Friday, December 17, 2010

Under the Overpass

I recently finished the book Under the Overpass by Mike Yankoski.   I had heard Mike on Focus on the Family and was interested in reading his story about his experience choosing to living among the homeless, and see what it was like.  It was very interesting seeing how the homeless population varied according to area of the country.  Some people choose to be there, while others it was chosen for them.  There are some people struggling to get off the streets while others do not care.  There are broken dreams and what if and if only.  Maybe a kind word or smile and a tortilla with peanut butter can make the day of anyone out there on the street.

Mike talks about his different encounters with people, and what it was really like - the good, the bad, and the ugly.  Everyone out there has a story.  Now when I think about them, it makes me wonder their story, how did they get there, and maybe could I help? Would you?

"And when you knee, hungry and broken at His table, you receive a grace from Him you might, at some other time, have completely missed.

You'll know this grace when you take.  It goes deeper, quicker, and it burns all the way down." 
       - (except from the book)

Christmas Card 2010

This is our Christmas Card for 2010 that I designed.  Sorry I was not able to get them printed or sent out this year. Just think of the trees I am saving.  
Our family would like to wish all of you Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!!

Tuesday, December 07, 2010


Since we are adopting from China, I have been finding all sorts of cool pages related to adopting and to China related things.  I found this blog that I so feel I relate to - Ni Hao Y'all.  She is have a series of giveaways this month.  Go check them out.

Ni Hao Y'all

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Are You Brave Enough to Ask?

I just finished the new book by Angela Thomas called Do You Know Who I Am? I have read other books of hers in the past, and I was eager to read this one. She poses a question at the beginning of each chapter and gives you the Biblical answer to what God has for you, and how He has the answer for all your needs.

Some of the questions are:
  • Do You Know I am Afraid to Dream Big?
  • Do You Know I am Invisible?
  • Do you Know I am Lonely?
  • Do You Know I am Ordinary?
  • And many others.
Many women have probably asked these questions to themselves. We all have things we struggle with. I know, I have had my share. In our lives we play so many roles - mom, wife, educator, etc., but do people see us, the person. Others may not, but God sees us. He is there to be what we need during what ever season of life you may be in. He is our Sufficiency, our Comfort, our Hope, our Savior and King.

This book has been a great source of encouragement, and will be my go to book when I have one of those days. Angela interweaves scripture and stories from her life to make you wonder if she knows you, and has been where you have.

I know I can go to my Father who is there to answer my questions, and I just need to be brave enough to ask and follow.

For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons neither present nor then future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:38-39

Does He Know You?

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Our budding videographer and editor

This year in school both of our girls have a year-long project that they are to work on everyday. Hannah is learning how to take different types of videos and edit them. She is having a lot of fun with them. Here is a little sample of her work.  Check out more of her videos at

Emily's project is COOKING 101, so we are enjoying her projects. Hannah is her official taste tester.

Thursday, September 09, 2010


Forget the Iron Bowl, Egg Bowl, or OSUvsMich. - The BIG GAME is tonight!  It that time of year for the BIG SHOWDOWN in the Dear family - MISSISSIPPI STATE vs AUBURN. No matter the outcome someone will be sad and the other will be happy, but we cannot discuss that.  Do I watch? I missed the first game of the season, so I really want to watch. We are playing at home!  Is there anyone out there that will let me watch the game at their house and pull for the Bulldogs with me.  Will you let me ring my cowbell (app on my phone)?  I'll bring food.

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Reed Family BBQ

This past weekend the girls and I traveled to Murfreesboro, TN, where my Uncle Joel lives.  Uncle Joel is my dad's brother and the oldest sibling left of the bunch.  Everyone decided that this would also be a good time for everyone to get together like a mini-family reunion, since most of the time we see each other is at funerals.  It is funny how they all traveled up, and I was the only on to travel south.  I actually was not the farthest because my Aunt Montez traveled from Osyka, MS which is right on the line between MS and LA at the bottom of the state.  I do think she may have done hers in 2 days though.  It was good seeing all the family and catching up on what everyone it doing now.  Some family I had not seen since Emily was a baby, and some we had never met.  Sad, I know.

This year returned his Reed BBQ which has been on hiatus for the past few years due to his health.  He holds it on Sunday which allowed us to go down and be able to come back and not miss any school. Not only family comes to this event but friends, neighbors, and church members.  We had a live country band and wonderful food.  I think my uncle smoked around 20 Boston butts.  It was so good having a true Southern BBQ feast complete with all the trimmings.  I found out that he actually orders his sauce from Ohio of all places.  It is called Mississippi BBQ sauce, what are the odds of that.  At the party I did meet one of their neighbors that is originally from Akron, and a church member of my cousin who has actually been to Newark (he works for State Farm).  The girls had a great time visiting with family and meeting new people.  We hope to be able to go again next year, and who knows we may have a new member of family with us. They also hope Noel is able to come next year as well.

Since all the brothers and sisters where there we took and updated picture of them.  The one on the left is this weekend and the other was taken in 1964.  All are there except my father.  They did have one other brother, but he passed away as an infant.

Present day L to R starting on the bottom - Montez, Joel(who looks most like what my dad would look like today), Gerald, Juanita, and David
1964 L to R starting on the bottom - Montez, Juanita, David, Joel, Daddy, and Gerald

Monday, August 23, 2010

First Day of School

The day has arrived that we have a 4th grader and 6th grader. My oldest is now in middle school. She moved up to the youth group...AHHHHHH! She did have a good time in her new class at church.
So here we are ready for school.

Heading off to class.

Here's to a new year of school and our new subjects and adventures we will do.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Summer Hair

I am in need of a going to the salon for a hair cut and maybe a few highlights, but I am trying to wait a little longer. On our last trip to Alabama I was able to see the "hair wizard" Keith, which was great. I do love my stylist here, but I do miss having my southern stylist. In case you didn't know, hair is a big deal for southern belles. Thankfully, here in Ohio I do not have to deal with as much humidity as I did before.

Well, since it has been warmer here, and we are having to get up early for swimming lessons, I do not like having to deal with my hair. Usually, I do a pony tail or pull it in a clip. I have pretty thick hair so finding a clip is tricky. I have been on the hunt for something a little different. I have recently found these wonder little spring looking thing from Goody called spin pins. They create what is called an "undone bun". When you get them in just right, they work great. I love them, and I just pray I don't lose one of the pins. So if you want an easy "up do" try them out.

Thursday, July 15, 2010


It is hard to believe summer is almost halfway over. We survived dance week and headed off to Florida for the convention and then vacation. The Southern Baptist Convention was held in Orlando this year. We heard some great preaching, and I always enjoy watching the business part. The girls attended the children's conference and had a great time. I was able to go to the minister's wives' session during the pastor's conference and the minister's wives' lunch during the actual convention. At the lunch I had the opportunity to sit at Michelle Blizzard's mom's table. I did not know it was her until we started talking. I enjoy going to the convention because often run into our friends in the ministry. One thing we found out at convention this year is that it will be in Columbus in 2013. It will be exciting to see it venture this far north for the first time.

After the convention was over we headed to the beach at Cape Canaveral. It is beautiful there and the best was that it was not crowded. This time of year is their off season. We had a wonderful time hanging by the beach and pool. My mom was able to come down for a few days to hang out with us. Near our condo we were able to watch the cruise ships leave in the afternoon, and in the distance we could see the launch pads at Kennedy Space Center. We taught the girls how to play phase10 and watched several movies. We did tour the Kennedy Space Center. It was very cool see the space shuttle launch pad, rockets, the space capsules, and many other things that helped shape our space program. The girls loved the shuttle launch experience, and mom and dad did as well. The only thing that would have made it better was to see a shuttle launch.

This year has been the first time Noel was off on Father's Day. We were able to have a nice breakfast that morning and the worship together at church. It was a nice relaxing day for all. We let Noel pick all the places to eat. We ate at one place that had 7lb lobsters you could order. It was huge!! We didn't order one, but they did bring it out for us to look at.

We are just thankful we were able to get away for a few days.

The rest of our summer will be filled with swimming lessons, robotics, tap class, and other exciting things. Before too long school will start back. Have fun everyone!!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Monday, July 12, 2010

My Dad

I have been feeling a little sentimental today and for the past couple of days. Today would have been my dad's 71st birthday. It has been 16 years since he past away. I have great memories of my dad, and he would do almost anything for me. I have been thinking a lot about him lately, and one reason is that I keep seeing a truck around town that is just like the one he drove - a dark grey Dodge ram pickup. It is not a uncommon truck, but to see it in that color just brought up those memories of him driving it. It was a fun truck to drive - it had standard transmission, it was loud, and it had a dent in the bed from where a tree fell on it.

My dad was a union journeyman wireman for most of my life except for those occasions when jobs where tough to come by, and he would find some non-union jobs locally. Those jobs led him across the south and we would often visit him when he was off working those locations. His jobs have led him to Dallas, TX; New Orleans to work on the World's Fair (why do we not have those in USA anymore?); Illinois; Popular Bluff, AR; multiply locations in MS and AL; Orlando, FL, and his last job was wiring the Saturn plant in TN.

My dad worked hard despite living with diabetes for most of his life. He showed me hard work and that family was important. He believed in going to church and raising your family in church. Church was always a major part of our lives, as well as serving in the church. My dad loved RA's and the youth ministry. When he was not off working, you would find him helping someone or doing something at church or church related. He love the Lord, and read or listened to his Bible faithfully. I am thankful for that.

I miss you daddy!

My dad and I at Rock City-

Dad in high school

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Dance Week

This is a busy week for the girls. Dance recitals are today and Saturday, and the girls are in multiple numbers. In addition to the recitals, there have been many hours of recital practice at the Reece Center. For the past two days we have been there from 4:30 till 8:30ish. We even having dinner there (at least as a family). The worse thing about all this practice there - no cell phone coverage, wifi, or internet inside the building. I was able to fill my time with conversation with other moms and a little reading, but Noel stayed some yesterday for me - he got a little bored I believe. Especially with NO PHONE COVERAGE! Thanks BABE!!

It has been a good year in dance. Both girls are in 2 classes each and have done a great job in all. Emily participated in 2 competitions this year - Dancemasters of Ohio and KAR. Their groups did great and received Silver at DMO and Top First & Top Line at KAR. Emily also competed as a solo at KAR and receive First Place. It was her first time to compete as a solo, and we are very proud of her. Hannah is hoping to compete next year in either pointe or ballet. This is also the first year we have let Emily perform in the group jazz number in the recital.

We are happy our girls love dance and enjoy making new friends in their classes. Mom and dad are ready to have our nights free.


Emily - tap solo

Emily - Junior Jazz (5th from the left - one in the green)

Hannah's Pointe Class

Hannah - Pointe

Emily - at tap competion (yes, I know how much makeup she has on!)

Emily's Tap Clas with their trophy from KAR

I know I do not have any from Hannah's ballet class, but it is had to pay someone else to do pictures when I do them myself.

Monday, February 15, 2010

My Valentine Suprise!

As many of you know hubby and I celebrate 15 years of marriage this July. He is the most wonderful mate that God has blessed me with. He is also the most romantic man in the world!!

Several months ago I had my engagement ring inspected and found that it was not safe to wear it anymore. So, I had not been wearing it. I had truly missed wearing it, but hubby just ask me if I could wait. Well, recently he asked me if I wanted to switch to white gold, and I said that was fine since I wear more silver jewelry. This past Friday he asked the girls and I to sit at the table, because he had something for us. First he presented me with my engagement ring in a new setting, and I was overjoyed to have it back. I put it back on with my existing bands even though they were yellow gold, and I was OK with that. Then he pulled out another box and said that my ring might look better with this- a new wedding band. It was beautiful!! I was almost crying. After this he presented the girls each a box with a necklace in it, and he gave me one as well. On the necklaces of the girls he put my wedding bands (I had 2 gold bands) and had my original engagement band fixed to go on my necklace. He told the girls how important those bands are and how special they are to him. We were almost all crying by this time. The girls are so happy to wear their necklaces, and proud to have something valuable to us, shared with them. Noel said he was looking forward to seeing us wear them, and in fact wore them Sunday on Valentines.

My new rings...

(They look better on my finger)
Thank you Noel for being such a wonderful and giving husband and dad!! I LOVE YOU!!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

SNOW DAYS... when will they end

Things have been hopping around the Dear house lately, and I have been totally neglect this blog. Currently we are under almost 2 feet of snow, and I am just plain tired of it. Even as I am typing - it is snowing again! Yes it is pretty, but it wreaks havoc on my hardwood floors and I figure I will be able to clean them in June. My girls are even tired of it, unlike most kids who dream of snow days. Being homeschoolers - we still have school. Sorry girls, but you will thank me when you are done for the year while others are still in school.

Another reason for delay in posting was my anniversary cruise to the Caribbean. Hubby and I celebrate 15 years in July, and what better way to celebrate than being in a tropical location in January while there is snow on the ground. We had a wonderful time being alone together with no internet or cell phone. We never missed our phones, but we did miss our girls. They had fun hanging out with their Grammy, Nana, and Papa Jim. On the cruise we did get to see some things we have never seen before. Plus, we did eat some interesting things as well. We developed a love for goat cheese and fresh pineapple. I did take alot of pictures, and it is going to take me awhile to go thru them all and organize them. We definitely enjoyed cruising, and we hope to do it again one day.

Here are some pics of our snow. This is off our deck.

Looking down our street.

Looking up into our tree in the front yard.

Now don't you wish you were here....