Happy Birthday, Mom!

Today is my mom’s birthday!


Happy Birthday, Drake!!

Our nephew, Drake, celebrated his birthday today!!

Drake and me-Fall of 1999

LOVE this picture-Spring 2000

Drake and Grady-Spring 2004

Drake and Grady-Summer 2006

Drake-Fall 2007

Drake, Grady, Paul, and me-Christmas 2009


A Surprise Visit and Tanner’s Orchard

On Sunday night my Uncle Tom called and said they were in Wisconsin on their way to Illinois via Iowa.  (They left Texas on Sept. 1st in their travel trailer and will eventually end up in Tennessee this coming Friday).

So, they showed up on Tuesday morning around 10:30AM and left at 8:45AM this morning….

We had a really good visit, complete with going to the Pizza Peel for lunch, Tanner’s Orchard in the afternoon, having enchiladas at home while it was hailing outside, and lots of time looking at pictures and doing laundry!  (A lot of stuff in a short amount of time).

This picture is from Easter of 2010.  Uncle Tom and Aunt Charlene are on the far right (my parents are in the middle and my other aunt and uncle are on the left).

Whenever we meet new people they usually ask us if we are related to “Tanner’s Orchard.”  Sadly, we aren’t; otherwise, we’d have a lot of money!  We’ve never been there, so on Tuesday afternoon we went.

Tanner’s Orchard is about 30 minutes away in Speer, IL.  I wasn’t overly impressed with it (people “talk it up” way more than I think it needs to be), but nonetheless we went. 

We bought apple cider donuts (which are really just cake donuts-they don’t even taste like apples), Jonathan apples, and Apple cider. 

Yummy Apples!

The apples are really good! 

Apple Cider

Paul really likes chilled apple cider.  I like it better hot, but it’s still really good…

On the gallon it says, “This product has not been pasteurized and therefore may contain harmful bacteria that can cause serious illness in children, the elderly, and persons with weakened immune systems.”

And I’m DRINKING this stuff?!!!

As we were leaving Tanner’s a huge storm rolled in, complete with hail….

The temperature dropped about 10 degrees in about a 2 minute time.  The wind was blowing everywhere….

Overall, we had a very good visit and enjoyed Uncle Tom and Aunt Charlene being here.  Thanks for stopping by!!


R.I.P. my love….

We’ve had a good run….

We’ve been together for 10 years, since December of 2000….

We’ve moved together 8 times…

We’ve had a lot of good times together….

We’ve shared a lot of meals together….


On Thursday night our microwave sparked and breathed its last breath….

A Baker I Am Not

Yes, I cook as part of my job here at Great Oaks and yes, I cook at home, but I don’t claim to be a baker…

Here’s why….

My cookies (they’re supposed to be chocolate chip cookies, in case you can’t tell) look like pancakes….

These are the cookies for the Bake Sale at church after I made a desperate call to the local bakery….

See, I told you I am not a baker!

Life Goes On

We are now officially back to the grindstone of working everyday, I think….

The past month has been a revolving door for all of us…

Paul went on vacation

Tyler went on vacation

Paul took vacations day again while his parents were here

I went on vacation

Jesse went on vacation

And now Jim, Tyler, and Graham are all on a Boundary Water trip….

(Are you sensing a theme here)?

August and the 1st part of September are pretty much washed out by vacations….

Paul and I are back from all our travels (except Paul has gone/is going to Peoria 3 out of the 5 days this week), so we are back to a “somewhat” normal schedule…

Not too much to report.  We’ve been doing paperwork, answering the phone, organizing things for TRAIL, writing e-mails, cleaning, etc.

We had an awesome day of worship this past Sunday at church.  Jacob did a WONDERFUL job of leading worship!  And, we had a spur-of-the-moment baptism at the end of the service, which was even better!

This coming weekend we have “BIG DAY” at our church.  On Saturday they have a “carnival” (for lack of a better term):  inflatables, games, food, flea market, bake sale, etc. for community outreach and to raise money for IDES (International Disaster Emergency Service).  Then, on Sunday morning, we have a big worship service (another community outreach) and we are kicking off the OTC (Old Testament Challenge).  I think we’re going to go through the entire O.T. this fall….should be interesting.  Bob’s excited!

Other than that, not much is going on…

Here’s to another day!