Saturday, December 5, 2009

Fun Christmas Commercials :)

Well, it has happened again. The Christmas commercials have arrived and Foldgers has a new sentimental commercial that makes me tear up! Have you seen it yet? I can't find it on youtube, but the premise is this: a brother comes home from being away in West Africa for a long time. His sister has waited up for his arrival and they go to the kitchen to make coffee (naturally!) He hands her a gift. She smiles then takes the bow and sticks it on him saying, "You're my present this year" *aw!!* I tear up just remembering it - Reminds me alot of an old favorite:

And who can forget the Hallmark commercials with the Father of the Bride couple!

This year, we've really been enjoying the Target commercials for their 2-day sale. Have you seen them? They feature two very different sisters preparing to Christmas shop :)

I LOVE the face the blond makes at the end of this one:

We laugh EVERY time this one comes on:

and lastly:

Hope these put a grin on your face like they do for us :) Enjoy the coming month with all the festivities :)

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Camping at Roosevelt State Park

In case you haven't heard, we went camping this weekend! And what a picture perfect weekend it was! Brad, Wes and I camped in one tent. Kim camped in Connor's tent (without Connor though) and her new friend, Chad brought his tent. Everything was so perfect: the site, the food, the weather...

Ok, I'll admit, at times, it was too cold for my taste! For example, the first night there... We shivered and froze and prayed the warm sun would rise! Saturday morning, Kim, Chad and I climbed out of our tents to the sound of owls hooting! Yep, we were up THAT early!! Luckily, the morning-time views made us forget the cold!

I packed the fun hats that Cheryl had knit and I am SO thankful I did. I think Wes and I were completely cozy in our coats and hats - and I'll even go so far as to say we looked pretty darn cute, too!

Throughout the weekend, we really were surrounded by beautiful views and I think we all took several photos of the lake alone! The fall colors and Saturday's sunset made it fairly irresistable!

Another site I enjoyed was something fairly special to see... Brad and Wes often snuck off to read together several times. I think if you look reaaalllly closely in this photo you can see it - a special bond is forming.

Saturday we took an extended walk on a few nature trails. Unfortunately, this was BEFORE we got to see a map of the trails... It's ok though, we lived to tell the tale!

As you can see, Wes kept up with the grown-ups and sometimes even outpaced us!

Along the way, we got up close and personal with nature... When it was lovely scenery we didn't mind, but when it was a spider web attacking the lead walker it wasn't so well received!!

Once we found our way to the end of the trail, we had to document our success!

We all had a wonderful time, at some wonderful food, and saw wonderful things. Sunday morning came too quickly, but I think we all packed up quickly once we envisioned turning on our heaters and climbing into our beds! We will all be looking forward to another camping trip soon... But next time we'll pack more blankets!!!
I'd say it was a picture perfect weekend! What do you think?

Saturday, October 31, 2009

The Bulb Post

As I mentioned in yesterday's post, we won two cases of bulbs in the Fall Fest cake walk. So, as promised, I will show you all the awesome flowers I hope to plant in the near future.

As you scroll through, you'll see the quantity and price on each package - so keep that in mind as you see just what we got for FREE! (AND, keep in mind that this is only half the prize since Cheryl also got two cases of all these flowers)

On some of the flowers, if the photo I scanned doesn't do it justice, you'll find a link to a better image :)


First up, there were a few varieties of daffodils:

In addition to the daffodils, there were a variety of tulips
These are called
"Happy Generation"

And there was a mixed set of tulips, as well.

And, a bag of 40 Ile De France Tulips

The next tulips are aptly named Beauty of Spring

There were also 30 Anemone bulbs for each of us... I've never grown them before but they look like my kind of flowers :)

There was one set of Dutch Iris bulbs and Cheryl left those with me since she already has Irises in her garden.

Another special flower that I am *really* excited about is the Ranunculus Linda gave me a pot of Purple Ranunculus awhile back and I LOVED them until I killed them. So... Now that I have 15 "bulbs" to plant and I *will* be victorious! I just found this article that makes it sound so easy to grow them :) and I know Wes will love the color:

Another new flower I'm looking forward to growing is the Paperwhite. I love how people plant them in
clear containers and let the roots show. So beautiful - and I hear they smell lovely too. I want to plant them somewhere in a glass in the kitchen.

One of the plants that I am most thrilled to try is the Hyacinth! They're beautiful, fragrant and they come in PURPLE!

Now, we are drawing to a close - I've saved the two most spectacular surprises for last.
They are both a variety of tulip...
First up, we have the beautiful Abba Tulip
And, lastly, the most striking, most surprising treat in the box (there was only ONE package so I split it with Cheryl)
The gorgeous and unique...
Queen of the Night Tulip
Isn't it so beautiful?

So, now you know what I'll be up to in the next few weeks!! Bring on the sunshine because I want to go play in my garden!


Happy Halloween!

I took this photo of a business downtown - they went all out!
I'm waiting for Trick or Treaters while Brad and Wes are travelling throughout the neighborhood in search of goodies - or should I say, Pirate's Booty!! AR!

But, before it was All Hallow's Eve, we had a day full of TREATS!

Brad's parents came to spend the day and we got a big BIG treat.... Here's a hint:

That's right, we got an extra painter for the day!! and you can tell by Brad's smile that he was thankful for the help :)

Meanwhile, Cheryl and I took Wes to our Church's Fall Festival. He was super good at all the games - and I know this because he played ALL the games!! :)

There also was an awesome prize at the cake walk station! They were giving away CASES of Van Zyverden Bulbs!!

So Cheryl and I did the Cake Walk *several* times! :) We each got two cases :) And let me tell you - the bulbs will have to be a post all their own!! I can't wait to show you all the awesome flowers I'll be planting soon!

In the meantime, I'll leave you with our sweet family portrait at our haunted front door!

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Happy Fall, Ya'll !!

Well, judging by the cooler temperatures, I'd say it's officially Fall! We've been keeping busy which is weird because I had expected our weekends to clear up after Summer ended. Turns out, we're still just as hectic as before :)

One thing we're really enjoying is working in AWANA. I've been working with 3rd and 4th grade girls as they learn their bible verses and Brad works with 5th grade boys. We both think our group is the best and I think we're both right :)

Here is the whole group gathered together to listen to Mr. Josh and Mrs. Mandi:

You know, I don't think this picture quite does it justice! The kids multiply when it's game time! Haha

Maybe this short video will better convey the boisterous fun we have :) After we go over verses in small groups, the boys all meet together and the girls all meet together for a devotional. Our girls sing several fun songs before we start - In this video you can see some of my 3rd and 4th graders in the foreground... Hint, they're the little ones :)

I'm sure by now you've all heard that Wes got an award in AWANA - He was the Clubber of the Month. That means he had perfect attendance, behaved well, and recited more than the average amount of verses! He has really put alot of effort into his memorization and we are all SO PROUD! We can't say enough good things about this! So, instead, I'll let his big grin do the talking:

That picture was taken right after he found out he had won the award :) Earlier that week he had also brought home several A+ papers in his school work so he was basking in the glow for several weeks. He summed it up by saying, "Lots of A's... Clubber of the Month... I've been being so good. What are you going to do with me?" :) Indeed!

We've been so blessed with how well he's turning out and I couldn't ask for more :)

Oh, and I told you about his AR goal, right? He exceeded it this past semester and he's already doing well on this semester's goal :)

Ok, I doubt ya'll can handle much more Blatant Mom Bragging!

So, I'll move right along to today's update :) I have had a lovely day even though it's chilly outside. With the drop in temperatures, it's time to start bundling up and staying cozy ... Here is Wes enjoying Granny's latest creation:

I may not be pleased with how the forecast has been going... But, as the weather has cooled and the rain increased, our roses have just gone into overload! We've had at least a dozen blooms from the white bush and a slightly smaller crop of pink roses. And each one is more beautiful than the last... Case in point, what could be more beautiful or peaceful than this:

But, back to today... After lunch, Wes and I went to a local nursery and stocked up on flowers! I had been wanting some purple mums lately and maybe a few other flowers. This particular nursery did NOT disappoint! I found lots of wonderful things for our garden:

Sorry this first one is such a blurry photo (even though the soil is in perfect focus...)

These snapdragons are going to be absolutely gorgeous and Wes approves of the fun color. I know Brad always liked them when he was younger so I think everyone will enjoy them:

For a clearer picture of how they'll turn out click here

I also wanted to add some pansies. Last time we planted pansies was at Shenandoah and they were hard to see. I think a lighter color will show up better so I got a flat of these:

Now, about those mums I wanted. Wal-mart had several around 1 foot tall and a few that were a foot and a half...

But nothing could beat the ones I found today!!! As soon as I spotted them I snatched them up!!
I think they make a lovely addition to our front porch, don't you?

Happy Fall, Ya'll !!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

A Day at the Flying Field

We have had a wonderful weekend and we capped it all off this afternoon by trying something new :)

Brad was working out in the yard or garage and heard the RC planes buzzing around across the highway so we decided it was time to go scope them out. We hopped in the car and drove right over. The guys at the flying field were all friendly and didn't mind having an audience :) They even put on a fun show. We saw really cool planes doing really cool tricks and even got to see a couple helicopters.

Of course, I always take my trusty camera with me - So I got a few still shots AND a few videos. I'll go ahead and warn you that the video quality is (at times) on par with some shady convenience store surveillance camera... But it'll give you an idea of the fun things we saw :)

Here we all are seated on Brad's trunk, enjoying the show :)

Wes needed his "binoculars" to stare into the bright sky :)

He claimed he was bored but these giggles tell a different story :)

We had beautiful blue skies all afternoon. Later, a few gray clouds popped up but we saw our entire show before then.

And, as we all know, anytime you go see something fun like all the heli tricks and plane aerobatics, you're bound to see something bad happen too - And right before we left, we witnessed this "landing"

All in all, we had a wonderful time and picture perfect weather. The pilots all warned us that they would encourage us to buy a plane in no time... Watching Brad and Wes watch the planes, I think the pilots might be right ;)

This was really impressive to us. The plane was just flying along and then went vertical and hovered there before going on about its flight :)

Monday, August 31, 2009

Fun Sunday School Group, Great Birthday, and one EVIL Caterpiller

Well, it's sad to say it, but summer is coming to an end. And with the end of summer we transition back into the daily grind.

For Wes, that means going back to school. He's SO grown up now that he's a third grader :) He loves his teacher so far.... Then again, she IS tall and blonde so I shouldn't be surprised ;)

In addition to school starting, Wes has started something else - AWANA

This is his first year in the program, but he's already really excited about it! They go Wednesday nights and have a blast... Here's a photo from the kick-off party:

Little crowded, huh?? Don't worry - We're saving up for a new building already!! Wes is all the way in the back, to the right, directly below the balloons with a blue shirt on :)

AWANA is on Wednesday nights... On Sunday nights, we've been having

 Yes, I'm proud of my logo... But I'm also really pleased with our church. We've all had such a positive experience with this new program. It ran from mid-July through August and has just come to an end. I'm sad to see it go, but I look forward to seeing us all come back together with renewed energy and with the newfound friendships. I hope we can hold on to the close-knit feeling we've established and maybe we can continue to spend time together in God's word, too.

Wes will miss church in the home for a different reason. He enjoyed spending time with his friends and PLAYING! John and Kristi's lake may have influenced him a little, too...

Oh, and this past Thursday was my 28th birthday :) -not sure how many more years I'll be sharing my age ;) Brad sweetly brought home dinner on Thursday and he went all out:

Then Friday, there was another surprise at dinnertime... Herb and Cheryl came over and took us out for Mexican!! It was a wonderful surprise and I was thoroughly spoiled :D

In fact, the entire weekend was splendid :) On Saturday we had a cookout and several friends were able to come over from the Jackson area :) We had some awesome burgers and then played Catchphrase. A great time was had by all!

Today I was watering my flowers and had a bit of a run in with an Evil Caterpillar! He was on my rose bush and when my knuckle brushed against him, I assumed I had scraped a thorn... Then the burning started! It was so painful that I ran in to make Brad investigate what I had found. Then, of course, we photographed it and killed it... And, then I googled it... And the culprit was a saddleback caterpillar

The little hairs are hollow and connected to a venom pouch inside its body. The symptoms include pain, sweeling, redness/rash, and nausea. I can personally vouch for all those symptoms and they're quite uncomfortable :( Hopefully it'll heal before tomorrow because right now I'm not feeling too great and my hand is a little numb-ish :(

Friday, August 21, 2009

Photo Time

Hello All! I don't have much new to report from our neck of the woods. But, now that I'm acclimated to my commute I thought I'd share a few fun images from the downtown area :) Enjoy!

Here is a lovely church and I snapped this photo because the blue sky and clouds made it so picturesque

This was a beautiful image from my morning commute last week :)

Brad and I have noticed an interesting trend around our new hometown... We've seen McDonalds, The Flintstones and now... Skittles in this unique format:

These two businesses REALLY shouldn't advertise next to each other :)

I love love love this old sign downtown - The paint is perfectly peeled!

This building is one of the more ... um... interesting ones I've spotted so far:


This is a neat view of the bridge they're repairing. Can you see the large chunk that's missing?


This car repair shop has a fun sign - It says, "Home of the Ugly Bunch" :)


I love this sign too - I think it's awesome! I want to have Brad take Black and White photos for us to hang in our home! Then again, full color would be fun too!


I'm saving the very best image for last.
You're gonna think I photshopped this one, but I assure you that it's 100% real and not at all touched up or manipulated.
This photo was taken August 11th and I was so taken aback by the beauty that I promptly texted my two neighbor friends and told them they HAD to come out and see this: