Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Lawn Boy

Some of you may or may not know this, but for three summers in college I worked for the Warren County Conservation Board mowing the parks of Warren county and I loved it. Everyday I was outside on a mower. Anyway, Heather's grandma has a huge yard and she has a John Deere lawn tractor she uses to mow. A few weeks ago, Heather wanted to learn how to make Grandma's creamed corn to freeze for the winter. So we headed to Monroe, Heather and Grandma worked on the corn and I got to mow the yard!
Grandma was pretty excited when she learned that I have experience with lawn tractors...and I was pretty excited to breathe in the smell of fresh cut grass mixed with the aroma of diesel fuel!
Enjoying a beautiful summer evening on a John Deere.
All smiles!
I just love mowing. For me, it is a good 3 to 4 hours to be alone with my thoughts, to pray and to listen. Sometimes it makes me wonder if I should have been a cowboy?

Book Review: Same Kind of Different as Me

I just finished reading this inspirational and emotionally gripping true story of faith and friendship and would recommend it to anyone.
This book grabbed me right from the beginning and wouldn't let go. The story starts out on a plantation in Louisiana where we met Denver Moore. He was raised in virtual slavery of picking cotton for "the Man", we learn about the hardships and unbelievable living conditions that he was raised and lived in until his mid twenties when he then hopped a freight train. Ending up in Fort Worth, Texas he was homeless and learned how to be mean and dangerous in order to survive on the streets. At the same time the book starts in an East Texas town where we met Ron Hall, a lower class boy who works his way up in the art world to become an upscale art dealer. As the story unfolds we get a glimpse of these two men's lives and how they become unlikely friends. Through pain and suffering this book retells how God's light can shine in the darkest places.
Ron's wife Debbie convinces Ron that they should start serving at the homeless shelter after a dream she had. In another dream, she sees a man, Denver, who will change the city and she convinces Ron to be his friend. At this point, Denver doesn't have nor want any friends. It is a powerful look into two lives as both men are changed but unconditional love and God's grace. This book is a great picture of how we should love our neighbors. An incredible true story!

Monday, August 30, 2010

Big Creek

At the beginning of August, the Pine's, the Siskow's, the Vocelka's and the Comfort's headed up to Big Creek State Park and rented a pontoon boat for a day out on the lake. It was a perfect cloudless day with the temperatures in the 90's!
Kim and Heather are excited to be out on the water!
We wasted no time getting in the water!
Kim, Heather and Joni enjoying the water on a hot day!
Dawn, being prego, couldn't get in the lake...but she enjoyed the boat!
All the gals chillin on the pontoon.
It wouldn't be a birthday celebration without a birthday cookie cake!
After getting some sun...the girls retreated to the shade.
The whole crew!
We had a great time on the water...this is our second year in a row and I think it is now an annual tradition.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Pool Rats

I love the pool - plain and simple. If I didn't work full time i would spend my days at the pool. Great people watching - mostly relaxing and pool snacks who doesn't love pool snacks? Since i work full time and also don't have kids sometimes frequenting the pool doesn't happen as often as I'd like it to. So when my nieces came to town i jumped at the opportunity to make a trip to the pool. My mom and i had a blast watching the girls swim - go down the water slides and splash around.
Pool Rats
Mountain Slide
nice shades ladies
Pretty in Pink

We had a great time and apparently wore the kiddos out - in our short 5 min ride home Kary's was two sheets to the wind.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Balloons (part 3)

Balloons part 3...my parents are sponsor for the National Balloon Classic and with that comes a ride in a hot air balloon. My mom is afraid of heights and my dad has plenty of daily duties at the field that they let me use the flight! We tried to get Heather to fly too, but there wasn't room in the basket...hopefully next year! I got to fly with Kim McCourt, he flies with Thompson Aire, a handful of balloonist from Florida. We headed out to the country to try and fly into the balloon field.
Started off with a big fan and added some cold air.
Once it is full...he added some hot air!
...and some more heat.
...and the balloon starts to fill up.
With the balloon filled up we hop in the basket.
Up and away, we join the other balloons in flight.
The pilot took us higher and higher as he was trying to find the "right" wind to take us to the field.
After a few more minutes and a lot more hot air, we were over 3,000 feet up!
It was a pretty good view from that high!
What goes up, also comes down. We missed the field but here are some balloons that landed on the balloon field.
After everyone landed, we packed the balloon up and headed back to the field. I had a great flight and enjoyed my time in the sky! Back at the field there were several balloons that were "night glowing"
One of my favorites balloons at night is this yellow balloon with red flames at the bottom!
2010 was another great year for the balloons down in Indianola! Big thanks to my parents for all the accommodations at the field, we had a great time! I can't wait for next year!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Balloons (part 2)

We headed down to Indianola with the Pella VL's for another hot evening of balloons! We had a ton of fun hanging out with Chad, Shay and the boys and watching the balloons fly in.
Heather and Aaron swing in circles...both laughing and having fun!
Nathan points out the first balloons starting to inflate!
These are two "ride" balloons that get ready to take off from the field.
More balloons start to inflate on the field...this evening 1/2 of the balloons took off from the balloon field while the other 1/2 flew into the field.
Adding some heat...
The Pella VL's
My sister and Morgan were also out at the field...Morgan watches the sky as the balloons start to fly our way!
Aaron is also keeping watch as he sees the balloons flying through the air!
One of the "special shape" balloons this year...a pirate in a barrel.
Heather and Aaron get into a tickle fight watching the balloons.
...with the temps around 95 and the heat index about 103, we melted in the heat...so the Pella VL's headed home and as we were leaving we could see more and more balloons, so we pulled into Pickard Park (across the street from the field and watch a few more balloons)
A classic Indianola scene...hay bale and balloons!
Again, we had a great time in Indianola watching the hot air balloons, we always do! We enjoyed hanging out with the Pella VL's, even though we were all a sweaty mess by the time we left.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Balloons (part 1)

This week in the National Balloon Classic down in Indianola. Being from Indianola, the balloons have always been a part of my summer. For many years I crewed for a balloon and I still love going and watching the balloons fly. My dad serves on the executive board, so I guess you could say "hot air" is in the family!
We invited the Pine's and Siskow's down to Indianola to take in the balloons.
Here I am explaining to Isaiah the thermodynamics involved in hot air ballooning and how balloons are able to fly...he seems interested!
Dawn, Heather and Joni are all smiles as we wait for the balloons to fly!
While we wait, Evan shares a Cheez-It with Isaiah...sharing is caring!
Isaiah keeps his eyes peeled on the horizon because this night, the balloons are flying into the field!
Derek, Isaiah, Evan and Miya go for a train ride!
A few of the special shape balloons inflate on the field to give us a show...Aaron is busy counting his money (as usual)!
To try and beat the heat, Joni and Heather found some Big Boppers!
...and here come the balloons! Flying right over our heads.The Pine's get a family picture.
...and the Siskow's
...and the Comfort's!
Heather and Joni watch in amazement as the balloons fly into the field.
My dad, proving that he does work while he is at the balloon field, rolls up in his Gator!
Another balloon flies right over us!
This year there are 107 balloon's registered to fly. If you have a chance, I would highly recommend driving down to Indianola to check them out...I have seen them fly every year for the past 20 years and I still don't get tired of seeing them fly. Maybe someday I will be flying a balloon myself (wouldn't that be the bee's knee's)!