Thursday, July 23, 2009

Getting Lost


I first read the books when I was teaching junior high and the kids were all into them. Josh went to see the first movie with me, and he is also hooked. We read the books together as they were published.

But when I really get into a book: That is all I do. I get so obsessed. Nothing is done. So, I just finished reading the last book after seeing the movie the other night. I read it in two days, but less than 48 hours. If Josh was home he asked me to read aloud and when he would read I quickly cleaned up or cooked. The kids had access to movies, cookies and hot dogs. I had water and my book. The house was trashed, but it mattered not. For two days I was somewhere else-lost in a book. Getting lost in a book is a special feeling that doesn't always happen even with good literature. But, I love the feeling and embrace it!

I love the characters. J.K. Rowling is amazing. I feel like the characters are real people, I love how they are all flawed in some real believing way.
I love how they love but are also insecure;
how they hope but also fear.
I love how they stand and fight at the end, and when Neville shouts "Dumbledore's Army" I love how I get emotional.

This is the best fiction ever!

Friday, July 17, 2009

Family and the Fourth

I love my family. I also am a super big fan of the Fourth of July. This year we had a family reunion at my mom's. It was great to be with my siblings: Holly and her man, Ben. Sara and her family: Gary, Shely, Roxy, and Ruthy, and of course my brother, Seth. The boys know him best since he lived with us for over two years in Little Rock. My great aunt was down from Texas with her husband and his brother and wife, plus my cousins Fairy Lyn (Micheal) and Michelle. My Uncle David came with his new wife, my cousin Amy and her daughter who I met for the first time.

My family is full of good cooks. We made a fresh peach and black berry cobbler. We had fish freshly caught, cleaned, and fried. We had ribs, beans, cole slaw, sweet corn, Texas Chocolate Sheet Cake, and tons more. So YUMMY!! Still even with all the food we had to go out to our favorite pizza place: Max and Erma's in Tahlequah Oklahoma. I highly recommend it if you are ever in the area.

We also spent time on the lake, but I didn't take my camera, so hopefully I'll get pictures from somenone else. We rented a boat and the kids got to tube for the first time. They can't wait to go again!! Seth and I had a blast doing this as well as Ben tried to throw us off!!! Fun!!

I went a few days early and stayed a day late to get some extra time in with mom. We swam and played and cooked. It was nice. Thanks everyone for getting together!!
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Thursday, July 16, 2009

Friendship and Fondant

My dear friend Rebecca. What can I say? She is awesome. I met her when I was 13. I have always loved her and her family. I'm not sure the reason, but I just attached myself to them, and won't let them go! She got married the summer after high school, but unlike other married friends we stayed close, and eventually I caught up with her and she threw my bridal shower. I spent two days at her house on this trip. She has such beautiful kids. I'm feeling a wee bit guilty the fotos are of a cake, and not her cute family, but alas this is the case.
Rebecca has turned in to quite the "Betty Crocker" and is even getting paid to do some wedding cakes from time to time. She has a lot of fun cooking tools. I've been wanting to learn fondant icing for a time, but didn't want to attempt it without someone who knew what they were doing the first time. Anyway, under her guidance, we made this great cake for my Father-In-Law for his birthday.
What a great time! What a great cake! What a gReAt, GrEaT, GREAT, GREAT friend!!

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Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Visiting the Johnson's

First stop was the Johnson Home in Fort Smith, AR. Liz (Josh's sister) and I have become the best of friends. I'm so thankful to her for example and friendship. In fact, I met Liz a couple of years before I ever met her younger brother. Then, I knew Josh for about a week before I realized he was Liz's brother. It attracted me to him even more. Anyhoo, here are some great shots of the cousins. They played so well together.

Ammon and Madeline decided they were "best friends" oh, and Madeline is going to marry Ammon.
The kids worked and worked on this project together! I helped and it was really fun!!
For Family Home Evening we talked about heroes from the scriptures and all the kids got a cape w/their initial on it. We whipped those out with the help of some pinking sheers, so not too much sewing involved. So fun to have cousins who are being raised in the gospel.

Now, I don't have pictures of the luau we went to, but I wish I did. It was out on a beautiful piece of land in Oklahoma, green hills (not all of OK is flat!) and a whole Hog was roasted!! It was a good southern cookout with lots of fun swimming and eating all to the buzzing of mosquitos and chiggers. Oh, and did I mention the pool had 40 lbs of ice added to cool it off. It was still warm! I think the heat index was like 103 that day. Still, nothing beats the taste of a cookout when your eating it wrapped in a towel sprayed down with sunscreen and swattin a skeeter!

The kids played so well at the Johnson's I even finished the 3rd book in the Fablehaven series. ahh, I love cousins and family. Thanks for having us!
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There and Back (and a hot dog)

I've been home about 24 hours. My trip was three weeks and I spent time in four homes and three states. It was fantastic though somewhat challenging from time to time. I have tons to post, but thought I'd start just with getting there and getting home. So, I started out fairly organized. See below:

We stopped in St. Louis and visited the Holts. My friend Wendy invited me over for dinner the first Sunday I went to Little Rock Ward. We've been friends since. Her husband graduated a year before Josh and is now a resident in St. Louis. You can tell Lando and Bradley became quick friends. We ate pizza and had some fabulous custard between two oatmeal cookies. Some historic spot on route 66. Fun and Yum!
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Now, for the coming home: Notice there are no pictures. Nothing was picturesque. Though we made it safe and sound. Still, I have to admit my new parenting low. We all have standards as parents, things we think we'll NEVER do. Well, I broke one of those promises. In an attempt to stay on the road and keep the dinner stop short--I confess my boys had a truck stop hot dog. You know the kind. In my defense, they did look fresh. I offered them Subway which was in the truck stop, but they picked Cheetos and hot dogs. It was fast and easy and we were on the road in a giffy. In fact no hotel coming home. We made it in just over 12 hours from Jacksonville to Columbus. A new record! (Yay for truck stop hot dogs!)