Saturday, December 26, 2009

Christmas 2009

Candy opens her second present (raw hide candy canes from the Clarkes) that she proceeds to bury in every pillow and furniture cushion in the house. Her first present was the peace sign shirt Alex bought her.
Brayden enjoyed his magical wall/door with all the gizmos attached. Unfortunately, the toy came with a malfunctioning sound board. Or maybe it is not malfunctioning . . . maybe it is suppose to sound that way. . . like someone speaking Chinese considering where Mattel outsources it manufacturing! Don't get me started with all this "made in China" stuff.

Brayden crawls to mommy, but soon will be walking everywhere.

Alex opens gift from sis and Sean
It even snowed Christmas Eve leaving a dusting of white stuff on the grass and cars, nothing major. Unfortunately, it has been a bitter/sweet holiday and in many ways just did not seem like Christmas. To begin with Adam and his family were missing, but should be here in less than two weeks. However, we were able to visit via web cam which was really neat and we hope to take advantage of the technology to see more of them throughout the year.
But most of all, Dad's untimely admission into the hospital Christmas Eve night and the strong possibility of him never returning home did much to dampen spirits throughout our family. We are back to taking shifts at the hospital being with Dad around the clock. Ultimately, we know Dad is on the verge of taking that final journey to a much better place thanks to the Christ child that was sent to this earth to die for the sins of all mankind. My father accepted by faith that gift of salvation long ago and looks forward to an eternity with God. We comfort one another in this knowledge, but are not immune from the sadness of loosing him from our lives. Continue to be in prayer for us during these difficult times, particularly my mother.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Brayden with Santa and Mrs. Claus

I have done a little decorating this year. I haven't gotten my tree up yet, but there is still hope. Brayden was here Wednesday and he wasn't really sure what to think about Santa and Mrs. Claus. He wanted to see, but he still wanted to keep his distance. He examines things so closely with lots of thought, of course in the analytical department he didn't stand a chance but to be a true analyst. Between Sean and Tabitha they can research and study a subject to death. I don't have the patience, but it looks like Brayden will.

Monday, December 7, 2009

We Remember.

December 7th, 1941 is a date that I hope is never forgotten. As we sadly loose more and more of the members of that greatest of generations, let's not forget their contributions and sacrifices that made this country great. Sadly, it seems that every generation since has taken for granted and even abused the freedoms that have been handed them. Like many, I mistakenly thought that September 11th, 2001 would be this generation's "Pearl Harbor" and it would serve to revive a sense of national unity and pride, but it seems those feelings were fleeting and superficial. We are so busy celebrating and emphasizing diversity that we no longer have a sense of national unity. We are so involved in preserving and promoting our individuality that we no longer have a national identity. America is no longer the great melting pot, instead we have become a mixing pot. People want to live in America, but do not want to be Americans. What will it take to bring this nation back to its feet? Will there be another great generation in this nation? I pray so.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Only in Arkansas

Last Saturday, Debbie and I went to White Oak Lake and Poison Springs State Parks. I was after bird pictures and was very disappointed. All that was stirring that day was a Great Blue Heron shown above. But then we came across this very decorative church building that stands right on White Oak Lake just above the boat ramp. The best I can tell from the signs, here is a church that will teach you how to become fishers of men and bass. I have always heard that fishing is some men's religion. Well, here is where they can go to worship!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Mooned in broad daylight

The moon was out in the middle of the afternoon, so I could not resist taking a few pics and then fooling around with the pictures.

Great Reception

I converted my old satellite dish into a bird feeder and I am getting alot better programs now than before. For instance. . .

I got to watch a house finch
Crowned Sparrow
and a chipping sparrow

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

A few days with Brayden

We spent Sunday and Monday with Brayden. He is so much fun. He is really active and doesn't seem to miss a thing. He wants to know what everything is and what it feels like. We really enjoyed having him over. Here are a few pictures from our visit. I love that he actually likes playing with toys. Some babies don't seem to have time for them, but Brayden really seems to enjoy his toys.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Where's Waldo the Woodpecker?

Can you see the bird?

There she is! This female red-bellied woodpecker had just been enjoying my suet.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

New pictures of Brody

We really miss you guys.

Brody is growing so fast. Adam and Justine are planning on coming to visit in January. We are really looking forward to seeing them.

Saturday, November 7, 2009


Sometimes I take for granted the beauty of my hometown. Here is the view from the road I take back and forth to work everyday.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Happy Birthday, Sean!

We consider you a blessing from God. You are a kind, caring husband; a wonderful dad; and a great son-in-law. We are proud to have you in our lives and hope you have a terrific birthday!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Brayden's 1st Halloween

Dorothy and the Cowardly lion stopped by last night. Aren't they adorable?! I heard the tin man was around somewhere, but we didn't get a chance to see him. I can't believe first that I only took two pictures and second that neither picture shows those wonderful ruby red sparkly shoes. Hope everyone had a safe and happy Halloween.

Saturday, October 31, 2009


Can you see the deer?

Too late now, he is gone!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Just the Biologist in Me

Debbie threatened me about posting these pics, but what are the odds of capturing these images again. It's just nature being natural and explains where baby walking sticks (Phasmids) come from (note how small the male is compare to the female). There are over 3,000 species of walking sticks worldwide. I actually found this couple in our bedroom and removed them to the back patio for these pics.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Brayden's on the move!!

This past week I have spent quite a bit of time with Brayden, He is adorable! He is also on the go. He is crawling and pulling up. It won't be long before he will be walking. Our biggest obsticle has been trying to get him to go to sleep on his own. He will get it soon I'm sure, but in the mean time it has been a little heartbreaking. I miss my tiny baby boy who let me rock him to sleep. I had the chance Wednesday to get a few quick pictures of him crawling and standing at his favorite toy (this table is a lifesaver). It has only been one day since I've seen him and I miss his already.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Good snake

This is a Midland Brown Snake (Storeria dekayi) that I found while planting daffodil bulbs yesterday. These snakes are called fossorial reptiles because they spend their time underground. They eat, among other things, slugs which we seem to have an abundance of around our place. This little guy was only around 10"-12" long and was very photogenic.

Fuzzy Caterpillar

Here is a neat caterpillar I found crawling accross our back wall yesterday. As you can see the colors are so bright, it was hard to miss him. This is a Isabella Tiger Moth caterpillar (Pyrrharchia isabella); see the picture below for the adult. Not much of a resemblance.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Dog Days

Candy is enjoying the last (I hope) of the really hot days of summer. I am ready for things to cool down and stay cool. I love the fall weather and I wish we could just go from fall weather to spring weather and eliminate both winter and summer.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Isn't she adorable?!

I just received some pictures of my nephew's daughter, Kaydee. Kaydee will be 3 in December. These pictures were taken at dress up day at her preschool. They were sent to me in an e-mail so they are kinda small, but still adorable

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Visiting Professor Program

One of the highlights of my job is the time I spend working in a volunteer program called the Educational Reclamation Zone (ERZ). The program partners professors with either high school or middle school teachers and their classes. I am starting my second year in the program and was one of the very first professors to become involved. I work with middle school students who are really great. They are curious, funny, and excited every time I visit. Debbie and I overheard a little girl last night in Sams telling her mom about me and how I visited their school. These are pictures from my first visit this year. I brought two of my students (Ken and Hannah) to help me with a DNA fingerprinting lab that the kids really liked doing. I am looking forward to going back this month to do some bloodtyping and later to hibernate some frogs. I think they will like both exercises.