personality He blessed me with. It makes me laugh.

Our family is going through a challenge right now (I will post about it more in the days to come) and this song hit my heart's cry tonight and gave me assurance that it is not up to me to make it better. I just need to simply be.

Through me He will show them who HE is...I love that! Seriously, how do people go through trials without Jesus? Amazing.

Abby

Happy Birthday, Mother!

We love you the BIGGEST Much!
Julie & Abby

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Busy with a wedding

I don't know about you, but I have been busy today. We have cleaned out our garage, and attended a wedding, all without changing clothes! Sound fun? You betcha!!!

This morning I looked out my bedroom window and saw that one of our neighbors had decorated her backyard for a wedding. I was so excited!

I love a wedding!

There were chairs, floral arrangements on the trees and little bows on the chain link fence that separates her yard from ours. Stephen and I got a little nervous when we realized that we should have mowed the yard and moved the trampoline and swingset to make the view from the folding chairs prettier. But we didn't know about the wedding and decided not to make a big scene trying to get our yard pretty for it. After all, they hadn't mowed their yard recently either.

As the wedding drew near, I would sneak a peak from around our garage (which we were cleaning out). To the decor in the wedding yard, they added 2 candelabras with alternating mint green and royal blue candles, royal blue and turquoise streamers and a white sheet for the bride to walk on when she walked down the aisle. (Daniel said he thought it was a slip and slide mat!)

It was going to be quite a show!

I went and sat on my patio at about 10 minutes before 2:00. The wedding was to start at 2:00. I told Abby that I could have gone as a guest in my sweats and Bulldog t-shirt as the dress code was very-casual, possibly come-as-you-are-on-Saturday attire.

The guests finally sat down as it was time for the groom to make his entrance. While the groom came down the side aisle (there was decorum. He didn't walk on the white sheet!) the guests were talking and telling jokes (some of them not so clean!) Then the groom left to go back in the house. I got scared, I thought he was bolting! But he came back out after a minute or two.

Then at 2:15, after many people had come out the door, the bride made her appearance. To the sounds of Celine Dion singing "Power of Love" she walked down the aisle in her beautiful white dress and veil. She looked so pretty. Which just goes to show you that a bride is always beautiful, even if in a backyard.

At 2:18 the wedding was over. OVER! Can you believe it? A 3 minute wedding! It took her that long to get down the aisle!

I was so upset. It was the shortest wedding this side of Vegas.

Stephen tried his best to shame me from watching the neighborhood wedding, but to no avail. I was determined to watch the festivities, and it turns out so was he. He watched from our bedroom window. So romantic. We don't get to sit by each other at weddings very often, because he is either presiding over them, or singing. So it was romantic for us, as we sat, alternating between the bedroom window and the patio.

Julie

Friday, September 26, 2008

A Full Moon of Mall Memories

Today is my Meemaw's birthday (Julie's Grandmother. We had our own little names for the g-parents) She died six years ago. She would have been 86 today. She was the epitome of a southern belle. She was prissy to the very end. She was the perfect example of a preachers wife and she was our god-fearing, loving and respected grandmother.

She and I had a special bond. She was my girl. We were a crazy pair. She LOVED to shop...and mostly for and with me. I was the baby and spoiled rotten. Her excuse for spoiling me, "Hollye and Julie have husbands to take care of them, you have me!" When I was younger the excuse was always, "Y'all know Abby's the baby" (Oh, how I loved it and miss it so much).

There for a long time after she died, I would not go in the Oak Court Mall in Memfrica because it would make me cry. In retrospect, it is actually pretty funny that the mall caused me great grief. I was sort of glad Macy's bought Goldsmith's so I could lay all that to rest. That was our place, our favorite place. We spent WAY too much time at the mall, as you can tell.


It is ironic that her birthday would be on a day that I made history at the Mall at Turtle Creek in Jonesboro. I was there setting up a backdrop for a radio remote for our Hospice group in the center court. Well, it was a very eventful setup, to say the least.
Not thinking about my day when I dressed this morning, I wore my shortest dress to set up our 10x10 booth in the center court of the mall. I was aware in my mind that I needed to be a tad bit careful when I bent down but was unaware of how careful.

As I am bouncing around talking to my boss and co-worker, this random young girl taps me on the shoulder. I thought she wanted a Hospice brochure, so I am smiling real big and being all nice to her. She looks me square in the eye with NO expression and says,

"You just bent over and showed everyone all yo stuff!"


I was Stunned. Floored. Shocked. I was also mad that I had worn panties that had shot elastic on the day that I decided to moon the mall. Poor planning.

My response to her was a simple, "Thank you" with a big smile.


I turn around to digest it all and find my boss and co-worker not breathing because they are laughing so hard. They said I was yanking my dress down to my knees the whole time and then when I said "Thank you", they lost it. I mooned the mall. Yes. I mooned the mall.


Wilma (my Meemaw & Julie's Grandmother) would have passed out in the center court of the mall today. I find it most ironic that memories were made at my new mall on her birthday. I think she is laughing and saying in her best southern belle voice, "Oh, Why Abby!", as she eats her birthday cake in Glory.


Abby

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Familiar Faces and Places


"what a relief it is to see your friendly smile. It is like seeing the smile of God!"
Genesis 33:10

Last week I was desperate for familiarity. I like it here and I am meeting nice people, yet their is something to be said for comfort and familiarity. With a new job, remodeling a home and learning a new town, new faces, routines, etc...I was in BIG need of some of my "homies". Melissa's visit wet my appetite for familiar faces. I just loved being with her. It felt so comfy.

Jules, Stephen and Anna called me last Friday morning and surprised us with a visit. Then, Diana and her crew surprised us with a visit on Saturday. I was on cloud nine when I started this new week. God hears the cry of his children, I know that is fo' sho!

Well, it just gets better.....Mama and Aunt Suzy are going to be in Memfrica on Friday night to fly to Canada on Saturday. I decided to trot on over there after work tomorrow night to spend the night with them and visit. It is Mama's birthday this weekend also. It will be a fun girlie time.

Then, I get to eat breakfast with Daddy, Connie, my sweet Cuz, Hollye Ann and little Claire Allyn. We will then take a family field trip to Ross because it is my favorite store and I am in need of a Ross Dress for Less fix! (There will be no whining from Daddy or Claire...you can sit in the car!)

To top it all off.....I get to eat lunch with Sassy! Mrs. Carolyn, my dearest friend is meeting me for a sandwich before I head back home on Saturday. I could shout for joy at all the love.

I laugh at how I never saw anyone when we lived in Byhalia and now we see our "peoples" all the time. God is so good to bring us to this place at this time.

Thank you God for familiar faces, hugs, laughter and encouragement from all these sweet people.

P.S. Next weekend we get to see the Smart's (our old neighbors and dear friends) and eat at Bonefish....really, my heart may just explode, if my stomach doesn't first!


Abby

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Fun Fall Times



I love Fall time!

Well, we had a fun weekend in J'boro.

Jules, Stephen and Anna K. came Friday night and stayed with us. (The boys had a big time at Ole Miss with Daddy and Ms. Connie. I hear they sat behind the team and Houston talked to each of them.)

Saturday night Diana, Rick, Micah and Tabby came and we ate at Fuji. They came to the house and took a grand tour. While Rand gave them the tour, I went to the fair to tear down the hospital booth and didn't get home until the wee hours of the night. I am SO glad the fair is over! Whew.


Sunday, Rand got an itch for a new front door, so he went and got one. He is always doing something. I get an itch for shoes or a purse...he gets an itch for a door. Really though. I wouldn't trade him though. I love that he is my big ole handy man and no one elses!

I hope your fall time is starting off fun and relaxing!


Abby


Monday, September 22, 2008

It is here!!!

Today is one of my favorite days of the year.

THE FIRST DAY OF AUTUMN!!!!!

I love it. Love it! I love the colors of the changing leaves. Although they are dying, they do it so beautifully and gracefully. I hope to die that way too.
Well that was morbid.
Anyway. I love Autumn. The crispness of the air. The hint of cooler weather but still the feel of the warm summer air.
Believe it or not I even love the smell of Autumn. For some of you Autumn may smell good. For me and the places I have lived the last 15 years the smell of Autumn is defoliant.

Defoliant: a chemical that removes leaves from growing plants

The first few years of Autumn in the northeast part of the state made me want to gag! Oh, I thought it was the worst smell ever. But over the years it has grown on me.
We lived in Camden for one Autumn season and I actually missed the smell of defoliant. I'm sick I know.
Friday, when we were in Leachville visiting some friends(but by no means all of our friends!) I walked outside in the early evening and felt like I was home. It smelled just like Autumn smells in my mind: Defoliant-a killer of green leaves on a growing cotton plant. Who knew it would bring back such wonderful memories?!
I hope you have enjoyed the first day of Autumn. Sadly, it is warm here and we stayed inside almost all day. We'll make up for it though. We will enjoy Autumn to the fullest!!

Julie

Friday, September 19, 2008

Unexpected Guest


This sweet little face is on its way to my house and this aunt is most gitty with excitement!

Jules, Stephen and Sissy are on their way to Leachville to visit their friend who lost their Nana. She called me at lunch and told me the plan and that they will then come to stay the night with us. What a great ending to an awful week!


Abby

Cotton Candy

Randall bought me a bag at the fair last night. When the toothless Carney handed it to me I immediately thought of Jerry Clower. "Why the heck...", you ask? Well, when I was a little girl I went with my Meemaw & Peepaw to see Jerry Clower in West Tennessee, at a large fairground(not sure where we were). All the way there my Peepaw promised me cotton candy. Me, being the cute little fat kid, I was gitty with excitement in the backseat.
My Peepaw was most excited about seeing Jerry Clower and had looked forward to it for a very long time. He missed half the show walking around on his ailing legs trying to find me cotton candy. I remember my Meemaw being so put out with me because I had made Peeps miss the first half of the show because of my sugar addiction. (I loved that lady!)
Long story short, there was no cotton candy in the place, so I got ice cream. Peepaw got to see the second half and that made him happy. His baby girl got sugar and he got a laugh...happiness.
Last night I could not eat much of all that sugar so I ended up giving it to a young family I knew. Their kids had the same smile I had in the backseat on the way to see Jerry Clower! I loved it.

P.S. I appreciate my sister's post about our Pawpaw. It is hard to believe he has been gone for 25 years. He was so young when he died. I knew very little of him. He died 4 days after my 5th birthday. He had my Mawmaw buy me a Prayer Bear in the St. Edward gift shop for my birthday. She left the hospital and brought it to my party, along with a set of Strawberry Shortcake sheets that I still use, from time to time. Anyway, that bear was and is my most cherished childhood toy. I am so glad I have his genes. He was a strong, dedicated, God-fearing and well-liked man. I can't wait to know him better in heaven.


Abby

Playing catch up

Today I am taking the boys to spend the weekend with my dad. We are meeting half-way(well, almost half-way.) They are going to go to their first Ole Miss football game EVER! Samuel is so excited. David and Daniel aren't as excited. The are just glad to be going and spending time with Grandaddy and Ms. Connie. I will tell you that David took a book to last weeks Star City High football game-AND READ IT! I have asked him to please not take a book with him to the Ole Miss game, there is no reason to give Grandaddy a heart attack right there in the stands.
I will run and pick them up Sunday after church, then run to Little Rock to pick up my Duck Duck Goose consignment sale check, and run back home to go to church for our second revival service. Sounds like fun, except that everytime I said run in that sentence it means an hour and a half. Yes, I will be guzzling some gas Sunday!

Wednesday's post was all about me. I wrote about the car accident I had while pregnant with Samuel. Wednesday was also the anniversary of my Papaw's death. He died when I was 13, so it has been 25 years now. Papaw was a great man. He always made me feel like I was the most special person around (and being the only grandaughter for 7 years I was! HA!). I have so many stories I could tell you. When I was giving the boys their "this day in history" lesson Wed I told them about Papaw, that he was a brave soldier, a loving grandfather, and a God-fearing man. A man that it was an honor to know and love. For those of you that remembered, Abby and I did too. Even though I am writing this, Abby feels the same way. I hate that she didn't know him for as long as I did.

We received news this morning that a church member of ours from Leachville died in the night. She was more than a church member to us really. We called her Nana, just like all of her grandkids, she made us feel like part of the family. She was a spit-fire. Red-headed, petite, feisty, loving, and always ready to give a hug.
Stephen started his duck-hunting career because of her husband and grandsons(I forgave them a long time ago!) She would cook breakfast for them early in the morning before they would hunt. By early I mean 4:00 AM. AM!! I didn't even wake up to know Stephen had left the house, and she was frying eggs and making biscuits! She received a special jewel in her crown this morning just for that!
Tracy, Dana, girls, Jill, James Lee, Shawn, Eva, and the rest of the Webb clan, we are grieving this loss with you. Thank you for sharing her with us.

Julie

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Exciting News!!!

http://www.emilyandnathan.blogspot.com/

Go there for exciting news from our good friends Emily and Nathan!!

Congrats!!!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

11 Years ago today

11 years ago today was a day I won't forget.

On my way to work while listening to Paul Harvey on the radio (and wearing a borrowed shirt), a pick-up truck with its cab full of teenagers on their way to school turned in front of me. I was traveling at 55-60mph on Highway 412 in Missouri and hit that truck as it turned in front of me.

I'm not sure what happened, but I remember a feeling of "landing" and noticed that my Steven Curtis Chapman cassette tape was now playing. Apparently the impact had somehow caused the tape to insert itself in the player and play. Very odd.

I remember getting out of the truck, Stephen's first, and to this very day, favorite truck. Seeing pieces of it lying on the ground, the front license plate that said something about loving First Baptist Church Leachville lying on the highway. The accident happened in front of what I call a gas station, Stephen refers to it as a liquor store that sells gas. As I walked from the broken truck across the grass to the gas station a man that had seen the accident looked at me and said "oh man, you're pregnant!" I'm not sure what my exact response was, but I'm pretty sure it was something like"DUH!" Not one of my better moments.
I remember looking over at the other truck and seeing gas leaking out of their truck and no one getting out and hearing someone say "call the fire department!" But I was very into myself at the moment.
I made it into the gas station/liquor store and asked to use the phone. (yes, we had a cell phone for emergencies just like this, but I had left it at home) The lady working there said she had to call the police, and I would have to wait. I calmly (ok so probably not calmly) told her that I was IN the wreck and I needed to make some calls! So I called Stephen at home-no answer. I called Stephen at church-no answer. I called my office and told them to tell my boss that I wouldn't be into work today(because I am the best employee ever!) and told them where I was. I called Stephen again and the church phone was busy, busy, busy. I finally woke my friend Jill up who was also pregnant and asked her to please go find Stephen. It was See You At The Pole day and he had 2 campuses to be at.
Ok, Ok, I hear you-long story short. I rode in my very first ambulance. (Just a side note, the paramedics don't like it if you use your own Carmex while in their ambulance. It is against some rules or something. But when a girl needs her Carmex nothing will deter her!) I was taken to a hospital that I didn't want to go to, so after being there for a couple of hours and having contractions and my baby not moving, I rode in my very second ambulance to a hospital of my choosing. My baby began moving again, and my contractions stopped sometime while I slept that night.
My mama came, my in-laws came, it was a scary time. Things could have turned out so differently. I could have been badly hurt, my baby could have been badly hurt. But in God's goodness he saw fit to keep us both safe and healthy. I will always remember that day as a day of family, friendship, and God's graciousness.
That baby will very soon be 11. I was 34 weeks pregnant and would deliver him 4 weeks later. The accident was the first exciting event in the next 4 weeks. I would be in the hospital again for an afternoon, on bed rest for a week and deliver him 2 weeks early due to high blood pressure.

11 years ago today I experienced God at work. I pray that today-11 years later-I get to experience God working (just not in a car accident please!).

Julie

Monday, September 15, 2008

I am 30!


Yes, I am. I am in a new decade of life and enjoying it so far. We celebrated all weekend. Melissa's visit was the best. Being able to actually look her in the eye, see her smile, hear her laugh, look at her "Oh, my...you are so odd" face when I am telling a story or eating something really strange, Laughing so hard at her expressions that I pee my pants, and being able to hug her sweet neck made my weekend extra special! I miss having my good girlfriends within physical distance....oh, how I miss it.

Randall was a doll and remembered that I told him that I, "just wanted to be happy on my birthday", so he bought me Happy perfume! He is always thinking. He also promises me some furniture from a new store here in town. We will wait for a sale though...you know us!
After tailgating with the workplace and attending the ASU game for 1 quarter, I decided I wanted to end my day with a bang. I wanted a donkey pinata and I wanted to hit it really, really hard and have confetti and candy fall out on top of me. After searching for a donkey and not finding one, I was miffed. Randall convinced me that pin the tail on the donkey would be even better. (not as messy of a clean up for him either) So, that is what we did. We played pin the tail on the donkey in our den and had LOTS of fun. (Now, some of you who read this don't know me and think I am crazy. If you know me, you expect such oddness from me and are laughing at the thought of me and my Rand playing pin the tail on the donkey in our den, by ourselves. It was quite the party, I tell ya.) We decided after sitting alone at the ball game, tailgating by ourselves in a sea of people from my work, shopping all the Walmarts for donkey pinatas and then playing pin the tail on the donkey in our den.....we indeed need some local friends!

I am so blessed to have such sweet family and friends to send me gifts, cards and messages on my birthday. Thanks for making it so special, and thanks to my sister for saying such nice things about me. Wow.

Abby

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Somethin' to think about

My deodorant expires Jan 10, 2039.

Are you kidding me?

2039?

I will be 68 years old when it expires. I'm thinking about not using it anymore and just keeping it around until 2039 to see what happens to it.

And such an exact date, not just January 2039, but January 10, 2039. So, if any of ya'll are still around then, I'll try to remember to tell you what happened to my deodorant. Will it blow up, will it dry out, will it emit an odor akin to body odor?

Lets just pray Jesus comes before my deodorant expires!


Julie

Friday, September 12, 2008

Happy 30th Birthday Abby!


Today, Saturday, is Abby's 30th birthday.
Like most of us, she is probably thinking that she hasn't become the person she thought she would be by the age of 30. So, I took it upon myself to make a list of her accomplishments as a little birthday present to her. If you think of others please leave them in the comments for us to see!
  1. Asked Jesus Christ to be the Lord and Savior of her life
  2. met and fell in love with the perfect man for her
  3. married that man (hi Randall!)
  4. planned, designed, and delegated her wedding from 5 hours away
  5. has lived in 6 cities since graduating from high school
  6. attended three colleges
  7. is a member of a sorority
  8. graduated from UCA
  9. paid off her college loans WAY early
  10. sang solos in church
  11. has completed a marathon
  12. has completed two 5K's
  13. has more friends than can be counted
  14. is a loving, generous sister
  15. is a kind, giving, and loving aunt
  16. has raised many thousands of dollars for Leukemia research
  17. currently holds a job with the responsibility of getting the name of outstanding healthcare out to her community
  18. has been successfully married for 51/2 years
  19. can make a beautifully decorated cake
  20. has great style and fashion sense
  21. never forgets anyones birthday or anniversary
  22. can decorate a Christmas tree more beautifully than Mrs. Claus
  23. is a loyal and devoted sister and friend, daughter and wife
  24. is a daughter-in-law to two mothers-in-law (now that is a fete!)
  25. doesn't take no for an answer
  26. serves on a committee for the United Way
  27. serves on committees for the Chamber of Commerce
  28. has a passport and has used it!
  29. has bought a home, sold it, and bought another one
  30. has impeccable character and integrity

I don't know what all Abby had in mind for her life by the time she reached 30 but I think she has accomplished quite a bit to be proud of. I know I am proud to call her my sister and my friend. I love you girl!

Julie



Thursday, September 11, 2008

Flower of the Month Club

My Aunt Babs and cousin Hollye, just sent me birthday flowers with a flower of the month punch card...for the whole year! Yes. I get a bouquet of flowers each month for the next year. Plus, it is all from the cute little shop I have been dying to visit.
I am so excited, honored, gitty and proud to have fresh flowers on my desk. No one ever sends me flowers. This is HUGE.
Thanks, "chick-a-d's", I miss you so much!

Abby

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Howling for the Red Wolves


We are in Arkansas State country and learning how to howl!
Last week I organized St. Bernards, Paint the Town Red event. The Chamber puts this on and companies can participate and be judged. They show their spirit through decor and skits.
We won the Spirit Award!
Abby

I'm Back!!

Oh, yes I am!

I would like to say that it felt really good to be in my own bed last night. But, unfortunately my vacation bed was REALLY WONDERFUL and could not be beat by my bed.
It was good to be in my own home though. With my reclining furniture. Oh, how I love my new furniture. It is soft, plush, and it reclines!
Here is a rundown of what we did on vacation. (I will put it in list form, so as to not make it be such a school project, because that is what my children will be doing tomorrow. The old" What did you do on summer vacation?" paper!)
  • Monday- Drove and drove and drove! Went to see Noah-the Musical. It was SOOOO Good! If you are in Branson, (or Pennsylvania) you must go see it. It lasts almost 3 hours and the kids were never tired, bored, or restless! Ate at Chili's and went to Walmart, pretty typical Monday!
  • Tuesday- Went to Silver Dollar City. The kids love that place and for some reason I do too. I tried to figure out why I like it so much and I can't come up with a reason, but I really like it. It rained, we went back to the room and ate leftover bbq and played Clue!
  • Wednesday- Gustav visited with a vengeance! We ate lunch out, shopped (I can shop in the rain!) tricked everyone else into seeing Star Wars-the Clone Wars and Stephen and I shopped together, just the two of us for a couple of hours. Stopped by the grocery and bought lunch meat and ate in the room again, and played Clue.
  • Thursday-Went to Silver Dollar City (we had 2-day tickets) and rode rides until it rained AGAIN. GUSTAV!!!! We then surprised everyone and went to the Dixie Stampede. We have gone to Branson for 6 or 7 years now and have never been to the Dixie Stampede, it just never seemed like something we would like. But after a few rave reviews from friends we went. And man, did we enjoy it! As you know I embarrassed my sister and possibly one of my sons. But we had such a great time!
  • Friday- A beautiful day. God really made up for the 3 days of rain. We played putt-putt, and rode paddle boats at the resort. We had such fun and made some really good memories. We then went to Cracker Barrel (but my craving for pancakes had passed) and onto Celebration City. That is such a fun amusement park too. It is like a carnival but really clean and safe.
  • Saturday-The boys and Stephen went on an hour long horseback ride, while Anna went on a 10 minute pony ride. Anna wasn't real fond of Festus at first, but she got used to it and had a good time, no matter what the pictures look like! (speaking of pictures, I will post them later!) The kids swam in the lazy river and had a fun time at the pool. Then we went back to Celebration City (we had 2-day tickets there too!)
  • Sunday-Stephen, the kids and I went to church. We were seated (by some well-meaning usher) on the 3rd row, right behind the preacher that was there in view of a call! The church used to be a theater so imagine us on the main floor and everyone else in stadium seats all around us. Fun times! Went to Landry's for Stephen's birthday lunch-a day early-and went back to spend the afternoon in the lazy river at the resort. That evening we went to Branson Landing and saw someone I knew. We were there a whole week and I saw one person I knew!
  • Monday-Stephens 37th birthday! We drove home and ordered his birthday present online since we couldn't find it in any store we went to. Spent the evening at home and when it was time to go to bed, I wished I was on my vacation bed. Why is it that we always stay somewhere with great mattressess?

I know this was long, but you've been forced to spend the week with Abby, so I was trying to make up for it! HA!

Julie

Happy Birthday to Us!


My friend, Ashlea was born on September 13th also...just a year later. We met in college and bonded very quickly, especially when we found out we were b-day twins! We even had our 21st & 22nd b-day party together with all our UCA friends in 2001. It was most fun!
She and I are alike in all the odd ways. It is pretty cool and weird, I think. She is my birthday sister for life! Happy Birthday Week to you, Ash!
Abby

You Volunteered Me For What?

Because it is my birthday week, I can vent and stand on my soapbox.
Here goes:
Don't volunteer people for non-profit or civic organizations without asking them if it is okay!
If you know me well, you know that most of my young career has taken place in non-profit organizations and I have learned that you don't volunteer your time, talents or treasures for things unless you are passionate about the cause. I am an advocate for this belief and know that burning your candle at both ends because you can't say "no" is not how we are suppose to use the 3 T's (listed above).
Also, if you can't say "no", don't volunteer someone else for the job and not tell them. There is nothing like getting phone calls and emails from all these places telling you your responsibilities and you are like " Wha, WHAT?!"
Don't be tacky. Say "no" with confidence if you don't want to be involved... and NEVER volunteer someone else for a job you are not willing to do yourself.

I feel much better..... ahhhhhhhh. It is 8:25 am on the 3rd day of MY birthday week and I am cranky...not cool, my friends, not cool! Thanks for letting me vent a bit here in blogland.

Abby

Monday, September 8, 2008

Birthday Week Countdown

As I prepare to turn 30 this week, I want to share 30 valuable lessons/truths I have learned about life:

1. I am fearfully and wonderfully made
2. Laugh & the world laughs with you - snort, and you're on your own!
3. Couple skating is overrated
4. Being an old soul is cool
5. Sweet & Salty are better together, than apart
6. Crossing the finish line is the best part of the journey
7. Imaginary friends always fall out of the car
8. I AM a princess because my Father is the King of Kings
9. The chase is always more fun than the catch, though the catch is worth the chase
10. I'm loud, proud and country by the grace of God
11. Junior high may be Hell, or at least a close second
12. Hating is not nice, but I hate cats
13. Silver is better than gold
14. There's no place like the Fort
15. Mayonnaise is positively nasty
16. When you start to fall, take someone down with you so you don't have to go alone
17. Santa Claus is real
18. Saturday nights aren't the same without Hee-Haw
19. Everyday strive to be a blessing to someone
20. Don't pee in the pool
21. Always be passionate about using your time, talent and treasures
22. Don't follow too close, especially when it's raining
23. Everyone should be allowed to watch the Macy's T-Day parade in their pajamas
24. Penny Loafers should always have a penny in them
25. It is okay to say "no"
26. Every woman should have the opportunity to twirl in a wedding dress
27. Dedicating songs on the radio is not cool
28. Every girl should learn how to sew before she graduates high school, regardless
29. Riding in cars with boys make for the best car rides
30. In everything give thanks

Sunday, September 7, 2008

A Toilet Tale


Talking about toilets is most unromantic and a little off color, but I must.

We are in renovation mode in both of our bathrooms. We were not replacing either toilet until we were ready to do the floor and the walls behind the toilet. Randall saw no need to keep uninstalling and reinstalling toilets. So, bleach became my friend....my good friend, while wearing a face mask and gloves up to my elbows.

You see, this house was not lived in for about a year and the water had sat stagnant for all that time. I also believe they were left "unkept" when the previous owners vacated the house. You can only imagine my horror. Ms. Clean Jeans here, dealing with unruly commodes...ghastly!

Well, the hall bathroom is near completion (Hallelujah! I will post pics later this week once it is all jazzed up) and we were able to put in a new toilet. (I never thought putting in a toilet would call for such a celebration). We realized we needed a bone colored toilet after we got the new toilet home. So, I had to take the toilet back to Lowes and get the darker color.

Nothing screams embarrassment until the lady at the return counter says "A lady needs help with a toilet in the loading zone. A lady needs help with a toilet in the loading zone." I wanted to crawl under the truck and just die. Just. Die!

I got the bone colored American Standard home ( Did you know they sell toilets in pieces and they are VERY expensive? Craziness.) and my plumber of a husband put it in. It was like having a new car, almost.

Last night I got very ill for some reason and was so happy to have my very own toilet to vomit in. I know that sounds gross, and some of you are like " Abby Jo, we raised you better than this!", but you know there is much comfort in being sick in your own bathroom. Am I right? I thought so.

It is now my very own bathroom and I am doing a little " happy, happy, joy, joy" toilet dance today. And yes, I am feeling much better. I think my grilled chicken did not get grilled to perfection last night because the grill master was wearing his plumber hat yesterday!


Well, I am off to work on closets today, while Randall Wayne uses his new pressure washer to clean siding and gutters. Fun times! It is actually starting to resemble a home. I wish Julie would post the video she took so you could see the before (her video) and after. Maybe she will do that this week when she gets home.


Abby


Friday, September 5, 2008

Hello?


Does anyone read our blog?
We never get comments anymore. We miss hearing from our readers and wish you sweet lurkers would let us know who you are! We think people read it because the number gauge at the bottom of the screen keeps going up. Hmm?
Don't be intimidated by the comment screen. You can do it, we are rooting for you!

Riding, Dixie Style

Julie called me last night to tell me that they went to the Dixie Stampede (they are in Branson this week) and that she and Stephen were part of the show!
They rode stick horses in a barrel race. Here is the kicker...they were both riding the same stick horse at the same time. I am a little embarrassed to be her sister this morning. They were on the South team and their team did win. That helps level out the embarrassment a tad bit.

I loved David's response when Julie asked if he was proud of them or embarrassed and he said "both!". Aunt Abby is with you, little Dave!

Abby

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Happy Birthday, UD

This week our grandfather (aka: Uncle David, UD, and Uncle Mama) turned the great age of 80! We are thrilled to have such a wise one in our group. UD became our grandfather about 25 years ago and we were so thrilled to get him as our own. He is a true Texan who is very sharp, funny, sporty and loving. Here's to many more happy years with you, Uncle!
We love you!
Julie & Abby

Jerry Reed

"East bound and down, loaded up and truckin' a'we gonna do what they say can't be done We've got a long way to go and a short time to get there I'm east ..."

As I am sure you know, Jerry Reed went on to Glory this week. My husband loved the man and knew most of the words to all his songs. It makes me want to watch Smokey and the Bandit REAL bad!

Abby

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

I'm on vacation!

Yes, we have made it to Branson.

A sweet couple from our church have provided us a place to stay for the week here in Branson. It is really wonderful. The mountains and trees and fresh air are just what we needed.

The rain form 3 days is NOT what we needed but we are making the best of it. It seems Gustav has paid us a visit. Today the kids are swimming in the indoor pool and are loving it. We are trying to come up with as many indoor activities here as we can find.

I won't be able to post much because it seems I'm in a bit of an internet wasteland. Is it just me or does this always happen to me?

I just wanted to check in with ya'll and say hi!

So HI!!!!!

Julie

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Pre-Birthday Excitement

Melissa Jane Lee S. is coming for my 30th birthday, next weekend!!! I am gitty with excitement to see the BFF in the flesh, at my house! Wow. It is my lucky day. We may have to get a pinata, pin the ole tail on the donkey, eat some cake and have an old fashion part-a!

Abby

Project Completed, Muscle Mania, Clothes Chaos and a Cinnamon Roll

Here is the hallway floor - unfinished and finished. Randall did this all by himself and has the wound to prove it. Bless his heart, but it sure is a pretty floor!

And for the record, I am every woman! I lifted the deep freezer and the couch like a pro, after complaining about it on Friday. Randall was amazed at my new and improved strength. I was proud, I must admit! Thanks, Sue, for the offer to help on Friday. It was so sweet of you! Because Rand worked until after 7:00 on Friday night, we had to wait and move out of the apt. on Saturday. It was crazy, but we got it done. This week we will gear up for the guest bathroom remodel, taking place next weekend. It is going to be quite the tedious chore. I look forward to the day that my house is a home. I think it will be a while though. Pray for my sanity. I couldn't find my shoes this morning and Rand could not find his t-shirts. Our new neighbor, Norenda, brought us homemade cinnamon rolls on Sunday. We were so excited to meet a nice neighbor and have her bake for us. She said she will put fresh bread in our mailbox from time to time. Yummy times ahead!

Abby