Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Marilyn Fowler

This dear woman passed away on Sunday after a six-month battle with leukemia. Her memorial service was today. While it is so hard to say good-bye to Marilyn, we rejoice in the fact that she is in Heaven with the Father. She has won the victory!

Marilyn and her husband, Al, were a part of a group that started Covenant Fellowship Church. That is where Channing and I met the Fowlers. I spent time in their home as a student at Harding. Al and Marilyn did our premarital counseling and those hours spent together certainly brought us closer. The Sunday that we announced my pregnancy to our church family, Marilyn ran over to give me a huge hug. Right after she congratulated us, she told me she wanted to give me a shower when the time came.

Marilyn was such a precious person. Such an amazing woman who loved God and His church. I will always remember Marilyn's heart for worship. I can see her now, singing her heart out, a smile on her face, and her hands lifted high in praise to God.

Al and Marilyn gave us a beautiful crystal pitcher for our wedding present. In the card, Marilyn wrote how she wanted us to always be reminded to pour ourselves out in service to God. That is just what she did in her own life. Everyone who knew her got a glimpse of the Father as she gave so much of herself. I am so thankful to have known her.

"I thank my God every time I remember you." ~Philippians 1:3

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

From Our Family to Yours

Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 18, 2006

My Own Little Holiday Survey

1. What is your favorite Christmas movie?
2. Do you have a theme for Christmas decorations?
3. Of all the ornaments on your tree, which one is your favorite?
4. Do you like to go driving just to look at Christmas lights?
5. Have you ever had a white Christmas?

Here are Deidre's answers:
1. White Christmas and The Night They Saved Christmas (I can watch both over and over!)
2. mostly snowmen, a lot of Santas too
3. Parents-to-be 2004 and a Christmas ball from 1979 "Twas the Night Before Christmas
4. I love it! In fact, I just did it tonight.
5. Christmas 2004 and at least once when I was little

Here are Channing's answers:
1. The Polar Express
2. same as Dee's
3. Parents-to-be 2004
4. Of course! My hometown (Marshall, TX) is the Wonderland of Lights.
5. Christmas 2004 and every Christmas in Alaska. One year in Alaska it actually snowed on Christmas day.

The Saint

Allow me to share with you a conversation Channing and I had on Saturday as we were shopping at Target.
Chan: Oh, look, The Saint is only $5.50! We have to get it!
Dee: Um...okay...
(Chan puts DVD in cart)
Dee: Honey, why don't you put that back. It is Christmas...
Chan: Deidre, it's only $5.50 and you said you were done with my Christmas presents.
Dee: Well, why don't you go ahead and put it back?
Chan: Why, are you gonna tell your mom? She has enough ideas for me.
Dee: Honey, please put it back.
Chan: Why, are you gonna call her right now? That kinda ruins the surprise.
(He still doesn't put it back)
Dee: Well, how about I ruin the surprise and tell you that it's already at home in my sock drawer. Please put the movie back.

Channing had mentioned liking The Saint a long time ago. And when I went to Memphis last month without him, I saw it at Target for such a great price, and bought it. I thought, "What a wonderful stocking stuffer this will make!"

I think he learned his lesson and won't try to buy things like movies and music for himself around Christmas ever again!

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Shelby and Santa

This morning we drove to Little Rock on a mission. We wanted Shelby to meet Santa Claus and have her picture taken with him. We also needed to go by Target to finish up our shopping. So we went to McCain Mall, and got in line to see Santa. Shelby was saying, "Santa! Santa" over and over. Once we were at the front of the line, Shelby was able to see him, and, I am not kidding, her mouth dropped wide open. We walked over to see Santa and said hello, and then I tried to put Shelby in Santa's lap. That was a bad idea. Shelby started screaming. Very loudly! So I got the great idea for all three of us to have our picture taken. Channing on one side, and I on the other. When I tried to put Shelby between Santa and me, there were more screams. So, no Santa pictures this year! We didn't want to torture Shelby. We'll try again next year. Wonder if she'll do better then.

Christmas Lights

After driving through the live nativity, we made a couple stops to see Christmas lights. First, we walked around at Berryhill Park. Shelby loved all the lights! There were lots of oohs and aahs. Our second stop was at Harding. They have really gone all out this year! Campus is gorgeous, particularly the front lawn. There are lights all over the place. We took several pictures of our Friday night activities, and I'll get them posted after they're developed.

Live Nativity

Searcy's First Assembly of God put on a live nativity on their grounds. We went Friday night. It was wonderful! We waited in line (in the car) for about an hour. Shelby did good. Since we weren't moving while in line, Shelby hung out in the front seat with us. She really enjoyed all there was to see while driving through the nativity. There were a couple camels, goats, sheep, horses, and a cow. She loved it!

What a wonderful reminder of the greatest gift of all!

Friday, December 15, 2006

Shelby's Latest

Just thought I'd let you guys know what cute things Shelby has been doing lately:

  • When we tell her to close her eyes, she'll squint because she doesn't want to really close them and miss something.
  • From a song on one of her cd's, she's picked up the phrase, "Oh dear!" and says it pretty often.
  • While we were in Tennessee for Thanksgiving, Nunda taught her to say, "Rock and Roll!" That is one of my favorites, as long as she doesn't stick her tongue out like Gene Simmons.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Christmas Traditions

One of the traditions during the holiday season in my house growing up was that we'd each open one present on Christmas Eve. Other Christmas Eve activities included building a fire in our fireplace (something we rarely did) as long as my brother or sister would do it. And after Justin was born, my dad would read Twas the Night Before Christmas to us on Christmas Eve. Those are special memories of mine.

A holiday tradition for Channing's family was everyone getting together for a gift exchange and yummy food. Everyone included Channing's mom, his dad, two sisters and their families, and three brothers and their families. He also remembers making Christmas candy and cookies with his mom. He always helped decorate the cookies each year.

We have our own traditions in the Channing household. We continue traditions that we grew up with and have borrowed traditions from other loved ones. One of my favorites is borrowed from a Harding friend. Her family would all get new pajamas on Christmas Eve and wear them that night and Christmas morning. I thought that was a fun holiday tradition, so we do it in our house now.

What are some of your favorite holiday traditions from your childhood? What are some traditions that you have with your family now?

Doctor Visit

Well, Channing will not need back surgery. That was such good news! The doctor prescribed an anti-inflamatory as well as physical therapy. Channing also will start going to the gym again, only he will not be doing any weights for the time being.

Please give thanks with us for the fact that he doesn't need surgery. Also, please pray that Channing's back will heal.

We appreciate your prayers!

Monday, December 11, 2006

Today's Prayer Request #3

Pray for the family of Rob Scott. He passed away Thursday because of bacterial meningitis. Rob and I grew up going to church together in Memphis. He was two years ahead of me at Harding Academy. Rob was such a kind person. He'll be missed by all who knew him.

Today's Prayer Request #2

Please be praying for Channing. He has an appointment tomorrow with a neurologist. I don't know that I have blogged about his back problems yet. Channing has three herniated (sp?) discs in his back, a pinched nerve, and a compression on his spinal cord. This is causing a lot of pain down his back and legs. Tomorrow's appointment is to discuss treatment options. The options are a steriod shot in the back as well as back surgery. Pray for God to heal Channing's back. Pray that surgery will not be necessary.

Today's Prayer Request #1

Please pray for us. Shelby is sick with a yucky virus - cold symptoms and vomitting. Thankfully, she isn't running a fever. We're keeping an eye on it, though.

I have a virus as well, with similar symptoms. It is no fun being sick, of course, but it's worse now that I'm a stay-at-home mom. I don't have much energy, which makes it difficult to take care of Shelby and things around here.

Channing has been sick, but thankfully he is feeling much better.

A big THANK YOU to my good friend Heidi for going to Walgreens and Food King for us this morning. She hooked us up with some medicine, Sprite, and soups. She even surprised me with some Nilla Wafers and animal crackers. Yum-yum! It is such a blessing to have good friends.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

A Gilmore Christmas

Apparently it is a well-known fact that I love to watch The Gilmore Girls. Wednesday evening, I got my first Christmas present, the first season of this great show on dvd. A big thank you goes out to Chan's co-worker, Kathy, for getting it for me. I am so excited about watching these episodes again and again!!

Friday, December 08, 2006

Celebrating Christmas

Last year, around this time, Dr. Ken Neller wrote an article in Harding's newspaper The Bison. I really was blessed by reading it, and hope you will be as well.

Should Christians Celebrate Christmas?
Ken Neller
In a recent airing of the television series “CSI,” a young woman named “Abigail” said to the main character, Gil Grissom, “Surely you don’t believe we’re alone in the universe!” To which Grissom replied, “If there is someone out there, somewhere looking down on us, I’m sure they’re wise enough to have nothing to do with us.”
He was wrong.
One of the most amazing revelations of the Christian faith is that God—the holy Creator of the universe—humbled himself and became a mortal being by being born of a human mother. The Bible is very clear on this, and most followers of Jesus celebrate the day when “God became flesh” on December 25 as if observing Christmas were a natural and necessary part of being a Christian.
Careful students of the Bible, however, know that nowhere in the Bible are Christians commanded to observe Christ’s birthday. There is no example in the New Testament of disciples celebrating Christmas. In fact, the word “Christmas” does not even occur in the Bible! So where does Christmas come from?
The exact date of Christ’s birth is unknown. Suggestions in the early church included March 28, April 2, April 19 or May 20. For a while in the third century, Jesus’ birth was celebrated by some Christians on January 6. The celebration was moved in the fourth century to December 25 to counter a pagan festival day held in honor of “The Invincible Sun.” Thus the church hoped to adapt a pagan celebration and sanctify it for the honoring of God and celebration of Christ’s incarnation (becoming “flesh”). They observed a church service, or “mass,” in honor of Christ’s birth, giving us Christ’s mass, or “Christmas.”
The new Christian festival was slow to catch on. The first clear evidence we have for the celebration of Jesus’ birth on December 25 comes from Rome in A.D. 336. The day began being celebrated in Constantinople (modern Istanbul) in 379. By 386 we hear of Christmas’ being celebrated on December 25 in Antioch (Syria), by 431 in Egypt. Christians in Palestine did not begin observing the birth of Christ on December 25 until the middle of the sixth century. Today, virtually all believers in Christ around the world celebrate December 25 as the day of Christ’s birth.
But a few do not, for two primary reasons: (1) Christmas is not found in the Bible and the first disciples did not celebrate Christ’s birth. Christians are therefore not “authorized” to celebrate Christmas. (2) Christmas is closely connected with paganism in its origin (December 25 and sun worship), and in its current practice (decorated trees and wreaths, mistletoe, and other elements of Christmas can be tied to ancient pagan practices and beliefs). Thus, some Christians have nothing to do Christmas, believing it merely to be a Christianized form of paganism. Others, by way of compromise, believe that Christmas should not be celebrated as a religious occasion (especially in church), but may be observed in one’s private life as a secular holiday, perhaps even including the decorating of a tree, the exchanging of gifts, and the singing of secular songs such as “Frosty the Snowman” and “Deck the Halls.”
Though the principles of these Christians may be admired, their position is not without difficulties. Those who observe Christmas as a religious event reply that while Christmas as a “holiday” is not in the Bible, the event which it commemorates IS. While the exact date for Jesus’ birth is unknown, why cannot one pick a date and celebrate the birth of our Savior? There is nothing in the Bible that would preclude this. As Paul says in Romans 14:5-6a: “One man considers one day more sacred than another; another man considers every day alike. Each one should be fully convinced in his own mind. He who regards one day as special, does so to the Lord…” Since the Bible is silent on the issue, no one can fault those who choose to dedicate to the Lord a particular day to celebrate the birth of Jesus.
Further, while the pagan connections with Christmas are certain, much of our modern world was originally connected with paganism, yet virtually no one—Christian or unbeliever—gives the connections a second thought. For instance, the fact that “Sunday” is named after the pagan Sun god does not prevent Christians from sanctifying the day for the worship of the Lord God Almighty.
Finally, Christians who observe the “day” of Christ’s birth say that the witness of the church must be considered. Surely, the world of unbelievers or uninformed believers would consider it astoundingly strange if Christians did not observe the day set aside by the rest of the world to celebrate their Savior’s birth! Or worse, they might consider Christians hypocritical who observe Christmas in private but not in public, or who advocate “taking Christ out” of Christmas as secularists do!
At the very least, Christians should consider “becoming all things to all men so that by all possible means [we] might save some” (1 Cor. 9:23). Celebrating Christmas, most say, does not violate any biblical principles and is a wonderful opportunity for reaching out with the gospel. There can never be a bad time to celebrate Jesus!
At best, Christians should embrace Christmas as an opportunity to remind an increasingly secular world that the holiday is not about “presents,” but “presence.” We should embody the spirit of Christmas year-round so God can become flesh once again through us.

December, 2005

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

My Little Clown

You can always count on Shelby to make you smile!

Tree Pictures

We had our pictures taken in front of the tree this week. Thanks to Maggie for doing a wonderful job! Here are some of the good ones. I'll share the one we chose for our Christmas cards later.

A rare picture of just the two of us

I just thought this was a sweet one.
Look at that smile!

Tagged Again

My friend Traci tagged me this time. Here goes:

A - Available or single: Definitely unavailable.
B - Best Friend: My husband
C - Cake or Pie: Depends on the kind
D - Drink of choice: Barq's root beer or Dr. Pepper
E - Essential Item you use everyday: contact solution and laptop
F - Favorite color: loving pink and yellow more and more
G - Gummy Bears or worms: Gummy Bears, especially the red ones
H - Hometown: Memphis was my home until moving to Searcy after college.
I - Indulgence: I meet some friends at Midnight Oil every Wednesday afternoon.I love their white chocolate mocha, called a Mr. Blonde!
J - January or February: January because February often brings more tornadoes around here.
K - Kids & Names: Shelby
L - Life is Incomplete Without? Channing and Shelby
M - Marriage Date: March 15, 2003
N - Number of Siblings: two
O - Oranges or Apples: apples
P - Phobias or Fears: I hate spiders and I'm afraid of drowning, or being in a bad car accident.
Q - Fave Quote: Oh wow, I really don't know.
R - Reason to Smile: There are seriously too many to count!
S - Season: Fall
T - Tag 3 or 4 people: I tell you want, if you are a blogger and want to do this one, TAG!!
U - Unknown Fact about Me: Check out my last post
V- Vegetable You Don't Like: Okra and squash
W - Worst Habit: picking at my fingers
X - Xrays: teeth, and probably several ones when I got a concussion in second grade, I think I got another one when I had mono...or would that be considered an x-ray? Hmmm, it's late.
Y - Your Fave Food: ice cream
Z - Zodiac Sign: Pisces

6 Weird Things

Lisa tagged me last week, and now I have to make a list of 6 weird things about me that some of you may not know. Sorry for the delay, Lisa!

1. I am not a swimmer. I have taken swimming lessons twice in my life, yet I am still not very good. I can dog-paddle and float on my back, but that's about it. So much for trying out to be on Survivor!
2. I have a slight fear of bridges. Not the small ones; I'm talking about the big ones. This goes back to my younger days. Jacksonville, Florida is full of them so I am not crazy about that city. While Jen was in Prague she sent me a postcard with several bridges pictured on it. I wasn't amused. :)
3. I pick at my fingers when I'm stressed. It's a nasty habit that I've been carrying with me for as long as I can remember.
4. I am sometimes afraid of birds. It's crazy that I can watch all sorts of psycho-thrillers and movies like Scream without getting scared, but Hitchcock's The Birds really did a number on me!
5. After all these years, I still have a copy of Milli Vanilli's cd.
6. Channing says that I like weird vegetables, like brussel sprouts and asparagus.

So I guess I'm going to have to tag some of you out there. At Lisa's request, I will tag another Chi-O...Lauren. I will also tag Wendy, who needs to do some blogging. And let's see, how about Maggie?

Monday, December 04, 2006

Update on Justin

Justin called home Friday. He's very tired and has trouble keeping up with how long it’s been since he called, or what day it is. The days are all running together because he's working so much. He admitted that he's been extremely stressed out, but he's okay. Three men in his group have been wounded, but not too seriously. Justin said he is literally getting gray hair!

Please continue to pray for Justin's safety. Pray that he can sleep good when able. Pray for his spirits and for all soldiers during this holiday season. I know they hate being away from their families.

We all appreciate you! Thank you for remembering Justin in your prayers.

All He Wants for Christmas

I think I have the sweetest 9-year-old nephew in the world! Nunda was telling me about a phone conversation Justin and Morgan had the other day. During this conversation, Justin asked Morgan what he wanted for Christmas this year. Guess what that sweet boy said. The only thing he wants for Christmas this year is for his big brother to come home. Please say a special prayer for Morgan. I know that he misses Justin so much!

Progressive Dinner

Saturday night Channing and I participated in a progressive dinner with some of our friends. It was our first time to do a progressive dinner and really enjoyed it. First everyone met up at the Davis' house for appetizers. There were too many participants for everyone to stay together, so we split into two groups after that. We had Round Two, soup and salad, at our house. Maggie and I did this together. She made a yummy vegetable soup; I fixed the salad and Jiffy cornbread muffins. Round Three, main course, was at the Starks' house. Debbie served party chicken, rice, and green beans with cashews. Everyone got back together for Round Four, desserts, at the Olivers. I think Channing and I ate too much, but it was fun. I highly recommend this fun activity to all.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Bison Basketball

Friday night, we met Molly, Rob, and Zoe at the Rhodes Fieldhouse for an exciting game of Harding basketball! It was so much fun! We sat in the student section and really enjoyed being "Rhodes Rowdies" once again. Shelby had a good time. In fact, she seemed more interested in the game than baby Zoe who was sitting right behind her. Shelby clapped right along with everyone else. The Bisons had a 94-71 victory over Texas College. Go Bisons!

Saturday, December 02, 2006


Friday afternoon, Molly and her daughter Zoe came over for a visit. Molly is one of my dearest friends from Harding. Her husband, a youth minister, brought some of the teens to visit the campus and, thankfully, Molly and Zoe tagged along. It was soooo good to see Molly and meet sweet Zoe! Shelby loved Zoe and was so disappointed when Zoe had to take a nap. She didn't like it very much after they left either. I'll post a picture of Shelby and Zoe when they get developed. Prepare to smile!

It was so good to sit down and catch up with Molly. I saw her last during September 2005. The time before that was the summer of 2003. I hope that we will be able to see each other more often, at least maybe once a year, now that she isn't working and could come down with Rob a little easier.

O Christmas Tree, O Christmas Tree

We got our tree up this week! Because we were unable to do it over the weekend, and it takes sooo long to finish, we had to space it out over a couple days. Our good friends, John and Maggie, watched Shelby the night we put up the lights. Thanks, guys, it was a big help!

Shelby really likes the tree. Every morning when she wakes up, she goes to the tree and points. And she says something that sounds like "Christmas tree," which is my signal to plug in the lights. We have a lot of Santa and snowmen, which she loves. She is so cute when she says, "Santa!!" We put ornaments that we don't mind her touching on the bottom. But, she really doesn't fool with them. I think she got her fill the first day. All ornaments have stayed on the tree, thankfully, although she has tried to tug on the garland beads.

There are no presents under our tree yet. We decided to wait until Christmas Eve to put them out. I am not sure Shelby would be able to resist all the bright packages!

Tuesday, November 28, 2006


Well, the past few days have been busy! Thursday morning, we drove to TN for Thanksgiving dinner with my side of the family. It was a great dinner! Mom did a wonderful job, as usual, with the majority of the meal. Nunda fixed sweet potato casserole for the first time. Channing ate a ton of Sister Schubert rolls. We all missed Justin and my other nephew Blake, who was working. My brother David works for a cable company and gave my parents a test-run (so to speak) of cable television. I think my parents are some of the only people in the country who do not have cable! Dad seemed to really enjoy surfing all the channels, since he's used to only having 6 or 7. Uncle Don, Dad's brother joined us for dinner, dessert, and some good family fun. Later that evening, Mom and Dad told us that Aunt JoAnn had passed away early that morning. We were sad and surprised to hear the news.

Friday was quite relaxing....we stayed in our pajamas all day! Channing hung a couple pictures for my mom, and that's about all we did until it was time to go to Uncle Gene's visitation in Mississippi. It was good to see that side of the family again, although the circumstances certainly were not what we had wanted. Channing, Shelby, and I spent Friday night with Nunda, John, and Morgan. Shelby loves their two dogs, Annie and Lacey. She had a ball playing with them. Funny story from our time at Nunda's. We left Shelby's Pac 'N Play at my parents' house, and when we got in bed, we realized that Justin's bed was a double, not a queen. Channing and I could not move with Shelby in between us, so he went out to the couch and enjoyed a cozy night's sleep.

After Uncle Gene's funeral on Saturday we returned to Mom and Dad's house. Channing, Shelby, and I went to Target for a couple things and ended up with quite a bit more than that since infant and toddler clothing was on sale! We also visited Wendy and her girls that evening. They were in the process of decorating their home for Christmas. When we walked in, Wendy pointed out that the top half of the tree was missing. I wonder if Ben the Christmas Grinch swiped it last year?! (Ever heard Shedaisy's song "Little Good-byes"??)

Sunday morning the three of us, along with Mom and Dad, left for Kentucky. Aunt JoAnn's visitation was that night. Just like with Uncle Gene's service, it is a shame that funerals are one of the few times when everyone gets together.

Aunt JoAnn's service on Monday was lovely. What a wonderful legacy she has left behind!

Today the three of us came home to Arkansas. We are so glad to be here! As I type this, Channing is gettting the tree ready to put the lights on. He is just about done with the "fluffing." I tried to help with the fluffing the first year or two, but gave up last year. That is a job that only Channing can do!

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Well, I have another prayer request for you guys. Aunt JoAnn, my mom's sister, passed away early this morning in Kentucky. This comes as a surprise, even though Aunt JoAnn was in the final stage of Altzheimers. Please remember our family in your prayers, as these next few days will be quite difficult. Pray especially for my uncle Travis. He and Aunt JoAnn had been married for 54 years. On behalf of my family, I'd like to thank you for all the prayers and encouragement many of you have offered in the past few months as we have been going through so many different things. I am thankful to have friends and family who are so faithful in giving support and going before Father for us. Thank you so much.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Happy Birthday, Wendy!

Wendy and I have been friends since high school. We both weren't allowed to get phone calls after 10 or so, because our parents often went to bed around that time. So, many nights we had a prearranged time (late at night) where one of us would call the number for time & temperature or the soap opera hotline so that the other could call without the phone ringing and waking up parents. Isn't that silly?! Oh, the things we did as teenagers when everything was so dramatic!!

Wendy was the first friend I read the Bible with. We often shared verses with one another in notes, and also did over the phone a few times. I am thankful for that aspect of our friendship.

Last summer, when Shelby was in NICU, Wendy called Channing and told him she was coming to see me. She stayed one night with us at the house, and we both were so blessed by her just being there. Wendy sat and listened to us go over all that had happened that week. She also made us laugh, which we had not done in several days.

Wendy, I love you, and thank God for you. I hope you have a wonderful birthday. May God bless you this year in amazing ways.

Happy Birthday, Amy!

Amy is one of my oldest friends. In many ways, she is like a sister to me. Amy and I were in the same class together all throughout school, beginning in Miss Brenda's kindergarten class and on into college. We grew up just a couple minutes away from one another, and rode to school together nearly every day until her family moved when we were in the 11th grade. We double-dated together and were suitemates at Harding.

Some of my best memories of Amy come from our drive to school each morning. One of these mornings, we dropped her dad and little sister off and went to McDonald's for breakfast. On the way back to school, Amy dropped her straw and pushed her seat all the way back to retrieve it while we were stopped at a light. The light changed, and she couldn't reach the pedals. I can picture us now, freaking out and cracking up at the same time!

Amy, you are such a dear friend. I am so thankful for you! I pray that you have a wonderful birthday. I am so excited about the coming year. I know that God will bless you and Eric is so many ways! I love you and will see you in a few weeks!

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Prayer Requests/Updates

Uncle Gene died this morning in Mississippi. Please be praying for the McOwen family as they mourn his loss. Funeral arrangements have not been made yet.

My cousin Michael, Uncle Gene's son, was involved in a car accident while going to meet his wife and sons so that they could come to Mississippi. The vehicle Michael was riding in flipped. Michael's neck is broken. He will be having surgery today, if I understand correctly.

Please continue to pray for Aunt JoAnn. (She is in the nursing home, suffering from Altzheimers.)

Amber, my second-cousin, is still undergoing tests. She is no longer running fever. Thanks be to God!

If you have been reading the paper or watching the news, you are aware of the current dangers our troops are facing. My sister Nunda talked to Justin yesterday. Please continue to pray for his safety during the war.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Happy Birthday, David!

Tomorrow is my brother's birthday. I am very blessed to have him as a big brother. When I was little, if he ever heard me crying, he'd come in to see what was wrong, and would cheer me up. I always loved hanging out in his room with him. I know I was a huge brat to him and his buddies, but he was usually pretty cool about it.

Last year he took a couple days off and to come put down the ceramic tile floors. He did a great job!

David, I love you, and hope that you have a wonderful birthday. See you at Mom's on Saturday.


Well, Channing just kicked my butt at this game. I was ahead by quite a bit, but he triumphed. I had drawn the q but didn't have a place to play it for a while. I put it back, Channing drew it, and was able to make the word quest. The q was on a triple letter square, and the t was on a double word square. He got 66 points with just that word!! We did not finish the game, as we both had only a few tiles left and couldn't play them. But, he was named the winner! My mom will be so proud of him!

Like No Place Else

Channing, Shelby, and I had dinner at Chili's tonight. And that would be Chili's in Searcy. Yep, not kidding. Many of you reading have attended Harding University at some point, and know that Searcy is located in a dry county. But, it's true. We are now in the big-time! There is no bar, but we have heard that people can buy "memberships" and purchase alcohol then. It is definitely the nicest Chili's I have ever been, probably because it just opened this week. We had a good time. Shelby flirted with one of the waiters. He kept playing peek-a-boo with her from behind a wall and boy did she love that! If you're ever in Searcy, Chili's is definitely your best bet. It's located on Race Street, just past Wal-mart on the right, in front of Lowe's. (Yeah, we have a Lowe's now too!)

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Spiritual Thought

I'd like to take credit for this post, but I can't. I did not write what I'm about to share with you. Actually, Alyssa Michie, a student at Memphis Harding Academy, wrote it in the October 18 issue of The Lion, the school's newspaper. I don't know Alyssa. I just happened to read her article and appreciated what she had to say:

“Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth. Worship the Lord with gladness; come before him with joyful songs” (Psalm 100:1-2). Words quoted at the beginning of many worship services. How we worship is an issue among churches everywhere. In mixed denominational settings, it is common to see some spirited people clapping to the song while their brother-in-Christ stands behind them with a scowl.
I have heard the more conservative say that clapping and dancing during worship is disrespectful. I have heard the more liberal say that worship should be an expression of praise to God. I have heard both say that one is not really singing unless one is singing from the heart. So what is singing from the heart? Is it singing while internally marveling at all of God’s virtues, or is it singing and expressing and sharing with your fellow Christians your internal and spiritual amazement through physical movement?
Once I went to a rally in Kansas City, just outside the Bible Belt. Everyone in my youth group was shocked when the worship service started. Some people stood singing while those beside them clapped; others knelt down on the floor and wept, while still others actually went into the aisles and danced with all the innocence of a little kid on Christmas morning. There may have been those who were not truly worshipping, but the mood in that room can only be described as honest and nonjudgemental.

I wish we had that here.

Like I said at the beginning of this post, I don't know Alyssa, but I sure would like to meet her and have a good chat with her. Oh, how I wish I had been where she is when I was in high school! She seems to really point out what it's all about. I have been part of a church like the one in KC that she described. How wonderful and uplifting it is to be able to worship God with such freedom! I pray that we will all be able to truly worship God each time we gather with other whatever way we want to express our love and praise for Him!

Please Be Praying!

Several members of my extended family need your prayers. As you pray for them, please pray also for the families and their doctors as well. Thanks!

  • Uncle Gene (Dad's brother-in-law) is in the hospital. He suffers from emphysema and is not doing well. He has been on a respirator since Monday.
  • Aunt JoAnn (Mom's sister) has been moved to a nursing home. She is in the last stage of Altzheimers.
  • Amber (my second-cousin, Aunt JoAnn's granddaughter) went home for tests last week, but returned to HU with no diagnosis. She has had fever for over a month and other symptoms.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Taco Soup

Here is my recipe for taco soup. (Apologies to Laura and Lisa for taking so long!) I got this recipe from my mom and I don't know where she got it. My guess is that it's from the newspaper, but I'm not sure. Thought I'd give credit where it's due...or try to at least.

1 lb. ground beef

1 can corn
1 can Rotel
1 can black beans
1 can diced tomatoes (bigger can)
1 can tomato sauce (smaller can)

1 pkg. dry Ranch salad dressing seasoning
1 pkg. taco seasoning
1/2 c. chopped onion

Brown the meant and onion, drain. Add taco seasoning. I add water, just like it says on the package. Combine all ingredients in large pot. Do not drain the canned veggies. Add water if needed for desired consistency. Bring to boil, then turn down to low boil for 30 minutes.

This is great with sour cream, cheese, and tortilla chips!

Enjoy :)

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Finishing Touches

For those of you who don't know, we bought our first house last year. We spent the month of October ('05) making a ton of changes to make it our home. We repainted, put down new tile and laminate floors, and got new carpet for the bedrooms. Many of our friends and family members pitched in to help. The finishing touches, mostly trim work, remained. While Shelby and I were in Tennessee last weekend, Channing was keeping busy with door facings, baseboards, and quarter-round. Things look great! Thank you, Channing, for working so hard. And, thanks to Jody, Brad, and Kenly for helping. I know Channing was grateful for the assistance and company.


Channing and I are blessed to have a little girl who loves her vegetables...for the most part. Shelby loves corn on the cob, although she isn't crazy about eating it off the cob. (Not kidding, she loves when we have corn on the cob and eats it a little bit at a time.) She also likes green beans. Shelby's favorite vegetable has got to be peas! She loves them. The whole time she's eating them, she'll say "peas, peas" over and over again. It's super cute!

What is your favorite vegetable?

Weekend in Tennesee

Shelby and I made our way to Tennessee on Friday. We spent time with my parents, my sister Nunda, and my nephew Morgan while we were there. Saturday I went to a wedding shower for Amy Black, one of my oldest and dearest friends, who is getting married next month. After the shower we went to Olive Garden for dinner. It was so good to see Amy's sister, Stacey, as well as two other friends, Robin Ramsey and Ashley Hodge. My parents watched Shelby while I was gone Saturday night. From what I hear, they had a great time.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Shelby the Lion Cub

Here is a picture of Shelby from Halloween. (Lauren, thanks for sending it to me!) She did pretty well keeping the mane part of her costume while we were going from house to house. This picture was taken at Silas and Lauren Orbison's house. While we were there, Silas asked her what sound the lion made, and she first made her elephant squeal. We asked her again, and a precious little roar followed. Isn't she so cute?!

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

What Child Is This?

Last night, while I was cooking supper, I played a Christmas cd. It was a children's cd, with traditional songs sung in a lullaby tone. Shelby was humming cute! The rest of the Christmas music is up the attic. I told Channing that it was time to pulled the Christmas tubs down so that I could get the tapes and cds. One of my favorite Christmas songs is "What Child Is This" and another is "Tennessee Christmas." What is your favorite Christmas song?

A Pony for Christmas

Shelby and I went to Hallmark yesterday to do some card-shopping. While we were there, I decided to go ahead and let her pick out a Christmas ornament. (Mathis family tradition from my growing up days was we got a new ornament every year. We're doing that in the Channing family now.) I showed her a couple ornaments and let her pick the one she wanted. She chose "A Pony for Christmas." It's a cute ornament, the horse and saddle are made out of felt. I am excited to put it on the tree...after Thanksgiving, of course!

Sunday, November 05, 2006

The garage sale went well yesterday. We made money, and got rid of quite a bit. Just about everything that did not get sold went away yesterday afternoon to His House, College Church's benevolent outreach.

Our garage seems so much bigger now! We put up shelves on Monday and now have much more room alongside our vehicles. Channing and I agreed that we need to make a "Clean Sweep vow" and keep our lives clutter-free. Well...I guess that goes for the garage. I still have to work on the house!

Friday, November 03, 2006

Finally...Soup Weather

It looks like the cooler temps are going to stick around now. The weather has really been teasing us here in Searcy. We'd have some cool days and then temps would go back into the 70s, even upper 70s. I am excited about fall really being here, what's left of it. Something that I love about cooler weather is getting to eat warm dishes like chili and soups. My favorite soup (right now at least) is taco soup. Channing likes it too, which is good because I fix it a lot! What's your favorite soup, or warm dish? (See, I'm fishing for comments!)

Sharing is No Fun

I kept Lily for a little while yesterday while Maggie got a haircut. Normally Shelby and Lily play really well together. Yesterday was a little bit different. Shelby has two rocking horses, plastic and wooden. I had both in her room (one usually is in living room) so that they could both ride. Nope, not good enough for Shelby! She proved that the grass is always greener on the other side. If Shelby saw that Lily was playing with something she wanted, of course she reached for it. When I would tell her no, and try to get her focused on something else, whoa...MELT DOWN!! Finally Lily learned and would say no to Shelby if she started reaching. That didn't go over too well with Shelby either. Maggie and I agreed that we needed make sure the girls play together once a week, so that they can get used to having to share. That sounds good to me!

Garage Sale!

A friend of mine and I are going to be having a garage sale tomorrow. Both of us are just about finished getting everything ready. Typically, nothing is safe when I'm in garage sale mode. If it isn't nailed down, I consider how bad we need it. But, I've been pretty good this time. We're selling a bunch of clothes, old living room tables, and other odd and ends. Hopefully I will have made a little money after it's all over.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

First Haircut

Yes, that title is the truth! Shelby got her first haircut last night! We weren't able to cut much, because she wasn't being very cooperative. But at least now her hair is out of her eyes!

Too Funny!

Here is the military's response to Kerry's botched joke. Thanks, Lisa, for sending it!

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

A Botched Joke?

Okay, how in the world is the prepared statement for Senator Kerry better than what he actually said?! Here is the prepared statement: "Do you know where you end up if you don't study, if you aren't smart, if you're intellectually lazy? You end up getting us stuck in a war in Iraq. Just ask President Bush." Now, what he actually said was that people unable to succeed in the U.S. educational system would likely "get stuck in Iraq." I don't get how it's better to criticize the Commander-in-Chief than to criticize the soldiers who are risking their lives. (Seriously, how would someone that's intellectually lazy end up with the responsibility of making such decisions anyway?!) I don't think this has anything to do with political parties or how you feel about the war. Senator Kerry's prepared statement was very disrespectful of our President. People are entitled to their opinions about the United States involvement in Iraq. I am certainly not happy about my nephew being over there, but being critical of a man whose shoes I would never want to be in doesn't help things. And those troops need to know that the folks back home are supporting them, regardless of how they feel about the decisions our government make. Okay, I'm done preaching...for now at least!


Shelby was a lion cub for Halloween. We made stops at Paige's, Lauren & Silas', and Sean & Sarah's. At Paige's house, there was another little lion cub, and they seemed to enjoy playing together for a minute or two. One of Sarah's nieces was dressed up as a girafee and Shelby thought that was neat. We had a fun evening. I'll post pictures when we get them developed.

I really didn't see that many "cute" costumes. Most trick-or-treaters, whether they were smaller or teenages, were dressed as scary creatures/people. I think that's sad. (And I hope I've seen the last of the "Scream" masks!) Halloween could be so much fun....I hate seeing people dress up at murderers, dead people, and stuff like that. What happened to the days of clowns, cartoon characters, and animals?

I hope those of you that participated last night had a fun and safe evening. I hope that you got some good candy too!

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Happy Halloween!

It seems like more and more, Halloween celebrations are changing. My feelings about today have certainly changed over the years. But, I can look back and remember a lot of fun times as I was growing up. The church I grew up in would take the kids around (in the church bus) to members' houses for safe trick-or-treating. When Justin was little and I wasn't too old, we'd go trick-or-treating together. In seventh grade, there was a class skating/costume party. I went to a haunted house with a group of friends while I was in college. Those are some of my really good Halloween memories.

What was your favorite or most memorable costume? What was your favorite candy to get in your bucket?

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Family Fall-Fest

The three of us went to the Family Fall-Fest sponsored by the church's Children's Ministry. The Fall-Fest was out at the home of one of our deacons. We got our picture made, which we'll share later. Shelby had her first experience in a moon bounce that was just the right size for toddlers. She took a minute or two to get the hang of it, but then found it to be a lot more fun that jumping on the bed at home! Then we enjoyed grilled hot dogs, brownies, lemonade, and of course fellowship. Just after sunset, we all gathered around the fire for a short devotional. It was a blessing to be there this evening!

Homecoming Weekend

This weekend was Homecoming at Harding. My parents came in town to visit. Friday night the four of us saw "Fiddler on the Roof," the musical. It was really good! We laughed quite a bit. Saturday afternoon we went to some of the football game. Harding played Henderson State, and won in overtime. Channing had been told by a coworker that Harding was ranked No. 2 in the Gulf South Conference; Henderson State, No. 1. So yesterday's win was definitely a big deal! This morning we were a little late to early only a few minutes. The Family Life Center was packed, so we went to the auditorium service instead. Kregg Hood was in town and spoke at all three of Downtown's services. We were blessed by a message encouraging us to be good stewards on what God has given us.

Friday, October 27, 2006

Lots Going On

Please be praying for a few members of my family. First, my aunt JoAnn is in the hospital. They thought she'd had a stroke, but now aren't certain what's wrong. They have been running all sorts of tests. Aunt JoAnn is my mom's older sister. Second, my cousin Amber has had a fever on and off for about three weeks. They're running tests. I got an email from her today, and she's been without fever for a couple days now. Amber is going to school at HU and her parents are in Georgia. I know they are concerned about her, so be praying for them too. And, last but not least, Justin is now in Iraq. Read the first comment on this post (my sister made it)for more information.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Communion Thoughts

This past Sunday morning at Downtown, Ken Neller did something a little different during communion. First, he reminded us that communion is to be joyful time of remembering that Jesus did not stay in the tomb. Secondly, it is to be a time of remembering Christ's body that hung on the cross. But it doesn't end there. Communion is also about sharing with the body of Christ...other believers. Then he asked all of us to form groups of about 5 or 6, circling our chairs together, to take the Supper together. Ken asked that each of us to share in our groups a sin that God has forgiven us for, and then pray together before taking the bread. As the cup was being passed, we were to share with one another spiritual blessings we had received because of Christ's sacrifice, followed with a prayer. It was a very special time of remembering and sharing. I had never experienced anything like it, and was very blessed by connecting with other believers in such an intimate way.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

In and Not Of

This Avalon song has always been a favorite. Lately it's been running through my head...A LOT! I find myself struggling at times to be a part of the world, but not be "of the world." Or sometimes I want to stay inside my bubble...but what kind of influence do I have then? These are just a couple thoughts I wanted to share, as well as the words to this great song. Be blessed!

I hide away, far away from trouble
The world outside me grows darker by the day
So I promise to stay here close beside Him
Surely God would want His children safe
Then reading, how my eyes were opened
I find that He is leading us out into the world
Into the middle of fallen saints and sinners
Where a little grace is needed most

Come take the light to darker parts
Share His truth with hardened hearts
We are not like the world, but we can love it
Come bring His hope to hopeless men
‘Till the lost are found in Him
He came to save the world
So let us be
In and not of it

Wait a minute,
If we say we love it
Why are we not in it
Why we run and hide
Entertain a stranger,
Maybe entertain an angel
The danger is if our worlds don’t collide

We’ve cursed the darkness far too long
We need to hold the candle high
We have to go and right the wrong
We need to touch the world
With love, with His love

Saturday, October 21, 2006

More Pictures from Gillam Farms

Lily and Shelby

Aren't they so cute?!

Gillam Farms

We went to Gillam Farms today with our friends John, Maggie, and Lily Hendrix. The girls had a great time playing with the pumkins and climbing on the hay mountain. Maggie and Deidre went through the hay maze. We all rode the hay ride. The scenery was beautiful! We had so much fun and look forward to making this a yearly tradition.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

She can sure scream!

Shelby just threw the biggest fit ever. It lasted anywhere from 30 to 45 minutes and included screaming and thrashing! I have no clue what caused it. She was about to go to sleep and then just started hollerin'. Whew, glad that's over! I have a headache now. Since she's fast asleep (finally), I think I'm going to try to sleep some myself.

No More Fever

Well, today Shelby doesn't have a fever. It may or may not have been teething. She is drooling more than she has in a LONG time! Thanks for the prayers. Hopefully she will stay well!!

Monday, October 16, 2006

Poor Baby!

Shelby has been running a fever today, ranging from 100-102 whenever I've checked it. She hates having her temperature taken, whether I use the ear thermometer or put the digital thermometer under her arm. It's a fight, no matter what. Thankfully, though, she hasn't been that grumpy at all. I've given her some acetaminophen a few times. She fell asleep around 8:00 and hasn't slept well since then. I'll be heading to bed when I finish this post. (Channing went to bed about an hour ago.) Hopefully we'll all get plenty of sleep tonight.

Please pray that Shelby's fever breaks soon. Pray also that neither Channing nor I get sick. Thanks!

Real Thirst

Friday night we hung out with Sean and Sarah Tappe. Over our Starbuck's coffee, Sean shared something he'd discovered in class last Sunday morning. His discovery really blessed us. I hope that, as I share it, you'll be blessed too. During the class discussion of John 19, Jesus' words, "I am thirsty," really struck Sean. Jesus said that after feeling the separation from God. The soldiers gave him the wine vinegar, but that wasn't what Jesus wanted. He experienced thirst when the Father turned away. He wanted the living water that only God can provide. I never really thought of it like that before, but doesn't it make sense? We all need to be thirsty for God.

Thanks, Sean, for your thoughts. Thanks for being open to what the Spirit wanted to show you, and for sharing them with us.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Channing and I have been reading Hebrews together each night. Earlier this week, as we were getting ready for bed, I thought about how we'd gotten out of the habit of reading together and decided to get it going again. My next thought was, "What should we read?" Instantly, the book of Hebrews came to mind. No reason at all, it just popped in my head. So, I walk out of the bathroom to find Channing grabbing his Bible off the nightstand. He wanted to start reading together again too. When I asked him if he had anything in mind, his reply was, "I was thinking Hebrews." Wow! When I told him my thoughts, we agreed that Hebrews was the book we needed to be reading!

It's been a blessing, reading God's Word together. The confidence we as believers are to have in our salvation keeps popping out of the pages. And tonight, after reading chapter 9, I just keep thinking, once again, how thankful I am for the sacrifice Jesus made on the cross...once and for all.

If you haven't read Hebrews lately, let me encourage you to do so. You'll be blessed.

Friday, October 13, 2006

First of all, HAPPY BIRTHDAY to my brother-in-law, John. We hope you have a great birthday, and are able to relax at home or spend some time hunting this weekend.

Yesterday Shelby and I had lunch with my friend Susan. Susan and I worked together at Beebe Junior High for a couple of years. Neither of us teach anymore. It was so good to see her and catch up. Shelby liked Susan's beans and tomatoes. When she first ate a bite of tomato, it was obvious she knew she hadn't tried one of those before! It was funny. As usual, Shelby was a big hit with the other diners. She kept looking back at a table of ladies behind us, who were paying her a lot of attention!

On the way back from Little Rock, we stopped in at Beebe to visit the teachers in my old building. It was good to see Torrey, Mackye, Ginger, and Liz! Those ladies, as well as a few others, really made my years at Beebe special. I miss seeing them on a regular basis.

It was really cold in Searcy last night. Not sure how cold it was, but we broke out the flannel sheets!! I don't know that it will be cold enough for them any other night this week, but it sure was fun sleeping in the flannel last night.

Tonight, my cousin Nina is babysitting Shelby while we go on a double date with Sean and Sarah Tappe. We are planning to eat at Red Lobster...yummy!! I'm looking forward to a night out.

Hope you all have had a good week. Have a blessed weekend too.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Revised Prayer Request

Well, my sister called a little bit ago. For some reason, Justin left for Kuwait tonight. So please go ahead and start those prayers for safety!

Calling all prayer warriors!

This Thursday, October 12, my nephew Justin will be deployed. Justin's unit will be spending a couple weeks in Kuwait, and will then go to Iraq. They are saying he'll be gone for a year.

Please pray for Justin this week as he prepares to leave. Pray for his safety while he is away. And pray also for our family while Justin is gone.

Justin, if you're reading this, we love you and will pray for you every day.

Sunday, October 08, 2006


Just wanted to congratulate my cousin Amber on her engagement. She and Kevin got engaged a week ago. We are so excited! Amber and Kevin are some of our favorite people. Shelby especially likes them.

Amber and Kevin, we love you and thank God for the friendship we share. We'll be praying for you as you make preparations for the big day!

Zoo pics

Shelby didn't know what to think of this pig the zoo keepers were walking around the zoo!
Sorry about the glare!

Shelby loves elephants! She tries to make the noises like they do. It's REALLY cute!!

A Day at the Memphis Zoo

We went to Memphis on Friday and got up early Saturday morning to spend the day at the zoo. The Memphis Zoo is amazing! Shelby had a ball watching the baby bengal tigers wrestling. The famous howling monkeys were also among the favorites...for a while at least. The animals were very active, more than I've seen before. The tiger was actually roaring! Probably the best thing about the day was our time in the Northwest Passage. The polar bears were incredible! Shelby loved being so close to them as they swam all over. (We were only separated by glass.) Channing wants to go back again before it gets too cold. Wonder if we should buy a membership! (Surely not...)

Pictures from Thursday

See the post "A Day Full of Blessings" to read more about the pictures below:

Shelby and I had a great visit with Laura and Nathan Bull on Thursday!

Here we are with Lauren's puppy Bentley. Shelby doesn't look like it, but she really loved playing with Lauren's puppies!!

Pictures with family

Here are some pictures that were taken while visiting family after Grandmother's funeral.

Left: Shelby & Uncle Ron (my dad's brother)

Right: Deidre with cousins Denise, Donna, & Gail

Friday, October 06, 2006

Fun In the Sun

Today has been such a beautiful day here in Searcy! This morning Shelby and I joined Maggie and Lily Hendrix at Yancey Park. Lily and Shelby are only a month apart and play well together. Maggie and I enjoyed visiting and going down the slides with our girls.

Shelby and I just returned from Berryhill Park a little bit ago. Kacey Killebrew and her baby Angela, who is only 10 weeks old, met us there. We had a great walk! Shelby loves Angela and is always so excited to see her. Angela fell asleep quickly, so after a few rounds of walking, we stopped so that Shelby could swing for a little while. Shelby loves to swing! She giggles and squeals in delight almost the entire time! I wish you could hear her!! Too bad we don't have any good trees in our yard for a toddler swing. Shelby would love that!

A Day Full of Blessings

Yesterday was a full day! My friend, Laura Bull, and her son, Nathan, came by for a couple hours. The Bulls are missionaries in Bolivia. Laura and Nathan are in the States visiting family, friends, and sponsoring congregations for a few weeks. They were on their way to see her grandmother, and it was such a blessing to catch up! Shelby and Nathan played pretty well together, although I think Shelby was a bit dramatic for Nathan. She kept crying when I left the room and he didn't know what to think! (She has been pretty clingy this week after being away from me last weekend.) As they were leaving, Laura told Shelby to kiss Nathan good-bye. Shelby made a face and said, "No, no, no!" Ha! Guess it will be a while before she's ready for the boys.

After Shelby's nap, she and I went to visit Lauren Orbison and her new beagle puppies. Shelby loved Bentley and Buster, who are only about four months old. She did really well when they were trying to lick her and get all over her. Buster, the boy, jumped up on Shelby from behind and knocked her down. She didn't like that very much, but was pretty calm about it. It is so fun to see Shelby interact with puppies! We will definitely be getting one, but not until we have a fence.

Last night after supper, the three of us went up to the church building. Channing's friend Alex wanted to accept Christ and get baptized. It was a blessing to witness that new birth. Alex was so excited!

Before it was time for bed, we went to Sonic and then visited our friends Sean and Sarah Tappe. They have a dog named Buff. Shelby likes Buff, but not when he barks. She really didn't like it at all!

Our Thursday was full of blessings as we were able to spend a lot of time with friends. I took some pictures throughout the day and will post them once we get them developed. (I hope to get a digital camera for Christmas!)

Thursday, October 05, 2006

The Sun Stood Still

Wednesday night at church, I watched the ninth video in the Believing God Bible study series. Beth Moore made this point: "Our Father delights in God-exalting, ambitious praying." She pointed out a story that I know I've probably heard before, but it just never hit me like it did in that room I guess. In Joshua 10, during a battle between the Israelites and the Amorites, Joshua looked up and asked the sun to stand still, just a bit longer so that they could continue fighting with daylight (vs. 12). And you know what? The sun stopped in the middle of the sky and delayed going down almost a whole day (vs. 13). WOW!! Nothing is too hard for God. He can do anything, more than we can imagine. All I have to do is ask. He is just waiting! At times I guess I think, "Nope, God won't do that!" And I bet God is up in Heaven, saying, "Are you talking about ME??" My prayer is that I will be more faithful, and believe He is who He says He is!

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

For all you moms out there!

If You Give a Mom a Muffin

If you give a mom a muffin,
She'll want a cup of coffee to go with it.
So she'll pour herself some.
The coffee will get spilled by her three year old.
She'll wipe it up.

Wiping the floor, she will find some dirty socks.
She'll remember she has to do some laundry.
When she puts the laundry in the washer,
She'll trip over some snow boots and bump into the freezer.
Bumping into the freezer will remind her she has to plan supper for tonight.

She will get out a pound of hamburger.
She'll look for her cookbook. (101 Things To Make With a Pound ofHamburger.)
The cookbook is sitting under a pile of mail.
She will see the phone bill which is due tomorrow.
She will look for the checkbook.

The checkbook is in her purse that is being dumped out by her two year old.
She'll smell something funny.
She'll change the two year old.
While she is changing the two year old the phone will ring. (Of course!)
Her five year old will answer it and hang up.

She remembers that she wants to phone a friend to come over for coffee on Friday.
Thinking of coffee will remind her that she was going to have a cup.
She will pour herself some.
And chances are,
If she has a cup of coffee,
Her kids will have eaten the muffin that went with it.

Written by Kathy Fictorie
Based on If You Give a Mouse a Cookie by Laura Numeroff

Sunday, October 01, 2006


We had planned on going to Texas this weekend to visit Channing's family. All last week I really felt the need to stay home, while Channing and Shelby went on as planned. Not because I didn't want to be with the in-laws or anything like that, but because I just needed some time to myself. I haven't had that in a long time, not since I was pregnant - which I don't count as rest because it was at the end of May and I was VERY uncomfortable! Thankfully, Channing understood and was willing to let me have some "me time" the whole weekend.

I've had a ball!! I have cleaned the whole house, except for the garage as it's too hot this weekend. While doing that, I cranked the stereo way up, singing along at the top of my lungs. I started reading a book by Mary Higgins Clark, one of my favorite authors. I must admit that I watched a silly chick flick starring Katie Holmes. What a wonderfully mindless thing to do on a Friday night! Yesterday, I slept until nearly 11 a.m. My good friend Paige and I went to Little Rock for the afternoon, eating lunch at McAlister's and shopping at Target and Park Plaza Mall. I seriously cannot remember the last time we did that. It was so wonderful to reconnect and have that time with Paige! This afternoon I've been able to get caught up on Beth Moore's Believing God Bible study. It's been such a good weekend, and I feel very energized.

As far as Channing and Shelby's weekend in Texas, I'll have him tell you about it tonight or later on this week. It hasn't been bad, though. (However, he didn't get to have lunch with his dad like he hoped, in effort to prevent a meltdown from Shelby! Next visit, we will definitely make it happen!) Shelby has done well with just Daddy. That's an answer to prayer, let me tell you!

I am very blessed that Channing feels comfortable taking care of Shelby on his own. I'm thankful for a husband who understands my need to be alone and have time doing things I like to do so that I don't lose the sense of who I am, besides a wife and a mother. What a gift from God he is!

Anybody Out There?

I told myself I'd never do this but....I have recently learned that several people read our blog pretty regularly, yet they are not leaving comments. (Thanks to Denise and Gail, my cousins who do leave comments from time to time!) It is easy to leave a comment. When you see a cute picture of Shelby, or just want to let us know that you've been on our blog, please tell us. It makes us smile! Here's how to do it. First, click on the "comment" link at the bottom of the post. Second, type your comment in the box provided. Third, choose an identity. (You don't have to be a blogger to leave a comment on our site!) Finally, click on "publish" and you're done!

Thanks! :)

Saturday, September 30, 2006

Family Time in Tennessee and Mississippi

Tuesday the three of us headed East. I was really dreading the trip, obviously because we were going for Grandmother's funeral service. And the two days there definitely had their difficult moments. But, as I look back, I am thankful for those days. I'm thankful that so many of us gathered to honor Grandmother and celebrate her life. I'm thankful that we were all there to comfort each other, especially my dad and his siblings. I'm thankful that the life Grandmother led gave us a reason to celebrate, even though we were missing her.

Wednesday evening, after the service, several of us got together at Aunt Pat's house in Hernando, Mississippi. My cousin Denise's kids had their puppy with them. Shelby was freaking out, especially since the puppy was so tiny - just her size. She also discovered magnets, and had a ball playing with them.

As we were sitting around the table, some of my cousins were discussing how they have to have things so-so and how orderly they are when it comes to folding towels or hanging clothes. I chimed in with how I have "assigned" certain hangers to me (pink, purple, and burgundy) and others (blue and green) to Channing because of the color. Aunt Pat grinned, and told me that's because I'm a Mathis and Grandmother did things that way.

It was such a blessing to be with family! I am sure that, if Grandmother could have seen us, she'd be so happy to watch us laughing with one another.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Grandmother Mathis

Thanks to all of you that have been praying for my grandmother, Cathleen Mathis, and our family over the past few weeks. Grandmother was discharged from the hospital Wednesday and passed away at the nursing home on Friday afternoon. Mom, Dad, and Uncle Don were there visiting her at the time. She was still suffering from pneumonia and was very weak. While we are all saddened by the loss, we can rejoice in the fact that Grandmother was a Christian. She loved the Lord and had served Him faithfully. We are thankful that she is no longer in pain and is with the Father now.

While I was growing up, Grandmother lived in a small apartment not too far from my house. When I visited her, we'd spend the time playing cards, working jigsaw puzzels, and sometimes even going for a walk. There was often a new picture of someone in the family to see. She was so proud of her family. Grandmother had four children, 16 grandchildren, 31 great-grandchildren, and about 10 great-great-grandchildren. Isn't that amazing?!

She was such a fine woman who always put her family first. Her husband died at a young age, leaving her with four small children to raise. Grandmother never remarried, saying that she just focused on taking care of her kids. Finding another mate was never something she considered. While many people might not make the same choice she did, Grandmother's dedication to her children has always been something I've admired about her.

A memory that makes me laugh is from my teen years when Grandmother broke her knee and was staying with us. I came home from school to find Grandmother, Mom, and one of Grandmother's friends at the kitchen table playing Skip-bo. Grandmother and her friend were talking all kinds of smack back and forth like young girls!! Guess that's where I get it.

Please continue to remember the Mathis family in your prayers. While we do have comfort in knowing Grandmother is in Heaven, this time of adjustment will not be easy. Pray also for those traveling, as most of the family live out of town.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Perfect Day

Today is turning out to be one of those perfect days! I've got the windows up in the living room and dining room, causing a great breeze. I can hear the birds chirping in the trees out in the yard. Shelby and I are going to go for a walk after her nap this afternoon. I love this time of year, when Searcy finally starts cooling off!

I love Chi Omega Pi...

Okay, so I may be going overboard with all these Chi Omega Pi memories, but after looking at all the pictures I've got here, I am feeling quite nostalgic! This all started last week when Jen Gorham blogged about getting a new pink cell phone. She received several comments from former Chi-O's about how they loved pink after being in the pink & green club at Harding. After that, some of the girls made posts on their own blogs about Chi Omega Pi and memories from that special time. Now it's my turn. I LOVED being in Chi-O's!! While I didn't limit myself by only having Chi-O friends, the club was a big part of my Harding experience. Chi-O's helped me grow in many ways. I developed friendships with people that I still have today. Those of you who weren't in Chi-O's...I'm sorry to say that this blog entry might be a bit boring for you.

I remember when Jen and I drove out to Little Indian Creek for "rough night" and were trying to be so tough. I had a hard time keeping a straight face. We had two pledges in the backseat and wouldn't let them talk. Jen borrowed some heavy metal music from Greg Swackhammer and was playing it in the car. I hate heavy metal and was so miserable! I think we both were!

Sophomore year we made a video for the beaux. On it, there are some clips from a softball game. Of all the hitters shown, I was the only one who struck out. How embarrassing! Would you believe though that the next year, I had to fill in during an A-team game and hit a triple?! Where was the video camera then?

Junior year there was a girl who wanted to get in Chi-O's so bad that she sent everyone notes that said, "Fly High with Chi Omega Pi!" I don't remember if she got in, but boy did that little phrase give us some laughs!

The night of the Pie Party junior year, my boyfriend and I broke up. The couple who rode with us broke up that night too. That was quite the ride back to campus! Believe it or not, there wasn't much conversation.

Senior year, on a whim, I asked a practical stranger to the Pie Party. (Molly, do you remember? It was Todd Litton from Michigan!) Guess I wasn't wanting any awkward car rides. It was still a weird night, though. At least I have the funny memory and picture to go along with it.

That year, Lauren (Hensley) Orbison pledged. I wish we had gotten to know each other back then. She now works with Channing at Families, Inc. and has become one of my dearest friends. I don't have a picture with her, otherwise she'd be on one of the picture posts!

Don't forget Jeannine's squirrel impression and Victoria Rachel's song with the line "Please don't use your stick as a knife!"

Thanks for sticking with me! Hope you enjoyed my trip down memory lane.

Chi Omega Pi pictures

Here are some pictures that I found while looking through some photo albums tonight. I wanted to find some pictures that would bring back memories for some of you. Enjoy!
The picture below shows most of the girls in my first Chi-O prayer group. Jenny, Jessica, Laura, Jennifer, Ann, Christy, and Christina (not pictured) were already in a group together when I jumped to Chi-O's my sophomore year. I really was excited that they asked me to join their prayer group. The next year others joined as well. Thursday Night P.G was always such a special time for me. We were a close group of girls.
Christie, Laura, Jennifer, and I lived together our junior year. We had the coolest apartment in Searcy Hall...there was a big Chi Omega Pi banner hanging on our wall! There were so many good memories from this year. We had many late night conversations and some good road trips, too. Each of these girls are very special to me. I'm thankful they're a part of my life!
I remember having so much fun laughing with Molly the first few times we ever hung out. Her favorite color is yellow, and it fits her personality perfectly. One of the things I appreciate most about Molly is how genuinely excited she gets whenever we talk on the phone or see each other. She actually squeals in delight! I love it!!

Look what else I found!

Annie was a very good friend of mine. She always had a smile on her face. I remember crying so hard when I said good-bye to her at graduation! I sure wish we were still in touch. It's been at least 3 years since we talked, but I'm sure we'd be able to pick right back up where we left off.
It has been such a blessing to be back in touch with Lisa! I was always so impressed by her, and the strong woman of God that she was. If you know her and aren't reading her blog, you've got to start, because Lisa is quite the writer!
How do you like the braids?! Marie has been a friend of mine since sophomore year, but I think our friendship grew the most during my last semester. We even lived together after I graduated for about a month before her wedding. Marie gave me a Willow Tree angel that makes me smile every day.
I remember meeting Amanda when I was visiting for Chi-Os. She was having a stressful day because of her nursing schedule, but was still open to my visit. Amanda always seemed to trust God, even when things didn't seem to make sense. She would often ask how I was doing spiritually and prayed for me regularly.
Ann and I have been friends since freshman year. We have shared so many special memories! Ann's friendship brought me closer to the Lord in many ways. She and her family are missionaries in Mozambique now.

Monday, September 18, 2006

More Weekend Pictures

Shelby and Aunt Nunda

Justin and Morgan

Blake and Shelby

Mom and Dad

Shelby and Uncle David

Family Pictures

The Grandkids
John, Nunda (my sister), Justin, and Morgan
David (my brother), Lisa, and Blake

Happy Birthday, Justin!

My nephew, Justin, is 20 now. I am not sure that he reads my blog, but I hope that he does today! I was only 8 years old when he was born, so it has been hard to think of him as my nephew, but a little brother instead. I remember being so excited on the way to school, because I knew that I'd go to the hospital as soon as I got home that afternoon. It is hard to believe that was 20 years ago.

Justin, if you're reading this, HAPPY BIRTHDAY!! We all love you and hope you have a wonderful day. This morning when I told Shelby it was your birthday, she grinned and said, "Justin!" So I think that counts for some birthday wishes too!

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Update on Family Stuff

First, I wanted to thank you all for praying about our weekend.

The time spent with my family on Saturday for Justin's birthday was good. We ate great food, thanks to the culinary skills of my sister Nunda and her husband John. There were a lot of laughs too. We took family pictures. Nunda's great idea was for all of us to wear white shirts and blue jeans. I think they will turn out great. We'll post some when they get developed. Justin was very quiet, and no one said anything about his return to Fort Carson or his deployment. I think we are all just trying to focus on the positive. I just pray that Justin knows that we all love him and will lift him up to the Father every day.

Grandmother was discharged from the hospital on Friday. We aren't sure exactly why, except that the pneumonia was clearing up and she would be returning to the nursing home for continued care. Unfortunately, when we returned from lunch today, we learned that Grandmother had been taken back to the hospital. She is suffering from slight dehydration, pneumonia, and low blood pressure. (I think that's all.) Please continue to pray for her comfort and health.

Please keep all of us in your prayers, as there is just so much going on in my family right now!

Answered Prayers

Just wanted to pass along the news that little Max Julian is home now. Check out the Julian family's blog for the update and cute pictures.

Friday, September 15, 2006

Calling All Chi Omega Pi Girls!

If you were in Chi Omega Pi while at Harding, check out Lisa (Bliss) Leichner's blog by clicking on the link to the right. Today she made a post that is sure to bring a smile to your face, and possibly a tear to your eye. Lisa has inspired me to post about my own memories of pink and green. Stay tuned. I will write that one sometime next week.

Emotional Weekend Ahead

Please pray for us. This weekend's trip to Tennesee was originally planned to celebrate my nephew's 20th birthday and see him before he leaves for Iraq. That's going to make this weekend hard enough. While it will be good to see everyone in my family, I am dreading that last hug with Justin as I walk out my sister's door. Justin will be deployed in October, and will be gone about a year. So, please pray for Justin's peace of mind as he gets ready to leave. Pray also for his safety while he is away. And pray for all of us, the Channing, Mathis, and Morris families, as we will certainly be worrying about Justin. Pray that God will give all of us His peace.

While in Tennessee, we will also visit my grandmother, who has been in the hospital with pneumonia this week. Grandmother is 95 and has had several hospital trips in the last year for various things. This seems to be the worst, most serious situation. Pray for Grandmother, that she will be comfortable and pain-free. Pray also for my parents, and my dad's siblings as they spend a lot of time at the hospital with Grandmother.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Happy Birthday!

Today's birthday wishes go out to Channing's mom. Happy Birthday, Lillie! We love you and hope that you have a blessed day. The three of us look forward to seeing you later this month.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Keep praying for Max!

Just a reminder of the request for prayer on behalf of Max Julian. I posted about this on Aug. 26. Check out the blog to get daily updates: Thanks!

Monday, September 11, 2006

Shelby's Competition

It looks like Shelby has some competition in the hair department! Check out little Zoe's hair...I see a mohawk in her future. Bet it's as good as Shelby's!