Monday, September 29, 2008

Fireproof Defined

...capable of withstanding or preventing damage by fire.

To (almost) quote a line from the movie...being fireproof doesn't mean that a fire won't come, it just means that your marriage won't be damaged in the process.

Yes, we went to see the movie last night...and it was awesome. A tear had escaped my eye before the first scene was finished. There were so many scenes I could relate to and lessons I'd learned the hard way.

Such as, men and women are just wired differently. Men need respect. Women need love. And often the opposite sex doesn't even understand what those needs really are...what they really mean to that person.

Our church is going through a sermon series based on this movie, Fireproof, and Pastor Charles issued this Love Dare to the women (he offered a different one to the men)...

"What makes your husband feel respected by you?" and "What would you like to do this week to make him feel respected by you."

I have some homework to do on this. I think I know what makes Q feel respected, but I want to KNOW. So you know what? I'm just going to ask him. So, how about you? What makes you hubby feel respected?

**ok, I just couldn't not put the guys Love Dare on here's the guys challenge....

"What makes your wife feel loved?" and "What would you like to do this week to make her feel loved by you"

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Something New To Perfect

Quentin's brother, Warren, just moved home after 20 years, from Pennsylvania. The kids have never really had an opportunity to get to know Uncle Warren...I think he's been home three times since Mallorye was they're eating up their time with him.

Warren loves music. He had a band in PA and even has written some of his own songs. Well, it's no secret that we love music around our house too...and Warren has offered to teach the kids to play guitar. Blake had his first lesson yesterday and learned the "G" chord. He actually has picked up on it pretty quickly and is working on the "D" chord this week.

Here's some pix...doesn't he just look like a country singer??

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Right Kind Of Change

I found a new quote and put it on my sidebar.

"The right kind of change doesn't take you away from yourself, it wakes you up to yourself."

How many times have we tried to change to fit a mold, only to find it takes us further and further from who we really are. I love this quote and the fact that it focuses on change being something that makes you a better person...a better you. Not something that you're not...just you. I love that. It's the kind of change I seek in my life.

Things I know that need to change, to bring me back to who I am, to the better me;

*accountability...being real and transparent without fear of judgement
*hospitality...having friends over, hangin' out, enjoying the company of others
* is a must for me to lose weight and start taking care of myself, yoga pants and t-shirts are not things I find attractive for every day wear, just necessary at the moment. Lose weight. Get a new wardrobe.
*date night...hubby and I need this, and it has to become a priority

These are just a few and they're not based on what others think of me, but they're based on things I know that make me a better person. How do I know? Because at one time, I was doing these things...and I liked who I was then. I want that happy, confident, contagious person back.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

We're Home!!

It has been a long week. Mallorye (16) went in for her thyroidectomy Wednesday morning...early...5:30am early! By 7:30am we were in the surgery holding area and Mal was talking about Simba swimming through the gates of the Emerald City. Two of our pastors, Charles and Mike, came down and prayed with us, while a host of friends and family waited in the waiting room. All told, Mal had 16 people in the waiting room cheering her on and praying for her and countless people that were in their daily routines stopping to say a prayer. We are blessed, no doubt.

The surgery went well (2 hours in OR and 2 hours in recovery) and we settled in for our overnight stay in the hospital. More visitors. More phone calls. And of course more texts. I found it so amusing that the first thing she said when they got her to her room was, "where's my phone?"....the second? "Do you have a mirror?" Just like a teenager! For me, it was amazing to see that her neck sunk in where the goiter used to be. It's been there for so long and it was strange to see her "skinny neck" in it's place.

Wednesday night brought some pain and a dip in her calcium levels. We still thought we might get to go home, but they wanted to check her levels one more time at 8pm on Thursday before discharging us. Well, Katie bar the door. Her levels dropped again and she started having twitches and tingling in her hands and feet. Before the night was up, her entire body was numb and the doctor paid us a midnight visit. We whammied her with calcium and hoped for the best. She didn't have a drain tube or IV at this point, so we just waited on Mr. Calcium to cooperate. We passed the time coloring and putting together puzzles (thanks Katie W.). Her levels are still low, but they let us come home last night...Friday...a little more than an overnight stay...she was a little bummed...since she had a cute male tech taking care of her. She swears she could get his number given a little more time. LOL!

To spite the low calcium and tingling, she is doing great! I know it's only because so many people held her close in prayer. Thank you all! Enjoy some hospital pix!

A view of Mal's room...look at all the cute gifts she received...loved I'm tellin' ya!

My bed...doesn't it look comfy? Just like the Hampton Inn. Not.

2 days Post-Op and she looks better than I do! Beautiful!!

Model Behavior.

Posing with 2 of her gifts...the bear, Apple Trinity, is from her Small Group at church...the monkey, Molly, is from her brother and Adrienne...and the rest of the Chamber-Nelson gang!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

The Wait Is Over

By the time most of you read this, Mallorye (16) will be in surgery and I'll be trying to relax...Her surgery is scheduled for 7:30 this morning and should take around 2 hours. I know this is a common surgery...just not for me, having your thyroid removed is a big deal. So, if you don't mind...would you please lift her up in your prayers this morning?!

We will be in the hospital a few least obviously I won't be blogging, BUT I will update through twitter (on my sidebar)

I really do appreciate all of you thinking of us, encouraging us, and praying for us!

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Update on my Whining...

...well, it's Saturday morning and since I'm blogging...I guess you can figure out that I decided to stay home this weekend vs. going to the Women's Retreat. It was an agonizing decision, but once made, I felt at peace.

Today's plan: get the house in order for next week!

I know you people must think my house is a disaster. It's not. Only to me. I am extremely OCD when it comes to the house and being I have some things that need to get done before I can relax. Like laundry! And changing the sheets. And my ever cluttered desk. Other than that, the house is in good shape, but of course I'll dust, sweep, and mop anyway...because that's what I do.

I have some movies to watch later when I take a break and I'm planning on going to the rodeo it's not all work this weekend...just hard and heavy this morning.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Greatest Show On Dirt

Last night we were able to relax a little at the Northeast Arkansas Rodeo courtesy of some good friends, George & Colette. They were riding in the Grand Opening and needed someone to sit with their, we scored free tickets! Yeah!! Mal had a ballgame, so I took a friend from work, Kim...she loves going to the rodeo (and she's secretly ...or not so secretly...looking for a man...what better place) Anywho, the opening was awesome, paying tribute to our Policeman, Firefighters, and Soldiers who sacrifice daily for all of us and a remembrance of a 09/11 seven years ago. It was complete with fireworks, flags, and even a soldier propeeling from the ceiling! Awesome I tell ya!
Grand Opening of the Rodeo...that's my friends George & Colette in their Mounted Patrol uniforms.

This cowboy just couldn't hang for 8 seconds...bronc riding is tougher than it looks!

Not too bad.

My favorite part of the rodeo...the bull riding! Such an adrenaline rush!

Rudy ...taunting the bull...he's been at this for as long as I can remember going to rodeos.

Ava a sweet moment!

Ava Jo & Me...please don't look at the double chin!

Katie & my friend Kim

It was a great night and I really needed the relaxation and laughter! I'll be going back on Saturday night when they ride again...I'm sure I'll have some new pix then. I regret I didn't get any pictures of Boden, Blake or Quentin...aargh!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Do You Remember?

I remember.

I was sitting at my desk listening to the radio when the air waves were bombarded with confusion and reports of the terrorist attack. We all went upstairs to the break area and turned on the TV. I was stunned. As the wife of a soldier, I knew that this meant forever change. I knew immediately that America would not sit idly by and let this atrocity go unpunished. I knew we would seek out the evil that inflicted such horrific pain on all of us...and I knew that husband would be a part of that hunt.

I drove to the nearby school and picked up both of my children and held them close for 2 days. I needed to know they were safe. I needed to be with them, to protect them.

Seven years later...
My husband has served proudly in Iraq in the war on terror. I still struggle with the safety of our country, but I'm prouder to be an American today than I was seven years ago. I am on the mend...healing..finally. Today is the first 09/11 that I've worked since that day in 2001. I don't's always been such a sad day for me that I needed to be home ...mourning for what our country was.

But today...I'm rejoicing at all our country can be. I'm choosing to move forward. I'm choosing to heal.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Warning: I'm Whining!

Can I just be real with you guys for a minute?

I am struggling today....I feel like I'm torn into a million different directions. I try so hard not to disappoint people and follow through on my commitments, but I feel like this week...I'm coming up short on every side.

I have been a part of our Women's planning team at church for years and for the past 6-8 months we've been planning our Fall Retreat. Well, it's this weekend. The weekend before Mal's surgery. The weekend Q will be gone TDY with the National Guard. The weekend that Mal has to do Pre-Op for surgery and have her second visit to the physical therapist. THIS WEEKEND! I want to go so badly, but I feel torn...that I need to be at home getting things together for next week...being there for my daughter...taking care of my kids while their dad is away. Yet, I've committed to go to this retreat and my place there will have to be paid for regardless of whether I go or that could be well used next week when I'm staying at the hospital.

I have wrestled with this decision all week. My emotions are not to be trusted...I'm fearful of the surgery on Mallorye next week and all that it could mean...I'm anxious about insurance coverage and being off work for several days...I want my house to be in order before the surgery...I just have a million things running through my head...guilt...fear...frustration...anxiety. I know that none of that is from God, but I honestly don't know what to do.

I just don't know what to do.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Something To Think About

If Southside Community Church (insert your church name here) ceased to exist today, would anyone besides its members even notice?

This questions has been haunting me since Sunday night. What are your thoughts on this?

Monday, September 8, 2008

Summit at Southside

Matt & Jessica Maestas from Desoto Community Church

Last night was Summit for Southside Community Church and if you missed it, man I'm sorry. We had a guest speaker, Matt Maestas from Desoto, KS. My family first met Matt while in Kansas on the Summer Mission Trip. Well, let me tell ya...Matt brought it last night. He preached the Word of God with passion and challenged all of us to really seek what God is calling us to do... His main topic was on church planting, but I got way more than that out of it. Here's my highlights;

*What does it look like when Jesus moves into a neighborhood? What needs are met?

*If Southside ceased to exist would anyone, besides its members, notice? This one really hit home with me!!

*North America is the only continent where the church is NOT growing.

*Don't be afraid to pray the "Dangerous Prayer"....Lord, whatever you're calling me to do, I'm willing to do it.

I'm still digesting alot of what he said last night and asking myself, "what does God want from me and my family?" I prayed last night that God would help me to position myself to be useable by be able to move geographically if that's what he have a pocketbook that is able to help where I'm called. I have a long way to go, but willingness is definitely the first step!

Sunday, September 7, 2008

To Be Chosen

Tonight was Summit and it was so awesome (more on that at a later post), but the truly awesome part of tonight was after church. Our pastor and his wife asked our family to accompany them to her grandmother's house. We always take communion at Summit and her grandmother is homebound and nearing the end of her life...but she still wants to partake with the body of Christ. What an awesome privilege it was to bear witness of this servitude. I feel very honored that they asked us to go and be a part of such an intimate time. I know they could have taken any number of people from our congregation, but tonight...they chose our family. Tonight will go down as one of my favorite communions.

Thank you Jesus for shedding you blood for me...for being that I might have life....thank you for choosing me to be your daughter...a daughter of the King.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

National Anthem, Demolition Derby, & Sandals

...sure they go together!

Ok, so about 2 weeks ago my husband got a call from one of the guys at the National Guard Armory wanting to know if I could sing the National Anthem the first night of the Derby. In a weak moment, I said yes, not even thinking about what I was getting myself in to. I mean, I knew I would be there...hubby had to judge and I usually help in the concession stand...but this is the National Anthem and you don't want to SCREW IT UP!

Well, this week I got a little panicky about the whole thing and called in reinforcements! My best friend, Lisa. She was a lifesaver and didn't seem to mind that we got a few laughs at her expense.

Enter Exhibit #1
The Sandals

Lisa was totally not thinking when she got ready for the Derby. It has rained for the past several days and well...the Derby arena was just a muddy mess. We literally had to walk across about 10 feet of 3" mud to get to the platform where we would be singing. Luckily, one of the Guardsmen took us back across on his 4-wheeler! (thank you, Fred) Needless to say, Lisa's sandals and toes didn't fair too well in the mud and mire.

I talked her into staying and watching at least one heat...I think she was ready to kill She was so not prepared for the smoke, the noise, the being hit and rolled over. I have to's pretty redneck...but ever once in a while you gotta let that hick out! It's a whole lot like football for cars...last one standing (or in this case, the car still moving) wins.

It was a fun night for me. Just hangin' out with some friends ...Amy, David, Kim, Colette & Co., and Lisa. Everyone said we did great on the National Anthem and I didn't see anyone leave while we were singing. Thanks Lisa!!

*side note
my kiddos were at the Paragould vs. Tech football game...crosstown rivals...Paragould won 20-0 Yeah Paragould!!

Agony of Defeat

Mallorye has been such a trooper with her recent illness and injuries, but this week she finally had to concede.

First her leg and ankle...the swelling still has not gone down from the break 7 weeks ago. She's been playing volleyball on it for several weeks now and every night when she comes in, she has to prop it up and take some Advil. Finally, Wednesday night, she came to me and asked me to call the Orthopaedic doctor. I did, knowing it would mean the end of her volleyball season. He put her back in her stirrup brace and she starts physical therapy next week. This past Thursday we watched her play her last game as a Junior. Now to concentrate on getting her well and ready to play her heart out her Senior Year.

Due to the fact that her volleyball season is finished and her swallowing is becoming more and more compromised, I decided to call the surgeon and see if we could push up her thyroidectomy. We can. It's in 10 days! September 17th. She has a 4 day break at school that week and it seemed to be a good time to get this taken care of. I looked at her last night and tried to imagine what she'll look like without the goiter. Strange how it feels so much a part of her that it's almost sad to lose it. I know it needs to be done for her health...physically and mentally...but just let me tell ya...this week has been emotional for this mama with all these things going on in my little girls' life.

Please pray for us. Specifically for;
*quick recovery and healing for Mallorye
*wisdom on the part of the doctors and nurses
*insurance to cover these expenses
*strength for Quentin and I
*Blake to have patience while sis takes the front seat

Thank you guys! I'll be back on the blog later...must blog about the Derby and National Anthem!

Tuesday, September 2, 2008


I just got home from my Monthly Marker Club Meeting and waiting on Mallorye to get home from her volleyball game in West Helena. This is the first game I've ever missed of hers since 7th grade...but West Helena is a 3-1/2 hour drive and I just couldn't leave work today. She's texted me and said they won...yeah!! It just seems so strange to wait for her to come home and not have to pick her up. I'm still not used to her driving...wondering if I ever will be.

I guess life is all about changes. I feel them all around me. The seasons are changing...the harsh heat of summer is starting to submit to the milder fall air. My kids are changing...growing more and more into the adults that they're meant to be. Even relationships are changing. I've made some really neat friends lately and it's awesome to see how God is blessing those relationships. Some of the changes are welcome while others are hard to swallow. I'm not sure what God is doing right now in my life....decluttering certain areas...but I'm open to His leading and I suppose that is truly the important part.

I know that nothing stays the same and I've heard it said..."if you're not changing, you're not growing" is for this reason that I embrace the changes, even the ones that are difficult.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Mosaic Meme'

1. Ginger 2. Southern Cooking 3. Stanford High School 4. Red 5. Patrick Dempsey (if I have to choose) 6. Mountain Dew 7. Reading on the Beach 8. Chocolate 9. Stay At Home Mom
10. My Family 11. OCD 12. gbales

This was a fun meme I found at Monica's, here are the details if you want to make your own!Here’s how it works:
a. Type your answer to each of the questions below into Flickr Search.

b. Using only the first page, pick an image.

c. Copy and paste each of the URLs for the images into fd’s mosaic maker. Choose 3 columns with 4 rows.

The Questions:

1. What is your first name?

2. What is your favorite food?

3. What high school did you go to? (or, What year did you graduate high school?)

4. What is your favorite color?

5. Who is your celebrity crush?

6. Favorite drink?

7. Dream vacation?

8. Favorite dessert?

9. What you want to be when you grow up?

10. What do you love most in life?

11. One Word to describe you.

12. Your flickr name. (kid version: favorite animal?)