For those of you who don't already know, last March Kimberly participated in the auditions for CMT's summer show "High School Musical". The auditions were VERY LONG, and VERY TIRING but all of her hard work and perseverance was worth it because she landed the lead role of "Gabriella"! Of course, she was thrilled and she's already starting to memorize lines and practice her music for the show.
The show dates are July 17-20 and tickets are already on sale at the Bartlesville Community Center. You can get more information at www.cmtonstage.com and order tickets online at www.bartlesvillecommunitycenter.com. (Click on Box Office)
Below is the fun promo picture that was recently created for advertising.
Tickets have only been on-sale for less than 2 weeks and they are going FAST! So don't delay, get yours today!
I know you've probably thought I have fallen off the face of the earth; however, I am still alive and well yet ashamed for neglecting my blogging duties for so long. (Since last October to be exact!) These last few months have been so incredibly busy...I mean, CRAZY, BUSY. I mean...busier than I think I have EVER been in my life. It's going to take me several blogs to catch everyone up on what's been happening the last few months but I will get 'er done.
Happy Halloween! I hope that you are having a spooktacular day!
Like many people, Harley & Kimberly have a father/daughter Halloween tradition of carving a pumpkin each year. Brad & I never participate so this is really just a daddy/daughter project each year. In the last couple of years, they have gotten really creative and this year was no exception.
For the first time, the war in Iraq isn't just something that I merely hear about on the news or read about in the newspaper. Now it's personal. You see, HH's younger brother, Jim, is being deployed today to serve a 12 month tour of duty in Iraq. Now, all of a sudden, our family is experiencing, for the first time, all of the emotions that many other military families have experienced already. It's hard to describe, but the emotions range from being scared, worried, apprehensive, and uncertain to being proud, honored, and full of gratitude.
I don't think any of us ever expected this. Sure, Jim enlisted as a reservist in the National Guard several years ago, but we never thought he would actually be deployed. After all, most of the National Guard reservists we knew basically just did their one weekend a month and two weeks out of the year thing and that was it. Occasionally, they would be called upon to help with natural disasters or something like that but they were never sent overseas. Boy, that was flawed thinking huh?
Well, Jim DID do all of the normal reservist stuff and he was even called upon to help in New Orleans during the Katrina aftermath. However, he found out several months ago that his unit would be deployed to Iraq to serve for a year. Of course, we were all a shocked upon hearing the news but it didn't really sink in until this week.
Last Thursday, we all attended the friends/family farewell ceremony that was held in Norman at the Lloyd Noble center. It was at this ceremony that it really hit home for me. Jim is one of 2400 soldiers being deployed from this area so needless to say, the attendance at the ceremony was huge! The Lloyd Noble center holds over 12,000 people and it was jam packed with standing room only. Overflow buildings were used after the center reached capacity. Interstate 35 was jammed for hours with all of the traffic. It was really pretty amazing.
Upon entering the center, I was overwhelmed with all of the different emotions that I mentioned earlier. "This is really happening" I thought. As I looked around, I couldn't believe how young many of these soldiers looked. Many of these soldiers were Brad's age. Talk about being snapped to reality in a hurry...Wow! I just can't imagine.
As I looked into the faces of several of the men & women in uniform I could tell that they were dealing with a lot of emotions too. On one hand, they seemed proud to be serving their country but on the other hand, they were worried about their family and friends that they were leaving behind. One thing that really tore my heart at was seeing the mothers/fathers in uniform with their babies or toddlers. How hard it must be to leave a child that young when they don't really understand what's going on.
As we walked around trying to find our seats, I noticed that all of the soldiers being deployed sat together towards one end of the center.
See the white arrow in the photo below? That's Jim...he's OUR soldier.
Here's HH signing a hard-backed military Bible that my sister-in-law purchased for Jim. The whole family signed it. We wrote messages of encouragement and highlighted scriptures for him. It's just another piece of his armor you know. Probably THE most important piece!
(Oh...see that little head peeking up in the bottom right-hand corner? That's Jaden. He's trying to figure out why on earth Aunt Sherry doesn't have the camera focused on HIM like it usually is. LOL)
Our family took up more than 1 whole row of seats.
To my left was Steve, Chay, the girls, and Kimberly.
To my right was Jaden, HH, Jim's girlfriend Erica, her son, and Jim's daughters. In front of them was Jim's mom & dad.
See the man with the cane? I watched him throughout the ceremony. He stood there just like this for over an hour. Well, maybe he didn't have the flag up the whole time but he stood there nonetheless. He looked very proud.
After the ceremony, it was time for hugs. His brother, Steve, was one of the first in line. This big ole guy gives the BEST bear hugs!
Then Chay gave him his Bible. He seemed to really like it.
Later when he has time he will read what everyone wrote inside.
Steve wrote about the movie, Forrest Gump, when Jenny told Forrest to just keep running.
You would just have to read it. Lots of heartfelt messages.
Here's the whole Hee Haw gang gathered outside of the Lloyd Noble center.
This is Jim's oldest daughter. She kept calling her dad...her hero. She wore dog tags around her neck and kept worrying about whether or not she should wear them on the inside of her shirt or the outside. (See the shirt she's wearing, we bought it for her for Christmas last year and it's the first thing she showed us when she saw us.)
This is Jim's youngest daughter. She colored pictures for her dad throughout the ceremony. She kept hugging her daddy afterwards. She also kept asking how long a year was.
(Not pictured is Jim's 1 year old son. He didn't attend the ceremony but he's quite a daddy's boy.)
Now it's time for family photos.
This is Jim & his girlfriend, Erica.
Here's Jim and his mom & dad.
Jim and his older brothers. They usually pick him up or mess with him when they have pictures taken together but they were on their best behavior this time.
Jim & his nieces.
Jim, Erica, the girls, and one of Erica's sons.
And finally, here's Jim gettin' some love from his sister-in-laws. We told him he could keep this one with him at all times to show the guys the hot older babes he has waiting for him at home. LOL
So my request is this...despite your feelings about the war in Iraq, can you please keep our solider and all of other soliders in your prayers? They are our heros and are risking their lives every day for our freedom. And even though I've always prayed for our troops, I just now really understand the scope of their sacrifice and the sacrifice of their families.
You see, now someone we love is one of those brave men and women in this war. He is not only father, son, a brother, an uncle, a boyfriend, or a friend to those of us who love him...he's now our hero.
A couple of my favorite guys had birthdays recently.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO 2 OF MY FAVORITE DUDES!
What has the Gray Gang been up to this summer?
A large part of our summer has involved helping with the Children's Musical Theatre's summer show "Oliver". Kimberly was the Rose Seller and also part of the chorus. Harley, Brad, & I all worked backstage helping with microphones, moving set pieces, and working the fly rail.
Even though the musical "Oliver" isn't one of my favorites, I thought it was a pretty darn good production.
Below are a couple of photos and I will have a video link soon.
Next summer's muscial is Disney's "High School Musical" which should be a really fun show. It will be Kimberly's last CMT musical as she will age out of the program after that. (CMT is for kids in grades 2-10. Juniors & Seniors are eligible to be in the BHS musicals instead.)
Once upon a time, over 19 years ago, there was a young couple who had just married and embarked on a new life together. This couple really hadn't given much thought to having children, they were just young and in love. As a little girl, the wife had always dreamed of having kids (1 boy and 1 girl) eventually but she wasn't in any hurry. The husband, on the other hand, wasn't sure he even wanted kids at all. He told his parents that he "wasn't having any kids" when he grew up.
God had other plans for this man though; for He knew that this man had all the makings of a wonderful father. So in December 1988, just 8 short months after their wedding day, the newlyweds found out that we were expecting their first child.
At first, the newlyweds were shocked and scared, but it didn't take long for them to start getting excited. They were going to have a baby! So they started to prepare to become parents.
The husband was especially diligent in his preparation. See this baby bed? He built this gorgeous crib (which converted to a toddler bed & dresser) with his bare hands because no store bought crib would do for his baby. What a labor of love! Isn't it gorgeous? Also, notice his "Coach" t-shirt (labor coach) and his "It's a boy" hat and coffee mug. For someone who didn't want kids...he was a super excited dad-to-be.
The next August, this man who didn't want kids became the father of a gorgeous little boy. And that is when the man embraced fatherhood with every once of his being.
The man and his son were inseparable.
Even before his son could walk, the man was teaching him all of the things he should know in life, like how to do man things such as repairing things around the house.
'Cause every guy needs to know how to do stuff like that.
The man had ulterior motives when taught his son to mow the lawn; he wanted his son to learn that job really well so he could take it over when he got older.
But it wasn't all work for the man and his son. The man taught his son other important things a man should know, like how to shave.
And how to make a nice birthday cake for his mommy...
But after all of the work was done, and life lessons learned, the man taught his son that it was OK to be silly and have fun.
They loved to play!
And then there where 2. The man became the father of a beautiful baby girl 2-1/2 years after his son was born.
She had big blue eyes, curly hair, and the sweetest personality...and although he will adamantly deny it, she had him wrapped around her finger the moment she was born. She loved her daddy and even though he tried to act all tough and macho, he would melt like an ice cream cone on a hot summer day when she smiled at him.
Now that he man had two kids, he was busier than ever so he made the best use of his time. They shared cuddle time.
The kids even helped him with his daily workouts
which meant he had more time to play with them!
And he was patient when teaching his children how to overcome their fears.
This man was such a great dad. When his kids started school, he went on school field trips with them.
And he chaperoned school events like "Super Kids Day". The kids LOVED it when he came to school too because none of the kids would dare pick on them with him around.
The man always took his kids on the best vacations. They especially loved cruises.
And on vacation he was still a fun daddy! He could really "bust-a-move" on the dance floor too.
He was "walkin it out" before "walkin' it out" was popular!
The kids even claimed him when he dressed like a tourist.
As the kids grew older, the man took them to church to learn about God...
And he taught them the importance of a good education.
With every passing year, the kids loved him more and more...and so did his wife.
They think he is the BEST FATHER in the WHOLE WIDE WORLD!
In conclusion, the man who didn't really want kids changed his mind...
because now he pretty much ADORES his kids.
And he wouldn't know what he would do without them.
HAPPY FATHER'S DAY HONEY!
THANK YOU FOR BEING SUCH A WONDERFUL FATHER.
The final curtain fell this evening on the BHS production of "Oklahoma". If you missed seeing the show...you really missed out. It was a FANTASTIC production and I am incredibly proud of the kids. Simply put...they were AMAZING! It was obvious how much practice and hard work went into preparing for it. As usual, Mrs. M., Stan, Ricky and the numerous volunteers (costuming, set construction, make-up, props, mics, ticket sales, etc.) all did a superb job too.
Furthermore, I was also very impressed with the kids off-stage. They were such a pleasure to be around all week. It was so nice to see how respectful and supportive they were of each other. I take my hat off to them...they are truly a CLASS ACT.
I only posted a couple of pictures below because there are way too many. Most will be uploaded here in the photo album section of this blog. Keep checking back because many more will be added as I get them from other people.
Here are some clips I uploaded on YouTube.
Brad singing "Oh What a Beautiful Morning" - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XqY3Bgd9p1k
Brad & Britney in "Surrey with the Fringe on top" - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oNRPQIOdZNM
Brad & Anthony in "Poor Jud is Daid" - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NiCrzVFknxE
BHS cast in "Farmer & the Cowman" - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rv3WDC091jE
More to come later...
Last week, I celebrated nineteen years of wedded bliss with my handsome hubby, HH. What can I say? I simply adore him. He's my man. My best friend. We simply work. We've got rhythm. We make cute kids. We're happy.
And I'd marry him all over again in a minute.
Happy Anniversary HH! I love you more than words can say!
HH left this morning for one of three business trips he has scheduled this month and accompanying him was his business partner, Buz. Buz is a pilot and has his own private 4-seater plane. So rather than fly commercial, they usually take Buz's plane. How kewl is that??!! I have always had a secret desire to be a pilot but have just never pursued it.
And off they go! No getting to the airport an hour early, no security checks, no annoying passengers, no delayed flights. I'm now thinkin' that flying private is the ONLY way to travel! Now all I've gotta do is get my own plane and learn how to fly. Think I can do it? :-)
So...I have already mentioned that the Malibu SpeedZone was the highlight of our trip in Spring Break - Dallas Trip (Part 1); however, the rest of the trip was really fun too!
After leaving the Malibu SpeedZone, we decided to head on over the the 6th Floor Museum at Dealy Plaza (aka "The JFK Museum") in downtown Dallas. The Sixth Floor is a museum/memorial about John F. Kennedy. It is housed on the 6th floor in the former Texas School Book Depository Building where Lee Harvey Oswald was said to have fired the shots that killed JFK, and the corner of the room where he supposedly stood is just as it was that day except the window is closed. The window area has been re-created behind a wall of glass. There are photos and videos showing various aspects of Kennedy's presidency and an audio tour. We took the audio tour and HH & I both found it all to be very interesting. The kids weren't as impressed.
Now this is definitely the place to see Dallas in its entirety. Instead of climbing the 837 steps up the middle stairwell, we took the 68 second elevator ride to the tower's observation deck. This deck is 50 stories above city streets and it provides a 360-degree view which includes Dallas' Uptown neighborhood and downtown, the many railroad tracks, the tree-lined Trinity River and Texas Stadium. You can also get a great view of the new American Airlines Center, watch the people stuck in traffic or see the intricate rooftop of the Old Red Courthouse. Check out this view of the buildings downtown...
There is a restaurant above the observation deck which rotates 360-degrees in 55 minutes but we opted not to eat there because we weren't dressed appropriately plus we were planning to take HH to his all-time favorite steak place, Salt Grass Steakhouse.
So after our busy afternoon we were hungry so we headed over to Salt Grass. HH LOVES this place and we always try to take him if there's one close by when we are in Texas. I have to agree; the steaks are outta-this-world and the cheesecake is to-die-for! The kids fell in love with the place too. Brad thought the steak was so good he devoured his quickly, he took the bone left from HH's steak and was literally SUCKING it in the middle of the restaurant! (Yes, I was mortified!! Be glad you weren't dining with us; it wasn't a pretty sight)
Well, that's pretty much it. We gorged ourselves at the steak house and then headed back to the hotel to rest. The next morning we did a little shopping at IKEA (home furnishings) & Sam Moon (jewelry & accessories) and headed home. All in all....a SUPER trip!
Well, we really hadn't planned to take a trip over Spring Break. The plan was to get our new carpet installed last week instead. Afterall, with the kids home from school, I would have lots of help moving furniture and cleaning out stuff...right? Wrong. The carpet place called and said our carpet would be delayed out of the factory until at least March 26. BUMMER!
So...since our original plans were shot, we decided on Wednesday to take a short little trip to Dallas. We've been to Dallas A LOT (Kimberly & I were just there a few weeks ago for her pom competition) but it's always fun to go again.The kids got online and researched things they would like to do and we headed out Thursday after work.
Now being the techo-geeks that we are, we just HAD to take all of our gadgets like the laptop, the GPS (borrowed from mom), the digital camera, and the video ipod, not to mention the necessities like clothes, favorite pillows, personal care items, etc. Good thing HH is a big strong guy huh?
Friday morning we headed to the Malibu SpeedZone in Dallas. The kids had found out about this place via their internet search and it actually turned out to be the highlight of our trip. It was LOADS OF FUN!! It was kinda like a big go-cart place for grown-ups and older kids. (You had to be a certain height to drive) There were indy type cars, dragster cars...slick tracks, dry tracks...etc. Once we arrived, Brad & Kimberly headed straight for the dragsters.
Finally, we headed back to the dragsters. Brad kept talking about how much fun they were so he talked HH into paying for another round so the two of them could race against each other.
First they sized up the competition...
All in all...it was a GREAT afternoon at the Dallas Malibu SpeedZone and definitely the highlight of the trip. I'll be posting the rest of the story in a day or so. Be watching for Spring Break - Dallas Trip (Part 2)...coming soon!
Over & out!
HH gave himself a nickname several years back. He calls himself "The Big Dog". He likes to sit in his "doghouse" and bark orders at all the "little dogs". If any of the "little dogs" get too cocky...he is quick to tell them to "get back on the porch".
On a recent Sunday afternoon, "The Big Dog" was particularly territorial, however, that didn't stop "the little dogs" from "getting off the porch" to pester him.
Then his oldest niece joined in. By this time "The Big Dog" was a little tired so he enlisted the help of his brother. This battle didn't take long at all...this little dog is a novice and "got back on the porch" quickly. LOL
Yes, I am still here!
I apologize for neglecting my blogging duties. I'm sure you all have been incredibly lost and unable to function without me. (giggle) I have a good excuse though....read on!
First of all, we have been dealing with some major home renovations around here lately. You see, our family room flooded a few weeks ago and we have been cleaning up, drying out, and repairing the damage. It's definitely a HUGE hassle but the good news is that the insurance company was very generous. We are getting new carpet throughout the entire house and we are in the process of redecorating the family room. The family room was SO dated with dark paneling so it looks so much better now! The carpet installers are coming to lay the carpet next week so hopefully we can start putting things back together after that.
In addition to all the home renovations, Kimberly, mom & I took a long weekend trip to Dallas for her National Pom competition. We had a really good time. It was really fun watching some of the dances at the competition. I didn't get many pictures but you can see the videos of Kimberly's squad below:
This is the hip hop routine
This is the pom routine
We also did some shopping on our trip. My favorite store was a place called IKEA. IKEA has a huge range of home furnishings that are designed well and functional at really affordable prices. It is now one of my new favorite stores!
Until next blog....
Today is a very special day. You see...my beautiful, oldest niece, Janessa, is celebrating her "Sweet" 16th birthday today! Now I hesitate to start birthday blog entries because currently HH & I have 6 nieces and 6 nephews (not to mention 2 kids!) and I doubt I will be able to blog on every single birthday but a "Sweet Sixteen" is a big one...so I'm gonna do it. :-)
Now let me start off my saying that I was very honored to be at the birth of this little indian squaw. I've watched her grow up for 16 years, therefore, I feel qualified to share a little about her.
As a baby, Janessa was such a cute little thing. Her hair stuck straight up all the time in her little mohawk "do" and she had the chubbiest little cheeks ever!
She got cuter and cuter with each passing day. (And her hair grew so it would finally lay down flat!)
Cute as a button she was... but let me tell ya....she was a MESSY EATER!!
She was even cute when she was throwing a fit. (Aren't I a mean aunt for snapping pictures instead of picking her up and consoling her??) Actually, now that I see the all the freckles on the leg, that WAS ME holding her and her cruel mom was taking the picture! LOL
Then, she grew into a toddler and started her "SUPER SHY" phase. This is what she looked like if ANYONE but her parents tried to talk to her. She would duck her head, with her binkie in her mouth, and stare straight down with those big brown eyes. She was hoping the offender would leave her the heck alone!! LOL This phase lasted for a LONG time.
She finally outgrew the binkie phase after a while. (THANK GOODNESS!) But...she replace that habit with a more dangerous one. CHEWING ON ELECTRICAL CORDS! YIKES!!! Thankfully, that phase was short lived and she's still with us to tell about it.
Then she grew older and started school. Unfortunately, her parents are twerps never gave me many school pictures but I did find this one.
Lets see, here are some more misc. tidbits about Janessa...
She has a younger sister named Jessica who looks alot like her and they are joined at the hip.
But we wouldn't have her any other way. :-)
All in all....we (HH & I) think she is a pretty amazing kid and it's been so awesome to watch her grow up through the years. I can't believe that she is 16 already and will be driving any day now. (Watch out!)
BHS has decided to do "Oklahoma" as the spring musical this year to celebrate our state's centennial. Auditions for the show happened last week and all of the kids who auditioned were anxiously awaiting the final cast list which was posted Friday evening.
Since I have 2 kids who are always auditioning for stuff, I get to be a part of all the speculation, predictions, and excitement that always happen after auditions. Luckily this time, the wait between auditions and the final cast list being posted wasn't very long at all.
The kids who auditioned were told that the cast list would be posted by 6:30pm Friday evening. So, after the Friday afternoon call-backs several of them went to hangout and have dinner. Then, when it got close to 6, Brad decided to head on over to the school to wait for the list to be put up.
Now...Brad auditioned for the male lead, "Curly" and one of his best friends, Britney, auditioned for the female lead, "Laurey". They both felt like they did pretty well in auditions, but then again, so did everyone else. They had some really stiff competition. All they could do was just sit back and wait for the final decision.
Brad arrived at the school just as the cast list was being posted. Now once the list is posted, an observer will see a wide array of emotions which range from being ECSTATIC, EXCITED, and THRILLED to DEPRESSED, SAD, MAD and UPSET. Believe me, I have learned to just brace myself for either extreme because I have dealt with them all over the years. Unfortunately I hadn't arrived in time to snap a picture of Brad's reaction when the cast list was posted but I'm sure it was a dooooosey.....because.....HE GOT THE LEAD! Wooo Hooo!! Just call him "Curly" the singin' cowboy! Yeee haw!
Shortly thereafter, the other kids started arriving. Brad spotted his buddy, Britney, heading down the hallway to check out the list so him and another kid started running down the hall towards her to mess with her a bit.
Finally, they let her go and she is able to scan the list for her name. (Isn't her red hair GORGEOUS?!)
YYYEEEAAA!!!! GREAT NEWS for Britney too!! SHE LANDED THE LEAD FEMALE ROLE!! And then out come the cell phones! Gotta spread the good news!
So....Brad & Brit will once again play each other's "love interest". (They also played "Belle" & "The Beast" last summer in the CMT musical Beauty & the Beast) They were standing around talking about how they will probably have to "kiss" this time and Brad starts teasing her by licking his lips kinda like he did here... (Poor Brit!)
It should be a fun show so mark your calendars for May 4 & 6 to see these two perform together once again.
Ah....this was the weekend of the Winter Formal, Kimberly's first formal dance.
It all started Friday afternoon with the Winter Formal Assembly at her school where her pom squad performed their pom routine which was choreographed by Kimberly and two other girls. See video here.
Then, the pampering started. The nails, the make-up, the hair....everything....which took the rest of Friday and much of the day Saturday. Then it was time to finish it all up with the dress, shoes, and the bling.
One final glance in the mirror to make sure everything is perfect.
The finished product.
See more photos in the Winter Formal Dance photo album.
OK...finally! Here is the post several of you have been waiting for complete with photos. I only chose a few photos to put directly in this post but you can see all of them here.
A couple of weekends ago, HH & I attended the biggest shin-dig ever to hit the BCC...the 25th Anniversary Celebration Gala. This was a black-tie event complete with a valet parking, a red carpet entrance, paparazzi, champagne, seven course dinner, and the whole nine yards. (OK OK...I'm kidding about the paparazzi!)
Now HH & I generally avoid these types of shin-digs as we are more the backyard bbq type; however, we decided to attend for several reasons. 1) We love the BCC. Our kids have practically grown-up on stage there. 2) Um...I work there. 3) I got the "employee discount" for the dinner. 4)Some of our good friends were going and we arranged to all sit together. (I dubbed it "the FUN table") 5)I was wanted to see the elaborate decorations and watch the entertainment.
So...we went. We arrived about 3/4 of the way through the social hour event before dinner. The valet parking was cool. I could get used to that. We walked around, found the coat check area and give the girl my black & white plaid wool coat to hang up next to the mink coats and furs already there. Then, we headed up to the gallery to find our buddies who were already there. Here are some pictures.
"The Fun Group"
Overview of the social hour in the gallery. (This photo was taken before it got crowded)
The photos displayed on the wall of the gallery during social hour were really cool. They were of the construction of the BCC.
We enjoyed a seven course meal with entertainment between each course. These 3 courses were my favorite.
Citrus Caesar in a Parmesan Bowl
Almond Crusted Pork Tenderloin with Cajun Grit Cake
Dessert was "Chef's Delight" and it WAS delightful!
The entertainers were called "Imagineers" and they were kind of like really colorful mimes. They changed costumes several times during the evening, danced on the dance floor, mingled with guests,and performed amazing balacing & acrobatic stunts.
This guy was kind of creepy. He kept giving me & DC the "eye"; I'm thinking he really liked DC. ;-)
Here is a short video clip of this "Rolla Bolla" guy who did some amazing balancing stunts. The video doesn't really do the whole act justice because he kept stacking it higher and higher until you couldn't believe he could stay on top of it without falling. You probably would have just had to be there but, trust me, it was really incredible.
These are a couple of my super sweet co-workers. Emily is on the left; she is the Executive Administrative Assistant. Lori is on the right; she is the Events Coordinator. Don't they look gorgeous all dressed up?
Well, that's about it. We didn't stay too long after the seventh course. We enjoyed the evening but we were ready to get home, change clothes, and go to bed. Yeah...I know...Party Poopers. :-) I uploaded several pictures to the Gala album on this blog if you want to see more.
(Photo/Video credits: Lori E., Jerry P., & Mike K.)
Until next time...
I've had a revelation recently that I can't watch MTV anymore. It’s not that there is anything wrong with the programming, but I have clearly aged beyond the station’s target demographic. I simply don’t think like a 16-18 year-old kid anymore.
Nevertheless, my kids enjoy watching MTV so I'm still subjected to the occasional music videos and marathon sessions of shows like My Super Sweet Sixteen. For the uninitiated, each episode of My Super Sweet Sixteen follows a spoiled rotten 16 year-old girl as she plans for and hosts her own Sweet Sixteen party that makes the wedding of Prince Charles and Princess Diana look like a backyard barbecue.
It was during one of these marathon sessions that I finally realized that I have become an old fogey.
I know this because I was shocked – as in “appalled” – by what I was watching. I’m only 39 years old, and consider myself still relatively young and open-minded. I mean even our kids' friends think that HH & I "cool parents" so we can't be all that bad...can we? However, it’s abundantly clear that I have lost touch anything remotely resembling coolness or hipness or keeping it real.
Tell me this, when did it become acceptable for a 16-year-old girl to wear – IN PUBLIC – a $3,000 gown with a neckline that plunges so low that anyone in the room can practically see what she had for lunch?
When did it become OK for girls to invite rappers to perform at their Sweet Sixteens so that all of their pimply, brace-faced little friends could gyrate to lyrics about loose women, gigalos, and various body parts getting "sprung".
And when did men with way too much money start buying their bossy, bratty little daughters a new Lexus and a diamond-studded Rolex when they’re only 16? Back in my day....(Good lord, I really sound old now!) my first "official" car was a used, big-bird-yellow, manual-shift Toyota Starlet with a huge, bright red band-aid on the right front crumpled fender that said "Ouch". (The crumpled fender was kinda my fault <hee hee>)
Now, HH & I have a beautiful teenage daughter. She will be 15 years old this week. When she celebrates her "Sweet 16" this time next year, we’ll give her a big hug, a kiss on the cheek and maybe a $20 Quik Trip gas card and some clothes. We will probably also take her out to dinner and I'm sure she talk us in to letting her have a party at the BCC (I get the employee discount there). However, this party won't include any rap stars, or any low-cut fancy dresses that cost twice as much as our monthly mortgage payment. She will get a decent USED vehicle to get around town in, however, a significant portion of it will be paid for using her own money...which she has been saving for several years now.
Even though we consider both of our kids to be somewhat spoiled, we are grateful that they are both realistic and have some concept of the value of a dollar. I am certain that our daughter will absolutely LOVE the birthday festivities described in the paragraph above and she will be very THANKFUL to have something to drive. That's just the way she is.
Her older brother is the same way. He got a great deal from his grandpa on a 1983 two-tone brownish pickup truck we affectionately refer to as "the rolling turd". He absolutely LOVES it...it gets him where he needs to go...and the insurance is affordable. As you can see from the picture...he is tickled pink and doesn't feel deprived.
Simply put, I ABSOLUTELY REFUSE to spend $60,000 to rent a big house for one night so our darling daughter can enjoy her Sweet Sixteen. I will NOT shell out six figures so she can invite a man with shiny silver teeth to rap about booty calls, gettin' low, or shakin' her money maker. And if her father has his way, she will wear a sweater. A turtleneck sweater. And possibly a chastity belt.
Does this attitude make me an old fuddy-duddy? Probably.
Is this the stereotypical, over-bearing parent routine to which I swore I’d never fall victim? I'm thinking so.
Is my youthful resiliency and tolerance getting smaller and smaller in the rearview mirror? Yep.
CONGRATULATIONS to my Brainiac Baby Sis!!
I just received an email (forwarded to me by my mother) announcing that my Brainiac Baby Sister just got a promotion to "Project Manager" at her company. :::cough::: suck up :::cough:::
She landed a computer geek job with this company right out of college and has been there for about 3 years. Now she's going to be head computer geek and project manager! I'm just so proud of that little twerp! So proud in fact that I am going to let her take me out for a celebratory dinner the next time I see her! LOL
I have been wanting one of these bad boys for several years so I was pretty thrilled to finally get one. However, our life has been pretty darn busy lately so I haven't really had the chance to play with it much....that is, until this weekend.
Mother Nature blanketed us with a nice thick layer of ice & sleet these last couple of days, so our weekend has been mostly spent indoors. Since I had a little extra time on my hands, I decided to play with my new toy.
I have been wanting to try Ree's Scrumptious Cinnamin Roll recipe every since she posted it on her blog a month ago. My 2 gorgeous neices had spent the night over here so with them & my lovely daughter, Kimberly, I had 3 assistants. I gathered my assistants (see photos below) and we started out.
My 2 main assistants...Jessica & Kimberly:
My third assistant, Janessa...who didn't help as much but she was great at taste testing! LOL
The funnest part was rolling out the dough and cutting it. We got the dough rolled out just fine, poured the butter on it, sprinkled the cinnamin & sugar on it, and let it all become one. :-)
Oh my....and these tasted HEAVENLY!!! OMG!!!!! And they did, indeed, elicit primal groans from my family members. This recipe was a definite "KEEPER"!! Soooo....you had better start sucking up if you want to be the recipient of a pan of these divine treats. :-)
Over and out....
"The Secret Garden" has consumed most of our time the last couple of days. This was a breaktaking musical that was presented by a cast comprised of mostly local talent at the BCC. Brad played the part of a dead guy named Lt. Shaw. I was amazing and I hope you didn't miss it. Here are some photos from the show:
This duet was amazing...simply amazing!
Caitlyn was simply astounding...Mark was absolutely sensational. WOW!!!!!!
The little girl who played Mary was SO good!
And Britney (the gorgeous redhead)...well, she's simply AWESOME in anything she does.
She's going to be famous someday and I'm going to get rich by selling all her autographs
on Ebay. LOL
Check out my photo album for more pictures!
Happy New Year!
Wow...is it me or does time just seem to fly by the older I get? Last year was really a pretty good year for us. I'm not going to recap it because you can read the annual Gray Family Newsletter if you are really interested.
The last few days of 2006 were great. I celebrated the 10th anniversary of my 29th birthday with a family dinner at Murphy's with Steve, Chay, & their family. I have been off work most of the last week so I have been able to get some stuff done around the house. And...being the boring old fogeys that we are, Harley & I chose to ring in the new year here at home.
With school being out we have had a steady stream of teenagers/college students through the house; all of whom we adore. They keep us feeling young and tell us we're "cool" even though our own kids disagree. :-) I even had a couple of the kids who call me "Mom" ask my why they weren't included in our annual Gray Family Newsletter. LOL So...for all of you kids who bless us with your presence on a pretty regular basis like Chris D., Melissa, Megan, Janessa, Jessica, Britney, Caitlyn, Amanda, Chris E., Kara, Erin, Mahria, Christy, Skyler, Felicia, Chrystal, Andy B., and anyone else I may have missed; we love you guys and we think our are all pretty darn awesome. Thanks for being a part of our lives.
It looks like 2007 is shaping up to be another busy year for us. Tonight we are going to watch OU in the Fiesta Bowl, then tomorrow it's back to work during the day, Secret Garden rehearsals at night (Brad is in the show and Harley & I are working backstage), and the show all next weekend. Busy, busy, busy!!
Keep checking back for updates throughout the year!
Our Christmas was wonderful. We went to a great Christmas Eve service at church on Sunday. Then on Christmas day we had lots of yummy food, enjoyed spending quality time with family, and we all got plenty of presents.
Now when our family gets together there is ALOT of fun and laughter. But THIS video of our 4 month old nephew, Jaden, playing with his new toy was the funniest part of our Christmas day. Enjoy! (Yes, that is me holding him, making the stupid kissy noises, and busting a gut! LOL)
<Click button to play video>
Well, I didn't mean to...it was an accident. Read on...
You see, the Oak Ridge Boys performed in front a packed house the other night at the BCC. Not only did they SELL OUT...they SOLD OUT 3 weeks ago. We actually opened up the orchestra pit to add about 80 more seats and we still left hundreds on our waiting list. Who knew the Oak Ridge Boys were that popular!!??
Of course, since I work there, I really needed to be at the show plus I wanted to see what all the hoopla was about. After much persuasion and negotiation, I finally succeeded in talking my hubby into going with me.
We parked in the backstage parking lot and instead of walking around the building to the front, I decided to go through the backstage area. (I was secretly wanting to act like a big shot since I work there and possibly catch a glimpse of the Boys getting ready) Well, lo and behold, after being questioned by 4 security officers and convincing them that I really did work there, Harley & I headed through the backstage area toward the auditorium. We turned the corner to go through the Green Room and lo and behold, the Boys were having a "meet and greet" with some of the members of their fan club. The room was PACKED with rabid fans of the ORBoys who were busy getting autographs and photos taken with the boys. Well, as Harley and I were squeezing our way through the crowd, I "accidently" goose-ed one of the boys! LOL He looked at me and smiled and I just kept on walking.
Anyway, I thought the concert was really good and a perfect way to get into the Christmas spirit. Harley did too but he won't admit it. :-) Here is a pre-printed "signed" (actually stamped) photo of the Boys that I picked up for our good friend Dr. C.
Well, I think I just (accidently) found a new way to get my hubby to not procrastinate on his "honey-dos". You see, I have been sitting here all evening working on the annual GrayGang Christmas letter. It got late....everyone went to bed...yet I sat here diligently trying to finish it so that maybe, just maybe, our loved ones would be able to receive it BEFORE Christmas this year. :-)
Anyway, so everyone is in bed and I go and take my shower like I always do. Since Harley is already in bed, I go into our room and quietly attempt to get my jammies on and slip into bed without turning the light on. Well, a few days ago the large wooden folding door on Harley's side of the closet had fallen off the hinge thingy and instead of putting it back up immediately, he just leaned it against the wall to do later. (Do you see where I'm going with this yet??? LOL)
Well, in the darkness of our bedroom, while I was so carefully trying to maneuver to avoid waking my darling husband up; I accidently kicked the door over. It started falling in slow motion right smack dab on towards Harley who was obliviously sleeping like a baby. I tried to save him....I really did....so I stuck my foot out to try to cushion the crash. But it was no use. :-( The door crashed down hard on him and it wasn't a very pleasant experience as you can imagine. After a few yelps, cries, squeals, moans, groans, and even a few choice words, he was finally able to communicate that he was not seriously injured. Thank goodness! However, in my heroic effort to save him, my foot took the brunt of one corner of the door. So, here I sit blogging while icing down and elevating my swollen, bruised foot. I'll have to milk this injury for all it's worth. ;-)
Do you think he will fix the closet door now???!!!
Today was a pretty darn good day.
Church was great; Pastor T's sermon was right on. Afterwards we went to Golden Corral with Steve, Chay and their gang and I drug the camera out.
Then we went and had family pictures taken. While we were waiting on Wil (the photographer) to arrive, I decided to snap a few pictures of my own. I couldn't pass up the shot of Brad & Kimberly below dancing to "Walk it out" downtown in front of the Chamber of Commerce.
They finally got serious and I was able to snap the "money shot"
After our family pictures, I came home and did some holiday baking so right now the house smells like freshly baked cookies. Ahhhhh.....life is good. Wish there was a way to upload smells. :-)
Until next time....
We recently drove down to OKC to attend Kimberly's state pom competition. The competition just happened to be at OCU which is one of the colleges Brad is interested in. So, since we were going to be there anyway, we decided to set up a tour of the college and meet with some of the professors in the tech theatre department.
All went well, Brad loved the college...Kimberly's squad did really well in the competition...and we had a great time. Here are some photos of our trip.
Kimberly & Harley at the pom competition
Bring home the hardware!
The kids outside the gym at OCU
Check out the video of the dance Kimberly's squad did at State:
OK...Ok...I know I am posting this a little after the fact but what can I say...I have been busy! For my readers who don't live in Bartlesville; we actually have already had our first big snow. I'm talking BIG, as in about 15 inches. The National Weather Service out of Tulsa actually issued it's very first BLIZZARD warning on Nov. 30 for this area. Schools closed, many local businesses closed...it was a pretty big deal for little ole Bartlesville. Anyway...enjoy the pictures...hopefully they will help get you in the Christmas spirit!
Some random tree by Kmart
JoAllen Lowe Park - (See the ducks on the pond)
Where Harley works...
Kimberly posing by her pom sign in our front yard
Now she demonstrates how to make snow angels
Brad shovels the neighbor's driveway
My Expedition buried in the snow
Our dogs LOVE the snow!
I watched TV yesterday afternoon as the whole Colorado school shooting thing unfolded. I couldn't believe it was happening AGAIN at yet another school. I felt helpless as I watched the press conference. All I could think about was that I have kids that age and how that very same thing could easily happen here.
My heart went out to the sheriff who spoke at the press conference. I could tell that this was a very emotionally trying time for him and all of the officers involved. Many of them had children in this school. As far as I am concerned these officers did everything they could do and they handled the situation extremely well. How else were they able to get all but two students out of this school?
It really irritates me to watch the interviews of people who are blaming law enforcement for the death of the girl. It is easy to sit in the comfort of our homes and second guess what we would have done. There is not one officer who would not have traded places with the victim. Most of the people being interviewed don't know what they are talking about....they weren't there! Yet they sit around and place blame on the men and women who risk their lives to protect us. Situations like this are never cut & dry. You simply can't predict what a mentally distraught human being will do. I just so thankful that more children didn't get killed at the hands of this madman. My hats off to law enforcement and their efforts.
Dearest Heavenly Father...Please bring comfort to the family and friends of those affected by this incident. Although we cannot comprehend why someone would commit such an act, we realize that we all will go through faith shaking experiences. I pray that your love prevails. Give us the strength to endure. Our faith, hope and trust is in you. Please heal our brokenness. In the Name of Christ Jesus. Amen!