give thanks . with a grateful heart

Hey all. :)

I just wanted to inform those of you who care that I will be traveling tomorrow to Alabama to my sister. We won't be back until Sunday evening. Feel free to email me or call my cell, though I'm not sure how much time I'll be spending on the computer and phone. I will hopefully be filling up my time with Mash. :-D

In the mean time, I wanted to wish everyone a wonderful Thanksgiving, once again. And for those of you who don't celebrate Thanksgiving (Mellies :-p), you have a wonderful week, and discover all that you have to be thankful for.

Really quick, in honor of the holiday, I wanted to compile a short list of the people who have significantly touched my life that I am eternally thankful for and grateful to (in no specific order) ::

  • My parents :: for their neverending love, and for their discipline, even though I hate it at the moment - I know I will appreciate it in the long run.
  • My older brother, Spencer :: for being an example, and someone to talk to - and for driving me places.
  • And my little brothers, Harrison and Leighton :: for putting up with me as their big sister, and for being the greatest little brothers anyone could ever ask for.
  • My grandparents, Mamaw and Dedad :: for always doing things with a willing heart, and for reminding me to live life to it's absolute fullest.
  • Katie :: for always being there, and always giving me something to laugh about
  • And her evil big sister Austin (Happy 17th birthday, tomorrow!) :: for becoming my friend, despite our previous issues :-p and for going ahead of me and testing the waters - then giving me the results. ;)
  • Lindsay :: for always providing a wonderful laugh and smile, and for being there to talk to when I need it most
  • Tim :: for being a great friend, first and foremost, and for giving me awesome hugs when they're greatly needed
  • Jesus Christ! :: for loving me enough to suffer more pain than any man could have endured, simply so I could have a home in heaven ... for Your unconditional love and ever faithful friendship.
  • Renee Graves :: for your spiritual guidance, and continual example of the Proverbs 31 woman.
  • Catherine and Jennifer :: for your loving acceptance of me and my family
  • Bethany :: for leading me through the murky waters
  • Melanie :: for being a part in my dream-come-true, and for always having a great word (or several words) of advice
  • Eva :: for being a leader, and for reminding me to do things while I have the chance, whilst I regret not having done them
  • Jo :: for being completely random and making me laugh, no matter what the circumstance
  • Amanda :: for showing me by example what it means to be a happy person, and for taking the time to talk with a silly 15 year old about all of her problems. ^_^
  • Amber :: for caring about me, and always having a smile on your face; for showing by the example of your life how the love of our Lord, the love of family and friends, and the love toward others, can overcome all obstacles
  • Megan :: for teaching me about leadership, headship and sacrifice - and for being brutally honest
  • Kristin :: for having problems that seem to coincide with mine so that we can discuss them together :-p and for not letting our friendship dissapear with time.
  • Rachel :: for reminding me of who I am in Jesus Christ, and for being a great person to talk to
  • Amelia :: for always making me smile, for listening to me ramble, and for endulging my Alias obsession and taking a part in it, eventually. :-p
  • Emily :: for making me laugh, even during the worst situation, and for teaching me about Nascar, John Deere, and shot guns.
  • Max (believe it or not :-p) :: for putting me in my place and always being there to listen
  • Phil :: for giving me the opporunity to share my experience of God's love
  • Mrs. Ward :: for all of my sixth grade memories, and those beyond
  • Mrs. Sylvia :: for helping me become the person I want to be, and for making me smile even when it was the last thing I wanted to do -- for having confidence in my ebulliency
  • Grant :: for welcoming me into your family, and making me feel loved
  • Mollie :: for always finding the right words to say, and for being an example to look up to and admire
  • And last but not least...my big sister, Mary Ashley :: for touching my life in millions of ways, for teaching me so much about life, love, and lipstick, and for being the sister I never had.

I love you all more than I can say, and this list is of course incomplete! I could never possibly name every person who has impacted my life - but each and every one of you deserve thanks. All of my friends at school, dance, church, and just random places - my life would not be the same without you. Thanks to all of you for playing a part in my life. :)

God bless,


thinking about our younger years

Sixth grade...Do you remember your sixth grade year? I remember it like it was yesterday. I can still name everyone in my class, although there were only 14 of us. I have so many wonderful memories of that year, and some not so good ones as well; but, the good always outweighs the bad. Because my little brothers go to the school that I went to in sixth grade, I have been able to keep in touch with my teacher. We always love to see each other - each time it's like a reunion all over again.

Today, we didn't have school ... we have the whole week of Thanksgiving off. So, I figured it would be a good time to go in and visit with Mrs. Ward for a whole school day (something I had been wanting to do for some time). Wow. That was exciting. Her face lit up the whole room when I walked in, and despite my surprise and un-announced arrival, she completely went with it and we had a great time.

There were some bittersweet moments. We recalled some special times the first graduating class of Grace Episcopal had shared. And, what was really fun was seeing how many things hadn't changed. BUGS (Behavior that is Ultimately Great and Successful) was still in effect, Chance (If you're in your seat when the bell rings, your name goes in the apple and if you name is drawn, you've won a trip to the Treasure Chest), The Treasure Chest (filled with awesome goodies), "Give Me 5" (In other words, shut up and listen), No Whining (Philippians 2:14), etc, etc, etc... I enjoyed taking part in all of these fond memories once again - and it placed me right back in sixth grade. I even found my desk! -- I had written "This was Leslie's 6th grade desk" on the inside of it. :shrug: Apparently, my little brother always tries to get that one. hehe.

It was interesting though, the contrast of looking back on my sixth grade year, and at the same time, looking forward to my possible career. I have always talked about elementary education as a job; as a child I joked about it, but as a teen, I can truly see myself as a teacher. It was so exciting interacting one-on-one with the students and the teacher. Mrs. Ward actually let me teach the 5th graders their math lesson (She teaches 5th grade math and science). Needless to say, I had a great time with that. A small part of me (A very, very, very small part) even entertained the idea (for a fraction of a second) about homeschooling again, and just coming in every day and teaching with Mrs. Ward! :-p Nah, I love school ... but I really enjoyed spending my day in a classroom filled with rowdy abnoxious 5th and 6th graders. I can honestly see myself doing that every day. ^_^

Well, we're leaving on Wednesday to go and see my "sister", Mashley ... and I'm ecstatic. I honestly cannot wait. Just thinking about seeing her makes me emotional. I saw her for a day or so in January, but it feels like it's been eons. We're staying in Alabama until Sunday, because she's going to speak at her church - and she really wants us there for that. Anyway, if I don't talk you all ...

HAVE A BLESSED THANKSGIVING, and remember the almighty ONE we are to be thankful to, and the Ultimate Reason we have to be thankful. :)

Love you all. God bless,

P.S. Oh! I must brag ... my fabulous boyfriend competed in a dance competition this weekend, and placed First Runner Up. :grins: Just wanted to publicly embarass and congratulate you, Tim. :-p



Today, Amelia and I went and saw The Polar Express. :tear: For me, it was more than just a child's animated movie. I know this sounds silly, but it truly was a childhood memory come to life. It was a lovely film, and I thorougly enjoyed it. I told melia that I was going to make my children watch it every Christmas. :-p It captures the spirit of Christmas just as the book does and will make anyone smile, young and old.

It's funny, because I remember years ago Lindsay and I had a conversation about Santa Clause. We both came to the conclusion that it wasn't Santa himself that was real, but the joy that he brought to children. Jesus is certainly the spirit, and real meaning of Christmas, but Santa, to me, just further displays the giving heart that is so present at Christmas time. This movie not only teaches children (of all ages) that believing lies in the heart, but leading, giving, and learning does as well.

The graphics were wonderfully done, and truly made it feel real. Tom Hanks was awesome, and they did a great job of matching the movie to the book. Obviously, since the book is only 10 pages long, they had to add in some extra stuff, but they nearly matched the pictures in the book perfectly down to every last detail. Just look at the book before and after you see the movie, and you'll see what I mean. :)

After that fabulous, fun and exciting adventure we had with the boy-with-no-name, Josh Groban adds a beautiful finishing touch to the movie,
singing "Believe" for the closing credits.

Polar Express reminded me of the innocence of children, and the simplicity of their faith. Those who doubt must be pushed a bit harder, and may even find themselves dangling on an edge, but believing will save them. As a child, reading Polar Express, it was simply a Christmas story about a boy who met Santa. As a teenager, I can now see that it's so much more than that.

God bless,

P.S. I tried to put up pictures from the website, but they were bitmap and Hello only lets me do JPEG. Anyway, you can visit
the site and see great pictures and other fun stuff. :)