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!