Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Summer Nights

With our move to California rapidly approaching, we tried to enjoy as many summer nights and days in Missouri as possible. Here are a few pictures at a campfire we had at my dad's house...
"GodSpell" was also another fun night! The girls decided to head to a conference center in town and go to a dinner theatre. The show was really good, funny, and entertaining! Any chance for us to have a girls night out...we'll take it! We had such a good time!
The last weekend at home, we had a "going-away" party! It was nice to just lounge around with the family before our long drive to California. Brock said it wasn't a party without a cake...so we got a cake!

Our time home was so nice! It was great to be able to relax and be so close to family. Now that summer has wrapped, it is time for the next chapter! Clinicals is right around the corner and we are so excited to see what the next chapters bring!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Life Is SO Good!

With time slowly ticking away until we make our big move, we decided to do act like tourists for a day. We had tickets to a St. Louis Cardinals game so before we went to the stadium we went and toured Anheuser-Busch brewery. We toured the Jack Daniels distillery earlier in the summer and we really enjoyed it... so we put the Budweiser tour on the to-do-list. It is so interesting how the process works and how quickly it is bottled up and distributed across the United States. While waiting for the tour to start, we walked around and learned about all the different types of beer that Budweiser makes.
Once the tour started, our first destination was the stables to see the World Famous Clydesdales. They were huge and they looked very capable of pulling around a huge beer wagon. They weigh a couple thousand pounds, eat over 30 pounds of food, and drink about 30 gallons of water a day. They were very powerful looking--beautiful! They definitely have the life...living in airconditioned stables with fresh cedar chips added every day, getting hand-walked for an hour a day for exercise, and being bathed for at least an hour every week!
Next on the tour was the Beechwood Aging Cellars. They keep this part of the building to about 50 degrees so the reactions with the yeast and the wood chips can work better. The beer is soaked in beechwood chips so the yeast has more of an area to ferment.
The building held 66 huge containers and each container held about 200,000 cases of beer. To break that down a little better...a person would have to drink one beer every hour for 137 years just to empty out one container. We also saw the mash tanks and all the steps in between. Last stop on the tour was filling the cans and bottles. We went to the top floor and were able to look down into the production room. All types of conveyer belts were moving and top speeds and filling as many cans and bottles as possible. The lines fill about 1,300 bottles and about 1,900 cans per minute--it was crazy to watch all the things that were happening in such a short amount of time.
With the tour being over, it was time to head over to the stadium for the Cardinals game. We were given some tickets for right field-right off the foul pole line. It's so much fun to just be in the atmosphere at a baseball game. Neither one of us are baseball fanatics but there isn't much better than eating some nachos and doing the wave at a baseball game.
Shaq threw out the first pitch and Albert Puljos hit a homerun. The Cardinals ended up losing but we still enjoyed ourselves. Our weekend in St. Louis was a success! We are definitely going to miss our friends and our home...

Monday, August 17, 2009

Happy 86th Birthday, Meme!

On August 8, 1923, Jacqueline Odette Holmes was born in Morocco, South Africa. It's hard to imagine that Meme was born so long ago and so far away! Sometimes I wonder what things were like back then...my how the times change! We love helping her celebrate her special day each year! This year we had a pool party for her...we grilled some hamburgers and hotdogs, had a yummy birthday cake, and swam until our skin was super pruny.
It was so nice having everyone together! She loved having everyone there for her special day, especially Lance! We were glad to be home, instead of on the island, this year so we could help her celebrate her birthday! 86 years is a great life but we hope she has many more healthy years ahead of her...only 14 more years until she reaches 100! Happy Birthday, Meme! We love you TONS!

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Wedding Weekend

On August 7, 2009, Justin and MacKenzie said their vows and became Mr. and Mrs. The wedding was at the Blue Sky winery in Illinois. It was a bit of a drive down old, back roads but it was well worth it. The winery sat on a hillside with the prettiest view! We were right in the middle of winery vines with a small pond at the bottom of the hill. Once the wedding started, we realized that it was not going to be the traditional wedding like we were used to attending. Each bridesmaid and groomsman had picked out a song and then they DANCED to the front! I've heard of things like this from YouTube but I've never gotten to see it...pretty comical. It really gave a relaxed and fun atmosphere to the wedding. After the bridesmaids, it was time for the bride! The bride and her dad also DANCED down the isle--so sweet!
After the wedding, it was time for the reception. The reception was back in Missouri so shortly after the ceremony was over, we headed back. We had so much fun watching all the different things that made up their special day!
Thanks for letting us help you celebrate! Congratulations Mr. and Mrs. Drury!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

So This Is What Parenting Is Like??

In July, Jason and myself, were asked to take on the role of "temporary parents" for a week while Chris and Ange, my sister and brother-in-law, took a vacation. We had full responsibility for Ana and Brock while they were gone. I've always wanted to be a mother and I can't wait till I get to raise a little Conway, but weeks like this always remind me that I can wait just a little bit longer! I LOVE being an aunt...it's so much fun to take them places and spoil them rotten! The first weekend we had them our town was having a small carnival. Ana and Brock had so much fun riding all the rides and eating yummy carnival food for dinner.
The carnival was so much fun! We definitely couldn't have asked for a better first weekend! One rainy day we wanted to get out of the house and do something fun so we went to the Conservation Center. The Conservation Center is a building that is full of outdoor stuff, wildlife, and different hands on activities for kids.
We searched for deer and squirrels, built a birdhouse, and took a nature walk. So much fun!!
We tried to do fun things throughout the week so the week didn't seem so routine and boring. One of our adventures we went out to Davault Farms and let Brock ride on the tractors, while Ana enjoyed the four-wheeler.
They enjoyed being outside and free to run and go wherever they wanted! We had to drag them out of the woods and back home so they could bathe and get to bed on time.
Another one of our adventures was the City Museum in St. Louis. We packed the night before so we didn't forget any of the necessities and headed up to St. Louis early the next morning. The City Museum is a really fun area for kids and even adults too. The whole area (11 floors+the basement+the rooftop) is made out of recycled parts. It's very neat to see the different themes on the floors using old, recycled parts. The rooftop was our first stop...we decided to take the stairs and after 11 floors we finally made it to the top. Brock was so excited because they had an old school bus sticking over the edge of the building. He didn't care about how high he was...all he cared about was being the driver in the big, yellow school bus!
Throughout the museum was a lot of different sized slides, a lot of climbing areas, and big ball pits.
The City Museum was so much fun! It was a great way to end our "parenting" week! We had a wonderful time loving and spoiling them...after all, that's what aunts and uncles are for! We are definitely going to miss them when we head off for clinicals! Many, many visits WILL be necessary!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Party in Pennsylvania

The day after we got back from Tennessee we flew to Pennsylvania to spend some time with our family that lives out East. We had not seen our family out there since the wedding, so the visit was definitely overdue! We had a lot to celebrate this year...a lot of great things happened so Grandpa decided he wanted to have a big reunion/party/celebration. It was such a special occassion that he had matching shirts made for everyone with the family design, a dragon. It was so nice to get everyone together for a nice evening. Everyone has different schedules so it's usually really hard to be able to see everyone!
A few days into our trip, we decided that we were so close to some island friends that we should go see them. Andy and Alissa live in Michigan and Frank and Candice live in Ohio so we decided that we could meet in the middle. The half-way point for us was Sandusky, Ohio so we decided to make a day out of riding roller coasters and enjoying the Cedar Point themepark. We went up the night before so we could really visit and catch up. We stayed up as late as we could--it was like we never moved away from each other. We talked, laughed, and got every little detail we could from their lives the last 4 months!
The next morning started bright and early with us getting ready for Cedar Point. I didn't realize it but Cedar Point is known for their record setting rides. Not only were the rides fast but a lot of them dropped from crazy heights. The scariest one was called the Top Thrill Dragster. It only lasted about 12 seconds but it went from 0-122mph in the blink of an eye. It shot us straight up 430 feet and then dropped us 430 feet. It was the scariest, fastest, and stupidest thing I've done in a really long time! I think that once on that crazy ride is enough for me!

The boys decided they couldn't wear ball caps through the park since the rides would rip them off their heads. Since they are all losing hair...as a result of stress (or so they say) they needed something else to protect their heads that would be easy to put on or take off and put in their pocket. This is what they came up with...

and YES, they wore their red, white, and blue bandanas ALL DAY LONG! We had so much fun with our island friends! It really made us appreciate the great friendships that the island brought our way! Our Pennsylvania trip was a lot of fun...our whole family was able to get together, we got to meet Lance for the first time, and we got to enjoy a fun-filled day with our island friends!

Getting Our Hands A Little Dirty

This summer Ana and I decided that we would take a pottery class together. When we called and asked if I could attend, the instructor said it would be fine but I would definitely be the oldest student. I didn't care..I just wanted to learn the pottery wheel and all the different glazing techniques. The first day of class interesting. We walk in and I am definitely the oldest student. I'm taking a pottery class with 11 and 12 year olds..YIKES! He starts by introducing himself and calling roll. He wanted to make sure everyone was wrote down so he said to raise our hands if he misses our name. Well wouldn't you know--I'm the only one he doesn't call. I raise my hand and tell him my name...at this time I have about 15 pair of eyes looking in my direction. I thought I was going to shrivel up and die! As if I didn't stand out enough...but he had to single me out!After the initial stuff, he started showing us how to make coil pots, pinch pots, and how to build things on the wheel. The technique used on the wheel was hard to get down at first but after lots of practice and tons of mistakes, I was able to start making things that looked half-way decent. There were quite a few steps that had to be done before we could sit down and get something spun out on the wheel. Before starting at the wheel we had to wedge the clay. Wedging is done on a table made out of concrete so it can get the air bubbles out of the clay so it will hold together. Wedging is done when you push the clay back and forth...almost like working with dough.After the clay has been wedged, then it is time for the wheel. Different size balls can be made--the bigger the ball of clay, the bigger the piece that can be made.
The ball of clay is centered on the wheel and patted down so it sticks to the wheel and doesn't fly off when the wheel starts spinning. Once that is done, it is ready to go! A lot of water and pressure is needed to get the ball of clay formed into a bowl.

After a week long class, I felt like I had a pretty good grasp on the wheel. It was so much fun to design and make different pieces. Here is what the finished product looked like...

I had a great time at pottery class with Ana! It was definitely something that I wanted to do in my lifetime and I'm glad I got the opportunity to learn the pottery wheel and spend some quality time with Ana. Life is so good!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Where Has The Time Gone??

Since moving back home in April, time has been flying past us at warp speed! We've had such a great time being back home...such a great time that I've neglected the blog! I've missed a lot so hang on folks....I've got to get you updated!
Early in the summer we spent most of our free time on the lake. Joe bought a boat this summer and we loved taking it down to the lake! We tubed, skiied, wakeboarded, kneeboarded, and anything else you could possibly imagine.
Spending our free weekends on the lake was so nice! Jason was busy studying for STEP 1 so having a nice getaway at the lake to de-stress was perfect. Jason's STEP 1 was scheduled for June 24, 2009 so he was studying like crazy leading up to the exam. He took the exam, felt ok after the test, and after waiting patiently for 3 weeks found out that he PASSED! During the "waiting patiently" part after his exam, we decided that we were going to take a road trip to Tennessee to see some friends from the island. Brian and Melinda live in Tennessee and Megan and Bert were there visiting family. It was so nice to meet up with them again! It was really odd seeing them off the island though...all we knew was how they were on the island so seeing them off the island was different. First stop was Knoxville to see Brian and Melinda. We set off early in the morning and about 6 hours later finally made it! We stayed up 1/2 the night talking about the past months we hadn't seen each other and all the plans for the future. We didn't realize how much we missed our island friends! For lunch the next day we ate at Jason's Deli...of course, Jason felt extra special!After we left Knoxville, we headed to Nashville to visit Megan and Bert for a few days. The driving through Tennessee is beautiful! We were driving through the hills and taking in all the surrounding scenary! The first night we were there we went to a small comedy show in downtown Nashville. The two comedians, Doyle and Debbie, built there act off of making fun of classic country music. They knew how to really play it up from the way they spoke, to the sound of the music, and even the bright colored sequenced outfits that they wore. The show was very funny!
The next few days in Nashville were filled with a lot of site seeing. We toured the downtown area, saw Titan stadium, and all the country music stores, shops, and studios that Nashville has to offer. The last day we were there we decided that we wanted to take a road trip to Lynchburg, Tennessee and tour the Jack Daniels Distillery. The distillery in Tennesee supplies ALL the Jack Dainels in the World and it's in a dry county. I couldn't believe that one of the largest distillaries is located in one of the few dry counties that still exist. The tour was really interesting...exactly how the whiskey is made, bottled, and sold. It was something we really enjoyed and we were glad that we got to see! Because the whole method is a secret, we weren't allowed to take very many pictures! We had so much fun on our week-long roadtrip to Tennessee! It was so nice seeing everyone again...we really missed our island friends!