Tuesday, October 31, 2006


The last of the bonfires is over! We had an awesome month! It was hard work, but totally worth it. We had a great time with our ABF on Sunday night. We were worried because the weather was not so great leading up to the weekend and on Saturday morning we had standing water down by our bonfire. We moved the bonfire to Sunday night and it was beautiful! Jeff took the kids on a hayride and they serenaded us with "Jingle Bells and Kum-ba-ya".

The best part about bonfires are the S'mores. I've actually gotten quite hooked on them, so tonight after dinner Jeff and I "roasted" marshmallows on the open electric burner of our stove and made some very yummy S'mores right in our own kitchen! We're sad to see our fall bonfires go, but happy to know that we can retain the "essence" all through the year!

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Blast From The Past

Anybody remember these two?

Thursday, October 19, 2006

The Kitchen Chair

Also on our road trip, Jack had a little run-in with Aunt Jill's dining room chair. He pulls up to everything, but this time he pulled up to the wrong chair. When he got up, his weight tipped the chair over and pinned him underneath. He went around the rest of the weekend with a big red mark on his forehead. You'd think he would have learned his lesson. But, when we got home he pulled up to our much heavier kitchen chair, and yes, the same thing happened. It was a very dramatic moment as we weren't sure just how much he was hurt. Turns out it was another bump on the head--this time accompanied by a little bruise. Daddy was very compassionate and held Jack while he cried. Then he decided to re-inact the scene for your benefit. It cracks me up. By the way, Jack hasn't pulled up to the kitchen chair since then.

Grandparents Day!

While on our "road trip" we went down to Henderson, KY to visit with my grandparents, Frank and Boots. They have been married for 67 years. Wrap your brain around that. Mamaw had a stroke this last year and is paralyzed on one side, but she is doing pretty good considering. Because of the stroke she had to go to the nursing home to receive care. She goes to dialysis every week to keep her kidneys functioning. It is rare, but the nursing home has allowed Bampy to be with her in the same room. So now they are side by side in their tiny little room. What is so sweet to me is that above Bampy's bed, on his wall and on his dresser are pictures of my beautiful grandmother. Look closely and you'll see that she was truly a beauty. She still is. My grandfather is legally blind. He can see enough to get around without walking into things, but he can't read, watch television, or look at photos. And yet, there on his wall are pictures of Mamaw. He will come over to her bed and lean far over and kiss her again and again. Not just little sweet kisses, but lingering ones as well. She will kiss him back and run her one good hand through his hair and mess it up. Then she will jokingly say, "that's all you get". After 67 years she still drives him crazy. I don't know what will happen when she passes. I think that he will die of a broken heart. How can someone love another person for that long, with that much passion, and then go on without them when they are gone? I hope that I never have to find out. What blesses me the most is that I think that Jeff loves me the same way my grandfather loves my grandmother. I think that when we are old he will still be kissing me. He loves to kiss me. It is a good reminder to me when I'm busy doing something and he comes in and wants to kiss me, that I need to stop and cherish that moment. I don't know if we will have 67 years. I'm guessing not since we got married later in our lives and my grandparents were 19 when they got married.

Jack was very tired while we were there but they both held him and kissed him and loved on him, even in his crankiness. We took pictures, knowing that he will most likely not remember them. But I will tell him about them, and I will tell him about how much they loved each other. Maybe he will see it through Jeff and I. I hope so.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Festival Food

Listed below is all the food that was consumed in about two hours by the Gray family at this year's Covered Bridge Festival.

Two pounds of spiced nuts (almonds and pecans)
A sample of some Amish soup that would have been good except that the lentils and peas weren't cooked enough
Fried veggies
One Gyro with onions
Several samples of cooking meat
One "meat on a stick"
One funnel cake
A large, very expensive diet Pepsi
One bottle of water
A jar of carrots
A jar of apples and blueberries

That is not counting anything else that we ate while NOT at the Covered Bridge Festival. Not too bad, huh? Had we stayed longer I'm sure that there would have been steak tips and red potatoes on that list. That's my favorite, but we just weren't there long enough.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Turkey Run

This past weekend Jeff, Jack and I took a little road trip. We didn't have any definite plans, we just wanted to get out of town and spend a little time together. On Thursday we went in to Lafayette for a doctor's appt. and then over to IHOP for some yummy delicious breakfast. Any vacation is good when it starts with a breakfast at IHOP! After that we loaded up the car and started in the general direction of Brazil, IN, where Jeff's sister lives. We were planning to spend the night there, but we had plenty of time to do something fun. It was freezing outside, but we were determined to try and spend some time out doors. We decided to go to Turkey Run State Park. I've never been there and Jeff hadn't been there in a long time. It was really beautiful. The sun was shining very brightly, so as long as we stayed in the sun, it was not too cold. Just to be careful, we bundled Jack up in his new coat and hat and gloves. We had a wonderful time going over a suspension bridge and looking at the pretty water. It was really lovely. We made it to Jill and Gary's house with lots of time to visit and get a good night's sleep. The next day we went to the Covered Bridge Festival. This time last year I was extremely pregnant and we still went. The main reason that we go is to eat, eat, eat! We LOVE the food at Covered Bridge! I will make a list below of all the things we ate while there. I will not tell you who ate what, but leave it up to you to decide. We were only there for a couple of hours because it was very cold and windy and Jack was sooooo tired. So we packed up and drove down to Evansville, IN, which I'll tell you about later! It was fun to spend so much time together, and we were struck anew by the fact that it doesn't matter what we're doing, as long as we are together, we are having a great time!

Sunday, October 08, 2006

The First of the Bonfires

This past weekend we had close to 40 Career Class (a Sunday School class from our church, age 20 something to 35) people at our house for a bonfire. This is an annual event, and a special one for Jeff and I since we pretty much started dating at the bonfire two years ago. We had a great time hosting it, and it seemed like everyone else had a great time attending. It was an incredibly beautiful night, too, not too hot and just cold enough to make the fire feel wonderful. The moon was gorgeous, and I took a picture of it, but it didn't turn out very well. Jeff took everyone on a hay ride, and although I didn't go (someone had to stay home with Jackie Poo), everybody said it was really fun. We just feel so blessed to have these people in our home. Besides, it provides great incentive for us to get the mowing done. Jack had a good time talking to everyone and eating several cookies that daddy gave him, and some yummy marshmellow salad that Mary made, and then he was off to bed by 7:00 p.m.! For anyone that wanted to come, but didn't get to, join us the weekend after next (21st) for Helmer's Young Married Class, or the 28th for our own class bonfire! We'd love to have you!

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Peek A Boo Jack

This clip is pretty self explanatory.... This is a first for our little guy!

Monday, October 02, 2006

What A Man

This weekend Jeff and I did some work in the yard getting ready for our October bonfires. We have, for the past couple of years, hosted the career class bonfire from church. Last year we also did one for our ABF as well. This year we've tacked on another ABF from church, to make the total of three bonfires in four weeks! It is something that we love to do, because we love our home and our property and we are so happy to share it with others. We view it as a means of reaching out to people. We love the place, but more than that we love the opportunities that it gives us with other people. That said, Jeff did some cleaning up of dead and scraggly trees. In one morning he cut down several trees, lopped off the branches, cut them up, split them, and stacked the wood in a tidy pile down by the bonfire ring. Then he hauled off the tops to the ravine. How many men do you know that can do that? Maybe I just haven't gotten out much, but I don't know many. To me, my husband is a "man among men" and I'm so proud of him. Not only is he book smart, technologically smart, and extremely handy, but he is soft-hearted, loves me, loves our sons and daughter, and loves God. He is very serious about doing what is right and trying to improve. He is an example to me and to our son, and I hope that Jack grows up to be just like him.