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.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Smelling like a chicken!

This past week was good. Lauren is working a few days here and there at the flower shop, so she is happy about that. She has her EFY for next year almost paid for. She also can drive by herself to town, so she and Kayley have been livin' it up in Ashdown, or as much as one can in Ashdown. She likes to drive the Honda, but will take the truck here and there too. I told her how to "race" just in case a cute boy (LOL) wanted to race her at the stop light. Hey... what else is there to do in Ashdown? The truck has very dark tint windows. You cannot see inside especially at night. The other night Lauren took the truck to town to fill up one of the tires. I went with her. I stayed in the truck because I refuse to learn how to do a few things (hehe). I kid you not... 2 guys saw her at 2 different times, and both came up asking if she needed help. So 1) that is scary since, 2) one was old. So, I got out of the truck, and "helped" her.

Kayley & Jacob have been working in the chicken houses, the very least favorite job to do in the whole entire world. But Papaw is paying them minimum wage, and that's pretty good for them, so this past week they earned $50 each. They are was super excited about that, even though they come back smelling like a chicken. I make them strip of their clothes outside (except undie stuff) and spray the shicken chit off their clothes, boots and body. Another reason why I need my mud room done so they don't have to do this in the front, even though no one is there to see. Why are they doing it? Because hire-hand (same one from the snake post below) has not shown up!! And Papaw needs some stuff done, and at 75 he can't do it all like he used too. Another boy is suppose to be starting soon for the rest of the summer, so we shall see.

Lindsey started a science camp today sponsered by her (old) school. Only 20 1st graders were selected to attend, and she was one of them. She is so excited. It's from 8:30-2pm this week, except Friday. That day they are going to Hot Springs, AR to a science museum-type place. She is pretty excited. We would go with (in separate car) but Friday is going to be a crazy day, so she'll go with her group.

Jacob goes to his very first BSA camp on Saturday, thus the reason we can't go the science museum. He leaves o-dark thirty Saturday morning, so Friday is going to be busy busy busy trying to make sure he has everything he needs. He knows how to change his own insulin pump/site area now, so that is good, but it's still making me a bit nervous that I am not going to be close enough. He will be fine though, and close to LSU, so it'll all be good. He is way excited about going. He won't be home until July 9th... a whole week!!

Then Young Women's Camp is July 12-15. That'll be fun for the 2 big girls.

We may leave July 16th to my parents, or may not until the following week sometime. Plan is to stay 7-10 days. Josh comes home August 11, so we will need to get back to get his room cleaned, and other stuff. We plan on going back to Killeen on August 15th for 3 days. We were going to go other places, and we still may go to B-CS, but not to the beach anymore. Lauren & Kayley may not go because school starts the 15th, and it's high school, and Lauren will have the Honda for 3-4 whole days! LOL!! I think she and Kayley want to "live it up" while we are gone. The other kids will just miss 3-4 days of school. They'll start that Friday for sure.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Hold on, the Light will come

My kids really like this song. A few years ago I bought the first volume of "the best of EFY" CD, and it's just been recently that my kids have really learned and love this song. When I found it on You Tube today, I was sitting in the dining room with the laptop. I placed the speakers towards the living room, and started it. The TV was on, and 6 kids were watching it. As soon as they realized what it was, they all ran to the laptop. Kinda makes me feel good that my kids do like other songs besides 93.3.

Now don't get me wrong... there are some songs out there that I really like on the radio. I love Cold Play, Bruno Mars, Taylor Swift, and others even though my mind has gone blank. But when my kids are in the car with me, I like to have them listen to other music besides radio. We have an endless collection of Primary songs of all styles, YW/YM songs, EFY songs & MoTab. We love them, and it does get us in a better mood with each others. We all have our moments, and sometimes get on each others nerves, and sometimes the radio just makes it worse, so on with the church songs. I have a few siblings who laugh at me because of it, but one day they will wish they had listen to church songs more. It really does bring a warm feeling of peace no matter what they say or how stupid that is.

Josh has always loved church music too. He said he was allowed to listen to all church music, so for the 1st 18 months of his mission I sent him quite a few church CDs, and he has told me he has loved them all. It really does strengthen you and your testimony of the true gospel of Jesus Christ. If the world was just to listen to it just a little bit more, I bet the world would be a better place to live. But we already know the world is going to be a wicked place where Satan is only going to get worse, and work on more and more Saints. I tell ya, if you listen to this music more, Satan will pass you by. He can't stand church music!

I heard something once by a person who said that music really does affect you. She listened to this one group all the time, and this one song they sung talked about death and was very dark & depressing. She said she wanted to die, commit suicide! Why listen to music like that? I rather be lifted up, even if it is a slow song like "Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing" which Lauren plays beautifully on the piano, and Jacob is learning. It's a beautiful song. And this coming Monday, we are going to focus on Joseph Smith, the date of his martyrdom. I am going to have Lauren and Jacob work on Praise to the Man, and We Thank Thee of God for a Prophet.

I promise you if you start listening to more music like this that lifts you up, to think more of Jesus Christ, your eternal family, you will be more happy.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

**WARNING** but so cute at the end...

Some of you may remember that Lindsey got her hair ripped out by the pea-sheller last summer. If you go back to August 2010 blog post you will be able to read the story. It was so awful! Made you want to puke!! Poor little thing... every time I
see this I want to cry!
We didn't cut it and switched her part to the other side so I could do her hair better. She wore 2 bands and 3-4 hair clips in her hair daily for the last 11 months or so. Sometimes we would have a good day with the really short hair that was growing back in and could do a long hair do, like this one that was taken
at Christmas 2010.
This morning I had about enough with it and just looking so awful all the time. She had different lengths and it was always a mess, especially if we didn't put it up, which since school has been out, we haven't a lot except for a messy pony. But look how long her hair has grown in 11 months!
It was getting long in the back, but the side was a different story. So I took her in to my friend Tonya, who also had the new fad *feathers* available.
She chopped it off to a cute bob, and added 2 cute feathers.
Short & Sassy!
Krissy & Lauren also got them. Kayley is waiting until lime green feathers are in so she can be stylin' at the girls camp (the camp shirt is going to be lime green... but shhhhh, that's a secret! LOL!)

Not even venomous!

A few weeks ago after the rains had stop and things were starting to dry up, we noticed quite a few snakes in the yard or on the road. I don't know why, but it was also quite hot so I don't know if that had anything to do with it. One day I get a call from my mother-in-law. She is frantic. Says there is a copperhead:
or a water moccasin (pix below)! (Or worse, a Cottonmouth Water Moccasin!) So of course she asks me to kinda come over where she is at to see it. I wasn't going to get near it if it was one of those 2 or 3 snakes as they are B-AAAA-D! As I went out she pointed to the area next to a tree, the same area that Josh had found a snake many years before (and I would have pictures if Shawn hadn't deleted all my pictures for that year) and held up for us to see. I stand on the picnic table bench. I looked and looked and couldn't see anything. She told me it was now moving, and then that's when I saw the little head slithering across the way. My mother-in-law is standing just feet from it, and I am like "uh, you better move... what if it comes back towards you?" She moves back a foot or so. Then she sees my father-in-law who is WAY across the hay field. On a tractor. Cutting hay. She starts yelling for him. I said STOP... he can't hear you!! She does but then turns towards the chicken houses and starts yelling for the hired-hand to come over. I ask her why, and that it can just go in the trees/bushes there. "NO, the kids play out here, and I know it's (one of the above snakes)!" I couldn't disagree really about that especially if it was one. Hired-hand comes and chops up the snake. The whole thing still makes me laugh some, especially her yelling at the father-in-law. Classic.
Of course as soon as the kids are home from school, she is right out there with a stick telling them to always have a stick in their hand for now on, and that they don't need to play outside. Oh, and something else I just remembered as she was waiting on the hired-hand: She started barking. I was like "what the heck are you doing?" She said loud noises scare away snakes, and then she also starts clapping. So I was like great... got a barking, clapping happy mother-in-law across the yard. Even Tex & Mex are next to the snake, sniffing it, all that... and nothing.

BUT, a few days later another snake is noticed by Lauren & Jacob. Lauren tries to shoot it with the BB gun that Jacob had, but it just bounced off. Tex & Mex are again around the snake, and this time the snake strikes out at Tex and gets him in the eye. Oh, poor dog! First the broken leg, and now the eye! We were sure he was going to be dead at any moment. But he lived. And Lauren chopped that snake up just as good as the hired-hand did. And the moment they told me about it, I told them NOT TO TELL MAMAW (mother-in-law).

THEN a few days after that, Shawn was actually home, and was in the garden with the kids, and low & behold, this came out of the bushes next to the garden:
The same type of snake as the 2 times before. Kids did see the 1st one as Mamaw made the hired-hand keep it there so the kids could see it, and of course it looked like the 2nd snake too. What is it? A rat snake! Not even venomous (or poisonous, however you say it, even though venomous is the correct one)! It's called a rat snake, but sometimes it gets called a chicken snake because sometimes it's found next to chicken houses/coups. SURPRISE!! And we have 3 huge long Tyson chicken houses!! These snakes are actually what you want around if you HAD TO HAVE A SNAKE in your yard, as it takes care of all rodents! And rodents (mice/rats) love being by chickens, especially baby chickens (rats to eat chickens, but mice to eat the feed at all times), so that's why they are sometimes called chicken snakes because they are usually seen around chicken areas, but really they are getting the rodents! Make sense? And I sure rather have a snake like this around then rats & mice!! Agree? But there is no doubt about it...


Sunday, June 12, 2011

Our first week of summer vacation!

Shawn bought a sprayer system for the 4-wheeler, but decided it couldn't do what the tractor could do. I walked outside and this is what I found. Must be a redneck!
Part reason for the sprayer on the 4-wheeler is to spray around the blackberry plants. Yes, these are HUGE blackberries. They are the world's largest blackberries grown, and we have 100+ plants outside full of them right now. People love them!! We sell them for $12/gallon. The other day I had 1/2 gallon left, so I placed the berries in 2- 1 qt bags, and took them over to the Farmers Market in Ashdown, and the minute I got out of the Suburban, I had them sold @ $4 each! Another guy saw them, and we "mad" that I didn't have anymore. Once people see them, they want them!! Next year we will have 200+ more plants producing on top of the 300 we already have.
Our first week we did 2 days of free bowling. Website is or something like that. I bought the package deal for Shawn, Lauren & me so we could bowl for $24 total for the whole summer! Kids have loved it!! We are planning to go 2-3 times a week. If we go to Killeen this summer, I am going to sign-up the kids for the Killeen bowling alley.
I think all kids love to bowl!
But on one of the days we didn't go, the Barbies saved the day. It's already so hot and humid that I really don't care if they stay in the house all day. As long as TV isn't being watched all day, which we all had that problem the 1st day. Haha!!
And to celebrate our 1st week, I was going to make homemade pizza on Friday. Then it was suppose to be today. But instead we are having mac & cheese, homemade chocolate chip cookies and popcorn. Ya, I know... awesome!
I will make pizza later this week.

Monday, June 06, 2011

Please tell me how you do it!

Sometimes I get so frustrated because we don't make 100K or more a year! We would if I went to work full-time, but that is the last thing I want to do. Shawn doesn't want me to work full-time, but only part-time. I am having a hard time with that at the moment as I still have one left at home. I always said when the last went to school, which will be the 2012-2013 school year when Joey starts.

But yet, I see friends and family even go places. I'm talking about fun vacation places! Yes, I know some families are more wealthy then mine... doctors, lawyers, and such. But I try very hard to save, and it seems like it's never enough to purchase a $4000 Disney World package upfront. We don't have any credit cards except Home Depot, but you know what I mean. Seems like something always comes up and the few hundred dollars that I always seem to save towards something is having to pay for something. Like $1097 tax bill or $827 Honda car repair/tune-up. I mean, always something! I don't have family that lives in Florida or California to even crash at for a few days, which sometimes I see people do as well. So hotels are a must.

Maybe I am jealous a bit? I keep thinking if I can just put $200 back a month for the next 24-36 months, then we can totally do a huge vacation on our 25th wedding anniversary with the whole family. A once-in-a-lifetime dream vacation. A Disney Cruise would be awesome!

Or if any of you can help me plan a Disney World vacation for Christmas 2011 or even Spring Break 2012 for a family of 9, I would appreciate it.

Lots of Sonic Drinks!!

Josh's girlfriend, Amanda or Amanna as Lindsey calls her, found this and sent it to me.
So true!
Being the last days of school, and knowing a person who does vinyl, I had her make these up for me a few weeks ago. I thought I said 6x6 size tile, but it fit perfect on a 4x4 glass tile from Home Depot. I was very pleased with how they turned out. One was for Lindsey's teacher, and the other 2 were for Krissy's teacher. Her homeroom teacher is leaving to another school, and the other teacher also had Kayley & Jacob in years past, so I put a message on the back from all 3. I had heard she may be retiring soon, and may not be Lindsey's or Joey's teacher.
On Sunday after church I took my usual nap. I didn't sleep long, and as I was lying in the bed debating on whether to get up or not, I thought I heard thunder in the distance. But seeing how it was still bright and sunny, I took it as a feed truck or another big truck, which is not unusual with living on a chicken farm. But it was thunder, and the storm came through so fast that it wasn't even showing up yet on when I had checked. The winds came fast and strong, and the rain was hitting our back door so hard that rain was coming in! It left as fast as it got here, and when Lauren went outside to check on things, she found this:
A week ago I cleaned the little girls room really good. Lindsey decided she didn't want to sleep by herself anymore and started sleeping with Kristen in her twin bed. I decided to put the 2 twin beds together to make a king-size and to put Joey in bed with them. I just don't know how kids can sleep the way they do and how. I know I sleep with ear plugs and Shawn sleeps with a C-Pap, but I think a mask would bother me. But not the girls- they love theirs! This is how I found them within an hour of putting them to bed...
Last Thursday was the day the boys got their summer hairscut.
And today Joey was showing me his karate moves with Shawn's laughter...
and Jacob's assistance.
Opps... wrong slot. I had to return some tile to Home Depot to exchange for the glass tile, and Joey decided to wait on the John Deere that he wishes his Dad would buy. Sometimes I can never get this child to smile.
As of today... 66 days!!