Sunday, December 23, 2007

So proud...

Yet another reason to be so proud of my husband. He is the superbowl champion! That is right, his fantasy football team, the Fort Worth Defenestrators, beat all the other sorry teams this year to reign supreme in the Arkansas Football League. Now we are just waiting on his ring...

Friday, December 21, 2007


We are currently at my (Ashley) parent's house in Heber Springs, Ar. We have been here since Wednesday and are thoroughly enjoying our visit. So far we have made two trips to Wal-Mart and watched a Vh1 special on the top 100 greatest songs of the 90's. Well, we actually started watching the countdown at about number 50, so we have at least another 2 or 3 hours to catch up on some other time. Nirvana's Smells like Teen Spirit was number one, which was no surprise to us (me, Austin, and my bro Trey).
Trey came up to Arkansas today and Brandi will be here tomorrow...and then the Howard family is ought to be interesting to say the least. I am enjoying not only the use of a reliable internet connection, but also a keyboard where all the keys actually work! For those not in the know, my laptop is showing it's age and nearly a whole row (asdfjkl;' enter) of keys does not work. If only my computer savvy (and fellow Zambia j-man) pal Tommy lived in Ft. Worth! Although, the time for them (he and Steph (my roomie in Zambia) and their baby) to move here is in the not-so-distant future...spring...yippee!! So maybe I can hold out a little longer!
In recent and very exciting news....Austin graduated last week and is now a master!!! I was such the proud wife! I believe there are pictures posted by his sis on facebook if anyone is interested.
We currently have no job offers and are pretty much stuck in the waiting phase. The good news is we got permission to stay in our very affordable seminary housing until at least the end of January and maybe longer if need be. I really like Fort Worth and am not opposed to sticking around a bit longer.
I think we might be gluttons for punishment because we are braving the mall (in little rock) tomorrow...yikes! Bring on the looooong lines at the registers!
It's good to be with family!

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow

In June I cut my hair and gave it to locks of love. Eleven inches gone just like that!

Monday, October 08, 2007

New Fabulous Discovery

I am interrupting the previously scheduled blog entry to bring this tidbit of culinary news to you. Today, as I was preparing to wake the kiddos up from their naps, I caught the beginning of Oprah....and am I glad I did. For those who missed it, Jessica Seinfeld was her guest (yes, Jerry's wife). She has recently put out a new cookbook called Deliciously Deceptive. Basically, she is a mother of three who got tired of waging a nightly vegetable war with her kids. She has created numerous kid-friendly recipes that use vegetable purees in the recipes. Some examples are pancakes with sweet potato puree, chicken nuggets with broccoli puree, chocolate cake with beet puree, chocolate chip cookies with whole chickpeas....and the list goes on. It seems like it is definitely a book worth looking into at your local bookstore. Even though I am not yet a mom, I can appreciate a recipe that you can feel good about. I wonder how Austin will feel when he becomes my guinea pig?

Tuesday, October 02, 2007


After supper tonight, we decided to make a visit to the computer lab. So, here we are. Austin is doing mostly homework with a little fun browsing mixed in. I, on the other hand, am here for purely fun-browsing reasons. I enjoy the blogs. It is great to be able to keep up with friends this way. Many of our friends have just had or are about to have a baby. Even though I do not post frequently, I still check others when our connection is working. I think I will take this time to tell you about my friends under "links".....

Justin and Meredith- Meredith is one of my best friends (bff) and Justin became my bff-in-law about 5 years ago. Meredith and I lived on the same floor of one of the yuckiest dorms on La Tech's campus. In the beginning of our freshman year we both got involved at the bsu and signed up to join a family group. As fate would have it we were assigned to the same group and sat beside each other at the announcement party. She turned to me and said in that sweet voice, "Do you live in Graham?" That was all that it took for us to become inseparable for the next few years. She happens to be one of the two of my friends to be brave enough to go to a Howard family reunion with me. Heck, she is such a glutton for punishment that she even lived with me and my family in Ruston for part of a summer. My mother loves her so!
Justin and I became friends when I was a sophomore at Tech. He has a twin brother and they were always referred to as a unit...Jon & Justin, Justin & Jon, or the Bufkins. Meredith befriended them first and then introduced me into the clique. At this point, there were not any romantic ties between Justin and Mer (that came at least a year later). I spent many a late night at the bsu hanging out with the bufkins and other folks. Some of the best nights were filled with impromptu guitar sessions, dvd watching, and terminal sitting. I can still hear Jon and Justin arguing over whose turn it is to vacuum the bsu (they were the caretakers). I am glad that I only live 20 minutes from Justin and Mer!

Michael and Meg- Meg is from Ruston and a year older than my sis, so I guess I at least knew who she was when I was in jr. high. Although, it wasn't until the fall of 1999 that we became friends with one another. We were placed on the same team when we went to Turkey. We would become closer over the next several always seemed that we were going through similar things in our lives at the same time. Also, when I worked at Camp Cho-Yeh, she was the person in charge over my campsite...oh, sweetgum! In the last couple of years, she and I have become even closer since we used to live less than a mile from each other. Michael and I first met at the beginning of my freshman year at Tech, although he was too cool to talk to me or the other five girls that invaded that dorm room in Cottingham. We did not become friends until the following summer when we worked at Camp Cho-Yeh. Also, he and I used to baby-sit about 12 kids between the ages of 1-11 together. And I think we only made $10 for two hours. Talk about slave labor! The song "it's so good to be on base" was born from those baby-sitting days. Oh, and mikey was a journeyman, so there is that bond there.

Kim & Daniel- I think I have known Kim the longest out of everyone in my links. She is a Ruston-ite as well. My first memories of her take place at Ruston junior high. When I was in 7th grade, we had the same p.e. hour, but she was in the 8th grade girls class. The water fountain in the gym was on the 7th grade girls side, so when Kimmie and her friends would come to the fountain they would say hi and then Kim would tell her friends that she thought I looked like Teddy Ruxpin, yes, Teddy Ruxpin, the freaky talking bear of the 80's. She meant this as a compliment and a way of saying that she liked me, I on the other hand took it as an insult and harbored bitterness for the next 7 years. I was an insecure 13 year old girl who felt awkward in every way, so it hurt my feelings when this cool and popular 8th grader called me Teddy Ruxpin and laughed about it. It wasn't until we were on the plane to Turkey, sitting next to each other because of our last names, that I finally revealed to her that the nickname Teddy Ruxpin was not one that I was honored to have. Fortunately, I have worked on my issues and T.R. no longer offends me when it is spoken by Kim. In fact, I embrace it. Kim and I went through the journeyman process at the same time and got to go through orientation together. I was happy for that! When we returned back to the states, we lived together when I moved to Fort Worth for school. She and Daniel started dating when she and I lived together. It was so neat to get to see their story unfold before my eyes! Their story of how they first started dating is the cutest and one of my favorites! The "check yes or no" letter hung on our bulletin board until the day we moved.

Jason & Melissa- They are the newlyweds of the month yesterday! Jason and I were freshman together at Tech. I remember him as being a good ol' country boy from crowville. It would only be years later that I find out he is the golden boy of crowville and crockett point.....and maybe even of all Franklin parish. I remember playing a few hands of rook with Jason back in the day. Although it was usually me and Kristin playing against he and Trey and we obviously would crush them . But I digress. Jason is a GREAT friend to have! Just this past weekend he and Melissa rescued me at Target when my battery in my car died. Jason got the car running and followed me home. He even offered to help in any way he could in fixing it. As I was sitting and thinking of my memories of Jason, I remembered a time in college when I locked my keys in my car and he drove me to my house to get an extra set. An all-around great guy, need I say more. I have only known Melissa for about a year and a half, but I love her. I am so thankful that the Lord put Jason and Melissa together. She is a fun gal-pal to have. It is always entertaining to watch her put Jason in his place when he gets out of line. She is also good friends with someone that I worked with in Zambia (Chris, for anyone interested), so it is nice to have that special connection with her.

Well, I only got a little over 1/5 of the way through the list. But, my husband is ready to go because he has a hoss of a book to read about the Buddha and his teachings. So, I must submit to him in obedience and leave the lab.
Until next time.....

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Wedding Bells in West Memphis

This weekend we attended the wedding of Jason Herrington and Melissa Sparks....the Sparingtons. It was a very sweet and worshipful ceremony that oozed with love. My favorite part was the good-lookin' groomsman that was second from last! Of course, we forgot to bring our camera with us and we were counting on the Sanks to come through with theirs. As luck would have it, they forgot theirs as well. So everyone will just have to be patient until Kelly Moore puts them on her website. We spent the rest of Labor day weekend visiting with our parents. Right now I am updating from Austin's parents house. This has been an eventful weekend for us....filled with lots of car trouble. But the Lord has been good to us and provided for us the whole way. Family is a wonderful thing!

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Black Bean Brownies

ingredients 1 15-ounce can black beans 3 eggs, divided 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter, plus additional for greasing the pan 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 1 2.25-ounce jar baby food prunes 2 cups sugar 3 tablespoons flour 3/4 cup cocoa
Preheat oven to 350°F.
Rinse beans thoroughly and shake off any excess water. Blend beans and one egg in a food processor until the mixture is completely smooth. Melt the butter in a mixing bowl in the microwave. To the butter, add bean and egg mixture, the remaining two eggs, vanilla and baby prunes, and mix thoroughly. Add sugar, flour and cocoa to the bowl; stir to combine. Bake in buttered 9x13 pan for approximately 30 minutes, or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.
Yields about 12 brownies

Friday, August 03, 2007

Dear friends...

Well, I found those "dear friends" that I referred to in the previous post....the Bufkins. Thanks to them, and Justin's fabulous photo editing skills, I now have pictures to share...enjoy!

Celebrating Austin's 28th birthday at a sushi restaurant.
A family picture...we took this one about 10 times
Preston and Michelle, the happy newlyweds...and a little out of focus.
Waiting for the wedding to start. Austin's dad, Austin's grandma, and us!
Doesn't Austin's new tie look great!


Austin and I are in the library at school, so I thought I would take this time to post a bit. There will be no pictures, however, since I am unable to download my pics on the schools computer...which is a shame because I have some great ones! On with what has been going on with us...
In July we met up with Austin's parents in Little Rock and headed to Atlanta for his cousin Preston's wedding. While in Atlanta I got to meet nearly all of his family members on his mom's side. And I loved them all (I have to say that because his cousin, Kendra, stalks me online.). Honestly, I really did! I actually think that my favorite part of the trip was getting to know them better. The wedding was beautiful and the reception was fun! The band that played made you want to get up and dance...and we did (but just a bit).
While in Atlanta, we had planned on visiting the aquarium and the Coke place. I was very much looking forward to paying homage to Coca-Cola, but when we walked up the employees were standing outside telling everyone that they would be closed for at least two more hours because someone had a wreck and hit a transformer and threw out the power for several blocks. I was indeed sad, but they were at least handing out free cokes to numb your pain. So, I drank mine and half of Austin's! (they were small glass bottles)
Also, in June I finally cut my hair. Eleven inches, gone, just like that. I am donating it to Locks of Love. Although I have failed to send it in yet. We currently have an 11 inch ponytail in a plastic bag sitting in our pantry waiting to be mailed. Creepy???
And one last tidbit...the cat that we do not own and do not let in our house had kittens around the 4th of July. And, of course, we do not have them in our laundry closet in our hall. Hello, that would be against Seminary policy! But, if anyone would like a poor homeless kitty, give us a call!

Maybe soon, some dear friend will invite me over to their house and let me use their computer and I can actually post some pictures!

*Bonus tidbit!!! I just gave Austin a high five in the computer lab because he just got approved to take two more classes instead of having to write a thesis! YES!! Looks like we just might make it out of here in December! Now we just need a job.........

Monday, July 09, 2007

broken computer plus sketchy internet connection equals no new blog posts.

We are in the computer lab at school right now and I have a feeling I am about to get the "let's go" head nod any second from Austin........

Monday, April 23, 2007

nothing of importance

Not much to say, but I feel I should blog something. The husband is in the recliner flipping through the channels and I am on the couch with the laptop.
We have been watching Planet Earth on the Discovery channel today. Since it is Earth Day, they have been airing a marathon. It really is a pretty incredible series. But, I am a sucker for nature and wildlife shows...which is a little known fact about me.
Jason and Melissa came over tonight to watch the Mavs game with us. Unfortunately it did not turn out the way we were hoping. Good thing it is best out of seven.
We don't have any pictures to post, so you will have to be content with the text.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Some Guys Have All The Luck...

We are back (at least for now)....So on to the blog.

I wish stuff like this happened to me. Saturday night I babysat for my beloved Grant and Sarah. Anyway, as I was practically passed out on the couch, in walks their parents at 12:30 am. Apparently after their movie they went to catch a Wreckers concert at Billy Bob's. At first, "The Wreckers" did not ring a bell with me until they said it was the country girl group that has Michelle Branch in it. They proceed to tell how the concert was sold-out and was standing room only and that they were huddled in the back. They go on to say how a girl comes up and gives them her front row tickets. At that point right there I was pretty jealous and thinking that things like that never happen to me. Then, they blew my little mind and made the green-eyed monster rear it's ugly head. Apparently as they are just getting cozy in the front row, out walks KELLY CLARKSON onto the stage to sing along for a song. I am so jealous. If you don't like KC, then this story was probably a let down. But, if you'd like to see the performance, you can see it here in a pretty jumpy video with bad audio...but at least you get a glimpse.

On a side note that is related, when I was telling the bff about this, she said that Kelly frequents the Best Buy near her house. So, from now on, all of our Best Buy purchases will be made 20 minutes down the road in Mansfield!