Saturday, February 27, 2010

Duck Gumbo

I had such a good day yesterday with David & the kids. It started off as usual. David & I woke up around 6 (we "slept-in" since I didn't have to go to work), had our coffee together and then "stole" Hunter from the kids so they could sleep in for a while. We played with Hunter, I fixed breakfast, and then David & I needed to run up to Missouri for cigarettes. On our way, Transplace called & told David they wanted him to start Monday at 3:30. He'll be working 3:30 til midnight for the first couple of weeks for training. And, the dress code for this shift is business casual. So at some point today or tomorrow, we've got to go shopping! I am SO proud of him. I told him before his interview, if he'd just be confident, and be HIMSELF, and let them see him like I see him, he'd have the job. I was right. And I'm glad. I know how much he hated not working. After our trip to Missouri we came home. And somehow, while hanging out with the kids, and talking about cooking - and needing to cook the ducks in our freezer, Desiree got the idea that we should have a Duck Gumbo Cook off! Her & Eddy against me & David. So we all piled up & went to Wal Mart with our list of ingredients. I've about decided to stop shopping at Wal Mart by the way. I HATE the way they've remodeled the stores. I hate the smaller selection. I hate the crowds that are always there. But, I suffered through, we somehow managed to spend over $300 (isn't that what Wal Marts good for?), and we came home. We were supposed to all go to dinner with Mr. Dick & Sharon at Chili's, but at the very last minute, Sharon called & cancelled. Since we were hungry, ready to go, and planning the Gumbo cook off for today, we decided to go on & go out to dinner. We started at Beef O Brady's but it was so full & they said it'd be a while before they could seat us. So we ended up at MY favorite place, Celtic Grill. We had a nice dinner, just the five of us (Hunter man didn't eat much!) and then came home. I went to bed early while David & Eddy played X Box & Des started packing up their things. They'll be leaving early tomorrow morning & heading back to Kansas :( At some point, Eddy brought Hunter in & laid him down with me, and me & my grand baby just snuggled for a while. It was SO sweet, and a memory I'll never forget. This morning, it was up early again. David & I snuck in the kitchen around 7 & started our Gumbo. Then about 10 the kids got up & started theirs while I watched Hunter for them. Jeff & the kids came up to spend a few hours with us while Diane was at a conference. Then Wendall, (Desiree's dad) showed up to see the kids. If you take away all the crazy, (3 dogs, 2 kids, a baby, Jeff & Eddy playing football on the XBox & hollering, us all trying to cook gumbo, David & Wendall visiting, etc), it was another great day. Now the kids have gone to go visit my dad one last time before they go home, our company is gone, David is watching a movie, and I'm procrastinating about folding all the clean laundry that's piled up in our spare bedroom! But - I just wanted to get all this down while it's still fresh in my mind. The gumbo? It was AMAZING! We put duck, sausage, shrimp, okra, rice, potatoes - all kinds of stuff in ours. The kids was really good too, just different than ours, and not nearly as spicy. Jeff was supposed to be our judge, but when it came down to it, no one really won. I'm just glad it all tasted so good, and that we had such a good time. Good times, that's what life is all about anyway, isn't it? me

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Still busy

It's still full-on at our house right now, and I am still loving it! We did babysit Hunter Monday night while the kids went out. And I am out of practice! But it was still SO much fun. To be honest, Hunter man was a little fussy (okay, a LOT fussy), but David says most of it's my fault since I spoil him by holding and rocking him all the time. Tuesday night the kids were gone so David and I made a trip to the Pinnacle Mall. We had to go to Pet Smart to get a name tag for Bam, and a few other things. Then we went to Payless, cuz I needed some new work shoes. Then we came home & ordered Pizza Hut & watched American Idol. David & I both had eye appointments yesterday at noon. So he picked me up from work & we headed to TSO. Since we were a little early, I talked him into going over to the new Goodwill store they've opened in Bentonville. I'd never been in one before, so I wanted to see what it was all about. It is VERY big, and extremely organized in there. I even found a framed duck print for just $4! The good thing is, now I know a great place to donate unwanted items from our house, and know it'll go to good use! Then we went across the road & had our eyes checked. I am NOT a fan of the doctor there. Especially since he had no problem at all telling me, well, when women get to your age, the eyes just aren't what they used to be. And it'll go downhill from here. I asked him what age? And he said, "in their forty's". I probably sounded a little hateful when I snapped back "I turned 40 last month!" Long story short, I picked out a pair of bi-focals! I've never worn glasses before, and now I need to wear them all the time! Afterwards, I dropped David off at home (they had to dilate his eyes & he couldn't drive) and went back to work for a couple hours. Even though the kids weren't gonna be home for dinner, we still needed to go to the grocery store when I got back home. As we were walking out the door, the phone rang, and it was Transplace! They wanted David to go down & take a drug test! You want to know what's even better? He had an interview at Pam today too. So, it looks like he may get to choose which job to take. God is good! Last night was American Idol again & tonight's the first elimination. Love that show! David had a lot of running around to do today, but he did pick me up & take me to lunch at Octavio's. (We've been keeping them in business lately - turns out, David knows the owner there, from when we were kids!). Lastly, after much, MUCH, much drama & stress today, I hit my 30 for the sales contest at work! Have I mentioned God is great? Til next time, me

Monday, February 22, 2010

Hunter Man & Grandma Time!

Tonight we get to babysit our Hunter-man all by ourselves! We are going to have SO much fun while his mommy & daddy go out for a night alone! I can't wait! I'll try take many pictures so I can upload them tomorrow! See you then! me

Quality Family Time

Well, it's Monday again. The weekend is over. I'm back at work and I'm wondering where does the time go? On feels like the weekend is just looming ahead of you, with countless hours to do whatever you want. Then, in an instant, it's gone! For what it's worth, we all had a wonderful weekend. David had his interview Friday at Transplace, and it went well. The only thing that may trip him up is that she asked him how many WPM he could type. He was honest, and told her he has the two finger typing thing going on! Anyway, they had several more interviews, but are planning to have a decision by this Wednesday. Keep him/that job for him in your prayers please! After the interview, we drove back home, I threw some clothes in a bag & we all loaded up & headed down to Big David's. Since everyone was starving to death, and I didn't fix dinner, we stopped at Cracker Barrel in Springdale & had dinner. (Yes, we were all SO hungry we couldn't even make it to the C.B. in Alma!). As I sat at the table, looking at David, BOTH my children, my daughter in love & my tiny precious grandson, my HEART JUST SWELLED UP! And I reminded myself that this is what LIFE is all about. We took our time, laughed, visited & truly enjoyed the time together. Then we got back on the road. Let me tell you, David, Boogie & I can make that trip in 4 1/2 hours when we just hit the road & drive. Stop once for gas & a bathroom break & we're there!. But, BUT, when you have 2 cars, 5 adults, a dog, a puppy & a 2 month old, my oh my, it's a wonder we EVER made it down there! But, we did. And we all had a GREAT time. Eddy got to spend a lot of quality time with his dad & grandpa. I got to spend time with both girls & my Hunter man! We cooked & cleaned up together. We sat around & just talked...really talked. About EVERYTHING. Brittni's boyfriend, Des' worries about Eddy leaving - everything. And on Saturday night, we went to the traditional "sale" in Pine Bluff. It's actually an auction, where everybody brings a bunch of junk they don't want, & other people bid on the junk they think they want. There wasn't really anything there for me Saturday night, but the girls found some very old books they just had to have, & since I'm the designated bidder...well, needless to say, they got the books. I should go on and tell you though, that I've been known to pay more for something there, that you could out & buy new at the store! That's because, I'm pretty dangerous when the bidding starts. I have a real problem with "losing"...and if I don't keep bidding until I "win"...well, I'm not a happy camper. Never mind that I end up paying more than the item is worth...I just have to "win". So sometimes, David takes my number away from me & makes me let him bid, especially if he knows it's something that can get pretty expensive! The kids left before we did, to go on a little side trip. Eddy wanted to make sure & go see his Granny Shirley before he left this time, and introduce her to Desiree & Hunter Lee. Granny Shirley was Big David's wife for 17 or 18 years. She is an AMAZING woman. We lived with her & Big David for a little while when we first got married. We lived with her when I was pregnant with & had Eddy. She took care of me and David...then Eddy. She loved us with all her heart. Unconditionally. And she holds a very special place in my family's heart. But, a few years ago, things went bad & her & Big David got a divorce. And it was a nasty divorce. So the kids had to "sneak off" to go see her while we were there. I wanted to go along SO bad, but - I had to "take one for the team" & conspire with my David to keep his dad busy so they could go. They really enjoyed getting to see her. I'm happy they got the chance. Yesterday, we got up, me & the girls fixed breakfast, Eddy & Des went 4 wheeling in the jeep while Brittni & I watched Hunter. Then Buddy Cox showed up to meet his "little nephew". We've kinda adopted Buddy, and he's adopted us & our family. Both his sons have passed away, he's divorced & pretty much all alone. I really think we're good for him, and I know he makes an impact in our lives as well. I took tons of pictures of Big David holding Hunter, Buddy holding Hunter, we got a four generation picture, and some that are just fun! But before we knew it, it was time to load up & head on home. We ended up stopping at Ryan's in Russellville for dinner last night. Once again, I looked around the table at my family & thanked God for all my blessings. My heart was SO happy. Until Eddy mentioned that he'll/they'll be leaving on Saturday, and that this was his last official "leave" at home until he gets his R & R during his deployment. (That's a 2 week break at home he gets sometime during his time in Iraq). Then my eyes filled with tears & my heart filled with fear and sadness. I realized that I haven't got much time....Eddy time that is. So, for the next week, that's my focus. Eddy. And spending time with Eddy. And loving on Eddy. And well, you get the picture. Have a great week! me

Friday, February 19, 2010

Busy, busy, busy!

So yesterday was another jam packed day for me! Thank goodness for the night before, when it was just me & David & we had leftovers, watched American Idol & went to bed early. But yesterday started out relatively normal. We got up, had coffee together watched the news then I got ready & went to work. Since David's not working my routine has been to go home & lunch. It kinda breaks up his very boring day, and I get to see/spend a little time with my favorite person in the world. AND since the kids are home until March...I also get to squeeze in a little Hunter-Grandma time too! But yesterday when I came home David was in our room with the door shut. He was on the phone with Transplace, and they were talking to him about a JOB!!!! It seems they have a great need for a night time logistics coordinator. Now, I'm not all that happy about it being at night, but we are ALL KINDS of happy about the job. He doesn't actually have the job yet, but he does have an interview at 4:00 this afternoon! And he is NERVOUS! Really nervous. This is a desk job, and David has never done anything like this in his life! I think he'd be great at it. But...first things first, what to wear? He's a jeans & pullover kind of guy. And this is an office. SO....we had to SHOP! But...before that, Bam had his first appointment with Dr. Halbert yesterday, so David picked me up at 3 and we were off to the vet. We got there & waited, and waited, and waited. 2 HOURS later, Bam got a clean bill of health, they got $90 bucks from us and we headed home. On the way home the kids called & wanted to know what we were having for dinner. Since a trip to Pinnacle was on the horizon, we decided we'd all just go out to eat. Let me tell you something, if you haven't tried Octavio's in Bentonville you are missing out! We've had both lunch & dinner there now & we LOVE it! Plus, it's pretty affordable! After dinner we all went to JC Penney's and got David something to wear to his interview today. (Sidenote: Men DO go through the drama in the dressing room just like we do ladies, it's not as easy as we seem to think it is for them). And I strongly suggest checking out Penney's clearance racks...they had some really great deals, and I even bought a few things for myself while we were there. Afterwards, it was back home & time for bed. I was wore out!
Today, plans are suddenly all up in the air. Remember, we're supposed to be leaving for the trip to Big David's with all the kids for the weekend. In my head, I'd take off around noon, we'd pack up & be out of here by 2 at the latest. And we'd be in Stuttgart in time for dinner. Now, NOW, David's interview is at 4 in Lowell, he might be back home by 5:30-he might get to start a new job tomorrow, Sunday, Monday...??? and I haven't even thought about packing a thing yet. So, to quote my phrase for the's chaos, UTTER CHAOS!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Chaos, Utter chaos!

I'm always complaining (or at least feeling like I am) that there's not much going on in our lives lately. That it's kinda boring, with not much to do. Well let me tell you, this past week THAT HAS CHANGED! There is SO much activity at our house right now with Eddy, Dez & Hunter being home, and of course with the addition of Bam (my new lab puppy) that the word that keeps running through my head & out of my mouth is "CHAOS"! And can I tell you a secret? I LOVE IT! It's a little harder on David than me. He's SO funny! We've built such a concrete routine at our house since it's been just the two of us. The other night we were in our bedroom and he said...can you fix something for me? I about cracked up when he told me what it was. He said, can you talk to the kids about having just ONE thing at a time in the living room, I'm getting claustrophobic! We've all been running around like crazy, and at that point we had the baby swing, car seat, stroller, a HUGE tub of toys still out from when Thomas & Gracie came on Sunday, it was like an obstacle course in there! Not to mention all the shoes, coats, bottles, diaper bag, etc. that's lying around everywhere! To me, it feels natural, normal. That's what happens when there's kids, a baby, 2 dogs & a puppy at home. To me it feels GOOD! David - well, he loves having his son & family home, but I think it's a little overwhelming to him since he's at home all day.
Last night was our American Idol night. Brittni & Jeramiah came over to watch it with us. Brittni asked me yesterday when we ran errands on my lunch hour if I'd fix dinner for everyone. Ask me that at 11 a.m. & I'm all like, "Yes! Of course I will! What would you like?" Thank God, she really didn't have anything specific in mind, and Thank God that to her, spending time with her family is most important. Because at 5:00 when I got home, I didn't really have the energy or desire to go whip up some home made goodness like fried chicken etc. So instead, I remembered that at Pizza Hut on Tuesday nights, and Tuesday nights only, you can get the Tuscani Pasta family dinner for just $10. I was thinking 2 of those should work just fine! So, I asked around, no one seemed to mind, and Pizza Hut it was!
I can't really tell you a whole lot about the 2 hour American Idol, because I was holding my precious Hunter-he was really cranky last night - I don't think he felt very good - and chasing my new puppy ALL OVER THE HOUSE - and well, who cares about American Idol when your house if full of the people you love the very most in this world?
Anyhoo...we've got BIG plans for this weekend. All of us, let me repeat, ALL OF US, are heading down to Stuttgart for the weekend to visit Big David. The last time we were all there was for Uncle Bob's funeral, and the kids were just there for a few hours. Big David hasn't met his GREAT GRANDSON yet, so that's going to be a big deal. We'll have 4 generations under one roof for a couple days. And there's no internet, cell phones,'ll just be quality time together! I can't wait! me

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Something to Say.....

Ok, so for once I have things to say! Let's start with my kids are home! And they're here until the first of March! The only down side to that is how much I'll miss them when they have to go back home! Friday, Brittni came up & met me at work & we went to lunch together. I love it when we get just me & her time. We also bought some scratch off tickets when we stopped for gas, and ended up winning about 20 bucks, so it paid for our lunch! Saturday morning David & Eddy got up EARLY & headed down to pick up Bam. I was so glad the two of them went together. There's nothing like 10 hours in a truck that will give father & son lots of time to talk & bond! Dez & I took advantage of it, and we took off with Hunter & went out to lunch at Las Fajitas (or something like that), then got her nails done & my hair cut. I had a very relaxing day. My mom came up early Sat. morning & saw Hunter. She can't believe how much he's grown! Sunday was the Daytona 500, so we invited Jeff, Diane & the kids up to watch. Since there was so much chaos at my house, David suggested we just call in a order to WingStop so I wouldn't have to cook. Let me just tell you, it makes for a MUCH more enjoyable day, to just run down & pick up food for 8 people than to cook it. I highly recommend it! So, right now, all is well in The Allen's World. Tonight is American Idol night, Brittni & Jeremiah are coming over for dinner to watch it with me & David, Eddy & Dez. Hmmmm....wonder if I can get WingStop again? me

Friday, February 12, 2010


There's a little something I haven't mentioned yet, because in the beginning it seems SO far away. But now it's time, and I haven't even blogged about the NEW ADDITION TO OUR FAMILY! His name is "Bam" and I really, REALLY want to go pick him up this weekend like we planned. Bam is a yellow lab BOY puppy, that will be 6 weeks old on Sunday. Bam is going to be MY dog, but David says we're getting him for Hunter, so they'll grow up together. Bam is not registered, doesn't come from an amazing Duck Dog Super Retriever Series WINNER of everything there is to win background like Boogie does. He's just a puppy that we're bringing home, making a part of our family, and David is going to train him & see if he can do as good a job on Bam, as Boogie. And for the last SIX WEEKS, David & I planned to drive down to Stuttgart on today, or tomorrow & pick him out/up & bring him home. Now, the kids are here. Plans are all up in the air. No one knows what any one else is doing. (THAT drives ME crazy). And in the back of my mind somewhere, way in the back, I'm thinking to myself...if we leave EARLY in the morning...we can get down there & back before dark....and bring BAM home to meet Hunter! We'll see how it goes...and I'll keep you posted! me

Sleep - or lack thereof...

There is this little saying that I've heard over the years, that I never thought much about until now. It is, "Sleep is over-rated". Not true, not true, SO not true. It seems I've been missing out on some sleep these past two nights & it has finally caught up with me! The good news is, it's Friday. And if I can just make it through today, all will be well. The reason I've been missing sleep is because I've been up well past 1 a.m. the past 2 nights. Like, last night I think it was about 3 when I finally fell asleep. And the reason I've been up so late is because, yes, you guessed it .....HUNTER IS HOME! Des & him drove in Wednesday night. She didn't get to our house until after 10, and Grandma had some loving to do on her boy! Me & Dez always stay up late talking the first night she's home. I want to hear all about Hunter, Eddy, life in Kansas, and she just wants to talk to someone that'll actually talk back- ha ha. Just kidding, but really, I'm sure it does get so lonely for her up there. Eddy goes to work early every morning, and all day it's just her & Hunter in their little apartment. She doesn't know anyone up there, so unless she's got a doctors appointment or something, she's pretty much on her own! Anyway, Eddy drove down last night & didn't get here until midnight. I'm one of THOSE moms, that don't sleep well when I know my kids making a 5 hour road trip after he worked a 10 hour day. But - it must not be as hard on a 22 year old as it would be me, because 30 minutes after he got there he asked me to baby sit Hunter while him & Dez went to Wal Mart!!! My brain was telling have to get up in 5 hours & go to work...but the Grandma in me said-"BABYSIT HUNTER? HECK YEAH!" So I did. And now, NOW I'm paying for it. I stopped and got a quad shot on the way to work this morning....but it hasn't phased me! Woe is me! Anyway, we're back to cramming as much love, time, visiting etc into the time we have together as we can. They'll be here until the end of February. Then before we know it, Eddy will be leaving for Wal Mart (code name for Iraq - it seems the army doesn't want any of us to know where/when he's leaving), and Dez and Hunter will be moving back to Arkansas to wait on Eddy to come home! I keep trying to convince Dez that she should just stay with us (imagine that), but she wants to try get her own place. Either way, her & Hunter will just be a short drive away, instead of 5 hours! On to other news...Brittni is looking for a new job and has a 2nd interview at Toyota this morning. She won't actually be selling cars, she'll be doing call backs on internet leads, but I would love it if she could get this job and get away from Subway. It'll be more money, benefits, and hopefully help her to move toward getting back in school. The precious girl only has 2 more years before she gets her teaching degree, money is holding her back, and I'm afraid it's going to get her down. Subway pays just enough for her living expenses & she's not been able to pay off her JBU balance so she can transfer to the U of A & finish up. So, whoever might be reading this (all 1 or maybe 2 of you...) pray for Brittni. She's an amazing beautiful, smart, driven young woman, that actually KNOWS what she wants to do with her life, she just needs the opportunity to accomplish it! And I know in my heart of hearts she will. It'll just be on God's time, not ours! That's all for now. me

Saturday, February 6, 2010

This week's update

Once again, not much to blog about. But since I created this blog to document & keep up with our lives, I guess I should blog that there's not been much to "document & keep up with". This week, for me, was all about going to work, coming home, eating, going to bed, going to get the picture. For David, it was all about looking for a job. Earlier this week he got a call from a guy that was looking for someone to drive over the road. Although that is not what he wants to do, money is money, and this was pretty good pay. BUT - alas, it did not work out so it's back to the drawing board. Nobody is hiring right now, and it's about to get him down. But I know that God has a plan for him/us, and when the right job is open, He will point David in that direction.
Also on the agenda, is a 2 week visit from Eddy, Dez & Hunter. Eddy will be getting his last "leave" on the 12th of Feb. This is probably the last time he'll be able to come home before he gets deployed. So needless to say, we're really looking forward to it. He goes in for his sleep study tonight, maybe they'll find that he can't sleep - or something that will prevent his deployment. Hey, a mama can only hope! Brittni's doing good. She comes over every Tuesday night & watches American Idol with us. I just enjoy getting to curl up on the love seat with her & talk & watch TV for a couple hours. She's still trying to get JBU paid off so she can get back in school & finish her degree in Education. She only has two years left! I just wish David & I were able to help more. Maybe when they draw the numbers on that 115 MILLION for the power ball today, our numbers will be the lucky ones! Wouldn't that change everything? me

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Four Things You Can't Recover

The stone....after the throw.
The word...after it's said.
The occasion...after it's missed.
The time....after it's gone.