Jun 26, 2010

What I Love About Her

Today my little sister, Brooke, celebrated her 20th birthday!

Actually the celebration started yesterday at work with the little kids we work with.
They sang her happy birthday and then we all enjoyed eating ice cream treats!

For lunch Brooke and I went to the best place in town to get a
smoothie, and we both got Berry Bonanza...heaven in a cup!!

Brooke's choice of dinner was Mom's homemade taco pizza and chocolate chip cheesecake,
which we all enjoyed immensely.

In honor of the 20 years I have been able to share with Brooke I would like share 20 things that I love about my baby sister.

1. Her chocolate, brown, puppy-dog eyes

2. How she gives of herself in her ministries

3. The way she sings way off key...:)

4. Her generous spirit

5. How deeply she loves; expecting nothing in return

6. Her soft moldable heart

7. Her strange sense of fashion and how she tries to wear jewelery with everything!

8. Her daring sense of adventure

9. Her compassion for the elderly in the Nursing Home

10. Her contagious giggle (usually at a time when we shouldn't be laughing; like in church...)

11. Her take charge attitude

12. Listening to her give speeches

13. Her adorable toes

14. Her dedication towards the kiddies we both work with

15. The way she gets stressed out over papers and projects

16. Her seriousness

17. Her sleek shiny hair

18. Her deep appreciation for food ;)

19. Her strange collection of books

20. How that she is not only my sister, but also my best friend!

Happy 20th Birthday, Brooke, we love you so much!

Jun 25, 2010


The package arrived early afternoon...
Within its brown wrapping was contained this book...the one I have been
waiting for for approximately 6 months...

If you don't know me well then you don't really know the significance of this package. You can read about my small infatuation with this author here.

I am now a proud owner of all seven of Charles Martin's books...woohoo! This one was scheduled for release on June 1st and rather than pre-ordering it (as much as I wanted to) I decided to wait until I had a coupon and could get it for a discounted price. So...last week I got a 40% coupon to Borders and you can guess what I used it on!!

Now that I have the book I am going to try to wait until we go on vacation in August to read it. I figure all the waiting and anticipation will make the reading more worth while. So for now I will settle for smelling the pages and reading the cover insert; and, hopefully it will suffice my curiosity!

Jun 21, 2010

A Pretty Amazing Guy

I have this Dad...this pretty amazing dad...

He truly is good at everything he puts his hand to. Always has been.
There's basketball, then there's soccer, racquetball, and even bicycling; he's good at it all. I remember when I was in high school track my dad came out to one of our practices and challenged me to a race. I remember laughing with the other girls thinking there was no way my dad could beat me. After all I was the fastest one on the team at this particular sprint PLUS my dad didn't have running shoes on and would have to run barefoot. I'm sure you can guess what happened. He beat me; fair and square he beat me, and not by a little!

But not only does my dad have athletic talent; he also is very handy. My mom will get an idea in her head and my dad always gets it done. Whether it's painting a piece of furniture or a bedroom wall or even finishing our dining table; my dad can do it!

One of the things I love most about my dad is his work ethic. He has always taught me to work hard and to do a job to the best of my ability. I remember two words I was never allowed to say as a child..."I can't"
I must have been around five years old when I got my first bike. I remember my dad helping me get up on the bike and giving me a push. I was riding for a few seconds and then I turned around and he wasn't holding on anymore. Immediately I began to lose my balance and soon fell to the ground. My dad did not stay out there with me and hold onto me, instead he told me, "You CAN do it, Nicole. Keep trying and you will get it down." And with that he went inside to watch me from the window. So, "try" I did; and finally I succeeded in riding my bike!

Father's Day has now come and gone and every year it comes I find it harder and harder to show this amazing guy how much I appreciate him.


Breakfast in bed,

It just doesn't seem to be enough for a man who is more than a father to me...he is my hero-one whom I measure all other men up against...A pretty amazing guy!

Happy Father's Day, Dad, I love you!

Jun 17, 2010

A Second Look

I had walked this place at least a dozen times before, but this time was different. This time I went alone, by myself, and without a cell or ear phones attached. It had been a long, rough day at work; I was frustrated and just wanted to crash at home. However, it was so beautiful and I had my camera with me... So I ended up taking a long walk and a very satisfying one to say the least. I discovered things that I normally would not have noticed. Things so simple as a fly on a daisy, a turtle scuttling across the path, or a snake slithering under a rock. It is walks like these while observing God's beautiful nature that encourage me to take that second look...

I only went out for a walk and finally concluded to stay out until sundown,
for going out, I found, was really going in. John Muir

God writes the gospel not in the Bible alone, but on trees, and flowers, and clouds, and stars. Martin Luther

I love to think of nature as an unlimited broadcasting station, through which God speaks to us every hour, if we will only tune in. George Washington Carver

Jun 8, 2010

In His Time

Over a month ago, my little pre-school students and I planted gladiolus along side the school building. I must say that I was quite doubtful that we would ever see results. We had planted a total of 16 bulbs and I remember jokingly saying to another teacher, "We will be lucky if 1 out of those 16 comes up!"

The directions had said to plant 6 inches into the ground and we had struck rock up 1 inch down; in my mind there was no way anything would grow there. I didn't even bother watering them or trying to help them grow, instead I forgot all about them. Just this past week I was out in the field along side the school when one of the children ran to me and said, "Miss Nicole, Owen just pulled up one of your flowers!!!"

I was confused for a minute..."What flowers??" I walked over and to my surprise there were gladiolus sprouting up from the brown earth. I shook my head in disbelief and began counting...1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15...and 16 counting the one in Owen's hand.

I called the other teachers over to see the miracle growing up; I could not believe it!

The gladiolus reminded me of my lack of faith. Reminded me that even in spite of my lack of belief, God is still working; He is still performing miracles. Just as I doubted the growth of those flowers, sometimes I find myself doubting God, and I hear my mother saying, "Nicole, do you put limits on God..."

But, you know what is so wonderful?

That, even though I do not exercise my faith as I should God still wants to bless me; He still wants to make the "gladiolus" grow...

He hath made everything beautiful in His time.

Ecclesiastes 3:11

Jun 7, 2010

For the Beauty of the Earth

For the beauty of the earth,
For the glory of the skies,
For the love which from our birth
Over and around us lies:

Christ our God, to Thee we raise
This our hymn of grateful praise.

For the wonder of each hour
Of the day and of the night,
Hill and vale and tree and flow'r,
Sun and moon and stars of light:

Christ our God, to Thee we raise
This our hymn of grateful praise.

I cannot help but want to sing whenever I look around at God's beautiful creation; it truly is awe-inspiring. Sharing my mosaic over at the Little Red House for Mosaic Monday; see more there.

Jun 5, 2010

"Do not go where the path may lead..."

"...go instead where there is no path and leave a trail." (Ralph Waldo Emerson)

Graduation...that time in one's life where they accomplish a period of schooling and are ready to embrace the next! The last two weeks I have been able to attend and be a part of four graduations: Fairhaven Baptist College and Academy, Fairhaven Kindergarten, and two Pre-School Graduations at my work. I can't believe that it has already been a year since my college graduation, and five years since high school.

I remember my senior year of high school like it was yesterday; I remember how excited and nervous I was about entering college. I remember the first day of College orientation; my classmates and I had practiced what we would say when we got up and introduced ourselves. Boy, was I scared! It seemed like I blinked my eyes and four years had went by and I was graduating from college.

Recently I was looking at a picture I had taken with all my college graduates. It was exciting to see just how much has happened in all of our lives in just one short year. Quite a few have been married, several have went on to other schools to teach, some to churches to assist the Pastor, and then some who are like me and are serving in their home churches and waiting for next step or place God may lead them to. Another "school year" has ended and I am anxious to see what God has in store for me and those hopeful graduates in the next!

Fairhaven College & Academy Graduation

My baby sister with some of her senior friends...
I can't believe this is gonna be her senior year!

Me and my sweet friend Liz!

Fairhaven Kindergarten Graduation
I was asked take some photographs of the k-5 class, the morning of their ceremony. I had lots of fun and was able to get a lot of cute shots of the little graduates!

Future graduating class of 2022!

These little boys were too much fun!

Preschool Graduations at my Work
And...last but not least, I got to sit with my kiddies as they did a singing program and graduated from preschool!

Some were hardly interested...:)

And...others just came for the food!

So, as you can see it has been quite busy around here, but I have thoroughly enjoyed each one of these graduations!

Jun 1, 2010

Family Dinner

Family dinners... the time of day when everything finally settles down and the family is able to gather 'round the table and catch up on each others' day. Oh how I love this time; and I am ever so grateful that despite our busy schedules we usually always come to the table for food and fellowship. I am so fortunate to have both a Mother and Father who are excellent cooks, and I hope to pick up on their talent when I have a family of my own.
This is a family favorite of ours:
Stuffed Shells (served with Texas toast of course!)

Stuff pasta shells with whatever you desire...
We use Italian Sausage, ricotta, spaghetti sauce, mozzarella,
Parmesan, oregano, and garlic.

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