Friday, December 14, 2012

Always makes me smile

December 14, 2012
 
My hubby, Chris, is quite the character and he is continuously the goofball and life of the party. Ever since I have known him he has had a wonderful sense of humor and always finds a way to make me smile. Now of course, he would say I don't appreciate it sometimes, but in the end he does make me smile even when I am feeling down. This is one of the many, many reasons I love him and why he is the love of my life.
 
A few weekends ago, a friend of ours from Sunday School offered to take our family pictures for our Christmas Cards and the Christmas Season. This was going to be done outdoors in the natural sunlight in Mid-Afternoon. Well this just happened to be on the same day as the SEC Championship game between Alabama (BOO!) and Georgia! Chris had been working Saturday School in the morning and was very tired but knew we had to go and take pictures. He was not very happy with me or with the fact we had to take these pictures during the SEC game. HOWEVER, when we got to the location, he threw all his frustrations out the window and as usual was the life of the party. In the midst of me trying to get both kids looking good in the pictures, he was posing for crazy shots and just having fun! Sometimes I forget to have fun... But Chris reminds me! Thank you Honey!  
 
I love you honey!

Always a "jokster"!
 
This is one of my favorites... I am worried about kids and he is just having fun! Love it!

My funny guy!
 
Haha!
 
Enough of this already... Whats the score?
 
Daddy's partner in "laughter"... Natalie Grace!
I can tell she will be just like Daddy in that category!
 
Thank you Lord for giving me Chris to show me to LAUGH and have FUN!
 
God is good... ALL THE TIME!
 
 
 

 

Thursday, December 13, 2012

My Growing Boy: Month 5

Monday, November 12, 2012

Baby Luke is growing LIKE A WEED! In this past month he has rolled over from front to back and back to front. He is like a little rolly-polly all over the house. I will leave him in the media room and go and start dinner and in the few minutes I return to the media room he is on the other side of the room. On October 16, when he was 4 months and 4 days, he rolled all the way over for the first time. It has all been downhill since then!

Feeding
During mid-October we conducted an experiment with Luke and his reflux. We tried breastfeeding alone and we tried Formula (Nutramigen) alone and then we finally tired supplementing with formula and primarily breastfeeding. By the end of October, when I had to return to work, we decided it would be more beneficial to just use formula. So for the past 2 weeks he has been drinking about 28-30 ounces each day of Nutramigen. He is spitting up about 2-3 times a day and rarely is it projectile. I have noticed that he will spit up a LOT and it will be projectile about once every 10 days. This is so much better than previous months!

Sleeping
He is still sleeping for 10-11 hours each night and will stay asleep through the night but his naps have become a little less consistent. A lot of this has to do with the schedule of dropping off and picking up Natalie from Day school. I think this is even out once he too is going to Day school, which will be in January.
 
Playtime
Luke usually plays in his exercauser in the morning and afternoon while waiting for Natalie to get ready for school or nap time. He also spends lots of time on the floor on his play mat where he rolls over a lot and grabs on to just about anything!  
 
Month 5 has been a whirlwind for all of us since I returned to work. Baby Luke has grown so much and is growing and developing at an alarming rate. Since being able to roll over this month he has been on the move and I don't think it will take him long to figure out how to crawl or at least move around on his belly to get to stuff or his favorite... NATALIE GRACE! He just loves her and I can tell he wants to be near her so I think he will be on his way soon! We will see!
 
Baby Luke- December 10, 2012 (Almost 6 months)
 
 
I love my smiling boy! He is so happy!
 
 
God is good... All the time!

My Growing Boy: Month 4

October 12, 2012
 
I cannot believe my little man is already 4 months old. He has grown so much in the last month! I have had the opportunity to stay home with him this last month and I have seen him take leaps and bounds in his developmental process.
 
Feeding
He is still having some major reflux issues and we have had to have several calls put into the pediatrician to try to find a solution. During the 1st week of October we tried to iliminate all breast milk and just try a special formula made for GERD (Reflux) or cow's milk allergies. I was so sad to have to do this since I really wanted to continue to breast feed as long as possible. When we went in for our 4 month appointment Luke was still spitting up but not as much so the doctor told me to try to go back to breastfeeding as an experiment to see how he responds. We are still concluding this experiement now but it looks as if he responds better to the formula.
 
Sleeping
He is still sleeping for extended periods of time during the night. He usally goes to bed around 8:00 to 8:30 and wakes up around 7am. He averages about 10.5 to 11 hours of sleep a night. Occassionally (Usually only 1 night a week) he will wake up in the middle of the night or in the 6am hour but that is on a rare occasion. He is napping pretty well and taking about 1.5 to 2 hour naps twice daily.
 
Playtime
Just last week I was able to get him an EXERSAUCER to play in during playtime. He was so tall that I had to adjust it to the medium height level. It took him a few days to really understand how all the toys worked on it but after that he was a happy camper. Usually I will place him in this while I get Natalie up and feed her to get ready for school. He loves it!
 
My baby boy is 1/3 of a year old! It is so hard to believe how much he has grown. I known within a few week he will be rolling over and a few months he will be crawling! I love you Baby Luke!

My hansome boy! I love his smiles!  
 
God is good... ALL THE TIME!

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Thanksgiving 2012

Thursday, November 22, 2012
Conroe, TX
 
Today we celebrate and rejoice in the many blessings of 2012. There are too many to list and I am so very grateful for what God has given my family and I during these past 12 months. A lot has happened this past year. At this time last year we were telling my parents that we were pregnant with Baby Luke and now the little guy sit up on his own! Wow... how time flies!
 
This is a year where we get to spend Thanksgiving with the Davis side of the family (Although since moving so close to both sides it doesn't really matter as much). Both John and Leeanna as well as D'Ann were able to come into town and celebrate my favorite holiday of the calendar with us. In fact, they all were able to come into town a little early and even stay late to spend time with us and Dan and Jackie.
 
This particular Thanksgiving was a VERY special one to Chris and I as it was our first holiday we were able to spend and HOST in our new home. We have been living in our new home for nearly 2 months and have been working long and hard hours to get it all ready and "Set-up" for everyone to come and see it and enjoy this holiday in it! We arranged all the furniture and unpacked all the boxes. We also took time to hang pictures are nearly every wall and displayed our most treasured possessions.... Natalie and Luke.
My living room all decorated for Thanksgiving 
Since we were going to be hosting the Thanksgiving meal I decided to use my China that we got as a wedding gift. I had always wanted China but never really understood how little I would actually use it. I think in the nearly 7 years of marriage, I have only used it MAYBE 6 times. That is not even a ratio of one use per year! I knew this occasion needed the China. So on Thanksgiving morning I got up early and brought down all of my china from the upstairs hall closet. I laid out all of the dinner plates, salad plates and even dessert plates. I also found a beautiful Autumn colored tablecloth and matching napkins to use as well. In fact both the tablecloth and napkins as well as the napkin rings HAD NEVER BEEN USED. It was almost like I didn't even know they were there. Chris also thought using our wine glasses would be a great idea. These have probably only been used twice at the most since we don't drink often (Or at all in Chris' case).


My beautiful dining room (With my china!)
 
After I set the table and got all of the preparations for it ready, I began to help Chris with his Thanksgiving tradition of frying a turkey. We have an indoor turkey fryer but with the layout of the kitchen we decided to fry the turkey in our courtyard. This allowed for maximum usage of the kitchen counter tops and area space.

Chris getting ready for his turkey by making a dry rub!
 
Jackie, Leeanna and myself began making the EIGHT side dishes that would accompany the fried (and baked) turkeys. Luckily this was taking place in two separate kitchens. By 1:00 o'clock we were ready to cut into each bird and feast on our many delicacies.

These were Leeanna's AMAZING creations including: Macaroni and Cheese, Broccoli Rice Casserole and Corn Casserole! They were all very tasty! Thanks Leeanna!


 
This was one of my creations: Traditional Green Bean Casserole! This is always a crowd favorite and it seemed to go over well again this year!
 
Wow... the plates were full! Luckily we used our long counter tops to create a bar and assembly line of which to fill our plates and in true "DAVIS" style we all had multiple helpings! Everything was so tasty and cooked to perfection (Except the rolls which I burnt!!... sorry!). We had enough food to feed an army of big hungry men! We even had 3 different kinds of desserts, each of which were filled with tons of sugar and texture!


The Feast
 
What a wonderful meal!
 
Overall, we had a huge feast of many of our favorites and we were able to eat off of these for several meals and days! In fact, we packed up most of the leftovers and took them over to Dan and Jackie's for them to eat later next week. Chris gave his opinion that this was the best Thanksgiving we had ever had. I think I agree with him and I am very anxious to see if Christmas goes off as well as Thanksgiving did!
 
My family and I are so blessed and we are counting our MANY blessings and will "Name them ONE BY ONE"! Praise the Lord for His many blessings!
 
God is good.. ALL THE TIME!

Saturday, December 1, 2012

The Ghosts of Thanksgiving Past: 2010-2012

November 2012

Chris and I have been together for nearly 8 years and 7 Thanksgivings. This past Thanksgiving went VERY well but we have had some that did not quiet turn out as well...

Thanksgiving 2010
The Davis'
Wren Hill St- Conroe, TX

Natalie Grace was 15 months old and was walking EVERYWHERE. She had been attending Mother's Day Out at our church in Shawnee and on Monday seemed like she was coming down with something. We were set to leave for Houston after I got off of work on Tuesday. All day Tuesday, Chris was at home with Natalie throwing up nearly every hour. Around noon on Tuesday, it looked as if Natalie was getting better so we decided to go ahead and try making the 7 hour trip from Shawnee to Houston. We decided if she threw up in the first 60 miles or so, we would turn back and wait until Wednesday. She seemed fine and was sleeping for the first 65 miles and literally at mile 66 she decided to puke... ALL OVER THE CAR!

We called Dan and Jackie and told them situation and decided to try and continue to make it south to Houston. The next 10 hours were pure torture... What was usually a 7 hour trip turned into a 10 hour trip due to the ALWAYS problematic Denton construction and then a wreck on I-35 south at downtown. Poor Natalie was basically puking every hour on the hour. We had to call our pediatrician and have them fill a prescription in Houston and Jackie picked it up before we arrived. By the time we got to Conroe, Natalie was empty and was beginning to get her color back.

D'Ann, John and Leeanna were already in Conroe when we arrived and everyone was feeling fine, even Natalie. Ten hours passed and it was Wednesday morning... the bathroom toilets were getting cleaned with bleach. Yep... EVERYONE got sick thanks to Natalie. It started with D'Ann and then they started dropping like flies! By Thanksgiving day they were all still pretty sick and we had Chicken Noodle Soup for Thanksgiving meal. I was the sole survivor of that stomach bug and never got sick AT ALL! I give all the credit to teaching in a public school for 5 years!

Thanksgiving 2011
The Klingsicks
Arp, TX

This too was not as much of a memorable Thanksgiving as years in the past but it was loaded with lots of craziness of its own. During the summer months, Chris and I had purchased an indoor Turkey Fryer made for counter tops and decided we would try to fry a turkey again. We took the fryer to my parents house and fried the turkey in their patio room. It actually worked and only took 1.5 hours to heat up the oil and cook it!

It was this Thanksgiving that we decided to go out on Thanksgiving night for the MIDNIGHT BLACK FRIDAY sales. I was nearly 4 months pregnant and was exhausted but I wanted to try this craziness out for myself and I had specific gifts I wanted to get my family. We started at Babies R Us and there was a line of over 300 people wrapped around the building just to get in the door. We left there and went to Wal-mart instead. There I split up my mom, dad and Allison each shopping for gifts for each of them from Chris and I. Natalie and Chris stayed home and slept. We were gone for 6 hours and got home at 3am BUT I got EVERYTHING on my list! It was awesome! This has now become a tradition for me! I love the mob mentality and thrill of a good deal!

Thanksgiving 2012
The Davis'
Wing St- Conroe, TX

As our tradition states we fried a turkey in our new courtyard and I went shopping (alone) at 8pm on Thanksgiving night just for the fun of it! Even though I was by myself, I was still able to get 90% of the items on my Christmas lists and I was back at home just in time to get my kids into bed and play cards with the family!

This was a memorable holiday because we were now a "Family of FOUR"! Baby Luke joined us in June and was already growing up so fast that at 5 1/2 months he was sitting up on his own! There weren't any disasters or catastrophes (Thank GOD!) and all went well. In fact, Chris has said this was the best thanksgiving EVER! I tend to agree.
 
Me and my TWO blessings! Praise The Lord for his continued gifts and blessings!
 
 
David Luke- Thanksgiving 2012
 
Natalie Grace- Thanksgiving 2012
 
 

Just a few more MEMORABLE Thanksgivings for
Chris and Kellie!

Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday on the calendar and looking back makes me realize why! We have had some very memorable Thanksgivings! I will NEVER forget some of them!

God is good... ALL THE TIME!

The Ghosts of Thanksgiving Past: 2008 and 2009


November 2012

Chris and I have been together for nearly 8 years and 7 Thanksgivings. This past Thanksgiving went VERY well but we have had some that did not quiet turn out as well...


Thanksgiving 2008
The Davis'
Las Vegas, NV

The year was a "Davis" year and they decided we all need to meet in Las Vegas for the week. Of course looking back on the Thanksgiving of 2007 all Chris and I could say was "AMEN". Dan, Jackie, D'Ann, John, Chris and I met in Las Vegas for 5 days to gamble and eat our troubles away. While there we stayed off the strip at a nice "local" casino where the minimum bets were smaller and the dealers were nicer. We were able to go to a show and eat LOTS and LOTS of buffets (Too many for my tastes but I was fun)!

On the last night of the trip while waiting for a show to start Chris and I went to play roulette. We had budgeted a gambling allowance for each day and had been hoarding the winnings and leftovers for our last night. We were at MGM Grand and the minimum bet was $25 but we played $100 each on black... just to say we did! It was really just about the thrill of the large bet. One spin of the wheel and sure enough it landed on black. We were up $100 each. We decided to "Let it ride" and bet $200 each on black again. Sure enough, a second black landed. We were at $400 each! Wow... This was such an awesome. I thought we should have stopped at that point but Chris said to "Let it ride" again so we bet $400. WOW... It landed on BLACK again! We won $800 each! We walked away! Oddly enough the following spin landed on Black too but it was better just to walk away. If we ever go back, I certainly hope we have the same type of luck!

It was also during this Thanksgiving that we found out that after over 15 months of trying, we were PREGNANT! I remember taking 3 pregnancy tests WHILE IN VEGAS and all were negative but literally hours after we got home I took a fourth test and it was positive! The rest, as they say, is history!
 
Chris and I at The Venetian
 
Chris and I inside The Bellagio Hotel and Casino
 
Us outside of The Belliago Fountains our last night in Las Vegas
 
 

Thanksgiving 2009
The Klingsicks
Arp, TX

We are a "Family of Three"
 
This was the first Thanksgiving we were a "Family of Three"! This was a very special Thanksgiving for us since Natalie Grace was included! This was a "Klingsick" holiday and it was spent in Arp at my parents house. Not a lot happened at this particular holiday but unfortunately Chris had just lost his job in October so he spent hours upon hours on the computer filling out UNEMPLOYMENT paper work. It seemed as if he missed most of the holiday!
 
Natalie Grace- Thanksgiving 2009
 
Natalie Grace- 2009
 
Mommy and Natalie- 2009
 

This was the first Thanksgiving where the girls took part in the BLACK FRIDAY madness and went out shopping early Friday morning. This was a little crazy since I had a 3 month old but we made it work. I remember breast feeding in the Macy's parking lot and changing many a diaper in the backseat of my mom's Cadillac. It was a blast and started the tradition of the "Klingsick Women" going shopping on Black Friday!
 
"Mommy and I LOVE to shop!"
 
Just another Thanksgiving for Chris and Kellie!
 
Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday on the calendar and looking back makes me realize why! We have had some very memorable Thanksgivings! I will NEVER forget some of them!
God is good... ALL THE TIME!
 
 
 

The Ghosts of Thanksgiving Past: 2007


November 2012

Chris and I have been together for nearly 8 years and 7 Thanksgivings. This past Thanksgiving went VERY well but we have had some that did not quiet turn out as well...

Thanksgiving 2007 (Get ready... This is one for the history books)
The Klingsicks
Shawnee, OK

Let me set the stage first: Chris and I lived in a small 1200 sq ft house in Shawnee, OK and our two beagles, Abbey and Oxford, had just had their 1st batch of 6 beagle puppies. We were trying to have an early lunch (12:30ish) so Chris and dad could watch the Cowboys game on TV. Chris' friend Chris Calvert (Same one from 2005) and his wife Marnie wanted to come over and see our new puppies as they were huge beagle fans.

Chris and I were ready... To host that is! This was a "Klingsicks" Thanksgiving and we decided we were going to FRY A TURKEY. We had been reading and studying up on it and decided we could handle it! All of us, my parents included, were so excited to try something new... and who doesn't like fried meat? Chris and I went out and bought the outdoor turkey fryer, oil and utensils and were ready to fry this bird.

We woke up early on Thanksgiving morning and got all the preparations ready to fry the turkey. This was an outdoor fryer (Like the ones you see on TV and movies with those crazy Cajuns from Louisiana) and it was below freezing in Shawnee on that day. We knew it was going to be cold but we had NO IDEA it would be that cold. We had a steep driveway and you were not supposed to fry in the garage in case it all caught on fire so we had to move to the street (This should have been our first clue that something was about to go TERRIBLY wrong)!

Around 10am Chris and my dad went outside to start heating up the oil in the fryer. Again it was below freezing and the wind was blowing very hard (It is OKLAHOMA people). Poor Chris and dad, it took them nearly 20 minutes just to light the fryer. Once they finally got it lit they were so cold they began to take shifts watching the oil start to heat up. By noon the wind was blowing so hard and fast that Chris had to go into the garage and find a large box to place around the fryer so the flame would not burn out.

It was only supposed to take 40 minutes to heat the oil up in the fryer (Even outside). Two more hours had past (2pm) but the oil had finally heated up to the required temperature on the thermometer. Chris and dad went out into the street like heroes and placed the bird into the oil to fry. Almost immediately the temperature of the oil and fryer dropped over 50 degrees. They both stood out there for a few minutes and soon realized they were too cold to both stand out there in the cold temperatures and wind so they went back to taking shifts.

After 2 more hours had passed (4pm) Chris and dad were both icicles and the meat was barely warmed through at all. The flame had blown out numerous times and we had all but given up hope. Most of the rest of the side dishes had been sitting in the oven on "warm" or were awaiting to be put into the oven. We literally had nothing ready and we had been cooking/ preparing for over 6 hours. Dad said it was time to call it and go and get some meat from Denny's (The only thing open on Thanksgiving back in the day)!

Mom and Allison started trying to get all the side dishes ready, Chris tried to clean up the frying mess while dad and I went to Denny's to get some turkey meat. While Dad and I were gone, Mom and Allison had some troubles with the sweet potatoes. As dad and I arrived back at the house with the meat black smoke was pouring out the kitchen window and the front door as the smoke alarms were blaring as loud as can be. The juice from the sweet potatoes had boiled over and begun a fire (An actual fire) in the bottom of the oven. All of the puppies were inside in a crate just wailing and barking as loud and annoying as can be.

Finally around 5:30pm we set down to eat our Denny's turkey, dressing and burnt sweet potatoes. Almost immediately after the prayer was complete, we heard the doorbell ring and sure enough it was Chris Calvert and Marnie there to see the dogs. Chris and I got up from the table and tried to greet them and be social. My Chris explained the story to Chris and Marnie who laughed hysterically but encouraged us to go ahead and eat even though they were there. If you know Chris Davis, you know he didn't need their permission and had already downed a turkey leg. My family, on the other hand, was not so easy to convince it was OK to eat. I felt really bad and weird eating with them there and so did my parents. I think through most of this time Allison and Mom ate a little but Dad and I barely ate anything.
 
The cute little puppies!
 

About 20 minutes after Chris and Marnie arrived they wanted to see Abbey and Oxford (Our beagles and the parents of the 6 puppies) so they looked out the backdoor and saw them anxiously await some attention. Chris Calvert said "Why don't we just go out back and love on them while y'all eat". This sound like a wonderful idea so we agreed and they opened the back door. As soon as the back door opened Abbey rolled over for some petting while Oxford took two steps (Literally) and jumped up on our table with all the food. Before we could even realize it he had eaten most of the Turkey (From Denny's) and some other food. Rolls and side dishes were flying EVERYWHERE! While we were getting him off the table, Abbey jumps up and does the same thing. Six little puppies are trying to jump up and cant and all 8 dogs were just barking and eating like crazy. Dad is yelling and mom and trying to get them off the table while Allison is just laughing and possibly crying I don't remember! Finally we get both adult dogs off the table and back outside. But... the damage had been done. The table was covered in a big mess and all that was left was the burnt sweet potatoes (Oxford is a little picky so he did not eat those).
 
The culprits and masterminds behind the whole thing! (They look so innocent don't they!)
 

I am beyond embarrassed at this point and I start crying and go and hide out in the bedroom. Chris Calvert and Marnie almost immediately said good bye and left. We later found out that they sat outside in their car and laughed for well over 30 minutes. We were all hungry and tired and just wanted to eat. We ended up making sandwiches and eating those and chips for our Thanksgiving feast. If only we would have had a video camera... We would be rich!
 
Just another crazy Thanksgiving for Chris and Kellie!
 
Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday on the calendar and looking back makes me realize why! We have had some very memorable Thanksgivings! I will NEVER forget some of them!
God is good... ALL THE TIME!

The Ghosts of Thanksgivings Past: 2005 and 2006

November 2012

Chris and I have been together for nearly 8 years and 7 Thanksgivings. This past Thanksgiving went VERY well but we have had some that did not quiet turn out as well...
 
Thanksgiving 2005
The Klingsicks
Norman, OK
This was the 1st thanksgiving that Chris and I were together and we held this in Norman at my apartment on Brandywine Dr. This was the 1st year that we "split" up the holidays with our families and we were with my parents and Allison (The Klingsicks). Chris had a very good friend, Chris Calvert, who lived in Norman and was not going to be able to travel back to Alabama to spend Thanksgiving with his family so we asked him to join ours.
 
My apartment was VERY small and there was not a lot of room in the kitchen let alone the sitting area. I remember the women all staying in the kitchen most of the time and the men in the living room, which was attached to the kitchen basically. In fact, my dad spent most of the day on the floor.
 
The meal was nothing special or out of the ordinary and in fact it was at this holiday that my dad fixed his last "Pink Cherry Fruit Salad" (At least at our holidays!). This was a salad that my dad had fixed at nearly ALL holiday meals for as long as I can remember. I didn't really care for it due to its texture but Chris didn't want it because it was a SALAD. He has a theory that salads are NOT NEEDED at ANY meal but especially not at a holiday meal. He informed my dad of a Simpson's episode (Of which my dad and my whole family DETEST!) where Homer sings a song "You don't win friends with salad". Calvert knew this songs as well so for the rest of the day the two boys were singing this song and giving my dad a hard time. By the end of the day my mom and sister had joined in singing as well just for the fun of it! Needlesstosay, there was LOTS of leftover salad! To this day, we do NOT have any type of salad at a holiday meal when with the Klingsicks!
 
Thanksgiving 2006
The Davis'
Abernathy, TX
This was our first holiday as a married couple and it was spent at "The Farm" in Lubbock with Chris' family (The Davis'). This particular Thanksgiving was not very memorable in that nothing crazy happened but it was the 30th anniversary of Chris' parents Dan and Jackie on November 20th. This was special to me since Chris and I had just got married! It was also at this holiday that we met Leeanna who was John's new girlfriend at the time. She is now a part of the Davis family as John's wife and that is what made that holiday special! So glad to have you along for the laughs Leeanna!
 
 Just another Thanksgiving for Chris and Kellie!
 
Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday on the calendar and looking back makes me realize why! We have had some very memorable Thanksgivings! I will NEVER forget some of them!
 
God is good... ALL THE TIME!






Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Think Like Nordstrom?

I came across a post on Facebook that a friend of mine liked from Nordstrom. It read:
 
"We believe Thanksgiving should have it's own day so we will not be putting up any Christmas decorations (or selling any) until the Friday AFTER Thanksgiving (BLACK FRIDAY)."
 
All of my life my family has waited until AFTER Thanksgiving to put up our Christmas tree and we kept it up until after New Years so my sister, whose birthday is on December 29th, could have a "Birthday Tree". We used to always take down all the Red and Green decorations and exchange them out for Hot Pink Birthday Streamers. This was really special to Allison and looking back I think it is a really neat tradition!
 
As an adult I have only had a Christmas tree about half of the time and I have usually put it up after Thanksgiving if at all. When I was single and living in an apartment, I did not bother in getting an artificial tree or real tree and usually just put up a wreath or garland in the Kitchen. Real festive, right? I wasn't really in the Christmas spirit! Now that I am married I have purchased an artificial tree and decorated it with ornaments Chris and I have received as gifts. Unfortunately, my beagle, Oxford, chewed through the branches of this tree while we still lived in Shawnee so this year I get to purchase a brand new tree.
 
However, I have yet to decide when to actually put up my tree and all my other Christmas decorations. Now that I have such a large house with multiple options and locations to decorate, I want to go "All Out" and make my home a "Winter Wonderland"! With all this decorating I want to have these decorations up for as long as possible since so much work will go into it. Yet, I still feel like I should not just over-look Thanksgiving... especially since it is one of my favorite Holidays!
 
A part of me really wants to get my tree up and decorated and start to transform my home now, especially since I am already listening to Christmas music at work and with my classes. But I just cant bring myself to do it! I want Thanksgiving to be about Thanksgiving!
What are you thoughts?
 
God is Good... All the Time!

Friday, November 2, 2012

Back to the old "GRIND"

Friday, November 2, 2012
 
This week has been so very long and tiring and i will go ahead and say it has been the week from well... you know where! I went back to work on Monday and since then, I have slept maybe 20 hours and have been physically and emotionally exhausted.
 
My nearly 5 month only who has been sleeping through the night for quite some time is deciding he needs to wake up on and off in the middle of the night and as soon as I am ready to walk out the door. I think it is going to take Luke a little while to get used to both Mommy and Daddy working and him spending the day with Gigi Jackie. Fortunately he has had great days while with Jackie but I can just tell his routine is messed up and it is going to take him a little while to adjust. On Monday and Tuesday he barely napped at all. Luckily yesterday, Thursday, he was able to nap for about an 1.5 hours. This helped alot and I know his sleeping schedule will continue to improve as he adjusts to his new daily routine.
 
Natalie has been acting and behaving fine but she is still dealing with "Clowns"  It all started at the AWANA back to school party where a clown was making balloon animals. One of the balloons popped and due to Natalie's sensitive ears she got really frightened and now associates that loud scary noise with clowns. Every night she says "No clowns", in fact she says this multiple times a day! When we say our nightly prayers she asks God to protect her from the clowns and says a memory verse that helps her remember God protects us! I am glad she is praying and turning to God for help and protection. I just don't know how to help her get over this fear. In fact, we did not even go to our church's Fall Festival because we knew there would be a clown there and it was going to be the exact same clown that scared her in the first place so we did not take any chances.
 
On Monday when I finally got back to work after 11 weeks off, SO MUCH had changed that the day itself was OVERWHELMING! In fact there were NUMEROUS times during the day that I just wanted to pack up my things and NEVER COME BACK! I was so very discouraged and upset. Now keep in mind that my emotions were running SKY HIGH due to having to leave the baby and a laundry list of other things but I was so very upset and discouraged at the end of the day!
 
I remember when I returned from Maternity leave with Natalie my band classes were a TOTAL mess and the kids were out of control and had BARELY learned ANYTHING! It practically took me the rest of the semester to clean up the mess that was made. This time around, my kids were great and under control. In fact, since there was a substitute, my classes were reading music and learning from a music textbook which I usually do not use since it is so basic and boring. A lot of my kids came to me this week and told me they actually LIKED the textbook. I am going to use these books more often now that I know they like them.
 
It wasn't my kids that had me discouraged but all the "Behind the scenes" and "Paperwork" stuff. I now know that we have faculty meetings EVERY Monday for 1.5 to 2 hours after school. Alot of this has to do with the TEA score we received last year as a campus. This is so frustrating because I got into this level of music teaching to avoid after school duties and hours. I just got so upset thinking to myself "If I am going to be at work til 5... I might as well be doing what I LOVE... TEACHING BAND". All day on Monday this was my attitude. I kept thinking "I have a Master's degree and I am teaching word for word out of the book. They seriously DO NOT NEED ME! The average Joe could do this job! In fact, the AVERAGE JOE did do this job while I was gone! I just want to go home and hold my baby!" I feel so under-used and under-appreciated! This makes me so sad!
 
The week got better with each passing day but even today I feel like I should be doing so much more with my career. I know I have to hold on and endure this "TEST OF FAITH" for another 7-8 months until June 1! I am very grateful to God for giving me this job and opportunity!
 
I have a passion for teaching and a passion for music... but right now all I can think about it my beautiful kiddos and how much I miss them! I know over the next few weeks, I will get back into the "Grind" and "Routine" and my feelings will change... Patience!
 
God is good... ALL THE TIME!

Hats Off

Friday, October 26, 2012

It has been FOUR months and my how the time has flown by. It seems only yesterday that I was laying on a hospital bed waiting to see my new baby boy! I had dreamed of having a baby boy all my life and the day had come to cut me open and get him out. It was a beautiful sunny HOT day in Houston/ Conroe and David Luke was about to make his grand entrance. At 1:30pm, baby Luke graced us all with hi presence and my life has never been the same since.

Since that sunny and hot day, it has continued to be HOT and humid but my how my boy and my life have changed. I spent practically the entire summer months taking care of my newborn and that in an of itself was a full-time job. Too many sleepless and restless nights waking up 4 and 5 times and nurse him, Changing 10-12 diapers a day and rocking that precious bundle of joy. Whew... By the time August came around I was exhausted. I felt like I needed a vacation! Hahaha... Little did I know at the time but a mother of 2 DOESN'T GET A VACATION!

The month of August was spent taking care of Luke ad then as soon as he was done eating and burping, I would go and get Natalie up and feed her breakfast and whatever else she needed. Before I knew it, the time was 11am and NOTHING had got done. I still had not showered or finished any chores or housework. Then within what seemed like seconds or minutes it was lunch time and one for Luke to eat again. Soon after lunch was nap time. I was never lucky enough to get nth of them I nap at the same time. Several times they overlapped by 20-30 minutes and I usually took that time clean or pack boxes. Of course at the end of the month, Chris started back teaching and I was on my own.
September came around and our move into our new house was getting closer and closer. I had NO TIME to pack boxes or get Dan and Jackie's house cleaned up from us living there. I was constantly trying to get both kids fed, cleaned and taken care of. I remember on September 3rd, the day BEFORE my 30th birthday, my mom and sister took me to get a pedicure and I felt like I literally won a MILLION DOLLARS. In fact, that is what I would have paid for that pedicure at the time. It was GLORIOUS! Thank you Mom and Allison for taking me! I loved it!
The rest of September kinda dragged because we were supposed to close Mid-September on the 14th but ended up closing a week later on the 21st. So between trying to pack boxes and clean and then actually MOVE into our new house... My poor kiddos were exhausted and so was I. When we finally did get moved into the new house and we were able to sleep there, all I wanted to do was just rest... BUT WAIT, I still had to take care of my little angels. There were bottles and feedings and baths and play times (in the new "Kitchen" of Natalie's... which is AWESOME by the way). Wow... Thank goodness I was not working at the time... I don't think I would have made it!
October came and went so fast. I was able to get most of the boxes unpacked and even hang a few pictures on the walls. Much to the disliking of both of my kids. I guess they don't like the sound of a hammer to a drywall! Several times I would have to just put Luke in the swing and I would go and clean the kitchen or vacuum or decorate because if I didn't get it done before i went back to work, I knew it would not get done til January since the Holidays are just around the corner. Several times I would put him in the swing crying and eventually (Like 10 minutes) he would just fall asleep or give up on crying. I hated doing that to a 4 month old but Mama HAD TO GET STUFF DONE!
Bottom line... I DON'T KNOW HOW STAY AT HOME MOMS DO IT! This is HARD WORK. And I only have 2 kids.... How do moms of 3 and 4 even survive? I barely have a moment to myself... TO SHOWER, let alone do anything else like clean the house or go grocery shopping (in fact i usually take BOTH kids to get groceries, my LEAST favorite part of a week). I have so many friends who are "Stay at home moms" and they have such well behaved kids, a clean house and a beautiful demeanor about them. I, on the other hand, after only 4 months of being a stay at home mom, am ready to pull my hair out and my house is NOWHERE near close to as clean as I would like!
I just don't know how y'all do it! Anyone out there that has a suggestion, I AM ALL EARS! Hats off to you wonderful STAY AT HOME MOMS! You are AMAZING! Please send some of your energy my way!
I love my kiddos SO MUCH and i am so VERY GRATEFUL for being able to spend this time with them! I will never get this time back and they grow up WAY TOO FAST so I am so glad I got to be home with them when I did! God blessed me with this time and for that I am FOREVER GRATEFUL!
Even for this Non-So- Good Stay at home mom...
GOD IS GOOD... ALL THE TIME!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

I Need Guidance... And Only Prayer Will DO!

Monday, October 15, 2012
Texas Children's Pediatric Associates Conroe

My baby is FOUR MONTHS old! It is hard to believe he already FOUR MONTHS. Yet at the same time I cannot believe it has ONLY BEEN FOUR MONTHS! It seems so much longer sometimes. My poor family has been through SO MUCH in the last FOUR MONTHS! I think Baby Luke is doing REALLY well considering all the change that has taken place. Between the move and his reflux he has done really well these FOUR MONTHS of life!

We went into the see Dr. Quarles today for Baby Luke's 4 Month Well-Baby Check. This was more of a follow-up for his reflux really. We had been patients of Dr. Pullium but she moved to Colorado in late August so we were forced to "Shop around" for another pediatrician. We went with Dr. Prohodia at first because she was available to see us on short notice when Luke's reflux got to be at its worst. She is very young and I liked her. She diagnosed Luke with GERD (Reflux) on August 30th and gave us some medication and advice to try to keep it under control. Since then Luke has had good days and bad days. I had changed Luke and Natalie over to DR. Prohodia as the PCP in September but after Dr. Pullium left the computer automatically put Dr. Quarles as our PCP so we ended up seeing her yesterday! This was alarming at first but turned out to be wonderful.

Luke has been on Nutramigen for the past 10 days and I have seen great improvements. He has been spitting up much less and in less volume and he is also taking the bottle much better (even from strangers). In the evening hours he is much less fussy and even laughs and plays more than the day time. During the past 10 days he has smiled for daddy just as soon as he gets home. This makes daddy so very happy. For most of his life Luke has screamed between the hours of 6-8 and he has begun to grow out of this and with the help of the Nutramigen he has been even more happy during these hours.

When we went in to see the Dr yesterday she answered a lot of my questions about reflux and medication but did not give me a definite path to take from here. She said that even though Luke seems to be doing better on the Nutramigen formula, he may still be able to breast feed if I cut out 4 of the major foods that effect reflux. These foods include milk, eggs, nuts and soy. I ha already cut out mill from my diet but not to the extremes she wanted me to. Absolutely NONE!!! She told me to look at labels for ingredients and if it had milk or eggs AT ALL don't eat it. I don't really eat these foods themselves very often but wow... EVERYTHING, I MEAN EVERYTHING I eat has milk or eggs in it. I love cheese and put it on most everything. I am not a great breakfast eater but I love raisin bran and of course that requires milk. Salad dressings, bread, tortillas, you name it... It has one of the four "No-No" foods. I guess I will be going on some form of Atkins. Man... I HATE THAT DIET! I would rather go back on HCG!
She gave me some advice about using the expressed milk I had been pumping in the freezer and also some expert opinion on Reflux but she did NOT tell me directly what to do. I am indecisive so I wanted this but I understand why she could not tell me what to do. She basically told me that I could switch to Nutramigen if I wanted to but she thinks overall Luke is just a "Happy Spitter" and is going to spit up no matter what. She also gave me the classic line "You have a LAUNDRY problem... not a medical problem". This made me feel better for Luke but a little discouraged for me. I wanted to know that the Nutramigen was the perfect fix and all would be well. Dr. Quarles doubled the medication of Zantac to 1.1 ML twice a day! After it was all over she sent us home to do yet another experiment. She said "If I were you, I would use all the milk in the freezer and breast feed him until you go back to work (10 days). If at that point pumping isn't an option or you still feel he is spitting up more with just breast milk, go back to Nutramigen. I just don't want to recommend an unneeded added expense." I greatly appreciate that aspect of it but I really wanted her TO TELL ME WHAT TO DO!
Since Monday, I have decided to take her advice and go with the "PULL YOUR HAIR OUT" diet and try to get Luke to breast feed again! That was always a wonderful bonding time for both of us! Maybe that is JUST WHAT I NEED before I go back to work! I am going to start him on the breast again on Friday so that way I will have 2-3 days to get all the "toxins" out of my system!
I don't know what will come of this experiment but I just want Baby Luke to feel better and not spit up as much! I know God will show me the path I need to take!
God is good... ALL THE TIME!

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Ten Free of Me

Sunday, October 13, 2012

A little over a month ago we discovered that poor Luke has GERD or infant reflux disease. He has been spitting up really bad since he was about 6 weeks old and it just kept getting worse and worse. I took him into the pediatrician on August 30th, when he was about 2.5 months old, to be examined and our new pediatrician diagnosed him with GERD. I had been researching this on the Internet and pretty much expected this diagnosis but was still a little upset to get the news.

Dr. Prohodia told us to keep on breast feeding and take an infants dose of the medicine Zantac. We followed her orders and started taking Zantac 3 times a day. We kept breast feeding and also began to feed in an upright position and keep him at a 45 degree angle for at least 30 minutes after each feeding. We even invested in a wedge to put in his crib at night so he would be elevated.

I have been weighing him weekly since his birth and he has continuously gained weight each week but the previous two to three weeks he has only gained an once or two each week. In my anal and OCD mind this was a red flag so I called the pediatrician.

After about a month on the medication we saw some improvemts but he would still spit up A LOT about 5-6 times a day. Pre-medication he was spitting up about 8-9 times and day and it was projectile vomit like. With the meds he was spitting up less in volume and frequency but still was continuously spitting up. Every time he would spit up he was happy and it didn't seem to bother him... Just me. In fact the first two weeks after starting the meds he barely even spit up and I thought he was "healed" but as time went on he began to spit up more and more. I had talked to friends who had reflux babies and they all said that he would more than likely have to start taking a type of formula for "cows milk" allergy. I was not happy about this since I really wanted to continue to breast feed him as long as possible.

With Natalie I was able to continue to breast feed well into her 8th month of life despite my low milk supply but eventually dried up after 8 months, 1 week and 5 days. Since I had a low milk supply basically the entire time of breast feeding Natalie, I expected the same with Luke so began pumping almost immediately after he was born. This made me have an overwhelming milk supply and in fact I have over 300 ounces on expressed milk in my freezer right now.

About 2 weeks ago Luke just kept spitting up and I was just so worried I called my pediatrician to ask for better meds or something. I spoke to our nurse and she said Dr. Prohodia wanted me to try an experiment with the special formula called nutramigen. She told me to have Luke ONLY drink Nutramigen for 10 days without any supplementation of breast feeding or break milk. I was told I keep "pumping and dumping" just in case the formula didn't help and I had to go back to breast feeding.

It has been the 10 days and we go and see Dr. Prohodia tomorrow for Luke's 4 month well-baby visit and shots. Overall I think the experiment worked and I think poor Luke has done a million times better on the Nutramigen formula than while on my breast milk alone. Sure he will still spit up every day but it is usually only 1-3 times and not projectile. I know with reflux there is no "magic fix" so he will still spit up until he grows out of it but I think with nutramigen and the Zantac he is doing much better.

We go and see Dr. Prohodia tomorrow and I am vey anxious to see what she recommends. I just pray for the health of my poor baby Luke. None of this has seemed to phase him but I just want him to be a healthy and happy baby!!!

Details of the doctors appointment to follow...

God is good... All the time.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Homesick

Friday, October 12, 2012
117 South McCall St
100 Arnold Dr
611 Imhoff St
2655 Brandywine Lane
3152 West Rock Creek Road
4339 Liberty Circle
16941 Wren Hill St
9923 Wing St
The addresses of my homes from my 30 years of life (Not including dorms...)
 Today I attended a funeral for my Great-Uncle Orville Dean Harlow. He died at the age of 85 in Oklahoma City, OK. I knew Uncle OD my entire life and he was extremely involved in my life growing up, especially for a "Great-Uncle". He and my dad were very close and this closeness was passed on to my sister and I growing up. Since he lived in Oklahoma City, I was able to visit him frequently while living in Norman and attending OU. We would go out for dinner and coffee on the weekends and I would even go over to his house to watch OU games with him and keep him company. He was a very generous and giving man and I will NEVER forget him.
Luckily, I have not had to attend very many funerals in my life but the few I have attended have been incredibly hard for my family and I. I was able to perform my saxophone at Uncle OD's funeral today an it was an amazing feeling to be able to perform knowing Uncle OD was looking down and listening. While my dad was preaching the final remarks of this funeral he reminded me that while Uncle lived at many addresses in his 85 years of life, he is now at his PERMANENT address.
This got me to thinking about the addresses I have lived at but more importantly, the address I will FOREVER remain at. At each of the above addresses, there have been many things I have loved inside the home. From square footage to bath space to kitchen layouts to yards. They all had pros and cons. Then of course, Chris and I just completed shopping for a new home a few months ago and we went and looked at some BEAUTIFUL homes that had EVERYTHING you could possibly imagine. We looked at some that were WAY out of our price range and I could do was just dream about living in a home like these. They had everything... WELL ALMOST!
In my final and permanent home there will be streets of GOLD and Mansions so big and beautiful. Things I cannot even imagine. There will be no more cleaning of carpets, no more mowing and watering the lawn, no more MOVING (can I get an "AMEN") and no more house payments. Just wonderful, beautiful and PERMANENT life among our Lord.
As I traveled back to Oklahoma, I got a little homesick and missing Oklahoma and all that it offers (Like LOW HUMIDITY... Can I get ANOTHER "AMEN"!). I started to even tear up thinking about how I thought of Oklahoma as "The good ol' days". I just missed my home. It wasn't until AFTER the funeral that my heart began to get homesick for another home... My PERMANENT home!
You see the addresses above are just that... ADDRESSES. Sure, they have provided me with a beautiful building to live in and they have protected me from the elements but obviously they have just been temporary! My mansion is waiting for me in Heaven and I CANNOT WAIT TO SEE IT! In fact, I am a little HOMESICK!
I know where MY PERMANENT home is... DO you?
God is Good... ALL THE TIME!

In a different "Zone"

Sunday, September 30, 2012

I have been in church my entire life... LITERALLY. My dad is a baptist pastor and has been preaching and teaching since long before I was born. In fact, I jokingly talk about how I was in church every time the doors were open since 9 months before I was born. Its a way of life for me and I want it to be the same way for my children and family.

Throughout my entire church life, I have been at the forefront of activities and events. When I was just a little girl I began singing at my daddy's church in Ulysses, KS at the age of 5. After that first initial song of praise I was hooked and began to sing solos in church all the time. My mom also has a wealth of musical talent and her and I would sing songs together frequently. Throughout my early years of life, between the ages of 5-12, I was singing praises to my God on a regular basis.

At the age of 12 my family moved to East Texas to Arp Emmanuel Baptist Church for my dad to continue his calling to God as a Baptist preacher. It was also at this time that I began my long journey of making music and giving it back to God. As a new 6th grader I was able to choose the instrument I wanted to play and luckily I was able to get to play the saxophone. This was a lifelong dream of mine and I am so grateful to God for allowing me this opportunity. I knew at that point that I would be forever grateful and give my talents, both vocally and instrumentally, back to Him.

For the remainder of my time spent at AEBC, I played my saxophone in the "ensemble" led by an amazing man of God, Bro. Tommy! He also allowed me to perform solos both singing and playing on a routine basis. In fact, Bro. Tommy made a schedule of performers and I was able to give my talents back to God nearly twice a month. I truly believe this is when and where I discovered my true calling in the church... To give my talents back to Him. Thank you Bro. Tommy for helping me realize this calling by allowing me to perform so frequently!

When I graduated high school and went to OU I knew I had to find a church to call my home and continue to give my talents back to Him. I visited several churches but ultimately found Bethel Baptist Church in Norman, OK. Ironically, this is where I found my husband too!

While at Bethel I immediately became active in the Orchestra and Band playing my saxophone. This came naturally to me and I was even able to help the music minister, one of my all-time favorites, Bro. Jerry as a music intern during my senior year of college. I was very active in the music department; playing my saxophone in the orchestra, playing my saxophone as solos during Worship time, singing solos in the Worship services as even sang in a Sunday night praise team. I was so very active in this music department that I also taught a 3-6 grade children's choir, which is where Chris and I met. I was at Bethel almost as much as I as at OU. It was an amazing time in my spiritual-musical life and I am forever grateful to Bro. Jerry and the entire Bethel Family for allowing me to give my talents back to God.

Shortly after Chris and I married we moved to Shawnee, OK for my band job at Grove Public School. Chris a I visited many churches in Shawnee but were continuously drawn to Immanuel Baptist Church. We both loved the pastor and his sermons but we also liked the flexibility of worship services. They had a traditional service like Chris liked and a more contemporary service which I enjoyed. Shortly after joining IBC, the music minister called and asked me to perform a solo with the choir on a upcoming Sunday. I performed with the choir and I immediately knew this is where God wanted me to be. Within weeks, I was asked to lead the orchestra. This was an answer to prayer as it gave me yet another opportunity to serve The Lord and give Him my talents. I continued to serve as the orchestra director for the following 6 years while living in Shawnee. A new music minister came after a few short years and my passion developed further for giving my talents to Him. Bro. Jason also helped me discover another calling of leading music within the church. This too was a wonderful time in my spiritual-musical life.

In the summer of 2011, Chris accepted a teaching job at Aldine ISD and we moved to Houston, TX. Within weeks, Chris and I were attending Mims Baptist church with his parents. This was not at all where I would have pictured us attending but it worked. I immediately started playing my saxophone in the orchestra and Chris even started singing in the choir. This all seemed natural to us and it seemed as if we would just pick up our old church lives from previous churches as place them into Mims. But since moving our membership over to Mims, I have been slowly taking a back seat in the orchestra/ music department (thanks to numerous other saxophone players and musicians) and in 15 months I have not played a solo or special music (feels so weird to me). I can feel myself moving more towards a different "zone". But Chris really likes the traditional music and for the first time in my adult church career, I LOVE our Sunday School class. So for this reason... WE ARE NOT GOING ANYWHERE!

In fact in most of the above scenarios I was incredibly active in the music ministry but rarely active in the education and Sunday School department. At IBC Chris and I never really "fit in" with any Sunday School class. At one point Bro. Todd started teaching a pastors class that we really liked but unfortunately when IBC went to 3 services, he had to give that up. That was a sad day for Chris and I because we really liked and learned a lot in that class.

On the very first Sunday at Mims in this Sunday School class Chris and I felt a connection with the families and couples in this class. Most of them are teachers and a few couples are even BOTH teachers, which is cool for Chris and I to interact with. Chris has always had a somewhat "dry" sense of humor and most of the time you either like him or you don't (at previous SS classes it was the later) but for whatever reason he is well accepted and appreciated in this class. Most of the husbands and even some of the wives love college and pro football and that is a topic of discussion most Sunday mornings before the lesson begins so Chris loves that! The class just seems perfect for Chris and I and I am so glad God called us to this church and this class. I can wait to see what else he has in store for us at Mims.

All of this is to say that for the first time that I can remember I am focusing less on my musical talent and gift and more on serving God in other ways within the church. I am currently helping in Awana on Wednesday night as well as other service opportunities that in previous churches and positions I would not have had time for.

I feel under-used and appreciated sometimes in this music ministry and slightly out of my comfort "zone". As mentioned above, in ALL of my other church life experiences I have been at the center of the attention and for the most part in the musical spotlight. Honestly, that is where I LIKE to be but clearly God has other plans for me in this stage of my life. I don't know what they are but I can't wait to find out.

I am blessed and I thank God for His blessings He has given me. Whether in the music "zone" or in any other service field, I will give ALL my talents back to Him.

God is good... All the time!!!

Sunday, October 7, 2012

All My Bags Are Packed

Wednesday, June 12, 2012

A week ago today I got a text message from our realtor asking us to call the bank and check on the status of our loan and closing date. I had been contacting our loan officer practically every other day and heard little from her but when I did speak to her she said we would still be ready to close on Friday the 14th.

Come to find out, when I called our bank our loan officer was on vacation and the paperwork had gotten lost in the assembly line of people it had to pass through. Her voicemail said to call another loan officer in her department and I did but I still did not hear back from him on this day. I called the realtor and told her this information and she immediately sent a very professional email to the higher-ups stating that we needed information on our account immediately. After several emails back and forth and even phone calls between the manager of the loan account at our bank and our realtor we found out that we may still be able to close on Friday but more than likely not. In fact as it turned out after the appraisal was done around the last week of August it was supposed to go into final underwriting; however we learned that it sat on the desk of a bank employee while they were on vacation and didn't get into underwriting until September 4. Our loan officer told us that underwriting was taking anywhere from 6 to 12 business days to be complete so at that moment we knew we were not going to be able to close on Friday. Chris immediately thought this meant we would not be able to close this Friday on the and it would be more like the following Friday. I on the other hand still had hopes that perhaps we can close on this Friday maybe or on Tuesday but only time will tell.

Well this morning at 10 AM we got the phone call that we will not be able to close on Friday and it will more than likely be Monday or Tuesday of next week. But we also learned that the sellers are going to be out of town on a business trip this next week so even though we might be ready to close on Monday or Tuesday it could be as late as Friday. Chris and I immediately laughed thinking "with our luck with this whole ordeal it will be next Friday the 21st".

All of our bags were packed we were ready to go but God had a different plan so we will sit here this weekend and enjoy another weekend before the hectic life begins in the new house. I don't know why our move was delayed yet another week but God has a reason and I can't wait to find out what it is.

God is good... All the time.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Hymns of Faith: The Teacher Learns from the Student

Friday, August 31, 2012

"Many rely on God with extreme passion and dedication when facing an obstacle in life. I wonder how incredible of a change this world could see if God was pursued with that same passion regardless of the circumstance... Food for thought." 



This is a quote that a past student of mine from Grove posted on Facebook last week. He is in his second year of college right now at OBU and is a remarkable person and Christian. Since I have not lived in Shawnee for over a year I do not know the entire story but I do know that he had to have brain surgery last week. He posted this quote the day before he had the surgery.  T

he week before  this, Natalie and Luke had their 3 year and 2 month old pediatrician check-ups. Poor Luke had not been feeding well off of the bottle and seemed to be getting really friustrated easily while trying to take the bottle. The check-ups were simultaneously happening and I was so WORRIED about Luke that I didnt even think about anything going wrond with Nataeli Grace and her 3 year old check-up. It was during her routine visit that our prediatrician, Dr. Pulliam, said "Has anyone ever told you that Natalie has a heart murmur?" Stunned and shocked, I looked over at Chris with tears forming in my eyes. Meanwhile, Luke was laying over on the doctor's table just smiling and as content as ever! Dr. Pulliam went on to evaluate Natalie and tell us a little bit about her heart murmur. She was only checking her with the stephascope and was not able to tell us much more than "Its a heart murmur." She advised us to see a Pediactric Cardiologist to check to see if the murmur was benign. The rest of the visit was very tramatic and stressful for all four of as the tension was very heavy. As soon as we got in the car, I just bursted into tears and called my mom. Immediately after that I called and made an appointment with the Cardiologist to see Natalie. Of course, there was not an opening for over a week so we had to wait to see if this heart murmur was benign or not.

It was during this time that I learned of my ex-student's condition as his incredible faith in God as he was going through such a tramatic event in his life. I began to follow his story and updates via "Care Bridge" on the MD Anderson website. I was amazed as his speedily recovery and steadfast dedication to God. I was just blown away. How could someone who was facing such a grave condition be so at peace. I began to ponder this as I sat there thinking about my first born and the possibility that this heart murmur was more than just a little "Thump-thump".

I read his quote from above on Facebook and really thought about how I had been doing this. I am not a perfect person or Christian by any means but I too had been seeking God's face in the midst of my trials and tribulations and not as dedicated to Him during non-trying times. Like my ex-student said, what a revalation it would be if we sought Him even during our great joys and successes. That following week I made it a priority to not only pray and have my quiet time alone with God in the morning but in the evening and afternoon as well. I found myself spending time in THe Word during Natalie and Luke's naptimes and even staying up an extra 30 minutes to an hour after I put Luke to bed reading the Bible and praying. Now of course, I was still waiting to see the Caridologist at this point but I felt so revived and refreshed.

ON Wednesday, August 22 Natalie, Luke and I traveled to the Northwestern most part of Houston to see this Pediatric Caridolgist for Natalie. When we got there Natalie had to do the usual weight and height measurements but she also had to have her blood pressure checked and even get an EKG! THis was such new expereince for her and she DID NOT LIKE IT! After finishing these exams with the nurse we went into the Doctor's office and he listened to her heart and then did an extensive Ultrasound of her heart. THis was special because i told Natalie she was going to be able to do what Mommy did while Baby Luke was in her tummy. I had pulled out pictures of Baby Luke's ultrasound the night before and Natalie was excited to be able to see her heart on the screen. When the doctor showed her the heart she said "Look mommy, it Baby Heart!" This was so sweet.





After an extensive review of her heart via the ultrasound the Cardiologist informed me that Natalie's heart was 100% healthy and "Perfect". What a relief. I immediately said a grateful prayer to God. Now honestly, after this I would have gone back to my usual Christian self and had my daily quiet and prayer time but not at the instensity level I had been since the tramatic event had passed and all was well. But not this time. On our way home I began to listen to my iTunes and the hymn "Have Thine Own Way" came on. This may not seem like a song that would speak to soemone right AFTER this type of event but it did.
Have Thine own way, Lord! Have Thine own way 
Thou are the Potter, I am the Clay 
Mold me and Make me, After thy will
While I am waiting, yielded and still

Have Thine own way, Lord! Have Thine own way
Wounded and weary, Help me I pray
Power, all Power, surely is Thine
Touch me and Heal me, Saviour devine

Have Thine own way, Lord! Have Thine own way
Hold O're my being, absolute sway
Fill with Thy spirit till all shall see
Christ only ALWAYS, living in me!


Touch me and Heal me... Of course this was relevant to Natalie Grace and her heart murmur but it was also relevant to me and my Christian walk. I had fallen down and was having a hard time getting up. I had been failing at getting in the most time possible with God. No wonder I was tired and weary. Since then I have kept up not only my daily quiet time and prayer time but additional time with God. I have taken the nightly nursing sessions with Luke as my extended prayer time. I have been able to pray for family and extended family that I may have over-looked in the past as well as Sunday School and Church requests that I might have bunched into one blanket sentence in previous years. I feel like a completely new person.

It is amazing how the statement of one person can really open your eyes to your own Faith and relationship with God. Thank you dear Ex-Band student of mine for your words of truth and encouragement. I am a new Christian, Wife and mother! Thank you! 

God is good... ALL the time!