Thursday, December 29, 2011

"You Gotta Be a BIG Girl"

So lately I have been trying to help Natalie get ready for this life changing event that is coming her way in less than 6 months by trying to get her to "be a BIG girl" Of course, she has NO IDEA was is going to happen when Davis #2 pops into her world. She has been acting like a mommy and playing with her babies for a while now and thanks to my mom and dad she now has a stroller and pack-n-play/bed for her babies as well. She loves holding and rocking them and she was constantly come up to Chris and I and "Shhhh" us and say "Elmo is sleeping" or she will run down the hall and yell "Oh no, Elmo crying". I guess it is just natural instincts for little girls to play with dolls and play "mommy" with their babies.

We have been telling Natalie about her brother/sister and she will kiss the baby every night when she goes to bed. She has also learned the boy and girl names we have chosen and she will ask "Where is ______" occasionally. She will also say "I love you baby" as she goes to sleep. It is really sweet.

As mentioned above, in my preparations to get her ready to be a BIG SISTER and Big Girl... I have been talking to her more like a little human and not a toddler. We have transferred her over to a twin sized bed in preparation for the baby needing the crib and she seems to like it. The past few night she has been a little scared of her bed for some reason. Tonight, for example, she asked to go to sleep and then when she got in her bed she got scared and began to whine. Chris tried to get her to go down but she would not even lay down. I took over and went in there and talked to her about being a big girl and getting ready to be a big sister. "Natalie, a big girl and a big sissy cannot cry in their bed or then the baby will cry too. You have to be a big girl and you cannot cry." She said "Ok Mommy. No cry" I then told her that we were supposed to go to the Houston Zoo tomorrow and we will only take her if she is a Big Girl. Her response was "Yeah... Natalie a big girl now." She curled up with her 18 stuffed animals (No kidding) and layed her head on her pillow. She closed her eyes and said "Go night mommy. I wake up then milk and the Zoo!!" (I love how she just HAD to get that glass of milk in BEFORE the zoo!) I kissed her and then left. She has been quite and not made a noise since then!

Now if this would only work with potty-training!!!!!!!
(Side note- Please pray for me on this front. She is ready but practically afraid of the toilet)

I love my Big Girl and Big Sister! I think with a few more months, she will be ready! As always...

God is Good... ALL THE TIME!

The Davis Family Christmas Traditions

During the Christmas weekend with Chris' family, I was able to recall the traditions me and my family shared during the Christmas holidays as well as listen to the traditions of my in-laws. This led me to start thinking about the traditions I was to create with my family. What better time to start these traditions than now! I have thought of a few that I would like to do with my kids and I hope to begin these Christmas 2012.

The Davis Family Christmas Tradition #1

Happy Birthday Jesus
I actually started this tradition during Christmas 2010. I would like to always be able to take time on Christmas day to celebrate the true meaning of Christmas; Jesus' birth. I think especially with young children, what better way to celebrate this than with a cupcake/ cake for Jesus. In 2010 we used a small cupcake and lit 1 candle in the middle of it. We all sang "Happy Birthday" to Jesus and then Natalie ate a little of the cupcake. In 2011 this tradition became even more special since Natalie and I had been practicing "Happy Birthday" during our singing time in the bathtub and Natalie was able to sing along with us. While I was video-taping this event, a little tear rolled down my cheek as I saw my little girl grow up. After the singing, Natalie blew out the candle by herself and then licked all of the icing off of the cupcake (She didn't really want the cake part but just the icing... I guess she really is MY kid!) Uncle John brought to my attention about needing 2 or 3 cupcakes in the near future so I think I will start using a cake when that time comes! (Thanks for the heads-up though John!)

The Davis Family Christmas Tradition #2
The Reading of the Christmas Story and prayer
I am sure this was a tradition of alot of Christian families but I want to keep this in my family. I have found a small kids book with the Christmas Story in it and I plan on using it in addition to the Bible when my children are of reading age. This past year my dad also gave Natalie a recordable story-book featuring the "True Meaning of Christmas" in which he reads the story to her. I hope this will continue to mechanically work for the next 20 years too! I love that. I hope to be able to pray with my kids and have them pray as well after we read the story of the birth of Jesus. I read from the Gospel of Luke to Natalie on Christmas night when I put her to bed and then the Story-book from Poppy as well so this tradition was started in 2011.

The Davis Family Christmas Tradition #3
Christmas Crafts
Even though I am NOT the art teacher and I am NOT very crafty... I would like to start making a small craft with my kids on Christmas Eve. This would include but not limited to: creating a Reindeer or Nativity Scene on a plate or some other craft supply or creating an ornament for the Christmas tree. I had hoped to start this tradition this year but it will just have to wait until 2012.

The Davis Family Christmas Tradition #4
Christmas Eve PJs
Again, another tradition I am sure LOTS of families do. I never really did this with my family but since we were almost always traveling to the Grandparents house on the 23rd or so, it was not very feasible. I would like to be able to dress my kiddos in matching PJs on Christmas Eve and then have them wake up on Christmas morning to open their gifts together! I would also like for Chris and I to wear PJs during this process. I think with the newest addition to our family in 2012, we should be able to pull this one off next year!

Overall, I wish to be able to have traditions that will bring to my kids attention the true meaning of Christmas: The birth of Jesus Christ. This year on our Christmas card we wrote:
"We are keeping CHRIST in "Christmas" and we hope you do too"
I want this to be my family's Christmas motto and I hope I can instill this into my children at a very young age.

Merry Christmas to all and until next year...

God is GOOD... ALL the time!

Merry Christmas 2011

The Greatest Gift This Season: FAMILY
Natalie, Chris and I were able to spend Christmas with both of our families. This was the first time since Chris and I were married that we were able to get to be with both families at Christmas time. We still we unable to be with both on Christmas Day but within the week of Christmas is still a major improvement for us. In years past we have only been able to be at one of their houses on Christmas and Thanksgiving (Alternating between his family and mine). But now since we live so close to each side, we were able to spend alot of time with each during both holidays.

We spent Christmas with my parents in Arp, TX the weekend preceding Christmas. This was great because we were able to get together and celebrate Jesus' birth without the major headache of a Christmas "dinner". We celebrated a true "Texans" way with Mexican food all around. We made Chicken Enchiladas, Queso, and specialty rice. It was as my sister would say... "Yumsters!". We also had our annual "Bake-off" which featured bars this year. Allison made a fancy chocolate bar called "Cant Leave Them Alone Bars" while Chris made a very tasty bar featuring Pecans called "Pecan Goodie Bars". I went with a traditional Blondie that satisfied my non-chocolate taste but didn't win over the judges. In the end, Allison came home with this years Award and will have bragging rights for the next year. I am thinking next year I will have to play the chocolate card just to try to win it!

We were able to see all of Chris' immediate family over Christmas weekend and celebrate Jesus' birth with them over a somewhat traditional Christmas meal. Last year we fried a turkey for Thanksgiving with the Davis family and this year we decided to try a "TUR-DUCK-EN". Chris and I had ate this before last Christmas with my family and we LOVED it! It was so tasty and delicious. Chris had found a place down here that specialized in stuffed meat and decided to get one for the Davis Christmas Dinner. We were all so very excited about it. In fact, Chris was so excited about it that while basting it on Christmas Eve afternoon, he dropped some of the juices on his foot and burnt it! Poor Guy! With this Tur-duck-en we had a variety (a very LARGE variety) of side dishes including; Green Bean Casserole, Mashed Potatoes, Sweet Potatoes, Leeanna's Famous Mac and Cheese (It may not have been famous before but... IT IS NOW! It was "Yumsters") as well as about 5 other side dishes. Our poor refrigerator was FULL with leftovers after this ARMY-SIZED meal! Overall it was a wonderful meal.

While together with Chris' family we played card games including Skip-Bo. This was a game I used to play with my grandma which made me think of her and miss her and all of my extended family alot. This led me to start thinking about Christmas' past and all of the "traditions" we had. We spent a great deal of time on Christmas day sharing "traditions" with each other. It was so interesting to hear all of the family traditions every had. For example, one of Chris' family's traditions is putting together a puzzle at Christmas time. This year they were able to put together a LSU puzzle and Natalie actually got to help! Leeanna and I pretty much had the same Holiday traditions and festivities which included traveling to see our family! This discussion led me to think about the traditions I was to create with MY OWN family! And now that we are going to be a family of 4, I think I can begin most of these Christmas 2012. These will be highlighted and detailed in one of my following posts.

I am so grateful to have such wonderful family members and I will be forever grateful for their love for me and my family. Thank you Mom and Dad for a great Christmas in Arp. We loved EVERY minute. Thank you also Allison for finding time to come and spend that weekend with us. It would not have been the same without you! Thank you Dan and Jackie for your continuous support for Chris and I, not only in the form of a roof over our heads but in so many other ways as well. Thank you D'Ann, John and Leeanna for also coming and spending the Christmas holiday with us. We loved spending that time with y'all!

Another Christmas in the books. Just think... next year we will be a family of FOUR!

God is good... ALL THE TIME!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Prenatal Visit #3

Wednesday, December 14, 2011
The Heartbeat
Today I went in for my 3 month prenatal visit. I was 13 weeks and 1 day. Things are still looking great and I was "right where I need to be" in the words of my doctor. He checked to make sure all was well and the due date was the same (I am not sure how he can still judge this but... he did). I am still due June 19, 2012 and he will take him/her on June 10-12.

I seemed to have gained a little more weight than I would have liked to but the doctor didn't seem to be too worried about it. I was the one that brought it up and his response, much like that of my husband, was "You're pregnant". You see I had worked long and hard (over a year) to lose the 65 pounds I had lost right before I found out I was pregnant. Since the beginning of this school year I had dwindled off my very strict diet little by little but as soon as I found out I was pregnant, I began to eat like a normal person again and I think my body has just now caught up to my eating change. I have not really been eating for two yet but I have not been sick this time around either (I am not complaining about this!!!!) Overall I have gained about 6 pounds in my 13 weeks of pregnancy. That is a lot to me and I just look at the scale and begin to get depressed thinking about how hard I worked to get down to a good weight and now watching those numbers get higher and higher each week/ month/ doctor visit. In spite of the holiday food craves coming, I have been pretty good this past week in eating healthy. I have tried to stay away from sweets and only eat fruits and vegetables as often as I can. Hopefully next time (only 10 days after the holidays are over!!!!) I will not have gained so much!

I have officially begun my 2nd trimester and I am feeling GREAT (Thus far). Compared to Natalie Grace and her pregnancy, I barely even know I am pregnant half the time. I have only gotten morning sickness a few times in my 1st trimester and I have not been too weak or mental exhausted like last time. I have been tired but I blame that more on the fact I have to get up at 5am each and every day for school not my pregnancy. I am hoping this lack of sickness and problems means it is a boy!!!

Most important from this doctor's visit was the location and hearing of the heartbeat. The doctor was able to locate the baby and find it's heartbeat rather quickly and I got to hear that precious "pitter-patter" of yet another miracle and blessing from Above. It is amazing how faint and small that sound is yet so powerful. I am amazed after hearing that how people can end this life of such a blessing just because it is not a good time for them. That makes me so sad. I am so very grateful and blessed God has chosen me to be this little boy/ girl's mother and I cannot wait for June 19 to get here!
Thank you Lord for Your continued blessings.

I go in for a "gender check" on January 11 and as long as the baby cooperates, I will know if I have my little boy or not! THINK BLUE please!!!! Either way... it is a dream come true and a true blessing from God!

God is Good... All the Time!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Different? or Polar Opposites?

So today at school I am trying to run through my Christmas musical and all chaos broke out. Basically everything I had worked on and taught my kids was over-ruled by my team and leader and thrown out the window. I am trying to work on a very structured and professional concert and somehow it got turned into the "Redneck Show" from down the street. I tried to lay out my instruments in a very structured and professional way and they decided to throw my instruments in large containers (pickle buckets) and call it good. This made the students have to adjust to this change and then more chaos broke out.

Earlier this week I was told I can not take roll of which kids are there and which kids are not. In the past I have always done a head count at least to see who has shown up the concert. I do understand that I am teaching in a MUCH different environment that I am used to and I have the adjust to that myself but they are just so flippant about it all. I was told "too many parents work and cannot get their kids up here". I tried to make it a commitment thing and again, they "nixed" that and I am left with whoever shows up. I just don't know how I am supposed to conduct an even half-way decent concert and performance if I cant do it my way or I have to just "half-butt" it as I like to call it. That is so not me at all and I hate it. My name is going to be all over this show and it will be a reflection of me not just the school or music department.

While I was working at my previous position I was talking to my principal and administration about the thoughts and plans for Chris and I to move to Houston and be closer to family. I shared with them my dream of becoming a college band director and teaching at the collegiate level someday. We talked for a while about dreams and aspirations and actual turn -outs and my principal gave great insight to me which I ponder about all the time. She said "You know, sometimes WE have plans and everything is planned out but what about God's plan. Your plan and God's plan may not be the same. You need to brace yourself." I took that statement with me but still thinking I would get there one day. After a day like today and the school year and position I am in right now, I wonder if she is right. Alot is going on in my life right now and I just don't see that dream of mine coming into play anytime soon. Yet at the same time, I don't even see me wanting to teach anymore after a day like today. I am beginning to wonder if not only mine and God's plans were the same but are POLAR OPPOSITES! Maybe I am not even on the same road as He is.

I am really struggling with my job right now and trying to make through each day. I have prayed and prayed for a better attitude and outlook on the whole ordeal and I feel better but then as soon as I get a decent vibe, I am right back where I began. I have ALWAYS loved teaching and loved being with the kids. Even when I was at my very first job, which was also not what I thought it was going to be, I still liked teaching band and enjoyed making a difference in the kids lives. Right now, I feel as if this is just a job and paying my bills. I don't have that passion I used to have. This really scares me. Just another moment of "You don't know what you got until it's gone."

My motto for most of my posts is "God is good... All the Time". I do believe this and I that is why I make a point to put it in my posts. I know God is going to take care of me and my job situation and struggles. I just have to give it to him. Of course, we all know, that is the hardest thing to do. I covet your prayers for me and my job! But yet again...

God is Good... All the time!

Friday, November 25, 2011

Thanksgiving Week 2011: Day #5

Friday, November 25, 2011
Black Friday 2011
Today and I grateful for many things but I am most grateful that I made it out alive of the Black Friday Sales. My family and I went to several Midnight deals and got some incredible steals. We began with Toys R Us who opened at 9pm on Thanksgiving night. We noticed the parking lot was full but failed to see the 1/3 mile+ line wrapped around the back of the store. At 9pm the security officer told us that they are going to only let 15 people in at a time every 10 minutes. We thought that was crazy but we decided to get into line anyway. Well the officer did not lie to us or over-exaggerate... they really only let 15 people in at a time every 10 minutes!!! This was very frustrating since we only moved about 50 yards or so between 9 and 9:35pm. We gave up and tried Walmart.

Wow... this was an experience I will NEVER forget. We got there about 10 minutes before the 10pm toys and other deals were revealed. We got into the ticket line for a few large items I was purchasing for my family and in-laws (Cannot reveal the items since these people read my blog!!!!) As I was getting into my line a few people decided to try to take 1 of the 12 volt Convertible Cars before the 10pm time slot. All of the sudden a Walmart associate comes running screaming "It is not 10 yet". She then calls security. I lean over the isle to see about 10-20 ADULTS fighting over a Barbie Car. One guy jumped on top of the 5 remaining cars and yells if I can take one, then no one can. Tyler Police Officers came running and then shoving and pushing began. All in all, one person was arrested and there was a lot of blood on the floor. All for a Barbie Car!!! Sorry Natalie Grace, you do NOT get one of those.

I had my mom wait in the line for my sister's gift and Allison wait in line for my mom's gift. Mom's line had a ticket and so we knew we would get that item because we were #27 out of 81 people. Allison's line did not have tickets and an associate in Electronics told her "Just stand over there and form a line and at midnight we will bring them out". Well thanks lady, we knew that. Allison was the fourth person in this line. Dad and I kept going and getting all the other stuff on our lists and checking on mom and Allison. Dad and I noticed that the electronics was a little crazy as midnight approached so we left mom in line with her ticket and came to help Allison. I got there about 11:40 and the manager told us to get in line for the Electronics cashier and then tell what you want and he will give it to us. Ummm... No sir. I got up there and told him we had been in line for 2+ hours and just getting in the already 10 people deep electronic line would not work. People on the other side of electronics were in line for Ipods and they started cursing at the manager and yelling and more fights broke out. Eventually, they had the electronic cashier line wait so my line and the Ipod line could get our items! As I was leaving a large family said "I hope you are happy with your item!" I turned around and said "You bet I am! Merry Christmas!" What an adrenaline rush!! I am sorry they had to wait for us but we had been in line for 2+ hours! I got my item so all is well!

We got almost EVERYTHING I went for at Walmart and my family and in-laws will appreciate my efforts when they get their gifts!!!! At about 12:30am we left Walmart and went to Macy's. Mom and Allison got a few items there and I got another gift. I then tried to go back to Toys R Us for my small toys for Natalie. But of course, all the rest of Tyler was there at 9pm and got all of my items. I was able to get one toy for Natalie but all of the others were sold out already. Finally, my dad took me to Best Buy to try to get items for my brother and sister in-laws. It was about 1am and there was still a line outside of Best Buy so I will have to get their gifts later!

We came home about 2am and went to sleep. We left the house about 10am and got back at it today. We only lasted about 3 hours before we came home for someones nap... And I DON'T mean Natalie! Yeah... I had to take a nap too!

Overall, I got all of the gifts I wanted to get and more. I have such a giving spirit this year and I cannot wait to continue this feeling throughout the holiday season. Without the grace of God and His continued blessings on me and my family, I would not have this opportunity. As I mentioned in previous posts, I am incredibly lucky to have the ability to give back this year and I thank God for this ability.

This Thanksgiving week I have taken time to be thankful and grateful for God's blessings but I could take the rest of the year and the days until next Thanksgiving to count all of my blessings ONE BY ONE!

God is good... ALL THE TIME!!!!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Why I LOVE my husband

Chris Davis and the Fried Turkey
On Monday I wrote my first Thanksgiving blog about my many blessings and thanking God for these blessings. I mentioned in this blog my husband and how lucky I am to have him. I also mentioned how I appreciate his sense of humor. My family immediately asked me "Are you really appreciative of that?" I have never really had a sense of humor and Chris ALWAYS does. Today is a GREAT example of Chris and his sense of humor.

We had made a list of all of the Thanksgiving meal and who was in charge of what. Chris was put in charge of frying the Turkey. He decided to make a list of the schedule for frying his turkey. This schedule looked like this:

11:00- Check to see if turkey is thawed. If not, commence warm bath
11:30- Bathroom and Coke break
11:40- Pull turkey out of bath and commence drying with paper towels
12:00pm- Play with Natalie (I am sure she is appreciative of this)
12:10- Finish drying the turkey
12:11- Assemble the fryer
12:20- Pour oil in the fryer and heat oil
12:30- Inject Turkey with Marinade
12:40- Rub Turkey with dry rub
1:00- Put turkey in fryer
1:05- Bathroom break
1:10- Coke or tea break
1:15- Check turkey
1:20- Small break to ponder life's eternal questions (*This is why I love him)
1:30- Pester cooks in Kitchen (*Again... GOTTA LOVE HIM)
1:40- Begin preparations for pulling turkey
1:45- Pre-meal meditation (*hahaha... I am still laughing about this one)
1:50- Pull turkey out of the fryer and hang off side to let dry
1:55- Move turkey to Kitchen for slicing
2:00- Let the party begin

There is a small thing he forgot about...
4:00- Trade out my pants for Kellie's maternity pants
(Otherwise known as "THANKSGIVING PANTS!"... you know from FRIENDS!!!!)

That is why I appreciate my husband's sense of humor. He can always make me laugh! I love you honey and thanks for making the turkey!

God is Good.. ALL THE TIME!!!

Thanksgiving Week 2011: Day #4

Thursday, November 24, 2011 Thanksgiving Day 2011

Today I am extremely grateful for my job and my husband's job. The past 2 Thanksgivings we have been living off of just one teacher's salary and we were barely making it. In October of 2009 Chris was laid off from his manager job in Oklahoma City. This was just 2 months after our precious Natalie Grace was born. This was a blessing in some ways because Natalie was able to spend quality time with her daddy which a lot of children NEVER have the opportunity to do.

After 22 long months of desperately searching for a job and living paycheck to paycheck, on May 27, 2011 Chris was offered a teaching job within Aldine ISD in Houston. This happened to be on the last day of school for me at Grove and I basically had to tell all my students and teacher friends in a very short time period. It was sad and very hard on me but I knew it was the right thing to do. Chris and I began the moving process shortly after the Memorial Day holiday.

During the remaining days in May and the first three weeks in June I had to be in Houston for teaching job interviews myself. I went on about 12 interviews before I found the one God had for me. On June 30, 2011 I went on an interview at Booker Elementary in Spring ISD for an elementary music teaching position. I felt really good about the interview and had a feeling this could be the one. I had also been expecting a phone call back from another interview I went on as well and was get very nervous and anxious about the whole process. Chris, Natalie, his parents and I decided to go and eat lunch at Double Dave's Pizza in The Woodlands in hopes to help get my mind off of this process. As we were sitting down to eat, I got a call. Everyone assumed it was the New Caney ISD principal calling. In reality it was Booker Elementary in Spring. They offered me the job just 2 hours after the interview. This clearly was a God thing.

I am very blessed this holiday season to be living the life I currently do. I struggled the past 2 years with finances and just emotional depression in general and by grace and faith in God I survived and I am now capable of giving back to those in need. I am very excited about this Christmas season and I plan on giving my family and friends gifts that I have never been able to give, especially the previous 2 holiday seasons. God has truly blessed me and my family with our jobs and I am forever grateful for Him and His continuous blessings!

God is Good... ALL THE TIME!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Thanksgiving Week 2011: Day #3

Wednesday, November 23, 2011
Today I am thankful for my family. I am very lucky to have such a wonderful mother and father who have set such an amazing Godly example for me of not only what a Godly mother and father should be but also what a Godly marriage and couple should look like. They have been there for me through thick and thin and for that I am forever grateful.

I am also thankful for my sister Allison and her never ending love for me and practically EVERYONE she meets. She really does have a heart of gold and has "never hurt a fly". I swear she could make friends with a complete stranger in 5 minutes. She is just like that and I wish I had that same quality. She loves me for me and never minds my attitude or selfishness. I am forever grateful for that as well.

I am also thankful for my extended family of my grandmothers, aunts, uncles, cousins and other family members who have always been there for me and love and support me. Although I do not get to see them as often as other people or as often as I would like, we are still able to keep in touch and talk to each other via email, telephone and even facebook. I am very lucky to have such a wonderful extended family and I am so grateful for a wonderful family group.

In addition to my blood line family, I am also extremely grateful for my in-laws. They too are a wonderful example of Godly parents and husband/ wife. During the previous 5 1/2 years I have seen them and watch them and learned so much from their experiences. I am grateful for my brother and sister in-laws and their eternal friendship. I feel so lucky to have a set of brother and sister in-laws that I can talk to and get along with. I know that is a coveted aspect of in-laws and I am very appreciative of their friendship. I am so gracious God has allowed me to be a part of such a great family and I am forever grateful for my in-laws.

God created the family and I know he has chosen the perfect ones for me. I know there are people out there in the world that do not have the wonderful family I have and I thank God each and every day for all of the people in my family.

God is Good... ALL THE TIME!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Thanksgiving Week 2011: Day #2

Tuesday, November 22, 2011
Today I am grateful for my husband and children. I am so lucky to have married such a wonderful, humorous and friendly man. He is an amazing father and always has such a great sense of humor and makes me laugh. We have had a blast the past 6 1/2 years together and this coming January will mark our 7th year of being together. I am so lucky to have found my beau and live with such a great person.

I am also grateful for my beautiful Natalie Grace and what a blessing she is to me and Chris. She is a true gift from God and I thank Him for her each and every day. I can remember back to our first Thanksgiving with her and how small and tiny she was. Now I look at her and see a young lady. She has grown up so much and I know she will continue to grow and it will pass faster and faster.

Just this October, Chris and I found out we will be having our 2nd child in June. We are so thrilled and blessed to be able to continue our family and have the opportunity to expand our family by one. We never dreamed it would happen this quickly but we are ready for him or her and cannot wait for Natalie to have a playmate.

These are just a few of my many blessings that God has given me and I am going to "Count them ONE BY ONE" the rest of this Thanksgiving Week 2011. Thank You Lord, for your continued blessings!

God is Good... ALL THE TIME!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Thanksgiving Week 2011: Day #1

Monday, November 21, 2011
"Count Your Blessings"
Today I am most grateful for my salvation in Jesus Christ. Without Him and His sacrifice, I would not be here today and I would not possess the many, many blessings I have. I accepted Jesus Christ as my personal Lord and Saviour on June 5, 1988 at the foot of my parents waterbed in Ulysses, KS. My dad is a baptist pastor and I was at church as often as its door is opened and around 6 years old I began to ask questions about God and His Son and His sacrifice. My dad was always quick to respond and one Sunday evening after Sunday night church services I prayed a simple prayer and asked Jesus to come into my heart. Ever since then I have been trying my hardest to live for Him and let others know about His unfailing love and sacrifice.

Through my salvation the Lord has blessed me with so many blessings and this week I am going to give thanks for these blessings and His willingness to bless them upon me even when I do not deserve them. This time of year always makes me think of the familiar Christian Hymn "Count Your Blessings". This hymn's words are so beautiful and speak to my heart:
Count your blessings name them one by one
Count your blessings see what God has done
Count your blessings name them ONE BY ONE
Count your blessings see what God has done

For the remainder of this Thanksgiving Week 2011, I am going to Count My Blessings and Name them ONE BY ONE. If you have not accepted Jesus Christ as your personal Lord and Savior, pray the simple prayer today and you too can start COUNTING YOUR BLESSINGS!

God is Good... ALL THE TIME!  

Friday, November 18, 2011

Prenatal Visit #2

Tuesday, November 15 I had my second OB visit with Dr. Markos. This was the 1st "official" visit in their books since the 1st visit was an ultra-sound confirming the pregnancy. They asked me alot of questions and medical history stuff and after about an hour they decided to check for the fetal heartbeat. Now I knew from previous experience with Natalie that it is very uncommon to hear the fetal heartbeat at just 9 weeks. They tried to find his heartbeat with the Doppler but no luck. I did not get too anxious and all seemed well.

Later when Dr. Markos did an internal exam he said the baby was "Retro-verted". He says this with such a voice of worry (Well at least that is the way it sounded to me.) He then told me that the uterus was just backwards and that is why he could not get a clear heartbeat on the Doppler. I immediately went into "OMG" mode and started to worry. He looked at me and said "Are you OK?" I leaned over and told him "You don't know me but I worry alot and I tend to get a little nervous when I get news like this". He smiled and made a note in the folder (LITERALLY.. I was laughing) He then said that a retroverted fetus/ uterus is common and it corrects itself during pregnancy, usually around 11-12 weeks. He said that in a month during my next pre-natal, he will check for a heartbeat on Doppler again and check internally to make sure everything is fine.

He did inform me that when the uterus does flip around that I should have really bad cramping for a few days or so. This was great information for him to tell me because if he did not tell me this and I was experiencing cramping... that is when I would REALLY freak out. He also told me that a retro-verted uterus is a VERY common issue for infertility. That made me wonder if that could have been the cause of the 15 months of waiting for precious Natalie Grace. Of course, it looks like I still have the issue and this baby came right along at only 5 months of trying so... you never know. I guess that will just be another question I ask Jesus when I get to Heaven!!

The last thing I found out at this prenatal visit was (drum roll please)... I can do a gender-check ultrasound at only 16 weeks!!!! YEAH! So on January 2, 2012... I will be finding out the sex of this wonderful baby! I cannot wait!!! Only 6 1/2 weeks til then!

God is good... ALL THE TIME!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Optometrist Failure

Earlier this past week one of my contacts tore and I was without an additional pair. I searched frantically through the garage of boxes hoping to find them but no such luck. I have glasses and they work fine but I just prefer contacts. I decided it was time to go ahead and go to the optometrist and get my yearly exam done. I would say I am faithful to my yearly exam but I consider them to be about 18 months apart instead of 12. (I try to make it stretch if possible!!!) Since this was a new doctor for me there were lots of test and additional steps taken that I was not used to. As I was sitting in within the doctor she mentioned how I have an Astigmatism and the prescription seems to be the same and has not changed from the current one in my glasses. I figured this was good since I am pregnant and change in vision happens to some women during this time. After nearly an hour of doing "Is it better in 1 or 2" and "Which is clearer 3 or 4" she offered me a chance for her to look at a picture of my eye that the tech had taken while I did my pre-liminary tests. She told me

"We look at the back of the eye and try to see if there are other health issues going on. Things like glaucoma, cancer, even brain tumors. Alot of young people just think it is a waste but it can really tell rather or not a person is truly healthy. It is only $39 and insurance does not pay for it. Would you like for us to take a look?"

I am a little dumbfounded at this point and I am curious as to why she wants me to do this. She continues, "Well perhaps your old doctor did not do this but it has been around for 11 years so it is reliable". I told her no and that I really just came in for contacts. She went through her "YOUNG PERSONS" part of the speech again and I decided to play the "Money is tight" card and get out of that situation. I was getting a little upset at this point and just wanted to get out of there. Her response was: "I cannot tell you that you are healthy unless you let me see your eye". I told her I did not have time and she said "Oh we already took the picture, I just have to look at it" So she is going to charge me $39 to look at the picture she already took. WOW... I was so speechless. I could not believe it.

Later she tells me that her office does not have contacts on hand she would have to order some for me. She took the prescription of my glasses and then basically guessed the contacts prescription from there. She told me I needed to be wearing these "TORIC" lenses which help people with Astigmatism. I have worn these in the past and I HATED them... not to mention they are outrageously expensive. She told me that was what she was going to order and she would not prescribe the contact brand I was currently wearing because the are not best for people with Astigmatism. Then after checking on the computer she told me I would have to order the "TORIC XR" which are even more expensive. These are about $120 a box/ per eye! I was still speechless and very frustrated.

In Shawnee, I liked my optometrist and he was very understanding in my dislike of these special lenses and allowed me to get other ones and they seem to have worked just fine. Not this woman, she was just too pushy. I had to pay the co-pay for the exam and it will be billed as my one exam this calendar year but I am not going to go to her again.

So I basically got told I was going to HAVE TO BUY the expensive lenses, tried to get scammed with a looking at a picture of my eye AND I still walked out of there without any contacts! AHHHHH.... So frustrating.

Just another reason I miss Shawnee!!!!!

Saturday, November 12, 2011

"A brother or a sister?"

Chris and I found out we are going to have another baby about a month ago and since then we have been trying to inform Natalie about the upcoming changes in both her life and Mommy's life. We have been informing her how she will no longer be able to jump on Mommy and play rough with Mommy and how soon mommy will not be able to hold her as often. Just this past week we were able to explain how Mommy has a baby in her tummy. The previous weeks she would say "baby in Mommy's tummy" and then go over to Chris, Gigi and Grandpa and say the same thing. At one point she even lifted her shirt or dress and said "Look, baby in Natalie's tummy!" We thought that was too funny and we took time to explain that the baby is only in Mommy's tummy.

This past week after she realized the baby was in Mommy's tummy, she would come up to me and say "Natalie hug baby" or "Natalie kiss baby". Since then she has given the baby a hug and kiss every night before bed. It fits so well into our nightly routine and it makes me smile seeing Natalie react this way to our news and family changes.

The only thing that makes me a little nervous and laugh is her reaction to the question:
"Natalie, do you want a brother or a sister?"
Her response is ALWAYS "Natalie want brother AND sister!" We have to stop and tell her that it is EITHER a brother or a sister! She says "No brother and sister." She is insistent on one of each. We will not be able to know if we are having a boy or a girl until January but for Natalie's sake, we need to know NOW!

I love my Natalie Grace and my growing family! God is Good.. ALL THE TIME!

Friday, November 11, 2011

1 year and 7 months

This time last year, Chris and I were just starting our major life overhaul and completing our 1st round of HCG diet drops. I had several teacher friends at school that had been taking them and had lost a lot of weight so Chris and I decided we would try them. That was the best decision we ever made. I had tried other diets in my life such as: The Atkins diet, the ever-popular "low carb" diet and even a grapefruit diet of some kind (Yeah... that was a JOKE) but none of them really fixed the problem of putting the weight right back on after I completed the diet. All of these were at best good for about 20 pounds and then my body would be come immune to their effects. The most weight I had lost prior to this HCG diet was 33 pounds on a low carb "Curves" diet 6 months prior to my wedding. I was able to keep that off for about 4 months of marriage and then the newly-wed weight gain came pushing right on in. (my poor husband is always blaming his weight gain on me... I hope that is because I am a good cook!!!!) Needlesstosay, I had not found a diet program that really worked, worked quickly and was able to keep it off... until HCG.

We started our weight-loss journey in October of 2010 and by Thanksgiving we had lost about 40 pounds together. Each of us lost about 20 pounds on the 1st round of the diet aide. Chris obviously did better than me (Because he is a MAN) but I did really well and lost 23 pounds. During the 2010 Holiday season we were on the maintenance phase and despite all the delicious holiday treats we ate, neither of us gained any holiday weight. In January we started our 2nd round of treatment and by the beginning of February we had lost another 60 pounds. Together we had lost over 110 pounds and felt better than we EVER had. I got down to my lowest weight in my adult life (As long as I could remember) and I felt so young and beautiful again. Chris was back down to a healthy weight and looking fabulous.

Chris continued and did another round of treatment while I tried to maintain the 55 pounds I had lost thus far. Over the matter of the spring and finishing out the school year, I had lost another 10 pounds and was down to a healthy weight and had lost 65 pounds over all. Then the summer hit and we were bombarded (LITERALLY) by a life change and a move. We started to slip off the diet track and on to the "easy" and "Convenient" track as far as eating went. Since June I have gained about 7-10 pounds and I still feel great but feel as if I could have done a better job of keeping it off. I still have kept 50 (at least) of those pounds off.

So in 1 year's time I was able to drop 65 pounds, 3-4 dress sizes, and overall become a new person. Now in only 7 short months all of that will hard work will have to happen again. Because in 7 short months, I will have a baby and will need to lose another 65 pounds to make up for this new little guy (Or gal) in my life. That is right... I AM PREGNANT!
Chris and I found out on October 12 and it has been crazy ever since then and I am sure the next 7 months will only get worse. We finally told my parents now so it can now officially be public knowledge. Chris and I are very excited and hope we can be the best parents possible to this new little bundle of joy. Yet again, God has continued to bless me and my family and I am forever grateful.

In my husband's words: In June we are going to expand the LSU population by 1. (OF COURSE... he/she will really be an OU fan but I am not going to burst Chris' bubble!)


Saturday, November 5, 2011

My Little Tinker Bell

Halloween 2011

This year for Halloween Natalie was "Tinker Bell". She loved being able to dress up in princess clothes and she especially liked her tiera (Well at least for the 1st hour or so... after that she kept taking it off). We dressed up and went out into our neighborhood and went from door to door "trick-or-treat"ing. Natalie did not really understand this concept and insisted that we go up to the door and ask for the candy. She really got that sassy "No, mommy... YOU do it" attitude and it was cute. Once more and more kids started to go up to the doors, she realized what she was supposed to do and got better at it but I could not help but laugh at how she would make us hold the bucket of candy and then tell us to go up to the door.

At alot of the houses, she would go up and say "Please" and then "Thank You" but she NEVER really said trick or treat. I would keep asking her "What do you give the dogs when they come in?" Trying to get her to say "Treat" and she would never do it. As a parent it just felt a little awkward and weird. Some of the people would ask her to reach in a get her favorite and she would always get the "nasty" candy or the DUM DUM suckers! I was thinking "Natalie... really honey, please pick the better kind". I guess that just goes to show that it really is about the kids and not the candy the adult can eat afterwards.

When we got home she wanted to sit outside with Gigi and pass out the candy. She was eating a sucker and she would yell "Kids" and try to get them to come and get candy from her. She would grab a handful of candy and throw it in their bag. At one point, she did not have any candy so she took the sucker out of her mouth and threw it in a kids bag. The poor kid didn't notice and I was proud of Natalie sharing so I just laughed and went on. As the darkness came in her and her pal Drew decided it was time to go in and take a bath so the night was over! I know she had fun!

Overall, I think we will try Fall Festival next year. It seemed as if the one at our church was geared a little more towards the older children and not to the toddlers so that is why we tried staying at home. Either way, we had a fun day!

Friday, October 21, 2011

There is no mountain to tall...

God can not move it.

I wrote a previous post about the song "He Will Carry You" last week and the impact it is making on my life and the present time. This song has been in my head each and every day this week and for quite some time. The words and lyrics of this song are so powerful and TRUE!

Chris and I are currently living with his parents while we try to get our house in Shawnee, OK sold. (That is one of our "mountains" that needs moving at the present time) I got an email today from our realtor that they showed it last night and hope something will come out of it. They are also going to have an additional open house this coming Sunday. I have been praying for 4 months for our house to sell so Chris, Natalie and I can officially start "our new chapter" of life in here in Houston. I can hear my father and grandfather saying "Keep the Faith, Kellie. God is in Control". I know God will provide for my family and I and this mountain will eventually be moved.
As my dad would say... "This is a trust thing!"

Dear God,
I trust you and I know You will move this mountain in Your timing! Thank you Lord for Your continued blessings.

I would greatly appreciate your prayers for the sell of our house! Thank you!

Monday, October 17, 2011

My Deep Fried Weekend

This weekend Chris, Natalie and I went to Dallas for a banquet on Saturday night for Chris' sister D'Ann's ministry. We decided we would leave town early and go to the Texas State Fair on Saturday morning before the banquet on Saturday night. We ended up going to the State Fair with my sister "Auntie Allison" and Gigi Shirley and Poppi. We had a blast and I wish Houston had some type of fair in town.

Natalie rode several rides at the Kiddie Park including a animal train and the teacup ride. She loved the train and got to ride it with Auntie Allie. She rode the spinning teacups with Gigi Shirley and I am pretty sure she did not like that one as much. She kept her head buried in Gigi's lap the entire ride. When she came out and I asked her if she liked it she said "Yes" but when I asked her if she wanted to ride it again she said "NO"!

We also were able to go through a little maze like activity called the Little Hands Farm. This was fascinating because it allowed the kiddos to act like a real farmer. Natalie got to plant seeds and grow pretend vegetables, feed the chickens and the cows with corn and other pretend food, milk a pretend cow and process its' milk and even ride a John Deer Tractor (Which she loved!!!!).

It was a great learning experience. I am not sure if Natalie understood all of it but she did learn somethings because on our way home that afternoon she talked about the cows and feeding them.

Now one of the main reasons I so desperately wanted to go to the State Fair was for all of the food. I have been to the Oklahoma State Fair almost every year we lived in Oklahoma but I have not been to the Texas State Fair since I played in The Pride and we were there for the OU/texas game in 2003. I remember so well the Fletcher's Corn Dogs and other fried foods. This year we tried many fried foods including:

Fletcher's Foot Long Corn Dog
Fried Guacamole Bites
Fried Oreos
Fried Cheesecake
There is NOTHING like a true "State Fair" Fletcher's Corn dog. They did not disappoint and it was fabulous. The fried guacamole bites were amazing and I cannot believe more Mexican restaurants around here do not do this. They were basically avocado, salsa and cheeses that they mixed up and then dipped and batter and fried. Wow... THEY WERE YUMMY!!! As usually the fried Oreos were my favorite and I think if we end up frying a Turkey for Thanksgiving, we are going to have to explore making these on our own! They were DELICIOUS!!!!! The fried cheesecake was OK but I am not a fan of cheesecake anyway so the whole idea and taste did not impress me. Allison loved it and wished she would have had more coupons to get another one.

We were unable to locate the Deep Fried Chips and Salsa, Deep Fried Pineapple Upside Down Cake or the Deep Fried Twinkies booths. I have had the fried Twinkies at the Oklahoma State Fair and I was anxious to get one on Saturday but it did not happen. The fried chips and salsa and the Pineapple Upside Down cake were the 2 winners of the annual contest for fried foods for the State Fair so Allison and I really wanted to try them but we did not find them. Maybe next year!!!

Overall, the fair was really exciting and I know Natalie LOVED it! She talked about the animals and cows all afternoon and even a little on our way home to Houston. Of course, she still associates Auntie Allie with "the beach" due to our last excursion when Auntie Allie came to visit but she still loved going to the fair and then having her very first sleepover at Auntie Allie's! Thanks Auntie Allie and Mom and Dad for such a wonderful and memorable weekend!

Friday, October 14, 2011

Music Ministers...

I am a music teacher and music fanatic and so I know this will be hard for you to believe but I LOVE music. I would guess at least 50% of my posts have something to do with music or a song I heard that really touched me or spoke to me. While at orchestra rehearsal on Wednesday night we were preparing for our Christmas Musical and at the very end of rehearsal we sang "He Will Carry You". This has always been a song that has spoken to me and touched me. We have been singing it as our last song for at least 2 months at orchestra/ choir practice and during those 2 months I have listened to the song and prayed as the choir sang for God to carry me through any tough and burden-some trials I happen to be going through. This Wednesday night, in particular, this song really spoke to my heart. As I have mentioned on earlier posts, my family and I have a lot going on right now and we must remember to look to God. One situation in particular I have put at the feet of Jesus and just asked Him to take it.

The song lyrics speak out to the Power of our Lord and Saviour. Whatever your problem might be, look to Jesus and He will carry you!

There is no problem too big
God cannot solve it
There is no mountain too tall
God cannot move it
There is no storm too dark
God cannot solve it
There is no sorrow too deep
God cannot soothe it

If He carried the weight of the world, up on His shoulders
I know my brother that He will carry you
If He carried the weight of the world, up on His shoulders
I know, my sister that He will carry you

He said come unto Me, all who are weary
And I will give you rest

At the end of rehearsal on Wednesday a woman shared that "Music really does minister". These words really stuck out to me as being true. I began to think about the songs that have been important in my life and how singing and playing these songs and really focusing on the words of these songs have pulled me through many tough situations. The woman went on to say that every time we perform "He Will Carry You" she tears up with joy and thankfulness for the Almighty power of the Lord. What a wonderful testimony that was and it is so true and evident in my life as well. Throughout the previous 2 months I have faced new situations and trials that come with new jobs, new locations and moving but through it all, He has carried me and will continue to carry me. This Wednesday in particular I sang and listened to the song and said a prayer of thankfulness for Him carrying me through this far.

This song and idea of "music ministers"leads me to the scripture in His word:
"The Lord your God is in your midst
The Might One will save
He will rejoice over you with gladness
He will quiet you with His love
He will rejoice over you with singing"

Zephaniah 3:17 (NKJV)
These words speak to us that we not only sing in His glory but He "rejoices over us with singing". This draws my mind to a newborn baby and a mother singing over him as he sleeps. God sings over me and he will sing over you too if you let Him.

God is good and He will carry YOU! The song and the scripture say "There is NO problem TOO BIG!" Whatever you might be facing today, GIVE IT TO GOD! Lay it at His feet and let him take it! He will carry you! He will carry you!

God is Good... All the Time!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011


So the other day I went to Lifeway to Natalie Grace the new Christmas VeggieTales DVD "Little Drummer Boy". While I was in line to check out I grabbed the new WOW 2012 CD. I saw several songs that I had heard and missed hearing since it seems like the only thing I am allowed to listen to in my car is "B-I-N-G-O". I was really excited to get home and listen to it. I synced it to my iTunes account and then I was able to listen to it on my laptop at school. Yesterday while I was working my room literally day getting stuff done, I started listening to the 2nd CD. I am usually the one who just listens to the first CD for whatever reason. On this CD was a song entitled Stronger by Mandisa. Wow... what a great message:

When the waves are taking you under
Hold on just a little longer
He knows this is gonna make you stronger, stronger

The pain ain't gonna last forever
Things can only get better
Believe me this is gonna make you Stronger

Try to do the best you can
Hold on and let Him hold your hand
Go on and fall into the arms of Jesus

Oh, lift you head, it's gonna end
God is right there
Even when you just cant feel Him
I promise... HE IS THERE!

When the waves are taking you under
Hold on a little longer
He knows this is gonna make you stronger

'Cause if He started this work in your life
He will be faithful to complete, if only you BELIEVE it
He knows how much it hurts
And I'm sure He is going to help you get through this

I listened to this song and just began to tear up. There I was with so much going on in my life right now and feeling completely helpless and buried by the waves of stuff going on right now. So many things I never saw coming and never imagined would be happen to me have happened and I feel so alone. I keep trying to hold my head high and look to Him for help but sometimes it is easy to overlook how much He cares for us and how He puts things into our life to make us STRONGER and make us a better Christian and a better example. I know these situations are making me stronger. Some of the stuff going on in my life right now I have gone through before but obviously I need to get even STRONGER so He puts them in my life again. Other things, I have never faced before and I need His guidance. Either way... He is right there beside me the whole way making me STRONGER.

He can make you STRONGER TOO! Just ask Him!

Stronger by Mandisa

Saturday, October 8, 2011

IPhone Thoughts

So for about 15 months now I have been eligible for a phone upgrade and wanted an IPhone. I wanted one way back when there was the IPhone 3. I watch all my fellow teachers at school and friends get the new and awesome IPhone 4 on the day and week it came out and just suffered through it. I kept saving money for an IPhone and the cost of only having one family income would take my savings to pay for something else.

Finally this summer I went to get an IPhone 4 and the customer service agent at the AT&T store told there was a rumor that Apple was going to get a new IPhone out in the fall. This was in mid-August so I took his thoughts on the rumor and went home. I had waited that long (About 13 months at that time) and I figured I could wait a few more weeks and months. From that moment on, EVERY time I went to the mall I would go to the Apple store and see if they knew anything new. Of course these guys would not even admit there was a new anything coming out. I guess that was part of what Apple wanted was to create a mass hysteria of paranoia for a new IPhone. Of course, at each of these trips, I never got any information and was left frustrated and feeling impatient to get this "new IPhone 5?!?!" I was told it would be launched in early October and then arrive in mid-October.

Earlier this week I got a text from my sister Allison that Apple said they would have the "World Wide Announcement" on Tuesday, October 4. I called Apple and AT&T just as soon as my planning time started on that day. Now I am sure you all know that the IPhone Apple was launching was the "New IPhone 4S" (Almost a twin sister of the already existing IPhone 4).

So I have researched this new IPhone 4S and I am not impressed at all. Basically for the $199 or even $299 that I would pay for a large GB IPhone... I would be getting a bigger screen. I am just not sure I want to spend that money just to have the new thing. There have been times my husband tells me that I "have to have the 'in thing' at the moment and are just paying for a name". I think I will take his constant advice and just get the IPhone 4 and not the new IPhone 4S. I am sure just like the IPhone 3 did when the IPhone 4 came out... the existing IPhone 4 will go down in price. I hope to be blogging and doing all my social networking and what not from my new IPhone 4 in the coming weeks and/or months*.

*- You never know what financial nightmares will come your way... read my previous post if you are curious!
Overall... I think the new IPhone 4S is a bust. I think all of America agrees with me. I do send my thoughts and prayers to Steve Job's family during their loss. Steve Jobs was a genius and he will be missed.

Friday, October 7, 2011

There really is only ONE person you can trust

It's Tuesday of OU/texas week and I see a friend of mine offering OU/texas game tickets on Facebook. I ask her about them and how much they were and some of the other usual questions you would ask. Chris and I call my parents and decide we should go for it. Come to find out my friend did not have the tickets in her hand and was just looking for someone to go with her and then she would go and pay for the tickets. At that point we were not sure if she would even get the tickets so I decided to look elsewhere. I looked on Craigslist and found several options and responded to their ad on Craigslist. On Wednesday morning I got a response from a guy offering to sell his 4 tickets for $500. That would be very cheap price per ticket ($125) and the face value of the cheapest ticket for OU/texas is about $150. I called my parents and they were in so I pursued it.

The seller said he was going out of town and that is why he could not use his tickets. We emailed back and forth and he seemed like a really stand up guy. I mentioned being a school teacher and he said "My wife is a school teacher". He said he was an OU graduate from 1970s and loved OU but could not use his tickets. He wanted to go through Ebay to sell the tickets and then Western Union to pay for the tickets. No red flags came up in my head and I thought Western Union would be safer than paying with a credit card online and even safer than meeting someone and paying cash (You hear horror stories of people meeting at Starbucks and paying their money and then the seller tries to do something to them and what not). Actually, when I called my friend to tell her we were declining her tickets she reinforced this idea in my mind when she said "I always get my OU/texas tickets through Craigslist EVERY year and never go and pick them up. I always pay online or through Western Union. What if that person was going to harm you when you go and pick them up?" She brought up a valid point and I felt better about my situation. Still as I made my way to the bank to send the money through Western Union, I kept pondering the situation and its' possible outcomes. However, the underlying desire and urge to go to another OU/texas game and be able to go with Chris and my DAD was too much. I went ahead and got the cash out and sent the money to London where the guys was going out of town on business.

The seller was supposed to UPS overnight these tickets on Wednesday and I was supposed to get them on Thursday morning. He did not get a tracking number from UPS (Or so he said to me via email) so he was unable to get one to me. Thursday morning passed and still no tickets. I began to get worried but I kept hearing that voice inside my head saying "This is a trust issue... God will take care of you. Don't give into the devil and begin to worry". (If you don't know me... I worry alot and I often times get so wrapped up into the "what ifs" that I forget that God is there to help me and get me through whatever I may be going through at the time.)

The afternoon passed at school and I thought I would call UPS to see if maybe they delivered it to a neighbor or something. The package was not even in their system. Of course without a tracking number they could not totally help me or find the package. I began to really panic and get paranoid. I looked up Ebay's contact phone and called them. They had no record of me purchasing anything from them. I frantically said "No really I have the email confirmation from Ebay right here". The service agent put me on hold and got a supervisor and said "That is not a VALID Ebay email". The supervisor told me I had been scammed and to call the police and Western Union Fraud.

I did just that and I called Western Union Fraud. Of course, the money was picked up in London on Thursday morning (London time) and since it HAD BEEN PICKED UP... Western Union could not replace the $500. They told me to contact the FBI, my Attorney General and State police. (I now was crying and frantically trying to write all this down all while feeling I am in a CSI case or something). I called my bank to see if they would cover the $500 or if I had any protection against something like this and their response was "Well, since it is Western Union and you paid cash, we don't have any coverage or protection." Now the good news in all of this is that he just took $500. Of course, I will never see that $500 again and that really stings but he DID NOT get into my bank account or anything else.

I cried and cried and called my mom needed a "Mommy moment" as I like to call them and she was a big help and comfort. But this just goes to show that no matter what, there really is just ONE PERSON YOU CAN TRUST. This person is God. God will never leave you or forsake you. God will never scam you or trick you. In fact in my time of trouble yesterday afternoon, I heard God speak to me and say "Kellie, it is just $500." Now Chris on the other hand... he said no such thing! There are many lessons we learn in life (Trust me... I have learned MANY A LESSON); some are emotionally hard, some are physically hard and some are financially hard. I thank God that this lesson was learned when both CHRIS and I have jobs and we were not broke and destitute like we were just 3 months ago.

If you are facing a lesson in life right now and you need guidance and help... Look to God. He can help you and protect you. He is your coverage and protection. He will save you. I a drawn to the hymn "Only Trust Him" and its words:
My Jesus shed His precious blood
Rich blessings to bestow
Plunge now into the Crimson flood
That washes white as snow
Only Trust Him
Only Trust Him
Only Trust Him now...
He will Save you
He will Save you
He will Save you now!

Will you turn to him in your time of need? Will you trust Him?

I thank you Lord for being my coverage and protection in times of need and hurt. Thank you for saving ME and washing me white as snow. Please guide me and protect me. I love You, Lord.

May God bless you and your family!

Monday, October 3, 2011

A new day has come

Well... I had a TERRIBLE weekend and an even worse previous week. I was completly depressed and to make it even better... I was kicked while I was down. I thought about crying about it and getting myself even more depressed but I then decided I would try to just hold my head high. I went to bed early last night and spent some much needed TLC with God. I woke up this morning with a new attitude and outlook on all of my situations. I got up and went for a jog as well as spent time reflecting on my pity party and my terrible weekend and how I could work to make all of these situations better.

Today at school was a wonderful day and I got "Back to the Basics" and taught a lesson that I created while at Grove and my kids loved it. We worked on the same material as in the curriculum but we worked on it in a unique and fun way. The faces of these kids lit up like I had never seen. I got more "Wow... we LOVED music" and more hugs than I have all school year. For a moment today, I felt as if I was achieving my career goal at Booker of helping these kids LOVE music the way I LOVE music.

Overall... It was a good day! God is good and God is in control. I know he has a plan for me and I know he is looking out for me and all of my pressing situations. Thank you all for your thoughts and prayers!

Saturday, October 1, 2011

The Grass is ALWAYS Greener

For as long as I can remember I have wanted to move back to Texas and teach band. After graduating from high school I went on to attend OU and get my Music Education degree and teach band. I got a job at Bowlegs Public School as the K-12 music and band teacher. It was a hard job and I did not like it. I remember in early October calling my High School band director and wanting to quit. Luckily, he talked me out of it. I struggled the whole year but I was engaged to be married and I had something to occupy my time. After leaving that job and taking the job at Shawnee, I discovered that I learned alot from Bowlegs and should have cared more and given more of myself to that school and its students.

After that, I got a job teaching K-8 music and band at Grove in Shawnee. I liked it alot the entire time I was there. I knew it was a "dream" type of a job and even thought I always dreamt of moving back to Texas and teaching band I knew I would not be able to find a job quite like Grove ever again.

In October 2009 when Chris was laid off from his job I could see my dream drifting away. About 20 months later, after he had changed careers, he got a teaching job in Texas. I thought the mother ship was calling me home. The moment I had been dreaming of was finally here. I was going to teach band in Texas and start my wonderful dreamed of career path. All of the sudden the brakes are thrown on...Well Chris' job is a 9th grade Math job and a baseball coach. As soon as he decided to take that path and that particular job I realized for the sake of our family and everyone involved in this situation (ie. his parents too since they are who we are living with and they are taking care of Natalie), I should look for a less time-consuming job. I also thought a less time-consuming job would also allow Chris and I to continue our family and get Natalie a little playmate which is about perfect timing for our "family plan" anyway. That is when I rerouted my search towards Elementary music. I got the K-5 Music job at in Spring and I am very excited about it but I now wonder if I will ever be able to get back into band.

So here I sit with a job I LIKE but not love. I don't have my own house or anything that goes along with it. All of my belongings are in a garage and collecting dust. I don't see my husband very often and when we do we both (meaning ME TOO!!!) are tired and irritable. Oh and just like last time... still no playmate. It is like I cannot win for losing. I miss Shawnee... I miss Grove... I miss my old life. This just proves the old saying "The Grass is always greener on the other side".

But mom ALWAYS told me to "bloom where you are planted". Chris and I have planted ourselves down here and I am going to try to make the best of it. This coming week I am trying a new path in my music classes and hopefully they will settle down and get under control. I am also going to teach recorders this week which I never did at Grove but I figure they are the closest thing to band. I am also going to join the church we have been attending the past few months this Sunday. This is something I know Chris wants to do and I think it will be good for us. Overall, I am going to try to make the best out of this situation. I guess I just needed a pity-party. We are all allowed a few of these sometimes right?!?!?

Thanks for understanding...

Monday, September 26, 2011

Retail Therapy

This past weekend my sister Allison came to town and we were able to spend some quality time together as sisters and friends. We went to Galveston on Friday night since Allison had not been to the beach with my little beach baby Natalie. We spent about 2 hours on the beach just playing in the sand and running with the waves. On Saturday, Allison and I went out and did what her and I do best... we went shopping. Her and I have got to get our shopping "fix" in when we see each other. For me shopping is where I go to de-stress if you will. I find that walking up and down the mall isles really allows me to get that much needed "me time". Allison and I love to go and look at stuff that we would not usually look at when together. This time was no different.

We went to Market Street in The Woodlands which is like a very "ritzy" outdoor shopping venue. There we went to several upscale stores and shops and basically determined we were not skinny enough or rich enough for them. We found one store that specialized in Pajamas and they sold their sets for $110 each!!! We were both thinking "Now c'mon, really... they are just PJs." We began to feel like Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman. They owners would look at us and basically laugh. We saw Ferrari's, Porche, and even a Lamborghini. Nonetheless, we survived that part of our shopping without any damage to our bank accounts.

On Saturday night we went to Chuys and had a great dinner together before we came home and watched OU and LSU win. (Of course this is always a tradition with the Davis Family as well) On Sunday, Allison got to go to church with us at Mims Baptist Church and then come home to a wonderful lunch where we put her on the spot about her thoughts on the church service (She approved so all is well!!!) Before she left we spent a few hours just talking and catching up. It was such a wonderful weekend!

It is always fun to just get away from the hustle and bustle of the week and just walk down a street or sit around the living room and fellowship with someone you love and I could not have asked for anyone better to do this very same thing with this past weekend. Allison Klingsick, thank you so much for coming to visit! We had a blast and cannot wait til next time!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

My little TEXAN!!!!!

I think my little toddler is turning into such a little girl. She is talking all the time now. She will talk in sentences and say "Daddy, do you want to sit?" or she might say "Oxford did a shake shake shake". She is growing up right before my eyes. The other day we were going out to eat and then out to get ice cream at Cold Stone Creamery (My favorite) and she said "Mommy loves Ice Cream." She would scream this while we were walking to the store. I have to admit... it was a little embarassing. People would look at me and laugh and some looked as if I was addicited to drugs or something.

The best thus far had to have been on that same night when we were walking at the mall. We were about to leave the store and go to our car and there were some manikins by the exit. She looked at them, waved and said "By YALL". Chris and I looked at each other and laughed. I guess that means she is officially a TEXAN!

Monday, September 19, 2011

The Next Step on My Musical Journey

On May 27, 2011 when my husband and I found out we were going to be moving to Houston, I never imagined I would end up where I did. Approximately one month after we got the final word that we WERE IN FACT moving to Houston from OKC, I was offered a job teaching elementary music at Booker Elementary in Spring. Again, if you would have asked me where I thought I would be back in May, I would have said teaching band at a Middle School or High School... but that was not the case.

As the weeks continued to pass and I had not heard from the countless band jobs I had interviewed for, I began to wonder if I should spread myself further and apply at elementary schools as well. After all, I had taught middle school band AND elementary music my entire career so I feel comfortable doing so. Of course, in my heart I still wanted to land a band job. The band jobs came and went and I was left near the end of June without a job. I went in to interivew for this job and right off the bat I got a good vibe and that this one might be THE ONE even thought it was NOT band. The interview went extremely well and I ended up getting a call back with the job offer not but 2 hours after the interview. This was defintely a GOD THING!

Since being at Booker, I have had to adjust several things. I have mentioned this before but... I HAVE TO SPEAK SPANISH EVERY DAY. My poor kindergarteners barely know what to do unless I model it for them. (Yall would laugh so hard if you saw my dancing and crazy movements I do with them) My limited amount of spanish makes for several moments of laughing and trying to understand what I am saying. I love that class and hate it at the same time. It is kinda like playing the cherades with your class day in and day out. Thanks to Allison and some of the Spanish speaking teachers in the building, I am learning and I getting better. Now they only laugh once every 5 minutes instead of 2!!!!

The Spanish speaking is all kicks and giggles but the main adjustment I have had to do is my ambitousness and dedication to making sure the kids are where they need to be. It became apparent to me shortly after Labor Day that these kids are not anywhere close to where they should be in the grades they are in. I would go over notes and rests and they looked at me like they had no idea. I would mention something about clefs or note names on the staff or even dynamics and blank stares from all... even the 5th graders. I would get frustrated in the lessons and begin to tell them to "step it up" and eventually a 5th grader came to me and said "Mrs. Davis all we did last year with our old music teacher is play the instruments. We never read any notes or anything." Come to find out, she had basically taught them by rote and that is all. So I sat there and had my panic attack and then tried to get back into the real world and focus on how far behind these kids are.

The past two weeks have been a real sturggle for me and my hard-core, "Must get to the goal" mentality but I have learned that sometimes you just have to LOVE on them. Now dont get me wrong... I loved on kids in previous jobs and positions but not like this. I have basically decided that my goal for this year will be to help them LOVE music the way I do. They may not be able to catch up to their grade level ability in music by May (Or June since I am in Texas now:) ) but they will love music. Sometimes that is all you need. "Love, Love, Love... All you need is Love".

I thank God each and every day for giving me this opportunity. It may not have been what I would have chosen or even thought I would get but here I am today and I am grateful. I hope I came make a difference in these kids lives and help them enjoy and love music. I ponder upon this song every morning during my commute:
Count your blessings, anme them one by one.
Count your blessings, see what God has done.
Count your blessins, name them one by one.
Count your MANY blessings see what GOD HAS DONE!

Thank you Lord for your continued blessings! It is going to be a great year!


This is my "back door" and our "TRIBES" agreements (school wide discipline)
This is my "Front door" and my upright piano!
This is the front of my room with my instruments and SMART BOARD!!!!
This is my desk and personal space. (I am not used to not having my own office yet but it will do!)
This the picture Katie Carmichael gave me! I LOVE IT!
Finally... BOTH of my degrees are framed and on the wall! I love it!
What time is it? MUSIC TIME!!!!
My school is a "NO EXCUSES" school and we encourage college from the 1st day of Pre-K. All of the teachers have to choose a different university to decorate thier room with and teach about that college EVERY TUESDAY! I love this program and think it is a genius idea for encouraging kids to go to college. UNFORTUNATELY, OU was already taken (By a Non-OU grad) so I had to decorate in UCO! I am an alumni though so that helps! Here is my wall of UCO!!!
This is my WALL OF CLOSETS! Seriously... so much storage I dont know what to do with it all! It is ALL FULL of instruments! It is AWESOME! (Notice the drums on the top!!!)

Monday, September 12, 2011

"Watch Football"

So every year at this time I gear myself up for Football season. I really do like football and I always have but since marrying Chris, I have taken on a little bit more football than I would prefer. You see Chris LOVES college football and basically watches it ALL DAY on Saturdays during Football Season. Of course he also watches college football on Thursday, Friday, and even Wednesday nights. He has a fantasy college team (several in fact) and he will keep a tally of his fantasy team score and all while watching the games. He will wake up on Saturday morning in time to watch "College Gameday" and stay up until the last game is over and with the possible addition of OU to the "Pac-whatever" I am sure we BOTH will be staying up later as the upcoming seasons approach.

Of course, how could I forget Pro Football. He has several fantasy teams for NFL as well and these games take up Sunday and Mondays. And I am left with Tuesdays (IF I AM LUCKY). Now a few years ago I would have said this made me mad and I felt like a "football widow" as a friend of mine used to call it. Now-a-days, I count it as a time to spend to myself on Saturdays. I enjoy laundry and shopping and whatever else I need to get done.

All of this is to tell you that last night after Natalie's bath, she kept saying "ball", "ball". I would ask her where her ball was and try to get her to tell me exactly what she wanted. She would not give me a clear answer. She began to fuss and cry and pointed to the living room and said "ball". Again, I thought maybe she wanted to play fetch with the dogs or something. Yeah no... She dragged me into the living room and said "Watch Ball". There sat daddy and Natalie Grace watching football together. It really was too cute.

I love you Chris and I am glad Natalie likes to watch football with you!


Sunday, September 11, 2011

A Decade Later

My family has always traveled to major cities for vacations to do mainly 2 things: attend MLB baseball games and visit skyscrapers and tall buildings. In fact, since I was born I have been to 28 major league baseball stadiums and countless skyscrapers. I have always been fascinated with both. This particular story and trip is one that I will NEVER forget.

When I was 16 my parents, my sister and I along with my Grandmother went on our usual summervacation consisting of tours of baseball stadiums and baseball games. This particular year we were traveling to New York City to make up a Yankees game we missed a few years back due to rain. We were all so excited because on this trip we were also going to be able to not only go up into the Empire State Building which we had done on previous trips but also go up into the World Trade Center observation deck as well.

We had determined that we like to go up into skyscrapers not only during the day but also at night. We had been to New York City before and been up to the Empire State Buildings observation deck many times and decided we wanted to see the city's skyline at night so we waited until dusk to make our way down to th World Trade Center. This was towards the end of our trip and we were coming from Wall Street and the stock exchange and on this night the traffic was very heavy. We finally got there around 8:40 or so and had to park and then make our way to the desk where observation tickets were sold. We purchased our tickets and began to look around the area of the exhibit called "A View from the Top of the World". This was an area that had shops and restaurants around the inside of the observation area. We wanted to go outside but by the time we made it to the elevator to take you outside, it was closed. We heard a worker say "I am sorry but the outside observation deck is closed for the night". I remember my sister and I BOTH crying and begging our dad to take outside. A very kind and friendly man named "Radalfo" came up from behind and said "Sir, allow me. I will take you outside."

Radalfo took us outside and allowed us to look around and see the city from the a very personal stand point. Radalfo showed each of the four sides and told us countless facts about New York and its' heritage. Finally after what seemed like only a few minutes someone else came out and told him it was time to go. He apologized so kindly to us and showed us the elevator. During the ride down to the gournd level, Radalfo shared some of his life story with us. I dont remember any other skyscraper elevator operator in all my years but him I will never forget.

Fast forward to September 11, 2001... I had made my way to my 8:00 Music Theory class and was early and waiting for the teacher to show up. I was talking with some friends about the previous weekends OU football game and out came my teacher in a panic. He said "The World Trade Center in New York has been hit. Class is cancelled." At first I did not believe him. I thought "I bet it wasnt HIT but just a bomb threat".
As I got up to make my way back to my dorm, I noticed the campus to be much more somber than usual, even for a Tuesday morning. As soon as I walked into my dorm lobby, there were screaming and crying and I knew something terrible had happened. I went up to the 8th floor where my room was and turned on the TV. Sure enough, I saw a terrible thing. President David Boren cancelled the rest of the classes that day and I pretty much watched coverage of the whole event the rest of the day. I saw things I hope I will never see again. I remember calling my mom and just crying with her saying "I hope Radalfo made it out alive".

Unfortuneatly, we never learned Radalfo's last name so I can not look up to see if he survived or not. But my family and I agree he more than likely did not since he had the attitude he did and treated us the way he did. I am sure he helped other escape before getting out himself. He just had that type of heart.

As the days, weeks and even months afterwards unfolded we saw the buildings fall and the countless lives that were effected by those terrorists attacks. I was not direclty affected but I felt the pain and agony that many felt as we saw the worst attack on American unfold. I did not lose my child or spouse or family member of any kind and I feel for those that did especially on an anniversary such as this one but even in the midst of tragedy, I am grateful. I am grateful for life and especially life eternal. Psalm 46:1- "god is our refuge and strenght, a very help in times of trouble". God is there with you even amidst tragedy. Give your heart to God and He will take care of you.
September 11, 2001... I will NEVER forget.