Thursday, December 23, 2010

Happy Birthday Clay!

Happy Birthday Clayman!
Love you more than you'll ever know!
So very thankful God gave you to us!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

The Fry Guys?

Just another pic of a tree....that really looks like the Fry Guys. Remember the old McDonald's Characters from years ago? Ok, well you'd have to add big eyes, socks & tennis shoes, but with a little imagination but that's exactly what I thought of when I saw it!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Chandler's Cross Country

Wanted to share a few photos of Chandler's Cross Country team!
Great group of kids!
The goofy photo!
Running @ a meet!
Great Pic!
All the kids harassed Chandler because it took him FOREVER to decide on his pose!
Love that kid!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Clay's Birthday Party

With Clay's birthday being so close to Christmas, we always try to have the party early so that it doesn't get caught up in everyone's Christmas plans. We planned a skate party. We invited a few close friends & family...those make the best parties & had a great day!

We started the party by decorating our own mini skateboards.
The boys loved this! They were very creative!
I wasn't sure how this would go, but they all really liked getting to create!

Clay's Skateboard cake!
Tom & I created a simple skateboard for the day!
It turned out really cute!
Clay blowing out the candles!

We got this banner for the party & for him to hang in his room!
He was super excited about it!
We took the kids down to the local elementary school to ride skateboards, scooters, & bikes. They played & had a great time!
Clay swinging on the catwalk!

The boys posed for the pic.
Great group of boys!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Ever Wondered???

On our quest to find a dog, we saw this building & had to stop in the road to get a just in case you ever wondered where the elves were stored....they're in Cabot, AR!

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Duck Fever

Clay got to go duck hunting for the first time! He loved it!
Got a spoonbill! Tom grilled it up for him! Delicious! He is hooked now!

Friday, December 17, 2010

Our First Dog

We have a story....Clay wanted a dog. He's wanted a dog for over two years. Every day I hear...I wish I had a dog. Honestly, every day. I'm NOT exaggerating! Everyday. Finally he wore me down. He is his father's child. I was the final hold-out. I did not want another eating, breathing, pooping being in my house.

We had a friend who had talked to us about giving us one of their dogs because they had 3. They decided they couldn't part with their little Friday I took Clay to the mobile adoption unit to look at dogs. He was grinning from ear to ear. We looked at 3 different animal shelters & ended up choosing the first dog we saw from the first mobile unit. A lab pit mix we think.

He's the best dog. Very sweet. Has only barked once...a big deep Whoof! He's house trained! Sits! And is very well mannered! He is the best dog....he's wonderful. Clay gave him his name: Drake Remington!
Drake coming out of the cage after his surgery @ the shelter!
Clay chose an orange collar for him. It looks beautiful with his brown coat!

Clay & Drake & the shelter!

Clay & Drake

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Happy Birthday Tom

Happy Birthday Tom! Hope your day is awesome! Love you Lots!
Photo taken on train from London to Holyhead!

Friday, December 3, 2010

A First for Me!

This week I tried something I've never done before. I canned! My grandmothers did it for years, and I've watched & maybe even participated but I've never personally done it! But this week I canned salsa. My cousin, Marty, sent me a recipe so I thought....why not. I borrowed Mom's pressure cooker & got all of my supplies & set to accomplish! I was very nervous because I had NO clue what I was doing but since I can read....I figured...I certainly could figure it out! I ended up with 7 pints of salsa. It's really good & spicy! Tom requested chunky so I did alter my cousins recipe/steps a little. He said he didn't think it was very he was literally drinking it from the bowl. I will share some with some friends....who are not spice-a-phobes b/c the recipe did call for 1 cup of jalapenos! It's really good but as Marty warned...the heat slips up on you! Delicious! I think I will make a "mild" batch for those who can't handle the heat!! I'm sure I'll try this canning thing again. I suppose I need to keep at it until I'm not nervous anymore!!!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

What am I?

We always find interesting things at the cabin.
Some we can identify...some we can't.
Any ideas?
This is some type of mushroom....we think...

This was identified by Clay & Ike as snake eggs.
It's some pod/seed of something. Not sure.
These two are the same as the one above.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Cabin Fun

Swinging! Really high!
Love the face!
I surely thought the rope would break!
And there were 3 on a swing......
A bunker for protection....not sure from what....
Deck Time!
Roasting the mallow!

Halloween weekend, we took a trip to the cabin & our nephew, Ike, got to go with us. Clay was super excited. They had an awesome time exploring the woods, creek, & just playing! Ike got to roast marshmallows for the first time. He did a great job! And they got to shoot bottle rockets too! Lots of fun stuff to do at the cabin....that you just can't do in the city!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Thanksgiving Fun!

Spinning & sliding around the tree!
Clay getting drenched!
Love this one with his legs up!
Chandler in the pouring rain!
Just a little muddy!

Thanksgiving Day we spent at my parents eating & visiting. The boys rode 4 wheelers in the rain. They were cold, wet, & extremely muddy but had an awesome time! It can never be said of our family that the weather stops us from having a good time!

After lunch, we all sat at the table & looked through the Black Friday sale papers to see if there were any bargains we couldn't pass up. While we looked, I told the boys about how when we were little we didn't have sale papers like this we just had the JC Penny or Sears & Roebuck catalogue and those stores would send out a special Christmas one full of toys & gifts. I told them about how we would go through the catalogue & circle what we wanted & put our name by the gift so that everyone would know what we wanted. The boys were amazed at the story which seems weird to us because to us it was old hat, but they've never seen such things. That is funny in itself but the conversation we had following was hilarious.

Tom said growing up at our house, you could circle until you got carpel tunnel but you still weren't going to get what you circled. Clay sat there with a strange, thoughtful look on his face and left the room. He went back into my mom's storage room & came back a little while later with a huge cardboard box that he gave to Tom. He said, Dad I can't believe you NEVER got a cardboard tunnel. We all just burst out laughing....I guess to a 10 year old....carpel tunnel does sound like cardboard tunnel & he was going to fulfill that wish! He is absolutely the funniest kid! I so wish I had written down all of the things he's said...maybe one day I'll start writing them down...and name the book, Clayisms!

We had a great day & hope that yours was as fun & eventful!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!

Thanksgiving...a uniquely American holiday! A time to stop & give thanks to God. Psalm 107:9 says Give Thanks to the Lord for He is good & his love endures forever! What an awesome promise.

Sometimes we feel it's difficult to give thanks because life is challenging, but how very important it is to give thanks in the hard times. We seem to be a nation of focusing on the 20% we don't have not ever stopping to acknowledge the 80% that we do. How tremendously blessed we truly are. During the Civil War, the deadliest war in American history, that resulted in the deaths of 620,000 soldiers & countless civilian casualties. The war where 10% of Northern males & 30% of Southern males died, Abraham Lincoln took the time to stop & to establish this holiday.

It has seemed to me fit and proper that [the gifts of God] should be solemnly, reverently, and gratefully acknowledged with one heart and one voice by the whole American people. I do, therefore, invite my fellow citizens to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next as a day of thanksgiving and praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the heavens.~Abraham Lincoln

He took the time during the midst of challenge to acknowledge God as did the Pilgrims did on Plymouth Rock so many years ago. Take time today to thank God our Father for all He has done. Thank Him for the good and the bad. Thank Him because He is God and He is our Father & He loves us! Thank Him for Salvation through His Son Jesus who died on the cross for our sins, not because we deserve it but because He loves us!

I’ll share the Thanksgiving list I’ve been working on this month! There are many more, but this is just one for everyday of the month! Hope you have a great day! Be Thankful!!

























Blessings & mercy

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Loving Because

Are we control freaks? Oh, I know we all are at some things. We like things a certain way, we want the laundry folded & put away just so, the sink free of dishes, & other things that we consider important, but do we want to control people? Surely we don't. Can it be said of us that we allow other people to be themselves? Do we get upset because someone didn't do something or behave the way we thought they should? I'm not talking about destructive, blatantly hurtful, or sinful behavior but behavior that really has no bearing directly but behavior that we just don't like for whatever reason.

Do we allow others to be themselves? Do we allow others the opportunity to behave without judging their behavior? Do we accept their behavior as just that and nothing more? We cannot control others or their behaviors. We cannot make people do things we want them or don't want them to do. It's ok to confront someone about their behavior as long as it is done in love and concern and not an attempt to make them see things your way or try to make them do what we want them to do.

One of the most freeing things is to stop expecting people to behave how we want them to behave, our way, the way they "should"(our controlling). Then we will not be continually disappointed, hurt, jealous, angry or offended. Allow others the opportunity to take care of themselves, & in return, we should take care of ourselves. That's a hard enough job...being concerned about ourselves & our physical, emotional, spiritual well-being that we don't have time to worry about the expectations we have in our mind that someone else should meet to make us happy or complete.

Do we want to control or do we love? It's very easy for us to sit in our comfy chair and think about what others should do, when perhaps we have no clue what is going on in their life or perhaps how God is trying to work in their lives. We want to justify our behaviors because theirs isn't up to par. Heaven help us. God have mercy on us as we sit not knowing what all is going on; not having the all-seeing Eye of the Father. Lord, convict us of our self-absorbed, narcissistic behaviors. Convict us if we feel that somehow we deserve special treatment? Help us, God & show us how to love how You love.

Heal my heart and make it clean
Open up my eyes to the things unseen
Show me how to love like you have loved me
Break my heart for what breaks yours
Everything I am for your kingdom's cause
As I walk from earth into eternity
~hosanna by hillsong

If I speak with human eloquence and angelic ecstasy but don't love,
I'm nothing but the creaking of a rusty gate.
If I speak God's Word with power, revealing all his mysteries and making everything plain as day, and if I have faith that says to a mountain, "Jump," and it jumps,
but I don't love, I'm nothing.
If I give everything I own to the poor and even go to the stake to be burned as a martyr,
but I don't love, I've gotten nowhere.
So, no matter what I say, what I believe, and what I do,
I'm bankrupt without love.

Love never gives up.
Love cares more for others than for self.
Love doesn't want what it doesn't have.
Love doesn't strut,
Doesn't have a swelled head,
Doesn't force itself on others,
Isn't always "me first,"
Doesn't fly off the handle,
Doesn't keep score of the sins of others,
Doesn't revel when others grovel,
Takes pleasure in the flowering of truth,
Puts up with anything,
Trusts God always,
Always looks for the best,
Never looks back,
But keeps going to the end.
Love never dies.
1 Corinthians 13 (The Message)

Friday, November 5, 2010

Fall Chili Supper

We have an annual fall chili supper & festival for the kids at includes, jumping inflatables, chili, cake walk, games, & trunk or treat, where the kids go to everyone's trunks to get candy. Lots of great chili & desserts!

Several of the youth decided to get in the back of this truck & hide to scare the kids as they walked by...not sure they were successful but they had fun anyway...Sarah is laying in the bed hiding!
Graeson jumping!
Graeson in his Army costume!
Cole, Clay & Ike posing!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Storm Ready?

Monday night we had a round of storms pass over the state. The tornado sirens were blaring so we prepared to get ready. Tom got the computer & the external hard drive with all of our photos ready for the safe room. I grabbed my contact stuff, some tennis shoes & some jeans, a baseball cap, my purse & the checkbook, Clay grabbed his football, football jersey, PSP, and his school work, which is hilarious in itself. Chandler grabbed his phone & some special baseball stuff. I found him watching the storm from the this hilarious get-up (it's Clay's nonetheless)....I said are you ready for the storm....He just laughed & said "yep"! I guess at all times you should try to have a sense of humor! I love this kid!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

50th Wedding Anniversary

This October Tom's parents celebrated their 50th Wedding Anniversary. The family planned a big celebration for them. Everyone had a wonderful time. We were able to see some friends we haven't seen in a long while. Several people commented that it was like an old church convention....I said yes, but with cake!! We were happy to celebrate with them. 50 Years is an absolute accomplishment now-a-days! Congrats to them!!!!

Doris & Verlon

The napkins!

Guest Table

The majority of the crew...there were a couple missing!
The entertainment!
The Family!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

First Newspaper Photo

The NLR Cross Country team made the NLR Times Sports Page for Conference. Chandler's first newspaper photo! He made the School State Team & will be going to the state meet. He also lettered this year! We're very proud of all of his hard work!

Razorback Game

My aunt wanted to take the "older" cousins
to the Razorback game at War Memorial.
They had a fun time being together since they don't get to see each other a whole lot! After the game we all met at Crackerbarrel before they headed home! Lots of laughs & good times!
Thanks Aunt Frances!