Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Weekend Recap Part 2

I'm finally at a stopping point in my week to tell you about the rest of our weekend. See, what I mean about being busy all of the sudden!

Friday night, David and Daniel were at Judgement House, and Anna had wrangled a way to stay at her friends house while we we went to Samuel's football game. We usually take Lauren with us, but she decided to stay home and study for the ACT she and Samuel were both taking the next morning at 8:00. Smart girl.

The game was in Magnolia, which is a good two hours away. Stephen and I were alone so we decided to stop by our favorite south Arkansas restaurant in El Dorado, MELS. (All caps are how they write the name.) We enjoyed the best gumbo and bacon wrapped shrimp ever. In. The. World.

We made it to Magnolia in time to watch all the pre game warm-ups. We don't usually get to a game early, so it was fun to watch. The game was a defensive battle. I usually text mom, dad, and Charlie (Stephen's dad) with game updates. This game they got a text after the quarters. Nothing happened. No score. During the third quarter Samuel kicked a field goal that would have put us up 3-0 but he missed it. We weren't able to score and neither were they so at the end of regulation the game was 0-0. 

So, here we go into overtime. Magnolia had the ball first, didn't make a touchdown, and their field goal was blocked. We didn't make a touchdown, and Samuel's (Joseph Valient again) kick wasn't good. There is a little controversy about it, but the refs said no good.

Second overtime, we got the ball first, didn't score a touchdown, and Samuel's kick wasn't good. Magnolia fumbled and we went to the third overtime. 

My nerves at this point were shot. I needed a paper bag to breathe in. All the parents around me were just as nervous for me.

The third overtime, Magnolia gets the ball first and they don't score a touchdown and their kick is bad! Oh my! We get the ball, don't make a touchdown, and now Samuel has to kick a field goal. I stood up this time. The other two times, I sat down and tried to breathe. This time I continued to ask God to give him a Facing the Giants moment, and I stood up. And when that kick went through the uprights, and the refs arms went up, I jumped and screamed. I'm pretty sure you heard me wherever you were, oh my goodness! We all went crazy! The players ran and jumped around Samuel, coaches were high fiving and yelling. It was one of those scenes that you see on TV and you jump up and down in your living room! Crazy good!

Samuel's name was in the Pine Bluff paper, and the AR Democrat Gazette twice over the weekend. And only written as Joseph once! We gave him the weekend to celebrate, and wouldn't you know it he was mentioned in another article yesterday. It's funny, that we don't talk about the three kicks he missed, just the one he made. But, that's how we like to relive the memory!

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Weekend Recap Part 1

The lazy slow summer has come to an end, and a busy fall has begun. We're going in all directions and having a good time. We're so busy that I need to get my hair done and won't be able to until the week after next. That is not good news!

David and Daniel are actors in Judgement House at a local church. Judgement House is a play that is set in eight scenes, following characters through life changing decisions. This year David played an angel in Judgement. 

He dressed as an angel and was to stand stoicly and not smile. He said not smiling was going to be difficult, since his "natural face" was to smile. Which made me laugh! His natural face is a frown, much like mine. Not that we aren't happy, just that we don't always smile, we've laughed a lot the last two weeks about his "natural face." In his costume, he stands barefoot, and one lady told him he had perfect toes. Perfect toes! 

Daniel played one of the lead roles in Judgement House. He had MANY lines to memorize and was in four of the eight scenes. He did so good. He was nervous, but I couldn't really tell it when I saw him. He's a real natural at acting. He didn't share the Gospel in his lines, but he did speak of a relationship with Jesus and how Jesus can fill the empty spots in your life, and that Jesus was a friend that sticks closer than a brother,

Judgement House lasted for six days, about 1000 people went through and many made life changing decisions. I love that David and Daniel wanted to be part of such a Gospel driven ministry. It was hard work and long hours but they loved it. 

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Fall fun with friends, fields and pie!

Nothing like a little away time with the best friend and some sweet old college buddies thrown into the mix. Melissa and I had an overnight getaway in Little Rock last weekend. I met up with Paige and our friend Courtney for lunch on Friday before Melissa and I met at the hotel to get our weekend started. We went to a Kari Jobe concert and then ate at all our fave places and shopped for Bibles for our boys, clothes for our fine bodies and dreaming of Christmas at Hallmark. We are a lively pair and we love it like that ;) I am so blessed to have Melissa as my forever best friend.  I can't imagine doing life without her. She is always constant, loving and accepting. I love that girl! 

Henry got to stay with Nana and Papa while I was gone because Randall was harvesting. Henry got to pay a visit to the plot closest to our house though and Randall took these cute pictures of our big guy. Henry adores his daddy and his work. 

Fall fun is in full swing around here. Henry is out of school Friday so we will visit a pumpkin patch that day. We have a Sunday School party at a local pumpkin patch Saturday night and trunk or treat at church on Sunday. Next week I'm heading up the Halloween party at his school and we have Halloween trick or treat fun on Halloween . Henry is going as Elvis! 

With fall comes baking. Henry's sweet teacher let each of them dig seeds out of a pumpkin and then seved pumpkin pie one day last week. Henry came home praising the pie she made and said we needed to make one with "that cinnamon". We decided to make one today after school. I opened everything for him and he poured and stirred himself. He cracked the eggs too. We baked it and then we put spray whipped topping on our piece that we shared . It was fantastic yummy fall fun. Anything with spray whipped topping is fantastic, according to Henry! 

Abby Jo 

Saturday, October 18, 2014

A Week Late

Last Saturday was Samuel's 17th birthday. We had plans to spend the day in Little Rock eating where he wanted, going where he wanted to go. Just celebrating Samuel.


We had a large storm Friday night during the football game. Lightning caused the game to be postponed at halftime. While we were glad to get to go home instead of sitting out in the rain, we weren't excited about the make-up time for the game.

Samuel had to be at the field house for pre-game Saturday at 1:00, and the game was at 6:00. So, we didn't get to celebrate him like we had planned. We did make a quick trip to Little Rock to get his birthday presents and eat his 2nd choice for lunch, and then rushed back for him to get to practice. 

Whew it was quite a morning, but I spent the afternoon in my bed naping. I think that was the best way to celebrate giving birth. I could have really used an epidural! 

We're proud of the person Samuel is. He isn't afraid of a challenge, loves life and people. He makes good decisions, chooses good friends and desires to be who God wants to be. I know that he's a 17 year old boy and believe me, he acts like one. But, we're proud of him!

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Running, Boxes, Boots and Bedtime Fun

Randall and I are training for the St Jude Half Marathon in December. We did this last year and an ice storm blanketed the midsouth on race weekend. They cancelled it. Randall ran 13.1 on the treadmill on race day to say he did it. I didn't!  I was bummed and stopped running for the winter and spring months. This year I'm hoping for a dry race weekend so I can finally run the course I have earned!  Henry wants to run with us so we will often have him join at the end of a run as we cool down. He loves it and it's a sneaky way to get him in great shape!
 I am running mine alone this year. Last year my running buddy and I trained together in hopes to run it together. This year she can't do it but she runs 3 or 4 miles with me when she can. It's mentally challenging doing it alone but it makes me stronger and pushes me more to think smart and stay healthy. Randall runs faster than me and does his own training. We are a good team and run best on our own. Yet we are great at taking turns on who does long  runs and when. I tend to do all mine on weekdays before the sun comes up. He does his during the day or on weekends. Opposites attract! ;) 

We are gearing up for the season of giving. I want this child to be a giver so I'm trying to lead by example and get him involved. We are blessed with way more than we deserve and we need to share with others. We packed our shoeboxes this past weekend. Henry wanted to keep some of the stuff and had a fit or two but we finally got them packed up and ready to send off in a few weeks. Slowly he will grow into a giver I think. ;) 


This child got his first pair of new, big boy boots a few weeks ago. No one prepared me for the cost of such boots. Whew. Daddy knew and wasn't shocked but boy, I was. Anyway, he loves them and he looks just like Randall's mini me in them! His Sunday School teacher owns the boot store in our town. She hooked Randall up with a pair too. They both walked out with new boots on their feet and a smile. We love Mrs. Karen and love supporting her business. 

This guy loves some pajamas and his big ole make believe bucket . Bedtime can get real interesting at our house! I love Henry's energy and excitement for life. As his pre-k teacher Mrs. Julie says, "his enthusiasm for life is infectious!" Indeed, it is. I'm blessed to be his mama. 

Abby Jo 

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Decorating Fun

I love an excuse to throw a party and decorate. The agent I work directly with is having a baby in a few weeks. We threw he and his wife a shower last week and I was I charge of decor. I loved having the pumpkin theme to use. 

The other ladies helped prepare the food and did a wonderful job. I enjoy throwing a party with good help. I hope there are more excuses for a shower or celebration at our office! 

I was so ready to decorate for fall at home. Henry and I took "old truck" to get hay, pumpkins and mums on the afternoon before fall officially rang in its fine self. We were set and ready to usher it on in! 

Here is a funny story: I picked Henry up from school in the "old truck" (which is actually newer than my car, but Henry has named it "old truck" because it was an old work truck Randall bought from his company to have to haul stuff around here. It is just a basic ole white Chevy pick up truck that smells like a mens locker room and sort of floats when you drive down the road. We listen to Sammy Kershaw and Joe Diffee's greatest hits in it. It's real clean and good redneck fun!) I don't  drive it often, as you can imagine.  So, here I am waiting in carline at Valley View in my ole pickup truck listening to Sammy sing about a working woman's holiday....and here comes Henry running out with his friends to stand in line, 6 cars ahead of me and he literally screamed with excitement while standing in carline when he spotted me. He was dancing and jumping up and down. I could hear him well through the music and half rolled down windows. His teacher had to rub his head and calm him down. He was excited beyond excited. I wanted to die right there in that truck. It was hilarious and most embarrassing as he yelled over and over, "that's my old truck! My mamas in THE old truck!" If it was an antique, cool looking truck that would have been fine, but it's not old and it's certainly not cool. I'm literally laughing as I type this. Picture it and laugh with me. Here I am sandwiched between a new Range Rover and an a huge Infiniti SUV with this child screaming like he's getting picked up in a Bentley. I love my humble baby! ;) 

So, tis the time of year to have excuses to decorate and drive "old truck"'s my favorite time of the year!!

Abby Jo 

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Daybook time again

I don't know if y'all like these or not, but I enjoy going back and seeing how our days looked.

Outside my window...It's a sunshiny day, it's supposed to be warm. I wish it would stay in the low 70's, but I'll enjoy the warm while we have it.

Within our walls...David has strep, and the coughing is just too much. Poor thing.

A heart of thanksgiving...I'm thankful that no one else has gotten strep in our home. Well, so far anyway.

A heart of prayer...There are a few things going on in our lives that we are praying for. There is always something!

Random observations...The strep cough is driving me a little bezerk! Poor thing.

From the kitchen...Last night we had roasted potatoes with chicken. I boiled the chicken and after the potatoes and onions had roasted for about 45 minutes I added the chicken (cut into small pieces) and roasted about 30 more minutes. It was so good!

Sounds of the moment...Pages of text books turning, strep coughs, washing machine and dryer going. 

What I'm wearing...T-shirt, black yoga capris, and socks. My Hallmark device isn't working today which means I can't work today so no good clothes have been or will be worn!

A favorite thing from the week...My mom came Friday for just a few hours. It was so good to see her and spend time with her. Wish it could have been longer, but she got to spend some quality time with her aunt and cousin the next couple of days. 

Monday, October 6, 2014


Friday was Homecoming at Watson Chapel High. Lauren was nominated and was honored to walk in the Homecoming Court. She was so pretty, as always, and Samuel was so proud of her. Isn't he just the cutest?!

Finally! He got to wear number 10, and when he kicked they announced him as Beavers. We were some proud, poor Joseph didn't get too play. HAHAHAHAHA!

Mom came to watch a game and spend some time with us before the game. Anna, David, and Daniel enjoyed spending time with her. I love this picture of them.

But I love this picture better. We were so proud. He had kicked three extra points and one field goal and we won the game. Finally!

And the reason I look a little ragged is because Thursday night we lost power. We were told it wouldn't come back on until Sunday night at 10:00. Can you even imagine? Thankfully, it came back on while we were at the game. The picture is of the kids and I playing Scrabble by crayon light. Did you know crayons burn like candles?!!

During all the weekend fun, David didn't feel good. I took him to the doctor today and found out he has Strep. So that's fun.

We're gearing up for a good week. It's Samuel's birthday week (birthday is Saturday) so we'll be celebrating him all week I'm sure! 17, can you believe it?