Saturday, December 31, 2011

Year in Review - 2011

After finding a new blog to follow, Diary of a Stay at Home Mom, I decided to follow her lead and do a yearly review by posting the first sentence from the first post of each month in 2011.  I also added a favorite pic from each month.  What a great way to reflect on what God has done in our lives this past year!


This year's Mother/Daughter Christmas Tea was a delight.  We had a wonderful speaker, Sheila Cason Breazeale, who brought a thought provoking devotion entitled, What's in Your Cup?  She challenged us to think about the people or events that have filled our cup(life).


Have you ever felt like you were on a merry go round and just couldn't get off??


Claire and Levi participated in a wonderful sports program at FBC Natchitoches called Upward Basketball.  Upward Sports is a first-class sports experience that emphasizes healthy competition, sportsmanship, skills building and fun versus the “win-at-all-costs” mentality found in many children sports leagues.  It was a rewarding experience for both of them! 


We woke up to another rainy day but were excited to spend the day where Jesus had lived in Nazareth!  On our way to Nazareth we passed through the Arabic town of Cana where Jesus performed his first miracle of turning the water to wine (John 2:1-11).  


I have been so busy lately that I haven't finished my blogs about the Holy Land and I hope to do that this week!  I must say that Easter seemed to have an extra special meaning this year since I had visual images of Jesus' journey to the cross and resurrection.

Eastern Gate from the Garden of Gethsemane

Day seven started with a bus ride through the modern city of Jerusalem. We made our way past the Israeli Parliament (the Knesset) to the Israeli Museum.

Model of the Temple Mount

Last night, our church family celebrated our country's freedom as well as our freedom in Christ with a children's musical called "AmeriKids" followed by BBQ and fireworks.


Well, yesterday was our last day of summer vacation.  It is hard for me to believe that we are starting school so early this year and if you ask me I think it is ridiculous. 


We have many projects going on around our projects and home improvement projects.  The latter is one of the reasons I haven't done much blogging lately.


**I did not post in the month of October due to our home improvement projects!


Last week was Red Ribbon Week for our parish.  We paid $5 in order to "dress down" for the week and my children were eager to get up and get "dressed" each day!


Our annual Christmas tradition is one of our family's most anticipated events of the Christmas season.  We meet with our best friends in Natchitoches, La.
The City of Lights, to celebrate together! 

God has blessed us in 2011 and I look forward to what He will do in 2012!

Happy New Year!

The Light Before Christmas

The children at our church performed a Christmas Musical called The Light Before Christmas and Claire and Levi both participated.  They both had major speaking parts and Levi had the only solo.  I was so proud of both of them for taking part and using their gifts for God.  This was a huge accomplishment for Claire because she isn't crazy about being in front of a crowd.  She spoke loud and clear and did great memorizing her lines.  Levi blew us all away as he stood and sang out like he's been doing this all his life.  
This was actually his first time to sing a solo!

Did the Shepherd's Need Shades?

After the program, we celebrated Jesus' Birthday with a beautiful display of cupcakes!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

What I ♥ Wednesday....

Meet Lucy...

 Lucy is our new Schnoodle baby.  She was adopted the day before Christmas and she is an INSIDE dog.  One thing I have learned is to NEVER SAY NEVER.  I have always said that I would not allow a pet inside my home.  I don't like messes and I don't like smells!  Well, guess what??  I've had both and I'm dealing with it.  The things we do for our children...right?   
I'm actually beginning to like Lucy and hope that one day I will ♥ Lucy!

 This is what I am ♥ing today....

Lucy has brought big smiles and silly giggles into my home and I love to see my children so happy!

Happy Wednesday Y'all!


Wednesday, December 21, 2011

What I love Wednesday...

These people.
They have loved my family (and many others) like their own.  
We are not related biologically, just by the blood of Jesus.  
They have been the "minister to the minister" and the "pastor to the pastor".
God called the man we have come to know as "Papa" home one week ago today.
"Momee" has been the ultimate example of a Godly Christian woman during this storm.
I want to pattern my life after her because she is following HIM.

I know Papa heard the words, "Well done, my good and faithful servant!" 
when he entered the gates of heaven.
Thank you Jesus for allowing our paths to cross.  

I'm also loving...
that tonight we have the Silent Lord's Supper at our church.
My son will partake of the Lord's Supper for the first time 
since giving his heart to Jesus and surrendering his life to Him in early November.
This will be a memorable Wednesday night!


Monday, December 19, 2011

My Life

Jesus is #1 in my life, or at least it's my desire that He be my 1st priority! 
After Him, comes my family. 
They bring me joy.
They make me laugh.
They make me cry.
They make life FUN!

A young lady and photography major in my church graciously took some photos of the people in my life.  I will treasure these photos forever but more than these pictures, I will treasure these people!

Thank you Jesus for loaning these gifts to me!

Saturday, December 10, 2011

I'll Be Home For Christmas

My brother returned from Kuwait yesterday and our family couldn't be more happy!  Especially his wife and children.  He wasn't suppose to return until March but because he is retiring at the end of March and has days of leave left, the military has sent him home early.....just in time for Christmas!  I am so grateful for his service to our country as well as those who are continuing to serve.  My thoughts and prayers are with those who can't be home for Christmas with their loved ones!
But for us, we will celebrate with the WHOLE family this year and for years to come.  Thank you, God!

The HUGS and KISSES he wanted the most...

Welcome Home Jason!

Annual Christmas Tradition

Our annual Christmas tradition is one of our family's most anticipated events of the Christmas season.  We meet with our best friends in Natchitoches, La., The City of Lights, to celebrate together!  This year posed a problem due to our extremely busy schedule for December.  Every Saturday in December was filled with weddings and Christmas parties so we had to solve this problem by meeting in November.  Thankfully, the lights and fireworks start the weekend before Thanksgiving so we met the Saturday after Thanksgiving.  The weather tried to pose another problem this year as it rained ALL DAY on Saturday but we didn't let it dampen our spirits and forged ahead anyway.  There were not near as many people as in the past and we almost had our own private fireworks display.  It will definitely be a year to remember!

 We started by opening gifts!

Judy Moody books....

and a mood ring.

An earring holder...

and a gift card.

Just what he asked for!

A Doctor Drill and Fill...he wants to be a dentist one day!
...and a gift card.

Our annual family photo shoot....this ends up being quite an adventure!

Ava cracks me up with her funny faces!

 Of course, the kids are taking these photos so I couldn't leave the next one out....

My her to pieces!

Our precious children!
Our restaurant of choice.

Crab St. Denis...YUMMY!

Apple Dumplin...or what's left of it!
Sin Bar disappeared before I could get a picture!
Due to the rain, I didn't take pictures of the lights or fireworks but they were delightful!  Regretfully, Santa wasn't in his house so we didn't get to make our requests known to him.  But never fear, we have found another Santa and met with him.  Pictures coming soon....