Friday, May 29, 2009

worth 1000 words...

Katrina had been sprayed by a skunk the day before and well, needless to say, we didn't want to sit by her.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Country Time Lemonade at Kroger

There are lots of great deals at Kroger this week, including some great produce prices, but one of my favorite deals is this:

Country Time Lemonade containers are 10/10 - usually 3.99 each! Now, that sounds like a great deal but if you can print off the 1.50/2 coupon that is currently running on it will make these .25 cents each :)

Want to make it even better? Wait until tomorrow, 5/29 and you'll get a printout for 1.00 off your next purchase at Kroger...ultimately making them free plus a .50c money maker. Love it.

Kool Aid tubs are also 10/10 if you like Kool Aid. There's a 1.00/2 coupon which would make these .50 each. Not too shabby if you have a bunch of kids that you want to fill with something other than water ;)

Friday, May 22, 2009


I was reading my friend Hannah's blog yesterday and she told a story about when she was little and her mom thought she was putting on a child-friendly Alice in Wonderland for her small children when in fact it was x-rated. Funny enough, this spawned a childhood memory of my own...
When I was in the 3rd grade we had moved back to Meridian, Ms while my dad was serving a one year tour in Korea (Air Force). We lived in a cute little townhouse that backed up to some woods, or at least I remember them as woods, it was probably nothing more than a patch of 10 trees. Anyway, I digress.

One night, while living in Meridian my mom let me have 3 friends from church of which was one of the pastor's daughters. My mom always made sure to have tons of snacks, games and movies for when I had friends over and this time was no exception. She had gone to the library and gotten us The Emperor's New Clothes and at the end of the night put the movie in while she went upstairs. Next thing you know, we're screaming and giggling which prompted her to come downstairs, pause for maybe half a second before bolting to the TV to turn it off...

Are you familiar with the story? If not, let me summarize: There's an emperor obsessed with looks and a guy who decides to swindle him by making him invisible clothes that are all the rage. Needless to say, there are parts where he prances around naked and in this a little too true to life cartoon we saw a chunky old man AND his winky woo prancing around something fierce.

Just me and my church friends.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009


Milo. a.k.a. (mighlough, car-milo anthony, tufty, turfty, tufty-nut, tuftylicious, and fluffty) on the fence behind our house.

When we found him he was a scruffy, emaciated, fleabag living by the Arkansas river. My, what a few years of living in the lap of luxury will do for a cat.Now he spends his days in the sewer drain down the street from out house. Each day, we will go call him and he pops his head out, looks around, and then bolts for our house. We don't know why he won't just come home on his own like our other two cats. He simply will not come home without us going over to the drain and calling him (it's only about 200 ft. from our yard). It's ridiculous, but that's just Tufty.

The vet in Conway told us that he has FIV (Feline immunodeficiency virus) and we thought we would just give him a nice home for a few months before he died. HA! Three years later - he's as healthy as an ox- weighs about the same too. He lumbers inside, eats a bowl or two of food, and then passes out on our bed for 8-12 hours at a time. Like some kind of warm, dirty-yellow pillow, he hides amongst the blankets on the bed until you decide to lie down. Usually, he snuggles up to us or lays on our chest while we sleep. More than once we found him snuggled up to Jackson in his crib. We joke about getting rid of him and sometimes ask him (jokingly) to hurry up and die, but really he's a part of the family. There's just something about him that makes me laugh - just look at this face - tell me you're not laughing.

He's mostly sweet to Jackson. He tolerates a fair amount of Jackson rolling on top of him and being not too gentle in general. His breath smells like the ocean, he sometimes bites (not hard), and he has corrupted Gus (our yellow kitten that looks like he could be Tufty's son), but we love him. He's good to have around - even if it's just for laughs.

~ Ben

Monday, May 18, 2009


Sometimes I wonder what Jackson is thinking when we’re together. Okay, I wonder that a lot. I look at his eyes and I can see the wheels turning.

The other day we were in the backyard playing together like we do every day when I get home from work, and the thought occurred to me. I’m Jackson’s personal giant. If he wants to see something that’s over the fence, he holds his arms up and daddy becomes his stilts. When he wants Fruit Loops from high on top of the refrigerator he just points, says, "mmmm dat", and daddy becomes his arms. When he needs supernatural strength to pick up something that weighs more than he does, he grunts and struggles against it until daddy notices and becomes his muscle. When he’s tired of walking, he holds his arms up and daddy becomes his fresh legs. When he needs a road through the weeds he can't see over, daddy becomes his jeep. When he wants to be an airplane, daddy becomes his wings.

The more I think about it, the more I lament my own lack of a giant. I would love to have a supernatural friend who could make things happen for me.

Stuck in an annoying traffic jam?
“Giant, stand up and tell me how far this traffic jam goes.”

How great would that be?

Someone trying to intimidate you?
"What did you say to me mister? Maybe you'd care to repeat that to my giant."

Uh-huh, I thought so!

The possibilities are nearly endless. Unfortunately, I outgrew my giant- as will Jackson someday. I have to find a way to work things out from down here. Bummer!

Thinking about the day when my strength is no longer necessary to him is bittersweet for this dad. If I do my job right, I teach Jackson to be self sufficient, but the other side of the coin is that he won't need me as much. It's like the old saying, "working yourself out of a job". I know, I know, that's the idea of parenting. I'm sure Jackson will still need me in other ways, and I'm sure those will become new challenges, but right now I'm relishing my gianthood.

As tiresome as it can sometimes get, I do enjoy being his giant. There's just an enormous amount of pleasure in being Jackson's go-to guy. I like being the one who can make the impossible possible. That must be the way God feels about us. He has a giant's heart. We struggle and strain, groan and grunt, wearing ourselves thin trying to handle the pressures of life. Yet all the while, there He is waiting for us to hold up our hands and ask for some help. Wanting to be needed, wanting to be desired, wanting us to let Him come through in the situation.

Make no mistake, this is not to say that I am like God to Jackson, rather, I strive to be a loving father in the way our Heavenly Father has shown us love: to have a giant's heart, full of love, gentle, patient, and ready to help.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Going to Nonni's

Well, another whirlwind weekend cross country trip is behind us. We left Friday afternoon to go see Bethany's family in South Carolina. We stopped in Oxford, Alabama to spend the night. All the way there, we were talking up the pool to Jackson.

"Jackson, tonight we're gonna go see the wah wah!"

We were so excited about letting him swim again. As soon as we got settled in our room, Jackson was stripping his clothes off and asking for wah wah. So, we got him all geared up in his trunks and swim shirt - he LOVES that shirt for some reason- and headed to the pool.

Unfortunately, as soon as daddy jumped in, Jackson started freaking out- crying and heading away from that water as fast as he could. In fact, before Bethany could get to him, he was at the door to the pool scratching to get out of there like our cats do on our front door.

If he hadn't been so scared it would have been hilarious.

The next day, we got up early and headed east through Atlanta and on up into South Carolina. Jackson was very good up until the very end when we got stuck in stop-and-go traffic that seemed to have no cause. By that time he was tired of hearing about 'going to Nonni's house' and was ready to BE at Nonni's house.
We got there right at lunch time and had a delicious feast of (my favorite) Rosemary Wings from Publix, and a bunch of other really yummy food. Jackson ate like he hadn't eaten in days. We were so proud of him.

We had such a great time. Anderson is such a beautiful town and the weather was just perfect. It was great to see Traci, Madison, Lu Lu, and Pearl again; it felt like old times in Vilonia.

All in all it was one of the best visits we've ever had. We ate good, laughed a lot and spent a lot of quality time together. Bethany and I especially enjoyed all the time we got to spend right next to each other just riding down the road. It seems that lately we've been so busy that time together like that is hard to come by, so we soaked up every second of it.

Oh yeah and it was a very Happy Mothers' Day for both Bethany and Nonni - hope all of the other mothers out there had a great one too!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

KFC - Free food!

KFC is offering up a FREE 2 Piece KFC Grilled Chicken Meal with this coupon. It comes with 2 pieces of chicken, 2 individual sides and a biscuit. Now that is a good deal! This coupon is valid from 5/5/09-5/19/09.

Sunday, May 3, 2009


Sometimes you can greyscale a picture and it just takes on a whole new meaning. Here are some of my favorites from the last two months.

Bethany is making good use of her new camera- she amazes me all the time with the shots she gets. Add that to the list of things that make her the phenom that she is. :)

~ Ben

Friday, May 1, 2009

19 months

Who is this big boy and where did my baby go? I know - I start every one of these that way! We went to the Dr for Jackson's 18 month check up about 2 weeks ago and found out that he is in the 95% for height and 75% for weight. I'm not really sure where this big, tall healthy kid came from but I'm loving every minute with him.
We have a pretty set routine...we get up together and he eats half a banana, some strawberries and either toast or a dry cereal assortment. We play outside almost as soon as the last bite goes in and only come in to dance with Choo Choo Soul at 9:25. We get back to playing, drawing, building or kicking something at 9:30 and if it's a really pretty day we'll go for a walk. Last week we went on a walk and saw a beautiful woodpecker and a fire truck up close and personal all in the same trip! We eat lunch around 11:00 and nap together around 12:30. If we're lucky we'll sleep till 330 and wake up to Daddy being home and spend the rest of the evening outside playing in the backyard. It's a tough life isn't it? :)We still read lots of books, luckily Jackson loves reading, but there are two that are his favorites...

If we let him, we'd read The Very Hungry Caterpillar and We're going on a Bear Hunt over and over and over and over. Ben and I decided that they were sleepy time only books and have luckily only had to read them at nap and bed time. Think he may forget about them? No chance. We get in the bed and he immediately asks for "pop" and "tiptoe". That boy.
He is such a happy kid. I mean, SUCH a happy kid. I'm so thankful and we truly are blessed. Now don't get me wrong - there are plenty of "how did you get that off the top of the counter and pour it all over the floor" moments...but what would life with a toddler be without them?