Monday, January 23, 2012

People I admire...

This will be a feeble attempt to pay tribute to some of the women that I admire and respect.  When I feel discouraged or sad, their examples lift my spirits.

Shirley (Mom) Porter - my anchor, one of my best friends.  She is one of the people I trust most. Fear of disappointing her drives me to be a better person.
Granny Molly - my great-grandmother.  I vividly remember many things about her, and the stories of her life humble me when I complain and grumble.
Elizabeth (the mother of John the Baptist) - she didn't let old age get her down! Her relationship with the Holy Ghost inspires me.
Barbara Becker - fearlessly faces that heartless beast, ovarian cancer.  She never ceases to amaze me with her constant courage and determination.
Erika Mendenhall - spiritual, loving, kind, generous, and ALWAYS happy.  Her lovely smile lights up an entire room.
Marilyn Stoner - always positive, overflowing with words of wisdom, quiet and calm.  When I feel discouraged, she is a soothing and healing presence in my life.
Paula Boales - amazing leader, brilliant CIS, supportive. Dependable to a fault; even when her own health suffers.
My second grade team (Kelli Pepper, Alana Gibbs, Sue Henderson, Diana Davidson, and Krystan Hunt) - women who love children, work together with a common goal of making sure our students receive the best we have to offer, and support one another in any way necessary.
Army wives - at times, they pay the ultimate price.  Yet, they continue to hold the home together and raise children, all the while worrying about the safety of their husbands.

Thank you for inspiring me.

Sunday, January 1, 2012


During our Christmas break, Ron, Rebecca, Seth, Leslie, Maggie, Sophie and I took off for Kansas.  My nephew Cory was marrying his high school sweetheart, Amanda.  We took off early in the morning the day after Christmas.  Rebecca drove her van with Leslie and all of the kids.  Ron & I traveled in his truck.  There were some periods of tears, whining, arguments and short tempers, but for the most part it was a very enjoyable trip.
Our first stop was just outside of the TX/OK border for breakfast at Cracker Barrel. That didn't quite work out.  They were packed and the waiting list was a minimum of 30 minutes; so, we packed up and went to the other side of the interstate to an I-Hop.  The kids were still in their pajamas, but that didn't matter to them.
Sophie had a chocolate funny face pancake...
Leslie and Maggie...
Maggie and Mimi...

The ride through Oklahoma was uneventful, but once we got into Kansas, finding a restroom was almost impossible.  We followed the GPS directions and ended up taking a lonely country highway.  There were signs for towns, but we never saw anything other than farm houses.  Just when I was ready to start looking for a secluded ditch to pee in, we found a Pizza Hut in the middle of nowhere.  Becca was so funny; after we had all rushed into the restaurant to use their restroom, she looked around and said, "I feel like we ought to buy something just for using their restroom."  I told her I figured this sort of thing happened all the time since it was the only sign of civilization for miles.
One of the things we used to bribe Seth & Maggie into going on the trip was to tell them there was snow in Kansas.  Unfortunately, most of the snow in Manhattan had melted.  But, they were thrilled with the snow that was hidden in the shadows of our hotel.
Seth and Maggie in "the snow"...
Seth had trouble making snow balls because it was
actually ice by the time we got there.
Sophie NEVER wanted to wear clothes, shoes, coats or
jackets the entire time we were there.  Her little
slippers got pretty cold in the snow.
After playing in the "snow" the kids unpacked and took the little ones for a swim in the pool.  When it got to be suppertime, we all met Cory, Amanda, and other members of the wedding party for dinner.  Ron & I ended up taking Miss Sophie back to the hotel because she was such a grouch.  That was fine with me because we were both ready to stretch out on the bed and get the kinks out of our backs.
The next morning, Becca and Leslie went to help decorate for the wedding while Ron and I kept the kids entertained.  Amanda is such a talented young woman.  She made EVERYTHING while finishing up her last semester of college, and working full time.  
The cupcake tower...
Her table centerpieces were made of different flavored suckers.
They provided the guests with a How Well do You Know the Couple word search
and a Mad Libs words of advice.  Very clever!
These were soooo cute!!

The wedding was a beautiful mixture of Amanda, Cory, and tradition.  Amanda chose a dress of gray and black.  Her rationale was to shorten the dress after the wedding so that she could use it as a cocktail dress. The portion that she will cut off is going to be used to make cushions for their home.  Cory and his groomsmen all wore game controllers that Amanda made out of a polymer clay instead of the traditional boutonnieres.  After the ceremony, they served a dinner of pork tenderloin or roasted chicken, steamed vegetables, twice baked potatoes, rolls, and salad.  Instead of having a traditional cake, they chose to have a cupcake tower.
The Texas delegation, Sophie, Seth, Becca & Leslie...

Ron and I...

The parents of the groom; John & Joni and Dave & Deb.

Amanda made these cute fortune teller programs for
the wedding.  It must have taken days!

Amanda's sister was her matron of honor, and our niece Kaylin was one of the bridesmaids.  Cory's brother, Kyle, was the best man.  During the ceremony, it was obvious that they were both very nervous.  But amid the tears and laughter, Cory and Amanda placed keepsakes inside a memory box, recited vows that they both wrote, and became husband and wife in a way that reflected their personalities.
The bride and groom saying their vows...

The memory box...

Mr. and Mrs. Cory Porter!
Getting to watch their wedding was just one of the reasons we went to Kansas.  We also got to see the newest addition to the Kansas Porter family, little Rylin.  She is so cute!  I still can't decide if she will have red hair or not.  Her mother, Kyle's fiance Jess, was very shy but seems so sweet.  
We also got to see David & Deb's home in Junction city.  They found an art deco style home, along the lines of a Frank Lloyd Wright style, and are restoring it.  I loved it!  
Then of course, we stopped at the Russell Stover's Candy outlet on the way out of Kansas, Sam Moon's in Ft. Worth, and made it home before dark on Thursday!
Little Rylan Porter...

Two handsome Porter men; Kyle and David...

Kaylin and Becca...

The outside of Dave & Deb's place...

Dave inside the entry way of their house, with the dogs...

It was a great trip, mild weather, pleasant driving and sweet reunions.  I can't wait to go back for another visit.