Thursday, December 21, 2006

Happy Holidays

Christmas is quickly approaching and I wanted to share our best wishes to all of you for a very merry Christmas and an extraordinary holiday season. David drew these pictures of Santa and Rudolph, and I thought they were very fitting to serve as our "online" holiday card. He asked us to set up a table to display them under the Christmas tree so Santa and Rudolph would be sure to see them. We convinced him that it would be safer to put them out Christmas Eve with the cookies for Santa (otherwise his brother might decide to draw on them or eat never know with that kid!)

We have already started our Christmas extravaganza. At Thanksgiving, we celebrated Christmas with Brian's mom in Mobile. Nathan had asked for a drill for Christmas, and he got one from Grandma Barbara. It was great when he opened it because he was so excited. Once we got it out of the box, he kept saying, "Now we have to break something so we can fix it!"

He played with it for awhile at her house and kept looking for the holes that it was supposedly drilling. On the way home, I asked him what he would want for his birthday and/or Christmas now that he had the drill. He said, "That drill is pretend. I want a REAL drill." Yeah...I bet you do Nathan. That is not happening for another 20 years (or at least until you move out.) I don't want everything broken just so you have something to fix.

We let the boys open a few presents from us yesterday. With Nathan's birthday on December 23rd, this time can be an overload of presents from family. This year we decided that we would spread it over a few days and give them a chance to enjoy playing with what they get a little more.

We hope you all have a great holiday season. May God bless your family richly as 2006 ends and 2007 begins.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Saying Goodbye to a Friend

Last night I received an email that Rhonda Frazier, a good friend of mine, had passed away from Alzheimer's disease. She was 34 years old and a single parent of a little boy named Clay. I ask all of you to please remember Clay, Rhonda's parents, sister and brother, and the rest of her friends and family in your prayers.

I met Rhonda at church when I was 7 years old. My family had just moved to Eugene, Oregon, and Rhonda became a very good friend. There were four of us girls that became pretty tight friends and we did a lot together during those 3 years my family lived in Oregon. Those were good times!

When my family moved to Texas, Rhonda and I kept in touch through letters and a very, very occasional telephone call. (And yes, if you know me, you know that Rhonda probably wrote more letters to me than I did to her!) When I was at Harding, Rhonda came and spent almost a week with me. She decided to transfer to Harding the following year, and would you believe that housing assigned us as suitemates even though neither one of us knew anything about it? I still remember Rhonda the look on her face when we found out that we would be suitemates.

Rhonda was an extremely talented person. She lived life fully and completely. She involved herself in everything and was so good at all that she did. Whenever I would think of Rhonda after we moved from Oregon, I would always think of the saying (or Brownie Song) or whatever it is:

Make new friends but keep the old
One is silver and the other gold.

I don't know if my mom used to remind me of this after we moved to make me feel better, or what? All I know, is that Rhonda was pure gold.

Monday, December 11, 2006

From This Day Forward

It has been a long time since I have posted. Life has been very busy. The family has been sick, and it seems like we are constantly running in one direction or another. I knew I had to make time to post today though.

Seven years ago today, a very special man took on a very hard job. That job was being married to me! Today is our wedding anniversary, and if he asked me to do it all over again today, I would do it in a heartbeat.

For better or for worse...We've had a lot of "better" and even in 7 short years of marriage, we have had some "worse". That first year of marriage brought many difficult times that were faith building and bonded us for life. We have laughed together and sometimes even cried together through the years. There are probably some things that we wish we could go back and change...but all those times brought us to today.

For richer and for poorer...We have been poor. We have wondered how things would get paid, but God always provided. He provided through generous people. He provided through some creative answers. He provided by helping us learn to become a little more content and understand that even when we felt poor we were really very rich. Even now, God has also blessed us with wonderful jobs and a dream house. More important than those things is the love that fills that house and the joy we get from the people we work with every day.

In sickness and in health...This one has been a tough one for us. God never promised perfect bodies and the struggles that have come in the health area haven't always been easy, but we can laugh and love...what else matters?

To love and to cherish...I used to laugh when "old" people would say that those warm and fuzzy feelings go away and there has to be something more to keep a marriage strong. Now, I know that it is true...sometimes. I still have the warm and fuzzy feelings for Brian, but they come more now as I watch him be a good daddy to my boys. It comes when I see him touch the life of a teen or someone else. And, it still comes when he is sweet to me like he was today when he sent me 7 roses and told me that he has enjoyed the last 7 years and looks forward to the next 70. Those moments are pretty special! While I am not always one of those sappy girls, I hope he knows how much I cherish and love him...even when I am giving him a hard time!

From this day forward 'til death do us part...I don't always tell him and I am sure that I don't always show it, but just so that it is clear...I am blessed for having married Brian. God gave me a gem of a husband, and I wouldn't trade him for the world. He is my best friend, my confidant, and my number one supporter. He even does laundry! I couldn't ask for more.

So Brian, thanks for asking me to be your wife and then going through with it! I will never forget...