Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Kamp Kansas

After about a year of planning, we were all FINALLY going to be heading to Kamp Kansas for the 4th of July.  Now, some of you might be saying “why in the world would you want to go to Kansas?” and I can honestly say I have said that before.  But, don’t knock it ‘til you try it!  My dad has a hunting camp with one of his brother’s and a friend and have named is SBS Farms aka Kamp Kansas.  We had planned to try to go last summer but that didn’t work so it was going to take a LOT to get in our way this year.  We are so glad it didn’t!  We had an amazing time just getting to spend time with family.  Man how I miss seeing these guys! 
So, what can you do in Kansas?
Ride Papa G's golf cart

and 4-wheeler

Love on a beautiful baby girl

Ride in the banana truck with Papa G

Climb a tree

Love on beautiful baby boys

Blow a dandelion

Play in the water

Go for a dive in the water

Spend time with these girls!

Make family memories

Help a brotha out (or in this case.....a cousin)

Kiss these cheeks

Act like a kid again

Listen to daddy give us the history

Take in the beauty

Play with bullfrogs

Release a bullfrog

Ride the 4-wheeler some more

Take a family pic for the memory book

Eat Bomb Pops and make memories that last a lifetime!


Today was a check-up at the dentist.  I have been talking to the boys for a couple days about going again & and having the dentist clean and check their teeth.  They were SO excited and did really well!  No cavities..Whew!

Ready to see the dentist

Jackson gettting a cleaning

All done!

Jonathan's cleaning

All done!

Clothes...lots & lots of clothes

Show me the money!!!!!!! 
I have FINALLY found a way to sell all of the boy’s old stuff and not have to do all the work myself! J  It’s a program called Just Between Friends.  Since I have so much stuff I am sending everything off to let a more experienced person price everything out.  I am looking forward to getting the check J

Everything ready to go!

All organized..labeled & sorted :)

So long baby toys...

Stuffed to the brim...taking it to let someone else do all the hard work

Stuff for David's didn't all fit in the Pilot

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

One of those days

Let me start by saying that I love being a mom.  I feel like I am fulfilling my earthly duty by doing the job I do.  I have known since I was about 17 that I wanted to stay home with my children.  I knew that I wanted to be the one that was there in the beginning.  I do know what a blessing from God they are.  I know that even though it was an excruciating 6 years waiting to finally have them it was worth.every.minute.  With that being said…..
Today was rough.  Today is one of those days that I question my ability to be a good parent.  I question if it is the right thing for me to be home with them.  Should I work outside the home so they & I have a “break” from each other?  It has just been a constant struggle with saying things you shouldn’t say (insert..poo poo), fighting with each other CONSTANLY, to not following directions which includes fighting with me/arguing with me (i.e. I want 2 not 1).  So my patience is gone…no longer existent.  I get concerned that they will remember the days that I yell more than the days we don’t.  I want them to feel and know that home is the safe place.
So there it is, my confession as a mom.  I’m not perfect and am struggling today.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

You have a what?!?!

A couple weeks ago we had small group at our house.  It has been pretty warm so we decided we would have a water party.  We had a couple of small pools, slip n slide & best of all…water guns!  We also had a water balloon fight.  It is always great to get together with Christians to eat, fellowship and have fun.  I will say we had one moment that made me……well, speechless.  All the kiddos are outside playing having a great time and in walks Jonathan.  He then says ‘Hattie’s my girlfriend’.  My mouth dropped!  Where did he learn that word?  Wasn’t I supposed to be the only girl in his life for at least a little while?? I’m hoping it’s short-lived J The good things are: she is ADORABLE, her parents are from the south, and she doesn’t mind playing with boys. 

All the kiddos!  Impossible to get everyone looking

Jackson getting David

Getting creative

Jonathan & Hattie... Adorable couple :)

Friday, July 8, 2011

Mr. Ramsey.....A man who changed the life of many

I’m a band nerd…yep, that’s me!  I walked into 6th grade wanting to do something “extra”.  I went to the band room to see what it was all about.  Now, I just knew that I would be a flute player. That’s what all girls play…right??  Well, Mr. Ramsey had something different in mind for me.  He told me he wanted me to try clarinet.  I was not excited, but I thought I would give it a shot.  Turns out he was right!  I loved playing clarinet & got pretty good at it. Actually I played from 6th grade through college.  During that time I was blessed to have one man instruct me not only with music but in life lessons.  Mr. Ramsey taught me from 6th – 11th grade.  When he left our school the summer before my senior year to say I was sad is an understatement.  More like devastated.  I felt like he was a second dad to me. I didn’t really have a chance to tell him how special he was to me before he moved.  That left a void.  Fast-forward 14 years:  thank goodness for Facebook!  I found him on Facebook and realized there were a lot of other band members that felt the same about him.  A former band member posted a fun pic from our time with Mr. Ramsey in high school.  That’s when discussion began about doing a reunion.   I felt like it was a must for me!  I needed to make sure that Mr. Ramsey knew how much he meant to me.  I volunteered to head up the reunion even thought I was over 1000 miles away.  Luckily Carey Norwood volunteered to help and she still lives in our hometown so we started the planning together.  We contacted Mr. Ramsey to see when/if he would be willing to attend a reunion and he was excited as we were!! He said he would be there whenever it happened! WAHOO! 
The picture that started it all!

All of planning started in January 2011.  After a lot of research and trying to track down people I found as many old band members as possible.  We then contacted everyone to see if it would be an event more than 2 people would be interested in.  It turned out there were several people that wanted to attend a reunion so then we set a date.  The date was set to June 11, 2011.  If you have been reading any of my blogs you know that I got back to Colorado Springs on June 7th from a 10 day family vacation.  June 11th was cutting it close for me, but that seemed to be what would work for others so I would make it work.  We decided we would do 2 events:  A picnic in a park with spouses and kids then a second event with a catered dinner for adults-only. 
June 7th 10:30 pm we get home from our vacation to Alaska, time to un-pack & re-pack!  That’s right, the boys & I would be leaving on the morning of June 8th to drive to Louisiana.  What a whirlwind!  We went from the cold/rainy weather of Alaska to the hot/humid summer of Louisiana.  My sister lives in Dallas, so the boys & I made it to Dallas on the 8th and then finished our drive to Ruston on the morning of the 9th.  Carey & I worked together over the next 2 days to get everything ready.  David flew to Dallas on the night of the 10th.  Erin & Adolfo picked him up at the airport and then made the drive to Ruston. 
June 11th was finally here!!!!  Carey, Erin & I made all the final preparations to make everything perfect.  The picnic started at 11 am at Cook Park.  Everyone was to bring their own lunch for their family and drinks and cake would be provided.  We got an amazing cake from KaCee’s Sugar & Spice.  We got to see everyone with their spouses and children and visit with Mr. Ramsey.  Lots of talking was going on!  It was great! Around 1pm the picnic was winding up.  I had talked to the current high school band director and he had agreed to give everyone a tour of the band room to see how it had been updated.  It was fun to see the place that we spent so much time in.  We finished looking around and then everyone left to get ready for the evening event. 
Jon Karnes, Pete (Daniel) Hancock, Jason Blondin

Jason Blondin, Carey Norwood, me

Mr. & Mrs. Ramsey

The gang that attended

Mr. Ramsey & Jonathan Ayres

Ricky & Diana Sanders, David & Joanthan

Pete (Daniel) Hancock & Steven Daulton

Scott David & Mrs. Susan Ramsey
Current band room

new music library

new percussion storage room
Steven Daulton, Jason Blondin, Carey Norwood, Pete (Daniel) Hancock, Michael Bearden
Award under Mr. Ramsey

Finally the evening had arrived.  We rented the Historic Fire station in downtown Ruston for the dinner and Dowling’s Smokehouse catered the dinner.  Everyone started arriving around 6pm where we mingled and then started eating.  Jeff Fink made an amazing video of old photos and videos.  After a little technical difficulty we watched the video!  Jeff used recordings of us playing with videos of us marching.  He did such a great job & I know it took a lot of hours to put it together.  Thanks again Jeff—you ROCK!  After we were done with the video we had a give-away for our old uniform we had. Carey had gone to great lengths to find & get an ol uniform.  We did a raffle for the give-away and Michael Bearden won! Next, I made the presentation of gifts. I had collected personal notes to Mr. Ramsey from former students and had compiled them in a memory book.  People wrote some amazing things.  He truly changed all of our lives for the better!  We also gave him a baton that was framed in a handmade memory box (courtesy of my dad!).  I knew Mr. Ramsey would appreciate the handmade box since he is now a woodworker himself.  It was a great special touch.  Next came the highlight of the night:  Mr. Ramsey started talking.  He talked to us, laughed with us and made some of us cry.   He just told us story after story of his remembrances for us.  What touched me the most was he had special memories of us?!  I mean, I knew that he remembered us but didn’t know that we held a special place in his heart like he did for us.  That was amazing to hear! We wrapped everything up around 11:30pm. 

Our old uniform!

Decorations included our old hats with plumes & music
Carey & Ashley

Watching the video

Jeff & Gerri Fink

Mr. Ramsey drawing for the uniform winner
Memory book

Baton in memory box

Michael with his uniform

Mr. Ramsey with Ashley & Carey

For me, the event was a huge success!  Not only did we pull off all the details of having an event, but most importantly I was able to tell Mr. Ramsey ‘Thanks’ for making a difference in my life.  Success!