Friday, December 24, 2010

Golden Santas

Trophies from a community Christmas parade...

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Snowmen in a Series

It looks like we won't have be having a white Christmas in Hometown, Texas this year.  This week marked the first day of winter and we had record setting highs.  Who doesn't love temperatures in the eighties in December?  Don't get me wrong; I am not complaining.  After all, we were blessed with our fair amount of snow last winter. 

EK recently completed this simple set of snowmen.  Their simplicity allows the personalities of the snowmen to shine through.

Batman Snowman

Elvis Snowman

Surprised Snowman

Johnny Appleseed Snowman

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

The Reason for the Season

The greatest man in history had no servants, yet they called him Master. Had no degree,yet they called him Teacher. Had no medicines, yet they called him Healer. He had no army, yet kings feared him. He won no military battles, yet he conquered the world. He committed no crime, yet they crucified him. He was buried in a tomb, yet He lives today.

Thank you, Jesus.

Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

How the Guys Spent the Morning

EK has seen Lego videos on YouTube for a long time.  Many of them recreate the movie using Legos.  Many of them even use all the same audio and sound effects.  For some time now, EK has wanted to make his own video.

This morning while mrs. mil10 was out, the mil10 boys played.  The video shown above is actually our second attempt.  We wanted to also incorporate the Star Wars theme song by John Williams, but we were limited to selecting the theme music or the lightsaber sounds.  EK opted for the sound effects. 

Please pardon the poor photography.  mr. mil10 was the one taking the pictures while EK posed the minifigures.  For some reason Legos are always difficult to photograph for the mil10s.  This time was no exception as you can see by the poor focusing.

Enjoy the Lego Star Wars production of Obi-Wan Kenobi vs. Darth Vader.

Friday, December 17, 2010

To the Mavs from the Mil10s

High above the fans in the American Airlines Center scrolls a message from the mil10s. You have to look closely due to the limitations of cell phone photography, but we were there! Come on Mavs, we are cheering you on to a win!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Friday, November 26, 2010

From a Galaxy Far, Far Away

Happy birthday, EK! The Jedis wish you a happy birthday, too.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Tech Time

Any time we are all together, there is usually someone using a cell phone.  Today after Thanksgiving lunch Grams gave Modie lessons on sending text messages.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Some argue that Christmas and Halloween squeeze out Thanksgiving causing it not to give it the recognition it really deserves.  I disagree.

I think Thanksgiving is something you can't just celebrate on November's fourth Thursday.  If that is the only time we take to express our thankfulness for so many blessings that have been given to us, well that is a problem. Take time to be thankful everyday. Take time to appreciate the big stuff and the little things that are so often overlooked. Probably the hardest is to be thankful even when it is not easy to be thankful.
Take plenty of time to be thankful today and every day!

1 Thessalonians 5:18--Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.

The Birds

The birds are here for their nightly Hometown visit. This photo doesn't really do justice when compared to the number of birds that are usually in the area.

As gross as they are, it is always fun (in a weird kind of way) to roll down the windows as you drive through the area. Maybe it is the sound, maybe it is the thought that they will fly into your car. Alfred Hitchcock was definitely onto something.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Christmas Card 2010

We have finally selected the photos for our family Christmas card.  Today, we placed our order and are sharing the final design with you. Other than selecting the photos, the entire process was very simple.

Thanks to Shutterfly for the special promotion.  We now have 50 cards that only cost us the shipping!
Family Wall Red Christmas Card
Shop for elegant Christmas photo cards.
View the entire collection of cards.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010


One of the best things about fall is seeing the colors of the landscape changing around us. EK is more interested in playing in the leaves than looking at them. Take time to enjoy the leaves of fall before they are gone.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Christmas is Almost Here!

With less than forty days until Christmas, the mil10s have already started making preparations for the big day. The car radio has been set on "The Christmas Station" since they started playing nothing but Christmas music this week. Some small decorations have already been brought out of storage and put into place inside the house. The trees and all of the other decorations will come in this weekend! Tonight EK started listening to The Best Christmas Pageant Ever. He will listen to it the next few nights when he goes to bed.

Christmas cards are one thing that the mil10s like put some thought into. We always enjoy looking at last year’s cards when we are unpacking all of the Christmas decorations. It is always fun to be reminded of all of the friends that shared holiday cheer.

Selecting the perfect picture for a photo card isn’t always easy. We have done the staged family photo in front of the tree. Last year’s pictures were from a recent trip to Walt Disney World. This year? Well, remember, picking the photo isn’t always easy. We have not always narrowed it down! Thankfully we have almost forty days until Christmas!

When we learned that Shutterfly is having a special promotion for bloggers, we wanted to sign up. Already a fan of their photo books, we know they make other great products as well. Shutterfly can make your special Christmas cards (, wall calendars ( or personalized photo mugs ( Check out Shutterfly if you haven’t ever done so before. Let your creativity fly and make a very special gift for yourself or someone special!

Enjoy a walk down memory lane of a few of our past Christmas cards!




Sunday, November 7, 2010

Happy Birthday

EK decided he needed to make something for mrs. mil10's birthday, but he felt like he needed a little help. Together he and mr. mil10 built a Lego Mickey Mouse.

You know we love Legos and all things Disney at our house, so this seemed like a perfect fit for mrs. mil10.

Happy birthday, mrs. mil10!

Saturday, November 6, 2010

"Oh, the Torture"

This morning it was unavoidable. It had been put off long enough. However, some free time presented itself and we knew we needed to commit.  It was time for a haircut, or as EK says, it was time for torture.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Steel Bouquet

Tonight I found myself in downtown Hometown and happened upon this metal embellishment on a door that appears to have gone unused for many years. They just don't make them like this anymore.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

We Saw it at Atwoods

Yesterday we found ourselves out and about in Hometown with a little time to kill.  mrs. mil10 suggested going to Atwoods.  Really?  Their motto is "If you enjoy the country lifestyle, you're going to love Atwoods."  They may not be looking at the mil10s as their target demographic group.  However, since we are not really in touch with our country side, going to Atwoods exposes us to many of the things that we may not know about or can fully appreciate.  We always manage to have a good time there and it had been several months since our last visit so we gave it a try.

I don't know if it was a special day or just a regular thing on Saturdays, but we were greeted with free bags of popcorn as soon as we walked into the store.  EK was more excited about the flavored popcorn salt.  Sitting next to the bags of popcorn were no less than ten different flavors of popcorn salt.  Come one, come all!  Step right up and have it your way.  Atwoods definitely has the local movie theater beat out when it comes to varieties of popcorn salt.

We saw a heated pet bowl.  Hmmm.  How do you go about plugging this in, filling it with water, and not having a dog electrocute itself since it plugs into an electrical outlet?  I see one of two things happening.  Either we would have a hot dog when it manages to get a charge of electricity or the water bowl would manage to trip our electrical breaker.  It seems like when we use our Christmas lights when there is the smallest amount of moisture in the air I am always having to go flip a thrown breaker.  Am I the only one that sees the potential disaster that is bound to happen when you plug in a bowl of water?  Surely we are not the only pet owners without a heated pet bowl.

It didn't photograph well, but right next to a metal tub filled with duct tape sat a container full of yardsticks.  They were labeled as "four sided."  As I looked at them I noticed that the yardsticks indeed had an unusual shape, but only two of the sides were printed with the numbered increments that make a yardstick so helpful.  The remaining two sides reminded you that Atwoods is "America's favorite ranch home outfitters" and the "home of Ranch Pro feeds and Real Ranch work wear."  Why then, I must ask, are these yardsticks billed as being four sided?  Technically, it didn't have any more functional sides than a traditional yardstick.

Next to the orange soda, cream soda, and root beer, sat bottles of sarsaparilla.  That was unexpected.  Who knew they even made sarsaparilla anymore?  If you didn't read the label pictured above, go ahead and read it now. 

It really is good to know that there is nothing better than an ice cold sarsaparilla, regardless of which end of the horse I am working with.  Maybe you knew this already, but that was definitely new information to me.  I think I will take their word for it, but I will keep it in mind just in case I find myself working with some end of a horse in the future. 

I didn't take a picture of it, but there was a meat band saw on sale for only $199.  I am not an informed consumer when it comes to meat band saws, but that seemed like a reasonable price to me.  Kill the meat.  Then slice the meat on your own personal band saw.  That sounds like a perfectly normal thing to me.  We mil10s must be really missing out!

Finally, next to the check out area we found these little packages of Lil' Dude meat that caught my eye (I must have been thinking about that meat band saw).  I held two in my hand so you could gauge the size of the meat snacks.  There were about four or five different flavors to select from but I can only remember summer sausage and pepperoni now.  For only ninety-nine cents you could have one of these packaged meats.  When I did a little googling I did find a Flickr photo that shows them priced at only eighty-nine cents.  I wonder if Atwoods would honor the price shown there?  I also discovered that the Lil' Dude Summer Sausages have their own Facebook page

The mil10s did not purchase any of the things pictured above, but we did not leave empty handed.  EK found a package of root beer flavored jelly beans (which spilled across the back seat as we left church this morning).  mrs. mil10 bought a bag of peanuts which turned out to be a great snack at the park.  mr. mil10 left with a peanut patty, which EK wouldn't even taste.  We also bought a jar of dilly corn.  Growing up, mr. mil10 thought they were fun to eat because they look like ears of corn, but closer to the size of pickles.  EK probably won't taste those either.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

"A Yabba Dabba-Doo Time"

During this summer's road trip to California we stopped at many new places.  One of the helpful websites we used to plan our trip was Roadside America.  This website bills itself as a guide to uniquely odd tourist attractions.  We saw several things on our trip that other guides would have considered too weird to list. 

Just outside of the Grand Canyon, we pulled into the parking lot of Flintstones Bedrock City. Inside the park were cement recreations of the cartoon, including a general store, police station, post office, jail, beauty parlor, the Flintstone and Rubble houses .  We called the day before our arrival to double check the hours and someone named Betty answered the phone!  I wonder if that was really her name.  Being the early birds that we are, we sat out on the road early that morning.  Unfortunately the timing of our visit didn't allow us to stop for more than a picture in the parking lot since Bedrock City had not yet opened to the public.  After all, we had to get to the Hoover Dam

In honor of the Flintstone's fiftieth birthday, let's revisit Flintstones Bedrock City.  Well, at least their parking lot.

See those Flintstone-style buildings in the background?  We didn't get to go in those!

Monday, September 27, 2010

On the Hunt

It is almost like treasure hunting.  A quest to find a desired item.  The subject of our hunt is a piece of molded plastic that is only worth a couple of dollars. 

A Lego Spartan warrior. 

This past Friday night the mil10s made a run to Target.  If Target is good for something, it is having something that you really didn't intend to buy, but once you see it on the shelf, you just can't think of leaving it there. It must come home with you.  That is what happened to us.  Unbeknownst to us, Lego is now selling mystery minifigures.  We found the small packages almost by mistake.  The thought of buying one of these mystery figures appealed to us, so we thought we would give it a try.

When EK opened the bag, he found an explorer complete with a magnifying glass and binoculars.  There was also a check off list that pictured each of the sixteen figures in the series.  Each of the pictured figures was very interesting and not one that you would typically find in a normal boxed Lego set.  You could see the gears in EK's head start to turn, but in fact we had all caught the fever.  We knew we would be doing this again.  But when?

The next day we found ourselves at hometown's Walmart.   Low and behold, they also had the mystery minifigures.  This time we were not content with simply picking a random package off the rack.  Instead we carefully held the packages and would try to feel the peices inside in order to hopefully identify a unique piece.  EK was hoping for the Spartan pictured above.  We handled each and every package to hopefully make out a spear or shield.  No such luck.  EK left that morning with a man with a serape, sombrero and maracas.  mrs. mil10 found the witch.  After all, it looks too much like Wicked's Elphaba to pass up.

"Are people born wicked, or do they have wickedness thrust upon them?"

It was later that mr. mil10 read online that the minifigure packages actually have a bar code unique to each figure.  Also, by using the cell phone's bar code scanner app, one could easily tell the contents of the package without having to guess or try to blindly feel the contents.  Oh, this was interesting!  What was a mil10 to do?  Go right back to Walmart!  The only difference is that this time we would know ahead of time exactly what we would be buying.  On our second trip of the day we left with a vampire and a karate kid, but no Spartan.

That same night mr. and mrs. mil10 had the pleasure of seeing Matt Maher, Addison Road, and Tenth Avenue North in concert.  Since we arrived early and had time to kill, we found ourselves at Target once more.  Thanks to the bar code scanner app, we were able to use the few minutes we had to scan several packaged figures, but once again we came up empty handed in our quest for a Spartan.

Sunday found a cool front blowing in.  We thought it was perfect weather for Taco Stew, but we didn't have all of the ingredients.  A quick run to the store was needed.  Sure, we could have quickly gone into hometown's grocery stores.  But since we had already been to Walmart twice the day before, we decided to go to another Walmart.  A fifteen minute drive south and we were in a new Walmart.  Unfortunately, they didn't carry the mystery minifigures.  Bust!  At least we had Taco Stew to look forward to when we returned home.

So if you need the mil10s anytime soon, we might just be making trips to random stores so we can pop in and use a cell phone bar code scanner to find out the item inside the mystery package.  We may have found a way to work around Lego's intended mystery, but for us there is still plenty of fun in the hunt!  We will find you, Spartan.  We will find you.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Ready for the 80s

EK is ready for an 80s afternoon. Neon, painted jeans, sunglasses and a mullet.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

One Boy in One Big World

Students in EK's grade at school put on a short performance entitled One Big World tonight at school.  EK decorated an Australian flag last week to wear during his time on stage.  The point of the program was that although we are many different people, we must all come together in this world we share.  The last song was "We are the World."  Although the mil10s didn't shed any tears, there were several parents that did.  Let's zoom in on EK while he stands amongst all of the other children.

Thanks for smiling, EK!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Nerf Wars

Who doesn't love a round of Nerf wars after dinner? It doesn't matter what kind of day you may have had because you are going to have a great time and feel better after a little friendly fire!

Monday, September 6, 2010

Labor Day

Labor Day is a welcomed holiday at the mil10 house. After the rush that comes along with the start of a new school year, Labor Day is a time for much needed rest.

We celebrated in typical mil10 fashion by cooking on the grill (bbq chicken, grilled corn on the cob, green beans and potatoes, baked beans, and corn bread). This year we also had grilled cinnamon-sugar peaches with angel food cake. We even put the angel food cake on the grill for a nice toasted effect. We served it with ice cream. It was a hit.

EK didn't care for the music today. All of the songs we played during lunch had something to do with "work." mrs. mil10's napkin was borrowed and used along with his own as a makeshift ear plugs.

All in all, it was a relaxing day with the family. What's not to love?

Sunday, August 29, 2010

A Lesson Learned, Again

Now that I am at a point in life where I have been driving longer than I haven't, you would think accidental near-misses with family members in the driveway with the front or back end of a vehicle wouldn't be happening.  You would think.

Earlier this weekend we decided to make a quick Friday night run to the mall that I won't mention by name (but I will let you know that we affectionately call it "the gangster mall") to purchase a gift and eat at El Chico.  Excited to be home, I suppose, mrs. mil10 went to the back of the car to get the package.  Surprisingly the back door would not open.  EK was getting out of the vehicle.  He, too, realized something wasn't quite right.  Where was mr. mil10?  Standing in the grass.  mrs. mil10 quickly realized the car was actually rolling towards her and not just settling into place like a car sometimes will when it is put into park.  mr. mil10's quick reflexes enabled him to jump back into the driver's seat and properly put it in park.  mrs. mil10 was now out of harm's way.  Modie, who had been sitting in the back, was now saying, "Just turn it off.  Just turn it off."  All was safe and thankfully no one was hurt in the mil10 driveway.  Yes, you should always put the car in park before getting out of the car.

Although the event only lasted a few seconds, it kept us laughing for a significantly longer period of time.  Probably because we should already know the importance of first putting the car in park before getting out of the car. You see, this is not the first time such an incident has occurred.

Several years ago, when EK was just a small baby, the mil10s were in the truck and needed to quickly run into the house to get something. It should have been a simple task.  However, as mr. mil10 walked in front of the truck, he realized that it was actually coming towards him.  I could say that it narrowly missed crushing him between the the other car that was parked in the garage, but that would be a little dramatic.  I could say that mr. mil10 lunged towards the oncoming truck and stopped it in its tracks with a hearty body block, but that would also be a little dramatic.  I could say that mrs. mil10, being alert as she sat in the backseat with the small babe, quickly leaned over the driver's seat and threw the truck into park.  I could say that because it was true! 

That is twice that mr. mil10 has gotten out of the vehicle without putting it in park.  Thankfully, no one was hurt either time.  However, you should still learn from the bad examples and make sure you put your car in the correct gear! 

Monday, August 23, 2010

BTS 2010

Being in the school business, BTS (back to school) is just one of the many acronyms the mil10s are familiar with. AR, BOY, EOY, TPRI, ARD, RTI, IEP, TAKS. This is just a few, but we know them all!

EK stopped in front of the fireplace for the annual BTS pose with his "backpack with one strap" before eventually going to his third grade classroom. Third grade already. Oh how the time flies!

Friday, August 13, 2010


This is how EK preferred to spend his time during our back to school shopping.  I can't say I blame him.

Sunday, August 8, 2010


Just a quick photo of EK. Sometimes the simplest pictures are the best.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Fun Times are Here

Is there anything quite as fun as spinning in a chair at work while they test the security alarm?  Probably so.  But all I got to do was spin around in a chair at work while they tested the security alarm.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Hotter than a Ham Sandwich!

One summer at youth camp we had a camp pastor that used the expression "hotter than a ham sandwich" to describe the uncomfortably hot weather. That was the first time I had ever heard anyone use that saying to describe the heat.  This may or may not have been before the days of an air conditioned worship center at our camp facility. I can't remember for sure because every memory of camp involves sweating.  Anyway, back to the ham sandwich. I can't say it is an expression that I have ever heard many other people use, nor have I tried to incorporate it into my list of commonly used phrases.  Even when searching for it on google to see if anyone actually uses the expression I only found three references, one of which was on a blog written by a fellow Texan.  This afternoon was different and I found an appropriate setting to use the saying.

August in Texas is usually known as a very hot time of year. Since we are currently going through a little heat wave with near record highs several days this week, I was expecting it to be pretty hot when I stepped into my truck this afternoon. However, I wasn't expecting the thermometer to register quite so high. I think today would be a good day to say it is hotter than a ham sandwich!

116 degrees, even if from the slightly inaccurate truck thermometer, is just too hot for a vehicle that has been sitting in a parking lot!

Monday, July 5, 2010

EK attempts a handstand at the hotel pool...

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

NOW: Bags


Would that be bags as in suitcases?  Maybe bags as in swollen or puffy eyes from too little sleep?  Actually it refers to both. 

This morning mr. and mrs. mil10 awoke to find their eyes giving away the fact that they had stayed up much too late.  Amazingly, mrs. mil10's eyes looked considerably better although she, by far, had the smaller amount of sleep.  Here's hoping that tomorrow finds us looking a little more rested.

Tonight we can say that our bags are packed and ready to go.  That really makes me want to sing.  Our suitcases are ready for a little road trip.  Updates will be forthcoming.

As for the daily posts of NOW, I hope you have enjoyed the daily happenings of the mil10s.  Now you know what we were doing on the very day of the post.  As for this NaBloPoMo challenge, I guess I can say that it is NOW in the bag.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

NOW: Lights Out


I am sorry for the temporary blindness and slight discomfort that resulted from meeting me or being followed by me on the road tonight.  I do not make it a habit to drive around town with my bright lights, or high beams, on.  However, tonight it was simply unavoidable.  When faced with driving at night with a choice of only high beams or no beams, I hope you will understand my choice in using the blinding lights.  Since the problem is more than just a case of a bad bulb, the garage is ordering a part that will once allow both headlights to work correctly.  Since the part is on back order, it may be a few days.  In the meantime I will try to keep all driving at nighttime to a minimum.  When it is absolutely necessary to drive around town after nightfall, I will try stay off of the main roads or only drive when there are fewer people out and about.  So you don't have to flash your lights at me anymore--I am aware of the problem and am working towards correcting it.  Thank you for your understanding!


Monday, June 28, 2010

NOW: Vampire Bites

It seemed like an easy task.  Make cookie dough using red food coloring.  Add sprinkles.  Bake.  Add Snickers candy and icing.

However, it was just a little bit more difficult.  After making on batch of dough from scratch, we decided that one batch would simply not be enough.  We opted to do a second batch using the "quick" version of using a pre-made package of sugar cookie dough.  Let's just say that using the pre-made sugar cookie dough just didn't give the desired result.  Those cookies looked more like a red gremlin ears than pairs of lips.  We gave EK one of the cookies from this batch, but he politely excused himself from finishing the entire thing.

The cookies made from scratch cooked like real cookies and even smelled good coming out of the oven.  We'll find out how they taste tomorrow.
The finished product.

We made a cookie snake with the last portion of homemade cookie dough.  EK said it tasted strange when he ate it.  I told him it tasted like a gingerbread cookie.  I don't know if it was supposed to, but I am going to blame that on the cinnamon.
mrs. mil10 will have a fun time watching the new Twilight movie with her friends tomorrow night.  Let's just hope the cookies add a nice element to the evening instead of leaving a bad taste in everyone's mouth!  Of course we could always make our other vampire cookies again!

Sunday, June 27, 2010

NOW: Pack it In

This weekend we packed in the activities.  Over the three day weekend we went to Dallas, shopped, watched a movie, and ate at several of our favorite places.  All in all, it was busy and we accomplished a lot.  We may not have really done anything out of the ordinary, but we did have good times with the family!

Saturday, June 26, 2010

NOW: Feeling Full

An evening of eating out leaves a full (and messy) feeling  when you eat as much crab as EK did tonight!

Friday, June 25, 2010