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Thursday, June 26, 2008

Father's Day Gift

Brian's Father's Day gift was a collage of several pictures that my darlin' friend, Cindy, took.

Brian gets the gift of the photos and the gift of beautiful children.  Below are some that didn't make the cut, but still very cute.  (I've decided now I want Cindy's camera.)

No matter how great the camera, it's still pert near impossible to get them all looking the same direction at the same time!


Wednesday, June 25, 2008

More Holiday World Pics for the Fam

This is Chase waving at his Daddy.

If you look closely, you can see Brian on the right about four rows from the back.  MAN, Karen has a good camera!  We were flyyyyyying on this roller coaster!
Check out Sammie's expression.
Is she hating it? Loving it?
I think she's loving it!  I'm still loving Karen's camera.
So big!
This is the arcade where we spent about half an hour while it poured the rain.  We also spent about five bucks for them to "win" a ten cent toy.  They were so excited.
I'm not sure who's more excited, Chase or Dad!
Jenna's tall and beautiful like her mamma.  Sammie is short like her....oh forget it.

Obligatory nap in the stroller.
Chase gave it up right before we left that night.  Ava kept poking him in the cheek.
I still can't believe Ava didn't try to stand up and get out of the boat.

This fighter pilot thing is serious business.

Isn't she just the prettiest thing you ever saw?  I wish I looked that graceful riding a seahorse.


Monday, June 23, 2008

You Had to Be There

I've used that line when my silly jokes flop.  Or when the story I'm telling just brings a blank stare.  I'm afraid that's what this blog post will be like.

When we were young(er) amusement parks were a thrill. I mean, a real thrill.  We'd stand in line for hours to scream our heads off for a one minute roller coaster ride.  Or the water park's longest slide would keep us going up and down and up and down as we went on it time and again.  

Well, we met one of my college room mates (Karen) and her family (Jerry, Jenna and Joshua) at Holiday World yesterday for a different kind of thrill.  How we define "thrill" seems to change over time.  Thrills yesterday were more like being excited that Sammie was FINALLY tall enough to ride some of the big rides and when Chase (after two hours at the water park) finally said he wanted to go down the "big" water slide again and again.  He decided he loved it about five minutes before it was time to go.

"Thrill" seems like such a strong word, but that's really what it was.  Being so excited that THEY were so excited.  Even "Wee Little Ava" was big enough to ride some things all by herself.  My mushy mommy eyes could hardly stay clear to focus the camera. 

Sammie and sweet Jenna have been friends from the moment they met a couple years ago. Reminded me of how quickly Karen and I hit it off that first week of school. The girls held hands a LOT.  I wonder if they'll still be friends in 20 years?  (Yes, sweetie, it's been that long.) 
However friendly they were to share rides, when it came time, no one was interested in sharing ice cream.  
Sammie asked for a large cone.  I politely said a small should be sufficient. HA!  They must've had an Arnold makin' those cones!
Shelby is a sweet IU girl we've met through church.  We dragged her along to help with the kiddos and she was a big, fun and awesome addition to the party!  On the ride home, Ava kept saying, "Shelby, Shelby, Shelby."  She'd hold her hand out for Shelby to reach up from the back seat so they could hold hands.  
Karen's family came home with us last night and at breakfast this morning Grandaddy started asking about our college days.  His first question: "Was she a good student?"  Of course, Karen said, "Yes, she was a good student."  Then he asked, "But was she a good girl?"  Karen grinned and said, "Yes, she was a very good girl."

I say that the sign of a good friend is one who either forgets the ugly or isn't afraid to lie about it!  I made Jerry take a picture of us sitting down, so I wouldn't feel so danged short.  It didn't work.
So, I know the re-telling is kind of lame and the pictures do much more justice, but truly, this was a day that you just had to BE there to know how much fun we had.  There's just nothing like great friends and great family time.

Three lessons:

1) Never lose track of a great friend; they're too rare and precious!
2) Don't be afraid to redefine some words in your vocabulary.
3) Don't ever ask the Arnold's to share their ice cream.


Thursday, June 19, 2008

Hey, Grandpa! What's for supper?

Anybody ever watch "Hee Haw?"  That was traditional Saturday night entertainment at my house, much to my mother's chagrin. It catered to (or perhaps shaped) my love of classic country music and deep fried foods.  At some point in every show, everyone would holler, "Hey, Grandpa!  What's for supper?"  Then Grandpa Jones, a fellow Kentuckian, would pop up and list off the awfullest mess of stuff you ever heard. Things like possum tails and collard greens. Once he finished, everyone would pipe in, "Yumm, yum!"  I remember it so vividly!

Fade to present day.  I love to cook.  I have a husband who likes great food, but is just as happy with cereal for supper, so I don't really cook much anymore.  We had an opportunity last Saturday night to have a terrific couple over for dinner. I do try to make these events special in some way, so I'm sharing the menu.  And, I'll share in the future if it seems like the crowd might say, "Yum, yum!"

The best part of this party was after the kids went to bed.  We took our dessert downstairs and while Dan played the piano (he's an excellent musician and great composer), I sang and we were still going strong 3 1/2 hours later when our spouses were nodding off!  So fun!

So, here's what was for supper:

Mom's Marinated Shrimp
Spinach Potato Soup w/ Tomato Base
Sweet N Tangy Grilled Chicken
Five Minute Salad: Goat Cheese, Herb and White Bean
Fresh Farm Bread (from our local Bakehouse)
Strawberry Shortcake w/ Cream Cheese Custard

I served the shortcake in individual dessert dishes remeniscent of the Depression-era.  I just got them that morning for two dollars at a yard sale!  

You'll have to leave a comment if you want any of the recipes!


Wednesday, June 18, 2008

No mas. No mas, baby. No mas.

Two things you should know about us:  1) Ava is our picky eater and 2) we are an egg family. However, the two mix in a strange way.  For instance, if I make a fried egg for Ava, she turns her head to the side really fast and says, "Nnnnnnnoh."  But if you look for her 'long about 8:30 in the morning, you'll find her standing in the chair next to Grandaddy begging (not hard) for his breakfast. It must be the sausage gravy that she really likes.I'm not sure which is funnier to me.  The fact that when it's all gone he says to her, "no mas" about a dozen times.  No mas means "no more" in Spanish. (Remember, I told you he liked the Westerns with Mexicans, so he's picked up useful phrases like that over the years.)
Or, if it's when he notices the crumbs on her mouth and says "Wipe yo' mouth, honey."  Then she pulls a kleenex out of his shirt pocket and wipes his mouth because he's got half an egg hanging from it that he didn't even notice.


Sunday, June 15, 2008

He's "That" Dad

Brian's the kind of Dad that the kids come running to hug when he walks in from work every day, because he always greets them with a cheerful hello and big hugs.

Brian's the kind of Dad who invents games to play with the kids.  The circle game and the flip game are two of their favorites.  It doesn't take a score card, because everyone wins.  The game board is built in, because it's Daddy himself!  The kids love those games because he's entirely focused on them for those moments in time.

Brian's the kind of Dad who doesn't claim to know it all.  He passes on what he's learned...explaining the "why" behind any command or principle, so they'll be able to make good choices in similar situations in the future. And, he admits when he's made a mistake and will quickly apologize to the kids if he's been harsh or has lost his temper.  He doesn't just say he's sorry, he asks them for forgiveness.

Brian's the kind of Dad who takes each kid for a ride on the tractor come mowing day and even let's them help him paint (KNOWING it will end in a big mess), just because they want to "help Daddy."  (I'll remind them of this in ten years when they neither want to mow NOR paint.)

Brian's the kind of Dad who continues to learn and grow as a man, because he knows his children are watching and learning and he truly desires to be the best influence on them he possibly can.  

As his wife, I know he's not perfect.  But his kids are pretty sure he stays up later than them, just so he can tell the stars when to quit twinkling and the sun when it's time to start a new day.

Brian's doing his part to point Samantha, Chase and Ava to the Father who really does "give orders to the morning and shows dawn its place ( Job 38:12)." Brian knows there is no better father figure than Abba Himself.

I love that he's that kind of Dad.