Saturday, December 27, 2008

Christmas 2008

Although Christmas isn't technically over for us (one more to go!), I thought I'd go ahead and get a post up of Christmas so far.

Our Christmas started on December 23, when Steven and I exchanged our gifts. Usually I am opposed to opening gifts any earlier than the 24th, but Steven just gets too excited! Good thing he waited until the 23rd to buy my gift or we would have been having Christmas in November!

Christmas is an odd holiday for us. With our anniversary and Steven's birthday only two weeks before, sometimes there isn't much left to ask for! Some years we both get big stuff at the same time, some years both small stuff at the same time, some years it is a mix-and-match. This year I got my big gifts (iPhone and our Snowball trip) for our anniversary, and Steven got small stuff for his birthday and our anniversary.

For Christmas, he got his big gift. Steven got a paintball gun and accessories. He said he didn't think I had gotten it because I told him I only spent $50. Which was true...somewhat. That's all I spent from our checking account! :-) He didn't know I'd been hiding money from my photography work. He seems pretty happy with it. The pile of wood waiting to be burned in our backyard was yellow by noon the next day.

I got the Wii Music game, which is a lot of fun! We spent Tuesday night playing it. You can play 1+ player games or you can create a 1+ player "jam session." Our first creation was a video of Twinkle Twinkle, Little Star featuring my Mii playing banjo with Steven's Mii playing tuba. It was pretty funny.

We also gave Emerald and Minnie Pearl their gifts. Roush was nowhere to be found at the time. Apparently the girls had irritated him enough that he retreated into hiding all night. Minnie and Emerald enjoyed their stockings full of toys though...for about 24 hours that is. Emerald managed to chew a hole in and eat a portion of all of them by the next afternoon! Good thing they came from the dollar aisle at Target!

Wednesday we spent the day at our house. We cooked breakfast together, watched a movie, tried out Steven's paintball gun, and were just genuinely lazy. Wednesday night, we went to my parents' house to exchange gifts with them and my sister and her husband. We also brought Emerald and Minnie Pearl so my mom and dad could give them more presents. My parents got each of the animals (our 4 dogs and 1 cat and my sisters 2 dogs and cat) a goody bag filled with treats and toys. Each of the dogs got a new tennis ball, and so far Emerald hasn't destroyed them. Steven says Mom is "hinting." While that may be a bit true, my sister and I also agree that she really wants another dog. We give them a year before they have another one, probably another little cocker spaniel.

Emerald and Sage, trying to get into Biscuit's and Poncho's gifts.

Minnie Pearl is such a cuddly dog. She insisted on lying in the floor next to Steven, patting him on the face and snuggling with him.

Thursday morning we got up about 7 and headed to Pine Tree for the annual breakfast feast at Big's (my mom's mom) house. The second photo below is of the table cloth. Big has had this table cloth for years. I'm not sure exactly when the first time it was used was, but I know I've seen signatures from the late 70's on it. Every Christmas, everyone in attendance has to sign and date it.

That's all for now. I hope everyone had a great Christmas!

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Snowball, Arkansas (Part 3)

On Sunday, we headed home. :-( We have agreed that we'd like to go back though. Next time I think we'll rent one of the cabins though. They seemed pretty neat, too!

We were definitely glad that we got out and did our hiking on Saturday, as it was freezing cold on Sunday! I insisted on taking the time to take a few photos in front of the house on our way out, and by the time we got the car loaded, the tripod set up, two pictures taken, the tripod hurriedly put away, and ourselves in the hands were so cold that they hurt terribly. I got a cute picture though!

We also stopped for a second in Snowball to take a picture of something that we had laughed about all weekend every time we saw it. Do you notice something a bit odd about this picture?

That new Pepsi machine really stuck out in this little building, surrounded by other dilapidated buildings and houses. We aren't really sure why it is there or if it was even filled. However, at night we could see the lit up, blue machine a ways off as we were approaching Snowball.

Overall, it was our favorite kind of trip...nothing planned except our lodging! We had a great time, just driving around exploring the backroads of the area. I'd really like to go back in October/November when all the leaves are changing. I'm sure there are lots of beautiful colors then. I'd also like to see it in the Spring. Hmmm....I'm getting an idea of what I might want for my birthday. :-)

Snowball (part 2)

Saturday morning we decided to take a walk to see the other buildings on the property. Across the road from our house, was a barn and two restored log cabins from the 1870's. They also rent the cabins.

Steven, on the porch of the first cabin

hanging out in the old barn...

the barn Mr. Scarecrow

a sign that hangs on the outside of the barn

After our short walk, we decided to take a drive to do a bit more exploring. We discovered the dead ends of a couple of gravel roads, at which people were actually living...and people think WE live in the boondocks? I'm pretty sure our house is nothing compared to the end of a gravel road, on a mountain, outside of Snowball, Arkansas!

After enjoying the scenery for a while, we headed into Marshall to grab some groceries for dinner that night. We also stopped for a Mexican restaurant. Imagine that? :o)

That afternoon, we went for another walk. This one was quite a bit longer than the first! We decided to go up the trail, past the first cabin and the barn. We found a hiking trail off to the side and followed it up into the woods. There, we came across this cool old house!

We also saw an elk track! I think that was Steven's favorite part of the entire trip!

That walk/hike ended with me being exhausted! Steven took a picture of me resting on a big rock before we headed back, but I'll spare you! It's kind of scary! haha
I'm not sure exactly how far we hiked, but it was at least 3 or 4 miles, most of it up hill. Oh, and did I mention my husband isn't one of these always-stay-on-the-path hikers? Well, he's not. This resulted in me getting whacked in the face/arm/leg with a branch or two, almost stepping in horse poo, almost slipping on my rear while climbing over rocks, etc. It was definitely an interesting "walk"! When we got back to the house, my sweet husband suggested we go for another drive, so that we could enjoy some scenery and I could sit down for a while. :-)

This time we discovered the end of another gravel road...and a SCHOOL BUS tow truck! Oh yeah, now that's custom!

When we returned to the house from our second drive, I set to work in the kitchen to bake Steven a belated birthday cake. (Note to self: next year call Courtney!) While the cake tasted fine, it certainly wasn't our beloved Courtney Cake.

Steven enjoyed a massive piece of the cake...

After our mini birthday celebration, we headed into Marshall to see a movie...

at the drive-in! We saw Four Christmases, which was cute. Marshall has the only drive-in movie in Arkansas that is open all year.

Merry Christmas from the Andersons!

UPDATE: Please note that our Christmas card this year was a collage of images of my attempts to get good Christmas photos of our five pets. We do not have 20+ animals, even though it may seem like it at times.

Also, I need to mention that the names on the card are not in order of the last row of photos. Oops! L-R they are, Biscuit, Emerald, Roush, Minnie Pearl, and Poncho.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Snowball, Arkansas

Last Friday, Steven and I headed out for a relaxing weekend away to celebrate our first wedding anniversary. When we planned our honeymoon we were torn between renting a cabin in the Ozark Mountains and going to Nashville. In the end, we decided on Nashville because...well, because I got 2nd row seats to see Andy Griggs! haha We had a ton of fun though! We did something different and fun every single day we were there. However, we weren't anxious to rush back into a big city this year. Actually, Jonesboro is getting too big for us day-by-day. So, we decided for our first anniversary we would go with our second choice for our honeymoon.

After doing some research on the Internet, I came across a huge listing of getaway rentals in Arkansas. We finally agreed on a beautiful old farm house in Snowball, Arkansas.

Where is Snowball?
Right here...

It is far enough out that we got zero phone service at the house we rented. Imagine that! A weekend without a cell phone ringing? Oh, it was marvelous!

(Ok, ok...I admit it. I did check my e-mail/facebook/texts when we drove into Marshall on Saturday. )

Anyway, this is what we saw when we arrived on Friday night.

And the outside during the day

Here are some photos of the inside of the house.

This is the living room, where you enter from the front door.

We spent a lot of the weekend reading here, next to the fireplace in the living room.

Above is the second bedroom. This room is just off the left of living room. It has two full beds, a door that opens to the screened-in back porch, and a door that opens to the front porch (the solid green door seen in the picture of the outside of the house).

This is the kitchen. The door in the back of the first photo goes to the bathroom.

The main bedroom. This one was hard to get a picture of because of the shape of the room. It isn't as small of a room as it looks in the picture though. There was a queen size bed with plenty of room to walk around, with room to store shoes, suitcases, etc. on the sides. It is off the left side of the kitchen.

The pretty back porch

Ok, it's really late so I will post more about our trip later.

Monday, December 15, 2008

My Power Outage Checklist

Here are a few things that I did/should have done just in case the power goes out. You would think that I would have thought about this stuff BEFORE my husband left town this afternoon.

  1. Plug in phone.
  2. Pray the phone gets a full charge before the power goes out. This is especially important to stupid people like me that have no car charger.
  3. Get the kerosene heater out of the shed. Yeah, this is one of those things I should have thought about before he left. Let's hope I don't have to figure out how to do it myself.
  4. Buy kerosene. Yeah, another one of those things I should have thought about before he left.
  5. Put anything work related that I may need tomorrow on my jumpdrive. This one I did! If the power goes out here before my order finishes processing, at least I have a back up IF I can get somewhere else to send it off.
  6. Charge our iPods. -This one I did, but only because we have one iPod in the iHome radio in the kitchen at all times, and it automatically charges them. Hey, I'll need some music!
  7. EAT - Definitely did this. :-)
  8. Order pizza - I didn't do this one. Should have. Pizza is better cold anyway, so it would be a good thing to have on hand that I wouldn't have to worry about heating up.

And another thought....because I am the wife of a lineman, I think that I should have seniority over anyone else when it comes to the order power is restored. :-) I know, I doesn't work that way. It depends on how the lines run/fall...but I can try!

Anyway, let's just hope we wake up in the morning with electricity! Please, please, please...

Back to square one...

After enjoying a few months of actually being married, we are pretty much back to where we started. Steven's crew, being one of the best at this company, has gotten moved to another job. Apparently this is going to be a more difficult job, and the people in charge didn't want just anyone to be doing it. I guess it is a compliment to the guys, but it's a pain to me. Now Steven will be leaving on Sunday or Monday mornings and returning on Thursday nights again. Oh well, it was nice while it lasted. On the bright side, he's going to be staying in Batesville, so he won't be too far away...just too far to drive everyday because he'll have to drive another 30 minutes or so each morning to the other side of Batesville to the job site.

Looking for a book to read?

Escape Escape by Carolyn Jessop

My review

rating: 5 of 5 stars
This is an amazing book! I definitely recommend it to everyone. This book gives you a true look at what the world of polygamy is really like. Honestly, it is difficult to read at times. Parts of this book made me very, very angry.

View all my reviews.