Saturday, July 31, 2010

Wet Behind the Ears

Literally and figuratively.

I made sure to do my research on the origins of "wet behind the ears" as to not offend anyone or group of people. As a southern-grown kid I think I probably throw around a lot of phrases and old addages that if their origins were to be traced I would likely be calling someone's mama fat or their kids unintelligent. And we don't want that, so I turned to my dear friend, Google, and this is what he had to say (sidenote: I made sure to put the phrase into parantheses for fear of what obscene things would potentially surface if not...just a google tip, free of charge.):

Meaning: Naive

Origin: The allusion is to the inexperience of a baby, so recently born as to still be wet.

The phrase was in circulation in the USA as early as the twentieth century - twenty years before it was first recorded elsewhere. The converse of the phrase - "dry back of the ears" - was also known in the USA from around the same date. [Taken from]

So there you have it. Now you know when I am refering to my father-in-law as "wet behind the ears" I am not insulting his intelligence or questioning his mother's gerth, just calling him naive. And that's acceptable, right?

In this case it will have to be. Because the phrase is punny. You will see.

Bruce-ski (Ha, that's funny, too...just wait.) came to stay with us the last week of camp to help Chris in closing down for the summer. Chris put him to work with installing the remainder of the disc golf holes which is more involved than one would think. Digging holes, trimming trees, filling said holes with cement, hauling the cement to where it needs to go, building baskets, cleaning up... all in 100+ heat index. Yuck. He is from Florida, but so am I, and I hate to be hot and sweaty. I don't hate getting hot and sweaty, just being.

After a long day slaving away, it's only right to relax with water of some sort - in this situation, boating sports to be precise. If you've been reading all along since we started this blog last year (thanks, moms) you know that Chris was a novice at skiing last summer and now he can't be stopped. I, if I do say so myself, have caught up to his ability after having to sit out last year being with child and all (I still don't see why skiing isn't an OB-approved activity). We've gone from two skis, to one (Chris only), to surfing the wake behind the boat... pretty fancy for a couple of Florida kids who have either rarely or never been pulled behind a boat.

Well, the apple doesn't fall far from the tree (there I go with my sayings again), right?

Half right.

Bruce-ski (now you see the humor?) could not recall a time in his -ahem- more than half a century ever having skied. How is this possible? Two Florida boys and neither one can remember a point in their youth having participated in boating sports? Unacceptable. This must be changed. Pronto.

And so we did. Change it, that is, though slightly beyond his yesteryears of youth, and potentially a minor heart palpatation for his other half - if she knew before it happened. We didn't let her in on it until we were all back on dry land, safe and sound, everyone in tact - minus a little pride for some of us.

I won't say that he dazzled us with the natural (and sickening) athletic ability that his son possesses, but by golly, he had a blast trying. And I think he would do it again, maybe even in a bathing suit - he jumped in with his pleated Casual Friday khaki shorts on. It took him a few tries to stand up, and granted he is trying surfing before skiing so we will have a slight bit of mercy, but the Cheshire Cat grin from ear to ear when he held on and rode for a mighty ten seconds said it all. Determination and persistence this man o' the cloth doth he not lack.

He looked pretty good doing it, too, if only for brief moments.

And figuratively, he is no longer "wet behind the ears". Literally - well, you will have to judge for yourself:

Gearing up and getting "learned" on the board.

Not the start he hoped for.

A little friendly advice from the younger generation.Look at him go...10..9..8..7..6..

5..4..3..2..1.. So not the ending he imagined either.
But ten seconds of glory, nonetheless.
Apparently our internet has decided to take a break, photos will be added at a later time.

Oh the joys of living in the sticks - where the cows come home on the range, the rooster crows at dawn, and Comcast doesn't reach.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Scenes of Summer: Part 2

I can hardly believe that we are in the last week of camp already. Sheesh.

It's always been bittersweet for me to bring camp to a close, even now as a "camp widow". Reflecting on the summer and the way God has shown up in hilarious ways, beat your hiney up and down the spiritual path, given you energy when you
knew there was no way you were going to make it to the end of the week without stringing little Susie up by her pigtails, painted breathtaking sunsets on just the right days, and how he has given you and taught you more, way more than you could have ever imagined, maybe even more than the kids. And those kids sure as heck have you leaving with more life lessons than you gave them.

love it. I crave it.

I am
so glad when it's over. For two reasons:
  1. I get my husband back (and now Noah gets his daddy back).
  2. We can start praying, thinking, talking, planning, bursting at the seams with excitement for next summer.
It's a vicious cycle, this camp ministry stuff. Sometimes a love/hate relationship, but worth every bump and bruise...emotional bumps and bruises included.

I digress. (Is anyone surprised?)

I started this post to bring you Scenes of Summer, and that's what I shall do:

Noah assisted the camp director with his staff meeting.

Bottom left: "Look at my stick, Ms. Tarah."
Let's talk about this face for a minute...melt.your.heart.
Well, I was trying to give you one more picture of the camp staff, but alas, the "internet cafe" in the far corner of our kitchen has decided it's tired. I will try again later...

One more week, folks.


Friday, July 16, 2010

West Virginia Mountain Mama

So I didn't actually go to West Virginia, but close.

We started the week off in Balsam at my in-laws home with my parents and sister's brood, headed to Boone to spend time with the Ashmans, picnicked atop Grandfather Mountain, hiked in Grayson Highlands in Mouth of Wilson, VA, and ended with a quick stop in Asheville to do my civil and earth-loving duty of purchasing "locally". (Some may argue that Asheville isn't exactly "local" to Ten Mile, TN, but I argue that I will always call NC home. So there.)

Before we get to the pictures, funny story:
As a lot of you may know YASNY is the Ford Family mountain home where my in-laws plan to spend a lot of their time once they retire, where we all meet for family Christmases, where Chris and I introduced Noah to the mountains that he will love for the first time, so on and so forth. This was the first time that I went to the house without any of the other Fords...and well, I figured that by this point I knew how to "open" the house (i.e. turn on power, water pump, water heater, etc.)...I mean, I have been in the family now for almost five years.

So we get in the house and I immediately go around to all of the dials in each room turning on the "air conditioners", like I have seen my in-laws and Chris do many times before in past visits. About ten minutes go by and I notice that I am sweating, which is rare for me. I figure it must just be because I am lugging around an eighteen pound weight as I move things to and fro.

Then my dad says, "Is it hot in here or is it just me?"... I think little of it, chalk it up to menopause or something like that, and move along tinkering with this and that.

My mom then points out that "hot air" is blowing from the vents.
Oh boy, I have broken the house. Great.

So I texted Chris and Grammy Nan saying: Where is the AC in the house?

No reply.

At this point I start going around checking the "AC" dials again to make sure that I did it right, at which time I notice the small little golden nugget of information inscribed on the dial: Electric Heater.

Or should I say de-heated?

I text back: I didn't know that YASNY didn't have an AC unit?

To which I recieve: It does. Open the windows.

To my defense, this is the first time going up in the summer since 2006. And by myself.
At least I looked like I knew what I was doing...

Onto the photos...
A little porch reading with my friend, Barbara.
The view ain't too shabby either.
Little monkey climbs on everything.He thinks his Papa is hilarious.
Chris: "Can grandkids have favorites?"
Sweet angel baby sleeping with MamaBo on the porch swing.Grits likes the front porch, too.
Mainly rolling her ball off the edge and chasing it into the bushes.The Bullington Fam joined us after picking up the oldest two from
Ridgecrest and Crestridge.Noah with Aunt Krystal at Grandfather picnic & condo in Boone.
And did I mention that Noah and I did this all by our lonesome?
Well, without Chris I mean.


Noah slept in a closet, I got blisters with the new shoes to match, and was barely able to close my eyes for more than an hour.
And I would do it all again.

Please don't call Child Services, it was a big closet.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Vote Your Socks Off

Friends, we have approximately twelve hours to help change the lives of, thousands of orphans and the downhearted in Haiti through my incredible friends, the Cherry's.
Watch this video, then go vote for my friends, Diana and Jay, with LESPWA Worldwide, Inc. It won't cost you a dime, only your time. Every vote counts, and at this time LESPWA is 64th in the running to receive $20,000. If they can move to first place before midnight tonight, that number could be $250,000.

Can you even begin to imagine what that amount of money could do for Haiti? The smiles that would brighten, the eyes that would shine?

Take a minute and please go


I Love the Mountains...

I love the rolling hills...

After Balsam Noah and I headed north to Boone to spend time with Krystal and her family. Krystal is one of my best friends from camp... going on eight years now... and she is in the midst of planning what seems will be one of the most beautiful weddings I've ever been a part of. We have been talking plans since I got here and I love it. She has specifically asked me to help create the favor/placecard for the reception...stay tuned for photos of the finished product.

I also captured a few photos while we were picnicking atop Grandfather Mountain, right on his nose. I am no professional but I was pretty pleased with how they turned out. I plan to snap a few more before I head home in a couple of days.
Aren't they a beautiful couple? Yes, I think so. I am so excited for their wedding in November...stay tuned for those photos as well.

In other news, I miss my husband some kind of awful. Holy smokes, do I. Being in the mountains just isn't right without him, breathtaking and relaxing sure, just not right.

We miss you, daddy. Come home soon.

Sunday, July 11, 2010


Nine, you are a bit early for your reservations. I am going to need you to wait outside until I can get ready for you. My word.

What a whirlwind... Eight has been a crazy busy month around this casa:
  • Camp started... enough said.
  • The Giusti boys came and stayed a week for day camp.
  • Noah went to Dollywood for the first time, and likely last time for a while. Thanks, Dolly, for the books you send us each month, but your place of leisure is exhausting for baby and mama. See you in a couple of years.
  • My grandmother and great aunt came with my folks and spent a few days. Loved having them in my home...
  • We've decided to buy a cow. And eat locally.
  • I started planning Krystal's bridal shower for this month... this will be my first go at anything girly. Wish me luck.
  • Chris and I went on our first "date" sans baby while leaving him with a gaggle of summer staff. Oh Borders, how we've missed you so.
  • Noah and Chris celebrated their first Father's Day together, complete with an opening day of camp and trip to Target.
  • Abbie is here with us now for a week being "Mommy's Helper".
And we haven't even gotten to all the stellar new tricks littleford has come up with... So sit back, relax, and enjoy the ride:

1. Noah likes periodicals. And by like I mean that he enjoys rearranging them in the bathroom...which if you can tell by the angle of the photo is pertinent in keeping regular for some folks around here. If you know what I mean...
2. Noah is learning how to con-finger his hands into a point. I think he has picked this up from when he insists on stopping at the framed collage of Noah's first week of life that hangs in the hallway on the way to his room. We point and name the various people who were here with us when we brought him home. He doesn't point at anything in particular, though I think he points "out" of his room after naps...
3. I think we may have the beginnings of a pack rat on our hands. He will find any and everything and carry it around with him. For hours. This could be a toy, a leaf, or something out of the recycling bin. He's not picky, as long as he can get it from point A to point B. I give you the apple juice bottle.
4. Noah is part fish. I am convinced. He can't get enough of the splashing, kicking, and zooming around in his little float. You can take a baby's parents out of Florida, but you can't take the Florida out of the baby.
5. He has figured out what getting dressed is all about. Though his face says otherwise in the following photo, he has become quite the little helper when putting clothes on. I am not sure I am ready for these big changes...they are big neon lights that he is getting bigger. Not so cool.
6. Noah is proving to be quite the little Casanova. He's got killer blue eyes and a smile that will melt your heart. Watch out, ladies... he knows how to use them. Just ask the women he's been collecting.
7. Noah is his own biggest fan. He loves Baby Noah in the mirror and the one at the top of this blog. He may or may not be a little full of himself. But, with this face, come on. Can you really blame him?
8. Much to my chagrin, the little dude's first word? Da-da. Yep. I would like a ma-ma every now and then but I think I may just be "mmmmmm" or "boob"... either one. But the smitten grin that comes across my husband's face is plenty satisfying when the little one mutters those precious "da-das".
9. And now for Noah's nine month official stats and a little show of the muscles:
  • Height: 28 inches
  • Weight: 18lbs10oz
  • Head: Above average (we are advanced here in the Ford family)

Alright, Ten, consider yourself warned. Don't you come around here like a bat out of you-know-where. 
Or I'll, I'll... hang my head and cry. 
Because I know you're coming.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Gone to Carolina in My Mind

...Or for real.
Not a lot of time to give details, mostly photos. But I will provide you with a humorous conversation, slightly edited, that I was a small part of:

Mom: (asking my sister about Zane, my youngest nephew) How does he like to be held?

Heather: Up on top of your boobs.

Grace (Heather's grandma): Put his tummy right in the middle of your big boobs.

Mom: Well, your boobs are bigger than mine, Grace.

Grace: You are working with a pretty big set yourself... just not as old and saggy.

and later...

Grace: (to me this time)'ve got a nice set, not as big as me and your moms, but it's okay. And when you get my age you might just have to get some of that sticky tape to keep 'em up.

Oh yes.

And now for the photos:

Hiking through the neighbor's yard to the creek... the neighbor was there for the first time ever at the same time I've been there.
Hey there, blue eyes.
It's all their fault for that blue-eyed boy.
Well, half their fault.
Old car that ran off an old logging road.
Chris and I stole the headlight casing to it a couple of years ago.
He owns the juice cup. Legit.
With four teeth you have to work with what you've got.
That's all for now.

And the "boob talk"? Still happening...

Sunday, July 4, 2010


Dear Friends, Family, & Faithful Readers,

I am asking for a minute of your time (beyond the minute it takes you to read my request). Many of you know or have heard stories about my friends, Diana and Jay, who have been living in Haiti since September of last year. They are there to bring hope and love to the people of Haiti, specifically the motherless and fatherless children of that country. They were there when the earthquake shattered the already fragile Haiti and continue to stay and help where they are needed.

I can't even begin to tell you all of the amazing and selfless things that D & J have embarked on, but I can tell you this: They are passionate about their ministry and faithful to follow where God has called them. I strongly believe in their organization, LESPWA Worldwide, Inc. because I wholeheartedly believe in them. And they need our help...

Here's the minute I am requesting: Chase Community is giving away $250,000 to the top one hundred non-profit organizations. Diana has personally asked me to actively join their cause and ask as many of my friends to
VOTE for them. It's easy, just click on the word vote in the last sentence and follow the directions.

If you have a blog, facebook, twitter, phone, email... please repost this request and ask your friends to do the same.

For more information on LESPWA, Diana and Jay, Jeremy Schurke (one of the LESPWA originals), or the man behind the photos above you can check out their website or blogs:
Thanks for taking the time to show love and support for my friends. I am grateful for you.

Sidenote: As I was sitting here writing I was overcome with chills from head to toe, with these lyrics repeating over and over in my mind (this is not a song I frequently hear or listen to intentionally) :

There is hope for the helpless

Rest for the weary
Love for the broken heart
There is grace and forgiveness
Mercy and healing
He'll meet you wherever you are
Cry out to Jesus, Cry out to Jesus
Lyrics from "Cry Out to Jesus" by Third Day

God often speaks great things in the faintest of whispers.
It's our job to be still and listen.

Friday, July 2, 2010

When Noah's Away (at Naptime)...

...his parents will play.

Thanks to a couple of our summer ladies, Jess and Kelli, Chris and I got to hang out with my sister and niece, Kelly and Abigail, on the boat with Dennis and Stephanie. If you remember, Chris got to do this last year, but apparently skiing is not an approved activity for pregnant folks. Go figure.

But this year, they couldn't keep me away.

I got up on the first time, which I consider to be quite the feat considering that I haven't skied since I was in high school... behind my brother's jet ski.  I make no promises on the form, skill, or tan lines, but I was pretty impressed with myself.
What's that? You need a close-up of that amazing skiing face? No problem.
Not only am I a natural, my Floridian husband that had never skied in his life until last summer seems to be quite the little fish as well. Not only did he kick some skiing hiney, he has "mastered" (I use that term lightly) the art of the slalom ski. Apparently once you go slalom, you never go back. In this case, one is better than two, I guess?
Kelly, my oldest sister, has been skiing for a long time. Her dad lives on the water and has boats readily available. So basically, what I am trying to say is she blew us out of the water. Quite literally.
And last but certainly not least, Abbie, at the ripe old age of five, skied for the first time! She did awesome on the training bar with the help of Dennis. He said that she could probably have stayed up on her own if she tried again, but I think she said she would wait until she's six to go solo. I was impressed, either way. She must have her mama's fish genes.
Next year I will be able to put Noah's photos up here...Camp John Knox's youngest skier. Oh yes. We are advanced here in the Ford family.

Oh, and did I mention that my husband was looking mighty fine?
Ohhh yes.