Wednesday, December 31, 2008

You asked...

and now I will answer!

Hannah asked...

Did you always want to be a teacher or is there something else outthere that you would rather do.
I jokingly say that I was teaching even in the womb. In other words, yes I've always wanted to be a teacher. The best Christmas gift I remember getting is a chalkboard on an easel. I forced my brother, cousins, and stuff animals to play school with me as a young child. Upon graduation there was no question about what I was going to do with the rest of my life. Is there anything else out that I would rather do? Well I won't say rather, but someday I think I would like to be a stay at home mom and homeschool my kids. I would also love to get paid to sit around and read all day. :) But I absolutely love teaching.

How do you stay so skinny, I would just love to be that small again.
Mmm. I don't know. Maybe it is because my diet is very limited. I'll tell you more about that in your next question.

What is your favorite food
LOL!! It cracks me up that anyone would actually have to ask this question. Chicken definitely. I stand a good chance at winning the world's most picky eater contest. I truly don't anything. I eat chicken and mac & cheese a lot!!!!

If you could live anywhere in Arkansas where would it be.
The answer to this question isn't a specific town. I would just love it if all my family could be in the same town. I am very happy where Andrew and I are now, just wish our parents were a little closer.

Do you like Andrews hair long or short?
Definitely SHORT!!!! LOL. I hate his long hair.

Annon asked, Can you sing?
I'm sorry but my smart mouth answer is yes I am physically capable of singing. LOL - comes from teaching teenagers. Okay so I absolutely LOVE to sing and in the privacy of my car I have the most amazing abilities ever. However anywhere else my singing is horrible. I really believe God didn't give me this gift because he knew I couldn't handle it. I honestly think that if I could sing, it would go to my head. I just sing as loud as I can in my car as often as I can. :)

Chelsey asked....

Why do you have a blog? What inspires you to update regularly?
Why do I have a blog? A person I love and admire very much started blogging. I thought it would be cool. I'm not really sure why I started other than I'm a follower. I update regularly because the more I blog the more people I learn actually read my blog. It's an easy way to allow my family to keep up with whats going on with me.

Have you seen the movie, Fireproof? If so, did you take the 40 Day Love Dare?
Andrew and I did see the movie Fireproof. We both highly recommend it to any couple, married or not, and whether or not you feel like your relationship is a good one. It will change you - it certainly did us. It really opens your eyes. We have not taken the 40 Day Love Dare. But maybe we will in 2009. I definitely want to see the movie again.

How often do you scrapbook? What is your favorite part about making albums?
Not nearly as often as I would like. I do much better when I'm making an album for someone else and I have a deadline. Andrew and I have been married for almost five years and I have yet to finish our first year of marriage. This is something I plan to start working on very soon. I want to finish that album, I want to scrap Liberty's first year with us as well as Liam's. My favorite part of making albums?? I have no idea. I love playing around with different layouts until I find what works for me. I do not have a lot of self esteem. Scrapbooking is one of the very few things that I feel like I do well - maybe because there aren't really any rules to it. It is relaxing to me. It's a time to get away from day to day stress and focus on the memories I've made during each moment of life.

How do you stay positive when so many things going on around us can bring us down?
I will admit that I'm not very good at this. I am a worrier big time. Matthew 6:34 was definitely written for me. :) One of the things I do is try to remember that verse. I also grab a pen and paper and begin listing my blessings. This helps tremendously. Andrew is also great help. He is a very literal person who doesn't care at all what people think. He's very practical. But he is also very good at just letting me vent and cry. I pray. We pray together.

Kathie asked...

Where do you scrapbook in your house, do you have a specific room or just all over?
I have a scrapbooking room. Of course I have to share it with my husband and his guitars and amps, but that is okay. I don't really mind. Drew built me a desk that goes from on wall to other - really nice. However, we pulled it out to put in flooring and it is still in pieces in the garage. He isn't pleased and wants to put something a little different back in. So for right now I'm scrapbooking on the dining room table.

How many albums have you completed?
I have completed 7 albums - all for other people as gifts. For myself, I've completed 0!! I inteded to finish up some tonight, but I didn't get my pictures ordered in time. So tomorrow I plan to scrapbook like crazy.

Do you memorize scripture?
Mmm. Not the way I should. I was for awhile, but then stopped. Something I plan to change in the upcoming year.
Do you ever attend Bible Studies?

When you scrapbook-do you go into Flow, like do you meditate or get lost in thoughts about the past?
I definitely get lost in my thoughts. I normally listen to music while I scrapbook and just sing, sing, sing. For me, scrapbooking is relaxing. It's me time!

Where have you traveled to?
Let's see I've driven through lots of states, but these are the ones I've actually stayed and visited in:
Branson, MO
St. Louis, MO
NYC
South Dakota
Kansas City
Destin, Florida
Montgomery, Alabama
Atlanta, Georgia
Livingston, Texas
Orlando, Florida
Nashville, Tennesee

What are your goals for the new year?
Here lately I have felt God working on me. I'm still a little unsure exactly what He is doing, but I definitely feel like He is doing something. So my goal this year is to figure what that is and accept it. I'm tired of hiding in my shell, staying in my comfort zone. Our country needs Jesus now more than they ever have. I want to give God my hands, my feet, my heart, my life and let him use me to take care of that need.
I also keep the goal of improving my teaching and learning more about my field. I never want to be satisfied with anything about my teaching. I want to continue to grow and improve. It is the ministry that God has given me and I want to do the very best I can with it.

What is the area of your life that you most need to improve on in 2009?
See above question - but I'll add a little to it. I want to be a better wife to my husband. He is my best friend and I love him so very much. I just want to be the best HELPmate that I can be. I want to add joy to his life and not be a hinderance.

Christmas with my family

Okay here are A LOT of pics from Christmas with my family in no particular order!

My brother, mom, dad, & me

My little brother and future sister-in-law

My Momma & Daddy

We got mom, dad & Seth a Wii

Momma & her new book

Me & my Daddy

Liam Bailey loves his Daddy

I let my little cousin fix my hair

Momma got Daddy a new laptop

3 Generations - me, Mommom, and Momma

The day wore Liam Bailey out

Liberty too

Me and my little brother

Me & Sophie, Ashlee's dog

Me and Drew with our Wii

Me and My Momma

Just realized I only one picture to post from Christmas with the Weavers so I will go ahead and post it.

Simple Life Day #1 Part 3

A few more thoughts on hospitality.

1 Peter 4:8-10 says

8Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins. 9Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling. 10Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God's grace in its various forms.

I love that we have to be told to show hospitality without grumbling, without complaining. It is part of loving one another the way God would have us to love. I have to share my Wal-Mart story with you. Monday afternoon after my forever long post about hospitality and loving people even in Wal-Mart, I took off to Wal-Mart. I needed to get my oil-changed & tires rotated. Normally I prefer to go to Benton for this as they are much faster and friendlier. However, I need to buy groceries and I prefer to do that in Bryant so to Bryant I went. I pulled up to get my oil changed and the family in front of me needed to buy new tires. The girl working explained to them that they couldn't do anything with tires today because of scheduling or something. She sent to them to Benton. I quietly told them that Benton was better anyways. Well the girl working walks up, gives me a dirty look, and asked what I was whispering about. She asked if I knew those people. I said no just making conversation. :) I tell her I need my oil changed and my tires rotated. She just laughed at me. And trust me you aren't getting from this post how odd this girl is. Anyways, I said can't rotate tires? She said no and I said that's fine, I'll just take the oil change. This whole time I am standing by my car with the car running and no one else in it. There is only person behind me. She asked which car was mine!! Are you kidding me? Obviously it is the empty car I got out of (she watched) and am now standing beside. She asks her few questions and then asked if the keys were in my car. Well, yeah it's running isn't it? I'm a littler perturbed with her at this point in case you can't tell.

I get out of there and go buy my groceries. I have produce in my cart so I know that I cannot check out in the automotive department, but I want to make sure my car is ready before I do check out. So I'm waiting my turn to ask her when she picks up my avocados like they are some sort of disease infected item and says I can't check out there because of those and then throws them back into my cart. I said I knew that I just wanted to make sure my car was ready. It was so I went to check out and walk around to get my car.

So now I'm back in line at the automotive, when it hits me. I was just talking about hospitality and I have done nothing like that to this girl. I immediately started praying that God would allow me to love this girl the same he does. I reminded myself that God loves her just as much as he loves me. Please help me be patient and friendly to her. Then it is my turn. She notices this scrapbooking punch card on my key chain and asks me about whether or not the place is still open. BAM!!! instant bond - we immediately start talking about scrapbooking. God is amazing.

I started off grumbling, but gave it to God and found a common interest with this girl. I saw her with different eyes.

So...the next time you find yourself in a situation similar to mine, I strongly encourage you to pray.

Today's the day for Q & A

Hey everyone! Today is the day I will answer all your questions. I have gotten some good ones. Some have made me laugh and some have made me really think. I won't answer until later tonight, so you still have an opportunity to get your questions in. I'll also be back later today with more of my random thoughts on hospitality. AND I'm going to try to do my Christmas post today. I know I'm behind. But for now, I'll leave you with a video of Liberty that makes me laugh.
video

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Miss America

Hey everyone! Okay normally if I watch some of the Miss America pageant fine, if not no big deal. However, this year I have special interest in the contest. Miss Arkansas, Ashlen Batson, graduated from Newark High School in 2005. I went to school with Miss Arkansas. She graduated with my little brother. She is such a sweetheart. I knew her pretty well. Anyway, they have a reality tv show this year, one I already know I will be addicted too, where we get to vote for 4 of the girls who will be in the top 15 of Miss America. I have to watch now so that I can vote for Ashlen. How cool! I'll let you know more about the voting later in case you want to help support Miss Arkansas - and yes I know someone of you aren't from the great state of Arkansas. I'm really sorry about that. Anyway the show premiers January 2 - that's this Friday on TLC. The website is http://tlc.discovery.com/tv/miss-america/miss-america.html

Simple Life Day #1 Part 2

I've had a change of heart. I decided to do only one day each week. I just can't seem to get this hospitality thing off my heart. I don't feel like I've gotten everything from it God wants me to take. So I'm going to continue to look at hospitality this week. I'll bring you day two Monday. All last night and all day today I've been thinking about the story of Jesus visiting Martha and Mary. Here it is to freshen your memory on what went down.

38As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. 39She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord's feet listening to what he said. 40But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, "Lord, don't you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!"
41"Martha, Martha," the Lord answered, "you are worried and upset about many things, 42but only one thing is needed.[f] Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her."

This is taken from Luke 10:38-42

You have two very different women here. Martha who more worried about what her home looks like and the meal that they will eat. And you have Mary who is simply interested in Jesus. There have been several books and studies about these two women out there. All the ones I've read say you are either Martha or you are Mary - no combination of the two.

I'm afraid that I probably lead towards being more Martha than Mary. I always want my home to be very presentable. Who doesn't? However, Jesus says that Mary chose what was better. So, I don't have to keep a clean house and be a good cook!!! That is what Jesus is saying here right? I will definitely be sharing this with Andrew when he gets home. :) No, I still think your home needs to be presentable. That definitely helps in giving it that welcoming feel.

However, dictionary.com defines hospitality as the friendly reception and treatment of guests or strangers. It said nothing about my home - only how I treat people. More proof that hospitality extends beyond our home. Sometimes this is very hard for me. I allow myself to get so stressed out about my house, the food, my appearance, that I forget to stop and enjoy the time with the people. I even do this when it is family coming over.

So maybe those books are wrong. Maybe there is a way to be a little bit of Martha and a little bit of Mary all rolled into one.

Either way Jesus is coming - are you ready? I am!

Monday, December 29, 2008

The Simple Life Day#1

I received a book for Christmas entitled "The Simple Life". It is devotional thoughts from Amish Country. It is all about not feeling the need to keep up with the Jones. I got this and was just overwhelmed with a desire to start this, implement the ideas into my life, and share it with you. I think we all need to remember what is truly important and it is not all the earthly possessions we have. I know I often struggle with this. I intend to do this devotional every day and to share it with you. It comes with a recipe that is popular in the Amish community. I hope you and I both grow from this.

Friendly Welcome

Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares. Hebrews 13:2

"Are you sure your Amish friends won't mind us stopping by?" Rick asked Wayne as they drove onto a graveled driveway.
Rick's wife, Eileen, nodded. "We feel funny about dropping in unannounced."
Wayne turned off the car's engine. "I've known Eli for some time. I'm sure he and Joanna will be pleased to meet our friends."
"Joanna and Eli have always been hospitable to me," Wayne's wife, Karen, added.
As they left the car and strolled past an Amish buggy parked near the barn, Eileen's apprehension rose. Would this Amish couple really welcome people they had never met?
When they entered the expansive yard, Eileen noticed tow children romping in the nearby creek. The towheaded boy's dark trousers were rolled to the knees, and blue cotton shirttails peeked out from under tan suspenders. The little girl didn't seem to care that the hem of her long blue dress was getting wet, while she giggled and flicked water with her bare toes.
A young Amish woman wearing a dark green dress with black cape and apron stepped out the back door. A tall Amish man with reddish blond hair and matching beard followed. Wayne made the introductions, explaining that Rick and Eileen were visiting from the state of Washington.
"Welcome," Joanna said, motioning to the picnic table. "Would you care to sit awhile?"
"Maybe you'd like a glass of iced tea," Eli offered with a friendly grin.
For the next hour, the three couples sat at the picnic table, visiting, watching the children play, and savoring the pleasant taste of cool mint tea.
When it was time to go, Eileen shook Joanna's hand and said, "thank you for your hospitality. We've enjoyed our visit."
"You're welcome," Joanna replied.
As they drove away, Eileen reflected on their time spent with the Amish family. She felt like they had made some new friends. Would I have been as pleasant and hospitable if uninvited guests had showed up at my house? How many times have I put off writing a letter or phoning a friend because I was too busy? When was the last time I entertained strangers?
Hospitality seems easier when we are with family and friends, but God reminds us to entertain those outside our familiar circle. In Mark 9:41, we are reminded that Jesus said, "For whosoever shall give you a cup of water to drink in my name, because ye belong to Christ, verily I say unto you, he shall not lose his reward." Whether it be a cup of water or a glass of iced tea, God is pleased when we show hospitality. After all, for some people, our friendship and hospitality may be the only Jesus they will ever see.

FOOD FOR THOUGHT: Good friends are like good quilts; they never lose their warmth.

FOOD FOR THE BODY: MINT TEA
2 quarts fresh mint leaves
1 cup sugar
Boiling Water

Fill a large kettle with fresh clean mint leaves, add sugar, and cover with boiling water. Stir until sugar is dissolved. Cover and let stand several hours or overnight. Remove mint leaves by straining. Then pour the remaining cooled tea into a pitcher to refrigerate or serve later in Ice-filled glasses.

As soon as I finished reading this devotional, I immediately turned to Hebrews 13. I wanted the whole chapter. And wow! God gives the gift of hospitality to some, but not to all. Does that mean this devotional only applies to those who have the gift? Absolutely not! It just means that those who don't have the gift might have to work a little harder at it, that's all. We can do it though. Hebrews 13:20-21 says, 20 Now may the God of peace—
who brought up from the dead our Lord Jesus,
the great Shepherd of the sheep,
and ratified an eternal covenant with his blood—
21 may he equip you with all you need
for doing his will.
May he produce in you,[e]
through the power of Jesus Christ,
every good thing that is pleasing to him.
All glory to him forever and ever! Amen.

Notice the first part of verse 21 - may he equip you with ALL you need for doing his will. I believe that being hospitable is God's will and that He will give me and you both all we need to be hospitable. How would you feel if guests - strangers or family - just showed up at your house unexpected? Unfortunately today we don't even visit family without first calling to make sure it okay, let alone people we barely know. I know that if people showed up at my house unexpected, I would be very ashamed and uncomfortable. Not because I didn't want them here - I love having people over and am lucky enough to have been given the gift of hospitality - but because unless I know you are coming - my house isn't.. Let's just say I am a horrible house keeper. Like right now as I sit here writing this I just think how much I need to clean. And there are those people who say their house is dirty because they haven't dusted or vacuumed today - that's not me. When I say my house is dirty I mean right now you wouldn't have a place to sit in my living room and you can't see my kitchen over all the dirty dishes - gross, I know. Don't worry I'm taking care of it as soon as I finish here. :) I think part of this being willing to open your house up is always being ready to open your house. Start each day like you might have company coming - I know that mind set would sure help me with my house keeping.

The old saying of you are the only Jesus they may see is worn out but very true. I don't think hospitality is limited to our home. What about when you are in crazy people filled Wal-Mart? Do you even notice the people you walk by? Do you stop and help that mother with a screaming child? Do you pray for her? Do you notice the elderly lady trying to reach something on a higher shelf? Do you talk to the person in behind you in line as you PATIENTLY wait your turn? They are real people with real problems. Stop, talk to them, pray for them. And I'm preaching to myself here more than anyone else. I'm not an outgoing person. If you aren't my family or friend, I pretty much don't talk to you. It is something that I need to work on. I said earlier that I believe I've been given the gift of hospitality, but that doesn't mean it comes easy to me. It is definitely something I have to work on and it is definitely something that takes me out of my comfort zone more often than I would like. But I think that is one of the reasons God chose to give me that gift.

I challenge you this week to practice the art of being hospitable. Welcome someone into your home, or even better welcome them into your life. God doesn't want you to keep in your familiar circle. If we did that, how would we ever share Jesus with everyone who needs Him? Talk to a stranger this week. Place Hebrews 13:2 in your heart and store it there.

In an attempt to grow closer to Him,
E. Ann

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Going out with a Bang!!!

What a way to end 2008. I just received a call from my little brother. He is engaged!!!!! While I'm a little sad, I am very happy for him. I'm sad because well how can he be old enough to get married?? He is my baby brother. Yes, I know he is 21, but still. However, I love my future sister-in-law. Ashlee is one of the sweetest people I know. I believe they both truly love each other. Congratulations to you both. I love you!!!

Friday, December 26, 2008

The end of 2008 is quickly approaching

Well Christmas is officially over. I had a very enjoyable but very tiring Christmas. I slept till 11 today which is very unusual for me, but I really needed it. I will post pics later.

Even though 2009 isn't here, I went ahead and updated my blog layout. A few of the great memories from 2008, but not all of them by far. It was a good year. As 2009 approaches I have a lot that I'm looking forward to : Celebrating five years of marriage with my best friend, growing closer to adding furless children to our family :), finishing the floors in my house, ending and beginning a new school year, meeting more blogging friends, attending several weddings, watching friends and hopefully family have children, spending time with our family and friends, and of course continuing to grow closer to my Lord & Savior.

I also wanted to let you know that I have definitely decided to end 2008 by answering all of your questions. So far only one person has asked me a few questions. Thanks Hannah. I will post late on New Year's Eve, so you have until then to get in all your questions.

Hope you had a wonderful Christmas and are looking forward to 2009 as much as I am.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

The Beginning of Christmas....

This past weekend I got to spend some time with my mom and dad and quite a bit of other family. Every year my Granny Taylor (dad's grandma) has a get together for her family. This is year it was on the same day as Weaver Christmas with Andrew's extended family. So we drove up together and then went our separate ways. I really enjoyed getting to see family that I don't see very often anymore. I particulary enjoyed visiting with a cousin who has always been more like a sister to me. Love you Sam!! She is growing up into a very beautiful and intelligent woman. She cracks me up. She is actually terrified of my little brother. :) Apparently he lets her know when her actions are what he finds appropriate. Go Seth!! I love to hear that he does this.

After we ate, I went Christmas shopping with my Daddy. We've done this ever since I can remember. It is just the two of us out shopping for Mom. When I was younger, I hated it. Pure torture. Now, I treasure the time together. I love my daddy!!

So this was the first of many gatherings for Christmas this year. Tonight I'm heading up to my mom's again. She and I are going to bake Christmas cookies. Tomorrow I will have lunch with my aunts and uncles (her brother and sister) at my Mommoms. Then I will drive back to LR for church and then Andrew and I will head back to my mom's sometime between 12 and 1 AM - I KNOW!! We will have Christmas with my mom, dad, and brother tomorrow morning and then come back to have Christmas with his mom and dad and brothers and sisters. Thursday night we will drive over to Uncle K and Aunt S's for more Christmas and then sadly it will all be over.

Why does it have to come and go so quickly??

Me and my Daddy


With my Momma


Me and my sweet Granny Taylor

Monday, December 22, 2008

To Anon.

Hey! Not sure who asked, but no my students do not read my blog. They are unaware that I have one. :)

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Ask Away!!

Hey everyone. I saw where someone else did this on their blog and for whatever reason found it be a great idea. I think it might be fun. It is your opportunity to learn a little bit more about me. Leave a comment asking me a question or several questions if you have them. You can ask absolutely anything you want. I will answer. I'm not sure when I will stop taking questions and answer. I'm aware that this is week is going to be very busy. Maybe I will start 2009 by answering your questions - yeah that sounds good - and you have plenty of time to come up with some creative questions. :)

This might go great and this might be a flop. I am fully prepared for either outcome.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

2" Tall

So I'm sitting at my desk today while my 8th graders are taking their semester test. I'm about to get up to do another walk around the room when I hear a phone. Our students are not allowed to have their cell phones on them at school. The law says they can't have them at school at all, but we allow them to bring them as long as they leave them in the office all day. Why half of those kids need their phone I will never know. I understand those that have to stay late for after school activities.

Sorry, I'm getting off track. Okay so I'm about to get up when I hear a phone. It isn't ringing - just sounds like someone got a text. It is very loud so I assume it is at the table right next to me. I immediately let me students know how inappropriate this is. I ask for the phone and of course no one confesses. I send my teacher's aide to get the principal. She comes in, gives the same spill I gave, and ask for the phone. One girl says it wasn't mine that went off, but I do have mine. She hands over her phone to the principal. Principal then tells me that she will let our superintendent know and if I hear the phone again to let her know. 8th graders finish their test and then leave. Next class comes in and it hits me! I didn't turn my phone off this morning and it is in my desk drawer. I take a peek and sure enough I was the guilty party who received the text. (Thanks Jill. J/K) Boy did I feel bad. I was embarassed! Thankfully none of the students realized it was me because they were all gone. As soon as I had a break, I went to apolagize to my principal. She told me not to worry about it no big deal. The scare was good for the kids - which is definitely true because well don't get me started on those stinkin' 8th graders.

So that is my embarassement for the day.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Too sexy for his hat

Aunt Jill bought Liam Bailey a little blue hat on Black Friday. It is super cute and says spoiled which is so true of my dogs. Now Liam loves his hoodie from Old Navy and any other shirt type thing so we just knew he would love his little hat. Oh how we wrong. First it was too big for his tiny little head so the strap that was supposed to go behind his head had to go under his chin. He hated it and wanted it off immediately. Miss Liberty didn't like him wearing it anyways. We didn't manange to snap a pic or two before he pulled it off though.



Tuesday, December 16, 2008

A Great Day!

I woke up this morning in hopes that school would be delayed. I didn't want it to be cancelled because that would mean adding days to the end of the year putting us in school in June. YUCK!! I checked online and watched the news. Every school in the area was cloesd. Every school, but mine that is. We have a phone tree for bad weather and I still hadn't received "the call" either. I kept telling Andrew as soon as I shower and get good and woke up they will call. Sure enough, no sooner than I had put shampoo in my hand, my cell rang. School was cancelled for the day.

I ended my shower, put my pjs back on and got back in bed with my two sweet puppies. I watched about an episode and a half of Saved By the Bell before I fell back asleep. We slept until 9:30 and then got up and made pancakes.

I had a million things on my to do list today. I had planned to wrap presents, finish folding and putting away the laundry, get the dishes done, clean up our bedroom and the back bedroom (we have an appraiser coming this week), work on a Christmas present for Andrew, get some grading and planning done for school, and the dogs need a bath. Out of all that I got a few presents wrapped, the laundry folded and put away - although I'm still doing doing laundry and I got quite a bit done on Andrew's Christmas present. I spent most of the day laying in bed with my sweet puppies reading. It was so nice!!! I think they enjoyed being home with me too. :)

So even though now I'm going to be in school in June, I really enjoyed my day off.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Christmas Time Is Here

I know it has been awhile since I've posted. I keep meaning to, but I've just been so busy. So let me warn you now, this is probably going to turn into a very long post. :)

We finally managed to get our lights, tree, and all decor up for Christmas. We finished it all last Wednesday night. One afternoon was spent putting lights on the house. This is primarily Andrew's job because I absolutely refuse to get on our roof. It terrifies me. My job is to bring out the string of lights and anything else he might need for the job. We do the classic red and green C9 bulbs. They went up much faster this year as Andrew made diagrams last year. So each strand of lights are in their own Wal-Mart sack with a diagram showing exactly where they go on the house. Above the garage door we hang a giant wreath with a big red ribbon that is covered in small red & green lights. I also have a 3ft lit tree on either side of the door. Andrew snapped a few pictures that aren't great, but here they are anyways.





Now for the inside. I bought some garland this year because I just love what Jill does in her dining room. Check out her blog to see it! Anyways I put mine over the opening between the kitchen and living room. Drew wrapped it in lights for me and I absolutely love it. You can also see four snowmen in the picutre. In the middle of them is an iron shaping (I guess) of the word peace.



Now on to my tree. My tree is absolutely full of lights! This year we have 2200 or 2300 lights on it, I think. We lost count. We tend to add lights every year. As far as the ornaments go it is a hodge podge. Below are a few pics of the whole tree and then some of my favorite ornaments.

The Tree!


The circles on this one are fuzzy.


And so are these polka dots. I love this ornaments!


This one I just bought this year. I just thought it was cool. Although Andrew says I have to stop buying ornaments or we are going to have to buy a bigger tree. :)




I got this one through an ornament exchange I did this year with PT. That is my teacher's discussion board. It was a lot of fun to do.


Yes, you are looking at a reese's ornament! Reese's is my absolute favorite candy so when I saw this ornament this year, I just had to have it. Last year, Andrew filled my stocking with Reeses - I had big one, little ones, and even those little pieces. :)






My W plate.


Every tree needs a Christmas pig. I actually have two of these thanks to a former student.


Okay one last thing for this post. I'll save the rest for a later post. Here a few pics from my guest bathroom. I have some artwork I made, but no pic of it yet, so that be here later.



Thursday, December 4, 2008

A Christmas Tag

Thanks for this Rhonda.

1. Wrapping paper or gift bags? Wrapping Paper

2. Real tree or Artificial? When I was little we had a real tree and I always wondered why one earth anyone (my Mommom and aunt) would have an artifical tree. It just wasn't right. :) Now we have an artificial tree. I think that is all Liam's allergies would allow us to have.

3. When do you put up the tree? Normally the Saturday after Thanksgiving, but it still isn't up this year. :(

4. When do you take the tree down? New Years Day

5. Do you like eggnog? Nope.

6. Favorite gift received as a child? Mmm. I loved my easy bake oven and my chalkboard.

7. Hardest person to buy for? Andrew Jay

8. Easiest person(s) to buy for? Probably my Momma

9. Do you have a nativity scene? Yes. Now, I want a big one for the yard.

10. Mail or email Christmas cards? We mail them.

11. WORST CHRISTMAS GIFT YOU EVER RECEIVED? I really don't remember getting a bad Christmas gift.

12. Favorite Christmas Movie? You want me to pick just one? Impossible! I love Elf, Santa Clause 1,2,&3, White Christmas, Miracle on 34th, Home Alone... I love all Christmas movies.

13. When do you start shopping for Christmas? It is different every year. This year I started back in September.

14 . Have you ever recycled a Christmas present? Nope

15. Favorite thing to eat at Christmas? Dumplings.... YUMM

16. Lights on the tree? White and lots of them.

17. Favorite Christmas song? Again, you want me to pick just one? Probably Christmas in Bologna by Anne Murray. LOL - Just has lots of good memories. I love all Christmas music. I start listening to it in October.

18. Travel at Christmas or stay home? We normally aren't home on Christmas, we are with my family and then Drew's. That will probably change some when we have kids.

19. Can you name all of Santa's reindeer? Dasher, Dancer, Donnor, Blitzen, Prancer, Vixon, Comet, Cupid, Rudolph.. Is that all of them?

20.Open the presents Christmas Eve or morning? As a child, we opened one from Mom and Dad on Christmas Eve and then everythign from Santa on Christmas morning.

21. Most annoying thing about this time of the year? That people get cranky and rude and forget to just stop and enjoy this time of year and everything it means.

22. Favorite ornament theme or color? Little bit of this and a little bit of that and lots of colors!! Awww I can't wait to get my tree up and post pics for you

23. What do you want for Christmas this year? Kingsbury books, DQ, and for everyone I know to have a wonderful Christmas

24. Angel or star tree topper? We have a star.

Okay, now consider yourself tagged. Have fun!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Loving Life

I just wanted to say thanks to everyone for the sweet comments about my teaching. Yesterday and today have turned out to be two very good days! We are working on graphing in both 7th and 8th grade. They need the practice and it is a change of pace for us.

Last night we had our faculty Christmas party. It was a lot of fun. We played dirty santa and had a blast. We enjoy each other's company and actually all like each other. Told you I work with great people. I won this really cute snowman that glows. Here are a couple of pics of it. Liberty wasn't real sure about it. :)




Today, I went over to see my sweet s-i-l Jill. Today is her birthday so I wanted to take her her gift. I didn't plan on staying long as I have more than enough to do here at home tonight. But.... We got to talking and I ended up being over there a couple of hours. That's okay. I really enjoyed our visit. So let me go ahead and give my shout out to one of the sweetest sister in laws EVER. Happy Birthday Jill!!

Now tonight... Andrew and I have lots of cleaning to do and hopefully we will get our tree up. We have homegroup at our house tomorrow so we have to get things in order. We may not get ornaments on tonight, but we need to at least get the tree and lights up. I can't believe it is almost a week after Thanksgiving and my tree still isn't up. We've just taken our sweet time this year.

One last thing before I go... I told you about my Student Council members and I decorating a POD for Channel 11's Stuff the Sleigh. We have been collecting toys for the past couple of weeks. I've been really touched by my kiddos as they bring in gifts. They are so sweet. Anyways, Tom Brannon from Channel 11 called the teacher helping me yesterday and said while it isn't official it looks like we are going to win the creativity/best decorated award for middle school. We are estactic!!! I think they will announce the winner Friday morning. So for those of you local, you should check it out. Listen for Harmony Grove to win big!!

Love you all. I'm off to work on the house and tree now.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Careers

Ever since I can remember I've wanted to be a teacher. I was always the child teaching my younger brother and cousins and even stuffed animals. One of my favorite Christmas presents of all times was a chalk board. I plunged my way through five years of school to be a teacher. I am at a great school. I work with and for some of the most amazing people. I could not ask for a better school.


Yet, I feel like more often than not, I do not enjoy my job. Right now for instance, I'm in a funk. I look at what I have left to teach this year and I don't want to teach any of it. It is all going to take major prep work on my part and I just can't get motivated to do that. I don't know maybe I just need a different subject, I don't know.

I've only been teaching 2 years. I shouldn't be having these "funks" all ready, but I am. And this not my first one at all. Occasionally I think about quitting and doing something else, but what else would I do? Nothing else sounds good to me.

I also feel bad for my kids, because I know that right now I'm not the best teacher. They aren't getting anything out of my class. I found myself this way this time last year. I'm just ready for the year to be over so that I can have a fresh start, so that I have a whole summer to prepare. Yet, I wasted this past summer. I spent all summer collecting ideas, but didn't really get anything together as far as lesson plans. So here I am stuck again.

Thanks for reading my vent... Please pray that I can get excited about teaching, that I will know what to do and where to go.

Love you all,
Elaina

Friday, November 28, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!

For us, Thanksgiving starts on Wednesday night. We gather with Andrew's mom and dad and brothers and sisters. That makes quite a few people since Andrew is the youngest of six all of whom are married, most of whom have children. :) Let me just go ahead and tell you, there is no such thing as a quiet WEAVER!! I love them though. I couldn't have asked for a better family to marry into. Anyways. We had a wonderful meal with a smoked turkey and a fried turkey and all the sides. Both were quite yummy. After our meal, we all sit around in a big circle and share what we are thankful for. This year we wrote on cards and then let someone else read what we wrote. I must say that I am quite proud of us. We made it through this year with no major tears. :) Even Kandace shared what she was thankful for. LOL - see picture below. We also celebrated several birthdays Wednesday night. Jill had her tree up so it almost felt like Christmas. We celebrated Kasie, Kaitlyn, Joy, Alex, Jill, and Sara's birthday. The entire night, the boys (my husband & nephews) were debating on whether or not they were going to camp out at Best Buy this year. This a huge tradition for them. While I was really hoping they wouldn't and I would actually get my hubby on Thanksgiving, I knew they would end up camping out. When we left, they still hadn't made up their minds.

Me and my sweetie


Kandace sharing what she is thankful for...


Jackson REALLY wanted to play with Kandace


Jackson and Uncle Andrew


Jackson and Aunt E

Now for Thanksgiving Day... I planned to leave my house early so that I could make it to my Mommom's house in time to learn how to make dumplings. Andrew was not into getting up early so I took off without him, just me, Liberty, and Liam. Yes I'll admit I was a tad-bit upset that he wasn't going with me. I really got my hopes up. Once I got there and started visiting with my family, my disappointment went away. I was determinded to enjoy time with my family. So I learned to make dumplings -can't wait to try that out - and visited with my fam. It was my Momma's birthday Wednesday, so I got to celebrate another birthday. We were sitting around waiting on the last few family members to arrive when my Daddy announced that Andrew was there. At first I thought he was just kidding me. I got up and went to the door and there was my hubby. So then I thought. How sweet - he stopped by to say hi on his way to his Grandma's. But no, my sweet husband was there to have Thanksgiving with me!!!! I had tears in my eyes. I was so touched. My family live a couple of hours away, so it isn't like he just drove across town for me. :) He said this way he gets to sleep in and I don't have to leave early when he is ready to go camp out. How great is he!!! I had like 5 bowls of dumplings too. YUMMM!!!!! Love them! Here are a few pictures of Thanksgiving Day.


Liam got an Old Navy hoodie to wear for Thanksgiving.


Me & Brooke


Happy Birthday Momma!


Me and Lib driving to Mommom's


Me with Luke, Livvy, and Sawyer. They love taking silly pics.


Me and my little bro, Seth


Seth and his sweet gf, Ashlee


Liam learning the way to Mommom's



Me and My Momma


My hubby getting ready for his night @ Best Buy

This morning I woke up a 5:00 for my Black Friday shopping. This year I was on my own. I went to Wal-Mart first. I only lasted five minutes in there. Those people are crazy! :) I headed to Target. I got there about 15 minutes before they opened so I jumped in line. As we made our way in the store, I felt like I was part of a cult or that I had been brainwashed. We all just quietly shuffled the way they told us too. Anyways, I was in and out of there with my purchase in about 30 minutes. After Target, I was off to Mardel's. I got lots of good deals there. Then I decided to head home. I was home maybe an hour and I was beginning to get antsy. I didn't want to disturb Tyler and Andrew as they were recovering from their night at Best Buy. So I got back out and went back to Wal-Mart. Thankfully it had settled down at this point. I then went to the mall where parking was crazy!!! Not only is it Black Friday, but there is a Razorback game in LR today and those fans were parking @ the mall. Once I finally got a spot, I did very well. I got lots of Christmas bought.

Now, I'm sitting here blogging waiting on my hubby to recover so that we can begin putting up our Christmas Tree!