Saturday, December 20, 2008

Christmas at The Ridge!

Allen (Mr. Beyer) was so kind and came to school this past week to eat lunch with two of my students...on "the stage!" The stage is where all students eat when their parents or special guest come to eat with them, it's very exciting & a privilege to eat on "the stage." The boys were very excited to eat McDonald's with Mr. Beyer. We also bought them Christmas presents and it just amazing how excited a 6 year-old could be over a box of crayons. I thought I would share the joy with you...hope everyone has a very Merry Christmas!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Let it SNOW, Let it SNOW, Let it SNOW!!!

On Wednesday, December 10, 2008 we were blessed with SNOW!!! It snowed not only once but twice! College Station was covered in SNOW and it was a beautiful sight!! Today in church our pastor talked about the snow brought out a sense of JOY that made us feel like kids again- he could not have been more correct. As you can tell from my smile, I was soo excited, happy, and giddy about the snow!

"....I believe the Wiseman saw, The baby born that the angels called the son of God Heaven’s child The great I am Born to take away my sins through nailed pierced hands Emmanuel has come...Oh I believe Christmas lives in me I believe!"
"I Believe" a beautiful Christmas song by Natalie Grant

What does Christmas mean to you?

Today is the third Sunday of Advent and ironically we lit the candle of joy! While Christmas is by far my most favorite time of year...I LOVE everything about it! From the music, to the family gatherings, to the winter-like weather, to the all the beautiful Christmas decorations and Christmas lights, to the Advent season, to the warmth of everyone's spirit, and most of all for the meaning of Christmas. What does Christmas mean to you?! This has been a very humbling year for me and while this Christmas season, Allen and I have probably the least amount of money we have ever had in our bank accounts...I can tell you that this Christmas season has been one of the most blessed and joyous of all. Really for the first time (or that I can remember), this year has completely changed my outlook on what Christmas should look like and what it does look like, for me at least. Allen and I had to make a Christmas list and it was actually a lot harder than it ever has been in the past. Since I started working in the public school system, my eyes/heart/mind have been opened up to a world I honestly did not know existed. Yes, while I knew poverty existed...I just really never thought about it. To think a 4, 6, or 9 year-old will wake up on Christmas morning without any gifts under the tree, or that over Christmas break they might not have food to eat or a warm place to sleep, just breaks my heart! And to know I look those children each and every day in the face and try to understand him/her, and try to make sense of what they are going through and did go through totally makes me think different of what Christmas truly means. This year Allen and I may have very few presents under our tree but nothing will compare to the love, joy, and blessings we have received from sponsoring 2 girls, a 4 year old and a 17 year old through our church and who are currently in the custody of CPS. Not just that but the comfort in knowing, we are in favor of God and we have answered his call. This year and Christmas has been a true testament to me and when God speaks, "try me, do this unto me and I will open up the gates of Heaven for you!" The video below is written from the old Christmas song, O Little Town of Bethlehem. It is said that the night Jesus was born, everyone in Bethlehem missed out because the town of Bethlehem was sound asleep. The song is written and song by Casting Crowns. I had the privilege of watching them sing it live, it's a beautiful song and really makes you think...what will you be doing when Jesus returns? Hopefully, not sleeping ;) and while we are rushing from store to store, going from holiday party to party, and traveling to and from...take a minute to ask yourself- what does Christmas truly mean to me?!

I wish you and your family a very Merry Christmas! May Peace and Joy be with you this holiday season!!

Happy Birthday Cadee!

Nanna, Joe, and Uncle Allen

December 7th is Cadee's birthday! Allen and I went to San Antonio for the weekend (the 5th-7th) to help Cadee celebrate her birthday! Dandy and Momma B of course joined us :) We had a wonderful time visiting and of course holding baby Joe! Cadee, I hope you had a wonderful birthday weekend! We love you very much! I thought I would post some adorable photos I took of Joe while in San Antonio. He is photogenic like his Momma :)

who couldn't LOVE that face!!

Happy Birthday to ME!

Kara is sooo good to birthday surprise at Mom & Dad's

So my birthday was a few weeks ago but gosh it was a good one! I really was not expecting much considering I was turning 26...really not too much to be excited about, right?! My birthday this year fell on a Thursday but Allen surprised me with the festivities starting off early. On Tuesday night, Allen and some of our most amazing friends, Britt & Brooke surprised me with a wonderful dinner at Caffe Capri. My FAVORITE Italian restaurant in historic downtown Bryan...I was so surprised and it was so great to have a dinner date with the Lloyd's...two people I just adore! THEN Wednesday rolled around and my brother Justin called me and him and Nikki had come into to town to take me to dinner. I do not get to see him or Nikki near as much as I would like so it was great to see them! They took me & Allen to Texas Roadhouse and then to a movie...I can't tell you how much I enjoyed just spending time with them two! FINALLY, Thursday got here and it was my actual birthday!! At work/school, my co-workers threw me a surprise breakfast get together and gave me a very sweet card w/ a gift certificate. It was so sweet and to know and kind of them to make my birthday so special! Allen took me to dinner that night and we had a fabulous dinner/dessert/drinks at Christopher's World Grille- it was just wonderful! Then Saturday evening, Allen and I drove to Mom and Dad's and celebrated with them, Kara, Madyson, & Maddox. Kara set up a surprise thing at Mom's with the help of Madyson & Maddox. Madyson & Maddox did such a good job and were sooo excited to surprise their Nonni and wish her a Happy Birthday! I also got hand-made cards from Aubrey & Shaylee for my birthday, which were perfect and really warmed my heart! I have the most amazing family & friends! My birthday was so much more than I could have ever imagined and just filled w/ wonderful surprises! It is definitely a birthday I will never forget...I honestly didn't want it to end, haha! :)

Momma B got me this awesome sewing table! Thanks Momma B, I love it!

Kara & the kids got me personalized spatulas that say "Let's bake Nonni"
Soooo cute!!

Kool-Aid pencil pounch from Madyson...for my school she says :)

Madyson is looking soo grown up :(

Sisters...I love her!

Best Mom/Mimi ever!!

We love you, Dad/Papa!

I love that man!

Make a WISH!!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

A day in my life...

I haven't posted anything in, well a very long time! I'm really enjoying working at the school I work at and I thought I would share a few pictures with you, let you see what I've been up too...we are always having special days/events. I work at an amazing elementary school!

50's day with one of my sweet kiddos!

Red Ribbon rally w/ Flash the Falcon

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

The Journey from Fear to Love

Since starting my new job or career I guess I should say, I have really tried to educate myself as much as possible to be able to be the best teacher I can possibly be. Today has been exactly a month since I started this journey on my new career path and wow I couldn't be happier in where I am in my life. Long story- SHORT...our school campus wide-discipline program is based on the principles of Conscious Discipline by Dr. Becky Bailey. Dr. Bailey is an absolute genius when it comes to disciplining children. Her theories fascinate me! Just thought I would share with you an excerpt from Dr. Bailey's book, "Easy to Love, Difficult to Discipline." I do believe even if you aren't in the education field, it's a must-read for every parent.

"Nothing holds more power than love, yet love has been so neglected as an element of discipline, and many hurtful things have been done in its name. Love is defined as an action that has the following four results:

1. Love increases security and provides safety. You might bark at your child, “Get over here or you’ll get lost!” But wouldn’t it feel better to say something like, “Stay close to me in the store so I can keep you safe. If something happened to you, I would be sad. I love having you with me.” Fear separates, love unites.

2. Love travels from the worthy to the worthy. When we feel good about ourselves, we tend to focus on the beauty in our own lives and the goodness of others. When we feel bad about ourselves, we tend to criticize and judge others. If you want to teach your child, rather than blame him/her, for problems that arise, you must first rediscover and accept your worth. To extend love to others, you must love yourself. Fear judges, love enjoys.

3. Love looks for the highest and best in people and situations. Imagine that you are having lunch with your child in a restaurant and your waitress has bungled your order. Instead of saying, “She is totally clueless, and ought to lose her job,” give her a break. Say, “We all have off days. Let’s help her by giving smiles and kind words.” Fear focuses on what is missing; love sees the best of what is.

4. Love accepts what is. Fear looks to blame because things are not going as they “should.” Love looks for solutions as it accepts what is. Instead of shouting, “Should the newspapers be spread all over?” calmly say, “Put the papers in the recycling bin.” Fear looks for blame, love seeks solutions.

Loving guidance is based on these definitions of love. Its goal is to teach children to express themselves honestly while acting responsibly within a safe environment. Children reasonably fear being able to find solutions because they lack the social skills needed to “work it out.” (Lack problem solving skills) Shifting from fear to love requires that we change how we talk to ourselves and our children. Love’s goal is to develop healthy relationships which naturally inspire cooperation." -Dr. Becky A. Bailey

*To Love and to Be Loved is to feel the sun from both sides.*

Tuesday, September 30, 2008


This past weekend Allen and I went down to Odem (or O-damn in Allen's words) to visit family. It was a very nice visit. Saturday we went into Corpus to see & visit with Mamu. She is doing well- getting better day by day. It was also a special time since Joe got to meet his cousin, Peter (they are 3 weeks apart) so that was fun! And of course we all had a wonderful time getting to spend time with baby Joe. He is SO cute and just as happy as he can be! Always smiling & laughing! Such a sweet baby you can tell from the photos he is one happy little boy :) and he is definitely a momma's boy. And Cadee has adjusted well to motherhood, she's such a great mommy! Joe also LOVES his Uncle Allen!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

West Texas Fun!

Aubrey watching the West Texas Fair Parade

Hugging little Miss Aubrey

Aubrey loves her baby sister!

Precious Shaylee Girl

On Friday, September 5th was not only my first day of substitute teaching but also was the start of one fun weekend. Mom had already decided she was going to Abilene for the weekend so I decided to go along for one to keep her company but also to see my sweet baby nieces, Aubrey & Shaylee. We had a great weekend and so much fun! It really was like a girls' weekend since Casey and Dad were bird hunting all weekend.

The West Texas Fair was kicking off that weekend and we got to take Aubrey & Shaylee to the parade that Saturday morning. I LOVE parades! They are like a childhood classic and bring back fond memories of the parades in downtown Wharton on the square. The joys & experiences of living in a small town. I had a wonderful time playing with little miss Aubrey. She is one funny little girl! And such a great BIG sister. Shaylee is such a good baby and oh so sweet! Aubrey helped me bake a cake...she loves cake! She says "cake!" haha, she gets her sweet tooth from her Daddy & her MiMi. She is a great helper and baker! And let's not forgot oh how she loves make-up. Ohh I think Casey & Jen might be in for it when she gets older. Haha! Aubrey and Shaylee are just precious and I'm so thankful for their sweet lil' faces! Here are just some of the fun photos from my weekend in Abilene...enjoy!

Nonni Loves Shaylee!

Already posing for the camera :)

Nonni let Aubrey do her own make-up that day...haha

Only 2 and already SaSSY!

Aubrey thought the Cool Whip was for her instead of the cake- look @ that face! Haha

Papa and Aubrey ready for bed!

“Be glad of life because it gives you a chance to love and to work and to play and to look up at stars." Henry Vandyke

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Sunday News

Seems like I haven't had much time to sit down and write since I started work. I have some free time so I thought I'd give a somewhat quick update of what's been going on... Yesterday I returned from a 2 day conference in Fort Worth, where I learned so many new things and it really was another affirmation to me that this is exactly where God wants me at this point in my life. I could go on forever about the conference and all the amazing things I learned but I really don't want to write a novel so I'll just say it was one of the best experiences I have ever had at a conference. Dr. Becky Bailey founded Conscious Discipline and she is one amazing teacher and person. I am so thankful I was able to be apart of her experience & conference!

Having some fun at the conference!

IKE Update: Mom and Dad are still without power BUT hopefully sometime at the beginning of this week, power will be restored. They are doing great despite not having power and thank God daily for sparing their house during IKE. Kara on the other hand is still trying to clean up the mess IKE left at her house, as well as Judy & Heather...please continue to keep them in your prayers!

Allen's Grandmother- MAMU:
Mamu was in a bad car accident on Friday- so please lift her up in your prayers as well as Allen's mom. Mamu will have to have extensive amount of surgeries and therapy before she will be able to walk again. This has been an extremely hard year for May her house burned and she is still in the rebuilding process, also in mid-summer she had a mild heart attack. It will be a very long road to recovery and I just ask that you keep Mamu in your prayers for a fast healing but also for Nancy (Allen's mom) as she endures this long process with her mother. She will need the Lord's strength as well as ours to help carry Mamu through.

JOE Update:
Cadee called today to share the exciting news that Joe rolled over today for the first time! He rolled from his stomach to his back :) so hard to believe in 4 days Joe will be 3 months old. They grow so fast!!

WORK Update:
While I'm very much enjoying my job at the school, I am so excited to see what the future holds for me. When I think of the state I was in while at Sanderson Farms and to FINALLY be able to enjoy what I do for a living and be excited about it, is truly a blessing from above! God not until continues to show me his grace & mercy but also that when we put our complete trust in him- oh how he will move mountains for us! This is has been such a libertating experience and has definitely made me only want to seek what else He has in store for me.

I hope everyone has a fabulous week! Much Love!!

...And I'll praise you in this storm
and I will lift my hands
for You are who You are
no matter where I am
and every tear I've cried
You hold in your hand
You never left my side
and though my heart is torn
I will praise You in this storm...

Sunday, September 14, 2008

God Bless Texas!

So Hurricane IKE takes a toll on our great state of Texas! I have been glued to the TV since Friday night watching the storm and now aftermath. Just devastating!!! My heart goes out to everyone along the Gulf Coast. I can't even imagine for 1. having to leave my home in the midst of a massive storm headed towards the coast, 2. not having electricity, gas, food, WATER readily accessible (all things we most definitely take for granted), 3. once the storm as passed now being allowed to return to your home, and 4. the UNKNOWN of when you will be allowed back into your home, what will be there when you do, AND what comes next?

My mom & dad decided to "shelter in place" as well as Kara, Madyson, Maddox, Laura, and my cousin Heather decided to ride out the storm at my parents. While my parents were extremely blessed and fortunate that their house was spared other than some large limbs in the yard. THANK YOU LORD! They are still without power but everyone is safe and that's what is most important! My dad does have a generator so they have limited power but no air.

On the other hand, my sisters' home in Spring was not as fortunate. A tree fell on her home and there is extensive damage to the 2nd story with a great amount of water damage to both floors. The other home we are worried about is my Aunt Judy and cousin Heather which is in the Bacliff area located right off Dickinson Bay (directly off of Galveston Bay). While being glued to the TV, ABC channel 13's SkyEye went over which I believe is my Aunt Judy's home and it was STILL there! So hopefully that will be the case when she gets to go back home.

It amazes me how powerful mother nature can be! Just really unbelievable!! While I'm very thankful each of my family members and friends I know in that area are safe, but my heart still breaks for all those effected by Hurricane Ike. I am so thankful to be part and live in such a great state such as Texas. Please remember to lift up and pray Texas and all those effected by this massive storm, as well as my sister and Aunt Judy & Heather.

"So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand....For I am the Lord, who says to you, DO NOT FEAR; I WILL HELP YOU!" Isaiah 41:10, 13

Monday, September 8, 2008

Fun in the Sun!

Madyson and her favorite aunt ever...Nonni :)

Madyson and the bunny :)

I made Maddox the tiniest pancake EVER! ( you can barely see it on his plate) He loved it & thought Nonni was too funny!

Maddox "singin' in the rain!" or water sprinkler- which ever

August 29th was Dad's 55th birthday...Happy Birthday DAD!!!! We love you!

We had a pretty low key weekend since Dad hardly ever get lots down time from work. I ended up staying longer than intended because my super sweet niece Madyson insisted that "Nonni" not go back to work but stay with her for just a bit longer. could I resist that request?! Sunday Kara, Mom, and myself took Madyson & Maddox to Kemah Boardwalk for a day of fun in the sun! While it was just a tad bit warm, we still had a great time! Heather also met us up there & afterwards we went to Aunt Judy's to visit. It was nice to get out of the house and enjoy the beautiful day. Here are few photos of our fun-filled day in Kemah :)