Tuesday, November 1, 2011

18 Years

Setting the Stage ...

Fall 1993 – Florida College – Sadie Hawkins
There was “this guy” who sat behind me in chapel.  We talked a little bit BUT for the most part our talking was because he was ALWAYS picking on me … pulling my hair, messing with my chapel seat, taking my books, etc. – you get the point.  It was Sadie Hawkins which meant the girls had to ask the guys to fall banquet.  During breakfast one day “this guy’s” friend was inquiring who I was going to ask to fall banquet … he suggested I ask “his friend” – you know to “just go as friends” … I agreed.  Asking day came and I went to the local card store to purchase the “asking prop”.  Back in the day those stuffed animals in balloons were a BIG thing so I bought a soft, stuffed brown dog with big floppy ears, tied a note written in calligraphy around his neck and had it all put inside a balloon.  The best part was that “this guy” worked as a night watchman and was going to be on shift until midnight.  I made arrangements with his roommate to have the balloon sitting on his bed when he came in from his night watch shift.  So “this guy” had to go a whole day of seeing each other in chapel, at meals and in class BUT never once did I say a word about fall banquet.  Rumor was that “this guy” was nervous ALL DAY LONG that I had changed my mind and wasn’t going to ask him.  Shortly after midnight I received a phone call from “this guy” saying he would be more than happy to go to fall banquet with me!!  Our official “first date” was on “guy be nice to girl day” – Byron took me out to dinner, then to a movie and then we finished our date with hot chocolate and HOT Krispy Kreme Doughnuts.  Little did I know that just two years later on our “anniversary” Byron asked me to marry him … so I guess you can say the rest is history!! 


My constant friend, my faithful partner and my love from this day forward.

In the presence of God, our family and friends, I offer you my solemn vow to be your faithful partner in sickness and in health, in good times and in bad, and in joy as well as in sorrow.

I promise to love you unconditionally, to support you in your goals, to honor and respect you, to laugh with you and cry with you, and to cherish you for as long as we both shall live.

Fall 1993


June 21, 1997


March 19, 2011
To this day Byron LOVES to pick on me and when I get mad or frustrated with him he reminds me that it all began with him picking on me!!  I thank God EVERY day for the blessing he sent my way 18 years ago ... even when he is picking on me!! 



I know it's been awhile since I have updated and hopefully I will be back SOON with a post about what has been going on in the Davis household ... I have been trying not to devote as much time and energy to the internet and to pour that time and energy into more meaningful and important things in my life ... things that will be beneficial to both me, my family and most of all my commitment to the Lord!!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Transformation

When we bought our new house we delayed our move-in for a month so that we could paint the inside while it was empty.  Although I love a lot of color my man on the other hand is very plain and simple so we painted the entire living room/kitchen/dining area plain ol’ white.

The first room I wanted to add some color to was the laundry room –after all if I have to do laundry, which is one of my least favorite chores, I wanted to be able to do it in room I liked and enjoyed.   So during one of my MANY visits to Lowe’s I picked up several paper paint swatches and taped them to the wall so I could see “what they would look like”.  After a couple of days I picked out a color I was “in love with” (just for the record my amazing husband AKA “the painter” agreed on the color too) so off I went to Lowe’s to make the paint purchase.  I can remember my man painting that room – although I had a BIG SMILE on my face I was looking at the color and thinking “Oh my goodness … it looks like someone has thrown Pepto-Bismol on my wall”.  Of course I could not bring myself to say a word because I was “in love with the color” AND I know my man’s “love/hate relationship with painting” … he’s one of those perfectionist-kind-of-guys …. 
So here we are 1 year and 5 months later and I had all I could take of my Pepto-Bismol laundry room.  A couple of weeks ago when we were in Lowe’s I “casually wandered” over to the paint section and started picking out paper paint swatches again.  I narrowed down my “likes” to 4 paper paint swatches.  I picked out my favorite and my husband picked out his favorite and of course they were different.  This time I did not just use those paper paint swatches to make my decision - this time I knew about these little ditties – the best $3 you will EVER spend. 
Oh and by the way, my husband (and his momma), picked the winning color!! 
So Byron and I labored all weekend long on various house projects but most importantly transforming the laundry room from Pepto-Bismol Pink to Pomegranate Red.  I am so thankful for the MANY people we have had in our new home BUT why on earth didn’t someone tell us how horrible the laundry room looked??  At any rate we certainly appreciate the fact that nobody wanted to hurt our feelings!  One of the main reasons Byron and I fell in love with our house is because it is great for entertaining.  Along with the laundry room transformation this past weekend the outside got some transformations as well that will make our get-togethers nicer and more enjoyable.  With a list of projects completed and the cool air we are already excitedly planning a get-together ….
Here are some before and after pictures ....
Before - "Pepto-Bismol Pink" AKA Olympic "Coral Coast"

Before - "Pepto-Bismol Pink" AKA Olympic "Coral Coast"
(with the sample color painted)


After - "Pomegranate Red" AKA Valspar "Fabulous Red"

After - "Pomegranate Red" AKA Valspar "Fabulous Red"


After - "Pomegranate Red" AKA Valspar "Fabulous Red"

I tried my best to capture the "true colors" BUT the sun shines in our back door in the afternoons/evenings so it was hard to get a good picture without the glares from the sun. 

The first words out of my man's mouth were - "WOW that looks SO MUCH better!!"  He is such a trooper ... just one of the MANY reasons I love him so much!!!! 

Friday, August 19, 2011

Best Beach Day Ever ....

This past Tuesday I was able to take my nieces and nephew to the beach one last time before school starts next week.  This beach trip was a lot more exciting because we were able to join up with my 6 other sweet nieces who were vacationing at the beach … well they aren’t really my nieces BUT they do all call me Aunt Amy and I am proud to claim each and every one of them!!  When we arrived at the Matheny condo we were able to watch the dolphins swim for a bit which was pretty awesome!!  Once everyone was “rounded up” and got their sunscreen on we hit the beach ….
We had a pretty awesome surfing instructor amongst us … Bridgett worked with any of the kids who wanted to try it.  I didn’t get any pictures BUT Hayley and Jake BOTH were able to get up on the surfboard … I was so proud of them.  The water was perfect – it wasn’t too rough - so that they could really learn how to stand up on the surfboard without being afraid and having the waves beat them up.
Some of the other kids got bored while the surfing lessons were going on … so Jake came up with the idea that they should bury him in the sand … so they did!!  I can’t even begin to tell you how well these 9 kids get along … and the part that I LOVE the most is that Jake is the ONLY guy but it DOES NOT bother him one bit!!  Between the beach and the pool the kids were able to play hard and have LOTS of fun!! 
The best part of the day for me is always the ride there and back ... I enjoy spending time with Brooke, Hayley and Jake  … just listening to them talk about whatever THEY want to talk about … after all it is all about them isn’t it?  We were all so tired on the way home … Brooke was trying to sleep and I made the comment to her that I was too tired to drive and I thought SHE needed to drive us home … I then told the kids a story about one time when Brooke was little she had been with me for the day … I was taking her home and she kept dozing off in her car seat so I would say or do something to keep her from falling asleep because we were only about 5 minutes away from her house and I knew if she fell asleep she would NEVER stay asleep once she got home AND then she would be cranky … so when I got to the end of their small dead-end road I got Brooke out of her car seat and sat her in my lap and told her to help me drive … she looked up at me with the most serious look on her face and said “Do you think that is a good idea Maymie?”  So that story led in to why Brooke called me Maymie … I explained to the kids that each of them at one point called me Maymie … the best we could tell was they were trying to say “Aunt Amy” and it came out “Maymie” … eventually Maymie became Aunt Amy.  So the rest of the way home the kids kept asking to hear stories … so I would tell a story about one of them and then one of the others would ask to hear a story about their self …  I love that family is so important to them ....
Here are some pics from the day … please note that the CRAZY pictures are because Hayley and Jake entertained themselves with my camera on the way there and back …









Friday, August 12, 2011

Blessings ....

This week has been a bad week for various reasons …

It seemed EVERY time I turned the corner Satan was there hurling his darts at me trying to bring me down …  I will be honest that he was winning the battle for a little bit …
HOWEVER after a LOT of time in PRAYER, a lot of time in HIS WORD and a LOT of wise counsel from my husband and my BFF; Satan is no longer winning the battle with ME!!  As my VERY dear husband and BFF reminded me ~ I have way too many blessings in my life to let the Satan bring me down!!  God continually showers me with blessings ~ and for that I am ever grateful ~ however I need to be more aware and open my eyes to ALL the blessings HE has given me!!

What if your blessings come through raindrops?
What if your healing comes through tears?
What if a thousand sleepless nights are what it takes to know you’re near?

What if trials of this life are your mercies in disguise?

The longer we hold on to injustices done against us, the more the bondage will strangle the life out of us.  Forgiveness requires our deferring the responsibility for justice to Christ and deciding to be free of the ongoing burden of bitterness and blame.  I have finally come to the place where I feel sorrier for my perpetrators than I do myself.  DO NOT let the enemy steal one bit of the victory God has in store for YOU!!  DO NOT allow intimidation or fear to imprison you in any area.  Remember, Satan can presume no authority in your life … he will do his best to bluff you … do not let him!!  God NEVER misses a single groan or cry of His children.  He ALWAYS has a rescue planned.  When the time is right, God will move in on behalf of His children. 
Are you counting your blessings or are you counting your injustices in life? 

Thursday, August 4, 2011

My Man Had A BAD Day ....

Anyone who knows my man knows he is a HARD worker and he IS NOT a complainer and that it takes A LOT to bring my man down.  He has suffered some pretty severe ailments or injuries in his life ranging from anaphylactic shock due to seafood allergies, E.Coli (on our second anniversary), and dropping a “dirty knife” (on my birthday) in his leg and missing his femoral artery by less than an inch. 

My man was much younger when he went into anaphylactic shock from eating smoked mullet dip.  His mother and I talk about that day often – especially since my man has decided he wants to “experiment” to see if he is still allergic.  Unfortunately my man “grew in to” his seafood allergy ~ he KNOWS he LOVES it BUT he CAN NOT have it!!  We have honestly had MANY conversations with him saying he is going to get some shrimp and check in at the local ER and tell them that he is going to require their assistance very soon … I keep assuring him that this would not be smart. 

When my man had E.Coli he spent a week in the hospital … he was pretty much comatose that entire week.  On my second wedding anniversary I sat in my man’s hospital room while the doctor told me “there is NO antibiotic to treat this … he has to be strong enough to fight it on his own.”  It was THE scariest week of my entire life!!  5 days later my man was released from the hospital, although he was very weak he made a scene refusing to ride in a wheelchair!!  My man had a 2 week recovery period … he got a little stir crazy but we were just thankful he was still alive!!

Just 4 months later my man was at work slaughtering cattle.  He was up on a platform and his knife slipped out of his hand.  He tried to “catch” the knife and pushed it right into his left leg.  Instantly he thought he had hit that main artery.  Fortunately he had not hit that artery; however he came VERY close.  The big problem was they would not stitch his leg up because the knife was “dirty” and if he got an infection the infection would have nowhere to go.  He was the patient all the residents wanted to be in on because of how unique the case was.  My man had about a 4 week recovery … he got VERY stir crazy and spent a lot of time with his Papa recovering.  Again we were just very thankful he was alive!!

About 2 weeks ago my man was working outside and got stung by a wasp on his left hand.  Within just a few minutes his hand began to swell.  By the time we went to bed his entire left arm was swollen up to his shoulder.  Sure is a good thing I recommended he take his wedding band off (which is a no no for both of us).

Tuesday night my man was outside changing the blades on the mower when he got stung by a wasp AGAIN this time right between the eyes.  Y’all that wasp hit him so hard he was bleeding when he came in the house.  I immediately got concerned because of how quickly and how much he swelled up last time he got stung!! 

This is a progression of his swelling in photos (he asked me last night if his “sting pictures” had made the blog)  …  

You can already see the bridge of his nose and eyes swelling ...


Now you can see the swelling under his eyes ...
 

Now you can see his entire face is swollen ...
Y'all that is ALL from ONE WASP ...

Of course my man wouldn't go to the ER or urgent care center ... his sister and I tried to convince him that his airway was going to look like his face if he didn't go.  He assured me that he knew EXACTLY what anaphylactic shock felt like and was perfectly fine ... I then had to convince his mom and my mom that he was fine ... that's a hard job to do when you aren't 100% convinced yourself. 

My man stayed home yesterday all drugged up – AND if you know my man he DOES NOT miss work for ANYTHING!!  He said that he felt like he should not go to work and cut meat since he could not open his eyes - I agreed.  Needless to say we have an appointment set up to see an allergist - maybe now we can find out the “safe way” if he is still allergic to seafood …

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Beach Day Take 2 ...

I don't have a lot of time to devote to a post BUT I did want to share the fun from Beach Day Take 2 ...
Brooke, Hayley, Jake and I were able to escape for a fun day at the beach last week ...

These are a few highlights from our trip:

~  We stopped along the way for breakfast at McDonald's ....

~  We arrived at the beach at about 9 am ....

~  The weather was PERFECT ....

~  We walked on the beach and found lots seashells ....

~  Brooke, Hayley and Jake ran through the sitting seagulls and made them fly (several times) - I     wish I had taken my phone and got a video of it ....

~  Hayley and Jake buried themselves in the sand while Brooke and I sat in our chairs with the waves at our feet talking ….

~  We saw huge schools of fish swimming like a stream in front of us and no matter how hard we tried we couldn’t touch them ….

~  We saw some sort of LARGE animal frolicking way far out – it wasn’t a dolphin and it wasn’t a shark – I told the kids I thought it was a whale and after doing some research online I’m convinced it was a Right Whale ….

~  The water was FREEZING!!  Hayley’s lips turned purple EVERY time we got in the water ….

~  We ate lunch at a GREAT beach side cafĂ© ….

~  Jake said 2 AMAZING and THOUGHTFUL prayers for us …. You know – not the same recited prayer you say before every meal ….

~  On the way home when I received some bad news I silently began to cry and all 3 of them comforted me ….

If all goes as planned we will make one more beach trip before school starts ….

God has truly blessed me with these wonderful nieces and nephew … I have been fortunate enough to watch them grow in to such kind, sweet, caring and loving children!!  I enjoy EVERY moment I spend with them!!  I pray that the Lord will bless them with MANY more years on this earth ….

Here are just a few pictures of the day - most of which are taken by Jake & Hayley on the way ….

Hayley Bug
Jake

Brooke

Brooke texting while I was pumping gas ....


Brooke striking a pose ....
Hayley Bug ....


Jake being silly ....


Jake and Hayley ....


Brooke and Aunt Amy ....

 Jake in the sand ....

 Hayley Bug in the sand ....

 Jake after the sand ....


Hayley Bug after the sand ....

Our feet in the sand and waves ....

Friday, July 15, 2011

Green Thumbs

I have always admired anyone with a green thumb. I have never considered myself to have a green thumb; however I never had much of an opportunity to “practice at it” either. Almost 18 years ago I was brought into a family with “green thumbed women”. I was AMAZED at the farming and gardening that Byron’s family did (and still does). Let me just tell y’all how “uneducated” I was … the first year Byron and I were married, Nana (his grandmother) called to say that there were LOTS of peanuts to be picked - so we headed to Nana & Papa’s after work the next day and on the way out there I asked Byron which tree the peanuts grew on … YEP – that’s exactly how uneducated I was!! Somehow it became routine for Byron and I to go to Nana & Papa’s every Monday when we got off work. Between the full garden and the sugar cane, there was always plenty of work to do. Fortunately the Lord blessed me with 12 years to watch and learn all about farming, gardening and canning from Nana. One of the first things she taught me was how to cook and freeze pumpkin so that we could have homemade pumpkin pies all year round. Of course, teaching me how to make a pumpkin pie from scratch was part of that cooking lesson. I am so excited that Papa planted cooking pumpkins this year … it has been way too long since I have had one of those from-scratch-Nana-pumpkin pies!!

Shortly after Byron and I bought our new house last year I asked my mother-in-law to come over and help me start planning on what to plant. My sweet mother-in-law certainly got Nana’s (her mother) green thumb … I do believe my mother-in-law could resurrect a plant from the dead!! After almost a year of plotting and planning on what to plant, we finally commenced to planting this past March. Let me just pause and tell y’all that we didn’t go to the local nursery and buy a bunch of stuff to plant - everything that my mother-in-law and I have planted has a “deep rooted history” – ultimately everything came from Nana’s yard.




We are in the process of plotting and planning our fall planting session, all of which will continue to have that “deep rooted history”. Right now my mother-in-law is in the process of rooting some Hydrangeas to plant. We are also going to move 2 larger Pink Crape Myrtle Trees from Papa’s house to our house. It seems almost every Monday night Papa, Byron and I walk around in Papa’s yard and talk about all the things we need to transplant from his house to ours.


On Easter Byron and I went to Uncle Kenny and Aunt Dorinda’s for supper. Wouldn’t you know she had a bunch of Crinum Lilies that she didn’t want and of course I was kind enough to take them off her hands. The pictures of the lilies are a mix of the ones my mother-in-law and I planted and the ones that I got from Aunt Dorinda. Aunt Dorinda also gave me several Purple Crape Myrtle sprigs that kept coming up from a tree they had removed.



I have always been fond of the beautiful Oleander bushes at my BFFs parent’s river house so I decided to take a couple of clippings while I was there Memorial Day weekend …
I know, I know, Oleander is poisonous! There may be some folks we would like to “accidently” slip some Oleander sap to, but I think we will be able to refrain!!


One night my nieces and I were at Lowe’s and they helped me pick out some seeds to plant in our yard. I will be honest that the seeds sat on the kitchen table for a long time. Finally I decided that they weren’t going to grow in the packages so I went outside and hoed up a corner of the yard, threw down the last of the potting soil I had, threw out a little fertilizer and the seeds and this is what I got …

Now that I know I can grow wildflowers with little to no effort, I will take a little more time actually planting the seeds instead of "throwing them out" next year.


The very first thing we planted in our yard was our Bradford Pear Tree. Byron and I are so blessed to be part of an AMAZING church family!! Words could NEVER adequately describe how we feel about our brothers and sisters at Glen Springs Road Church of Christ!! Last year when Byron and I bought our house, our church family surprised us at the annual Easter potluck with a Bradford Pear Tree covered in gift cards and money as a token of their happiness for us buying our new home. Byron and I both were speechless with the outpouring of love they showed to us. This tree is planted just inside our gate and we are reminded EVERY DAY of the blessings God has given us in each and every member of our church family.

One day while my mother-in-law was at our house she noticed a sucker at the base of the tree. She told Byron to cut it off and stick it in a pot with some potting soil and see what it did. This is what it did ...
Undoubtedly my husband has inherited a green thumb from his Nana, Papa and mother!! 

As most of you know I have been walking one of the hardest journeys of my life with my Best Friend SaraBeth. 8 months ago today Rob and SaraBeth received a fatal diagnosis for their sweet baby Faith. The last several months have been filled with so many ups and downs, so many prayers, so many sleepless nights and so many tears!! There were so many times when I felt so inadequate as a friend because I didn’t know what to say … the only thing I knew to do was to pray - I prayed so hard for the Lord to be with me, to guide me and to give me the strength, courage and wisdom I needed to help SaraBeth on this journey. I immediately reached out to my AMAZING “30 Somethings Sisters” for their prayers not only for me but for SaraBeth, Rob, Baby Faith and the rest of the family. Again, I can’t even begin to tell you of the love, encouragement and support that my sweet sisters so freely bestowed to not only me BUT to SaraBeth, Rob, Baby Faith, and the rest of the family during this difficult journey. I can’t even describe how it felt to see so many from my church family at Faith’s service and meeting my BFF for the very first time BUT because of our common bond there were no introductions necessary.

This is a Hibiscus Tree that some of my sweet sisters gave me to plant in honor of Faith. I promise you that EVERY DAY since I have had this beautiful tree there has been at least 1 bloom on it. Each day I look at this tree and remember precious Faith and that although her life was very short her testimony will live on through SaraBeth and Rob for years. I am truly blessed to have such an AMAZING best friend and to be part of such an AWESOME church family!!



Maybe I do have a green thumb after all ... at least a "learned green thumb" from Nana and my mother-in-law. After our last planting session my mother-in-law said that it reminded her of when she and Nana would plant and garden together. I look forward to many more years of planting and making memories with my mother-in-law.



 
 

Monday, July 11, 2011

Florida College Camp - Part 3

Remember how I told you that FC camp brings a lot of special people to the area??  Well, my college roommate Erin is one of those VERY special people.  After Erin and Wade dropped their oldest daughter off at camp they came to our house for a very long overdue visit!!  No matter how long it has been since we have seen or talked last we are always able to pick up right where we left off!!  Byron and I miss Erin and Wade so much … we are trying to think of a way to get them to move to Gainesville!!
Friday morning was pickup day at camp.  I was super excited that Erin and their youngest daughter Lauren came up Thursday evening to spend the night so that they wouldn’t have to make the 2 hour drive on Friday morning.  I didn’t want Lauren to be all alone so I rang up my sister (in-law) to see if Hayley Bug could spend the night as well and as usual she said that was fine and thought Hayley Bug would enjoy it.  Just a side note here – I must tell you how much I appreciate my sister for always allowing me to take the kids pretty much anytime to do whatever we want.  I love my nieces and nephew as if they were my very own – I was there when all 3 of them were born and I will continue being there for them FOREVER – I would lay my life down for them and there is NOTHING or NOBODY who will ever change that!!!!  It was AMAZING to be able to spend so much time in one week with Erin!! 
I must admit I was SUPER excited Friday morning to be able to pick Brooke up and hear about all the fun she had at camp.  Hayley and I went by Brooke's chalet first to pick up all her stuff so that we didn’t get caught up in all the craziness with everyone else loading up - a trick my sister taught me!!  Once we had all of Brooke's stuff we headed over to the chapel for the closing activities.  Just as we walked in they were honoring an AMAZING MAN who has devoted 20 years of service to FC Camp and I promise you there wasn’t a dry eye in the house!!  As if the last day of camp isn’t sad enough and full of enough tears in saying your regular “good byes till next year” everyone was saying “good bye” to a man that is “retiring” from camp.  I know the first thing Brooke said when she got in the car was how sad she was that Mr. Spriggs won’t be there next year for her first year of war games … 
I remember crying so hard the last day of camp … especially because our closing song was ALWAYS “Friends Are Friends Forever”
Packing up the dreams God planted
In the fertile soil of you
I can't believe the hopes He's granted
Means a chapter of your life is through

But we'll keep you close as always
It won't even seem you've gone
'Cause our hearts in big and small ways
Will keep the love that keeps us strong

And friends are friends forever
If the Lord's the Lord of them
And a friend will not say never
'Cause the welcome will not end
Though it's hard to let you go
In the Father's hands we know
That a lifetime's not too long
To live as friends

And with the faith and love God's given
Springing from the hope we know
We will pray the joy you live in
Is the strength that now you show

We'll keep you close as always
It won't even seem you've gone
'Cause our hearts in big and small ways
Will keep the love that keeps us strong

And friends are friends forever
If the Lord's the Lord of them
And a friend will not say never
'Cause the welcome will not end
Though it's hard to let you go
In the Father's hands we know
That a lifetime's not too long
To live as friends

And friends are friends forever
If the Lord's the Lord of them
And a friend will not say never
'Cause the welcome will not end
Though it's hard to let you go
In the Father's hands we know
That a lifetime's not too long
To live as friends

Though it's hard to let you go
In the Father's hands we know
That a lifetime's not too long
To live as friends

No a lifetime's not too long
To live as friends.
I thought it was neat that this is the song that they chose for the slideshow of pictures of Mr. Spriggs!
Brooke is VERY lucky in that so many of the kids from camp are right here in this area and she won’t have to wait a year to see them!!
Remember all those goodies I delivered to my girl while she was at camp … well this is what she gave me on Friday … Brooke said that it was so crazy and not everyone signed it BUT that they all had good intentions!!  The card alone was enough for me!!
Click on the card to read the VERY sweet note ...

After we left camp we headed into Alachua for a nice lunch - Brooke was starving …
Brooke told story after story after story while we all listened intently – especially her little sister!!  Not long after our food came and Brooke finished about half her meal you could see he fading fast …
I’m so glad she had such an AMAZING week and that she is already looking forward to next year!!  Lord willing I will be there as a counselor with Hayley Bug in my chalet and then Jake said he guessed he better go too ...

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Florida College Camp - Part 2


3 of the sweetest girls you will ever meet ...
looks like they are having FUN at camp ...
of course I would be having fun if I was at the water park too!!!!

For months there have been so many people gearing up and planning for an AMAZING week at camp.  One of the things I LOVE the most about having the camp in our area is that it brings so many visitors to our worship service on Sunday morning.  Y’all we had 311 people at worship Sunday morning.  The singing was AMAZING … so amazing that I found myself covered in chill bumps and just sitting there listening!!  Just a side note here ~ I love love love my church family AND we have AMAZING singing ALL THE TIME BUT “Camp Sunday” is ALWAYS extra AMAZING!!!!  I also love the familiar faces that Camp Sunday brings … faces that I may only see once a year BUT they are faces of people that I love dearly!!
For several weeks I have been trying to think of what I could send to my oldest niece and her 3 “buddies” AKA the 4 Amigos.  I mean regular ol’ mail is just boring to 13 year olds.  So it hit me one day … my niece has been eating her Aunt Amy’s Famous Amos Pound Cake since she was 5 months old and I know that the 3 other girls LOVE Aunt Amy’s Famous Amos Pound Cake as well so the big item of the care package was decided upon!  While I was doing my weekly grocery shopping I added some other care package items to my cart … chocolate M & M’s, Blow Pops, Twizzlers, Mike & Ikes, Pringles, gummy worms, sour gummy worms, bubble gum and minty gum.  My original intention was to package it all up and ship it over night so that the girls would get their package on Wednesday.  Then it hit me just as I was pulling the pound cake out of the oven yesterday morning … a few phone calls later and I was Florida College Camp bound to deliver the care package in person.  I quickly made up a card to leave with the WARM pound cake in their chalet.  I then drove over to the gym to deliver the other goodies to someone who was going to deliver them to Brooke during lunch.  While I was making the exchange I looked up and Brooke was coming out of the gym (we had no idea that she was in the gym)!!  Y’all that sweet niece of mine ran over to the car and gave me the biggest hug and kiss and she was smiling from ear to ear … it absolutely melted my heart!!  She peaked in the bag and was thrilled with the “junk food” selections I had made, then she quickly reminded me that I was picking her up on Friday, gave me another hug and kiss, an “I love you” and scurried off to her chalet to primp before lunch.  It made my heart SMILE to see my girl SMILE!!  Then this morning I had the sweetest voicemail from my girl thanking me for the pound cake and all the other goodies, she told me she loved me and she would see me Friday …
I pray that all of the kids will soak up God’s Word this week so that they will be better equipped to let their lights shine when they come home!!  Lord willing I will be able to be a part of this wonderful camp next year so that my youngest niece Hayley Bug and my nephew Jake will be able to experience what Brooke is experiencing this week!!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Florida College Camp - Part 1

I have been seeing so many posts on FaceBook about the upcoming Florida FC Camp and I must admit I am so JEALOUS!!!!  I have 2 nieces that will get dropped off this Sunday for 5 days of F-U-N!!!!  I know so many “big kids” that get to be counselors/workers and although it is a very tiring week I know that they have just as much fun, if not more, than the campers do!!

I attended the Ohio FC Camp for 9 years … I looked forward to it EVERY year!!  Back in those days you had to wait until you arrived at camp to find out who your counselor was, who was in your cabin, what society you were on and what “activities” you had been given for the week – sometimes the waiting was unbearable!!  Nowadays thanks to technology the campers find out everything before they arrive at camp; however I know that does not make their excitement any less!!  Camp was always extra special for me because there were not any other kids my age at the church I attended growing up.  I was baptized at camp – August 1987 - we had had a Bible study in the cabin and I knew it was time … it was late, it was dark BUT off we went to the swimming pool.

All the years I attended camp I heard the FC Friends talk about how wonderful “camp friendships” were and to just imagine how GREAT FC would be - this is something I never could fully comprehend until I went to FC!!  Words cannot even begin to describe the lasting friendships from both my camp years and my FC years. 

I am so thankful for all the encouragement to attend Florida College that was provided to me during my camp years.  I can’t imagine where I would be if I had not gone to FC … after all that is where I met the love of my life!! 

My prayer for ALL the Florida College Summer Camps – MOST ESPECIALLY THE FLORIDA FC CAMP- hey I have a vested interest there – is for a FUN SAFE week growing in God’s word, making lasting friendships (both for the campers AND the counselors/workers) and that same encouragement is given to attend Florida College for a life changing experience!!!!  I pray that my 2 nieces attending camp next week will enjoy EVERY moment just like their Aunt Amy did!!  I also pray that the Lord will bless me with an opportunity next year that will get my youngest niece (yes YOU Hayley Bug) and my nephew Jake to go to camp!!!!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

14 Years STRONG ....

It all started in the fall of 1993 …
His friend came to me and wanted to know who I was going to ask to banquet while putting the “bug in my ear” that he wanted me to ask him … after all it was Sadie Hawkins week and the girl had to ask the guy … 
I agreed to ask him to banquet and the rest is history …

 My constant friend, my faithful partner and my love from this day forward.
In the presence of God, our family and friends, I offer you my solemn vow to be your faithful partner in sickness and in health, in good times and in bad, and in joy as well as in sorrow.
I promise to love you unconditionally, to support you in your goals, to honor and respect you, to laugh with you and cry with you, and to cherish you for as long as we both shall live.

Fall Banquet - November 1993

The invitation ...

Our engagement picture - December 1996

Our wedding day - June 21, 1997

Our wedding day - June 21, 1997

March 2011

March 2011

Flowers from my man ...

My anniversary gift (JW Stannard Interlude wind chimes)  
This is a really bad picture but it was really windy outside
I don't have a picture of Byron's gift - a new holster for his gun.We will celebrate with dinner at The Great Outdoors in High Springs – my man wants some crab legs ...
Oh and did I mention that our "Baby" is 3 years old today ...

Bryant - June 2011

Bryant - June 2011