Monday, December 29, 2008

Christmas 2008

This past week has been one of the best weeks of my entire life! As most of you know, Christmas is my very favorite time of year. I love decorating my home, entertaining, and most of all, spending time with my family and friends.

On Tuesday, I felt a bad cold/sinus infection coming on. I knew that I had to do something quick because I had to sing at our Christmas Eve service at church. I called my ENT and he gave me some Singulair and I thought that would make me much better. I was so wrong because I was much worse on Wednesday. I had no clue how I was going to sing... I couldn't even breathe. I had to call a doctor friend and he was able to call me in some antibiotics. Long story short, I was able to get through singing and enjoyed an awesome time of worship with my church family and real family. Because I am single and I'm the only person from my family that attends FBC, I often sit with friends at church... but it was really special to have some of my closest family members with me that night!

Thursday, I woke up to find that Santa did indeed come to Grandview-- and I must've been on his "nice list" because I got a lot of good stuff-- laptop, MSU diploma matted and framed, boots, shoes, jewelry, DVD's, 2 new end tables (now being used as night stands in my room), books and much more!

When I graduated from college, I decided to start collecting Dr. Seuss books because I loved using them to teach when I was student teaching. So I was happy to find The Lorax, Horton Hears a Who, One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish, Green Eggs & Ham, How the Grinch Stole Christmas, and Marvin K. Mooney Will You Please Go Now as gifts this Christmas season!
Word to the wise... If you have any Dr. Seuss books that you are looking to get rid of, send them my way!

On Christmas night, we had 30 family members over for dinner and dirty santa! It was so much fun... even if I was sick. Here's a look at some pictures...

My cousins... Sarah, Jamey and Emily

A quick picture with Grandaddy (above) and Grannie (below)

Chad & Erin... the parents of the newest addition to our family, Harper Anne

Hayden & Nate (Daniel's boys)

All Cousins... (back row) Jason, Tyler, Colton, Sarah, Jamey, Me, Emily (front row) Daniel and Erin

*We were missing three cousins, Garth, Madison and Joel from this picture. Their family didn't make it for Christmas because Garth had knee surgery the week before...

Our moms & dads as cousins... (left to right) Identical twins Randy & Rusty and their sister Sandra alongside their cousins Joey and Jesselyn (brother and sister). There is another cousin, Jim, whose family didn't make it for Christmas this year.

My all-time favorite two ladies... my grandmother and her sister Faye (my great aunt that I call "grannie Poe")

Me and my sweet mom

On Christmas night, after all of the festivities, my cousins and I went to see Marley & Me. What a cute but sad movie... yeah, I cried the last 20 minutes... but it was really good. I went home and just loved on my own little Marley, my lab, Lucy. Isn't she so pretty?!

Monday, December 22, 2008

Erin's Baby Shower... hosted by her favorite cousin!

I hosted a baby shower yesterday for my cousin Erin. Her baby girl, Harper Anne, will be here very soon... maybe even the first baby of the new year?! We're anxiously awaiting her arrival! It was a lovely afternoon and a good time was had by all!
Please click on the collage to make the pictures appear bigger!!
Posted by Picasa

Jessica & Brad Got Hitched!!

Please click on the collage to make the photos bigger...
Posted by Picasa

Sunday, December 14, 2008

A New Family Member is On Her Way

I went to a baby shower for my cousin, Erin, this Saturday. This was a shower that was given by her best friend and some members from her sunday school class. When Erin got married, I was invited to EVERY shower so that I could take pictures for her and make her a scrapbook. Well... you guessed it... I was the chosen one to do the same thing for her baby showers. Next Sunday, I am giving her a shower at my house. I'll definitely post pictures from that shower, but until then... take a look at just how cute and pregnant she is!

Jessica's Shower

Last Sunday I went to a shower for my sweet friend Jessica. Jessica and I got to know each other when we were in 9th grade and we would sit across from each other at the lunch table. I was so excited about going to the shower because I knew that I would be able to catch up with old friends. I am looking forward to her wedding next Saturday and hope that she and Brad have a happy life together!!

Karen, Jessica, me and Abby H.

On a funny note... Abby H and I were the BEST of friends growing up. We did EVERYTHING together. As a matter of fact, in 9th grade, we were voted to be on the homecoming door decoration committee. We called ourselves "Abby & Abby, inc."

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Christmas Time is Here!!

Our home is officially decorated for the holidays! Its looks and SMELLS wonderful! I've been trying to talk my mom into buying an artificial tree so we can decorate earlier each year, but once we got our real tree on Thanksgiving day, I had no regrets!! You can smell the Christmas season the minute you step foot into our home!

The tree topper!!

My very favorite ornament on the tree


The front of our house

Lucy has a lot of Christmas cheer, doesn't she??

Flat Stanley and His Travels...

Last week a little girl at FBC named Edie, asked me if I would help her out with a project. She showed me Flat Stanley and gave me a letter and told me that wherever I went, Flat Stanley needed to go, too. Boy, did she luck up pairing Flat Stanley with me. The week I had my friend just so happened to be the week that I was going to the beach to shop! I had so much fun and found that wherever I went, everybody knew about Flat Stanley...even Santa!

Flat Stanley and his host for the week!

He had to help me write a research paper for school!

We delivered Thanksgiving Lunch to The Bagley's

He LOVED sonic!

All packed and ready to go to the beach!

From the balcony of our condo...

He wanted to swim very badly!

at Longhorn Steakhouse

His favorite picture of all was with Santa!!!

Thanks Edie for choosing me to take Flat Stanley... I hope you made a good grade on your project :)

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

I Have A Lot to be Thankful For

Since tomorrow is Thanksgiving Day, I thought I would take a few minutes and reflect on some of the things that I am grateful for this year.
These are in no particular order...
I'm thankful for:
A WONDERFUL job where I am always surrounded by cute little kiddos!!
A nice place to rest my head each night!
A best friend and a mother in one. It just doesn't get much better
than Sandra D.
New friends and old friends.
A very large, sometimes disfunctional family, that I will always love no matter what.
(By the way, Charles Stanley says that if you have more than one person in your family, then it's disfunctional. Go ahead and place your family in that category, too!!)
Knowing that my God loves me no matter where I am or what I do!!
I hope that you and your family have a wonderful Thanksgiving! What are some things you're thankful for?

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

It's Beginning to Look a lot Like Christmas!!!

Many of you know that Christmas is one of my very favorite holidays! I start listening to Christmas music around September! I absolutely LOVE cold weather, LOVE getting Christmas cards in the mail, and LOVE to decorate my house and office. This year, I took on a new hobby of decorating my friend's homes. Last week, I decorated two christmas trees (that look fabulous if I do say so myself) and I'm doing another one next week when I get back in town. After all the hype of going to Christmas open houses and decorating for my friends, I would come home and look at my house and it wasn't even close to looking like Christmas. I changed that this weekend, though. I made a wreath for my grandmother's house, my house (and my mom's house too, I guess you could say, haha!) and for my office.

We're going to pick up our Christmas tree on Thanksgiving day so that when we return from the beach, it will be ready to decorate! I hope that you and yours have a great Turkey day! I'll post more when I return.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

How Much Fun!!!

This past Saturday morning, I juggled my time between children's "extra" choir practices, rummage sale drop-off's for our Tuesday night bible study and a funeral. It was definitely an exhausting morning, but the afternoon was well worth it. After the kids got finished with practice, we had a pizza party and went to play on the new equipment at Bonita Lakes. I had the best time just being a kid. I have the BEST job in the world!!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

I've been tagged!!!

I have been "tagged" by my old neighbor and sweet friend, Kelly Hall. I'm supposed to tell you faithful readers (yeah, right!) seven random or weird things about myself...and then tag seven of you to do the same on your blog. goes...
1. I really have a hang-up when it comes to chocolate and peanut butter. I can't get enough of Reeses candy (my absolute favorite), peanut butter M&M's, or my new found love, peanut butter and chocolate bars from Cater's Market. As a matter of fact, church members were bringing in candy last week for the hayride, and I had to take out all of the Reeses because of the peanut allergies we have in the children's ministry. Sad, I know...I put them in my stash in my office and have treated myself almost everyday. It is Halloween week ya know...we're SUPPOSED to eat lots of candy!!
2. I have NEVER been to a MSU football game. Yes, I know! TRAGIC!! I guess growing up as an only child, and being a girly girl at that, it was just never something I got the chance to do. I am a graduate of MSU, but I went to the branch in it wasn't like I could just walk across campus and go! Maybe I can get that problem fixed soon!
3. I have had the same cell phone number since the 8th grade...and it spells my name!!! I got my first cell phone for christmas and my mom thought it would be super cool to have a neat number so she had it arranged where the last 4 digits spell out my last name!!
4. I HATE bandaids. Yesterday, I went to get a flu shot and I begged the nurse not to put a bandaid on my because I might throw up! I know...I'm weird! It's really strange that I work with kids and see bandaids all the time, but I just don't like putting them on or looking at them!! When I was student teaching, a little girl named, Jakyra, came to me with a scraped elbow and I couldn't help her out because a bandaid was involved!!
5. I love to keep letters that people have written me. I have every birthday, get well soon, good job, thank you card, etc., that I've kept in a box over the last three or four years. As a matter of fact, the bulletin board in my office is covered with them. I haven't always done this, but it has just become important to me over the past several years. I go through them occasionally because they ALWAYS make me smile!
6. I LOVE to travel, but can't stand riding in the car for more than 2 hrs. We went to the mountains last year for Thanksgiving and it almost killed me. I would rather fly to Atlanta than have to drive. It's a standing joke at FBC when I send out the summer schedule for the kids in the summer...Dr. Leake (our pastor) always says, "One things certain, the kids WON'T be traveling any further than Birmingham..."
7. It is an ABSOLUTE MUST that I make my bed every morning before I leave my house. If my bed is unmade, I just feel nasty for the rest of the day! It's weird...just a hang-up I guess.
So there's a few weird things about myself!! I'm passing this along to:
1. Julie Culpepper
2. Amanda Henry
3. Ashley Hill
4. Lindsey Swift
5. Jonda Henry
6. Sarah Beth Snowden
7. Rosemary Piedmont
Have fun girls!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

A Good Book!

For those of you that know me, you know that I don't like to read AT ALL!!! Seminary has been an eye opening experience for me as far as reading books and writing book reviews. Because I was an elementary education major at MSU, I spent my junior and senior year making bulletin boards, posters, puppets, etc. Now, all of my classes are lecture based and I'm having a hard time getting back into the groove of things. However, I had to read this book for my Interpersonal Relationship Skills class and it was really good. It's not hard to read and it is something that we all can relate to. Pick up a copy and read!! You'll enjoy it!

Monday, October 20, 2008

My Office Has Officially Turned into a Grocery Store!

I am in the middle of planning the FBC Preschool & Children's Fall Hayride for Saturday. I've been asking church members to bring 2-liter cokes for one of our games and bags of candy!! When I walked into my office this morning, it looked like the grocery store had thrown up in here...IT'S CRAZY!!!! I had to snap a picture so that you can see what I'm talking about!

My Boss's Day Gift...

Last Thursday was Boss's Day and I got a gift. They call me the "little boss" around FBC because I'm so young. Anyway...I got a box of Carolyn's Cheesestraws (I highly recommend them if you've never tasted them) and a gift certificate to Southern Gardens to go toward a new North Face Jacket!! My secretaries (one of them being my mom...but she made it clear on day 1 that I was NEVER going to call her my secretary) are wonderful!! Thanks for making my Boss's Day so special Sharon, Sandra & Sherry!!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Canton, Hattiesburg, Sushi, OH MY!!

Thursday, I went to the CANTON FLEA MARKET!! I was introduced to Canton back in May for the first time and I fell in love! I love to shop, but I can't really shop in mass chaos like that. My mom was in Jackson on Thursday too and she was watching the news and she said that over 70,000 people were there!! Daphne (friend from church) went with me and we had so much fun. Since I don't have a house of my own, I can't really buy a lot to decorate I talked her into buying everything that I thought was cute for her house :)
On Saturday, Kristen and I went to Hattiesburg to do MORE SHOPPING!! Here again, I didn't buy too much. I did buy a pair of chacos because they were on the 50% off rack! I bought some ribbon and stuff for christmas to make me a cute wreath and a few little odds and ends at target to give away to my bunko group next Monday!! Kristen, on the other hand, RACKED UP!! It was so much fun! She told Jeremy (her husband) that she could NEVER go shopping with me again because I was such a bad influence and talked her INTO buying everything instead of talking her out of it.

Sunday night after church, I met my friend Brittany, her sister Briana and Brittany's friend (she's my friend too) Rachel at Saki Sushi for dinner. These girls were home from MC on fall break so I was excited that I got to spend time with them on a day other than Monday (because that's when I'm at MC for school) and outside of the cafeteria. We had so much fun!!

Briana, me, Brittany and Rachel

Finally Fall on Grandview Avenue

My favorite time of the year is FALL! I love the weather, I love the decorations, and I love that it's almost time for Christmas!!! One of my very favorite things to do is decorate our home and make wreaths for the holidays. Last weekend, we went and bought hay and pumpkins and got out our scarecrow and made us a cute little display on our porch. I also made a wreath but I wasn't 100% happy with it. For those of you that know me well, you know that I'm not satisfied until something is PERFECT!! I left the wreath up all week and decided that it needed to be taken down and a few new things needed to be added. I went to Hattiesburg this weekend with a friend and found some cute things at Hobby Lobby and Target...oh, how I wish we had both of those stores in Meridian!! Anyway, I am pretty much happy with the way it turned out! Happy Fall!!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

A New Business Card

What do you think about my new business card??
Since I came on full-time in June and it's now October, I decided that I needed a "professional" business card. My uncle is an artist and he works for an advertising firm in Birmingham. He was the first person I thought of when I wanted to begin this project. The reason it looks the way it does???? He says that the concept on the card design centers around the image of 4 pieces of construction paper with torn edges randmoly laying on the card in assorted bright colors creating the cross in the negative space. The design speaks to the interactivity and the message of the preschool and children's ministry of FBC Meridian.

Maw Maw Hensley Would Be Proud!!

My great grandmother was named Addie Mae Hensley. She was such a precious woman. I remember spending my summers with her! She would always order my favorite girl scout cookies (Thin Mints), let me sit in her rocking chair where the wood was worn because she rocked constantly, and all credit is given to her because she introduced me to country music television (CMT) and I would sing and perform in her living room for hours. She always ate lunch at 12 o'clock on the dot, not a minute earlier or later and she would eat cucumbers, onions and tomatoes, EVERYDAY!! Maw Maw Hensley died when I was young and I only remember these certain things about her, but apparently she could make a strawberry cake that would put Paula Dean to shame.

A few years ago, my mom ran across Maw Maw Hensley's recipe for her famous cake. She decided that she wanted to try her hand and see if she could even come close to Maw Maw Hensley's. SHE DID!! Her cake is WONDERFUL!! It's a 3-layer strawberry cake with HOMEMADE icing and real strawberries. It's supposed to be served right out of the refrigerator and that makes it even better!! She's thinking about beginning to sell them! Any takers?? She made a cake for me to take to my bible study a few weeks ago and it's been in high demand ever since! I defintely think that my mom made Maw Maw Hensley proud!!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

A Rainy Weekend with a Sunshine End!!

Friday night, I sat in the nasty rain at the Lamar Homecoming game to see my beautiful cousin, Jamey. This was her very first year to be in the homecoming court and she won the vote to be the "football maid." Jamey and Me

On Saturday, I spent the morning at a funeral in the pouring down rain... you know, the kind of rain that blows underneath the umbrella so there's NO chance you're going to be dry!! After the funeral, I went shopping and I've diagnosed myself with an addiction. Gosh, ya' the past week, I've bought six, 6, yes, I SAID SIX new shirts! What's wrong with me?? I've got to stop it!

Saturday night, a friend and I took dinner over to Josh & Peggy's house so that we could visit with them and see the newest addition to their family, Miss Madeline Gray Davis, and enjoyed a homecooked meal!! It was scrumptious, even if I did cook half of it! The menu? Poppyseed Chicken, green bean bundles, a pineapple dish, Sister Schubert rolls (my favorite) and a beautfiul chocolate pie. It was SOO good.

The day "Maddie Gray" came into our world!!

After a bath: she finally found her thumb!!

My grandmother cooked Sunday lunch for the family and I am still sick becuase I ate so much. Her kitchen was covered in mounds of fried chicken (she fried it), chicken and dumplings, rice and gravy, cream potatoes, butter beans, peas, cornbread, rolls, and my mom's WONDERFUL 3-layer strawberry cake (homemade icing and everything!)

Needless to say, my drive over to Clinton on Sunday night was absolutely MISERABLE and I just had a sick feeling the rest of the day!!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

My Favorite Student

Davious on his 7th birthday!!

I know that when you student teach that you're certainly not supposed to have a "favorite" student. I really did try to like each one of my students and not show any special attention to just one student. But of course, there always has to be just one child that touches your heart in a special way and for me, that student was Davious. He was PRECIOUS (big diamond stud in his left ear and all). I found myself looking forward to school each day because I wanted to see him. I was looking forward to graduation in May, but I knew that my time was ending with Davious and my other "firsties" and that made me really sad. I found myself thinking about him and talking about him all summer. In fact, on the first day of school this past August, I remember saying to my mom, "I hope that Davious has his school uniforms on and that he has his school supplies. I wonder if his mom will take him to school today or if he'll ride the bus." I'm tearing up thinking about him now.

I went to Poplar Springs this past Monday and sadly enough, he was retained, but he is in another first grade room now. I got to see him though!! He was coming back from music and I stood in his room talking to his teacher, anxiously waiting on him to come into the room. I wasn't sure if he would remember me or not. One by one, the students all came in and all of the sudden I heard a voice say, "Hey Misth Ehbby" (with his little lisp and all). MY HEART MELTED!! He did remember me! I enjoyed getting to talk to him and see just how much he had grown in the short three months since I had been his student teacher.

Kids really can change our lives. I get so frustrated and impatient at times, but when I stop to think about my job and that God has chosen me to take care of the preschoolers and school aged kids at FBC, I can't help but be grateful. He has blessed me in so many ways.

Davious & Me the day before I graduated from college. This was at our class party where I was showered with tons of gifts, a "Boo Hoo Bye Miss Abby" book that the kids created and great food!!