Dancing elves and other things

December 12, 2008 by  

Happy Birthday (yesterday) Rebecca. Hope you had a great day. We sure enjoyed the dancing elf this morning.

Brandon is having surgery Dec 24th at 7:00 am. Keep them in your prayers as this is another biggie for him. He will be staying in Colorado after the surgery for a while. Hard to travel between Casper and Ft Collins weekly for doctor appointments in January. I dont trust the roads. He is taking a leave of absence from his job and school for the semester. We plan to go down there on Christmas day when Ryan and Rebecca leave for the airport as they are going to fly out of Denver in the early afternoon.

Dad (grandpa Cookie) is staying with us for a few days. Betty went to Kansas City with her daughter. After Christmas he and Betty are going to California for 4 weeks to stay with Lynda and Fred and get out of the Wyoming cold for a while. That should be fun.

Uploaded a few pictures to Thanksgiving and Christmas 2008. Have some for the Lecher album also that I will do shortly. Nate wrestling, etc.

Well that is it for now. Have a great week-end
The mom

The Big 80-90

August 7, 2008 by  

Hard to believe, really, but within a two week span, my grandfather (mom’s dad) turned 80 and in less than two days now, my grandma (dad’s mom) turns 90. Last week, Rebecca, Spencer, Lil B and I traveled to Casper (plane to Denver, rental car to Casper) to celebrate the two huge milestones. Sitting here at 36 years old, I can’t imagine what it would be like to be 80 or even 90 years old. Both grandma and grandpa are in good health, though grandma suffers from arthritis which landed her in the hospital for over a week and my grandpa is in the early, but apparently progressing rapidly, stages of alzheimer’s. Grandma isn’t moving around too well, though better than I figured she would. And grandpa goes “distant” on us, but to me, he does a good job of being on top of things.

We were fortunate enough to see, and introduce Braelyn to, a large number of my family members. We saw my mom’s aunt Betty, my uncle Randay (whom I haven’t seen in I don’t know how many years), my cousins Jamie and Chris (Randy’s daughter and son), Tom and Janice (kinda like aunt/uncle, but not really), my cousin Heather and her husband Dale along with their kids Christian and Justin, my aunt and uncle Fred and Lynda (Lynda is my mom’s sister), my cousin Jason and his wife Dawne, along with Madison (daughter) and newborn Luke (one month younger than Braelyn), plus my absent cousin Josh’s daughter Karleigh (doubt I spelled that right). Also saw my dad’s cousin Mike Elledge and wife Judy, friend and baseball teammate from way back Tony Cerullo (who’s grandma Betty lives with my grandpa now). Tony’s wife, their kids, Tony’s brother Adam, and parents including Geno whom I haven’t seen in forever. Of course, my sisters Wendy and Stephanie were both there, along with their spouses (Tony and Mike) and kids (Brandon, Nate, Courtney, Keegan from the Lecher side and Ashley and Stevie from Steph’s side). Yep, mom and dad were there, of course, as well as probably a ton of people I can’t remember right now as I type this. Tried to list as many names as I could to give some shout-outs to the family who may see this. If I left you off, let me know and I will edit and add ya, since it was purely accidental. Missed seeing, only by a day, my cousin Heidi and her kids as well as her brother (thus also my cousin) Paul. They showed up to spend some time with grandma.

Whew. Lot of family. Funny thing is at any given time, nearly all of the above were over at my parents’ house! In fact, the ‘rents parked their RV (aren’t you glad you still have it, mom?) in their back yard (redneck city!) and Heather, Dale and the boys stayed in it. Had a great time visiting and relaxing with the family. Spent a lot of time listening to Mike Elledge and Fred play the guitar every night, which ultimately broke out into song and all. Also spent a tremendous amount of time playing on Fred’s Martin Backpack guitar. Small and weird to play, but I really enjoyed it. So much so that I went to Guitar Center yesterday to get me one… but they were sold out. Oh well, maybe someday soon. Christian, who is 14 years old, and I spent a lot of time on it. Thanks to him for teaching me some things (Fred, too). We learned Jason Mraz’s I’m Yours song and Dueling Banjos from the movie Deliverance. Also learned Blackbird by the Beatles (I think) but known more to me as Dave Matthews covers it frequently. Probably spent more time hammering away on the guitar with Christian than I have in months! I am definitely reenergized from a guitar perspective. Christian, who I must say is an awesome kid, has been playing less time than me but has progressed much faster. I think it’s because he spends far more time on it than I am able to, plus he works it not only in school but often with Fred. If I had someone to “jam” (I can hardly jam) with, no doubt I would spend more time on it. Once a week with lessons (less frequent now since Scott, my instructor, is out-of-town getting married and honey-mooning) just doesn’t get me where I would love to be.

Anyway, some great hilights from the trip include:

  • Seeing grandpa sing some karaoke at the bowling alley
  • Two trips up to the cabin… sorry grandma didn’t make it
  • Seeing grandma, at almost 90, hang till past midnight on two nights!
  • Seeing my oldest sister, Stephanie, really enjoying life
  • Seeing both of my sisters really get along (not that they don’t often, but they really seemed to have a good time together)
  • Watching my nieces fight over holding Lil’ B
  • Seeing the basement at mom & dad’s prepped for Big B to move in in less than a month while he goes to Casper College (aka Harvard on the Hill)
  • Seeing my nephew Nathan really coming into his own and getting the crowd roarin’ with Karaoke — quite the country singer he is!
  • Seeing nephew Keegan really growing up and becoming yet another awesome kid!
  • Watching nephew Stevie take to the guitar, along with karate chopping me a bit here and there
  • Seeing just how grown up my niece Ashley has become — oh, and watching her and Spencer pretend not to like each other!
  • Throwing down a bunch of Fat Tire with the family (sorry Christian, you just aren’t old enough yet!)
  • Witnessing my dad (and I) exercise extreme patience (not kiddin’) with all of the commotion
  • Witnessing my mom, as usual, being so dedicated to her family

There was so much more to the weekend, but that is a short list of the hilights. All-in-all, it was great to see the family. It was like two family reunions combined into one. Just sorry I didn’t get to see Ron, Shelli, Paul, Heidi and kids, and Josh. Maybe at 90 & 100 I guess!

Well, Rebecca is at the gym playing raquetball with Holly (Rebecca’s first time ever) then doing some running and whatnot. Braelyn is up in bed (gonna go check on her now), Hoover is laying by my desk (surprise, surprise) and Spencer is over at a friend’s house for the night (surprise, surprise…. wonder what mischief they are up to tonight). Guess I’m gonna go relax a bit and watch the boob tube and fall asleep. Just had a few moments so thought I would blog about the last weekend. I think I have about 545 pictures almost finished uploading in the gallery (Under PLACES > CASPER > AUGUST 2008). Thankfully I didn’t take so many the camera would break, but I came close!

Cya for now,


**NO BO** — **GO USA**

Oh yeah, poker on Saturday night. C’mon over!

Back and busy

July 13, 2008 by  

After the LONG drive from California, I decided in earnest to start on the basement to get it ready for company at the end of the month and for Brandon when he comes here for college.  Lots to do, but we did get a LOT of stuff out of there today for the extra trash pickup tomorrow.  Yes, we are collectors of stuff we realllllllly do not need and stored lots of things for Ryan from baseball, etc, that he probably does not even know still exists.  Probably wont miss any of it…. 

The trip to California was fun but hot.  We spent several days at Disneyland.  Ashley danced at Spotlight nationals and did very well.  She got 2 diamonds, one on her solo, one on a duet,  2 rubies, another solo and duet, and the team got an emerald.  So she did very well especially competing with much larger studios from California, etc.  Good job Ashley.  Stevie had a ball swimming in the Moore’s pool, and doing projects with Fred and Andy.  He also enjoyed most of disneyland.  He is not really one for the dressed up characters, and Indiana Jones and Snow White were not in his list of do agains.  We helped Lynda and Fred celebrate their birthdays, Lynda another major milestone…the big 60.  The party was really nice and everyone seemed to have a great time. 

Tony had to have some surgery on Friday after the mototcycle accident.  The doctors repaired a cut tendon in his left hand.  He will have to learn to keyboard on the computer one handed for a while.  Thank God that he was not more seriously injured.  He also has lots of cuts and scrapes and stitches. 

Steve and the girls survived very well with out me, but they say I was missed.  I missed them also.  Maggie did chew me out a bit, but Sophie just barked to let me know she agreed with Maggie.  Sophie has never been a leader only a follower of her sister.

We visited with Braelyn, Ryan and Rebecca on the web cam last night.  Braelyn was talking to us in her very cute way.  She likes to hear her voice.  Funny little girl.  Hoover was being lazy  wouldnt even wake up to say hi. The other Sophie was not around either.  Lazy dogs.

Guess that is about all from here.  Think I will go out and enjoy my nice fountain, and relax a bit on the patio.

Have a great week all….

Love to you,


Here in Sunny (hot) California

July 5, 2008 by  

Writing here in Cypress, California.  Ashley is dancing at Spotlight Nationals, Stephanie visiting long time friend Gina, and Stevie is helping Uncle Fred and Andy build a ramp for the cars.  We are going soon to Seal Beach after lunch. 

I am uploading the pictures to the gallery under Vacations, California July 08.  Beautiful fireworks last night at the a military base near the Moore’s house.  They were beautiful.  Stevie and Ashley swam most of yesterday in the pool.  Madison and Baby Luke came over for the afternoon.  They kids all had fun. 

The Lecher’s were at the lake for the Holiday.  Mike went to visit his dad and brothers in Evanston.  Ryan and Rebecca and family went to the lake where their boat is.  Hopefully Hoovie is enjoying that better than the last time he went there.  Steve has been home and each time I talk to him he is working on some project or another there.  Probably just chillin with the dogs.  Be Nice Mag and Sophie.  Especially you Miss Sophie.

Well lunch time here.  Enjoy the pictures so far.  More to come. 

Love to all

The Mom

Reality check

March 17, 2008 by  

We are home..  Not exactly thrilled, except it has been good seeing the pups.  The amazing thing..  the dog sitters said they were good and that they would be glad to come again.  Wonder what they will say when I ask them for May…??

Definate difference in WY temps verses Carribbean..  But that is winter I guess or should I say almost spring.

The cruise ship was absolutely gorgeous, the weather beautiful, great time seeing family and friends.  Had breakfast with a college friend from MANY years ago.  Good to see you Barbara.  Sorry we did not have more time to visit.  Everyone made it to the ship without mishap.  All bags arrived.  All in all the months of planning and changing and all of that was not a big deal when we all got to the ship and set sail. 

So many people.  Wonderful waiters and room stewards.  Royal Carribbean was 1st class on this cruise.  We all had a great time.  Braelyn was a hit with everyone.  Stevie and the Murphy boys could not get enough of the H2O zone and the water park.  Lauren had a great time on the Flowrider (so did her dad).  Ashley met some new people and had a great time with them.  Spencer and Philip met lots of girls and seem to enjoy themselves also.  Steph and Mike seemed relaxed and enjoyed themselves.  Ryan and Rebecca experienced what night life is not with a baby, but I think they still had a great time.  The adult Murphy’s seemed to enjoy the trip.  Debby had a great time or so it seemed.  Lynda, Fred, Andy and Lynne all seemed to enjoy the festivities even though Andy was sick part of the time.  Great to spend time with them.  I know we enjoyed  all of it.  We missed having Heather and Wendy and families along, but hopefully they will be able to join in next time. 

Steve has to go back to work tomorrow.  That should be the biggest reality check.  I have Bible study tomorrow and Wednesday.  The girl dogs will be mad again, because they will be left alone again, but not for long this time.  Tally was happy to be freed from the kennel.  See life is actually back to normal almost.  Rebecca had to adjust to day care for Brae Brae for the 1st day back at work for her.  The Lecher’s are on their family trip this week.  Got a beautiful picture from them today of Lake Mead.  They seem to be having a great trip also.  Brandon won a lap top at a career expo just before we left town.  That was really exciting for him.  Congrats B.  Good job. 

Well, time for this person to get some sleep.  Readjusting to this time has my body a bit confused.  (OK that is not all that has this body confused).  GOOD NIGHT…. 

Love to all. 


Warm in Arizona

January 19, 2008 by  

Woke up this morning, well, actually about 20 minutes ago, here in Phoenix, Arizona.  I’m out here for work as we reunited the data center moving crew.  By Monday morning, we will have completely moved out of our old facility in Phoenix and into the new.  This time we’re doing it in a controlled, non-emergency manner so it is much nicer.  The best is that as of next week, we will no longer be relying on the former owners–Ivan and Lilian Vachovsky.  I must say, in the past year and a half I have been with Aplus.Net, it never surprises me to learn more about how unethical these two people are.  Blame it on cultural differences or whatever, but these people just flat cause so many problems by making up their own rules.  I could go on and on about them, but I am just thankful the ties are almost completely severed.

Spoke to Rebecca and she said it is COLD in the OP.  Like, single digit cold.  Not sure yet what it is here in AZ, but it was mid-60’s yesterday.  I bet we’re about the same today.  Since we don’t meet up to commence today’s working chores until tonight at 6:00 pm MST, I have to figure something out to do today.  Should have brought my golf clubs.

Rebecca said the baby slept well through the night… only one wake-up for food!  Sure, the cute little girl waits till daddy is out of town to sleep that much.  Really, though, we have only had one "rough" night.  I sure miss her.  Rebecca sent me a photo text message last night while I was working… what a cutie my baby girl is.

Politically, I think my supporting Mike Huckabee is weakening–probably not even existing anymore.  Though I like his fair tax plan, I have learned much more about the candidate that makes me not want to support him. Primarily, the following:

  • The NEA endorsed him.  This guy must be as close to a liberal as possible to achieve that endorsement.
  • History of tax increases as governor.  Again, not the Republican way.  He is, of course, denying this but I can figure out who’s right with a little research I am sure.
  • Supporting constitutional amendments regarding same-sex marriage and abortion.  Now, while I don’t agree with either, I do not like the government changing the constitution on these things.  The strength of our government is the Constitution.  If we start amending it for political/religious reasons, well, I just can’t support that.

So the new big question is, who will I support?  I haven’t decided, but here’s some thoughts on the various contenders:

  • Rudy – I wanted to support him for the last few years (before he ran!).  I just can’t.  He’s dull, doesn’t seem to really have much of an exciting platform.  He’s not going anywhere.
  • Fred Thompson – Get back onto TV, dude.  All you do is attack your opponents.  I think your position on anything is just to attack whoever is leading in a particular state.  C’mon… your politics disgust me.
  • Ron Paul – Man, you’re just a freaking nut job.  I can’t support a guy like this… just can’t.  He is OUT THERE.
  • Romney – seems like a used car salesman running for President.  Looks like he might be the guy who gets the Republican nomination… but I have no idea why.  I don’t know much about this guy, but he seems shady.
  • McCain – man, you’re old and tough.  I like the tough.  But, you are a career politician.  That, I don’t like.  I don’t think there is possibly anything new you can bring to the country.  I want something different; better.  Not a career politician.  Yet, you’re probably the best of the rest.

Where does this leave me?  Who knows.  I know I can never support Hilary C or Obama, and dread even thinking about one of these two being Preisdent… but my party sure doesn’t have much of anything to put up against the Dems.  Thankfully, I have some time to figure this out.  I’m just upset Bush has put us in such a bad dituation with this election.  Bush is responsible for us losing the Senate and Congress.  Next, I think we lose the White House.  All this will mean for me is the United States will  become more socialistic and more of my paycheck will go to pay for it.  Great.  Let me pay for MORE wasteful government spending and MORE of society who just won’t work for themselves.

Now, I am depressed.  Time to get up and go do something fun.

Ciao from Arizona.  Honey, I miss you and the baby and I’ll see you tomorrow!

Go Patriots!  Stop the HC!


New pictures in the Gallery

September 5, 2007 by  

January of 2006 I got to travel to Hawaii with my sister.  That was my Christmas present and it was fun.  Brother-in-law Fred had to work so the 2 of us played Hawaiian tourist.  Lynda had never been there before and it had been a while for me also, but we saw everything we wanted to and had a great time. 

I covinced Steve that he needed to go back to where we spent 3 years a long time ago.  Steve was stationed at Pearl Harbor while in the Navy.  Our daughter Wendy was born there.  So after a bit of effort on my part (haha) we returned for a visit.  This visit though was to the other islands besides Oahu, and we were on a cruise ship.  We found this to be a fun way to see lots of things.  Beautiful volcanos, lots of whales, beautiful scenery all of the other islands and we did not have to repack the clothes. 

We did spend a day on Oahu before and after the cruise.  Went to see our old places where we lived and had lunch on the North shore at a fun little resturant where we had eaten many years before.  A highlight of the trip for Steve was the water message beds.  He loved them.  We also fell in love with an area of the island called Ko Olina.  Almost bought a time share there.  Maybe someday.  Oops.. forgot, we just bought the motor home so probably no time share any time soon.

Pictures from both Hawaiian trips have been uploaded.  Enjoy.  Enough rambling by me tonight. 

Emmett’s Belated Birthday Party

August 27, 2007 by  

We had a belated family birthday party for dad (grandpa) yesterday.  He had a wonderful time as many of his family members were there.  Daughter Lynda and Fred from California, Granddaughter Wendy, Tony and Nate and Keegan came up from Ft Collins.  Granddaughter Jamie and her baby Kaylee from Sheridan, Wyoming.  In town family members were also there.  Steve and I, Son Randy and his wife Colleen and her daughter Katie, Grandson Christopher and his fiance Lindsay and their daughter Brooklynne. Granddaughter Stephanie, Mike and Ashley and Stephen came later.  Several other family members and friends stopped by.  Dad had a great time whistling to Karoke music, singing and he and Betty even danced a couple of dances.  Happy Birthday belated dad and many more….