One project at a time....

Cierra worked hard putting the scrapbook together for her Wiggles & Wags project. This year's book is on 'grooming'.


a good 'catcher' all the way around...

We decided to eat Japanese tonight and Chase loves to 'catch' the shrimp. From the looks of this, he does a great job even if it's not baseballs he's catching....the shrimp isn't far from his mouth. He was 4 for 4!


Wow, 17 years - it just doesn't seem possible. We have experienced so much together and are looking forward to so much more! How does that saying go? "I look forward to looking back with you". I love you very much Ronnie!

Happy 80th Birthday Nanny!

Today is Nanny's 80th Birthday and it's one of the easiest to remember since it's also the day we got married. Unfortunately we won't be able to make the 'grand celebration' today due to the annual Cub Scout Camp-out that has been planned for several months but we are certainly there in spirit. We hope it's a celebration that truely reflects on her wonderful 80 years of life!

Happy Birthday Nanny, we wish you many, many more healthy, happy years!


Happy Anniversary Mom & Dad!

Wow, 52 years!

We hope you are having a wonderful time in Tennessee!


can you guess?

which one of these is Java!? On our camping trip this past weekend we ran into a family that had just gotten a new puppy. She was soooo cute!! Once we got close enough to her that we could see her little face and features we were like "oh my gosh" she looks just like our Java! You take a peek and guess which one is our Java..


just another fish tale?!

Chase has always been our 'water boy' thus the middle name "Bay". He has been swimming since he was six months old and loves any activity that includes water. With that said, fishing is a natural hobby for him. Over the past two years he has really started enjoying the sport and learned to bait his own line as well as pull hooks from their mouths (yuck!). Luckily he can fish right by the house on Butch's pond and he has had his share of luck. Last Friday he and a friend were fishing on the pond and he called Ronnie to 'come see'. Wow! he really caught a large mouth bass! He was so excited!
On Father's Day he suggested that he and Ronnie go fishing in the afternoon. So...that's what they did. Unfortunately Ronnie only caught a small mouth bass so Chase is still in the lead =)


All 'checked-in'...

So today was their first full day at camp - It took Cierra three beds to figure out where she really wanted to be however Chase was satisfied with any bunk. As you can imagine, the boy's cabin was much more calm than the girl's cabin with 40+ girls and their 'stuff'. When I left the boys were talking about fishing and the girls were decorating their bunks.

Their schedule starts at 7:00 each morning and the lights don't go out until 11:00 p.m. Wow - they mean it when they say "it's a full week of activities".


I know what I was doing but what was I thinking...

sending these two off to camp with people I don't know for five days?! Well, obviously they're doing better than me...packing their totes and checking their lists...

Now all snug in their beds, sleeping soundly - early to rise in the morning, have to be at camp check-in by 8:15!!


Happy Father's Day!


I hope you have a wonderful day! You are the greatest!

Dad -
Whether you chose me, or I chose you
Or we had no say at all,
It really matters very little
Cause I love you most of all!

Jeremy -

Happy 1st Father's Day - we're proud of you!


summertime sisters

When school is out and the kids are home these two are 'best buds'. Britt has always been our night owl and since there are 'no set bedtimes' Cierra can hang out with her in 'the palace' until wee hours of the morning talking about who knows what!

This week Britt went to VBS with Cierra a few nights to help out with the little children. They were proud of their shirts and bracelets =) and especially liked how the kids displayed their peace signs.


we're 'outta here'!

We don't know Britt is around most of the time. She typically 'heads out' soon after we get home in the evening and comes in long after we are in bed. Today she worked her magic on a few heads then her and a friend were 'outta here'....not sure where, but out!

Future Teacher...

Cierra has always enjoyed taking care of children. Whether it is the nursery at church, helping out at Vacation Bible School, babysitting on Saturday evenings or simply spending time with Kayden, she loves children! This week she has helped out at VBS and babysat today for Pastor Joanna. She even has a little fun dancing with them.....I'm thinking she just might end up being that "Kindergarten Teacher" she has talked about since she was 5!

summer nights....

This week Chase has been spending his days 'down on the farm' however once evening comes they find their way to the pool. They have a great time swimming in the 'warm' water with the tiki torches burning. Ronnie and I also enjoy a glass of wine while keeping a close eye on them :)

a Frog for my Blog!

So, Saturday was just a 'nature kinda day'. We had a deer in our backyard then a tree frog on our front porch. This was really cool though because I had never seen one before.


Against Ronnie's better judgement...

I'm posting this because I'm absolutely cracking up!

Chase spent the better part of the weekend with his friend Jimmy. This evening they came to our house to swim with the understanding we would take them home around 10:00 p.m. The kids had a great time for a few hours then were in the garage changing clothes. (Keep in mind that today Ronnie cleaned out the refrigerator and freezer in the garage.) So - I'm in the kitchen getting ready to fix our 'late dinner' when Chase comes in with a Mike's Hard Lemonade and says "Mom, taste this - it doesn't taste like lemonade"!! OMG At first I looked at it and said "I don't like that stuff" then quickly realized what I was seeing!! So, I explained what it was then Chase and his friends cracked up. So....Ronnie is taking the kids home and may have to explain the story of our child drinking Mike's Hard Lemonade LOL!!


Look Mommy & Daddy - Check out my little ears! I was such a big girl - I didn't even cry until after the 2nd one was finished!! Aunt Brittany held me while Aunt Cierra took pictures! :-) before
and after

a June wedding -

while Kayden was spending time at GiGi and Poppy's, her Mommy and Daddy were off helping some friends celebrate their special day. Friday night they attended the rehearsal dinner and the wedding was yesterday. Don't they look nice?!

Congratulations to Derek and Lindsey!


Lil Miss Sunshine -

So, Kayden spent the afternoon in the pool with Cierra and me. She loved kicking her feet in the water and floating around. Poppy picked up a special 'turtle' with it's own shade so her little head won't burn! Now we just need to get her enrolled in swim lessons!

The Bridesmaid

Ashley had specific instructions on how to wear her hair today for 'the wedding' so....Britt was called to do the job. Nice job Britt!

I spy...

yes, a deer - in the woods behind our house! The other night when I was on my way home from the airport, Ronnie told me to watch out for deer, they were everywhere. Well, I didn't realize he meant at our house, LOL.


What happens at Gigi and Poppy's stays at Gigi and Poppy's!!

That's so true - We have the honor of keeping Kayden all weekend, YIPPEE!! J and Ashley are in a wedding this weekend so they have the rehearsal dinner tonight and the wedding tomorrow afternoon.

Tonight we went to Uncle Chases's game and didn't get home until almost 10 p.m. That is way past her bedtime :-) Oh well, tomorrow she will be able to lounge by the pool, soaking up some rays and get all caught up on her rest. Who knows what we'll get into tomorrow evening but chances are we'll blow her bedtime again. Sorry Ash :-)

Rich's brew..

Most of the time you build relationships at work which help you succeed; sometimes we are blessed to gain a friend that lasts a lifetime...
Julie and her husband, Rich opened a coffee shop a few years ago and have been very successful. In all my travels to Des Moines, I haven't made it to Rich's Brew, I've only been able to do the 'taste test' when she brings me coffee or latte's to the meetings. This trip was different - I had about an hour before I needed to be at the airport so we went to her shop for lunch. It is the best! The shop is very quaint and I could have just sat there for hours. Most (all of the ones while I was there) of the customers are regulars and Rich knows exactly what they want. He makes his own 'special' sandwiches (the grilled five cheese with sunflower seeds and tomato is very yummy) and has tons of special blend coffees. I so enjoyed spending time in Rich's Brew prior to boarding a plane. Thanks Julie!!


traveling soldier....

I work for a wonderful company and honestly, love my job. Over the past 18 years I have been given lots of opportunities, including travel to other areas of the United States. I have been to Alaska, Florida, Illinois, Iowa, Mexico, Minnesota, Ohio, Texas..which leads me to this segment. Once again I am heading out of town. This trip is two fold; a leadership conference which is always so motivating and an annual recognition dinner in honor of those of us who have contributed to the success of our company. I will get to see lots of team members, some of which I have never been able to put a 'face with a name' and others that I am blessed to have the opportunity to see more often.

Anytime I travel I always miss Ronnie, the kids and my family. It has gotten much better over the years with such 'advanced' technology. We keep in close contact with e:mail, cell phones and of course one of my favorite method; texting!!

I'll be back at the end of the week but until then....

Chase, Cierra & Britt - Help out and be good and do my chores (pool and flowers); I love you very much!
J, Ash & Kayden - I love you guys, too; give Kayden a kiss from GiGi and tell her I can't wait until this weekend when we have her all weekend!
and last but certainly not least, Ronnie - I just have to steal Edward's quote "look after my heart, I've left it with you" ;)


A GREAT day of racing....

Last year Chase had the honor of winning the local Soap Box Derby held in Shepherdstown which sent him to Akron, Ohio to participate in the "Stock" race of the All American Soap Box Derby. That of course was a wonderful experience and one that was enjoyed by all of us. With that said, Chase had to obtain a new car this year since his championship car is now considered 'retired'. So...the shopping began. His new car arrived shortly after our Disney trip. A new car (this time a super stock) also gained him a new paint job and there was never a question what that was going to be. It had to be a "Jimmie Johnson 48" paint scheme. Chase and Ronnie finished up the last of the car kit last weekend just in time for registration and impounding.

Off to the races we go - this year the race was held in Ranson and we no longer had the constraint of being off the streets by noon. This was a huge improvement which also enabled the race to change into a 'double elimination' which gave all of the children many more opportunities to run their cars.

So, this morning started off for Ronnie around 4:45 a.m. but Chase didn't have to be there for driver registration until 7:30 a.m. Cars were inspected then a group photo was taken. The National Anthem was sung by Denny Sealey then the heats were ready to roll.

Chase and Derek made the first run down the hill as the 2008 Stock and Super Stock Champions.

Chase moved through two heats undefeated then moved into the "B" (losers) bracket when a girl driving a sparkling red white and blue car double phased him.

That didn't stop him though, he made his way back up through the "B" bracket only to face Jimmy Duncan....Yes, you read correctly!! These two are the best of buds twice a year. Soap Box Derby time and County Fair time. So, here they are, and to them, it doesn't really matter who wins!

Chase maintained his lead position in the "B" bracket with his next opponent none other than 'the girl in the sparkly red, white and blue car'!! She beat him the first race by 37/100's of a second however 'crashed' at the bottom of the hill and damaged her car to the point the race was delayed for nearly an hour while repairs were underway. Once the race was back underway, Chase won by 49/100th's. This 12/100th's of a second time differential moved him into the finals..wow, close huh?

Now, Chase is in the championship run against one of his Braves team mates, Nick Falso. Nick is driving a car with an Earnhardt, #3 paint job while Chase is driving the Jimmie Johnson car. Nick and Chase are both on the Cal Ripken Braves so, how cool is that!?

In the end, Nick is the one that took home the #1 trophy and will have a blast in Akron! Great racing guys!!

And, thanks to Mom & Dad, Britt, Cierra, Ash & Kayden and Donna & John for hanging in there all day long!!

Extras - some candid shots of Chase and Jimmy -