Thursday, December 24, 2009

Christmas Eve Thoughts

This Christmas Eve I am not quite sure what to feel.  I adore the Christmas season.  I love the hustle and bustle, the music, the special time with family and friends and the traditions.

But this year our traditions are different.  They will never be the same.  You see, this is Hannah's first Christmas in Heaven.  Our first Christmas with a huge, jagged hole in our hearts.  This is the first year that we are missing a key singer in our family's rendition of Twelve Days of Christmas as we take turns belting out the verses and laughing at Brad's out-of-tune but full of gusto "Five Goooolden Rings!"  This is the first year that the cousins are missing their Director as they perform the Christmas Story complete with dogs playing the part of sheep and Caitlin as Baby Jesus.  

So while I enjoy the Season and the precious time with my husband and children, there's a part of me that feels guilty.  For I know that there is a family, who is also my family, that is missing their beautiful daughter and sister this Season.  So while I take great pleasure in the time spent with my family, my heart still hurts for them.  My heart hurts for my husband, kids and myself too because we also miss her.  But our hurt cannot possibly compare with theirs.

I know that Hannah is with Jesus and I can't even imagine what the Celebration is like in Heaven this time of year!  I'm grateful for Jesus' birth because I know it makes the hope we have possible.  Hope that we too someday will celebrate Christmas in the very presence of Jesus.  And with Hannah.

So, this Season I am all too aware that life is fragile and we are not guaranteed tomorrow.  I plan to make the most of this time and savor every precious moment.  I covet your prayers for our family over the next few joyful but painful and difficult days.  I also ask you to join me as I pray for dear friends who are also experiencing their first Christmases without their dads and friends who have loved ones with serious illnesses.

I hope you all have a Blessed Christmas and create some beautiful memories!  I'll be back in a few days to share some of ours!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

A Reader's Digest Condensed Version of Christmas

Today I'm hitting the Pause button on the hustling and bustling to jot down some quick thoughts on the Season and share some of the highlights so far.

The last couple of Friday nights we've driven out to the Iron Mountain Lodge & Marina to look at the spectacular light display.  This is one of our very favorite family Christmas traditions.  It's a fundraiser for the Make A Wish Foundation and the owners of all the fancy-schmancy houseboats decorate their boats, docks and the marina and local businesses sponsor the decorating of all the Lodge buildings and cottages and pretty much anything else that doesn't move.

Here's a view from the top of the hill leading down to one of the docks:

(I would like to apologize for the quality of the pictures or the lack thereof.  These pics were taken with my iPhone and she doesn't take good pics at night.)

Here's the family walking across the water to the dock through my personal favorite, the tunnel of lights.

That last sentence made me giggle.  I don't mean that my family actually walks on water like Jesus, although they are pretty great if I may say so myself.  There's a floating bridge thing-y but you probably figured that out.

Here's one of the fancy-schmancy houseboats:

(Wes is actually having a better time that it appears in this photo!)

Sometimes they even have a real Santa that hands out presents to the kids.

That sentence just made me giggle too.  Obviously, he's not a real Santa!

I think he's just an elf.

The houseboat-ers also have a table set up to receive donations for Make A Wish and free hot chocolate and candy canes.  One man told us this year that they've raised over $250,000 over the years that they've been doing this.  That's a lot of donations from families just looking at some Christmas lights!

Everyone at the marina is so friendly and of course, there's fun Christmas music.  It just makes my heart full.  Life in a small town is beautiful sometimes.

I also really enjoyed our wonderful Christmas party at church.  Have I mentioned how much we love our church, Fellowship Church?  It was such fun and heart-warming time.  Wes had to miss due to business travel but the girls and I went.  We ate some fabulous Christmas goodies...

(See how I ate some carrot sticks to offset the sugar and fat in the rest of it?!)

We ate, laughed, talked and played board games.  Then we had a beautiful time of worship singing Christmas songs by the light of the twinkling Chrismond tree.  Our four teaching pastors took turns reading the Christmas story.  We shared our favorite Christmas memories.  I left with my heart full again.

We also had our small group Christmas party at our house this year.  I just love our small group!  We have the most precious group of college students!  We ate ourselves sick, played Phase 10 and exchanged ornaments.

AmberJen and I made a marathon shopping trip and I completely finished my Christmas shopping.  I don't think I've ever laughed so hard, had so much fun and been so exhausted.  Totally worth it.

My friend Jen and I went to the Kari Jobe/Al Denson Christmas concert.  Do you remember Al Denson?  If you are a child of the 80s you should.  I'm sorry to tell you that Jen and I both thought Al was dead.  We were very happy to see that he is, in fact, quite alive and still sounds exactly like he did when I used to listen to my bootleg cassette of him.  Yes, kids, that was way before CDs.

Kari Jobe.  Oh. My. Word.

I thought it just couldn't get any better than Revelation Song.  And then she sang "O Holy Night."

And I almost came unglued.

I really don't think someone who can sing like that ought to also be so beautiful.  It just doesn't seem fair.

Not that I'm jealous or anything.

Caitlin goes to an after-school kids program on Wednesdays at the local Methodist Church and they had their annual Christmas musical.  Caitlin sang "Angels We Have Heard On High" with two other little girls.

So that's our Christmas season so far in a nutshell.

We've had lots of fun and made lots of memories.  But this year we're also all too aware that life is fragile and fleeting.  So this year I feel a bit like Mary...I'm treasuring up all these things and pondering them in my heart.  Thanks for sharing them with me.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Christmas Tour Of Homes 2009


I HIGHLY recommend Nester's Garland Tutorial from last year.  Dare I say it might be the most helpful and inspiring decorating blog post on the Internet?!  If I can do it, anyone can!

This year I decided to get an early start and put my cheap Walmart garland (purchased after Christmas for 50% off) on my fireplace mantel and then I thought...wait, what if I made a THANKSGIVING garland?  So, I took a bunch of random fall-ish stuff that I had in my closet and  did this...

And then the day after Thanksgiving I simply pulled out all the fall-ish stuff and added a bit more el cheapo garland on each end and VOILA!  I had the beginnings of my Christmas garland.  Oh, how I heart multi-use items!

So here's the Christmas-y version...

Here's the view from the foyer:

I'm sorry I don't know what to tell you about the golden-ish lighting of my photos.  Let's pretend that I used one of the faincy settings on my camera just to be artsy.

This is the view from the kitchen.  See how cleverly I disguised the fact that I don't have window treatments?! 

And how fun is this garland that I bought last year after Christmas at Hobby Lobby for 66% off?!  It's on my tree.

I love me some Hobby Lobby sales!

And speaking of my tree...

That picture really doesn't do it justice.  Anybody know a good site with a photography tutorial for dummies?

I'm going to end with some pics of my beautiful Nativity that was a gift from my in-laws a couple of years ago.

Thanks so much for stopping by!  I hope you and yours have a Blessed Christmas!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

If I Tell You This Post Is About Global Warming Will You Still Read It?

My apologies in advance to my Dad, who likes for my posts to be happy and uplifting and to my liberal friends, who fully embrace the Cult of Anthropogenic Global Warming and will be deeply offended by this post.

I have been about to bust to tell you what I think about the current scandal of "Climategate."  I'm sure you've been on pins and needles too what with wanting to know what I think of it.  I still want to tell you about the fun holiday stuff I've been up to but I just can't stand it anymore.  I simply MUST TELL YOU.  See how excited I am that I'm shouting text at you?

So, if you're new here, let me catch you up to speed on where I stand on man-made global warming.  I can tell you in three words:


Clear enough?

So right off the bat you're thinking that I am a flat-earther, holocaust-denier and I hate the planet.  Let me stop you right there.

I don't hate the planet.  It's a lovely planet created by Almighty God (not by the Big Bang Theory..gasp!)  I am all for good stewardship of God's Creation and for conservation.

I also think that comparing man-made global warming skeptics to Holocaust deniers is a bit of a hyperbole.

Ok, it's a lot of hyperbole. In fact, it is INSANE and diminishes the horror of the ACTUAL Holocaust and causes most rational people to dismiss your argument out of hand.

The use of Holocaust terminology has drawn the ire of Roger Pielke, Jr. of the University of Colorado's Center for Science and Technology Policy Research. “The phrase ‘climate change denier’ is meant to be evocative of the phrase ‘holocaust denier,’” Pielke, Jr. wrote on October 9, 2006. “Let's be blunt. This allusion is an affront to those who suffered and died in the Holocaust. This allusion has no place in the discourse on climate change. I say this as someone fully convinced of a significant human role in the behavior of the climate system,” Pielke, Jr. explained.  (
Nor do I think the Earth is flat.  Just sayin'.

I am not a scientist but I'm pretty sure there's a difference between scientific LAWS and scientific THEORIES.

Gravity= LAW.
Evolution= THEORY
MAN-MADE Global Warming=THEORY

So, my point is that there may or may not be global warming.  If there IS global warming, it may or may not be caused by people.  If it IS caused by people, we may or may not be able to fix it.  And HOW we fix it...well, I'm pretty sure there's plenty to debate right there.  There are plenty of reputable scientists who DON'T subscribe to the man-made global warming theory.  And there are plenty reputable scientists who DO.

But there's also a whole host of scientists and politicians who are willing to lie, cheat and hide data to make sure the debate is shut down because there's a LOT of money to be made with the global warming alarmism.  (NOTE: This is where the SCAM part comes into play.)

"Al Gore, the former US vice president, could become the world's first carbon billionaire after investing heavily in green energy companies." (


So on to Climategate.  If you watch the "mainstream" media you may not even know about this because they aren't reporting on it.  (Sidenote: Who owns NBC?  General Electric.  Who is heavily invested in green energy?  General Electric.  Who was appointed to President Obama's Economic Advisory Team?  Jeffrey Immelt, CEO of General Electric. that might explain the silence of NBC, MSNBC and CNBC.  So what's your excuse CBS, ABC and CNN?)

It seems that thousands of emails were hacked into at the Climate Research Unit at Britain's University of East Anglia (whose research the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change relies heavily upon ).
These e-mails show, among many other things, private admissions of doubt or scientific weakness in the global warming theory. In acknowledging that global temperatures have actually declined for the past decade, one scientist asks, "where the heck is global warming?... The fact is that we can't account for the lack of warming at the moment and it is a travesty that we can't."
More seriously, in one e-mail, a prominent global warming alarmist admits to using a statistical "trick" to "hide the decline" in temperatures. Anthony Watts provides an explanation of this case in technical detail; the "trick" consists of selectively mixing two different kinds of data-temperature "proxies" from tree rings and actual thermometer measurements-in a way designed to produce a graph of global temperatures that ends the way the global warming establishment wants it to: with an upward "hockey stick" slope.
Confirming the earlier scandal about cherry-picked data, the e-mails show CRU scientists conspiring to evade legal requests, under the Freedom of Information Act, for their underlying data. It's a basic rule of science that you don't just get to report your results and ask other people to take you on faith. You also have to report your data and your specific method of analysis, so that others can check it and, yes, even criticize it. Yet that is precisely what the CRU scientists have refused.
 But what stood out most for me was extensive evidence of the hijacking of the "peer review" process to enforce global warming dogma. Peer review is the practice of subjecting scientific papers to review by other scientists with relevant expertise before they can be published in professional journals. The idea is to weed out research with obvious flaws or weak arguments, but there is a clear danger that such a process will simply reinforce groupthink. If it is corrupted, peer review can be a mechanism for an entrenched establishment to exclude legitimate challenges by simply refusing to give critics a hearing.  (
In summary, these prominent climate researchers conspired to use "tricks" to hide the fact that the Earth is not warming, hijack the peer review process and evade legal requests.

Does this prove that there is no global warming?


But it does cast some doubt on some of the research that the global community is relying on in claiming that the debate is settled.   

And since the global community is poised to make sweeping changes in global energy polices costing our economies trillions of dollars...maybe we should have a little more debate first?

And in other news...

Yesterday, the EPA announced that AIR is a pollutant.


Yeah.  Take a deep breath with me...

now slowly exhale...

you just polluted the planet...with CO2.

Nevermind that it is naturally-occuring and plants and trees need it.

Plants and trees need CO2 to survive.  We exhale it and they use it to produce oxygen which we need to survive.'s almost like somebody intelligent designed it that way.

And now that the EPA has declared CO2 to be a dangerous pollutant...they can regulate it.

You just think we have a lot of government regulations now.  Wait until the EPA starts regulating how cool/warm you can keep your house (GE's Smart Grid, anyone?) because that produces CO2 you know.  Or what about coal plants, the biggest villain in CO2 production?  Also, the biggest supplier of electricity.  Could that "necessarily cause electricity rates to skyrocket"? (Barak Obama, San Francisco Chronicle, January, 2008.)  The possibilities for regulation in our daily lives are limitless.

So there you have it in a nutshell.  Whew!

Ok, now I can think about something holiday-ish.  I think I'll go plug in all my Christmas lights and generate a little CO2.  And I think I'll turn my thermostat up some...while I still can.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Please Stay Tuned

I just wanted to pop in and say that I have not abandoned my blog.  It's just...OH MY AT THE BUSYNESS GOING ON AROUND HERE!

I want to tell you what we did for Thanksgiving and everything else that's been going on but...OH MY AT THE BUSYNESS.

Did I say that already?

Wes just cooked chili and we're all four about to snuggle up and watch Monsters vs. Aliens.  There's a lighted Christmas tree twinkling, a fire in the fireplace and there will be peanut butter blossom cookies involved and perhaps some hot apple cider.

It's Peace on Earth.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

It's Solid, Solid As A Rock

First, I need to give you a little background.

While I'm normally a very devoted rule-follower, in the kitchen I tend to walk on the wild side...much to my family's dismay.  I'm infamous for forgetting to purchase necessary ingredients and deciding on a whim to make a substitution.  Recipe, shmechipe!  That's my motto.

It often gets me into trouble.

Like a few nights ago.

I had a hankerin' for some Pecan Pralines and my favorite cookbook happened to have a MICROWAVE Pecan Praline recipe which sounded like it would be a snap.

Oh, a you need a little more background.

My friend Kim makes a FANTABULOUS microwave fudge.  It melts in your mouth like buttah.

I have tried rather comically THREE times to make this delightfully easy fudge.

It did not end well.

Kim says I'm the only person she knows that can screw up microwave fudge.

Ok, back to my story.

So, I skimmed the recipe and perused my pantry...

Here's where the wheels fell off my endeavor.

The recipe called for half-n-half.

I had flavored coffee creamers, fat-free milk and evaporated milk.

Hmmm...what to do, what to do?

I ruled out the Peppermint Mocha coffee creamer for obvious reasons.

I ruled out the fat-free milk because it just seems like fudge should have fat in it.

Which left the evaporated milk.

Why not?  It's a dairy product, right?

So I proceeded to mix it all up and pop it in the microwave just like the recipe said.

Everything seemed to be going fine after 4 minutes when I checked it and stirred, as directed.

I popped it back in for 5 minutes like the recipe said but after 3-ish minutes it started to smell...

And not a good smell either.

More like a burnt milk and sugar smell.

I still wasn't ready to give up so I boldy dropped it into blobs on the waxed paper while Wes looked on skeptically and I kept saying optimistically that maybe they were ok.

The smell was overwhelming.

Before I could get it all scooped out...

It set up like concrete.

Ok, no problem.  We'll just soak the bowl and spoon in hot soapy water, right?

Not so much.

Wes volunteered to finish cleaning up for me:

He's so helpful.

Not one to be daunted by failure, I pulled out my traditional stove-top praline recipe...which actually DOES call for evaporated milk.

Wes was dubious especially when he heard me muttering about my candy thermometer being broken and having to use the old-fashioned method to determine when it had reached soft-ball stage. (Sidenote: Thanks Mom for teaching me the cup of water method!)


Now, THAT'S a praline!

Once again my family is amazed.

And they have banned me from using any more microwave candy recipes.

Today I made Chewy Gingersnaps...except I was out of ginger.

They are actually more like Randomly Available Spices Cookies.

But quite tasty, thank you very much!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Tales from the Deer Woods

My dad has requested a blog post about my children because it makes him feel lighthearted and apparently my last blog post was a real buzz-killer.  So I thought I'd regale you with a cute story involving my younger daughter, a gun and a couple of amused deer.

Last weekend was Youth Hunt here in AR which means that kids can hunt and kill pretty much any deer in any shape or form that they so desire.  My girls eagerly look forward to it every year.  We have a family place in the middle of nowhere where all the hunter-types in the family go to kill meat.  All the grandchildren in the family happen to be girls but that hasn't stopped their daddies from teaching them to do all things redneck.

My baby girl is the only cousin that hasn't killed a deer yet...well, except the baby, Faith.  She's just started walking so she's not packin' heat yet.  So, this weekend was a big deal.

Caitlin and her Pappaw spent the morning on the deer stand together and Wes was on a stand with Hayley not too far away.  He heard some gunshots and was so hopeful that Caitlin had finally gotten a deer.  Then the walkie-talkie squawked beside him and Caitlin said, "Dad, I just shot four times at some deer and missed!"

So they talk back and forth a bit and then she says, "And now I'm out of shells....and Dad, those deer are still standing there...and they're laughing at me!"

All I have to say is those deer better laugh while they can 'cuz their days are numbered.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

I Don't Hate Poor People or Children

Content Warning: If you are really into partisan politics, Republican OR Democrat, or if you frighten easily, (Tiff put your fingers in your ears right now and sing La La La La!) you should probably not read this post. I'm probably going to step on your toes or scare the snot out of you.

OK, still with me?

I've had a few requests to explain the health care debate, i.e. "I know the health care bill is bad but I'm not sure why." and "What's all the hub-bub about the government option?"

I am not an expert by any stretch of the imagination.   I'm going to attempt to articulate my position which you should take with a grain of salt. Do your own research and form your own opinion based on your core values and principals.

We have actually had this same argument back in the 90s and we decided against universal health care.  Hillarycare, anyone?!  But if you're like me, you were young and healthy back then and thought you didn't need health care so you didn't really pay attention.   But now you've got aging parents and children and suddenly it's a discussion worth having again.

So let's start at the beginning.  Politicians in both political parties campaigned on health care reform.  During the campaign you heard this said a lot: "America is the richest country in the world!  It is unacceptable that 46 million hardworking Americans are uninsured!"  It was presupposed that everyone agreed with this statement; the only disagreement was on HOW to fix it.

No one ever challenges the idea that America is the richest country.  The claim is made to imply that we are so rich we can afford to pay more.  Not so much.  Let's say you have a neighbor who has a big, fancy house and a shiny new car in the driveway. You'd probably assume based on appearances that he's the richest guy in the neighborhood.  But if you knew that he had a first and second mortgage on that house and he borrowed the money for the car and he couldn't afford to pay his bills, would you still think he was rich?  Right.  Not so much. That's America.  And America paying for universal health care is like your bankrupt neighbor pulling out his Visa and charging a trip to the Bahamas.  It's just stupid.

Are there really 46 million uninsured?  Not so much.  That figure makes a great campaign line or eye-catching headline but it's exaggerated.  First, that figure includes approximately 10 million illegal aliens or other non-citizens who likely wouldn't qualify for health care anyway.  About 18 million of the remaining 36 million uninsured have a household income greater than $50,000 and over half of them have a household income of more than $75,000 which is more than enough to afford health insurance if it were a priority for them.  I'd be willing to bet that a lot of those households don't go without cell phones, cable and high-speed internet.  So if we eliminate all those people we're left with the ones who truly need help.  And we already help them.  Close to 30% of our country's population already lives under some type of government health care.  And another estimated 14 million American's qualify for it but haven't bothered to apply for it.  The true number of uninsured Americans is somewhere around 3% which is still too many but is vastly different from the number our politicians and media like to toss around.

Our health care system is not perfect.  Could we make some improvements?  Sure.  Do we need a new behemoth government program that we can't even afford?  Not so much.  If we were really serious about bringing down the cost of health care we could have done that already.  No, what we're really talking about is growing the size of government.  Because progressives think you are too stupid to manage your own life.  Government is their answer to everything.

Frankly, I think the whole debate can be settled by answering one simple question:

Do you want the same people who run the post office to cut your chest open for heart surgery?

Let's say you've decided you're ok with that risky proposition.  Let me ask you another question:

You think that a government who has brought us Medicare/Medicaid, Social Security, the IRS and the DMV can possibly run an efficient and cost-effective health care program?

Or ask yourself this:

Do you really believe that the government who gave us Amtrak can be expected to run a health care system that pays for itself?

If you're still reading this, by now I'm sure you've figured out that I'm not really in favor of nationalizing health care.  It's not because I hate poor people or because I want children to die in the streets.  I just happen to think that government is the problem NOT the solution.  Everyone complains about our "employer-based" insurance.  Do you know why we have that system?  Government poked its nose where it didn't belong and ,presto-chango, it created a whole new set of problems in addition to the one they were trying to fix.  During the Great Depression, government decided it was a good idea to mess with the free-market system by using wage controls.  Employers had to find another way to attract the best employees and since they couldn't lure them with higher wages they started offering fringe benefits like health insurance.  Then, in 1943 the IRS further encouraged employer-provided insurance by declaring them tax free.

That's just one example of government creating more problems than it solves.  So do you really trust them to get it right this time?  Do you really think they won't create a lot of unintended consequences with all the regulations in a health care bill?  I hope you're willing to bet your life on it....because you are.

In my next post I'll try to address the things that I think are wrong with the bill that just passed the House.  And believe me, there are many, many things.  It will take more than one post.  You'll need to plan to stay awhile.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Thank You

Free Gifs and Animations

"These are the times that try men's souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman."--Thomas Paine

When Thomas Paine penned these words in 1776, he was describing the beginning of the American Revolution. But these words have proven true time and again throughout our nation's history. Each time a crisis has arisen, brave men and women have risen up to answer Freedom's call.

These men and women are no "summer soldiers" or "sunshine patriots" who shrink from service. These are men and women who boldly go without reservation in the name of Liberty. These men and women consider the cost to themselves and their families and count it as gain in the name of defending America and her ideals.

We owe the men and women of America's armed forces a debt of gratitude that we can never hope to fully repay. From the American Revolution to the current wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, these amazing men and women have served our Great Nation with honor and dignity. They have preserved our rights as individuals to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, often at great personal sacrifice.

Please join me in giving a hearty Thank You to all of those who have served and continue to serve in our armed services this Veterans' Day.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Insert Clever Post Title Here

So today I went to Walmart (ugh!) and purchased all the items necessary to try Carpoolqueen's Roasted Vegetables and Orzo. It sounds yummy!

I was disappointed that the Tyson Frozen Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts were $7.54 for a 3-lb. bag. I can usually find them for $6.00! Which has nothing whatsoever to do with CPQ's recipe but I just thought you should know.

Sweet onions were down $0.40/lb but yellow squash were up $0.50/lb.

Can you tell that I LOVE my iPhone app "Grocery IQ"?

And there were NO eggplants. Just a big empty case where they should be. Was there a run on eggplants this morning? Did everyone read Carpoolqueen's blog and stampede to the produce section? Is there an eggplant shortage I don't know about?

Also, Walmart, I am on to your store brand scam. Del Monte Cut Green Beans and Whole Kernal Corn are $0.20 per can cheaper than the Great Value brand. Hmmmph!

And your Great Value Fruit and Grain bars are NOT the equivalent of Kellogg's Nutrigrain Bars. I don't care how much cheaper they are. They are nasty.

That is all.

Friday, November 6, 2009


My dad pointed out recently that I haven't been blogging much lately and since I'm his favorite blogger he finds that very disappointing. I must confess I've been in something of a bloggy slump. Do you ever just have so many things running around in your brain that you can't form coherent thoughts? That's me. So I'm going to set some of that stuff free by dumping it on you, my bloggy buddies. Here goes...

  • I am completely freaked out by all the Marxist/Mao-revering/anti-capitalists in the Obama administration.
  • At night, when I can't sleep, I worry about the Fed's monetary policies and the falling value of the dollar.
  • There's a pervy kid at my daughter's middle school that is really making her uncomfortable but it seems like no one at school believes her. She's strong and she'll be fine but it makes me wonder if this is a sign that I really do need to homeschool next year. Or would that be running away from our problems?
  • If I do homeschool her, how will that affect her socially? What about athletics? Will she miss Prom, Homecoming, Graduation or are those things even important? Will she be prepared for college? Can I really do this?
  • I'm the cash manager of sorts at work and yesterday when I called the bank to order change they told me they were out. Of ones. And won't have any more until Tuesday. Really? The bank is out of cash? Huh.
  • My family is gone this weekend to the farm because tomorrow is Youth Hunt in these here parts. I. am. so. happy. For them, of course. They love to hunt. I'll just have to suffer through the loneliness and having the remote all to myself and not having to prepare meals and not feeling guilty for laying in bed reading blogs all day instead of doing laundry.
  • I have lot of tasks to do that I've been putting off for a long time. Not big stuff but I just can't make myself do them.
  • I don't feel like myself these days. Uncomfortable in my own skin. Not sad. Not happy. Just...brittle. And burdened.
  • Global warming hysteria makes me CRAZY.
  • Glenn Beck had an emergency appendectomy this week and I miss him.
  • My baby girl is growing up and I'm not quite sure what to do with her right now. She's so different from her big sister, who is an open book. She's quiet and private, like me. I'm not even sure I really know her.
  • I'm beginning to feel a little festive about the upcoming holidays.
  • Right now I'm into comfort food and nesting. I think I just feel like I need to hunker down with the ones I love.
  • I'm terrified of the government takeover of health care. HUGE mistake. HUGE.

M'kay. That's enough.

I'll be back.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Out To Pasture

*****Guest Blogger ALERT!!*****

Well, well, well, hello Lisa’s bloggy friends. Wes, here, the other half of the “smart” friend. Would that make me smart too? Not so much, just lucky to have a CPA/political junkie/marathon reader/wonderful mother/Godly woman in my life.

The time of the year is coming for our girls and me to be sent out to pasture by Lisa. We do all things hunting and riding over the next few months at our family farm.

We leave Lisa alone at home with our 3 dogs and 2 cats feeling sorry for herself that her family has left her. She really misses us…really!!

We were able to ALL go to the farm a couple of weekends ago for a family reunion. We left out Saturday morning after the last soccer game of the year for Caitlin. With the four wheeler loaded and all bags packed we took the hour and a half trip to the farm. We arrived to find out the party had already started.

Meet my Aunt Bessie.

The view from the house is out of a picture book.

Not quite the mountains of the land of
Mer but not bad for Arkansas.

My family was the first of all my brothers' families to get there so I decided we would go on a family four wheeler ride and beaver dam demolition derby.

Here are Caitlin and Hayley on the four wheelers and no, they are not 16... shhhhh! We have very strict rules about those things. It's all very safe, really. So we made it down into the “bottoms” where our first stop was busting out several beaver dams.

The beavers are so cleaver, when they need to sharpen their teeth they do this.

Then they can get back to work and build another dam.

While I was hard at work, Lisa was doing this.

****Comment from Lisa: If I'm going to have to do this again, I demand cuter boots.****

She found one of the only places we get cell coverage on our farm, deep in the bottoms near the river. Leave it to Lisa. She has never met a cell tower she can’t find.

We were getting very hungry so we started to head back to the house, but Lisa couldn’t wait to eat. So being the manly man that I am, I provided the meat for the family, but who knew Lisa was this hungry. Look what she did to my deer!!!

Picked it clean didn’t she? Well she may have had a little help from the vultures in the area. Someone shot this deer from the road, I am guessing, at night. That’s how they roll in Yell County, USA. Enough of the gross stuff.

****Another comment from Lisa: Personally, I think that Boney Stoney, as the girls named him, didn't get the memo tha high-sodium diets are bad for your health.****

The family reunion was about to start.
As all family reunions there is a lot of this.

And this

That is my mom on the right and my Aunt Betty. My family loves to sit around and tell the same stories over and over again. I love it!

Here is my dad with Hayley and Caitlin relaxing on the couch getting read for another adventure chasing cows and visiting Uncle Paul, the Resident Uncle of Yell County.

Here is Lisa with the sister in laws, Maria and Jill. They have a great time together talking about how goofy and alike me and my brothers are.

Hayley loves to have pictures taken of herself. Here she is with my mom.

After the fun had been had at the dinner I took Lisa over to the other house where she got her redneck on. Just call her Sure Shot Lisa. I was impressed with her shooting skills.

After a good night's rest we got ready to head to Hayley’s soccer game in Bryant but we had time for one more picture with Uncle Paul and all the cousins.

So there you have it. Who wouldn’t want to go there every weekend with no TV, cell coverage or fast food within several miles? Oh, that’s right...Lisa wouldn’t. She is not a country girl. I am ok with that. I get to spend some quality time with my daughters and Lisa gets to spend some quality time with…herself!! We are all happy with that.

Thanks for letting me visit!


Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Hog Fever and Swine Flu, Day 2

The big game day was here. We got our game faces on, complete with Razorback tattoos and headed to the stadium.

Side note here: When dressing for the big game, form SHOULD follow function, especially when choosing footwear. Those boots may look mighty fine with that sweater dress but when you have to park at the Oxford Mall, (and I use the term mall VERY loosely here) and hike to the stadium, you WILL regret wearing them. But you will look good. Smile through the pain.

On the way, while sitting in traffic with Wes suffering from a severe case of Game Day Anticipation, we saw a fan with an even worse case of Hog Fever:

We had FAB seats...right smack dab in the Ole Miss end zone next to the student section. Most of the people were very nice (except for the one or two students who had perhaps partaken of a few adult beverages, ahem) and Wes even made a few new friends. Imagine that.

And at half-time I called to check on the swine flu-infested kid and found out the younger kid had also been infected. Nice. So we finagled another Tamiflu prescription during the third quarter which was no small feat considering we were in Mississippi, my kids were at my Mom and Dad's and our pediatrician and pharmacist were back home. But we have connections...shout-out to Dr. Pursuing Pineapple!

Here's the part where we fast forward to the end of the Game That Shall Not Be Spoken Of Ever Again because it was Just. Too. Humiliating.

Anyhoo, on the way out of the stadium we saw Weird Dumpster Lady retrieving her box of Wheat Thins that she had stashed IN THE DUMPSTER. I'm sure she was an Ole Miss fan.

We visited The Grove. Wow, do these Ole Miss people really know how to tailgate. Check out this pink zebra print tent complete with Elle from Legally Blonde, a little dog in a pink carriage, a chandelier, floral arrangements, tulle, monogrammed slipcovers for the folding chairs and a color-coordinated rug.

We then left The Grove and toured the campus reminiscing with Kirk, who was once a Rebel, about days gone by. And visited the bookstore where we felt really outnumbered but oohed and ahhed over some really cute Hotty Toddy t-shirts.

And Wes and I had our picture made in front of a really big old tree.

And then Amber and I hiked back to the car barefooted like true Arkansans because we had blisters the size of Texas from our fashionable footwear.

And then we did something really adventurous but I'll have to tell you later after Amber blogs about it 'cuz friends don't steal friend's bloggy thunder.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Hog Fever and Swine Flu, Day 1

This weekend featured another road trip with the besties, Kirk and

Unfortunately, it started out with my elder child coming down with the swine flu.

Fortunately, there's this stuff called Tamiflu which is a lifesaver!

Doubly fortunately, there's these people called Grandparents who were willing to keep said flu-infested elder child. God bless grandparents, Amen!

We hit the road for Oxford on Friday morning, a little guilt-ridden but still giddy with Hog Fever. Woo Pig Sooie!

Our first stop was for some necessary accessories:

We arrived a few hours later in Mississippi still giddy but slightly less guilt-ridden and we spied this:

And we said, Why yes, Paula. Yes, we are!

And then we stuffed ourselves with hoecakes and cheese biscuits and such and waddled back to the hotel to rest up for the big adventure while visions of the sugar plum fairy danced in our heads.

And thus ended the first day of Hog Fever and Swine Flu.