Sunday, December 30, 2012

And the Ugliest Outfit Goes To. . .

Quite uncharacteristically, my son challenged his wife to a Christmas contest of sorts.  In place of a traditional gift exchange, they would buy each other "the ugliest outfit" possible to be worn on Christmas Eve.  As you can see, they both succeeded!  It is still up in the air who won, but Josh wore his "light up, homemade, complete with jingle bell" sweater to the Agler Christmas Eve get together.  Amanda, on the other hand, (who, I might add is the unofficial family stylist) was very reluctant to keep her Goodwill, baggy shift and mismatched outfit on for more than a few minutes.  They both were good sports about it and gave us all a great laugh and lots of good memories.  Which outfit would you vote for as the "ugliest"?

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Time to Move On

Jessica and Scott enjoying some music and entertainment at a wedding recently. 
I have not blogged since I wrote the post on the Sandy Hook tragedy.  It is time to move on and get back to the day to day living posts. 
I took very few photos this year during the holidays.  Having said that, I can report that we had a very nice holiday week full of family, food and fun.  Jim and Joanne came for a visit from California.  The kids had a very nice Christmas and received an electric scooter, remote control helicopter, new bike and nook color (Mason).  Maddie got a "Look Like Me" doll with accessories, a new bike, nook color and tickets to see Taylor Swift this summer.  We spent quite a bit of time around the table playing Hand and Foot, which is a card game similar to Canasta.  Randy ended up having to work some, as did Amanda and Jessica, but most of us are enjoying a week of vacation. (Okay, Josh and I are!).   What I am NOT looking forward to is getting back to work and the grind next Wednesday.  One sure gets spoiled by having time off.  My side of the family is planning a lake retreat in February to celebrate a winter holiday (belated Christmas!)  So we won't really be finished with the festivities until Valentine's Day.  I hope your season was fun, healthy and full of family.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

No Answers

I apologize in advance for veering off my usual format of family activities and events.  One of the reasons I enjoy writing and posting to this blog is because I use writing as a sort of therapy for my life.  I have always found comfort and healing in writing about events that matter to me, that move me, that mystify me.  This post will not be a pleasant one to write, but I find it necessary to try to use this medium to organize my thoughts.
It was with shock that I learned about the Connecticut Elementary School shootings yesterday.  While still at work, I saw an early news feed about a shooting in an elementary school where they reported that one person was dead. I said a little prayer for the families involved, but I have to admit I didn't give it too much thought.  There have been so many shootings around our country this year, it seemed like a tragic, isolated event.   Later, at a department store in Columbia, Jessica called to ask me if I had heard the news.  The death count at that point was in the 20's.  Standing in the store looking at all the Christmas decorations and watching the crowd bustle around, the scene was almost surreal.  Suddenly shopping for the perfect Christmas gift didn't seem so important.  As I made my way to check out, I overheard several conversations, some by shoppers on their cell phone.  People were angry, people were sad, people kept asking questions such as "How did he get in the school?", "Why would anyone want to kill those small children?"  "Did they get him?" And then the question that I have heard many times in the last 12 hours, "What is this world coming to?"
There seemed to be a buzz in the air at the store, and not the usual shopping before the holiday, I have to get this done today buzz.  People were visibly upset.  I shortened my shopping trip and headed home.  I had lost my desire and drive to buy anything.
How could this be?  How is it possible that anyone could take powerful weapons and unload on innocent children?  And go to the children's safe place of learning and friendship and destroy the trust and innocence of all those children?  At the top of this blog, I posted a recent photo of my favorite little people, taken shortly after the school year started.  Maddison is a second grader at a school in our small town.  Mason is a kindergartner in the same school.   The school  keeps the doors locked and uses a buzzer system to screen people before they enter.  Mason, who now wears the cutest little glasses you have ever seen, is learning site words and "holiday" songs.  He has a Superhero lunchbox and backpack, which he hangs on a hook every day, right under his name.  He has a girlfriend, but won't share her name with us.  He gets sad when his friends get "think sheets", and even more sad when he sometimes gets one.  He beams from cute little ear to cute little ear when he brings home an award or a good note from his teacher.  He looks forward to seeing his friends every day, to playing at recess, to painting at art and to learning all he can to keep up with his big sister.  In the hall, as is the school rule, he uses his pointer finger as a Mr. Wiggle to greet his friends so the school halls will stay quiet.
Maddison is the "senior" at the same school.  She will move on to a new school next year, but this year she is in 2nd grade (and she whispered to me the other day that she has loved all her teachers, but she REALLY loves her teacher this year).  She takes care of her little brother the best she can.  She tried her hardest to prepare him for life at this school, but he sometimes wanders away from her advice.  She works very hard to catch up with a certain little boy in "rocket math".  She comes in second to him each week, but she is still very proud each time she reaches a new level.  She has gotten awards for excellence in art, good behavior and reading.  She just performed with the bell choir, and had to handle two hand bells and sheet music because several children were ill the day of the performance.  She loves to show her family around the school and point out her artwork on the walls.

I sometimes have the pleasure to pick up the kids after school.  Four school staff take GREAT care in making sure each child gets in the car they are supposed to.  Last week I was reflecting on how different this process is than when my children were in elementary school.  My children went to elementary school before Columbine, Virginia Tech and now Newtown.  The bell would ring and out would pour the 300 children.  Some to buses, some walking, some getting in with their parents or caregivers.  Those simple, innocent days are gone.  What hasn't changed is the broad smiles and the loaded backpacks that greet me when I arrive at the school.  The rush to share the day's events, both good and bad.  I remember similar conversations when Jessica and Josh were attending East Park School.

Maddison and Mason are like the millions of other elementary children in our country.  They go to school every day.  They have their routines, their joys, their sorrows.  They expect to be cared for, treated fairly and allowed to enjoy their lunch.  They know they will have assignments to do, but that there will also be time for friendship and fun.  They feel safe.  They don't worry about someone hurting them or the teachers they love.

This morning as I write this, I have questions burning in my mind.  First, I wonder and worry if what happened in Newtown will forever change the landscape of our schools for our youngest children?  How is it possible to keep our children safe when someone loaded with fire power is determined to kill them?  Randy and I discussed ways the schools could tighten security, but each way seemed very breach-able.  Even if the schools are locked down, the children still go out for recess.  Will all the schools have to put up privacy fences?
But the question I can't stop asking is how can anyone go into a school, where the walls are lined with drawings of rainbows and butterflies, where the hooks are filled with colorful backpacks and lunchboxes, where the little desks and tables are filled with children who raise their hands to be line leaders and open fire on them with loaded guns?  Could the shooter not see the pink bows in the little girls hair and the Spiderman ring on the little boys fingers?  Couldn't he tell that the children had on their school shoes so they could run the fastest at recess?  Didn't he know that the class would be working on site words or practicing rocket math?  How could he close his eyes to the children, their trusting faces and their bright futures.  How?
I pray for those families and for all the children in our country. 

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Kitchen Explosion 2012

 Amanda and Jessica and I decided to have a cookie baking day recently.  The ingredients for all the cookies spilled over to the dining room table.  It was indeed a family affair, and all 8 of my immediate family participated in some way.  It was such a wonderful day.
 Okay, when I say "participated", I might add that at least one person thought their only role was taste tester.  He shall remain nameless.
 And the cookies began to pile up quickly.  The plan was for Amanda and Jessica to bake while I did the clean up.  At times I had trouble keeping up!
Josh and the little ones worked on a jigsaw puzzle while the women cooked.  It was such a nice way to spend a Sunday.  With all of our schedules, it is rare to have a whole day where all of us can be together.  The girls packed up most of the cookies and were planning to share them with co-workers and friends.  This was definitely a day for the memory books!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

What a Week this Was!

 Maddison was awarded the Kiwanis Good Kid award at a school assembly.
 Papa turned 57 years old!  We celebrated with a small ooey gooey butter cake (purchased, not homemade, sigh!)
Maddison turned 8. . . with a lunch at a local restaurant.  She didn't want to be sung to, until she found out that with the music comes ice cream!

We also lost my sweet Aunt Connie, attended a big wedding celebration and had a baking day.  More pictures to come in the near future!

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Looking for the Bright Spot

This has been a rotten week in my life journey.  Work has been difficult with long and tedious days, coworker frustrations and some serious multi-tasking to do.  We got word that my aunt was dying and that my sister was in the ER with accute stomach pains.  It turns out that my sister had a very bad gall bladder, which they removed and then my aunt passed away.  I pride myself on looking for the positives in life, so when I saw what Maddison had drawn on the easel, it just really lifted my spirits.  How can you not love a little girl who leaves these sort of messages around for you to find?

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Room Renovation Maddison Style!

 After some hard work, the room is ready for the big reveal!
 Maddison was truely surprised by the "new room".

A very happy little girl!

Last weekend we spent the day helping redo Maddison's room.  She had outgrown her princess room and a new style was in order for the soon to be 8 year old.  Maddison loves horses, so Amanda decided to go with a horse themed room.  The green was a little extreme, but Maddie loves it and it does pull out the green in the horse comforter.  Amanda and Josh had secretly painted furniture and accessories prior to the room painting day.  Aunt Bea kept Maddison out for the day while the room was being redone.  The painting above her bed was Amanda's creation, along with some technical help from Josh.  Maddison's reaction was cute. . . she was a little overwhelmed as 7 of us watched her and snapped photos.  She is a modest little one and doesn't like a lot of attention focused on her.  She reported to me later that she LOVES her new room and the bed sleeps very well!

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Horsing Around

We have been enjoying some lovely weather of late.  Last week we had the kids and decided to go visiting with some 4 legged neighbors.  I had just made some apple crisp, so I had a bag full of apple peels.  We took a short drive to the family farm and soon had a hungry horse come our way.  More than anything in the world, Maddison would like to have a horse of her very own.  For now she has to settle on an occasional visit and ride.  It was a lovely way to spend a few minutes with the kids.  I hope you are having a great weekend and enjoying some extra warm weather!

Friday, November 23, 2012

The Making of a Black Friday Shopper!

 Does this scene look familiar to anyone?  This is a family tradition on Thanksgiving eve.  After the dishes are cleared, we haul out the paper and pens and start making shopping lists.

 This is the first year that Maddison has shown any interest in participating in the ritual.  She got to go to the local discount store for "Event 1".  Scott took her with him, and he reported that she was amazed at the number of people and activity going on there.
 She is very serious about making a list for her Mom's Christmas gifts.  She has said very little about what she wants for Christmas, but she has a list all ready to give her Dad for what her mom wants.  I love this unselfishness!
Mason is still into picking out what he wants. . . which is mostly Superhero and electronic gaming items.  It is hard to tell in this picture, be he was a little under the weather this Thanksgiving.  He skipped the meal and watched Shrek.  He did manage to eventually eat a little so he could later have some dessert.
I sat out of the Black Friday shopping this year.  I just wasn't feeling the shopping and crowds.   I had fun hearing all the stories and seeing the bargains.  Hope if you participated this year, you "brought it home"!!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

The Thanksgiving Stones

For the past few years I have done a great deal of reflecting at Thanksgiving time.  This holiday, more than any other, makes me realize how short life is and how I must enjoy each and every minute of it.  I am not sure why I get so nostaligic about Thanksgiving, but if I had to guess, it would be because of the simplicity of the holiday and the focus on family. 
Growing up, I loved Thanksgiving.  My parents always got up early so Dad could help Mom stuff the turkey and slide it into the overn.  By the time my siblings and I got up, the smell of the turkey and dressing was already spreading through our two story house.   I loved to help my mom in the kitchen and was often asked to stuff the celery with cream cheese and stir the salad.  The menu was simple, turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, green beans and some kind of fruit salad.  My mom didn't go overboard with a lot of different foods, but what she fixed was delicious and plentiful.  We would always spend some time outdoors and the weather was usually cool and overcast (at least in my memories!).
When I became a wife, I wanted to continue with the same sort of traditions that I had as a child.  Randy and my first Thanksgiving as a married couple was anything but joyful.  Newly pregnant, I found cooking a less than pleasant task.  Randy's mother had died the summer before, at the age of 46.  I was determined, in my naive way, to help my husband, father-in-law and brother-in-law have some sort of happy Thanksgiving experience.   Their grief was raw and exposed that holiday.  My cooking skills were just as raw.  To say I was "out of my element" would be an understatement.  I had always helped in the kitchen, but to prepare a turkey with all the side dishes was way over my culinary ability.  To make matters worse, Randy's mom, Berniece, had always put on an annual Thanksgiving spread that was  fit for royalty.  She made all of her family's favorites, including German Chocolate Cake, Pecan Pie, Pumpkin Pie, and numerous salads and vegetables.  She cooked for days in preparation of the meal. 
I won't bore you with all of the details, but my meal included a turkey not quite done, a pumpkin pie not quite right and canned biscuits.  The best thing you can say about that supper was that I had good intentions!
Fast forward a few years, and my family was again faced with the death of a mother, my mother to be exact.  The first Thanksgiving after Mom died, my sister, Debbie and I got together and decided that we needed to create some new traditions and not dwell on the ones we were missing so desperately.   My mother, Elizabeth, had died the February before at the age of 52 from breast cancer.  We had small children, our brother was in college and our father was deep in the grieving process. Debbie suggested that we scrap the traditional foods, and fix all new dishes.  She had a woman's magazine with recipes for a Thanksgiving meal and we cooked every one of those dishes.  And they were awful.  I can't remember exactly what they were, except for the bread, which was some sort of black rye. . . I threw more food away that year than I ever have.  No one wanted any leftovers.  But we were together, we laughed and cried while doing the meal preparation, and we somehow made it through. 
There have been many memorable and joyful Thanksgivings since that year.  Some with extended family, some with a very small group of us.  There were the years the kids were home from college, the years that we added a daughter in law to the table, then two grandchildren, and then we added our son-in -law, all joyful times for us.  And I won't forget last year when I turned the kithcen over to my daughter and daughter in law because I was recovering from surgery.  The meal could not have been better!
Over the years, I have honed my cooking skills and have found a few family favorites that I stick to every year. 
As I get older, I find deep meaning in celebrating all the blessings and joys we have in our lives.  Blessings as simple as a roof over our heads and food on the table to the great blessings of healthy and happy loved ones at the table. 
I love Thanksgiving.  I love the food, the family, the time spent in preparation and the time spent cleaning up.  I love that my "girls" and I clean off the table and spread out the Black Friday ads.  I love that we all stop and share what we are thankful for and usually cry a little and laugh a little as we go.
This year, I decided to participate in daily Facebook posts, during November, sharing for what I am thankful.  I started off strong, but then began to have some second thoughts about what I was sharing.  My reluctance reminded me of the stones we have around our house.  My grandchildren love looking through these rocks and picking out their favorites.  They often come to me and ask me to pick which rock I like best.  Instead of selecting a favorite, I find myself pointing out the unique and special qualitites of the different stones.  Maybe one has a pinkish tint, while another sparkles in the sun.  Sometimes they have smooth, rounded sides, while others reveal layers of different colors.  They insist that I tell them which one I like the "very bestest".  Oh the pressure!  Like the many blessings that I have in my life, each stone is special and unique.  This year on Thanksgiving, I am going to think about the rocks and the blessings that surround my home.  I am going to be grateful for each and every one of them and their unique qualities.   I hope you have a blessed and special Thanksgiving, full of memories and blessings!

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Happy Birthday Josh!

Josh is 31 years old today.  It is hard to believe that he is that old, which makes me 24 years older . . . yikes!  We had a little inpromptu get together Friday night to celebrate.  His favorite foods are lasagna and apple pie, which was, of course, what we had.  I had planned on doing something for him on Sunday, but his work schedule changed, so I got a call on Friday morning asking if we could change the day.  Friday was a bit crazy, as I had to work all day, go to the store, pick up the kids and then come home and cook.  But it all got done, and it was a nice supper.  We all pitched in and got Josh a Kendall Fire.  He loves to read and will use it when he is away from home.  Josh has grown up to be such a nice young man.  He was a sweet, ornery little boy and certainly gave me some gray hair during his teen and young adult years.  I am proud of the man he is today. . . he works hard, takes good care of his family and loves his wife and children fiercely!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012


I love looking at children's drawings.  Mason made these about a year or so ago on the ipad.  I just found them saved to our computer and had to share them.  He enjoys drawing and I love his little people.  His sister is also quite a little artist.  One of the best gifts the kids have been given is a wipe off board/easel.  I love to see them play school and write little messages on this board.  Kids love to create and have so much pride in their work.  On a bad day these little sketches make me smile!

Monday, November 12, 2012

Good bye Fall!

In spite of predictions that the fall would be colorless due to the hot dry summer, we had a gorgeous fall in our area this year.  A cold front moved in last night and dropped our temperatures by 40 degrees.  I believe that fall is over and winter is setting in.  I am going to enjoy a little retail therapy today indoors since it is too chilly to be out much.  Have a great Veteran's Day!

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Mason Man

Mason now wears glasses.  This has not been an easy proposition with him, especially since he is in school.  The first pair of glasses were lost at school.  The second pair broke within a week of wearing them.  He is now on pair 3 and his parents are hoping that the third time is the charm for the specs.  He is supposed to wear them most of the time, and all of the time when he is playing computer games or on the ipad.  Mason doesn't seem to mind wearing them, but he does have trouble keeping track of them.  I love to see him in his glasses. . . they make him all the more adorable.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Fire, fall and fun.

It has become an annual tradition for my family to get together at our house in the fall.  This year we were christening our new outdoor shelter house/fire pit.  All together I think there were 26 of us in attendance, including a 13 year old, 3 7 year olds, 2 5 year olds, a 4 year old and a 10 month old.  We roasted hot dogs, took a hay ride and some of us played in the leaves.  We ranged in age from less than a year to 80 years of age.  I love hosting this event and look forward to finding new activities each year for the family to enjoy.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Last weekend was probably the peek of fall color in our area.  A cold front has now moved in and many of the trees are mostly bare.  I took advantage of the beautiful weather and snapped some "tree" photos.  I am thinking about getting the photo above put on canvas.  I love the white trunk, the fall colored leaves and the blue sky combination.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

October Surprises

Maddison won a "good reader" award at her school for the month of October.  She was all smiles when she spotted her mom and I at the assembly.  I happened to be standing next to a little boy from Maddie's class.  Towards the end of the presentations, before Maddie's name was called, he whispered to his friend, "Maddison should get the good kid award".  After her name was called the little guy again turned to his friend and said; "I told you Maddison would get the good kid award".  It was cute, even though her award was for reading. 

On Friday we got to pick up the kids from school.  It was a beautiful fall day, so we hopped into the "Danger Ranger" and drove to the little creek behind our house.  We wanted the kids to see how dry the creek was after the long, hot summer.  As we were walking along the creek bed, looking for interesting rocks, I spotted this arrowhead.  What a beautiful bit of craftsmanship!  It is the first Indian relic we have found on our property.  The rest of the afternoon I found myself hunched over looking for more treasures.  On Saturday it rained more than two inches and the creek bed was no longer dry.  The arrowhead sparked an interesting discussion about how it got in the creek and who had made it.  A little dab of history right in our backyard!

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Homecoming 2012

Last weekend our little town celebrated Homecoming.  Mason was a true "blue" Spartan!  Maddison got picked from her class to ride on her school's float.  The weather was perfect the parade was fun and the home team won!  Homecoming is just one of the many things I LOVE about fall in mid-Missouri!

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Breakfast of Champions?

I was excited to spend some time with Mason at school last week.  Each year they have a Grandparents event where students can invite their grandparent to eat breakfast and visit the annual book fair.  I knew from recent years with Maddie not to expect too much of the meals served.  Our district utilizes a company to provide meals for the kids.  Mason was excited about getting to eat breakfast there since he normally eats at home.  First, let me say that I admire the people who work in the lunchroom at schools.  I know they work hard and do their best (I could tell that morning how hard the ladies behind the counter were working).  Having said that, the food results are much less than stellar.  This particular morning breakfast was warm applesauce, cold whole wheat pancakes and strawberry milk.  The pancakes were rubbery and could not be eaten with a fork.  Mason seemed to enjoy one of the pancakes and drank most of his strawberry milk.  He was VERY excited about the milk and couldn't understand why I didn't take any of it!  Even the trays lacked appeal as they were stained and scratched from years of use.  The new revisied school lunch program has gotten a lot of attention lately, but the changes appear to me to be too little.  When my children were in elementary school they had actual homemade food.  The smells from the kitchen were enticing and the food was served with a great deal of love and pride.  Kids lined up for Myrtle's home made hot rolls and steaming potatoes and vegetables.  I believe there was even some fried chicken on the menu.  I certainly don't want to be branded as a negative person, but I feel like our schools could do so much better for the kids.  My grandchildren usually take their lunch and eat breakfast at home, but there are so many children who don't have that as an option in our community.  Don't they deserve an appealing meal at school?  I don't know how to fix the problem, but I can't help but feel like we are "failing" these kids with such unappealing meals.  On a positive note, Mason was excited to share that he had gotten "a real pear" at school and had eaten it down to the seeds.  Our family doesn't eat a lot of pears, so I guess he had never had a "real" pear before.  Maybe I am expecting too much, but in a poor district such as ours, I think some home made food served with a little attention to color and taste would be a bright spot in many students day.  Any thoughts?

Thursday, September 20, 2012

The guest of honor at the 80th Birthday party.  We were so happy to have some additional extended family (Aunt Margaret and Uncle Bill, Cousins Julie and Jeannie). 

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Grandpa Great Turns 80!

Over the Labor Day weekend, my siblings and their families and I had a celebration of our "founding father".  My Dad turned 80 on September 4th.  We decided to keep this event a surprise, and surprisingly enough, we pulled it off!  There were 30 + of us celebrating with a brisket supper and an evening of memories and lifetime review.  Jessica did a lot of the planning for the activities, which included displays (pictured above) and some other memory makers.  She put together a review of chosen years from 1932 until 2012.  Each family member shared highlights of selected years when Grandpa was closest to their age.  Jessica and Scott even programed music from each era on their I-Pad.  Then we each brought a shadow box item to present to him that represented either a lesson we learned from Grandpa, or a memory of him that was special to us.
It was a lot of fun work on this with my family.  The only damper on the evening was Randy's recent illness.  I think my Dad was truely surprised and pleased to be the guest of honor at such an event. 
I have lots more photos to share, which I hope to do in the coming week or so.  My sister and niece, scrapbookers extraordinaire, are going to be compiling a family memory book, so the work continues.  Stay tuned!

Friday, September 14, 2012

A Minute to WIN It!

While on vacation, Jessica organized some games for the group.  Modeled after the now cancelled Minute to Win It show, we did all kinds of funny things with props and body parts.  And even though I don't have a picture of this, we put together two large jigsaw puzzles. 
I believe this will be my last vacation post for awhile.  I want to blog some about the surprise 80th birthday party we gave for my Dad.  It is time to put away the summer vacation memories and move on.
On a separate note:  Randy had a test done today to see what might be going on with his stomach.  The test was inconclusive, but I am happy to note that he has been feeling quite a bit better.  Thanks for all the thoughts and prayers for him. 

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

My dear husband has been feeling down and out since we returned from the Gulf Shores.  First there was a nasty case of salmonella that left him in the hospital for a week.  Since his hospital release, he has had some additional complications and is still off work.  The doctors will run more tests on Friday and hopefully will get to the bottom of the problem.  Randy is, and always has been the humorous one in the family.  He can make you laugh with his off the cuff comments and expressions.  It is difficult to see him in so much discomfort and pain.  I hope to repost soon with some positive news on his health!

Monday, September 3, 2012

The Pain and the Great One!

Does anyone recognize this post title?  When my children were young, we used to read a book by, I believe, Judy Blume.  The story was about a first born girl and her younger brother.  It was a tongue in cheek story about birth order, and how it affects personailties in siblings (well, that is not exactly what it is about, just my spin on it!).  My kids loved the book because it fit their personalities and relationship to a "t".  The older daughter was perfect in every way (wink, wink), and didn't mind reminding the entire family that she was.  The little brother was the "pain".  He did lots of annoying things, especially to his "perfect" sister.  Well, Maddie and Mason have a little bit of the same kind of relationship going on.  These photos, taken during our week at Gulf Shores really illustrate what I mean.  Maddie looks almost angelic with her braids and Mason. . .  well, could he look any more devilish?  They say that history repeats itself, and in this case, I am convinced that is right!

Saturday, September 1, 2012

A Touch of Heaven

During our week at Gulf Shores, we witnessed some amazing skies.  Storms would blow in over the ocean, and usually be gone as soon as they arrived.  One morning we were playing in the waves when a neighboring fisherman pointed to the distant sky.  To the south was a "water spout" or tornado over the water.  We raced to the shore and then watched as it dissipated.  Maddison was especially shaken by the experience.  She has "survived" a tornado that hit our house and has seen first hand the damage the May tornado did to Joplin, Mo (where some of her little cousins live).   The older I get, the more I am fascinated with the world God gave us.  I can't seem to get enough of looking at the moon and the stars at night.  We get a very nice view of sunrises at our house.  We have to be a little more intentional to see the sunset.  Lately, as I come home from work, the sun has been spreading colorful rays through the clouds.  It is almost like it is saying "your day is done, welcome home". 

Friday, August 31, 2012

Ping Pong Anyone?

I want one of these!  We had some great fun playing this 4 person ping pong game.  You really had to be on your toes because that little ball might pounce in your court at any time.  What is better than ping pong on the beach. . . . or maybe that was volleyball? 

Thursday, August 30, 2012

The Wishing Wall

While on vacation, we ate at a place called The Hangout.  They had a Wishing Wall where one could write their wish on a piece of paper, roll it up and stick it in a small hole in the wall.  If you could write one wish on a page, what would it be?