Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Advent Conspiracy

Nobody wants a Christmas worth forgetting. What if we would worship fully, spend less, give more and love all? Check out adventconspiracy.org for more...

Snow Day (for some)

Today was a snow day for most of central Arkansas. The temperature began to drop yesterday morning, and misty light rain began around noon. Soon after, the rain began to freeze and the rest of the day was a mix of sleet and a few snow flurries.

Schools and many businesses are closed, and Rachel was already off today. She is spending the day making and baking Christmas treats with her mom. The roads are not really that bad, especially because every TV and radio station tells people to stay home and do not get on the roads unless absolutely necessary. They think that the first sign of winter weather must be the beginning of an ice age (like the movie Day After Tomorrow). But hotels are still open and it is business as usual for me. I'm not thrilled about driving home on these roads in the dark, but since the roads should be pretty empty, I have no reason to be worried.

It was nice to get up this morning and see our first snow and ice at our house.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

We finally have our garage back!

Ever since buying our house in May, our garage has been full of extra stuff. Boxes and boxes of stuff. Most of which was in storage for over a year - we didn't need it then and haven't needed it since being in the house.

We finally set a date for a garage sale and Rachel's brother, Karl, helped to split our garage into things to keep and things to sell.

Karl and Robyn had a lot of things to sell and we had a combined garage sale last Saturday. Being a holiday weekend and the day after Black Friday, we didn't know what to expect. Then it was rainy on Friday and early Saturday morning.

We were very surprised at how much we were able to get rid of! We started out with a HUGE mountain of clothes and ended with enough to fill only two boxes. Altogether, we made almost $500 and now there is room to get a car in the garage.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Mid-November Update

My birthday was November 5th. Rachel surprised me that Saturday with a birthday party at our house. We had invited our friends Brian and Maria over to have lunch and play cards. They showed up and I went outside to start cooking on the grill. Then the doorbell rang and it was Ryan and Samantha. I realized something must be up, people kept showing up, and we ended up having about 20 family and friends from church.

Rachel's brother Karl came over and helped us move/organize/get rid of stuff in our garage. He and Robyn will be having a garage sale with us on November 29th and hopefully we will get rid of a lot of stuff that's just laying around taking up space. I'm just glad that we can get one car in the garage now!

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Leeland concert at church

I'm a scrooge when it comes to Halloween. We decided to go see Leeland in concert at church.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Cold weather moving in

Rachel and I raked some leaves in the back yard last week, and we'll have a lot more to do once all the leaves fall. Oh well - just another thing that comes along with home-ownership... The cool weather this last month has been great, but now the cold weather is starting to move in. Our house has been pretty cold in the mornings and we turned on the heat Saturday morning. The temperature was down in the lower 40s this morning, and it will be even colder tonight.

We had a late night Friday hanging out with 3 couples from church. Saturday was spent getting the house ready for the cold weather. We finished adding some weather-stripping to our windows, caulked the inside of our windows, and installed a programmable thermostat (fun job and a lot easier than I thought). I even bought some outlet/switch insulation - pre-cut pieces that go behind the covers and around electrical outlets and light switches. We've never had (or paid for) gas heat before, and all you hear is how expensive heating costs will be every winter - hopefully what we did will help with our heating costs, but we'll just have to wait and see...

Friday, October 24, 2008

Great cartoon

Not an endorsement for one candidate over the other - just thought it was really good... (click for larger image)

Thursday, October 23, 2008

"Ignite" Marriage Retreat

Last weekend we traveled to Hot Springs for a marriage retreat with couples our age from the church. Back in the spring, they announced the dates of the retreat and had a contest to come up with a name. Our name won, and the weekend was called "Ignite."

It was a great time to get away, spend time with friends and meet many other couples. The speakers were some of the pastors and wives from our church staff - they all were really great. It is so great to have leaders that are "real" people that are open to share everyday experiences and willing to answer any questions and help any way that they can.

Harry Bates, the 20s-30s couples pastor, opens the weekend and introduces Abe Smith, one of our worship leaders

Tye Hefner - pastor to young couples without children

Couples were put in one of five groups and given a large plastic Tupperware container. We had 30 minutes to come up with an interpretive dance using whatever we found in our container.

Here is a part of our performance

They based the competition on the TV show "America's Got Talent"

Another picture of the judges - our group was second place

Saturday night Adam Roth, our church's youth pastor, hosted Family Feud

Most couples were glad to have a weekend away from the kids, but Ryan and Samantha had to bring 3-week-old Rowan along.

Ryan and Samantha

Scott and Tamara

The view from our room - Lake Hamilton

We could not go to Hot Springs without visiting McClards BBQ - some of our friends came with us and were glad they did...

Lily stayed with her grandparents for the weekend, and she had a big treat waiting for her when we got home

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Happy Birthday Lily

Lily is three years old today! She says thank you to Grandma and Grandpa Barnes for the birthday card and Wal-Mart gift card. We'll go buy some treats this afternoon - hopefully they will have squeaking tennis balls!

Monday, October 13, 2008

Fun At The Fair

The Arkansas State Fair opened on Friday and runs through this weekend. A few weeks ago a "welcome new homeowner" letter came that included tickets to the fair! Yesterday we went with Karl, Robyn, Ross and our friends Brian and Maria.

Brian and Maria getting started with lemonade and a turkey leg

Brian trying to shoot his way to a prize

I had to try a deep fried twinkie - it was great

Eating a gyro and smoked turkey leg

Ross found a spot to color on the wall

We saw sheep, goats, cattle, pigs, turkeys and chicken

Ross did not like the smell of animals and cried when this didn't help

The girls made us go on an upside-down ride together

And it didn't look too bad...

But as soon as we started moving I knew we should have done this before eating

Friday, October 10, 2008

Rachel's haircut

Rachel had her hair cut yesterday. It always makes me a little nervous wondering whether it will turn out good or just OK. I was surprised at how good it looks and Rachel loves it too!

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Lily gets to swim again

Sunday afternoon (while the football games were recording on the DVR) we took Lily to the lake to swim.

Visit with the new baby

Friday night we took dinner to our friends Ryan and Samantha who just had their 2nd child on Wednesday. Her name is Rowan Ainsleigh. She was 8 pounds 15 ounces and 20.5 inches long.

Sunday, September 14, 2008


Correction to previous post:

As I listen to talk radio this morning, people are talking about power out all over Little Rock. I woke up to a normal morning with power and Internet. But as I look at power outages online, it appears that much of the area is without power.

As I zoomed in to Maumelle, we are one of the few small areas in the city that currently has power.

Thankful for a fast-moving storm

Ike was much better to us than Gustav - he blew through Arkansas quickly and it is a cool breezy morning here. Lots of leaves are on the ground, but not too much rain or tree damage like Gustav brought.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Getting the effects of another hurricane...

Hurricane Ike devastated Texas today - it is now a tropical storm and is just really starting to hit the Little Rock area as I speak (or type). The winds are now down to around 40mph and it should be a stormy, windy night. Thankfully the storm will pass through overnight and the worst should be over by the morning.

Puppy Pool Day and a Baby Shower

Today at the community center was Puppy Pool Day. It was a fund raiser for the Humane Society and the dogs got to go in the pool and swim. Lily LOVES to swim and had a lot of fun. She was a little afraid when the big dogs came up and tried to play but she did really good.

Today was also our friends Ryan and Samantha's baby shower. Their little girl is due Sept 24th but Samantha said she is ready for her to come SOON.