Monday, November 26, 2007

Our Thanksgiving Tour

We are home! And it is so good to be home. We had a very nice little Thanksgiving vacation, if you will, with some twists and turns along the way; but all turned out well. We departed from Fort Worth at about 12:30 Wednesday afternoon, with plans to eat supper in Shreveport at around 5:00 with our dear friends, the Johnson's. However, about 60 miles from home, while traveling down I20, the van began to shimmy and shake and not long after, we spotted rubber flying from our tire! We pulled over safely, thanks goodness, and drove the van to the next exit. This exit turned out to offer nothing more than some farmland and barns (egad!) so we pulled into one of the farmyards to change the tire. This was the first time we have ever had a situation like this since we bought the van, so we were in for a few surprises (ha). There was a jack, but nothing else so John was trying to take off the screws and all by hand. Thankfully, a farmer pulled up to mend a fence and lent John some stuff. He didn't offer any help, though! (this is SO not Alabama). Well, he got the tire on, but it wouldn't hold in its air, so he had to take it back off and put the bad tire back on! We asked the farmer for directions and traveled four miles up a country road to a Wal-Mart to buy some tires. After all this, we didn't make it to Shreveport until about 9:00 p.m. But we still had a great time with our friends.

The next morning, Thanksgiving day, we had supper with the Acklen family in Minden. The food is another thing that is not like Alabama! There always seems to be two basic varieties of dressing at this gathering: soup and very dry. John came up with the genius idea to mix the two, thus producing just about the right consistency. Top this with lots of cranberry sauce and voila! We spent the night with his Dad and the kids had a ball. They got to play with their step-cousin Parker, whom Elijah hero worships. He is a sweetie and plays so well with Elijah. They never seem to fuss, although there is the occasional tattling that goes on.

The next morning we went to the Hollenshead's (John's Mom's side). I always look forward to the visits here. I feel so at home there and am very thankful for the comfortable bond with John's grandparents and his Mom. We got to spend some really good quality time with John's niece and nephew, Kaleb and Ainsley. Kaleb and John did some serious wrestling and Ainsley and Grace and Elijah played until they were pooped! Grace and Ainsley both suck the same thumb and are attached to the same blankey! It was really cute seeing them together.

Day #3--we slept in a little and had a wonderful breakfast of Papaw's egg gravy and biscuits before heading off to Farmerville to get some winter clothes and our Christmas tree out of the garage. The weather was terrible! Icy cold rain and really cold weather. We met with the Bordelon family, very good friends of ours from our church we used to go to in Sterlington, for a late lunch at Ryan's. I got to do some Christmas shopping with Victoria and Sis. Iris. We stayed this night at a sort of guest trailor some other friends of ours lets us stay in when we need it. Sunday morning was rainy again (ick) but we enjoyed being in church with old friends and hearing Bro. Tracy preach. He is a wonderful preacher and I do miss his preaching. Sunday night the Rev. John Acklen brought forth the sermon--"Title Unknown" and the Lord really worked through him. There was a wonderful response in the altars.

So this morning we got up and after a few stops, finally made it home at about 6:30. I am having a serious conflict with the roaches that decided to take over my kitchen while we were gone. I took all the dishes out of my cabinets and sprayed down everything, but I am not sure if it is helping. ICK! We shall see in the morning when the smoke clears from the battle.

My parents will be here Wednesday via airplane. Yeah!! We are all very excited! It will be the first time my parents have been out here since we moved. We have not seen them since August, which seems like forever ago. I will probably want to hop on the airplane with them when it is time to leave. But I will not think about that right now....

Thank you, Lord, for Blogspot, a place to record our travels and adventures.

Thursday, November 15, 2007


Today a year ago we sat in shock, trying to comprehend that Shanda was gone. To those of you who didn't know her, this won't mean anything, but I just wanted to take the time to remember my sister-in-law, my friend, Shanda. I remember.....

1) Her beautiful smile and how she would throw her head back and laugh when she was really tickled about something.

2) How she would hold Kaleb's face in her hands and make him look her dead in the eye while she scolded him.

3) How she wished everyone could just get along.

4) How she loved her niece and nephew.

5) How she snuck around and bought 15 candles for John, so that on our wedding night, he could create a romantic atmosphere in our honeymoon suite.

6) How she made me my first Mother's Day card from Elijah by putting his little footprints on paper (still have that).

7) How she sent me a card once when she knew I was feeling really homesick.

8) Her thoughtfulness of others.

9) Her gentle spirit.

10) Her love of my peach cobbler.

It's been a year, Shanda. We have not forgotten you. We never will. We miss you more than we can say and pray that one day we will understand God's plan.

Friday, November 9, 2007

My "Have Done" List (vs. "To Do")

Today I have:

(1) Rescued Grace from the front yard after she somehow opened the back yard gate and snuck out (thank God I heard it creak).

(2) Changed 6 poo-poo diapers.

(3) Wished to never again change another poo-poo diaper.

(4) Introduced Elijah to "the corner" after he climbed on top of my dresser, took down my pincushion (removed all pins) and hid my glasses under the bed pillows.

(5) Finally cured Elijah from getting on our neighbor's porch by telling him the man who lived there was going to come out and whip him with a belt (mean, I know, but it worked).

(7) Spent an hour at the park chasing Grace and Elijah from one end to the other.

(8) Made two hairbows.

(9) Washed, dried, and put away three loads of laundry.

(10) Mopped my kitchen floor three times after Elijah emptied out an entire bottle of maple syrup in the middle of it (it's still sticky).

(11) Rescued a screaming Grace from the potty seat Elijah strategically placed around her neck.

(12) Cooked supper, cleaned up the supper dishes and kitchen, gave the kids a bath.

(13) Made brownies for dessert (yum).

(14) Removed floaters from the bathtub with a ladle.

(15) Put the kids to bed.

(16) Sat down to my PC to link myself with the outside world.

(17) Hope and pray nothing else happens to write about.

Saturday, November 3, 2007

A Good Day

We had a nice little family outing today. John found out somehow that there would be a petting zoo at the historic downtown Fort Worth Stockyards today. It turned out to be a perfect day to be outside. We saw a real, honest-to-goodness Longhorn cattle drive, driven by real, honest-to-goodness Cowboys (not really, they were in costume). Elijah had a ball--everything was right up his alley. His favorite movie right now is Spirit, about a wild horse captured by the army in the Wild West. He got to see cowboys, Indians, goats, lambs, and cows today. He was so excited to see those animals in real life! We had a very disappointed little boy on our hands when it was time to go. Grace wasn't quite as enthused--she's not very fond of live animals, unless it's a kitty cat. We found a very scenic little bike trail alongside a creek and a rock wall on our way out--thus the pictures of Grace and Elijah to the right.

Then we went to see Sis. Glenda Craft, a lady in our church who has been struck with Encephalitis (West Nile). She has been kind of a surrogate Grandmother to the children since we moved here. It was sad to see her so confused, but she was tickled to see the children. Elijah freaked out on the elevator--I'm not sure if it was the confined space or the movement. He let us all know he wanted OUT! Thankfully he did not cry or scream, just announced it to everyone. The other elevator passengers thought it quite cute.

By this time, we were all quite famished so we went to Cici's. I don't even want to know how many Weight Watchers point I consumed. I have about resigned myself to that fact that I am destined to be a big mama. I am glad my husband loves me the way I am :). Speaking of husbands, mine has been quite adorable today. He started supper and gave the kids a bath for me tonight, without me even asking. I am so blessed with him to share my life. This will be a family outing we will look back to one day and say, "Remember when....". I am so glad we had a camera with which to preserve the memories (thanks to Wendi and Ben). So that is our weekend in a nutshell. Hope yours was as blessed as mine :).