Sunday, July 20, 2008

Abbie has been born

Abigail Elizabeth S.... "Abbie" arrived at 11:01 am in Louisville. According to all reports she is adorable (of course). She weighed in at 6+ lbs and 18 inches long. Brad and Susie (to be known as Mamaw and Papaw) had been there about 20 minutes before her birth. They have promised to send some pictures of her when Mamaw and Papaw get home this afternoon.
I just finished the lullaby albums and need to get them ready to mail tomorrow........ oh well they will have pictures already to go in when it gets there.

My best friend-Judi's- daughter and grandson were here this weekend. Brandon has really had a rough time for many years but seems good now. He actually got up to speak to the church this morning after the service was over. He is the same age as Katie only 22. He started his portion by saying that he was Judi's grandson and had come to our Church many times as a little boy to VBS and to church in general every summer. Anyway, he told that as a young teen he suffered a terrible beating by another student and as a result he has suffered PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder) since then. He says he has now been diagnosed with Bipolar disorder and is a recovering alcoholic and drug addict. He went on to say that he wished he had all the money he had stolen and spent on drugs and alcohol since he was about 15-16 yrs old. He said he was arrested (again ----and he also says it is not a fun place to be in case anyone didnt know ) a year or so ago and his Mom came to get him out of jail that Saturday night. She said that he had to go to church the next day. He said God put a lady in his path who asked him if he would like to play drums in their church with the band. And he started going to AA- nothing happens abruptly but he said that was the start of his new beginning. I know from things Judi has told me that the church band has been a wonderful thing for him. He wanted to share with us how his life has changed. He is now gainfully employed at UPS, plays drums in the church band, lives his life better than ever before , He takes meds every day for his mental health issues but he is growing and growing. He will start back to school in the fall and he wants to work with young people like himself who has mental and behavioral health issues. He will be good at it.
Having Brandon at church this morning got Mark and I talking about kids like Brandon and Daniel. Troubled as teens and having a rough time with life. Daniel is our nephew who was born less than 3 months before we were married---so he is 28. Daniel was a ADHD kid to the 100th degree. He was a loving little boy, but so active and busy that I frequently lost my temper with him and was sure glad God had not given him to me. Dan had a rough time as a teen also. I don't know details since they lived in FL at the time but I know Dan was troubled and not motivated. Today he is working at a facility for young people that are troubled... He is in the Army National Guard and has a nice girlfriend. He has grown into a wonderful young man. When you watch him with his niece and nephews it is a joy. He still is . . . active (lol) but he has grown into a man I admire--- he and Brandon are my new hero's

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Lullaby albums

Just a fast note. I have been busy working on baby albums for Matt and Laurie and for Abigale's grandmother and grandfather (my brother and sister in law). Yes, I have known they are having a baby from the first month ... but I just have not gotten it made. I always make it very personalized to the baby –but this time it is just a baby girl album x 2. I am making an extra this time that is gender neutral because it always seems like I am late getting the one made for an expected baby.
The album is a “birth”day page, two pages for every month of the first year and then a happy birthday page. The pages between the first and last are all lullabies or songs that I think are good for a baby's first year. This album has Jesus Loves Me--Twinkle, Twinkle—Somewhere Over the Rainbow-- Mairzy Doats-- Oh Little Playmate---Till There Was You--- At Last-- You Are My Sunshine—Hush Little Baby—All Through the Night—What Child is This—Lavender's Blue, and of course Happy Birthday. I have the first 6 months done and wanted to get them done today-- but I guess I wont. Maybe tomorrow

The other update is the waterfall--- Mark has not worked on it this week. But I have not posted the pics I last took so here they are

of course you have to remember that all of the planting and landscaping is yet to be done. But I think it is looking wonderful so far

Friday, July 11, 2008

We bought something new---

something neither of us have ever had-----
On our way home from our vacation on June 28th we stopped at a car dealer and bought a brand spanking new Chevy HHR. When we signed the papers it had 119 miles on it--and I had put about 5 of those on it trying it out!
Now you must keep in mind that other car was 10 yrs old and did not have any bells and whistles-- still had a non working tape player with nary a CD to be seen.
This thing has more gadgets than you can shake a stick at. I can phone home, get directions from onstar, call for Help!.. heck they can even unlock my car for me and tell me when to change the oil, what my average MPG and speed are and how many MPG I am getting right down to the second and if I have a low tire geesh! I am almost intimidated by the dang thing-- LOL
OK-- down to details-- it is a 2008 HHR LT in Bright metallic blue (it sorta changes to purple in the sunlight) 4 door sedan, XM radio, Onstar, the rear seats and the front passenger seats fold down for large items, the drivers seat adjust in something like 16 different ways, the rear view mirror automatically adjusts to the lights behind, and i have an "enhanced stereo package" along with the CD player. oooo I can say' Call home" or "call Katie" and it does----snort I know i am a goober but it is fun to play with.....
i now have nearly 700 miles on it and have loved everyone of them. Tonight when we went to eat I pulled in and a teen in the car next to me through the door of their car open and hit my front bumper with her door.,..... grrrrr. then the mother tried to say it was my fault when it was her child who opened the door into me (anyone know the law on this) anyway the paint where she hit me wiped off--- My first words were "is she OK?" and the mom's were "what the _ _ _ _ happened?" and then "let me look at my door" gotta wonder about people anyway it is all good now
so here are a couple of pictures of the car and the goofy salesman-- Steve

Thursday, July 10, 2008

last of the vacation fun

We also visited the Roaring Fork Motor Trail which is part of the Great Smoky Mountain National Park. It is right up the street -literally- from the resort near the middle of Gatlinburg. It was a easy drive around the loop. I think it was 6 miles long. Anyway one of the first things is the Noah “Bud” Ogle Place which was a farm in 1879 when Bud brought his bride, Cindy, to the community of White Oak Flats –what is now Gatlinburg. It has a old home place on the site and then some outbuilding such as the barn and corn crib.

The Ogles had running water!! very unusual for this place and time. Wood was fashioned into a open flume and it then ran to and was dumped into large “sink” trough near the back door... funny isn't it that we think the “modern” folks were the inventors of all the conveniences we take for granted.

One of the other things described in the brochure was a “weaner” cabin-- a concept a lot of people are aware of but didn't know that is what it was called back then. This was a cabin that was available for the newly married children of the family. The newlyweds were allowed to live in this small cabin for one year while establishing a place of their own. Pretty cool huh?

The other thing I found really interesting is the concept of a “tub” mill. This looks much different that the regular grist mill that we are mainly familiar with. Again from the brochure--" this is a horizontal water wheel originally enclosed in a wooden tub-like casing. Eventually the tub was omitted and the wheel was left open No one knows when it was inventor, but it was widely used by the ancient Greeks, Romans and Asians. This was the “Norse type”mill. All of the materials were readily available free in the forest to anyone who knew how to collect and assemble them except for a couple of iron bearings.” It looks much like a regular grist mill we are accustomed too except sideways

The rest of the trail was equally as beautiful-- you would never believe we were only a couple of miles from a bustling tourist town-- it was very secluded and peaceful. We didn't get to do much more exploring as it was getting dark, and the summer rain started to fall. We will defiantly be going back to explore this part of the past that is preserved in the Great Smoky Mountain National Park.

Vacation Fun Again

While we were in Gatlinburg one of the things we did was visit the Ripley's Aquarium. We have been two or three times including this one. But each time it is different since their exhibits are always changing. We loved the regular exhibits .....and saw some amazingly frightening lovely creatures that God made for His salt watery part of the world
The special exhibit this summer is called “Living Babies in Incubators”. Some of it was about human babies and how the first incubators were used. They were first made in France in the late 1800's maybe early 1900's--I cant remember. The only way to fund them for further advancement was to make storefront displays with the preemies in them and have people look at them . It was kinda scary like when the Dionne quads were on display when they were born. Anyway--- the animal part of the exhibit was very interesting too. They had a few chicken eggs incubating and we even saw a newly hatched chick. Poor little thing was all wet and looked exhausted. Guess that is t he way it works with animals—all of them LOL The baby sea creatures were simply amazing. Don't know if it was mainly because it is something we don't usually see or what but they were cool. We saw some baby jelly fish that were not much larger than the period at the end of this sentence- they looked just like the large ones except they were so tiny. The baby seahorses looked just like the larger seahorses except they were white.

Then the shark tunnels and the regular fish-- it was really interesting-- I will put in some pictures....

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

vacation fun

I will admit I am so far behind it is sad. We have been back from vacation for almost two weeks and I haven't even blogged all the wonderful things that happened.
The first day (June 21) we met up with Katie and her BF Brad and went to Cades Cove in the Great Smoky Mountains. The trip around the Cove is taken by a 11 mile loop road-- one way traffic. The first thing you see as you start around the loop is just about the most beautiful view. I love that view of the mountains from the bottom of the cove.

Anyway... there are usually lots of animals to be seen and we saw some. We saw deer, turkeys and many smaller critters, including a copperhead.
Brad was delighted to see his “very own deer”. He saw the deer that was most photogenic. We also visited several of the homes and grist mill in the cove, and the Methodist church (it was the one Brad wanted to see the most). The only problem with the trip around the cove was that it was hotter than blazes. I swear it had to be at least 100 degrees down in the bottoms.

After we made it around the loop we headed to our villa in Gatlinburg for the week. We were on the 9th floor much to Lois' dismay—but that is another story. After we arrived and settled in a little Mark, Kate, Brad and I headed out to the Alamo in Gatlinburg. If you ever get a chance eat at the Alamo---wonderful steak-- yummmmmm.
While we were on our way to the Alamo Lois, Amy and Ashlyn called and said they were coming up for a visit YEAH!! Amy and Katie has not seen each other in a loong time. And I think, this was the first time she had seen Ashlynn. we found out that Lois has a really big fear of heights. You would have thought there was a bunch of drunks walking down the hall. She got all panicky as soon as we stepped out of the elevator. I held her hand all the way down the corridor and she held onto the wall and to me. She was scared to death and in her fear she stated laughing and then I started laughing--- at one point she asked how much further it was. I told her to raise her head just a little to see where Brad and Katie were standing and they were right outside the door. Much to my dismay--- she grabbed me and nearly sobbed-while laughing--”they are to near the rail-get them away!'. We made it to our villa and they stayed and visited for a long time. It was so nice to see Amy and Ashlynn and have the opportunity for Katie to see them. Ashlynn is a hoot by the way. She has a great sense of humor. Gosh that is a lot of detail for one day-- but I cant figure out what I would have left out of the narrative. The next morning Mark and I slept late (actually Katie had to wake us up) to go eat breakfast at the pancake house across the street from the resort. Soon after they ate they left for the long trip back to Memphis. We didn't do much else that day-- it was just too hot. We had taken a jigsaw puzzle and Mark worked hard on it all week. (That was/is one of the hardest jigsaw's I have ever ever seen.)
The rest of the week passed in much the same way--- it was really really hot (95+) every single day so we didn't really even go outside until nearly dark. I did a LOT of sleeping andreading and Mark worked on the puzzle a lotand slept a lot.
In the evenings we went downtown (which was great because it was just a short stroll away) and explored the shops and watched people. We did manage to hit the outlet mall one day, Walmart the same day for something as exciting as haircuts, of course the Scrapbook Super Store was a big destination for me. I look forward to that a lot. We ate out and we ate in, we rested and relaxed, we went to the national park and to the Ripley's Aquarium. We came home really rested and relaxed. It was a good vacation---lazy and restful.
Then something REALLY exciting happened on the way home!
More Later----