Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Laughter and a BIG Surprise!

"The happiest marriages are surely those where love and laughter overcome any brokenness. Between these couples, laughter is a natural part of every day."

This past week-end I saw the beginning of a Happy Marriage! We attended the wedding reception of Jacob, our eldest son, and his new wife, Stacia. The wedding ceremony, we thought, was a private one on the island of Antigua on April 14th. During the video of that event we all learned that the ceremony on the island was a renewal of vows made last December. My son had been married, in secret, for over four months! Leave it to a "kid" who is still pulling pranks on base with fellow Coasties to cause the entire crowd at his wedding reception to collectively laugh!
Following their introduction as husband and wife Jacob and Stacia entertained us with a choreographed, very romantic, first dance. You can see it here.
The remainder of the evening was filled with delicious food, lively music and dancing, candid photos, sparkling conversations, and a thread of laughter running throughout.
You can have a taste of the festivities as well as a glimpse of the Antigua "get away" by enjoying the slideshow below. As Hunter and I left the reception we smiled at each other with relief. All three children are now happily married to wonderful spouses. Could parents ask for anything more? Maybe lots more grandchildren?

Monday, April 14, 2008

Swimming-love it!

Hi! Just finishing lunch here with a quick swig of apple juice. I said I would update you on my swimming classes. Boy they are fun! I think my Dad, a former college swimmer, will be proud of me. Check out the slideshow and think Olympics 2024

Tuesday, April 8, 2008


Do you believe it? My mommy just ran a triathlon! Check it out here. She says I can do that someday, too. She's getting me ready because I hear I start my first swimming lessons today. Oh boy! We'll keep you updated on my progress.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

"I Remember"

Today brought memories of growing up on a farm in Iowa as my grandson played with his toy tractor and wagons. The toy consists of a farmer sitting on a John Deere tractor which is pulling two wagons full of animals: a horse, cow, pig, and sheep.

I remember that on the farm where I grew up never would you have seen a sheep! There were many pigs, some cows, and at one time a very stubborn horse! And there isn't a wagon made that could have kept that horse from jumping over the sides. I honestly can't recall the horse's name, obviously not imprinted upon my affections. Every time I tried to ride "it" down the road I found myself propelled through ditches and hanging on with white knuckles as we raced back to the barn. My Dad sold it after even he couldn't reign the stubborn horse in!

I remember watching my Dad skillfully maneuver that John Deere tractor and wagon through narrow fences with Tipi, his faithful German Shepherd, standing guard. A stray cow or brave pig soon learned that trying to escape while the tractor and wagon went through the open fence was not a wise choice. Tipi could deliver a painful bite in seconds flat! Yet he was as gentle to family members as a kitten. The horse may not have been my friend but the cows and pigs were often my enemies when I had to help sort them or move them from one pen to another. And "heaven help us" when we heard my Dad yell: The cows are out! At which point I knew I must drop everything and run out to chase 1000 pound "beasts" and try to "convince" them to reenter their pens. Ha! Like they wanted to listen to me!!

I remember that although I disliked the animals, except for Tipi, I loved other aspects of the farm. There were hours of playing in bins of shelled corn, riding the "bag swing" hung between rafters in the barn, searching for the newest litter of kittens, or riding a speeding go-kart down the lane between towering stalks of corn.

I remember my Dad spending long hours on his tractors, not all of them John Deere, much to the chagrin of my husband, a faithful John Deere employee of 36 years! I, too, spent hours on tractors pulling loads of baled hay or transferring grain from one place to another. Many life lessons can be learned behind the wheel of that powerful machine!

As Christian plays with the little farmer, who we have affectionately named Great Grandfather Clyde, I remember my Dad and the farm and feel very blessed!