Friday, October 31, 2008

The Cow and the Ghost

Our church group did a "trunk or treat" for all of the kids this evening, so we figured it was a great time to dress up our dogs and let them meet everybody. Our poor dogs. To be honest, I always made fun of people who dress up their dogs. I mean really, it's pretty goofy. But they just looked so good. Auggie went as a cow, as you can see, which we thought was appropriate. Penny was a ghost. Auggie was definitely the star. We were mugged by little kids who didn't care about getting candy, they were so interested in Auggie. Of course, Auggie was cool with the attention. I think he dug the costume, too. We probably would've done something other than a cow, but your XXL dog costumes are a somewhat limited selection.

We also always carve a few pumpkins, so this was this year's version. We found a really cool website,, where we downloaded several templates. It is sort of a shame that this much work only lasts a few hours, but it was fun nevertheless. I recommend clicking on the picture, it looks better bigger. The one on the left is a witch and an apple. The one on the right is a skeleton climbing out of the pumpkin.

Sharon survived the first round of tooth extraction, if only barely. We're definitely not looking forward to getting the other two pulled on Monday, because now she knows exactly what to expect. All I have to say is, thank goodness for vicodin. For her, not me.

Thursday, October 30, 2008


Sharon got her braces yesterday, she's thrilled as you can imagine. We figured we'd better snap a picture now because she goes to get teeth pulled this afternoon and Monday, so she's not going to be feeling so hot. Once she has healed up from that they'll put the wire on the braces. Unfortunately all of this has occurred just in time for her to not be able to eat Snickers for Halloween. Now that is pretty sad. But I think she's mourning the loss of Doritos the most.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Steeples and Halloween Cookies

I mentioned in a previous post that a new chapel is being built right down the street from our house. They just put the steeple on this past week, so we're pretty excited about that. They also put shingles on the roof, so it's actually really starting to look like a church instead of just a big building. We drive past it regularly so we can see the progress and dream of the day when It will only take 3 minutes to get to church instead of 20. Of course we are grateful we only have to drive 20 minutes. But still, when we have to go back to the 9 a.m. to noon schedule those extra few minutes of sleep will be wonderful!

Once a month the Cub Scout committee meets over at our house, and a lot of the committee members have little kids that they can't leave at home. So Sharon, who is a saint and will go directly to heaven after this life is over, watches the kiddos while we meet in the sunroom. This week she got to entertain Bella Williams, Brady McKesson, and Aiden, Abbott, Anna, and Adeline Patterson! All of these kids are completely cute, and Sharon teaches Bella, Brady and Anna in the nursery. So those three were very excited to get to come see Sister Gosney! The oldest two were fairly content to just sit back and watch Night at the Museum. Of course when you come over to the Gosney's you have to have a treat, so we made Halloween cookies from our super-famous Cookie Monster Cookie Dough. There is no greater recepie for cookie dough than Cookie Monster Cookie Dough. I orginally came across it when I was a little kid. It was in a Sesame Street book I had when I was little. So, if you are so inclined, here is the famous Cookie Monster Cookie Dough recepie, complete with Cookie Monster's instructions. We use some very cool ghost, black cat, pumpkin, and bat cookie cutters and some black, orange or white frosting to top 'em off. But that isn't absolutely necessary. :-)

Cookie Monster Cookie Dough

3/4 c. softened butter
1 c. sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
2 1/2 c. flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp salt

Put the butter into a bowl; measure and pour sugar over the butter. Squish the butter and sugar together with a fork or pastry blender until totally blended. Gently break open each egg, and pour each into mixture in bowl. Measure and add vanilla; blend mixture with fork again. Measure and add flour to the mixture in bowl. Measure and add baking powder and salt, and springkle each over the top of the flour in the bowl. Mix it allllll together with the fork, or with very clean hands! Chill the dough for at least an hour. On floured surface, roll dough 1/4" thick and cut into shapes. Ordinary-sized cookies bake at 400 degrees F for 6-8 minutes.


Saturday, October 25, 2008

Back from OKC

We just got back from a quick trip to OKC for our monthly trip to the temple and to visit family. Twice a year the members of our church here in NW Arkansas all take a day off of work and go to the temple, and that was what happened last Friday. It's actually really fun to just spend all day there, very peaceful and fun to see everybody that you know. So we really enjoyed that. If you aren't Mormon we really recommend taking a look at It's a nice website that answers a lot of questions about our faith, so that it won't seem "quite" so odd that we go to the temple once a month!

We also got a chance to see my niece Rachel, her husband Jason, and their three kids. As you can see from the slide show, they are all adorable. Sharon is particularly fond of Journey, the little girl. She is a cutie! And yeah, we sorta like this slideshow program better than the other one. Highly recommended.

Hope everyone is well!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Slideshow of our house

Braces and Dumplings

The first big news of the week is that Sharon is getting braces on her teeth! She is currently enjoying the fun that is having spacers in her mouth. She can't chew on anything harder than Cream of Wheat right now, so she's having a pretty miserable time. She is at least to the point that they don't hurt all the time, but she'll be glad when the spacers are out and the braces are on. We're looking at two solid years, and she'll have to have four teeth extracted as we go along. But it won't hurt for her to bite down when this is all over, and that is the ultimate goal. Thank goodness for insurance!

We had some friends from work over for dinner last night, the Barkers. They're always a lot of fun and their two kids, Destiny and Rylynn, are just as cute as anything. In the picture Rylynn is the one with the big huge cheesey grin and Destiny is trying to hide behind her spoon. When they left Destiny suggested that maybe one day we could have breakfast or lunch together. We thought that was a pretty good idea! They were quite pleased with just looking at our big dogs through the safety of a sliding glass door, but every few minutes we'd have to get up from the table so they could say hi to them. They have the best manners, always saying yes sir, no sir and yes ma'am no ma'am. A pretty good parenting job by their parents, because those two are full of energy. We did chicken and dumplings on the hope that Sharon would be able to eat at least some of it. She could eat everything but the carrots, so I figured that was a success. And yes, in case you are curious, that is Nehi Peach soda that Sharon and I are drinking. Hey, when in Arkansas ...

I'm going to attempt to put in a slide-show that shows different pictures of our house. We've had some requests to see what it looks like. Sharon bought the house a year before we got married and painted the entire enterior. It was kind of a battleship gray beforehand, and that wasn't going to work. Sharon recommends making sure windows are open if your'e going to repaint your entire house, as the fumes can do funny things to your head. Over the course of the two years we've been married we've repainted the master bedroom, both guest bedrooms, and both bathrooms. We both love the gold in the hallway and that deep pretty red in the kitchen that spills over just a bit into the living room. It's a great location, with a brand new elementary school on the same street as us, just about a mile down the road. In between us and the new school our church is building a new chapel. So from a location standpoint, we're doing pretty good! If you examine the pictures too closely you'll notice the ocassional damage to a wall or a door jam caused by a Mastiff going through a puppy/chewing phase. Luckily now the only phase he is going through is a laying around and doing nothing phase, which should last him for the rest of his life. We much prefer this phase. And yes, you may notice that there are covers on our sofa that are never there when people come over. Let's just say that a Mastiff produces a lot of drool, and nasty things tend to hide in his jowls and fall out whenever he lays down for any leangth of time. I found I had to shampoo the furniture a lot less once we adopted a "total coverage system" for the furniture when the dogs are hanging out with us. And it assures you, gentle reader, that you won't be sitting in dog drool when you come to visit the Gosneys. Everybody wins.

Monday, October 13, 2008


Just a real quick note. Stacey Morrison works in the nursery with Sharon at church and she invited us out to her horse barn this evening to see her barn and help brush out her horses. Oh my, it was amazing. Stacey is a dressage instructor and owns and boards several beautiful horses. Take a look at her website, she's got a gallery with some beautiful photos of her barn.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

We're back and we're not spam!

Well, the good people here at "blogger" sent me a nice e-mail this past Monday stating that our blog was suspected of being spam (a log that is set up just to get advertising, like those junk e-mails you get) and that if I wanted that changed I would need to fill out a form assuring them I was not a spammer and that, if I did, they'd free my blog up two days later. Well I filled out the form and just six short days later they have my blog unlocked. Wait, they said two days. Oh well.

It was a very busy week at our house! We started out Monday morning with a sick Auggie dog. Auggie is the big one. Let me tell you, there is nothing at all pleasant about having a sick mastiff. I won't go into details, just imagine some of the things that dogs do when they are sick, then imagine multiplying the amount by about 10. So Monday morning was spent cleaning the dog's room, cleaning the dog, and making an emergency run to the vet to find out what was wrong and how to fix it. Poor Auggie had what is called "skipworm," which is actually a relatively common parasite that dogs pick up just by sniffing around outside. We were somewhat comforted in hearing that it wasn't anything we did or could have done. So Auggie got some medicine and the vet suggested we could actually treat both he and Penny every few months just preventatively. Needless to say, after our Monday experience we think that's a pretty good idea.

Monday evening through Wednesday evening I had a meeting of sorts at one of the coolest places I've ever been, Greystone Estate. Here at Wal-Mart we're trying to put together a program to train incoming executives about the Wal-Mart culture and what it takes to be successful. For those of you unfamiliar with Wal-Mart, there is definitely a unique culture here. Some things that external individuals might consider okay to do, like asking your secretary to pick up your dry cleaning or using foul language in a meeting or letting a vendor pay for your dinner, will get you into huge trouble here. So some executives struggle and even a few leave after a few months because they can't adjust. Anyway, the goal is to create a training program to help that transition. So we've partered with the Soderquist Center, which is a pretty cool organization affiliated with John Brown University, to help put together a program.

Now the really cool thing about this program, like I mentioned, was where it was held. About seven years ago Don Soderquist, he of the Soderquist Center, bought this massive mansion out here in NW Arkansas. And I do mean massive. It's 16,000 square feet and complete luxury. Don is actually an old Wal-Mart guy, he was formerly the COO of Wal-Mart and really one of the key guys in Wal-Mart's history, so he and his wife found it was just too big and audacious for them to live there. So they gave it to John Brown University to use as a place for conferences and workshops. And it is impressive. Unfortunately my camera battery died and I wasn't able to get any pictures. But here is one that shows the front entrace. Believe me, this picture does not do the place justice. It is just gorgeous. The guy who built it bought a limestone quarry specificially so he could have matching stone for the entire house (thus the name Greystone.) He had three stone masons working full time for three years to build it. There is an amazing view of Beaver Lake and the estate sits on 100 acres. Needless to say, it was a pretty nice place to have a conference. The highlight was the last night, where we were able to invite our spouses or significant others to come up for dinner. It was a beautiful night so we were able to eat out on the patio. We'd sat down to eat and Don Soderquist and his wife asked if they could join us. It was a great chance to get to know one of the legends of Wal-Mart. He's really just an extremely kind man, extremely religious. When he found out Sharon and I were Mormon he must've talked for 20 minutes about how impressed he was with the Church and with the Mormons he's known and met. So that was nice! I guess he used to sit on the board of the Albertston's Center for Retail at BYU and when he was done they presented him with a book of his personal family history. He said it was the best thing any organization has ever given him and he made copies for all of his children. Anyway, it was a pretty cool evening.

We had some great new friends from church over on Friday and we enjoyed Greek night! The weather is still holding up here so we were able to eat in the Sunroom. (Here's a picture of the Sunroom without any stuff in it. I'll work on getting the battery re-charged so I don't have to use old pictures!) Dinner consisted of flaming cheese (!), greek salad, a veggie tray, grilled kebabs, and grilled lamb. One thing is for sure, you won't go home hungry if you visit the Gosney's. We had these little homemade doughnuts (I can't remember what they were called) and Greek wedding cookies for dessert. And then we passed out from a food-induced coma.

Saturday Sharon went to the temple with her friend Charlotte and I stayed home and watched OU lose to Texas and did homework. Needless to say, I had a less-fun day. I also attended Wal-Mart's monthly Saturday Morning Meeting (we have it once a month and it is mandatory unless you can't make it, and if you can't you have to work some other Saturday to make it up.) It's actually not all bad, there are usually celebs in attendence. This one was absolutely crazy, though. Paula Deen was there, and she is as insane as she appears on the Food Network. Actually moreso. She had an obsession with attempting to kiss Lee Scott, our CEO. Lee wasn't keen on the idea. He said that as soon as he did, his wife would get about 100 e-mails from people in the audience ratting him out. But she was un-detered. Anyway, you can see why she is successful, she's got quite the personality. The other big guest was Harrison Ford. And he is just as cool in person as he is in the movies. I try not to get too geeked up over seeing some of these celebs, but Harrison Ford is Indiana Jones AND Han Solo. I'm sorry, but it just does not get cooler than that. He's about as laid back as Paula Deen is frenetic. The highlight was him taking questions from the audience. Lots of people bring their kids to the Saturday Morning Meeting, and we had little boys dressed up like Indiana Jones all over the place. One kid asked him why he punched the bad guys. Harrison's reseponse was, "It's a dirty job, but somebody has to do it." Then Paula Deen showed up at the end and tried to kiss him, as well. He also declined.

So that was the week! This next week promises to be much less eventful. Hope everyone is well!

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Conference was a winner

General Conference was great, as usual, although to be completely honest we both missed a bit of that Sunday Afternoon session due to an unavoidable nap. But really, isn't that the point of General Conference - to watch most of Conference and also work in much needed Sunday naps? Saturday was mostly spent working on homework for me, and Sharon did some reading. She's found that since I've started work on the doctorate she has a LOT more time to read. So, if you have any suggestions on good books, Sharon is open.

Friday night we went to a bonfire with some friends from church. And when I mean bonfire, I mean bonfire. Take a look at the picture to the right.

Josh had a full head of hair before he lit that thing. Alright, not really, but the flame had to go about 30 feet in the air. It's important to understand, we don't have a whole lot else going on in Northwest Arkansas. So you sorta have to invent your own fun.

Hope everyone is well!

Friday, October 3, 2008

Pack Meeting and the Debate

Yesterday was Cub Scout Pack Meeting. I'm the Cubmaster, so that's sorta my gig. Sharon digs the uniform, though, so it's not all bad. And I get to lead the Cubs in great songs like "Alice the Camel," "Lord Baden Powell," and "On Top of Spaghetti." They're particularly fond of "Alice the Camel." Anyway, they all seemed to be pretty happy about the Pack Meeting and we gave out a lot of awards. My definition of a successful Pack Meeting is if none of the Cubs cry, everybody likes the treats, and we're done in an hour.

We had to hustle back last night, of course, because Sharon was keenly interested in watching the Palin - Biden debate. Of course our opinion is fairly significantly biased, but we thought Sarah Palin did a heck of a job. I don't know if it will be enough to overcome all the momentum that Barack has, but you just never know. Oh well, Mitt in 2012.

We're excited for General Conference this weekend! It is sorta nice to be able to just turn on the tv twice a year and go to church in your living room. Sharon and I have been on a pretty serious health kick since the first of the year. We exercise usually six days a week and we are extremely careful with what we eat. Except for on the weekend. Weekends are a free-for-all. It actually works out very well, because whatever craving we have we can always say, "it'll wait until Saturday." So needless to say we plan for Saturdays and Sundays. Broiled cheese in some form or fashion is usually involved. Anyway, we try to make General Conference weekend extra special. Lots of fun stuff to munch on. I'll have to get back on and give you a run-down of the menu.

Hope all is well with everyone!