I can't believe I haven't made a post about what happened Sunday night!! Shelby has not been sleeping a night in her bed for a while now. (I kindly request that Nunda and Wendy not comment at this time.) We decided that, when Shelby and I returned from Tennessee, we'd once again try to break Shelby of this terrible habit. And it didn't matter how long it took; we were going to just deal with the lack of sleep. So Sunday night was our first attempt. Just after 11 p.m., Shelby woke up. I went in her room, gave her the pacifier, and laid her back down. That's when Channing and I started played Nerts in our bedroom. Fifteen minutes later, I went back in Shelby's room to reassure her. By the end of Round Two, with only a couple minutes remaining, we hear a thud, and a different kind of cry. So we go check on Shelby and there she is, standing at the door. Yep, the "thud" was Shelby hitting the floor when she climbed out of her crib. Lovely. So much for our plan to make her cry it out! We couldn't risk her getting hurt. Tuesday the side rail came off her crib and now Shelby sleeps in her "big girl bed" a good portion of the night. When she wakes up and calls for me, I go in and give her pacifier back to her and pat her back to get her to sleep. I know, I know, she's still getting her way for the most part. We are doing the best we can. :)
Wednesday, January 31, 2007
Searcy has snow tonight! Just thought I'd tell you. I know that readers like Lisa, Jennifer, Molly, and Jenny might chuckle at the fact that I'm making a big deal about this, but you know it never snows here. So what little we get is very exciting! The area schools are closed and that also means that Channing will be staying home. I'm really looking forward to the blessing of an unexpected day with my husband! It will also be fun to bundle Shelby up and play for a little bit outside tomorrow. She has two very warm outfits that have never been worn. Okay, I guess you can call them snowsuits. I didn't buy them for her, they were both given to us. It's kind of funny, if you ask me, and I'm glad that she'll finally get to wear at least one of them!
Posted by Our Family at 10:21 PM
We signed up for Netflix over the summer and have really enjoyed it. It is wonderful! I can't tell you how much money we've saved since we joined. If you don't know what it is, check out the website here.
We had the movie Facing the Giants in our queue. It came out on video yesterday and I figured we'd have to wait a little while before getting it. Nope, not when you have it saved in your queue! Facing the Giants was mailed Monday, and arrived in our mailbox yesterday. I doubt we would have been able to rent it at Movie Gallery or Hastings last night.
Facing the Giants is a fantastic movie. The acting isn't the greatest, but the story is. It even got me teared up a few times. The movie tells the story of a high school coach who rises above failure to create a winning spirit on the field. Coach Taylor faces a losing team, a failing marriage and the possibility of being fired. At the end of his rope, he puts his life in God's hands and, in doing so, finds a stronger purpose and, ultimately, salvation.
For more information about Facing the Giants, check out the website here.
Posted by Our Family at 2:20 PM
Before you ask yourself, "Is she really potty-training her 19 month old?" Let me tell you that I in fact am not. Several months ago, Shelby started telling us when she needed to poo-poo. We've been using this great baby toilet seat for a few months now. It's great! We started using pull-ups at the beginning of January. Don't worry, I'm not pushing this on Shelby at all. I am honestly not very good at remembering to take Shelby to the bathroom, but we do make it there throughout the day, some days more than others. I am very grateful that I don't have to change dirty diapers or pull-ups anymore!
Posted by Our Family at 2:14 PM
Tuesday, January 30, 2007
Shelby has been having fun playing with this doctor's kit. She was "helping" me go through her closet yesterday and discovered this toy. I bought it during Homecoming Week 2004 while teaching in Beebe and saved it for our children. Shelby is playing with it much sooner than I intended, and is having a blast!
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Sunday, January 28, 2007
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A couple weeks ago, we had Jeremy, Dijana, and Dean Shelby over for dinner. It was a great evening. Dean is a few years older than Shelby, but they play really well together. Here they are, watching a video. Too bad his last name is Shelby, otherwise we'd be looking to get those two together one day! Maybe one day she'll want to go by her middle name, Elizabeth, instead. We'll leave it up to them!
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Saturday, January 27, 2007
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The reason Shelby and I came to Tennessee this weekend was for the 50th Wedding Anniversary Celebration for Dick and Honey Rogers. I have known this couple practically all my life. They have done so much for the Lord. If you know Ray Boltz's song, Thank You, then those words can pretty much be said of this amazing couple.
Dick and Honey have five children, the youngest being one of my oldest and dearest friends. Stacy now lives in Michigan with her husband and son. Whenever she is in Memphis, I try to be there too. Friday morning, Stacy and I had brunch. It was so good to catch up and just be together. I sure wish we were able to have more time with one another!
Posted by Our Family at 7:00 PM
Thursday, January 25, 2007
Shelby and I are in Tennessee for a few days. This afternoon my mom got some toys out of the attic for Shelby. There were two Little People school buses and a set of wooden blocks that used to be mine when I was a little girl. Shelby really enjoyed knocking down every tower I tried to make for her. Mom also got out a Noah's Ark play-set that belonged to my nephew Morgan. The ark and the animals were pretty dusty, so they got a bath. Nona washed and Shelby dried. Looks like they're having fun, huh?
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Wednesday, January 24, 2007
Monday, January 22, 2007
Sunday, January 21, 2007
Channing and I went out to dinner tonight at Chili's. I am still so excited about having one here! We made a stop at Hastings to get some coffee, but their espresso machine was broken. Instead of drinking regular coffee while sitting in uncomfortable chairs, we decided to drive over to IHOP and enjoy the coffee and comfortable booths there. My cousins babysat Shelby. It had been a while since we'd gone out, and we were so thankful that Amber and Nina were available to babysit. (Thanks, guys!)
Also tonight, we went to the visitation for our friend Rhonald Searcy's grandfather. Some of you might know Rhonald and his wife, Jenny (Stewart), from Harding. Please pray for the Searcy family as they are mourning the loss of a dear father and grandfather.
Posted by Our Family at 10:51 PM
Marie tagged me, so I'm supposed to write a six word story. Hmmm....
Tonight we talked while drinking coffee.
Let's see, who shall I tag this time? I'm going to tag Molly, Chris, and Lisa. You will find links to their blogs in the Friends' Blogs section on the right side of the screen.
Posted by Our Family at 10:46 PM
Friday, January 19, 2007
This morning, Shelby was in our bed (surprise, surprise) and I was already awake, sitting in our floor, checking email and waiting for coffee. All of a sudden, I hear her say, "Booo, Momma!" as she's looking down at me. What a sweet way to say good morning!
Posted by Our Family at 8:16 AM
So, to answer Laura's question (see comments for last post), I finished the MHC book on Tuesday afternoon. The book was great. If you are into suspenseful books, this one is for you! I really think that people like Jen, Molly, and Lauren would like this book because of their professions as therapists and social workers. I have read a lot of books by MHC over the years. All Around the Town certainly kept my attention the whole time...and the outcome wasn't what I'd expected. Check it out sometime!
Posted by Our Family at 7:55 AM
Monday, January 15, 2007
Well this week's night off went much much better. After last week's distracting and unproductive hour, I decided to stay away from Midnight Oil. Plus, Harding students are back, so I figured it would be packed. I made my way to Hastings, got a white chocolate mocha from the Hardback Cafe, and grabbed All Around the Town by Mary Higgins Clark, Queen of Suspense. I was there until 9 p.m. and loved the book so much that I bought it and am now (just before midnight) on page 203. Only 138 pages to go. The coffee is brewing. It's going to be a late night for me! Glad I have a little one who takes good naps.
Posted by Our Family at 11:48 PM
Sunday, January 14, 2007
Last week, my sister and her family were interviewed by a reporter with Memphis's paper, The Commercial Appeal. Below is the text for the article that was in today's paper.
The mother and father are sitting side by side on their living room couch. And they are not saying a word, because they are hanging on every word.
President Bush is on their television speaking to the nation, but speaking directly to Frank and Denise Baker, too.
A few feet from where they sit, pictures of their 21-year-old son, Brandon, a lance corporal in the Marines, stand at attention.
Here's the snapshot of him and two buddies in their fatigues, looking laid-back and cool.
Here's the framed portrait of Brandon in his dress blues, looking ready and able.
And over there, hanging on the wall, is a portrait from a more innocent time -- his senior year at Germantown High School.
"When Brandon left home, he was a boy," says his mother, like so many mothers have said of their sons. "When he came back from boot camp, he was a man."
Now, the man is going to war. Today, Brandon is scheduled to leave Camp Lejeune in North Carolina for Iraq.
It's all part of the "troop surge." The president says he's going to increase the troops by about 21,000. Even if this new strategy is effective, the president knows too well there will be many more casualties.
And so as he speaks to the nation, he thanks the families that already have made a "quiet sacrifice" -- some for a season and some for an eternity.
Not knowing what kind of sacrifice theirs will be, Frank and Denise sit quietly. The president speaks boldly of the mission ahead: "We can and we will prevail."
Frank and Denise support the president. But they also need to believe in a positive outcome. Frank turns to his wife of 27 years and whispers: "We must prevail."
The president warns that the year ahead in Iraq will be "bloody and violent." They are words that linger because soon Brandon -- their precious one among the 21,000 -- will be in the middle of it.
It's enough to give a father pause, time to reflect on another young man he knew.
"When I was 21, I was throwing the Frisbee in Daytona Beach," he says, laughter filling the quiet space, "wondering where we were gonna have beers that night."
The men and women who enlisted in the military also volunteered to end their innocence, to sacrifice everything from the frivolity of Frisbee on the beach to the relative safety of pursuing the American dream at home.
Germantown's Andrew Kliman, former Eagle Scout, is now a sergeant in the Army who has survived a tour of duty in Iraq and is in Germany.
"I feel safer with him in Germany," says his mother, Amy Kliman. "But he's still in the Army. Anything can change."
Kristin Hofer, former tomboy and White Station High soccer player, is now a Marine and will go to Iraq next month.
"She wanted to make a difference," says her mother, Penny Aviotti. "She's a patriot."
So is Brandon Baker.
"This goes back to 9/11, when he saw the twin towers," his father says.
To when he was 15 and was so struck by what he saw, that he dialed up the local Marine recruiting station.
Justin Morris' joining of the Army has continued a family tradition. His father and grandfather were in the military.
"We go back to the Civil War," says his mother, Nunda Morris, who lives in Southaven. "To a Confederate general named Benjamin McCulloch. My grandmother was a McCulloch. He's heard the stories all his life."
Now Justin's little brother, 10-year-old Morgan, is hearing the stories, and hearing his brother's voice on the phone from Iraq where Justin is out on daily patrols.
"He asks how I'm doing in school," Morgan says. "Since my dad's usually at work, he tells me to take care of my mom.
"I really do miss him, but I think he's doing the right thing."
Penny Aviotti believes that becoming a Marine was the right thing for her daughter.
"I'm so proud of her," Aviotti says, "of what she's become."
It's the where -- Iraq -- that troubles this mother.
"For me, the war is about my child -- not the number of troops we're sending in," she says. "I am so sad personally and politically. My trepidation is to be caught in the middle, to see my child caught in the middle."
She pauses, finds her patriot's perspective: "She can't feel that way. It's so dangerous not to have confidence."
One and all, the parents support their children and the troops. They talk to each other, to families that have been immersed in the Iraq experience much longer than they have, and they watch and listen to the news, and then come to their own conclusions -- about the politics, about the media, about the character of the commander and chief.
"I don't believe President Bush is just arbitrarily sending people to be shot to death," says Nunda Morris.
And Denise Baker says she no longer trusts the broadcast networks to tell her what's really going on in Iraq.
"America's the greatest place on Earth, even with all of its flaws," says her husband, Frank.
"It's like this comedian I heard: 'Twenty million illegal immigrants can't be wrong.'"
December 2004, and Andrew Kliman was in Mosul, Iraq. His brother Brian was trolling the Internet when he came across news of a major explosion in the cafeteria of the base where Andrew was stationed.
"That was the cafeteria he ate in every day," says Amy Kliman.
Every day but that day, not that Andrew's family knew this right away. For 24 mostly sleepless hours, the family didn't know if Andrew was alive, dead or wounded. Finally, Amy got through to a captain at Fort Lewis in Seattle. He told her all the families of killed and wounded soldiers had been notified.
"In other words, no news was good news," Amy says.
But it isn't always, can't always, be that way. There's an informational time lag. There's even about a five-second delay when having a phone conversation with someone in Iraq.
In other words, no news is mystery -- day after day, hour after hour, minute by minute.
Justin Morris is on daily patrols in Iraq. Not long ago, a solider in a vehicle ahead of his was killed by a roadside bomb.
"In essence," says Nunda Morris, "somebody's trying to kill your child every day. He's over there, so it's like I'm over there. I wish I could go over there for him, not that I'd be of any use."
Amy Kliman knows that helpless feeling. In the year Andrew was in Iraq, she found relief -- comfort would be too strong of a word -- in sending him everything she could imagine. She sent him boxes of undershirts, socks and hand-warmers. She sent books, magazines and movies. She sent a yo-yo, Q-Tips to clean his gun, and a 12-inch artificial Christmas tree. She sent decks of cards, hand-held computer Yahtzee and Texas Pete's hot sauce.
It was too much, yet not nearly enough. Some soldiers never received anything. So Andrew shared, and after a while those other soldiers started anticipating what would come next, always happy to announce, "Kliman got another box!"
"That was how I got through Iraq," Amy says.
Nunda Morris is in the middle of getting through Iraq. Her emotional state mirrors her son's.
"If he calls and is in a good mood, I'm good for a couple of days," she says. "If he's talking through clenched teeth, you get nervous.
"You pray to God constantly. You're sure He's tired of listening. It's like a yoke around your neck, except people can't see it."
Not even Morgan can see it, but then that's a good thing.
"He knows his brother is in danger," the mother says. "He doesn't grasp how much danger."
The Army still believes in R & R. Justin Morris is on the schedule.
"He's coming home in March," Morgan says, anticipating all that he and his big brother will do: watch a little TV, maybe play some baseball, definitely play video games together.
By that time, Kristin Hofer will have been in Iraq about a month. Her mom is still trying to grasp what it will be like.
"I'm the kind of person who wants to know everything," Penny Aviotti says, "the kind of person who pulls out a map."
She's also the kind of person who wants to know what the food her daughter will be eating tastes like. So Aviotti took it upon herself to get those pre-packaged meals the soldiers eat.
"Add water, stir, and it smokes up. It's pretty bad," she says. "But I stink as a cook, so maybe the food won't be a problem."
Baker Company is starting to wonder about the days ahead, too.
"We're getting a little more nervous," Frank says.
Outside their home, a huge red Marine Corps flag flies on one side of their brick steps, and the Stars & Stripes flies on the other side. Already, Denise has hung a small "mother's flag" from the door to signify her Marine is away at war.
President Bush, in thanking families, spoke of "lonely holidays" and "empty chairs at the dinner table." There will be an empty chair come Easter, and on Memorial Day and the Fourth of July, and perhaps for a good while after that.
The Bakers understand. And as simple as it sounds, they will hold onto a slogan from a Marine Corps T-shirt Brandon gave his father for Christmas: "Pray for Peace, Train for War."
They will hang onto those feelings from the ceremony at Brandon's graduation from boot camp in Parris Island, S.C. -- the pride, the joy, the real and deep patriotism.
They wept when the soldiers sang the Marine Hymn – "From the Halls of Montezuma to the Shores of Tripoli . . ."
They were moved by what Frank calls a "defining moment" at the PX, when they and Brandon were walking into the building as an officer was leaving it; Brandon held the door for the officer and saluted.
"At ease," the officer said. "Afternoon, Marine."
Brandon gave his father a poke.
"Dad, did you hear what he called me?"
It was the first time -- the first time for the son, the first time for the father.
And a long way from throwing the Frisbee at Daytona Beach.
- Don Wade: 529-2358
Posted by Our Family at 3:13 PM
Saturday, January 13, 2007
Please continue to pray for Justin! Some of his buddies have been wounded, and one of his commanding officers was killed not too long ago. I'm so thankful that God has protected him; however, my heart breaks when I think about what all he has witnessed.
We're expecting Justin to come home in a few months for some R & R. Please pray that plans will not change. He has a lot of people here wanting to see him!
Posted by Our Family at 9:48 PM
Laura's comment on my last post really made me smile. Laura was my main Wal-mart buddy the year we lived together. Back then, I didn't go to Wal-mart unless I had a lot of time. We would seriously be there for at least two hours. Jen and Christie can attest to this because Laura was also one of their Wal-mart buddies. Laura and I both are rather indecisive, so we were a bad combination. My funniest Wal-mart memory would be standing next to Laura as she decided which cake mix to buy. I also remember listening to FFH's song Big Fish on our way. I always smile and think of Laura when I hear that song. (I wonder if we always listened to that song, or if one particular ride was extra memorable or something.)
Surely some of you Harding alumni have a funny memory from Wal-mart!
Posted by Our Family at 9:35 PM
If you're ever bored on a rainy day, and need something to do, take a trip to your neighborhood Wal-mart. I went this afternoon and it was packed! The girl whose lane I checked out in said that she had been going non-stop ever since she got there this morning. Glad I was only there for an hour!
Posted by Our Family at 7:21 PM
This morning when we woke up, we were greeted by a nice wet spot on our ceiling. Our not-so-old roof is leaking! Our attic isn't completely floored, so Channing used some leftover planks from our wood laminate to make a path across the beams. I know he is getting tired of climbing the ladder to check out the bucket up there.
Please pray that this won't be too expensive to repair. I wonder if roofing companies offer warranties. Hopefully ours is still under warranty. Like I said, it isn't an old roof.
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Friday, January 12, 2007
Shelby and I spent the morning with Rachel, Mason, and Ava Sciba. Rachel is a friend of mine from Harding. Mason will be three in a few months. He is adorable! (For those of you who know Rachel and her husband Jeremy from HU....Mason is a smaller version of his daddy!) Mason and Shelby played really well together. Ava is about seven months and just beautiful! Rachel and I had a great time catching up and sharing stories from motherhood. I was really blessed with our time together and look forward to more mornings like this.
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I'd like to congratulate our friends John and Maggie on the birth of their second child, a daughter named Hallie Reese. (I don't know that I spelled her name correctly.) Hallie has a big sister named Lily, who is one of Shelby's friends.
I'd also like to congratulate my good friend Lauren on her pregnancy. Several of my readers know Lauren, as she was in Chi Omega Pi at Harding. Lauren is just finishing her first trimester.
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Tuesday, January 09, 2007
Just before Thanksgiving, I requested prayers for my cousin, Mike McOwen. Mike was in a rollover accident while on the way to see his father, my uncle Gene, at the hospital. Mike is in rehab at a hospital near Denver. Please continue to pray for Mike, his wife Denise, and their three sons (Joshua, John, and Jesse). Check out his website for an update and pictures. It's one of the links to the right of the screen.
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Please pray for Channing's four older siblings: Kim, Timmy, James, and Angela. Their father passed away earlier today. MC was diagnosed with liver and lung cancer just before Christmas. He was given 6 months to live, so his passing certainly comes as a surprise to his family. Please pray for the Riddle family as they grieve, and as they travel to Tyler, Texas these next few days.
Posted by Our Family at 3:32 PM
Last night I had the night off...after I cooked dinner, of course. So, I got in the car and headed to Midnight Oil. I brought along the book Captivating by John and Stasi Eldredge. Channing got me this book for Christmas in 2005, and I have yet to finish it. In fact, it's been so long since I sat down to read it, I decided to start all over again. There weren't very many cars at Midnight Oil when I got there, and I was looking forward to a quiet, relaxing evening. Yeah, well, I must be getting old, because I couldn't concentrate too good. The music was too loud, and I had a very hard time focusing on what I was reading. I am normally a fast reader, but last night I only got two chapters read (about 40 pages). I also had trouble staying awake. I kept catching myself zoning out, just about closing my eyes. This "night off" lasted only about an hour. Hope next week's night off goes better.
Posted by Our Family at 2:59 PM
One morning last week, I asked Shelby for a kiss. I said, "Shelby, will you give Mommy a kiss? Right here." As I spoke, I tapped my finger on my cheek, showing her where I wanted it. She reached over and grinned, tapping my cheek. Wonder if we've got a little stinker on our hands.
Posted by Our Family at 2:56 PM
Thursday, January 04, 2007
Shelby had a ball last Friday at Aunt Angela's house! Angela is one of Channing's older sisters. While we were there, Shelby had a good time roaming the house, and chasing after Pepper the dog. Angela taught Shelby how to flip, and that was a big hit!
Posted by Our Family at 9:17 PM
Tuesday, January 02, 2007
Here is a picture of Shelby with the doll that my parents got her for Christmas. This doll is Shelby's new best friend. She has to have it with her practically all the time. If she wakes up in the middle of the night, she calls out for Baby. We have named this special doll Kacey. Hopefully Shelby will get used to calling her new doll Kacey rather than Baby.
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Last Tuesday, I was able to get together with two of my friends from Harding. THe three of us met Rhonald and Jenny (Stewart) Searcy and Russell and Emily (Haas) Brown at Doc's Grill for dinner. It was so good to see Jenny and Emily again and spend time with their husbands as well. I had not seen Emily in at least six years! What a blessing to reconnect with them!
Posted by Our Family at 12:20 AM
Monday, January 01, 2007
We had a wonderful time together as a family on Christmas morning. My parents decided to join us and followed us to Searcy on Sunday afternoon. We enjoyed having them with us in our home on Christmas day. Channing and I got Shelby a rocking chair for Christmas. Channing had a lot of fun staining it for her. We also got her a new video and a See 'N Say. A funny thing that happened was that when I opened The Notebook on dvd, I thought Channing was playing a joke on me, since we already had that movie. He had forgotten about having it. So, that was definitely a returned item!
For dinner, Channing made his grandmother's award-winning (seriously) chicken and dressing. We also had sweet potatoes, green beans, and beloved Sister Schubert rolls. What a yummy meal!
That night we drove around town looking at Christmas lights.
We really had a blessed day. Hope each of you did as well.
Posted by Our Family at 11:31 PM
Here we are with my sister, Nunda, and her husband, John.
Posted by Our Family at 11:21 PM
I've mentioned earlier that one of our Christmas traditions is to get new pajamas to sleep in Christmas Eve and wear Christmas morning. Mine have different colored snowflakes on them. Channing loves his red pajama bottoms with moose on them. The moose is the mascot for his high school in Palmer, Alaska. Shelby loves her new pink pajamas with snowmen all over them!
Another tradition is to read Twas the Night Before Christmas. Shelby of course is a little young to stay attentive during the whole reading, but we did get through it finally.
Posted by Our Family at 10:51 PM
We were in Tennessee December 22-24 visiting my family. Friday night Mom and Dad took us to see Zoo Lights. Shelby loved all the Christmas lights! Saturday afternoon my sister Nunda and my brother David came over with their families for Christmas dinner and presents. Before lunch, Santa dropped by to see Shelby. (David makes a wonderful Santa!) She liked seeing Santa, as long as he kept his distance. Shelby was spoiled by her aunts, uncles, cousins, and grandparents this year. She loves carrying her purse around, and giggles in delight every time she hears her own name on the Veggie Tales cd. Her favorite gift was from Nana and Papa, a baby doll we have finally named Kacey. Mom and Dad got us a digital camera. We were VERY excited to get that! Channing got the Deluxe Scrabble game. We have enjoyed playing it a few times since he opened it! I am looking forward to using the new mixer my parents got me.
This past weekend we were in Texas visiting Channing's family. We drove down Thursday with the intention of surprising my mother-in-law Friday morning. Because of the bowl game in Shreveport, only 45 minutes from Marshall, all of the hotel rooms were closed. So we ended up knocking on Lillie's door Thursday night. We sure did surprise her! Friday we spent the day with family and drove around looking at the Christmas lights. Saturday we met Channing's dad for lunch and spent a little bit of time with him. Channing's sister and brother as well as their families came over for supper Saturday night. Shelby was spoiled once again while we were there. She got a tea set, two dolls, a Christmas ornament, and a Wal-Mart gift card while we were in Texas. Lillie surprised Channing and me with a portable tv/dvd player for our car. That should make those car rides to Tennessee and Texas a little easier on all three of us!
We really enjoyed the time we spent with our families during this holiday season. We hope all of you had a blessed time with family as well.
(Channing hasn't had a chance to install the software to put the pictures on our computer, so I will have to post all the pictures later.)
Posted by Our Family at 1:27 PM