Bible Verse of the Day:

Monday, June 30, 2008

Things That Don't Make Sense

Here is a post that my sister Shauna told me about at Josh Harris' site that he copied from this site. (I just need to make sure I give credit where credit is due). I thought it was very true and insightful as well as a good reminder to me. Enjoy.
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Things That Don't Make Sense To Me

1. How having four children quadrupled the love I have for my kids instead of dividing it into four. (okay for me this would be five...)

2. How focusing on meeting my husband's needs results in my needs getting met.

3. Why having a lot of "me" time tends to make me more self-centered, not less.

4. Why serving other people makes me more content, not less.

5. How spending time with God usually results in me accomplishing more that day, not less.

6. Why exercising gives me more energy, and not exercising makes me more tired.

7. How submitting to God's will brings freedom rather than confinement.

8. Why things that taste good often are not good for me.

9. Why having fewer things makes me enjoy them more--and vice versa.

10. How I can know all of these things are true and too often behave as though they are not.

Jodi's 20 Year Class Reunion


Yep...it's been that long so there's no hiding my age any longer. I graduated from Powell High School in 1988. We don't make it back to visit as much as we'd like, but I have stayed in close touch with Denise (Hill) Schuler and she trys to keep me in the Powell loop as much as possible. I find it humorous that I had a younger baby at my 20th reunion than I did at my 10th. Several classmates had graduating seniors this year while one classmate was expecting her first baby. There was one set of triplets and at least one set of twins. Our class celebrated with a BBQ, band and fireworks at Tracy Sweet's house on Friday, June 27th. It was a blast seeing and connecting with so many former classmates. Live Wire (our class's version of an 80's hair band) reunited for this special occasion. What a riot to see the 'before' picture from 1988 (posted in the Powell Tribune and on a huge color poster at the party) and then watch Paul, Rick, Marc and Travis pose for the 20 year follow-up portrait.


Here is the speech that Kent Bailey delivered at the Alumni dinner on behalf of the class of 1988:
Powell Panther Class of 1988 – Alumni Banquet, Park County Fair Grounds, Powell, WY

…and now you get to hear from the young-ones in the crowd.
The class of 1988: 133 members strong. Nineteen eighty-eight; a time when gas was $1.20 a gallon and we worked for $3.10 an hour, the minimum wage…


…we graduated at a time of peace and prosperity. After the tassels were turned and the caps were tossed, we set out to find success. We went to work, we went to college and we went into the military to fight in Desert Storm.

Now we met to remember, to reconnect and to reunite. We met at Tracy Sweet’s home for food, music (and as most people heard) fireworks. Four of us met; only in spirit.

We met as lawyers, nurses, educators, journalists, entrepreneurs, farmers, architects, engineers, cosmetologists, mechanics and realtors. We met as mothers and as fathers. (To the best of our knowledge, we did not meet as grandparents…yet).

We met with many of us married; a few of us divorced. We met from Alaska; Hawaii to South Carolina; South Dakota to Texas; California to Florida, and everywhere else in between.
We met a little older, a little grayer, a little balder, a little wider, and yes, a little wiser…
…but most importantly, we met as friends! (We are still ‘HOT’).

May we continue, class of 1988, to reach for the stars, dream big and continue to find success!

Kent Bailey, Class of 1988 – June 28, 2008


On Saturday afternoon a family picnic was held at Homesteader Park and we went on a tour of the brand new, beautiful Powell High School set to open this fall. On Saturday night Denise and I went to the all-alumni event for a few hours while Phil and Mark held down the fort. On Sunday, Phil and I and the kiddos went to First Baptist Church and ran into a few other familiar faces, went out to lunch with some friends, and then hung out some more with the Schulers.

All in all, it was a great weekend with lots of fun, food and friends!! I am looking forward to 2013 for our 25th class reunion. We are off to Phil's 20th in Laramie in 2 weeks.

A fun-filled weekend and with only one fatality

Denise and Mark were gracious, I mean brave, to let our family invade their home for the weekend. On Friday night, Denise had two girls from her church come over to watch the 8 kids while we went to the BBQ. They walked away with a nice amount of cash for their babysitting services that night. The kids had a super time playing together and my kids were enthralled with the number of pets that live at the Schuler house ~~ a lizard, a guinea pig, some frogs, a turtle, a fish, and a dog. Speaking of fish, here's a little picture puzzle for you. What happens when you add:

Timothy

+ 1/2 jar of fish food= A dead goldfish

Brylee had called Denise at the dance very worried that Timothy had overfed her fish named Cutie and that he might not make it. Mark and Phil quickly cleaned out the tank, but apparently not before little Cutie had gorged himself to the point of no return. When we checked on him on Sunday morning, the fatality was confirmed. We were consoled by the fact that he died fat and happy!!

Timothy also tried to kill off the lizard by feeding it a jar of turtle food. Thankfully, the lizard only likes to eat live prey. If we are not invited back soon, we'll know why.

Here are some other pictures of our fun time together. Check out Denise's post here for some more pictures.

Brylee and Savannah - pretty in pink


Trampoline gymnastics


We don't look 38 - do we?

This is where the wrinkles have come from:
Sarah (9), Timothy (2), Josh (9), Zac (11), Allie (11), Lindsay (7), Brylee (7), Savannah (7 mo.)


This just didn't work as well as we thought, but it sure made us giggle.
Lindsay, Brylee and Denise and I hung out at the Froggy pool while the big kids went swimming at the high school pool.

The never ending soccer season

When we registered Lindsay and Sarah for spring soccer, we didn't realize that they would be on the same team. And better yet, two of their friends would also be on their team, AND best of all, Jackie would be their coach. It just doesn't get any better than this!! We had so many postponed games due to weather that the season lasted several weeks past the original date. The smiling faces tell how much fun they had.







Just like fish in the water....

The girls LOVE to swim and I LOVE that they love swimming because that means more time in the sun for me! We just finished 2 weeks of swimming lessons through the Swim America program, and we try to get to the outdoor pools as much as possible. Sarah and Allie have almost completed all 10 levels, learning freestyle, butterfly, breaststroke and backstroke as well as getting really good at diving. Lindsay is also doing great with her lessons and is ready for another 2 week session starting next Monday.

After 6 years in Casper, I am still in love with the hot summers compared to the ones in Laramie. I know some would beg to differ, but in my opinion outdoor pools with 80-95 degree days just can't be beat!!


Here are some pictures from a recent family night swim. Savannah loved the water but Timothy is not as fearless as he was last summer. In fact, he left nail marks in my shoulder from holding on so tight. He was happy to sit on the side of the pool and watch the excitement from that vantage point.





Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Belly laughs are contagious

Savannah is sitting up really well now, but when she is on softer surfaces like her bed, she tends to tip easier. Often times she is safest in her bed because the "boy" in Timothy thinks he needs to tackle her if she is on the floor. I was warned that boys are so much different that girls, but goodness gracious, does everything have to be so rough and loud??? I really want Savannah to be a sweet, delicate girly-girl, but in order to survive she is going to have to be tough! I captured this video the other night after Timothy came in from his bath and started belly laughing when Savannah fell over. It was hard to film this without bursting into laughter. Notice that all Timothy could say between laughs was "my turn" and "again".

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Saturday, June 21, 2008

Allie and Children's Chorale

Allie is following in Phil's footsteps and has developed a love of singing. Two years ago she auditioned and was accepted into Bel Canto, a young children's choir for 2nd-4th graders. She had a great time and learned to appreciate music in a greater way during her 3rd grade year. Unfortunately, Bel Canto lost its director at the end of the year and the choir ended. Last year, Allie tried out for Children's Chorale which is a select chorus for boys and girls, 4th - 8th grade, with enrollment limited to 80 singers city wide. Because of the loss of Bel Canto, there was an unprecedented number of auditions for only a few open slots and Allie was not selected. This year when the time came to audition, she tried out again. They had to perform My Country Tis of Thee and do some other voice, scale and rhythm exercises. She was so nervous and was praying that she would be selected. I picked up all of our held mail first thing Monday morning and Allie was thrilled beyond words to read the first line of the letter...CONGRATULATIONS!!!

Weekly rehearsals begin in September and Allie's performance season will include a holiday concert with the Wyoming Symphony Orchestra, a church tour, and elementary school tour and the annual Mother's Day concert. There is also a spring tour that has not been announced yet. It will probably be close to Wyoming because they traveled to New York City last year.

CONGRATULATIONS ALLIE -- We are so happy for you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Baby birds have hatched

If you remember our earlier bird post, you'll recall that when we left for vacation, there were 3 beautiful blue robin eggs in a nest on our porch. As soon as we got home, we ran outside to check the nest. We discovered two tiny robins and one egg that didn't hatch for some reason. Mama Robin was not thrilled that her quiet porch area had been invaded our family. Her loud chirps and close fly-by's tried to deter our observations of her babies. In the last week she has become more comfortable with our presence on the deck and will feed them with us only a few feet away. Here is a closeup video of the babies. It is amazing how far their little necks instinctively stretch up to receive food from momma bird. It has been a great conversation starter with the kids about how awesome God is and the wonders and perfection of His creation.

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Vacation Post #17 ~ The final stretch and getting home

June 14-15: On Saturday morning we stopped to see Grandma Rose one more time, then we met Nathanael and Lauren for lunch. After some yummy Mexican food, it was load up time for the first leg of our return trip - about 8 hours. Our hopes were to get 1/3 to 1/2 way through Nebraska before stopping for the night. Near Nebraska City we drove through a partially flooded highway that looked like it had just re-opened. We saw several large fields that resembled lakes along the Iowa border. We made it to Hastings, NE late Saturday night and had a very restful night's sleep. After a quick breakfast, Phil was treated to the best Father's Day ever......8 more hours in the car! I offered repeatedly to drive but Phil kept his back side firmly planted in the driver's seat. Now before you applaud him, remember that there were 5 children in the backseat that I was responsible for...the dropped pacifiers, plugging in the DVD player, mixing bottles, getting snacks, facilitating arguments.....Yes, I think Phil knows he got the most relaxing seat :). At one point, somewhere in Nebraska, Timothy had reached a melt down point and was very frustrated with being in the car. I realized we were just south of Scottsbluff and earlier in the day my friend Brenda had called and said they were in Scottsbluff for a baseball tournament. As we pulled into a rest area I told him I was going to leave him there and have Brenda come pick him up. He just sort of looked at me, but when we loaded him in his car seat he started crying and saying, "Brennnda, Brennnda". It was funny at first, but after about 15 minutes, we were sick of his whining. I did capture a short video of his outburst.

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We stopped for a few hours in Cheyenne and had a late lunch with Phil's mom, Jeannine and Larry. Thanks for the pizza and thanks for the great dishes to further compliment my set. Then we were back on the road again for the final push home! It felt so good to walk into our clean house (which only stayed clean for about 10 minutes) and sleep in our own beds Sunday night!! I stayed up late trying to get unpacked and laundry started before our busy week.

Thank you to everyone we stayed with along the way. Your hospitality blessed us all. We thank God for our traveling mercies and protection as we drove. It was a special time being together as a family. This is a trip that will always hold special memories in our hearts and minds.

Trip Recap:
Total miles driven --- 3,719
Total gallons of gas --- 208.51
Approximate mileage --- 18 mpg
Average cost of gas --- $3.93
Total driving hours --- 52

Vacation Post #16 ~ St. Louis Zoo

The best thing about the St. Louis zoo is the admission price -- FREE. There was a slight drizzle for awhile but that didn't stop us from seeeing as many of the animals as possible in the few hours we were there. Phil's cousin Christina and her two boys, Logan and Ethan, accompanied us on our adventure. This was Timothy's first trip to the zoo and it was so exciting to watch his reaction to all of animals he loves to read about. His favorites were the giraffes, bears and the elephants. He thought the penquin exhibit was freezing and wasn't too impressed with the splashes of freezing water.

Timothy's faves



Christina and Ethan (2)

Sweet Savannah had fun strolling around listening to Timothy's oooh's and ahhh's
This one's for Grammy................



Here are a couple of videos that the kiddos wanted to share with you all. Click on 'play' and enjoy!!
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Monday, June 16, 2008

Vacation Post #15 ~ Drums, guitars and music...Making Daddy proud!

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Timothy was in his element in Christopher's office/music room. He perched himself up in the drum seat and started playing some music. When Chris came in and picked up the guitar, Timothy's grin was from ear to ear. Might want to turn down the volume on this video.

Bonus: Name this tune.

Vacation Post #14 ~ Destination: St. Louis area

June 12: After lunch, we loaded back into the Yukon for a 475 mile jaunt across Ohio, Indiana and most of Illinois to spend some time with some of Phil's relatives. Chris and Nicole Geiler welcomed us into their home and we were blessed by their accomodations. We enjoyed our time with Grandma Rose and were pleased to introduce her to 2 new grandchildren (Timothy and Savannah). It was nice to see Nathanael and Lauren and have some time to get to know her since the first time we met her it was at their wedding and she was a bit preoccupied :). Of course no trip to Collinsville is complete without Bobby's frozen custard.


Sarah and Allie both enjoyed holding Chris and Nicole's bird

The Hubert gang with Grandma Rose

Ahhh...Bobby's - Nicole, Allie, Lindsay and Donna

Lauren, Nathanael and Timothy

Lindsay, Savannah and Joshua

Vacation Post #13 ~ Various faces and poses


Madison shows us her bandaid on her chin


Grandpa Helbert (93) and Savannah (6 1/2 mo) check each other out

Grammy with Lindsay and Savannah


Grandpa with our 5 kiddos

Carson and Timothy just hangin in their jammies

Grandpa, Sarge and Timothy working on some puzzles

Grammy reading to the babes

Vacation Post #12 ~ Happy Birthday Lindsay!

June 11 and 12 ~ We celebrated Lindsay's birthday Wednesday night AND Thursday morning. Grandpa and Grandma Helbert came over to Dave and Susan's for dessert and some presents for Lindsay. Grammy had made her a chocolate chip candy pizza that when served with ice cream had enough calories and fat for two entire days!! But it was yummy. On Thursday (her actual birthday) she requested chocolate chip pancakes for breakfast. She wore her new outfit and played with her skip-it rope before loading into the Yukon for another long car ride.


Making the dessert pizza with Grammy

Reading her card

Showing her present to Grandpa Helbert

Putting in her candles with Grandma Helbert looking on.

Vacation Post #11 ~ Fun in the sun

We enjoyed much hot and sunny weather while our friends in Wyoming were living in "Juneary" with tempuratures in the 40 and 50's. We actually enjoyed the humidity and the softness of our skin. Here are some pictures of the kids enjoying the summer sun.


Ashland City pool


Madison, Carson and Timothy playing in the grass in only their diapers

Grandpa's famous sandbox was a hit

Gwen blowing bubbles for Timothy

Ahhh..."washable" sidewalk paint
Timothy riding backward on the car "roller coaster"

Vacation Post #10 ~ The TRACTOR

I think Timothy's highlight of the entire trip was Grandpa's yellow and green John Deere tractor. He learned where the gas went, where the keys went and left Grandpa without excuses to drive him around the yard. Occaisonally he waited patiently for another kid to have a turn, but he sat close by saying, "My turn, my turn". Within a couple of hours of leaving Ohio, we could hear him mumbling in the backseat, "Go bye-bye, to grandpas, tractor". At least we have a video of the experience so that Timothy can watch himself over and over and over and....

Watch it here:

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Cheesy grin

Pulling into the shed with Grandpa

Giving the tractor a hug before bed

Tears and whining because the tractor isn't done sleeping yet....