Ritchie Crew

Ritchie Crew

Saturday, January 26, 2013


We started off today with a few learning activities for Caroline AND Mommy, and now we both need to give our brains a chance to rest and relax.

Addition and Subtraction

W is for....weather
Caroline's disaster kit activity
 And then it was Mommy's turn...

I am taking a camera class for the next few weeks and this week we learned about Tv and ISO.  We cannot use any of our automatic setting.   I am dreaming about shutter speed and ISO at night.  In the picture below I used a highter Tv and low ISO.  Cheers to getting faster at this process...
 The camera practice time did give Caroline a good reason to run and laugh on the playground.
 I hope to give this picture below to my grandpa this year on his 80th birthday.  Caroline is his #1 fan!

Happy Birthday Aunt Peggy

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Meet Lizzy

Steiff is a German-based plush toy company known for its high quality. It was begun in 1880 by Margarete Steiff, who was later assisted by her brother Fritz.

The toys began as elephants, and were originally a design Steiff found in a magazine and sold as pincushions to her friends. However, children began playing with them, and in the years following she went on to design many other successful animal-themed toys for children.

The Steiff's nephew Richard joined in 1897 and gave the company an enormous boost in popularity by creating the teddy bear in 1902. In 1907, Steiff manufactured 974,000 bears, and has been increasing its output ever since.

A large amount of the work is done by hand, from design sketches to airbrushed paint. The final touch on any Steiff toy is the trademark "button in ear" (assuming the animal has one; in any case they'll find a spot for it).

The famed "button in ear" was devised by Margarete's nephew Franz in 1904, to keep counterfeits from being passed off as authentic Steiff toys. It is metal and originally had the symbol of an elephant, later replaced by the name "Steiff". The button is still used to distinguish Steiff toys from fakes. Some special toys have both the elephant and the name. Reference Wikipedia.
Daddy sent Caroline Lizzy all the way from Germany.  Lizzy is our Steiff teddy bear and Caroline finds comfort in the bear knowing her Daddy sent his love to her with the bear.  Only 4 more months and our Daddy will be home!

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Community Garden

 Caroline and I drove up to the church for a work day to help with the community garden.  Our church is helping start a community garden with vegetables, fruits, and flowers.  There will be individual plots that the church will help sponsor and teach others in the community about agriculture and help others to grow produce.  Hopefully this will improve the quality of life for the people, encourage social interaction, reduce food budgets, and make disciples for Christ.  Our Missions team has worked hard on the planning of our garden. 

We worked hard today, and enjoyed every moment.  I cannot wait to see the rows of plots with busy hands!  We have a wonderful Sunday planned tomorrow. We are starting a new book tomorrow in Sunday School, and the first chapter has me excited! I will try to create a post in the morning of the highlights of our study.  Hope you all have a great night!  God is good!

Friday, January 18, 2013


Today has been the opposite of yesterday...I am back to my good self.  Making to-do lists and loving the check marks appearing once the tasks have been accomplished.  I read an article that Matt sent me this morning.  The article was about becoming a hands free mom.  If you would like the article feel free to email me and I will send you the link.  I was reminded once again to be intentional with my time.  Intentional with the information that I teach and give Caroline on a daily basis. 

Tomorrow we are gaining knowledge on our next step of completion for upstairs.  We are also burning a few calories at our church by helping start the Community Garden.  The garden will have individual beds for those who need or want to grow vegetables and fruit.  Our church is a loving and giving church! 

Thursday, January 17, 2013


Forced= strained, unnatural

Forced= today

This week started off with a forced feeling. Now, let's get this straight.  Not a bad feeling or sad feeling, but a forced and unnatural atmosphere.  I forced myself last month to finally sign up for a dslr class.  I forced myself on Monday to attend.  I do not like going into new places and meeting new people! 

I forced myself to wake up this morning and get out of bed, which if you know me I usually jump out of bed before the rooster crows.  I forced myself to eat the same leftovers for lunch and dinner that I have eaten since Sunday night. 

And finally I forced Caroline to take a few pictures for my camera class.  I realized this afternoon that today has been an unnatural day, and you cannot force a toddler to take photos...they do not turn out good.  Please email me or comment and let me know which photo you like best.  The photos have to be raw, and cannot be cropped, photo shopped, or changed period.  So...it is what it is.  Hope to force myself to learn more next week.

Now to force myself to clean...

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Prayers Please

Please say a special prayer tonight for our Pop. This is my friend's grandfather, Bill Elliott, that lives in Walcott. While walking at the community center today, he collapsed and became unresponsive. Thanks to our amazing God, an RN happened to be there and started CPR, utilized an AED, and got him back to breathing while the ambulance arrived.

    After extensive testing and procedures, they believe his heart became so out of rythum, it stopped. He is currently on the ventilator and sedated at Arkansas Methodist Hospital in Paragould. The doctors say he required heavy sedation because he was trying to wake up and his pupils were reactive! They will try to wean him from the ventilator tomorrow and we hope to have him transferred to St. Bernard's in Jonesboro. The doctor believes he will need a defibrillator.

    Times like this are hard. The unknown and waiting can seem impossible. Please pray tonight that we remember that God knows best and count the many blessings he has bestowed on this family. Pray that he will heal Pop if it be His will and that we will not worry but trust in Him. Pray also for the sweet lady that God worked through today.

Pray for comfort for Pop and pray for comfort and understanding for this family.  We love you Holly!

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

My Husband

 I have a lot of things I could be doing right now.  Caroline is asleep early and I need to hit the exercise machines, clean the bathrooms, prepare for an upcoming presentation, send a few emails, make a grocery list, and mentally unwind from the past couple of days....but instead I am going to smile and maybe shed a little tear over the love for my husband.

Let me share one fact about my husband.  Fact-my husband is everything I wish I could be.

Tonight is one of those nights that everything comes to a stop and I think, how much longer can I do this without him.  Sometimes I look back over the past months and I think about how quickly time has passed and then days like today I think how slowly time has passed. 

Matt and I always grow stronger through school, missions, and deployments.  Just when I think I cannot love this man any more, I do.  Below are three of my favorite pictures from our first year of marriage. 

I love you Matt.
Jenny Lake, Grand Tetons

 Oh Cermit and Giant....I cannot stop laughing when I see this picture of us going horseback riding...Needless to say, Giant and Matt did not get off to a good start.  Still laughing...
Us with God's Creation

Friday, January 4, 2013

Meet Zoe McSwain and Cara Lamb

We had the honor of housing two of the Centenary Choir Students last night at our home. Meet Zoe McSwain and Cara Lamb.  Caroline was a huge fan of the performance last night.  The group of college students have been given great talent to spread God's word through music. 

Since 1941, the Centenary College Choir has performed throughout the world: singing for front-line troops in Korea, many American and European heads of state, NATO and American armed forces worldwide, ten international conventions of Lions International, three times for the General Conference of the United Methodist Church, the Council of Bishops, and two lengthy engagements at New York's Radio City Music Hall.
The choir is a unique collegiate choral group, singing a varied repertory including both sacred and secular music, from Bach to Broadway, folk to contemporary, and opera to oratorio. I cannot wait for Sardis to hear this group again!