Sunday, December 27, 2009

Merry Christmas!

I can't think of anything to say that is better than this picture. :) Thanks, Cousin, for sharing them!

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Meowy Christmas

I said it's MY cat mat!

Thank you Grammy!

How to Entertain Oneself, By Gracie and Riley

Gracie? Who did this? The dog.

Riley? Who did this? Did what?

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Last night I went to see my cousin's baby. Oh, and my cousin. And her husband. And my grandma. And parents. But really? To see Maverick. Isn't he just the cutest boy?Just focus on the baby - so cute! Ignore the many chins on the woman behind him.

And this one...let's pretend my eyes are open. That's the baby's mama - my cousin - on the left, my grandma, and me. Really - it amazes me that the wedding pictures turn out. With the exception of that day, I cannot seem to take a decent picture. It was a great evening! I love that baby - and his cheeks!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Christmas Vacation Party 2009

Time for the annual Christmas Vacation party! You'll notice my absence from the photo - I didn't get around to getting a costume together. And David's absence as well, as he ended up having to work. :( Despite these setbacks, a good time was had by all. As always, I parked myself beside the food and didn't move until I couldn't hold another bacon wrapped water chestnut or tiny corn dog.We had a few new characters this year - extremely well done! And a few popular returning characters.
And Krista's kitty even dressed up! Bella kept this on long enough for several pictures to be taken, which is much longer than Gracie can ever seem to keep the witchy kitty costume on.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Very Punny!

We had a door decorating contest at my school last week. We borrowed this idea from Maranatha Bible College's website.Get it?! It helps if you sing a bit of the 12 Days of Christmas.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Holly the Christms Kitty

There's another new addition at the Downing Home for Wayward Animals. Remember the kitty who showed up one day when I was playing outside with Riley? She came back. She was Outside Kitty while it was warm outside. Riley looked for her every time he went out. One very cold night, Outside Kitty stood looking in the back door at all the warm happy animals inside. I couldn't stand it. I called David and convinced him to let me let her in for the night (it didn't really require any convincing). She started sleeping inside at night, but went back out during the day. Now she's been spayed, caught up on her shots, and is quite happy being Inside Kitty. And she has a name - Holly.She's available for adoption, but in the meantime, she's settling in nicely. Does she look a little familiar? Maybe like this cat?
That's Henrietta on the bottom, Holly on the top. From any distance, it's hard to tell them apart. Except that Holly might be found playing with the dog while Henny can be found putting a silent curse on him. :)

I'm getting caught up on the pictures on my camera, so check back this week for more posts!


I can ignore a tiny hole in the armpit of a favorite t-shirt. I can ignore the fraying wrists. Especially when the shirt was purchased at Margaritaville almost 10 years ago.
But when the teeny hole becomes big enough to fit your hold hand through? It's time to retire.
But I didn't just throw it away, no I didn't. I now have a very cute Jimmy Buffett dust rag.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009


I've always liked cute wooden signs that say Simplify, but the irony of purchasing something that says Simplify always prevented me from buying one. Today I took the first step in simplifying a teeny part of my life. I deactivated my Facebook account. Facebook, you were sucking up too much time. It was nice for a little while to catch up with old friends, but I don't really need to know about the little details of their days. Nor do they need to know about mine. Step one.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Two Years!

Where were you two years ago today? Some of you were sitting right here, packed into a little church in Billings.
Where was I two years ago? I was getting married to my best friend.
Happy anniversary David!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Have Puppy, Will Stay Home

David and I both enjoyed a week of vacation this past week. We might have gone somewhere, but we have this new puppy. So we had fun at and around home instead. We went to Branson for the day with my parents and ate some great barbecue at Famous Dave's at the Landing. We took a drive to Arkansas to see if Buffalo Point would make a good camping spot. We raked. Well, David raked. I whined about how much I hate raking. We ate breakfast for supper. On Saturday, we went to my aunt and uncle's to see the cabin my uncle built. It's really cool! It doesn't look at all new - looks like it's been in that spot in the woods for many years. Riley really loved being a country dog! He ran beside the four-wheelers with the other two dogs, dipped his toes in any available water, and generally had a great time. All the world's problems disappear when sitting on this porch looking over the creek. I wish I could go there everyday! Riley might too, although he was worn out by the time we got home.
Today, David had to go back to work. Vacation over. Mine lasted one more day and Christina and I decorated some fall cookies. We may have sampled a few too! It feels like fall outside again, and it was nice to spend the day with a good friend in a warm kitchen.

I'm already looking forward to our next vacation! It was just as relaxing and renewing as going somewhere would have been. And Riley sure has enjoyed having his people home. He may have a rough day tomorrow!

Blackhawk Up

I worked one day of our vacation this week, so that I could take advantage of an opportunity to ride on a Blackhawk helicopter. There is a great JROTC program at the high school I work at and every year they take the JROTC students up in the helicopter. Faculty members have begged, cajoled, and bribed, but never been approved to go. This year, the army said yes! I didn't pause before replying to the e-mail to get on the list to go.Here we are boarding. I wasn't concerned during the safety briefing until there was mention of the blades' ability to slice you in two.Not my best picture, but it's the only one of me in the helicopter. We were safe as the school's police officer happened to be on my flight. ;)It was pretty cool to see the school from above, but after we passed it, I wasn't sure of where we were. Not so good with directions! I think we went north of the school and circled back around.The landing was a little dusty! The ride was great - loud, but great. I'm so glad I got to go!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Buffalo Point, Arkansas

David and I are on vacation this week, so we took advantage of the beautiful day and went to check out the Buffalo Point area in Arkansas for future camping. Riley got to take his first ride on the ferry to cross the lake. I'm not sure he was impressed, but we thought it was fun!
Mr. Photogenic posed momentarily by the Buffalo River for this shot.
David had a little fun splashing across a low-water crossing.
We checked out the ghost mining community of Rush, AR. It's kind of spooky! We were afraid that when we looked at the pictures, we'd see a ghosty face peering out the windows, but fortunately I don't see anything. Wouldn't that be creepy!
We posed for some Christmas card pictures on the steps of this rock wall while keeping our fingers crossed that the animal that we could hear in the brush behind us stayed where it was. It was a great day!


Riley has been very busy! Visiting, sleeping, making friends with Outside Kitty, and mostly - growing! He weighted 15 and a half pounds at his last vet visit.
He loves to play with toys, but is especially fond of sticks. Once in a while, we win and he is worn out.
Yesterday was the first potty-accident free day, so there is hope!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Riley Update

See basket full of dog toys.
See doggy play with stick he brought in from outside.
What's that? You want to take my picture? No need to use the zoom. I'll come closer!
While Riley and I were playing outside, I heard meowing. Looked up to see this kitty watching us - from inside the fenced yard. She walked right up and laid down about 3 feet from us. Wherever she came from, she must be used to dogs because she wasn't the least bit concerned about Riley. Haven't seen her since - good thing since another pet is the last thing we need!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

400th Post!!!!!!!!!!

If pictures of our pets isn't really your thing, you may want to skip reading the blog for a few days (weeks? months?). It's the easiest way for David to see pictures from the road. And could I resist taking pictures of this?
Think someone has a new best friend?

Yesterday Riley met Emma. He was worn out from helping me with cleaning out flower pots, so he didn't play a lot, but he was pretty interested in her. Christina came and played this afternoon and now a tired puppy is sleeping at my feet. If you're worried about the kitties, they're adjusting well. Gracie is in her favorite place (my lap) as I type, and Hen is sleeping in her cuddly new kitty bed.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Our New Addition

Since the end of July, we've been able to sleep through the night without having to let a dog out. We haven't had to buy dog food. Our backyard is poo-free. But something has been missing. Something that only a dog can provide.'s Riley!His Grammy suggested his name. We tried all different names, but that just seemed to fit him best. He is hard to get a picture of! Always on the move.

On the move, until he isn't. He fell asleep on David during a belly rub. Isn't he something!? It's been a while since we've had a puppy. He is so funny to watch.
Amazingly enough, the cats seem to be adjusting fairly well and fairly quickly. Maybe they'll all be friends! Nah...

Sunday, October 18, 2009

We're (Wal)Nuts About Fall!

Having a large mature shade tree is great. But why do they always have to be gumball trees or walnut trees? We spent yesterday morning on hands and knees picking up walnuts from the yard. It has been a great year for walnut crops! At least Amos the Amur Maple is a more cooperative tree. No offensive fruits and a very pretty shade of red for fall.What better way to spend a cool fall evening than with a campfire and friends? We didn't camp this fall, so we did the next best (and maybe better!) thing with a campfire at Krista's. She recently bought her dream car - an El Camino. And no, I'm not kidding about it being her dream car. She's been talking about getting one as long as I've known her. It''s...well, it's just beyond words. David fired it up during his tour and one of the kids in the backyard wanted to know whose motorcycle it was. :)

I love Krista's decorating style. Her backyard looks like it's straight from the pages of Better Homes and Gardens. And the table for our little wienie roast was SO cute! Here's a sample:

And now I'm off to enjoy Silver Dollar City with Christina on another lovely fall day! :)