Wednesday, December 3, 2008
Saturday, November 22, 2008
I'm back! I can't believe it has been so long since I last blogged. Today I noticed that some of my friends had removed me from their "Blogs I read" list. I guess that means that I need to post something worthy of reading. That is a lot of pressure! Here is a shot in the dark...
Life has been super crazy this semester. (Do I say that every semester? - maybe that means I need to slow down a bit). I am still working on grad school, while teaching, doing Pampered Chef, and spending lots of time at our second home - our church. We so love it there. I think it is such a great example of the body of Christ just doing life together. We started working in the college ministry this semester, which has been a blast. We spent last weekend on the college retreat- which brought back great memories of my college retreat experiences. It was cold so it was super fun eating s'mores by a camp fire. We played Rock Band and Catch Phrase, cooked and had a great time digging into The Word and learning about the will of God.
The past few weeks have also been filled with fun news. DJ has applied to get his doctorate at Texas A&M and we found out that he has made it to the interview process. He has an interview this Tuesday, so please be praying for him through this (if anyone is even reading this). We are really just praying through this and trusting God let us know if this is what we are supposed to do right now. Even if the application/interview process is as far as it goes, I am just super proud of my husband. (By the way, have I told yall how great he is? He is a huge blessing to me, even when I am bratty.)
In addition, we also found out that we have another offer on my mom's house. If you don't already know, the offer we had this summer fell through. The past year and half have been a huge year of learning and growth for us. We are just trusting the Lord completely to provide a buyer for the house - in His timing, not ours.
It has been a little over a year since my mom went to be with the Lord. Overall, I would say it has been a good year. I miss her a ton and I definitely have my melt downs now and then, but I have learned so much. The hardest part lately is hearing about tragedies in the lives of others and funeral plans and just being reminded of all the difficulties we went through. However, I have so many more amazing memories of my mom and the Lord uses those memories to help me move on from the tough stuff. I guess I am not making much sense, but it helps to say it out loud.
Since my mom passed away on DJ's birthday, his birthday this year was a great distraction. I am reminded of how the Lord really knows what he is doing. Each year to come, on that day, I will have lots of fun plans making my husband feel special instead of missing my mom.
Well, I need to fold laundry and work on a paper while I wait on my husband to return home from their play-off game today. I can't wait to see him!
Wednesday, August 13, 2008
Friday, July 11, 2008
It has been a busy summer. We had a great time in St. Louis and Chicago. I tried to blog a little more while we were there but had computer difficulties at the hotel. During June I also took a class called The Brain and Literacy. It was great because we only met 4 times and all of the other course work was online. My July class isn't going to be quite as easy. It only meets 4 times as well, but the work load is significantly larger. I will have to spend a couple of hours each day working on everything in order to not fall behind.
I have also signed up to be a Pampered Chef consultant, which is pretty crazy and very unlike me! I went to Pampered Chef Party in March and had a great time, so I told the consultant that I would love to host a party at my house. We love to have people over so it was a lot of fun. Then she asked if I had ever thought about having my own business and of course I said no because I love teaching, but then we started thinking about it. DJ and I decided it would be a great thing for me to do during the summers and so far I am really enjoying it. We also thought that it might be a great thing to have going when we have kids so that I might be able to stay home and have a little extra money coming in.
My first couple of shows went great and I thougt that my next show was on Tuesday. I had talked to my friend that was having it quite a bit and we had everything worked out except apparently I got the date wrong. I got a phone call about 5:30 on Monday with her asking if I was on my way. What!? I panicked and quickly threw everything in the car and got to her house as quickly as I could. On the way there I called DJ and asked him to please pray because I was literally about to cry. He did and I felt a huge peace. I pulled myself together (or I guess I should say the Lord did!) and I put a big smile on my face and walked into her house as the guests were arriving (something they definitely don't teach you to do in Pampered Chef training!) I used this opportunity to laugh at myself but I was also able to share with everyone there how God had given me the strength to do it because if it had been up to me I would have had tears streaming down my face when I arrived. The party actually went really well and I have learned a great lesson through it all... I will definitely continue to depend on the Lord and I will also double and triple check my dates! :)
Sunday, June 15, 2008
DJ and I came to St. Louis on Thursday. Just after we arrived to the city, DJ told me that he had a big surprise. We headed to the train station and boarded a train for Chicago. After a maddening 8 hour trip due to MANY delays we arrived. My best friend and her husband and baby have lived here for the last four or five years so DJ made plans for us to come visit. We have had a fabulous time and I will be sad to leave tomorrow, but we still have lots of fun in store as we travel back to St. Louis tomorrow and celebrate our anniversary on Tuesday.
Wednesday, June 11, 2008
Instead of working on my research for the class that I am taking I was playing on the computer today and found something funny. DJ has a good friend that writes a blog read by people all over the country and this was his post just after we got engaged almost 3 years ago...DJ and I are about to celebrate our 2 year anniversary, so I thought this would be an appropriate post for this month. Enjoy!
My friend and old roommate DJ Gililland just got engaged. When asked how much he loved Andrea, this was his response:
Wednesday, June 4, 2008
Wednesday, May 28, 2008
Tuesday, May 27, 2008
Yesterday, I was able to hang out with two precious little girls that belong to our friends. I wanted to give them a chance to have a break before their third little one arrives in the next few weeks. The girls were great… we enjoyed the morning at the zoo, then they fell sound asleep on the way home, napped for about an hour and a half and then we had some lunch at Chick-fil-A. The best part was the ice cream we enjoyed after they wore themselves out on the playground! Wow! What a mess, I felt terrible when their grandmother walked in to pick them up only to find us engaged in lots of licking and dripping!
Today, we took our third grade students on the last field trip of the school year to Red Bud Park. The kids loved watching the prairie dogs and just spending some time outdoors to enjoy the beautiful weather. I am working hard to get my classroom cleaned up and packed up for the summer. 3 more days!!!
Thursday, May 15, 2008
I have a friend who was the first one out of my group of friends to get married. So when we were at a bridal shower for another one of our friends she told the story of how her husband always left a hanger in the bathroom ... everyday. It drove her crazy, except for the reason why he did it. He did it because she was still sleeping so he would take his clothes into the bathroom to get dressed so that he wouldn't wake her up. She said that she finally learned to be thankful for the hanger because it meant that her husband was there to leave it there. So instead each day as she puts his hangers back into his closet she thanks the Lord for the blessing of her husband.
I have to say that my husband extends grace to me each day for ALL of my shortcomings, so I will also extend grace to him in this instance. I really wanted to walk back into the bedroom and wake him up to tell him what he had done, but I didn't. Instead, I waited and he will find out today as he reads my blog. I love you sweetpea, thank you for putting the seat down most of the time but I am also thankful for the days when the seat is up because it means you were there to leave it up. :)
Wednesday, May 14, 2008
DJ: I'm reading.
Me: Your eyes are closed.
DJ: I'm praying.
Me: Oh OK.
A few minutes later it is clear he is asleep by the sounds he is making...
Me: tap, tap, tap
Me: tap, tap, tap a little harder
Me: tap, tap, tap a little harder
Me: Could you turn off your light?
DJ: I am reading.
Me: You are asleep!
DJ: No, I'm praying.
Me: Please turn off your light.
DJ: It's off (it really isn't) just ask Luke.
DJ: Luke Skywalker! He and Hans Solo are going to be in a movie in the spring.
Me: Just turn off the light!!!
Before we got married, my roommates warned him of my sleep talking. They told silly stories of talking about the drool machine and then getting mad at them when they didn't understand. DJ was really nervous.
However...since we have been married, he hardly ever hears me talk in my sleep, instead it is always him!
Hear is another really good story from a while back... DJ: I'm gonna be the president of Texas.
Me: Oh really.
DJ: Yes, just ask Sam. ( I was thinking maybe he meant Sam Houston?)
DJ: It's not the Sam you are thinking of, it is Yosemite Sam!
Tuesday, May 13, 2008
Monday, May 12, 2008
Here is my story...
Each of us has people in our lives that impact us greatly. For me that person is my mother, my life giver. She has given me life both physically and spiritually. When I look at the many ways that the Lord has shaped and molded me, many of the most influential moments were made possible because of my mother’s presence in my life.
My mother is literally the most selfless person that I know. Throughout her life, service has characterized her. She would do anything for anyone and genuinely had a heart for those in need. The role model that she has been to me is the reason that I am who I am today.
However, God also used my mother’s life to bring me through many challenges. From the time that I was four years old, my mother battled bipolar disorder. She did not believe that she had a mental illness, therefore the many delusions that she had during an episode became very real to her. These delusions even led her to pick me up from elementary school when I was ten with the car packed. As she drove us to the battered women’s shelter, I watched the road signs carefully so that I could call my father and tell him where to pick me up.
When I was 18 and about to leave for college, my mother was placed in intensive care in critical condition. However, this time it was due to kidney failure and the doctors did not believe that she would live. Miraculously, God allowed her kidneys to begin functioning again. After 6 months wheel chair bound in a nursing home she received a necessary hip replacement and returned home.
Although, she continued to battle many medical conditions and in 2005 after more kidney trouble, my mother began dialysis treatments three times a week for four hours each time. Dialysis made a huge difference in her life and she was able to do many things again, including moving back to her lake house where she had previously lived alone.
In 2006, my mom and I spent countless hours planning my wedding. She even meticulously sewed each of my bridesmaids a tote bag by hand. She also truly enjoyed helping me in my first grade classroom. Without her help, I would not have made it through my first few years of teaching. Each day as I open my filing cabinets, I see her handwriting labeling each of my files.
Then in April of 2007, my mom had a stroke and came to stay with us for a few weeks. My husband fondly remembers their great conversations as he came home to eat lunch with her each day and taxi her to dialysis. A few weeks later, she returned home to stay with my sister. Towards the end of May she had another stroke. This time it was necessary for her to go into a nursing home. I put a lot of effort into making her room special and personalized and as I drove her from the hospital to the nursing home, she told me how thankful she was for how I had served her. It was on this day that she had special clarity and I was able to tell her that I had gained all of these qualities from my mother. She was truly surprised to hear this.
In October, my mother went into hospice care and on my husband’s 33rd birthday, November 6, 2007, my mother went to be with the Lord. I miss her so much but more than anything else I am so blessed to have known her. God used my mother, Karen Jean Daniel, in a special way. Even through these difficult circumstances I can see that she was part of an amazing plan and I was drawn closer into the fold of God. Without these trials I am sure that I would not have leaned on the Lord in such a way as I do now.
Tuesday, May 6, 2008
This semester while working on my masters I am taking a class called Digital Storybook. My first assignment was to make a digital story about something that has impacted my own life. I chose to tell about my mom. Here is my final product...
or so I thought... as soon as it uploads it will be here!
Ok, so I can't get the video to upload. I think it is too big. If anyone has any suggestions, please let me know! Thanks!
Matthew 28: 19-20 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.