Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Oh Where oh Where has my Little Dog Gone ...

How can you lose a l00 pound dog??

We have recently had quite a lot of rain - which is great - making a huge mess out of my back yard and patio though.  We have discovered that water runs between us and the neighbors and across our backyard to the patio  - - mud everywhere - but anyway - - - tonight it was time to clean up once again.

I quickly grabbed the push broom from the small metal shed in our backyard and began a work-out of sorts!  Once the patio was swept - broom tucked away in shed - I grabbed a smaller broom and moved on to sidewalks and steps.  Checked the flowers - Checked on my big dog Roy who was playing in the yard . . . or wait . . . "Roy!" Now where had the big gray dog gone?  I quickled glanced all around the FENCED in back yard - and walked to the far side of the shed to see if he was sleeping there out of the way of me and my wicked push broom!  No Roy - No Roy anywhere in the yard - - - I began to look all along the fence for a hole he had made to slip under the fence - - - and although we have some loose areas - nothing had been disturbed big enough to allow him to make a run for it - - - I began a little panic . . . Had he slipped by me when I went through the garage side door to get a ladder??  I began to shout throughout the neighborhood for him - - - Usually when he escapes me - I can see him running in the field across the street from our house - or in the neighbor's behind us  - he never strays very far away.

I couldn't help but think . . . could someone have seriously stopped by and picked him up??  Had they been casing the joint and dognapped Roy??   Did he head down 8th street and someone picked him up - - - 

As I stood in my empty back yard - - - contemplating my next move - - - which was to jump in the pickup and go hunting . . . I looked at my shed . . . my little metal shed there in the backyard . . . AND I KNEW . . . the Big Dog had gone WITH me into the shed to get the broom . . . and he had decided to STAY - - - probably "cleaning" up our gas grill - - - which he likes to do - - - and I had shut the door on him!!!    Sure enough - - - opened the door and out he came.

Dog found - had to laugh.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Sunday musings. . .

After vacations and 4th of July weekend - we were eager to get back to worship service today.

"There were two high school friends, now 30 years old, and they decided to have a class reunion.  They called all the classmates and someone said, "well where shall we meet?"  Another person said, "let's meet at The Burning Embers - it's a really up and coming place, very hip, very stylish, and everybody wants to go there!"  And they all agreed.

Then fifteen years later - when they were all 45 - they decided to have another class reunion and someone asked, "well where shall we meet?".  Another person says "let's meet at The Burning Embers because the food they serve is awesome!  And they all agreed.

Then fifteen years later - when they were all 60 - they decided they should get together again for a class reunion, and someone asked, "where shall we meet?"   One person said, "let's meet at The Burning Embers - It's a real quiet place to go and relax and visit."  And they all agreed.

Soon another fifteen years had gone by and they were all 75 but decided they should get the class together - and one person asked, "Where shall we meet?"   One person said, "let's go to The Burning Embers - it is handi-cap assessible!"   And they all agreed.

Then fifteen years later when the classmates were 90 years old, someone decided they should get back together for a reunion.  Some asked, "well where shall we meet?" and another person said - "Let's meet at the Burning Embers."  A classmate asked "Why should we meet there?"  and the man answered, "because we have never been there before!"   And they all agreed."

How's your memory?  Pastor used the above funny story to ask us the same question.  Do you remember the gospel message?  Jesus's life is not just a moral example for us - Jesus is still alive and he is our Savior.  He can help us live our life!    You've heard people criticize that "Christianity or Jesus is just a crutch!"    You can say to them - that is an understatement - Jesus is a stretcher  -  we need more than a crutch - - - we are DEAD - - - we are crucified with Christ.  If you remember the gospel message - you know that Jesus was presented to us as our Savior, not just a moral example.

I find that exciting and I needed to be reminded this morning that it's not just a story I believe - - - but it's a God that is still alive and ready to help me!  As I have talked about off and on the past year and a half - I'm in a battle to be healthier and to weigh less.  After a 30 pound weight loss/13 pound weight gain I am determined to get it right.  I have researched the food, the exercise, the lifestyle you need, etc etc and often - but not often enough - I just say God help me!   Our church is offering a 12 step program called Celebrate Freedom - for overeaters - I had talked with the pastor and his wife about this earlier and was thrilled and touched that they had followed through with looking into it and offering it to the church family!

I found great blessings today in my church family - our awesome pastor - and in our Savior who cares about the things that matter to each of us!

He cares about you too!!

Friday, July 19, 2013

"Remember the Alamo!" - Day 3

With the vacation wrapping up by Sunday - It was time for some shopping for souvenirs.  Academy Sports is one of Todd's favorite stores and his girls joke that they can always get him to take them there ANYTIME!  Tracy and Casey have a new found love for golf and so they spent some time at a new store called The Golfsmith.  All golf -  clothes - clubs - everything a golfer must have!

We also spent several hours at La Cantera Shopping Mall.  Lunch at the Cheesecake Factory was a great way to cool down.   Then it was time for the south Texas family to head for home in order to be back at work on Monday.  One fun surprise, our son decided to take his daughter Elaine on down with them for the month and to go on vacation with the family in two weeks.   Our daughter and her husband stayed with us another night.  

After the excitement with the wave pool - Casey and I decided to spend some time in the hotel swimming pool - - - absent of waves :)    

Spent the evening relaxing at the hotel - running out for a nice steak supper - and then headed back to get some sleep before a big day of driving. 

I have always struggled with what I call one of those "mom-things" but whenever I get my family away together on vacation - It gives me a lump in my throat when we come back home and they all go their separate ways.     I want to keep us all together as a "family unit" but that's not possible - so I write a blog to share my joy and look at pictures over and over!

The family decided this needed to be a yearly thing - so I look forward to where we might meet next time!!    I do know that we will all remember the Summer of 2013 - we will remember the Alamo - - - and we will not forget San Antonio!!  I am blessed with such a caring, loving family.  There is nothing better than happy times spent with family!

               Embassy Suites in San Antonio, Texas

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Fiesta . . . now Siesta! Day 2

Six Flags Fiesta - San Antonio, Texas

Unlike Clark Griswold in National Lampoon's Vacation - when the Henningsen's arrived at Six Flags Fiesta it was open!!!  I can relate to Clark in the picture here - how it would feel to drive 12 hours to find out the main event was closed!  

On our second day the plan was to meet for breakfast in the hotel - and then head out for a day at the amusement park!  

9 excited Henningsen's
8 swimming suits
7 eager "riders" - won't mention names of the two who refuse to throw their bodies into outerspace or ride upside down on thin rails!
6 hours of fun in the sun
5 burgers/fries 
4 feet of waves in the pool
3 gallons of green gatorade 
2 bottles of sunscreen
1 tired family!  1 great day!

As you can tell from the pictures below we had a great day of fun and we are blessed to have had the time with family.  

Side bar:  I joke now, but had a huge scare while in the wave pool.  Wonderful pool in the shape of the state of Texas - and much to our disappointment when we walked in to cool down - there were no waves. But still we headed to the deep end to soak up some cool water after a day on the rides.    I headed out to where the girls were and about the time I landed in the six foot deep water - the lifeguard stood up - blew her whistle - everyone cheered - and the waves began!!  I swam to the girls - or at least thought I would - but the waves hit me - surprised me at how strong they were - and I instantly lost my footing - couldn't breathe - couldn't swim - felt sooooo weak - - - and well I guess you could say - I panicked like you hear swimmers can do when they get in trouble . . . I hollered to my daughter Casey for help - she grabbed me - and another wave hit us - - - on the second try somehow she got me to the edge and I fought til I got to the ladder - then I cried.  Soon my son and son-in-law were there and all the girls - - - who knew that someone who can tread water for an hour in calm water - would react like this - - - I was stunned, embarrassed, scared, and a little mad.   Soooo thankful for my daughter who was close by - and for the whole family who gathered around . . . what will grandma do next???!!!

A few hours in the water and we were ready to head back to the hotel.  

After some snacks and drinks provided by the hotel - Embassy Suites - great place to stay by the way ... showers and fresh clothes - then we headed to The River Walk in San Antonio for dinner and some night life!  

Have snacks will travel . . . Day 1

"Travel is more than the seeing of sights; it is a change that goes on, deep and permanent, in the ideas of living."  Miriam Beard

Have to explain first off that I intended to do daily posts from San Antonio, Texas to tell you about our family vacation . . . but between sharing the Ipad with grandchildren - numerous activities during the day and evening - and falling into our COOL - comfy beds at night - - - I found NO time to blog!  But that's okay - - - the time spent with the kids was great!!!  So now I will recap for you from my recliner over the next few days - - - 

Arrived at Elaine (granddaughter's) house by 7 a.m. on Friday morning - met up with Casey and Tracy and we were "southbound and down ... loaded up and truckin' ...we're gonna do what they say can't be done . . . we got a long way to go and a short time to get there . . . (name that movie theme if you can!)

                          Elaine, Aunt Casey, Uncle Tracy

I always like the first leg of the trip as excitement bounds and the road seems shorter to me.  Clay had the cooler loaded with water, and pop and a sack full of snacks for his "girls".  Beef jerky and fruit snacks for Elaine and Sprees and SweetTarts for Casey.  

                 Aunt Casey and Elaine napping!

The trip was great - soon we were into Oklahoma and it's always a surprise to me to find mountains in Oklahoma - - - but the Arbuckle Mountains were pretty - - - we did see a somber sight as we went through Moore, Oklahoma - the recent EF5 tornado destruction.  (On the way home today we stopped and drove through some of the heavily damaged area including a school site that was completely demolished)  Prayers continue for these folks!

Tracy and Casey also took turns at driving which made the trip easier for Clay.  I was left out of the driving rotation??

Long day of travel our first day but we arrived at our destination The Embassy Suites in San Antonio at nearly the same time our son and his family arrived.   Todd, his wife Gloria and their two oldest girls Nikki and Julia.   

The girls were eager to go try out the hotel pool and so we all gathered around for some pizza and drinks - - - the start to a great vacation was underway!!

Tomorrow's plan - Six Flags Fiesta!!  High rides and hot temps . . . 

Move over Griswold's the Henningsen's are here!!  

Thursday, July 11, 2013

National Lampoon's Texas Vacation . . .

Feel like a kid again when each summer - dad and mom took vacation - and my sisters and I climbed into bed and laid awake with excitement all night or until 4 a.m. when mom and dad would load us up and off to the mountains we would head!  Family Vacation!!   Mom, Dad, and 3 kids in the back of a station wagon!  It's that time of the year . . .

Tomorrow hubs and I will pick up our daughter and son-in-law, granddaughter, and drive 12 hours to Wally World . . . no I mean San Antonio!    The Alamo, The River Walk, Six Flags Fiesta, motel, food, fun and family!   We are meeting our son and his wife and two more granddaughters there for a fun filled four day stay.  

Our hearts are staying behind a little with the other (4) members of our family  - - Ben and Angie will stay close to home as baby Grayson is due soon and Kristi will stay home to help out with the family pet and to prepare for being a new aunt!    We will be checking in with them often!!

I couldn't help but think of one of my favorite movies - National Lampoon's Vacation - If you remember Clark has big plans to take his family cross country to a huge, spectacular amusement park - Wally World - in Florida!  Always a lot of planning can go into orchestrating a family vacation - and yes we've done some planning - rooms are reserved and tickets purchased for a day at Six Flags and White Water Bay Water Park.  But hopefully that is where the resemblance stops - - - we don't plan on dragging any dogs behind our vehicle or strapping anyone to the top of the car . . . 

Join me for the next four days as I share our fun!

Clark:  Why aren't we flying?  Because getting there is half the fun.  You know that. 
     Quote from National Lampoon's Vacation - Chevy Chase as Clark Griswold.

                                                          San Antonio River Walk Here We Come!!

Friday, July 5, 2013

Baseball, hotdogs, apple pie and Chevrolet . . .

Coming to you from the Kansas City Royals Stadium . . .

Our daughter and son-in-law invited us to a special celebration of the 4th of July!  What could be more American than a day spent at the baseball field!!  We will certainly have some baseball and hotdogs - not sure about the apple pie - and at this present time in our lives - it's Ford all the way!

What's not to like about a crowded baseball stadium?

     Weather - 80 degrees in July??  Who even KNEW this could happen in Kansas!

     People -  Other than a couple of Cleveland Indian Fans seated nearby - it was a great group!

     Noises -  Pipe organs playing "Let's Go Royals!" and "Take Me Out to the Ballgame" where
     everyone sang along.  Cheers from the crowd to honor an Iraq Veteran present in the crowd.
     Lots of cheering - especially for the grand slam and home run back to back!  

     Food/Drinks - Interestingly, we purchased "All you can eat seats" - and so with our wrist bands
     we  could order four items at a time - pop - pretzels - nachos - hotdogs - or peanuts.  Why is ball
     park food so tasty!!

     Music - One of the highlights for me was the surprise that Kansas City native David Cook, 
     winner of  American Idol sang The National Anthem!!!   We were big David Cook fans at our  

It was a great day at the ball park and we noticed many changes and nice additions since we had been there before.  The tiny replica of the ballfield for kids to play on and compete - our kids would have loved that!  Beautiful stadium!  Great atmosphere!  Friendly workers! I can mark this item off of my Summer Bucket List - and add it to my "let's do that again" list!  


                                      Casey and her dad!   

                                       Tracy and Casey