Thursday, June 16, 2011

Playing Devil's Advocate...

I hope you had a chance to read my blog yesterday. If not, go back and read it first and then proceed...

Have you ever gotten one of those phone calls that caught you off guard, that took your breath away for a second. You feel like your head is spinning, or like your under water and you haven't surfaced for air yet?

Well, I have.

Monday, June 16, 2008.

Not a day I would really like to relive, but in retrospect, a day that was eye opening and a day that really made us put our trust in the Lord.
You see, Mr. Shook had returned to work after a week long vacation where we did all kinds of fun things in Ohio and threw my parents a 40th wedding anniversary party. It was fun and made all kinds of great memories. Never in our wildest dreams did we think that our world would be turned upside down by 3 pm. His employer starting informing people that effective immediately that they were laid off.


A big don't let the door hit you on the way out feeling.

Oh, and by the way, your benefits end today, too.

Even better.

Mike gave me the call as I had just dropped Cameron and Molly off for Vacation Bible School at a friend's church. I was in the car. I had to pull over.

I am comfortable feeling that you know how things turned out. It was a bit of a stressful summer but it also was a great summer where we spent lots of time together as a family. Mr. Shook received a severance package so we weren't destitute. We just had to make a lot of decisions and I don't know that we really second guess any of them.

There really isn't one person or company to blame for what happened. It was a very rough time for the auto industry. Mr. Shook's company filed for bankruptcy and things started to go sour quickly. They probably weren't getting paid for the parts that they were supplying the Big 3 and therefore the little man suffers.

So, if you read my blog yesterday and then have read what I wrote today you will not be surprised to know that I support jobs. And maybe that's what this indoor water park will provide that is really the end result we all should be caring about. From the planning, the building, the running and maintaining, all this will bring jobs. It will create more jobs to keep the traffic in order, it will create more jobs to keep the community still safe, it will create more jobs to support the other new business that will be a direct result of an indoor water park.

And creating more jobs cannot be considered a bad thing. Especially when our country is suffering economically. Maybe we should be very glad that a company like Bass Pro Shops picked central Illinois to open a new store. And maybe we should be glad for the ripple effect that this new mega business will create. Remember to all my Mom friends...the word Target in East Peoria has been thrown around. I've seen many of you salivate, me included! And that means more JOBS!!!

I don't know how I feel about the prospect of this water park. One friend doesn't think that it will ever happen so we don't need to worry about it. Just some food for thought.

And, I am very happy where I am today, 3 years later. I don't wish that kind of phone call on anyone, but thanks for always being a very hard worker, Mr. Shook, and providing for your family. As Father's Day approaches I hope you know how much we appreciate you. And how much we Love You!!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Bragging rights...

Wow, have I really slacked a bit on the old blogging. I just feel busy all the time yet there are so many things I want to say. Today I thought I'd share some bragging rights...

Hey 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

Happy Birthday, Baby...

My Baby is FOUR!!!

How did that happen??

Four years ago we received this special blessing...

and now we have this...

A big grown up FOUR!!
And no matter how much you might frustrate your Daddy and me you give the best hugs we have ever had! You are ours and we wouldn't have it any other way.
We love you, Amanda!!