Wednesday, August 31, 2011

The Mark

Nine months pregnant, sitting in the waiting room and people are looking at me funny.  Presiding over a meeting with unfamiliar faces in the audience and people are looking at me funny.  Greeting people at church...people are looking at me funny.  Coaching my the high school volleyball JV team... people are looking at me funny.

Why?  When meeting someone for the first time, they often move their glance form my my neck.  I want to wear a great big sign or have a handout ready to give them...NO!  It is not a "hicky", it is a birthmark!

I was blessed with the oddest and most embarrassing birthmark.  It is under the skin, red and blotchy...and  on the front of my neck!  It turns redder when I am nervous, excited...when my blood is flowing.

I know that many people think I always have a "hicky."  The trouble is, I am a forty something woman, with grown children, a member of the business community, on the school board, a coach and active in many community organizations.  It doesn't look very professional.

I have had people comment.."Been to the zoo lately?"  What?  "Nice monkey bite on your neck!" Or how about "Wow, is that hicky always in the same place."  Real funny!

It was the most embarrassing when I was pregnant.  There I was...Huge and pregnant with what looked like a large "hicky" on my neck.

So, I am marked.  I prefer to call it an angel kiss.  I guess others can think what they want, but if you have read this you know you can look me in the eye and not worry about that mark on my neck.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Our Calendar

Let's plan that meeting for "after fair".  How about we try to get that project finished "before fair". That is really going to have to wait until "after fair".

When is school starting?  Before fair or after fair?

This is how it is in our small and the calendar revolve around the annual fair.  It doesn't matter what month it is, we plan around the fair.

Our local county fair is Labor day Weekend.  The entire community plans to take part.  Alumni come home, class reunions, family gatherings, baby and bridal showers are all planned during this slot on the calendar when we know our family and friends will be in town.

The local school district has also been strongly influenced by the fair. The yearly debate on the school calendar always involves the fair, since many students participate in the fair.

Sports schedules and practices also are based on the fair schedule.  We have the annual Fair Bowl football game.  Some teams don't schedule practice so students can get their market animals to the fair.

Schools are not in session on Thursday and Friday of the fair, as administration has long ago figured out that they would have a lot of absences.

This is a unique and amazing part of our community.  We know that each year most of the community will come together and see each other at the fair.  We put things off until after the fair so we can leave the "real world" and escape into our community fun.

I think this will never change...the fair is a large part of our community character.  So, for now, I have a few things I need to get done"before fair" starts on Thursday...the rest will have to wait until "after fair".

Monday, August 29, 2011

Stop and Smell the....Garlic

Or mint, or fresh cut hay...I was driving home after dark the other night and my sense of smell was overwhelmed.  

As I first left town, it was garlic.  What an amazing smell.  It made me think of fettuccine alfredo, garlic bread and salad!  Who knew driving home could make me so hungry.  Local farmers were harvesting garlic and the strong aroma filled the evening air.

Not more than a mile or two down the road, it was the overwhelming fragrance of mint...another local crop. When mint is harvested, it is chopped and "cooked". After the oil is extracted, the remains of the plant is dumped in a steaming pile. The fragrance is strong, sometimes overbearing.  On this particular evening, it was a pleasant smell.  Just enough to erase the recent smell of garlic.

Almost home and once again the fragrance changed to fresh cut grass hay. There is nothing to me that smells fresher than that.  It was kind of a crisp, clean smell.  It reminds me of being a kid and playing outside on the fresh cut lawn.

As I continued my drive home, I thought about what I had just experienced.  In our valley many crops are produced each year.  Farmers work hard for their living. I turned the corner, and although it didn't give off much of a fragrance, I saw a large field of Wild Rice being harvested...add another crop to the list.

Take some time to stop and smell the........whatever it is that makes your town, community, home, family great!  

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Following the Lead

There are things in life that are tough.  There are situations that are hard.  There are times that we are just not sure how to get through what is put in front of us. Sometimes the answer is right in front of us....follow your lead.

In football, a running back doesn't make it far on his own.  If he is left to get through the line on his own, chances are he will have negative yardage...or simply put, he will go backwards.  If the running back follows the lead of his blockers, he will have success and make progress.  He has offensive lineman opening holes and a lead blocker clearing the way.  Working together, they can have success.

It is similar in life.  We are not meant to tackle all of life's challenges on our own. We have help and support.  We have front lineman and lead blockers...we just need to follow their lead.  God puts people in our lives for a reason.

The way to make forward progress is to have faith and trust in God's plan for us...let Him lead for us and open up the path we need to follow; surround ourselves with people that lead well and are good to follow and look for those openings with some blue skies and sunshine on the other side.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Game Day

Today is game day!  Midland University will kick off their football season against Dakota State University.  Unfortunately, it's in Nebraska and I won't get to watch my son play in person.  The good thing is there is live internet video streaming, so at least we can watch.

It is a hard thing not being able to attend all of his games.  While our kids have grown up, we attended pretty much everything they did.  In fact, it is game day for our daughter too.  We are leaving in a few minutes for a volleyball playday.

Watching our children play sports is one of my favorite things to do.  The time goes fast.  It wasn't that long ago our son was playing Junior High Flag Football and our daughter was playing U-6 soccer!  

Cherish the times, take a lot of pictures and pencil every game in your schedule.  They are some of the best memories I have.

Midland University now has a live video here.  Go Warriors!  That game is at 7 pm Central time, 5 pm Pacific time.

For's time for some volleyball!

Friday, August 26, 2011

Rivalry...It's Fun

Every team has it's rival.  The one opponent they love to get the win against.  A rival competes with another for superiority.

sports rivalry is intense competition between athletic teams or athletes. This pressure of competition is felt by players, coaches, and possibly is felt even stronger by the fans. Teams rivalries are fun and often bring more fans out to watch.

Rivalries stem from various sources...a lot of times a rival is a "cross-town" rival.  College sports sometimes have rivals within their state.  Professional teams have division rivals.  Friendly rivalries often involve harmless pranks, displays of school colors and friendly sparring.

Although some rivalries can get out of hand, a friendly one can be a lot of fun.  In our town, we have the Fall River-Burney rivalry.  This is a tradition that will never end.  Years ago the schools were combined and now the district is home to the two high schools.  The student athletes compete against each other in every sport throughout the school year.  It's the blue and gold against the green and gold, the Bulldogs against the Raiders.

When there is a Fall River-Burney game, both communities come together to watch.  It is a fun time and everyone looks forward to it. After the game is over, these athletes are friends.  

Tonight is a football game.  Our local rivals will come together once again, as I am sure many others across the country will do.  We will cheer, we will celebrate victory or ponder defeat...but in the end we will all have had a great time supporting these amazing young athletes as they compete.  We will be even prouder knowing that the rivals on the field, can be friends off the field.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

How many Feet Do We Have?

On the porch, by the back door
Everywhere I look there seems to be more

Black ones, whites ones, boots and one sandal
Just how many shoes can one family handle?

The last time I counted we only had six feet and thirty toes
How we got so many shoes, nobody knows

We possibly can't wear them all in a week or even two
why must I always be tripping over a shoe?

Athletics and work boots, sandals and ones that you just put on with a slip 
Even the irrigation boots that go over the hip

Everywhere I look, each corner and each door, 
a pair of shoes graces the floor

I try to clean, vacuum and such
but by the time I have picked up the shoes it's already too much!

No more shoes, this mom does say
until we have worn a different pair with each new day!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

The Early Years

Today is the first day of school in our small town.  Backpacks are filled, lunches are made, hair is combed and pictures in front of the house with the new outfit and lunchbox are taken.

Our last child is a Senior today!  Truly, I remember the day she started Kindergarten.  I still took a was just minus the lunchbox.

There are so many children eager for that first day of school...the real first day...Kindergarten!  Then there are those entering the high school as a 7th grade junior high student...changing classes, opening lockers and being the youngest at that big school.

When you think about your elementary school years, what do you remember?  I was reminiscing a little and it was funny the things that I remembered...

-I remember cutting my finger trying to open a Snack Pack Pudding in plastic containers in the 70's! 

-I remember there was some sort of pond by the big playground at my school in 1st grade.  At lunch recess we could go out there and catch tadpoles.

- I remember riding my lime green bike with a banana seat to school and worrying everyday if I went the right way...then when I would pass the Church of Christ and I knew I was on the right route.

-I remember my 2nd grade teacher pretending to paint glue on a little boys bottom so he would stay in his seat...he never sat still.

-I remember in 3rd grade I was the class treasurer, we had a classroom camp out and we could still get paddled...

-In 4th grade, I got my first pair of "boy" looking tennis shoes that had stripes on the sides. Rocky, a boy in my class, was the best 4 square player on the playground.

-In 5th and 6th grade I remember bringing my lunch to school each day, except the days they made fresh yeast rolls in the cafeteria.

The list goes on....but I found it funny the things I remembered.  I don't recall a lot of school work.  I do remember most of my teacher's name.  Most of my memories are about silly events and my friends.

I have a favorite teacher from those days before high school...Ms. Strait.  She was my English teacher and we still keep in touch.  She taught me a strange love for diagramming sentences!

Many of my childhood friends have now reconnected because of the technology we have today...that is a really neat thing.  I wonder if they have any the same memories?

When you look back, what do you remember? When our children look back, what will they remember?

Have a fun, happy and safe school year!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011


What do you see? Yellow and black? Granules? With such a narrow view do you really know what you are looking at?

This is a close up of a bee smothered in pollen.  You see his eye and the center of his face covered with granules of yellow pollen.

I saw this concept in a movie and it really struck me...Perspective.  What is your perspective?  When we look at things with narrow, close up vision, it is sometimes hard to gain a proper perspective. It is hard to see what we are really looking at. 

Perspective is defined as a mental view or outlook.  Simply, it is the way we look at or perceive things.  A person's perspective can be changed by looking at a situation from a broader glance.  It often means taking a step back and looking at the bigger picture. 

If you are stuck and not sure of how to handle a certain situation and your are looking at it head on, up close...try pulling back a bit and looking at the situation in a bigger context.  You will probably gain a new will not just see a  black and yellow will see a bee collecting pollen to make sweet honey.

A penny will hide the biggest star in the Universe if you hold it close enough to your eye.  ~Samuel Grafton

Monday, August 22, 2011

Tattered Teddy Bears

Every child has there special possession.  Be it a teddy bear, a blanket or a favorite toy, there is always something they don't want to let go.  That is a part of being a kid.  I am willing to bet some of us still have their special childhood comfort item.

I was looking for something the other day and ran across "Puffy".  Puffy was the friend of one of our children. Puffy has been through a lot....washed MANY times, dropped in the dirt, left at the babysitters and comforted many tears.  Puffy began comforting when our child was an infant.  

After a few years, Puffy was replaced by "Smokey" a purple dragon from the carnival at the local fair.  Smokey went through even more, as our child was a lot more energetic at this point in life.  Smokey went everywhere.  He was a good friend.  We still have Smokey too.

Our other child really only went through one comfort friend.  "Warm Baby" is a soft doll, that HAD a little tuft of yarn hair.  The hair has since been chewed off and the bonnet full of holes.  Warm Baby also made multiple trips through the washing machine.  Sleep did not happen unless Warm Baby was in the crib or bed.  Many times we had to search for Warm Baby or get in the car and go get her just to have a quiet bedtime.

These little friends bring back a lot of memories.  Some kids have a blanket they don't want to let go of...some have a teddy bear that has no eyes or ears.  These items provide something that cannot be replaced... a sense of comfort and familiarity.

Some things never change, we all want a little piece of comfort and familiarity. We want to have things in our life that make us feel safe.  This is something that starts when we are young and carries through life.

What makes you feel safe and comfortable?

Sunday, August 21, 2011


When you look at your reflection, what do you see? Are you the person you want to be? Not just on the outside, but deep within, are you the kind of person you would want to call a friend?

When we look real close and examine our heart, are you happy and content with each and every part.

We have a purpose and goal to achieve, do you know who you are, do you believe?

As you pursue each part of you life, it is important to remember the what, wheres and whys.

God designed you with His love in your soul, the only true thing that can make an individual whole.

As we search our reflection the one thing that's true, shine God's light and a reflection of love will always come through.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

I Am A Thankful Mom

Things can happen fast...we need to remember that always.  Yesterday was just like any normal day...until last night when our daughter called and said she had just had an accident.  It wasn't late, about 8:30.  My hear about jumped out of my chest.  She said she was okay, but I would not believe that until I saw her.

She and a friend were driving fairly close to home.  There was a dead deer in the road that she swerved to go around.  She lost control of her car and it ended up on its side on facing the other direction off of the other side of the road.

My husband and I jumped in the car and drove the five miles to the location of the accident.  There were flashing lights and an ambulance.  You can only imagine how I was feeling at this point...scared beyond belief. It is a parent's worst fear. We walked to the ambulance where she was along with her passenger.  Thank the good Lord that they were truly okay. They were scared...very scared...but they were uninjured.

Her car was on it's side.  Looking at it, I was even more thankful that God was in control. There were so many variables that could have made the situation different.  

When we finally got her home, we talked...A lot!  Now I think she knows why we always talk about driving each time she leaves, why we worry, why we act the way we do as parents...we love her so much, we cannot imagine anything happening to her.  

It was a scary situation, that fortunately didn't have any bad results.  I think it will serve as a huge reminder to her always...and a huge reminder to us to love each other with all we have every minute of every day.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Wow! Did I Do That?

Did I do that?  I can't believe I did.  How in the world could I have done that? Where did it all come from?

Do what? Well, between the two sites I post Blogs on, I have written over 200 blogs...202 to be exact, this is number 203!  Big Deal...yes, it is!

Coming up with over 200 ideas to write about, that is amazing.  I, myself, can't believe I have done that.  I have people ask me "Why do you blog anyway?"  "How do you think of things to write about?"  "What good does it do?"

Why? The reason I blog is that I like to write.  It is a good discipline for me to write everyday.  We should all do things we like to do everyday.  It allows me to schedule time for myself.  It is a great time of reflection and it is good for me. 

How do I get the ideas?  Easy.  I pay attention to what is around me.  I recall memories.  I look for inspiration in the things I see everyday.  There are thousands of ideas around me each day.  I find myself thinking about topics all of the time.  It is fun and challenging to see and object and come up with an idea.

What good does it do?  That I am not so sure of.  I know it does good for me and I am hoping it does some good for some of the readers.  I have chosen to write light-hearted, fun, inspirational pieces most of the time.  I think we all deserve to read something positive as opposed to the news headlines we see each day.

So, I guess I did do that! I will continue to do that...I hope you continue to read.

You can follow my other blogs at Good Blogs and see a lot of fun, positive and inspirational reading on my website Blue Skies 4 You

Thank you for reading!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Hold The Rope

This is not original...but it is inspiring and I wanted to share it with you all...Especially those of you about to participate in team sports this fall.

Every year a professional football team wins the Championship. Every year a college football team wins the NCAA. Every year the best high school team wins the Crown. All these teams have one thing in common; No matter how tough it became throughout their season, they did one thing -- they held the rope!

What is "holding the rope?" Imagine that you are hanging from the edge of a cliff with a drop of twenty thousand feet. The only thing between you and a fall to your death is a rope, with the person of your choice on the other end.

Who do you know that has the guts to pull you to safety? Who will hold the rope? Who do you know that is going to let that rope burn their hand and not let go? How many people that you know are going to withstand the burning pain and watch the blood drip from their hands for you? If you can name two people, that's not good enough, because those two people might not be around.

The next time your team is together, look around and ask yourself, "Who could I trust to hold the rope? Who is going to let their hands bleed for me?" When you can look at every member on your team and say to yourself that they all would hope the rope, you are destined to win a lot of ball games.

The team that holds the rope when the going gets tough is winners. When you're down by four points with thirty seconds to go, don't give up. Encourage your teammates to "Hold the rope -- let it burn but don't let go!"

 Every year there are winners and losers in all sports. Ever year the winners hold the rope. You don't have to have the best team on the field to win the game. If you play with poise and do what your coaches ask of you, and most of all -- hold the rope -- you'll be successful.

No matter what sport you play, in order to win, you have to have a commitment to your team. If you're supposed to run three times per week, do it. If you have to life weights three times per week, don't miss one workout. Once you start letting up at practice or start missing workouts, you've begun killing the team because you didn't hold the rope!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Are You Ready For Some Football?

"What's the date?" I told him it's the 17th..."Oh, good the 20th the Raiders play the Niners at 5:00 o'clock!"  That was our morning coffee is here.

I have to say I am not one of those wives that dreads football, I like football and always have. In our house, we are Raider fans, because that is what my husband is. "This is their year".....well, that's what my husband says every year.  He is a true fan, he sticks with then through thick and thin and he has been a fan since he was a small boy.

Last year, he took our daughter to the GREAT Raiders-Chiefs game.  They sat in the rain and watched and had the best time ever.  He said he was taking her for some "culture."  I am sure she got plenty!

We watch professional football, college football, high school football and even go watch some youth flag football.  Our son plays at Midland University in Fremont, Nebraska.  He is starting his junior year season.  We really enjoy going out there to watch his team.  Great friends, great tailgate fun and great midwest football!

My nephew is playing college football now too.  He is just starting at Pacific University in Forest Grove, Oregon.  We hope to get up to watch one of his games.  The younger nephew will be playing his first year of high school football.  The neighbor boys play NFL Flag football.  I think we are covered and will never lack a game to watch.

I can tell football season is around the corner, you can just feel it in the cool morning air. I am pretty sure there would be no complaints around here if football was a year round sport!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

All Grown Up!

This picture was taken almost seven years nephew, my son and my daughter.  They were all looking like pretty grown up kids.  Never did I imagine on that day that seven years could go by so fast!

They are truly grown up now. My nephew just left for his first year of college, my son is a junior in college and my daughter is a senior in high school.  I know I write often about this kind of thing, but it just always reminds me of how important it is to enjoy each minute we have with our children.

When they are small and we are wishing they would hurry up and careful, that wish  soon leads to them walking out the door into the next step of their lives.

When we are wishing they could just communicate and tell us what it is they want, too soon they are telling us EXACTLY what they want and we may not always agree.

When we are wishing they would get their driver's license so we don't have to chauffeur them around so much, the day comes when we never see them unless they need to borrow the car or money for gas.

It is a bittersweet thing.  We are proud of our children when they grow up, but we also want them to stay young.  With my nephew going off to college, I was actually able to give some advice (not sure how good it was) to my sister.  I have already gone through my first child leaving and I know how it feels.  

As hard as it is, we need to remember we didn't raise our children to stay home.  We have always prayed they would want to go to college, spread their wings and become the person God has planned them to be.  It is just hard to let go. This requires us as parents to be stronger than we have ever been.  Our children will face ups and downs, but that is what it takes for them to grow into that next part of their lives.

Knowing that there is no perfect situation, scenario or place in life, we need to encourage our children to deal with the ups and downs, look for the positives and make the best of their situation.  Each place offers a new set of challenges.  This is what builds character and makes them strong (us too!)

I have watched my son grow over the last few years, to the point that he doesn't need me like he used to.  I will watch my nephew go through the same thing.  These two boys are strong young men with a strong character.  God has big plans for them both.

As my daughter begins her senior year, we will begin to prepare for her leaving the nest...In the meantime I will enjoy every minute she is home.

Above all, I pray...and pray...and pray for these beautiful children God gave us the privilege of raising!

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Sounds I Wish I Bottled

The laughter of a child is the best sound I have ever heard.  Nothing can bring a smile to my face like that sound.

When our children were young we would say, “Wouldn’t it be great to bottle that laughter and listen to it when we are feeling down.” That was just long enough ago that we weren’t able to do it like we would be able to today. We have some of these sounds on a video recorder, so they are not lost forever.

With the technology we have today, it is so easy to record a sound you love.  Recording it on your cell phone and using it as a ringtone is as simple as pressing a button. Having access to record that sound at a second’s notice and the ability to not miss these precious moments is a great way to preserve memories.

If I could go back and bottle some special sounds from my kids, these are what they would be...

The gentle cooing of our small babies and that little giggle that happened for the very first time.

The genuine laughter that came from their tummy when our toddlers were really tickled about something.

The first words spoken out of their tiny little mouths.

The shriek of amazement when they got their first kitten and puppy.

The perfect breathing while the kids lay nestled tight in their beds.

The giggles that came from across the hall when they were planning on waking us up on Christmas morning.

The sweet sound of “I Love You” when they are all cuddled up on your lap.

The time they actually said, “You are right.”

Which would I have as a ringtone?  I’m not quite sure.  I think I would switch it around a bit…but the laughter, that’s the one that I can hear in my heart forever.

A Little Break

I didn't post this weekend....I took a little break to enjoy watching my nephew show his steer at the fair.  I hope you had a great weekend!  See you Monday!

Friday, August 12, 2011

Horse Trailer?

We moved cattle today and it was a sign of the times.  We didn't load the horse trailer with horses, we loaded the flatbed trailer with ATV's.  There were still a few horses though.

It seems this is becoming more common.  It takes a lot less time to start up a 4-wheeler than it does to saddle a horse.  The fact that our cows are well trained also helps.  Once we head in the gates with multiple 4-Wheelers, they know it is time to move.

Horses are great for tight spots and the are great around the cattle.  We just don't have as many horses anymore and find it so quick to hop on the 4-wheeler and go.

We were talking though, it is kind of sad to see that tradition go...We still have a horse trailer...but we also have the 21st Century version of one!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Fair Food!

I get to go to the fair this weekend to help my nephew with his steer.  That means FAIR FOOD!  What is it about fair food?  It's not healthy, it's expensive and it's really not something you would want on a daily basis.  But...we have to have it!  

What are your favorites?  I like corn dogs, funnel cakes and ice cream.  I have never tried the fried twinkies, maybe I will. Here's a sample....don't miss your local fair to try a few...

Corn Dogs

Curly Fries

Cotton Candy

Shaved Ice

Ice Cream

Polish Dog

Funnel Cakes

Fried Twinkie

Stay tuned and I will have information on nutrition!

Since I am staying over there in and have a place to put my own food, after looking at all of those pictures, you can be sure i will be bringing some....


Wednesday, August 10, 2011


It's a big week for someone very special to nephew is taking his first steer to the fair.  He has raised pigs in the past and decided it was time for a change....Months of hard work are culminating at the fair this week.

Oda was weighed in yesterday morning and met the goal set for him.  He is a big black steer with a teenie attitude.  When Seth picked out his steer here at our ranch, it was definitely the one that caught your eye....but it was also apparent he had a little "wild" streak. 

We kept him here at the ranch in a pen by himself for a week or so.  He needed to get used to being away from the other calves.  Well, he promptly decided to jump out.  Within a few days he settled down and Seth came to get him.

Seth has done an amazing job with this steer.  He is gentle and looks great.

I didn't expect anything else, Seth always does a good job at his many projects.  He learned a lot about responsibility.  He had to miss out on several things, because he had to be home to take care of Oda.

We are proud of you Seth and wish you lots of luck with Oda at the fair!  

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

It's That Time

It is time!  Volleyball practice starts this week...I am excited!  Volleyball is a fun sport to watch, play and coach.  I have been lucky enough to do all three.  This will be my daughter's last season of high school volleyball.  I have so enjoyed watching her and her teammates play over the years.  They are very good and a lot of fun to watch. 

I am fortunate enough to have been able to coach quite a bit over the years too.  This is very challenging, but very rewarding at the same time.  I coach junior varsity, freshman and sophomores.  I love to win, but more importantly, I love to teach the girls the game, the love of the game and how to be great teammates.  At this level this is very important.

Volleyball isn't as simple as it may look to the spectator.  My husband has often said, "It's simple, just hit the ball over the nest and don't let it hit the floor."  Oh, if it were only that simple. In volleyball, players have positions just like any other sport.  We run offenses, have defenses and play strategies according to your player personnel. 

I know many spectators and parents don't always understand why we do what we do as coaches. That is understandable, since volleyball has evolved so much.

When I was in junior high, we played our team volleyball on an outside asphalt court with nine players on each side and we just rotated around.

When  I was in high school and my first few years of coaching, a serve couldn't hit the net on the way over, you had to stand in a specified are to serve and we didn't play rally point.  There have been a lot of things change over the years. 

Here's a few tips on understanding volleyball....

-The goal is to set it up for a "kill".  We want three hits...Pass, Set, Hit (Spike).
-We don't want to play "Jungle Ball" and just pass the ball back and forth over the net.
-The setter gets the second ball.
-Players rotate in and out for their position
-Every player is responsible for a certain area on the court and a part of the offense or defense.
- The ball can hit the net on a serve.
-If a blocker touches the ball, they can hit it again, it is not a double hit.
-On a serve, it often looks like an unclean or double hit on the receiving pass, that is legal.

These are a few of the things I hear coming from the stands behind I thought I'd throw this out there.

If you have the chance to watch any volleyball games where you live...I hope you get out and do it.  It is really a lot of fun and a good volleyball game can be very intense.

"Bump, set, spike it!"

Monday, August 8, 2011

For Grandpa...Welcome Home

LeRoy Charles Suess

I had the honor of giving the eulogy at my grandpa's service...I Love you Grandpa!

As a young girl, I can remember sitting at Bopa’s BIG desk. He would let me play secretary and answer his phone. There was another desk in his office that had even more memories to him; all of us kids would hear stories about the desktop hanging on the wall.  It had inkwells in it and grandpa would tell stories of dipping little girl’s pony tails in the ink.  I always had a hard time imagining my grandpa being mischievous…he wasn’t that way at all as a grown up!
Each of can remember special times with grandpa and how it made us feel….important and loved.  Grandpa got his name Bopa when I was little because I couldn’t say anything right.  Bopa has had a strong influence on each one of us…wife, son, daughter, brother, sister, grandchild, great grandchild, niece, nephew…all of us have seen the deep love of family and faith demonstrated by this one of a kind man.

When we all sat down and were talking about our memories of Bopa, a common theme came out… hard work, family, doing things the right way, treating others with love and respect, faith in God and the ability to always know things will work out according to God’s plan. 

He certainly touched each of us in a different way, but he taught us all what it means to love and how important family is in our life. His devotion to nana was a beautiful thing…he would even show that love and have that twinkle in his eye when nana would say, “LeRoy!”

There are some things about grandpa that were complex…but really he liked to keep things simple…he named all of his dogs Mitzie, bought all of his trucks in red and read the same book over many times.  The Bible was his guide for life.

Grandpa loved Chicken, angel food cake and orange slice.  Recently he had taken to Applebee’s and their Chicken Fried Chicken…he would never waiver from his menu choice…when he found something good he stuck to it!  There was always a jar of candy in the house from as far back as I can remember. Bopa loved his candy but always shared with us grandkids. We all knew where the candy stash was…

Grandpa was fun and he had a great sense of humor…and yes, I think he may have caused a little mischief in his day.  When he told of stories in Canada…one that always came up was about sitting in a galvanized bucket tied to a calf’s tail and being pulled in the snow.

Then there was the joke about the Air Force and the command of “Cease” fire…everyone else stopped firing and grandpa starts.  I am sure that was a made up story, but a funny one.

He was always willing to do whatever it took to keep the kids happy…It was funny how he always went out on an electrical call when Santa arrived on Christmas Eve.  I thought I was pretty smart when I figured that out!

Grandpa was the definition of a hard worker.  He had a lot of knowhow, we all knew we could go to grandpa to figure out how to get a job done.  He could fix ANYTHING! We had a family joke…there’s the right way, the wrong way and the SUESS way. I have to admit; Bopa’s way usually turned out right.  The boys will tell you of how they learned to make something using minimal materials and not wasting anything!  Us girls will tell you how whenever we needed something done, we asked our grandpa…not our husband.  Sometimes grandpa would just decide something needed to be done and do it himself…”Chrissy, I am rewiring your garage…it is just not safe!”

Grandpa was an electrician by trade, but he loved ranching and the outdoors.  He loved to talk cattle with Tim (and Tanner!) and logging with Everett.  Uncle Pete, dad and Ryan were all lucky enough to work with grandpa. Grandpa even did his share of babysitting…all the while teaching Karly and Korina how to drink coffee! 

Family was so important to grandpa. Grandpa came from Canada from a large family. He has been married to nana for over 65 years. Aunt Bee and dad were blessed to have the guidance and direction of such a strong family man. He was and will always be the leader of our family. As we have always looked to grandpa for guidance, we will continue to use the lessons he has taught us.

I have never seen someone demonstrate and active faith like my grandparents. I remember the day I became a Christian very clearly. I am sure all of us can attribute the road to our faith to grandpa. Bopa was a very faithful man. He didn’t always have an easy life. He has had it all and has had nothing. Through it all, faith in God and a strong belief always got grandpa through. I can’t remember a single time that grandpa was negative or resentful of his circumstances.  He always said God had a plan.

He leaves us behind with a lot of tears, but a lot more memories and a part of establishing the foundations of our lives.  I have shared some memories and you will read more in your memorial program…

Here’s a few others…Angie I know you will never look at a caterpillar the same. Jenny, I know grandpa was smiling as you put all of that work into the picture memories.  Korey, you are going to have to pick up the slack on those dolly and wheel barrel rides! Mark, I know grandpa will always be your hero and he couldn’t have asked for a better little buddy! Nick and Alex, I am sure grandpa was really laughing inside when you had the orange sale in his neighborhood. Mandy, grandpa is proud of you for sharing all of that candy he gave you…especially the orange slices you shared with dad. Hayley and Seth…the time you spent with grandpa looking at all of his pictures was a great lesson in history…one any child would love to have with their great-grandfather. Josie, I hope you let grandpa win a few of those board games you played…Tanner, you, grandpa and Uncle Tim should have had a cattle ranch together.

Nana, grandpa has a smile on his face, thankful he spent his life with the most beautiful woman in the world…with the cutest walk…The two of you are an inspiration to us all.  You love is the definition of love.

 I really don’t know what I am going to do without my grandpa; there are always those people in your life that you think will never leave. He is home and at peace. He took the time to write down his story, his history for us all to share… I am going to finish his book in remembrance of one of the most amazing people I could ever have in my life.

As I reflect back I see that my grandpa has given us all so many answers.  If we will remember those lessons and the example he led with his life…we can only pray that we will be the person grandpa was…I know grandpa is listing each of us by name and praying we will find the greatest blessing in life come from our family and our faith.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

The Language of Flowers

Flowers can symbolize so much.  They are beautiful.  They represent life.  They bring cheer and happiness.  They say "I Love You", "Thank You" and "I'm Sorry."  Flowers  speak a language of no words. 

I love the Hydrangea...This radiant flower has come to symbolize earnestness, and is ideal for communicating any heartfelt emotion, from joy to grief.

Take a moment today to enjoy the flowers around you...maybe pick a bouquet for someone special or to bring into your home to express some joy.

Here's a few quotes about flowers...enjoy...

Flowers are the sweetest things God ever made, and forgot to put a soul into.  ~Henry Beecher, Life Thoughts, 1858

Earth laughs in flowers.  ~Ralph Waldo Emerson, "Hamatreya"

I'd rather have roses on my table than diamonds on my neck.  ~Emma Goldman

I will be the gladdest thing
Under the sun!
I will touch a hundred flowers
And not pick one.
~Edna St. Vincent Millay, "Afternoon on a Hill"

To be overcome by the fragrance of flowers is a delectable form of defeat.  ~Beverly Nichols

Flowers... are a proud assertion that a ray of beauty outvalues all the utilities of the world.  ~Ralph Waldo Emerson, 1844

A morning-glory at my window satisfies me more than the metaphysics of books.  ~Walt Whitman

Perfumes are the feelings of flowers.  ~Heinrich Heine, The Hartz Journey

How can one help shivering with delight when one's hot fingers close around the stem of a live flower, cool from the shade and stiff with newborn vigor!  ~Colette

When you have only two pennies left in the world, buy a loaf of bread with one, and a lily with the other.  ~Chinese Proverb

If you've never been thrilled to the very edges of your soul by a flower in spring bloom, maybe your soul has never been in bloom.  ~Terri Guillemets

Give me odorous at sunrise a garden of beautiful flowers where I can walk undisturbed.  ~Walt Whitman

Flowers whisper "Beauty!" to the world, even as they fade, wilt, fall.  ~Dr. SunWolf

Flowers are those little colorful beacons of the sun from which we get sunshine when dark, somber skies blanket our thoughts.  ~Dodinsky,

Every flower is a soul blossoming in nature.  ~Gerard de Nerval

Bread feeds the body, indeed, but flowers feed also the soul.  

If dandelions were hard to grow, they would be most welcome on any lawn.  ~Andrew Mason


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