Thursday, January 29, 2009

What a mess!!

I have definitely come to the conclusion that I would not have made a good pioneer woman! Our power went off on Tuesday morning about 5:30 and hasn't been since, except for a brief 7 minutes about 9:00 that morning. We had plenty of firewood so we were warm and we do have a gas cook stove so we could cook. But, it's hard to do much cooking by candlelight. Since we have a well, though, we didn't have much water. The pump works off electricity! We had drinking water in our cooler but no water for bathing or even flushing toilets. That is what got old!!

We would read during the day and then last night we were even reading by flashlight! It wasn't the easiest way to read, but at least it was something to do.

We had talked to Mom in Alma and she told us to come down. Yesterday we would have had a hard time making it to 540, but today we didn't really have much trouble. I called her about 10 and told her we were on our way. The first thing we did once we got here was to shower! I don't know when a shower ever felt so good.

The next thing I did was check the blog to see what was going on with the Stamps. What great news when I got on and saw them holding her and feeding her. Such a blessing!

After a bit, we were ready for lunch so Pizza Parlour here we come! It was awesome as always, sorry Geren's and Taylor!

We brought laundry with us, so Mike has been taking care of that! Surprise, surprise! I am just letting him handle it, too. He said he was just trying to impress Granny. Well buddy, impress away!!!

We snapped some pictures of the area where we live to share with you. They do not do it justice. I have never seen so much devastation! It will take quite a while to clean it all up. I am just ready for the power to be restored everywhere.

This was taken of the parking lot across from Baum stadium. Looks like they are getting ready to get busy!

The next two pictures are the road we took out. Trees are broken like this everywhere you look. Part of this road was down to one lane because of the trees fallen over it. It was still pretty icy, too. I'm glad that Mike was driving!

The next two are trees in our yard. That pine tree has been there quite a long time. I'm not sure it is going to survive this. The next one is the one we heard the branches cracking off of. Sounded like gunshots at times.

Across the road from us, a tree has split and is laying across a power line. It just looks scary!
I hope everyone is someplace safe and warm.
I think we need to go get some more detergent before Mike can finish the laundry!

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Whitney Caroline Designs

As I was looking around on Facebook a few minutes ago, I saw where Hillary had become a fan of Whitney Caroline Designs. I have to be honest, I had never heard of it. I went to their website and immediately became a fan myself! They are having a giveaway that you might be interested in. They seem to have a variety of products including bags, stationary, invitations, etc. Check it out!

Great weekend...

I hope everyone has had a great weekend. Mine has been! It was a 3 day weekend, which is always nice. I took Friday off and spent it with Taylor. We didn't even have Grace with us! We had planned a trip to Tulsa earlier in the week. We got away from Fayetteville about 12:30 after shopping for some treats for Kelly and Harper. We didn't have any trouble finding the hospital at all. Finding Kelly and family in the hospital was another story! We did eventually find them, though, and had a good visit with them. She looks absolutely amazing to have just had an almost 10 lb. baby. They were having a good day and seemed very pleased that we had made the trip to see them. What a special family!

After our visit with them, we found the Cheesecake Factory!! It was fantastic. It's a good thing there is not one any closer! After that we just looked around in a party store for invitations for Grace's 2nd birthday that is coming up sooner than I want it to. No luck there so we headed for Fayetteville. I made it back to the house right at 8:00, just in time to watch Monk. We had a great day together! I am already looking forward to another one some time in the future and I hope Taylor is, too!

On Saturday, I was able to sleep until about 10:30. That was nice, too. Mike had been up for a while doing a little light cleaning. I started laundry and did a little more cleaning before we sat down and finished watching A Few Good Men on TV. When it was over, Mike went out to get some firewood brought in and I continued to pick up and straighten up the living room. As he was splitting the wood in the front, I started carrying it in to fill up the rack. We got it filled up and the floor vacuumed and he got a fire started. He had bought steaks earlier in the week and had them marinating in the refrigerator. He had also gotten baking potatoes and the stuff for green bean casserole to have with our steaks. He got the potatoes ready and put in the oven and mixed up the casserole and then we settled in to watch a movie. As you can see from the picture below, we have quite a collection of DVDs. We play a game to choose what we will watch. I will call out numbers from each row and then we choose from only 3 or 4 instead of the whole bunch. We actually did that 3 times yesterday. It was great! We watched a variety of movies. My Fellow Americans, The Italian Job, part of The Titannic on TV and The Sum of all Fears.
While we were watching these movies, of course, Mike kept the fire going. It was so nice to be sitting in front of the fire just relaxing for the whole day. (I did get the laundry finished, too.)

I couldn't get a very good picture of the fire with the screen on so I snapped one while he was working on building it up. We also discovered that we were out of charcoal when he got ready to cook the steaks! Never fear, though, he just cooked them over the open fire in the fireplace!! They were some of the best steaks I have had in a while. We may cook them that way more often. We love to cook hotdogs in the fireplace, too!!

Today we have had a shorter version of the movie marathon, but enjoyed every minute of it as well. I slept in again this morning so we didn't make it to church, shame on us. When I got up, Mike was just finishing up making pancakes, sausage and bacon for breakfast. It was great! He had already started a movie, Crimson Tide, so we finished it as we ate breakfast. We knew we had to make a grocery store run at some point today, but he said we could put it off for another couple of hours. He went to the closet and brought out The Guardian. It makes me sad, but it is a very good movie. When it went off, he took off the to store and I started the soup. He had been bugging me since I had printed off the recipe for the tortellini soup that Hillary had posted on her blog. I got it made after he got back with the rest of the ingredients and it was very good. Thanks Hillary for posting it!
While I was finishing up the soup, Mike was surfing the TV and found Dumb and Dumber. We finished that movie, then Mike fell asleep and I headed for the kitchen. I got it all cleaned up and now I am getting ready to get showered and watch some more TV before I go to bed!
I hope everyone else has had a great weekend, too!
Keep the Stamps family in your prayers! Harper seems to be doing better every day.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Big Monkey/Little Monkey

Grace was finally back at the house!! We usually have her on Monday nights, but last Monday Taylor had to work until 2:00am so we didn't. We had both really been missing her, so Mike texted Taylor on Thursday evening and told her he was going to kidnap her if we didn't see her soon. She sent me a text right after that and asked if we wanted her on Friday night. Of course I said yes!! Taylor had a shift meeting at 3:00 on Friday, so when school was out, I met her at the police department to get Grace. After a quick trip to our new Neighborhood Market, we were in for the evening. She asked about her papa and her Uncle T on the way home. I think she was ready to see all of us, too!

As soon as we got home and put the groceries away she was asking to watch "mommy mommy". She has become a big fan of "Mamma Mia". (She comes by that honestly enough, her mother and I both love it.) I put in the movie and she crawled up in the recliner and watched for quite a while when I was on the computer. I haven't seen her sit that still in a long time. When I finished on the computer I went in and sat with her. She was even trying to sing along with some of the songs! She also got down and danced with them during part of it. She is so much fun to watch!

She was probably asleep by 8:00. We sat in the recliner and I watched Monk and then pretty much slept through Psych before I got up and took us to bed. We were back up about 8:00 this morning. After she helped Papa eat his breakfast, they came into the living room where I was on the computer. Mike was planning to read his newspaper, but as you can see in the following picture, Grace had other plans for him. I just had to get a picture!

As the day progressed, we watched "Mamma Mia" yet again. At about 11:00, I guess, I took Grace in to wake up her Uncle T! She sat up in the bed with him for a little while until he decided to go ahead and get up. He laid back down on the couch until the movie was over. By that time the temperature was warmer outside than inside so we headed out. Grace played on the deck and I hung her swing back up. She stayed in it longer today than she has the whole time we have had it. She played on her little four wheeler while Tanner was splitting wood and Mike was cleaning the fireplace area up. She had a blast running around in the yard enjoying the sunshine and the freedom.

After Tanner got ready to go to work, he came around to the back of the house to find us. The next thing I knew he was climbing the pecan tree in the back yard! I don't know if I have ever seen him climb a tree before, but if I have it was a long time ago. I had to have some pictures. Grace didn't quite know what to think.

When he decided it was time to get down, he also decided that he should have thought about how he was going to get down before he ever got up!

Here he is testing that branch on the right to see if he can swing from it. He did end up swinging from it to get down. All branches and bones are still intact!

He really wanted Grace to have an experience in the tree as well. She was not at all sure she wanted to be up in that tree, at this point anyway!

However, when he said he would get up there with her it was a different story! He climbed back up and I handed her up to him. He got her onto that branch without any trouble.

She seemed to really enjoy being there with him, not at all scared of being so high up. Hence the post title, Big Monkey/Little Monkey!!
After we got them out of the tree, Tanner started chasing Grace around the yard. She was giggling so hard she kept falling down. It was fun to see them having so much fun together. What a great uncle!!
When he left to go to work, I managed to get her back into the house. It was getting a little chilly and her nose was running. We went inside to have an apple. As we were finishing our apple, she asked for "mommy mommy" again. I put it back into the DVD player and started it up again. She played around a few minutes then climbed up in my lap with her paci. I know she was tired, she had not had a nap all day. She was almost asleep when her mom and dad came to pick her up. Taylor was hoping she would go strong a little while longer and then crash early. I don't know if that is what happened or not. I do know that I was as tired as Grace was, if not more so! I wouldn't trade the time we have with her for anything in the world, though! Thank you Taylor and Gene for letting her come and stay with us as often as you do!!! Thank you, God, for blessing us with such a wonderful granddaughter!
Please keep Kelly, Scott and little Harper in your prayers!

Praise God for His goodness!

I just read on Kelly's blog that things are looking better for her precious new arrival. I have been amazed at the number of comments left on her blog as well as every other blog that I have looked at this morning where this family has been lifted up. The blogworld is truly amazing and reaches so many people so quickly. As my heading says, Praise God for His goodness!

Thursday, January 8, 2009

New pretties and some upcoming events...

I don't know if anyone remembers or not, but several weeks before Christmas I stripped the walls in my living room. I donated the things I had in there to the Springdale Police Department for their garage sale. Anyway, I began the search for new things. I found and purchased several things but never got them hung before I started decorating for Christmas. Once I got all my Christmas decorations down I had bare walls again. Slowly, I began moving the picture, mirror and sconces back into the living room to remind Mike that I needed him to help me get them hung. I had also found a table that I wanted to put under the picture but hadn't gotten it since I was buying Christmas presents. Well, I got it on Monday! Stephanie and Mom helped me get the table. With gift cards from them, a small discount because it has some scratches on it and a $10 coupon, it only cost me $29. I was very excited! Thank you Mom and Stephanie!!

What do you think? I don't have any candles for the sconces yet and I need to get something to put on the table but I am on my way. There is a shelf on the bottom of the table, too.

I have wanted a mirror to put over the piano for a long time and now I have one. I couldn't get a very good picture, but you get the idea. I am very proud of the way it all looks and can't wait to finish. I still need something to put on the wall over the computer, but I don't have any doubts that Taylor and I can find something that will look good.
I also bought a new clock for the den that I haven't gotten up yet because I need something else to go with it as well. It's a work in progress for sure. It has been fun shopping for updated decor for my house!
I also had some fun on the computer after I got in from school today. Tanner will turn 21 in September. We told both kids that when they turned 21 we would take them to Las Vegas. We are not gamblers, but it is a fun place to go anyway. We are all about the shows. Anyway, we took Taylor and had a great time and now it is almost time to take Tanner. I can't believe he is almost 21!! Where has the time gone? I got online this afternoon looking at packages and while I was looking Mike came in. We have a pretty good idea of what we are going to do but I will wait before I reveal anything until we are sure. If it works out like we think it will it should be a great trip. Tanner has been consulted about most of what we have looked at and he said it sounded good to him. Now we have some long term plans to look forward to, and lots of money to come up with!!
Mom, Mike and I also have a date in March that we are looking forward to. Taylor got tickets to the Bill Gaither Homecoming at Alltel Arena in Little Rock for Mike and me. Once the tickets came in and I found out where the seats were, I called to see if we could get another one so we could take Mom. I was able to find one pretty close to the ones Taylor got us. Mike doesn't usually sit in his assigned seat anyway, he likes to sit at the top so he has more room and can walk around, so I went ahead and ordered the other ticket. I called Mom on Tuesday to see if she would like to go and of course she was very excited! I had been wanting to take her to one of their gatherings for a long time, so thanks to Taylor, I am finally getting around to it! Thank you Taylor!!!
Okay, I don't think I have anything else to share at this point, other than the fact the I am so glad tomorrow is Friday!!!
Hope everyone has a great weekend.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Holidays are over...

Well, the holidays are over and it is back to work tomorrow! I wish I could say I was ready to go back, but I can't. Ready or not, though, here we go!

As I was reading blogs this afternoon I noticed that several had changed their backgrounds again, so of course I had to change mine as well. I only looked for about an hour before I decided on this one. I wrote down the names of some others that I may use at a later date. Do you like it?

While this holiday vacation was not a restful one, it was a fun one. My sister stayed with Mom until today, so I tried to spend as much time as possible with them. Last week I went down on Tuesday for the day and we had a great time. We picked up Granny Ima, met up with Johnny and Pat (my cousin and his wife) and went to Pizza Parlour in Alma for their buffet lunch. They have the best pizza around! We have pizza from there almost every time we are in Alma. After lunch, we loaded up and went sight-seeing. Johnny took us down memory lane. The weather was perfect and we saw things we hadn't seen in a long time. It was great! He took us to see Lake Fort Smith since it has reopened. As kids, we picnicked at that park and swam a lot. It looks nothing like it did then! The changes were amazing. It is a beautiful park, but kind of sad that we didn't recognize anything from our childhoods. I guess that's called progress!!

On Thursday, Cathy, Mom and Granny Ima traveled up the mountain to meet Taylor, Grace and me at Mimi's Cafe for lunch. It has become a favorite place of ours to eat. After we finished eating, Taylor, Grace and I did a little shopping and they went back to Alma.

Friday, I took Grace to Alma to spend one more night with Aunt Cathy. Cathy had made lasagne for lunch that day. (We did a lot of eating during this break.) She went and brought Granny Ima up for lunch with us. After we ate we just let Grace entertain us. She loves to be the center of attention!!

On Saturday, Cathy and I took Grace home and then went to a wedding. The wedding was one of the reasons Cathy stayed until today. Her best friend's youngest son was the one getting married. I decided at the last minute to attend the wedding with her. Am I ever glad that I did? It was a reunion with friends that I had not seen in many, many years. The wedding was beautiful and the fellowship was wonderful. What a great afternoon! Thanks Cathy for letting me go with you!

This morning, we left Granny's house about 7:30 and drove Cathy to Little Rock to catch her plane. Mom and I were back in Alma just before 2:00 and I left about 3:00 to come home. The trip down and back didn't seem like it took very long at all. By now, everyone should be home where they belong. Thanks Greg for letting Cathy stay in Arkansas for so long!!!

This should have us pretty well caught up for now. It was really a great holiday vacation! I hope everyone is looking forward to a wonderful 2009!!!