Monday, July 25, 2011

The Best Memory System

We have a wonderful church secretary who puts our bulletins together each week.  She also happens to be one of my closest friends.  I love her dearly and appreciate her for all that she is and all that she does. Each week in the bulletin, she puts an article, poem, funny story, etc.  She can find some really good ones.  It seems every Sunday, after reading the bulletin, I think~OH that is a GREAT one!  I need to remember that one or share that one.  Yesterday's came from Bulletin Digest.   So today I thought I would share......

The Best Memory System
 Forget each kindness that you do as soon as you have done it;
Forget the praise that falls to you the moment you have won it;
Forget the slander that you hear before you repeat it;
Forget each slight, each, spite, each sneer, wherever you may meet it.
Remember every kindness done to you, whatever its measure'
Remember the praise by others won, and pass it on with pleasure;
Remember every promise made and keep it to the letter;
Remember those who lend you aid and be a grateful debtor;
Remember all the happiness that comes your way in living;
Forget each worry and distress, be hopeful and forgiving;
Remember good, remember truth, remember heaven's above you,
and you'll find through age and youth that many hearts will love you.

It is funny that this was in yesterday's bullentin. ~Trying to raise my beautiful daughters to not feel that they are entitled in this life.  Showing them how to be grateful givers without expecting anything in return. Showing them how to express kindness without expecting it to be "made public".  Showing them to express their gratitude to those that show them kindness no matter how big or how small.  Helping them understand that some people show their insecurites thru some ugly ways and sometimes it is better and OK to just walk away as opposed to get caught up in it.   And the hardest of all~ Reminding them that God has given them an incredible gift and it is how they use that gift that they express their gratitude to God.  And I am grateful for God's blessings~ My friends who love me for me, my family who love me for me, and my Lord who loves me for me!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Rounding out Long Course Swimming Season

We got home from St. Louis on July 7th about 9:30 pm.  We had spent the day getting updates about our sweet little friend, Tinsley~2 1/2.  Tinsley and her family go to church with us and she was at Vanderbilt Children's Hospital having open heart surgery as we were finishing up our vacation.  Thru the modern wonders of today we were getting text message updates often.  Everytime my phone made the text ding, everyone would stop and look at it an update?  Then I would read aloud. We were able to send out thoughts and best wishes and celebrations back to her parents via text.  Even though we were not right there by their side in the waiting room, they knew that as we finished our vacation they were foremost on our hearts and minds! 
Tinsley on Saturday~ this would be two days
after open heart surgery! 
On Friday morning, the girls got up at 5am and we drove to Brentwood for an early morning (6am) practice.  While the girls were at practice, I went up to the hospital to give Kent and Jill a quick hug!  Back to pick girls up and head home to pack for Baylor Swim Meet in Chattanooga.  We had been home less than 13 hours but it was time for us to go back to Brentwood and picked up Nicole and deliver dinner for the Pips (thanks to Honey), then turned our sites south. 
We knew we had to go to bed early because the they had an early warm on Saturday.  It was VERY hard to get the three girls to go to bed....words spoken~really mom it is still day light outside!  My experience spending a lot of my summers growing up with Chattanooga summer nights~ sometimes it was 9:30 before dark set in.  They did not believe me but I told them, well this is just one fact that you will have to take my word for.  And guess what it will be dark when we leave for the pool~I promise! 
I make it to the pool with all three girls
even got them feed. 

Noriko meets us at the pool as the meet is starting.  So we are ready for a little girl time!  The girls swim well and drop time or as Kent tells me~ they do a PR (personal record).  Mary Lane and Nicole swim the 100 breast and it just did not look right at the turns, it is a PR but they both think they could have done better.  So we decide to time trial it.  Mary Lane goes to talk to her coach and asked if she could time trial it and scratch the 400 free.  Coach Dennis says he is ok with that.  Well NOT THAT EASY!  Because Mary Lane had done a positive check in the 400 free had already been deck seeded (swim lingo), she could not scratch it.  So she goes back and tells Coach Dennis this and he says ok let's let this work for us.  Use it as your warm up.  By this time Katherine has swam her 200 fly!  She was ahead of everyone (they combined the boys with the girls because there were only 6 13-14 year olds swimming it) at the 125 meter mark.  Then the boys pull up and the all go into the wall (150meter) about at the same time.  The boys come out of the turn first and Katherine sees their splash and it gets her off a bit.  Usually the last 50 for her is like whitewater.  She decides to time trail it but she is going to wait till Sunday and scratch the 400 IM with Coach's permission.  So it has become the meet of time trail drama! 
NOW it is time for Mary Lane to swim her 400 free "warm-up" and boy did she listen to Dennis....she was so graceful!  But funny thing was she only added 30 seconds to her PR and she finished about 15 meters after the second to last girl.  Those of us in the stands looked at each other and one of the other parents said, I shutter to think what would have happened if she had tried.  So now it was time for the time trial for Nicole and Mary Lane, and they both come out with a PR.  So day one of Baylor is in the books and it is TIME FOR LUNCH!!!!  We find a "secret" place that we decide to not tell Mike.  We will go back but if Mike is with us~he will have to be blindfolded! HA!!! 
Mary Lane, Nicole, and Katherine with the beautiful river behind them!

 After lunch, we walk around a little bit but good golly it is HOT!  So we decide to go back to the room to rest and relax and boy can those girls RELAX!

No to the untrained eye that looks like a corner piled with stuff!
 BUT NO~ it is Katherine with a pile of pillows and blankets
watching a movie!
 Mary Lane watching a movie on the bed.
Nicole enjoying a movie on the other bed!
At this moment, I am SO grateful for the mifi and that everyone has an ipad!!!!  After a little driving around, getting ice cream, and some was time for bedtime before it got dark and they did not CARE!

Sunday, warm ups and day two of Baylor!  Day two was another day of PR's but the excitement was Katherine's 200 fly~ she had to do it by herself.....and HOLY COW~ everyone was on their feet yelling and screaming!  It was very exciting!  She dropped almost 6 seconds!  So it was time to decide if we were going to Knoxville for Southeasterns for 3 events.  We finally decided that we would drive up on Thursday, the 14th for Katherine to swim the mile and spend the weekend at the Lake!!! 
So Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday was a practice as usual.  Thursday found us heading to Knoxville.  Honey went with us!  It was a quick drive for a long wait! 

My sweet girl watching and waiting!
 Both my sweet girls waiting!
 Honey and Mary Lane chilling in the stands waiting some more!
FINALLY~ she is on block ready to go!  20 minutes later
it is over and done and now we wait for her to warm down and drive home!

After a good dinner, we make the not so quick drive back home!  And now to pack for the lake!!  It has been known as that summer of Plan B, and this Plan B is very welcomed!!!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

St. Louis (part four)

Thursday morning we woke up early (5:30) to go to swim practice again at CSP.  When I went in the house to get the girls up, Casey was already up!  She said that she was worried with her crazy schedule that she would miss us.  HOW SWEET!!!!  After swim practice, we got home and Brent was ready to flip some pancakes for two really hungry swimmers.  What a SWEETHEART!!!  And they were good...Clay and I had to sample you know! 
After some discussion at breakfast, we decided that we would meet up for lunch with 5 of the 6 (Elizabeth was working).  So we headed out for our last tour of St. Louis on this trip.  We decided we really wanted to see Grant's Farm.  Casey and Brent spoke very highly of it~ and it was a great way to finish our sightseeing!
 Standing in front of the stables at Grant's Farm
 Katherine's hand over a pony sized horseshoe
 Katherine's hand ~horse horseshoe
 Katherine's hand......and you guessed it~ a clydesdale horseshoe!
 Clydesdale in training!
 fence around Grant's Farm.....and yea, you might say big deal...
well, it is very COOL~ made out of gun barrels from Civil War guns!
 Ulysses and Julia Dent Grant's first home
 around the property we saw lots of these lining around the grass
areas.  Cannon balls!!!!  the lady guiding our tram said that some
people think they are bowling balls....well, there is a thumb hole~HA!
 one of the first wagons
 there were several sleighs.....if only it had been COLD enough
to even dream about using them!
 girls in the stable courtyard!

After finishing up at Grant's Farm, we went over to Julia Dent's childhood farm and where Ulysses and Julia lived for awhile.  It was so pretty!!!
My girls hanging out waiting for our tour! 

 Trying to stay cool!

It was time for lunch.  We sent text messages (strange after touring a house with no power) to Casey and Brent stating LUNCHTIME!  So we met at a wonderful pizza place in downtown Webster Grove, Dewey's Pizza.  After lunch, we headed back to the St John's house to pack up the car and shower the hot morning off of us!  It was sad to say bye after a wonderful week!!!  And this sweet little face!!! 
 Christopher! being funny leaving us with lots of laughes!!!

Clay turned the car towards home.  From the back seat...the girls said it should would be nice to end our trip with some concrete.....Did not take much to talk Clay into getting a little sweet treat for the road!  So he pointed the car for Historic Route 66 and get some CONCRETE!!!!  YUMMO!!!!! 

 Our window girl posing for a picture! And after tasting it we
all said maybe we should have gotten a bigger one! OH yea, we will
have that one on our list for next trip....maybe everynight!
One day we will do the whole Route 66....
that is on both of our bucket list! 
We know one place that we will stop at for sure!
So worth it!!!

After our wonderful sweet treat, it was time to put this trip in the memorybook. Got a ton packed into this trip BUT there was still a ton, just in Forest Park, that we did not get to do.  We'll be back!!! 

Monday, July 11, 2011

St. Louis (part three)

Wednesday in St. Louis started in a very normal way.....

The girls got to practice with a local swim club.  The pool was AMAZING!  After practice, we went to St. Louis Bread Company for breakfast.  It was really good~ and outside of St. Louis, the rest of the world knows it at Panera Bread! 
We went to the transportation museum.  Lots of very cool "old" stuff!  Clay totally LOVED it!  There were some really cool stories but my favorite was about this motel on route 66!  
 Clay loves old trains!  I will have to say I do TOO!!
 ONE of the COOLEST!  This is a snow blower!

After a pretty warm morning of looking at different modes of transportation, everyone was very hungry and ready for something cool and fizzy!  So we headed to the FAMOUS Fitz's Restaurant!  Home of the Rootbeer!  YUMMO!!!!
Rootbeer started here in 1947! 

After a wonderfully filling lunch, we had plans to go to the zoo, but it was still so hot!  Clay said that he thought we would not see a lot of we decided to put that on the top of the NEXT TRIP to St. Louis List!  So we went to the Museum of Missouri History! It was very cool!  Going to the World's Fair in Knoxville when I was younger, I LOVED the history behind the 1904 World's Fair! 

Loved this artwork of the 1904 St. Louis World's Fair!

Loved the Charles Lindbergh portion of the museum. 
For this to be a plan B, there were no complaints!

Girls posing for a picture in Forest Park!

After leaving Forest Park, we met the St. John family at their country club swim meet.  It was tons of fun watching them swim....until the bottom fell out!  This would be our last night in St Louis and with the St John family but not for long!!!!
St. Louis be continued....

Saturday, July 9, 2011

St Louis (part two)

After getting home late from downtown, we decided to sleep till we got up.  We had breakfast and we were ready to start our day at the Arch.  So we headed downtown to get our timed tickets to go up.  We so grateful that we got there when we did.  Clay got our tickets and as we were heading to the movie about the arch being built~ the line for tickets was almost out the door.  Saw a great movie about the arch being built before getting in the pod to ride up to the top.  I was so excited to share this with the girls.  I had been up in the arch years ago and thought it was amazing but to see it with them was very cool! 
 This picture was taken on July 4th
as we were walking around downtown before the game!
 And here is the other side from atop the arch!
 Family shot from atop the arch~ 630 feet in the air!
 Mary Lane got a really cool shot of the
arch's shadow from the top of the arch! Can't imagine building this!
 These would be my pod people!
 Mary Lane and I in the pod!
Mary Lane stood behind me worried that I would far backwards trying to get this shot. 

After a little snack and another movie about Lewis and Clark, we headed towards the Anheuser-Busch Brewery Tour.  It was a very cool tour with some funny stories to be told! 

 Clay and Beth under the wing of the Eagle!
 Doc poised for the sweet!
 Second time seeing the beauties! Asking for a little off the top!
 Chandelier from the 1904 World's Fair (one of four)

After the brewery tour, we headed over to Gus' pretzels for a taste....they were GOOD!  But we did not want to fill up cause we were on our way to dinner!

We finally made it to the historic Crown Candy Kitchen.  As we were pulling up our Florida friend that lives in St. Louis, Gary (Karen and I call him St. Louis) calls me to see how our trip is going.  I tell him where we are and all he says is BLT and guess what we had for dinner!
 Enjoying our family time!
 When they delivered this~ my reaction was THANK GOODNESS
WE HAVE BEEN WALKING ALOT!  Clay said that must
be at least a pound of bacon! 
Mary Lane thought she could eat a whole one....but she
split it with her sister!

Clay and Girls in front of the Crown Candy Kitchen.

After this we decided that since it would be a full & early day on Wednesday, we better head home.  So we got home in time to spend a little time with the St John's and talk about our day then it was BEDTIME! 
St Louis be continued!