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Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Servant-Hearted Abbey

We had laundry. Boy, did we have laundry. Now, in the past, I have been the one to take care of the laundry, but I have been so busy lately that there has not been any laundry done by me. We had so much laundry that we had three laundry baskets full.
Abbey worked on the laundry last night and she came home again tonight and worked on laundry again after handbells. She was doing such a good job that I decided I would be more useful bloggin about her efforts.
Despite the smirk, she was not excited about my decision not to help. I realize that was probably not the nicest thing in the world to do, but sometimes I am not very thoughtful.

Monday, January 29, 2007

We're Home!

I got home last night around 10:00, and Abbey got in around 11:30. I was really glad to see her, finally! Our weekends went well, I think. The planning meeting for camp this summer was really great. We went to the camp that we will be staying at. It is called Sabine Creek Ranch. It is really nice and almost completely new.
I stayed in the Courtyard Marriott, where they were, well, let's just say, not really with it. I have commented before on my dislike of "nicer" hotels, so I will not go on a tangent here. I will mention the fact that breakfast was not continental, it was $20.00. I didn't eat it. So, if I was staying in such a nice hotel room, why was the alarm clock older than I am? I didn't even know that kind of alarm clock still existed.
I thought I had done so well packing. Then, as I was getting ready for church, I realized why I always wanted Abbey to pack for me. I forgot to pack a belt, so I had to go the whole day without a belt. It nearly drove me bonkers.
The church where I was speaking was pretty well off. This is the entry to their new building. You have to park in the underground parking garage to get in, then you walk down the concourse to the santuary and down the other concourse to the great hall. I might be showing my "countryness", but I have never heard of a concourse in a church. Only at an airport.

Now, we're home and Abbey has done an incredible job getting the laundry done today. She's amazing! She didn't go to school because she had some tests run this morning.

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Our Song

Hey Babe,

Our song just came on in the lobby. I love you.


Sorry, no pictures!

Sorry, there are not going to be any pictures on this post. I usually don't like to post without them, but I am using the hotel computer and they have it blocked from saving and copying. I think that we are going to be purchasing an additional laptop (actually, I am hoping for a MACbook) in the near future, because Abbey and I are both finding that we are needing the computer at the same time.

Today has been great. We had an excellent camp meeting this morning. Everyone was excited about the theme that I chose and the events for each day. It was very encouraging. Then, we went to Sabine Creek (, where the camp will be. It is really nice.

I believe that Abbey wrote most of the day. At least, that is what she was supposed to be doing.

I had supper tonight with my good friend Todd, and then we went to pick up his wife Caroline and their son Hunter. He is the tallest four-year-old I have ever seen. He has lots of personality and is very sweet.

I am most excited about tomorrow as I will get to meet my favorite author Calvin Miller. I brought the four books that I have that he has written and might purchase a couple of more.

I also thought I would put a link to Ben and Bethany's blog on the link side of the page. They are in Taiwan right now and they have a beautiful daughter Violet whom they are adopting. She actually told us about the program and we are going to get our kids together for playdates!

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Headed West (One More Than the Other)

It;s that time again. Abbey and I are going to be hitting road this weekend. Abbey will be riding with Shank and Freila to Memphis. Guess who they are going to see? Could it be Walt? Abbey is actually going to stop in Bartlett to spend the weekend with her parents.

I am catching a flight to Dallas to help plan a summer camp that I am going to be the camp pastor at this summer. The exciting thing. Calvin Miller, my favorite author, is the speaker at the church on Sunday morning. We are staying in the same hotel, and we are going to ride to the church together on Sunday. I can get all of my books signed!

One of us will attempt to remember the camera so that there will be some "real" pictures on here soon.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

We're Living in a Material World...

Most everyone we know has probably heard of Beth Moore. Some have seen her speak or used one of her Bible Studies. But, no matter your experience with her, you most likely have heard, "Beth Moore is just great. She's incredible." Well, she's not. (That's called an attention getter for my non-English major friends)
That's right. I said it. Beth Moore isn't all that. But, when she allows God to work through her and presents what she has learned, studied and prayed about, you better watch out! Thanks to my dear husband's "coaxing", I decided to take the plunge into the Daniel bible study at our church. Boy, am I glad I did! What a blessing it has been. I was afraid doing my daily homework would be such a burden, but I have loved every minute of it.
So, I wanted to share one point in Week Three that just knocked me off my high horse! Basically, so I don't commit any copyright fraud, Beth Moore makes the point that: Focusing on one's own inferiority (or feelings of inferiority) is just the same as thinking a lot of yourself. Meaning, either way, you are still focusing on yourself! I have never thought of it that way. So, whether you think a lot of yourself, or very little, it is still a form of self-absorption. Let that sink in for a while.
And I'm only on Week Three!

A Trip Down Old Car Memory Lane

We purchased the van last night and it got me thinking about all of the cars I have had in my life, so I thought I would let you all in on a few.

Here are the cars that I have had since getting my driver's license.

1. 1984 Ford EXP. It was silver and had a sunroof. It was a two-seater with a hatchback. Paid $600.00. The EXP was the Probe's predecessor.

2. 1979 Ford LTD Country Squire Wagon. It was a gas guzzler and I got it from my cousin Punk (I think she had a real name, but we always called her Punk). I drove the wagon my 11th grade year to MSMS in Columbus. It was a gas guzzler, but had PLENTY of room. It also had flip-up lights and cruise control.
3. 1993 Ford Ranger. It was a bright green color. It was my dad's and then I started driving it until my freshmen year of college when I bought an Explorer. Bobby wrecked the Ranger on Christmas eve that year.

4. 1992 Ford Explorer XLT. This looks almost exactly like my Explorer which I bought for $6000 with 96,000 miles on it. It broke down on the first night I bought it. The dealership fixed it, but I was not happy! I drove it for 90,000 more miles, so I guess in the end I got a good deal. By the time the transmission was completely blown in it, I had had it painted blue because someone keyed it while I was at work.
5. 1998 Pontiac Grand Prix GT. This was Abbey's car and when the explorer exploded, she got the Camry and I started driving her car. It was white and was really nice. The next car was a bad decision, but we learn from our mistakes huh?

6. 1996 Ford Explorer Eddie Bauer. The fanciest car I have ever owned. I traded the Grand Prix in and got this one. It was a V8, AWD gas-guzzler. Didn't have it long before we decided to go to seminary, so I sold it to the Fryant's and got their old car.

7. 1996 Ford Taurus. It had 120,000 miles on it when I got it. I drove it for the first year that we were in Texas. It had 160,000 miles on it when it began to experience some trouble. I took it in to the mechanic and apparently this model is known for rusting from the inside out. He told me the car was held together by rust caused from the radiator. We opted not to spend the thousands took fix it and get the truck.
8. 1999 Chevy S-10. This was a brown truck and it was great. It was a 5-speed and despite a few attempts to teach Abbey to drive it, I was completely unsuccessful. It got great gas mileage and I drove it when we moved to Tennessee.
9. 2000 Jeep Grand Cherokee. I love my Jeep. We bought the Jeep from the IL's and they got the S-10. For the first time in a long time, I don't have a car payment and that makes the Jeep even more appealing. I hope it will last another 100,000 miles!

You can see that there have been more than several cars in my driving history. If I feel ambitious I might give you a highlight of Abbey's cars. She's had several-few too! Pictures of the baby mobile to arrive soon!

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

On the Verge

We are biting the bullet and diving in, head first, into parenthood. We are on the verge of buying a minivan. We knew we needed one when we were unable to bring back everything we got for Christmas and through the after-Christmas shopping. With the addition of a pack-n-play, it's going to be a tight fit. We've been looking at all the different places, Carmax, used dealerships, but haven't found the right car for the right price. That is until yesterday. So, here's a little tour of how everything took place.

I walk in and have two cars in mind. I ask for the sales guy that I am supposed to be meeting. After 10 minutes or so, another guy comes up and asks for me, he has been sent by the original salesman. He takes me outside and begins the normal spill of how fabulous their deals are and he believes they have the right car for me. I pull out my research containing two cars that they "supposedly" have on their lot along with the trade-in, private party, and retail values of the van, as well as comp prices of similar vans at other dealerships. He says, "Oh, you must already have something in mind." I show him the more affordable of the two and he gets the keys.

He tells me the other van is at the other dealership down the road, so we drive down there, only to find that it is no longer there. Ironically, no one seems to remember this van at all ... hmmm. I'm pretty much like the cheaper one, because it has all of Abbey's requirements, extremely low miles, and as an added bonus, a power lift-gate.

I tell him, that I hate the garbage of "what's it going to take to put you in this van?" So, I told him to appraise the Highlander and come back with a price. After a long while, they came back with, "We really like your vehicle, and because we know we can sell it, we're prepared to offer you top dollar. We'd like to give you $1.00 for your trade." Well, it was higher than that, but it was hard to notice.

I went into my "I told you I hate this garbage, so go back and get me the best price." He came back and said, "We really want to make this deal, so now we are going to give you $1.50." Once again, it was higher than that, but didn't feel like it. I put on my coat and told him goodbye. He said, "Give me a chance, tell me what you want." So, I did, and he went back in and came back a lttle higher than I asked, but I had not told him I was putting cash down, so that made the deal work. I think. We'll see today when we go to sign the papers if they were able to find $20,000 worth of unexpected costs.

So ... my friends, family, and blog-enthusiasts, Abbey and I are on the verge, the verge of a Babymobile.

Monday, January 22, 2007

Picture Pages

Jessica, who does the graphic design work for my product at work, gave us an early baby gift. She did our adoption photo pages. Here they are. They are larger than this in the real format, but I thought you all would like to see them.

Here's some pictures of us together with friends, by ourselves, and just hanging out.

Here are some pictures of us with our families.

And if you were having trouble figuring it out, here are pictures of our house!

Hopefully, we will be able to go and get our fingerprints soon. We are having a little trouble figuring out the lingo of the department of homeland security. Abbey reads it one way and I read it another. But, we are trying to be patient in waiting.

Friday, January 19, 2007

Almost Home

Well, the conferences have been excellent today. They have been well-attended and the people have lots of energy. It has certainly been a fun, but exhausting experience. Tonight, Abbey has some of the girls from Joelton spending the night with her.
I talked to her a few minutes ago and she was at Opry Mills with them. I cannot imagine choosing to go to the mall for fun. It just doesn't seem right.
The bathtubs here at Ridgecrest are about 3 feet long, so unless you would be a potential person on "Little People, Big World," a nice long soak in the tub is out of the question. I do have a balcony which would be really nice if it was above freezing.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Made it to Ridgecrest

We started our journey from LifeWay early this morning. We decided that we would stop for breakfast at Cracker Barrel. From Cracker Barrel, I began driving our rented Chevy Trailblazer. It is really nice, with leather and bun warmers.
When we crossed over the time change line, all of a sudden it was 11:30 instead of 10:30, what were we to do? We just had to stop at P.F. Chang's for nourishment. It was really good. Jerry began driving from there.
We finally arrived around 2:45 to Ridgecrest, so we had time to take a quick rest in our rooms, before forcing ourselves out to eat at Outback. It has been a beautiful day, however, you will not get to experience pictures as I completely forgot to bring the camera again. Supposedly, it is supposed to snow at least 3 inches while we are here. If the cold is any indication, we are going to get a ton of snow, because it is FREEZING here. To me, it feels colder than it did in Glorieta.

I haven't gotten a chance to really talk to Ab yet, so I am about to call her.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Some More Reed Decor

We asked Ava to work on some decorations for Reed's room. We decided that we wanted something that would work well with the bedding that my parent's got us. We also wanted to get something that we could get Peter's Pottery animals to match it. So, we ended up with an elephant, a monkey, and a giraffe.
These are going to be really cut in the room aren't they? Now, we need the pottery. We already have the elephant (Remember it is the one that we named Jay in memory of my best friend Jay.), and we have always wanted the monkey and the giraffe. My mom is going to embroidery Reed's name on sheets of fabric and that will be hung over his bed. I think that we might hang the pictures on the slanted wall, right when you walk in the bedroom. News on the other front:
1. Abbey is at handbell practice right now. She loves to play the bells and they are starting the handbell choir back at church. I was originally going to go but the the instructions were for moderate or advanced ringers. Guess who is neither of those.
2. We received an email today from one of our caseworkers saying that our homestudy was being reviewed and Lisa would be contacted if there were any changes in the near future.
3. I am supposed to be packing for my trip to Ridgecrest, but I am torn between the American Idol Premiere and Gilmore Girls. What am I supposed to do?
4. I leave early in the morning to drive with my bosses to North Carolina. I've never been to Ridgecrest either, but I think that I more prepared for the primitive nature of the conference centers.
5. I hope that I will do a better job of updating this week than I did last week.

For more info about Ava and Brookie, go to their blog. The link is on the right. She is finally updating their blog more often!

Monday, January 15, 2007

Time with Girls II

Photo within the photo. This is a photo of me with my parents and brothers on our wedding day.
"Whatcha lookin at?"
Mister Abbey (yes, that's what she calls her), "I tired."
I can't tell if this picture is cool or scary. Notice how normal everything but the person in this picture is. I can't even tell who it is, but I think that it is Cate.
Parent's beware, they go to Kindergarten all nice and innocent and then they come out all "Spicy."

Time with the Girls

Abbey got an unanticipated surprise today. She got to keep Carah and Cate while Michelle went to the grocery store. I know that Abbey enjoyed it, I hope that the girls did as much as Abbey did. First, they got to eat lunch on the living room floor.
I think that this was the only time that Cate's mouth was closed the whole time that she was here. In the few minutes that I was here while they were, she talked the whole time. She has definitely expanded her vocabulary.
I'm not quite sure what Carah is thinking in this photo, but it must have been really interesting. Now, here's where the girls took over the camera.
This would be called, "Ode to Feet". It was taken by Cate. The feet in the picture are Carah's.
Isn't she happy?

How Sweet It Is!

Well, I am finally home after a long day of flying and sitting in airports yesterday. We had a little scare on Saturday that the weather might not cooperate. We decided to head into to Albequerque and stay near the hotel. However, when we woke up, the weather was very nice.

We flew into Atlanta with no problem. Well, I slept the whole way, so hopefully the people who were near me were not too bothered by the drool and hopefully there was no snoring. Once in Atlanta, we had a two hour layover that turned into a 3.5 hour layover because the flight crew wasn't there. I guess it was necessary to wait on them as I have never flown a plane before.

After retrieving my car, it was a wet drive home and finally, finally, I got to see my wife. It was so nice to just get to hug her. We snuggled up and watched a little TV together before we went to bed, as I was EXHAUSTED!

So, I am home, for 2 whole days before leaving again for Ridgecrest to do it all over again! This time, I am returning on Saturday night and we are driving!

On the adoption front, there is very little to report. I called on Thursday and the placement agency said that they were conducting the final review of the homestudy. I am hoping that we will hear something this week. Once that is complete we should be next in line for a referral. There was only one baby boy referral this month, so maybe there will be lots next month!

Wednesday, January 10, 2007


Well, I am here in Glorieta and there is snow and more expected tonight. It is going to be a lot work and a lot of fun. The only problem, is everyone thinks that there is a lot of great Mexican food and that we should eat there for EVERY meal. No, I am not kidding. Thankfully, my good friend Bill does not care for Mexican food, so we will be eating together a lot.
I do wish that Abbey was here. I hope that she is having a good time. I miss her! I love you, Ab!

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Snow Day

I'm headed to Glorieta, New Mexico tomorrow and it's supposed to be snowing. Well, actually, it has been snowing and there is supposed to be a lot of snow on the ground. I hope that it is still there, because I have been dying to see snow this year.

It did snow a little today here, but it was not substantial. Abbey said that it hailed at her school, but that's not the kind of ice that I like!

Monday, January 08, 2007

Dinner with New Friends

We had supper tonight with our Children's Minister and her husband and son. It was lots of fun. They supplied the house and we supplied the food. It was really good. Abbey did an excellent job as always. Their little boy is so cute.
Abbey and I have been at SBC for a while now and we have not been able to get involved with the children yet. We have really missed getting to serve in church, especially with the kids. Starting in February, we are going to be able to get to start a Preteen Bible Study on Sunday nights, so that is really exciting.
Everyone enjoyed Abbey's world famous apple dumplings. They were delicious as always!

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Baby Stuff and Hey Santa

Yesterday, we were a little lazy, so we had a pretty slow start to the morning. We woke up, got out of bed (eventually), ate breakfast, and then we cleaned out the pantry. I made several trips to the dumpster.
Those of you who have known us for a while, know how many times that we have moved. First it was the apartment, then our house in Brandon, then the trailer in Texas, now the house in Tennessee. All in five years. So, with that many moves, you would think that we have been through the things in our pantry several times. We found quite a bit of food that had expired, including some that expired in 2002. Abbey thinks that Wal-Mart has been selling us expired food.
After we cleaned the pantry, we went to look at baby furniture. Our friend Abbie told us about a website called NexTag. It tells you where the best price is. We went to Babies R Us and found the bed. It is a white spindle Jenny Lind bed. We wanted something to have a more vintage look since we have the bedroom furniture that my mom had when she was a little girl in the nursery.

After we got home we NexTagged the crib and found the same bed at for $20.00 less. I found the glider and ottoman that we wanted at Posh Tots and then NexTagged it. We found it at for $400 less than at Posh Tots! That's insane! Use NexTag!

Now, for the funny story! We had supper last night with Danny, Michelle and girls at Genghis Grill. (Sorry, no pictures, the camera battery was charging!) After dinner, the girls and I were walking out of the restaurant. This older man with a bald head and a full white beard was holding the door for us. Cate, very unassumingly waved and said, "Hi Santa," and kept walking. It had to have been the cutest thing I have ever seen. It was hilarious!

Saturday, January 06, 2007

The Homestudy!

Our homestudy is complete. Hopefully, the agency will review it quickly and get it back to Lisa for any changes that may need to be made. Actually, we hope that there are not any changes needed.
In honor of the homestudy being completed, I got Abbey some flowers. I went to Emma's, the superlative florist (you really need to hear the way the man on the commercial says it).
I think that I have found a new favorite. They did an excellent job. Abbey and I also got Lisa (our caseworker) some flowers for doing such a great job. Her flowers were a little more contemporary with purple iris' and lilies in it.
Sorry, I am sure that you would all love to read what is in the homestudy, but for the interest of our privacy, we're not going to let you read it. Just know that it is done and hopefully, we'll be on the waiting list soon!

I do feel like I owe it to you all to tell you a funny that is in the homestudy. There is a part that describes Abbey and one that describes me. Abbey is described as stable, and several other great things. It says that I appear to be stable, and a lot of other great things! I only APPEAR to be stable. Go figure!