Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Beautiful Weather and Some Quality Family Time!!

Yesterday morning, I went over to Singing River Hospital to help complete their pharmacy inventory. Once we were finished, a coworker/friend and I went to lunch. Then instead of going back to work, I went home early. The weather here yesterday was absolutely gorgeous! So Robert and I decided it would be a great time to take the boys to the park.

Evan enjoyed the swings for a while, then he kinda' hung out watching all the other kids. There were several other families there. And one of the older boys (a 9 year-old) kept commenting about how Evan was looking at him funny... I told him not to take offense (and he didn't) b/c Evan can often times give just about anybody "those looks"...

Robbie really enjoyed the slides this time, and was much more adventurous than when we were there last time. One of his favorite things seemed to be the "tunnel" slide. And, fearless child that he is, before we knew it he was climbing up the "rock wall"!

We were there for at least an hour, maybe closer to an hour and a half. I think we probably wore Robbie out, b/c he didn't give much of a fight when it was finally time to go. We went home to take potty breaks and rest for just a bit. Then it was off to Pizza Hut for dinner. The boys were very well behaved and we had a nice time.

I have learned that sometimes the simplest things, like coming home early or going to the park, can make you forget about all the other "stuff" going on.... I am thankful for my family, for my friends, and for all the beauty God has given us in this world. :o)

Happy Wednesday!


Monday, September 28, 2009

Persistence Pays Off!

Let me start by saying this: Certain things are better left unsaid. If you have any regrets, acknowledge them, then move on. But if there are people on this earth that mean THE WORLD to you, keep them in your life. Don't shut them out. Don't leave THEM behind. If somehow, along the way, you lose touch, look for them. Don't give up. If it's meant to be for your paths to cross again, you WILL find them. Maybe not TODAY, maybe not TOMORROW, and maybe not even for several YEARS, but you WILL find them!

Before Chris and his family moved to Ocean Springs, they lived in Jacksonville, AR. While in Jacksonville, Chris's very, very BEST FRIEND was Arrick (A.J.) Jones. When Chris moved to MS, I would hear stories about him and A.J. I had talked to A.J. a couple of times on the phone, but the first time I met him face-to-face was after Chris had passed away. We kept in touch off and on for several years, and then for a number of years (I'm not even sure how many...) we had no contact. Well, me being the persistent person that I am, I decided I was going to try to find him again!

I don't even remember how long ago I started seriously looking for A.J. again. But I will say this: Everyone has their own opinion about Facebook, but I think Facebook ROCKS! For the simple reason that just the other day, I FOUND the person I was searching for!!! Well, he doesn't have a FB page, but his wife does. And she has his name in parentheses beside her display name, so that's how I found him. I sent her a message telling her who I was and asking if I had the right person. She told me that yes, A.J. (who is now Arrick Sr.) is her husband and that they have been married for 8 years.

I then sent her a friend request, which she accepted. And we have chatted several times on FB over the past couple of days. I have yet to talk directly to Arrick, but I understand the reason why. He has only recently, within the past month, returned to the States from Iraq. And sadly, I learned that his mother passed away just a little over three weeks ago. My heart is hurting for the Jones family, for sure. Plus his wife just had surgery the other day and is recovering, so Arrick has been super busy being an AWESOME husband and father, taking care of their two children, a son almost 5 years old, and a daughter who will be 2 in a couple of months.

I told Michelle that I would love to chat with Arrick when he is ready. And that I would understand if he chose not to. She says she thinks he'll want to talk, it's just that he's been super busy. Plus, with having just lost his mother a few weeks ago, I feel it may take a while for him to be ready to "revisit" the past by reconnecting
with me. After all, the tie that binds us lives forever in our hearts and will forever be "17".

But persistence DOES pay off! And I am patiently waiting for the day that Arrick is ready to talk. I am looking forward to reconnecting and building a friendship upon a solid foundation. He has a beautiful wife and two precious children. I am so excited to learn more about all of them. I know Chris would be so proud!

Right now, I'm not sure exactly what I will say when I get to talk to him again after all this time. For now, I will pray that God brings Arrick and his family a peace that passes understanding. And when I do get to speak to him again, knowing me I'll probably talk his ear off! ;o)

Here's hoping y'all have a FANTASTIC week!

Amy Beth

Monday, September 21, 2009


Yet again, the Vancleave community has suffered the loss of one of their own. I did not get the opportunity to teach or get to know Chris Driebergen, but from what I understand, several of the students I DID teach were good friends of his. My heart is hurting for Chris's friends and family at this sad time. It brings back memories of when I lost MY Chris 18 1/2 years ago. Well, he wasn't just MY Chris really, but those of you who really know me UNDERSTAND what I mean.....

In the past few years, the community of Vancleave has had to endure more loss than any town should have to. Students, teachers, young, old, they have lost way too many..... To all my friends at VHS, you are all in my thoughts and prayers as you face the difficult task of saying "good-bye" to this young man, taken way too soon. I am praying especially that God will give you the strength you need to be a "rock" for the young people of VHS and the Vancleave community. We all lead and learn by example. They will need you and you will need them in the days, weeks, months, and years to come.

May God grant each of you a peace that passes all understanding.

Love and prayers,