Sunday, August 21, 2011

{Back to School 2011}

We survived the first week of school!!

I always look forward to this time of year...being able to get back to a more structured pencils...fresh notebooks.....ball season is just around the corner....I just love it! I'm pretty sure that Blake does not share my enthusiasm as noted by the lovely smile he sports for our traditional "back to school" photo. I keep trying to tell him, that someday, he'll thank me for the photo documentation :)
If ever there was a doubt regarding Blake's rapid growth....see above pictures! He has grown about 6 inches and is a towering 6'5" now. This is awesome for playing basketball and I'm sure the coaches would like to see him grow even more, but give a momma a break! It's hard to keep up with jeans, shoes, and the amount of food he puts away!!

Blake is all about punctuality. He had two different friends, Sydney & Michael, offer him rides for the first day....his dad and I both offered to take him....but none of us were leaving early enough for him. He leaves the house every morning around 7:25am to walk the two blocks to school, so he can be there early.

It's already been a challenging year. Blake isn't really used to having to do very much homework. Most of the time, he's able to finish it at school and he has an incredible memory....but this year he is finding homework a necessity. He's taking AP World History and spent 3 hours one night doing homework for that class. Hopefully, he'll find his rhythm soon and it won't be quite such a daunting task.

Check out other Back To School traditions over at Kelly's Blog...a fellow Arkansan :)

Sunday, August 14, 2011

{Saturday Road Trip}

With summer coming to an end, and given the fact that we haven't gone anywhere, we decided Saturday was a great day for a road trip. Destination? Kentucky! This was a new venture for us and we were pretty excited to explore The Land Between The Lakes. I brought along my camera (of course) to work on some techniques and capture the ready for picture overload :)

First stop was the Nature Station and while we were driving through the gate, we came upon this herd of fallow deer. These deer could care less that we were there and we were able to get within about 30 feet. Beautiful!

The Nature Station was a little small, but had plenty of eye candy. I caught this butterfly flittering around gathering pollen. There were several gorgeous butterflies and I tried to capture the hummingbirds....oh my...there were too many to count...and they were a little fast for my camera skills. One of the Nature Guides told us they were in a feeding frenzy, getting ready for their migration across the Gulf of Mexico.

This little feller (turkey) was taking advantage of some thirst quenching water.

Practicing my depth of field....

Pretty pleased with these results....

This was a great setting to capture some pictures of Blake....he just recently celebrated his 16th birthday and I've yet to get the official pictures...and since he absolutely loves nature...this was the perfect setting. These pictures were actually taken just outside the Red Wolf den...which was the main thing Blake wanted to see. They are endangered with less than 300 still living.

Handsome Fellow!

We left the Nature Station in search of some good food and seen all these sailboats on the lake (Kentucky Lake) and of course I had to stop and grab some photos. I mean often do you see a lake full of sailboats??

Shooting past some grass....

Using depth of field to focus on grass and blur sailboat...

After stopping to eat at Miss Scarlet's, where I ate one of the best burgers I've ever had (akin to a Roys Burger for those that know), we stopped at the Lighthouse Landing.

We met this delightful lady, Joan, from Alabama. She was just enjoying the nice breeze by the dock and reading, while her husband of 56 years participated in the sailboat races. Alas! We know why there's so many sailboats out on the lake!!

Sailboats...sailboats...and more sailboats!

Quentin and Blake enjoying the view...

My little man...that has somehow become a young you see that hair on his face?? Where did my little boy go?

This just looks so incredibly peaceful....

A small storm blew in while we were at the Landing and this picture captured it perfectly!

On to our next stop...The Bison & Elk Prairie...once we finally figured out how to work the pay gate, we were in...and this is the first thing we seen. Bison! Up close and personal.

I've only seen bison on television, so this was pretty cool and super cheap...$5 per car. We also were lucky enough to see a herd of momma elk, but they were too far in the distance to get a really good picture.

Last stop of the day was at The Hitching was like stepping back in time. Blake and I enjoyed a game of tic-tac-toe on the front porch of the store and then Blake tried the original "Teeter" game...much harder than it looks and as you can tell...he was in deep concentration!

We had so much fun just exploring The Land Between The Lakes from one end to the other and I'm sure we'll be making this trip again :)

Monday, August 8, 2011


Decision is made.


This was tough for me, but I truly believe that God has called me to go on this missionary journey and if I believe that, then I must believe that He will take care of all of the details. The money will be there when I need it. Mallorye will be fine & our precious grandbaby will wait for me to make his/her grand entrance into this world. Quentin & Blake will survive without me for a week.

I'm nervous.

But...I know God has a plan in all of this and my nerves are overcome by my excitement.

I'm claiming the promises found in Mark 11:23-24 and Luke 17:6 and asking God to bless my socks off not only during this trip, but during the preparation.

Friday, August 5, 2011

{Baby's First Picture}

Mallorye & Matt went for her first ultrasound today! There is only ONE Baby Wesley, much to everyone's relief...especially Matt...and everything looks wonderful.

Mallorye is OFFICIALLY 14 weeks and is due January 31st.

She's still been getting sick throughout the day, so Dr. Hasik prescribed some Zofran to help combat that problem. She's also been pretty tired, which is attributed to her thyroid levels fluctuating due to the pregnancy and the fact that she's a little bit anemic. Dr. Hasik is keeping a close eye on her labs, so no worries.

With an official due date comes the big decision. Do I go to Nicaragua as planned with Mal only having 5 weeks to delivery day? Or do I forgo my plans and potentially lose the money that has been put toward my trip?? I'm so torn! I've really been excited to go on my first mission trip, but I'm equally excited to see my first grandbaby be born and not sure I want to risk missing that. Well....any wisdom would be appreciated....especially since I have to make a final decision by Sunday morning.

....and while we're talking babies.....Mallorye is the one of three expectant mommies in our family. Laura, my cousin Colby's wife, is expecting a little girl in November....Aria Beth. And his younger brother Cord & his soon-to-be wife, Morgan, are expecting a baby shortly after Mallorye in February. We have babies running out of our ears!! Next Christmas will be an adventure for sure.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

{August Goals}

With so much to do and accomplish, I decided it was time for a little short-term goal setting. I have a list a mile long of things I need to get done, projects to complete, on an without overwhelming myself too much, here are my 6 goals for the month of August. I'll update at the end of the month as to how well I did.

1. Not spend any additional money (outside of normal grocery bill) for breakfast or lunch during the work week.

2. Keep grocery budget under $250 for the month (this is for a family of 3 that includes a teenage boy)

3. Get my home office functional.

4. Walk 24 miles this month. I know that doesn't seem like much, but I've broke it down to walking 2 miles 3 times a week. I think that's plenty for starters.

5. Keep up with my Project Life picture taking in August.

6. Be sleeping in my own bed nightly by the end of the month.

What are your goals?