Wednesday, November 18, 2009

October Visit II

So, I wrote the last blog post a bit late in the evening, I suppose, and I was NONDESCRIPT about everything! I reread it and thought, "What?! What is that about?" So, I thought I'd tell you again.

The weekend of the Missionary TECH Team anniversary, my sister and her family came out for a visit. We were expecting to spend a lot of time together, doing all sorts of things. I was counting down for about three weeks straight. I'd catch Jessica on-line and remind her how many days left until I saw them. Let's just say that I was thoroughly pumped.

Day one- Thursday: I worked until 4 PM, an unexpected surprise, as I was planning to work a half-day. We got to have them over at 5:30 for supper, but I had to leave around 6:30 for church because I'd be practicing with the worship team for the first time here in Longview. (I played cello.) When they arrived at Stone House, Evie and Eloise were both very shy, and they weren't sure if they wanted to hug their Aunt Molly and Uncle Matt. Jessica was holding Audrey who was very welcoming to a hug. I couldn't resist, though, looking at those Mary Englebright girls... I swooped them up and hugged them. :) They are precious. They continued to by "shy" for only that night. Oh! And Evie's first words to me were about their amazing hotel!!! :)

Day two, Friday: I had to go in to work, even though I'd planned a day off, but there were pressing things for the anniversary celebration to take care of. I got to see the Ben, Jessica and the family around noon. We had lunch, and Evie, Eloise, Jessica and I spent time together and flew kites while Ben and Audrey took naps at the hotel. We had a really good time running around the yard. That night we had the anniversary celebration, and afterward, Matt and I went to the amazing hotel to hang with Jess and Ben. It was really fun, but I was so tired and cranky, I'm afraid I was a bit of a downer for the party. The rest of 'em were good sports, though!

Day three, Saturday: We spent time together in Longview before we headed out to Caddo Lake. Caddo Lake brings Texas and Louisianna together. It's a cypress forest in a lake... or swamp... or bayou? :) Nah, it's a lake, and it's GORGEOUS. However, I failed to check ahead of time, and there were no available boat rides that day because the water was SO high, that even the ticket booths near the road were flooded! Instead of checking out the cypress forest, we hiked through the Caddo Lake State Park, and got eaten alive by mosquitoes.

Day four, Sunday: My sister's family joined us at church for the second service, after we had breakfast with them at their hotel. After Church and Canner kids, we had lunch, and then we spent some time resting. Matt and I had some final errands to run before we had their surprise birthday breakfast Monday. So we did those while the fam rested, and Ben and Evie went out on the town. When we got back we started a bonfire, and played a little together. We had hot dogs, beans and salad, and we drank water, of course, because that's Evie's "favorite drink in the whole, the whole, the whole world." :0) Joel Givens joined us along with Joel Kreider and Wally. (You'll meet Wally soon.) We sang songs, ate and toasted marshmallows. We really enjoyed ourselves. It was this night that I started nervously anticipating their departure. Jessica, Ben, Matt, Joel Kreider and I stayed up and decorated the house for the birthday party.

Day five, Monday: The girls woke up and were very surprised to see balloons! I was so excited that they were enjoying the balloons so much! (Eloise asked to be excused to go potty 3 times during breakfast, so she could play with the balloons on her way there and back! :) ) We played a couple games after Matt went to work, and we played music on Matt's ukulele. The girls wrote song after song, and they sang with eyebrows raised and eyes closed at times. It was so heartfelt and adorable. After this we drove out to Kilgore to check out the East Texas Oil Museum . After we found it, we found it closed. :( It's closed Mondays!!! Gotta tell ya', I was super embarrassed. They handled it so well, though, and they decided they'd take me out to eat as consolation for being a loser. (Hee-hee-hee... they didn't actually say that.) We ate at the amazing JalapeƱo Tree, and we said some weepy goodbyes afterward.

Since they've been gone I keep thinking of things that we can do together NEXT time... other than Caddo Lake and the Oil Museum. It sounds like "next time" might be soon-ish, which is so cool to us. We get to see them in a week (after Thanksgiving), for Christmas, and then POSSIBLY again in January! Knowing these possibilities helps us feel a little less homesick. :)

So, there ya' go. There's a tiny bit more detail. I still feel like I had to exclude too many cute details about them to make this an understandable overview. Well, anyway, we are so thankful for this experience with Ben, Jess and the girls. God is so sweet to us!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

October Visit and November's Talent

There are approximately 2 months of activities missing from our lives on our blog because we didn't write for awhile, so we'll catch you up little by little (paso a paso?) working backwards. In October, my sister Jessica and her family drove all the way down to visit us! We spent Thursday evening (a short time for me) with them through Monday afternoon. They were able to attend Missionary TECH Team's 40th anniversary service with us, and we spent some time hanging out at Stone House and seeing a couple of places here in Texas. You might have read on her blog that we went to Caddo Lake, but didn't get to do the boat ride, since the water was too high (for a boat ride?), but we did get to go hiking and experience the wildlife... or mosquitoes. We all served at least one mosquito a nice meal as we hiked. Matt did not have good battery life that weekend (actually, in many senses of the word...), but we took these pictures of my sweet family:

The kite is UP!!!

The kite is down.

Evie Bird's Perch.

My beautiful sister

The French toast for the birthday breakfast we put on for the three little ladies

Decorations in the dining room

The girls first walk our and wonder about the balloons (you can see one is already air borne)

Evie's shy face. (:

We played games that morning and listened to some great ukulele music by Evie and Eloise. (Uncle Matt has a uke that we tuned into a major chord, and the girls strummed and sang their hearts out in some amazingly arranged ballads about God and stars and things!)

We sure miss them! It was weird to watch them perform, and for those moments of their stardom to be special moments, when before, they were such a routine sort of thing, you know, "Okay, Evie, I'll listen to your song in a couple minutes... Okay?" And I took it more for granted than I realized. It is such a treat to hear a made up song by a child. Especially a child who is part of your family! I was just so used to being around these scrappy kids, that I thought it was normal. It's not normal. It is so special, and I'll try my hardest to never take those shows for granted ever again.

So... because I liked their talent shows so much, I'm arranging a talent show for my whole family for Thanksgiving. Each act has to be super silly, though no one is as into it as I am. I have a feeling once the children see it, they'll wanna participate, probably. I must say though that Matt and I have an AMAZING talent planned, and it has NOTHING to do with a unicycle or juggling. It's BETTER! :) Maybe... We'll blog about it after the fact.

Well, we'll catch you up on more activities we missed writing about another time!

'Til then!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Medicine, Sarah and a Song

Tonight I began taking my medicine for my nausea (it's supposed to make me drowsy, but I'm alright so far). The doctor thinks I need to have gallbladder surgery. :-o We'll see. I'm feeling alright, but I'm a little nervous that the doctor might be right, and I'm VERY nervous that he's wrong, and that nothing is wrong with me that they can find! It's a bit of a scary little time I'm having, though, compared to many people's situations, it isn't a big deal. I'm just tired of feeling yucky all the time. It's silly, though, because it's just a simple little medical issue. For that to shake me is really pathetic. I mean, my sister, Sarah, has been through things people three times her age haven't even been through, and she's one of the strongest people I know. It's silly for me to be a little nervous, when she's got more health things going on, and she knows & remembers who is sovereign.

When I visited her blog, I heard this song, so I learned it tonight. It is by JJ Heller, and it's called Your Hands. I recorded it for my Sister-Mary-Sarah (that's her nun name). :)

It's, of course, just a home recording... and my intonation is sketchy, but your welcome to listen all the same. Sarah, you HAVE to listen, because I recorded it for you. :0) OH! I put some silly pictures on the video because they remind me, and maybe Sarah, of some good things.

Here it is!

Now it's time for bed. Good night!

Saturday, November 7, 2009


Quick note: Last night at the murder mystery, I was listening to two suspicious people tell their sides of the story, and since I was the queen, they were each trying to win my approval, or something. So in response to one of the sides, I said, "Well I s'pose that lines up..." I didn't get to finish my sentence! A bunch of the maids and knights started laughing and someone yelled, "YANKEE!" so loud! I was seriously confused. Then the same person yelled, "I S'POSE!!!"

Oh. Oops. That's okay, though. We ARE Yankees.


I s'pose they DID win, though. So that makes US winners too! YAY!

Friday, November 6, 2009

A King for a Day

Yesterday was Matt's birthday. We weren't going to celebrate it until NEXT Friday because of a busy schedule, but I felt so bad that the Birthday Elf didn't come this morning (a Rugh Family tradition), that I decided to get his presents ready. When he came home from work, the presents were there on the bed! Here's how his surprise went... He opened the first gift and got:

So... He's still figuring out what his gift is... THEN! VIOLA! The hairnet comes off and....

He's the birthday boy. What he says goes, so here are the pictures from his presents on the bed! (Note the very special Sponge Bob paper. I bought it special for him... It also appears the mullet was a hit.) Actually, maybe I'll take a second to explain the mullet. You see, Matt is OBSESSED with mullets. He is like a mullet hound. He can find a mullet quicker than anybody in a room full of people! In fact, he (and some unnamed friends) in Italy took pictures of every mullet they found. He even has a T-shirt that says "Mullet Crew" on it. Mullets are the best things since sliced bread to him. Perhaps you heard us in the video mention "Business in the front, party in the back." It's his life motto... or, at least, NOW it is.

Anyway, on to more presents.

One Year Through the Bible with Francis Chan's Crazy Love.

A pair of Wrangler jeans (GORGEOUS) from Wal-Mart.

A pair of Western boots... Wal-Mart is a great place to buy nice things cheaply & often on sale for cheaper! :)

AND for his birthday he got to be the KING at A Knight for Murder.

Joel, our housemate, took pictures of us before we left. Here is an array of photos from the night.

We are two suspicious characters.

Matt busted out in opera...

I'm not very good at configuring this blog... but the people (family) standing together under the tapestry near the stairs--- the Malones/Livingstons are the ones that made our evening possible and so much fun!

Matt, with his King T-shirt on CRACKED me up! When he tore off his Kingly Ruffle...THAT was underneath! (We didn't make it to the car before that guy was out of his entire costume! Street clothes only in the car!)

We had a blast. I must say, though, that Matt and I BOTH won awards last night! Matt had the most money (that's why I married him!) at the end of the game... (we both took money from people if they treated us with the slightest bit of disrespect), and I won "Best Performance!" Okay. No DRAMA QUEEN jokes, alright? I'm so embarrassed. I just really got a kick out of being the queen... that's all. Let's just say I made people stand up and tell me jokes, and also I had someone stand up to tell a tale to me in rhyme. We were all thoroughly entertained.

OH! Before I go--- Matt is wanting me to take him to Wal-Mart to exchange the boots for the right size--- I wanted to tell you that Katie Harrison (we're posed together on the drawbridge) made this night a blast for us. She loaned me the awesome dress, she got us involved with those friends, and she also signed us up for the murder mystery! She is a great and loving friend. Tonight we are going to her family's home in Atlanta, TX to have a bonfire with the young adult group. We're so excited!

Well, Matt's been waiting. I hope you enjoyed reading about our silly evening! :)

And by the way... we WEREN'T the murderers! (WHEW!)

Thursday, November 5, 2009

The Chicken Launch and MURDER!

So it's been awhile! We have Internet again, so I'm going to post what's been going on for the last month, or so... but I think I'll do it from the most recent thing to the earliest... (on account of me needing to get photos from a couple things for you!!!)

Matt and I wanted to sign up to help out at FBC's Farm Fair. Farm Fair is a HUGE hit with Longview, and it's the church's alternative to Halloween. Matt and went out into the foyer of the church after a service a couple weeks back, and offered to help. The woman said we could sign up for anything. We looked at a bulletin board full of games with time slots next to the name. I liked the bean bag game and a couple others, but one in particular caught my attention. I KNEW Matt was going to see it. I told him that he could pick, so he said, "Let's do the Chicken Launch!!!" (Sounds like a "Matt Game," doesn't it?)
I said "okay," like a good sport, and we arrived on Halloween at 4:00 (when Farm Fair began). There were just a few people, but a man and his wife were very concerned that the Chicken Launch wasn't manned yet, because THEY were going to do it at 5:00, and didn't know if someone had messed up the schedule. :) Well, there we were, no worries, friends!
I'll bet you were oh-so-curious about how the game works.

Well... You get a rubber chicken...

Then, you place it like so...

Finally, you let the kids pound the handles down to the table, and off it FLIES! (Then you encourage them for their strong muscles, as shown in the following picture!)

It's a little hard to explain... so here's a video representation:

(That's Matt and Joel Givens practicing before the kids arrived.)

Matt picked a good one for our game! We had a lot of fun and enjoyed listening to the music after we worked at the booth!

One more thing! When we arrived, our friend Dan approached us and said he had the things in his car. We looked at each other. "The things?" we asked. "Yeah... for the murder mystery!" he answered. Oh? We just waited for an explanation. He said, "Your roles! They're in the car! They're supposed to stay secret."
I was nervous that this murder mystery had been a secret from us! But we realized later that Katie, Dan's wife, and I had talked about how fun it would be to do a murder mystery! We didn't know any details of a REAL one, though! We were surprised... AND excited! It is going to be tomorrow, and Matt and I are King Kyle and Queen Genevieve! Wanna see my crown, scepter and fancy necklace that I made?

I used these expensive plastic gems, a Christmas ornament, wooden dowel and gold ribbon (plus a 78 cent foam visor)... make this:

(a closer look)

(a little detail at the base of the scepter)

Well, the murder is tomorrow night, on Matt's birthday, so we're excited to celebrate with friends! :) We'll have to let you know who did what to whom tomorrow! (We don't even know if we're the murderers!!!!

Matt's Project: Pixelated Version :)