Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Ode to 2009

As we come to the conclusion of 2009,

we leave you with an original rhyme.

It was an interesting year in movies, music, and news.

Therefore before the year's end, we shall recap and review.

Our sought after vote, he did not get.

But unfortunately, despite us, he turned out to be a hit.

Obama is the first president to ever be black.

Charmingly, he won with fist bumps and talking smack.

His policies, we believe, are not that great.

We sure do miss the president of two thousand-eight.

We wish Obama well. We really do.

We will pray for him, and so should you.

As far as the television industry goes,

we will only discuss our favorite shows.

We really love LOST and all of the twists,

but if we don't get answers, writers: meet our fists.

We were excited to learn of Jim and Pam's baby.

She should have it by February....or March, maybe.

Our favorite shows start on Thursday at seven o'clock:

Survivor, Community, Parks & Rec, and 30 Rock.

We can't write a poem and not mention the king of pop.

For because of his death, the news did stop.

Michael Jackson will be remembered for his crazy moon walk,

his face, all his songs, and the girly way he would talk.

We all watched in horror as a boy took flight,

yet when the object landed, he was nowhere in sight.

It turned out to be a hoax; the dad was a goon.

And the whole world worried over a big, empty balloon.

He is now serving time for a joke so bold,

and learning a lesson: don't tell secrets to a 5 year old.

And then, there's the story of Kanye West

who acted like a jerk-it's what he does best.

But this time was bad; it caused quite a rift

when he decided to upstage our beloved Taylor Swift.

Can we forgive him? Sure we can.

But you won't find him on our iPod-we'll never be a fan.

Another celebrity that made it to the headline

was a certain golfer who behaved like a swine.

Quite a jerk he is-Tiger Woods is his name.

But this year he proved golf was not his main game.

In Hollywood, two movies reached audiences far and wide.

Mom and tweens waited in line for hours and sat side by side.

What is this phenomenon we're talking about?

Why, Harry Potter 6 and Twilight, no doubt.

Wizards, vampires, and wolves galore....

We must wait til 2010 to see what else is in store.

We almost forgot one very important story.

The Jon and Kate saga and all of it's glory.

We hated to see it end that way,

but for too long, they let the cameras stay.

It's the kids that suffer, those poor little eight,

while Jon runs off with someone other than Kate.

We would like to end on a personal note.

You probably know this from blogs we wrote.

Anna has a job teaching in the 'hood,

and while some days are hard, God has been good.

She and Nathan have been married a whole year and a half,

and they have a funny little dog who always makes them laugh.

Corrie still stays at home: a wife and mommy first.

She loves her job so much, her heart could literally burst.

One last shout out to our dad-to fill his heart with pride.

His team has done quite well this year, so to that we say ROLL TIDE!!!

Yes, 2009 has been quite a year...

It has been full of God's blessings, His grace, and good cheer.

But with open arms, we welcome 2010,

And we hope to see you on our blog again!!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas, Everybody!

Hello blog readers!! First off, our apologies for not updating as much as we would've liked, considering this is the BEST time of year! It has been a busy season, and we have been thoroughly enjoying ourselves and our time together-back on the couch. Yay!! But we couldn't let this season pass without at least one blog. Christmas is, after all, our favorite. There are so many reasons we love it. We enjoy family and friends, shopping, the decorations, the music, the movies, and...did we mention...cookies? Because we REALLY like cookies. We have had much fun doing all of the above. As much as we love this season and all it entails, we don't want to be so caught up in the commercialization that we neglect to focus on the true reason for our joy. We realize this time of year can be sad for many people. For those who have lost love ones, we can't imagine how difficult it all must be. But the beauty of this season (and always) is that, as believers, we all have a reason to rejoice! That Bethlehem morning, Christ came to earth to reconcile sinners to God. What greater gift could there ever be? All the joy, hope, love, forgiveness, peace...everything beautiful in our life...came to us that day. God chose us and sent His only son. It continues to amaze us. What did we have to offer Him? We are so very undeserving. How can our hearts not be full of gratitude and joy at the very thought of that alone? And if His coming wasn't enough, God chose to use us as a part of His plan for redemption. He could have come any way he wanted. And He chose a young, unwed woman (really, girl) to bring the Messiah into the world. Oh, how He loves us!
We hope you have a wonderful celebration of our Savior's birth!

"I celebrate the day

that you were born to die

So I could one day

pray for you to save my life"

-Relient K

Merry Christmas!!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Happy Birthday, Evie!!

Today is a big day: my little Evie pea pod turns one! I am amazed at how quickly the time has passed. It fees like just yesterday I was feeling her kick in my belly. And now she is a crawling (trying to walk), babbling, waving, clapping little girl! It all seems too fast, but I am so grateful for each day I get to spend with my precious girls. I have had such mixed emotions about my baby turning one. Above all, I have a heart of gratitude about having a happy, healthy one year old. But I would not be truthful if I said I wasn't just a little sad. I really do not know the best way to convey my emotions, so I just thought I would share with you the letter I wrote her. You may or may not care much about reading it, but it is the most honest reflection of my heart on her birthday. Sorry if it's boring:) **I would like to note that I do know how to space appropriately for paragraphs, but for some reason, the blogsite kept messing up. My apologies.

My sweet Evie,

I can hardly believe it has been a year since I first held you in my arms. The first moment I looked into your tiny face with the cutest little features and dark, spiky hair, I fell in love. I always wanted two little girls, and when you were born, I felt complete. This year has gone by so fast, and I have so enjoyed it. The first few months I was up with you every three hours, and I felt exhausted. But those quiet times at night when I just held you and rocked you back to sleep are some of my most favorite memories. As tired as I was, I loved it and knew it would only be a very short time that you would be so small.
Watching you grow and learn and play everyday brings me so much joy. I loved cheering for you when you pulled up the first time. You were so proud. I loved "showing" you how to crawl. I love cuddling with you and reading stories to you. I love kissing those ADORABLE cheeks. I just can't seem to get enough! I love that we have our special days every Tuesday and Thursday. We drop Lily off, and then go stroll at Target. I usually have nothing to buy, but I just enjoy being with you. We play and eat lunch and usually have just a relaxed, fun day. I always think I should be cleaning or something, but when it comes down to it, the house can wait. I only get you this time with you once.
Evie, there are so many things I want for your life. I cannot wait to see how God uses your already feisty, strong-willed personality. But above all else, I pray that you love God with all your being and follow Him all of your days. I pray that everything I do, everything I teach you, each conversation we have, and even the ways in which I fail all point you to the only One who can change your heart -the One who loves you just as you are but will not leave you that way. It is an honor that He chose me to be your mom to help guide you to Him.
You are such a blessing to me and to this family. I am beyond grateful to be able to stay home with you. Each day is such a treat. No matter the kind of week I've had, I lay my head on my pillow each night, praising God that I got to spend the day doing what I love the most: being your mommy. It is the best job on Earth, and I am forever thankful to have it. You are such a JOY, and I love you so so much! Happy 1st Birthday, my sweet pea pod! I look forward to celebrating many, many more with you! Love, mommy

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Birthday Blessing for Sarah

My dear, sweet sister-in-law is experiencing a milestone birthday tomorrow (Monday, 7th)... she will be 30 years old! Sarah is the oldest of Nathan's siblings. She is a wife and mother of two (soon to be three!!!)

I cannot say enough great things about her-- but I will certainly try: She has an amazing voice, she has more creativity in her pinky finger than I have in my whole body, her fashion sense is incredible (she always looks perfectly put together), she can cook as good as her momma (and that is saying something!), she is one of the busiest people I know; you can't be around Sarah without her energy rubbing off on you... it oozes out of her, she is a fun person to be around (and I greatly enjoy her company), she is a great mom, wife, daughter, sister, and friend, and her love for the Lord is very real her life. I have always said God has blessed her with a servant's heart. Nathan and I have experienced that first hand on many occasions. She will go above and beyond to help wherever needed. I know this list doesn't even cover all of Sarah-goodness, but you get the picture! I am blessed to be married to a man with a great family that I dearly love! Luckily, I can call Sarah more than a sister-in-law.. she is such a good friend.

She is much like me in that she is going on the 3rd day of celebrating her birth :) So Sarah, on your (real) day I hope you are blessed with beautiful weather, yummy birthday dinner, and lots of love from close family and friends!!! I love you girl!

"She sets about her work vigorously; her arms are strong for her tasks." Proverbs 31:17

If you are so privileged to know Sarah, please feel free to leave a comment!

Monday, November 30, 2009

"Let Earth Receive Her Beef"

I was driving down the road, singing Christmas songs with the girls, when I heard a little voice straining to hit that high note. "Joy to the World, the Lord has come! Let earth receive her beef!!" I asked my sweet Lily if she would repeat what she just sang. She did. And the lyrics remained the same. It was then I realized my daughter not only inherited her looks from me, but I have apparently passed down my inability to ever understand or hear song lyrics as well. Oh, I sing with the utmost confidence that what I am belting out is right, but as my husband says, it rarely is. He claims I "butcher" every song. There are two ways in which he says I do this. First, by singing the wrong words completely. Second, he says I tend to sing the same verse (probably the only one I really know) over and over again. If you have been around me lately, you have more than likely heard "If you like it then shoulda' put a ring on it." It's really quite sad:(

In light of this, I thought I would share some songs that I have "royally butchered." I really cannot even begin to list them all since I am not 100% sure of any song that I sing.

Okay, there is really no excuse for this one. It is one of my favorite songs. But alas, no artist is immune to me hacking their song, including one of my favorite bands:
U2.."With or Without You"..... "See the storm set in her eyes, see the scorn that's in her thighs..."

Some country song called "Straight Tequila Night"..."Don't ask her on the strength to keep her alive" This made a LOT of sense in my head, if you just ignore the song title.

Another popular one :"Give me the beach boys to free my soul. I wanna get lost in your rock and roll."

One of my all time favorites: (Sorry, Anna, but I have to drag you down with me on this one) the Christmas song "Feliz Navidad." For years, this was our favorite Christmas song, because we just KNEW it was somehow about our grandmother, Mama Dot. "Fleas, Mama Dot..."

This one is for Jenna: "Take your cat and leave nice weather.." I can't remember the name of the song (maybe "You're gonna think of me?"), but it actually goes "Take your cap and leave my sweater"....I think.
Anyway, this is just a SMALL sampling of the many songs I have failed to learn correctly. If you would like to hear more, just ride in my car with me any day of the week. Patrick says it's just disturbing. I am surely hoping Lily and Evie have a better ear for music in general than their mommy. And I hope that if not, they can just take it in stride when their significant other laughs hysterically at what they consider a beautiful rendition of their favorite song.

Do you have any songs that you have hummed along heartily for the world to hear, only to learn years later you have been singing it wrong?

Friday, November 27, 2009

Birthday Blessings for Lindsey

One of my very best friends was born into this world 25 short years ago today. And I love her dearly... I am blessed to have her as a friend of mine!

We went to the same elementary school (go Gators), middle school, and high school. We had been friends through all those years, however, our senior year of high school, we became BFFs (and have been ever since)! We were roommates in college and bridesmaids in each others' weddings.

One of the reasons we get along so well is because we are so much alike! We have the same taste in clothing, home decor, music, movies, and most television shows (she recently got me hooked on Brothers and Sisters). Lindsey is a sports-loving girly-girl with deep southern roots that loves the Lord and loves a cold beer :) She can be loud and crazy-but that makes her so much fun to be around... ya just never know what will come out of that girl's mouth. She has such a big heart, and she is very passionate about things that are important to her. She will fight for what she believes in, no matter the cost! I know we will be lifelong friends, and I am excited to experience our next set of life experiences together!

Lindsey, today I hope you have a blessed day while shopping and eating leftovers! I love you girl!
A man of many companions may come to ruin, but there is a friend that sticks closer than a brother, Proverbs: 18:24

If you are so privileged to know Lindsey, please feel free to leave a comment!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Gobble, Gobble

Happy Thanksgiving from the both of us!! Yes, you heard right. We are back on the same couch, preparing for our favorite day of the year. We LOOOVVVVEEEE the food. We LOOOOVVVVEEEE seeing family. And, most importantly, we LOOOOVVVVVEEEEE our Lord who has graciously blessed us far beyond what we deserve.
This day is a great time to reflect on the many things for which we are grateful. First and foremost, we are thankful to be forgiven, loved, chosen children of God. We are thankful for family, friends, health, jobs, shelter, food, clothing, living in America, and the freedom we enjoy. The list goes on and on, but you get the picture..... we are happy to be alive!!
Speaking of happiness (how's that for a segway?), we have always adored the beloved fourth Thursday of November. In honor of this day and our deep affections, we will share with you an original. This was conceived in our wee little brains four score and seven years ago. Well...maybe more like seventeen years ago. Point is: we were good. I mean, raw talent here. If you know us, you know we are quite the poets. Really, we just like to rhyme. We don't understand "poems" that don't rhyme. But we will save that soapbox for another day. So...without further adieu (drum roll, please)..we introduce to you our first Thanksgiving poem (which we like to sing and dance, therefore technically making it more of a song).
A Thanksgiving Day
It was a Thanksgiving day when the turkeys went to play.
They were a' runnin and a' lookin,
Cause they didn't wanna be cookin'.
But when the hunter came around he said
We have a Thanksgiving dinner now.
We have a Thanksgiving dinner now.
We know, amazing...huh? We have had this jewel in our heads for years now. Our mom and dad have probably heard it sung every November. And now, our husbands have the privilege of listening (and watching) this beauty unfold. We hope this brings joy to your turkey day. And if you know anyone in the record industry (or children's poem industry--do they have one?), please pass our names along.
Have a HAPPY THANKSGIVING!!! And to all a goodnight!!
Singer/Songwriters: Corrie and Anna

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Well, in Whoville they say that the Grinch's small heart grew three sizes that day.

Most of you know—but for those of you who do not, I am in my first year of teaching at an inner city school in Jackson, MS. How did I end up here you may ask. Nathan and I had to move to the Jackson area for Nathan’s 5th year of Pharmacy School. I knew this year was coming from the beginning—but I have been dreading it from the beginning as well! One of the biggest issues with us moving was me finding a job in a jobless market. Long story short—I decided to become a teacher! For months, I looked for a job at a school down here, but with no connections to people here, it became a daunting task. TWO DAYS before our move-in date, I was called for an interview at a middle school in Jackson and got the job that day! I KNEW God’s hand was in this. Why else would I be here?

And so starts my journey…

When I first started, the piece of advice I seemed to get over and over was don’t smile until Thanksgiving. It is two days away from Thanksgiving break and I have only let a select few see my pearly whites. There has been such a culture shock for me teaching at this school. NOTHING could have prepared me for what I would experience this year. There have been six fights IN MY CLASSROOM alone. I get yelled at daily by my STUDENTS. My life has been threatened. Students laugh at me when I get on to them. The level of disrespect is unbelievable. Sometimes I wonder if I can EVER be nice to them. I feel like a mean, mean person all the time at school. So… How can THIS be what God intended it to be like for me this school year? How can I possibly show them God’s love when I am constantly dealing with behavior problems? This has been extremely frustrating for me over the past four months.

However, in the past couple of weeks, there has been a slight change of heart. My heart. I am slowly starting to understand these kids. I will never fully understand where they come from, but I understand more why they act the way they do. These kids come from poverty-ridden homes. Their natural response to others is disrespect. They do not know how to respond when I put my hand on their back and talk to them in a calm manner (as opposed to yelling obscenities and slapping them). The sad thing about these students is that the majority of them have so much potential, and yet in many cases the only person in their lives to pull this potential out of them is their teachers! There are not enough school hours in the day to reach every student like that. I have gotten to know my students better over the past four months, and it breaks my heart to know that many don’t go home to a loving, happy home (like I was so blessed to have growing up). Lately, when I come home from school, I am crying for different reason than why I did in the beginning. No one has the time to deal with every students' problems, but I know what my plan is for now. I am going to pray for them daily… by name. This is all I know to do, and I feel if I am faithful in this, God will open doors or show me what to do from here.

Does this (slight) change of heart mean everything is better and I will love my job and never want to leave? Um… no. But it will get me through this year.

Who knows, maybe by the end of the year, my heart will be three times bigger…


Sunday, November 15, 2009

Lions and Tigers and Cinderella....wait, what?

If you know my sweet little Lily, then you know, without a doubt, that she is quite obsessed with lions. It all started over a year and a half ago, when Lily was almost two. We went to visit my grandparents in Alabama, and we took Lily to see Leo, the mascot at University of North Alabama. It was love at first sight. Well...she might have been a little scared. But after leaving, she talked non-stop about the lions. We are frequent visitors of the zoo, and the majority of our time is spent in cat country. The child eats, breathes, and sleeps lions. You can come to our house on any given day and usually find her on all fours, growling and giving us "lion love" (in case you are not so lion-savvy, this is when lions rub their heads and manes together--at least that's how in The Lion King). I absolutely adore this about her. She has such a quirky, funny personality, and Patrick and I really get a kick out of it.
But alas, there has been a change recently in our household. It's subtle, but it's there. Our little lion loving Lily has set her affections on something else. Don't get me wrong, she still loves lions (and really all animals) more than your average three year old. But like I said, she has found room in her heart for a new love. She is talking more and more of princesses. The child has never seen a princess movie (until last night). This fondness simply came from a picture on the front of her undies. And now she wants everything that has to do with princesses. We have really done nothing to foster this love. (Unlike her lion fascination-see facebook album from her birthday party)
She is proof-positive of nature vs. nurture. Little girls will be little girls. From the beginning, God designed us with different desires and different roles. And I am looking forward to encouraging my girls in this area. So bring on the tea parties, the dress-up clothes, the playing house, and playing mommy (not that she hasn't been doing this- her "babies" have just been lion cubs). I want to raise little ladies who embrace their femininity and joyfully fulfill their God given roles. After all, Lily can growl all day, but a lion...she will never be. But oh the fun in being a princess- a beloved daughter of the King!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

My Life Is OVER

Ok, that is a little dramatic. But something terrible, awful happened to me today… I dropped my phone in the toilet (luckily before I used it), and it DIED on the spot. No bringing it back… no resuscitation… just simply no more phone. My heart sank the minute it happened. This is not the first time I have done this with a phone (word to the wise: phones can easily fall out of pockets), so I knew it was over. I was at work with no means of communication to the outside world! Okay, that is a lie—I teach Computer Discovery… I have computers in my face all day. I emailed Nathan immediately… But no INSTANT means of communication. What am I supposed to do if a student is going crazy in my room and I need to call the principal? Or what if something happens and I need to call the police? Or what if my car breaks down on the way home from work? How long will it be before I can get a new phone? My poor 5th period class did not get much of my attention because I was focused on one thing and one thing only… these obsessive thoughts of mine.

Normally on my way home from school, I am on the phone. Without fail, Nathan, my mom, and my sister will call me to ask how my day has gone (which I love and appreciate). Today, however, I was left to just think. I started thinking about what life was like 10 years ago (ONLY 10 years ago). Some people MAY have owned a cell phone, but most people did not. Most households had a little thing called LANDLINES! We talked on a phone connected to a wall (or at very least within a 2 ft radius of our home). How did we get by?? We got by because that is all we knew. I then started to realize how ridiculous I was being over this stupid phone! Am I putting too much focus on this piece of technology? The answer is yes. God has funny ways of getting a point across sometimes!

Despite my mishap today, I did not die. In fact, no one died as a result of my lifeless phone. I am not saying cell phones are bad. They are very convenient and might even save a life in some cases (and yet in some cases take lives—i.e. texting while driving!! but that is another topic for another day). I am not someone who is always talking on the phone, but I do rely on it for a lot. I just hope from now on, I will be able to put it in perspective.

There was life before cell phones and life goes on without them :)

Sunday, November 8, 2009

A Happy Meal and Taylor Swift

No, I'm not talking about McDonald's. I'm talking about the essence of a truly happy meal. In our home, it means sitting around the dinner table with my husband and two girls, having a good discussion over YUMMY food. And that leads me to my first post individually. For those of you know who me, you probably know I don't just LOVE to cook. I do it, but it is far from a passion. I need recipes. I am a "by the cookbook" kind of gal. But I feel that preparing a healthy and hot meal for my family each night is such a practical way to show love and care for them (particularly my always hungry husband).

When Anna and I were growing up, we RARELY ate fast food or junk food. Don't get me wrong, we LOVED it. But my mom was very diligent about not having it in the house. She cooked nightly. At the time, I probably would have preferred pizza. But as an adult, I really appreciate the effort that went into each meal. And as many people know, it can be quite an effort with two kids! I would like to throw in a little disclaimer here. We do indulge ourselves with Chic-fil-A (or as Lily says: Chic Away) maybe once a week. But for the most part, we eat at home. So I am always on the hunt for an easy to prepare, healthy (enough) meal.

As an example, I thought I'd share an "in a pinch" dinner with you. This is for the nights when I need to make something but don't have the time for major cooking.
An easy way to make quick, pretty yummy chicken:
Lightly coat chicken with honey dijon mustard and then cover (again, lightly) with bread crumbs. Bake in oven at 350 for about 30 minutes.
Before the chicken, I cut up russet potatoes into cubes. Spread them out on a cookie sheet and drizzle with E.V.O.O and then a little Lawry's season salt. Bake at 350 for about an hour. So yummy!!
Then for an easy veggie:
Take asparagus, line up on cookie sheet. Spray with no fat, butter flavored cooking spray and sprinkle salt and pepper. Bake at 425 for about 8 minutes. Really good served with just a few blue cheese crumbles. easy meal in a really short time!
So...I realize we have all of five followers, but I would LOVE to hear your "in a pinch" dinners. Like I said earlier, I'm always on the hunt. If you are just lurking around on this blog, please feel free to leave a recipe. I would appreciate it so much!

Aaahhhhh.....I almost forgot! Taylor Swift! What does she have to do with a happy meal you say? Well...absolutely nothing. I just happened to download her version of "Silent Night" the other day. Just FYI, it is really different and really pretty. Only 99 cents on iTunes. Thought I'd just pass along....

Oh! One more thing! I made homemade bread for the first time last night! It was so yummy! And I am a little too proud about it all. But I just had to share. Thanks Anna for the starter and Thanks Candace Yak for giving it to Anna. Patrick will be forever grateful.

Bye for now~Corrie

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Yay! We have a blog!

Hey friends!! Welcome to our very first post on our very first blog. We have been wanting to start a blog for quite some time now. Okay, um...more like two weeks. But we have recently become blog readers. And we realized we so enjoyed it! So we wanted to join the world of bloggers. I mean, we have a LOT to say. We cannot guarantee that it will be interesting whatsoever, but dosh-garn it, we are going to try! We are pretty funny. Well, we laugh at each other (if that counts). Anyway, we plan for this blog to be an assortment of funny everyday things, our random thoughts about whatever we are thinking, and who knows, we might even be serious at times. So...grab a kleenex, because whether you are laughing or crying...tears will come. :)...or maybe :(

We enjoy various types of blogs. Some are very inspirational, and we come away encouraged and with a renewed spirit. Do not expect this from us much. However, we probably will post whatever the Lord is laying on heart from time to time. Becoming the wife/mother/woman that God desires us to be has really been on the forefront of our hearts lately. That is partly why we started a blog together. Through various books and bible studies we have each done, God is igniting a passion in us to "looketh well" to the ways of our household. (Proverbs 31:27) We love that, as sisters, we can encourage each other in this area.

Lastly, this post was done together. We wrote it sitting on the couch. However, because our couches are 150 miles apart for the time being (boo!), most of the posts will be contributed by us separately. We will let you know who posts what. You know, so that you can rave about us as individuals. ;) Happy reading!! ~Corrie and Anna