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Thursday, December 22, 2011

Merry Christmas from Springfield, Mo.~ an event

Last night we officially made a favorite activity into a tradition. We got some friends and a couple of family members together and went caroling on the 7th floor at St. John's hospital. This is their pediatric floor. Last year is when this tradition started. My wonderful husband was the one to initiate and coordinate the whole thing. We went to a couple of nursing homes and to St. John's as well. Jason put together some songs and put them in books and we all gathered, decked in our santa hats and christmassy paraphanaila. Good times! I got a little emotional at one point (suprise suprise) when multiple families were gathered in the hallway to listen. A wonderful night that Jason and I will be sure to make a yearly event.

our niece Hannah and Nephew Devon came along- we treated them to hot chocolate ala Micky D's. They have a yummy peppermint hot chocolate

our soundtrack for the evening aka an early Christmas present from Jason- (he scored BIG points on that one)

Friday, December 16, 2011

Merry Christmas! from Springfield, MO.

May I present: Jason and Christa's Charlie Brown Tree- Christmas 2011.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

from my blackberry's point of view...

today i want to take a moment to share some some highlights from the recent months. All through the lens of my blackberry..

one of my very best friends, Mrs. Kerri Sagraves, journeyed from Knoxville, Tn. with her sweet family in November. This is her daughter, Lizzie, enjoying some "Mickey Mouse Club" in the comfort of our living room. This was their first visit. =)

i know.. this is a little random.. i mainly posted this pic. because i think my husband looks HOTT in it... That's all.

this crab fest was in honor of Jason recieving his official license to be a minister for the Assemblies of God~ SO PROUD! Jason caught the attention of many as he downed 2.5 lbs. of crab legs. It was truely a sight to behold! he was a happy boy!

every year at the Indiana Visitors Center they do a display of windows featuring scenes from the movie "The Christmas Story" this was Jason's first visit and one of my favorite scenes- when Flick gets his tongue frozen to the flag pole- "I double dog dare ya!"

uncle Mark came over one morning while we were visiting for Thanksgiving and made us breakast- but not just breakfast, his famous "hash cookes"- my FAVORITE!

my cousin Robin got married over the Thanksgiving weekend. I have always had a good relationship with her and her sister, Elizabeth. It was a beautiful wedding!

Friday, December 9, 2011

Merry Christmas! from Springfield, MO.

I've decided to start a mini series. This will be my first Christmas in Springfield. So each Friday (hopefully) leading up to Christmas, I will post a picture capturing this momentous occasion. Here's my first installment...

this house has the coolest light display- Mike Bagwell is just a local
citizen who wants to spread Christmas cheer to the community. As you drive
by, you can tune your radio to a certain station and the lights are set
to the music- super cool and super fun!- ps- Jason took this photo- he done good! =)

Thursday, December 8, 2011

black friday- the experience

I love this time of year! I can’t get enough of the sights, the sounds, the smells.. I love coming up with gifts for family and friends.. and picking out that very special gift for that very special person. This year I went the extra mile for my husband.. I stood in line on Black Friday for a special midnight door buster. That’s right.. I stood in the cold for an hour and a half so I could buy Jason a Play Station 3 for half price. It was quite the experience.. let me tell ya. Apparently PS3’s were in high demand this year because just about every store had it for this same price. We tried Wal-Mart first (they opened the earliest at 9:00 pm) except the store was completely disorganized and little did I know, that you had to have a ticket to get one and by the time we got there.. all the tickets were gone. You know when one of the members of management complains that they are disorganized, then you’re in for it!! On our way out, one of the managers pleaded with everyone to stay calm and respect other customers. WOW! There’s your sign, it’s time to GO! There were reports of fighting over mixers and people diving into bins of towels so my choice to bring my teeny mother seemed to be the poor choice. When we reached the registers, a woman standing in line recognized us but we didn’t recognize her. (we were in Chicago) We figured she goes to grandpa’s church. Anyway.. we told her that we had struck out and she saved the day by telling us of three other places that had the same deal. Two (Target and Game Stop) were in the same shopping center, so we decided to head over there. Did I mention we got lost on our way over?! Haha!! We ended up driving in circles until we got directions from a nice EMS worker and mom’s GPS FINALLY started working properly.

This is actually the line at Target, it was stretching down the sidewalk in front of the line I was lucky to be waiting in instead.

When we finally got to the shopping center, Target had a line out the door about a block long and Game Stop had 4 people waiting..I picked the obvious choice. Before I made my decision to wait in the cold, I asked the people already waiting what they were out to buy. I was not about to wait in line for an hour and a half in the cold only to walk away empty handed. Only one of them were there for the PS3 so I knew I was safe. Mom decided it was too cold, so I waited in line while mom sat in the car. She even called for backup. I was not prepared to wait in the cold (I thought Wal-Mart would be a breeze- HA!!) Dad arrived about 30 minutes into the wait with blankets and a hat. – Bless him!! He hung out for a little while and chatted with me and mom. It is much better waiting when you have a buddy. Finally, about 15 minutes before midnight, a game stop employee came out and took our names and what we were waiting on. He then proceeded to give us numbered tickets and informed us that our merchandise would be behind the counter- VICTORY! So the moral of the story is: Wear warm clothes on Black Friday and have a Plan B… maybe even a C, D, and F. If it weren’t for the lady in Wal-Mart that we didn’t know.. I would probably have nothing.

I can’t wait to see the look on Jason’s face! =)

Monday, December 5, 2011

a glimpse..

Over the weekend, Jason and I were in the Children's Christmas Musical at church. I played the part of Grandma Betty and Jason was Henry Olson- the church janitor/pastor. It was super fun to dress up in our cheesy outfits and spray our hair gray. Jason, as usual, hammed it up and talked the talk and walked the walk all weekend. The musical was about some kids that go back in time and visit different decades for their Church's annual Christmas Caroling outreach. Of course there were different songs for each decade all with the Christmas message in them. We had a blast! We definately got somewhat of a glimpse of what we could look like as oldies. Mom and dad came from Memphis to see us along with Jason's parents and grandparents.

This is me and Grace- she played a younger version Grandma Betty. I called her "mini-me" and she called me "giant- me"it was fun!

We also were offered an exciting opportunity: Starting after the first of January, we will be leading the kids services on Sunday nights. Our current kids pastors have stepped down and Jason and I will share their responsibilities with another couple. Jason and I are solely responsible for the PM services. It's an exciting opportunity to serve and minister to these kids that we've really grown to love after working with them on the musical. We are excited to see what other doors God will open..

Oh! did I mention we stayed in full costume for our lunch with the family at Houlihan's afterward?- Fun times!

Friday, December 2, 2011

i'm thankful for...

~ The space heater at my desk: I work in a very open space with no carpet and lots of windows. It tends to get very chilly (especially on cloudy days, like today!)

~ My sweet husband who helped me craft last night. I took on a somewhat challenging project for a Christmas gift (that is being gifted this weekend by the way) and Jason helped me think everything through and used his carpentry skills and perfectionist ways to make the project successful. Which leads me to the third thing I’m thankful for:

~ My husband’s patience with me. ;) (especially when I’m being moody/grumpy- which were both going on last night during our crafting

~ My black hoodie- because it’s comphy, cute, and warm.

~ This sweet little gem of technology that we got recently- affectionately named "Jeffry" the GPS, and yes, I know I may be a little behind on the times, but I'm not the sort to want to spend lots of money on something like this.. so I held out until we got one as a gift- Thanks Aunt Cherie!!

~ And last but not least: ITS FRIDAY!! Have a blessed weekend ya’ll!

Thursday, December 1, 2011


Posin'with Punkins! It really was a nice relaxing day! Jason and I drove to Memphis to celebrate mom's birthday weekend. After our poking around the farmer's market and gift shop, Jason and dad headed to the corn maze and us girls went for a manicure- a rare treat- (did I mention I demolished a bag of cajun flavored boiled peanuts?!- nope! There are good reasons there is no photo evidance of this!)

Jason and a special little punkin'- that night, we had dear friends over to mom and dad's house for chili and catching up. My friend Amy brought over her new baby, Luke. I had never seen Jason hold a baby and just had to.. here's the result- Luke fell asleep in Jason's arms and got praises from mom, Amy. Such a sweet moment!

thursday thoughts

Ok..I really want to be good at blogging. I have definitely gotten sucked into the blogging world and am totally fascinated how these women can make common everyday things like cooking, decorating, and just simple moments looks so stinkin pretty and inviting. I definitely have a creative side and love sharing my life and moments with others. Maybe I just need to figure out what to focus on and put a little bit more thought into it. Being a good blogger doesn’t necessarily have to be complicated.. just needs some imagination and creativity and a good camera.. I need to be more in tune with the simple things in life and the every day moments that are special. I definitely want to chronicle my life and remember every moment. Blogging is definitely a great way to do that. Here’s one for you.. this pic. Was taken over our Thanksgiving holiday. We were inspired to take this crazy shot when we found several pairs of glasses in Nana’s drawer. Good times!

Happy Thanksgiving!- Love, Mr. and Mrs. Waln

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

one year wonderfulness

Earlier this Month, Oct. 2 to be exact, Jason and I celebrated our 1 year wedding anniversary. Considering we honeymooned 45 minutes away from home, we were able to visit some of the same places we enjoyed on our honeymoon in Branson, MO. I absolutely love my husband with all of my heart at soul. He is truly God’s gift to be-my long-awaited prince. God is faithful! I can’t wait to see what more God for us in our journey..

A bike ride through Dogwood Canyon- one of our favorite activities from our Honeymoon.

we stopped for a picnic lunch next to a beautiful stream. We ate cheese and crackers and summer sausage- yum!

after our bike ride we went to "Branson Landing" an outdoor mall on the Taneycomo river. We shopped around, ate frozen yogurt then changed clothes and enjoyed a steak dinner out on the patio overlooking the lake and this super cool fire and light show.

it got a little chilly! =)

but me and my handsome man had a wonderful day together celebrating

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

our recent shenanigans.. (mobile version)

One of the many activities of our 1 year wedding anniversary celebration- The Lion King- 3D!

Jason wears a skirt- I mean.. a Kilt. He stood as best man in a friend's scottish themed wedding- he totally pulls it off, don't ya think? The man would be handsome in a potato sack!

The groom's daughter, Raya, helped Jason study for his Greek test the next day. She did really well and it was super cute.

Mini golf with some cuties- Alex and Elizabeth (also known as Bitsy)- their parents are new friends of ours and we had a blast spending a Saturday night with this sweet family

My big kid couldn't resist climbing aboard. He's a cutie too!

Alex and Bitsy wanted to ride with us to get Ice Cream. We read a story on the way over. Being around such great kids definately made us excited for our own someday...

Thursday, September 15, 2011

new perspective.

I found this post on one of my favorite sites. It's definately a prayer I need to pray often. Live in love!

Dear Lord, I want to process everything I face in life through the filter of Your love. I know You love me. But sometimes it’s just hard to understand the circumstances that come my way. I find myself consumed with trying to figure things out rather than looking for Your perspective and trusting You. Thank You for this new way to look at things. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Faith Over Feelings

I get daily devos. from Proverbs 31 ministries and this one totally challenged and inspired me in this season of transition....

“…for you are God my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long.” Psalm 25:5b (NIV)
I spent months working on it, with big expectations and high hopes. In the blink of an eye it was crushed. This reality tore into my heart like a jagged knife, ripping my dream into tiny little shreds. Disappointment was so great it was difficult to process my feelings. I had worked tirelessly on this project and now I felt disappointment and rejection.
Disappointment soon turned to irritation which morphed into resentment. I didn’t FEEL it was fair.
Why didn’t God answer my prayers? Why had He placed a dream in my heart only to allow it to crumble? Why had He let this happen? Why me?
I knew I needed to have a good attitude and not give up, but I did not FEEL like doing that at all!
Questions pummeled my brain. What is the use? Why try again? If God didn’t answer my prayer after all this time, why bother keep trying?
I allowed my FEELings to overtake my FAITH.
All I could think about was how this disappointment made me feel, instead of what God may be doing that my faith could not see. I felt things weren’t fair, without remembering God’s ways are best. I felt a longing for immediate results, instead of trusting God’s timing is perfect.
My feelings had gotten in the way of my faith, so I turned to Psalm 25 (NIV) for perspective. The following verses washed over my spirit.
Verse 1, “In you, LORD my God, I put my trust.”
I felt discouraged, unworthy, hopeless, rejected. So I poured my feelings and my soul out to God. And He listened.
Verse 2, “I trust in you; do not let me be put to shame, nor let my enemies triumph over me.”
God reminded me to trust Him, not a desire or a dream. Not the world’s view. Not my abilities. Not my timeframe. Not my ideas. Trust Him alone. I prayed about my enemies—intangible feelings such as self doubt, insecurity, frustration, and discouragement.
Verse 3, “No one who hopes in you will ever be put to shame, but shame will come on those who are treacherous without cause.”
Regardless of whether or not my desires become a reality, I will not be put to shame, because God is my God. If His plans coincide with my dreams, I know He will keep His eternal promises.
Verses 4-5a, “Show me your ways, LORD, teach me your paths. Guide me in your truth and teach me,”
These words stopped me in my tracks. I began to think more rationally. Why did I beat my head against a wall? Why was I consumed with anxiety and frustration? Was I allowing God to direct my paths? God gently reminded me He is the teacher, I am the student.
Verse 5b, “…for you are God my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long.”
If I put my hope in my own desires and abilities, I set myself up for failure. My only hope for joy and fulfillment comes from Christ alone. Hope is found in Him, not people, a career, your husband or children, church, financial success, a carefree life, or dreams that come true.
Disappointments will happen. With God, however, we can turn those disappointments into God’s appointments to trust Him. The first step is to exercise faith over feelings.

Dear Lord, You know the hurt in my heart and the sting of disappointments I have experienced. Please help me trust You, instead of being consumed by feelings. Empower me with a faith that is stronger than my emotions. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

a real moment

God, I pray that you would use this time in my life to strengthen me and to teach me contentment NO MATTER WHAT the circumstances. No matter who, what, when, where and how.. that from this day forward, you would free me from all insecurity, from self-doubt, and from lazy mindedness. I pray that you would open me up to new opportunities and to new friends. I pray that I would not try to blame others for how I feel. That I would start with me. That I wouldn’t allow people to dictate how I feel. That I would always remember that I am your child, your beautiful daughter, created for a purpose. I pray that I would live out that purpose daily with no fear. I pray that I would be open to grow and to learn and to experience things that I never have before. I pray Lord that you would renew my identity and that I would know just who and whose I am. I pray that I would be able to rise above my emotions and the attacks of the enemy. I pray that my perspective would be the right one. That I would see situations and see people as you do. I pray that you would help me to get up and get out and move forward. That I would not be content to sit and be lazy, that I would live on purpose. I would live to the fullest. That my mind and body would always be active. Lord, confirm your purpose for me. That I would see it clearly and LIVE IN it. I am sorry for my lack of faith at times. I am sorry for beating on your prescious creation. Lord, please forgive me. Help me to not be so self focused. I am yours Lord. Use me . Put people on my heart that I can minister to and show me how. Show me how I can minister and support Jason during this busy season of life. Lord, use me. Use me to reach others. Use me to be an enourager and support. Use me.. help me to be reliable and able to be depended upon. I can’t do it without you Lord. Help me to be open to new friendships. Help me to be approachable and real. I can’t do it without you. Use me. I am nothing without you Lord. I need your help. Empower me to be the woman you have called me to be.. to live out my purpose each day. I trust in your Lord. I never want to look back. Use me and help me to LIVE. I’M YOURS LORD. In you I find my confidence, in you I find my hope, in you I find my strength.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

sweet memories: moments from our wedding day

Ok. I know I just recently posted pics from our wedding, but I just can't help myself. (I am a newley wed after all! ) I pray that memories of our wedding day will be just as special 30 years from now. I have a feeling I will. ;)

His first time to see me...

There were SO MANY good ones that I may have to do a part two to this one..