Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Esther's New Ride

We got a new (used) truck today. We needed something that all of us could ride in. I had planned on upgrading to a full size truck soon anyway because it would make my life a lot easier on the farm. My old small truck struggled some with hauling heavy loads of hay, mulch, gravel, etc. We have been looking for about a week for a new one. This one we found in Oklahoma and it met all of our criteria. I did not want to spend a ton of money so I knew that I would have to get one that was a few years old and with mileage on it. I got a really good deal on this one, the owner had just gone through a divorce and needed the money pretty bad. I got it for approximately $5000 below private party blue book value.

It is a 2005 Ford F150 XLT 4x4 Quad Cab. It has a 5.4 liter V8 Triton engine and has 97,000 miles on it. (It is 3 years newer than my old truck with 40,000 less miles) It has a custom hood and grill on it. I am not a huge fan of the hood because it has the fake hood scoops on it, but it is not so terrible that I want to pay a lot of money to get a regular hood. It also has big tires on it, but they are not the huge ones that are ridiculous so I can live with them also. It has lots of room inside. The backseat is big enough that we can fit Esther's car seat in without scooting up the seat.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Temporarily a one car family

Well, we sold the truck yesterday. It sold a lot faster than I thought it would and we got a good price out of it. It was kind of sad to sell it, I have had it for 6 years. I have used it for lots of stuff over the years, especially on the farm. I have used it hauling hay, goats, chickens, mulch, wood, rocks, even a calf a couple times before I got a stock trailer, and lots more. It has been down to south Arkansas with me hunting a few times, along with lots of other trips. It was a really good truck, it never needed any work and never let me down.

So long Nissan Frontier, thanks for everything. (Stay tuned, as soon as tomorrow, to see the replacement)

Sunday, September 26, 2010


I guess Esther woke up this morning and decided she was going to start smiling a lot more and even better, smiling at us. It just so happens that we caught some of these smiles and smirks on camera.

This is a little smirk

It is really hard to catch her smiling with the camera. Hopefully she will continue to do it more so we can get more pictures. These pictures are from this morning. We were taking pictures of her new dress she was wearing to church that our friend Kathy got us.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Esther needs a new ride

We are going to try to sell my truck. We are not really able to haul Esther in it. The back seats are just those fold down from the side seats which you can't put a car seat on and it is really not the best to put her in the front seat. And if we did put her in the front seat, Margo would have nowhere to sit except in the crappy back seat. So, we are going to sell it and try to buy a used full size extended cab pickup that we can put a car seat into the back seat to haul Esther around. It would be much better for us to have two cars that we can use for the whole family.
Here is what you can do. Spread the word to anyone you might know who would be interested in buying my truck. And if you know of a good used full size, extended cab, 4x4 Chevrolet or Ford truck, let me know.

Here are my trucks details....2002 Nissan Frontier XE, extended cab, V6, 4x4, tow package, running boards, bed liner, sliding rear window, cruise control, CD. Never been wrecked, no major work done, no problems with it at all. 135,000 miles. $7250 obo.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

A new discovery

I thought I would post something farm related. I have been working on the garden the past few days. I did not get to plant a fall garden because of the drought we had. I have been trying to get it cleaned up and ready for fall and I made a discovery.
One thing that I have never had good luck with is getting a compost pile going. We feed all our food scraps to the animals as well as the garden waste. I have tried to make a pile out of wood mulch, horse poop, and leaves but it never worked so well. Well, I think I finally stumbled upon a compost pile of sorts to use for my garden. Let me explain. I do raised bed gardening and when I build my beds, I took off the top good layer of soil from the aisles between the beds and put it on the beds. This helped make my beds thicker but it created the problem of water collecting and standing in the aisles for a few days after a rain. I just put up with it for a few years but this past year I got a load of mixed wood mulch from the city of Fayetteville and spread in the aisles so I was not walking in water. I also put some hay in places after the mulch settled some. It seems that the mulch, hay, dirt washed off from the beds, and the water created compost over the summer. I was not expecting that at all. I went out to get the beds back into shape and when I scraped the hoe in the aisles it uncovered some pretty good mulch. So I have been scooping out the aisles with a shovel and putting on top of the beds. Then I am putting new mulch back in to the aisles so it will do the same thing for next year. I was pretty excited because I am killing two birds with one stone. Here are a few pics to show you.

Here is the before picture. It is hard to tell what is bed and what is aisle in the pic but right in the middle from top to bottom is the aisle. It doesn't look like much and that is why I did not think much about it.

Here is a pic after I have scooped up the dirt from the aisle and put it on the bed. See how nice and dark that soil is.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010


This past weekend we went down to Mena to see friends and family. It was a really good weekend. It was fun showing Esther off and catching up with people we don't see very often. Esther did really good on the trip considering some issues that came up with her. (turns out we think she really does have a milk allergy, the birthmom told us she did but we decided to test it ourselves and the milk formula gave her really gross poop and congestion so we switched her back to soy formula. This also involved a trip to Mena Wal-Mart at 2am.) Besides seeing friends in Mena, we took her to the church down there that we consider my "hometown" church. We also spent time with my parents and some other relatives.

Here is Esther in a new shirt we bought her. We found some band shirts at Target on sale that we could not pass up.

Here is her cute dress for church on Sunday

We stayed with some good friends in Mena and had a great time hanging out and seeing some other friends while there. Somehow I did not get any pictures of Esther with them, but I did get some good videos of them with her. Here is a good pic we got of the three of us on their deck.

We went to see my parents in Hale Town. Most people don't believe me when I tell them my parents live in Hale Town. It is several miles east of Waldron which is north of Mena. The Hale family settled in that area in like the late 1800's or something like that. All of my ancestors lived there and a lot of my dad's cousins still live around there. My parents built a house there last year on my grandparents old property (my dad was born on the front lawn). Anyway here is proof of Hale Town.

Here is another pic with my parents house in the background

Here is Esther with my Aunt Freddie

And with my cousin Cindy

There is a small country church in Hale Town that my parents go to (my dad went there growing up), and after church on Sunday night a lot of the people came over to my parents house for snacks and to see Esther.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Photo Shoot

As I mentioned in the previous post, one of our friends who has started doing photography on the side, came out and took some photos of Esther the other day. She put some of them online and they are really cute. I thought I would share her site with you so you could all check them out. Her website is and there are a few pics of Esther on the main page if you scroll down, but if you click on Babies at the top of the page and scroll down until you see her name, there are many more. I will try to post details about our weekend whenever we get home tomorrow.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Quick Update

This week has been a good week. We are starting to settle in with having and taking care of a baby. Esther is sleeping about as well as can be expected, and we have figured out our sleep schedule so we are doing good on sleep. We have still been able to see lots of friends who have come to see Esther. Margo took Esther to her work to introduce her there and she was a hit. This weekend we are going to Mena to see friends and family so that should be lots of fun. Here are some pictures.

Our friends BJ, Brandy, and their kids came out the other night and brought dinner. Their kids are really cute. I took them out and let them feed the goats which was a lot of fun. Here is Jordan (4) holding Esther. She is very mothering and did a great job holding her and supporting her head for the little bit that we let her hold her. I was very impressed.

We started using cloth diapers this week intermittently. We are still need some cloth diaper things but our good friends Adam and Sarah are lending us their newborn stuff until we get all of our stuff so we can get started. They also brought us dinner this week which was awesome. Right now we are just doing cloth diapers during the day. Once we get a little more used to it, we will try and do nights also. I think when we travel we will probably just use disposable.

Although you might think this picture is something I would do, it was actually Margo.

Last night, a friend from work, Ali, and her husband Josh came out. Ali does photography on the side and she did a little photo shoot with Esther. This age is kind of tough because she does not stay still for very long but also doesn't have good head control or smiling on queue ability. Anyway, I will let you know when she gets done with those and share them with all of you. I have seen a few and they are super cute.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Busy Weekend

This was a really busy weekend for Esther. It started on Friday. I will tell about it in pictures.....

Margo's good friend and co-worker Linda and her daughter Kaylee came out to see Esther Friday afternoon. Linda brought us lunch and a bunch of other food and gifts. It was awesome. Kaylee was super excited to see Esther and "hold" her.

Friday night our good friends Rick and Ashley came out and brought us dinner and stayed to hang out and watch a movie. It was fun to hang out with friends for a while like we did pre-Esther. And the big story of the night is Rick held Esther and I have the pictures to prove it. He has always said he would not hold a baby under 3 months because he was worried he would do something wrong. But with lots of peer pressure we got him to do it but only while he was sitting down.

Saturday was our big baby shower at our church. It was awesome. The girls did a great job getting it all set up. It was fun to get to see lots of friends and family and hang out with them. And Esther racked up the presents. Here we are at the shower. The awesome cake was made by one of our friends we go to church with.

Some really good friends of ours drove up from Mena for the shower and to meet Esther. They are really important people in our life so it meant a lot that they came up. We were able to go to dinner and hang out more after the shower which was fun. We are going to try and make a trip to Mena this weekend to see more of our friends down there.

This is a picture of Esther and I trying to recover from the busy weekend.

Friday, September 10, 2010

She's Legal

Today was our court date to make the adoption official and have the a judge sign off on it. We were not sure what to expect and were a little nervous but it was a piece of cake. Judge Martin was the judge we saw. We went into his office and chit chatted for a little bit and he signed off on the paperwork and we took some pictures. Then we went and filed the paperwork and we should get her new birth certificate in like 6 weeks. Judge Martin was really nice, he has adopted 3 kids (I think) so he is all about adoption. Here is our picture with him.

Esther also made a new friend at the courthouse. There was another couple there getting their adoption finalized also. We talked to them a little bit. Their little boy is a month or so older than Esther but he is a chunk. His name is Cooper, maybe one of these days they will meet up again. We took a picture of them together.

We also went by LifeSource today and let Esther meet our friends Ernie and Terry. Ernie is my brother's father-in-law. Ernie did our pre-marital counseling and he is one of my mentors.

And yesterday, Margo's roommate and good friend from college, Magevney and her husband, stopped by. They live in Memphis and are moving to Kazakhstan soon. Their daughter, Kirsten, is a year old.

Here is Esther today wearing her first dress for her day in court. I am not sure why babies need shoes but they are cute.

Thursday, September 09, 2010


The people are demanding an update.

Tuesday was a good day for us. The adoption paperwork became legally binding on that date. There is a waiting period after adoption to give the birthmom a chance to change her mind. It is 10 days in Arkansas but 5 of those days can be waived by the birthmom (which ours did). That put the day on Saturday so it would go to the next business day which was actually Tuesday because of the holiday. Now we just have one more thing to make it official official. Our court date for the judge to sign off on the adoption is tomorrow. They say that it is more of just a formality but I will be happy when it is all done. Also Tuesday, we talked to the agency (Bethany) we were working with to adopt to let them know we would not need to continue with them since we had adopted Esther (privately without an agency). They were happy for us but sad for them because they really liked us and wanted to work with us. We had already paid there upfront/non-refundable fee to use them (which was several thousand dollars). But they told us they had not yet deposited our check so they were not going to worry about it and not deposit it. So, we got that money back!!!!!!!!! Side story....This was a huge answer to prayer. We had been really worried about the money aspect of adopting. The average cost is $20,000-$25,000 and we had made a lot of changes to our lives to save this kind of money and it was going to completely deplete our savings. Private adoptions are hard to come by but God answered our prayers and provided a private adoption for us that is costing us less than 10% of what we had thought we would have to pay for adoption through an agency.
My work had a shower for us on Tuesday also. It was a lot of fun and totally blew us away how much stuff Esther got there. It was funny because I work with almost all women and a lot of their kids are grown and older so they were really excited about baby Esther and they were oohing and awing over her. I really like my job and the people I work with. Some of them are like family and it was awesome to see how much they already love her. It meant a lot to me.
I am still working on the furniture for her room. I finished repainted the cradle, crib, and changing table that we were given. She has been sleeping in the cradle in our room. We are trying to hold off buying bunch of stuff and getting her room set up until after the shower on Saturday. Right now I am working on stripping and repainting the dressers that are going in her room.

Here is the before picture of the cradle. This cradle was my cradle when I was a baby. It was given to my parents when I was born (almost 30 years ago). Hopefully we can pass it on to Esther when she has kids.

Here is it is after being repainted. I think it turned out pretty good. Much more up to date looking.

Our good friends Russ, Kristy, and their daughter Sophie came over the other day to see Esther. Here is Sophie holding Esther.

More pictures

Sunday, September 05, 2010

More Firsts

Well, Esther got to meet lots more friends and family this weekend. She got to meet Margo's brother and family briefly. They were on their way out of town and stopped by just for a minute. They have three young kids so figured it was better not to unload everyone since they were on their way to a family reunion. On Saturday night we went to some friends house and we got to watch our first Razorback game as a family (and we won). Today, we took her to church for the first time and let me tell you she was a hit. We could not even make it in the door before a crowd formed around us. It was really awesome that everyone was so excited about her. She did pretty good during church, just a couple loud farts. This afternoon she got to meet my brother and his family. They were in town for the weekend. My niece and nephew were really sweet with her. They had even made a video for her on the day they found out we had got her telling her how excited they were to meet her and how much they loved her. Here are some pics, there are more if you click on the pictures link on the right sidebar (I put the newest ones first).

Here she is with Uncle Zack (Josh's brother)

With Aunt JoAnna (Josh's sister in law)

Uncle Chris (Margo's brother)

Aunt Megan (Margo's sister in law)

Watching the Razorback game

Her new Razorback outfit

Awesome little bow that JoAnna made for her

With first cousins Lincoln and Keylor

On a side note, our baby shower is officially planned for next Saturday from 2-4pm at our church (the grove church). It is open for anyone to come to (men, women, kids) and is come and go as you want. In case you are going to buy us something, we are mostly registered at Target and Terra Tots, and we registered for a little bit of stuff at Wal-Mart today. Don't feel like you need to get us anything but come if you just want to meet sweet Esther. Also we are having her baby dedication at church next Sunday at the 9:15 service.

Friday, September 03, 2010

Meet the Grandparents

Yesterday, Margo's parents came out to see Esther for the first time. And today my parents drove up to spend the afternoon and meet her for the first time. Then later in the afternoon Margo's mom brought Margo's grandmother to come see Esther for the first time. I think they liked her.

Margo's Dad

Margo's Mom

My Parents

Margo's grandma

I also wanted to share this picture from the other night when some of our friends brought us dinner. They just had a baby boy on July 25th. We have been celebrating his birth with them since he was born. Little did we know at the time that God had already provided us our little girl and she was actually born three days before him. Here they are on their first date.

And here is a picture of Esther on a baby quilt that my grandmother made for me when I was born (almost 30 years ago). Be sure and pay attention to the awesome hair.

There are lots more pictures on our picasa web album. Just click here. I will also add a link to this album on the right side column of the blog. I will add more as often as I can.