All because two people fell in love...

We met in February 1989, started dating in May, and got married in September. And Josh came *almost* 11 months later, just in case y'all were wondering. And then no more came. We waited, and waited, and then Lauren decided to make her debut in May 1995 (5 weeks early), and then Kayley 1997, Jacob 1998, Krissy 2001, Lindsey 2004 & Joey 2006. We lived in Texas until 2005, and then we moved to Arkansas, just about 25 miles north of Texarkana, Texas. Fortunately all my children are Texans (and my handsome husband) because Texans are just cool. Wish I was a Texan... but husband had to settle with a California gal, which I think is pretty cool too.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Prom 2011, April 22nd

Lauren went to the Haworth, OK Prom with a cute kid named Nathaniel Rasmusson. He is a member of the church, but in the Idabel Branch, Gilmer TX Stake. They live about 45 minutes from us just over the OK/AR border towards DeQueen. He really wanted to take Lauren, and because Lauren won't be 16 until May 20th, she had to get permission from her Dad.
Dad said yes, and so the dress was bought (eBay, brand-new), flowers ordered, hair done, and make-up done by her and me. We had decided that we have perfected it so much that we can now do it ourselves when doing pageants. No more paying for that, just hair. I do have other Prom pictures on the other computer, which I will get on here this week. This is from one of Nathaniel's friends Facebook. I saved and copied.

They had a great night and a great time. I am so glad that we are close to the other stake boundries and to the Gilmer Stake Center, where most of the dances have been these past 9 months. Lauren, and now Kayley since she turned 14 on April 1st and have been to her 1st & 2nd dance, love going because there are so many more guys to dance with compared to our stake. We have also been to one in Longview too, and headed there again soon. They are pretty excited.

More pictures to come of Kayley's birthday, Prom and Joey's 4th birthday from December (was on camera that I just downloaded the other night with Prom pictures).

Saturday, April 23, 2011

To have a friend you must first be one...


Saturday, April 16, 2011

Was it raining when Noah built the ark?

Ever since I was a kid, I have known about food storage. I know it is important. I know the Lord has been telling us via his prophets "if ye are prepared, ye shall not fear." (D&C 38:30) But yet it has taken Shawn and I many many years to get food storage. I tell my kids that the key word to the Lord's gospel is "obedience." The Lord has told us to gather food (storage) but I wasn't quick to obey. Kinda reminds me of the parable of the Ten Virgins... 5 were wise and had their lamps full of oil, while 5 were foolish and waited until the Lord came to fill theirs. I think for a long time we didn't think anything was going to happen serious in the world, as in raising food prices, raising gas prices, etc... and so Shawn and I waited. It's only been since this president of the United States that we started getting scared some, because we weren't being obedient in preparing our food storage. We decided that we needed to start now. Not sure when I went to get some food storage from the Dallas' Bishop's Storehouse, but it was after Josh left on his mission (Aug 2009). We got our years supply of oatmeal, years supply of pinto beans, and 6 months of wheat for now, along with some other stuff. But that's all I did with it. Didn't PREPARE it like I should have. So it sat in our storage room, which is located in our house in the south, which is quite warm all the time and weevils like to live in this kind of conditions especially if there is dry oatmeal in 50# bags not sealed correctly. Therefore, we lost all our oatmeal, and 2 bags of white flour. I was sick about it!! So now I am having to buy more oatmeal, but this time I am preparing it correctly. But now as I am looking at prices of the food either through the Bishop's Storehouse, or any other site, prices are rising, and have rose 11-49% since January 2011!! Morning Moo Milk will kill us, as it's $122 per 50# bag.

I have found a few sites that are good, and comparable with each other: and, and then of course there is

I also found this website:

We also plant a huge garden each year, well the kids and Shawn do, and I home-can a lot of it. I also freeze some, and we also eat a lot of it while fresh.

But yet, even though I am trying to do what the prophet's say, there is opposition. Remember scripture mastery 2 Nephi 2:11 "There needs to be opposition in all things." I don't get harassment and heckling from non-family about this as much as I do from some of my own siblings. Things like "you watch to much TV" or "if something happens, we will come to you since you are prepared." Really? Was it raining when Noah built the ark? So because I watch to much TV does that also include watching General Conference on TV and listening to what the prophets are telling us? And if for some reason something happens and you loose your job and have no money how are you going to get here? The closest any of my family is is 5 hrs. Will you have money for gas? And why should I help you when all you have done is harass me? I mean, you can come here if you want and live in a tent on the land, but if you want food you will have to work at it. I have plently of land for you to start digging and planting. Oh, that's right... you need seeds. Did you bring your seeds? I only have enough seeds to plant for my own family... not people who harassed me. You need to start saving seeds too!! Buy some and put them in a plastic bag and leave them in the freezer. They can be used year after year until they are gone. They also can be placed in a mylar bag and sealed for coming years.

All of this reminds of the children's story "The Little Red Hen." No one wanted to help her plant, till, harvest, make/bake but they all wanted to eat her bread.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Wedding Planner and a window?

When I grow up I really want to be a wedding planner. Maybe not like Jennifer Lopez's character or even Candace Bergman's character in Bride Wars, but just a simple wedding planner for this area.
I mean, think empty chicken houses!! They have plenty of room! Ok, I only said that because that is what my Dad would say first, since I do live in Arkansas and I do live on a chicken farm, and I live only 25 miles from the setting of an episode of My Big Fat Redneck Wedding on CMT, where the couple from Nashville, AR actually do get married in her daddy's empty chicken house. Enough said.

But considering I love to cook maybe a full-fledge wedding planner wouldn't be the choice for me. I would need someone who could do the decorating, while I plan all the food and cook/bake most of it. I would LOVE LOVE LOVE to do that!! I am helping in a few weeks for a wedding rehearsal dinner, and I am pretty excited about that.

And I got my new window today. I am happy. Look how nice it looks.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

I miss Bluebonnets!

Shawn asked me if I wanted to go to Paris with him yesterday, and of course I said yes, since I had never been before. As we were headed there on 82 N. we came upon the state flower of Texas-- Bluebonnets-- outside of Annona. I haven't seen Bluebonnets in years!! Every year since we have moved here, and we would head to Killeen during Spring Break, it was just to early for them to bloom. We would see patches here and there, but nothing like I saw along the highway to Paris. It was beautiful!! I snapped this picture and sent it to Josh too.
Reason for Paris, Texas? Because this is the mini-tractor/lawnmower that Shawn has *always* wanted, and he found it on Craigslist early yesterday morning for a great price he says. Good thing for tax-refund. Bad thing for me. Never will get the cement poured now for my addition. So he called the guy, and he couldn't be there until 4:30. We left about 2p, and left Joey with Shawn's mom, which was a good thing. It would have been a long trip for him.
The guy and Shawn loaded the bush-hog thing (thing behind tractor) in first, then loaded up the tractor. We left, headed 8 miles south to Paris, and the trailer was jumping everywhere. The load was to heavy on the back of the trailer. I reminded Shawn that I had told them to load the tractor in first, but NOOOOOO, I didn't know what I was talking about.
Hmph! So we stopped at Auto Zone in Paris. Bought a $20 tow strap, and he backed up the trailer pulling the bush hog with him. Then he attached it to the front,
scrapping the nice cement along with it...
up into the trailer. Oh course, I had to take pictures of our redneck selves. I didn't take a picture of me because 1) embarrassed- haha! and 2) the wind was blowing mighty strong so the Aqua Net did not hold my hair in place,
and it was pretty much flat.
It's all loaded and we headed back to Ashdown. We got home at 8p. I never did get to see the Eiffel Tower with the huge cowboy hat, even though we did pass the "turn left sign" for it. Shawn said to plan a day trip for the family, and we'll come back.
And then I laughed... BUWAHAHAHAHA!!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

One day I will live at the beach

When I was a kid in SE Alabama, we went to Florida every year. When I was about 11, we went to Panama City Beach. It was our last summer in the south as in December 1981 we moved to Alaska, never to go back to Florida again. That summer we went to this amusement park. There was another one too, called Petticoat Junction, which we passed but didn't go too. And yes, these were the names of them both, because I looked it up.
I didn't get these pictures in order, but just bear with me as I tell you about them. In March 1986 my parents took us to Six Flags over Texas in Dallas. I went again in May 1989, and again in August 1993. Josh has been a few times, and Lauren too. Just before Josh left on his mission, he and Lauren went and met up with his Uncle Scott (my baby brother) and cousins Brandon & Rebekah. They plan on going again after Josh gets back. Kayley thinks she may not be so scared now.
My Dad grew up in San Jose, CA. He and family along with his aunts, uncles and cousins always went to Capitola, a beach town just south of Santa Cruz. Many years later, a house was purchased close to the beach where the cousins would now come with their kids. It was great memories. I am going to search for a Capitola postcard and see if I can see the house.
Because my Dad was in the Army, we moved more than his cousins/family, but we didn't move as much as other Army families. In June 1985, we left Alaska and headed to Texas. We went to Gramma's house in Los Gatos, and only visited Capitola a few days during our visit. We had to go visit Grammie (Hawkes) Jensen in Bakersfield & Grampa Pritchard in Costa Mesa too before heading on to Texas. My Dad's half-sister, who is 15 months older than me, took me to Newport Beach... which was so cool! I was hoping to see a movie star, like Rick Shroder, or Jason Bateman or geez...
I don't know. Just a movie star! LOL!!
The next summer on July 4, 1986 we headed to Capitola for a whole 3 weeks!! Dad took a whole month off... a week to drive there and back from Texas, and a whole 3 weeks at the beach in Capitola!! I loved it!! I missed Florida beaches, so this was going to be so cool!! Dad and Mom took us to the Santa Cruz Boardwalk one evening. I really don't remember much about it. I do remember the log ride, but not the roller coaster. I guess it just wasn't something exciting because usually I remember a lot detail about things.
In 1985 when we were heading to Texas, and finally got to Costa Mesa to visit Grampa Pritchard, my parents took us to Disney Land on my 15th birthday. It opened 17 July 1955, exactaly 30 years before. I remember watching the Disney Land 30th Anniversary on the TV at my Grampa's, and I wanted to go so bad. Ricky, Jason and all of those movie stars were there!! I wanted to be there. But we went the next day, and it was fun. But only 1 day. You can't see Disney Land in 1 day. But we didn't the *must dos* like Small World, Pirates, Haunted House, Space Mountain, Matterhorn, Dumbo, teacups, merry-go-round, and all the cool little kid story rides...
Peter Pan was my favorite.
And the whole time we lived in Bryan, we never did once make it to Kemah Boardwalk in Houston area. Never!! Always planned on it, and NASA, but never did. We only went to Galveston 2 times while living in Bryan.
But I do plan on going to the beach more. I love the beach. Want to go to Gulf Shores, AL or back to Ft. Walton Beach. I loved Galveston so much last summer. I wanted to stay forever! I think one day when I am old and need to be in a retirement home, I want to live at the one in Galveston.

Skating and Dancing

Krissy was invited to Chloe's birthday party at Skate World in Texarkana. Of course she was so exited. We get there, and then as I was helping her with her skates I realized I had never taken my skating. So sad! So I think this summer we may be heading there a few times. Maybe invite a few friends from church. Sorry for the blurry pictures... cell phone pictures!
So here she is waiting for her group to head out.
Just cheesin' and keep her balance.
She did pretty good considering this was her 1st time.
And when I opened my mouth about it, she fell. LOL!! She gave it up after about 2 1/2 or so because she said her boo-tay was starting to hurt, and her one elbow.
We then headed home to drop her off...
AND pick up Lauren and Kayley to take them to a stake dance in Gilmer, Tx. They always have the best biggest dances ever, compared to our stake at least. Last night there must have been 200 kids there!! They danced a lot even though they did sit for an hour. The whole northeastern part of the stake of Texas of Dallas Stakes and over (Longview, Tyler, Gilmer included) are participating in a Texas-size Youth Jubilee or something like that in June in Dallas. Even though New Boston, Texarkana and Queen City Wards are in Texas, we are part of the Shreveport LOUISIANA Stake, so we weren't included. So sucks!! For the last 6 months, a professional dance instructor couple comes and teaches the kids, who are going, the dances they will be performing with all the other youth, for 1 hour. They are expecting over 2000 LDS kids!! Isn't that awesome?! I am going to check on tickets, because I would love to go see it.
So they sat and chatted with others who also weren't going.
And once the "class" was over, then the dance resumed. Lots of kids, lots of dancing, lots of fun and talk!! Just so cool to see so many kids, all with the same standards, all having a great time. Shawn and I have discussed it and feel that our kids need to be attending these extra youth dances. Just gives them the chance of meeting other great youth out there! And if we hadn't started going, Lauren and Nathaniel would never have met.
Nathaniel is from the Idabel, OK Branch, just 50 minutes away straight west of our house. But he actually lives only 30 minutes from us, just 8/10 of a mile over the border into OK. His family also raises cattle, crops and chickens for Tyson. He is a junior, and attends school in Haworth, OK. His prom is April 22nd, and he invited Lauren to go. Yes, I know 28 days until her 16th birthday, but hey... oh, well.
No other dates though until May 20th!

**And these dances wouldn't be possible if I didn't have my in-laws next door. They are so kind to start watching the younger kids starting about 4:30 until Shawn gets home from work. He then puts them to bed. We didn't get home until midnight because there was a horrible wreck on I-30 E. so we had to detour, which took 20 extra minutes.

Thursday, April 07, 2011

A day in my life

*Compared to my sister Hilary (her blog link to the right), I am so boring. I don't post, obviously, every day or even close to even posting weekly. But sometimes I do have cool days, and maybe I should post more about those days. Problem is by the time I remember to post something, it's usually at night when I'm on the laptop sitting on the couch watching O'Reilly, and I am just to tired to really post. If I do remember while on the big computer during the day, it's such a pain because I have my homepage as a google homepage with my hotmail email, but my blog is with my juno email, so if I sign out of hotmail and sign in with juno, then I loose my homepage and then I get frustrated because I can't remember my password 1/2 the time, so then I have to look it up... okay, you get the picture. But I have been thinking of posting *this* "a day in the life of me". I will ramble. If you don't like it, then leave. I really don't care.

*At 6:01a on school days and on Sunday my alarm goes off. On Saturday it's not on, but usually Joey is in my room by 7a asking for me to turn on a ca-toon, or if he can play DS. I tell him to go find Jacob, which then I remember he needs to 1) check his blood & 2) put dog outside. So I call Jacob saying everytime: "Jacob, if you can hear me, please come here." He comes, and I tell him to do those 2 things, plus bring me my pills (crazy pills as I call 'em) which he does like an obedient child, and then to turn on a ca-toon. I also tell Joey to take off his diaper to go find me some underwear, which he brings to me and I kinda roll over to help him put them on. If I have to be somewhere on Saturday morning, I am usually up and showering by 7:30a... if not, it's not until after 8a when I'm up, sometimes not until Lauren tells me she is ready for me to take her to work at 8:45a. So back to the other days- On Sunday I am in shower by 6:30a after pressing snooze 3 times. I also get big girls up threatening them with no shower if not in shower before I get out of shower. Kayley is good... it's Lauren that is mostly "threatened". Since "my" bathroom is in Jacob & Joey's room, when I get out of shower, I tell Jacob to 1) check his blood 2) take dog out 3) fix oatmeal for Joey 4) eat breakfast, which he does all. I leave bathroom mostly dressed, and hair about done, pound on hall bathroom door, wake up small girls so they can eat, go to my room to finish dressing, tell kids to hurry up with breakfast and brush teeth and start dressing for church, walk down the hallway, pound on hall bathroom door threatening Lauren again, finish me in my bathroom, make sure Joey is finished with breakfast or if he needs help, help little girls with tights and tell Lindsey for the umpteenth time she isn't wearing a size 8 dress or wearing red shoes with something that doesn't match, gather Joey's clothes for Kayley so she can dress him, go back to my bathroom to add more hairspray, tell Jacob to make sandwich, and blah blah blah, yelling at Lauren now to get herself off her bed to finish herself which is usually 7:56a by now, and go do little girls hair telling Lindsey again to get a bow/ribbon that actually matches her dress, have family prayer and usually leave the house at 8:05 for church. If it's potluck Sunday, I can't press snooze 3 times, but actually get up at 6:01 if I am making Mexican casserole, so I can be done with it at 6:30 to start the process that I just posted about. On school mornings: Kayley wakes me at 6:15 even though I am awake which then I lay in bed until the snooze goes off again at 6:19a. I go to little girls room... usually they are still in bed. I get them up, gather clean jeans from laundry room for them (I must wash 3-4 loads of jeans a week), help with their Nikes (hey, they like how I tie them tight and double-knot them), send them to unload dishwasher, make sure Jacob is up at the same time reminding him to 1) check his blood 2) take dog out. Jacob kinda wanders after that, so I have to remind him to do his hair and to eat. Kayley is my only morning person. She makes/packs 1-5 lunches (depending on school lunch choice that day... but she always makes her lunch) every morning without fail. Kids eat, kids brush teeth, girls hair is done, I sometimes help Kayley with her make-up, say family prayer and they are out the door by 7:13a to catch the bus. Oh, and if Shawn is home, he take Lauren to Seminary at 6:40a. If not, then I leave at 6:40a. Get home by 7a, which everything MUST be done except hair, then I do girls hair, have prayer and out the door. In the meantime, Joey is either playing DS or eating breakfast.

*On Monday-Wednesday-Friday, after kids have left and Joey has had breakfast, or at this time, I get him started on his breakfast and then afterwards, I lie on couch until 8a. I then get up, put on my walking shoes, dress Joey, brush his teeth, do his hair sometimes, and we are usually out the door by 8:20a. I take him to pre-school, then I go to the "gym" here in Ashdown where I walk on the treadmill for 45-50 minutes. I usually talk with Shawn's old PE teacher or another gal that lives up the road from me. It helps by making this time go by fast. If not, I have to walk in silence as I keep forgetting to grab Kayley's MP3 player. Acually it isn't real silent... I get to either watch TBN and/or listen to the local Christian radio rock station. I will sometimes text my sister Holly to remind her "Jesus love you Start 2 Finish" which we always laugh about. I will also text my mom, or check Facebook, and sometimes Mom will call me-- which I like because it also makes the time go faster. I am usually home by 9:30a, and I lie on the couch until 10:30a, get in shower, and be ready to leave by 11:20a to go get Joey. If Shawn is home, sometimes we head to Texarkana then, or if not, then Joey and I will usually come home. Sometimes we stop at McD's or Walmart.

*On Tuesday & Thursday, after getting kids off to the bus, I lie on the couch because I never walk on those days. I lie on the couch until I decide to get up. Unless of course I have to do something else. Like today... working at the flower shop, so I had to be ready out the door by 8a, even though I didn't have to be here until 9a. I sent Joey over to Mamaw's dressed and fed, and I left with Tex (with a healing broken leg) to get him to Wisdom in Texarkana so that he can have his leg rechecked and recast if needed. He is staying there all day. I dropped him off at 8:30a, and I then headed back here to Ashdown. I will hopefully leave today by 4:55p because I have to be back at Wisdom by 5:3op to pick him up. There is a visitation/funeral tonight, and I have to have the flowers/plants delivered by 4:30p, so when I get back, I'll close up and leave at 4:55p. I have no choice. Don't want to pay for an overnight stay. On the days that Shawn is home and I am home too, we sometimes will go somewhere, and sometimes we just hang out. Well, I just hang out. Now that it's warmer outside, Shawn is out there working on something.

*Kids get home from school by 4p. Then homework starts, or complaining starts, or something always starts. Usually that is when I become "alive" and start doing the things that I should have done while kids were in school, but I need breaks too you know. I will start dinner, start some wash, start dishes. Sometimes I have to go get kids by 4:30p at the school, or I get to go to a track meet (Kayley) or during the fall on Fridays I get to go watch Pep Rally and Lauren be Panther mascot. I always hear "can I play the "bad" game on the lap top (some medivial game Josh loaded up years ago) or if TV can be watched, or play on the upstairs computer or watch TV on the upstairs TV. Right now because it's so nice, and if Shawn is home, the answer is no, and they go outside to work on outside chores, as in mowing lawn, garden or just play. I remind them that on yucky days they get to stay in, but when it's nice, they need to be outside.

*If I have my act together, dinner is usually easy and about done when they get home from school. If not, that's when I am usually headed to WM to get something. I am trying to get better with my menu planning. I used to be good like my Mom was when I was a kid, but sometimes I'm not. Shawn always is working Fri-Sat-Sun, and sometimes Thurs, and sometimes extra overtime days. On those days I try to have something nice fixed/cooked for the family because he likes to have something good for dinner. Tuesday nights are usually our date night, so we try to go out at least 2-3x monthly. Sometimes he works extra on a Tuesday, or he is just to busy outside and wants to work until sun down, and by then I am usually to tired to go out, and so is he. When we do go out, we like to leave by 6p so by 10p we are home or headed home to go to bed. Remember it's a total 1 hr drive to get to/back from Texarkana.

*When Josh started driving, my life was easier for 3 years. Then he left on his mission, and I have been back to driving everywhere. I am at the church every Wednesday night. I usually have a meeting, but sometimes I don't, and lately I have been meeting my new friend Judy at Chick-Fil-A or the mall to chit-chat. We usually just have an hour before we have to head back to church. Lauren has her permit, and by next school year, she will be driving in on Wednesday nights if I don't have to go in. It's going to be nice. It's going to be nice when I can just send her wherever so I can stay home more. I like to go places, but sometimes I am on the go go go because of the big girls. Always something at Walmart they need, or the mall, or the Walmart in Texarkana, or Cato, or Merle Norman, or to get a haircut/style, or to a church dance in Gilmer so Lauren can see her boyfriend(s), or to get Prom stuff, or pageant stuff, or EFY 5 hours away so I have to plan a whole trip around that. Geez, these girls are so demanding!! Josh comes home in August, and he says he is staying here for school, so that will help with the driving some.

*After dinner most nights, kids will do their nightly chores of dishes, quick living room pick-up, baths/showers, and then by 8p we try to have family scripture study. I am not perfect. Does not happen ever on Wednesday, and sometimes Friday & Saturday, but rest of the time it's happening. We read, with the computer, the Book of Mormon from Easy way!! I have a "read the Book of Mormon in 100 days" book, and we are doing quite good. Granted it's going to take more than 100 days, but we read about 2-3 chapters a night. We discuss things from it, and sometimes if the chapter is short, we will read it outloud instead of the computer. Our goal is to be done with it before Josh gets home (we start Mosiah tonight). We have family prayer , and then Krissy on down in bed by 8:30p, and older 3-- "I better not see your face after 9:15p!" Of course I hear doors opening and closing until 10p, but I am not seeing their face. I then can relax on laptop to Google or read my "To The Rescue" book for now (Bio of Thomas S. Monson). And like I said, watch O'Reilly or some dumb movie that Shawn starts watching even if it has 30 minutes left. I take my 1/2 sleeping pill by 10:15p or so, and usually by 11a, I am headed to bed, sometimes sooner.

*On top of this all, I have Relief Society stuff since I am 2nd counselor and in charge of extra meetings held during the week. I have one coming up in May, and another in June. It really stresses me out because I want it perfect, and sometimes I feel they aren't.

*And for those that think I *must* be on the computer all day because I post on Facebook all day, it's because it's on my BlackBerry. Easy to check all day, when I am sitting waiting on a kid (like at dentist 3x past 2 weeks... 3 more appts next 2 weeks), or waiting for a train... I tell ya, I have been stopped by the slow train more times in the past month then the whole last year!! I know they have been working a lot on the tracks so maybe that's it. The next few weeks are going to be kinda fun/exciting, so stay tuned to here or my Facebook!! This is my life, and I think I'm stickin' to it!! Oh, and this is just during the school year... once summer gets here, it's pretty much whatever. LOL!!

Saturday, April 02, 2011

It's the BEST day ever!

Our new favorite movie! We love it!