Friday, June 26, 2009

Our Last Day

Another very hot day... Malikas did some fishing in the morning off the dock and lost the BIG ONE!!! She had it almost to the dock when the line broke. She said it was the biggest rainbow trout she had ever seen. Fish story? Nah, she wouldn't tease like that... not about fishing. :-)

We went to Branson Landing in the late afternoon and evening. It was hot so some fresh-squeezed lemonade was in order. Shopping included a "shammy", jelly beans and other assorted candies, stone coasters for the car, a gift for Charlie... really big shoppers, eh? Dinner was at Joe's Crab Shack. Both Malikas and I are big seafood lovers and it is so good there.

We're almost packed and will head back early Saturday morning so as to make it back to St. Louis in time for a Cardinal game. It's been a relaxing, fun week but reality is calling.

Springfield Cardinals

A night at the ballpark was HOT... but fun. Masha and I met Chris at his apartment and headed to Hammons Stadium for the AA affiliate of the St. Louis Cardinals. It always great to go to a game where the birds are on the bats... like being at home. Chris' boss got us some tickets and they were great. Of course, it took us a while to figure out what name he had put them under but we finally got them. Chris gave his regular commentary on things such as... "Hank? He doesn't look like a Hank? He looks like a Honk..." Hank was the catcher for the Arkansas team and was Asian. So he was Honk the rest of the night. Chris' friend, Chief, was there too so they made quite a duo for entertaining us.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Vacation... ahhhhhh!!

The Boomerang Express made its last stop on Thursday evening with a great Family Night. The Music Camp kids did a wonderful job of sharing the VBS music. It was a terrific week but always room for improvement. My directors and I will be looking at how that can be done in the coming weeks. We enrolled 266 workers and kids, with an average attendance of 240. Eleven children indicated that they had made a decision to follow Christ. We collected canned goods and non-perishables for Sunshine Ministry. The girls won with a final count of 243 items; boys had 188 for a total of 431 items.
There are way too many pictures to post here but soon you can find them on my Facebook page or on the Parkway Baptist website.

Sunday afternoon came and we headed to Springfield to spend some time with Chris before going to Branson on Monday. Sara spent some time with her friend from SBU, Kara. the other 4 of use headed to Bass Pro. Thankfully, they could not walk my legs off because they close earlier on Sunday. We all went to dinner at Cheddar's and topped off dinner with a Cookie Monster.

We headed to Lilley's Landing in Branson on Lake Taneycomo. I caught the first fish off the dock on Monday afternoon while Sara and Masha went to White Water - a water park. On Tuesday, we went fishing with our favorite guide... Bob. We've been using him for several years and always come home with our limit. I caught some of the biggest although I think Charlie caught one a bit bigger. After some more fishing on Wednesday morning, we headed to one of our favorite breakfast places, The Farmhouse Restaurant, and then Charlie and Sara headed back to St. Louis. Masha and I are here until early Saturday morning. More blogging after tonights Springfield Cardinal game with Chris.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009


Larrikin... another new word I learned that is used in Australia. We certainly have a few at VBS this week. And I'll bet you have some at your VBS and in your family. Larrikin: a person given to comical or outlandish behavior. Who is your favorite larrikin? Here's mine...

Tonight was when our staff presented the gospel to the 1st-6th graders. Several decisions were made. We've already started on follow-up. After conversation with one little girl, she prayed to receive Christ. Woo-hoo!!!
Here's our "name the koala" winner... Wallie and Esten...

Sara spoke at our Mission Rotation. Isn't she pretty? :-)

Two more nights to say "Yeh-Yeh-Yeh-Yeh Yes to Vuh-Vuh-Vuh VBS!"

Onya, Mate

If you were at VBS last night or are doing Boomerang Express anywhere in the world, you know what that means. We're still chugging down the track and having a great time. No mice or flying boomerangs... and only a little bit of blood when one of our volunteers fell in the kitchen. She's OK, though.

Our "name the koala" contest was well received. 112 names were suggested. The directors and my assistant poured over the names trying to decide which one would be the best for a koala. We narrowed it down to 4 names and they voted again. But we still needed a tie-breaker so I "hired" Sara to do that. No one but me knew who had submitted the different names. And the winner was "Wallie", submitted by Esten Ronning. We'll try to get a picture tonight and post it later. I forgot to have Sara do that last night. Sara is our official photographer for Boomerang Express.

Here are a few pics of our hard-working volunteers from Track 1...

Sunday, June 14, 2009


Boomerang Express left the station... with all the craziness that comes with the first night of VBS. We're going down under with a reminder that "it all comes back to Jesus." No injuries, no lost kids, no BIG surprises... However we did have one very small surprise... a mouse. Yep, one of God's furry little creatures paid a visit... right outside fellowship hall. He/she was finally captured and sent to "mouse heaven".

Everything went well for the first night. As you can see, Sara and I had a great time!!

On Friday, the doctor released me. Woo-hoo!! Having energy is still a problem but he said to expect that for a bit longer. Of course, with VBS this week, there's not much chance of having any energy anyway by the time it's over. But that's OK... vacation next week!!!!

Malikas comes Thursday... can't wait... 3 days... 16 hours... and counting!!!!!

Thursday, June 11, 2009


No, not me. I'm still crazy about my little SUV. But Sara made her first BIG decision since coming home and bought a car. It's a 2008 Chevy Cobalt. Her brother, Chris, gave her his advice and thoughts and then her dad took her shopping. Sara liked the idea of a 5-speed but with her bad knee it didn't seem like a wise idea so she chose the automatic. I think she likes the sun roof the most. Doesn't she look proud?

Busy day on Friday - doctor's appointment (please, release me, let me go!!), work at church, lunch with Patti and Sara, trip to Lifeway, party in the evening.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009


A busy morning spent mostly on VBS work... a restful early afternoon... a trip to the grandkids to drop off Sara... and a quiet evening at church. Keith and I also spent some time this morning discussing a book we're reading together "Walking With God". Let's just say interesting... can't say I agree with everything the author says but he has made me think about some things so I guess that's good. Jenny invited Sara down to spend some time with her and Sammy and Lizzie. I had some new outfits for the kids so I brought them along. The kids immediately wanted to try them on and then wear them. Sammy said, "I want to wear mine now and then when I go to bed, I'll put it nicely on my dresser and wear it again tomorrow." Lizzie was just happy to have anything with Tinkerbell and/or Dora on it. They were both happy to model them for us.

Feeling pretty well this week. Still tire way too easily and that's frustrating. Looking forward to a FULL release by the doctor on Friday morning.
Storms are coming!!
Sara is looking to buy a car. Naturally, she went to her "little" brother for help. So she asked him the difference between a 4-cylinder and a 6-cylinder. His answer... "A 4-cylinder has 4 cylinders and a 6-cylinder has 6 cylinders." A wealth of information, isn't he??

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Zia's Fun

Our restaurant of choice to celebrate our anniversary... and to celebrate Sara being home... was Zia's on the Hill. Yummmm... pasta. The pasta picture is Sara's bowl after she ate for 30 minutes! And she moved it around to make it look like she had eaten more than she had. :-)
I'm feeling stronger every day and thankful for being able to get things done in a timely manner. Boomerang Express - VBS 2009 - starts on Sunday evening so that will be the real test. I'm so incredibly grateful for two wonderful directors in Cheryl and Janet and for all of our teachers and helpers. 4 days... 21 hours... and counting... Yes, I will be ready!!

Malikas comes for a visit in 8 days! Woo-hoo!!!!

36 YEARS?!?!?

I'm waking up this morning to the realization that I've been married for 36 years. Wow!! I'm sure to many that seems like forever. And some days it seems that way to me, too. Charlie and I first met in Freeburg, Illinois when I was in mid-way through the 7th grade. My family had moved there from Quebec, Canada (and rumors immediately began that I was fluent in French but that's another story). We "dated" off and on for the 2 years that I lived there. Then my family moved again. However, we hooked back up when I returned to the states for college... and the rest is history. (Yes, I've cut the story short. There is a lot more juicy parts. Maybe another day.) Three precious children by birth... one special (and late) one by choice... the loveliest of daughters-in-law... and THE two cutest grandkids this world has ever seen makes for a wonderful 36 years! It's not been the easiest - we've certainly had our woes but Charlie has always been there during those times... telling me it's going to be OK... praying for us... hugging me... assuring me. He can drive me nuts - what husband doesn't at times. But I'll keep him around... maybe for 36 more!!

Sunday, June 07, 2009


Being on a church staff, one never knows what a Sunday morning is going to be like... especially when change is in the air. But despite my energy limitations, we had a great Sunday. Things went smoothly in Sunday School which is always a good way to start things off. And then we had a great KidZone Worship including Christina's clown shoes (they were her "walking by faith" shoes). Our lesson was about Abraham's willingness to sacrifice Isaac and it reminded us to always be obedient to what God wants us to do. One of the best parts was when my sweet friend, Noah, walked into our worship room and said, "Woo-hoo! Ms. Becky is back!! I missed you!" It's nice to be missed. :-)

Remember that change CAN be good... give it a try!

Friday, June 05, 2009


The morning was spent working at church... the afternoon was Sara's MRI on her knee and time for a nap before going to the Cardinal game. Sara was excited about going since she had not seen a game for 2 1/2 years. We donned our Cardinal t-shirts, cap and visor and headed downtown. Because of the hwy. 64 closure and my inability to get around very well, Charlie was sweet and took us to the game... killed time and waited around... and then picked us up. It was quite a depressing game. We lost 11-4. But at least we saw some fireworks with Pujols, Molina and Ludwick hitting homeruns. Unfortunately that wasn't near enough offense. When starter Adam Wainwright exited in the seventh, the Cards trailed by a run. By the time the inning was over, the deficit was 10... not fun to watch. But the tickets were great... thanks to my Christopher who gave them to me for Mother's Day and told me to take Sara. :-)

Thursday, June 04, 2009


It's late... and I am so tired but I wanted to let everyone know that Sara arrived home safely Wednesday evening. She was 2 hours later than expected thanks to the airport in Nigeria booking her on the wrong flight but she finally made it. We met her at the airport along with Jason, Jenny, Sammy and Lizzie... as well as Lydia and Jennie. It was sooooo good to see her. She was one exhausted young lady after traveling for more than 24 hours. We went home and enjoyed sandwiches. Yes, sandwiches. That may seem boring to most of you but they don't have lunch meat in Nigeria so she was thrilled with that and potato chips. Jenny baked some delicious gooey butter cookies so she was set for the evening. Of course, Sammy and Lizzie managed to entertain us all as well.

There is more to tell about her first day home but it'll have to wait until tomorrow. The eyes will not stay open.... plus I'm not thinking clearly. No comments about that, please.

Tuesday, June 02, 2009


Not necessarily a very exciting day... but a good day... Cheryl put together all the teacher VBS supply requests... staff meeting wasn't too bad and not too long... a short nap... a good VBS meeting and prayerwalk... a good meal from the crock pot. And now the Cardinals are winning... woo-hoo!! AND Sara is on her way home. She'll arrive in Frankfurt sometime around 1:15 a.m. (STL time)... arrive in Chicago at 12:30 p.m. and then be in St. Louis about 4:15 p.m. on Wednesday. It's gonna be a GREAT DAY!!!