Wednesday, November 28, 2012

What I'm Loving Wednesday: Christmas Music Edition

Christmas music is everywhere right now!  It's fun, joyful, and usually helps me keep me focus on Jesus.  Yay!  Here are some of the Christmas albums that I love:

Steven Curtis Chapman release his newest Christmas cd this fall.  JOY is full of classics and newly written pieces with a smooth jazzy feel to many of the songs.  One song is about Christmas in Kentucky, so of course that makes me happy!  Here's Joy to the World:

Josh Groban's 2007 album Noel is just flat out gorgeous!  The whole CD is stock full of one beautiful sound after another.  It Came Upon a Midnight Clear is awesome:

Can you ever go wrong with Mannheim Steamroller? I love their unique takes on Christmas classics.  Here's God Rest Ye, Merry Gentlemen:

Michael W. Smith's Emmanuel is so powerful:

Barlow Girl has a song called Hallelujah, Light Has Come.  It's heavenly!
Casting Crown's rendition of I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day is possibly my favorite song of my adult life (Hark the Harold was my favorite as a kid).

What are your favorite Christmas songs?

Linking up with Jamie.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

New on the Radio

I love all the 24/7 Christmas music, but let's face it: I've been on a diet of Christmas music since Labor Day to prepare for upcoming concerts and performances.  I still need my country fix!  Here are two of my favorites that are new-ish to the radio in the last several weeks:

Jason Aldean, with Luke Bryan and Eric Church: The Only Way I Know:

Hunter Hayes: Somebody's Heartbreak:

Monday, November 26, 2012

Meal Planning Monday

This is one busy week, so I'm pulling from the back of the freezer and what I never made last week!

Sunday: Church

Monday: Chili

Tuesday: BBQ Baked Potatoes

Wednesday: Chicken Marsala

Thursday: Lighthouse of Hope

Friday: Tortilla Soup

Saturday: Pearland before Sagemont's Christmas program

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Thanksgiving Recap

This has been one of the most fun Thanksgiving breaks in quite some time.  David and Laura came down to my parents for the last half of the week, so my brood headed to Pearland each evening to visit, eat, play games, and watch football.  Aggie Belle and Layla provided copious amounts of free entertainment, chasing each other and sharing raw hide bones.  Nothing quite like watching a 60 pound dog on one end and an 8.5 pound dog on the either end, gnawing away without a care in the world.  That scene tied in my opinion with catching Layla licking the butter while Dad prayed over our meal on Thursday.  So, so funny!  I wish we had kids running around, but the dogs will certainly keep us entertained in the mean time.

The best idea of the whole weekend was to leave the boys at home yesterday for my Nanny, Mom, Laura, and me to go pick up food before the Aggie game.  We definitely enjoyed our cranberry margaritas while we waited for them to cook our to-go order.  Lots of great conversation and laughter, and that's just how it should be.  We capped off the night with an Aggie win and some amazing Johnny Football plays.

I'm so sorry for the lack of pictures, but my family just isn't the photo snapping type.  Just know we had a blast being thankful for each other and jobs that allow us to be together. 

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

What I'm Loving Wednesday

I love that this is Thanksgiving Break for a whole week!  That's a lot of time to be thankful for a whole lot of blessings.  I'm enjoying it.

The best part of a week off has been all of the time with friends.  I've had a lunch date with Michelle T. and Megan, a shopping date with Michelle K., and today I get to have lunch and go shopping with Meredith.  Oh, oh, oh, how I love my friend time!

I loved finding Isaac wearing his Mr. Fix-It shirt while working on my brother's weed-eater.

I love that the trees are turning brilliant shades of red and gold right now.  Our trees always decorate themselves in time for the holidays.

I love this sign that I found at our brand-spanking new, absolutely huge HomeGoods.  It's very appropriate for my house.  Of course it had to find a spot on the A-B wall.

I loved date night with my grandparents at the zoo last night.  Houston Zoo is having Zoo Lights this year for Christmas, and last night was a preview for members.  We had a blast visiting our favorite animals and then viewing extensive amounts of lights.  Many were choreographed to music while others were just plum pretty.  The whole event was incredibly well organized. If you live near Houston, GO!
Baby Tupelo

Mama and Baby Kudu. 

I'm not sure they understood all the commotion.  Poor herd!

I love my Jesus!

Linking up with Jamie.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Best Kind of Sleepover

I am so, so thankful I have friends who will entrust me with their most precious gifts-their children.  The Tanners are one set of those most special of friends.  They know I will do anything for their four amazing kiddos, and I am grateful to get to spend time with them 'just because' and when they truly need help.  Last night was one of those HELP nights.  Will had to work the next day, and MeMaw was sick, so Michelle asked me to come help with Jack and his twin brother Liam.  It's so much easier at night for one adult per baby.  Liam and I got in cuddles, bottles, and changing before bedtime, and then he went off with his mom.  Jack and I settled down for a night of sleep, cuddles, and solving the world's problems at 2:50 in the morning.  We decided the world just needs more milk and cuddles to be happier.  :)  I am blessed to have friends that let me pour out all the mommy gene in me that I can't currently use in my own home.  What a fun, special sleepover!

Monday, November 19, 2012

Operation Pillar of Defense

This is day 6 of war between Israel and the terrorist organization Hamas.  For a full understanding of Hamas, I highly, highly recommend the book Son of Hamas.  I cringe anytime I read or see about nations at war.  It breaks my heart to know that innocent lives on both sides are at stake.  I hate thinking of terrified children, their lives interrupted by bomb raid sirens and lack of supplies.  Yet, I also know what both the Old Testament and the New Testament say about Israel.  I know that no matter how hard any one tries, Israel will not be destroyed.  In fact, in times yet to come, God will destroy all those who try to destroy His holy city and His chosen people.  That bring hope, even in the face of instigated war by unbelievers.  As America joins with family and friends this week to celebrate our bounty, remember Israel.  Pray for peace, and pray for God's mighty will to be made known so innocent lives are not taken.  For more details than I can easily give, I suggest frequenting Joel Rosenberg's blog.

Meal Planning Monday

Sunday: Chicken Parmesan Soup

Monday: Homemade Frito Pie

Tuesday: Date Night with my Grandparents

Wednesday: BBQ Baked Potatoes

Thursday: Thanksgiving!

Friday: Leftovers

Saturday: Italian Beef Sandwiches

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

What I'm Loving Wednesday

I love that my campus of middle schoolers raised $520.94 last week for the Red Cross to give to Hurricane Sandy victims.

I loved spending two hours cuddling tiny Jack and Liam last night.  I can't believe they're already a day shy of one month old.  I need to get in more cuddles!

I love the story from our  music minister that he met Florence Henderson (you know, Mrs. Brady!) while on sabbatical, and she wants to come hear us sometime.  I don't know if she actually will, but COOL!

Vera Bradley has hit the jack pot with these things:
Scentsy has come out with another peppermint scent.  Oh, calm yourself, nose!

I love that it's time to start planning Advent lessons for my middle schoolers at church.  The blog Rethinking Youth Ministry always has awesome ideas.

I love that the girls in my Sunday school are already fighting over who gets to come to my house for the retreat in January.  Our youth minister is in for some pretty awesome bribes!

I love my Jesus!

What are you loving this week?

Linking up with Jamie!

Monday, November 12, 2012

Meal Planning Monday

Sunday: Church

Monday: Kraft BBQ Chicken and Salad

Tuesday: Pumpkin Pasta and Salad

Wednesday: Chicken and Veggie Biscuit Bake (didn't get to it last week)

Thursday: GNO

Friday: We have 2 different dinner groups that night, so we'll end up at one of them.

Saturday: Homemade Frito Pie

Saturday, November 10, 2012


They did it!  The Aggies stopped #1 Bama with a game like non other, never letting the Tide flow even once.  Gig 'em!  Holy cow!  I had to suffice with Sports Center on my phone for the first half while I was at TAHG training, but I made it home in time to watch Maroon and Crimson dance quarters 3 and 4.  Johnny, you won my heart tonight!  The third quarter had me screaming so much with frustration at dumb moves to make Bailey run from my lap to the quietness of my bedroom, but the fourth quarter was one glory play after another.  Three interceptions were enough to seal the deal, even with missed points at various times.  Oh, Aggies, you made my day!  To stop an undefeated team's streak and to never let them even have the lead if quiet a feat.  I am so proud of my school and their entrance into the SEC.  I'm also a bit jealous that my dad and brother were there.  Ok, I'm A LOT jealous. :)  Gig 'em, Ags!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

What I'm Loving Wednesday

I love that no matter how long or short I am away from my dogs, they are beyond thrilled to see me.  Picking them up yesterday from my parents made leaving Colorado bearable.  They love my parents, but they weren't even going to think about spending one more night at the Pearland Resort once they saw Mommy.  I had one dog on my feet and one in my armpit in bed Monday night.  As grand as Colorado is, that was better.  Maybe someday I can combine the two.

I love how cool, crisp, majestic, and glorious Colorado is every time I visit.  Someday, when I have a hard drive that's not broken and a computer that will read a memory card, I will probably write some posts about all of the fun we had, but for now, words are all I have.  I can't even view my pictures, my hard drive is so messed up.  I've begged for a new one for weeks, but still no luck.  That means no Christmas pictures for anyone this year if I don't get a new hard drive before then.  Sad day, especially since I have some incredibly pictures of climbing to a waterfall, an adorable horse, views from riding up two different messas, a cave, and a few bits of snow!

Back to Colorado: I loved spending 4 days mostly outside, never sweating, never wondering if my deodorant was working, never having bad hair due to humidity, and seeing new scenery around ever turn. And dogs get to go almost everywhere. Vail is dead this time of year, so it was right up my no-crowd alley.  Not to mention that the Vail Cascade Resort is just as grand as the website makes it seem.  No false advertising on their end.  Wow, wow, wow!! 

I love that, after today, there are only 7 more school days until Thanksgiving break.

I love that the campaigning is finally over for 2012.  I had no idea just how special it is to live in state that always swings one particular way in national elections.  I haven't seen hardly any presidential campaign commercials this year until the trip to Colorado.  Every other commercial, and sometimes every commercial was about some candidate or another.  Oh. My. Word.  Insanity.

I do love that no matter how heated the arguments, or how bummed a person might be about the election outcome, we always have a peaceful transition of power from one government to the next.  I heard people complaining about standing in line for more than 20 minutes to vote the past two weeks (Texas has early voting, which is another major love!), and it made me cringe.  I couldn't help but think of the Sudanese elections to split the nation in two, or the first recent democratic elections in Iraq not so very long ago and how far and long people WALKED just to be able to make their opinion count.  Thank You, Lord, for what this nation is able to do every four years, regardless of the political party that ends up in control!

I'm loving my Jesus!

What are you loving this week?

Linking up with Jamie.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Meal Planning Monday

Sunday: Vail

Monday: Airport

Tuesday: Beef Stroganof

Wednesday: Aunt Donna's Pasta

Thursday: Tapestry Dinner at UBC

Friday: Chicken Veggie Biscuit Bake

Saturday: BBQ Chicken

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Brought To You By The Number 8

Warning: this is about as random of a post as they come, but my GT kiddos are rubbing off on me.   Obsessions just stick for a while until they are thought through completely and then are replaced with the next obsession.  The number 8 has been my current fascination.  It is probably the number with the most different variations of formation (just try grading 150 papers that all involve writing numbers-there's at least 4 ways to write an 8 and it still be correct).  It's a number, but it's curvy and continuous, and it doesn't stop.  It's so thrilling that all it takes it looking at it horizontally to make the infinity symbol.  Who thinks up these thing?  In long ago Spain, silver coins were broken into 8 pieces and used in smaller denominations. Countless pilots twist and flip their planes into a very exciting to watch maneuver called a Cuban 8. Eight has power-and history.  It's fun and beautiful and exciting, and it's nothing more than a number, but obviously worth one remembering.  Crazy, huh? 
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