Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Boy, Does God Work In Mysterious Ways....

Seven years ago today, my sweet friend Elizabeth got pukey sick and totally wrecked my New Year's Eve plans.

Kaitlyn was born September 17.

And now, you know the rest of the story.

You may think that's TMI. I prefer to think it's just further evidence that God is in control of all things -- especially life's greatest blessings!

Adios 2008!!!

As we close out 2008, I have to highlight my VERY FAVORITE POST of the year. If you're new to my blog or just missed it, this is a must-watch. Even if you've seen it before, you must see it again.

Happy New Year!!! My God bless your 2009 with much love, many hugs, wonderful health, happy children, a job you love and higher oil prices.

What a Difference 15 Years Makes!!


2008 marks 15 years since I graduated from The Holy Land, AKA Texas A&M. At that point, it was just assumed that A&M would go to a bowl game every year. And Rice never would.

The only reason why Rice University wasn't the butt of more jokes was simply because they weren't worth the time or effort. We couldn't even begin to fathom how much smarter a Rice football player is in comparison to the average Southwest Conference student. It didn't matter. What mattered was that Rice was considered an "easy win."

My how times change. A&M's lackluster performance this season paled considerably in comparison to the star qualities being displayed at Rice. The records that were broken. The way everything aligned perfectly to produce a season that Rice grads will boast about for years to come. The quarterback, Chase Clements, who at the end of the game shared his faith in Jesus Christ and gave the glory to God for his accomplishments.

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This was THE season for Rice, and I'm so happy to have been a part of it.

Last night the Owls capped off a great season -- 10 wins. And while we're all still more than a little pissed at Todd Graham for leaving the way he did, part of this was his legacy. If it weren't for him, Andrew Sendejo would be playing for some other school and wouldn't have been there to pick off one of the coolest interceptions in a very long time. (Never mind that he's a Junior who's about to start a second major, plays football and carries a 3.58 GPA at Rice!) And without Graham we wouldn't have had that fancy scoreboard to watch all season or any of the other stuff that he convinced the alumni to pay for in order to be a serious team that could score serious recruits. But Graham is the past, and Bailiff is the present -- and oh, what a wonderful "late" Christmas present that game was!

Thanks to the Ecklunds, we had a great block of seats with the other "brothers" and their wives. I used to be so intimidated by these strong, beautiful women. But I've gotten to know them and treasure them as dear friends.

And for me, one of the coolest parts of the evening was having them all ask about the 3-Day. This group has always been so supportive of my doing the 3-Day. They've contributed a lot to finding a cure. Biggs' "Save Second Base" Campaign has really helped share with them what we're doing. But beyond that, they're proud of me for what I'm doing. They aren't just contributing to this "little thing" John Biggs' wife does. They know they have a vested interest in it. And while I don't have stories of legendary athleticism in my personal history, I do have this. And it means so much to me to have that support from them.

To top it off, Bonnie sang the National Anthem beautifully. Halfway through, I realized they were showing it on the screens -- so that's the reason this isn't the best clip ever. But if you can get through the first half to my realization, you're in for a treat. Bonnie's CDs can be downloaded off iTunes if you're looking to hear more of her beautiful voice. It's Bonnie Bishop (Jones, of course!)

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Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Gone Bowling

Customized Football Jersey - ImageChef.com

That's right! Rice is playing West Michigan tonight, and Bonnie (Sky's wife: http://www.bonniebishop.com/) is singing the National Anthem. How cool is that? Wish I could tell you to watch it on TV, but it's only going to be on the NFL Network and the KHOU highlight reel. Still, it's awesome that Rice is playing here in Houston. AND I can't wait to see the Owls finish this season with TEN wins!!!

We're meeting up with a bunch of the "brothers" and their wives -- I'm sure I'll have lots to tell tomorrow!!!

What are You Reading???

Okay. While I'm lovin' the Cyber-Hugs, yesterday's post didn't exactly get me where I wanted to go. Reading blogs isn't taking up nearly enough of my day, and I'm looking for more good reads.

So what are you reading these days? Are there blogs that you really enjoy, that call you back day-after-day to see what's going on??

Monday, December 29, 2008

Need Help?

Need one last tax-deduction for 2008? Feel free to head on over to www.the3day.org/goto/tiaras to make a donation to the 3-Day.

Wish you hadn't eaten all that turkey, dressing, gravy, sweet potatoes, hashbrown casserole, three kinds of pie and everything else? Feel free to boogie your bigger-than-usual behind on over to www.the3day.org/goto/tiaras and click on "Join Team." You'll be amazed what the 3-Day will do for you!!!

Here's My Sign....

My neighbor Mary gave me this sign for Christmas! I love it!!! It was made by the residents of The Brookwood Community. (http://www.brookwoodcommunity.org/)

p.s. I've added in a couple of posts of Christmas pix, so my TEN readers.... you might want to scroll down!

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Calling All Lurkers....

I've been in a really reflective zone lately. Some might call it moping. I don't know. I've just been thinking a lot. This has been a tough Christmas. I think last year we were all so numb still that we just "got through it." But this year, not so much. Maybe it's PMS come early or something -- but I'm feeling weepy. Sad. Dis-jointed. Pissy. Kind of like I've misplaced my compass.

For those who worry.... I haven't fallen down again. I promise. I would tell you if I did. If I knew, that is. But for now, I know I haven't.

And since it wouldn't be the Christmas I wanted it to be, no matter what I did, I set out to make it a totally perfect Christmas in a totally different way.

You should have seen the table on Christmas day. Red tablecloth & napkins. A mix of mine & Mom's Spode Christmas dishes. Tons of food. It was beautiful.

But it didn't do the trick because I still wanted the old Christmas back. And that kind of shadowed everything. And of course, it was all capped off by finding my drowned Crackberry. (BTW... The whole "put it in rice to dry it out" trick? Doesn't work.)

I know, I know. Would I land the plane already???

Here's the deal, I know I have about four regular readers on here who check the blog about 1500 times a day to make that counter jump. Right?

But who else is reading all this? I've really been wondering.

So hey, even if you've never, ever left a comment before, please leave one. And if you have a blog, please leave the link. I'd love to know who you are.

I need to do some looking forward. This looking back stuff just isn't all it's cracked up to be.

(And Amanda Walls, that includes you. I've lost your link and can't find it anywhere.)

Christmas with the Biggs Bunch

We had Christmas with the Biggs Bunch here on Thursday, then we all headed down to the Creek. Remember the boxes under the tree that "went away" because someone was snooping? Well, they came back -- disguised as one big box! I think you could say they were a bit excited!

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You can't really tell from this picture, but Abbie's hair absolutely thrives on being in Sargent. It just turns super-curly. I love it!

This is quite the fish story. It took two poles and three people to bring in this whopper. Kamryn gets the official bragging rights, because it was technically her catch.

Kam was big on kissing the fish!

Here's the Black Drum Abs boated. I think he's saying, "Get me outta here!"

Alan's trout will be good eating at some point. This is the size that usually comes out of the Bay, so you can see why Biggsy's moose was such a big deal!!!

What's for Dinner?

Found this cool website last week!!!

www.topsecretrecipes.com

Not the Sharpest Knives in the Drawer....

Sometimes we aren't the smartest parents on the block.

Biggsy and I took the girls to the Creek this weekend. We met Mimi, Pa, Alan, Amber, Kodie, Kamy & Kelton down there. We had beautiful weather on Friday. But there was this cold front that was supposed to come in mid-day on Saturday....

So Biggsy, Alan and I took Abbie, Kodie & Kamy fishing in the bay Saturday morning. Kait's been battling a cough, so we left her to help take care of Kelton. It was a bit cool going down -- but really not too cold or too hot. Just pleasant. Spurts of sunshine in a mostly overcast day.

Everyone caught something. I caught a little red and a croaker. Alan ended up with a keeper red and a trout, and Abs boated a nice black drum. And we got back to the house about 2:00.

The rest of the Biggs bunch loaded up and headed home, but we decided to fish some in the Creek. Someone was in our spot, so we headed a bit farther down. No tide, no wind, no fish biting. At all. Tons of mosquitos. After a bit, we headed home.

Remember that cold front? It hit just as we were headed home. Pelting rain. Really cold. Miserable. Ever try to drive a boat in a pelting, icy rain? YIKES. It was a far cry from that time Stacey and I were out in the boat in August with it raining.

We made it home, but Kait's cough is worse today. And I'm dealing with "Mommy guilt." At least we didn't go back out today!

Friday, December 26, 2008

I'm in Mourning...

If I could figure out how to make my blog "go black," I would. Yesterday my Crackberry (phone) was sitting on the cabinet in the kitchen where someone somehow spilled something -- and it got all wet.

It's fried.

And no, I didn't have the replacement insurance package.

Great.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

It's Just Not There....




Biggsy and I agree. Christmas without my Mom is nowhere near as fun as Christmas with my Mom was. Man, that sucks.

And The Winner Is.....

Me!!!!

I NEVER win ANYTHING!!! No Publisher's Clearing House! No Lottery!
But I've won something now! Of course, it took being COMPLETELY out of the loop to get it done....

Here's the scoop: We left last Friday for West Texas -- long trip, long story to come. No Internet access except for about 10 minutes at Kelly's house early Sunday morning. But before I left, I made sure to register for the Friday give-away at http://www.ninaloca.com.
We got up at 6:00 this morning, so we could get Spike the Deer to Hamilton before our deer processor closed for Christmas. (If there's one thing you don't want to have in your truck for a couple of days, it's a dead deer!) Along the way, I logged onto email via Biggsy's Crackjack and found out I'd won the Friday giveaway!!! How cool is that? Along with some serious bling, I won a 2-hour ride in the Pretty Pink Limo (www.prettypinklimos.com) Here's a picture of the Limo that I snagged off their website....

Even cooler? The owners of this SWEET ride are two buddies of mine. Kim & Susan walked with us in the 3-Day. They know my heart, and when I talked to Kim about a little idea I have concerning my FREE RIDE, she knew exactly where I was coming from. More details about THAT will follow if it works out!

In the meantime, that Crazy Christina over at www.ninaloca.com says tomorrow's giveaway is EVEN BIGGER and involves TEN Crazy Vendors!!!! Don't forget to register for tomorrow's big drawing!!!

I'm off to take a much-needed nap. More later!!!

Christmas in Old Fluvanna

We had a great trip to Fluvanna for the holidays. It was extremely cold -- with lows in the low teens, but still a great time.

We made sugar cookies at Paw-Paw's house. Here the girls are cutting them out....

We went to see Polar Express at the Ritz. They put on a great event with Santa, the Hot Cocoa Dance with the elves after the movie, and then cocoa and cookies to top it all off! Terry, Theresa, Brantley & Abbie joined us -- but Brantley decided he's a bit old for pictures with Santa!




Christmas with the Herring / Jones crew was at Carey's house this year. She has The Best setup for all of us! Biggs was a bit late since he was out getting Spike the Deer, but he didn't miss too much.


I love this picture of the Sandusky girls with their Dad!

Biggsy & Uncle Don always sit off in a corner and laugh at the rest of us!

Friday, December 19, 2008

Christmas Parties!!!

Christmas Party Day is always the BEST day of school!!!




Thursday, December 18, 2008

Does Anyone Know Where I Can Get the Elf Owner's Manual?

I think our elves may need a tune-up. They're a bit spazzy. Some nights they move. Some nights they don't. Sometimes they move in the daytime. Sometimes they "forget" to move for a couple of days. This morning, I took the girls to the bus stop, and when I came back they'd moved into the kitchen. Guess they know I'm planning to make candy today.


Our Very Own Rudolph

Aunt M'Lys made these cute hats for the girls last year.


All We Do is Party, Party, Party!

We hosted the Christmas party for our Sunday School class this weekend. Complete with a homemade Christmas ornament exchange. What fun!


I have to say, the decorated styrofoam cups (there were two in a matched set) took the cake!

Playground Fun

Amber brought the kids to Mimi's this weekend, so we took the whole gang to Turtle Park on Saturday.

I don't know that Abbie brushed her hair before we went. She wants so badly to grow it out.

Yes, you're right. We're going to make our orthodontist a very rich man.


Have you ever seen a baby this cute?


Getting Kodie to smile for the camera is just about impossible.

Kamryn, on the other hand, is about as much a camera ham as her cousin Kait!

Here's Kelton with the quilt Auntie D'Lyn made him this summer!

"I love my Auntie D'Lyn!!!"

Karaoke. Nuff Said.

Okay. The big Dresser Christmas party was last Friday. We had a great time. We did Karaoke until about 1:00 a.m. YIKES. Here I am with my elves -- and THE DRESS.


This isn't a very good clip, but here I am singing "Walkin' After Midnight." This was the last song of the night!!!


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Here Comes the Bride...

In case you haven't heard the news, my cousin Sky (known to us as "Boliver" when he was little) married the ever-so-lovely Bonnie Bishop a couple of weeks ago. For about half a second, I thought about taking the girls with me to the wedding. But Biggs had jet-lag from his trip to Turkey and was more than happy to stay home with the Bigglets.

I am so glad I went to the wedding. We had a BLAST! Our side of the family was well represented. The wedding was beautiful -- Bonnie sang a song she'd written for Sky that was so pretty and so sweet. (Check out www.bonniebishop.com for more of her music.)

The reception was great -- although we about froze under that outdoor tent. YIKES! We sat next to Sky's track coach from Baylor and his wife. They're "good people." It was kinda fun to see the Herring crew checking out the Martini Bar. I about ate my fill of fried plantains and sweet potatoes. Mmmmm.....

Here's a picture of the happy couple!

One really cool part of the wedding.... For boutenniers, Sky had tied flies with Marlin hooks. By far one of the neatest things I've seen at a wedding.

Cody & Lacey were enjoying a night away from the kiddos!

It was good to see Rana and Brad. Please keep them in your prayers. Brad is about to start radiation after the first of the year.

I love this picture of Rana and Uncle Ray!

Do I look like a dwarf, or what? How did I end up in this family with all these tall people??


Bonnie's a hoot! She'll definitely be a fun addition to family gatherings!

Oh, and Bonnie is Jackie Sherrill's daughter! It was great to see him!