Sunday, March 29, 2009

A Little Of This And A Little Of That

I love the weekends that include a little bit of everything.
I cleaned the house from top to bottom on Saturday. By 9:00 Saturday morning we had eaten at Cracker Barrel, been to Walmart, Home Depot and on a Sonic drink run. So, I kept up the energy and got tackled the house. I do it about every 2 weeks. I wish I could do it more but my time is stretched so thin.
I decorated for Easter, finally. I put out all my bunnies and such. This year I pulled one of my Christmas trees out of the attic and decorated it with Easter eggs. It is much cuter in person, I must say. Randall assured me it did not look old ladish. I am trusting him. I love the joy and happiness Easter brings.


We hosted our supper club at our house Saturday night. It was great fun, food and fellowship. I thank God for our new friends and the comfort it brings to have a group to call our own (and a group that LOVES Jesus).


We got a wild hair after church today to buy a Wii so we could have Wii Fit. Insane, I know. It is a huge deal for us to buy something this frivolous on a whim. We are the tightest people we know! So, many dollars later, we are sore. I have played it until my sides are sore from laughing and working out.

I hope YOU had a great weekend and have a great week!
What fun things did you do this weekend??

Abby

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Welcome Lucy Kathryn!


Thursday was a big day for Miss Anna.
She got her first Build A Bear Workshop bear.
She drug Nana into the store, looked at her with sad eyes, told her that she was the only one that didn't have a bear from this store. And Nana fell for it hook, link, and sinker!
Welcome Lucy Kathryn to our family. She truly has a face only HER mother could love.
Julie

Friday, March 27, 2009

Life With My Sister


It all started 2 years ago...
Happy Blogiversary to us!

Tell us what posts you have really enjoyed and what you would like to see more of?

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Pedicure Pledge


Just a friendly reminder, it's that time of the year again. Please raise your big toes and repeat after me: As a member of the Sandal Sisterhood, I pledge to follow The Rules when I wear sandals and other open-toe shoes:

I promise to always wear sandals that fit.

My toes will not hang over and touch the ground, nor will my heels spill over the backs. And the sides and tops of my feet will not pudge out between the straps.

I will go polish-free or vow to keep the polish fresh, intact and chip-free. I will not cheat and just touch up my big toe.

I will sand down any mounds of skin before they turn hard and yellow.

I will shave the hairs off my big toe.

I won't wear pantyhose even if my misinformed girlfriend, coworker, mother, sister tells me the toe seam really will stay under my toes if I tuck it there.

If a strap breaks, I won't duct-tape, pin, glue or tuck it back in to place hoping it will stay put. I will get my shoe fixed or toss it.

No matter how much it hurts. I will not live in corn denial; rather I will lean on my good friend Dr. Scholl's if my feet need him..

I will resist the urge to buy jelly shoes at Payless for the low, low price of $4.99 even if my feet are small enough to fit into the kids' sizes. This is out of concern for my safety, and the safety of others. No one can walk properly when standing in a pool of sweat, and I would hate to take someone down with me as I fall and break my ankle.

I will take my toe ring off toward the end of the day if my toes swell and begin to look like Vienna sausages.

I will be brutally honest with my girlfriend/sister/coworker when she asks me if her feet are too ugly to wear sandals. Someone has to tell her that her toes look like they've been dragged behind her car on the way to work and no sandal in the world is going to make her feet look good.

I will promise if I wear flip flops, that I will ensure they actually flip and flop, making the correct noise while walking and I will swear NOT to slide or drag my feet while wearing them.

And finally... I will promise to throw away any white/off-white sandals that show signs of wear...nothing is tackier than dirty white sandals.


Abby

Monday, March 23, 2009

T-ball

I really wish I had a picture to post.
Tonight was Anna's first T-ball practice.
I bought her a cute black Under Armor type shirt and black shorts with a white and pink stripe down the sides to wear to practice. I thought she was going to be so cute in it and she did not disappoint. She was the cutest thing out there. The. Cutest. Thing.
There is one other girl on the team. But she is 6 and much taller so the cute factor is really in Anna's favor. But when that other little girl puts her hair in pigtails with cute little barrettes Anna is going to have some stiff competition!
I'm sure Anna will be playing left field since in t-ball no balls will be hit out there. But I don't think she will mind. She is just going to be the cutest thing on the field. I can't wait until her first game. I will probably have to video it and post it on here.
So, stay tuned. I'm sure you won't want to miss that!!!!
Julie

Sunday, March 22, 2009

A Wig Of A Time

Blondes do have more fun...especially when they are wearing the "Classic Abby" and hanging out in East Texas with their grandparents!
Yes, I am sporting the Paula Young "Classic Abby". My Mawmaw is wearing the "Collette".
We had great fun wearing the wigs. Even Randall and UD got in some pictures while wearing the "Abby". UD looked like a surfer dude and Randall looked like a creepy hairy dude. I chose not to embarrass them by posting their pictures. So, you can use your imagination.
Mawmaw let me have the "Classic Abby". We have laughed so hard about it being Paula Young's best seller and Mawmaw had it in the top of her closet in a box. Priceless. The catalog says, "Abby is a tried and true classic that looks great with just a shake!"...and I sure like to think so!

The "RWMOVAC" turned out perfect. We have given it this code name. We labeled the freezer labels this way. (If I die before it gets eaten, remember it is the applesauce cake and it is yummy stuff...so thaw it and eat it) Mawmaw's new wonderful oven passed the test.

The Texas Blue Bonnet on Mawmaw's porch was so pretty. UD gave us seeds to take home and we have already planted them! Everything was in bloom and so beautiful.

We had a wonderful time!

Abby

Thursday, March 19, 2009

East Texas Love

I get to hug this sweet man's neck tomorrow.
I have not hugged him since last June.
Way overdue, I say!
We are heading to east Texas to see Mawmaw & UD!!!!
There will be lots of laughter, funny faces and cooking going on this weekend.
Mawmaw has a new oven and I can't wait to bake our Ruth Whitson's Mother's Virginia Applesauce Cake in it!
(She will kill me for posting this picture! ha )

I best get off here and get my bag packed!

Abby

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Thinking Irish

Ash, Jen & Me headed to the beach
St. Patrick's Day makes me think of my friend Ashlea... and our wedding. She LOVES all things Irish. She backpacked in Ireland after her graduation from UCA. I have a Celtic ring I wear from time to time and Irish ankle socks that she bought for me on her trip (ankle socks are my fav!).
Anyway, I had so many friends and not enough spots for bridesmaids, when we got married. So, I had my 3 girlfriends from UCA (we were all communication majors) read or sing...I had them communicate!
Ashlea read this blessing (below) before we were pronounced husband & wife. I just LOVE it. When I read it I can hear her soft voice and the special way she read it. She and Jenny both read and they read their pieces so wonderfully...not sing songy, but just perfectly. It was most special. (Jenny read Bride to Be after Daddy walked me down the aisle.)



May the road rise up to meet you
May the wind be always at your back
May the rains fall soft upon you
and the warm rays of sun fall upon your face
May green be the grass you walk on
May blue be the skies above you
May pure be the joys that surround you
May true be the hearts that love you
And until we meet again,
May God hold you in the palm of his hand.


My random way to say, "Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Abby

Monday, March 16, 2009

Weekend Recap Part 2

My weekend started in Leachville with a visit to one of my dearest friends. Mrs. O was my confidante, cook, friend, mentor, counselor, and hostess. I was able to spend about 2 hours with her. Catching up on our lives over the past years. She sent me home with cookies. I love her!
Next I went to Abby’s. We went shopping and ate supper. We love to eat. It will be our downfall!
After kicking her out of my room, we both got a good nights sleep. We woke up way to early but I had a big day ahead. Abby fixed me coffee and cinnamon rolls. I wrote in her guest book (it kinda reminds me of something you would do at a funeral home) and I hid something from her. ( I hid a picture frame at Christmas and she never found it. I took it out of hiding this weekend and put something else in hiding! Sisters are such fun!)
I then met Jill in West Memphis. I left my car at Walmart there and picked it up the next day. I thought that would be the safest place to leave it since they are open 24 hours and there is always someone at Walmart. I prayed for the safety of my van a few times in the hours it was there!
I got in Jill’s car and off we went. I think we were excited about what the weekend was going to be like and were excited about getting to be together. I can’t remember when we were together without husbands or children last.
We got to Nashville, checked in our room and headed to the mall. We were hungry so we looked at a couple of restaurants and chose Macaroni Grill. It was a divine decision. After we sat down and ordered Jill looked at me and said “that is Beth Moore”. It was. She and her people were sitting at the booth next to us. We could hardly eat! Seriously it was like seeing Tom Cruise. The celebrity of her was more than we could stand.
I wrote “Hi Beth! From Jill and Julie” on our paper tablecloth and held it up so she could see it. But she never looked our way. So, finally after much waiting. Jill and I got up and went to her table. (She was through eating, we didn’t want to be rude and talk to her while she was eating.) She told the girl sitting beside her to” Scoot over, I have to hug these girls!” So she scooted out of the booth, and hugged us. Can I just say that she is precious. I mean precious. Cute clothes, cute hair, tiny legs, beautiful smile, oozes love, and doesn’t mind when two little Arkansas girls walk over to her at lunch.
The rest of the weekend was wonderful. Travis Cottrell and the praise team were oh so good. Beth Moore brought Gods word to us. She loved on us and understood us. I am thankful to Stephen for funding my trip and for being with the kids while I was away. I couldn’t have gone if Stephen wasn’t a minister. So I’m thankful!!!

Julie

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Weekend recap part 1

As many of you know I went to a conference for ministers wives that Beth Moore led this weekend. My dear sweet friend Jill went with me. We had such a good time reconnecting with each other and worshipping together. (more about Beth Moore in weekend recap part 2)

I have been the wife of a minster for almost 16 years. There have been times during those years that I wished Stephen did anything else but this. But overall I wouldn't trade these years of serving the Lord beside Stephen for anything. Nothing. At all.
I feel blessed of the Lord to be the wife of a preacher. God called him to the ministry all the while knowing that I was going to be his wife. This is exactly what God wants for my life.

I say that to say this-
There are many ministers wives that are hurting. The alter at the conference was filled with hurting women. So I'm asking you to do this.
Go to your preachers wife, your student ministers wife, your music ministers wife hug her, tell her you love her, tell her thanks, send her a card, a scripture. Something.
She is the unseen supporter of your pastor. She hurts when you and your family hurt, she rejoices when you and your family rejoices.
She is not perfect. She will make mistakes. She won't do everything to your liking. She might not even know your name. She will protect her children. She will defend her husband and most importantly she will serve the Lord.
Love on her this week. If you don't know her very well, if you have had a disagreement, if you don't think she is doing her job very well, love on her anyway.
Please.
Don't just do this because I asked you to. Do this because you want to make a difference in the life of your ministers wife.
Julie
ps. I love you FBC-SC!!!

Saturday, March 14, 2009

A Day With No Agenda

This morning we got up, ate cereal, watched the news and then decided to head to Augusta to get garage sale stuff out of Randall's parents attic. Molly was nice enough to donate stuff to my garage sale in May. I took a picture of our bonus room after we unloaded everything. It is a real mess but I hope it will help us all be less cluttered and have a little extra change in our pockets.
Today I also inherited Molly's Christmas tree that matches the one I currently have. She bought them both at the same time a few years back. She has decided she wants a smaller tree. I am most excited about having 2 of the same...1 for the den and 1 for the living room. I hate to say this but I actually may need more ornaments. I know, I know, not possible, but I actually think I will need more. Funny stuff. It gives me a small headache to think about it. I best focus on Easter eggs right now.
The ole boat has made it home.
Molly & I encouraged him to haul it home today as we packed up all the garage sale stuff. Randall bought this boat the week we started dating. I can count the times I have been in it on one hand. His parents have housed it for most of the 7 years he has owned it. Randall has a love hate relationship with this boat so we will see if the love or the hate wins out. I am excited about having it with us so we can go to the river, lake, or the state park across the street, spur of the moment. You know we live directly across from the local state park. Yes, pretty sweet. After we got home and got everything put away we grilled burgers. We always grilled burgers in Byhalia and have not done it much since we have been here. I have ground turkey and he has ground beef. We season them like mad and put Swiss on them. I make homemade baked beans and throw out some chips. It was comfort food tonight, for sure. We are finally feeling at home in this house and it is so nice. Rand leaned over and kissed me before he left his stool at the bar. Sweet stuff.
This is Randall's favorite...Molly's Coconut Pie. His stepmother is the sweetest thing. I hate to call her "step" because she really is a mom to him. He called her to tell her we were coming this morning and we showed up 2 hours later to her standing in the kitchen finishing this pie. That is love. We brought it home with us, of course!

Today was a restful day, though we were so busy. There is something to be said for being productive, doing what you want to do all day and being with those you love. Those things all make for a good, easy day.

Please continue to pray for Clay. He had to have emergency surgery on a bleeding ulcer this afternoon. He was doing very well yesterday. We hope this will not be too much of a setback and that he will begin to recover completely. Keep lifting him up all you can!
Abby



Friday, March 13, 2009

Be Our Guest, Be Our Guest

I got the idea for a guest book from my friend, Lindsey. I went to her house one time and she had a journal on the nightstand in her guest room with a pen. She had written a message in the front of the book welcoming her guests and inviting them to write in the journal. I loved the idea.
I went home and bought a cute journal that matched my guest room d├ęcor. I wrote a “welcome” message in the front, got a pen and put it on the bedside table in my guest room. Julie was the first and only person to write in that particular book.
It was Christmas time and she and the rest of her clan were at our home in Byhalia to celebrate the holiday with Daddy & Connie. When I went to Fort Smith for Christmas, a few weeks later, she had a special handmade gift for me. It was a new journal for my guest room.

It was the sweetest thing! I took the same “welcome” message out of the other one and used it in the new journal. I did not have any visitors in Byhalia after she made that book because we moved soon after that, so I brought it to our new home in Jonesboro. I have had 12 overnight guests since unpacking it in August! 4 of them have been my sister.
Last night she stayed the night with me. She has a love/hate relationship with the book. She made it, but she hates the, “Abby, your house is so pretty, Oh, Abby, you are the hostess with the mostess. Oh, Abby you are perfect”. “Abby and Randall the meal you prepared tonight was incredible.”… You get the drift and now you want to gag a little, I know. (Melissa also had a fun time with the book when she visited in September. I in fact peed my pants over her reaction to the book.)
So, last night Julie wrote, “Abby, I am here again writing in your book. Lovey, Julie” I was sitting on the bed next to her when she wrote it and had no clue what she was writing. I knew it was not much because she wrote it so quick. I am used to her writing a novel in that thing, telling me how much she loved the visit, etc. She then shares with me what she wrote and we laughed really hard. She then kicked me out of the room and made me go to sleep. I will always love that entry/memory in my guest book. I love guests, especially my sister.

Blurry on purpose though I think if you look real hard you can make everyone out :)
I got the idea of the guest memory board from an article in a magazine a few years ago.
I place pictures of that guest, their family, us together, etc…on the board. I always have a picture of Randall and me in the center. It is fun to go through my box of pictures that have not been put in scrapbooks and use them on the board. They are usually "not the best” shots, new pictures that have recently been developed, or old pictures that have not been scrapbooked yet. It is fun for my guests to look on the wall and have a laugh, share a memory, etc. It actually excites me to have guests because I love fixing up the zebra memo board.

So tell me, what fun things do you do to welcome your overnight guests or are you laughing at me because I do these things?
Abby

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Lord Help the Mister Who Comes Between Me and My Sister

We are having a slumber party in J'Town tonight. This is a self portrait of us I took for this post. Randall is in Minnesota, so it is just us girls. Jules is headed to Nashville in the morning for a Beth Moore Pastors Wives Convention. So here we are laughing until we cry, shopping because she had a coupon and she can't resist a coupon, eating because the S sisters love to eat, looking at peoples pictures on Facebook and commenting to ourselves, and now she is folding my clothes...what a sister!

Abby

Praying for Clay















Clay with his girls at a kite festival
Thank you for continuing to pray for our cousin, Clay. He is still very ill and needs much prayer. We appreciate your praying without ceasing and ask you to keep getting on those "Camel knees". He has made some improvement, yet it is still a long road to recovery. Pray for his sweet wife, 2 precious girls and his mother. It is a stressful time for all of our family, as we wait to see him recover. Clay is the sweetest ray of sunshine and I loved it best when his wife, Deborah said she missed his voice (on her Facebook status). If you know that voice, you know what she means. It gives me goosebumps to type that. Thank you for lifting him up in your prayers.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Inspired



I won free registration to this online conference.
Yay for free!!!

Julie

Awake

It's 1:00 AM and I'm awake.
I don't want to be awake. This is becoming a habit and I don't like it one bit.
For the last several weeks I have either woken up in the night or not been able to go to sleep. So, I'm up for 2-3 hours in the middle of the night. Sometimes twice a week.
I need sleep. I require great amounts of sleep.
I got my babies to sleep by 6 weeks by force feeding them and waking them up by putting cold towels on the heads just so I could sleep all night every night! Go Babywise!
So here I am reading blogs and writing a blog, I'll go watch TV in a few minutes. I've already mopped the floors and folded the clothes today or I would be doing that.
I'm not worried about anything. I'm not anxious or excited about anything. Nothing is on my mind that stresses me out. I don't know what the problem is.
I just know I don't like it.
It's 1:03 and I'm still awake.
Julie

Sunday, March 8, 2009

What a Treat

This weekend Mama and our Aunt Janet came to visit me in J'Town. Aunt J wanted to see the new pad and we were so happy to have her company. She took us to eat BBQ at our favorite spot on Friday night. Saturday morning I made breakfast and then we headed out to Peterson's. It is always a treat to go to Peterson's. (It is like the old Triple R Freight ,with a touch of AtoZ, for those of you from the Fort.) Mama had built up Aunt J's excitement for 50 cent Dayspring cards. It was much fun. Mama won the award for spending the most. She found a great deal on Altoids and toothpaste. I am telling ya, it was exciting. We got lots of good deals.
We 3 girls then went and ate sushi for lunch. It was Aunt J's first time to have it, so it was fun. Aunt J then went to Sonic and got me a Diet Coke with lime and Rand a peach SWEET tea...she is the best, I tell ya. (Mama did not want a drink...in case you are wondering why she was not included)
I love you, TBEO!
My Aunt J watching me make "Tina's Meridian Council Strawberry Cake" and coaching me on the icing. My Aunt J is THE icing guru.
Yes, this is Tina's cake and it is oh-so-yummy!
It was a mess to make and a fun mess, at that. I used a recipe out of Bell's Best that I had never really even looked at before Friday night. We have no idea who Tina is. She was the one who submitted the recipe and we hope she does not still make a habit of submitting to cookbooks.
Mama and Aunt J sat at the bar while I set out to make the cake. An hour or so later we all had powdered sugar on us and I had laughed so hard I blew bubbles out my nose. It was the biggest mess. Needless to say, Tina's recipe was bad and we had to make up our own.
Aunt Janet said it tasted better than an expensive bakery bought cake. It was really that good. Honest engine. It was a miracle, thanks to she and Mama's baking wisdom. What a fun memory.

Mama brought some of her beads so I could make keychains. Mama actually made them. I just watched. I love all of Mama's little hobbies/crafts.
(Julie we made you one too!)

Me, Mama Sue and Mama in my kitchen
Saturday night I cooked dinner for Mama, Aunt Janet, and our dear family friends, Ron & Sue (and of course, Randall). We grilled pork chops, had twice baked potatoes, spinach salad and garlic cheese bread...and of course we had Tina's strawberry cake!
We had a fun time visiting, eating and laughing.

This afternoon Rand's parents came to visit for a few hours and look at his handy-dandy tile work in the master bathroom. It was fun to see so many of our "people" this weekend. What a treat!

Thank you for continuing to pray for our cousin, Clay. He is still very, very ill and in need of lots of prayer. Mama flew to Denver today to be with Aunt Suzy and provide a little moral support and lots of hugs. It is a very stressful time for our family, as you can imagine. Thank you for praying without ceasing for Clay Allen Griffin.


Abby

Friday, March 6, 2009

Friends

Anna got to have a friend over today.

I had told the kids some time ago that they could each have a day when someone came and played with them.

Today was Anna's day. She was so excited! She had not had a play-day with anyone in so long, it was long overdue.

Jane Ellen is a friend from church. We love her and her family.

The girls had such a fun time playing with Barbies and playing outside on this beautiful day.

Julie

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Fun Times in Washington D.C.








We had a fabulous time on our trip to Washington D.C. last week. The things we saw were incredible. I could talk about it for days, but I won't make you suffer through that. I will refrain from boring you.

I have loaded pictures here. (You will need to log in and create a password to view them. It is super easy to do and very safe. I do hope you will read the captions under each picture and enjoy!)

Below is our itinerary. As you can see, it was full of fun. Our feet were sore and blistered. We walked over 3o miles in the 5 days we were there. Whew.


Thurs:
We arrived at lunch
Visited Arlington National Cemetery
Walked over the Arlington bridge (Potomac)
Visited the Korean War Memorial
Visited the Washington Monument
Walked down the entire Mall and back to our hotel at 10th and New York in downtown DC.
Ate at Acadiana's for $50 and then headed straight to McDonald's. (Don't eat at Acadiana's...moral of that story.)

Fri:
Went to the top of the Washington Monument
Visited the White House and took a self guided tour
Ate at Ollie's Trolley
Visited the Capital and took a VIP tour with our congressman's staff.
Ate at McDonald's again. (..we were scared to venture out after the $50 mistake the night before)

Sat:
Toured the Smithsonian Castle
Toured the Smithsonian Air & Space Museum and rode the simulated fighter jet. (Randall was the pilot and I was the gunner. We went upside down most of the way and ran out of ammunition. I almost peed my pants and threw up at the same time. Whew.)
Ate lunch at McDonald's in the museum (....ole faithful, those golden arches)
Visited the front side of the Capital
Visited the Supreme Court
Toured the Library of Congress
Went to the Lincoln Memorial
Vietnam Memorial
WW1 Memorial
WW2 Memorial
Watched Michelle and the girls play outside on the south lawn of the White House
Ate at Ella's Pizza

Sun:
Toured Ford's Theatre
Toured the Smithsonian American History Museum
Ate lunch at the Stars & Stripes Cafe in the museum and overpaid big time
Toured the Jefferson Memorial
Ate at Old Ebbitt's Grill and ate Clyde's Mussels
Sat in the hotel bar/lobby for 3 hours observing people

Mon:
Toured the National Archives
Toured the Smithsonian Natural History Museum
Ate lunch at Subway
Went to the airport to come home

What an adventure that we will live to tell about for the rest of our lives.!


Abby

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Praying without Ceasing

3/5/09
Thank you for continuing to lift up Clay in your prayers.
He is still in critical condition.
Clay with his girls, Caly & Lillian

Our 2nd cousin Clay, who lives in Denver, is very ill with a rare type of flu. We are all very anxious and wanting to see him get well as soon as can be. Please help us pray for his body to heal.Clay is our Mom's "baby" cousin and adored by everyone who loves him. When I look at this picture of him it makes my heart smile. Thank you for remembering him in your prayers.

P.S. Yes, I am home and had a FABULOUS time. I will recap the trip at another time.


Abby