Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Family Reunion!

June 22-25 we were in Branson, Missouri for my family reunion. We had so much fun we hated to leave, but at least we have pictures to commemorate our trip :)

As a family that hates car trips, the decision to fly was a fairly easy one.  The girls had never flown before and they loved everything about it!

My nephew Aaron and his wife Amanda at dinner the first night we were there.

My brother Travis (Aaron's dad) and his girlfriend Jeri-Kay.  "How's the eye Jeri-Kay?"
Heather, my sister-in-law, nailed her in the eye with a dinner roll.  Allegedly!

Aaron, Amanda and Jeri-Kay!

Jeri-Kay and Travis the evening of the reunion picnic!

My brothers Clay (green shirt) and Hank (white shirt).

Clay, Hank, my cousin Darran (whom I haven't seen in 30 years) and my dad!

My brother Woody and his wife Linda.  They haven't changed in years!

Sarah, my cousin's youngest.

Ace, Aaron and Amanda's baby.  He was a sweetie who just wanted ear scratches and carrots :)
The girls loved on Ace quite a bit.  I think it helped them not miss Chuck so much.

Amanda and Clay!

The grandkids at the pool.  Getting them out of the pool and lined up for a photo was quite a feat, but we managed it.....sort of.

From left.....Katie, Aubrey, Joel, Cayla, Callie, Clay and Brigham.  Front row......Sarah W., Kyle, Autumn and Sarah P. 

From far left: Aaron and Ace, Woody, Travis, Hank, Clay, Heather, Dad, Me, Mom

From left:  Darran, Lee Ann, Amanda, Aaron, Ace, Linda, Woody, Jeri-Kay, Brenda, Travis, Hank, Dad, Clay, Mom, Heather, Cory, Me

The pools were the biggest hit, outranking Silver Dollar City (theme park we visited on Sunday) and Ripley's Believe It Or Not!  No matter what we were doing, the kids ultimately wanted to go swimming.  

Sarah P. at the pool!



Cory was the hero and the babysitter of the weekend.  At Silver Dollar City he took all the kids and rode the crazy roller coasters while Brenda, my mom, and I shopped.  When we were at the condos he could usually be found in the pool, surrounded by the kids.  With record temps reaching above 100 degrees, the pool was the place to be :)

Cannonball Brigham!

Sarah and Autumn - double jump!

Saturday we visited Ripley's Believe It Or Not Museum, and although it looks like it was hit by the tornado that ripped through Branson in March, it remained unscathed and looks this way intentionally!  We still can't figure out why!

Cayla, posing near the two headed calf and the stagecoach made entirely of toothpicks, 1.5 million of them!

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Autumn and Sarah

Callie is my nephew's daughter and this was the first time we've met her in person.  She and Cayla instantly hit it off and had a great weekend together!

Cayla, Callie, Cory, Sarah and Autumn with the world's fattest man!

Cory and Autumn standing near the tallest man!

Sarah, Autumn, Callie, Cayla and the world's largest ball of twine!

The black-light, spinning room.  The flash eliminated the black light :(

The black-light, spinning room was their favorite Ripley's attraction.  They went through it multiple times and got goofier as the day wore on!

Swimming, theme parks, shopping and visiting with relatives made for VERY tired girls!

Autumn sleeping.  It's a rare sight; witness it while you can!

Autumn, Aubrey, Cayla, and Callie!

Cayla, Me, and Autumn outside the Kris Kringle Christmas store.  Christmas shopping in  100 degree weather doesn't feel right.  They should have turned the air down and made it cold in there :)

Cayla, Autumn, and Cory waiting for our flight at the Branson Airport - the only privately owned airport in the U.S. 

A 6 hour layover at Denver International left us with plenty of down time for recharging ourselves and our electronics!

Autumn and Cory!




The trip was quick, but oh so much fun.  I loved getting to see my family again.  We had a great visit with lots of laughs, and new memories made.
I definitely think we need to make it a more regular occasion.  Once a decade is not enough!

Love you all!

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Keepin' It Clean!

Usually when I travel I toss my toothbrush and toothpaste into a Zip-loc bag before throwing it in my make-up bag.  After the first use, I hate the feel of the Zip-loc when I reach my hand in to retrieve my toothbrush and paste.  It's all wet, and I've usually managed to get a bit of paste on the inside of the bag - gross!  It's not a huge deal because it's disposable, but then I realized, there IS a better way.

Using a little "Pinspiration" and a regular wash cloth, I fashioned a little toothbrush kit.  I created 4 "pockets" to hold toothbrushes, paste, floss sticks, whatever.  After using the toothbrush, I will return it to it's pocket, roll the whole thing up and tie it securely.  When I get home, I can toss the washcloth into the machine and "good as new."

With our family vacation on the horizon, I fashioned one for myself (pink), Cayla (aqua), and Autumn (green) and I made a fourth one for Kelly (in orange because it's her favorite) because she excitedly agreed to attend Kids' Camp with me! 

Bring on the fun, summer, "tidy" vacations :) 

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Scary Scarring!

While at the mall today, my mom and I saw a lady walk past us with a fairly large, visible scar that was clearly a type of 'branding' of the skin.  Apparently I live in a cave because I've never seen this before, but I have heard of it.  After 30 seconds of research I learned that body-branding is referred to as scarification.  I listed the Wikipedia definition below, but it coincides with Webster's definition as well.

Scarifying involves scratching, etching, burning, or superficially cutting designs, pictures, or words into the skin as a permanent body modification.[1] In the process of body scarification, scars are formed by cutting or branding the skin. Scarification is sometimes called cicatrization (from the French equivalent).

Needless to say, I am not a fan of body "art" whether it's branding, tattoos or bizarre piercings just to name a few.  So, what's my point?  Because I do have one.  After seeing the woman at the mall something occurred to me that I shared with my mom.

With societies' acceptance of body alterations such as those shown here, it's no wonder people are going to so easily accept the mark of the beast and worship him.  When things become second nature, common place and an every day occurrence, they definitely lose their shock value. I honestly don't think the group who accepts the mark will have any difficulty doing so.  It won't be a second thought to them despite the fact that it will mean permanently altering their body (and their eternity) to accept it.

Upon seeing this woman's scar, two verses came to mind and it sent chills down my spine:

"A third angel followed them and said in a loud voice: "If anyone worships the beast and his image and receives his mark on the forehead or on the hand, he, too, will drink of the wine of God's fury, which has been poured full strength into the cup of his wrath. He will be tormented with burning sulfur in the presence of the holy angels and of the Lamb."   Revelation 14:9-10

"Do not cut your bodies for the dead or put tattoo marks on yourselves. I am the LORD."  Leviticus 19:28

Just to note, the red is NOT ink, it's blood where the skin has been etched away so that when it heals up, the scar tissue resembles the picture that was etched in the skin.

This is the same photo as above after it has healed up.  As scar tissue forms, collagen builds up, forming keloids, which can be painful,  can become infected, cause constricted movement, and can grow beyond their boundaries.  All of that sounds just lovely!