Sunday, October 25, 2009

Carving Pumpkins!

Yesterday Rachel came up to watch the Alabama-Tennessee football game and carve pumpkins with me. During the first half of the game we designed our templates, then during halftime we got started, cutting off the lids and scooping out the guts and seeds. During the second half, we got the seeds cooking and watched nervously as the Tennessee team tried to score in the final seconds of the game. After screaming at the top of our lungs when Alabama blocked their field goal attempt and won the game, we set back to work carving our designs. They turned out so good! I chose to do the Alabama A, while Rachel did an R for her name. We were both quite pleased with the results. It was a great day, made so much better by an Alabama win. Roll Tide! :)
Ready to get started
Rachel carving the lid
I can't stand the feel of pumpkin guts! Yuck! Transferring the pattern to the pumpkin
My finished pumpkin - the Alabama A!
What a great day to be from Alabama! Roll Tide!
An R for Rachel
yummy pumpkin seeds roasting in the oven

The Promise at Glen Rose

On Friday night I headed down to Glen Rose with Genny, Melissa, Abigail, and Evan to see The Promise - a passion play at an outdoor ampitheatre. The show was so good! The music was beautiful, and of course the story is the greatest story ever told. We had a great time together, huddled against the cold and watching the story play out in front of us. We had wonderful seats, on the 7th row, thanks to friend Dena who runs the lights for The Promise. I thoroughly enjoyed the experience, and would recommend it to anyone who has the opportunity to go.
Dena in her domain - the lightbooth The show began with the prophets and the nativity, continued with Jesus' ministry, and concluded with the crucifixion, resurrection, and ascension. HE IS RISEN INDEED!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Tide Pride

The University of Alabama football team is making us all proud this year, driving forward in pursuits of a SEC conference title and possibly even a 13th National Championship. Starting at a pre-season rank of #5, Bama has steadily moved up in the polls and is now ranked #2 (behind Florida) in most polls and #1 in one! Even though Florida is ahead of us in most polls, most commentators I've read indicate that Bama is the team to beat. Hopefully, this year's SEC Championship Game will feature a much different ending!

So, in honor of my team's incredible performance in the season thus far, I thought I'd share a few Bama stories (courtesy of http://www.rolltide.com/).
How the Crimson Tide Got its Name
The first nickname to become popular and used by headline writers was the "Thin Red Line." The nickname was used until 1906. The name "Crimson Tide" is supposed to have first been used by Hugh Roberts, former sports editor of the Birmingham Age-Herald. He used "Crimson Tide" in describing an Alabama-Auburn game played in Birmingham in 1907. The game was played in a sea of mud and Auburn was a heavy favorite to win. But, evidently, the "Thin Red Line" played a great game in the red mud and held Auburn to a 6-6 tie, thus gaining the name "Crimson Tide."

The Elephant Story
On October 8, 1930, sports writer Everett Strupper of the Atlanta Journal wrote a story of the Alabama-Mississippi game he had witnessed in Tuscaloosa four days earlier. Strupper wrote, "That Alabama team of 1930 is a typical Wade machine, powerful, big, tough, fast, aggressive, well-schooled in fundamentals, and the best blocking team for this early in the season that I have ever seen. When those big brutes hit you I mean you go down and stay down, often for an additional two minutes.
"Coach Wade started his second team that was plenty big and they went right to their knitting scoring a touchdown in the first quarter against one of the best fighting small lines that I have seen. For Ole Miss was truly battling the big boys for every inch of ground.
"At the end of the quarter, the earth started to tremble, there was a distant rumble that continued to grow. Some excited fan in the stands bellowed, 'Hold your horses, the elephants are coming,' and out stamped this Alabama varsity.
"It was the first time that I had seen it and the size of the entire eleven nearly knocked me cold, men that I had seen play last year looking like they had nearly doubled in size."
Strupper and other writers continued to refer to the Alabama linemen as "Red Elephants," the color referring to the crimson jerseys. The 1930 team posted an overall 10-0 record. It shut out eight opponents and allowed only 13 points all season while scoring 217. The "Red Elephants" rolled over Washington State 24-0 in the Rose Bowl and were declared National Champions.

Yea Alabama (The Alabama Fight Song)
Yea, Alabama!
Drown 'em Tide!
Every 'Bama man's behind you,
Hit your stride.
Go teach the Bulldogs to behave,
Send the Yellow Jackets to a watery grave.
And if a man starts to weaken,
That's a shame!
For Bama's pluck and grit have
Writ her name in Crimson flame.
Fight on, fight on, fight on men!
Remember the Rose Bowl, we'll win then.
So roll on to victory,
Hit your stride,
You're Dixie's football pride,
Crimson Tide,
Roll Tide, Roll Tide!!


Keep it up, Bama! We're all cheering you on to victory! You'll always be #1 in my eyes.

Turner Falls

I don't think we could have asked for a more beautiful weekend to visit Turner Falls. The park was absolutely gorgeous - the leaves were just beginning to turn colors (we were a little too early for peak season), and the waterfall was overflowing from all the rain we've had of late. But there was no rain this weekend - not a cloud in the sky!

After we set up camp, we decided to take a hike through the park, enjoying the weather and the brilliant colors of the day. Autumn is my absolute favorite season - what's not to love about cooler weather and college football, right?! I also love the turning of the colors, and I was really excited to get the opportunity to get out into nature and capture it on "film." Here are a few of my favorite pics of the fall colors.
I lucked into this next photo - I didn't even notice the leaf in the water when I took it. I was just trying to capture the sunlight sparkling on the water, and I was actually disappointed because it came out so dark. But now, I love this pic! It's one of my favorites from the trip. Of course, we spent a lot of time at the base of the waterfall, take photos and enjoying the scenery. There were quite a few people there, climbing on the rocks, playing in the water (brrr!), and actually making us quite nervous with their daredevil actions. The falls were so beautiful!


Turner Falls is also known for its Old English-style "Castle," built in the 1930s by a professor at Oklahoma University. We climbed up the long, steep stairway to the castle ruins and enjoyed exploring the various nooks and crannies , taking pics, and just being silly. It reminded me so much of my castle adventures with Amie in Scotland. I miss it!
all my friends are behind bars!
All in all, it was a fabulous trip, even if we did freeze Saturday night. I think I might actually go camping again - these girls make any trip an adventure, and we have a blast together. I am so thankful that God has provided me with such wonderful friends.

Happy Campers

This weekend, four friends and I ventured up to Turner Falls in Oklahoma for an overnight camping adventure. I was rather nervous about the whole thing, since I haven't been camping since high school, and even then it wasn't rustic camping. Thankfully, they were willing to not go too primitive - we found a campsite quite near the facilities, so that made me much more comfortable. We had gorgeous days, perfect weather for hiking through the park, but let me tell you, it was COLD at night! I FROZE and didn't sleep much, unfortunately. Still, it was a really fun weekend, and we're already making plans to go again in November (I think we're going south this time though).


Finally there! At the overlook to Turner Falls

setting up camp - one of our two tents

a fun game of Marbles before dinner after hiking to the falls
Taryn and Amanda did a great job of getting our campfire started
you can't go camping without smores :)
friends Dana and Dave surprised us by showing up after dark - we had a great time fellowshiping around the campfire
Rachel all bundled up trying to stay warm on a cold Sunday morning

I'll do another post of our hike to Turner Falls and "The Castle." It was a brilliant day, and I have tons of pictures to share!