Yesterday we spent the afternoon at Jon and Kelly's house on the lake of Lost Island. We were there to celebrate the 70th birthday of Nola. The whole family was there...Linda, David, Jacob (Jonathan had to work), Marc, Les, Mindy (and boyfriend Rusty), Devin (and fiancee Jacqulyn) and of course all of my family...although Brian could only be there for a couple of hours since he had to get back to camp. We spent the day just being lazy and watching the waves on the lake..and eating lots and lots of food. The kids went tubing behind the boat and swimming in the lake. It was just a day of relaxing and celebrating the big birthday. Kayla decorated a cake...her new passion when she is not playing one of her instruments :) It was a nice way to spend a Saturday afternoon.

In the morning I got the chance to see a friend I have not seen since we graduated high school together...24 years ago! We met in the park at Albert City and spent a couple of hours catching up with each other's lives. She lives in Cedar Rapids now and has two kids ages 16 and 19...but they now live with their dad in Lebanon. It was so nice to talk to her somewhere other than Facebook :)

date July 26, 2009

Brought Kayla home from band camp, or as we affectionately call it, nerd camp, on Friday night after a week of being a band nerd. She is proud to admit she is a band nerd and had a great time at camp for the week. She learned how to "circular breathe" which means she can breathe in while blowing out at the same time...pretty impressive! She also got to go to a music museum where they had a trumpet from a Beatles movie and a guitar that Johnny Cash played. Her days were filled with practicing and music classes, including jazz improv which she was not a big fan of. She took her trombone, clarinet and bass clarinet so had no shortage of instruments! Her roommate for the week was a very nice girl so it was good they could get along so well. Dan and I went on Friday afternoon to pick her up and see the final concert, which was very have not heard music until you have heard "Love Potion #9" played by a string orchestra :) Next year's camp is already being planned and Kayla is already planning to nerd for life!

Dan and I had interesting happenings both on the way to and from the camp however. After we dropped Kayla off on Sunday we were headed home when she called to remind me I had forgotten to give her spending money and she had to buy her supper that night (the rest of the meals were provided) so since we were within 10 miles of Vermillion we turned around to go back. Got about 2 miles out of town and some idiot turned right in front of us...Dan took some rubber off my new tires! Then on the way home Friday night we hit a large raccoon and cracked the front bumper/grille of the car. Oh the troubles we had for our little band nerd :)

date July 20, 2009

Tuesday night into early Wednesday morning we had a thunderstorm and apparently it got quite windy as well. Blew the gas barrel over and into the oat field...the barrel was empty so we didn't lose any gas, but if it had been full maybe it wouldn't have blown over!

date July 12, 2009

Not much new or exciting in my life, but thought I should update anyway. Had a nice weekend over the fourth...went to see the parade in Storm Lake and then spent the afternoon with Shari and Nick walking around looking at all the vendors and watching the cardboard boat races. Didn't see any fireworks this year...I told Dan we must be getting old because all the kids went off on their own to see fireworks, we didn't have to take them!

Becky has been staying very busy with work, works almost every day. She seems to like the job most days, but it sure wears her out. I think her favorite day is payday...but who doesn't love that day? Brian is having a good time at camp, has made lots of friends and even one "special" friend. He usually comes home on Saturday nights just so he can sleep in a real bed, but I have been busy every weekend so haven't had much time to visit with him. Kayla has been hanging out up at the lakes with Fred every weekend, last weekend she went on a 25 mile bike ride and actually enjoyed it! 

I hear from Eli every now and then, he can't tell me the exact date he is leaving for Iraq, but I have a general idea...and it makes me nervous. He left base the other night when he wasn't supposed to and got in trouble, along with a lot of other guys. Boys!

Next week we take Kayla to band camp for a week at USD, she is very excited! We also are celebrating some birthdays this month...Brenden is today, Ila is the 20th, Nola is the 25th, Eli is the 27th and the wedding anniversary for Keri and Chris is the 23rd. Lots of things to celebrate :)

date July 7, 2009

Independence Day. The Fourth of July. The one day a year everyone thinks about their freedom and hopefully thinks about the people who gave it to them. But why do we limit it to once a year?

I will be honest, before I personally knew someone who was protecting my freedom I only thought about it once a the military walked past me in the parade...and then forgot again. It wasn't something that passed through my mind, was really of no importance to me. Sure, I saw the yellow ribbons tied on trees, the yellow ribbon magnets on the backs of vehicles, the flags in people's yards, the blue star banners in military member's homes...but to me it was just decoration. Now however, everything has changed and I am doing my best to make sure everyone understands the importance.

Support our troops is easy to say, you hear people shouting it from the mountain tops every single day. But how many of these people are actually doing it? There is a yellow silicone bracelet around my wrist that says "support our troops". I put it on the day Eli left and I will take it off the day he comes home. But does that mean I am supporting him? I now have a 445th Transportation Company t-shirt that I wear a lot. But does that mean I am supporting the troops? Supporting the troops means more than just "advertising", it means praying for them, even if you don't know a single person serving. It means sending them cards and letters and packages because they are in a war zone and don't have the comforts of home. It means asking the parents and families and friends that were left behind if they need your help. There are so many ways to support our troops. Even though looking at a picture of Eli makes me want to cry, because I know he is in a dangerous place, I support him by sending him jokes in emails, by texting him funny things that happened today, by mailing packages and letters and most importantly, by praying for his safe return. I also help by supporting Becky, who Eli worries about, and if Eli is worried he may not be paying attention at a crucial time, and no one wants that to happen. I can't tell him we miss him here at home, he knows and doesn't need reminded...yet one more way I am supporting the troops.

I am a member of GAP online (Go Army Parents) and they had a super web link today. It really made me think, and I think everyone should read it. Go ahead, support our troops...365 days a year!

date July 2, 2009
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