Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Memorial Weekend

Memorial Weekend brought us our first taste of an "empty nest." M went to Smith Lake with the Durants, H went to TN with her friend, Anna Marie, Roo went to a Braves game in Atlanta. I think our children have more exciting lives than ours...but a quiet weekend at home was really nice. Greg and I went for a walk, had dinner at Black Bear Brewery, served at Church. All the children were home by last night so my nest is full again. I am happy.

Pictures of M's adventures were texted to me, H didn't take any pictures, and Roo sent me a picture or two...

My walk...the bat house is made by Alabama Institute for the Deaf and Blind

Saturday, May 28, 2016

Friday, May 27, 2016

School's out for Summer!

It's been a busy week...school ended on Wednesday. Matthew had his award and promotion Ceremony on Tuesday. We had the normal hockey, figure skating, allergy shots, etc. Today, Greg and me will get a taste of the Empty Nest. H is heading to a lake in TN with a friend, M is headed to Smith Lake with a friend, and Roo is heading to Atlanta for a Braves game with a friend...what will the husband and me do with ourselves?

Last weekend, was busy with Matthew practicing for his TPH AA Prospect Tournament in Nashville. I decided to kill two birds with one stone and let H hang out with a boy who likes her. (No dating but I will let him come around as long as I am around...he's 16. Enough said.) Anyway, I asked one of the hockey boys to keep an eye on them for me since I had a figure skating meeting and M was on the other sheet of ice practicing. According to H, he did too good of a job. He stayed in between them the entire time. In fact, he did such a great job, one of the hockey parents thought H was dating the chaperon (he is 24). Um, no.

Later that night, H and I went to a friend's dance recital. H was kicking herself the entire time for quitting dance. (She quit because she HATED the dance recital...there were tears, kicking, screaming, yes, it was ugly so I allowed her to quit). Needless to say, I have a call into the dance studio to see about her getting back into dance. She will, however, have to decide between dance and figure skating/hockey. Stay tuned.

H and her friend, Lauren

Hannah's Last Recital at the Von Braun Center 2010

Friday, May 20, 2016

Space Camp

We have one more Space Camp Alumnus in the family now...M graduated this morning. He has been gone all week and boy, did we miss him!

Monday, May 16, 2016

My Sweet Hannah

If you read the previous post, you will know about Jacob Brown...Hannah wrote a note of encouragement in a card she made. I addressed the card but peeked at what she wrote first...it made my heart full. She wrote such a fabulous note of encouragement. Her words surpassed anything I could write down on paper. I am so abundantly blessed to have her as my daughter.

I am not sure if this is acceptable mom behavior or not but I was so touched, I used my phone to take a picture before mailing the card. Shhh, don't tell.

Jacob Brown's Fundraiser

Hockey Family is a termed lobbed about like a tennis ball when your children are involved in the sport. These past few weeks, the term has taken on new meaning for me. Jacob Brown plays hockey at the Rink where my kids play. In hockey players are known by their birth years, my kids are an '02 and an '04. Jacob is an '06. I don't know him personally, I've seen the parents around, he is a friend and teammate of one of my friend's son. So, he is like a distant cousin...or even a first cousin that lives in a different state. When Jacob was diagnosed with leukemia a few weeks ago and immediately sent to St. Jude in Memphis, the hockey family pulled together and a fundraiser was set up to help offset the costs of not working for 4-5 weeks while he is in the hospital. St. Jude Children's hospital covers all the costs of treatment and travel but the parents aren't working but the mortgage still needs to be paid. Hence, the fundraiser. Hannah and Matthew had a blast playing in the 3 on 3 Tournament.

The moms that put the fundraiser together did the most amazing job. They were able to get an autographed jersey from the Nashville Predators goalie Pekka Rinne, an autographed puck from the Capitals player, Carlson, they assembled sticks, UAH players to autograph and donate sticks...the 3 on 3 tournament, the local Havoc Hockey mascots came...it was such a fun fun day. They raised $5012 for the family. The last two numbers made the family happy...Jacob's number in hockey is "12."

Mother's Day 2016

Blessed. So blessed. I often forget to take time to thank God for how abundantly blessed I am. I hate to admit I forget more than I would like to confess...but I am...abundantly blessed. I have the most wonderful children. God had a fabulous plan making me wait for a second child...and then He gave a third. My very own double portion. All those tears of sadness have become tears of joy. I look at my children and am amazed they came out of me. They are smart, funny, sensitive, talented...and so beautiful.

This year's Mother's Day was so nice. We went to Church, we served, we went to Hannah's second Showcase. It was a beautiful gorgeous perfect day outside and in my heart.

I had to add this bottom picture because somehow...I deleted the picture Greg photobombed and this was the only way to add it...whoops.

Showcase Pictures


Crowded. Matthew's teeth are extremely crowded. He still has most of his baby teeth and probably won't be ready for braces until he is 15.

This week we had step one of de-crowding, removing 4 baby teeth. Hopefully, this will help the tooth laying sideways fall into place and not become impacted. The dentist gave him some gas and M provided cheap entertainment for the entire dental office. Matthew's first comment "I'm a leprechaun" was a good indication the gas was working. After that, there were walrus noises, cat noises, seal noises, wailing dog noises...



Sunday, May 8, 2016

Saturday, May 7, 2016

Gary Ferns

My brother sent me the link for my uncle's obituary with the comment "I didn't know he was such a bad ass!' Ah, the things we don't know until it is too late. We always see our elders as elders...never realizing they have lived such interesting lives...then we grow up and it happens to us. I am just mom to my kids, they really aren't interested in my history just what is for dinner. Although, truth be told, I am just as guilty of this as anyone else. I guess that is why we have obituaries...because there is so much more to people than we ever realized...and it is a good prompt to dig deeper into the history of those who are still around to tell the stories themselves.

Gary Harold Ferns 
(November 25, 1935 - April 29, 2016) 

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Gary Harold Ferns
U.S. Veteran
Gary Harold Ferns, 80, of What Cheer, died at home on Friday, April 29, 2016. Funeral services will begin at 10:30 am on Tuesday, May 3, 2016 at the Holland-Coble Funeral Home in What Cheer. Burial will be in the Sixteen Cemetery near Thornburg. Military honors will be conducted by the James Murphy American Legion Post # 319. Visitation will begin at noon on Monday; with family present from 4:00 to 8:00 pm. In lieu of flowers the family would strongly prefer memorial contributions be made to: James Murphy American Legion. Friends may sign the online guestbook or offer condolences to the family at www.hollandcoblefuneralhomes.com.
Gary Harold Ferns was born near What Cheer, Iowa on November 25, 1935 the son of Harold and Verna Johannes Ferns. He attended the Glendale country school and was a 1953 graduate of What Cheer High School. Gary understood the importance of a good education and would later receive a degree from the University of Nebraska. In December of 1954 he enlisted in the United States Army. As a Special Forces Officer, Gary served his country all around the world including Germany, Korea, three tours in Vietnam, Venezuela and Panama. His decorations included the Combat Infantryman’s Badge, Silver Star with 1 oak leaf cluster, Bronze Star with 2 oak leaf clusters, Legion of Merit, Air Medal, Meritorious Service Medal with 2 oak leaf clusters, Army Commendation Medal with 2 oak leaf clusters, Purple Heart with 6 oak leaf clusters, Master Parachutist Badge, Vietnamese Parachutist Badge, and the Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry with Palms. Also while in the military Gary was united in marriage to Patricia Jean Rice on September 21, 1956. To the union four children were born: Alice, Gary Allen, Melody and Michael. In 1976, after serving twenty two years to God and country he retired from the United States Army as Lieutenant Colonel Gary Harold Ferns. Having seen the world through the eyes of a soldier, Gary returned to a quiet little town in Iowa he knew as home. As a second career he started a construction company which he owned and operated until 2006. Gary was an active member of the James Murphy American Legion Post #319, a lifetime member of the VFW and a loyal member of the NRA. Ironically, just a few weeks after his commitment to his country was memorialized on a War Memorial in his home town, Lieutenant Colonel Ferns received God’s commitment of everlasting life.
He is preceded in death by parents, Harold and Verna Ferns; a son, Gary Allen Ferns; a daughter, Alice Lavonne Ott and a brother, Ronald Ferns.
Gary’s legacy will be cherished by his daughter, Melody (Oscar) Lester-Caraway of Kinta, OK, his son, Micheal Ferns of Indianapolis, IN; a brother, Loren (Linda) Ferns of Dixon, IL, three sisters: Shirley (Kenneth) Allison of Oskaloosa, Joanne (Jerry) Asher of Beacon and Gladys Barainca of Eddyville; his five grandsons’ Jason, Michael and Jarrod Lester and Justin and Bryan Ott. He was also blessed with eight great grandchildren.