Sunday, December 20, 2009
Sunday, November 1, 2009
Wednesday, October 28, 2009
As soon as we moved to Shreveport we began visiting different churches. One thing that’s good about being in the bible belt is there are lots to chose from! Our second week here we visited First Baptist Church. I remember thinking it looked like a college campus because it was so big but the service we went to was relatively small. We heard a good sermon and people were friendly to us. After the service as we were walking out I saw a girl run up to the pastor and give him a huge hug. I remember thinking, that must be his daughter. As a daddy’s girl myself, I always get a little emotional seeing a daughter and her dad sharing that special bond. A couple weeks later I was reading the news online and saw that a local youth group from Shreveport had been in a bad bus wreck on the way to a summer camp. I was shocked to see that it was the youth group from First Baptist. Having been on countless trips as a youth and a leader I felt burdened for this youth group and began praying for them daily. As more details came available I learned that one youth died at the scene and almost everyone on board sustained injuries, many serious. Among many others this included their youth pastor and one girl who was critically injured- Maggie Lee Henson. Maggie Lee was the daughter of the pastor who had preached that Sunday, the girl who had ran up to give him a hug. As I kept up with her Care Page I was inspired by the faith of her parents as well as how the community of Shreveport surrounded this church with their prayers. All around town signs were posted of people praying for the youth group of First Baptist. Unfortunately Maggie Lee’s injuries were too severe and she died several weeks after the crash. To honor her memory her family decided to spend her 13th birthday doing acts of service for others. They decided to try to get 1300 people to commit to just one act of kindness. They decided to call this day “Maggie Lee For Good.” As of last week over 17,000 people across the country had signed up. As I have read about the impact that this young girl has made on so many people, many of whom she had never met, I am reminded of how God works in mysterious yet astounding ways. How amazing for a horrible situation to bring God into focus to so many people. How amazing that a family suffering from grief could still minister to others. How amazing to see the town that we moved to extending love to those around them. So…I challenge you tomorrow to join with many other people and to perform an act of kindness for someone else. It can be as simple as sending a friend an encouraging email or buying some food for your church’s food pantry. My kindergarteners and myself will be participating as well. Life is short and precious. Let us do all we can to make it count…for good!
Saturday, October 3, 2009
1. They drove 18 hours here in Ryan’s car so we didn’t have to pay to ship it
2. They literally cut down a tree that was blocking our window while Ryan and I slept. This was accomplished before 8:00 the first morning they were here!
3. They devoted the majority of their visit to working in our yard in 100 plus degree weather. For all those who know me- I don’t know much about gardening and yes Mrs. Holland is the one who taught me how to shovel. :)
4. They were willing to eat pizza while the dishwasher man installed our appliance and he was at our house forever.
We had a great visit with Rick and Sandra. They helped us in so many ways and it was fun to get to show them around Shreveport. It was especially neat to try our first Louisiana Cajun food at Copeland’s restaurant while they were here. A few weeks after they left we got to have some more visitors, this time Jim and Debbie. I have some evidence of how wonderful they are from their visit as well.
1. Jim endured going to multiple stores including TJ Maxx with me and my mom. This is no small feat.
2. They bought one of every cupcake flavor that was for sell that day so we could sample each… and they helped me eat them for breakfast! (for those of you who do not know, we have a special cupcake store. More about that to follow)
3. They endured a lengthy walk on the boardwalk in 100 plus degree weather.
4. They put up with me and Ryan’s “TV” debate. This debate went on for the entire time they were with us. That is a story in of itself and yes, Ryan won the debate. We got the bigger TV.
We had a wonderful visit with Jim and Debbie. It was a chance for us to see parts of Shreveport that we hadn’t explored and eat at some neat restaurants like in an old Victorian house and at a restaurant on the lake. While we got to do lots of fun things with both sets of parents, the greatest gift of all was being able to spend time together. They have all been so supportive of our move and we are very thankful for them. We miss you guys so much! Please come back and see us again!
Monday, September 21, 2009
1. Be prepared for your credit card NOT to work in a different state, even if you have talked with your company. It will take on average four phone calls to your company before it actually starts going through. Your credit/debit card will normally not work when you have a loaded cart with a line of people behind you waiting impatiently. This was one situation where I was glad I knew no one in this town.
2. There are actually two types of stoves. Make sure to find out if yours is a “free standing” or a “slide in”. They may look the same but they aren’t! Nothing like finding out it doesn’t fit when it’s put in your kitchen.
3. Take as many 10% off coupons for Lowe’s as you can find. Always price match.
4. Air mattresses rarely stay inflated for an entire night. Don’t expect to get sleep.
5. Bring lots of bug spray if you are moving into a house that hasn’t been lived in for awhile. Bugs will be everywhere!
6. If moving to the deep south have your mop on hand. The movers will sweat on your furniture, floors, and everywhere else as they move your stuff. Yuck…
These are just a few of the lessons that we learned in the first 48 hours being here. Thankfully shortly after the movers left our wonderful friends Joe, Marianne, Madeline, and Hayden Cox arrived to help us. We put them straight to work doing everything from unpacking to electric work. Thanks Cox Family!!! We love you! Finally I had to include the picture of us at Cheeburger Cheeburger. It was our first meal in Shreveport and I said, “Ryan, let’s take this picture and put it on our blog one day!.” So…here it is!
Sunday, September 20, 2009
1096 miles. Wow, for someone who has always lived in Greenville this was a pretty big move for me. I’m going to try to back up in this blog and start back at the beginning so our blog will be in chronological order as much as possible. My last day of teaching at Eastern was June 10th. Early the next morning (6:30 a.m) we packed into the car and headed off for Shreveport. The night before our families had come and hung out with us one last time and of course we had to eat some great food. It was unbelievable how much stuff we still had to pack in the car even though we had already packed 5000 pounds of “stuff” onto the moving van. I’ll be honest. I boo- hooed all the way down Queen Anne’s Rd but then I managed to pull it together (thankfully for Ryan’s sanity) and turned off the waterworks for at least 24 hours. Here are several highlights of our drive:
- South of the Border- Have you ever sausage a place? :)
- Eating lunch at Checker’s (we didn’t realize that this would be our last time because they don’t exist in LA)
- Getting a push-up popsicle at a random gas station (Ryan made fun of me)
- Eating at the nicest Chick-Fillet we have ever seen
- Going across the Mississippi River
- An unbelievable amount of bugs plastered to our car from being on the road so long.
Okay, it’s no secret that I don’t like to drive. I will go ahead and confess. Out of the 18 hours we rode in the car, I drove about 2. I only made it from Augusta through Atlanta. Sorry Ryan! I really am getting better about driving since living here though. When we finally got here (about midnight Louisiana time) we were praying that we would be able to even get into our house/neighborhood and we would even remember which house it was. Thankfully we were able to. Our house was easy to spot- the only one in the neighborhood that had a jungle in the front yard. Since our furniture was not coming for a few days we got our comfy air mattress that Ryan’s mom thoughtfully provided and set up camp in one of the bedrooms. 1096 miles later, we were “home”.