I think I can, I think I can...continue repeating

So somehow we are only six days from Christmas which means I really gotta go get Clay's gifts. Yet, my spot on the couch with Clay's old sleeping bag and a little puppy curled up beside me is just so comfortable this morning. 10:24 still counts as morning, right? Just not early morning.

I had such high hopes for today- clean the kitchen, workout, get all the shopping done. So far, I haven't lifted a dish or if we are being real here, brushed my hair. I think if I would just get up right now, I still have enough time to get it all done.

See friends, this is why I can't have a kid-I get zero done and have no one else to take care of but myself. My mom friends do like a thousand things with kiddos dressed in mostly clean clothes and attached to them at the hip or leg or wherever their little hands can grab onto.

Sorry this post is a little boring but I am hoping it provides me with the motivation to get going on my 3 item to do list. okay, here I go...

p.s. hi Uncle Wally....so glad you found my blog!


My Christmas Wish List

Normally, this time of year I am begging Clay to go up to the attic and pull out of all my Christmas decor. Normally, I love to decorate the tree. Normally, I love to put all of the other decorations in the perfect spot around my house. Normally, the James Taylor Christmas album can be heard throughout the house. Normally, I can list several things I would like to receive and spend hours picking out gifts for people on my list. Normally.

This year none of that seems to be the case. Granted if I could find that cd James Taylor would probably be playing but it must have gotten lost somewhere between Knoxville and Keller.

I don't know what my deal is. I just can't get geared up for Christmas. I seriously asked Clay if we even had to put the tree up. To which he replied, "We don't have to, but I think we should." Can some elves just come set it up and twist and turn every pre-lit light until there are all working? I just don't feel like it. All I want to do is fly home.

It has been a year since I have seen my friends. It has been a year since I have sat in my mom's house. It has been a year since I have played with Tyson (my dog that is really more of my mom's dog these days) And it has been a year or really more than that since I have ate at Steamboat, Wasabi and some other places near and dear to my stomach.

I miss it all. I miss it all A LOT.

So if I skip all of the decorating, can I just fast foward to Dec. 25 at 11:05 when my plane lands at home? I have zero desire to move to Knoxville at this moment, but that doesn't mean I don't want to spend a few days there. A few days spent enjoying the comforts of home. A few days playing with that dumb dog and eating at all my old favorites. A few days spent laughing with friends until the wee hours of the morning. Friends who know me. I mean really know me. You know, the ones who can tell stories that get you fired.

That is what I want for Christmas.


The Bigs and the Little

A couple of videos of the dogs playing...the last 10 secs of each are pretty boring. I wasn't quite sure if they were done fighting.

November Cakes


Another Amy Beth Post

Several months ago, I wrote a blog about a girl I knew in high school who took in a friend who was having a baby. Well, the young lady had a beautiful, healthy baby boy. I have the blog on my links...it is entitled Ministry So Fabulous, but I thought I would repost her blog post from today just in case you didn't have time to click the link:

All her scarlet letters.

On Monday night, right before Roomie began pushing, I got as close to her bed as possible, looked her in the eyes and, with tears rolling down my cheeks, thanked her for not having an abortion.

Listen to me. Please, please listen to me.

If you think that Christian girls in their twenties are not having abortions, you are dead wrong. I could give you a list of girls I know who seriously love Jesus and have seriously had an abortion. When you are “caught” in actions that you shouldn’t have been in, you would be amazed at the choices that suddenly seem applicable to your situation. Things you never thought you would do can suddenly seem like the only option out.

This is the ugly truth, you know. It would be so sweet for me to be able to tell you that Roomie never considered that option, that I would never consider it if I was in her situation.

And it would be a lie.

About two months ago, I began literally laying myself before God every morning and asking Him to show me how to best love Roomie. Through tears, I would beg Him to let me experience some of the emotions she was feeling simply so I could understand what it felt like to be her at this time in her life. Once He began letting me feel them, I wished I had never asked in the first place.

I’ll never forget driving to a meeting in another city for Starlite when God began granting my prayer to feel what Roomie felt. As I drove, I thought about what she must have felt like. She was 23, just like me. She was highly educated having just earned a master’s degree, just like me. She was planning a vocational career in ministry, just like me. She was wanting love from her family, just like me. She was lonely, just like me. She believed he meant it when he said he loved her, just like me.

And in one moment, with one bad decision, the rest of her life was changed.

When I hear Christians talk about wanting to put an end to abortion, I sometimes just want to scream. I want it to end, too, but if it became illegal today, I am convinced that we would be in one heck of a mess unless the body of Christ suddenly wakes up and gets a spirit of adoption, of fostering, of being willing to take these babies into our own homes.

We are asking for something that we are not prepared to receive.

When we get down on our knees before God and beg Him to put an end to abortion, we need to also beg Him for hands that will reach out to all the babies that would suddenly have a legal right to life. And listen, I’m speaking to myself here, too. A year ago I would have never believed I would have done this, that I could have done this. There’s nothing glamorous about this experience, no big amount of thanks at the end of the day.

But there is a baby, swaddled and asleep at this very moment, given a chance to live.

And a girl who can take all her scarlet letters — S for sin, A for alone, U for unwed — and trade them in for a new letter: W.

Because, in His eyes and mine, she is wanted.

WOW. Amy Beth, very well said.


One year

Today marks our one year anniversary in Texas.

They say the first year of marriage is hardest, but I completely disagree. The first year you live away from almost everyone you know is the hardest. We miss our family and friends and that wonderful, crisp autumn air that is abundant in Tennessee right now. But we know that for this time, this is the place God wants us. To celebrate our first year, I thought it would be fitting to document some of the things I (we) love most about our new home:

1. Our Church - we absolutely love our church. It is a place where you can just be yourself, no matter who you are. God is doing some amazing things in the lives of those at our church and I can't wait to see what He has in store!

2. Our Texas friends-Clay and I were fortunate enough to know a few people when we moved to Texas and it has been great reconnecting with them. Even more special have been the people we have met here. I have been lucky enough to have a couple of best friends who have "been there since back in the day" so in Knoxville I never really needed anyone else. Now, I have been so much more open to meeting new people. At 26, I honestly haven't "made" a real friend in a long time so sharing experiences over lunches or walking through the neighborhood with a new friend are really some on my cherished times in our new world.

3. Cheap furniture- okay, the first two were fairly serious so I needed to have a little humor. But seriously in Texas you can find some great wood furniture for next to nothing. Today, Clay and I found several pieces that we love. When we returned home, Clay found similar furniture on the internet for double the price. We plan on buying out the store as soon as possible!

4. NASCAR- not really, but I couldn't do a post today without telling you that Clay and I spent Halloween in a box at the truck race at Texas Motor Speedway. Clay's work had a box and lots of tickets so off we went.... Honestly, it wasn't that bad. We had free food and drinks and didn't have to set with thousands of drunk rednecks. We only stayed for about half of the race ( I mean, how many times can you watch them go around) and while there were a few exciting moments (a pretty big wreck during the second lap) it was pretty uninteresting. I was surprised by how large the track/infield were as well as how loud it was. I think that will probably be my one and only NASCAR event for my lifetime. :)


Amy Beth, I do NOT want your Starbucks card!

Okay, so a few months ago I wrote a post about a girl I went to school with who started an amazing ministry for girls and who also happens to be quite an inspiration.

Her name is Amy Beth and she needs some help! Sometimes the best ministry happens when you haven't spent a dime. In random moments. When you least expect it. But most of the time in order to get to those moments you have to spend some $$$. Amy Beth's ministry (Starlite) depends on the generosity of others to help spread the message of Christ's sacrifice and the beauty found in God's love to hundreds of young girls.

Not only is Amy Beth an amazing woman of God, she is also quite the savvy business woman. She has worked out a deal to get lots of $$$ donated just for people downloading Microsoft Live search. Click here to see all the details and how-tos. Also, you get a chance to win a Starbucks card...can you say Pumpkin Spice Latte?

Oh, and please post the link to your blog...since I know lots of you have lots more readers. Wouldn't it be awesome if 1,000 people downloaded it? Think of the lives that could be impacted all because of a download.

One more thing: we baptized 68 students at UNITED tonight. How absolutely amazing. I am so honored to get to do what I do.


When is November?

I really don't think I can write a blog right now. But I am forcing myself to update this thing before a whole month goes by without me writing a thing. October has been an eventful month...too eventful to record it all. So here is a quick update of what has been going on(at some point most of these will be a longer post):

* The first weekend of October my dad came for a weekend visit. Since he is traveling the rest of October, we made this weekend my birthday weekend. It was fantastic! We went out for nice dinners, went to Beth Marie's for ice cream, and all kinds of other fun stuff. On Saturday, I went to Canton for the 1st time. (Canton will be a blog all on its own so more to come later) The best part of the weekend though was Sunday. Our church held a Baptism Bash and 500 people were baptized. 500!!! It was one of the most amazing things I have ever been a part of.

*Second weekend: I (along with my Student Ministry team) got to go to Sacramento for a great conference. There were some amazing speakers and some really great worship times. One of my favorite moments of the conference was a speaker by the name of Phyllis Tickle. She is 75 years old and quite possibly the most intelligent person I have ever seen. She spoke on the emergent church and how the movement came about. I think in her hour long talk she used 37 words I had never heard before and another 52 words that I had heard but didn't have a clue as to what they meant.

*Third weekend: Clay is in TN for his friend Justin's wedding. I am quite sad that I was unable to make the trip but I know Clay is having a wonderful time. As for me, I am going to Great Wolf Lodge ! Just me and 298 of my closest friends....our student ministry is holding our fall retreat this weekend. And I am so excited to see what God is going to do in the lives of our students.

So like I said, October has been too busy for blogging. Hopefully, this update will silence my critics until I have a little more time to write.


Pretty close to perfect

It was almost magical. Yet, completely and utterly mundane. I wish I was as good of writer as some of my blog friends, but I know I don't have the words to paint the picture of what I so badly want to share. I will try my best but know that I don't really expect you to get it. I just want a record. A record that I can cherish when my car is one day full of arguing boys headed to football practice or chatty girls going on and on about the latest drama in their juvenile world.

Headed home on a long, straight stretch of highway. Underneath the oh-so-big (I can't believe it is really this big) Texas sky with the sun beginning to go down. Windows down. Feet on the dash--almost hanging out the open window. Alone in the car with my husband. Perfect songs on the radio.

No looming decisions, no second house payment, no real worries.

Just me and Clay and a time of peace that I have so desperately longed for over the past few months. I know other storms may come in the future but we will cross those bridges when we get there. For now, I am just going to close my eyes and enjoy the wind across my face.


Late night and a little random

It's a little past one in the morning as I begin to type this blog. I am wide awake as I often find myself. This past year there has been a lot of being wide awake in too the wee hours of the morning, pacing the house, working, doing anything to get rid of all the nervous energy welling up inside of me. But that anxiety seems to be leaving....all of that is really another blog post. One that I have been waiting to share for months on end and will hopefully be written in a few weeks.

No, tonight is not about fret or worry or useless energy. Tonight I am just plain awake. I hate when I am up this late on Tuesday since Wednesdays are my longest and most energy consuming days of the week. So what do I do, I look through my books. When we moved to Texas, wait no when we moved to our 1st house (as owners) in Knoxville, I gave away my bookshelf. Thinking, well actually, I don't think I was thinking when I left it in the garage with all of our other "old" furniture to be carted off by Goodwill. Ever since that day, we are just shy of two years now, my books have been in boxes.

There is something you have to know about me--more than most any material possession in the world I love two things: stationary and books. My friend Shannon says it is because I am an old soul. I don't know what it is but I love books. Its not so much that I like to read them (well, I do the first time). On nights like this I love to look through them and see what I circle, underlined or made notes about. It just always makes me reminisce about what was going on in my life when I read the book or think about how I have changed since that time.

Tonight, though, I came across a special book....my high school yearbook. It was actually my junior yearbook which I haven't flipped through in years. Usually, my senior year is the one that has the least amount of dust of it. In fact, I use it fairly often.... in fact, it seems every time I get a friend request of facebook, I need to remember "just who the heck is this person."

Rather than looking through the pictures, I read the things people had written. And, I think I almost woke Clay up from laughing out loud. I mean, one guy took up an entire page and seriously wrote, "I really think that song is true 'God must have spent a little more time on you.'" This is NOT a guy I dated. Just a guy I was decent friends with. I would really like to know how many girls' yearbooks he wrote that line in and what kind of return he got on his investment. I know I thought he was an idiot but even back then I was pretty cynical. Then, there is the completely blank page with the paper clip and a note still attached. The note reads: "Brooke's page" I don't think my best friend wrote in my yearbook senior year either. It was always one of those "we see each other so much, let's not waste time on yearbook signing day."

When I was little, I remember reading an entry in my mom's yearbook that said, "Good Luck with George or Fred." She married George and to this day claims she has no idea who Fred was. I used to think she was lying and didn't want to tell me who this Fred guy was. Now, I totally understand where she is coming from. Tonight as I read, I couldn't remember what some of these people were talking about. One girl told me she loved me and my mexican boy....I am 99.9% I never had a Mexican boy. I wonder what my child is going to think when he/she reads through my yearbook....

So, what picture of you does your high school yearbook paint?


The cutest cake I have ever made

This week I made a cake for my friend Ralonda. While I may not be much of a girly-girl, I LOVE this cake. I found the idea on a website and I am pretty sure if Ralonda could be a cake this is the cake she would be.

I need to work on my fondant bows, but I thought it turned out ok since it was the first one I ever completed. I worked on one before, but Bear ate it the loops before I could assemble them!

The cake received a lot of great response and I am thinking about having a booth to take orders at our church's "craft fair" Not sure if I am going to go through with it or not but I am now taking suggestions for my cake "company"'s name... I use the term company loosely. I am not sure how many cakes I will really ever be commissioned to do, but a little extra money from time to time will be nice.


I loveeee FFL!

It is that time of year again. Oh, how I love this time of year...

the crisp fall air...no, I live in Texas now so fall doesn't come until the first week of December.

the joys of college football....no, Tennessee has decided to put its focus on the basketball program so Saturdays this time of year aren't quite what they used to be (although, hope remains for a few upsets this season)

No, I am talking about the start of the NFL season. Years ago, I despised NFL football, much like I still despise all other pro sports leagues. However, last year I got hooked on Fantasy Football and I think it may be my new favorite thing.

Thursday night was the opening game and all it did was make me LONG for Sunday. Today Clay and I have watched football ALL DAY long. and i love it.

Between the two of us, we are playing in four leagues. Playing in so many leagues makes it difficult to really cheer on your players. All day Clay and I have been cheering on our guys only to remember that we are playing against those guys in other leagues. Needless to say, it has been a little frustrating especially since I am not sure Clay and I are going to win any of our games. But that is okay I still love Fantasy Football. Besides there is only one game I care about winning...

the one I play against Clay.

should be an easy one ;)


New Cakes!

A friend from work gave me the great pleasure of doing a few cakes for her baby shower. I decided to try out a few recipes that I had been wanting to try, specifically a recipe for a better tasting fondant. I was pretty happy with how the cakes turned out especially since I made three different flavors including one I had never tried. However, the better tasting fondant was way too hard to work with and still did not taste as good as I would like. Oh, well back to the drawing board on that one. Anyways, here are the pictures:

This one was a chocolate cake with peanut butter icing.
The "M" is for Madeleine, the soon to be baby's name.

This cake is lemon-raspberry, a new flavor suggested by Matt.
Matt is now my flavor connoisseur/taste tester.

This is my almond flavored cake that I do all the time
since it is easy and most people like the taste.


An Inspiring Story

As I was blog stalking the other night, I came across the blog of a girl I went to high school with. She was a couple of years younger than me so I didn't really know her that well. Now, thanks to the world of the blog I feel like I know LOTS about her. Hey name is Amy and she runs a girls' ministry that provides after school programs for girls in elementary, middle, and high school.

I hadn't been on her blog in several months so I was surprised that the first entry was entitled "Fetus Friday:a blog carnival where new moms ask and smart moms answer" Amy often jokes about "Imaginary Boyfriend" and I thought for sure if she were pregnant she would have put some status up on Facebook to announce her impending joy. So I went stalking, er I mean searching, for the story.

Basically, a friend (I don't know the age or any info on the girl) came to Amy and revealed that she was pregnant. Roomie (as Amy calls her on the blog) was in a heartbreaking situation. Amy decided to find a place where the two of them could live and help with the baby. For the full story in Amy's words, click here.

Amy is 23. She is a very mature and together 23 year old, but I find it I-N-C-R-E-D-I-B-L-E that she is willing to go so far to help this girl. Most people would just say "let me know if you need anything" and then secretly hope the person never calls. One of the things that impressed me the most:
"I guess it all comes down to this: I spend quite a bit of time talking about how we shouldn't judge others when they make mistakes and how we need to love each other as Christ loves us and so forth. Those had better not just be statements I’m making on a stage while the spotlight is on me; they better ring very loudly in my private life, too."


Amy and her Roomie live in Tennessee and I know most of you who read the blog live in Texas, but if you want to help here is an entry by Amy detailing their needs. More than anything, I am sure Amy and Roomie would both appreciate your prayers in the next several months.


My favorite time of the year

Today, I leave for our student ministry's camp. We are taking 240+ students so I am happy with that I guess. I was hoping to hit 250, but I think we have a good group going. Our church will be meeting up with another group and together will have 450+ students so it should be an AMAZING week.

While I am sad to leave Clay, I really can't wait for camp! It is my first time in 5 years to go to one...I can't believe it had been that long.

Most of my work is done on the front end and in just a few hours we will find out how good my organization skills really. I have a few things to print this morning, but finished all of my pre-camp work at 11:59 last night. Yay for being done the day before!!! okay, so it was 1 minute before the day of, I am still counting it.

I have been working a lot of long nights trying to get everything done and was a little worried I would oversleep this morning. But, like a kid on Christmas, I woke up early. In fact, I dreamt that I was at the office, printing out my files for check-in. Andy (my boss) came in and was saying something about excellence, value and quality work. Then, Stephanie came in and said "You better hurry. Kids will be here in 15 minutes." Finally, Greg said something about how I really needed to get going. Then, I woke up. I half expected the dream to meant I had overslept, but it was still 30 minutes before I ever intended to wake up!

Sorry for such a boring post, but I had to find something to do with that extra thirty minutes. Please be praying this week (thru Wednesday) for the students going. Pray that they will be opening to hearing the message God has intended for them. Also, please pray for our adults going. While camp is always a lot of fun, it can be exhausting for those of us who aren't quite as good at functioning on a few hours of sleep as we used to be. Please pray that our adults would be well rested and that God would truly pour into them this week.

Talk to you when I get back.

ps- sorry for any spelling errors...it is kinda early for me!


Sick Dog, Part 2 and 3

Short and sweet: He got sick again.

After hours.


Seems fine...time will tell.

Just when I think I have hit my max out of pocket expense for our pets for a week (or year...):

Scout won't walk and is showing other signs of being ill.

$100 later: She too is fine.

Maybe I really should buy pet insurance???


One Sick Puppy....

Literally. So anyone who knows my husband knows that his one true love on this earth is not me; it is Siler. For those who do not know my husband, Siler is our dog. That's right I am secure enough to say it out loud as well as write it on my blog: I come in second to a dog. But I am kinda okay with it since the dog is as close to being a person as a dog can get.

Today, when Clay arrived home from work and went to let the big dogs out of their crate, he found the crate a complete mess. And by mess, well hopefully you don't need a graphic description because I think that would make me sick. Once out of the cage, Siler immediately threw up...which paled in comparison to what was in the crate. It is times like these that I feel bad that our two big dogs share a giant crate.

Once I arrived home, I made the decision to go ahead and go to the vet. We have been down this road before. Siler eats all kinds of things (socks, towels, the packaging that sheet sets come in, zipper and all) and then he gets sick. This time we couldn't figure out what on earth he had eaten so I though we might as well go to the vet to be on the safe side. Plus, I didn't want to risk him getting sicker and us having to go to the super expensive emergency vet.

Our super cheap vet closes early on Wednesday. As does our friends super cheap vet. Lucky us. So we ended up at the brand new vet in our neighborhood. The office is nicer than any doctor's office I have ever been in. One shot and $60 later, we were on our way home. Add this to the growing list of healthcare costs we have incurred with Siler. Apparently, he just has an upset stomach and we need to give him Pepcid AC. You know, the human medicine.

Once home, Siler played with Bear (whose name is really Sasha for those who were confused by the last post) for a little bit and seemed to be feeling somewhat better. Currently, he is sleeping. In a straight line. In the bed. In between my husband and I. With the covers pulled up to just underneath his arms. Just like I did as a small child in my parents bed after a nightmare.

Oh, and the vet told us Siler has a cataract. In each eye. I will start saving now. And maybe, go ahead and pick up pet insurance on him.


Little Meets the Bigs

I kinda think they were trying to figure out if she was a moving snack.

This one kinda looks like a dead rabbit, but I promise there were only a few attempts on her life.

Recent Cakes

As promised, here are pictures of two cakes I recently made. This first one was made for my friend Matt's 30th birthday party:

This one I made for my friend Greg's birthday and was my first attempt at a 3-D "shaped" cake. I need to work on writing on a curved surface but I was pretty happy with how it turned out:


After much searching, including sticking my hand down in between the couch pillows (Major ick!) I have finally located our camera cord!!!! I cannot tell you how very excited I am that I can finally put some pics up. I can, however, tell you where the cord was finally located.

Earlier this month, my dad brought down an old blackberry phone that I could start using since my current phone for lack of a better word stinks. I decided I didn't really like that blackberry so all of the cords and equipment were put back in the box and put up. I am not blaming any certain person for putting the cord in the box; I just know I didn't do it.


Letter to a Friend

Dear Steven,

I apologize for not updating the blog more. Life has been kinda hectic, and I just haven't found the time to write about how Siler is friends with a toad in our backyard and all the other super exciting things taking place at and around 12300 Durango Root Dr.

I apologize for there not being much content to my last few posts. I believe you can refer to the previous paragraph for the reasons as to why content has been somewhat lacking.

Finally, I would like to apologize for not putting up more pictures. As Clay often tells me, "Christy, pictures make the blog." Unfortunately, I have been unsuccessful on multiple occasions in locating where I put that stupid cord that connects the camera and the computer. Today, my friend Carrie told me that she can just put her memory card from the camera directly into her computer. I thought for sure my newer Dell would have this wonderful, convenient feature, but it did not. But then I thought, Clay's mac! Aren't macs suppose to be the most brilliant, easy to use, coolest computers on the planet? Alas, Steve Jobs did not find it important to include the memory card slot on his uber-cool product. So, the search continues. But I promise to post the following pictures once the cord is found:

1. Cakes I made recently
2. The dogs meeting Scout
3. New pics of the Scout

So again, I am sorry my blog does not really meet the standard to which you aspire. I used to be an overachiever so I will try my very best to channel that personality and make this blog worthy again.


P.S. - I hope this post doesn't turn into a fight between us like that one time you made reference to me in the college newspaper and then we didn't speak when we saw one another in public...oh, and I didn't get an invite to that party. Glad we are friends again and there is no bitterness....


Quick Post

Some quick news on what has been going on:

House-Please keep praying for our house in TN to sell. We thought we had a really good deal this past week. Unfortunately (but probably for the best), it fell through. Hopefully, it will sell very soon as in the next day or two!

The Dogs: Scout is almost potty trained; well, she still has a way to go. She hates her crate but LOVES Bear. Bear likes her for the most part. Siler tries to ignore her and has only seriously tried to eat her 3 times. I promise to post pics once I find that little cord that goes between the camera and the computer. Why is it I always put the cord in a place that I think is the most logical location, yet I can never find it when I need it again???

Well, we have some friends visiting so I better wrap this up.


Two Week Recap

Okay...so I haven't blog in awhile. The truth is a lot has been going on and I have just been lazy. So here is a quick recap of the fun we have been having over the last two weeks:

* Went to Dick's Last Resort for Matt's birthday: Dick's is an extremely crass restaurant but we definitely went with the right group. It was so much fun. I don't think I have ever had so much fun at a birthday dinner. Plus, I got to make the cake and it turned out pretty good (I will post a pic later)

*My dad and Uncle came down for a visit. On Friday night, we went to Lonestar Park (horse track). We sat in what were probably the best seats in the house. Unfortunately, I couldn't pick a winning horse to save my life. It was great seeing my uncle since I had not seen him in almost 2 years. On Saturday, we went back to the track for the Lonestar Derby. The Lonestar Derby is nothing like the show of the Kentucky Derby. Still, it was fun and I hit the Superfecta. A superfecta is when you pick 1st,2nd,3rd, and 4th. I picked my 4th favs and put them in a box (so that they could finish in any order for me to win) Some superfectas pay thousands of dollars, mine paid $10. After the track, we went to a Rangers game. Baseball games bore the heck of me. Thankfully, it wasn't too hot, we had good seats, and the Rangers won.

*We brought Scout home! The big dogs were quite confused by her at first, but now they are really starting to enjoy her. They have figured out how to bite her without hurting her and Scout is learning when to leave them only. I will post some pics of them getting to know each other soon.

Well that about does it. So it doesn't seem like we were all that busy so I guess it was just my laziness that prevented the blogging.


A small glimpse into my world....

About a week ago, I decided to conduct a small experiment. Clay and I often try to explain to people how much hair our two wonderful dogs shed on a daily basis, but we often feel like no one really gets it. Thus, my small experiment....I brushed each dog for 5 minutes each and this is the result:

Actually, this is probably not as much as it would normally be since Clay had spent about 20 minutes brushing Bear the day before. As I cleaned up the hair (Side note: When we brush them out I just gather up the hair and toss it, then run the vacuum. We have a Dyson and it is the best ever but I don't want to wear it out before I can afford another one!) I balled it up in my hand and realized that the hair my dogs' shed in one day is larger than our new dog (Scout) will be when she is full grown! Thankfully, Scout will not shed!


Our New Baby

Well, we are expanding our family....in case you have not heard...we are getting a new puppy! She is a yorkie-poo and will be coming to our home in less than a month. We aren't quite sure how the big dogs will respond to this new addition but I think they will love her.

There is only one little problem: Clay and I cannot figure out what her name should be. Below are some pictures of her. Help us think of a name. Both of our other dogs have names that start with 'S', but the new puppy's name doesn't have to do the same.


Another slow news day...

So, not much has been going on around here...at least, nothing blog worthy.

Clay and I are pretty much settling into life here. For Clay's birthday , I bought him Tiger Woods for the Wii so we spend most of our free time playing it. Clay is quite good. I, on the other hand, am so great. Clay pretty much acts as my coach and tries to guide me through the game. Here is what I have learned: It is good that I don't play golf in real life. There have been several times where I have kicked the coach. It is a very good thing that the Wii remote has a strap that attaches to your wrist. Without it, I think our TV would be broken.

In other news, I have a new favorite website. Chances are that if I talk to you on a regular basis I have already informed you of it, but for the rest of you it is www.stuffchristianslike.blogspot.com
It is a very funny site.

Well hopefully, we will have some exciting stories to report on soon!


A lovely trip to the DMV

Well, Clay's birthday is tomorrow. While that is a joyous occasion, it also brought about the expiring of his driver's license. About a month ago, I reminded Clay of this fact, but as always life gets in the way and Clay was not able to get a Texas DL until today.

There is a DMV a few blocks down from Clay's work so he planned to go during his lunch hour. Unfortunatly, work was extremely busy and Clay did not get a lunch hour. So at 3 o'clock, Clay headed to the DMV which to his surprise only had about 3 people waiting. Upon arrival, a lovely lady informed Clay that his TN license does not qualify as a primary source of ID although a sign states that a primary source of ID must include one's full name, photo, and date of birth. Clay asks why his license does not meet the requirements to which the lady responds that a TX license is the only driver's license that is accepted as a primary source of ID. How one is suppose to have a TX license when trying to exchange their out of state license is a question I can't even begin to fathom. The lady then hands Clay a piece of paper outlining all the forms of secondary ID that are acceptable and walks away singing a rap song. Oh, how I wish I could have been there to see the look of Clay's face.

Clay calls me in a slight panic since it is now 3:30 (all locations close at 5) and he has to get his birth certificate in order to get his new license today. If he is unable to get a new one today, he will have to take the road test since his out of state license will expire tomorrow. Oh, how I miss the DMV located in East Town Mall (oh wait, I mean Knoxville Center). I grab Clay's birth certificate and head to meet him. We figure it best to meet up at a different location closer to our house. The closer location still takes me 45 minutes to get to with all of the Friday rush hour traffic. On top of the traffic, Clay and I have decided that the 820 loop may have been created by some sadistic transportation expert who would rather watch hundreds of people have road rage each day than create an efficient roadway. I swear, that road and its service road may be the most confusing thing in the world. But I digress....back to the DMV....As long as you are in the doors by 5, you are allowed to get your license. Thankfully, Clay arrives at 4:54.

Apparently, everyone in the Fort Worth area needed to be at the DMV today. People were everywhere. Since I arrived first, I went to get the proper form. I was greeted by a really nice lady who gave me our number and explained to me that once our number was called we would be allowed to stand in line. Not get help....stand in line. Our number was 59. The sign said now serving number 25. It was at this point I thought to myself, "Maybe I should have packed an overnight bag." Fortunately, it only took about an hour and Clay is now a legal Texas driver. I, on the other hand, am happy to keep my Tennessee license for awhile. I mean, I just recently got one with a decent picture.


Conversations with Brooks

Tonight, I had to work the Saturday service. Normally, my time is spent making coffee and setting out cookies, then trying to stay busy during the actual service so I don't hear what Toby (our pastor) says. Let me clarify that last statement, I go to church with Clay on Sunday and if I listen to the teaching the night before I am always a line or two ahead so I prefer to just listen at 11:15 along with Clay. Tonight was a special night because I got to look after Brooks Day. Brooks is the 3 (almost 4) year old son of one of our children's pastors. He was having a rough time since his mom had to work so he hung out with me. Probably not the best precedent to set but it was fun for me nonetheless.

As we were playing in the cry room (you know, the room at church with toys and rockers and a tv for moms to watch the service if their kid won't stay quiet) Brooks contently played with toys that are made for kids years younger than he and explained to me that these toys were all easy. As he sat there, the tv played Toby's teaching. We just started a sex series called "The Naked Truth" and I was kinda worried Brooks might pick up on some things that were said. Fortunately, it seemed that Brooks was focused on the "easy toys" until Toby described Adam and Eve and how they were "naked". Never in my life have I seen a kid's head whip around so fast. "Naked!" he exclaimed. "Christy, why were they naked?" Not being a mom myself, I wasn't sure what I should say so I just went with, "Well, it was bath time."

The night was filled with fun conversations and random questions that to a 3 year old seem oh so important. But the best conversations came at the end of the night:

Brooks: Do you have any kids of yours?
Me: No, not yet.
Brooks: But don't you gots a little brother?
Me: Nope, I don't have anything.
Brooks: Is God going to give you some kids?
Me: Maybe one day
Brooks: But not today?

No, Brooks, not today and not for a lot of days. One night with Brooks will keep the "kid need" fulfilled for awhile. Too bad they don't come as almost 4 years olds when you first get them...I could probably deal with that.


26 hours on a van, 3 days in the most beautiful snow ever

Last Saturday, at approximately 5:30 am, I left out the front door of my cozy home on Durango Root Drive. After a quick stop at Sonic for a Java Chiller and about 30 minutes of registration, our group of 25 kids and 6 "adults" were off to Colorado for a few days of winter wonderland. Unfortunately, my wonderland was a 13 hour drive away.

Honestly, I had been dreading this trip for a while. Really, since we canceled the charter bus and decided to take vans to cut down on the costs. However, by some miracle, I got a van full of wonderful kids who were an absolute breeze. Also, 13 hours provides ample time to go through every song on the ipod. As much as I like to pretend I am trendy and cool, I really am not an ipod person. I have had my ipod since 2004 and the last time I updated it (prior to today) was more than 8 months ago. I know this because Fergie's Glamorous is the most current song I could find on it.

On Sunday, we went out to the slopes. Here is what I learned: I am not a snowboarder. I took a lesson. I tried really hard, but I faced the fact very early that I should just ski. On the positive side, my friend Stephanie did a great job learning to snowboard. After trading in my board, I spent the next few days skiing. It was great. The mountain had some really great trails. All of our kids had a great time (even the one who broke his collar bone). I had a great time on the trip, but after another 13 hours on the van, I was more than ready to just spend a few days at home with Clay. Below are some pics of the mountains:

The Bucket List

Perhaps, you have seen the movie, The Bucket List. I haven't seen it, but I hear it is quite good. Apparently, it is quite the inspiration. You see, several weeks ago, while wrapping up another Wednesday night at United, my friend Matt found a lost wallet. After playing a quick game of "Guess what is in the wallet" we found it to contain 1)A toys 'r us gift card 2) 10 pesos 3) A bucket list! The bucket list was created by 2 ninth grade boys. Below are a few of my favs from the list:

4. impact a strangers life for good
10. find joy in our life
11. have sex with a model (I like that this one follows the finding joy in life)
15. do a girl from each continent
19. wear thongs to a chick flick
22. meet George Lopez
27. go to Jerusalem
32. drink a keg of beer together in one night
41. fart while making out
56. beat the heck out of Carlos or Harold

There were many, many more funny ones. Some were a little too much for this blog. Thanks to Matt for making copies of the list before the student came to claim his wallet. Maybe I should start working on my bucket list. I think #1 on my list would be: never let another person see the list.



Okay, so snow is not quite as much fun when you don't have school to get out of, but it is still a pretty exciting event. Weather in Texas is really crazy. On Saturday, I was wearing a t-shirt and flip flops to church. By Wednesday, the flip flops were back in the closet but I could still stand to be outside without a jacket at 7:00 pm. All of that changed Thursday at noon. On Thursdays at work, we usually have a morning meeting and then Emily (Andy's wife) cooks us some AMAZING meal. This Thursday, during the meeting, we could hear the rain pouring down. By the time lunch was finished, it was snowing...and not just a little snow. HUGE flakes were coming down. I tried to finish my work as soon as possible. When I left at 2, the parking lot was completely covered. Normally, it takes under 20 minutes to get home. On Thursday, it took an HOUR. I shouldn't complain though...it took Clay 2.5 hours.

Below are some pics of the dogs enjoying the snow. It was really their first time in snow. Funny, we move to Texas and get snow! From what I hear, the last time it snowed this much I was still a thought in my parents' heads. We ended up getting about 3-4 inches. Unfortunately, by Friday afternoon, it was all gone :(

Bear ate all of the snow off of the door:
And finally, here is a picture of our house:


Happy Birthday Steven!

Today, our good friend Steven turns 25 so a big HAPPY BIRTHDAY to him. Unfortunately, he is in Birmingham so we are unable to attend any birthday functions he will be having (which reminds me of another year where we did not attend his birthday dinner....)

Anyways, Steven is a very important part of mine and Clay's life. He is pretty much responsible for Clay and I being together. He provided Clay with my phone number after Clay threw it away. He also told Clay about the wonderful world of Penske which provides meal after meal in my house. You see, clearly Steven's birthday is to be celebrated in our house. I should have baked a cake for the occasion but work was very busy today, maybe next year.

To Steven, Clay and I hope you have a WONDERFUL birthday!


Busy Weekend

This weekend (or really Thurs-Sat morning) my dad came down for a visit. He had some business to take care of in Dallas so he spent some time with us. It was great getting to see him although it made me miss the rest of my family a lot. I have decided that Arkansas is pretty much useless and it should be removed from the US completely. That way Texas would be much closer to Tennessee. We would still have a long drive to see most of the family but at least it would be manageable over a long weekend. Plus, if you have ever been through the state, you would know that it is beyond ugly. I mean, I have friends who purposely go a different route back to Knoxville just to avoid Arkansas all together.

While my dad was in town, he took us out to eat at restaurants Clay and I would not go by our poor own selves (always a treat). Friday night we decided to go to a Japanese place that we had heard was AMAZING....it was nowhere near as good as Wasabi. Then again, my dad pointed out that he has traveled all over and never found a place as good as Wasabi. If I win the lottery, I am totally going to build a Wasabi here. While dinner was not as good as I had hoped for (it was actually pretty good just not the best) the dinner itself did provide for one of the funnier moments of my week. The Hibachi chef was doing the standard routine. You know the deal: make a face out of oil then set it on fire, various egg tricks (all pretty impressive) and the finale being making a volcano out of the onion. Like you, I have seen these same tricks many a time. So, imagine my surprise when a lady (around the age of 45ish) was amazed by the onion volcano. She then proceeded to say how she had NEVER seen that before! Even the chef was like "seriously you have never seen this?" I began to fear that she would pass out from excitement when the volcano became a choo-choo train...Oh, how I love sharing a meal with strangers.
Then, it came time for the chef to give out the various sauces. As he was handing them out, I politely asked if they had white sauce or shrimp sauce. I have heard it referred to as both. He looked quite puzzled. So I asked again...and again. Finally, he asked if I meant seafood sauce and I said sure. The chef then sent a waitress over to the sushi bar to bring back my sauce. I miss going to a place where all you get is the shrimp sauce. :(

Saturday morning, we took my dad for some donuts (the Asian made ones of course--they are the best) and then it was on to the airport. I was very sad to see him go but he is going to visit again in May so that is something to look forward to. After the airport, Clay and I went into downtown Dallas. It was our first trip to the city and it wasn't as big as I had expected. Then again, buildings are not very tall here; everything is very flat and spread out. Unfortunately, we didn't have time to explore -- another day, another blog. Our pastor, Toby, gave us tickets to a Dave Ramsey Total Money Makeover Live event. If you haven't checked into Ramsey's Financial Peace stuff, you really should. It is a great common sense approach to living debt-free and really building wealth. I would recommend it to anyone no matter what your financial situation is.

So this weekend was rather busy, but it was a really fun one as well.


Lesbians and Conga Lines

Last night, we had our first middle school night at United. To give you some background, for years our student ministry had separate programs for middle and high school students. At the beginning of this school year, we combined all students for one big Wednesday night deal in the hopes of getting everyone on the same page and building energy. It worked great and we decided that this semester we would launch a brand new Middle School program. Since early December, I have been working with my half-boss (as I like to call him) Matt to design a program that specifically targets where middle school students are at. Last night was the kickoff.

Matt and I were really unsure of how everything would go. We kept saying "well we know it works on paper but what happen when you throw 200 kids into the mix?" Thankfully, God step in since we had 280 middle school students and it worked way better than we had thought. Sure it has some areas that need work...Sure we had girls making out (with each other) and a conga line--both during worship but it was a really cool night.

If you had asked me at any point, if I thought I would like working with middle school I would have said no! But I really can say that I love my job. I get to design really wild and crazy games. I work with some amazing people both in personality and talent. I have a boss who isn't scared to let us try and fail. Most importantly, I get to watch students who may be kissing other girls this week come face to face with a God who adores them. Maybe it won't be next week that her life changes, but each week I know she is getting glimpses of the life God wants for her. Maybe in a month or two those kids who are running around in a conga line will realize that at some point it stopped being about running around crazy and it became joyfully worshiping the God they love in a way that is as uninhibited and as wild as they. And that's totally okay...in fact, I gotta believe that God loves it. In fact, I think it is one of his favorite things to watch his kids do...young or old.


Can't you just be cool?

So a funny thing happened to me the other day. I fear that I will not be able to convey how humorous it really was in this post but here goes. After church on Saturday night, I stopped at Walmart to get some gas. As I was pumping gas, a kid skated up to me. He may have had the largest afro I have ever seen on a white kid. It was pretty impressive and I should have thought to take a picture. I was wearing my United (our student ministry) leader shirt and I immediately thought that he had recognized the logo. We have a pretty cool skate park and although I didn't think I recognized him maybe he had been a few times. Yeah, this was not the case.

He proceeded to ask if I would buy him some cigarettes. For some reason, my first statement is that I can't because I don't have any cash (as if the credit card I just bought gas with would not possibly be able to purchase any). Then I decided that a better reason was that there is no way on earth this kid was 18. He explained to me that he had forgotten his ID and would give me the money to buy them. Again I declined. I really didn't think it would be good to contribute to the delinquency of a minor while in my "church" shirt. After I said no because I was not sure he was 18 he replied with, "C'mon can't you just be cool?" I told him I was way too old to be cool any more. To which he replied, "What are you like 30?" Yeah kid, there is no way I am buying you cigarettes now.


Favorite Tan

I hate painting. I mean I really, really hate it. The problem is I seem to forget this fact. Every few months or so, I think to myself, "Gosh it would be so much fun to paint a room." Then, I start painting a room and am reminded by how much I really do loathing painting.

When I first bought our Texas home (since we still own two houses I have to specify), I had a few days to get stuff painted before Clay moved down. With the help of some very good friends, I was able to paint a good chunk of the house. Our walls in this home are all textured and while I love the look, they are absolutely the hardest surface in the world to paint. Not to mention that it takes at least 2 gallons to do a small room. After reaching my breaking point, I called Clay to tell him that there was just no way my sanity was going to make it if I had to paint another wall. Kindly, he assured me we would just finish painting once we were done with the big move. I thought this experience had broken the thought of painting being fun that tends to creep into my life from time to time.

Fast forward three months later and we have yet to paint another stroke. That is until today when I decided we simply must finish all the painting. I am blaming my need to have a fully painted house on this blog. You see, I want to put up pictures but I want the house to be done before I post the pictures. Today, I took the first step in finishing the painting. I painted the area between our kitchen and the dining room. At first glance, it is a tiny area but it still took every last drop of a gallon of paint. In fact it was the 9th gallon of "Favorite Tan" paint I have purchased since October.

Next weekend, the goal is to paint the kitchen. I really hate painting.


The Inaugural Blog Entry

This is our first blog entry...you know the one where you make promises to keep your blog updated all the time and not be one of those people who starts a blog only to go weeks on end without adding anything new....we are making no such promises.

Hopefully, we will be able to update this page often with pictures and tales of all of the exciting things happening in Texas. Unfortunately, for that to happen, some exciting stuff will actually need to take place. Clay and I are about three months into our new life in Texas. We miss Tennessee a lot but are starting to feel like this is home. In the coming days, I will hopefully get a chance to post some pictures of our new house. We still have a few rooms to paint and some decorating to do.

I was suppose to start this blog as soon as we moved down here, but of course, I did not. I am pretty sure there was a time in my life when I wasn't a procrastinator. Somewhere along the way, I have turned into the slacker I secretly admired in high school. Since I didn't start this blog at the beginning of our journey, here is a quick summary of what Clay and I have learned about Texas:

1. We thought Tennessee fans were unrealistic about sports, but compared to Cowboy fans, they are sane, rational people. Down here, Tony Romo is a better quarterback than Tom Brady unless his girlfriend gets in the way and I am pretty sure there are a few people who think there is still a way the 'Boys (as they are lovingly referred to) are still going to play in the Super Bowl.

2. People love Texas. Apparently, it is the best state in the union. To show their adoration, people put up Texas stars everywhere....on the front door, in each room of the house, and most importantly above your child's bed so that the god of Texas will watch over your child as he/she rests. Clay and I have made a vow to never turn into such people. The day one of us brings home a star to hang in our home is the last day we live in Texas.

3. Wind sucks. It is funny how when you take away all of the trees and mountains a place can be really windy. Although our friends who have lived in west Texas tell us that what we call windy is really a slight breeze compared to what they are used to.

4. In Texas, all kinds of people will come to your door to sell you stuff. I used to get annoyed in Knoxville when some twenty something guy would come to my door and try to sell me the News Sentinel by telling me how my subscription would help him pay for college. Here, we have had several cable/dish representatives, window blinds salesmen, and too many security system sales guys to count. After the first few people came by asking if our security alarm was activated, Clay realized that posing as a salesman would be a great way for a would be robber to learn if your house was monitored or not. So the next time, a guy came by Clay told him (in his best redneck voice), "Well I gotta a gun and two mean dogs so that's my security." Funny, we have had a security salesman since then. But, if you are really lucky, on Saturdays, you may get the chance to have a peephole installed in your front door for a mere $5. We have yet to take the guy up on this offer... Although I did buy some steaks from a door to door salesman the other day. Getting the peephole put in would have probably been a less sketchy offer for me to take...