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 believers...in 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 along...so 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!