Archive for the ‘Family’ Category

7
Jul

Covered Bridge Pics

   Posted by: John

There is a cool old covered bridge East of Albany. While we were visiting my sister we went over and looked at it and the cute little park that was right there by the bridge.

Oregon Covered Bridge

Me and my honey

Laura and Cathy

Posing on the Bridge

18
Jun

Update…It’s been such a long time…

   Posted by: John

Extra points for knowing who sang ‘It’s been such a long time…”

Seeing that is has been a very long time since I have posted anything, I suppose I should briefly catch up on events of the past 18 months.

First, I got divorced. 22 years, gone. The only thing I feel bad about is my 15 year old daughter. She is living with her mom, but spends quite a bit of time with me. Since her mom is actively out dating, my daughter sees a lot of guys around the place. And, since my ex is into messing around, there is a goodly amount of that going on as well. It does not make me very happy.

As for me, I am engaged. My fiancé is someone I have known for nearly 10 years. We had never dated before the divorce, but it seems that we have known for some time that we were going to be together. We just had never said or done anything about it.

In reality, I knew a very long time ago that my first marriage was not going to be the rest of my life. We just never really clicked. Oh we had some fun times and we had kids together, but we just didn’t like doing things together. And when it came apart, it came apart. That’s OK, I am not broken up about it at all. I have come to realize that getting away from a bad situation is good for the soul. Sometimes it takes a seriously strong kick to make the change.

My fiancé, Laura, is absolutely amazing. As I said, we have known each other for about 10 years. Her kids and my kids have known each other that long as well. That does not make it weird at all.  Our kids are all very happy for us. Her marriage ended a couple years ago and she had pretty much resigned herself to a life alone. However, we found that we had very strong feelings for each other and decided to go with them. It is the best thing ever! Both of us have never been happier in our lives. Aside from being in love, we also have respect for and absolute trust in each other. That’s the way it should be. And with us, that’s the way it is.

Laura is an amazing cook. She has some incredible recipes, things I had never tried before, like corn patch casserole (chicken, corn, cornmeal and who knows what else). She makes a homemade spaghetti sauce in the crock pot that is incredible. The broccoli salad is fantastic. It is so nice to come home several nights each week to supper being made. And, on the days she works, I make the meals so she has that luxury of arriving home to supper.  Of course, we often make our meals together and we also clean up and do the dishes together. That’s one thing I remember fondly from my grandparents, them working together to get the kitchen work done after the meals.

Laura takes care of the house and it is always clean. Not just clean, but sparkling clean. Everything has a place. The inside of her closet (and my dresser) look like clothing racks and shelves at Dillard’s. There is no lint or dust sitting around. Cleaning house is therapy for her and she does it well. There is no way I can emulate that level of OCD (and she admits she is OCD about it) but I do everything I can to make sure I put things away, do my part with the cooking, dishes, laundry, etc. (I don’t fold shirts. She has a way of doing it that I can’t duplicate and she will refold them anyway, so I leave them for her. She’s OK with that, flattered that I appreciate the way she does them.)

There is so much more, but most of all we love each other. And in a few months we will be married. That will be a fantastic day, one I look forward to.

Aside from the amazing relationship, I have been very busy with projects around the house. There has been a ton of stuff to do, some of it very necessary, but also some that make a difference in appearance as well as some ‘just because’ or fun stuff. I will be putting up some posts with some of these projects just because I am pleased with the way they have turned out. More important, Laura is happy with the results. And that’s the best reason to do them.

23
Jun

Vehicle for Crystal

   Posted by: John

Well, we finally had to do it.  My poor old truck was starting to fall apart and Crystal has been putting $60-70 per week in gas into it just to get to work and back.  So we traded the truck on a 2002 Mitsubishi Galant.  (We were looking at a 2000 Civic but it had 194,000 miles on it and we could not get it financed.)  This one has 111,000 miles.  Very clean and appears to be well maintained.  Good tires too, so we will not have to worry about those for a couple years.  So long as she takes care of it I think she will have a good car for a few years.

Front

Rear

It is always hard to tell until you drive a few thousand miles, but I think she ought to get 25 mpg or better.  Our city driving around this town is largely in 1/2 or 1 mile stretches unless you are downtown, which she does not go to very much.  For her two jobs, one is half freeway and half 1-mile stretches.  The other job is not freeway, but those same mile-long breaks or longer.  I see no reason why it would not do 25+ mpg.  The only reason it would not match or beat my Camry (which is averaging 28+) is because the gearing allows the engine to turn 2400 rpm at 65 instead of the 2100 the Camry does.  And lest you think I am comparing apples to oranges, the specs on these cars is nearly identical with the exception that the Camry is 125 pounds heavier and about 1.5 inches longer.

26
May

Crystal Graduates!

   Posted by: John

It’s official!  Crystal is a high school graduate!  Looked like about 400 in the graduating class, the first full class for Rocky Mountain High School. 

Getting the diploma

Flight of the purple caps

Tell me she isn't happy to be done

Official

Crystal and Ashley

Yeah, we are happy to be done. Only one more to go!

23
Apr

Smoking Chickens

   Posted by: John

Cathy decided to smoke a couple of chickens for supper.  Here’s how it went.

Chicken Puppet

Racked with soda cans of apple juice

Heading for the smoker

Loading the smoker

Chicken sauna

Tan lines

6
Mar

Sky and Kristen’s Wedding

   Posted by: John

The wedding was a success!  I am so amazed and pleased that it all came together and went so well.  Here are some pictures!

Kristen ready to be married

I am ready to take her to Sky

Bishop Kropf performs the ceremony

Sky, Kristen and Jillian at the reception

Jillian all dolled up

The cake and the toast!

5
Mar

More Pictures

   Posted by: John

Crystal whipping Sky with her hair

Manly men.

Jillian

Grandma duty is pretty good!

Fun in the trees

Family Attitudes

God's Gifts

5
Mar

Family Pictures

   Posted by: John

These are not the ones that Patty took…we will get those in a week or so.  These are just some we took while doing the pictures.

Here are my kids.  Ashley, Sky and Crystal.

Ashley, Sky and Crystal

Sky and Kristen.  They are going to be married on March 5th.

Sky and Kristen

Here’s my granddaughter Jillian.

Jillian

Having fun in the trees.

Tree Fun

I will have more soon!

25
Dec

Christmas

   Posted by: John

Christmas has once again come and gone.  Of course, every year it seems that it gets here way to fast, then is gone and another year looms ahead.  So, here are some of the Christmas goings on.

Santa, of course, made it over and left some good stuff under the tree.  For some reason, Santa doesn’t wrap the stuff he leaves at our house, so it’s just sitting there waiting to be discovered.

Lookie what Santa brought!

Yes, Santa brought a real Wii.  Now there will be more ways to waste time around the house.  Someone (who won’t be named Ashley) was up waaay too early and let the world know about it on Facebook.

It's too early for this stuff. Note the time.

Speaking of Ashley…here she is with a Penguin Pillow Pet.  Yeah, I know, I hadn’t heard of them before either.

Penguin Pillow Pet

Crystal hauled in the Hello Kitty gear.

Hello Kitty Bag

Karen got a nice new camera.

Karen and her new camera

And I got a digital picture frame.  These things are awesome!

John's new toy

So, all around a nice Christmas.  I guess it pays to be good all year!

4
Dec

The Best Christmas Pageant Ever

   Posted by: John

Karen was in Encore’s “The Best Christmas Pageant Ever” the past couple of weeks.  It is the story of a church that always puts on a Christmas Pageant, and it is the same thing every year.  The same person runs it and the same people play the same parts.  When the lady who always runs it is injured and in a wheelchair, Grace finds herself running the pageant.  And somehow the Herdman kids, local juvenile delinquents, find themselves playing the roles of Mary, Joseph, wise men and the angel, much to everyone’s horror.  Chaos follows and everyone is sure the pageant will be a flop.  The Herdman kids are touched by the story of Jesus’ birth and the pageant turns into the best that anyone has ever seen.

Tyring to decide who will run the pageant. Karen in the middle.

Supper at Grace's house.

Grace telling Bob that he WILL be attending the pageant.

Women's Choir. Karen in upper middle.

The Herdman kids.

Getting the role of the Angel.

Fire at the church! (Karen gets to yell "Fire" in a crowded theater!)

Trying to explain how cigar smoke is different than wood smoke.

The Pageant Choir. Karen is middle row, far right.

The Pageant: Mary and Joseph with baby Jesus.

The Pageant: The Angel "Pushes" the Shepherds to the stable.

The Pageant: The Wise Men bow before baby Jesus.

The Pageant: Mary, Joseph and baby Jesus. The gifts the Wise Men (Herdman kids) bring.

The Cast of "The Best Christmas Pageant Ever".

31
Oct

Halloween Costumes

   Posted by: John

Happy Halloween! 

The girls are up to their usual Halloween costuming this year, and they are awesome this year.  We will start off with Crystal as an evil angel.

Evil Angel

Evil Angel

Evil Angel

Ashley dressed up as Rapunzel.

Rapunzel

Rapunzel

Rapunzel hangs her hair for the Prince to climb

Naturally, the evil angel catches up with Rapunzel and threatens to cut her hair off.

No, not my hair!

Karen picked up some costuming things at the Shakespeare Festival garage sale.  We went to watch the play Dracula last night and she went as Mina, after being bitten by Dracula.

Bitten Mina

OK, so the story says that vampires can’t be seen in the mirror.  I guess this means she isn’t a full vampire yet.

Not a full vampire yet

Reflecting on the bite marks

Good stuff this year.

28
Sep

So…how old do you think Cathy is?

   Posted by: John

Take a guess…I’ll wait!    LOL   

Click the picture to see it full size.

Cathy and Woofy. What year is it?