Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Post Christmas catch up!

I have missed y'all so much. Seriously. Ok, maybe not. Totally kidding. I think. Let me start over. *Ahem.*

This has been the longest blog break I have ever taken. 11 whole days it was. And, I've concluded that if it weren't for Facebook and Twitter, I would have clearly died.


Ok, I feel better now.

Now, I had to take down the Christmas bloggy design. I never really liked it from the beginning, but I felt pressured. I'm a sucker. And, I totally went with everyone else and turned the blog into all things Christmas. Well, dumb me obviously doesn't know how to get my professional design back and I've emailed Amy to see if she can quickly pull up the old design. So far, she's still on Christmas break too and I haven't heard a peep from her. Dern.

Well, how was Christmas???

Ours was renamed "Throw up......Christmas Style." No lie. We had the stomach bug. And, all I can say is it was N-A-S-T-Y. I'll leave it at that.

So, we kinda missed Christmas and all those precious memories that the rest of you had. The wonderful 24-48 hours just blew right passed us in a flurry while we.....ya know....got sick.

Thankfully, Santa brought us Cotton Bowl tickets and we'll head to the big D for a few days of "Post-Merry Christmas and Happy New Year" fun. And, I'm back in fun, full force and will get on your nerves with loads of pictures from the adventure.

Here are a few Christmas pix before the big bug bit us on Christmas Eve......

This would be homeboy getting his Christmas groove on.

Homeboy is giving some evil looks don't you think??

Homeboy is blowing out the biggest candle in West TN for a birthday cake. We pulled out the best for Jesus.

Remember, we are from TN. No monogrammed stockings here. Just throw up (ha! no pun intended) some notebook paper and some tape and you are good to go!

That last picture was our last moment of happiness before the bug bit us.

I love ya bloggy peeps. Love to have you on Facebook or Twitter too. Come join the addiction! That's not nice of me is it?!

Come back soon for pix from Dallas. This would be our first trip as a family to TX. We are PUMPED too!!

Happy New Year!! I think 2009 is going to be a fabulous year.

Hugs and blessings~

Friday, December 19, 2008

It's simply time

Hey all....

We have had a crazy, busy week with end of the year Christmas parties, field trips, and the beloved Middle School exam. I barely survived science and learned that "our" efforts got "us" an 88 on our final exam. And, let's just say that momma squealed and carried on like a wild woman in the parking lot.

Now that we are officially done with all that stuff, it's time for me to move into the place of "preparing for Christmas." I need to prepare my own heart and mind. I need to spend some serious time reading the Gospels on the beautiful birth of our Lord and Savior. I need to get my children ready for the true meaning of Christmas. I need to bake cookies and having the sights and sounds of Christmas among us.

In order for that to happen like I want it to, I must leave blogland for awhile. And, I suggest you do the same too. ;) Then I don't feel so bad. Ha!

Merry Christmas, friends. I love you dearly. You are constantly in my prayers. And, I'm praying for some beautiful God things to happen over you and your family this Christmas season.
Luke 2:10 "But an angel said to them, Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people."

Much love and many blessings this Christmas season~

Fran and family

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Merry Christmas Boomama and friends!!

Merry Christmas friends!!! Let's kick this thing off and have fun looking throughout everyone's homes! Below is one picture that I had made with Boomama in San Antonio over the Summer. What a blast we all had together. Be sure and go by Boomama's and check out the 2000 homes that are linked over there. *wink*

Love y'all....enjoy Christmas!

Georgia, Stephanie, Fran, Boomama, and Lisa at the pj party!

Boomama's Christmas Tour and then some..... from Fran Thomas on Vimeo.

I love you Jesus! Thank you for being the complete joy of my life!
hugs and blessings~

Friday, December 12, 2008

Ain't happenin'....but wait...it FINALLY did!!!!!

A quick hello from Fran Thomas on Vimeo.

I just want y'all to know that in order for my life to move on, I must stop waiting on this short video to post on blogger. Soooooo......I'll let it load over the weekend (ahem) and have it ready on Monday for Boomama's Christmas Home Tour thingy.

Carry on. Happy weekend. And, I'll get over my frustrations as soon as I hide this laptop in my closet and not look at it. :)

**UPDATE: Obviously, the thing finally loaded and then my mouth and words don't match up. Highly entertaining.**

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

A few birthday pictures....

My darling hubs and I and another couple went to Nashville this past weekend to celebrate him turning the big 4-0! We had so much fun. We did alot in a short period of time, but worth every bit of the fun. In this picture, hubs is about to "lay out" for a serious pool shot. And, I do believe the form came through for him and he made it. Now....please note that the girls DID NOT play pool. We stood off to the side and smiled so sweetly at our men!

Here is Jenny outside the Wildhorse Saloon. This is an infamous spot in downtown Nashville, so I hear. They have some weird, freaky looking horses everywhere and we had to take some pix.

These are our sweet friends that went with us. They make me laugh and we love our friendship with them. We laugh with them ALL THE TIME.

Only in Nashville....don't you love what this says?? And, yes, I took it right in the bathroom stall!

Another weird horse inside the Wildhorse Saloon. This is where we watched the big Florida/Alabama game. Everywhere was so crowded so this is where we ended up.
Now, Jenny would just die if she knew I posted this picture!!! Don't you love it?! We were all about seeing just how big we could get our hair. And, then she struck a pose. And, then I couldn't quit singing that Madonna song, "Vogue." That might have been the most annoying.
And, here I am with my wonderful husband. I met him when he was 24 and now he is all grown up. Maybe. :) He is the best thing that ever happened to me. I love him with all my heart and am so grateful that God brought this man into my life when I least expected it.
Have a great day, friends. Slow down and enjoy this season of Christmas. Pull back from those things that keep you from truly enjoying this magnificent season!
Hugs and blessings and Merry Christmas!!

Monday, December 8, 2008

Burnt Snowmen

“For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God,
which is in you through the laying on of my hands.”
2 Timothy 1:6 (NIV)

The snowmen dressed in red mufflers and black stovepipe hats stood cheerily on the dining room table. Amidst all the Christmas decorations, their presence brought the most oohs and ahs. Everyone at the party asked my friend, “Where did you buy them?”

I smiled. I had bought the snowmen candles for my friend as her Christmas gift. I thought to myself, “You did well!”

A group of us chatted around the dining room table, nibbling on sugar cookies. Holiday gaiety floated through the room. We laughed together until, all of sudden, I noticed smoke emitting from all three of the wax snowmen candles. Before I could speak, flames spewed up and out of the stovepipe hats. The candles burst into flames, igniting the other table decorations! My friend shrieked for help. Her husband, a firefighter by profession, ran into the room and doused the candles with the bowl of fruit punch that sat on a side table.

We sat in shocked silence. Instead of feeling pride over my gift, I hung my head in embarrassment. Now everyone wanted to know where I had purchased the fire hazard, because they didn’t want to buy anything of the same nature!

The apostle Paul encourages us “…to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you ...” (2 Timothy 1:6, NIV). Much like the candles burst into flames from a catalyst within, our gifts are to burst forth through the power of the Holy Spirit within us. Our God-given gifts are to be used to bless others.

Maybe you’re thinking, “That’s great for others, but I don’t have any gifts to share.” My friend, God’s Word promises “…each man has his own gift from God; one has this gift, another has that” (1 Corinthians 7:7, NIV). I encourage you to seek the Lord and ask Him to show you what gifts He’s placed within you.

Consider Romans12:6-8, “We have different gifts, according to the grace given us. If a man's gift is prophesying, let him use it in proportion to his faith. If it is serving, let him serve; if it is teaching, let him teach; if it is encouraging, let him encourage; if it is contributing to the needs of others, let him give generously; if it is leadership, let him govern diligently; if it is showing mercy, let him do it cheerfully” (NIV).

So what spiritual gift do you have that Christ wants you to use this Christmas season? I encourage you to allow your spiritual gifts to burn brightly during the Advent Season. And, as we fan our gifts into flames, let’s pray that others will see and recognize the glory of the Most High God.

Dear Lord, Thank You for giving me spiritual gifts. Please show me the gifts You’ve placed within me. Teach me how to use my gifts so that others may see You and desire to know You more. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Since I was gone most of the weekend to Nashville, I completely stole this from Crosswalk! But, I love what it has to say and knew it was definately worth sharing.

Love you all so much! My thoughts and brain will be back by Wednesday!

Hugs and blessings~

Friday, December 5, 2008

Some Friday fun!

Hey my sweet friends...

I've been a little sentimental this week. You know when you catch yourself remembering times and people that you truly love and care about.......the friends you met on the internet. CRAZY!

I had the thrill of going to San Antonio this past August to the LPL event and the Siesta Fiesta. It has been one of the highlights of my life. Yep.....CRAZY!

The girls that I was with have become my sweet friends who reside in a piece of my heart. These girls (and too many to name) mean the world to me. We pray for one another, talk on the internet via blogging, we even talk on the phone, we text, we facebook, we twitter. The words that we write or say to one another have allowed me to see their big, beautiful hearts. And, that is why I love 'em.

One of these precious girls in my life, Darlene, gave her roomies an award this past week and I'm playing along in the fun. Some fun trivial stuff to get a glimpse into the here and now.....which happens to be Thursday night as I type this.

1. Where is your cell phone? In the car, in the garage or in my purse in the car in the garage.

2. Where is your significant other? Taking a shower

3. Your hair color? Brown. And colored at that. And...some highlights thrown in for fun.

4. Your mother? Absolutely precious

5. Your father? Will do anything for you

6. Your favorite thing? Bible study with the girls, family, and vacations

7. Your dream last night? Can't remember specifically but it was weird.

8. Your dream/goal? Christian speaker to women

9. The room you’re in? The infamous den

10. Your hobby? who has time? But anything on the computer I guess

11. Your fear? Losing my husband or children

12. Where do you want to be in six years? At peace with life and filled with joy

13. Where were you last night? Church and enjoying our Family Advent Night

14. What you’re not? Confident

15. One of your wish list items? For me personally....a rolex watch studded out in diamonds. I know. Shame on me. You asked.

16. Where you grew up? Arkansas

17. The last thing you did? put kids to bed, chatted with hubs

18. What are you wearing? pj's

19. Your T.V.? Barbara Walter 10 Most Fascinating People

20. Your pet? That would be 2 dogs...both asleep on couch

21. Your computer? Wishing it was a MAC

22. Your mood? good but tired

23. Missing someone? Always

24. Your car? Can someone clean it out?

25. Something you’re not wearing? socks

26. Favorite store? Anthropologie

27. Your Summer? Want to stay there forever

28. Love someone? YES!

29. Your favorite color? red or orange

30. When is the last time you laughed? With the kids right before bed

31. Last time you cried? yesterday at church

So, wasn't that some Friday fun?? I love my San Antonio girls!!! EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THEM! And...I'm going to see one or two of them next weekend and I'm absolutely giddy about it.

Have a wonderful weekend. I'm headed to Nashville with my birthday man turning 40 today and we are celebrating! Can't wait!

Hugs and blessings~

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Do you ever feel like this guy??

I'm having one of those days....actually one of those weeks. I feel like this guy. I'm full of the Christmas spirit and the excitement of it all, but I keep falling over. Something is tripping me up daily. And, I'm NOT HAPPY ABOUT IT.
Even if we are falling down left and right....keep praying, keep in His Word, and keep after Him with all you got! A simple reminder for myself right now.
Now...back to the Christmas season....
Hugs and blessings~

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Seasonal checkup

I so badly want to be a techy nerd. And if you knew me and had known me for a long time (AKA Lesley) then you would LAUGH REALLY HARD. You would laugh because I completely struggled with the whole techy world up until now! I love it!!

The next thing that would rock our world was if I began to scrapbook or start making things. You know...turning creative. I truly thought "techy" was not in my inner most being, but it is now. And, yes, I praise God for it!! So, I'm sure the good Lord is just laughing and thinking..."Just you wait Fran. You'll be sewing your kids clothes this time next year."

I spend hours of time laughing and loving facebook. I have the absolute best friends on twitter. Seriously...try explaining to your parents the fabulous friends you have made on the internet. And, if you have no idea what I'm talking about......I'm sorry and sad for you. I may just fly out and see some of these people that I "know." I mean that. Especially those of you that live in warm climates right now. DO NOT TEMPT ME! I really do call you my friends. It's kinda cool.

Anyway...my point....and I know I'm stretching....but I'm a simple girl....

You never know when or how God will use you. And...from my experience it won't be in an area that you are comfortable in. I have an example or two or ten, but I want you to think about yourself for a second.

Let's take some time to reflect on where we are in this journey of ours with a couple of short questions...

1. Is God truly number 1 in my life?
2. Where am I serving Him and His church?
3. Am I being stretched and made uncomfortable?

If any of these questions is a "no" then let's promise to prayerfully consider and reevaluate where we are with God. Christmas seems like a fabulous time to think about where we are with Him. Maybe like a checkup, but without all the in's and out's. And samples of this and that.

Start back with question 1 and pray your way through each one.

And...in regards to question 3, God wants to take us out of our comfort zone. He wants to stretch us, grow us, depend solely on Him, be scared, completely trust, show 100% faith, and live out what we claim to believe.

I don't want to be complacent. I want to be sold out. I want to live the thing out with Him day in and day out. That's tough. Day in and day out I want to be sold out.

Let's live this thing out with Him, for Him, and be completely set apart for the world to see who we are and Whose we are! Ask Him to stretch you and mold you and even take you places that you'd never think you'd go. It is the best thrill ride of our lives. Just hang on real tight! He won't let you down.

Mark 8:34 And he called to him the crowd with his disciples and said to them, "If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me."

Hugs and blessings~

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Just a few photos of people I'm thankful for......

Had a wonderful day with my hubs side of the family in Memphis. Ate way too much, but that is simply what you do when surrounded by amazing food and family. For some reason...I'm never in pictures except for today. My face looks a little on the large side before I ever started eating. What's up with that? Anway....

This is me and #2 son right before we left.

This is #3 son and his aunt. He happens to have a birthday on Monday so she gave him an AR sweatshirt. They live there. I grew up there. So...I'm good with that. ;)

Me and hubs. Love him!!!

Me and my underarmour clan. Seriously??? No Christmas card photo today. *Ahem.*

All the cousins. Look at that darling little girl. And, I'm tellin' ya....the girl can hang!

Two young BFF's.

One of my BFF's. I can't believe he's turning 8! WHAT????

My family comes tomorrow. I'm not eating though (wink wink)! The treadmill and I have a meeting before they come though. I'm feeling a little on the round side.
Love y'all. Thanked God for all of you as I sat in the car today. The highway does that to you.
Hugs and blessings~

Monday, November 24, 2008

Think of something new....

Hey sweet friends...

First of all HAPPY THANKSGIVING and MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!! Yep....I kick off my favorite season of all on Thursday and roll it all into one giant, happy, yummy time!!!

Currently, I'm at home with a house full of sick youngins and am completely sleep deprived. But, deep down inside....I like days like this. It's unexpected and truly a gift in a weird sort of way.

As we all get into the "season," I want to ask you to consider doing something different this year.

Would you consider sponsoring a child through Compassion International??

Or, you can sponsor a child short term if that appeals to your finances a little more.

My family "adopted" a little girl named Sofia, from Uganda, several months ago. Every time I get a letter from 6 yr old Sofia I just cry. My family is making a difference in the life of a child. I do believe that God wants us to be aware and active in world missions as well as local missions and this organization is something I deeply believe in.

Would you please click on their website from either link above and prayerfully consider how your family can give back when we have more than enough?

Sofia is a part of my heart. She is prayed for every night by my boys. It's strange, but she has a piece of our heart.

With a grateful heart and so much love for our Savior....I am grateful for all of you, my life, and the many blessings given to me.

How will you make a difference this season?? Let's step out and do something different.

"Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves. … Defend the rights of the poor and needy." — Proverbs 31:8-9

Hugs and blessings~

Friday, November 21, 2008

Just a mess

It's Friday morning as I type this out and a couple of things are coming to mind that I need to let you know.....

1. 5th grade field trip got cancelled today because it was sooooooo cold. That means this momma has a free day at home. PRAISE GOD!!!

2. I'm doing the 1st half of the Daniel Bible study again. I want you to see the mess of my environment and how I really wasn't prepared to sit down and tackle this. You'll see in a second.

3. My kiddos are going to their grandparents for 24 hours and I'm on a date with hubs and then I'm tackling some Christmas decor tomorrow!! PRAISE GOD AGAIN!!

Ok...let me show you this pitiful environment.

Did you look closely?? I have a coffee cup sitting on some inserts from my ATT bill. I have my home phone standing up. I have my cell phone on top of the Daniel DVD thingy. It's hard to see, but on the left of the computer is my ATT bill that I paid online 3 DAYS AGO PEOPLE along with the earphones that I listen to sermons online with. And, if you could see real good....in red ink, on the ATT bill, is a note to myself to email Kristi. So....lets keep going.

Could you tell that was my Bible sideways?? Could you tell that my notes are on the envelope of my ATT bill??? EXCUSE ME??? How dumb is that?? There is not nearly enough room for notes from Beth Moore's Daniel study on there. I was also too lazy to go upstairs and find my old workbook. Lord, please help me transfer these notes to something a little bit better than a bill.

Me, Beth, and the others in Houston had a wonderful session in Daniel Chapter 1 this morning. Here is a nugget for you....

God has assigned us to this world and this time on planet Earth. Satan has assigned the world to us. Will we influence the world around us or is the world influencing us??

God is up to something with me. He has been for a mighty long time. I don't know the end result just yet. But, through it all, I want to have the integrity that Daniel had.

Have a blessed weekend. I'm so thankful for all of you. You are just so precious to me.
Hugs and blessings~

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

I so didn't get this

Back in 1970 when the good Lord formed me in my mothers womb....He left something out.


I have none. Well, ok....I have some, but it would be considered to be on the low end. And, that makes life difficult. You know.....kids, jobs, deadlines, hurry, hurry, hurry, errands, bills, relationships, go, go, go.

Sometimes its just real hard for me to settle down and WAIT. Even typing that word out, put a knot in my stomach. I'm a do-er. I like to get things done and go 100 mph.

Right now...God has me in a season of "WAIT FRAN." It's about to kill me. KILL ME I tell ya.

Funny how He does that. I know the wrestling match that He and I are in, but I'm so tired of waiting for Him to shed some light on the subject matter.

Then someone said something that was straight from God Himself...."Don't go ahead of God."


If you are having to wait on something. Go ahead and wait and let Him give you the green light as to what to do next.

As our beloved Beth Moore would say..."Just perse-dang-vere!"

And, let me say...that is exactly what I'm doing.

In the name of Jesus...."perse-dang-vere!"

James 1:2-4 2Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. 4Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.

Colossians 1:11 11being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience....

Hugs and blessings~

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Bloggy throw up

There are so many things swirling around in this crazed out head of mine that I have no idea what I'm about to spit out....so, let's pull a Bethanne and do some numbered randomness! Sound fun?? Probably won't be nearly as fun as hers, but i'll give it a whirl. This is like puking....... blog style! Ha!

1. Why does Vi*gra have to sponsor EVERYTHING that comes on?? They are all over NFL football and ESPN and I'm just waiting to have to explain these commercials. There is one part in the commercial that makes me laugh out loud and throw up all at the same time.....lets just say the thought of this happening KILLS ME!!! Enough said.

2. Speaking of killing...ahem....my 7 yr old had the word "slay" in vocabulary for his Bible class this week. It means to "kill someone." Threw that in there in case you didn't know. So....I instantly put on my cool mom mode and walked around all afternoon saying "You slay me." Noone laughed. Or thought I was cool at all. Alot of eye rolling took place.

3. And, whats up with the pregnant man again?? He announced it to Barbara Walters and she told the world on the View and I thought I was going to D-I-E! That's another one that I don't want to try to explain to the kids as you check out of the local grocery store and the headlines are all over the place. Honestly, it makes me sick. Men who were once women should not be having babies. You are either one or the other.

4. For the record, I'm a consersative Christian and I'm worried about some things. I will not conform to the world we live in. I'm not going into this one. I just wanted to say that. Need to study up on some sanctification.

5. I'm tired of wanting a MAC computer. It's like a kid who dreams of the newest game or bike or latest gadget and has to wait til Christmas. Except I'm not getting one at Christmas either. I just bought a fancy schmany laptop and must wait. I wouldn't be setting a good example if I just went and bought one "because." Plus...I'm not made of money and I'm trying to avoid credit at all costs. We are almost debt free and that is one happy feeling. So, I silently pout to myself over the MAC.

6. I love good friends. I mean love the ones that I can be 200% honest with and they love me anyway. Gosh....you know who you are and I'm truly grateful for your friendship and prayers right now.

7. I'm loving facebook. Well, as some of my friends and I call it, crackbook. We are all completely addicted. ADDICTED I tell ya. I love seeing pictures and reading what everyone is up to. If you want to follow me on facebook....come be my friend. I love new friends. It's so much fun! Do I sound Jr High-ish or what?

8. I would love to ask y'all questions about something so huge right now in my heart and mind but I just can't right now. I'll have to ask it on like a Saturday when noone is reading blogs much. I'll have to kind of sneak it in and then quickly delete so that I don't stir up too much "talk." If any of my home girls read it, I might freak 'em out! :) How's that for vague?

9. I bought one of those outdoor fire pits this week and the stupid dern thing wouldn't work for all the money in the world. No fire. Nothing. Nada. Put newspaper in it to try to get a spark going and nothing. So much for making smores outside in the fine Fall air. Any tricks out there that I need to know about?? If not....I'm not so much a fan of the outdoor firepit.

10. Finally....I DO NOT recommend a sleepover for 11 yr old boys.....8 of them to be exact. It all went down here on Friday night. I was the cool mom until 4 AM when I had to shut them down I tell ya. Can I tell you they were playing "truth or dare.?" Uh huh. It was creepy to stand outside the door for the whole 6.3 seconds before I busted up in there. I really don't know what was going down, but I almost threw the word "slay" around and would have seriously meant it. Not real fond of this age. They are growing up and I'm oh so scared.

That's it. I'm going to drown my crazed out ADD brain in some reality tv like the Real Housewives of Atlanta. They make me seem sooooooo very normal.

Count your blessings. Live life to the fullest. Love everyone. Ask God to rule over every part of your life.

Much love~

Friday, November 14, 2008

Must see tv!

I saw this over at that sweet Debra's blog and am so glad I did. Please watch this short 2 minute video and I pray it effects your Christmas season! This will definately make you think. Bless you, Debra.

I love your heart. I wish I lived in Houston! :)

Hugs and blessings~

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

My sweet baby

Oh my precious Tyler. Today you are officially 11 yrs old. Let me remind you of your oh-so-fast delivery. I could have sworn you would have been born on the side of the Greenville SC highway right smack in the middle of rush hour. I should have known, then, that type of "entry" would dictate exactly who you are today.

You weren't born on the side of the highway. But upon arrival at the hospital, you came a mere 30 minutes later. I remember the nurse asking me if I wanted an epidural and I screamed, "YES YOU FOOL!" She quickly "examined" me....ahem.....and I was a good 9cm. EXCUSE ME?! I almost died right there from pure shock.

I somehow managed to get the mother of all drugs and had approximately 5 minutes of rest before you came into my life. I was smitten. Head over heals. Stole my heart. How can a momma love two children? But, wait a minute....something is wrong....what is it???

Your face was bruised and they quickly discoveredthat you had a broken collar bone. One more time...."EXCUSE ME?!" My baby was battered, bruised, and broken and he's only an hour old.

I should have known then that you were going to keep me on my toes.

You walked at 7 1/2 months. "EXCUSE ME?!" You talked early. You have always had a ball in your hand. You have been the cutest thing I've ever known. You've been a movin and shakin from the get-go.

You are smart. You are funny. You are extremely messy and unorganized and it drives your OCD dad crazy! You are strong willed. You love Jesus. You are athletic and competitive in a nonaggressive way. You are so easy going. You are laid back just like your OCD dad. (Isn't that weird?) And, I just can't imagine life without you.

You see...I miscarried my very first pregnancy. I miscarried at 12 weeks and with each child's birthday I realize that if that pregnancy would have lasted, none of my children would be here today. The timing would be all different. I just can't imagine a day without you.

I know how long my journey with Jesus has been based on your age. You are 11 yrs old and the journey began when you were 1. It's easy for me to keep up with it. I've loved Jesus for 10 yrs now. That alone thrills my heart to no end! Thank you for being the one who caused me to lose my mind. Remember, you and Clay were only 15 1/2 months apart and I almost LOST IT. You drove me to Jesus and Bible study and the Moms group at Bellevue. Praise God.

His timing is so perfect and so beautiful and I thank Him today for the life He gave me and your dad. I'm overwhelmed to think that He trusts me with you. I'll do everything within my power, Tyler, to give you the best that I can. I want to love you deeply and guide you into the young man that God wants you to be. And, let me just say now.....it might be scary. ;)

Keep at it kiddo. And, my prayer is that you love Jesus with all your heart! I see Him shining through already. It's so beautiful to see that in your child.

Have a happy birthday my sweet baby. I will always call you whatever I want to, ok? I can do that. :) And, can this be the last sleepover we have? I'm already kind of anxious about it. You boys have some things cookin and I can smell it!!!

Hugs and blessings~


Monday, November 10, 2008

Sweet, sweet friends

Hi Monday! How are you? Me? Tired and wishing we could rearrange the week and make the weekends a little longer. Don't take it personally. I'm just not a big fan of you.

Had such a fabulous weekend! With friends. And, with friends I've known since ELEMENTARY SCHOOL!!! Can you even imagine after all these years you even still know each other and will hang out together as if time has just stood still?!

These girls, Shawn is on the left, I'm in the middle, and Laura is on the right, are so dear to me.

We get like that the older we are, huh? They are just precious to me.

Here we are Friday night eating at a fabulous Sushi/Thai restaurant. I don't think the waiter was too keen on us. I'm not sure why. Look how cute we are. ;)

We stayed up way late and talked and laughed and talked and laughed. Don't you just love that?

The great thing about our friendship is that we have not always been near one another or would even talk or see each other for years. So....through many life events, we have somehow managed to stay in touch and see one another every year or two. It takes effort doesn't it?

Here we are being goofy (ok, I was being goofy) with the camera and we were taking pictures when you weren't ready. Because we are grown up like that.

Saturday we shopped and shopped and shopped and shopped. We had so much fun. I got so many gifts knocked out. You know the ones, teacher gifts, birthday gifts that fall between now and Christmas. And, we found this place that comes to Memphis once a year for a few weeks that sells BEAUTIFUL pottery dishes for DIRT CHEAP. DIRT CHEAP I tell ya. I got a piece for $6 that would normally sell for $25-30. Ch-ching.

So, here is Shawn coming out with her goods.....

Since I've been home, I've been thinking about friendships....all kinds....and I want you to think about letting your friends know just how much you love them. Let them know just how special your friendship is with them. Let them know. Don't wait to tell them.

Regardless of how long you've known someone, tell them just how grateful you are for their friendship. And, the value of good friendships is something we can all teach our children about.

"I miss you Shawn and Laura. Thanks for being some dear, dear friends. My life is better for knowing you. I can't wait to see ya again!!"

I love you all. Have a great day and I'm so glad to call each of you "friend."

"A friend loves at all times." Proverbs 17:17

Hugs and blessings~

Thursday, November 6, 2008

How much fun is this??

This weekend I get to see two of my oldest friends. I say that meaning we have known one another since early elementary school. So...ahem...that makes it about...ahem...30 years.

We get 24 hrs together to laugh, and remember, and laugh some more.

Here we are in early High School. This might have been our 9th grade year as cheerleaders. Sure can't remember right now.

Laura lives in Arkansas and is the one on the top left pyramid. Shawn lives in Memphis and is on the top right pyramid. I'm the wild rebel with short hair and the "beloved base" on the bottom right pyramid.

I know these are terrible pix, but I stole them off my Facebook page and I can't really send you there can I?

I'll have high quality pictures for you on Sunday. Have a GREAT weekend. Make sure you laugh alot too. It's good for the soul!

Hugs and blessings~

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Some silliness!

Sometimes when you are in a funky mood, you just want to do this!!

Do you know what this stuff is?? It's fabulous silly string! If you have never experienced this wonderful, silly stuff.......then you MUST go get some.

We used it a couple of weeks ago at church for our tailgate party. However, I'm thinking it's good for grownups and fun for all ages. Why should the kids be having all the fun? And, by the looks of that picture above...We are having a good time with it.

So, if you are in need of some stress relief and some fun.....then go get multiple cans and spray away! It even comes in different colors! Double the fun, huh?!

It's also easy to clean up once it dries. You can just vacuum it right up. These people are brilliant I tell ya! Don't be afraid. Even you crazy OCD folks can handle it. I can say that because I'm in recovery from OCD. ;)

I should probably keep a stash at all times at home.

Happy "Silly String!" Remember, it's ok to be silly sometimes! We could all use a little right?

Hugs and blessings~

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Election Day '08

If you haven't already done so....please go here and read what a fabulous Bible teacher has to say over the election.

Thank you, Beth Moore, for the wonderful reminders through scripture.

Hugs and blessings~

Sunday, November 2, 2008

A wrestling match

Hey all my sweet bloggy friends!!

Quick shout out to Facebook and my ability to stay in touch when I was on bloggy break!!! Is that an oxymoron or something?? Those two thoughts don't seem like they should even go together in the same sentence!

So, was I really on break?? Yes!

I peeked in here and there, but for the most part.....I was 100% Facebooking. Clearly, this addict needs help. Drop the blog, but let's Facebook all day long!

But, I had about a week off from having to think about what in the world to blog about. That was nice. I was feeling overwhelmed and felt like I need to breathe and concentrate on some other things....like children, hubby, and Jesus.

I have tried to figure out how to enter back into the land of blogging with some bang but I don't know what that would be.

Halloween pix? Nah.

Video?? Nah.

Pictures in general? Nah.

All the bad stuff I've been dealing with? Nah.

How about this food for thought for today.....

" We are constantly bombarded with sounds. Either the radio announcer is talking to us, or the voice through the phone receiver is. And if we are able to escape momentarily and grab a moment of silence, we confront the most deafening noise of all: our internal voice. Yes, our days are filled with people speaking to us, but for most, it is our internal speaking that fills every crevice and crack of our conscious moments. When we see a neighbor, our opinions speak a piece about her. As we talk with a coworker, beyond our words, our thoughts speak volumes. Even as we embrace a loved one, our hearts can be quite chatty with criticism or distractions. And most devastatingly, our times of prayer are loud with our voice but soft in the voice of God."

Totally stole that from Ravi Zacharius, but HOLY COW is that good or what???

I've been thinking alot about alot of things on this bloggy break and one or three being this....

1. The attention I give God. I mean, I say I have Him first in my life, but do I?

2. The attention I give others that are entrusted to me.

3. The attention I give those I'm around on a daily basis outside of family.

What has me distracted? Am I ADD? Why can't I be fully present to someone or one particular thing?

What has you distracted?

Go back and read that paragraph again from Ravi. Go ahead. I'll wait. And, it gets better with paragraph 2. Read on when you are ready....

"These are all connected. In each we demonstrate our ability to listen: our ability to become quiet, open ourselves to another, and focus upon their concern. True listening only occurs when we disentangle ourselves from our internal morass of self-centeredness. Only as we internally soften the focus upon ourselves and became captivated in concern for another do we begin to listen. It is only via true listening that we will ever consistently hear the people that populate our world. Yes, on occasion, we can be jolted out of the dominance of our internal voice by the tragedy another has suffered or by the lightening bolt of God's conviction. But on a daily basis, on a minute-by-minute basis, unless we take on an attitude of true listening our world will resound with our own internal voice."

Hang in there....one more final paragraph to bring her home....

"The lack of true listening is the cause of much of our spiritual weakness for if we place the mouth before the ear, our prayers will be dominated by our mouths and not our ears. This results in prayers full of our requests and our desires and lacking in God's requests and God's desires. We end up presenting our questions for God, but do not wait to hear His questions of us. Let us learn from Jacob that wrestling with God in prayer means that God wrestles back. This powerful thought should make us tremble. We ought not bend our knees blithely, for God might bend us as we kneel before Him."

I've been in and am still in a wrestling match with God and it's been going on for a mighty long time and honestly.....I'm tired of it.

This devotion speaks so much to me and I hope it does to you as well.

I'm happy to be back. I sure missed y'all. But, God and I had to get dirty over some things and unfortunately it ain't over yet. He's teaching me to listen. And, I'm having to tune some things out in order to hear Him.

I love Him dearly and I know He is for me and not against me.
Spend some time with Him. Alot of time with Him. Open those ears!

Hugs and blessings~

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Can't believe it

Well...it's O-fficial.

I'm taking a break from all the creative stuff I have floating around in my head that is DYING to come out. I'm shutting her down.

Yep. I'm taking a break from blogging.

Oh, just for a week. I don't know if my addictiveness can let y'all go for longer.

I need to tend to "some stuff" though.

I'm thankful for the good Lord gently telling me and then swiftly telling me to step back. :)

So...with love and obedience....

I bid farewell til next Monday!

Short, sweet, and needed.

Is it ok to stay on Facebook? :)

I love y'all! Be sure and spend some time with Jesus.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Say what you need to say....

I saw a video over at one of my favorite blogs a week or so ago and I'm stuck on it. If you don't know Pete Wilson then I'm going to highly suggest you pop on over to his site and read daily. His blog and church is a blessing to me.

The particular video that he posted was something he and someone else from his staff made together for a sermon. The video also happens to have the cool John Mayer song "Say what you need to say" behind it.

I'm going to make you watch the video at the end of this post. Trust me......you'll want to. And, you'll be glad you did.

You'll even find yourself singing along. So, in the spirit of this fabulous song, I'm going to say some things I need to say.

1. I need to be a better wife. And 101 things that fall under that.

2. I don't need to be so selfish with my time and my own desires.

3. I need to let my friends know how much I love them and need them.

4. I want my kids to know that they mean the world to me. TRULY.

5. I want to work harder than ever at whatever God is calling me to do.

6. I want to give relationships (personal, professional, acquaintances) 100% of me...being fully present.

7. I want to take it to the next level with God.

8. I want to be generous in my life.....with my words, my time, my finances, and my self.

9. I need to branch out and do something completely "non Fran!"

10. I need to laugh more than ever. LAUGH OUT LOUD!!

'Say' Music Video from Matthew Singleton on Vimeo.

So, what do you need to say or do? I pray this song and video sticks with you as much as it has with me. Then.....you gotta do it!

In the spirit of Nike....

Just do it!!

Hugs and blessings~

Friday, October 24, 2008

Real life friends now

Well....my new BFF and now real life friend is ALANA!!!!!! Alana's blog is a must read. It is called "A kiss, a hug, and a squeeze."

She and I have been bloggy friends for awhile now and I absolutely love reading her stuff. She is so funny and the cutest thing around. Her husband was in town speaking at a college and she and her cute boys came along.


I wasn't nervous one bit. It was like seeing an old friend. Here we are.....in pictures of course.

This is Alana's #1 son. He liked my camera. :)

Mom had no idea the prankster behind her. I didn't help the situation either.

"Ok...you can take a picture of me."

We had a little trouble with the flash. And, look at boy #2....ADORABLE!

I told you he liked the camera! He took this one himself. Oh, he was precious!

And, what do you do during lunch? You play Star Wars of course.

Oh, that sweet Larry Boy. Me and boy #2 kinda bonded over some Larry Boy!

My sword is the blue one, but I let him borrow it for the picture. :)

I had so much fun at lunch with these guys. We could have hung out all afternoon. I wanted to talk and talk but I had to go get my boys from school. It was easy. I'm glad we had the chance to meet and hug and laugh and pray together.

The lunch was perfect Alana. So very nice to "meet" you. Tell those boys Ms. Fran says hi and misses them.

Hugs and blessings y'all. I'm thankful today for all sorts of friendships.

I blog so you can get a glimpse into my life as wife, mom of 3 boys, and someone who simply wants to bless others along the way. Have fun and be sweet :)

Boy 1

Boy 1

Boy 2

Boy 2

Boy 3

Boy 3

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