Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Fun in the woods!

Anyone who got within shouting distance of Matt over the last couple of weeks has been aware that Matt and Sharon had a vacation planned for a couple of days last week. Matt was just a bit excited and ready for a few days away from the office. Instead of the usual Branson vacation Matt and Sharon decided to mix it up a little bit and visit Beaver's Bend State Park in SE Oklahoma. Unlike the vast majority of Oklahoma the Southeast part of the state is extremely hilly (sometimes called the "Little Smokies" for how much it looks like the Smokey Mountains in TN.) It's densely-wooded and the state park has a river running through it that is dammed at one end forming a very large resevoir. The state park has about 50 (very economical!) cabins for rent and, given the stone tile floor, is dog-friendly. So last Thursday Matt and Sharon loaded up the car, piled in the doggies, and took off for Broken Bow, OK and Beaver's Bend State Park!

The first night Matt and Sharon just did a little exploring and decided to try out the restaurant there at the park. It was surprisingly good (Sharon believes she found the home-made chocolate cake that all others chocolate cakes should be judged by) and had a gorgeous back patio that was visited by the occasional forest creatures. Sharon shared a french fry with a squirrel who was most appreciative.

The next day provided absolutely perfect weather and so, after a hearty, non-cardiac friendly breakfast Matt decided it was time for Sharon to try her hand at horseback riding. Sharon had never ridden a horse before, so Sharon got to experience her first ride aboard the lovely Goldie. The ride was extremely scenic, winding through the forest with some white-tail deer (who clearly knew it wasn't hunting season) coming up to see what we were doing. Sharon admitted that half-way through the ride she nearly turned back to Matt and said, "I want one!" Some would argue that Auggie counts as a horse, so the Gosneys won't be full-time equestrians any time soon.

That afternoon Matt and Sharon took the dogs for a good, long walk (or as short-legged Penny deemed it, a death march.) Penny and Auggie seemed to enjoy the trip reasonably well, although Auggie made it clear he would rather go home by running to the back of the Pilot every time he walked past it as if to say "please open the tail gate, let me in and take me home so I can use the bathroom in my own back yard!" Auggie, being a somewhat timid giant, does not like using the restroom for an audience, certainly does not like the idea of doing so while attached to a leash, and certainly not in strange woods. So needless to say, Auggie was glad when we got home.

A Matt and Sharon tradition when vacationing is to stay at a place that has a grill so that Matt can grill a couple of steaks. Not to say that the steaks turned out well, but Sharon teared up a little she was so overcome with beefy emotion. Matt and Sharon of course got to enjoy some napping, reading, and puzzle-working (one of Sharon's favorite vacation activities.) The next day after some pancakes Matt and Sharon were back on the road. The trip was certainly enjoyable, despite the two ticks that Matt managed to inherit and the pollen-induced allergies that Sharon had to suffer through. Beaver's Bend is definitely recommended, however Matt and Sharon will probably hold off on another trip until the Fall to enjoy the changing leaves. And to avoid the pollen and ticks.

Below is a photo album of the trip. Hope everyone is well, and if any of you have a horse Sharon can have ... she's interested!

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Football and BBQ

Matt and Sharon went on their monthly Oklahoma trip last weekend and had quite the fun times, indeed. Unfortunately, Sharon was "under the gun" to get some stuff done at work. Fortunately, she can do some of that stuff at home. So before leaving Sharon knocked out quite a bit right from the comfort of her very own kitchen table. Note the look of complete and total concentration and half-eaten pop tarts next to her. That's right, it was a two pop tart kinda deal.
One of the exciting aspects of this Oklahoma trip, as opposed to most Oklahoma trips, was the opportunity to drive down to Norman to attend the annual OU Red/White Spring game.

Followers of this blog have probably noted Matt's University of Oklahoma fandom. Sharon is slowly converting over to Soonerism, a process that is aided by Matt's willingness to buy Sharon cute OU-related clothing. It was a beautiful day at the stadium and, unlike on game days, actually affordable. And because it is open seating, sitting on the 50 yard line in what would normally be the alumni (or, rich old white men) section is actually feasible.

Of course some would argue that it's not time well spent to spend several hours watching 18 to 22 year-old boys practice playing a game. It is hard to defend the behavior, so the Gosneys won't even try. But they had a good time and got some sun. So really, time well spent.
Driving back from Norman to Arkansas Matt decided to "mix things up" and take an alternate route. Most of Matt's "alternate route" decisions are based on restauraunts that he knows of that are only accessible by taking the alternate route. As usual, a fair amount of Matt's choices are based on his stomache. This time it was the iconic "Van's Pig Stand" in Shawnee, OK. From the photo below one can clearly see Matt is quite fond of the choice that was made. Matt enjoyed the best-in-class ribs while Sharon was less pleased with her "chopped pig plate." Van's redeemed themselves in Sharon's eyes, however, due to their outstanding carrot cake. Good carrot cake carries a lot of weight in that girl's opinion.
So, all in all, a very enjoyable trip. Hope everyone is happy and well!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

What happened to March??

So the Gosneys have been incommunicado as far as blogging goes the past several weeks. The first step in repentance is remorse, and the second is making amends. So here we go. We're sorry and we're here to make it up to all of you who actually read this. So here is a quick summary of March.

March included a trip to Oklahoma City for a temple trip as well as our nephew Lyric's first birthday party. Penny and Auggie always seem to think they get to go to OKC with us, thus the excitement in the car. Little do they know that they are on their way to the kennel. Oh well. They haven't figured it out yet.
Oklahoma City trips are always fun. It began with a visit to the Oklahoma City Temple. It was as cold as it looked.
Then over to Lyric's first birthday party! Sharon thinks that Lyric's big sister is absolutely adorable. Matt thinks that Sharon is just aware that their chances of having a little blonde baby are nil, so she'd best enjoy whatever blondie she can latch on to. Although, this is one cute kiddo.
It's hard for Matt's dad to hide his excitement at attending a one year-old's birthday party.
Most important, however, was Lyric's enjoyment of his birthday cake. Matt ate his piece of birthday cake in a similar fashion.
Matt and Sharon will from time to time honor Matt's heritage by baking a pie, what with Pecan Pie being a critical element of the "official" meal of the state of Oklahoma. What is the rest of the meal, you may ask yourself? Why, nothing short of an artery-clogging tour de force! Cornbread, Sausage and Gravy, Chicken Fried Steak, the aforementioned Pecan Pie, BBQ Pork, Fried Okra and Squash, Biscuits, Grits, Corn, Strawberries (for the vitamin C, no doubt) and Black-Eyed Peas. (H.C. Resolution #1083) What would happen if you ate all of that in one sitting? You would die, that's what would happen. Someone did the math, bless their hearts, and discovered that consuming that meal would entail 2,700 calories (you're only supposed to have about 2000 in an entire day,) 125 grams of saturated fat, and 5,250 mll. of sodium. There is a reason Matt and Sharon try not to honor that culinary heritage too often, for if they did they wouldn't be able to fit through the front door.

Nevertheless, a slice of pie from time to time is always welcome. So Sharon and Matt decided Banana Cream was the way to go. Because it's poor form for two people to sit and eat an entire pie by themselves (no comment on if it has happened in the past or not) the Gosneys felt it best to invite another family over to share in the pie-goodness. So the Flemings, who live just around the corner, came by with their two kiddos in tow. Sharon has Gavin, pictured below, in nursery. So Gavin is already a Sister Gosney fan. Feeding him pie only seemed to increase his appreciation for what Sister Gosney brings to the table (so to speak.) Although a picture of the pie didn't happen, here is Gavin wishing everyone would leave him alone to watch Kung Fu Panda.
Finally, the Gosneys spent a great Sunday evening with their good friends the Grahams and the Stapleys. Lots of good food and good visiting occurred, and as can be seen in the picture Sharon was able to spend more time with blonde children (dream on, Sharon, genetics are against us.)
Apologies for the month-long travel log as we promise to do better to update the blog more often. Life is good here in NW Arkansas. Spring is finally arriving complete with allergy-related misery. But the Lord has blessed us with Zyrtec and Nasonex, so things could be worse. Hope all is well in the far-flung corners where friends and family may be!