Saturday, December 24, 2011


I saw this over at Starr Circus and couldn't resist playing along. So, here goes...

1. egg nog or hot chocolate?

Hot chocolate. Specifically Trader Joe's Hot Cocoa

2. does Santa wrap presents or just sit them under the tree?

Wrapped in a different wrapping paper for each child

3. colored lights on tree/house or white?

We had white lights until a couple of years ago now we have colored LED and I love them

4. do you hang mistletoe?

We have a kissing ball made of mistletoe that we got from North Pole, Alaska. I love it.

5. when do you put your decorations up?

Weekend after Thanksgiving or the next week depending on what we have going on.

6. what is your favorite holiday dish?

All of it. I just love it all.

7. favorite holiday memory as a child?

So many...but I loved going to my Nanny and Granddaddy's with all my cousins. We had such a fun time. Also, going for a drive to see all the Christmas lights.

8. when and how did you learn the truth about Santa?

It really wasn't a big deal. We did Santa but Jesus was at the forefront with church and our Christmas play. Even at school there was a focus on Christ.

9. do you open a gift on Christmas eve?

When I was growing up we opened new pjs on Christmas Eve and we have carried that tradition on with our kids

10. how do you decorate your Christmas tree?

No theme. Almost every ornament on our tree has significance from our childhood, our children, or our marriage. We have another small tree for Jesse ornaments.

11. snow! love it or dread it?

LOVE IT!! I hope it snows here soon.

12. can you ice skate?

::snort:: Yeah, in my dreams.

13. do you remember your favorite gift?

I got a boom box in the 6th grade and thought I was hot stuff. I loved that thing to death...literally. When I finally got rid of it there were buttons missing and it looked pretty ragged.

14. what's the most important thing about the holidays for you?

Jesus and family

15. what is your favorite holiday dessert?

Pretty much all of them:) My Mom makes a great cheesecake that I love.

16. what is your favorite holiday tradition?

Spending time with my family. We go to breakfast on Christmas Eve. Reading and talking about Jesus.

17. what tops your tree?

A star made of cardboard and aluminum foil that Mike made. You would think it was made of solid gold when we pull it out of the box every year and I wouldn't trade it for anything.

18. which do you prefer: giving or receiving?

I love to give gifts. It's so fun.

19. candy canes: yuck or yum?


20. favorite Christmas show?

Do I have to pick one???? White Christmas, Christmas with the Kranks, Elf, It's a Wonderful Life, A Christmas Story, The Nativity....and more. I can't choose just one.

21. saddest Christmas song?

I'll be Home for Christmas by Josh Groban

22. what is your favorite Christmas song?

Hark! The Herald Angels Sing

Merry Christmas!!!!!!

Saturday, December 17, 2011


We've had lots going on the past couple of weeks so I wanted to get a blog post done so that I wouldn't forget. Shelby was in a Christmas concert with the Arlington's Children's Choir. We had a silent auction and bake sale to raise money for the Choir. Mike and I volunteered so we were outside handing out programs and directing people before the show started.
The concert was so good. We had great seats because Abby and Mrs. Donna, a friend from our church, saved them for us.

We headed down south last Friday to be in a parade with Mike's parents. My parents came down to be with my brother's family on Sunday because my niece and nephew were baptized. I wish I had been able to stay and be there for their baptism but we had to be back at our church for Sunday service. I can't express what a blessing they are.

We wanted to get our Christmas picture out of the way before leaving. These are some of the outtakes and they crack me up. The girls are making the funniest faces. Can you tell they were so over the picture taking. They were just ready to be done.

This one was funny because Mike was trying to get into the picture and he just couldn't get down in the floor fast enough.

I am so in love with our tree this year. It is so full and pretty. It was funny that we got such a great tree considering that when we went to Home Depot to get it there was a ton of people there. The trees were still tied up with string because all the ones that were open were already picked over. I pulled my trusty fold-up scissors from Smoky Mtn Knife Works out of my purse and snipped those strings. We took one look at it and said, "Looks good." With that and standing it line to get it trimmed, a trip through the netting thingy, paying for it and strapping it to the top of the van, it came home with us.

Tomorrow at 5pm will be my first Open House as a Pastor's wife. I thought I would be nervous but I'm not. I don't know if I'm naive or what but I'm so excited. I've done all my shopping, prep work, and pretty much all the cleaning. I hope to take pictures so I'll post about it this week. I just wish my Pastor's Wives Book Study friends could be here to enjoy it with me. They just don't know how much I miss them and our time together.

Hope y'all have a great day of worship tomorrow.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011


It has been just nasty here today. I had to run some errands this afternoon and the rain was terrible. The whole 2 hours I was out it never let up at all.

Tonight while walking back from church the wind felt like it was cutting right through us. They're calling for some winter weather tonight and from how cold it's gotten we just may be in for some.

And now that I have thoroughly bored you to tears with the weather report let me continue with other mundane things to complete this blog post.

We have pretty much hunkered down this week~doing lessons, crafts, fighting with each other~ not Mike and I ~ the girls. Today I told them the next time they got physical with each other there was going to be some scripture writing for them. I read them:

Submit Yourselves to God

1 What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don’t they come from your desires that battle within you? 2 You desire but do not have, so you kill. You covet but you cannot get what you want, so you quarrel and fight. You do not have because you do not ask God. 3 When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures.

4 You adulterous people, don’t you know that friendship with the world means enmity against God? Therefore, anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God. 5 Or do you think Scripture says without reason that he jealously longs for the spirit he has caused to dwell in us? 6 But he gives us more grace. That is why Scripture says:

“God opposes the proud
but shows favor to the humble.”

7 Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. 8 Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. 9 Grieve, mourn and wail. Change your laughter to mourning and your joy to gloom. 10 Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.

11 Brothers and sisters, do not slander one another. Anyone who speaks against a brother or sister or judges them speaks against the law and judges it. When you judge the law, you are not keeping it, but sitting in judgment on it. 12 There is only one Lawgiver and Judge, the one who is able to save and destroy. But you—who are you to judge your neighbor?

Because, y'all, I was at my wits end with all the bickering and fighting. We also prayed that all of us would have better attitudes and be able to control ourselves. Honestly, I needed a better attitude and self control as much as they do, even more sometimes.

We are were much better today. Thankfully.

I may need a boat to take Shelby to piano tomorrow but we are going to do it with a good attitude if it kills us.

Monday, December 5, 2011


On Friday we jumped on the Metro and rode over to Union Station. We toured the National Postal Museum. Union Station is a big mall with a Metro Station and Amtrak Station. The food court is huge with some really cool places to eat. The chicken salad at Vittorio's Gelato Bar was so delicious. We ended up eating lunch at Potbelly Sandwich Works but we made notes of places we would like to try.

Abby, Shelby, and Mike driving a big rig to deliver the mail.

Mail railroad car that carried mail until the 1970's

Weary from riding the stage coach for 20 days with a crying baby:)

It is neat to think about all the mail that has been picked up or mailed form this Post Office. It made me a little nostalgic to think of the people that received good or bad news from within these walls over the years.
We really enjoy our Field Trip Fridays. There is so much to do in our area. Riding the Metro makes it so convenient.

Sunday, December 4, 2011


*Warning: Lots of pictures:)

They have a cafe that we would have eaten at but we had already eaten at Pal's. We have made a note and will probably eat there next time. Of course they serve beans which I love:)
Shelby and Abby trying to get the secret recipe.

We made a wrong turn when we were heading to Ober Gaitlinburg which lead us to this little gem. It was such a nice Visitors Center for the Bush's factory. The movie we watched showed us how they make their baked beans. We learned a lot about the process and how they cook the beans and make the sauce. Here us a little tidbit: the piece of bacon in the can IS real bacon. It's not the "fakin' bacon" we have mistakenly called it all these years. Also, they cook the beans and the sauce in the can so that they have more flavor.

This is the sack that the beans come in. There's a lot of beans in that bag
These girls love their Daddy so very much.
I love these faces!!!!
Sidenote: The coat that we had to buy at Walmart is being worn in the picture above by the person who left their coat at home. I'll not name names but I will tell you that the coat has polka dots and a sweet little girl inside.

Saturday, December 3, 2011


On the Sunday after Thanksgiving we went to Cofers Chapel. We were so excited to worship there again. It did not disappoint. Jacob does a wonderful job with the music and Pastor Mike brought a great message despite an abscess tooth.

Jessie's parents and my sister came to church with us. We filled an entire pew:) We were able to see lots of our friends and that was so wonderful. Abby and Shelby went home with their friend, Jaden and spent the afternoon with his family.

Trev, Jessie, John, Sue, and Mary went with Mike and I to the Loveless Cafe. It was great, as usual. It was so nice to be able to talk and just enjoy being together. It was cold and rainy outside but it was warm and toasty inside.

Mike and I were suffering from a cold so we were ready to rest when we got back to the hotel. We laid down but didn't take a nap.

Trevor found an old barber chair next to a dumpster and wanted me to help him recover the cushions so we went and helped him. He and I were able to get the bottom covered but the back of the chair was going to need some work. We were going to go pick up the girls and head to Opryland Hotel to see the Christmas decorations but we ended up spending some time with the Davies. They had ordered pizzas and wanted us to share a meal with them.

When we took Trev and Jessie back to her house we hung out with them and Zadie, Bandit, and Kung Meow. I honestly didn't want to leave but Trev had to go to work at 5:30 the next morning and everyone was tired. Including me, I just didn't want the visit to end.

The next morning we were moving really slow. Mike felt worse and I didn't want to leave:) We finally got the van packed and headed to Chickfila for breakfast and to say goodbye to Trevor. I was a mess. I cried from the time Mike started the van til we pulled in the parking lot. Mike had to order our food because I couldn't do it. The lady that works there came over to bring our drinks, she took one look at me and ran away.

Thankfully, Mr. Beem, William, and Edwin came in at that moment. They were the perfect distraction to help me get my mind off having to tell Trevor goodbye. I held it together when Trevor came out and I was so proud of myself. Those hugs are so much more meaningful now that I get so few of them. I just want to hold on tighter and longer.

The trip back was rainy and cold. Thankfully, it was uneventful and no traffic. We didn't take any detours and made the trip in 11 hours. It was good to be home but I miss Nashville. The people there are my family and I love them. We are so blessed to have such wonderful people in our lives. It makes this life so much richer.

Thursday, December 1, 2011


This was on our impromptu field trip to the Bush's Visitor Center
(I'll write about this visit soon:)
The Day After Thanksgiving

We just lounged around the hotel and ate the free breakfast until Trevor and Jessie came so we could all take a dip in the pool. We ended up going to the hotel next door because they had a hot tub and hardly anyone was staying at it. We were able to enjoy some good family time.

By early afternoon, Trevor had to go get ready for work and I had to get ready for my date with my friend, Casey. We went to lunch at Cheddar's and stayed there for a couple of hours. It was so nice to catch up and laugh with her. It was such a good time of catching up.

My sister came and picked up the girls so that could spend the night with her and Noah. She had a fun time planned for them and they were so excited to see Noah.

I spent Friday evening with Jessie. We ate supper at Chickfila and then we talked for a few hours. By the end of the day my throat hurt but I loved every second of my day. I can't wait for Jessie to join our family.

On Saturday, Mike, Trevor, Jessie, and I ate breakfast at Cracker Barrel. They sat us by the fire and it was so cozy and festive. We talked and laughed. I sat back and soaked up every second of us being together. I made note of their faces, these people I love with all my heart. I can't tell you how happy that breakfast made me.

We went to my sister's apartment to pick up the girls and hang out with her and Noah for a little while. We really liked her new place and it was nice to be able to picture where she lives.

Trevor had to go to work at 2pm so we dropped them off so he could get ready for work. We headed to Nashville to drive around and go by to see our old house. We were meeting Cindy and Mackenzie at a bowling alley at 3 so we were able to drive around our old stomping ground.

The girls and Mike bowled while Cindy and I talked and ate our snacks from the snack bar.
They had fun and we got to catch up on a lot that has been going on. Our family has missed them so much.

After supper at a local favorite we went to see Sonia, Bailey, and Mason and we met a new friend, their dog, Sunny. I have missed them so much. I wish we could have seen Marvin, too but he is overseas doing his job for the military. We are so proud of him. They were our homeschool field trip buddies and there are so many places that we didn't get to experience. I am praying that they get to come see us soon so that we can do some awesome field tripping around here.

When we got back to the hotel we all just fell into bed. I love days that are exhausting but full of love and friendship. It truly was a day to remember.