Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Most Special Gift

We celebrated Christmas with my parents and my sister and Paul today. My sister gave me the most special gift! First of all, you must know that she and I are both 'die-hard' Audio Adrenaline fans even though they are in 'retirement'. The second thing you need to know is that two years ago I made an album for her at Christmas called "Over 100 Childhood Memories"- which made her cry a lot! (I think she's wanted to get me back ever since then!)

Now that you are brought up-to-speed, here is what happened! I had run to Food Lion to get some Orange soda for Paul (his favorite) then I rushed home because I remembered that I had left the house with an apple cake in the oven!!! Matt was home but didn't know the cake was done! So I flew back up the driveway and my sister and Paul were already here. I jumped out of the car, ran inside and took the cake our of the oven(just in time!) and then went to bring in the sodas!

My sister was waiting for my attention! Then she asked if I had a minute so we could get on the computer! She told me to go online to and play the video for Audio A's 'Ocean Floor'. I had never seen the video although I know the words by heart! The song talks about how God takes all of our sin away and casts them on the ocean floor. In the video, people from all walks of life find seashells in their path and they take them to the ocean and cast them in as a symbol reminding them that God has separated their sins as far away as the ocean floor! Then she presents me with 'the gift', a HUGE conch shell with this engraved:


Of course, I busted out crying and gave her a big hug! Well, a bunch of big sobbing hugs! This is a most special gift that I will always cherish! But she is the real treasure! A sister's love is immeasurable! She is the greatest gift that my parents ever gave me- a sissy-poo to be there through all the good, fun, hard, sad, and tough times!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

A Dog's Life!

Tonight, I went to put my puppy to bed when I found him already in bed! Isn't he precious! I said a quick prayer that he'd stay just like that until I got back with the camera! The soccer ball is the first toy we ever got him and took it with us when we picked him up and rubbed his mom and siblings' scent on it. It has long since been washed but he still loves it! The purple dog was a gift to Sunny from my friend Lori!

Okay, here is a picture from Thanksgiving Day to show you just how much Sunny LOVES his toys! Mom picks them all up and puts them in his basket and then he pulls them all right back out again! Although, I am thankful that he knows what is his and what is moms!

Here is some pampering if I ever saw it! Freshly bathed and dried and now getting furminated! We should have taken a picture of the small dog that was removed from him!!!!!
I love this picture though because he is chewing his rawhide and enjoying the good life of being pampered and to top it off, his little ear had flipped back all on it's own!

And now, for my little Court Jester! I forgot to post this with the Halloween Pictures! Even Sunny had to dress up too! I love this silly puppy!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!

Take a moment today reflect on what you have to be thankful for!
My day has started great! I was awakened to the 'beep' of the crockpot, letting me know my 'crockpot turkey' is done and that gives me plenty of time to enjoy the day and take time to be thankful!
I stumbled across a blog entry today of someone that I don't even know but I quite enjoyed it and thought I would post a link here for you in case you are interested in reading a little bit about being thankful today! It is beautifully written & heartfelt:

Friday, October 10, 2008

Little Hassles

Today our heat pump decided to freeze up! Instead of calling the folks to come out and check it out which is automatically $90- I decided to just turn it off and open all the windows and let the air flow through today. It was gorgeous outside! A couple of hours ago, it looked like the heat pump was pretty much thawed out but we have decided to just leave it off until tomorrow. So we have all the windows open now and we can hear the crickets, tree frogs, and such. I love it! The clean crisp air and the cool autumn breeze combined with the symphony outdoors reminds me of my Grandmoms house! If only I had crisp, clean, cool, super-tight tucked sheets on my bed, I'd really feel like I was at her house! Just as a side note, I definitely have the best grandma in the world! Tonight, I will take a step back and just relax and enjoy the melody of sounds and the sweet breeze rolling through.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Where have I been?

We went to Duck, NC for a week. We have stayed there every year in September for the past five years. The first year we only stayed a few days and it was really nice, just a little windy. The second year, the weather was great. But the past three years, the weather has been just a little bit worse each time. We had 50mph winds that I thought were going to rip the roof off of the house! The tide was reaching all the way up to the dunes and as far as the eye could see, there were huge waves all the way to the horizon; some at 12-15ft. Nevertheless, we had a good week. We rode a ferry to Ocracoke to see the lighthouse there- it's become a traditional to visit a different lighthouse each time. The lighthouse was very small and we couldn't go in it but the ferry was the highlight of the day. My dad (pause for a second, anyone who knows my dad is now thinking, "oh lord") :) Back to the story: My dad decided that it would be fun to hold up pringles for the seagulls to snatch out of our hands while riding the ferry! And it was fun to watch. I knew they were getting their fingers nipped and I wasn't sure that I wanted any part of that! On the ferry ride back, I decided to try it. Of course, every time one would swoop down, I would freak and either drop the chip or decide to throw it instead! It was hilarious! My sissy-poo who is much braver than I did a much better job!

We also went to see the movie "Eagle Eye" which was good but slammed with ACTION!! So much so that I wished I had a remote to pause the movie for just a second to get my bearings! Matt and I both love Shaia LeBeouf and he did a fantastic job in this movie! We are praying that he stays decent in Hollywood and doesn't turn trashy!
My sis and I had fun singing songs in the car like we did when we were little, "Do-Wacka-Do" song, "Ya can't roller skate in a buffalo herd", "Are we there yet?", and so on...
At one point in our singing, My sister stops and says, "When we get together with mom and dad and we're riding around singing, it makes me feel like we're kids again." Then as she turns to look over at Matt sitting next to me, she says, "And then I look over and think 'Who's that?!?' and I'm brought back to reality!" I thought that was so cute!
The good news about vacation is that we stuck to our healthy eating habits and exercised everyday- even when it was pouring cats and dogs, we did our cardio workout by running up and down two flights of stairs for 20 minutes, needless to say- that was exhausting!

I'm so glad we finally got our minds back into being healthy! It is such a battle of the mind more than anything else!

Brent survived taking care of the house while we were gone and we came back to it all being in one piece- thankfully :) and the chins were alive and well!
Sunny was so much fun at the beach! He loved the sand- World's Largest Sandbox! It put Uncle Mike's Sandbox to shame! ;) But although his breed is a 'water dog'- he had NO interest in the water AT ALL! Not at the ocean and not at the pool, we got him in the pool a couple of times, one time, I threw him in and then held his belly while he kicked his feet- he was all about getting to the side so he could get out. The funny thing was that he wanted to get in with us bc he would cry but once he got in, he didn't like it! I think more than anything, he wanted his people "OUT". I will say that the pool was FREEZING but we wanted to at least try to get him in it!

Matt and I believe this was our last vacation to Duck in September. The weather has been so rotten and we're ready for a change. I don't know where we'll vacation next year but we probably will not be at Duck. My parents felt the same way with the weather and they haven't had a vacation just the two of them in a long time so I think dad is planning to take mom somewhere just the two of them. I'm not sure what Sandy and Ronnie plan to do but I think they were disheartened by the weather as well.
Even with the weather, it was a good vacation, we're just ready for something different.

Friday, September 12, 2008


Ok, today was crazy! There's tell of gas prices skyrocketing due to the hurricane! The gas stations were insane! I was driving and trying to snap a few pics so here they are. Not too good of pics but anyway, I thought I'd share.
When Matt and I got to Sheetz in MH, there were cops at both entrances directing traffic! If it was too full, they made you just drive by so the road wouldn't be stopped up! Once we got in, it was so crazy! Unfortunately, I was so overwhelmed by it all, I didn't take any photos there!

Chinnie Treat Time!

The chins know when it is treat time! I had to run and grab my camera when they were all begging! I was laughing like crazy! I have definitely fallen in love with them again! It's nice now that there room truly only has their cage and their supplies in it! The last pic is when they have their shreddies, they have all run off to their seperate places to devour the goodies!

Attack Lindsey!

Apparently, Sunny thought it would be fun to 'grace' Lindsey with his presence today!

We all got a kick out of it! Thankfully, Lindsey loves Sunny!


My dear friend Renita came through her surgery wonderfully! Thank you all for your prayers! Today, I presented her with the Everyday Display decorated with so many cards and prayers, as well as the check from the fundraiser that many of you participated in! What a blessing! She is so precious and I am so grateful to all of you who participated in this! Here are some pics of me and her when I made the delivery at her work today! She LOVED it! And I love all of you!

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Sunny "Green Jeans" Tyree

My puppy is getting so big!! It's so hard to imagine how small he was when we first got him and to think of how big he will continue to be! He is such a sweet puppy! I could eat him up with a spoon! A great cuddle bug and so smart! Sunny is a for sure heart-stealer! If I'm having a bad day, he comes up and gives me that sweet puppy face and makes it all better!! I have to brag (like any proud mom)- He is very smart although sometimes hard-headed! He knows the following commands and words: SIT, DOWN, GIMME PAW, GIMME OTHER PAW, STAY, COME, GET THE FROG (his toy frog) GET THE ICE, EAT FOOD, TREAT, GO TO BED, PILLOW, GET THE BALL, GO POTTY, and of course, the ever famous "NO!" He has no desire to mess with our shoes but we are trying to teach him that the house plants are mommy's!! Here's a couple of pictures of him. First, when we first got him and now- look how he's grown! He turned 5 months old on September 1st!

Also, notice how much greener our grass was from June to August!
Janet & Gary- If you are seeing this, can you even believe how much he's grown!

Friday, August 29, 2008

The Notebooks!

I was just emailing my friend Brandy (Jo) ;) and thinking about our ten year reunion which reminded me how we used to communicate in High School! Most kids wrote notes: the creative ones even took the time to decorate them or fold them in a silly sort of way! Brandy Jo and I had a little different take on our communication and it worked wonders! It never 'appeared' that we were passing notes at all. We had spiral notebooks that we would pass back and forth between classes. It 'appeared' as just another classroom notebook like we were taking notes- well, we were 'writing' notes! Truly, we could call it our 'history' notebook because we were writing our history! So we have a collection of our conversations for those years! I'm not sure how many notebooks there were, at least 4 or 5, I'm sure. Brandy was deemed 'the keeper of the notebooks'! This was a smart call as she has always been the more organized one! (Imagine that!) I can't wait to sit down with a cup of coffee and read our silly antics together! So BJ, if you are reading this, dig 'em out, let's set a date for coffee to read what we wrote 10-14 years ago! And NO PEEKING!! Let's have that first "second look" together! You bring the books, I'll bring the tissues and camera!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

High Priority!

The smell of rain floods me back to a happy memory in my life. I have always loved the sound of raindrops falling on my Grandmother's tin roof. The breeze when sitting on her front porch and dancing with the raindrops falling into the river beneath my feet.
Although, I have always loved the rain, the roar of thunder is another story.
I distinctly remember the scene. The old brown house on the farm- the one that my aunt Lisa would scale down the side from her two-story window to sneak out at night, or at least that’s what she told us. It was the house of my Dunbar Grandparents along with a couple of my mother's siblings still living there.
I was about the age of a kindergartner when my dad was sitting on the front porch with the lightning flashing and thunder screaming. Being the ever-vocal child that I still am today- I had to warn my daddydo because the 'lightnings' were coming to get him! I opened the door and with all protest, I began to explain why he was to come inside that instant! My sweet daddydo in all of his grace, simply told me to come out there with him. Me- out there- where the storm is brewing- WHAT! But because I trusted him, I crawled up on his lap and he explained how far away the lightning was and taught me count "1 Mississippi, 2 Mississippi, etc..." to tell how far away the lightning was. He said 'Just watch it out there, Isn't it pretty?' And for the first time, I thought a storm was beautiful and peaceful.

Thankfully, this is one of those moments in time that I can look back to in the Rolodex of my mind and say, "AH, I remember that!- That's a good one! Let's mark this as 'High Priority!' and pull it out again later!" When I smell the rain, see the lightning, and hear the thunder, I can close my eyes and find myself sitting on my daddy's lap counting- "1 Mississippi, 2 Mississippi, 3 Mississippi" and think, "Daddy, that one is 3 miles away!"
To this day, I LOVE it when I am at home and a good thunderstorm is brewing because somehow I am a 5 year old again enjoying time with my daddydo!

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Do you love me?

Today was a great day at church!

Steve shared a heart-felt message today and it was truly powerful! The title was "Do you love me?" The main text for the message was John 21 with prior reference to Luke 22:54-62. From where Peter denied Christ 3 times, to the three burning questions: "Do you love me?"
A couple of things that touched me in the service today were
#1- Jesus asked Peter did Peter love him 'more than these'? Peter had just been fishing all night and had caught nothing!- Jesus told him to cast the net on the right side and it was filled to the brim! Jesus wanted to know did Peter love him more than these? More than his prior Fishing Business? More than anything? - What is our "these"? Do we really love Jesus more than everything else?!
For whatever reason, our church body has gotten away from that "first love passion" and today was a call back to that. It is true, I have been at our church since the beginning and I miss those days where we were on fire for the Lord, just hungry for Him, Seeking Him, enjoying His presence and His heart! We have been dry, and content, complacent! Honestly, I know it starts in the heart with each individual and I am the first to stand and say that I have not been the child God has called me to be. I miss Him! I miss spending time with Him daily. The truth is, He hasn't moved, He's still sitting our secret place waiting for me to come back and meet Him there! I am so glad that He is a God of compassion, mercy, and grace!
#2- So the question remains, How do I stay in love with Jesus and regain the love that's been lost? The answer is simply laid out in Revelation 2:1-7- Remember where you have fallen from, Repent of where you are, and Repeat the things that keep you close to the Lord!
#3- Pastor Steve shared some powerful quotes and a couple stood out to me:
"We must never get over the fact that we are LOVED by GOD!" -Dave Earley (simple but profound)
"Some of us keep living like maids and butlers instead of like real children. Working frantically to earn the right to stay, we never really settle in, kick back and enjoy our Father's company. In effect, we live in the crummy, cramped quarters over the garage rather than in the magnificent main house... There's a world of difference in knowing we're the forgiven and knowing we're the beloved." - Sandra Wilson
"What we do for God is only a reflection of the relationship we have with God. If we want to be able to do great things, we need to have a great relationship. If we want to have a ministry that is strong, our relationship must be strong." - Dave Earley

I hope this touches your heart today and that you find strength in this message as I did. I do love you Jesus! I truly do! As I live and breathe, I do!
Now it is time to wake up and truly live those words!

Monday, July 21, 2008


It has been a few months since I have blogged! So much has happened and I need to play "catch up!" I'll give highlights and plan to write more soon.
In May, we went to Maui- beautiful! The plane ride was horrible but so worth it! The snorkeling at Molokini and Rainforest Hike were definite highlights!
In June, Matt's dog of 14 years- Shadow passed away and we got a new sweet golden named "Sunny". Matt and I celebrated our 4th anniversary with Sunny as our gift to each other. Also, we spent a few days with Lewis and Lindsey at OBX and just kicked back to relax a little!
July 1st, Matt's papa went home to be with the Lord. He was a wonderful man! Matt made a tribute video and at the end he wrote, "If I could be half the man he was, then I'd be twice the man I ever dreamed!" It was a beautiful service, complete with veteran honors! Our hearts are saddened to miss him here but joyful to know he is with the Lord and Matt's nanny who passed on Christmas Eve of 2006.
Along the way, we have been continuing to work on the garage for Brent this fall. It may not be completely done by the time he arrives because the heat has been unbearable. Thankfully, we have been blessed with garage help! Lewis and Lindsey helped us with tearing out the old ceiling on demolition day! Karen and Seth from church along with her friend Melinda surprised us with helping Matt do the framing one day, and Lewis showed up for that as well! We have been blessed!
I guess that is enough for now to hit the highlights! My 28th birthday is this Saturday! Yikes! I still feel like a little kid half the time! I can't imagine that my parents have a child who is 28!
Also, THANK YOU to everyone who sent cards, emails, prayers, flowers, and love during the passing of Matt's papa. Each friend is a rare jewel that I treasure in my heart always!

Friday, May 9, 2008

Fond Memories

Here is a little poem I wrote for my Mother in Law for Mother's Day and attached it to the back of her Mother's Day gift shown below. I made a page frame with a couple photos of her mom, one with Sandy (my MIL) as a baby. Her mom went to be with Jesus on Christmas Eve of 2006. I wanted to do this for her last year, obviously, I didn't but better now than never. FOND MEMORIES-HAPPY DAYS

Chocolate and Birdhouses

My friend, Lori recently told me a neat story about her 80-something grandma. In the dead of winter with snow on the ground, her granny said, "I sure wish I had some chocolate". Within minutes, the doorbell rang with a young girl selling chocolate bars for a fundraiser. Wow! Whether she was a little angel or just a common child knowing that she would find people at home on such a dreary day- what an amazing example that God cares for the little things. Lori told her granny that she definitely had a "direct line" for special orders. Later the same day that Lori shared this story with me- Lori had mentioned how she had no idea what to get her mom for Mother's Day. Within a couple hours, a man came by our office selling these adorable homemade birdhouses!! Quite a few of us scooped them up as gifts. I reminded Lori of what she said and told her that she had a "direct line" as well. The good news is we all do! God cares about the little things. I know sometimes I have felt that my 'little thorn in the flesh' wasn't big enough to mention when there are plenty of BIG things to pray about. What a humbling reminder that God knows our thoughts afar off and he prepares chocolate and birdhouses to arrive at just the right time!