Monday, August 27, 2007

A Fun and CrAzY Week!!

Ashley and I got back from Vegas late this past Tuesday night. We had such a blast! It was great to just get to spend some time together. Especially since she is going to be getting married after graduation. That still sounds soooo weird! Speaking of the wedding, it's officially June 21st of next year, the first day of summer!

On the way to Vegas we had the Brazilian basketball team on the plane with us. One of the coaches was actually sitting next to me and the head coach was in front of me. The world basketball tournament was being held in Las Vegas this week. What's weird is as I was flipping channels last night I ran across the tournament on ESPN. The USA was playing Brazil and I saw the people I was sitting next to on the plane on TV. That was kind of weird!! I looked at Chris and said, "Hey, I sat by them on the plane!"

We saw Celine Dion on Sunday night. WOW!! She was absolutely amazing! Ashley has been waiting for years to see her and it was so exciting getting to watch her excitement! She still says it all feels like a dream.

This was the first Celine sign we saw after getting
off the monorail on the way to Caesar's Palace for the show.
She was soooo excited!!

This is on our way into see Celine!
Can you tell she's excited?!?!

We were only there for two nights so we did a LOT of walking around and seeing as much as we possibly could. The hotels are incredible. Each hotel is like it's own city. They have at least 2 sometimes 3 places to have shows or concerts. They have underground shopping, they have sections that are like malls with stores everywhere, multiple restaurants, food courts, wedding chapels, and that's all in one hotel. They are huge! We stayed in the MGM Grand Hotel and our one hotel had 3 different Starbucks in it! Which was of course great for Ashley! There was a huge Rainforest Cafe, a Lion Habitat inside the hotel and in the mall section there is a CBS Television City where you can go and watch possible upcoming TV shows and rate them. We did that before we left and that was pretty cool.

This is the MGM Grand where we stayed.

The lobby of the MGM Grand.

The Lion Habitat inside our hotel.

The pool at the MGM Grand. We were sure wishing
we had enough time to swim.

We saw the Blue Man Group on Monday night. They were incredible! It's amazing how a show can be so good and they never talk! It was a really fun show. That show was in the Venetian Hotel. Wow! What a gorgeous hotel. (We saw a lot of the hotels!)

Ashley after the Blue Man Group

Inside the Venetian Hotel. Yes, INSIDE!
Everything is done to look like you are walking
outside on the streets of Venice. Really Cool!

Another inside picture at the Venetian.
We didn't have time to ride the gondola's :(
There just weren't enough hours in the day!

We went to the New York New York Hotel. They have a roller coaster that starts inside the hotel and then goes outside. Ashley wanted to ride it so she had to do that one by herself. She had heard about it from a friend and she didn't think my motion sickness would be able to take it. :)

The New York New York Hotel with the roller coaster.

We HAD to go and see the Bellagio. It's gorgeous also. That is of course the hotel in all of the Oceans Movies (George Clooney, Matt Damon & Brad Pitt) where they stand outside of the hotel looking over the water fountains at the end of all the movies. :) They have amazing water shows there in their water fountains all done to music. It's really something to see.

The Fountain Show outside the Bellagio.

The "Oceans" spot outside the Bellagio, although the
fountains weren't going at the time.

They have an M&M World there which is 4 floors of everything M&M you can think of. It's pretty cool to see for the chocolate lover! Right next door to that there is a place called Everything Coca Cola, which is also pretty cool for the Coke lover! All in all we had a great time! And even though it was great to spend the time together, we missed getting to share things with the rest of the family. We plan to go back again with everyone. There is so much to see and do there is no way to see or do it all in two and a half days!

M&M World, obviously!

Every color of M&M's you can imagine.

After coming home, some things in my life changed. I had been planning on going to work full time after Jeremy got into college so that I could help the kids pay for their college loans. I've been working at the Dayschool for the past 13 years (with a break in the middle) which has been great, but not enough to help with their college. I ended up applying for a job at Dallas Christian that was part time this year thinking that next year it might work into something full time. They ended up offering me a full time position there and the very next morning, I had another job offer just drop in my lap. I was offered an administrative assistant position at Highland Oaks. A job I had not pursued and didn't even know was available. It literally came out of the blue and fell right into my lap. Needless to say it pays more than a school and with the timing of the wedding I don't have to worry as much about paying for that. This was definitely a God thing. I wasn't planning on going back to work full time yet because of the wedding and they are working with me to allow me to have off the whole month of June in preparation for the wedding! God is so good!!

So I start my new job there the Tuesday after labor day. I am actually very nervous. My life has been around 4 year olds for so long and it's been a long time since I've actually worked side by side with adults. But I am also looking forward to it. I will be working with a lot of great people!

Well, I hope everyone has a great week! School started around here today. I now have a senior in high school and a senior at ACU! It's going to be a busy year! I'm behind on my blog reading, so I'm going to try and catch up today. Blessings!

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

A Couple of Updates on Our Latest News

First of all, I want to thank everyone for their kind wishes on this blog and through emails. It has really been a huge blessing for our family. (See previous post for more info on that)

Secondly, I thought I would add a couple of updates and pictures. We ended up taking a very quick trip to Abilene this past Sunday afternoon. She couldn't wait until she got home on Thursday and wanted us to come and see her. She had to work Sunday night and at noon on Monday so she couldn't come here. Of course we were delighted to go (except for spending the money on extra gas! but it was worth it!!) so we headed out Sunday afternoon after church and came back after a late breakfast on Monday morning. We didn't get there until around 6:00 p.m. so she came home to let us in and show us her ring!! Then she went back to work and didn't get home until about 11:30.

The ring is just beautiful!! I told her it looks so weird to see a ring on her finger!! She said, "I know, every time I look at my hand I say that's not my hand, it's my mom's!" It's all so surreal right now, but exciting none the less. When she got home from work Sunday night, she and I stayed up until 2:30 a.m. talking about Everything! When she comes home on Thursday, we are going to spend Friday and Saturday getting started on some things. The first thing we are doing on Friday is having lunch at the Cheesecake Factory to start making a list! Great place to make a list huh! ;)

They are planning on a June wedding! So that's only 10 months away and I know it will be here before we know it. The original date they picked turned out to be Jeremy's graduation day (June 7). I'm so glad we knew about that date early! They have another date picked out but we are waiting to make sure it's available. So I'll keep you posted. In the meantime, here are some more pics. Now that I've seen the ring, she lets me see all the pictures! :)

This is when she came in from work to her surprise!

The big question! He's so sweet, he actually got down on one knee.
What a guy!

As you can see, he was all dressed up. She didn't know it was
going to happen, so she came in straight from work!
She works in the sports department of the
Abilene Reporter News.

Obviously she said Yes!

Ashley calling everyone in her phone book!

The Ring!!

We are all so excited!!!

Thanks again for all the prayers and well wishes!! Once we get a confirmation on the date, I'll let you know. In the meantime, please say a prayer for Ashley and I for safe travel. We leave for Vegas on Sunday afternoon and we'll be back late Tuesday night. We see Celine on Sunday night! More about that next week!


Friday, August 10, 2007

Our Newest Addition!! :)

Ok, three post in one week. That must be some kind of record for me. I'm usually the once a week poster. But we have exciting news to share!! We are welcoming a new addition to our family! No, I am NOT pregnant! Praise the Lord! But we are adding a son to our family. Yes, Ashley got engaged tonight!!!! I don't quite know how that is possible; she is still just 4 years old! (actually 21! the years go by so fast!)

His name is Warren and he called us last night to ask for our blessing. Ashley and I are leaving in about a week to go to Las Vegas to see Celine Dion, (more on that when we get back!) so he wanted to ask her before we left. We couldn't be more excited! We have been praying all of our kids lives for the spouse they would one day marry. God has answered our prayer for Ashley in Warren. Warren is a strong Godly, Christian man and comes from a strong Christian family. He loves our daughter very much and has already taken extremely good care of her. He is very sweet, has a great sense of humor and fits into our family just perfectly. Ashley is in Abilene right now, so I haven't even gotten to see the ring!

Warren was so sweet, he went down to Abilene today and all of Ashley's friends knew what was going on. They were keeping her away from the house and helping Warren all day. He decorated her house with flowers and balloons and cooked her dinner. The first picture is the entry way in front of her front door where she walked in. The next picture is of the table. You may notice the mints on the corners of the place mat. They are from Abuelo's, the first place they had dinner. What a sweet guy!! I don't have a picture of them together yet because all of those have her ring in them and she doesn't want me to see it before she gets home to show me. Which isn't going to be until Thursday!! I don't know if I can stand it until then! :)

Warren is a youth minister in Clifton, TX and a graduate of ACU. Ashley graduates from ACU in May, and the wedding will be some time after that.

Kind of a side note, I just found out a couple of days ago that Warren's cousin's wife, Sara Glenn, grew up with her family in the Houston area and were really close friends with some good friends of ours, the Ross's. Small world!

We solicit your prayers for them as they begin a new walk in their personal and spiritual life. We told Warren we expected one thing from him beyond loving her with all of his heart. And that was to make sure that she, and our future grandchildren, as well as himself all get to heaven. If they focus everything on God, everything else will fall into place.

Thanks for sharing this special news with us! I'll keep you posted on a date!

Blessings! Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Yikes!!! I've been tagged... causing 2 post in 1 week!!

I know, two post in one week... what's the world coming to! Apparently it's come to a game of internet tag. Like my friend who tagged me, I'm not fond of being tagged. It's kind of like getting a Fwd, not one of my favorite things. But I decided to play along as well. It is a great way to get to know people a little bit better. So here goes...

The rules are... 1) I have to post eight random facts about myself, 2) I have to list these rules and 3) I have to tag eight other people.

And we're off...

1. My husband and I ride motorcycles. I own my own motorcycle. I love to ride. I would do it every day and ride every where if I could. But it gets kind of hard to buy groceries that way! I have been known to go to Walmart on my bike for just "a couple of things" and have to cram my backpack shut. I have actually carried about 35 lbs on my back! Yes, I weighed it when I got home. :) Chris fondly calls me a pack mule on those occasions!

2. I love to sing and I love music. I love praise music and I love classic rock. While Chris and I were in high school and newly married, we went to a concert just about every month. We have seen just about every group out there except for Led Zeplin. We even camped out behind Rainbow Tickets across from SMU over night to get tickets to see Heart. We were in high school at the time mind you and our parents knew we were there. What a different time that was! There is No Way I would let my kids do that now. Looking back, I think our parents were insane to let us!

3. I love to camp and I love to read. I love to sit out for hours by the fire and read or just be mesmorized by the fire. My 2 favorite fiction authors are Frank Peretti and Ted Dekker. They both write Christian fiction dealing with spiritual warfare. Ted Dekker is very similar to Peretti. With our schedules we haven't been able to go camping in about a year. We hope to remedy that soon.

4. I tend to go on autopilot when I drive. I start heading a direction that is the way I always go and I sometimes end up not where I intended to go :) I think they may call that "sometimers disease". Sometimes you forget what you're doing and where you're going :)

5. When I was 5 or 6 years old, I got hit by a car trying to ride my bike across the street. (Which I wasn't suppose to be doing by the way.) It was a residential street so they weren't going very fast. The woman who hit me was more worried about the scratch on her car (I had a metal basket on the front of my bike!) than whether or not I was alright. So the mean streak in me was kind of glad I left a scratch. ;)

6. I have a weird (some would say psychotic) habit of scaring people. I have been known to hide out in my kids rooms in the dark, in their closets or under their covers and jump out at them and scare them to death. Chris tells me they are going to end up on Jerry Springer some day with a twitch. But they have caught on and are now passing on the tradition! :)

7. My first car was a beige Pacer. You remember the car, yes it looked like a bubble on wheels! But it did get me around! (here is a pic I found. It's not my car, but it is the same color!)

8. I married my high school sweetheart. We started dating when he was 14 and I was 15. Yes, I was a cradle robber. We dated all through high school and got married one year after Chris graduated while we were both 19. (We are 11 months apart. I turned 20 the month after we got married.) While we were both young, no we did not HAVE to get married. Our first child was born 4 years later and is now 21. We just recently celebrated our 25th anniversary.

Well, that was actually kind of fun thinking back on some of those things. Now, to follow the rules of tagging others, I tag Melanie (MommyWiggy), Shannon (Shannon's Scribbles), Danna (BandBMommy), Jenny (Malaya's Mommy), Terry (Chocolate Thunder), Tiersa (See Yourself as God sees you), Lynn (Lynn's Life) and Jana (Emma's Mommy). Maybe this will get a couple of you to update your blogs. :) Some of you lucked out because you've already been tagged!

Have fun and have a great rest of the week! And I'm with Neva, No Tag Backs!!!


Monday, August 06, 2007

So That in All Things God May Be Praised...

As I was doing some Bible study recently, I was reading in 1 Peter. In 1 Peter 4:7-11, it says,

"The end of all things is near. Therefore be clear minded and self-controlled so that you can pray. Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins. Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling. Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God's grace in its various forms. If anyone speaks, he should do it as one speaking the very words of God. If anyone serves, he should do it with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen.

As I read through that scripture a lot of things crossed my mind. I am no bible scholar and I don't claim to know the full meaning behind scripture, but I know that certain scriptures hit me in certain ways. It talks about being clear minded so you can pray. It brings to mind how many times my mind seems to be a jumbled mess when I am trying to pray; and it makes it hard to focus. There are times when you need to pray in the midst of a mess, but I wonder how much better my prayer life would be if I intentionally tried to clear the clutter before I began to pray? Taking in deeps breathes and releasing the days events before I begin to talk to God. I also think praying out loud or at least out loud in a whisper seems to help me keep my mind clear to pray. It helps me to focus more on the thoughts at hand and keeps my mind from straying. If our mind is more clear when we are praying, how much more so will our mind be clear to hear God's response?

"Love each other deeply, for love covers over a multitude of sins." How much more forgiving and tolerant would we be of others, if we truly loved each other deeply. When you love someone deeply, whoever they are, it's very hard not to forgive them. Love does cover a multitude of sins.

Another verse says offer hospitality without grumbling. Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others. I think we can sometimes be very selfish when it comes to serving. Me included. I know there are times to say no, I'm not talking about that. And I know that we serve. But how many times, even when we do serve do we first think about how it's going to infringe upon my time. I would rather go and do this or that. Someone else will do that, I really don't want to do that today. Without ever giving a thought to the blessing that service might be to someone else. That we might be the only friendly, compassionate, God like face they see that day. I know that every time I forgo those thoughts and serve someone unselfishly, I am the one that usually feels the greater blessing. The person being served is usually always very grateful, but there is just something about the blessing we receive in return.

Everything we do should reflect the word of the God, should reflect Jesus living in us. If we live like that, we are the ones that will be blessed. Have a great week!

so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ.
To him be the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen.
1 Peter 4:11