Wow! I just found 5.00$!

Monday, December 31, 2007

Read in the New Year!

I pulled out some books from a bookcase in the living room and put them in other places. As I would walk by my bookcases around the house, I would peruse my books for ones to read for 2008. I have placed the ones that I found in the spot on the living room shelf. My aim was for 6. I have 11 right now. I may shoot for 12. I also hope to keep track of what I read in 2008. I also hope to read more of what I own and resist buying as much in 2008.

Here is my list

The Harvester by Gene Stratton-Porter
A World Lit by Fire by William Manchester ( this was my mama's and she has written notes in it)
Love is a Wild Assault by Elithe Hamilton Kirkland
For the Love of God by D. A. Carson ( this is a devotional for reading through the Bible in a year)
Eulalia by Brian Jacques ( this is the latest in the Rewall series)
Eight Cousins by Louisa May Alcott
The Education of Henry Adams
God's Passion for HIs Glory by John Piper
No! I Don't want to join a BookClub by Virginia Ironside
The Oregon Trail by Francis Parkman
This Rough Magic by Mary Stewart

I'll let you know as I am reading them if I really like them or if I am giving them away to get them off my shelves.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Big Ben

A few posts ago I wrote about my hair looking like Ben Wallace. Several folks wrote and called to say Who is Ben Wallace and What does he look like? here is a picture so you all know what my hair looks like when I am having a big hair day

Friday, December 28, 2007

Very Moving

ABC news had their persons of the year last night. One was Randy Pausch. I wish I knew how to link my blog to youtube but I don't so you go there and read about him. It was moving.

What's in your wallet...I mean heart

I am reading Idols of the Heart by Elyse Fitzpatrick. I can only read a chapter a day because I need to think about what she has written. She got my attention when she said that Rachel made 'having children' her idol. She couldn't see the love that her husband had for her. And how did Rachel die... in childbirth. Wow.

The primary love in your heart has to be centered on God. Any thing else is Idolatry. How will you know...If you work very hard at your job and still get passed over for the promotion, your response will reveal whether you are serving God or worshipping an idol. It you make a nice dinner for your husband and he ignores you, watches tv and goes to bed, and you get angry and cry or pout or look for ways to punish him, you can know that your love for God isn't the predominant love in your life.

I was convicted because when people don't act the way I want them too I get mad and then think of ways to punish them. Wow. I am about to read chapter 2.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

My Photos!

Here is my final project from my studio lighting class at UALR. What I tried to capture is relationships. My mother thought you would enjoy looking at these!

Monday, December 24, 2007

This little light of mine

We just returned from our Christmas Eve service. We have only been attending it for 6 years. Before that we were with family for the holiday's. Our church does Advent readings that include the lighting of the Advent candles. Families do the readings. We begin this the four weeks before Christmas. One new candle is lit every week with all five candles being lit on Christmas Eve.

Our family was asked to do the reading on Christmas Eve in 2002. Usually the fathers do the bulk of the readings with the rest of the families asking questions and lighting the candles. We did our reading when our church was meeting in our fellowship hall. It was situated such that where our pastor sat he could not see us as we read and lit the candles. We had rehearsed our parts and when the time came we went forward. Andrew didn't want to read anything instead he asked to light all the candles. All went well until the lighting was happening. We can only suppose that maybe a thread or a fume was on Andrew's arm because when he lit the last candle the flame went up his arm. I gasped! The congregation was stunned. Our pastor couldn't see anything that was going on. He could just hear the muffled commotion . I was ready to stop, drop, and roll. Carl calmly said " Let us pray" As quickly as the flame went up his arm, it was gone. I don't remember too much of the rest of that service because I was still stunned. After church several of Andrew's friends came up to him and said that he was their hero and that they have only dreamed of doing what he did. Our pastor asked as we left what had happened. We shared our story and laughed about it.

We have not been asked to do it again. I wonder what else could go astray

Sunday, December 23, 2007

...with visions of sugarplums

Andrew and Taylor flew in on Wednesday night and flew back out on Saturday afternoon. We had a wonderful time. I sleep with such sweetness when my children are all here. I kept thinking of the line from Twas the Night before Christmas....the children were nestled all snug in their beds.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Not all the windows are in yet...

I am hopping to have all new windows sometime next week. They never called this week. That was fine with me. We have been so busy that to stay at home would have been tricky.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

the continuing saga

The workman got here about 8 am yesterday. They worked and worked. It was a chilly day. My thermostat was set at 55. I could see the end in site about 5 pm. I couldn't really appreciate my new windows because it was dark. And then... the last of the inside double paned windows cracked. We could hear it popping and breaking from another room. I was so mad and inwardly I was stomping my foot. I just wanted to have my warm house back with my beautiful new view and my Christmas tree back where it belongs and the presents under it ready to be opened. The workman ordered a new window as soon as he saw what had happened. He felt so bad. He apologized profusely. He said that he should have the new window by next Friday if not before.

I was very convicted by my attitude. I have always tried to play the 'Glad Game' from Pollianna with my children. Where was that now? I could also hear my brother, John , saying " If that is the worse thing that happens to you, you're okay" I also thought of my friend, Jan, whose father is in the last stages of cancer. She would trade places with me in a heart beat.

I am rejoicing in my new view this morning. I am thankful that God isn't finished with me yet. It is interesting what all He uses to show us our heart attitude problems.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Windows Day Two

So everything was going along great yesterday until...They realized that the windows in my den were put in a frame and then the whole frame was installed. So one is not able to just remove my windows. How did they find this out? As they were working on the first set they realized they would have to break the windows to get them out. Can you say LOUD? They have this supped up vacuum that so far has gotten all the glass. They pondered for about 2 hours After they had removed the windows. Can you say COLD? I kept setting the thermostat lower and lower trying to keep from heating all of your houses and yards too. I shut all doors to the den. I thought about getting under my electric blanket. Kaitlin and I had heavier and heavier jackets on as the sun began to set. The big boss came and his conclusion was to tear out the whole frame and start afresh. They built a frame and put the glass in and set it in temporally. They plan to be back earlier today in hopes that they can finish today. I have on warmer pants, long sleeve shirt and a vest. I have my jackets from yesterday ready.

I love my new kitchen window. I wish I had gotten one for over my sink too. I am starting my wish list for 2008.

I'll keep you posted on the den.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Hanke Brothers...building a beautiful Arkansas

Mine new windows are being installed now. They first put in the new one in the kitchen. I feel like I have a new kitchen. It feels more open. Next was the sliding glass door. Now they are in the den working on the plate glass windows. It is chilly in the house but so far no lizards. The workman assured me they would apprehend any that violated my No Lizard policy. I hope to put pictures up here soon to show off my new windows!

We are getting our windows from the Hanke Brothers. An Arkansas company. They built these windows for me and were the best price which surprised us.

Mine is Peanut Butter

I am making Christmas cookies. I have made ginger cookies for Andrew, peanut butter for me, the batter for the chocolate crinkles is in the fridge. Today I plan to make chocolate, chocolate chip cookies for Kaitlin, and snickerdoodles for Carl and John. We also like sugar cookies, fudge, sugar plum bread and pumpkin bread. Taylor likes the breads. Over the years I would buy a new container to hold a large volume of cookies, I believe with my last years purchases, I have enough.

I used to just make peanut butter cookies. One year Kaitlin unwrapped about 40 kisses to go on top of them and now we make those every year. Last year we found that Hershey even makes kisses with no wrapping on them for folks like me who use them in baking!

I never made cookies growing up. When I was first married I made cookies with friends I met at church. Ruth in St Louis and Bev in Minneapolis. I have been making them since. When the children were small they each picked out a recipe they were to help with. They would pour over the cookbook to find the one for them. Some helped more readily than others. Once in Pine Bluff when the long counter was full of cookies after a day of baking, Carl came home. Kaitlin stood between Carl and the cookies and told Papa that Mama said we could not eat them all. We needed to share some. We laughed at the thought that Carl could eat all the cookies in front of him.

Do you make Christmas cookies? What is your favorite?

Friday, December 7, 2007

No more sightings

Kaitlin feels better and Ben Wallace has left the building

Where were you December 7, 1941?

Twenty years ago today I read Andrew a book on the bombing of Pearl Harbor. It awakened in him a love of history that he has yet to quench. As soon as we read that book, he wanted to know everything he could about Pearl Harbor. He asked everyone " Where were you when Pearl Harbor was bombed?" A lady from our church in New Orleans, Miss Jean, had Andrew over one day knowing he would ask his question to her guest, her brother-in-law. His answer thrilled Andrew because this man was at Pearl when it was bombed. He talked and showed lots of things to Andrew. It was a very moving experience.

In our church here is a man who was a missionary to Japan. He talked to Andrew about meeting some of the Japanese pilots and bombers who participated in the raid. Some became Christians after WW II through the witness of their American captives.

For our Pearl Harbor Day celebration we usually watch the movie Tora Tora Tora and when the children were all at home we would reread books about the subject.

Some folks will always be unnerved by homeschooling. They try to take it out on your children. Once we were at church when a man asked 6 year old Andrew, in an arrogant way, " So you know so much about Pearl Harbor- How many ships were sunk at Pearl? In the innocence of a babe Andrew answered " Do you want to know how many were sunk that we brought up and used again or how many we left down there?" Stunned, the man stammered " Either"

When Andrew was in his second year of college he called me distraught on December 7th. He had talked to those in the dorm about Pearl Harbor and they had no idea. We gave him his own copy of the movie for Christmas that year.

Tora, Tora, Tora will be shown on the TV today at 4:30 on FMC

Tora, Tora, Tora are the code words used by the Japanese to say the attack was a complete surprise on the Americans.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Let's swap howdy's

We met last night at the house of Elizabeth T for our book club. Her house was beautifully decorated for Christmas. We discussed Christy. Many had read it years ago and enjoyed the rereading. Those who had not, enjoyed this reading of it.

We discussed how we did not like the ending. We wanted more. Who did she marry? We saw from some books that the real life 'Christy' married a pastor but the notes in some books suggested that the book should include her marrying the doctor.

One of our book clubbers is a doctor and she is as handy as a pocket on a shirt. She told us about the eye disease that is discussed in the book. I can't for the life of me find it now and won't begin to spell it on my own. She told us it is an infection of the eye lid such that it turns the lid inward so that the eyelashes brush up and down on the cornea. Some one in the group remembered that we just got a letter from our missionaries in Mozambique. He is a doctor and has just learned how to treat this same disease because they see it a lot over there.

We loved Catherine Marshall's verbiage and how we could picture and smell and taste what she was telling us about.

Julie liked when Little Burl came up to Christy to swap howdy's

Evelyn had her list of questions and quotes which always adds to discussion.

It was a great time of discussion and fellowship.

Betty won the door prize. She and Elizabeth and Sandy got Laurie Parker snowman pins that KimT had purchased over the weekend.

Our next book is Manhunt

Ben Wallace called. He needs his hair back.

I love having someone ,no, anyone comb my hair. I have two boxes of clips, pins, barrettes etc for use on my hair. I could sit for days and let someone comb and 'fix' my hair. I have made all my children in the past ' give mama a hair combing'. I have been known to fall asleep during these said 'hair combings'.

Kaitlin is now the only one at home. She faithfully and with joy fixes my hair. If she is not available I have found that Marisa and Taylor and Alyssa ( do you do hair) also do a wonderful job on my hair. Kaitlin does it so much that I have gotten out of practice of how to curl it.

Kaitlin is in the middle of the end of the semester. She is covered up with photos to turn in, naked pictures to draw( I'll write on that another day), a oral report to give, a deaf person to interview etc. plus she is sick. She has an appointment for the doctor tomorrow. My Hair was looking bad! It was not going to make it another day. I could not ask Kaitlin. I was going to have to break down and do it myself.

I am sorry that I don't know how to put pictures on my blog without my tech support( Carl and Kaitlin). I think I look like Ben Wallace today. He is a very large African-American basketball player with a HUGE afro. When he runs down the court, his hair has a life of it's own. So if you hear of Ben Wallace being in my town today , it's probably just me and they have gotten us confused. I am hoping Kaitlin has some time tomorrow or Friday when she can do some damage control.

I may go buy a hat!

Saturday, December 1, 2007

The LEON candles are out

When I was growing up my mama had these darling little red and white candle holders. They were children dressed up in choir robes. They were holding the letters N O E L. My brother, Charles, would change the spelling to LEON. Finally we started refering to them as the LEON candles. When I got married I got a set of angels holding letters that spell out NOEL. My children would change the spelling. Andrew began to support Florida State, I believe in 1991 ( Is that right Andrew?) He soon began spelling out NOLE.

When my children were little and we would go out and they would see NOEL spelled out. They often would say " Look, Mama LEON candles" with a twinkle in their eyes. More often than not someone would take me aside and tell me that the candles spelled out NOEL. I would smile and nod.

Do you have your LEON candles out?

The Trees are Up

On Tuesday Carl and I went to Home Depot and picked out two Fraiser Fur Trees. One is in the den and the other in the dining room. The one in the den has the homey ornaments -ones the children have made and ones Aunt Elaine has given them over the years. The one in dining room has theglass balls and bells on it. Most of these belonged to my parents. I hung these on my tree as I was growning up. The den is where we spend most of our time but as I am cooking or at the computer I see and smell the one in the dining room.

I love Christmas!

Monday, November 26, 2007

Tree House

We live up on a ridge. We are surrounded by tall trees. For about seven months of the year I live in a tree house, hidden away by all the leaves. We are now in the five or so months when the leaves are gone and I have the most beautiful view of a pond, lots of land, a ridge of mountains and the most spectacular sun and moon rises. The way my house is situated I have rooms with views of the eastern and southern skies.

I am usually the first one up in the morning. I sit in the den in the dark and watch the sky. Some mornings I am moved to tears at the beauty.

When we have our Christmas tree up I watch the sky by Christmas light.

When the moon rises, it begins in the den, then it travels into my bedroom, first one window then into another. It ends up in Kaitlin's room. It splashes across her bed. She enjoys sleeping in the moon light.

I am looking forward to having my new windows. I'll have an even fuller view with more windows to see out of. How cool will that be!

War Eagle, Hey

I was born and raised in the great state of Alabama. In the state of Alabama, you are either an AUBURN fan or an alabama fan. Really for me, all games before the AUBURN/alabama game are just preseason. I think I became an AUBURN fan at an early age because I don't remember ever not being one. Neither of my parents went to AUBURN so I'm not sure where my allegiance came from. I always remember having AUBURN shirts to wear and cheering for them. I also remember them losing lots. When I was at AUBURN they lost nine in a row to alabama.(Not that I was at AUBURN for nine years but the years I was there was during that time.)

When my children were little I taught them all the fight song and several cheers. I did clean up the cheers a bit. Andrew was at his first pep rally as a freshman when he learned what the real words were to some of them were :).

AUBURN has beaten alabama for the last six years. I can hardly believe it. They at alabama can't believe it either. I know my worth is not in who my team beats but I sure feel good when AUBURN beats alabama.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Kaitlin's 1/2 Birthday

Today is Kaitlin's 1/2 birthday. This year she was 22 on the 22nd. A golden birthday. We celebrated her 1/2 yesterday by going to the movie and seeing August Rush. It was touching. I'd like to get the soundtrack from it. We ate supper at the movie. Kaitlin ate a hot dog. Most of you know that is her favorite food group. I have to limit her to one a month. She has had two this week! Isn't that what the holidays are for?

What a blessing Kaitlin is. I am thankful for her and hope we have many more 1/2 birthdays to celebrate.

A Recipe from Nancy Reagan

I believe this tradition started when we lived in Pine Bluff. I got a recipe for Monkey Bread from Carl's sister, Marian. She said that Nancy Reagan fixed it for her family every Thanksgiving. Well, we gave it a try and it is a keeper. This Thanksgiving we will be on the road. The monkey bread is made and in the car for eating as we drive. Here is the recipe

4 cans of biscuts( 10 count)
1 1/2 cups sugar
3 t cinnamon
12 T butter

Put half the butter in your bundt pan. Put it in your oven at 350. Cut up your biscuts into quarters. Place in a gallon ziplock bag with the cinnamon and sugar. SHAKE. Melt the rest of the butter in the microwave. Take pan out of oven. Place the well coated biscuts plus rest of cinnamon/sugar in the pan. Pour melted butter on top. Bake for 45 minutes. MMMMM

I hope you enjoy it as much as we do.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Take my daughter, Please

Carl is involved with the scout troop that is sponsored by our church. He so enjoys working with guys this age and helping to shape them into the men. These young men often ask Carl to speak during their Eagle Courts. An Eagle Court is a very moving ceremony. Carl has several points he likes to make plus he brings in things he knows about the new Eagle Scout. He will add in a point about a particular camp out or merit badge that was meaningful to both of them. I always cry when he talks because his talk is so personal and inspirational.

There was an Eagle Court last night at our church. Carl spoke.

Now I must set up another part of this story--- Lots of people in our church want to fix Kaitlin up with different guys. It is gotten to be at joke between me and Kait and Carl. Two of the guys came to the Court last night. She was in a room off of the place where the court was being held. She had to be there because a scout mom wanted to see her pictures from previous courts. I sent her texts when each of the two guys showed up. We just laughed.

Ok, now we are back in the Court of Honor. Carl had just given his moving speech. The next speaker comes up to talk. You can tell he has been moved by Carl's speech and all the ceremony that goes on at an Eagle Court. He began his talk and you could tell he was very impressed with this young man. He told stories about when they went to Youth Camp and how this young man had a heart of gold. He said that this new Eagle made his job as pastor very rewarding. And then he said " I'd be happy if you would marry my daughter"

I gasped. Did I hear that right? Was this man's daughter here? What does the new Eagle think of this development? He had been given a walking stick to symbolize his trail to Eagle and some coals from different campouts so he could keep the 'flame of ssouting' burning. Now a wife! My phone vibrated in my pocket. Kaitlin sent a text that said - Papa can't ever say anything like that!!!!! I showed Carl. He said that he would add that in as a new twist to his next talk as his eyes twinkled!

I know the speaker was caught up in the moment and to offer your daughter is a very high compliment.

I'll let you know when the next Eagle Court is that Carl is speaking at. It could be interesting.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Andrew's 1/2 Birthday

We celebrate 1/2 birthdays. It started with my mama. I was born on her 32 1/2 birthday. I love April 7th, my birthday. But I also love October 7th.

When my children were small the celebrations of a 1/2 birthday helped me mark just how quickly they were growing up. As they got a little older they enjoyed a few perks. They didn't have to do school on their 1/2 birthday. They could pick a movie to watch while we ate the lunch they had picked out. If we ate out , they could pick the restaurant. Also, I would put lotion on their feet and comb their hair if they so desired.

Today I will love on Andrew from afar. I will wish him Happy 1/2 Birthday wishes in a text or on Facebook or maybe even in a blog!

What a wonderful 25 1/2 years it has been. Andrew you are a blessing

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Facet Injections Part II

Yesterday at this time I was eating with KimT at IHOP. My goal was to hydrate myself in the hopes that that would help with getting a good IV stick. Thank you for all who prayed. This trip was a dream. Carl came home and we left at noon. I was finished checking into the hospital at 12:36. The nurse who took care of me was , Carolyn. I told her she had been prayed for today. She thanked me. First try and she had the IV going. What a blessing. I knew I had drugs in me when as they rolled me into the operating room I told them all I loved them! I have a history of saying interesting things while under the influence. I was aware of lots of things but was not bothered by them. A sweet nurse, Kerry, held my hand. Carl and I were in the car on the way home by 2. I went right to bed. Carl put the TV station on that plays continuous Christmas music. I woke up at 5 pm. I stayed up til 10 watching Project Runway with Kaitlin.

One movement that was painful enough to wake me up was rolling over in the bed. I had forgotten that. So I gingerly get in the bed and roll over. NO PAIN. I rolled again. HA I almost laughed out loud. NO PAIN. Poor Carl probably didn't sleep much last night because I tossed and turned all night just because I could.

I feel sore today at the injection sites. I still feel great but some of that is pain reliever that was injected. I should know more in a few days if the injections 'took'. I am to sit for a few days to allow all swelling to go down.

My spirit is soaring!

Monday, November 12, 2007

Lots of Stuff

In June Carl, Kaitlin and I went to see Andrew and his new apartment in Valdosta, GA. He had been in his apartment only a few weeks and had traveled a great deal since moving in so we helped him unpack. Well, really, we unpacked him while he was at work. I stood in his kitchen knowing that soon this would be Taylor's kitchen and tried to think how would she like things unpacked. After two days all the boxes were unpacked and put in a storage area and things were in order, mostly.

Andrew has a lot of sports memorabilia. Lots of AUBURN pictures, programs from games, pennants, flags and his AUBURN football helmet just to list a few, then we get into his baseball collection. We set up the second bedroom as the sports room.

Fast forward to November. Carl and I went to see Andrew and Taylor in their apartment. It is fun to see a feminine touch in the apartment. We slept in the sports room. Taylor has a desk with shelves in there now. She has her pictures from college around the desk along with fun pens and girl stuff. As I was looking at the desk and thanking God for Taylor I realized that there were baseballs amongst her stuff on the shelves. In protective cases of course. The verse came to me.... And the two shall become one. His stuff and her stuff in now their stuff. The two having to find a way to blend and become one. I loved my new daughter in law even more for having the baseballs in with her stuff.

A Challenge for you!

My friend , Sue, at and I have enjoyed reading a blog at She is involved in a TBR challenge. Sue and I have modified it a bit to suit us and hope you would like to join.

TBR- To Be Read. Don't you have some books you bought and intended to read but just never got around to them. Well here is your chance to let us hold our collective feet to the fire so to speak. Pick out 6 books that you own and need or want to read. Let's give ourselves the whole of 2008 to read them. Write them down. You can send your list to me and I'll post it if you like. I'll post mine as soon as I'm finished picking them out. Let us start January 1st.

I'd like to see what everyone else is reading but then that will lead me to want to buy more books. Oh well! Such is the life of a bibliophile.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

But you look so normal

Kaitlin was with a group of friends. They were talking about schools they had gone to and experiences they had had. One guy spoke up and shared that his father had been one of his teachers in high school. Kaitlin just listened. Finally, another home schooler in the group, Corrie, asked Kaitlin if she ever had her dad as a teacher. She said that she had him for mostly math questions because her mom had done most of the teaching. Corrie concurred. The guy was not understanding. "Oh, your parents are both teachers?" Kaitlin and Corrie just laughed. They knew what was coming. " We were home schooled" Stunned silence. Then the classic response. "But you look so normal."

We are working on good comebacks for this: We have had our medicine today, You really don't know us yet, looks are deceiving... Have you got a good comeback?

Saturday, November 3, 2007


Last week I had the opportunity to go to game 4 of the World Series in Denver, CO. I flew out of Huntsville, Ala. at 7 am.

As we sat on the tarmac in Huntsville, we had an "instrument that we needed for flight stop working" (pilots words, not mine). They called maintenance and we sat there for 30 minutes until we found out that maintenance was still 30 min away. After another 10 minutes, the engines and lights on the plane went off and then came back on. I turned to the person next to me and said, "They just restarted the plane, the instrument will work now". Then the pilot comes back on and says, "Well folks, it appears that the instrument has fixed itself and we will be on our way now". When you computer stops working, what is the first thing that you do? RESTART THE COMPUTER! I COULD'VE FIGURED THAT OUT, HAVE NONE OF THE PILOTS EVER WORKED A COMPUTER! I'M JUST GLAD WE FINALLY TOOK OFF.

We landed in Dallas and I had to sprint to my next gate. I made my flight and landed in Denver at 11:30. Money met me at the gate and we took the shuttle to the Fairfield Inn. After "suiting up" in our BoSox gear, we headed downtown. We ate lunch at Lodo's Bar and Grill for lunch. After a burger and reuben, we headed to Coors Field. We walked around the stadium and then went in 2 hours before the game. Our seats were in the upper deck, in the bend at Right field. We were 7 rows below the the purple seats, which denote 5,280 feet from sea level.

The game was exciting, and more than a bit tense, but when Papelbon came in in the 8th, I knew the ballgame was over. My favorite part of the game was the celebration. We celebrated from the upper deck and then walked down behind the dugouts. We saw the trophy, Mike Lowell's world series MVP trophy and my favorite player Jacoby Ellsbury.

It was a wonderful experience and I really enjoyed seeing the Red Sox win the World Series.

Carl's thoughts from the World Series

What an experience! Andrew invited me to go with him to the 4th game of the 2007 World Series. Boston Red Sox were leading 2-0 and they were headed to Denver to continue play with the Rockies. Andrew got a herd of people to get on the Rockies website to get tickets for the 4th game on Sunday night. We were encouraging Ellen to go, but understand her back was not up to it.. also she would have to fly by herself.. So without anyone else to go (haha.. i was so excited to be invited), we made travel plans. I had to be in Tulsa for noon of Monday the next day, so flying to Denver was gonna be close.....

I started my trek at 4:30am on Sunday, getting up and dressed in Boston RED. I got to the airport for a 6:30am flight. Then to St. Louis, KC, then to Denver landing at 11:30am Rocky time. Andrew arrived 2 gates away within 15minutes.

Grabbed the shuttle to the hotel and checkedin, then back to the airport to catch a shuttle downtown to the the stadium.. got downtown about 2:30pm.

Ate at a bar/grill by the stadium... busy with fans and NFL watchers... we ate with the Denver Buffalo Bills club, what a sad lot...haha....

We walked around the Denver stadium, I was surprised that there wasn't more hype for the World Series??? but then this is Denver. (BTW, Boston Red Soxs took the 3rd game on Saturday night, so if they won the 4th, they are the World Champions!!

Andrew bought a stack of programs for soveniors, but we had to lug them around the rest of the time. I bought pins and a bear for Katyloo... We ran out of steam and sat to wait for the gates to open at 5pm. Andrew walked and took some pics and we marveled at the diversity of mankind.. or maybe just how mankind can be diverse in actions and dress.. Saw one guy and made us think of Katyloo.. he had on a purple shirt and purple cowboy boots..

When the gates opened we walked up to the seats and took some pictures, before the game Andrew walked around the stadium to take pictures. I sat and rested. We were almost a mile high.

I liked the opening ceremonies... especially the F16 flyovers! Actually we were facing the sun and it was a beautiful sunset over the Rockies.

It was interesting to me how many Rockies fans were clueless about the game or the players, but then, I wasn't much better knowing names and some of their positions. It was a tense game.. close to the end 4-3, but what an excitement to be at the game that clinch the World Series of 2007 for Boston!

We gathered all our stuff and walked down to behind the Rockies bench and watched the ESPN, FOX Sports and other media, as well as the players as they came out for the champagne celebrations in the locker room. The MVP trophy, the World Series trophy, the interviews, the Japanese media swarming the Japanese players, the Sox fans covering the lower seats! We stayed for awhile and then walked down the street to catch a cab. The cab driver was a scream, he had people cutting him off, stopping in front of him, slowwin down, he just made funny comments...

We got back to the hotel at 11:30pm and only got 4 hrs sleep to get back to the airport to get to Tulsa.

2 World Series tickets - 180
1 hotel room - gratius
2 plane tickets -220+
World Series game with your son - Priceless!


Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Dare to be a Daniel

Andrew recommended a book for me a few years ago called Second Choice World by Viv Thomas. Andrew read it and wanted me to so we could discuss it. The book begins talking about Daniel from the Bible. He was kipnapped from home by the king Nebuchadnezzar and brought to Babylon along with three of his friends, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego. Vs 17 of Chapter 1 says God gave these four youths great ability to learn and they soon mastered all the literature and science of the time and God gave to Daniel special ability to understand the meaning of dreams and visions. Later in the chapter it says that after a 3 year training period they were brought before the king for oral exams along with the rest of the bunch. No one impressed the king like these three. They were put on his regular staff. These four teenagers had to learn the language and the culture and learned it well enough that they were put on Nebby's staff. WOW! They embraced the place they were put without compromising their Christianity. They embraced Their Second Choice World and what an impact they had on it.

As I read this book it was interesting to ponder second choice events that have happened in my life. One of my mama's favorite saying was ' Bloom where you are planted'

The situation with my back has brought this book back to my mind. The doctor and pt have told me that I need to not bend over for the rest of my life. Wow. The stenosis in my spine makes it impossible for me to stand for longer than 10 minutes at a time. This would not be my first choice. Not that I ever really wanted to go run but I sure do now. Just to know I could would be lovely. I wonder how long it took Daniel to adjust. Did he and his friends speak Hebrew to each other? Did they talk about their homes and how it used to be? Did they yearn to go back? What about their mamas?

God has provided so many things for me to do as I sit. I can read, blog, scrapbook, visit etc. I am encouraged by Daniel and his friends. I am fired up to learn the language and culture for this situation that I am in.

Where are you in a Second Choice situation?

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Go Bosox

Carl and Andrew are winging their way to Denver, even as I write this. Their destination is Coors Field and game 4 of the World Series. This will be Andrew's 4th time to see the Boston Red Sox this year. Carl left wearing his 'Big Papi' shirt. Andrew has on his 'Green Monster' shirt. I have no idea where their seats are, I just know they have seats and Andrew is so excited he can hardly stand it. They each have a camera so this should be a well documented trip. The game start time is at 7:29 CST. I'll be watching!

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

An unwanted guest, a champion and new windows

In my den I have 6 large windows. They provide a beautiful view for my family. One window is all frosted up because the seal is broken but it is just one window and I have 5 others to look out. I have noticed that some of the windows have a gap at the top. No big deal, it is just a slight gap and I just feel a slight breeze.

On Friday, Kaitlin and I were home and she noticed that one window had shifted such that we could see very clearly it was open to the outside. No problem, we can just stuff some paper in the gap. We got paper and Kaitlin was going to stuff it in the gap and as she was stuffing.....the paper moved. A Lizard family had seen what a good time we had on the inside and they wanted to join us. I am surprised that with all the screaming we did the Lizards didn't die from heart attacks. After we calmed down just a bit we realized that only one lizard was in the house. That was one too many for us. What do we do now? Neither one of us is going near it. Call Papa. Our Champion! I would love to say he raced home but I know Carl all too well. He very carefully packed up his computer and things, told the folks in the office that his girls at home had found a beast in the house and he must ride off to save us. We only called him once to find out what was taking him so long. He just laughed and told us where he was on his journey. He found the unwanted guest on another window, caught it and sent it on it's way outside and calmly stuffed paper in the gap.

We have had two estimates on new den windows and the third should be here at 9 this morning. They have all walked in and see the frosted window and said " Wow, you have a problem with not seeing the outside. " "No ", I say, " I have a problem with seeing too well the outside"

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

piano and people watching

I went last night to UALR with Kaitlin to hear Davide Cabassi on piano. He is a 2005 Cliburn Competition finalist. He played Debussy

Soiree dans Grenade
Jardins sous la pluie

also Brahms

Variations and Fugue on a Theme by Handel, Op. 24

After intermission he played Pictures at an Exhibition .

I had a grand time. The music was beautiful. The pianist was VERY expressive. His hair was longish and unkept. At times it was covering his face when he was bent down so close to the keys and then with great enthusiasm he would sling it back. He looked to be in pain as he played certain sections and then he was quickly smiling such a smile like he was not with us.

The auditorium we were in was wonderful and intimate. About 7 rows with 20 seats in each row. We were on the left side on row 6. We heard a women comment that she like to sit on the left side so she could see his hands as he played.

Because the setting was so intimate we became keen observers of those around us. The audience was about half college students and half senior citizens. Myself and one other lady represented the middle agers there. Kaitlin recognized several music teachers from UALR there. The art and music students share the same building. There were several senior citizen couples and then a large group of senior citizen men. I was surprised at how many. One man must have been a teacher because his hands played along with the pianist the entire time. It was impressive and beautiful to watch. One lady fell asleep and SNORED. Kaitlin had to stifle the giggles. Her husband soon woke her up.

And then there were the homeschoolers. Did we stand out like that? I saw them and said nothing until Kaitlin asked if I had seen the homeschoolers. Is it the hair or the clothes or the actions? I am not sure. Do people now see me and say " Oh, she must of homeschooled , look at those shoes" Let me know if they do!

What's the temperature in your wigwam?

When I was growing up and it was a rainy, chilly day , my mama would say " Aren't we glad we live in a warm wigwam ?"

I got up this morning and I put on the same type of clothes I had on yesterday, pants, short sleeve tee shirt and my sandels. The temperature has dropped since 6 am. I now have added a jacket, socks and shoes. I am about ready to put on another jacket. It has gotten chilly in my wigwam.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Something to think about

Bumper Sticker seen at Sonic Caution: Unsocialized Home Schooler on Board

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

One of them

I go to Physical Therapy three times a week for my back. I see lots of the same folks when I go. We have built up a camaraderie. My PT loves sports. He asked us last week to give him our score prediction for the AUBURN- ar game. I said 31-28 ar. When I went in on Monday, my friends were all in the depths of despair and as they asked me if I was as sad as they were I had to confess that I am an AUBURN fan. They were shocked. One lady said that she thought I was one of them.

I have been an AUBURN fan as long as I can remember. Kaitlin wears some AUBURN tee shirts that I had when I was younger. I used to think that it was a winning season if AUBURN beat alabama now I've added arkansas to the list. AUBURN is halfway to a winning season for me.

Love Jesus and Pay Taxes

When we are in the trenches with our children it is easy to lose site of what our destination is. I made my self a list of where I wanted my children to be at 25. I now have one 25!? It helps to refer back to the list on bad days or slow days or days that didn't turn out the way I wanted. Number 1- Love Jesus Number 2- Pay Taxes (aka being on their own) Number 3- Be friends with their siblings Number 4- Give back to the community

In the Home school and Private School community we have a tendency to key in on the ACT or SAT, where did they finish in the Latin test, are they in the Honors College... Will it really matter when they are 25? What did you make on the ACT? Do folks still ask that of you now?

Your list may look different than mine but make a list. It will help you on the days you are wondering what you are doing.

Friday, October 12, 2007


Andrew and Taylor are on their way to Little Rock. I am so excited. Andrew is a party. Some of his friends are also on their way here from different parts of MS. One goal is to go to the AUBURN-ar football game on Saturday night , another is to be together and visit and laugh. I plan to have lasagna for supper as that is Andrew's favorite meal.

I will not be going to the game. I will gladly stay home with Taylor and Jennifer. Carl and Andrew would like me to go to the game but are afraid I will go Ron Artest on someone ( Ron Artest is a professional basketball player who, when booed went into the stands and poured a beer on a fan) I just might do that. I don't like fans who can cheer for their team but when I cheer for mine they come unglued and start putting my team down.

I love SEC football. Since we have not always lived in SEC territory I do appreciate that I have so much coverage of the sports of my team. The downside is I am so outnumbered. When AUBURN loses lots of folks feel it is their duty to call or stop me and tell me my team lost. Do they think I don't already know!? I try to take the high road and not rub it in when my team beats theirs.

A college friend of our stayed the night last night on his way to the AUBURN game. He lives in Georgia. He tells the ga fans when they beat AUBURN that is is just a preseason game. The season is the really just the AUBURN- al game. I think I may start doing that.

Kaitlin is very excited about going to the game. She is cleaning house now with an AUBURN hair shaker in her hair , humming the fight song. What a well bred young lady! Carl has on his AUBURN Hawaiian shirt at work. It is' show your team spirit Friday'.

I am reminding myself , It is just a game. I am sure glad Carl is not a football coach.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Sweet Tea

I love helping in the kitchen on Wednesdays at church. It is like a ballet as we work because we have our own moves that when all done in the right sequence produce a dance called supper. Some days the dance is pretty simple and routine and others it is a comedy and we are amazed it all falls into place.

With the injury to my spine my dancing has become limited. I must rest, observe and cheer on from a nearby stool. My fellow dancers have very graciously picked up what I now cannot do and others quickly come to help when needed.

One dance move that I have mastered is making sweet tea. I don't know who taught my mama how to make it, maybe her mama but mama taught me. I love sweet tea. I drink it all year. I have told my recipe to the kitchen crew several times but when they make the tea, people seem to know and don't drink as much. They have watched me make it, they have even called me when I was on vacation to make sure how to make it and still folks ask if I've made it before they get any to know if they will drink it or not. Now they won't go even think of making it if I am present.

I just laugh and enjoy this dance I can do.

Thursday, October 4, 2007


When I was at AUBURN my brother , Charles, wrote me a letter on this date. He said that it was the National C B Holiday. I have celebrated it every since.

Have a good day Good Buddy


I love October. I love the color orange and this month with the pumkins and fall leaves ( up north for now) I see lots of it.

October is the month of my precious mama's birthday. Since my mama died I celebrate her birthday by buying me something. This makes complete sense to me but not to Carl. It makes me not dread the day so much. Her birthday is easier as the years go by. This year her birhtday is on a Sunday and a busy one at that. Last night at church my dear friend, Renee, who I tried to take out on her birthday but it didn't happen, said, " Ellen, Let's go out Monday for lunch and celebrate Addie Lou" Even as I type this I am warmed inside. What a precious thought. I think this may be a start to a new tradition. Thanks Renee.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007


To say that Carl is calm is an understatement. I have taken it on as a personal goal to bring spice into his life. I am also trying to see how many times I can make him scream. So far in 28 years that has been once. On Saturday night we were in a motel room in Arab, Alabama. I could not stay awake any longer. AUBURN was going to have to win or lose without me. Kaitlin went to sleep too. She and I were awakened at the same time and saw Carl dancing around the room. Dancing. What happend I asked. AUBURN WON he said as he danced. Kaitlin and I were stunned. Some because AUBURN won but mostly because we saw Carl dancing.

He is in denial about it now. He must keep up the facade. But we know what we saw.

I love vacations!!!!

I have always loved vacations. I love to drive down the road or better yet ride while someone else is driving. I love to stay in motels. I can remember when I was a little girl and we would go on a vacation, my daddy would stop for the day in the early afternoon. He told me later he liked giving us time to go swimming in the pool. What a treat that was.

I also love that our whole family is in one room. Well, I loved it more when the children were smaller. When Andrew and John bigged up and they would share a bed ,they would argue in their sleep. It drove me crazy. I was the only one who heard it too. Supposedly, they were not even aware they were doing it. The last trip we took we got two rooms. Kaitlin stayed with us and we got a room for the boys. They each had their own bed. When we travel with my brother, John and his wife Elaine, they always let Kaitlin sleep in their room. That way we can get one room plus a rollaway bed. Who knows what we will do with our next vacation now that we have a new daughter!

A vacation to me is staying in a motel. Carl, who travels a great deal, has a different definition. When the children were small and became aware of what Papa did , I had to correct them as they would ask him as he was leaving "Where are you going on vacation this time Papa?"


I finished The scrapbook. It has 114 pages. I could add more but it is complete.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Stairway to Heaven and Woodpile from Gimli

I wanted you to see pictures of my beautiful stairs and my glorious woodpile. Kaitlin can't wait to take pictures on the stairs and Carl is ready for some chilly weather.


I love to scrapbook. Some folks do birth to 18 scrapbooks. They will begin at the birth of a child and go til high school graduation. I have a friend, Kym, that comes to see me every summer from a different state. After she drops her children at camp, she heads to my house. I have a table set up just for her in the den. She brings all her scrapbook stuff. She knows where the scrapbook stores are here in my town. She is the most organized scrapbooker I know. When she gets her pictures developed she does multiply copies depending on who is in the pictures and who will need said pictures in their album. She has a container for each of her 4 children and she puts the pictures as they are developed into their container. When she goes to a scrap booking event or to my house she just gathers what pictures she needs, her supplies and she is ready. WOW. That is not my style.

Another way to scrapbook is to do everyday life. I have a friend , Anne, who says she now sees life as a scrapbook page. They recently attended Andrew's wedding in AUBURN. As they were walking around campus taking pictures they met one of AUBURN's mascots Aubie. They got his picture with them and their children. Anne said that her first thought was " When I scrapbook this page I will call it a War Eagle Day and I will use orange and blue paper etc" I don't do that either.

I event scrapbook. All our stuff is hidden most of the time in drawers and down stairs in the wreck room except when I am working on a project. When I am working I generally start on one table but it oozes off onto the floor and then to the next surface it can find. Right now I have a table set up in the den, some stuff is on the hearth and I have the dining room table covered. This does not include the stuff in the wreck room. I am working on Andrew and Taylor's wedding. I am including pictures from Marian, Elaine, Katie, Marisa, Kaitlin, KimT, Jessica, Jennifer and Tatum. I have the pictures in stacks of the specific activties like bridesmaids luncheon or Thursday supper at Marian's. With some of our activities I picked specific colors to help guide me like red and yellow paper for the rehearsal dinner. I am loving doing this. I am seeing things that went on and people who were there that I was not aware of at the time.

I am on my 97th scrapbook page. 97th! I just counted again because surely that can't be right. It is. I have 17 more to go. I hope to just use two albums. The albums I am making are mine. I have pictures folks took of me with special friends in this one. I did have plans to make one for Taylor. I am now thinking that maybe she can share this one with me. I can have it for six months and then she can. Or maybe I'll make one for her for her 10 or 25 th anniversary- think how special it will be for her to see the pictures then. But what if my other two children get married and think or expect an album too. I think I will tell Carl today we need to add something to our will. I'm leaving this scrapbook to Taylor. She will love it.

Friday, September 14, 2007


I went with Kaitlin to an art exhibit tonight. The exhibit was held in a large hallway- seating area at an Episcopal Church downtown. The art was all printmaking. There were six artists. They each had about six prints. There was a singing duo there. Their cardboard sign in front of them said that they were brothers. One played the guitar and harmonica and the other the banjo. Their sign also said that we could sing along with them but they played no songs I had ever heard.

This is the second art exhibit from her school I have been to with Kaitlin. Such an eclectic group of people. After I leave a group like that I remember what Kaitlin's observations are as she watches folks in the art building at school. They all try to be and look different but they end up all looking alike.

family patterns

Tessa was born today to my brother-in-law Ted and his wife Tina. She joins a group of now 15 first cousins on her daddy 's side. Of the 6 children Grandma has, one has 5 children, one 4, one 3, one 2, one 1 and one 0. There are now 5 granddaughters. Tessa is the only girl born into a family that already has a daughter. Every son had a son first and the only girl had a daughter first. This will probably be the last grandchild born for Grandma. The neatest thing to me is, she was born on the birthday of the first grandchild. How cool is that.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Pain is Interesting

In February of this year I was diagnosed with arthritis in my spine. This is causing spinal canal stenosis . This is a narrowing of the canal. It is in my lower back at L4 andL5 and S1. The manifestation of this is after 15 or 20 minutes of standing or walking my left leg begins going numb just behind my knee. Shortly, this gives way to pain that is intense. I have to sit down. As soon as I sit the facets in my spine open enough to relive the pressure and the pain slowly fades away. After about 15 minutes I have rested enough to go again.

I have learned some interestings things about myself and my environment. I am much more tolerant of those carts in walmart and kroger where the folks drive them around knowing that one day I may be in one. Also, that just because folks are in them doesn't mean they can't walk, it may mean they can't walk for long.

I have learned where all the benches are in Walmart and Kroger. I plan to write them both a letter and suggest they may need a few more if they want me to shop longer.

I am learning all I can do sitting down - read, scrapbook, visit on the computer, blog, write letters, drive, eat lunch with friends, cook with the help of a tall stool,

I do miss the feeling of exercising. I plan to try walking at the athletic club for 15 minute jaunts. I have even read that these shorts bursts are good for you.

My friend, Darrell, spoke at a recent youth retreat on Heaven. He said that Joni Ericson Tada
said that when she gets to Heaven she wants to knit and looks forward to having use of her hands. That really made me realize what I do have and all I can do.

Friday, September 7, 2007

Gimli lives in Roland

When we moved to our house in 1999, we needed firewood. We have a fireplace insert. It keeps the den nice and toasty. KimT recommended Mr Bixler. He charged 55.00 for a pickup truck full. He was quick to tell me that he would just charge me 50.00 if I would load it and unload it my self. I decided early on that that was the best 5.00 I have ever spent. When we started with Mr Bixler , he was old. I'm talking 75 or 80 in 1999. Last year when I called, his wife said that he could only chop wood for his family. I was now on a search for someone new.

At a Wednesday night meal, last November, I was talking in the kitchen with our guest chef, Mike. He said that he had someone who delivers wood for 75.00 a truck load. I called him from the church. Wendell Ray. I don't know if that is his first and middle name or first and last. His dad answered the phone. He said he would have Wendell Ray deliver me some wood on Friday. When Friday came I was stunned when I opened the front door and there stood Gimli. He was about 4'5" tall and the longest beard I have ever seen except for in the movie Gettysburg. He introduced himself as Wendell Ray.

As he loaded the wood it began to rain. When he was finished 1 load, it was pouring. I had ordered 3. He asked could he come back when it was not raining. I said "Yes!" It took awhile because we had lots of rain. I was the only one to see him. I did get my wood and was pleased as we were warm all winter.

Two weeks ago I called Wendell Ray for this year's loads. He was to bring the wood in a few days. Each time he tried to bring it , it began to rain. He waited. I called again to make sure he had not forgotten us. He told me I was on his list and as soon as he could and it was not raining , he would bring it. Needless to say I still don't have firewood. We have had nothing but rain for the last week. This afternoon there was a knock at my front door. Kaitlin answered. It was Wendell Ray. He wanted to come by and tell me about the rain and his attempts. He said that with the drought we have had , he should of brought the wood sooner if bringing wood here makes it rain. I agreed. When Kaitlin closed the front door she said" Mama, he looked just like Gimli" I knew it.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007


I am blessed to have a hairdresser that I love. We have such a great time that I am sad when another customer comes in and I have to share her. She loves to laugh and loves sports. She is a razorback fan but a nice one. When something happens in the sports world I text her so she can be in the know.

Last year I took her an SEC schedule that Andrew had made. It is a grid with the names of the teams going down the left side and the dates at the top and in the middle is who plays whom. She put it on her fridge. Her son did very well on his spelling in the fall. She and her husband realized it was because the spelling list was also on the fridge and Gunner spent so much time looking at said schedule he learned his spelling words. I took her a 2007 version today. She was thrilled.

On Kaitlin's 21 birthday we even made a stop into Kristi's shop so she could meet everyone because you know you tell your hairdresser everything and she needed to meet them.

My hair is such that after Kristi fixes my hair, it usually stays that way for a few days. One time I saw her on a Tuesday. The next day I was to HELP in the kitchen for the Wednesday night meal. KimT who I was to HELP got sick and she couldn't be there. Now I was in charge. I did okay deciding to order pizza for about 100. Sandy helped me and we even made salad. I fell apart when I saw all the pizza's that were delivered. Had I ordered enough? Would folks be okay with a change in menu? How would I keep the teenage guys down to two pieces the first go round? Just to name a few concerns. As I stood in the kitchen flipping out my friend, Abbey, just stood and watched. When I stopped to catch my breath she said " Your hair looks good. And I can do most anything if my hair looks good." The wisdom of an 18 year old was what I needed. We even had pizza left over and everyone loved it. I got compliments on my hair too.

Friday, August 31, 2007

A year ago

A year ago this weekend was a big time in our family. Andrew, Taylor, Robert, Jennifer, Chris, John, Marisa, Kaitlin, Carl and I were all here. Andrew and Chris were just starting their football trip of a life time. They arrived here after going to the Thursday night game in Starkville. One down and 16 more to go. One Saturday they left here to go to Fayetteville to see the razorbacks play usc. Andrew even wore a hog hat. They had planned to go to Uncle Luther's ( or some such) for breakfast but ended up sleeping in for just a bit. Robert enjoyed the football games we had on the satellite and keep me up to date on all that was happening all day. Kaitlin, Marisa, Taylor and Jennifer had a great time shopping, dyeing hair, and just being together.

On Sunday, Andrew proposed to Taylor. He did it after church. We were all here waiting... when they got back... we held our collective breath as they walked in the house... they didn't say a word. Robert broke the silence by saying " Did she say Yes?" She began flashing her ring and we all laughed.

On Sunday night the Michael ,Monica and Lilli came over for supper and to play Telephone-pictionary with our group. We had a laughing good time. Robert and Jennifer had to leave to get back home that evening.

Monday ,we had an engagement party. We had some close friends over for lunch and to congratulate Andrew and Taylor. The party was bitter sweet. Near the end, John left to go back to UCA, Andrew and Chris took Taylor and Carl to the airport on their way out to town. Carl was headed to his class for 8 weeks.

Today Andrew and Carl are loading a truck in Houston and plan to hit the road headed for Valdosta. Andrew hopes to be in Valdosta by 7:45 est on Saturday.

My Mama

My friend, Alyssa, has been helping me clean. The Physical Therapist told me that lunges, squats, stooping and bending over were not my friends. He said that I am to never to do a lunge or squat and to keep my stooping and bending to a minimum. So Alyssa helps me clean now. I might add that my house is cleaner than it has been in a long time. Yesterday we were working in the closet that we put things when we don't know where to put things. I found a letter that my mama had written me in 1986. I must include a paragraph.

After the Jo. Do.s left I went to the basement with my laundry and found a frog almost in the laundry alcove! I stared at the beast for quite a while in am effort to assimilate the information that some of my space was filled with an alien. At first I was nonplussed. How to get him out? It didn't seem reasonable to call John for a FROG. I was not a small frog but more a medium sized - an adult.

I came upstairs and got my strainer which put over him until I found a piece of cardboard to slide under the strainer between the frog and the floor. He really complained on his journey to the outdoors but when he realized he was back in his natural environment he happily hopped away. Whew.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007


KimT and I are going to help with the book club at church. We have picked out the following books to be read: A White Bird Flying by Aldrich, Martha Washington by Brady, Christy by Marshall, Manhunt by Swanson, Bridge to Terebithia by Patterson, Blink by Gladwell, and A Walk Across America by Jenkins. This is the order we plan to read them.

Kim wanted books that she could own and mark in if she wanted to. I just checked and all can be ordered from

I plan to offer the service of ordering them for some of the ladies if need be.

Our first meeting is to be the last of September. I am fired up!

Sunday, August 26, 2007

It's all in the detail

Our friend, Zach, borrowed a van while we were at the wedding. As a thank you, he detailed it. He forevermore detailed it. It has not looked this good since it came off the show-room floor. I now wipe my shoes before I get into my van.

I thought I might like Zach to detail another van of ours. I took the van to him and picked it up a day later. I was not disappointed. Beautiful job. I usually don't drive this van as much but we have had some car trouble so now I'm in this van quite a bit. It was driving different. I thought something was wrong in the handling. I felt like I was at a ride at Walt Disney World. I was all over the place. Then I realized it was the seat I was sitting in. I was sliding all around. Then It dawned on me. This van has leather seats. Zach had cleaned then and cleaned then well. The dirt had held me in my seat. I was glad to know it was not something wrong with the van and I now get into the van being prepared for Mr Toad's Wild Ride and I do fine.

I wonder if they wax the seats of the rides at Walt Disney World. If they don't, they should. I may write them a letter.

Boxed Sets

I have never understood why people would buy a boxed set of a television show. Just watch the reruns was my philosophy. Well, that has changed. For our trip down to the wedding, Kaitlin bought the 1st season of The Closer. We had seen it hit or miss on Mondays and had really enjoyed it. She watched it with Katie and Marisa in the back. By the time we got home they had almost finished the season. Katie wanted to come over and watch the rest once we were home. We now own season 1 and season 2 of The Closer. Before I had missed the subtle story that threads its way through each episode. I have now watched all of season 1 and 2 and my favorites twice. After we have watched a few Kaitlin and I end up talking like Brenda Lee - Thank You, Thank You very much.

I just found out that on Labor Day there is to be a 3rd season marathon of The Closer. I know what Kaitlin and I will be doing.

I have decided that if I get into any trouble with the law, I want Brenda Lee Johnson to investigate and Ben Matlock to represent me.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Foreign Language

One of the requirements for Kaitlin's degree is 2 semesters of a foreign language. She has chosen American Sign Language or ASL. Her first class was yesterday at 8am. It is 'no voice'. From the moment the class walked in the teacher was communicating with them in sign. The teacher had her name written on the board and asked every student what their name was. Soon every student had written their names on the board. Then the teacher went around the classroom to see if she could learn every name- this with no voice. By the end of class she had learned them all. Kaitlin loved it. She has this class on Tuesday and Thursday mornings.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

20th Anniversary

Today is the 20th anniversary of John's birth. He was born at 7:15am. He weighed 8'10" and was 20" long. Gappy and Uncle Charles were with us. Uncle Charles thought that Charles Austin sounded like a good name to him. Kaitlin found another baby in the nursery she wanted to take home instead. Granddaddy, Grandmother, Ted and his wife all came from Alabama to see John. They took Andrew and Kaitlin to the Audubon Zoo. We have video of Uncle Charles and Andrew on a camel.

If John had been a girl, her name would have been Susannah Clare. Kaitlin told folks it was to be Hosannah Clare. When I went to the hospital if it was a boy we were to name him John Austin but call him Austin, when I came home Carl, Andrew and Kaitlin kept talking about baby John and I said " WHO". Carl said that they had voted and like John better. We compromised on a double name John Austin. He was called that until he was four when he said that he didn't care for that. So he was John. At seven He asked for a nickname because there were too many guys at the ball field name John. I offered him Jack, Jam, Jammer, etc. He picked AJ. When asked what that stands for he will tell you "Adorable John". So he was AJ for several years. Now he is John.

For the record we have met some interesting folks named Austin. Some have been nice but I'm thankful a vote was taken and we didn't call him Austin.

What a fun 20 years. I'm hoping for about 100 more.

3rd Anniversary

This week is the 3rd Anniversary of my retirement from teaching. It has been an adjustment. I don't have to remind myself as often not to go down the home school aisle in the local book stores or even realize that I have books in my arms for things I want John to learn this year or a skill Kaitlin has said that she wants to master or a war book we don't have because Andrew may need it as a reference.

My friend, Hazel, refers to your life as your 'yard'. When my children were small, I took care of most of their 'yard'. There are certain things in my children's 'yards' that I have been taking care of for quite awhile. Now I can stand in my yard and offer very helpful (in my opinion) suggestions for them to do but more and more they are responsible for the upkeep of their 'yards'. I am realizing that I need to be happy with the upkeep of my 'yard' by planting new plants and cleaning up debris and whatever else I find to do.

I am finding that when I am busy in my 'yard' and not worrying about what all is going on in their 'yards' that I get invited into their 'yards' more often and my opinion is even sought.

Friday, August 17, 2007

My Lip Gloss Be Poppin

When my children were younger and all at home, they each had two days a week when they could sit in the front seat of the car as we ran errands. When you sat in the front seat you could also control the radio or the cd that was selected. All three of my children like a WIDE variety of music. I have been exposed to lots of stuff. So now I must confess that I like rap music. I also have realized that I have just heard the "G" version. My children won't let me hear all the words to most songs. My friend, Sam, told me about My Lip Gloss and said that I could listen to all the words.

I have two rap songs as ring tones on my phone. Andrew's is This is Why I'm Hot and Kaitlin's is My Lip Gloss be Poppin. I think this is surprising to most folks in public. I say this because Kaitlin and I were in the grocery store and we got separated. She called me as I was on the soda aisle. It was being restocked by two very large young African-Americans men. They were on one side of all the Pepsi's and I was on the other. Kaitlin called. One poked his head around to see what hot chick had this as her ring tone- He was stunned. Then he died laughing and called to his friend saying " Did you see That" I just kept on going with my lip gloss poppin.

Monday, August 13, 2007

First Things First

I am reading a book called Relationships: A Mess Worth Making by Lane and Tripp. Here is a quote from it.
Every painful thing we experience in relationships is meant to remind us of our need for Him. To quote C.S. Lewis When I have learnt to love God better than my earthly dearest, I shall love my earthly dearest better than I do now. In so far as I learn to love my earthly dearest at the expense of God and instead of God, I shall be moving towards the state in which I shall not love my earthly dearest at all. When first things are put first, second things are not suppressed but increased.

It is taking me awhile to read this book because I have to stop and think and ponder lots of it.

Andrew and Taylor

Andrew and Taylor are back in the USA. They called me last night. They had a great time in Costa Rica. They have pictures on Facebook. They said that the beach there is rocky not sandy. They learned to surf . No road is bigger than 2 lanes and they are strun ( I can't find a spelling for my word) with potholes. Once when they were traveling back to the resort from town a baby goat wouldn't get out of the road. They ended up taking it to the next farm up the road after repeated attempts to move it out to the road. They road horses 3/4 the way of a volcano and road a zip line down. The zip line had three parts. During the middle part they were traveling 40 mph. WOW. They took a boat trip down a river in a National Park. They saw crocs, monkeys, etc.

I went to Sam's this morning to get copies of the wedding pictures I have, to start a scrapbook. I plan to make the book such that I can add other's pictures as we get them. I have cleaned up the spot in the wreak room so that I can have my stuff out all the time.

Thursday, August 9, 2007

100 degrees outside

I grew up in a home with no AC but I don't remember it being unbearably hot. I can hear my mama saying "Let's put this puzzle together and she would fix us all a cool drink" Sitting down together we would have a laughing good time and not feel the heat. The wonderful thing about no AC was The Attic Fan. I can still remember the anticipation of it finally getting cool enough in the afternoon/evening so we could turn it on. To turn it on meant going to the windows all over the house and shutting the ones not needed and leaving open only a few strategic ones. I can still hear the hum of the big fan and feel the cool breeze as it came in the windows.

I am sure I can write that with such fond memories because of the wonderful AC that is cooling my house even as I write.

Did you have AC growing up?

Monday, August 6, 2007

a million details

I have decide that when you have a wedding, there are a million details to attend to. Brains only hold so much. One needs to pick about 10 most important ones, write them down and tell them to several folks. If some get done, rejoice, and forget about the other stuff because it can't all happen.


That is how I feel after being so blest by all who came to Andrew and Taylor's wedding. Many driving 1000 miles round trip just to be with us. Those who couldn't come prayed for us. I could really tell. One of my friends even gave me the shoes off her feet to wear to the wedding and I did. Virginia , they were great! Sandy, Kim and Clare drove over a day early and set up the rehearsal dinner among many other things. My brother, John and his wife Elaine, came over on Thursday also to lend a supporting hand. Carl's sister , Marian, planned a beautiful bridesmaids luncheon with the help of Jennifer, Renee, Elaine, Tina, Frances and Meredith. It was fantastic. Our whole extended family was with us minus two cousins. I believe we had 30 in our family picture. Wow.

Wednesday, August 1, 2007


I love to send out texts to let folks know where we are and how things are going. Thank you to all that answer. My favorite message today was from my brother, Charles, as we passed through Memphis- he told me to watch out for Elvis Impersonators that may be Hitchhiking. Charles, we saw none.


When Kaitlin was a little girl she would asked us " What is your poem of the day?" and we would all recite a poem that we made up on the spot. Recently she has changed to Limericks. So today we are driving in the car to the wedding. Kaitlin asked her question about Limericks. Here are two that I thought were great. From Katie

Kaitlin is totally stoked
the last thing she needs is a coke
If anything happens to the wedding gown
we will all know on whom to frown
If we have to buy another, we'll be broke

From Carl

Weddings are fun
glad we don't need a gun
we are on our way to Auburn
hope it won't be borun
we are driving into the sun.

What is your limerick for the day?

Monday, July 30, 2007

A Wonderful Doctor

Since we don't have enough to do, we went to the doctor today because Kaitlin had a sore in her right ear. The doctor drained it and put her on antibiotics for 10 days. When the doctor found out she was an artist he wrapped her head and told her to tell her friends she went to see Dr Van Gogh! When we walked out the nurse took a double take. Kaitlin told her that the doctor had to cut her ear off and the doctor said to the nurse " Didn't you hear me call for back up?" You get your medicine very quickly when you have a bandage on your head.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Addie Lou

A woman spoke at church last night on being a Resilient person. The definition being- capable of withstanding shock without permanent deformation.

She said that resilient people have a reason to Not give up, something to get back to, they know they matter.

They are always learning. They pick up lessons from the situations they are going through and they hunt for things of God along the way.

They don't judge the outcome of the situation by the front end.

They keep margins in their lives. We all need free space. Jesus stopped even when sick people were waiting on Him.

They keep joyful people in their lives.

When going through a hard time or situation we need to admit it. Feel the feelings. Realize that every emotion is a total body experience. She said that grief comes in waves that can last 30 minutes. Surrender the outcome to God. When you can't think of what to do- just do the next thing ie eat lunch, take a nap. There will come a time when we need to stop replaying the event.

My Mama was the most resilient person I have every known. As I listened to this woman talk I realized how much of this I knew from watching my Mama live. What a blessing.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

The birdfeeder

A few years ago Carl bought me a birdfeeder for Christmas. He hung it up so I can see it from my chair in the den. Two days later the squirrels chewed through the cord that held it up and it was down on the ground. The war had begun. We got a wire and the squirrels chewed through it. Next a coat problem for the squirrels. Thicker wire and the squirrels jumped from the closest bushes to feeder. We moved the feeder further out and cut the bushes. The squirrels got the feeder off the hook and knocked it to the ground. Bought a squirrel baffle and thought we had won. No such luck. It was on the ground again. My brother John bought me a Yankee Flipper. We waited to see it flip off a squirrel. We are still waiting. It was knocked to the ground. Carl put a latch up so it would be harder to get off. We awoke that night to such noises like a terrible cat fight-- Raccoons. They can unlatch a birdfeeder, no problem. Carl wired the latch shut. They got on feeder or pulled it up and took the bottom off. So now the feeder has the bottom wired shut. I have enjoyed seeing my birds eating for several days now. I am sure this is just a respite.

Monday, July 16, 2007


Today is the first day of VBS. I have always loved VBS. John is helping with the 5th and 6th graders, Marisa is in the nursery, Kaitlin is the photographer and I am helper KimT in the Kitchen. The theme this year is The Race is On.

Sunday, July 8, 2007

The Rinns

We are blest to be in a church where there is high priority put on missions. We had the priviledge of having supper in our home with some of our favorite missionaries Joel and Jessica and their 4 children. When we see them again after a few years we are able to just pick right up like we saw them just last week. What a blessing. They have been here to our home 3 times. The first time Jessica noticed that their daughter Anna looked like Kaitlin's baby pictures that we have up in the house. We checked again on the second visit, still she looked like Kaitlin and now last night we pulled out pictures of Kaitlin at 4 and still they look alike! How much fun is this.

Papa's birthday

Today is Carl's birthday. We gave him some new water shoes like Kaitlin got for her birhtday from Uncle John and Aunt Elaine plus a new AUBURN shirt. This one is a white polo with AU on the front. He said that he was looking for a white AUBURN shirt to wear on ' Show your team spirit Fridays at work' I am so blessed to be Carl's wife. I am glad he was born.

Saturday, July 7, 2007

07-07-07 Wedding

Kaitlin took pictures at a wedding this morning. The wedding started at 9 am. The bride and groom left the reception at 1pm. It was beautiful. There was a wonderful atmosphere about the whole event. The Mother of the Bride and the Bride were great to work with and for. They knew what they wanted and were kind in telling us about it.

The lady who made the cake told Kaitlin that she had several weddings today. Kaitlin is glad to just have one. At her weddings I usually chase after Kaitlin with the list of pictures written down so she doesn't have to remember them all and the paper can be her brain. Carl now uses her other camera . She had a list for him at this wedding. Kaitlin stays with the Bride and lets Carl get the other shots. It is fun. I am glad we can support her in this way.

It is fun to be at weddings with ours so soon. Several folks have called me when they received their invitations.

Friday, July 6, 2007

Books for my vacation

These are the books that I am packing in my suitcase to take with me to RYM. Relationships- A Mess Worth Making by Lane and Tripp. Chambermaid by Rao. No! I Don't Want to Join a Book Club by Ironside. Summer at Tiffany by Hart. The Empty House by Pilcher. Winter Birds by Turner. A Timbered Choir by Berry. Sweetgrass by Monroe.

I will be in a condo with Cheryl about 3 miles down the beach from the youth group. We will pop in as we want or are needed. Cheryl plans to bring her pile of books too. I am looking forward to the trip.

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Happy July 4th.


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