Monday, July 30, 2012


This is my 500th post.  I feel like that's important and should be celebrated so...YAY!  GO ME!

I went to Knoxville this weekend to visit with Beth and Richard.  I haven't seen them since their wedding...a year ago!

It was odd to go by myself.  I'm never really alone for four hours straight, especially not in The Beast.  If we're driving that far, we're going camping.

The drive was uneventful, except for the traffic in Chattanooga.  Ya gotta love traffic in a big city on Friday afternoons...

I arrived at their house just minutes after Beth got home from work.  We hung out for a bit and then Richard got home.  It was decided we would go out to eat for dinner at Lakeside Tavern.  I had the chicken pasta with broccoli, mushrooms, spinach and and sun dried tomatoes.  It was quite good!

That night, Beth took me out on their Can-Am.  HOLY COW!  That may be the best invention EVER!  Then Beth and I chatted until the middle of the night and eventually headed off to bed.  I slept in a king size bed by myself.  No one snoring, kicking, sleeping on my head...I may be ruined.

The next morning, Richard made breakfast and then we headed out to Norris Lake to hang out with some of their friends.

They had rented this huge, older house boat for the weekend, plus they own a pontoon boat and two jet skis.  Tons of people were coming and going.  Good times.

Al took us out on their pontoon with Beth following us in one of the jet skis so we could ride.

Jet skis are my second favorite invention.  I had SO much fun!  I was laughing like a little kid!  The last and only other time I was on a jet ski, I was 17.

The Very Artistic Boat

It's a two story houseboat.  Is it called two story?  Double Decker?  Whatever.  Anyway, people were jumping off the very top and I decided I would be brave and give it a try.  I had to go over the railing to jump.  It was scary, but I have to admit I'm pretty proud of myself for doing it considering my aversion to heights...and lake/river water.  I needed a beer afterward.

We floated around for a while before heading back to their house, ate a delicious snack of hummus, cucumbers, pita bread cheese and olives.  Yum.  Then Beth and I fell asleep.  Being out in the sun all day is hard work.  :)  That night we went out for a quick bite to eat, came back and watched a little TV and then hit the hay.

We got up Sunday and took Beth's Great Dane, Gunner, to the park before I had to head home.

And then my weekend in Knoxville was over.  It went by too quickly.  I had an awesome time and really appreciate them having me.  The drive back was great.  Traffic in Chattanooga wasn't a problem at all.  I rocked out to Queen's Greatest Hits, called and talked to Dad and Rosie and before I knew it, I was in Hollywood.  I decided to stop and see Grandma and Grandpa. 

And Uncle James and Aunt Callie buried right next to them.

And then I was in Decatur, in time to head straight to Epic for an awesome service.  I was very happy to see my kiddos.  One of them was more happy to see me than the other, but I'm not going to say which was which :)

Monday, July 23, 2012

Give My Regards to Broadway

Auditions for Give My Regards to Broadway were on Saturday morning.  Zachary and I headed to Hartselle and he talked the entire time about Minecraft.  Suzette, get that kid Minecraft for his birthday next month!

Britney read for Mugsy and sang Popular from Wicked.  She did an outstanding job!  So did Emily.  We know so many talented people!       

We were told that they wouldn't have the cast list up until next weekend which totally bummed Brit out.  A whole week is just too long to wait! 

Sunday, July 22, 2012

A Show and Dinner

On Friday evening, the theatre camp Britney has been going to all week put on a performance to show off what the kids have been doing.  I put out an invite because everything's better with friends :)  Tori said she would love to go, but couldn't because they were preforming in front of Vittone's for Third Friday.  The Amos family was able to join us for the evening.  Suzette suggested we go to dinner at Vittone's afterward.  I didn't know where this place is!  FYI: It's ACROSS the street from The Princess Theatre!

Britney had to be there thirty minutes before the show started.  Since we had extra time, we walked across the street to listen to the girls.  They are so very talented!

We headed back over and waited for a few minutes before Dave showed up, followed by Suzette, Emily and Zachary.  
Eating a quick snack before the show.

They started off by how they normally start their time together...with a warm up.  Britney was in the very back and no matter how I moved in my seat, I could not see her.  Eventually, I got a shot of her head!

They did a couple acting exercises.  They pretended they were in a bubble, in their room, getting up and ready for the first day of school.  I honestly expected her to pretend she was asleep the whole time.  Instead, she made a few gestures of getting up and dressed and then like she was holding a cup drinking.  I VERY loudly said "HA!  SHE'S DRINKING COFFEE!"  I don't do well in large groups...

Then they did the dance they've been practicing.  This is something that she has talked about and has been really excited about showing us.  I believe she said something like - The choreography doesn't suck!  She was right!  It was an awesome dance and she did an amazing job!

The younger kids also performed a dance.  Then the two groups did a joint performance of Circle of Life.  They did such a wonderful job!
The whole group!

Afterward we chatted for a few and then headed across the street.  I also got to meet one of Britney's good friend's mom.

The restaurant was packed so we had to wait outside until there was a place for us, which worked out well.  We were able to hang out, goof off with Sarah and Tori and even sang a little.

Beautiful girls

I don't think there are any pictures/video of me singing...I hope not anyway.

We finally got in, got seated, and ordered a pizza the size of a VW Bug!

Even the smaller pizza's slice is bigger than Cody's head!

During dinner, we discussed auditions for Give My Regards to Broadway the next day.  It was decided that Britney would go home with Emily so they could go together.  Zachary came home with us, which Cody was STOKED about.  He needed some Zachary time.  We stopped at Sonic on our way home and we all got treats.

The boys stayed up late and played Minecraft and Wii.  My gosh those two had a blast!  They chatted and laughed and imagined and created....Good times.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

I'm in the paper!

A friend of mine just posted on my FB wall with "Did you see your picture in the paper today?"  I didn't, of course, so I pulled the local newspaper's website up to see if I could locate what I feared was incriminating evidence.  THIS is what I found.  I'm the third picture.   It's not nearly as incriminating as I thought!  :)

Bobby's 50!

Bobby and I don't go all out for our birthdays.  We may buy each other a card and maybe a gift card or small gift, but it's usually just another day.  Bobby's 50th birthday was on the 17th and I really wanted to do something special.  I mean, you only turn 50 once.

He has mentioned in the past that he's never had a surprise party, so that's what I decided to do.  He had to work the day of his birthday so it came and went with little special attention.  I did make cupcakes so he didn't feel completely forgotten. 

I decided to have a surprise gathering for him and as luck would have it, our friend Faron was playing at The Brick on the 19th.  It seemed like the perfect opportunity to get a bunch of people together!  I sent out a mass message via FaceBook about a week before and invited some family, friends from Epic, friends he grew up with and friends from work.  I did not invite our Roamschool friends for a reason.  Dave and Bobby are combining a birthday party in August.  PLEASE don't think that I forgot about you guys!  I never could :)

This was my first experience trying to pull off a surprise anything.  It's kind of nerve wracking.  I was hoping a bunch of people would show up but not so many that we had trouble seating everyone at The Brick.  I was worried about getting the cake and decorations up there.  And worried about getting someone there a little early to set up the tables.  The Brick technically no longer reserves tables, but they did their best to help me out...last minute too because that's how I roll.

That morning, I asked Bobby if he'd like to go to dinner with me since we weren't able to do anything on his birthday.  He said that would be fine and I suggested The Brick since the last time we were there, we had like the best sandwiches ever.  Mmm...the Reuben...

A couple of our friends were particularly helpful in pulling this off.  The day of, Barbara and I went out and she bought his balloons, decorations and cake.  How sweet is she?!  Bobby thought we were out dress shopping for an upcoming 80's prom!  (More on that later)  We dropped everything off at the restaurant and everyone was so helpful and friendly.  Theron was able to get there a little early to help set things up.  As far as I was concerned, I had done my best to make it work and then I had to concentrate on not looking anxious or excited.

I asked everyone to get there at 7:30 and us to show up at 7:45.  I wanted to give people an extra couple of minutes before we got there so there would be a crowd to SURPRISE him.  We got ready that night to go out and Bobby was taking his time.  7:30 came and went.  7:35...then it was 7:40.  Of course, I couldn't hurry him.  Why would we be on a schedule?  We left and I tried to be casual making small talk.  I think I did pretty well.  We got there.  I scanned the parking lot and didn't recognize ANY vehicles.  This made me both happy and worried.  Happy that Bobby wouldn't see any and realize what was going on and worried because there was a chance no one came!

We parked and made our way up to the door.  Someone Bobby went to school with, Mike, came out...not someone I invited...and smiled and said "Man, I didn't know it was your birthday!  You're 50?!  Happy birthday, man!  They're in there waiting on you."  I'm telling you, I could have punched him in the face!  Bobby chatted with him for a few minutes and really didn't seem interested in what he had said.  I tried to look like nothing was going on.  As we started to walk off, he said something ELSE about there being a crowd in there waiting on him!  Ass! 

I opened the door and they had set the tables up just right there as soon as you walk in.  It was perfect!  Bobby saw the balloons, then Theron and then Buck and everybody yelled Happy Birthday!  It was freakin' awesome!

Bobby and Barbara

Bobby and Buck have been best friends for 40 years!

Happy 50th Mr. Lackey!



Me and Theron
Not even the whole group!

Faron and Eric Davis...or The Davis Bros.  Check them out if you ever get a chance!

Brothers from another mother

Bobby was truly surprised and very thankful for his night.  He told me later that he did suspect we were going to meet someone for one other couple, but never suspected something like that :)  Thank you to everyone who helped me with this and came to celebrate his big day!

Monday, July 16, 2012

Super Duper Cooper

We had been thinking about getting a small, indoor dog.  We wanted something we could take camping, that Cody could easily handle, that could snuggle up with the kids on the couch to watch a movie and sleep in the bed with them at night.  We had something in mind...a fluffy little brown or black dog, about a year old that we could rescue from the shelter.  Really the only thing that we didn't want was a short haired, white dog.  I just don't like white animals.  Sorry.  Personal preference.

Back in June, mom called me and asked if when I came over, if I was planning on bringing the kids.  I told her I wasn't and we chatted a while longer.  Just before I hung up, she excitedly said "OKAY!  Let me tell you why I want you to bring the kids over!"

That morning, she walked into her laundry room and looked out the window.  There was a small, what she thought was a baby possum, curled up by her fig tree.  She walked outside and it was a puppy.  Just as a side note, this is the fifth puppy that has been dropped off/abandoned at her house in the year she's been living there.  Word must be out that she's the place to take unwanted puppies.

So I asked Britney and Cody if they would ride with me over to Grandma's.  We loaded up and headed over to see this guy.

We estimated that he was about 8 weeks old and think he's a Rat Terrier/Chihuahua mix.  Which means he's a puppy, has short hair and is VERY white.  Figures.

We decided to bring him home and give him a trial run to decide if he's a good fit for us.  We kicked around  A LOT of names, and finally ended with in Sheldon.  LOVE us some Big Bang Theory!

We've had him for about three weeks and he's weaseled his way into our hearts.  Well, everyone's except for Britney.  She's never felt like he's her dog.  But Cody sure does!  He LOVES him.  Cooper loves to snuggle and sleeps all night in the bed with Cody, loves to play and chew on his toys...and on hands, toes, feet, and anything else he can grab, he's a huge fan of dirty socks and if he disappears, it's because he's fallen asleep in the laundry room.  He has good and bad days with house training, but he's still a baby.  He'll get there.

I'm anxious to take him camping with us and see how he does.  He loves riding in the car.  He's gone to Dad's with us once and slept or played with Cody the whole time.  I'm sure he'll do great in the camper.  He thinks leashes are of the is that crate in the corner of the living room that we put him in when we have to leave him alone.

So our journey with Cooper the Camper Dog has begun.

Camp Princess Theatre

I am SO excited!  A friend of ours, Manda, was the winning bidder in a silent auction on a spot for a camp The Princess hosts every summer and gave it to Britney as an early birthday present! 
From the website:
Theatre on Stage! Renaissance Theatre Program
During the week the students will learn the ins and outs of the play process.  Throughout the week they will work exercises in improvisation, learn the steps to developing a character, and the basics of performing.  The week will conclude with a performance of the piece the group develops during the week.

Eep!  I know Britney is going to have a BLAST!  I am so very thankful for this opportunity for her to continue learning and exploring her passion! 

Where we've been as a family