Friday, October 31, 2008

Here Today, Gone Tomorrow

Bet y’all didn’t have a Crest Toothpaste man costume!  I entered Kale’s name in a drawing his dentist office had for this costume… and I won! The only thing I’ve ever won in my life. 

Because I’m lucky that way.

I believe this was in 1989 when Kale was 2 1/2 and Tyler was just a baby.

Kale in Crest Toothpaste costume - 1989

Kale in Crest Toothpaste costume 1989

And these are shots from Kale’s Kindergarten year (1992).  Kale was five and Tyler was three.

Halloween 1992 001

Halloween 1992 

Tyler and Jamie

Do you recognize the girl with the pretty red hair?  That little dragon sure liked getting loved on by her!

Halloween 1992 Tyler

The joy of Halloween! (Where was his mother?)

My how time flies!  It seems like just yesterday my babies were this size, but they’re all grown up now.  Those boys sure made me smile… still do!!

Enjoy the moment you’re in … have a safe and happy Halloween with your little ones!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Creative Costumes

Tonight at Awana the kids all dressed up… mostly as Bible characters.  I’m amazed at the creativity of parents sometimes.  Especially since nowadays people can just run and buy costumes … which are never as good as home-made costumes.

When I was growing up, Halloween was a lot of fun.  Sometimes we’d have get-togethers at relatives’ houses.  One year my Uncle Bob dressed up as Frankenstein and walked around all spooky like in his driveway and I was scared to even come out of our camper!!

We had fun spending no telling how long coloring and decorating brown paper grocery bags (do you remember those??) to collect our candy in.  They could hold a LOT of candy.

And costumes were seriously cool!

In earlier posts, I’ve described how my parents found creative ways to make things work.  Halloween was no exception.  When you have 11 kids, you have to be creative during holidays.  I remember lots of home-made costumes.  Here are just a few of them:

Princess costume

“Princess” Cathy (#1).  I believe Mom said this was an altered prom or bridesmaids dress.

Robot Costume

“Robot” Jim (#2) - some of my Dad’s creative handiwork (I told you he can do anything!)

Witch costume

“Witch” Suzanne (#3) – love the broom, wig and hat!

Red Riding Hood costume

Valerie (#4) as “Red Riding Hood” – very sweet.

and my all-time favorite

drum roll, please …

Nun costume

My little brother, Darren (#7), as a NUN! Ha!  This also was my Dad’s handiwork – can you believe that?  And you’ve got to love that old Tupperware Kool-aid container (well, that’s what we used it for) for collecting the loot! If you look closely, you can see a couple of my sisters in the back.  Valerie is on the right in a gypsy outfit and I can’t tell if it’s Suz or Cathy on the left??

My parents were simply amazing!!  We were blessed.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

A Fun Weekend

My weekends are usually pretty quiet.  But, this weekend has been a blast.  It started with my Friday trip to Springfield to see Sarah Palin.  Then Saturday morning we got up early (YEP, two days in a row!) and met up with Jodi and Gary and a few others to take a day trip to see the fall colors. We had so much fun!

Did y’all know that mornings are just beautiful?  When you’re not a morning person (like some people I know), you just don’t realize what you’re missing. I was so taken by the morning sunlight slipping through the trees.

Jasper sidewalk 

We drove to a little town called Jasper and ate breakfast at a North Arkansas landmark… a little restaurant called the Ozark Cafe’ (which opened in 1909).

Ozark Cafe

Ozark Cafe

After breakfast we drove on through some of the windiest roads you’ll ever find.  At one point, the rear of the vehicle nearly met up with the front! Seriously.


The trees just haven’t gotten very vivid this year.  I’m hoping we’ll get a little more color this week.


Some of the views were just breathtaking. My pictures from the backseat of the Jeep didn’t turn out very well, though.


We stopped at a little restaurant and souvenir shop/furniture store and went in to look at some of the quilts they have.  A little beagle dog greeted us when we got out of our vehicles.  I had David take a picture of Jodi and me on the front steps… and look who found his way into the pose next to Jodi …


The last stop for the day was for supper at a seafood buffet.  I’m not a big seafood or fried food eater, but this buffet was really good.  It was right up Dave’s alley… good ole’ southern cookin’.

Cadron Creek

And I didn’t even get a picture of the cobbler! Yum!!

We finished the weekend with a wonderful day of worship and fellowship.  We had a finger-food fellowship this evening and a praise and testimony service in appreciation of our Pastors (for Pastor Appreciation Month).  Our church is so blessed to have two great men of God as pastors.

From where I sit, I have first-hand knowledge of the demands the ministry places on their lives and that of their wives and families.  Being a pastor requires you to put others first.  Our pastors are no exception… they live their lives very unselfishly.  Thank you Steve & Judy and Jack & Sandy for all you do in service to the Lord and our church.  We love you!

Saturday, October 25, 2008

I've Been Tagged!

My friend, Jamie, tagged me for a photo game... here are the rules:

1.  Open your Pictures folder.

2.  Go to the sixth folder.

3.  Open the sixth picture.

4.  Import into your blog and tell the story.

Here's the picture (you've seen it before)...

Mom and me (2)

This picture was taken Sunday, August 31, 2008.  That's my precious momma and me.  We were having a cookout with the fam on Labor Day weekend.  Some people say I look like my Mom... ???

I tag Micaela, Becky, Leigh Ann and Marlene.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Seeing Sarah Palin

Gov. Sarah Palin was in Springfield, Missouri, for a rally today at noon.  Springfield is a couple of hours from where we live.  My friend, Mary (who I believe could and should go to work for FOX News), wanted to go see her badly and asked if I wanted to go.

My first thought was... I had a training appointment scheduled for Friday at lunch. 

My second thought was... it's supposed to be freezing cold. 

My third thought was... uh, that would require me to wake up at 5:30 AM and I am SO not a morning person. 

But, I rescheduled my client, found a light coat, and set my alarm and we headed out early this morning.

It was a COLD day, our coldest so far.  We got to the rally site about 9:15 this morning and stood in line until 12:20 or so.  The rally started at 11 AM (what? they started without us!) with Gov. Palin to speak at noon.  She actually started speaking close to 12:30.  It was a long wait, long morning and I think I lost a body part or two to frost-bite (and for future reference, I wouldn't recommend wearing even comfortable heels to a function of this caliber), but we had a good time and Sarah Palin did not disappoint.  She is refreshing as far as politicians go!

It was crowded and we couldn't find any really good view, but here's the best picture I got to chronicle the event.

Sarah Palin 102408


On another note, my oldest sister, Cathy (#1) is having a birthday today. 

Goulet family 1973 Cathy

Cathy is seven years older than me.  She is a high school math teacher who takes her job very seriously.  (Remember to thank your children's teachers... they are special people!)

When Cathy was in high school she had a class that required her to draw someone she loved (or something like that).  She spent, I don't know, weeks, maybe days, drawing her best friend Karen.  She had used a pencil and filled the paper with a large portrait that looked very much like her friend.  It was really good.

But, one Saturday morning, I woke up what must've been earlier than everyone else and I saw the drawing in the family room.  I remember looking at it and thinking how good it was, IF ONLY it were a little darker.  So, I took a PEN and carefully, mind you, carefully drew over every line, every area of that picture.  I don't know how long I worked on it, but when I finally pulled back from it and took a long hard look at the finished product, I PANICKED!  It had taken a turn for the worse.

So, I did what every other child would've done.  I ran it upstairs and woke my sister up saying, "Cathy, Cathy,  S O M E O N E  drew on your picture!!"  She immediately had a total and complete nervous breakdown.

I'm assuming she (for some reason) went to my parents at this point, because the next thing I knew my entire family was lined up in birth order undergoing an inquisition.  Dad finally narrowed it down to me and my next older brother, Dennis.

He kept asking us if we knew who drew on Cathy's picture and we both kept denying any knowledge of it.  So, Dad calls me forward (to this day I don't know if they already had it figured out... I have my suspicions) and says, "Jacquie, if you tell the truth you won't be in trouble, but if you lie to me..."

And of course I say, "DENNIS DID IT!"

After an endless whoopin', I don't think I spoke to my Dad for about 3 days.  And I'm sure Cathy never forgot it either.

As the oldest of 11 children, Cathy had to blaze the trail for the rest of us kids.  You know, break Mom and Dad in.

She was a good big sister.

She is a good friend now.  Whenever she and I get together, we can talk for hours!  I just wish she didn't live so far away.

Cathy w Dad and U Mike

Dad, Baby Cathy, and Uncle Mike


Cathy school pic

I hope you had a Happy Birthday, Cathy! I love you.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

The Little Cabin in the Woods

My husband, David, was born and raised here in the Ozarks.  I love hearing stories about when he grew up.  He and his cousins tell about spending the night in the attic of their grandparent's house (and being woke up by "Pa Bill's" tobacco pouch strings tickling their noses).  They spent so much time together.  Their Uncles and Aunts were as close to them as their parents were.  Most of David's uncles have passed on now, and the family has gotten much smaller, but they still like to reminisce about the old days.

Times were tough in the days of his grandparents.  In order to get things done and to make things work the family had to all pitch in together.  When it was hay season, not only were David's grandparents in the hay field, but so were all the uncles and cousins.  It was a family affair.

When it came to hunting season, now THAT was a serious deal!  Still is.  All the relatives (cousins, uncles, grandparents) would gather together for the big hunt.  Then they'd gather back together to eat.  Then hit the woods again to hunt some more.

Sometime after we got married, the guys started camping out at a cabin that belonged to their Uncle Leon...  which is when my boys began camping.  Leon later sold the property that his cabin was on and the guys had to find an alternate arrangement... because it just ain't huntin' without the campin' part.

For a couple years, they camped on our property in a goose-neck trailer.  One year, it rained all night and they got soaked and nearly froze, so Dave decided it was time to do something different.  He set his sights on some pine trees on our property that his mother always wanted him to build our house with and began forming a plan.  Some time later, he told me he was going to build a cabin ... and to be honest I didn't believe him, because ... well ... Dave doesn't build anything

But, he took his plan and got started on our little cabin in the woods.  We had no electricity and no running water.  He laid some rock pillars to start a foundation, used his chainsaw to cut the trees and hauled them to his cousin's (who had a band saw mill).  He lifted and laid log after log until they were all set in place.  When it was time for the rafters, he enlisted help.  So like in so many of his other life experiences, his family jumped in to help.  His cousins, Jack and Randy, and his Uncle Jim all pitched in.

Building the cabin

Building the cabin in 2000

Building the cabin - Dave

David in his cabin (this picture reminds me of Noah and his ark)

Building the cabin - Jack

Cousin Jack - always helping

Building the cabin (3)

The guys at work

Building the cabin (4)

Building the cabin - Uncle Jim and Randy

Uncle Jim and Cousin Randy

Building the cabin - Tyler in door

Just look how small my "baby" was back then!! He's almost 20 years old now.


The cabin today

There's nothing like an old metal roof!  I love that the windows and the front door came from an old 1918 farm house.  SWEET!


We have since added electricity, a refrigerator and stove, and even a TV set (which will be obsolete in February).  Just before David's daddy died, we had a well drilled and we now have running water.  But, don't get too excited, we don't have plumbing yet.  There's just a sink with cold water, but believe me, that's much better than no water!

For other plumbing needs... you've got to use the outhouse!


Since I lived in a tent for a year and a half, I don't camp much.

Been there. Done that.

But, I'm certainly grateful that our boys have this place that brings them memories of special times with uncles, cousins, and their Daddy.

I may not have believed David back then, but I'm glad he stuck with his vision.  The little cabin in the woods turned out just pretty cute!

Saturday, October 18, 2008

An Inside Look at Mancation

Kale has a really nice digital camera.  It has lots of buttons and gadgets that would take me too long to figure out how to operate, but I'm sure he read the manual (front to back) and has learned to take some really nice pictures.  Like this ...

old times 2

and this...

Holler 16

But, this morning I was brought out of the quiet that accompanies "mancation" and 9:00 AM on a Saturday morning from a phone call from Kale saying he'd shot a 7 point buck and he had forgotten his camera at home...and wondered if I'd mind climbing out from under my nice, warm covers to brave the cold and bring my little digital camera.

So, I spent the morning with the men at the man-cave, watching them skin not one, but two deer.  But, I did sneak a bit of breakfast before I left.  Those men know how to fix breakfast!

Kale w 7 pt 101808 (7)

Kale and his trophy

Randy Jack David and Kale w Ks 7 pt 101808 (2)

The hunters and the poor victim

Just before Kale called this morning, my brother in law, Jack, called to say that my sweet little nephew, Hunter, got a deer.  Could he BE any cuter?

Hunter's deer 101808 (2)

Hunter talked to me about it on the phone this morning.  He said when he saw the deer "he just lined it up in his cross-hairs and shot it."  I said, "Doesn't that gun kick?" He said, "Yeah!! But I didn't get hurt or anything cuz I had three layers of clothes on."  He is so funny.

Our leaves haven't really gotten pretty just yet.  I'm hoping they will.  But, before I left I took some pictures of our property and the cabin.  For those of you who don't know, David built the cabin all by himself with no electricity with some pine that was on our property.  I'll post about the cabin later, but here are a few pictures.



The view from the front porch



There's even an outhouse!!

Friday, October 17, 2008

Man Weekend

It's man weekend.  Deer season in the Ozarks!  Tyler is still working on the Haunted House, so he didn't get to join them, but here's the crew at the "Man Cave".

Muzzleloading season 2008

David, Jack, Hunter, Uncle Jim (Jack's Dad) and Randy (Jack's brother)

Muzzleloading season at the cabin 2008

Dave took this picture so Kale could get in the shot.  All they had was Kale's IPhone.

Me?  I'm enjoying the quiet.

Hope y'all have a great weekend.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Happy Boss's Day


Yesterday morning I got up and made some cinnamon streusel muffins for my bosses... because it was "Boss's Day".  I like to do a little something to let them know how much I appreciate the kind of bosses they are to me. 

You'd be just plain jealous if you knew how good I have it!

Since back in the early 1990's I have tried to make it a point to do a little something to say "thank you" to my boss(es) on Boss's Day, October 15.  A little bag of candy, a freshly baked cake, muffins... you get the picture.

So, you'll understand why I was completely shocked when Jodi emailed me this morning and told me TODAY is Boss's Day, not October 15!

For some reason, dates give me trouble.  But ask me anyone's phone number or address in our church and I can pretty much tell you from memory.

I think my Boss's Day dilemma stems back to 1993 when October 16 was a Saturday and so the "holiday" was celebrated on that Friday, October 15, which also happened to be my boss' birthday.  Ever since then, I think I've been celebrating it on October 15. 

It's the thought that counts.

It reminds me of the time I was at the Barber Shop with my kids and the barber started talking about the day Elvis died.  I said confidently, "I remember - it was August 15, 1977".  He said, "August 16, 1977". 

I argued.

Of course.

He bet me a Mountain Dew, which I don't drink.  As soon as I got home I looked it up. Wrong!  I sent the pop the next day to the Barber Shop... he'll never let me forget it.

Not to mention that I always have to look at Jodi's birthday on the calendar because it is April 10 and I always think it's April 11.  Then, sometimes I think it's April 10 and realize I'm always wrong about it, so I think it's April 11 then.  Well, the truth is, it's April 10 (I think)... but I still check every year because I've only been best friends with her for 31 years!


I tell people all the time that I have been blessed with godly bosses in my last two jobs... and let me tell you ... it makes it so much easier to go to work every day under those circumstances.

I left a job I dearly loved to work at the church so that I could have more time for my family and to be a better mother to my two sons who were young at the time.  I have never regretted that decision.  Unless you count the first couple hours or so after I went in and gave Randy my notice and left crying like a baby wondering what in the world I'd just done!!  My job at Ranger was a great job and I enjoyed what I did immensely.  But, I knew I was even more blessed to have been given the opportunity to work alongside Randy.

Tomorrow marks an anniversary for me.  I will have been our church secretary for 14 years.  I was only 30 years old when I started this job!  Yikes!  It's hard to believe it's been fourteen years... time has just flown.

I am so thankful to have been able to serve my church and my Lord for all these years ...  and I hope Steve and Jack will keep me around for a while longer. (Even though I make a mistake on occasion!)  I am truly blessed to work alongside you both!  Thank you for taking such good care of me... and for all the free counseling.  Perks.

If you forgot to thank your boss today, on Boss's Day, maybe you can thank him/her tomorrow... he may not even notice the date on the calendar!

Monday, October 13, 2008

52 Years

John & Pat Wedding

Today my parents celebrate 52 years of marriage.  They've taught me so much about love and life and commitment.  They were committed to their family and to each other.  My Mom worked as a stay-at-home Mom while my Dad worked a full-time job and odd jobs to make ends meet.

Uncle Mike and Dad

Uncle Mike and Dad

He worked (most of my growing up years) as a police officer.  I used to love when he'd get off work and come home.  When he was a motorcycle officer, we used to BEG to get to ride up the driveway on the motorcycle... about 2 car lengths. Ha!

The main thing I liked about when Dad got home was he would most often go to the kitchen where my Mom would be cooking supper.  He'd usually have a glass of Coke and snack on some potato chips and tell Mom all about the events of the day.  I liked to listen in.  (I think I often lurked around as a child listening to adult conversation. Is that normal?)

I also liked when my Dad was getting ready to go to work.  My Mom cooked him breakfast every morning and he'd leave just a little bit of coffee in his cup.  Mom (or Dad, I'm not sure which) would add some milk and some sugar to it... and one "lucky" kid would get to drink it.  Mom would see Dad out the door every morning and watch him drive down the road.  I used to love to wave goodbye to him with her ... when I was awake. (I remember this, so was I a morning person back then, Mom?)

I've learned a lot through the years from watching my parents.  I learned the most from them about five years ago when my Dad ended up in the hospital for a month.  He has Peripheral Vascular Disease which caused him to lose his right leg (from just above the knee).  For a month, we didn't know if he would keep the leg, or lose it.  Keep the knee or lose it.  Keep his life or lose it.  It was a roller-coaster of emotions and decisions and praying.  My Mother stayed by Dad's side from early morning until visiting hours ended each night.  I never saw her cry, although I'm sure she did when she was alone.  I watched each day as my parents worried about what the other one must be going through.  Even though it was such a tough time, it was so revealing and I learned so much.

They just know how to make marriage look easy.  They'll be the first to tell you they're not perfect... and to be honest there are a few incidents that we joke about now that were glimpses of normalcy (my siblings and I fondly refer to "the bread incident").  In my mind, my parents are extraordinary and we are all the richer for it.

Dad 1957

Mom age 17ish 

photo cropped-6

Happy 52nd Anniversary, Mom and Dad! I love you.