Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Christmas 2008

Finally I can get online again! Our computer has been down for about a week and before that, things were just crazy, but now things are getting back to normal. I was told yesterday that I needed to update my blog, so here goes.

Christmas was fun as always. It's great to be with family that we don't get to spend much time with throughout the year. On Christmas Day we went to my mom's in Alma. Taylor and her family also traveled to Alma. My sister and her family were in from Atlanta and the Russell's and the Bazyk's were in from Little Rock. Granny Ima, mom's sister, was also there. We had our traditional Christmas dinner and everyone seemed to have plenty of it!

After lunch, Grace opened presents from the Russell's, Bazyk's and Granny Ima. Then they headed back to Little Rock. As they were leaving, Rick, Marcia, Amanda and Alex came in. Everyone was visiting and watching the clock at the same time. Taylor had to be at work at 6:00 and we still had not opened presents. We all drifted toward the living room then to have our Christmas. We have started the tradition of opening presents from youngest to oldest, after Granny opens hers. Of course, with Christmas being all about the kids, Grace got the most presents. She seemed to enjoy tearing off the paper. She didn't hesitate to ask for help if she couldn't quite get it started. She was really funny to watch!!

It isn't often that the three of us are together in the same picture! I loved being able to be with both my kids for Christmas!

Grace always had someone close by to help when she got in a bind. Aunt Cathy lent a willing hand on this one, which happened to be from her family.

On Friday after Christmas, Mike, Tanner and I met Stephanie over at Taylor and Gene's for our Christmas. Stephanie always gets me some sort of snowman to add my my collection. This year, she gave me four and each one had a letter on it spelling out NOEL. They are adorable! Thanks Steph!!

This was the best present of the whole season!! When Stephanie took her blanket out of the bag, Grace wanted in! She and Steph played with this bag until they finally tore it up! So much for presents for the little one.

We got a little four wheeler for Grace to have at our house. Her Uncle T was very excited about putting it together for her. He is extremely fond of his precious neice!!!

She rode it all around the driveway. She does pretty good on the straight stretches, but hasn't quite mastered turning yet. I think she really likes riding it. The second day she was on it she ventured a little farther out. We have 5 acres out here for her to explore so she should get a lot of good use with it. I don't expect that this will be her only four wheeler!!
We had a good Christmas and it has been great to be out of school! I am having a hard time even thinking about having to go back!
Today I got to have lunch with Leah, Kendall and Evan who are in from Kentucky and my friend Karen who teaches in Bentonville this year. Taylor andGrace, and Jennifer, Austin and Taylor Raabe were there as well. We had a great visit and good lunch at Chik Fil A. Thank you Leah for making time to visit while you were here. I hope you all have a safe trip back to Kentucky!
I can't believe that 2008 is gone! I do not know where it went so quickly. I am really looking forward to 2009! I hope that everyone has a safe New Year's Eve and a very Happy New Year!!!
Until next post....

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Now it really looks like Christmas...

Finally! I have been trying to get pictures uploaded since last night. You gotta love dial-up service.

Anyway, I have completed my Christmas decorating for the year and wanted to share. I have several pictures so bear with me.

Remember the frames I told you I purchased at the garage sale? Below you will see the tree after Mike painted it white and the angel as Mike and Taylor began putting the lights on it.

This is the finished angel! Just had to plug it in to see what it looked like. Even in the garage it looked great to me!

For the last several years, I have designated locations for my decorations. The entertainment center is the main snowman center. However, I do have other snowman decorations throughout the den. I didn't take pictures of all of them. I am an avid snowman collector!

The mantle has become the santa collection. I had stocking holders last year that spelled out Santa. One of my stockings hanger came off last year, and we don't really do much with stockings any more since my family has grown, so I really only needed to hang 4. I found new hangers that are santa in his sleigh and 3 reindeer, so I got them and gave the others to Taylor. This way we don't have to move a stocking every time we build a fire, which is everyday!! The wreath is really too small, but I haven't found anything I like any better yet. I will though! Mike told me last night he thought the mantle looked better than it ever has.

While I was snapping pictures last night, Mike asked me to take one of him. He likes to have his picture made more than anyone I know! Anyway, I snapped this one of him and it got the wall and the top of the tree. The angel on top is not leaning, I don't know why it looks like it in this picture.

These next two pictures are my new additions this year. I took everything off the walls in the living room and gave them away, so they were completely bare and it made the whole room look funny. The tree and all were up and looked good, but something was definitely missing. Friday when we were at Kirkland's, one of my very favorite stores, I found this quilt and knew it would be perfect on the big bare wall. I was right, I love it. The three framed words were also in Kirkland's and I was relatively sure they would fill the space above the computer. Taylor agreed so I got them too. They do look like I thought they would. I probably really need a little something else to go with them, but for now, I am happy. That completed the living room nicely. It is very homey in here right now.

The next picture is the Grace zone! There are lots of Christmas pillows and stuffed animals in this pile. She went crazy playing with them and carried them all over the house. It is nice to have something down that she can play with and not get in trouble for! She did get into the potpourri in a little basket on my snowman table and played with the tree just a little bit, but not bad considering how curious she is. She did see where the tree lights are turned on and off so she had to try her hand at that, too, but it won't be new the next time she is here!

The piano has always been where I display my nativity scenes. I also collect them, so I have several. I didn't even get some of them out this year. I am very proud of how this area looks as well. Tanner got the wreath for me several years ago and it is perfect over the piano.

Last but not least, we have the yard display. Nothing elaborate, but I am very proud of it as well. Tanner and some of his friends built the snowman several years ago and then the angel and tree are what we added this year. Mike ended up stringing the tree all by himself!! He is not really a very big fan of Christmas, but he is always very complimentary of how good the house looks when I finish decorating.

I hope you have enjoyed my little tour. I didn't share it all with you, just the highlights. I look forward to this all year long and am so pleased to have it all finished so that I can sit back and enjoy it.

Looking forward to seeing more decorations on blogs!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas!

I know it is not Thanksgiving yet, but I also know that I am planning to be pretty busy on Thanksgiving weekend, so I decided to go ahead a change my blog a little early. I spend quite a while looking for Christmas backgrounds that I liked before I settled on this one. I am a HUGE fan and collector of snowmen, so this one seemed appropriate! Hope you enjoy it.

We have had a pretty productive weekend around here. We got the lights strung on the angel frame that we had bought at the garage sale. It looks great! I will post pictures later. Hopefully we will get the tree done this week, it should be easier than the angel was. I wouldn't have been able to get it done without Mike! He had the plan. Taylor worked with us for a little while yesterday on it and then Mike and I finished up this afternoon. I can't wait to get it set up in the yard.

Well, I am off to watch the 24 movie that is on Fox. Hope everyone had a great weekend!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

It's beginning to feel like winter!

Wow, it feels like winter is here. I love the fact that it is cold. I was tired of being hot. It's also easier to get into the holiday spirit when the weather is cold. For the last two days, Taylor, Grace and I have been out in it. Tanner joined us for a while yesterday and then Corey was with us today. Both days were lots of fun and pretty productive as well. I am crossing items off my Christmas list rapidly! It feels great to be getting things done this early. Last year I was shopping up until the very end. This year, when I am out and in the mix at the end, I don't plan on being panicked!

I have been making some changes in decor at the house, and in doing so, have changed some of my Christmas decorating options. I have been studying on just exactly how I am going to make everything work out this year. I have been decorating basically the same way for several years now, just adding more every year, so I guess it is time for a change. I have already told Taylor that I will definitely need her help this year! I am going to have to quit looking at Christmas decorations whenever I am out, too. I have a hard time telling myself 'no', especially when they are on sale like the ones I found today!!

I have new lighted decorations for the yard this year, too. I bought an angel and a tree at the garage sale the police department had. They did not work but I got them so cheap that I couldn't resist. Last weekend, Mike and I stripped the lights off both of them and he repainted the frames so they look new. All we have to do now is string lights back on them. I can't wait to see how they look. Tanner had built me a lighted snowman a couple of years ago, so now I have 3 lighted decorations for the yard. I am ready to get it all set up! I really love Christmas time!

I have been looking at blog backgrounds, too. I defintely will be changing to a Christmas theme just as soon as Thanksgiving is over! My house will be transformed the weekend after Thanksgiving as well. My dad was a big kid when it came to Christmas, too. We always put up our tree the day after Thanksgiving, if not that afternoon. That is a tradition that I have followed. I usually am involved in setting up two trees that weekend. We, probably I this year since Taylor won't be there, will help Mom get hers up before we come home on Thanksgiving Day. She has a brand new one this year so we will have a new experience there as well. I can't wait!!

I know that Grace will enjoy Christmas more this year than she did last year as well. She is already into snowmen!! She tries to sing "Frosty the Snowman". She's such a doll! (No prejudice there at all!)

I guess there is nothing more to talk about at this point. I hope it hasn't been too boring.

Hope everyone has a great rest of the weekend!

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Nana's jewelry, "trick or treat" and a Razorback game!

When Grace was over here on Monday or Tuesday she got very quiet while she was back in our bedroom. I called for her to come back to the den where I was and in just a few minutes here she came will all these necklaces on. She thought she was soooo pretty! Of course I had to snap a picture or two! We have lived in the same house now for 20 years and I don't remember ever having trick or treaters. Last night we had a special one come to our house! She was so cute in her little fairy costume complete with sparkly silver shoes and a wand. She even cast spells on all of us before they left.

She' checking out her loot! At this point she had not been very many places, however, she already had some pretty good stuff.

"Have it!" she said to her papa. Her mom and dad had already told her she had to wait, so he didn't give in!

I had to give you a view of the back! She was just adorable, not that I am prejudiced or anything!
One of Mike's good friends from Fort Smith has 50 yard line tickets for the Razorback games. They are also only 42 rows up!! They typically only go to one game a year and sell them for the rest of the games. The game they decided to go to this year was today's game and since they have 4 tickets, they offered to take us with them. How could we possibly turn down 50 yard line tickets! They have excellent parking as well. We had a great time. The weather was perfect, completely shaded after about the first hour we were there, and the game was awesome with the Razorbacks beating the Tulsa Hurricanes 30-23. What a great game to get to see!

One of my favorite things about the games is the band. This was right before the game started. Right after this formation, they moved into the 'A' that the players run through.

This was the view from out seats! Pretty good view, huh? Thanks Larry and Cindy!! After the game we had dinner at Doe's. What a great way to end our double date! The food was great and we didn't have to wait to be seated. Larry did a great job of getting us around and to the restaurant before the crowd got there. When we were leaving, there were people waiting outside! Our timing couldn't have been any better.

One of my favorite things about living in Arkansas is that we have a change of seasons. There are many beautiful trees in this area right now. I snapped this picture while we were waiting on Larry and Cindy today. It is not the prettiest tree that I have seen but it ranks right up there. I cannot imagine living anywhere else!

With all the excitement we have already had this weekend, we still have more coming. Mike's mother will be in tomorrow afternoon for a brief visit on her way to Branson with 2 of her friends. She has not seen Grace since April! She is very excited to see her. We are very excited to see Mema. We don't get to see Mema or Papa nearly often enough. They live in Fort Worth and it is hard for us to make connections with everyone's work schedules. They are retired, but traveling has gotten more difficult for them over the years. It should be a fun, albeit short, visit with Mema tomorrow. It will be a good way to end what has been a really good weekend!! We also get an extra hour of sleep tonight, yay!

Friday, October 24, 2008

It's finally Friday...

What a week this has been! I know it has been a while since I posted, but there really hasn't been anything special going on with us. I have been really tired this week and not spent much time on the computer at night and since we can't blog at school, I haven't been on. I hope everyone has had a good week!

On Tuesday night, 6 of us from school drove over to Tulsa to listen to Erin Gruwell speak. She IS the freedom writer the movie was made about. One of our teachers was invited to be a part of the Freedom Writers conference in California this past summer. We watched the movie at school on the last day of our before school inservices. It is a powerful movie! If you haven't seen it, I highly recommend it. It is amazing what she was able to accomplish with those kids. Anyway, she is an awesome speaker and we had some laughs on the way over there and back, so it was a great trip, but I have paid for it all week. We didn't get back until about 10:45 so it was almost midnight before I got to bed. I'm way too old to be staying up that late on work nights!! But. we made it to Friday and now I am looking forward to the weekend!

Mike, Grace and I are headed to Alma tomorrow morning!!! (At least I think Grace is still going. I haven't talked to Taylor today to confirm that, but she told me last night we could take her.) Mom always looks forward to our visits, but she especially likes it when we have Grace with us. Mike is planning to spend Saturday afternoon watching horse races with a friend of his in Ft. Smith. I was invited, but declined. I am going to make a big pot of chicken and dumplings, Mema's recipe! They are wonderful, if I do say so myself! I haven't made them this year yet so I thought this would be a good time. They are definitely a cool weather food. I don't cook much when Grace is around, but there should be enough distractions tomorrow that I will be able to get them put together. I invited Julie, my cousin, and her mom (Granny Ima) to come and help us eat tomorrow. None of them have ever had my homemade dumplings. I sure hope they turn out good!

On another note, our son, Tanner, moved out again this week. He had been staying over at the house he is renting with his friends for a while but hadn't taken his things. He took some on Sunday and the rest on Monday. This is the second time he has moved out and I will admit that this time it was not as hard to see him moving everything as it was the first time. He is my baby, though, and I am not one of those parents who can't wait for their kids to be gone! He is very excited and proud of the house they have found. It is a nice place and I am not nearly as concerned/worried as I was when he moved into the apartment down in Fayetteville. I just hope he doesn't forget that he still has to come see us once in a while!!

Going to check in on other blogs now! Have a great weekend!

Sunday, October 12, 2008

New look!

Wow, I managed to create this new look all by myself! I didn't make one phone call to get me out of a jam. What do you think? Keep in mind that it is only a temporary look because Christmas is coming and I know I will have a new one for that holiday. I'm already looking for the right one. If you know of any good places to find free templates let me know! I'm all about the freebies since I will probably be changing it all the time now that I know I can.

Hope everyone is having a great weekend! I certainly am. After being out all day yesterday, and having a lot of fun, I am in today. Mike and I did go to Sunday School and church this morning. It was good to be back, I've missed a lot lately. Since then, though, we have been right here. He has already had a nap and I have been working on laundry and playing with my blog. Now we are watching the Cowboys. He and his mom usually talk several times during these games but so far today he hasn't been able to get in touch with her. I know he will keep trying, though. It's just now halftime and the score is tied. Neither team has done anything special so far.

Gotta go fold clothes and get the next load in. Enjoy the rest of the weekend!

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Grace and Papa's new toy...

Pardon the photography, they were on the move, but Mike and Grace had a great time yesterday afternoon with the lawnmower and new red wagon. I got a real bargain on the wagon, $10.00, at the garage sale the police department had last weekend. Grace had played in it already while they were setting things up so Taylor knew she enjoyed it. Taylor was going to buy it, but then someone offered to give them one, so I bought it to have here. As soon as I told Mike about it he knew he was going to hook it onto the lawnmower and they were going to get busy! That is exactly what they did. He told me that I would probably have to walk along side of her when he first started up. Not necessary! She was happy as a lark and not one bit afraid of the noise.

He stopped just long enough for me to snap this picture, and as you can see, Grace was trying to make it go! She was rocking back and forth in the wagon. She was pretty funny.
I almost cut Mike's head off in this one, but it was hard to get a good enough angle to get good shots of both of them. I predict many hours of riding in the wagon behind the lawnmower. It is sure easier than pulling her by hand. I did a little of that before he hooked it up-I'm too old and out of shape to be pulling a wagon. The things we do for our grandkids!!

Grace spent the night with us last night so Taylor could finally go to a football game to see Colt march in the band. We always like it when she is here. We were actually in just after 10:00 last night. Grace sleeps with us when she is here so sometimes it makes for an interesting night, but last night, I think we all slept pretty well. I know I did!

We were up around 8:00 this morning and Mike made us a good breakfast of bacon, sausage and pancakes. It was yummy! He then went out to mow because he was planning to watch football this afternoon. I had scheduled an appointment for the second half of the massage that Tanner had given me for my birthday for 1:00 this afternoon. When it was over, Taylor and I had planned to do a little "shop looking". We did a little more than look! I have done some Christmas shopping, though, and am I glad about that! Taylor did some as well. Poor Taylor won't have much under the tree this year, but she is getting to start decorating their house. We really had a lot of fun. We really, really like Kirklands!!! When we finally finished at Kirklands, we headed to the mall. We were there for quite a while as well. We sort of like Lane Bryant, too.

We didn't leave the mall until almost 7:00! Of course, we didn't get started until a little after 2:00. Since we had gotten some pretty big stuff for Taylor's house it wouldn't fit in her car. I took her to pick up her car from Old Navy, which is where we started our shopping adventure, and then headed all the way out to her house to drop off her stuff. It was after 8:00 before I got home. It was a very fun day! Poor little Gracie was very tired, but she was good considering what we put her through. Taylor just sent me a text a few minutes ago and said that all her new stuff looked very pretty and Grace's new clothes all fit! I am so glad that Taylor now has Saturday's off!

Pretty tired myself, so I don't think I will be up much longer. Hope everyone has a great rest of the weekend!

Friday, October 10, 2008

Handbag Give-Away!

When I got in from school this afternoon I started blog-hopping while I was waiting on Taylor to drop Grace off. I'm not even sure where all I went, but I found one advertising a website that is giving away 24 handbags on Oct. 15! They are giving away one every hour! I am a sucker for contests, so naturally I had to check it out myself. The bags look very nice and very trendy!! If I post their website on this blog, then I can have more opportunities to win. The site is Check it out!

Friday, October 3, 2008

Vera's new spring '09 line...

I know there are a few Vera Bradley fans out there so I thought I would send this along. I stumbled onto it on Facebook. These are the new spring '09 patterns that will be available in January.

I want to send out a big THANK YOU to Cathy and Megan for getting me hooked on this addiction!! Now I even have Taylor looking the Vera collections over whenever we are at the mall.

It's amazing to me just how addicting they can become. I will have to say that I am not as crazy about these new patterns as I am some of the older ones, but I do enjoy seeing new ones. Which one will be added to my collection next?

Click on the link below, look for lila's post (I had to scroll up to find hers) and the first site on her list will show all 4 of the new colors/patterns.

Facebook pictures of 2009 patterns

Sunday, September 28, 2008

An early morning phone call, an emergency room and a hen party!

My weekend started a little earlier than I had planned. My cell phone rang at 6:15 on Friday morning and it never rings that early, especially when it is my mother calling. She kept saying, "I'm okay, I'm okay" but you don't call someone that early just to chat! She is usually not out of bed that early. So, I'm starting to worry a little because she was crying a little bit, too, and she is not a crier! Finally, she told me that she had fallen and her left leg was really hurting. She had made it to the kitchen to get her cell phone, but she had held onto something the whole way. Anyway, she kept saying that since it was her left leg she thought she could drive and she was going to call her doctor when their office opened and try to get in. She had actually planned to call them anyway because her headaches were not much better from 2 weeks ago when she had gone. I told her that she wasn't going to try to drive any where that I would be down as soon as I got my stuff together and put in my absence from school in the computer. I got to her house (in Alma) a little after 8:00. She had replaced the front door lock a while back and I had not gotten a key to it. Sure enough it was locked. I can open her garage door from my car so that was my next move. Well, the door into the kitchen from the garage was also locked! I pulled out my phone to call her to see if she could get to the door to let me in when I remembered that the old front door key opened that door and I still had it on my keyring. By the time she answered her phone I had the door open. I went straight to the bedroom to check on her. She was trying to get up, but I told her not to. I got her little dog taken out and then went back to her. We got her to the den and into her recliner so she could stretch out her leg. At 9:00 we called the doctor's office and they said they would have the nurse call us. I had told the receptionist that she had fallen and was having trouble walking on her left leg and that her headaches were no better. She said okay. We waited until about 12:30, which was very difficult for me, and called back. She remembered that Mom had fallen and went to see where the chart was. When she came back to the phone she said it was in the doctor's area and just waiting for him to see it and tell the nurse what to do. So, we waited again. I had told Mom that we weren't going to wait too much longer without going to the ER. We needed to know what to do. She went back to bed for just a little while and then she said, "Let's just go." So I got her into the car and went in to get the rest of our stuff and the phone was ringing. It was Debbie from the doctor's office. She didn't know that Mom had fallen, the receptionist left that part off her note, and she also had been out during the morning! She apologized for us having to wait all day, but she said he would have told her to go to the ER for X-rays. I told her we were on our way. We got seated in the waiting room about 2:50pm and were headed home by 5:20! I was thrilled that it hadn't taken nearly as long as we were afraid it might and also that nothing was broken!! So then we headed to the pharmacy to get her medicine and to the house. She went straight to bed and only really got up long enough to put on her gown before taking her medicine and bedding down for the night. I sat up and read for a little while and then I crashed as well.

I heard her in the bathroom about 6:45, surprised that she had made it so well. We both went back to bed and dozed a little until about 9:00 I guess when we got up and started stirring. She was able to move a lot better and seemed to feel better, too. I made us some breakfast and then we were trying to decide what we needed from the store when Taylor called. Mike and I were supposed to keep Grace this weekend, but things changed a little. It worked out okay for Friday night, but I knew Taylor really wanted to go to Bikes, Blues and BBQ. She had been talking about it for a long time. She was not having much luck finding something to do with Grace. I told her she could always bring her to Alma, since Mom was feeling better. She perked up then and said as soon as she got showered and clothes gathered up she would be down. Grace is usually pretty good medicine for Mom! I decided to go on to Wal Mart so I wouldn't have to take Grace. When I got home, Mom said she wanted to try to shower so we headed to the bathroom. She did pretty well. As she was finishing up, the doorbell rang. When I got to the door, it was Shirley from Unique Florist. She has been a family friend for years. She had a beautiful bouquet of flowers for Mom, as you can see in this picture. Cathy had called her and ordered them from all the grandkids and greats! Thanks, Cathy!!

While I was on my way to Wal Mart, I called

in reinforcements! I called Courtney to see if she had plans or if she wanted to come up and play with Grace. She looooves to spend time with Grace! She had already done what she had planned for the day so she said she would come up about noon. She did and Grace was in rare form. Mom went to lay down for a while so we just let Grace entertain us. When Mom got up, we ordered pizza, Pizza Parlour of course, and Courtney went to pick up Granny Ima when she got the pizza. We were having a full-fledged hen party at this point! We were watching the Razorback fiasco and trying to get Grace to call the hogs. She did clap and holler a little bit, but not much pig sooie.
She had on this cute little hat when she got out of the car. We talked her into putting it back on to model with Courtney. Isn't she just a little doll?

She was exhausted, but wouldn't give it up. At one point we thought she was going to crash in Granny Ima's lap. No such luck! She realized she was getting too still, so down she went!

They stayed with us until about 6:00 and it was a great afternoon. Mom had felt relatively good and certainly enjoyed watching Grace. She was surprised that she felt as good as she did. She could bend her leg better and even walk on it without holding on to something or someone. She crashed around 9 and then Grace and I sat in the recliner and rocked. She was asleep about 15 minutes after Mom went down. We actually went to bed around 10. We slept pretty well. Grace likes to be very close! She woke up about 7. I was hoping to sleep a little later, but no such luck. Mom was still in bed but was awake. She said she didn't sleep as well as she had the night before and she was hurting a little more. As we finished up breakfast, she went ahead and took a pain pill and it didn't take it long to start working. We got things moved around for her dog and her charger for her cell phone moved into her bedroom and I got her laundry caught up. She told me she wasn't rushing me off, but she was okay and for us to head on home so I could rest. We did leave there about 3. I brought Grace to the house so her papa could see her since we didn't keep her here over the weekend. She slept on the way home and has been going strong ever since!
I told Mom that if she wanted me to come down for the weekend, she didn't really have to go to such extremes. All she has to do is ask! Anyway, the weekend ended better than it started, but we are so grateful that nothing was broken and she is doing so much better already. We will keep praying for her strength to increase and the pain to be gone quickly.
I love you Mom!

Just experimenting with my camera since Grace is willing to pose on occasion now!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008


Okay, I don't know why the whole bottom part of the last post ran together, I really had separated it into several paragraphs! I guess I still have a lot to learn. Maybe you can read it anyway. Just wanted you to know that I didn't write that all as one paragraph. I went back several times to try to get it changed to no avail. What did I do wrong?

Grace and Uncle 'T'

Finally! I have to say that I really dislike dial-up internet service! Where we live it is the only thing available. I have been trying for the last 2 hours to get these pictures to upload.

On Mondays we get to keep Grace so I usually try to get home as quickly as possible from school. Mike usually watches her until I can get in. Yesterday when I topped the curve headed to the house, I saw Mike on the tractor. I was a little surprised and thought maybe for some reason we were not going to have her. When I got to the driveway, though, Tanner's truck was there. When I walked into the house, this is how I found them. I don't know how Grace could have been very comfortable or how she even got to that position, but apparently they were both comfortable. I snapped both of these pictures, with flash, and neither of them moved a muscle! Aren't they just adorable!! I am soooo glad that Grace is so crazy about her Uncle 'T' and that he is equally crazy about her.

I hadn't been home very long, just long enough to take these pictures, when I remembered that I had forgotten to pick up my medicine. So, since they were sleeping, I jumped back in the car and ran to Wal Mart to get my medicine and a few necessities. I was gone for about an hour and when I got back they were still asleep. Their positions had changed but they didn't move. I got my clothes changed and was on the computer when Grace started stirring a little. I went and picked her up and then she slept on my shoulder. I just love to hold her while she is sleeping!!
After a little while she woke up and began to play a little. By the time Mike came in off the tractor she was going strong again. We ate a bite of supper, homemade chili (thanks honey) and hot dogs and settled in to watch Dancing with the Stars. Grace watched some and danced around a little bit. She was calling all the ladies Hillary! I guess she thought they were all wearing wedding dresses like she had seen Hillary in on Friday! She was going strong when Taylor came to get her at about 10:15. As soon as they left I hit the shower and fell into bed. It had definitely been Monday all day at work trying to get ready for parent/teacher conferences.
Today was our longest day of conferences. We had to work until 7:00. Tomorrow we have to stay until 6:00. I only have to conference with 10 kids, so I have quite a bit of down time. This afternoon, instead of getting ready for 2 upcoming special ed. conferences or grading papers, I read for about 2 hours! It was relatively quiet and I enjoyed every minute of it. I actually have enjoyed all the conferences I have had thus far this year. Of my 10 huddle students that I conference with, only 3 of them are my resource students. I have not been able to tell parents very often that their kids are proficient in math and literacy or even one or the other! It felt good to tell parents that today.
This had turned into a longer post than I intended. I am enjoying posting on this blog more than I thought I would. I'm not sure that is necessarily a good thing! Anyway, I'm off to finish watching Dancing, then to the shower and then to bed before another long work day tomorrow!
'Til next time...

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Fun times with Grace!

Well, I lost most of the previous post I was working on with wedding pictures, so I decided to try another one with pics of Miss Grace. Most of the pictures I had on the other one are on Granny's computer instead of mine and Taylor's camera instead of mine. Taylor is going to repost some of them for me and then I will blog about the wonderful wedding.

Anyway, Grace is always fun to tell about and show off. The first picture shown is when I decided to let her eat spaghetti all by herself. She was so very proud! It was a little messy, but she did manage to get most of it eaten.

The next one is just a cute picture of her one day when she was at the house. She is getting a little better about being still while we are snapping pictures. This one definitely shows off her beautiful blue eyes!
She loves her Uncle Tanner or T as she calls him. They played on this oversized bean bag for quite a while one evening when she was at the house. Good lookin' kiddos, aren't they?
Aunt Cathy and Megan were in for the wedding and the weekend. Taylor, Grace and I stayed at Mom's on Friday night and all day Saturday as well. We had a great day of relaxation and watching Grace entertain everyone. She always gets a prize from Atlanta when Aunt Cathy and Megan come to visit. Here she is putting on her new M&M costume. She looked adorable and there couldn't have been anything more appropriate to have come from them. I think Cathy lives on M&Ms!!!
Finally, Grace loved the dance floor at the wedding. She was on it even when no one else was. The lead singer in the band came out and danced with her during one of the songs. We had a hard time keeping Grace off the dance floor for the newlywed dance and the father/daughter dance. She just couldn't understand why she had to watch!
I have lots more pictures of Grace that I could share, but will save them for another time. When Taylor gets the wedding pictures re-posted, then I will tell more about the wedding! Just know that it was absolutely beautiful in a glorious setting! Congratulations to Hillary and Josh!!!

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Weekend of celebration and relaxing...

Friday night was the wedding that our family has been waiting for. It took place at Mt. Magazine State Park, the highest point in Arkansas. It was an aboslutely beautiful place for a wedding. I had never been there before, but hopefully will get a chance to go back someday.

Mike, Taylor, Grace and I went to Granny's in Alma around noon. Mike took his chainsaws and cut a bunch of limbs off some of her trees. Taylor, Grace and I made a quick trip to Ft. Smith to find shoes for Taylor. We only had to make one stop, Shoe Carnival, and we both ended up buying the same pair of brown shoes. I hope they will be comfortable enough to wear to school!
When we got back to Alma it was time to start getting ready. We were leaving at 4:30 and traveling in a caravan with Johnny, Pat and Granny Ima and Rick, Marcia and Alex. Johnny had been there before so we were counting on him to get us there. We got there with time to spare!

From the minute we walked into the lodge everything looked gorgeous. Her accent color was apple green and she had green apples in huge vases all over the place. It was definitely unique and absolutely gorgeous. I don't have any pictures of the decorations on my camera or computer, but will post some when I have access to them. They also had a photo booth set up in the reception area. Everyone was encouraged to have their pictures made. It took six poses and they cut three off for a scrapbook for Hillary and Josh and we got to keep the other three. What a great idea!

I had several pictures posted earlier and some how lost over half of what I had been posting. I still don't know what happened. However, Taylor has posted some of the same ones I had so you can go here to see them. The picture below is of the view that Hillary and Josh had while they were saying their vows. There are several other pictures on this blog that one of the bridesmaids posted.

After the wedding, we headed back to Granny's. Cathy and Megan had driven in from Atlanta for the wedding and the spend Saturday with Grace! Taylor, Grace and I spent the night at Granny's, too. Mike decided to head on home, not into hen parties! He had cut lots of branches off trees for Granny on Friday before we went to the wedding. He finished what he was planning to do so he didn't have anything to do there on Saturday anyway. That left just us girls for the whole night and all day on Saturday. Monica, Cathy's best friend, came down on Saturday morning and then Stephanie, my surrogate daughter, came down Saturday afternoon when she got off work. Granny Ima came up, as well, so we literally had a house full of women. We ate Pizza Parlour pizza, some of the best around, and CocaCola cake. Cathy had gone to Van Buren to get some sugar cookies from Paul's Bakery, too. They are a must have whenever the Geren's are in town just like the pizza. Anyway, we just sat around and visited and watched Grace while we snacked all day. Taylor, Grace, Stephanie and I headed home around 7:00 last night. Cathy and Megan have the long drive ahead of them today, all the way to Atlanta. It was a very quick trip for them, but it was great that they were able to come in for the wedding and another fun day of watching Grace entertain.

My best wishes and congratulations go out to the bride and groom! Looking forward to many more pictures of the happy event!

Hope everyone has had a good weekend. Now for some football!!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Wonderful cool weather!

It has been so very nice not to have to use air conditioning the last few days. I love having the windows open and all the fresh air coming in. I hope we don't have to use the air conditioner again until spring gets here.

I sure enjoyed watching the Cowboys game last night. I will confess, though, that while The Closer was on we only checked on the game during commercials. I did stay with the game until the end even though I was very sleepy. Grace fell asleep in my lap a little before 10:00, Mike had fallen asleep on the loveseat and I was on the edge when Taylor came in to pick Grace up. After they were gone, we headed to the bedroom and watched the end of the game in there. It was all I could do to make it!

This morning when the alarm went off I turned it off and was going to just lay there for another minute! Right, I woke up about 20 minutes later and was behind all day!! I have duty on Tuesday mornings from 7:30 until 8:00 so by the time I got to school it was already time to head to duty. After duty, I went to the office to check my mailbox and found out that I had to go to a meeting during my only planning time today. I was not thrilled to say the least. I really had planned to get the paperwork ready for my conference that was scheduled during lunch today. Fortunately, I was able to get most of the paperwork completed during a video that was shown to the whole school before the kids were dismissed from their homebases. As it turned out, the parent didn't show up until after school anyway! Figures. Oh well, one down and one to go this week. I do have the paperwork ready for the one tomorrow!

I don't really have much else to say except that I am looking forward to this weekend. My cousin is getting married on Friday night and we are all excited about that. My sister and her daughter will be in from Atlanta for the wedding. Then on Saturday Taylor, Grace and I plan to spend as much of the day as we can with them at Mom's. Fun, fun, fun!!! I just hope Mom is feeling lots better by then.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Granny, Grace, and the aftermath of Ike!

What fun we had at Granny's this weekend!! Granny got to read and read with Grace. I'm not sure how many books they read, but they both enjoyed every minute of it. I just love seeing them have fun together!

That was the fun part of the weekend. Then it got a little crazy. First of all, on Saturday evening Granny began to have plumbing issues. With women this is quite an issue, especially when there are 3 of us! Then, during the storm last night several brances blew off the big tree in the back yard and one of them was dangerously close to ending up in Granny's bedroom! We heard the wind, but had no idea what was happening outside. Next, Mike called to check on us and so I shared our experiences and then asked what it was like up here. He said that the power had been off since about 3:00 in the morning. When we got back up here from Alma around 12:45 it was still off. Taylor took a shower and began getting ready for work, then I went ahead and showered before I came home. I got home about 3:00 after staying with Grace until the boys got home, and we still were without power. Mike was going crazy with no TV so we went and had a late lunch and then went to see Burn After Reading. It was a crazy movie, but the acting was good. When the movie was over I called Tanner to check on power and he said it was still out. Our neighbor had called the electric company again and they told him it might not be on until tomorrow! Not what we wanted to hear. Mike and I were getting ready to head back to Alma for the night and had already called Mom to tell her. When we turned onto our road we saw a truck from the electric company and Mike pulled over to see check the status of our power. At the same time, Tanner was calling me to tell me that the power was back on! We were soooo excited!! I love spending the night with Mom, but I was sure not looking forward to getting up early enough in the morning to get to work on time. It was a blessed sight to walk in and see lights on in the back of the house. We have been without power before, but I don't think it has ever been out this long. My sincere thanks go out to anyone and everyone who works for the utility companies after storms!

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Taking the blogger plunge...

I have read and read and read blogs so much that I felt like I was missing out by not having my own, so here goes! Taylor, Grace and I are at Mom's for the weekend and we have been extremely lazy today so I decided this was as good a time as any to get started. I'm not sure I will have much to say that will be interesting to anyone but me, but it must be good therapy or there wouldn't be so many people blogging. Anyway, I'm going to give it a shot! It will take me a while to get everything figured out, that's where Taylor will come in very handy, but it should be fun learning. First Facebook and now blogging, what to think?