Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Out with the old, in with the new

Do y’all make New Year’s resolutions?  I never really have.  I figure God has a work to do in me pretty much on a daily basis, so… well, you know. 

But, there is a lot of good that comes from setting goals and planning for the future. 

I looked up the top 10 New Year’s resolutions for 2009.  Here they are:

1.  Spend more time with family and friends

Suz Me and Mom 072608

2.  Fit in fitness (exercise)

Asics Gel-Nimbus 10

3.  Tame the bulge (diet)

Healthy eating

4.  Quit smoking

Stop smoking

5.  Enjoy life more (reduce stress)

Reduce stress 

6.  Quit drinking

Quit drinking

7.  Get out of debt/Save money

Get out of debt

8.  Learn something new

Learn something new

9.  Help others

Charlsie and David 091008

10.  Get organized

Get organized

Did yours make the list?

If I were to make New Year’s resolutions, I would have these on my list:

Pray more


Spend more time in God’s Word

God's Word

If you’re interested in reading the Bible through in 2009, starting tomorrow, our pastor is beginning a new blog, called “Living by the Book” which will include a daily devotional and suggested reading that will take you through the entire Bible this year!!  To access it, click here.

Thank you all for reading my blog this year – your comments really make it so much more fun!!  I look forward to reading about all of your lives throughout the coming year.

I hope that your New Year’s Eve is safe and fun and filled with friends and laughter – and that 2009 is a year of great blessing for you all!!

Happy New Year!!

Monday, December 29, 2008

Please Pray for Baby Stellan


I haven’t been able to get this sweet little baby off my mind for the past few days.   Several months ago, I started following MckMama’s blog ("My Charming Kids").  MckMama was told that her precious unborn child was very sick with a heart problem while in utero.  She was told he would surely die and people from all around the world began to pray for this little baby, and God delivered an absolute miracle in little Stellan on October 29, 2008. 

Well, MckMama’s family took a little trip to visit her family after Christmas and while they were there precious little Stellan became very ill.  He has been diagnosed with RSV and is VERY SICK (in PICU) and is in need of prayer.  I have been praying with each of MckMama’s Twitter updates… I’m begging God for a major improvement in Stellan’s health tonight.  And now I’m asking for you to please pray for this precious little baby and his sweet family.

The prayer of a person living right with God is something powerful to be reckoned with.   (James 5:16 The Message)

Thanks!!  The MckFamily is grateful for the prayers.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

The End of a Great Week

It's so hard to believe Christmas has come and gone. Yesterday, Kayla and I pretty much decided to just take a day and stay in our "jammies" and lay around watching movies and visiting with each other. We watched "Serendipity" and "Bella" (Have you seen that movie? Very sweet.)

We also took down all the Christmas stuff, which almost sent me spiralling into a depression. Oh, I really hate it when the tree comes down. I would keep it up all year long, but that would take away from the joy of having it up during the season.

By the end of the day, we felt a little sorry for the guys and ordered pizza and turned the TV to "Cops". (We laugh like crazy at some of the stuff people do!)

This morning we went to church and Judy took a couple of pictures of our family. Oh, how I love these people!

Then, we went to our favorite Mexican restaurant - where we eat every Sunday after church. Our waiter, Gabriel, is always our server and we've gotten to know him over the last couple of years. He brings our drinks, chips and salsa, guacamole and pica de gallo before we even ask each week. He's awesome. Last week for Christmas, he gave us our meal free of charge. This week, all five us us were there, and he surprised us with another free meal for the New Year. What a guy!

Kale and Kayla headed back to Fayetteville a couple of hours ago. It was so good having them here for these last several days, that it was HARD for me to let them go back today. They're so much fun to have around.

I hope you all had a Christmas filled with love and family and that your New Year will be happy and safe.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Christmas 2008

Kayla made this from a picture we took tonight.


I hope y’all just had the best Christmas! We did!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

How Does Santa Get In?

When my children were very small I was concerned  about “confusing” them with Santa, so I decided it would be best to just let them know that Santa MAY not be real.  They were so young, I really don’t know if they even remember it.  But, a year or two later, I felt like I’d robbed them of some of the joy of being a child at Christmas, so I started leaving a few gifts from “Santa”. 

One year, I packed a bunch of stuff into those HUGE gift bags… you know, the ones that are like the 55 gallon trash bags.  After the boys got done opening all their presents I asked David what the big bags were.  He said “I don’t know.” We went on for a while pretending we didn’t know where they came from and they quickly opened them to find lots of gifts from a “mystery giver”. Kale and Tyler looked at each other and said, “Maybe it was Santa?!”

So fun.

We don’t have a fireplace in our house, so when the kids asked how Santa could get in, I had to come up with something, so I said, “He comes in through the shower head.”  Of course.

I’m quick that way!

We had a lot of fun trying to totally confuse them as to the truth behind Old St. Nick, I think they might’ve figured it out after all this time.  Although, I have the feeling “Santa” may have a gift or two under the tree again this year.

Time has sure flown by.  My boys are now almost 22 and almost 20!  Here they were just yesterday – their first Christmas:

Kale's 1st ChristmasKale 1987 (Just looking at his little hands makes me cry)

Tyler in Christmas sleeper Tyler 1989 (I’m loving the little candy cane sleeper)

Oh, how I wish we could turn back the clock a few years!!

Monday, December 22, 2008

Mary, Did You Know?

This is the video we showed at church last night.  If you’ve seen “The Passion of the Christ” you’ll understand its graphic nature.  It takes a look at Christmas from the birth of the baby Jesus to the death and resurrection of the Son of Man.

I LOVED how they used the parts of the movie that most moved me as a mother when I watched the film - the parts that made me really think about the relationship Mary and Jesus had as a mother and son. 

I often think about the ordinary, daily things that Mary did with Jesus.  She was his momma.  She made meals.  She gave and received hugs and kisses from her little boy.  She made '”boo boos all better”.  She assigned chores and responsibilities. She watched Him grow to be a young man, then an adult man.  And then, she watched her beloved Son suffer and die.  All the while, knowing that He was Immanuel.  God with us.

Words just can’t express how this video affects my heart.  I wanted to share it with you as Christmas draws near.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

My Big Family Christmases

Christmas in a big family is always fun! I remember the excitement of just being a kid at Christmas.  I remember little things like laying my empty stocking on the foot of my bed and having the hardest time going to sleep so “Santa” could come.  There were a few years I could’ve SWORN I heard Santa and his reindeer on the roof of our house.  Somehow, I always fell asleep in time for “Santa” to replace my empty stocking with one that was filled to the brim with goodies.  The usual staples were an orange and an apple and some nuts and hard candy.  But, there were always items that were specially hand-picked for me!

One Christmas I remember sneaking down the stairs to try to catch Santa.  As I peered around the corner all I saw was our Christmas tree with mounds of gifts underneath.   Can you imagine trying to buy gifts for eleven children???

Christmas at the Goulets

My parents always found a way to make Christmas special.  I’ve shared before about all the hard work my Dad did restoring bikes, trikes, and pedal cars – they looked brand new each year.

Christmas at the Goulets 3

Check out Suz’s (#3) pants!! Can you say 1970s?  Just LOOK at all the gifts spilling out from under the tree!

Christmas at the Goulets 2

A little Christmas madness.  I believe that’s me in the front with my back to the camera. (Correct me if I’m wrong, Sharon #9.)  I vaguely remember that pink outfit I wore with white shoes. Because who doesn’t wear a pink outfit and white shoes for Christmas?  (Remember, this was southern California.)

Now that we’re all grown, Christmas at the Goulet house is still pretty lively.  Eight of us live within an hour of my parents.  Dennis #5 and Kristin #11 live within four hours of my parents.  And my oldest sister, Cathy #1, lives in Washington State.  So, we usually have a pretty large crowd with LOTS of kids.

I really don’t know what it would be like to be from a small family, but I can honestly say, I wouldn’t have it any other way!!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Christmas 1966

I found these old photos from Christmas 1966.  The family at that time included:

Cathy, Jim, Suzanne, Valerie, Dennis, me, and Darren (although he’s only in one of the family Christmas photos taken that year).Christmas Eve 1966  (L-R) Valerie #4, Cathy #1, Dad and me #6, Mom and Dennis #5, Jim #2, and Suzanne #3) Pay no attention to the stuff on the table or the spill on the carpet.  (Who took this photo???)

Christmas 1966 Darren was added in this photo.  I’ve got my arm around him. Aww!

Christmas 1966 2 (L-R) Valerie #4, Suzanne #3, Cathy #1, the “family Christmas angel”, Jim #2, Dennis #5, and that’s me in the front.  I’m lovin’ Dennis’ sweet grin in this photo. If you’re from our family (and even if you’re a cousin), you MIGHT know the shenanigans that went on with the “family Christmas angel”.  I can’t tell you how many times I’ve kissed him on the lips!! Oh, the memories!

Take a family photo this Christmas.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

He is the Reason

Christmas is only a week away!!  Kelly's post yesterday really touched me (especially the news about answered prayer!!) and made me think a little more about how Mary must've been feeling so close to giving birth to the Son of the Living God.

Part of my job at the church is to run the video and display the song lyrics on our big screens.  I love to make slide shows for special occasions and with Christmas coming, I've had it on my heart for the last week to do a little something different this Sunday to help point the congregation to the real reason for the Christmas season... and I found this.  I'm not showing this, so I'm not giving anything away, it's just been on my heart ever since I found it and I thought I'd share it with y'all!

WARNING:  Tissue may be required.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Santa Baby

Some children just don’t warm up to jolly ole St. Nick…

Santa fear 9

Santa fear 6

Santa fear 11 Santa fear 8

Santa fear 13

Santa fear 15

Me? I couldn’t wait to tell him what was on my wish list…


This is the only picture I have of me with “Santa”.  (Oh, how I loved that gray coat!!)  Dave says I was probably asking for a new haircut!

EDIT 12/21/08:  My friend, Dorothy at "Counting My Blessing" was SOOOO sweet for taking the time to edit this old photo.  My original was torn and very cracked.  Thank you, Dorothy, that was just so thoughtful of you!!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Introducing, Kayla...

Let me introduce you to Kale's girlfriend, Kayla.  (Isn't that cute? Kale & Kayla.)  I'm so excited, because Kayla just started a blog.  If you have a moment, hop on over to visit her and say "hi".  She is THE sweetest thing AND she loves my son.  Need I say more?

Click on the picture to visit her...


Saturday, December 13, 2008

An Award!

Proximidade! Award

awarded by Dorothy at "Counting My Blessings"

Dorothy is a new blogging friend.  Just her blog title tells a lot about Dorothy.  I love to read her blog and I’m telling you… she has the SWEETEST testimony!!  Thank you, Dorothy, for “bestowing” this award on me!

Here's a little bit about the award:

To translate the gift from Portuguese to English, it means: "This blog invests and believes, the proximity" [meaning, that blogging makes us 'close' -being close through proxy].

"Blogs who receive this award are 'exceedingly charming' say its authors.  This blog invests and believes in the PROXIMITY-nearness in space, time and relationships. These kind bloggers aim to find and be friends. They are not interested in prizes or self-aggrandizement. Our hope is that when the ribbons of these prizes are cut, even more friendships are propagated. Please give more attention to these writers! Deliver this award to eight bloggers who must choose eight more and include this cleverly-written text into the body of their award."

Now, passing along to eight… I have so many blogs that I LOVE to read, but since this award is about discovering close friendships through the blog world, I am going to pass this on to eight bloggers that I’ve never met but consider my dear friends:

1.  Betsy at Betsy Maddox

2.  Amy at Chapters

3.  Dawn at Dawn's Cottage Corner

4.  Leigh Ann at Horton Happenings

5.  Becky at Looking Through the Eyes of Love

6.  Emilie at Mimi's Memories

7.  Marlene at Stitching By the Lake

8.  Meredith at Life at 7000 feet

You have all become people that I enjoy getting to know more and more on a daily basis.  You blogs are all encouraging, uplifting, funny, touching, and real.  I hope to one day meet you all!!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

A Newly Discovered Blog and a Fun Giveaway

Rose Mary over at "Life in a Cordwood Cabin" is having a fun giveaway. I just discovered her blog from Marlene (Stitchin by the Lake). I heart all things cabin and Rose Mary is a fellow Arkansas girl, so I really enjoy her blog.

She has a really sweet red check apron and some cookie cutters and a little dessert recipe book that she's giving away. Go check her (and Marlene) out. They are both impressive women!

Monday, December 8, 2008

Favorites Party - Favorite Kid Stories

I'm joining Kim again for Favorites Tuesday. Today we are posting our favorite kid story. I don't know that this is my favorite kid story, but it's one I'll never forget.

When Kale was in the 4th grade, his Gifted/Talented class made the decision to compete in "Odyssey of the Mind". They were supposed to build a "vehicle" that drove through a designated course and write a skit and a song to accompany it. I remember Kale coming home telling us about it and how if they won the state competition they would compete at the World Finals at Disney World. We sort of laughed at the prospect, but he was just sure they could win. At the time, Southern Baptists were boycotting Disney and I was on the bandwagon.

We explained to the teacher what the situation was and discussed it with Kale, reminding him not to get his hopes up. None of us worried much about it, because we just didn't think that we'd have to cross that bridge.

Kale (in costume) with the "vehicle". He was slightly traumatized by the drama part he had to play.

They competed in the District competition... and won.

They went on to the Regional competition... and won.

They went on to the State competition... and guess what? They won!

The kids went up to get their trophy and on the way back to their seats, Kale, jumping up and down, shouts:

"I'm going to Disney World!!"

And we had the best time!

Sunday, December 7, 2008


Hands young and old 

Do y’all ever feel like sometimes you take people for granted until it’s just about too late?  Every time I post something about Ms. Charlsie, y’all leave the nicest comments about how “good” I am to her.  I thank you for that, but it also really convicts me.  That, and the fact that on her birthday she mentioned to me that she used to be bothered because I didn’t come around often and she used to “fuss to herself about that”.  Ouch!

I’ve been neighbors with her for almost 18 years.  It took a few years, maybe even 4 or 5, before Hardy came knocking at our door to introduce himself.  After that, it was mostly David that went visitin’ the neighbors.  I went with him occasionally “when I had time”, usually Sunday nights or Wednesday nights after church.  I did fall in love with them in the times I spent with them, but it was David who was completely faithful to be of service to them and to care for their needs on a daily basis.  He has been and still is a  hero – to me – and to her.

Charlsie and Dave 092508 (3)

When Hardy came knocking, my children were probably 7 and 5 years old at the time and I was “busy”.  I was “busy” taking them to school and things.  I then became “busy” taking them to ballgames and practices.  That carried on through high school.  I drove by her house waving more times than I can count.

It wasn’t until Hardy died that I started to try to be there more for her.  Even though, I tried to “make time for her”… you know, sacrifice a little time to go see the sweet neighbor lady… I ALWAYS received the blessing just being with her.

When I post on her, I mean every word I say.  I am SO blessed just knowing her and having the opportunity to get to know her on a deep, personal level.  She is really something and I love spending time with her.  I love her stories and the memories she shares of times past.  I love how she talks with such respect about her relatives, some alive and some now gone.  I love how she and Hardy made it a personal mission to get to know their neighbors and to take time for them… even when THEY were very busy.  I love when she talks with me openly and  honestly about how lonely she is for her sweet husband and the children she never had.  She is one in a million – and y’all, I have not always been so available to her.  But, I am trying now, because I won’t have her for much longer.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Happy 90th Birthday, Charlsie!

Today is my sweet neighbor, Charlsie’s 90th birthday… although she swears she just turned 20!  She insisted we call off the party we were going to have for her, but I think she was feeling well enough for company (she made a couple of comments about the day being kind of lonely and quiet).

Clarity phone

We got her a new phone – one that amplifies the sound for people who are hard of hearing.  It has ten speed-dial buttons and a “HELP” button to program often-used phone numbers.  I programmed the numbers in for her and added “911” to the “Help” button.  Then I showed her how to use the phone and the speed dialed numbers.  I told her she could use the “redial” button and pushed it for her – assuming it would call our house phone (I had just used that speed dial button).  Then I heard someone answer… “911 – what is your emergency?”  Charlsie talked to her for a moment and told her she got a new phone and we were trying it out.  The operator asked her if she was okay and she said yes, and hung up. I don’t know if she really understood the situation.

About 10 minutes later, two policemen showed up in her front yard.  I had to explain to them I’m an idiot that we had bought her a new phone and were programming it for her and called 911 by accident.  They left after I convinced them she was okay.

I got a photo of the birthday girl.  I forgot my camera, so I had to take it with my phone.  She said it blinded her, but I don’t see how … her eyes were closed!!

Charlsie's 90th birthday

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Favorites Party – My Favorite Gift

Today is Favorites Tuesday over at "Deliberate Hope". Kim wrote the sweeeeetest post about her favorite gift… you’ll have to check it out!

Favorites Party 

My favorite Christmas gift would probably be the antique shelf David bought for me our first Christmas together.  It wasn’t so much “what” the gift was… but the thought and effort that David put into it that meant so much to me.

We were newly engaged.  David had bought the little shelf and took it out to Ranger (where he worked… believe it or not, after all these years, that’s where he still works) and found a couple of trolling motor boxes to wrap it in.  He and a couple guys he recruited wrapped the boxes in Christmas wrap and he lugged it from work to my apartment (up a flight of stairs) to bring it to me.  I’ll never forget it.


When I was young, I remember sneaking into my parents’ bedroom and snooping around under her bed and in her closet to try to find out what I was getting for Christmas ahead of time.  There were all kinds of goodies hiding and I was always thrilled with the sheer anticipation of opening them come Christmas morn. 

You can imagine my surprise as gifts were handed out and my siblings were opening all the cool gifts I assumed to be mine!! That’s what you get when you have to share the holiday with ten brothers and sisters!!

As a parent, I learned to wrap my boys’ gifts and THEN hide them.  That way, if they peeked, they’d still not be able to figure out what they were getting.  I’m sure when they read this, they’ll probably snicker about the times they snooped and knew exactly what they were getting ahead of time… because kids are pros!

I guess that’s part of being a kid.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Weekly Weigh-In


I had my weekly weigh-in yesterday morning and let’s just say it wasn’t pretty!  The first week, I lost two pounds.  The next week I was exactly the same.  This week I’m back to where I started.

Thanksgiving has left it’s mark!

Losing weight since turning 40 has been more than frustrating for me.  The only thing that keeps me going is knowing I’d be as big as a house if I didn’t eat as well or exercise as hard as I do. 

Every cloud has a silver lining!

Tomorrow night is “Biggest Loser” night.  It’s the makeover episode – one of my favorites! There are only 5 people left… who do you think will win?  My guess is … Michelle.  I thought little Amy C. had it in her, but Vicky got the best of her.  It’s Vicky’s turn to head home next.

Do any of y’all watch “Amazing Race”?  I felt SOOO sorry for Toni and Dallas (the Mom and son team).  I was pretty much rootin’ for them to win the whole thing.  They have such a sweet relationship!


I think it’s Nick and Starr’s year though.  They’ve just dominated.  We’ll see Sunday night.

Right after the finale of “Amazing Race” is a Hallmark Hall of Fame movie “Front of the Class”, which was inspired by a true story.  I LOVE LOVE LOVE Hallmark Hall of Fame movies.  It’s the only time I don’t fast forward through commercials, because they’re all so stinkin’ sweet!! 

I may be the only one who actually cries at commercials. I even cried at this McDonald’s commercial from 1996...

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Gifts Opened, Gifts Wrapped

Last Monday, Susie at "Digging in the Dirt" had a blog giveaway…


and guess what? I won! I don’t ever win anything. 

I got my package yesterday and look what goodies Susie wrapped up all sweetly for me…


Thank you, Susie!!  That was SOOOO much fun opening all those little gifts.  If you haven’t visited Susie’s blog, she is one of those people who loves gardening and growing things. *I wish I could grow something.*  She has a ton of energy and is always working on projects of some kind. Susie is also the sister of my very sweet friend, Becky (Looking Through the Eyes of Luv).  Take a moment to visit their blogs.  They’re fun people.

After I opened my goodie package, Kayla and I resumed our task of putting up our Christmas tree.  Kayla LOVES Christmas and Christmas decorations… thank goodness, because she saved the day.  I love having my tree up, but putting it up is not my favorite job in the world.  She made it so much more enjoyable.

I was so happy when Kale and Kayla decided to come for the weekend after spending Thanksgiving with her family.  They got here before lunch on Friday and left today.  We had lots of fun… mostly just laying around the house watching Christmas movies – which the guys thoroughly enjoyed.  We cooked big, instead of going out, and just enjoyed being indoors by the wood stove.

So, now it’s Sunday night and I sit in my living room with my tree glowing in the dimly lit room… all the presents are wrapped and under the tree (at least the ones I have so far)… there are not four, but FIVE Christmas stockings hanging by the fire (we’ve added one for Kayla)…and tomorrow begins the 25 days of Christmas.

I love this time of year!

Thursday, November 27, 2008


Today, on Thanksgiving, I’m writing my 100th post.  Here are three things for which I’m eternally grateful.

David and Jacquie

My man.

Kale in Dad's boots

My firstborn. 

Tyler in the garden

My baby.

I’m blessed.