Thursday, March 31, 2011


Spring has finally sprung in Oklahoma!

Oh, not really. It was miserable and rainy and cold just a few days after these were taken.


Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Now I've Seen It All

McKinley, the girl who begged for braces, could so be done.  Sadly she's only 15 months into 28.  She's sooo regretting asking for them.  But as of today the hated Herbst is gone!  The orthodontist only does adjustments after 3 (after school) so she had to miss school to get it removed.  Since our school has exemptions which means no semester tests, it is not good to miss school.  3 absences and you're taking the tests.  That is a big deal.  So we waited an extra month and got a 7:30 a.m. appointment.  That for a child who sleeps until the last possible minute to get up and get ready for school was hard.  But worth it.

The Herbst came off easily enough but they had to put spacers in to make room for what would come next week.  The spacers hurt.  By the time she got home she was miserable.  She actually said she'd rather have the Herbst back on.  That my friends, is huge.

So what's a starving girl with tooth pain supposed to do?
Use a straw, of course! 

Shawn has no excuse...except that he wanted to see if the peas in the salad would fit through the straw.  So like I said, no excuse.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Merry Christmas?

How do you think this survived the last two and a half months? 

In the back yard.

Did it feel all alone? 


I knew it was missing but after circling the tree several times it was no where to be found.  There are 5 others like it and if we'd found those why couldn't we find it?  I finally decided that it had fallen and been vacuumed up.  Where else could it be?
Now if someone could please tell me what I did with it after carrying it around for an hour hooked to my pinkie...and bringing it inside, I'd greatly appreciate it.

Monday, March 28, 2011


There's a restaurant around these parts that's known for it's fried chicken. 

We've never been able to go because it's over 30 minutes away and Shawn has to be that close to the hospital.  But something happened tonight.  He wasn't on call.  I don't know how that happened.  I don't think he is either.  But we decided to celebrate.  With chicken.  We're fancy around these parts.  The girls had a piano thingie at 7:30 so even though he wasn't on call, we still had to rush.  Luckily it was a miserable rainy day and the highway was almost empty and there was plenty of seating when we got there. 

If you're going for fancy, this is not your place.  You seat yourself, there's no printed menu (it's hung on the wall and shellaced into the table top), and no plates.  Luckily I'm a sucker for history so it's all okay. 
But there is one problem.  I don't do bones.  I eat meat that's on a bone...but only if someone removes it for me.  Luckily I married an awesome man who is willing to do that for me.  But I also got a BBQ sandwich just in case:)  Let me just say, I was the only one who didn't care for the chicken.  Or the sandwich.  And I couldn't have the nachos because they used canned cheese.  But the fried okra??  So worth the whole experience. 

Oh, and the windows made it more fun.

So if you ever find yourself in, of all places, Okarche, Oklahoma, stop by and get yourself some Eischen's.

And let me know if you don't like meat on the bone.  I can't be the only one.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Child Labor

We have four neighbors we share our fence with. Two are fabulous. Two are not. Three have Trumpet Vine that have eaten through our fence posts and support beams. The fence has fallen over on two of those sides. On one side we had it propped up all summer long. On the other the vine is so immense that the fence is just leaning up against it. Sigh. Since I married into a family that doesn't hire if they can do it themselves, we spent our Spring Break fixing a fence. I grew up as a worker so I love it. And I'm glad my girls are seeing that with a little hard work they can accomplish a lot. I'm sure our neighbors appreciated the fact that 20 minutes before the loud roofers left for good, we started at our fence with hammers and crowbars. We're nice like that. To save money we saved as many pickets as we could to reuse. I messed up plenty of them before I realized by going into the neighbors yard and taking them off from the back, I saved a lot more. It only took me about 15 ruined ones to figure that out. With three hammers and two crow bars the pickets came down pretty quickly.And soon after that the posts and supports were gone. To reuse the pickets we had to remove 6 nails in each one. That probably took longer than anything else. Luckily we had our sweet little slaves. I mean girls. After $500 and a loaded down flat bed cart at Home Depot we were ready to rebuild. Since we know it's nearly impossible to kill Trumpet Vine we used metal posts. And since the bright fence builders before us had put the post 12 feet apart we had to dig new holes. Shawn did the first two and with a tiny bit of his help, I did the next five. We used a hand auger that had been my Grandpa's. I love that. Using something that was his meant so much. I also was sure I was burning some serious calories. The leveling and pouring the concrete mix in took what seemed like forever though.After Shawn put the supports on we started nailing the pickets back on. 700 nails. Hello sore hands. We all took turns. McKinley could not get a nail to go in straight so she decided to get on the roof and start scraping paint off. So now our fence was on its way to looking fabulous and our house looks awful. Oh well, it's the thought that counts. Kennedy and I did the pickets until Shawn saw that we were going a little bit wonky. He had to take over. He's all about quality and wanting a straight fence. Whatever.The day the last section was finished was very exciting. Dinner had to be moved so that this momentous event wouldn't be missed. And here it is! We are very proud. And overwhelmed since this is only one of three sections we need to do. Another sigh. And since our girls worked so hard on their Spring Break we've promised them a summer beach vacation. Shawn is thinking Galveston but I'd like to go to Gulf Shores. Anyone have suggestions? We can't go far so Texas or Louisiana. Send suggestions! Oh, and we like to camp in our tent. I hate hotels. Hate. But that's another story that you don't really need to hear:c)

Thursday, March 17, 2011

The New Roof!

I could go on and on and on all about the roofing process...but I won't. Okay, let me say a few things. It's loud. It's faster than I would have guessed. It's loud. It's messy. It's loud. It's weird to see what is under shingles. It's loud. It's fun to walk into the attic and see the back yard tree. Oh, and it's loud.

And when it's done?? It's gorgeous!!

But did I mention that it's loud??

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Breaking Up Is Hard To Do

We've needed a new roof since....2 years before we moved in. I'd always thought I wanted a wood shingle roof until we got here. When we bought the house our insurance said they wouldn't cover the roof unless we replaced the ridge on the pool house. We did and we've had a good relationship ever since. Well, until we tried to get our roof replaced. 5 times over about 3 years. Every roofer that said, "I know I can get your insurance to approve it." Every time, they were wrong. And guess what happened after that fifth try? Our insurance dropped us. What were we to do? We went with a different company. The day we signed the paperwork Shawn called the old company and told them he was planning on switching our car insurance. They asked why? Um, duh. When he told them they asked what they could do to keep us. Well, let me about fix our roof. They agreed! So which of the 5 companies to go with? Easy choice. A friend in Sunday School has a roofing company. When our friend fell off his roof while working on it, Bill sent his crew to finish the job. Free of charge. And the next day in Sunday School, he gave the family $500 of his own money. I didn't consider anyone else. Two days before they were to start I was working on the front bushes and decided some of the front tree branches should be cut to help the roofers. I spent an hour on a wobbly ladder with some hand trimmers and then a small saw. I'm not going to lie, it was ugly. My hair got caught, I scrapped my arms, I couldn't reach what I wanted to. Ugh. Shawn got home from computer tutoring, pulled out the chainsaw, and finished the job in about 10 minutes. What is it about a man and a chainsaw? We did discuss what to cut and what not to cut, but a lot was cut. One we both agreed should be glued back on. You can't do that, just in case you didn't know. The tree looked better though. And my trimming of the bushes looked good. But now we need to paint the house and get new windows. Wish we could break up with our insurance and get those two things done as well.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

You Must Be Nuts

Apparently the ground is too hard. I can guarantee this squirrel that this pecan will not be there when they come back to get it.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Our Principal

For Dr. Seuss's birthday our elementary principal stepped outside the box. Way outside.

I heard he would be reading Dr. Seuss stories to the elementary students in the high school auditorium so I headed that way. Somehow, and by looking at the picture you might wonder the same thing, I missed him. When I got to the auditorium I saw The Cat In The Hat and The Kangaroo, but no principal. I turned around and headed back to the elementary. Can I just say, I love that our school is pre-k through seniors in 3 blocks, all connected. Still, I was feeling the burn and was glad I'd worn my tennis shoes. I was almost through the middle school when I found him.

Staring into the windows of the middle school classes.

The screams coming from the classrooms was hilarious!

What would you do if this was peering through your door?

Friday, March 11, 2011

When Is It Art?

We've always considered Reagan the artist in the house because she can draw some amazing things. And has for many years. But McKinley is becoming quite the paper artist.

Her medium is the church bulletin.

And her canvas is her legs.

And her inspiration was her upcoming birthday.Sadly her art is gone as soon as the Doxology is sung:c)

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

My Little Chefs

My aunt was a public school music teacher for over 30 years. She was amazing. Well, she still is as a private voice teacher. I gave birth to three of her students.

She had an annual tradition for many years called the Kidnap Breakfast. A team of parents would have a list of addresses and they'd go pick the students up at some unholy hour on a Saturday morning. The students could grab one item besides what they slept in before they were rushed out the door. Soon there would be a cafeteria full of half asleep students. My grandparents, my mom, me, and more devoted parents would be the cooking team. We'd have to arrive at the school at 4 in the a of m to start biscuits, scrambled eggs, gravy, and bacon. Tons. We'd be cracking eggs for hours. Hours I tell you.

My grandpa Vernon was the biscuit master. I ate them every Sunday of my life with grandmas gravy and other fixings. After several years of being the chefs of the Kidnap Breakfast my aunt bought chef hats for everyone. When my mom passed away I of course got hers, but I was blessed to get grandpas also when he passed away.

McKinley pulled it out a few days ago to make omelets for everyone. She looked so cute I had to take a picture. And then Reagan pulled my moms out. But she had a few problems getting it to stay up. No worries. Kennedy stepped in to help.I love that these amazing people are being remembered in such a fun way:c)

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Scenes from Staging

When staging houses we come upon some of the most interesting things....I could be out of the loop here. Does my garage need a chandelier? It might be just the thing to make the final undecorated room of our house really pop.I guess this means I can't use it. But you know what happens? Even though I don't have to go at all, the fact that I can't makes me miserable.

There's also the ugly wallpaper or kitchen counter tops, but every once in a while there's something I just have to share with you all. It's because I love you all so much. I want to share the weird things with you:c) No thanks needed. It's the least I can do!