Monday, December 29, 2008

A new daddy

Today, at 2:45pm my baby brother became a daddy. Landon Ray entered the world weighing in at 7 lbs, 5 oz, and 20 inches. He's beautiful! He made his mommy and daddy a little nervous when he decided to come facing up, but Lindsay did great. She's just gorgeous anyway and didn't look like she had been through 8+ hours of labor and spent almost 2 hours pushing. She was very tired, but a happy new mommy, and as for Lance, I don't think his feet have quite touched the ground since 2:45. Landon has a big bruise on his forehead because of his difficult birth, but he's absolutely perfect!

God is amazing, He showed us another miracle today. How can you not believe in miracles when you look at the face of a newborn baby? God knows and plans every cell of our being long before we are born. Thank you, Lord, for you blessing, a little blessing named Landon.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Gingerbread houses and life lessons

"Plleeeeeese, Mommy, let's make a gingerbread house." That was Logan's request for Christmas decorations. They had made one at school (his teachers must be hiding the Wonder Woman symbol on their chest, because there is NO WAY I would attempt a gingerbread house with 20 4-year-olds "helping"). I kept putting him off with the lame excuses, "Mommy doesn't know how to make gingerbread", "we don't have the right kind of pan", etc....basically anything to keep from saying, "No a chance, no gingerbread house, nada, zip, never!" I cook, but baking is NOT my thing, you actually have to measure and be precise, I prefer the "eyeball it" method, or the "Hmmm, I'll bet this would taste good in there." Fast forward to Christmas Eve, yes, I went to Wal-Mart on Christmas Eve, only because I didn't have everything I needed for Christmas (I think God was trying to teach me patience...I learned, please don't give me another lesson). We had ice the day before, so my original plans were shot down...but I digress. So, we are in the dreaded Wal-Mart, and right there on the shelf was a gingerbread house kit! Logan spied and and turned the baby blues on me, "Pleeeeeeease, Mommy, pleeeease." so I gave in. It was only $5, so I figured it would be worth it if it would keep him quiet for a few minutes. I completely expected it to be a pile of sticky crumbs and candy before it was all said and done, however, it was the best $5 spent of the whole Christmas season.

We carefully got the pieces out of the box (yeah, right, as carefully as a 4 year old can rip open a box), looked at the instructions, then tossed them (goes back to that whole following a recipe & baking thing). I snipped the icing bag, and "glued" the pieces together. Keeping Logan away from the thing while it dried was a challenge, but it stayed up. I decided I would "help" him decorate, and took the icing bag out of his hands. After a few meticulous, careful applications of "glue" and telling him exactly where to stick the candies, he looked up and said, "I want to decorate my house!" Every cell in my brain was completely against the idea, but I handed him the icing bag and started giving directions. He just looked at me like I was insane (imagine that, me, insane, with a 4 year-old hold a giant bag of royal icing?), and started squeezing and sticking. This child can't sit still long enough to make it through an episode of Veggie Tales, but he sat for over and hour, squeezing, glueing, and sticking. There was no candy left, he even took a few mini chocolate chips to add to the top (said it was reindeer poop....such an active imagination). The whole gingerbread house thing turned out to be a great experience. He was so proud of his creation, and I learned to let him do it by himself. I also learned that I am NOT cut out to be a cake decorator because I wanted it to look like the gingerbread houses on Food Network! Better to leave the decorating to the kids.

Anyway, here it is, hope you like it as much as Logan.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Casting Crowns rocks!

Last night a group of us went to Jonesboro to see Casting Crowns. I thought it would just be them, but imagine my joy when I found out it was their Christmas celebration and we also got to see Michael English, Natalie Grant, Avalon, Denver and the Mile High Orchestra, Pure NRG, AND Casting Crowns. It was great! I was being a little Scroogey and wasn't really in the Christmas spirit, but I sure am now! I even let Austin miss the last 2 hours of school so he could go, too. This was his first concert, and what a great one. He was blown away by the whole thing. Did I mention I have their new Crowns Christmas CD in the cd player in my truck. It's great, GO GET ONE FOR YOURSELF!

I'm so tired tonight because it was almost 1am when we got home last night (this morning?) but it's a good kind of tired.

If you get a chance to see Casting Crowns....or Avalon, or Michael English, or Natalie concert, GO! You won't regret it and you'll be so blessed you just won't know how to act!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

God is in control!

I'm usually in such a hurry that I don't even look at things around me, but God had other plans for me this morning. We topped a small hill on our dirt road and the early morning (7:00am) sun was beautiful shining through the trees. The shadows were playing on the ground, the sun was peeking between the tree trunks, and the whole area was illuminated with warm, golden light. I had my camera with me and stopped in the road to take a shot of it. I had no idea that I had left the 4 cross-screen filter (usually used for taking shots of lights at night) on my camera lens. When I finally got a chance to load my photos onto my computer, I was amazed at the shot I had gotten. The light coming from the eastern sky, shining through the trees looked like a cross! Not just that, but the shadows on the road made another cross! I've been so preoccupied with so many things lately that I had drifted away from where He wants me to be. I'm so glad God showed me His glory in such a beautiful way, and helped me refocus my eyes on Him. No matter what may come, GOD is on His throne, GOD is in control, and I will place my complete trust in HIM.

Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you."
Deuteronomy 31:6

Friday, October 24, 2008

Hey, Kayla, this one's for you!

I had the priviledge of taking wedding photos for one of Casey's best friends on Saturday. Kayla and Joe tied the knot at 3:00 pm, then had a really fun reception following that. I just thought I'd post a few of the photos here just to let Kayla have a little hint of what will be in her hands soon. Oh, and Casey was one of the bridesmaid, too.

I hope you like them; constructive criticism is appreciated as long as you be nice! :)

Sunday, October 12, 2008

His name is David...

..He sits on the front pew at church, he's there every Sunday morning, Sunday night, and Wednesday night, he never misses; he's a grown man with the mind of a child; he has Down's Syndrome. I don't know how old David is, but I would venture to guess he's well into his 40's. He lives in an assisted living group home, and rides the church bus. This morning he was very agitated, I had no idea what was wrong, but he moved over to talk to our pastor's daughter. I assumed he was uncomfortable sitting alone, then I realized he was almost in tears. He always brings 2 dimes for his offering and this morning, as the offering plates started around, he couldn't find his dimes. He was so upset that he didn't have his 20 cents to put in the offering. After being assured it was okay, he just dropped his head. I guess God spoke to him through our praise and worship song, "How Great is Our God", because by the end of the song he was singing as loudly as he could, his words, under any other circumstances, would have be intelligible, but his face and hands were raised toward heaven, and you knew exactly what he was singing.

The Bible says "...suffer the little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for such is the kingdom of Heaven." Mark 10:14. Oh that we all could have such a childlike faith, that we would worry about having our offering money each Sunday, that we would be heartbroken if we didn't have something to give to Jesus. I'm speaking to myself as much as anyone. Sometimes....often times, I let life get in the way and give God what is left of my time when I should be giving Him the first of my time. I am so thankful that God placed people like David in my path that I can rethink my perspective and realize that God loves us, from the least to the greatest, from the richest to the poorest. He loves us all, His love encompasses everything and everyone. We should all be more like David, not afraid to raise our hand, not afraid to sing at the top of our lungs, not worried what the person beside us is thinking. We should live our lives to the glory of God.

Though David's song wasn't anywhere near the key where the music was written, don't you know it was music to God's ears.

Monday, September 29, 2008

20 years ago today.....

A little dark-haired, dark-eyed baby girl joined our family. Casey was exactly 2 weeks LATE, (which may attest to why she's never on time now), and weighed in at 8lbs, 4oz, and measuring 22 inches long. Now she's 20 and in her 2nd year of college, where has the time gone?

Happy Birthday, Casey!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Random things about me.

This was on my cousin, Jamie's, blog. I thought it might be fun. Please leave a comment if you decide to answer on your blog--I'd love to read yours...

"35 odd things about you"

1. Do you like blue cheese salad dressing? No!

2. Do you own a gun? I personally don't "own" one, but I can use the 20 gauge and Chris has quite an assortment. Oh, I can use Austin's .22 also.

3. What's a favorite drink at Starbucks or other specialty coffee house? Grande French Vanilla Latte.

4. What do you prefer to drink in the morning ? Coffee, it's the first thing I do, my kids have learned not to even talk to me until they see a cup in my hand.

5. Do you do push-ups? If you mean the little orange sherbety things that come in the frozen ice cream treat case, yes, if you mean exercize, no, I lift a 43 lb 4 year old, that's my bicep workout.

6. What's your favorite piece of jewelry? My wedding rings. I had a fabulous pair of silver hoop earrings I wore alot, but that evil "Wildfire" ride at Silver Dollar City stole one of them from me. If you know a pirate who needs one silver hoop, I have one, its mate is in the dirt below Wildfire.

7. Favorite hobby? Photography

8. Do you have A.D.D? Probably...Casey (DD) says I have ADOS..Attention Deficit Ooooh, Shiny!

9. What's one trait that you hate about yourself? Just one? I have several traits I don't like, but I'm working on them.

10. Name 3 thoughts at this exact moment: Casey needs to get her rear in here and get the kitchen cleaned up, I wonder what that loud crash noise coming from the basement was?, If I slip off to bed will anyone notice?.

11. Name 4 drinks you regularly drink. Coffee, milk(I force myself to drink a little, tiny glass before bed every night, water, Diet Dr. Pepper (though I've really cut down on that in the last couple of months.)

12. Current worry right now? Will Mom, Greg, Stacie, and the rest of the mission group make it home safely. (and one more) Will Casey's recent ex-boyfriend cause problems for her when he's home on leave in October. He's been very nasty and threatening on his MySpace. (oh, and just in case he reads this...see the above post about firearms, she now knows how to use them all, and Chris says she can load the clip on the .22 pistol as fast as he can)

13. Current hate right now? My 7th period class (I don't hate the kids, but I really hate their behavior), my right big toenail (ripped part of it off with the door 2 days ago), my flab...not just one area, but the all-over general distribution. (maybe I should start thinking about those push-ups....not the orange kind, the icky ones)

14. Favorite place to be? at HOME with my family. I think I could almost be a hermit...especially if there was a grocery store and Wal-Mart in my cave...or hermitage (?) Hermitage...was Andrew Jackson a hermit at some point???? (It's the ADD kicking in, don't worry)

15. Do you like to travel? Sometimes, but my favorite part of travel is coming home.

16. What color shirt are you wearing? A faded, Ouray, Colorado t-shirt I got on our vacation 3 years ago.

17. Do you like sleeping on satin sheets? NO! I tried it once and kept sliding off, give me cotton anyday!

18. Can you whistle? Not well, and not in any particular tune, about the only whistling I do is with 2 fingers in my mouth and 2 different "notes" when I'm trying to get the dogs to come back to the house. (you'd think the dude on the bicycle would choose another road to ride down, he goes by our house and is immediately chased by a blue-heeler and a 3 legged hound dog. I guess they don't like men in bicycle shorts....)

19. Favorite color? Oh come on! I'm an art teacher, I can't pick a favorite...but if you want to buy me something my kitchen is done in dark sagey greens, cinnabar & cobalt (Fiestaware colors, and ecru or off white (okay, the official color swatch said tea-stain, I figured with 3 kids anything that already had "stain" on it couldn't be all bad, now the rest of their stains will blend).

20. If you could would you be a pirate? No, I'd hurt myself with the cutlass, and there's no way I'm climbing a little rope ladder to a crow's nest! Besides, aren't pirates supposed to take things from people? I'd be the only one who captured a ship to give things away!

21. What song do you sing in the shower? Most recently it's been "Praise You in this Storm" just because that's my son of choice at the moment, but I'm sure it will be songs from our Christmas soon as I learn them.

22. Favorite girl's name? I picked out Casey Lynn for DD, but that could really go either way, the other girls' names I had picked out were: Lydia Allison (but I ended up with an Austin) and Jordan Angie (got a Logan Wade, instead, there's a really cool story behind the Jordan Angie name, too, Chris's grandmother was born in Jordan, AR and her middle name was Angie. Wanna know how we picked out's a good cowboy name (guess who picked that one).

23. Favorite boy's name? Austin Lance & Logan Wade

24. What's in your pocket right now? lint...maybe an old Kleenex if I really want to dig (I'm wearing my "jammie pants" as Logan calls them)

25. Favorite bedsheets as a child? I don't know why I remember this, but I had the coolest set of sheets with Picasso sketches (doves and olive branches). I LOVED those sheets! Picasso sheets...I guess I was destined to be an Art teacher.

26. Worst injury? Hmmm, I've had a few stitches, I guess the worst one was when I was 16 and fell off a bucking chute, I had around 25 stitches in my arm with that one. (don't ask, I wasn't riding, I was sitting on it and decided to get off..I'm NOT graceful, 'nuff said). There there was the time in 3rd grade when I fell off the teepee on the playground at Flippin Elementary....and in 4th grade when a bee stung me on the tongue...(yes, I'm serious, I had my mouth open and it flew in, that's how)

27. Do you love where you live? Absolutely! We built our house on our farm and have been here a year and a half. I love it! I don't ever want to move, ever, ever, ever.

28. How many TVs do you have in your house? Three, and I don't get to watch any of them.

29. Who is your loudest friend? I don't know...maybe my friends don't seem loud because I'm the loud, annoying one? (you can agree, my feelings won't be hurt, it's the truth)

30. How many pets do you have? We have 2 dogs, Darrell - our blue-heeler mix, and CJ- our little $40 Humane Society rescue dog that was was hit by a car back in the spring and now only has 3 the way, he's worth $700 now. I just love him, he's my dog, he doesn't even know he's handicapped.

31. Does someone have a crush on you? If they do, they really need to get a life.

32. What is your Favorite Book? The for other books, I can't pick one, but there was one I read over and over in high school "Celia Garth" it was about a Revolutionary war spy who worked as a seamstress and heard all the latest from her "Tory" ladies she sewed for, she then turned around and told the Revolutionary army all those secrets. I had to really do some searching to find a copy since it's out of print now!

33. What's your favorite candy? M&Ms, hands down, any kind, but I'm really partial to the dark chocolate ones.

34. Favorite Sports Team? Viola Longhorns! (especially the 7th grade boys...#33 to be exact) I like the Razorbacks, and Ryan Newman of NASCAR, too.

35. What was the first thing you thought of when you woke up? Please let it be Saturday!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Good grief!

For some reason the link doesn't show up, so you'll just have to do it one of 2 ways, you can either go to the sidebar "blogs I read" scroll down and click on the "FBC Flippin" blog, OR you can manually get to it by using this address

Any computer gurus who read this and would like to show me how to link (or hyperlink, or whatever it's called!), please do, then I won't look like I'm completely inept when it comes to matters of the blog.


Sorry, the blog link didn't work. I'll try it again.

Romans 8:28

"And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose." Romans 8:28

If you ever any doubt that this verse is true, then you need to ask God to open the eyes of your heart and reveal His truth, then you need to go look at this blog. Why are you still reading this? GO!

Monday, September 22, 2008

Praise You in This Storm

Friday night, Logan and I rode with Chris to get a load of hay. As we were driving, we got caught in a very sudden, but scary thunderstorm. It was a small cell, but it was making its presence known. It wasn't long before we drove out of it, and I looked out my window to see the sun breaking through the storm clouds. Of course, I had my camera in my lad and was able to get a shot of the "Heaven hole" (Logan's term). I was reminded of the song "Praise You In This Storm" by Casting Crowns (which is one of my favorite songs at the moment.

For some reason, those rays of sunshine piercing the dark clouds just strenghthened my belief that God is with us no matter what we are going through or where we are in life. The storms of life are many, some take a while to build, but grow stronger and stronger until the are huge, and they seem to last hurricanes. Others happen so quickly and shake us down to the very core, they leave us devistated with nothing left to do but pick up the pieces and move on....those are the tornadoes. Tomorrow marks a year since one of those "tornadoes" happened in my life. We lost Dad suddenly, without much warning on September 23, 2007, but God was there and brought us through that storm....I guess He is still bringing us through, because I lean on Him every day when I'm at school and look at that little rock building where we lived, and what was more recently, Dad's office. Even in times of trial, God gives us so many joys to look to for comfort. Mom would not have had the chance to go to Nicaragua if God had not planned our lives this way, and even more of a joy, a new little Newton will join our family in late December or early January.

I pray that I never forget to praise God through all the storms and to look for those "Heaven holes". This world is a temporary place, and Heaven will not have storms, but joy, peace, and eternal happiness in the presence on the One True God.

Friday, September 19, 2008

My Mom, isn't she just beautiful!

The mission team from fbc Flippin.

Pray for the team from First Baptist Church in Flippin, AR. They leave early tomorrow morning (Saturday) for a mission trip to San Marcos, Nicaragua. Mom is going with them. Just pray that the Lord will go before them and make a way for them to witness to the people who so desperately need Jesus. They will be involved in a mobile medical care/dentistry group, prison ministry, much interaction with children (mom packed coloring sheets taken from a Bible coloring book and the words she and a friend/Spanish teacher translated into Spanish, crayons, and hard candy for them). They will also have the privilege of be a part of the graduation ceremonies from Rhema Bible College and will have taken Bibles (NIV Study Bibles in Spanish) to be presented to the graduating pastors. A large evangelistic crusade will be going on at the same time with approximately 3-4 THOUSAND people will be attending. During the last crusade over 1100 people gave their lives to Christ! What an awesome thing to see and participate! God is good, ALL the time!

Along with Mom, my uncle Greg (Mom's baby brother) and my cousin, Stacie (Greg's daughter) will be going. Please pray for this group, traveling mercies, Godly wisdom, and great health and enthusiasm.

You can keep up with the pastor's blog here. I'm so anxious to see the Lord at work!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Fly by post

And since I don't like to post without a photo, here's old Abe. I took this in DC on June 3rd.

I really hate to post without some kind of picture to accompany it, but it seems like I just haven't had time to take them or unload them from my camera if I do.

Since school started I feel like I barely have time to breathe, much less get any additional things accomplished. I'm still trying to find my groove, maybe I've permanently skipped a groove! I was really looking forward to watching Biggest Loser tonight, but I still have progress reports to get out. (yet here I am on the computer?)

Maybe someday I'll have some profound post, but it doesn't look good for tonight. I think I'll go watch the weigh in of BL....maybe have a bowl of ice cream to celebrate.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Bye, bye summer vacation

Logan and Trevor Brazile, Logan was very impressed with T, and Trevor won the event and took home around $50K, not bad for a day's work.

My cousin, Micaela getting Fred Whitfield's autograph. I still say she ambushed him in the hallway and used Jaiden as an excuse. I think she told him Jaiden wanted his autograph, and how could he say no when he looked at J's beautiful little face! (she looks really impressed, doesn't she? LOL)

The time has come (hey, that reminds me of a poem from Alice in Wonderland, "The time has come the walrus said, to talk of other things, of shoes and ships and sealing wax, and cabbages and kings.), but I digress. Tonight was open house at school, which means the kids will be there bright eyed and bushy tailed on Monday morning, sigh, I love summer vacation why can't it last a little longer....8 months longer would be good. Austin will be in the 7th grade this year, how is that possible? He should still be Logan's age....and he starts pre-K next week, too!

We had one final "fun" trip of the summer last weekend. We went to the Best of the Best Tie Down Calf Roping. I was very cool, and all the "big dogs" of the calf roping world were there. You never know who you'll run across at one of those things, as we were going toward the stands I saw a man coming toward me and I had the thought, "Wow, he looks like my uncle, Randy." Imagine my surprise when I realized it WAS Randy! He and my aunt Brenda, cousin Micaela and her hubby Mario (I guess I can just call him cousin, too, it simplifies things), and their adorable children were there. It was fun to see them, and I could tell, that given a little time, Logan and Jaiden could really have a good time.

I did manage to get a few really good shots of some of the ropers at the trade show. Logan really got into asking them to sign his program. How could you resist such a cute little kid! He got lots of autographs. He was especially impressed with Trevor Brazile because he tickled him. Austin didn't get to go because he was with Mom at my brother and SIL's house for the weekend, but I think he made good use of their pool and entertained their twins, too. They rewarded him by a birthday dinner to Shogun and another dinner trip to Playtime Pizza; he was happy.

Now you're caught up on the goings on of our household, enjoy the pictures, and pray for me as the new school year starts, it's going to be a good one!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

VBS is Cool!

This week is our church's Vacation Bible School and it has been so much fun! First of all, whenever there's a Hawaiian theme involved you know it's going to be good! I'm helping with the music and I just love to see the look on the little faces when they sing these songs. The guy who wrote all these songs and made up the moves to go with them is truly gifted. I took a few pictures, but don't have them off my camera yet, but I'll get those on here before too long.

VBS is one of the best things a child can be involved in. I am so glad to see some of our Awana kids who don't normally come to church. We're hoping for a few more kids, We had 126 tonight, at 130 Brother Jeff (youth pastor) has to wear a hula skirt for parent's night Thursday night. Austin has already invited friends, I think he's wanting to see Jeff with flowers in his hair!

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Independence Day

I had to try leaving the shutter open a little while just to see what I would get. I love the way these turned out!
Chris was passing Logan a green sparkler, I thought the light on his little face was really neat.

Giant sparklers are so fun, but getting him to be still long enough to snap a good picture was a real challenge!

This one I left the shutter open for a few seconds. He was swinging the sparkler like a rope (imagine that!). I thought it was really neat to see the arc and the movement of his arm. His head was pretty still, amazingly enough.

Our 4th of July was pretty low key this year. My grandmother is in the hospital and just seems at times like she has given up on life. She was diagnosed with Alzheimer's and is having a really tough time dealing with it, as we all are. I spent a couple of hours with her today, then came home and threw someing together for our church picnic. I guess I just wasn't in the mood to stay in town with all those people (I had no idea there were that many people in Fulton County!), so we came home. We are close enough to town that we could see the biggest fireworks from the field, so we parked the truck on a hill and watched a few from there. Logan hates the big bangs, so he was happy, too. Casey was gone, Austin was with Mom, so it was just Chris, Logan, and me.

Logan liked the big fireworks so much we decided to run into town and get a few little ones for him. The fireworks stand had 36" sparklers, which were the most fun thing we found. After a few cones, fountains, and sparklers we were done for the night. It was good to be home and not fighting the traffic in town. Trust me, more than 20 cars in Salem constitutes a major traffic problem, and last night they were parked up and down Hwy 62, all in the city park, fairgrounds, and in any space big enough for a car to squeeze into.

I guess I'm turning into an old fuddy duddy.....I can live with that!

Saturday, June 28, 2008

I didn't think it would post twice!

Obviously I have no clue what I'm doing, but I thought this little celebrity lookalike thing was kind of neat. I would mind looking like Vanessa Marcil.

Celebrity Collage by MyHeritage

MyHeritage: Celebrity Collage - Trace family tree - Genalogy

Celebrity Collage by MyHeritage

MyHeritage: Family trees - Genealogy - Celebrities - Collage - Morph

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

A few more birthday shots.

I never thought I'd be a pool toy!

The Splash Brothers!

Logan and his buddy Jaron.

The birthday boy!

I finally got my pictures to load, so here are a few more from the birthday and with the gift Sissy got him. This afternoon we had lots of fun playing with the swimming pool. I lounged in a lawn chair with my feet in the water while the boys splashed around a while.

My baby is 4! When did that happen?

I guess it's always easier to blow out candles when you're sitting in Nana's lap. The tiny baby mom is holding is my cousin's (Kristi) new baby boy, Reid. He was born May 29.

Logan officially turned 4 Monday morning at 8:19 AM. We looked at his pictures last night and it's so strange to think he was once that small!

We had his birthday party Sunday afternoon (Austin had baseball games all day Saturday), but it was mostly just family. He didn't care, he was the center of attention and was showered with gifts. Last year he wanted Ray Barker (our neighbor) on his birthday cake, but this year he wanted Larry Boy (Veggie Tales). No bakery around us had Larry Boy, but I did find some Bob and Larry toys at the Christian Book Outlet, so he had cake with Bob and Larry.

Yesterday (Monday), I took cupcakes to daycare for him to share with his class, so he really ended up having 2 birthday parties. He was so cute when I got to school, he was wearing a big crown with "It's My Birthday" on it. He was also enjoying all the attention there, too. I didn't find Larry Boy cupcakes, but we did find Indiana Jones, which is probably his second favorite character!

Austin is trying to blow up the big water slide/pool thing Casey got Logan for his birthday, it looks like we're going to have water fun this afternoon! Yes, I'll have my camera in hand.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Who needs a water park....

I was almost this wet after he came over to give me a hug.

The look on his face in this one just cracks me up!

I wish I had sound to go with these, his high pitched giggles were hilarious!

....when you have the trusty old Wal-Mart sprinkler! Logan saw me watering my plants yesterday afternoon, and the next thing I knew he came running out of the house in his swim trunks. How can you say no to big blue eyes and and a sweet little face saying, "Pleeeeeeeaaaseeee, can I play in the water?" We looked for the toy squirty thing, but it must have gotten tossed in our big garage cleaning spree a couple of weeks ago. I did, however, find the sprinkler I don't remember buying, and it was more fun than the toy (and probably cheaper).

I kept wondering where Austin was, because he's usually the first one out when I mention playing in the water, come to find out, Logan "accidentally" forgot to tell him, and since Austin was watching a movie, he (Logan) didn't want to bother him. Yeah, right, he just didn't want to share the water! Oh well, Logan had a good time, and I told Austin I would make sure he knew when I got the sprinkler out again...which will probably be this afternoon.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

My brain has ceased to function!

A cute little ring bearer....before he got bored!

The bride wore boots! Lindsey and her little sister, Leslie, wore their matching boots for the wedding.

Logan was really enjoying himself, can't you tell?!

I have no idea why my last post just published links to the photos instead of the actual photo. I'm sure I didn't hit the right button, but I'll try to post more shots from DC later.

Saturday (yesterday) I had wedding photos to do. It was fun, the wedding had a western theme as both the bride and groom rodeo, and, Logan was the ring bearer. Maybe ring bearer isn't the correct term....entertainment crew would be more appropriate, he was hot and bored, not a good combination for a little boy who will be 4 in a few days. He roped with the ribbon he took off the pillow, made faces, got up close to the groom so he could see their faces, he's mess, but he looked really cute!

Whew, what a week!

Burnside Bridge, Antietam Battlefield, Sharpsburg, VA. I'm on the Confederate side of the creek. The tree to the left was there at the time of the skirmish, oh, if only trees could talk!
The Bloody Road, Antietam Battlefield, Sharpsburg, VA. At the time of the battle in 1863, there would have been crops on either side of the road blocking the sunken road from view.
Caisons with Ammunition boxes at the Bull Run Battlefield, Manassas, VA.

St. Louis from the air. The Gateway Arch is to the lower left, and the big red thing toward the upper right is Busch Stadium!

Our week started at 12:10 AM Monday morning, we left with a bus load of kids for the airport for a 7:00 AM flight. The kids were so wound up that no one slept on the bus. We boarded the plane and some of them got a little nervous, out of the 33 kids we had only 5 or 6 had ever flown. Austin was one of the "never flown" kids and when we taxied down the runway his eyes were as big as silver dollars. He loved it, though. We had a layover in St. Louis, and on the descent we saw Busch Stadium and the Gateway Arch out the window. Austin flipped, he's a die-hard Cardinals fan. We left STL at 11:30 and arrived in Baltimore at 2:30, there's a time change so the flight didn't really take that long; a couple of hours.

We left the airport and loaded on the tour bus to begin our week. We were all exhausted, but kept going. Our first stop was Bull Run Battlefield. I did find out that the Union Army named the battles after a city and the Confederates named it after a creek or landmark. I guess people liked the Rebs names, because most of them stuck. To the Yankees, this was the Battle of Manassas. We left the battlefield, went to supper, then checked into the hotel. Some of our kids went to see the new Indiana Jones movie, but most of them just went to bed. I had been awake since 7:00 AM Sunday morning and this was now 9:00PM Monday night. I opted not to go to the movie, so did Austin, he was so tired he wasn't feeling very well. A shower and a good night's sleep perked him right up, though.

We left Manassas and headed for Harper's Ferry, WV. This is the neatest little town, if you have the chance to see it, GO! It's at the convergence of the Shenandoah and Potomac Rivers and the site of the John Brown revolt. I had no idea it was an arsenal/armory and they made guns there. Since it was in West Virginia, it was the gun supplier for the Confederates....see why Johnny Boy picked that place to stage his rebellion. He wanted to cut off the gun supply to the slave owning states.

After Harper's Ferry we went to Antietam Battlefield (Battle of Sharpsburg for you Yankees). It was really interesting, but I'm a history buff. I only wish we'd had more time to see it, but we did get to stop in a couple of places. If you read about the Battle of Antietam it will probably mention the cornfield and the Bloody Road, I saw those.

From Antietam we went on to Gettysburg, PA for supper, then checked into the hotel, which had a pool. It was nice to let the kids swim and wear themselves out because we herded them back upstairs at 9:00 for showers and bed and no a single one complained.

Wednesday morning we headed out to the Gettysburg Battlefield. I had no idea it was so huge and that lots of the fighting took place in the town. There are some old homes that were built in the early 1800's that still have bullet holes in the brick from the Battle at Gettysburg. It was amazing to know we were standing on the same places that had once seen the worst battle in American History. So many lives were lost at Gettysburg. Once again, it is worth the trip, but plan on more than one day to see it fact, if you want to see it all you'd better just plan for a whole week! It's a beautiful little city, too.

Wednesday afternoon we hit the Smithsonian in DC. The Natural History museum is a neat stop, but we didn't have very long. We left that one and went to the Air and Space Museum. It's pretty cool, but I really wanted to go to the National Gallery of Art, which we didn't have time to do. :( We had supper then got on the bus for night tour of the monuments and memorials. Unfortunately, a really bad thunderstorm rolled in while we were at the Lincoln Memorial, so we had to cut that trip a little short. We found out the next morning it was the worst storm they'd had in about 23 years.

Thursday's agenda was a guided tour of Arlington Cemetery and the memorials, which was really neat. The changing of the guards at the Tomb of the Unknowns was very moving. These guys are dedicated! We also saw the grave site of JFK and Bobby Kennedy. We went to the Vietnam Memorial (where I found a cousin's name on the wall and got a rubbing and took pictures), WWII Memorial, FDR Memorial, Jefferson Memorial, Korean War Memorial, and a sashay by the White House. George and Laura were home, but we didn't get invited in since they were entertaining the Israeli heads of state. I guess 33 kids and 10 adults from Arkansas just weren't important enough!

We were supposed to go to Mt. Vernon Thursday afternoon, but the storms had been so bad around that area that the power was still out. Someone mentioned tornadoes in that area....I guess we took the weather with us! We went, instead, to the Holocaust Museum, and even though our kids were only 11, 12, and 13 years old, they were stunned by the cruelty suffered by some at the hand of the Nazis. We got to ride the Metro (subway) from near the White House to the Holocaust Museum, which was very cool for the kids.

After leaving the Holocaust Museum, we went to Alexandria for supper at King Street Blues BBQ then a walking "legends" tour of Old Town Alexandria, VA. We saw George Washington's "city" home when he was in the DC area and not at Mt. Vernon, we also saw the boyhood home of General Robert E. Lee. A couple of the streets are still cobblestone, and most of the sidewalks are brick from the early 1800's when there was a brick factory in Alexandria. It was very interesting.

Friday was our last day in DC. Since we didn't have much time we opted for a trip to the National Zoo instead of the National Archives and Supreme court. It was more fun for the kids in our age group than the Archives or Supreme Court would have been, although, many of them wanted to see the Archives just to see where National Treasure had been filmed.

The plane ride home was eventful from Baltimore to St. Louis. About 40 minutes from the St. Louis Airport we had to fly through a line of thunderstorms. It was very bumpy, and our landing in STL was the hardest landing I'd ever felt. Our flight from STL to Little Rock was delayed an hour because of the storms, but we made it back to Arkansas around 8:00 Friday night. What was even better was pulling in our driveway just after midnight. The trip was fun, and I'd love to go back and see more....maybe someday, but not with 33 kids.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

We're off!

Our bags are packed and we're ready to go......reminds me of a song.......I'm standin' here outside the door.....I'm leavin' on a jet plane.....

Sorry, the lack of sleep is already getting to me, and it will only get worse, I will probably be awake for next 24 hours, anyway. Austin is counting down the hours, his suitcase has been packed for 2 days, but I just finished mine off today. I love the blue and orange backpacks the tour company provided us, that's our carry on, and you wouldn't believe the stuff I have crammed in there! I have snacks! I'll be the most popular person on the airplane. I also bought the cute little green purse to take with me so I wouldn't have to lug my big one around. This goes across from shoulder to hip and has everything very handy. I've got my camera, extra memory cards, and my zoom lens ready to go, too. I'm looking forward to it!

Say a prayer for traveling mercies for our group, it's a little nerve wracking taking other people's children this far from home, but I'm praying that God will grant us a safe trip and a wonderful learning experience for the kids. I'm just wanting a good, close look at that Hope Diamond!

I should have lots to post when we get home Friday, so check back!

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Four days and counting.

These photos aren't mine, but get ready, I'll have lots and lots after June 6th!

Austin and I (along with 42 others) will be leaving at 1:00 AM Monday morning for Washington DC. This trip has been in the works for almost 2 years, and the kids are really excited about it. We (11 adults) will have 23 kids ages 10, 11, and 12, and our itinerary is very busy. Austin has never flown and is a little nervous about that, but I told him he would enjoy it.

I love history and am really looking forward to this trip, but am a little sad that Chris and Logan have to stay behind, it's going to be hard to be away from them for 5 days. I've been to DC, but not the surrounding areas. Some of our stops will include: Antietam Battlefield, Harper's Ferry National Park, Gettysburg Battlefield, Smithsonians, day and night tours of DC and the different sites/memorials, Mt. Vernon, Holocaust Museum, National Archives, Supreme Court, FDR Memorial, and Arlington National Cemetery. We've been told we will have some "down" time (but I don't see it) and will be able to go to other museums if we choose. Casey went to the Spy Museum 2 years ago and highly recommends it. We're also supposed to get to go to the National Zoo. We will be really tired, but it will be fun.

Here's the bad part, I bought a 4 GB memory card for my camera only to discover that the camera and the SD card aren't compatible. The 2 GB cards from the same company work, it's just the 4 GB that doesn't! So, I have a 2 GB card and a 1 GB card.....I hope 650 something pictures will be enough! If not, Austin has a new camera and the 4 GB card worked in it, he can take 1772 shots with his. Hey, don't laugh, you don't know what a shutterbug I am! (Yeah, the blog doesn't show it, but I really am.) Oh, and I'm taking a friend's wedding photos on June 7th...Logan is the "ring bear" and asked if he got to growl. I'll have lots of sharing to do!