Friday, December 30, 2005

This was in Bricktown in Oklahoma City with Aunt Nette, Uncle Jim, Jennifer, and the two of us. We had a great Christmas and a great night walking around downtown OKC.

Three Kings and a Baby

It came and went. Janie and I had a wonderful first-christmas together with our families. We had an early Christmas with the Myatts and an on-time Christmas with the Williams/Stovers. We played games, sang carols, exchanged gifts, danced and sang kareoke! What more could we ask for.

Now the sad part is upon us: the discarding of Christmas. As we take down our nativity sets and Christmas trees we return to normalcy. In our church we celebrate the church calendar which means Christmas is still upon us. Traditionally, December 25th marks the beginning of Christmastide, a 12 day season in the calendar (hence the 12 days of Christmas my true love gave to me; more on that later). The birth of Christ should be central during the entire season. Sadly, Janie and I have had difficulty with this because tradition demands distraction. I am thankful that we still have an entire season afterward to focus on the birth of Christ. We would like everyone who might check up on our blogspot to know how important this season is to us. A group of men, long ago, traveled through hell and high water (probably) to worship a king who they seemingly had no business worshiping: the God of Israel. The three wise men were probably more than three (the number three is due to the three gifts brought to Jesus). They had no business worshiping Yahweh because they were not Jewish. Janie and I are not Jewish either yet we are able to worship Christ. This fills us with tramendous joy: the God who spared a people by delivering them from bondage into a land flowing with milk and honey is also naming us with those he has spared. The birth or Jesus is significant not because he was a good man here only to teach us how to be better people, but because humanity is in bondage. The wise men knew this, otherwise they would have no need to worship a god not thier own. Prior to the birth of Jesus, hope from bondage was only in his coming. After the birth of Jesus hope that he came is the only hope from bondage. Without this hope, Christmas will only be the gathering of family and exchanging of gifts, originally intended to reflect the nativity and the coming of the wise men. Although these are worthing things to spend money on they pale in comparison to the celebration for which Christmas provides opportunity.

You may already know this but I wanted to share with you all how important this season is and has been to Janie and I. You may not share the hope that there is a God and that He became incarnate and took on flesh in order that He might offer himself as a ransom to become guilty of our wickedness and satisfy His own wrath. It saddens us that we cannot share the same joy in these things with all of you but if there is ever curiousity regarding why we do certain things at Christmas, please ask. We may or may not know, but we'll have a good time talking about it.

We love you all and hope you have a great and safe New Year. We certainly encourage the consumption of a moderate (if not slightly more-than-moderate) amount of libation to bring it in. This is a hard life but let us forget that for a night.

God bless you all.


Saturday, December 10, 2005

and here are my 2nd and 3rd graders. they went on a scavenger hunt to find hidden messages. once again, good times!

this is my 2nd grade class. my mom came and did a lesson and they loved it! good times!!!

it's almost here!

well, i'm sitting here with my christmas lights on and my dog in my lap, and i'm so happy! christmas is almost here...we only have 4 1/2 days of school left! YEA!!! then, a nice little break where bill, mel, zoe, and tessa are coming friday (you can see a pic of zoe and tessa below) and then ben and i are off to oklahoma to see the stover and williams girls (jen's pic is below too). we cannot wait for christmas to get here. i'm listening to ben folds right now...a song he wrote about his son. it's great, and it really has made me think about how there's such a short time that parents have to teach their kids everything they need to know and pray that all goes well and that they end up in the Lord's will doing what He wants them to do, not what they want to do. (you can read the lyrics at he looks a little wierd but is a great writer!) anyway, i guess i often forget about how Christ was a little boy with a snotty nose, that had to be potty trained, and then had friends that he would hang out with. and all that time, God was preparing Him for the three years of ministry that He would do on earth. i can't help but think that He was doing ministry before then, too. anyway, these are just some thoughts i've had this Christmas. I pray that your christmas and holiday time is filled with all kinds of family and friends and wonderful times of drinking and eating. may God bless you and keep you, may His face shine upon you all the days of your life. peace of Christ.

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

sorry so late

hello to everyone. we hope that you and yours had a very wonderful holiday weekend. ours was very relaxing. we didn't go anywhere, but had lunch with my family then dinner with some friends from church. it was great! we ate a lot of turkey and everything, too, along with a homemade pumpkin cheescake that is the best thing i've ever put in my mouth before! anyway, we finally figured out an easy way to post pics, however, we have to do them one at a time. i don't like that at all, so if anyone wants to offer any advice, we'd greatly take it. there's not a lot going on with us. we're still striving for christmas break (for janie) and working through a few more productions before christmas. i just wanted to say hi. i hope everyone has a blessed day and that we hear from you soon!

Saturday, November 26, 2005

Another good one of Petey. Isn't he adorable!!!!

Meet Petey, our new dog. We adopted him today from the Humane Society and we love him. He's part feist part jack russell. Happy Birthday to Ben and Janie!!!!

Friday, November 25, 2005

How lovely

Our nephew Michael

Fun times with Mimi and Papa in Chicago

Our niece Tessa

fun times with jennifer in atlanta

Our niece Zoe in Chicago

the winery in new hampshire

good times

Wednesday, November 16, 2005


so, i'm sure as many of you have heard, jackson was swarmed with tornado warnings and watches all day yesterday. i knew it was going to be a rough day teaching and so at about 1:15 (during my planning period) i heard a siren. i walked outside and didn't hear it, but then i walked back in and heard the sirens again. after that, my principal comes over the intercom and says "teachers, please move to your safe places...we'll be fine, but move to your safe place." i ended up with a homeroom in the girls' handicap stall with 19 little 3rd graders and a substitute teacher. crazy! kids were crying and then some were fake crying. we ended up with all students in the hallway, and sirens going off for 2 more hours. i talked to ben at about 3:00 wondering if everything was ok in jackson. he said it was, but then jackson took a little bit of damages from wind, and milan did the same. however, i didn't leave school until 4:15ish (when i normally leave at 2:55) and turned onto the highland exit from the by-pass to hear sirens going off yet again. they went off straight until 5:15. i finally made it to vip and my awesome husband. we then drove to kirby and pricilla's house where we had breakfast for dinner and one of the best times ever. brian denker (without cindy because she's in germany...she comes home friday though!), ben hickey, jon jones, melissa gruver, and jenny johnson. it was a blast! what real community is all about and why we love Christ Community Church. anyway, all of this to say that we are safe, and that life is normal, because we got countertops in our kitchen today!!!!!!!!!!! they are B-E-A-U-T-I-F-U-L!!!!! we can't wait to have people over for dinner. not everything's connected yet, but it should be by the end of november!!!!! we CANNOT wait! (can you tell we're excited!!!) anyway, love to all, and i hope to see some of my friends that have moved and are moving away from j-town this holiday season. merry Christmas to all and to all a good night! (maybe it's a little early, but we've been listening to Christmas music since October...we're ready!)

Thursday, November 03, 2005

I was just thinking...

Ben and I have been reminded lately that God is working constantly in our lives. After the caziness of October, it feels so good to actually have time to hang out with friends (which we have missed so much) and be together. We had our kitchen worked on last weekend and (if you can believe it) it will be done in about 4 WEEKS!!!! Now, for those of you who don't know, since Ben bought the house, we haven't really had a kitchen. We gutted it before we got married, and it's now been 2 months (today, actually) and finally in 4 weeks we will have a kitchen! YEA!!!!! Every morning when I am leaving for work, I tell Ben bye and we pray for good days. This seems so arbitrary, but it really is so encouraging to start your day off with, "Lord, please be my strength and allow me to have a good day." I do have to say that I have had a great day almost everyday this week and, hopefully, I'll continue to do so. We are really excited about not traveling a lot, but we do have some little things planned for November. We're going to see Ben Folds with our good friends Joe and Leah, and then we're here for the rest of the month! NO MORE TRAVELING!!!! Well, praise the Lord for good days and for calm months. I pray God's blessing on you today and congratulations to Chad and Holly on the birth of Abbigail Grace Cossiboom, born October 30, at 2:45 A.M. She weighed about 7 lbs. and was 20 inches. Be praying for rest for Chad and Holly. Blessings!

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Christmas Time

Well, we know it's a little early to be thinking about Christmas, but Ben and I have been listening to Christmas music all the time. It makes us so happy. It's like exercising or something like that. Something inside of you just makes you feel good. We haven't posted in forever! A lot has been going on and we are so ready for October to be over. Ben was in Knoxville two weekends ago, last weekend we lead worship for a church here in Jackson and heard an amazing guy speak, Paul Washer ( I reccomend him to anyone, but be prepared to be smacked around a lot. So, we were exhausted in every form and fashion on Sunday, but we ended up at the Denker's house that afternoon which was absolutely wonderful. We love Brian and Cindy. Anyway, that brings me to my next topic...POOKIEPALOOZA!!!!!! We do a birthday party for Brian Denker every year and this year it's called Pookiepalooza (for more on Brian Denker, go to We went all out this year and can't wait for it. We're doing a bonfire with s'mores, hotdogs and the works, then it's also a fall festival for the kids at the church, Walton Padelford is speaking on the Reformation, and Russ Pflasterer is playing a set. HOLY COW!!!! that's amazing. Anyway, we love our friends. We're totally excited about this. Finally, we are getting heat in our house. It's been very interesting to not have heat through this cold front. However, we will have heat by the end of next weekend...YEA! Good times beginning on the house and ending on the house. We love each of you and next time I have my wedding pictures, I'll try to post more. Let us know how you're doing!

Saturday, October 15, 2005

More pics


The Wedding

Some of you have been awaiting to see these for awhile. Sorry it's taken us so long to get them up and going. It's hard for us to blog sometimes because for some reason I can't access blogger from school, and Ben's just busy all the time. So, these are some of my favorites from the wedding. I'm going to put a couple more above this post of the reception. We were so blessed (and continue to be) from our friends that stood with us at our wedding. It brings us joy to have shared it with some of the best people in the world. We hope to hear from everyone soon. We're doing well. Ben has been in Knoxville this weekend (IT WAS SO HARD BEING APART!!!!) and he gets home in about an hour and a half! YEA!!! Our friends Kristen and Ethan (she's the blonde bridesmaid that's taller) are here this weekend and I have loved hanging out with them. It's been a blast. Then, my father-in-law, Tom, is coming to meet with some heating and air guys for our hosue this week, too! Things are getting accomplished at home and that feels awesome. We're going to paint the kitchen green (it's a really cool color) and the hallway needs another coat and it will be done, too. So, we love having people over and it's been a lot of fun to get things ready to have guests. We love each of you and are so blessed by you! Have an awesome rest of the weekend!
i'm having issues...i'll try to fix it later. sorry you only got one picture!

Monday, October 10, 2005

The House

For those of you that don't know, Ben bought a house last January and we are finally getting some things done on it. It has been an ordeal because we have totally redone a lot of it. There's been a lot of painting and sheet rocking and gutting that we have done...but I can see the light!!! So, today, since it's Columbus Day, my husband and I both had the day off, so we spent the day working on the house and hanging pictures. It's been great because when you hang pictures, it feels more like home. We also hung up our name plate that my mother-in-law gave us as a wedding present. Two people in the neighborhood have already stopped by to see it. YEA!!!! Anyway, I love our house, and I'm constantly reminded that our home is ours, and Christ has given it to us. We love it! I hope everyone is doing well and that we hear from you soon!

Friday, October 07, 2005

Yea for Fall Break

Yea for Fridays! Yea for being a school teacher! Yea for slow days after production! and Yea for Fall break!!!! I am on Fall Break until next Wednesday. It is great to be able to do the things that you want to do everyday and don't have time to do. I kept my precious niece and nephew today and ran around, had lunch with Ben, Lee, and Lili, and now we are about to leave to go to North Carolina. Ben's cousin is getting married tomorrow, so we're off for another very quick trip (we get back on Sunday...CRAZY!!!) but we will get to see Ben's family and share with them our wedding pics. They turned out SO good!!! anyway, I have to go now. We are leaving VIP and heading out to Nashvegas in about an hour and a half. Must pack lightly! anyway, we love you all and hope to hear from you soon!!!

Monday, October 03, 2005

Oh This Beautiful Life

well, since we've been chewed out by friends for not posting, i decided i'd take some time to post. not a whole lot is going on right now. ben's in production for vip tennessee and i'm hanging out with leah and jenny (just like old times!!!!!) for dinner. hopefully, ben won't be working tooo late. it's our one month anniversary today, and it feels like it's been a lifetime. (that's super cheesy, but oh well!) life has been very very busy for us. we spent the weekend after our honeymoon in chicago with my family. the guys went to a baseball game (cubs won the one they went to...YEA!) and lili and i shopped. it was so much fun. while lili and i shopped, mom kept the kids, cause that's what mimis do! then, we came back, finished our bathroom completely (2nd room in the house that's completely done!) last weekend and then, this weekend, had a baby shower for our good friends chad and holly. they are due november 1 and we are so excited to be uncle ben and aunt janie to something other than cats for them! we've been so reminded of how much we love our friends and are so thankful for our church. last night, we hung out with kirby and cilla, and it was the best, most encouraging time. we also had some missionaries at church on sunday from ethiopia and brazil that ben knows from when he went to ethiopia. their names are nagash and marciano. it was so cool to be welcomed by them like a sister since they knew my husband and that's all they knew of me. they are here for the IOI banquet. IOI is indigenous outreach international and is run by our friend patrick beard. he founded this ministry about 7 years ago when he and his family came back to the states from ethiopia. it's a ministry that trains indigenous pastors and focuses on church planting. it's amazing to see what the Lord is doing in ethiopia and it's very encouraging to be indigenous here in the states. oh, the boldness that i wish i had! we have the banquet that will hopefully raise some money for IOI tomorrow night and it's just so neat to see the Lord praised in so many different languages. anyway, these are just some thoughts that the Lord placed on my heart yesterday at church. in lieu of IOI, it makes us even more excited of our friends and makes us sad that we have to travel so much. we hope that life slows down soon and we're able to hang out with everyone like old times...yea for that! i'll let everyone know how the banquet goes, and if they have a website, i'll let you know that, too. it's a great organization to go through if you're planning on missions anytime soon. i must go meet leah and jenny, but we love everyone and hope to hear from you soon!
i want to post some wedding pics...any help? thanks

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Back To The Real World

Well, Ben got to post last time right after we got back from our honeymoon. We have been crazy busy because my family (the Myatts) like to do a baseball trip every year that we go to a different city (and try to see either the Cards or the Cubs) so we ended up in Chicago this year to see both of them play each other. This is really great. Only the guys go to the ballgame, and the girls to shop! (yea for that) So, we left Jackson with my parents at 10:00 P.M...that's right P.M. (i wish i could do that bigger) and got to Chicago at 6:00 a.m. We slept for about three hours, and then they went to the ballgame, which the cubs won...woo hoo!!!! So, needless to say, we have been really busy.
The real world is kicking in very quickly. We are actually up at VIP right now while Ben finishes up some last minute things before they go to print for one of the magazines. We are so glad about real life together though. It's so much fun to be together and to just spend time together. Janie's job is kickin back in really fast as well. Her kids are daily different. It's amazing how much you can love a kid for no reason except that they have captured your heart. Today, one of my kids was leaving (he's only in my room for an hour) and as he was wheeling off, he said, "Ms. Janie, I love you." and I really think he meant it. It's great. All while this is going on, Ben's been working like a mad dog. We've learned that 6:00-6:30 is some of the best time, because we leave our jobs, and do our life. We've also had the joy of having lots of people in our house this week. I encourage all who read this to invite someone over and just hang out. Don't put any time limit on it whatsoever and allow Christ to use you in ways you would've never imagined. Let us know how you're doing and what's going on. We pray the peace of Christ on everyone.
Ben and Janie

Tuesday, September 13, 2005


FINALLY! No more plans about the wedding. Janie and I have found other things to talk about. We were married on September 3, 2005 and spent the next five days in Durham, New Hampshire. We had wonderful beer, great food and great....uhh weather. It was beautiful. Thanks to all who came to our wedding. It was amazing to see everyone. We wanted our wedding to be Christ exalting; we wanted it to be a worship service. Janie and I are so changed by Christ and we want Him to be central in our marriage. It blessed us to serve our attendants during communion and to hear the voices of our family and friends sing about the Great Wedding to come. We hope that if you believe in Christ, you were moved to exalt Him and if you do not believe in Christ, you were intriqued by the idea of marriage imulating His love for the church.

Our apologies to those who we spoke to very briefly if at all. A reception is never long enough.

I'm sure Janie will have a lot more to post so stay tuned. I'm at work and have to go. I've got bacon to bring home now.

Peace of Christ to you, whoever you may be and wherever you are.


Wednesday, August 24, 2005

10 Days out!

We have a grand total of ten days left before our wedding. Ben is working late tonight (just like our first blog) so I'm typing just a little bit to procrastinate writing thank you notes. hehe. It's very very exciting that we only have ten days before we get married. There are still a lot of plans to be made, and we are anticipating a GREAT day on September 3. All of our family is coming to celebrate our special day and many friends from far away are coming, too. It's amazing how things come together when two people who love each other know that they are supposed to get married. We LOVE it!!!!!
On another note, my mom told me the other day that the police have made it a law that if you are talking on your cellya (that's cell phone for those that don't know), you must have a "Hands-free Device." I was like what in the world...because I am always on my phone without my headset because it's too hard and I can't hear well enough. Well, Ben's boss just walked into his office and he has the FAT DADDY of all cell phone head sets. It's freakin' head phones with a little mic that comes out of it! WHAT IN THIS WORLD?!?!?!?! It has this cord that's about five feet long and you can plug it in to a cordless phone as well. It's crazy!!! So, I'll drink to anyone who's willing to use a hands-free headset and to those that are willing to be a little safer. I'll also drink to those that don't, because it just is more fun! Love to all and to all a good night!

Friday, August 19, 2005

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

So That's What You Mean

Ben and Janie have just spent 15 minutes trying to figure out all this modern technology stuff. One would think with a graphic designer and special education teacher, we could figure this out much quicker. However, "We ain't so smort"

Protestant vs. Protestant

Well, I am working and no one is in the office. I've been waiting for some quiet time to post. Janie posted our first entry, now it's my turn (crack the knuckles). I don't really have anything profound to say except that I recently read a reflection on John Michael Talbot's Website concerning the Catholic and Protestant churches. Very interesting. You should check it out:

As I read it, I was thinking not so much about Catholic/Protestant but Protestant/Protestant. JMT talks about the ego and how it plays into our relationships and even fellowships. Janie and I have been blessed with much good teaching and I honestly don't know what to do with it. While it is beneficial to us and our discipleship, it also puffs me up and my ego seeks subtle differences from my brothers in Christ to encourage itself. "They are ok here, but they miss the point there..." I don't think anyone is meant to keep knowledge for it's own sake so passing it on in some way is the obvious point. Knowledge without love is vile. It is a heart issue. I need a heart of love. JMT exposes it. I wish I could love as Christ loves. I have felt the love of Christ swell within me but no matter how much that happens, I am amazed to find how much I don't love as Christ does. I'm convinced that this is what He means when He says we are guilty of murder when we call our brothers "fools." When the groom sees himself reflected in His bride, he sees true beauty. This is the beauty I want.

Anyway, let me know what you think.

Monday, August 08, 2005

The Last Month

Ben and Janie only have one more month (really only 25 days...but really, who's counting?) until they are MARRIED!!!! YEA!!!! As they hurriedly try to finish up last minute details, the important stuff can get left out. Ben's step dad, Dave is here this week to work on our kitchen that was demolished last time he was here. For those of you who don't know, Ben bought a house in January and we have been trying to fix it up and remodel it before Sept. 3, but we both know that that probably isn't going to happen...sad! However, we're so thankful that Dave could be here this week and we hope that he gets a lot of stuff done. In the meantime, Janie is starting back to teaching...what in the world?!?...for the last month before she and Ben get married. Can you tell that we're a little bit excited about getting married?!?! So, she will soon see how she handles this year's class. Hopefully, it won't be that bad, and maybe she'll like it even a little bit more than last year. We're still trying to figure all this stuff out a little bit, so if anyone has any advice they'd like to offer, we will gladly take it. Well, we must close for tonight, as Ben has to finish up the Pickwick Sun and Janie needs to do some more wedding planning. Much love to all!
ben and janie