Thursday, May 24, 2012

"my to do list"

Because the previous post made my toes curl a bit,
I decided to remember why I am working so hard.

Not sleeping.

Am grouchy.

Feel overwhelmed.

it is because my to-do-list is about
to look like this:  

1) loads of family time.
2)  reading stacks of books with little people and alone
3) toes in the sand
4) taking pictures of mostly my crew
5)  salty kisses
6) pony tail days
7)  hearing the waves when we wake
8)  turquoise toe nails
9) turquoise water
10) turquoise sheets
11)  smores
12) camp fires
12) board games and puzzles
13) shells
14) seaside
15) cupcakes at seaside
16) shopping
17) seafood
18) sundresses
19) suntan lotion {well, sunblock}
20) loving my people  :) 
21) a new experience for all of us
22) making memories that will last long after I am gone
23) biking
24) no ironing, no real laundry, no vacumming
25) reading my bible on the beach in the wee morning hours
26) crabbing with flashlights
27) no agenda
28) no calendar
29) no true list

I can do this!   

'one more day'

I'm trying really hard not to be sad that our elementary days are
over with one.

Really, really hard.

I am trying to focus on the fact that
we have one more day until summer. 

Then I have them to myself again.

Friday will be full and chaotic and wonderful.

Our neice, Sydney Caroline, graduates at the very top of
her class. We will all be camping out as the gates open
at 5:30 so we can all be front and center to hear her
commencement address.  In the other hours of Friday, I will 
be running around getting tires rotated, going to an awards
ceremony, passing out teacher gifts,  grabbing last minute
road trip supplies, getting chickens and dogs stocked
up on supplies, getting car ready, analyzing, editing,
ordering, uploading, etc, etc, etc.


Saturday, a wedding in Fayetteville.

More editing, report writing, bill paying before and way, way after.

Sunday is d-day, or was d-day.


Maybe not.

Probably not.

But, that's perfectly fine.

The world won't stop spinning.

At some point, it will be d-day.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

"a little taste of summer"

it was definitely one of those 'freeze frame' moments of the heart.
as corny as that may sound it is true.

evan is home today, it's no surprise why he didn't get a
perfect attendance award like his big brother. ;)

but, when I pulled back up from dropping noah off,
i saw scott and evan driving back to the house from
a hay meadow on the four-wheeler.

evan was snuggled up in front of scott, wearing
nothing but his boxers and his flip-flops. 

his little hands cupped a surprise just for me.  

sweet little hands and tart little blackberries.

i can definitely get used to this settling in for summer thing.
i want to savor every, single moment with them!

2 more days! 

Friday, May 18, 2012


With one little email my weekend has been turned upside down. 

I had several things I was looking forward to, but, everything
planned will have to be a little revamped now.

The coffee is dripping.
I'm not planning on sleeping. 

Ever, I think.

Scott and I just had a phone discussion re: vacation.
That may have to be revamped as well.

Something has got to change in like a 

And, honestly, I am not complaining but
putting it out there that plans may be shifted this weekend.

Per a devotional type read this morning I read two words:

gratitude and love.

How those two components should be in every moment of
our day.  Even in those moments when plans divert in an
entirely different direction and you are overwhelmed beyond belief. 

To paraphrase some of the point in that article.....
and this post may make sense to no one but myself -
but, I hope to look back someday and be okay with
choices that are sometimes very difficult to make.

"I know. It seems much easier said than done. But
 that’s my point. it really be as simple and easy
as making a choice? (Maybe simple, but not always easy.)
Criticize or praise. Resent or accept. Ignore or engage.
Complain or appreciate. Aren’t all of these behaviors just
 mental and emotional choices we make first in our heads
 and then in our hearts? Think about it. Joy doesn’t require a
certain amount of money, a degree from a prestigious institution,
a license from the government. Joy really is for the taking."
So, instead of stomping around and throwing a 2-year-old 
fit, I am opting to embrace, smile and get what needs to be
done, DONE.   I have a long weekend of work ahead.
But, I am going to be diligent in getting it done.
I am choosing to do so, with a smile on my face.
I'm refusing to throw my sucker in the dirt. 

Thursday, May 10, 2012

{traveling back in time, Part I}

Noah had a big "family" GT assignment recently.  What initally
seemed like an every day, average assignment, turned
into something much more for he & I.  Something that has
opened up things I can't even describe in words. 

Here was our assignment:  "Students will research
their family ancestry for Civil War Era veterans and/or
family stories (1850s-1870s)."

Our journey.....

and, it doesn't have the hero's end for us as we had
hoped it would, but in reality, it ended much better than we
would have imagined.

Part I

General Marion McBay
The Civil War of the United States was fought on our soil from 1861-1865.  It has been estimated that almost 3.5 million soldiers were involved, with a death toll of approximately 620,000. There was not likely a single family living in the U.S. that went unaffected by this war.   Therefore, with these statistics, if a person residing in the U.S. today had family living in America during that time period, it would be quite probable that you would have a family member that actually fought in this historic battle.
After  much research, we were able to verify that we had a family member that was very much immersed in this war.   His story was very intriguing and added a new dimension to our family that we were unaware of before.   When my mom and I were researching,  I first saw the name, 'General Marion McBay' who was linked to other family members and lived during this time period.  Shortly thereafter, we found his Enlistment Documents as well as records  that indicated he was actually held as a Prisoner of War.  He was also involved in one of the largest battles of the war, The Battle of Chickamauga, the last big Confederate Victory.   Interestingly, 'General' appears to be his name or a nickname, as he was not a General.

**I have a picture, but cannot get it to post at the moment.

The only known picture of General Marion McBay]
The story of my great, great, great, great grandfather  begins with his birth in Tennessee in 1836.  Little is known about him until his marriage to Lucinda Brewer on December 13, 1855.   He enlisted in the Confederate Army at the age of 26; it appeared to be a voluntary enlistment although the document was very difficult to read.  He was a private in the 19th Dawson Infantry Company C  Regiment Arkansas. 
He was captured on 1/11/1863 at the Battle of Arkansas Post  and was transported to Alton, IL by boat.   He was changed to a train and traveled on to a Prison Camp at Camp Douglas, IL and arrived on 1/29/1863.   He was subsequently paroled on 4/3/1863 and was transported by rail to Fort Delaware and then by boat to City Point, Virginia where he was exchanged for Union Solders on 4/10/1863.  He then rejoined his Regiment. 
On 9/19/1863 and 9/20/1863 he was involved in the Battle of Chickamauga.  It was noted that after this incredible battle, desertions became more frequent.   This battle marked the end of the Union Offensive in southeastern  Tennessee and  northwestern Georgia called the Chickamauga Campaign.   Chickamauga was the Cherokee word for River of Death.  This battle was the most significant Union defeat in the Western Theater of the American Civil War and involved the second highest number of causalities in the war following the Battle of Gettysburg. 
[Battle of Chickamauga - Library of Congress]
Fighting began on the morning of September 19th.  Although the Confederates launched costly and deadly assaults, the Union Soldiers  held until twilight.   The Confederates lost 2,312 with 1468 captured or missing and 14,674 wounded; my grandfather was one of the wounded soldiers as he suffered wounds to either his abdomen or chest as different documents noted both.   Despite the losses, it was considered a remarkable Confederate victory.   There were no records that we found regarding his recuperation.  However,  we did learn that he went AWOL on 2/29/1864 and deserted on 4/30/1864.  This was a very shocking find, however, through additional research this was a time period in which soldiers who were wounded often did not or could not return to their company and records would note the above.  Or, another finding was that during this time period desertions increased to a high number as the Indians were aware that the husbands and older  sons were away in this battle and had moved into Arkansas to kill and scalp the women and children.  And, a third finding revealed that often the government was behind in payments to these  soldiers by periods of fourteen months and the needs at home for basic necessities such as food was a higher priority than the battle in the fields.    
Information was gathered from the document Dawson's 19th Arkansas Infantry by Merrill T. Pence (1994).  This document compiled a wealth of information.    "The call to greatness if often missed, going unanswered by those who otherwise possess the raw talents to excel.  How many times in life do we wish to go back and start the day anew, but alas, that moment in time has closed. One special day in the history of this country was Sept. 19, 1863.  It started as any other early fall day in northwest Georgia.  The hot days of summer were gone, leaving a faint crispness in the air.  A thin low fog lay in the valleys, waiting for the morning sun's warmth to melt it away.  This day, however, was not destined to be ordinary.  Before the shades of night fell on the following day, some 35,000 casualties would occur here.  For days, two armies had been shifting around, attempting to locate the strength and weakness of the other, to establish a maximum effective position for themselves. "    The following notation was made "The Invalid Corps was made up of men who was no longer able to fulfill services in the field due to a service connected disability.  These men may have lost an arm or leg, so serving in this corps, herding cattle, guiding wounded to hospitals, etc., would free an able bodied man for service in the ranks.  Some of the wounded men were known to eventually return to join their comrades, including:  G. M. McBay." "For their brave and heroic action in the Battle of Chickamauga, the 19th Arkansas was named to the Confederate Roll of Honor, with one man from each company being named as the actual recipient. "  The document went on to describe the following, "The soldier has many enemies when in a theater of operations, and he has to fight each one of them.  Besides the Union Army, who was never very far away, he had to fight others, such as fatigue, hunger, discomfort, and the ever present discouragement caused by being away from home and family.  His life consisted of fatigue from days of marching to another location, followed by hours of backbreaking work in constructing defensive positions and moments of sheer terror when the shooting starts.  Then all this would start over again. The ever present hunger was never far away, and was often satisfied on a hardtack bread and bacon, and for variety, perhaps peas and corn or sweet potatoes, sometimes taken from some farmers fields nearby.  Times were when his day would be interrupted to dig a  grave in the rain for a lifelong friend, and hurry back to his place in the unit.  In moments of quietness, his thoughts turned home to the warmth of the hearthstone and his mothers sweet potato pie, or perhaps some girl who didn't know if he was still alive.  Following Chickamauga, desertions became more frequent, including the following:  G. M. McBay  Feb 29, 1864."  
The document's Prologue ended with this touching statement, "The long struggle was over, perhaps the hardest struggle of this country.  No families were left untouched by this episode in the American Experience.   The long lines of graves, left in the wake by the passing of the 19th Arkansas Infantry, is but a small part of this story.  Numerous men were left buried at the many crossroads, campgrounds, and communities when they passed, many being lost to their families forever in some lonely unmarked tomb.  Those fortunate enough to make it home again were changed, having written so much history in so short of time.  They had witnessed the absolute personification of death, depression and despair."  A pale horseman had ridden across the land, thrusting in his sickle, and reaping the vintage of the land. 

To be continued......

'my splurge'

I did it; instead of allowing my kitchen to be flooded requiring
vastly expensive repairs, I gulped and bought yet another
appliance.  The dreaded dishwasher.  I didn't go high end, but
right smack in the middle.  But, whoa?  Have you priced dishwashers lately?


I suppose at year 15 in your home, everything dies.  It has here.

I have to give a shout out to my boys.  We are in total crunch time
around here with the V-date looming.  So, they are pitching in.
In a huge way.  And, it truly is helping so much.  I am
realigning my thinking that it is always easier and quicker
to just do it myself, which is so incredibly wrong on so
many levels.  They are old enough to help out in tremendous
ways.  So, this new season will continue long after we
dump the sand out of our shoes.  Their wives will thank me someday. 

Sweet tea.  I'm thinking it is from Hades.  I allowed myself
a "treat" of one the other day.  Big mistake.  It took just
one to fire up those southern taste buds.  As my sweet grandpa
would say, "the blasted stuff.".  I don't even know what that
means?  I hope I didn't just curse.  For real.

I ordered the complete Little House series for some
summer reading with Evan primarily, but, I can see
Noah joining in too.   As in just happening to curl
up on the end of the cough little man and I are reading on. 
Book one is down, and we are in the midst of
Book two.  It's funny that I love that series so much.  

Coffee is my new best friend.  Again.

It's official, no garden this year.  Farmer's Market
is definitely beckoning me. .

My workshop in Utah was cancelled.  Details
are unknown and I am sure it was for a good reason.
But, I am beyond disappointed, although it will make
June a little more bearable. 

Off to clean as I have abandoned ALL things domestic 
this week.  Well, for greater than a week.  Scott's mom
picked him up this morning and although I had seen
him in passing.  I miss him.  So, I snuck a call in and told 
him just that.  I'm ready for the mundane again. 

The boys will be spending the evening in the hayfield again
tonight as I have another session.  They are loving it.
Evan plays all sorts of games in the middle of the hay bales.
AND, Noah is an official driver.  He has to sit on
stacks of stuff to see, but, he is so big. :(  Noah drives,
WHEN, Evan is not playing in the middle of the hay bales.   
Because hay season hit much earlier this year, I am not helping as
planned but rather feeding everyone the evening meal.  I wish
 I could be out there!!!    

I am praying that I make it through the upcoming weekend. 
It scares me.  


Tuesday, May 8, 2012


*business is good.  very, very good.  trip to fay town tonight. 
2 more trips up the hill later this week.  well, good if it doesn't
kill me first.

*yay!  two of my long lost friends posted on their blogs we just need to hear from SC and MW.  ;)  I'm hoping
we get to see more of each other this summer than we have
the last several months.  it's been yuck.  i  need my girls.

*my neck is bad.  i'm taking meds around the clock and have
had to limit my time on the computer despite a mound of orders
and edits.  but, i have a 14-hour wedding saturday and on a good
day the camera and lenses can wreck havoc.  i'm praying this
resolves quickly.  it is mighty scary what a seemingly small jolt
can do.  

*metal for barn roof was FINALLY delivered today.  contractor
is lined up to finish the entire barn out after the roof is on.  i'm way
past ready. i've ordered a turq couch for my gallery area.  like i need
another couch? but, it is so pretty and it is on it's way per my
email this morning.

*i love my boys.  all three.  just thought i would throw that in.

*baby chicks are in a dog kennel in the big coop.  three age groups
of chickens is quite the tricky feat. 

*i went back to bed after i dropped the boys off this morning.   just
thought i should confess.

*booking my plane ticket to utah today.  mixed emotions. 

*looking forward to some precious time with a super-precious
family tonight.

*i need to buy groceries.

*and, get my oil changed.  boo! 

*gotta run.  well, not literally.  oh, but, i should.  if i had been, maybe
my neck would not feel like it's a boulder on my shoulders right now.  
this chair is KILLING me.  :(  Gotta make some changes for certain.  

Sunday, May 6, 2012

"i read, and i cried...."

How amazing and true is this?

I type that as I am literally blocking off weeks at a time
with a black sharpie on my calendar.

21 days until I am unplugged completely.
I have been buying up board games, books and puzzles.
Well, and a truckload of sunscreen.


So much to do, but I have my eye on the prize. 

Commit to the LORD whatever you do, and your plans
will succeed.  Proverbs 16:3

"loving it"

{above image from amazon}

I knew this was coming out, but had not spied it until yesterday.
I grabbed it for the trip, but, mistakenly started reading it this morning. 

I am in the midst of another terrible bout of insomonia.  I think it was just
early last week that I commented on how well I had
been sleeping.  I do think it is attributed to hormones and simple stress, but, it
is absolutely killing me.  Making me ill to the point that yesterday I could
barely eat because of that "no sleep nausea" that nothing will take care of.  I've
been averaging about 2-3 hours per night for several nights now. 

Then there is the neck.  I am taking anti-inflammatories around the clock and
still not getting total relief.  The fact I had to mow acres and acres yesterday
did not help that little issue I'm sure.  I have decided I either need a smaller
area to mow or a tractor of my own.  In fact, I am missing my niece's
Baccularate service today and lying low in hopes I can fulfill a 'contractual obligation'
this evening.  At this very moment, I have no idea how I'm going to do it.
But, praying I can at least find some sleep today to rid me of the nausea. 
Now, back to the book.  Since, I can barely move, I
 picked up this book.  It was a mistake by way of no time to read a single
extra word right now, let alone a book. I knew I wouldn't want to put down
I've always loved their "love story" even before their horrific accident. 

And, I do, I love....

I think there will definitely be learning moments for me in this book.
But, maybe, I just put it under lock and key for now.


Noah deciphered the phrase from Evan  "too much less cheese"

as meaning...

"not enough cheese on the homemade pizza." 

{heart smile}

Friday, May 4, 2012

"i really couldn't make this stuff up if i tried"

No joke.

I was meeting my friend Mandi, passing off kids to her for 
a birthday sleepover, as I drove through the parking lot I hit something. 

My first thought, a gigantic California sinkhole; but then I remembered I
live in Arkansas.  A mammoth pothole?   Not likely, but I still don't know
what it was?  For the record, it jolted the boys pretty well too. 

However, it jolted me to the point I think I've injured my neck.  For real.
The first words out of my mouth were "whiplash".  Little did I know, hours later,
I would literally be in pain.  Not achy, sore pain, but scary pain. 

I can't even believe this.  Let's hope Motrin and no work on the computer
tonight will take care of it. 


Thursday, May 3, 2012

"about to spill"

The last several days have been the kind that you just want to curl up in.

The end.

Just curl up.  

I surprisingly made it through a 14-day consecutive stent of sessions.

I am beyond exhausted.  Exhausted to the point that tears are about to spill. 
I've never had that many sessions that close together.

How do I get myself to this point?
The ongoing question?

We are suppose to start vacation on the 27th.  Between now, the 3rd,  and then....

I have......

12 sessions to edit.
13 sessions to shoot.
{add those to the edit list above}
2 weddings to shoot.
A Baccularate to attend. 
A PTO program to attend.
A graduation to attend.
5 physicians appointments.
6 legal reports to finish/start & finish.
Ongoing calls/inquiries/orders/invoicing and deliveries.
The barn construction to deal with. 

And, hay season has started a month early.

Then the normal everyday crazy stuff.
Which around here, can entail alot. 24 days, my toes should be in the sand. 
{okay, I'm working there too, but all is well with that}

That is all that is getting me through.

And, until then, I will just fake it.
At maybe the boys will at least think thing are normal.

I have a brisket in the oven, potatoes to peel for the infamous
Pioneer Woman mashed potatoes, corn to roast. 

A family dinner at 5 so I can have a family dinner with my crew.
Laundry is humming away.
The chicks are chirping from the bathroom.
{okay, there is something wrong with that}
The puppies are playing.

I am praying.

It will all be okay.

But Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”   Matthew 19:26

That part, I'm not faking.

I'm clinging to.

I am not posting any of this to be negative, but merely as
a glimpse back to some crazy days we had.