Thursday, October 30, 2008

During this political season let's be reminded of these wise words....

"You cannot help the poor by destroying the rich.
You cannot strengthen the weak by weakening the strong.
You cannot bring about prosperity by discouraging thrift.
You cannot lift the wage earner up by pulling the wage payer down.
You cannot further the brotherhood of man by inciting class hatred.
You cannot build character & courage by taking away men's initiative and independence.
You cannot help men permanently by doing for them what they could & should do for themselves."

Abraham Lincoln

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Fun @ the Cabin

A quick trip to the cabin gave the boys time to finish off the fire works Dan gave them. Thanks Dan, we loved it! We worked all Friday afternoon on clearing some thorn-infested areas (which I'm sure Tom will share about later) & built a huge bon fire. We roasted marshmallows & tried to quote Hamilton "Ham" Porter from The Sandlot on the proper way to make a 'smore. We saw several falling stars & watched a buck travel alongside the property into the woods. It was a fun & relaxing. However I am really tired after 2 long days of hard work. I have a blister on my hand...I told Tom I didn't think Princesses got blisters. He said, well maybe you're not a princess. I said...I am pretty sure I am & you're wrong.! (LOL)

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Pumpkin Patch

Today we went to Collins Orchards in Conway to the Pumpkin Patch with Enrichment Academy. It was a beautiful fall day. Extremely cold to start off then as the sun broke through the clouds, it warmed up & it was terrific. We got a brief introduction to pumpkins, then we were off on the hay ride. The kids were able to pick 2 pumpkins, & they enjoyed looking through the field. Afterward, we had a picnic lunch & the kids jumped over the bales of hay. I think that was probably the highlight of the day! We even took home a few "Big" pumpkins & some muscadines for Tom!

Monday, October 20, 2008

Force Baseball

On the way home from the birthday celebration, we stopped off in Cordova to join Chandler's baseball team. We kept in contact with them throughout the weekend to see how they were playing, & we made it to the tournament just in time for lunch with everyone and the championship game. We beat the Memphis Travelers 8-1. Chandler had a great hit his first time up to bat & for the first time in his life played the outfield. He loved it. He said this was the most relaxing game he's played. There are a wide variety of boys on this team with lots of awesome talent. We're looking forward to getting to know the new teammates & their parents.

100 Years Old

This past weekend, we traveled to Tennessee to celebrate Tom's grandfather's 100th birthday! How amazing. I cannot imagine living for 100 years... Seventeen presidents, several wars, the Great Depression and countless other celebrations and tragedies nationally and personally. On the way home we discussed how many times a persons heart would beat in that length of time. We calculated about 53 million times. Unbelievable! It was a fun weekend.
The grandsons were chosen to be the celebrity escort & went to the nursing home to pick him up. He was transported to the civic center via a police escort, lights, sirens, & the whole 9-yards. Grandpawpaw was a celebrity & had the paparazzi (family & friends) waiting for him as he arrived. Photo flashes were everywhere! Tom & Barry said that the feeling of driving up with all of those people standing there waiting was exciting for them. So I can only imagine what the guest of honor must have thought & felt. He walked into the building as far as he possibly could which was quite a distance for a 100 year old man. Then he was wheeled the final stretch in his chariot. He was honored & celebrated. What a legacy. At the end of it all, the crowd moved outside to release 100 balloons in his honor!
Three hours, 2 full sheet cakes, 20+ gallons of punch, 7+ pots of coffee, 2+ cheese balls, 3+ chicken salad molds, countless boxes of crackers later; all the guest were gone, the place was cleaned, our clothes were changed, and we headed to the family park for dinner, a bonfire, & fireworks with Sonya & Dan to celebrate their wedding, which was held earlier in the day. It was a perfect fall day for all of the celebrations, and it was wonderful to see all of the family. ~st

Friday, October 17, 2008

St. George, UT Marathon

I must admit I was somewhat nervous because I was at this race with two of my friends that ran in the "elite" group! They were very encouraging the whole way through and gave me many pointers throughout!

The morning started with a light rain as be boarded the buses to take us up to the starting line. (elevation 5240ft ) When we arrived the light rain turned into a heavy down pour with wind gust up to 23 mph! They had many fires started for everyone to sit around and at one point they ran out of trash bags to shield yourself from the wind AND rain. After an hour wait we lined ourselves up for the start. I started near the middle of the field and it took 4 minutes for me to make it to the start line! If I had one negative thing to say about this race it would have to be that the first 2 miles we all ran in the dark with black trash bags on!!! Too funny!!!

I tried to go out with a very comfortable pace slower than what I did my last two ½ marathons. I really felt good considering it was a downhill race. It rained the whole way down the mountain! At times between the wind and rain it was hard to stay upright. For those of you that know me and my issue with cramps, I was very conscientious about my hydration and nutrition. I made it a point to hydrate at every aid station and I felt great in doing so. I made it to my half in 1:58 a little slower than my previous two but then again, I have never raced a full marathon before. My goal was to come in at 4 hrs and was on pace to come close until I hit the 21mile mark! I stopped to re-hydrate and use the rest room and when I started back I had a thousand ft dropped to the finish line! I think my legs had given out at that point. My goal pace at that point was thrown out the door and I went into “just finish” mode. I made it to the last stretch (elevation 2500 ft) and found my friends waiting for me and at that point I knew I had made it. I posted a chip time of 4:14 and was very proud of that time! I think I am most proud of the fact that I only walked when at the aid stations while re-hydrating! I DID IT!!!

Thanks to everyone with your encouraging comments! I am looking forward to many more races to come!

Sunday, October 12, 2008

A Day at the Fair

We made our annual pilgrimage to the Arkansas State Fair on Saturday. We always make a day of it & had a great time. We ate gyros, drank sweet tea, had Coleman ice cream, walked through the livestock, watched people, rode rides, & saw some old friends. We usually attend the rodeo, but won't be able to this year due to other commitments, instead we saw the monster truck show & the demolition derby. Tom & the boys rode in the monster truck...which was pretty awesome.
Now, I grew up attending demolition derbies at our local county fair. These were, and I believe still are the best nights of those fairs. The state fair derby was memorable...very unorganized and definitely needs some help in the MC area...the guy who was the MC was about as fun as watching paint dry. I've never seen a derby where they continuously stop the crashing to bring in the tractor to unhook cars so they can continue the derby. That happened so many times I can't even begin to count. It was the strangest derby I've ever attended. Whoever was in charge of Barton Coliseum forgot that it was 80 degrees outside & forgot to turn the air conditioning on. I'm sure they didn't consider that there would be hundreds of people inside with cars & trucks running and that it might be hot...duh. I can assure you the Tri-County Derby was 10 times better than this one. I kept thinking they should recruit Bo W. He could sure teach them a thing or two about demolition derbies.
We had some less than desirables sitting behind us who's limited vocabulary consisted of foul four-lettered words, and all three of them probably had an IQ of 80 together...I keep reminding myself that "they walk among us". Which reminds me of a funny and true story that a good friend told me the other day. She said & her daughters were in Wal-Mart and needed to pick up a yard-stick. (You know the kind that are wooden & are 36 inches long...a yard?!?!) She went up to a girl who was working & asked where she could find a yard stick. The girl looked at her and said, "In lawn & garden." My friend & her daughters looked at each other & burst out laughing...again I say..."they walk among us!"
We had fun at the fair...we certainly made memories...the kind that will last forever because they were too extreme to forget. We're planning to try it again's Kiddie Day & Graeson needs to ride some rides...I'll let you know if anything memorable happens! Until then....~st

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Shooting Club

Today was our first practice with the shooting club. Clay didn't want to go because he thought he couldn't participate, however he was pleasantly surprised when one of the instructors asked him to join in. He found that after the first of the year, he will be able to compete as well. Clay didn't bring his bow to shoot so he didn't get to participate in the archery, however he did well in the .22 pistol & shotgun skeet shoot. Chandler did really well too. He was able to shoot .22 pistol & rifle, bow, & shotgun. The boys will have to take several safety/educational classes to participate in competition. One of them is a compass & orienteering class in November. Tom is excited about that class. Supposedly he'd really good at that sort of thing. ~st

A Day Away

Thursday evening, we took a quick trip to the cabin. Clay & Chandler really wanted to hunt, so we loaded up the car & drove up. When we pulled onto our property, there were 8 deer grazing beside our pond. We got everything unloaded & headed to bed. The boys played around with the video camera. They created funny hunting videos. It was really funny. They were whispering like they do on those videos & said things like...we're on day 3 of our 2 day hunt. We laughed & laughed. Tom & the boys got up early Friday morning to hunt & hunted again Friday evening but there was no hunting success. They had a great time. I lounged on the sofa & read a book until time to load up to head home. It was a nice day away. It's really a blessing to have a place to just get away or escape to! ~st

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Did you ever think of it this way?

....from "once upon a time" to "kingdom come"—you are God. Psalm 90:1b The Message

I found this scripture the other day while has stuck with me for days.
What an interesting way to put that God has been and will be. ~st

Saturday, October 4, 2008


Early this 7ish, we drove to Beaverfork in Conway for the boy's first Cross-Country meet. The weather was cool & thunder & rain threatened but amazingly held off until the meet was over. The boys did really well & had a great time.

I thought this was really a neat picture. Clay went right up to Chandler after he finished his race. Not sure what he said, but he couldn't wait to get to Chandler.

Chandler on his final stretch. He ran his 5000m race in 11:17. He came in 2nd place.

Clay on his final stretch. I love the smile. He finished his 1-mile race in 11 minutes 4 seconds. He did really good for his first race. While the boys were running, Tom was in St. George, Utah running his first marathon from his report, he did well. So everyone was running today. I'm glad the boys decided to participate in cross-country. They've really enjoyed practices, and the meet today was cool. They've met some new friends in the process too.
Way to go guys! I'm proud of you! ~Mom

Wednesday, October 1, 2008


We were cruisin' on a Wednesday afternoon. We all had fun while Tom worked just riding around. Graeson spent the night, & we went to the Children's Theatre to see Treasure Island. It was about 30 minutes too long, but all in all a good production. Is Graeson not the cutest thing you've ever seen? Well, Chandler & Clay are cute too, but Graeson takes the cake...'cause he's only 2! And besides Steppie is his favorite...right Tom?