Saturday, July 30, 2011

@PioneerHiBred speaking to #FFANCF11

See how it's mostly all guys? They were a "lively" group ... especially for 8 a.m.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Look. Out.

When picking Jackson up from "Grandma Camp" (spending a week at my mom's in Nebraska) we went to Mahoney State Park on Saturday with two of my nieces. We spent the entire afternoon at its waterpark, then went to the top of the observation tower.

Seeing how the wind is blowing Jack's hair in that first photo, imagine how much the 70-foot-tall tower was swaying!

He wanted me to take his picture as we descended each level, so I'm thrilled to oblige!

Saturday, July 23, 2011

I break for cemeteries at sunset

Driving all the way across Iowa on I-80 on Friday, I spotted a little secluded cemetery up on a hill, just as the sun was going down.

I had to stop.

Even though the sun was shining, it started to sprinkle ... and turned into a beautiful, summertime, million-dollar rain (click on the picture below to see the precip).

Then I thought to myself, "There's gonna be a rainbow, there's gonna be a rainbow — c'mon God — there's gonna be a rainbow..."

So there I was: alone on this hilltop, out in the country, in an old peaceful cemetery, with a gorgeous sunset before me, a full rainbow above me, the silence that follows a rainfall, and I'm dripping wet.

It was a religious experience.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Land of Lincoln

At "Corn College" near Bloomington/Normal, Ill.

The Illinois State Capitol.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Perpetual Care

That phrase is inscribed on numerous headstones at this historic cemetery near Emerson, Iowa.

I mean — with an old Midwestern cemetery, a summer sunset and my camera in the passenger seat — you don't expect me to just drive on by, do you?

I literally watched the sun go down, what seemed like millimeter by millimeter ... until, finally, it was gone.

As a rural cemetery, many of the residents had lots of room to themselves.

These four, small markers in the middle of the long rows intrigued me. (Upon closer inspection, they said "Mother" and "Father.")

A lot of the old markers have interesting, unique features, including this one that's surely a Bible on a podium. Then you notice that with the spine on the right, the Bible has been read and the book is now closed.

This reads "In Memory of our Country's Defenders."

"First Burial in this Cemetery."

"Adelaide Applegate." With a name like that, she had to have been in musical theater.

Rest in peace...

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Taste of Camp

Jack and I got to spend 24 hours at Camp Carol Joy Holling together, as part of its parent/child program — the same church camp I went to for years as a kid, and where Leslie and I were both counselors in college!

No matter that it was 100 degrees out, we roasted hotdogs for lunch...

...and s'mores for a snack!

Before we left, the campers signed the back of each other's T-shirts. (It was pretty cute.)

Our awesome counselors, Anna and Dan.

"Train up a child in the way he should go; and when he is old, he will not depart from it." I guess that applies to both of us.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Count 'em



2008 (in Jackson Hole, Wyo.)








Saturday, July 16, 2011

Friday, July 15, 2011


At the very end of Vacation Bible School today, "Where God is Wild about You!"

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Alternative arches

I ran to St. Louis for a night this week (staying for just over 24 hours), to attend my client's annual sales meeting.

Between the fountain outside the Ritz-Carlton and this sculpture nearby in Clayton, other not-so-famous arches seemed apparent.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Land of the free

For the evening of July 4th, we went over to a family's from church — just like last year. They have five acres out in the country, and plenty of room to roam.

Landon, riding tall in the saddle.

A six-week-old miniature pot-bellied pig.

Drying off, after playing in one of the kiddie pools.

You know it's a good party when someone loses their underwear.

The consummate hosts, Skip & Karen making a few announcements before dinner.

After eating, it was finally time for fireworks! Earlier that afternoon at the fireworks stand, Jack wanted to buy "tanks, snakes and more tanks."

Boys trying to light stuff on fire.

Jack was covered in sweat and soot ... and was in heaven.

Landon ready to watch fireworks (or taking cover).

Bombs bursting in air.

Happy Fourth of July!