Thursday, December 31, 2009

Song of the Week and the New Year

I’m a little bit nervous about the start of 2010.  It’s highly likely that I will be furloughed in the next week or two and will probably be cut-off through the first part of March.  I’ve considered going to Houston for work, but since it should only be for 6-8 weeks we’re still weighing what I would make against the cost of travel and lodging.  I’ll probably just stay here and try to find some day labor or sell a kidney.
Leslie and I have been really focused for the last year on taking better care of our money, sticking to a budget, and getting out of debt.  Reminds me of a line from a George Strait song…”I’ll be paying the rest of my life for the few good times I had.” 
This will be a setback, but I don’t think we’ll starve. 
If we can make it through March, then we should be okay until Jones decides that she’d rather go to a university than cosmetology school.

This week’s song is also my 2010 resolution theme song.  It was a hit for John Anderson in 1981, but is seen and heard here performed by its writer Billy Joe Shaver, one of my favorite songwriters of all time.  I hope you like it.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Christmas Eve and Day

On Christmas Eve we let the girls open one gift. It's always new pajamas. Thanks Gran-Nola and Papa.

Santa came! Georgia received her pink booster seat(says rock and roll all over it!), Polly Pockets, slippers, and a new cup and plate. Annie received a large coloring book and fat crayons, doll with accessories, new shoes, and a new cup and plate. Jones received a High School Musical doll house, HSM dolls, slippers, and a new plate and cup. Highlight gifts for Justin were books, overalls, moccassins, slippers, an Eric Peter cd, and a metal shelving unit for the garage. Highlight gifts for Leslie were New Balance shoes(AA narrow, thanks J), B&BW gift card, new hangers, maternity pjs, an ice cream maker, a purse hanger, scarf, and the shelving unit too.

Our good friends, Irv and LouAnn, had invited us over for Christmas lunch. I was told not to bring anything, but to enjoy the morning with the girls and to take lunch off. So nice!! Thank you Irv and LouAnn for a delicious meal and for the fantastic company. Thank you very much! We love you!

Friday evening we had Christmas dinner with Jimmy, Shirley, John and Sheila. Thanks to Jimmy for smoking brisket, sausage, and sweet potatoes. Yum! Here are some pictures of the evening. We were able to spend all Saturday together too. The boys went to the lake for a couple of hours while the girls had a garage picnic on the new foam mats and a nap.

Much love and thanks to Grandpa and Grandma Hilton, Gran-Nola and Papa Crawford, Mimi and Jazbo Brown and John and Sheila Delony!

Slap bracelets

Kirsten and Madalyn came over to exchange Christmas gifts. Madalyn gave the girls a Shamu Little People set to share and gave each a slap bracelet. I took Georgia's and showed her how this bracelet works. Annie went to crying! She backed up all the way to the front door and would have nothing to do with her bracelet. She will now carry hers around but will not wear it.

Monday before Christmas

I have three things to share with you from this particular Monday.

1. Monday morning around 7:00 Justin was leaving for work. Jones was still asleep and Justin went in to pat and kiss her goodbye. A few minutes later Jones was up and clinging to Justin and would not let him out the door. She is crying and grabbing and kicking and clinging onto Justin. I am trying to pry her off of him. I had her go to her room to calm down and when she was finished she could come have breakfast. She came out calm and we went about our morning. We were getting ready to go to the gym and I went into the girls room to get Annie's socks. What I saw was red on the ceiling and on the fabric hanging on the wall! Jones had colored them with red chapstick. I got her a rag and made her scrub. As she was scrubbing she began singing Salvation Belongs to Our God. It's hard to punish and be mad at a four year old who is signing to God!

2. Annie locked herself in the bathroom for the first time. I can not unlock the kind of doorknobs that are on our bathrooms. Annie remained calm brushing her teeth and adorning herself with headbands. Thanks to our great neighbor, Brad, for coming to our rescue.

3. Here is a picture of Jones and Georgia's afternoon of dress up.

Prince of Peace Luthern Preschool

Otherwise known as Princess Pea Preschool to Jones. Here are some pictures from her Christmas program. We will get the video uploaded soon.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Reader Profile #4

Dave and Lisa Noble have been faithful subscribers to TOTP since its debut.
Lisa and her family attended church with Leslie in Amarillo, and I got to know her during the short time that I lived there.   I always thought she would have made a great nun if she were Catholic.  (I mean that in a nice way)  Fluent in Spanish, virtuous, prays without ceasing and no vices that I know of.
I've never met Dave.  I think he's from Vermont or one of those other Yankee states, but I like him anyway.  He's a weatherman, a real one, not one of those suits in front of a TV camera.
They are one of those weirdo couples who met and courted over the internet.  They moved to Alaska soon after they were married, and they were blessed with their first child this year.  I hope they live in Alaska long enough for us to save up enough vacation time and money to go for a visit. 
If you'd like to get to know them better or see great pictures of what life in Alaska is like, you can visit them at .

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Song of the Week

When we were living in Nashville Ryan and I had the opportunity to attend the first ever performance of Andrew Peterson’s Christmas production, “Behold, The Lamb of God.” My sister and Bro. John are in Nashville this week and will get to see the 10th annual performance tomorrow night at the Ryman Auditorium.  
My time with the Dominicans and four Christmases with a prego wife have made this song one of my favorites.

“Labor of Love”, Penned by Andy Peterson, Lead Vocals by Jill Phillips.

Merry Christmas.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Reader Profile #3

This week’s reader profile is of a trio rather than an individual. I’m not sure how much they keep up with TOTP. I don’t think they’ve ever commented on-line, but they have each delivered comments in person from time to time, so I know they check in once in a while.

Our congregation at Western Hills is blessed with a trio of full time ministers. And not one jughead in the bunch. I like them all as individuals and they really compliment each other as a group.

It is one of those situations where the whole is greater than the sum of its parts, although each part is quite impressive in his own right. The most impressive thing about them as a group is that they genuinely like each other and each respects the roles the others play in the life of our church family.

Scott Meyers, our Senior Minister, does the preaching. I once heard that there are two kinds of preachers: Those who know what they want to preach about so they study to find pieces of scattered scripture to support their point, and there are those who preach on the scriptures they have been studying. I prefer the latter and Bro. Meyers fits the bill.

There are a lot of morons in the youth ministry business and I’m proud to say that Brandon Baker is not one of them. He doesn’t have silly highlights in his hair, doesn’t plan ski trips, and doesn’t isolate himself or our youth from the rest of the church.

Scott Seela, our children’s minister, was one of the first people we met when we moved to Temple. My kids admire him so much that they take turns pretending to be “Mr. Scott” as they lead our house in songs from our home stage, a.k.a. the fireplace.

There is a link in the side bar if you'd like to learn more about these guys or Western Hills.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Sunday Mornings

I occasionally try to take a picture on Sunday mornings. I don't always remember or have the time. Justin and I have discussed how 52 Sunday pictures would make a creative photo album. Everyone is dressed up and clean and it makes an interesting picture of the girls wardrobes. Here is today. Annie is wearing a 12month outfit that she received her on her 1st birthday (thanks Andrea!). Georgia is excited that her dress has a hood and she picked out her tights. Jones dressed herself and is wearing navy tights with black shoes. Fun mornings!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Here's to hoping for good son-in-laws


I’ve heard my Grandaddy use those words when talking about weathermen, politicians, and people who own Mercury outboards. It made me laugh a lot when I was a kid and, for better or worse, I began to see if I could spot the jugheaded morons of the world at an early age.

The other day I heard Leslie get on to one of the girls for calling something or someone stupid. I understood her intention, but I asked her what word she would rather them use instead of stupid. No, I didn’t contradict her in front of the girls. That would be bad parenting. She said she didn’t know, but that she didn’t want them to use that word. Those of you who know my wife know that she doesn’t use nasty words like stupid, hate, idiot, etc…
I told her that I wanted my girls to recognize stupidity and idiots when they came across them and that I really didn’t mind them using those words if they learned to use them appropriately. And, yes, I do believe that they have appropriate uses.

I’ve heard a lot of people say a lot of poetic things about their hopes and dreams for their kids. Any of you remember that gay song about the watercolor ponies?
Well, I’ve written all of that to confess this: My most frequent prayer for my girls is that they don’t end up marrying jugheaded morons.
I guess it would be more tactful to pray, “Lord, let not my children be unequally yoked.”, but I believe the Lord knows an idiot when He sees one and I hope that He will help my daughters to recognize and steer clear of any that come their way.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Song of The Week

This week's song is by Paul Overstreet. If you aren't familiar with him, I'm sure you are familiar with some of his songs. "Forever and Ever, Amen", "When You Say Nothing At All", "She Thinks My Tractor's Sexy" are among his more famous ones.

This week has been a little gloomy around here, so I thought I'd choose something that makes me smile. I hope it does the same for you.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Reader Profile #2

In addition to the Song of the Week feature, I’ve also been intending to resume a series of posts profiling different TOTP readers. I began, or rather had intentions of beginning, this series last November when I did a post about Ryan Scott. For those of you who are new to TOTP or if you’d just like to review, you can find that one in the archived posts section, Nov. 8, 2008.
I’ll try to do my best to profile a different reader each week. If you’d like to know what I really like to think about you, let me know and I’ll move you up to the top of my list of to-be-profiled. If you don’t want to be profiled, I’ll probably do it anyway and you can just be mad about it.

If you ever read the comments section of TOTP you will notice that Carrie Tungate is the most frequent commenter. Or is it commentator? Or commentess? Must not be commentess because I got a red squiggly line under it when I typed that which usually means that I misspelled it or it isn’t a word. Sorry, Betty Friedan.
Anyway, without Carrie’s permission, I’m going resume this series with her.

With the exception of my sister, Carrie is the nearest to a female version of my personality that I’ve ever met. She is one of those rare wives that doesn’t annoy the friends of her husband. It’s my opinion that she is a good wife and mother because she is a good daughter, reinforcing in me the importance of raising my daughters in such a way that they will one day be good wives and mothers themselves.
I’m thankful for her friendship with my sister and that she has become a friend to my wife as well. I’m glad she married Adam and takes good care of him.
Carrie can sing, and I’m glad that she shares her gift of song with the rest of us. I had the privilege of recording some songs with her for my sister’s wedding. She also did the background vocals on Delony’s platinum selling, Room for Improvement. She is a member, along with her father, of Lone Prairie. You can see one of their performances in the utube clip below.
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