Our wild and crazy Christmas!

Friday, December 28, 2007
Our Christmas started on the Friday before the 25th. We hosted our annual Stocking Stuffer Party with several of our friends. We had about 25 people here, and we all pigged out on cookies and pie. Our stocking stuffer party is unique as far as I know. Every year my mom and I head out the week after Christmas and snatch up all of the stocking stuffers we can find for under $1 or $2. We usually have five boys, five girls, eleven women and ten men. We look for stuff for everyone. This year we had gag gifts and all kinds of other goodies. Most of the guests bring stocking stuffers, too, so our big camoflage (yes, we're rednecks!) stockings are filled to the top.

On Saturday we had our Christmas at Nana and Papaw Gary's house. The food was great, the kids got too many presents and we all went home happy! What could be better?

On Sunday we went to my Uncle Bob's house to celebrate with him and his family. We ate chili dogs and talked and talked and talked. We hardly ever get together with them and I just hate that... They live in Sherwood, which is only about 45 minutes from here, but somehow we never meet up...

Monday we didn't do too much. It was Christmas Eve, but it was a perfect day to relax. We had to get ready for Santa!!!

Santa came to our house sometime Monday night. We all slept in, but once the kids were up it was all fun! Katie got a "Streak -n- Style" so that her hair can be all different colors, a set of hot rollers, a cutting tool for her artistic endeavors, and some clothes. Reese got a couple of toys and some great clothes. Her favorite gift from Santa was a 'Fridge DJ' radio made by Leap Frog. She hasn't put it down since she got it! The girls both got a computer to share. Santa took my mom's old computer, painted it pink and set it up with all their games. They loved it. My mom and daddy came up for breakfast, and we spent the rest of the day just hanging out.

Katie's Christmas program at school

Saturday, December 15, 2007
Katie's class did several, and I do mean SEVERAL renditions of Jingle Bells for their Christmas program. It was actually pretty cute. They did a 'Country Jingle Bells'(Jangle bells, jangle bells...), a 'Rock n Roll Jingle bells', a 'Soul Jingle Bells', a 'Spiritual Jingle Bells', an Indian 'Jingle Bells' and several others. Katie was one of Mrs. Ellis' "ding-a-lings". She got to ring the handbells for the song "The First Noel". She did really great! My pictures weren't very good, but here is the one that halfway came out...

So be good for goodness STEAKS!

Monday, December 10, 2007
Katie is getting ready for her Christmas program at school. If I have to hear Jingle Bells one more time I think I will lose my mind...

I have heard some interesting lyrics come out of her mouth. My favorite is her rendition of "Santa Claus is Coming to Town".

"You better watch out, you better not cry, you better not pout I'm telling you why! Santa Clause is coming to town.

He sees you when you're sleeping, he knows when you're awake, he knows if you've been bad or good, so be good for goodness STEAKS!"

I love it.

Here are a few other "Katie-isms" that crack us up.

"Gracias!" - to the Asian girl in the Chinese restaurant. Katie thought she was Mexican...

"Are you going to take down her door, too?" After I slammed my bedroom door during a fight with David.

"Don't go in there Daddy, she's gonna yell at you!" After the same fight...

"We've been to Miami, is Papa Nort going to HIS-ami?"

"Daddy, stop driving my mama crazy!" On the way to the VA Tech stadium when David was backseat driving.

"Mama-Day" - What Katie called David for the first two years of her life... Never Daddy, always Mama-Day...

"I want to watch a woooo-beeeee!" It's movie time!

But you promised you would put the dot com on my computer, too! Katie talking to David about adding internet access to her computer.

But, mama, I just can't help it! I'm a talking machine! Katie after getting in trouble for talking in class.

I will add more as I remember them, so keep checking this post!

We have our Christmas lights up!

Friday, December 7, 2007
Today is the day... I am going to hang our outdoor Christmas lights. The first thing I have to do is make sure all of the kids are unconscious. Both of the Reeses are down for a nap. (I babysit a little boy named Reese along with my Reese. It's like Reese squared!)

Now that they're asleep I am headed outside to tackle this project..... I bought new C9 lights to outline the perimeter of the roof. I have about seven strands of these lights. Hope it'll be enough! The first time I hung them, I got everything up and was ready to attach the extension cord for power. Well, I plugged it in, then dropped the cord. All of the lights fell off domino style, so I'm back to square one. I finally got them all up on the third try, but every time I plug in the cord all of the fuses blow. I guess I plugged too many in at one time. Back to the drawing board!

I finally got all of the C9 lights glowing, and now I'm working on the twinkle lights that will go on our front porch columns. The good thing is that all of the lights work, the bad thing is that I never dreamed it would take so many lights to cover those columns! Even though the pictures don't show it, all of our lights were multicolored, not white.

The finishing touch was our door wreath. I don't have a good Christmas wreath, so I improvised... I took a round swim ring and blew it up, then I wrapped white tinsel all around the ring until it was completely covered. After that, I took glue dots and attached plastic mulitcolored Christmas balls to the tinsel. It turned out cute, but when the weather got really cold all of the air went out of my swim ring. My wreath was a little saggy, but we just pretended it was supposed to be shaped like an oval!

The Turner Christmas party - Park City, UT

Monday, December 3, 2007
Well, the time is here for our first Christmas party of the season! I can't wait, it should be a lot of fun. This year David's employer is flying us to Park City, Utah, for the party.

I flew into Salt Lake City on Thursday night so that I could be there in time for the party on Friday night. For some reason, there isn't a decent flight out of Little Rock headed to SLC until late in the evening. I met David at the airport and we headed out to our hotel. I was starving, so soon after we dropped off our bags I was ready to go. We walked to a nearby restaurant and had a mediocre meal. I wanted to go to 'The Melting Pot' in SLC, but David wasn't interested. Bummer...

Saturday morning we headed out to our hotel in Park City. It was called the Hotel Park City, and it was FABULOUS! The bellman took our bags and we went inside to see the hotel. The first thing I noticed when we walked in was the massive rock fireplace in the lobby. It was amazing. There was also a huge picture window looking out on the area behind the hotel. It was beautiful.

Our rooms weren't ready yet, so we decided to go downtown for lunch with some of David's fellow employees. We ate at a little cafe. Everything was great there, but the best was coming! By the time we left the restaurant it was snowing like crazy! Living in Arkansas we don't see much snow, and we never see snow like this! Some of the flakes were the size of a silver dollar pancake. It was great! The sidewalks soon became slippery, but we decided to shop a little anyway. After David and I walked the length of Main street we were cold and ready to go back to the hotel. The hotel shuttle picked us up and carried us back to the warmth of the lobby. Our room was ready, to we went ahead and checked in.

Let's see, what can I say about the rooms!?! I have never stayed in a nicer place. There was a fireplace in our living room, a balcony that overlooked the (heated) pool, a big whirlpool bathtub and a separate shower. Everything was gorgeous. Our bed was set up so that we dould see the view lying down. We also had a microwave, a fridge, a DVD player, a dishwasher, a washer, a dryer and a small stove. It was so nice to go home with a suitcase full of clean clothes after our weekend away!

The company Christmas party was fun. The drinks were free and there were tons of people taking full advantage of that! David and I lasted until about 11pm, then we decided to turn in for the night. We're just not the party animals that we used to be. I guess we're getting old!

Saturday turned out to be a pretty sorry day. David woke up with some kind of stomach flu, so we didn't do anything. I did go to the spa and get a hot stone massage. It felt good, but I have yet to find a massage therapist as good as the one here in Searcy. She's amazing, and she's ruined me for everyone else! I was disappointed to spend over $100 (almost $200) on a massage that didn't loosen me up. Oh well, another lesson learned!

We did make it out to the Blind Dog Grill for sushi and seafood at dinner time. I guess that was the real highlight of our day...

Sunday morning we had to catch our shuttle at 7am to go to the airport, so we were up early. The flight home was uneventful, and we were glad to see the girls after a weekend away.

Here are some pics of the Hotel Park City.

David in front of the hotel.

The Christmas tree behind the hotel.

The view from our balcony.

The kitchen in our suite.

The fireplace in our suite.

I am SO ticked off!

Wednesday, November 28, 2007
I am SO mad! My mom got fired from her job this week. It's just insane. She's been at White County Medical Center for twelve years, and they fired her over something so ethically wrong it just makes me want to scream! Anyway, here's what happened.

On November 25, 2007 , after another New Life Center nursery nurse was floated to Station 3-South and was subsequently instructed to turn in her badge and go home, my mom was sent to that unit. Because of her lack of orientation to the unit, her unfamiliarity with the medical conditions and diagnoses of the patients on that unit and unfamiliarity with the medications which would typically be prescribed for these types of patients she informed the charge nurse that she did not feel comfortable with the assignments of doing assessments and giving medications, but that she would gladly do anything else she could to assist in caring for these patients.

She believes in part because of the frustration already experienced by these nurses in dealing with the previous New Life Center nurse, no consideration was given as to what she might be able to do to help and she was told to call the House Supervisor.

She talked with Amanda Kiihnl, R.N., and informed her that she did not feel competent to do assessments and give medications. Amanda stated, “I understand”, and said she would call April Fulton, R.N.,(my mom's supervisor) and call mom back. Charlotte, the day shift supervisor, called mom back saying that she was to go home but not to turn in her badge. After reporting to the charge nurse that she had been instructed to go home, she left the unit.

My mother did not refuse to float. She arrived on the unit in a friendly, accommodating frame of mind. No one introduced themselves and no one offered a brief tour of the unit to familiarize her with the environment. When informed of what she was expected to do, she expressed her concern about her competency in assessing and medication administration. Since she refused to perform these tasks, no effort was made to consider how she might otherwise be able to assist. She was simply told to call the supervisor.

The Arkansas State Board of Nursing has addressed this issue in the Arkansas State Board of Nursing Rules and Regulation, Chapter 7, Section XV, number 6, stating that unprofessional conduct includes performing or attempting to perform nursing techniques and/or procedure in which the nurse is untrained by experience or education, and practicing without the required professional supervision." An elaboration of this rule was published in the ASBN Update publication of the Arkansas State Board of Nursing in July 2001, stating that "a nurse is accountable for informing a supervisor when an assignment includes nursing techniques or procedures for which she is not trained. One part of the training is an orientation to the unit and another part is the knowledge, skills and abilities to safely perform the assigned tasks."

Mom also called the Arkansas State Board of Nursing and spoke with Deborah Jones, who is the Assistant Director of Nursing Practice. After mom gave her a synopsis of the event that occurred and her work history, Deborah suggested reading the above rules and observed that as a Nursery nurse she should not be expected to perform assessments on these types of adult patients. Deborah did say that it would be appropriate for her to take off orders, receive orders from physicians, do vital signs, IVs on pediatric patients and take medical histories, etc.

As a nursery nurse, primarily assigned to well and sick baby nursery for the past 24 ½ years, Mom felt that she was personally and professionally unprepared to perform assessments on adult post-operative and orthopedic patients. She was also concerned that she may, because of her lack of knowledge in this area, put a patient, her hospital and herself at risk by overlooking a potential complication, therefore causing harm to the patient, a possible lawsuit and loss of her license.

After being sent home, my mom agonized for the next two days over what was going to happen to her job, then they called her in. They never gave her a chance to voice her side of the story, they just fired her for "gross insubordination". The administrator who fired her wouldn't even listen to her side of the story. The decision to fire her was already made before she ever arrived for the meeting. That's what makes me the maddest. That just SUCKS.

We thought it would be over once they fired her, but NO... That has not been the case. Mom has applied at several hospitals within a 60 mile radius of Searcy, and more than one has told her that they could not hire her because of a "bad report" from White County Medical Center. We have heard all kinds of rumors about mom "abandoning her patients" (which isn't true because she never took the patients in question), about her "causing a scene at the nursing station" (if you know my mom, you know that isn't true) and everything else you can imagine. It has really put a shadow on her reputation as an excellent nurse, and even though most people know the rumors aren't true, there are always the uninformed who believe what they hear and then embellish upon that.

The bright side of all this is the support that my mom has received from her fellow nurses and the doctors here in town. More than one physician has stopped her when she's been out and about to tell her how sorry they are that WCMC has treated her this way. One of the female pediatricians has been especially vocal about her displeasure over mom's firing. Several of the nurses on her floor have written her notes and sent her cards. From the way it looks, everyone loved her and thought she brought a certain amount of "stability" to the night shift.

I hope this will all be cleared up soon, but until then, I know we'll all make it through. Mom is tougher than they think, and she'll come through this smelling like a rose in the end...

Thanksgiving at OUR house!

Sunday, November 25, 2007
Well, for the second time in a row we have hosted our HUGE family Thanksgiving dinner. I just love it! Finally a party I can call my own and plan MY way! We usually have almost all of the family here. How many of us? Let's count:

Nana (my mom)
Papaw Gary (my daddy)
Alyssa (my sister)
Chris (Alyssa's boyfriend)
Jason (my brother)
Allison (Jason's wife)
Nathan (nephew)
Marsha (family friend)
GranMary (David's mom)
Papaw Les (David's dad)
Barry (David's brother)
Deborah (Barry's wife)
Michael (David's brother)
Serena (friend)
Mikel (Serena's hubby)
Avery (Serena & Mikel's daughter, I babysit her)
Aiden (Serena & Mikel's son)

So it looks like we had about 22 people there. Just the right amount for a good party!

The morning started early for me. I got up and put the turkey in the oven around 5am, then went back to bed for a while. I didn't get to sleep long, though, there was too much to do! I made baked sweet potatoes with pecans, green beans, mashed potatoes, pecan pie, rolls, turkey, ham and a couple of pies. My mom made the dressing and Allison brought a broccoli casserole. It all turned out great and I think everyone had a good time. We all ate til we were stuffed, then we played Battle of the Sexes and Trivial Pursuit. I LOVE the holidays! We never seem to play board games except at Thanksgiving and Christmas. I love board games, too! Maybe one of my resolutions for the new year is to get my family to PLAY more...

Everyone headed home at about dark. I think we were all just worn out. I felt so good about the whole day. There's nothing better than being together with the family, and it's even better when we can be with both families (David's and mine) at one time. I am so grateful for all that I have. I have a great family, on both sides, I have a husband who provides for us so that I can stay home and raise our kids, I have two wild and crazy kids that I love more than anything. I couldn't ask for much more. Life is good.

I only got a couple of pictures that day. I was too busy to stop and take pics!

Searcy Jr. Miss pageant

Sunday, November 18, 2007
My sister won a scholarship! Let's just say, she was AWESOME! She won the "Best Talent" award. I would've probably protested if she hadn't! She sang the song "Popular" from Wicked: The Musical. It was great! Personally I think she should've won the whole pageant, but there were some pretty tough contestants up there.

Overall I thought Alyssa conducted herself with poise and grace. She looked beautiful, and she sang like an angel, or maybe a witch! (Galinda, of course!) I had at least four people come up to me after the show and tell me that she nailed her song dead on. I have to say, I agree. I've seen Wicked two times, and I thought Alyssa could've probably held her own with Kristin Chenowith.

Here are some pics from the big day! Keep in mind, I had been to a Razorback football game, and had to rush home and dress for the pageant in less than 20 minutes, hence the REALLY bad hair!

Alyssa and Chris

Me, Alyssa & Jason

Nathan, Allison, Alyssa and Jason

Papaw, Katie, Alyssa, Nana and Reese

Alyssa with her scholarship certificate

Walking in Memphis

Tuesday, November 13, 2007
I've been meaning to write about my trip to Memphis with my friend, Rhonda, for a while, but I can never get around to it. We had SUCH a great time!

We left Friday afternoon and headed out through the soybean fields. On Highway 64 that's about all you see once you get past Augusta! We got to Memphis and checked into our hotel with absolutely no problems. The place was great! We stayed at the Hampton Inn right off Beale Street. After we got settled in, it was time to go have some fun!

The first thing we did was head down the the casinos. Rhonda had never been to Tunica, so we felt like it was something she should experience at least once. We went into the Gold Strike (I think) with our $40 and a good attitude. We left about forty minutes later without our $40. You know, it just isn't much fun if you're not winning. Rhonda and I both had better things to spend our money on, like FOOD! We headed into Memphis, parked the car and headed out to The Rendezvous. Their ribs are fabulous, and it's just a Memphis kind of thing to do! As stated in the magazine Southern Living, "There are plenty of good places to get barbecue… but if you only have one chance to eat it, it should be at the Rendezvous." I couldn't agree more!

After stuffing ourselves on ribs, we headed over to the Peabody. This is another "must see" in Memphis. We got lucky enough to find the rooftop patio was open, so we headed up there for some fabulous views of Memphis and the Mississippi River. It sounded like Beale Street was jumping, so we left the Peabody after a little more window shopping in the lobby shops, and headed down to where the music was.

Rhonda had never been to Beale Street, so, of course, we had to walk around for a while! It seems like time stands still in this little portion of the world. There are still little boys and teenagers who do backflips for tips down the middle of the street. There are still lots of people out looking for a great time at the Rum Boogie Cafe or B.B. King's. There are still women who insist on wearing high heeled shoes and short skirts to walk down the brick street. We decided they must be insane. We finally settled on a bench in Handy park and listened to a great band. It was a ton of fun, and we didn't make it back to the hotel until after 2am. That's a late night for old women like us!

The next morning we slept late. I mean really late. We didn't even stir until after noon. I think is was actually closer to two. We went down on Beale to have lunch and then walked down Main Street, where the trolley runs. We took a few minutes to take a peek inside the Madison Hotel and were truly impressed. It was beautiful, and the views from the rooftop patio were almost as good as the ones from the Peabody, if not better.

After all the walking, shopping was in order, so we headed to the Wolfchase Galleria Mall. We didn't stay long there because we were hungry again. Neither one of us had ever been to a fondue restaurant, so we decided to try The Melting Pot. It was AWESOME! I really enjoyed eating there. I can't wait to go back!

Our weekend ended all too soon, and we headed home on Sunday. I think we'd both like to make this an annual trip, if not to Memphis, then where ever the road takes us!

Anchors Aweigh, my boys, Anchors Aweigh!

Thursday, November 1, 2007
After sleeping in on Saturday, we headed out to Navy Pier. Katie had been looking forward to this almost as much as she was looking forward to "Wicked". We got to the pier around 1pm and played until after dark. She had a ball!

We looked all day for the face painting booth, and we finally found it at the end of the day. Katie had her face painted like a butterfly. It was really cute.

The best part of Katie's day was the big blow-up slide. She loved the Wave Swinger and the Ferris Wheel, too, but she probably went down that slide about 1000 times!

Chicago... Part 3... It's a WICKED story!

Friday, October 26, 2007
Wow... That's all I can say. What a night! It was amazing.

After leaving Ed Debevic's, miserably stuffed with a great burger and fries, we were ready to get all dolled up for our trip to see 'Wicked: The Musical' at the Ford Center for the Performing Arts/Oriental Theatre. Goodness, that's a mouthful!

Allison and I got dressed first and then turned all of our attention to our birthday girl. She wore a glittery blue dress that resembled the dress that Galinda wore in the play... Katie looked so beautiful! The dress was just a vision on her! We curled her hair and put a little glitter on her cheeks and arms. She just loved the attention!

After all that primping we were off to the theatre! Our cab driver got us there in record time and we had plenty of time to look around the awesome place.

Katie was amazed by the huge map of Oz that you see onstage before the show.

It wasn't long before the show began. Now for those of you who know Katie, this will probably be the most amazing thing you've ever heard, so brace yourselves! She was so enthralled by the show that she literally didn't move. There were no "I've gotta go potty" breaks or any wiggling around in her seat (or on the floor, or under the seat). She was AWESOME! We did go potty during intermission, but that was it! She asked a few questions during some parts of the play, but the questions were minimal. I couldn't believe it! She loved the play, and didn't want to miss even a minute. I don't know if it was the big music, the big set, the big Time Dragon, or what, but it worked! I was so proud of her, and now I won't hesitate to take her to another big show.

After the play we walked back to Michigan Avenue. The night was beautiful and the walk wasn't bad at all. We stopped at the Cheesecake Factory for a midnight snack, but we were all so tired that we didn't eat much. Our waiter was a sweetheart, and he reminded me SO much of my cousin Butch who passed away a few years ago. I was blown away. Allison left him a big tip. I think he reminded her of Butch, too. It was a little sad, but a little cool, too.

We weren't far from the hotel, so we went on in and almost straight to bed. I think Allison was asleep before her head hit the pillow good, and Katie almost passed out as soon as we walked in the door. It was a LONG day for a little girl! We were up at 6am to catch our flight, and didn't get back to the hotel until after midnight! An eighteen hour day is hard for everyone, but we sure had fun!

Chicago... Part 2... Ed Debevic's

OK, a little more about our trip to the Windy City. We went to lunch at Ed Debevic's the day we arrived, and let me tell you, it was a hoot! Ed's is a family oriented burger place, where you can eat good burgers, just like in 1000's of restaurants in the US. But Ed's is unique, to say the least: their waiters are rude, and people like it! In fact, that's why people go there, to have waiters throwing menus and straws at them and patronise them. Ed's rules are straightforward: "If you like what you're eatin', order more. If you don't ­ there's the Door." and "Eat and get out".

When we first walked in we got the "wadda you want" service. Katie wasn't too sure about the place at all. Our waiter, Biscuits, started out by saying, "Table for two weird women and one baby". Boy, that really got Katie riled up! Biscuits picked on her throughout the whole meal. She kept telling him (and everyone else) it was her birthday, but got her feelings hurt when one of the waiters walked by and yelled "SO WHAT! NOBODY CARES!". She actually hid under the table and cried a little over that one. I felt a little sorry for her, but they eventually made it up to her.

Right before we got finished with lunch Biscuits came back to our table to sing happy birthday to Katie. He yelled at everyone in the restaurant and sang "Happy birthday, little bay-bee" (which really made Katie mad!) and gave her one of Ed's famous 'world's smallest sundaes'. It was basically a fudge sundae in a shot glass sized bowl, but she loved it! I think I ended up eating most of the ice cream, but Katie liked the attention, anyway. After lunch we caught the bus back to Michigan Avenue and went to our hotel to get ready for our big night at the theatre.

Chicago! Chicago! That toddlin' town!

Monday, October 22, 2007
WOW! We finally got to make our trip to Chicago! It was GREAT! We had a ball... Katie was, for the most part, pretty good, and things just seemed to go easily for us. Here's what our weekend looked like.

October 12, 2007
6:00 AM

We had to roll out of bed early to get ready to leave. Our flight was out of Memphis instead of Little Rock, so we had a two hour drive to the airport. David was home, so he was able to help me get things moving. Katie didn't offer much of a fuss about getting out of bed. I think she was too excited! David made a pan of cinnamon rolls for breakfast, and that served as Katie's birthday cake. He even took a candle and bent it to make a "7". Isn't that creative?

Allison arrived at our house around 7:10AM and we were off! Our plane was supposed to depart Memphis at 10:46AM, so we were running right on time. We did have to stop in Wynne at Wal-Mart for a potty break (and candy to eat on the plane, for me, not Katie!), but we made it to the airport in plenty of time. The parking was horrendous, but we did finally find a spot after accidentally leaving the parking garage and having to re-enter. I'm sure the parking attendants were snickering at us, but we were able to follow their directions to lane FOE (for those of you who don't speak the Memphian dialect, that means 'four') and get to the underground garage. We weren't checking bags, so after another potty break (that coffee will kill you!) we went through security and were at our gate in no time. The plane ride was uneventful, and soon we were in the Windy City!

The train ride to downtown took us FOREVER! They were working on the tracks, so there were several slow zones. Katie was amazed that you could look right into the windows of the apartments beside the El. She's never really seen city life up close, so I guess it really did look strange. We got off the Blue Line from O'Hare and transferred to the Red Line train. To get to the Red Line, you have to walk through a tunnel to another station. Katie was amazed by the number of people in the tunnel, and also by the fact that there were so many black people there. Let me qualify what I'm saying. Katie is in NO way prejudiced, but she's been so sheltered! The little town we live in isn't very diverse, and she's not been very many places that are culturally mixed. I was glad that she was seeing life first hand. It's about time!

By about 3pm we had managed to make it to our hotel. We were checked in and unpacked by about 4pm, and then we were off for lunch at Ed Debevic's.

I will write more on this later, but for now I MUST get some sleep! Sweet dreams!

Katie turns seven today!

Friday, October 12, 2007
Seven years ago, I experienced a miracle. I held a beautiful, brand new baby girl. A girl who looked at us with eyes wise beyond her years.

Her hair wasn't blonde yet, heck, she didn't even have any hair! Her eyes weren't gray, they were blue, and she didn't have any of her cute little freckles, her skin was golden yellow from jaundice! I didn't care. She was my baby girl, and to me she was perfect.

Katie is still my little miracle. She sees things about people and this world that most people never slow down enough to recognize. Some of the things she says really open my eyes. She always looks for the good things about every new person she meets, and with Katie's personality, we meet LOTS of new people!

She is painfully honest, and can't tell a lie (and get away with it) to save her life. There is not a sneaky bone in her body. She is outgoing, loyal, friendly and enjoyable. She is highly rambunctious, a little wild, a tad melancholy and very loving. She seeks approval from everyone, and being rejected by anyone just kills her. She is always a champion for the underdog, and I love that.

Our little girl grows bigger every day, but I will always think of her as that tiny miracle that God sent to save me. Sometimes she drives me crazy, and sometimes I am overwhelmed with how much I love her. She is the life force that keeps me going when I am too tired to move, and the one person who can wear me out more than anyone else. She'll always be unique, and I'll always love her more than life.

This sucks!

Tuesday, October 9, 2007
As I sit here and type this blog, I am steadily blowing my nose and fighting a headache. It's weird, every single person that I have talked to who attended the Arkansas vs. Tennesee Chattanooga game at War Memorial Stadium last Saturday is sick. Isn't that weird? I mean EVERY person! Maybe they had some sort of irritant on the grass, or maybe it's a new form of chemical warfare. Extreme, yes, but also scary.

It seems like the world is working against me having a great time on our Chicago trip. Dang it! I just want this headache to GO AWAY!

Tired... So tired...

Wednesday, September 26, 2007
You know, it's not even 10:30pm and I am dead on my feet... What in the world is wrong with me? Maybe this will sum it up for today:

The art of never making a mistake is crucial to motherhood. To be effective and to gain the respect she needs to function, a mother must have her children believe she has never engaged in sex, never made a bad decision, never caused her own mother a moment's anxiety, and was never a child.

Erma Bombeck

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Have you ever felt like the worst Mom in the world?

Tuesday, September 25, 2007
This past weekend was full of fun! The girls and I made a roadtrip to Springdale to see Grandma & Grandpa Smith and some of our friends. It was great!

The weekend would have been perfect if one little event hadn't happened... While we were over at Grandma Smith's house Katie and Reese went outside to play in the yard. It's great because they live out in the country and the girls have plenty of room to run. In addition to all that running, they also have some perfect places to FALL! Reese was sitting as pretty as you please on the second step of the back porch. I was standing at the door watching her! Well, she leaned over to do something with her shoestring and BAM!!! She landed face first on the concrete! She not only caught the first step with her nose, she also managed to make contact with the sidewalk. Her forehead took most of that damage. Here are a few pictures that were taken two or three days after she fell:

I just felt awful! When my girlfriends and I went to dinner that night and shopping the next day I'll bet fifteen people stopped and asked what happened to Reese! She's feeling a lot better now, but I still feel bad!

It's County Fair time again!

Thursday, September 13, 2007
Well, our county fair is back in town this week. Katie has begged and begged to go, so the three of us (Katie, Reese & I) all loaded up and went out to play. It was armband night, so Katie was able to ride all of the rides over, and over, and over, and over... Reese passed out about halfway through the night. She was pretty bored, I think! Katie tried a few of the grown up rides, but there was one that just scared her to death! It was the Moby Dick. I took some pictures of her on the ride. She's in the red shirt on the far left side. She was terrified!

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

You know, it's funny... When we lived in Virginia, Katie's friends were all boys. She just loved Taylor, Jonas and Mason. Well, now that we're in Arkansas it's still the same. We ran around at the fair with Joseph, Bailey and Jackson. Yes, they're ALL BOYS!!! I hope God prepares me for her teen years!!!

Wow... Just WOW! God is good!

Monday, September 10, 2007
As I write this blog, I just sit here a little stunned. David and I have been going to church at Valley Baptist Church here in Searcy since we moved here in 2005. We joined the church last summer, and have tried to stay pretty active and attend faithfully. To tell you the truth, I have never felt more at home in church. Even the church I was raised in wasn't this special to me.

Well, back to the original subject... David and I come from very different spiritual backgrounds. I was born and raised Baptist, and have never really known or truly believed anything else. I accepted Christ at church camp and was scripturally baptized when I was twelve. David was not really raised in church, but when they did attend they went to a Methodist church. David was baptized as a child in the Methodist church, and then converted to Catholicism in his early thirties.

We went to church on September 9th just like we would on any other Sunday. Our pastor, Brother James Hays, did a service about scriptural baptism (complete immersion in water) and how it shows obedience to the commands of God. He also made a statement that really touched both David and me. He stated that disobeying the command of God to be baptized was just a wall creating a separation between us and God. He said that disobeying God about baptism "stunted" our Christian growth. Neither of us had ever thought of it like that... (Now, to clarify, we don't believe that baptism is essential for salvation, but is an act of obedience.)

ANYWAY! I'm off of my main topic again! What I've been trying to say is that David was baptized last night! Isn't that exciting! I was so proud of him! We have had so many discussions about his being our "spiritual head-of-household", and I feel like this is a step in the right direction! I have always dreamed of being married to a man who would attend church with me and try to raise our children the right way. Little did I know, I had him all along! I think being at Valley has really opened both of our hearts in a way that wasn't possible at other churches we've attended. I just thank God for this!

Of course, since our family was involved in this, there had to be some humor... The reason the second picture is so fuzzy is because just as Brother James was lifting David out of the water Katie started jumping around and screaming... I didn't know what was going on! She hit my elbow just as David came out of the water, hence the fuzzy picture. The lighting was pretty bad in both photos, but the second one was REALLY bad! OH! The reason that Katie was jumping around and yelling was because she saw a bug on the floor by her feet. Go figure! Everyone got a good chuckle out of that!

I brought in the old stuff -

Sunday, September 2, 2007
- but I plan to add some new stuff, too!

I posted the blogs dated before today on my MySpace blog, but thought I would bring them all to one place and add a few pictures. Enjoy!

We should be dancin' - YEAH!

My girls just crack me up. They love to dance, and Reese only knows one move. Round & round & round!

It doesn't matter what kind of music is playing, these girls just have to move!

My baby girl is a whole year old!

Thursday, June 21, 2007
You know, it's just amazing how quickly they grow. I simply cannot believe that it has been a full year, 365 days ago to the minute, that Reese was born. WOW! It seems just like yesterday she was just a little baby blob that didn't do anything except eat, poop and cry.


Now she's such a big girl! She can crawl, walk, smile, play pat-a-cake and scream amazing baby cuss words at you when she's mad. She can eat by herself, and won't allow anyone to feed her. She's a BIG GIRL now!

I am just grateful that, when she's tired, she will let me hold her and cuddle her. She still gives her kisses freely and giggles when you tickle her under her chin. She still has little dimples on the backs of her hands instead of big kid knuckles, and her skin is still just baby soft.

She no longer calls me Mama. Everybody (except Nana) is Dada. For some reason she calls Nana by her name. The only time I hear "mama" is when she's not ready to go to bed and is standing in the crib wailing "maaaa-maaaa!" What a guilt trip!

I am just so grateful that she is happy and healthy. She loves her big sister and she hates to be restrained. She is talkative, even though you can't understand a word she's saying. She has the cutest dimples in her cheeks, both the ones on her face and the ones on her bottom! She loves the water, and tries to get in our little wading pool everytime we're out in the yard. She is a voracious eater, and hasn't found much of anything that she won't eat. She is one of the biggest treasures in my life. She is my baby girl. She is Alyssa Reese.