Wednesday, January 26, 2011


 P90X, my new best friend that I love to hate!  I started this program 9 days ago, so I am officially 1/10th of the way through the program.  So far, every muscle in my body has ached, been sore, and given out. But, I believe I am over the first big hill.  I enjoy working out and being active and I like having a routine and set think this will be a good fit for me!

Life, work, church, family all seem to be busy. Although we have no house guest we have still remained extremely active.  Last week we had our entire street over for coffee and dessert!  No one RSVP'd, but everyone showed up. It was funny...this was the first thing like this Tory and I have done, but we hope to make it more frequent.  The interesting thing was how excited everyone was about the event.  Everyone seemed relieved.  Like they had been wanting to meet their neighbors, but did not feel comfortable.  The really funny thing, the oldest couple on the block (82 and 78) stayed the longest!  They finally went home at 10:00!  It is amazing what a little coffee, good eats, and an open house will do.

I am in San Diego on business this week. So far, this place is amazing!  The weather is unbelievable, the views are unbelievable, and I am anxious to look around. As I flew in last night the sun was setting on the Pacific Ocean and it was gorgeous from the plane.  I kicked myself when I realized I left my camera at the house.  Every time I come to a place like this on business I always wish Tory could be here.  We would have a blast exploring this town and I would love to see her excitement.

Caney Creek smoked it's first bacon bellies this past weekend and they turned out really good!  Great flavor, but a little salty. I also applied the second round of salt to the hams we are curing.  It was a cold weekend spent in solitude, but worth it in the end!  I also got to see a lot of wild life.  The ducks are moving through really good right now and multiple times a day I could sneak over to the pond and see as many as 60 mallards. Again, I left my camera at home for some reason.  Juno also had a great time.  She never stops moving when we are up there. You fire up the 4 wheeler and she is ready to go!

Have a great rest of the week!

Monday, January 17, 2011

Empty House

Tory and I are officially empty nesters.  Dina, our Cameroonian roommate, officially moved out yesterday and headed back to the dorm at UALR!  As a result, our house is now extremely quiet!  It is quite nice! We wish her the best, and I am sure that we will continue to get our weekly dose of Dina in some format.

Upon embarking on this last adventure, we were extremely hesitant. We were mainly being selfish and not wanting to relent our house to God's work. Thankfully we were obedient and listened to Gods calling.  I am not sure that we have seen the complete blessing of our obedience or the complete work that God is going to do in Dina through us, but we are excited to be on that journey.  He has taught us many things! Unfortunately, He showed us a lot that we can work on!  We continue to pray that God will use us, our house, our resources, and time to bless others. As long as we pray this prayer, He will give us opportunities!

Tory spent the weekend in Houston visiting our good friends the Henderson's.  I was jealous I didn't get to go, but I am glad that she got to spend some good quality time with Chanie. Their time together is few and far between, but I know it energizes my wife.

Today is a start of a new Mark!  One that is hungry and sore!  I am starting P90X today. It is a fitness program and diet plan designed to get old soft bellies like me back in prime condition. I am looking forward to it and the challenge that lies ahead! I am glad I have a few buddies to share in the pain with me (Ryan, Grant, and Art)! I am sure you will hear updates in future blogging about my successes and failures!

Went duck hunting with a church buddy this weekend and had a great time.  Did not grow up doing much Duck hunting, because my dad never really did any. But, I believe I could get addicted pretty easy.  It is hard to describe the excitement and beauty of ducks landing in front of you on the water. Unfortunately, in AR it can be an extremely expensive hobby and its all about who you know.

Tory and I are hosting our first "Block Party" tomorrow night. We were challenged by our church to share a meal with our neighbors, so Tory and I decided to invited the entire street (11 houses) over for coffee and dessert.  It should be interesting.  The 11 houses could not be more diverse! We have no agenda set, other than to socialize! Fill free to come over!

Saw my nephew over the weekend.  He continues to drink milk about as fast as Tory's Jeep Liberty drinks gas! He really likes sitting up, but his neck muscles are not quite 100%. Therefore, I refer to him as Bobble-Head Landon.  He is a good baby unless he is hungry, wet, or has gas!  Fix those problems and he is back to being a great baby.

Have a great week!

Monday, January 10, 2011

It's 2011? Seriously?

I am a little behind on the blog, but we have had a lot going on!  We are down to two house guest and are about to be empty nesters.  Narcisse and Dina will both be moving back to the dorm this week as they prepare for the start of the semester.  Tory and I have been dreaming of this day!  What will we do? Give it time...We will figure it out.  We will miss them all! It may take a while, but we will miss them!

Tory and I celebrated New Years in separate locations, Tory kissed a dog and I tried not to fall asleep. 2011 brings a lot of opportunity to Tory and I and we we are anxious to see how it unfolds. It is our prayer that during this year we would be gracious givers, bless as many people as possible, share Christ love, and be obedient to His commands.

Below is a quick summary of the past couple of weeks!

Caney Creek Smoked Sausage

I finally put up Dad's Cool sign that I got him for Christmas 2 years ago.

This is Dina on Christmas Morning.  She wanted Christmas brought to her!

I love the fact that Narcisse decided to use his stocking as a bib.

I go the the boys wind suits!

These are my fancy new boots! Nice Job Honey!

Narcisse with "Coco"

Shelly rescuing Narcissse from Coco!

When Coco get scared, he get a Mohawk

The wonderful family I married into.

Tory and little Tory tickling the ivory.

Nothing goes with leather jackets quite like camo overalls!
Victoria definitely won the cutest kid award for Christmas.

One of the Bald Eagles we saw on Long Creek.