Friday, December 30, 2011

GIVEAWAY (for you)

how about little new year's cheer?

up for grabs:
a three stranded, blue beaded necklace, made by yours truly.

to enter: (one entry only, please)
follow me and tell me your favorite memory from the past year.

winner will be announced soon!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011


riding in truck, i try to read. i am distracted. i try to focus. my mind wants to be everywhere but here. i try to look down. my head pops always back up. the window draws my eyes. i can't stop glancing, no staring, out into the unknown. i see hues everywhere. orange. green. red. brown. gray. tan. blue. i long to reach out and grasp it all. my Bible lays open in my lap, read and unread. the window and world outside calls, but so does this Book. there are Words that have sunk deep long ago, but life has choked them out. many a time they've been left in the dust. kicked and stomped. and i forget. but Him and It keeps pulling me back. these Words teach, yes. but when the long dirt path is seen through all-is-grace eyes...the seasons, the cracked tree {i am cracked too}, the mound of dirt that little children so delightfully play in, the trickle of creek water, this. this. {it} preaches to me. because His Hand has formed it. my eye has so gratefully seen it. and now i know why i can't stop watching.

through this, God is breathing.

Monday, December 26, 2011

twelve days of christmas

i look forward to this night all through december. santa, church family and friends, good food and thoughtful gifts are given. i am normally distracted during the sermon before this christmas party, thinking of what is to follow. when the last few announcements are made, i slip from my seat to go help fix the drinks. other little friends come and offer their helping hands. soon the sea of people make their way in. we pour drink after drink and then soon it is our turn to eat. the food is plentiful, the array of desserts is amazing. {i have a hard time choosing at both.} a few girl friends gather in a back classroom to eat. we talk about everything and laugh much. "ho, ho, ho" is soon seen and heard and we gather in the large fellowship hall as the presents are passed out. surprisingly, my name is one of the first to be called. santa's big lap is all too tempting for all, both young and old. i am touched by the many gifts given but the best is yet to come. one of the elders leads each table in song of the twelve days of christmas, as is our church's yearly tradition. along with several others, i am volunteered to be one to stand up front and sing "five golden rings." each table has their own part to sing and their own unique way of singing it too. when it's my group's turn to sing, we belt out the five golden rings to the best of our abilities. we've found with each passing year that this song is impossible to sing without laughing. all too quickly the song is sung and the night is called. there's cleanup and goodnights and we all go home with a little bit more of a merry heart than the one we had come with.


Friday, December 23, 2011

picture perfect parade

year after year, the tradition is the same. my dad's side of the family comes to our house for the family christmas. on the schedule is usually play games, mingle, eat, shoot guns, open presents and more fun than could be imagined. but this year we added something new to the day's events. the vida christmas parade.

we piled in our vehicles with great excitement and a little bit of not knowing what to expect. vida is a small, country community not far from our place. we had never been to the parade there but had heard "you gottta go." driving down the back roads and turning onto the county road where the parade was to be held, we giggled over the small handmade sign boasting vida christmas parade stuck into the ground by the red stop sign. we kept riding until we came to a place where parked vehicles covered each side of the road. picking a spot to park our caravan about halfway down the short parade route, we unloaded. i grabbed my football and tossed it with the cousins as we waited for the much anticipated parade to begin. soon sirens were heard from the leading sheriff's car. we gathered to the edge of the pavement, bags in hand and playfully fighting for the best spot to get all the candy. we laughed at the hearse, dove headfirst for the chocolate, sang with elvis and couldn't have been enjoying ourselves more. we quickly talked with the friends and neighbors we knew who were in the parade as they passed by. i continued my new parade tradition for this year of throwing my plastic beads back to unsuspecting floats. accidentally hitting santa with the beads and the smiles on kids faces when i gave beads to them were priceless. a favorite aspect of the parade was that we got to see it twice. after going down the street once, the parade entourage came back through a second time. riding in the parade with a politician, our city's former mayor joked: "on the second round y'all are supposed to throw the candy back to us." we left the parade with promises to each other to have a family float in the parade next year. many memories were made, laughs were given and candy sacks filled. we hated to see it end.


Tuesday, December 20, 2011

a grand kid's christmas

i walk into this place, this house, no- this home and wish i could never leave. i never walk in without being welcomed with great hugs by two very special people, nana and grandaddy. this night we are here to celebrate christmas, and the bond of our family that grows each day. the food is spread out on the dining room table. the card tables and folding chairs are set and waiting for family to fill them in den. all because of a very diligent nana and grandaddy, all is ready. we wait for cousins, their dates, aunts and uncles to arrive. they do and hugs are exchanged, smiles shared. we talk, we gather round in den as is the custom and listen as grandaddy speaks. tonight there is a list nana has made for him and we all joke as he goes down the list with great order. he encourages as he expresses his thankfulness for all gathered there under his roof. in great big circle, we all grasp hands and brother dallas offers his thanks for the food. after all food is consumed, a checker game and-a-half is played with byron (the second game was almost won by yours truly), the grandparents pass each of the grand kids their gift... a book for each of memories from years past. we open with great awe and eagerly devour each of our books, only stopping to point out one or many photos to a family member nearby. memories of great moments in time are re-lived. the books are treasured already and heartfelt hugs are given to nana and grandaddy for their hard work in compiling each of the seven grand kids a personal book. dirty santa is played and then we lift our voices in song to Him who knit us together as family. on the front porch in the cool night air, grand kids laugh until we can't breathe as grandaddy takes picture after picture. the love is here and this is the greatest christmas present of all.


Saturday, December 17, 2011

this is me (accent vlog)

Say this:
Aunt, route, wash, oil, theater, iron, salmon, caramel, fire, water, sure, data, ruin, crayon, toilet, New Orleans, pecan, both, again, probably, spitting image, Alabama, lawyer, coupon, mayonnaise, syrup, pajamas, caught

Answer these:
What is it called when you throw toilet paper on a house?
What is the bug that curls into a ball when you touch it?
What is the bubbly carbonated drink called?
What do you call gym shoes?
What do you say to address a group of people?
What do you call the kind of spider that has an oval-shaped body and extremely long legs?
What do you call your grandparents?
What do you call the wheeled contraption in which you carry groceries at the supermarket?
What do you call it when rain falls while the sun is shining?
What is the thing you use to change the TV channel?

How'd I do? (: Didn't mean to leave out "theater." How do y'all say these words?


Wednesday, December 14, 2011

happy laughing, happy life

"it's not about eating the bread (for the Lord's Supper). there's a reason for becoming a Christian. you have to have the right reason and know that the reason for eating the Lord's Supper is to remember His death and Him giving His body and shedding His blood for our sins." -darcy

"will the crown we wear in heaven be like the BK (burger king) crown?" -matthew

"but maybe Jesus won't come back until a zillion years." -gavin

(after telling matthew that we will be singing all the time in heaven and will never be tired) "wow. that's intense."

{these precious, (some) serious  and funny words came from the  pictured above kids in me and marli's second and third grade class at church.}

a shout out to michaela for sharing this video on her blog.
{i'm still laughing.}

heard at our house:
"is that a dog outside growling?"
(dad said to a certain someone in our family after their stomach rumbled loudly. it was pretty late at night when it happened and we just couldn't stop giggling afterwards. things like that are always more funny when it's late.)

giveaway lovin'

Monday, December 12, 2011

words alive

my eyes want to droop and my body feels tired. i grab a cup of hot chocolate and drop beside the couch. sitting in front of the christmas tree, i open my Bible to Hebrews. as i do each morning, i read a few chapters from His Word. but this Saturday morning is different. the words on the crisp pages come alive. most mornings i seem to speed read through the daily portion in race-like fashion to get on with my next project, next day. but on this breaking of day, i slow down and grasp. grasp to understand what the eyes are seeing, to hold the Truths the Words are perceiving. things that i struggle with at this moment of time are being explained before me.

in starts in Hebrews and i see the person i want to be in Moses. the riches and pleasures in egypt were so close, so available to him but he chose to go the hard way and do what God wanted instead. why can i not also say no to the allurements of the world, my own egypt, and say yes to bigger and better plans God has for me? {though i can't see those plans or understand them now, i can know with faith that they are better in the end.}

my goal is to read the Bible through in a year, to read a certain number of chapters each day to meet that goal. but on this morning, i can't just read one day's reading. i am hungry-searching and the answers are here. i finish Hebrews and move to James. envy has been in my life in times past and wants to linger still. James addresses this with his Godly wisdom. {i take notes}

if you{bitterly} envy, do not glory..this is not from above but is earthly, natural\sensual, devilish...for where envy and strife is, so is confusion\tumult\unquiteness and every evil work.

he moves on to wars inside, pleasures, lusts and i know all too well. from James 4 i take three pages of notes alone. he speaks of elijah and i am encouraged. elijah was a plain person, like me, ordinary. just by earnestly praying he did great big things like make rain stop.

1 Peter is next and my loaded mind begins to leave this place. {the hot chocolate is gone and i pour water.} chapter one catches me. do i speak holy? it's all so much to take in and i grab my running shoes for a jog. sun shining, wind blowing, stray dog running beside me, the words attempt to sink as i run with endurance the race set before me {Hebrews 12:1}... praying earnestly as elijah did for my eyes to be opened.

giveaways you'll love

Friday, December 9, 2011

mr. willie

flipping through the church directory, the page turned and lay flat. my eyes scanned and fell on him. i thought nothing of it and continued my mission flipping through the book.

but my mind didn't continue flipping as the pages did. it drifted back to that man, mr. willie.
his picture-image filled my head. non-smiling, scruffy-long beard graying, receding hair lines at top. his eyes look black. as i look at his picture now they seem to pierce me.

on his back is a black collared shirt with a gray squared design. just by looking at this one particular shirt he's wearing in this picture, one might assume he's a middle class man, not bad off.

but mental pictures taken from past are in the memory and serve well to prove this is not the case. stained, old, ragged t-shirts were a regular staple in this man's wardrobe. seeing him in church, one might have thought someone had picked up a homeless man from off the streets. certain kind hearted souls in church soon began to give him hand-me-downs to wear. he wore them with great pride.

his speech is...hard to understand. slurred isn't the word. his words come out mangled on his tongue.

he can't read. here, a man in his sixties or seventies can only scrawl out his name. the reason for his illiteracy is unknown to me.

he seems to not know what to do with himself. he stands and walks awkwardly, not knowing where to go or who to talk with. {that is, if anyone would talk to him.}

but dad is a man who encourages and mr. willie connected to him. dad would make a point each service to pat him on the back and say words of kindness.

mr. willie doesn't have a job. he picks up aluminum cans on the side of the road and sells them for scrap metal. other people in church began to bring him their cans. but there's something very special about mr. willie.

he gives.

here is a man that has probably a fourth of what most have and he's one of the biggest givers in our church. ask anyone, and they will tell with a smile on their face that "yes, they have gotten such-and-such from mr. willie."

one christmas he gave each family a dollar bill. another year it was a santa pen that lit up. countless bags of pecans he's picked up in other's yards and we've gotten many of those unshelled too.

it's not the gifts that get us. it's his heart.

if i were in his shoes, would all i ever think about be poor pitiful me?

but he gives. and he receives much joy from it. how many stars will be in his crown in heaven? i'm sure he'll have a great big one.

i want to give like mr. willie.

{note: mr. willie moved far away. but his example will never be forgotten.}

giveaways you'll love

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

fantasy in lights

the afternoon started out with dad, mom and i stopping at jim-n-nick's bbq to grab a picnic supper. we dropped by the university to pick up india and then to dallas and marli's work. the excitement rose as the sun fell. we piled in the truck. pulling out the bbq and buns we enjoyed our feast during the one-and-a-half hour drive to our awaiting destination. christmas music playing in the background, we talked about our day... school grades, phone calls that had been made at work, jokes that had been played and of what was to come. early christmas gifts were opened with great surprise {boots and a laptop for india, ornaments for us kiddos} as dad pushed the pedal a little harder since we were running thirty minutes behind. finally, we got there. one of our favorite places in the world, calloway gardens. for to see the grandeur of the christmas lights we had come. and oh how grand they were. after boarding the trolley, we covered ourselves with flannel blankets and rolled off. christmas carols were jovially sung by all aboard and we laughed at the many hilarious comments made by those sitting behind us. we viewed in awe the life-like animated lights of drummer boys, nutcrackers, frog jumping into pond, mrs. clause country band and so many more. snowflake land and the twelve days of christmas were a favorite. all too quickly, the ride sadly came to an end. we made our way to the great big tent, warming ourselves as we browsed the items for sale. as all days do, the night was quickly coming to an end. we climbed into the truck with high hopes of coming back next year and great memories made.

giveaways so glorious

Monday, December 5, 2011

15 things you didn't know about me

sweet little melissa passed on this fun fact game to me from her blog, my soul is the sky. {melissa is super sweet and she has some fun copy cat outfit posts going on right now. go check her out!}

here i go....

#1. What's a nickname only your family calls you?

mem, but other people than just my family call me that. my mom calls me her "snuggle bug"

#2. What's a weird habit of yours?

does this count? i break and drop things very easily...not good. my family says i'm like a "bull in the china shop"

#3. Do you have any weird phobias?

i can't think of anything at the moment

#4. What's a song you secretly LOVE to blast & belt out when you're alone?

i don't have one??

#5. What's one of your biggest pet peeves?

slammed doors

#6. What's one of your nervous habits?

i do this clap with my hands, then slap my knee-thing while i'm's hard to describe

#7. What side of the bed do you sleep on?

i sleep on a twin, so there's not really a choice(:

#8. What was your first stuffed animal & it's name?

i had a big stuffed doll named jolly ever since forever

#9. What's the drink you ALWAYS order at starbucks?

java chip frappachino

#10. What's the beauty rule you preach.. but never ACTUALLY practice?

i can't think of anything...

#11. Which way do you face in the shower?

both ways, towards and away from water

#12. Do you have any 'weird' body 'skills'?

i can put my feet behind my head

#13. What's your favorite 'comfort food'/food thats 'bad' but you love to eat it anyways?

cheetos! and i don't really feel guilty eating them(:

#14. What's a phrase or exclamation you always say?

"yeah buddy!"

#15. Time to sleep- what are you ACTUALLY wearing?

flannel pj pants and t-shirt

{now i pass it on to...}


he and i

flip flops, camera shots and happy thots

shannon bear


{giveaway! the posh daisy}

Friday, December 2, 2011

the t-shirt drawer

i walk in my bedroom. it's one of the first things i see. it's cracked open, colors of white, green, red, blue, pink and black peek out.

they're jammed into this rectangular space. all thirty-one of them.

it's the t-shirt drawer.

i've pushed and i've wedged, refolded and stacked, thrown in and taken out. no matter how many i give away, they just keep reappearing. {and isn't this the way God is? no matter how many times i push His blessings and Him away, He still reappears, arms open, just as the drawer is?}

some i just can't bear to part with. the oldest tee is around maybe six years old. the one i bought on my birthday so many years ago, shopping with nana {who gives money each year}. it graces the well-loved Scripture on the back..delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart.

the newest addition to this drawer full is from a southern country kitchen you just can't beat called it don't matter. only five months old- this tee is a favorite.

and there, towards the bottom of the pile, is one of my mamaw's t-shirts. turquoise and white stained about the neckline, i think of her. my great grandmother now in heaven must have picked beans, shelled peas, canned the fruits of her garden, baked many a pie or casserole for a neighbor or church member in that old farmhouse kitchen in this shirt. thoughts of her fill my mind as i look at it.

there's numerous church tees, mostly from the much anticipated trips to convention for Lads to Leaders\Leaderettes. {i'm wearing one now}

my first ever camp tee is laying in that drawer. my jamaica-no problem tee holds many memories of the numerous years of mission trips there.

there's nike, cowboy brand, dixie outfitters, churches of Christ disaster relief effort tees... Diana singing, freed hardeman university, rodeo queen pageants, fox racing and an original Slapout, Alabama tee. so many memories connected with each. so many stories. so many life events to never be forgotten.

there's so many good times in this drawer. so many blessings remembered. next time you're counting your blessings, check your tee shirt drawer.