Merry Christmas!!

Merry Christmas! I wish you a wonderful holiday full of joy, laughter, and family. May we always remember the baby that changed everything as it is the ultimate purpose of the holiday. The birth of Jesus Christ is so precious since it symbolizes the love of God, undeserving grace that he gives us, and the opportunity to form an enternal yet personal relationship with him. What a great season!

This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. 1 Peter 4:9-10

Little Sister Darlene!

Darlene is my adopted little sister through the Big Sister, Big Brother organization at Ouachita Baptist University. Because mentoring at-risk kids is the principle behind my platform of Second Chances, this organization is one that I admire and support! Darlene has been so much fun to hang out with and get to know! Sarah comes from a large family, a small apartment, and unemployed parents. She is in the fourth grade in the Arkadelphia School District along with her best friend, Sarah. Sarah's big sister is my roommate and best friend, Whitney. We always hang out together as a group and have lots of fun!

I pick up Darlene every Wednesday afternoon. Sometimes we watch movies, play soccer and foosball, eat dinner in my cafeteria, or go out for ice cream. We have also thrown a birthday party for Darlene and Sarah where we ate cupcakes and ice cream! The girls helped us decorate the dorm room for Christmas and wanted to put christmas ornaments on every item in the room other than the christmas tree! Then when we were walking down the stairs, Darlene accidentally bumped into the emergency exit door and set off the alarm! haha, silly girls.

Darlene is a special girl. She definitely has leadership skills and is always trying to make a plan for the afternoon. She wants to include Sarah and other friends in every activity. She also has the ability to see what needs to be done and knows how to do it. For example, when we were decorating for Christmas, she was directing us to put up christmas lights or place the ornaments on the tree. Darlene has so much potential to be successful in the world, but she definitely needs a positive role model in her life that can encourage and guide her!

Darlene and Sarah being goofy... it's normal!

Sarah's Birthday!

Darlene's birthday present... a jacket just like mine! :)

Darlene's birthday party at Cold Stone Ice Cream, yum!

Decorating our dorm room! They were such a great help!

Darlene with her friend, Danielle. Danielle lives in her apartment complex and is always smiling!!

Darlene and I at the Homecoming Festival on the lawn

The whole gang! We love these kids!

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year!

Within in the past two weeks, I have had the priveledge of riding in two Christmas parades. The first one occured in Arkadelphia, AR. The weather was wonderful and they had a great turn out. I even saw my little sister from the Big Brother, Big Sister Program in the crowd!

Waiting for the parade to start in Arkdelphia!

The second parade was in Osceola, AR. I first met with Tim, Ben, Madison, and Ms. Missy for chili at the annual Chili Cook-Off in Osceola. The chili was delicious and I was able to meet lots of great people from the community. Tim mentioned that the Miss Cotton Belle pageant will be April 2 at the Osceola High School. I am looking forward to meeting once again with my pageant family!

Chili with Madison... yummy!

I noticed this boy was looking at Madison and I throughout dinner.

He finally got enough courage to ask if he could take a picture with us! Too cute!

After supper, we got in line for the Christmas parade. Mddison and I got to ride together as Ms. Missy drove us. We got to the first block, and realized that all children were much more interested in "SpongeBob" who walked behind our car than they were excited to see us. We would see little kids waving and we would wave back. Then the kid would turn to their parent and say, "Do you see SpongeBob?!" Haha, it was quite comical!

I also really enjoyed spending time with Madison! I always forget what an awesome and mature young girl she is, and how much I enjoy being around her. We got to catch up and laugh a little. She is planning on attending the University of Arkansas in the fall where she will play in the marching band and major in architecture. I am so fond of Madison and the example that she sets. She is a beautiful, caring, and intelligent young woman that will definitely make an impact for the better on this world!

In the car, ready for the parade to start!

Time to Celebrate!

Several weeks after Miss Arkansas, Mrs. Micki Konecny called me and wanted to plan a reception in my honor! We booked the First Baptist Activity Center and sent out invitations to all Studio Allegro students. Also, Mr. Bill placed an invitation in the Stuttgart Daily Leader and we had a great turn out!

Mrs. Micki first welcomed every to come in and take a seat. After she spoke for a moment, we watched each of my phases from the Miss Arkansas pageant competition on the overhead screen. In between each phase, I stood up to share stories and thoughts. Afterwards, I signed photographs, took plenty of pictures, and enjoyed cake and punch. Yum!

A special THANK YOU goes to Mrs. Micki and Studio Allegro. I fully appreciate all of the help and guidance that you have given me! You have been a mentor to me while teaching me skills, talents, and life lessons. We are blessed to have someone like you in Stuttgart who has invested in so many girls and shared your talents! Thank you very much... I love you!

Mrs. Micki and me!

Riley, my special princess, gets a little help with putting on her crown!

Speaking to the crowd.

Mrs. Micki is welcoming the crowd.

Mrs. Tracy and Cori Keller

My beautiful cake!

Group of girls that I love! Such sweet girls!