Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Welcome To The World...Lance Robert

Lance Robert Conway was born on May 26, 2009 at 1:17 pm in Jackson Hole, Wyoming.! He weighed 7 pounds 3 ounces and was 19 1/2 inches long. The family is healthy, happy, and doing great! We couldn't be more excited for the arrival of Lance! He's precious and we can't wait to officially meet him! Congratulations Andrew and Holly!

Mark It On Your Calendar

Jason has signed up to take the STEP on June 24, 2009. Please mark it on your calendar or make a mental note. We could use all the prayers and thoughts on this day!
He's going to need all the help he can get.....

Sunday, May 24, 2009

A Reason to Celebrate

Friday evening, my little brother walked across the stage and received his high school diploma. It was the weirdest feeling...I can still remember when my mom told me (at age 7) that she was going to have a baby! I literally announced it to our whole grocery store using the mic system. 18 years later and it's graduation time. Where did all the time go?? Mom, Ange, Jason, and myself got all dressed up and drove to my hometown. I haven't been back to my hometown very much in the past 7 years since I graduated, so I wanted to take it all in. I couldn't look at things fast enough--buildings were built, businesses closed down, and local hangouts were full. I tried to look at familiar spots hoping I might catch a glimpse of old friends. Graduation took place outside at the football field. We were a little nervous with the weather situation and sitting on metal bleachers for hours, but everything ended up working out just fine.

A few small speeches were given, some students were recognized, and then 200 kids walked across the stage to accept their diploma. It's a major accomplishment to finish highschool and to move forward to college and adulthood. We are very proud of Blake and can't wait to see what the future holds. I can't believe my little brother has graduated from highschool. It feels like just yesterday I was graduating with proud family cheering for me in the stands. Now I'm part of the proud family, sitting in the stands, that cheered as Blake walked across the stage and graduated. We are very proud of Blake's accomplishments!

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Caribbean Cove

Thousands of miles away, I got to experience a small piece of the Caribbean again. On Wednesday, there was a special meeting at the St. Louis Zoo for healthcare workers from our area. The evening consisted of a nice barbecue meal and a free tour of special parts of the zoo, especially the newest attraction, Caribbean Cove. Caribbean Cove was an area set aside for touching and feeding sting rays. They were so smooth, soft, and almost felt slimey. We've seen sting rays numerous time on our dives, but they are usually buried under the sand. It was pretty neat to watch the sting rays glide through the water trying to find the next hand that will reach out and touch them. The lady in charge of Caribbean Cove said at first the sting rays are scared but after about 3 days of human touch...they become addicted. They were climbing up the walls just to get someone to touch them! After a little bit, they passed out food for us to feed the sting rays. Now this was the scariest thing..The sting ray would swim over your hand and suck the food up and off of your palm. Sting rays are not really known for being soft, cuddly animals so it made the experience a little more nerve racking than it should have been.
It was really nice to be able to enjoy the zoo on a weekday evening, especially since we pretty much had the whole area to ourselves. Caribbean Cove definitely brought back memories of St. Maarten. I'm missing that little island in the middle of the ocean more than I thought I ever would!

Monday, May 18, 2009

A Fun-Filled Weekend

It has been so busy since we got home...it seems like we are running in every direction on the the weekends. This weekend was no different...Saturday was Ana and Brock's birthday party. Ana turned 11 on May 4th and Brock turned 3 on May 10th. They did a joint birthday party again this year--a swimming party! The party was so much fun--we didn't get in the water because it was pretty cold outside that day. The water was warm-- thanks to a water heater--but we weren't really feeling like swimming around with a bunch of 10 and 11 year olds in 60 degree weather! The party was a lot of fun! It was nice to visit with a lot of people we haven't seen in awhile and just enjoy a little family time. They waited until most of their friends left before they started opening their presents. Brock got a lot of Monster Trucks (he's fascinated with them), and pool toys but his big present was an electric powered John Deere mule. He loved it...he ran that little car all over the yard! Ana is getting older so she got a lot of clothes, gift certificates, and money! After looking through all of her clothes, I'd say she did pretty good!

Those kids are so special to me and I'm so glad that I got to help them celebrate their birthdays! We definitely love being Uncle Jay and Aunt Ash!! After the party, we headed down South to Sikeston to watch our friends race their fourwheelers. After the sun went down, it got frigid! Thank goodness I took a blanket to sit on or else we would have been frozen icicles by the end of the night.

The boys did good in their races--I didn't get any pictures because it was too dark! Next race, I'll try to get some pictures of the boys racing around the track. The weekend was full of fun....we're looking forward to the next one!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Happy Mother's Day!

This past Mother's Day weekend was busy! We packed it with as many Mother's Day festivities as we could...it was fun to show my mom how much she means to me! Friday evening was the first of the events--a mother/daughter banquet at a local church. We didn't know what to expect at the banquet-we were invited by one of my mom's friends. It was really nice...they put a lot of effort into the decorations, the food presentation, and the entertainment for the evening. The decorations were a spring theme...flowers, butterflies, and anything that resembled Easter.Each person that came also got a homemade watering can with a fresh flower and a small bag of flower seeds. They were pretty detailed...they looked like they required a lot of time to make!For the food--the church had their members put together, cook, and bring a menu of all kinds of yummy food! Chicken, potatoes, beans, salad, rolls, and dirt cake for dessert! The young boys of the church were used as waitors. They walked around getting drink refills and picking up trash...they were pretty cute! After we ate, we played a few games and listened to mother/daughter guest speakers. It was a really fun evening for me and my mom! Saturday was day 2 of the festivities....we headed to a nearby town to help a friend with Spring Fling. Spring Fling is a party for the town--games, music, and food. We were needed to help with the shaved ice and since Ana is ADDICTED to shaved ice, she wanted to go along and help. It wasn't the warmest day so we weren't sure how good they would sell but when we started the machine and mixed together the syrup...people started forming the line. The Spring Fling was a lot of fun...I'm glad we were able to help out! Saturday evening we took Jason's grandma, Meme, out to dinner for Mother's Day! She has been a HUGE part of the boys' lives since they were little and we couldn't celebrate Mother's Day without celebrating with her. Meme lives about an hour away so we don't get to see her as much as we would like-our schedules are both pretty busy! It was nice to be able to spend the evening with her. She was so excited that we did something special for her...it definitely made her day! Sunday was busy from the second that I opened my eyes. I got an adorable Mother's Day card from my boys though....

For Mother's Day, we decided we were going to get together and drive to my grandma's house. We got ready and loaded up the car for a long drive. I hadn't seen my grandma since I've been back, so it was a much needed trip. It was a very relaxing day-catching up on everyone and playing some games outside.

We were able to get a picture with mom and all of her kids...we were all in the same place for once.

Mother's Day weekend was really good! I think I was having withdrawals from everyone while I was away because it sure felt good to get together again! Happy Mother's Day Mom! I LOVE YOU!

Friday, May 8, 2009

Playing in the Park

Yesterday, was the first day in a while that there was NO rain! The sun was out and the temperature got up in the 80s. We've been in shock ever since we moved back from the islands...we aren't used to the cool temperatures with constant rain. We were used to liquid sunshine....The dogs are pretty spoiled--they are used to the electric blanket turned on high when it is cold and rainy days. Well since it was suppose to be a good day to go outside, we planned on heading to the park after Jason got home from studying and I got home from work. We loaded up the car with a few necessities and we headed out. The park was so much fun! We were one of the few people there so we didn't even put leashes on the dogs...they were free to run around! At first they were a little unsure, so they stayed by Jason.
It didn't take long for them to find their freedom! They were running up and down all the hills in the park....they couldn't run fast enough! It was so nice for us to just walk around the park following the dogs...talking about our day...feeling the warm sun....and enjoying the day as a family! It was a PERFECT day to play in the park!