Saturday, December 22, 2007

My Decorations

This year I placed all my photo Christmas cards on my mantle. Some of the families are people that I see on a weekly basis, others are family, some are people I see only see once a year, many are people that moved away, but all are people that I love keeping in contact with. I love getting to see how all the kiddos grow from year to year. I keep all of my Christmas cards and scrapbook them in our Christmas album (I know that sounds pretty adventurous, but I'm only about 4 years behind-I should say my plan is to scrapbook all of them). We received more cards this year than ever! I think we have 35 now. I love racing to the mailbox in December to see which ones have arrived. My friend Stacey (who now lives in Arkadelphia) is always the first Christmas card to arrive. I know I can always count on that. I saw an idea on another blog that I may try next year. This girl bought a small Christmas tree and barely put any decorations on it. Then when her cards would arrive, she would punch a small hole in them, string some ribbon through and use her cards as the ornaments for that tree. I'm going to look for a small to medium size tree to do that!!!

Luke has his own tree in his room. It's a 6 foot tree that I rescued from my neighbor's trash. I know what you all are thinking...that I'm a Dumpster Diver-ha! But my neighbors were military and moving again and they were chunking all kinds of cool things. I don't know why she didn't take it to Goodwill or call someone to pick it up, but anyway...she was wasteful and I got a nice tree because of it. Luke has lots of colorful handpainted ornaments that Randie and I worked on about 10 years ago. He also gets a new ornament every year that kinda represents what he likes at the time (when he was two it was Mufasa and Simba, last year was Superman and this year it's Yoda). He also has lots of photo ornaments and handmade goodies. He likes having his own tree. FYI-don't let the Christmas tree cord get too close to your guinea pig cage. I promise they will chew through it! I don't know how one of them didn't die, because the lights were on when they started nibbling. I would have puked if I would have walked in there and seen a fried pig in that cage! But I learned how to splice wires this year-all from help from my mom and electrician brother-in-law Bryan. This could be dangerous!

Next are pics of my Dept. 56 Snow Villages. I have eight total. Most of them were gifts from family (especially April). I have Grandma's cottage, Garage Sale (my friend Julie said only I would have a garage sale in my Christmas Village. Ha! I took her to her first garage sales last year and she loved it!!!), Public Library (to represent my love of libraries and books-I know...I'm a nerd), All Saint's Church, Fishing Cabin, Christmas Store, Hunting Lodge (Eric dropped this one out of the attic about 8 years ago-I cried so hard! But I salvaged it and I just put lots of little trees next to the big hole in the side of it!) and the Ice Castle. We all love looking at them all lit up at night.

The last picture is of our tree. I bought the green ribbon at Holiday House a few years back and really like the color. We have a variety of ornaments. Eric and I used to exchange ornaments every year (I'm not quite sure why we stopped...maybe we were getting too many). Some of my favorites are my Hallmark ornaments. I have several Scarlet O'Hara ornaments, Baby's 1st Christmas, Our First Christmas Together, Our New Home, Luke's Growth Chart Ornament, etc. Eric said our tree is prettiest it has ever been! I love it!

Merry Christmas from our home!
Amy, Eric and Luke

Silly Snapshot Saturday

Don't you love the title of this post?!? I had to invent it since I forgot Favorite Foto Friday. I was too busy wrapping Christmas presents and watching Christmas Vacation with Eric. He has to watch that at least once a year.

This picture was taken by my very good friend, Kelly. It's of my crazy sister, April. She cleans Kelly's house on a regular basis (that's her career and she's very good at it-no need calling me for her number...she's always booked!). Well, for some reason she thought it would be a good idea to vacuum while holding Kelly's baby, Parker. He looks kinda content, doesn't he? That is SO April. She's always multi-tasking. She can get more done in one hour than most girls I know do all day long. And the whole time she will be on her cell phone (which one you ask? she has two!!!!). That's April and I love her!

Monday, December 17, 2007

Pajama Night at Bunko

Tonight I hosted Bunko at my house. Last month, all of us decided that it was about time to have a Pajama Night. So we all wore our comfy pajamas and I made breakfast for everyone (Tamara, Julie, Jennifer, Amy B., Leslie, LaDonna and Leah). We had gravy and biscuits, bacon and egg casserole, cinnamon rolls and juice. Later for dessert, we had chocolate fondue (this was brand new for me-I've had my fondue pot for two years and never tried it) with pineapples, pound cake, bananas, apples, raspberries and marshmallows. YUM! We had a great time and may have to repeat PJ Night really soon! I offered to take a group shot, but I don't think anyone felt like seeing themselves posted on my blog the next day. Ha!

God has blessed me with some wonderful friends. The older I get, the more I realize how valuable these friendships are between us girls. I love my friends! Ecclesiastes 4: 9-10 says, "Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work; if one falls down, his (her) friend can help him (her) up."

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Favorite Foto Friday

This picture was taken in 2004-when Luke was about three and a half years old. We were having our pics taken by a friend for our Christmas card. This was such a fun age with Luke. It was around this time he told me one day, "You are the best mama I've ever had". AWWWWW!!!!
I love him!

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Christmas Musical at Church

Here's Luke singing at church last Sunday. He's the only 1st grade boy in Children's Choir at our church. He seems to enjoy choir. He always wants to play his choir CDs in the car. He usually sings pretty loud and remembers most of the words. But he also rubs his eyes a lot, adjusts his zipper (YIKES!) and yawns throughout most of the songs. We love watching him sing and that's usually the only time we use our video camera. Sucky parents!

Luke's Christmas Shopping is Finished!

About two weeks ago, Luke's school had a fundraiser called the Christmas Store. We sent money with him and he was able to pick out presents for us and a little something for himself. We sent with him $13. That was $5 each for us and he had $3 to spend on a gift for him. That night, he was so excited and wanted to give us our gifts immediately! We tried to explain that we still had over 3 weeks left until Christmas and that we were to save these gifts so we would have something from him on Christmas Day. He would not take no for an answer. So we celebrated Christmas almost a month early. Eric got a ballpoint pin that said "AWESOME DAD" and I got a white shell necklace. He bought himself a plastic stretchy lizard. He had over $8 left in his envelope. I guess it's good that he's not a big spender. :) Our presents were so sweet and we'll keep them forever!

Happy Anniversary to Me!

Eric and I married on December 11, 1993. We were both 22 years old at the time. We had a pretty big church wedding that was all decorated for Christmas. Our colors were green and red (of course). My dress had a cathedral length train, huge puffy sleeves and gigantic bow on the back. Ha! Too bad I don't have a scanner...I know you are all dying to see those pics! had to get the pictures out last night to walk down memory lane. I had so much fun planning the wedding and would do it all over again (with only a few changes).

I can honestly say I am happier now than I have ever been. Eric was such a support for me when I had five long years of undergraduate and graduate school to go through. He's a great daddy and is a very loving and helpful husband. It's not to say that everything has been perfect and that we haven't had bumps along the way. Every couple has problems and the Lord sure has been with us every step of the way. Remember that the best marriages have three people involved-God, husband and wife. I'm so thankful that He gave me Eric.

Friday, November 30, 2007

Favorite Foto Friday

This is my sister, April, and her husband, Bryan. It was taken at Universal Studios in Orlando. They took their two wild boys down there for an impromptu vacation last month. They said it was exactly what they needed. They had so much fun riding rides, eating in cool restaurants, going to the beach and hanging out as a family. Ape and Bryan are the most giving people you will ever meet. Luke simply calls them Auntie and Uncle. I love them so much!

Christmas Banquet

Last night was our Christmas banquet at church. I brought my sister, mom and Grandma. My grandma has Alzheimer's, but it still living at home. She loves dressing up, getting out and listening to music. We had the best time. Billy, Kylan and Dave sang several gospel songs then some Christmas carols. We had food catered by Bene Vita. Christy's mom, Debra, gave her testimony and encouraged us all to be more grounded in the Scriptures. The fellowship hall was so beautiful-all decorated for Christmas. All my blog friends were there!!! And tons more! I am so blessed with Christian friends. I wish we had thought to bring our camera...

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Cooking for Thanksgiving

Today I'm off work and I'm preparing for all of my family and Eric's parents to come for Thanksgiving. We are in charge of making the turkey this year. This last couple of years we've gotten a Cajun one from Popeye's, but decided to make our own. I did research on and found a good one. After rubbing butter, salt, pepper and garlic on it, put it in a baking bag and pour in 2/3 bottle of sparkling apple cider (or champagne if you aren't Baptist-ha!). It is supposed to be super moist. I'm also making broccoli cheese casserole, sweet potato casserole, brownies and pumpkin cheesecake squares (also a recipe I found on Today Luke and I have Ty and Harlan over. So they have been playing Playstation 2, action figures and we've been playing board games in between cooking and laundry. Looking forward to tomorrow! I love having everyone over.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Where's Waldo?

Can you find my sweetie? I told you he would be working the sidelines, didn't I? He looks like he has LOTS of responsibilities, doesn't he? This picture was in Sunday's Arkansas Democrat Gazette. I'm so proud...

Friday, November 16, 2007

Favorite Foto Friday

Here's Luke last year getting for his first (and probably last) soccer season. Did he like it? Not so much! He did like the snacks...

This was a picture of him going to his first soccer practice. Notice he doesn't even have on soccer socks! Oh well, he still looks cute! Ha!

This is for you, Kelly!


This has been such an exciting and busy past two days! My sister, April, is the president of PTO at Ty and Harlan's school. After working at my full-time job, I volunteered for 5 hours at their school last night. I was able to help by taking money from parents, moving tables, unloading trucks, cleaning the school and helping corral my sweet nephews. After I left there, I was able attend a baby shower for my friend Holly (You sure did get lots of cute things for the new baby, Holly!).

I am so enjoying my career as a speech-language pathologist. I've been out of school for eight years now (I know...I don't look that old, do I?) and I love working with all the children at my center. After helping with our fall festival at the center where I work, I headed over to Luke's school. I was in charge of organizing his Thanksgiving party. We had a wonderful time. The games I picked out were absolutely perfect! The children in his class are so wonderful. I'm getting to know all of them so well, because I volunteer my time every Wednesday to read to them. Such sweeties! Did I forget to write that Luke is now writing cursive (in 1st grade-isn't that incredible?!?) and has made straight As all year long. I don't know if his school has Gifted & Talented, but we are about to find out.

When I arrived home this afternoon, my amazing husband had cooked us dinner. He grilled barbequed ribs. I love it when he surprises me like this. Like when he sent me "just because" bouquet of roses to work a few months ago. Isn't it crazy that we have been together since 1990 and I love him more each and every day. You may be able to see Eric tomorrow. He'll be on the sidelines at the Hogs game wearing a press pass. He gets the special passes (along with free parking right up front) and dinner due to his friends that he made when he worked at U of A's Sports Information Department. He sure misses interviewing the players and coaches. But now he spends all his time writing and directing commercials and radio spots for his ad agency. But he still loves rooting the Razorbacks any chance he gets. Go Hogs!

I cannot believe in just a few days we will be hosting Thanksgiving at our house. So wonderful to get all the family together at one time. Then next week, decorating the Christmas tree and all the neat things that go along with that. Can't wait!

Well, I'm off to study my Sunday School lesson now...

To all my crazy friends that read this boring blog...just wanted to give you something interesting to read. Some people actually write like this all the time. Please know this was all tongue in cheek! I hope you had fun reading it...

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Favorite Foto Friday

This was taken in December 2004. Luke was 3 years old. I love this picture because he grabbed us and was squeezing both of our necks. He looks pretty mischievous in this picture.

Halloween 2007

We went to the Harvest Fest at our church. Luke dressed up as Boba Fett. He's a bounty hunter from Star Wars. Luke loves Star Wars and knows lots more about the characters than Eric and I do. He loved playing all the games, taking a hayride and, of course, getting lots of candy. It's hard to believe that this is his 7th Halloween!

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Love the sound of a baby laughing!

I don't even know who this baby is...I just ran across it on YouTube, but it made me smile and I hope it brightens your day as well. Love that sound!

Friday, November 2, 2007

Favorite Foto Friday

This is my favorite picture of Randie and Michael (aka "Nena" and "Papa"). It was taken last year at one of Luke's soccer games. God knew what He was doing when He gave me these in-laws. I don't tell them enough how much I appreciate all they do for me. I love you, guys!

Time to Christmas Shop!

Yahoo! AvatarsI updated my Avatar today and thought I would add it to my blog. I decided that I better get in the mood to go Christmas shopping, since it is literally around the corner. I have already started shopping. Only a few gifts down, but at least it's a start. We are blessed to have tons of family to buy for. Secretly, I love the whole craziness of it. I need to plan ahead, keep my lists updated and figure out what to get Luke!

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Favorite Foto Friday

Here's one of my favorite pictures from my mission trip to Ambato, Ecuador last October. My face is all red from crying, because these little kiddos just broke my heart. On this day, we were bringing supplies to volcano victims. These poor people had lost crops and farm animals (including goats and guinea pigs) due to the volcano Tungurahua. The little boys and girls all had red cheeks from the wind that were now covered in gray soot of volcano ash. They were so poor. One little boy had on two different colored boots and he was having the time of his life kicking around an empty water bottle like it was a ball. I kept thinking of all Luke had in his closet that this little boy needed. All the toys he had at home that I would have loved to have given him. The Lord has blessed us so much and yet we continue to take it for granted.

I met so many wonderful people there. They were so friendly and interested to know more about what we had to share about Jesus. When some people found out we were from Estados Unidos, they would say, "Please take me back to your country. Take my daughter!". Incredible!

I can still remember the sky, the hills, the people's faces and the smells. I miss it!


Psalm 121:1-2 says:
I lift up my eyes to the hills-where does my help come from?
My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth.

Friday, October 26, 2007

No Training Wheels!

Sunday afternoon, Eric and I took Luke over to the empty parking lot behind our house. After much encouragement and only a few tiny crashes, he rode all by himself! He has the personality that we always have to convince him to try new things. Once he does it, he loves it! We'll have to practice some more this weekend.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Favorite Foto Friday

We have a program on our computer that distorts your images. Luke loves this so much and every time we have people over, we have to take a mini photo shoot.

Luke actually looks cute with a giant forehead. Me? Not so cute! This is a very humbling photo to select for Favorite Foto Friday. Whenever I get to thinking I look pretty cute, all I have to do is look at this...ha!

Climbing Pinnacle Mountain

Last Saturday, we decided to do something adventurous. So the three of us jumped in the car and took off for Pinnacle Mountain (before I could change my mind). Eric had not climbed since we were dating-in the fall of '90. Needless to say, we were moving a little bit slower. I'm sure it had something to do with our older joints, lazy 6-year-old son and my outbreak of heat rash! Ha!

When we were about three quarters of the way up, Luke decided he had had enough and wanted to go back down the mountain. Other hikers (are we hikers now?!?) laughed as they heard him pleading, "Please, Mama, let's go back down. I think we are going to die!" We kept urging him on while we had to take numerous breaks so I could catch my breath.

But it was all worth it when we got to the top. It was so pretty! You know we were right up there with the clouds, weren't we Eric? :)

Reminds me of one of my favorite verses. This was my key verse while I was in Ecuador last fall.
Psalm 121:1-2 says,
I lift my eyes to the hills-where does my help come from?
My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth.

Thank you, Lord, for being my help in every situation.
I love you.

Skating Rink

Luke's school had the brilliant idea to reward good behavior to all the 4K, Kindergarten and 1st graders by taking them all to the local skating rink. About 5% of the kiddos could skate and the rest ended up on the floor or hanging on to the wall like Luke and his friends. Ha!

The most amazing thing (and the grossest) is that I think Luke was wearing the same pair of skates that I once wore-back in 1982! YIKES!

Happy 10th Birthday, Ty!

Well Ty, you finally made it to double digits! 10 years old! I'm so proud of my nephews. They are such a huge part of my life and I'm glad we are so close.

Here are my 10 favorite things about Ty:
1. His confidence
2. His gentle heart
3. His knowledge of the Bible
4. His ability to make Luke laugh
5. His special bond with his brother, Harlan
6. The way he is nice to his friends
7. The way he always wants to eavesdrop on my conversations with April (even though that is VERY annoying at times!!!). Ha!
8. His love of the outdoors
9. His hair
10. Oh yeah...don't forget this one: His coolness!

I love you, Ty!

Friday, October 12, 2007

Favorite Foto Friday

I TOTALLY stole this idea from my friend, Shannon. She's a much better blogger than I am and adds so much to her blog. Anyway, hope you don't mind, girl!

This picture was taken of Luke in June 2004. He was almost 3 years old. In the background you can see our little cat, Donnie. We still miss him so bad! I miss this age a lot.

Happy Birthday, Pop!

Happy Birthday, Pop! September 30th is Eric's dad's birthday. We went down the day before to help him and his wife, Scarlet, celebrate. She made yummy lasagna and strawberry cake. Luke always has the best time. He started asking us 5 days before, "Is it almost time to go to Pop's house?" He loves fishing in the pond, playing with their dogs Zoey and Newt, riding in the golf cart and hanging out in the wildlife room. Notice how Luke is soaking in all of Pop's words-they had a little bonding time hanging out on the back deck. Happy Birthday, Pop!

Riding Bikes at the Park

Ty and Harlan have their own bikes at our house. One day after school, we rode (actually they rode and I drove along beside them-I'm such a freak I won't let them go by themselves...maybe when they are teenagers). Anyway-I took a book to read, but ended up reading the same paragraph maybe thirteen times before abandoning it to push them in the swings and tried my best to keep them out of the ditch. Kinda hard when they kept finding frogs to chase. I know these are the kind of days I will miss when they are too cool for Aunt Amy.

Luke tried his best to keep up with the big boys. Not the easiest to do with the dadgum training wheels. We have GOT to teach him to ride without those. Now that it's only 80 degrees instead of 115 I guess we can. We all had fun anyway.

Luke's First Limo Ride!

Due to all my hard work selling items for Luke's fundraiser, he won a limo ride to Cici's Pizza. When I excitedly told him, "Luke, you get to ride in a limo!" he said, "Cool! Uh...Mom, what's a limo?"

While we were there Luke had 4 pieces of pizza, 3 slices of cinnamon dessert pizza and 2 cokes! He's never eaten so much in his entire life. He's a growing boy!

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

3rd Annual Girls' Getaway with LaDonna

LaDonna and I took our third weekend trip September 6-8. We went to downtown Hot Springs, did some shopping and ate lunch at an Italian place. We stayed at a really cool Bed & Breakfast on Lake Hamilton called Lookout Point Inn. They had hammocks right on the water, a labyrinth and yummy food. Before we left Hot Springs we visited one of the 2007 Southern Living Idea Homes. It was very fancy and neat to look at. We also took in a part of Garvin Woodland Gardens. It's a botanical garden that would be very fun to visit when it's not 100 degrees outside. Overall, we had a great time of relaxation, laughter, fun and a retreat for the soul. I'm very blessed to have such a friend as LaDonna.