Tuesday, September 30, 2008

It's back! Ten Things Tuesday!

XBOX Wife Ten Things Tuesday

Unfortunately, life has gotten hectic, and I haven't been the faithful Tuesday blogger I used to be. (Sorry, Heather!) I'm back though, at least for today.

Things I am thankful for...

1. My first class on Tuesday and Thursday is only 1 hr. 15 min. long. Any longer and I'd go totally crazy. :-)

2. My wonderful husband.

3. My husband's job - not only does he love it, but it allows me to concentrate on my education and doing what I love, photography.

4. Starbucks and muffins. Yum.

5. Monday morning bible study time.

6. I get my rings back tomorrow! Oh I can't wait!

7. Emerald hasn't eaten her newest chew toy!

8. Steven is done with storm work for now! Yay! Let's just hope we get a good break before ice storms start rolling in.

9. My yard is mowed.

10. My online class. If only some of my regular classes could be online classes...

Sunday, September 28, 2008

So, I'm a bit sentimental.


First, I must add the disclaimer that until this past Thursday, I had been without my husband for 25 days. He left again at 1:30 this afternoon to go to Texas. Needless to say, I'm not at my emotional best today. When he is gone, there are three things I would rather die than lose - my engagement ring, my wedding band, and my cell phone. If anyone ever tries to take any of these from me against my will, they will die. I'll be that crazy girl on the evening news that beats the mess out of guy who is trying to steal her $25 purse with no cash in it, rather than lose her phone that is in the purse.

Here is my beloved ring set.



I've always been one to attach sentimental value to things. Stuffed animals, books from my childhood, preschool art projects - I've even saved most of my writing projects throughout my life and every diary and journal I've ever had. I also convinced my husband that we needed the house I grew up in when my parents decided to move. I'm sure everyone else saw it, but I never really realized it until today. Today when I almost lost it at the jewelry counter to be exact.

I realized yesterday that the month of September is almost over and I hadn't taken my rings to be inspected yet. I have to have them inspected every six months to keep my warranty, so today I headed to Zales after the children's church meeting. I'm not sure what I was expecting. I knew they needed to be rhodium dipped. I've had jewelry cleaned and repaired by them before, but for some reason it never occurred to me that they might have to send my rings in to have the rhodium done.

There were only two people working in the store today, and both were busy - one with a couple picking out an engagement ring/wedding band set and the other with a young guy picking out a ring for his girlfriend. I waited patiently, getting a bit misty-eyed as I watched the guy get so excited about showing the ring he had picked out to a friend who had come with him. When the salesgirl finished, I explained what I needed, and she started talking about their jeweler. She explained that their current jeweler was leaving, and they had already signed with a new one. I was only half listening until she said that to have it rhodium dipped, the new company would take 14-21 days to get my rings back to me! I started to panic. I couldn't even speak for a few seconds. I'm fairly certain she saw tears welling up in my eyes. My first thought was, 'Nevermind! I don't care!' Then I realized that at some point it would have to be done. At some point I would have to give them up, even if it wasn't for another 2 years, and by that point they would not be a pretty sight. I asked if I could send them one at a time. She said, yes, that could be done. I think she was still afraid this solution would send me over the edge and leave me blubbering there in the middle of the mall. Honestly, it might have. Thankfully, she felt pity for me and offered another solution. She offered to send it to another of their employees that had been doing some work for them recently to help catch them up while they were switching jewelers. She went to check with him and came back to say, "How about Wednesday?" Had it not required jumping over the counter, I would have hugged her. I'm really sorry I didn't get the girl's name today. Hopefully she will be there again on Wednesday, and I can really thank her. I said, "Thank you," today, but I'd like to really thank her again.

Until Wednesday though, I'm wearing a replacement set I bought at Claire's. I just couldn't stand going around with a naked finger. This set certainly isn't as pretty or comfortable as mine, but it will due until Wednesday morning.


And the temporary set...

I have competition...

No, the Xbox 360 isn't interferring with our marriage...John is.

John Deere, that is.


I'm kidding. Promise. Steven got another toy Saturday morning, and he is a bit in love with it though. He couldn't wait to run home and try it out.





He mowed our yard in less than 2 hours! Considering we have almost 2 acres to mow, and most of the pasture was almost knee high, that's pretty awesome. He's so proud of (and in love with) his new mower! I've got to say that I'm pretty excited about it, too. Today, for the first time in forever, I grabbed the water bowl for our outside dogs, (Note the plural dogs. That's another post.) and filled their bowl with the hose in the back yard. It felt so good to walk through the back yard without worry about stepping on an unseen snake! I even drove the new mower myself, and it's pretty fun! It's like a big go-cart that mows the yard. :-)

I think my husband is a bit spoiled. I sure hope he keeps this weekend in mind when he goes to buy my anniversary and Christmas gifts.

Friday, September 26, 2008

What was I thinking?

I have a confession to make.
When my husband asks to buy a new toy, I have a very hard time saying no (unless it involves a car that does not run). Last night I must have lost my mind. I gave in again. I am not sure what I was thinking. Maybe I was just so excited to have Steven home, maybe I just like to spoil him, or maybe I just like hearing him say, "Thanks babe. You're the best wife ever." Yes, I think those words do the trick every time. Unfortunately for me, he knows that too. Either way, at 8:30 last night we were in Wal-Mart buying his latest toy.





Yes, he talked me into buying an Xbox 360. I must say though, Steven was a very good sport about it. He agreed not to even hook it up last night, and instead bought a Ashton Kutcher movie to watch with me. Ok, now looking back - that was probably part of his plan from the beginning to help him convince me to get the Xbox. :-)

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Bunco baby shower


We had another baby shower at our bunco night this month. This time it was a surprise book shower for Susanne and the little girl she is anxiously awaiting.


Opening her gifts...



Her diaper cake, made by Joslyn...



We were also excited to have Adalyn there!









Oh, and one more...






That's right. That is Courtney, wearing a pink, sparkly t-shirt. :-) You just thought we wouldn't notice.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Day #22

I was finally able to speak to Steven again tonight. I talked to him this morning, as they were driving from Houma, LA to Texas, but a lot of the phone towers are out in Southern Texas, so we hadn't spoken since about 11:00 this morning. His crew is staying in Woodville, TX. Phone service is sketchy where they are working, but closer to the hotel it is ok. He has absolutely no idea when he will be home. Today was day 22. (And no, I'm not sitting around counting. I honestly had to look at my calendar to figure it out.) The map below shows where they are.



Friday, September 19, 2008

I'm so proud!

Today, Emerald got her hair cut. She cried for a bit when I dropped her off, so I was a bit concerned. She is usually a major drama queen and very naughty for Weslynn, our groomer. Not today, though! She got 4 paws on her report card! Weslynn said, "She was a bit nervous about having her feet combed and trimmed, but she didn't act up or anything." I'm so proud of her! This is a huge improvement. She usually only gets two paws on her report card.




What a book!

Today I ventured to Target to search for a baby shower gift. I was browsing the children books when I came across this book.


The front cover features a pull tab that makes the tail on the middle dog wag. How cute is that! Right? And this page was even cuter, with the "Wet dog-shake, shake, shake!"



Then I got to this page...



And yes, that lifted leg really is a pull tab piece, and that is a stream of yellow pee showing. I don't think this is one that I would want to give as a gift. :-)

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Jill



I first posted about Jill earlier this week, here.

Jill's husband, JT, posted this short bit this evening. Please keep him and their family in your prayers. I cannot even begin to imagine what he is going through right now.

"I'm not sure where to even begin in writing this post. All of the thoughts, prayers and support for Jill, my family and myself have meant so much to all of us.

Jill got caught a slight bit of pneumonia last night, it became harder and harder for her to breathe, despite breathing treatments. The doctors wanted to incubate her but didn't feel that it would improve her overall condition. I made the decision to let her fight through it, however it was just too much for her to take. She passed away around 6:30 this morning, she was not in any pain and went peacefully. I just wanted you all to know.

Please pray for our families and myself that we are able to get through this very difficult time."



Mooo!


Last night I went to the NEA District fair with my friend, Lindsay. (Thanks, Scotty for lending me your wife.) We had a blast! We looked at all the exhibits, the cows, and the animals in the petting zoo. Then we started on the rides. There weren't any lines, so we just went from one spinning ride to the next until we thought we were almost sick! We took a break, played a couple of games - then did it again! We ended the night by riding the carousel and getting some awesome lemonade. Here are some pictures from the petting zoo.




And my favorite, the Scottish Highland Cattle...


Monday, September 15, 2008

Praying for Jill and JT

The original version of this can be found at Lauren Makes.

Over the past year and a half, I’ve gotten to know a great group of girls. We all got married in December and had lots of fun talking throughout wedding planning. Since our weddings, we’ve continued our conversations and now talk about buying houses, getting pets, having babies, etc. We have really all grown very close, even though most of us have never met.

We were all shocked to find out one of our own, Jill, was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer last October at the young age of 24. She has been so brave and positive throughout this. Always cheerful and looking on the bright side.

Although there has been some progress in the fight on her cancer over the past few months, they were told on Monday that her recent symptoms are indicating the “end of her life cycle.” At this point, the doctors don’t think there’s anything they can do for her.

Our hearts are breaking for Jill and her husband, J.T. right now. Please keep them and their families in your prayers.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Happy 90th Birthday, Mamaw!


This past weekend, we celebrated my Mamaw's 90th birthday with a surprise party at the Old Community House in Trumann. It was a huge hit! I've got a ton of photos to post for all the guests, but here is one of all the family members that were present.



And here are a few more...




(left: Mamaw with Aunt Ennis, her little sister. right: Mamaw and her daughters, my Aunt Barbara and Nanny)


Thursday, September 11, 2008

Bye, bye summer!

In honor of cooler weather and going back to school, here are some photos from my trip to the beach this summer. I meant to post these a while back, but never got around to it.



The view from our balcony :-)


I love the different colors of the water.


This is what it looked like in Panama City Beach as Hurricane Dolly rolled ashore in Texas.









Feeding the sea gulls from our balcony. I really didn't have to use much zoom on these either. They were just that close! I was actually taking photos between ducking down because I was afraid one was accidentally going to hit me! lol


Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Time for Ten Things Tuesday Again!

XBOX Wife Ten Things Tuesday

Here we are again, another Tuesday! I'll try to keep up with this more, now that I know at least one person depends on it for entertainment. (I love you, Heather!) I'll admit, I've been sort of grumpy the last few days with the husband being gone, so I'm going to use this as an excuse to be happy today.

1. My husband's hardworking nature. He could work circles around me.

2. The friendly lady at Wal-Mart this morning. She let me check out at the customer service desk because all the lines were so long, and she was so nice and happy.

3. Dollar Tree. I've gotten some great fall decor items there in the last few days!

4. Cooler weather. I was getting really tired of the heat and humidity.

5. Hurricane season paychecks. Ok, as much as I hate Steven being gone, it is nice to know that we have that extra money for things we need (as in a new mower, but that's a whole 'nother post. I'll do that one of these days!). And I do enjoy the new tv...

6. I have made A's on the first two quizzes of my online class! Very thankful for that. This is the first online class I have taken, so I was a little nervous at first.

7. Courtney cake! I'm craving it right now...

8. Today I am thankful to be out of the house. Normally, I love being at home, but today dogs decided to go on a barking spree over anything and everything. All morning. It was driving me nuts. I even left for class 30 minutes early.

9. My essay printed correctly on the first try this morning! I forgot to buy a new ink cartridge yesterday, so I just knew I'd have trouble printing it at school this morning before class, but I didn't.

10. Cell phones! I don't know what we would do without them. I'd go crazy if I couldn't talk to Steven everyday.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Steven will be home...



Drum roll, please....

Hopefully next month. :-(

He will definitely be in Louisiana until Hurricane Ike hits at the end of this week. If it hits the U.S., which is pretty much a given, they will head there as soon as possible.

Here's a little trivia for you.

Officially, hurricane season in the U.S. is from June 1 to November 30. Snow/ice season can start in the Oklahoma/Kansas/Missouri area (all Steven's territory) as early as October. Yes, as in next month. And as we saw this year, snow can continue to fall in March. As long as it isn't ice, we are ok though. So, basically I have absolutely no idea when my husband will be home, or for how long. I won't be surprised if they get home at the beginning of October, and are back out on the road by mid-November.

I scream, you scream...

Tomorrow night, is our monthly WOW (Women of Worship) meeting at church. This month I am playing hostess with my sister, and we decided to have an ice cream social. Here is a sneak peek at what you ladies can expect tomorrow night.



Thursday, September 4, 2008

Thank you, Gov. Bobby Jindal...



Thank you so much for insulting my husband, his co-workers and all the other electricians, foremen, linemen, equipment operators, ground-hands, and everyone else attempting to help restore power to the Gulf Coast.

The following is an excerpt from an article on Yahoo News. HERE is the original article.

"There is no excuse for the delay. We absolutely need to quicken the pace at which power is restored," Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal said."

This comment was originally made at a press conference on Wednesday. I first heard about it this morning on Good Morning America. It infuriated me.

And exactly how does he expect them to do this? They are already working 14-18 hour days. Transmission lines are down. They also have limited fuel because there are only two fuel stations in Houma working off of generators. (Let's just hope they get power up at the service stations before the returning residents use up all the fuel.) I find it very insulting that he would make such a statement toward the people that are helping his state the most. Those guys are going down there, hours away from their families, with no idea when they will return, to sleep in hotels and shelters with no electricity and working long hours to help out a governor who insults them and basically says they are working too slow, and "there is no excuse," for it. (Forget safety! Work faster!)

In order to make himself look good, Gov. Jindal has put aside the work needs and safety of these men (and the residents of Louisiana!) and allowed the residents back in. I find it very hard to believe that the governor of the state was unaware of the situation - that there is zero power and it could take a month or more to have it restored. Now, he makes this statement, acting as if he was completely unaware of the actual situation. The residents wanted back in (because they had not been told what they would find; they were just told it wasn't nearly as bad as Katrina), so Jindal says, 'Sure! Go ahead!' Great. Now my husband not only has to worry about where his co-workers are, what he is currently doing and his surroundings, but also he has to worry about residents and their children being in the way and constantly stopping their work to ask questions like, "When will I have power?" "Why does my neighbor have power and I don't?" "When will you be working on _____ street?" (because they can't go to work or school!) and people ignoring the rules and running generators incorrectly in their garages and other hidden locations (which is a great way to kill a lineman).

Way to go, Governor!

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Ten Things Tuesday

XBOX Wife Ten Things Tuesday


1. I was able to get all the books I needed within the first week of classes!

2. My last class of the day ended early today.

3. My 11:00 class is canceled for Thursday.

4. Steven was able to call me today.

5. A new Nicholas Sparks movie is coming out soon!!!! Nights in Rodanthe (which is one of my favorite N.S. books) will be in theaters on September 26!!! It is a Friday night, and I have already made plans to go see it with Lauren.

6. The Jonesboro Library has section on their site where you can recheck your books online. I love this feature! It is definitely a gas saver for me. You can also look online to see what books they have on the shelves.

7. Because of the construction going on at the library, I get to keep the two books I checked out last month until October! I love to read, but with classes starting back, sometimes it is hard to find time.

8. I get to sleep a little later in the morning. Well, as late as my dogs will let me. That is usually not more than 30 minutes.

9. My toe nails are painted! I finally got a chance to redo them this past weekend. Having painted toes always makes me feel a little prettier.

10. I have something fun in the works with my new friend, Kendy.....

Another update from the Mr.

I just talked to Steven for the first time today! I'll admit, I was getting stressed. I knew he would call when he could. I just didn't know when that would be. He said he'd try to call again tomorrow, too.

They are now in Houma, LA. (See maps below.) I talked to him yesterday just before they drove down and again when they arrived - after driving through the hurricane- and I hadn't heard from him since. Here is what he had to say:

- No power in the town at all.
- They do have running water.
- Only one person on his crew has cell phone service, and he is on "Roam."
- They slept in a shelter last night, but will have a hotel room tonight.
- They'll be there a while. He thinks about a month. He also said that he has been told this is Entergy's second largest outage ever - second only to Katrina. They didn't even do any repair work today. They just spent the day cleaning poles out of the streets.




Please keep these guys in your prayers.