Friday, August 29, 2014

Goodbye, Sweet Bogart

On July 14th, Brandon & I said goodbye to our sweet Boxer, Bogart.  He came to us as a stray, and we fell in love with him immediately.  He was with us for almost six years before cancer took him from us, and I like to think we gave him a good home.  He sure brought us a lot of joy.  Even when he was being mischievous (he was the ultimate counter surfer!), we couldn't stay mad at him long.  He was always so happy...that wiggly butt of his and big sloppy tongue showed us how much he loved us.  It didn't matter if we'd been gone 5 minute or 5 days, he wiggled himself in half when we walked in the door.  We sure do miss our sweet boy!!

Playing with one of his favorite toys

Camping at DeSoto Falls State Park

Enjoying a beautiful day at a local park

He loved hanging out with me in the hammock!

Enjoying the air in his jowls as we drove through Gatlinburg, TN

He did this all the time, standing, half on the couch!

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Our 1st International Convention!

Over the weekend, Brandon & I were privileged to attend our first ever international convention I didn't think we'd ever get to go to one but was thrilled to find out that some would be held in Atlanta this year and that our little congregation was invited! The theme of this year's conventions is "Keep Seeking First God's Kingdom!" I know we always say this, but this truly was the best convention ever!

Some stats from our convention in Atlanta: Attendance ranged from 30,885 on Friday afternoon to 34,877 on Sunday afternoon. Saturday afternoon, we had a total of 107,723 for some of the talks that were tied into ours at 18 different regional conventions, and we had 254 baptized. 17 countries were represented at ours, including the missionaries who were able to come home to attend. It was all amazing!!  We are truly part of an international brotherhood! 

Everything was very organized, as usual.  Our brothers worked hard to make sure that we all knew where to go and how to get there.  They even put together a video for us entitled, "The Time of Your Life" to highlight what to expect.  We were all asked to use MARTA to get back and forth from the Georgia Dome.  They negotiated reduced rates and purchased our passes in advance.  Local volunteers were located at all the train stations to help us know which direction to go and which trains to get on.  Everything was easy and went smoothly!

The convention program itself was wonderful!  (You can download a copy of the program at this link.)  The talks were encouraging & heartwarming.  Anthony Morris from the governing body was our key speaker.  We have heard him speak on other occasions and just love him.  He's very real about things, very straightforward, but also touches your heart.  It was awesome having him there.

In addition to the spiritual feast we received, it was great to be able to meet our brothers & sisters from many other countries!  Most of us made up little gifts to give to the international delegates, and many of them had gifts for us as well!  Brandon & I had a few different things to hand out.  I made bookmarks and key chains.  I bagged one or the other with some candy and our contact information.  We also had some DVDs containing a slideshow of pictures of our congregation & territory that one of our elders made up for all of us using pictures contributed from everyone.  They turned out great!  It was so fun handing them out when we met new people.  And I have to admit, it was fun receiving their gifts as well!  They make great souvenirs, and most of them included contact information, so we hope to be able to stay in touch with our new friends.  Here's our nephew, Landon, with one of the gifts he received.  He was so proud of it! :)

Here are just a few of the international delegates we met.  There were many more, especially from Japan & Finland!
Friends from England (Top right serves in an Arabic congregation)
Friends from Finland
Friends from Japan

At the very end of the last talk on Sunday, Brother Morris had all the missionaries present come out onto the stage.  It was awesome to see them all, smiling and waving!  They stayed on stage for the closing song.  After that, signs & banners started popping up all around the Dome.  The camera crew zoomed in on several sections so we could see them on the screens.  It was so heartwarming seeing all the messages from different ones, expressing love for the missionaries, the international delegates, and everyone else.  What an amazing experience the entire weekend was!

Maybe one day we can be the delegates going to an international convention somewhere else!

Thursday, June 26, 2014


A few years ago, I ordered a few oriental lily bulbs and planted them in our backyard.  Every summer since then, I've waited on them to bloom and see how many there are.  I get a couple more each year.  These are called "Muscadet."  They always a bloom a week or two before my others do.  I cut a bouquet this morning, after they had been rained on and stained by the pollen.  I wish I had gotten to them last night, but I still enjoyed having them in my office at work.  They brighten  up my desk and smell so wonderful!

Monday, April 14, 2014

Meet Wally

On August 3, 2013, I was on my way to our vet clinic with the dogs.  We made what was supposed to be a quick stop at the local pharmacy to pick up a prescription.  While waiting in line at the drive-thru window, I kept hearing what sounded very much like a distressed cat or kitten.  I rolled down the windows, and the sound was more distinct.

Finally, I got out of my car and looked around.  That's when I saw him: a scared little gray kitten, looking at me from underneath the car in line behind me!  Before I could get him, he had run back up under the hood of the running car.  Panic set in!  I tried and tried to call him back out, but he wasn't having it.  A nice man next door saw what I was trying to do and came to help me.  The driver of the car (who was unconcerned about the poor kitty) finally turned it off and popped the hood when we asked him to, and the Good Samaritan was eventually able to pull the filthy, scared kitten out, upon which he handed him to me and walked away!

I had no choice but to take the poor little thing with me, although I just knew I'd be torn to shreds when I got into my car with the two dogs in the backseat.  To my surprise, the kitten wasn't the least bit concerned about the two large Boxers who were straining against their seat belts to reach him in the front seat and say hello.  He just curled up in my lap and rode along!

I still had to make it to the vet before they closed, so I called Brandon with a frantic plea to meet me at the door with the cat carrier as I quickly told him what had happened, and the little kitten was deposited there for the rest of the ride.  I called ahead and asked if they could squeeze in an exam for him to make sure he was OK to take home with me.  I also called as many people as I could think of to try to find him a home, to no avail.  It seemed we had a new member of the family!

Because I found him at our local Walgreen's, the kitten was soon dubbed WALLY.  Wally fit in with our little family right away.  Our sixteen year old cat, Beldar, was less than pleased to have him join us, but the dogs were fine, and Wally wasn't afraid of them at all.  Poor Beldar finally broke down a few days later and accepted him as well.  I was glad, because Wally cried and followed him around from day one.  Poor thing...I'm sure he missed his mom!
In the past eight months, Wally has become both a source of laughs and aggravation.  He's a funny cat, but more often than not he is somewhere he shouldn't be and/or doing something he shouldn't be doing.  He harasses poor Beldar and attacks anything that moves with his razor sharp claws.  I can't even make the bed without shutting him out of the room. When it's nap time, though, he turns into his alter ego, "Sweet Wally," and just wants to cuddle.  Most nights, he sleeps with his head on my pillow, right next to my face.  He even naps with the dogs sometimes.

I think we will keep him!

Monday, April 07, 2014

Color Vibe 5K

Some of my friends and I did our first Color Vibe 5K Saturday.  We had so much fun!!  A picture is definitely worth a thousand words, so here are some pictures to show a little of what it was like:

Thousands of people waiting to go through the starting line.
They only let about 500 go through at a time.  It was finally our wave's turn!
They used leaf blowers to throw color on you at the starting line!
Kelli & I after going through the first color station
Me after all four color stations
The after party was awesome!
Lots of colorful dancing!
Dancing and more color!
Kayla & I at the end
We had such a great time!! Now it's time for a shower...

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

A Day In My Life

Today's prompt in the "Blog Every Day in May" challenge was to blog about a day in your life, including pictures.  I was excited about this one, as it gave me an excuse to take pictures of things I normally wouldn't...truly capturing the everyday.  I think I'll create a scrapbook layout of these picture as well!

Here is a glimpse into my life, with the first picture being taken around 5:30 this morning, and the last one around 10:30 at night:

Bogart is getting over being sick, thanks to the antibiotics we have been
giving him twice a day. 

About to go through the gate at work this morning.

Working on some inventory analysis reports.

It was a beautiful day, so lunch at the park was in order!
I took along my book to study for tonight's lesson.

My almost daily afternoon snack: an apple with a little bit of salt.
(Is putting salt on your apple a southern thing???)

Heading home and crossing the state line back into Mississippi.

I had to make a couple of stops on the way home from work: the bank 
to deposit Brandon's check, and then Piggly Wiggly for a few items like
cheese to go with our dinner.

Dinner in the living room and some mindless TV with
my furry kids piled on the couch with me before
getting ready for the meeting.

On our way to the meeting!

With my Aunt Mary after the meeting tonight

Late night treat: nachos & mango jalapeno margaritas!

And now, my friends, it's 11:45.  The alarm goes off early in the morning, and so it's off to bed for me!

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Ten Things That Make Me Happy

Today's prompt in the "Blog Every Day in May" challenge is to list ten things that make you happy.  Here are mine, in no particular order:

  1. That first sip of coffee in the morning
  2. A purring kitty
  3. Spontaneous kisses or hugs from my hubby
  4. Seattle
  5. Dark chocolate
  6. New scrapbook supplies
  7. A great day in service
  8. Conventions
  9. Having so many awesome friends
  10. Getting a card or letter in the mail