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Tuesday, February 28, 2006

The End of an Era

(As edited by Abbey, post-published! It's not perfect, but it's much better.)

I am sure that the title would lead one to think that I was going to blog about the death of Don Knotts. I am not going to speak of that loss, but I will speak of the loss of our beloved Joelton Bowling Alley.

For the past several months, Abbey and I have had the pleasure of bowling on our church bowling league. A few weeks ago, the alley announced that it would be closing its doors on February 28. Thus, tonight was our last night to bowl. We had a great time, and I even bowled a Turkey (that's three strikes in a row if you're not hip on bowling lingo). Abbey and I have learned so much from bowling like the term "sleeper"not only refers to a sofa but also means there is a pin hiding behind another one. A "split" is not talking about your pants ripping, but when there are pins with a big space apart. "Pick it up" is not refering to the ball, but when you are trying to get a spare.

On top of having a great time bowling, we also had the opportunity to meet so many great people. Our team consisted of Chris, who often found her name on the highest score list, Barb, who was our church receptionist and just became a Grandmother, and Ryan, our faithful sub and one of the nicest 17 year olds I have ever met (yes, they do exist apparently).

We also met many people who we would have not known otherwise such as Maigon, whose grandfather promised her a car if she would score 250. There was Mr. George who always let out a yell if he didn't bowl a good frame. Cheryl, the bowling president, always prayed for and encouraged the other bowlers. Each person had their own unique personality which contributed to part of the fun of bowling. We thoroughly enjoyed our time.

It's hard to read, but the sign on the right etched a piece of history. The board always had the highest scorers for the previous week. Our teammate Chris will be the last person on this list for her score last week of 198.

Bowling taught me some things. We should look to make friends wherever we go. Certain things can cross all generational lines. We are so blessed to be a part of our wonderful church that has so many wonderful people.

Saturday, February 25, 2006

A New Definition of Express

How do you define express? I began to wonder this today as I was sitting in Wal-Mart Tire and Lube Express. AFter the first thirty minutes, I began to wonder if I had gone to the Quick Lube if I would be out by now. Then at 45 minutes I was beginning to believe that if I had gone to Fast Lube I would definitely be out by now. Finally at 1 hour and 15 minutes I knew that I would be out if I had gone to Kwik Car. Certainly, Wal-Mart does not understand the term express, or do they? Maybe they do understand, maybe they are comparing express in terms of eternity. Now, I really think that 1.25 hours is not a long time in terms of eternity. Truly, Wal-Mart must be a Christian company that terms their services on the basis of eternity! NOT! Wal-Mart is so slow! I guess I will have another opportunity next week, when I will go back (yes, I'll go back, despite the 5 other places that I could go in town) to take my Jeep this time.

That brings me to the next part of this blog. I have transformed Abbey's Highlander back to its original color. It is now white once again. The frozen roads for the past two weeks has reaked trouble on Abbey's vehicle. It was a ugly color of gray when I began. Check it out now in the picture. I even cleaned the inside!

As you probably can tell, Abbey is not here today because she is at a conference. I never like it when she is not here! I added cut four new slats for our bed today because I tired of the box-springs falling in the middle of the night! I am ready for her to be home! Only a few more minutes I hope! I have also added a picture of my current goatee status. Despite several comments in veto of this endeavor, it is actually coming along quite smoothly.

Friday, February 24, 2006

A Night By Myself

I am by myself tonight because my beautiful wife is off being adjudicated (I know that I have a couple of people who agree with me on this, but why can't the handbell people just be judged. No, they have to be adjudicated. I mean even the ice skaters are judged. What do you call the people who adjucate? I am thinking adjudes or adjuders.) with the handbell choir from our church. I have been left here alone. I spent a good portion of the day down at Vanderbilt in the Divinity Library research articles for the paper I have to write next week at my doctoral interview. Jack, one of the coolest kids in the world, tells me that I put too much information on my blog, so maybe I should quit with this, but I am not. Thankfully, my friends Frank and Sheila rescued me from a night of boredom by inviting me to join them for coffee at our favorite place, Starbucks! It was mucho yum. Cinnamon Dolce Latte is my current favorite! I just found out that you can see how many calories and sugars, etc. are in the drinks at the Anyhow, I am trying to limit my sugar intake currently so I am drinking lots of sparkling water and I am eating soy nuts for snacks. Kim, another friend of mine, is trying to help me become a healthier eater! It's going to take a lot of prayer. While this has been a blast, I must go fold clothes and put the clean sheets on the bed!

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Facial Hair

Much to my wife's dismay, I am attempting to change my clean shaven face into one with a goatee. Since I am going for my interview for the doctoral program next week at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, I think I need to look a little older. I don't think that I will be able to keep up with the facial hair for very long, so I am only giving it a little over a week. I have tried it several times since I have been married and Abbey always vetoes it. I must say that it is better than one of those V-shaped hairy things below the bottom lip that people seem to be quite fond of these days. Anyway, tonight is Survivor and we will miss it because we have a dinner here at the church. Someone let me know who gets voted off! A cool thing is that you can now buy the episode off of the website. I haven't gone there yet.

Monday, February 20, 2006

Monday's Musings

Everyone once in a while, I get somewhat nostalgic. The past couple of days have been those days. This is a picture of some of our VERY best friends in Texas (note: Blanton and Jaime are also our very best friends, but they are not in this picture). From left to right, I will introduce you. Abbie is one of our friends that thankfully moved to Jackson only a couple of hours away from us. She works in marketing for the city of Jackson now. She is very funny and runs EVERYDAY! Wes is one of the most awesome people I've ever met. He wasn't my favorite person in the world when I first met him, but now I would give him a leg hair transplant if he wanted one. He is the Equipping Pastor at Fellowship Bible Church ( He is an excellent Bible scholar and he laughs at almost everything I say. Caroline is a counselor and it mother of Hunter. She is calm and very easy going. She would have to be in order to be married to Todd. Todd is great and the most friendly person I have ever met! He also LOVES to buy cars. He has had SEVERAL in the past couple of years. I can't blame him though, I love to get different cars. He is a professor now at Dallas Baptist University. Todd and Caroline's son Hunter is a really TALL kid who has a wonderful personality. And then you know me and Abbey. I think that's about all. Abbey isn't here right now, and I am finishing up the laundry that she didn't get to today on her day off. The laundry is my job, but Abbey did a great job today cleaning up the house! She's so great! I just love her!

Sunday, February 19, 2006

Queen of Fairfield

If you knew my Mimi, being named Queen of her assisted living facility is a major ordeal. As much as I love her, she's not big on socialization at all. I remember being flabbergasted when she once told me she didn't like Christmas. However, I am quite proud of her recent ascent to royalty. So, this is a tribute to her. The picture on the left was taken during her 80th Birthday Celebration. These are some of my cousins on the Drake side, beginning with the bottom left: Courtney (she lives in Hattiesburg with her husband and 3 children), Mimi, Ava (my sister), Me - Abbey, top is Chris (he lives in Louisiana with his wife and son; he has been instrumental in reestablishing network connections/communications in New Orleans after Katrina), Ben (currently attends MSU), Richard (lives in Batesville (our old house, even!) with his wife and son), Molly (currently pregnant! but I can't exactly remember where they live...starts with a C I think), and Sam (lives in Conyers, GA). Unfortunately, my favorite cousin in the world, Jason, is absent from this picture. He was bonding with his father in Colorado. The good news is he is getting married July 22! In case you cannot tell, I love my family and am very proud of all of them. We don't get to visit much, but they aren't far from my mind.

The picture on the right is a close up of Ava and Mimi.

(You're probably shocked that I (Abbey) am posting, but Jeff is getting somewhat carried away with his blogging! Because we were home for more than 10 minutes, he provided you with a minute by minute play of our life recently. As some of you already know, my standard response to Jeff's actions is, "I'm sorry.")

Saturday, February 18, 2006

Icy Saturday

It snowed again last night, but the snow was not really on the grass that much. It was on the roads, and since the high today was 27, it really didn't melt that much. If it weren't for the ice trucks, all of the roads would still be icy.

We were supposed to be at the church today for a conference, but it was canceled due to the weather. That meant that Abbey and I had an unexpected day off. That was nice. We went to eat lunch at the Catfish House and then to Wal-Mart for a few essentials. We stopped by Hollywood Video on the way home and rented 3 movies. We have watched "Beauty Shop" and "In Her Shoes" so far. We have one more to watch tonight. So far, they have been pretty good.

We got an email today stating that Abbey's grandmother had been named Valentine Queen of the assisted living home that she lives in! Congratulations Mimi! Sorry for no pictures with this post. I just can't seem to find anything.

Friday, February 17, 2006

Our Day Off

Abbey and I had a lot of fun today. I love getting to spend my days off with her. Abbey had an appointment this morning, so she did not go to school.

This morning we got up around 8:00ish and decided that we would go to Cracker Barrel for breakfast. I had my favorite country ham and Abbey got to eat pancakes. When we got finished with breakfast it was not quite time to go to her appointment so we decided to go to Target.

If you do not already know, Abbey and I love to shop at Target. We spend WAY too much time and money there. Last year after Christmas, Target introduced a new line called Global Bazaar. Because it is similar to merchandise found in Bombay and Pier 1, we really like it. Especially because it is more in our price range. Last year, we got our kitchen table, chairs and stools from this section. They don't keep it long so we have to buy quick.

Anyway, this year, we have found curtains and rugs that we really like. There is actually more that we like but that is what we really wanted. Today there was only one more of the rug that we wanted. There was no price on the rug and the GB stuff is on sale for 30% off. I paged an employee to ask him how much the rug was. I know that it was originally $350.00. I told Abbey if he would say $100.00, we would buy it.

He called a manager because he didn't know the price either. He showed back up a few minutes later and said $104.00. Apparently the manager told him to charge us the price of the much smaller rug. Needless to say we got our rug today. In the picture, you can see the new rug, one of our new curtains, and couch and sofa that I have mentioned before. Abbey is the little head on the loveseat with the laptop in her lap.

We got to Abbey's appointment very early. They took her right away and we were gone well before the actual appointment time. We then went to eat at our favorite dowtown restaraunt Demo's. We ate with our friends Frank and Sheila. They are our Sunday School teachers and they are so nice! We just love them.

I have always wanted to live downtown, so Abbey and I decided to look at lofts for fun. (Note: DO NOT HAVE A HEART ATTACK, Mrs. L, we were just having fun) First we went and saw the Bennie Dillon lofts, circa 1927. They were not very LOFTY, and really didn't impress us, especially with the price. Then we went to Werthen Mills, circa 1870. They were fabulous. HUGE windows, soaring ceilings, exposed brick, beautiful floors, stainless appliances, and tons of character are only a few of the things that we loved about the loft. They just started selling the 4th phase this week (they won't be remodeled until Oct. 2007) and they have already sold most of them. If we were going to move to a loft, we would go here. I think Abbey's sister Ava needs to move here!

We then went to Maggie Moo's for a cool treat. Then we headed home. We rested a while, ate a small supper and then Abbey threw out all the old papers that we have been saving for no reason. I finally got together our tax information which we could file if one bank in particular (GRRR!) would send us our year end statement!

Now we are blogging and about to go to bed. We had a nice day! Tomorrow we have a leadership training at our church. There is snow in the forecast for tomorrow and it was 70 yesterday! The first picture is of Abbey's Valentine flowers and her new piece of pottery.

That's plenty for now!

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Post Valentine's Day Report

We had an excellent day yesterday. Here is the rundown:

Abbey Got:
1. A new Peter's Vase
2. Flower's from Sherry's (which I had put in the new vase and delivered)
3. Cards everyday for the past week
4. Chocolate Covered Strawberries from Godiva
5. I got a hair-cut (thereby losing the competition!)

Jeff Got:
1. A neat paper-weight thing with our favorite verse and a nice picture in it.
2. A one-hour massage
3. A very nice card.

The Date:
We went to Chik-Fil-A for church bulletin night and then we went to bowl. Abbey did well and I did not. That's not our real date though. We are going to Pei Wei tomorrow night and then we are going to the Grand Ole Opry to see Casting Crowns.

Other news:
I have been invited to attend a field essay and interview in conjunction with my application to the doctoral program at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. It is on March 3, so pray for me!

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Valentine's Day

Today is Valentine's Day. Regardless of the fact that everyone realizes that VD is a ploy by retailers across the world to get men and women to spend lots of money on mylar balloons and chocolate shaped lips, I still like the day, as would any hopeless romantic. I really like to try to get things for Abbey that she is not expecting. Because I am not sure when she will read this post, I will have to give you a post-VD report. Abbey will probably still think that her best VD present was yesterday when she got a snow day off from school for no apparent reason. Attached to my computer monitor is poem that Abbey wrote for me some time ago and it has been in my office for the past 3 jobs that remind me of how much she loves me. But I think I would like to post it here to Abbey, because it echoes my feelings for her.
Is it possible to explain,
Or even comprehend-
That God would send
Someone like you
To someone like me.
Here's a renewal-
Of a promise we made,
4 years ago (edited for obvious reasons),
On that memorable day.
When someone like you,
Promised to love,
Someone like me.
Somedays it's tough
I don't know what to say,
Will I ever do enough?
To prove to you in everyway
How special I feel
To have someone like you
Love someone like me
Things get so busy, so fast
Many times you feel left out
Or that you come in last
Leaving you filled with doubt
It's a wonder that
Someone like you
Loves someone like me
Very few will ever be blessed
To have someone like you
Love someone like me
I'm so glad God gave me
Someone like you
To love someone like me.

Saturday, February 11, 2006

Snow White

One of the things that I love about our house is the big picture window in our bathroom. Every morning after I look at my beautiful wife, I look out the window from my bed. The window opens up to our backyard. Thankfully our lot blocks up to a heavily wooded area. This morning, I received a special treat. This is what Abbey and I saw when we woke up this morning. Of course, Abbey was not thrilled with me wanting to see the snow at 7:30 on a Saturday morning. It would be a totally different story if this was a schoolday.

For several days now, I had been wanting IHOP, so I mentioned to Abbey that we should go this morning. We looked out and saw that while the snow was everywhere, it was not on the ground. We gave ourselves 20 minutes to get completely ready. We did it in about 15 minutes and we were off to Goodlettsville where, oddly, there was no snow. This is a picture of our house this morning. We came home from breakfast and a quick trip to Sam's and I hung curtain rods for Abbey. Yes, that's right, after just over a year in this house we have curtains.

Friday, February 10, 2006

Our Current Living Quarters

It occurred to me that I had not ever put information about our current house on our blog. This is our living/dining room. The dining room is hardly ever dined in, but we do have a table with two-mismatched chairs. Oh yeah, the furniture is different. We finally got a new couch and new loveseat. After nearly 5 years of marriage, we have our first NEW living room furniture. The old stuff was second-hand. It was nice, but it was not new when we got it.

This is our kitchen. We replaced the stove and dishwasher when we moved in to match our refrigerator. It is stainless look, but it really isn't stainless. It doesn't get fingerprints! Abbey loved the kitchen when she saw it. It has a nice island in the middle and a large eat-in area. I love the cabinets. We have replaced the floor with a tile-look wilsonart laminate. It is very nice.

This is the final stop on our tour of the downstairs. This is our foyer. It is actually the same room as our living room and dining room, but it is distinctive with the hardwood floors. You can also see the half-bath through the open door. My mother-in-law painstakingly put the wall-paper up in that room to make sure that all the patterns would match. It was the most expensive room in the whole house that we redid.

This is Carah's room. Carah adopted this room on her first visit to our home. She has added some of her own decorations. One time, Ava had spent the night but she had not made the bed. Carah came in and went directly to her room where she said, "Someone has been sleeping in my bed." She made it up. She has even spent the night in her bed. When we have a baby, this will be his or her room. I hope that Carah will share.

This is our fun bathroom. It is ORANGE, and it is not a tribute to Tennessee. We just wanted a bright room with lots of color. I think that we succeeded. It is definitely the brightest room in the house, even though there is no window.

This is our bedroom. When we bought the house the room was big bird yellow and there were pink lace curtains. They painted the ceiling a light yellow color and the high trey ceilings were also big bird yellow. It was definitely not what I would consider romantic or comfortable. We painted it a nice caramel, replaced the ceiling fan, and changed out the curtains. Now, it is very comfortable. So comfortable, that Abbey and I like to stay there until very late on Saturday mornings!

This is our bathroom. We have high cathedral ceilings, a jacuzzi tub, separate sinks, and a separate shower. We're going to paint it red at some point. Don't forget to check our blog tomorrow. We're going to have picture of our snow covered house! We're expecting 6 inches tonight!

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Abbey's Tantrum

It snowed yesterday. It snowed and it snowed. The problem is that it did not freeze until late in the night, so the snow only built up on the roofs and yards. We were really hoping that it would freeze and Abbey would be out of school this morning. We woke up at 5:30 to see if "Snowbird" was going to report that Abbey was out of school. We were listening intently and finally Snowbird said "Robertson County," however, it is what he said after that that caused the tantrum. He said that Robertson county would be opening 2 hours late. Abbey went into an immediate fit of rage (well, not really), but she was mad about not getting the whole day out. I hope that she is doing better now. She did end up getting to go back to sleep, but she said that it took her 30 minutes because she was so mad! On the bright side, there is accumulation expected tomorrow night. The bad thing is that Saturday is not a school day.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Our "Older" Friend Michelle

This is our "older" friend Michelle. Today is her birthday and she is officially well into her 30's today. She turned 31. She has not blogged about her birthday and therefore I am unable to make fun of her. So, I have taken matters into my own hands and done it for her. This is her on "Backwards Night" at Awana!

She sent off for her hoverround this morning and she is looking into purchasing some SAS shoes.

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Our Finest Hour

This picture was taken our the "Hillbilly Hoe-Down" Harvest Festival at First Baptist Church in Cedar Hill. I've gained about 30 pounds since that picture was taken, but I would definitely say that I think I look better now than at that moment! Abbey is beautiful no matter what she is wearing!

Reminiscing II

This is a picture of our living room. We painted a nice neutral tan color. When we first moved in, we painted a ridiculously loud mustard color. We thought it was going to be gold. The great thing about our home was the fact that there were ceiling fans in every room. We really enjoyed our time in seminary and in our cozy trailer.

We loved the color of our kitchen. It was red. We bought the paint from the "oops" counter at Home Depot for $5.00. It was the cheapest and best thing we did to the house. We're going to paint our bathroom in our house now a similar red color. Every house should have a red room. You should take notice of the flooring in this room. It was a parquet look "peel and stick" vinyl tile. I installed it myself.

This is the second bedroom. It doubled as a guest room and our office. It was REALLY small! We had enough space for a twin bed a chest of drawers (two of the drawers would not open as the were almost touching the foot of the bed) and our computer. It was also easy to vacuum. The comforter and curtains are from Abbey's dorm room.

The tour is almost over. This is the third bedroom. It was a little larger than bedroom two, but definitely not too big. We had my "13th birthday" bed in this room. We still have my old cast-iron bed. We don't use all the white bedding anymore though. We have a more trendy look. You can see our cross collection when it was much smaller.

The second bathroom is right here. While I am on bathrooms, have I mentioned that our water pressure was nearly non-existent. To top this off, Fort Worth water is NASTY! This bathroom was also very snug.

So, there it is folks, our seminary living quarters. While it was certainly modest, it was definitely a great time. We did not love Texas, but the friends that we made there were incredible. God blessed us immensely and I don't think that either of us would trade our experience. And yes, it is possible to have 3 bedrooms and 2 baths in a 896 square feet.


I enjoyed a lunch of stew today at Danny and Michelle's home. We were talking about houses, etc. and I started telling them about our seminary days. Most who read this blog know that when we were in seminary we lived in a 16 by 60 mobile home. I prefer to call it a trailer. We did a lot of cosmetic work to the inside and I will post the interior on this blog. That way you can know how we lived in seminary.
This first picture is February 14, 2004, the day it really snowed in seminary.

This was the master bedroom. Boy was it large. The way the bed was positioned we were only able to walk around the bed. There was about 1.5 feet of space between the chest of drawers and the side of the bed. Needless to say it was easy to vacuum.

This is the master bathroom. It was lovely. You cannot see it, but I replaced the floor. You'll notice the traditional step in tub. This bathroom was the most convenient bathroom I have ever used. You could sit on the toilet, turn the water on in the tub, and wash your hands in the sink all at the same time.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006


For anyone who has seen me lately, you've probably noticed that my hair is a lot longer than it usually is. I am in a competition with James, a guy from our church. People often confuse us for each other, despite the fact that I am MUCH younger than he is. I am just kidding! The real distinguishing factor is the fact that he is from New Zealand, and everyone who has ever heard me talk knows I am from the South. He has not cut his hair in a while and it is getting long and curly. Mine is doing the same thing, so I decided that I would not cut mine until he cut his. I hope that I have enough strength to keep up! I am not a big fan of long hair! Neither is Abbey, so that will probably be the deciding factor.