Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Early Easter Egg Hunting

We were again invited to Lorraine's farm Wednesday to come out to hunt for Easter eggs. Lorraine's mother-in-law always hosts an Easter Egg Hunt with the United Methodist Church in El Dorado.

Since I didn't have to teach Religious Ed. that night, we figured it might be a fun "family time event" even though we weren't actually members of the UMC.

While we were there we got to visit with Lorraine and let Sophie hunt for eggs!

Sophie did very well at gathering eggs and figured it out pretty quickly. She even shared some of her candy. Lorraine was really wanting a Starburst and Sophie picked up an egg with the candy and handed it right to Lorraine!

Overall though I'm not sure she cared for it too much because it was probably a lot like having her pick up her toys and put them away.

However, they had other activities out there as well. Two girls (probably middle school age) brought their horses out for rides. While we were there, all Sophie wanted to do was see the horses... so this seemed like a good opportunity, because she got to see and ride a horse.

They also had a miniature goat, so Sophie got to see another farm animal.

There were horses giving hay rack rides and hot dogs being cooked over an open fire, but we did not get to stay long enough to partake in those activities because of Sophie's fussy behavior. Luckily, we did not experience the bad behavior on the 30 minute drive home. In fact... this is what we got:

Hopefully everyone else has a wonderful time with Easter activities. We'd like to thank Lorraine for inviting us and we hope Sophie's Easter Egg Hunting skills will help us out on Sunday so she can load up the family with her chocolate stash!

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Won't Believe It!


I'm your typical person who likes to look at the newspaper. However; there are usually three sections I tend to skip or browse over: local news, financial, and sports sections. Luckily for me, if there is something really worth while to read about in those areas, I have people who let me know about it.

And this time, the janitor at Ivory, Mr. Harper (who for some reason when I think about his name, I think Mr. Hooper from Sesame Street, but whatever) who presented me with a newspaper clipping from the Arkansas Democrat. Apparently it was in the paper this past Saturday (not sure if he's referring to March 20th or 28th, but the date isn't important except for reference purposes.

When I read this short bit (which would have definitely been something I would have missed myself when browsing the paper) I almost died laughing! I instantly asked if I could make a copy of it! I do not have the newspaper clipping scanned to show you, so I'll just put it on here exactly as it is written in the newspaper:

In the News
  • Donald Wolfe, 55, of Brookville, Pa., has been charged with public drunkenness after he was seen attempting to give mouth-to-mouth resuscitation to a long-dead opossum along a highway, state police said.
Doesn't that just crack you up! It just goes to show that no matter which state you live in... there are weirdos everywhere! That guy will rightfully be the butt of many jokes in PA. Here is an online article about it that I was able to get when googling his name: http://www.chicagonow.com/blogs/steve-dale-pet-world/2010/03/animal-lover-gone-wrong.html

Anyway, feel free to share this with anyone who needs a pick-me-up after a long hard day.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Heartwarming Homecoming

On Saturday night as I prepared to leave Wichita, Kansas, I realized that I had accidentally locked the ONLY set of keys to the car... inside the car! So, we had to call a locksmith to come out at then 9pm (the time I had planned to leave) so I could get the keys from the car, finish loading the car up, and head back to Arkansas. $35 dollars later and an hour late, I was finally able to get in the car, load Sophie up, and go. It was frustrating beyond belief to have wasted time and money on such a mistake.

With loads of caffeine in my system and a chocolate support system on the passenger seat I made my way back to Arkansas. With 2 stops to the bathroom and 1 stop to sleep for 10 minutes at a Loves gas station, I arrived in Camden at 8am. And what do I find waiting for me at home?

Brian came out of the house, got Sophie and told me he had started a bath for me! And not just a bath... one with steaming hot water and bath salts! Then he took Sophie and lead me to bed so I could get a few hours sleep! And that wasn't all... parts of the house were clean and so was my car that I had left here! Everything was taken care of! And... (see there is still more)... Brian had purchased a laptop for me for my birthday and had it all hooked up and installed for me! I'm so glad that my he's my husband! Talk about making things just so wonderful for me when I got home. That had to be the best gift ever... just having him take over everything for me for awhile so I can take care of myself.

Hope everyone else finds someone that is as great as my husband. Not that I'm bragging or anything.

Thanks Bartons!

We had a great time visiting the Bartons of Wichita! And we had a great time also stopping and seeing Grandma Frances Barton and Aunt Alice Staudinger! Here are some of our pictures from the weekend!

Friday, March 26, 2010

Discoveries

While at the Barton Household, Sophie had several new discoveries...

Grandma showed her how to play the piano.
video video
Aunt Ashley showed her how to jump on a trampoline.
video
Grandpa showed her how fun it is to stay up past your bedtime... WAY passed her bedtime.

And she learned that everybody needs to help out when you are a family.

Oh... and apparently, her mother (me) has been teaching her to blow Brian's money since the day she was born! Personally, I think I do a pretty good job on my spending habits and have improved immensely; however, I will concede that if Sophie grows up loving to shop and spend money... it will be a trait she picked up from me.

Anyway, we've had a wonderful time here and have had several wonderful moments and discoveries.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Sophie Meets More Animals

We reached the Barton residents in Wichita! Sophie was greeted by 5 of the Bartons, but Sophie in turned introduced herself to the 2 Barton pets. Dakota the dog and Big Eddie the Cat.

Later the next day, the weather was beautiful, so we decided to visit the Zoo. The first thing we did was go to the Petting Zoo area. Like Sophie, the animals were very friendly. She saw...

Cows and pigs.

Chickens.

Sheep.

Goats.

We had a great time and plan to have some more adventures in Kansas before we return to Arkansas!

Thanks Oneys!


We had a great time visiting the Oneys of Alma! And we are looking forward to seeing them again in April! Here are some of our pictures from the weekend!

Monday, March 22, 2010

What Kansas Girls Do

There are some things that people do in different states that set them apart. Kansas is a very flat plain place of wheat producing, farm- raised, families. So... what do Kansas Girls do?

Well, we drive tractors! And not the crap kind either. Give us a John Deere, or don't give us anything at all!

And don't worry about being too young! To drive farm equipment you don't have to be 15... you can be younger!

When we aren't driving a tractor (specifically John Deere), sometimes we ride horses!

And sometimes when we are bored... we chase skunks. Or in this case, ride them. video

Off to see the Wizard of Oz!

It was a beautiful Monday afternoon, and Aunt Kayla, Sophie, and myself decided to spend the day in Wamego, Kansas. But before we knew it, strong winds and the tornado sirens started going off. We ducked into a building for shelter, but before we knew it, the wind had picked up the stroller and all of us. The next thing we knew, Sophie's stroller had landed on a pair of legs with ruby red slippers.

At first it seemed the only surrounding inhabitant (other than us Kansans) was the dead body beneath the wheels of Sophie's stroller. However, we were soon met by another familiar Kansan - Dorothy and her dog Toto. They really weren't much help, they just kinda stood there and stared at us. They must have been so appalled at the stroller-murder of her friend. So we decided to scurry away in case she decided to get upset at us, even though it was an accident. She was in such shock... neither her nor her dog seemed to notice as we slipped away.

As we walked further, we passed a scarecrow. He seemed to be contemplating something. We tried to interrupt him so we could get some directions, but he seemed to be deaf or dumb. After we couldn't seem to get anywhere with him, we decided to move along and find out own way without him.

Next we saw a Tin Man. He looked self-assured as if he knew the area and could help us out. But apparently, he doesn't speak to foreigners. I guess he has something against Kansans, but the jerk wouldn't talk to us. Someone needs to give the guy a heart, because no matter how much we pleaded for his help, he just turned his nose up at the 3 Kansans. Jerk!

We then met up with a Lion at the edge of a forest. We weren't sure if he was scared, or if he was simply doing the "potty-dance". Either way, he seemed to have some problems of his own... so we continued without him.

Outside of the forest, we met some Flying Monkeys. They seemed to be very friendly and were jumping around in their funny looking costume, but they didn't seem to understand us and were too busy jumping and pointing. I think perhaps they may have been drunk. We quickly moved away from them and decided that we had gotten so far by ourselves, we surly could continue on along our way.

We then met with a pink fairy. Sophie loved the outfit, but she also didn't say too much to help us out either. But she kept staring at something. We decided to see what she was staring at and saw a sign that said "EXIT". Before we knew it we were out of OZ and back in Kansas! So, even though she was a little stuffy... she was more help than anyone else.


Either way, while it was neat to see all the sights of OZ, I think I'm glad to call Kansas home. Sophie thought so too because she was hungry and couldn't wait to eat with Aunt Kayla at Buckwheats in Wamego! Besides... who ever saw a Kansan who wouldn't say "Hi" to a stranger?

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Visting the Notorious Barton Sisters!

Despite the snow, we visited both of my sisters in Manhattan. Suzi drove from Omaha, NE yesterday and Elizabeth currently lives in Manhattan finishing school at KState, so it wasn't much of a drive for her. But, it was so nice to just hang out and talk.

We ate at Hoolihan's (which reminds me of 'Hot Lips Hoolihan' from MASH) (spelling?). The food was excellent and the price was excellent... since my soon-to-be brother in law picked up the tab. See... it's moments like these that make me allow him to be my brother-in-law. (Love ya Britt!)

Then, since we are in Manhattan (therefore KState Country) we had to stop and get something to 'commemorate' the trip. I bought Sophie a purple t-shirt that says "You bet your binky I'm a Wildcat fan" (assuming I can find it since it wasn't with my other shopping bags). And then Suzi felt it was also important that Sophie was dressed appropriately for Elizabeth's coming graduation this May, so she bought Sophie a KState cheerleading outfit! I love it! Huskerfan Brian will not, but that is ok, he'd deal with it. Sophie also received a shirt from Aunt Lizzy when she was in Colorado that says "Don't Make me Call my Aunt!". The question now is... which one? Don't mess with Sophie... she'll call all 4! ;)

Anyway, we had a good time (even though Sophie became a little kranky from missing her nap) and hopefully we'll be seeing them again in May when they both graduate. Elizabeth from KState with her Bachelors and Suzi at Creighton with her doctorate. And when Elizabeth's wedding date gets closer too, I'm sure we'll find more time and excursions to Kansas to see them both as well.

Thanks for the fun and you have no idea how much I miss my sisters!

*Side Note- Will Suzi then go from being 'Aunt Suzi' to 'Dr. Aunt Suzi' or should Sophie just say 'Dr. Aunt'? Suzi will have to let us know on that one.


Traveling Together

This was the first time that I have made a long distance trip (10 hour trips qualify I think) my myself with a child. Before, there had always been another adult in the car who could take care of Sophie and help with driving. So I was hesitant about traveling back to Kansas for spring break with her. After discussing with Brian, I decided to leave a few hours after Sophie's bed time so that way she would already be asleep prior to loading her into the car. This also gave me some time to try and get some sleep in before leaving. While I tried to sleep, Brian played with Sophie and helped get her ready for bed. Then about 9:30 I loaded up the car, loaded a sleeping Sophie in, said "Goodbye" to Brian, and then prayed for the courage and ability to stay awake and able to make it to Kansas by Friday morning.

Overall, the driving went ok. There were a few 'minor' adventures along the way. In Northern Arkansas Sophie woke up and started crying. I quickly found an exit and a closed gas station to park at and then quickly gave her some milk and retrieved her pacifier. While helping her drink some milk, a cop came by to find out what we were doing and making sure we were ok. So that was nice.

Then once we crossed in to Missouri I finally recognized that there was no way I was going to be able to hold my bladder for the remainder of the trip. So I found a good trucking gas station, woke Sophie up, and we went to the bathroom together. (I couldn't leave her in the car while I did my business, which was part of why I held it for so long). Luckily, with the help of Violet the purple dog, she fell back to sleep quickly.

Finally, by the time I reached Lawrence I realized again, that I really really really needed to go to the bathroom again (this would make a total of 2 trips to the bathroom for the 10 hour trip). Sophie started waking up by then, it was now 7am, so I stopped at a McDonald's in Topeka, used the bathroom, and got us some breakfast. She stayed up the rest of the trip and watched the Kansas scenery, and we arrived at The Oneys at 8am!

Sophie got spoiled rotten all day! And Mom got spoiled to because she went down for a one hour nap, she ended up getting a 3 hour nap! Sophie and I got to spend time with all of the Oneys and we made it here at the perfect time because by Friday afternoon it started sleeting. And then when Sophie and I woke up this morning, we saw this:



Overall, it was a good trip and one that we'll be doing again in about a week. I'm debating about doing it the same way (leaving at 9:30 and arriving in Camden at 8am) or making it a whole day trip and arriving in Camden late in the evening. Not sure what we will do yet, but for right now I'm glad it went as well as it did and that we are back at home in Kansas.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Ode ta Saint Patrick and the Irish

'Tis such a fine night fer a saint day, particularly that of our own good St. Patrick of Ireland. Me thinks it would be appropriate ta take some time to do a wee jig in honor of tha day.
video

Me mum told me tha St. Patrick not only brought Christianity ta Ireland, but the mon also got ridda all tha snakes on the island. Now that is some feat! Me mum is still tryin' ta get all them mice out o' da house.

Me da told me tha God made Ireland special and later regretted it and decided ta make beer on tha eighth day o' creation ta prevent the Irish from taken o' the world. If me da has any say in it tis definately true. He certainly won't be taken o' the world any time soon with all the Guinness he drinks. I thought it might be appropriate ta try some on tis fine day, but wouldn't ya know, tisn't a single bottle around tha isn't empty.


Happy Saint Patrick's Day everyone and DIA BEANNAIGH AN EIRANNACH!

*Side Note- Brian is not an alcoholic and doesn't often consume a lot of Guiness (though that is his favorite beer). Also, the beer bottle is empty and was thourghly rinsed with water several times before letting Sophie play with it for photographic purposes. Just thought this should be pointed out before someone decides to contact SRS*

Det. Mom: Don't Mess with the Shoes!

Det. Mom had been placed in FBI care after her name got added to the "Family's" hit-list! She hated waiting around while armed body guards waited on her. Officer Dad was concerned as well and kept her updated on happens at the precinct, while she was forced to take a leave of absence.

One day after going shopping with three FBI bodyguards, Det. Mom entered her home and left the three guards to their duties in her living room as she took her shopping bags to her room. Whenever she was in a bad mood, shopping was easily a cure. However, being watched was starting to irritate her. As she made her way to her closet, she heard a faint rustling.

She quickly opened the closet door to find Terry the Transvestite from the Squeaker mob family rummaging through her beautiful shoes. Det. Mom doesn't remember exactly what happened as the boyguards pulled her away from the mangled dead body of a mouse. From later reflection and eye witness accounts, Det. Mom had gone berserk at the sight of the mobster mouse going through and ruining one of her pairs of shoes, that she had grabbed one of her stilletos and impaled Terry the Transvestite.

News of another death in the family continued to resonate throughout the "families" along with a warning that it would be wise to avoid any of Det. Mom's shoes. Furthermore, the FBI offered Det. Mom a sign on bonus of $5,000 should she decide to join the Bureau. Det. Mom has yet to make a decision.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Playing with Ponies

Today, we were invited to visit Lorraine and her husband's farm and see the animals! Lorraine is a former Kansan who moved to Southern Arkansas like ourselves. We met at church in Camden, when she walked in wearing a KU shirt. We were so happy to see someone from Kansas!

Anyway, it was so nice to get back out into the country and just relax. We got a tour of the grounds and got to see the animals (that was Sophie's favorite part)!

Sophie made friends with all the animals! Probably the most exciting part for her was the horses. (The chickens might have been more exciting too, but they kept running away).

They had several horses that were bordered there. And all were very friendly, even when Sophie grabbed Patch's nostrils and yanked.

Even Brian got to enjoy some of the animals, although for the most part of the trip he was the photographer.


And Sophie didn't seem at all intimidated by their size.

In fact, she ended up hugging one of the horses- Patch (the one who got his poor nostrils pulled)

And she eventually even got to sit on Patch!

Later, Sophie decided to go exploring and meet the other horses herself. So, we met and petted the others, and I showed her how to feed them. Sophie tried to feed them, but once there snouts got close and they tried to take the hay, Sophie moved it out of their reach. Eventually, I took over the task again, because I think she was still a little unsure of the teeth.

It was such a wonderful escape for us and an adventure for Sophie, since this was her first time to see horses. Perhaps sometime soon we can go back and visit again! Thanks again Lorraine for such a great time!