New Year's Eve

Monday, December 31, 2007

As I sit here reflecting on 2007, I wonder where the year went? I really think the older I get, the faster time passes. My devotion was really great today and a challenge to anyone willing to take it.

A Call to Radical Commitment

By Rick Warren

Today I am stepping across the line. I'm tired of waffling, and I'm finished with wavering. I've made my choice; the verdict is in; and my decision is irrevocable. I'm going God's way. There's no turning back now!

I will live the rest of my life serving God's purposes with God's people on God's planet for God's glory. I will use my life to celebrate his presence, cultivate his character, participate in his family, demonstrate his love, and communicate his Word.

Since my past has been forgiven, and I have a purpose for living and a home awaiting in heaven, I refuse to waste any more time or energy on shallow living, petty thinking, trivial talking, thoughtless doing, useless regretting, hurtful resenting, or faithless worrying.

Instead I will magnify God, grow to maturity, serve in ministry, and fulfill my mission in the membership of his family.

Because this life is preparation for the next, I will value worship over wealth, “we” over “me,” character over comfort, service over status, and people over possessions, position, and pleasures. I know what matters most, and I'll give it all I've got. I'll do the best I can with what I have for Jesus Christ today.

I won't be captivated by culture, manipulated by critics, motivated by praise, frustrated by problems, debilitated by temptation, or intimidated by the devil. I'll keep running my race with my eyes on the goal, not the sidelines or those running by me.

When times get tough, and I get tired, I won't back up, back off, back down, back out, or backslide. I'll just keep moving forward by God's grace. I'm Spirit-led, purpose-driven and mission-focused, so I cannot be bought, I will not be compromised, and I shall not quit until I finish the race.

I'm a trophy of God's amazing grace, so I will be gracious to everyone, grateful for everyday, and generous with everything that God entrusts to me.

To my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, I say: However, whenever, wherever, and whatever you ask me to do, my answer in advance is yes! Wherever you lead and whatever the cost, I'm ready. Anytime. Anywhere. Anyway.

Whatever it takes Lord; whatever it takes!

I want to be used by you in such a way, that on that final day I'll hear you say, "Well done, thou good and faithful one. Come on in, and let the eternal party begin!"

What does this mean?

Today, I affirm this commitment to God and submit to his plans and purposes for my life, no matter what it takes.

Happy Blessed 2008 to everyone!!!

Christmas Day

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

The girls were so excited when they went to bed on Christmas Eve, so I thought they would be up so early. They finally woke up about 7:30 and we had to wake EllaKate up to go see what Santa brought. You might already know, EllaKate sleeps with Scott and I most every night and on Christmas morning she stood up in our bed and looked out the window because there was a light shining in. She pulled back the blind and said, "Look, some lights and a porch!" Well, she went straight to the sunroom to see her playhouse. We let her go out and see it before going into the living room. Then, we went to see all the other surprises waiting for everyone. I snapped pictures and Scott videoed. The girls loved all they got but loved watching EllaKate most of all. She was precious when she walked in to see all the presents. She let out a sigh and said, "Oh my, look at all the presents!" We were all blessed beyond belief, especially Scott and I as we sat and watched our most precious gifts of all, our daughters, open their gifts with such excitement. I agree with EllaKate- I Love Christmas!!!

The great thing about living here in Hartwell is we are close to everyone. My sister and brother and families were home for Christmas and Christmas morning found their families at mama and daddy's. Santa came there for Becca and Samuel. We talked to Marcia and she said they would all come down to our house to have Christmas morning breakfast- how GREAT was that!!! While the kids played with all their new stuff, the adults made breakfast- we all enjoyed sausage casserole and pancakes. Scott's sister and brother stopped by during the morning too to see what Santa left for the girls. It was a really great morning!!!

We decided to break tradition of turkey and dressing this year and grill steaks- yum!!! Our lunch was delicious! Scott grilled the best steaks and Chris made the best mashed potatoes!!! We also celebrated Jesus' birthday with a coconut cake. The kids could barely wait to open presents. We actually had to let EllaKate open one before lunch because she couldn't understand why we had to wait. She opened her train and loved it. The other girls got wallets to match their purses. It was a great time!!!

We went to Susan and Tony's for Christmas night dinner. We enjoyed a wonderful meal and great family time. The girls got gift certificates to get their nails done so we will be doing that next week!

Christmas Eve

Monday, December 24, 2007

Christmas Eve is such a precious time of the season. Jason and Amy drove in from Atlanta and we all went to Anderson for lunch and a movie. We saw the new National Treasure movie and it was pretty good. The girls thought it was pretty intense at the end, and EllaKate made it through about 3/4s of it. After that, we headed to my mom's where Marcia and Chris and kids had made it in from Charleston. We ordered pizza and enjoyed the great feeling of being completely ready for Christmas morning. Everyone came down to our house for coffee and dessert. Family all together- it has been a long time since we were all together on the Christmas. Even though it is the hardest Christmas we have all ever lived through, it is all the more precious because we are all so focused on how amazing family is, how important it is to be together, and how blessed beyond belief we are that we all know the King of Kings born so many years ago to allow us to know Him.

Cookie Day

Saturday, December 22, 2007

My cousin, Suzanne has seven children all of which she home schools. They invited us over on Friday to make and decorate Christmas cookies. The girls had so much fun baking together, especially EllaKate. She absolutely loved using the rolling pin and cookie cutters. As soon as she began decorating, she took a bite and ate her cookie right up. We hope to make this an annual tradition.

Christmas with the Bolemans

Scott's sister, Jan and husband, Ray were in town last Sunday so we shared Christmas with them Monday evening @ Susan and Tony's house. We enjoyed a wonderful meal and opened gifts. EllaKate knows all about opening gifts this year. Of course because she is the youngest, she opened her gift first and was so excited to find a new princess dress to wear. She proceeded to help everyone open their gifts as well. We had a wonderful time!!!

Home Depot Opening

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Hartwell is going urban... our new Home Depot opened last evening with everyone out to see the new store (wish Target would open a store!!!). Hot Shots of Hartwell had their students there to perform for the crowd. Rosie's cheerleading group performed their Christmas routine and it was great! You might see from the shots I got, I had to take them over the crowd's head.

Our Christmas Brunch

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Today was a very special day for our family. We hosted our annual Christmas Brunch here in our Hartwell home. We had some our favorite people to drop by (both family and friends) to celebrate this wonderful season. We pray a very blessed CHRISTmas for each one and also for anyone who reads our blog. God bless you each one!

EK @ the Hyatt

Friday, December 14, 2007

I can honestly say I would have never taken EllaKate to tea in Buckhead @ the Grand Hyatt Hotel on my own. I am so happy Debbie and Li Li invited us to go along with them. We had a little play time @ their house before we headed out for tea. We stopped in Lenox for a tiny bit of shopping and were off for the party. We were taken to a table near lots of windows. Li Li was the perfect little lady. She sat in her chair the whole time coloring and then eating. Can I just say EllaKate is still working on all that and just leave it at that. We had the most wonderful tea that was made in beautiful teapots and lots of delcious food- especially the desserts. It was such a spendid experience and I look forward to next year already!!!

Christmas Parade

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Another great thing about small towns is the Christmas parade. Rosemary and EllaKate were to be in the parade for Hot Shots but I decided to just let EllaKate watch with us otherwise I woul d have pulled her in a wagon. (Can I just say that would have lasted about 10 minutes and I would have been carrying her the rest of the way.) We watched for Rosemary to march by and she was up front twirling away! Amelia rode with Tony and Susan in Tony's police car. We enjoyed watching with the Lopes family and then everyone came back to our house for pie and coffee!


Tuesday, December 4, 2007

God really showed out this morning. I LOVE the times when God takes our breath away with a glimpse into His Glory! This morning was one of those times. I was in our sunroom and looked out to the east to gaze upon the most amazing sunrise I have seen in a long time! I asked Scott to rush and try to get a picture. Of course there is no way to take a picture of God's magnificance, but here is what He allowed us to see. May God richly bless you this day!

Hot Shots Recital

Rosie began taking baton this year for the first time. She loved it so much, we asked if she could come two times a week. They put her in this advanced class and she LOVES it even more. We were so proud of her- she did great!!!

EllaKate had her recital Tuesday night and we were all so excited to go. My mom, Scott, Amelia, and I all went to watch. EllaKate was hilarious because she didn't watch the teacher at all- she did her own thing!!! Everyone else did what they were supposed to or just stood there, but Ms. Personality showed out... need I say more?

My sister-in-law, Susan came over this morning to borrow a few things for a party she is having tonight and Ella was waiting for her at the door. EllaKate had already asked me to put her hair in pig tails today but she wanted to keep on her pjs. Susan thought she was adorable and hoped I would take some pictures. Well I did and here they are. EllaKate has become quite attached to her babies lately and here she is holding one of them. I think Santa may be bringing her a new one with all the extras a baby needs! Also, when we bought EllaKate the slippers you see in the pics, she named them Cutie and Darlin'. She calls her baby Shaylee for the little sister she is waiting for and talks about all the time!!! We are hoping our good friends the Randalls will receive their referral VERY soon!!!