Saturday, June 30, 2007

Saying Good-bye Is Never Easy

Good-bye, house. You were an amazing house, with lots of room and lots of character. You gave us good shelter and really great times. You hosted wonderful gatherings, helped us build wonderful friendships and provided wonderful welcomes for family and friends. You gave us the world's greatest neighbors and Jaycie a built-in best friend. Unfortunately, your yard gave Lee too much work and too many weeds and triggered Ashley's allergies too many times, so we won't miss it much. However, we will always love you, and we'll miss you when we're gone, but we know it's time to move on. Take care of the next crew. Au revoir!

Friday, June 22, 2007

HBTM! (Can You Guess Which One?)

Verse of the day: "Consider the blameless, observe the upright; there is a future for the man of peace." Number of the day: The fifth lucky prime, the first irregular prime, and the third unique prime. Cool factoids for today.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Happy Summer Solstice

Today is the longest day of the year - hooray, sunshine! Hannah drew a picture for the occasion. Her friend, Mr. Sunbeam helped.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Father's Day Coffee in Bed

Since I'm not an early morning Betty Crocker (sorry, Lee), I helped the girls give their favorite daddy coffee and a Little Debbie snack cake in bed after his afternoon nap.

We were happy to get to see Lee's dad last Saturday (he helped us pack), and I celebrated a week early with my dad in Louisiana. God has blessed us with wonderful Godly dads. My girls are equally blessed.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Fun With the Cosby Crew

Giving hugs,
getting kissed,
eating grapes,
munching Kix,
clanking spoons,
swapping laps,
hearing oldies,
skipping naps,
climbing up,
falling down,
running crazy
all around,
how much better can it get?

Hannah and Jaycie had loads of fun with the Cosby crew!

Down Memory Lane: Part Two

On my trip last week, Dad and I took the girls to Jena, Louisiana, where I lived from 5th grade to the summer before my junior year of high school, the hometown of my growing up years.

Driving in, I told Dad that I'd often dream of being back there, but in my dreams the streets were always messed up, and I could never figure out how to get around. I was surprised that day when I quickly regained my bearings and fairly easily retraced the routes I'd traveled hundreds of times in my adolescent and teen years.

The town's landscape looks basically the same as it did when we were there in the '80s, but slight differences indicate how much time changes things. Trees are much taller, wooded areas more dense. Super WalMart has left the old WalMart a vacant shell. A number of chain restaurants now dot the main drag (Sonic was the only "name brand" restaurant there when we left, but now there's a McDonalds, a KFC, and a Popeye's). Much, however, remains the same. One of my favorite old haunts that we visited was Burger Barn, where everybody went on in-town dates and which still draws in business. I ordered an amazing hot fudge sundae - complete with whipped cream, nuts, and a cherry on top (who does that anymore?)!

We also drove by Good Pine Middle School, Jena Junior High, and Jena High School. The middle school had been updated a little, but the others looked largely the same. We dropped by the public library, too, and went inside for a quick visit (and an impromptu diaper changing session). They don't weed very aggressively, so many of the books were those that I'd browsed time after time in my youth. I wanted to see if I could find my name in any of the books, but they'd changed to a number punch card sometime in the '80s, so no such luck (I actually looked through a bunch - I am such a library nerd).

The coolest thing we did was to visit our old house (third row, second picture from the left), which is located on a dead end street with only four other houses. Right before we got there, Hannah fell asleep in the car, so Dad stayed with her while Jaycie and I walked between the houses across the street and cut through the property line to see the pond, another favorite spot of mine and my siblings. To my delight, I was able to meet the lady whose family currently owns the property and worked to make the pond even more picturesque than before. Her husband was the son of one of our neighbors, and he and his brother ran a snow-cone business when we lived there, where I'd worked when I was 15 (my first real/non-babysitting job). I'd also baby-sat for her niece when I lived there and knew all of her in-laws. We had a great conversation before I had to leave (Dad had started to get worried).

All in all, it was a wonderful trip. Many thanks to my dad for our stroll down memory lane!

Monday, June 11, 2007

Down Memory Lane: Part One

On Friday, Dad, the girls and I took a trip down Louisiana Highway 165 to visit a couple of places from both my mom's childhood and my own. Our first stop was Volman Lake, a hot spot in the 1950s and 1960s, where Mom and her family spent many days working and only few enjoying it like the locals did. Her grandfather owned the property during her early childhood and built it into a popular recreation destination. He also ran a store there and rented cabins and boats to visitors. Mom's family lived there intermittently in one of the guest cabins between her dad's pipeline jobs that took the family all over the country. Her dad eventually took ownership of the lake after her grandfather died and managed it for a number of years, while the family lived in the apartment over the store. He built up the sandy beach area, adding picnic tables, bath houses, and a concessions area, and also he cultivated minnow ponds for bait sales. Mom and Dad both worked at the lake during their courtship and early marriage, but the property was sold shortly after Mom's dad died and quickly went downhill after that. It's interesting to think that we were walking the same paths that mom did so many years ago, but it's sad to think how things can fall into such disrepair after a relatively short time.

Monday, June 4, 2007

Classic Childhood Fun

My girls LOVE "Ring Around the Roses" (or is that "Rosies"?). Enjoy!

Friday, June 1, 2007

Some of Hannah's Buddies

Hannah and I really loved visiting with the other soccer girls' siblings at Jaycie's soccer games this year. In these shots, Hannah's checking out her friend Elijah - head, chin, eyes, all there!

In this series, Hannah discovered Jaycie's doll stroller, but she enjoyed riding in it almost as much as pushing around her baby doll in it. Sweetness!