Thursday, September 8, 2011

Crazy Lady onboard..

So much to catch up on!--WOW!
first of all...I'M ENGAGED!
Thursday, August 4 seemed like an ordinary day to me.  I had a CGI math workshop at school & had to be there at 8--of course being myself I was there around 45 minutes early... I had thrown on some shabby clothes-a jean button up and some khaki shorts.  Also, I decided the night before to paint my nails BLUE..who cares.. well I soon would!
A little while after lunch I have a text from Ben saying something along the lines of "where are you" or "what are you doing"..thought that was strange because he knew exactly what I was doing--I was at school most likely panicking because school was starting in a week!--ahh!  I didn't have much time so I ignored the text--OOPS!
After our workshop I of course was still in my usual panic-mode and my mentor, mrs. Bond came into my room to try to calm me down :).  I have my back to my door and I see her smile so I turned around.  Ben was standing at my classroom door with a bouquet of flowers.  I just assumed he was bringing them to congratulate me on my new job & say how proud and happy he was!....Obviously, mrs. Bond caught on because when he said can we have a minute I just told him that was rude & she did not have to leave.  Well...she left and Ben immediately turned red.  I kept asking "what did you do" & "what is wrong??"... He began telling me how much he loves me, why he loves me, and that he could not imagine his life without me.  He explained that he loved me because of my love for children and because of my desire to allow the Lord to use me however He needs... I so wish I could remember more, but my dementia has kicked in early and I have the worst memory!  I kept saying things and he kept telling me to be quiet and just listen to what he had to say....I was still a little confused.  Then, he said "well I have asked your dad, I have asked your mom, and now I need to ask you---will you please spend the rest of your life with doing all we can to make each other happy?"...(he is on his knee at this point) and i am just talking away saying "shut up...shut up..." after he kept asking if I was listening to him...and then having to ask me to please answer him--I started crying..SERIOUSLY?!!! WHAT???
---what a perfect new classroom that I was so very blessed to get this summer, also...  Little did I know, that was not the end of it.  He asked if I had a lot to do & I don't even remember my response because I had no idea what to do next!  He informed me that a helicopter would be coming to pick us up in a few short minutes..HUH?--YOU'RE KIDDING, RIGHT?! i slung my classroom door open & I don't even remember who all I talked to but I yelled to mrs. Bond and Andrea--I'M ENGAGED!!.....still did not seem real!
We walk out to the side parking lot of the school & the helicopter picks us up!---it takes us all over cool to see old main from that view!-- However, I did not see much because I was still shaking and could NOT stop looking at my gorgeous, perfect BLING that was sitting on my left hand!! (oh forgot to mention he tried to put the ring on the WRONG hand..oopsy:))..

Once we got back to school I remembered we were supposed to go to his parents' for dinner--I wondered if that was still on?...I called my mom and sister & we had a little pow-wow :)...On the way to Ben's parents I called my dad to tell him the good news, too!
Guess I didn't catch on well to this either because Ben's family was waiting at his parents with an engagement cake for us! :))))
It was an absolutely perfect proposal! I could not have planned it better myself--and I am a PLANNER!!!!!...ha
Ben knows me so well, and this proposal including something I dearly love (other than him) and it couldn't have turned out any better!  I am so grateful to know that I will have someone so thoughtful and loving in my life!

....soooo now that the proposal is over I guess I need to plan a wedding?!.....  we have decided a date... have not told this to many people...but we will be getting married on May 12, 2012!!! mark your calendars friends & family!  We absolutely CANNOT wait-- so much that we contemplated changing it to October--YEAH RIGHT!...That definitely won't happen... I will be too wrapped up in my new NEPHEW--Brody Cole once he arrives!!!!
.....and I guess we should have considered how difficult it would be to be a first-year teacher planning a wedding--IDIOTS!
---but it is all coming together & has been so much fun!
We booked our photographer...YEAHHH...woo hoo for Dale & Meredith Benfield!...  We have also booked our florist! (I know, I know..I'm on a roll...)
I went to trying on wedding dresses for the first time while my mom was in town this past weekend for her birthday...she and Mrs. Tinka guided me through the process.  This may be a bit difficult task because anyone who knows me knows that i HATE making decisions.  I had to explain to the girl helping me that I was the type of person in high school who would buy a prom or homecoming dress & then go to another store and wish I could buy the next best one.  Not good for this girl who NEEDS a dress within the next month...TOO MANY OPTIONS, AMEN?
We have decided on our wedding party:
(I sent these self-made cards in the mail to my bridesmaids)
Bridesmaids: Wendi Speer (MOH), Brooke Ceola, Laura Jill Richmond, Saylor Prather, Hope Argo, Megan Fawley, & Emily Mayfield
Groomsmen: Zach Willard (Best Man), Ryan Ceola, Britt Speer, Trey Ferguson, Michael Yates, Caleb Snowden, & AJ Killham

woooo hooooo...let the fun begin!

School is absolutely AMAZING!--I have the best teaching team ever! They are all always willing to do whatever it takes!  My students are wonderful, too!  I have a very animated group & I love every one of them!

(please forgive any typing errors..I did this is in the little time I could spare :))

Wednesday, June 29, 2011


Deliverer... On Easter Sunday at Central Baptist church in Jonesboro the congregation had been asked to write on a post-it one word to describe what God means to them personally. At that time I would have written "Savior". However, due to the things and wonderful surprises that have recently occurred I would at this moment say "Deliverer". I feel like I will never be able to sum up what God means to me. He is so many things all at once and I beloved at different points in my life and uncertain certain circumstances and different occasions He means something different!

The past year I have been anxiously searching for a teaching position to call my own! My family and friends..have awaited this day probably as much as I have. I cannot express how great they have been. I am so appreciative of all of their diligent prayers and words of encouragement. Ben Willard has been so awesome. He's listened to me cry and scream. He has sent me bible verses on the days I wanted to give up to lift my spirits and remind me who is in control. I would not have imagined a year ago having someone so wonderful in my life. God has been in control this whole time. In such a difficult time of limbo in my life He was guiding me and He knew the ultimate plan all along! I absolutely believe God provided me with the long-term Substitute position at williams elementary because the perfect position wasn't available for me yet!!
I cannot believe I am about to type this... But I HAVE A JOB'. Hallelujah! He has delis weed!! I will be teaching third grade next year at Williams in Farmigton!! :))) I am so excited words cannot express!
Thank you to EVERYONE for all of their prayers! They paid off! Wooooo hoooooooooo! Thank you, Lord!

What a wonderful birthday present! I can now relax on the beach :)

Sorry for any typos--using my phone to update!

Thursday, June 2, 2011


Soooo...I've held out as long as possible.  I've wanted to make MYSELF this canvas since I finished the MAT last year, but I couldn't bring myself to fear I may NEVER get to use it.... However I wanted to make something for myself today and THIS is what came of those feelings :).... My hope is that I get my own classroom with the most perfect little NWA students all so eager to learn, cooperative, and respectful--HA.. but really-I just want a J-O-B... Then I wanted to spend every waking hour turning it into "SEUSSVILLE"... I am OBSESSED with dr. seuss and I hope it rubs off on my lil' chillins' that I pray I will have the opportunity to teach in the fall!  I got so many dr. seuss teaching supplies for graduation last year & I would REALLY like to put them to use!
Here is the long-awaited canvas.....
you may not be able to tell but the yellow part actually has a lighter yellow colored polka dots :)

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

New Paintings

This is for Jessica Baker--she is getting married & using this at the table for the Groom's cake :).  Love this idea!
 This is an armoire that was in Ben's room that I antiqued..
 close up of handles--love!
To match the armoire...

 This is the armoire before...

 okay okay...I know..but I LOVE this Georgia Bulldogs painting!  It was for a friend's graduation.. 

 Hogs stool

Lost & Found

I know...crazy title.. but this is what life has felt like lately!
Last week when NWA was under severe thunderstorm warnings and storm trackers predicted we would have "the worst tornadoes/weather in the area's history" I PANICKED!  I stayed at Ben's parents (as did the rest of the family..including EmJay).  Being the little stinker/adventurer that she is..she escaped the back yard :(  I was so devastated....of course seeing as I can easily transform into an emotional wreck.  I was so upset because I had to sub the morning after we realized she was gone & I couldn't continue to look for her :(.  I thought the worst..but some really good friends helped search for her, Ben & I printed flyers, and I called anywhere I could think of.  Finally, right before my lunch break ,I called the Johnson police department and they said a man had called reporting he had found a lab puppy but didn't tell the gender.  I called him ASAP--he didn't answer ahhh of course--so I left a voicemail of her description.  He called back and said he thought it was her!  I literally almost peed my pants..... I say that a lot but this time I really was close.  So I rushed to his house to get her! AHHHH she is home and better never leave me again-I told her that.  WHEW...

Also...Ben bought a new fancy schmancy camera--cannot wait to upload pictures.  WE have been going crazy with it--Ben snaps pictures nonstop--it is starting to get a LITTLE annoying.. :)

We had a fun memorial weekend which we split between our two families--Branson with his & then Heber with mine..WHEW..

Monday, May 9, 2011

My Testimony

..soo I have to share this because this is the first time I have actually written all of this down!
I have to turn in my testimony (it was supposed to be 500 words or LESS--oops) with my application for the missions trip I will be going on in July!  I am so excited words CANNOT express!!! Praise the Lord-- I have wanted to do this for SO long!
So thankful for what God has done/is doing for me.  So excited to see how He will use me!

I was extremely blessed throughout my childhood and teenage years to have a mother who strongly believed in and relied on Christ.  She made certain my older sister and I attended the small, southern Baptist church where we were members.  When I was fifteen I went to a Centrifuge camp in Panama City, and I was amazed at how the Lord moved and led me.  I remember praying a prayer with my youth minister in the moonlight on the beach one night, and I strongly believed in what I was saying.  Unfortunately in the years that passed after that I never saw an extreme change in my behavior.  I certainly had a conscience, and I always veered toward what I knew was right, but something always seemed to be missing. 
In the summer of 2010 I had one major life change after another.  I had ended a very unhealthy three-year long relationship, and I had finished the Master’s program to become a teacher.  I struggled with both of these things all summer long.  I thought I would never get married and I would never have the teaching job I dreamed of.  That summer I began to draw closer to God—I started keeping a prayer Journal and dove into the study Bible my mom had gotten me for graduation.  Little did I know—God had much greater plans than I could have imagined. 
In the middle of the summer I was introduced to “Mr. Right” after church.  On July 4, 2010, I hung out with him for the first time, and we quickly became inseparable.  It seemed that God had answered my prayers (and my moms), and I was set.  God placed him in my life at JUST the right time.  Ben comes from a very Christ-centered family.  I quickly began to realize that the “relationship” I had with Christ was not complete.  Over the next couple of months I could feel myself being PULLED by God.  There were so many directions He wanted me to go.  I had the desire to join a church, get involved, travel the world on mission trips, and become a part of children’s lives in the church. How could I begin any of this while living the life I was at this point?  God was calling me, and sadly I was still running in the opposite direction.
After months of battling with all of the emotions, Ben and I began attending Cross Church Fayetteville as soon as it opened.  On January 30, 2011, I listened to the sermon and wept.  We walked to the truck afterwards and I could feel my heart pounding.  I told Ben I was terrified of what would happen if I had died that day—and I was.  I was disgusted by thinking of the life I was living.  I had so many uncertainties.  Those uncertainties made me see that the prayer I prayed when I was 15 years old would not get me into the Lord’s kingdom when I passed from this earth.  We drove to his parents, and after speaking with his dad and explaining how convicted I had felt—Ben, both of his parents, and I got down on our knees in their living room, and I prayed like I have never prayed before.  I asked the Lord to take everything-the sin that has filled my life and all of the burdens—to rescue me and save me.  I put every bit of my faith in Him that day.
The Lord has completely transformed my life.  I know that I will never be perfect, but each day I wake up I know I have so much to be thankful for.  I know that God has a purpose for my life, that I was made through Him and saved through Him.  Without Him and His grace—I am nothing.  I am in awe of how my attitude towards life and its circumstances has changed.
I joined Cross Church, was baptized, and have been volunteering with Cross Kidz on Wednesday nights and Sunday mornings.  I am excited to experience my first mission trip with a team from church-this has been my passion for so long and I cannot wait to see where the Lord will take me and how He will use me. 

Monday, March 28, 2011

My heart is smiling!

What a great weekend!  My family is such a blessing to me! Thank you, Lord.  (Missed you, Ben)
I got to spend so much time with my hyper, free-spirited, and loving nephew.  He changes and has always learned something new every time I see him!  He said a complete sentence this time, and he has learned so many new words. He has also become extremely dramatic!--I guess I have taught him well.  He likes to "act" and I think it is adorable.  We went to the Memphis Children's Museum and he LOVED the fishing area-did NOT want to leave it, so he got his own fishing pole before we left :).
Ton-Ton decided she wanted to work out with me Thursday night.  We did LEVEL 1 of the 30 day shred. HA! I am laughing just thinking about it.  First, she asked if she could workout in her PJs....I had to quickly explain to her that this is a rather strenuous workout (pretty serious).  I don't think she really believed me until we started the first strength move--unfortunately, I was the one to fall on my face laughing! :)  I will leave it at this---she was extremely sore the rest of the weekend :)
It was also great to see my grandparents--they finally got their house finished and it looks so good!  Nanny got a new wig and could not wait to show me!  So cute :) Of course I couldn't leave their house without bringing SOMETHING old home to paint!||NoFacet-_-NoFacet-_-NoMerchRules-_-

This piece from pottery barn has been so inspirational!! I am obsessed, and I've noticed I have incorporated it into so many things I've been painting lately.  Want. It!!!

I FINALLY got a new phone!!--thanks to my LOVING sister for letting me use her upgrade :)... It is so great to not have to pick my fingernails while I wait for my text message screen to open so I can type a text! ha!

Friday, March 18, 2011

A little spring-time jingle...

I wish I could say this is a bright and peppy little jingle, ISN'T...
This is what came out of my mouth (without any rehearsal...I guess I was just tired of getting mad and "rubbing her nose in it" when EmJay goes potty in all the wrong places)

I love you...
Oh dear me...
That's not where you're supposed to pee.....
With a great big sigh & a glare from me to you..
Please say you aren't going number two...
(yes this is what my life and brain have come to..)

She has grown so much!! She can now stand on her back legs and reach the top of Ben's counters!!! O-M-GEEE...not cool!
She goes back to the vet on Saturday for her second round of vaccinations!

Can't wait to go hang out with the Ceolas tonight & have a dance party with the Kinect!--woop woop!

I'd like to say a GREAT BIG.."THANKS" to my lovely boyfriend.  He was not feeling well so he stayed in the car while I ran into Wal-Mart last night..and surprised me with a full tank of gas (he knows I HATE going to get gas)! :) Happy girl here!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Bring on SPRING!

I aboslutely LOVE spring... probably my favorite season!  I'm so excited for warm weather & getting to be outside A LOT more!  I also love that it is still daylight when Ben gets off work !  Can't wait to: have backyard BBQs, take EmJay on walks & to the park, have patio dinners at my favorite restaurants, wear colorful clothes & tank tops(!), see what Ben is like in the spring, plant flowers, use my new spring pillows from Pier 1 (if you haven't been there lately-go!--I have a fetish with pillows & my poor couch is COVERED in them), and run OUTSIDE!!

I came to Ben's to let EmJay out after my BIG day....  she stays in his laundry room during the day... and she had been a very bad girl!  She ripped into (with her fiercely long nails) and chewed up some of the door facing! Ahhhh..daddy is NOT going to be happy!

I am excited to go with Hope to the Paul Mitchell hair show tonight!

Can't wait for the weekend!!

Monday, March 14, 2011



*Crosses & Bible Verses*

*Custom Canvases & Other Items*



I would love to create something to match items in your home, for your children, or as a gift for friends, family, or babies!!