Monday, December 31, 2007

Hey everyone! Here's a story I entered for a funny story contest to win a family organizer at Laughing Always Helps. Check it out.

My mother-in-law is a twin and she and her sister go just about everywhere together, doctor appt's, shopping, running errands, etc. On this particular day, they went to the grocery store together and when they got there, they decided to split up to do their individual shopping and then meet back up at the car when they finished.

My m-i-l got done first, went through the checkout, paid and then followed the little teenage sacker boy out to the parking lot. When they got to the edge of the parking lot, she stopped and said, "Hmmmm. Now where did I park?" The sacker said, "What kind of car is it?" She replied, "It's a maroon Tahoe." "Is that it over there?"
She said it was and they walked to the car and unloaded the groceries.

The sacker walked the cart back into the store and looked for another customer who needed help. That customer happened to be my m-i-l's twin sister. He started sacking her groceries while she paid and when they were done, she followed him out to the parking lot. As soon as they got to the edge of the parking lot she said, and I'm not kidding here, "Now where did I park my car?" The sacker boy got a really strange look on his face and said really slowly, " Tahoe?" To which she replied, "Why, yes! How did you know?" He said, "Because I just unloaded your groceries in it."

She realized what had happened, explained to the boy that he was not crazy, she was just a twin and they all had a good laugh about it!

Happy New Year!

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Okay, vacation is over. As you well know, I took half the month of November and almost all of December off from blogging. It's just so exhausting and time consuming to pour out my thoughts while being obsessed with grammar and spelling and then waiting with bated breath for validation from someone other than my husband. Anyway, it was a nice break and I guess I'm ready to get back to it.

Christmas is finally over, hallelujah! I love Jesus, but have you ever been to a party that was just too long? I think He would agree. The whole season, and I mean the "American Christmas" season, not Jesus' birthday, started waaaay too early for me this year so I'm just about ready to pack it all up. I had three parties at my house this year which means my house was spotless three times this month. It was nice. My parents and my sister and her family just left this morning so once again, it's a wreck. Just what I'm used to. Our tree is holding on by a thread. Random ornaments fall from it throughout the day like acorns in the fall. Oh, and Elliott is doing a very manly job of keeping the west side of our house warm with huge roaring fires, morning and night. In fact, he's out chopping wood right now. I do love a roaring fire.

This Saturday I'm going to Six Flags with some of the girls from church and I can't wait to ride the front row of the Titan with the ice cold wind in my face and tears streaming back into my ears. Anyone else excited?

I'll end with a funny conversation between my very sentimental daughter, Autie, and my very matter of fact son, John:

Autie: [singing a random Christmas carol]
John: Ewww. Stop singing that song. Christmas is over. In fact, today, we are the farthest away from Christmas that we could possibly get.
Autie: Uh uh. Christmas is right in the corner.
Me: I think you mean, right around the corner, sweetie.
John: Well, it's over.

By the way, I thought I would confess that I stayed in my pajamas all day today....and I loved it!

Friday, November 16, 2007

Photo Booth or What my kids would look like if Elliott and I were brother and sister

Photo Booth. If you have a Macbook, you know what that is. It's a program that comes installed on the computer that lets you take pictures of yourself while you're in front of the computer. There's a little camera at the top of the monitor and when you open Photobooth, a screen opens up and there you are. You click the camera icon below the screen and you get a 3-2-1 countdown and the thing flashes and you have a picture of yourself. Just like a photo booth. Then comes the fun part. There are 2 pages of effects filters that alter the picture however you want. It can keep my kids amused for hours and it's a lot of fun at parties!

I was looking at all the pictures that we've saved and I thought I'd share some of them with you. Enjoy!

John started the whole thing with his comic strip evil villain pose.

Then he sucked Elliott into it. Now who's the evil villain? Mwaaaahahahahahah!

Speaking of Elliott, he's quite a catch don't ya think?!

This is a favorite pose of the kids. It always takes me back to high school slumber parties and zombie movies.

Here's some of those shallow gene pool shots I promised.

This effect is one of the kids favorites, but it's just too creepy for me.

It wouldn't be fair if I didn't include a weird one of me.

Most of the time we're just being sweet, though!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Our family recently acquired a cat. By acquired, I mean the kids found a cat on the back porch, fed it, played with it and now it's ours. We have since then taken her to the vet to get her shots and get her fixed. This is important because Elliott's aunt Jane has about 35 cats in her backyard and about a third of them are, how shall I put it...not quite right.

Anyway, I don't know where this cat came from but the kids named her Milo and I think she used to be a house cat. Everytime the door opens even a little bit, she comes bolting in like we'd locked her out and she finally got back in where she belongs. Of course she doesn't belong in the house. No animal belongs in the house, except for the occasional fish or turtle, until I eventually convince the kids that nature belongs outside....with nature.

Milo is a pretty smart cat. She figured out somehow where Elliott and I sleep and the exact window that our bed is under and sometimes, at 4 in the morning, she will sit on the window sill and meow until I go outside to replenish her food and water only to find that she has everything she needs. Except a place to sleep in our house.

Today, while I was fixing lunch for the kids, she started whining at the door. She usually does that at some point during the day, but this time, she wouldn't let up. It was like one constant meow. I started to think that maybe she was hurt or something so I walked over to the door and by this time she was hanging on to the bottom of the window that's in the door and looking in the window, I guess, to see if I was paying any attention to her. I opened the door and she just looked up at me. She didn't even try to bolt into the house. That's when I noticed what was on the door mat. A frail little gray and yellow bird. Dead, of course. I couldn't believe it. She wanted me to see what she had done and she was obviously very proud of herself. Elliott had warned me that he saw her stalking birds around the bird bath. I wasn't sure what to do because she acted like she wanted me to do something with it. I knew I couldn't be mad because that's what cats nature. I bent down and with as much fake enthusiasm as I could muster, I patted her on the head and said, "Good girl, Milo. I'm so proud of you. Now take it somewhere else." With that, she picked the bird up in her teeth and took it to the other side of the porch where she promptly started to eat it. I checked back after a couple of minutes and there were only a few feathers left and she was apparently chasing the whole thing down with some dry cat food.

The whole experience was morbidly sweet. She's starting to grow on me. I think we'll keep her.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Becky, you're gonna love this!

Last week oprah did a special on the Youtube phenomena and this video is the most watched with over 64 million hits. The guy is some kind of conference speaker and he needed a demonstration for his talk about how quickly the world changes and how there are fads and trends that come and go. My son has been begging me to put this on my blog since he saw it last week. It's nostalgic and hilarious. I can't watch it without laughing out loud. I know it's 6 minutes long, but you won't be able to stop watching. My favorite parts are, of course Thriller and Ice Ice Baby. Enjoy!

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Today I would like to give a shout out to a very special person, or should I say being, in our family. It's an angel, really. We'll call her the botulism angel. Her work goes largely unnoticed until I rearrange my kids rooms. Then I gasp and say, "oh my gosh, what is that. Thank you botulism angel for keeping this hidden!"

Come on girls, you know what I'm talking about. I can't tell you how many times I've found a bottle or sippy cup that should have been removed by HASMAT! Every so often, I go through the kids rooms and look under beds and behind dressers and in drawers and come back to the kitchen with an armload of cups.

You know, come to think of it, we have a lot of "detail" angels in our family. I'm remembering a time when John climbed on the roof at the age of three or four (catching angel), another time when I looked out the window to see John lapping water from a puddle in the yard while our dog drank from the other side of the puddle (that was probably the dysentary angel). There's the eyepatch angel, the bone angel, the floatie angel (for swimming) and let's not forget the fleet of angels that ride on top of our van whenever we go somewhere. "Elliott, April's car seat is not even buckled into the seat! How long has it been like this?"

Even while I type this, I can hear April screaming while Autie does something torturous to her. Which leads me to, I think, the most underappreciated angel of all, the sibling angel. Amy Yates told me that not too long ago, she went in to get Kate from her bassinet only to find that Landon had thrown some free weights in there and they landed perfectly on either side of her head. Now that's got sibling angel written all over it!

I think if I had to fill out an order form for all the angels I need for my family, I wouldn't even come close to the amount that God actually provides for us. And there's no charge for nights, weekends and overtime!

Thank you, Jesus for that not-so-little benefit of belonging to you!

Friday, November 02, 2007

Hey everyone! Don't worry, I'm still alive and not in Nashville. Even though I had a great time, I love my home and I'm glad to be back in the normal routine. That celebrity lifestyle is just sooooo exhausting! Give me sweats and toilet bowl brushes and macaroni and cheese please! (Just not all at once!) I'll blog about details of the second night when I feel more like writing. I haven't been in a very good mood lately and I'm tired of being emotional all the time. I have been flip-flopping between crying uncontrollably to being really pissed-off. And, yes, Erica, you can translate that as "I love you," but I'm so tired of this @#*! drama I'm ready for the curtain to come down already! I just wanted to get something up here before I'm hunted down and arrested by the blog police.

Oh, and one more thing...

Heaven is filled with absolute trust and confidence in God. Earth is filled with absolute mistrust and unbelief and you and I always reflect the world we are most aware of. Thanks to Bill Johnson for that.

Monday, October 15, 2007

So, I am in Nashville right now trying to digest a bigger breakfast than I should've given in to and wondering how in the world my husband, simple country boy from Clyde, ended up at the party we attended last night.

Here's a little background. The whole reason we planned this trip was to attend the ASCAP Awards dinner. Elliott's publisher's have been talking about it all year. They always reserve a table and ride together and hang out together and it's a lot of fun. That's happening tonight, by the way. Anyway, a few weeks ago, Elliott tells me there is another thing he's been invited to that's for song writers and they really hoped he could come because he would be getting an award. He told me I didn't really have to go if I didn't want to because he knew that I'd have to find another dress and all that stuff that goes with it. It wasn't black tie so I wasn't worried about finding a dress, I just didn't know what to expect. Sometimes those are the hardest ones to prepare for. I borrowed a dress from Francesca and decided I'd go and stand around with Elliott and keep him company.

The event was called the NSAI Hall of Fame dinner. Elliott was getting an award for "The 10 songs I wish I'd written." Because Elliott was getting an award, we were supposed to be there at 5 and the thing would start at 6. We got all "gussied up" and drove to the Renaissance Hotel and decided to use the valet since it requires no thought and is the safest bet if you're from the country and don't want to look like it. When we got inside, we went directly to the registration table to get our table assignment. The woman behind the table looked up and smiled and said, "Wow, your dress really rocks!" [thank you again, Fran!] The lady told us that we needed to be seated at our table by 5:40 since the show would start promptly at 6.

We walked around the lobby for a while and watched people drink and schmooze. Elliott ran into a couple of people he knew and had a little small talk and then we went back to feeling awkward. I told Elliott that I hate standing around looking like I don't know anyone. He said, "Have you ever noticed someone standing around by themselves and wondered why they weren't talking to anyone?" I said, "No." He said, "Well then no one is thinking that about us." [ So that's how he does it!]
Elliott asked me if I wanted a drink and I said no. He decided to get a water, so he walked up to the cash bar and picked up a water out of the cooler, started to open it and walk away. The bartender said, "Excuse me sir, I need your ticket." So Elliott confidently opens his wallet and hands him the table assignment ticket we had just been given. The bartender then looked at me because he really didn't know what else to do. I whispered to Elliott that he needed to pay for the water at the table behind us. He turned around and went up to the lady with all the tickets. She asked him what he would like and he said he just wanted a water. She said it would be $4.50 and handed him a ticket and his change. He turned around and went back to the bar where he started to open the water and walk away. The guy said, "Uh, sir, I need your ticket." I took the ticket from Elliott and handed it to the bartender and just smiled. I hadn't ever bought a drink at a cash bar, but I knew vaguely how it worked. I started to explain it to Elliott but the whole thing just sounded so silly, I didn't bother.

At 5:40, we went in to the main ballroom and it was fixed up just like all the awards shows you see on tv only on a little bit smaller scale. It was nice! We walked around looking at table numbers and finally found our table at the very front near the stage. We sat down and I took some pictures of the table set up and the room and stuff. [Don't worry Erica, I had a little camera that fit in my evening bag and I wasn't at all obnoxious!] After a few minutes, a couple came and sat down next to us. He had written "Before He Cheats" for Carrie Underwood and his wife was some independant artist that's more popular in Europe than here. They were very nice and fun to chat with the whole evening.

At 6 they started the awards presentation, just as they said they would and along with the others, Elliott went up with Walt and received his award and had his picture taken. The whole thing was pretty simple. He didn't have to give a speech or anything and he was only on the stage for a couple of minutes max. I knew that the second half of this dinner was devoted to inducting people into the songwriter's hall of fame, I just didn't know who the people were that would be inducted.

Let me just say, Elliott and I just sat in amazement for the next 2 hours or so wondering how in the world they let us in! They started off with Lester Flatt and Earl Scruggs. They are basically responsible for the bluegrass movement we have today. There was a band of old timers that played some of his stuff and it was really good. Next was Dottie Rambo, introduced by Barbara Mandrell. She's written over 2500 songs and some of her stuff is just getting recorded because she started at a time when women had a hard time breaking into the music business and the "church" didn't like the sound of some of her stuff. I don't know how old she is, but she's pretty old and she had this entourage and she was this little spitfire. I wanted to sit down with her and just listen to her stories for hours! Her granddaughter sang some of her songs and it was like I was in church. I kind of forgot where I was when she started singing "Come Holy Spirit!" I got tears in my eyes at the way she sang it and then Dottie went up to receive her award and started thanking Jesus Christ for all that he's placed in her and talking about how proud she was of her granddaughter, whose name is Destiny, and how she has a destiny for the Kingdom. Wow. Everyone else was just kind of fiddling with their napkins and nervously smiling. Then they introduced and woman named Holly Williams and she came out and started talking about how proud she was of her dad, Hank Williams, Jr. What a shift. I almost got whiplash going from "Come Holy Spirit" to "All my rowdy friends are comin' over tonight!" I had heard the mc say earlier, "Bocephus is in the house" but I didn't know what that meant!

Gretchen Williams sang a Hank song and then "The Hitmen of Music Row did some songs honoring another writer. Keith Urban was there, but I just saw him on the big screen, he was sitting on the other side of the room from us. Taylor Swift got an award and I was surprised at how tall she is. All in all, the night was amazing. We got to hear great music and see a lot of neat people. Elliott had more friends after the show than he did before it started. [apparently, only the winners knew they would be getting an award, no one else knew. So after the thing was over, people he had met several years ago only one time suddenly remembered him!]

Elliott is a little confused right now. Pray for him. He hates all the vanity he sees around him and doesn't really want to be a part of it, but he's doesn't really know what his purpose is here. He's not sure he should continue making trips here or if he should just start doing the coffee house thing around Abilene. All I know for sure is that Elliott has greatness inside of him and it's not there for him to be able to tell stories of all the famous people he's met. It's there to further the kingdom. I told him to just be patient and God would show him what to do. He didn't like that answer.

Anyway, we're going to relax today and start getting ready for tonight's party a little later. I know we'll have fun at this one because we'll have a bunch of people we know to hang out with. I'll post pics when I get back, I've got my sister's camera and I can't get the pictures off of it.

Thursday, October 04, 2007


I have a question for all of you. When someone sneezes, do you say "Bless You?"

I don't know when it started for me, but I feel a strange conviction not to say it. Years ago, I came across some information somewhere about the origins of this phrase. I don't remember everything I heard back then so I did a little wiki search and found that it's origins could date back as far as the 6th century. There are several theories, from the belief that a sneeze was the onset of the bubonic plague to the belief that when you sneeze, it's your body's effort to force out an evil spirit. Saying "God bless you" was basically an attempt to halt a disease or sheild someone against those evil spirits being expelled. Doesn't that sound silly? I love to bless people, but not in ways that are socially obligatory. I have this thing about doing things that have always been done for reasons that no one seems to be able to pinpoint.

If sneezing really were the first signal that you had the bubonic plague, wouldn't it be more helpful to just pray for that person? There are people out there, you know who you are, who will say "Bless You" to anyone, anywhere. My mom will say it from the other side of the house if she hears anything that even remotely sounded like a sneeze. The other day, I was in a store and a man who was shopping right next to me sneezed. I was the only one around him and I felt this incredible pressure to bless him. I felt like he was thinking, "What kind of an insensitive jerk are you? Didn't you just hear me sneeze? Now bless me, dangit!"

If you say it, you are somehow equated with being a kind and thoughtful person. If you don't, you are self-absorbed and you secretly wish that all sneezers would just die, already. I've seen people look up in a panic and say it really fast in an attempt to be the first one to say it. Thereby making that person the nicest in the room, I guess. It's kind of like that episode of Seinfeld where Kramer refuses to "wear the ribbon." Everyone acts annoyed with him that he won't do it until the end when everyone is chasing him down the street with red ribbons.

One day in church, Erica was sitting next to me and she sneezed. I just sat there. She looked over at me and gave me a look, you know the one, and said, "I just sneezed. Aren't you going to bless me?" I said, "Oh yeah, I don't do that." I got another look and then, "Well what do you say when your kids sneeze?" I said, "Goodness!" She just rolled her eyes.

So.....if you happen to be around me and you sneeze, I might say "Goodness!" or I might say, "Good luck with that." or I might just smile. But you probably will not hear "Bless you."

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Breath mint, please!

Yesterday, Elliott was telling Autie a story to try to get her to take a nap. [Mainly because he wanted to take one!] They laid down and Elliott started telling her about the three little pigs. Now this was a classic Elliott story with the names changed to make it more interesting and all the voices to make it a little scarier. When it came to the wolf's part, Elliott used his deepest, scariest, wolf voice and when he finished that part, he looked over at Autie and she had her hands covering her whole face. Elliott said, "What's wrong, Autie?"

Autie uncovered her face and said, "I don't like the way that wolf smells."

Thursday, September 20, 2007

This morning, Elliott went to a funeral for an aquaintence. He was actually the deputy sheriff for Callahan County and his son sometimes played baseball with John. I only saw him a few times, but he was very nice and it's always sad when someone dies so young and has small children. Anyway, the funeral was at 10 and Elliott came in the house about 15 minutes after he had left. I asked him why he was back so soon and here's the conversation that followed:

Elliott: Well, the funeral was at the Church of Christ and you know how small it is. There were people standing outside just talking because there wasn't any room for anyone else in the church. I wasn't going to stand around outside talking to people I don't know about someone I didn't know very well for the whole funeral. [And, it's important to mention here that Elliott couldn't take off his suit jacket because I only had time to iron the front part of his shirt that showed.]
Pam: It was nice of you to try. I guess people just don't think about that kind of detail when someone dies. They just wanted to have it at his home church.
Elliott: Where are you going to have my funeral?
Pam: Probably the Civic Center.
Elliott: That's what I wanted to hear.

That was funny and all, but seriously, though, keep these guys in your prayers. They're people in our community that we see around town now and then and they have families and jobs and hopes and dreams and most importantly, destinies. This kind of thing just makes me want to get out and get to know those people we see "every now and then" even more. This is the kind of thing that is a defining moment in someone's life. This can make or break a person. Not to mention a child. They need Jesus now more than ever. Anyway, you all know this stuff. I'm just preachin' to the choir.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Good idea!

This afternoon, while I was making supper, all the kids were trying to talk at once and the noise level was rising pretty fast. Then, in the middle of it all, Autie said in the loudest voice of all of them,

"Hey! You guys want to soak?"

You know, my daughter sees a need, and she wants to fill it!

In the hands of an angry God?

This is what I heard this morning while Autie was getting dressed:


He's got the whole world in his hands,
He's got the whole world in his hands,
He's got the whole world in his hands,

[long pause]

Shake it all around.
[to the tune of the last line of the above song]

I'm just thankful God doesn't do the Hokey Pokey!

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Be healed in the name 0f Jesus!

Yesterday, my kids were n the cmputer playing games when they all started t fight ver whs turn it was. I stmped ver there, tld them all t g sit n the cuch until I was ready t dispense justice. when I went t turn the cmputer ff, I nticed water all ver the keybard. WATER!!! I immediately went int freak ut panic mde. This is Ellitt's very expensive laptp that we're talking abut. The ne he takes t Nashville s he can d his real jb while he's there. I panicked. I grabbed the thing, unplugged every wire that was cnnected t it and turned it upside dwn. Water came dripping ut f it!!! That's hw bad it was. I set it pen and upside dwn n a twel and prceeded t pace. I let it sit there all afternn and I didn't tell Ellitt. That's right, I was nt abut t tell Ellitt what had happened. I wuld surely be grunded r spanked [nt in a gd way, either]. After letting it sit fr a lng while, I set it back up and turned it n. Everything really seemed t be running smthly. s I went n with my day thinking I had really ddged a huge bullet.

Fast frward abut 2 r 3 hurs. I start t sit dwn and d sme stuff with the cmputer and Ellitt says, "Hey dn't mess with that right nw. It's acting funny and I need t d a diagnstic n it." Crap! Nw what d I d? still, I say nthing. Right abut nw yur prbably thinking what a dishnest wife I am, but believe me, I had my reasns fr nt saying anything. First f all, I didn't want t agree that my cmputer was fried. By telling Ellitt that the kids fried it, I wuld be speaking death ver it. secndly, I did nt want my husband t get mad and start prclaiming negative things ver it. Things like, "h great! Mre mney dwn the drain." r "well, that's it. Might as well tss $xxxx.xx in the trash can." I just started praying again, really hard.

This afternn, I was trying t use the cmputer and it started reallly wigging ut n me. I had had enugh f the dishnesty. I tld Ellitt. He did freak ut a little, but I decided t stp him befre he said anything negative. I tld him that it didn't have t be fried if we didn't want it t be fried and he lked at me like I was a little fried. Then he went t the bedrm and shut the dr. He better nw, but I think he is just aviding the whle subject.

Here's where yu cme int the stry. Please pray fr my cmputer. I believe that I dn't have t live by the law that says if yu get water in a cmputer it will die. I believe that my cmputer can be brught back frm the brink f death. I wuld like t see this miracle manifested in a few ways. First, I there are several keys that are nt all! ne f thse keys is the letter that is in between the i key and the p key. There are thers that dn't wrk, like the number key that's between 8 and 0 and the shift n the right side. There are sme ther things, t, but frankly, typing it ut wuld anny me way t much. I wuld like t see all f these things back t nrmal. N0, make that better than nrmal. I wuld like my Mac t run like it was created by steve jbs t run! In the name f Jesus!

Thursday, September 06, 2007

No naked ballets here.

This morning I was taking Francesca's girls home with me after coffee and heard Autie and Avery in the backseat planning what they were going to do when they got to the house. Autie would do a ballet move with her arms and call out some weird name for it that she made up, of course, and Avery would copy her and repeat what she said. I said, "Hey, girls. Why don't we watch Barbie's 12 Dancing Princesses Ballet lesson when we get home and you can learn some of the moves together?" Autie and Avery squealed with delight. Then, Autie leaned in close to Avery and whispered, "We'll have to keep our clothes on, though."

Saturday, September 01, 2007

Adventures with the Tooth Fairy (Part 2)

This past Tuesday was my 2nd appointment with my favorite cosmetic dentist in the whole world. There was actually a meeting in between the first and second appointments in which I didn't open my mouth at all, just my wallet. Or Elliott's. And his jaw was actually open pretty wide, come to think of it. This appointment would prove to be a little more uncomfortable for me than the initial consultation.

Let's start at the beginning. When I got there, Elizabeth, the assistant, took me to a room with huge windows looking out on a rock fountain and fish pond. Elizabeth told me to take my shoes off if I wanted and get comfortable in the chair. This chair had some kind of tempurpedic pad or something on the top of the regular chair you're used to seeing. You know how I love that stuff invented by NASA! Anyway, I sat down, she leaned me back and then put headphones on me. Then she handed me the remote to the tv that was IN THE CEILING! I started channel surfing while she put a mask over my nose that had nitrous oxide coming out of it. I pushed a button on the remote that made a menu come up and I couldn't get it to go away so Elizabeth had to stop what she was doing and fix it. When she got it going again, I said, "Just find the Food Network and I'll be fine." Elizabeth was doing prep stuff when another girl came in and started giving me a hand and arm massage. For a minute I thought I was at the spa to get my nails done and then I remembered this was, in fact, the dentist. Just when they got me all relaxed and happy, Dr. Leedy came in and started to work. I don't have to tell you that most dentist appointments start off with some kind of shot so if that bothers you, well, I've already said it so nevermind. I have to say that that shot hurt pretty bad. My toes were curled like the wicked witch that got smashed by the house. I was holding on to those arm rests like I was about to be ejected. I was sucking on that Nitrous like it was going out of style. I was using similes like there was no tomorrow. Sorry, I got carried away. I got 3 shots. One above each of my two front teeth and one behind them kind of on the roof of my mouth. I know your butt is tight just hearing about it. Pretty soon after that, I was fine. She started drilling during Giada and didn't stop until well into Emeril. It was like she came to my door and told me what she was going to be doing to the outside of my house and then I went inside, turned on the Food Network and vegged out while listening to people working outside. Nice.

After a while of me dozing on and off, everything stopped. When I could see that the coast was clear, I felt my two front teeth with my tongue. Whoa. What's this I feel? How about next to nothing. My teeth were what felt like little nubs. I asked if I could go to the bathroom because I really couldn't hold it any longer. Elizabeth said, "Sure. Just don't look at yourself because we don't have your temporaries in yet." I said, "Okay." Yeah, right. Of course I looked. I felt like one of those people you see on Extreme Makeover, or in Baird. (That was Kristy Belcher's joke! She just loooooves Baird.) I got back to the chair and Elizabeth squirted some stuff on my teeth and then stuck the temporary on. That was it. She gave me a mirror and I felt like I was looking at Mr. Ed. Since then, I've gotten used to them. I've been using a whitening tray at night to whiten my other teeth so when I go back in two weeks, they'll know what shade of white to make the permanent crown. I'm so excited! Elliott took a picture of me and did some fiddling in photoshop and found that if I had them shave about a sixteenth of an inch off of the permanent set, they would look even better. We'll do that on the next appointment.

The only other thing I had done on that visit was get my initial cleaning. Let me remind you, I haven't had my teeth cleaned, by a professional, in over 10 years. I thought I did a pretty good job in the mean time with all the tools I have, and the hygienist even said they looked better than she thought they would, but man did it hurt. She was scraping and I was cringing all over again. My mouth was sore for two days after that. Anyway, I will be going to my next appointment on the 11th or the 12th and then I get my permanents on October 9th. Just in time for the ASCAP awards. (More on that later) I'm not posting any pictures until then because I want true before and after shots. And, of course, I'll include one of my tooth fairy!

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

I found a new way to waste time on the internet. As if we need another one added to the list. It's called Scrapblog and it's a way to create an online scrapbook that your friends can look at. You just drag and drop pictures to premade templates or create your own from scratch. They have all kinds of icons you can also put in there like you would die cuts or stamps. You can add music and even narrate it if you want. On the home page, click on tutorial and watch a five minute video on how easy it is to use. If nothing else, click on it to listen to the guy narrating the tutorial...dreamy! I haven't played with it too much yet, but I told conventional scrapbook queen Rachel about it and I'm expecting a review pretty soon. Check it out.
This morning, Autie and I were in the car and Autie had her head leaned up against the window. She said, "Oh, wow mommy. It feels like I'm on a holocoster!" I thought about that a moment. She was trying to say one of three things:

a) she was in a helicopter,
b) she was on a roller coaster or
c) she was on some horrid Nazi theme park ride.

I repeated the word she said back to her and she stumbled over her words a bit and then said, "No, I feel like I'm in a helicopter."

Whew! Thank goodnes!

Monday, August 27, 2007

Vacation memories

Here are some pics of our recent trip to Dauphin Island, Alabama. No one got hurt, everyone had a great time and we'll be back next year for more fun!

We're on the road! Our van started acting funny before we left so we ended up taking Nunie's suburban. Boy am I glad we did! Here's the girls (Autie, Anna, Bailey and Jordan) watching High School Musical 2! What a life saver. You know what I like about this picture? The greasy hand prints on the top of the seats. That's classy!

We made a pitstop somewhere in Louisiana for Billy to change his tire. I got to looking at the tire gauge my dad let us borrow and it turns out it really belongs to Billy. He didn't even know his family was into making tire pressure gauges!

All the kids playing in the pool that's in our deck. Did I mention the house had a pool in the deck? If I didn't, I'm surprised because this trip would not have been possible without the pool in the deck. It was the single biggest factor in us renting this particular house. We will never, I repeat, never rent a beach house without some kind of pool right outside the door!

A view of our sweet, not so little beach house. Notice the pool on the right side of the deck. Did I mention how wonderful this pool was? Just outside the door?

So, it turns out that somewhere in my blood line is mermaid. I'm Somoan, but I didn't know there was some mermaid in there, too. And it got passed right on down to Autumn. She swam the entire time we were there. She's not afraid, either. She wanted to go out to the sand bar with the big kids, but there weren't enough adults to hold her. So she was content to play in the surf while all the big kids played on the boogie boards.

Anna, on the other hand, is what I would call a "social swimmer." She doesn't much like the salt water getting on her and she doesn't like getting sand in her swimsuit. She just jumped over the waves as they came in and played in the pool. Did I mention the pool!?!

Avery didn't really like the beach at all. She's already a little afraid of water when it's contained in a swimming pool so you can imagine how overwhelming the ocean was. She liked the pool, though. She and Anna hung out.

This is milk glass man. I don't need to point out which one he is. Elliott and I saw him and we immediatly started trying to think of a name for the kind of white he is. The best word we could come up with is milk glass. You know, the old glass containers that cold cream used to come in. They were white, but almost so white they were blue. These guys were staying in a house close to ours. Milk glass man apparently doesn't get out into the sun that much. He had to put his shirt on later because he was starting to burn. Really? You're kidding!

It seems that my hunter, John, has to hunt down and kill something everywhere we go so it made sense that one of the first things he did was catch a crab and insist that we grill it up and make him a crabby patty! He ended up being grossed out and couldn't eat it after all. A little too late for Mr. Crab.

This shot pretty much sums up the way the house was from morning until night. We spent most of our time saying, "You're wet. Where's your towel? Don't come in here dripping like that! Where's your towel?"

John and Paige both did really well on the boogie boards. They would catch a wave and sometimes ride it all the way to the beach. They had so much fun!

This shot is a little hard to explain but it's just so funny looking I had to include it. After watching HSM2 for the 18th time, naturally we had some of the songs stuck in our head. This is Elliott's interpretive dance to one of those songs.

This has to be one of my all-time favorite shots from the vacation. Don't they look so cute, I mean, cool. I'm not going to say anything about their future, I'm just going to hang on to this one in case I need it later.

Here's mermaid's hiney. I thought it was cute that you could see some of her skin suit!

This is the restaurant the adults went to while Mia and Jordan watched the kids. How sweet is that set-up?!? It was a really neat looking restaurant.

Hi. My name is Elliott. I lost my glasses in the Atlantic Ocean. I can't see further than 3 feet in front of me. Where are you?

Billy and Elliott trying to wrangle a wild gator while we were waiting for a table. Our heroes!

We are so stuffed we can hardly smile!

We had to go to an optometrist so Elliott could get a prescription for some contacts. The doctor's name was Michael Jordan. He said he couldn't believe we didn't go a little farther to Gulf Shores or Orange Beach. Apparently the beaches are waaaaay better there. Thank you Mr. Jordan. We have 7 kids and 2 teenagers and you think we should have driven farther? You better stick to eye exams!

This picture was taken literally just before we all got in to our cars to head home. Bye Dauphin Island. We'll see you next year!

Friday, August 17, 2007

You gotta see this!

Among my many nicknames is the name "dirty van Pam." (thanks, Erica) I thought this would be a good time to post a picture of my van all shiny and clean. Since we're about to leave for vacation, I took her to the car wash today and got her all gussied up. I know it has been raining, but I couldn't wait any longer. I don't want to drive through three states with people laughing at my west Texas dust! Enjoy!

I have a confession to make. I feel dirty. Violated. Out of control. Last night I went to Wwwww. Try again. Wwwwaaaaa. Deep breath. Wwwwaaaal Mart. There. I said it. I was shopping for school supplies with Francesca and as is the routine, there wasn't one single store that had everything I needed. It seems that the stockers at all the major outlets have a hard time ordering school supplies in bulk. Actually, it just seems that there is a shortage of 12x18 Manila drawing paper, 9x12 colored construction paper and D'Nelian handwriting tablets. What is a D'Nelian handwriting tablet?

Anyway, back to my confession. Target didn't have what we needed so we ended up at Wal-Mart from about 9:45 to 11:00. What a nightmare. There were shrink wrapped pallets everywhere making it impossible to maneuver my cart from one place to another. We couldn't find what we were looking for and at one point I saw a woman with a puzzled look on her face because she couldn't find what she needed and a man walking toward her just said, "Don't bother. They're out of everything." Then they announced over the PA that there was a ban on water in Abilene and they happen to be completely out of bottled water. And oh yeah, the bathrooms have been closed so if you need go you'll have to use a port-o-potty outside the store, in the rain. It just was not a very pleasant experience. I will admit there was a time when I would get a surge of adrenaline right before I walked into a Wal-Mart at 11:00 pm. Just knowing I could do my shopping at any time I wanted to, day or night, and get everything in one store excited me. Well, not anymore. I'll take HEB, thank you.

Today we leave for vacation. I can't tell you how excited I am. One week at the beach in Alabama. Of course, we will have to stop at a Wal-Mart in Mobile to get all of our groceries. Oh, well.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Just kill me now

The other night my oh-so-sensitive daughter Autie, who was feeling particularly lovey-dovey said, "Daddy, when I grow up can I marry you?" Elliott proceeded to melt all over the floor while Anna burst into laughter at such a preposterous question. "No, silly," she said "when you're old enough to get married Daddy will be dead."

Then I overheard her thinking out loud to herself, "I wonder what I'm going to look like when I'm pregnant."

Just kill me now.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Sandwiches, naps, one autograph and, oh yeah, some pretty expensive books

This post could prove to be a little long winded, but hang in there it's pretty funny.

Earlier in the summer, I was at home on a regular day with the kids screaming in the living room and Elliott looking, hopelessly, for some peace and quiet in his office in the bedroom. I was sitting at my computer, goofing off, when I heard a loud knock at the door. I jumped, of course, and turned around to see someone I didn't recognize standing on the porch. When I opened the door, I found a cute little college girl with her hair pulled back and a really sweet smile. She introduced herself as Jenny and started to make conversation with my kids. I felt a little weird at this point because I didn't know who she was or why she was on my porch. She asked if she could sit down and talk with me for a bit about books and children's education. Things like that. I thought maybe she was an overachieving college student from Abilene who maybe had a student teaching job at one of the schools or something and she was out getting acquainted with everyone. How sweet. Well, turns out she's straight up a sales person for a book company. And a pretty good one at that, judging by the books I can see on my shelf right now. Sorry, I'm getting ahead of myself.

She starts doing the sales person thing where they show you everything they have and everything it does and asking you questions like, "Don't you think you could use something like this?" and "I bet this could come in pretty handy with four kids around." She kept asking me random school questions about science and history. I didn't know all of the answers, but I knew enough for her to call me a super mom more than once and attempt to give me no less than 14 high fives. Here's how it would go:

Jenny: I bet you don't know what photosynthesis is, do you?
Me: Well, I believe it's the process that's plants use to turn sunlight into energy.
Jenny: Wow, you're a supermom. High five!
Me: (embarrassed)

Just about that time, Elliott comes out onto the porch wondering what we're all doing out there on such an uncomfortable afternoon. I said, "Honey, this is Jenny. She wants to show us some books." Coming to my rescue like he does, Elliott says, "Well why don't we go inside where it's cooler." Sure. We want her to be completely comfortable so she can finish this thing. Elliott starts trying to get to the point and find out how much everything is, but she's staying firmly on track. Finally, Elliott tells her that he's not interested in anything but the reference books and would you please tell me how much they are. She starts going into quiz mode again asking, "Do you know how much college text books are now days? How much do you think one of these books is worth? How much do you think all of them are worth?" We eventually got a price out of her and I looked at Elliott and said, "This is your call. Whatever." So we bought them.

You have to know Elliott, though. As most of you do. He is very old fashioned. If someone came by selling big, clunky, black, rotary dial phones door to door, Elliott would buy two of them. Even though he's in a business that's smack dab in the middle of technology, he hates progress. He loves knowing that in the event of a four day power outage, if he wants to know the capital of Tunisia, he can physically look it up.

So she says we can put half down now and we can pay the rest when the books arrive in August. (Don't even ask!)

Well, over the past weeks I've been hearing about this girl and all her weird supermom high-five behavior from all my friends. I will admit I was a little embarrassed that we had bought books from her. Anyway, fast forward to a couple of weeks ago. I got a little post card in the mail saying our books had arrived and Jenny would be by sometime on the 4th to deliver them and collect the balance. I totally forgot about the 4th on the 4th until I was in the middle of Lowe's with Elliott. I said, "Oh my gosh, what's today?" Elliott said, "Today is the 4th. Why?" I told him I had forgotten about the books and I wondered what she would do when we weren't there. Would she camp out on our porch? Would she go hang out at the in-laws house across the street? When we got home there was a message on the answering machine. It was Jenny and she was talking so fast I really couldn't hardly understand a thing she said. Did I mention she hails from North Carolina? I couldn't hear the phone number clearly and I couldn't find that stupid little yellow post card with her number on it so I just figured she'd come back the next day or something.

Well, she almost technically did come back the next day because as I was again sitting at my computer I heard a knock at the door at 10:54 PM!!! This time I jumped out of my seat, manually restarted my heart and turned around to see who in the world could be knocking at my door at that time of night. Honestly, the last person in the world I expected to see was Jenny the book girl. Who does that? So I open the door because I still couldn't see who was there and lo and behold, there's Jenny the book girl. She had the same big smile on her face and she was lugging a big plastic box with books in it. She said, "Hi. I have been delivering books all day. I have yours and I wanted to real quick show you how to use them." Use them? You mean, the books? I know how to use books. If you want to teach me about html or something like that, maybe another time. Books I can handle.

I invite her in and run around the house looking for Elliott's check book. Back and forth from the house to his truck because he says it's in there and I can't find it. Finally, I get her the check and she proceeds to show me how to use these books. Then she tries to sell some "extra books that the company shipped that if she doesn't sell them she'll be stuck with them so she's slashing the pricing and eating the extra tax and shipping costs." "I think I'll just stick with what I got" I told her.

This next part is a little surreal for me, but I enjoyed it nonetheless. After I thought we were done, she gets this sheepish look on her face and asks if she can ask a favor. I couldn't imagine what she was going to ask for. She said that some of the other people she talked to around town asked her if she knew who Elliott Park was. She said she just loved the song and she felt like a highschooler asking this, but could she maybe have Elliott's autograph. I wasn't even sure the superstar was awake. I went back to our room and he was at his computer, doing some kind of work. I told him Jenny the book girl was in the kitchen with our books and she wanted his autograph. I just left it at that. I was laughing so hard on the inside. Elliott came out, signed an extra Heartland cd we had in a drawer, she blushed, thanked him then went on her way.

I thought that would be the last I'd hear about Jenny the book girl. UNTIL...I was at my mother-in-laws house and I asked her if the book girl had come looking for us that day while we were out. She said, "No. She didn't come over here, but I was talking to some ladies at my church and a couple of the ladies said she did some strange things."

I asked her what they said and she proceeded to tell me the following conversation:

Nunie - Did a girl come by any of ya'lls houses selling books?
Woman #1 - Why, yes. And after she got done with her sales pitch she told me that she hadn't eaten all day and would it be possible for me to make her a sandwich. So I made her a sandwich.
Nanie (Nunie's sister) - She asked for a sandwich at my house, too. And I gave her one.
Woman #2 - She did the very same thing at my house, only after I made her the sandwich and she ate it, she asked if there was a place she might be able to lie down. I told her I had a guest room she could use and she took a really long nap in there.

The story was starting to sound vaguely familiar. Only she didn't have blonde hair and she wasn't poking around a cabin owned by bears who were out on a nature walk all afternoon. I thought maybe I was being punk'd, but come on, this is Clyde, Texas. I'm thankful that all she asked from us was an autograph because I don't have a guest room and I was not about to make a midnight snack for her!

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

I just love to cook!

I have another favorite blog. The last time I had a favorite blog it was The Cleaner Plate Club, which is in my list of favorites over there on the right. She has lots of good recipes and talks about stuff like organics and the farm bill and things like that and I'm a nerd and like most of that stuff, but it's not real popular blog fodder among most of my friends. So, while visiting The Cleaner Plate Club today, I found a blog that I know all my friends who like to cook will just LOVE! It's called The Pioneer Woman Cooks! (Ooooh, I love it already!) This woman is from L.A. and she married a cattle rancher and moved to the middle of nowhere. Her site not only has great recipes, but step by step instructions how to make them. I'm so visual. I just didn't know how much seeing every step of a recipe, in beautiful, full color, would inspire me to cook more. Now I need to go to the grocery store!

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Adventures with the Tooth Fairy (Part 1)

Today I went to the dentist. For the first time in over 10 years. I must say it was a really pleasant experience. I got there at 10:30 and filled out all the necessary paperwork. Then, Elizabeth, took me into a consultation room to discuss my goals for my dental health. I told her that I wanted to start having regular checkups again and that I wanted to maybe get veneers for my two front teeth. She was adorable. And she knew her stuff. I had about 15 x-rays taken and then computer pictures of all of my teeth. I got to see all of them up close. The last time I was in a dentist's office was about 2 years ago and I was not a patient. We all know how that went. Anyway, this was a much better experience.

While Elizabeth was checking out my teeth up-close, she said that they looked very good for not having been looked at in over 10 years. She said that I hardly had any tarter build-up. What she didn't know is that I can't stand to feel stuff on my teeth. I like my teeth to feel smooth like they look. Every once in a while, when they start feeling "not smooth," I get out my tools and scrape away. Sorry if this is gross. I have been doing it for as long as I can remember as an adult. I wondered for a minute if I should let her in on my secret or if I should just let her think that I have super tarter-impervious teeth. I decided to tell her. She was pretty impressed. She said I had been doing a pretty good job. After getting all the pictures she needed, she left to go get the dentist.

After a few minutes, she came back and said that it would be a little bit longer since the dentist was still with another patient. Normally, they don't do this on the first visit, but since I had to wait a little while, she had one of the girls from the spa come in and give me a hand and forearm massage. Wow! My whole body felt relaxed. I bet they do that again just before they tell you how much everything is going to cost!

The dentist came in a little while later and can I just say that I love this woman?!? She is so maternal. I just wanted to crawl up in her lap and ask her to tell me the story about the big bad cavity one more time! She is the wife dentist of the husband/wife dentist team at Abilene Dental. Her specailty is cosmetics. She said that Elizabeth told her about my tarter eradicating skills and she thought I might have a hidden talent as a dental hygienist. She went on to look at my teeth one by one and call out the number and some descriptive terms I wasn't familiar with about the condition of each one. She also felt my jaw muscles and asked if I slept with my mouth open (yes) and if I ever grind my teeth (yes, again, usually when I go shopping). I also told her that with all of my four pregnancies I craved ice like some people crave pickles. She said that explained some of the wear that she thought was from grinding.

The verdict on the whole thing was that I have some cavities that are in early enough stages to catch before needing root canals or crowns and that I would benefit from veneers on my front teeth. Not only for cosmetic reasons, but to prevent tooth decay in the places where my old bonding is wearing away. She also told me I might want to consider Invisalign to straighten my teeth out a little. I think that might be unnecessary. She agreed that my dental health would be fine without having my teeth straightened, so I'm pretty sure Elliott is going to say no thank you to that! I have an appointment at the end of the month to discuss what direction I want to go and how much it's going to cost. All in all, it was not a bad way to spend two and a half hours away from the kids. I'll keep you posted on the rest and maybe when it's all over, I can post some before and after shots on here. Who knows, maybe you'll see them on KTAB when they do their dental segment on Mondays!

Friday, July 13, 2007

This little post is dedicated to my friends Alan and Cortney who will be heading off to a honeymoon in  Mexico very soon!

On my computer, I have a screen saver slideshow of pictures of exotic places. Beautiful islands, tropical fish, hammocks under palm trees, places I would love to visit. Sometimes when it's going, the girls will just sit in my chair and look at the pictures. Well, today, John noticed the pictures.

John: Oh mom, can we go to that place for our vacation instead of the beach house?
Me: I don't think so. We're still going to Alabama. You can go to that place someday when you go on your honeymoon!
John: I don't want to go there on my honeymoon.
Me: Why not?
John: Because the girl will be there and I won't get to go swimming!

Congratulations Alan and Cortney. Have fun swimming in Mexico!

How did this happen?

The Daniel Fast is over and yet it seems I'm being followed by vegetables. I checked out the farmer's market across from Frontier Texas last Tuesday and found some great stuff. Then, my mother-in-law loaded me up with tomatoes, bell peppers and every shape of sqaush from their garden. I wasn't planning on that. Here's the rundown:

green beans
squash - yellow, zuchinni, weird white ones, white and green freckled ones
red tomatoes
yellow tomatoes
green bell peppers
yellowish green mild peppers

not shown:


So far, I've roasted some of the squash, onions and peppers and I made a homemade tomato sauce like Joel showed us with the red and yellow tomatoes.

With the rest, I think I'm going to film an episode of veggie tales for children's church!

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Summer Vacation: Plan B

I guess if you've spent any time around Francesca or me, you've heard how we got shafted out of our vacation beach house on South Padre Island. Well, suffice it to say, if you're planning a trip to Padre, don't rent a house from a woman named Trish Smith. Just don't even think about it. God did provide something else, though. Something way better. He likes to do that! Here it is.

It has 4 bedrooms, sleeps 14 and has a kiddie pool in the deck! We're taking Mia and her friend Jordan and 7 of our kids. It's on Dauphin Island, Alabama and there appears to be nothing but sand and houses on that part of the island. We've already paid the down payment so it's on!

Monday, July 09, 2007

O Canada! Part Deux (the pictures)

I know it's taken a while to get these up, but I tell you, It takes forever to get a lot of pictures up at one time. And I still don't like how it looks. I just don't have time to study html in my free time right now! Is it this hard for everyone???

When we flew into Calgary, it was getting dark so there wasn't much to see. We checked into our hotel in Banff and hit the sack. The "sack" by the way, was apparently filled with concrete. I gather Canadians don't sleep much because their beds were extremely hard. I woke up the next morning when the sun came peeping through the curtains at 4:30 am, but decided that was a little too early so I went back to sleep and got up at around 6:15. I got dressed and went out into the town to take a few pictures.

Our hotel with beautiful mountains behind it.

 Cool, old, Presbyterian church.

Breakfast at a local hangout. Mmmmm...lots of crispy bacon!

I wanted one of these so bad. So.....I went back later and got one. I expected it to taste like a gigantic turtle. You know, chocolate, caramel and peanuts. It was called a Murtle and instead of peanuts it had cashews. It looks better than it actually was. (Not worth 6 Canadian dollars!)

I know you can't tell by the picture, but this hotel was spectacular! It's called the Fairmont Banff Springs and it was built in 1888. It was made in the style of a Scottish castle and it's just massive. It has 770 rooms and if you're thinking about staying there, a basic room for two will only set you back $459 Canadian.

Okay, this is Lake Louise and it was absolutely beautiful. The color is normally a turquoise green, but just 2 days earlier it was frozen over. The blurry looking stuff around the edge of the lake is the floating shards of ice because it had just recently melted. Close-up below. Anyway, the color comes from a mineral in the mountains you see behind the lake. It's a glacier fed lake, so the glaciers grind this mineral under them and they go into the lake with the water that comes off of them. The mineral floats in the water and absorbs all the colors in the spectrum except green and blue so that's why the lake is that color. Because it had just thawed, the pretty green color had only made it about half way across the lake. 

Another picture of Lake Louise with the glaciers behind it.

Halfway up the trail to two other lakes up in the mountains. The first was Mirror Lake and the one higher up was Lake Agnes aka Lake Agony. My hiking distance so far is 4 miles.

At the top of the falls that come from Lake Agnes. There was a teahouse up there, but it was still closed for the winter. Arrrrgggggghhhh.

Day . Took the Jasper Tramway up to the top of Whistlers Mountain.
View from the top. That's Jasper down below. Cute little town.

I know it looks like an ant trail, but that's the hike up to the very top of the mountain ridge that Elliott and his brother Eric just had to climb. I only made it halfway up. I think I could've died. If you're counting, my mileage so far is 4.5 miles.

View from the top. Elliott, of course, took the picture.

My Moses, coming down from the mountain with the freshly inscribed tablets!

Beautiful lake. Look how clear and blue the water is!

Here we are in front of our cute cabin in Jasper at 10:00pm! Imagine trying to put your kids to bed when 10:00 looks like this!

We hiked on a trail through Maligne Canyon that followed a river. We saw a place by the bank where the water was bubbling out. What does my husband do? He decides to stick his arm in up to his elbow. Boys! It turns out, it was an underground river that was flowing into the main river.

This is Pyramid Lake. So beautiful and tranquil. Until.....

Elliott rents a kayak that is way too small for our weight combined, then starts rocking it to scare me. I had a camera around my neck with about 200 pictures in it. Is he insane? All you could hear on this lake of tranquility was me screaming at my husband to sit still!

How's that for the retired life? That's Elliott's mom rowing her newly retired husband around in a row boat! Elliott, don't get your hopes up!

If there's something to climb, the boys will climb it. Now I know where that comes from!

Couldn't go to Canada without taking a picture of a Moose. Or is that an Elk?

Last day we were there, it looked like the weather was going to turn bad. There were some low clouds that actually covered the tops of some of the mountains. John had said before we left that he wanted to see a cloud on the top of a mountain, so this picture is for him!