Monday, November 28, 2011

Toe Troubles

I promise you that my toe felt just as bad as it looked. TERRIBLE! I had a major, ingrown toenail that was severely aggravated by my constant use of my hunting boots.

Of course, I tried to treat it myself rather than take time to go to the doctor. That backfired on me. It became unbearable and infected. So, I went to the podiatrist.

He mistakenly said, "WOW, you did a great job removing your nail. I could have never removed my own nail if it were this bad". The picture below is of me after I got two shots in my big toe. I was waiting to make sure that it was all clear of ingrown nail. Ouch!

All good! All bandaged up and walking out of the doctor's office. But, boy did it throb about an hour later! Wow, I have a new level of empathy for Judson and Ally and their toe problems!

Friday, November 25, 2011

Duck Gumbo

Notice the title of my post was "Duck Gumbo" not "Duck Hunting". After we landed in Memphis from our Dallas trip, Judson headed back to Stuttgart for a weekend of "duck hunting". This is his favorite weekend to go each year because of the socializing. I'm not really sure how much hunting they really do but I know they have a great time!

Yep, there is David Gadd with his jar of moonshine.

Some one's "duck truck" from the Duck Gumbo party. Only in Arkansas would you see such as thing!

As I understand it, tradition at Duck Gumbo is to put stickers on ladies rears. I'm sure their is more to the's a man thing. For what it's worth here is a link to the only web site I could find...Duck Gumbo Cookoff.

You can run but you can't hide. Look who Judson ran into....Tim Castellaw and Jody Smith.

The minute we unloaded the car from the airport, Oney disappeared. He sat in the garage for what seemed like forever with his new favorite pastime he learned at Duck Camp, "stick carving".

This is the last picture I got via text that night. I said good night and turned my phone on vibrate. I figured it was a good time to check out!

Deer or Die

My new obsession in life is deer hunting. I really started getting into it last year and I thought when the season came back around this year that I would not be quite as eager to hunt. I thought after I got a nice kill that I would be satisfied. Boy was I wrong. I cannot begin to explain to anyone in a way that they could understand just how much I enjoy it. I LOVE spending time in the woods...they come alive in the mornings with the sight of the sunrise and the sounds of the animals. It is equally as beautiful in the evenings. 

I had a new APP on my Iphone called Hunt Cal. I became obsessed with it and started relying on it way too much (thanks Mike Barker)! It was 100% accurate some days and other days it was horribly wrong. I do think if you take into account the weather for that day, it was a pretty useful tool. At least the movement times were fairly accurate.

Some things I love about deer hunting...
stillness...alone time...nature...God searching...sunrises...sunsets...leaves falling...the chase...the thrill...the time...

Deer hunting is the ONE and ONLY thing that I feel like I selfishly do for myself. I drop lots of more important tasks and head to the deer stand. I let my laundry pile up, we order takeout for dinner, the trash can overflows, I am late to pickup kids, I fall asleep talking to my husband at night, my paperwork and emails pile sky high, we run out of milk and bread at home (yes, even though we own a grocery store) get the picture! 
Even though I have "the mother's guilt", I do it anyway...for MYSELF!

Yes...sometimes I do feel a little...CRAZY...going hunting by myself...leaving my kids behind....needing to be at work instead of the deer stand...but once I get in the stand it is ALL worth it!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Thanksgiving in Dallas

This was our year to spend Thanksgiving with the Shdeed Family. We used to do Thanksgiving with them every year until we all started having children with schedules that are just as busy as our own. Now we do Thanksgiving with them every other year. We have also simplified by just going to Dallas every time. We used to rotate between Covington, Wichita, and Oklahoma City (where all of the siblings live). It just became really difficult to please everyone on airfare, driving, hotels, etc. So we picked Dallas for several reasons: it is a neutral city, it is easy to fly in and out of, we do have several of the younger cousins that live there, awesome hotel connected to the Galleria Mall, fabulous Country Club that has a private room for us all to fit in for our Thanksgiving Meal, etc.
Judson and Oney met me and the girls at the airport (they drove straight from Duck Hunting). We flew in on Tuesday and back home on Friday. Judson went straight from the airport back to Stuttgart. Me and the kids came home.

I didn't even take my camera this year! Can you believe it? I knew if I took it then I would be tempted to be every one's photographer. So, right before our meal I had someone snap this picture with my iphone.

Pretend there is a picture here...I know I took one, I just can't find it at the moment!

It was a great trip and the kids always have fun with their cousins. Its amazing how easily they reconnect for only seeing each other every other year. Thanks to Christie and Robin for always being so warm and generous to us when we go to Dallas. We look forward to Thanksgiving 2013! It will be here before you know it.

Happy Birthday Mee-Maw

Thanksgiving in Covington at my sister's house...We were all in Dallas ,of course. My sister sent this to me right as we sat down to eat our meal. I realized at that moment how LUCKY my family is to be able to spend most every holiday with both sides of the family. I don't understand how divorced families juggle everyone.

Here is a picture of just the "girls". It was Mee-Maw's birthday. This one really hit me hard. We treasure every holiday we have with her now. Who knows how many more she will be around. I try to tell childhood stories to my kids about her. Boy do we have some wonderful memories!

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Father Son Duck Hunting

Duck Camp with Dad!

Judson has been waiting for the day that Oney would be old enough to take his first father-son Sanderson Farms duck hunting trip to Stuttgart, Arkansas. Judson has been going duck hunting with the Sanderson folks since around 1996. Yep, that's almost 15 years! Wow...hard to believe! Judson has always heard about the "father-son weekend" and never been a part of it because he has never had a son old enough. Well, that all changed this year. Neal asked Judson if he wanted to bring Oney (like he has the past few years) and he hesitated. Was Oney ready? Would he have fun? Would he enjoy duck hunting? Was he mature enough? Would Judson enjoy it with his son like he did with his friends? Would Oney make him proud? guessed it...the results were overwhelmingly positive and needless to say...Oney absolutely LOVED duck camp, he LOVED the Sanderson "Family", he LOVED Neal, he LOVED the campfire talks, he LOVED Mack's, he LOVED the "Sanderson way of being Spoiled, he LOVED everything about duck camp ...just like his Daddy! And as much as Oney LOVED duck camp, the Sanderson folks LOVED Oney just like they love his Dad! All of Judson's fears were put to bed the minute they walked in the door. Oney met one kid and never met a stranger after that...he was off...

Oney thought it was cool that his parents made the board at duck camp!

Oney felt right at home with all the food and drinks at camp. He was in heaven.

One of his Dad's favorite wines...Far Niente...

As you suspect, Oney had every square inch of the place figured out after about 10 minutes!

Oney with his new buddy, Hunter. He and Hunter carved sticks for hours. Oney came home wanting a knife for Christmas.

It rained about 4 inches while they were there. So needless to say the actual hunting wasn't great. They went bowling one afternoon to give the boys a fun activity (as if they needed it).

I am afraid Oney grew up just a little while he sat by the campfire. Judson didn't let him stay for the entire conversation (there were teenage boys there) but he heard enough. Oney has already asked a half a dozen times...Dad, when we go back next year, can I stay for the campfire talks?
Boys will be be boys...

O having breakfast in the duck hole.

Oney in the duck hole. I am so glad Judson took him this year. They really bonded and have not stopped talking about this trip. He is already looking forward to next year. The Sanderson folks are golden. Oney quickly learned why his Daddy has spoken so fondly of these people for so long now! Our business is minuscule to that company. We are one tiny little customer and they make us feel like we are their only customer. Wow...I hope that I have made a few of my customers feel that special! Thanks Dan, Neil, Buddha, Mr. Joe, Gadd, Jeffcoat, and every other Sanderson man for all of the special memories that you have given us.

Friday, November 18, 2011

St. Jude Zoo Lights Preview Party

This was our first time to attend Zoo Lights as a family. When I received the St. Jude preview party invitation in the mail, I decided we had to make an effort this year.

We called Sittie and Jidi, who like us are on the St. Jude "list", and they were so excited and dying to go with us! The picture below was at the entrance of the Zoo.  So beautiful!

There were different areas of the Zoo that had a variety of activities set up for the preview party. Godiva chocolates and Gigi's Cupcakes were two of our favorites! The card below was displayed at the chocolate station. It really struck a chord with me...

This of course was my musically inclined children's FAVORITE stop. They did NOT want to leave and we had to drag Ally out. This was a youth band called, "Forklift". They were incredible! They do not have a website setup yet, but they have a Facebook page. Check it out-they are 10 & 11 years old and oh so talented. They attend school at St. Louis Catholic School in Memphis.

Another favorite stop was the outdoor skating rink. It was really cool, too. I hesitated letting Abby skate because she had just twisted her ankle in basketball, but she begged and pleaded. I caved, of course. It was so cold in the tent to keep the ice conditions nice.

Look at Sittie and Jidi at the skating rink. Don't they look so cute? I love the picture of them with the kids. They were so happy that they came with us in spite of our chaos on the way down in the car!

This was on the way out the door. Don't they all look like the "Walton's"...happy, patient, energetic, excited about taking another picture? It was a fun night. Glad we went...our kids were a little too "old"...probably will not be able to drag them back next year...