Thursday, January 31, 2008

All you need is a goat...

We have been told that to clean out our fence row all we need is a.) a leash b.) a collar and c.) a goat. Evidently this goat will do all the work and get the fence row nice and clean (and get you arrested). Since we don't have a goat, or money for bail, we decided to go another route.

This fence has been up since before I was born, which isn't a terribly long time, but long enough to get shabby. And not in a chic way. Upkeep on it kinda went under when my dad moved out. It hasn't been cleaned out in well over 10 years.

We have been talking about cleaning it out, but it is WAY down on the to-do list. Trad's friend, Matthew said that he would help him get it cleaned out. Matthew owns his own lawncare business and he has a Mexican that works with him. His name is Francisco, but evidently everyone calls him Fran. [I understand that Mexican is not PC, but he really is from Mexico, so I think I am ok there.] Fran is awesome! He is a very hard worker and things happen very quickly when comes over to help. He might even be better than a goat, who knows??

I wish I had took some before pictures, but I didn't think about it. This is only phase 1. There will be more pictures up as they go around the fence more. You can see the other side of the field, and how grown up that fence row is. That is what this side looked like also. This is a pic of the fence closest to the house. There was an old rusty metal building on that slab of concrete. Trad is going to pour more concrete around there and make himself a basketball court. They started around where the building was. It had alot of brush and small trees growing there.This is the same angle, just a little further up the fence row.

This is the barn that is overgrown with trees and brush. We have to figure out whether we need to tear it down or try to save it. One end is falling in, but the other seems to be sturdy.

This is Matt, Fran, and Trad

This is Matthew catching me taking pictures of them. Oops. You can see from the size of the brush pile how much they have cleaned out. There is another pile of brush in the other field that is bigger than this one.
They got a ton of work done in just 5 hours. I am very impressed at the speed of which things are shaping up out there. There is still a whole lot of fence to be cleared, and then the fence will probably have to be replaced altogether. On the up side, looks like we will be having one heck of a weenie roast!

Wednesday, January 30, 2008


1. If your doctor told you TODAY that you were pregnant, what would you say? I would be excited about it, but Trad would probably have a few questions for me.

2. When was the last time you flew in a plane? I have never been on a plane. It's not the flying as much as the falling.

3. What did the last text message you sent say? Do you or do you not want me to lose weight?

4. What features do you find most attractive in the opposite sex? Height and smile if you are talking physically.

5. What is a goal you would like to accomplish in the near future? I would like to lose some weight.

6. Shoe size? 8 to a 9 depending on the brand. Having children has not been nice to my feet.

7. Been to Mexico? No. I have never been out of the country. But I would like to. Anywhere you can drive to!

8. When is the last time you had a massage? I have had one since Abby was born, so a few months.

9. What was the last TV show you watched? I am not sure. I was going to watch One Tree Hill last night but the power was out.

10. What are your plans for the weekend? I don't have plans for the weekend. I would like to go with Trad to his basketball game on Friday night, but I would need a babysitter.

11. If your significant other asked you to marry them TODAY what would you say? I would say NO.

12. What is in the back seat of your car right now? In the middle seats there is a car seat base and a booster seat. In the very back seat there is a booster seat and a Doc Hudson car.

13. What were you doing at 8 am this morning? Most likely I was feeding Abby.

14. If you could marry any celebrity today who would it be? I wouldn't. First of all, I don't want anything to do with FAME. Secondly, I don't think Trad would be too happy bout that.

15. Have you ever been to a strip club? UMMM...Let me think...NO. I have never understood why a woman would go to a strip club in the first place, unless she worked there.

16. What is the best ice cream flavor? Well, that depends. If you are talking about store bought, I like Blue Bell homemade vanilla. I also like mint chocolate chip and cookie dough. If you are talking Baskin Robbins it is peanut butter and chocolate. If you are talking Marble Slab creamery it is sweet cream. (I like me some Ice Cream!!)

17. What is the last sporting event you watched? Trad and I watched UT play in the Outback Bowl on New Year's.

18. Ever go camping? No, but I wouldn't be against it.

19. Last phone call? Manda called me this evening to tell me that she is going to the hospital Sunday night and having Carlee Jo on MONDAY!!

20. Are you allergic to anything? Not a thing.

21. What is one thing you have learned about life recently? I have learned that there is a very short time that babies are actually teeny-tiny-cuddly-need-mommy-for-everything babies.

22. What do you do at work? I cook, clean, pick up toys, do laundry, change diapers, entertain, referee, chauffeur, etc. And that is a slow day.

23. What is your mom's name? Baa-Baa-Baa--Baa-Baa-Ba-Barbara Anne

24. Ever cried for no reason? Oh, I am sure. Just not lately.

25. Can you do the Crank Dat dance? I am not sure what that is, but I like to dance. Show me once and I can probably do it.

26. What is your favorite color to wear? I have noticed that I have alot of teal in my closet. My personal favorite is brown though.

27. What is the longest plane ride you have ever been on? It's short, very short.

28. What is the longest road trip you have ever taken? Trad and I went to Utah with his parents in June of 2001. We were gone 2 weeks exactly. [That is another post altogether.]

29. What are your turn-offs? In men, the ones that think they know everything and no one else knows anything, and also the one's that think they are God's gift.

30. What was your last alcoholic beverage? Well, I don't drink, but occasionally I think a bottle of anything might help.

31. What are you craving right now? Nothing really, but I wouldn't turn down anything yummy.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Tag Time!!

I have been tagged!! Again!! Oh well, its all in fun right?? RIGHT????

Here are the rules...

Link to the person that tagged you. Post the rules on your blog. Share six non-important things/habits/quirks about yourself. Tag six random people at the end of your post by linking to their blogs. Let each random person know they have been tagged by leaving a comment on their website.

  1. I can't go to bed with my feet dirty. I am especially bad in the summer. I can go all day barefoot, outside and everything. They can get yucky people!! Anyways, I am OC about it. Trad thinks I am crazy. I bring a washcloth to bed and wash them after I get in. [[I hope I don't lose friends over this]]
  2. I have decided to grow my hair for Locks of Love. I have beautiful curly hair and why shouldn't I share it with a sick child?? [[Don't get me wrong, I am modest!! The ONLY thing about me I will say that about is my HAIR!!]] I will blog about this at a later time. My hair is almost long enough. I am going to take one of my blogging buddies with me to take pictures [[If she has time and agrees to go. It's not like she has anything to do. She only has SIX kids.]] I will probably buy lunch though. :)
  3. I wish I could sing. I mean I don't want a record deal or anything, but I would like to be able to sing without clearing a room!! I LOVE to sing, I just can't. Not a lick!!
  4. I think my favorite food in this world is macaroni and cheese!! I just love it. I could eat it every day. When I was pregnant with Logan I craved macaroni and cheese. My favorite was from Morrison Market. [[It burned down though. So I can't get it anymore.]] It is so fattening though, wait...maybe THAT is my problem.
  5. My favorite song of all time is "Sweet Home Alabama" by Lynard Skynard. It is just sounds so southern, and fun. Great song!!
  6. I love musicals. My favorite one is Seven Brides for Seven Brothers. I could watch it every day. I hardly ever get to though.

Ok, now comes the good part! Who am I gonna tag??

  1. Manda
  2. Rennie
  3. Shannon
  4. Alison
  5. Natalie
  6. Joy

Ok. I guess this is a list of the people who are gonna hate me for the next 24 hours. HeHeHe...

Monday, January 21, 2008

Fun Monday

Today is the 1st anniversary of Fun Monday. Now, obiviously I haven't been participating for a year, but congrats to those who have! This seems to be a wonderful way to make friends with people. If you aren't participating, you should!

Now, Vickie is our host this week. This is what are assignment is...

For those of you who did NOT post a picture of your view from your front door, then your assignment is to post a view from your front door. To do this you stand in your doorway looking outside and take a picture. That simple. We (I) want to see what you see when you look out your front door.

I have to say, this is going to be a pretty boring post for me. There is actually not much scenery from my front door...Here we go...

This is the view looking straight out the front door. You see the road that runs by our house. This road has become more and more travelled as there have been more houses and subdivisions added. I remember when there wasn't much activity on the road at all. On the other side of the road there is a big tree stump. This used to be a huge old oak tree. There were actually 2 of them at one time. I hate it when a tree has to be cut down. Behind the stump, you can't really tell, but there is railroad tracks. When I was little, trains came through many times a day. Now we hardly ever see one, a couple times a week at most. Behind the tracks is a lumber mill. This was owned by former Tennessee state senator, Jerry Cooper.

This is the view from our front door looking to the left. This is Wayne's Body Shop. He has only been there for the past few years. This was where the other huge oak tree was standing.

This is the view looking to the right. Directly behind where that light pole is there used to be a house. You may be able to tell the remnants of a driveway to the left of the little dogwood trees. Our neighbor was Mr. Jess. I don't remember what his last name was. They tore that house down after he died. I don't remember how long ago that was, but it has been a while. In the very right-hand corner of the picture you can see a building. This is a meeting hall for the church that sits beside our house. They bought all the land that you see in these pictures after Mr. Jess died. We actually had our wedding reception there. It isn't the prettiest building, but a great location!

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Rub a dub dub...

Today was Abby's first real-life, big girl, sitting up by herself bath in the sink!!

I thought that she would like it more than she actually did. Actually, I don't think she really liked it much at all. She has always loved the water, but she has never been "alone" in it before either. All-in-all, she did okay though.

She is getting too big too fast for me. You never really realize what little time that babies are actually little until you have one, or three, or six. I have mixed emotions of sad and happy because I know that she is my last baby. I am sad because she is my last baby. On the other hand, I am happy because I know that there is a light at the end of the tunnel and one day I won't have to deal with teething, or baby food, or diapers.

"Where did all these bubbles come from??"

"Lets see how they taste!!"

"She went and got my hair wet!!"

"I'm all clean now."

Friday, January 18, 2008

And the winner is...

Abby started talking today. Her first word was...


You know that made one of us smile. Actually, both of us are smiling. She will be 7 months old on the 21st. I was getting worried that she wasn't saying any words yet. With 2 autistic children, you pick up on things quicker. We won't know if she is on the spectrum until she is 3. We are hoping that she is "normal". She is definitely doing things that Braden and Logan never did. We can tell that she is very different from them. Hopefully all is well.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Baby in RED...

I just figured out how to switch the colors on my camera. I thought this was a great picture of Abby. I think my favorite is the Vivid Red and of course I like the black and white.
Which one do you like??


Black & White

Vivid Red



Sunday, January 13, 2008

Fun Monday

Ann is this week's Fun Monday hostess. This week our topic is on websites. Here is what Ann wants to know...

Now, the reason you're here: the topic for Fun Monday on 14 January. I want to hear about a web site and not just about any old web site. I want to hear about a web site that's changed your life. A web site that you can't live without. A web site whose inventor you'd like to see win a McArthur Genius Grant.Maybe you want to sing the praises of a dating web site for helping you meet your spouse. Maybe the only thing getting you through the dark days of winter is an Internet comic. No story is too big, no story is too small - I want to hear it all on Monday.
I have a few websites that I use as daily "therapy." The most helpful to me is actually a comic strip called "Clear Blue Water" by Karen Montague-Reyes. This is a clip that I took from that describes it...

The phrase "clear blue water," explains author Karen Montague-Reyes, comes from the world of politics. It describes the ideological divide between two political parties. In the Torres house, clear blue water is the gulf of personal experience that Eve and Manny cross each day to make their lives work. Male and female, liberal and conservative, biracial and Hispanic, they approach everyday life from opposite shores and find common ground in their devotion to each other and their determination to raise their children well.
My friend, Cynthia, introduced me to this comic. Now some days I don't relate to her well at all. I am not overly in to politics and at some times, such as now with the election coming up, she aims her comic that way. Sometimes I don't get much out of it at all.
The days I do make up for the other days. You see, the author's son is autistic. Many days her comic is geared towards something he did or said or something the family has went through. With both of my sons being autistic, it is very comforting to actually see in black and white that I am not the only mother going through these particular trials. And, believe me, sometimes it really feels like I am!
The author has really made me feel less lonely. I check her comic strip every morning when I get up. I have really connected with this comic. I love reading it and seeing what is in store for the Torres family next. It has helped me up when I was down, helped me to see humor in things I sometimes wouldn't. I am very grateful that I have this little bit of "help" in my life. I am grateful to the author for putting her family and her story out there for people to read about.
If you are looking for a hilarious, side-splitting comic strip, this wouldn't be for you. Although, if you know someone who is autistic or who has a relative that is, it is worth checking out. If you would like to read "Clear Blue Water" click HERE.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

A baby shower for Amanda [&Carlee Jo]

Today I gave my best friend, Amanda, a baby shower. She is having a baby girl in February. This will be her first child. Like me and Trad did, Amanda and Shawn have been trying to have a baby for a while now. We are all so delighted that it has finally happened.
The first thing we did was EAT!! This is Amanda getting some yummy fruit and chocolate.
This is my chocolate fountain that I got for Christmas. My sweet husband thought of it all by himself! He did a good job!!
They are going to name her Carlee Jo. This will be in memory of Amanda's dad. His name was Joe Carl. I think this is very special and I hope that Carlee will be grateful of her name.
This is the cake!! Joy Tubb made it and it was wonderful!! She did an excellent job. Not only was it pretty, it tasted good too!! She made some oh-so-delicious mints also!! [[Mosey on over to her blog and drool over all the goodies she can make by clicking HERE.]]

Here is Amanda cutting the cake. Amanda's sister-in-law, Bridget is in the background holding my beautiful little butterball!!
After we ate, we played some games, of which there was nothing to take pictures of. Everyone seemed to like them though. I shook things up a little and did some games that I have never done before. Variety is the spice of life!!

Now on to the presents!!!

These are some blankets that Nannie [Amanda's mom, Sandra] got for Carlee. The white one will be used to bring her home.

Money is always good!!

This was from Cynthia. It is a shopping cart seat cover. How do you expect the baby to get all those germs if you cover up the cart??

This is a very special gift. This afaghan was made by Shawn's mom, Brinda, before she passed away. It has been put up waiting on a grandchild.

Every girl needs SHOES!!!

This is my diaper cake. For some reason it looks lopsided in this picture. It was my first attempt at making one. I am very happy with the way it turned out!! The bow on top is a hairbow. It has Carlee's name on it. [[I am ALL about the personalized things!!]]

There was even time to play with Abby!!

All in all, I think the shower turned out nice. There wasn't so many people there that it was crowded. The food was good, the games were fun, and Amanda got some nice things for Carlee. With some of the money she got, she stopped at Wal-Mart and got her carseat and a wipe warmer. She is now ready for Carlee to come.
If only her house was finished...

Monday, January 7, 2008

Peas?? or Carrots??

Today was Abby's first try at baby food. She did AWESOME!! I wasn't sure what to expect. She is much older than the boys were when they first had baby food. I confess that I didn't really want to feed her anything! I LOVE nursing her so much!!
I didn't get to nurse Braden because of his cleft palate. I nursed Logan only about 4 months. He stayed so hungry I think we should have started him on baby food from day 1!! I am really enjoying Abby though. I know that she is going to be my last baby and I want to keep her little!! (Is that so wrong??)
She has been eating some things. We have given her bread, crackers, mashed potatoes, and broccoli and corn out of casseroles at Christmas. She has had some biter biscuits also. Her daddy also gave her some banana bread too. She loves to eat. She is so interested in food. She loves to watch us eat. We can just see the anticipation that she has, waiting for us to give her some.
Sometimes she even licks her sweet little lips!!

A BIG Day!!

Yesterday was Logan's first day of Primary!! I can't believe it! It doesn't seem like he is old enough yet.

Here is a full shot of Logan. Even though it looks like it,
his pants are NOT that wrinkled!!!

Here is Braden and Logan at church.

They both have a really hard time sitting still for any amount of time. I see that they are getting better every week though. My dream is to one day be able to sit through all of sacrament meeting in the CHAPEL!! (I have BIG plans!!)

Logan seemed to do well his first day of Primary. When I was on my way to get him after church I stopped off in the library to get a book. I heard him screaming down the hall and had to go get him. Rachel and Lyndsey said he did good until the end, I'm guessing he got upset when the other kids started leaving.

I am proud of Logan and all that he has accomplished. He is doing SO well at preschool. He is listening well and following simple directions almost always. I have very high hopes for him.

Friday, January 4, 2008

Happy 1st Birthday Aiden

Aiden 2 months old

This post is for my nephew Aiden. Today is his first birthday. I'm not sure if you would call it "happy" though. Aiden was born January 4, 2007. He was almost 2 months early. He had to stay in the hospital almost a month. He was healthy otherwise though. It was very apparent that he was a fighter (he gets it from his Granny). My brother and his mom broke up before he was born. Aiden lives more than 2 hours away from us.

We got a call this summer that Aiden was in the hospital. They said his brain was swelling and he might not make it. He was on life support, but they were taking him off and if we wanted to see him we should come to the hospital. Abby was just a few weeks old, but Trad and I went. Trad didn't want to go in the room so he stayed with Abby. I went and for as long as I live, I will never forget that sight. Aiden was laying there, hooked up to so many machines, with tubes coming out of him everywhere. I thought I was going to be sick. I mean sicker than I have ever been. I watched my mom breathe her last breath, but that didn't even come close to this. There was just something about that poor little baby lying there so helpless, on the brink of death.

I didn't stay in there when they actually took him off the respirator. I couldn't. I needed to feed Abby and I just NEEDED to hold my baby. We stayed for hours just waiting for the bad news, but it never came. Yes indeed, Aiden was a fighter.

It turns out that Aiden has shaken baby syndrome. His mom's new boyfriend finally confessed 2 months after the incident. It has yet to be decided if it was an accident. The doctor's don't seem to think it is because of all the damage. I don't either, but that's another story.

Aiden suffered extensive brain damage. I have been told that he is 95% brain dead. His retinas are detached so he is blind. He can hear. He has a feeding tube. He doesn't move, he just lays there. He has been in the hospital more than not. Every time I ask about him, he is in the hospital again. He just got out of the hospital yesterday. He had surgery to wrap his esophogus so he wouldn't throw up so much.

He is alive though. I won't deny that from the time of the accident when I prayed for him, I wouldn't pray for him to live, only for what was best. Evidently, this is best, at least for now. I am shocked that Aiden has lived this long. I didn't expect him to. I am waiting for THAT call though.

Latest picture I have of Aiden

Oh yes, Aiden is a fighter! Happy 1st Birthday!! I love you so much!!

Christmas with the Praters

Ok, so I'm a little late with this post. I was doing good and then everyone got sick. It wears me out when people are sick, then I get sick and well, you get the picture. These are some pictures of the Prater family Christmas. We had Christmas at our house this year. There is a little more room than at Trad's parents house. Everyone seemed to have a really nice time. That makes all the time I put into dinner worth it. The way I planned Christmas this year we didn't even have to leave the house. Now that's what I'm talking about!!

WARNING: There are a TON of pictures on this post. If you don't want the long story, turn back now!!

Nikki, Kevin, Uncle Jason, and Logan

Braden & Kaylee "dancing"

Kevin & Logan

Grandma & Abby sharing a "look"

Abby & Grandpa lookin at a book

Braden got a set of train tracks from Grandma & Grandpa

Choo-Choo (Braden's favorite word)

I married Sillyness & now I'm stuck

Nikki as Peter Pan (just kidding)

Abby & Kaylee in a staring contest

Kyle holding Braden

Abby & Aunt Minna

Abby & Aunt April

Abby & Mommy

Uncle Jason holding Logan (My favorite picture)

Ryan, Nikki, and Kevin

Trad & his mom (I love this picture)