Friday, October 31, 2008

Elections 2008

I was encouraged to watch these today and I hope you will too.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

us...when we were babies.

Well, as I sit here twiddling my thumbs waiting for our little one to decide to make his debut, I'm feeling pretty bored - his room is ready, all the errands have been run, I've even frozen some soup for us to have available after his arrival. I play Tetris on the computer and check Facebook regularly these days. It's all getting a bit old! :-)

Although our official due date isn't until Monday, I've been hoping all week that he would come a little early. To our dismay, he's still not wanting to reveal his little face. I feel like there's absolutely NO MORE ROOM for him in my belly, though. My skin feels so tight and when I wake up in the mornings, it is hard as a rock! I'm feeling sorry for his cramped environment.

My boredom has brought me to this post today. What to post? Nothing better than a preview of what's to come - a mixture of these two photos!! Wonder who he will look like? My theory is that first born children almost always look like the father, so...I'm thinking our little Baba Ganoush/Tommy Chuck will look more like an Audi than a Hood. But, we'll see!

baby Daniel James Audi & baby Kimberly Ann Hood

Daniel and I went for a walk this morning and have plans to go walking every day until the big arrival with hopes that it will encourage him to come! I've posted 'still waiting for our son's arrival. Pray with us for a weekend delivery,' on my Facebook, and have already had a couple of comments about others' success stories in speeding up the arrival of their little one. It's always so fun to hear what has 'worked' for some. One of our friends said, "Just go eat a big meal at Cracker Barrel - it worked for us!" I mean, what's the harm in trying??? And, who wouldn't want to eat at Cracker Barrel, whether it helped or not.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008


Every Thursday night these folks come to our home and we spend about 2 1/2 - 3 hours together. Who are these great people??? Our SMALL GROUP! And, like I've said before, we are so blessed to be in community with them. God is growing all of us and has been doing so since we began meeting a little over a year ago.

Caleb & Michelle Dulock, Nikki & Craig Comolli, us, Brendon Hollingsworth, Josh & Elizabeth Audi

When I think back on my walk with Jesus, I know that it's been in the past 2 years that I've grown the most. The influence?

One of the biggest influences has been Daniel. God has used him in so many ways to grow me into a better woman of Him. I was told several months ago that when I married Daniel, he became a 'spiritual covering' and protection over me in the heavenlies. And, I very much believe that. God blessed me with this incredible man of Him and I am regularly reminded that Daniel is my gift of grace from Jesus, defining 'grace' as "getting what we don't deserve." I know that I didn't deserve the man that Daniel is, but I am so thankful that God saw it fit to give him to me - to point me to Jesus, to grow me in godliness.

Another big influence has been this small group - intentionally challenging one another to search our hearts and be set free in areas where we've allowed the enemy to hold us in bondage. God has been so merciful to all of as He has highlighted different areas in our lives where He wants to bring healing, to make us completely His. Of course, we're all a work in progress. None of us has arrived. He is our Potter. We are the clay. It's so great to be on this journey with these friends, though, and to be molded together in His image.

Celebrating the goodness of the friends we've been given today....

homecoming week at Dunbar

Daniel is teaching Spanish at Dunbar High School this year and this week is Homecoming week. They have themes for each day and today's theme is "the 70s & the 80s", here's my husband, right before leaving for school today. And yes, he actually had these 2 items in his closet. Nice, huh???!! He "said" he bought the pants a while back for occasions such as this.

His students love him! ...who wouldn't?

38 weeks

The little one is ripe and ready - if he comes any time now, he's considered to be 'full term'. So, we're just playing the waiting game now. We're ready to welcome him into the world whenever he's ready to make his grand entrance!

Monday, October 20, 2008


Daniel and I went to the matinee yesterday to see FIREPROOF. Wow. Granted, I'm female, pregnant, and emotional on a regular basis, but this movie was so touching. If you have yet to see it, I highly recommend it. The storyline is of a couple who don't know Jesus and whose marriage is absolutely falling apart. I walked away from the movie thinking, "I know this must be a reality for some marriages - yelling and arguing and thoughts of divorce. I am so incredibly thankful that my Daniel has never once raised his voice at me. And that the dynamics of the marriage in the movie is very foreign to us. But, I'm sobered by the fact that it is a reality for some, maybe even for some of my friends. God, have mercy!"

The movie is really a beautiful story. There is so much in its content. And the message of Jesus - His redemption and His plan for marriage - is clear. The movie is blatently evangelistic without seeming awkward. Fighting over every little thing, Caleb (Kirk Cameron) and his wife, Catherine (Erin Bethea), are on the verge of signing divorce papers when Caleb's father and coworkers urge him to approach his marriage in the same way he fights vicious flames. When Caleb's father gives him the "Love Dare," a 40-day guide to religiously motivated marriage help, Caleb begins a difficult journey to reclaim his wife, and in the process, his faith in God. The film examines both the ups and inevitable downs of married life, offering faith as a prescription for saving what may at first glance appears to have already failed. If you haven't seen the movie yet, I highly recommend it. You will be touched.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Baba Ganoush can come now...

This week the nursery was finished! We were waiting for "Baba Ganoush's" baby bedding and Monday I got a phone call from the lady at my church who has been working on it asking if she could deliver his bedding and pillow that morning. Of course I said, "YES!" Thanks to my parents we have a super comfy glider and a beautiful crib for his bedroom. With the other gifts we received from family and friends at showers and 'just because' we now feel ready for the little one's arrival. And, I am so pleased with the way everything turned out. Now, all we need is a healthy baby to put in his beautiful crib.

Pray with us as we have been asking the Lord for the baby's arrival to be in His timing and in His way. I'd love an easy, quick labor and delivery...who wouldn't? I know I have a great husband who will coach me and encourage me through it all, no matter how long or short labor may be. And I have great friends and family who will be there with me as well...well, up until a certain point! ;-) And, most importantly, I have a loving Father who already knows how the day (or night) will finish. And Who has it all planned out for us! Thank You, Jesus!

Jesus, would you bring a healthy son into this world. We commit to raise him as best as we can to love and fear You and follow hard after You!

Okay, Little Man, we're waiting for you...

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

October 13, 2005

Three years ago, Daniel and I were both working for Catholic Charities and I was teaching an ESL class in Arlington. Daniel had invited me to meet him at Central Market after my ESL class that evening. "Is this a date," I wondered. I wasn't sure. But, after teaching in a Somali apartment for 2 hours, I decided I'd at least stop by the house and change shirts - nothing fancy, just didn't want to smell like the strong scent of the Somali apartment. I arrived at Central Market to find Daniel sitting at a table outside of Central Market, having jsut finished a little dinner. He asked if I wanted to walk over to Starbucks for some coffee. I agreed. We sat outside in the nice evening fresh air. He excused himself to the bathroom, and the sweet girl working that night came out and handed me this letter (of course, without the check mark...I added that as my reply):

That night, Daniel and I became an 'official' couple. And here we are, three years later, married and having our first child in just a few weeks....very exciting! And very much a reason to reminisce...

So... we went back to that Central Market on Hulen Street in Fort Worth last night....

We had dinner together...

We drove over to that same Starbucks (driving this time instead of walking. I mean, I am 37 weeks preggo!)

And enjoyed a white chocolate mocha and mocha with a shot of peppermint together!



I've mentioned before the blessing that our small group is to us. Or, if I haven't, I've meant to. :-) For Daniel and me, small group = our family here in Fort Worth. These are folks who love us in spite of us. Folks with whom we can share the ugliest parts of ourselves and know that the repsponse will be love, love, love. And much prayer. Folks with whom we can share our accomplishments and know that they will celebrate with us. Folks who challenge us. Folks who point us to Jesus!

my very best friends in Fort Worth

The ladies of our small group hostessed a baby shower for me and our little Baba Ganoush this past weekend. I don't know all that they did behind the scenes, but the shower was lovely and, if you girls are reading this, THANK YOU!!! They asked the moms at the shower to give me mommy advice. They spoke words of blessing over our son, they prayed over us, they spoke scriptures over us. They gave us a 'treasure chest' in which to put words the Lord gives us for our son, fun memories with him, and whatever else. They also blessed us with our baby crib mattress. Their generosity humbles me. I have great friends, wouldn't you say? It was such a sweet time, not only for me, but for my Mama who drove in with my Daddy from Ruston to stay less than 24 hours with us just to be at the shower.

super cute decor, wouldn't you agree?

the 'diaper cake' center piece

I opened many fun gifts - from practical things like the mattress and pacifiers and wipes and a diaper bag to fun things like outfits and books and more. Here I am showing off a monkey card from my Mama and my sister - so cute!

"Love the monkey card, Mama and Jenny!"

mommies and daughters

Monday, October 13, 2008

Olive Garden and Andes Mints

Last week Daniel and I had dinner at Olive Garden. I'm sure many of you agree that the salad and breadsticks at Olive Garden are the best part of any meal there. And, the fact that you get Andes mints with your bill is an extra bonus for dining at Olive Garden.

It has been my experience that when there are 2 guests, the server brings 2 or 4 Andes mints with the bill. This particular night, our server returned to our table with 8 Andes mints inside of that black leather bill holder. When he came to take our credit card, I said to him, "Thanks so much for the extra Andes candies - I love them!" Little did I know that he would return to our table with our credit card in one hand and this to-go coffee cup FILLED with Andes mints!!

Cheers to Angel, our new favorite server in all of the DFW metroplex. My face lit up even more as I said thank you to him and he replied, "You've got to make the pregnant lady happy." ....You know, there are a lot of kindesses that have come to me as a result of being pregnant. Will I still have the same treatment when the little one no longer makes me look like I've stuffed a basketball in my shirt and he's screaming as we are dining???? ....I doubt it!!! :-) But, I'll enjoy it for now and smile and say, "Thank you!"

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Jesus Storybook Bible

My walking buddy and friend, Rebecca, told me about this book, The Jesus Storybook Bible: Every Story Whispers His Name. And, I thought it was blog-worthy - for any of our blog readers. The author's intended audience is children, but it is a fascinating book, one that has even been a suggested read to pastors because of the way the book is written. It causes the reader to look at all the characters and events in Scripture in light of their place in redemptive history. It's a book telling the stories of the bible, but strewn in to each story is the underlying theme that points each story to Jesus. You can read a sample from this book of the story of The Fall by clicking on this link.
Sally Lloyd-Jones received The Moonbeam Award Gold Medal Winner in the religion category for this book. Zondervan's description of the book quotes, "At the center for the Story is a baby, the child upon whome everything will depend. Every story whispers His name. From Noah to Moses to the great King Dave - every story points to Him. He is like the missing piece in a puzzle - the piece that makes all the other pieces fit together. From the Old Testament through the New Testament, as the Story unfolds, children will pick up on the clues and and piece together the puzzle. A Bible like no other, The Jesus Storybook Bible invites children to join in the greatest of all adventures, to discover for themselves that Jesus is at the center of God's great story of salvation - at the cent of their Story too."
The book can be ordered on as well as several other websites and in Christian Stores. I hope you'll decide to add it to your book collection.

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Sundays and coke ICEEs

Do you remember the post about our niece Meredith and her love for ICEEs?

Well, Baby Audi may come out with a love for ICEEs as well, namely coke ICEEs.


Well, I love coke ICEEs, and Daniel and I discovered a while back that the RACE TRAC next to our church sells coke ICEEs!! And this summer, there was a special on 32 oz. ICEEs - 32 oz. for 69 cents!! Can't beat that!!! And all summer we didn't pass up a single Sunday without splitting a 32 oz. ICEE. Going to Race Trac after church became a weekly routine for us. So much so, that the lady who works there on Sunday mornings has become quite friendly with us - asking about our baby, telling us about her family, and today she said, "It's on the house!!"

Since the fall has arrived, the great deal on the 32 oz. ICEEs disappeared. A 22 oz. ICEE is now 99 cents. And the 32 oz. ICEE is $1.09. So, we share a 22 oz. ICEE every Sunday after church now. "Share" in the sense of the word that I hold the ICEE and drink from it most of the way back home from church and offer it to Daniel every once-in-a-while. Maybe I should go back to my nursery school days and re-learn how to "share." :-)

We're back home and well, the ICEE is all gone - just a cup with some trash from the car inside of it!

table top.

I'm sure you moms have experienced the 'table top belly'. And, I'm not sure exactly when it happened that my belly began making a good table top, but I find myself regularly setting things on it - my glass of water, my salad bowl, my cereal bowl, etc. I'm thinking I might miss it's convenience once it's no longer around. We're at 36 weeks in the pregnancy, so we have 4 weeks to go until the little one's due date. I guess that means I only have about 4 weeks left to enjoy my built-in table! Hopefully, it will be gone soon after he arrives!

brannon's arrival...continued

More pictures from Brannon's birth:

This is Meredith's "oooooohhhh!" face! She was so happy to meet her brother!

Proud grandparents!

Meredith kisses her new baby!

The double-chin is only a result of the angle of the camera...I mean, he weighed 5 pounds 12 ounces for cryin' out loud!

Daddy, his girls, and his first grandson!


I have tutored and taught ESL to every member of this family throughout the past year since they moved to America. There are 12 people living in the home together - mom, dad, grandmother, and 9 children! They are a super sweet family and have been such a blessing to me. A few weeks ago, one of the girls approached me while I was at her school tutoring and said, "Miss, Musa baptize. You come?" "Come," I thought, "Of course I'd come!" And I was honored to be invited!

I attended their Tumaini International Church service and was blessed to see that so many of the African refugee families we serve are a part of this church. The service was similar to an American Baptist Church service - which in some ways, was disappointing. I could imagine missionaries going into Africa and recreating a Western church among these people. None the less, they love Jesus!

And, Musa, decided to follow Jesus a few weeks ago and get baptized! What a sweet memory to have with this family!! Thank You, Jesus.