Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Day 333 - Most Wonderful Time of the Year?

Amidst all of the holiday preparations, my heart is heavy.

A friend from church passed away yesterday, unexpectedly. I am thankful she is healed, although it isn't how I would have liked her to be healed. I am happy that she is whole and complete and in the midst of our Savior, but my heart hurts for her sweet family.

My thoughts have also been consumed by the death of my cousin, Curtis. A year ago this month, he took his own life. He left behind not only a loving family, but also a new bride and an unborn baby. His beautiful baby girl that now nine months old. My heart breaks for that precious baby that will grow up without her Daddy. Life is so unfair.

















You may remember me posting about my friend, Dena and her husband, Chris. About a year ago, Chris found out that the kidney cancer they thought he had beat months before had actually spread to his lungs. He has undergone very harsh, cutting edge treatments this year. Yesterday, they received results of a recent scan. The large tumor has grown and a new one has appeared. Please (PLEASE, PLEASE) pray for this amazing family. They have two precious little girls that need their Daddy to be healed. Complete healing is what I am praying for. I KNOW that God is the greatest physician and He can heal Chris. I pray that He does. You can read more about Chris and his battle against cancer here.

Despite all of the heartache, this IS the most WONDERFUL time of the year and that is what I am choosing to focus on. I KNOW that all things work for the good of those that love the Lord. Things may not happen how we would choose them to play out, obviously not in the above situations. BUT, we have to remember we are not able to see the ENTIRE picture. Things may not make sense to us now, but we have to have FAITH in Him. Faith that He is GOOD all of the time...not just when things go our way.

Amidst the sadness surrounding this day, there is great joy. Today is the birthday of three wonderful friends of mine :o)

Happy Birthday to Susie, Ashley and Elisabeth!!

Here is a picture of Elisabeth, Noah, Sophie Le and I at the 2008 Vietnam Family Weekend in Tulsa. I met Elisabeth in Vietnam when we were picking up our babies in 2007. I am SO thankful we had the blessing of sharing that special time with Elisabeth and her family!

Don't forget our pact, Elisabeth :o)

Monday, November 29, 2010

Day 332 - Christmas Cards...

Ordering Christmas cards is on my to-do list for this week. I have such a hard time deciding which one of the 1000s of pictures we have taken throughout the year to put on the card and also narrowing down which design to choose...there are so many great choices!

This year we are using Shutterfly to print our Christmas Cards because they are offering several great offers right now {including 50 FREE cards...whoo hoo!}, click here to read more.

Day 332 - Christmas Cards - Part 2

Every afternoon when we pull up to our house, I stop by the mailbox to pick up the mail. The second I get into the car, I hear, "Did I get anything? Did I get anything? Did I get anything?" Everyday. All three girls LOVE getting mail. Haha! There is just something about getting snail mail that puts a smile on everyones' face :o) One of my favorite things about this time of year is getting Christmas cards in the mail!! LOVE IT! The girls get sooooo excited during December when we get FUN Christmas cards in mail almost everyday :o) The ones with the pictures are their favorite (and mine!).

Here is our Christmas card from 2009. LOVE beach pictures :o)

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Day 331 - Oh Christmas Tree, Oh Christmas Tree...

Today we went in search of the perfect Christmas tree at a local Christmas tree farm.

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The girls were VERY excited to pick out a tree!

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The girls started the search as a team...
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...but they soon discovered they had very different ideas about what makes a "perfect" Christmas Tree :o)
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JuJu liked the small trees :o) {Side note...I totally chickened out on the straight hair do today...we are back to curls!}
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Sophie Le was disappointed because she wanted a red tree (?????). Never a dull moment! Hillary Ashton wanted a BIG tree..."the biggest tree at the farm." Haha!Luckily, the team came together and decided on a "the most beautiful Christmas tree in the world." Ha!
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Daddy went to get a saw to cut down the tree and pretended to cut the tree JuJu liked best. She thought that was a great idea...
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Someone else was not impressed with daddy's sense of humor :o)
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Daddy had lots of advice about how to cut down the tree :o) God bless this man when these girls are teenagers :o) HA!
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Whoo hoo!
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We told the girls we had to carry our tree to the car...haha! We are such mean parents :o)
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Those sweet girls did their best...
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Strong girl!
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Before too long, the trailer came by and the gig was over...haha! Daddy loaded the tree and the girls and Daddy rode our tree to the packing area.
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The girls and boy (and mommy and daddy) enjoyed watching the tree get ready to come home. First they put it on a machine that shook the tree...
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Next they cleaned the trunk...
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Then they ran it through a machine that wrapped it...
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They asked Hillary Ashton if she wanted to get wrapped up like a Christmas tree to which we happily replied, "YES!" They didn't realize who they were talking to...that child is up for anything! Haha!
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Now that we had our business taken care of, we left our tree to hang out with the other trees, while we checked out the rest of the farm.
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Of course we had to check out the PIG RACES! We are from Arkansas, ya know! Haha!
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Jonah really liked watching the pigs! Sweet boy and his Daddy.
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And they're off!
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At first, the girls weren't sure what to think about the racing pigs...their faces crack me up!
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However, it didn't take long for them to warm up to the idea of racing pigs :o)
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They were cheering and yelling at the pigs with the best of them!
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Who knew pig racing drew such crowds :o)
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Next, the girls and I went on the cow train.
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Hillary Ashton and "Bessie"
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Sophie Le and "Susie Q"
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Me, Julianne and "Jelly Bean"
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Julianne really wanted to drive the tractor and the nice man couldn't say no to that sweet face :o)
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Next stop...swings! It isn't often that we find FOUR open swings :o)
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This boy is a swinging fool!
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Somebody liked the pony swing so much that she might be getting one from Santa this year :o)
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Big sister kinda liked the pony swing too :o)
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And there were animals!
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Julianne really enjoyed the animals...sweet girl!
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I can honestly say, I never thought I would see a tree tied to the roof of my car :o) I felt like we were the Griswalds!
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Once we got home, the girls LOVED looking through all of their old ornaments and decorating the tree :o) Sweet memories!
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LOVE my girls!
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Whew! That was a long post :o) If you are still reading, I would like to give a shout out to my friend, Michelle {who must of have read the post I wrote here). She told hubby today at church that the girls' pants did NOT look like grandma pants...hahahahaha! I laughed so hard when he told me that...thanks Michelle :o)

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Day 330 - A Perfect Day...

Long weekends are Ah-MAZ-ING!! Can I get an "Amen?"

This morning, hubby built the first fire of the season. I LOVE having a wood burning fireplace. It is one of my favorite features of our house :o) The girls brought their babies and blankets to the living room to watch Christmas movies (Polar Express, A Very Veggie Christmas, The Grinch & Mickey Mouse Christmas Carol).
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If you look closely, you will notice that Hillary Ashton is wearing Aunt Kara's dress from when she was a little girl. Hillary Ashton fell in love with all of the vintage dresses when we were in Paragould and she was delighted that Mimi let her bring one home. She put it on first thing this morning and I had a hard time convincing her that she needed to change into her pajamas for bed :o)

While we watched movies, I worked on a Christmas outfit for each of the girls...complete with "grandma pants" (no offensive to the grandmas out there..haha!).
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No matter what Daddy says about the "grandma denim," the girls like their new outfits...haha!

I finished sewing just in time to watch the Hogs play LSU. It was an amazing game. It is soooooooooooooo nice to get on the winning side of a great game :o) The girls enjoyed cheering for the hogs and booing the tigers :o)
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After supper, I gave the kids a bath and realized Julianne's hair had a couple knots in the back so I decided to comb it out. I rarely comb her hair...like as in, tonight was only the third time :o) Her hair is naturally very curly and if you comb it, it gets frizzy. I usually just run my fingers through it to clear any tangles. However, tonight I decided to make sure I got all of the tangles out. After I combed it out, I got a wild hair and decided to STRAIGHTEN her hair. Oh.my.goodness. She looks so different with straight hair. I think she looks older so we won't be keeping this style for long...haha!

So, are you ready?

Are you sure? Haha!

Here she is...
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She also wanted to try a Le Le hair do :o)
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I have no idea what we will wake up to in the morning...haha! This could be interesting :o)

And now I am off to do some Christmas shopping...online :o)

Friday, November 26, 2010

Day 329 - Black Friday...

Black Friday. It is shocking how early the sales started this year! Midnight...yikes!

The extent of our Black Friday shopping today was stopping by Mimi and Papa's jewelry store. Hillary Ashton picked out a Christmas present for her teacher. And now that I am writing this, I am thinking she purchased it with the five finger discount...whoops! I guess we did end up with a pretty good Black Friday deal after all. Ha!

Hillary Ashton insisted on wrapping the present all by herself...
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Luckily Mimi was there to offer a bit of help :o)
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I almost forgot. I did make a Black Friday purchase! There is a store down the street from Mimi and Papa's store that sells bows (I LOVE bows!). I went down to get the girls' each a Christmas bow and the store was having double bow card punch day which means I got a FREE bow! Whoo hoo!

When we got back, Hillary Ashton asked what was in the bag. I told her that I got her a bow for Christmas. She said, "Is there a present under the bow?" Ha!

Did any of you guys brave the crowds today? Did you get any great deals? I would love to hear about them!