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Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Getting Ready for Alaska

Going to Alaska has been on both of our bucket lists for quite some time, so we began saving for the trip as soon as we decided to get married.  We've been saving our pennies for over a year now---for the trip itself and for a few "extras" that will make our trip more fun.  For Christmas, I gave Ron a nice pair of binoculars and throughout the year we've also purchased a few clothing items with the trip in mind.   I've been wishing for a new camera lens and finally bit the bullet and ordered it.  It arrived a few days ago----a nice, new Nikkor 28-300mm zoom!  The zoom on it isn't that much longer than the one I already had, but I am hoping that the quality of this one is much better.
I tested it out in the backyard for a couple of shots.
Love the results so far---crisp and clear (if I focus on the right spot) even when zoomed!
 Now THIS is a dirty dog!!!
I'm now on the lookout for a camera backpack that we can carry on our excursions.   I'm also signed up to take an iPhone photography class that begins next week, so maybe I can improve those photos as well.

On a totally unrelated note, the Monday that would never end-----yesterday, I called the repair shop to inquire about my sewing machine that has been there for 7 weeks.  They lost it!!!   They'll look for it again today and give me a call.
Monday, April 28, 2014

You Know It's Monday When . . . .

Yep, you know it's Monday when . . . .

** You can hardly keep your eyes open when your alarm goes off because you've been up for a couple hours in the middle of the night watching for bad weather.

** More bad weather is predicted for today and you realize you left your umbrella at the nail place last week.

** While you are eating your lunch, your daughter texts to ask "how about lunch?" because you previously decided to have lunch together each Monday and you completely forgot.

** Your husband send you a text that begins with "I'm fine, but . . . "
 ** That text was followed by one a little later telling me he had to go for drug testing.

** You realize at 3:11 that you you're supposed to be at the lab at 3:15 for a blood test.

** You leave the lab only to get stopped by a really long train.

** You get home to discover that leaving Joy free to come and go through the doggie door for the first time this afternoon was not such a great idea.  (this picture was taken AFTER I had things cleaned up---apparently she chewed up an entire pack of photos and brought in lots of bark to chew up in the living room)


--- after the living room disaster, I banned both dogs to their beds while I cleaned up and they actually stayed.  (well, Emmi did---Joy, not so much)
---The weather turned around today and the afternoon was beautiful.

---Ron was hit by a hit-and-run driver, but he was not hurt and the car is still running, although it is even less pretty than it was before.
--- Callie and I were able to chat through texts.

--- Fortunately, Mondays only happen once a week!
Sunday, April 27, 2014

Weekend With Dan

We had a busy, but nice weekend with Dan.   Friday, I drove down to get Dan and brought him back to Shreveport for the weekend.  I was able to leave school a little bit early so that we could get back here in time to meet Ron at Tinseltown for a movie.  We saw the movie Bears and it was so good---hope we see some in real life in a few weeks!
Saturday morning, Dan and I went to the church early to help with Souper Saturday.  We helped get things ready and then delivered soup at one of the housing complexes nearby.
For some reason, it seemed especially stressful today with some residents not there, others showing us around and some that weren't on our deliver list asking for soup.  But, when we got in the car to leave, Dan exclaimed, "That was fun!" and I remembered how much he enjoyed greeting each person and helping them, particularly my favorite Sunday School students, Bill and Sue.
From there, we headed back to the church to work in the Food Pantry.  The church has been involved in a major capital campaign for the last few months and is now nearing the end.  The Food Pantry has been re-located to the front of our activities building and the space has been completely re-modeled to better fit the needs of that ministry.
We still have lots of work to do in terms of decorating and making things feel more functional, but it is so nice to finally have room to spread out and work.
After a quick lunch, Callie and Jordan picked up Dan to take him to the Barksdale Air Show.  While they enjoyed the Thunderbirds and Bombers, Ron and I worked on the back flowerbed.
It was HOT and we worked hard, so it was a bit disheartening to discover that the 15 bags of mulch that I'd ordered were not the right kind!! (my fault, not theirs)

While Ron and the pups took a much-needed break. . . .
I jumped in the truck and made a quick trip to Lowe's to get some of the right kind and Ron carried and spread it when I returned.  In fact, we were both filthy dirty and still working when Callie, Jordan and Dan arrived back, so Jordan took over the grilling duties for the dinner we'd planned.  Callie corralled Toby and the other two dogs!
We were able to get a few azaleas planted along the back fence, and things look much better, although they aren't quite complete.
We had burgers and fruit for dinner
and as soon as it began getting dark, Ron and Jordan built a fire in the fire pit (after taking care of a wasp nest hidden under the cover).
We made s'mores using various styles of chocolate candy that they brought.   (The white chocolate ones were definitely my favorite)
Dan chose to watch a movie inside instead of enjoying the fire, but we had a nice time sitting outside.
I'm looking forward to many more "fire pit" kind of nights!

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Easter Weekend In Texas - Part Three

By Sunday, the guys were pretty tired of working on the truck, but knew that it was their last chance to get the transmission lifted, so they made the decision to head out there instead of going to church.   I went to church with Carmelle and the kids.
Right after those pictures were taken, we seated ourselves on the back row of the church and members of the congregation made their way over to introduce themselves to me and to inquire about our relationship, etc.  Each time, as Carmelle explained that I was her step-mother, Michael added that I married their grandpa "a couple of weeks ago".  The church that they attend is a very conservative, Southern Baptist congregation, so you can imagine how startled I was when Adellelyn piped up, using her no-at-all-quiet-voice and said, "You married Papaw.  Now are you going to preggernant???"   Carmelle and I quickly tried to quiet her and assure her that NO, I was not.  But she exclaimed (louder this time), "I didn't mean yesterday!  I mean NOW are you going to get preggernant????"    OH MY!!   I wanted to crawl in a hole, but instead I was able to deflect the attention by reminding her that Callie was going to have a baby soon and they would have a new little cousin.

After the worship service, there was an egg hunt for the children.
The shoes were different this time-----Sunday best (and that means spurs, too)!
When we got back home, we discovered that Ron and Chad had to give up working on the truck so we gave Joy some more motion sickness medicine and enjoyed being outdoors while we waited the mandatory time for it to begin working.
Under close supervision, Talia and Joy even became friends.
Our trip home was uneventful and though tired, we were so glad we had the opportunity to be with them all again.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Easter Weekend In Texas - Part Two

Saturday morning, we decided that the guys should hold off on working on the truck until after the Easter Egg Hunt at City Park.  We met Michael and his friend at the park, along with thousands of other people.  

As they prepared the fields for the mEGGahunt, I began to wonder why the word "hunt" was included---there certainly was no need for hunting.

A better name would have been Egg Pickup, I suppose, but the kids were so excited.   Adellelyn's group was first and as the whistle sounded, she took off.  
It wasn't long until her bucket was full.  
There was a brief break while they prepared the fields for the special needs hunt and then it was Michael's turn.

We watched as the workers scattered eggs on the grass.
Michael dashed from here to there around the field picking up the eggs he liked best.
What a sweet big brother---the first thing he did was run to pick up the "cupcake eggs" for his little sister!
There were all kinds of "bouncy" things around the perimeter of the park.
While waiting in line for the giant slide, they announced the grand prize drawing for a flat screen TV.  Guess who the winner was?!?!
After the hunt and some lunch, the guys left to work on the truck again and we headed to the theatre.  Unfortunately, tickets to the movie were sold out, so  instead we headed back to City Park to just "chill".  It was great---better than any movie, in my opinion.
We watched the ducks

and even found a nest with one egg left in it.

The kids call this duck (and any ducks with the red on their beak) "Duckdog" and they love to try to catch him.  They named him long ago after feeding him and hearing him pant like a dog for more.

We attempted to sneak up on a squirrel that was creeping along the footbridge.
Meanwhile, unknown to us, there was a second squirrel crawling along underneath and he chose the exact moment that Michael tried to get closer to squirrel #1, to jump out and scare the BEJEEZES out of us!!  Carmelle had been sitting down below and could see what was about to happen, but couldn't warn us in time!
Back at the house, we spent the afternoon outdoors while Carmelle fixed dinner.
Michael practiced his hitting against the side of the condo, while Adellelyn attempted to catch a bird.

She finally resorted to posing like this, hoping that a bird would use her as a bird feeder.
The guys got home just in time for dinner (this is AFTER they'd cleaned up).
Carmelle prepared quite a feast for us---steak, shrimp/chicken kabobs, baked potatoes and Corn on the cob!!  Yummy!!!

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