Monday, December 21, 2009

How Many Kings...

I just recently heard this song for the first time (even though it's been out for over 3 years), and I literally had to pull over on the side of the road to truly absorb the meaning of these lyrics. Once again, I am in awe of my GOD, who would do all this for me....

(turn off the playlist player at the bottom before playing the video)

Lyrics to How Many Kings by Downhere

Follow the star to a place unexpected

Would you believe, after all we've projected,

A child in a manger?

Lowly and small, the weakest of all

Unlikeliest hero, wrapped in his mother's shawl -

Just a child -

Is this who we've waited for? 'cause...

How many kings step down from their thrones?

How many lords have abandoned their homes?

How many greats have become the least for me?

And how many gods have poured out their hearts

To romance a world that is torn all apart

How many fathers gave up their sons for me?

Bringing our gifts for the newborn Savior

All that we have, whether costly or meek

Because we believe.

Gold for his honor, and frankincense for his pleasure

And myrrh for the cross he will suffer

Do you believe?

Is this who we've waited for?

All for me...

All for you...

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Our kids

In a previous post, I mentioned that I wanted to sponsor a child through Compassion International. It was something that I had been wanting to do for a while, and I just never did.

Well, I did. We did it. Wade decided he wanted to sponsor a child also, so together we picked out 2 children. He picked a girl (what a surprise...he told me "i'm a girl kinda guy") so I chose a little boy.

Meet Elizabeth, age 10, from the Phillipines.

And meet Ralph, age 5, also from the Phillipines.

Aren't they beautiful? They are not siblings. In fact, they are not even part of the same Compassion program in the Phillipines. What they do have in common is a need. Beyond the physical needs they have of food, clean water, medical care, & shelter they have a greater need. They need to hear about Jesus. They need to know that they matter to God. They need a friend and they need to know that someone loves them and is praying for them. Wade & I are those "someone's". We have already began praying for Elizabeth & Ralph. We can't wait to send them letters & cards encouraging them, loving on them, and giving them hope.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

My First Photo Shoot

While my sister and her family were here visiting, they asked me if I would take some family pictures of them. Of course, I said yes, and I was so excited! I knew I would be limited with my little point & shoot camera, but I was willing to see what I could pull off. Despite some nasty cold & wet weather, we were able to get in a short little session. Here are some of my favorites:

I have to say, it helps make good pictures when the subjects are so good looking. My sister is beautiful, my nephew is precious, my brother-in-law is handsome, and I just KNOW my niece is gorgeous, even if I can't see her yet! I'm so blessed to have them in my life!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Halaby's Go To Tallahassee

My sister calls her blog Halaby's Go Upstate, but this weekend, then left the upstate of South Carolina and came all the way to Tallahassee....just to see me!! I finally got to talk to Maddie (my niece, in utero), got some major kisses and QT with Quinn, and some fun laughs and talks with Barbie & Jalal. This weekend was a total blast, and even nasty, wet, cold weather couldn't bring us down! It may have changed our plans slightly, but we adapted.

Quinn decided to sing along with Daddy & Uncle Wade's intense Guitar Hero game.

Quinn got to help Uncle Wade collect eggs and feed the chickens.

He LOVED sitting on Uncle Wade's motorcycle.

However, the experience was not complete until he had on his sunglasses.

Q got a little playground time...

And even got to visit the dinosaurs at the local museum.

Can you tell who the star of the show was this past weekend? I can't help it...I love taking this handsome boy's picture! (Stay tuned for some nice family shots of him with his beautiful mama & handsome daddy.) This weekend was so much fun for all of us. I can't wait until the next time we're all together.

Thursday, November 26, 2009


In the spirit of Thanksgiving, here are just some of the things I'm so very thankful for:

-my husband
-my family
-my friends
-my church
-my job
-my freedom
-my salvation
-my GOD, who supplies ALL my needs

Happy Thanksgiving! What are you thankful for?

Thursday, November 19, 2009


I think God is teaching me something. Scratch that. I know God is teaching me something. It seems lately that I keep hearing the same or similar message, from all different avenues. I could chalk it up to coincidence, but I know better than that, and frankly, I know God better than that.

I write this humbly, but I feel like I've always had a heart for people. Ever since I gave my life to Christ, I feel like I look at other people differently. I know...that's kind of how it's supposed to work, and don't get me wrong, I still get it wrong A LOT. I'm far from ridding "me" & "I" from my vocabulary, and my own selfish desires still often get the best of me. On the other hand, I try my best to look at people and see them as Christ sees them: broken, hurting, lost, etc. Lately, all around me I keep hearing about how we are supposed to love others. And I start questioning myself. Am I loving others to the extent that Christ loves me? How do I know that I am? How do I show that I am? Recently, this quote struck a chord so deep within me, and really convicted me in regards my compassion for people.

"I cannot be everything to everyone, but I can be something to someone. Compassion without action changes nothing." -Unknown

We (the church) are so good at being sad, sympathetic, and somber towards unfortunate situations and circumstances others find themselves in. We think to ourselves "how awful" or "that's so sad" and may even shed a tear or two when we see images of poverty, disease, and brokenness. What do most of us do beyond that? What do we do with those feelings of sadness and heartache? Nothing. I am guilty. I do nothing. Oftentimes, those images, thoughts, and stories even stick in my mind for days, weeks even. And still, I do nothing with them. Maybe I throw up a casual "why God, why the hurting?" and without waiting for a response, move on. Maybe I even remember to ask for God to provide, protect, heal, save, etc. those unknown souls. But beyond that, I do nothing.

I'm tired of doing nothing. I'm tired of Christians (me included!) claiming to love others with the love of Christ, when in actuality, we struggle in even loving other Christians, much less, the "unloveable." Is it that we aren't heartbroken "enough" to act? Are we too busy with our own lives that we fail to see how others are living? Is it because so much suffering and sadness occurs on the other side of the world, that we don't feel a responsibility to do anything? There are plenty of opportunities to "be Jesus" right in front of our very eyes, if we choose to look.

I want to be filled with compassion...the kind that acts. Not because it feels good. Not because it makes me look good. Because we are commanded to. I want Christ to use me to share His love with someone else. Someone who doesn't feel loved. Someone lonely. Sad. Scared. Hungry. Sick. Lost. Angry. I want them to see Jesus, and to know that He died for them as much as He died for me. They were on His mind that day He hung on that cross.

I can't change the whole world. I am going to change someone's world.

Defend the cause of the weak and fatherless; maintain the rights of the poor and oppressed. Rescue the weak and needy; deliver them from the hand of the wicked. "They know nothing, they understand nothing. They walk about in darkness; all the foundations of the earth are shaken. Psalm 82:3-5 NIV

Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world. James 1:27 NIV

If you really keep the royal law found in Scripture, "Love your neighbor as yourself," you are doing right. James 2:8 NIV

Practical application:

Some of my goals for the next year, to "be Jesus" to the world:
1. Volunteer at A Women's Pregnancy Center, a local pregnancy center offering abortion alternatives and faith-based support for women who feel like they have no where else to turn. This is something I've been talking about and thinking about for a while now, and I've gone as far as printing out the application. No further. Now, I'm moving forward with this.

2. Sponsor a Compassion International child: Something else I've been wanting to do for a while. This organization does SO MANY great things and gives so many children around the world opportunities and hope that they wouldn't otherwise have. The small monthly fee involved with sponsoring a child provides them with medical care and food, education, friendship, Bible teaching, and most of all....hope.

3. Be a part of a short-term missions trip: After going to Ecuador in 2000, this has been something I've always wanted to do again. This trip changed me in such a meaningful way. I went expecting to be a part of doing all these great things and being a blessing to the people we were ministering to. Instead, I was constantly blessed by the heart of these people, who had practically nothing, but sacrificed all they had to serve us.

I am going to change someone's world. I am going to show them Jesus.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Worst Church Sign Ever

I drive past this church everyday on my way to and from work. They have recently been getting more and more clever with the slogans they're putting on their sign. This one takes the cake. The absolute WORST slogan on a church sign I have ever seen....right here in good 'ole Tallahassee.

Wow. I have no words.

Monday, November 9, 2009

LONG Overdue Cruise Review

I know this is WAY WAY past overdue, and I had every intention of posting our cruise review shortly after we returned. Time got away from me...and now here it is, 2 weeks later.

Overall, our vacation was FANTASTIC. It was so nice to get away and not think about anything back home. We had very few worries, rested, relaxed, and did our best to enjoy ourselves to the fullest extent.

The one disappointment to the cruise was how the weather affected our ports of call. We were scheduled to be in port at Coco Cay, which is the cruise line's private island, on Tuesday. This is the port we were both looking most forward to, as this was going to be our "beach day". We had every intention of finding hammocks or beach chairs, and sitting back to "chill" for the majority of the day. Wade even planned on getting in the water for a little bit, which is a miracle in and of itself! Unfortunately, while anchored a few hundred yards off the coast of the island, the winds were too strong for the tender boats to safely retrieve passengers off the ship. They tried and tried to get to us, but the wind was just too strong. The captain announced the bad news, and said we would just proceed to our second port of call, Nassau, Bahamas.

We arrived in Nassau an evening early than previously planned, but that was also the formal night for dinner, and Wade & I dressed up and wanted to try to get some good pictures. We also had no desire to venture into Nassau after dark. We did get off the ship the next morning, did a little shopping and site-seeing, and did a lot of walking. We enjoyed our time in Nassau, but we both agreed we would have rather missed that port than Coco Cay.

The following day, the captain was going to attempt to get us back to Coco Cay on the way back, but he received word that the winds were even worse than before. Sadly, we would head back and take our time getting back to Port Canaveral.

Even with this major disappointment, we still thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. Our servers were all great, the food was amazing, the entertainment was enjoyable, and being together was the best. We played trivia a few times, played Bingo, attended the art auctions, and played Sudoku. I actually won 1st place in the Sudoku challenge! Wade was so proud of me. :)

Although I didn't take nearly as many pictures as I thought I would, I did get a few shots to prove that we actually went! They are mostly of Wade, who doesn't really like having his picture taken, but who else am I going to take pictures of?

Our towel animals, one of my favorite parts:

Wade, all dressed up, looking hot!!

Wade, in front of our ship:

One of our few successful self-portraits (it was hard with all the wind!):

A palm tree with coconuts (Wade had never seen coconuts):

Of course, we would never leave a location without first visiting the Harley store:

And a few other views of Nassau from the ship in port:

Anniversary cruise vacation: A+...and already planning the next one!

Saturday Morning Treasures

This past weekend, Wade had to work so I was left without my usual garage saling partner. My good friend Evelyn decided to join me, despite the wretched hour of dawn I like to get started (Evelyn is NOT a morning person). She was a trooper! We had a great was so good to get to spend some time together. Our deal-finding started off kind of slow, but after a little while, we started to come across some treasures. Ev found a few books, a sweater, and a few precious baby girl outfits. Here are my finds for the weekend:

1. Books: a complete set of Nature's Wild animal books (16 total) for Quinn, a hardback copy of The Polar Express, again for Quinn, a brand-spankin' new copy of The 5 Love Languages, for Wade & I to read together, and a nice Best-Ever Cake Decorating book, for me, of course.

2. Toys: 5 Harley Davidson's for Wade (the biggest kid) to add to his collection, 3 brand new Hot Wheels, for Q for Christmas, & a Giraffe beanie baby w/tag, sticker sets, and bouncy balls, all for my Operation Christmas Child box.

3. Scrapbooking supplies: extra pages, page covers, stickers, & glue spots (all of this for $2.00!)

4. Maddie clothes & shoes, of course: Here are just a few of my favorites. Note: the tiny pink crocs.

5. And last, because my sister and brother in law LOVE camoflauge, for some reason:

And how do you possibly make camo girly??

Why, just add some ruffles and a bow, of course.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

I-HEART Revolution

I'm so looking forward to seeing this tonight.

This is real. Lord, open my eyes to see what You see. Give me Your heart.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Where is my Fall?

Dear Tallahassee,

You are a nice, little city. I'm proud to have called you home for nearly 12 years now, and although you have changed and grown quite a bit over that time, I'm still relatively happy with you. However, there is something we need to discuss.

I think you are confused. You see, the month of October is nearly over. We have only 3 days left, and then we will be into November. Most of the rest of this hemisphere has transitioned to the Fall season. You know...cooler weather, less stifling humidity, less muggy rain, better hair days. Sweater do remember that from last year, right? Well, I think you may be a bit confused, my dear little hometown, because you are still giving me daily high temperatures of 86 degrees. You are still kindly providing me with "warm & muggy" as the forecast. Oh yes, and thanks for the inch of rain we recieved yesterday (with no temperature change). My hair remains "poofy". And nice Mr. Weatherman's advice? "Get used to it". Thanks.

So, dear old Tally, could you help a girl out? Could you give us some relief here in the Capital? I would like to NOT wear a tank top & shorts to a hayride, please.

I will be eagerly awaiting your reply...SOON.


Anxious for Autumn

Monday, October 19, 2009

Soon setting sail...

Today we set sail for the Bahamas! We are both SO READY for some serious R&R. Here's to 1 Year, baby! Sun, sand, come the McKenzie's. I hope you're ready!

Just picture us on this...

On our way here...

And possibly here...

To do this...

And maybe this...

And have this...

Maybe even one of these...

And MOST DEFINITELY some of this...

See ya when we return (IF we choose to return)...