Sunday, November 28, 2010

Gobble Gobble

Happy Thanksgiving!
We've been hanging out with the cutest, smartest, toughest, most creative boys in the world!  I will just let all their adorableness do its thang and melt your heart.

Uncle B doesn't exactly encourage quiet play...
video
(If that's not the cutest thing you've seen all day, then you need to fix your cute-meter!)
...more like screaming and wrestling.  
"Do it again!"
Okay...Uncle B can be sweet with the boys too.


Little model.  I think so.
Isn't his new haircut adorable?  He kept looking in the mirror playing with the front.  It was hilarious.  He will be a teenager before we know it.

Cope Cope loves dessert!
Its really hard to get a picture with both of them looking.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

What's up? Senioritis on steroids... that's what's up!

Sorry pals!  I know I haven't blogged in ...over a week...I'm horrified to admit it.  I was on such a roll.  Oh well.  I'm being kept busy getting mediocre grades in school.  
Speaking of the devil clothed in grad books, scantrons, and highlighter...
ONLY 10 days of class left!!!!!!
What?  I know its crazy.  I have been drowning in this madness with no light at the end of the tunnel for so long it is taking me some time for my eyes to adjust.  I thought senioritis was back in college...plu-leeze its 100 times worse in grad school!  Granted in those tiny little 10 days I have 5 huge exams.  So I have yet to find ANY freedom in the number 10.  On December 10th at approximately 10:30 am I will be screaming, dancing a jig (probably embarrassing my husband), and potentially passing out because my classroom days will be OVER!

So other than my mission for adequate grades and the fact that I am currently watching Jerseylicious...Here's a life update:
1.  I have been planning all kinds of DIY projects (I like calling them DIY because I lived with an art person for years and the word crafting was a dirty word in our apartment.  And... Crafting feels like I should be using construction paper and glue to make a cheesy scrapbook.)  Anywho...I have all kinds of plans.  I am great at making plans and terrible at following through, especially lately.  You should see my collection of lists in my phone.  
2.  Decorating for Christmas!  I know I know its early but I have finals after Thanksgiving I have to do it early...or at least that is the excuse I have used the past 3 years.  Guess I'll come up with a new one next year.  Have no fear...I will be blogging it up about my Christmas decor.  For now check out the mess before it all turned into magical Christmas merriment!

3.  On an all out search for boots!  For 2 years I have been looking for brown leather boots.  I just couldn't pull the trigger.  Well the gunpowder is fresh...I have gotten 2 sets of boots in the last 2 weeks.  Grey and Brown.  I'm in love.
4.  Played with my mom's old sewing machines.  She showed me some of the features and told me to play around with it while she had her bees inspected by the state bee police...Yes bees like little yellow and black honey-making flying bugs with stingers.  I was like cool I watched you do it I can do it.  I tried every button on that machine and couldn't actually get the needle to start doing anything.  I could get it set up to the point where you are supposed to start sewing but then was clueless.  Looks like I am going to need more than a little bit of help learning to sew.

5.  After shopping in my parent's basement, I have a new side table for the den.  I love it!  Its kind of retro.  I got it as a potential coffee table but it just wasn't the right fit.  Problem...Now I must find a new coffee table.

The wood is actually darker than it appears.  Now to get rid of that cheap lamp.  Luckily my PaPa is a famous junkologist and I got a plain silver lamp this week.  I just need to find a shade and decide if I am going to paint the lamp or not.
This is my Papa's full page spread in the local paper.  That's him in the overalls.

Sorry for the boring post!  Oh well.  You guys will have to wait until after Thanksgiving for the Christmas extravaganza post!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Guest Blogger: Brandon’s Bout


I’m honored that Court would share the limelight with me and let me write on her magnificent blog today!  Isn’t she a fantastic writer?  She loves writing for you and making you guys happy!  Today is her birthday, so be sure and let her know how much you care about her!

I’ve had such a wonderful day so far and I wanted to share why.  I was at a conference a couple of months ago and I remember hearing Francis Chan say that we as Christ-followers need to be people who brag on GOD when he see him work.  Today has been one of those days and I need to brag on our GOD.

I’ve had a toothache for the past two-and-a-half weeks and I woke up this morning knowing that today was the day that I had to get a root canal.  I was tired of it hurting, but I definitely was not looking forward to my dentist drilling on one of my teeth for 2 hours. 

I made breakfast for Court and we got to enjoy some time together before she went to the Christmas Village with her mom, an annual tradition that I’m sure she’ll tell you about.  As she was getting ready, I got a text from a good friend of mine saying that he had some great news and he wanted to tell me over the phone.  So, I called him and he informed me that he had been studying scripture, seeking the heart of GOD, listening to GOD’s direction and he wanted to give his life to Christ and get baptized.  I’ve known this guy for almost 6 years- so you can imagine the excitement I was feeling as he told me.  I just kept thinking, “The angels in Heaven are rejoicing, Jesus is writing his name in the book of life and he will spend ETERNITY with GOD!”  I got down on my knees outside and just thanked GOD for his mercy and his pursuit of us.  He never stops pursuing us!

I came back inside and was scrolling through all of the updates my friends had posted on Twitter.  My favorite preacher, besides Dave of course, is Matt Chandler, who is the Senior Pastor at this huge church in Dallas, TX.  I had heard him speak before and to be honest, he just has a way of teaching the Bible that makes you want to obey and makes you want to live fully for GOD.  Anyways, last Thanksgiving Day, he had a seizure and passed out.  His family rushed him to the hospital and the doctors discovered that he had a malignant brain tumor, a very aggressive and dangerous one.  I’ve listened to his podcast all throughout the year and I’ve been amazed at his faith in GOD and in his divine plan.  Matt never publicly lashed out at GOD, he never shook his fist at GOD, he never he hung his head.  He kept preaching, week in and week out, that GOD is good.  So I watched his video update that he uploaded to Twitter this morning and his cancer is gone!!!  I sat on the couch and praised GOD!  What touched me the most was the fact that GOD does not need Matt to advance his Kingdom, to save his people, to teach his church, GOD alone can handle all of those departments.  But, for some reason, GOD spared him. 

It’s cool because I’ve been praying for him and it’s just so awesome when GOD answers us.
A couple of minutes later I got a call from this lady from around Murray, KY, which is my hometown.  To make a long story short, there is 2-year old boy who lives with his foster parents in a little town right outside of Murray.  They were bringing him to Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital and this woman was going to be sitting with him all day every day until, well, you know.  She had asked if people from our church would be willing to take her place and sit with this sweet little boy while she got some fresh air just for an hour a day.  Our incredible church lined up to help her.  So, I got a call from her and she said that she had fantastic news…..he was getting to go home.  I didn’t get to ask questions because the Dr. just walked into the room, but she said it was a miracle.  Again, I just thanked GOD.

So I go to the dentist thinking about how incredible GOD is and how much he is letting me see him do and to be honest, they could have pulled all my teeth out and I wouldn’t have cared.  I was just enjoying watching GOD work and nothing was going to steal my joy.

I got home around 2 and I got a call from my co-worker, Dave, who had just been to lunch with one of the ministers at one of the churches in Nashville.  I need to catch you up on some things: A couple of months ago, Courtney and I felt like GOD was leading me to leave the job that I loved at Lipscomb and give all of my time and energy to our church, Ethos.  So, we prayed and talked and we pulled the trigger.  One of the hardest things for us to do was to deal with the fact that we were leaving a steady paycheck and great benefits to go to a job that had neither.  But, we trusted that this is what GOD wanted for us.  This might be too much information, but it’s important for you to know the whole story.  We ended up taking out a personal insurance policy, which was fine, it just wasn’t nearly as good as the one we had at Lipscomb.  Here is where we were having a hang up; it didn’t have maternity, which was really scary for us.   Having a baby and not having insurance is really expensive.  We aren’t trying to have a baby but GOD has his own plans and we would of liked to have been ready just in case…But, we knew this was from GOD, and the thought of not taking this job just because we didn’t have maternity insurance was foolish.  So for the past two months this is what we’ve been doing.  So back to today and the phone call.  Dave told me that a certain church in Nashville decided they wanted to add us to their insurance policy, which if you don’t know anything about insurance, group insurance policies are always better and oh yeah….it has maternity too!  I called Courtney and I just sat in the floor and cried.  This was out of nowhere!  I mean, this wasn’t even on our radar.  Yet GOD, in all of his goodness, decided to give us this!

I don’t know what kind of a day you’re having, but hopefully this blog helps you see that our GOD is awesome!  He is good!  Take some time today and stop and think about all of the good things GOD has given you. 

I want to leave you with this verse. 
Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever.  Ephesians 3:20,21

Brandon

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Boy oh Boy!

..my baby boo Coleman is coming!  
Let the countdown begin...less than 7 weeks until his arrival!
I spent the whole weekend celebrating all things baby!  And I will let the pictures speak...

Poor Candace...no one kept their hands to themselves.
Isn't she so skinny prego?  Look at that skinny face.  We took a picture of both of us standing side-by-side from behind and you could not tell who was pregnant...I would show you but I was wearing legging and it wasn't a pretty view of my thighs.

Coleman's 1st Shower


 It was a gorgeous spread and yummy to my tummy!

The hostesses always throw such amazing showers!  Every detail was baby-licious!  I dream of being such a hostess.  I will be staying with Mrs. Tignor in January and February and I'm hoping I come home more Martha like!  Don't worry I will share all the fabulous new ideas I learn with all of you!
I know what your thinking...Stop touching her...But she really was a good sport about it and since we don't get to see her very often we had to get as much in as we could.

Shower #2 at Curve Baptist Church
What a beautiful intricate shower cake!  I was quite impressed!
I wish I had taken a picture of the two crocheted baby hats that the sweet ladies of their church made.  Coleman is already so loved.

Needless to say after a weekend full of showering, Coleman's room was crazy!  No worries...Candace has plenty of nesting left to go to town organizing!
It was so wonderful to see Candace's friends and church family love on her, Eric, and baby Coleman! 
The beautiful parents!  My heart is warmed knowing what amazing parents you two will be!  I know God has been preparing you both to be parents and Coleman will be raised to be an amazing man of God!  I am so excited to see the things he will do for God's Kingdom!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Inspiration Sensation!

Need some inspiration today?  Yes.  
Well good.  I have the perfect thing for you.  I found a new DIY design website that I L-O-V-E luuurrve!

It's so fabulous!  Here are a few of my favorites!

1.  If you are looking for another chalkboard craft like the one I showed you the other day
...the Chalkboard Dresser just might be your fix.
She also has chalkboard lamps on her DIY page.

Isn't the pattern cute.  Check out her step-by-step directions for this "easy" DIY improvement.

3.  My favorite DIY project from her website is the Sunburst Mirror.
I will make this one day!  PS--You know I love that lamp!

Hope you are inspired by her as well.  I'm dying inside to make everything in my house homemade like hers...but if you've seen my house you know its not for now anyways.  And I'll cut myself some slack...she is a professional designer who's had guest spots on HGTV...I don't think my 6 week art summer camp when I was 7 puts us on the same level.  Whatev...I'm going to try anyway!

Friday, November 5, 2010

Chalk It Up To Good Clean DIY Fun

I have had an old picture frame from my Papa's junk collection for forever.  I figured at some point I could paint it and place a picture in it or something...but its just been sitting in my attic.  Typical.  After reading A Penny Saved, I was inspired.  So without any supervision from Crafty Caity, I set out to make a chalkboard.  Naturally without her help I made some mistakes and it took me much longer to complete this easy craft, but at least I completed it.  Now for authentic sake, I will admit that I texted her for assistance a couple of times...I can't do it completely on my own.  I'm new to the DIY crowd.

So here's how it went:
1st--Carebear and I set out for Goodwill and Goodwill Outlet.  Yes, you heard me correctly there is a Goodwill Outlet.  You purchase everything by the pound.  It was quite an interesting experience.  I think I will be back. There are some great finds and some interesting ones.  
Cara was a bit freaked out about the germs...especially when we saw people walking around scavenging for things wearing rubber gloves.  But gloves or no gloves...look at this awesome book!
Do you remember Babar?!!  I loved him!

2nd--We picked up our supplies at Home Depot.  Spray paint for the frames.  Chalkboard paint for the glass...Caity Shinnick suggest the regular paint not the spray paint version...So of course I obeyed.  Roller and tray to poor the paint into.
3rd...We spray painted the frames like crazy with the fabulous colors of our choice.

Before...

After...
The green frame isn't as neon and bright as it appears.

4th--I painted 3 coats every 4 hours on the glass with the small roller shown above.  It's a bit of a long process but you can go do another project while you wait on it to dry!
5th--I cured the chalkboard paint by rubbing a piece of chalk all over it then rubbing it in and cleaning it off with water.
This is a very important step.  You need to cover the chalk board super good then cover it some more.  I don't think I did it well enough.

Here is my finished product.  Its not on the wall yet but with my crazy school it takes me weeks to finish home projects so I'm blogging now because it might be Christmas before I get it hung.  

I am trying not to get the Chalkboard-aholic bug...but I do have a whole can of paint waiting to be painted all over my house.  So that was my mini-craft.  One day I will be a DIY-expert...but for now my novice status is cool with me.  

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Take that 3rd Year!

So there is rarely anything I do at school that you guys would want me to blog about; however, I couldn't resist having a mini-post on one school related activity.  

On Tuesday, after 3 years of work, countless hours of my face in my hands exasperated, tons of teamwork, lots of paperwork and hoops to jump through, hundreds of thesaurus searching for the best possible word, oodles of delirious laughter at myself and my group...my doctoral research study is COMPLETE!!! (expect for the not-so-tiny fact we have to finish our paper...but WHO CARES ITS DONE!)

My lovely group just before our presentation at the research symposium.
Class of 2011

We all look so professional when we dress up...which is odd because we are usually sloppin it up in sweats and hoodies.  Only 17 days of actual class left then clinical.  It appears that one day we might actually get out of school, though I truly thought I would never see the light at the end of the tunnel.

Love you friends!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Redefining Love as a Pirate

These past few years as I have journeyed with my church family, I have learned to personally redefine how I choose to love.  Love to me was often classified as something directed to people close to me or people with whom I share common interests.  It is all forms of kindness, compassion, empathy, care, and passion shown to those I LIKE...and supposedly to those I don't.  Although in all honesty, this is not often the case.

 All in all I think my view of love was a bit limited in scope, quality and depth.

One of the ways I have learned to refine my love is by refocusing my love to include not only those like me that I like but with those who I may share few common interests, I may not always like, and I might not usually even notice in my self-centered daily activities.  My church has helped me in this journey by encouraging me and holding me accountable.  I fail miserably at love everyday but I have learned so much about myself and about my God through this love journey he has called me to.  This weekend my church hosted a Trunk-or-Treat!  It was my first ever...I grew up a traditional trick-or-treater...So I was excited to try out this church phenomenon.  It was held in East Park where I had a fabulous time loving on some of God's most beautiful creations...kids! 

Each house church chose a theme and dressed up and decorated their trunk.  My ladies chose...PIRATES, Arrgh!  Thanks to the amazing artistic gifts some of the girls have our trunks were sure to shiver the timbers of all the little treaters!

I love these girls! They are teaching me so much!  Notice our adorable parrot in the back row!
Who is that shark swimming around in our treasure chest?

Why is Lofty Bear, of course!  The cutest shark around!

Looks like we've added some new members to our ship's crew.
The kids loved the eye patches and earrings they found in the treasure box!  Aren't they cute pirates?!

Mom, Dad, Cara, Camille & Erin brought a cotton candy and popcorn machine.  Needless to say they were one of the most popular trunks!  Carebear and Mom are in vintage clown costumes, Erin is just beautiful, and Camille is a pumpkin!

Four of my favorites!  Sydney was a tourist led by her Travelocity Gnome (Micah)!  What a cute idea!

B was a toy football player.  

Face Painting was a hit!

We were overwhelmed by the response of the community!  I am already looking forward to next year and I'm already thinking about how I can dress up!

Happy almost 1st Birthday Lofton!  B and Court love you!
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