I Got a Bee in My Bonnet

My mind is forever thinking of new projects that I want to do. Sometimes the ideas get to "buzzin" around so fast that I feel like I have bees swarming around in my head. This saying actually came from my grandmother. She used to say, when she had an idea about how to do something, "I got a bee in my bonnet and I couldn't rest until I got it out." So, when I think of something new I want to do, I can't rest until I get that bee out of my bonnet. Ü

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Our Christmas Card to you!!!!

Merry Christmas to all our Family and Friends!

We sincerely hope that all of you are doing well and that you are enjoying the blessings of God in your lives during this holiday season. What a special time this is for all of us as Christians. As we draw nearer and nearer to His return, it is a privilege to be able to worship the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. We are grateful for all He has given us…much more than we deserve. Our health is good (although we are both seeing a little more around the mid-section these days); we still have jobs (which is saying a lot in this economy); we serve in a wonderful church that has a burning desire to see others come to know Jesus, in our community, city, state, nation and world; we have super friends that add to our joy; our girls are doing well and our granddaughter is simply our pride and joy AND both sets of our parents are alive and doing well.

My Mother and Daddy are both 83, and Norman’s parents are 86 & 82. Although they have each had some health issues, it is such a blessing to still have them around. My mother had an aortic valve replaced a year ago and after a pretty long recovery period, is out and doing well. However, she fell in October and crushed two vertebrae in her lower back and had to be placed in rehab. She was able to leave the rehab facility the week before Thanksgiving and continues to improve daily. Daddy is doing very well. He did not get to go deer hunting at his camp this year due to the high water, but did get to hunt on opening weekend in Blevins, AR with Mother’s cousin. Norman’s Mom has had a rough time of recovery from her shoulder and neck surgeries over the last two years. In fact she has had a total of three on her shoulder and one on her neck. Hopefully, this last one is going to do the trick. His Dad continues to do well, but is slowing down a little. At 86 he deserves to but believe it or not..he is still preaching each Sunday!

Norman continues to work in the ink business with Flint Ink Group. We are holding our breath that the cut-backs the company is experiencing will not affect him, but know it may happen in the near future. We also know that God is our provider and if He takes away the job we are confident He will provide another. I am still at Abundant Life School as the Elementary Principal. In August I began my 16th year there and my 14th as principal. I feel very blessed to have that position and I count it a privilege to work in a place with such Godly teachers and staff.

Alison & John still live in Conway…about 35 miles from us. She continues to work at Blue Cross & Blue Shield as an analyst. They have no children but are the parents of our grand dog, a cute little fellow named Gus. They are active in the Celebrate Recovery program of their church.

Andrea and Camryn live about 7 miles from us in Sherwood. She is still working for the AR Municipal League as a Claims Examiner in the workman’s comp area. Camryn is a second grader in Abundant Life which gives me the opportunity to see her on a daily basis. She is a very active and very smart little girl. She continues to dance competitively with Ms. Karen’s Dance Studio. This year she will be dancing in six different routines. It never ceases to amaze me how she can remember all those dances and get her body to do those moves!

I got the opportunity to go to Greece again this year with a team of ladies from our church. We went to work with the school age children of the missionaries who were there for the East European Conference and Retreat. The retreat was held on Aegina Island off the eastern coast of Greece. It was such a joy to work with the MK’s during the mornings and then have the opportunity to spend extended time with their families in the afternoons. We also got to visit the Acropolis in Athens and the ruins of Corinth while there. Seeing the places where Jesus and the apostles would have walked was an awesome thing. Norman works in our Kid’s Town program each week as Pastor Leon and with the Jr. High Trek Program on Wednesday nights. He is also working hard to complete his degree in Christian Education through a correspondence program from Trinity Baptist College. I use what little voice I have left singing in the music ministries of the church: Celebration choir, the church Praise Team and with Norman occasionally as we sing specials.

Well, that about catches you up on our lives.

We sincerely hope that all of you enjoy this “Most Wonderful Time of the Year.” As you are rushing around trying to finish up your shopping and then get to all the Christmas programs and parties, we pray that you will set aside some time to remember our Savior who was born in a stable those many years ago. Let’s not forget the reason for the season…Jesus Christ

Merry Christmas to all of you!

Norman, Alicia & Jacye

Saturday, December 5, 2009

My 25 Christmas Memories...

I will add the pictures of my house soon but until then, I thought I would do what my girls have done. Here are my 25 Christmas Memories

1. Wrapping paper or gift bags?
I love both, but have started using bags over the last years.

2. Real tree or Artificial?
Really always loved the process of our family going out to select the tree, thinking it will not be big enough, cutting it down, bringing it home to find that is is way bigger inside my house, the pungent smell...ah I love it until it is time to take it down. Needles everywhere because it had gotten so dry. For the past 8 or so years, I have changed to a prelit artificial tree because it is to much easier! I just add pine scented candles to bring that holiday smell into my house.

3. When do you put up the tree?
I usually put it up on Saturday of Thanksgiving weekend.

4. When do you take the tree down?
I at least wait until after Christmas, but most of the time I have it down by New Year's.

5. Do you like eggnog?
Yes! I love, love, love the taste of eggnog. It is just way to fattening to drink it as much as I would like.

6. Favorite gift received as a child?
I think it would be my softbodied baby doll, which I still have.

7. Hardest person to buy for?
My parents...they can get whatever they need, and do not ever ask for anything.

8. Easiest person to buy for?
My granddaughter

9. Do you have a nativity scene?
Yes, I do...actually two.

10. Mail or email Christmas cards?
My choice is to make my own cards and I have done that for years. However, the last few years I have had family emergencies that have kept me for getting that done. So, I am having to deal with the guilt I feel for not making my own. I may design one and send them out through email as a pdf. file. Postage has gotten so expensive, it is very costly to send out 60 cards anymore.

11. Worst Christmas gift you ever received?
An alarm clock from my husband. And then the following June, for my birthday, he got me another one...with a lighted dial. And I am not even one who is a late sleeper or who doesn't get up easily. He has since learned to ask what I want or ask the girls what to get.

12. Favorite Christmas Movie?
Goodness..there are so many, but I suppose it would be a tie between "White Christmas" and "It's a Wonderful Life."

13. When do you start shopping for Christmas?
I shop all throughout the year and hide the presents in a "safe place." However, I inevitably forget to put some of them out until everyone starts opening presents and I suddenly remember I had gotten something else for them that is not showing up. lol I hate getting older and losing my memory!

14. Have you ever recycled a Christmas present?

15. Favorite thing to eat at Christmas?
Breakfast Casserole on Christmas morning.

16. Lights on the tree?
Oh yes, lots of them...all white!

17. Favorite Christmas song?
“Oh Holy Night”

18. Travel at Christmas or stay home?
We always try to be home on Christmas day but usually travel either before or after to Birmingham to be with Norman's parents and siblings and to El Dorado to be with my family.

19. Can you name all of Santa’s reindeer?
OF course, You know, Dasher and Dancer, Prancer, and Vixen, Comet and Cupid, Donner and Blitzen...but do you recall, the most famous reindeer of all...Rudolph the red-nosed reindeer...LOL

20. Angel on the tree top or a star?

21. Open the presents Christmas Eve or morning?
I always wanted to open at least one on Christmas Eve, but never could convince my husband to start this tradition. So, Christmas morning.

22. Most annoying thing about this time of the year?
The commercialism and the stupidity of all this "political correctness" in calling this season, "Winter Break." Come on, if it wasn't for Christmas, I sincerely doubt the economy would be boosted in the least by people going out to buy "Winter Break" gifts! AND more importantly the insane idea of trying to take Christ out of Christmas and everyone being instructed not to say, Merry Christmas! for fear of showing preference to one celebration over another!!! OK...I will get down off my soap box now.

23. Favorite ornament theme or color?
Right now, I have red and silver...I have used for many years a collection of ornaments old and new, that were given to me.

24. Favorite memory of Christmas?
I think as a child and young adult, it would be all gathering on Thanksgiving weekend at my grandparents to have Christmas. We would draw names the year before and then bring a present for the person whose name you drew. Lots of great memories!
Since my grandparents are no longer with us...I think it would be any of the Christmases with my girls and now with Camryn. It is so exciting to see her excitement! This year should be a very memorable since we have all gone together to get her a Yorkie!

25. What do you want for Christmas this year?
I really don't want anything, however, I have already purchased my gift and will put it together after I take all the Christmas decor down...a buffet with a hutch.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Our Bean Fest weekend...

Last weekend was the annual Bean Fest in Mountain View, AR. Since we had never been before and since Fall was in full force in the northern part of the state we decided to get out of NLR and take in the sights, sounds and tastes of the mountain folks of AR. So, Norman and I and two other couples (Betty & Terry Reese and Judy & Danny Douglas) headed up there on Friday around 3:30.( Side note * This was the day after we had torrential rains in our area. We had to reroute our trip due to some of the roads being closed because of flooding.)
Danny had arranged for our lodging and we were to stay in the American Eagle Cabins about 8 miles outside of Mtn. View. None of us had seen these cabins other than on their website. So, armed with our trusty Google directions and maps we head for our destination. Originally, we thought we would eat before we got there but with the evening hours approaching quickly and darkness descending on us, we all agreed we would like to find our cabin (which was actually a 3 BR 2 bath log house) before it got dark.
The scenery along the way was gorgeous. We get to Mtn. View and turn onto Herpal Rd as the directions said. This was your typical two lane curvy road which was not too bad. However, the farther we went the more narrow the road became until it evolved into a very narrow, deeply rutted gravel road. Norman said that it was worse than some of the roads at their deer camp. It would have been good to have had a 4-wheel drive for parts of it but we were able to maneuver it by going very slowly. The previous day's rain did not help the situation. We went through some areas that were pretty deep and all the advice the weather men give about "not going through deep water if you can't see the bottom" kept running through my head. The good thing was that these roads were not gooey mud, but hard gravel roads.

Scenery along the way to Mtn. View

We get to a fork in the road and could see cabins down below so we figured this was the place. Below is the picture of what we had deducted was our cabin.

We drive up and there are two bulls with long pointed horns standing in the yard.

We have finally arrived! We all pile out and start looking around. Wow! This was a really neat cabin. Pretty soon we begin noticing some strange things about this cabin...like a back pack was sitting in the carport, a boat and motor was also under the carport, the back screened in deck looked a mess with buckets and mops on it. We decided to check the doors because the lady told Danny that the door would be open and the keys on the table. So, we all go streaming into the house. Immediately, we were taken back by all the personal stuff that was in the house and the mess that was in the sink and on the bar. Norman goes to look in the bedrooms and bathrooms, and Danny wonders farther into the house.
It quickly became very evident, we were in the wrong house!!! Thankfully, no one was home and we didn't get shot. Judy said, "I can hear it now, the neighbors are going to call the sheriff and report at B & E in progress." She works for the NLRPD and could just imagine what her co-workers would think. We all got back into our cars and had many a laugh the rest of the weekend as we thought about the fact that we just walked right into someone's house and what the ramifications would have been if someone had in fact been in there! Visions of the story of the Three Bears comes to mind.

So we load bacl up and get out our directions one more time and re-read where we were supposed to go. As it turned out we needed to go farther down the gravel road. Finally we see our cabins! Then we see the road to the cabins...it looks like this....

Ours is the second one from the right. Norman and I waited until we made sure Danny could make it through the high water before we launched out into the deep.

They made it!
And so did we!!
We unloaded and decided that rather than go back in to town to eat and then have to find our way back in the dark, we would just have the grilled hamburger meal we had planned for Saturday night. We thought we were in good shape because they had a grill on the back porch and we had the charcoal... but then we realized we had no lighter...not even a match. (That is what you get when you have three non-smoking couples.) Thank goodness we had a nice neighbor who helped us out!
After we ate we tried to get our Scene It game to work but again had technical difficulties in getting the TV to work with the DVD player(this same situation happened when we tried to play it at Danny and Judy's). WE couldn't find the remote control for the TV which was necessary to make it all work. So, we pulled out our Spinners game (a fancy domino game) and enjoyed an evening of dominoes.

Below is a beautiful picture of the sunset which was out our front windows.

This is what the river looked like out back...it was way out of it's banks.
The next morning, the water is still deep.

This is looking off the front porch across the valley.

It was beautiful inside...hardwood floors with the rustic log motif.

And a fireplace, which we got the neighbor to light and then had to turn it off when the smoke alarms began going off!! Oh yeah!

This is a little blurry but you can see what a gorgeous place it was. We had plenty of room and didn't feel on top of one another.

Here we are at the Bean Fest sitting around enjoying one of the groups of pickers.

It was a beautiful day...temps were just right!

There is a video down at the bottom of this group of men picking and singing just to give you a little taste of the music we got to hear.

This is Sunday morning waiting to leave for church at Flatwoods Baptist.

The water had receded about 5 feet but still had a long way to go until it was back to it's normal level.

Our crew checking out the water level of the river.

This was a wonderful weekend of rest and relaxation with some great friends! So glad that we were able to have the time away.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Greece Mission Trip...Sept. 3rd-11th

I got the opportunity to go to Greece again this year with a group from our church. This time we flew in to Athens, Greece and then ferried over to Aegina Island. While in Athens, we got to take a walking tour of the sights of Athens....the Acropolis, the Parthenon, ampitheaters, etc. While on the island of Aegina, we got to experience a Greek wedding reception and a baby dedication. The time with the missionaries and their children was awesome. During the mornings (9-12)we held a 3 day VBS for the kids while their parents went to their sessions. We had a wonderful time with them and just basically fell in love with all of them. They are some very special kids. In the afternoons we would eat at some of the local restaurants and then take in some of the sights. In the evenings we all got to attend the preaching service.

The highlight of the trip was on the last night of meetings. They called all of the children's workers in and had a prayer time for us while laying on hands. It was a very meaningful and touching time. When two of the kids began praying for us, I just lost it!
This trip was one that I will never forget and the memory of it will be one that I will cherish for the rest of my life.
This is our group ready to leave from Little Rock, AR
Hotel Danae where we stayed while on Aegina Island

The view from our motel meeting room
See the next post for the rest of the pictures.
(There are also more pictures on my facebook page. Check them out!)

Mission trip to Greece part 2

Our view from our meeting room

Sitting at one of the restaurants
Outdoor fruit stand
Octopus hanging out at one of the markets
My swollen left foot.
Standing in the Aegean Sea
Me standing on top of Mars Hill where Paul would have stood to preach.
Our group standing on Mars Hill overlooking Athens
The modern city of Athens
The Acropolis with the Parthenon on top.
Me sitting near the acropolis
The Parthenon
Me in front of the Parthenon
Roslyn, me and Chelli with Parthenon behind us.
Us again
The temple of Athena
Me and my monkey puppet, Spice, speaking to the children.
The kids liked Spice
Us with our group of kids
Me with the ruins of Corinth in the background.
The ancient ruins of Corinth
Me again with the ruins of Corinth in the background.
Me standing where Paul would have stood to preach in Corinth.
The group from Faith Baptist who put on the retreat standing on the Lechian Road in Corinth.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Let's hear it for Air Conditioning!!!

Yep, that was the inside air temp a little over an hour ago...and that was after the new unit had been running for about 30 minutes. It has taken a day and a half to get it in but this Bryant 3 1/2 ton unit is working like a charm. I am very grateful that God allowed the weather to stay cooler until the installers could get this unit in and running. It is a shame that we are so spoiled to the cooler air conditions. But as one of my teachers said, "I am not ashamed to say, I need refrigeration. " I am looking forward to sleeping in the cool tonight, although with the windows open and the cool nights we have had, I have not been uncomfortable. But with the forecast of humidity coming back by tomorrow and with that the temps will rise...it is good that they are getting this finished up today! As and added bonus they also say that we should run more efficiently too. AND, on top of that....we are supposed to get a $1500 tax credit for upgrading to a more energy efficient system! So, I say again,