Tuesday, November 30, 2010

My Nativity Set

I searched for almost 6 years until I found the perfect Nativity. It's perfect for ME anyway. People would ask if I wanted one for Christmas and I always said "no". I think it's a very personal thing to pick out your own Nativity set. I knew what I wanted, but I didn't know how to convey all those details to others.

Two years ago, I finally found it. At Oriental Trading of all places!! I think the set cost me all of $15 (that's including shipping & tax). It's not fancy, it's not made of gold or marble or whatever else that may make it perfect or valuable to anyone else. And once you scroll down to see the pictures, you may think: "eh.. it's nothing special". But it is to me. And I can't explain it. All I know is when I saw it online, I knew it was the Nativity set I was waiting for.

When I boxed it up after Christmas of 2007, I did a really good job of putting it up b/c I couldn't find it ANYWHERE. So I went without it last Christmas. Jon found it a few weeks ago though, and I set it out on Friday.

I noticed that it was missing something..... the set was a little washed out by the wall. I decided to paint a night sky on canvas and place the set in front of it. (I do need a bigger canvas, but it will do for now) It's still missing something and I finally figured out what it is, but I'm not sure on how to go about it. It's missing a manager! I know I don't want to buy one, I want to build it myself. And I will... but it will probably wait until next Christmas unless I have some kind of break through in ideas b/4 this Christmas is over.

ok.. enough typing... here's the pictures:

I love Nativity sets, always have. I wish I knew what happened to my Mother's Nativity. I would love to display it also. Who knows... I may continue to add to the one I have now.

One of the things I love about my set are the Bible verses. They are beautiful! I used to not be too fond of Christmas because of all the commercialized mess that came with it. But I know now that I can't help how other people act or think about Christmas, I just need to make sure my heart is right. I just need to keep Christ at the center of Christmas (DUH!!) and pray that others can see Christ through me. (wow.... THAT'S gonna take a A LOT of praying...)

Merry Christmas!!

Friday, November 26, 2010


We hosted Thanksgiving this year. Our house isn't huge, so we didn't have many people over. But I think it was a success. Jon's Mother, his niece & nephew were there. My Dad and Step-Mom and my brother came. Christen and her boyfriend and her friend. My Aunt, Uncle and cousins came too. We ate... way too much. And we all ooohhhhed and ahhhhed over the littlest cousin Cameron. He's such a cutie.

I wish we could have had more people over. But we were busting at the seams as it was.

I feel very blessed to be able to host Thanksgiving. It was a lot of work (thanks to Jon, most of the work was not put on me) but so worth it.

Thank you Lord for my family.

(for once, Jon was taking the picture instead of me. And my Dad, Step-Mom and Brother had already left, so they aren't pictured.)

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Can't do a thing about it...

I took Christen to the DDS yesterday and she passed her drivers test with flying colors. She would have made a perfect score, but she forgot to turn on her blinker when parallel parking. I was just proud she didn't knock over one of those cones in the process. There wouldn't have been a cone left standing if it were me.

I must admit. I cried. Just a little. It's so hard to imagine that she's old enough to have her license. It's one more step to her not needing me and well... that breaks my heart. This milestone causes me to reminisce... join me...

I haven't been the perfect mother, but I pray I've done a good job. I pray I've pleased God overall and I pray I haven't messed her up too much. She's got family who loves her. That counts for something... Actually, that counts for a lot. My dad is in the picture above with Christen when she was just a couple of days old. She stole his heart in about one second.

This picture above was the first day she learned to climb up into this chair by herself. You can tell how proud she was of herself. Always little-miss independent.

I feel blessed that she's been able to experience things that many people don't get to experience. Even simple things, like snow. Many people take snow for granted, but when you're from South GA, it can be close to a miracle. We lived in a town just south of Atlanta when the picture above was taken. I remember waking her up the night before and letting her watch the snow as it piled down from the sky. She was amazed!

Gosh, she's so beautiful. Inside and out. Thank you Lord for trusting her to me. I want to ask Him sometimes: "What in the WORLD were you thinking???". Giving such a precious being to an 18 year old kid.

Traditions were hard to keep for years, but we continue to make it through and make the best of things. (at least I hope we do)

She has skills. Which proves again she was "fearfully and wonderfully made" because she surely doesn't get her athletic skills from me.

This picture was taken during a Youth Retreat. Thank you Lord for her Christian friends. I believe I'm just as thankful for them as she is.

Boyfriends. What can I say? She's had some great choices (like the one above and the one below) and she's had some horrible (yes, horrible) choices. Another thing about her growing up that I'm not fond of.

She's our little girl. Will always be. No matter where she goes or what she does, she'll always be our baby. I don't think she minds that too much though.

So, I can't do a thing about her growing up. It's a part of life. I just pray she never strays from God, that she always keeps Christ at the center of all her decisions and that she's happy and safe.
Oh how I love you baby girl.

Friday, November 19, 2010


I love my friends. But I realize I don't make much time for them. It's not that I don't want to spend time with them. Really it's not. I guess I just spend so much time at my job during the week, by the time the weekend comes, I just want to do... nothing.

Jon will get me out of my rut every now and then though. And I'm so glad he did last Saturday. He invited our friends Sonya and John and they brought their boys and nieces. We ate ribs, watched part of a scary movie and listened to the boys picking and singing.
We also got to break in my fire pit for the first time. :o)

Beckham LOVES people. Especially people who pet him.

The picture above is my favorite picture of the night. The sizing here doesn't do it justice and I have yet to figure out how to make the pictures bigger.

Beckham made a new friend that night. He loves this kid!

Monday, November 15, 2010


I have an awesome friend. He hooked me up with Photoshop 7.0. I've known this dude since high school. We were in college together and he played the piano at my wedding. He's great at everything he does. He works and practices and works some more just to get better at things he's interested in. He taught himself how to play piano, then when he got good enough, he took lessons to get better. He taught himself how to work on recording equipment. He also learned how to tint windows. And, he taught himself how to do many a "trick" on the computer. :o)

I'm a bit slower though. I get aggravated easily. Thankfully, I do want to learn as much about Photoshop as I can. I started with something I've always wanted to learn; change a color photo to black and white, then add the colors I want back to the photo. For example:



Isn't that cool??? I'm sure many people already know how to do that, but I'm just super stoked that I finally learned how.

I also learned how to take certain colors and make them more vibrant. For example:



And then I combined both of the things I learned and did this:

Yeah, I've had lots of fun!! Can't wait to keep learning... What is something new you've just learned? Is it something you've always wanted to learn or something new you've just discovered? I'd like to know!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010


Everyone thinks their child is the best of the best, the prettiest, the smartest, etc, etc. I'm not the exception to the rule! I believe my daughter is pretty awesome. I believe it, so it must be so.

Seriously, she's great at whatever she does. She's always loved soccer. She continues to get better and better at it. When she tried out for the softball team, she made it. She didn't get much play time, but when she was in, she was in and she did what she was suppose to do. And now, she's trying her hand at air pistol.

I had never even heard of air pistols until last year. The only reason I even knew there was such a thing is because of the local radio station giving updates on the competitions.

From what I understand, there is a school sponsored Air Rifle team and there are FFA sponsored BB, Air Pistol and Air Rifle teams. Christen will be competing in Air Pistol through the FFA.

Her first day of practice, she showed promise. And from what she and Jon tell me, she just keeps getting better. (he goes to her practices, I don't... don't judge me)

I would go into scores and all that, but I really don't know what I'm talking about. All I know is, my kid is pretty awesome. I thank God for blessing me with her daily. (even on the days when she tries my last nerve)

She is not "left-handed" at normal, daily tasks. But for some reason, in sports, she is left-eye dominate. She bats left handed and shoots left handed. They had to have a special grip made just for her. (well, they have to make special grips for ALL left handed shooters)

Of course, she has an audience. We were watching her tear up some Dr. Pepper cans. We were also dodging pellets as they ricocheted!

Check out that stance. This is how they have to stand during competition.

Those pellets mean business! And you surely don't want to be in the line of fire.

Friday, November 5, 2010


I have good intentions when it comes to lists....

I try to make lists (grocery, work tasks, day-to-day errands), but I rarely actually USE my lists.

For example: I will go to the trouble of writing a grocery list, then leave it on the kitchen counter. I've done that more times than I would like to admit. I also try and make a Christmas list. I tell myself it will help me relieve stress, but seriously, just writing that list stresses me out.

Today, as I was driving back to work from lunch (yeah, right... I WISH I actually got a "lunch" hour) I started making a list in my head, but it wasn't a very nice list. It was my: "Things that get on my last nerve" list. And here is what I came up with:

  • People who hurriedly pull out in front of you, then go BELOW the posted speed limit.

  • People who are in the left hand turning lane and go into my lane to make their left hand turn.

  • Trains

  • People who wait to the last minute to conduct business and expect me to drop EVERYTHING because they are almost "out of time"

  • People who don't make out their checks ahead of time and take 10 minutes to conduct a transaction that should only take about 2 minutes.

Can you tell I have an issue with people today? Yep, I do. But that's o.k. I can't do a thing about other people. I can't make them speed up or stay in their lane. I can't make people NOT procrastinate and I can't make people write their checks out ahead of time. Well, I guess I could suggest they do that, but some people may take that the wrong way. And, to tell the truth, I really don't mind trains. They are way better than semi-trucks.

What I can do is NOT get so stressed out over other people. I can control my actions/thoughts. So I need to start there. With God, I can do/overcome/de-stress anything!!

This picture just makes me happy. I edited it over at picnik. Happy Friday!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Thanksgiving... At MY House???!!!

I'm not a cook, or the best "homemaker" and I'm not one to host a party, much less Thanksgiving. But it's happening! I must admit, I'm excited. It was Jon's idea.

We usually have Thanksgiving lunch at one of my paternal Uncle's house, but they have a lot going on right now. We thought about having it at my Ma's house, but since she passed away last year, not much has been done in the upkeep of her house. It would have put a lot of work on my Aunt and she has a lot going on too.

So, we were going to just go over to my cousin's house, but they were also having family from another side. I told Jon about all this and the man said, "Let's just have Thanksgiving at our house!". I love that man.

Our house isn't small, but it's not big either. But that's okay because I think only about 15 people (including us) will be there.

We'll have to set up a small table in the living room, and if the weather is nice, we can even set up one on the porch. Our counters are long and big enough to set up the food buffet style.

I'm not good w/ dimensions, but I think you can get an idea of how big the place is by these pictures.

It will be a bittersweet Thanksgiving. As I mentioned earlier, my Ma (Paternal Grandmother) passed away last year. Thanksgiving and Christmas will not be the same. Her birthday is coming up too. So, I imagine some good memories will be shared and I bet some tears too. I will save a special entry, just to write about her. But I will leave you with pictures of THE greatest woman I've ever known.

She was surely a Proverbs 31 woman.