Monday, September 29, 2008

Tally Vote for the Bailout

Well, at least for today we can breath a sigh of relief and cheer! The proposed bailout fell short of the need votes (218) for it to pass on to the Senate.

The measure was voted down 228-205, so for now it is being re-worked, and the fight must go on!

Please don't lets "rest on our laurels" - we have lots of work to do to make sure this doesn't pass at all!

You can see how your Representatives voted and then take action (i.e. thank them, or reprimand them and then strongly urge them to do the RIGHT thing this coming week). The next vote could be taken as early as this Thursday. We have our work cut out for us! Please call (202-224-3121 capitol switchboard) your Representatives and urge them to vote 'NAY'.

For Liberty,

Dad's recent sermons

Please go check out Dad's blog and read the powerful sermons we have archived there. He has recently begun a series on the "7 C's of History" regarding the importance of taking the Bible as the infallible word of God. Dad preached on "C" number 4 - Confusion, the Tower of Babel yesterday at service.

The Apologetics Library has been causing quite a stir at our church, and several people have commented on how much they have already benefited from the resources we have there. We are looking forward to placing new materials on the shelves soon!

It is VERY exciting to be a Christian, "always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect." To watch people who have had questions, but have not known the answers, walk away equipped is so meaningful and exhilarating! We are praying that many hearts will be opened and changed.

Soli deo gloria!

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Ron Paul - My Answer to the President

Dear Friends:

The financial meltdown the economists of the Austrian School predicted has arrived.

We are in this crisis because of an excess of artificially created credit at the hands of the Federal Reserve System. The solution being proposed? More artificial credit by the Federal Reserve. No liquidation of bad debt and malinvestment is to be allowed. By doing more of the same, we will only continue and intensify the distortions in our economy - all the capital misallocation, all the malinvestment - and prevent the market's attempt to re-establish rational pricing of houses and other assets.

Last night the president addressed the nation about the financial crisis. There is no point in going through his remarks line by line, since I'd only be repeating what I've been saying over and over - not just for the past several days, but for years and even decades.

Still, at least a few observations are necessary.

The president assures us that his administration "is working with Congress to address the root cause behind much of the instability in our markets." Care to take a guess at whether the Federal Reserve and its money creation spree were even mentioned?

We are told that "low interest rates" led to excessive borrowing, but we are not told how these low interest rates came about. They were a deliberate policy of the Federal Reserve. As always, artificially low interest rates distort the market. Entrepreneurs engage in malinvestments - investments that do not make sense in light of current resource availability, that occur in more temporally remote stages of the capital structure than the pattern of consumer demand can support, and that would not have been made at all if the interest rate had been permitted to tell the truth instead of being toyed with by the Fed.

Not a word about any of that, of course, because Americans might then discover how the great wise men in Washington caused this great debacle. Better to keep scapegoating the mortgage industry or "wildcat capitalism" (as if we actually have a pure free market!).

Speaking about Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the president said: "Because these companies were chartered by Congress, many believed they were guaranteed by the federal government. This allowed them to borrow enormous sums of money, fuel the market for questionable investments, and put our financial system at risk.

"Doesn't that prove the foolishness of chartering Fannie and Freddie in the first place? Doesn't that suggest that maybe, just maybe, government may have contributed to this mess? And of course, by bailing out Fannie and Freddie, hasn't the federal government shown that the "many" who "believed they were guaranteed by the federal government" were in fact correct?

Then come the scare tactics. If we don't give dictatorial powers to the Treasury Secretary "the stock market would drop even more, which would reduce the value of your retirement account. The value of your home could plummet." Left unsaid, naturally, is that with the bailout and all the money and credit that must be produced out of thin air to fund it, the value of your retirement account will drop anyway, because the value of the dollar will suffer a precipitous decline. As for home prices, they are obviously much too high, and supply and demand cannot equilibrate if government insists on propping them up.

It's the same destructive strategy that government tried during the Great Depression: prop up prices at all costs. The Depression went on for over a decade. On the other hand, when liquidation was allowed to occur in the equally devastating downturn of 1921, the economy recovered within less than a year.

The president also tells us that Senators McCain and Obama will join him at the White House today in order to figure out how to get the bipartisan bailout passed. The two senators would do their country much more good if they stayed on the campaign trail debating who the bigger celebrity is, or whatever it is that occupies their attention these days.

F.A. Hayek won the Nobel Prize for showing how central banks' manipulation of interest rates creates the boom-bust cycle with which we are sadly familiar. In 1932, in the depths of the Great Depression, he described the foolish policies being pursued in his day - and which are being proposed, just as destructively, in our own:

Instead of furthering the inevitable liquidation of the maladjustments brought about by the boom during the last three years, all conceivable means have been used to prevent that readjustment from taking place; and one of these means, which has been repeatedly tried though without success, from the earliest to the most recent stages of depression, has been this deliberate policy of credit expansion.

To combat the depression by a forced credit expansion is to attempt to cure the evil by the very means which brought it about; because we are suffering from a misdirection of production, we want to create further misdirection - a procedure that can only lead to a much more severe crisis as soon as the credit expansion comes to an end... It is probably to this experiment, together with the attempts to prevent liquidation once the crisis had come, that we owe the exceptional severity and duration of the depression.

The only thing we learn from history, I am afraid, is that we do not learn from history.

The very people who have spent the past several years assuring us that the economy is fundamentally sound, and who themselves foolishly cheered the extension of all these novel kinds of mortgages, are the ones who now claim to be the experts who will restore prosperity! Just how spectacularly wrong, how utterly without a clue, does someone have to be before his expert status is called into question?

Oh, and did you notice that the bailout is now being called a "rescue plan"? I guess "bailout" wasn't sitting too well with the American people.

The very people who with somber faces tell us of their deep concern for the spread of democracy around the world are the ones most insistent on forcing a bill through Congress that the American people overwhelmingly oppose. The very fact that some of you seem to think you're supposed to have a voice in all this actually seems to annoy them.

I continue to urge you to contact your representatives (202-224-3121) and give them a piece of your mind. I myself am doing everything I can to promote the correct point of view on the crisis. Be sure also to educate yourselves on these subjects - the Campaign for Liberty blog is an excellent place to start. Read the posts, ask questions in the comment section, and learn.

H.G. Wells once said that civilization was in a race between education and catastrophe. Let us learn the truth and spread it as far and wide as our circumstances allow. For the truth is the greatest weapon we have.

In liberty,
Ron Paul

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

A conservative view - Ron Paul

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Dear Friends,

Whenever a Great Bipartisan Consensus is announced, and a compliant media assures everyone that the wondrous actions of our wise leaders are being taken for our own good, you can know with absolute certainty that disaster is about to strike.

The events of the past week are no exception.
The bailout package that is about to be rammed down Congress' throat is not just economically foolish. It is downright sinister. It makes a mockery of our Constitution, which our leaders should never again bother pretending is still in effect. It promises the American people a never-ending nightmare of ever-greater debt liabilities they will have to shoulder.

Two weeks ago, financial analyst Jim Rogers said the bailout of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac made America more communist than China! "This is welfare for the rich," he said. "This is socialism for the rich. It's bailing out the financiers, the banks, the Wall Streeters."
That describes the current bailout package to a T. And we're being told it's unavoidable.

The claim that the market caused all this is so staggeringly foolish that only politicians and the media could pretend to believe it. But that has become the conventional wisdom, with the desired result that those responsible for the credit bubble and its predictable consequences - predictable, that is, to those who understand sound, Austrian economics - are being let off the hook. The Federal Reserve System is actually positioning itself as the savior, rather than the culprit, in this mess!
  • The Treasury Secretary is authorized to purchase up to $700 billion in mortgage-related assets at any one time. That means $700 billion is only the very beginning of what will hit us.
  • Financial institutions are "designated as financial agents of the Government." This is the New Deal to end all New Deals.
  • Then there's this: "Decisions by the Secretary pursuant to the authority of this Act are non-reviewable and committed to agency discretion, and may not be reviewed by any court of law or any administrative agency." Translation: the Secretary can buy up whatever junk debt he wants to, burden the American people with it, and be subject to no one in the process. There goes your country.

Even some so-called free-market economists are calling all this "sadly necessary." Sad, yes. Necessary? Don't make me laugh.

Our one-party system is complicit in yet another crime against the American people. The two major party candidates for president themselves initially indicated their strong support for bailouts of this kind - another example of the big choice we're supposedly presented with this November: yes or yes.

Now, with a backlash brewing, they're not quite sure what their views are. A sad display, really.

Although the present bailout package is almost certainly not the end of the political atrocities we'll witness in connection with the crisis, time is short. Congress may vote as soon as tomorrow. With a Rasmussen poll finding support for the bailout at an anemic seven percent, some members of Congress are afraid to vote for it. Call them (202-224-3121)! Let them hear from you! Tell them you will never vote for anyone who supports this atrocity.

The issue boils down to this: do we care about freedom? Do we care about responsibility and accountability? Do we care that our government and media have been bought and paid for? Do we care that average Americans are about to be looted in order to subsidize the fattest of cats on Wall Street and in government? Do we care?

When the chips are down, will we stand up and fight, even if it means standing up against every stripe of fashionable opinion in politics and the media?

Times like these have a way of telling us what kind of a people we are, and what kind of country we shall be.

In liberty,
Ron Paul

Monday, September 22, 2008

More Art!

Mom did this drawing from a photograph that was taken of me when I was a toddler.

"Butterflies" - A beautiful drawing (from a book cover), by Abby (she is an artist, even if she says she isn't!) :)

Kitty Cat, by yours truly. (pencil drawing)

Check it out!

Check out Dad's blog, and read the newest sermon. It is a great sermon... but I'll let you find out what it's about! We'd love to hear your feedback on the sermon. :)

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

The world as we know it

With the stock market volitility, banks failing seemingly daily, political campaign polls on a roller coaster ride, hurricanes and gold prices soaring, the world seems pretty crazy... right?

I remember hearing last year at this time, all of the sub-prime mortgage craziness while listening to the BBC, and at that time it seemed like the problem was "so far away."

As Christians, we need to use our common sense, whether that means removing our $$ from WaMu (as it might fail soon), or purchasing precious metal investments, or stocking up on food and non-perishables, et cetera.

But, at times like these, we especially need to remember the wonderful words from Psalms... "God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble, therefore we will not fear, even though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea, though its waters roar and be troubled." Psalm 46:1-3

Let's remember Who's ultimately in control... of everything!

Friday, September 12, 2008

August 11 - 14 Arkansas Trip: Caleb's Perspective (part 2)

(August 12, Tuesday)

Tuesday morning was a sunny day for the most part. We received word from Phoebe that we had received over one inch of rain back in Texas, something that was greatly needed there, as was in Arkansas when we were up there.

Our plans for the day were to head down to Wiener and help Grandma "Night-night" clean her house. Oh, and to try to find her keys. We prayed that the Lord would help us find them, if it was His will. Apparently it was not His will for us to find them, because we searched and searched and searched for them. In her car, under her couches, under papers, etc., etc., but to no avail. We finally thought of one more option. Maybe, just maybe, Uncle Paul might have a spare key to her car. Well, we would have to wait and ask him when we went to dinner that night.
In the mean time, we straightened up Grandma Night-night's kitchen a little, took out the garbage, and generally cleaned up around the place some. We wished we could have had a whole week with you, Grandma! Sorry that we were not able to do all that much.

Dad did trim the hedges on the side of her house though...err, he did what he could with a pair of 2" bladed loppers Why? Because....well, because...hummm. Can you guess? Ah ha! The keys to great-grandma's storage shed were on the same key ring that her house keys and her car keys were on. Remember? Those are the keys that are lost, right? (Thanks, Dad, for laboring hard at that task for over an hour in the hot sun. I know Grandma appreciated that very much.)

Well, we did what we could with the time we had and cleaned up Grandma "Night-night's" kitchen, which included cleaning the cabinet doors, wiping off the stove top, straightening and organizing the items on the counters, sweeping the floor, and doing the dishes. That was just the kitchen. Grandma McKnight has been given lots of canned foods and dry goods over the past half-decade, and it has begun to pile up. She dosen't really have a designated pantry, but in one of the bedrooms is what I would call her "storehouse" for food like the Bible Character Joseph was assigned with in Egypt. This room was in disarray, to say the least, and needed much attention. So, Grandma Kautt (Grandma McKnight's daughter, my Dad's mother) and I started the process of sorting, organizing, and reshleving items. Grandma McKnight was more than happy to let us have some of the items, so we packed those in boxes and stuffed them in the car. Needless to say, our car was quite a bit fuller when we left Arkansas than when we got there. Nonetheless, we are grateful to God and Grandma "Night-night" for this unique provision of our needs.

As mentioned above, we were planning, the Lord willing, to have dinner with all the Arkansas relatives again Tuesday night, so we all loaded up and headed back up to Jonesboro. No need to mention the mosquitoes though, right. Well, actually there were not as many this trip, surprisingly!

After dinner at Western Sizzlin' we all headed over to Peyton and Terri Lynn's house to visit for awhile. Sadly, I didn't take any pictures of this. I guess I'm just not used to being the photographer. Joel usually is the photographer, and he wasn't with us. Sorry, Joel, Mom, Abby, and Phoebe. I will try to remember to take more photos if there is ever another trip like this. Oh...and I'll try not to drop the camera either while trying to get up to the train tracks! : -(Besides, I was at the tracks about a minute before the train got there anyway, so I guess I should have taken a few more seconds to put the strap over my wrist. If I would have done this, I would not have dropped the camera when I tripped over that rock (or was it a pine cone?), and I probably would not have had to put the memory stick back into the camera, or the battery either, right? (Yes, all of this happened to me, and, amazingly, I reached the tracks about 45 seconds to a minute before the train actually zipped past. That's what jogging every morning will do for you, right guys?)

The train for which I nearly destroyed our camera while in route to the tracks!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008


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The bloggers @ Texas Skies

Monday, September 8, 2008

So long~

Wow! So it seems like just yesterday that I got back from AR, but in reality it's been a week and a half already! Boy does time fly!

So, I would like to apologise for not keeping you all updated on the happenings around the Kautt Haus. I "hit the ground running" as it were as soon as I arrived back. I have written up some thoughts concerning our recent excursion, but unfortunately they are on Joel's pc, and I have been having a bit of a problem accessing them. I will try my best and have them posted this week! ;)

Besides that, here are some of the events of the past couple of weeks:
  • Labor Day - Hurricane Gustav slams into the Gulf Coast wrecking havoc
  • The Republican National Convention is "post-poned" due to the hurricane, Tue. is the "first" real night of events. We watched quite a lot of the goings on, and to be honest with you I was quite disgusted by the end of all of the McCain propaganda I heard and saw. I am not a fan of his!
  • Sarah Palin accepts the RNC's nomination to be the Vice President of the USA. Her speech was very interesting, and I was appreciative of her views. Still not voting for her though.
  • Ron Paul's Campaign for Liberty holds a "counter" convention - The Rally for the Republic - in Minneapolis, drawing at least 13,000 supporters. Media coverage was very strong for this event, C-Span2 covered the entire venue on their network. I was so excited to hear about that!
  • Dad begins a series of sermons on the "7-C's of history" - about the importance of Apologetics at our church. We hold the grand opening of our Creation Library - a good turnout. People are beginning to see the connections. Beliving in a literal 6 day, 24-hour creation is the foundation to the rest of the Bible. Undermine it and you undermine the authority of the Word of God.
  • It continues to be hot in Texas. Though, right now it looks like rain, and earlier this evening it was sprinkling.
  • Ron Paul announces a very important announcement scheduled for this coming Wed. at the National Press Club in D.C.
  • Pray for the people of Cuba and Hati who have been hit hard by 4 major tropical storms in the last several weeks. At last count, over 300 had perished in Hati alone.
  • Hurrican Ike is set to hit the Gulf Coast this week. Texas and Louisiana brace against the approaching storm.
  • There are now less than 60 days until the general election here in the US. Pray for Righteousness to prevail. "Righteousness exalts a nation..."
  • We draw inspirition from The Hiding Place a film based on the life and testimony of Corrie ten Boom and her family - hider of Jews and outcasts in Nazi occupied Holland during the second world war. I highly recommend this film to you and your family. Pray for the Peace of Jerusalem.
  • We begin preparations to represent our Uncle Jim & Aunt Naomi's ministry at this years National Missionary Convention in Tulsa, OK. This year's convention is November 20-23 at the Tulsa convention center. We attended the NMC in 2000.

Those are just some of the major events that have been happening lately. We need to constantly be lifting up our nation and her many needs to our loving heavenly Father. We need your mercy and guidance O Lord.


Thursday, September 4, 2008

Arkanas Trip ~ Aug. 29, 2008 - Sep. 1, 2008 ~ Phoebe's perspective

Great-Grandma McKnight's house in Weiner, Arkansas (view from the road, toward the front of the house)

Here is the Arkansas trip from my perspective:

We left on Friday, August 29th, around 8:15pm. You might be thinking, why so late? Well...we decided to do that for several reasons: 1( Joel did not get off work 'till 6:15pm, 2( Grandma did not get off until around the same time, 3( We thought that leaving on Friday night (instead of Saturday morning) would give us a head start (we would have more time on Saturday to visit with family). It worked out well. In the car we talked, and laughed, and when we got board of that Abby & I got Joel's new laptop & watched some of a movie (the Hiding Place, the story about Corrie ten Boom). On our way up we stopped in Texarkana to use the bathroom & get some gasoline. We stopped off at a Raceway. No problem, right? Well...that's what we thought. But, once we had been there a couple minutes, a dozen or more "gang-bangers" pulled up in their souped up, low to the ground cars, with stereos BLARING. My guess is that they were competing, seeing who has the best stereo, etc. At that time Grandma, Abby & I were inside using the restroom. Joel was outside filling up the gas tank. He said that he was just waiting for the guns to come out, and for bullets to start flying. But, thank God, none of that happened. I must admit, it was kind of scary! We drove until around 1:00am, then we stopped (in Caddo Valley, a few miles east of Arkadelphia) to do some 'hotel shopping'. After 20 - 30 minutes of 'hotel shopping', we found a Super 8 hotel and got a room. By the time we finally got in bed, and asleep it was after 2:00am.

On Saturday we got up about 7:00am, and ate breakfast. It was a delicious breakfast that the hotel provided. Toasted bagels with cream cheese, jelly & butter, orange juice (or apple juice, coffee or tea), and cereal with milk. Once we had eaten breakfast, we gathered all our items up, and "hit the road". By the time we left it was around 9:00am. In the car we talked, laughed, and watched some more of "the Hiding Place". We got to Weiner, where our Great-Grandmother McKnight lives, around noon. We picked Grandma McKnight up, and we went to a "hole in the wall" (not quite, but almost!) restaurant called Penny's Place and ate lunch.

(L to R): Joel, GG McKnight, Grandma & I eating at Penny's Place

Lunch consisted of: mashed potatoes, gravy, yellow corn (delicious!), green beans, egg rolls, chicken fried stake, and ice-tea. We decided to go back to Grandma McKnight's house and pack a bag for her, so she could come with us to Jonesboro. That took 20 - 30 minutes, then we hopped in the car and drove to Jonesboro.

We got to Jonesboro around 2:00pm or maybe 2:30pm. We hunted around for the hotel we had reserved a room at, and finally found it (Days Inn) after a while of looking. We unpacked the car, rested, and Abby & I went swimming. Well...actually, I have to take some of that last statement back, Abby went swimming, I went wading. I do not know how to swim. Abby knows, but not that well. We did that for 30 - 40 minutes, until some others came and started swimming. When we got out of the pool & cleaned up, it was around 5:00pm.

Only a fraction of the cars that were at the hotel from the gulf coast (mostly from Louisiana), we counted 39 total!

After being there a few hours we noticed that there were several cars from Louisiana (mostly) and a couple from Mississippi. Our curiosity got the best of us, and we walked through out the whole parking lot and counted all of the cars from either Louisiana or Mississippi. We counted 37 cars from Louisiana & 2 cars from Mississippi. WOW! Then we watched the evening news, and it said that evacuees were coming all the way to NE Arkansas (maybe even farther) to find a hotel to stay in. I'm guessing that all the hotels on the way were filled up!

Then, something out-of-the-ordinary happened... We were sitting in the air-conditioned hotel room, watching news about hurricane Gustav, when the TV, A/C & lights all went off...the power went out! Now, this was not just a flipped breaker, or a power outage for the hotel, the power was out for the whole city of Jonesboro (we found that out later)! And we were planing on eating out with all our family! We were thinking of the worst-case-scenario: if the power stays off, where will eat? In the dark, at a restaurant? At Grandma McKnight's house? If the power stays off, it sure is going to be a HOT night! What if, what if, what if. People were popping out of their hotel rooms, everyone asking each other "is your power out, mine is?" The pool was filling with people who wanted to stay cool. Abby & I even dangled our feet in the water to keep cool. But, just when we started to really get worried...the power came back on! When it came back on we yelled out to the ones in the pool the good news, and they all gave a joyful shout! I think that was around 6:00pm. Once all of that excitement was over, we decided we had better get cleaned up and go to Wal-mart before we head over to "Western Sizzlin' " for supper. So, that is exactly what we did.

We got to Western Sizzlin' around 7:30pm, and waited until 7:45pm before everyone was there. Grandma McKnight, Uncle Paul & Aunt Loretta (Grandma Kautt's brother & sister-in-law), Peyton & Terri, Gracie, Audrey & Chloe Tiner (Terri is Paul & Loretta's oldest daughter), Paula, Zach & Madison Riggs (Barry, Paula's husband, was not there, Paula is Paul & Loretta's 2nd & youngest daughter), and of course the four of us from Texas were all there. We had a great time visiting with all our relatives (we hadn't seen them since '05), eating & have a wonderful time! They had everything you could image (almost) at that restaurant. We got the buffet, which was quite delicious. Along with a bowl of vanilla ice-cream. We were visiting at the restaurant until 8:30pm - 9:00pm.

(Clock wise): Gracie, Terri Lynn, Aunt Loretta & Grandma in Paul & Loretta's living room, conversing.

(L to R): Grandma Kautt, Uncle Paul, Peyton, Joel & Great-Grandma sitting in living room watching the progress of Hurricane Gustav.

A family picture (L t0 R, behind couch): Aunt Loretta, Me, Audrey, Zach, Joel, Paula, Abby, Gracie, Peyton & Terri Lynn. (L to R, sitting on couch): Grandma Kautt, Great-Grandma McKnight, Uncle Paul with Madison on lap, & Chloe on couch arm.

We decided to not keep the people at the restaurant awake all night long, waiting for us to leave, so we went to Paul & Loretta's house. There we talked, played games, laughed (have you noticed we like to do that?!), watched the progression of the hurricane, & stayed up late! We were there until 11:00pm, maybe later than that. So, you know what that means: another late night.

(L to R): Paula, Terri Lynn, Audrey & Abby (sitting on floor) conversing in living room at Paul & Loretta's.

(L to R): Me, Chloe, Abby & Zach in play room up-stairs

Yep... that's right, when we finally got in bed that night it was late: after mid-night. But, we all slept "like a rock", as the saying goes. And we got to "sleep in" until 7:30am or 8:00am.

On Sunday, once we woke up & cleaned up, we ate breakfast in the hotel room. This consisted of: yogurt, cereal & milk. Hey, it was filling enough for me! While eating breakfast we watched some more of "the Hiding Place". Then we headed off for church around 10:00am. Church started at 10:30am, and went until 11:30am (approx.). We sung & then listened to a interesting sermon on verse 4 of Jude: Ungodly Men. A couple of the other scripture verses: Matthew 12:33-35 & Titus 2:11-14. The sins of the godless in this verse (verse 4 of Jude): 1( changing the grace of our God into anything they want it to be & 2( denying the ONLY Lord God & our Lord Jesus Christ.

After church we stood around and talked to some folks for a few minutes. We then traveled to Paul & Loretta's house (again!) to eat lunch. They live very close to the church, so it took only a few minutes to get there. This time everyone (including Barry) was able to be there. We ate lunch around 12:30pm, which consisted of: salad (yummy, it had lettuce, almonds, dried cranberries, & oranges (or maybe nectarines)) with salad dressing (if desired, roast beef, white rice, yellow corn, green beans & biscuits. For desert we had: Neapolitan ice-cream with homemade chocolate-chip cookies. After lunch, the Tiners & Riggs needed to run some errands, but we decided to stay a little longer. We talked, laughed, viewed pictures, enjoyed humming birds (they have a hummingbird feeder) & listened to Great-Grandma tell old stories & jokes! We decided that we'd better go back to the hotel & get changed around 5:00pm.

(L to R): Uncle Paul, Paula, Barry & Grandma Kautt in Paul & Loretta's kitchen

Great Grandma McKnight with her great-granddaughter, Madison.

(L to R): Paula, Zach, Barry, Uncle Paul & Grandma Kautt visiting in the doorway into the kitchen
Two friends = Brother & Sister = Elma (McKnight) Kautt & Paul McKnight, visiting
Two Sisters, One Great-Grandma = Phoebe & Abby, & Great-Grandma McKnight, all smiling

Hummingbird at feeder in Paul & Loretta's backyard

On our way back to the hotel we went by one of the hospitals in Jonesboro to visit one of our long-lost cousins (this is true), Bill Griffin. We also met his wife, Dorothy, his two sons, his grand children (at least some of them) & his one & only (so far) great-grand child, cutie Lilian Ruth. After the stop at the hospital, Great-Grandma McKnight insisted that she needed to take her daily "coke break" (usually around 3 - 4 in the afternoon, where she drinks coke or Dr. Pepper). So we stopped off at McDonald's & got a Dr. Pepper for G-grandma, and chocolate sundaes & ice tea for the rest of us. While we were enjoying a little rest, G-grandma kept cracking jokes, we laughed most of the time we were there! I would put a spoonful of ice-cream into my mouth, then she would say something funny! Ohhh.

We went to the hotel, changed, rested & watched TV to see if Gustav had hit the gulf coast yet. While we were at the hotel changing & cleaning up, Joel ran (not literally) over to the Kroger store just down the street. Well...the "short run" turned into 30 - 45 minute "outing". When he got back to the hotel it was 7:45pm (approx., we were supposed to be at Paul & Loretta's at 7:30pm).

(L to R): Grandma Kautt, Madison on Audrey's lap, Paula, Terri Lynn, Peyton & Chloe enjoying the fellowship
We gathered our items & scooted over to Paul & Loretta's house for Supper. Supper was a bit more simple (I guess Paul & Loretta cooked enough that day!): pizza & left overs from lunch. Plus desert: left overs from lunch as well, cookies & ice-cream. After Supper we (Peyton, Chloe, Abby, Audrey, Paula, Terri Lynn, Joel & I) had fun playing a few rounds of "Mexican Train", played with dominoes. I guess the others had a good time visiting in the living room, while we were playing. Sunday night we didn't stay out as late: only until 10:30pm (I think). :) We couldn't stay out as late, because we needed to leave early the next morning.

Once we got back to the hotel we turned the TV on, and watched the progression of the hurricane. By that time it was already raining in New Orleans. Then we hopped into bed, and "went night-night".

Monday morning we had arranged to go to I.H.O.P. and have breakfast with Great-Grandma McKnight's youngest brother, Uncle Bobby Joe, & his wife, Aunt Macine. Uncle Bobby Joe is about the same age as Grandma Kautt. In other words, Uncle Bobby Joe is Grandma Kautt's uncle, but he is the same age as her (I think). Anyway, we did go over to I.H.O.P. around 8:30am, and had a very filling breakfast. Abby & Joel had a 2 garden crepes & a glass of orange juice. I had a giant garden omelet & a glass of orange juice. I.H.O.P. that morning was VERY busy, and it was VERY noisy. While we were at I.H.O.P. we also showed Bobby Joe & Macine some pictures & played some recorded music (all on Joel's laptop). We only sat there for 30 minutes, or so, but when we walked out the door there was a dozen people (or more) in line waiting to get a table! If we had know that, we wouldn't have stayed at the table as long as we did.

(L to R, around the table): Grandma Kautt, Great-Grandma McKnight (hiding behind Grandma Kautt), Me, Abby, Aunt Macine & Uncle Bobby Joe (Joel is taking the picture) at I.H.O.P

Abby & I show Aunt Macine & Uncle Bobby Joe (not pictured) some pictures on Joel's laptop

We left I.H.O.P. around 9:15am, and went back to the hotel to gather up the last items. Then we headed out toward Weiner. We got to Weiner around 11:30am, and dropped G-grandma off, and helped her with taking her items inside. We also took some pictures of her property & of us, before we left.

Soybean fields along the railroad track

In the branches of one of Great-Grandma McKnight's big pecan trees, loaded with nuts
Great Grandma's garden

(L to R): Joel, Grandma, Great-Grandma, Abby & I, in front of G-grandma's house

When we left Weiner it was 12:15pm. We drove & laughed & talked & slept :) & ate & finished "The Hiding Place". While we were close to Arkadelphia it started pouring down rain. You could hardly see enough in front of you to drive. Thankfully, Joel is a good driver & he just slowed down a bit, and we were safe (that is until it started pouring again). We decided that we'd better stop off at Texarkana and get a bit of Supper. We would say, "let's go to Wendy's, no, Chick-fil-a. No, let's go to Subway. No, not Subway, Quiznos." Finally, after a while of that & driving around, we decided upon Chili's. Yes, that is kind-of expensive, but that's what Grandma wanted to do (hey, I couldn't say no, right?). So we pulled into Chili's and got a table in a corner where there was a lot of light from the window (that's why the picture was bad). We ordered one "Make-it-yourself" Fajitas. With the chips & salsa, that was plenty of food. Joel & Abby got Mango ice-tea & I got strawberry-lemonade ice-tea. It was all very good & filling. By the time we left there it was around 5:30pm. On the way back from there there really was no adventures.
(L to R): Joel, Grandma, Abby & I at Chili's - with light in the background, the picture did not turn out very well
We got back to 2119 Redondo Dr., around 8:30pm. And Grandpa was waiting for us. We un-loaded Grandma's stuff from our car & load it into their car, talked for a few minutes, then said goodbye & they were off.
I think the highlight of the whole trip was: the constant laughter! I'd say, at least once an hour (probably a lot more), we were laughing. It was great! The Holy Scripture says in Proverbs 17:22 "A merry heart doeth good like a medicine..." I really think that one of the reasons Great Grandma has lived so long (she's 93!), is because every time you turn around, she's laughing! Sunday morning (I think) she woke up laughing! It's wonderful to have so much laughter!

Monday, September 1, 2008

We're home!

Just wanted to let everyone know that we got here in one piece. We can all thank the LORD for protecting us on our trip, to and fro. We had a great time there, and we'll try to post somethings about the trip in the next couple of days.

~ Phoebe