Tuesday, July 26, 2011


My grandmother's house was burglarized yesterday.  She and my dad had gone out to lunch, and surprised the kid before he was done, but not before he'd ransacked the bedrooms. He managed to make off with some jewelry, a ton of quarters (she's been trying to put together multiple State quarter collections for years, for the grand- and great grand kids), and a gun, among other things. 

It wasn't my home, but I feel violated all the same. When my dad was telling me about it, I felt helpless and angry and heartbroken.  I have so many cherished memories there from childhood.  Everything in that house, every room, is tied to some memory of mine.  I used to sit for hours on Gramma's bed and oh-so-carefully go through her jewelry box, trying everything on and modeling it in front of the full-length mirror on her bathroom door.  To think that some punk kid went prowling through her house, rifled through her things, and unceremoniously dumped all of her jewelry into a back pack makes me livid. 

The good news is that he didn't find my grandmother's wedding rings, as they had at first feared, and he didn't have time to find any of the other valuable items he might have if they'd been gone longer.  The best news is that neither my father nor my grandmother were hurt.  Daddy might have been, if the burglar hadn't been able to escape out the back door like he did.  If he'd had to go back through the house to escape, he'd have run smack into my dad.  That meeting would not have ended well.  

They did see him as he was running out of the back yard, as did their neighbor, so they had a description to give to the police, who found 4 good finger prints left behind by the burglar.  What's more is that this kid has been seen riding around that neighborhood many times before, so there's a good chance that he lives near-by.  It's not very bright of him if that's the case, but it will make the detective's work easier.  I sincerely hope that they get him, but it's very unlikely that my grandmother will get any of her things back.

I'd really like to throttle this kid, whoever he is.  Not only did he have the effrontery to invade my grandmother's home and steal her things, but he even flipped my dad off as he was riding away.  The icing on the cake?  Daddy is now afraid to leave Gramma alone, so he's canceled the visit we'd had planned for August.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Alabama Highlights

Now that we've been home for 2 weeks, I'm finally getting around to posting pictures of our trip to Alabama.  How does time go by so fast??

Elora and Papa exploring the garden.
 We spent about a week out at Mommom's farm.  And, I do mean "farm".  A couple of years ago, she bought a small, 10 acre farm with a house and a barn on it.  It was trashed and over grown, but she and her children have cleaned it up and made it into a truly lovely place.  Each of her 3 sons now has an RV or trailer on the property, and Mommom herself now lives in the house. 

Some of Mommom's produce.
 She has a very large garden that supplies them with all sorts of lovely yummies for the table, and a pen full of chickens to keep them in fresh eggs.

Elora and Gigi feeding the chickens.
Tiffany (cousin) collecting fresh eggs.
Chicken fun fact #1:  the bald ones are the hens most favored by the roosters.  The bigger the bald spot, the more "favored" the hen.
A lot of what we ate while we were there came right from the farm.  Like this delicious country breakfast.  My mouth is watering, just looking at this...

The first part of the visit was oppressively hot.  The sun was brutal...we kept Elora slathered in sunscreen (Kaylie stayed in the shade) but she still acquired a gorgeous tan.  

Elora and Uncle Jamie.
Of this non-rocking horse, Elora said "it's not working!"
Kaylie and I pretty much kept to the shade.
 Late in the day on the Fourth, we got an intense thunderstorm with high winds and hail that we worried would rain out Mommom's party.  But it quit raining by 6, and cooled things off enough to make the evening very nice.  It rained a little bit every day after that, which kept things much more moderate.  The party on the Fourth was another great success, despite the rain.  There were a ton of people there, including some party crashers that no one knew.  Mommom had 3 of her sisters there, so we made sure to get a picture of them together.
Nelda, Nita, Fran & Paula
We got to catch up with a lot of family and friends that we rarely get to see, and we had a great time doing it.  I'll let the photos talk.

Late nights.  (Dawn, me, and Staria.)
Must-have-coffee mornings.
Uncle Stan and Kaylie.
Aunt Sheila.
Fun with Gigi.
Fun with Aunts Carrie and Dawn.
Relaxing in the hammock.
Brandon's personality perfectly captured in just 4 photos.
Aunt Dawn and Kaylie

Jeremy and Casey.
Aunt Tammy and Uncle Todd
Tony (one of Bran's childhood friends) and Sam (Carrie's college roomate) will be getting married next summer.
I have no idea what inspired that face...

Krystal and Thomas.  They took most of he pictures that I didn't take.
Like this one.
Paul and Krystal.
4 generations: Mommom, Staria, Brandon, and the girls.
Another set of 4 generations: Mommom, Sheila, Krystal and Thomas.
Aunt Mel, Staria, Jimmy, Mommom and Carrie.
Elora passed out next to her "uncle" John after a hard day of playing.
 Brandon, John, Tony, Jeremy and Matt are "The Guys".   They've all been friends since high school, and though various members of the group have moved here, there and yonder, they've all stayed close.  This was the first time all 5 of them (6, if you count Brandon's brother James, which they do) have all been together in years.  I'd wanted to get a shot of all of them together, but it just didn't happen.  Maybe next time.

Wow, that's a lot of pictures.  But then again, I started with about 2500.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

The Mysterious 'New Project'

Is a memory book for Brandon's grandmother.  I took the combined pictures from our 4th of July party last year, designed a simple page template, and put it all together.  Now that she has the book, I can post a sample here without ruining the surprise.  :)

I'll be doing another one for this year.  :)

Monday, July 11, 2011

Elora Meets Microphone

I got a ton of amazing pictures while we were in Alabama for Mommom's  big Fourth of July party, but my lap top died.  The good news is that the hard drives are ok, so I can get all of my stuff off of them.  Here's a little something to entertain while I'm trying to get myself organized.
Elora already liked to pretend that she had a microphone, using a maraca or her finger, thanks to Sid the Science Kid.  Then she got her hands on a real one.

Now she loves microphones.  We're going to have to get her one.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Gerber Photo Search

I entered my girls in the 2011 Gerber Generation Photo Search and the voting has begun!  Please, please, please follow these links and vote for my girls!  You can vote daily, so please vote as often as you think of it!  Thanks for your help!!

Elora: entry ID 164192

Kaylie:  entry ID 164209

July 11-  I can't get the links to work, so I got rid of them and added buttons to the side bar, to make it easy.  The buttons definitely work for me, let me know if you have problems with them. Thanks everyone!

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Papa's Father's Day and Birthday

Elora painted a coffee mug for her Papa for Father's Day, but he didn't get it until we saw him in Alabama,  She also painted a little plaque for his desk for his birthday, which is at the end of July. 

He also got that while we were in Alabama.  He's Texan...can you tell?