Friday, October 5, 2012

Colorado...Part 1

You know the old saying, "Better late than never!"  Well, this is one of those times.  And quite frankly, 3 months is not really that late, is it?  Without further ado...

Once upon a time there was a little 8 year old girl.  She loved her big sisters.  She soon learned that one of her big sisters was going to have a baby...a precious baby girl.  The 8 year old was SO excited.  And when her sister FINALLY had the baby, the 8 year old little girl would be honored to share her middle name with the new little baby. The 8 year old girl would always hold a special place in her heart for her first niece.

Fast forward 28 years...

The precious niece moves to Colorado and decides to get married.  So what does that mean for the sisters?


My sister, Tammy would need a dress.  But which one???
Hint: none of these made the cut!

We would plan and plan.  And then climb in the car and hit the road. 

We saw many landscapes along the way.  We drove through storms (that we would later learn caused tornadoes).  We told many stories.  We laughed.  A lot.  But one thing we did not do was sleep - at least not in the car. We drove through 7 states...or was it 8? Or 9?  Who knows.  You lose count after awhile, and they all start to look the same - Trust me!

We drove through downtown Saint Louis.  That was fun!  Not only did we get really close to the Arch, but we almost got killed! Okay, not really.  But maybe... We needed to get gas.  So, Tammy got off of the interstate - right into the ghetto part of Saint Louis.! She stayed outside to pump gas and I went inside to get drinks.  The clerk was safely tucked behind bullet proof glass, which should have been my first warning.  There was a very large, gangster-looking man inside the doorway talking on his cell phone (warning number 2).  I, being the kind person that I am, look right at him and smile and say, "Hi! How are you today?"  He says hi back, and I go on my way.  Big Gangster Man leaves the store without an incident.  When I return to the car, Tammy asked me if I spoke to Big Gangster Man. Evidently he must have been on the phone with his woman, because when he came out of the store he was loudly explaining that "it was just some white woman that said hi.  Come on Baby, don't be like that!"  So I told Tammy to book it before Big Gangster Man's Woman came after us!

As we left Missouri we saw the Royals stadium.  We are not Royals fans, but we do love baseball so it was neat to see the stadium.  Plus, Shawn played for the Royals this year. I wish there would have been a game going on.  I might have talked Tammy into stopping for a little while.

Kansas was a boring state (sorry if you're from Kansas).  Seriously, there was nothing! In fact, I called Rodney and told him that I would never move there.  I didn't see a store for hours!

We stopped at a hotel in Kansas.  It was near Fort Riley.

The next morning was full of more nothingness.  Except for the windmill farms!

Can you tell how bored I was?  Who takes this many pictures of windmills?

But don't worry...we had our own entertainment! Her name is Tammy...

And YES...that is a Cheeto up her nose!

As we crossed into Colorado on the third day, we were a bit delirious and goofy! The weather was weird, but the mountains were gorgeous.  This was my first time "out west" and I was in awe. 
We passed this nice car...

I told you we were delirious!

And before long, we were in Boulder...

 Thanks for taking me along sis!

Stay tuned for Part 2...

Monday, August 6, 2012

Another CORNY story

You might remember last year I told you this corny story.  I told you how easy it is to freeze 400 ears of corn and that more people should do it.  You might also remember that I recruited the whole family to do it and even sent my sister to pick up the 400 ears of corn. I was rather proud of myself.  So when it came time to order corn this year, the first thing I did was call my sister :)  You see where this is going, don't you?  She told me what day was good for her, so I called and ordered corn for that day.  I then called my parents to make sure they would be home.  My sister, Tammy, even said she might come in for the weekend. plan was going well!  I am SO good!

So a few days before the big day, I was talking to Kerry.  She tells me that she "forgot" to take off work and has a meeting that she has to attend...but it shouldn't take long and she'll come help after that. So I think to myself, "OK, so I might have to pick up the corn.  But that's not so bad."

Then Tammy called and said she couldn't come this weekend because she's going away next weekend and doesn't want to be gone both weekends.  Whatever!

On Friday, I drove to the farm stand to pick up 400 beautiful ears of corn.  The cute little farm girls threw it in the back of my car without any problem.  I drove several miles to another farm where the whole family joined together to help husk and silk all 400 ears.  They put the ears in 4 plastic tubs and the dad loaded them in the back of my car.  This REALLY is not that bad!

I drove to Mom and Dad's thinking this was going to be a good day.  That's when I noticed my dad outside mowing the grass.  WHAT IS HE DOING??? Doesn't he remember that we are doing corn today?  So I started carrying in the tubs of corn.  Certainly he would come help when he saw me struggling with those heavy tubs.  But somehow he never saw me - that's what I keep telling myself anyways.  I lugged all four of those tubs inside all by myself.  Whew!  I needed a break already!

Kerry and Jennifer showed up soon after I got there.  Yeah...the help is coming!  Mom put water on to boil, we brought out the knives and got started.  But not for long.  Oh nooo.  Kerry had to leave to take Jennifer to a doctor's appointment.  Seriously...I'm not kidding.

I think they're all on to me! Forgetting to take off work...making excuses not to come see me...doing yardwork at the exact moment that I show up...scheduling doctor's appointments.  I don't think any of that was accidental...NOPE!  I think they are all getting me back for last year.

But don't worry about me.  I am already working on a plan for next year!

Sunday, August 5, 2012


Relief!  That's what I felt Thursday night.  As you'll remember from this post, Shawn is close to earning his Eagle Scout.  The past few months he's been preparing for his project.  It is a grueling process.  Here's a quick timeline - decide on an organization, come up with idea for project, talk to person in charge of the organization, wait for person in charge to talk to the board, talk to person in charge again to agree upon specifics of project, write up project proposal and take "before" pictures, get person in charge of organization to sign paperwork, present proposal to Scoutmaster and troop committee,  take suggestions to improve proposal, get signatures from Scoutmaster and troop committee, make appointment to meet with district committee, prepare for official presentation by getting drilled by parents, meet with district committee to explain proposal (while parents wait patiently with fingers crossed).

Why are things like this always more stressful for the parents? 

From the time they were both 11, Shawn and Cory have been working together to complete their Boy Scout requirements.  So it just seemed fitting that they would work on their Eagle Scout Projects together.  Well...not really together, but simultaneously.  Much to their dismay, they can't do the project together - they must each complete their own.  However, they are going through the process together.

The district committee interviewed each of them separately, but they got to wait together.  I think being together calmed their nerves and made them feel a little more comfortable.  I'm glad they could be there for each other.

Both of their projects were approved! YEAH!!! 

Now we just have to do the project!   Stay tuned....

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

We supported Chick fil a!

One of my favorite fast food restaurants is Chick-fil-a.  I love hearing them say "My Pleasure."  I find myself saying "thank you" more often just so I can hear them say "my pleasure!"  The restaurants are always clean, the people are nice, the food is good and let's not forget the most important thing...MILKSHAKES! I love the milkshakes from Chick-fil-a! 

Over the weekend I was shocked when I heard that people were criticizing the CEO for his traditional beliefs.  In an interview Dan Cathy stated that he believes in traditional marriage.  That one comment sparked a national controversy.  Within hours there were groups boycotting the restaurant, and there were mayors refusing to let new stores in their towns.  Seriously! 

Mike Huckabee was in support of Chick-fil-a and declared Wednesday August 1st (that's today) Chick-fil-a Appreciation Day.  I knew that I would make an appearance at our local Chick-fil-a.

Here's why...

Less than a month ago we celebrated Independence Day.  Coming from a military family, this day always brings reflection.  I believe that we are blessed to live in America.  We have so many rights and privileges that many others don't enjoy.  We enjoy freedom of religion and freedom of speech...or do we?  CEO Dan Cathy believes in traditional marriage - so do a lot of other people.  CEO Dan Cathy said out loud that he believes in traditional marriage - so have a lot of other people.  CEO Dan Cathy has never refused to hire or serve gays or lesbians.  Isn't he entitled to his own personal beliefs?  Without it affecting his business?  I just don't understand.   SO...

Today Shawn and I drove to Chick-fil-a, where we soon realized that the criticism backfired.  Traffic was backed up miles past the intersection, the drive-thru was wrapped around the building twice, standing customers were wrapped around the building.  Normally when there is a crowd like this, someone is grumbling and complaining.  Not today.  Today there were grandparents bringing their grandchildren, veterans talking about which war they served in, young mothers with small children in tow, gracious people allowing young mothers to skip in line.  Today people were not in a hurry to get their lunch and leave.  Today people were showing support.

Here's to chicken nuggets, milkshakes and freedom!

Friday, July 13, 2012

Pioneer Trek

Pioneer - a person who is among those who first enter or settle a region, thus opening it for occupation and development by others.

(Synonyms - leader, trailblazer, forerunner, pathfinder )

Trek - a journey or trip, especially one involving difficulty or hardship

Yesterday more than 100 youth from our church began a journey back in time.  This spiritual journey is for youth ages 14-18 and will last for three days.  They began by assembling and loading wooden handcarts, like those used by our pioneer ancestors more than 150 years ago.  They were divided into "families" each led by a "Ma" and "Pa," a real husband and wife couple from our church.  Each family has their own handcart.  They load their handcart with the supplies that they will need for the next three days. Each individual is allowed to bring a sleeping bag and a five gallon bucket.  Everything they bring with them must fit into this bucket.  They are not allowed to bring modern conveniences such as cell phones or ipods.  They will eat pioneer food and sleep under the stars.

This is the wonderful group of youth from our ward, or congregation. Imagine, 19 teenagers choosing to do this...AMAZING!

Patience is a virtue!  They were all so anxious about finding out  who was in their family.

You don't know how hard I prayed that Shawn would get placed in a good family. He is not one to make new friends easily.  When they called his name to join his family, I could see the disappointment on his face.  He did not know ANY of the other kids.  He even said to me, "Even a girl would have been OK."  He did, however, know his Ma and Pa and joked with them that he would be their favorite child.  That's my boy!  And here's his family loading their handcart.

The families spent some time getting to know each other.

And then they started on their way...

Two of Shawn's friends got placed in the same family.  As soon as their handcart started out, stuff started falling out of the back.  They weren't sure what to do, so they just stared at their handcart continued to be pulled away!

Shawn started out in the rear of his cart.
Another family picture and then they were off...

Why would we send our kids on this trek?  Our hope is that they will realize that they are capable of more than they ever thought possible.  And that they will learn the importance of family.

Saturday morning the youth will take their journals to a quiet place in the mountains and reflect on what they have experienced.  They will also receive letters from their church leaders and their parents (the real ones) containing memories, praises and love before being welcomed home by their real families and enjoying a modern feast.

I miss him and can't wait for him to come home!  But as I write this post, I just received a text and a picture from a "Ma" telling me that Shawn is having fun...thank you modern conveniences!

Friday, July 6, 2012

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Preview for Evan

I am a little bias...but I think I have a great looking family!  Here's one of my nephews...