Tuesday, April 28, 2009
Let us know if you get a chance to go or what your favorite flavor is.
PS. Mine is pistachio. Yumm!!-DG
So our family decided to live life on the edge. We tried something we have never done. We looked on-line on the Salem Mom's Like Me website link that I got from the Statesman Journal web page. They list all the things happening in the area on certain dates. That is where I found the Ag Fest announcement. We have gotten memos from school about it, but are usually too busy the weekend it is going on. So this year we went and loved it. They have pony rides, petting zoo, and lots of hands on activities for the kids of all ages. We came home with lots of plant starters. There were so many options. Some booths were giving away starters for pine saplings, a few varieties of bushes, pumpkins, corn (both ornamental and normal), tomato, peppers, green beans, ground cover plants, marigolds...
The kids made bird treats, dug for potatoes ( some only dug, so they could get the thermo color changing pencils), made living necklaces, and watched baby chicks hatch. We went on a tractor hay ride and a horse hay ride. All in all, we all had a good time, but it is mainly geared to children age 4 to 10. The best part is that kids 12 and under get in free. So we only had to pay for us to get in. Smart on their part.
I highly recommend the Ag Fest for any family. Many families brought wagons, and I would recommend that to any family who does not want to carry a bunch of plant pots around from place to place.
Today I was getting Matthew ready for church. He is not one who wants to wear a tie. In fact there are some Sundays he does not want to wear any of his clothes. So for Easter Sunday, we got him a blazer jacket and clip on tie. Of course he did not want it, so we gave it to one of our girls, who gladly played along. "Oh, yes Mom, I will wear this if Matthew does not want it." That was just enough competition to get him to say, " No, it's mine." He has now worn it three weeks in a row to church. (We still need to give him a gentle reminder that one of his sister will want to wear it if he doesn't)
Today I was getting him dressed and I asked him, "Do you want to look like a missionary in this jacket?"
"Do you want to look like Daddy?'
"No, I want to look like a pirate."
I couldn't help but laugh, and then he proceeded to list other silly things he wanted to look like, just so he could get the same reaction from me. Silly, sweet boy. How does he even know what a pirate looks like?
Okay, so we need a bit of help today.
Dad is coming home today from a week away in San Fransisco. We know that he has so much to catch up on, but the kids really miss him and we are planning to sneak off with him for the much of the day tomorrow. I spoke with the kids and they just want to do something with their dad. They brainstormed some ideas, but we can't come to a decision on exactly what to do. So with Anna's suggestion to put it up on the blog and let our readers vote. I sure hope someone checks our blog today.
Any way leave a comment or email us with your vote. The winning vote is what we will do. After all it is just being together that matters, but we feel we need to get out and do something.
PS. All my ideas were voted down, so I will only list the final suggestions.
This last week has been a swamped week. In fact, Shaun's work in doing IT forensics made the front page of the newspaper two days in a row. Shaun has been fortunate that he does not often work a lot of over time. Last Wednesday afternoon, a state agency had a problem. His department has to wait until they are invited to help. Often agencies like to use their internal employees first. None the less, he started home from work that day wondering when they would allow his department to help. He did not even make it home, before receiving a call to come back to work. He immediately returned to work and began working, concluding the night with a half hour conference call that began at 10 pm. Shaun was sad to miss Anna's school choir concert, but some times that is how life is.
The next three days were filled with many man hours as Shaun and the other team members worked until the investigation was completed. Many people spent many long evenings and a full day on Saturday. Our family was happy to hear that dad was done Saturday night, otherwise he would have been required to work on Easter. One employee worked all day Easter to wrap up the final findings, so it could be validated by the FBI on Monday. Their agency works closely with the FBI Forensics office. At the conclusion of the investigation, DAS's results were verified with a member of the FBI's office, who concluded that the investigative team was extremely impressive with their absolute attention to detail, thoroughness and explanations of their findings.
The newspaper readers on the other hand were not so nice. Bear in mind. My husband does not build the systems, manage the systems, work at the location of the data or anything of that sort, so he and his department often can be blamed for things that are completely beyond their control. I have included a few just to give an idea how that some people are odd and clueless.
Hmm. Do any of these fit Shaun?
"The cyber security people at DAS are like some silly cartoon. They all wear leather jackets and sunglasses. Really, you should see these idiots!"
"The state of Oregon is unable to hire the best and the brightest in its IT departments. Several years ago state government added three more steps on almost every IT classification in order to attract the aforementioned applicants but the uninspired and dim-witted continue to fill these positions.... And what do the citizens of Oregon get for the extra money they're spending on IT? Well let's just say Microsoft isn't trying to steal these IT employees away. Suffice to say, the state should drug test at hire and randomly thereafter."
I can't wait until this economy improves.
I hope it will be quickly.
When bad things strike it is so important to find the good in each situation. Some times it is harder to do. About a month ago my brother and his dad lost their job. My brother worked the night shift, while his dad worked the day shift as machinists at an engine block company. With the auto industry decline, so are trickle down jobs. They live in the town I lived in for 10 years. Most of my schooling was there as a child. It is a small town and so when trouble hits, it is felt by many. Today I am grateful for his unemployment, because last night a tornado went through the town leaving many homes and buildings destroyed. My old middle school damaged, the courthouse and jail (which is across the street of the school) also damaged. Talk about a get our of jail free card. I called my brother as soon as I heard the news. He is fine, but he did say there was damage to his old work. How extensive, he did not know. I am so glad he was home and safe.
I remember growing up and seeing twisters over us. I remember lots of tornado warnings. I remember being scared, and then it just becoming a normal part of my life. At school we had tornado drills. It is a part of life in that region, but no matter how often you prepare, it always takes one by surprise a bit. I think that as we grew up, we got so used to hearing about the warnings, that you just assumed it would only touch down somewhere else. Additionally, one just doesn't prepare for the wave of emotion that is felt during and after such an event. My prayers thank the Lord that my brother is safe. He could see the funnel cloud, but he was not in it's path. My heart goes out the the families of the four that have died and the 30+ who were injured. My prayers will be with them and their families.
One last concern I have is for the church in that area. It is a small branch that covers a larger area. It is where I found the gospel of Jesus Christ and so I can't help but be concerned for the members there. The stake center is 1 1/2 hr north in Fort Smith, so I do not doubt that the leaders there have and are in contact with their Mena members and all will or have been accounted for. That is a great strength of our church. Even with that all said. The church there is so dear to me, that I still worry for all affected. The love that branch shares is best stated on their church web page which says:
"This little unit of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is big on building friendships that will endure forever.
You can feel it in our handshakes.
You can hear it in our spiritual hymns.
You can see it in the way we serve.
You can share it by coming to our meetings more often.
Other members moving to this area can expect a hearty welcome and an important new calling."
Here are a couple of news links for any interested:
'Tornado Worst Mena Has Ever Seen,' Say Residents, Mayor - Local News Story - KHBS NW Arkansas