Monday, December 31, 2007

Happy New Year!!!

We wish everyone blessings on this New Year's Eve. This has been a great year. We have so much to be thankful for.
Everyone in our family is healthy. Matt and I have jobs. We have a wonderful church family. The adults in our family know Jesus as Lord and Savior. God has kept our cars going another year. (They are true Dave Ramsey cars and are pretty dern old.)
We know that God has a purpose for our lives and feel His presence and guidance daily.
We both have wonderful, supportive moms, who love our kids and each of us.
God gave us a new house this year. Last year we lived in a house that was cold and still had utility bills of over $600.
Our doggy, who was in a car wreck, made it and is very healthy.
We have so many old and new friends that we love.
God has given us the opportunity to sing together many times this year to new people, which we have really enjoyed.
Things are good between our 16 year old and us. Our kids are getting along so much better than ever. Matt and I have been married 12 years and still love each other. :)
We've had lots of good times together, from singing in weddings to trips to Six Flags.
God has met every need we have had and lots more.

I could go on and on. Matt has taken everyone to the fireworks stand. We live outside the city limits now, so we can go crazy.

Take care. We really are thankful for all of you. See you in 2008!

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Matthew's New hat

Matthew's New hat
Originally uploaded by jonesrestoration
Christmas has been so great. Hope it has been for all of you. We had a wonderful time with my mom, at church on Christmas Eve, going to Grandma's and Grandpa's on Christmas Day, staying with Mamaw and Nana in Clinton, etc.
Matt and I came home today and Matthew's hat was waiting at our front door. (didn't make it for Christmas morning)
I thought I would model it for him.
The kids will come home Monday.
Take care...and Happy Early New Year!

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Christmas cheer

Hi there. My name is Laurie, and I used to blog.
Last post was December 7. Since then there have been 3 or 4 Christmas programs, parties, exams, basketball duty, etc.
The high school choir sang in between acts of Stocking Stuffers. This was the drama dept.'s skits. They were great. The choir had a good time being a part of this. There has been so much drama in choir that we haven't needed any skits. Things are getting better, though. We had a party after our exam on Friday, and the kids were pretty cordial to each other.
We are working on becoming a choir that pulls together. The kids haven't had opportunities to be a part of something excellent, and putting out the kinds of energy that it takes to get there. With every performance of Stocking Stuffers I saw them get better and better. We still need to work on behavior. I put a lot about concert etiquette on the choir exam. I hope they didn't miss any of those questions.
I could write for about an hour about the Kindergarten and 1st grade Christmas program. Let me just say that it was wild. The kids were so very cute in their penguin costumes. The parents loved it. We learned a lot from it that I believe we will benefit from next time and forever. One person said "I was just sitting there watching you and thinking that you were about to lose it." I kept my sanity. The kids were so excited to be penguins and that their moms and dads were in the audience that they were having a party on the risers. They wouldn't look at me to save their lives. I had to get up and literally say "Boys and girls, look at me!" Hee, heee. I can laugh about it now. One girl shook her head, not wanting to come and say her lines. I gave her a very desperate look. I think she knew I was about to lose it. We finally got to the end, though.
I am wiser now, although I don't know how you keep Kindergartners from looking at their parents, except to practice for two weeks at school and threaten them. I didn't want to do either. The teachers were so busy testing, etc. We wanted to save their school time. We'll find a happy medium next time. The kids were pumped up, though, because one of our songs called for a kazoo, and they all got one of their very own. I have to swallow my pride often. It is not hard for the Lord to keep me humble. :)
On December 16th the kids at church did a program. The youth and children's choir. Youth in the morning, children at night. They all did such a great job. I couldn't believe that the Jones children actually sang solos (except you know who.) Jacob and Claire did great jobs.
Here is Claire.

The church just goo-gooed over all of the kids. They were so sweet.

The youth had been doing an advent wreath starting December 2nd. It has been so cool to see them read and light the candles. There was a tense moment when a certain un-named youth tried to light the candles last week.
After school was out this past week, we really got into Christmas. Matt had Rhapsody rocking with his 426 track Christmas play list. The songs are so great. So much good Jazz. Ella Fitzgerald, Burl Ives, Mel Torme, Laurence Juber, Vince Guaraldi, The Jackson 5, The Chipmonks.
The youth did a live nativity scene on Friday night. Wow! I still am trying to get over Matthew and his friend Stephen being sheep. Here is a little taste of that.

Matt used the money that Grandma and Grandpa sent to buy the kids two collections of Christmas movies. All of the classics including Frosty's Christmas in July (a little freakish if you ask me), The one with baby new year, and all of the best ones.
My family has kind of gotten a new favorite. It's called Robbie the Reindeer. It's made by the Wallace and Gromit people.
We had to watch "Meet Me in St. Louis" a bunch of times, too.
These holidays have been great. So much of a blur, though. I hate getting to the last day of school and thinking "Man, I meant to get this person a gift." I will have to plan a little more ahead next time. I also will try better to find out details about my own children's programs. Jacob had one that Matt and I really didn't know much about, until it was all over. Better communication next year.
The adult choir at church is having our program in the morning. It is called One of Us. Mom is coming and then no church tomorrow night. Matt and I are going to have a date. I never thought we would have gone so long without one. I forgot that Matthew did babysit not too long ago for Matt and me to go see Dan in Real Life. Still, another is needed. I have read that you are supposed to plan one every week. Also a date with each of your kids. We are long overdue. That is a new year's resolution.
Jacob, Claire and I are about to go to my worst nightmare of a store to find Matthew and Benjamin a present. This year we have combined the kids so they can get each other something they would really like and not just something to say that they got each other something. So Matthew and Benjamin bought one present for Jacob and one for Claire. That trip took us about 4 hours, so I don't expect to be back anytime soon. I did tell Claire and Jacob if they fussed at all, that we would come straight home. We might be home early.
Tomorrow is the fourth Sunday of advent. Then Christmas Eve is Monday night. We get to light the big white candle. Happy Birthday, Jesus. Thank you for loving us enough to come here for us. We don't deserve it in any way, but are grateful for it anyway.
Here is a really cool video I got from a friend:
The Watchmaker.

Friday, December 7, 2007

Nutcracker Ballet at Fulton Chapel on the Ole Miss Campus

There is so much to tell about this week that I will save most of it for another time.
Tonight I took Jacob and Claire to see the Nutcracker Ballet at Ole Miss. The house was packed so we had to sit on the floor towards the front. The kids could see great.
What a way to get us in the Christmas spirit! Have a great weekend. Thanks Brandy and Jason for the precious Christmas card of your sweet people. They are precious!

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Originally uploaded by //bwr
I love this picture.
I am taking a couple of minutes out of my day to look at beautiful pictures. I guess I am trying to escape momentarily.
This time of the year is a little nuts. I love it, but I always have to just take a deep breath and jump in. I often am thinking, "Why did I become a Music teacher again?"
Tonight Matt and I are singing for the Senior banquet at church. We stayed home this morning to practice, etc. I am going to go back to school for choir, though. The choir is singing Sunday at a church in Potts Camp. Every time we even begin to go somewhere like this, my heart starts pounding. I can handle my own performing....if I mess up, I can handle it. I can control the way I think about the excited I get about it. Getting these kids to care about what we are doing is something entirely different. Please pray that all of our work will come together. Pray that I will know how to lead them. (This is only my second year with high school.)
I think a lot of the kids are getting discouraged because I have to stop so often for discipline problems. We have a tough time learning many songs. Getting all the way through songs, etc. I know so much of this is my lack of experience. Matt is really encouraging me, though. He is reminding me of his year at Morton.
He makes me feel a little better.
On a fun note, the Oxford Civic Chorus sang Tuesday night at the Powerhouse in Oxford. I got to sing the solo on Shenandoah. It was a lot of fun.
This time of year is so wonderful. I am going to try to remember what it is all about and love it even in the midst of craziness.
This week my principal is leaving to go be the Superintendent in another school district. Tomorrow we are having a big shindig for him. I am supposed to re-write "Lucille" to sound like "Basil". We are trying to get all teachers to sing with us.
Should be fun. Well, have a great rest of the week. Shoot us an email....we would love to hear what you all are doing?

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Thanksgiving Holidays at last.....

Saturday morning. I thought this was going to be a much crazier week than it has actually been.

Last weekend was filled with Oxford Civic Chorus practices, parties and then concert. The concert was great. So much fun to sing with that big group and then the ensemble. What a thrill to be singing under the direction of an awesome conductor. My college professor is our conductor now. I have never seen another like him.

Sunday, at church before the concert, the staff was honored by the church at the end of the service. It was so nice. They gave us a nice gift certificate to Chili's which we enjoyed this week. After the concert, Matt rushed back to church for children's choir. He was still wearing his tux. :) He led worship at church in his tux. I matched him on the first pew by wearing my long black skirt and black top. :) I guess you gotta do what you gotta do when you have no time.

The week became more exciting when one of my students stole the SIM card out of my phone. We attempted to get some info, but in the end I just cut off my phone and went on. I guess I learned my lesson. (I hope.) I don't want to be totally distrusting of all of my students, but I am a little more careful now. I did see where I am eligible for a new phone with a 2 year contract. So, I guess in a way this student has made me upgrade to a nicer phone for myself. I may even get one with a camera. What he/she meant for bad has turned out good for me. Reminds me of a story I know.....mine is to a much lesser degree, though. I mean, how important are cell phones? Not very.

The turkeys were supposed to come on Wednesday, but the truck broke down. They came on Thursday. There was only one mistake with people getting what they ordered. A smoked turkey was missing and a sweet person agreed to take a Cajun turkey instead. I was so happy that they were not upset about it. So, all meat is given and most money is in. Yea! We made about $800 with one student making about $200 of that profit. We only had a few selling this year, so maybe more will sell next year. The meats are great, so maybe it will catch on and people will make us a tradition of where they get their Thanksgiving turkeys/hams. :)

I am so excited about seeing my family. It has been so long since we got to go home to our moms'. I hope I can keep from thinking about Christmas programs, casting speaking parts, etc. off of my mind to enjoy our time together.

After the OCC concert at the Powerhouse in Oxford on the 27th, Matt and I are singing at the Senior Banquet at church the 29th. I am so excited about singing Christmas music again. It always makes it great, too, when you are singing for some of the sweetest people in the world.

I wish that we could have recorded again this year, but other things took priority. We are needing a new computer really before we can do any of that. This one has been very faithful to us. faithful as any computer. It didn't blow up or anything. It is time, though, to move on to a younger cutie. Matt is recording a friend's church choir soon, and he really needs the computer soon so he can actually give his friend a CD instead of just having the audio on his recorder.

I am listening to Matt's mix of Nora Jones and Allison Krauss and Robert Plant. It is really interesting. I love Nora Jones' voice and style. The Allison and Robert is very eclectic. I think I like it, though.

I am rambling now, so I will end this post. Oh, have I mentioned how incredible beautiful the leaves have been this year? My breath is almost taken away and I almost wreck because I am staring at them as I drive to and home from school. Just FYI. God sure makes some beautiful things.

If I don't post again this week, have a great Thanksgiving.

Friday, November 9, 2007

Curls galore

This week has been wild. Monday, I stayed home from OCC practice (with our concert this weekend) because of a sinus infection. Tuesday, we went to a choral director's workshop. It was really good. I just ate it up, being that I have so much to learn about being a choir director.

Wednesday, things were in gear for Matthew's surprise party at church. Matthew's youth director wanted everyone to have their hair like Matthew's in his honor. I looked on the Internet and found some wigs that were pretty close to his hair. His was not quite so curly, but it was similar.

They were Napoleon Dynamite wigs. While the kids were in youth we decorated downstairs. When youth group was over, the kids came down and put on their wigs. When he came down he was almost surprised. He kind of heard some people say...."He's coming, he's coming!"

It was a good night. I kind of forgot how wild it might get. The younger kids had just come out of their Bible drill classes and came running into the gym. When they saw the wigs, etc., they went nuts. That is one thing I will change the next time we have a 16th surprise birthday party for Matthew. Not to have the younger kids around the whole time. We love them, but some times the youth need their own thing.

Last night, Matt and I had another OCC practice getting ready for Sunday. Matt's choir sings in the morning at the Ole Miss Choral Festival, and then we have another practice then party with the OCC people. I guess I should just not be so surprised when we have a lot going on. Get used to it. Don't complain. Just do it. Sunday afternoon, concert, Sunday night, drama practice with the youth, Wednesday, turkeys coming in.......

Nana and I saw a great movie tonight. It is called "Dan in Real Life". Steve Carell is great in it.
It is also pretty wholesome. There where a couple of tricky places that you may call inappropriate, but I loved it. I told Matt that it was probably a chic movie because I would have felt very guilty about going to see a Steve Carell movie without him unless it was going to maybe be something he wouldn't like. Well, I may have to go see it with him. Not a movie only for chics.

Matthew is on a trip to Shannon tonight. Lafayette played them in the play-offs tonight. Haven't heard how it came out. It probably just ended. May have to call Matthew on his cell phone (this was his present). We added him to our plan. We, however, aren't cool parents who add unlimited texting to our plan. We remind him that every text he makes is $.10. This afternoon he texted me about missing my earlier call. I called him back and asked why he didn't just call me to tell me that he was sorry he missed my call. Help!

I hope we get to spend some good family time together tomorrow. I feel like I haven't seen my kids in so long. Funny thing is, when they are home and I am home, they still play outside for so long, that I have to make them come in for us to have family time. Punishment. You must spend time with your parents. Grrrrr......

Please pray for me Wednesday. The turkeys, etc. are going to be delivered and I need to make sure that right orders go to the right people, etc. I also have to deal with the money aspect of it, which is not my forte.

I have a good friend who left teaching after school started for different reasons. She is a great Christian friend of mine who now prays so much for us teachers because she knows the trenches we are in everyday. Please pray for us that we will be witnesses and not lose our tempers, etc. Please pray that we will make a difference with our students. Being in the public school, I get so concerned for our young people. Things have changed so much since I was in school. My kids didn't know "My Country Tis' Of Thee" and many had no clue about Christmas. It breaks my heart that I can't tell them the truth. Anyway....I know that was a little random. I guess I was on the thought of school.

Have a great weekend.

Numbers 6:24-26
24 The LORD bless you
and keep you;

25 the LORD make his face shine upon you
and be gracious to you;

26 the LORD turn his face toward you
and give you peace." '

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Parties galore

I had the fun of going to my friend Leslie's surprise birthday party Saturday afternoon. Her husband, Tommy, had made all of the plans. They boiled shrimp and it was goood!
Leslie's mom had a time getting her there, though. We waited a little longer for her to get home. I know how it is when you get to go shopping with your mom. She even wanted to go to a Sweet Potato Festival. Her mom finally had to act sick to get her home. She was floored that her husband would do that. Our other good friend from Pelahatchie was there with her kids. I couldn't believe how much they have all grown. The kids had fun being around the chiminea with their Uncle Paul. One child got a little too close and has a bit of a new hairdo. It was a good time.

When I got ready to leave around 9:30 to drive back to Oxford, my car didn't want to crank. I knew the car was running great and was wondering what it could have been. Finally it cranked, I got a little down the road and looked at my gas gauge. It was lower than it had ever been, so I drove to the first Grenada exit. When I got to the gas station, I realized that my billfold was by my computer at home and I didn't have a dime on me. I was thankful for cell phones and called Leslie, who sent her brother to give me some money. Humbling.....
Thank you, Paul.

Matt and the kids were in Jackson. Matt went down Saturday morning to see the high school choir sing in Pearl. They did pretty well. The kids went down Friday with my mom. Matthew got to shop with Mamaw for his birthday. He got a cool fender t-shirt like he likes. Cool clothes. He is much cooler than I ever was in high school. :) I will have more to say about his birthday after Wednesday night. (I hope he doesn't read this before then...)
We have many fun things in store. We need them because things are kind of strained between us right now. It burdens my heart, but he is going his own direction. It is just a little difficult for us to handle sometimes. I know they all have to be themselves, but what is that and what is rebellion? I have much praying to do. I know that God is in control of his life. I pray that I will just give him over to God and let the Holy Spirit work in his life.

It is tough for us to not have conflict with him. He brings up topics sometimes that make it seem like he wants conflict. ???????????????? I think we need to show him that he is so much more important to us than those little things about him. He is only almost 16. (His birthday is tomorrow.) Why do we let these little things separate us?

Matt and I have a lot going on in the next few weeks. The Oxford Civic Chorus concert is next weekend. We need to plan for the different musicals coming during Christmas. Please keep us in your prayers that we will glorify God as we plan and lead these, and don't neglect our family. I guess in a way, we are very blessed because people who are in Music get to hear, sing, think about this music and what Christmas means way before the holiday. So, yea.....

Have a great week!!

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Parent Coach.....yeah! Just in time.......

Don't have time to blog now, but check out this link of a guy I heard on Focus on the Family. He is right up our alley. Can't wait to get his book!

The Parent's Coach

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Easy Like Saturday Night

Well, here we are again. It is Saturday night. Just had a good time talking to my 15 year old after all had had showers, read stories and were tucked in bed. Now Matt is playing the song that Shannon, he and I are going to sing tomorrow. It is a great song by Billy and Cindy Foote.
"You Are God Alone (not a god). It is such a privilege to sing with Shannon. She has such a beautiful voice and such a sweet heart. Her husband needs your prayers. He was told that he needed his gallbladder removed, went through with the surgery, still had the same pain, had kidney stones, then after going for tests, was told that there is something on his liver. He finds out Monday, I think, what it is. Can you imagine?

This week has been good. God is really showing me things. How I can trust Him and know that He is there all the time as I work out my salvation with fear and trembling. There are many things that I can't talk about on the Internet that show how He good He is. Working out work related issues, personal issues. He has shown me more and more that it is not about anything I could do for Him. He blesses me because He is just that good.

Monday we had a massive OCC rehearsal. Then after over two hours of that, I tried out for the solos on "Deep River" and "Shenandoah". Just for fun. There were some very awesome singers who tried out as well, and I wouldn't be surprised if they get it. It was fun to try out, though. Then, Matt's choir had their Fall concert Tuesday. The kids did so great. Kim's choir (the high school choir) was great. They always are. I am so amazed at how much music she teaches and that they master. Wow! Matt is trying to produce a CD of all of their music. I am not sure our computer will make it, though. When we upgrade....someday.....should we get a Mac or a PC? What do you think? My technology desires are huge right now. I need to put the reigns on them. Well, I guess our bank account will do a good job of keeping us in check. Maybe.......

Anyways, I am having a good time learning more about choral directing. My choir kids have started staying after school and working on songs, trying out for sextet, etc. They are getting more and more excited about what we are doing.

I am forgetting so much that has gone on this week. Jacob did a big Social Studies project that was great. He made a big Kroger. It was fun to help him with that. Mom and Ron were with us for Claire's party. May have mentioned that in the last blog...I can't remember.

As Happy Slip would say...."Anyways...."

Now we are trying to get ready for Matthew's 16th birthday. What should we do? He had big ideas. I would love to surprise him.

Oh, turkey fund raiser ends this week. One of my kids has been like super salesman. He seriously needs to go into sales when he graduates. Need some turkey and you live in Oxford, or somewhere close? Call us. Email us. They are yum.

Yesterday I discovered that we had been "BOOED". Someone had put a pumpkin full of candy with two letters in it. One had the word "BOO" on it with a little ghost, and the other told us that a neighborhood friend had booed us and now we were supposed to pass on the good cheer by booing three more people and to put the little ghost in our window so we wouldn't be booed again. Matt said it was a little like a chain letter. He would. :) He was also the one who went to Kroger and bought the pumpkins and candy. :) We couldn't be antisocial, could we? No. It was fun. I think I may start the gobbling next month. Gobble, gobble. Anyways....

Tomorrow is Sunday. Have a great day of worship. I feel sorry for those who think Sunday is just for going golfing, mowing their grass, washing their car, or skiing (not in this weather, but you know what I mean). Worshiping our Savior and friend meets a need deep down that can't be described. A long time ago, I was a person who kind of dreaded Sundays and wished I could have stayed home to do what I wanted to do. Now, I couldn't imagine being anywhere else. Was that preachy? Not meaning to be. That is just how it is for me. Try never know :)

Take care.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Our week

This week seemed so short. Not sure why. Last night Matt and I helped out with the youth group's Overtime. The kids had a great time. Matthew and the band played for a while and we had a great testimony. It was from a guy that goes to our church. I had no idea what all God had done in his life.

Today was Claire's 7th birthday. Happy Birthday, Claire. Our good friends let us have her party at their farm. They led the kids around on their horses. It was great. The kids were really tired from the night before and got a little upset toward the end. This is another story all together. It is amazing how being tired affects children....and adults. All in all it was really good.

Ron and Matthew went to an Ole Miss game. Not really the best one to go to. Ole Miss lost big time. He did get to see the classiness of the Ole Miss fans, though. Sorry for the sarcasm. I think it is really sad to see that whole culture. Kind of warped in my opinion.

Anyway....there is so much more to say, but it is late.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Gobble, Gobble

Friday nights are so great! Nowhere to go tonight. The bubbles are calling me.

Our fund raiser actually starts Monday, but the kids took home their order forms today. I hope they will go after it. We are trying to go to Six Flags next April. This is my first big fund raiser like this one. So far everyone has acted interested in what we are selling. Food. :) Turkey, ham, bacon, pecan pie....all good southern food. Mmmmmmmm..............

This has been a really strange week. I was off Monday, had staff development on Tuesday and then classes for three days. Today Matt had staff development and the kids went with him. He tried to sweeten the deal by renting some good movies and taking lots of popcorn. He said his staff development was great. I will have to find out the guy's name to send to our district guy. I know our district teachers would love to hear him.

Monday Matt and the kids are off. Sunday Mamaw and Grandma are coming to see us. It will be the first time Grandma comes to our house. know what we'll be doing tomorrow. Oh yeah. Grandma is so precious. It will be so good to see her. Matt and the kids will be able to hang out with them on Monday.

The Christmas musical that I toiled over picking has turned out to be really cute. "How the Penguins Saved Christmas" is the name of it. The kids are going to look so cute as penguins. Here is a link to another school that performed the musical. How the Penguins Saved Christmas

I think I have gotten OK with something. I was torn up because I wanted to go to Sunday School for my own age and wanted to find someone to teach my preschool Sunday school class. My good friend Martha actually came up and offered to teach it. I had prayed about this, but when it happened and right when the kids had started really warming up to me as their teacher, I had second thoughts. I am thankful now for it. I feel like I have gotten a tangible answer to my prayers.

OK, I have for the bubbles. :)


Monday, October 8, 2007

Illustration Friday - Open

Illustration Friday - Open
Originally uploaded by Theodesign
This was emailed to me through Flickr this morning. I just love this person's work. I know she has a website you should check out. I will try to find it.

Anyway, I am at home this morning. My family is rushing out the door to school. Today is Fall Break for me, and next week will be for them.
I will miss them next week, but today is sweet.

I am going to not make my expectations too big for today. I am going to try to choose things that I can realistically get done. I read about making your room a room of peace and not of storage, etc. That may be one goal today. Sweeping out the garage, getting it ready to stain the concrete like my friend Angie's. (She has the best ideas). Possibly conquering the clothes. Practice for Oxford Civic Chorus tonight. This may be all.

I will start pre-selling for our fund raiser this week. We officially start next Monday. We will sell for two weeks. If you are local or close enough to pick up, we would appreciate your support. This week I find out if our trip to Six Flags is approved. Please pray for us that if this is God's will that we could go. I think it would be so good for the kids.

We will be selling smoked turkeys, Cajun turkeys, and may other kinds of meats. Please check out this website to see what other things we will be selling. .

We bought a Cajun turkey last year for Thanksgiving and it was incredible. I am so glad we are selling them.

We had some missionaries from the Philippines come to our church last night. They were so on fire for God and inspired me so very much. They are going around America raising support for their mission there. It is so humbling when I think of what we have here in America. Our country is about as lost as theirs. It seems that we don't know how sick we are. We have more than one car. Homes that aren't made out of bamboo, enough food. More than enough food. (I will stop there. )

We have it made physically, but we are wasting away spiritually. We have no idea how much we need God in America. America has basically kicked God out and He is not going to push His way in. We have kicked Him out of our public schools. He is giving us what we want as a country. We were so blessed by God from the beginning and look around and see where we are going. I can't even believe what I hear on the news. It all makes me so sick to my stomach. My heart breaks for our country.

God is in control, though. I guess all we can do is grow closer to Him, to try to love and reach as many here as we can, as well as stay strong in our faith. Listening to messages like this help me do that: Creflo Dollar on the Childhood Stage.

I couldn't believe it when I was told that many in the Philippines go through what Jesus went through (even to the point of being crucified) to be more like Him and to hopefully to be with Him in heaven. If they only knew that His eternal life is a gift, already bought by His son Jesus. All we have to do is accept it.

Am I living for Him?

Have a great week!!

Wednesday, October 3, 2007


It is so amazing how many emotions we humans can feel and how many different situations we can be a part of. I like the scene in Parenthood where the grandma talks about liking the roller coaster as opposed to the merry-go-round. She liked the ups and downs. I guess I do. I sure like the ups. :) But I know we are supposed to be thankful for the middles and the downs, too. Compared to so many, I can't even say that I have downs, but in my world, they seem real sometimes.

Our choir (Potts Camp High School) sang last night at the jr. high beauty pageant. It was the first time for some of them. I was proud of them, but I see their potential and am not going to be satisfied with where they are now. I am going to have to push them harder. Everyone who knows me knows that this is the challenge of my life. For me to be tough is like asking a big-time football coach to be soft and tender. I have been compared to the equivalent of a grandma, Pillsbury Dough Lady, anything else that is soft and cuddly. This is good for mothering, but not so good when you are striving for excellence. At least I haven't found the happy medium yet.

Matthew is frustrated with the freshmen in his band. It is ironic that my choir is the same with our freshmen here. I am having to kind of take up for them so they will not totally convict them and discourage them. They do need a wake up (they are not the only ones) but they are a part of us and I don't want them feeling totally unwanted in our choir. Anyway, enough about that.

This week what Creflo Dollar has been preaching on has really hit home. He has been talking about growing as a Christian. I think sometimes I think I am further along than I really am. I hear him after Joyce Meyer. It was good teaching. He is going to be in Memphis next weekend. May have to go.

We started drama Sunday night and it was great. One of our kids there was so psyched about it. There is one area going really well. :)

Yesterday was Mamaw's birthday. Happy Birthday, Mamaw. Claire is talking about hers coming up later this month. She only wants to take a limo ride to Build-a-Bear Workshop and I forgot what else. There was something else, though. :) We'll have to do a little planning on that.

This weekend is Matthew's band contest in Grenada. I am excited about taking the family down for that. We are going to see some old friends who have moved there, too. Should be fun! Then, Monday is Fall Break. Oh yeah!

Happy Wednesday!

Here is another thought:

John 14:27 (Amplified Bible)

Amplified Bible (AMP)

Copyright © 1954, 1958, 1962, 1964, 1965, 1987 by The Lockman Foundation

27Peace I leave with you; My [own] peace I now give and bequeath to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid. [Stop allowing yourselves to be agitated and disturbed; and do not permit yourselves to be fearful and intimidated and cowardly and unsettled.]

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Easy Like Saturday Morning

Update at 3:24 PM: I just found this article. Coincidence? I think no. Thank you, Lord. It is called "Keeping Close to Christ When I am Busy".

This has been a good week. I don't really feel like I have been to school. One day I woke up in flu land and then the next day I went to a music workshop. It was really good and gave me new ideas.

Something has been on my mind lately. Why are we so busy? I think of people everyday that need ministering to and I just think about what I have to do, and think how does it all fit in? How do I even take the time to find out what is going on in someone else's life when I am so busy with what is going on in my own life? This is something I want to find the answer to. It seems like all I see are deadlines. This is due now, this is due two weeks this is going to happen. I feel like I am in a wheel.

I guess it it something that you just have to expect in today's world. Life is fast. The thing that makes me think it is out of whack is that I struggle with how much time I get to spend with God. Not talking about just talking to Him throughout the day, but the good sit down study time. I guess I just need to make more choices about what I do. I think finding the balance is what I am needing.

Anyway, I know lots of people manage to do both so I will keep searching.

Jacob wants to go to Boy Scouts this morning. This would be so great for him. OK, here comes the this the one new thing we need to add to our lives? Maybe. Especially something like this that he is so excited about. Well, now they are saying that Benjamin doesn't want to so Jacob doesn't want to.

This makes me think of my dad. Jacob is so much like him. Not wanting to offend anyone. He puts everyone before himself. Our little neighbor was outside with Jacob just pitching to him over and over with Jacob never getting to hit. Matt and I had to step in and help our little guy out. It seems that the neighbor always starts the game and Jacob is supposed to get him out before he has a turn. Problem: the neighbor is incredibly good at hitting a ball. I mean, it is like a home-run every time. Although I am impressed with his ability, I don't want my sweet son to be a pitching machine. If he wanted to, that would be one thing, but not just because he wants to do what the other boy says. Or is just doesn't want conflict. That was so my dad. I miss him.

Saturday mornings are so great. It is cool outside and wonderful. We are going to have to just go somewhere. No matter what needs to be done in the house. Just go......

The grove? Avent Park? The lake....Benjamin did just get a new fishing pole for his birthday. Hmmmmm. I think we just need to re-learn what relaxing is.

That is when you can hear God's voice.....when you slow down and listen.

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

A quick blast from our past

Here is a little video I put on YouTube yesterday when I was home with a virus. I won't bore you with any more about that. These were good times when the kids were little-bitty and Matthew was in 6th grade. Matt always has lots of wisdom to share with us. :) There are some of us from Mamaw's Christmas party a few years ago, as well. They are a little rough, but if you are in the Christmas spirit early, there you go. We were refining our performance presence here. I think I was still a little shy then. I was going for the unplugged style where you sit in one place and barely move. Oh well, enjoy.

Today I am going to a workshop here in Oxford so I better get moving.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

I'm Na-cho Lady

If I never see this sight again, I will be OK. :)
To my husband, I am now "Nacho Lady". He always says that there is some sweet unsuspecting person who gets stuck with nacho preparing in the concession stand. A person who just wants to help, and without knowing what being nacho person entails, jumps in and starts preparing them. Well, last night that person was me.

Matt and I worked the concession stand at the Oxford-Lafayette football game last night. I knew it was going to be super busy. I had no idea. After a little while I noticed that people were being recruited to come into the stand and help. I just saw chips fly past me and cheese plop into the thin plastic container. Some with peppers, some without. My pastor was one person that was brought from the visitors side concessions to help us. I was kind of his runner/ Nacho Lady. It was particularly funny when later we laughed about him asking someone if they wanted peppers with something else that they ordered...not nachos. :)

I am just thankful that I didn't pass out. I am not in the best of shape and forgot to get water and something to eat before we got slammed. I didn't stop moving for another 4 hours. At one point I was kind of leaning on the counter. Shhhh, don't tell anyone. I was trying to be tough. Matt kept me going, though. I would hear..."You are doing a fine job back here", or "You're pretty." It made me smile.

My mom was so sweet to bring our kids to this huge game because they wanted to go. She had to walk forever to get a parking place and then they couldn't find a seat. She is such a trooper. No sacrifice is too much for her grand kids. I hope they know how great they have got it.

I know most of the time I am talking about something really superficial on this blog. I guess it is because to get into all the deep things that go on in life, the trials, etc. would just take way too long. Life is pretty busy right now.

We ended up having a good revival week. The speaker had such a testimony. I felt for him the whole week because he was very sick. I understand why my pastor respects him so much.

One major highlight for me was the youth leading worship for us all Wednesday night. It was so great. Jontyler, Jay and Matthew really lead us into God's presence. There were so many people in our community who hadn't been back to church in so long who were there this week. I pray that through relationships and prayer that they come back to Him. I can't imagine what life would be like without the support of other believers. More importantly, without the Lord. This has been a tough week at school and I have needed His strength so much. He is so incredibly good. There is so much about Him to get to know. Not one layer, but a million.

Matthew broke up with his girlfriend. I was not too proud of how I handled my emotions regarding the whole "girlfriend" thing. It is so tough letting him grow up. I hate that I am so controlling sometimes. I do need to give him over to God. I know He is much more capable of taking care of Matthew than I am. He made him, for crying out loud.

On another note, I am excited about Monday night. We are going to the Oxford Civic Chorus again after missing for revival. Matt and I were blessed to be chosen to be in the ensemble which will be much fun. I am singing second soprano now which makes me a little nervous because it is so new to me. I have sung alto forever. Also, there are only 4 of us second sopranos, so if I hit a really bad note, it will really stick out. Maybe that won't happen. We re scheduled to go to Birmingham the same day that I am planning on taking my high school choir to Six Flags for a festival. Bummer.

I never thought I would get to sing like this again. Singing with the Ole Miss Concert Singers was a highlight of my life. We got to go and compete in France and Italy two years that I was there. I got to sing in the Vatican, and do things I never thought I would ever do. I am excited that my kids can see what we did and maybe go on some trips with this group. My Jacob has a great boy soprano voice. I wish I could get him to be in a boys' choir, but I don't think it would be "cool" for him as a third grader. Not in our society, anyway. Meanwhile, my oldest just wants to scream. :) To him, that is good singing. To each his own, I guess. :) See, I am trying to be fun.

I hope you all have a blessed week.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Big Day

Well, Saturday night was our big prayer meeting before the revival services today. It was a time when we got by ourselves and asked God to show us where we had sin in our lives. The pastor that is preaching this week gave us a questionnaire that had different areas for us to look at. It was tough to look at myself so closely, but I know if I want to get closer to God I need to get totally clean. Ouch.
Today was good. I am not sure what real revival looks like, but I believe it happens when people get a burden for their world and touch one life at a time by building relationships. I am excited about the things that are happening at our church. I know that there are areas where I could be much more dedicated.
It is great to have all my people home. Thanks, Mamaw, for taking them to the zoo and taking such good care of them. It was good to be with our Jr. Matthew for a weekend. He is going to be flying the nest in a few years and this time is special. I am going to try very hard to be more fun with him and not so old. I feel so much older every time he shares opinions that are not mine. I can see where the name "The Gap" came from, even though in a way I feel like I am in his same generation. Well, have a good week. God bless you guys!

Saturday, September 15, 2007

It ain't easy being a teenager and having freak parents

I feel for Matthew. His friends went to see Halloween last night, even though most of them weren't 17. Matthew almost started to ask, but knew what the answer would be. He tried to get some friends and his girlfriend to come over and watch a movie, but they had already left for the movie, and his other good friend was taking his girlfriend out to eat.

He ended up eating out with his mother. Poor thing :) . I hate that there are so many things in this world that we have to protect our kids from. I know it is a pain for him. I guess he will be thankful later that we cared. He really is a good guy. I remember a girl in high school when I lived in Clinton whose mom wouldn't let her go to a cheer leading party we were having, but instead took her shopping. Today, Matt is buying Matthew some new shoes. :)

We ended up watching the YWAM DVD of the dramas we are going to learn at church. The people in the DVD do them a little differently than the Clinton youth group did. I loved the way the Clinton group did them. They had that southern style. :)

Anyway, the dramas are so powerful. I am excited about the impact they are going to have and pray that God will use them for His glory. I cry almost every time I see them because of what Jesus has done in my life. One of the dramas is called the King of Hearts and one is the Redeemer. We start on September 30th with the kids. We'll see what doors open up for us share the dramas. That is one of the fun parts....the other is seeing the kids get moved by being used by God in such a real way.

The kids are with Mamaw this weekend, I'm sure having a great time. I feel better now since my shot/ medicine, and am trying take advantage of being inspired by a certain organized family at our church whose house I went to the other night. I am on a cleaning/organizing spree. My head is spinning a little from the clorox/ scrubbing bubble fumes (that is why I am taking a blog break), but I am getting a lot done. My friend is now a personal assistant/ planner for a doctor in town. I would love for her to help me organize my life. :)

Well, times a wastin'. I better hurry up and clean those bathrooms and get out of my bleached/ ripped clothes. They must be bad when your husband says that maybe we could swing back a little toward Donna Reed. You know how you just have those clothes that get you into the cleaning mood? Well, I better go put on my skirt and high heels. Take care, and God bless you.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

A spoon full of sugar helps the medicine go down

I am so glad I took Claire with me to the doctor today. She ended up getting medicine and the doctor said we may need to get a chest x-ray. He did say that he didn't jump to that first because he knew that we had not met our deductible yet. (Thank you.)

I am glad that I found a good doctor in Oxford. A person from our church works there, too. She saw how much I weigh and didn't even laugh when I said I was going to break her scale. She is in my inner circle now.

I got a shot, which Claire could not stand to watch, and now I expect to be getting all better. Singing has been painful for over a week. I have got to quit abusing my voice.

Anyway....I know that is boring. So much has happened this week, most good, some not so good. This morning Benjamin came in and we discovered that he was quietly crying. Walden, his new little beta had passed on. Jacob was shocked to learn that some fish float to the bottom instead of the top of the tank.

I think everyone feels so much for Benjamin because we know how much he loves his little things. He picked the smallest fish in the store. I am thinking Charlotte's Web all over again. That is just who he is. Loves those underdogs. Matt says that he was just like that. I believe it. He is so sentimental sometimes.

Tomorrow night we have a night off of thinking about football games. The band isn't going with the football team. Matthew wants to go on a date to the movies. I think we may let him with us there, too. I mean he is 15. He is OK with that. We will have to be good, though, and not embarrass him. I wish there was something decent on. Mr. Bean isn't on in Oxford. There are only movies with lots of bad language and sex. What do you do? A few weeks ago, he and his friends went to Applebee's because of this.
I feel like we are caving in now just so he can go. We should drive to Collierville to see Mr. Bean. I wish we had a bus.

Revival starts Sunday at church. I am excited to see what God is going to do, although He doesn't need a revival service to do anything. Sometimes I think it is just the occasion that gets new people to church that haven't been before. Anyway, I have heard that the preacher is great. The Save-a-Life banquet is tonight at First Baptist Oxford. I am not sure if I am going or not. I feel so run-down. Matthew is serving and has to dress up. :)

Well, better go give Claire her medicine. She sounds like a seal. My shot is making me sleepy and Candy Land is calling me. Claire has been setting it up as I have been typing. Take care, and have a great rest of the week.

Saturday, September 8, 2007

Under the black lights of the skating rink

We had a good time today at Benny's party. The way the Skate Place put the party together was so easy on us. The only problem was that we chose something that most of the kids had never done, or had done very little. Skating was new to almost everyone. There was much frustration until after the pizza came....then it seemed like everyone was much better and wanted to skate some more.

Everyone left with some sort of bruise or blister, but it didn't seem to taint their opinion of the party.

Now Benjamin's 3 week birthday is almost officially over. (We still have to go spend is birthday money.) :)

Friday, September 7, 2007

It's Friday Night

Here is the link to one of the Family Life Today articles that you see in the sidebar of this blog. It really hit home. It is about things that can crush your relationship with your child. Often things that you do to your firstborn. I have to confess that I am so often to blame for this. It is worth reading. Protecting Your Relationship with Your Child.

Here is another video I found on YouTube. I am officially a YouTube nerd. I have another treasure of Matthew being great on YouTube. Check it out. It is called Go Matt and Laurie Jones.

Today was great. I got to go to Northwest Community College for their honor choir. I officially went as Matt's colleague because she was sick and stayed home. I was going to go anyway for a professional day. I knew I would learn a lot, but I didn't realize how much I would get out of it. I learned so much by talking to the other choral directors that were there. I am excited about taking my kids to see some of these choirs. I learned about warming up with Tai Bo (sp) , etc. My choir isn't going to know what to think. :)

Tomorrow is Benjamin's party. Finally. We had to cancel the one we planned earlier because the computer planned the party for December 12, 1969. By the time we caught the mistake there were no good movies on.

I am looking forward to fall so much. It is getting a little bit cooler. The place where the pool was this summer is looking like a great place to put a flower/ fall veggie bed. I will keep my eye out for some materials to make a border for it. I would love to find some salvaged wood or stones. I am trying to get creative. We are trying to get totally into Dave Ramsey (Financial Peace) so spending more money on planting things is a luxury at this point.

Monday is Grandparent's Day. Happy Early Grandparent's Day, Mom and Mamaw and G'ma and G'pa and GG......and......
The kids at Mary Reid are putting on a program. I am a tad anxious that some of it will come together. Even when I plan, I just don't always know how it is going to all turn out. I think grandparents usually think whatever their little cuties do is cute, though. That is a good thing.

Matt has gone to the football game tonight to work in the concession stand. I guess it will be my turn next time. :) It was kind of a last minute thing.

Well, it always seems that there is so much going on. I want to slow down and think about what is important. God is so good. He gives me strength and guides me in every step. I feel so privileged to get to go to my job and to do what I am doing. I feel a big responsibility to the kids I teach. I want to be something that is stable for them. I want to show them God's love. So many of them come from homes where they don't get the love they need. It is a blessing to do that.

Our church is getting ready for revival and I am trying to check where my heart is. So many times I just feel like I would like to have very little expected of me. Thinking that God may ask me to deny myself or to get out of my comfort zone really shows me how much I often like my comfort too much. I think about the people who have been persecuted for their faith. I think about the people I pass on my way home, in a hurry, who may or may not know Jesus. What does He want for me? He is so worthy of my service. Just thought I would share a few of my thoughts.

God is so good.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Oxford Civic Chorus

Here is another video of ours on YouTube. It is almost non-watchable due to the videographer. He was experimenting with earthquake style videoing. We make him watch it daily to never forget. Just kidding.

He did watch the kids tonight for Matt and me to go to chorus practice. It was a lot of fun. I tried to step up to second soprano, but after singing to be placed in the ensemble, I think I am going to be put at first alto. I know I will love whatever we sing. It was so great also to see Doc and Mrs. J conduct/ warm us up, etc. I am getting a masters degree education for free (well almost free). Another teacher is bringing her kids from school to be in the chorus. I would love to bring some of mine, but it is probably too far away for them to drive.

Anyway, I think it is neat how we left Oxford, but are back now. I love this little eclectic town. Small enough, but large enough. Like I told Matthew as we passed William Faulkner's parents' home on S. Lamar, "This town is just steeped in history." :) I said it in a goofy way, though.

Matt is playing Jazz on his guitar now. I would love to video him and put it on YouTube. :) I know there is a lot of horrible depravity on YouTube, but there is so much that is great. I found several of the youth dramas we will be doing soon, as well as Third Day videos, etc. (I am not going to approach copyright laws that are probably being totally broken...) I just think to myself ...they probably have paid for a public performance of this. Yeah.

Anyway, I would love it if all of our songs and videos were passed around. That would mean that people were listening/watching. That would be good.

Have a happy Tuesday.

Monday, September 3, 2007

Never a dull moment

This week has been wild. I don't know what to think about it because I know that I would love for our family to slow down, but on the other hand, I have no idea how.

Monday night was open house. I finally got permission to talk about an emergency we had at home. Matt was upstairs checking out our air-conditioner with a friend when his foot slipped and he went through the ceiling. He didn't fall to the floor, thank goodness. We were so thankful that he didn't get hurt.

Anyway, I have been trying to stay up and realize that so many are far sicker than I have been this past week. It is almost gone, but for some reason, I feel dizzy. I guess it has to do with my sinuses.

Our moms came up Friday. It was so good to see them. We got up Saturday and went shopping for Benjamin's birthday presents. He got some birthday money from Grandma and Grandpa and was dying to spend it. We went to Square Books Jr. and Treehouse Toys. Then we went to Wal-mart where he bought two Betas. He loves nature and all living creatures so this was such a special treat for him.

Mom and Mamaw took three younger kids back to Jackson yesterday afternoon to spend some more time together. We'll meet Mamaw tomorrow to get them. Then back to school on Tuesday. Matthew and helped lead worship with his youth group at church today. It was great. I can't wait until they feel more comfortable and do a lot more often.

I have been spending probably too much time putting some of our videos online. I totally forgot about some of these. Some are huge files, but I wanted to put them on anyway.

Tuesday night we go to practice with the Oxford Civic Chorus. I hope I will be able to sing by then. It is getting on my nerves a little now. If I could only keep my mouth shut for a day, it might get better. It is almost bed time, so I can rest it now.

Tomorrow is Labor Day. Praise the Lord....not just for Labor Day, but I am thankful for it just the same.

hollysprings baseball 2006

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Need I say more?

Is there anything I could say that could add to this treasure?
I didn't think so.

Why can't we be friends? Why can't we be friends?

My children, my children, my children......phew! I refer back to my earlier title of Calgon...take me away. I am in the throws of sibling life. Our sweet 4 people that live with us don't exactly feel the same way about each other as we feel about them or that, of course, God feels about them. How do I know this? It is painfully obvious at times. I know there must be some sort of feeling deep down, but it is a little tough to find. Jacob just burst in our front door saying that Claire should be thankful for what she gets. He was referring to her not wanting the tennis racket with what she thought was a "booger" on it. This is just one example...there are many others. I love 'em. I do think that one day they will really appreciate each other.

This week feels like it should be over already. Last night was Open House at my elementary school. The first graders sang one song with a CD and Matt played guitar for them to sing another song. They were a bit nervous during the first song. I was so glad that they had a second one to really sing out. They did great!

Tomorrow night we are listening to our Christmas musical in choir. We are bringing goodies and apple cider to get us in the Christmas spirit. We are doing One of Us. It is a great musical. Can't wait for everyone to hear it. Choir has been really full lately. It seems like God is blessing this group. There are so many good singers, but most of all, just people who want to worship. It is a blessing to go on Wednesday nights.

Some neat God things have been happening. One I think I will mention is that our neighbor across the street brought us a huge box of clothes that their son had grown out of. They were great and most of them fit. In the box was a nice size 10 suit. I wasn't sure when we would use it. Only one of our guys would have one unless we bought another, and we really don't wear clothes like that. Sadly, two of my kids at school lost their 35 year old dad this past week. There are many circumstances around this that made it sad even before he passed away. (custody battles, etc.) The little boy did not have a suit to wear to his dad's funeral. One of our teachers was getting this all together for them. The little girl was given some dresses by our principal that were her daughter's. I was so blessed to be able to drive the suit and some of the khakis, etc. up to Potts Camp on Saturday for him to wear. It is strange how God meets needs sometimes.

He always has a plan.

Hope you all have a blessed week!

Friday, August 24, 2007

Look Great Feel Great

I have been really enjoying getting to watch Joyce Meyer while I am getting ready in the mornings. God is really using her so much to reach me and to nudge me to a new level. I have been convicted about how I have treated myself. For what I have put into my body, etc.
She talks about when you don't like yourself you are more likely to get sick. I am listening to her online now, and as I listen I have had a cold for several days.

I have been at the point lately where I haven't believed that it was possible for me to change. Listening to her has made me think that there may be hope...that I might not have to stay overweight. I can't even imagine myself as a smaller person. I am a little afraid to even try to change, but I really want to. It is so tough to change habits, though, but I am going to take it slowly. She is talking right now about having a balance. I really want her book.
Here is a link to her site.

Here is an amazing site of a person who lost over half of her weight and is still going. It is called Half of Me. It is not from the same viewpoint as Joyce Meyer, but it is still very interesting. She has some really neat pictures of her progress. I really admire her. Click on this picture to view her blog.

I have already been trying to retrain my thinking. Last year, when school would be stressful, I thought I was about to die if I didn't get some quick energy from chocolate and a diet coke, or some other snack. Now I have asked my principal to ask me when she sees me if I bought a candy bar or if I snacked between meals. I did have a couple of Triscuits today, but that is all. I am going to try to go even longer without food, knowing that, in fact, I will not die.

I think I have just been walking around in a big fog. I guess if life is stressful at all I just want to escape, and food is an escape. Now I am asking God to forgive me for that and to try to think a different way.

Enough of that. Hope these sites bless you.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Matt's Guitar Teaching Blog

Here is Matt's new blog about his experiences teaching classroom guitar lessons.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

What we have all been waiting for

We finally decided where Benjamin's birthday is going to be. He wanted to check out everywhere in town to see what was available.

I am glad he is happy with his choice. After all, one of his very favorite things is popcorn and they deliver the popcorn to us as we watch the movie. It just couldn't get much better.

We are going to see Underdog. I hope it is good. It is PG, so I hope it is OK. I can't believe how fast this year is passing. Claire finally lost her infamous front tooth.

I love her grin. It seemed like it would never come out. Now she only has the other one to have a truly perfect grin. She said she scared some of the other kids at school with her smile. I thought...."How sad". She didn't seem to mind, though. Here is her showing me what she looked like. I agreed that it scared me, too. Happy Wednesday!

Sunday, August 19, 2007

School Answering Machine

OK...I heard this the other morning on my way to work. See what you think. I am a teacher, so this really struck me as pretty funny. I am not making any personal judgements or accusations against anyone personally...I just thought this was amusing. There is my disclaimer.

It came from

School Answering Machine

Hello! You have reached the automated answering service of your child's school. In order to assist you in connecting to the right staff member, please listen to all options before making a selection:

To lie about why your child is absent, Press 1.

To make excuses for why your child did not do his/her homework, Press 2.

To complain about what we do, Press 3.

To verbally abuse our staff members, Press 4.

To ask why you did not get needed information that was already enclosed in your newsletter and several bulletins mailed to you, Press 5.

If you want us to raise your child, Press 6.

If you want to reach out and touch, slap or hit someone, Press 7.

To request another teacher for the third time this year, Press 8.

To complain about bus transportation, Press 9.

To complain about school lunches, Press 0.

If you realize that this is the real world and your child must be accountable/responsible for his/her own behavior, class work, homework, and that it is not the teacher's fault for your child's lack of effort, please hang up and have a nice day!!

Coltrane ignores Roscoe

Coltrane ignores Roscoe
Originally uploaded by jonesrestoration
This picture pretty much sums up the first meeting of Coltrane and Roscoe. I thought it was interesting that the dog next door to Matt's mom's house was named the name everyone seems to think our dog should be called. Ironically, we did not name Coltrane after Roscoe P. from the Dukes of Hazzard, but after John Coltrane. (We are musicians, after all. )

We thought he would be so happy to have a kindred spirit. A kindred breed. When I walked out on the patio, our dog was just sitting there almost waiting for approval to go visit. When I said to go, he just looked at me. He was so not impressed. Oh, well, we tried to find him a friend. He is a mama's boy.

We had a great time seeing moms. Spent the night with Mamaw, kids swam, Mamaw watched the kids while Matt and I both went to our choral director's meetings. That is another story...

Mom and I met to go to my favorite store....the Bargain Boutique. This is the Junior League of Jackson's thrift store. I love it! I always feel like I am treasure hunting. I found tons for $70.00. I agree with Dave Ramsey...even if we were rolling in the dough, I think I would still love finding bargains. Especially new ones with the tags still on. I also love that it goes to a good cause. Bonus.

Today's service at church was great! We are praying for revival at church and I really see God moving. I got to sing with two wonderful singers. It was a treat. We have such a great preacher. He just always seems to bring a message right from God's heart.

Anyway, hope your Sunday is great! Take care......

Monday, August 13, 2007

Wow, a lot of people are looking for Denny Terrio

Since I added sitemeter to my blog I have been able to see how people end up at our site. It is so interesting. A while back, I made a comment about how I needed judges for our school's upcoming talent show and that I wondered where Denny Terrio was. I think the majority of people come to our site because we came up on their google search for Denny Terrio. Then they stay about 0 seconds. I hated to disappoint them so I thought I would try to search for him myself and post something about him. I have to admit, what I found really took me back to (I think) Friday nights of my childhood. Dance! I can't believe how often I probably watched this. Maybe this is why I am such the dancer that I am. :) Here is a link to Youtube where you can see the Dance Fever closing. I so remember watching this on so many nights.

Sorry, Mom, I know you were expecting a big update from our life. I am actually only unwinding from a big day and ....talking about Denny Terrio. I could be talking about how school is going great. I love my schedule. Choir is great. I am excited about what I am teaching, etc.

I could be talking about the ginormous spider that was right outside our door while we were coming in the other night. While Matthew was keeping his eyes on it while I opened the door with my key, the garage light went out. Claire wanted to keep it as a pet, but Matt flushed it.

I could have talked about the fact that I got a call tonight from my former choral director asking Matt and me to be in the Oxford Civic Chorus. I would love to sing that quality of music again!

I could have mentioned that the kids are loving school.

Anyway...I want to say that I miss our mommies. Hopefully, we will get to see them this weekend. It has been too long.

Happy Monday, everyone.

In Christ,

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Goin' Campin'

Well, tomorrow night the youth are going to Cossar for a camping trip. I am excited about getting to go on Saturday night. I love being with the youth. They are so youthful. (hee, hee)
I am excited about the group we've got. We prayed for a great youth group for Matthew for his last 3 years at home. Playing guitar with them has, I believe, been such a blessing. Big Matt has been sitting in with the whole praise band lately. I love it.

This week has been good. Choir is great. There are 26 kids in my choir this year. There are even guys. They are such good sports. It is a challenge to try to show them what to sing being a woman. This is probably one of the biggest challenges right now. I appreciate their patience, though.

Development at home.....Benjamin, for some reason, has become fired up about loading and unloading the dishwasher. It is his passion. He is very dedicated to this job. He sure has won his dad's and my appreciation. :) Just FYI.

I wanted to share this artist with you. Diane Duda is an artist from Pennsylvania who makes the cutest and most original pictures. Here is one that is on sale at Ebay. She also has work in her Etsy shop. She is super talented. I love her work so much because I love the 3D aspect of them. She uses multi-media to make some of her pictures, etc. If you click on the picture of the little girl you will go to Diane Ebay auctions. Enjoy!

Here is one I actually won on Ebay. I love it. If you like frogs, she really has painted/drawn some cute ones. Anyway, I just wanted to share her work.
I hope you all have a great weekend. In Christ,

Sunday, August 5, 2007

In the Weeds

This was a term we used a lot to describe a time in the restaurant business when we were totally swamped with tables, etc.

School starts tomorrow and for Matt and me, in the weeds is how we feel most of the time once we are in school (planning and teaching, grading, etc. We are so blessed to have our jobs. We are so blessed to have our family. Both of our jobs are the type of jobs that take a lot of planning ahead. Planning ahead for concerts, field trips, etc. It is exciting most of the time. It is exciting seeing kids learn things about themselves, and teaching them things that, you believe, will benefit them in the future.

Nevertheless, it is very taxing on the energy. This year we are, again, going in separate directions. Matt will take all of our 4 kids with him to school, and I will drive 45 minutes to Potts Camp. This will be interesting. I have already had mixed feelings. On one hand, I had a little feeling in my stomach of missing my guys whom I drove to work with everyday last year. If I wanted to see them, all I had to do was to peek into their classroom. If I forgot lunch money, or snack, all I had to do was to bring it later in the day. Now I am passing the torch on to my sweet husband. I hope he will be able to get more done than I did in the afternoon. He is a little better at managing our kids than I am. I try my best, but I am still a little of a Pillsbury Dough Girl. They think I am very soft. I think Matt will do great.

I did enjoy my drive for the past two days going to staff development meetings. Part of me feels bad for enjoying time to myself, but I know it will be good for me to have time and then have more to give them when I get home. God knows best. I will trust Him that He knows that this is what we (the kids, Matt, and me) need.

I probably won't be blogging quite as much unless I am procrastinating (which may happen at times). I think when things slow down and we get into the swing of things, I want to continue our recording, etc. I don't want to give up on that.

We are beginning Financial Peace at our church in a couple of weeks. I think we may go through it again to get back on track. We really want to save for a car, pay cash, but it has been tough. It seems like with a family it is so hard to get the jump on saving money. After listening every Friday afternoon, I know people get out of debt. I think we need the refresher course.

I am asking that you please say a little prayer for us if you are reading this. Please pray that we will grow to be the people God wants us to be and that we will be the parents and teachers God wants us to be. I know we can do all things through Him who gives us strength. Please pray that we will know what to be involved in and what to say no to. I tend to do many things because of guilt instead of definitely feeling God calling me.

Matt sang "Captured" this morning in church. This is a song that Chris Tomlin sang a while back. It made me have such a desire to sing with him more and more. I know that is not exactly what God is calling us to at the moment. I believe, while our kids are young, that we have a stable home....not a lot of travel or late nights. I am excited about the future, though. It is amazing how God has you in different seasons of life and they are all good.

Anyway, I know I am rambling. Happy Sunday!

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Calgon take me away....

I know I am about to start school on Thursday, but I guess I am still trying to be in vacation mode. I had such a great time with my family and still want to hang around there in my thoughts for now. I sent letters to my choir today, so I am not totally in denial, but watching this video I made while we were at the Georgia Aquarium is something I can always go to when the school year gets tough. Like Calgon.........

I could have stared at these fish for days. (I think I may have already said that.)

Matt is playing finger style guitar now in the kitchen. I think we may be recording again soon. I am excited about maybe not doing things that will take lots of money to buy copyrights to. We are going to be putting our CD on CDBaby this time. It is a company that sells independent artists' CDs. That is a little dream of mine. I guess more and more now I am wanting to just get out and sing. Matt and I got to for the Golden Prospector group at our church. It was so great. We gave away CDs for the first time and it was so much fun. What a cool blessing that anyone would actually even want our music. I can't believe it when someone tells me that they listened to our CD when they were having a tough time and God comforted them. This is what I want to do.

Please pray for us in this. I love kids, and I love teaching and everything else that we get to do, but this is probably my biggest passion. I have had a passion for singing since I was a mere tot. It has never left me. I feel like I kind of have to suppress it when I am teaching because teaching and talking all day take a toll in my voice. ( I know that may sound silly.) Anyway, this is where God has me now.

Oh, for some reason I started thinking about my weight loss goals and overall fitness and need to comment on that. Eating wise, I did terribly today, except for eating lots of tomatoes. I did, however, stretch on the exercise ball that Matt bought for his back. I also did some push-ups on it. Later, I walked with my neighbor, Jennifer. So I guess I am moving in the right direction. I was feeling so old and stiff. It is amazing how just doing a little more makes a huge difference.

Take care.....

Friday, July 27, 2007

The best moms in the world

I have to say that when I hear some talking about their mothers-in-law being terrible, I feel for those describing them. My mother-in-law is so great to me as well as (probably expected) her grand kids.

I pray that I am as sweet when I am a mother-in-law. You may be asking....what do you want, Laurie? Really, I don't want anything. My mother-in-law, Judy, among being great all the time, took all of us shopping yesterday. I think we bought out Osh Kosh (well, not really). Thank goodness they had a great sale. :) Matthew got new duds. Even blackish jeans. He loves those black clothes. Matt wasn't there, but, even he got new clothes. The kids were psyched to get new backpacks and clothes. Claire got a flowery backpack. Cute. I know she would probably not want me to say, but, thank you, Mamaw.

My mom is also the greatest. She did so much to make our vacation great. She is always there and goes over board for us. I have to check myself every once in a while to make sure that we are not just taking from them. It is so easy sometimes when people are used to giving (and you are the baby of the family) to wake-up and realize that you are doing a little more of the taking than the giving. Our moms are so unselfish. I try to think of things that would be extra special for them. Somehow it always seems to not be quite as much as they do for us.

This makes me think about the movie Pay it Forward. Our moms give to us, we give to our kids, hopefully they will give of themselves and their gifts to others.

Anyway, if they are reading this....we love you moms.

Oh, going shopping also makes me think of what I wrote to Southern Fried Fatty. Wow, do those fluorescent lights show everything. I am going to join you in your goal to lose weight. For now, I will be big and beautiful (hopefully). I do like the big girl clothes I got. They are pretty. :)

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Claire in Ocean Voyager

Originally uploaded by jonesrestoration
We had such a great time in Atlanta. This is Claire inside the Ocean Voyager exhibit in the Georgia Aquarium. It was so amazing.
Here is a link if you want to see a short video I made there.
Esnips Videos
The whale sharks were incredible. I could have spent days just sitting there watching it all. There are some great pictures taken by people with fancy cameras on Flickr (Georgia Aquarium pool).

My sister-in-law's brother got us discounted tickets because he volunteers there. Nice! He gets to dive in the tank with these beautiful fish.

The next day we got up and went to Six Flags. This could be a very long story.

This was our little people's first experience with anything like rides like these. Needless to say, they were a little shocked at some of the rides. We only rode 1, actually, before we got rained out. Jacob did ride the Crime Wave while the big guys rode Batman. Claire wanted to, but she wasn't tall enough. So, Jacob had to ride it by himself. I felt like such a bad parent after it started. I guess I just went with his enthusiasm and the fact that he was tall enough.

As Benjamin later said, "Just because you are tall enough to ride a ride, doesn't mean that you will like it!" There you go.

Then after Jacob was good and traumatized, we all rode the Mindbender together. This was one that Claire could actually ride. She sat by Uncle Ron. Matt sat with Benjamin and I sat by Jacob. When we were at the top of the coaster, Benjamin said "Can I get off?"

Matt and I basically spent the entire ride leaning over our scared children. We ate lunch, then on our way to the place with more kiddie rides, the rain began to pour. We had a good time staying out of the rain together. Mom shared her rain parka with Jacob and Claire at one time. It was great. When we got back to my brother's house, it was beautiful outside. I guess it was meant to be. :)

Today I went to school to get my schedule for next year. I am excited about everything. I like my schedule. I will actually have a great block of time for planning.

Take care. Happy Tuesday!

YouTube Videos