Friday, December 26, 2008

The Week Between Christmas and New Years

Christmas is over. I get so excited for the Christmas to get here. I love the lights. I love the tree. I love the decorations. In fact, I'd love to have my Christmas decorations up all year. I think my house looks boring when I take them down! I love the music. I love the focus on Jesus. And I'm so sad when it ends. of my favorite weeks of the whole year is the week between Christmas and New Year's. The busyness of Christmas is gone. The decorations and lights are still up (I never rush to take them down). The kids are still out of school. There is lots of football on TV. I don't have to work. It is a week that I can truly slow down, reflect on the past and make some new plans for the future, and not have any pressing deadlines. I love it.

This year I'm going to the beach for this week. For the first time, me and my crew (Jeff and the kids), my sister and her crew (hubby and kids), and my mom and step father, are going to the beach. My sister rented a beachfront house for us all. We've never done this before and I'm so excited. I go to the beach in the summer, but not much in the winter. It will be chilly, but I just love the beach no matter the weather. I'd rather be at the beach than anywhere else. We go with Jeff's family every year, but we haven't been with mine. And this year is the most special. My mom has lung cancer and we don't know what the future holds. The doctors say it's not good. But we are clinging to hope and to each day we have. That's why this trip is so special.

I began packing tonight. I packed only comfy clothes, a few magazines, 4 novels, and 1 biography. Nice.

The only thing I HAVE to do while I'm a choice. And one I'm very excited about. I am beginning the Chronological Bible on January 1st. I have never read the Bible chronologically. I'm so excited to do this. I'll begin it at the beach.

So, here I go. I'm off to Cherry Grove, SC to spend a wonderful week with my family.

Happy New Year! I'll talk to in 2009:)


Saturday, December 20, 2008

We saw the real Santa Claus!!!!

Seriously we did. Usually when it's time to visit Santa, we go to the mall. Over the years, our visits have greatly varied. There was the one who was grumpy. The one who looked like a hobo. the one who hurried us to just take a picture and leave. The one who promised everyone iPods, a trampoline, and go carts...all in the same year. (of course that didn't happen) We've had a few good ones too, but the one we saw this year was the real thing.
An all time first, we visited Santa at The Bass Pro Shop at Concord Mills. Call us rednecks :) we don't mind. It was so fun. If you've never gone to BPS (Bass Pro Shop), it's quite an experience in itself. Everything you ever needed for deer huntin', boatin', fishin','s all there. We are NOT the outdoorsy type at all, but after visiting, I kinda want to be!
In all honesty, we were expecting a redneck Santa. This Santa met and even surpassed our expectations of any Santa ever. He was jolly. His beard was real. He was kind. He was funny. There was no rush, each family got all the time they needed with Santa. He talked to the boys about treating their sister kindly. And best of all...are you ready for this? He asked the kids if they knew whose birthday we were celebrating on Christmas. I have never known a Santa to talk about Jesus! Here's some pictures to help tell the story:
The Taylor kids arrive at Bass Pro Shop: Outdoor World.

Before seeing Santa, Hayden gives target shooting a try.

Here are the kids with Santa Claus. Blake, Santa, Hayley Grace, Hayden, and Dylan.

Santa and Hayley Grace bonded. He told her brothers they better take care of her. The he said, "Do you know whose birthday we are celebrating on Christmas?" She said, "Yes, Jesus." And Santa replied, "That's right. Don't forget it's not all about the presents. It's Jesus' birthday and that's why we have Christmas. Do you know where Jesus was born?" And HG said, "A stable." (I think he was expecting "Bethlehem" to be the answer) He chuckled and said, "That's right!"

In all my years seeing Santa, I have never had one talk about Jesus. We just loved him.

As if all this wasn't enough, we also got a FREE picture!!! That's right, free. Didn't cost a dime. Plus we got to take as many as we wanted. The first picture in this post is the free one they gave us.

Merry Christmas! I hope as you are busy these last few days before, you are able to take the time and remember what this holiday is all about, just like Santa did. I pray you and your families and friends have a wonderful week. Share lots of love and happiness!

Love and Blessings,


Friday, December 12, 2008

I Am Brunette

I was in need of a change. Something new. Something to get excited about.As you know I haven't been blogging much. Life has thrown it's curve balls and blogging has taken a back seat. The teen blog I started in August is more or less nonexistent. I keep going back and forth between this blog and my other one, . I'm contemplating merging the 2. I don't know how that will work, but I'm praying about it. I guess I've bitten off more than I can chew.

My mom and I went wig shopping on Monday. Have I told you how beautiful she is? Her strength and dignity amazes me. She found a wig she likes and she indeed does look beautiful. She had her 2nd chemo treatment today. And tomorrow me and the kids are going with the salon. She's getting her head buzzed/shaved. Her hair has been falling in clumps for 2 weeks. That has been so hard to watch. Everytime I see her pull out her hair, it just kills me. I am reminded that God knows every hair on our head...even the ones that fall out. And that reminds me that God is watching over my mom. He knows her every day and is with her.

My natural tendancy is to be blue and dwell on what I cannot change. I have to really fight and be intentional on believing God and trusting Him to take care of things. I read scriptures and promises from the Lord and I believe them. But I still "feel" sad and forgotten.It's been 4 months since I got my hair cut. Now what that means is that it's also been 4 months since my roots have been done! Seriously, my hair looked like 2 totally different colors. So I decided to go for a change. This was a major change for me. I've been blonde for 7 years. My husband thought I'd look good blonde, so that's what I did. Well, I was feeling the need for a change. I got approval all around, except from my husband....My co workers thought my hair would be great brown, my friends thought I should do what makes me happy. My husband would not express his opinion. He just said, "I want you to be happy."

Well, I went. And I made a big change. I am now a brunette. Not blonde. And I've already learned that blondes do NOT have more fun! But I like it. A lot. Thank you for your prayers. I love you and think you are so beautiful!



***See the post above this one? I wrote it yesterday and posted it on my other blog. But I wanted to post it here too, because it was mostly about my mom.

Today, the kids and I went to visit my mom. We went with her to a salon where she got her head shaved. (deep breath)

It really hit me hard watching her have all of her hair cut off. That is such a visual. A visual I will have in my mind forever. At first she had tears. But they were brief. I think she's being strong for me. And I was being strong for my kids. I could've cried easily.

I told my mom today, "thank goodness you have such a pretty face!" And she does. I was so taken aback at how pretty she was with very little hair. I'm so proud of her.

Beauty really is held within. Too often I focus on my weight or some other outward appearance. But if your heart is bitter and ugly then there is no way for beauty to shine through. But if what is within is beautiful, then there is no outward appearance that can prevent it from shining through. My mother's beauty shines bright.

Have a wonderful weekend.


Wednesday, December 10, 2008

What Can I Bring?

Today we had our office Christmas party. Each year, we gather together and take a little time away from work just to laugh, relax, eat, and exchange gifts. We have a $10 limit, and it's one of those parties where you can steal someone else's gift depending on when it's your turn. I never know what to get for these things. I want to get something unique and special, but I'm not very creative and $10 isn't much. Well, this year I had a great idea. In fact, I think it was a divine idea.

I went to Hallmark and bought a Willowtree Angel. The Angel of Prayer ornament. This was within my $10 limit. But I wasn't satified with it. As I was wrapping it, I asked God, what else can I bring. And He said, "prayer". So, that's what I brought.

I gave the Willowtree Angel of Prayer. And I enclosed a card. The card said:

"To My Friend,

I hope you like the Angel of Prayer I'm giving you. But that's not all. I promise that I will pray for you by name today and each day in 2009. Your good and bad days, you can be rest assured that someone is in your corner and praying for you by name."

Samantha got my gift first. But then Holly stole it. Can you believe Holly stole prayer from Samantha???? Ha! I'm so glad she did! but I gave all that to God. I knew that whoever God intended would end up with my gift. And it was Holly. I've always wanted to get to know Holly better and now I have the perfect opportunity for just that.

I will pray for Samantha every day. I've decided that. And I also have the awesome priviledge to pray for Holly too.

I could've paid for the greatest gift of all. No money, however, could've bought prayer.

So, if you really want to know "What Can I Bring?" You can bring prayer. It was the best gift of the day. What more could anyone ask for?



Thursday, December 4, 2008

An Amazingly Beautiful Girl

If I get through this post without bawling, it will be an all out miracle. I feel sad and blessed all at the same time. Grief stricken and rejoicing all at the same time. Happy for my sweet friends in Atlanta and devasted for my sweet friends in Atlanta all at the same time. Allow me to explain.

I went to college (Appalachian State University) with Robin and Chris. They were sweethearts then and are still sweethearts now. This week, they said goodbye to their oldest daughter, Alexa. She was only 11 years old.

Alexa was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer when she was only 1. For most of her life she has faced more struggle and trial than most people face in 80 years of life. Here is what her obituary read:

Alexa Grace Rohrbach, age 11, died Friday, November 28, 2008. She was a beloved daughter, proud big sister, beautiful granddaughter, dear niece, loving cousin and great friend. The world lost a brave little girl who touched many hearts. Here spirit was unmatchable and her precious smile contagious. She accepted all challenges that life threw at her and did so with unbelievable strength and heroic grace. God used her here on earth to touch the lives of people everywhere. She did so much in her short lived life. Her face constantly contained a smile with the most beautiful bright eyes, long gorgeous lashes and adorable sweet cheeks.

She battled cancer at the age of one, then had to live with all the complications from treatment including pulmonary fibrosis, scoliosis, halo traction, spinal fusion surgery, and most recently a tracheotomy and was placed on a ventilator. For years doctors, nurses and other medical staff commented that they had never seen a better patient than Alexa. She has been the face of hope for many. With faith in Jesus, fierce determination, a positive attitude and smile that would light up a room, sweet kind-hearted Alexa had fought the good fight for 10 years. Alexa still had fight in her, but her precious little body did not.

Alexa was the daughter of Chris and Robin Rohrbach and sister of Jenna from Acworth, GA. She was also the granddaughter of Alice and the late John Rohrbach and Robert and Jean Thoem, all from Marietta, GA.

Her funeral was Wednesday. It was the most amazing worship and celebration. This child was so joyful and left such a legacy. She loved Jesus and He is the reason for the joy posessed while here on this earth. Her 7 yr old sister wrote a song about her and sang it at the funeral. Both of her parents spoke at her funeral. Her life was celebrated. The service ended with the song, "I'm Trading My Sorrow". Just amazing.
So Alexa Grace, you my sweet sister in Christ, up in Heaven, inspired me more than you will ever know. I want to be like you when I grow up! Your challenge to "find something to be thankful for everyday and never give up" will be something I strive to do daily for the rest of my life. And to my friend, Robin. If you ever read this, just know, I love you so much and I can't wait to spend more time with you in the coming year. You are so beautiful. Just like your amazingly beautiful girls.
Love to All,