The Elrod Update

Monday, April 30, 2007

No Job

Most of you know but some of you may not... Chris lost his job at the end of March. He was working for Cleo, Inc. and in months past, they had been downsizing. At the first of March, his manager called him in and said she'd heard rumors of more lay-offs and if they looked at the Marketing Department, he'd be the first to go since he was the most recent new-hire. He'd only been there a little over a year. Two days later, his manager confirms that he would lose his job at the end of that month. The not so funny thing is that Chris had worked for the same company just 10 years ago and they did the very same thing to him then, too. *sigh* Anyway... he began his job search immediately. We thought that the search would be quick and easy... Chris is smart, has an MBA, lots of experience, great personality, etc... and that he'd have a job before he was laid off at the end of the month. Not so. We're still continuing to search with not much luck. He's had 2 interviews and both companies have decided to pursue other candidates. He's applied at almost every major company in Memphis with no response. We've found that some companies are at the end of their fiscal year and don't want to take on another expense (a new hire) until they begin their new year again in June. It's just bad timing for us to be looking for a job. He has a recruiter that is working with him but she's just not finding anything at the moment. We've (reluctantly) expanded the territory that we're willing to look in (Nashville, St. Louis, Little Rock, Birmingham... anything within a 5 hour radius to Memphis) and still nothing. We are discouraged and Chris really feels "lost". If Chris is unable to find something soon, we may have to put our house up for sale (we've only been here a year). There are just lots of questions, emotions, and unknowns that we are experiencing right now. We know that God has a plan and that He will provide for us in His own time. We know that. We would just appreciate any and all prayers for God to quickly show us the right job opportunity for Chris and for our attitudes while we search and wait.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Science Project

My Very Educated Mother Just Served Us Nine Pizzas
(Mercury Venus Earth Mars Jupiter Saturn Uranus Neptune Pluto)

How did you learn how to memorize the names of the 9 planets? Yes, I know, Pluto is technically no longer considered an "official" planet but I think that's just wrong! HA! Matthew is now studying the planets and space in Science at school. A note was sent home recently letting us know that each child had the opportunity to earn 10 extra bonus points towards their lowest Science grade if they completed one of two projects. They could either memorize a provided poem about the planets or they could create a project. Matthew chose to make a project. This is what we came up with and I believe he did a great job!

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Easter Afternoon

This year we were invited to eat Easter lunch at our preacher's house. Another couple from church and their 2 children were also invited. We ate a delicious meal of ham, homemade potato salad, baked beans, rolls, deviled eggs, veggie relish, and strawberry cobbler with ice cream for dessert. I also made sugar cookies for us to munch on. We had a great time visiting with each other and helping the kids hunt Easter eggs after dinner. The boys were even on their best behavior! :) We are thankful for the Plunket's hospitality and kindness... it was a wonderful afternoon of fellowship with friends.

The homemade sugar cookies that I made

Chris and our preacher

Hide them well, Colby!

Waiting for the kids to come hunt the eggs

Matthew, Grant, and Maddie Happy Easter!!

Here Comes Peter Cottontail...

...hoppin' down the bunny trail straight to the Elrod house. It's a good thing Mr. Bunny likes to get around quite early because the boys were awake at 6 AM ready to look for their baskets of goodies that were left for them. This is what they found...

Chocolate bunnies, marshmallow Peeps, Silly String, eggs filled with candy and money ($1 in quarters), cotton candy, Slim Jims, a new toothbrush, and a new game apiece for their game sytems filled their baskets.

After an attack of the Silly String!

The next 3 pictures were taken on Easter Eve. Chris helped the boys dye Easter Eggs which were eaten for breakfast the next morning. YUM!!

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Easter Egg Hunt at Church

Last Saturday, the boys hunted Easter Eggs at our church's annual Egg Hunt. Hundreds of plastic eggs are scattered all over our church's front lawn for the kids to run and collect once the ribbon barrier has been cut. The eggs are empty but kids receive a treat bag once they are finished filling their basket to the top. The decision was made to not fill the eggs after we figured out that the candy was melting and creating a mess inside while sitting out in the sun waiting to be gathered. This year, however, that wouldn't have been a problem. It was COLD! I'm talking coats-gloves-scarves-and-hats-cold. Brrrrr! Still, the boys had fun and even got their picture made with the Easter Bunny.

Waiting to Begin


Matthew and William looking for a Prize Easter Egg

Graydon, Easter Bunny, and Grant

Heading home...

Mr. Q and Miss U Get Married

Last Wednesday, Grant was in a wedding. He was the Best Man (although, initially, he thought it was called the Great Man... HA!). A bit unusual for a kindergartener? Not if you're a student in Mrs. Jones kindergarten class at Lewisburg Elementary. She has implemented a fun activity to get the kids to remember that Q and U are partners in forming the beginning of lots of words. Each year, there is a wedding ceremony to unite Mr. Q and Miss U. The student's names are drawn out of a hat to see who gets to play what role. There is the Bride and Groom, bridesmaids/groomsmen, best man/maid of honor, ushers, ringbearer, flowergirl, preacher, servers, guestbook attendant, photographer, and singer. After the ceremony, there is a reception complete with an honest-to-goodness wedding cake, groom's cake, punch, mints, and nuts. Of course, at this reception, QUaker oatmeal cookies and Nestle QUik chocolate milk are served, too! All that were invited were encouraged to dress in wedding appropriate attire... there was even a Bride's side and a Groom's side. The kids had lots of fun and learned a lesson all at the same time!

Waiting for the Bride... L-R: Preacher James Lewis (DeSoto Hills Baptist), Preacher Freddie, Groom Benton, and Best Man Grant

Getting Married

Miss U (Josie) and Mr Q

Escorting (sort of) the maid of honor, Lee

Dancing at the reception

Having a bite of cake with his friend, Reed

Grant and Mrs. Jones

Me and my Best Man :)

Cutting the Grass

Matthew loves to cut the grass. He's always been fascinated with all things yard work related. Last season Chris got a riding lawn mower and gave his old push mower to Matthew. This year, ever since the first green blade of spring grass made it's appearance he's been asking to mow the lawn. The other day, Chris let him drive the riding lawn mower all by himself. He did a great job and we were quite impressed with his grass-cutting skills. Anyone need a lawn boy this summer?? *smiling*

Last Time at Nana's

This past weekend, Chris's Nana moved from the home in Raleigh where she has lived for the past 10 years or so. She is moving into apartment complex that is for senior citizens. Chris helped her move some things last Friday and took the boys with him to visit at her house for the last time. Here is a picture of the three of them on her front porch. We sure will miss visiting Nana at her old house but will look forward to seeing her new place.

The Pink Palace

On the last day of Spring Break we took the boys to the Pink Palace Museum in Memphis ( We had originally planned to go to the zoo but it was so windy and cool that day that it wouldn't have been much fun to be outdoors for long. So we talked the boys into doing something else. The Pink Palace was originally built to be a private home for Clarence Saunders... the founder of Piggly Wiggly... but it was never completed. Eventually, it was turned into the museum that it is today. The museum is now host to hundreds of exhibit displays, a gift shop, a planetarium, and an IMAX theater. Below you'll find a description of these theatres... they are so cool!

IMAX is the ultimate movie experience. With crystal clear images up to eight stories high, and wrap-around digital surround sound, IMAX takes you to places you only imagined. Forty-five hundred times larger than an average TV screen, IMAX and IMAX 3D giant flat screens soar up to eight stories high and have a slight curvature that extends beyond the field of geometric recognition. Because these screens fill your peripheral vision, you feel like you’re right in the action.

One of the features of the day was Hurricane On the Bayou... a history of Louisiana's wetlands and the effects of Hurricane Katrina and others on the area. It was really neat. Great soundtrack, too. :) After the movie, we explored the museum for a little while. It's not necessarily a children's museum, per se, but the boys are old enough now to appreciate the exhibits that are on display.

Don't look now but there's a triceratops right behind you!!

The skeleton of some cool dinosaur... a mastodon, perhaps? I can't remember...

The entrance to a replica of one of the first self-serve Piggly Wiggly stores

A replica of a camp setting in Africa

A typical 1950's kitchen... aren't we glad for the conveniences that we have today??

This was one of my favorite displays... I love the "Little House On the Prairie" type of stuff...
This says "Patterson Transfer Company... Established 1856... Memphis and Nashville... Mail Coach"

Grant loves to collect crystals and was fascinated by this one

An old-timey dentist office
A Civil War cannon
You can see the diversity of the exhibits that are on display. These are just a sample of hundreds that are available for viewing. You could easily spend hours in the museum but it's well worth the time. We enjoyed our Spring Break visit! :)