Monday, April 26, 2010

Real Quicker Picker Upper

In a recession people often have to make sacrifices and cut backs. In our house, I think we can do without a broom and perhaps even wash clothes and paper towels. Is it because we've decided to be dirty individuals and cut back on cleaning? Nope... that's not it. It's just that Oscar's got us covered- in places both high and low.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Playing with PhotoShop

My father-in-law is a mechanic and a restorer of antique cars. Now I am not capable of truly appreciating cars, unless it is your basic- "Hurray! My car is running" appreciation... that I've got oodles of. So, when we were at the Hogskin Holidays they had an antique car show. And yes I could point out ones that I thought were neat and ones that I wouldn't mind being behind the wheel of... but I couldn't tell you the size of the engine, their make or model by sight, or even the year. I knew I liked the "red one" and the "blue one". The only one I was able to recognize was the '65 Ford Mustang convertible, because my father owned a 66' Ford Mustang.

However, something I can appreciate is photography... particularly good photography. Since I got a new laptop, I now have photoshop and I thought... this is the perfect way for me to practice and post these photos for my father-in-law.

So if you like cars or photographs... enjoy!

*Note: Regarding lack of knowledge about cars (as previously stated) I didn't and cannot post the make, model, and year of each car in the photographs. *

One Dirty Day

Last night we had several thunderstorms pass through so I wasn't sure if our plans for Mud Volleyball were still on for Saturday. When we woke up it was still raining, but the meteorologist predicted sunny skies by 11 so Mud Volleyball was delayed until 10:30 this morning.

So, we contacted the guys, girls, and kids so we could meet up at the court. Altogether we had 7 guys and 3 girls ready to play 6 person volleyball. And during the games, we rotated in people as well as designated babysitters for the 4 kids- Colin, Caroline, Sophie, and Ellie.

Brian and I brought our tent (thanks Carmen!) and used that as a play area for the kids. And Heather and James brought a tarp for the outside so kids could play there as well and some toys to occupy the kids. Overall, it worked out really well and the kids got some play time together, while the adults got the same. Without having someone stay and watch the kids I don't think I would have been able to play, but it was so nice for Brian and I to not worry about Sophie because she was nearby and to just play and hang out together. It was great.

We ended up winning one game and losing two. And in the process we got extremely dirty! Luckily, they had a fire truck there which was there to simply hose down the players when finished.

Although we didn't win I did have a blast! Although, having a few crawfish in the mud snapping at my feet wasn't incredibly fun. But overall it was lots of fun and I think Sophie had a good time too.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Ode to Renting

Same tune as Ode To Joy

Dripping, dripping
Roof is leaking
Mold is growing
Mildew is too!
Don't you love to be a renter
Especially when no repairs are done.
Praise the mice that come and visit
Eat your food and then they run
Taker of my monthly rent check
Thank you for the hovel we're in

Yep... I think that about covers my thoughts and frustrations right now. So, if anyone hears me humming this tune... you'll have a pretty good idea what I'm thinking.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Woot Woot- Here Comes the Train

Isn't it interesting that the toys that make the most annoying noises, are some of the funnest things for kids to play with?

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Culinary Creation- Alphabet Soup

Sophie loves to help me cook... but sometimes I don't exactly feel like cooking. So, I'm thankful that I've taught Sophie enough, that she is capable in the kitchen.

She knows how to gather ingredients:

She understands that with certain dishes and ingredients, stirring is essential.

She also knows that some things require extra cooking utensils. And that sometimes, minor spills are unavoidable.

But some spills need to be cleaned up before you can continue.

Lastly, she knows that before you serve your culinary creation, it is often best to taste what you make. Or if the food looks questionable... find an unsuspecting and trusting to taste it for you.

For further helpful tips and cooking advice, please feel free to contact Sophie. The products used in this posting were brought to you by:

Tupperware provided by LaNelle Oney

Also, no dogs were permanently harmed in the making of Sophie's Signature Alphabet Soup. We expect Oscar to make a full recovery after hacking up the letter D.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Can a Kansan Guess it?

When we were here in the late summer last year, I would walk the dog and I'd see these things all over the yard. And today as I started walking in the park, I noticed that they are back. Now, Brian and I had a discussion about these last summer when I couldn't figure out what the heck they were. If you are from Kansas, you'll have never seen these either... do you have any guesses as to what it is?

My guess at first was that it was deer poop. Because they could grow really tall and it looked like tons of poop pellets that had fallen from an animals rear end. I'd never seen a deer's poop and I'd seen lots of deer around here, so it sounded like a good guess. Brian thought it was funny. And no... it isn't deer poop if that was your guess too.

In fact, it's the chimney's for crayfish and crawfish. Crayfish and crawfish live underground, sometimes as far as 3 feet down from their chimney. Anyway, thought I would share something unique to the area with you. If you want more information on crawfish and their chimneys, here is a link I pulled up from a Google search:

American Wetlands Resource Center: Crawfish and their Chimneys

Saturday, April 17, 2010

It's the Little Things...

Every night that I am able, Sophie and I have a ritual. We gather her blanket, a bottle, her bunny, a pacifier, and a book. Then we sit down on the recliner together and have 'story time' before bed.

Some days she's great through the story and we'll get through a chapter or two. Other times, she's fussy and we'll only get through a paragraph or two. If she is asleep or unable to sit still, I pause the story, and wait until the next evening to continue. I never read ahead.

Well today Sophie grabbed her own blanket and took the book off of the shelf (we are currently reading Anne of Avonlea together) and put them on the recliner... then came and got me. She was ready for bed and for our little ritual. It just warmed my heart.

We've been doing this since December when Sophie received the book "Anne of Green Gables" for her birthday. Once we finished that book together in February, I dusted off my old copy from middle school of Anne of Avonlea, which is the sequel. And while I know she loves this time with me, it was so nice to see her get things prepared and ready for it... even though I was planning to allow her to have some extra time beforehand due to good behavior. Apparently though, Sophie would prefer that extra time together. It just made me so happy.

So we got our snuggle and together time and after about a chapter, Sophie fell asleep in my arms. It's really the little things that can make a person so happy.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Spring Evening with the Tomkos

These past few days the weather has been getting increasingly warmer. I think today it was in the lower 90s. Needless to say, I don't think I've ever remembered having the air conditioner on so early in the spring. However, after a very difficult week at work for both of us, it was a treat for us and Sophie to be invited to hang out that evening at the Tomko's house, where they had already gotten out their kiddie swimming pool for the season.

It's been about a year since Sophie was last in a swimming pool, and I think she forgot how cool or cold the water can get.

We talked about how even though the water isn't warm you can still have fun in it like the Tomko boys were... as they happily splashed the dog Sammy.

Again, Sophie was not convinced and wanted nothing to do with the water! She held on to me like she was holding on for dear life.

Thankfully, the Tomko's had other toys and therefore gave the kids something else to do, instead of playing in the pool. Sophie was happily amused to just play with cars with the rest of the boys.

Brian also pushed her around on one of the boy's tricycles. Her feet couldn't reach the petals, but she stayed in the seat very well and loved the streamers at the end of the handlebars.

Then to top the evening off, Alan and Lindsey brought out the Popsicles for the kids! I really hadn't ever thought about getting them for Sophie before, so this was Sophie's first Popsicle and she loved it!

But I think the thing she liked the best was seeing the Tomkos. She followed the boys around and played with the same toys that they played with. She even walked to Alan and Lindsey wanting to be picked up and get some of their attention.

And for Brian and I, our treat was just having a stress-free evening in good company while Sophie hung out with some good kids. It was just so nice and relaxing. Hopefully our weekend proves to be equally nice and relaxing. Thanks Alan, Lindsey, Gabriel, and Patrick Tomko for the fun time tonight!!!

And the Popsicles too!

Monday, April 12, 2010

If I Ran for Office...

Today while trolling the 3rd grade hallway during Benchmark testing I met the Arkansas state senator Mark Jeffress and had the pleasure of talking politics. It's not often that I found someone in Camden with whom I can discuss politics with (my husband excluded) and so I enjoyed our conversation. In light of that conversation I thought about what I would "theoretically" do if I ever ran for a government office. Here are some of the things I would put on my "to do list".

1. Get rid of government-run health care.

2. Reduce the amount of money going to welfare and "poverty programs" as well as reducing the time limit a person can obtain money from those government programs.

3. In order to prevent Social Security funding from going down the toilet and leaving several people without, I would extend the age to 72.

4. On issues regarding education, I would poll educators from the areas and get their input and insights on matters. And on issues regarding finance, I would poll financiers and accountants and get their input and insights on matters. Etc... etc....

5. I would create a website that allowed my constituents to see exactly what I am working on and provide an area which would allow them to tell me how I should vote and different areas, and I'd make the results of those polls public.

6. I would fight against legalizing abortions. Or at least try and create lots of red tape for those seeking to have an abortion.

7. I would make those people in prison do lots of manual labor (perhaps construction jobs for the government?). Not sure what... but the idea of some of them in their for drugs...they don't need to spend their days hanging out in a cell and watching tv.

8. Anyone on government support systems (unemployment, wic, welfare, food stamps, medicaid, etc...) would have to verify more information to the government such as detailed lists of jobs obtained (along with phone numbers and dates), previous government assistant backgrounds, drug test, etc...

9. I'd require that students who cannot achieve the standard requirements for their grade level, be held back another year. After 2 years of being held back and still not meeting standard requirements, they should be placed in Special Ed., with no hope of gaining a regular high school diploma unless they are able to meet the state requirements.

10. Teachers would be paid MORE! And we'd make education a priority.

I'm sure there will be several people who will not agree with one or all of these things, but these are some of my political views. Plus, I also understand that many people come from a different background and from different experience than me would have a different view. I get it. I won't disregard your viewpoints (as long as they are educated and well founded) as long as you won't disregard mine. But all in all, I think the one thing we can all agree on is that the job of a member of Congress is to be the "voice of the people". And should I reach the ranks of a government official, and should my constituents vote so strongly in one way (even if it is against one of the things that I believe the opposite) I will vote as the people tell me to do. Because that would be my job. Anyway, I'm sorry that this is possibly boring some people or irritating others... but my visit with Mark Jefferess was nice and caused me to have politics on my mind.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Oneys on a Hogskin Holiday!

This weekend, Brian and I were looking for things to do to get away from our regular weekend chores for awhile and enjoy the beautiful weather. There were 2 festivals in 2 neighboring small towns and we decided to try our luck at the Hampton Hogskin Holidays.

By 10am, we arrived in the little town of Hampton (population unknown). We first spent some of our time checking out some of the classic cars on display! There were so many!


My personal favorite car (which just seemed to scream “Stacey… I’m YOUR car!”) was the blue Shelby Cobra. However, we also saw a 65’ Mustang Convertible in cherry red, which reminded me of Dad’s old 66’ Mustang he used to have. 100_6236 100_6233

In addition to classic cars, they also had classic … tractors? I’m not sure if you’d call them ‘classics’, but I couldn’t think of a better word. The worst part of it was that there was only ONE John Deere. That kind of surprised me.


And with any festival there was a carnival with lots of food. Several trailers were all set up and had their smokers going for the BBQ festival. Our lunch options were FRIED something (meat, vegetables, dessert) or BBQ. We decided to indulge in both… having a BBQ sandwich from one of the local smokers and a blooming onion (one of the two options for fried vegetables, the other being fried green tomatoes). The dessert options didn’t exactly seem appealing so we skipped that part.

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Lastly, what would be a Hogskin holiday without a pig race? I’d never seen a pig race and I’m sure there are more like me out there who have yet had the privilege, so I decided I would share those few seconds of the race with you. Here is a video of the pig race!

We had fun and one of the surprising things for me is that while we were only 20 minutes away from Camden, the atmosphere and demographic was completely different. We saw a couple of cow boys and country music was blaring over the loud speakers at the fairgrounds. It seemed a little more like home than Camden. However, I doubt you could find pig races and fried gator back home, but hey… anything is possible!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

A Mile in Sophie's Goulashers?

When I was in Goodwill in Wichita, my mom and I found the CUTEST goulashers! We didn't know if they would fit or even if Sophie would wear them (because Sophie traditionally hates wearing shoes and prefers going barefoot). But they were so ridiculously cute and girly, that I couldn't resist the temptation and for $2 I got her some shoes she could wear when it is a rainy day.

She LOVES her Goulashers! She still doesn't care for her shoes, but according to her, her goulashers are different! I have in fact had to hide her goulashers a couple of times (aka- Easter Sunday) because when she sees them or finds them, she wants to wear them. She'll bring them to me, sit down, and then lift up one of her feet so I can put them on her!

Sophie will wear them with everything and at any time during the day. Yes, she has even tried to have them on when she is ready for her tub and even tried to have them on during nap time (neither which I allow).

So in the future, perhaps from time to time, check out the pictures and see if she's wearing them!