Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Beach Bums

Both Austin and Ashlyn love being outdoors and are such water babies. Here are some pictures of them playing at the beach at Lake Tholocco on Fort Rucker. Lake Tholocco is tiny compared to Milford Lake in Kansas but it is only about 2 miles away from our house and the kids enjoy it just the same.

Austin and his friend Adam. Look, they both make Popeye faces!!

Sweet pea?

Saturday, July 28, 2007

You're never too young...

To have a bad hair day!!

It's a Bugs Life

I should have been wary about moving to a place that has erected a monument of an insect, the boll weevil, in the middle of town. The monument comes complete with a fountain, and night lights and sits right in the middle of "Main Street"!

The history of the monument dates back to the early 1900s when a bit of bad luck led to some resourceful thinking that brought on a new era of prosperity. The official story is that a bad swarm of boll weevils came and destroyed the cotton crop one year and the towns people decided to grow other crops (peanuts for one) and thus avoid another economic disaster. The grateful towns people decided to pay tribute to the pest by erecting the Boll Weevil Monument (the only memorial in the world which glorifies a pest, I might add) and this gold plaque that reads: "In profound appreciation of the Boll Weevil and what it has done as the herald of prosperity, this monument is erected by the citizens of Enterprise."

Since Alabama boasts the only memorial in the world to glorify a pest, it should come as no surprise that Alabama has also become a refuge to a plethora of bugs, insects, pests (call them whatever you like). I think most of the 3.8 million species have decided to make their home in our back yard. We can't go outside without getting eaten alive, almost literally- with or without bug spray. The gnats fly into every orifice they can find, the mosquitoes suck blood like vampires, the fire ants are ferocious and the cockroaches are the size of small dogs.

Speaking of cockroaches- meet "Rochello."

We found him in the hallway and decided to keep him. I figured I might as well put a collar on him and start feeding him so he doesn't eat the kids. According to my five year old son, Austin, he is an American Cockroach (Rest assured, this was determined only after extensive research.)

We are trying to embrace Alabamans' love for bugs and have therefore made Rochello a special part of our family. He lives in his very own roach motel and has taught Austin how to do the rockin' roach dance-where he lays on the floor on his back and kicks his arms and legs in the air. Who knows, maybe Rochello is a "herald of prosperity too!"

Now that I have enticed all of you to come for a visit, August is prime time for roach sightings. And when you arrive, we are happy to put you up in the Boll Weevil Inn, within walking distance of the Boll Weevil Monument. No need to thank us- really! Just be sure to bring your mosquito nets.

Sweet Home Alabama

Sweet Home Alabama- click for a little Lynard Skynard rendition of my featured title while I welcome you to Alabama the Beautiful!

This is a matter of opinion, if you ask me...

Ok- seriously, a few informational tidbits about Alabama...

Origin of State Name: The name was derived from two Choctaw words roughly meaning vegetation (alba) and gatherer (amo), used to describe the Alabama people.

Nickname for State: The Yellowhammer State. During the Civil War a company of Alabama soldiers decked their uniforms with yellow trimmings that resembled the wing patches of the yellowhammer, the state bird. Other nicknames include The Heart of Dixie and The Cotton State.

The State insect is the Monarch Butterfly? (Why not the Boll Weevil? More on this later!)

Did you know...

Workers in Alabama built the first rocket to put humans on the moon?
The first electric trolley streetcars in the US began operating in 1866 in Montgomery?
Montgomery was the birthplace and capital of the Confederate States of America?
Alabama is the only state with all major natural resources needed to make iron and steel?
Alabama is the Peanut Capital of the World? Fifty percent of all the peanuts produced in the U.S. are grown within 100 miles of Dothan, Alabama.

But did you also know..

In Alabama it's against the law to play dominoes on Sunday?
In Lee County Alabama it's illegal to sell peanuts after sundown on a Wednesday?
The State Slogan is: Yes, We Have Electricity?
In Alabama it is illegal to carry a comb in your pocket, because it may be used as a weapon? This comes after a 13 year old boy was killed when he was stabbed with a comb.
In Alabama Putting salt on a railraod track may be punishable by death?

I wonder if my history buff father-in-law knew about these interesting facts!! :)

Now, all you native Alabamans or Alabamians, I am sure that Alabama the Beautiful has many fine qualities and attractions to offer, I have just yet to find them!

Friday, July 27, 2007


The pics in the slideshow are from family day when we got to watch Toby fly for the first time. It was amazing. I felt like I was watching him accomplish one of his dreams and it gave me butterflies!!

First Flight

Drama, Drama, Drama

It has been a crazy couple of weeks…

For those of you who have not heard, Toby’s Instructor Pilot (IP) and stick buddy were involved in a single helicopter crash last Monday as Toby watched from the airfield. They were both airlifted to local hospitals. His stick buddy was released with minor injuries but his IP sustained a punctured lung, ruptured spleen and had to have his left arm amputated as a result of the injuries he sustained. He is in high spirits, recovering well, and should be released sometime next week. The crash is under investigation and Toby has been a part of the investigation since he witnessed the crash. He was back up flying the next day and is doing well. He has his final checkride on Tuesday and then starts the Instruments portion of flight school. His stick buddy was back up flying yesterday and is trying to catch up so that he does not have to be pushed back to another class.

And the saga continues…

My Mom is in the hospital in the intensive care unit on life support. She was admitted to the hospital on Monday in respiratory distress and put on oxygen but continued to deteriorate. She was moved to the ICU and put on life support late Wednesday. They have diagnosed her with pneumonia and ARDS-Accute Respiratory Distress Syndrome. Given her history and comprimised immune system, they are concerned about additional organ failure but are hopeful that she will recover. Please keep her in your prayers!!

The rest of the story…

I am scheduled to have a procedure to treat my hyperhidrosis on August 14th. Most of you will probably recall that I have been trying to get this procedure done for about 5 years now but every time I have started the process, I have become pregnant. Since that is not likely at this point, we are forging ahead. Maybe I can, for the first time in my life, wear whatever kind of shirt I want without anxiety. Yippee- an excuse to go shopping.