Tuesday, January 19, 2010


Thank you for all the prayers, notes, encouraging words, etc...we now have great news that Jarred got an offer last Friday night. He'll be the new Controller for a company out in Sheridan Arkansas. So, needless to say, we've started the process of trying to figure out if we should put our house on the market and move out to Bryant or Benton. Maumelle is REALLY far from Sheridan! Anyways, I'll keep you all posted on what's to come but I wanted to thank everyone for all the prayers. God is good!

Monday, January 11, 2010

Family Weekend

Jarred and I had a fun, relaxing weekend. Mom and Dad came down for my sister-n-law's basketball game at Harding. It was their first conference game so it was a good one to come to. We got to hang out with some great friends of ours, Zach & Emily Cheatham, on Friday night before Mom and Dad arrived. We had a great time w/ the Cheatham's, ate some good pizza and watched one of the Harry Potter movies! I think it was the 3rd one (Prisoner of Azkaban). Zach and Emily are watching them all so we decided to join them for one. I am a huge Harry Potter fan...I've read all 7 books twice now.

Mom and Dad arrived around 11:15ish so we stayed up talking to them a little and then we all crashed! Side Note: We are currently teaching our dogs to stay on their bed when they come inside. As you probably can guess, they aren't trained very well. That was a big mistake we have now learned from. So, since we have delinquent dogs (whom I love VERY MUCH even though they aren't very smart) we are trying to be better dog owners. Anyways, I bought them this really big bed from Sam's (only $21) and they are really doing such a great job. Since it's been so cold Jarred has graciously let them sleep inside the past couple of nights...if you know Jarred you will know this is a HUGE deal. Anyways, it takes the dogs a while to actually go to the bed but once we get them there they will stay...at least for a while. Yesterday mom and I were cleaning the kitchen and the dogs stayed on the bed the ENTIRE TIME!! This is a big deal b/c it wasn't just a "put the dishes in the dishwasher" kind of cleaning, it was a deep cleaning! We cleaned the oven, stove, microwave, everything!! Mom is very serious about her cleaning, she does a great job! I really appreciate her helping me with this! She did WAY more of the work than I did. Anyways, that was very random but I needed to say that my dogs are slowly become smarter (I'm sure of it) and my husband is being so nice to let them stay inside...it's so cold! So, I'm grateful!

Anyways, back to my story...Saturday morning Dad and I had planned to run. We're both training for the half marathon in March. Remember in my last post I said that we did a triathlon together? Well now we've moved on the half. I've NEVER been a runner and before I started training I think 4 miles was the farthest I'd ever run, in my entire life. So, now I'm up to 8 miles. Saturday Dad and I ran 8 miles. This was the second time I'd done 8 and I felt much better this time than I did last time. I don't know if any of you remember Saturday but it was COLD! I was so proud of us for doing it, even with it being so cold. Unfortunately now I have a cough (probably b/c it was so stinkin cold) but it was still worth it. Hopefully I won't get sick.

Mom and Dad left around mid-afternoon to head to Searcy to watch the Harding basketball game and Jarred and I stayed home to be lazy and just enjoy not doing anything for one night. We did have a visitor come over to watch the Cowboys game with us but since we were at home it didn't feel like we had anything going on. Last week was jam-packed so we needed a night of nothing. I am playing in a women's volleyball league on Tuesday nights and Jarred is coaching an Upward basketball team (senior high boys) on Thursday nights.

Sunday was a good day of being with our church family and my parents. I made dinner for us so after church we came home for lunch. We've been trying to eat at home more to save money! I really love to cook so that has worked out pretty well for me. I made Chicken & Broccoli Divan with Baked Potatoes and a Caesar Salad with Garlic Bread. It was really good, if I do say so myself! :) Anyways, after Mom and I (mostly Mom) deep cleaned my kitchen appliances they had to hit the road. We had a really good visit!

Jarred and I went to Sunday night church after that. I teach the 10th grade girls Platoons group. I have been with these girls since they were 7th graders...I can't believe they are in 10th grade now and I REALLY can't believe that some of them are driving now...man, things have changed since they were in 7th grade. I have really grown close to them and I will be so sad when they graduate! Anyways, enough of that mushy stuff...after church we got to hang out with some of our other great friends, Chris & Carissa Casey! We love having them so close to us and have enjoyed growing our friendship SO MUCH! Anyways, that's basically what the Crow's did this weekend...I'm trying to keep this blogging going...sorry no pictures! I know that's the fun part!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010


Well, I'm going to try again at this blogging thing! I'm terrible at it but I love the idea of it. We'll see how long it lasts this time. 2009 was a good year for us. We were able to do a lot of cool things. We are blessed to have wonderful families who like to get together and were lucky enough to get to go on 2 cruises last year for FREE! Jarred's Pappaw took the entire family (all 32 of us) on a cruise to Grand Cayman and Cozumel in June and my Granddad took the entire family (all 18 of us) on a cruise to Cozumel and Progresso in December. My grandparents were celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary. Both cruises were a blast and it was so much fun to have everyone together. Here are some pictures from my family's cruise. The pictures from the Crow family cruise are on another computer so I'll have to get back to you for those.

All the grandkids w/ my grandparents

The entire family

Skinner family

The entire family (the way we really act!!) :)

We celebrated our 5 year anniversary in 2009! We celebrated by taking an adventure vacation to BELIZE! It was incredible. Not your typical luxury vacation, we definitely were in the middle of the jungle. I think if Jarred had to choose his dream vacation, this was it! It was right up his alley. I mean, don't get me wrong, I had an awesome time too but this vacation was MEANT for Jarred. We got to hang out w/ the locals, see some awesome animals, go repelling, canoeing through caves, hiking & swimming in caves (dark ones mind you! Apparently I'm a lot more adventurous than I thought!), etc. We went repelling in the Black Hole. It was the coolest thing I've ever done. Extremely scary for me since heights aren't really my favorite thing but I can say I did it and I was so proud. It was a 300 foot drop. Hardest part was taking the first step over the edge of the cliff...crazy! The resort we stayed at was a new resort called Mystic River. It was fantastic- it the middle of the jungle, excellent food, and great staff. Since the resort was so new not many people know about it yet (we just lucked out) and we were the ONLY guests they had the week we were there. We got the entire staffs undivided attention. Here are the owners...

Tom & Nadege

They had dinner with us most nights. Such interesting people. We had a great time. If you are ever interested in going to Belize you should stay at Mystic River. They were still building and growing the place when we were there so it's only getting better. We hope to go back someday! Here's a picture of us on the hike up to the drop site the day we went repelling...it was an hour hike, straight up!

As you can see, we are wet and beat!! So much fun though. If you look REALLY close through the trees there is white...that is the "wall" we repelled down on the other side of the mountain. We were halfway there at that point.

I also got to travel to some neat places with my work in 2009. In February I got to go to Colorado Springs, CO and stay at The Broadmoor! That was the nicest hotel I've ever stayed in...it was more like a resort. I had an awesome time, just wish Jarred could have come with me. One of my favorite people from the office got to go as well so we had a good time. Her name is Audra...here is a picture of us at dinner w/ some of the other ladies that we met at the conference.

Audra is on my right.

Me & Audra

I also got to stay at the Texas Gaylord Hotel in Fort Worth for another conference and then in October I got to go to Chicago for a conference. The Chicago trip was really fun b/c my mom got to come with me. The conference was on a Monday so we decided to meet up Friday night at the airport and have 2 days to site see before my conference on Monday. We had never been to Chicago before so it was a blast to see it together! We went to the John Hancock Observatory, Navy Pier, Millenium Park, Grant Park, Shedd Aquarium, walked Michigan Avenue and the Magnificent Mile, ate Chicage style deep dish pizza- we did it all! In 2 days! Needless to say, I was beat by the time my conference rolled around on Monday. Mom left me on Sunday night and flew back to Alabama and I stayed Sunday by myself for the conference. I flew back Monday night once it was over. No pictures on this computer of that trip but check out my facebook page and they are posted there.

Apparently I decided to become athletic in 2009. I participated in 2 triathlons!! The first one was in Bentonville, AR in June! BTW, if you didn't already know it's HOT in June! I didn't prepare for the heat as much as I should have so I didn't do as great as I would have liked. I did finish however and I was proud of that. The distances were 800 yard swim, 16.4 mile bike, 4.2 mile run. The run almost killed me but I did it!! The 2nd triathlon went A TON better than the first. It was in Heber Springs, AR and I did it with a bunch of friends from church and my dad! It was so much fun and I felt SO much better after the race than I did after the first race. I was completely wiped out after the first one but I trained a lot better plus it was in October so it wasn't as hot! In fact, it rained the ENTIRE race. Here's a picture of the girls that participated in the race with me. Everyone did a great job and we all had a great time together! I'm currently training, as is my dad (he's doing SO GOOD), for the Half Marathon in March of 2010! So far we've been training since November 1st and we're still going strong! Hopefully that will continue and for my post in 2011 (since, let's be honest, I'm doing good to get one post in per year) I'll be able to say I ran a half marathon!

Sarah, Courtney, Jessica, & myself
I wish I had a picture of me & Dad from the race but for some reason we didn't get one...that was dumb! Next time we will! Dad did an excellent job!
2009 was the year of weddings! I was in one of my best friends from home's wedding in July in Decatur. The weekend after that my brother got married in Florida at the beach and Jarred and I were both in that wedding. 3 weekends after that we drove up to Kentucky to see my cousin, Dustin get married. Then 3 weekends after that Jarred was in the wedding of one of his life-long friends in Springfield, MO. As you can see, we really did some traveling in 2009!!!
2009 also brought us some trials...On September 28th Jarred lost his job. This has actually turned out to be a blessing in disguise! Jarred was unhappy at that job and getting let go gave him an easy out (that's the way we look at it). Although we still haven't found anything else we aren't down about it. Yes, there have been times we've been down but luckily we haven't both been down at the same time. We are truly blessed to have gone through Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace class a couple years ago and have been debt free (other than the house) for a couple of years!!! Because of that class we've been able to make everything work w/ my salary and Jarred's unemployment $$ we're still able to save a little every month. We did go through the Dave Ramsey course again this Fall (I'm a BIG nerd and really love the course) and although we didn't have to worry about the debt part it was nice to have a refresher w/ the budgeting section and know EXACTLY where all our money goes every month. I LOVE Dave's budgeting software. It's the best thing ever. I know, I really am a HUGE nerd, very type A. Oh well! Anyways, things are looking up. There is a job in Sheridan, AR that seems like a good possibility for Jarred and we're praying that works out. I'll keep you posted...hopefully! :) In the meantime, I've REALLY enjoyed having Jarred around all the time. He's been very helpful (after a couple disagreements/arguments) around the house and with getting dinner ready on occaison! We've gotten to hang out A TON and even go to lunch together some since he's been out of work. I am almost nervous about him going back to work b/c I've been so spoiled w/ his presence all the time. :) I know he will be glad to get out of the house b/c he's pretty bored so we're still praying for the job. :) I know that we were in a great situation to have to face this type of challenge and that's made it a ton easier to face. I thank God for that!
Anyways, as we start a new year I am looking forward to the Project 4:4 that our church is involved in. We're all (the entire church) reading through the Bible this year. The sermons on Sundays will go along w/ the reading and so will our classes. It's been the coolest thing so far to be involved in something that everyone is doing together. When we've gotten together with friends (already this year) we've talked about the reading. That just doesn't happen that often...talking about what you read in your Bible with your friends outside of church...but since we're all doing it and reading it together it's become a topic of conversation and I think that's awesome!
I'm excited to see what 2010 holds for us...please pray for us as we continue to look for a job. That's all I have for now...