Hey Y'all! Glad to have ya!!

Thanks for stoppin' by to read my humble little blog. This is where I ramble on about my everyday life and share the funnies and the not-so-funnies. I hope you enjoy your visit!

Verse of the Day from Bible Gateway

Thursday, December 13, 2007

1 Corinthians 13 Christmas Version (Paraphrased)

This version of 1 Corinthians 13 was sent to me in an e-mail and I thought it would be great to share with you here. It illustrates so well the common mindset of women during this busy holiday season. I pray that you won't see yourself reflected in its lines! Merry Christmas, Everyone!

If I decorate my house perfectly with plaid bows, strands of twinkling lights and shiny balls, but do not love my family, I'm just another decorator.
If I slave away in the kitchen, baking dozens of Christmas cookies, preparing gourmet meals and arranging a beautifully adorned table at mealtime, but do not show love to my family, I'm just another cook.
If I work at the soup kitchen, carol in the nursing home and give all that I have to charity,but do not show love to my family, it profits me nothing.
If I trim the spruce with shimmering angels and crocheted snowflakes, attend a myriad of holiday parties and sing in the choir cantata, but do not focus on Christ, I have missed the point.
Love stops the cooking to hug the child.
Love sets aside the decorating to kiss the husband.
Love is kind, though harried and tired.
Love doesn't envy another's home that has coordinated china and table linens.
Love doesn't yell at the kids to get out of the way, but it is thankful they are there to be in the way.
Love doesn't give only to those who are able to give in return, but rejoices in giving to those who can't.
Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
Love never fails.
Video games will break; pearl necklaces will be lost,golf clubs will rust. . . . but giving the gift of love will endure.
You can give without loving, but you cannot love without giving.


**What are you focusing on this Christmas season? Let's all take a moment to remember why this holiday even exists...God sent his son Jesus to be born so that we all may be saved from sin. In all the hustle and bustle, try to set aside time to appreciate and give thanks for the miracle of God's goodness.

Blessings to you and yours!

Monday, December 10, 2007

Christmas is almost here! Fa la la la la, la la la la...

Here's a fun little Christmas Meme that I got from Becky's blog. I just love this season when everything looks so warm and inviting! I've decided my new favorite color is red and my new favorite smell is a fresh Christmas tree, or a candle that smells like one *wink*!

Wrapping paper or gift bags? Both. For family presents that have to be mailed, definitely paper

Real tree or artificial? We had both growing up but if I had my choice it would be REAL!! My hubby's and my first tree is real, we had a great time decorating it together!

When do you put up the tree? Not 'til December is actually here, but only because I can't usually get it in gear to decorate the tree the weekend after Thanksgiving!

When do you take the tree down? As late as possible. I think we've left it up 'til mid-January before.

Favorite holiday theme? Snowmen and penguins, jingle bells, and JESUS!!

Favorite gift received as a child? Hmmm...I suppose it would have to be the fluffy white stuffed cat that purred when you hugged it...or maybe it was the Barbie mansion that broke into a million pieces when we moved...oh! I can't forget about the Playschool kitchen with all the accessories...whew! I had too many favorites to pick just one!

Do you have a nativity scene? Just a small 4-piece one that sits on my kitchen window ledge. I'd love to have all the pieces for the Willow Tree nativity scene though.

Hardest person to buy for? The men in my family

Easiest person to buy for? My sister

Worst Christmas gift you ever received? Really, really, really ugly ornament from a relative who shall remain nameless

Mail or email cards? Mail! I love getting cards in the mail and it seems so distant to send an e-mail card for something as special as Christmas.

Favorite Christmas movie? "It's a Wonderful Life", the old clay-mation Christmas movies (you know, the ones about Frosty the Snowman & Rudolph?), & "Elf"

When do you start shopping for Christmas? Yikes! Not as soon as I should, that's for sure! One year I even went and did ALL my shopping on Christmas Eve! It was stressful but I got some great deals! :)

Have you ever recycled a Christmas present? Not that I can remember...

Favorite thing to eat at Christmas? Candy, candy canes, cookies, all the same favorites from Thanksgiving

White lights or colored on the tree? Usually white because I like how clean it looks, but I like colored lights too.

Favorite Christmas song? "Santa Baby" by Eartha Kitt, "O, Holy Night," "Jingle Bells," "It's Beginning to Look a lot Like Christmas"... I love them all!

Travel for Christmas or stay at home? We've always lived far away from family so we always traveled to TN and GA but it's been harder to make it to see family since my sis and I started working "real" jobs.

Can you name all of Santa's reindeer? Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Donner, Blitzen.....Rudolph! **Ok, so I copied Becky's answer...there's no way I could name them on my own!

Angel on the tree top or a star? An angel. Hubby and I have the angel that we always used when I was growing up. She's not fancy but she's definitely sentimental and I love her.

Open the presents on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day? Usually on Christmas Eve but this year we're gonna do it on Christmas Day because Sis is working on Christ-Eve.

Most annoying thing about this time of year? The feeling that I should be decorating more, or cooking more, or just generally be doing more. I wish this season wasn't so commercialized and didn't revolve around gifts so much!

What I love most about Christmas? Being with my family in a room lit by the lights on the tree, eating comfort food, hearing carols on the radio 24-7, the pretty lights on the houses in our neighborhood, the programs at church, the parties, reading the story of Christ's birth with a new sense of awe...

I hope you enjoyed this little peek into how my family and I "do" Christmas! I'd love for y'all to copy this and fill it out; let me know if you do so I can read yours.
I pray that you and yours have a blessed Christmas season filled with loads of love and a few special treats under the tree. Remember to give thanks for the most wonderful reason for the season, Jesus' birth! I leave you with a picture of our first Christmas tree (before decorations and after) as a married couple! Enjoy!





Monday, November 26, 2007

Love and Leftovers

Another WONDERFUL Thanksgiving has passed. Once again I was reminded of just how much I love this holiday! Truly, it's my favorite! It was even more special because Nathan and I were able to share it with my family who drove down from Tennessee. My sweet aunt who has never been able to visit us even got to come! And the dinner was at our house this year. I couldn't wait to welcome my family into the home that Nathan and I have made together. I wanted everyone to feel right at home and cozy in our little nest.

The day began with me frantically trying to finish up a curtain I had started for the kitchen door's window. Wouldn't you know it, as soon as I thought I was done I realized that I had made a pretty big "uh-oh" with the straps! That little mistake only set me back about 30 minutes though. After the curtain was pressed and hung, it was on to the cooking! Yay! I have found a new love for cooking and baking since getting married and I couldn't wait to contribute to the feast!

Mama made the majority of the casseroles at her house but I was able to make cheesy broccoli rice casserole and green bean casserole, along with 2 pecan pies and 2 "Old-Fashioned Paradise Pumpkin Pie". I found the recipe for the latter at AllRecipes.com and it is so yummy! If you've never been to that site, it's a novice cook's (or any cook for that matter) dream! Any recipe for any ingredient you could possibly imagine. But I'm rambling...

All the family--Mama & Daddy, Granna, Aunt Sandy, Aunt Cathy, Uncle Hughie, Landon, and my sis Laura--came over around 4 pm. Nathan had fried a turkey that was delicious and the house smelled so good! My Mom was so great because she thought to bring a card table to set up as a serving table and she brought styrofoam plates to cut down on cleanup! I was so glad she thought of those things since my kitchen has limited counter space and it would've been a challenge to find a home for all those casseroles! We also don't have a table big enough for everyone to sit around so we all piled into the living room and got real cozy on the couch and chairs. That's why I love Thanksgiving so much...you get to share a delicious meal with the people you love and treasure the most. And for me, there's nothing better than a kitchen crowded with people all talking at once and lending (or trying to lend)a helping hand.

I know I'll always cherish the memory of this first Thanksgiving spent with Nathan and my family. The warm fuzzy I get from being with the ones I love is such a blessing. I hope that your house was also filled with love and your refrigerator was bursting with leftovers!!

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Bits and Pieces

Since it's been so long since I posted, I have several little things to show you all. The first is the "Perfect Tote" that I made a few weeks ago. My Sis and I went to another class at Fabric Boutique but this project was so involved that we ended up having to finish the bags at home. Of course, it didn't help that I experienced multiple technical difficulties with my machine before I ever even got started! I probably could have gotten much farther on the bag in the class if not for all the speed bumps. But, I just chalked it up to being a patience builder and got over it! So, here's a few pics of the bag. It's made using "fat quarters," which are 1/4 yard pieces of fabric. Quilters most commonly use fat quarters to make their quilts.



This bag is HUGE!! In the pic above it's holding 3 fleece throws and still has room to spare! I can't wait to use it for a weekend bag or something!

Next, we have a turkey cheese ball that I made Monday night for a ladies night that I had at my house. It uses cream cheese dyed with paste food coloring to make the decorations and pecan halves for feathers. The head, neck, & snood are made from red bell pepper and the beak is a piece of yellow squash. It must have been good because the only things left were a small glob of cream cheese and the head!



I got the recipe from Country Woman magazine, which is one of my favorite magazines & is all about good comfort food cooking and country life. My turkey didn't look anywhere near as good as the one in the magazine but it was fun to make anyway!

We also made a Thanksgiving themed craft during our ladies' night. We decorated small chalk boards and wrote things we are thankful for on them with chalk. It was a fun time!
















The "Thank you, Lord for..." is written with a silver paint pen and the chalk is held on with a magnet. This is just my version though, all the ladies were so creative and they each put theirs together in their own unique way. I thought it would be a good reminder to take a minute every now and then to jot down a few of the many blessings God has given me.

Speaking of Thanksgiving, would anyone like to be thankful for a new puppy? We had a stray show up on our doorstep a few days ago and he's really sweet and cute but we just don't feel like we can keep another dog right now. We've been calling him "Patches" and according to the American Kennel Club website he looks just like the pictures of an Australian Cattle Dog. They are supposed to be really good at herding cattle and fighting off wild boar. However, if you don't have cattle, they are also good with families and guarding the home. If these pics of him just melt your heart, please let me know!! We would love to give him to a good home instead of the pound!















His ears crack me up because they look so big compared to the rest of him! They stand straight up when he's listening to something or if he's excited. He is about 3 months old and will grow to be approximately 18-24 inches at the withers. Ironically, the man who's house he got loose from came by the other night and said he had seen the dog in our backyard and wanted to let us know where he came from. Naturally, we asked if he wanted him back but the man said that he had been trying to find a home for Patches himself!! Crazy, huh?

And, last but not least, here's a picture of our sweet black lab Buster. I couldn't leave him out! He has been getting along with Patches just fine, but we can tell he misses being the only child!

Have a wonderful rest of the week, Everyone!!

Monday, October 22, 2007

Ashlie & Nathan sittin' in a tree...

I am so blessed! God knew exactly what He was doing when he caused mine and my husband's paths to intertwine. We had the best weekend just spending time together and I couldn't help but be reminded of how blessed I am that God gave this WONDERFUL man to me to keep forever! I just sent my Sweetie off to work a little while ago and I'm already eagerly looking forward to his homecoming! I know, I've got it bad...but I wouldn't change it for the world!!

I thought I'd share our love story with you this morning. I had written it out over at The Knot, a wedding planning website, when we were engaged and I thought it would be neat to post it here too. If any of you are engaged, or even hope to marry someday, it's a great website for getting ideas. Granted, many of the suggestions are quite costly, but if you just use a little imagination & creativity, you can come up with frugal and cute alternatives. I had a great time looking at all the pretty pictures when I was planning my wedding! I hope you enjoy reading the story of how God placed my hand in Nathan's!
P.S. Some of the info is different now, such as my age and residence (I don't live with Mama & Daddy anymore) but for the sake of preservation, I left the story unchanged.

ASHLIE BLAIR & NATHAN FARQUHARSON

MAY 19, 2007

ABOUT ASHLIE

Let's start with the basics...I'm 25 years old & have been an RN for about 3 years now. I work in the newborn nursery (everybody say AWWW) & am still getting used to my baby sister working in the same hospital as me. She's a brand new RN! Laura is my only sibling and we both still live at home with our folks...for a little longer anyway. I am currently planning my first & ONLY wedding while also trying to remain sane & somewhat normal. I have attended Eastwood Baptist for the past 17 years and have lots of wonderful friends there. :)Now for the fun stuff...I LOOOVVVE anything pink or turquoise, jewelry (the more bling, the better), makeup, shoes, clothes, & purses. Actually, I just love being a girl! On the flip side, I also love to go fishing with my Honey and sometimes he even takes me hunting! I got my very own pair of hunting boots for Christmas! The two of us have a great time whenever we're in the outdoors, or anywhere for that matter! Also, I do have a tendency to be forgetful and I am easily distracted so you'll see down below why Nathan & I are a perfect pair!

ABOUT NATHAN

Nathan is Wonderful, Sweet, Kind, Generous, Strong, Patient (most of the time), Helpful, Hard Working, & HANDSOME!! He grew up in Oakridge, TN- which is about an hour away from my mom's family- and came to be in Shreveport thanks to the United States Air Force. Thank you Uncle Sam!! Nathan served at Barksdale for 6 years and just ended his active duty status on January 2nd. While he was in the AF he received several honors & the esteem of many of his superior officers & fellow airmen. That's not bragging, I've seen the awards! :) I'm so proud of Nathan for serving our great country in the Air Force & now in the Air Force Reserves. At the moment Nathan is a full-time student working toward an Electrical Engineering Technology degree. He has another 2-3 yrs before he's done so please keep him in your prayers! Nathan's true passion is fishing for anything that swims & hunting anything that walks or flies. He's a true outdoorsman and loves the challenge of scouting out new areas to hunt and striving to be a better hunter. And, like me, Nathan tends to be a little forgetful and is also easily distracted. So...sometimes that doesn't bode well for his wallet & keys! You see? We are a perfect pair!

HOW WE MET

Nathan & I have been friends for the past 5 years or so. He came to Eastwood with his buddy Jerome who had been invited by my good friend Martha Bockhaus. Thank you Martha! We hung out together quite a bit with friends in the college group at church in the beginning. Then, when my family & I discovered that he was from Tennessee we started inviting him to come over for get-togethers & holidays like Thanksgiving. I've had a crush on Nathan for a REALLY long time and he says he liked me a long time before he let me know it. Unbeknownst to us, our friends at church were telling each of us that we should get together! Ok, so all my friends & family knew I was crushing on him big time, but hey, what can I say? Oh well...everything turns out the best when it happens in God's timing I say!

WHEN WE GOT ENGAGED

November 19, 2006

HOW IT HAPPENED

It was a beautifully sunny Sunday afternoon and Nathan & I decided to take his boat out for a ride on the Red River. However, before we left his house we realized we had both locked our keys inside! We searched everywhere for a spare & I found one that I thought would work. Well, it fit in the front door but wouldn't turn so I asked Nathan to try. Meanwhile, I saw a bulge in his front pocket & I thought it might be his keys (remember, he can be forgetful) so I patted the pocket & he slapped my hand away like he'd been burned!! I asked him what was wrong & he said I just surprised him...at this point I'm still clueless.So, we go on out to the river & we're having a great time exploring the little inlets and cubbyholes in the river. After awhile we stopped on a sandbar with pretty white sand to let Buster (his black Lab) run around & play. We walked around for a while looking at deer tracks and laughing at Buster. I noticed that Nathan was acting kinda jumpy but when I asked him what was wrong he said "Nothing, I'm fine." I just figured he had something on his mind & would tell me when he got ready so I just let it drop. Still, I had no clue. Finally, we stopped walking around and he hugged me from behind. Now, sometimes we are really sappy & silly, so I said "Nathan, I have a secret for you..." He said, "What is it?" And I said, "I LOVE you!" Well, much to my surprise, he said, "I have a secret for you too," as he was turning me around and getting down on one knee at the same time. I was stunned and just stood there with my hand over my mouth saying "Oh, my gosh" over & over. His voice was a little unsteady as he said, "Ashlie, will you marry me?" All I could do was nod and I hugged him so long he finally asked if he could get up! :) I did eventually squeak out a "Yes!" I had been so busy hugging him I hadn't even given him a chance to open the ring box so he said, "I guess you don't wanna see this..." and started to put it back in his pocket! I said,"Of course I want to see it!" When he opened the box all I could say was, "Ohhhhh!" It is the perfect ring for me and I love everything about it! It's beautiful!! And, he picked it out all by himself which makes it even more special! We sat on the riverbank for a long while just talking about us and absorbing our new engagement. Then, we headed off into the sunset (the sun really was about to set) to tell our family & friends the big news!

November 19, 2006 is a day full of sweet memories for Nathan and me, and the first anniversary of that day is almost here! I can hardly believe it! Our wedding was everything we dreamed of and our honeymoon to Jackson Hole, Wyoming was so magical and amazing. Temperatures were in the 30's-50's and it snowed on us several times while in the mountains...and that was in MAY!! But that's another post...

I'll close today with a couple of pictures of me and my Sweetie. Have a blessed day, Everyone!
Engagement Day












Us at Old Faithful in Yellowstone

Me and my Love


Wednesday, October 17, 2007

It's a Wrap!

Ta Da! Here it is...the bath wrap I made in a class I signed up for when I bought my sewing machine. You can read that post here. My sis and I both went to the class on Monday and it was so much fun! We were both a little cranky towards the end and it took us way too long (about 5 hours)to make this thing, but hey, we had worked all night before the class AND we're beginners! Well, I'm definitely a beginner anyway...my sis has sewn several different things over the years so she's a little more "with it."

This wrap was so much fun to make and I know it'll go together much quicker next time I make one. The first time is always the slowest, right? If you're not familiar with the fabric, it's that really soft minkee-dot stuff that's often used to make baby blankets. It's the kind of fabric you find yourself absentmindedly stroking until you notice the amused glances others are giving you. :) The ribbon is just your typical grosgrain and I sewed it along the front edge to give the wrap some flair. The bows at the top are made out of the same ribbon but I added a bottom layer of plain pink just to help them stand out a little more. The teacher of the class suggested that I sew the two pieces of ribbon together to keep them from shifting around and I'm so glad I did; I think it gives the wrap a more finished look. I don't know if you can see it in the picture but the polka dot is sewn on both edges to the plain pink. And no, I am not the most awesome bow maker ever, that's just a third piece of ribbon wrapped around the middle to complete the bow. Ha! I can just see me fighting with the ribbon to get that perfect middle knot! I would have been ready to rip it all out...my patience only goes so far, especially when I'm going on almost 24 hours of no sleep!

The teacher, Ms. Shirley, is the owner of Fabric Boutique, a fabric and sewing machine/accessory store here in our city. I was really excited to learn that she was going to be teaching the class because she's very knowledgeable about her craft and so, so sweet! Also, she was extremely patient with us and gave us some great tips. I think the most helpful thing I learned was to "pinch an inch" which is a way to lightly pull the fabric taut while guiding it under the needle in order to keep it from getting bunched up or puckering. The minkee-dot fabric is a knit so it's a little hard to work with and loses its shape easily. Ms. Shirley says you should handle it like a baby (got that part down) and to "pat it, love it, and let it rest" when you lay it out to pin the hems. What she means is, when you lay the fabric out to pin, you have to pat the wrinkles out of it and handle it gently so that it doesn't get too stretched out. I think pinning is what took the longest because you have to pin the hems as you go; you can't pin everything at one time because the wrap is "built" in stages.

I had the best time making this wrap and if any of you have even thought about taking up sewing, DO IT!! It's so much fun, plus it's a great way to make things for your friends, family, and home. I've been thinking about making a tablecloth for our kitchen table and now I can't wait to get started! Here's a pic of some fabric I've been thinking about using for the table...
I like the idea of using the middle toile for the main cloth and then adding a border of the red & white polka dot. The paisley on the left is just another one I liked but I've pretty much ruled it out now. What do you think? Would those fabrics be too busy? I already have a pattern for the tablecloth...I just need to get the fabric and get started! This sewing thing is great for getting my creative juices flowing, now if I could just get my motivational juices flowing, I'd really be in business!

Oh! I almost forgot! Here's a picture of my very first, very humble sewing project made with my new machine. It's a little thing I call "Crazy Car Pillow" because it's a wild print and just the right size for snoozing while on a road trip. The fabric is an old bandanna I found in the masses of stuff I brought with me from my parents' house when Hubby and I married. Nothing fancy, just fun!

Okay, that's all for today, folks! I hope you enjoyed reading about the fun I had as much as I enjoyed having it! Does that even make sense? Oh well, have a great day!

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

YUCK!!!

That was the word that kept running through my head last night at work...YUCK!
For those of you who don't know, I am a Registered Nurse and work in the Newborn Nursery of my hospital. Most of the time, I enjoy my job but last night truly tested my patience.

First, a little background...our hospital's main population of patients consists of low-income, minimally educated, unmarried women. That's not our only type of patient but it's the vast majority (in the women's center, anway). These women, and sometimes young girls, usually choose the state's Medicaid program as their insurance. This, then, usually means that the mom will rely on the WIC (Women, Infants, & Children) Program to help provide for their babies. Well, beginning on October 1st, the WIC program changed the formula it provides from Similac Advanced to Enfamil Lipil. As we all know, everything usually comes down to the money issue, and Enfamil just so happened to have the best bid this time around (I suppose). We knew this change was coming a couple of months in advance and we were all dreading it. Now, I have nothing against formula feeding if that's what the mother chooses to do, but it's been my experience that most babies do not tolerate Lipil very well and end up spitting up lots of formula.

That's exactly what happened last night. I was taking care of 5 babies, 4 of whom were on Enfamil Lipil. 3 out of 4 of those Lipil babies kept spitting up LARGE amounts of formula all night long!! I had to change their blankets and t-shirts I don't know how many times! And, that's pretty bad because I'm a little OCD and I like my babies to look nice and neat in their little cribs. I ALWAYS wrap them in their blankets snugly and tuck a burp cloth under their chin & cheeks so that they don't get their blankets dirty if they spit up. Well, they were spitting up such large amounts that it soaked through the burp cloth and ran off the sides! GROSS!!

Like I said, I have nothing against formula feeding but I do prefer Similac products over Enfamil. The babies just seem to hold it down better. This is all just my opinion, of course, so if you love Enfamil, please forgive me. These are just the rantings of a nursery nurse who will go to bed in a little while with the lingering scent of baby spit-up in her nostrils. And she's not particularly happy about it!

Whew! Thanks for letting me spill my guts, y'all (no pun intended) (ok, actually it was intended)!

Ha Ha, lots of love to you all! Have a wonderful day!

Saturday, October 6, 2007

Sleepy Head

Today was way too early of a morning for me. It began at 5 am (on my day off!) because my sweet husband was getting ready to go deer hunting and I just couldn't stay in the bed while he was rustling around. He has been so excited to go hunting and get started on this season! Bow season actually started October 1st but he's been so busy with school and work that he hasn't had a chance to go before now. Well, he was dressed in his non-scented camo gear and safety harness waiting on his buddy to show up 20 min before his friend's expected arrival time. He was so cute sitting there in the chair all excited like a kid waiting to go to the park or something.

While he was waiting, I made him some toast with butter & raspberry jam (homemade, but not by me) which is what he said he wanted for breakfast. I guess it's not a good idea to eat a heavy breakfast like pancakes & bacon before you have to go traipsing around in the hot, humid woods. Could be hard to get out of the tree stand in time if the bacon starts acting up, if you know what I mean!

Anyway, I'm excited about this hunting season starting too! Hubby has gotten some great pictures of a 7-pointer, 9-pointer, AND a 12-pointer on his deer camera. Those deer have been burnin' up the trails around his tree stands and I really hope he's able to take one this season. I can't wait for fresh venison stew and fried deer steak. Our supply from last year is really running low. And, hubby does almost all the processing (except grinding the meat into "hamburger" or sausage) himself so it makes the reward that much sweeter knowing that the meat we're eating was painstakingly prepared.

Here's a picture of the buck he shot during the '06 season...



And here's a pic of one of the nice bucks he's caught on film this season ('07)...


Isn't that neat how the deer camera not only takes the deer's picture, but also records the temperature, date, and time? Technology is a handy thing! And, if you'll notice, the deer has just lost his velvet (the fuzzy stuff on its antlers). You can still see a little bit of it hanging in front of his left ear. Ha ha, the things you learn by living with a hunter! :) Oh, and did you catch a glimpse of his friend hanging out in the background? Pretty cool, huh?

I can't wait till he comes home so I can hear how he did and what he saw! Woo Hoo! Bring home that bacon...errr...venison, Baby!

Have a great weekend, Everyone!

Monday, October 1, 2007

She did WHAT?!!

I was driving home from work this morning listening to K-LOVE (a syndicated Christian radio station) as usual when I heard the most amazing, startling, & mind-boggling news report. Apparently, there is a 51-year old mom in Brazil who recently gave birth to her own GRANDCHILDREN!!! Yes, grandchildren, as in TWINS! This selfless woman offered to carry her daughter's children because her daughter was unable to bear children. At first I thought, "What was she thinking?! She's 51 years old!" But, the more I thought about it, I decided that her actions are just about the most sacrificial thing I've heard of anybody doing in quite awhile.

Think about it. The lady is not exactly a spring chicken, which means that this pregnancy probably took a major toll on her body. And, not only was she pregnant, but she was carrying twins! My nurse's mind can immediately think of at least a dozen health issues she could have faced and maybe even did face (they didn't give details in the news report). I guess they didn't want to cause any more traffic accidents than necessary by adding to the already shocking story. Also, can you just imagine all the speculation & ridicule this woman and her family probably had to endure? And it's not over yet. That whole family will have to deal with insensitive, tactless people for the rest of their lives! Whew, my level of respect and admiration is steadily rising for this lady and I don't even know her!

I truly hope this woman & her family know the Lord since she was such a model of sacrificial love. If you think about this unique family in the future, say a prayer for them. Pray for strength of body, soundness of mind, and salvation if it's not already theirs.

Have a wonderful Monday, Y'all!

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Winds of Change

Can you feel it? The wind is stirring, the leaves are waving, and there is the slightest odor of smoke in the air. I'm not speaking of the weather, mind you, but of my spirit. Lately, I have felt the Lord stirring in me...changing me...igniting within me a desire to be more receptive to Him. He is gently prodding me to change the way I see the world around me and especially to change the way I treat & react to the people around me.

For the past several weeks I have felt a driving need to learn more about what it means to be a godly woman and how that godly woman should make her home a haven for her husband and children (if God blesses her with any). I have felt a need to do something to bring myself closer to God...things like memorizing Scripture, reading the Word more, and making a conscious effort to be kind in my thoughts and words. Much of this inspiration is due in part to the many blogs of wonderful, godly women that I have found over the past month or so. There are links to some of them in the sidebar if you'd care to take a look. One of my favorites is A Wise Woman Builds Her Home which belongs to June Fuentes of Indiana. This lady has EIGHT children and homeschools them all! She really has some godly wisdom on child-rearing, being a spouse, being a homemaker, and several other topics. If you want to be challenged, go read her blog. You won't be disappointed!

On several of the blogs I've been reading lately, I've read references to being a "Proverbs 31 Woman" or a "Titus 2 Woman." I had a vague idea of what the ideal woman in Proverbs is like-- pretty much perfect! But I had never heard of being a Titus 2 woman until just recently. So, like any good Baptist girl who finds herself on the very back row in big church & hopelessly distracted by all the potty-goers, I decided to look up the Titus passage. Keep in mind my desire lately to be a "homemaker", not necessarily a stay-at-home wife yet, but a homemaker.

Titus 2:3-5, NIV
"Likewise, teach the older women to be reverent in the way they live, not to be slanderers or addicted to much wine, but to teach what is good. Then they can train the younger women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands, so that no one will malign the word of God."

That, ladies (and maybe gentlemen), is exactly what God has been stirring up in my soul! Hallelujah, praise the Lord! When I read those verses, it was as if God shouted in my head, "Look Ashlie! This is what I've been guiding you toward! This is how you can please Me!" I tell you, that was an "Ah-ha!" moment for me. I especially love how the NIV says "busy at home" because it portrays a woman who stays at home and yet is not at all lazy or bored. She is "busy" keeping a clean home so that her family will be comfortable. She is "busy" doing laundry so that her family will have fresh, sweet-smelling clothes to wear. She is "busy" cooking food that will satisfy hungry bellies and nourish growing bodies. In short, she is fulfilling the privilege, and, yes, it is a privilege, of making her home a haven for her family.

I have a long, long, long way to go before I am anywhere close to being a Titus 2 or a Proverbs 31 woman. But if the gentle breeze stirring in my soul is any indication, it will be a revealing & refreshing journey! I pray that you too will begin to feel God calling you back to a joy in godly womanhood.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Sew Excited!!

I'm SEW excited!! I got my very own sewing machine! It all happened Tuesday afternoon...

My mom, sister, and I went to lunch at Posados (Mexican restaurant) and decided to go across the street to the Fabric Boutique to look at sewing machines. My sis and I have both been wanting a sewing machine for some time now and so we just went in to look around and see what the store had to offer. Well...the first thing that caught our eye was the cutest bath wrap made out of that pink minky dot fabric that a lot of baby blankets are made of. The store is offering a class on making these wraps and that got us really excited so of course we had to sign up for it! It only cost $15 (plus materials) and it was on a day that we're off so we just had to do it. Never mind that it's at 11 am and we have to work the night before. We'll wear thimbles on every finger if we have to just to keep ourselves from sticking sharp pins in our sleepy digits. Who cares if we'll be squinting at the teacher through blood-shot eyes? We CANNOT miss this class! It just sounds like too much fun!

Then, we started talking to Ms. Shirley, the owner, and she started demonstrating all the neat stitches you can do with the Bernina something-or-other sewing-slash-embroidery machine. I was fascinated! And it doesn't help that I'm the type who wants to get the equipment with the most bells and whistles for whatever hobby I'm into. But when I saw the price tag (a couple thousand bucks) even I had to reign in my eagerness. We looked around a little more and found a basic machine made by a Bernina-owned company that was on sale for about a $150 off. The good thing is, it's cute too! 'Cause that's important, right? I mean, how can you make cute stuff come out of a not cute machine? Yes, I thought you'd agree. :)

In the picture you'll see all the sewing notions I had to go out and buy because I had nothing but a pair of scissors. Literally. I didn't even have any safety pins, let alone a hem gauge, pin cushion, marking pencils, THREAD, seam ripper, and measuring tape. The pin cushion is one of those classic little tomato ones...how cute is that!? Oh, and the big blue thing behind the machine is my cutting board. It's made for quilting, which I want to get into. It's got all kinds of shapes in assorted sizes to use for cutting out your quilt pieces. Oooo, I can't wait to get started! But wait! A major element in any sewing project is FABRIC, right? Of which I also had none. Until today...

I got these remnants from Hobby Lobby when Sis and I stopped in after work. They are anywhere from 3/8 yd to 2 yd and were very reasonably priced. The white one has a tone-on-tone pattern to it, the navy blue has tiny white stars, and the others are pretty much what you see in the picture. Except the cream & floral one 3rd from left. It's an eyelet print that has floral embroidery running all across it in white thread so it gives it some texture. I'm thinking these will either be good to practice on or to make a rookie's first patchwork quilt. The start of a first quilt anyway. The possibilities are endless! The absolute best thing about this new sewing machine is that Hubby and I had prayed that I'd be able to find a good deal on one the night before in our prayer time. And then the Lord gave me one ON SALE!! God is so good. He even cares about little stuff like that. :) I can't wait to see which way the bobbin winds with this new adventure!

Have a great day, Everyone!

UPDATE: We got our bathtub fixed! Yay! The repair man is the same one who's been out several times before and he and my hubby have struck up a friendship. Hubby gave the old man some catfish he'd caught & ducks he'd shot. The old man said to call him personally next time and he'd cut us a deal for some more meat! Woo Hoo, it's good to have connections like that. :)

Monday, September 17, 2007

Finally! A Wreath is Born!

It's been a REALLY long weekend at work. Babies coming out of our ears (and other places) and dreams of screaming, pooping, burping, brand new people. So it's a good thing I finally got around to putting my fall wreath together Friday afternoon before the craziness began. If you remember, I blogged about buying the makings of this wreath at Hobby Lobby a couple of weeks ago. Yes, sadly, I did say a couple of weeks ago. But, in my defense, I have stayed true to my nature and procrastinated once again. I don't think I'd know what to think of myself if I actually did something I set out to do the day I set out to do it.

Anyway, I had woken up way early Friday afternoon and my Sweetie was at home doing homework so I figured I might as well be productive and get the wreath done. Hubby had been asking me almost every day, "Are you going to do the wreath today? I can't wait to see it hanging on the door!" And, I, being the procrastinator that I am, had a guilty twinge with each inquiry. Although, apparently it wasn't a twinge painful enough to induce wreath wrangling.

Now, it's not that I didn't want to make the thing after I bought the fixin's, it's just that for some reason my genetics do not allow prompt production of any new or planned project. That part of the Helix was somehow left out of my DNA ladder. I have thought about trying to change. I've even agonized over and lamented my inability to get anything done in a timely manner. But alas, the thought just stresses me out so that I eventually ignore the problem and decide to deal with it later. Hence, the vicious cycle continues.

Enough of my rambling, here is a pic of the materials I used for the wreath (minus the scissors, but that's a given):



All of these deliciously lovely pieces came from Hobby Lobby, and were, of course, on sale. Never, ever, ever buy anything from that store for full price because if you just wait a week or so whatever your heart desires will be on sale. That was just an aside for those of you who didn't realize this miraculous fact. Hobby Lobby is fast becoming a dangerous store for me to hang out in. It's probably due to this need I have lately to CREATE something, anything, everything! I've always enjoyed crafting and being creative but it's only been recently that I've had a real desire to create things that make our home more inviting and warm. Maybe it's newlywed-itis, I don't know. Whatever the cause, it's fun to make something pleasing to the eye, especially when my husband is so encouraging! :)

Here is the finished wreath hanging on our kitchen door (nobody uses our front door, so why put the wreath there?). Oh, and I ended up not using the raffia because I liked the way it looked without it and I didn't want the thing to get too busy.

I just love Fall. I would love it even more if I lived in an area where you could actually tell when it got here instead of just walking out the door one day in oh...say...January...and saying "Whew, it's nippy out here. I guess Fall finally decided to show up!" But hey, better late than never, right?

Don't worry, y'all, fall will come soon enough and then we'll all be able to enjoy those cool evening walks, chili suppers, and warm cider or cocoa. If you feel the urge, go ahead and make something with your own two hands that you and your family can enjoy. Better yet, get your family involved in helping you make something to warm up your home! I bet you'll have fun and make a couple sweet memories too!

HAPPY FALL, Y'ALL!!


Thursday, September 13, 2007

Bathtub Blues

Aaarrrggghhhh!! It's happened again. Our bathtub has decided not to drain. AT ALL...or, at least very slowly. Now, I like to take long, hot showers and this clog business is seriously cutting into my shower enjoyment. I just can't relax under the steaming hot water when I'm standing ankle deep in bathtub backup!

This is not the first time the bathtub has acted up. Oh no. A couple of months ago we had to call out the plumber because the bathtub and the toilet had indigestion. The toilet had overflowed and the tub kept burping up trash from the drain. Can you say "Gross!"? The memory alone makes me shudder! That time we spent a whopping $95 to have our clean out access in the front yard snaked.

Well, it looks like we're gonna have to call out the nice plumber man once again. Yes, we've tried the liquid clog busters you can buy at the store. They're just no match for our circa 1950's/60's pipes and the clog that's no telling how old. My Dear Hubby even tried buying his own plumbing snake from Home Depot to bust the clog. How a thin metal coil with an adjustable handle is supposed to break up an obstruction, I'll never know. Needless to say, our bathtub decided it was still hungry and ate the snake. So now instead of a clog made of just the usual bathtub fodder, we have a piece of metal coil stuck in there too! Whew! It just keeps getting better, doesn't it?

Here's a picture of our backed up bathtub at its finest:


And yes, that is pink tile. It seems that was a popular color choice for bathrooms in the 1950's. It's definitely been a challenge to decorate around! And it's probably why I haven't done much besides add a vase of potpourri to the back of the toilet and hang up nice hand towels, both of which were wedding gifts by the way. :)

I suppose tomorrow I'll have to break down and call the plumber. I really, really, really hope this doesn't cost an arm and a leg!

Have a great day y'all and remember the lesson of the day...a plumber a day keeps the Bathtub Blues away!!

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Fun That Makes You Think

This is a fun little tag that will make you stretch your noodle! Thanks, Anna

These are the rules of the tag:

Use the first letter of your name to answer each of the questions. Your answers must be real places, things, names... nothing made up. If you can't think of anything, skip the question. You can't use your name for the boy's/girl's name question. If your name happens to start with the same letter as mine, sorry, you can't use my answers.

FAMOUS SINGER:
Allison Krauss

FOUR LETTER WORD:
Alto

STREET:
Audobon

COLOR:
Aubergine

GIFTS/PRESENTS:
Afghan (the blanket, not the middle-easterner)

THINGS IN A SOUVENIR SHOP:
Albums

BOY'S NAME:
Aarron

GIRL'S NAME:
Abigail

MOVIE TITLE:
Apocalypto

DRINK:
Apple cider

OCCUPATION:
Astronaut

CELEBRITY:
Ashton Kutcher

MAGAZINE:
Allure

U.S. CITY:
Austin, Texas

PRO SPORTS:
Anglers (fishermen)

FRUIT:
apple

REASONS FOR BEING LATE FOR WORK:
Agoraphobia

SOMETHING YOU THROW AWAY:
Animal droppings (yuck!)

THINGS YOU SHOUT:
Amen, Sister!

CARTOON CHARACTER:
Animaniacs (does more than one count?)

Ok, now it's your turn! Copy this to your blog (come on...you know you want to stretch your linguistic legs!) and leave me a comment so I'll be sure & have a look at your creative genius!

Have fun and God Bless you!

Monday, September 3, 2007

Happy Labor Day!!

Happy Labor Day to all you hard-working folks out there!! Whether you're a stay-at-home mom or a busy corporate executive, you deserve a day that recognizes your efforts. So, even if you don't have official plans to celebrate the day, try to take a little "you" time. Brew a pot of coffee & use the special creamer, read a few chapters of the book you've been wanting to start, or just relax on the couch for a power nap. Whatever you do, I hope your day is wonderful from start to finish!

Me, I'm gonna go crash until I have to get up & cook supper. My Honey is coming home today! YAY! I wanna have something yummy waiting on him when he walks through the door. I haven't seen him all weekend and his homecoming can't get here soon enough! Sleeping will make the time go by faster, right? Anyway, I hope everyone has some kind of special moment today, either at work or at play.

P.S. I have a big box of Hawaiian leis leftover from my rehearsal dinner if anyone would like to have them. Why I thought I needed over a hundred, I have no idea. Nevertheless, they need a good home. Maybe a mom with kids who like to pretend? Or a teacher looking for prop? Or maybe someone who just wants to imagine they're in the tropical islands...can you tell I'm desperate to get rid of them? I paid good money for these things (not much, mind you) and I'd hate to just throw them away. But I really, really, really want to get them out of the back of my car!! Just let me know...

Sunday, September 2, 2007

20 Questions...or more like 46 :)

I got this from Destiny's blog and I'm a sucker for these question & answer thingy's so here ya go! Copy it to yours if you'd like and let me know so I can snoop on ya!

Betcha didn't know this... :)

1. WERE YOU NAMED AFTER ANYONE?
Sort of...my mom liked the name Ashley (I spell it Ashlie) from Gone With the Wind so that's where my first name came from & my middle name (Gayle) is after my aunt
2. WHEN WAS THE LAST TIME YOU CRIED?
a few weeks ago when I got some bad news from my parents
3. DO YOU LIKE YOUR HANDWRITING?
most of the time...depends on whose handwriting I've been looking at :)
4. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE LUNCH MEAT?
turkey & ham
5. DO YOU HAVE KIDS?
nope, not yet
6. IF YOU WERE ANOTHER PERSON WOULD YOU BE FRIENDS WITH YOU?
Of course! I'm fabulous Dahling! and humble too
7. DO YOU USE SARCASM A LOT?
What do you think? :)ha ha couldn't resist! But yes, I do
8. DO YOU STILL HAVE YOUR TONSILS ?
Yes
9. WOULD YOU BUNGEE JUMP?
Only if I were pushed first!
10. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE CEREAL?
Golden Grahams
11. DO YOU UNTIE YOUR SHOES WHEN YOU TAKE THEM OFF?
Usually
12. DO YOU THINK YOU ARE STRONG?
physically or emotionally? physically--HA!...emotionally--in most situations
13. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE ICE CREAM?
Anything coffee flavored and/or chocolate
14. WHAT IS THE FIRST THING YOU NOTICE ABOUT PEOPLE ?
Body language, eyes, and smile
15. RED OR PINK?
pink...any shade!
16. WHAT IS THE LEAST FAVORITE THING ABOUT YOU?
my superb ability to procrastinate
17. WHO DO YOU MISS THE MOST?
My husband! He's dove hunting in Missouri this weekend
18. DO YOU WANT EVERYONE TO SEND THIS BACK TO YOU?
Of course! I'm nosy remember?
19. WHAT COLOR PANTS AND SHOES ARE YOU WEARING?
Do you really care?
20. WHAT WAS THE LAST THING YOU ATE?
McDonald's sausage & cheese biscuit meal
21. WHAT ARE YOU LISTENING TO RIGHT NOW?
The washing machine spinning
22. IF YOU WHERE A CRAYON, WHAT COLOR WOULD YOU BE?
A bright turquoise...that color always makes me smile
23. FAVORITE SMELLS?
Fresh cut grass/hay, rain, and just about any Yankee Candle
24. WHO WAS THE LAST PERSON YOU TALKED TO ON THE PHONE?
a patient at work (while at work, not a social call)
25. DO YOU LIKE THE PERSON WHO SENT THIS TO YOU?
Yep! Sure do!
26. FAVORITE SPORTS TO WATCH?
I don't really know what's going on in any of them but I like to watch football (with a group) and Nascar
27. HAIR COLOR?
Dark Brown with reddish tint
28. EYE COLOR?
Green
29. DO YOU WEAR CONTACTS?
Yes (I want to do the laser procedure but I'm too chicken)
30. FAVORITE FOOD?
I could probably eat Mexican everyday and Chinese is a close second...desserts come in third :)
31. SCARY MOVIES OR HAPPY ENDINGS?
Happy endings! scary movies make me feel like I've just invited satan into my life YUCK!
32. LAST MOVIE YOU WATCHED?
Apocalypto & 300...both are really good but not for kids or if you want a pick-me-up
33. WHAT COLOR SHIRT ARE YOU WEARING?
Navy blue Old Navy t-shirt
34. SUMMER OR WINTER?
Winter...you can always add more layers but there's only so far you can go with the de-layering ;)
35. HUGS OR KISSES?
Hugs...and kisses from my Sweetie
36. FAVORITE DESSERT?
Yellow cake with chocolate icing...plain I know but it's a comfort thing
37. MOST LIKELY TO RESPOND?
Hopefully at least one person :)
38. LEAST LIKELY TO RESPOND?
?????
39. WHAT BOOK ARE YOU READING NOW?
The Saving Graces by Patricia Gaffney
40. WHAT IS ON YOUR MOUSE PAD?
Hawaiian scene with jumping dolphins
41. WHAT DID YOU WATCH ON T.V. LAST NIGHt?
I was at work so I only heard what was on in my patients' rooms
42. FAVORITE SOUND?
Rain on our metal back porch roof, kids' big belly laughs, my husband calling me "Ash-of-lee" (we're completely corny with each other)
43. ROLLING STONES OR BEATLES?
Beatles...even though they did have an amoral lead singer
44. WHAT IS THE FURTHEST YOU HAVE BEEN FROM HOME?
Washington, D.C. on a band trip in high school (yes, I was a band nerd)
45. DO YOU HAVE A SPECIAL TALENT?
not that I can think of so I guess not
46. WHERE WERE YOU BORN?
Warner Robins, Georgia

Ready or NOT!!

I work 12 hour shifts. At night. Yes, that's right...7 pm to 7 am...and usually longer than that depending on how big the baby boom is at the moment. I think I'm pretty used to it after a little over 4 years and I even enjoy my job...most of the time. Sometimes it can be pretty nerve-wracking if you have a particularly needy mom (no offense ladies) or a couple of babies who think they need to practice their operatic scales ALL NIGHT LONG.

Anyway, 12 hour shifts make for a long night, as you can imagine. So, at the end of my night I'm usually ready to head straight home & decompress for a little while before hitting the sack. However, a few of my co-workers have recently decided that it would be great fun & very motivational for us to all go walking together at a track down the road when we get off. Now, since I am all about hangin' with the girls and even slightly eager to shed a little of the junk in my trunk, I have been participating for a couple weeks. And, I'm always glad I did it when we get done with our usual 2 miles. But...I HATE IT!!

At least I hate the thought of going before I get there. Does that make sense? I always have to fight with myself and convince myself that I'm doing this for the welfare of my body. The Bible does say our bodies are the temple of God, right? Well, this temple never gets excited about a new paint job or a good window scrubbing. But it sure feels good after it's done!

Such was the case last night. We were slow in the nursery (only 7 kiddos) so we did a fair bit of sitting, which makes it even harder to feel motivated to exercise. I debated all night long about whether or not I really wanted to go walk 2 miles in the heat & humidity. But, in the end, I went with two other girls & walked our 2 miles. We even ran about a quarter of one of those miles! And ya know what? There was a delightful breeze blowing & only minimal humidity!! The Lord loves me after all! :)

All this is to say, when you dread something that's probably gonna be a little difficult, DO IT ANYWAY!! You'll be proud of yourself when you're done and you'll probably reap a blessing you didn't even know was waiting on you!

Have a HUMDINGER of a day everyone!

Friday, August 31, 2007

Patience, anyone?

Thank you to all of you who have already left such nice comments on my little blog! It is so exciting to get new comments! I guess I need to get out more, huh? No really, it's neat to know that people are actually reading my blog. :)

Yesterday was a study in patience and perseverance for me. My day started at 8 a.m. (for those of you who know me well, you know that is WAY too early) with a trip to Holmes Honda for some scheduled maintenance on my Pilot. Well, first of all I do not particularly like to have continuously bubbly conversations in the early morning. Apparently, the lady sitting next to me was not very adept at reading body language. She was limitlessly interested in the book I was trying to read, my job, where I live, and the cost of my vehicle's maintenance. After each question & answer, I would lower my head and pretend to be reading. There was no stopping her though! She just kept coming with the big smile and energetic questions. Finally, when the service tech came to tell me I just HAVE to have brand-new tires, she left on the shuttle van to be taken home. Probably to get the 10% off coupon she kept complaining about not having. :)

As if that were not enough to test my patience, the rest of my day continued to be one irritation after another. I went to my mom's house to pick her up to run errands and forgot my keys on her kitchen table (we took her van). This wouldn't have been a big deal but I still needed to pick up my car from Honda after we ran errands and had no key! If you're confused now, I had driven my Dad's Accord to my mom's house because his car just happened to be ready for pick up after maintenance & I was trying to do him a favor.

Finally, we got everything worked out and I got my car back and everything was fine. Towards the end of the afternoon though, I started thinking how silly it was of me to be so irritated with such little troubles. Maybe I was hormonal, or grouchy, or maybe I was just feeling plain old selfish! I had wanted to go to Hobby Lobby on my one true day off and my plans kept getting delayed. Poor, pitiful me, right? Thank you, Lord, for making me think of others before myself even though I did it with a grouchy heart. :) Thanks for making me realize that I don't have time to be so petty.

The day ended with me getting to go to Hobby Lobby after all (I got some stuff to make a fall wreath) and Nathan & I were also blessed to be able to take dinner to some friends from Sunday School. Little did we know, we have a lot in common with that couple & will hopefully be able to make some good friends!

See, God can turn my stinker of a day into a blessing, after all! He can do the same for your bad days if you just choose to let Him. Yes, it took me all day to see Him working but hey, I never said I was quick on the uptake!

Have a wonderful day everyone! I'm off to get ready for work!!

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Beginner's Blog

So this is my very first blog. Ever. I'm still learning all the neat things you can do with your very own web page so please forgive me if this blog is pretty basic. I can't wait to figure out how to put all those cool slide shows and videos and such on here! Actually, the whole idea of having a blog is exciting to me. I guess because it's something new. Anyway, this blog is mainly for friends and family to keep up with Nathan & me and our day-to-day doings. If any of you out there have good (meaning easy) tips for sprucing up my page, I'd love to hear from you. If not, well then, leave me a comment anyway. :) Have a great day and don't forget...hit your knees and PRAY!!