Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Precious Pretending


Is this not the cutest chef of all time? Henry loves to dress up and help in the kitchen. He has 2 aprons he wears and he loves wearing the Goofy chef hat I bought his daddy in Disney World many moons ago. This child is so much fun and exhausting! There is not one day that goes by that I do not laugh outloud at something he says. He is going to be a charmer!


Can you tell he loves to dress up and role play?! He loves to pretend to be Woody in his bath towel and stick horse. This night he was running through the house laughing and being silly after his bath. I love these moments so much. Henry likes to make Randall pretend to be Henry and then Henry acts like he is daddy. Those times may be the funniest yet. It is quite entertaining to hear Henry act like he is daddy. We always end up crying from laughing at him. Oh, the blessings of this boy never end.

Abby

Saturday, January 26, 2013

A Haircut Change

For the last year I've been letting my hair grow out. I've gained weight and I decided that longer hair would help cover up the fact that my face is chub-by.

Now my hair is very straight. You know how curly Abby's hair is? My hair is that straight. Super straight, no body whatsoever, and it's thin. I really just have bad hair. But I have a great friend that cuts my hair and makes it look awesome. I mean it. Awesome.

But when it's long-ish it's hard to make it look awesome. My buddy, Christy, saw me after a few months of not seeing me at all and told me and the girl that cuts my hair that I needed a haircut. What a friend!

I fought it for about 3 months but then realized I really needed to give in and get a cut, because I was looking beyond frumpy. And oh, what a difference it made. I feel like the old me again. A lot has happened in the last year, and for some reason I lost a bit of myself and didn't even realize it. But it seems that I may just be back. So, watch out! Ha! Ha!

I cannot believe I just wrote a whole blog post about my hair. How vain!

Julie

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

A Sisterly Visit

This past weekend is by far, my most favorite weekend to shop. For the last few years Abbynhas come to my house and we have hit the stores with great excitement and ambition. We buy Christmas ornaments for 90% off and clothes for next to nothing.

This year she wasn't able to come on the weekend so I went shopping by myself and did pretty good. I didn't buy any ornaments but I did buy some great leopard flats and some cute tanks that can be worn under sweaters. So cute! Oh, and a purse. I bought a purse. I hardly ever buy a purse.

I had so much fun shopping, not as much fun as when Abby is with me, but I was proud of my purchases.

Monday afternoon Abby and Henry came for a visit. Abby hadn't been to this house so Henry showed her where she needed to go. He is so cute. You know, I don't think Abby took one single picture while she was here. Strange,

We shopped at our favorite resale store, ate good Chinese food and spent time in the same house. It was good.

Abby and I text everyday all day, we talk often. We know what's going on in each others lives. But, it just isn't the same as being in the same house. It was a special couple of days.

Now to get back to hard core school and folding clothes. Yuck!

Julie

Friday, January 18, 2013

What's Up and a PS

I think I've only written here once once Christmas. Sadly, it isn't because I've been so busy. I don't really have a reason. Oh we'll.

Henry came home with us after Skutt Family Christmas. We had such a good time with him. He was perfect, didn't cry, slept all night, and  let me hug and kiss on him. What more could an aunt want?! We went to the Train Museum. I think it's actually called the Arkansas Railroad Museum. It's a huge building filled with train cars from years past. It isn't heated and it was a old day, so we didn't stay long. That and Henry wasn't real sure about getting on all the trains. Maybe next time.

We've been busy with basketball games.. We're not winning very many but we're plying much better. School is going good. I arranged an algebra tutor or Samuel. I had one in 9th grade too. He saved me from going to Summer School. Hopefully Sam won't have to go to umber school either, that would put a big wrench in my all-day-pool-days!

So, that's what we've been up to. Not much, just normal life.

How about you?
Julie

Ps. If you find orange peelings on top of the soap when you take a shower, don't yell at the suspected teenager, just the look of disbelief, and awe on you face will suffice. Not saying that it happened in my house, just sayin, you know.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Answering The Call



Thank you for praying for Mama Bert this past week or two. She was called home to heaven this week. I was able to go to her funeral in Memphis and it was a beautiful service. She left such a legacy of love. It did my heart good to be there and witness it all.

I have to admit that I am the poor pitiful soul who forgets to turn her phone off at a funeral and even leaves the volume on high. I am also the one who cannot get her phone to stop ringing at the funeral so I just give up and answer it due to sheer panic. Yep..that is me. I did go to the little bathroom in the family area to answer it though. I mean after all, I do have some social skills. Seriously, I did think I would have a stroke at that moment. Mortification doesn't touch it. I was just glad all got a good laugh out of it afterwards and that my Aunt Babs didn't hang me from her tree!
We ordered new furniture 2 months ago and have been waiting on the delivery. The call was the delivery man telling me he was on his way to my house. Unreal. It was sort of funny and so irreverent. I am still mortified but laughing. No one heard me talking on the phone in the bathroom and the phone sounded like a fog horn and the loudest thing ringing in America to me at that moment. I don't think it sounded that way to anyone else. In fact, my Daddy was 2 seats down from me and whispers "Who's phone is that?" It was mine, Daddy...your sweet, well-mannered baby girl. Yep.
I laughed so hard today. It did my heart good to be with some of my family and friends, despite the circumstance. I think Mama Bert would like to know we had fun celebrating her sweet life.

And this is a song I find myself jamming out to lately as I drive. I was belting it out on my way back from Memphis today. I hope you are jamming out to it too. If not, you need to be!




Abby

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Joy In The Journey

If you have been a faithful reader of our blog over the years you know Julie and I claim joy in all circumstances and have hopefully been a testimony to it in our posts. We have had some peaks and valleys over the years. It is a blessing to have Jesus to cling to in all of life's twists and turns. I can't imagine it any other way.





Friday morning I went into work like any normal day. I was greeted with the news that my position was being eliminated. I just listened with as much grace as I could muster up at the time. I got in my car and drove away. I had a peace over me. No doom. No gloom. No sickness in the pit of my stomach. A peace. It was so Jesus and I so loved Him for it. I felt like I was wrapped in plastic bubble wrap. Jesus' blankets are the best, I tell ya!

So, here I am embarking on a new journey into whatever God has for me and my little family. I am a working girl, so I am praying that my desires are His and hope to land the job that He wants for me in this next season of life.  I ask you to pray me through this journey if you will. Pray for our faith to remain strong as we wait and seek the next thing. Pray we don't grow weary in our faith and joy. We are not down in the dumps, scared or worried right now. I am a little mad at what it makes me look like in the professional community, but I know that is just the devil and so I pray that away throughout the day when that evil thought rears its ugly head. We trust it is part of a perfect plan.

I cried 2 times on Friday and haven't cried since. I can't cry about it. It just doesn't feel right. I love that. That is joy and confidence in God's bigger plan for my little family. Thank you in advance for praying for us. We covet the prayers more than you know.


Abby

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Random Goodness

 
This is random but I have had the craziest memories pop up and some new experiences this week and I have to share:




 My child cries every morning at drop off and today it made me cry. It was his face, his inability to breathe and how he ran to the window to watch me walk off and the hoods to the 2 jackets he was wearing (because sometimes we pick our battles and making him only wear one jacket today was not my battle to fight. I had others to fight at the same time) were bobbing back in forth on top of his head while he was crying for me. I could hear him scream "Mama, come back!". It is mornings like this that the working mom guilt tops the scale. It happens every morning lately, except the morning earlier in the week when I bribed him with a taco. Bad mom, I know.  So, I pray this stage passes soon. A few in his class are all in this stage. I feel for his teacher. He loves school though and is always asking about his friends at night and on the weekends.

I worked as a bank teller when I was 20 years old. I took the spring semester off from school when my parents divorced. I needed a transition and to find a cheaper college to attend. Since I had bounced a few checks at Sonic during Happy Hour my  mother found me a job at one of the local banks. I hated it but knew I could not complain. I had to suck it up and do it. So, I did it.
I bought my turquoise caviler "the cavy" while working there. I learned a lot about life from the girls I worked with. I am in contact with none of them now and don't remember most of their names.  It was an odd time in life but set the ground work for who I am today and how I relate to people not like me in the work place. I am thankful for that old bank in downtown Fort Smith.
The highlight of working there was when I feared we had a bank robber and I pushed the button in my drawer that rang the police station. YEP, I created a scene that day! He was just mentally challenged and didn't know better than to come into the bank with a duffel bag and a note. I actually told some folks about that this week and they said "Only you, Abby, only you!" Yep, that's me!
 I also had an assertive black lady come to my window and convince me I must have a black parent because I looked mixed. I tanned A LOT back then and had really long, jet black, huge curly hair. I spent about 5 minutes convincing her I knew both of my parents and they were both white. She said they had adopted me or lied to me. She insisted I had to be black and then she just gave up and said maybe I was just Hispanic. I love that story better than the bank robber, really. It still makes me laugh!


Speaking of work, I worked for # 75  Alabama Crimson Tide, Barrett Jones' dad in Memphis. His dad is Rex. I loved working for that man. He taught me so much about character in the work place. He was the advancement director and I was the coordinator. Barrett was a senior at the school the year I worked there. I remember him trying to decide which college to attend. They all wanted him and wooed him. It was a wild time. I love seeing him have such great success and leaving such a fine legacy. I always say if I can raise my boy as well as Rex and his wife raised their 3 we will be good to go. All their boys learned how to play the violin,  love Jesus and play ball like a pro. A wonderful combo

 If you have tested positive for the flu DO NOT go in public and front like you don't have it...it is thoughtless and rude. People die from the flu. It is a for real deal.

 I sat behind the governor at the food bank open house this week. He really is a nice man, regardless of what party you side with. I like hearing him talk. He has a fabulous accent.

Abby

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Feeding The Need


It is estimated that on any given day more than 430,000 Arkansans do not have enough to eat. Each week over 5,100 people receive food assistance in northeast Arkansas. If you have read our blog for very long you know the work of the food bank is a passion for my little family. We have never been on the receiving end, thankfully, but if we ever have to be I am pleased to know we live in an area that takes hunger seriously and works hard to combat it each and every day.


  Our food bank was in desperate need of a new facility. They received a Reynolds grant and today they opened the doors for all to see. I was lucky to get a sneak peak before Christmas and it totally blew me away. Words cannot express the blessing that building will provide for the hungry in our area.
 In the path leading to the front door of the new facility, the Food Bank of Northeast Arkansas has reserved a special place for engraved paving stones. The money for the stones support the "Building Hope . . . Feeding the Hungry" campaign. So in other words, Henry's brick is affording 5 senior citizens in our area a years worth of supplemental meals.


He has no idea what all this means to us but I  hope one day he will. I pray that he will have a servants heart and will be lead to help others in need. Hopefully by putting his name in the center of the walkway of this blessed facility, we are creating a path of giving for him. I thank God that we are able to help those  in need because one day we might need to be on the receiving end and I want to know there are people like us supporting the cause.

Abby



Monday, January 7, 2013

All About Jesus

I am so excited about some new reading material for 2013. The best part is that it is all about Jesus! I thought I would share in case you might be looking for something to add to your library.


Aunt Babs bought Henry this Bible for Christmas. I had only heard wonderful things about it and it is proving to be just as wonderful, if not more. Henry requests I sit in his "truck bed" (He has trucks on his sheets) and read his Bible to him before bed. The way the Bible is presented in this book is unreal and just perfect for not only a young reader, but a seasoned reader like myself.


It is chronological so as I am attempting to read the Bible through this year, his stories line up with mine each night. It actually made me tear up the other night realizing how we are on the same page, so to speak. I think even if you don't have a child at home, you should get this  book and read it. The story about the tower of babel was precious and explained it perfectly, even for an adult. Henry was laughing, I was laughing and Randall was standing in the doorway grinning at us. It is neat how it is worded and speaks to all ages and just comes alive. (I add to it a wee bit with dramatic affect, as I am sure you can only imagine)  It is not like all the other children's Bibles we have all read. This one is something I look forward to reading in the "truck bed" each night.


Before I head to the gym each morning I try to sit down in the den and read the daily excerpt in Jesus Calling. Hollye bought it for me for my birthday and gave it to me at Thanksgiving. It is not like any other book I have read either. I love how it quiets and stills me as I start my day. It is a must for 2013 if you are looking for a new devotion book or something to supplement your daily readings.

I strive to spend more time in the word in 2013. I am not setting a goal or declaring what I plan to do, I just plan to do it and if one day I fail, I will pick up on the next day. I am also excited about starting a Bible Study at church on simplicity next month. I have never succeeded at reading the Bible through in a year but I am attempting it again this year. I always quit in Exodus. I am 7 days into it and feeling pretty confident that it is doable. I am still in Genesis and Matthew though.  Pray that I do not grow weary!



Abby

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Heavy Hearts Tonight


Tonight my heart is heavy as I pray over these two precious souls who are in great need of a divine intervention. Both are very dear to Julie and me and because of that I want to share and ask you to pray. We sisters believe in the power of prayer in a big way!


This is Mama Bert. She is our cousin Hollye's grandmother. Our Uncle Joe's mother. She is a southern jewel and loved by many. She is very ill and in great need of prayer that her pain and poor health will not linger. We love her like our own. I have such fond memories of Mama Bert and had the privilege of sitting at the same table with her this past Thanksgiving. It made my heart happy. Such a precious person with a wonderful  Christian legacy. Our Aunt Babs emailed us this photo of Claire and Mama Bert on Christmas Eve.  Those two are always a fun pair. I loved it too much not to share. Please pray for her if you will and pray for Uncle Joe, Aunt Babs and Hollye to find peace and rest during this difficult time. As much as you hate to let someone go, sometimes it is what is best. We pray that God will take her in his perfect timing and that it will be a joyous homecoming.
 
 
 
This is Bubba. Actually his name is Steve but those that know him and love him call him Bubba. He is the family friend Julie mentioned in the previous post.  I have not seen Bubba in years because I do not live in my hometown anymore and when I go "home" it is for short visits that result in seeing no one outside of my main circle. Sad, but it is life.
Growing up, I spent a lot of time at Bubba's house swimming and watching TV while my parents played cards with he and his wife. I traveled many miles of Arkansas highways going to ballgames with he, his wife, and my parents. When I see a Pizza Inn I always think of him because that is where we ate every week. He even painted high-heel boots with my school mascot on them when I started Junior High (Which I never wore to school, thank you!). I have a photo of them in a scrapbook and it is a priceless memory. He is a super funny guy with a huge heart. He is really ill and in a fight for his life. From what I understand cancer is all over his body. He loves Jesus. He posted on Facebook he can feel the prayers, so please keep them coming. He has a lot of folks who are rooting for him and Julie and I are two of them! Pray for Bubba to have the strength he needs to fight this and for his spirits to stay strong.
 
Psalm 41:3The LORD sustains them on their sickbed and restores them from their bed of illness.
 
Abby

Saturday, January 5, 2013

It's a New Year

Christmas is all down and at the storage unit. I've cleaned, dusted, vacuumed and thrown stuff away. It's a nice way to begin a new year.

My friend, who does my hair, got married yesterday. That's a great way to start a new year! She met her new husband when he came in off the street to get a haircut. Isn't that awesome? They fell in love and she's been a happy camper ever since.

Sadly, as I was texting with her yesterday as she was driving to her wedding, she told me of a mutual friend's marriage that was in trouble. It reminded me once again that we married people need to be praying earnestly for the sanctity of our marriages. I know I pray that Stephen will never feel comfortable being with another woman if I'm not with them. I need the same prayer prayed for me. Marriage is too important, family is too important to let temptation slip in.

My heart is heavy thinking about this family and the pain they are feeling. It is also burdened after hearing of the illness of a family friend. My parents friends were such a big part of our lives growing up. I loved it when they would come over to our house, I enjoyed hearing the laughter, seeing my parents happy, and getting to be a part of other people's lives. To know that one of these people is in a fight for his life makes me sad. It also makes me focus on relationships and spend more time in prayer.

To know that I have someone I can turn to with these burdens, to turn them over to, makes it much easier to do life. If you don't know God as your Heavenly Father please contact me. Don't get me wrong life isn't easier, but turning your care and burdens over to The Lord makes it easier to DO life.

Sorry for the downer post. The next one will be better.

Julie

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Christmas With Daddy


It is not Christmas without a little daddy sandwich! Jules and I gave him matching "Dad's Favorite" ornaments. Poor ole daddy can't catch a break!


We gathered for Skutt family Christmas this past weekend at my house is Jonesboro. I loved having 15 of my favorite people in my house at one time. I really love having all these sweet kiddos together. I have changed all their diapers, feed all of them, bathed all of them, transported all of them, and everything else under the sun. They are all my babies.


We ate pizza and had some pie, ice cream and cupcakes. We take the easy route on food for our Christmas gathering and it works perfectly. So simple and easy for our big group. Anna and her Grandaddy sat at the kitchen bar together. They are so cute.


Henry led us all in praise and worship before we opened our gifts. I cried from laughing so hard. We were all in awe at his singing and playing. He is really a ham and has great rhythm. He stopped, bowed and said "Thank you God, Amen" and it was over. It was hysterical!! I think we were all videoing it with our phones and cameras. It was priceless.


Gift giving 2012 began with Daddy's annual calendar. It is always a hit. I put the previous years calendar receiving photo as the cover for the calendar each year. It is always fun to see how he his hair has lightened each year! That man cracks me up.


Our Aunt Babs is the queen of our bunch and this umbrella was most fitting for her. Prissy and fun just like she is! We love our Babs.


We had a yard full of snow so the boys receiving these snowball throwers were perfect! Their little faces in this picture make me smile. I love the joy and excitement.


Our Hollye Ann is the deviled egg queen of the south. This personalized egg carrier was the perfect gift for her. I think we are all excited to know she can now tote them with ease. The eggs rock!


We laugh a lot when we are together. Stephen took this photo and it is the best snapshot ever. It describes our time together perfectly. Julie says she loves laughing with Daddy and it really shows! The man is a riot and I am so thankful he taught us to always laugh. It is such a special gift. I love to laugh.


Matthew "Thew" showing off his Steelers yard decor and his custom knitted hat and beard combo. Hollye has one hunk of a man! Julie's friend's daughter made the hat/beard. Randall got one too but did not want to be photoed. He was bashful! They are fabulous and her friend's daughter is very talented. I was impressed.


 I know Wilma and Charles (Our grandparents) would be pleased with how we are carrying on without them. We three girls are pretty tight and for that I am most grateful. Hollye and Julie are my "go to" girls and I cannot imagine doing life without them. I love that we only remember the good and forget the bad. That is my favorite thing about us. We are pretty cute too....


These kiddos played so hard they smelled like wet dogs when they came back inside. It made my aunt heart so happy to smell it and hear them pant for a drink. Memories being made at my house. I love the memories made at Babs' when I was growing up and I hope they have some of those same special times. Samuel is now too big to play in the yard. When did he get too big??! Henry was too little to go out. We now have them at both ends of the spectrum. Who knew that would ever happen?!


Christmas is our daddy's birthday. I love that we got another year to celebrate him at Christmas. He also had some health trouble this past year that had us on alert. We are glad to get him healthy for a new year. I am so grateful my daddy and the smile he can always put on my face.
 
Abby