Saturday, January 28, 2006


Mom and Dad came in town last night and stayed for the day today. It was their first time to come stay with me since I've been here in Fort Worth. It was fun to play hostess to them for a change. They came to go to a wedding. Daniel came with us. I was glad we got to spend time with mom and dad together today. Quick, random story about this wedding:

I was born March 2, 1979 at Schumpert Medical Center in Shreveport, LA, just 2 days after Stephen Boutwell was born. Mom, dad, and Jenny and Stephen's mom, dad and brother Jeff were buddies before Stephen and I were ever thought of. Then, we were introduced into the world and became automatic friends. Stephen and I played in the nursery together at church, did Bible Drill together as kids...then my family moved from Shreveport to Ruston. I saw him a few times after that. But then, after a couple of years, we lost complete contact with each other. Until....the week before I moved to Fort Worth, his step-mother emailed me to say that Stephen lives in the Fort Worth area and plays in a band at a church. I should go visit the church. Well, I went, and saw Stephen - it had been probably 15 years since I'd last seen him. Looked the same. Met his girl that day. And this evening, I watched Stephen and his new wife take their vows and pledge a life of service to the Father and love for Him and for one another. Sitting here thinking, funny how sometimes we can be in someone's life for a short time, and then out for a long time, but the reunion is still so sweet. That's how I felt today seeing Stephen and his dad and step-mom. I haven't seen them in years, but felt like I was hugging family.

One more thing. I never wrote about my roommate's engagement. Yes!!! Ashley and Austin are engaged and will be married May 20. Fun times. You can read about their story at

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Old Friends

Do you know the saying, "Make new friends, but keep the old. One is silver and the other gold?" I was reminded tonight of just how precious are the friends of mine with whom I share some history. Libby came to Dallas for a conference and Katie and I got to go out to dinner with her.

Libby was a big part of the reason I grew spiritually during my college years. We were prayer partners my junior year of college. We found the most random places to sit together and pray - in the graveyard, on the front steps of my church sitting amongst a swarm of dead crickets (remember that plague that came around 1999?), just to name a couple of the strangest! The Lord used her to challenge my faith and to sharpen me as a woman of Him. Great girl. Great faith. Deep faith. Precious spirit. It was such a refreshing time tonight with both her and Katie.

Katie and I became friends the weekend we went to the outlet mall about 15 miles from Ruston. After our shopping adventure, she graciously went with me to see my great-great Uncle Sidney who was in the nursing home in that town. "What a great girl," I thought!! For her to so willingly accompany me to a nursing home? She won BIG POINTS in the friend category and from then on, we were buddies!!! Many laughs with Katie. Great girl. Great friend. Great listener and empathizer!

I'm so thankful for these two women. God has such a way of encouraging my heart and reconnecting me. There is something about people with whom you have a history. Since I moved to Egypt in 2002 and to Fort Worth in 2005, I have had numerous new friends. Oh...but the mmmm....mmmm...good feeling of those friendships of antiquity! Thank you, Jesus!

Friday, January 13, 2006

gerber daisies

Today Daniel brought these really beautiful flowers to me! Gerber daisies are my favorite flower, orange is my favorite color. I'm not sure exactly what it is that flowers do to a woman, but don't we all love to receive them? Could it be their delightful smell? Could it be their beauty? Probably it is a bit of both, but more than that, for me it's really the thought behind the flowers and the one who is giving them that sends my heart soaring! For my lady friends reading this blog, I thought I'd share these flowers with you - ENJOY!

Let it Snow, Let it Snow, Let it Snow

Just returned from 3 days in Wolf Creek, Colorado with Daniel and others from the ministry at Cornerstone. What a lovely God, the Master Artist. He lifted His brush one day, painted the mountains with such talent, the brush having delicately stroked the canvas with shades of dark green putting tree by tree in its place. Then the Artist blanketed the tree-topped mountains with a white frosting. And when the sun shines down over the earth, the white snow sparkles and creation cries out, "Glory, glory to the King of kings!"

Colorado was beautiful. Skiing was great. It had been about 5 years since I last skiied. We did 10 runs in one day. My thighs were super sore! But, it was well worth it. I very much enjoyed being on the slopes. We also went sledding and a guy with us went ice fishing one day. It was cool to walk out on the ice-packed resevoir. As we all stood out there, we heard a sound that made us think a car was passing by with a really loud system. It was a booming sound. However, Lee and others who were ice fishing said they had been hearing the same sound and it was the sound of ice cracking. We weren't at all about to fall in the water, the ice was several feet deep. However, the sound was absolutely amazing. We stood on the ice waiting with anitcipation to hear it again - another reminder of the Master Artist's creativity.

Sunday, January 01, 2006

Audi Christmas

I went to Maryland the 26th-30th to spend Christmas with Daniel's family. It was really great to meet everyone. I had met his parents and his brother who lives in Arlington with him, but there were still the 8 neices and nephews, 3 sisters, another brother, and 3 in-laws I hadn't yet met. Meeting his family was great. There were 20 of us in the house when we were all there together - wild, but FUN! I loved getting to hang out with them, laugh with them, open presents with them and enjoy watching the kiddos get excited about their gifts, go to D.C. and enjoy the city, see Daniel's home, be with him in the house in which he grew was GREAT! Glad to be there.

They live about 20 mintues from D.C. We rode the metro and walked around near the capitol and Washington monument one afternoon. I loved being in the city. I love public transportation!

I'm back in Ruston now and will be in Fort Worth Wednesday. HAPPY NEW YEAR TO ALL!!


I love the holidays - being at home with my family. Because I didn't go away to college, I never knew what it was like to just come home for the holidays. However, since being in Fort Worth, I don't get to come home very much because of work and school and the need to have a life there. So, when I do come home, I very much look forward to spending time with my family. Holidays are great - 2 meals per day and seeing both sides of the family since we all are in Ruston (for the most part). I've recently realized that holidays are about all I'll get from here on out to see everyone. We've all grown up. My youngest cousin is a freshman in college. Our extended family is growing as my cousins have gotten married and my sister got married last year. I so much love seeing everyone. I wish that the season weren't quite so busy, but inevitably it is.

Christmas morning we woke up with Brian in our home for the first time! :-) As we were opening presents, 3 deer crossed the field in front of the house. dad ran to his office, grabbed his rifle, opened the front door, and POW!!!!! one of the deer went down. Yes, it was REDNECK Christmas in the HOOD home this year. Dad and Brian thought it was the greatest Christmas gift ever. The women of the house didn't get quite as excited - go figure.

We spend Christmas afternoon with my granny and cousins on mom's side of the family. Christmas evening is at my mamaw and papaw's and cousins on my dad's side of the family. It was a great Christmas with everyone. I know that my future will one day be overseas. I don't know how often I'll get to come home for Christmas. I'm so thankful for times like these! God is GOOD!