Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween!

Our merry band of trick-or-treaters! The puppies did pretty well interacting with strangers in strange outfits. They even got a doggie treat! The boys had a great time collecting as much candy as possible while Tommie & I took turns handing out candy at our house!
After seeing Randi's post, I just had to try this "eyeball" drink. It was a bit too lime-y, so I added some orange juice and a bit more club soda. Yummy!

I did it!!

I just finished sewing a custom window treatment! I couldn't find curtains to match our decor that I really liked (and I had to leave my fave ones in our old house), so last weekend when my mom was here - we went shopping & bought the fabric & supplies to make curtains. She helped me get it all set up & figure out what I was doing... but I actually made one without having to call her for help! Yippee!! Now that I've got one done, I've got 4 more awaiting completion... :)

I'm Blessed!

I am so blessed to be a part of our small group! They have welcomed us with open arms and smiling faces! We had a Girls' Night Out last night - we went to dinner & did some Christmas shopping. They are so fun to be around & I feel very comfortable with each of them. I am just starting to get to know them, but I hope we have many, many more fun times together like last night!! Thanks, girls!

Trunk or Treat Preview Party

Our church hosts a large Trunk or Treat event each Halloween - complete with classic cars (hence the trunk!), carnival rides, a live band and lots and lots of candy. We are going to spend Halloween evening with our neighbors, but we did catch a sneak peek of the event at the preview party on Wednesday. There was no candy and only a few classic cars, but the carnival rides & bounce houses were free! The boys had a blast!

A clown was wandering around handing out free cotton candy.
My favorite pic of the night... I took this of Franklin & Harrison while we were on a spinning carnival ride.
I love the look of terror on Harrison's face! The ride was awesome for me & the boys!

Good thing this slide had three lanes - all three boys got to race at the same time!

My favorite car of all times - a classic VW bug! How appropriate that she & I were both wearing pink. I'm in LOVE!

Monday, October 27, 2008

Mom & Dad Visit

My mom & dad visited us last weekend. As a birthday present for both Tommie & I, they took us out to a fancy-schmancy dinner. We had a great time! After dinner, we stopped at the riverboat casino to take a look around. I've never been to a casino, but I can say that it was disappointing compared to all of the Oceans movies! I didn't realize that they allow smoking on the casino floor, so we were all ready to get out of there after about 20 minutes. We did play one nickel slot machine just for fun & put one dollar into it. It lasted us about 10 minutes or so - we took turns pushing the button. Then, we went home to play cards! When we play cards, we usually pair up - men vs. women. Too bad we weren't betting on the cards at home - my mom & I would have been able to do some serious shopping with all of our good luck!! ha, ha
I love when my mom & dad visit. They take time to spend with each of the boys and help us with any projects we need help with. My dad is a pretty good handy-man and my mom is an expert on all things fabric, sewing & quilting.

Mom - helping me with my curtain sewing project!
Dad - playing cards with Franklin!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

2 more rooms painted & DONE!

Boys' Bathroom:


Harrison's Bedroom:




My Art Style

My friend, Amanda, had this on her blog... so I stole her idea & took the quiz myself. It was interesting to see the results. What do you think - did they figure me out?

Your result for What Your Taste in Art Says About You Test...

Non-conformist, Visionary, and Independent

11 Abstract, -15 Islamic, -14 Ukiyo-e, 7 Cubist, 2 Impressionist and -28 Renaissance!

Abstract art uses a visual language of form, color and line to create a composition which exists independently of what may appear to others as visual realities. Western had been underpinned by the logic of perspective and an attempt to reproduce an illusion of visible reality. It allowed the progressive thinking artists to show a different side to the world around them. By the end of the 19th century many artists felt a need to create a 'new kind of art' which would encompass the fundamental changes taking place in technology, science and philosophy. Abstract artists created art that was diverse and reflected the social and intellectual turmoil in all areas of Western culture.

People that chose abstract art as their preferred artform tend to be visionaries. They see things in the world around them and in people that others may miss because they look beyond what is visual only with the eye. They rely on their inner thoughts and feelings in dealing with the world around them instead of on what they are told they should think and feel. They feel freed from the tendancy to be bound by traditional thought and experiences. They look more toward their own ideas and experiences than what they are told by their religious upbringing or from scientific evidence. They tend to like to prove theories themselves instead of relying on the insight or ideas of others. They are not bound by common and mundane, but like to travel and have new experiences. They value intelligence, but they also enjoy a challenge. They can be rather argumentative when they are being forced or feel as if they are being forced to conform.

Take the quiz here!

Painting Sneak Preview

I finished painting the boys' bathroom and Harrison's bedroom yesterday! When I get everything put up on the walls, I'll post before & after photos. For now, you get a preview of my helpers! The boys did not have school on Monday (Fall Break), so I enlisted their help...

Monday, October 20, 2008

1 Year Blog Anniversary

I have officially been blogging for one year! In honor of my 1st year, I completed this tag...

"Official Firsts" Tag:
1st sibling... Owen is the oldest, but both he & Ryan existed when I was born!
1st sport... softball
1st date... Freshman homecoming 1990
1st vacation (that you paid for)... I suppose it would be our honeymoon to Galena, Illinois - I probably helped pay for my senior trip to Disneyworld, but I don't really remember!
1st stitches... swimming pool accident in middle school - 6 stiches to the front of my head (thankfully behind the hairline!)
1st love... Jeff

1st foreign country visited... the Canada side of Niagra Falls
1st child... Franklin
1st car... Chevy Cavalier
1st kiss... (cheek kiss) John on the 6th grade band bus
1st house... 3 bedroom ranch, built in the 50s, 1008 sq. feet, Peoria, Illinois
1st school... Calvert Elementary in Auburn, Nebraska (attended only for kindergarten)
1st husband... (and only!) Tommie
1st music recording... Michael W. Smith Project on cassette tape!

1st surgery... emergency c-section for Harrison's birth
1st passport stamp... don't have a passport!!
1st prom date... Pablo - foreign exchange student my freshman year (wasn't allowed to go to prom, only "after prom party" because my parents were chaperoning!)
1st person you loved that died (that you can remember)... my neighbor, Dick - a wonderful man that lived behind us

1st pet... fish & aquatic frogs
1st college... Western Illinois University
1st job... babysitting
1st plane ride... to Dallas for Tommie's job interview - May 2003
1st friend... my cousin, Joel
1st professional job... secretary at Illinois State University

I'd like to tag Amanda, Randi, Jennifer, Jenny, Amy and anyone else who wants to play! Have fun!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Pumpkin Patch

We visited the local pumpkin patch with our new small group friends! One of the ladies planned ahead and had us all come over to tie dye pumpkin t-shirts ahead of time. It was nice that all of the kids matched, since we don't know everyone's kids that well - we could tell who belonged to our group & who didn't! It was so nice that we went to the patch on a Saturday so Tommie could go. This was the 1st time he's ever been to the pumpkin patch with us! We went through two corn mazes, a small hay maze, played in the hay "castle", went on a hay ride out to the REAL pumpkin patch (vines & everything!) and drank the yummy apple cider! It was a wonderful day!!

The Payne Boys

Look how big they are! (Daddy is helping Truman grow faster!!)

A variety of shots from the day...On the hayride, we saw a strange looking field. What is it?
BROCCOLI! I've never seen a broccoli field before...
(and honestly never even thought about how it grows or where it comes from either!)

I'm not sure I've ever been to a "real" pumpkin patch - where the pumpkins grow on vines - not just a bunch of pumpkins laying in a field!

The whole family enjoying a warm fall day.

Didn't God do a beautiful job on His creation?

The whole small group kid crew!

My little pumpkin!

Tommie & I in our matching shirts! ha, ha

The "cool" bus or the short bus?

200th Post!

Wow... I can hardly believe that I've posted 200 times since I started my blog. I remember wondering if anyone would read my blog or if I even wanted anyone to read it. My blog varies from photos of kids activities to deep thoughts - from silly internet tags to book reviews. It is a compilation of things that I think about and do. There is no rhyme or reason. Mostly, my blog is to update our friends & family about our life and to record simple happenings and events for my own memory. I'm glad you stopped by. I'm glad you read it (& hopefully enjoy!). I appreciate your kind & encouraging words when I'm struggling with something or having a rough day. I appreciate your happiness when you are celebrating with me.

In celebration of my 200th post, please leave a comment - even if you simply say "I was here." My goal for this post is to see who, if anyone, I am updating! :) (For this post, I'm allowing anonymous comments also, but it would be nice if you would say who you are...)

Cub Scout Field Day

Tommie took Franklin & Harrison to the Cub Scout Field Day while I took Truman to his flag football game. They had a lot of fun! Their pack rotated through various camping and outdoor fun activities all morning. The day started at 7:30 a.m.!
Tug of war vs. the adults!

Learning about lashing...

Harrison doing the zip line!

Franklin winning the sack race!

Pack 369!

Friday, October 17, 2008

It's Official!

I'm officially a resident of the great state of Indiana. I have my new driver's license and my plates have been ordered. It feels strange - it has been nice to hang onto my Texas plates/license as a reminder of where we came from. I will no longer stand out in the carpool lane as being "not from here". And I think that can be a good thing. We also got a land line, so now we do not have to clarify that our area code is different every time we give out our phone number. In our area, you only have to dial the last 7 numbers for a local call. A piece of my heart will always be in Texas, but I'm learning to embrace my new state.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Thinking of those who grieve...

Today, I am thinking of and praying for my dear friends who have suffered the loss of a child. I cannot fathom the depth of their grief, but on this national day of remembrance, I want them to know that I remember and my heart hurts with them today. I love you - A.H., A.P., J.H., V.W., M.F., K.Y., E.W., B.E., L.Z., D.R., E.O. and many more...

Monday, October 13, 2008

Cub Scout Campout & Lincoln History

Our Cub Scout Pack had a campout this weekend at Lincoln State Park. We joined them in the fun after Truman's football game Saturday morning. Lincoln State Park was a fairly short drive from our house (less than an hour) and was absolutely gorgous & a lot of fun. I'm sure we will be returning for another campout soon.

Around the campsite during down time, each person found something that was fun & entertaining to keep themselves busy. Truman enjoyed playing tug of war with the tree & a rope.
Franklin & Amy read books & enjoyed nature.

Tommie helped Harrison with his shoe and played football with the boys.
Harrison dug in the dirt and found cool bugs, like this walking stick.
With the pack, we went on a hike to the Fire Tower. It was about a 1 1/2 to 2 mile hike round trip. We stopped to see all sorts of interesting creatures along the way. Only those who were super-brave climbed the many, many steep steps on the creepy, unstable fire tower. It was scary, but our whole family made it safely to the top & back down. The view from the top was worth any ounce of fear we experienced. You could see for miles and miles and enjoy some fall colors. Tommie even spent some extra time with the wasps at the top to find a geocache - success!

No, those aren't ants. Those are the people at the bottom of the tower...
Pack 369 on the hike!

On Sunday, after we packed up camp, we headed out to the Lincoln sites. President Abraham Lincoln was raised in Indiana from age 7 to age 21. We stopped to visit his mother's grave and the Lincoln farm. They have rebuilt the cabin and homestead as it was in Lincoln's days. It was not a museum, so the boys were allowed to touch everything - yippee! We had to hike about 1800 yards (not sure what that translates to in mileage) to see everything.

My favorite photo of the weekend - a young Abraham Lincoln, perhaps? :)