Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Hot Mama's

Uh, maybe don't drink the water in Northeast Arkansas....

Former next door neighbor Amy Elder & Heather
Cousins Kaitlin Morgan Rau & Heather
Heather and little brother Jim - just kidding! :)
It's a baby boom!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Dreaming of a White Christmas

Since we weren't going to have a chance of seeing the white stuff for the holidays this year while in Missouri, Phyllis brought a white Christmas indoors!

Check out her $10 white Christmas tree she snagged during the post-holiday sales last year!  Unfortunately, she had to buy all new lights for the tree that had white cords, rather than green.  The new lights blended in nicely with some of the Flanigan favorite ornaments.

The Flanigans, circa 1997
Mason Jar Glass ornament from FDR Presidential Library
Obligatory Razorback red
Happy 40th Wedding Anniversary Phyllis & Mr. Ed
The Flanigans, circa 2011

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Take Me Home, Country Roads

After our sight-seeing adventure in Montreal, we crossed the border and dropped our friend Andy Whitaker off at the Burlington, VT airport for his ride back South.  It was our first visit to Burlington, which is only 45 minutes from the Canadian border.  With a population of 42,417 it's actually the largest city in the state!

There's something about the countryside of Vermont and we saw plenty of it on our 3 hour dive back to Clifton Park...

...can't you just smell the fresh air?

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Front Row at our First Protest

The best part about visiting other places is experiencing the food, the people and the culture there.  But sometimes you can get a bit closer than you intended...which is exactly what happened to us during a quick getaway to Montreal.

After a day of playing tourists, Brett, Heather & Andy walked out of La Ville Souterraine (Montreal's Underground City & coincidentally, the largest underground complex in the world) and right into a protest!

Honestly, when we first heard the drummers we thought it was a parade, but then realized that traffic in all directions was at a standstill.  Our next assumption was that it was the Occupy Montreal movement...after all,  Brett's Halloween costume had left us with little drummer boy memories.

This is what we ended up being smack in the middle of on de Lorimier Avenue:

After a little investigating, we discovered the protesters were Congolese Montrealers who started their demonstration on the nearby Jacques Cartier Bridge.  The protest was a spontaneous reaction to the announcement of election results in the Democratic Republic of Congo and caught local authorities off guard.  (Congo's incumbent president, Joseph Kabila, won 49% of the vote, versus 32% for veteran opposition leader Etienne Tshisekedi)

We watched for about 30 minutes and then found seats a little farther away from the front row after the riot police marched up.  While we didn't stick around to see how it went down (hey, we were hungry!) we did see the aftermath of the traffic snarl for miles.  Sucked to be those folks, y'all!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Handy Andy to the Rescue

Living far away from friends and family can be tough, but it's great when folks come to visit!  We love showing off New York and treating ourselves our guests to Italian bakery cuisine. 

Our pal Andy Whitaker currently holds the record for most visits to New York-he says he has a thing for the cannoli.  During his last visit Upstate he voluntarily rolled up his sleeves to put together Chickadee's new crib! 

And when we write voluntarily, we mean as in Heather & Brett went to bed and woke up with a completely assembled crib! 

God bless our 'Handy Andy' y'all!  Now Chickadee won't have to sleep in the dresser drawer...

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Who's that Mystery Guest Reader?

Speaking to Mrs. Kienzle's 2nd Grade Class
When a room mother at the All Saints Academy in Albany stumbled across Heather's blog on, she was looking for a guest speaker to talk to a classroom of 2nd graders.

The students regularly have "Mystery Readers" come read books to them and talk about their jobs and what they do.  It's a great way to expose kids to different occupations and to include the community in their education.

Of course, Heather was hooked the moment she got the invitation!  All she had to do was show up and bring a book...but since we don't have a lot of reading materials (yet) for small children, Heather was super thankful when her mother-in-law (and former kindergarten teacher) Taryn helped her pick out a couple of books.

Armed with Officer Buckley and Gloria, If You Give a Mouse a Cookie, I See Santa Everywhere and The Dog Who Saved Christmas, Heather faced her toughest live audience yet!

Thankfully, the kids were excited to listen to the stories and polite enough to not ask why Heather looked like a beached whale (thanks to Chickadee).  

They asked lots of questions about blogging and reporting and had plenty of stories to share with Heather about their own travels.  Unfortunately, none had ever traveled to Arkansas, Missouri or Mississippi...but one smart little girl could proudly spell "Mississippi"...which is more than Heather could say at that age!