Jul 30, 2009

Art Collection

One of the things that I have enjoyed collecting over the last few years is different pieces of art work. We typically only acquire 1 nice piece every year or two.

My absolute favorite I discovered as a framed print in a flea market in Florida about 10 years ago. It is a piece by Renoir called "The Boating Party". I fell in love with this particular one mainly because it represented each one of my friends (might as well be family) in the painting. A few years ago for Christmas my husband managed to find it on canvas for me and it is absolutely beautiful - I am still waiting for him to get it framed - I think I may have to do it, but then he'll loose brownie points for an incomplete gift (JK).

Some of the other pieces we have are 2 Chris Consani prints - "Legal Action" and "Highway 51". These are great pieces that feature several stars of the 40's and 50's together in different locals. There are also little things hidden in the art, some more obvious than others.

We have also picked up a few oil paintings from our local "Starving Artist" sales. These are great because we get to support local talent and find seascapes which we love (duh...we live on the gulf coast). We are still looking for a large painting of a sailboat at full mast for our living room, but half the fun is going to the shows and looking.

Yesterday Clint called me at work to tell me he had come across some work my Michael Godard that he really liked. We had recently seen his work in a gallery in Las Vegas and had been really impressed, so I knew who he was talking about. He ended up buying 2 pieces "Money to Burn" which is a print and "Martini Club" is on canvas. Both are already framed so one less thing for me to do - bonus. There was another one he liked called "Lost in Paradise". I googled it today and almost wish he had bought that one too. Right now both are hanging in our bedroom, but when we get our new house in a couple years (fingers crossed) and have a media room - sorry kids, this ones for the grown ups. We will hang them in there along with our signed Reckless Kelly "Bulletproof" guitar.

I really hope that our eclectic style and love of many different genres of art, music, etc give our kids an appreciation of all kinds of different things and inspires their creativity.

Jul 29, 2009


Okay...last post of the day, I promise. I was just looking at some of my favorite blogs (and a few blogs of note) when I realized that my blog is titled "The Gone Again Smiths", yet I haven't really blogged a whole lot about all our recent adventures. Well, it's time to remedy that right now.

Lets start with this past weekend. Our travels this past week took us up to Lake Livingston (technically a small town called Onalaska) where our family has a piece of property with a barn built on it. The house is still in planning stages. When my in-laws retire this is where they plan to move and we are going to finish out the upper level of the barn and it will be our own little bungalow when we go up to visit.

Clint and Christian got up at 3:30 am to drive up to Livingston to go fishing with Rick. This was Christian's first fishing trip and he was super excited. Clint said he actually stayed awake until they stopped at the donut shop where he ordered "a pirates donut" which was really a blue frosted donut and a kolache. After that he slept all the way to the boat dock. My future angler caught the only keeper of the day. A catfish.

Angelique and I left our house about 9:30 that morning and stopped by my favorite resale shop "Changes" to see if we could find a nice gift for Clint's mom's birthday. We hit the jackpot. I found a current season Dooney and Burke purse with the tags still on it for $150. (She is a lot like me and will not spend that kind of money on herself, but really wanted one). She is treating it like a new baby. It doesn't go on the floor and she would not go into the store while it was raining for fear of it getting wet! I think we did a good job.

From there we went to join the boys up a the lake. We actually stayed at a family friends house just a street away from our property while we were there. Angelique showed off her new bike riding skills for her Nana and Papa (Clint's parents). Not long after we got there a fierce storm blew in and ruined our planned boating adventure. So instead we headed to the store to buy food for dinner and had a nice barbeque on the deck.

The next morning Rick took Christian out fishing for perch (but didn't catch anything). The rest of us got up and had a good old fashioned artery clogging breakfast (not good for my diet) and got ready to start our rescheduled boating adventure. What we didn't foresee was that Christian's catfish had been forgotten in the live well of the boat during the previous days storm. Talk about a smelly mess, not to mention Christian being extremely upset that his fish had died.

We finally made it out to the water and a place called Pine Island with a small sand beach (we mostly missed the sand and ended up in a lot of mud which the kids had a blast thowing). We aired up the ginormous tube - it is made for 4, but I think we've actually had 6 on it at a time. We lounged and played for a few hours. Then when it appeared weather was moving in again we decided to call it a day. The girls, Angelique, Cat and myself got pulled back on the tube. I think at some point we lost some air in the tube because it was a whip-lash inducing ride. Angelique got off close to the dock and Clint subjected his mother and me to his special "I'm gonna make you fly off this thing" treatment. When we managed to get off alive we loaded up the boat and headed home. Rick and Cat are staying the week to paint the barn. What color - barn red with white trim of course.

All in all we had a great weekend, although I am a little sore and have a rope burn on my toes from trying to stay on the tube.

Look Ma...No Training Wheels!

I probably should have done it a long time ago, but I finally took the training wheels off Angelique's bicycle. It was something she and I had been discussing for about 2 months, so it was not a shock to her.

I was pretty nervous about it, despite knowing she would do fine. One of her training wheels has been severly bent for a while now. So much so that in order to ride she had to lean on the other side or ride sideways. I eventully got the bright idea to tell her it was the perfect opportunity to learn to ride without them without it being so scary. "All you have to do is balance in the middle and try not to let the wheels touch the ground" She was riding anywhere from 30 seconds to a whole minute without my hearing that terrible scraping sound of training wheels on pavement.

Last Friday I told her..."Its time". She was so very excited, and then I couln't find her helmet in our mess of a garage. I couldn't let her down after I got her hopes up, so I let her ride. We have a scheduled trip to Wally World to find a new cool helmet.
She was very confident getting out there but still wanted help. She kept telling me "Just push me a little." But, I didn't give and and she did perfect. The only thing she has to worry about now is her little brother running in to her (he now wants his training wheels off too, but has a habbit of crasing on purpose with the training wheels on - so that won't be happening for a while yet).

Lana and Shawn's wedding

It has been one busy month. Lana and Shawn's wedding started it off for the month of July. Nearly everyone we know was in the wedding. I just managed to transfer over the few pictures that my mother in law managed to take before my camera died (do you think my 3 yr old taking all kinds of random pictures had anything to do with it?). We managed to get some really great shots.

Here's a picture of Ryleigh and Angelique after the rehersal
in their flower girl tees Ryan made for them.
She also made them some really cute tote bags to carry their
jewelry, headbands, and slippers in. She is so talented.

My babies together at the reception. He ended up being my
dance partner all night because the girls wouldn't dance with him!

And of course the beautiful bride!

Jul 15, 2009

Vera Bradley Give Away

Over at Lauren Nicole's website she is doing a great give away for a Vera Bradley Bali Blue Handbag.

She will be taking entries until midnight on Thursday July 16, 2009. A winner will be drawn and announced on Friday, July 17, 2009. Enter Here .

If you have a love for Vera Bradley head on over there NOW and enter for this great Handbag!Check out her website too! It has lots of great buys!

Donuts in the breakroom!

Why, oh why? This morning there are 3 boxes of donuts, honey buns and other assorted fattening sweets sitting on the table in the kitchen at work.
Does anyone else ever try to make changes for the better in their life and then find their vice starting them in the face everywhere they turn. Is it just me, or is the world trying to sabotage me? I am really trying to get serious about loosing some weight. I have been steadily gaining weight for the past 2 year and am tired of having to buy larger clothing and not liking the way I look.

Diets have failed me. I have a really bad habit of telling myself "I can have this, I will just start over tomorrow" or "I can always work this off tonight" only to not have time (or in all honesty be too lazy) to work out. I have come up with a new plan of action. First step - eat correct portion sizes. Second step - Food Journal: write down everything I eat. This is what I think will help me the most given that I am prone to snacking when bored. If I am craving something I remind myself, "You are going to have to write this down and evaluate your eating at the end of the day. How is eating this going to make you feel then?" Third step - don't skip meals. I tend to skip breakfast despite having time and food available. Fourth step - allow for a cheat day (but still document intake). It is really important I give my self an opportunity to indulge (in moderation) on the foods I crave the most so I don't end up binging on them in a week or two and giving up completely. For instance, my family will be attending a friends birthday party this weekend. Sure to be lots of food and temptation. I am not very much of a sweets person, so the cake doesn't worry me, but I am addicted to chips. They are my ultimate downfall. Plan of action is to get a small plate rather than snacking out of the bowl and having no idea of how much I have eaten.

I am only on the 3rd day (messed up on step 3 yesterday). I am optimistic that this can really work for me. I lucked out this morning by having already eaten my breakfast (oatmeal - the original kind that comes in a canister without sugar) by the time the donuts arrived. Yay for following the plan today!

Jul 5, 2009


I have to admit I was skeptical about watching this movie. We are certianly a Christian family, but this was kind of one of those things that all of our "church" friends said we should see. Even then some of our "church" friends didn't think it was a movie worth spending time on. After all it's starring Kirk Cameron. The kid from Growing Pains with a best friend name "Boner".

As a little insite ingo myself, I am cheap. My children borrow movies from the library rather than renting from Blockbuster. So, when I went to look at the movies in the grown up section and came across Fireproof, I decided to give it a try. It wasn't going to cost me any money and if I could get my husband to sit down and watch it, it could enrich our lives.

I have now been enlightened. I guess we are now "church" people because I will be encouraging my best friends Rachel and Ryan to take the time to sit down and watch this movie. Yes it got off to a rough start with the acting and directing, but within about 10 minutes it definately got better. I ended up crying a few times, and my action loving husband said it was a good movie. My daughter did not watch the movie with us (I do not reccommend having young children in the room for several parts of this movie), but was sitting in the recliner at the end was looking at me with her little exasperated look as to say knock it off. I tried to explain the main theme of the movie to her, which is you cannot fully love and devote your heart to anyone unless you have devoted your heart to Christ first. I think a lot of it went over her head at this age (6), but I will spend the rest of her childhood teaching her about God's love.