Saturday, August 30, 2008

Go Away, Gustav.......

YOU ARE NOT WELCOME HERE!!!! Thanks for everyone's concern. We will keep you posted. We are packed up and ready to roll when the time is right. Mandatory evacuation will be starting soon. We are more than likely headed to Arkansas but playing it by ear!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

A tribute to a wonderful family......

Some families have ways of coming into our lives slowly and quietly and then impacting us more than we could have ever imagined. One of these families is the Jorgensen's. I remember first meeting Wendy Jorgensen at a ladies' lunch at Ruby Tuesday's. She and her husband had just moved to town and I think she came with Rita. I remember thinking how warm and cute she was and how well she fit in with all the ladies who were significantly older than she was. I remember she and Brett speaking in sacrament soon after mainly to the youth about making good choices. They were dynamic. I was working in stake Young Women at that time and suggested we get them to come and do something similar for the youth of the stake at a 5th Wednesday stake activity. They came and did the black hat/white hat presentation and were again wonderful. After that, Brett was called into the stake Young Men presidency. He brought a whole new level of organization! I remember the detailed spread sheets he worked up for the youth conference groups and classes. It wasn't long before he was called as the bishop of the Lake Charles ward. By this time Faith was a toddler and the twins were babies if I am not mistaken. I can only imagine what an overwhelming responsibility he felt to have such a young, growing family and now a huge ward to preside over. He has been a wonderful bishop to whom we will always be grateful. Before Ivy got married, he and Wendy went above and beyond in visiting with her and teaching her the temple preparation lessons in their home with the three little girls. What an example of how a celestial family lives. Another thing is during tithing settlement Bishop encouraged us as we read our scriptures to highlight all the references to our Savior Jesus Christ and Heavenly Father. We began immediately and are keeping up with it. It has proven to be a wonderful thing in our family and I'm sure we will do again and again. Next, Bishop Jorgensen helped us get Taylor on his mission to France. He was so supportive with all the interviews, paperwork, etc. By this time, Jace is a toddler and another little Jorensen is on the way. As busy as things got at home, Bishop always seemed to be aware of the needs of his ward and carry out his calling with quiet dignity. And as much as I'm sure her husband was tending to the ward, Wendy seemed to always handle her children and callings with the same love and diligence. Now we get the word that they will be moving to Montana in a few short months. Jorgensen's, know that you are appreciated! We know that you have done so much for so many. We want you to know that we truly appreciate all you have done for our family! Good luck in Montana, Bishop, Wendy, Faith, Ally, Lindsay, Jace and 'baby'!

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Ivy & Calder Came to Visit........

This week has been so fun! Ivy and Calder came for a visit from Minnesota. We went to see them at Christmas time but they haven't been here since the wedding which was a year ago this past June. It was so wonderful to have them here. The kids and I picked them up at Hobby Airport Tuesday. Brad was already over in Houston on business. Last year while in Houston for the wedding, Calder's family found this wonderful Mexican Restaurant that they wanted to go back to. Since that one was so far away, we found that it was a chain and there was one fairly close to Hobby! It really was wonderful. It's called Los Cucos! We liked it so much we went back when I took them back to fly home! We did lots of Louisiana things- One of those things was fishing. We went out to the Zachary's camp on the river where our camper is parked. They caught tons of brim. Tiny, but fun to catch, none the less.

We also took a trip down to the Creole Nature Trail. We saw a few little baby gators right at the beginning of the trail. We walked the whole thing and believe it or not, those babies were the only ones we saw! We had fun throwing them pieces of a Fiber One bar. As soon as the food hit the water, lots more little gators and turtles started to show up.

Of course a trip to Steamboat Bill's was a must. Brad and I ate boiled shrimp and Ivy and Calder shared a seafood platter and a big bowl of shrimp gumbo.

They got here Tuesday and could only stay until Saturday but we got a lot into a short time. We had a party Thursday night for Ivy's birthday and just to let everyone see them. We had a house full of people for grilled hamburgers and birthday cake (Jo's Party House, of course). They went shopping a few times, went with Brad and Evan to see Batman, and visited grandparents, cousins and friends. It was sad to see them go but we are so glad they got to come. Now it's back to law school (University of Minnesota) and work for Calder. Also, Ivy is starting back to school for civil engineering (also U of M)and will continue her job at the engineering firm. Glad they could get in a little vacation before the 'real world' starts again!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Good Luck, Elder Barton......

Bryan was Taylor's first real friend. They always got along so well. They played Lego's, Power Rangers, climbed trees and had all kinds of fun playing at one house or the other. Time flies. I wish these boys could have spent more time growing up together. The Barton's moved to Utah and Bryan and Taylor have only seen each other a time or two since. But these two little pre-school boys are now missionaries of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints serving in Europe at the same time. Taylor has been out six months and Bryan enters the MTC next week.

Elder Barton, Berlin Germany Mission

Bryan, left and Taylor, right playing Lego's around 1992

Elder Pogue, Toulouse France Mission

"Tall oaks from little acorns grow." - David Everett

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Happy 14th, Evan........

Today is Evan's fourteenth birthday! We (I) thought it would be fun to post a few pictures of Evan with various people and let you guess who they are! Some are obvious, some are not. So in the spirit of the Olympics, let the games begin!
1. (Evan is the baby)

3. (Evan is in the walker)
4. (Evan is in the red shirt)
5. (Again, Evan is in the red shirt)
7. (Pardon the sticker residue)

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Mailboxes and Poles.......

To clarify the comment in Taylor's last email about the mailboxes and poles:

Taylor and Mary Catherine Zachary stayed with us last week while Andrea was in Europe. It was great, they were wonderful. First thing Sunday morning, Taylor Z. was leaving to go home and get his church clothes and backed into our mailbox. It didn't fall all the way over. Just a lean. Before we left for church, he and Evan straightened it up, no biggie. Monday morning, Mary Catherine had volleyball practice at 8:00. Whitney as going to drop her off then go running. As she was backing out, she did the same thing to our neighbor's (across the street) mailbox! She called me from the road. She said it's just leaning a little. I told her when she came back to go straight over and tell Mr. Bobby that she did it, was sorry, and that we would pay for it. When she came home a little while later, there was a police car in his driveway! She freaked! Oh my gosh, surely it's not about the mailbox. But then again figured it was because his whole mailbox was gone, pole and all! The squad car left and she hesitantly wandered over and knocked. "I'm sorry, Mr. Bobby, but I accidently bumped your mailbox this morning." Something to that effect.... He started laughing and said that he called the police because he saw ours yesterday and thought somebody was going around vandalizing mailboxes! She said, "No, we knocked ours over, too!" Luckily he is a very nice neighbor and told her not to worry about it. They shared a good laugh about it. Then that same afternoon the elders were coming over for supper. I was calling Brad to remind him to come straight home because they would be here soon. He must have hit the wrong button because I could hear him but he didn't know we were connected. I heard him say, "I haven't had a wreck since I was fifteen years old...." Not a good thing to hear. But not too bad, he accidently backed into a pole at Citgo with a company truck. Of course that meant he had to go report it to security, take a drug test, all the procedural things that have to happen when an accident occurs in the plant. To top off all that, I was picking up the sister missionaries in Port Arthur tonight and locked my keys in my van and had to call Pop-a-Lock! All in all, nothing serious, thank goodness! But that's what Taylor was referring to in his letter when he said, "Stop hitting mailboxes and poles!"

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

The Circus is in Town........

My mom loves the circus. She and I have a good memory of going to a circus right before I left on my mission. So this week, my brother Chris was caller #9 on some radio station and won tickets to the circus. Evan and I, along with my mom, tagged along. It was really a good circus and so fun.

When I mentioned to Evan we were going, he said, "Remember that free coupon I have for the circus that I got when I was born?" Oooohhhh yeah. I did remember after he jarred my memory. He had a ticket that was good for a free Barnum & Bailey circus anytime, anywhere in his lifetime. When he gave it to the lady at the counter, she looked confused, had to ask her supervisor who assured her it was legit!

I haven't been to the circus in a long time but apparently the three-ring show is a thing of the past. One ring this time but all quality acts.

My favorite are always the elephants. The white tigers were beautiful, too.

Sorry about the blurry image of all of us but it's the best we got. A passerby offered to take our picture in front of the circus truck.

We actually had one with Chris in it, too, but that was even blurrier. Anyway, we had a great time. Nothing like the "greatest show on Earth!"

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Tom and Huck........

.......Taylor Z. and Evan

Friday, August 1, 2008

Happy Anniversary......

Twenty-three years ago today, I married this man! Could it really have been that long?? Well, yes. On August 1st, 1985, Brad and I got married in the Atlanta temple. It was also his 21st birthday making today his 44th birthday! Wow! We were babies! We were discussing tonight, looking back on it, if we were too young....we both decided that no we weren't. It was the right time and it's been great. We went out to dinner tonight at New King Palace then went to the movies. Well, we ate together then met Susan and Don at the theater. It was there we parted ways. Brad saw X-Files with Don and I saw Mamma Mia with Susan and Jennifer! We both loved the movie we saw and agreed that the other would have hated it! After 23 years, you just kinda know those things.....

Brad's favorite dessert is "four-layer dessert". I've heard it called lots of different things but basically just yummy chocolate goodness. I think I've made it for Brad's birthday all 23 years- I could have missed a year or two, but no more than that. This year I asked, "Aren't you getting tired of that every year?"........the answer was no! Happy Birthday!!!!