30 November 2012

"Tis The Season

There are those of you, and you know who you are, who just can't wait to start the holiday season with music.  A few songs stand out to me as holiday classics.  They might not be the first ones you think of, but, they are icons for my generation.  Since I see this blog as my way of preserving our story for posterity, these have to be included!  Enjoy!

26 November 2012

Charlotte's fall find....

Charlotte picked up this massive leaf on her walk home from school.
Isn't it amazing?!
Charlotte, November 2012

25 November 2012

So Grateful ....

I am fascinated by how profoundly little snippets of life can expand my understanding.  Seriously.  Take one meal, for example.  Thanksgiving.  I was kidding with my brother and his wife, Dawn, about how they were coming to visit us during Thanksgiving break, but, since I'm no culinary artist, don't expect anything more than pizza.  Part of me was quite sincere.  Another part of me realized that pizza was a copout of the highest order.  And so, we did not have pizza.  We turned a meal into a weekend.  We lingered; we enjoyed doing little to nothing.  And I, at least, am grateful.
Jim, James' dad, came by to eat with us.  He brought a turkey, a casserole and a pecan pie.  Delicious.
David and Dawn brought food, too.  Dawn made a green bean casserole, stuffing, a whipped cream fruit concoction that everyone loved, and a crispy cabbage salad with vinegar that I really loved!  Awesome.
We took our honored guests to the Old Mill.  And we took pictures on a beautiful day.  We walked the trails and investigated all the rocks and climbed all over the mill.  Well, okay, the ladies and JMichael climbed and played.  David Dawn and I watched.  Lovely!

This is picture of Doctor Ball and her patient Ball.  Three of the kids also had strep throat for Thanksgiving. 
This last picture is not too Thanksgiving-ish (except for the two turkeys in it!  Sorry ladies.  I couldn't resist.)  Also over break the big ladies had a day job - covering books with dust jackets. 
We have so much to be thankful for - our health, our work, our family.  We are truly blessed.  We can find great meaning in the most simplistic of tasks.  We have plenty to eat; freedom of choice in a land that accepts our individuality;  and thankfully, we have each other.
Happy Thanksgiving.

12 November 2012

Lest We Forget

I don't know if this is a true story, but, I thought even if it isn't true, it could be.

07 November 2012

Junkyard Dogs

This sweet little man is the future soccer player - J. "The Leg" Ball.  This photo is from April of 2010, back before J. Michael had honed his skills....

This year, J. Michael had a great season - with the Junkyard Dogs!  He played with a sweet group of kids, had a fantastic coach and assistant coach, and we had to drag him off of the field after every practice.

Just look at the joy on this boy's face.  He LOVES soccer.

Thank you to our coaches (Erik Neville and Mike Harris) for voluteering so much time and devoting yourselves to our little man.  He enjoyed the game and learned a lot.  J. Michael is already begging to play again.  Spring season can't come quickly enough.

06 November 2012


Look at these two friends!  The beautiful blonde is Abbey - and every morning we have the pleasure of picking her up for pre-school.  It's amazing to me to listen to these two chatting in the back seat, talking and laughing and sharing stories.  They grow so fast.  Aren't they cute?  Abbey with her bows and big smile - J. Michael with his dinosaur shirt and goofy grin.  Adorable.

03 November 2012


Trains are a big part of life in our rural Arkansas town.  The track goes right through the middle of town and it's a busy thoroughfare.  Our track is on the line that connects New Orleans to Chicago, by way of St. Louis, and as I write this, I can hear the train whistle.  Truly.

Today I wanted to capture the fall colors for our November 2012 splash picture and the railroad track gave us a beautiful display.  As we played around with various poses and groupings for the photo, we heard a train coming.  We quickly got to a safe place to let the train pass.  And yes, Ma, I had gone over the ground rules of being so close to a working train track before we got out of the car.  I was so touched to see the big ladies reach for their little sisters and brother as they scampered away.

Here are a few shots of our adventure with the iron horse:
First, we tied Samantha to the rails....
Then Josephine and Charlotte danced on the rails.
Then, when a train really did come by, we hid behind the switch building.  Notice that we first untied Samantha...  Rachel is missing because she was slow.  I'm kidding.  She ran down the gravel embankment and took the pictures for us.  What we don't do for our monthly splash pictures.

01 November 2012

A Ball On A Roll....

We were enjoying a beautiful day at the park and Joey was practicing her front walkover, which takes up a lot of her time lately.
Count how many she does in a row!
Josephine, 8 years old