Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Our Family Christmas *2006*

I uploaded all of our pics to one album--just click on the picture then select the "slideshow" feature to go thru the entire thing! We hope you all had as wonderful a Christmas as we had!

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Merry Christmas to all, and to all a Good Night!

I usually don't like all the stuff that gets forwarded to me, like the jokes and all that, but I got this one sent to me today and I couldn't help but find it so true and comforting. It's an interview with Rick Warren, author of "A Purpose Driven Life". If you haven't read it yet, you should!! It's awesome!

I wish you all a safe and happy holiday wherever you may be!

Merry Christmas!


This is an incredible interview with Rick Warren, "Purpose Driven Life" author, and pastor of Saddleback Church in California.

His wife now has cancer, and he now has "wealth" from the book sales. In the interview by Paul Bradshaw with Rick Warren, Rick said: People ask me, What is the purpose of life? And I respond: In a nutshell, life is preparation for eternity. We were made to last forever, and God wants us to be with Him in Heaven.

One day my heart is going to stop, and that will be the end of my body--but not the end of me. I may live 60 to 100 years on earth, but I am going to spend trillions of years in eternity. This is the warm-up act-the dress rehearsal. God wants us to practice on earth what we will do forever in eternity. We were made by God and for God, and until you figure that out, life isn't going to make sense. Life is a series of problems: Either you are in one now, you're just coming out of one, or you're getting ready to go into another one. The reason for this is that God is more interested in your character than your comfort. God is more interested in making your life holy than He is in making your life happy. We can be reasonably happy here on earth, but that's not the goal of life. The goal is to grow in character, in Christ likeness.

This past year has been the greatest year of my life but also the toughest, with my wife, Kay, getting cancer. I used to think that life was hills and valleys-you go through a dark time, then you go to the mountaintop, back and forth. I don't believe that anymore.
Rather than life being hills and valleys, I believe that it's kind of like two rails on a railroad track, and at all times you have something good and something bad in your life. No matter how good things are in your life, there is always something bad that needs to be worked on. And no matter how bad things are in your life, there is always something good you can thank God for. You can focus on your purposes, or you can focus on your problems. We discovered quickly that in spite of the prayers of hundreds of thousands of people, God was not going to heal Kay or make it easy for her. It has been very difficult for her, and yet God has strengthened her character, given her a ministry of helping other people, given her a testimony, drawn her closer to Him and to people.

Rather than life being hills and valleys, I believe that it's kind of like two rails on a railroad track, and at all times you have something good and something bad in your life. No matter how good things are in your life, there is always something bad that needs to be worked on. And no matter how bad things are in your life, there is always something good you can thank God for.

You can focus on your purposes, or you can focus on your problems. If you focus on your problems, you're going into self-centeredness, which is my problem, my issues, my pain. But one of the easiest ways to get rid of pain is to get your focus off yourself and onto God and others.

You have to learn to deal with both the good and the bad of life. Actually, sometimes learning to deal with the good is harder. For instance, this past year, all of a sudden, when the book sold 15 million copies, it made me instantly very wealthy. It also brought a lot of notoriety that I had never had to deal with before.

I don't think God gives you money or notoriety for your own ego or for you to live a life of ease. So I began to ask God what He wanted me to do with this money, notoriety and influence. He gave me two different passages that helped me decide what to do, II Corinthians 9 and Psalm 72.

First, in spite of all the money coming in, we would not change our lifestyle one bit. We made no major purchases.

Second, about midway through last year, I stopped taking a salary from the church.

Third, we set up foundations to fund an initiative we call The Peace Plan to plant churches, equip leaders, assist the poor, care for the sick, and educate the next generation.

Fourth, I added up all that the church had paid me in the 24 years since I started the church, and I gave it all back. It was liberating to be able to serve God for free.

We need to ask ourselves: Am I going to live for possessions? Popularity? Am I going to be driven by pressures? Guilt? Bitterness? Materialism? Or am I going to be driven by God's purposes (for my life)?
When I get up in the morning, I sit on the side of my bed and say, God, if I don't get anything else done today, I want to know You more and love You better. God didn't put me on earth just to fulfill a to-do list. He's more interested in what I am than what I do. That's why we're called human beings, not human doings.

Happy moments, PRAISE GOD.
Difficult moments, SEEK GOD.
Quiet moments, WORSHIP GOD.
Painful moments, TRUST GOD.
Every moment, THANK GOD.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Friday, December 15, 2006

So, I have a hobby...

and that hobby is photo-editing! I'm not sure that's one of the options that surveys have like, sewing, cooking, art,! Nah! I think JR is somewhat relieved to find out that I do have another hobby besides what he thinks are my others, eating and sleeping. So, here's a little of my hobby-ing (it's my own made-up word, leave me alone).

Monday, December 04, 2006

Our Babies

I thought I'd post some pics that we've taken over the last couple of weeks because they are growing really fast! Mom feeds them too much!

This is Charlie sleeping on his daddy after he got home from work!

Sam loves to watch TV! Football is his favorite, because there's lots of movement!

This is a picture of the boys doing what they love to do most--fighting! It's funny how much their personalities are like their mom and dad! Charlie is the mama's boy who loves to cuddle up and sleep and is usually the initiator of the fights b/w him and Sam. Sam, the bigger one is most like his daddy--more independent, but when he's sweet he's reeeallly sweet. Ha!

I'm a bad mom b/c I have no clue who this is. Until we get colored collars, the main way we tell them apart is that Sam got into the fireplace and got soot all over his neck, so he's now left with a gray-ish tint to his neck. Can't see the neck here, therefore I have no idea which kitty this is!

Charlie loves his mommy!

Thursday, November 30, 2006

All credit to Ashlee-One holiday later!

The way Ashlee does her pictures is she waits for the next , you know, "Big" holiday to post the ones from the previous "Big" holiday. That way I guess she's always giving you something to look forward to?! Um, sure......haha! Kidding, Ash! Still funny though----

So, I've decided to post some of Ashlee's pics from our Halloween Escapade in Dallas, b/c there were some neat ones that I didn't have!

The lovey-we-just-got-our-first-tree couple! (I'm just as excited about ours, can't make fun of others, te-he!)

JR looks like he's a part of the crew for the Haunted Houses with this creepy face he's sportin'! (I'm gonna get in trouble for this one)

Group shot :)

You see, Scott still looks composed in this one, it was before the tragic fall...just sit's coming----->

I couldn't help myself--small disclaimer: had he have really gotten hurt I would not be posting these--but since he didn't--Scott, I love you! You'll get me back one day! Here I'll post a pic of my latest and greatest fall to make you feel better---->

Lovely pic of the primos (cousins in Spanish)

Isn't he precious?? Haunted Houses make JR very excited!

We love you and we miss you Miss In-love! Wait! I'm in love too! Can that be nickname too?!

Here's us all creepin'! Weirdos!

In front of our very first house together! Awwww, I love you JR! Woo-hoo!

You can clearly see the progression of the night--how much I strongly dislike being scared. My eye makeup smeared, scared out of my mind.

The brothers and Brandon!

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

In response to Joe...

**Read Joe's comment on the last post before you read this**

Dear Joe,

Please do not impose the "oops-got-a-pet-here-comes-baby" thing on us!! HAHAHAHA, we laughed so hard when we read that. Well, I did atleast...not sure that JR did. He may have let out a small chuckle/sigh. If the pet thing works out for us like it did for you and Kourtney, we may have to take one back, just in case. Ha! You know--precautionary measures.


JR & Nat

In honor of Christmas and missing family I thought I'd post JR and I's favorite picture of the Victery's. It's one that's up in our house!

Monday, November 27, 2006

Naughty Boys!

So, I've been slacking here lately. I know, I know! As everyone already knows, we got two new babies in the house! Introducing...drumroll...SAM & CHARLIE!!!

They are an early Christmas present! Let me just say, how much easier it is to have 2 instead of 1. All they do is play, play, play! They are some naughty boys with two very different personalities. Charlie, the mama's boy of the two is so sweet and loving, and constantly demands attention. Where you go, he will usually follow. Sam, on the other hand is our Mr. Independent, and only wants to be loved when he's ready! It's so neat to have them both be so different. They were raised in a kennel for basically their 4 months of life, so everything is new to them. It's fun to watch them discover the ceiling fan (which they think they can somehow get to), Sam has found that the toilet has water in it (therefore bypassing his water bowl), and ohhhh the Christmas tree. Nancy had the clever idea of probably anchoring it down, because our boys love them some tree!! haha!

This is them watching me while I mop!
Charlie sleeping on his mama!

Okay, so now backtrack a little to Thanksgiving! We had one T-giving at the farm with the whole fam and lots of food! We had a great weekend up there, and I had some time to play around with the babies!

Gosh, how much cuter can they be???!

Now, here's my baby with our sweet puppy! Okie loves, loves the 4-wheeler and will go anywhere with JR!

Our other Thanksgiving was one of the most amazing things that anyone has ever done for me or my family. Lauren, Ricardo and Carole surprised us Wednesday night with the complete Thanksgiving meal--Lauren's first turkey, dressing, gravy, mashed pots, sweet pots, apple pie, pumpkin pie, green beans...I'm even probably forgetting something. They made all of this food for us so that we could celebrate Thanksgiving since our trip to New York got cancelled. You honestly don't find friends like that everyday, or ever for that matter. We are still so in shock by everything they did, and it meant so much to me to be able to celebrate the holidays with my family, and with a sense of normalcy and peace that we needed so much. They are so much more like family to us than friends, and there aren't words to express how much they mean to us and how much we love them.

Okay, no more sappy stuff...after they surprised us with the food for Thanksgiving the next day we all went out to dinner at Grotto, a really neat Italian restaurant. We spent almost two hours there, just laughing at old memories, some of which include horribly embarrasing moments of mine that Lauren and Ricardo love to mention! It was such a fun, neat night spent with family and friends! Just how Thanksgiving should be!

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Our First Christmas

JR surprised me today with our very first tree!! I've had kind of a down week, and he knew this would help cheer me up! We spent the night with our Christmas CD's playing, in our sweats, drinking hot chocolate, candles lit, decorating our enormous and beautiful tree. It has been so special to enjoy this time of year together, and we just keep looking at each other and saying, "Wow! We have a Christmas tree together!" Haha, we still laugh sometimes! I hope you all like what we've done, because we LOVE it! Merry early Christmas!

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

We have fans!

There is no slacking when it comes to the world of "blogging". Atleast, not for JR and I! If I do not update on a consistent basis, Lauren and Ashlee never fail to remind me of my laziness. Lauren will start on Monday, and Ashlee will usually start in around here's Wednesday! haha!
I must start out this post by telling all about the most ridiculous cooking experience of my life. JR and I wanted to finally make the pork chops that we'd had in the freezer for awhile, and we decided that fried potatoes would go lovely along with some corn. Sounds fantastic right? No. It wasn't. My first problem was that I cut up potatoes for about 746 people. Second, I didn't let the grease get hot enough. When I told my mom about this devastating night, she asked me, "Now did you heat up the grease then drop one in to see if it was ready?". That is verbatim what Nancy asked me the very first time I made fried potatoes (or as I call them, little slices of fried heaven) When JR finally got tired of waiting for them to cook, we set them out and he said, "Um, they smell kind of starchy!" Well, YEAH! Okay, so now on to the pork chops that turned out like leathery patches of meat sprinkled with cinnamon sugar because JR accidentally grabbed the wrong spice. So, there you all go. That was probably somewhat boring to you, but I feel better now that I've gotten that out. I whole-heartedly disgraced Nancy's fried potatoes. It happens, I know. Oh, okay so that's not quite it! The corn! Remember the corn?? Well, it was one of those bagged corns, and I overcooked those, and they shrunk up into little tiny shriveled corn nuggets. JR's patience was done after hour 2 of our cooking night, that he ate waffles, and I ate a handful of Reese's Peanut Butter Cups. The End.

In honor of Thanksgiving I will post some of the things I am thankful for. Some funny, some nice. I want you all to comment on what you all are thankful for. Then I'll add to the next post!! Do it! It will be fun to see what we all say.

1. My family, they are my heroes.
2. JR. He is my whole heart.
3. That it's raining and cold right now. I can finally breathe some Fall air.
4. The combination of mine and JR's family and friends. We've all made such a neat connection, that I think only happens when it's just right.
5. The babies. There's not a day that goes by that we don't miss their tiny hugs and kisses.
6. Life.

Please "comment" on anything you are thankful for. I would love to repost with everyone's included. I can't wait to come up this weekend for the Thanksgiving Farm Feast and hope you all have a great week!

JR and Nat

Monday, November 06, 2006

It must be fate...

Who would have ever thought that a little girl from Texas and a handsome boy from Oklahoma would one day fall in love?? and then live happily ever be continued...

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Okay babe, here are the pics...

JR is in OK right now and he wanted me to post some pics since he's not here today to see them. If it wasn't for him I prob wouldn't have put them up just yet! Oh my.
FYI, the flash helps hide them some, so when I take them without flash you can see them a whole lot more--they're not invisible. Still can't believe I did this...

Brace Face

In only a few short hours I will be officially considered a "metal mouth", "brace face", or any other clever names you all will probably come up with over the next 9 months. Feel free to submit any of your new names to me and we'll pick a winner at the end for the most creative name! Ha! Please think of me from 1:30-4:30. Holly was my morning pep talk! Okay, it's GO time!

Monday, October 30, 2006

The countdown begins...

Okay, only two more days until my braces! AH! I'm starting to freak out! I'M GOING TO DO IT, I'M GOING TO DO IT, I'M GOING TO DO IT! I have to keep repeating that to myself so that I don't chicken out (fear). Okay, so a little recap of our Halloween weekend! Scott came in town Friday night, and we said farewell to Jesse (sp?) and Miss Kitty! Saturday morning we met Ash, Brandon and Johna at Six Flags for a jam-packed day at the park. Man, it was FULL! They had to shut it down around 6 pm because the park was at maximum capacity. Way too much for me to handle. That night we headed out to Waxahachie to the million dollar haunted houses. Ha, just kidding but they were expensive. I just don't necessarily get the thrill of feeling like at any second I could turn a corner and encounter a creepy white faced clown, or a crazy man with a chainsaw chasing after me in lung-constricting smoke while trying to somehow manage to escape a maze with my eyes closed and clinging on to whatever poor soul happens to be in front of me. Yeah, that is basically the experience I get out of haunted houses. I like to laugh, cry, all of those emotions that humans normally encounter throughout life, but fear is definately not one of the emotions that I like to add to my life unless it's absolutely necessary. There, I said it. I hate haunted houses.
The experience of having us all together though, was great and we had so much fun! Turns out I'm the scaredy cat of the bunch! Who'd a thunk it?!?! Here are our pics of the weekend! I hope you all have a safe and Happy Halloween!

This is the sweater from my mom and dad! Doesn't he look so handsome?!

Okay, now this is what happens when JR takes my camera when I'm not looking...enjoy!

Here's a little story--at the haunted houses Saturday night, Scott decided he wanted to do a high kick on the gravel while we were all walking up to get in and maybe kicked a little hard and landed smack on his back....OH I cannot express in words what that fall looked like, but the best way to describe it would be like a bad ice skating's the morning after pic!!

Okay, now this one I may possibly get in trouble for but--HAHAHHAHAHAHAH Ashlee looks like she has 4 eyes! I figure it was fair game since in two days she'll be able to call me metal mouth for the next 9 months! Here goes...

Disclaimer** Ash, you said you wanted to make the blog :) LOVE YOU!