Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Alicia and Dani's Graduation

So, a week after Ryan's graduation we had two graduations at home. Alicia graduated from Manhattan High and Dani from Wamego High. And they graduated on the same day!! Can you imagine what kind of day that was?? Alicia's graduation was at 2:00 in Manhattan and Dani's at 4:00 in Wamego. So we started the day with lunch and pictures because the girls were going to be all over the map afterwards. This pic is a gem with Dani totally oblivious to what was going on, Alicia ready to beat the crap out of Ryan, Bethany trying to get him over and Ryan just being a poop head. My kids are funny.

So we head off to Bramlage Coliseum for Alicia's graduation. She graduated with 401 students though not all went to graduation but it was still a pile of people. We sat kind of at the top so that we could leave soon after Alicia walked. When she came in we saw her looking around for us so Bethany texted her and Alicia spotted us waving like big fools. We got a big wave back. My baby is graduated. No more kids!!!

After Bethany and I went down and took pictures our whole row got up and left to drive 20 minutes back over to Wamego. Wamego had 100 kids graduate and they did it in their gym. Because we were so late in getting there we stood on an upper balcony and had to sneak up to see Dani. We heard the speakers but didn't get to see much. But we were there!!

Then it was home and food! What a hungry bunch we were. It's hard to believe that all my kids are graduated. Occasionally I will go down to the basement and look at pictures of when they were little and get a little teary eyed. But I am happy that my kids are grown. And they are good kids with no problems besides having our genes. I am proud of each one of them.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Ryans Graduation

So the first thing I have missed writing about this spring is Ryan's Graduation. Yes, finally after 7 long years he has graduated. Now to not make him look like a total dork and malingerer, he did go to University of Maryland at Manheim in Germany. And even though it added two years onto his schooling he got to go to some pretty cool places that he would not have been able to if he had been in the states. So it's a trade off.

Then after a couple of changes in his minor - he finally graduated with a Math degree with a Programming emphasis. Now if he could only get a job. So we all went down for graduation. I was not able to walk when I graduated in 1983 because of... HIM! I was very pregnant and it was very hot and K-State had one BIG graduation rather than the college specific ones they do now. So we made him walk. It was great!

The stadium was very full by the time we got there so we ended up standing along the back wall. My mom and mother-in-law got seats so that was good. The rest of us stood around.
Though my nephew was a little tired and decided to nap.

I didn't get Ryan receiving the diploma but I did capture him coming off the stage. The bigger picture looks like a Where's Waldo photo. He was in the second to the last row so we had to wait on everyone else. It was pretty cool.

It was at this point that JR decided he didn't want to repair appliances the rest of his life and wanted to go back to school. That was a long conversation on the way home! But off to school he goes at the end of July!!

So now its pictures with the family!!

Friday, June 5, 2009

Time flies

It has only been forever since I have written. Shame on me. So much has happened but the only time I am on the computer is at work and it has been a super busy spring. So first as I play catch up I have to announce the engagement of BETHANY!! While we were on vacation in Virginia the end of May we stopped in Richmond to see her boyfriend. We had dinner with his folks and later in the evening Jason pulled out a beautiful ring!!

Wish I had a picture of the two of them but I can't find one. So anyone, this young man is from Virginia and spent four years in the Army. He was stationed at Ft Riley and thats how the kids met. He got out of the Army the end of October and moved back to Virginia. Bethany went to visit him in February and in March they broke up :( However, Jason called her Mother's Day Weekend and said that he couldn't live without her and wanted to marry her.
He bought the ring right before we went on vacation so we knew he was going to officially pop the question. We are excited. Currently they are planning on a May 1 wedding. Right now they are trying to find jobs in the same place so they can be closer. Keep them in your prayers.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Changes in the household

On October 9 we put Butch down because of old age. The poor baby was 16 years old and had developed tumors that were spreading way to fast. Bethany, Alicia, Sundance and I took him to the K-State Vet hospital and they were absolutely wonderful. He lay in my arms as the girls sat with me on the floor as he passed away. Very hard but very needed. It was such a peaceful passing. He was so ready.

On November 16, Sundance was killed by a truck out at the grass dump site in town. He died in my arms as I drove back to the house with him. No ones fault. He was running around, saying hi to everyone out there. One of those things, though I still hurt over him.

The house was too quiet with the three cats. It's just not the same without a dog so we got one. She is a one year old boxer named Melanie and boy is she gorgeous. Milo and Otis tolerate her and MoJo can't stand her. She loves to play, run, and give lots of love. She is definitely JR's dog and will love on anyone until he comes home. It's fun to watch them together. It was also a big plus that she came house broke and spade. Yeah!!

She thinks she is a cat and likes to get into the cat box. Luckily for her my friend Chris gave her a bed so maybe she'll stay out of the box.

Not a happy Otis, Melanie had her pinned in there!

Monday, December 8, 2008

It's Christmas!!

I spent the weekend putting up the tree and lights outside only to have some real help. Here is Otis climbing the tree. He thinks he's pretty cool.

I have a basket of fake poinsettas that I like to have out. Otis thinks this is camouflage for him. He likes to lie in wait for Milo then pounce.

Remember our Soldiers this Christmas

The embers glowed softly, and in their dim light, I gazed round the room and I cherished the sight. My wife was asleep, her head on my chest, my daughter beside me, angelic in rest. Outside the snow fell, a blanket of white, transforming the yard to a winter delight.

The sparkling lights in the tree I believe, completed the magic that was Christmas Eve. My eyelids were heavy, my breathing was deep, secure and surrounded by love I would sleep. In perfect contentment, or so it would seem, so I slumbered, perhaps I started to dream.

The sound wasn't loud, and it wasn't too near, But I opened my eyes when it tickled my ear. Perhaps just a cough, I didn't quite know, then the sure sound of footsteps outside in the snow. My soul gave a tremble, I struggled to hear, And I crept to the door just to see who was near.

Standing out in the cold and the dark of the night, a lone figure stood, his face weary and tight. A soldier, I puzzled, some twenty years old, perhaps a Marine, huddled here in the cold. Alone in the dark, he looked up and smiled, standing watch over me, and my wife and my child.

"What are you doing?" I asked without fear, "Come in this moment, it's freezing out here! Put down your pack, brush the snow from your sleeve, you should be at home on a cold Christmas Eve!" For barely a moment I saw his eyes shift, way from the cold and the snow blown in drifts.

To the window that danced with a warm fire's light then he sighed and he said "Its really all right, I'm out here by choice. I'm here every night. It's my duty to stand at the front of the line, that separates you from the darkest of times.

No one had to ask or beg or implore me, I'm proud to stand here like my fathers before me. My Gramps died at 'Pearl on a day in December," then he sighed, "That's a Christmas 'Gram always remembers." My dad stood his watch in the jungles of 'Nam', and now it is my turn and so, here I am.

I've not seen my own son in more than a while, but my wife sends me pictures, he's sure got her smile. Then he bent and he carefully pulled from his bag, The red, white, and blue... An American flag. I can live through the cold and the being alone, away from my family, my house and my home.

I can stand at my post through the rain and the sleet, I can sleep in a foxhole with little to eat. I can carry the weight of killing another, or lay down my life with my sister and brother.. Who stand at the front against any and all, To ensure for all time that this flag will not fall."

"So go back inside," he said, "harbor no fright, your family is waiting and I'll be all right." "But isn't there something I can do, at the least, "Give you money," I asked, "or prepare you a feast? It seems all too little for all that you've done, tor being away from your wife and your son."

Then his eye welled a tear that held no regret, "Just tell us you love us, and never forget. To fight for our rights back at home while we're gone, to stand your own watch, no matter how long. For when we come home, either standing or dead, to know you remember we fought and we bled. Is payment enough, and with that we will trust, that we mattered to you as you mattered to us."

Michael Marks, 2000

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

A Knight

JR has been a member of the Knights of Columbus for many years. I think since 1994 when he joined the Council in Ft Sill, OK, and became Scout Master for their troop. He had a fun four years with them and then the opportunity never arose again until he retired this year. He joined the Council in Wamego and then decided to become a 4th Degree Knight. The Knights were formed in 1882 to render financial aid to members and their families. They are a fraternal benefit society dedicated to Charity, Unity, Fraternity and Patriotism. The men enter as a first degree focusing on charity. As they move up, each degree focuses on another virtue. Men are considered full fledge members when obtaining Third Degree. The primary purpose of Fourth Degree is to promote patriotism and active Catholic citizenship. JR decided to join the Fourth Degree Knights in September. Here is a picture of his knighting. They are called Sir Knight but he is crazy if he thinks I am going to call him that. The second picture is when we went to a dinner. Doesn't he look different?