Monday, May 20, 2013

Life. By. Fund-Raising.

Larry and I helped with four events over the Apple Blossom weekend in addition to the things we took our family to. All weekend long I joked that I was experiencing Death By Fund-Raising, but what really happened was just the opposite!
Working with the The Youth Group, we  helped to 1)set up and 2)tear down the weekend in the park; 3) directed traffic in  a parking lot for donations to our homeschool group, and then 4) helped children to get into and out of this "Air Booth" at the park on Sunday. I unzipped this booth at ground level to let each child in for 10 seconds of heavy wind blowing inside. I stood up and then unzipped it all the way to ground level. The line was long and a new child went in about every 15 seconds. I only volunteered at this for an hour and a half but I don't think I can count how many "Deep Knee Bends" that added up to!  Let's see, 90 minutes times 4 kids per minute is 360!!!!!  The next two days, I could hardly walk!!!!
I was able to reflect on the fact that the festival is so fantastic because MANY people help to put it on. I was glad that we could play a small role in making it happen. I have found out that attending the events is terrific, but it is even more fun to participate just a little behind the scenes. I once heard that a busy life is a good life. I sure hope so! I know that volunteering makes me happy and I was very grateful for these opportunities to add what I could!

Go Car

When Sam heard that his cousin Lucas had purchased a project car to work on, he was bitten with the same bug.  This very cute buggy appeared out of nowhere, and for a VERY reasonable price became Sam's opportunity to keep up with the Jones's,  cousins!
He loves the T top. This is a rare vehicle because there were so few made.
He has begun to stitch the fabric of the seats with a curved upholstery needle.
Hopefully this project will play out well for Sam and not get things off track.
Meanwhile, the 4 wheel drive function may come in handy for the rest of us when needed.

Tori's Graduation

We arrived at Tori's Graduation from Community College in the highest of spirits ( a natural high, of course!)
She has worked so hard and graduated with honors. The ceremony was fantastic in that we knew personally many of the graduates, as well as folks helping from the college, and the commencement speaker. The entire ceremony from start to finish took only 1 hour and 15 minutes as we watched each graduate walk across the stage to be handed their diploma case as their full name was announced.
My simple camera did its best to capture a picture of Tori as her row processed up to the stage.

A fabulous reception was held afterward with homemade sweet tea with lemon over ice, and Made from Scratch cupcakes that were out of this world!  Can't you tell that I enjoyed them!
Holy Cow I've got to get serious about a diet!!!!
We are so proud of Tori for hanging in there and getting this done so successfully  So many times she felt like giving up but didn't. This day meant so much to us and we were thrilled to be there.
Excellent work, Tori!           To God Be The Glory!

On the way home, we picked up some rib-eye steaks and chicken breasts from the grocery store. Jon and Greg cooked them TO PERFECTION on the grill while I made mashed potatoes.  Meg and Jon brought Tori an ice cream cake and that was our dessert. We all continued to celebrate over this delicious home cooked/grilled meal and tried to show Tori how happy we all are for her!   Ya-Hooo!!!!

Apple Blossom Parades

We attended both parades for Apple Blossom and each was a blast. The Firefighter Parade had both new and old equipment from localities near and far. The Grand Feature Parade was terrific and a great example of Americana.
We sat with our family and many friends from church and ate goodies while we watched hours worth of fun and fancy floats go by in perfect weather.
Fashion for the Apple Blossom Festival requires all attendees to wear pink or green in any and every shade they have. Most of the men in this town have pink shirts ( and some have bright green pants) for the occasion!
Donna and her family watched the Firefighter's parade near us . Notice the terrific outfits!
Patience and Handsome sat together through the whole of both parades and behaved splendidly.
Sam marched in both parades, playing the cymbals!

Rain Buckets

Torrential rain was pouring off the roof , specifically concentrated in one area. Fearing flooding in the basement below, I ran to get buckets to catch it in.
I didn't mind reaching my arm out of the house to adjust the buckets to catch the maximum amount of water.
These four buckets filled in less than 10 minutes!
Thank you, Lord for the rain! We had no flooding at all.

The Kid's Bloomin' Mile

John, Juby and many of their cousins ran in the Bloomin' Mile. Once again, the weather was perfect and we all had a nice time hanging out together as the races were going on.
1,360 kids between the ages  6 and 14 ran in the many heats of this course laid out downtown. Traffic was diverted for hours for the kids to be safe running on the city streets. A giant loop made it possible for the start and finish of the race to be near each other, and a vantage point from across the school grounds was handy for folks to be able to run over to see the kids at the halfway point.
Here are the cousins (second?) who were born in the same month.
They are talking to some more cousins who are also buddies.
The girls are hanging out waiting for the races to start. There were four of our families who ran in the race and many other family members who came out to watch!
This is such a pleasant gathering and it is great to see so many young athletes. Next year, I'd like to take a picture of all of the cousins together who are running in the race.

The Budweiser Clydesdales

The Clydesdale Horses came into town and we went to see them in their temporary stables at the beer distributor who sponsored their visit.
They travel in three tractor trailers with all their gear.

The stalls were set up and mulch and flowers added to make everything attractive for the many visitors who came to observe them.

It was really a treat to watch a few horses being bathed.
The Clydesdale are famous for their size, strength, and lovely white fetlocks.

We were surprised that the Dalmatian was allowed to walk around the lot!
The next evening we saw the team hitched up and being driven in the parade. The driver is managing 75 pounds in his hands as that is the weight of the reins including the tension of the harnessed horses. Not to mention 16,000 pounds of horseflesh, well trained to their task, Thank Goodness!

Hiking at Red Bud

Uncle Dan put out the word that he and the kids were going hiking. Juby and I were delighted to join him on such a beautiful day.
As we ambled along, we chatted about the books we were reading and the wonderful scenery.

It was great fun and a privilege to spend time with him as he spent time with his children which he does every morning. This was a smaller group than our usual family gatherings and that made it easy to talk.
We must have walked about three miles, no joke. We took the long way and met many folks out walking their dogs or jogging.
This was such a pleasure that we all agreed we should do it more often!

The Saddle Club

While we were babysitting the kids, Juby got the G-man dressed up for riding and set up this double horse on some exercise equipment in the garage. They had a ball playing "The Saddle Club".
The Saddle Club  began as a book series which the girls have read but is now a fantastic series found on NetFlix. I highly recommend this series to kids interested in horses. Each episode is about something that happens at the barn or between the regular characters who are fun tween girls who have their unique personalities. The show is filmed in Australia  and the accents are fantastic! I like to watch it too and love the theme song: (the meter is tricky and irregular)

Hello World, this is me,
Life should be
Mmm mm yeah,
Fun for everyone..

Life is easy if you wear a smile.
Just be yourself ,
Don't ever change your style,
You are you, I am me
We'll be free,
Hello World!

This is really catchy and makes you want to get up and dance!!!!
Very Dorky but true!

Spring Concerts

On the way to his concert, John said "I'm so nervous, I have butterfiles in my stomach." He also said that he was going to play his trombone Like a Boss!
His group sounded great. I am always impressed with the amount of control the band director has by keeping the kids so well behaved and focused on him.
I also enjoyed seeing John interact  with his buddies at the school.

A week or so later, we went to the high school to hear Sam play the cymbals and snare drum in his concert.
It was quite a sight to see all these high school fellows in tuxedos which is the concert attire. Band "Moms" take care of fitting the kids and one said that they always remeasure the freshmen boys for the Spring concert. Sure enough, Sam's trousers needed to be lengthened from the winter, and they did that.
This concert was spectacular. The Band director is retiring after many years of work and he really gave it his all. Once again, the group was professional and as with John's concert, the difficulty and the quality of the music progressed with the increasing age of the students.
The music program has been a real asset to these guys and has been one of the benefits of them going out to school.

Hot Dogs and Hamburgers on the Grill!

We wanted to get together and realized that since one has to eat anyway, inviting folks to a pot luck meal is the way to go. Greg fired up this grill on his covered porch and we had a feast!
Seeing our grandchildren playing together was a wonderful sight.
Cindi's piano sounded good.
Just a slight resemblance here!
It was really nice to eat a fantastic meal of barbecued hamburgers and hot dogs while visiting together on a Sunday afternoon.

Horse Show

We had fun going to a very low key horse show nearby.
Juby got two fourths. There were four people in the class. Two girls in their later teens, a thirty year old woman and Juby!

She was the cutest and did just fine managing her pony, April. Tears ensued after her second fourth and lessons on good sportsmanship were taught!
After she showed, she was able to ride bareback around the grounds on another pony that we brought.

Natalie did very well and got four blue ribbons and a trophy on Kodak.
Natalie is riding Bailey here who is too small for her but is being exercised.
This is our favorite picture of the day. The girls are together at the gate with Donna, their good friend and the owner of the farm and horses that they ride. She didn't show but drank coffee with me! She is a lot of fun and has been very generous in allowing the girls to ride at her barn.