Friday, December 24, 2010

The Wonderful Thing About Diggers

The wonderful thing about Diggers,
Is Diggers are wonderful things!

They like to play with legos,
And with Wii guitars that have no strings.

They're Beatle-y, Peanut-y, C.S Lewis-y,
Fun, fun, fun, fun, Fun!

The wonderful thing about Diggers-
Is that he's the only one!

Happy Birthday Digger!!

Thursday, December 23, 2010


Recently, I have seen a few things posted here and there about the recent Garth Brooks concert in Nashville.  Alas, I didn't go but hearing about it did take me back to days long ago.  One sweet friend told me she was going and she got to hear first hand about my experience, poor thing.  It was also then that I realized how young she was. 

Back to the story- Do you remember a long (long) time ago when Garth was, you know, like Entertainer of the Year or something like that, winning every award in the music industry?  That is the time I am talking about.  Well, one year Garth decided to come to the great place of Starkville, MS, to the Hump (the colliseum) for a concert.  Oooh, my friend and I were so excited.  Really pumped.  Beside ourselves.  We were the crazies who drove up and down Hwy 12, with the windows rolled down, singing, "I've Got Friends in Low Places"  at the top of our lungs, almost in tears listening to "The Dance".  This was a must-see event.

The problem was tickets.  The way tickets were going to be sold was through a lottery.  I think they were trying to avoid mass injury with the crowds.  This meant whoever wanted a ticket had to go put their name down and sit in the baseball stadium until their name was called, receive whatever as proof and then you could go purchase your allotted 4 tickets.  I can't remember all of the details, but for whatever reasons neither Susan nor I could pull that off.  It was one of two reasons.  Either we were so devoted to our studies that we didn't dare miss class or we were so sure we would be able to bum tickets off of someone else, that we just skipped the whole thing.  Praying the whole time.

Well, it just so happened that a particular friend of ours went to the lottery to get tickets for himself, 3 extra. Lo and behold, this person got a great lottery number.  He got his 4 tickets. This person's name just happened to be David Pritchard.  This was before we were dating and the assumption that if he got two tickets I would get to be the lucky guest.  So, Susan and I resorted to the ultimate strategy.

We begged.  We groveled.  We got two tickets.  Then we shopped for cowboy boots.  Seriously. 

This is where the story gets even better.  These 4 tickets weren't together.  Two of the them were in the nosebleed section to the right of the stage.  Two of the tickets.  On the floor.  Something like the 20th row.  Whoa, dude.  No way!!

So, how was this delimma going to be worked out.  Of course, this was a serious decision.  According to me and my dear friend, both females.  Not so much of a serious decision, but an effortless one for my dear friend, David, a male.  Of course, he and his buddy would take....the floor seats.  Susan and I...the nosebleed.  After all, there really wasn't any other way, and he was the one who sacrificed his day to sit for the lottery.  Hmmm......

The day of the concert came.  Susan and I, decked out in our country duds, cowboy boots and all, were picked up by our friends (although maybe at this point Susan and David's friend may have been seeing each other) and we all rode to the colliseum together. 

Where we appropriately, split up and went our separate ways.  David and his buddy to enjoy up close and personal.  Susan and I to share our buddies hunting binoculars.  Yes, we really did. 

To sum it up...we had an absolute blast!!  It was one of the greatest concerts!  Garth - more than an performer, but a true entertainer.  We even had fun trying to spot David and his friend. 

The rest is history, I guess you could say.  Of course, we went out somewhere afterward,(thinking Shoneys for breakfast bar) for the guys to eat and for the girls to give the guys a hard time.  It was months before David and I actually started dating.  (It took a long time for me to get over the ticket thing- Ha, ha, just kidding)  It actually was a great event in our early days as friends. 

Garth.  Mississippi State.  Cowboy boots (which actually got alot of wear).  A friend who brought himself out of "low places" on the 20th row (hee, hee) to marry me! :)

Friday, December 10, 2010

The Impact of Impact

A few years ago, David had the privilege to become a deacon at church.  At our church, when this happens you are assigned a specific area, or ministry, of the church in which to assist during your term.   Along with other deacon duties, David was assigned to the junior high ministry, Impact. 

Part way into his first year, David came to me and said, you know, if I am supposed to be assisting in this ministry, shouldn't I be more involved in it?   Get a taste for it, understand it's goals, needs, etc.   We prayed about it and David began working with this group of kids and our jr high pastor.  More like, jumped in.  Feet first.

I must first explain David and his personality.  Something that comes as surprise to many is that David is an introvert.  (I mean, should it really surprise you?  He enjoys sitting, by himself, in a deer stand.  All day)  Also, as much as he loves our kids,  interacting with kids isn't his greatest strength.  Or so we thought at the time.

Back to Impact....So, David tells Andrew that he wants to get more involved.  Be a right hand kinda guy.  Be on call to help as needed, saying yes as much as he could.  Hee, hee.  Yeah, that first call came just days later.  "Ummm, can you go with us on a week long work trip, camping the whole time?"  "Sure"  David (and Jake who got to tag along) headed off on their first Impact trip ever.  Thus a bond was made.

Through the course of the last few years, God has shown us so many things about ourselves, that we just didn't know.  For starters, David has an uncanny way with these kids, that made them love him.  Of course, though, he fed them.  Alot.  Kids were always eager to get to ride with David for that very reason. 

Another thing is that David was willing to let them throw pies in his face, give him a hard time, that kinda stuff.  He could come up with the craziest things for them to do.  Who knew he had that in him?

Of course, David's involvement led to my involvement, which led our kids to think they belonged in Impact as well.   For two years, we toted kids around, chaperoned trips, fed "starving" teenagers, got lots of hugs, went on Wed nights to teach them about God and His love for them.  Currrently we are on a short break to kind of catch our breath.  But we miss it.  Alot more than we thought we would.

But what kind of impact has Impact had in our lives?

It has shown us that God can do anything in a person's life as long as they were willing.  Through that willingness, He has shown us many things we wouldn't have seen otherwise.  One of those is parenting a teenager.  We knew we had one coming up very soon.  What better way to teach us about them than to totally emmerse us in them.

Now that we have one of our own in this great group, we are surrounded by them on a more personal basis.  It is by the mercy of God that from our involvement, we learned these kids aren't abnormally goofy.  They are normal teenagers, whose brain synapses aren't firing quite like they use to.  They require delicate handling.  Like daring them to eat a spoonful of hot sauce for $1.  Totally letting them embarrass themselves, even contributing to their embarassment.  Creating memories they won't forget.  Teaching them about a God who will love them with all of their inadequacies, even when it doesn't feel like they belong. 

It gave David an education on teenagers.

He learned they are crazy, but normal.

It saved Sara Beth from boarding school.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

My Great Man!

I don't think I post enough about David.  He deserves some more attention, I think.  I mean, after all, I like paying attention to him.  :)

Where do I start?  First I must start off by commenting on how, this December, he isn't hunting out of town.  He is here with me.  Of course, part of it is because of how they got deer tags this year, but hey, I am going to enjoy it to its fullest.  Although, he may be second guessing his willingness. 

You know, how in December, there are always one to two weeks that are so crazy that it leaves your head spinning.  It seems that everything seems to fall within that time.  You end up running around to this place or that, baking that or this, then running back to that other place to get that last ingredient for this one thing you are   Yeah, well that is where the Pritchards are right now.

And David is here with me.

And I am so thankful.

He has made two double batches of rotel, washed crock-pots, browned sausage, made iced tea, folded towels, hugged me when I thought I was going to lose it, built a fire, kept kids, hugged me again, watched me sleep, got me a rental car, dealt with the insurance company, kept kids, hugged me again, cleaned up the kitchen.  Oh and did I mention work in the middle of all of this?

Yeah, he is a pretty great guy.

And talented too.  See what he can do.  Isn't this beautiful?

And he likes to take me fishing.

I think I'll keep him!

Snowstorm of life

I sure wish I had the time and energy to put down in words all of the blog posts I have scripted in my mind over the last week.  The topics are endless and some very entertaining.  I titled this post the snowstorm because it feels like that has what has happened in our lives over the last couple of weeks.  I almost put whirlwind, but since it is so close to Christmas and since it is so stinking cold, I thought snow worked better.

In brief, (or probably not so brief), we have survived our van, teenage girls, numerous family get-togethers, Christmas decorations, a clean house, nightly events of some sort or another, thyroid dysfunction, hormones, and having to use my brain.  (yeah, that is a feat in and of itself these days.  Ask my brother.)

I guess I will start with the van.  If you will remember, during David's last hunting trip the battery on our van died.  Fortunately, it was at my grandmothers's little retirement place so I could leave it knowing it was safely under diligent security.  I succeeded (with my brother's help and my dad's advice) to get a new battery ($).  Yay, me!  Well, Thanksgiving day, the check engine light came on.  So on black Friday, I borrowed my mom's car, so we could take the van in.  It was some oil and gasket leaking combo thing.  Got it fixed ($$).  Well, that Sunday, two days later, that light came on again.  Yay.  So, Monday, we took it in.  Some sort of different thing, that was caused by the oil and gasket thing.  Got it fixed ($$). 

Oh, I think I have failed to mention that this all happened about around 1,000 miles after our warranty.

That it would have only cost around $50. 

God knows.

Well, this past weekend I was driving 6 girls back from Oxford on Saturday afternoon.  We were just about 15 minutes down the road, with Taylor Swift blaring, when all of a sudden I see deer.  Running.  Across the median.  Towards me. 

My geometry tells me we will meet at some point of intersection.  Hoping she would react like a dog and stop, I honk. Dumb deer decides to keep running.  She skidded, just enough to slow down and hit me broadside, not full head-on collision.   She hit my front left fender and door.  The damage totalled up to a dented front fender and drivers door (and maybe some alignment issues).  We are all very thankful that the damage wasn't worse, that no one was injured and that we could drive home.  And thankful for car insurance. :)

Did I mention the damage to my eardrums from the 6 screaming girls?  Or the avoided damage I with-held from them upon the inquiry of "Can we go back and find the deer?".  Umm, no.

So my van is in the shop again.  At least this time, we have a deductible that is less than our other repairs.  And it covers a rental.   With leather seats.  :)

There is the van saga.  Let's pray that this is all of it for a while.  A very long while.

I did forget the best comment of the day.  It came from David.  "See, this is why I need to hunt so much.  To keep those deer from running into your car." 

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Twas the night.....

'Twas the night when the thesis was turned in on time,
We went out to celebrate, (and not on a dime!)

We came home to quiet, all through the house
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse;

The stockings were laid on the nursery floor,
We figured we had a few days, at least maybe 4.

We were all nestled down, all snug in our beds,
While visions of days without schoolwork danced in our heads;

Then mamma in her sweats woke dad up like a snap!
He had finally settled down for a long winter's nap.

"My water has broken", she said with a clatter,.
Dad sprang from the bed and said "Does that really matter".

Away to the shower Dad flew like a flash,
Threw our bags in the car and threw out the trash.

A few hours later on a brisk day with no snow
A baby was born, and Dad, said "Oh"

When, what to his wondering eyes should appear,
But a miniature mommy, a new sort of "Dear"

With a kiss and some love to this new little one
They knew in a moment it ain't all gonna be fun.

More rapid than eagles, your cries never ceasing.
They knew, then and there, life as they knew it decreasing.

"No, Sara Beth, no!, they'd say. "Now, come here right now!"

"But I have a better idea", you'd say with a furrowed brow.

To the top of your lungs! To the stretch of your will!
"Now dash away, Mom! I've got desires to fulfill."

Through the years, we felt the hurricane fly by
When met with an obstacle, we  prayed Up to The Sky.

But into our hearts, our love for you grew,
With loveys, and Belle, and sippy cups, too.

And with a twinkling we could never have planned
Has led to a young lady, so special, so grand.

As we think in our head, turn our thoughts back around
We feel like we've been on a merry-go-round.

You dressed as a princess, from your head to your foot,
Now old enough for us to consider your input;

A bundle of toys, your purple butterfly backpack,
A flowing fountain of words, no ideas you would lack.

Your eyes how they twinkle!! Your dimples how merry!
Your cheeks were so plump, and pink like a fairy!

Your little mouth talked non-stop all the day,
With things like "Flaminguin" and "Chick-o-la."

And "commote-control", "hippa-ma-pa-ta-mus" too.
But your first word was "deer", And your dad said "yoo-hoo".

Oh how you loved to giggle and giggle,
And when Daddy tickled you giggled and wiggled.

But no one makes you laugh quite like 'ole Jake;
Enough to give you quite a belly-ache..

You were chubby and plump, a right jolly old girl,
With a halo on top, full of curl after curl.

With the wink of her eye, Mom says, You're the best!
You've given our lives quite a bit of finesse.

God spoke a word, He gave you to us.
We consider you here as one great big plus.

And filled our lives with joy and good pleasure.
We're thankful in your heart, God you pleasure.

You are increasing in height getting well  past my nose,
And we can't seem to keep you fit into your shoes and your clothes;

It's your birthday so we shout, scream and whistle!!
She's turning into a beautiful rose, not a thistle.

So hear us exclaim, while you're still in our sight,

"Happy Birthday to Sara Beth, may you sleep well and tight."

(credit of original poem to Clement C. Moore)