Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Tackle it Tuesday!

Tackle It Tuesday Meme

I am beginning to LOVE Tackle It Tuesday! For some reason, the accountability of posting the projects that I tackle just seems to motivate me. So, today I decided to tackle the never-ending battle that I seem to have with the laundry. I'm telling you it multiplies around here! This morning I began washing clothes before 8:00am and at 4:00pm I still have 3 loads to go. I know I shouldn't let it pile up, but I do. However, by the time I go to bed tonight I am hoping that all of the clothes in our house will be clean! YIPPEE! Below is a pic of some of the clothes that I have washed today. After they came out of the dryer I just piled them on our bed. After about 4 loads I folded and put them away.

Do you have a plan for keeping the laundry under control at your house? If so, please share your secret. I really think one of my goals for 2009 is going to be to wash a load of laundry everday..that includes washing, drying and putting them away! Also, head on over to 5 Minutes for Mom to read about all of the other projects that have been tackled today!

Monday, December 29, 2008

Christmas 2008

Mickey, Mackaylan and I had a wonderful Christmas! Please enjoy the pics below from Christmas 2008!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Tackle It Tuesday!- Christmas Edition

Yesterday was a great day! I was able to take Mackaylan to Nana's in order to be able to "tackle" many last minute projects before Christmas. I stayed in my "comfy clothes" all day long even when shopping at CVS and Bi-Lo! The number one priority on my list was to get my house clean before Christmas. For those of you who know me, I am usually pretty good about clearing the clutter and keeping everything picked up. However, I really struggle with the actual cleaning like dusting, mopping, etc. So...yesterday I vowed to myself that I would spend time doing both. I was going to take a few "before" photos, but was too embarrassed. Below are a few pictures of the end result....

Besides cleaning, I also finished all the wrapping that I am responsible for, went to the grocery store, assisted Mackaylan with packing up many toys and organizing her room and also hosted a small gathering of family and friends (more on that fun later!) Overall, it was a very busy and productive day! What project(s) did you tackle?

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas! I hope you enjoy this special holiday greeting from Mackaylan! At the rate we are going she is sure to be on Broadway one day. Hopefully, Santa will leave me a Flip video so I can easily post more of her wonderful performances!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Christmas Traditions...Part1

Christmastime is full of traditions! One of my favorite Christmas traditions is attending the Inman Christmas Parade with our friends Kathryn, Ellie and my Aunt Martha (aka Jahpa)! Each year since the girls were one, we have all bundled up in our warm winter jackets, gloves and scarves and headed out for the first public appearance of Santa in our area. I love the feeling of community as the parade participants ride by, throw candy and wish us all a "Merry Christmas!" I love to see the twinkle and innocence in the eyes of a child as they stand in awe of the man in the "big red suit." I love to see the excitement as kids are waving and shouting to Santa as he rides by high above on the firetruck. I love the sound of Christmas carols being played by the band as they march to the beat of the music. I just love Christmas!

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Friday, November 28, 2008

Thanksgiving Day 2008

The theme for Thanksgiving 2008 in our family was Turkey Day Traditions! I can't believe I have been going to Manning, SC with Mickey and his family for Thanksgiving for 10 years now! I think one thing I love most about this special holiday is that it is so rich in traditions. Every year is the same, and in the hustle and bustle of everyday life, I love consisitency! So today I thought I would post a few of our most special TD Traditions. What are yours?

This is Aunt Kathy's dining room that is always beautifully decorated for our Thanksgiving feast! This was the first year the younger generation was able to eat in the dining room. In years past, we ate in the kitchen at the smaller dining room table. However, with the addition of wives and boyfriends we are quckly becoming the larger group and needed this table for adequate space.

The most unique part of our Thanksgiving feast is the fact that we always have barbeque. Uncle Gary spends many hours preparing this delictable dish! I think this year's barbeque was the best yet!

Aunt Bert is always responsible for bringing Lady Fingers and Cheese Straws! Thanksgiving would not be complete without these two items. We love having these around to munch on before and after lunch. Mackaylan loved the Lady Fingers this year. I think she ate at least 10 before the day was over! :)

After lunch, time is spent napping, throwing football, drinking coffee, talking and just enjoying being with the people we cherish most- our family!

And of course, Thanksgiving would not be complete without time spent scouring over the advertisements in the local newspaper as we begin to make our lists and check them twice!

I hope you and your family had a Happy Thanksgiving! Remember to take time during this busy holiday season to enjoy each other, to cherish the traditions that you have, and to create new traditions for the years to come! :)

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Happy Birthday, Pop-O!

Happy Birthday, Pop-O! We love you so much and appreciate all you do for us! When I asked Mackaylan what she loves about her Pop-O she said, "when he cleans up the dishes, he helps me clean up my room, he gives me a drink and when he takes me to Old McDonalds (aka McDonalds)...I love that!" And the list could definitely go on..... We love you Pop-O and hope you have a very special day!
And, of course, a birthday would not be complete without a silly face from KK!! :)

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Tackle It Tuesday!

Thanks to Jodi I was inspired to particpate in Tackle It Tuesday! While reading her post, I immediately thought of one of my problematic areas..... the laundry room! It was, and usually is, a disaster. I couldn't wash anymore clothes b/c there were clothes piled up everywhere and even some hidden in the dryer. So...I set off to work.

This is what it looked like before:

And this is what it looks like now: All of the clothes were put away (yes, the dryer is empty too), the counter was wiped off and the floor was swept. The last thing I need to do is purchasea few command hooks to hang my broom, swiffer, etc. on and I will do that tomorrow. I even put a candle on the counter for a little added ambiance! :)

Friday, November 14, 2008

Photo Contest

I am entering another photo contest. The contest is about celebrating our families through FUN with FOOD photos. When looking back through lots and lots of pictures I noticed a pattern--Mackaylan LOVES icecream! I am entering this photo into the contest because I think Mackaylan's personality just shines through!! :)

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Having a Princess Heart

Don't we all wish we lived in a fairy tale world? A wonderful place full of love, hope and happily-ever-after?! In Nicole Johnson's book Keeping a Princess Heart In A Not-So-Fairy-Tale World she reminds us that fairy tales "stand in contradiction to the world we see around us and point to the world that is yet to come (p.31)." As Christians we have to place our faith in God and trust in His plan for our lives. This world is not our "happily ever after!" The best is definitely yet to come!!! For those of you who follow my blog, you are aware that one of my best friends, Dawn, has been dealing lately with some health issues. A few weeks ago she went in for an ultrasound on her gallbladder and they found a mass on her liver. After 3 weeks of tests, doctor's visits and consultations it all seems to be coming together. Tomorrow Dawn will be having her gallbladder removed and they will also take a biopsy of the mass on her liver. Following this procedure she will be referred to MUSC to have the liver mass removed. Please be in prayer for Dawn and her family. Pray they will all experience a peace that surpasses all understanding. Pray for the surgeon who will be performing the procedure. Pray that the Lord will guide his hand during the surgery. Pray for the results of the liver biopsy. Pray that the mass is benign and cancer free. Pray for Dawn as she recooperates from this procedure and prepares for the next. And pray for the scheduling of the trip to MUSC. Most importantly, pray that the Lord will be exalted in all that is said and done! Dawn has definitely kept a "princess heart" throughout this entire process and I know she gives, and will continue to give, God all of the credit. Her "Prince Charming" is not tall, dark and handsome (Sorry, Russell). It is Jesus Christ. He is the only person who provides comfort, strength, hope, peace, patience and everlasting love! And since I know Princess Dawn is resting in His care, I can confidently say.... all will be well!

Monday, October 27, 2008

Prayer...The Greatest Resource

Today one of my best friends, Dawn, will be going to the doctor for a CTScan. On Friday, she went for an ultrasound due to speculation of gallstones. Instead, they found a mass on her liver.
You can read more detailed information here. What I am asking is that everyone who visits this blog today stop reading and lift up a prayer for Dawn and her family....right now! As my pastor quoted in his sermon yesterday: "Prayer is the one resource we neglect that promises the greatest return." So, as you pray, please also pray for Dawn's husband, Russell, and their precious, soon-to-be 4 yr. old son, Isaac. This morning I lift up Psalm 20: 1-5 as my prayer for Dawn as she undergoes testing and anticipates answers:

Dear Lord, We come to you today in a time of trouble.
Please answer our cry. Please keep Dawn safe from all harm.
Please send her help from your sanctuary and provide her strength from you. May she remember all your gifts and how you have so wonderfully blessed her. Please grant her your heart’s desires and make all her plans succeed. Dear Lord, we know you are in control of this situation. May we all shout for joy when we hear of your victory and raise a victory banner in the name of our God. Lord please answer all of our prayers! Amen

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Mommy Date

Yesterday Mackaylan and I had an official "Mommy Date!" We enjoyed lunch at one of our favorite spots...Chick-fil-A and then we headed to see High School Musical 3 Senior Year. I hate the fact that my "baby" is getting older, but love that as she gets older we can enjoy more and more together...shopping, movies, music, etc. I think Mickey is in for BIG trouble! :) Here are some pics from our wonderful day!

Aunt Martha came down to take our picture before we headed out on our "date." We thought it was worthy of documenting since this was Mackaylan's first trip to the theatre!

Eating at Chick-fil-A at Westgate Mall!

Mackaylan with her HSM friends...Troy, Gabriella, Chad, Ryan, Sharpay, and Taylor!

Waiting patiently for the movie to begin. Popcorn, Reese's pieces and a Coke made the movie experience complete!

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Thursday, October 23, 2008

Mickey's Birthday!

Mickey's 29th birthday was on October 12th! We celebrated all weekend long with many of our family and friends! Below is a slideshow of various pictures from our fun weekend. Enjoy! :)

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Thursday, October 16, 2008

Life's Lessons....

Phillipians 4:11-12 reads, "Not that I was ever in need, for I have learned how to be content with whatever I have. I know how to live on almost nothing or with everything. I have learned the secret of living in every situation, whether it is with a full stomach or empty, with plenty or little. "

Over the past few weeks I have really been struggling with contententment. Last night during adult Bible study/prayer meeting one word kept coming to mind...contentment. It was as if I felt the Lord saying, "Lana, wait on Me! I have you where I want you right now. Remember I see the entire puzzle while you only see one small piece." I can't really explain the sense of peace that filled my heart. What I can explain is how God is SO good!! He has blessed me beyond belief!!! I have a job that I really do enjoy. I am able to work with teachers at all grade levels and subject areas, have the chance to know many, many students and am fotunate to be able to attend lots of professional development opportunities that keep me current on best practices in education! He has expanded my territory and I need to take advantage of this opportunity and use it for His glory! I have a nice house, clothes to wear and food to eat. I have a wonderful husband and one beautiful daughter. I am able to serve in many capacities at our church esp. with the kids and MP3 Children's Choir. I AM BLESSED!!!! So, as you go through your day today take advantage of where God has placed you. He has you there for a reason. We just have to be open to hear Him speak and then to act accordingly. As our pastor said last night, "The BEST place to be is in the middle of God's will!" Are you?

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Fireproof Your Marriage

Last Friday, Mickey and I enjoyed Date Night with some of our best friends. We all went to see the new movie- Fireproof and then to Outback Steakhouse. In lieu of this wonderful movie on marriage, I want to take this opportunity to tell you a little more about why I consider myself to be married to the most wonderful man in the world....
Mickey is one of the strongest Christians that I know. He constantly strives to put Christ first each and everyday. He always seeks to know more about the heart of Christ and to live his life in a manner pleasing to Him. He has taught, and continues to teach, me and our daughter, Mackaylan, about who Christ is and how he would want us to live, through his words and actions.

Mickey is a hardworker. He works very long hours in order to provide for our family. Yet, he makes a consertive effort to find the just-right balance between work and home. He also works hard throughout the week in order to spend his time on the weekend with his 2 favorite girls! :)
Mickey is selfless. He sacrifices games of golf, athletic events and even some (ha) 4-wheeler races- just to name a few- in order to put our family first! He plays "horse" for hours on end with Mackaylan, tucks her in with a story each and every night, goes with me to the mall or to the grocery store, and the list goes on...
And of course, my husband, Mickey, is a hunk! I love everything about him from his strong, broad shoulders to his baby blue eyes! With him I always feel safe and loved!

Well, I could go on and one about the love of my life, but I will stop for now! However, I would encourage all married, dating, engaged couples to take time to see the movie Fireproof. It is a very powerful movie and will definitely change your life and how you view God's convenant of marriage!

Below are some more pics of our eventful evening.....

This is a pic of Jammy and Reagan. We are so blessed that the Lord brought these two wonderful people into our lives. Mickey and I have been praying for young, Christian couples to be apart of our church family and our lives and these two people are just one example of how He has answered that prayer!

This is a pic of Cher and Andy. Andy is our new pastor at LFBC. Over the past few months, Mickey and I have had a great time getting to know these two wonderul people. They are a great example of what a Godly, Christian marriage should be and we cherish their friendships dearly!

This is a pic of Brad and Lori. We were friends with Brad and Lori before Mickey and I were even married. This is another couple that I would consider "mentors" to Mickey and myself. They have taught us many things over the years as Lori was one of favorite S. School teachers and Brad was one of Mick's football coaches.

I do not have an individual couple picture of Russell and Dawn, but they are in this pic with Mickey and myself. Dawn and I were friends in high school, but life took us separate ways until here recently. Over the past couple of months, the Lord has rekindled this friendship in a great way! We are usually with them (and their son Isaac) at some point during each and every weekend, but also find time to exercise, talk, eat, pray, etc. with each other during the week. You can check out their family blog here.

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Saturday, September 27, 2008

C-L-E-M-S-O-N T-I-G-E-RRRR-S!!!!!!

Fall is such a wonderful time of the year! I love the cooler weather. I love the anticipation of what a new school year has in store. I love taking impromptu Sunday afternoon drives to admire God's handiwork as the leaves on the trees begin to change colors. And, of course, I love the excitement of the game of football!! Last Saturday Mickey, Mackaylan and I were very fortunate to be able to attend the Clemson vs. South Carolina State football game with friends. This was Mackaylan's first experience with college football and she had a blast! Now everytime she sees a football game on TV she automatically assumes it is the Clemson Tigers or the Chicago Bears (another family favorite!) Below are a few pics of the fun time we had! :)

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Little Ballerina

Mackaylan started dance class last Thursday and she LOVES it! She is taking a one hour class that combines Tap and Ballet. I am glad we decided to let her go ahead and start this year. I was a little hesitant at first due to our already busy schedules, but this is something special just for her.

Up until now, Mackaylan spent a lot of time telling other people about her dance teacher who was a mixture of Angelina Ballerina, her older friend Sarah and Nana. Now she has a REAL teacher.....Miss Casey!

And here she is......The 2225 winner of So You Think You Can Dance....Mackaylan O'Shields!!!

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Monday, September 1, 2008

Friends, Family, Faith and FUN!

I couldn't have asked for a more perfect weekend! On Friday night, Mickey, Mackaylan and I tailgated with friends at the Landrum vs. West Oak football game. Mackaylan was so thrilled to have her very own "Cardinals" cheerleading uniform (Thanks for the hand-me-down, Rachel!).

We arrived before the rest of the gang so this is a pic of Mac and I tailgating w/o a car! :)

Mackaylan enjoyed eating pizza before the game.
Mickey and Mackaylan had a fun time playing before the game.

On Saturday, Mickey, Mackaylan and I met David and Cameron for the Wofford vs. PC football game. We enjoyed a wonderful dinner at Wades before heading up the hill to Gibbs Stadium.
After the game, we had a family sleepover in the living room! Mackaylan has been watching a lot of GiGi lately and wanted to have curly hair. So, you can see by the picture below, that we played "beauty shop" and I braided her hair in hopes that she would have her wish for church on Sunday.

On Sunday, we had a great time worshipping at LFBC through song, prayer and the teaching of God's word. The Lord is at work at LFBC and my prayer is that He will use me and my family in a mighty way! I feel very fortunate to be apart of such a wonderful body of believers! I can't think of any better way to end a weekend and begin a new week then to spend time with The One who makes it all possible!

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