Thursday, May 27, 2010


This is a big week for Adam and Justine. Today they have been married 4 years. It doesn't seem like it was that long ago. We want to wish them a happy anniversay and we hope they have many happy years together. We miss you both very much.

This week was also Brody's birthday. He turned two on Monday. We really miss seeing this little guy and we hope he had a great day. He got a chance to visit with his cousin Brayden yesterday and we heard they had a good time together. We wish we could have been there with you and hope you have a great year. Love you lots!

Enjoying The Natural State

With my summer classes set to begin next week, Debbie and I thought we would sneak off today and just enjoy the great outdoors. We decided to go to the Little Missouri Falls located about an hour and half from our house. Debbie and I had not been to the Falls since we returned from NH. Wow, things had really changed. The last time we were at the Falls, things were very inaccessible and required a bit of a hike to see the series of stair-stepped falls. Now there is a semi-paved trail, a bridge, picnic tables, a paved parking lot, and even restrooms. However, the roads leading to this site are still very, very rough; so if you plan on visiting the falls, drive a vehicle with plenty of ground clearance.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Tending the Roots of My Family Tree

Someone once defined the word genealogy as "tracing yourself back to better people" and that is certainly true in my case. I took my mother out to decorate the graves of her family in the Cunningham cemetery. This yearly outing gives her a chance to remind me of my roots from her side of the family. The Rowlands were from Montgomery county, Arkansas (Bear and Mt. Ida) and were almost to a person connected with construction (carpenters, brick layers, sheet rockers, etc.). I can just barely remember my grandfather, but my grandmother lived with us until I married and moved away from home. They were a hardworking people who survived many tragedies and obstacles in the backwoods of rural Arkansas. Had they not been so resourceful and determined, I would not be here today. I only wished they had been around longer and I would have paid more attention to their stories. However, as Thomas Jefferson said, our ancestors possessed a right, that nature has given to all men, of departing from the country in which chance, not choice placed them.

Mom looking over her parent's freshly cleaned tombstone.

We hung the wreath mom made for the occasion.

Mom had three brothers that were born dead. They could not afford tombstones and the graves are only marked by stones, but Mom's crosses look nice.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010


The word "blue" has always been a bit confusing to me. It certainly can be used to symbolize sadness as in "he or she is feeling blue" or in the brand of music this part of the South is famous for, "the Blues." But then again, there is its connection with happiness such as "blue skies" or the "bluebird of happiness." Despite its ambiguity, blue is a handsome color on birds and this family of bluebirds in our backyard has been a source of joy and entertainment for us this spring. Debbie and I have sat in the hot tub each morning and watched this family grow. Mom and Dad have both been very much involved in raising their young family. Taking turns bringing worms and caterpillars to the nest, these dedicated parents made us tired just watching them. Unfortunately, all good things must come to an end and the babies are almost grown and ready to leave the nest. It must be a happy and sad time for these feathered parents; I know it was for us.
Mom checking on the kids.
Dad doing his part.

Dad watching over the family.

Where's the folks!

What are you looking at?

Friday, May 7, 2010

At the Lake with Brayden

We took Brayden to the lake to throw rocks in the water. He had a good afternoon and was not ready to leave when it was time to go. He wanted to stay and I had a hard time getting him in his car seat. I think he will really like the water when he gets a little older.

Playing with Brayden

We took Brayden to the playground down at one of the camping areas on Lake DeGray. He really seemed to enjoy himself. He played with the giant abacus.

He examined a tree closely

He played with Troy in the tunnel. We really enjoyed having him for a couple days.