Wednesday, June 29, 2011


One of the things that I brought home with me from the Country Stampede was a feeling of sadness for a mom and dad that I have never even met.

Thursday night, Heather and I were getting dinner and we saw a flier about this kid, Jacob Kreutzer. He died last year at the Country Stampede. He was 19.

His parents handed out almost 30,000 fliers to folks attending the festival this year.

Click here for local news story about Jacob's parents quest to find information.

How do you send your grown kid to a music festival and handle the phone call that he was found dead?

How do you wake up every single morning not knowing how your kid died?

I don't understand how these things happen.

My heart hurts for these parents.

And I guess if I was them, I would be doing the same thing. Standing outside all day long handing out fliers with the simple hope that just one person would come forward and say that they knew something. Just one person.

Oh God, how I am so thankful for every single day that our kids are safe. That the kids in our village are safe.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011


This past weekend, I had the pleasure of flying to Kansas and going with Heather to all 4 days of the Country Stampede. What a great time! We talked and danced and ate and laughed and talked and cried and sang and talked and just had the very very best time!

One of my favorite parts of the festival was the people watching and getting to know our festival neighbors. We were in the VIP Section which has assigned seats, so for the most part, we were sitting by the same neighbors all four days.

Sitting right beside me was an fella named Luke. He is 81 years old. Been married for 56 years and has 5 kids. This was his 8th Country Stampede. He comes alone because his wife 'smoked for 60 years and never walked around the block, so her legs don't work so well anymore.'

Luke and I struck up a fast friendship. We had an instant camaraderie because we both have 5 kids - 3 boys and 2 girls. We talked quite a bit about our families. You could see that Luke was just as proud of his grown 40-50 year old kids as I am of our school age kids. We talked about raising the kids and he was so complimentary of his wife. He told me how he had worked a lot to provide for his family and of how his wife did most all of the parenting. At one point, he teared up and told me that he wasn't around enough for them when they were growing up and that he worries about it. When I asked to see a picture of his kids, he said he had left it in his planner. Sure enough, the next day he showed up and busted out a wallet size picture of his family. There was no doubt that this is one very proud dad with loads of love for his family.

The other incredible thing about Luke is that he LOVES country music. He knew every artist that was performing and the names the artists he had seen in the past. He also knew what he liked and didn't like. And let me tell you, he was not pleased at all by Tim McGraw only playing for 51 minutes a few years ago. He will be happy if McGraw never comes back to Country Stampede because 'you just don't treat people that way!' And he knew the names of the songs, the words to all the songs. And on the songs that he really loved, he was dancing and clapping!

It was such an honor to sit beside someone with so much heart. I believe that things happen for a reason, and we ended up neighbors with Luke as a reminder not to ever stop living.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

It will dry.

I guess I might be the only person in this entire area that was upset when I heard it rained last night.

Actually, my initial feeling was extreme joy. Thankful for the liquid gold that was falling from the sky. And then I looked out the kitchen window, and the joy disappeared.

I've been sick since Sunday evening. Like can't get out of bed sick. In that time, there was no news, no internet, no radio. I had no idea what day it was, much less that it was going to rain. If I had been able to watch the news, I could have made provisions for rain. And that would be to bring this inside.

(Doctor - Teacher - Artist - Business Executive - Chef - Astronaut - Fashion Designer - Firefighter - Ballerina - Pet Doctor)

You see, this is a very very special book to me. It is special because I can very clearly picture my sweet girls walking around holding it by the plastic handle with some sort of plastic high heeled shoes on. It is special to me because I know practically every word by heart because I have read it to all of our kids over and over again.

It is special to me because it is teaching our girls (and boys) that when they grown up, they can be anything.

And because of this...

(When you grow up to be a business executive, you'll need a fax machine.)

We bought this book when the oldest were babies. Pre-September 11. The Twin Towers were a place that kids could dream of working someday.

After the towers collapsed, I couldn't read this book to our kids for a while.

(Copyright 1999)

Of course, they know what happened. (Sam even has memories of that day.) And we talk about the tragedy. And the planes. And the innocent people. And what is inside the heart of such a terrible terrible person.

We read this book to Wyatt. And he can also grow-up to be anything he wants to be. And someday he will understand what happened to those Twin Towers. And will be told the same words that we tell all of our kids...

You can do ANYTHING you want in life.
Do not be afraid.
We will always love you.

And I guess he will join the chorus of our kids telling me...
Don't cry mom, cause the book will dry.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Days Later

Well, I guess I figured out why I wasn't able to do more for the dang garage sale.

I guess I figured it out in a big way.


Bad timing for being sick.

Very bad timing.

Good thing I had my big girl with me to hold my hand while I was getting a big fat shot in the butt.

Good think I had my big kids at home to take care of each other and the sweet baby while I was out of it for a few days.

I think I am almost alive again today.

I think.

Fingers crossed.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Cleaning House Clearing Head

We had a garage sale today.
We are having it again tomorrow.
The trouble is, I am too tired to get out anymore stuff.
We have so much that can be sold.
We need every.single.penny. we can get.
I just can't do it anymore.

I hear that once you clear your house from the clutter, it helps begin the process of clearing your head. I'm gonna work on that.

Summer Goals
Love our kids.
Alone time with JC. (crazy, huh?)
Spend time with our family.
Spend time with our dear friends.
Clean house - clear head.
Write letters.
Encourage kids to write letters.
5 home cooked meals a week sitting at dinner table - all 7.
Begin putting kids pictures in photo albums.
Become a stronger swimmer.

Making this list was kinda like counting sheep. :)

It's Time

I have been blog absent again. But I guess you figured that out.

Things have just been nuts around here. Seems like it is hard to find the time to put thoughts together.

I think a lot about things I want to post. And then I sit down to do it. At 2am. And then I realize that it is nuts and I should just try to sleep.

But now it is summer. And I am going to do my best. Because I like to blog. Because I like the life documentation. Because I have a lot to say. And because I learn a lot from myself when I sit down and write it down and then look at it the next day.

So here goes.
Can you even stand it?
Yeah, me either.