Thursday, December 15, 2011
Tuesday, December 13, 2011
Holy cow! What happened to November and most of December??!! I have been a bad, bad blogger. Lots has been going on so here's a brief photo recap...
Saturday, October 22, 2011
Today was our church's Pumpkin Patch Party. The kids had a fantastic time. We dug deep into the closets to come up with costumes this year. We have so many costumes I thought this might be the year to recycle something. I didn't think I could stomach another trip to one of those scary, creepy Halloween stores that is really a closed Big Lots 10 other months of the year.
Thursday, October 20, 2011
Did you know that only 1% of the population of the world will ever run a marathon? And guess what?...
Saturday, September 10, 2011
Saturday, August 27, 2011
Wednesday, August 24, 2011
Tuesday, August 23, 2011
But, I have to admit. There is nothing like a feel good sports story. I am a sucker for ALL of them. I love a golfer walking down the 18th green with the possibility of winning his first major. I love the Cinderella story of a small division one school winning in the NCAA basketball tournament. I love the stories of the hard work, the blood, sweat and tears that athletes have put in to one moment every four years in the Olympics. I love it all!
Even better is seeing moments like this in person. I still remember seeing Mark McGuire hit one of his 70 home runs in 1998 and the Cleveland fans going crazy in awe. I remember the feeling in 1995 of sitting at Jacobs Field for the start of an American League Championship Series game and Oral Hershiser walking to the pitchers mound from the bullpen. It was so cool. The stadium was electric.
You don't get to experience those feelings very often. They are very rare. It's really neat when something very special happens at a sporting event. Even when it's on a small scale. This past Saturday, my son, Cameron, scored his first soccer goal. Ever. It was very, very special. I tried to be laid back about it, like it happens all the time. But, on the inside I was beaming. And it isn't so much that he scored the goal. Yes, that made me very happy. But it was how proud I am of him really, really trying to score a goal and then succeeding. His drive to improve at soccer has really come a long way and we couldn't be prouder. I don't expect the next Pele here but trying his best is awesome. And, the parents around us were very excited for Cameron, too. It was really nice of them to be supportive for us.
It made the soccer field feel electric if only for a second.
And that is why I love sports.
Tuesday, August 16, 2011
Wednesday, August 10, 2011
- that school starts in one week
- that I have what I feel are really nice kids who are learning so much but also are respectful, kind and nice to their teachers and friends
- that the weather is cooler and that there is an abundance of sunshine toda
- that my friends Brad and Staci have received really positive news regarding Brad's illness. This is a huge joy!!
- that very soon Mr. Shook and I will be celebrating living in Morton for 3 years. I'm still not "from here", but I am here.
- that Mr. Shook had successful outpatient surgery yesterday, was a real trooper, and that I didn't pass out when I looked at the incision last night. It is a decent size for just having local anesthetic.
- that Mr. Shook is a super supportive husband and friend and allowed us to travel to Ohio for the second time in a week. I really needed to do that. Thank you, Mike!!
Things that I am remembering...
- yesterday my Grandfather died one year ago. When we went to the cemetery to visit him when we were home a few weeks ago it made me realize even more that I don't live in Seville anymore.
- my friends Tracy and Pat and their family at the passing of Tracy's father, Jay. Both Tracy and Pat said really beautiful things about Jay under some intense emotions and I am so proud of both of them. I know you will have no regrets sharing with all of us.
- These words:
And the grave is overwhelmed
Monday, August 1, 2011
We just got back from visiting Mr. Shook's parents in Ohio and I went through our mail last night. I often don't read the church newsletter first thing but I decided to sit down with it for a minute. The opening letter from our pastor really hit home to me. He shares with us his experience returning to the first church he pastored in Kentucky many years ago. He talks about how the people there molded him to be the Pastor he is today. How forgiving they were for his lack of experience (although I guarantee Pastor Paul put his practice to very good use there and the congregation wasn't disappointed). He shared how many of the faces were the same as they were when he first arrived there and how he recognized quite a few of them.
Yesterday we worshipped in our "home" church. I feel the very same way there as our Pastor did in Kentucky. Many of the faces are the same, the people are very familiar to me and these are the people who molded me into the woman I am today. Mr. Shook and I take very seriously the part of a Methodist baptism that says the congregation will help you to raise your child with Christian love. All 3 of our children were baptized in that church in Ohio and even though we don't attend there anymore I know that they pray for us, love us and support us with Christian love. So many of the faces are the same and it makes me sad when I hear of one of those very familiar faces not being around anymore. The people who we have known for over 30 years are like a breath of fresh air to me. Comfort, familiarity and promise.
You see, it's after going back and visiting what I would originally call "home" that I now realize that I am who I am and I am where I am suppose to be in life. I know this with my whole heart. I always need to work on the who I am part but I believe that God brought us to Central Illinois for a reason. I never really felt like Michigan was home to us but I think that I am now, more than ever, in my home.
And, it's scary and exhilarating all in the same breath. And it often gives me chills.
Monday, July 25, 2011
Thursday, June 16, 2011
Wednesday, June 15, 2011
Hey Mortonites...do we live in a really great town or what??!!
I have moved a couple of times and let me tell you, this town is pretty great!
I loved where we lived in Michigan, but thank the good Lord above we didn't have to send our kids to school there. Mr. Shook and I plead ignorance on our house/neighborhood/location choice when we moved to Michigan and a bad decision like that will affect how you decide future plans for your family. I don't think I know anyone from my Michigan Peeps that sends their children to public school there. It's just not what you do.
Bring it forward to 2011 and I am loving not only the Morton Public Schools but the whole stinking town...
Things that I love:
1.) Morton Public Library
It is fantastic and its summer reading program is so fun for the kids. I love how it encourages even beginning readers to excel. We already have our invites to the summer pool party and I believe when Molly met the goal on Monday she was number 210. And school has only been out a month today. I love the Friday Brown Bag series where you can go and have fun and learn at the same time. Two weeks ago the library sponsored Peoria Area Fencers and it was really neat to see. This week it is Mad Science. Something new all the time.
2.) Morton Park District.
What awesome programs that they offer, especially in the summer. My new favorite thing that they do is update the programs, their availability and the daily status of them in inclement weather on Facebook. Brilliant if you ask me.
3.) Our church
The kids and I are really excited for Vacation Bible School to start on the 26th. It is always a good time and the kids learn so much. I can't wait to hear the new songs that go with the curriculum. We appreciate all the hard work that goes in to its success!
4.) Morton Youth Baseball Association
Cameron is liking his coach-pitch league this year. Who wouldn't when their Dad is the coach! But I have been really impressed with Molly's team. When I signed her up for Boys t-ball I really thought that it was the right move and it totally has been. Although she is the only girl in the whole league (!!) her coaches have not treated her any differently and have played her like they would any boy. We are so thankful for that and it has really made her time playing very fun. I will be sure to post some pictures soon. We have found out that our girl is not afraid of much and we applaud that. Molly has 2 more games this season and I know she will miss it when it's over. I also appreciate how well the Youth Baseball Association is ran and I love how up to date they are with technology. Getting text info is a life saver for me!
5.) I love having familiar faces
It is hard to go anywhere in this area and not see somebody you know. We saw Cameron's teacher at 7 am last Saturday running the Tremont Turkey Festival, I see someone almost every time I go to Wal-Mart or Kroger (even if you don't want to!), you always run into someone you know at Dairy Queen, and I know most of my neighbors. Even if we don't do things socially with neidghbors, they still know about our comings and goings. The library and pool are hot spots for seeing friends, too.
And here's what my whole point is about my loving my town. Yes, there is actually a point...
The Morton Economic Development Council requested the Village Board to approve spending $22,000 to do a study on bringing an indoor water park to our town. It is estimated that 1 million visitors will be attracted to our area with the new Bass Pro Shop being built in neighboring East Peoria. While I am all about the number of jobs that the new Bass store will bring to the area I'm not so sure how I feel about an indoor water park. We can make a pros and cons list until the cows come home, but I am really only seeing the cons right now.
- more crime
- more traffic
- more people
Of a town of 17,000 do we really want more crime, traffic and people?
The proposal says that in addition to a water park there could be bowling alley lanes, a miniature golf course, a movie theatre, go karts, batting cages...the list goes on.
Sometimes bigger isn't always better. Some times less is actually more.
I would love to hear the thoughts (pros and cons) of others. What do you think?
Am I missing a great opportunity for regional growth in our area? Do you think there will be less crime, traffic and people?
Now excuse me while I take a huge plunge from my soap box.
Wednesday, June 8, 2011
Wednesday, May 25, 2011
Tuesday, May 24, 2011
Monday, May 23, 2011
Wednesday ends our school year here. Both Cameron and Molly have expressed a desire to have a few chores in order to earn some allowance. I think it is a great idea I'm just not sure how to execute it. What have you done for your kids in order for them to earn an allowance? Some of the jobs that I am picturing are things like making their beds, emptying the dishwasher, wiping down their bathroom. Things that are pretty easy but also things that will take more than just 5 minutes. How have you established how much you give your child for an allowance and what do you allow them to spend it on? I struggle with what they should be allowed to buy and what Mike and I should be providing them. They really don't want for much but I don't allow them to get things every time we go to the store. No can do.
Please share with me your ideas and practices...a little hard labor goes a long way, right?
Thursday, May 12, 2011
But, finding one's niche in life can be challenging. It is a well known fact that young son loves, I mean LOVES, his Legos. He can build them into the picture with the directions or he can create a whole new ship/plane/attack fighter, you name it.
But young son seems to have a new interest. I swear it began with the introduction this year to not only money, but coins, who's on them and more importantly who's on the green stuff. So Cameron has taken his interest a bit farther and is fascinated with our United States President's. Lucky us, we found a fun facts book about the US President's at the Book Fair last week. Lucky us, Cameron has a Grandfather who majored in history in college and a Mother who minored in history in college. Score! (Although I can admit that I am a bit rusty on some of the facts. Thank god for Wikipedia. I feel like Michael Scott.)
Soooooo, Oh my.
We have taken the ball and ran with it.
There might be some memorizing going on, too.
After all, it seems very important to know that Charles Fairbanks was Vice President for Theodore Roosevelt.
Or that George Washington's dentures were made out of ivory and animal teeth. But, there is a debate that they were actually wooden. Did you know that??
What ever Cameron's interest lie in we hope to be able to foster them and help him to learn as much as he would like. In the mean time we will probably have all of the President's memorized in order very soon.
And, I was informed by young son that all he needs to complete his money collection is an Andrew Jackson.