Monday, December 31, 2007

2007 In Review

As I was driving in to work this morning I heard an interesting 'stringer' on the radio. You know, those things they use to tease you into tuning in to the program that will be airing the local news has the habit of doing every night to keep you tuned in to the 10 o'clock airing. The 'teaser' was in the form of a question..."What one word would you use to sum up the year 2007?" I am thinking on that this morning and will get back to you later with my one word. I need to ponder on this a little while. Feel free to share your one word summation in the comments below.

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Around the Campfire

This afternoon, as I was putting the finishing touches on a pot of 'sausage & kale' soup for supper, I looked up to see my eldest son coming through the back door. I realized that he had been out back for a long time. I looked out the kitchen window to see this...

The rest of the crew were sitting around the brush fire where they had been cutting and burning tallow trees all afternoon. They had been hard at work since lunch time and were kicking back to enjoy time together before heading in for supper. The back three acres are looking better and better all the time...but this sight made me smile, pick up my camera and head out to snap a few photos before I totally missed the moment. This country life may be good for family bonding after all!

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Saturday Morning Live

It is Saturday morning and the house is quiet. The only sounds that can be heard are the gurgling of the coffee pot and the water running in the washer's rinse cycle. Even the pets are still sleeping. So, why am I up? Why, on a Saturday morning, can I not even sleep until daylight? Why, on the day we do not have to be at the office, am I wide awake and sitting at the computer? Why can't I feel this energetic and ready for the day on a Monday -- or any other day of the work week for that matter?

The sunrise here in Texas is gorgeous this morning. The sky is turning the most beautiful shade of blue. I haven't been outside yet, but I can sense the crispness in the air as I look out over the front yard. I enjoy sitting in the stillness of my home...and with three teenagers in the house, it is only still in the wee hours of the morning.

The sun has just peeked over the treeline, the rinse cycle is coming to an end and I hear Allie's collar as she climbs out of bed. It is going to be another beautiful day here at the 'homestead'! I hope your day is filled with beauty and joy as well!

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Happy Birthday, Grandpa

I find myself thinking of my Pappaw Fulton this afternoon. If my memory and math are correct, he would have celebrated his 92nd birthday today. Pappaw Fulton was my mother's daddy. He stood about 6 foot tall and I can hardly remember him in anything other than his Dickie's work clothes...either the khaki's or a pair of overalls. They were his clothes of choice, except on Sunday's and special occasions when you would find him dressed in a suit. He was a welder by profession, a member of the Boilermakers Union and worked in large plants 'up north' until his retirement. He even spent some time in Texas building ships during WWII. After retiring, he and Mamaw moved back to our hometown and he operated his own welding shop for several years. About all I can remember is hanging out in the office area while Mamaw worked on 'keeping the books'...and the smell, I definitely remember the smell of burning metal. Occasionally Jim will have to do a little welding in the garage, the sight of the dancing sparks and the smell transport me back to childhood.

Pappaw, like so many in his generation, led a difficult life. Growing up on a farm as the oldest child, there wasn't much fun and games. (If I remember correctly my Great Grandpa Fulton was a sharecropper.) Talk about a work ethic though, the man hardly ever sat still. Even in his 70's he was up every morning doing something on the 40 acres that he and Mamaw lived on. There was always something to plant, something to pick, something to feed, something to mow or something to mend. He would work until lunch time, come in to eat, take a short nap and head out again until supper.

Pappaw was also very big on education. He only made it through the 8th grade, having to leave school to work full time on the farm to help out the family. Despite the lack of formal education, he was one of the wisest people I ever knew. Some of my most cherished memories of him are of the times he spent just after supper and the 6 o'clock news sitting in his recliner with his Bible open and a notepad at his side. In his later years he served as Sunday School Superintendent, giving the morning devotional before splitting into individual classes. Sometimes, when I am sitting with my reference books open all around me and scribbling away at my notes, I think of him and wish that he could have lived to see me following in his footsteps.

He has been gone for over 20 years and yet, on days like today...I still miss him like it was just yesterday that he suffered his fatal heart attack. I know he is in a much better place today, spending time with his Savior...with the Word made flesh. But I am still thinking of him and in my heart, wishing him a happy birthday.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

It Was the Quickest Christmas on Record

Would you believe that my home is completely Christmas decoration free? Already??? I have to admit that there were not that many to begin with. As a matter of fact, even though we brought the tree home the week after Thanksgiving, the ornaments did not make it from Alief until the Friday before Christmas. We did not get them onto the tree until basically we had a decorated tree for two and a half days.

We didn't plan to have such a short Christmas. We usually leave the decorations out until after the first of the year (one year I think it was almost Valentine's)...but this year's tree seemed to go from green to fire hazard in about 24 hours!

The house seems a little empty tonight without the big tree in the dining room. The only remnants of Christmas (other than all the leftovers) are the poinsettias setting on the mantle. In a way, it feels like I am ahead of the curve for once. In another, it seems that I have just rushed past the 'hap-happiest season of all". So, my question to you is 'when do you usually take down your decorations'?

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Merry Christmas!

"The best of all gifts around any Christmas tree:
the presence of a happy family all wrapped up in each other."
Burton Hillis

Monday, December 24, 2007

Christmas Wishes

The gifts are all wrapped and under the tree. We are getting ready to begin our Christmas celebrations. The kick off of Christmas for the Goode family is the traditional opening of pajamas on Christmas Eve. This year the packages will be opened in three different homes...but the tradition continues. The stockings will be filled with goodies as we sleep. The couples will arrive early in the morning for breakfast and presents. The afternoon will be filled with family, gifts and food (Jim's shrimp etouffee, for which we have been waiting all year!).

Wherever you are tonight and whatever traditions you are celebrating...we would like to wish you and your family a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Thursday, December 20, 2007

A Hunter's Prize

Warning: If you are squeamish, you may want to skip today's post!

Here is the picture I promised of Will's big doe. She weighed in at 110 pounds. Pretty good for an Arkansas piney woods whitetail.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

A Christmas Reminder

Since moving out of the city, my music tastes have changed a little. I still enjoy listening to KSBJ, but they have been in Christmas mode since Thanksgiving...and I just can't go that long with all Christmas music, all the time. So, I have been getting back to my 'roots' and listening to some country music. The soundtrack of my young years was heavily influenced by Conway Twitty, George Jones, Charlie Pride, Freddy Fender and Patsy Cline with a little bit of Creedence Clearwater Revival and Elvis thrown in to insure I understood my Southern heritage.

Anyway, I was driving in to work yesterday morning and I heard Clay Walker's song "Fall". If you haven't heard it or can't recall it, the chorus is as follows:

So fall, go on and fall apart,
And fall into these arms of mine, I'll catch you
Everytime you fall, go on and lose it all
Every doubt, every fear, every worry, every tear,
I'm right here, baby fall

As I listened to the chorus the second time through, I couldn't help but think of the truth in the words. No disrespect to the songwriters or to Mr. Walker, I know that we all wish we could live out the words of this song in our most intimate of relationships. I certainly appreciate the romantic ideal of always being there for Jim when he needs me and I know that he feels the same way...but sometimes, we just can't be there for every doubt, fear, worry and tear. Sometimes the things that affect him are also affecting me, like situations in our family or at work. Sometimes they are actually caused by me so there is no way I can be there for him, I am the reason for the need to fall apart!

There is only One who has always been there with me. Only One has caught me everytime I fell. Only One who can comfort my every doubt, every fear, every worry and every tear. He is always right where I am and ready to catch me when I fall. Thank You Lord Jesus! May my heart remember during the hustle and bustle of this Christmas season that You are the One that we celebrate.

"For to us a child is born, to us a son is given and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace." Isaiah 9:6

"The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth." John 1:14

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

We're Back

...and my, oh my, did we have quite the time! I wanted to post pictures of the bounty we collected, but I seem to have misplaced the camera. I really need to find it before Christmas!

Jim, Will and I made the long trek to the deer lease last Friday. We left about an hour behind schedule because I couldn't locate my hunting license. This is a big deal when you are paying for out of state licenses. I finally gave up and convinced Jim that we just needed to leave...we were 'burning daylight' as they say. I called the number on the back of his license and they asked me for my drivers license number. When I reached in my wallet to get them out...lo and behold, there were my hunting license. Jim got a good chuckle out of me not even getting to finish my sentence with the lady at the Arkansas Game & Fish Commission.

We arrived too late on Friday to get any time on the deer stands. Saturday morning we awoke to a heavy rain. Even though it kept us from getting out as early as we had planned, we couldn't waste time waiting for it to stop. Evidently the deer were wise enough to stay laid up in the thickets during the rainstorm. Will and I spent most of our time watching a hawk that perched in a tree near us. He didn't seem to be in any hurry to get anywhere either.

The rain cleared out around lunch, but it had ushered in a cold front with high winds. I sat on the stand that evening trying not to freeze to death. Nothing was moving around me...not even a rabbit or a squirrel. All I heard was falling limbs as the wind gusts came through. Just before dark I finally had a little activity...but Will was the big winner that day. He had gone with his Pappaw to a stand not far from their house. He knocked down a nice one at 110 pounds.

On the way out to the stands the next morning we got stuck in a mud hole that had been passable the night before. All three of us walked back into the woods together (thank goodness for my two guys! Jim carried my rifle and Will carried my bag!) and found a couple of nice bucks feeding. At 200+ yards it was too far for me to try my hand, but Jim took a 5 point. That evening Will and I both landed one. He still beat me by about 5 pounds on his second one.

So, even though we only had 2 days to do a whole season's worth of hunting...we brought home 4 for the freezers. I say freezers plural because the older two offspring have already put in their orders for some ground venison to make their chili, tacos and spaghetti. If I find the camera anytime soon I will post Will's picture with his prize.

Love to all...and a huge thanks to Daddy & Donna for providing us with another successful hunt.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Out Of Here

We are off first thing in the morning for an 'emergency' hunting trip. The emergency being that we missed our annual Thanksgiving hunt, this is the final weekend of modern gun season, a cold front has moved into the area of our lease and we have no fresh venison in the freezer so far this year. We will be back on Monday and I will check in with you then! Have a wonderful weekend ya'll!!!!

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

At Which Point I Take A Deep Breath And Begin Counting To Ten

I was able to leave work a little early today. I had to drop some things off at the post office and needed to do a few last minute errands for our company Christmas party tomorrow night. I had just left and was running through the afternoon in my mind. I would run by the post office, stop at Hobby Lobby, meet Meagan to pick up Little D, go to a full service grocery store and then get home to fix dinner. It was at this thought that I remembered needing to thaw out the main dish. I was going to pick up the cell phone to call 'Child A' about it when I remembered that 'Child A' was fulfilling a commitment and was not at home. I thought that I should probably call 'Child B' at home to request that the meat be retrieved from the freezer. In that split second it occurred to me that if 'Child A' were on the other side of town fulfilling said commitment then 'Child B' was still sitting outside the school because 'Child A' is the ride home. [Deep breath...1]

I picked up my cell and called 'Child A' to inquire whether other means had been obtained for 'Child B' to get home. The answer was a shocked and stammered 'no'. [Deep breath...2] At this point, 'Child B' had been out of school for about 30 minutes and it would take me at least 30 minutes to make it there. [Deep breath...3] Jim was in East Texas, so that was not an option. [Deep breath...4] 'Child C' was the closest one to 'Child B'...however, 'Mom 1' had only the week before grounded 'Child C' from all cell phone use and driving privileges. (It is true that discipline hurts the parent more than the child.) [Deep breath...5...6] I called Meagan and moved up our meeting time as I would be driving right past her but would not be able to make it back before she had to leave. [Deep breath...7 ] Little D and I then rushed to the school and I bribed 'Child B' with a combo meal from Sonic. [Deep breath...8] I ran into the only grocery store in town for the few things I needed and then we came home, unloaded the suburban full of baby things needed to keep an infant overnight, retrieved the meat from the freezer and fed Little D his bottle. [Deep breath 9...10]

Now I need to get the clothes from the dryer, start dinner and play with my grandson before it is time to put him to bed. [Awaiting slow exhale.]

This is just a slice of what I call 'life'. Maybe you can begin to understand why I suffer from occasional bouts of pre-hypertension.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Hello? Hello? Is There Anybody Out There?

If you are reading this blog would you please leave a comment for me today?

It is really easy. Just hit the comment button under the post and let me know that you are out there. You can even do so anonymously if you would like.

Thanks a million!

Monday, December 10, 2007

Memaw & Poppy Come to Town

Memaw and Poppy (Jim's parents) came for a visit weekend before last. This was their first visit with the new great grandchildren. It is always a pleasure to have them with us. We wish it could be more often...but at 74 we don't see them retiring any time soon. Poppy did retire for about 6 weeks, ten years ago! Memaw says she is retired, but she is very busy with her volunteer work. Look at them...they make this grand parenting thing look easy!

Sunday, December 9, 2007

All I Want for Christmas

Is it just me or are any of you having a hard time getting in the Christmas spirit this year? I really think that someone has snuck up on all of us and removed about three months worth of calendar pages. In these parts we are joking about having Christmas in July...not just because we are unprepared (though I certainly am) but also because of this unbelievably warm weather. It is currently 8 pm and the local thermometer reads 70 degrees! Today's high was around 80!

I went shopping with friends last night. The mall was packed with shoppers and every parking space was taken. All the store displays were decorated with trees, ornaments and other Christmas related items. Songs about Santa and snow and reindeer could be heard in every store. But really, who wants to shop for sweaters and coats when you are sweating buckets while you shop. I know I have to get busy and SOON...but what I really want for Christmas is a little bit of jacket wearing weather so that I can at least get motivated to shop!

Saturday, December 8, 2007

And Speaking of Disappointment

The Bulldog Nation suffered a disappointing defeat last night at the hands of the Broncos. The Dawgs faced the Broncs in the State Quarter Finals at the new Cy-Fair stadium (which is an awesome high school stadium, by the way). The Bulldogs went scoreless in the first half, going into the locker room with a 21 point deficit. Not to be rolled over, they took advantage of several turnovers in the second half to tie the score at 21-21. In the fourth quarter the Broncos pulled off another touchdown. With seconds left on the clock and 17 yards to the goal, it looked like the Dawgs were about to force an overtime when the Broncos intercepted the pass. The heartbreak of the faithful Bulldogs supporters was seen on every face as we exited the stadium. The Friday night lights may have been extinguished for the Bulldogs last night, but it was an exciting season. Go Dawgs!

Wednesday, November 28, 2007


This post has been waiting in the 'draft' box for over a week. Things have been extremely hectic around here lately and I have not posted as often as I would have liked. We are having issues with our telephones since the move and thus have no Internet at home. I have not had the opportunity to post at work as it has been the usual end of the year frenzy. Thanks to all of you who have sent emails inquiring as to our whereabouts. I hope to do better in the weeks to come.

Thanksgiving week we had high hopes of quiet mornings sitting in the deer blind, extended family gathered around a table filled with food and laughter and evenings around a campfire swapping stories and making memories. Imagine the disappointment of having to make the "grown up" decision to trade all of that to work instead. After all, this is our big 'vacation' every year.

We were scheduled to leave first thing Wednesday morning. On Tuesday evening, as we drove to Brian's basketball game, I was talking to Jim about how excited I was to be going...and yet at the same time how I felt like I needed to be at home moving into the new place. Jim mentioned that we would not be able to leave as early as planned due to the electrician who was scheduled to arrive bright and early Wednesday morning and to figure on leaving around 2 in the afternoon. Meanwhile, we were waiting on word from Meagan as to whether or not they would even be able to go, as Derrick had some issues arise at work. (Kelli and Matt had already let us know that they would not be able to travel this year.) During the first few minutes of the fourth quarter, Meagan called to report that they too would be staying in Texas this year. That was confirmation that our Thanksgiving trip 2007 was not to be.

Years ago, I read a book by Kay Arthur that said that all of life's disappointments can become His appointments. (I believe the name of the book is As Silver Refined.) How true this statement became over the weekend that followed. The lowest point for me came after the game as we were sitting over dinner. As we were waiting for our food, my cell phone rang. It was Daddy. He was calling to see what time we would be leaving the next morning. We had just finished telling the kids of our I had to tell him. His disappointment was obvious, especially in light of the reason for his call. The kids were disappointed, my family was disappointed...and so was I.

Wednesday, Jim spent the day with the electrician while I took care of laundry and other routine weekend chores around the house. It was a long day filled with thoughts of where we would be along the route home, if we were actually traveling home. Thursday we spent most of the day at the new trailer wiping out cabinets, washing down walls and vacuuming floors. (Carpet again! I had to go to Wal-Mart to buy a new vacuum cleaner!) That evening we were invited to share Thanksgiving dinner with Derrick's family. What an unexpected blessing to have the chance to spend time with all them. We played Password and ate...alot! On Friday I shopped for hours at Ikea picking up new beds for the boys and we spent the evening putting the furniture together. Matt, Kelli and Brooke came out to spend the night with us and to celebrate Kelli's birthday on Saturday. Jim and I moved into the trailer and spent our first night in our new home. We had a wild Spades tournament with all the family gathered (Jim and Derrick won. Meanwhile Meagan swore she would never be my partner again after I set us back in two hands in the final game.) Saturday we had friends join us for Kelli's birthday dinner. We had lots more food, laughs and games: Wits & Wagers, Pictionary and Spades. Everyone left for home around midnight. Sunday was much more sedate. I made Bri a shopping list for Monday and we moved more furniture. .

In His divine plan, God had blessings reserved for us that we could not foresee. There were no quiet mornings in the deer blind...but there was extended family (and friends) gathered around the table on more than one occasion, there were evenings filled with games and laughter and there were memories made. We had a God made appointment to share Thanksgiving with our two new grandchildren and to make Kelli's birthday special. In the end, the sacrifice was worth it...though I still want a weekend in my new deer blind!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

It's Turkey Week

We are out of here bright and early tomorrow morning. We are heading north to visit with family, spend a few days in the deer woods and eat way too much turkey and dressing (and pies)!

Happy Thanksgiving, Everyone!
See ya' when we get back!

Friday, November 16, 2007

A Night at the Museum

Last night I attended 'History Night' at the the local high school. I went to see my son, Mr. Jack Dempsey, and to check out his display board after he placed all the pictures. It was quite a show to behold. I saw everyone from Abe Lincoln to Elvis...and from Oprah to Pocahontus. Some display boards were almost empty and some were so ornately decorated that they looked like they belonged on a parade float. There were statesmen, political activists, entertainers, name it. Some of the students even had an uncanny resemblence to the actual person...especially George Lopez. The whole evening I kept thinking about the movie, A Night at the Museum, and Robin Willliams as President Roosevelt. It was that good. I will leave you with a picture of Brian in 'costume'. He wasn't allowed to wear his t-shirt because it wasn't in dress code (plus it was cold in the gym)...but you will get the idea.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

The Unseen Path

I want to forewarn you that this post is long...and it has been hard to put into words. It is the product of a call to transparency that the Lord issued several years ago. The ladies who have shared the journey with me over the last several years will recognize it as such...but to the rest, I just wanted to give you fair warning.

This year I have been graciously endowed with a wonderful deer stand. My aunt is unable to hunt this season due to medical reasons and she knows how much I have enjoyed the few times that I have been privileged to hunt from her stand. When my dad called me with the news, I could hardly wait for season to open. This deer stand is set way back off the beaten path in the hardwoods and is a stone's throw from a wildlife refuge. I have only seen two nice bucks in the last six or seven years of hunting, one of which was from this stand.

To get to the deer stand you have to turn off the gravel road and take a woods road that winds and twists. Once you hit the open timber you turn onto a path that is not always discernible to the untrained eye. This path is basically wherever a four wheeler or an all terrain vehicle can get between the trees and around any big mud holes. Once you get past the stand the woods road becomes visible once again even though it is overgrown with tall grass.

This past October, Jim and I took a ride in the Samurai to check on the stand and see if anything needed to be done before season opened. The ride back into the woods was very peaceful and relaxing. It hadn't rained in awhile, so there were no big mud holes to worry about. At the first turn, I went a little too far down the woods road and had to circle back to try it again. Jim helped me spot the trail and I tried to stay on what looked like the path...but had to back up or take tight turns several times to get back on it. I finally came to a big tree that had fallen over and told Jim that we had made a wrong decision somewhere in the puzzle of trees, mud holes and four wheeler trails. I found my way back to the woods road and he showed me how to get back to the stand from another direction...entering on the grassy road.

Once we finished looking around and walking the area, we decided to go forward and try to find the path. Wouldn't you know it? We came right up on that fallen tree! We were on the right path all along. The funny thing is that my aunt could find that place in the pitch dark and I didn't know I was on the path when it was right there before me.

So, you ask...what does all this have to do with anything? Is this just transparency that admits to being directionally challenged?

The Lord reminded me of this 'scene' a few mornings ago as I sat with my devotional in hand. I had just finished reading how He gives us a promise, confirms it through His word/a trusted friend/advisor/circumstance, then He steps back and allows us time to practice faith. Sometimes His stepping back is accompanied by the attack of our enemy...sometimes it is a battle within that causes us to ask whether or not we really received the promise. Either way we have choices to make...will we believe and walk in faith? or will we doubt and fret and worry?

Since making the move out to the country we have been blessed beyond measure. The quiet of our surroundings, the sense of peace that has accompanied our every all seems to have been confirmation of His will for us. Not that this time has been without struggles, but from the big picture point of view the stress and struggles seem to stem from the vast amount of change that our family has gone through and the 'closeness' that we have shared in living quarters (5 people/1 do the math).

Yet, I personally feel as though I am on that 'unseen path'. It is as though I exited the woods road my last Sunday morning with the ladies in JOY. Nothing looks familiar or clear cut any more. It is not frightening, at least not yet...but it is so unfamiliar that I am not sure whether or not I have strayed too far to the left or the right. We have not even begun to look for a new church home. I could tell you that it is because of circumstances and would have plenty of examples to give...but honestly, I have just been tired and felt the need to rest for a little while. Maybe this unfamiliar place has something to do with the lack of regular fellowship and the sense of belonging that I left behind. Maybe it is normal after several years of studying for Sunday School lessons and suddenly not having one to attend, much less to teach. Maybe I just need a good filling of the Word of God preached and a time of lifting my voice in worship. Whatever it is...would you please pray that I would trust that the Father has me on His chosen path and that I would press on until the road becomes clear again? And if you know this path from your own experience, I would appreciate any insight or guidance that you could well as the prayers of one who has journeyed this way before.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

A Quick Update

As most of you are aware, Kelli has been sick since last Wednesday. She got in to see the family doctor on Wednesday and was told that she had a slight cold. They gave her antibiotics and sent her home. By Thursday morning her fever was rising and peaked around noon at 104.6. We took her to the ER Thursday afternoon to find the source of her high fever. The ER physician was not satisfied with the family doctor's diagnosis, especially since she was just 11 days postpartum. They ran tests, found her to be suffering from an urinary tract infection, gave her fluids and antibiotic through an IV and sent her home. She and Brooke went home with me and we tried nursing her back to health until she returned home on Sunday. She was feeling much better by Friday, unfortunately, she developed a cough and congestion on she is still feeling badly, just with something different. She goes back to the family doctor tomorrow.

I would like to thank all of you who have been praying for her, Matt and Brooke. A special thank you to the Young Married's Sunday School class at Wilcrest for taking such good care of them since Brooke's arrival. We were blessed to be able to share the pumpkin pie this past weekend...and it was GOOD! There were even phone calls while we were at the ER from special friends who were trying to deliver food that night. You guys are the BEST! Thanks to the JOY class for the emails and prayers as well. I miss you all so VERY, VERY MUCH! To the family, I guess you can figure out that they will not be able to join us for Thanksgiving...but we are looking forward to seeing you all while we are home. (I hope we will do. I know you were looking forward to meeting Brooke.) I guess I am just trying to say...if you prayed for, thought of, visited, called, emailed, sent a text message, brought food or any combination of those...thank you, thank you, thank you! You are such a blessing to all of us!

Thursday, November 8, 2007

It's Arrived! It's Arrived!

Wednesday evening about 4:30 Jim received a phone call that the movers were lost. Fortunately, they just had not quite made it far enough down the road yet. 15 minutes later and a "Mr. Rescue" drive by Jim to find them...this was the view from my driveway.
And this was the second half of the doublewide coming across the ditch to find overnight residence across my driveway.

They are piecing it together as I type. I can hardly wait to go home and see it with my own two eyes!

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Seasons Change

Monday night we attended Will's final 7-B football game. Though the Dawgs led at halftime, 6-0, the Cubs managed two touchdowns and an extra point field goal in the second half while holding the Dawgs scoreless. With one rain-out, the Dawgs finished the season 4-3-1.

Last night we attended Brian's first JV scrimmage. There were three schools participating and one of Brian's teammates from Alief was there playing with his new team as well. It was almost like being back in the Lion's Den again. The season officially begins on November 13 and the first district game is December 14.

Today Will is trying out for the 7th grade boys basketball team. So, we switch from yells of "hold 'em" and "go, go, go" to "rebound" and "we need a basket, boys". Never a dull moment around here!

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Would You Like A Gift Receipt?

Two weeks ago yesterday, Jim and I went to look at a HUGE double wide mobile home to put on the property. It was a deal of a lifetime, so we did not hesitate to write the security deposit check on the spot and arrange for closing that Friday. When Friday arrived, I bowed out of the closing opting to go shopping with Meagan and Kelli instead. Jim met with the mobile home distributors and completed all the paperwork. On Tuesday he met with the mover to see where it would fit and what trees needed to come down. On Saturday morning we still had four trees to remove (three were dead and just needed to be cut before they fell), so all five of us got up early and cut, hauled, burned, etc. until we had the place cleaned up for the arrival of the trailer that evening or early the next morning. By late afternoon, the work was completed and we were on pins and needles wondering when the trailer would be arriving. We had friends drop by to see our new home, which still had not arrived. Jim made a few phone calls, but was unable to do more than leave voice messages. As we sat around the fire and discussed the situation, Jim and I began to wonder if perhaps we had been scammed. How many other people had this deal of a lifetime been offered to? Was the trailer ever really for sale? Far fetched ideas tend to take over when you are impatiently waiting for something. As we sat and talked about all the absurd ideas that were popping into our heads, Albert made a comment about having the title and thus everything was okay. Jim responded with, "The title is being filed with the state, and I don't have a copy." Albert's promptly replied, "But you have a receipt don't you?" At this point, I had to bust out laughing. I have a receipt for my new home, ya'll!

Saturday, November 3, 2007

And The Winner Is....

I have been receiving emails wanting to know what name Bri chose for her goat. Ya'll had some good suggestions and the narrowing down of names was tough. It may be a bit of a let down to know that we (Jim, the boys and I) still call her 'goat'. It kind of stuck and she seems to like the name. Bri however, chose the name 'Punkin'. So, congratulations, Doug (Mr. August), your name suggestion and explanation suits her just fine. I guess I will have to get used to calling her 'Punkin'.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Happy Birthday, Sis!

Hope you are enjoying the bright lights of Vegas and having a wonderful time!

Babies, Babies

I spent today with my two precious grandchildren and our new mommies. Little D and Aunt Meagan drove over to visit with Princess B and Aunt Kelli.

It is such a blessing to watch as Meagan and Kelli interact with their own children. I sit in wonder as I watch them playing and talking, as they change diapers and fix bottles...somewhere along the way they have grown into beautiful young women who nurture so naturally. Davin adores his mommy. His brightest smiles are always for her. I love to watch them play and hear him laugh. Brooke is such a sweetheart. She snuggles into Kelli's arms like she has always been there.

I am looking forward to the days ahead, watching them grow and learn. I am looking forward to tea parties and t-ball games; to dance recitals and deer hunts. Yet today, I am content as I watch two of my girls sharing labor stories and baby tips; personal struggles and laughter. Somewhere along the way, they became friends. What more could a mother want?

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

A Battle Royale

The 'Dawgs visited the Lion's Den yesterday. It was a beautiful day for football and both teams seemed to know it. We watched as the two teams battled back and forth, up and down the field several times. #19 played on special teams in the first half and played both offense and defense in the second half. He made two receptions out of four attempts: two came up short, one was a lateral pass that resulted in one of the hardest hits I've seen him take to date and the other was a NFL worthy catch made over the head of the defender that was, unfortunately, called dead as soon as he caught it because of a false start. Both defenses stood strong and each team really had only one chance to cross the goal line. At the final buzzer the score remained 0-0.

Monday, October 29, 2007

A Star Is Born

Meet Miss Brooke
Born at 6:32 AM
8 Pounds, 1 Ounce
20 1/2 Inches Long
The new little family is doing fine. Hopefully Kelli and Matt got some rest while we were gone.
Keep in mind that Pappaw just spent over 12 hours in a hospital waiting room, trying to catch cat naps on uncomfortable sofas. We will try to get more pictures when we go back for the evening visitation and get them on the website by tomorrow morning. I apologize for the delay in posting...but the Internet connection was down when we arrived home and Nonna needed some sleep!

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Broncos Unseat Bulldogs

It was a nail biter at the end. The Dawgs led 12-0 at the half. In the third quarter, the Dawgs had a touchdown run of 25+ yards called back and penalized another 10 yards for some reason unknown to me. (Jim wasn't there to translate hand signals for me and Brian wasn't paying attention at the time.) I felt so bad for #12 and his parents who were sitting in front of us when we all noticed the flag lying at the line of scrimmage. The Broncos made a touchdown and earned the extra point at the end of the third quarter, making the score 12-7. #19 was disappointed that on his only pass play of the game, the quarterback was sacked. Then, with less than a minute on the clock, the Broncos ran in the game winning touchdown.

Final Score:
Bulldogs 12 - Broncos 13

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Move Over Mr. Atlas

I have a confession to make: Last week I watched Transformers - twice! It was a delicious diversion full of 'eye candy'. Hollywood personalities usually do not have much influence on me...but I have to admit he makes me swoon!

Don't worry, Jim knows all about my Hollywood fantasy beau. He even whispered to Kelli as we were watching it with them, "Your mom is going to be over here glued to her seat in just a minute."

And I was. But tell me, who can resist this kind of muscle?

Monday, October 22, 2007

Ain't It Always The Way

We are experiencing the most amazing weather right now. The air is getting crisper and cooler as the day progresses. There have been a few showers, but nothing too severe. The boys and I started this morning at 6:30 with a temperature of 76 degrees rising to 78 by the time I dropped them at school and made it in to the office. It is now 58 degrees and dropping. According to Yahoo weather the thermometer has fallen 14 degrees in the past hour!

And here are my shoes...

Oh, well, at least I remembered to pick up a jacket. Maybe I can use it to cover my feet later!

Friday, October 19, 2007

Name That Goat

Bri's new beau sent her a gift that can only be fully appreciated when you live in a rural area. Meet 'Belle', a black pigmy goat.

She was given to the beau's father...who happens to run a feed store. Belle's previous family was moving and could not take her along. Now, lest you think this is an odd gift to give to the girl you just started dating (I know you are thinking that right now!) it really stole her heart. You see, Bri has been asking for a goat since we first announced we were buying property. She talked her dad into agreeing to a fainting goat for her birthday. She did all the research and then decided that although the fainting variety were hilarious to watch on video, she would rather have a smaller breed. Long story short...we now have 'Belle'.

Notice that I keep typing 'Belle' with single quotations around the name. That is because we do not call her 'Belle', we call her Goat. If I am feeling sorry for her, I call her Missy Goat. (I hope she doesn't turn out like Grandma J's Missy Coon...that thing would eat you alive!) There are two reasons that we don't call her by her given name. First, I have a friend who has a goat named 'Belle' and it just seems like cheating when you only know two goats and they both have the same name. Secondly, she just doesn't look like a 'Belle'!

I think it would be fun to see what you would name her. So, take another look at her picture and post a name suggestion in the comments section. Let's see who can NAME THAT GOAT!

Thursday, October 18, 2007

You Know You Have Entered Their World

...when your eldest son walks up to you and says, "Hello, suburban mom. Still learning to enjoy the simpler things in life?"

I guess that means he found my blog!

Monday, October 15, 2007

Game Called on Account of Rain

The Bulldogs were scheduled to play the Panthers this afternoon. It was one of two Monday night games for the season. As Jim and I were trying to navigate the Beltway in the middle of a monsoon, we received a call that the game had been cancelled. Jim had scheduled a meeting with a client since we were going to be "in the neighborhood", so we made the trip in the driving rain, while #19 was sitting at home, all nice and dry watching a movie. His only comment when we got home..."Mom, I need a cell phone. I was trying to find a phone for 10 minutes!" Kids!!!

Can You Spell H*E*A*R*T*B*R*E*A*K

This was the byline in the Houston Chronicle on Sunday Morning:

Byrum kicks another winner for Auburn

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — Wes Byrum kicked his second game-winning field goal in three weeks, this one from 20 yards with 21 seconds remaining to give No. 22 Auburn a 9-7 victory over Arkansas on Saturday night.

My congratulations go out to my Auburn friend, (you know who you are)...but I must say the last 1:28 in the game broke my heart. Last year the Razorbacks were the unofficial 'Alabama state champions' having beaten both Auburn and Alabama...this year: 0-4 in the SEC. I sure hope we have a chance next week against Ole Miss!

Let's go Hogs!

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Five Reasons Why I Think It Might Be Fall

  1. The temperature has dropped below 60 for two nights in a row.
  2. The air is crisp when I walk out to take the boys to school.
  3. We had to turn off the air conditioner in the bungalow this morning.
  4. I haven't had to turn on the fan at the office all day.
  5. This morning I was able to wear a jacket for a whole 10 minutes!

Hope the weather is pretty wherever you are today!

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Dancing With The Bears

The 7B Bulldogs waltzed right over the Bear cubs yesterday with a final score of 20-0. Our #19 had a reception and carry that resulted in a 6 yard gain. The picture below shows him in action just before the tackle. His daddy was so proud!

He also had a few assists and two solo tackles, including this one at the end of the fourth quarter. (He is the one in white on the ground under the 10 yard line sign.)

I will try to keep snapping pictures...but it sure is hard to watch the game through the lens of a camera. I can get pretty carried away when I am watching him play!

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

What I Love About Sunday

...gathering around the dinner table with family

Thanks to everyone who stopped by for a visit while we were in for the weekend!

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Attack of the Killer Hornets

Well, our beloved 7B 'Dawgs' fell prey to the sting of the Hornets last night (and yes, their color was green). It was their first loss of the season with the final score of 7-14.

Our #19 saw quite a bit of playing time on both sides of the ball in the second half. He had several assists while playing defense and caught an awesome 19 yard pass on the last Bulldog possession of the game. Too bad it was 4th and 23!

This is the picture I snapped just before his catch. I was too distracted to think to take another picture during the know, with the yelling and cheering and all that his sisters and I were doing!

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Diving off the deep end

I have been debating this decision for quite some time and finally decided to just go ahead and dive in.

We launched the family website a few months back in an effort to communicate with all our family and friends who lived so far away. Little did I know at the time that we were also on the verge of a move...not so far away, but far enough that keeping up with the friends we have made over the past 19 years will be a challenge.

I remember the time (notice it is not a plural word) years ago when I allowed peer pressure to prompt me to jump from the diving board at church camp. I couldn't have been more than 11 or 12 years old at the time...and was deathly afraid of water. Yet I began to climb that ladder like I did not have a care in the world. Did I tell you that I am also afraid of heights? Those last few steps took all the courage I could muster as my knees begin to quiver. And the walk to the end of the board was taken strictly by faith. Well, I jumped and the feeling was awesome...until I hit the water, lost my breath and couldn't find the surface of the pool. I don't think anyone realized that I was drowning...and I am convinced to this day that only the Lord Himself helped me find the side of that pool and climb out.

It is one of my most vivid childhood memories. I mention it today, because it comes closest to the feelings I am experiencing right now as I type these words and wonder if I will have the courage to hit the post button. There are so many talented women who blog and their gift of encouragement is phenomenal. I have to keep reminding myself that this is for me and for my family and friends. I want to be able to communicate our world to those of you who are so very dear to us without driving Albert up the walls with daily postings. Not that I am promising daily postings...but I will try to make it at least once a week.

And if worse comes to worst, I will come back here, hit delete blog and life will go on. After all, if Jesus can help me face my fears and find the side of a pool...He can certainly help me face these fears and find my way out of web-land too.