Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Gatlinburg

Mark and I went to Gatlinburg 18 years ago for our honeymoon.  We were excited to take the kids back and see how much it had changed over 18 years.  Oh man, had it changed!   We were looking forward to hiking while we were there, especially since it has been a while since we spent time camping or backpacking.  Mark and Raeley wanted to get some waterfall shots, so our hikes revolved around waterfalls.  That ended up working out great since it rained almost every day we were there.

We also hung out downtown Gatlinburg, shopped in Pigeon Forge, hit historical sites, and drove the arts and crafts circuit.  My favorite shopping was at the NOC outdoor store.  I racked up on some good deals. We spent too long in Pigeon Forge shopping, but with growing kids, outlets can be a great way to do a one stop rush to get some much needed additions to the wardrobes.  Raeley finally found her tan pants for work.  Jonathan and Cameron really needed new sneakers, and me, well, I can always find something I think I need!  I got Cameron a swimsuit for $5 and Jonathan got Nike Lunars for $30.  I scored a beautiful shirt from J Crew for less than $30, and a cute dress from Tommy Hilfiger for around $30 also.  We took time out from shopping to eat lunch at the Applewood Farmhouse Restaurant.  It was a cool experience and how could we pass up getting a bag of fresh apples?

Enough about shopping.  The kids loved the Wonderworks house in Pigeon Forge, which it was like an interactive science museum with a huge indoor ropes course.  The Ripley Mirror Maze in Gatlinburg was a hilight for me because we all laughed so much!  I didn't think I would enjoy it as much as I did.  I loved hearing Raeley laugh and laugh every turn when we found the real us.  If you've done it, you'd know what I meant.  We were the only people in there, which really added to the experience.  We also did the Ripley Aquarium.  It was impressive as well.  With a big dolphin fan in the family (Cameron), how could we skip it?  We knew there wouldn't be any dolphins there, but we had to go none the less.

We were there for a week, and we ate most meals either from the cooler or at the condo.  The kids also had their schoolwork to keep up with.  They would do that while I cooked dinner, which worked since it was too rainy to go swimming.  Cameron loves swimming, so if there's a pool,  she wants to be in it.  We were wet so much on our trip, though, that everyone had enough of water by the time we got back to the condo.


Raeley's Party

For the big sweet sixteen, Raeley wanted a large party. With her diversity of friends, I let her choose two groups of friends to invite, so the party wouldn't have too many people who didn't know each other. I also asked her to limit it to under 30 people. We didn't do a head count, but I think there were 20 kids there.

Raeley had a joint birthday party with her friend, Ahnna, who has recently moved to Tupelo. Ahnna's birthday was Saturday, so they are 3 days apart. We were thrilled to have a party for both girls. I thoroughly enjoyed the extra help from Ahnna's mom. She did a ton of work for the party!

The party started with the Kinect going on in the background, then we went in the backyard to tie dye shirts and bandanas. The kids did a great job with the tie dye. While the guys flipped burgers for dinner, we had cake and ice-cream, with an ice-cream bar of toppings. The kids sang karaoke while we put out the hamburgers. After hamburgers, the kids played sardines and we got the chocolate fondue set up. They came back, snacked on that, and set up for Capture the Flag Glow in the Dark style. It was a HUGE hit! It was the most fun of the night. I think they could have played it for hours.

Raeley's party was so much fun and she has such great friends, we enjoyed having them all over to hang out for a few hours.






Sunday, September 25, 2011

Better than imagined!

Just stopping in to say hi.  This week my sister is coming to my house.  YAY!  But I won't be here for most of it.  She will be the brave one staying by herself with 8 kids.  What a nice sister.  Mark and I are going to the Anytime Fitness Conference and I am very excited.  We are bringing 5 staff members.  I'm looking forward to all I will learn.  There will be lots of opportunities to talk with other club owners as well.

School is going better than I could have imagined.  The kids aren't crazy about having to do school over the weekend, but if they don't finish their weekly work, they have homework to be done by Monday.  Works like a charm to keep us on track.

We are also enjoying the Credo Co-op we are a part of for History and Science.  The kids, for the most part, are self reliant.  Cameron has been reading her science book by herself, and I read history with her.

Last week concluded a two week movie filming Raeley was a part of.  She enjoyed helping behind the scenes and taking photos for the blog.  It consumed most of her two weeks, and we are thankful for the opportunity that she had with this film.  How many 16 year olds get to work on a real film set?

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Sweet 16



WOW, I can't believe the big day is here! My oldest daughter is 16. Raeley is a typical oldest child, she likes things in order (except her room), is very good at cleaning the house, and is very responsible. Who would have thought that at 16, on the morning of her birthday, she woke up before 7 am to get ready for work, worked an 8-5 shift in her field of expertise, then went off to church. Sounds so very grown up.

I couldn't be more proud of Raeley. She loves the Lord in her whole being. She is real and down to earth. She cares about others and does not have a self-centered view of the world. She is also very talented.

We gave her a special gift for her 16th birthday. We gave her a ring with her birthstone. My parents gave me a ring with an amethyst for my 16th birthday, and I wanted to continue this tradition with her. She is ready for the responsibility of caring for fine jewelry.

I thought it was pretty funny when she was trying to guess her gifts, and she said that a gun would be a great gift for her 16th! That was a clever idea. And it fits her. But I'm glad we gave her the ring.

She said she really felt older this birthday, which was magnified since she had to get herself off to work. I really felt older myself on this birthday for her as well.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

First Week of School

No matter how our first day started, our week ended great! The kids and I all like our new curriculum. We have joined the Credo co-op, and it fits great. It was definitely the right move for our family. The kids really enjoy it. I must say, I think the kids having projects to complete in a school setting with people to show their work to, will go far on keeping it more fun. I always felt I had more fun with their school projects than they did.

I am putting our schooling instead of my work as priority this year, and everyone is taking school more seriously. Robert gets the reward for most serious, however. We had a night of Encouragement with our homeschool group. At this event, we listen to a speaker then have a chance to see all that is offered during the school year. A couple who were home schooled and are now homeschooling were interviewed, and the man spoke of what he found important as he looked back over his schooling. He said tests and math, and to really take your school work seriously. Robert really listened to what he had to say and took it to heart. Robert is also taking 2 high school classes that will count toward his transcript. He is watching his grades already! We dubbed it 8 1/2 grade. Now for the biggest and most stunning news: He studied for his spelling test all week and made a 100!

I am really trying to hold the kids to finishing a week of school Monday - Friday. However, Co-op is on Friday, so if the rest of the day is time off, they have a few assignments to do on Saturday or Sunday. Saturday afternoon I gave spelling tests, and today they will have time to finish a few assignments. Next week is the real test of how things will go, as this week did not include history and science in the line up of what they had to do. Now that their friends are older, and they are hearing of all the hours of homework they have, they are more willing to work outside of school hours, making it so much easier on me not having to play the bad guy, if you know what I mean.

Deut. 31:8 God is going before us and Phil. 4:13 it is through His strength.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

First Day of School - Kinda

I am not an organized person. I usually decide the night before when the first day of school is going to be. Not optimal or ideal, but reality.

So, today was our first day of school. No tradition, just "get out your pencils and get to the table" Did you know that every first day of school for the past 4 years I have had a major work interruption? Today was no different. Hubby left for a trip - had to catch a plane, so time was a factor. Hubby started packing at 10 and had to leave by 10:30. Car battery died, too. That would be my fault. Door left open. Oh to have a car with auto shut off lights. Hubby was able to pack and jump start the car and leave on time. Women are not like that. Pack for a trip in less than 30 minutes right before you walk out the door? I did stand in the room and guard him from talking on the phone. No. answering. phone. calls. Period. Stressed yet?

The big interruption? Morning staff meeting postponed. Waited and waited for the updated time. 11 am. Nice for school wouldn't you say? No morning work done at our house. So boys cleaned their room instead. Cameron? She was supposed to be unloading the dishwasher.

Oh, did I mention that Mark decided Sunday would be deep cleaning day? This weekend was my time to get all organized (HA!) for homeschooling. Not a good combination. So, Sunday my boys started a ransack on their room and a throw-away-junk-kind-of-cleaning-the-room-day. You still can't walk in their room.

So, after taking eldest daughter her lunch at work, we finally settled down to start our school day at 1:30. This year we have changed ALL of our curriculum except Math. So, I timed how long the lessons would take. I guess you could call today a trial and time day. Once again, I didn't get to Cameron. How is that girl ever going to learn? And both she and Raeley lost their math books from last year they weren't quite finished with. Seriously? They had them two weeks ago and now they are gone?

Then I got last minute emails from staff wanting things updated TODAY. So I had to stop school for almost an hour to make up for their lack of planning. Like I didn't see that coming.

Try as I might, I guess today is starting out like every other school year. YUCK. Although I want to rhyme with yuck, I won't. I'm gonna have to bathe this year in prayer. I am determined to make it different and be there for my kids.

Note to employees: Please behave. My kids are depending on it. Note to self: It's OK if employees fail. It will probably be good for them.

Note to kids: This year will be different. Note to Cameron: That's a pinky promise.


Sunday, July 24, 2011

Our Summer

Wow, It has been a while since I have posted. Last post was on us attempting seeds. We tried. Twice. All died. I bought two tomato plants which have not produced anything, but my basil from last year reseeded and I have five great plants. My oregano is still alive, and I think 4 watermelon plants are starting to grow from seeds we spit into the bed the seedlings were supposed to be. Maybe next year I should just pour seeds on the ground and water them! Needless to say, I have been enjoying visiting the two organic farms in town and the Farmers Market on Saturday mornings.
Cameron with some garlic we braided!

We have all been doing great. The summer is winding down, and we are trying to fit the last of the activities in before we start back to school. Here are a few hilights:
  • Cameron went to Vacation Bible School and a worship for kids camp at Hope Church.
  • Robert spent a week with Raeley at Mosaic, a service-oriented mission trip with daily teaching and worship. He also spent a week at a rock climbing adventure camp at Camp Lake Stephens.
  • Raeley, along with Mosaic, went to an art camp at the Gumtree Museum of Art. She will be spending a long weekend with her grandparents and aunt soon. Robert, Jonathan, and Cameron already spent a long weekend with them recently.
  • Jonathan is leaving for his white water rafting adventure camp at Camp Lake Stephens tomorrow.

  • We went to Birmingham to go to the science museum and Mark took Raeley to photograph the tornado damage. Birmingham is my new favorite close big city. Sorry Memphis
Cameron and our neighbor in the wind tunnel at the science museum.
Robert riding a balance seat at the science museum
Two of my sisters came to stay for a few days and I had a blast!
Our friends who moved last year came in for a weekend and it was GREAT seeing them. I miss having them as neighbors!
A college friend of mine, we were in each other's weddings, came in this summer also and our kids all played great! I'm hoping she can come again soon.

It has been nice spending less time on the computer. I have less duties in the business and I am working on relinquishing control. I've been using that extra time reorganizing the kitchen and utility room. Reorganizing is not my strong suit, and gets me very anxious. I finally realized to just pray and give it to God. It may seem insignificant, but in order for me to handle it, I had to bathe it in prayer. And it's taking me forever, but it's getting done. I just wish I had thought about praying about it sooner. Praying about cleaning house? Even in the little things, God is with us. He is our help WHENEVER we need it.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

4th of July

This is my immediate family (my parents, sisters, their husbands and kids, the kids' husbands or wives and their kids)

We all went to Angelina River Lodge with my family for the 4th of July, and stayed a week. It was a great weekend with my family - 32 of us and everyone got along great! It was so, so much fun. One thing about my family - since my parents started having kids, there has not been more than 10 years without babies around. We are on the 3rd generation. It is fun to watch my nieces and nephews with their kids now.

It is very special to me to be able to spend this time having so much fun with family. I am so blessed that our family wants to come, and wants to spend this time together. It is the highlight of our year. Cameron now says the Angelina River Lodge is better than Disney World. She tells everyone about it!

The new things this year:

My mom riding the zip line! It's really high off the ground! It goes really fast!

My dad put up a zip line that is 160 feet long. Robert wakes up now and goes fishing with the early morning crew. We found a new inlet, too. Thanks, Google Maps, and Kevin and Kimberly! Robert, Raeley, and cousin Emily learned to water ski. I got up on skis, too! Third try! But my back didn't like the fall too well and I succumbed to rocking on the porch for a few days.
You see how excited she looks? It really is that much fun!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Post from last week

Here is a post I started last week. I was waiting to upload a photo Raeley took of the seedlings. Since then all but a few have died. So now I am posting without any photos. Why make old news even older? And why show off what is no longer? Although it is a pretty cool photo!

You should see how well the seedlings are doing. (Remember, that is from last week. Only a few remain alive.)

School has been going well. The boys have been writing a report so they have not been liking that too much. It was pretty disappointing when they both picked topics on Scandinavian topics and after working on the papers a few days, we went to the library and found ZERO information that was age appropriate. They both decided to switch topics and had to start over.
I jumped Cameron up to easy reader chapter books, and they are quite harder. I told her it was either that or more sam, pam, rat and pat. She now has a much better attitude about it being so much harder, and she is learning faster. Funny how that works.
Raeley, well I don't know when she does her work. She stays so busy. I guess she will do school all summer. She is really excelling at her new job. It, in itself, is a great learning experience.
That's about all with school.


On a personal note, we found a place to get raw cow milk. I am so, so, so excited!
The kids love it.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Cameron's birthday

Cameron's birthday was March 22. I forgot that she was expecting breakfast in bed - the traditional "name in the shape of pancakes" breakfast. I remembered before she came downstairs, though. I thought, our social little Cameron, surely she would want to be with everyone. I sent the kids upstairs every ten minutes to check on her and after the second time she asked that we just leave her alone. It was "freaky" in her words, someone coming up that often.

We took her and Hazel out to lunch at Atlanta Bread Company. Then we picked up cupcakes at Custom Cakes and went to ballet. We added paper decorations to the cupcakes - swirly wrappers and ballet slippers. Adorable!
That night she wanted Chinese so she could have sweet and sour chicken and fortune cookies, and then it was gift time!

video

Monday, March 14, 2011

Go Fish, Lost Sock Style

During chore time, the kids were sitting in a circle, and it sounded like they were gambling. They turned the chore of folding socks into a game of Go Fish, lost sock style. Our socks usually don't get folded, they live in the bottom of the laundry basket, and get dug through frantically before walking out the door.
The next time I walked through the room, they came up with a proposition for me:
Mom, now that most of us wear the same size socks, what if we give away all of the socks that we have right now and buy all the same socks so we don't have random socks to sort through and fold. If all the socks were the same style and same size, this would be so much easier!
We've talked about it and we are all willing to throw in some money to buy new socks and we can give all these socks away to people who need them.

Brilliant, I tell you! Simple brilliance. Why have so many different kinds of socks? Trash em all and get all the same kind of sock. This could revolutionize the time between yelling (up the stairs, not at the kids - right?!!) "Everyone get in the car!" which my kids know means mom found her keys and her coffee's still warm, and the time when we actually get in the car.
For those households who already do this, SHUT UP and don't tell me. I don't care that you are already that much smarter than me.

So, that necessitated our run to Memphis to go to Target after I raided the kid's piggy banks. And guess what Target was running low on? Socks. And no, I really didn't take money from the kids. Their genius was enough for me. I love it when my kids are smarter than me.

Remember to always listen to your kids.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

March 13


Today was Spring Forward day. I slept in so it was a mad dash to get ready, which we all did and arrived on time. And I didn't lose my temper. Rushing usually makes me do that. Great sermon on biblical manhood. Here's something for you to chew on: God told man to love his wife and woman to respect her husband.
Ephesians 5
28 In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. 29 After all, no one ever hated their own body, but they feed and care for their body, just as Christ does the church— 30 for we are members of his body. 31 “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.” 32 This is a profound mystery—but I am talking about Christ and the church. 33 However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.

Women long to be loved and men long to be respected. Ask anyone: would you rather be loved or respected? See if they answer differently. Stop right now and go ask your husband: Would you rather be loved or respected? Women, are you respecting your man?

Typical day otherwise. I spent lots of time getting caught up on grading. Actually I did that yesterday too, sitting outside in the gorgeous weather.
Here's a fun thing I did today - I was saving egg shells to plant seeds into and today I used vegetables to dye the shells. Just for fun.

Jonathan cleaned the garage by himself. When I told the kids what needed to happen around the house, he headed to the garage. I so get that. He got to go in a room, shut the door, and clean without any of his siblings or his mom bothering him. Beats doing 5 other different things and having people get in your way.

Get Away March 10th

Live together, work together, sleep together, raise the kids together. I don’t feel like I spend too much time with Mark, (we are always together) but sometimes I feel I spend too much time immersed in work and my relationship with Mark becomes more of business partners and less of life partners. Then I start to not like him as much. Then home isn’t what home should be.

Then I know I need to get away. When I feel like that, we try to get away as soon as possible. We had a weekend trip planned with the kids, which fell through, so Mark set up for us to leave as quickly as we could. I am very thankful that Mark supports me when I know I need to get away.

We went to Memphis, just over an hour from Tupelo. We had a few errands to run there, and a mystery shop at a hotel, so the hotel room was free. I also wanted to do a little clothes shopping for me. That and a few restaurants are all we did, but it was great to enjoy some time alone with my husband, as my husband, not as my business partner. And we had a great time.

I must say, I have such great kids to be responsible enough for us to leave town for two days (not unattended, of course!) Robert cooked a great dinner Thursday night. I left plenty of school work to keep them busy because I knew after chores and school, it would be x box mania! Cameron wasn’t home much, and Raeley with her social schedule, didn’t let us not being home slow her down. I realize my goal is to do just that, slow down. Daily.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

March 8

I slept in this morning until 7:30. Yesterday was a long work day in the Alabama clubs, so it is always nice when I can sleep in. I got up and went for a jog -2 miles. But I forgot to time myself. We started school a little late and I look back on today and think about all the things I didn't get done. Tomorrow is another day, so I am going to try diligently to fit it all in plus some! I did meet Mark at a coffee shop - we got away to actually plan a few vacations. That was fun - and one of the reasons I did not fit in all the kid's school work.

I learned something interesting today. Way back in the late 1880's when settlers were moving into Iowa, there were some agricultural consultants who convinced them to plant corn instead of wheat. Quaker Oats is from Iowa, so they must be able to grow grains well. Corn though? Wow- was that the beginning of the overplantation of corn which has led to the developement and overuse of (the chemically derived - not even natural sweetener) high fructose corn syrup? Boo Hiss.

Robert was funny today -cracking jokes during school and giving me a hard time about dinner. Jonathan was still too nice to Robert. He was gleaming, though, when I told him how great it was that he showed Cameron love in a way she could receive it by creating her a map on Halo.
And Raeley was really recognized at work today. I am very proud of her hard work -people are noticing it, and I am grateful they are letting her know.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

We're having vegetarian for dinner tonight.

Friday, March 4th:
We had a friend over for dinner. I was fixing lentil soup, and he's vegetarian, so we invited him to join us. His wife couldn't make it. I was a little nervous but I tried not to think about it. I make a great lentil soup with ham, but I was unsure about how this would turn out. I didn't even follow a recipe. And I was out of cumin. Did I mention he's a local chef? A celebrity chef to our little town, at that. I still am laughing at myself. I didn't even get home till 5 and he was going to arrive at 5:30. Raeley put the sweet potatoes in the oven for me, and I had cooked the lentils earlier, so I just had to season them. Mark wasn't even there when he arrived (due to our daughter's busy social calendar), so he sat in the kitchen and watched me cook. Uhg. I must say I am so proud to have kids I can leave the house with, tell them to get the house company ready, and when I get home, it will look great.

Along with the soup and sweet potatoes, I also served carrots and onions and a loaf of sesame bread with Hubble and Hudson olive oil imported from Italy with Cypress black salt freshly ground in the oil. One of my favorite things that my mom turned me on to. Too bad I didn't have some Hubble and Hudson bread to go with it. I didn't even plan dessert.

It was pretty funny to me that he opened his sweet potato all fancy. Something little to add beauty to the mundane. Ok, for a second it was kinda intimidating. He even swirled the potato up cool. And did I mention the sweet potatoes weren't quite done yet? Done enough... good thing I'm not a perfectionist!

It was just a typical dinner for us (except for the guest with his fancy sweet potato). He and Mark had a Corona (I didn't even have limes), but I had a glass of Sterling Cabernet Sauvignon. It was a pretty good wine for the price.

In the past, I would have thought of a full course meal with all my favorites, and spent all day in the kitchen. That would have been excited, nerve racking, and fun! When Mark and I first moved to Houston, I had a friend named Cheryl and we'd kinda compete on who could outdo the other when we invited each other over (which was about once a month). It was all in good fun and good food! Cheryl's husband was a vegetarian also. I do miss having the time for things like that.

A relaxing Saturday

Saturday, March 5th:
This morning Raeley had a meeting with Venturers. I cooked up some of Robert's hog sausage for her to take. She came home with a bag of hamburger patties and sliced onions - a church's leftovers. That's what we will have for dinner! I'm making Chili for the Venturer fundraiser tomorrow after church at First Pres downtown. Too bad I lost my favorite recipe! I'm using dried beans, so I've got the beans finally cooking now.

Jonathan and I made waffles, the hog sausage, and eggs for breakfast. Nice and relaxing. Then I ordered seeds for the garden in Tremont from Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds via Anita. Cameron has requested flowers also. When we were discussing the garden, she asked, "Why do we only grow leafy things? That is boring. We should grow flowers also! I want to grow some that I can pick and give to people." I am glad she reminded me how easy it would be to throw in a little beauty.

I ordered:
Cucumbers
Eggplant
Burgandy okra
Georgia Rattlesnake watermelon
Delicious Tomato
Giant Bell Pepper
Muskmelon

We will plant a few seeds in our garden at home, like a watermelon, a muskmelon, a few tomatoes. I'm thinking we will mix them in the flowerbeds. Any thoughts on this? The watermelon and muskmelon, we could wind around the bushes.

Here are the herbs I ordered:
Lemon Basil
Genovese Basil
Oregano
Thyme
Elephant Dill

I'm not sure if I will plant the Elephant Dill in the back yard. The others will be mixed in with our flowerbeds.

Here are the flowers Cameron picked out:
Pink Surprise Calendula
Illumination Zinnia
Orange Merigold
Tall Candytuff
Firechief Petunia
Blue Boy Bachelor's Button
Morning Glory

I am thinking we may add a raised bed along the back fence and put some flowers out there. If we put up the dog kennel, the morning glory will go up the fence.

The total for all that is $38 plus $3 shipping. The seeds should last for 4 years in the freezer if we don't use all of them. They will be mostly for Tremont, so I may use 1/2 or so. There is definitely enough land for it all. I am quite anxious about it considering not much of anything produced in Tremont last year. I had good success with the three herbs I planted in our back yard, however; oregano, mint, and of course, my favorite, basil.

Today I brought Cameron to play at a friend's house, the Bass'. They had brand new baby lambs, born last night. It was the mom's first litter, and it was twins. Typically the first litter is one baby, so she is neglecting the first born. This little lamb was still so skinny compared to the other one, so I helped Kathleen hold the mama still so the baby can nurse. You do this by holding her head up.

Their dog nipped at the back of my leg when I came to pick Cameron up, ripping my pants. It scared me a bit and reminded me of the time a cow dog (which this one was, also) bit my leg when I was walking at our house in Cypress. Cow dogs go for the back of your leg when your back is turned, just like you are cattle.

It was so nice not to have much to do today, or much of a time table. I'm off to get rid of toys in Cameron's room and then finish the last little bit of laundry folding. I'm hoping to iron in front of the tv tonight. I'm also hoping to spend some time helping Cameron crochet tonight. It's time she learned to do more than just chain stitch.

Robert and Jonathan hung out around the house this morning, and are on x box tonight. We'll limit it to two hours. Pretty good for a very rainy day. I'll kick them off when I fold laundry.

Raeley is at a friend's house and she will be home tomorrow night.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Mema and Big Daddy came to visit

Mema and Big Daddy came to visit right after Thanksgiving.

...and to go to the Egg Bowl. They also brought Mark and I - and we had so much fun! They stayed through the week to also go to the Nutcracker to see Cameron perform.


While they were here, Dad took the boys hunting every spare moment. On their first trip out, as Dad and Robert were walking to where they were going to go hunt, Robert spots two hogs. From about 200 yards away, Robert takes the shot and nails the hog. It was a great shot.
This is a poor quality photo, but for those of you friends with Mark on facebook, check out his page for more photos. Make sure you look at how they transported it.

The Nutcracker

Cameron was in the Nutcracker this year. Tupelo puts on a really great performance for a small town. I was very impressed when I went to my first performance our second year living in Tupelo. Now that we have been a part of the production, I am very impressed with the hard work that goes into it.

It was such a good experience for her. She really came out of her shell talking to friends and adults. She was concerned about her costume, and even talked to the director, to ask her about the shoes. She was a toy, so it was a fun part to play. We dressed her up as a Jester and she really liked her outfit!
My parents were able to come in for the performance, on the left, and Mark's parents are on the right.
Raeley had a great time taking photos of the event. She did a great job! Not all the photos in this post are from Raeley. You can see more of her Nutcracker photos on her blog.