Tuesday, February 27, 2007

A Photographer in the Making

If you have not already, you need to go to our smugmug site and take a look at the newest pictures. I posted these a few weeks ago and forgot to tell you who took these precious pics. My friend, Christine, whose first talent is being a baby whisper, took these pics while she was babysitting Keegan one day. She has such a creative eye and a brand new camera which together captured all of Keegan's cuteness!! She has aspirations in taking this further than babysitting sessions, so I am excited to see where the Lord takes her. I think that she could go far because every baby smiles for her!

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Mr. Bird Returns

6:45 on the dot, it is not Keegan that wakes me up, it is the chirping outside my window. This is the third year that Mr. Bird has found a home near us. He makes an appearance in the spring just about the time when it gets lighter outside earlier in the morning. It is not that I hate our feathered friends, but I did not ask for a wake-up call. I have tried to look out my window and find where he is, but Mr. Bird knows that he is a nuisance..so he hides. In the past, I never needed to set the alarm because he was always there...chirping away. He is really good at his job because there is no snooze button. (Dern.) Some mornings it was really annoying and some mornings I was grateful. But now, he is my mortal enemy. The reason for my grumpiness. It rates up there with a constant dripping in a bathtub. I wake up with Keegan at least 2 times a night and all I want to do is sleep till 7:00. Those 15 minutes of sleep that bridge the 7 o'clock hour are precious. It can make you feel like a new woman. This morning I seriously contemplated finding a BB gun or a big rock. Why can't he find somewhere else to chirp? If you have ever seen the movie "Failure to Launch", there is an ongoing drama about a bird outside the window. She goes absolutely nuts and it forces her over the edge. I am to that point. Watch out Mr. Bird, someone's got a vendetta.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

American Idol Predictions

I have not seen a whole season in its entirety since Kelly Clarkson, so I have enjoyed getting on the AI band wagon once again. I like to be the "more respectable" Simon Cowell on the other side of the tv and usually I can put money on what Simon is going to say... because it is my opinion as well. But here we go..here are some predictions.

Here is who I think will be going home tonight:
Sundance Head
Sanjalla Malaker
Amy Knebs
Antoella Barba

Here is who I think will make it to the end:
Lakisha Jones
Chris Sligh
Jordin Sparks
Melinda Doolittle
Blake Lewis
Brandon Rogers

Not sure how many of you are on the band wagon this year, but feel free to leave me your thoughts.

Friday, February 16, 2007

PLUMB: Chaotic Resolve

Since leaving work I feel a little disconnected from all the new music coming out. My ausie friend, Harlie, always kept me in the loop with new music. We also would get boxes of newly released albums that would be delivered to our student ministry for us to play for students. I loved those days!! You would think since I have an intense love for music I would be waiting for every new album to arrive. But, I am set in my ways and listen all the old albums on my i-pod until I literally know the next song coming because it is so ingrained in my being.

Today I decided to buy a new album that I heard Harlie playing while setting up for girls retreat. PLUMB. (by the way, love the i-tunes store..so dangerously convenient.) She has had music around since I was in high school, so I was shocked that I loved her so much. You know how it is, most musicians lose their edge over a decade. (Note: Steven Curtis Chapman...sorry for those of you that own a current cd of his...he is just not my personal fav..that is, anymore.) Her cd has energy, deepness, creativity, and intensity that really could soar in the secular world. Musically it is a masterpiece. Check out her website when you have a chance. So for now, I feel a little more connected.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Baby Jacey is about to make her debut!

My brother, Matt, and his wife Jenifer went to the doc yesterday to find out that she is 3cm dilated! She told them that it would not be long and it could be any day! For sure Jenifer is not making it to March 14th. I am grieving here a little bit, because I thought we would share the same birthday. Oh well...Baby Jacey has a mind of her own and will come when she wants to. Keegan has won the race so far of being a month early, but Jacey is not far behind.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

My Valentine

You come to find many things about your husband that you love even after you are married. You come to understand them inside and out. Quirks and all. Here are just a few things that you should know about my valentine, Jonathan.
*sneezes when he goes out into the sun.
*gets us at 4:30 every morning because he loves running THAT much.
*would eat yogurt for every meal if he could.
*loves cheese on everything.
*despises carrots.
*loves reading books...on the toilet.
*is a creature of habit. He has the same routine every night before he goes to bed. It is like rewinding a video and watching it over and over and over.
*washes the windshield every time he gets gas.
*loves tea with 2 splendas in it.
*eats a turkey sandwich, string cheese, baked lays and a bananna every day for lunch.
*uses a map everytime he goes out of town even if has been there a billion times. (not that he has direction issues, but just likes maps)
*hardly ever gets sick.
*is his dad. You would never know he was adopted.
*cries when he watches Extreme Makeover (I know he will want me to delete this when he reads this!)
*has big feet and toes. (keegan has them too!)
*is half-way color-blind.
*needs cave time. (a.k.a. alone time.)
*loses his contact in the back of his eye at least once every week.
*has an obsession with checking the mail.
*loves frisbee golf, bike riding, golfing and hunting.
*wears his Converse that he had in high school.
*wears the same sunglasses he had in high school.
*won awards in high school for spanish. He still has a whole poem memorized, but refuses to recite to anyone who speaks spanish.
*taps the side of the pepper and salt shaker instead of shaking them.
*his hair is a fro without all that gel.
*gets excited when he hears a Willie Nelson song. Then he proceeds to quiz me on all types of music..."Who is singing this?"....just because he knows he will win.
*likes to make lists.
*sings "You Raise Me Up" by Josh Groban like he is giving a concert.
*sings the Texas A&M fight song to Keegan when he changes his diaper.
*has a drive to serve. He takes care of me even when he is tired. He does things for me even when I don't ask.
*loves Keegan so much. He is an incredible father and will be consistent.
*is Godly and always gives good advice, even when I don't like it.
*is perfect for me in every way.

Wednesday, February 7, 2007

Keegan's World

Keegan turned 7 months yesterday and in the past two weeks his little personality has really sprouted! He is full of energy and living up to his name which means "fiery"!
* He has now learned how to roll from his back to his tummy and he has already accomplished the tummy to back trick. In fact, he absolutely despises laying on his tummy, so he learned how to figure that out fast. Everyday he is doing it more and more, and I am finding him in new spots in our living room. His favorite spot is under the coffee table, which is funny just seeing his feet.
* He is easily occupied by all the new sounds he can make. Ba ba ba ba...ma ma ma ma! I am claiming the ma ma ma ma as his first words! If he ever wants something he "mmmmmms". He loves to buzz his lips and tongue, which is accompanied by lots of spit. Screaming for fun happens a lot too...I think he is getting acquainted with his voice! We are working on his vocal cords for his singing career. American Idol, here we come!
* We have our first tooth breaking through and his shirt always is soaked. The poor guy has so much saliva pooling around his neck at all times of the day. I don't think he has enjoyed the new present in his mouth so much.
*We love to tear up magazines and play with the remote control. He chooses that remote control over every toy in the room. I get to watch lots of channels throughout the day!
*He walks backward and not forward in his walker.
*He is a whopping 21 pounds and to me he seems huge! He has gained 15 pounds since he was born. I love my little monster.

Monday, February 5, 2007

Girl's Retreat Highlights

I will never be able to describe to you in a blog how INCREDIBLE this girls retreat turned out to be. God is sooo good. God knew that this retreat needed to focus on identity, for not only the girls but the women too! Wow..I cried the most through this weekend than the last year all together. The Lord is so sweet to us! Our human efforts would have fallen short if it would not have been for the Lord! Here are some highlights!
We had a disco colorful theme! (Christine planned the stage decor)

140 women and girls played bunko on Friday night. Crazy...but the girls loved it!

The senior girls put together fun skits for the weekend. In this particular skit, they rollar-skated into the ballroom to "The Conga" and had everyone "conga" around the room!

Saturday morning we had a creative quiet time. This was the best part of the entire weekend. Sabrina is writing scripture on index cards... she then put them on a ring to keep them all.

We set up mirrors around the room for the girls to write on it things that they did not like about themselves. We then had them write scripture on top of it. So powerful!

Another station was set up for them to paint in their quiet time.

Here are some the paintings from that morning. Beautiful!

Amber played the "Lord, I Praise You" song and had girls come on the stage to be the choir. So much fun!!! What was funny about this, was that there was a gospel convention going on the same time as our retreat. They played out on the foyer and we had church all day on Saturday. So, Amber felt like we needed to match it. If you listen to the song you can envision this.

Lastly, we had different activities on Saturday afternoon they could choose from. They could learn a hip-hop dance, scrapbook, learn how to make a hot and cold coffee drink, or make a tie-dye pillow case.

Jennifer Durham, Natalie West, Amber Burger and Jane Ann Bridgewater (on video) spoke at this retreat. Everything that came from their lips was exactly what the girls needed to hear. You can look at more pictures on our smugmug site. Thank you for praying!

Lord, I Praise You!

I woke up this morning with this song on my heart. "Lord, I Praise You" by Amy Nobles. This was our theme song at the girls retreat that the Lord so sweetly placed upon the heart of my friend Natalie West. Natalie spoke in our last session and in preparation to speak, she shared this story with me that she wanted to share with the girls.

On March 15, 2004, five missionaries were headed home from a long days work in Iraq when suddenly they were surrounded and unexpectedly attacked. All missionaries went home to be with Jesus except a woman named Carrie McDonnall. Two of those missionaries that died were friends of our student ministry, Larry and Jean Elliot and one was Carrie's husband. Carrie was was shot over 20 times and was rushed to the US while being in a drug induced coma. Upon waking up in the hospital she heard a choir. She kept asking for people to search the hospital to find this choir and they fell short in finding them. Finally, Carrie realized that the Lord had been singing this song over her and found Amy Nobles, a gifted worhsip leader, to come and write the song out for her. Click here to get the full story and listen to the song.

Natalie played the song for me and I thought then and there that Amber Burger, our worship leader for the retreat, needed to learn it. Amber learned the song and then right before she came to our retreat she went to a woman's conference where God divinely placed Carrie McDonnall to speak and Amber first hand heard the story straight from her lips. Amber so overjoyed, called me and I was overwhelmed how the Lord set that up.

We may never quite understand why the Lord would allow missionaries to die, especially the beloved Elliots. Upon hearing this story we were able to see how divine God's ways are. How He threads events together. How incredible was it to worship to a song over the weekend that God, Himself, wrote. Those missionaries never knew that they were headed over to Iraq to go home to Jesus, in order to reach 140 girls and women at a retreat in Houston, Texas and thousands of others across the nation.