Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Merry Christmas 2012

Christmas Eve 5:30 service at 1st Pres...we were, ahem, a little late in arriving. 

The children argued as we drove to the service. They experienced difficulty being quiet and restraining from wiggling during the service. Argued all the way home. 15 minute time out penalty - it was the very nicest punishment I could think of on Christmas Eve.

Changed into pjs. Turned on some Christmas tunes - think Michael Buble and Ella FitzGerald.

Played cards with the Sam & Fairchild while Paul made us breakfast for dinner. Paul makes the best eggs regardless of style. Christmas Eve night - yummy omelet. The excitement of Santa's imminent arrival danced in the air.

Christmas morning....

Sam said "it is the best Christmas EVER!!"


Jingle Bell Run

My cousin William Wood is handsome, extroverted, gracious, intelligent, diplomatic with a calm confident disposition and winning smile.  Several years ago, he was diagnosed with juvenile arthritis. We pray for complete healing for William and, in the meantime, encouragement for William and his family.  

This year William was the junior honoree of the Arthritis Foundation's Jingle Bell Run. Fairchild and I were thrilled to attend as part of William's "Jingle Bell Runners".

On your mark...

Lovely of Santa to attend

Fairchild & Mary Russell Wood

Honoree William Wood, me & my brother, Mac

Me & Beth Wood - love you cousin!!

Sunday, December 23, 2012


Christmas on the River (COTR) is an annual festival in Demopolis celebrating Christmas with a weekend full of activities. The last time Paul and I attended we were newly married without children. This year the children were old enough to enjoy attending the Saturday morning parade. So we loaded up the mini, picked up Pie and Pal on the way and headed to COTR. A great way to start the Christmas season.

Thursday, November 29, 2012


Fairchild testing the sound system before guests arrived.

Manicure compliments of Maggie Youngblood

Really wish I had a video of Maggie MCing "Little Sally Walker"  - she did an awesome job as did the Talton girls and Louise "doin' their thing"!

A little dancing

The Talton girls  & Louise Stewart did a fabulous job with manicures and tattoos - many thanks to the three of you!

Strawberry Shortcake movie break

Pizza & PINK lemonade

Cupcakes for dessert
Kylie Calame - rockin' out

Repeatedly, Fairchild stated "I just can't believe I'm really 5!"

Pretend Sleepover Party
Happy 5th Birthday Fairchild!

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Recent Happenings

The West Central Alabama Fair.... 

Aunt RaRa and Lane joined us this year. Lane absolutely loved every ride.
His delight was contagious!

My friend Lauren supervised Sam and her son Teddy. I supervised the girls, Jane and Fairchild.
Hence, no pics of Sam on my camera.

Jane and Fairchild met up with Kylie and the Pearce girls. Anne Frances and Fairchild in the front.
Libby, Kylie and Jane in the next seat.

Libby, Kylie, Jane, Anne Frances and Fairchild

Friday Night Lights....

PreGame Pic of a few of the Future Cheerleaders. They performed during half time.  
Thank you Miss Tiffany for including the younger girls!!

Miss Maggie Taylor - Fairchild's bestie in her Morgan 4k Class


We love some Jane Anne!

Integrity Worldwide 5K & Fun Run....

Integrity Worldwide is a charitable organization headquartered in Selma. Their focus is Meto Kenya. All the Garners completed the 5k this year - yea Sam & Fair!!

The Garners

Pie & Pal with all of their Grands

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Off the Beaten Path...

Trail riding = riding horses on well traveled paths.  

Rough riding = riding horses off the beaten path without expectation of you might encounter. 

This weekend, Pie & Pal took us rough riding.

In my life, the paths traveled frequently follow roads on the north-south route from Birmingham to Mobile/Orange Beach and on the east-west route Montgomery to Demopolis including all the towns that are slightly off of Highway 80.

Several weeks ago while I was in the middle of cleaning out the toy closet with the children, I received a call from Pie. She was filled with the excitement of an invitation for Paul, me and the children to join them in Northwest Alabama for a weekend trip to a dude ranch in Tuscumbia  - The Seven Springs Lodge and Rattlesnake Saloon.

I enjoy traveling and have been blessed throughout my life to do so; however, Northwest Alabama has never been a destination for me. Something new, off the beaten path plus some quality time with my family. Why not?

Friday afternoon, the six of us loaded in the mini with no expectations of what we were going to find along our journey. 

On the way, we stopped at TCBY in Tuscaloosa to satisfy Pal's addiction to frozen yogurt.  While there, Pal encouraged Paul to fill the gas tanks.  Replying that it would be easier to gas up outside Tuscaloosa, Paul continued to drive and promptly forgot about the need for gas.  Well outside of Tuscaloosa in a community known as Eldridge, Pie from the backseat said to me "does your gas gage not work?"  Apparently, the needle was well below empty but with Paul's lack of concern, she figured it must be broken.  For several minutes various scenarios of how this was going to work out for us ran through each of our heads. Pal turned to Paul and said emphatically "If you run out of gas, I am NEVER going to let you forget it."  For those of you who know Pal, you know how true that it is.  It would have been fodder at every family gathering for YEARS.  I prayed harder for a gas station. After a few miles, there was a crossroad and Barbara Ann's Place came into view. Disaster avoided - thank you Barbara Ann.

As we arrived in North Alabama, discussion turned to where to stop to eat dinner.  Googling restaurants in Russellville on my trusty phone I found the Brick Pizza Oven - perfect. We were searching for the street on which it was located and could not find it.  Another google search ensued. That was when I discovered the Brick Pizza Oven was located in Russellville ARKANSAS. Ooppps!! We stopped at the Speedy Pig and tried to stay positive about the fact we were away from Selma and still eating BBQ -"good white BBQ sauce" was pretty much all we could muster.

A few curvy miles later, we arrived at the Seven Springs Lodge and unloaded into Silo #2 - ours for the weekend.

Grain Silo converted into living area downstairs and two bunk rooms upstairs.

The next morning, we ate breakfast in Florence and viewed the Wilson Lock & Dam.  After which we went trail riding back at Seven Springs. First up, ring riding to determine compatibility with our assigned horse.

Sam and Fairchild - ride ready

Pal, Sam, Pie and Fairchild

Me riding Cochise - absolutely wonderful horse

Pie trying out Fancy Lady Face
Fairchild rode with Pie - doesn't get any better than telling a four year old little girl that her horse's name is Fancy.

Paul and Fairchild keeping an eye on the action
Then we were off to the trails...

On the trail...

Our horses

The Garners

Sam looooovvvveees Pal

Fairchild in her Happy Birthday Tshirt from White Flowers that her cousin Kylie gave her and showing off her pink cowboy boots - birthday gift from Pal and Pie.

Paul on the horse with no name - literally. I still giggle hearing Paul talk about his battle with the horse with no name.

Pie & Fairchild enjoying their ride on Fancy

Sam rode with Ricky. He was awesome to Sam and Sam loved riding with a real cowboy.

This is one of my favorite pictures of the entire trip. Paul and horse with no name struggling over exactly who was going to be in control. It was an issue they dealt with most of the ride.

Our trail guide Robert (and Pie in the background).

Resting in the afternoon...

After swimming, Fairchild rested in Paul's guitar case.

Sam already dressed for the night at the Rattlesnake Saloon
Rattlesnake Saloon...

The Saloon - open all day until 10pm. Starts serving beer at 5pm - two options: cup or pitcher.
It's hamburgers were voted 2nd best in State by the Alabama Cattlemen's Association.
You can buy a four pound hamburger with onion rings and fries for $40 and if you eat the entire platter it's free - we declined the offer.

The Saloon is built into a large natural cave that used to shelter Indians. After which it was used as a pig farm. Now it houses the Saloon, stage for live music nightly and lots of seating/tables.  Saturday night there were no less than 250 people there. It is a destination. 

At lunch we sat at table 5 which was appropriate since we were their as part of Pie and Pal's gift to
Fairchild on her 5th birthday.

Sunday morning, we woke early, threw on clothes, packed and bid good bye to our grain silo.  Paul had the tour mapped out for the return ride home.  His tour differed greatly with Pal's. After much discussion between the two, Paul won.  So Pal settled in the third seat in the mini with Sam. 

First on the tour was a stop at the National Coon Dog Memorial Cemetery. Personally, I did not know that there was a designated coon dog cemetery at all much less a NATIONAL one.  I do now.

Next stop, Natural Bridge in Winston County...

The Bridge


Indian Face Rock
Pie and I then reigned Paul in and guided the mini towards the well traveled paths of Central Alabama.