Friday, September 25, 2009

four years of friends

You might remember THIS POST from last year...

In September 2006, we started a {picture tradition} with our friends David & Tonya.
Each year we take a picture of the four of us in the same pose. Tonya and I say when we're 60, we'll still be camping at Bluegrass and taking our annual picture :)

It's now updated: four years of friends!
Justin, Laura, Tonya & David

Bluegrass 2006

Bluegrass 2007

Bluegrass 2008

Bluegrass 2009

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Letters to my Little Bear~19th edition

HAPPY 20 MONTHS, Little Bear!!!

Ahh, those eyes...
and those eyelashes...
they melt me every time!

You insisted that George, you're favorite sleeping buddy, be in the monthly pictures this time!
I think this is by far the {silliest} monthly monkey session we've had! You are a little HAM!

You celebrated your {20 month milestone} during Bluegrass, so I'm a little late posting the pictures! Mommy thought it only appropriate that you have your picture taken in your NEW tie-dye outfit! Daddy and I spent a good chunk of time searching all the tie-dye booths for just the right one! I love the brown, burnt orange and turquoise in this one. Perfect for our Little Bear.

You are spunky and loving all at the same time! A true mix of colors that can go from a happy yellow to a frustrated red, or sad blue in the blink of an eye. Ahh...the joys of toddler-hood! Lucky for us, the majority of the time you're a sweetie.

I wish I would start writing down things that you're doing or saying throughout the month, because once I sit down to write these letters to you, my mind goes to mush.

You love to stack blocks and make towers. You would live outside all day, if we'd let you. You can drink a sippy cup of strawberry milk without taking a single breath. You love your family...saying Mimi, Kylie, Emmy, Gigi, Papa, Emma all day long. You talk on your play phone while we're in the car. You dance to Mommy and Daddy's loud Bluegrass music. You are a pro at feeding yourself with a spoon and fork. You love to walk around in Mommy's shoes. You line your cars up in a straight line when you're playing. You think you can jump really high. You're getting better at telling us what you want. You're still not the best eater in the world. You love bath time. You haven't shown much interest in the potty chair for a few weeks. You can hear a choo-choo before anyone else. When you see Mommy with her camera, you say "cheeeeese." You have a great bedtime routine. Anytime you see Mommy brushing her teeth, you point to your toothbrush, and say "teeth, teeth." You like to drink from a straw. You have to have "ice, ice" in your water. You don't like to have food or dirt on your hands. You enjoy cuddle time on the couch with Mommy before your naps. You love Elmo, and you point him out on your diapers every time I change you.

This outfit reminds me of another picture....
May 2008, 4 months old

We love you bunches, Little Bear!
Mommy & Daddy

Wednesday, September 23, 2009


Justin and I found a {new favorite} this year, on one of the "unofficial" campground stages.
We first saw them on Thursday night/Friday morning around 2:30am, on Stage 4.75.


We LOVED them, and after that saw them two or three more times!
Here they are on Stage 4.75
These pictures are from their Facebook page. Credits to: Mick Brazeal

They gave out FREE cd's at this performance. Justin ran up to the stage and grabbed one for us. It's been playing in the Jeep non-stop ever since.

Listen to one of my favorite songs...TROUBLE
I {LOVE} this girls' voice, and that she plays the washboard!

Bluegrass 2009

A few highlights from our 2009 Bluegrass vacation...

Justin usually takes off the WHOLE week of Bluegrass, and then the Monday after. That is our recovery day! We were set to be down there a lot at the beginning of the week, but we hit a few road blocks.

On Tuesday, I had jury duty. Dun, dun, dunnn....You have NO IDEA how nervous I was. I've done jury duty once before, and didn't mind it a bit. I found it very interesting, and enjoyed it. I wasn't nervous to be part of a jury...I was nervous to be part of a jury on a LOOONG trial, with the possibility of missing Bluegrass! That can't be legal, right?!? Of course, out of 35+ people, I was chosen as part of the 12-person jury. What can I say, everybody wants me! My husband ask if I was sitting there with my hand in the air yelling "pick me, pick me." Not exactly, but I my nervousness subsided early in the day when the judge informed us that this would be a very quick trial, lasting no longer than noon the following day. Whew! The jury was picked within an hour and all of the witnesses were called before lunch at noon. We returned to the courtroom at 2pm, surprised to already be hearing closing arguments! Then we deliberated for about 30 minutes and we were outta there! I was proud to have served my civic duty for the year. I feel I helped to make our community a safer place by serving on that jury. God bless the system.

After we got through that little detour, we were ready to get our bluegrass on! Barrett spent Wednesday through Saturday nights with his Grandma and Grandpa, and Gigi and Papa. They loved having him, he loved being with them, and WE loved having a little vacation. We brought him down to hangout at camp during the day, and to listen to some music.

As always, it was good to be reunited with our camp "family" for the week. One of the best things about the Walnut Valley Festival is all of the people you meet. Our camp is made up of couples and families from all over. Some just happened to meet in line at Landrush several years ago, and some just happened to set up camp next to us one year. Some have been friends for many years, and some are related. We set up our campers and tents in a big square, with a community "living room" in the center. It is our gathering place for chatting, jam sessions, meals, and most importantly--shade!

Hanging out on the hill at Stage II...cheering for the Wilders

One of the girls in our "camp family" makes hula hoops! We had some fun with them one evening. Tonya showin' off her hula skills!

It was fun to have little Lincoln camp with us this year. His family is from Hays, KS. He reminded me of Mr. it helped that I could love on him in the evenings when I was missing my boy. Had to get a picture of his onesie! Too funny!

Lincoln turned ONE during Bluegrass. LUCKY boy!
Of course we celebrated in style...Mexican dinner and chocolate cake!

Some of our favorite spots to catch great music...late at night
Stage 5 and the "new" Stage 4.75

My view...strollin' through the Pecan Grove

Barrett and I have taken up the washboard :)

The annual McPherson & Masem picture

This is the view of our walk back to camp from the main stages.
Our camp is down the road a bit further, along the left side of the road.
I couldn't resist the sunset!

Ahhh....WILDERS Friday night show!
We missed you last year! Great to have you back! Ike and Phil had some snazzy, shiny suits.
They played Stage 5 LATER that night. Loved it!!

We ate...Oh, did we eat!

I don't even know what the final count for our camp "compound" was. I think the first night we counted around 23 mouths fed. I am sure it grew each night! This is a view of our food tent. Everyone brought one or two dishes for each dinner, and we formed a buffet line. Tacos, Hamburger, Chili, Soup, Pork Shoulder...

On Saturday night/Sunday morning around 1am, we had POTATO SOUP!
It's an annual camp tradition.
Tonya and I both started BIG crock pots of it that evening. It was the perfect little snack on a chilly night. After the soup was gone, we all headed back out for a walk-about around the Grove. Lots of great music to hear!

We camp with so many {talented} people! I hope one of these years I can contribute.

I woke up bright and early every morning to the sound of this...
A big 'ol tractor driving around the Grove selling coffee and donuts!

Our tent was nestled in between two campers. It was very cozy.
This is the view from behind after we emptied out the tent on Sunday morning...sniffle!

I just {LOVE} hearing this as I walk around the campgrounds..."Happy WINFIELD"
If you're a local, you call it Bluegrass.
If you're not from around here, you call it "Winfield."
See ya next year! Third weekend in September 2010.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Back to real life...

We've been home from Bluegrass for over 24 hours now.
The camping supplies are all dried out and packed up.
The laundry is all washed, folded and put away.
The dishes are drying on the counter.
The pictures have been downloaded, but I'm still sifting through them all.
I've taken two showers since yesterday afternoon, and my hair still smells like campfire smoke...
can't say it bothers me.

(file under: things you'll only see in the Pecan Grove)

Bluegrass 2009 has come and gone.
Pictures coming soon...I still have some recovering to do.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Bathroom Makeover: Before & After

It's the night before LANDRUSH, and Justin is down in line with our friends for the night. They have to be ready to get up {bright & early} to go and do this...

This video is from Landrush 2007. (The last time Landrush was held as scheduled, and without a FLOOD) If you've never been to Bluegrass, and don't know anything about the festival or the crazy tradition of how the campers enter the campgrounds, and stake claim to their favorite spot...check out this little snippit.

So, since I've been home alone (It's 1:45am, and Barrett's been in bed for HOURS) all night, I've decided to finally put together pictures from my completed bathroom makeover!

These are some of my favorite {bits & pieces} of the new bathroom. If you've never been to our house, you need to know we only have ONE bathroom, and it is pretty tiny! But for now, it is our home...our first home, and I have a special place in my heart for it.

The bright and bold colors make me so HAPPY!


I started this little project in August of 2008. Yep, it took me a whole year to finish up this tiny 'ol bathroom! In August 2008, I removed all of the tacky border we put up when we first moved in (October 2002). Then I painted everything chocolate brown and we refinished the shower and tub. In August 2009, I finally got around to putting a fresh coat of white on all of the trim and wainscoting. Once I finished that, I decided everything needed to be crisp. clean. white. This turned into a much bigger project than I'd planned. If you've ever painted your kitchen cabinets, you deserve a medal! My bathroom had four doors and four drawers and seemed to take forever! Taking off all the hardware, painting everything with three coats and re-installing it all, took me three days! Eek! Not to mention I started the whole project while Justin was at work...without running the whole "painting our wood cabinets white" idea by him. At first, he tried to be mad that I'd done it. But we're just not light/oak finish kinda people! Everything in our house is dark cherry, and all of the trim is white. So, once I had it finished, he admitted he really did like it. You'd think "my degree in Interior Design" would have given him a little trust in me. TRUE I haven't officially used it in a few years.

Next up...the KITCHEN!
I'm shooting for a speedy two years on it!! Ha!

Friday, September 11, 2009

lost pictures...

I downloaded some pictures from the point-and-shoot the other day, and discovered some "lost pictures" from the Summer.


I'm not even sure when these were of our trips to the river in late May or early June, I would guess???

We enjoy going to "the river" with our friends, Heidi and Mitch. Heidi's dad has a beautiful little place right on the river. It's perfect for sitting around a campfire in the evening. Heidi and I chat... the kiddos play with the sand, sticks and bugs...and Justin and Mitch fish.

There's a great sand bar, just below where we hang out. Barrett and Addison loved running along it.
On this night, I got my first ride on an air boat. Heidi's dad has one, and it was so beautiful to cruise down the river as the sun was setting. I'd never seen the landscapes of this area like that before. It was like being in a whole new place. We even saw some deer on the banks. The air boat is super loud, so you have to wear things over your ears. It's a bummer you can't chat, but it's also kind of relaxing to just sit back and enjoy the view, with the cool wind blowing in your face.

We left Barrett with Heidi's brother, while we went for our cruise. We thought it might be too loud for him this time. Maybe next year he can go...I think he'd love it!


These pictures are from Barrett's first trip to the City swimming pool. It was the beginning of August, and we met some of our friends there. I wish we would have tried it out earlier in the Summer, because the kids really enjoyed it. Except for the dragon was fun to climb up, but most of them were scared to go down after they got to the top. WHO would want to slide through two jets of water hitting you right in the side of the face anyway? Not sure who designed the slide...but the water that sprays out as your sitting down at the top of the slide is NOT at a good height for little ones. I think it shot right into Barrett's little ears! Maybe next year he'll be a bit taller.

Hadley had a ball running around! She belongs to my friend, Amber.

Lydia Grace loved climbing up the stairs on the slide. She belongs to my friend, Audra.

Barrett and Norah Kate playing in the water.
Norah Kate belongs to my friend, Megan. (She needs to get a blog, so I can link her, huh?!?)

Then, it was time for a snack!
Notice Hadley and Barrett holding cute!


These are from a picnic at the park in late August. We met Mimi, Kylie, Emily, Grandpa Everett and Grandma Jenny for lunch, and to feed the ducks. We wanted to take advantage of some of the last days of Summer before the girls started back to school.

Kylie and Emily love to carry Barrett around on their back...
I think he loves it just as much!

Barrett and Grandma Jenny

With his Mimi...feeding the ducks

I think that's all from the "lost picture" file for now! I'm glad to have my digital scrapbook caught up! I wouldn't want to miss documenting any of our memories!
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