Tuesday, March 27, 2012

That Star Won't Be Lonely Long: Becoming a Texan

After being MIA on the ol' blog for quite a few days, I finally get to share the past week and a half with the world in which it all started...

Remember in January 2011 when Kelly over at Kelly's Korner posted a link up for singles? And remember when I about melted when I saw a picture of some guy from Texas? And remember when 47 other girls did too? ;)

And remember when he actually facebooked me? And then he called me? And then he came to Arkansas? And I went to Texas? And we traveled? A lot. Then before we knew it we celebrated our 1 year anniversary?

Well, if you don't remember--all that happened the past year. Oh, bless you, 2011.

Since I teach school and the highlight of that is a week in March when I go on a sabbatical most commonly referred to as Spring Break, Cash and I decided to plan a trip to Ruidoso, New Mexico. I had never been, but he and his family go quite often since it's only a 5 hour drive from Midland. To say I was pumped is an understatement. I was so excited to go on a trip to the Rockies with my favorite person in the world. I'm used to traveling: picking him up at the airport or driving/flying to West Texas. But to actually go WITH Cash was excitement of a new kind.

Saturday, March 17
I woke up way too early that morning to drive to Dallas then caught a 1 hour flight to Midland. I hate driving. I hate flying. So I did a little of both. We spent the day at my favorite boutique ever--Pink Tumbleweed (check them out of Facebook-they'll blow your mind). Then we had a date night to the play "Red, White, and Tuna" which was completely politically incorrect and hilarious. Hands down it was my favorite play of all time.

Note Cash's dislike for my picture taking-remember that in a few paragraphs
awesome performance at the MCT!
Sunday, March 18
After going to Cash's sweet little Lutheran church on Sunday, we set out on our venture to New Mexico. Once we finally started seeing the mountains, I was like a little kid seeing this grand scene for the first time. And Cash was praising the Lord that he didn't have to be cooped up in a truck with me for another 30 minutes as I talked..and talked...and talked. Can you imagine that?

That night we ate at Farley's, which was this good little restaurant in the middle of town. Then we made it back to the condo, started a fire, and watched a movie. I wish I was still sitting on that couch--it was such an awesome time.
at least one of us was enjoying it

ahhh...I'm ready to go back!!

Monday, March 19
Cash had told me there was a beautiful lake near Ruidoso, so he thought Monday morning would be a good time to go take a look. If you know me, you know I love taking pictures. However, Cash hates them. So I was trying to take pictures of just landscape--and there was plenty of it.

I just kept snapping pictures not even paying attention to anything besides how breathtaking it was.

Cash kept saying, "Don't you want a picture together?" I really didn't know why he kept asking that, because he really REALLY hates when I take pictures of us with an outstretched arm. I told him to go sit on that rock (above picture), and I would just take his picture.

Finally, he said, "Come over here and sit with me. Let's take a picture together."

"Mmm...okay?" I sat down and started fidgeting with my camera and had my head down. I was turning it on, and he said, "Maybe it would look better with this in it..."

I buried my face in my hands, started crying, and just leaned in his arms. Then he said those four words every girl dreams about hearing, "Will you marry me?"

"Yes, yes! Of course I will!!!" I said with a shaky outstretched hand. I was in shock, and the tears kept rolling as he unveiled the whole course of action he took in talking to my parents, getting the ring, planning the trip. It's one moment I will never forget my entire life. We just sat on the rock for a few minutes and enjoyed the moment and really let it sink in that we were engaged!!!!

Love everything about this picture!!
a little blurry, but i was shaking
Then I dashed back to the truck only to find I had no cell phone service and couldn't call anyone. Ha! We went into town and then were able to call our parents and siblings. I texted several people, not nearly everyone because I just couldn't think straight, and then I facebooked the one person who made it possible---sweet Kelly. She was ecstatic; and I've been trying to get to this blog post ever since so she could share it with everyone! (Disclaimer: it also wouldn't have been possible without my future SIL Jeanne who wrote the blog and my friend Sara who showed it to me--thanks, y'all. You helped make all of our dreams come true!!)
Lunch at --I don't even remember the name of the place-- was a blur. Obviously, since I can't even remember the name. Cash ordered us a glass of wine to celebrate, and I honestly can't even remember if I drank it. I just kept looking at him, my ring, my phone, him, my ring, my phone. Our first congratulations (or one of them) was from sweet little Lena and Toby. Precious.

Then he got the first of many texts that read, "You're getting married in July?! Is she pregnant?" So I wanted to state once and for all that NO! haha. I am not pregnant. We just love each other!!

The rest of the day was spent relaxing while doing a little retail therapy as the sky poured snow. And we topped the night off this time by going to a local casino and Cash winning almost 300 bucks! It was definitely his lucky day. Me? I lost $11. I'm a big spender.

Tuesday, March 20
Our first full day as an engaged couple! :) We shopped a little, browsed through some condos for sale (holla!!), and got massages. The man giving me my massage was, ummm, a little harsh. He lathered my back with cold lotion then literally threw hot stones on me. It took every ounce of me not to jump off the table. Cash on the other hand got this lady who I'm pretty certain wanted to take him away from me. He considered her very nice, so we'll just go that route with the description. ;)

Afterwards we toured some more condos that were ah-mazing. Hey, a couple can dream, right?!

It was STILL snowing, so we stopped at Starbucks for some coffee and a game of checkers. These two kids sat by us and one yelled out, "Hey, she's beating him!!" Cash was pretty much done with Starbucks at that point. ha.

Another fire. Another movie. I love those nights.

Wednesday, March 21
As sad as I was to leave Ruidoso, I was ecstatic to show off my ring to his family and friends. Before we left town, we stopped at an art gallery and bought a pair of glass candle holders so we would always have something in our house to remember our engagement. I would love to show you a picture of them, but I forgot to take one before I left Midland and my fiance despises taking pictures. So...maybe next time. :)

We weren't back in town too long before we got to pick his mom up from the airport. It was nonstop wedding talk the rest of the week after that...which makes any newly engaged girl happy. Dinner with his parents was so awesome, and it just reminded me that I'm so blessed with the best future in-laws in the world. Big Russ asked Cash, "Why didn't you let her call me back the other day?" Cash responded, "I have no idea what you're talking about." So Big Russ said he had left Cash a message for me to call him back, because he wanted to tell me congratulations. Tons of people had called and texted, and we appreciated all of it. But it really does mean a lot when our families do that---and both of our families made that day/week/going on 2 weeks the most enjoyable time of my life...thus far!

Thursday, March 22
Although Cash had to go back to work, we were able to go by his mom's office and see all of her co-workers. To be able to show my ring off was exciting, because I hadn't gotten to see my friends or family yet. Everyone was so sweet, and it just made the soon approaching wedding date even more exciting.

Friday, March 23
We actually started registering that day since we live so far apart...and I'm in grad school and working full-time. We felt it would be best to get a jump start on everything. Between bouts of registering, though, we stopped for dinner with his friend Trevor and Trevor's wife Beth. They were both the sweetest people ever. I love those little reminders that I will be okay moving 10 hours from home..that I will make friends...that Midland is the greatest place on Earth.

That night we went back to his parents' to show them some wedding stuff and waited for his Uncle John and Aunt Chandra (and all 4 kids) to arrive from Austin. I've heard about them for over a year now and was excited to finally meet them! I know it meant so much to Cash to have them drive in; he really loves his family.

Saturday, March 24
After trying (and failing) to do a little more registering, we called it a day and went to help out at his parents'. But only after eating at my favorite Midland restaurant--King and I. Andrea reminded me that Russ had gotten a fortune back in December that said, "Someone in your family will wed soon." She had even kept it!! What a neat thing we'll be able to have!

The afternoon went by quickly, and before you knew it people started arriving, the bbq was in the air, and we were able to share our excitement with some of their closest friends. Kelli and Dean came by too, and it was awesome to see them! I love having such good friends our age in Midland. (If you can't tell, I'm really stuck on this not knowing anyone in West Texas thing.)

Sunday, March 25
It was not only my last day in Midland, it was also John and Chandra's. So we went over to Cash's parents' house for breakfast and goodbyes. Afterwards, he took me to his office so I could type up the letter that was going to put the seal on this whole ordeal.

He had stepped out as I was typing, and when he came back in my head was on his desk and tears were just streaming. It's bittersweet. Much more sweet than bitter. But it's hard to change. I did all this on my own for so long. I wanted so bad to be a teacher at Alma, and I did that. All by myself. And I bought my house. And I made it--all on my own. Nothing in the world beats moving to Midland and giving it all up. But at the same time it is hard to throw away everything you've worked for individually to move 10 hours away from family to start this new life in a world you barely know. It wasn't that hard to press print though...

I hated leaving. I hated flying much more. But I was excited for Monday, and all the things it was about to bring.

Monday, March 26
I got to work early and went into my principal's office with shaky hands and an envelope. She was so happy for us, a little sad I was leaving, and completely understanding. She admitted that she had been expecting the news, and as she opened my letter she said, "And I bet this is....yep. Resignation."

I've had a lot of questions as to what I'll do in Midland. I don't know. I just know that this is my last year teaching. 8 more weeks, and I'm jobless and careerless. I try to remember to tell myself to breathe on that note.

My sweet momma was all smiles when she finally!!!! got to see my ring. She had done such a good job at keeping it a secret and was one of the last ones to see the actual ring. She even baked a cake and invited our best friends and my aunt/uncle over. I am so blessed to have such a close group of people in my life. Last night I just couldn't quit thinking about how blessed we both are. Between Cash's family and my family, we have more love than I can conceive.

It's crazy. I saw a picture of a guy on his sister-in-law's blog that was linked to another blog that I didn't even follow. And I decided to send him a message. 1 year, 1 month, 3 weeks, and 2 days later we got engaged.

And that is how I became a Texan.

Avery Jane

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Since I've Been Gone...

You can breathe for the first time, right? (do you have that song in your head yet?!)

Just wanted to stop in and tell you guys I did NOT forget about my brand new Sunday Savings last weekend. I was en route to Ruidoso, New Mexico when I shrieked, "Cash, I forgot my laptop!!! I'm supposed to write my new blog series!!!"

He reminded me that I have a mere 22 followers and that it would indeed be okay.

I have so, so, so, sooooo many things I want to tell all of you!!!! But...I can't. So just keep your eyes and ears peeled next week for the post of your life. Okay, exaggeration, but it's the post of my life..and I can't wait to share it with the blog world. It did, afterall, begin here.

Until next week when life gets back to normal...


Sunday, March 11, 2012

Sunday Savings: Tax Returns

Lately I've been struggling with why I blog. I love sharing my life and enjoy looking back on the things we've done, but what in the world is my blog about? While I started thinking about this, I looked at some of the blogs I like the most: those that talk about their lives, yes, but also give me an insight on things I don't know as much about--fashion, healthy eating, etc.

This afternoon I was sitting around reading for grad school, and I went into a daze about Spring Break next week and what all I hoped we could do in Ruidoso. Of course I thought about how much I wanted to save for our little vacation, and it hit me. While I'm no expert at financial advisement, it's well known in my family that I have a unique ability to pinch a penny.

So when I announced to my parents and sister last year that I had started talking to this guy and his name was Cash nonetheless, I am fairly certain they knew it was fate at its finest. I've had a plethora of jokes thrown at me in the past 14 months due to my frugality..or cheapness as some like to call it..coupled with my boyfriend's name.

Okay, all this mumbojumbo boils down to 1 thing: I'm going to start a series on Sundays "creatively" called Sunday Savings where I'll focus on one savings tip for the week. Keep in mind I teach 8th grade and a 2 week unit on economics. I'm not a financial consultant, a personal banker, a stockbroker, or any other professional on this issue. I'm just a girl who bottle fed calves, invested that money into the stock market, then bought my own car at 16 with the money I had made.

Yes, I did that. haha. In 8th grade I heard a guest speaker, a financial advisor, in class and from that moment was hooked. At the time I had a wad of money stuck at the back of my sock drawer (I would let my sister borrow this money with interest :-) ) and a check from my grandparents framed on my bedroom wall...never cashed. When I found out I could take that money and make more (and never have a job since I was 13), I instantly knew it was something I wanted to do. I went home, talked it over with my parents, and a few days later my dad helped me buy my first shares of stock with money I had saved my whole life doing odd jobs with my sister like bottle feeding calves, mowing the yard, and getting allowance. We were lucky that our parents taught us how to save, so I've always tried to help when asked. So that, in a nutshell, is how this whole Sunday Savings series has started...hope you find something useful. Enjoy...

Tax Returns

One thing I want to caution you on is to not think of your tax returns like a savings account. Don't make plans for your return before you know how much you may be getting back, because I've seen too many people disappointed in this. Often times we miscalculate what we think we might be getting, then we either get much less or have to pay back.

If you do not plan ways to spend your tax return beforehand, you will be much more delighted when you do get something back. I encourage people to save money the old fashioned way (we will get to these ways on other Sundays) for vacation or a luxury item. Put your tax return into its own investment. Maybe you have a savings account already set up, a mortgage, or a vehicle payment. By using your return on another investment, it will dramatically give you more back in the long run. More on investments at a later date.

Of course if you do happen to get money back from Uncle Sam, by all means by yourself a gift if you want! This year I was pleasantly surprised, so I put most of it an investment and saved about $100 of it to buy a piece of luggage I've been oogling for a couple months. It's all about balance. In the past I've saved so much that I never enjoyed myself. You don't want to do that--but you do want to save the majority.

So how can you get (more) money back? I have a few ideas that are by no means an exhaustive list but instead are things I've come across the last few years.
  • Have a home mortgage. If you have a mortgage on your house (meaning you have bought your own house but do not have it paid off), you will get to claim the interest on your taxes. Another reason not to rent!
  • Go back to school if you're not already there. College classes, even if it's non-degree seeking, will pay out not only in an educational realm. The American Opportunity Credit and Lifetime Learning Credit are two ways the government helps put money back in your pocket for advancing your education. To me that's endless benefit! Make sure you read up on these, because they do have salary limits.
  • Buy a vacation home. What? I'm supposed to be talking about saving money, I know. Cash and I dream about having a home in the mountains one day, so I decided to research it a few weeks ago. True that it does get very complicated, and it would be up to you how you want to venture this quest, but not only can you claim a 2nd mortgage on your taxes, many times you can make money off the investment. We'll discuss this a different day. But for today--if you never rent your 2nd home, you can write 100% of the interest up to a certain amount (over a million dollars). If you rent out your home, it gets tricky in how many days you can rent vs use for personal time vs time allotted for maintenance. This link will break down the tax rules for a second home, and I've found it very useful in understanding the current policies. To me it makes buying a vacation home sound more appealing--but only if the means are in place.
  • Have kids. I've never experienced this one personally, but it's true that if you have dependents you are getting more back in taxes.
  • Spend money in your classroom. Are you a teacher? You know that every year you are spending money out of pocket for your classroom. While I've never spent excess amounts, I've always kept my receipts in a certain drawer with my name on them for that fiscal year (remember that spring semesters are different tax years). When I looked through my tax return this year, the amount I turned in through out of pocket school receipts was listed. This benefits your classroom without you having to be out of pocket--for too long!
  • Have a farm? You probably already know that many subsidies exist for America's farmers. Also, it's hard to keep a working profit throughout the year. I've known farmers who show legitimate losses on their farm for the year (cows die, new equipment, etc.), so that increases the amount for a tax return.
  • Tithe or donate to a local charity. (All preachers are now rejoicing.) If you give money to a non-profit like a church, United Way, or the Wounded Warrior Project, make sure you get a receipt. Most charities (churches included) will send you a form at the end of the year with your donations. In case they don't, make sure you've recorded this somewhere. I always suggest writing a check for the recording of it, but many people still pay with cash. If you choose to pay with cash, either get a receipt or put your offering into an envelope. Most churches have these, and they are for tax purposes. Also, I know that Cash remodeled his kitchen this year. Since he got a new oven, he took his old oven to a 2nd hand shop (sorry, don't know exactly where he took it. maybe Salvation Army??). They gave him a receipt, and he was able to use that! If you take clothes or any other item to places like the Salvation Army, ask them for a receipt. Sure you like to be charitable, but it's always nice to have it noticed on your tax return!
Of course this list does not encompass every possible avenue available to you for getting money back on your tax returns. None of us like having to write a check to the IRS after paying into the system for an entire year already. Unfortunately, I've known too many who had to do that. Many people know ahead of time if they are going to have to pay back big payments like $15-20,000. But if you are like me, if I had to pay back $200 I would be wondering how that would happen. So just as a reminder, don't spend your tax return before you know if you're getting money back, have money set aside JUST IN CASE you have to pay in, and remind yourself throughout the year of different items that are tax deductible.

Stay smart. Be savvy. Save money...
Avery Jane

Friday, March 9, 2012

Yep, I did that...


It's Friday. And I need to be freed.

  1. I've been blogging for about 2 years now, and I don't understand how people have so many followers. I'm not asking for them; I'm just curious as to how one does that. Granted, I did meet my beau via the ol' blog. Thanks, Kelly...and Jeanne! So I guess that means I have the greatest follower leader of all. (I am Baptist, after all. I better say he is the leader. JOKE. Well, I am Baptist. I was joking about the other.)
  2. Right now I am pounding on the keyboard, because I am so mad at my sister. I said it. Mad!! She and my niece are supposed to be staying at my parents' all weekend since my BIL and nephew are at the state finals in Hot Springs. What did she do? She let Addison go stay with her other grandma and aunt tonight. We will fight about this.
  3. Proud moment--worked out 3 mornings this week. Not proud moment--I gave myself a treat each time. Today's? Chocolate sprinkled donuts. Duh.
  4. While walking into the donut shop with purple and gold Ozark sweats and shirt on, I spotted my principal (wasn't hard--we were the only 2 customers) all dressed for work. I do not work at Ozark schools. Ugh. When I got to work, she said, "Miss Kuykendall, that outfit looks much different..." I tried to explain I had just been working out. Should've said I didn't want to get my Alma shirts dirty. :)
  5. I cried about grad school this week...and maybe I did that just to make Cash feel bad for me. Eeek.
  6. I've packed and repacked my suitcase in my head for next week about 13 times already. I want to be in Midland, Texas. I want to be in the truck with Cash. I want to be in route to Ruidoso, New Mexico. Why do I have one more week of work first? My brain can't take that right now!
It's the weekend. Let's do this.


What It's Like to be a Teacher

It's draining.

It's rewarding.

It's emotionally challenging.

It's aggravating.

It's motivating.

And the list could go on...

Our week at AMS has been hard, unusual, and one we hope to not relive. We buried one of our students: a 6th grader. Just a baby.

Tuesday our principals and counselors worked with the entire 6th grade class on making banners and a memorial for this precious child. Then the entire AMS community spent time that morning outside releasing balloons in his memory. Being an 8th grade teacher and separated from the younger students, I never had a direct connection to the student. I will say, however, that it was eye-opening for me to see our small school come together during that moment.

Children. Many of them have never experienced a death to a family member or friend. We had to be there and coach them through that trial. Watching them as they watched the balloon release, my heart was heavy. But seeing the family of this child walk up at that moment, my heart could barely handle the weight.

The child had a relative who is also one of our students, and he walked up by his peers prior to the release. He stood there just staring into space, a million miles away from our reality. I walked up, put my arm around his shoulder, and asked, "Bud, how are you doing?"


How do you help a child through that? How can this world throw that cruelty in your face?

We deal with attitudes, missing assignments, homework, grading, absentees, tardies, skippers, lesson plans, headlice, school supplies, projects. We were taught this. We've learned this. But having gone through an education program no one ever said I would have to deal with the loss of a student and help other kids through that.

When I got my first job no principal sat me down with a handbook that titled "What to do if a student passes away." There's not a manual for that.

Getting attendees signed up for Saturday school is a process, but I can do it. Having my grades online every week by a certain deadline is time consuming, but it's by no means difficult. Sitting in the bleachers through sporting events to cheer on my kiddos is not in my contract, but it's part of my teaching. Helping children through the loss of their friend. Yeah, I was never taught that.

So it's easy to say I learned a lot this week. You learn when you're down I think. When we're on the mountain top, not much learning takes place. When we're kicked and beaten and thrown to the valley, we learn incredible amounts.

“Hear my prayer, LORD, listen to my cry for help; do not be deaf to my weeping. I dwell with you as a foreigner, a stranger, as all my ancestors were." --Psalm 39:12

I saw teachers, parents, students all crying for help. We can't do this alone. We can't say the right thing or give hope or instill inspiration. That's not a Miss Kuykendall thing. That's a God thing. While this tragedy seems so inconceivable, it somehow has the ability to have God's fingerprints all over it...for a purpose I can barely seem to conceive.

While I was never given a crisis tutorial in my training, I was blessed to have been raised in a home of Christian parents. I learned that the most reliable source when dealing with any tragedy is God. Somehow, someway try to find Him. Look to Him. Shout for Him. Run for Him. Have Him as your best friend. Ultimately, that will lead to praising Him. Because if I've never learned anything, I've learned this: I may never understand God's plan, but through Him I will always find rest in it.

"I waited patiently for the Lord; he turned to me and heard my cry. He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand. He put a song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see and fear and put their trust in the Lord." --Psalm 40:1-3

I don't know right now really what the process will hold for so many of our students and co-workers. It seems impossible. But then again, I've been through impossible before. And God always heard me. 

He always heard me.

He lifted me out of the slimy pit.

He lifted me out of the mud and mire.

He set my feet on a rock.

He gave me a firm place to stand.

He put a song in my mouth.

He led me to a hymn of praise to our God.

I pray we learn to see. And fear. And put our trust in the Lord.

Avery Jane

Sunday, March 4, 2012

My Life in Pictures

I know I write a lot, so I thought today I would share my life in pictures. Let's see how I do.

My professor came to class with these 2 books on Thursday evening. I was pumped that he thought about my topic and allowed me to borrow these for my literature review.

I've been missing my sweet kiddos. Technically not my kids, but my favorite rugrats!!! I talked to Addi on the phone tonight, and we have plans to make up cheers all next weekend. I found these pictures on my phone from this year's homecoming. My nephew is a stud, what can I say?

March is finally here. That means 1 thing: Spring Break. Do you see that calendar? Do you?? It says Ruidoso, as in New Mexico, as in a trip with Cash. It simply can't come soon enough. I can't remember the last time I traveled somewhere other than Texas. And although I love that place more than you can imagine, it's nice to be able to go somewhere with my love...away from the world.

Cash got his CHL in the mail!! Inevitably this means he went straight to the store to buy a new gun. Obviously much needed seeing how he has an entire arsenal in his house already.

Remember the post I did on Coach Parrish? Well, last week he came to speak to our FCA group and did an awesome job!! I don't know of anyone who could've done better. It meant so much to me that he would come to AMS and speak to my students. I feel so blessed to have had such great taechers and coaches when I was growing up.

And for those of you who wonder why I always put my hand on my hip when I take pictures, this picture should be evidence of why. I feel like such a dork here but was proud of my pic with Coach. You know, looking at these pictures makes me think my dad needs to do another guest post about his tenure on the Ozark boys' basketball team in 7th grade. Yes. That needs to happen.

It's almost turkey season here in the River Valley/Ozark Mountains. I heard that some turkeys have already been spotted near Indian Creek (inside joke for the area hunters). This will be the first time Cash has been turkey hunting, and I can't wait to get him to turkey camp!! It's by far my favorite time of the year.

The Press Argus Courier had an article on the front page last week about our guest speakers on integration. 

I'm learning how to eat salad. Yes, I'm in my mid-twenties. After church today I went to Panera Bread and ordered the BBQ Chicken Salad. Cash says the bbq sauce canceled out the nutritional value of the lettuce, but I think it's a great start to my healthy eating. Anyway, I was proud of myself and actually really liked it.

Also, I got a blog award! My sweet friend Leslie passed it on to me. You probably remember me talking about her. She's in school in Little Rock as is her husband Zach. They are what you would call a power couple. :-) While I'm proud of Les for all of her hard work in school, I'm having mixed emotions about her leaving in just a few months for Budapest for the entire summer! I feel like I NEED her here this summer so bad, but I know this is a once in a lifetime opportunity for her...that and she's going to rock Hungary like a sedimentary formation. Wow, I've been dating a geologist for too long. I'll stop.

I'm supposed to give the award to 5 other blogs, but I don't really know that many blogs since it is for those of us with less than 200 followers. So I chose to give it to 3 blogs that I've been keeping up with lately.
  • My fellow political junkie, Whitney. She lives in DC although hails from the great state of Tennessee. I love reading about her life in our nation's capitol while she plans her dream wedding!
  • Another native Arkansan, Cassie. This chick loves her some Oaklawn Horse Races, one of my favorite spots in The Natural State. Recently her beau just got back from Japan, so it's been exciting to read her anticipation upon his arrival.
  • Last but not least one of my favorite co-workers and sweet friends, Kristen. She and her husband have the most adorable little boy Christian. I love watching him grow up and sympathizing with K as she has started grad school to get her master's in counseling.
In just a few minutes I'm going to watch the new show GCB. And no, not just because it's based in Texas. Because apparently TV on Sundays is null and boring. Sunday TV leads you to posting blogs with a ton of pictures and no real flow. Blah.

Avery Jane

Thursday, March 1, 2012

An Extra 2-4

When I was little and got to go to Kanakuk one year, the counselors were afforded one "2-4" during the 2 weeks we were there. That meant for 24 hours they got to leave camp and get away from us 12 year olds. I got to be a camp counselor at my beloved Camp War Eagle one summer while in college, and I can vouch for the fact these 24 hours were well deserved, much needed, and highly anticipated.

Yesterday the world got a two-four. Holla, Leap Day! I love Leap Year, primarily because I know that it also means I'll be spending 2 weeks gazing at the tube watching the world's best summer athletes. And, of course, because the rest of my time will be devoted to primaries, the GOP convention, debates, and a Presidential election. How can you not love Leap Year?!

I didn't actually celebrate, per se, although I did have a few great things going on which calls for major rip-roaring excitement.

Numero uno--our assistant superintendent e-mailed me asking for a summary of my guest speakers on integration because, get this, he's putting it in the district bulletin which goes out to all the tax payers in our entire district!!

Numero dos--although Gravette lost their first game in state tournament, they did get to go. Dustin's first year there they won 3 games. Last year they won 10. This year they won 22, were District champions, and made it to the first round of state tournament. If you can't tell, I'm a little biased and proud of my brother-in-law.

Numero tres--my dad is a sucker. You may be wondering how this calls for intense happiness, but it led to him buying my dinner at RIVERTOWNE BBQ last night while we had a very in-depth and enjoyable bi-partisan discussion on national politics. We solved the nation's problems. And add to that I lurveeeee Rivertowne and lurveeeee bbq. I literally had tears roll down my sand streaked face this summer while in the Middle East, because I was craving pulled pork so bad. Yeah, you can't get that in Muslim countries. It was a killer.
the pride of Ozark--and the single best reason my Texas friends should come visit
Numero quatro--i even helped him check the cows. My mom was with my sis and fam in Pine Bluff for the state tournament, so the farming was left to my dad the past 2 days. (Yes, my family is a little backwards, but that's okay!) Several calves have been born lately, so we went and checked the cattle, made sure they were all counted for, and searched for new ones. Bequette rode around with us on the 4-wheeler too. I love that dog, and I do believe he's becoming a country Bichon. Possible? Ehhh..I think so.
this could be Bequette if I could be a stay-at-home dog owner, via Pinterest
Numero cinco--eggs galore. I've been trying to eat healthier, so I decided having boiled eggs for breakfast would be an easy way to go. Score one for me since my parents have laying hens. You and I both know that farm fresh brown eggs outdo store bought white eggs every single day of the week. I raided the "egg refrigerator" and swiped a dozen (or few) eggs for the keeping.

Numero seis--my mom came home. I usually don't see my mom a lot through the week, but when I know she's gone I immediately miss her. She got home last night and I got to hug on her until my heart was content. That's a lie. My heart isn't content. I still want to be there hugging her.
I <3 my momma!!
Numero siete--That's really all. I just wanted to write in Spanish a little big longer.

Are you enjoying American Idol? I think my favorite will be Phillip-Squared. We shall see though. We shall see. But right now I have leftover Rivertowne for lunch, so I'm going to stuff my face with pulled chicken.

Avery Jane