Sunday, October 31, 2010

Happy Halloween!!

After the tailgate at church we came home to hand out candy to our neighborhood trick or treaters. [Side note - we have learned that it is easier to sit on the front porch and hand out the candy then to let kids ring the doorbell and get Ellie all in a fuss.] 

I have decided that trick or treating has changed a lot since I was a kid.  First, there are a ton of older kids trick or treating.  Maybe it was just our neighborhood, but man there were alot.  Secondly, since when did the whole family get dressed up and go trick or treating - each having a collection sack?  Kids expect to get more than one piece of candy.  What happened to the one piece rule?  Finally, have you ever gone to a house twice?  Yes, we had one group come back again.  I guess they just liked our candy so much they wanted more - ha!  One thing I do like is that we started putting a basket of candy on the porch when we were not out there and not ready to handle trick or treaters.  It was so nice to come home from church, get the dogs taken care of, feed Paige, get her back into her costume, change my clothes, then head out to greet the trick or treaters.

Since it is Paige's first Halloween we went a little over board with the pictures (not in our minds - in our minds, we didn't take enough) and I thought I would share a few.

What do we have here?

Look what I got Momma!

Happy Halloween!

Fall Festival Tailgate

When you think of church and you think of Halloween, you normally think trunk or treat or fall festival.  Well, our church combines these and steps it up a notch by adding tailgating to the mix.

What happens is each small group comes up with a theme and they set up a "tailgate" designed around this theme.  This was our first year so we didn't really know what we were getting ourselves into.  We had heard that some groups went all out and we thought it would be fun to try.  So, our theme was "Down the Farm".  Each group was to give out candy and then have some sort of finger food to sample.  We had pigs-in-a-blanket, some normal ones and some gourmet (that is what I like to call them - they were Mexican and buffalo style). 

You could see the big red barn from the parking lot - loved it!
And having 'Auburn Tigers' centered made it even better...Brad and Jason must have set up the tent...hehe.

4 of the kiddos

The girls

The cutest ladybug ever!!

And the cutest cow ever!  Thanks Christina for making our AWESOME backdrop - it was a huge hit!

I think we did pretty well for our first year.  The group on one side of us had 2 chefs from The Grand Hotel (like as in the Marriott Grand Hotel) and had made yummy pumpkin mousse, some may say cheating, I say using your resources.  Some other cute themes were Willy Wonka, Wizard of Oz, Christmas, and "Pony up for Jesus" who had pony rides.  The tailgate ended right when we won the "Heartburn Award" for our buffalo piggies.  Can't wait for next year - the wheels are already turning for our next theme!

Saturday, October 30, 2010

LSU Review

Auburn has now moved up to number 1 in the BCS rankings after the spanking of LSU. Sure the scoreboard may have said we won by 7, but I contend it wasn’t really that close. Whenever you rack up 440 rushing yards and 217 those by the QB it is a good day and while the defense gave up a big trick play, they actually played pretty well to hold LSU to 17. More on the #1 ranking in a future post.

This team continues to amaze me and they are really starting to make me believe that they are going to win them all and head into Tuscaloosa undefeated. I still don’t think we are good enough to go undefeated but somehow we find a way to win and teams that do that are sometimes really hard to beat.

5 LSU game observations:

1. I know I say it every week but Cam really is superman. The skills this guy has are unbelievable. That little run in the 3rd quarter will be on highlight reels for years to come. It was absolutely ridiculous what he did to the number 1 SEC defense last week. He continues to run around and THROUGH defenders. For 2 weeks in a row he has absolutely leveled a defender on the goal line. Also his control of the game is amazing. He holds onto the ball and leads the team. You can see the respect he demands when he is in the huddle. All he has to do is stay healthy and the Heisman is his. His rushing numbers dwarf Tebow’s numbers and I never thought I would see someone dominate a game like Tebow, but we have him. I’ve heard the comparisons to Bo Jackson, but just slow down a bit.

2. The defense is still not that great but they really stepped up against LSU and played pretty well. Missed tackles continue to be a problem and after rewatching the LSU game I noticed that LSU would have only had 3 points if we had tackled better. We are also still going to have to have better secondary play but Nick Fairley is playing lights out on the line. If you don’t think opposing defenses are scared of Fairley, just ask Jarrett Lee of LSU. The amazing thing is he is doing it while being held.

3. As I said before the season, Onterio McCalleb is a very important part of this team. Onterio ran 70 yards to put the winning score on the board against LSU. Without Onterio running the speed sweep, Cam doesn’t get nearly the amount of yards he does every game. Defenses have to respect Onterio on the outside and when they don’t he burns them just like he did against Arkansas and LSU. Onterio’s threat on the outside also opens the running lanes inside for Cam and Mike Dyer.

4. Jordan-Hare was rocking Saturday afternoon. That is one of the loudest games I have ever been to. From my seats on row 1 this week it was deafening. More on Coach Chizik later, but I think he has helped to create this atmosphere at Auburn. Not only does he have the team “all in” but he also has the fans “all in”. I love the pregame video when Chizik is in a press conference and says we have the best fans and best student section. Additionally, Trooper Taylor and his towel are always sure to get the fans involved.

5. SEC officials – Bless their hearts.

LSU was a great signature win for this football team, however the test has only just begun. Ole Miss on the road will really tell us a lot about this team. A lot of the talking heads are picking the upset and I can see why. Auburn has played 2 VERY difficult AND emotional games and now has to go on the road. Ole Miss is not the same team now as they were at the beginning of the season. They are not the same team that lost to Jax State and Houston Nutt always finds a way to beat a top team and finds a way to beat Auburn.  Just ask Tuberville.

The real test this week is keeping the team focused. This is probably the biggest challenge of his coaching career this week. In the past I would have thought Auburn loses this game, however something tells me that this team will remained focused and go into Oxford and take care of business.

Friday, October 29, 2010

AR Review

**Sorry for the delay - it has been a crazy 2 weeks!
The Auburn Basketball, I mean football team won again Saturday in a shootout that will live in SEC history. I know Arkansas doesn’t have a great defense but for Auburn to put up 65 on a SEC team is just crazy.

Let me get it out of the way and say that Auburn was lucky and that Auburn got some breaks with some very close calls. Yes, Mario’s fumble on the goal line was probably a fumble. However, there were plenty of bad calls to go around and both teams were on the bad end of some really crazy calls.

Auburn was also lucky enough to play against the backup quarterback for 2 and ½ quarters. However the freshman backup ended up playing better than the starting, Heisman frontrunner quarterback. I can’t believe we have to play against this guy for the next 3 years.

Overall this was a gutsy performance by an Auburn team that just won’t quit. It is amazing how they can come back in the 4th quarter. Even though it was not a great defensive performance, the defense really stepped up and forced 3 key turnovers late in the game. It seems that this team really seems to get better when the pressure is on.

Is this a championship team? I still don’t believe they will go undefeated but with each passing week I see a little more hope. Sometimes championship teams have luck and find a way to win. That definitely describes this team. Championship teams stick together when the going gets tough and I admire the way this team has stuck together. Finally, championship teams have a leader or leaders that they can look to when they are down. These leaders step up and make a difference in the outcome of the game. This leads me to my 5 observations:

1. Cam Newton, make your reservations for New York in December. I know I am somewhat biased but seriously is there a better player in all of college football? He is about to start breaking records, even those of Heisman-winning quarterback Tim Tebow.

2. Yes I brought out the Tebow comparison and I think it is valid. Cam is on pace to have more rushing yards than Tebow and is compiling a win-loss record to go along with the stats. Tebow had more passing yards, could this be the week of the pass for Cam?

3. Josh Bynes is another great leader on this team. I am convinced that without him this defense would be completely lost. He leads the defense on the field and on the sidelines. His enthusiasm and desire are contagious and he knows when to really step up. His 2 interceptions late in the 4th quarter sealed the win and gave the whole defense some confidence. Great leaders step up when needed.

4. What a difference a year can make when it comes to special teams. Blocked punt, 99 yd kickoff return, field goals and over 300 overall yards.

5. Coming back in the 4th quarter is really beginning to be what this team is known for. As long as they win though I don’t care if it is in the first or fourth quarters.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Go Tigers!

Not, Geaux Tigers!

This weekend was filled fun!  Friday, we travelled to Birmingham for Brad to attend a conference.  I love tagging along because that normally means I get to shop.  I went last year and had the best time so I knew this year I would go even if I had to take off work (which I did and it was totally worth it).

I met up with one of my old college friends, Ashley, and her son Jack.  We had an awesome time shopping at the Galleria!!

We got to eat at Jason's Deli - one of the places I miss from Huntsville!

Paige getting a sweet hug from Jack.

Friday night we met Nana, Papa Joe, Justin and Christina in Montgomery to eat at Jim and Nick's - another favorite of our's!  Brad and I have to go there at least once a year for the cheesy cornbread - that is my whole reason go - I absolutely love it.

Saturday we went to the AU/LSU game.  I decided I would take Paige to this one since the weather was pretty nice and kickoff was at a good time.  Oh my goodness!!  We sat on the first row (that is where Brad's faculty seats are) and I loved them!  I am probably one of the few that would actually like these because you can't really see the game.  You can see the jumbo-tron but that is about it.  These seats are a people-watcher's dream come true.  I loved seeing behind the scenes of the Auburn bench.  Like we knew Daren Bates had something wrong with his arm/shoulder/something when we saw him in is warmup suit with one arm out of the sleeve.  Paige was an angel and we got to stay the whole game!

Aunt Christina made the bow and Paige's afternoon teacher, Ms. Margie, made the headband (well, she sewed or glued it together).  The headband did not last long in heat and when I tried to put it back on her she took it right off.  Oh well!

If you look very close you will see SuperCam in the center before the game.

Enjoying the win!

While the game was going on I had all these thoughts that I wanted to share and now that it is time to write, I can't remember any of them.  Maybe next time...until then we will enjoy being #1 in BCS and hope the curse that comes with it doesn't follow us!

War Eagle!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

This, That, and the Other

It seems like when we have nothing going on, we have nothing and when there is one thing, there is a million.  These past few days have been one of those million times, some things have been exciting and fun and others have been surprising and sad.

I guess you start with the bad news first - Brad's Uncle Wayne passed away Friday.  We learned that he had an aortic dissection (I hope I am saying that correctly) Monday.  Then had emergency surgery overnight Monday and never woke up from the surgery.  Brad travelled to Mississippi to join the rest of the family for his celebration service.  I like the idea of a celebration service because while we mourn here on Earth, I believe we can celebrate that Wayne is with our Lord and Savior.  Not only is he in heaven singing with the angels, he is singing with his momma and his daddy - how neat is that?!? 

We love you Uncle Wayne!

The happy ~

Our friend Billy came down to Mobile for a conference and we got to have dinner with him!  We love Billy and Rebecca and it is always so great to see them.  Rebecca couldn't make the trip this time, but we enjoyed visiting with Billy.  I love how when we get together our friendship doesn't skip a beat - you would never know we live 350 miles apart.

I realized I left Ben out of my last post and I can't do that!!  He is always so sweet to come and hang out with us.  For so long he was the only child and now he is the only boy.  He is always so good just to go with the flow and have fun.

Next, we have one other reason to celebrate, my first baby girl had a birthday.  Yesterday was Ellie's 6th birthday!  I can not believe my baby is 6 (and yes, I consider my doggies, my babies too).  We celebrated with special treats, doggie ice cream and toys for each dog - you can't just give one dog a toy and not the other, they don't understand how birthdays really work.  Let me just say Madi cracks me up.  When it comes too food, she is all about it.  Every morning we have to feed Madi first then go to Ellie.  Well, I thought since it was Ellie's birthday I would put her ice cream in her bowl first.  Madi thought otherwise and as soon as I put the ice cream in the bowl, Madi took it out and took it to eat in the den (it was still pretty frozen).  It was so funny!  We tried to get the ice cream over to bowl but she didn't think she needed to eat it there.  Luckily, we were able to get her to eat it on the kitchen floor instead of the den rug. 

The girls enjoying their birthday toys.

Finally, tonight we got to have dinner with family.  Brad's cousins, Tee and Kay, and their daughter, Teya, came down to Aunt Susie's for fall break so we all got together for dinner.  I love getting together with family!   It was their first time to meet Paige and she just ate up all of the attention.  Myles and Ella were there also and she loves them!

It is only Tuesday and I feel like it should be Thursday.  That is probably not a good thing but at least we are staying busy the rest of the week!

This Little Piggy

This little piggy went to market...

These little piggies stayed home...

These little piggies had roast beef (well, really bbq)

These little piggies had none (Kate and Paige actually ate some of the bbq and enjoyed it!)

And this little piggy went wee, wee all the way home!

I just couldn't resist!  My friend Emily titled her post for the game as "wee, wee, all the way home" and it was my inspiration.

We had the perfect Saturday - tailgating with great friends and watching our Tigers pull out an awesome win!  Can you believe the final score??  Crazy!  While Brad went to the game, sweet Jamye and Steve had me, Paige, Emily and Kate back to their house to watch the game.  It was so much fun to see the girls interact.  They are all 3 months apart - Kate 11 months, Paige 8 months and Morgan 5 months.  Little do these girls know that we are planning them being college roommates.  Thanks girls for a wonderful Saturday!  We don't do it near enough!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Kentucky Review

Does anyone know a good cardiologist? I’m seriously going to need one if we do that again in the 4th quarter this year. Again a win is a win and this team keeps finding a way to win. While they looked great in the beginning and almost scored at will, they seemed to let their guard down and let Kentucky back in the game. That being said Kentucky has some good players in Locke and Cobb but I would like to see Auburn play a complete game and stay ahead.

5 observations:

1. Cam for Heisman! This guy is amazing. That throw as he is falling out of bounds across his body was ridiculous. While the coaches and Cam may not be lobbying yet, I think Malzahn is trying. He called Cam’s number 4 straight times at the goal line.

2. The drive at the end is the stuff champions are made of. Don’t believe me? Go back and watch the bama drive on Auburn in the 4th quarter of last year’s game? Look familiar? Auburn controlled the ball for 7 minutes and made some great plays. I hate to rely too much on Cam, but if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

3. SEC referees. I don’t like to blame anything on the refs and if we had lost it would not be their fault, but come on there were some calls that were absolutely ridiculous. I never defend a player for a late hit out of bounds. They are uncalled for and usually very flagrant. However, the 2 on Zac Etheridge were ridiculous. Both hits were made inbounds. Let ‘em play!

4. Wes Byrum is money. Didn’t even have to watch, I knew it would be good. (Note from LeeAnn: Don't worry, we didn't watch because Brad had already changed the channel.)

5. Craig Sanders is a beast on special teams and we missed him this week. It makes a big difference for our defense if the other team is starting out at the 20 or midfield. Get better soon Craig!!

Overall Auburn won the game and did so with a pretty good offensive performance. Defense still needs work. We saw what is going to happen if teams throw quickly with a 3 step drop. Fairley and Carter can’t apply pressure and our secondary is not going to stop anyone. That being said, they kept most everything in front of them and that seems to be the plan. It will take a much better performance by the secondary to beat Arkansas and Ryan Mallet – more on that later in the week.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Looking for a Good Time

Saturday we went "looking for a good time" and found ourselves at a pumpkin patch in South Baldwin County.  I knew that when we had kids I wanted to take them to a pumpkin patch like Tate Farms in Huntsville.  It just always looked like so much fun.  So, my mission for the week last week was to find a place where we could take Paige.  I knew she would have no clue what was going on and it didn't really matter if there was much for her to do there.  I found the Maizing Family Fun Farm in Elberta and we had a great time!  They have a corn maze and corn shooter thing for the older kids and they have an antique tractor that takes you out to the pumpkins.

I wanted to get a picture of Paige with the scarecrow but she was too interested in looking at it herself.

There were too many other fun things to be looking at instead of looking at the camera!

While we were at the pumpkin patch, Ellie and Madi went to the groomer.  They got to sit up front, like the old days, on our way home.  Aren't they cute with their bows!

And to finish the good day off...

Right after Auburn's first touchdown vs Kentucky.  Man, does this girl love Auburn or what?!?  She loves to cheer, "War Eagle!!"

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

8 Months!

Happy 8 Month Birthday Paige!

I feel like I write this every month, but time flies when you are having fun!

* You continue to be the sweetest baby!!  You love playing and exploring.  It cracks me up because you know what the remote and cell phone are and want them if you can see them.  When we are playing together I try to hide them and you have a knack for finding them.  You love standing and are doing pretty good when you have something to hold on to like the ottomans in the den.  The only problem with that is that this is my trusty place to hide the remotes and phones.  I guess I am going to have to find a new hiding place!  You have started do a slight crawl but not the full force crawl. 

* You love to eat and boy and I grateful for this!  You try anything we give you and typically like it.  Meals include fruit, vegetables, yogurt, puffs, crackers, cheese puffs, cheerios, grits, along with a bunch of other things.  To go along with all of this, you typically have 3 bottles throughout the day.  We are trying to incorporate the sippy cup with water but it is proving to be more of a challenge than I expected.

* You weigh 19 lbs.  I tried to measure you yesterday but that just didn't really work (it was fun trying!).  You have a long torso with shorter arms and feet.  You are outgrowing your 6 - 9 month clothes in length, but the sleeves are still too long.  I have decided you need shoes for the fall and winter but am having trouble finding some that fit.  When we were at Old Navy, it looked like you would wear 3 - 6 month.  You are in size 3 diaper and will probably be here awhile.

* I don't think you experienced too many firsts this month.  The only one I can think of is you had your first night "away" from me.  I was really there but you did not see me before you went to bed and I was not the first one to greet you when you got up.  I don't know if this really counts for anything but I guess it is a first.
 Thank you for being our sweet baby girl!  We love you so much!!

**UPDATE: Paige had her flu shot yesterday and part of that meant she got to get weighed.  Her official weight is 18 lbs 14 oz. 

Friday, October 8, 2010

Kentucky Preview

5-0 - Last year we were also sitting at 5-0 before a trip to Arkansas started a 3 week slide to a 5-3 record. Kentucky was in the middle of that rough stretch and the loss at home to the Wildcats really put things in perspective for the 2009 Tigers. This week we travel to Kentucky to play a team that has underachieved thus far this year. Before I get ahead of myself I should comment on the ULM game this past weekend.

Observation(s):  Auburn took care of business and won.

That really is about all we can take away from the game. Other than a few injuries the game went perfectly. It was easy to see that Malzahn threatened Cam and told him not to run. Very smart! Don’t get your QB hurt vs. ULM. Some younger players got some good playing time and experience and this is really the most important thing in this game. Not a whole lot else to say about ULM.

Kentucky this Saturday should be a good matchup for Auburn. This is a Kentucky team that came into Auburn and stunned the Tigers last year. However this is not the same Auburn team. The defense has much more depth and has not been folding in the second half. Onterio McCalleb is healthy again and the offense seems to be running well. I expect Auburn to come out ready to play and take care of business against Kentucky.

Kentucky is a good team. They have struggled this year and not done as well as some thought but they are dangerous. They won some games early in the year and they have some great playmakers in Locke and Cobb. They will score points and should be able to throw the ball easily against our secondary. It could be a shootout, but Kentucky ranks in the bottom of the SEC in run defense and I expect that Mike Dyer and McCalleb may have a big game.

With a win in Lexington and the Tigers are bowl eligible (always the first goal of the season and an important accomplishment). I’m not ready to say that these Tigers are going to go undefeated or head to Tuscaloosa undefeated. Let’s get past Kentucky first and then take it a game at a time.