Thursday, December 31, 2009


Like everyone else, I too, must chime in with my thoughts of the past year.  I considered posting about the biggest stories of 2009 (Tiger, Michael Jackson, balloon boy, etc), but will leave that to the professionals.  So this post will be about the year 2009 in this house..........

2009 started off with a bang, and not a good one for this family.  It did turn around however and ended up being a very blessed year!

In January, my father-in-law had surgery.  While Brad was gone to stay with his mom, Poptart came down with a viscious stomach bug and ended up dehydrated.  Thankfully she did not end up in the hospital but did end up in the clinic's ER hooked up to an IV.  Thank goodness my mother was able to come be with me during that "crisis."  Also in January, Brad got laid off.  But again, thankfully, he had a job THE NEXT DAY.  January was also the month we were introduced to the missionaries in Alaska and the work they are doing there. 

February was much quieter.  Children's Ministry Day and Valentine's Day was about all that we had going on.  But after the January we had just had, we needed a quiet month. 

March brought the flu to Brad.  He was all better to enjoy spring break though.  Oh that's right, he doesn't get a spring break.  Sorry honey.  

April saw Poptart's 4th birthday....she's growing up on us.  Brad, his mom, and my mom all have birthdays in April.  It's a busy birthday month.

May was a dream-come-true month.  Brad's trip to Alaska.  Many of you read along as he was posting from Alaska.  It was definitely a spiritual experience (for both of us) that we will never forget!

June and July brought the summer!  Yeah!  School's out!  Trips to grandma's houses, Vacation Bible Schools, and hot summer days with neighborhood kids in my yard filled these two months. 

August was the beginning of school - and for everybody this time!  Gogurt began 3rd grade, Poptart began her second (and last) year of preschool, and Brad started seminary!  This month also held our 12th wedding anniversary.  Our annual camping trip with my family was in August as well . A busy month!

September and October - more flu.  Both Poptart and Gogurt had the swine flu, but it turned out to be not so bad.  They were all better in the nick of time for our 1st annual beach trip (notice I said annual because I definitely want it to become a tradition) with Brad's parents.  So fun!

November was a month of Thanksgiving and shoeboxes.  We were busy at our church's relay center and then with our trip to Atlanta. 

December has seen Gogurt turn 9 years old.  We watched him worship at a Casting Crowns concert (so awesome).  Christmas with all its festivities has come and gone. 

We certainly cannot complain of how this year has gone down.  It was a good one.   

Now we're knocking on the door of next year.  2010.  What will it hold for us?  I have no clue of course, but with the Lord by our side, we're ready for the ride...........

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Fun with Christmas Cards

I enjoy receiving Christmas cards this time of year.  I can't wait to check the mail each day to see if we received any that day.  And it's a really good day when the Christmas cards outnumber the bills! 

At our church, we (the children's missions class) invite the congregation to bring their Christmas cards to church with a few dollars for "postage."  The children then sort the cards alphabetically and hand them out before each Sunday service.   The money is given to the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering so everyone is a winner! 

Another one of my all-time *newer* family traditions is one we just started probably five years or so ago.  When my family of four and my sister's family of four all arrive at our mom's house on Christmas Eve, we each take a look at her Christmas cards and pick out our favorite.  Out of everyone's favorites, we vote on an all-around favorite (its easier if one card gets more than one vote; otherwise it can get tricky).  After the voting is over and we have our winner, we open the card to see who it is from ('cuz you can't do that before you might sway your opinion). 

I can't remember whose idea it was, but someone said we should notify the winner.  So we did!  We went to the computer, designed a card, and included an explanation of the contest they had won.  They don't actually win anything, but we want them to know they did an outstanding job picking out their cards that year. 

I think this is one of my favorite traditions because it gets the entire family involved, the adults and the kids can actively participate, and it's just good plain fun.  It's also interesting.  One card might look plain and boring to me and someone else may see/feel it in a whole different way.  

So that's just one of my favorite traditions this time of year.  Do you have any you would like to share?

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

OK, Now it's Christmas....

I finally found my all-time favorite version of Mary Did You Know to share with you.  If you have never heard this version, please click here and listen to Kenny Rogers and Wynonna Judd sing it. 

We were later than ever putting up our Christmas tree this year.  Just did it Saturday....the kids were about to go crazy without our tree up.  I honestly think I could have gone right on through Christmas without one.  Sad, I know.  But I'm slowly getting into the Christmas mood.  I've done a few Christmas cards, pulled out the Christmas music, and of course, I have been drowning in glue and glitter at preschool.  My friend and teacher of the other 4-year-old class came to my classroom door and showed me another craft-thing she was making with her class.  A last-minute thumbprint Christmas tree on tile.  I must have had a fatigued look on my face--she asked if I had reached my crafty limit.  Why yes, yes, I have.  Thanks for noticing.  Three ornaments, manger scenes, wreaths, and a Christmas bell picture isn't enough?  And all those things included markers, glue, glitter, and an assortment of other craft supplies.  Yes.  I've reached my limit.  But, I did quickly come up with a more legitimate excuse, I had two kids in speech at the time and therefore would simply not have time!  There. 

Speaking of preschool, our Christmas program is tomorrow.  Poptart has a speaking part, as do each of the 4-year-olds.  Practice today was, well, a little chaotic, but I have no doubt they will be on their best behavior tomorrow....right?

After the program we will go back to the classrooms for our parties and then it's bye-bye until next year.  I can't believe it's Christmas break already.  I do believe this year is going by faster than last.  Scary.

And on a different but similar note, Brad finished his first semester at seminary!  I can't believe it!  It seems like just yesterday we were in such a quandry as to whether step out on faith and do the seminary thing.....but God has provided!  Praise the Lord!

Monday, December 14, 2009

I Really Wasn't Gonna Go There, But......

I can't stand it any longer.  Tiger, Tiger, Tiger. 

When I first heard the breaking news of the wreck in his driveway, I hoped for the best but expected the worst. 

 I'm not sure why stories like this intrigue me so much.  Cases like OJ, Anna Nicole, and the endless parade of politicians brought down by improprieties do interest me.  Like I said, I'm not sure why.  Maybe I wonder what power, money, fame would do to me.  Or better yet my husband.  Was there a character flaw there before they had everything at their disposal?  Or was it the power, money, and fame that brought them down?

Let's think about Tiger for a minute.  From what we knew, he was squeaky clean.  But we only knew what the media told us, and apparently the media was fed a fine-tuned image from Tiger and his "people".  But for years Tiger was the ultimate role model, and a heck of a golf player.  I mean, had you ever enjoyed watching golf before Tiger?  I certainly had not.  But I liked watching Tiger play golf.  (Knowing what we now know, isn't it even more amazing that he was so good at a game that requires so much concentration?  Since we now know he wasn't even thinking about golf?!?!?)

And then there was his dad.  What a sweet story.  Tiger and his dad.  I wonder what his dad would say to him now. 

But all that squeaky clean image came to a screeching halt when he ran into that tree.  Man, I bet he wishes he had just stayed in his house - seriously, isn't his house big enough to just get away from whomever you are trying to get away from? 

And since the accident, we've heard of all his women.  I have personally watched two of them be interviewed on The Today Show.  And here's what I say to them.  Shame on you.  Shame. On. You. 

I don't know what is going to happen to Tiger.  He has already lost one of his sponsors, and I'm certain more will follow.  Now he has announced an indefinite leave from golf.  Someone compared this *crisis* to the Kobe Bryant crisis.  They said it took Kobe at least a good five years to recover and reclaim his image, and that it would probably take that or longer for Tiger. 

Whether Tiger decides to stay in hiding the rest of his life (which I highly doubt), or if he decides to come forward and face the music and make a grand re-entrance into the celebrity world (he would need to do this quickly though, Oprah isn't gonna be around much longer), the public overall will be forgiving.  Especially men.  It might take us women a little longer to warm back up to him. 

Now, I'm going to go out on a limb here and say something most women would cringe at.  I hope Elin stays with him.  And I hope that years and years from now, when all the pain has subsided but not disappeared, they are stronger than ever.  They could be an example of a couple who puts their mind and heart and soul into saving their marriage and then proving it can be done. 

This, of course, depends mostly on Tiger's attitude and repentance.  He has to change.  I would not recommend Elin to stay otherwise. 

And I can't close without saying the most obvious thing....this family needs to find the loving arms of Jesus.  That will be the only way Tiger and Elin will ever truly find forgiveness, for themselves and for each other. 

Friday, December 4, 2009

Casting Crowns Concert


The concert was great....Brad thinks it was even better than the one we saw two years ago.  I do think they turned the volume down...didn't seem as loud this time.  We sat in the midst of a group from First Baptist Church of Houma, Louisiana.  Not a youth group, but an adult Sunday School class, who drove up just for the concert.  Very nice group of people! 

I hope Crowns comes back this way in a couple of more years!  And if you can, you oughta go see them....I think know you'd be blessed for it!
So you know what a huge Casting Crowns fan I am, right?  Check out their website and tell me where they're gonna be tomorrow night!  Yep, we're going to see Casting Crowns! 

I saw them almost exactly two years ago, and I can't wait to see them in concert again.  Once you are on their website, look up into the right hand corner and click on Preview Album.  This will allow you to listen to snippets of each song off their new album, "Until the Whole World Hears." 

Our favorite song on this new album is "At Your Feet."  Powerful song.  To me, this CD is more worshipful than their last few, and I am certain the concert will be a powerful worship experience as well. 

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Happy 9th Birthday!

Nine years.  That's how old Gogurt is today!  Well, tonight at 7:21 p.m. he will officially be 9 years old.  One more year until the double digits.....

You know how when you are pregnant everyone wants to tell you their "story?"  Well, I heard plenty of stories, good and bad while I was pregnant but, of course, my story ended up being my very own, not like anyone else's. 

A word of warning - if you are pregnant or trying to become pregnant, you may want to skip right to the pictures. 

I would like to share my story with you, and I'm gonna try not to exaggerate one bit. 

Nine years ago on the night of November 30th I started having contractions.  I was excited, scared, and doubtful all at the same time.  I had an appointment for the next Tuesday to be induced, but I was beginning to think I wasn't going to make it.  And I didn't.  Around midnight Brad took me to St. Tammany Parish Hospital in Covington, LA.  Since I was Group B Strep positive, I was immediately placed on an IV and placed in a room. 

I never had the goal of a drug-free birth, so I immediately began expecting drugs, of any kind, to stop my pain.  I was given Demerol and boy does that stuff work!  Later the epidural came and that was even better.  But then it would wear off and they would have to refill. 

Hours and hours and hours went by.  Family from Alabama and Mississippi had made it to the hospital expecting to show up in the nick of time but instead ended up having to wait for hours.  All total I think I was in labor about 17 hours.  Not fun. 

But the fun was just beginning!  I will never forget the moment it really got busy.  I was about to start pushing, the room emptied of family and filled with nurses.  I clearly remember rolling my tired head over to the right and seeing the little crib with the heat lamp finally on because there was about to be a baby lying in there.  I couldn't wait.  After all this time, I was about to meet my baby. 

So I started pushing, and of course it did not go smoothly.  I certainly won't go into much detail here, but why on earth that doctor did not do a C-section is beyond me.  But, he didn't, and FINALLY we had our bouncing baby boy. 

We did not find out ahead of time the sex of our baby.  It was a delivery room surprise.  And when it was announced "boy," I saw a little tear in Brad's eye. 

Whew.  It's over.  Relax.  Enjoy your baby.  Bond. 


Around midnight, it was time for me to arise from my bed and go to the bathroom.  Ahhh, the big bathroom test.  I failed.  I was in the bathroom, the shower was running nice and hot, and I was about to jump in.  Well, not really jump, but gingerly step in.  I knew I was feeling weird but I thought it must be normal.  Sounds began echoing and I got really sleepy. 


Woke up with Brad and nurses surrounding me.  I had passed out in the bathroom.  Okay, no biggie the nurse said.  Occasionally happens with the loss of blood from a delivery.  Just rest in bed for the night and we will try again in the morning. 

Morning came.  We tried again.  This time I made it to the bathroom and almost back to bed before passing out.  Fortunately I had nurses surrounding me (in case this happened) and I never reached the floor.  I didn't stay out for long this time, but when I woke up, the atmosphere had changed.  Something was wrong. 

The next day I was given a blood transfusion, 2 pints I believe.  The next day I was sent home.  And I wasn't ready.  At all. 

I was so weak I couldn't stand up and hold Gogurt at the same time.  My dear mother and mother-in-law took turns basically living with me so I could recuperate.  And it took a long, long time. 

Add to that the fact that Gogurt was not an easy baby, and you had a perfect prescription for postpartum.  I don't really think I ever clinically had postpartum depression, but I think I was close. 

Time went on and things got better and better mentally and physically.  We moved from Louisiana back to Mississippi when Gogurt was 8 months old.  We bought this house when Gogurt was 11 months old and we have been here ever since.  I never woulda thought it. 
So today makes 9 years.  It's gone by fast.  Too fast. 

Gogurt is in 3rd grade now and is a wonderful, smart boy.  He loves to play army and knows more about history than I do.  He also loves to read.  Hank the Cowdog is his current series of choice.  He, of course, loves to play video games and has been doing so since around 18 months of age.  He is not the perfect child, (surprise!) but I do see a very kind spirit inside of him.  (Except of course if he is dealing with his little sister but whatever). 

But apart from all that, I'm most proud of his decision last summer to ask Jesus into his heart.  He was saved at a Vacation Bible School and baptized a couple weeks later.  He is slowly growing in his faith, and as parents, that is the best reward in this world. 

I love you Gogurt.