Friday, January 31, 2014

This Week in Pictures

This week flew by for me. I seemed to be going and going more than normal. Because my normal is usually staying home and loving it!
Monday Anna and I headed to central Arkansas for a ministers' wives fellowship. Those women make me laugh. I'm fortunate to be in a their group.


Tuesday we had a bit of snow. It was so pretty coming down, but didn't last long.

Anna got a hold of my camera and did this with it. It's a bit scary.

The week was fun, the weekend hasn't turned out anything like I had planned though. Oh well, I'll enjoy it anyway!!

Julie



Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Just A Few More

This I loved Abby's blog post yesterday. Saturday was a fun day and filled with lots of love. 

Seeing family members twice in three months was awesome! I thought I would add a few more pictures.
These were the cutest BLT's I've ever had. And they were yummy too.

Eddy and his wife Ranwa put this shindig together. It was elegant and fun. We might have added more fun than we should have.

This is my favorite picture of the day. David and Daniel trying to act like they were drinking more than just apple juice and pink grapefruit juice. These faces make me smile, shake my head, and feel so much love!

Julie



Tuesday, January 28, 2014

A Surprise Saturday


This past Saturday we all met in Little Rock to celebrate our Aunt Suzy. She is our mother's aunt, our Mawmaw's sister. Aunt Suzy turned 80 and her sons and daughter-in-law planned a perfect surprise party for her at the Clinton Library. Can you believe this beauty is 80?! We age well in our clan, and for that I am most thankful!


The photo of this cake does it no justice at all, but I used my phone for photos on this day. Her son, Clay flew in his cake designer from New Orleans and had her make this wonderful cake. It had 8 layers and 80 butterflies. It may also have been the best tasting cake I have had since I can remember. Kim was a pleasure to meet. I have asked if I can come watch them work sometime. I think working for a baking company and designing and baking the cakes you and I buy at the grocery store has to be the coolest job. Our family is so diverse and I love it.

 
My Mama with Aunt Suzy and her son Clay. Pam is in the red and she is one of our adoptees. We like to adopt special people into our family and love them like our own. Pam, Mama and Auntie are travel buddies. They have taken some amazing trips together.


The added treat to our Saturday was getting a quick hug from our Mawmaw. She and UD came from Texas to celebrate their sister...and see us, of course. Seeing them 2 times in 2 months may be a record in our adult years. Warm fuzzies.


There was lots of cuteness at the Clinton Library. Henry loves playing with his cousins. Julie has raised amazing children. What 12 year olds and 9 year old smile and enjoy entertaining a four year old for hours, without a complaint!?


Randall took the children outside and they walked over the bridge and ran and played in the grass. It was such a beautiful day to be together and laugh. We laugh a lot.


We danced a little, ate a little and enjoyed each other. Aunt Suzy has a lot of great friends and family who showered her with great love on her special day. We were so excited to be there.



Look who got Aunt Abby's phone and took 5 selfies. I love Daniel Beavers and that smile of his.


The sugar on the rim of the sweet day was seeing mama. So thankful for our family and the love we have for each other.

Abby

Thursday, January 23, 2014

A Daybook Entry

I used to love doing these, I love even more, going through and reading them years later.
January 23, 2014

...Outside my window..It is so cold and windy today, but the sun is shining. It really is quite pretty.
...I am thinking..Because Anna and I watched a Hallmark movie, I'm thinking that I'm going to be an emotional mess at my children's weddings!
...In prayer for..Stephen is actively looking for a full time job. He needs one badly, please pray with us
...I'm thankful for..this is superficial but real. I'm thankful for a friend who is a barber who cuts all of our hair for free. My hair has never looked better than when she cuts it!
...In the kitchen..I decided I don't want to make what was on the menu for tonight, so I punted. We had baked taquitos and they were yummy!
...I am wearing..my most comfy faded blue jeans, black quarter zip pullover and a colorful scarf. My fave comfy outfit.
...I am going..To clean my room tonight It seems to have been a dumping ground for everyone's things lately.
...I am reading..Get ready for it, I'm reading nothing. I can't believe it either.
...I am hoping..That my boss comes to help me tomorrow.
...I am looking forward to..Spending time with my mom, Abby, and Mamaw Saturday.
...I am learning..How to have a peaceful home.
...Around the house..I need a lamp and end table for the living room, I'll be looking for some.
...TV I'm enjoying..American Idol. I had written it off a couple of years ago, but Harry Connick Jr!

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Last Week

TheWe weren't the most exciting bunch last week, but we were Bunyan d had a little bit of fun.
I made fried chicken!
We are the original family game night family. This week among other games, we played Headbanz, it's like charades  a bit and we laughed and laughed!
These two have quite a bond. They love each other so much, and are fun to watch.
I had to run some errands one day and these three asked to come along. It's much better running errands with them!
Martin Luther King weekend is one of my favorite times to shop. All the stores have their Christmas decorations marked down way low and it's the only time I can afford good ornaments. Ha! And after our tree fell down this Chrismas I need to replenish! I got all of these for a steal! I missed shopping with Abby though!




Monday, January 13, 2014

Winter Wonder Boy



This winter has been cozy thus far. Lots of cold days at home. I have actually loved it...and I think Henry has also. Lots of time in Jammies and books. This guy loves books!


We have been trying to make wiser food choices and it is hard for my nugget, fry, chip, candy loving boy. This night he was eating a foot long fruit roll up after eating his veggies. Balance I say!!





Playing church is a new one for us. This day Henry was leading music. He sang and played guitar and keyboard. We sang every praise song he has ever heard and all was lead by him. It was pretty impressive and made this mama heart turn to mush. Love this child!!


This time he was pretending to be a "worker man" and he wore his worker vest and backpack. His cubbies vest from Awana. Love it. The bathroom was his truck and he was inside his pretend truck in this photo. Imagination on fire! 



This was the coldest morning in forever. We stayed bundled up like this most all day. I love lazy cold days but I am ready for Spring now! 


We painted snow and made snowmen one day. This child loves to paint. I just love seeing him in that Ikea paint smock the best. We both win. 


It finally warmed up for a few days and we put our boots on and headed outside with our daddy. It brought big smiles and nice fresh air. I love life and the mundane things about it. It is just the best and I am so thankful for all of it. 

Abby Jo

Fried Chicken!!

Oh my!

I don't talk about my cooking skills too much, because well what would I say? 

But tonight, I'm talking about my skills.

We had this for supper tonight! Fried chicken made by me, at my house. I know. We were all excited too. I come from a long line of excellent fried chicken makers. I even went to Mamaw's for my birthday one year, I think year 35,  just so she would make me fried chicken as my gift. 

I give you this picture for proof that I made it. Ha!

My only fail was that I didn't make gravy. I made mashed potatoes, green beans, Sister Shubert rolls, and the chicken. But I couldn't get everything done close enough to the same time to make gravy. Oh well, I'll try again next time.

Tomorrow night we're having beans and cornbread. It's like I'm a pioneer woman! Haha!

Sunday, January 12, 2014

A Few Pictures

It's the beginning of a new week so I thought I'd share some pictures from last week. They aren't of good quality, but they are of good people!
This is Abi. She had just returned from a mission trip to Africa, and her first stop was our house. We love her, and her family.
David had/has poison ivy on his face (again), so he put cream on it to help with the itching, that why his face is shiny!

A picture of the girls of the family. We take a lot of pictures together, and I'm sure we will keep this trend up!

Daniel and Anna. These two keep me laughing. They each have the funnest personalities! They had spent the day at the trampoline park and were pretty tired. 

See what I mean about not good quality, but good people? I bet the pictures get better over time, I mean, they have to don't they? And one of these days I'm going to get one of Samuel!


Friday, January 10, 2014

A Few Things

I have nothing really coherent today, just a few random thoughts.

...I miss Christmas movies. There were so many good ones this year, I'm hoping there are some good Valentine ones soon.

...The first few days of 2014 were really bad. Really. The last couple of days have been pretty great. 

...There is supposedly a Velvetta shortage. I'm not sure how I feel about this. I love cheese dip, Velvetta is a must but I feel so ridiculous "stocking up" on it. But if I can't find it at my store, I'm going to be really upset. Such a first world problem.

...I got a dishwasher!!! I know I mentioned it the other day but you don't understand my excitement.

...
Can you stand the cuteness of this picture? I was about Anna's age in this picture. She wishes I had kept the coat for her. This was one of my very favorite Christmas gifts ever, a rabbit fur coat. Oh, the 80's! What a great time.

...and let's talk about Abby in that picture. She was a beauty even then. And the thumb sucking and pulling her ear. It drove us crazy at the time, but what fun memories!

...I got a little part time job in November. It's no stress, and hopefully in a couple of weeks won't consume as much time as it has lately. I like a routine, and is don't have one with this little job yet!

...Samuel got his baseball number this week. He's number 8. I'm so excited, it's my favorite number!

Well that's it. It's time to fondue with the kids. Apples, bananas, pound cake, and marshmallows dipped in chocolate. Yummy!

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Instagram

ThWell it turns out I did make a bit of a resolution this year. Oops! Not a better myself resolution, but a do something different resolution.

You're going to love it. You're not going to believe it. I hardly believe it myself. Abby doesn't even know, she's probably going to do a cartwheel. Well, maybe just a somersault!

I'm going to take a picture of one of my family members everyday this year. And not just that, but I'm posting them! 

Can you stand it?!! Pictures of my family on the internet. Daily! I know!!

I'm going to post them on Instagram everyday. And let me tell you that this is just the 8th day and there have been a couple of days that everyone was asleep before I remembered to take a picture. You're not surprised are you?

I'll post some of them here each week too. You can join Instagram without posting any pictures, you can just follow me, and anyone else you know. It's easy, and it's no big deal.
This is my picture today. I GOT A DISHWASHER!!! Oh people, it's been a while, I might have kissed it I was so excited!

Ok, so be excited, stay on me if I don't post a picture! 

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

He loves us

Yesterday in all of my angst, I reverted back to teenage girl status. I opened my bible and hoped (sadly more than I prayed) that something would pop out at me to soothe my soul.

I know this isn't the way to search scripture, or study the Bible. But yesterday, it's what I did. Instead of opening my real Bible, or even my Bibles on my iPad, I opened the one on my Kindle. It of course was already on a page and I began to read.

What I read was in Matthew 26, when Jesus was being anointed with expensive, fragrant oil. I read that and immediately felt peace. It dawned on me that I have three different reactions to scripture when I read it.

One is total confusion. I can read passages and it is like the words shouldn't even be put together in sentences. It's almost like a foreign language to me. I know when that happens that I'm just reading to get it read for the day, not to be gleaning more understanding and wisdom from the Bible. 

The next is anxiety. There are some passages that make me feel stress, isn't that weird. The one that does it the most is the parable of the vineyard workers in Matthew 20. I understand the parable and rejoice in the fact that no matter when a person believes in The Lord and accepts Him as their Savior that they are promised eternity in Heaven. It doesn't bother me a bit that I can be a Christian for 35 years and someone can believe and accept Him and die 35 minutes later and be in Heaven for eternity.  But pay someone that worked one hour the same as you pay the person that worked all day? I can't take it!

The last is peace. I can read most passages and feel peace and rest. As if God has breathed into my soul as I read . I hope and pray this last one for you. I pray that when you read the Bible that God gives you a breath of fresh air, a breath of hope. He loves you so much.

His love is what gets me through the tough times. He is just, there are consequences to my sin, but oh how He loves me! And oh, how He loves you!

Monday, January 6, 2014

Conflict (I'm ok, really!)

If you know me, you know I don't like conflict or confrontation. I like peace. Everyone getting along, people compromising, giving in a little, taking a little so that things run smoothly, feelings aren't hurt and people get along. That's what I like.

That's not what I've known lately. Not much peace in my neck of the woods. I've done my share of all the things I listed above, I've also not done my share of those things. Sometimes conflicts will arise. Not everyone is on the same page at the same time. Sometimes the same page will never be found. 

I'm sure in this case common ground and peace will be found soon. Circumstances will be forgiven and hearts will be mended. But for now I'm working through a lot of emotion and feelings. That sounds like such a girl thing to say. I wonder if men would use the same terminology. Probably not.

Right now I'm praying. And praying some more. I'm seeking God out through His word, books written by His people and by prayer. I so want to hear His voice, and feel his touch on my shoulder. I want a compass that doesn't just point north but also has a picture of what north looks like. Anyone with me on that?

It's a strange place to be as an adult. I remember being here as a teenage girl, the conflict, the not knowing. I really hated it then and boy did it do some hijinks to my stomach! But as an adult, it's weird.
I look around me and everyone seems to have everything figured out. And It seems that I don't. I know it's temporary. Tomorrow is a new day and things could quite possibly be brand new and rosey again. But today I'm writing this and feeling it as I do.

I'm reading Beth Moore's Believing God right now.(free for the Kindle. She has like 10 books free right now, go and get them!) I keep quoting "I believe God is who He says He is". What a powerful phrase. Even more so to me is just the name JESUS. I just say his name over and over and peace comes to my heart. 

I don't know what I'm accomplishing by writing this. Maybe just putting my feelings down will make it better. Make me see something in a new light. I don't know. But if nothing else, maybe you'll say a prayer for me. And come back tomorrow and I'll tell you that everything is good and that conflict is no longer my shadow! 

I'm ok, really i am. No need for you to worry or be anxious about me. I'm ok!
Julie

Friday, January 3, 2014

A New Year

Finally I can say Happy New Year!

January 1st began with doughnuts and shopping but quickly became just a yucky, bad day. When I went to bed I decided to try the Groundhog Day approach to the next day. I would just try again.

So, January 2nd came and I locked my keys in the van while out of town and had to have AAA unlock my van. I had a horrible headache and still had to grocery shop. And not just a normal trip, but a big trip to the grocery store. The little boy behind me in line said, "that's A LOT of money" twice when the clerk gave me my total. It was that kind of trip. So I once again decided to try the Groundhog Day approach.

And today was good. No need to call AAA, no headache, just a lazy New Years Day. Finally! I thought about a do over when the boys and Stephen played Monopoly all afternoon. All. Afternoon. But I chose joy and joy prevailed!

I didn't make any resolutions this year. I know myself, and know that I wouldn't keep any of them. There are things I would like to do better, eat, exercise, talk about Jesus. And I will try!

I pray this is a year full of Gods blessings. We've had a couple of rough years, with struggles of many kinds and I pray that this year we will see answers to our questions and results of our work. I know there are so many that are sad, grieving, and living new lives that they never could have imagined. I don't want to seem like my struggles are anything like theirs. But when I think about my year, our life, these are the things I would like to see.

I am so very thankful for God's provision in our lives. As I look over the last two years, i'm amazed at how the Lord has carried us through so easily. I don't want to ever take it for granted. He has been so good, faithful, and true in our lives. 

Happy New Year to you. I pray you have a year that is full of evidences of Gods love and provision in your life. 
Love ya'll!


Thursday, January 2, 2014

A Sweet Lady

I woke up this morning to the news of Mrs. Betty Gilsons death. I'm sure most of you reading this knew her. Not only knew her but loved her. How could a person not love Mrs. Gilson?

She was a short lady, always wore pleated polyester skirts and smiled. Oh, did she smile! She was one of those people that oozed the joy of the Lord. You could tell just by lookin at her that she loved Jesus and loved His people. 

She especially loved Mr. Gilson. He was a tall man, and she was so short. They were so cute together. Always holding hands, sitting side by side in their car, smiling at each other, praying together. A beautiful testment to a loving marriage.

I didn't know the other Mrs. Gilson, her mother-in-law, but my mom and Mamaw did. They would talk of her wise advice and sweet loving spirit. She was one you could sit with, tell your problems to, and she would give advice. I wish there were more people like that now. There are so many young married girls that need Godly wisdom imparted to them to help them in their marriages and parenting. I don't just wish it, I'm praying for it. I realize that I'm of the age to be one of the older wives. I pray that God puts young women in my life to pour into.

Mr. and Mrs. Gilson had no children of their own. I'm sure she struggled with that fact, but it didn't stop her from loving on everyone else's children. And I was so fortunate to be one of those. She and Mr. Gilson had a training union class that was like Awana. We had to memorize scripture, we had Bible study, sang hymns (back when it was all we knew!), and at the end of each quarter the one that had the most points from memorizing, attendance, and other things got to plan a party. She would make the cake we wanted, buy streamers in whatever color we chose, and we sang our favorite hymns. She sent postcards to us every week. Not just the weeks we were absent. Every week! But most of all we learned truths from the Bible. It wasn't just a storybook, it was the truth.  God sent His Son to earth to be our Savior, so that we could receive forgiveness and live eternally in heaven with Him. 

I know people say this a lot but today it is so very true, Heaven is a sweeter place today. I just hate that I didn't ever visit her when I went home. Why did it never cross my mind? I don't know, but what I do know is I have shared my memories of her with my children. So much so that when I mentioned her death today, D&D knew who I was talking about and were sad too. 

Such a sweet lady that showed people how to believe in a loving, forgiving God. I pray I am that kind of woman.