The Rest of the Week

On Tuesday and Wednesday we went to Springfield, IL to play tourist and go visit Lincoln’s home and the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum.  We also ate at D’Arcy’s Pint, a restaurant that is famous for their Horseshoe sandwich.  We ended up getting a “Ponyshoe” (which is a smaller version), but it was pretty good.

On the way to Springfield it hailed on us and ended up raining off and on for about 4 hours…weird weather for Mom and Dad, considering it never rains in Texas…

On Thursday we spent most of the day in Peoria doing what Dad and I do best…shopping!!  Thursday night Dad and I went fishing but didn’t catch a thing.  It was late and I think all the fish were already asleep!

They left today around 1:00PM…we had a very nice visit and I enjoyed having them here…

The Lincoln Home

The Lincoln Family themselves...

our "Ponyshoe" (a sandwich topped with french fries and cheese sauce)

D'Arcy's Pint

dad and I fishing



Mom and Dad visit…

My mom and dad are here visiting for a week.  They arrived on Sunday morning and will leave on Saturday (unless we get tired of each other before then)…

Yesterday Paul and I took them to Mattieson State Park to hike.  We had a great time and I think my mom really enjoyed it…despite having to climb over fallen trees, through boulders and rocks, and through a lot of water and mud…

Then last night we did the ropes course at camp.  If any of you know mom and dad you know they are “older” so I was really surprised my dad did it.  But, mom wanted to do it and I don’t think dad was going to let her do it by herself, so he did it, too…here’s pictures to prove it…

Dad at Mattieson

Dad and Callie

Mom and Dad climbing over rocks

Mom thought it was easier to walk through the water then step on the rocks

getting ready to get on

Dad on the 1st element

Mom and Dad doing the ropes course

Dad on the air loops

Mom holding on for dear life...

Dad going down the zipline

Mom on the zipline


Spontaneous Visit

My sister, Leslie, called on Sunday morning and said they were headed our way.  They got here about 7:00PM on Sunday night and left about 11:00AM on Monday morning…In the short time they were here they:

  • chased rabbits
  • caught a frog
  • caught a snake
  • fed the fish
  • played carpetball (and beat one of our campers)
  • played with our neighbors upstairs
  • played XBox 360 with Uncle Paul
  • watched a movie

All of that in about 16 hours!  Thanks for coming!!

Grady being a turtle with the laundry basket

Drake "helping" Grady play XBox

Uncle Paul, Aunt Callie, Drake, and Grady


New Lingo

Webster’s dictionary defines lingo as…”the special vocabulary of a particular field of interest”

Here is some of the “lingo” I have heard this week (I’ll give you the translations, in case you don’t understand)…

“What them is?” (What are those?) They say that every time they see me cooking something they don’t recognize.

“I eat butter” (May I please have some butter?)

“Where _______ at?” (Where is _______?)  You should not end a sentence with a preposition….

“That yo plate?” (Is that your plate?)

Aren’t you proud to see our public education system at work with those phrases…

Here’s some more:

“I like them breads with the brown spots on top.” (I like the rolls we had)

“You be trippin'” (You’re kidding, right?)

“But, he”…with fingers pointing…(This happens every time you try to ask someone if they did something…it’s always somebody else’s fault)

9-10 year olds boys are whiny and always blaming someone else…what a week, what a week!!  Paul will be very glad when Friday afternoon comes around…so will I…

Girls Night Out

Ember and I went to Julie’s Corner Store on Friday night for a Girl’s Night Out…Julie opened up her store after hours for fellowship, food, door prizes, shopping, and her “little blue drinks.”  🙂  Even though we did not endulge in the “little blue drinks” we did endulge in fellowship, food, and shopping!!  I enjoyed dressing up and sharing that time with Ember.  We were the last ones out…closing down the place at 8:45PM!!  Late night, huh?  🙂

Thank you, my sweet friend…

Ember and Callie

Dear Soldier

Almost 19 years ago those two words started a friendship…

In the fall of 1990 I was in the 5th grade at Woodway Elementary.  My teacher was Mrs. Jayne K.  She was an incredible teacher and probably the most memorable out of all my year’s at Midway ISD.  She was about 5 feet tall and full of energy.  She was stern but very loving…an amazing teacher who had a lot of impact on me at the age of 10.

Anyway, that fall we had an English project, I believe, to write letters to soldiers in Desert Storm.  Back then there was no such thing as e-mail, so we actually learned how to write letters (what a novel idea).  Anyway, to practice our letter writing, we wrote “Dear Soldier” letters to those fighting in Iraq and Kuwait.  My letter ended up in the hands of Jamie Gayton…

Nineteen years later, we are still friends…who knew that a young man in his 20’s would ever want to exchange letters with a 10 year old girl…but here we are!  My letters have gone all over the world, literally, as Jamie has served in the Army.  He is now a Colonel with his PhD. and going to Army War College to continue his education so he can teach at West Point.

We exchanged letters for 6 years before we ever met.  We met for the first time in July of 1996; I was fifteen years old.  He had gotten married to Elizabeth and they were having a wedding reception in New York.  I told my mom I was going, this was my chance to meet him, so she agreed and my whole family went.  I remember that being such a surreal moment in my life.  You get out of your car and walk ackwardly up to a man you have never met before I simply say, “You must by Jamie.  Hi, I’m Callie.”  It was such a neat experience and hopefully one I will never forget.

We saw each other again in 1998 when he came to Waco for my high school graduation.  What a surprise!  His wife was 8 1/2 months pregnant and he left her to come see me…what a great friend…

In 1999 I went to visit them in Kansas, when Stephen was just a baby…Then, seven years later, in 2006, he came to my wedding with Teddy, his sweet little boy…

Words cannot describe how much our friendship means to me.  Jamie has given me so many words of encouragement and such good advice through the years…it’s incredible our friendship has lasted so long.  I still continue to write letters to him, although e-mail is becoming our main source of contact.  Who knew…19 years ago a little girl would start a friendship that, I hope, lasts forever…Here’s to Jamie…thank you for being a wonderful friend…I truly admire you and love you very much, along with your family…

(Jamie and his family came to see me last Sunday, July 5th…Elizabeth took all the pictures that day, so as soon as they get settled in their new home, I will get those pictures)…until then, enjoy these from years past…


I also have a picture of Jamie and I at our wedding, but my mom has to send it to me…I’ll put it on here another day…

Blessings to Jamie and his family…

July 1996-our 1st time to meet

May 1998-high school graduation

March 1999

Happy 4th of July


We celebrated 4th of July this past Saturday by sleeping late, cleaning house (Callie), watching Hereos (Paul), and then getting together with friends for a grill-out and fireworks.  We had unusually cool weather for July 4th, 65-68 degrees and pouring down rain for about 8 hours straight.

On Saturday evening we got together with all of our Great Oaks “family” and had a grill-out upstairs at Jim and Ember’s.  We ate and visited (and mostly watched the kids play).  When all of us get together there are 8 adults and 5 kids under the age of four.  Needless to say, it was cheap entertainment.

Then, Jim, Paul, and I took two of the kids to go see fireworks in Chillicothe, about 15 minutes away.  We had a good time, despite the cold weather and raindrops…

Ethan, Ember, and Hannah playing with the fish

The tent was the source of entertainment

the kids jumping on Brian

The Great Oaks girls: Julie, Callie, Ember, and Shannon (with the two little ones)

The Great Oaks boys: Tyler, Brian, Paul, Jim (and three little ones)

waiting for the fireworks

Paul and Callie

Paul and his little friend