Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Christmas 2008...Part 4...The Finale

Ok, first I have to add to my Christmas Eve post, as my mom reminded me of actually one of my favorite traditions....I Saw It First. I think I did mention it around Thanksgiving, when the game started, but Christmas is when we wrap this game up. This year I gave my Aunt Jane (who always wins) a run for her money, as did my Aunt Liz...but guess what...I forgot my list!! I couldn't believe it! I got out to my aunt's for Christmas and realized I'd left my list at home and it couldn't be counted. It was still a close race between Aunt Jane and Aunt Liz, but alas, Jane won...again! Everyone loves doing this game and I think my mom loves coming up with the list and the prize. (*by the way...pray for my's her last day to smoke...she's quitting )

On to Christmas day....

I woke up early and waited for the kids until I couldn't stand it any longer and woke them up. I know...I'm worse than any Santa was on a budget this year, but we still managed to have some things under the tree that everyone loved.

The kids made it to the living room, but just wasn't quite feeling the Christmas spirit just
Quentin got a much needed new shirt

Blake opening up "Something he needs"....clothes....his fave gift? Camo Crocs
Mallorye and a really kewl sweater from cannot go wrong with teenage girls if you buy them clothes.

The stocking's.....with a new game for the fam...Apples to Apples

I've had a Garmin on my list for most of the year and finally got one for Christmas...definitely my favorite gift this year

Blake & Mallorye posing in front of the fireplace...after showers of course

And a close up ....hard to believe that next year Mallorye will be a senior and be preparing to leave the nest....

After presents, Quentin's parents and his brother came over for Christmas breakfast....eggs, bacon, biscuits, gravy, pancakes, and juice...yum!
Most of the day was spent just lazing around, which was perfect! I watched Tinkerbell with Mal...all snuggled up on her bed, and the guys watched football. Later on in the day, we visited my Grandma Vines and dad.
This Christmas was alot less about what we get materialistically...and much more about being a family. Couldn't be better.
I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and that the New Year is full of new experiences and wonder. Happy New Year!

Monday, December 29, 2008

Christmas 2008...Part 3

Finally, Christmas Eve...
I had to work a 1/2 day, but it was worth it for a 4-day weekend...AND we had a work party!

That's my boss getting a big helping of cheese dip...and the rest of the guys

Office staff...Amy (boss' daughter), Kim (boss' daughter) and Me

Me & Amy with Patsy (boss' wife)...are you seeing a pattern? LOL....who also works in the office

The office staff exchanged gifts and I got some cool new scrapbooking toys to put to good use now that I have a little free time....the guys ate food...and Gerald gave us our bonus including an extra day off with pay...which I'm extremely grateful for :)

That evening, we headed to my mom's to celebrate Christmas with her & Jack and my sister, Tiffany. Remember my last post? Never a dull moment? Well, my sister and her husband got pulled over for having a headlight out (they had the replacement bulb on the dash, just not installed) and they couldn't find proof of insurance or her husband driver's license (he was driving). Luckily, the trooper was feeling generous and they only received a warning and a seat belt violation. Whew!

They finally made it to mom & Jacks' and we ate some great finger food and exchanged ....more livestock this time, but Blake did get a rabbit trap.

Mom & Jack showing off the Camping Scrapbook I made for them.

Quentin & his new apron that mom made and embroidered for him...."Grill Sergeant"

Mallorye showing off probably her favorite gift....a gas card from Aunt Tiffany

Blake & his rabbit trap...funny thing is, he helped build it and had no idea it was for himself

Me showing off a folk painting mom made and painted for me to go in my kitchen

Me & my sister Tiffany....our relationship has gotten so much better over the past 3 years and we finally act like sisters.....
And sometimes we act crazy....I love her!

Grandma Pat & the new silverware

Caleb opening his birdhouse & binoculars that Jack made for him...well, he didn't make the binoculars, but what good is a birdhouse without something to watch the birds with?

Little Daniel & his new flannel shirt from Aunt Gin-Gin (aka me)...he loves button up shirts and looks pretty awesome in green!
Most of the gifts were handmade and of course we all got our Santa bags with yummy treats from momma's kitchen, including the infamous "walnut"

Blake's walnut and it's contents
The kids think this is so cool when they get a walnut with money in it. My Great Grandma started this tradition a long time ago and it's of the things I love about Christmas.
I love the old traditions and now, some of the new.
Ok, we're almost there. Are you still with me? Tomorrow's post is Christmas Day!

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Christmas 2008...Part 2

.....continuing on...

Tuesday night was Christmas at my Aunt Liz's with my entire extended family. There is never a dull moment...

leave it to my kid to cut his finger on a book light...and I'm not sure why in a house of boys that my aunt didn't have any Bandaids...but we had to make do with gauze and electrical tape
Blake sporting his boo-boo...notice the Hollister hoodie he got from his girlfriend

My sister and her boys...Daniel & Caleb

Cuddlin' Cousins...Colten & Mallorye...these 2 really have grown close over the past few years and now that Colten's in college, Mal doesn't get to see him quite as often

Little Logan seeing his gift from Aunt Deb .....a live goat! I am NOT kidding! He said he wanted a goat for Christmas so he could rope it and a goat he did get...only in my family!

My family...Quentin, Me, Mallorye, & Blake
This was at the end of the night and we were pooped and ready to get home, but as always, we had a great time hanging out with my family...chaos and all.
We still have a few more days of tune in tomorrow!

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Christmas 2008....Part 1

I don't know about your house, but around here we don't just celebrate Christmas Day...we celebrate Christmas WEEK!

Our Christmas festivities began last Friday...the opening night of Festival of the King. Let me just tell ya, it was worth every ounce of sweat and tears. Nearly 1,000 people attended over the course of the weekend and I know of at least 3 salvations.
We had a great time building friendships with new people....(at Chili's every night after and I discovered that I actually like being in Drama's.
Here's a few pix...

Adrienne (Flag Dancer) & Mallorye (Stick Fighter)...don't you love the make up?!

Jenny (Leyla) and Me (Mourning Woman)...I didn't even have a name...during one of the most emotional scenes in the production

The Mourning Woman crying out for the people who continue to reject Christ

The final scene....rejoicing at the Coming of the King
That takes us through last Sunday....
Monday we went to the Graham's for Chicken and Dumplings, racing on the Wii, and a competitive round of Bible Outburst...where the girls won! Woo Hoo! It's really great to have Christian friends to hang out with...and it's nice that our kids are close in age and get along! Friends, Food, Fellowship....some of God's blessings this Christmas season.'ll have to stay tuned for the rest of Christmas week with our families and more friends.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

The Night Before....

....I'm like a kid on Christmas Eve. We just got home from our final dress rehearsal of Festival of the King and man am I pumped! I have never really been in a play or musical, so I guess you could say this is my "acting" debut. And this is such an incredible story....the story of how the King of Kings came to live among us...I mean, how could you not be excited about that.

Also, my "nearest and dearest" friends and family are coming to support and cheer us on. Many of them have never heard me sing...and none of them have seen me! My co-workers, aunt, and scrapping bud are coming tomorrow....Q's family is coming on Saturday...and my family is coming Sunday morning.

There's still room for you. Come check us won't be disappointed.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Old Man Winter

Old man winter paid a visit to Arkansas last night and left us with a nice covering of the white! The wind blew our patio furniture around and the sky deposited a nice coat of ice on everything.

This was my porch last night as it was still coming down.

And this afternoon, the roads are still slick, but we're starting to thaw out....we're up to 27 degrees!! A heat wave!

I was actually excited to see the ice....because I knew it meant I would be "stuck" at home...and well let's face it, lately that hasn't been happening. So I took the opportunity to put some ornaments on the tree and hang the stockings. I usually go all out for Christmas decorating, but this is as much as I can handle this year. I even managed to get my cards out this week.

And what's that under the tree? Yes! I even got a few presents wrapped. Now, if I could just finish my shopping!!
I'm thinkin' tonight we may sit down as a family and actually play a game! {gasp} Blake has really been wanting to play a board game and I think tonight is the perfect setting.

Thursday, December 11, 2008


What do you do when you find yourself at a crossroad where either choice is going to be a difficult road? Do you choose the lesser of two evils? Do you do nothing and let the choice choose you?

I'm at a hard spot.

My emotions are all over the place and I've yet to allow myself to feel their full effect. On the outside things are wonderful, but on the inside...well, it's an entirely different situation.

I'm trying really hard to just seek God and allow Him to work in me and through me. Not an easy task for an OCD control freak. LOL.

In the meantime, I keep extending grace. I keep praying. I keep hoping. And I wait...

...I wait for a clear path and direction.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

The King Is Coming

Where is December? I's only the 8th, but I feel like it's just slipping by so quickly. It is such a busy ministry season and this year is definitely no exception. I'm really trying to focus on Christ and the fact that during Christmas we celebrate not just His birth, but the fact that He came to earth to save the's about the Coming of the King. He came...for die for that when He comes again we will be able to be with Him. I think we forget that. We think of Christmas and automatically go to this little baby in a manger. Christ' coming was so much more than that!!

We are 9 days away from our opening night of Festival of the King....this play tells the story about the Coming of the King and I'm so excited to be a part of it. For a congregation of 500, a production that has around 40 actors, is huge God thing! Not to mention the tech crew, costume people, hospitality, props, stage crew, and all the other volunteers that have worked tirelessly to make this production come alive! We have put in countless hours because we want to see lives changed...for people to understand that God came for us...and that He is coming back again to take us home.

Prayer Needs;
**strength to finish strong
**health of our actors/singers
**patience with one another
**salvation of the lost that will see this production
**open hearts and minds of everyone who comes to hear this story

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Just Curious...

One thought rolling around in my head today.... long are we considered "post-deployment?" And when do we start feeling like a normal family again...a normal couple?

Ok, that was two thoughts, but hey who's counting?!

Monday, December 1, 2008

Festival Of The King

Ok, these pictures are in reverse order, but I did not feel like messing with Blogger

We are diligently working on our Christmas Production at church and Quentin was able to snap some pictures tonight at rehearsal.

Me, singing the closing song, "Coming Of The King"

The grand finale'....singing and dancing included

Our pastor's wife, Denise, playing the part of Mary...singing "Pouring Over Me"

Our Pastor Charles, as Joseph, and the Stick Fighters (Mallorye is one of them) during the most impactful part of the production..."The Battle Within"

Me again, singing "And The People Cried"...with Leyla (aka Jenny) showing compassion for God's people and their plight...this is a very moving and powerful scene.
This is going to be an awesome production and I can't tell you how many hours have been put into making it a success...we began in September... If you live anywhere close to Paragould, Arkansas and would like to attend ...let me know and I will make sure you have a ticket! You definitely don't want to miss it!

Lights of the Delta

I am so behind on blogging...I'm not even sure where to begin. (I think I should've participated in at least I would've been accountable to post this past month) Anyway, thought I'd start with the most recent...

This past weekend, Mallorye competed in her first Preliminary Pageant. It was a much bigger deal than we realized, but we so enjoyed the experience, and learned a ton!! Like, always have a back up plan!

The weekend started on Friday afternoon with a 5 HOUR rehearsal! These people are seriously hard-core. The girls got some really neat gifts and then went on a tour of the Festival of Lights, complete with caroling, hot cocoa, and pictures with Santa! We drove back home and got in bed around midnight (next time we rent a room!)

The gifts...fleece blanket, tote bag, monogrammed soda koozie, leather day planner, a hoodie, and lots of candy and chocolate!

Saturday morning found us getting make up done at 7:30am! Then on to hair, where our first catastrophe happened. The lady never showed up to do her hair. Thank God for Colette! We ended up just going natural with her long straight hair...hey whatever works! Her interview was 11am...and she feels like she did really well on that...then at 2pm she competed in On Stage Question (aced that one!), and Talent...we need to work on the talent competition. At 7pm, the final stage of competition began with Active Wear (she looked awesome) and Evening Gown. Although we didn't come home with a crown, we did have an awesome experience, made new friends, and gained valueable knowledge.

Mallorye before interview

Mallorye killing time after the interview...she thought this sign was neat since her platform is "Heart of Hollywood" Organ Donation Awareness

Mallorye in her opening number outfit...getting ready to go back stage

Now to get ready for the next one!!