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!

Fort Collins City Champs

July 29, 2008 by  

Steve and I had the excitement of driving to Ft Collins Sunday after church to witness the 12 and under city baseball championship. Yep,, Tony and Nate the coaches coached their team to the city championship. Keegan pitched the last 3 innings and basically shut the other team down. I am not sure just how many he struck out in 3 innings, but I know it was most of the batters. Great little baseball player and a pitcher. Congrats Boys. I know I had a great time. Haven’t seen any baseball this summer and I miss it. We have watched a few tball (coach pitch) with Stevie playing and a couple of Ashley’s softball, so we have not been totally deprived.
We have a whole bunch of family members coming in this week and the next for a couple of special birthdays. All my family, but one nephew will be here. Josh could not come, but his daughter Karlie is coming with grandma and grandpa. Little Joshie will be missing also. Not sure if he would like being in a car for 2 days each way. Hard on 4 year olds. Our kids are all going to be here also. LOVE IT. Steve’s cousin from Tennessee is coming and also neice Heidi and Kids and nephew Paul. Lots of festivities.
Happy Birthday also to Rebecca’s mom. She has the big 60 in a day or two. Also if memory serves me right (and it often doesnt), I think this summer was Tony’s mom’s 60 as well as sister Lynda. Wow we are getting a bit older arent we…. NOT.
Have a safe trip all of you. Cant wait for you all to get here and for the Moore’s and Rocks to get out of the area of the earthquake today.
All for now from ME…


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,


More Life With The Girls

July 10, 2008 by  

Okay – so I’ve been "batching" oficially for a full week now.  Just me and the "girls".  While it hasn’t been too bad I think all three of us are ready for The mom’s return.  I think that is projected for some time late tomorrow.  They are leaving the Left Coast in a few hours and have rooms booked at Mesquite, NV for later tonite.  By my calculations thats about 10 – 11 hour drive left for tomorrow normally.  If they proceed like they apparently did on the way out – probably 14 or so. 🙂

     Life around the homestead has been relatively non- eventful.  As was written in Ryans latest post – Tony had an accident on his motorcycle.  Praise God he is pretty okay —- he could still use a few prayers for a full repair and healing of his hand.  Sounds like some torn ligaments and bone chips to take care of in surgery procedure in the next few days.  Thinking of you Tony – God Bless you.

     The girls have been GOOD!  I almost hate to say that – I have one more night & day with them but I am really pleased so far.  Tuesday I left at 7 AM and didn’t get back to feed or let them out until after 5 PM and ………. I could not find a single sign of an accident – #1 or #2!  I am really proud of them.  And they are sleeping very well also – only up once or twice a night!  Knock on wood.

     BGE is half a year old and I am 125 halfs a year old!  Actually approaching 126 rapidly!  Sounds good for her but not for me!  I think I’ll stick with counting just once a year.  Wow Lynda – you just celebrated your 120th half year birthday!

     My mom is feeling poorly.  Been pretty much bedridden the past couple of days.  Her back, which hurts her continually, is apparently unbearable.  She finally persevered in contacting her Doc today and they are making some meds adjustments to try to help her with the pain.  God bless her – she just wants not to hurt so bad.  If the meds adjustments don’t help we’ll get her in next week per docs orders but it is apparently arthritis which is apparently uncureable so it doesn’t bear well for her i fear.  She can use your prayers too!

     Well – I have to go put heat on my eye.  Yah ….. me too!  Not to be outdone by everyone else I woke up with a really swollen & ugly left eye this morning.  It started yesterday and progressed through the night.  Got into the eye doc about 10:30 this morning and apparently have a pretty advanced infection emanating from either an ingrown hair or a foreign hair.  he is guessing foreign since hair doesent generally grow where this is at in the eye socket AND since i generally have a hell of a time growing hair anywhere!  Ha ….. beat you to it so no comments necessary.  Anyway – the perscription for cure is very interesting:  twice a day if possible a heat pack on the eye for 15 -20 minutes.  4 times a day I wash my eye out (yep) with Johnsons "no tears" baby shampoo (yep – you and me BGE); then I put this ointment in my eye 4 times a day.  This ointment is a real treat – little bitty tube like super glue comes in – $127 for the tube by the way – only $23 to me cause i have good insurance thank you State of Wyoming.  Anyway – this ointment blurrs vision for a pretty long period of time (the noon swag for over an hour).  Sheesh!  What next?  AND – if i am guessing correctly knowing my environment – I believe that if we could ever recover that little hair folicle and run some DNA or something we would see either Sopie or Maggies name all over it!  So – thanks girls i think!

     I need to go see if Maggie fixed me any dinner.  Any bets?

The Dad

Happy Birthday Courtney—Happy Anniversary Ryan & Rebecca

June 16, 2008 by  

June 17th is an eventful day in our family.  The one and only sister of the Lecher family has a birthday.  I cant believe that she is actually an official teen-ager.  Seems impossible.  Happy Birtday Courtney.

Happy Anniversary to Ryan and Rebecca.  2 Years..  that also has gone so fast.  We all love you all so much.  Thanks Ryan for the wonderful family you have added to our growing group.

Sister Lynda left yesterday after spending a few days in Casper.  She feels it is necessary to spend time with dad every few months as his illness continues to change him so much.  I am really thankful for her help and that she comes as often as she can to see dad.  He appreciates it so much also.  We decided that we need to get them a little more help so they are more comfortable in the house.  That house is pretty big and lots of stairs to the basement, so we are looking at getting some one to come in and help with laundry, etc so they dont have to go up and down the stairs and risk a fall. 


Steve is gone again. He has been traveling so much lately that I am not sure he remembers that he doesnt really live in a hotel.  I am not sure I remember him being gone this much ever (well except in the Navy).  The girls and I enjoy his presence on the weekends though.  He missed a group picnic tonight.  That was lots of fun.


Looks like I will get to see my baby granddaughter soon.  Plane tickets for a trip there appeared in my email tonight.  I am sure she will have changed in the month it has been since I last saw her.  Thanks Ryan.  I am looking foward to seeing you all again.


Well I am about to say good night here.  Did not sleep well last night listening for dad incase he needed anything or got up wandering around.  It is my prayer that all of the super scientists and doctors in this world someday find a cure for Alzheimers as it is really a wicked disease.  God bless.


Good night..love to all and again Happy BD Sis and Happy Anniv.  R&R

New Computer

April 24, 2008 by  

We got new computers yesterday.  Well I did..  The other one is on order, expected Monday or Tuesday.  I am not too good with this keyboard, but I am learning.  When you are my age the learning curve is not what it used to be.  This one has a web cam so that will come in handy to visit with Braelyn when we can, and maybe she will see us enough that we wont scare her to death when we see her again some day. 

Spring time in Wyoming… Cold today and snow is in the forecast.  I will be ready for the warm California sunshine next week. 

Dad (my dad) is having a few more problems lately.  He has given up driving in the last week.  Not that that is a bad thing, but is is sad for him.  He is just really struggling and his disease has progressed very rapidly in the last month.  Very sad.  It hurts us to see just how fragile he is.  We are thankful for the care he is getting from Betty.  Sometimes I cry out to God to help us through this.  I just have faith that He is in control.  Sister Lynda will be coming here in the next few weeks.  She will be really surprised at how much he has changed in the last several months. 

Steve is on a corporate trip with the Mc Murray’s tonight to Denver for an open house for a big company down there.  They will be flying on the Mc Murray plane home yet tonight.  I hope he has a great time.  There are some fun perks for his long hours. 

Well…about it for me here.  Love ~~VE

omg…it is snowing

Good Morning

March 21, 2008 by  

Happy Birthday, Ryan.  Have a great day. 

Spring is officially here.  It rained some in Wyoming yesterday.  I predict that we will still get some snow.  Easter really hit here fast after we got home from the cruise.  I guess I was so busy with the first part of the month and the cruise, I did not realize that Easter was here already.  Guess I should see about having brunch somewhere if we aren’t already too late. 

The flu bug or spring cold has hit everyone around here.  Dad is pretty sick, Stevie and Mike have been to the doctor, I have a cough that doesn’t want to quit.  Sister Lynda has been really sick since she got back from the cruise.  Hope everyone feels better soon.

Haven’t heard how Miss Braelyn did her last couple of days at the babysitter.  The 1st day was rough as she was used to being held by everyone for a week.  Hopefully she settled in well.  I know Rebecca probably had a harder time than Brae. 

Happy Easter everyone.  He is RISEN. 

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. 


Sunday update:

February 10, 2008 by  

Keegan had his state tournament this weekend in Denver.  He took 5th.  I just talked to him.  He sounded good.  Nate wrestles next weekend for District, then the following weekend is state for high school.  He has an awesome record this year, and according to his mom, this is a pretty tough weight bracket statewide.  GOOD LUCK NATE. 

Courtney seems to love her new email address.  I get messages from here quite frequently.  So does grandpa.  Love to keep in touch.  Seems we just dont get to see them often enough.  Brandon is always busy, trying to work, keep up with his lady, and squeeze some school in there to graduate this spring.  That will be exciting also. Tony is taking another masters class this spring.  He and Wendy have spent a lot of time in the gym again this winter, just about over and Softball will start in earnest for Lovie. 

Stevie and Ashley are doing the normal dance, school and karate, (or so their mother says).  They are both very busy also.  Mike got a new (used) car.  The jeep was not doing well.  Needs a lot of work on it.  Steph is doing so good on her dieting.  She will be really close to her goal at cruise time I think. 

Mike and Steph were here earlier and we signed on to the web cam to see Braelyn.  She is changing so FAST.  Hardly seems fair that she is growing so fast.  Dont know much about Spencer.  He must be doing ok as no news is good news I think.  Ryan and Rebecca are finding just how busy a little one can keep you.  Been a long time since Spencer was a baby so I am sure Rebecca forgets how busy they can keep you.  Glad she gets to stay home with BGE a while longer.

Sister Lynda went back to CA earlier in the week.  Needed to make it back before Jason and Dawne have the new baby.  Any time now.  Maybe a valentine baby.  That would be fun.  Everyone loves the jewelry that we got at the party. (well all that have it already). 

Happy Valentines day to everyone.  I love you all very much. 


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