Monday, September 17, 2012

"You better Redneckognize"

This weekend I got to bring out my inner-redneck by going with John to Childress, Texas out to the farm that my family owns. It's also where I experienced my first Deer Hunt which you can read about here if you missed it! John wanted to get it ready for the coming Deer season by checking on the blind and refilling the deer feeder (as if we don't feed enough animals already!) We also wanted to practice shooting our guns and make sure they were "sited in". (yeah that's right I'm learnin' the lingo)

We met my cousin Michael out there and he brought his 4-wheelers which we are grateful for because we couldn't drive the truck anywhere since it was so muddy.  The lovely Sage got to come as well and get her much needed exercise in by chasing us on the 4-wheelers. She loved it until she started getting tired and would try to guess which way we were going so she could take a short cut.

After we arrived and got the 4-wheelers unloaded and drove around looking at the farm we John and Michael decided they wanted to walk around and find pigs to shoot. Awesome. Since my gun doesn't have a strap I didn't carry it so I was unarmed as we were walking around the tall grass looking for wild hogs. I didn't even have a knife, just my binoculars and my camera. So I could survive by seeing it coming and then taking it's picture. Not very good odds if you ask me. I would say I felt safe since I was with John and Michael who had guns but they apparently walk way faster than I do through tall grass so I kept getting left. I was just waiting to a pig to jump out and attack me. There was this one moment where I was literally stuck in the tall weeds as hog food. The weeds had tangled around me so I couldn't get through and I was asking for help and the boys just kept staring at me. Such great protectors. Then we got kind of turned around and had to hike through more tall grass and jump across a mud ditch at the same time. It was an adventure. Thankfully we didn't see any pigs...at least I'm thankful!

Then we did a little target practice. I'm getting so much better at shooting my gun. I was so excited cause I hit a glass bottle that they put in the tree for me. I think it was about 100 yards away. It only took me like 8 tries but I finally got it. Hopefully a deer won't run away after my first 7 attempts...I wish. :)

Ok so the blind. Some kind of massacre happened in that blind over the past several months. When we opened it, first of all it stunk so bad. We know there was a rat living in there because there was a rats nest and lots of rat droppings which is disgusting but what grossed me out the most was that there were miniature blood splatters all over the carpet. At first we thought maybe a momma rat had babies in there but I don't think so, it looked like a little miniature Texas Chainsaw massacre happened in there. Michael and I decided that there was a "fight to the death" battle in there but there is no way those rats did not have swords too. It was disgusting so we will have to go back and clean it out cause I am not sitting in that for hours at a time. No thank you.

I had fun and I'm so ready for deer season now. I'm becoming quite the outdoors-woman.





Sage protecting me during one of the time the boys left me.

The location of the mini Texas Chainsaw Massacre.







It doesn't get better than a Texas sunset. 





Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Fall, Football and Friends


FOOTBALL

I absolutely love fall! And when it's fall it means FOOTBALL!

We started our weekend off on Friday night by going to Abilene High School's first home football game of the season to watch my little brother play. I just can't believe my baby brother is a senior in high school. Time is flying! His team won and we had so much fun watching him play! He is a wide receiver and is #10.








So the new eagle is pretty awesome!


Go Bryce! We are proud of you!




FRIENDS

On Saturday we were so blessed to be able to spend some time with our friends Erin and Jason Davis. They just moved back to the states after living in Africa for almost 2 years. Erin and I were roommates in college for 2 years and Jason and John were roommates for 1 year so we have really missed them and are so glad that they are not only back in the states but living in Abilene again! We really enjoyed hearing their stories and experiences while living in Africa. We are excited about spending more time with them!

Erin and I are going to have a craft day on Wednesday. I'm so excited! I love crafts! So stay tuned for our projects!


John and I are so blessed to be surrounded my such wonderful people!! Have a great rest of the week! 

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Labor Day Weekend Happenings

We had an eventful Labor Day Weekend. We started it off on Saturday when John went to Dallas for the...

ALABAMA VS. MICHIGAN GAME

The game was at the Dallas Cowboys Stadium so he was so excited! I KNOW he was excited because he planned his outfit for 2 days before he went. That never happens EVER! He went with one of our friends, Marshall, who is also a big Alabama fan. He had a blast and I'm so glad he got to experience that!

Poor girl on the screen, John captured the picture at a bad moment for her.

COPPERAS COVE

Sunday we headed to Copperas Cove to visit our friends, Caleb and Marissa Northrup. They are expecting their first child in January so we went to help them get their nursery ready. Marissa and I painted big navy striped on one of the walls. Their walls are really textured so I found this blog that had how to paint stripes on textured walls. And amazingly it worked! You can check it out here. Marissa's walls are super textured too so we were a little nervous it wouldn't work but we got nice crisp lines with only a few spots to touch up where someone (uh-hmm, Marissa) got a little carried away with the roller and went over the tape. :) I was impressed and will definitely use that technique from now on. I'm pretty sure when we were done we stood there for a really long time and said "This is so cute" I don't know how many times! It really does look so cute! Check it out...





Then we were feeling so crafty that there was this pallet wood that one of Marissa's neighbors had put out on the curb so it was clearly trash (we hope) so we walked down the street and took some of it. We then put 4 of the boards together, painted them red, distressed them a little and painted her baby's name, Ace, on it. It was a fun, easy project that added so much to the nursery. I can't wait to see the nursery all finished. It's going to be so cute!




Then, Caleb wanted a Texas Ranger 'T' painted in the playroom so we got to work on that using the same technique as the stripes. We taped off all the straight edges and free handed the curved edges. We painted the T white on top of a dark grey wall. 


John and Caleb stained an old dresser they had to match the crib and it turned out awesome! It looked so good and they did such a good job! I wish I had a picture of it but I don't.

We had so much fun spending time with the Northrups! I'm so glad we could spend this time with them as they prepare for their new addition to their family. John and I can't wait to meet Ace!




SAGE'S NOT-SO-HAPPY-WEEKEND

So we finally decided that Sage should be spayed. John really wanted her to have puppies but it never worked out that it was a good time to mess with that. Since she is almost 3 we decided to go ahead and do it before she gets too old. So she spent the weekend having surgery and being boarded while we were gone. When I went to pick her up, I forgot she would have to wear a cone on her head which is really dangerous when those things are put on big dogs let me tell you. I've been jabbed many times in the leg already with that thing! When I picked her up on Tuesday she just looked so pitiful and getting her into the back of my car was quite the challenge since the cone kept getting stuck. She looked so sad I couldn't resist taking her picture. Her not so happy weekend...


Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Ireland in videos

Ok so once again I've failed at updating the blog. I have no excuses just haven't done it. So sorry.

In June I went with my mom, my aunt Jan, and cousin Katie to Ireland. We stayed in Adare, Ireland at the Adare Manor Villas. They were amazing which you will see in one of the videos. We also drove ourselves around Ireland, well my mom drove us around Ireland since she was the only person on the trip able to drive a standard. That was an adventure in itself since she had to drive a standard on the wrong side of the road. And if you have never been to Ireland, they don't believe in shoulders on their roads. The edges of their roads are marked with hedges. So no room for errors. :) It was a blast and we had a lot of fun and a lot of laughs!

So now that it's been almost 3 months since I've been back from Ireland and have procrastinated long enough, I guess it's a better late than never to share with you some of my videos from Ireland. I would blame it on the jet-lag but 3 months of jet-lag just translates to pure laziness. So call it what you want....

If you would like to see the photos from my trip. Visit http://www.facebook.com/brooke.keaheystephens and they are in the Ireland album.

(Sorry for some of these videos being sideways)

Here are our first attempts at driving in Ireland...

video
video


Typical traffic jam in Ireland... (there is one with sheep too but it won't upload)

video



Riding in Horse Carts through the Gap of Dunloe... 
video
video
video
video



Walking along the Cliffs of Moher... 


video
video
video


Driving to Killarney in the Rain... 
video



The Adare Manor Villas... 

TAKE ONE:

video

TAKE TWO:

video


Jan feeding the seagulls... 

video
video
video


Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Fire Alarm, Shrimp Boil and a Hail Storm

This weekend we went to Austin to spend time with John's family for Memorial Day Weekend. We left Friday morning so we could drop the dogs off with my parents and do some Landlord business like fixing the internet. We arrived in Austin on Friday evening and got to spend some time with our niece and nephew and John's mom.

FIRE ALARM 

We usually stay with John's family when we go down there but this time everyone's schedules were crazy so we stayed in a hotel. We finally found one that wasn't booked, since it was Memorial Day Weekend, that was hosting 4 different high school bands. There were kids everywhere but we needed a place to stay. Our room was down at the end of a hall so it wasn't so bad...until at 3 a.m. the fire alarm is going off.  It's pretty sad when your first reaction isn't to evacuate the building immediately, but rather check the hall to see if everyone else is evacuating. Here's how our reaction went...

(alarm sounds)
John: What is that?! Turn the alarm off!
Me: (pushing snooze button multiple times to make it stop!-clearly not working)
Me: Is that a real fire alarm? Or is it a drill? (Yes Brooke it's a drill at 3 a.m)
Me: (gets up and checks the hallway to make sure people are leaving building)

So we finally get some common sense and evacuate the building with all the other hotel residences. My first thought was "One of these darn kids went out the emergency exit or something" But it turns out the elevator was actually smoking. Needless to say we took the stairs from then on. So at 3 a.m. we were sitting on the curb waiting for a firetruck to come and let us know when it was safe to enter the building. Have you ever had to evacuate a hotel in the middle of the night? It was definitely a first for both John and I.

SHRIMP BOIL

On Saturday we spent the day and John's grandparent's house. John and my nieces Bella and Sophie and our nephew, Noah all went swimming in their pool. We all hung out by the pool and John's grandparents prepared a Shrimp boil with huge shrimp, potatoes, corn and carrots. It was delicious!! I forgot to get a picture of the shrimp but here are some pics from Saturday.



Our nephew Noah

John

Noah and John's Mom's dog, Ralphie

John's grandmother made this awesome fruit basket

John's Mom and our niece Sophie

Our niece Bella being a mermaid


Bella, Noah and Sophie

Sophie feeding me chips
HAIL STORM

On Monday we headed back to Abilene and grilled out with my family. After dinner is started storming and the power went out so we waited to head home to Colorado City. The storm finally died in Abilene so we headed home. But when we reached Sweetwater it started pouring and hailing on us. I was driving my car and John was following me in his truck because we had to bring it to get Sage home. Anyways, I was already sleepy cause it was 10 p.m. when we headed home and then I couldn't see the road while I was driving so I was really terrified. It was scary. Apparently Colorado City had some golf ball size hail while we were in Abilene. Crazy.


On a side note: This weekend Jade hurt her back again and her back legs currently do not work at all. I'll keep you updated on her status. Hopefully we can get the swelling down so she can use her legs again.

I hope everyone had a wonderful Memorial Day Weekend. I'm thankful for all the men and women who have served our country and are serving our country everyday. Our prayers are with those who are are still overseas.


Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Essentials for Ireland

For those of you who don't know, I'm going to Ireland 2 weeks from tomorrow. Kind of random, I know but I'm going with my mom, my aunt Jan, and my cousin Katie for a girls trip! We will be there for a whole week! This little trip is going to be very interesting and I'm sure will produce many stories - thanks to my mom and aunt's inability to be serious and not think everything is so hilarious. We will have a rental car to use all week, only one problem...it's not only a standard, but a standard on the wrong side of the road. Pray for our safety and that we won't be permanently banned from Ireland!

I'm getting so excited though and was super excited today when my Ireland Essentials came in the mail today!!

Ireland Essentials include:

Digital Camera - check!
Moleskin Watercolor Sketchbook - check!

Who needs all that other stuff, I'm set! :)

I just love getting these boxes in the mail!

Friday, May 18, 2012

ACU Graduation(s), Doctor Appointments, Observation Hours


ACU GRADUATION(S)


Last Saturday we ventured to Abilene once again for a weekend of events. We went to not one but both graduation ceremonies for ACU. Talk about exciting! My cousin Katie graduated in the morning and my cousin Michael in the afternoon! By the second ceremony, John and I were not only confident we could do sign language but sign the entire motivational speech given by one of the professors. We pretty much had that memorized too, which ended like this..."...so go out and die!" Yep, that's how his speech ended, both times! There you go new college grads, now you know your purpose in life. Anyways, it made for a long day but I'm so proud of my cousins!


There was one thing that made the graduations a little better...

You also have to understand that my family is pretty crazy and we always seem to attract attention to ourselves in some way! When we were congregating outside after graduation #2. I kept smelling dog poo but we couldn't figure out where it was coming from so we all migrated to another spot outside and yet the smell was still there. We were all checking our shoes but there was no evidence of the monstrosity. Then my aunt was like, "What is on my shoe?" And in an instant the herd of us scattered like cockroaches screaming "Ew!" Needless to say every eye was on our wonderful family! Never a dull moment with the fam!




DOCTOR APPOINTMENTS


My precious husband is falling apart.

Thankfully he has me to remind him that he hasn't even reached 30 yet.

The poor guy has to have his wisdom teeth removed, then he found out his pinky toe is crooked so it rubs the other toe causing it to callous, so he needs surgery on his toe to permanently fix the problem. He also had a lump develop on his chest a couple of weeks ago, which we were extremely worried about but it turns out it is just an enlarged gland, nothing serious, thank goodness! But the poor guy spent all last week in the doctors office. We are blessed that these doctor visits aren't because of anything serious and thankful for that.



OBSERVATION HOURS

So for my teacher certification I am required to have 30 hours of observation which can be fulfilled by either actual classroom observation or watch 60 videos and write reflections for each one. The latter sounds horrifying if you ask me but I was going to do what I had to for credit. My friend Christie Andrews, who has an awesome blog which you should check out, is an art teacher at the high school here in C-City. So she let me come observe in her classroom this week. Thank goodness! 60 videos and reflections, really? But anyways, I had fun observing her 4 art classes, 2 electronic media classes, and 1 photography class. The kids are absolutely hilarious. I'm sure it gets old after a while, but to me some of the stuff they would say or just blurt out would be pretty funny. In her art classes the students were making Art History Kites. Each group of 3 or 4 students had to construct a kite out of dowel rods and paper and then they would pick an artist and paint one of the artists' pieces on their kite. When their kites were complete they had to try and fly them. They really turned out great and the kids did a great job on them. I'm so glad I could observe in an actual classroom because I have completely forgotten what it is like to be in school.