Tuesday, July 26, 2011

In the words of John Brummett

I never seem to explain things right, so I'm going to let John Brummett do the talking for me. This is his Sunday column and explains things a bit on why we are moving.

Former columnist zapped from on-high

By John Brummett

It seems that state Rep. David Sanders of Little Rock may have written one column too many in his days as a pundit here at our Arkansas News Bureau.

You remember those happy times when the dapper David was alleged to be the conservative counterpart to my perfectly moderate self.

Here’s the one-two-three-four of what seems to have happened to Sanders, the quintessential Republibaptist, now a citizen politician whose day job is raising money for the private school at the First Baptist Church in Little Rock.

1. Through a strange set of circumstances, Sanders got out of the column business and into direct electoral politics. He got himself elected to the state House of Representatives in the tea party tidal wave last year, representing a district extending from west Little Rock into Saline County and Hot Springs Village.

2. The decennial U.S. Census required the state Board of Apportionment to redraw legislative districts this year for the next election cycle, and that board consists of Gov. Mike Beebe, Attorney General Dustin McDaniel and an outnumbered and irrelevant Republican, Secretary of State Mark Martin.

3. That is to say that a confluence of factors provided that Sanders’ district would get redrawn by two people, Beebe and McDaniel, about whom, in his column days, he had written essays that were personal and, I can tell you, resented by the subjects.

One suggested that Beebe’s boy got a shale-drilling job because of the gubernatorial connection. Another called into question the forthrightness of McDaniel’s running for attorney general and, soon after getting elected, divorcing his wife.

Let me tell you about politicians generally: They do not like criticism, period, but they especially don’t like it when it extends to their personal family lives.

It’s as if I were in the Legislature and, oh, Tim Hutchinson got to redraw my district. He’d draw a straight line from my house to Harrison and over to Bella Vista.

4. Beebe and McDaniel unveiled a House redistricting plan last week that dips into Sanders’ existing district to extract his house and immediate neighborhood and jerk them into a new district that is majority black, thus Democratic and thus not naturally amenable to your every-day Republibaptist with tea party inclinations.

“What do you think?” Sanders replied when I asked him if he thought this was personal.

I think I answered that in my one-two-three-four.

Sanders doesn’t want to blame those personal columns. He wants to cite his arch-conservative legislative record, including his vocal opposition to early versions of Beebe’s prison reform bill that led to a little public set-to between Sanders and the governor, and the governor’s press secretary, near the Capitol tunnel.

Sanders is — how shall I put this? — the kind of guy who can draw attention to himself and get under one’s skin, even, over the years, mine a time or two, though not lately.

For example: It’s not enough for Sanders to be an arch-conservative Republican. He has to go and pen a public letter pleading with that odd Texas governor, Rick Perry, to run for president, and then get a bunch of his kook caucus colleagues to sign it.

In the end Sanders will be merely inconvenienced, not undone, by this personal slight from on high.

He has a family of seven in a house comfortable for a family of five, and he was figuring to move anyway. He can relocate by a mile and be snugly back in his safely Republican district. He intends to do that.

Beebe and McDaniel did much this same thing to state Sen. Jason Rapert, Republican of Bigelow, and, oddly, some kind of distant relative of Sanders.

Rapert’s neighborhood got jerked over into a Conway-based Senate district. But he can win there, most likely, or he can take an apartment in western Little Rock, a part of his original district, and get re-elected.

How do I adjudge this personal redistricting by Beebe and McDaniel?

It’s tacky, yes, but all they accomplished was to expedite one guy’s move and cause another guy to think about moving as one of two viable options.

Sanders’ kids will appreciate the additional space.

Monday, July 25, 2011

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Where'd he go?

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Walmart cart ride

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Tuesday, July 19, 2011


The Go-Gos song rings thru my head whenever I hear the word "vacation" even though the song has nothing to do with the Destin beach kind that we so enjoyed. We've never gone on a REAL vacation since having kids. We've taken the kids to Branson a couple of times, and we all went to Greensboro NC as SBC messengers the summer we celebrated 10 years of marriage. That's it. We had Disney on the horizon 5 years ago, but then came Elijah and that all changed... and then Levi too. Then David ran for office. It just wasn't possible. We finally did it and I am so glad.
We had the best time.
We left at 6am. Got there about 6pm. We were making great time. The drive was going extremely well. I was thinking "why don't we do this more often?" but then toward the end of the drive, right when there was no place to turn into... Levi explodes. His diaper had worked its way into a wedgie so that the elastic was right between his cheeks. There was no hope. Abigail being the oldest of 5 who sat between Levi and Elijah in the way back, calmly said "there is poop on my leg. Levi exploded." She didn't freak out at all. I climbed back there and did the best I could with a package of wipes. But OH MY. It was not enjoyable! We finally made it to the Florida welcome center and everyone felt the need to get cleaned up whether contact was made or not!
Traffic hit us the closer we got, but we were able to avoid most of it by following David's gut. The mid-bay bridge was jammed full, that was the big wait, right when the kids were going crazy wanting to be there. But even with all that... it really wasn't bad. Of course, I brought throwback headphones that blocked out most noise and listened to "The Help" through much of it. If you need an audio book... that one is awesome. The accents the characters had were absolutely perfect. I read that in the book the white ladies don't have a "written" accent like the black ladies do, but in the listening one... they very much have SU thuhn accents. Great great book. Highly recommend!
We got there early enough to throw our suits on and hit the beach. The condo was right on the beach. Elijah was timid. Levi liked to stand on the chairs that we put at the edge. he liked the water to come up on his toes. He would go out without complaint, but he didn't love it. Elijah really didn't want to have much to do with the water. He'd play in the sand and ask to go to the pool. The older three loved it. They boogie boarded and acted like fish thru all that seaweed that wigged me out a bit. The water apparently is filled with seaweed in July. Didn't bother the kids one bit. I still went out (and once you got past the seaweed stuck in the surf, it was clear) and boogie boarded as much as I could, but Levi didn't like it when I left him.
Ron and Kathy came down Monday night through Friday morning. Levi was more tolerant of me leaving him when Papa was there. I got to play more then :) David and I also went to Stinky's all by ourselves one night. That was nice. We usually grilled there at the condo.
It was a great week. I had to clean the place the last day there. I didn't love that. I suppose we did that to save money, I don't know b/c I didn't handle that part. David rented it thru a friend who owns it. I didn't think I'd mind cleaning, but it pretty much sucked up the last day for me, then we had to go out to eat b/c I didn't want to mess the place up. I went out to the beach in the morning, then came in and cleaned the rest of the day. I didn't let anyone go back out in the afternoon like they did all the other days b/c they had to shower after that morning and then not again or I wouldn't be able to clean it. Elijah finally decided he liked the water the last day! We actually took him out in it that morning b/c he threw sand on Levi. I took Levi out to get cleaned up and told David he should take Elijah out too in order to teach him not to do it. He didn't like going at first, but then he loved it! stinker And it was right when I was going in to clean so I missed most of it!
Had to change the sheets before leaving... and when you leave at 6am, that is quite the chore. SO, I know I will never do THAT again no matter how much it saves!
In spite of that, we had a great time. It was nice to get away and not think about redistricting for a week. Maps came out today, but THAT is a separate post :)

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Sittin on the balcony eating my lunch

Thursday, July 7, 2011

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Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Lake Ouachita 4th of July

We had so much fun at the lake yesterday! When David told me a fellow state rep (Bruce Westerman) invited us to spend the day with their fam at the lake, then their house for dinner, then fireworks that night... I thought they were crazy. No one invites us to spend a FULL DAY with them. I mean, there are SEVEN of us. And for most folks, that is a lot to take on. But when David said they had 4 kids of their own, I thought "well, they know what they are in for..." and then he said they had a 15 year old boy, 12 year old girl, 10 year old boy, and 9 year old boy. Not positive I got all those ages *exactly* right, but three of their kids matched my older three: it would be fun for them and I figured I could deal. To my surprise, it was a fairly relaxing day. We beached at a little area that E swam in like a fish. He's yet to do that. He's fairly scared when we're at the pool. Will not go in alone and fights going in with someone... wearing a lifejacket. He was convinced there were sharks in the lake and even said he would die at the lake. Did not want to go. Levi doesn't like the kiddie pool. Not even the one in our backyard. And then there is napping...


Elijah swam all over the place (in a lifejacket of course). By himself. Happy as a lark swimming along the shore. Didn't care to go in the boat. I'm sure he would have but since he was having so much fun, I figured we'd not chance it... and there were plenty of kids wanting to go in the boat. Levi LOVED the boat. He even fell asleep riding around in it. So the older three tubed. David was on the boat most of the time with Levi. Levi was in the water with me some, but was great. We had wonderful grilled burgers. They both fell asleep when riding back to their house. The tough time came when they woke up before dinner (shishkabobs and twice baked potatoes- my fave) and then waiting to leave for fireworks. It wasn't too bad though.

We left for the Balboa fireworks early hoping they'd fall asleep again... but nope. They were fine though. Levi didn't love them, but didnt' cry. He'd clap for them when everyone else did, but he still wasn't so sure he should be excited about it. Elijah loved them... and of course the others did too.

Didn't get home til after 11. Levi didn't fall asleep in the car either... but unlike last year... didn't cry at all. He watched Hi-5 DVDs with tired eyes.

I told David on the way home how much fun I had and how surprised I was it went as well as it did. But I told him the TRUE test of how well it went was what THEY thought. Ha And unfortunately, an extended invitation to our house would not be nearly as exciting. They have a boat, lake, and live out in the country with cows and chickens. We have a house with a small yard and an 18 inch plastic kiddie pool.

one more lake pic

This pic was taken the night before at David's parents house.

Ain't she purty?
David's brother and fam came up for the weekend. They stayed with us Saturday night and his parents Sunday night. Always good to have them here. Just wish they lived here!

Sunday David and I sang a song I'd never heard but liked. I didn't like it at first... but it grew on me :) Our friend videoed on his iphone. Not my best... totally oversang the congregational songs before this one :)

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Finished bathroom! I put the cabinet together and hung it on a 1x2 that I screwed into a stud... all by my lonesome. Yey me.

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New Bathroom pics coming soon...

I want to paint just about every room in this house. I love the Rainwashed color we used when we painted the kitchen/family room/hall a few years ago. If we were to ever move, I would use that color again. This blog post has some great pictures of it: http://www.houseofturquoise.com/2010/05/beloved-rainwashed.html
The kitchen was red (family room and hall were a light yellow). Sherwin Williams Red Bay to be exact. It's a great red. But I was tired of it. The bathroom was also red. I have always wanted a gray bathroom. Not my house... but this is Red Bay.

I started painting the downstairs bath a few weeks ago. . I'd gotten a free quart from Glidden years ago but haven't had time to attempt to paint. Things are finally starting to calm down a bit so I thought I'd give it a shot. I hated the color. It was supposed to be dark gray, but it looked almost navy blue for some reason. My mom painted her bathroom a lighter gray and had some paint leftover so I tried that. Love it. Got it done quickly with Abigail's help. Still have to hang the cabinet. Will post a pic once that is done.
The dining room is still red. We were able to choose 4 colors when we built and they were Red Bay, Relaxed Khaki (our room, office, downstairs bedroom, upstairs hall), Cucumber (kids rooms)... and I don't remember the light yellow I had in the family room/hall and still have in the kids bathroom.
I want to paint the dining room a color like this:
Our floors are dark wood like in the pic. I also like this:

SW Tea Light
Then the office and back bedroom... and then upstairs. Maybe in 5 years I can have it all done and I'll be ready to start again...

Friday, July 1, 2011

I wore this dress when I made top 10 at Miss Arkansas... 1996. I got married 6 weeks later. I can't believe Abigail is big enough to wear it, and I can't believe I was ever that skinny.

Mr Big Head

Top of the chart for head circumference. Just like his dad. Ha

All Region Music

Disclaimer: Posting info here for my students... everyone else... SKIP
I won't have the music til August, but here are the titles.
Junior High auditions are Oct 22. Click on the title to hear an example. All are choral examples except for Esurientes... couldn't find a choir singing that one.
The Cloths of Heaven (SATB, Stroope, Colla Voce, $1.65)  The Elm Tree (SSA, Rentz, Carl Fischer, $1.80)  Esurientes Implevit Bonis (SA, Vivaldi / ed. Stultz, MorningStar, $1.70)  Jubilance (SATB, Spevacek, Hal Leonard, $1.80)  Softly As I Leave You (TTBB, de Vita / Shaper, arr. Simmons, Alan Simmons, $2.00)  Swell the Full Chorus (SATB, Handel / arr. Leavitt, Hal Leonard, $1.80)  
High School auditions are Oct 29. Found an example from the 1989 Arkansas All State Choir for one of them. Seniors, you'll recognize the last one :)
Ascribe to the Lord (Common Region, SSAA, Powell, Hal Leonard, $2.25)  Music, Spread Thy Voice Around (Common Region, SSATB, Handel / ed. Herrmann, Hal Leonard, $1.80)  O Clap Your Hands (Common Region, SAATB, Rutter, Oxford, $1.95) Zion's Walls (Common Region, TTBB, Copland / arr. Koponen, Hal Leonard, $2.50)  Os Justi (SSAA, Daley, Alliance, 1.60)  Ubi Caritas (SATB, Gjeilo, Hal Leonard, $1.90) 
And here is y'all singing it in 9th grade:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zBKb3qYU6-c  There is that one chord that we never could get...
You'll be able to pick up music/CDs August 5. Downloading good examples on your ipod/phone now wouldn't be a bad idea though. Get a head start :)