Tuesday, September 30

Carly's Review

The Mysterious Benedict Society by Trenton Lee Stuart
Carly says: "I loved it!"...My favorite thing was the mystery. It was interesting and funny and I kept wanting to know what was going to happen. I liked the happy endings.
Mom's 2-cents:
It was absolutely captivating for Carly. "Don't stop, read one more chapter" or "Let's go read, I want to know what happens". It was full of puzzles to solve and mysteries to investigate. Enough mystery and suspense mixed with humor to keep us wanting to read more.
Carly gave it: 5 out of 5 stars.

Monday, September 29

Good Mail

Okay all you senders of Good Mail, if ever there was a good mail challenge, this is it. I don't know this family personally. This email made it to me through a friend of a friend. But, when I saw what it was asking for, I immediately thought of many of you out there on my blog-roll. So, if you have a minute.........

Friends and Family,

In my capacity as Children’s Ministry Coordinator for my church, I am often given the opportunity to pray and/or do for the children in my group, but I have never been given such an awesome task as I was given yesterday when a mother called me for assistance. This child is not one of mine, nor do I know her, but she is a child of God none the less and my job is to love her as I do my own. Her name is Peyton and she is 8 years old. She has brain cancer, all efforts to control or reduce the cancer have proven unsuccessful, and she has been told that she has only months to live. When asked her greatest wish, she did not give the expected, “I want to go to Disney World” answer. Peyton replied that her one wish is to receive mail every day until she dies. What a simple request for such a difficult fate!

I believe that this child, surely not realizing the impact her request would have on the many it will touch, was tasked by our God to remind us how precious life is. It is so easy for us, in the hustle and bustle of every day life, to forget to cherish the simple blessings, such as a letter, lovingly addressed to you, found in your mailbox. This innocent little girl, one of God’s blessings, is teaching us that though life isn’t always easy or easily comprehended, the simplest things can be the greatest blessings.

Please join me in making this little girl’s wish come true. Her name and address are below. Her mother just wants there to be something for her in her mailbox every day. We may never know the impact these letters will have on this precious child, but hopefully by taking the time to write to her, we will be reminded of the smallest blessings life has to offer.

Love, Gwin N


As I said, I don't know Peyton or her family personally, so I didn't feel right posting her address out there on the blog. But, I have it, so if you are interested in dropping her a piece of good mail, please email me and I will forward the address to you!
4kwise at bellsouth dot net

Sunday, September 28

date night

Last night Kenny and I had our annual date night to Catfish & Khaki's. C&K is the annual fund raiser for Junior Auxiliary of Desoto County. It is a group that performs service projects for local children. This year will complete my 5 years of active service in JA. It is a wonderful group that is able to do some fabulous things for children in our community. But, I am ready for a break. In the previous 4 years, I have been in charge of various projects for the event such as the silent auction, but this year I was more of worker bee than a queen bee. I worked a few hours during the week to help get ready and luckily (thanks to my husband) was able to sale more than my share of tickets. So, last night I was able to kick back and enjoy the event. The event is held outside on the grounds of an old home here in the county. It was another gorgeous night. The weather was perfect for hanging out under the trees filled with little twinkling white lights. Lots of friends were there and it was fun to visit with everyone. Next thing I knew it was midnight!
{Carly took our picture in the driveway before we left}

Sunday, September 21

signs of fall

High School Homecoming Football Game
We went to Homecoming at Carly's school. It was a beautiful fall evening. It felt cool and crisp. Carly was really excited - not about the football game or even the homecoming court. She loves the fact that she can run around with her friends. In fact, this is one of only a couple of times I saw her all night. She dropped by to show us her face painting.
Soccer Season has started

Saturday was Carly's 2nd soccer game. This year Carly moved up to the 3rd-4th grade league. It actually looks like a soccer game. They play positions (sort of), they play as a team (well, a little), and they know the rules (one or two at least). Carly got really close to scoring a couple of times - fooey! But she did make an excellent assist - it is fun to start seeing glimpses of team work!

Friday, September 19

to be a reader I feel awfully illiterate

Yesterday I was reading some blogs like Jill, Wendi, Laurie, Michelle and while I was there linked over to others and then to others
(ever have that happen to you?).
It was a post about books they had read from .......The Big Read a National Endowment for the Arts program designed to encourage community reading initiatives and of their top 100 books, they estimate the average adult has read only six.
Check out one of the above blog posts for the list of 100 books. I went through the list and decided I had read only 18 of the 100 - possibly 2 others when in high school/college but I figure if I can not remember for sure if I read it then I don't get to take credit for it. All I can say about that is at least I am above the national average (although well below the other bloggers noted above).
But, I got to thinking about another list. A list of books that for the past 8 years, I have spent a lot of time reading my way through (again and again and again). What about a list of the top 100 children's books?
This list came from National Education Association.
I highlighted in pink the ones that Carly and I have read together (70). I highlighted in dark blue the ones I have read myself but not with Carly yet (5 more).
For right now, I am going with this list. (even though I don't agree with all the books on the list) I like the results better.
The other list made me feel slightly illiterate.
  • Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White
  • Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak
  • The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein
  • Green Eggs and Ham by Dr. Seuss
  • Good Night Moon by Margaret Wise Brown
  • I Love You Forever by Robert N. Munsch
  • Because of Winn Dixie by Kate DiCamillo
  • Oh! The Places You Will Go by Dr. Seuss
  • The Little House by Virginia Lee Burton
  • The Polar Express by Chris Van Allsburg
  • Skippyjon Jones by Judy Schachner
  • Thank You Mr. Falker by Patricia Polacco
  • The Cat In The Hat by Dr. Seuss
  • The Lorax by Dr. Seuss
  • The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane by Kate
  • DiCamillo The Mitten by Jan Brett
  • Crunching Carrots, Not Candy by Judy Slack
  • Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus by Mo Willlems
  • Harry Potter Series by J.K. Rowling
  • A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle
  • Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good Very Bad
  • Day by Judith Viorst
  • Are You My Mother? by P.D. Eastman
  • Corduroy by Don Freeman
  • Lilly's Purple Plastic Purse by Kevin Henkes
  • Stellaluna by Janell Cannon
  • Tacky the Penquin by Helen Lester
  • The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis
  • The Velveteen Rabbit by Margery Williams
  • Chicka Chicka Boom Boom by Bill Martin Jr.
  • Click Clack Moo: Cows That Type Doreen Cronin
  • Harold and the Purple Crayon by Crockett Johnson
  • Horton Hatches the Egg by Dr. Seuss
  • Junie B. Jones by Barbara Park
  • Little House in the Big Woods by Laura Ingalls Wilder
  • Make Way For Ducklings by Robert McCloskey
  • The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster
  • Piggie Pie by Margie Palatini
  • The Little Engine That Could by Watty Piper
  • The Monster at the End of this Book by Jon Stone
  • The Tale of Despereaux by Kate DiCamillo
  • A Bad Case of Stripes by David Shannon
  • Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs by Judi Barrett
  • From the Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler by E.L. Konigsburg
  • Inkheart by Cornelia Funke
  • Maniac Magee by Jerry Spinelli
  • Officer Buckle and Gloria by Peggy Rathmann
  • Olivia by Ian Falconer
  • The BFG by Roald Dahl
  • The Kissing Hand by Audrey Penn
  • The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett
  • The Sneetches by Dr. Seuss
  • The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle
  • Tikki Tikki Tembo by Arlene Mosel
  • A Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett
  • Bark, George by Jules Feiffer
  • Bunnicula by James Howe
  • Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl
  • Charlie the Caterpillar by Dom DeLuise
  • Chrysanthemum by Kevin Henkes
  • Dear Mr. Henshaw by Beverly Cleary
  • Frederick by Leo Lionni
  • Frindle by Andrew Clements
  • Frog and Toad by Arnold Lobel
  • Guess How Much I Love You by Sam McBratney
  • Harris and Me by Gary Paulsen
  • Harry the Dirty Dog by Gene Zion
  • Hop on Pop by Dr. Seuss
  • How the Grinch Stole Christmas by Dr. Seuss
  • I Love You, Stinky Face by Lisa McCourt
  • Is Your Mama A Llama? by Deborah Guarino
  • Jan Brett’s books
  • Knots on a Counting Rope by Bill Martin Jr.
  • Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
  • Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel by Virginia Lee Burton
  • Miss Rumphius by Barbara Cooney
  • My Father's Dragon by Ruth Stiles Gannett
  • My Many Colored Days by Dr. Seuss
  • My Side of the Mountain by Jean Craighead George
  • No David! by David Shannon
  • One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish by Dr. Seuss
  • Where the Sidewalk Ends by Shel Silverstein
  • Stephanie's Ponytail by Robert Munsch
  • Swimmy by Leo Lionni
  • The Hundred Dresses by Eleanor Estes
  • The Boxcar Children by Gertrude Warner
  • The Dark Is Rising by Susan Cooper
  • The Empty Pot by Demi
  • The Five Chinese Brothers by Claire Huchet Bishop
  • The Giver by Lois Lowr
  • The Grouchy Ladybug by Eric Carle
  • The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien
  • The Important Book by Margaret Wise Brown
  • The Last Holiday Concert by Andrew Clements
  • The Napping House by Audrey Wood
  • The Quiltmaker's Gift by Jeff Brumbeau
  • The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats
  • The Story About Ping by Marjorie Flack
  • The True Story of the Three Little Pigs by Jon Scieszka
  • Tuck Everlasting by Natalie Babbitt The Wide-Mouthed Frog:
  • A Pop-Up Book by Keith Faulkner
what about you?
have you read these books with your kids?

Monday, September 15

last one, no really, no more

More Birthday

{birthday dinner at mom & dad's}

{Mom, Kacey, Dad, me & Finn...Carly took our picture}

{what else would we have...meatloaf, mashed potatoes, butter peas..... forgot to take picture of the pound cake and Cool Whip :0) thanks mom, exactly what I wanted!}

{and of course, gifts! renewed my People magazine subscription, pottery, black & white picture of W.I.S.E., and stationery}

wow! at all the birthday goodness that has come my way!

Kenny, Carly and I had a wonderful birthday day (without ANY pictures). A beautiful morning soccer game, a couple of errands, chinese for lunch, another present (perfume) and cards, a birthday afternoon nap, vegging out, a long bath, and date night with Kenny!

I have had special hand deliveries from friends Ginny and Jan, good mail packages from family Celeste and John & Libba, good mail packages from blogging friends Linda, Natasha, Jill, Michelle, flowers from blogging friend Heather, cards, emails, phone calls, and many comments on my blog all from friends and family!

Sunday, September 14

something I've always wanted

For years when we go to the Germantown Festival, I have admired a man who does chalk portraits. I have watched many kids sit in his chair and him work his little magic. I love the colorful, abstract results. I have mentioned in years past that I would like to have Carly's done "one day". This year, I found myself in front of his booth watching again.
Carly came over to me and said, "I will do it for your birthday if you want me to". Her and Kenny had talked about it and decided it would be a wonderful birthday present.
We had to make an appointment for later in the day.

Carly did very good - sitting for an hour while he did his magic. You can barely see her knee in the left corner of the booth. The artist asked us to stay out of her line of sight so that her eyes would stay on him.

When my mom asked Carly what she had given me for my birthday. Carly told her "I sat in a chair for an hour" :o)

I LOVE IT! I love that there are little pieces of her personality coming through. I love her bright green eyes. I love her strong jaw line. I love that the corner of her lips are slightly turned up like she knew she wasn't suppose to smile but she was happy underneath. I love that along the hairline are little wisps of blond highlights. It is beautiful and I can't wait to get it framed and hung up in the house!

Thank you Kenny and Carly. It is perfect!

Saturday, September 13

Wow! I am having wonderful birthday fun, and I have so much to post about - birthday at "home", birthday with Kenny & Carly, birthday presents, amazing birthday good mail, birthday deliveries. But, right now I wanted to post one more special "36" list. A while back I read some things I had listed as my favorites when I was a senior in high school. It was fun to see how my life has changed, how I have changed. I wish I had made more lists in the past 18 years.
36 Things
that make me smile
"I love you" from Carly.....Kenny hugs.....family.....girlfriend time.....sonic drinks.....long hot baths.....going "home".....snuggling with Carly.....laughing with Kenny.....good mail.....a fire in the fireplace.....porch swing.....compliments from Kenny.....a good book.....quiet time.....Dad's pats.....sunsets .....B&W photos.....traveling.....Christmas stockings......Easter baskets......a new magazine......wonderful wrapping.....taking pictures......playing games......stationery.....school supplies.....Halloween......scrapbooking.....blogging.....the beach.....no dirty laundry.....progress with a work kiddo.....gerber daisies.....sweet notes.....date nights

Thursday, September 11

Today's List
36 Foods I like to Eat
  1. tomatoes (especially homegrown in the summer and especially with #2, #10, #17, #25, oh and don't forget #21)
  2. eggs (scrambled, fried, poached, quiche, frittata, stuffed, omelets, egg salad, got it? I pretty much like eggs)
  3. mom's meatloaf (and chicken & dumplin's and chicken spaghetti = comfort food)
  4. Finn's sweet pickles
  5. homemade vanilla ice cream
  6. pound cake (don't forget the Cool Whip)
  7. birthday cake (oh, okay and wedding cake too)
  8. chocolate covered strawberries
  9. sushi
  10. salsa
  11. cheese grits
  12. doug's biscuits (including when they are made by Kenny )
  13. chocolate chip cookies (definitely soft and even better if hot and gooey)
  14. Pig Stand BBQ ...in memory :o(
  15. Kenny's BBQ ribs
  16. BBQ nachos
  17. pimento and cheese (homemade, not that stuff you buy in the grocery)
  18. broccoli cornbread
  19. Italian salsa (exactly like bruschetta topping or tapenade, but completely different)
  20. Celeste's ravioli & salad dressing
  21. bread (pretty much any kind, it all has it's place)
  22. ice cream sandwiches
  23. sweet potato casserole (which makes me want the rest of the Thanksgiving meal too)
  24. shish-ka-bobs (look Dad your cooking even made the list!)
  25. chicken salad
  26. stuffed mushrooms
  27. smoked tuna dip
  28. crabcakes
  29. shrimp poboys
  30. seafood gumbo (starting to see a pattern here? I started thinking about the beach)
  31. chili
  32. Wise family chicken soup
  33. Finn's vegetable soup
  34. fried okra (makes me want to go to Ala Carte right now!)
  35. mashed potatoes (especially with #3)
  36. movie popcorn

Tuesday, September 9

knock knock
who's there?
36 who
36 things about Kim Sue
that you wish you knew
Today's list
36 of my Favorite Movies
Top Gun
Pretty Woman
Mystic Pizza
You've Got Mail
Somethings Gotta Give
Italian Job
My Cousin Vinny
Thelma & Louise
As Good As It Gets
Good Will Hunting
Wizard of Oz
Notting Hill
Ocean's 11
Borne Identity
The Fugitive
When Harry Met Sally
The Breakfast Club
St. Elmo's Fire
Ferris Bueller's Day Off
Dirty Dancing
Road House
Risky Business
Urban Cowboy
Sleepless in Seattle
Parent Trap
The Devil Wears Prada
That Thing You Do
Pelican's Brief
Thomas Crown Affair
National Treasure
Step Mom

Monday, September 8

I was there!

Kendra emailed this to me today.
I was there.
Thanks Kendra for taking my picture and sharing it!

{Carly & I - Heber Springs - Labor Day 2008}

Sunday, September 7

germantown festival

Nothing says "Fall is coming" like the Germantown Festival.
It is held each year the weekend after Labor Day.
There are booths after booths of handmade wares such as pottery, jewelry, clothes, candles, dried flowers, paintings, food products.
Celeste (MIL) and Doug have a booth
selling their handmade wooden spoons.
It's called 'Sis & D Spoons'.

It gives us the opportunity to see Celeste and Doug. We stop by and visit and wander around to shop a little. The weather was gorgeous (hinting of the coming fall) and the crowds were large. Each time we came by the booth there were lots of customers.

Beside 'Sis & D Spoons' was a lady selling the most amazing clay art. She was sitting in front of her booth making small pieces and giving them away. Carly was mesmerized. She spent a lot of time watching. The lady made Carly a orange morning-glory. You can see the flower in the picture. Then she added a leaf with a tiny inch worm on it. We carried it around all day. She put it in a tiny vase for her room. It is hard to tell in the picture but on the front of her little table are tiny clay animals (roosters, monkeys, turtles, frogs, pigs, birds) which had such amazing details.



Behind 'Sis & D' spoons was a children's clothing booth. It had the cutest clothes. Hanging beside the booth was this super cute green gingham dress with smocked pumpkins...CUTE! I tried several times to talk Carly into it. Nope. When she saw me go over and look at the price tag, she said "mom you promised, no more scrunchy dresses". A couple of weeks ago, when I made her put one on for church, I promised when she outgrew the couple that were in the closet that I would not buy anymore. She held me to it. I couldn't even talk her into it as MY birthday present. Nope. So, all I got was a picture of the super cute pumpkin dress.


We had a great day. I bought a Christmas present. We ate fair food. We ran into people we knew and enjoyed a beautiful day out and about.




Kenny & Carly got my birthday present.

Shhhh.....I'll save more about that for later!

Saturday, September 6

happy grandparents' day

"what my grandparents have taught me this year"
by Carly
Finn....."how to color pretty"
grandaddy..... "how to love animals and about turkey calls"
mam mam....."about math and reading"

nona....."about cooking"

d....."about making biscuits"

Thank you for all the lessons, little to big,

and for all the fun that you have together.

We love you, very, very much!

first birthday present

A couple of weeks ago, I gave Kenny a list of birthday gift ideas. On the top of the list, with a star beside it, and noted as "this is what I REALLY want" was to clean the garage out. Weekend before last, we worked all day on Saturday cleaning, organizing, putting away, throwing away, and putting our garage back into working order. Yippee!

Since we cleaned it out, I smile each time I pull my car in!

Thank you Sweetie, it's perfect!

Friday, September 5

august reads

  • Reckless Abandon by Stuart Woods
I like books in a series. Each time you read one you feel like you get to know the characters a little better. Obviously, it is best to read them in order which is what I typically do. But, I picked up a Stuart Woods' book a couple of months ago and now have read a couple more. This one comes 'before' the others specifically Iron Orchid. Holly comes to NY on a manhunt for a multi-murder "hidden" away by the FBI in the witness protection program. She enlist the whole list of characters to help including Stone, Dino, and Lance.
  • One Mississippi by Mark Childress
I thought this book was depressingly sad. Really, I felt sad for everyone in the book. They all had problems. Pretty much they were all dysfunctional. Critics quoted on the book covered said it was "humorous". Hmmmm, maybe in a black comedy kind of way? It was an interesting read - in a "can't look away from the train wreck" kind of way. t. I was sure with each chapter I started that something else was going to happen to the characters. And, I was right.

  • Compulsion by Jonathan Kellerman
Alex Delaware and his buddy Detective Milo Sturgis are the main characters in this crime novel. I've read several in this series but when I went to find a picture, I discovered there were lots of them (22?). They are good characters that are generally trying to find out "who dun' it?" This time they are interested in a group of murders without apparent motive and connected only by a suspect with multiple "looks". Oh, and a side story about Robin (Alex's girlfriend) making a mandolin for a wealthy .com entrepreneur. I think Robin would make for an interesting lead character. Hmmm
  • Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery
Nope, I don't think I had ever read it? Not sure why. Probably because it was written in 1908 and took place on Prince Edward Island? But I'm glad I decided to. It was a wonderful story with brilliant characters. I think I might have to read the sequels. Or, maybe re-read this one with Carly and then read the sequels together? I think Carly would like Anne too. She was feisty and full of life. "Isn't it nice to think that tomorrow is a new day with no mistakes in it?" Anne

Wednesday, September 3

our plan....

.....a fun weekend with friends

{Labor Day weekend at Heber Springs with the Bradshaw's}

{girl fun}

{cocktail hour}

{"okay, one smile that's all you get"}

{"I love my daddy"}

{"stop, I want off"}

{"my stuff is going to hurt tomorrow"}

{synchronized rock jumping}


plan for next time (if we get invited back).......

make sure Kendra & I are in a couple of pictures!