Dance with me

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Fun Times

We are still painting Mary Kate's room. It is a big room with tall ceilings and lots of windows. You would think because it has many windows that it would be quicker to paint, possibly less wall space. Well, because there are windows there is lots of taping and lots of little nooks and crannies to paint in. We are not done with the first coat of Kilz...the primer. Lots of dark purple and bright yellow to cover. All three of us were in there working together today and we did get so much done but still have more to go. We need to buy another gallon of Kilz. I bought the white paint for the room last night...5 gallons....I told you that it was a big room.
Ken has been here for a couple of days and left this morning to go home. We had a great time catching up and looking at the Camp Wamava pictures that Jim McCall sent me on a DVD. I couldn't get them to work on my computer but we first tried them on the TV and they worked but were too light. We tried Ken's computer and they were much better. There are about 650 pictures from the 1950s through about 1990. Those pictures triggered so many memories and so many of you who read this blog were in those pictures....John Wilkins, Ann Evankovich, me and my family and before my family, Debbie Tunick, Tammy Selby, Gary Selby, Ken and his family, Jim Morrison, Emily Ramsey, Trisha Arnett, the Jimenez family, all the McCoys...I know that I am leaving someone out but it was so fun. When I can figure it out...I will pull them off the DVD and post them.
Thursday we went to Dallas to pick up Mary Kate and then went to IKEA. I wish that Abilene or someplace closer had an IKEA. We had so much fun shopping there. We bought curtains for Mary Kate's room. I will take pictures when we are done with the room so that you can see how our work has paid off.
After shopping we met Tracy and her kids and her parents, Billy and Maxie, for dinner in Weatherford. We could've talked all night. Tracy and her parents are so down to earth and so easy to be with. Tracy looks just the same and is the energetic and entertaining and her daughter was so funny trying to get her not to tell us stories about California and their move there. Her son was just afraid that we would want to kiss him. I did kiss him as we left...couldn't cute. Tracy was in the youth group when Tim first started at the Bowie Church of Christ as their youth minister. She could always be counted on to participate and help everyone else have a good time. Billy and Maxie were such an important part of the Bowie church. I can remember Billy talking at the communion table and emotions taking over and the tears would start to flow. We are kindred spirits, Billy, My memories of Maxie were that she was a good mom...firm but patient and always quick to laugh. I love her laugh. I also remember how organized she thawing for dinner, lunches made and house clean...I am in awe. Billy and Maxie and their girls would always help with VBS. Our VBS was a big deal...costumes for everyone(including the kids), a marketplace, stories acted out, people in character in the marketplace. Billy played John the Baptist and the Phillipian jailer or was it the Corinthian jailer. John the Baptist was filmed in the Shenandoah River....great footage. And the jail was so real. Thank you for dinner but mostly thank you for loving us through the years and allowing us to love your children. Your children helped us to know Jesus in a deeper way. Thanks for sharing them. We love you.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Unusual Week

Both girls are out of town this week. Lucy is at Camp Blue Haven for two weeks and Mary Kate is in Missouri visiting her old roommate, Crista.
Tim and I are trying to paint Mary Kate's room and clean up the rest of the house. It was all out of control.
I am trying to read Harry Potter but there is too much to do...I will get through it but just not as quickly as I would like.
You can talk about anything through the middle of the 8th chapter....just don't tell me anything past where I have read.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Early Scenery from our Trip

Saturday, July 21, 2007

More Wedding

I needed to post more pictures to give you more of the flavor of the wedding....elegant but fun...and to let you see the other side of Lera...she can be elegant but she is really down to earth and always fun.

Friday, July 20, 2007


I have loved being with Katie and Jeremiah during their engagement....more photos of their engagement and one of their official engagement pictures taken by Debbie Riggs....Debbie is extremely talented and I always love the light in her pictures.

Wedding Photos Stolen from Janaye's Facebook

Thursday, July 19, 2007

New Ava Pictures and Mary Kate in a Tipi

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

The Last Sin Eater

Tonight we watched The Last Sin Eater, a movie based on a novel by Francine Rivers. I will admit that I don't usually like "Christian" novels. They are usually sappy, corny and contrived. They twist the plot to make the point that they want to make and the writing is terrible but Francine Rivers has surprised me as a "Christian" writer. I couldn't put The Sin Eater down when I read it several years ago and I made Tim read it also. Tim also couldn't put it down and that is not like him at all.
So, when the movie came out I wanted to see it but never did.
Francine Rivers' story is so powerful that I still cried through the pivotal scenes despite the fact that the acting was weak and the filmography was abominable. I was disgusted that they filmed in Utah and it was supposed to be story from 1850 in Appalachia...aspen trees and stands of pine and lots of rock do not belong or look like Appalachia. Seeing that throughout the movie was distracting. The two main characters, two children, were the strongest actors.
The themes of this story are the themes of the gospel story.....truth, freedom, salvation, forgiveness and reconciliation but probably my favorite theme from this story is courage.
Watch the movie or read the book....if you watch the movie be warned that you may have some obstacles to the real story but you will still get it.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Theatrical Weekend

This has been a fun and busy few days.
One of my favorite things about summer in Abilene is The Abilene Shakespeare Festival. ACU does Shakespeare every summer and I love it. This year was Measure for Measure and Love's Labour's Lost. We saw Measure for Measure on Thursday night. I forgot about the great message about justice and mercy from this play. Powerful.
We saw Love's Labour's Lost on Friday night. So funny and incredibly entertaining.
Today we went to see Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. It was very well done....dark and action packed. If you like the books, you will like this movie. Lucy has now seen this movie three times since it came out on Wednesday. She will probably see it several more times.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007


Again, artwork from Jen Lemen...she is one of my favorites.
This piece of work has made me think about what I am hopeful for...I love that Jen calls it Hopefull. There are times that I know that if hope didn't exist life would be hard to keep on living.
Things that I am hopeful for...
I am hopeful that there will be peace in our world.
I am hopeful that tomorrow will bring good news.
I am hopeful that my job will become fulltime for the fall semester.
I am hopeful that my mom will get to visit Abilene again...someday.
I am hopeful that there are many more adventures around the corner.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Abilene, Texas

We are home!
We drove through the night. We could've stayed overnight somewhere and then finished the trip today but it just so much better to be home. We got home around 8am this morning...we are exhausted.
I have been doing laundry today and still have more to go.
The girls are going to see the midnight showing of the new Harry Potter with some friends. Tim and I were going to go also but we are too tired and I have to work tomorrow. We will go see it this weekend with some other friends. I am excited about seeing it. The last one was my favorite of them all so far.

Sounds like the trip to the Northwest is filling up....should be fun!!!

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Yellowstone and the Tetons

I think that today I saw some of the most beautiful country that I have ever seen...mountains, rushing rivers, flowers, waterfalls, deep canyons, buffalo, elk, deer, a coyote, osprey, an eagle and its nest, sun coming through clouds, beaver, mountains and mountains and more mountains...I loved it all.
Yellowstone Lake is massive. It felt like a bay or a small huge.
The Tetons were my majestic and Lewis Lake in front of!
We hiked three times today...once up a random hill that we thought went somewhere but didn't...only gave us a amazing view.
Once to Mammoth Terrace...a gigantice hot spring that has transformed a whole mountain. We hiked to the top and then could see the hot spring pools that look like infinity pools at fancy hotels. Third hike was to see the falls in the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone. This canyon was awesome and the waterfall was powerful. This was a very steep hike back up to our car and quite possibly close to a mile long...all uphill...very uphill. While hiking to the waterfall and while watching the water rush over the edge a song kept coming to my lips....The splendor of a king, clothed in majesty, let all the earth rejoice, all the earth rejoice, He wraps himself in light and darkness tries to hide, it trembles at his voice, trembles at his voice...How great is our God, sing with me, how great is our God...
We saw the buffalo up close and personal as they held up traffic for quite awhile. They were crossing back and forth across the road...babies, mamas and great big bulls...the bulls were fighting each other with their horns and then rolling around in the dusty dirt. Crazy!
I was mistaken for a celebrity in the general store. I don't know which celebrity but a woman and her husband followed me around some in the store and were talking about why I would be in the store. Then they waited outside on the ramp and the woman said to her husband, "I wonder why she would vacation in know being a celebrity and all." I don't know which celebrity that I look like but Mary Kate said that I should've offered to take a picture with them. Too funny!
Lucy was less than enthusiastic about our visit to Yellowstone until we found an historic novel about Jenny of the Tetons. She read the book very quickly and then loved the park and the area. I have also started reading the book.
Oh, and about the was only a screw that didn't even penetrate the tire enough to do any damage. Tim took the car to Walmart this morning and they didn't charge us but it did delay us by several hours....better safe than sorry.
Tonight we are in Pinedale, Wyoming. I think that Wyoming is my favorite state so far.
And hey Ann, are you ready in two years to vacation with us in Yellowstone and the Tetons? Floating down the river, hiking, stay in some funky cabins by the river, learn some cowboy history (like last night we stayed in Livingston, Montana-home of Calamity Jane), sit on a big front porch with a bottle of wine and watch the sunset...are you game?

Saturday, July 07, 2007


We may have a little delay tomorrow morning. I found a nail in our tire when we pulled up to the hotel tonight...or should I say motel. We are staying in a funky little Travelodge not too far from Yellowstone National Park. All the hotels were booked tonight...Saturday night at Yellowstone must be the place to be. Tim will drive tomorrow morning to a SuperWalmart to have the tire plugged. Crazy. We called Corey for good tire advice and he gave it...pour water over the nail to make sure that you are not losing too much air too quickly, so you don't wake up to a flat tire and then find someone to plug it tomorrow morning.
I am so excited about Yellowstone and the Tetons...I desperately want to see animals!!! Animals that I have never seen...moose, elk and whatever else there is to see.
I will let you know tomorrow what happens next...

More Wedding Thoughts

I am waiting for everyone to be ready to go and thoughts of the wedding are still in my head....
A.J.'s grandmother leaning over to talk to his grandfather who has Alzheimer's and doesn't often know what is happening...but as she leaned over to speak to him his face lit up and a huge smile spread across his face...this happened while A.J. and Lera were dancing the first dance.
A.J. leaning over to Lera during the ceremony and brushing the a stray hair off her face...such a sweet gesture.
Ken and Lera talking as they walked down the long steps.
Janaye, Stacie and Katherine looking beautiful as they stood beside Lera....Janaye crying as Lera walked down the hill and into the ceremony.
Ken getting the party started with crazy dancing to the Beatles...Hard Day's Night.
Jeanette and A.J. talking as they danced.
A.J.'s mom, Jane, crying as she danced with A.J. to A Living Prayer.
Tim dancing with Ava.
Jasmine dancing with Ava and saying that she was her best partner all night.
Sparklers on the dock.
Campfire on the beach.
Fuschia sunset over the lake and the mountains.
Corey and Brittney hugging and Ava wanting to be a part of the hug.
Talking and crying with Jeanette while we watched our kids together and mingling with others....thinking about how they are growing up and how much we have loved being their parents.

Friday, July 06, 2007

The Wedding Day

I am sitting here at the computer on my last night in Coeur D'Alene with my feet resting on a bag of ice. The ice feels great on my feet. I had been standing on heels for the most of about 8 hours. I had to be at the wedding site by 4:00 pm and that meant being at the boat by 3:30 to make it across the lake. I loved the boat ride and wished that we had spent more time out in the middle of the lake. I had to be early for a sound check. I was singing with the groom's brother and we hadn't rehearsed at all. He was playing his guitar and we were singing Come, Thou Fount of Every Blessing. It went well. It was cool to sing outside beside the lake. They had us on microphones and they had a great sound, I think they made us sound even better than we really were.
The wedding was beautiful. I am not saying this because it was Lera's truly was the most beautiful wedding that we have been a part of. The ceremony was intimate and full of love for each other and their families, centered on God and that God truly is the one who joins us in marriage, the setting was gorgeous, the bride was radiantly beautiful and the groom tearfully joyful. A.J. was so incredibly caring with his grandparents and so full of respect for his parents and his older brother. The dancing was fun....some of it brought tears and some was just crazy silly. Ken wrote them a funny song to the tune of Heigh Ho Heigh Ho It's off to work we go...funny! The families blended well and enjoyed each others' company. I fell in love with two new acquaitances...A,J.'s mom, Jane, and one of the bridesmaids, Jasmine. Instant connection kind of people.
So sad to say goodbye to Drew again. I feel like there is never enough time. Good to see him interacting with other people and with Ava.
So fun to be able to spend time with Brittney, Corey and Ava. They are good parents and Ava is a riot. She loved the lake with Corey and Lucy. She slept through the wedding and then entertained everyone at the reception.
This morning was fun and relaxed before the wedding craziness started. Brady met us for breakfast and we ate at this adorable little bakery close to the hotel and then headed to the beach. I still hadn't resolved the bathing suit, I was dressed in stretchy black capris and a t-shirt. Brady, Mary Kate and Lucy got in the water and I couldn't stand it that I was missing out on the fun...and with a little persuasion from Brady, I got in, in my regular clothes. The water was cold but great. So glad that I decided to get in.
Tomorrow, on to Yellowstone.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Coeur D'Alene, Idaho

We are staying beside a beautiful lake in Idaho among the mountains. They are having a heat wave for this part of the world...around 100 degrees. The sun is so intense here. We are browner than when we left Texas. We are staying in a resort that is right on the water. We are in the older part of the hotel in a tiny room that feels like a cabin on a ship. Expensive for this tiny room but the next bigger room is $200 more a, we opted for the smaller room and to have some money left for the trip home. They then offered us the bigger room for $30 more a night but then we wouldn't have been close to Corey and family and that would have make things, we are still in the tiny room but that is just fine.
Last night we watched the fireworks over the lake. We climbed Tubbs Hill, which is fairly steep and watched perched on the edge of rocks...a little scary sometimes. Lots of kids that had had too much to drink....I really don't think that they were celebrating our country's freedom as much as they were celebrating their own individual freedoms. It was great fun though and definitely an adventure.
Ava is in love with her grandpa. She loves being with him and looks for him all the time. It has been so fun to watch him with her. It brings back so many memories of Tim with our kids and how he was always such a loving, kind and caring father. I am married to a good man.
Today was the rehearsal in the scorching hot but everyone remained goodnatured about it all and we got through the rehearsal fairly quickly.
Rehearsal dinner afterwards....dinner, wine, lots of fun conversation, watching the sunset over the lake and behind the mountains from the balcony of the dining room. Richard then played the piano in the resort lobby and gathered quite a crowd...everyone from the rehearsal dinner and others. Two older women sat down and were enthralled with his piano playing. They even sang along with the oldies that he sweet. A.J.'s cousin, Shannon, sang a few numbers with Richard and she was good. Ava loved the music and danced and entertained everyone. She liked to stand and watch Richard play.
The wedding should be beautiful....I'll keep you posted.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Spokane, Washington

Today was an endurance test. The last day of driving and we were so very tired of sitting. We drove through Wyoming, Montana, Idaho and into Washington. Wyoming was my favorite. Missoula, Montana is a cool college town with amazing mountains all around. We stopped at a tourist spot that had teepees set up and a whole western village.
As soon as you drive into Idaho you are suddenly way up high and the curves start. We were driving straight into the, we would be behind a mountain and then come around the curve and the sun would hit you straight in the face. Hard driving. Tim was the one driving and I will admit that it made me nervous.
We picked up Corey, Brittney and Ava tonight at the airport. Ava immediately let me hold her and we talked while Corey and Brittney were getting the luggage. Ava was so exhausted but still animated. I can't wait to have more time with her over the next few days. We weren't sure if they were going to be on time because their flight out of Charlotte was delayed because one of the flight attendants hadn't shown up. One flght attendant not showing up for work messed up so many other people's day.
Drew is here already in Coeur D'Alene. We haven't seen him yet because we couldn't get anyone to answer their cell phones at the frustrating to be so close and not be able to make contact and not know how to get to where they were.
I wish that I could describe the trees here to you...I know that I can't do it adequately....they are so tall and so thin and so graceful looking. I don't know what kind of trees they are but they are breathtakingly beautiful.
We rode for most of the day right beside the Yellowstone enticing....and so many activities going on in the river....cows standing in it, tubing, kayaking, and flyfishing. It made us want to get out and join them. I wish there was time to stop in all the little towns and see all the cool things going on in them.
Tomorrow....more time with family and the fourth of July on the lake in Coeur D'Alene...also the dreaded swimsuit shopping.
Sorry if this doesn't sound coherent but it is extremely late Texas time and just late Washington time. The sun is up here and very bright before 5:30 am.

Monday, July 02, 2007

Buffalo, Wyoming

We traveled today through Colorado and into Wyoming. The first part of Colorado was so desolate and the towns were few and far between. Fascinating country but it seemed so poor...mostly old trailers and tiny frame houses with no paint left. A little advice for that kind of traveling.....DON'T drink a whole bottle of water before driving through this desolate part of the world. I thought I was going to have to pee on the side of the road and there is absolutely no cover...not a tree or a hill or even tumbleweed. We finally found a place to stop and I carefully walked inside and there was a big sign on the counter that said...Restrooms for paying customers only. No one was standing there so I decided to take my chances and deal with it later. When I came out Tim was buying a chocolate milk because he needed to stick to the funny.
Wyoming is so majestic. The mountains and the rivers were so amazingly beautiful....clean and fresh and yet very western...I expected to see some pioneers or possibly a native american or maybe some buffalo.
What is it with the kitten theme? We were in a Taco Bell/Kentucky Fried Chicken combo restaurant when a customer walked in with a very tiny orange marmalade kitten on her shoulder. We laughed.
We went into a grocery store in Douglas, Wyoming and I was surprised at the customers. I expected healthy outdoor people or farmers or ranchers but they were mostly young and disheveled and missing teeth. What we see from the highway and the beautiful scenery may be very different from what is happening underneath all that splendor.
Tomorrow on to Montana, Idaho and Washington. We are pretty close to the Montana state line right now.

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Dumas, Texas

We are now in Dumas, Texas on our way to Idaho. The scenery was beautiful and the sunset was amazing. We are not out of Texas yet but tomorrow we should see Oklahoma, Colorado and Wyoming. Can't wait to see all the incredible scenes that are in store for us.
Tonight at the hotel we are amusing ourselves with conversation with Ann and her kids who are stuck at DFW because their flight is delayed. They are on their way back from LA. Fun to catch up in the midst of our travels.
Tonight in the parking lot we saw a teeny tiny kitten....all alone and scrawny and meowing like crazy. It made the girls sad and they hated to walk away....but remember our grouchy cat....we found her while on vacation in Mystic, CT...a teeny tiny kitten, all alone and looking like she needed a home. We CANNOT take another cat home with us...but she is very cute and sad.
I will try to blog and put pictures in from our travels...this is going to be an adventure.
Lera's wedding here we come....oh, and I did forget bathing suit...I am sad....I hate to bathing suit shop but I may have to do that.