Saturday, January 31, 2009

Ice Ice Baby

Anyone who is reading my blog from Northwest Arkansas, feel free to skip this post. I am sure you've had your fill of stories of ice storm survival, and as they go, ours is pretty mundane. Here's a quick recap of the way I spent my week:

Sunday: Ethan's birthday. Celebrated with lunch, then headed to Little Rock to return my grandmother to her home.

Monday: Took my grandmother to a doctor's appointment, then booked it back to NWA to beat the weather. Hands and legs were sore for 3 days because I was so tense driving back. By 3:00, eveyone was home and waiting to see if it was really going to do anything outside.

Tuesday: It did something. And kept doing it all day long. It looked like someone was dumping huge vats of Sonic ice from the sky. Lost power on and off until it went off for good midafternoon. Started up our puny gas fireplace, lit a bunch of candles and got ready. Put the kids to bed in front of the fire around 8:30. Sat on the couch, not able to see or make any noise, for about 30 minutes, then gave up and went to sleep on a mattress in the living room.

Wednesday: We woke up to no power and a cold living room. Still raining Sonic ice. We hightailed it to my parents' house, which was nice and warm and light. Stayed there all day. We were joined at lunch by Chad and Marla and their kids, who were also without electricity. It was a full house. We were thrilled when our house was re-powered around 8. Came home and settled in. Were joined by Matt's sister and her roommate, whose power was not back yet. They took Abby's room, she slept with me, and Matt was on the couch again.

Thursday: Nice, normal day until 11, when the power went BACK out. Stayed home until we were ready to kill the kids, then went to Wal Mart and out to dinner. Had power back when we got home. Matt's sister stayed over again.

Friday: Matt went to work. Power out at 11. Again. Another time. We began to suspect that we were being toyed with. We took the kids to my parents' and came back one last time at 8. No power. We packed up and headed back to spend the night with them. Electricity came back on at 8:30, but we were not here to see it.

Saturday: We've been home all day, trying to get some laundry done and letting the kids catch up on their tv addiction. Matt has been out helping some guys from church clean up for some of our church families that had bad damage.

All in all, we've come through pretty unscathed. We had no damage to the house, and our front yard tree is the only one on the street still standing. Most everyone we know has power back now, though some won't get it back for a couple of weeks. I'm still in awe of how much damage a little frozen water can do.

I took a few pictures of the fallout. Here's a tree in the field behind our house. I took this on Tuesday--now everything has broken off but the main trunk.

Here are a couple of closeups from a tree at my parents'. Notice the size of the branches and the size of the ice around them--it's amazing they're still off the ground.

I really hope that things will begin to return to normal now. And I really, REALLY hope that school will be back in session Monday. If you have a good storm story, let's hear it!

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Enough is enough

I am SO over playing Little House on the Prarie. Enough of the ice storm already! I know everyone has a wonderfully dramatic story of fallen trees and power outages, and I'll tell mine tomorrow. For now I'm just going to bed--with the heat ON.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Living proof

Today marks the third anniversary of Ethan Everett's arrival in this world. He continues to surprise us every day. He has certainly proven a few things:

1. A Swedish-blond can be born to two brunettes.
2. A human can survive indefinitely on grilled cheese sandwiches and popcorn.
3. Potty training will happen at the will of the trainee, and NOT the trainer.
4. "I made a mess" are 4 of the scariest words in the English language.
5. A really slender toddler can fit through a Playskool basketball hoop.
6. It is possible to memorize an entire episode of Dora the Explorer and repeat it verbatim.
7. Little brothers steal makeup and ruin Barbies.
8. Having a son is a wild ride. So far we're hanging on tight and having a ball.

Happy birthday son!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Just for the record

If I was the first-ever-elected minority president of the United States? And it was the most momentous occasion of my life and my presidency? And about 3 billion people were watching? And the CHIEF JUSTICE messed up the ONLY job he had that day, and turned what was supposed to be an historic moment into a joke? I would be TICKED OFF. We're talking asking-the-Senate-for-a-constitutional-amendment-allowing-presidents-to-smack-Chief-Justices-upside-the-head-when-they're-that-stupid mad.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Are you KIDDING me?

Our DVR nearly got a first class trip out the window tonight, because it did not record Idol. The best I can tell, there was a 30 second overlap between it and another show, so rather than just start 30 seconds late, it gave up altogether. What did I miss??

Tuesday, January 20, 2009


That pretty much sums up tonight's Idol. Agree?

Did they have eHarmony back then, too?

I had a great week last week--almost caught up on laundry, kept the dishwasher unloaded, even had time to do a little organizing. Then this little time warp hit, and BAM-it's Tuesday and chaos reigns again.

We did have a good weekend and even survived hosting two social events at our house in 24 hours--Matt's sister's birthday pary on Saturday night and our care group on Sunday night. Other than a couple of trash bags full of Solo cups, there wasn't that much work involved thankfully. Tonight, of course, starts AI madness again. Tomorrow my grandmother is coming up to spend the rest of the week with us, since my boy turns 3 on Sunday (we are NOT talking about that right now).

This is completely unrelated, but I find it interesting and it's my blog :) Right now I am going to a Tuesday morning Bible study at my church. It's a new series created by Beth Moore, the guru of women's bibly study. The title is Esther: It's Tough Being a Woman. Fun, huh? The study's been great so far, but one thing in particular has just struck me as so funny. In the story of Esther, there is a king that needs a wife. So he orders that a group of beautiful women be brought together and be given "beauty treatments" to be made even more lovely. Then they get to dress up and wear fancy jewelry and each spend a teeny tiny bit of time with him. From this, he'll pick one to be his queen. Does this plan sound familiar to you? Oh, right! It was on TV last night, and it's called The Bachelor! Talk about there being nothing new under the sun.

Okay, I'll be back later tonight with some Idol wit and wisdom. You know you can't wait!

Friday, January 16, 2009

Signs that I am officially "old and boring"

1. I got a call from a school nurse today.

2. It's Friday night, we actually have child care*, and we are spending the evening cleaning our house. We could have gone out to eat, but opted for takeout instead so we didn't have to get "dressed up."

3. I actually like to watch Hannah Montana. That either makes me young and hip or old and boring, and I think we all know it's not the first.

I'm sure there are more ways, but my old and boring brain is too focused on cleaning to think of them. I'm sure those of you who know me can come up with a few.

*Matt and Cori, you have not been replaced as our favorite babysitters--Ethan's mother's day out just had date night :)

UPDATE: We are cleaning the house, and we have the Sirius radio on our tv tuned to 90s hits. Roxette just came on! Hold on tight, you know she's a little bit dangerous...

ANOTHER UPDATE: They just said Color Me Badd is up next!

SERIOUSLY!: No Diggity just came on! I am in 90s nerd heaven! Play on, playa!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009


The show was definitely better tonight, thank goodness. No doubt because they were in the heartland! Kansas City brought us the brilliant, the fabulous David Cook, so we could have guessed there would be some more talent!

I enjoyed the whole thing with Jason Castro's brother--I thought their little discussion was funny. I really liked the band director, and the mother of three at the end. Oh, and the guy whose wife died 4 weeks before the auditions? My brother Sam's twin. I'm not kidding, it really might have been Sam trying out under an alias. It's totally something he would do.

Is it just me or does Cara look like she wants to make out with every good male singer? Just a random observation :) Here's another one: none of the past winners, NONE of them, have ever come in costume, done back flips, brought cheerleaders, or begged to be let through. Coincidence? Surely not. Have some self respect, people!

What did YOU think?

Those of you not into Idol, sigh with relief--it's not on again until next Tuesday and I promise to resume normal blogging duties. My 28 year old sister in law is having her birthday party at our house with all her friends on Saturday (I don't think we're invited but for the technicality that we live here), so I'm sure there will be lots to write about.

Oh, and I am STILL being driven crazy by the "A place for every thing, and every thing in its place" mystery. I can HEAR the woman's voice. She trills her r's. And puts emphasis on the "place". Help!!!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009


"In life, the microphone passes your lips but had better be ready to sing."

Great start!

BRILLIANT intro sequence. Cried twice! Okay, three times.

ROTC tap dancing makes you more marketable, eh? I KNEW I should have taken ROTC tap in junior high.

Okay, we're a quarter of the way in, and so far there have been more horrible singers than good ones. I thought that was supposed to change? I need some chill bumps here!

So far Ariana is my favorite--the 16 year old that is "cute as a button."

Loving the oil rig guy too--I'm a sucker for a family story!

I was unsure what I thought of this new judge until she laid the smack down on that smart mouth in the bikini. Now I LOVE her!

It's so over. A blind guy? Who can sing? And play piano? It's so over.

Okay, we're officially underway! Honestly, despite all the press that there would be a bunch of differences, it was pretty much the same old same old to me. What did you think?

At a loss

HELP! There is a movie, or TV show, or SOMETHING, where a woman says a line something like "A place for every thing, and every thing in its place." Do you know what it is? DO YOU? I am an Internet junkie, used to questions like these taking no more than 30 seconds to be answered, but I can't find it anywhere. It's making me crazy! You will be my hero if you know the answer.

Idol starts tonight--get ready for some fun!

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Are you gonna eat that tire?

Ethan's third (!) birthday is a couple of weeks away. His BFF and parentally assigned girlfriend Avery just had her birthday this past week. Marla and I decided to give the kids a joint party, just a small affair with a few kids from their Sunday school class and some close friends. Avery is addicted to Cars and Ethan likes it too, so the theme was easy. The party was a success, and everyone was nice and exhausted afterwards. I actually managed to get some pictures downloaded in a reasonable amount of time, so I thought I'd share.

The birthday girl and boy. You should know that I took 56 shots of them standing like this, and this is the ONLY one where they are both looking at me and smiling:

Their cool cake, made by my cool friend Autumn:

Abby and her posse, Audrey and Carol Grace, having a little fun:

Blowing out the candles on the aforementioned cool cake (I know this is self-explanatory, but I just really like the word aforementioned and saw a window):

Gotta love Capri Suns:

I love this picture. He's eating a donut that served as part of Luigi's tire stack on the cake. He was SO happy:

A lot can change in two years. Here's just how much:

Thursday, January 8, 2009

A way with words

Not much that's blogworthy has been happening in the last couple of days--can't decide whether that's good or bad. I ran all over creation yesterday on a bunch of errands, and then babysat today. Since nothing overly dramatic has happened but I want to keep up the flow of regular posts, I'll try to entertain you with a short list of Ethan-isms. They're pretty amusing.

Giant hot dog: one of those inflatable punching bags that kids play with. He got one for Christmas.

That was my burp!: Substitute for "excuse me" after he burps. Which is a lot.

Boingy stuff: The Slinky he got for Christmas.

GET OFF ME!: Please put me down, because I'm not in the mood for being held, thanks.

He's such a delicate little thing :)

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

The boys are back

Ohhhhh, I do so love sports. I came to the U of A the semester after the basketball team won the national championship, and I breathed basketball as an undergraduate. Then I slowly shifted to be more of a football fan, but I never lost my love for basketball. However, the Razorbacks seemed to--there was a stratch of years when no one was talking about what was happening in Bud Walton.


We just beat 2 top 10 teams in 1 week, with a game thrown in between them for good measure. We have some extraordinary players, led by a charismatic coach that has made it exciting to watch Razorback basketball again. Plus, my daughter's boyfriend, (or at least that what she tells everyone) Marcus Monk is back from NFL-land and whipping up on the court.

The energy is great. I feel like I'm 19 again, screaming for Scotty Thurman and Big Nasty, camping out to sit (stand) in the front row of the student section, yelling "Nice Hair!" when they introduce the visiting head coach, and staring at every tall guy I passed on the way to class to see if he was a player. Of course, back then I didn't have to find a babysitter to go to games or stifle a yawn between cheers because the game has me up past 10. But then, I don't have a lit final in the morning either, so I figure it all pans out :)

**If you have not read/commented on my American Idol entry below, get with the program!

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Happy days are here again

I just saw a commercial that made my heart skip a beat with excitement. Was it for a great new restaurant? My favorite cleaning product? No and no. It was a reminder that we are soon going to be treated to that twice-or-thrice weekly roller coaster of ecstacy and agony, American Idol.
(The commercial itself is really quite spectacular. It has David Cook-LOVE him-remembering his rise to superstardom before he hits the stage. Seen it?).

For those of you who don't watch AI, you might as well move on to the next blog in your favorites list for now. For those of you who do know true entertainment when you see it, the commercial got me to thinkin. And you know how that can turn out.

The best part of being an AI fan is hashing over every detail of each episode with everyone you know. When I worked (remember those days?) Wednesday and Thursday mornings in the spring were almost completely devoted to AI discussions. If someone missed an episode, they just stayed home until noon.

So that I can still get my fix, I think I'll do a little AI discussion hosting right here on the blog. I'll post after each show (barring any unforseen circumstances that prevent me from watching the show)(like Ethan throwing the remote through the television) and those of you who watch can give your feedback. Whaddya think? Comment on this post if you think you'll join in the discussion--I'm not going to do it if it's just going to be me and my aunt Linda arguing over whether long hair on a guy is cute or girly. If you don't know me personally but have somehow managed to find redeeming value in reading my blog anyway, PLEASE join in--the more the merrier! Invite your friends! Tell your neighbors! This should be fun.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Happy, happy holidays

Every year I make myself the same promises. Every. Year. I'll shop early. I'll wrap early. I'll pack early! We'll spread things out! I won't stress!

Why do I bother?

Despite my outlandish lack of organization, time or talent, we managed to have quite a fabulous holiday. We spent time with both sets of parents here in NWA before heading to what turned into a big shindig at my grandmother's house. Abby and Ethan were part of a group of 7 children, the oldest aged 6, and Abby was the only girl. It was terrifying. My cousin Kenneth, who is an 18 year old football player and as cool as they come, was practically hiding under the couch. The only one not running for his life was Matt, who lined the kids up like a drill sergeant, barked out orders and coolly observed them scramble to obey. He has a gift. My mom and aunt whipped up a fabulous dinner and we all ate ourselves silly.

Next, AMEN packed up and headed off to Mountain Home. There we watched our kids play (fight) with their cousins and Matt and Patty endured Jacob and I battling it out on countless Connect 4 games. That's right, I said Connect 4. Abby got it for Christmas, and we just started playing one night. Turns out Jacob is a Connect 4 hustler and whipped up on me a few times. I was not about to take that sitting down, though, so I spent the rest of the time improving my own skillz and even hustling the hustler a couple of times. I think our spouses got really, really sick of us.

Speaking of sick, on the day we left, the only person not running a fever was Matt. I had a sinus infection, Abby has strep throat (again) and Ethan was just randomly running a fever to be like us I guess. Poor Matt has been running the whole show for AMEN while I'm slowly getting back on my feet. He is a good man. If I could just get him to do all the Christmas shopping, I'd be set for life.