Thursday, October 30, 2008

Guess Who Had A Birthday Yesterday?

Our own Brookie Bear!

She is now one year old!

These were pictures taken at her birthday party on Saturday. Kelli was only able to send me a few. I was cameraless, as it was in Montana with Jim. Enjoy!

Opening presents...she was NOT interested!

Touching her cake. Like Davin, she was not sure what to do with a cake set right in front of her...neither did Matt!

She finally figured it out...with icing all over her face!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Sleeping With The Lights On

What a night! I knew it was coming...yet it always catches me off guard.

I crawled into bed just before 11 pm last night. That is a little late for me...but with decorating the dining room table and posting, it wasn't too bad.

I picked up my newest parenting book and read the next chapter before dozing off around 11:30. (Yes, with two grown children and three barely at home, I still read parenting books.)

Just before 2 am I awoke with a start. As I lay there I could feel the fear rising up in my chest. Fear of what? I couldn't really put my finger on it. This happens from time to time...but usually it is brought on by a nightmare. I couldn't remember dreaming anything.

I listened intently to see if I could hear something out of the ordinary. Nothing....but the fear was growing.

I crept from my bed to the bedroom door. I was halfway expecting to see a Jason-like creature standing in my doorway...but nothing. (I don't watch scary movies, by the way. As you can see, I have an active enough imagination without them.)

I walked into the living area of our home. All the lights were left on. I guess Bri thought I would turn them off and I thought she would. I went to our sliding glass doors and peered into the night...nothing.

I turned off the kitchen light, the game room light and went back to my room.

After a stop in the bathroom, I slipped back between my sheets and began to pray for the fear to subside. I repeated the promises that the Lord is my strength and my shield. He is my protector and He never sleeps nor slumbers.

I began to doze back off, when suddenly I was bolted awake again by a strange smell. I was now able to be categorized as 'totally freaked out'. I thought I saw shadows above my bedroom door. The kind I usually see when someone is watching TV late at night. I slid back out of bed. I went back into the living room, I checked the laundry room, I checked the pantry, I checked the kids bathroom, I checked their rooms and then I started looking for my dogs.

I guess I have watched too many mystery movies, because I began to wonder if someone had poisoned them so that they wouldn't bark. (You can laugh....I know how crazy this sounds.) They came running from the other porch when I opened the back door. They were so happy to be paroled from outdoor banishment.

I went back to my room, turned on all the lights...checked every room, closet and corner before climbing back into bed. I left my bedroom door open this time. I would say that it was so I could hear anything going on in the house, but it was mostly because I wanted the light from the living room to shine into my room.

I suddenly felt like a four year old! I don't know why this fear grips me sometimes. It is most noticeable when Jim is gone...though I am not afraid of where we live. But it also happens at times when he is right there beside me, too.

I began to pray again. I drifted off around 4 am reminding myself that nothing can touch me that He cannot redeem and use to His glory.

All of that and I didn't even watch CSI last night!

Monday, October 20, 2008

What I Did Today

Thank you so much for the wonderful comments on our front yard! Ya'll were so gracious! Thankfully when I arrived home this evening the charming crow was still intact. (Sorry, Robin, Hoss didn't rip him apart today...but I promise pictures of the carnage should it happen.)

Either ya'll have created a monster...or I am really bored with Jim still out of town...because today I took on the task of decorating my dining room table for fall. I have to admit that this came to me after a discussion with a dear friend who just happened to mention that her daughter sets her dining room table for the season.

I purchased a few gold chargers last summer as I gathered silver ones for Meagan's wedding. I made a 'sanity' trip to WalMart during my lunch hour. I know; 'sanity' and 'WalMart' do not usually go together...but I knew that I would be able to find decently priced holiday decor and I needed the distraction of 'creating' because it was a highly stressful morning for me. (By the way...I barely found anything with a fall theme. It seems the whole world is preparing for Christmas already!)

I picked up a basic 'chocolate brown' tablecloth and some place mats in traditional fall colors. It took me a little while to piece it together...but knowing that the gold chargers were waiting at home, I decided on plates that are in the shape and color of fall leaves. I chose to use two colors of 'leaf' plates and two complimentary colors of napkins to jazz up the table a bit more.

I wasn't able to find a centerpiece that I liked...not even candles. So, I headed next door to Hobby Lobby and found a gorgeous centerpiece at half off. Actually, I found two that I liked and it was difficult to choose between them. One was in an oblong wooden basket with fall flowers and leaves. The other was made up mostly of faux gourds, berries and feathers. I went with the latter since there were already so many leaves on the table.

So, here is my newest creation:

Look at this centerpiece up close. I love it's glitz!
And finally, a close up of a place setting.

I think I am finished decorating until Christmas. I still need to transplant the bougainvilleas that I removed from the whiskey barrels. Oh, yeah, and I am looking for some sort of lanterns to hang from all those shepherd's hooks we have left after the wedding...then I am finished. At least until Christmas...or until Jim leaves on another hunt without me!

Happy Fall, Ya'll!

Finally Fall

I have had a plan for my front driveway that has been smoldering in my head for over a month. I finally got the time to make it a reality yesterday.

I love fall. It is my favorite season. I love the colors of fall (even though we don't get many changing leaves here in SE Texas). Last year I went so far as to buy hay bales to decorate my front yard...but it all ended up being bedding for Goat because I never got around to fixing up the yard.

This year's plan started one day in early September while I was running a wedding errand at Hobby Lobby. I found the cutest crow and couldn't resist taking him home. A few cute pickets for the mailbox soon followed. Brianne picked up hay for me a couple of days later, since Goat needed hay anyway. Since then I have only needed a few mums and a couple of pumpkins to complete my project. Seems easy enough...unless you drive a two-seater...then there is not enough room for pumpkins or mums!

Several times I had planned to drive Jim's truck home and stop by the garden center on my way. It seemed that something came up in either his schedule or mine at the last minute.

Today I finally made it to the garden center! We had to load it all in the suburban since Jim drove the truck to Arkansas before heading to Montana. It was quite a load...but we managed to fit it all in eventually.

After about an hour of unloading, potting flowers and moving everything into place...this is the view as you enter in our driveway.

I love it! It makes me smile to see the cute crow sitting with his foot propped up on a pumpkin and surrounded by the colors of fall.
Here is a close up of my charming crow. We had to prop his foot on a pumpkin because we could not get that leg to bend. It looks like his leg has been broken...poor thing! I still think he is cute though.
As usual, I bought too many flowers! I always have either too many or not enough...never just right! We put a mum in each of my Chinese water buckets. One we set on the back deck. This one we set on a stump with a pumpkin in the front yard.
And the one on the right is the one that will probably have my crow ripped to pieces by the time I get home tonight! He was already sniffing the crow while I was taking pictures!

Now, if I can just get my dining room table set with nice, festive, fall will probably be time for Christmas!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

FINALLY...Wedding Pictures

Wow! Meagan and Derrick have been married for a little over three weeks and I am just now getting pictures from the ceremony to post! A huge shout out to my Aunt Fran for emailing me the pictures that my mother took. (My mom cannot email me...she can get my emails but can't send them to me. Go figure!)
Our Princess Bride surrounded by the bridesmaids bouquets. Isn't she lovely?
This dress looked like it was created just for her. She always thought that her wedding dress would be a Princess dress with a full skirt...but when she tried this one on, she knew it was "THE ONE".
Our Princess and her Prince Charming. Don't they make a handsome couple?
And the Crown Prince himself surrounded by a bevy of beauties, as usual! (Isn't he just precious in that tuxedo?)
The bridal party. I love that the girls were able to choose the style of their dresses and no two were alike.
Jim and his fourth daughter...Meagan's Matron of Honor and best friend since middle school, Dori.
Sharing Matron of Honor duties, is Meagan's other best friend...her sister Kelli.
Lastly, a picture of the Bride and Groom with the bride's family. Front row: Grandma June, myself, Dirty D, Poppy, Memaw, Kelli and Brooke. Back Row: Brian, Brianne, Jim, Meagan, Derrick, Big Will and Pappaw Donald. more. This is a picture of Jim's parents that was taken at the rehearsal dinner. They were not only celebrating the marriage of their oldest grandchild...but also their 55th wedding anniversary! Wow! They are such an inspiration to us all!
Congratulations Memaw and Poppy! Here's to many more!

Overcome By Writer's Block

It has been pointed out to me by a few of you that this blog has been inactive for over a week...getting close to two. I think this is the longest I have ever gone without writing SOMETHING. Not necessarily the longest I have gone without saying something of substance...just something! Ha!

There have been several factors to the silence. First there was the Internet situation at home. As it turns out, during Hurricane Ike, I tried to log on while the power was out and when that didn't work, I plugged the wires back in the wrong way. Hey, I never claimed to be a computer whiz! Thanks to Albert, the situation has been corrected and the 'home' computer has been cleaned up from it's pop-up virus so that I can log on again.

Which leads to factor number two. Since we have been without Internet access at home for so long, Brianne has been taking my laptop to school with her so that she can complete her online classes while there in the evenings. Though the school has computers in the library, they are often taken by the time she gets there. My laptop has spent most of it's evenings with her for the past three weeks.

Factor number three would be that I haven't had time while at work to write much. I am lucky to get through my email every day. I had a lot of catching up to do after Hurricanes Ike and Wedding. Besides (Factor number four) I don't know what to say. I am torn between calling it Writer's Block or Writer's Overload. I can't think of what to tell you all because I have so much I could tell you about. Wedding details (still no pictures to post, though my aunt did send me some via email that I need to sort through so that I can post a few). Mine and Jim's motorcycle trip to the Texas Hill Country (gorgeous, I want to move there). The adventures of Hoss, our lab mix rescue puppy that is very near needing to be rescued from me (a brand new pair of shoes that I loved were the latest target of his attention deficit disorder-- Stein Mart, please another size 8 1/2!). Jim leaving for Montana and his dream elk hunt. Discipline issues with the kids...both grand babies walking...Bri's new job...the enjoyment of driving a convertible during the fall in Texas. I also have news of an upcoming trip with my sister (NYC, here we come!), an upcoming 'Grandmas Gone Wild' weekend with my dear friends and a Thanksgiving trip home (Cousins' Night in Crossett -- I can hardly wait!)

I will try to be a little better disciplined with posting. It feels good just to get this far. I am checking your blogs...but for those of you without a blog, let me know if you are still out there and what is new with you. Love to you all! Fonda

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

A Few Pictures

But...just a few. The reception pictures did not turn out so great. Too low of lighting I suppose! Two of the cameras came out totally blank. I am not sure if someone forgot to turn on the flash or if the cameras themselves were just bad. Anyway, here are a few of the best shots from the wedding reception. Sorry, no pictures of the bride. They were either too dark, too far away or with people I weren't sure would want their photos plastered on the Internet!

The Blushing Groom
Davin and RoRo

And these pictures were from the 'fun table'...all the teenagers sitting right by the DJ.
The Goode Boys
The Bolin Girls
The Gangsta' Cousins!

Monday, October 6, 2008

I'm Really NOT Trying To Be A Hermit!

I can't believe it has been over a week since the wedding and I have not one picture to show for it! With Rosa busy overseeing homecoming preparations for Jana and Stevi and Meagan out of town...I haven't seen a single picture from the blessed event!

I have a basket full of table cameras in my car that I need to drop off for processing this maybe I will have pictures by tomorrow.

Our Internet has been out at the house since just after the hurricane. Is that crazy or what? We had service all through Ike....but now we don't. The telephone itself works sporadically. It looks like Jim is going to have to run all new phone lines. After that is done, we will need Albert to come out and set up our network again.

Well, the newlyweds are home from Vegas. They came by for a visit last Saturday evening. They had a great time...but decided that five days is about a day and half too long for Vegas! Meagan opened wedding wedding presents for 15 minutes or so sitting in the living room floor. It looked like Christmas when she finished!

Jim and I attended the Waller County Fair Junior Auction with Porter and a friend on Saturday afternoon. What a blast! There were turkeys, chickens, rabbits, horses, cows and pigs...along with other things that had been handmade. We purchased a steer that was being handled by a 'wee' little girl. I couldn't believe my eyes. He was taller than she was! Yet there she was leading him around that ring like a pro! We picked up a pig too...258 pounds of pork goodness. I don't know if the rest of the crew will attend the event with me again or not, but I look forward to going again next year.

I don't remember livestock auctions at our county fair growing up. Maybe they had them and I was just ignorant of the fact. I just remember walking through to view the first place jams and pickles and clothing, etc. I remember seeing the livestock and their ribbons...but what happened after that, I don't have a clue. My mom actually won a few first place ribbons at this year's Ashley County Fair for her jewelry. She placed second or third on her jelly, too.

Well, I need to run out and pick me up some lunch real quick. I have work to do this afternoon. Thanks for sharing a few minutes of your day with me!

Friday, October 3, 2008

What A Week!

Wow! It seems like two weeks have gone by since this time last week!

Last Friday we were busy getting nails done and picking up last minute items for the wedding. We rushed over to the wedding venue for rehearsal and dinner...fajitas, yum! For the next 5 hours we were pretty busy setting the tables for dinner the next night. Dori and I finally pulled Meagan out of there around 11 PM and took her home to finish up seating charts before heading off to bed.

We woke up early on Saturday to head into Alief for our hair appointments and to pick up the wedding dress. I know, that was cutting it close...but Hurricane Ike interrupted her last fitting and we were just happy to get it done before the wedding. It fit perfectly! I will share pictures when I get them. I was without my camera all weekend (just not enough time or energy to take pictures) and my sister, Rosa, is busy with homecoming this week, so I do not have her pictures yet. We stopped by La Madeleine's for lunch after the hair and dress fitting to make sure that the bride at least had one decent meal for the day. We had a blast with Teri, Derrick's mom, who joined us for the day.

After lunch, it was time to head to the venue for last minute touches and getting dressed. The ceremony was beautiful. It was held outdoors under a pergola with her grandfather officiating. The newlyweds truly looked happy together. The reception dinner was delicious...roast beef, sour cream chicken, mashed potatoes and green beans. There was a salad, but I never made it that far! After the meal, there was the usual cutting of the cake, bouquet and garter toss...and lots of dancing. The bride and groom held out until the very last song and then left surrounded by bubbles, family and friends.

They met the families for brunch on Sunday morning and then flew off to Las Vegas for a few days of rest and relaxation. I know they both needed it...though I often told Jim that I think we needed it even more than they did. I think the parents of the bride have earned the week away after a wedding!

Monday was 'returns' day...taken up by returning linens, items from the florist and the venue that were mistakenly packed up on Saturday night. Tuesday was football...Wednesday our first 'normal' day...and Thursday and Friday have been close to normal other than the boys being out of school for Fair Days.

Tomorrow we plan to go to the junior livestock auction...and Sunday, church. Hopefully by Monday we will feel like we are back on least until the holidays roll around!

Love you all! Hope you are having an absolutely wonderful weekend with beautiful skies overhead too! Pictures next week? I promise, I am trying!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Bulldogs Vs Bulldogs

In this part of the country, it is not odd to have two competing teams both wearing maroon and white (thanks to Texas A&M). But yesterday's game was really confusing as both teams were not only in the same colors...but have the same mascot name! So it was the Waller Junior High Bulldogs in maroon and white verses the Magnolia Junior High Bulldogs in white and maroon.

Needless to say, the Dawgs won...but which Dawgs?


Go Dawgs!

Here are a few pictures from the game. (I picked up a long range lens for football yesterday, so pardon the learning curve!)

Will running off the field to conference with Coach

Getting ready for the play

Yesterday he played offense the first half and defense the second half.

On the defensive line