Monday, December 21, 2009

Let the Festivities Begin

Christmas is always full of so many fun acitivites. This year has been more jam packed than ever, since before Thanksgiving, I'm pretty sure. Therefore, I'm giving you fair warning. Since I'm so far behind on posting, this actual post is about to cover THREE weeks... here we go!!

The first weekend in December was special. I was able to go back to my "home" church and sing in the 25th Singing Christmas Tree. I sang in the 20th and 21st but then my journey at FBC began and a new church family welcomed me!! Since this was the 25th anniversary of the tree, the minister of music sent letters out to all of the people that had ever participated. Some of my friends were returning that had moved away and I wanted to share the weekend with them. I had so much fun getting to catch up with so many people and enjoying my little spot on the 6th row of the tree.
Lauren, me and Michele

our "in the christmas tree" attire...

And who could forget to post about their christmas decor... We used the same mantle piece and decorations on the front of our house and our live tree this year. But HARK-- We have a new addition... A 7 1/2 slim foot tree that we got for a steal ($10, oh yeah) last December at our church rummage sale. We decided to turn it into an old fashioned tree with the big charlie brown lights, glittered garland and all santa ornaments. This little cute thing is in the back of our house and has been up since BEFORE Thanksgiving. We LOVE IT!
our Christmas Card garland in the kitchen

our real tree

Our church staff party was held a few weeks ago at our pastor's beautiful new home. All of the people involved in the Christmas festivities drew a name and then participated in themed days. Monday of that week was "My Favorite Things" day. Everyone had to write down on a sheet of paper what their favorite thing about Christmas was and then their "secret santa" brought them something on Monday that went with their word. Tuesday was "Handmade Homemade" Day and everyone had to bring their person something handmade or homemade by THEM! My secret santa was Dr. Leake. Everyone in the office baked something for the secret person, but not Dr. Leake. He was the creative one for sure. I received an elf hat, complete with a jingle bell and hand-sewn, red glittered, hope, peace & joy ornaments. I was so proud of him. Wednesday was "Movie character" Day and everyone had to submit a paragraph about their secret person and what Christmas movie character they represented... I was the little girl from Miracle on 34th street!! Those paragraphs were read at the staff luncheon on Thursday and then everybody brought a $10 gift card and when you guessed which character you were, then you got to draw your card. A lot of fun was had by all!!
the FBC Church staff

One of my sweetest friends from high school is getting married in April. A few of her bridesmaids threw her an entertainment shower a few Sunday's ago. Abby is PRECIOUS. We've been friends since elementary school. Not only do we share the same name, but we've made many memories together, too!!

I used to spend the night with her and her dad would get up on Saturday mornings and make us breakfast menus. He would draw out every item that was available and we would wake up and order what we would like for him to cook us. Both of our families referred to us as Abby D. and Abby H. In 5th grade, we got to share breakfast duty for the special ed class. Both of us would get to school early and go and get breakfast trays for Mrs. Ladiner's class. We would get to open their milk for them and spend time with them every morning before school. In Jr. High, we became "Abby & Abby, inc." and would be the two that were chosen to decorate our class doors for homecoming week. I am singing in Abby & Robert's wedding and am so blessed to have her as a friend. She is a special girl for sure!!
front row: Jessica, Abby H. (the bride) and her sister, Jessica
back row: Hallie, Cristina, me, April, Jade & Nikki
(I went to high school with all but one of these girls!)

Yesterday was my grandfather's 73rd birthday. We threw a surprise party in his honor and invited his life-long friends, co-workers and family. He has been questioning us for days now trying to figure out why we were going to celebrate christmas a week early and why we were doing things at this time and not that time and yada, yada, yada. It was kind of hard to surprise him!!

right after he was surprised...

two of his grandchildren

and his cake... here's the story on that: about two years ago, my grandaddy started making these little trinket rocking chairs out of clothespins. He makes big ones and little ones. He can make wishing wells... and a few other things I'm sure. He's so artistic that he'll even paint them to match your house!! Haha! So, we thought it would only be appropriate to honor him and his little hobby on his special day!

And today, mom and I held a luncheon for the staff ladies and minsters' wives of FBC. We had taco soup, potato soup, hot ham and cheese and roast beef sandwiches, a fabulous salad and desserts. We all had a lof of fun just catching up and taking a few minutes to relax during the hustle and bustle of the season!!

YUMMY Crescent Dessert bars that I made...

1 can of crescent rolls

1 cup of each of the following: cashew halves/ pieces, semi-sweet chocolate chips, butterscotch chips, slivered almonds

1 can of condensed milk


spread crescent rolls in out completely in a 9x13 pan and spread them high enough on the sides of the pan to make a crust. Bake at 350 degrees for 5 minutes. Take partially baked crust out and sprinkle chocolate chips, butterscotch chips, almonds and cashews until covered. Then pour condensed milk on top. Placed back in oven and back for 20-25 minutes.

When finished baking, take let bars cool for 10 minutes. Then take a knife and run it around the edges of the pan. Let bars cool for another hour. Refrigerate until chocolate settles, cut and serve! SO SCRUMPTIOUS!!

and then for this fabulous salad my mom prepared...


1 bag of mixed greens

handful of pecans

1 can of mandarin oranges; drained

1 large container of fresh strawberries

2 tablespoons of white wine vinegar

1 tablespoon of honey

1/8 teaspoon of salt

1/8 teaspoon of pepper

2 teaspoons of olive oil

3 tablespoons of water

Directions: wash greens and combine them in bowl with sliced strawberries, oranges and pecans.

Mix the wet ingredients together and toss dressing into the salad.

SOOO good :)

There are many more posts below... keep reading!! Thanks for taking time to keep up with me!!

Black Friday

For many years, a few of the women in my family leave on Thanksgiving night and go on a weekend shopping get-a-way! This year, me, my mom, my grandmother and my cousin Jesselyn went to Birmingham. We absolutely shopped until we dropped... I, of course, being the one that spent the most money not on Christmas gifts for others, but for myself!!
Black Friday was also IRON BOWL DAY when Auburn and Alabama played each other. Every kiosk and store in the galleria had their tv's tuned in to the game and there were mounds of people standing around and yelling every time a touchdown was made!!


On Friday night, my aunt and two cousins that live in Birmingham met us at California Pizza Kitchen for dinner. It was so fun to catch up! We finished up the weekend by shopping at the Summit and having to call a friend who was coming through Birmingham on her way back to Meridian from Atlanta to pick up some of our packages because we couldn't get all of our purchases AND our luggage packed in the car!

Sarah, me, our grannie and Emily... we were appropriately dressed in Crimson & White...

Easely Amused

I took my chidren's group to Easely Amused in Jackson over Thanksgiving break!! It was so much fun painting RUDOLPH!!

my fabulous group of chaperones AND friends...

Daphne, brandy, Shea, Kerrie, Julie & Amanda

The Georgia Peach Comes to Play

Our friends and old neighbors, The Halls, came to Meridian right before Thanksgiving. Ritchie and Kelly lived right next door before they moved to Madison, and then to Georgia. Shortly after they were in Madison, my sweet friend Mia Katheryn, was born!! We've only gotten to see her several times because they live so far away now, but she is absolutely adorable and so full of life. We always have such a great time when we're all together... and soon there will be FOUR Halls because Kelly is expecting!!!

Thanksgiving Day

My family had a wonderful Thanksgiving this year. All of our family gathered around and enjoyed a tremendous feast!! 2 of my cousins have gone off to begin their freshman year of college this year and Thanksgiving was the first time I've seen them since they left. We had a great time of celebrating life, talking about memories, enjoying Harper's first thanksgiving and stuffing our faces for sure!!

Madison, Jamey, Erin, Harper & me

Me and the little pumpkin

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

A Year of Thanks

Well... it's Thanksgiving week. The one week of the year where most people pause to give thanks for everything they've been blessed with-- we should be giving thanks daily though!! Anyway, as I reflect upon the year and the many blessings that have been bestowed upon my family, I can't help but grin! It's been a big year, HUGE year and I have so much to be thankful for.
Blessings since last Thanksgiving:
Last December one of my cousins came to know the Lord. She called me out of the blue one day and wanted to talk about salvation. Praise the Lord that I have a new sister in Christ.
In January, my newest cousin arrived in the world. I was in the room with Erin when Harper Anne took her very first breath.
In February, I was blessed to celebrate yet another birthday. My kiddos at FBC got together on my birthday morning and surprised me with a huge birthday bash!
In April, the youth minister left and the responsibilities of a new position for the summer fell in my lap. I didn't know it at the time, but it was a HUGE blessing and God leading the way for future events to happen!
In May, I got to be a bridesmaid in two of my best friends wedding and celebrate the beginning of their lives together. I also participated in my very first mission trip to the Dominican Republic. I've never felt so blessed! Not just because I am not in need, but because I live where I don't have to worry about safety, am not persecuted for worshiping or have to worry about little things like buying gallons of water to drink instead of getting it from the faucet. I also completed my very first year of Seminary.
In June, I began the BUSIEST summer of my life. It was jam packed with activities for the children and youth of FBC. That same month, I learned a lot about what it meant to step out on faith. I gained a passion for youth ministry and really felt a higher calling in my life.
July was one of the scariest months of my year. I totaled my car on the way to Jackson. I literally saw my life flash before my eyes and realized that I was left on Earth for a reason.
August was an exciting month because I officially became Minister of Students and Children at FBC. I can't tell you how excited I was then (and even more so, now) that I was going to embark on a new journey. August was also exciting because I began my second year in Seminary.
September was a bummer. I was faced with a microdiscectomy beacuse I had a herniated disk. That month flew by because I couldn't do too much. I was supposed to start my official duties on September 1, but had to wait a few more weeks to get in full swing. Even though the month wasn't so good, and the fact that I slept a whole week of my month away from being in so much main, I am thankful that I haven't had any complications and had total relief from the procedure. It could have been a lot worse!
October and November both held the blessings of new friendships!
As you can see, my year has been full of blessings. Some of the events were great and some weren't so great, but I'm grateful. It's so hard to understand some of the events that happen in life-- but it's so important to find hope in the fact that God has the big plan and has our lives planned out.
I recently heard a song by Jason Diaz and it says this:
"You have a much better purpose,
You have a far greater plan.
You have a bigger perspective,
'cause You hold the world in your hands."
How true is this?! We should all find comfort!
"Give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus." 1 Thessalonians 5:18

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Christmas in the Highlands

Last weekend, mom and I had a booth at Christmas in the Highlands. This is a Christmas Marketplace sponsored by the Highland Baptist Church Women's ministry. We had a great time selling Christmas wreaths. Christmas is our FAVORITE holiday and we worked our fingers to the bones trying to prepare and get ready. We still have a few wreaths to sell, so if you're interested, please get in contact with us and let us know!!

Our booth: Door Decor

Mom was in her "official" Christmas in the Highlands attire because she was on the committee.

Sweet Cara Lea was in Meridian and stopped by our booth!

Monday, November 16, 2009

The Food Junkie...

Who would've ever thought that this precious angel (yeah, right!)...Would do something like this...

That would lead to a little midnight snack?!?!

Yep, you're seeing correctly. Last week, my mom was making her famous 3 layer strawberry cake for a youth fundraiser. After the cakes were baked and cooling, we had to leave and go to my grandmother's house and do something. When we returned... we saw that Gracie had helped herself up into the chair of the breakfast table and ate 3/4 of a layer!! SHE LOVES FOOD :)

So, needless to say, the strawberry cake ended up only being 2 layers. After my mom iced it, she let Gracie get a taste, too!! No wonder she's on a puppy weight loss drug!!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Good Stuff!!

This week has been full of good stuff!! I stayed in Jackson Monday night with my friend Kristen and we were able to get all of the old Meridian girls that now live in Jackson together. We all went to the same church and have so much fun when we're together!

The Meridian/Jackson girls at KEIFERS!!
left to right: Brittany, Lauren, Me, Kristen, Briana & Michele

Tuesday night I went to a friends for dinner and had so much fun-- then of course, Wednesday. Well, you know how Wednesdays are for church staffers!! It was a late night but I FINALLY attended my first choir practice since May. It's a good thing I guess since I'm WAY behind on learning my Christmas music.

Tonight was the Wesley House Fall Fest. It was an incredible night!! The weather was perfect, there were tons of kids there and everything was GREAT :) Here are a few pictures--

Kerrie, me and Jonda

Look at these precious girls!! The cutie on the left has been coming to the bible study on Tuesday nights with her older brother and sister!! Precious, just precious!! I totally played "balloon girl" tonight. Several of my youth and I blew up balloons for almost 2 hours: every shape, every color, every size!! It was fun!

The twins!

another girl from bible study, KiKi!! She LOVES to play the trumpet and is in the band! She is hilarious :)

There are many people right now dealing with so much. I personally don't have any life changing events happening in my life, but so many of my friends do and I'd like for you to pray for them!

1. Please pray for a friend's mom that has been diagnosed with cancer and for a family friend that's been diagnosed with lung cancer. Pray for peace and comfort for both families and for wisdom and knowledge for all doctors involved.

2. Pray for a friend that is dealing with the beginning of a divorce. Pray for the husband, wife and kids involved. Ask God to work in the lives of the people involved to learn to forgive and overcome the struggles that they are facing.

3. A great friend of mine was recently laid off from a fabulous job! Pray for God to open new doors for her family.

4. A friend of mine in Seminary and his wife were very excited to be expecting their very first child in February. This past Saturday, I received a text message asking me to pray for his wife. She had gone into labor four months early. Unfortunately, their 1 lb baby daughter was born early Sunday morning and went to be with the Lord shortly after. Pray for Nathan and his wife. Pray that God will reveal His plan for their life to them. Pray that He will give them a peace that passes all understanding and that they will find reassurance in the fact that their baby girl is resting in the arms of Jesus.

I told my mom this weekend that I was "sick of bad news" and was so ready for something good to happen. It's crazy how God puts all of these things together and we have NO clue why He does what He does. However, we know that His plans will be revealed to us in His time and that having to wait on Him makes living our life for Him more exciting each day!

Monday, November 2, 2009

One Big Long Post...

It's been a long time since I posted. I used to think I would have something to say EVERYDAY, but things have been very busy... and it doesn't look like it's slacking up anytime soon!

Last Sunday, most of my youth went out to Chunk to the camphouse and had a Halloween Happenin' full of good food, fun games, and just a lot of fun!! They had to dress up in an animated character costume. We had everything from Popeye and Olive Oil, Pebbles, Wilma, Batwoman, Piglet, Winnie the Pooh...

and Blair and I went as Thing 1 and Thing 2 from Dr. Seuss!!

We had SO MUCH FUN!! This week was going to be JAM PACKED for me, but I was READY!! After my youth event on Sunday, I had another fall festival planned for the Wesley House. I've been going and helping some people from my church lead a Tuesday night Bible Study there for school aged kids and we have the BEST time. Those kids are precious and I just want to adopt each one of them!! A few weeks ago, we met and Walt brought ROCK BAND... they had never gotten the chance to play and they loved it! The weather was just plain nasty last Tuesday, so we had to reschedule the event. They are looking forward to it!

one of the girls had never gotten to play with an iPhone so I let her take pictures with mine! and this little cutie showed up at my front door on Halloween night for trick-or-treating!!

On Thursday night, Frank Eddins and I entertained at the Center for Pregnancy Choices Banquet in Meridian. Dr. Alveda King (Martin Luther King, Jr.'s niece) was the speaker and has an incredible testimony. I got to meet her after and she was really sweet!!

Kristen and me at the banquet

These girls are in my Sunday School class: Anna, Ashley and Kristen! Such sweet friends!

...and then it was HALLOWEEN!! What a day, what a day!! The Preschool/Children's Hayride was scheduled to be outside, but because of all the nasty weather, we had to move it indoors to the FBC gym. It was so much fun getting to see all the cute kiddos in their costumes!!

Me, Melinda, Julie & Leigh Me and Festive Julie

After the Hayride, my mom hosted a little Halloween get-together at our house for the family. Harper Anne arrived as a pumpkin to do a little trick-or-treating!

A complete doll!

My grannie Poe and Grannie

Erin and Harper

and of course, the Hostess with the mostess, my MOM!

One night last week I came home from a busy day to find this:

Lucy just totally helped herself to my bed!! She thinks she a queen for sure!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009


It's FINALLY fall... even though the past week hasn't seemed like it!! I had a little pie pumpkin sitting on my desk and I decided to give it a creative twist and painted metallic gold polka dots on it. I think it turned out pretty cute... so simple and quick, too!
I love to decorate for any occasion and the fall season isn't any different. I have a scarecrow that hangs on my office door, too!

Also, Friday is Boss's Day but our office celebrated it today with Caramel Cake and gifts. I've been wanting some new perfume so I got a gift card that will definitely come in handy! Thanks ladies at FBC. You make my life a lot easier with all you do-- especially when you help me "get my ox out of the ditch!" (That's how my mother always puts it!)