Thursday, December 31, 2009

Happy New Years and We're Home.

Well we are back in Ohio. We spent the last day of the year quietly here at home. We were completely exhausted, physically, mentally and emotionally from driving 17 hours driving home the day before. We are so lucky our children do well on long car trips. Baby girl did get a little car sick at one point and we had to stop and change her clothes and get cleaned up, but then she was fine the rest of the trip home. Both babies got a little fussy when we were about 3 hours from home. They were so tired poor babies. they kept falling asleep and waking up disoriented. They were ready to get into their beds. But they woke up when we got home and my poor little honey, Trey, couldn't get back to sleep because he was sad and missed Nana and Paw-Paw and his Mimi. He started crying and it about broke my heart. So, we are going to call and talk to them all today.

We had a good time with our family and the few friends we got to see. The babies had the most fun because they had Christmas 3 times. They were so cute to watch because they were so excited. It was a weird Christmas though. There were some very sweet moments, but, it was hard to be in the moment sometimes with the stress of trying to find and buy a house. We spent 5 out of the 10 days we were home house hunting. We feel like we spent more time with our realtor than we did with family. And still no luck. We are just praying now for some kind of clear direction from the Lord. I told Hugh that maybe the Lord was saying "wait -don't do anything," about the whole situation and not just the "dream house" we were pondering over buying. We just haven't been able to fully agree on any other house since. And I don't know if it's just that we are comparing it to the one house or because we just haven't found the one yet. I do feel like we change our minds every time we get around someone new, family or friends. And I think we made the mistake of talking to everyone about the whole process of how we were feeling and what we were thinking from day to day, and we just made ourselves even more confused. So, I think we are just going to pray now and then let everyone know once we've decided on something. I had no idea it was going to be so hard. And it's such a big decision that we don't want to make a mistake and regret it later, like what have we gotten ourselves into.

On to other news. We spent a wonderful New Years Eve together last night. We spent the day very low key. We played in the snow, walked down to visit some of our neighbors, and just played with he kids. Then last night we had dinner with two other couples and their children and then we all played with our kids together in the floor and talked and got caught up on things. When we came home, I read the babies a story each of them picked out and we prayed together and rocked in our rocking chair while listening to some beautiful choral music. I rocked each of them to sleep, and then spent the rest of the night with my sweet hubby. We watched the big New Years Eve countdown on t.v., and toasted in the New Year with a kiss. And we talked to friends on the phone and wished them a happy New Year at midnight. It was a good night.

Today we spent the day here again playing in the snow and we made a snowman with the kids. Then we came in for some hot chocolate and a nap. It was a quiet day with just our little family. And it was a wonderful way to spend the first day of 2010. Can you believe it's already here? This is going to be an important year of change for us. It's very exciting and a little sad all at the same time. We are very glad to be going home to settle down and live, but, we've made some wonderful friends here that are going to be hard to say goodbye to. I'm determined to live and enjoy every moment while it lasts, and embrace all the wonderful new things to come. It will be a year of growth and change! I love all of you and wish you a happy happy New Year and wonderful things to come! Blessings!

Monday, December 28, 2009

Who Knew?

I hope everyone has had a wonderful holiday with their friends and family! We are still enjoying time with our family down here in Mississippi, and we're trying to decide on a house.

I don't know if it's just me, or if anyone else has had this experience, but, house hunting is just down right hard. It's exciting and stressful, wonderful and exasperating all at the same time. We have seen about 26 houses in 3 days and narrowed it down to 4. Then, we viewed just our top 4, one being my dream house. It was the one I had been stalking for almost a year and then it disappeared off of the radar, and I thought my heart was broken. It has everything, and I mean everything I could ever hope for or have dreamed about. This is my someday house. It's not a house we would start in and then build our dream house. It is our dream house! I would never move if we bought this house. But, that in itself is not a promise we can make with the career that Hugh has. In all likeliness, our first home will not be our last. Hugh and I initially decided to make an offer on this house, but haven't had a peace about it since. I know Hugh has especially been confused considering how much I wanted this home. I mean I was praying that Hugh would love it as much as I do, and that God would help me to let it go if not. So, when he said he wanted it to, and we could make a bid on it, I was so excited I cried. But, within an hour later, I had this sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach. I tried to chalk it up to exhaustion of the last 3 days and I even talked to Hugh some more to make sure he didn't feel like I talked him into it. And he assured me no, that that was not the case. He loves the house too, but, he just doesn't have a peace about it, and then I admitted that I felt the same way too. I told him I thought that we should pray about it, and not move forward too quickly. And as soon as we decided not to buy the house we both felt a peace about it. Over the last four days since, we have tried to decided between the other 3 houses, and even tried to talk ourselves into our dream house again. It works out on paper, and we wouldn't be stretching ourselves too thin. That's not he problem. The problem is we have asked the Lord for His help, and we feel like the Lord is trying to guide us away from it, even though we really want it. Uuuggg! This is so hard! The other 3 are great and we can see ourselves happy in all of them. But, we can also find things wrong with each one of them too. Why does this have to be so hard?

Hugh isn't going to have any more time off between now and the time we move here for us to come back and look at more houses. Our realtor said that the spring is always a great time for new houses to come on the market. But, we feel like we just can't look at 20 something more houses later. So, we are praying and we are taking Hugh's dad who had a construction company with his father, to look at two of them today, and see if he can give us any advice. He will be able to see things that we don't and I feel like his advice will help us in deciding to make an offer.

So, wish us luck! I'm so ready to have this settled and be able to plan and enjoy it all. And pray for us to make the decision God wants us to make. Blessings!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Our Home for the Holidays!

Here are few pictures I pulled from the archives. The pictures are a couple years old, but, our home is decorated the same way this year for the holidays. Maybe I'll change things up a bit next year, since we will have our first home. I'm sure I'll be able to add few new touches here and there. We have kept a pretty strict budget while in residency, so our decorations haven't changed. But, they all have sentimental value, and a special place in our hearts and home. I hope you enjoy a little look at our Home for the Holidays.

These are our "outside" decorations! We also have a light post adorned with greenery and a sign that reads "Merry Christmas from Dixieland!"

The picture in the frame has changed over the years of course. This is such a special frame to me, because my sister Demetria made it. She is so talented.
! Luke 2:9-12

And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with fear. And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of a great joy that will be for all the people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.”

Merry Christmas! Blessings to All.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Very Sad News....

Bloggy friends please pray.......
My sweet friend Amanda has had a miscarriage at 20 weeks. She had a feeling something wasn't right, and called her OBGYN yesterday. She went in and they were unable to find any signs of life. She was supposed to find out if they were having a boy or girl next week at her normally scheduled appointment. She is heart broken, understandably. Heidi and I went and sat with her for a couple hours last night and just talked and prayed with her. She is blaming herself, and it's not her fault. Her doctor thinks it was a virus or birth defect that caused the baby to pass. Her husband's name is Jeff, and they have a beautiful little boy named Paul. Please pray for this sweet family. They also had a family friend that she's been lifting up in prayer every week at our Bible study that passed away the night before of kidney failure. So, they have just had a bout of sad news these last couple of days, and can use all the prayer they can get. -Thank you!

Read to Me Wednesday...

Will You Read to Me Wednesdays is hosted by Sarah Denley . She thought it would be fun to share some of our favorite children's books. I love the idea and thought I'd join in.

This week, I thought I'd share a book that is very dear to my heart, not only for it's message, but, because it was a gift. The Beloved Son is a Tell-a-Tales book, about the life of Jesus. It is written as a poem depicting the birth, life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. It is a beautiful little book.

I chose this particular book, because, it is one that we have in our reading basket, here at home, for the month of December. And it was a special gift to Anna Grace and Trey from their Mimi. The book was Ms. Donna's when she was a child. And it is signed on the inside cover.
To Donna Hodges
From Mrs. Eva Lott -1957.
Isn't that amazing? What a treasure this is! I was so touched when she gave it to me two years ago for Anna Grace's first Christmas. We read it together last year and we are reading it again this year. It is in wonderful condition and I hope to be able to pass it on to my grand children someday. I love family heirlooms!

What are you reading to your children or grand children this Christmas season? Is it a special family tradition or something new that you found for this year? Or is there a special book you are reading just for you? ~Blessings my friends!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Potty Training...

It is official! Baby girl is officially potty trained for the second time. (Ya! Ya! YA!-Happy Dance all around!) She was potty trained for a full month, and then the tummy bug came to visit the Taylor household and we back tracked a bit. She was having accidents left and right, and it was like just water coming out. She couldn't get to the bathroom in time, and we were having to put her in the tub four or five times a day, so I felt like I had no choice but to put her back in diapers.

And then when it was all over she was afraid to go #2 on the potty. She would still sit down and go #1, but when she could feel the other coming she would start to cry and say her belly was hurting again. It was heart breaking. And after a while nothing seemed to work and it was frustrating. I hate feeling helpless. I even tried to bribe her with a new toy. But, in the end, I had to just back off and not even mention it any more. This last Thursday night she came running in the living room and said come quick I made (poopies) in the potty. And sure enough she had all on her own. I was still a little wary about celebrating just yet, but, we're on our fifth day and no accidents. So Hooray! I feel like the happy dance is in order.

My sweet friend Heidi offered me half a pack of "princess" pull ups she had left over, and I think that helped a lot this last week. Thanks Heidi! Love ya girl! This morning we officially switched over to our princess panties. Ya! It will be nice to have a diaper free household. I can think of a lot of things I can do with that extra little bit of money every month. I hope everyone is having some small successes in their life today that is worth celebrating! Blessings!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

A Childhood Favorite....

I loved this book from my childhood. I lived in Louisiana from the time I was 3 until I was 8. My mom read it to me when I was little, and I thought it was hilarious. I know this is not the original. (And I do love the original.) But, it holds special memories for me and my momma. Memories of silly happy times together. So, since it is the Christmas season, I thought I would share a little snippet. I got the idea from Sarah, who is starting Read With Me Wednesdays, where she is sharing some of her favorite children's books. What a wonderful idea!

This book is written in Cajun slang, which is part of what makes it special. The story features alligators instead of reindeer, which makes it unique to Louisiana bayou area that it is set in.

Twas the night before Christmas, an' all t'ru de house,
Dey don't a ting pass Not even a mouse
De chirren been nezzle good snug on de flo'
An Mamma pass de pepper t'ru de crack on de do'.

De Mama in de fireplace done roas' up de ham,
Sit up de gumbo an' make de bake yam.
Den out on de by-you dey got such a clatter,
Make soun' like old Boudreau done fall off his ladder.

I hope you are enjoying many sweet memories and I'm wishing you all blessings on your day!

Advent Week 3: JOY!

Light the first two purple candles, and then light the pink candle.

Sing a Christmas carol or hymn. (I have chosen Joy to the world.)

JOY To The World, The Lord Has Come
The Earth Receive Her King
Let Every Heart Prepare Him Room
And Heaven and Nature Sing
And Heaven and Nature Sing
And Heaven, And Heaven And Nature Sing!

Joy To The World, the Savior Reigns!
Let Men Their Songs Employ;
While Fields and Floods, Rocks Hills and Plains
Repeat the Sounding Joy
Repeat the Sounding Joy
Repeat Repeat the Sounding Joy!

No More Let Sins and Sorrows Grow,
Nor Thorns Infest the Ground,
He Comes to Make His Blessings Flow
Far as the Curse is Found,
Far as the Curse is Found,
Far as, Far as the Curse is Found!

He Rules the World With Truth and Grace,
And Makes the Nations Prove,
The Glories of His Righteousness,
And Wonders of His Love,
And Wonders of His Love
And Wonders, And Wonders of His Love!
Scripture Reading: Isaiah 35:10 And the ransomed of the Lord shall return, and come to Zion with singing, with everlasting JOY on their heads. They shall obtain JOY and gladness, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away.
Prayer: Lord we thank you for the gift of your son our savior Jesus Christ. We praise your name for the hope we have found in Him, and the Joy that fills our hearts because of your great love for us. Thank you for this most precious gift. We love you forever, and ever more! -Amen.
I can not tell you what this Christmas season has meant to me already this year. It brings me great joy to see my children growing in the knowledge of our Lord. To be able to celebrate with them the true meaning of Christmas and see them really getting it, warms my heart. There are just no words. Just this week I came in the room to find my sweet girl rocking the baby Jesus from our nativity, and singing to Him. And just the other night, we were coming home from the mall, when our son looked up in the sky and said, "Look daddy, it's the star of Bethlehem!" Can it get any better than this? ~Blessings to all of you this Advent season!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Late Night Ramblings...

I just finished watching Julie and Julia. I LOVED IT! What a charming little movie. I love Amy Adams and Meryl Streep. And Stanley Tucci is an amazing actor as well. I love everything about this movie. Well, everything say for one small part. It was very sad to find out that Julia didn't care for Julie's blog or her homage to her. But, I do love the cooking and writing/blogging, and Paris. How love Paris. It is one of my favorite cities in the world. I used to think that New York was my favorite city in the world. But, I have visited both and I still long for Paris. It is the most romantic city in the world. It wreaks of culture and romance. And I love that in this movie, there was true romance. Julia and Paul were truly soul mates, and best friends. They adored one another. Oh, how refreshing to see a portrayal of that kind of passion intertwined in a life long marriage. That is the idealist image of marriage I cling to, and try to live out day to day in my own life. I love, Love!

In other news I bought my first pair of Spanx today, and I'm really excited about it. Is that too weird? I am writing this at 3:13 in the morning. Maybe that has something to do with it. No, but really, I was in CWC today, buying an outfit, and I just kept thinking I have to try these. I've heard so much about them. A girl can always use a little help in that area. And the last girdle/shaper/slimmer/slip I bought was right after my first born. So, I'm due. And I keep thinking about that funny little scene in Steel Magnolias between Truvy and Clairee.
Truvy: Clairee, you know I'd rather walk on my lips than criticize anybody...but...Janice Van Meter...Clairee: I know...Truvy: I bet you money she's paid $500.00 for that dress and doesn't even bother to wear a girdle. Clairee: It's like two pigs fighting under a blanket. Truvy: Well, I haven't left the house without lycra on these thighs since I was 14. Clairee: you were brought up right. Well, I am not by any means the size of Dolly Parton in this movie. Nor have I returned to the size I still one day hope to be again. But, I do refer back to that scene in my head, as I want to always present myself at my best, regardless of size. I've also been thinking a lot lately about a quote from My all time favorite movie All About Eve, starring Bette Davis, as Margo Channing. Margo:Funny business, a woman's career - the things you drop on your way up the ladder so you can move faster. You forget you'll need them again, when you get back to being a woman. That's one career all females have in common, whether we like it or not: being a woman. Sooner or later we've got to work at it, no matter how many other careers we've had or wanted. I am so in touch with that feeling right now. And I so feel the need to get back to myself, or taking care of myself better. I'm not sure why it's coming out in movie quotes though. Just things stuck in my head.

So, tomorrow I vow to...drink more water, work in a work out at least once a day for 20 minutes, Never forget to take off my makeup at night, keep my nails nice, and lotion, lotion, lotion all this winter. That is my New Years resolution, before New Years. So, there! And I'm off to get very little beauty rest before I start a new day tomorrow! Ciao, Au revoir, A demain!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Meeting Santa, Ms. Claus, Rudolf the red nose reindeer, and our day at the chocolate factory.

Normally, I would post this at my other blog, Our Sweetest Dreams Come True, but this was just so cute I couldn't help myself. I had to share it with everyone. One of the Hallmark stores here in the area is putting on the most fabulous event for children for the Christmas holidays. The children were greeted by Rudolf the red nose reindeer, had story time with Ms. Claus, sang Christmas carols, got the chance to meet Santa, and made their very own chocolate treats to take home. We had such a wonderful afternoon together. Ms. Anne wanted to treat the babies to something special for their last Christmas holiday here. They are still talking about how much fun they had, so I know this will be a sweet memory for years to come. Waiting for all the excitement to begin.....
Meeting Rudolf!
The babies with Ms. Anne
Ms. Claus
This is the book she read to the children.
Here comes Santa Claus, here comes Santa Claus....
giving out treats from his sack
Group picture
It's time to make some chocolate!
Oooo, Aaahhh! Everything was very hands on.
Watching our treats go through the cooler.
They all wore hair nets and gloves while in the kitchen. So cute!
Decorating our treats!
A little help from Ms. Claus.
Holding up our finished product!
Enjoying our treats at home! I love this little chocolate smudged smile!
What a wonderful Christmas memory! If your Hallmark store is hosting an event like this, I highly recommend it. It would lots of fun for the whole family! ~Blessings on your day!

Monday, December 7, 2009

Advent week 2: Love

Light two purple candles.
Sing a hymn or Christmas carol. My choice is Come Thou Long Expected Jesus

Come Thou Long Expected Jesus; Born to set thy people free.
From our fears and sins release us, Let us find our rest in thee.
Israel's Strength and Consolation, Hope of all the earth thou art;
Dear desire of every nation, Joy of every longing heart.

Born thy people to deliver, Born a child and yet a king.
Born to reign in us forever, Now thy gracious kingdom bring.
By thine own eternal Spirit, Rule in all our hearts alone;
By thine all sufficient merit, Raise us to thy glorious throne.

Scripture Reading: Mark 1:4 John came baptizing in the wilderness and preaching a baptism of repentance for the remission of sins.

Prayer: Lord, God we light this candle to thank you for your Son our Savior Jesus Christ, who is the way. We who like sheep have gone astray have found the way to you through Jesus Christ. Stir our hearts that we may prepare for thy only begotten Son, and that we may be made worthy to serve Thee. We give thanks and praise in Jesus' name, because he lives and reigns with you in your glory. -Amen.

Since there were questions about the Jesse tree; what it stands for and how you can incorporate it into your Advent celebration, here is a little explanation I found....

Isaiah 11:1 A shoot shall come out from the stump of Jesse, and a branch shall grow out of his roots.

Jesse was King David's father. The image of a branch growing out of the roots of Jesse points to a new King in David's line. Christians know that this is fulfilled in Jesus, the King of Kings, who is a descendant of Jesse. One tradition is to decorate a tree branch with symbols that remind us of other important people from the Old Testament. The symbols of the Jesse tree remind us that our belief grows out of deep roots of thousands of years of ancestors in the faith.

My children are two and three, so I have decided that I am not going to try to do every symbol or ornament this year. We introduce a new symbol every morning, and we review each of the symbols we've done so far every evening. I would rather have them remember a good handful this year that we work on, and we can add to them next year, as they get a little older. It has gone very well so far. This last week we have been working on Noah and the ark, Abraham and Issac, and Jacob's dream. You can also use an Advent house instead of Jesse tree. I know they have them at Target and even Cracker Barrel.

You can place little symbols in each door. Or some people like to place little treats in each door for their children instead of using it as a teaching tool. This is the first year that my children truly understand about Santa Claus, and they are very excited about him. I thought this would be the perfect time to start to also teach them about the real meaning of Christmas, and the excitement of Jesus' birthday. I told them that we are very lucky to receive presents on Jesus' birthday, because really He should be receiving the gifts. They were like, "Wow, that's really nice of Him." So sweet. I'm so excited to be doing this with them this year. It helps me prepare my heart as well. Love and blessings to all!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009


After reading through the wonderful comments I received on my last post, (thank you so much ladies,) I felt I needed to clarify or expand on my #10 honest answer.

Hugh and I both have close childhood friendships of the opposite sex. And we would never think of asking the other to cut off those friendships. Hugh's friend, Reagan is a perfect example. They've been friends for over twenty something years. She is a wonderful woman, whom I've had the pleasure of getting to know myself. And I trust her completely, and I'm very comfortable with their friendship. But, a big part of that is also due to the fact that they have always been just friends. There has never been any attraction between them. They've never dated, kissed or even held hands, in a more than friendship kind of way.

Hugh developed Hydrocephalus shortly after he was born, and has had to have a shunt and several surgeries throughout his childhood to correct the problem. When he was in the seventh grade he returned to school after a surgery, with his head shaved. Kids being kids, he was teased about it. And Reagan, being a good friend, offered him a ball cap she happened to have at school with her that day. It was against policy to allow students to wear hats during school, but they made an exception for him because of his recent surgery. -I love that story. Reagan was a true friend, a good friend to him when he needed it most. She was even in our wedding on Hugh's side. She wore a black dress and stood on his side, and I don't think it was at all awkward or out of place. I share all this to make the point that I am not a jealous or insecure woman in my marriage. And I think we as woman take for granted that we need to protect our marriages at all costs.

I don't think we, as a whole, are prepared for what marriage is really like. We begin life together many times completely idealistic, with tunnel vision on our own happily ever after. But, anyone who is married, and has been for more than a couple of years, knows that while marriage is a blessing and offers fulfillment, it is also hard work. There is growth and change, and it will not always sustain the same intensity that you once had when you were dating. There is a ebb and flow to every relationship. The problem is most people think that the minute they aren't being payed enough attention to, or treated like royalty, being waited on hand and foot, well, it must be over. And our society ends up going through relationships like Kleenex, once that relationship loses that shiny newness. They never get to the deeper, stronger and more mature stages, where you are known inside and out, and are loved and appreciated, even when you aren't perfect and you make mistakes. Because let's face it, at times, we are all inconsiderate, or ungrateful, or even selfish. But, if we can make it passed the disappointment of our imperfections, we get to a place that is deeper and more real, where you become best friends and lovers. It's the imperfections and changes, disappointments and trials you face together that either cement you together, or rip you a part at the seams. The excitement in the beginning is what draws you to one another, but it's not the part the keeps you together. It's getting knee deep in the knitty gritty of it all , keeping your communication open and honest, and above all treating each other with respect that cements you together.

Communication is a key element. You can't pout, sull up keep an account of every disappointment til you become bitter, and except things to just magically change or become better. You have to love each other enough, and love your marriage enough to share what's on your heart, respectfully. Good and bad. Husbands and wives both need to hear the good to encourage one another, uplift one another and keep each other going through the hard times or even the day to day that can sometimes feel mundane. And when you have to face up to the harder stuff, you can not nag or condescend one another. Have my husband and I had disagreements or or even arguments in our marriage? Yes, of course we have! But, we never raise our voices to one another, call each other names, curse or use any kind of foul language when speaking to one another. That is part of respecting ourselves, as well as, one another and our relationship. Have we perfected our communication, and are we able to solve all our disagreements? No, we will continue to learn how to communicate, and understand one another throughout our life together. But, when we hit a rough patch, we don't quit because this is not how we thought it was going to be or how we think it is supposed to be. We walk hand in hand through it together, keeping our communication honest and our hearts open to hear each other. And we pray for the Lord to keep our hearts tender toward each other and open to change when it's needed.

I strongly feel that sharing your heart, above all else should be between you and your husband. And I think that it is disrespectful to your spouse and the marriage you share, or if you are developing a close relationship with someone of the opposite sex. Be that a co-worker, someone at church, or whatever. If you and your husband are OK with keeping friends of the opposite sex from your pasts, as we are, because there is a trust established, then do so. As long as both of you are truly comfortable, and you have bathed it in prayer. Hugh and I even have other married "couple friends," but he would never spend time with just the wife, and I would never spend time with just the husband, out of respect. And the same applies to those we've dated or even "friends" we may not have officially dated, but shared an attraction with or flirted with. You have to be able to be real honest with yourself and your spouse to admit that, but, if you love your spouse and your marriage, it's not a big sacrifice.

The Bible tells us that the devil roams to and fro in the earth, looking for something or someone (my emphasis,) to devour. And I can guarantee you that Christain marriage is at the top of a very long list of what he looks to destroy. My husband and I have made the decision to do whatever we have to to stand against how the devil would seek to destroy our marriage. If this is not your view, that is perfectly fine. How you protect your marriage is between you and your husband and the Lord. I always appreciate hearing others' perspectives and points of view. Perhaps I can learn something new from you. Thank you for taking the time to read this, and Blessings on your day!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Do you Honestly Know Me?

I have been awarded the following award from two lovely ladies here in bloggyland. Christy and Ashley. I am honored that they would consider me for this award and I say a big ole right back at 'cha! -to the both of you!

Rules for the award:
1. Must thank the person who gave you the award and list their blog and link it.

2. Share "10 Honest things" about yourself.

3. Present this award to 7 others whose blogs you find brilliant in content and/or design, or those who have encouraged you.

4. Tell those 7 people they've been awarded HONEST SCRAP and inform them of these guidelines in receiving the award.

I met Christy here in bloggyland a little over two years ago. I found her by way of my sister, Demetria. I fell in love with her blog because she was such a good writer, and she was both completely honest and entertaining at the same time. Seriously, it was like being addicted to one of my "favorite shows," I have to watch every week faithfully. There were times I'd be laughing out loud and Hugh would ask me what was going on, and I'd read him her latest post. I've enjoyed getting to know her better through her blog, and hope to meet her in person someday.

Ashley actually found me first. She left me a comment and I was so excited to meet and connect with her, because she had recently married one our best friends, Kurt, from medical school. We couldn't go down for the wedding because I was in the hospital having Anna Grace. She has become so dear to both of us, and we are so happy that Kurt found such a wonderful godly woman who truly loves him. We've had the chance to meet once, but I feel like we're old friends now, because we have kept in touch through e-mail, Face book, and our blogs. We have so much in common. I love visiting her blog because most of the time I read something and exclaim, "Me too!" And isn't it nice to feel like you're not alone in something. You know, to feel like someone else knows exactly how you feel or what you think about something. It's like "Yes, someone gets me." And she always has something new and entertaining going on. I look forward to moving back home and being able to get together with Ashley, Kurt, and Evy!

OK, so here's 10 very honest things about me:

1. I am an oxymoron of sorts.(Example...) I don't blog for others, nor have I ever felt pressured to blog everyday to keep readers. I don't want "my computer time" to interfere with my family, and what's best for my children. There have been a few times I've taken small breaks, because I feel like I'm spending too much time here, and not getting everything done that needs to be done, here at home. I don't feel like it's honest to write about or to encourage others as a homemaker, and mother if I'm not actively and consistently doing the things I write about in my own life, or in my own home with my own children. However, I always check for comments, like 10 times a day, and I do a little happy dance every time I get one of these awards. It's a struggle. I'm just trying to keep it all in balance. I can't help myself, I love to "visit" with people, and I love discussions. Preferably deep meaningful discussions, where I can learn something. But, I don't want that to ever become more important than the life the Lord has blessed me with.

2. I am the slowest person ever at typing. Which may make the above statement more clear for some. My husband enabled me a lot in college by typing all my papers for me. Yes, it's a sad sad truth. We both are the worst procrastinators, and never did our papers til the night before they were due. So, we'd stay up all night writing and typing and talking. We always got A's on them though. The only paper I ever got a B on in college was the one I did ahead of time. I think we were addicted to the rush of being under the gun of a deadline. And for me, it's when I was most creative, under pressure.

3. I struggle with depression. But, I'm very good at hiding it. It mostly occurs through the months of November through February. I know some of it is probably heredity. My mom struggled with depression. For the longest time, I couldn't understand why she couldn't just focus on the good things in her life instead of dwelling on all the bad. I even struggled with the whole issue of "if I was only good enough or better, then maybe she would be happy." Or at other times I would be angry thinking "why can't she just love us enough to pull it together." But, then when I lost my daddy on November 25, 2003, and then momma on January 31, 2006, I started to struggle myself. I can't explain it, but, it's like a dark cloud or a heaviness that comes over me. Time does ease the pain, and after a while you tend to forget all the bad or hard times and only think about the good times together. But, even those are bitter sweet at times, because out of no where you can be hit with a flood of emotions. And they're so overwhelming. You can hold onto the reassurance of knowing they are in a better place, and yet feel so angry and sad about how unfair it is that you'll never see them hold your child. Knowing better, doesn't always make the feelings you struggle with go away. And if you've never lost a parent, sibling, spouse or child that is that close to you and a part of your everyday life, then you just don't know what it's like. You can't understand. And that's no one's fault. It just is what it is. So, now I let the feelings come. I embrace them and let myself feel them, and then I move on. I believe very strongly in what the Bible says about taking every thought captive and that our fight is not against flesh and blood. I can recognize when the devil is trying to stir my emotions and fill my mind with all the "what if's," or "if only's." It is exhausting at times, but, I know I have to actively choose to move forward, think on the things that are pure and lovely and honorable, as the Bible tells us. I want my children to feel secure and loved. So, sometimes I wear a mask of happiness and I pray and wait on the Lord to help the feelings follow. And they always do. Thank God they always do.

4. I love acting. I've never felt comfortable as a singer, but acting is totally different. I can lose myself in a character, and never experience stage fright, but I always do when singing. (We kinda have that in common, Ashley.) And, I feel like I've had a lot of practice, not just in school or community theatre, but even in my own everyday life. I'm one of the greatest actresses in the world when it comes to my own life. I had to be to survive. When you grow up with an alcoholic, you learn to hide things very well. I also hid my abuse from my parents for years. In fact my dad never knew. I became a people pleaser, and I hid it with a smile on my face and an outgoing bubbly personality. I hid it by surrounding myself with friends and achievements, and all the "right things." Hiding or masking my emotions still comes easy, but at least now it's in a healthier more focused way.

5. I never should have been a music major. What? No really, other than performance, I've never been able to get a tight grasp on the technical part of it all. Theory, form and analysis, orchestration, all over my head. I barely made it through those classes. I excelled in Opera, and solo and choral performance. I didn't enjoy teaching music as much as I did gifted education, or early childhood education. I got into music because in all of my auditions in New York, New Orleans, Colorado, California, ect. for musical theatre, I was only accepted into theatre programs instead of musical theatre, which is what I was going for. I decided to stay in state for college and work on my music so I could re-apply or re-audition, and hopefully get accepted to the conservatories or schools I wanted to get into. Then I met Hugh, and had to figure out what to do with my career path, and the rest is history. I don't regret any of it, because it all led me to where I am now.

6. I would love to home school, but, its a decision that my husband and I are not in total agreement on. And I'm OK with that. Right now we're praying about it, and I'm trying to learn more about it. And time will tell. Either the Lord will change Hugh's heart, and make him more comfortable with it. Or I will go back to teaching myself and hopefully still be actively a part of their education, in one way or another. Until then, I am reading a lot about it, and trying to plan. Just in case.

7. I love Sundays. I look forward to it all week. I love going to church. I know, I'm just weird that way. But, I actually crave that time of refreshment every week. I don't teach any of the classes or Bible studies on Sundays. (I do that on Mondays and Tuesdays.)Nor am I involved with the choir at our church here. It's just a time of praise and worship, refreshment and learning for me. And I soak it all in. It's the one time, I leave my children without worry or guilt and it's all about me and the Lord. I love the singing. I love the fellowship and I love the preaching. I love everything about it. I even love lazy Sunday afternoons with my family.

8. I'd love to be a movie critic. I love to watch movies and discuss them with Hugh. I love to take the characters apart, or a scenes or situation and really study it. What works, what doesn't. Hugh and I often discuss changes we would have make to a story or character. We can usually guess the outcome, ending or twist before it ever happens. He has a real eye for detail too. He can find everything wrong with the editing. Like how a clock in a background scene will say 1:30, and a few seconds later it will be 3:30 in the same scene. He always catches little mistakes like that. It's a lot of fun. A couple of weeks ago he was on the computer while I was watching Glee and I didn't even know he was watching or listening to it with me. But when Sue the coach of the Cherios, picked the little girl with Downs Syndrome to be on the team, he immediately said, "I bet she has a sister or brother with Downs." I love it when we catch little things like that before you actually see the outcome. I remember when I figured out Edward Norton's character in Primal Fear was actually faking his dissociative Identity disorder. It's like a game with us, figuring out the puzzle.

9. My husband plays Mafia Wars on my Face book and his. I've never actually played it, and wouldn't even know where to start. We know the passwords to each other's FB, e-mail, ect. We don't have any secrets from one another, and at the same time don't feel like it's an invasion of privacy. It's just not an issue. We're very open with one another.

10. Hugh and I are very protective of our marriage. We are by no means the picture perfect couple or poster for marriage, but we have both experienced what it's like when our parents split. His parents divorced, mine just separated and eventually got back together. So, we know what we don't want in a relationship and marriage. We decided a long time ago the this is for life. We're in it for thick or thin. The only way I'd ever leave him is if he were hurting or abusing me or the children. And that is not a part of his character. We've already seen tough times together, but, we're best friends and we love each other deeply and we know the Lord will help us through. He always has and He always will,if we keep ourselves open to His guidance and leading. And that is why the above may seem weird to some, but, we aren't afraid of or feel the need for privacy from each other. And that is also why we made the decision not to make or have any close intimate friendships with the opposite sex, after marriage. And we don't have any communication with any of our Ex's, or their families. (Ex's as in dating. This is our first and only marriage.) We don't believe it's healthy for our marriage. It's not about trust. It's about not putting our relationship at risk or in any kind of tempting situations. What could you have to talk about but the past. And there is no need to stir up memories or feelings in the past. And you don't know the intentions of someone from your past. You may have moved on, but, they may have not. And if you and your spouse are having a tense day, and an Ex starts showing you attention, you may not even notice yourself getting drawn into a very slippery slope that could damage your relationship. I see it all the time. People think, "I know better or I'm stronger than that." But, know that the devil will use anything to break up a godly marriage. And we're not giving him an inch. I'm so glad we can discuss things like this, and that we're on the same page. Because that's all that really matters, even if the whole rest of the world doesn't understand.
So, did you learn anything new about me? I hope so. I would like to award this to the following...
Rachel-(private blog)
I look forward to learning more about each of you ladies. Blessings!

Monday, November 30, 2009

The Jesse Tree

This year instead of buying an Advent house, I decided to make a Jesse tree and ornaments with my children. We started our reading and ornaments yesterday. I've been reading ahead and decided to summarize each of our scripture readings for the children so they can better understand them. Today our reading comes from Genesis 3:1-24, which is the story of the fall of man. Our symbol is an apple and a snake. We are talking about how Adam and Eve disobeyed God and because of that they had to leave the garden of Eden. I talked to them this morning about how even though God still loved them very much, there were consequences to them disobeying God's instructions. This is a great lesson for us right now, because we can relate it to how there is a punishment (like time out,)when we disobey mommy or daddy. They are both trying to learn how to share with one another with out taking toys away from one another or yelling at each other. Taking turns is not always easy when you are two and three. At this age, they struggle with the mine, mine, mine concept or getting angry at one another is one takes the other's toy. Last week at church we were able to talk about the story of Cain and Able and how it's Ok to have happy, sad or even mad feelings, because God gave us different emotions and feelings. But, it's learning what to do with our feelings that matters, (enter the concept of self-control.) We talked about how God was pleased with Abel's offering because he gave his best to God. But, Cain kept the best for himself and gave God what was left over, which I'm sure made God very sad, and there fore He was pleased with Abel's offering and not Cain's. This made Cain very angry, and because he was so angry he ended up hurting and killing his brother Able. Next, we talked about how maybe if Cain had talked to God about how he felt he wouldn't have acted on those angry feelings and done something he couldn't take back. And because of what he had done he had to leave, just as Adam and Eve had to leave the garden. Again I explained to them that God still loved Cain very much, and promised He would protect him, but there were consequences to the bad thing he had done,which is "sin." So, this is all tying in together and I hope giving them the beginning of understanding to sin. And hopefully hearing these stories at different times and places will help them to remember them and the lessons behind them. Tonight as a family and at Master Club, we are going to talk about Noah, a man who obeyed God's instruction, even when others made fun or him. And how God protected him and his family. We are going to talk about the ark and the animals, and how the rainbow represents a promise from God. That story comes from Genesis 6:11-22 and Genesis 8:6-12. And our symbol is the ark with a rainbow over it. I'm praying that the Lord will help me prepare my heart each night as I read ahead and get ready for our bible story and ornament for the next day. I want this to be exciting and fun for them as we learn.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

ADVENT: Preparing our hearts for the Lord.

Light one purple candle - (symbolizing HOPE)
sing a Christmas carol (This is the one I've chosen.)
O come, O come, Emmanuel
O come, O come, Emmanuel
And ransom captive Israel
That mourns in lonely exile here
Until the Son of God appear
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel.

O come, Thou Rod of Jesse, free
Thine own from Satan's tyranny
From depths of Hell Thy people save
And give them victory o'er the grave
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel.

O come, Thou Day-Spring, come and cheer
Our spirits by Thine advent here

Disperse the gloomy clouds of night
And death's dark shadows put to flight.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel.

O come, Thou Key of David, come,
And open wide our heavenly home;
Make safe the way that leads on high,
And close the path to misery.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee
, O Israel.

O come, O come, Thou Lord of might,
Who to Thy tribes, on Sinai's height,
In ancient times did'st give the Law,
In cloud, and majesty and awe.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel

John 8:12 When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, "I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life."

Isaiah 60:2-3 See darkness covers the earth and thick darkness is over the peoples, but the Lord rises upon you and His glory appears over you. Nations will come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your dawn.

We are making our own Jesse tree this year. The symbols on the Jesse tree remind us that our belief grows out of deep roots of thousands of years of ancestors in the faith. The Jesse tree is symbolic of Jesus' family tree. (Jesse tree :website.) Today we are reading the following scripture as we make and hang our first ornaments.

Isaiah 11:1 A shoot shall come out of the stump of Jesse, and a branch shall grow out of his roots.

1 Samuel 16:1-13
The Lord said to Samuel, "How long will you mourn for Saul, since I have rejected him as king over Israel? Fill your horn with oil and be on your way; I am sending you to Jesse of Bethlehem. I have chosen one of his sons to be king." But Samuel said, "How can I go? Saul will hear about it and kill me." The Lord said, "Take a heifer with you and say, 'I have come to sacrifice to the Lord.' Invite Jesse to the sacrifice, and I will show you what to do. You are to anoint for me the one I indicate." Samuel did what the Lord said. When he arrived at Bethlehem, the elders of the town trembled when they met him. They asked, "Do you come in peace?" Samuel replied, "Yes, in peace; I have come to sacrifice to the Lord. Consecrate yourselves and come to the sacrifice with me." Then he consecrated Jesse and his sons and invited them to the sacrifice. When they arrived, Samuel saw Eliab and thought, "Surely the Lord's anointed stands here before the Lord." But the Lord said to Samuel, "Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart." Then Jesse called Abinadab and had him pass in front of Samuel. But Samuel said, "The Lord has not chosen this one either." Jesse then had Shammah pass by, but Samuel said, "Nor has the Lord chosen this one." Jesse had seven of his sons pass before Samuel, but Samuel said to him, "The Lord has not chosen these." So he asked Jesse, "Are these all the sons you have?" "There is still the youngest," Jesse answered, "but he is tending the sheep." Samuel said, "Send for him; we will not sit down until he arrives." So he sent and had him brought in. He was ruddy, with a fine appearance and handsome features. Then the Lord said, "Rise and anoint him; he is the one." So Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed him in the presence of his brothers, and from that day on the Spirit of the Lord came upon David in power. Samuel then went to Ramah.

Genesis 1:24-28 And God said, "Let the land produce living creatures according to their kinds: livestock, creatures that move along the ground, and wild animals, each according to its kind." And it was so. God made the wild animals according to their kinds, the livestock according to their kinds, and all the creatures that move along the ground according to their kinds. And God saw that it was good. Then God said, "Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth, and over all the creatures that move along the ground." So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. God blessed them and said to them, "Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air and over every living creature that moves on the ground."

Unfortunately, our little man woke up with a fever last night, so we decided to stay home from church today. This turned out to be the perfect day to start this project with the kids. I'm going to break up each of the readings at meal time. So in a sense we are having church at home together today as a family. I'll post pictures later of our Jesse tree with the ornaments.

Prayer: Thank you God, for our family. Help us as a family this Advent season to prepare to celebrate Jesus' birthday at Christmas. As we think of His family tree, may we grow to love Him more and to love our own family more. Amen.

Saturday, November 28, 2009


I am thankful for a wonderful night out with my husband, and friends. We had dinner with Heidi and Glen. We were able to find a babysitter and enjoy a little quality time together. Just adults. That almost never happens for us, since we are so far away from family. But, it all worked out perfectly. Thank you Lord for such a wonderful evening. Hugh and I even got to do a little Christmas shopping for the kids before coming home. I can't wait to wrap everything and put it under the tree. And I can't wait to see their little faces light up when they open their presents.

Tomorrow officially begins the ADVENT SEASON! Yah! I'm so excited! I need to get my advent wreath out and get my scripture ready to read for each Sunday. I need to get my decorations and nativity out too. This is my favorite time of year. And I think this year my children will really be able to start to grasp what Christmas is all about. The true meaning of Christmas! I'll share as we go along through out the season. It's truly as much fun for me as it is for them if not more. What are you doing to prepare your heart and family for Advent and Christmas? I always enjoy hearing about family traditions, so please feel free to share! And Blessings to you as we begin this wonderful season!

Friday, November 27, 2009

Today, I'm Thankful for a quiet day at home with my little ones. We've had snow flurries throughout the day. Although it's still too warm for them to stick, it is so pretty. And it is so peaceful to watch. We went for a walk earlier. Just around the neighborhood. Then we came back for a cup of hot chocolate with mini marshmallows. Yummy! The babies are watching Mary Poppins right now and are as content as can be. It's been such a perfect day. I'm so ready for the snow to get here and stay for the winter. I can't wait to play in it with my children. I need to get Trey a new snow suit and snow boots. Anna grace is all taken care of. They grow too fast for me. I want to freeze them right where they are and keep them young and sweet forever. They still crawl up into my lap and snuggle me, even though they are more than half my height already. I just love them so much. Sweet babies! I can't wait to get our tree up and start decorating for the Christmas holidays. I need to find a little countdown calendar or house. I think Trey and Anna Grace are finally old enough for it. Hugh and I were telling them about Jesus' birthday the other night. They were really excited and I would love for us to focus on the true meaning of the holidays together as a family. I am so thankful for this time of year and all the magic and excitement and expectation that it holds. I hope all of you are having a wonderful holiday weekend and getting plenty of rest and quality time with your families. Blessings!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!

HAPPY THANKSGIVING everyone! I hope y'all are having a wonderful day with your families and friends today! I am so thankful to be home with my little family. Hugh is feeling much better after struggling the last couple days with a tummy bug. Anna Grace helped to make him feel better by putting a Barbie band aid on his tummy and giving it a kiss. Then both the babies said a prayer for their daddy that night. And the Lord answered their prayer. He woke up feeling much better last night. I started my cooking last night. I made home made cranberry sauce, and apple cider. We are having a couple of friends over for dinner at six o'clock. I'm cooking a small turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, corn, crescent rolls, and a peach cobbler. We enjoyed an early breakfast of blue berry muffins,sausage, and fruit this morning. And we are enjoying the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade together right now. Trey and Anna Grace are so excited. They started screaming and jumping up and down when they saw Spider Man and all the Sesame Street characters. They keep asking if we can go there -to the parade. That would be a nice memory to share. Maybe someday we'll spend Thanksgiving in New York and see the parade live. I've always wanted to be at Rockefeller Center when they light the Christmas tree. And then spend that night ice skating. But, for today, we are spending a nice, laid back day together. I am thankful for our health, and for the chance to spend this day in freedom to worship and pray and share a special meal and time together. I am also thankful for all of you, my friends in bloggyland. I've enjoyed getting to know all of you, reading your blogs and your comments when you visit mine. Blessings to you and yours this special Thanksgiving Day!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Thankful for...

Today, I'm thankful for many things. Hugh is off for 4 whole days. (Happy dance!) I got my holiday china out this week and washed it all up. I've been enjoying my morning coffee in my holiday cup. I can't wait to use it when we host a couple of our friends for Thanksgiving dinner Thursday night. I'm trying to talk Hugh into helping me put up the tree before then, so we can enjoy the atmosphere. He is very against breaking out the Christmas decor before Thanksgiving. But, I think it would be nice to enjoy a piece of pie or cup of coffee/hot chocolate in front of the tree, after dinner. Maybe even watch a holiday movie together. I never shop on black Friday, so I'll be decorating the front of our house that day. Anyway, I wanted to post a Great quote I found that has inspired me.

The Beauty of the House is Order,
The Blessing of the House is Contentment,
The Glory of the House is Hospitality,
The Crown of the House is Godliness.

Have a Beautiful and Blessed Day!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Thankful Challenge: healthy hair

I have had a series of disappointing haircuts here in Ohio. And I finally found a stylist that I feel comfortable with and trust. I took a picture of myself and a hair style I was trying to get back to. Basically, I wanted to get back to a more polished, more manicured look. I came home with it a tad bit shorter than i would have liked ,but it's hair, and it will grow. At least, I got a good cut. I also got my brows waxed and I had been there for 2 hours, so I opted out of getting it dryed and styled. It was already 9:00pm, the babies were in bed, my husband had the night off, Grey's Anatomy was already on....I was ready to go. Plus, she burned me three times while waxing my brows. Ouch. So, when I came home, my husband was like, "Do you like it?" Men can not envision it. No, really, I couldn't either, but, I didn't care at that point. And today I woke up, took a shower, got ready and it all went smoothly. I think, I'm really going to like it. But, before, when I was in the shower, I was giving myself a little pep talk that went something like this.... "Tiffany, you need to be glad you have hair. Lots of thick, shiny, healthy hair. You could be sick, going through chemo, and having to wear a wig. So, shake it off, and count your blessings. It's just hair. If it doesn't work out, it will grow."
I try to focus on the positive. Negative is so draining. I think I spent my adolescence so jaded. I was such a victim. I was focused on every bad thing that had ever happened to me, and how I couldn't seem to over come it. I was broken, and whiny, and pitiful. (Gag.) I was so focused on myself. My focus was inward instead of upward. Not that I didn't have the Lord in my life at that time. (Our lives are always a work in progress.) And I knew that He loved me. I just hated myself more. And now, I'm so over it. Not that I'm over all my problems in life. I just choose to handle them differently. It's hard for me to allow myself to even go back there, because I don't want to flirt with that old thought pattern. And It took up so much of my time and energy. I guess that's why I avoid people and situations that are negative. I mean we all have our days. But, I'm not going to get caught up in that again. And, I know that's what the Lord wants for me. A good life, a fruitful, productive life. And a good, healthy head of hair;)

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

My Thankful List...Old Movies

Well, it's official. The tummy bug is visiting the Taylor household once again. I think we caught it at the gym. They have a playroom for the children to stay in while you workout. And it's the only thing I can think of that they've been exposed to germs. I'm the momma that carries wet wipes every where. And if they have sticky hands or runny noses, which happens quite often at this time of year I'm there with a wipe. But, I guess, I need to inspect further into how often they disinfect their "playroom." And I don't mean spray and wipe down disinfect. I mean warm tub of soapy water with two cap fulls of clorox disinfect. (Yes, I'm that over protective momma.) Anyway, we are making the beat of it. They are quietly napping now, and my friend Dawn, dropped by a couple of movies for me to watch.

The Preacher's Wife

and the original it was based on .....
The Bishop's Wife

I have not seen either of these movies in their entirety. Only snippets, here and there. She said she knew I'd love the music in The Preacher's Wife and who doesn't love Denzel Washinton. But she knows I'm addicted to the classics. And I love Cary Grant and Loretta Young, so I can't wait to watch them both. This got me thinking about another remake I dearly love....
You've Got Mail

and the original it was based on....
Shop Around the Corner

Both of which I have seen, and both of which I adore. Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks are so great together. Not in a passionate way, but in a quirky kinda two pieces of the puzzle that just found each other and fit kind of way. It's not fireworks, but they're quietly drawn to one another, and you're drawn in as well. And the way they romanticise New York in the fall, through the scenery and their e-mails. I felt like There was a slight homage there to the play Love Letters. And Jimmy Stewart is one of my all time favorite actors. I love him in Mr Smith Goes to Washington and It's a Wonderful Life. I can't think of the holidays without it. So, I'm off to enjoy some of my old movies. Well, some old, some new. I think I grab a cup of hot chocolate while I'm at it. Til next time. Blessing to you all. Oh, and please say a little prayer for the babies to have a speedy recovery. Thanks!

Friday, November 13, 2009

A Tribute: 2009 Thankful Challenge...

Well, as I said before, number one on my list this year is my friend, Ashley.
Amanda, Missy, Heidi, Me, and Dawn.
Second is friendship as a whole. I am blessed to have so many wonderful women in my life. Just here in Ohio, I have a wonderful women's Bible study group. We meet every Tuesday night together either here, at my house, or somewhere in the community, like The Mocha House or Boarders Book Store. Each one of these women are wonderful and special in their own way. Amanda and I attend church together and our babies were born a day a part from one another. If it weren't for her, we wouldn't have a play group or Bible study. She approached me about the two of us getting together when she found out she was going to get to stay at home. From there, she introduced me to Heidi. And Heidi introduced us to Missy, and we have grown from there. Missy is our funny lady. And she is also very protective and loyal to her friends. Heidi has become one of my best friends here. We have so much in common and we spend the most time together, now that Amanda is back at work and we are the only two stay at home moms. We just clicked. We're always on the same page and we're always in each other's corner cheering each other on. We usually check in every morning with a phone call to see how the night went with the babies and just encourage one other. Dawn and I used to work together, and she is one of the best teachers I have ever worked with. She is remarkable with children. My own included. They adore her. She is also a wonderful friend. We both love history and nostalgia. She has taken us all over the area and shown us the architecture, all the cultural areas and festivals, and where the steel mills began. We are right in the middle of where America's melting pot began. She has really given me an appreciation for where we live. And we've taken the kids on all kinds of fun trips together.

Ms. Anne
Ms. Anne is our surrogate grandmother here in Ohio. We met while she was walking her dog, Tippy one day. We got to talking, and then we started talking everyday, as she passed our house on their walks. And we just grew to be great friends. She came to Anna Grace's and Trey's birthday parties, we would trick or treat at her house. I invited her to our monthly luncheon with the Warren Women's Connection, and she would bake cookies for the kids and come by for a visit. We enjoy going by her house in our little wagon to see her and Mr. Dick. They have been the nicest neighbors. Trey and Anna Grace think it is a treat to get to go and see them. I can even get them to take a nap if they think they are going to get to go down and visit Ms. Anne. She is one of their favorite babysitters. It is quite comical that Trey has told us on more than one occasion that "we can go now" once Ms. Anne is there. It is a blessing to my heart that even though we are hundreds of miles away from our family, God still provides for our needs, even the needs of our little ones. They get plenty of hugs and kisses from their Ms. Dawn, Ms. Anne and Ms. Datha.

Me and Datha with Anna Grace

Datha was my first real friend here in Ohio. We met at my first job. I was teaching music, Spanish and multi-cultural diversity at Hope Children's Academy. She also worked there, in the toddler room of the daycare part of the facility. She is the most loving care giver I have ever come across. I have learned a lot from her in that regard. She has since gone back to school and finished her early childhood education degree and teaches kindergarten now. But, I have never seen anyone so patience and loving with little ones, ever. She has such a nurturing character. When I moved to Kidz by the Riverside to start The Early Learning Initiative program, which is a lot like head Start, I asked Datha to come with me to be my assistant. Together, we built a stellar program, but it almost did our friendship in. It's not always wise to work with friends. We both are very, very strong personalities. But, we realized in time that we needed a little space. It was for the best to go our separate ways professionally. We are both Christians and we consider ourselves more like sisters than friends. We've even talked to my women's Bibles study group about friendship, communication and forgiveness. We can laugh about it all now. How silly we were being and how we know we just have to agree to disagree on somethings. But, we aren't going to let it hurt our friendship, or sow seeds of bitterness between us. And we're lucky that we have both have the Lord in our lives to remind one or the both of us of that. We are still the best of friends. And she is a wonderful neighbor. (Did I forget to mention that? She is my next door neighbor.) I will miss her so much when we move back home. I love sitting outside with a cup of coffee as we watch our kids play together.

Amy and Emily and their grandmother

Amy and Emily are sisters that I met when we lived in Kansas City. I did a post on them and their friendship here. They are both remarkable women and I miss them so, so much. I used to walk with them in the evenings around our apartment complex. We would laugh and share and talk about everything. The very best memory I have about the both of them is that I had the chance to witness to them. We were sitting in their apartment on night, and they asked me what it meant to be "born again", and what was "a testimony." Have you ever had that opportunity? I have to say this was not my first, so I was prepared. It was very exciting. Needless to say, we were up half the night, and my husband came looking for me after a while, but it was all worth it. And I love how no matter where you go across the miles, once the Lord ties your friendship together, it can never be severed. We still keep in touch and when we talk, we pick up right where we left off.

Shelia, Me, and Marci
Shelia and Marci were my friends and roomies in college. We were apart of a tight knit group we refer to as "the family." We've been through it all together; graduation, marriage, babies, changes in jobs, promotions, moves, adoption, death of parents, -everything. These are the girls that took a week off of work and had their husbands watch their babies and drove 900 plus miles to be with me when I lost my mother and had Trey with in two weeks. You know some people will tell you that if you need anything I will drop everything and I will be there. And then there are friends like these two wonderful ladies God has blessed me with that are there. I can't even express to you what that meant to me. What that will always mean to me.

Shelia and Marci holding Trey

Me and Peige
My best friend Peige. I met Peige on June 1, 1986, right in front of my house, the day we were moving in. She was walking by and I walked up and introduced myself and asked her if she wanted to play. It was her birthday. We have been best friends ever since. She lived two blocks away and we grew up together in our small town, swimming, riding bikes, singing in our hair brushes, falling in love with our first boyfriends, going off to college, getting married, having babies. We also have had a friendship built on the foundation of the Lord. Peige was one of the first people I ever witnessed to. We have a very unique friendship. I don't know if you have anyone like this in your life, but, I know that I could never lose her friendship. We understand each other, and we accept each other. We have spent hours on the phone talking and doing Bible studies and praying together throughout the years, or singing praise songs together. And we don't feel inhibited or insecure about it. We can pray and praise together and there are no barriers. Praise God. I am so so blessed that He has placed so many wonderful friends in my life, in so many wonderful ways.
Dena and M.C. and Me last Christmas!
I also have two wonderful sisters that I was blessed to find by marriage. They couldn't be more dear to my heart if we were blood related. We have said it many times before, but we have dropped the whole in-law thang. I love these girls! They are silly~crazy fun to be with, at all times. I've got their back and I know they've gone mine. We will be true blue sis-tahs til the very end!

I am so Thankful for that! More Thankfulness to come....... Blessings to you all!