Saturday, September 29, 2007


It looks like Joe's putting our "grocery-getter" to good use in other fields - take the R/C field for example. Here he was loaded up with 2 airplanes & 5 helicopters. Not all of his flying thingys would fit (do they make anything bigger than an Excursion??) so his 2 biggest helicopters & 2 other big airplanes had to stay home. Does anyone have a tractor-trailer they would like to sell? (Just kidding, Sweetheart! I think..)

Monday, September 24, 2007


Why is it that it only takes a minute and a half to teach kids bad habits, but a lifetime to teach them good ones?? Joe taught Magnus to stick out his tongue a couple day ago. It only took a few tries, too. Magnus thought it was a great achievement! (And Joe did too, actually...) We were all sitting on the front porch steps together after the "lesson", and up walks Gunther (the dog). And of course, Magnus saw Gunther's big pink tongue nestled in between all those canine teeth and couldn't resist showing off his new trick by hanging his tongue out too! Then he smiled like a hero! I'm going to request that from now on "daddy" is only allowed to teach such things as scripture verses & nursery rhymes, ABC's & 123's. NOT things like sticking out your tongue, jumping on the bed (or off the house, or out of an airplane) tracking mud on the carpet, & wiping grease on your pants... Did I forget anything?

Sunday, September 23, 2007

I was tagged by Amy

I have been "tagged" by Amy, so I must write 7 random things about myself & tag 7 other people to do the same thing... sort of a chain thingy I guess. Well, I don't think I know 7 people that would comply, but if you would like me to "tag" you, please let me know & I would be happy to do that. =) But, being the good sport that I am, I will at least fill out the 7 facts about myself.....
  1. I was homeschooled from 2nd to 12th grade. (And you wondered why I seem unusually bright & intelligent!)
  2. I married at 19.
  3. We went white-water rafting on the New River for our honeymoon. (Yep, that's us... the hopeless romantics.)
  4. I began yearning for a Mastiff at age 7, and a horse at age 10. I must be terribly spoiled, because I got my first horse at 12, & my first Mastiff at 18.
  5. I wanted to be an artist and a veterinarian when I was little. I also wanted to be a mommy, and I'm so glad I chose that over the other options!
  6. I'd rather do yard work than house work.
  7. Joe and I used to have matching Yamaha sport-bikes when we lived in NC.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

No parallel parking for Calista!

Well, we finally did it folks. Believe me when I say we actually don't mind driving old (or ugly) vehicles... we actually would rather be able to feel sorry for the poor wild animals that would run into or in front of us, instead of thinking, "Oh brother! Here comes another dent!!". Take my old Stratus for instance... So far it's slain (or stunned) 2 deer, 1 red fox, 1 bobcat, 1 raccoon, and a crow that actually knocked the mirror off! No, we didn't fix any of the damage from these poor beasts (unless you count physically pulling the fender out so it doesn't hit the tire, and bolting the mirror back on!) Yes, there's something to be said about driving a *cough* "broke in" vehicle. But we wanted something more dependable for the family since our old truck simply refuses to cooperate, no matter how much money we give it. And here's what we came up with - a 2003 Excursion! It's not perfect either, since it was wrecked once upon a time, but you have to look closely to notice it's "owwies" and we think it's just great. With only 50,000 miles on the 6.0 diesel engine, it should last us forever... at least that's what we're hoping! =) It even has a 6 CD player & and DVD overhead! Not selling features, but gladly accepted, to be sure! The problem with the DVD is that if you're up front you can't watch I Love Lucy or Clifford the Big Red Dog... I'm trying to think of how I can rig one of those big mirrors that are for looking at your kiddo. Yes, I know what Magnus looks like, but I was thinking more along the lines of being able to watch DVD's while I, um, drive. Okay okay... I know, it's probably not a great idea... but it's better than making Magnus drive isn't it? And besides, all the experts say that kids under 2 shouldn't watch any TV or videos, so it only makes sense that mommy should sit in the back with that detrimental little screen. Don't you think?

More shots? Oh no!! P.S. The pic has nothing to do with the story.

Magnus & I had to brave another doctor's appointment on Wednesday. Do you remember how much he hated the last several check-ups? Lets just say that I didn't think I'd be able to handle another appointment on my own, so I scheduled this one a couple months ago (they book about a month in advance) & had it coincide with Joe's day off (which he has to bid for 1 1/2 months in advance). I was sooo relieved that he would be able to go too, & offer support for us in our time of distress... but wouldn't you know it - the day before the appointment, he got called to fly on his day off! Usually the extra pay for flying on his personal day takes the sting out of the disappointment, but not this time! But, I prayed & God helped. It was 100% better (& Mag was 100% braver) than any of the other times. He only cried after the shots! Can you believe it?! (Okay, for all you people out there with kiddies who don't cry until the "sting" hits... congratulations! My big "baby" can scream through an entire check-up without hardly taking a single breath! Yes, his pain threshold is quite low.) At 6 1/2 mo. old he weighed 23.1 lbs. & was 29 1/2" tall! Doc said he's off the chart for size - both height & weight. Does this mean that in a few years (like, say, 6?) I'll be, ahem, "disciplining" a child that is bigger than I am??

Monday, September 17, 2007

Okay, you asked for it!

Due to popular demand, I now have a picture of our truck available for your viewing pleasure. When you pick yourself back up off the floor, I'll remind you that at least it paid for, and that the old saying "You get what you pay for" isn't always true... but in our case it certainly was!!! I showed you the truck's "bad side", but the other side isn't a lot better, with at least one dent the size of a volleyball. Anybody want to go cruising? Disclaimer: If you want to come with me, don't complain that you're hot... these trucks weren't made with A/C... and if you wonder who's knocking, it's just the engine - it overheated once and has been complaining ever since. But on the other hand if you love that deep bass rumble, we've got you covered... with only half of the exhaust. Let's hit the town!

Saturday, September 15, 2007

What's wrong with this picture?

Jake has a strange sense of humor.

Meet E-Z...

Here's where it all started, folks. My empty wallet & snipped pastures. E-Z was my very first horse. I got him 14 years ago in WV, & it was love at first sight. He's now about 21, but nobody would guess. He's the alpha horse, very emotional, totally buddy sour & the biggest baby ever. He & Jake have been with me over half my life. (Something to think about before you go trotting out to buy a horse. They live a WHOLE lot longer than a dog, & they really don't like to be ridden any more than your dog would.) E-Z is a very large Quarter Horse mix palomino at nearly 16 hands tall. He generally hates men riders, & often times after letting someone "foreign" ride him, he pouts & avoids me for a couple days as if to say, "How could you?!" He absolutely loves Joe though! I guess he knows which side his bread is buttered on. The older he gets, the more he avoids strangers & prefers us. It even took him a couple months to get within 15 feet of Magnus after he was born. I guess I never realized horses could bond to people, but I think they sort of do. I love this old guy!

Liposuction, anyone?

Look how fat my little Xena is! She's always like this... what horsey people call an "easy keeper". She sniffs grass & blows up like a balloon. Maybe she just needs longer legs.

Kisses for Mommy

They were sloppy, but I didn't care!

Friday, September 14, 2007

The Ol' Gray Mare Ain't What She Used to Be...

I'd post a picture of our 1987 truck, but various friends & mechanics have told us it looks like it's been beat with an ugly stick, so I'll spare you. If they knew the whole story, they'd know those huge dents (we're not talking golf-ball sized here, people) in the sides of it are from the deer that suicide-bomb us when we try to drive down the road. (It's not like they can't hear us coming!) Anyway, this blog post would get QUITE lengthy if I tried to tell you of all the times Ol' Gray has let us down in the past 2 years, so I'll give you the condensed version & say that in every single instance God helped to work something out for us. (And in many cases, so did AAA!) So, I'll just tell you of our latest let-down. Joe had a day on call, then a day off (yesterday) and his work graciously said he could leave town on his day on call, so we headed to NC to see family & pick up our flat-bed trailer. We were a couple miles from home (leaving town) when we noticed this grinding sound & I nearly begged Joe to pull over, telling him that it sounded like the wheel was going to fall off. (Not that I know what that sounds like.. & he probably would've pulled over even if I hadn't been a frantic wife.) Well, he drove about another mile or so and found a good spot to pull over. He pulled the hub cap off and sure enough - the front wheel was just about to fall off! All the lug-nut holes were reamed out so that you couldn't tighten the lugs and there were metal shavings everywhere inside there. So, we slowly limped home and Joe put our spare on. And again we hit the road. We made it there & had a lovely evening with family, then left the next day at noon. About 140 miles from home, we broke down at a gas station. (Before this I was thinking, "If we have to break down, I know God will at least let us be beside a shopping center." Yes, I am a funny little girl.) Well, we were at a gas station right beside a Walmart, so I guess I was right. And some wonderful people saw our distress and told us who to call. Well, the people they referred us to towed our truck to their shop right down the road and fixed it right then! (Smog pump or something... yeah, don't ask me.) The nice folks hung out with us until the mechanics picked up Joe and the truck, and then they drove me and Magnus to Walmart! We only lost about 3 1/2 hrs and $250 for the whole deal, and were home safely by 8pm. We have finally decided to retire the truck from any trips beyond the dump and the R/C flying field. Rest in peace Ol' Gray! The moral of the story? Never drive an ugly truck.

Saturday, September 8, 2007

Life-sustaining cookies

Joe's gone again... It's 4 nights and 5 days this time. I'm living from cookie to cookie. The only problem with that is that I made them for Joe and there aren't going to be any left if he doesn't hurry home! Magnus seems to fuss all the time when Joe's away (or do I just notice it more?) and this picture of him sums up our feelings perfectly.

Friday, September 7, 2007

You just never know..

Today I found out that my friend Kathy lost her battle with cancer a couple days ago. Her funeral was today. It's very sad, & it makes you realize that you never know when a goodbye will be your last. She never seemed discouraged & always sugar-coated her condition whenever it was mentioned. Her faith in Jesus & zest for life was strong, & she loved to come to our house to visit because "it's so peaceful here". Now her pain is over... but we as her friends are sad that she's gone. Her husband told me she died with a smile on her face. I guess we'll ride our gleaming white horses on greener pastures next time we meet!

Does this saddle make me look fat?

After some time off from her training Xena is back at it! Joe babysat for me twice this week so I could ride her. She'd only had someone on her back about twice before, but she did great! She's such a calm horse - I'm actually going to have to try to get her MORE sensitive. She has also only had the bit in her mouth a few times, but takes it like a good girl. Good job, Xena! The only trouble I'm having with her is that our saddles (yes, they're the wide ones!) don't fit her back since she has no withers and is so fat! Every time I try to get on the saddle rolls, so I have to use the fence! This is especially troubling since I have a basically brand new saddle that I LOVE. Joe's saddle is the one she's wearing in the picture. Xena seems to really enjoy her lessons and always follows me all around the pasture after I'm done, as if to say, "Is that it?? Don't you want to stay and play with me some more?"

Oh give me a home where the buffalo roam...

Sometimes Ol' Virginny doesn't feel like it fits "me" very well. but I've adjusted to it nicely. My heart has always longed for aspen trees, snow-capped mountains & open prairies... maybe someday! And if that never describes our back yard then I'll vacation out there as often as possible. For now, Virginia is home, & I have found that if you're a contented person you take your "home" with you wherever you go, no matter what the scenery looks like.

Now where did I park my horse???

Shoot low, boys! They're riding Shetland ponies!

Tuesday, September 4, 2007


Magnus loves to feel Joe's face! He squeals and giggles when he rubs his goatee and thinks it's just the greatest thing! It is so cute! He loves anything furry or soft, just like I do... whether it's a dog, a horse or the sheepskin on the floor!

Happy Birthday, Sweetheart!!!

Yesterday was Joe's birthday! I know he doesn't get terribly excited to turn another year older, but I told him that birthdays aren't milestones (unless you're 5 or 95), they are a special day to remember how the world got brighter on the day of your birth! And it certainly did when my dear hubby was born! I thank God for allowing him to come into the world and be my soul-mate. Joe's birthday may not seem like such a big deal to him, but it's a VERY special day to me!! =) Oh, and the picture is of him and his birthday present. (Did you figure that one out on your own?) I "encouraged" him to buy it and told him it was from me. =D

Splish splash, takin' a bath!

Magnus just loves his bathtime! He hated his very first sponge-bath as a tiny baby, but once he could take "tub baths" he quickly changed his mind! He loves playing with the ducky and grabbing for the soap... and of course, splashing and kicking his legs is great too - that way he can get Mommy all wet! What fun! He is 6 months old now and changing so fast. Isn't there any way I can slow him down a little??